Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quotes of yesteryears.

"It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe."
Thomas Carlyle
(12/04/1795 – 02/05/1881)

"It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another and so make only two people miserable instead of four."
Samuel Butler
(12/04/1875 – 06/18/1902)

"It is easy to be popular. It is not easy to be just."
Rose Bird
(11/02/1936 – 12/04/1999)
Chief Justice (CA)

"Microsoft was founded with a vision of a computer on every desk, and in every home. We've never wavered from that vision."
Bill Gates
(10/28/1955 – )

"A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous."
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
(03/27/1886 – 08/17/1969)

"Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady."
Edith Head
(10/28/1898 – 10/24/1981)

"She looked as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth—or anywhere else."
Elsa Lanchester
(10/28/1902 – 12/26/1986)
on Maureen O’Hara

I cut my teeth on Hokusai, but achieved peace with Hiroshige

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I just went to see the new Terminator film with William. The kids have kind of grown up on Terminator movies, so I thought William, 20, would have a good time. I did, but he thought it was pretty "cheesy". On the bus rolling down Islington, he thought for a bit and then said, "No, I thought it was a bad film. I was bored. They did all that running around, but you knew they weren't going to die." Maybe he is too adult now to sit back and enjoy all the stunts, special effects and simplistic philosophy about what it is to be human, as I did. The actors were concentrated and very good, the music by Danny Elfman was stirring and suitably inflated, the photography, sets, models and editing without reproach. After William said that, I thought for a bit and said, "When they are at their planning stage, these movies should bring in one writer, whose expertise is in creating characters we care about, people we, who like to cry in movies, can cry over." "I don't know what you mean", William said. Defensively, I said, "Well, in Terminator Two, I really cared about his mother", and, if we had not been on a bus, I might actually have teared up just thinking about some of the scenes in the mental hospital. Serious film buffs scoff at my passion for purely entertaining action films, but these are the films that drive, (and reflect), the public psychology of our nations. To me, they are more important than, say, the stock market or even politics.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

These buildings are in Doha, Qatar, which has the world's highest GDP and no income tax.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On my way home, I had a huge urge to gorge myself on salty deep fried food. I felt quite virtuous therefor when I settled for a small fries from MacDonald's. I got home and drank about a gallon of apple juice. I was in hospital last year and several doctors remarked to me that I would have to lose weight. They would say this as I lay there expecting a heart attack at any moment and I promised myself that , if I survived, I would exercise regularly and eat less. I weighed 264 pounds. When I was younger, I mean twenty years ago, I weighed about 180. I was determined, lying there being very brave and philosophical about possible imminent death, that I would first get to 220 and then gradually back to 200.
I'd read somewhere that it was not good to lose weight fast. So I didn't. Still, this is a year later and I've only lost fourteen pounds. I joined an exercise club, but I don't go very often. I'm a lazy slob and likely to die younger for it, but I am enjoying my life this way far too much to stop.
Click to enlarge this desolate dam in Tasmania. When I was eleven I found some Nevil Shute paperbacks lying around. I thought Tasmania was the most romantic, exotic and remote place on Earth. I was going to grow up to be a bush pilot in Australia. I still have a thing about Aussies, in fact I devote a whole blog just so as to list their blogs. In the early days of the Internet, I had an Australian friend. We met in a virtual Irish pub funded by the Irish Tourist Board. Later we wrote each other for a while. Unlike a lot of Brits, I love the Australian accents. My wife has a thing about Australia too. Maybe we'll live there for a while when we retire.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Scotland postcard. Soon after they built the bridge. How exciting railways must have been when they were as modern and popular as the Internet. We are off to Gatwick this summer. I wish we were going by steamer and train. Each century the middle class gets less comfortable, although sometimes larger. Certainly healthier. On Saturday morning, I took Cathy, who was in great discomfort, to the local health clinic. Lovely building and she was seen straight away; evidently no charge. With health care like that, we may begin to feel more guilty than smug. How come I get to be so comfortable, despite the cramped conditions of airline travel? Today is the last of three lovely days off work. We celebrate the monarchy as we never did in England. I've been to Costco twice in three days. Otherwise have not been out of the house. Slept a lot, looked at blogs, watched "Entourage", ate well, and lazed as much as possible.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Remembering Marcel Duchamp's joke postcard with the rude letters underneath LHOO- (unmentionable here), Gilberte helped me to find this here.

More pictures of a bygone era in Portugal

Gugenheim archive on flickr commons pages 146 to 206

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In his house in France my father had a large drawer full of eight by tens blown up from negatives exposed on a camera just like this. His was from the early thirties. His best friend had bought it for him in Hong Kong. He always said that it had cost twelve pounds. His friend was my god father, but I only met him twice as he lived in Thailand. My father took solid, reliable shots of people and buildings. I don't think he thought of himself as any kind of artist. He left that sort of thing to his youngest brother who wrote, sang, painted and acted. My father was scared of heights and could faint at the sight of blood, but, like many handsome men, he was a man's man, apparently completely at ease in any group of people. With his easy intelligence and big toothed smile, he charmed almost everyone. Once, when I was travelling with him, (and these long drives were some of the best times I ever had with him), he made an enormously complicated request of a hotel porter about how he wanted his morning tea to be prepared. The porter was thrilled to accommodate him and next morning the tea was perfect. He did not need to tip well, because his charm had already pleased far more than any remuneration could.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Alt 130 = é
Alt 128 = Ç
Alt 131 = â
Alt 138 = è
Alt 137 = ë

§▬↨↑↓→←∟↔▲ (Alt 22 X 4 = ▬▬▬▬ )
▼ !"#$%&'($ (Alt 32 = blank space)


þÞÚÛÙýݯ´ (Alt 240 stops cursor from moving forward)
¹³²■ ☺☻♥♦ (Alt 255 leaves a blank, 256 stops cursor from moving forward)
↓→←∟↔▲▼ !"

and that just up to 300
“Synchronicity: Science, Myth, and the Trickster”
by Allan Combs and Mark Holland.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I've got her a card which sings "I'll Love You For Ever", but no gift. After all she's not my mother and the kids are plenty old enough to take responsibility for gifting her whatever they feel is suitable. Am I being stingy? Most of my readers are women. What do you think a husband's gift contibution should be?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mots des jours

"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training."
Anna Freud(12/03/1895 – 10/09/1982)

"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that."
Godfrey Harold Hardy(02/07/1877 – 12/01/1947)English mathematician

"Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut."
Winston Churchill(11/30/1874 – 01/24/1965)

"I'm looking for the truth. The audience doesn't come to see you, they come to see themselves."
Julianne Moore

"I get to go to a lot of overseas places, like Canada."
Britney Spears on the perks of fame

"Biography lends to death a new terror."
Oscar Wilde(10/16/1854 – 11/30/1900)

"He just sat there watching me, and then he walked right up and kissed me."
Virginia Mayo(11/30/1920 – 01/17/2005)US actor , on how she met her husband, Michael O'Shea

Sunday, May 3, 2009

After two weeks I am at the sports club at last. Is it emptier than usual because people don't want to come to public places in this flu scare? The thought crossed my mind as I sat alone in the sauna. The woman next to me on this computer is on her cell phone and told whoever she is talking to that she just ran ten kilometers for the club. Perhaps that is where all the sportifes are. I found a lovely flower from a Turkish flckr photographer called svelde, but the club won't let me save it so that I can load it here, I have never been able to remember which is 'down loading' and which is 'up loading', so now I just say' loading'. Blah, blah, blah just wasting time before I get Cathy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009