This is the Message Centre for Pinniped

The Raft

Post 21

Pinniped


*returns, wheezing*

...Looks fairly innocuous to me by curmugeon standards.
Some of his early escapades were truly spectacular, as I guess you'll remember.

And there are a few round here, of course, who'll pick fights with anyone who answers back.

smiley - erm


The Raft

Post 22

Trout Montague

<steers clear of controversy.

So. A1092098. Is it for the UG? Or are you preparing marketing copy for British Steel?


The Raft

Post 23

Trout Montague

I'm guessing you were involved ... at Middelburg? Hence the h2g2-absenteism and the "I wrote this while flying", and the "You're supposed to be in Africa, working" (Dreamer).

More guesswork ... CJVEP ... Columbus Joint Venture Engineering Project? Sounds like a good job. Were you present when the first steel came through the mill? There's a lot of adrenalin in process. And unlike service, there's added value. Banking doesn't add value to an economy ... it's economically unsustainable.

I like highveld to be italicised without a 't'.

Trout


The Raft

Post 24

Pinniped


Right on most counts.
I was last in Middelburg in February, but the commissioning of the mill was 1995-6.
Yes, I was there. It was my job to start her up, along with 9 other lines. But you can't claim such things for yourself. Like the piece says, it's a team effort.
I wrote a little tribute some time back, but it was bland. This over-the-top reworking turned into an experiment to see if I could make a heavy and dirty industrial process sound wonderful and noble.
Other than that, I'm not sure why I wrote it, except maybe out of wistfulness. I'll never do anything like that again. Columbus iteslf was a modest job compared with some of the projects of the 50s through 70s, when the industry was at its height. The Western mill-builders are shadows of their former selves. Within a few years, only the Chinese will be doing this.
There are other reasons why I don't expect to do a job like it again. Not least because I don't want to. Some things can't be recaptured, and I don't think I was at my nicest back then (cf Seven Years On)
Plus the fact I'm out of favour with the current management. They don't seem to like people dream too much. But their real problem is they don't like change either, so they're doomed to suffer and die horribly, poor dears.
Me, bitter? Never! smiley - winkeye
Take your point about the highveld. Don't know what came over me. Kipling throwback, possibly? I wouldn't claim to know Africa, not really. That's your world, right?
Pin


The Raft

Post 25

Trout Montague

Over the top it maybe, but it's a good read nonetheless. I've spent a bit of time wandering around pulp mills so understand some of the scale and the sheer danger of these places, but steel is obviously so much hotter, bigger, harder. Robust. You did a good job.

Chinese. Scale. Yes. It may yet become clear that I had some input at Chek Lap Kok, the airport they built in about a fortnight. None of this poncing around trying to squeeze in another runway between the service reservoirs andf the motorway. No, it's "Right lads, we need new airport. Where to put it? Ah yes, only space in sea. Start right away". Or, "Right lads, we need new dam. Block world's third longest river. Displace millions of people. It's OK. Don't worry."

Inscrutable? Apparently.
Ambitious? Certainly.

Africa. Ah, I dream of Africa. Can't lay claim to it though.

Trout


The Raft

Post 26

Pinniped


I don't like the Chinese smiley - cross
(We were so near to ending Dictatorship-Disguised-as-Socialism on this planet...)

Hey - if you're into major project contracting, we might have a chance of enacting one of AB's ideas. When he read the Book, he got a bee in his proverbial about Slartibartfast and the planet-building thing. He wanted to role-play the building of a planet, only with customer and contractor Project Managers and the whole adversarial deal that those of us who've been there know only too well.

(Think of the outrageous claims you could submit over delays in the evolution of life-forms, etc)

I think the idea's in abeyance, because no-one quite understood himsmiley - erm

Places get people, yeah? I haven't seen enough of Africa to feel it as a continent. I've only been to RSA (and then only Transvaal and the Free State), plus Morocco. The fauna and the landscapes are awesome, of course, but you have to have an empathy with the people.

The place where I seem to belong is Finland. The place I need to see more of is Japan. Shame that the only country going is bl**dy China...

Pin


The Raft

Post 27

Trout Montague

From: Trout, Trout, Old Spice and Trout
Engineers, Architects and Quantity Surveyors


To: Pinnipedal Contracting Company
Attention: Mr. Pinniped



Dear Sir,

Ref: Daedalus 1 Solar System - Eight New Planets

You are hereby notified that your tender for the above project has been accepted by The Galactic Federation. Thus, in accordance with Clause 41 of the Conditions of Contract, you are instructed to commence work immediately.

You shall within 15 days of the date of this letter submit to us the following documents:

1. Performance Bond to the value of 10% of the Total Contract Price, i.e., Fex.U 14xE6.

2. Programme of Works. In accordance with item 7 of the Appendix to Tender, the Contract duration shall be 18 million years. You shall achieve Milestone 1, i.e., completion of stable orbital planetary system, 3 million years from the date of this letter. Milestone 2, a sustainable and self-propagating cycle of life-forms by the Contract Completion Date. In this regard, and in view of recent experiences in the Alpha Centauri sector of the Milky Way, you are reminded that your proposals for species development shall be submitted for our review at the earliest opportunity.

3. Insurances, in accordance with Clauses 21 to 23 of the Conditions of Contract. In this regard, you are hereby reminded that despite Insurance Company's much-publicised insistence to the contrary, the 'Darth Vader exclusion clause' will not be accepted, and any policy containing such a clause would be regarded as non-compliant.

You are reminded that before commencing any activity on site, you shall obtain all relevant NOTAMs from Galactic Space Traffic Control before placement of any gravitational material.

We shall look forward to hearing from you.


Montague Trout
Project Engineer


The Raft

Post 28

Trout Montague

I like what you did for the old fellah ... A1108243.


The Raft

Post 29

Pinniped


Shhh...smiley - winkeye
Perfect outcome would be if He never found it, but that a good selection of His critics did!
smiley - laugh


The Raft

Post 30

Trout Montague

See this ... A613289?


The Raft

Post 31

Pinniped


O-kay...

smiley - erm

...so what is it, exactly?


The Raft

Post 32

Trout Montague

A series of articles written by this fellah U76 (or A469172) about his own Father. In the E.G. It's a nice touch don't you think, to e-mortalise one's own Dad.


The Raft

Post 33

Pinniped


Wow! You're right.

smiley - doh

(I could go on about the EG here, of course. How it makes such a fine job of presenting something deeply personal as a heap of dry facts. But I won't...)

Pin * wondering what the angle of repose of dry facts is *


The Raft

Post 34

Trout Montague

Flat, cohesion nil. Draw a Mohr's circle.

It was just another angle. Not everyone wants to paddle your canoe just as you don't want to paddle theirs. Not the way they're doing it anyway.


The Raft

Post 35

Pinniped


You OK, Dr T?
smiley - erm
(Didn't offend, I hope)
* stamps on well-and-truly scratched record, and flings it out of the window *


The Raft

Post 36

Trout Montague

Yeah no, cool.



I'm trying to string together some sentences about your crusades against the PC and the EG ... along the lines of the tyranny of repression, the rejection of eccentricity. JS Mill, who also advocated an intellectual democracy.

T


The Raft

Post 37

Trout Montague

Re: A1111384


Crackle. Re-chortle.

I step outside.
I try to "Crackle".
In fact I might just succeed.
It's 45 f*****g degrees out there and the humidity smacks me in the face like the hot towel they give you on aeroplanes and in Indian restaurants.

My a**e. Is on fire.
Fahrenheit 451.
Spontaneous combustion IS feeling like a possibility.

I look. To see.
But all I can see are the f*****g protein chains drifting across my eye-balls.
There's energy here all right.
The white-light white-heat has rendered me temporarily blind.

I squint, eventually. To see.

But the only cracks in this carapace are leaking.
The 'schmaahl' is whipping up the fines and hurling them at me.
A hot sand-laden wind threatening defoliation.
Of myself.

The only impossible creature in this landscape ... myself.
But I ain't 'stampeding'.
I ain't 'humming through' the air.
I'm sweating conkers.
Standing still.
Getting sand-blasted and thinking I should get back inside.

Sense? Or senseless? I'll be chewing on f*****g quartz for the rest of the day.

Nevertheless, I look.
Desideratum.
But I ain't seeing.

I ain't seeing colour. Or life.

Yes, I can look down; I see the sand.
Grey. Like porridge.
And useless.
I look up; I see sky.
Quasi-blue. Like faded duck-eggs.
And cloudless.
And of course, ever-reliable ...

The sun. Oh f*****g fantastic.
It ain't suffusing THIS world.
It's bleaching it. And everything else in its sight.
Desiccating me. Like I'm f*****g coconut.

The rain? Oh f*****g fantastic.
Like I am A f*****g coconut.

But what to do?
This is the life.

You say "The Fire of Life is consuming you"
I say it surely f*****g feels like it.
You say "... Crackle ..."
I say I think I just might ...





The Raft

Post 38

Pinniped


Yeah, but I wrote it in Barnsley in January...

Pinsmiley - ok


The Raft

Post 39

Pinniped


Oi, you!
What's with this being pedantic about FOD, and just wandering off?
Now is the Time for all Good Salmonidae to Come to the Aid of the Wotsit, doncha know?


The Raft

Post 40

Trout Montague

wotsat?


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