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30 July 2005 at 13:37

the emperor's new desktop

Time for an admiring look at the latest must-have accessory for nerds.

If you've ever used a cordless optical mouse, you'll know it's a great invention. It unclutters your desk, there's no cable or mousepad, you can use it anywhere on the desk. Some mice will even work from the other end of the room. So far so good.

Now a company called Dicota claims to have gone one better. I wish I was making this up, but it's true. They are marketing a cordlesss mouse which only works while it's on top of its USB-connected electromagnetic mousepad.

Someone should tell these people. It's not cordless if it needs a corded pad, and it clutters the desktop even worse than a corded mouse.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Does Heather's mom know about this? Also, you could offer to post a photie of her in a brownshirt or even a rabliss baseball shirt! Hope this helps! Hotboy  

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Blogger Paulius said...

Glad someone else is getting sick of technology for technology's sake!

I have an optical mouse, and much prefer it to the old ball mice. I don't bother with cordless mice tho...the wire doesn't bother me, and who needs to use a mouse when they're so far away they can't see the screen? Plus, no chance of the batteries running out.

Logitech have a cordless keyboard 'guaranteed to work at over 50 feet away!'

How big is that guy's screen?!!?  

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Blogger mireille said...

please excuse me interrupting your electronic reveries ... but thank you for dropping by and the icon is Joan of Arc ... xoxoxo  

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29 July 2005 at 13:55

age 20 - foreign affair

Hotboy has been badgering me to post the dramatic old black-and-white photograph of a Teutonic ex-girlfriend. But after hunting everywhere for it today, I realise that I must have thrown it out in my last big clearout. Oops! Just when I finally have a use for it!

Never mind. I had already decided that it wouldn't be ethical to blog the whole story alongside a picture that would identify her. But now that the photo is lost, I'm free to tell all. Like the proverb says: for every door that closes behind you, another one opens up.

I was a bombed-out student working as a machine-minder in a factory in small-town Germany. One of the young women who sorted nuts and bolts had striking long red hair and a knowing smile. I got chatting, and it turned out that she had just split up with her fiancé, whose name was robmcj, just like me. Or Rob von J in German. We seemed to get on well, though it was only much later that I found out that my main qualification in her eyes was my name. And I confess I wasn't too interested in her personality either.

She agreed to visit me in my tiny rented attic room. Well, I had been chaste, platonic, monastic, sobrietic, celebratious, what is the correct word I'm looking for? Anyway, I hadn't had sex for a year. So within a short space of time we were in my bed and within an even shorter space of time I was "overcome" if you know what I mean. Understandably, she wasn't pleased, and a few days later her family were threatening a shotgun marriage.

She and I would meet daily at the factory, mainly to discuss pregnancy matters. At weekends we would get together in the back seat of her car, and she would use her hands, if you know what I mean (I'm not sure about Blogger's policy in this area) while she kept up a conversation with her mates sitting in the front seat, quite a skill I suppose. I wonder what they were talking about.

If you read age 17, windswept and interviewed, you may notice an audience-participation theme in my early development. What does this mean?

When the pregnancy test finally happened and was negative, I became celibate (that's the word I was looking for) again, for a long time. Eventually I returned to Scotland, to begin discovering the true version of that proverb. For every door that closes behind you, another slams shut in your face.

Blogger hotboy said...

It's one faux pas after another, Adolf! Anyway, you could have posted a photie of any fraulein in a brownshirt and them hosen and I'd have been quite happy! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Frankly, Adolf, this is getting slighlty beyond the bounds of good taste. But I think I can now see which fetish we're supposed to be following. Thank god for that!  

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Blogger Heather said...

And to think Hotboy chastized ME for using foul language. I was just cussing indiscriminately. Hope my mom -- or your mom for that matter is not reading this...

or on second thought...  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Hotboy. "Good taste". What's that?

Heather. I thought I was being ultra-discreet.

H and H. Are you guys just pretending to be shocked? Now I'm hesitating about whether to go ahead with my next story, the strip poker one. It's very tasteful in my opinion, but perhaps not in yours.  

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Blogger mireille said...

funny, very funny. great use of fantasy. heh. Is it ok if we call you Dieter rather than Adolf? Adolf has such unsavory connotations. And Dieter sounds more like Rob. xoxo  

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Blogger Heather said...

Being a prude is the best role I can act ;).  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Mireille, I'm with you regarding Dieter. Hotboy comes from a land where they're still fighting WW II, and anyone with a German connection is seen as fair game. I got used to it when I was at school. 50 years from now, they'll be calling all muslims Osama. You sound like a nice person. Is that Bonnie Prince Charlie on your icon?

Heather - has your mum been here yet? Maybe she'd be too embarrassed to say. Have you explained to your mother why there's a rooster in a tutu exposing himself to a minor on your icon?  

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28 July 2005 at 19:16

fowl playhouse

I went to see a movie last night. On the way, I stopped off at the butcher to buy a bucketload of raw chicken offal as a special treat for the dog.

As I waited for the film to start, I wondered why no terrorists have bombed a cinema before now. I would if I was a terrorist. There's no security - there wasn't even anyone to check my ticket on the way in. And it's dark and anonymous inside, and everyone's concentrating on the screen. I should write to the cinema management.

I had the bucket of offal by my side in the cinema, and I realised, if we were bombed during the film, the 2 kilos of chicken fragments would have given the forensic DNA folk a bit of a puzzle.



By the way, you get some weird exhibitionists on the web. I did a search for photos of raw chicken, and these people came up. In the thumbnail it looks as if they're kids, but they're all adults, as you'll see if you click on it. Possibly the most fun you can have with handcuffs, a syringe and a gun.



Disclaimer - this blog does not endorse or approve of any kind of illegal activity. Weirdness is encouraged though.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! The dead chicken photie nearly gave me the dry boke! Also, the dirty photie didn't expand, and have you run out of ex-girlfriends in nazi uniforms, or are you hen pecked? Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

I've tested the exhibitonist photo, it appears in a fresh browser window, where it may expand/contract to suit the window size. But if

you prefer you can see it from here
in this window.

No need for thanks, I'm here to help.

I reject the insinuation that I have chickened out of posting photos of teutonic exes, and there's a new post coming up as proof.  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! The dirty photie still doesn't expand in this hemisphere, but thank god there's another fraulein on the way. No wonder you've got a sore back! Same as the sensei! I've no sympathy at all. Hotboy  

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Post a Comment

26 July 2005 at 16:41

mel gibson and me

The heading is a shameless ploy to grab a higher ranking on Google. But Mel Gibson and I do have a lot in common. We both emigrated to Australia, and both had our greatest conflicts in Scotland.

And we're separated by six degrees, actually less than that. My old Glasgow friend Allan scored a good part in Braveheart, until an RAF jet flew low over the set on the first day of shooting. It not only ruined the take (historical note - Wallace's army operated without air cover), it panicked Allan's horse, which threw him and broke his pelvis. You can read the details at Allan's site.

The poor man spent months immobilised in hospital. As a courtesy, Mel still put his name on the credits (you can leave your jokes about "being in a cast" in the comments section).

I would have enjoyed this preposterous film more if Allan had actually appeared in it. Baronage says that "the crowning absurdity to this movie is the idea that the hero fathered the future Kings of England".

Of course, better than being two degrees from Mel is being one degree from the delightful and preposterously over-talented Allan Tall (actor, composer, singer, guitarist, saxophonist, fiddler, painter, poet, writer, raconteur, comedian, web-programmer, the list goes on and it's so unfair).

Blogger hotboy said...

I contacted Allan Tall with my play, |Jock Tamson't Half Hearted Tranformation. Is his theatre company still on the go? The www and email is great for pestering folk you don't even know. Hotboy  

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Blogger Heather said...

Well at least it was Braveheart and not that other Mel movie. You know, the one with all that violence...and the son of God...  

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Blogger hotboy said...

I don't remember putting in that comment, Adolf! Anyway, I couldn't watch Braveheart at first because of all the biffing going on! When I finally did, I loved it. It's nothing to do with Scottish history of course, but a fantatic advert for chilly Jockoland. Spoke to a guy in Darjeeling. He seen it. He said you Scots are just like us!  

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Blogger PINKSandROSES said...

is everyone really seperated by 6 degrees? that's wierd!  

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Blogger robmcj said...

My other claim to near-fame is that I once shook hands with Muhammad Ali. It was when I was about 10, do you think he'll remember me now?  

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Blogger hotboy said...

My brother spoke to his pal recently who'd sparred with him as a young man on his way to winning a bronze at the Rome Olympics. Didn't remember that my brother had been back from Birmingham for twenty years. Getting punched in the head doesn't do you much good. Didn't do my any harm of course! Apart from the twitch and the stutter! Hotboy  

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Post a Comment

23 July 2005 at 20:12

religious persecution



The cave-dwelling buddhist hermit on Flat Island, has been driven out by the native Flatheids.


A view of Flat Island from UnHeard Island.




Fortunately he was offered shelter on Ling Island with the good people of the Samye sect, at their monastery which you can see below. I think he's made the right move.




I hate to sound competitive, but it reminds me of my own forebears, Euroean Huguenots, who were driven underground a few centuries ago.

But whereas they had to leave their monasteries and hide on islands and in caves, our buddhist hermit is doing the reverse, fleeing from his island cave to a monastery.

What can all this mean?

Blogger hotboy said...

Loved that post, Adolf! Can't comment more. In a rush. Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Rem Hughies were French, Adolf! You're fooling no frauleins around here with that dodge!  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Attention Hotboy. I quote from "Family History" (http://www.dbfa.org/family_history.htm):

"Louis Rob von Johansen along with other Huguenot refugees moved to Mannheim, Germany (near Heidelberg) on the Rhine River."

And while we're at it, "Other famous branches of the family tree: General George Patton, ... actor Marlon Brando and actress Joan Crawford"

I hope this helps.  

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20 July 2005 at 10:16

dictionary fascism

I have never understood people who insist that you use an approved version of their name. In my life I have been called rob, bob, robbie, rab, rabbie, robert, robsy - at school I was rubber, johnnie, and finally rubberjohnnie - and as far as I'm concerned the whole issue is in the public domain. People can choose any variant they like.

And even if they use a nickname I don't like, that's their choice, and I'm sure we can both live with the consequences.

I once knew a Susan who would seethe if anyone called her Sue or Suzy. I would understand her objection if she was being called Crepe Suzette or Sewage or something, but to be so fanatical about your own name comes across as rigid and nazissistic.



Much more serious than fascism around one's own name, is the linguistic equivalent of invading Poland. I'm talking about people whose aim is actually to take over all of the dictionary and exterminate undesirable words. For example, I heard someone recently disapproving of the word "instruct" because "it's too prescriptive".

I have an acquaintance, a woman who, several decades ago, gave birth to a child and arranged to have it adopted. Here's a conversation I had with her:

ME: Where I work, we've decided to adopt a new policy of ..

HER: Stop right there. I don't like that word.

ME: What, you mean "policy"?

HER: No, the other one.

ME: "Adopt?"

HER: Now you've said it again! I don't like people using that word.

Now, I don't doubt for a minute that the early separation of mother and child can be emotionally traumatic for both parties, but I'm not sure the best solution is to demand everyone takes the scissors to their vocabulary.

Blogger sugar high said...

I agree. I came across this one guy's site - very opinionated person. [Click] I hate when people look at you funny for saying a word you like. [for example: ginormous]  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Sugar high sounds even smarter than you, Adolf. I've asked her to read one of my books. If she wants to be my agent in America, do you think I should offer half n' half till I make five or ten million? Tough decision! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

By the way, if anyone wants to adopt me, I'm very low maintenance considering all the addictions I've got.  

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Blogger mireille said...

dear robmcj ... thanks for visiting my blog ... and noticing I could spell. xoxo  

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Blogger Heather said...

I must admit that I am somewhat facist about the use of the word "cult" - but thats because I see it with as much bigotry as (pick your own racist slur)

Adopt though...I don't adopt her point of view. I suppose she hates the phrase "pregnant pause" too..  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Heather. I'll ask her.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Sugar High. I checked that guy's site. Yes, his personal feelings about women are showing, which kind of spoils his message, I think.  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Tell yon lassie tae get ma book read an' then she can make 10 percent of the fortune I'm going to make! Hotboy  

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Blogger Paulius said...

I think people have the right to be called anything they like...but not to the stage of throwing a hissy fit if someone uses a variant of their name.

As for the 'I don't like that word'...what the hell?

I'd have apologised profusely, and when htey lowered their guard...BAM! The 'ole fork in the eye!  

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19 July 2005 at 11:20

the power of no

As I had expected, after my interview a couple of weeks ago, they were all smiles yesterday as they offered me the job.

The job itself is an impossible one to do properly, for various reasons including contradictory guidelines and conflicting expectations. People who take on the job usually last a year or so before choosing early retirement or changing jobs.

I turned them down as politely as I could, when what I really wanted to say was "I wouldn't do that awful job if you paid me double, and I'm certainly not going to take it just to help you out, I just wouldn't put myself through the stress."

Once they realised that I wasn't playing along, their faces clouded over and they lost all interest in prolonging the conversation, trying to edge me out the door. But I wasn't having that, so I took control by asking them about themselves and how their work was going. I got them talking for a while, then I was the one who brought the meeting to a close.




picture: 1980s job stress

Blogger PINKSandROSES said...

good for you! I don't need a babysitter but thanks for the gracious offer. But if i ever find myself longing for one i'll know where to go. But i think you'll have to get in line cause that anonymous guy apparently wants a date :)  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Well done in avoiding the gainful employment. Definitely don't believe in that! Also, it'll leave you more time for boxing training. There might be a fight coming up! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! No posts! No photies! Have to comment on this one! Okay, how's this for a caption.
"Okay, I won't stangle you if you'll speak to my mother."  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Hotboy. Thanks for the caption, I'll send it to my mother to teach her peace of mind.

I didn't think it worth my while posting much just now, there's been a mass exodus of 95% of my readers to monasteries.  

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16 July 2005 at 18:08

countdown

I once went to a swimming pool, where they had a notice on the wall in the changing room, warning swimmers they weren't allowed to swim within 21 days of having diarrhoea. I found myself wondering how many times people would have seen the notice, got dressed again and gone back to the cash desk for a refund, explaining "I had diarrhoea 17 days ago."

I pictured recently-dysenteric people all over the city, counting down the days until they could legally swim again: 4, 3, 2 - oops, I shouldn't have eaten that curry, now it's back to 21 again!

This post is just an excuse to show off that I can spell diarrhoea.



Blogger hotboy said...

Was there someone at the side of the pool trying to hit you with a big stick? Hotboy  

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Blogger Heather said...

I'm not wearing my glasses - but as I squint at the picture of the swimmer I think "why is there a pic of a chinese dude...and why in a post about poop? What does that mean...really?" Too many deep thoughts this early in the morning.

Yes, you do win the award for spellng...die-ah--ree-ahhh! And its the very fact that I am not wearing my glasses that I make no attempt to spell it.

And I would tell you about one of my kids having it while taking a bath - but I'll save you from such a fate.

~h  

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Blogger robmcj said...

hotboy - perceptive as always - yes, there's a brown-shirt swimming teacher called Herr Scheer (Mr Scissor) just out of shot, but you noticed the end of his fishing net for use whenever I was on the verge of drowning.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

heather - I suspect the chinese dude that you saw is me, aged about 8. Either the cold was making my face shrivel to Asiatic proportions, or your glasses are quite strong.

You Buddhists, you and hotboy, are indeed perceptive - there was something amiss. I had planned to relate a formative childhood swimming experience, but ran out of time so I just bundled the pic in with that (non-)swimming post.

I think you're right not to go down the bath path for now, it's probably best left to the imagination, otherwise I'd have to tell you about the emergency alert at my local pool, where swimmers were ordered out in a hurry due to the mystery appearance of an unattributed object at the bottom.  

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Blogger PINKSandROSES said...

that is the most hilarious thing I have read all day :)  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Pink and Roses is only 130 lbs. Probably light or featherweight, but definitely in your weight range. How abour organising a boxing match on the beach? Just don't mention the war and watch out for her reach: tall for a lighter weight! Hotboy  

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Blogger PINKSandROSES said...

how did you know how much i weighed??? That's pretty darn close. I'll take anyone on.Just show me when and where... Can you make sure no one hits me in the face though. I'm really vain. If you didn't read my "about me" it clearly states "I like looking at my own reflection".  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Pink and Roses. If I looked like you, I'd spend plenty time in front of the mirror too. Since I look like a war criminal I tend to avoid mirrors, and I use a dog photo in my profile. Hotboy has no photo at all, he is similarly afflicted.

Your User Profile says that unlike me you're a really bad speller, but you'll get there too if you keep trying. Start with something simple and gradually work your way up to diarrhoea.

PS about guessing your height, hotboy is a RaBlissian, which gives him psychic powers.  

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Post a Comment

13 July 2005 at 16:55

the real thong

There has been recent discussion on Michi's blog about how to wear a thong.

When UK residents arrive in Australia, everything including language seems so reassuringly familiar that you automatically assume that the vocabulary is the same. But it isn't. After embarrassing yourself a few times, you realise that many words have very different meanings, e.g. thongs. In Australian English, "thongs" are cheap plastic sandals, and stringy underpants are called G-strings.

Other words have multiple meanings, so that you have to use context to guess which meaning is intended. For example, a "cocky" can mean a farmer, a redneck, a cockroach, or a cockatoo.

Some words even mean the opposite to their Northern Hemisphere meanings. For example, you'd think "Justice Smith fronted the panel of judges" means that Smith was the Chief Judge. But in Australia it means he was the accused on trial.

This reverse logic actually makes sense in a country where the physical world is inverted (the water goes down the plug anti-clockwise, the seasons are reversed, Christmas Dinner happens in June, and the sun rises in the West).


The Google search engine, which can translate Latvian, Arabic and even Catalan, has no translator software for Australian, probably because it's too difficult.

Blogger hotboy said...

Once it showed you a gangster's house after the Oz polis had given it a good search. The photie of the house said it all. There was nothing left. Just the plot. All the house had been removed brick by brick. Them polis really knew how to "search" a place! This might not help at all! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Once it showed you a gangster's house after the Oz polis had given it a good search. The photie of the house said it all. There was nothing left. Just the plot. All the house had been removed brick by brick. Them polis really knew how to "search" a place! This might not help at all! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Your software has developed a stutter!  

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Blogger Heather said...

When I lived in Korea, I was told this Irish fellow that a Korean deliveryman was loaded when he brought our food. His eyes slightly bulged..and said "loaded?". "Yah," I replied 'He could hardly stand up, and he stunk of soju (rice vodka). "Oh, I thought you meant he was armed"

But its good to know that I can wear a thong in Australia but not in Britain (making mental note)

H  

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Post a Comment

11 July 2005 at 21:12

significant numbers

I went for my swim this morning, and as usual I tried to finish on a meaningful number of lengths. Some people do groups of ten, or their lucky numbers. Since I work in I.T. I like to aim for powers of 2, e.g. 8 or 16 or 32 etc.

Most days I can manage 64 lengths, but of course if you lose concentration and go up to 65, then you're stuck in the pool for another hour or so to bring it up to 128.

I've never actually reached 128, though one time I made 90 lengths before I had to go for a lie down in the changing room before staggering home.

If only I had chosen a decimal profession like accountancy, life would be simpler, I could just swim gentle multiples of 10. But I chose computers and became a victim of bloody binary logic, an all-or-nothing man.

Blogger hotboy said...

Between the Unheard of and McDonald Islands there's a fine stretch of water. We could have a race. If I win, you have to vacate the Unheard of and go the McDonald Island and live with Brian Wilson! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

"Most days I manage 64 lengths". Mnnn. Lengths of what? I can dog paddle on my back outside a pool almost for ever! Hotboy p.s. I think the seal like wonderful swimming women in especially designed brownshirts swim for 2 hours each morning. Backstroke, crawl, breast stroke, butterfly, but maybe not in that order. Do you think you have as much fun? Or not?  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Let's get this straight, you lie on the ground kicking and clawing the air. You're even more of a social rebel than I thought. Good on you, so what if people stare?

About your inter-island challenge, I have to disappoint you, I was born without a competitive gene. Otherwise I would have explained they're just 25-metre lengths. But just out of interest, had you given any thought to what my prize would be when I won?

PS - "Mnnn" - I recognise the quote from THE REAL McCOY. I think they call that autoplagiarisation.

PPS feel free to measure your own length and report it here.  

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Blogger hotboy said...

If you read the Real McCoy you area fortunate creature and may go to heaven.
You would have won the swimming race since my running shoes always hold me back even in the rain.
The prize could be an opportunity to write a Haiku on penguins and get it published in the Unheard of TImes! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

I've just worked out 25 times 60. If you can swim that far, you would have won no bother. I would have had to swim on dry land with my method. That would have entailed being on a rowing boat perhaps with someone else rowing. Hotboy  

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Post a Comment

at 18:52

still more imperial clothing

After the great reaction overnight to my previous post, maybe I should resolve to only ever blog about scams, or tartan hounds.

Even Nike now sees the sense of running shoeless. Just one year after releasing its most structured shoe ever – the Air Max 2004, with airbags and a motion-control footbridge – the company has switched tack by offering the Nike Free 5.0, a shoe it claims will "re-evolutionize" running by enabling people to run as if they were barefoot.

Blogger hotboy said...

The most amazing run I ever saw was an African chasing after this big antelope. He was wearing a pair of old gutties. Apparently, the big antelope thing couldn't control its temprature as well as the man and eventually fell down with exhaustion. No medals. Just a good dinner. The old man and the antelope! Hotboy  

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Post a Comment

10 July 2005 at 18:53

running sore

Years ago I was plagued by joggers' injuries. I tried doctors, hospitals, physiotherapists, but I couldn't get rid of it, even though I did all the right things and wore proper jogging shoes.

Well, it now seems that the whole running shoe business was a multibillion dollar scam, and that many of these injuries are actually caused by running shoes. Someone has finally done the research which you'd think would have been done before they brought the shoes to market.

The verdict is that fancy running shoes have allowed us to develop lazy feet, and the running style that the books and the shoe makers advise - landing on the heel - is actually all wrong. Apparently the safest stride is barefoot-style, landing on the toes or ball of the foot, like the Tarahumara Indian runners.

It makes you wonder what other accepted wisdom may be similarly baseless. Next thing you know, they'll be saying that dogs should walk around naked.

Blogger hotboy said...

The wonderful thing about running is that there are all kinds of different ways to do it. Like flatheids with ra bliss, it is difficult for non-runners to suss this. There are changes, gears, etc.
But if you ran the way those joes told you .... it's no right. If you run long distances, you roll. You never land anywhere. You roll along the outside curve of your foot.
But there are gears and changes. As long as you hardly feel the ground, so wonderful is your balance. Footballers run on the balls of their feet. Totally wrong. But running in shoes is unnatural. You have to teach yourself. At first, it's weird and doesn't feel right.The first guy who ran a marathon died of course. Hotboy P.S. I hope this helps.  

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Blogger Heather said...

Hubby and I were just talking about the sneaker scam. He does Physical training daily and wears out running shoes fast - Brand name - cheap, expensive whatever...they all wear the same. So the sneaker companies are in cahots with orthepedic surgeons? I have heard of stranger!

P.S.
Whats a flatheid?? Something like a dork?  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Flatheid is a Scottish version of flat head. When I started to get loads of ra bliss, people I knew who didn't meditate (and get ra bliss)(of course, most people who meditate don't get ra bliss either because they don't do enough, I hope) started getting called flatheids. I thought I'd stop them being flatheids by being insulting, but it didn't work!  

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Blogger hotboy said...

I read the research link. I started running in Converse Baseball boots. Poisonous gave me an old pair. The boy in the research is running on trails, not the flat. On the flat you want to minimize impact. Hey, different strokes for different folks. Seb Coe was on the telly tonight. He ran the 800 as if he wasn't touching the ground at all. Gliding. Pity he's a tory! Hotboy  

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Post a Comment

at 09:13

nice neurotics

My buddhist fundamentalist friend envies the discipline that nice people have, but is wary of their "neurosis and lack of drive".

There's a philosophical contradiction there. Can he have the spiritual discipline he seeks, without the neuroses? Isn't discipline a form of neurosis? We nice neurotic people are simply more disciplined about redirecting our inner nastiness. Whereas happy layabouts are invariably rude. I rest my case.

Look at Maggie Thatcher, she channelled her latent nastiness into something useful, like clobbering Arthur Scargill. That left her free to be nice to ... well maybe Dennis.

Blogger hotboy said...

Nice people? The whited sepulcures .. sepulcres ... sepulchures ... tombs of the perfectly toilet trained, lower middle class footsoldiers of capitalism ... a bit like myself! Hotboy p.s. I think neuroses might go with the things to be negated. Don't sound right, do they?  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Punishment and reward are more Pavlov than Calvin. Conditioning and reinforcement? Why we do stuff is about the prospective sweeties maybe. Cut to the chase. Straight to the sweeties. I hope this clarifies things. Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Ach, you Britishers with your class-consciousness. Fortunately the UnHeard & McDonald Islands are a classless society, where everyone has an equal right to be fascist, and nobody feels obliged to pander to the notion of the working class as guardians of democracy and attitudinal rock music.

I liked your metaphor - the ivory towers of McDonald Institute as porcelain toilet pans and biblical tombs. I expect that's why you're a prolific writer while I'm just another foot-soldier of the neurotic classes, aspiring to the ranks of Mannheim's "Freischwebende" (impartial intellectuals).

But I'm afraid I'm lost when you talk of the things to be negated. Is that more buddhist-speak? Clarification required.

I think I get it now. You mean the band, the Things To Be Negated? They toured here in the 90s, and you're right, they didn't sound right at all.  

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08 July 2005 at 16:09

homecoming

Soon after we entered the territorial waters of the UnHeard of & McDonald Islands, my sadness at leaving Sydney after the conference was suddenly forgotten, as a boatload of islanders rowed out to meet us. My old mate Cap'n Kev was standing in the bow, smiling and waving aloft a copy of that morning's UnHeard Herald. Through binoculars I could just make out the headline - "ROBMCJ'S SYDNEY TRIUMPH"

What followed was a full island welcome ceremony, as the traditional dolphin was clubbed and later barbecued on the beach. Even the buddhist hermit came down from his cave to share in the excitement.

As the ukulele orchestra played, the most moving moment for me came when I was presented, in recognition of my achievement at the Sydney conference, with a specially designed template for this blog, incorporating some indigenous islander design work as you can see at the top right.

As the speeches and generous tributes continued into the night, I hadn't the heart to explain what had really happened in Sydney.



What really happened in Sydney was that, due to an oversight, my paper had been omitted from the conference timetable!

Displaying the ingenuity for which we islanders are famous, I arranged an 'ad hoc' (as we academics say) presentation in an empty lecture theatre during the lunch break. Using an empty room worked out well, and without the inconvenience of audience questions there was still time to catch a bite of lunch into the bargain.

Blogger hotboy said...

The empty lecture theatre, I think, speaks to us all. A famous book about the 3rd Reich called the Tin Drum had a bit about that old existentialist question: Is is better to be in the audience or on the platform. Your audience seems to have answered this. I hope this helps. Was this a nihilist joke? I hope not.Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Definitely got a problem with some of those photies. Why is that man hitting the fish? Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

A great wave of happiness has swept into the cave. One or two penguins have donned ra bliss jumpers. Soon we'll all be young again and heal in seconds! Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

hotboy: I'm told my sense of humour is an acquired taste, and I've yet to meet an islander who has acquired it, but it used to go down quite well in the old Reich.

Is a bliss jumper another of your meditational devices, like the jug breathing and the superheated bliss? A devotional garment perhaps?  

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Blogger robmcj said...

hotbot - I remember now, I'm supposed to be selling these things. I think the penguins may have shoplifted theirs.  

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06 July 2005 at 16:16

addams family

Regarding the dilemma of whether it is more ethical to post attractive or ugly pictures on this blog:



This was taken in about 1982, of my partner (previously seen in a more flattering light as Wonder Woman), with me as Basil Fawlty and my stepfather as The Werewolf. My aunt, seen on the left, was the best-looking person in the shot.

Let there be an end to allegations that I am using photos to make myself look good.

Blogger hotboy said...

Excellent moustache!Fantastically happy looking person with a moustache. I imagine the lederhosen are hidden from view!  

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Post a Comment

at 13:51

alleged resemblance

It has been suggested that I have a lot in common with a major historical figure but I can't see it myself.

Post a Comment

04 July 2005 at 15:28

aesthetic ethics

That's impossible to say unless you're sober.

An ethical issue has come up in conversation, concerning some of the pictures posted on this blog.

Cass: Don't you think it's a bit sleazy to have photos of old girlfriends on your blog?

Me: But I post pictures from all stages of my life, including partners, and it's not as if the photos are risque or anything.

Cass: But you choose the most glamorous-looking photos to display.

Me: It is true that I choose the nicest pictures I can find, but do you think the people involved would prefer that I show them at their worst?

Cass: No, but all you're doing is showing off to other men, female readers wouldn't be interested in the photos.

Me: I admit I haven't shown any pictures of less-attractive partners, maybe I should remedy that.

But of course now that I've reported this conversation here, posting pictures of any woman could be seen as an insult, implying their ugliness is only now being featured so as to deflect accusations of glamouristic discrimination.

Are any ethical readers willing to comment?

Blogger hotboy said...

As an ethical reader .... why do they pick good looking women to read the news. Why not old boilers with one eye? I think this is because people prefer to look at attractive things. It's just not fair!! Anyway, why can't they all be in nazi uniforms? Isn't there some kind of computery way to do that? Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! It has occurred to me that it's almost impossible to be unattractive to old guys like me if you're under thirty. Just having no wrinkles is a huge plus ... not looking like you're the relative of a dried fruit. I'll find them all nice anyway, so don't hold back! Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

I agree, life would be more interesting if people had an inbuilt preference for old gargoyles like myself. But then of course ugly would be the new beautiful by definition, and all the young fit people would bemoan their repulsiveness and pay plastic surgeons to give them wrinkles and hunched backs. As you say, compared with all that palaver, the SS uniform aesthetic is much simpler, and you can understand why it was so popular.

I can send you, in a plain brown envelope, a selection of photos that are just too, well, homely for public display, but in some cases you'll have to photoshop the uniforms yourself.  

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Post a Comment

02 July 2005 at 10:47

the pain!

Connoisseurs1 of pain are familiar with that magic moment, better than winning the lottery, when the pain finally lifts after a prolonged period of backache.

It can happen on the way home from the chiropractor, or just sneak up on you without warning - the rediscovery of the wonder of life without pain.

It is perhaps the purest form of happiness, pure in that it depends on no external input, no kindness, no favours. No achievement, presents or promises. I have seen the same argument advanced for recreational heroin use.

Meanwhile, another type of natural high is promoted over at madmak47.blog where they teach the path to personal enlightenment via regular contemplation of small arms. There's no evidence as yet that it induces anything more than homicidal mania, but it is certainly a surprising new approach to spiritual peace.

My mother learned the technique, and soon graduated to the advanced programme, targetting famous people.



1 - in the sense of "experts", rather than "enjoyers"

Blogger hotboy said...

This comment thing might be better. Hard to tell. Seems alright. I've got a sore back! Ha, ha! That's almost everyone I know! Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Perhaps you've been carrying too many women's luggage for them.

My back's been brilliant. But don't get me started on the other busted bits, e.g. sprained ankle after I had the brainwave, while walking the dog, of jogging in the dark in my hiking boots, straight into a pothole. I need a minder.  

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Post a Comment

01 July 2005 at 12:16

old newspapers

One of my interests is social archiving, or saving old newspapers as Cass describes it. My collection dates from the 1950s, and some of the headlines and pictures are interesting as social history.


One of the best cuttings is from The Times, about a child caught looting in London during the Blitz, headlined

Artful Dodger Unrepentant



My favourite Daily Telegraph photo is headlined:

Duke's Son Defends Gardener And Nanny Accused Of Pilfering



Only the National Enquirer would have published this :

ALIEN SPACESHIP SUCKS OUT NANNY’S BRAIN DURING PHOTO SHOOT FOR CHARITY CLOTHES SHOP



This one's from Motoring Monthly:

FAMILY WAITS HAPPILY FOR ROADSIDE SERVICE

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf, you can tell by the hands on the hips and the way the foot is imperiously thrust forward ... just draw on the wee moustache and the Third Reich is just round the corner! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf, the layout is great, but when you click the post a comment thing ... you have to then scroll down. Is that alright? I'm usually a wee bit confused when I sit down here in the evenings. Hotboy. P.S. People are phoning us and pretending to be you. Hope that helps.  

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