Cunningstuff

A new life, for an old man.

Blue

 

Blue is my favorite colour.

I love the words that are associated with it, ’tis the subtleties that I enjoy about blue, and its diverse meanings.

The azure blue sky is a great sky to watch. The beryl blue of rare gems, strung along a necklace to decorate a beautiful throat. The blue-gray rock of the high alpine is always an inspiring sight, dangerous to get to, but rewarding when seen. An ocean’s blue-green tropics, filled with the fish and the coral, a bounty of food and beauty. The cerulean blue of our earth, the pale blue dot, our home, its color when viewed far away in the solar system from voyager, still inspiring us. The dark cobalt of rare blue glass, always an item I want to collect, but never do because I know its beauty is deadly. Indigo blue, rich with history and tapestry, the color of kings and queens, the beauty of blue in fabric. The navy blue of the sailor roaming the blue seas themselves. Royal blue, in its darkness lies a color most people appreciate, understanding its richness. The ever delicate sapphire who is actually one of the toughest bearings on earth, and makes watches last a lifetime. The exotic and super-science sounding ultramarine flares my imagination.

The off color of blue, the bawdy jokes told in earnest between strangers for a laugh. A dirty joke might appear dirty to those of innocence or at least pretend innocence  an  indecent appeal at our humor is one thing that can tie all humans together. If you are lewd and naughty, you can bring together humans in a way that we all understand, the battle of the sexes, or, in these days, the battle of sex. Nothing anymore is too obscene, at best it is off-color, those old blue jokes. We can be racy with blue humor, risqué in proper society if we are quiet enough, or chose to loud and salty in a shady lounge. If the joke is a smutty piece of ribald humor, we might get honored enough to be called a spicy and suggestive lout, but if they really liked our blue humor, we get the title wicked.

If my lips are blue, I am too cold. The mystical blue of anything opalescent, with it’s aqua shimmer and the rainbow of the galaxies. Nothing is more atmospheric than our sky, it’s azure wash over our entire planet. The bluish tones of a cerulean uniform connect the world famous Blue Angels to the sky. A cesious dye for an elderly lady, matching her chalybeous pistol in her purse. A cyaneous fog about a dark and gloomy castle in the night, under a twilight sky the ecchymotic color of a bruise. The sparkly bright gentian blooming in fields of grass.

I love blue.

The Hood

I live in a pretty nice part of the world. It is not fancy, but it is clean and well taken care of, with nice people living around me. I decided again to go with pictures, because this is pretty cute. Today we are going to walk the dogs.

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Here I am putting the leash on. Teddy is very patient with me.

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My love is also patient with me. I take a long time to get going.

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If walking was running, I would never be able to compete. Iris however, would be world class. She is so fast!

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We get to the end of our street, and the clouds and sun make a little show for us. Now because of daylight savings  we do not have any light after she gets home. It is sad, but we look forward to summer next year for the light and sun.

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This is the field at the end of our cul de sac. Ignore the trash, that is rarely laying about, but there are schools and kids in our neighborhood. Those woods though, have all kinds of birds, and the flying foxes can be heard at night.

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Who would not want to take a a walk with such a beautiful woman?

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The thing I noticed the most is the amount of palm trees. I missed them from living in Denver so long, it was nice to see them all over.

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Quiet peaceful suburbia, although I miss Denver, now that I am over here and out of Cap Hill, I am glad to be off the warzone I lived in for so long.

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Teddy pulling me along. Surprising thing is I didn’t catch her sniffing something.

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Tobi take a pose in front of me. I feel like I am losing weight, but then I see these pics and realize I have a long way to go.

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These puppies really love their Momma. It was hard to get them to walk with me, even a short way, with Momma standing behind us.

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I walk them 1.5 km every day. In the evening we walk them together as I am showing, so they get 3 km every day. Sometimes the weather keeps us in, which is sad for all of us.

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Just walking around my new home, I realize how lucky I am to be here.

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To walk with a beautiful woman, to be loved and trusted by the puppies, to have this, this is the way life should be lived.

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As the sun sets in this lovely picture, I realize that I am finally happy. I am at peace and in love with this new place, this way of life. It is good for me, and I am happier and healthier than I have been for a very long time. My health is improving, and I am finding how much strength I have left. I am no longer the victim of my depression, but instead the master of my new path in life. My shining Everstar Queen has made my life the dream I never thought could be mine.

Settling In

A logging road, leaving a destitute and destroyed land, but with a promise of smoother roads in the future, feels appropriate today.

I have finally begun the process of relaxing into my new life. Since the job is something I can not do right now, I have had time to set up an exercise regimen, and that has really helped. I live in a house now, which unlike my studio, give me the ability to walk around, actually it forces me to walk around, and motion creates emotion. I climb stairs 4 to 5 times a day now, I walk around when I have been sitting to long, and I  can just walk outside and sit in the fresh air.  I get to go outside, and I get to go outside when I want, and I have an outside to take care of as well. Mowing, edging, trimming, taking out old shrubs, all have let me sweat out a lot of toxins and helped me to feel good.

My diet has changed as well, these days, having one small piece of chocolate is cheating myself. I am on protein shakes twice a day, 4 pieces of fruit, and then a sensible dinner. Tonight that is a baked sweet potato, with a side of steamed veggies. I walked through the shops yesterday, and everything was tempting me. I might be in Australia now, but they have just as bad junk food here as the states. A few healthier differences, to be sure, there are far more chicken places than hamburger places, but candy, chocolates, donuts, fried potatoes, fried everything else, chips, cookies, they are here, prominent, and everywhere you go.

There is however, at least here in Sydney, a much more responsible population than in America. My beautiful queen and her family have basically said lose weight or get out, and though it seems harsh, it is a challenge I well accept. I have spent the last year building my body core up by riding my bicycle. I now walk once or twice a day with the puppies, we go for 1.5 kilometers (give or take 100m.) I then do 30 minutes on either a stationary or normal bike, sometimes I do that twice. I am working up to I do both of these things twice a day. Yesterday was a fine day, with a 2.5 km walk to the shops, taking the dogs out twice for 3 km, and bike ride with my darling in the evening, which was quite fun.

Here is the hard part. I am waiting patiently for the changes. I want change now, but these changes take time, a matter of weeks and months, and I only have 2 months of time left to show positive change. I am not chewing my nails yet, but I would like something to happen soon. I can measure the changes in how I breath in the walks, so I know I am getting better and healthier, but I am still worried I can not do enough in enough time. For me, in my own personal biggest loser show, there is only one person who goes home, or one person who wins the prize. If I go home, I lose everything, so I am seriously motivated to change.

This is a change for life mind you. All these changes I started three years ago, with the roots of change going even farther back, to when I bought an acoustic classical guitar. I left and sold all my music gear to help pay the way out here, so haha, funny I find an affordable 50 dollar classical acoustic guitar once I am here. I am not one to allow such monumental omens to fall by the way side, I totally had to buy it, and I play it everyday now. Funny too, because it is a classical, it really helps me be more accurate in my playing.

I am a little lost, I feel a little on edge, but I do truly feel alive. I am living here, doing things to make life something better, stronger than ever before. Meeting my Queen was and is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am in a whirlwind of change, and although I am doing my best, I am still scared and worried about the future. So many things are happening, so many emotions are flailing around, I am just doing the zen rock thing, and trying to be calm. I want my heart of stone to be fueled by passion however, not fear. My goal is the marriage of a beautiful woman, the winning of her heart and mind, and that is what I use to stay calm. I sometimes lose my cool, but I am not as angry as I used to be. I have to be careful, because I do not want to be so accepting I become weak and insipid in her eyes, but I have to yield in the way all people must yield in a relationship. My life has only shared the world and the room with others maybe a total of three years, mostly when I was younger and far more fanciful, so I never learned anything.

The story ends well though, if a story this lack of story blog could be considered. I feel the light again, smell the grass, hear the birds. I am finding a way through the world that does not only involve the internet or games. There is an almost holiday feel in the air, a grand expectancy, that entirely depends on my personal involvement and will, so in a way, I am free and flying under my own power. Hopelessly dependent on her sponsorship, I am the one who has to step up and improve their lot. I am more in control of my destiny than ever before, and I know exactly where I have set my goals.

Sydney at Last!

Not one for using pics, especially my own, but this was my first trip to CBD Sydney, with a fly by of Circular Quay.

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Here are entering the M5, and on our way!

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I know it sounds stupid, but to a yank newly arrived, the clean gutters of the Aussie freeway are amazing!

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This pic is only for yanks with a strong heart, gas prices oh my!

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Brick facade on one side, modern glass and steel on the other, this is pretty common in Sydney, both old and new.

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This is Nick Cave’s roadies unloading for a show, I did not get to go, as this was only my second night.

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Here you can see why I do not post my own pics, but this is a festival in Newtown.

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My first glimpse of the skyline!

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Here we are entering downtown (known as CBD) Sydney!

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We just drove around, but here is Harbor Bridge through a door into Circular Quay.

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Obligatory cathedral pic, St. Mary’s in downtown Sydney!

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The building center left is the public broadcasting building, and yes, those are plants hanging out of an upstairs garden!

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This is a slightly obscured pic of Archibald Fountain, in Hyde Park.

Mostly as well, to let everyone know I have made it to Sydney, and am happily installed as a tourist for now. My Lovely Queen and I are getting along, and everything looks good for now. I had a horrible trip, but once landed was just fine.

100 Blogs or How I spent My Winter Vacation

Thank you first of all, my dear readers. A fairly silent bunch, but at least you don’t tell me how horrible I am. I admire each one of you for putting forth the effort to read this piece, as it is far more wordy than most. I also want to thank my lovely Lady, without whom this would not be possible (posseeb). I also want to admit, I have not done as much as I first envisioned, but I have learned far more than I thought I would.

Personally, I am bit disappointed in myself about the whole thing, while at the same time proud of what I have done. I will continue to use this blog for the exact purpose I began with, to become a better writer. I have done 100 blogs, with an average of  about 1000 words, give or take a few, but mostly give (1000+). I will be speeding up the amount I write here soon, as the long wait is almost over for me. Perhaps it is an excuse, I do not know, but my lovely Lady has definitely let me know I am slipping on my production and writing. My take is that I work in a toxic environment, and I want to write in a positive mindset.  I should have had a long vacation or job change a long time ago, but circumstances are what they are, and I did not. I am basically, to be truthful and brutal with myself, a total burnout at my job.

I really hate saying that, because it sounds so depressing and awful, like I have given up on myself. I just can not do that job anymore, it has basically driven me mad, like, angry mad, into the farthest reaches of my psyche. I need to be challenged I think, and I really need a job that uses my creativity, because the mind numbing job, that worked when I was not sober most of the time, but now, in my sobriety, it has become the worst thing in my life. I should be teaching or experimenting or creating and fabricating, and from now on, I will. I have but less than two weeks of mindless numbing slave work, being treated as a jackoff and peon, and I am moving to the new.

Just to be even more honest, that’s how much it affects me. I am realizing that my drug and alcohol addiction were really just the way to haze through my life during the day, for how I made a paycheck. My music, games, art, they were all substandard because I was high all the time. Throw in some depression on top of the lack of motivation and sobriety, and you have the recipe for how I lived most of the past two years before I met my Lady. Since we met I have been more sober, more watchful, more observant than I was of myself before. I am also more critical, and I want to say less excuses.

My time is coming, and I am celebrating it here. I have ranted and excused myself in the past for so many things, but I can tell you this, I have no more patience for my own excuses, I just want this opportunity to grow and change. I am hoping that she still loves me after we meet, I am putting all my eggs into this basket. We have skirted and been nervous about this for a month now, sometimes even flat-out refusing to talk about it, and I understand that thoroughly   This is not the move of a child, with no thought behind it, we are both stepping up and doing an adult change.  We are taking the chance of a lifetime to become a happy couple, later in life than some have chosen, but at a time I think is good for both of us to settle down with someone.

There are labor restrictions on me doing what I am doing, so no matter what happens, I am looking forward to setting aside the labor and work for a little while to screw my head back on straight. I have never had a real vacation, not even once in my life. There was that one time at band camp, when I took a week off of work, but even that has become impossible, instead taking my vacation pay to accomplish different economic goals. I will be broke, and that will be stressful, but I will have someone to take care of and who will look after me. I will have time to write, one of my goals being an e-book to sell on Amazon or somewhere. I will write here more, and switch from doing reviews in America to reviews in Australia.

I am not however, going to drop this blog for another. I really never like when people do that, unless the growth they are experiencing is above and beyond the capabilities of their site. I tend to stop following them at that time, because whatever it is they are changing is obviously not part of me changing with them. Here, I have always said I do not have a direction and intend to let it basically be the playground for my experimentation, and my limited communication with the rest of the world, as well as example of  my writing for the professional world, if they are ever interested. I still have hopes of becoming a freelance writer, but I will not be able to pursue that until I have settled into my new role. I do not however, expect that to be an unlimited excuse, just the truth of the laws I will have to follow until I am done with visas and the import export of myself.

Wish me luck my dear readers, wish me luck on this new bridge I am about to cross. I will not have time to write to you until I am in Australia, as this time here grows short and I must ready myself for the move. I need all the help I can get, and I look forward to writing about the move in the near future, but probably not until the end of March or so.

I will drop an update or two to let you know I am safe and going along.

What Madness is this Love?

I once was told that if you have five hits of acid you are a certifiable insane person. I definitely do not agree with that, but if you are in love, be prepared to do the craziest things you have ever dreamed of. My love life of late is pretty stable, but the crazy thing is how we met. I was reading on the idea of the universe being a hologram, and this relates to how we met. I was in a virtual world, and one where the creators are the citizens, SecondLife, when we met. What are the chances that two people could fall in love by exchanging electrical information? Essentially  that is what we all really are, electrical information to each other. Our brain does not work like a computer, it is very obvious the differences between computers and people. We are however, stored as electrical information, when we think of each other, remember each other, fond thoughts and sweet circumstances aside, it is still our electric pathways that allow us to remember.

When I was a child, we had no push button phones, they were made with a dial, that used a set measurement, the radius of the dial, and a set of electrical impulses created by turning the dial in a set way. The world was sent to me in two media forms, the radio and the television, and just as men went to the moon the year I was born, one of my earliest memories was of Elvis Presley, performing live from a satellite transmission in Hawaii. I had an entire encyclopedia at home, and I read the whole thing. I had a globe with all the countries, showing the terrain through a rough touchable surface, that approximated the placement of mountains and oceans. I am truly an electrical baby, never knowing the dark like my ancestors did, never knowing what it is like to walk in a field unaided in light or equipment. There are very few places on earth that I had access to that would allow me to be far from light pollution, and even when there was, no one thought much of putting a bright light in the middle of the campground to let everyone see things well. When I was a teenager, my virtual worlds were on paper, and on paper my imagination was allowed access to the new reality of who we are, the virtual world. I am one of the few who was born in just the right time to watch us go from the electrical and mechanical, to the digital.

My fiancé  was born just four and half years after me, and grew up with the same exact problems and advantages. We are sitting sideline watching with interest at the Luddite tendencies of the business world, one controlled by those who are older, and the chaos and lack of passion in the new generation coming up, pampered by such a wealth of information they have no wonder of the world or the universe anymore. I tell anyone under 35 how we met, and they say,”Oh that is so romantic, congratulations!” I tell anyone over 40 and they say, “Oh… so you haven’t actually met?” I am beginning to recognize that although I understand the older pathways, I am no longer accepting them.  Information is being exchanged at higher and higher rates of speed, and instead of changing and flexing with these ideals and information, these older generations are becoming ever more stodgy and unrelenting. I find us to be early adopters, there are many 44-year-old people who are refusing to take part of the new information and digital abilities we have,  where 20 year olds who grew up with internet and cell phones have no problems accepting our relationship.

Right now I am writing this into a cloud memory system, independent of what kind of computer I use, so long as I can access a web browser. On my other screen I am streaming YouTube videos, reclaiming MTV for my own personal use. Both screens are flat screens, but since there is no touch system, I am a little bit behind. I however much prefer two screens to one, as I can take information at that speed comfortably. It is not much different from my great grand father playing a wax tube of Mozart while writing with a pen, it’s just ten times faster. It is not that big a jump either to me, for my forefathers to fall in love with a handwritten letter writer, using the human imagination to think about their life with a future lover, than it is for me to find my love in a digital exchange on a virtual world.

I felt the same things I have felt in the past when I met a person in the real world. We met and there was a spark. I can not explain what it was, but it was a spark. She asked me to dance, and I, being rather selfish at the moment, answered no. No one ever asks me to dance though, unless they want something usually, but she just left me to be. I was sooo curious as to why, I felt compelled to talk to her. I felt that spark, that pulled me farther in. We talked for a bit, then she took me shopping, because as a guy, I am hopeless as to fashion. She used to be a fashion model in SecondLife, so she had a tip or two, we talked more, and then, there was that awkwardness of wanting more. All of this has happened in real life, the good conversation, the interest builds, the want of more. When I asked her to partner me in SecondLife later, I was so nervous my hands shook. It felt the same as asking for that first date, that realization you want to go steady, be exclusive, pursue this to the end.

We never go to SecondLife anymore, we have a real life to follow and be a part of with each other, and SL just takes up to much time compared to being able to have a real conversation and be with each other. For the past year it has been like that, we play a game or watch some video, then relax and fall asleep with each other, leaving Skype on for 10-16 hours at a time, just enjoying each others company and companionship, and now, I am but three weeks from going to Australia and meeting her in real life.

The Curious Case of Billiards – End

In this drop I see the fields of gravity that hold our planet hostage to the sun, the force of air being pushed by a high speed bullet, the ability of light to contain huge amounts of knowledge in a tiny space, and the beauty of the chaos of our universe. And still, it is only a drop of water, in existence for a shorter time than we can blink.

The day for court arrived with much fanfare. The most important names and faces had been told it would be an interesting case, worthy of perusing for enlightenment as well as entertainment. No one suspected my end speech though, recorded here for posterity.

“Take your villeins and crimes, take your ideas of heinous and inhuman behavior and throw them out of the door. I want to talk about the art, the art today is the show. I had the opportunity to play on this amazing table, this amazing game, until my cue ball was swiped off the table and chucked out the window. I am… not of the world as most of you are, but instead, I run around and under it. I take on all kinds of nefarious doings, both the good and the bad, and I do them, and it is how I have made a good bit of money and enough of a name to gather all in the audience today. I have seen all of you here, in way or another, at your worst, and while I admit to the brothers being at their absolute worst when I undertook this case, I did not know I would see someone at their absolute best in return.

“We live in an extraordinary time. We have discovered we are on planet, we have found we live beside a star, and that the heavens are truly made of millions of stars. We have found that we only have this planet to live on, and we are indeed, in a delicate position. I shudder sometimes at the thought that this planet is somehow suspended in emptiness, and we could fall off of it any moment. While I spent time playing, I noticed something curious, my imagination was on fire! I indeed  am still burning a bit this day, as my rambling speech can account to. I began to think about our lives, the lives of humans, in a giant galaxy, and what other lives like ours could be out there.

“As I played I thought of how would we ever get there? I know there has been some speculation since the maths have come to prove all of this true. I began to wonder, where are these ideas? Who is talking about them, and in the past month since I played, I have read science of the heavens galore, and begun to understand I know very little, as well do we all. I didn’t hear a word those brothers were saying until they interrupted my play, and brought me, so to speak, down to earth.

“My first reaction is the same reaction I bring to you today. I know it will ruin my reputation as a fair player, but in this instance, I think it may be time for me to retire from the big city, and go back home and read a bit. My reaction is indeed absolute frustration that this beautiful piece of art and knowledge be sold off to the nearest museum, as soon as possible, so that many people can come and be inspired. The inspiration I found in the game of planetary billiards should be had by all. Everyone should be thinking of the stars and the planets, and how we may see them and learn from them. Our basic physics models are from the astronomers, they pieced together the logic for us to understand nature. We have the illustrious Darwin learning of new species, guided by the stars.  Friedrich Bessel measured the distance to a star almost 50 years ago, and accurately, using the same type of math an engineer uses to measure your property.

“We have let our shortsighted life of leisure ruin our ability to think. If we live in the lap of luxury and modern conveniences, what with gas lights at night, trains to take us hither and yon, ships burning coal to power us across the seas, we should also have the ability to think beyond our providence, to go beyond our daily life and see the energy and the beauty of the universe. The challenge we have in front of us is obvious. We can give over to silk and satin, or we can use it to our continued great age. I was given a challenge in my profession, and I have, fortuitously, failed that challenge.

“I can no longer fight for the rights of men, if we all no longer fight for the rights of man. I find in us a tremendous ability, and for the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to see how we could become greater, and not lesser men. It is why I called you here today, so that maybe, we can begin to build a better snowball of enlightenment, and not a greater castle for the lords and ladies. What these two brothers fail to see, is something we are all doing these days, we are not allowing ourselves to be greater. Their mother is a grander creature than they, and sees how best money could be used. No bank master or accountant would agree, they will only see the limited ink with which each purchase was recorded, and only feel the loss of weight in the bags of coins. They, as the brothers do as well, would not be able to feel the fire of imagination, or the beauty of the table itself.

“I call this my last case, for I can expect no new clients to trust me with their secrets, and I indeed intend to turn back to my country manor and educate the young in my town. I ask that the court understand the devilry wrought at the hands of profit, and instead see that the mother is holder of our true values. She is the one who took the industry and fortune of our time and turned into something anyone can appreciate and learn from.  It is her I ask the court to side with, and turn those poor children of hers into wards of the manor, and allow her to find a better way to spend her money and time, than they would want.

I took of my wig and gown, folded them neatly, and walked out of the court. For a minute, you could only hear my steps as I shuffled away, but then suddenly a great noise went up from the courthouse. Everyone was yelling out loud to see the table to save it, to help the mother. Eventually I learned that the court had the museum purchase the table, and once a month, they have a lottery as to who can play a game on it. It has brought good fortune on the town, and is considered a great luck if one is chosen. I have kept my word and retired, and now I teach math and astronomy to the children of my township, for free, in my house, with a replica billiards set.

The Curious Case of Billiards – Part Two

The very first thing that was offered was a game on said table. I could tell from the brothers demeanor, they had no intention of enjoying the game, but I could not wait. To cue up for a hit, you had to use the fowl as a precursor, and they only rolled one way, straight, so multiple hits required delicate maneuvering and forethought. I immediately found myself immersed in a strange speculative thought pattern. The beautiful art kept my eye delighted, and my mind responded with a capricious and sprightly thought pattern. It became apparent as well that there was a cause and effect of weights and design. It was easiest to hit the moon, and then use the moon to push other balls around. After about two hours the genius of the game was so immense I was left almost flabbergasted and distraught, but I knew there had to be more to my visit than just this. Our conversation was becoming more distressed as we played, and it was obvious that the brothers did not grasp the subtle clues and intentions the game itself kept buried in its mechanics. Indeed they became down right angry with the whole thing.

“Is it not preposterous, this monstrosity of a game, dear Spiker? I am completely convinced my mother has gone mad, and is just out of control with her airs!” Hampton spun his monocle from his chain, peering down his nose at me.

“Of course it is brother, it is just again, her demanding and control of the estate, put to horrible use, and a useless end.” Richard put his billiards stick on the table, closing the game.

“Your Mother is an artist, I am sure she meant it to be enjoyed by the two of you, and your friends…” I did not finish the statement, as it was obvious that they hated the table, the game, and anything coming close to statement. Another round of scotch was poured, and this would be the fifth round of heavy pouring, I was aware I needed to stay quiet and find out what my 50 pound fee was going to entail.

Richard picked up one of the chicken cue balls, and with a hearty sideways swing of his arm, neatly chucked it out the open glass top of the room. “That is were this belongs, on the lawn, as a decoration! Her insistence that we play it at least once has been observed, let’s talk about why we called you out.” His face was flushed, and he was angry, so I did my best to keep a pleasing face and smile for them, as they began to talk with me in earnest.

The table cost £180,000. The ivory for the sticks cost £2000 alone, and between the large semi precious stones used as billiard balls, and the payments for sculpting artists, the table had wrought considerable financial difficulties for their shipping investments. The problem was that their mother controlled all their interests for 5 more years, and they worried that her madness would manifest itself in spending every penny they had. They had every intention of ruining her in court, and getting a judge who had been handsomely bribed to give them the control over their various monies, before they were gone. We sat on the two lounges in the library, and as we sat, Hampton kept chucking various pieces of the table out the windows.

Now I have never felt the bite of a moral, or had the desire to shield people from each other. Indeed, I was quite the opposite, you do whatever you need to do in life, and I will do my best to profit off of it. I had no interest in the mother, but as they talked, half of my soul and heart began to betray my conscience . I could feel the normal half of my brain agreeing with them, telling them what judge they should bring the case to. The other half of me was setting up an even more elaborate plan, however. I heard my self telling them to chose to use the high court, not the county court. My arguments seemed sensible, as the high court has more jurisdiction and power  and would likely not be contested, however I knew it was much easier to bribe a county official than a high court justice. They had £20000 to bribe with though, so there was a part of me that said it could work, and justified the idea to the other half of me. No matter though, it was a trap, a trap I was devising as we spoke. I was about to betray my position as a scoundrel  and go against all my work before me. I was sweating over it, when the mother herself came in.

She saw the mess of the table, and at first, smiled greatly, correctly assuming that we had played a game with her table. She talked about it, and I listened with an intent ear, for the table was a prize, a prize for all mankind, if I had ever seen one. She eventually noticed the missing pieces however, and then the row began. Her sons, angry in the first place, were not to smart to me however, and I winked at them as a conspirator should, and admonished them and sent them and the servants out to search for all the pieces.  She was distraught, but soothed by the fact that they did indeed find all the parts, and I wrung an apology from both of them to their mother. She finally smiled and said goodnight, and retired to her rooms.

I of course, was immediately under the ire and angst of the brothers. I cajoled them to think about how perfectly I had set this up for them. Let the table alone, indeed show it off a little bit, it could not hurt, as it was well done and proof of how well heeled they were. Use it to write a contract on, and laugh about how silly the game is, and all the while I would set up the case for the high court. Once I knew the judge, I would send word to them and they could approach him privately and settle their accounts. There would be an end for all, and until then, smile and be polite about it. They discussed it privately outside, while yelling at the servants to put out the lanterns that had been lit to find the various pieces. They both came in and slapped me on the back heartily, positive and happy about the course of action we had set.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Curious Case of Billiards – Part One

The Curious Case of Billiards and Backstabbing  or How I Saved the Best Art

Although not generally known, for my reputation as a drinker and a rascal is far better known, I, John Babtiste Spiker Handrow Thronton, am a barrister. I tend to be the man, who in certain circles, takes on certain delicate cases. Basically anything you want to hear about the rich and the powerful, their proclivities, their sins, their moral dilemmas, I am the one who has to cover their assets from loss and public derision. I am a modest man, modern and self made, my background is a bit dubious, because I come from the country and have made myself known in the city. My mother died at childbirth, and my father doted on me, using his money to insure that I became something grand. I hated life in the country, and loved the city, so I fell prey to his motivations, far better than he ever expected. As soon as I entered the city, I began my schooling in the practice of law, but I did so only at person request. I made it known that I could be had for a price, to take the law and make it perform certain loops and circuses for the rich. I first just had certain papers signed, but over the years I was known to be the man who you could take problems and conceal them, children who did naughty things and have them rescued from public indignity, family who was not to be shown in public and have them properly put into the country, and other similar and delicate situations.

I also had a to keep a certain reputation, one I rather enjoyed, so that people would not be embarrassed to approach me with their problems. I had to play the hedonist, you see, I had to know certain madams, and I had to have a list of  doctors, people who could get things done. I had to show my indulgences as well, it had to be known I could have drink, or a tonic, and perhaps absinthe or laudanum. I had to show knowledge of rascals, folks down by the harbor, people who could do things. Keeping such a reputation is the most wonderful way of life I could condone, I suggest it for every man. This lifestyle has so many advantages for a man in the city of London, that many have followed me trying to get into my shoes. I however, being the barrister I am, never allowed a school of bullies to gather around me, instead always following my own personal order, and seeking ever the higher company of people in the proper circles. My hedonism keeps them from being so close to me as well, and most younger fellows and their children are the main company I keep.

I was called on the summer of ’88 by Richard and Hampton Surry, to come and give legal advisement on a certain piece of art that was being delivered. One must understand this predicament usually meant being served the finest scotch available, usually stuff that was made before the war. I ate a hearty meal, and prepared myself for a night of indulgence. I find the two brothers spiteful and arrogant to the extreme, but their table is always filled with the finest liquors, and I am always called on to tell them my distinct ideals on whatever they have in mind. I basically keep them out of trouble of their own make and decision, advising them on when to use servants or people of the village or when they should get their own hands dirty. My fee of 50 pounds per visit keeps things nice tidy for me, as well. The complication of this visit was evident before I ever arrived however, because the visit was over a piece of art. That could only mean one thing, the art was from their mother, and they needed to know what to do about it. Perhaps it was embarrassing and they wanted to hide it, or maybe they found it uncouth and wanted it destroyed. I knew that it would be of extremely personal nature however, I had no clue how dirty the evening would get.

I arrived in my own carriage, dressed richly but simply, this was not a night for women and public reports, but a quiet night between friends, if the indulgences overran or not. I wore a green felt jacket, with a doubled button vest in black silk. I had felt top hat and pocket watch as well, in case I needed an excuse I could say I had a later appointment for dinner. I stepped out of my carriage on to the main entrance at Surrey Manor. I loved their courtyard, the Roman columns standing straight and tall, the marbled steps clean and white. I was escorted through the Main Hall and into the new glassed in Library. Richard and Hampton both stood and greeted me like proper gentleman. The library was amazing, made of this new modern sheet glass, you could see the whole of the gardens right outside, and the entire top 4 feet of the walls were open to allow fresh air in. They showed me the intricate mechanism, made of beautifully cast iron, full of swirls and cusps, that with no effort at all, even a woman could crank the tons of glass up and down, to shut out the cold, or let in the warm fresh air like to day. I do think this Library more an Arboretum than a place for books, for there were exotic plants from all over the world. I was shown various orchids of delightful colors, amazing foliage plants whose leaves were of the brightest greens and yellows, and the most colorful birds in golden cages, whose noise might be a bit much for most, but as the whiskey was in my hand almost immediately after our introduction to each other, I had no complaints.

After a half hour though, I begged that we move on to some business, before the whiskey took me away from my knowledge and left me bare and unexplained with my calling. We walked over to a corner closest to the old walls of the house, but still plenty of room around it. Sitting there in the darker corner, was one of the most glorious things I have ever had the privilege of seeing. A billiards table, made by the artistic mother, sat under a beam of light that peeked in from the setting sun.  She made a beautiful table, an artists interpretation, which is now on display in the British Museum of Fine Art, you can go see it yourself, called The Table of Fruit and Fowl. An amazing, impressive piece, the table of the finest slate, greenish with dark streaks of marbled silver, like marble, but proper slate, like a good table should be. The balls are of the 9 known planets, in this modern time, and each ball is a vegetable or fruit that represents the god name of the planet, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, ect. There is a group of markers, the size of a ten-pence  each hand carved and exquisite, that you may place for each planet, carved of the same stone. Each planet itself is carved of different stone, so that the colors and texture remind one of what we can see in our telescope. Finally for the exquisite joke that rounds the table out, and brings it down to our human level, the cylindrical fowl, designed to roll straight into the carved balls. and the sticks carved of ivory, telling the history of man’s discovery of the planets, and how chicken we really are.