Tuesday, 30 April 2019

30th April 2019 - Skildir

Thought for the day :"I don't need a thesaurus because I already know a lot of very, very, very ----- very, very, very good words."


Green One
In other news ...
I mentioned before that I was asked to put together a song for a CP group called the Skildir..

So it seems that I have completed it ...


Where gentle rains once fed the crops now blood stains all of my kin
Farmers and their families all butchered by the greenskin

We'll Fight to free the lands of the Skildir
Fight to free the lands of the Skildir
Fenris Teeth to Archangel
Through Mountain field and range, we'll
Fight to free the lands of the Skildir

It almost breaks my heart when I think of devastation
I swear I'll stand and pledge my arms to destroy the whole green nation

I sometimes hear the victory horns, the Drachenguard in Battle
I dream I see the lands all free growing green with sheep and cattle

And the only time I feel alright is when I'm into drinking
It sort of eases the pain of it and levels out my thinking

The weight of Torsten's sacrifice, pain of following orders
But now the Daygahz brands my skin, "No Mempo in our Borders"

As each day comes around and we're only into fighting
My ma would like a letter home but I'm too tired for writing

With yellow fire of passion, Black cross of secrecy,
The Sons of Torsten wield a flag to keep us Green-skin Free

And now I hear the victory horns, the Drachenguard in Battle
and now I see the lands all free, growing green with sheep and cattle

We'll Fight to free the lands of the Skildir
Fight to free the lands of the Skildir
Fenris Teeth to Archangel
Through Mountain field and range, we'll
Fight to free the lands of the Skildir

Cheers !

Monday, 29 April 2019

29th April 2019 - Of Trees and Gardens

Thought for the day:"I’m just on my way to fix Cat Stevens’ caravan... Awning has broken."

And time for a daily Trump - liked this one

Daily Trump

Mastering Music Link EMastered  just so I have it in the future

Was looking through some old photos on my machine and found the pictures of the Leylandii trees being removed from the back garden - I had forgotten how large they really were!!

and there we have it ...

DAY 7 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

Cheers !

Sunday, 28 April 2019

28th April 2019 - Of Saxons...

Thought for the day:"My local farmer has added a special step to get over his fence into his field... . . I like his stile.."

Saxon Britain some information from Ancient EU

Saxon Britain
The Saxons were a Germanic tribe that originally occupied the region which today is the North Sea coast of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Their name is derived from the seax, a distinct knife popularly used by the tribe. One of the earliest historical records of this group that we know of comes from Roman writers dealing with the many troubles that affected the northern frontier of the Roman Empire during the second and third century CE. It is possible that under the "Saxons" label, these early Roman accounts also included other neighbouring Germanic groups in the regions such as the Angles, the Frisians, and the Jutes; all these groups spoke closely related West Germanic languages that in time would evolve into Old English.

Since the Saxons were illiterate, most of what we know about them comes from reports of a handful of writers (mostly bishops and monks) and also from archaeological research. The Saxons were among the "barbarian" nations that would engage against Rome during late antiquity, putting an end to the dying imperial order in the western realm of Rome, reshaping the map, and renaming the nations of Europe.

Early in the 5th century CE, Roman control in Britain was waning, and most of Rome's military resources were allocated to the struggles in continental Europe. The Roman army withdrew from Britain completely in 410 CE, and the occupied land was left in the hands of the Romanized Britons. The territory was divided into several small warring groups, both indigenous and invaders, fighting for political control. In the midst of this social and political strife, more Saxons migrated into Britain, expanding their territory and establishing a number of kingdoms which can be identified by the fact that most of their names contain the suffix "sex" (e.g. Sussex, Wessex).

Ancient sources provide different versions of how exactly the Saxons arrived in Britain and how they expanded. Three major works concerned with the Saxons in Britain have survived to the present day: the De Excidio Britanniae, written by Gildas; the Historia Ecclesiastica, by Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a narrative with multiple authors. According to Bede, the famous British monk who lived in the early Middle Ages, the Britons were suffering attacks from the Scots and the Picts, so they decided to hire some of the Saxons as mercenaries to fight their enemies. After completing their task, the Saxons turned against the Britons. Gildas, a 6th century CE British monk, describes the Saxons as savages similar to dogs and lions, and he adds that "nothing more destructive, nothing more bitter has ever befallen the land". Gildas saw the destructive advance of the Saxons as a form of punishment inflicted by God for the sins of the British, whom he compares with the Israelites of the Bible

Other Maps:
Land in the time of King Penda of Mercia 

I also saw a rather fun set of Viking Laws..

Don't know where they came from or whether they are real - just thought I would add them here ..

Happy Sunday

DAY 6 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

Cheers !

Saturday, 27 April 2019

27th April 2019 - How loud should you play Onward Christian Soldiers?

Thought for the day :"I used to play a musical instrument on cruise ships’ ‘Piano ?’ ‘No, Cunard’..."

Hurricane Hannah is blowing through the country - though we seem to have come through unscathed!
Must be Empire Weekend - oh yes - It Is !!!  I cannot believe that they are so unlucky ! But they are also very robust so IO am sure that they will enjoy a good weekend away.

For my part - I had the installation in Chepstow for Order of Atheltran last night and then Sir Thomas of Accon in Carmarthen this morning.
Let me say that I enjoy this order - though I was a founder in Port Talbot back in February 2004.

We met in the Bishop's Pantry at Margam Abbey in Margam and dressed the restaurant with the tapestries from the wedding later used in the Crimson Moon.

It was an interesting place to meet and full of history. And after the meeting we quickly brought the tables in and set the tables for the festive board.

We had a good time there - but sadly we moved and then dates were changed so I found myself in the Order but unable to attend until earlier last year when I joined a new Chapel in Carmarthen.
I am still a paid up member of both but still am unable to attend the one..

But, as Organist as well as Deputy Marshal - I have the great pleasure of playing "Onward Christian Soldiers" upon the Organ at Carmarthen. Luckily - this is in the key of F - ( for me it is easier as it is only one black note! ) But more important - there is a flaw in the Organ at Carmarthen. The pedals work well with one exception - and that is that the F pedal is stuck on!! As soon as the volume is put in - the deep bass F booms out!! It will be over - played by any other pedal - but as you move form a C to a Bb ( for example ) it will play F !!
This is very annoying in other keys - particularly if playing in G as there is no F natural in that key !!!
And a lot of Masonic Music is played in G.

But Onward Christian Soldiers is in F and therefore you can leave the F playing through most of the hymn. The Doorkeeper ( who sadly has to stand near the door and therefore the Organ complains that it is all too loud ) Nope - you cannot play that hymn too loud...

And so - as the weather settles down and Susie spends another day in Hospital - I will go and sit with the dog and swill a glass of wine and watch a "Death in Paradise" ..

DAY 4 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

Cheers !

Friday, 26 April 2019

26th April 2019 - Levelling Up - Chicken Wrangler

Thought for the day ; "You are only young once – but you can be immature forever"

Saw this and decided I should keep it here...
Sadly no "nifferkin" there  !

Yesterday I broached a new era in experience.
As Susie is in hospital I faced the problem of what to do with the Chickens. No, not the ones int he chicken coup - they can feed and grow a little bigger - though we may run out of time to cull them before we go to Crete.  No, my problem was with the two that she had killed the night before going into hospital, and which were hanging up on the downstairs washroom waiting to be cleaned.
Now one of these was quite small - turns out to be 2lb 4oz but the other one was just under 4lb.
And dead!
And they had 11 weeks of feeding and nurturing and would make at least a couple of meals and were a fairly large investment!  And Dead - I did mention that I think!
She had blanched and plucked them so that was one bonus but they were still hanging in the washroom and unlike pheasant - you do not hang chicken for more than a day!

Of course - the easiest solution was to phone a friend.. especially when that friend was a retired Vet. He must know all about cutting into animals - though normally alive I would have thought, but sadly after a few attempts it is clear that he is not going to be home!.

To put things into context, I gave up Biology in school in the second year. I never got the opportunity to cut any living or dead things up in school. I also do not have much of a fascination with what happens underneath the skin. I am not one to watch "Your life in their hands" or other medical exploratory shows. My main medical knowledge was found from watching M.A.S.H. and that was only really seeing blood spurting into the mask with some dark humour...

I also had never shown an interest in watching the gutting of food. I am a Phlistine I know but my meat normally grows in plastic in Tesco, and I am fairly content with that level of knowledge.

But two chickens were still hanging in the washroom !

In the old days - it would have been a problem, as getting my copy of Encyclopædia Britannia down off the shelf would have left me with the written word but not likely to assist any more in explaining to the ignorant how to approach the subject. But nowadays we have google and Youtube!!

And so - an hour later, and five videos I have a rough idea of the basic principles and the order in which to approach the matter and the dangers of not splitting the gut, the crop ad the intestines - and in particular not piercing the gall bladder! And even a fair chance of recognising some of those items!

Kitchen scrubbed - and a dog gazing avidly at the corpses - not realising that I do not know which bits are safe to give to the dog as they spill from the central cavity and destined for disappointment as those bits go into the food recycle bag and not a hungry mouth.

The first one goes reasonably - I choose the smallest - as that may go to feed the dog anyway apparently. Unfortunately the video does not work very well int he kitchen - the wi-fi is very poor - so I have to keep watching 20 seconds sitting on the stairs and rushing back to the kitchen. I decide to use some latex gloves that I use for cooking or other dirty jobs normally. That means that I cannot swipe the Tablet or stop or start the video as it is a touch screen!! I find the solution - cutting the end of the pinky on my left hand so the screen will accept the pressure!    I wield my knife just the way they do in the video and slowly we get the top and bottom sorted out. I face a problem however - my hands are pretty big to try and get into the body of a small chicken and as I clean it out - I practically split the chicken into two! It will look strange in the cooking pot - a little manhandled!

The second one goes a little easier. I remember Susie saying that she has a sharp pair of Kitchen scissors in the  knife case and that she uses them!!  So I try - and find that it is much easier to snip away at the skin rather than try to cut through without over cutting!!  I work the rest with the scissors and it goes a lot more smoothly- I recommend it to anyone.

And so the second one is scraped out and both are washed out successfully.

Now to dry them and vacuum pack them with the "seal a meal" vacuum machine - for which there is no manual or instructions. It is not difficult - a little like a laminator but you have to know that there is a separate "drip tray" which fits into the drip cavity or it doesn't work!!  And if you have not seen it before then you don't know that it is missing !

So good old google gives me the list of on-line manuals of which one is for the same sort of model. Sneaky web-page though - every place it says "download" it is for another application that they are selling - and you don't get to see the little button hidden at the top which says (in very small writing) "View Manual" But finally I get to read the instructions. So I open the lid - and find that there is a series of little pictures that tell you how to use the machine !!!  Well - at least I have confirmation!!.

And so - a few minutes later - there are two neatly packed vacuum shrunk packages - clearly marked with the weight, the date and a big black cross saying "Done by Iain" so they can be checked for quality when we finally defrost them...

But an achievement - though not one that I really want to do again - though at least I know that I am capable now ..

This is, of course, how they will look (Photo-shopped!)

So - off to Chepstow for an Installation as it looks as though Susie is in for the weekend ..

DAY 3 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

Cheers !

Thursday, 25 April 2019

25th April 2019 - Impossible Things

Thought for the day:"If you see me jogging – kill whatever is chasing me "

Susie still in hospital having tests. Chickens and ducks all fed and watered. Laying pelletes taken down to the garage but will have to get some more growers pellets today as the remaining chickens are going through them like anything.

I have been studying the method of gutting a chicken - not looking forward to it - seems that there are a number of ways I can get it wrong and I have never watched,,  Ho Hum !

A different form of prevarication I Suppose.

Which is why I saw this bit of impossibility ....

Churchill's Cigar & Whiskey Bottle Puzzle
As they say - only watch if you want to know how to do it - you cannot undo the knowledge!

Looked at the Vollsanger short stories and decided to give them a bit of a push...

And so to the Evil Overlord...

DAY 2 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

Cheers !

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

24th April 2019 - Evil Overlord Day 1

Thought for the day :"My favourite childhood memory – my back not hurting"

Haven't had a Daily Trump for a while ..

Managed to get to 1,020 Likes for Vollsanger Pages and sold another CD. But as important had two people come back and say that they enjoyed the CD. Which is  bonus!!
Managed to reload Cubase to the Laptop - now have to see if I can remember how to use it !

On other not so good news - Susie is in the hospital for tests. Not being well for days, indeed from the time she came back from her father's last week, and finally went to the Doctor this morning who has sent her straight up to Prince Phillips Hospital to try to find out what is wrong.

We will see what comes from that...

And so I start the 42 days of "Evil Lordship"

DAY 1 : What I would have as my rules if I were an Evil Overlord!

And with those few words - I say Cheers !

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

23rd April 2019 - Re-installing Software - back to the Studio

Thought for the day:"I lay awake worrying what it would be like if a pen leaked in my mouth. I dread tooth ink..."

Seems to be Tuesday .. how did that happen ?

Weekly Profile Picture Change 

So, another Order for a CD and this time from someone not on my friend list - so a real sale  :)
So 8 given away and 4 sold. It is a start !

And Cubase now being re-installed back onto the laptop so should be able to start the process again ...

Ho Hum - (still ignoring the paperwork)

Cheers !

Monday, 22 April 2019

22nd April 2019 - Of Ablaut Reduplication and Dante

Thought for the day:"If I get something stuck in my throat, I dislodge it by drinking a pint of lager... It's called the Heineken Manoeuvre.."

Happy Easter ...

It is Easter Monday and the weather is still fine.

In other news - I found this little gem which was quite new to me as a concept-
The principle of  A I O...  and ablaut reduplication!

and so - let me outline the explanation a little more clearly  - because apparently we all use these rules - we learn them without realising that we know them ...

“Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.”

English speakers love to learn this sort of thing for two reasons. First, it astonishes us that there are rules that we didn’t know that we knew. That’s rather peculiar, and rather exciting. We’re all quite a lot cleverer than we think we are. And there’s the shock of realising that there’s a reason there may be little green men on Mars, but there certainly aren’t green little men. Second, you can spend the next hour of your life trying to think of exceptions, which is useful as it keeps you from doing something foolish like working.

Actually, there are a couple of small exceptions. Little Red Riding Hood may be perfectly ordered, but the Big Bad Wolf seems to be breaking all the laws of linguistics. Why does Bad Big Wolf sound so very, very wrong? What happened to the rules?

Ding dong King Kong

Well, in fact, the Big Bad Wolf is just obeying another great linguistic law that every native English speaker knows, but doesn’t know that they know. And it’s the same reason that you’ve never listened to hop-hip music.

You are utterly familiar with the rule of ablaut reduplication. You’ve been using it all your life. It’s just that you’ve never heard of it. But if somebody said the words zag-zig, or ‘cross-criss you would know, deep down in your loins, that they were breaking a sacred rule of language. You just wouldn’t know which one.

All four of a horse’s feet make exactly the same sound. But we always, always say clip-clop, never clop-clip. Every second your watch (or the grandfather clock in the hall makes the same sound) but we say tick-tock, never tock-tick. You will never eat a Kat Kit bar. The bells in Frère Jaques will forever chime ‘ding dang dong’.

Reduplication in linguistics is when you repeat a word, sometimes with an altered consonant (lovey-dovey, fuddy-duddy, nitty-gritty), and sometimes with an altered vowel: bish-bash-bosh, ding-dang-dong. If there are three words then the order has to go I, A, O. If there are two words then the first is I and the second is either A or O. Mish-mash, chit-chat, dilly-dally, shilly-shally, tip top, hip-hop, flip-flop, tic tac, sing song, ding dong, King Kong, ping pong.

Why this should be is a subject of endless debate among linguists, it might be to do with the movement of your tongue or an ancient language of the Caucasus. It doesn’t matter. It’s the law, and, as with the adjectives, you knew it even if you didn’t know you knew it. And the law is so important that you just can’t have a Bad Big Wolf.

In other news - I saw Dante's Hell for the internet...

Seems about right to me ...

Working on the Skildir song - think I have about cracked it - room for that tomorrow. 

Cheers !!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

21st April 2019 - How to Pour a drink .. And the Skildir

Thought for the day:"I was asked if there is a B&Q in Llanelli. I told him not if you spell it correctly."

Drinks specialities

and there's more..

In other news it is Easter Sunday. I saw a thought today that as long as they did not move the boulder from the cave then we had a Schroedinger's Christ  - both alive and dead .. just a thought ...

But then I say this one - and not even doctored for the hands - it is definitely a quarter to eleven

A week to go to Curious Pastimes Event 1 - and I have been asked to consider writing a song for the Skildir - a group in the Wolves - the Viking set ..

The lost lands.... 

The Flag of the Skildir
Black and yellow are the Skildir colours, black for secrecy and mystery (they way thee operate) yellow for fire, passion, revenge, and temperance of how they scorched our homeland (and our favourite, and most painful way for them, of killing them)

The fall of house Torsten.

 (18 years ago)

Yarl Torsten looked out over his land from the rooftop balcony of his mead hall, the clouds chased across the skies like Valkieries, hiding the sun from warming the land, once, years ago that same sun would be giving life to crops and soon the farmers of this great and bountiful land would be reaping in their hard work at the harvest to feed the people of Norsca.

Not now, now the land was war torn, the gentle rains that fed the crops now replaced by blood, the farmers and their families cut down and butchered by the greenskins.

All the Yarl saw now was smoke rising from burned farms and ruined woodlands.

The Norscan Militia had collapsed a week ago, the warband had fought on bitterly and lost many brave warriors, the mempo had driven forward like a plague, killing everything in their path, men, women and children.

“My Yarl, the greenskins have destroyed the last village and are heading for your halls”  The voice of the herald broke the silence, the Yarl felt the weight of those words weigh heavy on him, sensing the incoming doom.

Torsten turned somberly, fastened the last buckle on his armour and retrieved his dane axe from above the fireplace.

Gesturing towards the centre table he instructed the herald to take the Yarl's sword, collect his sons and ride from here West. “If I must go to Valhalla my family must survive to take up the fight when they come of age. Summon the Drachengard to hold the last defence.

The Drachengard. The Yarl's finest warriors, summoned from noble families who lived in the breadbasket. It was a great honour to receive the call and be trained as an elite warrior, to be pushed further, to be fitter, faster, and more skilled than any enemy who raises arms against the Yarl or his family.

Each of them had the rune of Dagaz upon them, the rune of achievement and fulfillment, the rune of awakening & rebirth, They were his personal protection, his honour guard.

[Dagaz, the last rune of Futhark means literally "Day". This rune symbolizes the fulfillment and achievement. Dagaz is the rune of the awakening, of dawn and of the day rise. The rebirth in the Light. ... Thanks to Jera's energy, Dagaz can be used to transform something into its opposite.]

[Dagaz – “Day-gahz” – Literally: “Day” or Dawn – Esoteric: Awakening
Rune of the hyper-consciousness. The process of concept becoming realized.]

The Yarl went down to the gates, ready to face the butchers of the mempo's merciless forces, the Drachengard flanking him either side.

Out of the mist came thousands of snarling greenskins monsters, their oriental armour clanking like a hate filled meat grinder, the Yarl released a prayer to the gods, gave a bid to the commanders of the guard, and charged in to the horde.

They leaped in to the enemy lines with no fear, carving in to them like a scythe borne of hatred and vengeance, but for each enemy who watered the ground with their blood 4 more took their place and slowly, painfully the Drachengard began to fall.
The Yarl carved his way through the Mempo to the warleader, seeing that it was hopeless. Over the screams of battle he gave his final command “take a handful of your best and fall back, find my sons, train them, teach them our ways, survive to fight another day and we will one day take our lands back.”

 Ulfric Deathshadow, warleader of the Drachengard looked with horror at the Yarl “but.. My lord” was all he could utter.

“Gods dammit just do it, Deathshadow! We'll hold them off.”

The warleader took ten men and withdrew, watching his Yarl and the remaining Drachengard hold of thousands of mempo forces.

11 men left to tell the story of that day, of how the Yarl stood up to the ultimate challenge, of how through his bravery the breadbasket would survive, through taverns word spread, more refugees of the breadbasket flocked to the Sons of Yarl Torsten, they trained quietly, secretly, they ignored the political treaty that had been created, each time they sneaked in to the breadbasket and took mempo lives they remembered that day and swore to take the land back, and thus the Skildir was born.

The Skildir (skjöldur in Icelandic, meaning shield) are the survivors of the Mempo invasion of the eastern territory of Norsca, colloquially known as the Breadbasket of Norsca.

Formed from the resistance to treaty in which the breadbasket of Norsca was given over to the Mempo, the Skildir are a guerrilla fighting force, specialising in ambush and shock tactics, favouring skills like Chameleon to assist the fighting force in their operations.

Although they are currently officially expelled from the breadbasket of Norsca (the lands to the east of the Fenris Teeth Mountains) it is a well known secret amongst the Skildir that there are Norscans still in hiding within those hills and forests who refuse to leave, and it is rumoured that covert operations go on to this day to attack Mempo outposts and patrols (there are never any witnesses to confirm or deny this, just burning Mempo bodies).

They're ultimate goal is to take back the Breadbasket and expel the Mempo from their homelands.

thinks ....

Cheers !