not another project, must be AU Monday

It’s called The Trust Issue, and it’s a nested set of received opinions about how to trust the ourselves, the world and how we move through it and eventually out of it. I am thinking of it in terms of being on three scales; personal, familial (via family history, which is basically me saying HEY MA I THINK I FOUND ANOTHER USE FOR THE GAZILLIONS OF PIXELS YOU’VE SLAUGHTERED), and linguistic, but not in any academic sense, just in the sense that I have to use English to actually, like, do anything. English as often noted has many limitations in terms of felicity of precision *and* metaphor, at least for me, so I must perforce be appalled at operating within its tiresomely inevident confines. I know I am stuck here, in English, for I have neither the life expectancy nor the will to become able to write with ease and style in another language. The very idea makes a mockery of trust in any degree, but so be it. I shall scale Mt. Impossible because I dare not leave my room! The idea of actually making it fit into any politics, including the increasingly deadbeat anarchism I claim to claim (know what I mean) is loathsome to me so I am avoiding the political or public sphere, and I don’t think I could do it in less than 20000 words and suspect it’ll be closer to 70K.

Get enough sleep and it’s amazing

I am well rested, and in an hour or so will be off to the brekky place with Katie and possibly brO.

Mike’s at Trent’s ManCaveâ„¢ finishing off the Mustang so he can get it back on the road. I was hoping to see him tomorrow but scuffed knuckles come first. He told me he bought a looper and now I’m mad chuffed to see it. His forearms were so sore they were in spasm the last time I saw him, poor guy.

Started watching the UK show Coroner, really liking it! the coroner/cop investigative team is very well done.

Some woman on reddit wants to know Am I The Asshole for breaking up with a man who admitted he had sex with sheep. My comment : How do you explain to a man with that kind of interior landscape that the real issue is not that he 3x interfered w/ sheep, (although “pick a gif for squick”), but that he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of informed consent, which would make any real life they had a mess.

If he was serious about never doing it again he shoulda kept his muttonhole shut.

I will try to work on Cuffs some more today but I need some kind of narrative hook that doesn’t involved 7 point fucking three billion dollars in money laundering. The fact that my novel has now collided with reality is fucking me up.

Was looking for a weapon from my Scythian heritage (the first blue eyed red heads!!!) and found this tasty store.


So I go outside with Otto to work on what is rapidly shaping up to be Theo’s Theme (for the evol villein of Midnite Moving Co).  Within four bars, there is a robin FLYING TOWARD ME AND CALLING MADLY.  Robin then perches in a tree, never removing gaze.  Robin attempts to keep up with me in the music generation department, getting louder but eventually quitting in disgust.  Then it moves to the dogwood, and then the top of the tree stump.  I felt uncomfortable and went indoors.  Despite everything the tune is sounding great and my finger picking is coming along nicely.  I think I’m kinda the Meg White of mandolin players, althought that’s definitely a slap to Meg.

Keith and Paul should show up shortly with corn and tales of Paul’s mom’s successful nth birthday (I can’t remember exactly and I don’t know if she’d thank me to…) I hear another family turned up en masse, which should have rendered things much more festive and apparently were awesome in that Keith got to see Peter, his oldest friend.  And the vampire family!  woot.

Also, this morning Margot tried to get into the dryer  Man, how HAS she lived this long?

Productive day of errands including two overdue ones.


We arrived safe in Victoria yesterday afternoon and repaired to the home of my folks with Katie in tow.  We have today been for a drive in the remarkably snowy back roads and we have also visited the Butterfly House and I hope to post pics after I get home. I figured out how to get butterflies to sit on me, and entertained a number of small children with my new knowledge. Might come in handy if I ever have grandchildren, sigh.

Yesterday I inspected baby Bean, Lady Miss Banjola’s offspring, who’s two months old more or less.  He meets all criteria for cute and normal; being who he is he could hardly miss the cute, but the normal is almost worrisome.  Katie got to cuddle him for a bit, and Lady Miss B stuffed him into his knitted yellow duck feet, which are squee-renderingly adorable.

I am looking at the facsimile of the journal of my great great grandfather Henry Thomas Wake.  There has been a terrible railway accident, 15 dead, and I am very very happy to see that my ancestor spent money on beer.

Having a lovely time.  Also, saw this, and loved it, highly recommended.

Fireflies in the woods

I really like this pic.

So last night I’m watching live TV (which we never do, or hardly ever do) and there’s a tv show from 2008 about the swapping of the poles.  Yes, the poles are swapping.  It’ll take 40,000 years, maybe less ’cause we’re all in such a hurry these days.  So the partial collapse of the magnetosphere is connected to the weakening of the magnetic field of the earth, and it’s borne out by looking at ships’ logs from the 1590’s on.  Up until 1840 or thereabouts the field strength was about the same – it’s been dropping steadily ever since.  For more details, most of which are incomprehensible but at least the article links are understandable, check out Wikipedia for Magnetosphere, South Atlantic Anomaly and Earth’s Magnetic Field.

mOm is always telling me about relatives and my relation to them, and here’s a handy map. With level of genetic kinship.

Saturday round up, occasionally unsafe for work

Religious persecution quiz, scanged from a facebook/filking buddy.  Who himself was reposting it.

Statins have much worse potential side effects than was previously believed.

Wretched excess meets explosive cuteness.

I’m not posting a link, but one of the church women posted a youtube link to her toddler doing the Hokey Pokey with her, and I just wanted to mention that that’s what it’s all about.

We live in a culture which has little use for our basic instincts, and is thus breeding / punishing their existence out of us as fast as it can.  One can only wonder what the hell will take its place.  These days I wonder how some people manage to feed themselves.  As long as we are where our instincts don’t serve us, many of us will feel alienated.  I think church is a kind of hamfisted way of addressing that alienation. I can’t help thinking that we’re a step away from ‘customized religious experiences’ and I’m not just talking about going to rural Peru to have a drunken shaman pour ayahuasca down your throat and then count his money while you trip endlessly into a brightly painted bucket of existential horror.  I’m talking about thinking, “I want a religious experience that includes singing and labyrinth walking and drums this Sunday,” and if you live in a big town, actually being able to get it.  Virtually, perhaps.                  but if we do not breathe together…. if we do not conspire….. what are we?  That’s why we live from con to con, from dance to dance, from concert to concert, from gig to gig, from (please do NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK AT WORK or IF YOU THINK Lesbian or BDSM sexuality is icky) hookpull to hookpull, from Sunday to Sunday (or whatever your religiously mandated gathering day is).  Re hookpulls, I personally know two people who have attended and participated in these events, and I like ’em fine, so if you want to remonstrate with me about how sick it is I’m just gonna make a sad face and change the subject. You wouldn’t catch me dead at one of them though, I ain’t going anywhere like that just to be a voyeur and I don’t need any additional pain in my body at the moment, thanks.  My complete incomprehension does not include disgust.

Extra solar planets for the win. Every time I look at it, there’s more.  Everything is on fast forward.

Of course, if I fail to mention the artificial life, people will wonder if I dropped off to sleep.

As I type this I am looking at the handwriting of my ancestor Henry Thomas Wake, and wishing I could have handwriting like that.  Copperplate. He actually made money from designing lettering.  mOm says he would be a blogger if he was alive today.  He records in his diary, March 1859, that we went to Euston Square Station to determine the cheapest way to go visit Carlisle, and also that a friend has kindly lent him a book on double entry bookkeeping.  (He was demoniac about self-improvement).

I’m going to take my chalky and somewhat premigraineous brain out for a drive now.  I want a drum.

Point form updates

  1. Katie got the job, she starts today at 9:30 am.  It is ONE 20 minute bus ride from her house.  Unless the traffic is bad, then it’s about half an hour.  Commuting in the GVRD is hellish, so Katie well knows what a good deal this is, especially since her last interview was in North Van.
  2. My emotions as a consequence may be best summarized as vigilate et orate.
  3. Miss Margot is being very grumpy about having her hair done.  I may have to haul her off to the “professial Persian hedge trimmers” and get her done, which I’d prefer not to as winter is coming.  I tried trimming her myself but her fur is so very fine that it slides through the guide without ever coming near the shears.
  4. My attempt at soup making (chicken with rice) had one heart stopping moment during which I accidentally added rather more paprika than I expected.  Once tasted, however, the soup declared itself happy, and even Keith had some.
  5. This house is not a dude ranch for misfits and unemployables.  The rest of this paragraph I deleted out of deference to the feelings of him what this is in regard to.
  6. It has never gotten quite warm or dry enough for me to cut the grass one last time before winter starts in earnest.  I will when I can.
  7. I have done some more unpacking, and found some bedding which I probably can’t use as it looks doublish as opposed to twinnish or queenish..  However, it’s pure cotton, so I’m thinking of giving it to Paul, if he can stand having something in screeching lilac stripes.
  8. I carved out a pumpkin in the shape of Lafayette’s face.  I’m thinking of cutting up a white sheet I found to make wee ghosties.
  9. Jeff has posted the pinball instructions AND the high scores list.  Let the high score smackdowns commence!
  10. Homicide Season Seven is OUT THERE.  But when Munch starts spouting off (again, again) about how the government is storing information on law abiding citizens, he sounds quite prescient.  The whole show happened before 9/11.
  11. There is biscotti dough in the fridge.
  12. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart my mother, Unca Barry, Ontie Mary, and the other relatives who assisted with a newly published family project. Barry’s preface in particular choked me up… we can never know what really happened, but we can preserve and think about what we have left, and be grateful that our relatives left us something to go on.
  13. I am reading through the family letters of, and with respect to, Bootlegging Mary.  Long time readers of this blog will hazily recollect that I went to a family reunion and heard about a relative who ran a corner gas station in Saskatchewan (I am at a loss to understand HOW this could be a more Canuckistani reference) and was, possibly, likely, a bootlegger. I wrote a song for her and begged for more detail.  The wheels of family genealogy have ground slow and fine, and to my wonderment and edification, the letters have been translated and published.  Words cannot express my gratitude.  Now I’m reading what it was like between the two World Wars for my Mennonite kin back in olt contry, and I’m amazed and humbled at the crap they lived through – all the while trusting and praising God with an deep and consistent piety. (Even as they got into it hammer and tongs about a disputed legacy… may we all take suitable notice of this falling out, which had tragic consequences for some).  In one letter there is a third hand account (as it’s a letter to a relative from another relative about a third relative’s doings).  The recently married daughter walked through her mum and dad’s village with her husband, and every last person in the village was gone.  They had fled across the frozen river from Siberia to China, with nothing but transportation, food and clothing.  She had seen her father the night before, and while he looked downcast he hadn’t breathed a word of the flight to his daughter.
  14. She is alleged to have said, in describing what she did when she walked through her parents’ deserted house, “I took the cat in my arms and the guitar down from the wall.”  I got chills when I read that.  She went straight for the two things I would have dealt with first.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…..

How’s that again?

Last night when I got home from work there was the same picture I’d left on the screen from the morning – it’s from a series of pictures Cousin Gerald sent me.  It’s of the underside of a dock in the wintertime. Margot walked across the computer keyboard and – I’ve not the faintest notion how – suddenly there was a picture of a person holding up a sign saying “Most of the things you worry about never happen.”  Bizarre.  Then she stood on the brightness key until my screen disappeared, which is a much less entertaining and more cat like thing to do.  Took me ages to figure out what had happened. All of these miracles would not occur if I just closed the darned thing up.

I am reading my grampa’s stories.  I am now up to the point where his family could have taken the Titanic across the ocean but left a couple of days earlier that it did.  One of his near relatives was so famous as a bookseller and antiquarian in England that a letter from America with his name, occupation and country on it – and NO other details – was delivered to him. I find it entertaining that anybody who really wanted to find me could do it in two steps on the internet, but the Post Office would be scunnered if somebody sent me a letter with my name, occupation and country on it. Mind you there was delivery twice a day in England then, and a little more enterprise among the employees.

He mentions another person from his childhood who noticed that the Greenwich Mean Time was off by two seconds one day and reported it by telegram.  He was right, and they said so.

My grampa worked in the Cadbury chocolate factory when he was a boy.

Eddie is eating and going outside again, so he has recovered somewhat from the cold Jeff gave him.  Mistress Margot is showing signs of wanting to go out.  Sigh.

Why I blog

Take that, people who say it’s nothin’ but narcissism.

Also, I have a terrible memory and a blog helps me remember when things happened.

Also, Katie has used my blog to help her remember when distressing and horrific things, as reported by me, happened.

Yesterday Paul and I drove up-island to visit his cousin Ruth in Nanaimo.  She’s living on an acre of land and she got it for a steal of a price, and she and her fisherman spouse are living very happily.  She has to walk fifteen minutes to get her mail, and another ten to get her eggs, but she’s a five minute drive from a yoga studio and she has her own well, so there.

She made us a fabulously warm welcome, and soon we were deep in talk about cob houses and straw bale houses and the Cuban 5 and the amazing local arts and politics scene, and after Paul re-strung her guitar I said I’m getting my mandolin, and she hauled out her Indian drums (sounds like tablas but they weren’t) and we had a fabulous 90 minutes of jamming.  I kept nervously checking the Malahat webcam.  Long about 4 we decided to head back.

And it snowed.  Paul and I were bemoaning our lack of cameras, because the snow slid down the road signs and just hung there, and some of the visual effects were quite funny.  The snow was worse in Victoria than up the Malahat, go figure.

Paul went off to hang with Dr Filk for the evening (more music, somewhere, and a meal in there too) and I grabbed some Mayan Chocolate Haagen Dazs and a small round of Brie (my god, they fell on it like animals…. well behaved, queuing animals) and Darwin had a noisy bath and went to bed and we ate pizza and I started reading The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling and at 7:30 I collapsed.  See what a day without coffee can do to me?  Also I did all the driving, since Paul has come to the realization that he can tolerate my tailgating and random lane changes way better than vice versa.  A couple of hours in the car also allowed us the opportunity for an airing of the grievances (or was more usually the case, the bragging of the amazingness) re the kids. Sometimes it’s good to have a chance to bash away at this stuff so we can present a united front when the next issue comes up….

Woke up at 4, edited the sound files I recorded yesterday of Darwin’s charming vocalizations, finished the Caryatids (three stars but I still want to know where the food of the future will be coming from), showered, and now I’m looking forward to a meal at my Granny’s place of residence and a nice ride home on the ferry, probably late in the afternoon.  And I can haz new quilt, which is actually a quilt that my mum made when I was tiny, so I am extremely happy about my ‘haul’.  Oh, also my grampa’s memory book (two thick tomes) has been delivered to me in duplicate for Jeff.

So far an AWESOME weekend, and watching Katie motor her way – reading, my god, she’s reading! – through the Sookie Stackhouse books is making me very very happy.

Here in Victoria…

… birds sing, musicals abound, the weather is gorgeous, and I’m feeling plenty relaxed.

Sad face…. pOp shaved his beard off. His reasons make sense but I’m still pouty.  He expected me not to notice – oh yeah, like I’m not going to notice such a change.  He’s had a beard virtually the entire time I’ve known him.

I’ve been helping mOm upload pix to the family history website, which unfortunately is password protected, so I can’t link you to the Gallery of the Undead, which is what a lot of my rellies look like. We’re mostly industrious and mostly intelligent, but by gar we are an ugly crew.  I’m glad I had kids with Paul and broke up the ugly some.

I just found out I’m descended from Lady Godiva.  Probably most of you are too, but it’s great to think that a character Dunnett wrote about is one of my putative ancestors.  And of course it links in nicely to my casual attitude toward clothing.