Sunday, November 30, 2003

The Saturday Guardian gave me a good hint. There was an insert from Concern - and it suggested giving a Christmas present to someone on the planet who needs it, rather than some bit of tat for people who have everything (most of the people that I know in the West).

This solves my puzzle of previous years, where (if I don't want to play at Christmas because I am not a Christian) I am accused of being a party-pooper, killjoy, scrooge, skinflint, etc. Even the nicest people sulk if I won't play - even when I say it's because I earn the same money in December as in June, so why should I spend more?

So, if I have to spend money, and 'it's the thought that counts' - then I am going to take that bit of silly money and buy a couple of goats, a bag of maize and some pens and paper for the kids. Concern send you a card to let your friends know where the money for 'their' gift went. Best of both worlds, I think.

It seems like a good idea. Why not try it? If you were going to buy me something, why not do this instead?

If I am tempted or pressured into spending in the next few weeks, I'll just log on and buy another goat (£25 - who knew they were so cheap?)

And if you are one of those people who like flashing the cash at Xmas, why not spend £250 on a water pump for a village?
It was truly excellent to hear from Mr Jules - The Last Leopard from Wales - check out his site if you need an all-round entertainer - who gave me a 'heads up' on a fresh link for juggling information (a link I've added to my reference page now).

Hi Jules!

I was going to answer your message in the Guest Book, but I answered Nicole first, and then the guest book said I could only post once a day! I knew I should have done a combined greeting message.... hey ho

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Check out Space Hijackers, the anarchitects. I was especially amused by their disclaimer.
HAPPY BUY NOTHING DAY!

First thing I realised was that I normally buy The Guardian on a Saturday, just for the week's summary (although few of us read it) and the small and convenient tv guide (far more important). I was going to wait until Sunday, and buy a different paper, but Julie likes her Guardian Guide, and is not a 'true believer' in Buy Nothing Day, so she is getting it this week.

It took a little longer to make a flask of coffee to take to work, with a sandwich and an apple.

I am not rigid about stuff like this - it's only trying to raise my own awareness. I do not consider myself a hypocrite if I find there is something I have to buy today. To some extent it is just sorting out shopping into essentials, convenience, nice to have, not strictly necessary and completely self-indulgent. Or some such.

People give up smoking more easily than they would give up shopping.....

I liked this page about Not Cricket's tea stall last year

Thursday, November 27, 2003

One of my games in the library (similar to approaching the World Wide Web) is to find myself, my family and friends in the database.

It was easy finding my dad's "Dictionary of Puppetry" - it was out in The Stacks with the out-of-date (or valuable) books.
"Puppeteers wishing to better understand of the techniques of puppetry construction and production will find many questions answered here. Philpott covers the field from puppet performances of Mozart's opera Abduction from the Seraglio through a Polish production of Zwyrtala the Musician. Extremely readable; useful to all puppeteers."

Then I found my friend Mick Swain. He was on the last page of "Coincidence" by Brian Inglis (having corresponded with Mr Inglis), and also in the Social Inventions compilation - regarding 'using a diary as a logbook to steer yourself through life'.

I found Caroline Noh in a book about Moving Being (a Cardiff Arts Group).

Today I found myself, in a book about Bruce McLean the sculptor/artist, from when I was part of a Performance Art piece of his (with music by Michael Nyman) in the Riverside Studios in 1979. I won't elaborate here. It's still an amusing pastime.
Blogger seems to be acting a bit strangely. Unless it is just when looking at it from work (inside the library I am behind a Council Firewall).

I noticed that the links I put into the last post, about the Bucky Fuller Institute, go to a Page Not Found - and then when I refresh they go back to the home page. They don't do that when I access the site from home.

hmmmm.

So if these links don't work for you, let me know (perhaps through the Guest Book at the bottom of my Home Page, or email).

Thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

A bit weary today.

Some friends make Monday night a film night (at home). They have been watching Pasolini, and that sort of 60s/70s European films. I took them Les Enfants du Paradis (one of my top ten EVER films) and we got through it, all 3 hours and 8 minutes of it.

Pretty good going when you have to read sub-titles if you don't speak French well.

The problem was I took a couple of bottles of wine, and my French drinking companion was on antibiotics, so he wasn't drinking, and the others all seemed to be on beer, so I ploughed through them both! Oh dear.

Well, I knew I had a day off yesterday, to let in the chimney sweep, so it was OK. I even lit a fire for the first time this year.

Today I have a half-day (this is new) because I will be working 4 hours on Sunday, when the library will be open (experimentally).

And (for those of you elsewhere on the planet), it has started SERIOUSLY raining now.

Other people throw a Christmas/New Year party to help with the winter blues. It's just unfortunate that I find all that jollity and spending money we haven't yet earned on things we didn't really need contributes to my down mood. Hey ho.

Still. Battle on. I watched RAWs Maybe Logic again yesterday, and it rejuvenates my optimism. And today the Bucky Fuller Institute sent me my Crewmember of Spaceship Earth T-Shirt to go with my map. So it's not all glum, honest!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Just a plug for a great book.

I just finished Duende - a journey in search of Flamenco" by Jason Webster.


I leave you to find out what Duende is for you.

This is beautifully written (in passing) but is a record of an adventure among the 'low life' in Spain, in search of the passion that the English lack. Jason went and learned guitar, and had crazy adventures, and has recorded it so well.

My own adventures with the Gypsies in Spain is something I never wrote down yet. I didn't do the music, but somehow my mixture of fairground and circus made me acceptable for a while. I know I am kidding myself, as I may have just been popular because I had a bit of film money, and was farily open-handed with it (in search of a party). I would call it mutual exploitation and mutual respect, and leave it at that.

I'll stick a couple of photos up (the only tangible souvenir I have). Great times!

Meanwhile - congratulations to Jason for catching the ambiguity of the journey.

Great book, man.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEILI!

He's getting his website together, and all you have to remember is keiliolsen.tk [or if you insist, www.keiliolsen.tk] or (come on now!) http://www.keiliolsen.tk

PS: yesterday I got the pop up casino, and then it settled down to the chosen tk banner. I have asked their Help Desk why, but, I don't really know.

I ended up pasting the banner into my front page....Now I have both. Ho hum.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ANYONE WHO EMAILS ME:

My Norton Security has been (apparently) deleting emails - whether incoming or outgoing it seems hard to say. There is no clue. I am not alone. They reckon they fixed it on November 8th, but I have reinstalled twice, and run Live Update, and it still happens. I hope it really was Spam that got deleted, but if you have emailed me and had no response, then PLEASE send it again...

"A serious bug within Norton Internet Security 2003 is responsible for the unexplained deletion of emails for some users.

Symantec is aware of the problem with the latest version of its security suite and is working on a fix. It promises to deliver a patch through its LiveUpdate automatic updating facility this week. The company has downplayed the significance of the problem by saying it affects a small number of people."

So if you have sent me anything important in the last few days, and NOT had a reply, could you resend it? Thanks.

Friday, November 21, 2003

On a slight tangent - my life as a street performer, and circus worker, allied me to travellers and gypsies. I experienced the same ambiguous reaction of fascination and repulsion. "It must be an interesting way to live" was balanced by accusations of irresponsibility. And then again, people would accuse me of romanticising them - even when I told them my dad had pushed a puppet-show around the UK in the 30s. OK, then he was the romantic fantasist.....

Being a dropout upset my mother and her aspirations to an academic and respectable career for me. A few people would always respond to my busking with the 'get a proper job' attitude they had for 'beggars'. It always helped a bit to be white, well-spoken and intelligent (that used to throw them) but they would then just act suspicious as to what terrible thing I was running away from, that I would have 'given up my privilege'.

No good telling them that I loathed everything they stood for - that my intelligence was not going to be sold into being used to run an empire, or promote capitalism, etc.
Nowadays my alignment with 'aliens' and outsiders is seen as a reflection of my position on the spectrum of autism ' Asperger's Syndrome'. I used to think it was just to do with being Introverted and Intelligent - but there are fashions in diagnosis - and a stupid and prejudiced population will always seem scary to the likes of me. Just as I scare them. In England you are supposed to be modest (unlike in The States) so it seems arrogant to claim intelligence - but I can't help it. In Test The Nation I got a higher score than anyone in the studio, and a point higher than the best online participant. Whatever that means. But I know I am smart. A long way from the top of smart, of course - and socially maladapted, and so unable to end up in a university with a sheltered role as 'absent-minded professor' or 'spacy mathematician'.

Clever people feeling weird is not uncommon in a culture that still believes in god (for instance) - such pervasive stupidity scares me badly. And the apparent arrogance of such a statement alienates me from sympathy (that's why the Aspie diagnosis rings bells). Blunt talk and a lack of social skills (what I would mostly call hypocrisy - lying to oneself and others).

So anyway, I am reading a fascinating new book on 'Duende' (the spirit of flamenco) so my eyes turned to the gypsies again. Locally they are upsetting to the settled community of Cardiff, as ever. They are getting all muddled in with the British fear of 'refugees' and 'immigrants', of course.

Going to look for a book in the Social Studies section [In search of the true gypsy : from enlightenment to final solution] which had this synopsis:

"The reader of European history looking for information on gypsies will only find them in footnotes. It has only been recognized tardily and with reluctance that during World War II hundreds of thousands if itinerants met the same horrendous fate as Jews and other victims of Nazism. Gypsies appear to appeal to the imagination simply as social outcasts and scapegoats or, in a flattering but no more illuminating light, as romantic outsiders. The world is patently intrigued by them, yet at the same time regards them with anxiety as "undesirable aliens". Where does such ambivalence come from? What ideas are involved under the surface of these mixed feelings? In this study, contemporary notions about gypsies are traced back as far as possible to their roots, in an attempt to lay bare why stigmatization of gypsies, or rather groups labelled as such, has continued from the distant past. "

I researched and wrote an article on these themes, for a juggling magazine, and I recently found the first, long draft of that article, which had a lot of material which I ruthlessly pruned. I may put the original version up at some point (now the OCR is working).
"The bourgeois novel is the greatest enemy of truth ever invented."

I am sad to say our library isn't well stocked in some of my favourite writers - but then again - they were (still are) fairly dangerous. I have thrown in a few quotes from Henry Miller because so few people realise what a joyous and liberating writer he can be - it's a shame that this library only has a bit of 'porn' churned out to be able to eat - and not even the books which defend and explain that phase of his life. His enthusiasm, mysticism, literary criticism, etc are mostly unrepresented. And my own collection got trashed - or rather hijacked - (along with the rest of my library) back in 1994. Hey ho.

For completely different reasons I love William Burroughs - and (again) he isn't well represented here. Try this interview with J.G.Ballard about Burroughs.
"I am just having a good time.

And, I think this is a very important part of life–that people learn how to play, and that they make life a game, rather than a struggle for goals,

don't you know."


--Henry Miller
Why then do we not give ourselves -- recklessly, abundantly, completely?
If we realized we were part of an endless process, that we had neither to lose or to gain, but only to live it out, would we behave as we do?

--Henry Miller
Always Merry and Bright

And if you have managed to get past thinking Mr Miller was just a pornographer (or whatever your misapprehension) why not support the memorial library people and all the artists they encourage. Look here...

"What we all hope in reaching for a book, is to meet a man of our own heart, to experience tragedies and delights which we ourselves lack the courage to invite, to dream dreams which will render life more hallucinating, perhaps also to discover a philosophy of life which will make us more adequate in meeting the trials and ordeals which beset us. To merely add to our store of knowledge or improve our culture, whatever that may mean, seems worthless to me".
--Henry Miller

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

It's not easy to keep your spirits up when you're out on the street (or living without credit), but it can be done.

My role model was Henry Miller, dropped out in Paris and determined to be a writer even if he starved, or had to lose face and scrounge his meals. He starts Tropic of Cancer (a record of that period of his life) with this jaunty, cheeky, nonchalant phrase:

I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.

My son emailed me the other day. He's another cash economy person - and reminded me that when he runs out of money he is just 'skint' (Back to Zero) whereas most of the 'richer' people around us owe thousands of pounds/dollars. Looked at the other way up we are thousands of pounds/dollars 'richer'.

It doesn't show when we are out on the street and people are living in luxury, it only shows when the income fails - and credit living people find that they not only owe more than they can pay, but the interest ticks up every day (I thought of it as like having a taxi parked outside your house with the meter running...and the driver sitting there with his feet up reading the paper).

I remember Tony Allen had a line like that - which I can only paraphrase "I heard one day that Robert Maxwell owed three billion pounds. I had nothing. Then I realised that that made me three billion pounds RICHER than Robert Maxwell - that really put a spring in my step."

I am not making this up. I found the following here:

"Members who are overextended already and are just making their minimum payments from month to month will have a hard time paying another bill. Believe it or not, some consumers think obtaining more credit is the equivalent to increasing their income. Rather than correcting the problem, the additional credit increases their borrowing costs and only delays the inevitable."

Ain't that a chilling phrase......

Monday, November 17, 2003

Go Bob - he's starting his European tour, but I am not going to catch him this time, I don't think....but I can't wait till I see him again. He does love songs like no one else (except the Blues) - with all the real bitter twists and ups and downs - not just the simple 'lerv' songs of pop. I am a lot happier than I was this time last year (for those who follow the story), so I sing along with these lyrics with glee now (air drumming) but last year it all felt too true....

I'm your man, I'm tryin' to recover the sweet love that we knew
You understand that my heart can't go on beatin' without you
Well your loveliness has wounded me
I'm reelin' from the blow
I wish I knew what it was that keeps me lovin' you so
I'm breathin' hard, standin' at the gate
Ah, but I don't know how much longer I can wait.

Skies are gray
I'm lookin' for anything that will bring a happy glow
Night or day, it doesn't matter where I go anymore, I just go
If I ever saw you comin' I don't know what I might do
I'd like to think I could control myself but it isn't true
That's how it is when things disintegrate
And I don't know how much longer I can wait.

I'm doomed to love you
I've been rollin' through stormy weather
I'm thinkin' of you
And all the places we could roam together.
Got a real puzzle as streaming video isn't working on here, and I can't work out why. So I stick Bob on for a while (live tracks from an obscure CD I got in Belgium) - he ain't popular in my house, but I love those words, you see (and the bands he gets behind him) - so I rave in the back room on my own...hey ho

Well I don't dare close my eyes and I don't dare wink
Maybe in the next life I'll be able to hear myself think
Feel like talking to somebody but I just don't know who
Well, I'm tryin' to get closer but I'm still a million miles from you

The last thing you said before you hit the street
"Gonna find me a janitor to sweep me off my feet"
I said, "That's all right mama.... you..... you do what you gotta do"
Well, I'm tryin' to get closer; I'm still a million miles from you
Had a lovely moment yesterday. We went to a Superstore to get wild bird seed, and stuff, for our sparrows (we have a cluster of sparrows living in the holly tree in the garden) - who we like to feed in the winter months.

Julie mentioned seeing a Robin in the garden, so I said we should try to encourage it, and as they are a bit carnivorous I was looking at the special birdmix which had insects in it, also a little Robin nesting box, etc.

Over Julie's shoulder I saw a flurry of wings. Now sometimes you get birds in the garden sections of big stores....but this was a Robin! It landed a few feet from us, and nibbled at a little pile of seeds some staff member must have put out. Then it flew a little closer, and sang to us. All this in a noisy, crowded Sunday shopping superstore under fluorescent lights! I was so sorry I didn't have my camera...

It was such a great synchronous moment that we HAD to buy all the robin stuff, of course. Best salesperson in the building.

It's been a year for Robins. One cheekily approached me when Judith and I were looking around a castle in Somerset with Bill and Thomas - and Julie and I saw another by the path when we went to West Wales.

And after I put out the seeds and fat balls I saw a blue tit. More garden news as time passes.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Frank Skinner had a great chat show this week. Michael Moore, and Robert Downey Jr and Michael Stipe (REM). Brilliant stuff.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

PS to the rant below. I have always felt intrigued by Typology - knowing I 'was' one of Jung's Introverts in an Extravert culture helped early on.

I have studied a lot of ways of dividing us up. Personally I feel a little nervous about all the more recent 'illnesses' and 'syndromes' that we have 'discovered' (invented?) - even though some of them may seem helpful, too many of them appear to me as inventions of drug companies (and other people with vested interests) for me to feel comfortable with them. And labelling people seems always potentially dangerous - especially if you can get them to define themselves that way.

Uh-oh, I didn't mean to start again. After reading so many 'grids' I eventually ended up at Astrology, not for the 'hidden influence' part of the theory, but for the subtle and rather complex tool it represents for attempting to describe the range of 'styles' of humans, and the ways they approach the world. It has evolved over many centuries and several cultures, and for that reason alone should interest us - rather than the latest fad.

Having said that - check out this site about the XD38 personality, an extension of the Myers-Briggs model, itself an extension of Jung's stuff. Note: I don't recommend any of this.

And before you decide you 'are' an XD38, or think I claim to 'be' one I'd like to remind you (again) of the Forer or Barnum Effect.... and of E-Prime. Have fun! (and that 'is' an order!)
Today is a good day to die

BUT

Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Chief Dan George as Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man.
As ever, I know I should be more cautious in what I write in here. I don't intend to offend, but I am often opinionated, and have been known to rant. Curiously, as a lifelong vegetarian I have never joined the ranks of anti meat-eating ranters. Diet is really your choice. I am simply a vegetarian the way sheep are - it's not a moral choice.

I will rant against religions however.

I will rant against stupidity.

I can be very bloody-minded.

One of the things that has annoyed me for years, and continues to, is the resistance people have to the idea that they are animals. Bad enough that Darwin had to battle this out TWO CENTURIES ago - but that we should still be in denial is astounding.

And what upsets me more is that (thanks to right wing types co-opting the ideas - Social Darwinism to justify the status quo, etc) the left wing and the feminists and a lot of people I would expect to be 'on my side' so to speak became adamant that Nurture and Culture was all...so everything could be corrected, all differences ironed out, if only the system was fairer.

It's a terribly dangerous 'politically correct' minefield, and I have argued with many friends who were shocked that I didn't share their 'liberal' views - when I defended some of the possible explanations of behaviour from fields like sociobiology (the study of humans as animals). I agreed with them that it was a dangerous area to study (as those findings could be misused again) but I strongly disagreed with the wishful thinking that we are somehow separate from the animal realm, somehow special. When it comes to that I am a Deep Ecologist - I really don't think we have any special privilege on the planet; we are not a special creation (Aaaargh, not God again); we are not so far evolved that we somehow escaped our biological heritage - that's all wishful thinking, religious hangovers, and romantic escapism - and dangerous nonsense as well.

In my opinion. Let's get that straight. I am only saying that if you talk to me about this stuff you will get an obstinate position. I am not saying I can prove any of this.

Meanwhile - I have turned from the Aspie book (see below) - to late night surfing. Battered men was one theme (I have been one many years ago); Fathers being misled is the other (that thing about 1 in 10 fathers are not the biological father) and the unreliability of women in this area.

Again, I am only reporting, not judging. There is a lot of statistical evidence (scientific) for the figures - and there is plenty of theory as to why (back to sociobiology again). Sperm Wars by Robin Baker, for instance.

It doesn't make me insecure, it just makes me want to change from patriarchal inheritance (dubious) to matriarchal (almost infallible). Especially for important people. With rumours raging about Prince Charles' sexual pastimes (goddam, if you were that rich and powerful - and went to a British Public School - wouldn't you be having a bit of Caligula fun?) and the knock-on rumour that he only fathered William (the heir) but not Harry (Di was putting it about a bit) I do wonder why the royal 'family' should still be inheriting and passing stuff on...but I don't suppose illegitimate blood is very new to that line......

And now I'd better get out of here before my late night musings aggravate someone too much. I prefer the 'cute' image I used to keep up as a children's entertainer, but it was never true, and I am getting too old to care about upsetting people now (one of the privileges of age is to rant - even if one's words are dismissed). And anyway, if I have Asperger's Syndrome (I think I am on the spectrum, but so are a lot of blokes)you can dismiss it as a side-effect.

Goodnight - and don't take it so personal - it's only words, you know. And language (as Laurie Anderson sings so beautifully on Home of the Brave) is a virus.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

My current reading is covering Asperger's Syndrome. Julie (who is a trained social worker and counselor) brought the subject up, when she pointed out how many of the characteristics I have.

It's initially difficult because if I read 'health' books of any kind I always think I have most of the symptoms. Still, I agree that a lot of the description fits. Bear in mind this is a new diagnosis (within the last 20 years) so nobody would have spotted it at school and sent me for tests, or simply re-arranged my education to something more suitable, the way we nowadays do for (say) dyslexics (and why IS that such a hard word to spell?)

I started with "Loving Mr Spock" - a rather empathetic description by a woman who had a turbulent rrelationship with someone she later decided had Asperger's Syndrome (AS). This had a lot of the research. I sampled "Aspergers in love" and a couple of others, and they all kept pointing to Simon Baron-Cohen's work. He is the brave guy who describes AS as the extreme form of the 'male brain'. We are talking hard-wired differences here - not an illness. Autism and AS are far more common among men and boys.

It is a political minefield to suggest men and women are 'essentially' different, of course, as people fear the social darwinism/sociobiology arguments that things are they way they have to be - whereas feminists, and left-wingers have tried to say everything is nurture, and so changes in society could eliminate these differences. Ever since I heard that position I sneered because it seems evidently untrue - wishful thinking. Equally, of course, the idea that we are doomed by our genetic inheritance and cannot 'adjust' anything at all is equally ludicrous.

It's that old Aristotelian logic thing again. Either/Or.

And nobody is talking about ALL MEN or ALL women.

So I accept most of it, even though in many ways I am NOT a typical bloke. I don't like cars, I have always been rather passive and non-competitive, etc. But then again, our models are muddled. In one sense gay guys are the most extreme form of male brain, they are only 'effeminate' in certain senses. Actually to go to a club and have sex with half a dozen strangers without emotional complications is one of those full hetero male fantasies - the harem. Few of us hetero men get to live it out (at least without paying for it).

We settle for pussy-whipped domesticity/monogamy for the most part.

Anyway - I now have Simon Baron-Cohen's book "the Essential Diference", so I am off to lunch to consume it (perhaps I should remember to eat food, too).
For those who remember me when I was clowning - I am 'hell for leather crazy' ever since I realised that most people on the planet were living within strange little belief systems (and I knew I had my own - the British have lots of nonsense from when they - briefly - ruled most of the planet).

I knew that I just couldn't see the narrow viewpoint that had trapped me because anyone's local culture and first language always seems like 'normal' or 'natural' or 'real life'. Worse for the English, in a way, because it has by chance become the world language, so there is little reason to learn a second language and so discover that the world isn't 'labelled' with the words that you happen to use to describe it.

I will come back and try to write this for people who are using English as their second language - I always do - or who are dyslexic, or five years old, or whatever. I love to communicate, and if you meet me you know that...I'll use anything to get through.

Sometimes it might be mime, sometimes magic tricks, sometimes alcohol - WHATEVER it takes to get through to people and let them know we are all so similar, and all want and need the same things.

I am ashamed (in a way) that my Spanish is limited, my French so clumsy, and from then on all I have is a phrase or two of other languages to get through. But humans can get through to each other easily enough if they want to. We've been doing it for thousands of years (in our nomadic way) and we can do it so much more easily now - if only we would use all our intelligence and resources for LIFE-ENHANCING STUFF rather than greed and violence, and selfishness, and narrow-mindedness and fear.

I have just joined the Bucky Fuller Institute (they are certainly going the right way); I have just taken a domain name with Tokelau.

I had my youthful enthusiasm almost squashed by a British upbringing of inhibition, state religion, and snobbery but I have been 'fighting back' ever since. Although 'fighting' isn't the model I want to promote. I am not a fight promoter.

Just Resist.

Be obstinate.

Lay low when you have to, even if it is for years.

As James Joyce recommended: "Silence, Exile and Cunning".

Hooray for our side!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

At the bottom of my Home Page you will find the RetroStats counter. I haven't hidden the statistics, so if you click on the logo it will take you into the detailed breakdown.

The most interesting part for me is 'Country' (although 'Language' is interesting, too. There are 12 listed at the moment.) Nice to see visits from Tokelau logged - they are checking me out because I asked permission to sell-on their domain names.

Actually I have no desire to make money out of it (although I would like them to make money out of it) - as I think that spreading the word about their free domain name offer is more important, right now, until they reach critical mass.

I will apply to be an ambassador, as well. I just like the idea, and their approach - it's not like I am likely to get to visit (even though Julie already wants to retire there, as soon as I described the place!)

To recap from their Home Page:

"Tokelau is a small place. In September 2003 a delegation of the team of Dot TK went to all three atolls to present what the Internet can mean for such a small country.

In meetings with the Council of Elderly we came to the conclusion that Internet can not only bring advanced communications, but also medical aid (Telemedicine) and a better education. "




Sunday, November 09, 2003

I have just registered a free domain name with Tokelau's enterprising people, at Dot.TK.

As a country they were granted the Internet domains ending with .tk, and they decided to give them away (it's part of their Pacific Culture to share equally).

It was easy to register, and (unlike bigfoot) it really is a simpler address to give people.

www.tobyphilpott.tk

My only problem right now is that the connection to the server seems a bit erratic, but I'll monitor that for a bit and let you know how it goes.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Do you remember Googlism?

Googlism for: jabba

jabba is back
jabba is really saddam hussein
jabba is georgeous
jabba is actually really saddam hussein read on
jabba is a legless
jabba is the realm of the demoded
jabba is the realm of
jabba is more than just a ski resort
jabba is usually used for a plateau in local language
jabba is an interstellar fence
jabba is much more than just a ski resort
jabba is pretty much a slug means that even when his barge blew up
jabba is using mind control to play with my heart
jabba is the brain child of it's creator
jabba is sirius
jabba is absolutely wrong
jabba is provided on the web
jabba is my big fluffy himalayan cat
jabba is in no way a mean cat; but just like the next human
jabba is included which is slightly different than the one in the original
jabba is said to have been designed by a huttese artist named dreyba
jabba is there waiting for him
jabba is clearly a legend among mofos for his physical attributes and
jabba is not the same jabba we see in return of the jedi
jabba is far too expressive in this chapter of the star wars saga
jabba is smoking a hooka
jabba is one of the galaxy's most successful crime lords
jabba is een hutt
jabba is a painting of the table and fireplace
jabba is used to screwing all sorts of races
jabba is known for having a hand in all sorts of activities
jabba is unmistakable
jabba is a tall humanoid with a walrus
jabba is interesting
jabba is first scene
jabba is a reasonable
jabba is attached to
jabba is hungry
jabba is just as disgusting as ever
jabba is
jabba is constantly exposing and thwarting the efforts of the criminal hutt gangs and is being chased by a bounty hunter hired by the hutts called kern al
jabba is noted in this section not because he clearly appears in the movie
jabba is that you?
jabba is only amused and says that he likes the headhunter and that he will therefore give him
jabba is merely a front for the lashkar
jabba is the notorious bounty hunter boba fett
jabba is the grossest of the slavering hulks and his scarred face is a grim testimonial to his prowess as a vicious killer
jabba is of the race hutt and like most of his species
jabba is the canadian coffee chain store where calgaryĆ¢s gay crowd grabs their jabba
jabba is about 8 months old
jabba is bipedal and does not speak huttese
jabba is a gruff and grisly crewman aboard the same ship as solo
jabba is nowhere
jabba is one of the best choices
jabba is aboard
jabba is unmaterial
jabba is much bigger than he was meant to be when the scene was shot
jabba is getting very impatient
jabba is all too obviously a computer graphic
jabba is the "other" win32 client
jabba is asleep on his throne
jabba is very ugly and has drool dripping down his mouth onto his belly
jabba is equipped a hotel with 52 rooms including four suites; restaurants with seating capacity for 100 people; a coffee shop for 50 people and an
jabba is a big
jabba is a good natured
jabba is highly intelligent and rarely overlooks details or dangers
jabba is behind the curtain
jabba is edited onto 20
jabba is aware of his presence
jabba is really jabba? jth
jabba is sucks
jabba is in town
jabba is more careful than before
jabba is going to blow up something's main reactor
jabba is situated on main karakoram highway; the distance by road from islamabad is 314 kilometers
jabba is noted in this section not because he appears in the movie
jabba is so fun
jabba is very keen on cunning
jabba is made of three pieces
jabba is no big deal
jabba is digitally inserted into a conversation with han solo right before the pilot takes off with his new clients
jabba is in his "castle" near the pit with leia chained to him
jabba is full sister
jabba is a millionaire
jabba is a hutt who knows that it's all about the little differences
jabba is furious and pulls her toward him
jabba is pleased
jabba is suspicious about this random stranger about whom he knows nothing
jabba is pitted against rival crimelords

Thursday, November 06, 2003

"Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes it doesn't".

Chief Dan George (as Old Lodge Skins) at the end of Little Big Man.
Interest Rate start to go up again (after 4 years)

Ms Cook added: "The consumer has kept the economy going very nicely during the tough times of the last two years. It's now time for the rest of the economy to take up the running."

By getting people to promise away their future earnings at modest rates of return (for them) or large rates of interest (in the long run) for the lenders – basically, by swearing that we were ‘good for it’ - we have put off the ‘natural event’ of a leveller, bringing borrowing (particularly on houses) back in line. The idea that the consumer keeps the economy ‘going’ is crazy Bush/Blair Speak (after 9/11 we were urged to go out and spend) because we are also the workers (the 'rest of the economy') who aren’t being rewarded properly.

“Manufacturers had urged the Bank to sit tight over interest rates while the green shoots of a recovery in the sector take hold.”

Do these green shoots of recovery remind you at all of Chauncey Gardner and ‘everything will be all right in the garden….” ?

He added: "Despite more encouraging world growth, we should be clear that the economic recovery is still at an early and extremely fragile stage.
Most analysts are predicting a steady rise to a figure of 5% by the end of 2004."


We still measure ‘growth’ by GNP, which includes every wasteful activity, too, and is not a green measure at all – just an obsession with bigger, faster, longer, etc.
A quarter-point increase will add £9 a month to an average mortgage of £60,000 and nearly £15 to a mortgage of £100,000.
Savers should benefit from higher rates.


Savers? Don’t you mean the money lenders? Who else has money saved…?

If 0.25% raises a £100,000 mortgage by £15 per month, does that mean that going up to 5% (from 3.75%) would increase it by... a further £75 per month over the next year?
Day off - nice and peaceful.

Did a bit of tidying up, and reading through my latest magic books and tricks. I have been collecting up some new links which I will add to this page (a first test) soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I have just sold my crew shirt for Labyrinth (along with a bunch of photos, call sheets, story boards, etc) - so I am beginning to feel like I understand eBay (just a little bit).

Of course, I am still dealing with old hands at this market place, but it has been fun, that's for sure, much like going to conventions and signing photos and chatting to people.

Hi Sharon!

Monday, November 03, 2003

Well I managed to stumble through the halloween weekend without coming to any grief.

Getting chimneys swept, and ordering coal, now.

I still don't know how I will get through Christmas without annoying people. The best I can come up with this year is to take some money I was going to spend on trivial presents, and donate it to a charity - and just notify people where the money for their pressie went. It's a bit of an involuntary contribution, I suppose, but it would make me feel better. If I HAVE to spend money because of the season (and forget that I only earn enough for ordinary days) then at least I could give it to something I feel good about like the Bonobo cause, or the Great Apes here, or here.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I keep remembering just how small I felt when I was growing up in London, and how much smaller I felt when I found how big the world was.

Since then, we all live in a shrinking world. Anybody could find themselves on the wrong end of a camera, or the wrong end of a journalist. Anybody (dream on!) could be in the 'right place at the right time' to take advantage of the modern world's ability to amplify any person or event to world sized. Of course, some people are doing it on purpose (hi Mr Blaine) but others find themselves accidentally at the focal point.

This is all to do with systems theory, (and the amplification possibility was for a while known as the Butterfly Effect - though usually to indicate the accidental form of amplification). When I was young I witnessed this snowball effect when the Beatles became famous. Now I happen to think they WERE the most talented of a bunch of musicians back then, but not THAT MUCH MORE talented.....

It's the amplification effect - the howl of feedback - the denial of any other possibility - and the ignoring of any conflicting evidence or opinions....

These are just notes to myself - they are not intended to be enlightening to others - I will one day finish my piece on systems and systems thinking...

hey ho.
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