Posted Apr 26, 2012
D.A.R. 26 April 1996
it's time to join Wallace, Bruce
and all the rest
time to mingle my dust
with the cold stream
and sail the ocean once more
become part of the white lichen
on the trees
and the purple heather on the hills
enter the sapling fir
and the hungry deer
then run with the herd
and know the strength denied me
these last seasons
cleaning of the spring
Posted Apr 14, 2012
ok, folks (both of you), i've just broken the habit of a loooong lifetime and done some Spring Cleaning!
no - not in RL (get really real!) - i'm talking about my Personal Space page
so, now the page looks almost as if it evolved by design, rather than just having fallen off the back of a Magrathean dumpster
(...which - let's be blunt - is the truth of the matter)
so what do you get for your Alterian dollars?
well, you get:-
- proper sized section-headings in a tasteful sort of pastel pea-green (which is guaranteed to be almost but not quite entirely uncordinated with all major hootoo colour-schemes);
- a hoopy new animated 'welcome' gizmo;
- a very old, but fortunately also very compact poem of mine;
- the promise of a useful empathy-centred lending-library ...when i eventually receive Keeper status
- oh, and of course, all the old gumph which i've just swept into a corner and arranged into a Zen pebble-garden
sooooooo - that's my Spring Cleaning done for the next few decades!
...at least it'll be a bit tidier, if you pop round for a , , , , or
"Abandon the run?" - No - i said: "A band on the run!"
Posted Apr 9, 2012
ok cactus, this one is for you!
are you sitting comfortably? (because this is definitely a 'three-cup-of-coffee' story)
for some inscrutable reason, my band (which plays a very gentile selection of rock, blues and soul music) was invited to take part in a new folk & blues festival being organised in the Deep South of England (near the Solent Delta!)
we were asked to submit a short Bio & photo of the band for the promotional website and we complied with this request
we checked the entry, later, and all looked present & correct, although we noticed that the webmaster had added their own comment to our entry: "They also have a sense of humour"
well, we'd like to think that this was true of every band, so we were slightly bemused that they had made a point of adding this statement, apparently only to our own details
anyway, we turned up at the event and signed in at the organiser's marquee to get our performers' wrist-bands, comps & programmes, etc.
when we mentioned our band name (which is still largely unknown across several continents) the folks on admin duty immediately said "oh good, we're looking forward to coming along and seeing you"
something was definitely amiss - not even our own mothers remember our band name, and much less would those words have passed their lips
band: "are you, er, sure you mean us?"
admin: "oh yes! you don't forget a Band photo like that!"
band: "uh - ohhhh!..."
all 5 eyes from the other 3 band members turned to look accusingly at me
band: "just WHAT exactly did you send the webmaster?!?!"
me: "er, the usual gumph from our website and the 'arty' black & white photo-montage of us onstage at one of the Dorset festivals"
admin: "no, no - the Bio photo is in colour"
band: "but we checked your website"
admin: "oh - WE'RE talking about the photo in the programme ..."
all 5 eyes again turned, etc., etc....
me: "...i wasn't asked to provide anything else for the programme"
admin: "no, it's ok, the webmaster just visited all the band websites and copied any extra material that looked good"
me (with the penny starting to move in the general direction of the Earth's centre of gravity): "...and can you, by any chance, remember what text got added with this photo?"
admin: "yeah... 'They also have a sense of humour' "
it was about this point that some helpful soul turned to the offending page and showed us the Bio photo, in colour, that graced the programme (but not the website)
now this is where i need to explain that we, in the band, also have a sense of humour
or at least, i THOUGHT we did...
back in the early days when we were still relatively unknown - ie., still as unknown, say, as we are now - i found this amazing photo of a rock band
it was all leather trousers (4 sizes too tight), cowboy boots, spandex tops, or even no tops ...and the hair!!!
yes, the hair - from the chest upwards, there was hair all over the shop!
it was sooooooooooo unlike us that it was perfect - it took just a little effort using Photoshop to cut-and-paste-in our faces and the job was a good-un'
so, just to show that we also had a sense of humour, i added the photo into our website gallery - alongside all the real photos of us in our nondescript trousers (4 sizes too big), with shabby shoes, and tops from 'Quality Seconds' - and a distinct shortage of hair
of course, i also added a little disclaimer in the top corner of the photo to apologise to our 'body doubles', so that there would be no doubt that these were NOT our very own finely-honed examples of Macho Metal Musicdom
Nobody could miss the disclaimer and the tell-tale photoshop 'cut' marks...
er, well, yes they could - if the photo in the programme was printed just small enough that you couldn't read the disclaimer, let alone see the evidence of cut-and-paste
for some reason, the rest of the band decided that this was 'another fine mess into which i'd gotten them' - how cruel was that? was this my fault?
so there we were, later, at our first performance of the weekend, waiting offstage for the previous band to finish their set
"what's the problem?" i asked, "this is a folk & blues festival, no-one in their right mind is going to think we really look like that - a HEAVY-Heavy-Metal band
"That's the sort of band that only people who dress in leather trousers (4 sizes too tight); ridiculously skimpy tops, showing gratuitous amounts of muscle and chest-hair; and wearing bandanas to keep their midriff-length tresses out of their eyes, would travel the length of Britain to come and see perform"
"You mean, er - like those guys sitting down there, along the front row?"
you may think that this all sounds like just another tall tale - or, as i read recently in a Guide Entry, a very Shaggy-Dog story
so now, apparently, i have to provide some spurious proof that all this actually occurred, just as i described
and i have to admit that, although i did keep a copy of the programme, it escapes me, at the moment, exactly where i've stored it for safe-keeping
so... i'm afraid you'll just have to take my wo...
no - WAIT - just a second... yes, phew - i still have a copy of that doctored photo - feast yer eyes on this:
and try to imagine some very angry, very vocal, heavy-metal fans who defied logic and came all the way to a folk & blues festival to listen to a bunch of nondescript, out-of-condition, un-cool nobodies playing something that was "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike" heavy-metal
Five years later, amazingly, we are still a band, still as unknown, etc., etc.
The only member of the band who will still talk to me is the drummer, and who is also, 'possibly', the shortest amongst us...
you'll notice in the photo, however, that he is a giant of a man
...i guess that i managed to do SOMETHING right!
Posted Mar 26, 2012
dayyum - i was meandering through a bunch of threads in hootoo earlier, and saw a phrase i haven't seen for about a decade...
[rewind to the time in question]
in my early days on the net, i registered with the 'Virtual Places' (VP) a selection of real-time chatrooms, hosted by Excite.com (like AltaVista, an early competitor to Google & Yahoo)
chat took place in 'rooms' which were just webpages used as backgrounds - they could either be hosted by Excite (eg. for interest-groups, such as Poetry Cafe, Quiz rooms, etc; Age ranges; and country-based, such as Sweden, Japan, UK, etc) or you could use your own webpages
you appeared in the room as an 'avatar' (any small graphic or photo image you chose or created), which you could place near the avatar(s) of the person/people with whom you were chatting
iirc, you could trigger smileys to be displayed in real-time as you typed, next to your avatar - they would display for a few seconds then disappear (i think you could roll yer own graphics, too)
boy, that was the most fun i've ever had with my modems on
i met some great people in those 'rooms', mostly in the US, and we had some good laughs - and also a few serious convos, too
of course, there was an endless supply of iriots, also - there wasn't really a word for them then, but now we'd call them "Trolls"
(actually, i believe some US friends occasionally used the word "slimeball" in reference to them)
these shining (slimy?) examples of humanity would either try & belittle you, or sometimes male visitors would start 'chatting up' any avatars, or screen-names, which they believed to have a female owner - with an intent which ranged from mildly transparent to blatantly obvious
i'm not sure that this disruptive element always realised *just* how transparent were their modus operandi (imagine a werewolf hoping to pass unnoticed amongst a Sunday-school picnic)
screen-names were as varied as here in hootoo - some figurative, some real (first) names
i used my own name (as did some of my friends, with their own names)
now my first name is a fairly common male name in Scotland (my roots) and the Scots nickname for it (by which i've always been known) is the same as used in the US, where it's almost always a female nick for a different first (female) name
this appeared to be a constant source of amusement to my US friends - don't ask me why
the predatory males would arrive in rooms without warning, usually 'wearing' an avatar that was a cross between Sylvester Stallone and The Terminator - of course, in VP, poor old Sly & Arnie only possessed one rather minimal 'posing' vest between them, so there was always a copious amount of freshly-oiled muscle on display (not least between the ears)
since my screen-name appeared to these highly-evolved specimens to be female, and i didn't feel the need to display any gratuitous muscle in my avatars, usually choosing something abstract, these guys would 'hit on me' as they say in the States, with a vengeance
my friends and i would string these guys along for a while, with me showing an apparent increasing interest in their 'smooth talking' - which was obviously headed in the 'cyber' direction, leading towards an invitation to accompany them to a 'private' room, where no doubt they would be keen to show me their extensive collection of etchings
i was sometimes a little concerned at the enthusiasm of some of the more impish females amongst my group of friends who, camouflaged with indeterminate usernames and avatars, actually seemed to enjoy getting a little too much 'into role', acting as my pimp to egg these guys on!
anyway, as soon as the 'handsome stranger' had made his intentions clear towards my apparently female usename, one of the group would suddenly ask why he was getting all misty-eyed with a strapping father of two young children, and i would be expected to swap smartly from my abstract avatar to something slightly further along the scale towards the XY chromosomes (usually a photo of Jim Broadbent, iirc)
when ape-man realised that the whole room was in on the joke, he usually departed for more gullible shores
"What shores?" you might ask...
well, thanks very much, i'll have a Guinness
...sorry, couldn't resist...
where was i?
oh yes - what HAVE i been rambling about?!?
well, you might remember (if still awake) that earlier this evening i mentioned i'd seen a phrase which reminded me of those good old VP days
you see, these smooth-talking charm-monkeys had all the grace and wit of a ... well, a smooth-talking charm-monkey
after the first few times that i got chatted up by the latest Rambo, i said to friends, "i keep getting approached by these guys and their opening line is ALWAYS 'a/s/l' - what the heck are they going on about?"
at which my friends would say something equally obscure (to me, then) like "ROFL" and explain that these STCMs were jumping straight into their chat-up with those three most profound questions - nope, Not "Life, The Universe, and Everything" - but "Age/Sex/Location?"
and so now, if you've managed to stay with me this far, you might understand that i am somewhat concerned with my choice of 'AlwaysLunchtimeSomewhere' as my screen-name - i'm just a bit worried that other hootoovites might misinterpret my signature, which i sometimes use when signing-off a post
rediscovering the Guide...
Posted Mar 4, 2012
i first registered with h2g2 around a decade ago (around the start of Y2K), thinking it may be of interest to one or both of my sons who were enjoying the various DNA 'trilogies' at the time
i reckoned without Gameboys, PS2s, X boxes, etc, etc! (ie. they were still getting distracted by something shiny)
my original h2g2 login details became lost in the mists of time (aka: a plentiful supply of 'Blue Screen of Death' opportunities and Hard Disk restructuring by Micro$oft's Windozer - gee, thanks Uncle Bill!)
...and then a few days ago, many many moons down the mixed-metaphor river, i was following a link to the development of a new £20 computer and the page turned out to be located here at the Guide (Good old Tufty!)
A13735596 Introduction to the Raspberry Pi
...and so here i am - back again
of course, it's all different now...
it's just like when i used to come home from college - ie. my room had been redecorated, and the front-door lock changed!
so now i'm going to strap myself into the Infinite Improbability Drive and discover the Galaxy - first stop:
A17616558 The Roundabout Dogs of Sweden
...so, if you need to get in touch - just leave a note under a nearby rock, marked "URGENT"
(assuming, that is, you can find a nearby rock marked "URGENT"...)
AlwaysLunchtimeSomewhere - "at ALS's restaurant" (thanks DG!)