Friday, August 31, 2007

10 years

I never was grief stricken at the death of the Princess of Wales. I didn't know her and cared no more than for any other overadulated celebrity.
The response from the public was completely baffling to me.
I remember going in to the Pearl Assurance office where I was working at the time and during the coffee break the conversation turned to a television programme concerning spontaneous combustion. Someone began explaining that the theory was that the fat in the body kept the flame ignited and burning until all that was left was ashes in the middle and possibly a completely untouched limb or two on the periphery.
At which point I thought it right to interject "So you could say that he lived his life like a candle in the wind" . It was greeted with absolute silence. I got my coat.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wottle throttle

I couldn't remember the name of this fellow in the golf cap for years. I have at last tracked him down - 'Dave Wottle', the name still doesn't ring a bell but his race in the 1972 Olympics certainly does. Brilliant - puts all those boring Paula Radcliffe type plodders in their place.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where are you R Ton ?

This morning at the end of an elaborate dream which I cant remember there appeared the following Memories are wooden forks and spoons - R Ton. I jumped out of bed and kept repeating it to myself until I had written it down.
Now I cant think why I bothered except I dont ever recall remembering written words in a dream before.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Ive got tooth ache and wondered why we had nerves in the teeth or rather what evolutionary advantage does having nerves in teeth give.
All I could find was this exchange on the net.

I had to have my nerve removed from my tooth today and wondered why we have them. I had suffered awful toothache since xmas eve, its ok now but why are teeth so troublesome?

Salamanda Wed 04/01/06 22:22

its like any part of the would we know there was anything wrong with the tooth if there were no nerves to tell us? I think that must be the reason. If there is a big hole in your tooth that needs a filling, you know because it it painful. Can't think of any other reason! Maybe someone call tell us

Wed 04/01/06

So that’s the answer it is to remind us to go to the Dentist.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Still rambling

I like this header to the blog of Vikash

I am not perfect and I never will be! What would perfection be? No flaws, I guess. If I were alone on this earth, would I be perfect? Yes I suppose. Everything about me is perfect in isolation. I may stammer, I may limp, I may be anything but I am perfection as myself, I am the perfect me. My speech becomes a stammer when I emulate your speech, My gait becomes a limp when I walk like you and I become imperfect when I want to be as perfect as you. I'm imperfect as you but perfect as me

He is a bit slow with the posts though.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


The experiment didn’t work. Although it wasn’t really an experiment more of a demonstration but on either count it failed.
A ‘demonstration’ because it ‘must’ work if carried out properly.
3 dimensional Euclidean geometry is part of the way that the world is, at least on the level of this exercise. If I had properly cut the corners in my journey home there must be a clear difference between the journey there and the journey back but there wasn’t, exactly the same 18.2 miles on the mileometer. Since the instrument only measures to one decimal place either the affect over 18 miles is less than 1/10th of a mile or I wasn’t extravagant enough in cutting the corners, probably a bit of both.
Somebody following me must have been extremely puzzled as it was because I didnt drive fast, just kept to around 40mph but on coming to a left hand bend would hug the inside line like a geriatric formula 1 driver and when encountering a right hand bend, if I couldn't safely cross onto the opposite side of the road, would put my offside wheels onto the central white line and pass the thundering Juggernaut coming in the other direction like some bizarre parody of a Red Arrows 'crossover'.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Machine Code

The purpose of language, English say, must be to enable communication between one human being and another. Why would I need the same language to think in my own head as I need to pass on information to you? For example I tell you ‘I feel hot’ and this conveys an idea to you but I am not conscious of thinking the words ‘I feel hot’ in my head in order to convey to myself the idea that I am hot.

At the base of computers is ‘machine code’ that is the stuff that tells the computer what to do etc. A code of 1s’ and zeros far too messy for humans to usefully employ and so there is a higher language that makes it easier to use plus an interpreter which converts this higher language into the language that the machine does understand. The need to interpret slows the process down considerably.

I feel that there is an analogy here between the machine process and the human process. The higher language , English for example, when used by me to speak to you is the result of some kind of interpreter in my head converting the ‘machine code’ of my thoughts into a language, English, which the interpreter in your head converts into your own private code and you ‘understand’ me.
I know that Wittgenstein says this is all tosh and there is no such thing as a private language but I will carry on with the thought because I am not convinced and because it leads to an chess example and Wittgenstein himself used a lot of chess analogies.

I am an average chess player and I recognise that many good players see father and more quickly than I do. I find that when I am considering a position I do think in English, ‘Pawn takes pawn, knight takes pawn, bishop to king 5 check etc ‘ as well as to a lesser extent being conscious of patterns which are not expressed in my head in English.
It occurred to me to ask why do I need internally this English language to express the moves to myself and I contrasted it with the feeling for pattern in the game which I also had. I thought that maybe the difference between me and the good players must be that they had got shot of English altogether as a thought process and were employing something more in line with machine code in a computer.
When I asked a couple of them about this they looked at me as if I were a total idiot. I got my coat.

Victorian Belly Dancers

Victorian festival in Llandrindod Wells. Here is Mark Bradley yesterday his attention is held by a troupe of Belly Dancers performing in Middleton Street – probably went on all the time in Victoria’s reign.
Managed to hang on to complete self control in the office when an appointment arranged for me with a Mr Hunt turned out, face to face, to be with a Mr Kunt.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

You will love the pipeline

As expected my limerick didn't get anywhere as it was was far too politically incorrect. There were only four entries but so desperate was the judge to avoid acknowledging it in anyway she gave second prize to something that wasn't even a limerick - I counted at least14 lines in it.
I say 'at least' because I was trying to count surreptitiously so as not to appear that I was about to mount a serious legal challenge to the result. This feigned nonchalance on my part might have led to slight mathematical inaccuracy, but rest assured there were at least 14 lines, limerick it certainly wasn't.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Show

Saturday coming is Llyswen show day and Ann is entering a ginger cake.
I am entering the Limerick competition which has the unpromising required opening 'There once was a pipeline....' This refers to the ugly scar which crosses Wales as they lay a huge pipe line to take gas from one side of the country to the other - they might get a few years use out of it before the gas runs out or it is blown up by terrorists. The whole thing is highly suspect , it all seems to have been organised behind closed doors.
So far with the Limerick I have got;

There once was a pipeline of steel
It desecrates every green hill
So thanks to backhanders
And incompetent planners
Hard luck - too late- done deal

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Its the 12th but not as glorious as it was.

Day 2 and 1/12 and the Brecon Jazz festival was pretty dull in the streets. It might be the pressure from all the bureaucrats to interfere, contain, sanitise and ultimately lose it as an event.The same bunch of worthless articles who buggered up the roads within the town. This band was very good though and represented the festival as it used to be.

Friday, August 10, 2007

keeping a low profile

Somebody from Acaster Malbis visited today according to Sitemeter.
Went to Google fight where Acaster Malbis defeated my own Llyswen by 36,200 to 28,700. I have never heard of Acatster Malbis (apparently near York) and so am quite pleased that Llyswen is even less hunted.

Experiment (results expected Monday)

Object: To determine reduction in distance travelled by cutting corners.
(Possible application – reduction of carbon footprint )
Apparatus: Vauxhall Astra
(Note Distance between home (Llyswen) and office (Llandrindod Wells) is approximately 18.4 Miles. (AA Rout planner))

A car was driven from home to office keeping as far as possible in the middle of the left hand lane throughout. The distance measured by the milometer was ……….miles.
The same car was driven in the opposite direction from office to home cutting every corner that it was safe to cut. The distance measured was ……………miles.

Results: (Distance cut/ distance normal) X fuel normal = fuel cut.
100 X(Fuel normal – fuel cut)/ (fuel normal) = % fuel saved

Friday, August 03, 2007

To do list

Due to forgetfulness it would be a pity to allow my last days at work (about 3 years to go) to pass unproductively and so I will keep a note here in the blog of things I ought to do close to retirement as I think of them.
No1) When sending off copy marriage certificates to insurance companies tipex out whats written in the rank or profession of father box and insert 'petty tyrant' or whatever else takes my fancy and then rephotocopy before sending.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


200th post and still this son of a bitch ventriloquist announces through me 'My blog is worth nothing'.

Youre the tops, I am Bernard Mathews

All the way into work in the car this morning I was trying to remember what Cole Porter rhymed with Mahatma Ghandi in the song ‘You’re the tops’.
I remembered in the end , Napoleon brandy.
Back in the good old days attending the OU summer school at Bath on the Philosophy of Arts course we had a lecturer who closely resembled Lionel Blair in mannerisms and voice. He came into the room and announced “ Now you are all students of aesthetics and so when you go into the examination and sit down I want you to put a nice vase of flowers on your desk (indicating with limp wrist) there, not there (agressively pointing) but there.(casual flip of the hand)” . He scattered all these cut out pictures of paintings about and asked us to chose one that each of us liked and then to say why.
Wendy from Peckham chose Monet’s Poppies at Argenteial and when asked to say what she liked about it pointed out the connection between poppies and war dead. Interesting because the artist could have had no such connection in mind. The same point occurred later when somebody else chose a postcard of a stark black and white drawing entitled Buchenwald forest done long before the Nazis came to power.
One of the superlatives which the singer attributes in the Porter song is, “you’re a turkey dinner’ which is still amusing but post Bernard Mathews might become incomprehensible. Just goes to show how intention and perception differ in time.