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Topics - Gyppo

The Bar & Grill / Linguistic oddity.
Today at 04:25:41 PM
A linguistics professor was lecturing his class.
"In English," he explained, "a double negative forms a
positive.  In some languages, such as Russian, a double
negative is still a negative."

"However," the professor continued, "there is no language
wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up.  "Yeah, right."
The Bar & Grill / A bit like my life...
May 29, 2023, 08:25:31 AM
For some reason I woke up with this tune on my mind.

I fired up the music box and played it whilst I had a leisurely cup of proper coffee before working out what to do with the rest of the day.  Proper 'full fat' Nescafe, not the decaff which has become my normal once I found one which tasted acceptable.  (A lot of decaff coffees taste like mushrooms to me.  I like mushrooms, but not as a drink.)

A little off-kilter this morning, for no obvious reason.  It's a bank holiday, but I'm not a bank.

Blue sky, bright sunlight, and a lively breeze blowing.

Hey Ho, On we go ;-)
The Bar & Grill / Mixed media - Mixed message
May 25, 2023, 05:40:19 PM
      One of my workmates during my exile in Cornwall was a strange chap.  Well...  even more strange than NFC, (Normal for Cornwall.)

    When his parents were out he would tune the telly to 'Songs of Praise', but with the sound turned right down, and then play his record collection of Ozzie Osbourne and Black Sabbath at full volume.

    QUOTE:  "I tell you, Man  Once you've seen Thora Hird, or some angelic little choir kids  in their chorister's robes lip-synching to Bark At The Moon  you'll never forget it."


    If you don't know the song, here it is...
      Sorry to announce that this year's wood pigeon watching story has come to an abrupt end

    I was always a bit worried that this year's nest was too exposed, too close to the outside of the tree by my back door.  The previous one was well tucked away inside the greenery.

    Some time this morning, before I woke up, something took Mummy pigeon from the nest.  The explosion of scattered feathers, especially the small breast feathers, suggests she was part plucked in situ, which would suggest a hawk attack.  The two eggs were gone as well, which perhaps points towards opportunistic magpies tidying up afterwards.  There's a lot of magpies around this year.

    I realise and accept this is Nature at work, red in tooth, claw, and beak,  and adult hawks and magpies have young to feed as well.

    I scrambled up on a box and took down the nest completely as well, not wanting to encourage any other birds to re-use the dangerously exposed nesting site.  If another pair  want to build a new one in a safer part of the tree I'll be delighted.

    But I shall miss Mummy Pigeon,  who had settled into sitting really tight on her nest.  She seemed quite comfortable with  me going in and out of the back door, and would occasionally give me a gentle and contented 'Coo' when I  spoke to her in passing.

    My daughter and grandaughter will miss her too.  Grandaughter was particularly fascinated by how close she  could stand and was really looking forward to seeing the young.

    But Nature follows its own rules and timetable, and the odds were stacked against them this time around.

    RIP Mummy Pigeon.

How could this poor man be misundertstood?

Left click to enlarge.

To  set the ball rolling...

My favourite of all the original Spoonerisms is still, "The Lord is a
Shoving Leopard.

And from the parachute club, over fifty years ago, the instructor
screaming at some poor unco-ordinated student who just couldn't get
his hands to obey when re-packing a chute, thus reducing the tangled
rigging cords to something resembling porn for squids,  "Why are you
such a cucking funt?"  Followed by a blank look and then roaring
laughter as he realised what he'd said.

The Bar & Grill / All the way from darkest Paris.
May 06, 2023, 10:54:27 PM
As a word wrangler I have to ask....  Is this French for Scrotum Street?

You cannot view this attachment.
   Just received an email  offering me a chance to get a King Charles Coronation coin, FREE, in return for £2-50 post and packing,  Mail is purportedly from the London Royal Mint.

    Must admit I wonder why it's free.

    But at the top of the mailing,  in small print, is the main reason I have doubts.

    Quote: (My Italics.)    If you don't visualize correctly the message, CLICK HERE
If you don't want to receive any more commercial communication,please unsubscribe.

    That message is not written by a native speaker of English.  It smacks of Chinglish, or one of the other versions of Minglish.

    It has all the other spam triggers of creating 'false urgency', 'limited availability', etc.  No way does a legitimate sale/offer need three links for the same thing in one short page of text.

    Much as I'd like to get one of these coins for my Grandaughter I'm not following the links in this mail.

The Bar & Grill / May Day Greetings to you all.
May 01, 2023, 08:52:29 AM
    By the time you read this all the following will have come to pass.

    The pagan votive offering has been hung, all the doors and windows opened to welcome in the Summer, and the ritual has been observed.  My home is now blessed for the next year.

    I have no doubt a passing seagull will scream, and pigeons will make a noisy flypast  All without prior arrangement or coercion.

    I am civilised enough to wait until 7 am before playing the 'Padstow' song, rather than blasting the neighbours as soon as the sun came up.  It's only once a year.

      Like a grey pony-tailed dancing bear I will tread the measured barefoot steps thorough the bungalow and around my boundaries.

     All is well.

The Bar & Grill / Just a thought...
April 28, 2023, 07:03:22 PM
    I dare say if you 'trained' an AI on  a database made up of nothing but 'Thrills & Swoon' romance stories and then asked it to write a military thriller it would probably have a 'fit of the vapours' and blow all its circuits.  What a wonderful thought ;-)

The Bar & Grill / Songs for a Monday Morning.
April 24, 2023, 08:08:40 AM
Two offerings From the late and great Cyril Tawney.

On A Monday Morning.  (The world viewed through a hangover.)

And...  Chicken On A Raft (Fried egg on toast, Royal Navy mess-deck style.)

Part distracted by something else I shoved a CD into my computer for some music.  I have a CD of 'Irish Accordion Favourites'.  A pleasant and light collection when you want some gentle noise but no words, except those which automatically pop into your head with some familiar tunes.

The damned machine refused to play it.  I hunted through the settings menu, despite the previous CD having worked perfectly.  I pretty much went back to basics to ensure all was well.

Still nothing except a few clicks and whirrs at the start and a message telling me it was unable to open input.  As this is my only copy a disaster was looming.

Heart sinking I opened the CD drawer to remove the dead disc.

Despite the paper sleeve reading 'Irish Accordion Faves', in my best felt-tipped annotation, the CD itself, a very similar green colour, read 'Dell Documentation and Drivers'.

No prize for guessing what was in the 'Documentation and Drivers' sleeve.

I am now swaying gently and happily in my chair to the strains of 'The Maid of the County Down',  and the drivers are back where they belong, just in case.

The Bar & Grill / Ah, the glorious auto-correct.
April 20, 2023, 07:09:00 PM
Here we go...

You cannot view this attachment.
The Bar & Grill / Amazon asked me a question...
April 20, 2023, 09:39:45 AM
'Do you ever worry that your reviews aren't being read?"

I must admit thought has never kept me awake at night.

Then it went on to assure me all reviews were important, and that videos/photos were particularly welcome.

I can either slag off or praise something in words far faster than I can film it, so that never arises.

But I am tempted to post totally irrelevant photographs to see if they notice.  Such as an egg cooking on my 'George Foreman Grill' to accompany a review of a Ikg bag of plain chocolate drops for baking.

Or, I am very happy with my Doro 'simple' phone, and a picture of my electric kettle.

Could this be the start of a new game, baiting the A1?


The Bar & Grill / Just for a few seconds...
April 03, 2023, 10:52:43 PM
...I thought I was being spammed again by some porn site.

My filters are pretty good these days.  And far more prudish than you might imagine.  Most junk is binned unseen.

It's been years since I  was regularly bombarded by unwanted spam to 'Meet Real Russian Streetwalkers', or the refreshingly direct plain white page with bold black type, 'Watch me fuck', followed by a URL.

So a subject line of 'Delightfully Fragrant Daphne' was like a flashback.

Turned out to be from Suttons Seeds, a UK horticultural supplier.

The Bar & Grill / Creatives ;-)
April 02, 2023, 01:34:23 PM
I'm playing the 1812 Overture and loving it.  All fifteen minutes of
it, not just the thunderous finale.

Just regretting that I don't have a real cannon - even a small one - 
in the back garden to fire off at the finale.  (That would freak out
the curtain twitchers.)


"Tchaikovsky, cannons are not instruments."
"Yes they are, and I'm going to use 21 of them."
"Tchaikovsky, no."
"Tchaikovsky, YES."

Ah, the blithe confidence of the creative soul ;-)

I have read enough American books to become familiar with the phrase 'a round-heeled woman'.  I know what it means in context, that she should probably be buried in a 'Y' shaped coffin when her time comes, but can anyone explain the origins or the logic behind this label?

We have a new administrator and things have been changed around a bit.

I hope we haven't lost anything of importance, but the new layout is definitely different.

Are we being dragged into the 21st century?

The Bar & Grill / Sod's opera. A childhood memory.
March 30, 2023, 01:13:24 AM
   Sod's Opera

    The Royal Navy had - and I believe still has - a tradition of the matelots staging impromptu concerts below decks.  These were called Sod's Operas.  Described by some snooty officers as 'A kind of low entertainment, such as will appeal to the rougher elements of the lower decks'.

    Anyone with any theatrical or musical talent would be expected to perform and often rewarded with an extra tot of rum, or a packet of 'Blue Line' cigarettes.  Songs with a chorus so the other drunken sods could join in were always popular, as were satirical songs about naval life, or the supposed privileges of the officer class.

    Others were just variations on the pop or gospel songs of the era.

    Dad sang 'cleaned up' versions of some of these as lullabies for his 'little man'.  Mum would frown with mock disapproval if he pretended to sing the 'bad words' before recovering part way through a word.

    Occasionally this self contained and generally quiet man would flip into full-on 'performer mode'. and Mum would say "Your Dad's back in the mess deck of the Swiftsure or the Sheffield."

    Very occasionally he'd raid the kitchen cutlery drawer and play the spoons. Four spoons, a pair in each hand, clicking and tapping in perfect time, with fancy flourishes thrown in.  Real spoons, not the commercial ones with a spring bit holding the two parts together to make it easier.

    I could never get them to work for me.   Perhaps my little boy hands were just too small back then.  I was a fairly clumsy child, with a well-earned reputation for accidentally breaking things.  Craft skills and dexterity came to me later in life.

    This was a tune which bought out the virtuoso in him.  If it came on the radio he'd tap his foot a bit and then head for the cutlery.  I can't hear it without picturing his red-headed figure capering around in the caravan.

The Bar & Grill / A smelly world
March 29, 2023, 12:27:53 PM
A smelly world ;-)

This is a non-smoking bungalow.  The vast majority of my visitors don't smoke.  The few who do cheerfully go out into the garden to smoke, and I let them use the rather exposed front porch if the weather's bad.


My doorbell rang this morning and as I opened the door I saw the van hurrying away and a parcel on the doorstep.  Two new keyboards, in a plastic wrapper.

As I picked them up the 'smoker'smell hit me.

I quickly sliced off the plastic and threw it outside,  and the cardboard boxes inside were free of the taint.

Therefore I assume the van driver, or someone else who shared the use of his van, was a smoker.  I hope he wasn't delivering any inadequately wrapped foodstuffs which could easily absorb the taint and then 'taste' wrong ;-(

The office window and bungalow doors are now open for a while, but I won't be at all surprised if Alma and my daughter, when they turn up, ask if a smoker has been visiting.  The more recent smell of freshly baked bread may have ousted it by then, but...

Woodsmoke I'm comfortable with, and the smell of burning coal when we had an open fireplace in the house was rather comforting.  Burning paraffin can trigger my asthma, but it used to be a regular part of my life.

I once bought a computer at an irresistible  knockdown price, and carried it home in the basket of my 'postie Bike'.  As soon as the fan started turning the smoker smell filled the room.  When I stripped it down, to clean and service it, the fan was stuffed full of car or dog hair which was slick and shiny from 'settled' smoke.

It was like black candy floss.  One of the few times I've felt the need for rubber gloves when working on a computer.  Fortunately it was a dry day so I worked on it outside, and then left the whole thing, still partially dismantled, in my garage to let the wind and the cold air take away most of the smell.

This is one reason why keen gamekeepers don't smoke,  because they can smell a smoker from several yards away even on a still night.  Both gas and petrol lighters have a faint but distinctive smell, fairly short-lived, when being used.

It's stale tobacco smoke which really stinks.  Some of the better pipe tobacco smells rather pleasant when it's burning.