This is the Message Centre for The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 1

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I thought I'd start a general journal for the miscellaneous thoughts and observations I have that do not fit elsewhere.

If you are not familiar with the title, the first part is the title Vonnegut gave his own collection of miscellany.

>>Dear Reader: The title of this book is composed of three words from my novel Cat's Cradle. A "wampeter" is an object around which the lives of many otherwise unrelated people may revolve. The Holy Grail would be a case in point. "Foma" are harmless untruths, intended to comfort simple souls. An example: "Prosperity is just around the corner." A "granfalloon" is a proud and meaningless association of human beings. Taken together, the words form as good an umbrella as any for this collection of some of the reviews and essays I've written, a few of the speeches I made.<<


Kipple, however is a word coined by Phillip K. Dick in his story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (source for Blade Runner). In his words,

>>Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you to go bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up there is twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.

No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot.<<

I'm definitely losing the battle against kipple, mostly in the form of pseudo-important papers like insurance and bank statements, receipts and donation requests. It's all the crap that I should probably sit down and read or reply to, but never will. Stuff I'm afraid to just throw in the trash for fear of releasing PII (Personally Identifiable Information). I need to spend a weekend in a frenzy of shredding and tossing the confetti in the bin with well used kitty litter.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 2

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

For the last week or two we've been seeing a stray, pot bellied pig roam around our neighborhood. There were two, one pink and one black. Both only about the size of a fat Scottish terrier. Cute little buggers. Now there's just the black one roaming around. The pink one was caught by two young men. My father asked if they owned it, they said they didn't. We don't know what they plan to do with it, but I doubt they'll raise it as a pet. The black one is still loose, destroying our neighbors' yards and gardens. We've been keeping our gate closed and that seems to have kept him out so far. Poor thing seems lonely now without the pink one. The young men have been seen chasing him as well but so far they haven't managed to catch him.

Who in the hell just lets two pot belly pigs run loose? Did they buy them and not realize that they may not be as simple to own as puppies or kittens? We haven't seen anyone (other than those two guys) looking for them or posting any signs. Calling animal control would just result in them being put down.

Each time I see that little black piglet I grin at how cute he is then frown at his prospects.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 3

Witty Moniker

I have a stack of kipple sitting on top of my shredder. It's patiently waiting for a shredder session. Keeps getting taller in the meantime.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 4

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Bicycles... Plural.

I now own at least one too many bicycles. A good friend of mine got seriously into bicycles a year or so ago, mostly large BMX style bikes. He mostly rides socially, he's not a racer. But he is a compulsive shopper. He has collected upwards of 20 bikes in the last year or so; mostly BMX, but also some cruisers, an all terrain bike with 4 inch wide wheels and even a penny farthing that he fell from attempting his first ride and broke his knee (it's for sale).

Anyway, I've owned many bikes over the years, but about 15-20 years ago, I bought my first (semi)recumbent. It's a BikeE: http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents/bike_e/images/bike_e_at_1_lg.jpg I still love it and most of my riding is on this one. But it is a bit awkward to load on a bike rack. Also, it won't hop curbs or pot holes, no wheelies for me. So, a couple of weeks ago I bought a standard bicycle. It's a nice one. It's a Dutch style cruiser, an Electra Amsterdam Sport: http://bikereviews.com/city-bikes/electra/2010-electra/electra-amsterdam-sport-9d-city-bike/ It's all aluminium frame keeps it light. It's not too uncomfortable for medium long rides, but, of course, it's nowhere near as comfortable as my recumbent. Also, I noticed it really isn't good at popping wheelies or hopping curbs either and like my BikeE it also won't track straight when riding no-hands. This is a minor annoyance. But generally, I'm not overly happy with this bike. I over-payed for it as well. I'll probably try to sell it... maybe... Or maybe I'll just stick it the storage shed in case I find a good reason to ride upright.

Anyway, my friend did something unexpected a couple of weeks ago. He bought a full out racing style recumbent, a Vortritek: http://vortritek.com/images/550z_FrontAngle_vortritek_small.jpg
I've wanted a full recumbent for a long time, especially one with under the seat steering. The first time I ever saw a recumbent it was this style. Christopher Walken rides one in the 1983 film Brainstorm. A couple of pics of him on his Avatar 2000 can be seen on this website: http://ryanownersclub.com/scrapbook/avatar/brainstorm/
I was hooked. In my nerdy mind this was the epitome of "cool". When riding my old folding mountain bike got to be just too painful and I serendipitously found a BikeE retailer in my town, I jumped at it. But BikeEs aren't the coolest 'bents out there these days. The company shut down after some manufacturing issues arose. (A part that holds the seat on the frame would snap dropping the rider backward. I've had this happen but I recently replaced the defective parts.)

But, now that my BMX obsessed buddy has a cooler recumbent than mine, maybe it's time for me to upgrade.

So, sitting at the pub on Friday night, I went on eBay and bought a "Flevobike". This is a radical bike. Here's a short video of a fellow showing off on his. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjvUpZ__3bU
OK, I get the distinct impression that this is NOT going to be an easy bike to ride on day one. As you can see it steers from the center of the bike. That's gotta be weird. smiley - weird But I've been riding 'bent for a long time and I don't mind taking some time to get used to a new one. What sold me on this one though is that it can be partially disassembled and folded to fit in the back of my car. That will be very convenient when I want to do some riding in Houston or in Galveston. The price was quite reasonable. I spent $1600 for it including shipping from Germany. My BikeE cost $1250 two decades ago, so about the same price. (Why can I get a bicycle shipped from Germany cheaper than a bottle of scotch from Edinburgh?)

So, in a couple of weeks I'll get my new Flevobike and have to learn how to ride again. I'm really looking forward to it.

As far as the other bikes, the Amsterdam might not be here long. The BikeE I'll keep. My dad has expressed a bit of interest in giving it another try. He test rode it when I first bought it, but it hurt his bad knee. He's since had his knee repaired however his back has given out with arthritis and scoliosis. He can barely walk for 5 minutes now and he's noticing that his legs are getting really weak from lack of exercise. He can't ride his old standard bike without great discomfort so the BikeE might be just the thing. I think he hurt his knee the first time by pushing too hard rather than downshifting. Your sitting position is like doing leg presses as you can really exert against the seat back unlike a normal bike where you're mostly limited to your own weight's down force. Hopefully he'll be able to ride the BikeE regularly and not be stuck in his mobility scooter.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 5

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Here's an interesting article.

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/09/you_dont_protect_my_freedom_our_childish_insistence_on_calling_soldiers_heroes_deadens_real_democracy/

This is something I've felt for quite some time. Here in the U.S. it has become obligatory to "thank" our soldiers for "defending our freedom". We seemingly now worship our military. One cannot criticize military personnel nor their mission without risking the ire of "patriots". It's been a theme that has been propagated for decades but it has reached an extreme level post 9/11. Some of this is a societal guilt about how Viet Nam era vets were sometimes treated. We can't blame the soldiers for that conflict anymore than one should blame soldiers for the ones their fighting today. But that doesn't mean we should worship them either. It creates an atmosphere where one dare not question anything about what our military does and that is a very dangerous culture to encourage.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 6

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I find it curious how much bitching (and propaganda) there is about the common core when so few understand what it actually is. Here are just a few hints. It is not a federal mandate from Washington. It was adopted by the state governers. It is not a required curriculum. It is a recommended group of educational expectations of what school children should know. It doesn't explicitly designate what curricula or texts should be used. It's a guide, not a rule book. There is a lot of confusion about the common core among parents, students, educators, politicians and media bloviators.

I highly recommend reading this FAQ, especially for parents and even more so for people who are bitching about something they are unfamiliar wirh. There are some serious issues that need to be worked out and ignorance will not help. smiley - star

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/05/27/307755798/the-common-core-faq







smiley - star C&Ped from a facebook post I made in response to a "meme" image of a rear pointing pistol described as the first gun designed using common core math. I know this won't mean anything to those not in the US, but watching this obvious propaganda takedown of what seems to me like a good idea by completely uninformed or wilfully ignorant people is quite disturbing, especially considering the huge drop in our nation's educational performance since I went to school.

smiley - facepalm


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 7

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I find it curious how much bitching (and propaganda) there is about the common core when so few understand what it actually is. Here are just a few hints. It is not a federal mandate from Washington. It was adopted by the state governers. It is not a required curriculum. It is a recommended group of educational expectations of what school children should know. It doesn't explicitly designate what curricula or texts should be used. It's a guide, not a rule book. There is a lot of confusion about the common core among parents, students, educators, politicians and media bloviators.

I highly recommend reading this FAQ, especially for parents and even more so for people who are bitching about something they are unfamiliar wirh. There are some serious issues that need to be worked out and ignorance will not help. smiley - star

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/05/27/307755798/the-common-core-faq







smiley - star C&Ped from a facebook post I made in response to a "meme" image of a rear pointing pistol described as the first gun designed using common core math. I know this won't mean anything to those not in the US, but watching this obvious propaganda takedown of what seems to me like a good idea by completely uninformed or wilfully ignorant is quite disturbing, especially considering the huge drop in our nation's educational performance since I went to school.

smiley - facepalm


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 8

KB

I actually feel very sad when I come across people who seem to take pride in being ignorant, and build this defensive wall around their right to believe what you want.

Yes, you do have the right to believe what you want. But having that right doesn't mean everything you believe is true...


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 9

KB

Sorry, "...right to believe what **they** want..." (first sentence).


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 10

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

OK. I've been convinced. I've changed my mind. I now believe in God.

Jibbers Crabst.



I also believe I've just seen the most awesome ASL translator evar.


http://theoatmeal.com/blog/jibbers_crabst


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 11

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Wow... I've just been told to leave a thread.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 12

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I don't know what I did to be treated so rudely, but I've taken that person off my list of friends and will not be participating in their journal posts again. It's a shame as I enjoyed what they wrote and thought the feeling was mutual.

Oh, well. I know when I'm not wanted.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 13

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Going back a full year in my convo list (unsubscribing) sadly I saw a lot of names of folks that haven't posted in a long time and have probably smiley - elvised.

This place is getting lonelier and lonelier (and a bit unfriendly). smiley - sadface


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 14

Witty Moniker

smiley - hug


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 15

Florida Sailor All is well with the world

Shyly raises hand meekly.

In best Oliver voice 'Please sir might I read here?'

'Might I make a comment, if I try not to offend anyone?'

'I like conversing on h2g2, and enjoy reading what others have to say... but do I dare ask for more?'

F smiley - dolphin S


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 16

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Comment welcome.smiley - smiley


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 17

Florida Sailor All is well with the world

smiley - biggrin


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 18

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I haven't felt like commenting much here lately. I still don't... for reasons.

Some of those reasons have nothing to do with this site. Maybe it's just the season, but I've been in a foul mood and it has seemed like anything I have to say is little appreciated by others, so it's better if I just keep quiet.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 19

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned


*snap*...

smiley - erm I don't mean I am snapping at you, just letting you know I understand your feelings smiley - hug


I've been in a mood for the last 40 years! Isn't that a quote from a fillum somewhere? smiley - tongueout


Sodit!! Raise your voice to the rafters, BG! smiley - cheers


Seasons Greetings 'n' all that wotnot smiley - bubbly *hic*


lil xx


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons... But mostly kipple

Post 20

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

I'll consider this a birthday present to me from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h


Key: Complain about this post

More Conversations for The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more