Saturday, 31 October 2015

31st October 2015 - In the spirits for Halloween

Thought for the day: "I don't drink much - but when I drink a little I turn into a person who drinks a lot"

holiday - isn't it ...

Friday, 30 October 2015

30th October 2015 - On time Travel - Briefly

Thought for the day:" Putting the clocks back last week is the closest I'll ever get to time travel, other than traveling forward in time 1 second per second"

Thursday, 29 October 2015

29th October 2015 - A bad dictionary

Thought for the day:"Cleanliness is next to godliness - this dictionary is rubbish!"

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

28th October 2015 - Just a thought

Thought for the day:"I did a push up today ..Well actually I fell down , but I had to use my arms to get back up - so close enough- now I need chocolate and a cup of tea"

Just a thought - busy busy ...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

27th October 2015 - London - Allied Grand Time

Thought for the day :" I drink wine because the doctor said I shouldn't keep things bottled up "

7am start - 11pm finsih - a long day.  Grand Lodge in Queen Street, London - a fine building.

 And dining in the Connaught Rooms, 

And the Grand Collar as Past Grand Inner Guard

Not much time for other blogging today ...

Monday, 26 October 2015

26th October 2015 - Training ? Nope ! oh - Okay

Thought for the day: "A disappointing day - discovered my universal remote control does not control the universe - not even remotely"

One of those days which just runs away from you..
Installation of Lliedi Lodge of Mark Masons this evening of which I find myself the secretary.    A lot of running around but a good meeting of some 41 members and visitors and £202 raised for the Provincial Charity - which aims to put a mobile Chemotherapy unity into West Wales.

I shall probably talk more of this in some future chat - but tonight I am tired and need to have a relatively early night as I will be on the train to London early tomorrow to get to Great Queen Street - Freemason's Hall, for the Grand Lodge of the Allied Masonic Degrees. Will be receiving Past Inner Guard in Grand Lodge  - a nice honour .. No 147  Okay - not the highest !!  but I really do think that to be recognised and awarded is a benefit in itself - plenty of time and an honour is an honour...

I shall be glad to attend - though I am still disgusted by the prices that are charged for train places. With my senior rail card I shall pay £66 for my return trip to London - with extra for local London tube trains...  Okay, it may be close but I could get to London and Back for £66 in my car - though I would have to take the tube in due to car restrictions.. If there were two travelling - there is not way that the train would be economical.. Where is the sense ??

still - too late tonight to rant ..
Glass of Scotch !

Sunday, 25 October 2015

25th October 2015 - 24 hour TV, Test Cards, and Clocks

Thought for the day:"I am one step away from being rich - All I need now is some money"

As with many days, something on the net often catches my eye and then I wish to share it. I recall well the early days of television - prior to colour television being launched, when on the occasion that I might be young home and ill, the newly launched BBC2 channel in 1964 would put on a random program to test the abilities of the potential colour broadcasting.

One that I recall especially was the Monaco rally. It would come on unexpectedly, which begs the question of why the television was on. I do not remember properly if I was one of the earliest children raised by the television as a nanny - well in fact it would have been after July 1964 - so I would have been at least ten. Unless my memory is faulty. It is possible that it was on BBC 1 or similar and I was younger - after all, television was very sporadic in those days. After Watch with Mother there was very little to see.

But I remember the Monaco Rally. It was in Black and White of course, but the title was "Colour Tests" so I always tried to imagine it in colour. It was a bit later, after July 1967 that programmes like Bonanza and High Chaparral were repeated in the days of early colour vision and the titles were just fascinating. I cannot recall when we actually got our first colour television, but I have a feeling it was quite early.

I looked up the launch of  BBC2 and found that though the channel was scheduled to begin at 19:20 on 20 April 1964, at around 18:45 a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre, and indeed much of west London, to lose all power.

BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. Associated-Rediffusion, the London weekday ITV franchise-holder, offered to transmit on the BBC's behalf, but their gesture was rejected.

At 22:00 programming was officially postponed until the following morning.

As the BBC's news centre at Alexandra Palace was unaffected, they did in fact broadcast brief bulletins on BBC2 that evening, beginning with an announcement by the newsreader Gerald Priestland at around 19:25. There was believed to be no recording made of this bulletin, but a videotape was discovered in early 2003.

By 11:00 on 21 April, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, thus making Play School the first programme to be shown officially on the channel. The launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was then successfully shown that evening, albeit with minor changes. In reference to the power cut, the transmission opened with a shot of a lit candle which was then sarcastically blown out by presenter Denis Tuohy.

Why do I recall? Well today I found some nostalgic pictures - mainly of the test card..

In 2009 we find that the BBC test card, known as Test Card F, which shows Miss Carole Hersee wearing a red shirt and red hairband, and Bubbles, the clown, surrounded by colour scales and test graphics, was transmitted from 1967 to 1998. Designed by Miss Hersee's father, George Hersee, a BBC engineer, it is being broadcast again on the BBC's high definition (HD) channel to help viewers tune their HD sets, and is currently shown for 90 seconds every two hours when programmes are not on air. Technicians have rescanned the card in HD to allow viewers to set the colour, contrast and sharpness on modern televisions.

And the follow up is what the test card girl looks like today - or maybe a few years ago depending upon which article you see.

But that is enough for nostalgia..

Today the clocks went back. I normally do not have to do anythign. The computers change automatically as does the phone. I do nto wear a watch. And I have a wife who always puts the other clocks right except the kitchen clock which I can do later...  But, this morning it seemed too light for 8am. A nice bright day. The dog had not wakened but that is not uncommon these days. She has given up expecting everyone to get up at the crack of dawn to provide her breakfast.
So.. I decided that it must be nine o'clock and dutifully got up and let the chickens out.

And, unlike the 60's, the 24 hour television availability means that news 24 was switched on as the kettle boiled...  to find that it is Sunday morning, and I am up before 8am..

Best have a cup of tea ..


Saturday, 24 October 2015

24th October 2015 - Putting Clocks Back tonight

Thought for the day:"Some people say I abuse alcohol -  I am confused - I have only ever spoken highly of it"

So, today is the day that the clocks go back tonight. I felt that I had to support the Crimson Moon approach to time - after all it is always a quarter to eleven in the Crimson Moon  so what does it matter ??
I am not averse to having an extra hour in bed of course - indeed I shall probably avail myself of the opportunity of sneaking back for a nap quite soon - just because I can, and because I am not having to work this weekend - nor learn any huge tracts of ritual....

Managed to get myself a collar for my meeting in London on Tuesday. An old friend who sadly is now too old to attend decided that he would be happy for me to inherit his collar .. and very nice it is too. The embroidery is Gold and Rose Gold, so rather a special collar when all is said and done. The advantage with the Allied Masonic Degrees is that there is only one collar regardless of the rank - so if I should get promoted sometime in the future it would not incur any additional cost (other than a fee of honour of course - you don't get away completely free!!) No, once I have a collar that will last me for life - and this one is very nice indeed.

So with those few thoughts I leave you with the news that Junior Doctors are up in arms, probably correctly, because they want to work less hours - which brought ot mind this little image ...

I'll drink to that !!

Friday, 23 October 2015

23rd October 2015 - The right to Combat and Free TV

Thought for the day:"There is nothing like sitting naked in a a bean bag chair eating chocolate - Hope they let me back into Tescos"

A court has accepted a 60-year-old man’s attempt to invoke the ancient right to trial by combat, rather than pay a £1250 fine for not paying his TV Licence.
Keith Woods remained adamant yesterday that his right to fight a champion nominated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was still valid under European human rights legislation. He said it would have been a “reasonable” way to settle the matter.

Magistrates sitting at Manchester Crown Court on Friday had accepted his offer to take on a clerk from the BBC with “samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers”. Unfortunately, the BBC’s health and safety policy restricted them in the process of nominating a champion to fight Mr Woods and had to concede the case against him. The BBC also had to bare all the costs of the case and pay Mr Woods compensation for his time spent dealing with the matter.

This news has been going viral because there is now a legal way to avoid paying for the much despised TV Licence in the UK. The BBC has been trying to keep this story from going mainstream because it will alert the world that you dont have to pay your TV Licence.

or an earlier story from 16 Dec 2002

A court has rejected a 60-year-old man's attempt to invoke the ancient right to trial by combat, rather than pay a £25 fine for a minor motoring offence.
Leon Humphreys remained adamant yesterday that his right to fight a champion nominated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was still valid under European human rights legislation. He said it would have been a "reasonable" way to settle the matter.
Magistrates sitting at Bury St Edmunds on Friday had disagreed and instead of accepting his offer to take on a clerk from Swansea with "samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers", fined him £200 with £100 costs.
Humphreys, an unemployed mechanic, was taken to court after refusing to pay the original £25 fixed penalty for failing to notify the DVLA that his Suzuki motorcycle was off the road.
After entering a not guilty plea, he threw down his unconventional challenge. Humphreys, from Bury St Edmunds, said: "I was willing to fight a champion put up by the DVLA, but it would have been a fight to the death."

Trial by combat: Deciding a man’s guilt or innocence in the eyes of the gods by having two other men hack each other to pieces. It tells you something about the gods."
Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
Traditionally, this is one of the three basic ways of resolving a conflict or disagreement between two individuals or legal entities, the other two being Trial By Ordeal, and Trial by Arbitration (the only one recognised by modern democracies, and for which we have plenty of coverage already).

The idea behind it is very simple, which is probably why it's been used by numerous cultures throughout history: someone is accused of a crime, or two parties are descending into conflict over a matter of opinion or policy. In order to resolve this issue with the minimum of bloodshed, an individual is chosen to represent each side, and they fight. Winner takes all.

This works, supposedly, because Right Makes Might. Whichever side is in the right will win a fight, either because Good Hurts Evil, or because of some kind of divine intervention. Naturally, this idea is passé now, and so the trope is associated with medieval and fantasy settings.

Note that there is no need for either the accused or the accuser to fight for themselves. Just as often, they will choose a champion to fight on their behalf, which is arguably good, because otherwise bullies could handily go around accusing pipsqueaks of crimes against them and beating them up for the recompense, although the less physically imposing antagonists are not forbidden from having his/her more dangerous minions fight on his/her behalf.

This also says a lot about characterization of those who partake in the death match since an accused protagonist generally doesn't allow others to risk death on his/her behalf, but would rather fight his/her own battles.

Alternatively, another heroic character vouches his/her own life in defense of the accused, especially if said accused is unable to fend for him/herself.

On the other hand, many antagonists are all too selfishly willing to avoid severe injuries or death from combat by having a more physically inclined minion to fight on their behalf. Note also that these fights don't necessarily have to end in death, though they often do, especially if the accused is suspected of a capital crime.

If the trial takes place between representatives of opposing armies, you have a case of Combat by Champion. If the two are fighting over an insult, it's going to be a Duel to the Death, with all of the Throwing Down the Gauntlet, etc. Be aware of the difference between this and Duel to the Death. Although they are similar and in many cases overlap, this is always sanctioned by the pervading culture whereas a duel is sometimes illicit. Also, the way of engaging a trial is different.

Whereas a duel can be arranged entirely between the conflicting parties, a trial must be instigated at the behest of some authority figure (who will preside over the fight like a referee and may him/herself serve as champion, especially if he/she is of a Proud Warrior Race), and there have to be witnesses to verify how things went down.

Personally, my wife does not allow me to fight any more


Thursday, 22 October 2015

22nd October 2015 - The key to History

Thought for the day: "I hear someone screaming - last time I buy Duct Tape at the pound shop!!"

An evening of making key fobs !  Next week, we celebrate the 900th meeting of St Teilo Lodge No 4755 at Llanelli. July 1925 was the date if the consecration, and the place was Falcon Hall which I do not know these days.  One of the celebration ideas was to make little momentos for the guests and so while I was in town I enquired at one of the local shops, and found that they had the little key fobs that you can add your own centre piece.

They were £1 each so I enquired how much they would be if I were to buy 50. They hummed and ha'd a bit but did not give me a definitive answer. A pity for them - as I probably would have accepted any reasonable discount.

But checking the intertweb, I find that I could buy 100 for £8.95 with free delivery - so that is what I did.  St Teilo logo and an emblem for the 900th meeting. Looking forward to the Collonade Club coming and joining us on the evening.

Still - plenty of things to do ... and the Chateau 41 is bottled - and very clear and fine it is..

And so - Cheers !!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

21st October 2015 - Back to the Future - Okay

Thought for the day:" I don't know how to act my age - I have never been this old before"

Day seems to be slipping away

But this was the day that Marty Macfly was to come back to the future..

Had to be done

Ho hum - where is the wine?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

20th October 2015 - Sanctions Schadenfreude & Serendipity

Thought for the day:"In the defense of alcohol - I have done some pretty silly stuff when perfectly sober.."

Some may know that I do, on occasion, highlight the inconsiderate driver who parks where they should not with lack of consideration.. indeed people send me such photographs... This arrived today.

I suppose it is Schadenfreude really - but a photo like this one always seems to be so popular.
My thought is just that I would like to go into the story behind it - what was the motivation of each party to get to this stage ...  or is there someone out there who keeps little yellow envelopes in plastic ready to stick onto an official vehicle found to be illegally parked.. If this idea has not already been taken then I think I may go for it ...

Lets see, a few yellow paper sheets of paper with some official type writing in gibberish on it;  some little plastic envelopes, there seem to be many about - I am sure I have seen some in Tesco's for keeping food fresh;  some sellotape - or as they used to say in Blue Peter "single sided sticky tape"; a clear coast and a quick dash in and "plonk" it is on the windscreen...

This one was apparently in Swansea this morning. It is a Crime Stoppers van and my informant tells me that "Naughty naughty! There are queues of people, taxi drivers, council workers and bus drivers trying to take a picture of this crime stoppers van with a ticket".  I am sure that there were. I would have like to see it myself ..

But if it is legitimate, then for a second, let us consider the day that this particular warden has had. Can you not envisage an early morning "rollocking" or staff appraisal interview where they have received criticism for "under-achieving" - for lack of results, for low statistics, for "letting down the side" or sheer laziness. Can you hear the attempt to point out, as an old colleague of mine used to say in Haverfordwest, "My primary purpose is to ensure that the traffic keeps moving and that there are no obstructions - I can do this with the use of a degree of common sense and personal initiative.."  Yes, can you hear it and can you imagine the argument being stone-walled as just another excuse for inactivity...

In my mind, I follow that person out from their meeting with an unresponsive "boss". Possibly, a day that started bright and cheerful, with the prospect of another sunny day out in the fresh air. Okay, chances are that there may be some conflict with an irate driver during the day, but a positive approach to your self worth, and the knowledge that you are that individual who treats everyone fairly and helps whenever possible, who has a chat with local shop keepers and allows the "quick run into the shop - I will only be a moment" when it does not harm. A day that had started with a friendly chat with colleagues over coffee - now turned into a dismal hatred of the whole system, the lack of appreciation, and an ultimatum to "get more bookings"

And then - in front of you is the one thing that is almost as good as the boss's car itself - a Crime Prevention Vehicle abandoned in a restricted place...

What else can you do??   You are under direct instructions, not half an hour earlier.. and That will show them !!!  

I am not saying this happened - I am just seeing it as a possibility...   If not this ...   I am sure that you can envisage your own background story....

Whichever way it is - it brightened my day - and if my version is correct, then I would like to say to that unknown warden "Thank you - you brightened my day - even if you did not mean to - That is Serendipity!"

And so, with those few words I say Cheers! Glass of Chateau 41 is required I think ..


Monday, 19 October 2015

19th October 2015 - Laws and Lassitude

Thought for the day: "I, for one, like Roman numerals "

Was looking through some older archives today and found a headline that caught my eye ..

Fans of murdering Welshmen with a bow and arrow concerned as medieval laws face axe

It is a news article from June 15th from the News Thump...  and reads..

Proposed changes to the law could make shooting a Welshman with a bow and arrow from within the city walls of Chester illegal, concerned Englishmen have learned today.

For many an Englishman the practice of shooting a Welshman with a bow and arrow from within the city walls of Chester after midnight, is a pastime as sacred as leaving lost gloves on fence posts, hating paedos, and voting for bastards.

However changes to the law mean that archery-based welsh-murder could soon become a thing of the past.

Chester bowman Simon Williams told us, “I used to enjoy chasing after foxes and watching dogs tear them to pieces. They closed that little avenue of pleasure and this was all I had left.”

Other legislation to face the axe includes, the Refreshment Houses Act 1860, and parts of the Married Women’s Property Act 1882.

Fans of churchyard expansions were also up in arms about the pruning of the legislation.

Churchyard expansionist, Gary Parker, feels persecuted by the government.
“First they came for my human rights, but I did not speak out because I don’t care about humans.”
“Then they came for the NHS, but I did not speak out because I have private medical insurance.”
“Then they came for people on benefits, but I did not speak out because people on benefits are subhuman scum.”
“Then they came for 1536 act to enlarge the churchyard of St Margaret’s Church in Southwark and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Prime minister David Cameron went out of his way to assure big business that the new laws would not affect them.

“Rest assured, aggressive tax evasion and the things that bankers do will remain very, very legal.”

Thank you Tom Whalley who wrote the original article...

Meanwhile - on a more peaceful note I thought it high time to change the cover picture on my Social Media Media pages - well actually I change them every Monday so no change there !

Well - better get on with some admin - been procrastinating for a long time ... 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

18th October 2015 - Freemasonry and Fermentation

Thought for the day: "Who loves you more? Your partner or your dog ? Lock them both into the boot of your car and see which is happy when you let them out…"

Had a few photos form the trip to Cardiff yesterday - all rather grainy so will have to take a real camera with me to the next one. The Building is old and very inspiring - all wood and carving..
But thought I would share them here anyway ..

Still - all that learning and a good day - so worth a record here ...
Meanwhile - the Chateau 41 (White) from the tin on this occasion rather than the LIDL special grape juice, is ready to drink. I shall admit that I have never see such a clear - colourless wine - really fine and though a little sweet (it is a Pinot Somethingorother) it is very drinkable ..

So - nothing much else being done to day so - Cheers !!

Oh - and a very bright mother in the sunshine - waving me off from her balcony...

And some grapes - I prefer them fermented .. just saying


Saturday, 17 October 2015

17th October 2105 - Just a thought

Thought for the day: "Yes I exercised this month - I ran out of money"

Cardiff for Royal Order of Scotland today - so early train (using new senior citizen card) and late return - alcohol may well be involved..



Friday, 16 October 2015

16th October 2015 - More Learning and Minions...

Thought of the day : "Life is not a fairy tale - if you lose your shoe at midnight - you were drunk!"

Very tired tonight ..  One Craft meeting, two craft installations, a Select Master and Royal & Select Installation - now to get my head around the Royal Order of Scotland for tomorrow...

On other news - my senior citizen Rail Card arrived within 14 hours of ordering - which is good service - means I get to Cardiff return tomorrow for £8.60 instead of £13 - so £10.60 to go care of Tesco Vouchers half price sales...

Meanwhile - while walking through town to get some jewelry fixed I found some minions..

Dressed Pumpkins ready for Halloween .. care of Mr & Mrs H Phillips

I loved them ....

So off to bed and revise some learning ..  Night !