Wednesday, 31 January 2018

31st January 2018 - January comes Swiftly to an end

Thought for the day:""Oops! There goes my hat!" said Tom off the top of his head."

And so a month goes by...
The Gas board are still outside  - 2 vans and a digger this morning and the traffic lights outside the house.
A reasonably bright day - though still cold but dry.
And 31 days of Tom Swifty are completed...
Wiki tells me :
The name comes from the Tom Swift series of books (1910–present), similar in many ways to the better-known Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, and, like them, produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In this series, the young scientist hero underwent adventures involving rocket ships, ray-guns and other things he had invented.
A stylistic idiosyncrasy of at least some books in this series was that the author, "Victor Appleton," went to great trouble to avoid repetition of the unadorned word "said"; elegant variation used a different quotative verb, or modifying adverbial words or phrases. Since many adverbs end in "ly" this kind of pun was originally called a Tom Swiftly, the archetypal example being "'We must hurry,' said Tom Swiftly." At some point, this kind of humor was called a Tom Swifty, and that name is now more prevalent.
This excerpt (with emphasis added) from the 1910 novel Tom Swift and His Airship illustrates the style:
"Oh, I'm not a professor," he said quickly. "I'm a professional balloonist, parachute jumper. Give exhibitions at county fairs. Leap for life, and all that sort of thing. I guess you mean my friend. He's smart enough for a professor. Invented a lot of things. How much is the damage?"
"No professor?" cried Miss Perkman indignantly. "Why I understood from Miss Nestor that she called some one professor."
"I was referring to my friend, Mr. Swift," said Mary. "His father's a professor, anyhow, isn't he, Tom? I mean Mr. Swift!"
"I believe he has a degree, but he never uses it," was the lad's answer.
"Ha! Then I have been deceived! There is no professor present!" and the old maid drew herself up as though desirous of punishing some one. "Young ladies, for the last time, I order you to your rooms," and, with a dramatic gesture she pointed to the scuttle through which the procession had come.
"Say something, Tom — I mean Mr. Swift," appealed Mary Nestor, in a whisper, to our hero. "Can't you give some sort of a lecture? The girls are just crazy to hear about the airship, and this ogress won't let us. Say something!"
"I — I don't know what to say," stammered Tom.
The Tom Swifty, then, is a parody of this style with the incorporation of a pun.

So 31 days of Tom Swifty's comes to an end - but there are many more out there ...

"I'm wearing a ribbon round my arm," said Tom with abandon.
"I'm concerned about the number of people not attending," said Tom absentmindedly.
"I like modern painting," said Tom abstractly.
"Now I have the tools to chop down that tree," said Tom with a heavy accent.
"This salad dressing has too much vinegar," said Tom acidly.
"There's room for one more," Tom admitted.
"Here's your allowance for the next two weeks," Tom advanced.
"I'd like to eat seventeen cakes," Tom agreed.
"I'm halfway up a mountain," Tom alleged.
"There's no need for silence," Tom allowed.
"There seems to be at least one blood-sucking insect in every outhouse," said Tom aloofly.
"It's a unit of electric current," said Tom amply.
"These propulsion systems were used by NASA on moon rockets," said Tom apologetically.
"I compliment the company that makes the Macintosh computer," said Tom applauding.
"We can't have this and eat it too," said Tom archaically.
"It's an actual parameter, not a formal parameter," was Tom's argument.
"You have the right to remain silent," said Tom arrestingly.
"Someday I'll run the CIA," said Tom aspiringly.
"I've mailed the letter," Tom assented.
"I decided which car to purchase after looking at the pictures," said Tom autobiographically.
"I need a pencil sharpener," said Tom bluntly.
"I can no longer hear anything," said Tom deftly.
"This must be an aerobics class," Tom worked out.
"It's not fair!" said Tom darkly.
"This boat is leaking," said Tom balefully.
"Give me a haircut," Tom said barbarously.
"I've been listening to the Brandenburg Concertos," Tom barked.
"This is the most common language used on micros," said Tom basically.
"I'm losing my hair," Tom bawled.
"Ouch! When I get stung, I want revenge," said Tom begrudgingly.
"I'm sure we can fool them into thinking this is pollen," said Tom beguilingly.
"I wonder why the hive's still empty," said Tom belatedly.
"I have to keep this fire alight," Tom bellowed.
"Why shouldn't I stir my coffee with a ballpoint pen?" Tom bickered.
"These bit patterns will be more readable in groups of 8," said Tom bitingly.
"I've only enough carpet for the hall and landing," said Tom with a blank stare.
"..." said Tom blankly.
"I need a pencil sharpener," said Tom bluntly.
"This wind is awful," blustered Tom.
"I think I'll use a different font," said Tom boldly.
"Are you all governors?" Tom asked, bored.
"I still haven't struck oil," said Tom boringly.
"This is mutiny!" said Tom bountifully.
"I presented my case to the judge," Tom said briefly.
"This blood-sucking insect likes French cheese," said Tom briefly.
"Use your own toothbrush!" Tom bristled.
"Rowing hurts my hands," said Tom callously.
"I have been reading Voltaire," Tom admitted candidly.
"I've been to a film festival in Southern France," said Tom cannily.
"I can't be bothered," said Tom carelessly.
"I don't work here on a regular basis," said Tom casually.
"Would you like some soda?" asked Tom caustically.
"That's price-fixing!" said Tom caustically.
"Have you seen my collection of ancient Chinese artifacts?" asked Tom charmingly.
"It's twelve noon," Tom chimed in.
"I've got to stop this motor," Tom choked.
"Another plate of seafood for me!" Tom clamored.
"We're off to Scotland," said Tom clandestinely.
"Pretend we were in the days before railways," Tom coached.
"Okay, you can switch on the electric chair now," said Tom conceitedly.
"Don't add too much water," said Tom with great concentration.
"The prisoner escaped down a rope," said Tom condescendingly.
"The prisoners set up a company," the warden confirmed.
"All right, I will allow the prisoners to wear perfume," the warden consented.
"I wonder if there's a number between seven and nine," said Tom considerately.
"Now, how can I trick Sidney?" Tom considered.
"I have a delivery of shoes for the prisoners," said Tom consolingly.
"Hey, what's it worth if I help you escape from prison?" asked Tom contemptuously.
"The escaped prisoner is camping out in the woods," said Tom contentedly.
"I'm mentioned in this book," said Tom contentedly.
"Europe needs more self-restraint," said Tom continently.
"I have writer's block," said Tom contritely.
"I find you guilty," said the judge with conviction.
"I'd like to be a Chinese labourer," said Tom coolly.
"Those cobs are amazing!" said Tom cornily.
"My friend and I steal things together," Tom corroborated.
"I manufacture tabletops for shops," said Tom counterproductively.
"Why is this telephone flex always tangled?" asked Tom coyly.
"How do you start a model-T Ford without a battery?" asked Tom crankily.
"I admire East End gangsters," said Tom crazily.
"I dropped the toothpaste," said Tom, crestfallen.
"I've struck oil!" said Tom crudely.
"The situation is grave," Tom said cryptically.
"Who discovered radium?" asked Tom curiously.
"I wonder where the next character is going to appear," said Tom with a cursory glance.
"I'm the butcher's assistant," said Tom cuttingly.
"It's not fair!" said Tom darkly.
"I can see the Greek woodland deity is no more," Tom said with a deadpan expression.
"I wonder if I'd have better luck if I fished with a net," Tom debated.
"I won't play for this team any longer," Tom decided.
"I am removing the lining of my gloves," Tom deferred.
"I can no longer hear anything," said Tom deftly.
"I didn't do well in the test," Tom said degradedly.
"I have a BA in social work," said Tom with a degree of concern.
"There must be a power cut," said Tom delightedly.
"I will now demonstrate how to dissect a sheep," delivered Tom.
"The censors took all the dirty bits out of my show," said Tom deludedly.
"Don't let me drown in Egypt!" pleaded Tom, deep in denial.
"Let me improvise this part," said Tom descriptively.
"Congratulations; you graduated," said Tom diplomatically.
"I was removed from office," said Tom disappointedly.
"That certainly took the wind out of my sails!" said Tom disgustedly.
"I have to wear this cast for another six weeks," said Tom disjointedly.
"Dat's de end of April," said Tom in dismay.
"Whenever I put on my scuba gear, I get pins and needles," said Tom divertingly.
"I'm on social security," said Tom dolefully.
"It's made the grass wet," said Tom after due consideration.
"Aha! Here's someone who can't speak!" exclaimed Tom dumbfoundedly.
"Now I can do some painting," said Tom easily.
"The radio reception is much better now," said Tom ecstatically.
"I'm shocked," said Tom electrically.
"Emily has put on weight," said Tom emphatically.
"I got in through the window after opening it with a crowbar," said Tom enterprisingly.
"I just came in through the door," said Tom, entranced.
"I'm going after that red fish," said Tom erringly.
"I have no underwear," Tom said expansively.
"I used to be a paratrooper," Tom explained.
"Elvis is dead," said Tom expressly.
"I used to command a battalion of German ants," said Tom exuberantly.

And that is just A - E !!!

For the rest you had better visit this yourself

Have Fun 
Cheers !

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

30th January 2018 - All Gas & Sax

Thought for the day:""I manufacture tabletops for shops," said Tom counterproductively."

The Gas board are outside again. It all started back in November when they opened up the hatches on the Telephone Access man-holes (are we allowed to call them that these days?) Access Points, and left them over Christmas - presumably to stop the build up of Gas ...  Next door had a leak that was found and fixed - we think - and since then every week the road has been blocked off and traffic lights put int place and little holes dug into the ground to check for gas with syringe style gauges.

Well, they have been at the corner of Harris Avenue for three days and we have been clear - until this morning again. 10 am and the road signs are coming out again. They are digging up outside the playschool  (for the third time at least) and they have a digger and two vans with flashing lights.
And yes, the traffic lights are going in outside No 42.

I shall keep you posted.

In other news I saw this little snippet...

When he was 2 years old he fell out of a second story window and fractured his skull
When he was 6 years old , he mistakenly drank boric acid..
When he was 9 years old he fell off a small cliff and broke his leg
When he was 11 years old he contracted measles and was in a coma for nine days..
When he was 14 years old he broke his arm when he caught it in a carriage door..
When he was 19 years old he was struck on the head by a falling brick..
When he was 23 years old he almost died from the effects of tainted wine..
When he was 29 years old Adolph Sax invented the Saxophone
Clearly somebody did not want that Saxophone invented... 

That's enough of Sax for one day ....

Reminds me of the definition of a Gentleman  - " A man who knows how to play the bagpipes - but doesn't!"

Cheers !

Monday, 29 January 2018

29th January 2018 - On immigration in Arizona

Thought for the day:""Don't add too much water," said Tom with great concentration."

Sometimes you think that you can't make it up!!

Toady I have a news feed from Arizona, where incidentally my sister informs me that it is 80 degrees instead of the chill and wet here - I am sure that she is happy to be home ... but back to the news

a Headline reads :
‘Get out of the country!’: Navajo lawmaker harassed by Arizona Trump supporters accusing him of being here ‘illegally’

Arizona state Rep. Eric Descheenie, photo by Gage Skidmore.
Supporters of President Donald Trump used racist language against dark-skinned public servants while rallying against immigration, the Arizona Capitol Times reported Saturday.

“Supporters of President Donald Trump singled out dark-skinned lawmakers, legislative staffers and children at the Capitol on Jan. 25 as they protested congressional efforts to pass immigration reform, according to staffers of the Arizona Legislature and two Democratic legislators, AZ Capitol Times reported. “Waving large flags in support of Trump while standing between the House and Senate buildings, the protesters, who were also armed, asked just about anyone who crossed their path if they ‘support illegal immigration.’”

One dark-skinned Arizonian who was asked if he was in the country “illegally” was Rep. Eric Descheenie (D-Chinle). Rep. Descheenie is a Navajo lawmaker.

“I’m indigenous to these lands,” Rep. Descheenie said. “My ancestors fought and died on these lands. I just told them, ‘Don’t ask me that question.’”

Legislative staffers Lisette Flores and Selianna Robles had gone to a local farmers’ market for lunch and were also accosted.

We’re walking back, and they start yelling again, ‘Get out of the country.’ At that point, they pointed to Lisette, called her an illegal, and said, ‘Get out, go back home!’” Robles said. “But they pointed at Jane (Ahern), who works for the House, and they said, ‘No, you can stay.’”

Ahern is white.

“They assume things about you. There’s not much we can do,” said Robles, an Arizona native raised in the town of San Luis. “We work for the state, we’re public servants, and we’re just here to do our job.”

The Democratic leader of the state Senate blasted the “unacceptable” response by law enforcement after officers were allegedly instructed to stand down.

“I can tell you that the Democratic staff who were yelled at by the protesters and called illegals definitely felt harassed and were not satisfied with the response,” Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs (D-Phoenix) wrote in a letter to Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler).

“They did not feel safe,” Rep. Hobbs noted.

“This is a public place. When armed protesters aggressively go after members, staff and visitors, there needs to be a response that ensures the safety of everyone involved,” Rep. Hobbs wrote. “I have seen instances here at the capital (sic) when peaceful protesters with a different agenda were surrounded by many more law enforcement officers with a much more aggressive response.”

Makes you think that it must be Fake News - but sadly it seems to be fair reporting ..

Ho Hum ...

Sunday, 28 January 2018

28th January 2018 - More Burns

Thought for the day:""I wonder if there's a number between seven and nine," said Tom considerately."


Saturday, 27 January 2018

27th January 2018 - A Bit more Burns

Thought for the day:""I haven't had any tooth decay yet," said Tom precariously."

Liked that one !

Playing catch up - hoping for more photos from the Burns Night - need to look at the video as well


Friday, 26 January 2018

26th January 2018 - A Touch of Burns Night

Thought for the day:""I have a split personality," said Tom, being frank."

Just a couple of photographs from the Burns Night


Thursday, 25 January 2018

25th January 2018 - Burns Night

Thought for the day:"The following was seen on a poster outside a Kirk in Arbroath: DRINK IS YOUR ENEMY. Adjacent to this was another poster which said: Love your enemy."

For the first time in many years - the St Teilo regular Lodge in January coincides with the official Burn's Night. January 25th 2018 will see a second degree ceremony followed by our traditional Burn's Night Celebration Festive Board. With Cock-a-leekie, Haggis Neeps and tatties, Scottish Beef, and pancakes in whisky sauce and ice cream.

A candlelit repast hosted by our Worshipful Master, parading the Haggis by the Haggis Party, and the address to the Haggis presented by W Bro Iain Sewell in his animated and inimitable fashion. (Watch the Chef duck and dive as the sword sweeps over his head) All welcome - wear Uniform if you wish, Kilts and Scottish gear if you can - for a spectacular and colourful evening.

Address to a Haggis
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

and the translation 

Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst, 
'The grace!' hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He'll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer, 
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

and so the haggis party is called -

Happy Burns Night

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

24th January 2018 - Project Albums start

Thought for the day:""I only have diamonds, clubs and spades," said Tom heartlessly."

Start of a new venture - aiming to save the collection of photographs from my mother's home. Though I have lots of photo albums that I have not yet scanned of our own collections - I decided that before my mother's albums were sent to photo heaven - it would be worth taking the time to transfer the photos onto Flickr - and for convenience onto Facebook so they could be accessed by family.

I will add a few here for the fun of it - starting with old ones...

Beach Time

and  a party at 41 - the basement

more party


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

23rd January 2018 - Some pictures...

Thought for the day:""I couldn't believe there were 527,986 bees in the swarm!" Tom recounted."

I will just leave this one here ...

Make IT sew
and because Trump has not been mentioned to day yet - I was this rather nice image and thought I would keep it for posterity....

Off to Aberystwyth this afternoon for the installation of Hywel Dda Court of Athelstan - and address and Grand Lodge Certificates to present - should be a good evening ..

Then I will have to start learning the address to the Haggis for Thursday..

"you do lead an interesting life Mr Beeblebrox" 


Monday, 22 January 2018

22nd January 2018 - Trumpety Trump - and not Nelly the Elephant

Thought for the day:"'I keep banging my head on things' Tom admitted bashfully"

I know I should not be promoting Trump but sometimes it is just hard to resist ...

 Seems Legit - but I preferred this on in many ways...

and today's speciality...

On a more worrying note ...

And with that thought - back to Llanelli later today ..


Sunday, 21 January 2018

21st January 2018 - Down South again - Wet and Miserable

Thought for the day :" 'I keep shocking myself' Tom said revolted"

Back to the South Coast and I reckon it is about as wet and miserable as it can try to be .
Still - in the warm now and probably out to dinner tonight ...

Excellent meeting of Athelstan yesterday - another installation and so a new Masonic year starts for another team. Gave address after installation and managed to get through it without error so quite pleased - it is a nice piece when done properly ....

And for no other reason than I can - here is a little ditty about being too tall!!
"I would be in rapture - but its a matter of Stature!!
Dammit I'm too tall to be a hobbit"

Cheers !

Saturday, 20 January 2018

20th January 2018 - Trivial Pursuits

Thought for the day :"'We don't have a homerun hitter" tom said Ruthlessly"

Not everyone knows American Baseball - but for those who do ...
In fact I recall when Trivial Pursuit first came out as a game and was only in the USA and had not launched in this country - my sister brought over a box with the game in for Christmas.
Must have weighted at least half her weight allowance as it was a big box....

Most of the questions were suitable for a family game - with the exception of Sport Category...

For a country that has the World Series and enjoys international Sport - the Brit who played that game had no chance!!!
All the questions related to baseball and American Football...

As such - there was a standard joke in the house - when you landed upon the colour that represented SPORT - we just gave the answer BABE RUTH...

It was normally correct...

St Elli Installation today ... Athelstan. Worked hard and managed the Address after installation without prompt - was good -

Don't you hate it when the Wine is included in the meal and the person either side of you are not drinking but are happy to fill their glasses - oh - and Port !!!  Lovely Port !!

Cheers ..

Friday, 19 January 2018

19th January 2018 - Of Black Cabs and Remembrance

Thought for the day:""You are so sweet" Tom said splendidly"

As I wander through the web and social media - a number of items come to light, that do not really fit in with any specific theme so I tend to keep them ion the side until I find a reason to use them - but do not wish to forget them. For that reason  this blog has a varied and often random feel to it - and it is only when I look at the statistics behind the dashboard that I see that there are some people who actually pop in and have a look at what is written.

So to you, the unknown few who have a glimpse into the mind of an aging bard - welcome and thank you for taking time to pop in and have a look.

Today's little gem relates to a story that came out around remembrance day - and possibly I shall remember it myself when we come to November next year - but on the basis that I shall probably forget, I thought I would post it here anyway. It relates to Black Cabs in London. The vehicle known to be built with the smallest turning circle to manoeuvre the streets of London.  I was explaining to my brother in law from USA about the "Knowledge", the learning of all streets and routes in London before you are able run a Black Cab - something apparently is unknown in the USA. I suppose in these days of Satellite Navigation the need for the "Knowledge" is lessened. Certainly that woudl be where the Uber drivers came in with their private hire cabs.

However - a more little known item relates to the selfless actions that the Black Cabs take regarding Veterans at Remembrance Day..

Apparently known as Poppy Cabs - each year all fares are waived as they take the veterans to the Cenotaph.

Looking further I find that the capital’s cabbies have a history of waiving fares to transport veterans. The Taxi Charity runs annual trips to Worthing for retired war heroes, and earlier this year (2017) took a group to the Netherlands to commemorate the Liberation of Arnhem.

The site lists details....

Funded entirely by the drivers themselves, this is seen as a highlight of the taxi trade year when taxi drivers make a special effort to pay back part of the debt owed to the veterans old and young.

Taxis are provided on a ‘turn up and go’ service between 08:00 and 10:00 from all London’s mainline stations plus Victoria Coach Station, Victory Services Club and Union Jack Club.

Subject to availability there will be vintage taxis also taking part in the event. Visitors may be able to sit inside the vintage taxis for photographs and may even be allowed to ride in them - we would ask for a donation to the British Legion funds.

A number of dedicated taxis will be taking Chelsea Pensioners, resplendent in their scarlet uniforms, to Westminster Bridge to enable them to mark the eleventh hour – something that those who are not fully ambulant would not otherwise be able to do.

All London taxis are wheelchair accessible, a feature much appreciated by many of those attending the service and parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Drivers wishing to help can do so by turning up at any mainline station, Victoria Coach Station, Victory Services Club and Union Jack Club.

Sadly this year it seems that security issues also take a part as we can read :
Mindful of the terrorist attacks over the past year, and depending on security considerations on the day, it is intended that return journeys start from Westminster Bridge and Admiralty Arch where there are dedicated pick up areas. Marshals will be fully briefed on the day and will advise passengers accordingly if there are any changes.

Subject to availability there will be vintage taxis also taking part in the event. Visitors may be able to sit inside the vintage taxis for photographs and may even be allowed to ride in them - we would ask for a donation to the British Legion funds.

A number of dedicated taxis will be taking Chelsea Pensioners resplendent in their scarlet uniforms to Westminster Bridge to enable them to mark the eleventh hour – something that those who are not fully ambulant would not otherwise be able to do.

I salute them and lift a Glass..

and in other thoughts