Friday, June 30, 2006

No Laughing and No Bending Down! But Smiling is Allowed

Oh it's a good day for spotting things: This from here

In 1801, Thomas Young elegantly demonstrated his double slit experiment. The experiment showed that light also behaves like waves, because it interferes with itself.

Ohh-err Missus!

and this mindbogglingly obvious piece of advice from the intructions on a box of Early Learning Center face paints:

Using Face Paints
You can paint your own face or that of a friend. If you are painting yourself you will need a mirror.

No shit Sherlock! Who writes these instructions? I thought it was patently obvious that anyone who had managed to master the concepts of face painting and reading would be aware of the difficulties of painting your own face without being able to see it. Idiots!

Merriol and the kids and I are off for a few days down to the Fleshpots of Ingerland. (I hope they get knocked out of the Wurld Kup or whatever it is called soon because Ingerland in full patriotic We're backing the boys, Gawd bless yer Ma'am, earwig oh, earwig oh, earwig oh! Kraut, Argie, Wop bashing frenzy is as one of the Inner Circles of Hell to me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cheese Is Still Not A Colour

Aha! All the women have all gone!  Now to walk around in my underpants and fart and do MAN stuff in MY space. 

I may watch Dr Who.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cheese Is Not A Colour

The house is full of women and I'm trapped upstairs. Not the stuff of puerile fantasy but a grim reality. Merriol organised a get the girls around and have a couple of bottles of wine and sell each other overpriced cosmetics / tupperwear / lingerie / Sex in the City props. This time it was perfumeries. Anyway the woman running the party baled on them for some reason but Merriol decided the fun bit was having the friends around and the wine. So I'm hiding upstairs, desperate for a cup of coffee listening to fucking awful music from the glorious 365 days Project
There are loads of slightly drunk women doing slighty drunk woman stuff between me and the kitchen

Yesterday Mike...
<Waffle Mode>
This Mike isn't 'Morag and Mike' Mike, but another Mike. I do know other people not called Mike but I'm finding it easier, as my brain gets more and more enfeebled, due to prolonged exposure to children, if all my friends have the same name.
</Waffle Mode>
... and I (but mostly Mike) chopped down the bloody big sycamore tree that was threatening to bring down a great section of my garden wall. Tomorrow I will drill a bezillion holes in it and fill it with tree killer. Not very ecological I know but I don't have the patience to trim off the new shoots week after week till it finaly gives up the ghost.


Solved the Coffee problem. I just phoned downstairs. Merriol is on her way up with a cup soon - I hope.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Can I Lick Your Hair?

Today's Utterly Alarming Question from Holly
(See also Worm Sorters are Very Important ):

Daddy, can we make a buggery?


Can we make a buggery? You get two bits of plastic you can
see through and put dirt and weeds in and put some bugs in
and they come out at night and you can see them.

One of these days she is going to say something like that in front of a Social Worker and I'll have to live the rest of my life in a dustbin somewhere - possibly in South America.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cuddle Me Backwards Again

Most of the day was spent without electricity. We've known about this for weeks, that they would turn the leccy off between 9am and 5pm. 8 hours without internet access? Twitch twitch.

It's amazing, when you start to think about it, and I had a lot of time to think about it today how much of the stuff around you becomes totally redundant without electricity. The fridges, the freezers, the central heating, TVs, radios, CD players, the computers.. and so it goes on, all pretty obvious really but today I noticed all the other stuff. There were all the CDs, the video tapes the DVDs - the LPs! There was so much stuff in our house that was utterly useless without 240v 50 cycle AC on tap.

The books still worked.

When I woke up the pooter after the juice was restored it had somehow managed to loose all firewall settings. Took me an hour to work that one out and will take us a couple of days to teach it what is what again.

Cuddle Me Backwards

The thought of people poking about in my brain has been occupying my thoughts for a lot of the day. Actually that's a fib - the film Fantastic Voyage has been occupying my thoughts. If you don't know the film the basic plot is that a surgical team is miniaturized and inserted into a dying man to try and blast a blood clot in his brain with a laser. They have 12 hours or something before the submarine they are in reverts to full size again, so they have to be outside the body before then. As usual Things Go Wrong for the scientists (played by Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, and Donald Pleasence etc.) and they have to take a short cut out of the patienrts tear ducts. What has always puzzled me about that movie, even as a kid when I first saw it, is what happened to the bezillion gallons of miniturised water the submarine was sitting in when it got shrinky-dinked? Surely that would revert to full size at the same time.

I spent tonight round at the parents playing scrabble with them and Dan, and trying to design a low-tech homemade midge catching machine. We've just hit the hight of the midge season here and the little buggers are as horrible, and ubiquitous, as ever. Midges are attracted to sources of carbon dioxide (mainly tourists) but last night I noticed there was an almost solid swarm of them over the compost heap. I guess rotting vegetation gives off a lot of the right sort of smell. Commercial midge eating machines work by pumping out CO2 made by burning Propane gas and sucking the attracted creatures into a little cage. They retail for around £400 - which is about £395 more than I can afford to spend at the moment. It occured to me I already had a CO2 source in the compost heap. All I needed was something to suck up the gathered beasties. Current plans involve some plastic waste pipe, bits of cannibalised computers (chip cooling fans, and relevent transformers), and a pair of old tights. Alternatively I may just take the vacuum cleaner out there on an extension cable.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Saturday: Cuil Bay. A family outing. Merriol and I, our kids, Morag, and her kids have a lovely hot sunny seaside day. As we are packing up to go home Merriol spots something small and green floating out to sea.
"Isn't that Holly's bucket?"
"Looks like it."
We looked at the little bright green blob bobbing on the waves. The thing was way beyond wading distance and I don't swim.
"Ah well, there's not a lot we can do about it is there?."
"No, not really."
At which point Holly sees it and bursts into tears: "My Bucket! My Bucket! I want my bucket!" She's inconsolable. She was less upset when the cat died - mind you we did have time to prepare her for that one - we should have sat her down before we came to the beach. " We're going to the seaside Holly but maybe some of your toys aren't coming back..." But we hadn't and there we were with a distraught child and nothing to do to save the situation.

Just then the motor boat that had been buzzing about off shore for a while came right in to the beach. People jumped off. I had an idea and ran down and collared the boat driver (is that the correct nautical term?). I told him the story and pointed at the near invisible floting blob. "Yeah, I'll go get that for you," he said - and off he roared.

The people who had jumped off the boat started humming the Baywatch theme. The boat neared the general area of its target and driver peered around looking for it.

Jokingly I said to one of the people standing next to me:" I hope it IS my daughter's bucket after all this," and as I did so the the guy in the boat pulled the thing out of the water - and I saw that it wasn't.

The thing the bloke had retrieved was his own son's toy boat which none of them had noticed was missing.

Holly's bucket was in the boot of the car.

Last night my Morag said she wanted to send me for a CAT scan or an angiogram. She has been meaning to talk about this with me for a for a while, well ever since Dan had his Hemorrhagic stroke (a blood vessel burst in his brain) a couple of years ago, but the timing was never right. Statistically there is a greater risk if a close relative has had a stroke - though whether this is a genetic thing, or because of similarities in environment and upbringing - I don't know. She wants to see if I have a similar, pre-existing condition.

If I do turn out to have cerebral aneurysm/s they might stick wires in my brain via my leg - it's a long bit of wire - and cut off blood vessels. This is what they were going to do with Dan after his first bleed. A plan that went out of the window when he had the second and they had to do the emergency operation.

This all a bit scary, the though of having people poking things into my brain is very disconcerting - I demand a miniaturised submarine!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Woke up yesterday morning to find the water was off.

A quick phone call to the neighbours reassured us (and them) that it wasn't personal; the whole village was off. Electricity off on Tuesday, no water on Wednesday, Mike - the neighbour I had phoned - is convinced that the gravity will be disconnected on Friday. I then spent ages trying to find the phone number of whoever is in charge of making the water come out of our taps while thinking up ingenious ways of getting some water from the river to our toilet cistern. Three people, one toilet, hot weather? I wanted to be able to flush it - tying a rope to the handle of a bucket and bunging it off the bridge seemed the easiest solution.

Eventually I found the number, and got stuck in one of those:

"If you are a not an existing customer and want to report your frustration at being held in a queuing system, please press hash followed by your 27 digit customer number"

Eventually I got a recorded message saying:

"We are aware of the problem with the supply in Ballachulish
- you have wasted 15 minutes of your life listening to a robot".

I phoned Mike to tell him that they were aware of the problem with the supply in Ballachulish and I had wasted fifteen minutes of my life listening to a robot.

He told me the water had come back on twenty minutes ago.

I am starting to tie things down before Friday...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Please Can I have a Boyfriend To Be Married To?

Typing fast. The power has been going on and off all night. This happends sometimes during the summer. Sudden unexplained power cuts. So, a quick post before the lights go out and the computer becomes just a heavy useless lump of metal and plastic.

Vegging on the sofa tonight watching bits of Futuramas between blackouts tonight Merriol and I opened and, with the lack of will power that only the opening snack foods or chocolate can generate, consumed a whole packet of Pioneer Original Turkey Jerky 'Natural Smoke Flavour Added'. Phoebe and Tyler bought it over for us when they visited.

Later, I was reading the back of the packet. (Life tip: always read the contents of foreign snack foods AFTER you have eaten them) when I came across this:

"The meat contained herein is for personal use only and not for sale". What does that mean? And why is it on the Export Statement? Are Americans allowed to use Turkey Jerky impersonally - and sell it? I really am feeling baffled - and slighty queasy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Tallulah Blankhead

I have no idea why I thought that was funny or why I thought it blogworthy but I did and I have. Please accept my apologies.

Merriol took the kids out for the day and I spent most of the time working on the second of three revolving standing stone for Ilona's show. Ilona, if you are reading this keep breathing. It will all be ready in plenty of time. Trust me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Worm Sorters are Very Important!

Today's Unanswerable Question from Holly (she must lay awake at night thinking these up):

"Can eggs climb trees?"

Today's Random Alarming Statement from Holly (and I'm sure she spends hours on these):

"Daddy, I like porn!"


"I like porn."

"Erm, what's 'porn', Holly?"

"It's little bits of meat. You can
have it in pies - yummy tummy!"

I have absoloutly no idea what she was on about but I may have to start playing her Fifi and the Flowertots DVD backwards looking for hidden messages.

A short (true) story I submitted to was put up today. I feel a bit chuffed. On the downside I watched "It Came From Outer Space 2" last night and need a new brain.

Thing Thing Thing Thing Thing Thing - I am getting far too fond of that word in this blog. That was today's quota used up.

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

eXTReMe Tracker