Dog guilt

18C, bright.

Home, yesterday greeted me with a big splodgy mess on the kitchen floor. One or both the dogs pulled down a bag of bananas off the fruit bowl and ate the lot. Well, okay, they left the skins, but still… In a stern voice I ordered “come here”, Rosie came over while Bessie’s tail dipped between her legs and she walked outside. The body language said “guilt2 to me, which was frankly rather surprising. I can’t imagine the old dear getting up high enough to reach the bag. But still

Later, it turns out, Rosie’s face smelt of bananas, she had an upset stomach and needed to be let out twice in the night. So that confirms it- the dog who cheerfully came over the previous evening, wagging and interested was actually the villain of the day. Bessie’s performance was little more than that- an act. I’m still puzzling over her motive for that.

I have to remind myself as a pet owner, that they are at heart- scavengers and I keep two of them in my house. Seen that way, we should expect trouble every once in a while. It’s a bad mistake to expect human values even though they clearly do think. It’s the way they think that is puzzling me. But think they do.

Here is a fun link

Heavier than air

27°C, humid & oppressive. Thunder later?

The air presses down making the drawing of breath an effort. You heart beats harder under the exertion and all because of an air full of menacing dark clouds. This may be one of those days were we long for a cracking thunderstorm but maybe don’t actually get one. Sleep could take a long time to achieve tonight, it takes the body to long to cool enough.

The dogs are really struggling with this one, especially old Bessie.

True Grit

14°C+, getting warmer.

Film: True Grit (Cohen brothers). Good to see that dreadful John Wayne western based on a Charles Portis book has been updated with one that really is based on the book. Why was John Wayne ever famous? The lead role, Mattie Ross, a strong and articulate character made her way through the story, much to my relief, unharmed. Is it conditioning that led me to fear something dreadful would happen to her?

Hailee-Steinfeld-True-Grit

This film was interesting for the usual Cohen reasons, but more so because of the language. Despite struggling with the clarity of the dialogue, the characters were not just articulate- more eloquent I would say. Phrasing and vocab were of the period and intriguing to me. shame the sound wasn’t really that clear on the screen I watched it on. Finally, was it just me that failed to spot Matt Damon until the credits rolled?

Drowned Rat

18°C, SW light, some sun. CR:55miles

Drowned rat is usually a metaphor used on days of heavy showers. Today, it’s actualy a rat that drowned.

drownedRat

Poor little chap, he must have swum around that pond until exhaustion pulled him under. That suggests a design fault with my pond, the shallow end must have, somehow, prevented the little chap getting out. These animals aren’t stupid, unless he was doped up with rat poison, that seems unlikely to me. What a way to go.

Follow that link though and some interesting stuff emerges. It turns out that rats use a creful strategy to protect themselves from poison. A strategy that makes them difficult to poison because thay take precautions such as eating only a little from the scavenged food, then return if they don’t become unwell. Presumably that must be a serious problem to a species that scavenges a large proportion of its food. Rat poison has to be tasteless & odourless so the animal will return and comsume more rather than treat the area as ‘no-go’.

Gears: the racing bike has a brand new cassette on, and it’s made not the slightest difference to the indexing problem I may as well put the old one back on since it wasn’t actually worn out anyway. Next- the rear hanger: if I put an allen key in the hanger-bolt, it’s clear that it’s out of alignment. So, I’ve ordered a tool to bend the thing true.

Ruby sparks

17°C, some showers.

RubyFlowerThey’re tiny, perhaps only 5mm across but the colour is so intense that they loose none of their eye-catching brilliance even in fading evening light.

The name: Dianthus Deltoidus. 

Milk & landfill

21°C, clouds & sun.

Just a question, I can’t offer an answer though: that smell that comes from the landfill site on the way to work… what gives it that smell. It smells like off milk, could it be? There is so much skimmed milk in western food, it’s even in medicines, sweets, pretty much everything that people eat- even hot-cross buns. I heard that the Japanese can smell us, they don’t eat ingest anything like as much milk as us, could that be it?

And All Our Dreams Will End in Death

13°C, heavy rain. CK:36miles

Rain delayed enough for a decent ride this morning. I’ve missed riding that bike.

BBC Radio 4: they make good plays that are worth listening to on long motorway drives. Saturday. Howard Neal is the story of a US bloke on death row. The story wasn’t especially surprising, nor were the details, but the interest for me was the voice. Radio is entirely dependant on voice in plays like this. His accent was a mixture of deep south (US) and effects from his deprived background. Except not always; he seemed a little too articulate to me, his phrasing was rather conventional and it shouldn’t have been. Okay the whole play would have been more difficult, but surely, more rewarding.

Today was the story of Richard IIPlantagenet: And All Our Dreams Will End in Death. Okay, it’s not really fiction, well, no more than history is usually. Very good I thought, sadly, I missed the end. I did get the feeling that our past monarchs were largely a bunch of despotic gangsters. His relationship with Queen Anne was interesting, and touching. There are interesting parallels in the peasants’ revolt with The Tsars in Moscow in 1918 too. Both groups wanted an end to serfdom (slavery by another name) and concessions were given but even more asked for. Then the monarch backed off in fear. That, it seems is a pattern that has repeated a number of times in history. You can tell I have been following the BBC R4 series on Russia‘s history can’t you?

Turntable world

15°C, breezy with empty threats of showers
Turntables: Wow! here are some long lost names still alive & kicking:
turntableworld. Grado, Goldring, Ortofon, Sumiko, and so on.
Some astronomical prices but at least it’s somewhere I can get replacement stylii. The tip for mine costs £140, the memory of times when it sold for £45 are still vivid. Either my memory is good, or inflation is higher than I thought.

Comic Cartoon Strip?

16°C, sunshine & moving air

“the Daily Mail as a “sexist, racist, bigoted, comic cartoon strip”.
-John Bercow

So it’s official, Bercow is the Speaker in the House of Commons. I wouldn’t normally bother with this, a paper that I never buy. But this is the 2nd top selling paper in the UK at over 2 million copies a day. People read this, much of which is irrational, contradictory or obviously wrong. Mind you, The Sun sells 3 million to an almost illiterate small-minded ‘readership’.

It’s all very well grumbling, but this post would be incomplete without a solution. Here is an add-on for Firefox which replaces links to bigoted pious DM rants with nice pictures of kittens: Link. Clearly such a feature is an outrage of the worst kind, but you know…