Friday, May 01, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Big eye - Insomnia caused by changes in the length
Crawlies - Blowing snow at ground level that snakes
along being very atmospheric. Snow blows around in Antarctica far more than
it falls from the sky, the low temperatures means that it stays powdery and
loose and ever present winds move it back and forwards a lot.
Gomble - An accretion of snow on hair. This is usually facial hair
or the hair on a dog in the days when they were
used to pull sledges. In certain conditions, snow could form into balls (gombles) that
hung from the hair or dogs fur, making them heavy and uncomfortable. (see
Hollywood Shower - A naval term, derisively
used to describe showers of longer than the allotted two minutes (fresh water
in a liquid form is relatively rare in Antarctica) Am.
Poppy - Alcoholic beverage that is chilled with natural Antarctic
ice. Hundreds of thousands of years of pressure captured bubbles of environmental
gas that, when warmed with Glenfiddich (or any other less qualified inebriant
of choice), pop in your face. Due to the extremely low humidity of the region,
hangovers induced from poppys were particularly onerous and it wasn't uncommon
for someone to say, "Had too many poppys last night." Trust me, it had nothing
to do with genealogy or flowers. Am
Three-hundred-club - To belong,
you need to go through 300 degrees Fahrenheit, this is achieved by rolling naked
outside in a chilly Antarctic temperature and then going inside to hit the sauna.
Based on the novel of the same name by Charles Willeford, Cockfighter presents
arguably Warren Oates' best performance as Frank, a drifter torn
between the sport he knows and loves and his feelings for the woman who
The opposite of the blowhard he played for director Monte Hellman in Two Lane Blacktop,
Frank maintains a vow of silence for most of the movie. Even so, like
the previous character, Frank travels down many roads, literally and
spiritually. The scenes of cockfighting are disturbingly realistic –
though they are not in fact real – and they're the perfect image of
Frank's inner struggle and obsession. Like Raging Bull, Cockfighter is a story about a man whose worst enemy is outside the ring: himself.
Magnificently shot by Nestor Almendros in rural Georgia – his first
American film after working with Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol and
Schroeder - the film has a quasi-documentary look, and the unique stamp
and idiosyncratic humour of cult director Monte Hellman...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Afghan Politics: Let's Be Real
Here's Glavin, but the post should be read in its entirety for the full faux-Swiftian effect:
It's an especially good issue of Outdoor Canada, with several
interesting articles, and I see that in Top Gear tips, Ken Bailey 's
recommendation for best pump-action shotgun of the year is the
Remington Model 87 Nitro-mag 12-gauge.
It was the very thing I
had in mind today, being of humane disposition (if you take my
meaning), when I was reading a certain addled columnist in the Tyee,
just after having read the usual idiocies from the "ceasefire.ca"
project of the Rideau Institute. As far as I can tell, the former is
one of those ageing hippies in the early stages of dementia whose
wealthier fellow out-patients the latter is solely designed to bilk of
I could be wrong, of course, in
which case I'd dispense with the ritual of offering a last cigarette
and blindfold and go with Bailey's "best bolt-action rifle" pick,
Sako's 85 Bavarian. A handsome rifle, with walnut stock and a Schnaebel
fore-end. The Bavarian offers a choice of six calibres....
Monday, April 27, 2009
But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
For a while his back garden served as a pit in which he burnt review copies (he phoned me to complain bitterly that Fahrenheit 451 was NOT the temperature at which book paper burned) or as a jungle of sunflowers, which he had seeded...
"A dictionary would begin as of the moment when it no longer provided the meanings of words but their tasks. In this way formless is not only an adjective having such and such a meaning, but a term serving to declassify, requiring in general that every thing should have a form. What it designates does not, in any sense whatever, possess rights, and everywhere gets crushed like a spider or an earthworm. For academics to be satisfied, it would be necessary, in effect, for the universe to take on a form. The whole of philosophy has no other aim; it is a question of fitting what exists into a frock-coat, a mathematical frock-coat. To affirm on the contrary that the universe resembles nothing at all and is only formless, amounts to saying that the universe is something akin to a spider or a gob of spittle."