24 May 2010

new life

Chicks hatched yesterday and some last night: this one all fluffed up and ready for the party, the others still wet and wriggly and staying warm under mum's feathers. Won't disturb her till they've dried and fluffed out a bit.

23 May 2010

flutes & co

Cartmel Priory last night.

The flute quoir played the best I've ever heard them: dynamic, fluid, accurate and passionate: playing a set of compositions both full of fun and playfulness while at the same time evoking a range of emotional response from joy to great sadness to sheer delight with the range, depth and beauty of tones produced. Just lovely. Awesome in fact - and that is never a word I use lightly. Well done you lot! So young too, most of em :-)

I do however think that my Cathy should not be encouraged to use the contra bass flute to remove unsightly earwax.

I tried to play it and achieved considerable success, even on the low notes, though you need an air compressor up your ass to maintain the note. I don't know how she does it.

I'm looking forward to playing Bohemian Rhapsody with them though I've no idea how I will emulate the sound Brian May gets out of his 'red special' guitar for the solo part.

21 May 2010

everybody take offence day

Here is a picture of the prophet Mohammed. Muslims think that it is sinful to portray the prophet in any way. They are up in arms about the group on Facebook called 'Everyone Draw Mohammed Day'. Pakistan has blocked Facebook and now the page has been withdrawn by admin.

Well, whatever the rights and wrongs of the page, this demonstrates once again that the right to freedom of speech can be curtailed by the assumed right not to take offence. There is no such right, and the taking of 'offence' assumes too passive a role whereas IMO people are all too ready to take offence, will go out of their way to take offence or will actively choose to do so if it suits their purposes.

Anyway, I blogged in some depth on the topic of Religion and Respect last year and would direct readers with any interest in the subject to go here.

PS: The picture also shows Jesus, Thor, Vishnu, Isis, Zeus, Kali, Ra and 38,000 other deities. Only the pure of heart will be able to see the images clearly.

13 May 2010

activate the queen

Strangers to these shores may have noticed that we had to 'Activate The Queen' the other night. Why?

Well no political party got a clear enough lead in the general election to be able to form a government so it wasn't clear who was going to be prime minister for a while.

The Queen, bless her, has lots of prerogatives, as well as corgis, and amongst them is the prerogative to invite someone to form a government.

I did say I was available, but she didn't ring me. We still had to 'activate' her though and it's not easy - she's getting on a bit so you need a bit of intravenous isoproterenol with an adenylyl cyclase activator and a bit of prothrombotic stimulus direct to the adrenoceptors.

None of that's trivial, but the hardest, (and probably most painful bit for her), is the removal of the control rods from the regal inhibitors - she takes this very well on the whole and puts a brave face on any discomfort involved; I'm sure Prince Charles would whinge like mad.

Anyway, she's seen off 12 prime ministers during her reign so we certainly didn't expect The Queen to Save the Gawd and neither did she. It would totally ruin the song.

09 May 2010

Carl on Troubled Waters

Is it clod, enjoying a moment of tranquil meditation? Nope, it's Carl Fuerman, and Carl is going to stop the hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico from the stricken Deepwater Horizon Rig.

He is going to do this through the power of meditation, believing that if enuf people visualise the closing of valves and the activation of the blowout preventer then the 200,000 gallons of oil a day spilling out into the Gulf will be shut off.

"I'm very known for fixing things and making things work," sais Carl, adding that he believes his meditation helped fix a friend's Flip video camera. "I visualize things working and hold the belief that they actually work."

Well, good luck with that one mate, but I think you've set the bar for your magical thinking a tad high on this occasion. Why not start off with a drippy tap and see how that goes? You just visualise the cracked washer disobeying all the known laws of physics and creating new material out of nothing and repairing itself. Should be a cinch. Let us know how you get on.

04 May 2010

hang 'em high

Well, the silly Labour woman that knocked on my door to harangue me about the 'two horse race' in our constituency got it all back to front didn't she? She forgot (as have several gov't ministers today apparantly), who works for who. Nah, forgot is too kind: I think they've grown used to the idea that we are there to serve them, not the other way around.

I hate to disillusion the poor lass, but you just had your job interview and I regret to say that on this occasion you have not got it.

What is a vote for anyway? Is it to vote for a bunch of people you don't believe in to stop the other bunch of people you don't believe in getting in? Or, is it, by Isis, to vote for something you actually do believe in? If you don't vote for something you do believe in, however will you ever get something you do believe in?

Ah well, they have what's coming coming, and I can't say I'm sorry about it. Hang 'em high.