Wednesday, 30 September 2009

On buying cheer-up stuff, and new hobbies....................:o)

Hi Y’all,
I’ve kinda fallen off the blogging for about a week now…….. had some crap from work that put me in a dive, and took the wind out of my sails a good bit. Pile-of-shit job dominated by weenies. Not that it’s by any means unique in that description these days; I guess a good few of you could say the same thing, so Enough Said.

The result has been no writing. Stopped dead in it’s tracks.

In an attempt to drag myself back up to some altitude, I’ve been doing The Usual and been throwing money I can't afford at buying stuff I don't really need, to cheer me up. In effect, buying cheer-up presents for moi, ..............and y’all will know by now that I LOVE presents! :o)

I do it all the time, even though I know it only achieves a few things……… none of which were the primary aim………..
1) Blows a lot of (very) hard-earned cash
2) Clutters this place up even more than it already is.
3) Cheeses me off even more when I have to face up to what it’s cost to be ‘lifted’ for such a short time.
4) Often breeds a New Hobby, which adds to the pressure to enjoy yet another one I don’t have the energy or time for.

I wonder how many, or rather, how ‘few’ men do this? I say ‘men’ because have a feeling the ‘few’ are mostly men. I work with women, have done for something like 37 years, and find that very few have ‘hobbies’. Many read, probably more than men do, but few have any other interests. Not many have the traditional interests of sewing and knitting, few draw or paint, and certainly those that indulge in the traditionally ‘male’ stomping grounds are like hen’s teeth. Bleddy rare.

So, as far as I can tell, it’s mostly men who have hobbies, and they tend to have one or two that they stick to. How many gather them up like swept leaves like I do, and keep them all, ready and waiting to be dipped into? I have what I call Option Paralysis …………. Having so many options, that the effect is to be spread too thinly and so not really doing or enjoying any of them, but at the same time feeling the pressure that having invested in them all, I SHOULD be doing them.

Part of it is definitely a cheer-up strategy, and that I think comes from spending so much time alone, and in particular having no woman………. a ‘hobby’ that supersedes all others, cheers like no other, and somehow has the catalytic effect on me of inspiring me to be more active and finding the energy to do all these hobbies. A Woman is a very special thing to have in your life, but she sure does have to be the right sort of woman.

Quite a few aren’t content until their man is well and truly in harness, and pulling for all he’s worth too. That suits many, and I’m the last to say it’s always a bad thing, but it is for me, that’s all. It’s why I’m alone……… I won’t settle with someone who is wrong for me, and not just for my own sake either. If she’s a mismatch for me, then it follows that I’m a bad blend of man for her. Depending on who compromises the most, or if neither do, it’s a rough ride, and a waste of two lives.

If that sounds like I’m a selfish pig you’ve read it wrong. Read it again, and think about it.

So, throwing money at stuff, and a new hobby. I was already blowing a small fortune on writing books to keep myself enthused about the Nanowrimo writing marathon in November, ( ), then No-Problem-Pete got interested in buying a Radio Controlled (RC) Model Aeroplane. A Hobby Zone Super Cub, to be more precise.

Oh dear.
Some of you will know what's coming..................

Cut a long story short, he bought one…….. actually he bought two on Ebay, kinda accidentally. He’d bid on two to make sure he got one, but unfortunately that strategy backfired, and he wound up with both of them. Both were brand new, and are ‘electric, powered by a battery electric motor instead of the nitro engines, which is pretty much the same as a petrol engine. Of the two he bought on Ebay, one has an uprated, higher voltage battery pack, and so a bit more powerful, which was the one he got flying with.

He was doing very well, until a big crash the forth time out, when the radio control lost all contact due to interference from another source somewhere nearby. It went over on it’s back, and dived smack into the ground, breaking in half just ahead of the tail and also breaking up the battery compartment and the nose cone. It’s all been all glued up, some parts replaced, and is ready to fly again, so all is not lost.

I had a go with it for a couple of minutes on it’s first flight, and was absolutely bleddy useless, so I’ve bought a Mode 2 (Most comon control configuration in the UK) £20 flight training simulator for the computer, called RC Plane Master by Reality Craft.

It comes complete with a control box that is exactly the same as the control boxes used in flying these model planes, and so I will be able to get some ‘stick time’ in before flying for real. That way, I’ll hopefully gain some reactive skills without smashing up the relatively expensive plane.

Oh yes, …………. you guessed, didn’t you?
I bought the other plane off N-P-Pete, and also ordered a ‘Disaster Crash Pack’ of spares too (because the inevitable will definitely happen). It includes all the major parts likely to be damaged in a crash, apart from the complete fuselage……… and some glue, and a spare battery pack so I can get more flying in whilst the battery is being recharged.

Here’s a YouTube vid of one flying, and flown by someone who’s pretty good at it too.
Believe me, it’s far from easy!

There’s quite a few vids on these things flying, and some with on board video cameras, which look brilliant. You can fit floats in place of the wheels to take off and land on water, and even skis for snow.

So, another hobby which I need like a hole in the head. (Some would say that would be a good idea, actually) Well, actually, not quite a ‘new’ hobby, but one I’d got into a bit a good few years ago now, when I bought a Precedent Hi Boy petrol engine kit RC trainer plane. I part built the fuselage, fizzled out, and it’s still hanging in the lounge from one of the beams in the ceiling. Much inspired again, I’ll learn on the spanking new Super Cub, and then get the Hi Boy finished, and converted to ‘electric’, and fly it at long last.

Why electric? Well the internal combustion (IC) engines are very noisy, and so there are fewer places you can fly them, whereas electric powered planes are far quieter, even the ‘noisy’ ones. IC engines tend to be messier, and more troublesome at times too, or so I’m told anyway. Modern electronics, motors and batteries have made electric far more powerful than the previous components were, and so electric is now a viable option compared to some years ago when I first bought the Precedent Hi Boy. It’s a heavy plane though, so I need to learn a lot to be able to choose a suitable electric motor and battery set-up for it.

Hand’s up who’s bored half to death by now?

My apologies. :oI

Well, it’s nearly one-thirty in the morning, and I should be in the sack.

Nite nite y’all.
K.x :o) (Just a reminder……….. the ‘x’ is exclusively for you chicks who might be reading this!) :o)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Word-count practice month is up today.........

Word count is 6,162 over target. :o)


Will start all over again with a new practice word-count month tomorrow...........
K.x :o)

Laugh-out-loud books........... and one in particular. :o)

Hi Y’all,
I’ve been reading a rare book, ….. One that really made me laugh right out loud.

A lot of books have reviews by people who describe how a book had them ‘laughing out aloud’, and quite often by People Of Note, sometimes on behalf of Publications Of Note,. Sometimes the book was so funny, evidently, that such an open display of humour was unavoidable in public.

Well, that’s as may be, and far from it for me to doubt the truth of the reviewer, but quite honestly I find few books really are that funny. Most are quite funny, but those that really make you do more than chortle, smile, or interrupt the natural breathing rhythm to shove out a reverse sniff from the nostrils are quite rare. Maybe it’s just me who finds that, but I suspect not.

The book which has had me laughing aloud, and to the point of moist eyes a few times, is Rich Hall’s ‘I Blame Society’

To some extent I think it was helped by my having his ‘voice’ in my head pretty much all the time I was reading it. Made all the easier because it’s written in a dialect which kinda makes it hard not to ‘hear’ him in your mind, and that dry way he has of telling a yarn, assuming you’ve seen his stand-up performances, and/or other appearances on TV. I’ve recently seen him on our British comedy quiz show, ‘QI’, hosted by the amazing Stephen Fry, so that may well have been the reason his voice was speaking to me.

It didn’t have me laughing all the time by any means, and certainly not aloud every time I did laugh, but I couldn’t go very far without something funny hitting home. The other day, (the pebble collecting day), I sat on the beach and absolutely howled with laughter a good few times. I rocked back and lay there laughing for a minute, dried my eyes and sat up to read the same bit again, only to burst out laughing and repeat the performance.

It was a pretty empty beach. Just as well. Undignified behaviour for an Old Greaser.

Now, before you get the impression that I’m claiming this to be a great work of literature, I’m not. Partly because it isn’t in ‘classic’ terms, but also because I wouldn’t exactly be qualified to make such a judgement. To be honest, I hold a personal view that a great work of literature could be anything that intensely amuses the reader, is especially fluid and easy to read, and fills your head with what was intended by the author. Still, that’s not the point………. I’m not qualified to judge, that being generally the preserve of the finely educated.

Anyway…….. to quote Amazon’s synopsis:-

‘Married six times, all to women named Brenda, Otis Lee Crenshaw's bourbon-fuelled odyssey takes him from the high mountains of East Tennessee to the bottom of the music charts. A man not above faking his own death to sell more records, this is his not quite true story of romance, recidivism, country music, and an unshakable belief in Marriage at First Sight.’

Ok, so that’s generally the gist of the book, but in amongst it all are some wisdoms, and here is where I wished I’d noted the page numbers where I read them, but I didn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. You will probably have to be the sort of person who ‘thinks’ a lot about life, has been hammered by it at times (and who hasn’t, bar the very fortunate?….. Or perhaps less fortunate, I guess.), and can think a bit sideways at times too.
There was one morsel that tickled me, and I had been dying to try it out on someone since I read it……….. I was at work yesterday, and got my chance. Someone (We’ll call her Cheryl, shall we?) was going on about something or another, bless her. Some detail of out working day that was to be set in concrete as it tends to be these days. There were a few staff around to be amused by my great wit, and so I took a risk……….

“So, I’ve moved all the furniture around and it should be better for you all now”

“Cheryl, do you hear that?”

“What, I don’t hear anything?”

“Exactly, Cheryl, because that’s the sound of nobody giving a shit”

Everybody laughed, mainly because I was laughing my head off, and I JUST got away with it. It was a real close thing, because ‘Cheryl’ is Quite an Important Person, and knew she shouldn’t really be seen to see the funny side of it. It was ok because she knew it wasn’t meant spitefully, and I was just getting a laugh out of it.

Getting away with it. My biggest kick since I was born. :o)

Not so great when I come a cropper though, but isn’t that the measure of how good something feels………….. how bad the downside is. How dark the flip-side of the coin.

Sorry, rambling away.

Maybe I’ve read this at just the right time, in just the right mood, and so it floated my boat, I dunno. I read another of his books, called ‘Things Snowball’ a while ago, and can’t remember clearly, but don’t think it had me laughing as much as this one did. I must have a look for it, and read it again. Different things ‘fit’ us at different stages of our lives.

I’ve actually gone and rummaged around for ‘Things Snowball’, found it after ages wandering around my books, muttering, “I bleddy KNOW it’s here somewhere”, but not being able to see it anywhere. You know when you can ‘see’ where it is in your mind’s eye, but when you look there, it’s ‘gone’.

I suddenly found inspiration, and went delving into The Big Box, so called because it’s a real big box, yanking all the books out, finding it wasn’t there, and then and not being able to pack the same number of books back in again. There’s a lesson to be learnt there, and one I’ve learnt and seemingly repeatedly forgotten; never be too efficient in your box-packing/storing/tidying, because if you don’t leave some slack, you’ll never do such a good job when you go and take something out, and so The Untidiness will start all over again.

Always leave some slack in your efficiency!

In the end, after looking absolutely EVERYWHERE, I found it two books down from the top of the stack on the floor by the bedside cabinet. I KNEW I’d see the bleddy thing recently!

You know what it’s like when you find a book, especially one you’ve driven yourself to the edge of what sanity you have left, and believe me I can scarce afford to go anywhere near that precipice; you just have to start skimming though, and reading at least bits of it, don’t you? I ended up reading a few chapters ……… and, sure enough, ………… nope, nothing like as funny.

Funny, but not laugh-out-loud funny, as the reviewer on the back cover from The Scotsman claimed. Still we all find different humour funny, and so maybe these reviews, including my opinion here, aren’t worth reading. You just have to suck it and see. (Stop it!)

So, as per the usual, I guess I’m wasting everybody’s time here today.

Sorry (sigh) :oI

Ok, that’s enough…….. it was just going to be a few lines.

Y'all know how it is.........
K.x :o)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Remember 'J' and 'R'........... and 'S and 'A', ........please.

Remember my good friend, ‘J’, whose husband ‘R’ is critically ill with Cancer?

If you do, how about stopping still for a minute, and sending a few positive and good thoughts Out There to them both in their living hell. Please, ……………it doesn’t take long. If you don’t remember them, scroll down to the blog I wrote here on 15 September. ............ Then send out those thoughts.

And for S too, who’s having to do the hardest thing and have her beloved horse, ‘A’ put down this coming Friday.

Spare some thoughts for both ‘S’ and ‘A’ too will you, and especially on Friday.

I think these thoughts, and prayers if you pray, carry more weight than we can ever know.

Thankyou :o)

Word count to date.......

52,727 word total reached today.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Friday, 18 September 2009

End of day word count.............

Getting there……….
2,858 words today,
Word count now 48,538,
Only a measly 1,462 words to go before 22nd September!

Easy peasy, good as done! :o)
K.x :o)

Books………. and my kinky affliction :o)

Hi Y’all,
I was stood at the back door waiting for the kettle to boil for yet another cuppa, (not that that has any bearing on it) and got to thinking of my books, and not in the least the ridiculous amount I’ve spent on them this month alone …….. the last two months actually. Just had the visa bill this morning. It was not a cheery sight. (sigh)Anyway, these books……….. I have an embarrassing amount of them here at Fortress Wheelrest, and all the more embarrassing because there are more sitting there unread than I care to admit to, so I’d appreciate your keeping that to yourself in respect of my revealing such a confession to you. :oI

This month the book buying frenzy is all around collecting around me, a plethora of inspiring writing books. I rationalise The Madness by telling myself I'm about to make something of a breakthrough as a Much Acclaimed Author in November, when I do the NaNoWriMo thing. I’ve mentioned it here several times, but in case you haven’t read through the blog, or don’t intend to, ………… nanowrimo is a 'competition' where everyone registered to the website ( attempts to write a first draft of a novel, screenplay, whatever, and completes a minimum of 50,000 words in the month of November every year.

No money, or any other prizes to be won, just the satisfaction of being a NaNoWriMo Winner if you succeed. So, ......loads of inspirational, and how-too books are descending through the letterbox at irregular intervals to feed this enthusiasm in the long run-up I'm taking to November. I shall then be raising the drawbridge here at Fortress Wheelrest, and repelling all boarders with a bleary-eyed "Bugger-Off-I'm-Busy", Fair Maidens being the only ones granted an audience, which shouldn't take up much of my precious writing time, given the dearth of them clawing at the door these days. :o) (sigh)

So this writing focus I’m swept away with right now, is responsible for my purchasing just about any book on writing worthy of note and praise. Believe me, that’s no idle boast either. Splintering off from that, are the temptation of several books found whilst browsing away, some of which are books of short stories; something else I intend to get 'into', compose, and maybe even sell, who knows.

Short-story competitions would be good to enter too, but as usual taking the first steps are the hardest of obstacles to climb over. Those first steps being the first to progress beyond writing the odd thing for myself, and the long emails I send to a few close friends, and the online chicks I dare to try and find a match with. Boy, have I ever cast a few hundred thousand written words onto the hot sandy wasteland that is Trying To Impress A Woman. Still, that’s the nature of the beast I guess. :o)

Achieving a ‘winner’ status in November’s Nanowrimo will be a huge leap forward towards that end of progression.

I absolutely love my books, I love searching for them in shops, and more usually, online at the Alter of Amazon. God bless them. The trouble with the online method of reducing ones disposable income, is just how easy it is to buy the books, aided by the bottomless variety and availability of so many.

It’s a sickness of possession. It’s as much in the pleasure of being surrounded by them, as that of reading them, and the world conjured from their absorbed words or the wisdom contained within. They are full of people’s stories, fact or fiction. Lives imagined or real revealed. The things that someone has taken perhaps a lifetime to learn can be bought for just a few quid, and so cheap at the price (He desperately convinced himself!). It is cheap too………. I’ve bought practical books over the years for many hobbies and interests, full to the brim with advice found out the hard way. A lifetime’s expertise laid bare for the reader to absorb and learn from. Sometimes years of costly experimenting, learning the hard way from many failures, and these days no materials are cheap to make such failures not worthy of note. All in a book, costing at the very most, say fifteen quid a book, and usually a lot less.

Second-hand books, I adore as much as new, and not just for the cheaper cost. I revere them for their sense of having already had a life in another’s hands. I adore their smell, the yellowing of their pages, occasionally a written dedication inside the cover of having been given with love, and sometimes all that has been left inside, a hint at least of what went before.

I love to posses them, love the smell of them, new or old. Perverse though it may seem, or even actually be, I often hold a newly acquired ‘old’ book up to my nose, and fan the edges of the pages past my thumb, breathing in it’s unique smell. God knows what bugs I fan into my lungs, but so far it seems to be ok. Still breathing. smelling a book is sometimes like breathing in its history. The amalgamation of all it’s ever been, where it’s lived, and the fingers and hands that have held it. Smoker’s books are the only ones that don’t small so nice, but even they are good, because of such an obvious clue to it’s history.

Some books I turn over in my hands, looking for its personal imperfections from the use it’s had, and wonder at who held it, read it; wonder what their lives held. Some have a crumb of cake or bread inside, a hair maybe, and even occasionally a bookmark left trapped between the pages. Traces such as these aren’t often found, of course, especially a bookmark, and especially the rarest of clues to ponder; that of the bookmark with handwritten notes on, or in it.

There’s a website, a bookseller’s I think, devoted to all the bookmarks he or she had found……. pictures of them all too. A little bit fascinating, although not enough for me to exactly turn into a hobby myself. :o) I googled ‘found bookmarks’ to see if I could find the site, but to no avail.

As you do, I browsed a few links that came up ……….. Here’s a site article with links of stuff found inside library books, including forty $1,000 dollar bills. Imagine THAT??? :o)

Here’s one with instructions for making a ‘paged’ bookmark to make notes as you read, for you ‘crafty’ types :o) ….. Good idea, but I don’t know that I could be bothered ……… especially since I’m a rough, tough Old Greaser! :o)

I often use a half, or quarter folded sheet of A4 as a bookmark to write notes on. Works as well, takes seconds to fold and use, but nothing like as aesthetic as something so carefully made. Usually I use the wire-bound ‘reporters notebook’ I keep by me when I’m reading.

Books, do you love them as much?

What do you like about them, ……. and are you as weird as me to love their smell?

(PLEASE say you are!) :oI
K.x :o)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Word count so far............ :o)

A huge 4,348 words today, and so a total of 45,680 now, with five days to go for this Nanowrimo practice month to finish on the 22 September.

If I don’t make the 50,000 word count minimum on the last day of November, I will want my ass kicking. Mind you, it’s one thing to do lots of sprints on different subjects, often inspired by replying to emails, and another to write continuously on one subject, all the inspiration coming from me, with no prompting from anyone else.

And I still haven’t got one single plot idea to even start off with.

Oh dear.

K.x :o)

Thinking of polishing.......... and the chances of it all....... :o)

Second blog for Thursday, which is bleddy good, don’t you think? Word count for the month will be brilliant if I can rabbit on about some bugger-all something-or-other for a while, eh?

I’m on the beach at Axmouth ……… or is it Seaton? If you come in from one end, it’s Seaton, from the other end it’s Axmouth. Confusing for a chap, doncherknow? ……….. Anyway, I finally got my ass on the Harley and trundled down here in the end at about mid-day. Lovely weather, just warm enough, not too hot, and the beach pretty deserted. Perfect. I’ve been sat here reading a bit, thinking a bit, but mostly I started to sift through the pebbles around me. I started to pick the good ones out, and into the side pockets of the haversack.

I know what y’all are asking yourselves here. Why would a grown man, (as I sometimes laughingly call myself, even if no one else seems to deem it a fit and proper description), be taking pebbles home?

Years ago………… more than I like to admit to, I bought all the equipment you needed to tumble pebbles and stones, and so polish them. Why? Same as always… It seemed a real good idea at the time.

In case you don’t know it, you put the stones inside a small drum, along with water and different grades of abrasive grit, starting with coarse grit, and working down to very fine grit for the final polish. The drum is revolved by a very small electric motor, and so the pebbles and stones tumble over each other constantly, the grit grinds them smooth, and eventually they end up polished like jewels. It makes a helluva racket, and takes months, certainly weeks.

They look bleddy fantastic when they’re finished, though, and out of the one single batch I did (Yup, just the one, and never did it again!!), I sent the best up to my young niece as a ‘box of jewels’ for her to play with one Christmas. I guess she’d have been six or seven….. I forget now. She loved them, what little girl wouldn’t? A whole box of your very own jewels. Brilliant!!! :o)

Anyway……. I got to thinking………. That would’ve been when I was doing the Thinking Bit, you understand……… I got to thinking, as I was looking at these pebbles glistening wet just below the surface, that it was about time I got the tumbler going again and did some more. When I did the first batch………. Ok, the ONLY batch, I was going to incorporate them somehow into some arty woodturning I was doing at the time, but never really got around to do. That’ll be the woodturning I haven’t done for bleddy years either then. I did a lot for a few years, gave it all away, and them moved house, and haven’t really kicked it back into life. One day, though………..

(Those who’ve read enough of this blog over the month’s since it started last February, will by now be noticing a distinct pattern here.)

Hell, cut me some slack here will you……. I can’t help it if I get distracted, can I? There’s always something new just around the corner to be tried, and you know what we boys are like don’t you girls? If you’re a bloke, you’ll be well familiar as to how tough it is being a man and having to play with all these toys we gather around us. Must be a real simple life just to do a bit of hoovering and cooking, eh? :o)

Mind you, these days most of you will have been broken into domesticity and servitude by some little honey-trap, and you sure have all my sympathy because I know it’s real easy to let your guard down and get dragged down into it without realising. It’s the power of The Vagina. Why the hell we gave you Chicks the vote is quite beyond me……….. you had a load of power without us shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s no coincidence we’ve lost the bleddy empire since then, but far from me to bleat over spilt milk, and be accused of raking over long cold coals.

Thankfully, the woman hasn’t been born who can tame me, and believe me a good few have tried, bless them all. (that statement really fires up My Girls at work…… never fails!!!) :o) They generally see sense, give up pretty early on, and then we settled down to what comes naturally, each fulfilling our natural roles and so letting life roll along smoothly without all the frictions most couples suffer these days. As God intended, I think you’ll find.

Mind you, some have said that may be a small part of why I’m Chick-less right now, but I hold a different view. I rather think it was more a search for The Large Penis. Shame that. Still, we all have to live and learn, eh?

I myself have every hope for the future. It’s just a bit of a dry spell, that’s all. Won’t be long now. (He said through a fixed grin and clenched teeth)

Where was I? Oh , yes, ……… collecting stones, type:- Various, many, for the polishing of.

It would be good to be able to identify what is what, stone-wise, and have the experience to know which will polish the best, but I just picked the best I could see, and meeting different criteria. Some because they were already nice and rounded, no cracks, and smooth. Some because they were quite translucent, and therefore definitely ‘jewel-like’, some for the shape they already were, and some for the colour. A few had the lot all in one.

I got to thinking, (Now doing both the Thinking Thing, and Selecting Pebbles…… multi-tasking, yes?) as I was sifting through all these stones, about how massive ‘chance’ was playing a big part here in which stones were being picked. It struck me just how much like life what I was doing was.

How the chance of being picked was so very slim if you backed right up to me sitting at home this morning. That I would happen to think of collecting some stones TODAY, and that’s a load of chance before you even start with the slim chance I would choose this beach for a start………… then choose this particular spot, this EXACT spot.

From there, there’s the chance of being spotted as I sweep each layer of stones to expose fresh ones, it only taking a few to cover others out of sight. OK, so you’ve been picked out of the billions on the beach………. The odds are hugely and unimaginably, better now you’re chosen and in the haversack. Once taken home, (some would factor in me actually making it home, seeing I’m seen by many as lucky to be alive every trip!) there’s surviving a further selection of those much better odds before going into the polisher. Only the best of those chosen will make it in there. Then being weeded out as the polishing process goes along….. some being ditched as each grade of grit is changed.

Finally, when all is done and finished, a few are found to be the best of the lot. Out of them, there is very likely to be just one; only ONE that just has the edge on the others, and that one, that single stone, will be The One.

One little stone pebble, chosen today out of billions on that beach today, a stone formed millions of years ago, crushed, compressed, twisted, broken, and ground ever smaller over the years. Shifted around by angry seas, and it’s final destination it rested at today at the mercy of the weather that drove those seas to drop it there.

One polished stone. One lucky stone.

How much like ‘life’ is that?

Kinda makes you think, and although I don’t mean that it bears any more resemblance to all that can potentially happen to any of us and any time on any day, I’m like a pebble on a big beach, and one not as handsome as he once was either, hoping to be picked from the flotsam surrounding me. Or conversely, there’s a pebble washing around in tide somewhere, and waiting for me to pick her up for a polish.

I won’t spoil the philosophical and deep train of thought by following that with the base and cheap laugh from exploring the concept of all that rubbing together we’d have to do. Perish the thought. :o)

Now I’m thinking of how it really is like life………. we all get together, and grind all the sharp edges off each other until some of us make it out the other side polished, perfect and gleaming.

The rest of us end up quite polished, broken, or covered in cracks and pits.

Life……….. one big Polishing Drum of Chance.

Nite, y’all,
K.x :o)

The wonder of British Plod.........and the IOM Plod's money-crop on Mad Sunday. :o)

Hi Y’all,
Thursday, and another day of my weeks holiday grinds into life, and with some hope of it being a sunny day too. Here I am, reporting in at the writing station, and I must say it’s getting to be the first thing I want to do of a morning………. to write. that bodes well for November's Nanowrimo. :o)

Mostly it’s emails, mostly to prospective New Chicks. Spurred into productivity, I admit, by my having hit a rich and glinting seam over the last couple of months, it’s golden reflections illuminating the digging and hacking away in the candlelit gloom of Kevin’s Mine of Hope and Comfort Sometimes too, I’ve recently been hitting the blog with some thoughts, random and rambling though they may usually be. Occasionally I’ve written stuff no one will ever read. That’ll be the real Wild Stuff then. The stuff no one would most likely understand. The stuff Plod would love to read.

‘Plod’, being a quaint and old-fashioned term for out great police force, and I actually mean that. The last police force in the world you can tell to fuck off, and not get shot for the indiscretion.

Mind you, it’s been a long time since I expressed such an imaginative course of action for our enforcement officers, the last time being way back in ’98 for leaving a thirty-limit on the Isle of Man, at double the limit I must admit, but, in my feeble defence, just before being outside the limit. They had, quite accidentally I’m sure, set the speed trap up thirty feet inside the limit and with the Goforit, or Golf Lima Foxtrot de-restriction black-stripe-on-white plainly in sight. I was quite upset at what I saw as an unfair and dastardly reaping of a abundant crop, there being some 35,000 of we bikers over there for the TT races, and a fair percentage of us being Adrenaline Freaks on a rush of speed.

(Golf Lima Foxtrot??…… There was hell-up amongst the Politically Correct weenies (small ‘w’) a few years ago, when it was disclosed that it was a common police radio instruction amongst traffic cops when chasing speeders…….. and it stands for, if you haven’t worked it out, Go Like Fuck.)

Let me point out that the spot they picked, quite accidentally I now realise after the calming of the years, was at the bottom of a downhill left-handed sweep and in deep and high hedges in the countryside. The last of the village buildings had been passed, and it was "Whoopy-doo" time with the scent of the speed-unlimited roads opening up again.

On the Isle of Man, there are no speed limits outside of the villages and towns. Let me tell you, it is an Adrenalin Freak’s Paradise.

They pulled me over, and, being a man with a strong sense of what is Just and Fair, I was a bit upset at their apparent cunning. Actually, ..........I was fucking livid, and then some. I suggested, quite graphically, that they might explore the pleasures of inserting the hair dryer up their ass (hand-held speed gun), and that they’d missed their vocation by not seeking employment with the IOM Tourist Board. Throwing the skid-lid across the road (I kid you not. I was bleddy mad as hell), I doubted the authenticity of their parentage, and offered to wipe my bottom with the speeding ticket.

Why was I so upset about such a thing? Well, see, there were a few reasons. Being whacked out on antidepressants that weren’t working, being over there with no chick, and it having been the wettest TT in living memory all added up to my being mentally right down on the floor. It was also the third time I’d been so sneakily ‘had over’ by the cunning IOM Plod in the last three visits to the Island of Speed, and on every occasion it had cost in excess of £160 in fines. That’s each time, so we’re talking about £500 in total (each being in excess of £160), and I do freely admit I was in considerable excess of the limit, before you point it out. :o)

You see, not unsurprisingly I guess these days, they set these traps up all over the place, and one copper over there told me that on Mad Sunday they gather something like 200 of we poor unsuspecting, safety-conscious, Speed Freaks an hour over the whole island. When you go to pay the fine, you just pay the fine, no licence, insurance, or proof of identity is asked for………. Just pay here, (sir), and sign here, (sir), and thank you for your cooperation in the matter, (sir). :o)

And, whaddya mean you’ve never heard of Mad Sunday??? Where y’all been all your lives??? :o)

Briefly, Mad Sunday is a long-standing tradition of mayhem and an open day for we nutters. It’s one mental day, where the mountain Course of the Isle of Man TT circuit of public roads used for the racing are opened up to one way traffic, and so becoming a race-track as it is on race days. Then let loose to all who dare to ‘ride the mountain’ on Mad Sunday. Many don’t dare, and with good reason. Safety is not a word that goes with the day. It’s the single reason I go over there, and quite secondary to watching the fantastic racing, which makes mainstream track races look like a kindergarten tea party.

Have a look…….. have a taste…..

Anyway………. the bottom line is, that our police force really is the best in the world. Mad and wild as I was, those two coppers just politely pointed out that maybe I might consider the pleasures of being arrested if I didn’t calm myself (sir). They just completed the paperwork, explaining that should I use it for the purpose I’d suggested, that more paper would not be provided to complete such an undertaking.

No gun was involved at any point, no handcuffs deemed as necessary, and no sudden appearance of any overwhelming ‘backup’ either.

Then they watched, as I cleared the thirty-limit sign a few yards away, and nailed the bike to 140 down the road away from them.

God bless them all. :o)

K.x :o)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

September thoughts....... I use the term 'thoughts' loosely! :o)


It’s brightened up this afternoon………. sunny, blue skies and white clouds, mixed as a fifty-fifty spread. Lovely day, and here I am writing away again. I’m kinda doing a trial run for the November nanowrimo by writing everything in Word, and then cutting/pasting into wherever they need to be, usually emails. That way I have everything in one document to keep a word-count. Last month’s, running from the 22 to the 22, was 27,000 words, this month’s count from 22 August is 39,550 (right there, at that moment). I’m going to break through 40,000 today if I can, which will mean a daily diet of 1,666 words at least, to make the 50,000 word minimum limit by the 22 September. Even if I don’t do it, it makes 50,000 in Nvember an easyish goal………. All I’ve got to do is write every single day. Skip one or two, and each days ration needs to increase; skip too many, and it will be a struggle. I’m going to reach for 100,000, and go for the impossible. As is in my nature……….. all or nothing.

Anyway, that’s getting way from this lovely day here. I guess I should take the bike, maybe Hoover for a change, even if she is still running like a sick dog. I took her out for a short wakeup spin the other day, and she seemed to be running a bit better. I’ve gotta have another look at the carbs, and I suspect it’s the emulsion jets worn oval. That’s going to be over £80 for four tiny little brass tubes.

Back to today though. A September day, and a typically lovely one too.

Both the happiest and the worst times have happened to me in September. I love the damp chill of it, the sniff of winter to come, but still warmed by blue-skied sunny days. There was a time when sometimes I loved it, and sometimes I hated it, and sometimes just bounced around between the two emotions. Most times I love it these days. It’s a peaceful month.

No other month feels like this one does……….. not even December, with all of Christmas consuming it like a blanket of snow. No, it sure is a strange month, and today feel kinda good, even though yesterday didn’t, especially with all its bad news. It seems it’s rarely a bad month for weather these days…….. our summers seem to have been replaced by sunny springs and Autumns,…… well, Septembers anyway. I checked up on which months are in which season, and, as I suspected, September is actually still summer, and autumn starts in October. Just shows how off course I’ve always been with that then, in considering September to be the start of autumn.

Yup, September is a funny month for me.

I was married in September, and she left me in September too. Just before the tenth anniversary…… ten days before I think……….. I guess facing yet another anniversary when all you wanna do is walk out of the door is a real hard thing to face. It would make you gather your nerve and make that move wouldn’t it?

I had both bad mo’sickle accidents too in September….. different years of course, when I was sixteen and again at eighteen.…….. fractured something like 23 bones, give or take a few ribs, on a life support system both times, an emergency tracheotomy carried out in the ambulance after the second accident, and bed ridded for six months recovering from the first and not fully fit for a year. Started and finished most jobs in and shortly after September too. There seems to be a whole lot around September for me.

Writing that makes me realise that most things were not that good………. getting married the only good one really, so why do I ever think well of this month? Somehow I suspect it was the magnitude of getting married to the young woman I loved so much. That event somehow carries enough weight of importance in my mind to easily balance the ending of that great relationship, and more than balances the other shit that happened in the Septembers before it and after as well.

The mind sure is a funny thing, the way it reckons all the totality of experiences into an overall ‘impression’ that we all carry of most things. When you look at those inner visions, and measure the facts of the parts that form them; the percentages, and importance, they so often just don’t weigh up to what we tend to think, or feel, about something. It goes some way to showing why we can get so many things wrong in our assessments of life, and think of experiences and chunk of life as something so very different from the reality of them. How off key we may be in basing future decisions on those impressions we have.

Come to think of it…………. I used to dread Septembers for a long time after Sue (Ex-Wife) left………. I had it in mind that it was an hugely unlucky month for me, and for an equally longish time, I now feel ok about it. If I was pushed, I’d say it’s no longer a month I don’t like. Sometimes a echo of past dread hovers around, but mostly I appreciate it as a lovely month.

Mellowing with age, I guess, and being so far from the bad times I had when I was younger too. I realise as well, that no month, or any other time frame, is necessarily responsible for any of life’s experiences, good, bad or indifferent. It’s just the way it is, and some things are bound to group up in a time frame from random, or from practical reasons linked to a certain time. After all, you’re very likely only ever going to choke on a sixpence from a Christmas pud at Christmas. :o)

Wadya think? :o)

Woo Hoo.... 40,465 words now! :o)

K.x :o)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

An very, VERY ill man, .....and a Horse, ......and those who love them...........

Hi y’all,
Not the best or most cheery of mornings this morning. Got a very short email from ‘J’, someone who I used to work with and who has always supported me in bad times, saying that her husband, ‘R’ had got Cancer. Just had their Sapphire Anniversary (45 years) too.

Stuff like this always suddenly reminds me that you just don’t know what’s around the corner in this life…….. good or bad, and that life is only as long as the next morning you wake up to a new day and all it holds. I guess it’s a 24/7 day or night thing in reality………. It’s only as long as the next second that slides past to leave you still breathing……… or more realistically, having conscious thoughts. You can be alive and dead at the same time. God knows I’ve looked after a few in my job who are no more than the living dead……… and no, I’m not talking about the terminally ill. I look after people with profound Learning Difficulties, as it is so politely and so very politically correctly known these days. For some individuals, calling it any sort of ‘life’ at all is the preserve of only the twisted and unhinged.

We treat our animals far better than we do our own species……… those of us who aren’t sadists anyway. Which brings me onto the next email I had…………

It was from ‘S’, another good friend, and what’s more an ex-girlfriend, and sent to say she was going to have to have her beloved horse put down, as she is just too old to get through another winter.

I’ve been dreading this email from her, because from first knowing her, I knew that one day she’d have to face up to doing this, and bearing the agony that goes with it.
‘A’, her beloved horse is lucky she isn’t human, because if she was, she’d have her life prolonged for as long as possible, and so the struggle to live it too. I had tears in my eyes reading about what ‘A’ meant to her, and how she’d always wanted her own horse…….. the bit that really did it, was the image of a little 3 year-old girl asking Santa for her very own horse every year. I could really feel how especially happy and proud she must have been to ride her for the first time. Her dream come true, and now the horrible pain of it coming to an end, and by her own hand, so to speak, not some accident or natural cause. That would be plenty bad enough.

I can easily imagine the bond of her having had ‘A’ through such bad times as divorce etc., and through the happiest of times too. I didn’t have an animal for comfort at those times, just a series of bikes……… my Guzzi, for instance, and that was a bike that I always said got me through the Winter Of Discontent after my wife buggered off. Having ‘A’ to cry with, talk to, and laugh with too, would be a real big deal, along with all the rest she shared with her, and those twenty years and more when she’d been comforted, pleasured, and cheered by her big horse-heart. I’m not a Horsey type, but I do know they are very special animals.

At least ‘A’ will have been lucky to have had so much love all her life, and taken care of by a woman like ‘S’ right to the end. Few of us can have the same in life.

I sure hope, whatever happens to my other friend's husband, and especially if it’s as bad as it can be, that he doesn’t suffer for long.

God bless you, ‘R’ and I send some thoughts and ‘hope’ over the space around you, and to you 'J' as well.

You too, 'S'......... and, of course, dear old 'A'.

Please take a few minutes and send some focused and good thoughts out for them all too, will you?

Who knows what a difference a few focused thoughts will make .......... quite possibly at least the difference you'd like to feel if you were them.

I know I can count on you.
K.x :o)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Testing Trevor and Sam's Locost...... :o)

Smee again. Blimey, three times in, what a week or so? Wonders will never cease. :o)

Just got back from Westonzoyland airdrome, where Trevor, his son Sam and No-Problem-Pete are giving Trevor and Sam’s Locost Kit-Car it’s first outing on tarmac. There’s a bit of the old wartime airfield that is used for such things, for a suitable donation to the landowner, and it’s just what they needed to flag wilting spirits around the building of this car.

It’s quite an achievement, as Trevor and his young son Sam have been building this car from scratch in a tiny little scabby single garage, with no engineering facilities whatsoever. Trevor tells me it’s been three years in the gestation so far, but I can’t believe that time has goes so quickly……. Well, I can, but don’t want to actually acknowledge it.
It’s been built using the book “Build Your Own Sports Car for as Little as 250 Pounds: And Race it!” by Ron Champion.

If you’ve had anything at all to do with kit cars, you will have heard of his book. It’s quite an inspiring book, and such is the proof of that is Trevor and Sam’s effort that I drove on the airfield this morning. I’d say get this book, even just for the pleasure of dreaming of what could be. I guarantee that if you’re the sort of bloke……. Or a very, very rare Chick, …….. who likes to make things, you’ll love this book.

It gives you all you need to start from scratch with just a pile of tubing you’ve bought, and something like a knackered ford sierra as a donor vehicle to gather the engine, gearbox, wheels, brakes, hubs and stuff from…….. actually the book uses an old rear-wheel drive ford escort, but they’re like hens teeth to get now.

Not for these two valiant souls was this going to be a traditional kit-car supplied complete with ready-made chassis, body tub and panels cut to fit, seats, brackets and pretty much all you need to assemble into a complete car. Nope, Trevor and Sam, armed with only a book for guidance, went ahead and welded up the entire chassis, all the axle links, the front suspension wishbones, the lot. Pete with his expertise in building fibreglass boats, helped them make the lift-off bonnet, and to modify the rear fibreglass unit to fit their chassis, sourced from e-bay, and meant for an entirely different car.

In building that chassis, clever young Sam soon became something of an accomplished welder, and so for that matter did Trevor. Few boys these days get that sort of opportunity, and it’s something you just can’t put a price on at that age. Quite, quite priceless.

I’ve put my oar in from time to time, mainly in the way of encouragement, and often just by putting things in perspective when it’s all going wrong, and it all seems too much of an uphill struggle. When I point out how well they’ve done considering the garage is so small, and with so little by way of engineering equipment, it usually perks Trevor up.

Sam doesn’t need perking up……… he has the advantage of yoof on his side, and we all know how that flattens mountains, don’t we? :o)

Ok, the car shows it’s rough edges as a reflection of the VERY primitive environment it was built in, and that it was the first attempt Trevor and young Sam have ever made in building a kit car of any sort. Despite it’s home spun appearance, it drove ok, stopped when braked, and we had some fun sliding it about a good bit. It was actually a great success, although there were some fuelling problems with the engine that stopped play several times.

I took some photos, and will load them up on here when I get them sorted out.

These cars are soooooo much fun, some bastard little weenie will soon make it illegal for sure certain. With that in mind, I won’t elaborate greatly on just the sort of antics it encourages, but suffice to say, with your ass sat almost over the back axle and the centre of gravity so low, spending time creatively sliding around sideways is quite impossible to resist. Unless you’re a weenie, of course.

Trevor and Sam’s faces said it all after they got out from their first circuit of the small area of tarmac available to them. It was real good to see that all those, often despairing, hours spent in a freezing cold and tiny little garage were suddenly all worthwhile in just a few minutes on bit of old airdrome.

We are fast losing the last remnants of men (yes, and some women too, but traditionally it’s always been, and still is, mostly men) who traditionally built all sorts of wonderful stuff in sheds and workshops all over this country. The weenies that govern us have all but outlawed it, and hey won’t be happy until they have driven the final nails into boarding up the doors of our sheds and workshops.

It breaks my bloody heart, but a sight like this morning, of a Father and Son, bonded and forged in what they have created together in a poxy little garage gladdens my heart, and it displays to the world that you little weenie bastards out there haven’t beaten us yet.

K. :o)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

On fingering with Mavis, and helping your writing stress levels. :o)

Well, here I am, sitting here without a thought in my head as to what to bash out for y’all here. I am determined to get some more entries on here, but what stops me, is the lack of anything which seems at all meaningful to say, so I don’t even start. Starting is sometimes the hardest thing in life…….. often way harder than finishing. To finish, you just have to keep right on going, even if it’s the worst slog in your history, but to start, well, that’s often another thing altogether, isn’t it?

I loaded up an old copy of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing on the desktop ‘puter upstairs last night, not expecting it to work for a second, as it’s a pre-Windows XP edition, ……….and hey, guess what? It worked!!! (As long as the CD was left in.)

I had a go at it….. thinking that learning to touch-type would be a brilliant help for the Nanowrimo month on November ( ). Naturally I was disappointed that I hadn’t improved my skills after about three minutes, and so called it a night. It doesn’t bode well for the future, does it. (Not that there’s a helluva lot of future left at fifty-bleddy-five!)

Still, it WAS gone midnight, and so way past bedtime for we Old Greasers, despite there being no damp chick there murmuring “Come to bed Big Boy”. That always gets me in the sack for an early night, and I sure miss the good influence of a Chick warming the sheets up for me. (Sigh)

Where was I? Oh yes, giving up on poor old Mavis and her touch typing…… (there’s a joke in there, if I could only think of it, I just know it!). I’m going to put her on this laptop too, and will make a more determined effort to master it before November. I noticed it was bleddy uncomfortable to assume the position, holding your hands over the master keys, those being a-s-d-f on the left and j-k-l-; on the right, doncherknow. :o)

I think I may well be too damn old to get the hang of it, but boy, wouldn’t it be great to be able to not only type way faster, but to be able to look at the damn screen instead of the keys when just using the two fingers. I’m always looking up and realising that I’ve hit the sodding Caps lock key, which is easy to correct in Word, but means retyping in an email program ……. Outlook Express anyway. To sort it in Word, if you’re wondering, just highlight the line(s) of text, hold down the Shift key, and use the F3 key to toggle through the three options… all capitals, first letters capitalised, or no capitalisation…. Brilliant!

Ok, y’all who don’t give a monkey’s about this will just have to cruise on down, but those who hate the Caps Lock PiTA (pain in the ass…….. come on, keep up!) go to this site….. (Several good tips and tweaks there) and follow the instructions to enable a warning beep every time Caps Lock, Scroll lock (ScrLk) or Number lock (NumLk) is turned on or off. It’s real easy to do. HEY, JUST DISCOVERED SOMETHING ELSE…. If you hold the Number lock (NumLk) key down for five seconds it will turn the warning on, and if you hold it down for another five seconds it will turn it off. (On my laptop the same key does both functions, and so I have to hold down the Shift key to enable the Number Lock key)

How brilliant is THAT???

How SAD is getting excited at it too, I guess. (Sigh) How did it ever wind up getting like this? A used-to-be Hell Raiser getting excited at finding out how to enable a Caps Lock warning on and off. Jees! I really need to get out more. Some pussy would help no end y’know,………. if you could see your way clear, that is.


Can’t say I entirely blame you hunny. :o)

Thank God I can laugh eh? My sides are bleddy splitting as we speak. No, really, they are. :o)

You want another tip?

This drove me bleddy MAD one fine day, until I figured it out. If you suddenly find that every time you type a letter whilst working in the middle of a document, that the next letter on disappears with every new letter you type………. It’s because you’ve accidentally pressed the ‘Insert’ key at the top right of your keyboard. Press it again, and all should be well. There should be a warning beep for that one too, but you soon know when you’ve done it! I don’t think it does anything if there is no writing ahead of your cursor.

Ok, that’s pretty much the sum of my computer knowledge; all of it found out the hard way, and passed on to y’all, free and for gratis. :o)

Well, the muse, such as it was, has left the building, so I’m off to get Mavis loaded on here, and have a bit more of a determined effort to at least put some effective time in. Boy, do I ever admire anyone who can touch type. I knew someone once who could type as fast as you talked, and it was real weird to see the words you were speaking flying across the screen, just slightly behind the sound. What made it really impressive was that she was looking at the screen the whole time, and when I checked it, there was not one single mistake after several minutes worth of talking to her. Not spelling, Not anything. Nil. Zilch. Nothing. Just perfection.

She was a real young beauty too, proving once and for all, not that I’ve ever doubted it for one second, that brains and beauty do go together.

And yet, …………a lot of assholes who consider themselves so wonderful in what they do in life, would have just described her as ‘just a secretary’.

Just like people are ‘just a lorry driver’, ‘just a digger driver’, ‘just a waitress’ etc. etc.

Well, some people should try these less ‘valued’ jobs, and see just how hard it is, and just how shit they are at it, too. Whilst they’re about it, see how all that’s below them crumbles without those below them thanklessly slogging away every day.

Yup, I’m one of those slogging away, making the dreams and promotions of the weenies above me happen. Those junior to me get buckets of appreciation every day from me, and I make sure they feel the sincerity in it too.

On that cheerful note, as per the usual, I’m off to finger with Mavis.

Y’all have a great day! :o)

K.x :o) (A reminder, dear reader, that any x’s in this Blog are for the Chicks only. Don’t you chaps (Trevor) be confused now.) :o)