hirez: (My name is legion)
Earlier this evening I posted a picture of a gravestone on the FB because ho ho ho gothics and churchyards, eh? What am I like, etc?

The slightly longer story is probably going to take me a couple of attempts to get out of my head, so I don't know how much of this will survive.

There's another picture in the phone, which would have been of a pair of circling Kestrels (maybe) had the camera optics been a bit better. Instead you can see the house across the valley from Charlton Abbots church. It is called Holt Farm and I lived there until 1976. The set of views possible from those two locations were quite a feature of my growing up. I am really quite familiar with many of them.

Thus it is quite hard to completely convey the absolute weirdness in finding that gravestone, lurking in plain sight in the wall of the churchyard. It really is very Nigel Kneale.

The other thing that happened is that I stumbled over a 'tweet' by what appears to be 'Tony' 'Parsons'. It reads, for the most part, 'Hande hoch! For you zer war is over!'.

In seventies Winchcombe, which was halfway between home and primary school, there was George Constant the barber, an actual sweet shop called oh god I've forgotten the last time I looked it was an antique clock shop, which means the children of Winchcombe will have to make do with a restored half-hunter rather than a sherbert thing and a packet of ten candy cigarettes. Round the corner and down a bit, almost opposite the narrow lane down to Hayward's (hardware shop) workshop, was the newsagent. There was a sloping counter of general interest magazines (Farmer's Weekly, Woman's Weekly, etc), things I never looked at towards the back of the shop, and a roundy-roundy thing (aka a hurdy-gurdy) that contained JT Edson paperbacks and Commando comics.

What little I knew of people from Europe in those days was informed by those Commando comics, Dad's Army, Colditz (although that was on late so I wasn't allowed to watch it) and The Secret War.

Quite a number of years later, (1993) I (we) beetled off to a campsite just outside Lelystad for a hacker camp (HEU) and discovered really rather quickly that everything I thought I knew was more or less wrong, which was absolutely fine, and most of the things that other people (friends, family, the mainstream media) were keen to tell me was also wrong, and that was absolutely fine too and I could cheerfully ignore them.

It also made it obvious that the people who wrote for the NME had haunted similar shops and also read Commando comics and watched Dad's Army. And had learned nothing of the wider world since then.

'Tony' 'Parsons' has not been to a hacker camp, so can be cheerfully ignored. He is reacting to people from Europe as if they were from a Commando comic.

It is the C21st and that sort of behaviour is really quite stupid. On the other hand he is old and probably had it shot off in the war for the likes of you.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
The other day, I accidentally a fairly well-preserved 70/80s Falcon bike frame. There's surface rust and a 'Reynolds' sticker, but it looks straight and far too narrow of tube because I'm used to oversize ally and carbon frames.

The 'exciting' bit is going to be the collection of enough cheap bits to turn it back into a bicycle.

... I'm sure I was going to write more things here.
hirez: (Object)
It's already starting to be one of those weeks that are nothing but a cavalcade of tiresome.

Today started with a search for a Blue Plaque generator. There should probably be pictures of the result but probably not in a public post.

By the time I was back on the bus to Newbridge Park&Ride, I was in need of a quiet field to go and sit in so it was just me, sky, grasshoppers, clover and perhaps the distant sound of mechanised farming. That bus is probably the most middle-class thing I have encountered. It's cheap, air-conditioned, has (rubbish) wireless and is filled with the sort of people who probably vote UKIP. As such, it's dead popular in Bath, so they're having to build an extension to the parking bit at the end (or beginning) so there's more space for more nice middle-class cars.

As is my wont, I've been having a poke around in the interstices between the built environment and, well, the slightly less built environment.

Which is where I found the field I'd been looking for.

It was a jolly pleasant wander about and finding of the path up to the (closed) Kelston road.
hirez: (dissent)
http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/know-your-place

It were all fields, collieries, locomotive works, brickworks and galvanised iron factories round here.
hirez: (Challenger)
[Poll #1768066]
hirez: (Box Frenzy)
What is the term for the concept that I can only describe as 'smoking a tab to make the bus come' ?

The performance of an act in order to make Sod's Law work in your favour. Or, if not in your favour then applying conceptual leverage in order to ensure the least unfavourable outcome.

Edit: ok, so it seems like I'm explaining this badly. Imagine, if you will, the act of going out for a potter. If you do not take a coat, it will rain. If you do take a coat, it will be warm and sunny. Loud and Muphy-tempting statements to all + sundry along the lines of 'Gosh I do hope it rains because the countryside smells so much nicer when damp' as you peer out of the window won't work...

... I believe I am quoting wholesale from 'Three men in a boat'.

The sensible answer is either a somewhat waterproof technical top, or not giving a flying bugger about getting a bit damp.
hirez: (safety chicken)
In the future, hand-based foodstuffs (big sarnies, complex baguettes, tiresome burgers) will come with a small field-generator to ensure structural integrity and no sauce/dressing leakage.

When people say that they're about to sally forth and brave the elements, which elements do they mean? Sulphur? A nasty patch of low-lying Vanadium?
hirez: (dissent)
Splendid stuff.

The links in the comments are going to keep me busy for days.

Edit: For instance, this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/ Sheer bloody gold.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Things I found in my Useful Box of Cable-ish Items:

An ADB cable.
A CV/Gate adapter suitable for clocking a digital delay from a SH101. (The very SH101 that's probably still round Chaos's house)
A jumble of USB-phone cables, all for phones that are long since dead.
A sturdy wall-wart that'll provide 5vDC (useful).
A power-brick for a HP Omnibook (Less useful, but I can hack the low-voltage end off and solder it to the above to make something really useful).
A clock-radio.
A bar-code reader.
A single-action air ram.

Things I did not find:

A null-modem cable. Curses! Although I did find one with a 25-way end. I will have thrown out all the 9-25 converters, and if I haven't, the one I find will be the wrong way round.

Java's still a right sack of pants, mind.
hirez: (Q-309)
[Poll #1476306]


Personally, I am very much digging more or less anything Michael Rother has had a hand in. The first (two) Kraftwerk LP(s) now have a lot more context, for instance.
hirez: (posing)
http://www.subgenius.com/bigfist/answers/articles/X0052_Recent_Launchings_of.html
http://www.subgenius.com/bigfist/ears/soundz/10HOLE_HYMNS/X0003_Drs.Info.html

The concept of Doktorbands has lived in my head since, um, oh-fuck-i-dont-know, probably the mid 80s when I read something about them in a random zine. Probably. I don't really remember and I like it better that way. The next time I came across this malarkey was when I found Compendium in Camden in 1989.

There was a bloke outside Camden tube, busking a passable Hawkwind impersonation and playing a SH101 with his feet. I think.

I came home with a copy of 'Three-fisted tales of 'Bob'', which surprised precisely none of the people I was living and working with at the time.

That's a whole other story in itself.

Don't go looking on YouTube for Doktorbands because the beer-crate video can never match the reality in your own head. (Somewhere between 'Hotrod' period Ministry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, MBV and PiL)
hirez: (irradiated)
Bad stuff: always nice to wake up with a migraine. On the other hand, I slept the worst of it off, so perhaps I was really quite tired.

Good stuff(i): a splendid letter and photo from the chap who runs the Museum of Victorian Science, which many of you should consider visiting.

Good stuff(ii): I can has holiday cottage in Porthcurno.

Good stuff(iii): The Third Policeman. 3.25 on the lever.
hirez: (dissent)
I'm struggling through 'Matter' at the moment and it's not really being a positive experience.

There seems to be rather a surfeit of expository rumination about the horridness of the imaginary universe and why can't we all get along. There's 'show', 'tell' and 'arse-achingly dull'.
hirez: (Challenger)
There's this alternate universe where personal transport runs by means of the Infernal Combustion Engine. They're mostly controlled by Hieronymus Bosch engine management systems: each flash of a spark-plug is the last emanation of a doomed soul, and the appropriate manual really is the Book of Lies.

(I blame [livejournal.com profile] sushidog. And indeed my own rubbish memory if I've posted this before.)
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (i))
Good thing: writing again. For this dreadful state of affairs, you may blame the good offices of Cory Doctorow. Who has a good office.

Tangentially, any of you lot (or indeed any of your splendid chums) who would care to get involved in a skiffy writing group, likely centred around the the Birmingham area, should bother me forthwith.
hirez: (tank)
Oh, how I wish casual surrealism was an effective counter to Bureaucracy. Instead you just get shown into smaller and grubbier offices. The answer is a pocket universe where the machinery of the state is best engaged with whilst in the grip of strong drugs...


The Ministry of Startling Results:

It's run by monkeys. You post requests to the large building in which it is housed. At an indeterminate time later, you receive a parcel back. I suspect the parcels would usually contain banana skins or disturbingly-soiled office equipment, but the likelihood of useful results would be high enough that the experiment would continue.


The Ministry of Onions:

This is where you take the onions you've grown for testing and measurement. It's a single large and semi-sentient machine. A lot like a mechanical version of the alien hive in Quatermass II, only fixated on onions rather than world domination.


The Ministry of Unflinching Truth in All Things:

The concept in my head is that there's a (reasonably) benevolent ministry that exists to give people the things they really ought to have. Not the shiny things that they think they want, but the stuff that will make them truly happy. Because of course accepting that you're better off with a WRX instead of a girlfriend, or an allotment rather than a gender change isn't something that people really want to think about sometimes.

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