Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

So what's been happening while I've been away?
Three Spanish TV channels in the US are no longer hiring actors with moustaches for their soap operas. Scorchio! The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire police, Della Cannings, had to take off part of her uniform to buy wine at a supermarket. A man said to be 130 years old and who once killed a tiger has died in Saudi Arabia. Michael and Janet Jackson have been named the most foolish Americans of 2004. A hospital patient in England was told he'd have to wait 192 years for an operation. Those insufferable falsetto rockers The Darkness are to have a street named after them in their home town, with no lighting presumably, and lead singer Justin Hawkins has had a giraffe named after him. That, at least, makes some sense to me. An Australian man has broken the world record for performing tricks with a yo-yo in one minute. Super-pneumatic model Jordan launched her tell-all autobiography with copies full of blank pages. The Czech Republic won the team gold medal at the 21st world Pooh-sticks race. Sex stimulates the brain and makes people more intelligent, according to a brainy German researcher. Baywatch star Carmen Electra says she thinks about sex every 20 seconds. Don't we all? A policeman playing football in an amateur cup final was sent off for tackling a streaker. A German man who tried to give his Rottweiler fresher breath by brushing its teeth is recovering in hospital. A man has become a tourist attraction in the Dominican Republic after admitting himself to hospital with an erection that had lasted six days. A bull that pined for its owner has been led away from his grave after a vigil of several days. A German artist has written to the country's zoos to ask if they would feed his body to piranhas once he's dead. George Bush marked International Women's Week by accidentally paying tribute to a man. A Pennsylvania clothes shop has caused outrage by selling Magnetic Jesus Dress Up! novelty toys. Police in Germany are hunting thieves who stole two teeth from the skull of a caveman on display in a museum. A London man has found an 82-year-old bag of crisps. German council employees mistakenly felled a 500-year-old oak tree instead of the five-year-old ash tree growing beside it. To encourage tidiness Berlin's rubbish bins are to be fitted with devices which will say 'danke' or 'hallo sweetie' when something is thrown into them. A woman who has sold over 500 litres of her breast milk since last May has bought a car with the income.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Due to popular demand (!) I'm back blogging again, tentatively at least. Losing a lot of stuff when the computer literally went up in smoke has been a bit of a blow, but I have only myself to blame. I was half way through a backup when it happened. I suppose it's a case of keeping things in perspective, but in retrospect I'm amazed at the closeness of my relationship with that now defunct pile of metal, cables, whirring sounds and flashing lights.

I see the infamous Belle de Jour has finally been outed, or at least it looks like it. I gave up reading her blog a while ago because it just didn't ring true. It's strange how authenticity, even in the field of anonymous blogging, is so important. Well it is to me, at least.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

my computer self-destructed on monday so i may not be blogging for a while ...

Monday, March 15, 2004

it's windy here today

kiltlomo copyright Alan Edwards

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I'm now advertising 'Piston Slap Investigation' up there . This baffled me until I realised I had used the phrase 'engine noise and honking horns' in a post. By the way, I'm prepared to investigate piston slaps at a specially reduced rate for readers of this blog. No time wasters please.
John Cooper Clarke
Writing a poem
In seventeen syllables
Is very diffic
John Cooper Clarke

Friday, March 12, 2004

today's lomo

copyright Alan Edwards

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Saint Mel
Since I'm advertising it at the top of the page I may as well give this bizarre Survey an extra plug. I filled it in, but found that I 'strongly disagreed' with all but one question. In fact, there's really only one question in the survey, it's just phrased in different ways.
Sorry, you're breaking up, I'm at the circus! ... No, it's rubbish!
A Romanian company has developed an 'audible alibi' for mobile phones. The program plays a background sound, such as 'roadworks' or 'dentist’s chair', to add electronic plausibility to an excuse. The 'traffic jam' soundtrack will supply engine noise and honking horns from the calm of your bedroom, while 'heavy machinery' can drown out the noise of the pub. Other tracks include 'at the park', 'thunderstorm' and even 'circus parade', plus a ringing phone to provide an excuse to cut short a call. It seems you can record your own tracks too, so if, for example, if you wanted to make your lover jealous you could play 'flagrante delecto' - consisting of pre-recorded moaning, groaning, panting, shrieking, bleating, or whatever.

and a decaff for Rover, no sugar ...
St Francis Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut is giving Holy Communion to pets and offering them special worship services. The clergy are welcoming animals (but not, strangely enough, sheep) into the flock because of a fall in church attendances. Not all worshippers are happy. One pointed out that allowing dogs at the after-church coffee hour could lead to children being bitten. Not only that, they would eat all the biscuits. I just can't see a dog being satisfied with one of these.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Montezuma's slippers
The Aztecs used a breed of small, hairless dogs to keep their feet warm.

'When two such come together as I and Goethe,' Beethoven once declared, 'great lords must note what it is that passes for greatness with such as we. Yesterday, as we were returning homewards, we met the whole Imperial family. We saw them coming at some distance, whereupon Goethe disengaged himself from my arm, in order that he might stand aside. In spite of all I could say, I could not bring him a step forward. I crushed my hat more furiously on my head, buttoned up my top coat, and walked with my arms folded behind me, right through the thickest of the crowd. Princes and officials made a lane for me: Archduke Rudolph took off his hat. The Empress saluted me the first - these great people know me! It was the greatest fun in the world to me, to see the procession file past Goethe. He stood aside, with his hat off, bending his head down as low as possible.'

footnote: Sir Mick Jagger is, of course, the Goethe of our time, albeit minus the towering intellect.

Which reminds me of a favourite Mick Jagger story -- George Melly met Jagger for the first time at a party. 'I didn't expect you to have so many wrinkles', said Melly. 'They're not wrinkles, they're laughter lines', Jagger replied. 'But surely', said Melly, 'nothing could be that funny.'
In an attempt to boost their congregations, four Church of England parishes in Kent are offering free tickets to The Passion of the Christ, and have already booked £20,000 worth of tickets. Russ Hughes, director of worship and prophecy at St. Luke's Church in Maidstone said: 'This is the greatest opportunity for the church in the last 30 years and if we did not use it we may not get such an opportunity again.'

This may seem daft, but wouldn't it be more Christian to spend the £20K helping the needy? I mean, how long does it take to recoup that sort of money via the collection plate, even with a congregation elevated to new levels of righteousness by their brush with 'Mad Max' Gibson's celluloid extravaganza? And what on earth is a 'director of prophecy'? How exactly does he earn his corn? Lastly, if this is the 'greatest opportunity for the church in the last 30 years', what happened back in 1974? Does anyone know?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Jonathan Richman copyright Sarah Cochran

I've long been a fan of Jonathan Richman, especially his live performances. Here's a recording I made with a couple of friends [Gordon and Charlie, plus drum machine] of Roller Coaster by the Sea. It's a bit rough around the edges, but that's probably in keeping with the spirit of the music.

Roller coaster by the sea, thank you for helping me
Roller coaster by the water, you made me feel more as I oughtta
Yes, you knocked me out of my head.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Welcome to the post-ironic age ...
I particularly like Mark Doyon's blog entry for March 6th.
S M I² L E
[S]pace [M]igration - [I]ntelligence [I]ncrease - [L]ife [E]xtension

Timothy Leary

'We now have the thumbnail chip, that in ten years they tell us, will have a billion transistors costing a few dollars ... what that means is that the inner city kid can walk around with more information, processing and transmitting ability than ABC or CBS right now, for less money than a pair of Nikes ... So this is going to be decentralization, it's going to mean ultimate democracy. Who controls the press controls the people; who controls the tube controls the people ... In the future we will all be controlling our own screens and zapping our messages around.'

'In the information age, you don't teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he'd have a talk show.'

Timothy Leary

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'
Maya Angelou

Saturday, March 06, 2004

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

The Passion of Christ

qB has alerted me to the fact that Dr Omed is Google-bombing 'The Passion of Christ'
I suspect there is a good case for Google-bombing Mel Gibson too.

Friday, March 05, 2004

The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
Pablo Neruda

Try to reach the beginning, no beginning can be seen. Seek the end, no end can be perceived. Therefore, follow the ancient ways and improve your present.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

:::::::::::::::: rayograph ::::::::::::::::

Rayograph - copyright Alan Edwards
a poem by Davie G - poet, singer-songwriter, raconteur, flaneur, friend ...

copyright Alan Edwards

My Best Friends
Some come in denim
Zipped up attitude
Flying quicksilver lightning bright
A dancing ping-pong
Poetry punk
A no mind garden of Zen delight

Your fragile heart
Of toy land dreams
A mystic rambling jazz club beat
The inner smile of
A demon killer
In the city heat

Moon sight
Shadow walker
Paleface Indian shaman soul
Sitting gravely on a mountain top
The holy art
Of rock and roll

Her red dress
Silhouette a white suited lover
Slow dancing in a no idle crush
You are my best friends
My blood and some
Come in softly star filled
Evening hush.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

One evening George Bernard Shaw attended a performance by an Italian string quartet.
'These men,' his companion approvingly declared, 'have been playing together for twelve years.'
'Surely,' Shaw replied, 'we have been here longer than that!'
Elaine - copyright Alan Edwards

I was reading the story by Elaine at Culross today, and it reminded me of a painting I made of her back in the 1980's. It's acrylic on canvas, and I still haven't worked out how to get it to America.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

While visiting America Dr Michael MacDonald, director of the Scottish Tartans Museum, was approached by a silver-haired old lady.
'What, exactly,' she asked, gazing at his 17th-century sporran, 'do you keep in your scrotum?'

Monday, March 01, 2004

Laura Cantrell and Elvis Costello

Why not download Laura Cantrell singing 'Indoor Fireworks'?

Indoor fireworks
Can still burn your fingers
Indoor fireworks
We swore we were safe as houses
They’re not so spectacular
They don’t burn up in the sky
But they can dazzle or delight
Or bring a tear
When the smoke gets in your eyes.
Elvis Costello