Friday, February 29, 2008

Toad in the hole

I spoke far too soon, in thinking the horrors has passed.

[squeamish warning]

I noticed the pond looked a bit ‘frothy’ and that the waterfall had slowed to a trickle, so I decided the pump must have a problem. As I pulled it out of the water it became obvious that the filter had somehow become detached, so I guessed the pump had got blocked by pond weed or something. When I grabbed the clump of ‘roots’ however I realised it was a dead toad, sucked into the pump, and when I pulled it clear it was obviously TWO toads, slightly decomposing. I dropped one back in the pond in my squeamish reaction. After all, I only recently cleaned the pump, so it must be my incompetence/negligence which did not rejoin the filter correctly, and created this ‘horrible way to die’. Particularly sad, as I saw a toad when I semi-drained the pond as part of the cleaning process, and apologised for the disturbance.

As an ‘animistic Buddhist’ (or something) I identify quite strongly with other sentient beings (life forms) and I only hope ‘the gods or powers that be’ prove a little more careful when they clean the pond that I’m in.

To add insult to injury, the cats had left a dead rat near the top end of the garden, so I had three bodies to dispose of.

Then I took the dog for a walk, to calm down, but forgot my keys, so got locked out with dog after walk, with Julie’s phone not working (on charge), our lodger elsewhere, and Rhiannon in Africa (sigh). Still, Ali rescued me, and sheltered us until it all sorted itself out again. Nice to live in a village neighbourhood, and not a faceless city.
And then I get up this morning, still unable to entirely get rid of the images of yesterday, which I have now passed to you (though not too vividly, I hope) - only to find that Google have put a damned frog reminder in their logo for 29th February (Leap Year). Thanks fellas... [mumbles: "just a coincidence, just a coincidence..."]

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The worst of my bad two weeks seems to have passed, which started with poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick (literally), having a tooth pulled for the first time in 30 years, and getting an unpleasant attack of Moctezuma's Revenge...

Sekizanzen-in TempleToday the sun came out, Julie and doggie came home last night, so I have taken him to meet his friends in a couple of parks and now intend to have a serious tidy up of the den (partly looking for something, partly cleaning). I always find stuff I wasn't looking for, too, because most things in my den arrived there for a reason, even if (over the years) the original impulse to keep/own them may have faded.
You live somewhere for ten years, and quite a lot of stuff accumulates! I feel like a very mossy non-rolling stone.

Great to hear the family tradition continues, however, with Keili planning a bit of wandering minstrel....

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Cordylus cataphractus or the armadillo girdled lizard
Ain't that creature/entity beautiful?

The 8 Circuit model
(check out my images from Jan 26th)

I try not to let my sub-personalities leak too much, but it doesn't take a lot of clicks to track them down.

In my Bogus Magus incarnation (intelligence increase, etc) I work on RAW/Leary/Antero Alli material - and found the lizard image while discussing the 8-Circuit Model with Dedroidify - I went to his blog...
In case you haven’t come across this mental model (!) I still recommend it (in my quiet way) as one of the best I have come across for not only understanding myself and others, but for plugging in further insights.

Dedroidify has launched one video, and has plans for another and fuller one, but he also linked to the vids that came from Bob’s meme-orial – with both Bob speaking his own words, and some great images. I’ll share them here, to save you one click, but I recommend exploring Dedroidify’s site for more info on the whole realm we have discussed…or search YouTube for RAW, or just come on over to visit Only Maybe, and use the Label '8 Circuits', to filter the posts.

Circuits 1-4 (terrestrial or 'normal' circuits - heh heh - 9 minutes or so)

Circuits 5-8 (7 minutes or so) the post-terrestrial or 'high' circuits

And then what?

SMI2LE (Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension - 4 minutes or so)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Flashbacks

Geoff Felix just sent me a picture of the two us hilariously soaked after hours under a toilet while filming Roger Rabbit!

Our tracksuits got soaked, and all they could come up with was paper suits (which got soaked - and anyway the water was running right up my sleeve!) OK, OK, it wasn't a real toilet, but the cold water that splashed every time 'Roger fell through the window' hit me every time!

Here's the story as I told it to T-Bone, a Star Wars fan:

T: What exactly did you do on Roger Rabbit? Tell me about that experience as a whole. It must have been quite exciting.

TP: Dave Barclay called me back from the top of a mountain in Spain, with yet another "state-of-the-art" job. He was the chief puppeteer, and put together a great puppet team of six versatile people whose job was to improvise solutions on the set. The SFX department had time and budget to work on effects. What we did was to dive in and find simple but effective methods of getting the shot. This is not the same as making a consistent method for live shows: get it in the can, and move on. Sometimes I would be above the set, manipulating live objects on "invisible" strings; sometimes hidden under a box, wobbling it when Roger jumped on; or in the ceiling (revolving a fan) when Roger was playing on it.

At one point Geoff Felix and I spent an afternoon with the second unit under a toilet! Roger came through the window, fell in, came up with a gun, then grabbed the toilet chain to pull himself up, and flushed himself away! Geoff had the gun on a wire, I had to spin and pull the chain with an invisible string. It’s been cut very short in the movie, but we spent hours down there, getting soaked. The crew gave us a round of applause at the end of that day!
Ian Tregonning; Toby Philpott; Christopher Leith -               (bottom row) Geoff Felix, David Barclay, Mike Quinn
Other days the puppeteers would be all together. The octopus barman is on screen for a split second, but all his props are real, and operated by marionette strings. Not having a reputation to lose (with string puppets) I was the first to try pouring real liquid from a bottle to a glass, but once I proved it could be done, that job went to the real marionette people. I lit the actress’s cigarette with a lighter (the supporting wires ran up to a battery, so I could both manipulate it AND light it!) My mixed background as puppeteer, juggler, acrobat and magician made me the go-for-it member of the team. The others were serious puppeteers – with specialized skills.


If interviews and such amuse you, you can find a compilation here, which is simply a tidied up version of the old interview page on the website.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To brighter things

I still don't feel terrific, (see previous post) and now Julie seems to have acquired the same bug - but I have to say I still delight in some of the possibilities of the Internet.
Galactic Fossil (1965)
I just received an 'email out of the blue' from Kate Partridge, who I knew back in the 60s/70s. In spite of all the ups and downs, comings and goings and strangeness of the time (my own personal stuff, which I won't expand on right now) we must have met around the Soho music scene (as she worked at Ronnie Scott's and I worked at Les Cousins). She has just found a photo of me which had my complete name, Googled me, et voilà!

Like magic.

I can't say I vividly remember the specific event in detail (although I do remember going to meet her parents, as her father made these wonderful 'nailie' sculptures).

I may have felt a bit over-awed (my self-esteem wavers at times) but I do remember loving the sculptures, and feeling welcomed and comfortable with the family.

My own father's love of crafts and arts meant I often felt more at home around studios than ordinary houses...

I was sad to hear that David Partridge died a couple of years ago. My father died in 1978, so any scars have healed as well as they ever may...

Isn't life strange?
Metropolis - David Partridge - Toronto City Hall
I don't cultivate these events, as so many people seem to do with social networking sites, etc. I have known such a wide range of people that (for someone quite private) I would feel overwhelmed by constant 'catch-up'. My various sub-personalities have different circles of friends, different types of interests, and having found myself on the move a lot of the time, I have never had a really big party to throw them all together and see if they like each other. Everyone seems too scattered.

So I kinda like the randomness factor, and haphazard connections.

A birthday greeting from friends from the juggling days (Hi Anne and Roland!), a recent halloo from Bob Le Chevalier, a guy I hung out with in San Francisco back in 1971, chatting to Sunshine Gray about web design, and now a hello from the old days in London. Such fun!

Hi Kate!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

As good a day as any

What a week! Thanks to anyone who wished me a Happy Birthday, but I failed at that I am afraid – and not just from being a curmudgeon about St Valentine’s Day, either.

I had a tooth out (first time in 30 years or so) on Tuesday, so was on mushy food and no alcohol, and feeling sorry for myself anyway. Then I made the fatal mistake of reading the dentist’s handout, which said if I felt any discomfort I should take some Nurofen.

Well, I wasn’t really in any pain, but certainly discomfort, and being fairly naïve about pharmaceutical drugs (never took any much) I thought they would just soothe the discomfort. I didn’t realize that they would trash my digestive system!

Now, when I tell people, they say “oh, yes, they can do that!” so I should have asked around for the folklore of “doctors’ drugs” before taking them. My dad distrusted doctors and their wares (I didn’t have shots for measles, and whooping cough and polio, etc as a kid) and I continued the tradition, until a few years back when someone told me to try Solpadeine, and I found them excellent for headaches, or tooth stuff, etc. So good, in fact, that they could become addictive (and I met at least one person for whom that was true).

Anyway, I wish he’d said “take a pain killer of your own choice”.

Y'all like doctors 'cause they don't cure shit. They don't cure nothing. Same diseases been hanging out since l was a kid, man. What's the last shit a doctor cured? Polio.You know how long ago polio was? That's like the first season of Lucy. Shit, Fred had an Afro with finger waves! Have you ever met anybody with polio? Anybody feel a little 'poly around you? No. That's right, they don't cure shit.The same diseases been hanging out since I was a kid:AlDS, sickle cell, tuberculosis, cancer, Jerry's kids still limping around. l've been watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon...for probably about years now. Not one stitch of progress whatsoever. That's right, man. That's right, we got AlDS out there. You think they're gonna cure AlDS? No, they can't even cure athlete's foot.They ain't curing AlDS. Shit, they ain't never curing AlDS. Don't even think about that shit. They ain't curing it,'cause there ain't no money in the cure.The money's in the medicine. That's how you get paid, on the comeback. That's how a drug dealer makes his money,on the comeback. That's all the government is:a bunch of motherfucking drug dealers,on the comeback. They ain't curing no AlDS. That's all it is. You think they're gonna cure AlDS? They're still mad at all the money they lost on polio! Curing AlDS? Shit, that's like Cadillac making a car that lasts for years. And you know they can do it...but they ain't gonna do nothing that fucking dumb. Shit, they got metal on the space shuttle that can go around the moon...and withstand temperatures of up to degrees.You mean to tell me you don't think they can make an Eldorado...where the fucking bumper don't fall off? They can, but they won't. So what they will do with AlDS is the same thing they do with everything else.They will figure out a way for you to live with it.They don't cure shit, they just patch it up. Get you to the next stop, so they can get more of your money. They ain't gonna cure it. Hopefully, in our lifetime, you're gonna see somebody go: ''Yo, man, you weren't at work yesterday. What's up?'''' My AlDS is acting up.' 'You know, when the weather get like this, my AlDS just pop up".

You have to's good for you...apparently...

All this means that I couldn’t sleep Wednesday, stumbled through my birthday at work in a delirium of nausea and fatigue, went to bed at 6 in the evening and slept right through. Now I just have the runs (something I didn’t really experience since Mexico in 1972), can’t digest anything, and feel exhausted and miserable.

It certainly feels like a glimpse of old age! Losing teeth, mushy food, no alcohol or tobacco, exhausted, achy, and probably needing an adult diaper – oh yes, this seems like a future flash!

Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!

I called to my men: “This is a good day to die: follow me.”...As we rushed upon them the [soldiers] dismounted to fire, but they did very poor shooting. They held their horse's reins on one arm while they were shooting, but their horses were so frightened that they pulled the men all around and a great many of their shots went up into the air and did us no harm.
Low Dog

We all get to live longer 'on average', but unfortunately no-one can truly claim to be average.
I don't make national average earnings, I don't consider myself averagely intelligent, or healthy or anything like that. People can step under a bus, win the lottery, or unexpectedly live to the age of 100. Even so, that old 'three score and ten' works out about right for most of us. Yeah, I still feel pretty rotten... Oops, gotta run!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Write Now!

Time and Patience

I would love to have the time to pull my whole website apart and rebuild it, however it grew extremely complex over the years and I just don’t have the time or patience.

Online Writing

Most of my energy goes into blogs, Wikis and online magazines, now – but as I hope to help Julie make a website I have become interested in web page design and building again – and writing for screen.

I tend to overwrite, and need to trim my words brutally, for ‘busy’ people (or short attention span browsers) - make it punchier. Web Writing That Works

Before I tackle Dreamweaver, however, I have started using one of Google Lab’s beta experiments for making simple websites - Page Creator (examples below).

Inevitably, I am copying and pasting a certain amount from the old site…but trying to be ruthless.

The old website

The first shock is just how much stuff the site contains!

Without a site map I challenge anyone to find their way around the place. heh heh

Heading for 62 times around the sun

The pic Julie uses in Facebook

I get a 'birthday' next week (and I'll probably be at the 'day job') but what keeps me going (and pretty healthy and happy) are Julie, Dandy the dog, my children: Keili Olsen (Pentaphobe), Yolande Philpott and Matilda (my daughter and grand-daughter 'Tilda'), my daughter Finlay Pearl, my fellow conspirator in creativity Bobby Campbell, my fellow juggling madman Mr Jules, all the NoFit State crew (past and present), all the other Illuminauts, any fellow jugglers and magicians, the Cardiff Library crew (you know who you are), my sisters Julia (and all her children, and new grandchild) and Judith (& her son Luke), and all the people who gave me fun, hope, cheerfulness and optimism over the last few years...

Dandy sympathising when I had a cold and felt rotten
Much thanks to my parents (long gone) and to anyone who touched my life and encouraged me to keep know who you are...

a couple of tired dogs

For amusement - in reverse order (what else?)

The Mighty Boosh, Shameless, Skins, Spaced, Black Books, George Carlin, Monty Python, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, W.C.Fields, Buster Keaton, and so on and so on, back through all the fools in history....

And all the contemporary manifestations of such, from Crissie Trigger and the Raree Show to Franki Anderson and her Fool projects, Robert Anton Wilson and all the Maybe Logicians, from DJ Fly Agaric to Borsky the 'pataphysician, to anyone who doubts the simple realities they got offered in childhood...
Buddhist Patriarch and Tiger'    (Anonymous - 13th Century)                    from Two Patriarchs Harmonising their Minds
Let's keep going with the 'blessings' of Bucky Fuller, and Bob Wilson, R.D.Laing and Maslow, Korzybski and all the weird Quantum Physicists - the passivist anarchists, the revolutionary pacifists of non-violence and non-resistance... all the crazy optimists and dreamers and futurists...

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