Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Serving Time At The Kickstart.........

Pete called in again at mid-day, and then went off to Andy’s to fiddle with the GS650 Suzuki he bought the other day.

(One like this GS650, but with a bit more of a 'patina' about it.) :o)

He’s been polishing and said it was looking a lot better than when I saw it the other day, so I dragged the Harley out to at least let her suck some air through her lungs, and went over for a gander.

Yup, sure enough, it looked a lot better, and whilst we were all stood about admiring it, Andy invited Pete to demonstrate his fledgling kick-starting skills on the XS650 Yammy he was doing up.

Peter hasn't yet Done His time At The Kickstart, but is very keen to impress. I have to say, though, that in my extensive experience at trying to impress, and boy, have I ever tried, it's invariably something to regret at leisure.

(Andy and the XS650 Yammy)

Pete, and with some considerable optimism I have to say, swung a shapely leg over the snoozing Yam, gently leaning on her stand looking so quiet and harmless.

They often do that y’know,………. look quiet and harmless. :o)

It wasn’t the wisest thing he’s done that day, if indeed he’d done anything wise that day, which was doubtful. He'd visited me that morning for a start.

He Assumed The Position, with much settling the foot in the optimum location on the long kickstarter lever, and prepared himself for the first stroke. There's generally only the one location, but it's a biker tradition to seem to be choosing from several. It gives you time to gather courage, and/or consider if there isn't something else you'd rather be doing.

A manly swing was taken.


No life evident in sound or deed.

Another, even manlier swing, again to no avail.

Ok……… more ‘application’ needed, and this is where it started to all fall apart. He launched himself into the air, and descended on the kickstarter once again, with a mighty grunt that would've made any woman want to drag him off into the bushes. Mid-way down the stroke, the Peter Foot slipped off the kick-starter, and it flew back up along the Peter Shin. It was horrible to witness, it really was.

If you’ve spent your yoof swinging over a variety of spiteful big British motorcycle engines, and in particular Big Singles, by means and method of applying leg power to a kick-start lever, you can feel the pain quite acutely in your mind just by watching the affair. If, however, you've led a more sheltered and less colourful life, you will sadly be unable to share the experience as acutely, but believe me, it’s excruciatingly painful in the extreme.

Peter was obviously in considerable pain, but, to his credit was manfully attempting to line himself up for another go at it. I was impressed. A lesser man would've quit there and then.

Andy and I naturally encouraged Pete to overcome The Hurting with hearty laughter and several inferences that one simply wasn’t manly enough. I'm sure it helped him a lot, because he soon took another hearty swing at it.

And again.

And again.

Just as well he’s a Fit Boy.

Hope was taking the last train outta town, though.

You could tell he was gpong for The Big One, by the way he gathered himself, and then swung on it from great height, and in the most determined manner so far.

It’s unclear as to exactly what happened. Peter later offered that the kick-start suddenly had no resistance, and slammed to the bottom of it’s stroke, unexpectedly snapping his leg straight.

The vicious bitch must’ve half-heartedly fired. :o)

That his foot certainly slipped of at the bottom of the stroke, and his shin was in the way once more as it flew upwards again, was for sure-certain.

I know, because I saw it.

I swear I felt the pain before he did. It was pain on top of pain. Let me explain to the uninitiated amongst you.

The whole manner of kickstarting a motorcycle is inherently designed to ensure each fresh injury is directly inflicted on the exact spot of the one before, and more often than not inflicted immediately beforehand. There is also a characteristic of the activity which ensures that multiple contusions will pile up in a crescendo of agony, because of the rule of thumb that if it doesn't start first time it's not going to start before the tenth attempt either. There's something about trying to start a reluctant motorcycle which encourages the hope that the Next Time will have it running. It all adds up to a permanent limp. A traditional test of manhood sadly missing these days to filter and preserve the purity of the breed.

You could always tell a Goldie (BSA 500cc Gold star) owner, by the way he walked.

I digress............

Pete hobbled off the bike, and was quite beside himself………. Reduced to assuming a foetal crouch moaning away to himself. (I'm convinced I heard him mentioning his Mummy, but can't be sure-certain, so I won't mention it.)

(Pete, Trying to stand, .......bravely laughing. Mummy would have been proud of her boy!) :o)

I found myself clutching at My Parts in sympathy, but luckily I don't think anyone noticed. Why specifically at My Parts, I’m not altogether sure, but I guess it’s an instinctive Man Thing.

It was very funny, though, and how we laughed as we felt his pain. We boys are sympathetic like that y’know. :o)

Andy strode forward, confident at a superior technique, born of Many Years At The Kickstart, and swung masterfully aboard, as Pete-The-Defeated hobbled away to lick his wounds.

Andy, once astride, prepared himself with much gusto and a deep drawing on the smouldering fag adhering to his bottom lip. As a confidently determined a man as I have ever seen. I was prepared to be impressed by a polished technique.

(XS650 Yam. Andy, preparing with gusto for the First Thrust. Pete in pain, and trying not to be a wimp.) :o)))))

It was going to start impressive first kick.

He kicked.

And kicked.

And kicked, and kicked and kicked and bleddy kicked.

The breathing was a tad laboured.

Oh dear.

Things were looking serious.

Not in the least, Andy, as the smile became fixed and relatively absent of his easy humour. Suffice to say, he was exhausted after some pretty enthusiastic, and, it must be said, determinedly expert kicking.

(Andy considering the honorable options. Pete still in pain, but still unable to look us in the eye.)


Bugger –all.

Less than Bugger-All in fact, which is commonly regarded as Not A Lot.

Ok, then………. Plugs Out, in the time honoured tradition of having a face-saving rest whilst carrying out seemingly worthwhile remedial activity. One of those Man things, we all know about, but never collectively acknowledge. Plugs Out is one of the best, and for that reason, the most common.

We all agreed with a three-way conversation on the subject.

“Pete, whip the plugs out, while I take a leak” (Said breathlessly, .........and not in a romantic way either)

“The plugs?”

“Yeah, (gasp, sucks on fag, gasps again) could be the plugs. Give ‘em a (gasp, suck) quick clean.”

“Yeah, Pete, could be the plugs.” (Sips tea)

“I’ll be back in a minute.” (Gasps, draws on fag, gasps again)

Yeah, ok, could be the plugs. ………I’ll take ‘em out and clean em up then.” (Pete limps over with spanner in hand, glad of the distraction. Clutches at leg)

“I’ve had duff plugs.” (Sips tea)

“Yeah, so’ve I.” (Plug socket clanking on cylinder head)

“Several times. Had some new ones that were buggered, I did. Took three days stripping everything else to find that out, it did.” (Slurps big gulp of tea, as if at the memory)

“Yeah, I've had new ones that were buggered too. Plugs is dodgy things y’know” (wipes already clean plugs with rag to make cleaner. Clutches at leg)

“Yeah, they are. Wouldn't think new ones would be buggered, would you? Fuckin’ things.” (sighs, sips tea)

“Yeah.” (Puts extra-clean plugs back in. Winces and clutches at leg. Hobbles to one side.)

Plugs are back in again. Leads are on. All’s ready for action.

Hope hangs in the air like a damp sponge on a string

Andy reappears, adjusting Parts

Swings a mighty leg over the silently waiting Yam. Adjusts parts again. (Note:-Important, this, to hitch one's Parts well up out of the way in case one's foot slips off mid-way down, causing one's weight to be cushioned on One's Parts as one crashes down on the seat). Determinedly Assumes The Position, and, lithely for one so large, leaps onto the Yammy kick-start again.

He’s a Big Boy, and the Yam could tell it was futile to resist a determined man of such a stature.

It coughs.


Then it fired.

Just the once.

“Nearly. Must’ve bin the plugs.”

“Yeah, must’ve bin the plugs.”

“Yeah, c’mon Andy,…….. this time!”

Great joy and hope abounded in we three boys, and Andy applied his person upon the starting device once again.

BRRRAMMMM………It started at last, and a wonderful clamour it was, to be sure. Not as good as it could be, but then again one carb body is cracked around the pilot jet, so allowances were made.

Pete was still suffering, but bravely laughing the laughter of one who is pretending all is well, but knows all present know it isn’t, but are laughing, glad it isn’t them who are suffering.

If you get what I mean. :o)

You had to be there really.

And you had to have kicked many a bike over yourself. It’s an Old Greaser Thing. A common scenario we all knew and loved, back when you kicked these things over every sodding day.

But, like I said, …………you had to have been there. :o)

Nite nite,
K. :o)

Why didn't I volunteer my expert services?

Well, The bloody Enfield takes it's toll as it is, I'm a damn sight older, got dodgy everything but particularly the knees, and besides which, someone had to remain standing, and with enough breath to be able to speak, to ring the ambulance, didn't they? :o)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Elf and Safety............ mainly

Managed to waste today........... mostly reading and playing around on the 'net. Played about with this blog a bit, and tried to remove, re-size, and reinstate yesterdays blog pics of Lomax,………. but when I tried to delete them as per instructions, it deleted the whole of yesterdays bleddy blog.

Bleddy lovely that was, I can tell you!

How I laughed!!!!! :oI

Luckily I write this mostly in Word, save it on the ‘puter, and then and copy/paste it over to the blog, so it was recoverable, but took bleddy ages to do. That would be because I tried to delete one of the newly re-sized, and reinstated pics……… and deleted the whole soddin’ thing again then.

Oh, joy was abundantly about me.

Got the Mother sorted in the end.

Bought another couple of books browsing Amazon........... bleddy deadly how easy it is to buy stuff online, ……….especially when you're weak. :oI One called ‘Blink’, which is about how we actually need very little time to make surprisingly accurate decisions and judgements. The other………… ummn……… bugger…….. forgotten…… oh yes……… a WWII flying novel called ‘That Summer’ for .01p (Yup, one penny) plus postage of £2.75, so cheaper than a magazine.

I spend waaaay too much on books, and Mo’sickle, Astronomy and Science magazines, with the occasional metal detecting and kit car/retro car magazines too.

Still, I live the life of a hermit, don’t drink, don’t smoke, so what the hell, eh? ;o)

Sunny again this afternoon, but not as nice as yesterday, although still good enough to tempt me to sit outside with a book, a cuppa and Lomax playing around me. It was a bit nippy in the breeze though. Started a book called 'Up The Creek', by Tony James, which is about the his sailing life, and "A lifetime trying to be a sailor" It's obvious that he succeeded, even though the statement infers a failure to achieve that ambition. :o)

I didn’t get far with it, what with Lomax demanding we have a fight, make up, and then have another fight. His focus today was mainly chewing brambles that are lying around. I sometimes swear he’s as gormless as they come!

Bright enough to have me at his beck and call, though. :o) We were up at 06:30 again this morning! :o)

This book has had me laughing out loud a couple of times so far though, so it looks like it’ll be as good as the reviews. For instance, he tells a tale of when he was about nine, I think, living next to a sawmill, and playing in and around it whilst it was working. lethal place......... no guards on the machinery, and him and his friends free to run around it pretty well as they pleased.

One day a worker came in to his father, saying he’d cut his finger off in the damn great big saw that they used, and could he please be so kind as to take him to the hospital. Tony's dad asked him if he had the finger, and he didn’t, so they went in to look for it. Another workmate in there saw them looking, and told them it wasn’t there.

How did he know, they asked……….

“Well”, he said, "It’s not there ‘cos I gave it to the ferret.”

I laughed out loud at that.

Brilliant! :o)

Not so much at the poor bloke's misfortune, as at the straightforward illustration of an era of relative individual freedom, now long gone and tragically never to be seen again. An era when life was openly accepted to be a risk, and you took the consequences of your actions, without automatically looking for someone to blame.

(And, yes, I do know it was far from perfect in those days, thanks!)

Those were the days…….. tough, yes, but so were the people, and a time not dominated by the Elf and Safety weenies, who would've had a blue fit.

If you’re one of them, and are tut-tutting at me, ………you can just bugger off!

I nearly said you could Go Fuck Yerself, but these days you're just as likely to be a woman and I'm something of an Officer and a Gentleman.

So, just plain bugger off, and do us all a favour.

(Ooooh, he’s so butch, so masterful........... and such an angry young man!) :o)

Elf and Safety is noticeable by its obvious absence around here at Fortress Wheelrest, and personal injury is something of a quiet pastime of mine. Actually, it’s not all that quiet in the event, although, in saying that, if there’s a helluva lot of swearing and fuss going on, …….. stuff getting kicked around, and generally flying outta the workshop, .............take no notice. I’m only attention seeking, so be assured the injury is likely to be fairly minor.

It’s when there's a helluva bang, crash wallop, and/or it goes all silent and deathly quiet, that you might want to call the ambulance. It might be wise to turn off the workshop 'lectricks........... just in case I'm still welded to the bared wiring. :o)

This is a typical high standard of lackadaisical nonchalance with an angle grinder.
Well, how the bleddy hell else can you see up close and get such accuracy?
The local eye clinic is hugely appreciative of my selfless availability for young nurses to gaze into my eye(s) and practice their probing skills on me. :o)

Here (above) I'm carefully and skillfully employing years of technical mastery in delicately 'machining' a motorcycle component.
Ok, ok, ............performing an unnatural act on it with a bloody great masonry drill!!!! :oI

First aid is of a reassuringly Manly nature. No first aid box in evidence, and that's because bandages and tourniquets are hastily improvised from oily rags, persistently bleeding wounds rubbed with sawdust kept 'specially for the purpose, and sealed up with masking tape………. or red electrical insulation tape if I’m feeling extravagant. Naturally, after cleansing the affected digit or limb with petrol of course,.......... as you would expect of a Trained Nurse. :o)

Here’s some pics at various stages on treatment/healing, of a nice little session my fingers had with the bandsaw. Lovely sharp bade it was. I never uttered a sound, just wrapped them up in a rag to stop the floor getting all messed up, and put the tools away, and locked up the workshop. Bleddy things took weeks to heal up properly, but I was out in the workshop again the next day. Halfway through some woodturning, see? :o)

The dotted line shows where the saw split my fingers .......... sliced them for about half an inch up the middle lengthways. All flapping about in the breeze, they were. :o)

They got infected. Didn't have no petrol handy to cleanse the wound, see........ I was in the woodworking workshop at the time. :o)

The nails were hanging on by the skin of very little as the days went by. I forget if they made it of not. Left me with a bit of numbness it has.

I put in for disability benefit, but they wouldn't wear it.

Typical innit? You work all your life................. :o)))))

Nite nite, K.x :o)
By the way………. these kisses are for you gurls mind. I wouldn’t want any of you chaps out there to be confused y’know.) :o)
K.x :o))))

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Cracking Day! :o)

Hi there,
What a cracking day!

Lomax decided it was vital he went outside for the First Adventure at bleddy 03:30 am today………… so out he went, and out he stayed, which meant I got to sleep until 08:45 this morning. Boy, was that ever a treat!!!!! :o)

Weather forecast was good, so I loaded up the washing machine, and got it out on the line in the morning sun. The weather turned out to be terrific, so I spent an hour in the garden taking photos of lomax with a long lens on the camera…… took about 200, and got twenty or so good ones out of that.

Sat outside in the sun with a cuppa for a read with Lomax. No-Problem-Pete (because everything is “No Problem” to Pete) called in just after mid-day, and we had some quality Bloke Time. He’s got another bike…….. a old 1982 650 Suzy shaft-drive, so we went around to xxxx (forgotten his bleddy name!!!) to look at it, and had a natter with him and a couple of his mates……… all hard-core bikers, which was great. Good to talk to some who’ve put the years in, and know what they’re talking about. It made a change to have some good company.

Spent the rest of the afternoon reading, photographing and playing with Lomax. You could really tell he was having a great day out there, and loved the sun. He’s whacked out, and has been sleeping on my knee here in front of the log burner all evening. A picture of complete and utter contentment.

Lets hope he sleeps through the night! :o*

Boy, I could do with some more days like today. :o)


Friday, 20 February 2009

Choc drops............

Hi there,
Lomax has gone out for the fourth foraging session of the day. He generously let me sleep in to 06.30am this morning, and I managed to hang on until nearly 07.00am, before he had me up for his grub, and getting out for the first of the days Adventures

Hanging on against Lomax’s various wake-the-miserable-old-bastard-up techniques until 07:00am is now considered to be a long lie-in! :o)

Eddie phoned from the States at 10ish, and we nattered for a couple of hours about, well, you name it and we pulled it to bits, and put it together again. He is always real good to talk to, full to the brim with ideas, and I’m good at tweaking them to help give them another ‘edge’. We bounce off each other, the walls and the sky (the ceilings went west a long time ago), and have a good laugh. :o)

Not inspired today re. this blog though………..


Ok, here’s something I read in a book I’m reading by Boris Johnson….. Seventy Two Virgins:-

“We all have in our lives someone who controls our emotional thermostat. There is always someone whose function is to supply the pipette drops of praise, the intermittent good boy choc drops of external affirmation that gets us through the day. The story of our lives is essentially the rotation of that person’s identity: mother, father, teacher, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse and so on.”

It caught my eye, and I thought, “Yup, life is kinda like that a lot.”

I adore praise. Tell me I’m wonderful, call me your Hero (girls) and stand back to watch me fly. Piss on my parade, and watch me die. Pretty simple really. One switch……… two positions……… On and Off.

Typical 100% old fashioned Male. Nice and simple to operate. :o)

It’s actually no harder to make the lights sparkle in a woman. Just needs some old fashioned, non-pc male attention………… non-predatory if she’s not ‘yours’. Praise, honest flattery, you know, ………..the stuff that works. The stuff that would make anyone feel good. :o)

It all pretty well adds up to treating people the way you’d like to be treated, and sometimes thinking of their feelings ahead of yours.

I’m real lucky, in that some real nice women along the way have loved me, not in the least my wife back when I was married, and they have all fed me my Good Boy Choc Drops by the handful. Every single one. I have been real lucky with my women. There’s not one I regret loving, and not one has treated me badly. I guess not everyone gets that lucky.

Different people reward us all in different ways, and for me, it’s a woman who lights up the fires every time………. But I’m high maintenance in as much as she really needs to be on site. Or pretty damn close, free and ready to roll at short notice. :o)

It’s different for everybody, but most do need feeding with a reward of some description. I feel sorry for those rubbing up close, but not getting any Choc Drops, no drips of reward, .........and it happens a lot, I think. For both sexes. Some relationships run real dry.

Hard on the bearings, is that.

That must be hell on wheels. :oI

If you haven’t been giving out the Good Boy/Girl Choc Drops, to whomever it is………. get going and start dishing them out……….. and watch him/her light up.

It’s real easy to do, so make sure you do it, because when it’s gone, it’s gone, ...........and believe me, it can happen real easy.

Don't let it run dry.

............. and it includes friends, or anyone who's important to you at all.

And, whilst we are about it, why not include those who aren't important to you as well, eh?

With that in mind, there's favourite saying I live by............

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good"

My father lived by that, and I'm grateful for the example.

This crummy world would be a shitload better if more people lived by it too.

Nite nite,
K. :o)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Writing fixes it.......... :o)

Hi there,
No inspiration tonight. Lousy day at work, which always takes the wind, such as it is, out of my sails.

Lomax has just gone outside for the last adventure of the day, (10.00pm) and I guess it’s going to be at least an hour before he’ll want to come in again………… got a dog whistle that calls him in, as he’s wandering a fair way beyond the garden. He usually comes belting over the fence, or through the hedge, and across the garden when he hears it. Can’t be many cats that do that, eh? He retrieves paper balls, and some favourite ‘toys’, especially The Rat which Suzy made for him. It’s real easy to see the big-cat ancestry in him when he’s trotting towards you with it in his mouth. :o)

His poor sore little bollocks don’t seem sore and inflamed any more, so I’ve discontinued the Personally Administered Cool Air Soothing Sessions, (PACASS), otherwise known as Blowing on His Bollocks (BOHB), which will prolly relieve Suzy no end. :o)

Just been looking at the stars through the binoculars, those that were showing through the clouds anyway.

There’s a dusty area in Orion, which is a nebula; an area of gas cloud where stars are being ‘born’………… taking millions of years in the process. The Orion Nebula is about 1,600 (or perhaps 1,500) light-years away from us, and is some 30 light-years across. Huge, but small compared to some nebulae. You can see it faintly with a pair of 10x50 binoculars. Go have a look next time the stars are out....... best without a full, or fullish, moon to light-pollute the sky.

Find Orion......... look for a shortish diagonal line of three stars towards the south or south west. (see photo above) I think they can only be seen in the winter months, or at least they will be very low in the sky in the summer. look below the lower of the diagonal stars, the left one, and find a very faint dusty area of stars and 'mist'.

That's the Orion Nebula. Below are some pics taken through a very good telescope.

Remember......... you're watching new stars being formed in a gas cloud, and it's a long way off....... imagine travelling 670,616,629 miles every hour for at least 1,500 years!

And, when you get there, it would take you THIRTY YEARS to travel from one side of it to the other, travelling at the same speed........... the same speed that light flashes across the room at, when you flick the light switch on..........thirty years traveling THAT fast! :oI


Can you imagine that?

No, I didn't think so! :o)
Mind boggling stuff. Blows me away, it really does.

Sometimes I think to myself (And forgive me, but I’m pissed right off tonight) who gives a flying fuck if you steal, rape, murder, ……. if you’re good or bad?

Who really gives one fuck worth the mention, when this planet…………. I mean, the whole sodding planet, is smaller than a grain of the finest sand……….. hell, prolly smaller than a dust particle that can only be seen floating in the sun, in relation to all that we can see out there with even a hundred Hubble telescopes. There are huge gas clouds (Nebulae) out there where stars are being created, being slowly and painfully born over millions of years. Some of these nebulae are millions of light years across………… absolutely mind bogglingly enormous, but still appearing so small they cannot be seen by us as any size, and not at all with the naked eye........... Except for the Orion Nebula. (as far as I know, anyway)

So, how can it possibly be of any consequence what I, or you, or anyone else does here on this planet? Who really gives a shit?


Maybe, but no one knows just what God is. (I don't think the word 'who' really applies, not literally anyway) Not for sure. 'God' is undoubtedly out there in some form or another, and prolly in a way we have no comprehension of so far, but what exactly, is anyone’s guess. As for God caring one way or another what we do, that is easily debatable.

I was on a long three week Care of the Dying course once, and a hospital Chaplin was giving us a talk one afternoon. I remember him saying that for all we know, Hitler sits at Gods right hand. I got him right away, although some were shocked.

The concept of justice, and of fairness is a human concept;………. It doesn’t exist outside of humanity as far as we know for certain. If it does exist in the animal world, it has more to do with the survival strategy of an individual, or a group, than it has to do with ‘decency’, and ‘fairness’, as we identify it.

There is plenty of evidence around us, that being a selfish bastard, or bitch, gets you on in life. I see little to prove the opposite. My father was living proof that playing a straight wicket gets you nowhere. The more I see of my fellow man, especially, literally, men, the less faith I have in our future. As long as two men will fight in a pub, (and plenty of women have taken that pastime up now too, no doubt in the good name of ‘equality’), then there will never, ever be World Peace.


It’s a pub fight, on a larger scale, that’s all.

Women, on the whole, are a far nicer group of humans than men, and I come to that conclusion at least in part from working with them for some thirty-six years. Mind you, maybe I get to rub up against the best of them (Don't even think it!!!) because I work with a grouping that choose the caring professions, and so by their natures would tend to have kind personalities.

Anyway, I know much of the God stuff prolly makes me sound like I’m well off my rocker, but I maintain it’s all worthy of valid argument……….. I'm not saying that it's necessarily definitely the way it is, but it sure fits in a logical sense. It often comes to me from just looking up there at it all hanging in the sky like a spangled shroud all around us, and feeling soooooo small and insignificant.

So minuscule and unimportant.

So very tiny.

You go out there and try it, ………….and then tell me what a big hot-shot you are.

And I'll tell you how full of shit you are. :o)

Still never mind all the stars out there, and all the bleddy philosophising………. Life has to be lived, insignificant though we all are, and we just have to make the best of it as we roll the dice every day.

Every new day, a fresh roll of the dice, and a fresh hope of something new, something different, something to light the fires up.

Speaking of which, I see there’s something like 25 million quid up for grabs on the lottery, or the euro-lottery, tomorrow night. (Friday)

Better have a go at it I guess, because, as my dear old daddy used to say,…….

“You never know, ……..you just never know”

A favourite thought that always makes me smile at it’s poignant truth, is to quote John Cleese from the excellent film, Clockwise (I think it was).

He’s a straight-laced, and very time conscious Headmaster of a comprehensive school, on his way across country to address a very big headmasters convention. A series of complete disasters, one mounting the other, until his well-ordered life, and successful career, is in complete and utter tatters.

Completely destroyed.

He is at a particular point of hopelessness, and is sat on a grass verge, his head in his hands, almost completely defeated after a valiant struggle against overwhelming odds. He’s alongside one of his attractive teenage girl pupils, with which he is in a hopelessly compromised and circumstantially entwined position.

As he sits there, momentarily utterly defeated, he says to her…………

“…….. it’s not the pain I can’t stand, Laura, it’s not the pain. It’s the HOPE I can’t bear!”

(Or words to that effect anyway)

How very true that is, eh? :o)

I think it’s brilliant.

Boy have I ever been tortured by some unbearable hopes along the way. As often as not, at the mercy of a female. (Sighs, and gazes wistfully at the past) :o)

Mid-teenage love was particularly unfulfilled, ………but endlessly hopeful. :o)))))

“Amanda” springs to mind. :o) Boy oh boy, does it ever. An unrealised hope, for something like five years. Never so much as held her hand.

It was worth every second, though, it really was. I wouldn’t have missed one second of that pain. It was bitter sweet all the way. One glimpse of her, one smile, one glance, one word, and I was fuelled to carry on for months :o)

Poor love-sick bastard that I was.

I've sure done my time howling at the moon. :o)

The sharpness of some things in life stay with you forever, don’t they? I can remember the emotions of those years as if they happened yesterday, if I simply focus on a few well-remembered moments………. Snapshots burned on my mind.

I’m sure it is the same for you.

I hope so.

If it was all soooooo easy, would it ‘stick’, and resist the abrasion of time's sand passing over it?

In my darkest moments, I’ve always still been illuminated by at least the faintest glimmer of Hope to sharpen the pain. :o)

Thank god for that. :o)

OK, …….Cheered up now. :o)

Writing is a wonderful way of clearing the crap outta your head y’know.
Sue, my lovely, lovely ex-wife calls it my Thinky Crap. Quite apt……… like I said before somewhere………. it’s the Thinking that does it every time y’know.

Writing fixes it………. Next time you’re pissed right off, y’all should try it sometime. :o)

Nite nite,
K.x :o)


On the subject of telescopes........ if you get inspired enough to buy a telescope, NEVER, EVER get one from a supermarket, toy shop, bargain discount store, or the like, or one for around thirty to sixty quid (new). They are a complete waste of time, in every respect.

Another clue is that these rubbish 'scopes are often advertised by their magnification, and usually high magnifications too ...... 200-X to 600-X. Good telescopes are rated by their aperture, ........... their light-gathering capability, and never by their magnification.


Search some astronomical shops online, (Telescope Planet http://www.telescopeplanet.co.uk/ is a very good one) and maybe ring one or two for advice. Something half decent isn't THAT expensive, and prolly need to spend about at least £150. Best bang for your buck is a Dobsonian mounted reflector (NOT a refractor). Easier to use too. If I'd bought a Dob mount, I could've got an eight incher instead of the six inches ended up with. (Life's just not fair, is it?????) :o)

Size matters in astronomy, and you just can't beat a big Tube. :o)

Advice often given by experienced astronomers is to get a half decent pair of binoculars before a telescope........ a pair of 10x50's, and find your way around the stars with that first.

Naturally I didn't heed that advice, bought a medium reflector, and so am trying to swim before I can even walk to the beach!


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

On not being judgemental.......... mostly.

My buddy Eddie from the States sent me this in an email. (A long way further down.......... stick with it!) He said it came to him whilst he was driving along to visit a friend, and he wrote it down as soon as he got there. It’s about being judgemental of others, and I’ve emailed it on. Eddie gets God way better than I do…….. but we bat it all to and fro endlessly. That's the way you get to thrash out what's good, bad, or maybe, and working or not in this life. It's the only way people like me and Eddie, can live. Endlessly wondering, and, like the song says, living with a 'Constant Craving' for something always just out of our reach. He's the most open-minded guy I know, and although it gets pretty wacky sometimes (Doesn't it Eddie??), I trust his judgement, opinions and guidance hugely, and I know it works with him as regards me too.

Anyway, I guess I’m more just plain spiritual than religious in the traditional Adam-and-Eve sense, (and so is Eddie), and in that broad and open spectrum of belief in something way bigger than 'us', I believe that something pretty weird and wacky is going on ‘Out There’.

But I don't know exactly what.

And, as far as I can see, nor does anyone else, which makes it a pity we just can't all get along believing in our different ideas on it. Lots of killing and suffering for bugger-all as far as I can see, and mostly by those who like to feel justified in what they do. That makes it not Godly, but pure Evil in my book, but, hey, what do I know, eh?

At the very least, as much as you do, that's what. :o)

I’ve been trying to get into Astronomy since buying a big six-inch reflector telescope back in September. I’ve got real memory problems, so much of what I read goes straight out again, which means I'm short of facts coming to mind here, but I do know one thing. The more you read about it, the more I know you just can’t help wondering at just what it all means, when you try to get to grips with the sheer hugeness of it all. For instance, what about stars 120 times the size of our sun, which itself is absolutely massive compared to our Earth.

Below is a pic showing how small Earth is compared to our Sun. Kinda mind boggling isn't it? :oI

Imagine a Sun 120 or more times he size of this one (Our Sun)

The distances involved are as mind boggling………… distances measured in the millions of years it takes the light to travel to us. That’s light travelling at 670,616,629 mph (Or, if you wanna be all European about it…… 1,079,252,848.8 km/h).

I can tell y’all that's bleddy fast, ..........and when you travel THAT fast, for a million years, then wherever you come from is a bleddy long way away. Travel for several million million years........ it almost ceases to be anything to do with numbers. It's beyond imagination.

Head the other way, and go way down real, real small, and it's just as impressive. Science is investigating things soooooo small we don't have the technology to detect it, let alone see it, or image it.

All boils down to something pretty special............ way more special than is ever in our various religious stories various groups of miserable humanity fights to bring supremacy to, although I'm also open to any of those stories having some of the answers.

Before anyone says it, yes, I know bugger-all about it, but at least I own up to that. Nor am I going to get into a ruck with anyone who does know a lot, because in the scheme of it all, they'll know bugger-all too. :o)

That's the trouble to being open to all the possibilities.......... you can wind up blowing up your own ass. Prolly not an altogether unpleasant experience.

I know, I know......... Sorry. :o)

So........... imagine, or rather TRY and imagine how far you’d travel in millions of years at about 670.5 million miles an hour. (How many hours in a million years....... no, lets not bother, eh?) That distance is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING compared to what is really out there, way beyond the faintest of mankind's scientific reach. The beautiful thing is that we can all look at those wondrous celestial bodies so far away, but how many people ever really bother? Just look up at the sky on a clear night. The light from those stars you can see takes millions of years to reach us in many cases, so we can see what was there at least when the light left it's origin. That star may no longer exist. It's amazing stuff.

Get a pair of 10x50 binoculars, and look at it again, and see so many more stars, as the binoculars increase your eyes modest light-gathering power by a hundred times or so.

Amazing............ everything you can see is huge............ each and every pinprick of light.

It gets too big for my little itsy bitsy brain sometimes, but I kinda like that. If I’m having a Bad Night worrying about all the real or imagined shit that plagues me, I often go outside the back door, and look up at the stars, think about how far away some of them are, and it kinda puts things in perspective. Sometimes, in the summer at least, I get a chair out there, and sit with a cuppa (Yes, decaf tea!)

Try it next time something's got a hold of your brain, and it's frying in pure lard.

If all else fails, do it naked. Gives it an edge. (Officer) :o)

So, where was I? ……… Yup, something is definitely going on, and my view is that if whatever it is was revealed to us, there is not a human on earth who could understand it, it would be that fantastic.

Ok, so that’s my take on it all, and Eddie’s isn’t so different, he just gets the God Thing and the Faith Thing better than I do, but I’m working on it.

A lot of people don't struggle with all this stuff, and I'm not talking about religion, but all the abstract stuff surrounding us all.

It's the Thinking that does it y'know. :o)

Mind, you, those who don't wonder greatly will never go mad either. They’ll walk around for however long they've got, do stuff, and die. So will I, but I’m wondering greatly too, which is why I just might die at least a bit madder than I already am, having finally fallen out of my tree trying to see around the corner.

I hold the view that complete sanity is ho hum and boring.

Give me wacky any day. :o) (Yeah, right........... who'm I trying to kid, eh?) :o))))

I’m rambling, and have gone soooooo far from the simple writing to illustrate why we shouldn't judge others, at least too quickly anyway.

So, with humble apologies, here’s the writing that Eddie sent………..

The Courtroom

Once upon a time there was a courtroom and the courtroom resided in the head of a man.
And you were judged and I was judged and she was judged and he was judged, and there was not one single soul left upon the earth that was not judged.

And God said, "Why do you judge so?"

And the man said, "Because it helps make sense of it all"

And God said, "How do you know your judgments are true?"

And the man replied, "Because it looks so"

Then God said, "I'd like you to take a look at all these people and see how wrongly you have judged"

And God showed the people to the man, the judgment, and then the truth.

And the man realized how sad his judgments had been, how totally wrong.

And the man said, "Do we all judge ?"

And God replied, "Only those that judge, judge"

And the man said, "How do I stop this, I've done this all my life?"

And God said, "I have an idea"

And God said, "Send the jurors out for lunch, because without them the judge cannot judge. Better yet, send them on vacation. Or better yet still, send them away on a permanent vacation and the judging will stop, and the jurors will be happy because deep down they don't want to judge either”

I sent this to Suzy, and she said it reminded her of something that happened to her a long time ago that taught her to not judge people so easily.

She was on a train, and there were some a couple of kids there, misbehaving quite a bit, and their Father was just looking out of the window, seemingly impervious to their disruptive behaviour. A man sitting nearby them, said something to him; not in a critical way, but more in a conversational way, and it transpired that this father and his children were returning home from a hospital where his wife, and their Mother, had just died.

Poor sod.

Can you imagine that?

Suzy said she learned a lesson from that, not to judge people on a first glance. Imagine if she, or someone else had remonstrated with him about his kids’ behaviour. It would have been a horrible situation, and who knows the consequences from doing that, eh?

Ok, life isn’t that simple, but I guess we all could do with taking a breath, and having another ‘think’ before judging someone. Me as much as anyone, before y’all think I’m being holier-than-thou. I have had to eat my words more than a few times in this life. It goes with being outspoken, and having a ‘wading-in’ personality as opposed to a reserved dark-horse nature. I guess, in tandem with not judging, is to be ready to change your views when they’ve been proved wrong. At least I’ve always been able to do that, at least as I got older and wiser, and realised that I didn't actually know it all for sure-certain. :o)

I have been at the mercy of those who’ve judged me wrongly, especially in recent years, and steadfastly refused to apologise, or shift their position, though, and it’s done some considerable harm. (You screwball bastards know who you are!)

(Ooops, sorry y’all. It gets outta the cage every now and then!) :o)

Ok, that’s 'deep' enough for one day, eh? :o)

On a lighter note, Lomax is doing well, and my blowing oh so gently on his sore little bollocks seems to have been helping, going by the expression on his little face, and his half-closed eyes. ;o)

Sally, another good and trusted friend, said, and I quote here,……..

“……….and I don't think it's disgusting blowing on his little pink sore bits .... I think it's really sweet ... you daft sod!!!”

So, there you have it…………. Suzy thinks it’s Eeeuuugh…….. that’s nahsty”, and Sally thinks it’s “Really sweet”.

What do y’all think………. Lets have a vote! Nasty, or Sweet?
Y'all can do the poll at the top right of this Blog page.
Clever innit??? :o)

Suzy sent me this pic of Tom, who is Lomax’s brother. Suzy had the other two tomcats, which her son called Spartacus and Tom. Spartacus is a ginger colour, and Tom, like Lomax, is black and white.

Here's a pics of Spartacus and Tom when they were kittens of eight weeks or so...........

Ahhhh......... cute innit??? :o)

Suzy is much inspired by Lomax’s bravery, in fearlessly going under the Knife in order that he could selflessly spare the she-cats unable to resist his considerable charms, and so get themselves Heavy With Kitten.

‘Arrangements’ are being made even as we speak. :oI

As you can see from the picture Suzy sent this morning, Tom has his doubts.

Ok, y’all, that’s gotta be it for today………. maybe for tomorrow too. :o)))
Take care out there,
K. :o)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

On Lomax, Harleys, and simple joys of mo'sickles :o)

Lomax was much more lively when I came home from work this afternoon, than when I left him curled up on his fleece on the bed early this morning. He hasn't left my side for a moment since having his 'little procedure'

He’s been playing here with The Rat, his favourite toy which Suzy made for him for Christmas, from the remnants of the big fake-fur cushion she also made for him. He sinks into it (the cushion), and is a picture of ultimate luxuriant relaxation when he’s sleeping on it. I'd swap places with him in a heartbeat. He really has a great life! :o)

I took the Harley into town to give it a bit of exercise after work.......... well, not exercise worthy of the name, but more a stirring of her bones so she doesn't get all arthritic. :o)

Harleys and winter just don't mix.............. the crappiest finish of any modern bikes. (This is a year 2000 1200 Sportster Sport.......... and, yes, I know it's not a 'real' Harley!)

Quality, my ass!

‘Sport’, my ass too! :o)

It does have a certain hard–to-define 'flavour' though, which is missing from more modern designs, and it’s amazing how content I am to be plodding along on it. Very different to riding the 1200 bandit I’ve also got……….. no way could I ever ride her,(‘Hoover’) anything like as slowly. I guess that's down to the Harley’s old-fashioned long-stroke engine….. it just lopes along with a lazy beat, and in no hurry at all. You just fall into step with it somehow. Bit like the Enfield Bullet I've got (Indian made), which I absolutely love, much to my surprise.

The Harley and the Enfield Bullet, to a less practical extent (As in covering distances at any speed above sixty mph), both have only the sun-in-your-eyes-wind-in-your-hair (Yup, I take the lid off for a few miles sometimes, if plod isn't about!)pleasures going for them. Start to try and make any serious offerings to the God of Speed, and it all comes apart. Literally as well as metaphorically.

They are somehow a purer form of motorcycling. Man and machine, on a more equal footing, where the machinery can be seen, understood, easier to be a part of, and which don’t ever become better than you are.

I guess these bikes take me back to my roots; back when I started out on a long road of riding some thirty-eight years ago now, progressing onto ever more sophisticated bikes as the years passed, which somehow lose their flavour in proportion to their gains in reliability and performance. It's a grossly unfair rule of thumb in life, but the better they get the less charismatic they become, somehow.

It’s a real hard thing to quantify, but in worshiping the God of Speed to the levels of today’s once unheard of heights, the simple pleasure of just simply rolling along an empty road in the sun lose their hold.
Just letting a big engine propel you along at it's natural long-legged gait, to the tune of a simple couple of cylinders banging and throbbing away, as the bike rides itself down familiar roads in the sun; it diminishes the faster you go, until all that's left is a kind of feverish adrenalin rush that leaves you exhausted at the end of the ride. It's addictive, and like any addiction, it's hard to return to the early levels of that addiction. The God of Speed demands a very heavy price, and I have paid dearly in blood, and broken bones, thankfully when I was young enough to heal quickly.

It's all been kinda worth it though, because, boy, have I had some fun along the way on every one of those thirty-eight years. I have loved every bike I ever had, and spent countless hours making them better than they ever were out of the factory, pulling more performance from their big hearts, making their handling far sweeter. bonding with them all, my girls.
You forget the pain, the punishments from the law, the hours fixing the broken machines, and retain the effects of the good times. The thousands of hours in the saddle, and not only in the sun; the bad weather has it's perverse pleasures too, akin to winning a battle against all the odds, and believe me, some trips have been that rough. I've had ice form on my beard, snot freeze solid in it (great innit??) and all over the front of my Belstaffs (Those wax cotton 'waterproofs'), ridden in rain so hard the roads were like a river, and it pounded your arms through the clothes. Freezing fog, deep snow, sleet, the lot. Pure sheet ice is the only thing you can't really ride on. Not for long anyway.

The good times though............. so many of them I long ago lost count.
Deserted roads late on moonlit nights, hurrying back from Cornwall to Somerset, or to the rising sun on a summer morning before anyone is up are priceless. It's the 'alone-on-the-road' thing that have captured the hearts and souls of many before me, and those to follow me too I expect.

The sunny days, riding with a girl I love on the back though, have been the very, very best. Riding to a beach together, and then riding home again sunburned-hot, and just in t-shirts and jeans, with her familiar form pressed against my back, arms wrapped around me, and her smiling face over my shoulder, chasing our shadow skipping along the black-top ahead of us as the sun is setting behind us...........
Nothing beats that. Nothing.
It never did, and it never will.

Early open-cockpit pilots talked of reaching out and touching the face of God.

I kinda know just what they mean.

Do you?

OK, that's it,
Y’all go careful out there. :o)))
Note the almost non-existent Chicken Strip on the back tyre........... on a standard Harley!
Have a look at the size of it on most 'brave boys' sports bikes.
(A Chicken-strip is the unscuffed bit on the side of the tyre, because the rider is too chicken to lay the bike over far enough to get rid of it.)
The size of it shows those who can't walk the talk. ;o)
Mind you, the older I get (54-and-bleddy-counting!!!), the harder it is to keep that precious and hard earned 'edge' of many years honing. (sigh)

Monday, 16 February 2009

Blowing on his poor, sore, little bollocks :oI

All gone well with Lomax at the V.E.T., and he's been sticking to me like glue ever since we got back from the V.E.T., bless him.

He was pretty lively at first, but I think the pain killer is working off a bit, as he's much more subdued now, and looking a bit sombre.

Bleddy sure I would be too!

His poor little bollocks are all shaved, pink and sore looking, so I blew on them gently for a bit, and he put his head back and lay there seemingly in rapturous bliss. It was obviously a great comfort.

Suzy (real good friend) said on the phone just now, that it was disgusting........... actually she said, " Oooooo, that's nahsty!" (Quote, unquote.... she talks real posh, and I love it) :o)))

I said I was simply giving him 'All Nursing Care' :oI

I mean, you just can't spare yourself in a situation of such great need, now can you, eh? Can't see a chap suffer like that. :o))))

Just started this.......... First Blog ever! :o)

.............. but have to go collect my little six month old pussy from the V.E.T., as he has had his little nuts squirreled away ...........they insist on calling it castration, which I feel is unnecessarily harsh.

But then I'm a sensitive guy. :o)

Ok, gotta go............ been meaning to start one of these for ages, so here it is, and soooooo quick and easy too.

Will this change the way I feel about my life, I wonder?

Hope so........... it might even roll the dice. :o)

Ok, REALLY gotta go.