Sunday, December 11, 2005

For I am a man under authority

C.G. Mannerheim
Originally uploaded by Kirja-addikti.
I picked him up from the verteran's hospital in Kauninen, he was 85 if he was a day and came strutting out of the doorway, back as straight as a ramrod and a Mannerhiem hat on his head. A poor nurse came scuttling behind carrying his bags.

"To the airport"

was all he said. The drive was uneventful and silent. Apon arrival he got out of the taxi and said.

"Follow me and bring my bags"

He strode off, and never once looked back. He expected me to follow. I caught up with him in the departure lounge.

"Find out where the check-in for Kemi is"

and here am I thinking why don't you join the end of the queue and wait your turn, but since he is a war veteran I scurry to the front of the queue with his bags and ask the girl at the check-in if this is the queue for Kemi and she said that it was.

So I montioned to him that this was the Kemi queue and he strode passed everyone in the queue... just ignored them as if they were not there, and marched straight to the front of the queue, where he commanded the girl at the desk to check his bags in. She did. The people in the queue were gawping at the affrontery of the man. He did not flinch. It almost seemed that he considered it his right to be served first.

To me he clicked his heels together nodded his head as a sign of dismissal and said

"Thanks for you service you are dismissed"

Obviously he was a man who was used to giving orders and having them obeyed.

Obviously he was also oblivious to the needs of anybody else. He might have been a very dangerous man to be with in a war, or since he was still alive he may have been a very safe man to be with. Some people have the authority to command others do not.

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Auntie Bonker's Rice Noodles

Auntie Bonker's Rice Noodles
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
I quite like the idea of designing packaging for non-existant products. Bonk Ltd already does it for non-existant machines that have absolutely no purpose or function, but nevertheless look good, and might just work if you were able to find the right switch to turn them on.

So what can you say about Auntie Bonker's Rice noodles. Well the colour scheme is the same as for Uncle Ben's rice and up there where Uncle Ben should be is Condolezza Rice.

The original slogan was "bringing more to the table" and that usually means bringing more to the US table and less to the other tables around the world.

The EU has a ban on American beef because they believe it is pumped full of growth hormones, and from the number of obese people in the USA, and their penchant for fast food hamburgers. the EU may have a point.

Britain at one time during the days of the Empire prohibited India from exporting cotton products. The could however export the raw cotton to the Lancshire mills where it was turned into textiles and sold back to India at exhorbitant prices. Ghandi spun his own cloth as a protest. and encouraged others to do the same.

The forest in Borneo is being cut down by Japanese loggers and a head-hunter when interviewed on the matter said, "The forest is our skin, and what man can live without his skin?" When asked what was his solution to the problem of the Japanese loggers, he said "We have a very simple plan. First we will kill them and then we will eat them."

Simple people have simple solutions.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Alcohol dehydrogenase blues.

Alcohol dehydrogenase blues.
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Alcohol dehydrogenase blues

You know what; there is a company up in Iceland that has got hold of the medical records of everyone on that island like, and they know about every disease that everyone has ever had. Tonsillitis, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, schizophrenia; you name it, they know it.

No shit man??? That’s way weird.

Yeah!!! and what they have done is get samples of folks DNA, and looked for certain genes, and come up with the idea that certain genes produce certain diseases. I mean to say, they can even take a sample from a baby in the womb, and tell you if its going to be a spastic or whatever.

Man that’s capital Weird!!! Double hairy gnarly man.

Well they were not making enough money with the DNA analysis thing, so they sell all this information to some big insurance company. And you know what man, they begin to use it to evaluate risks when they sell health insurance. You know, like, if you have a heart attack gene there in no way you are going to get life insurance.

Bummer man, No way!!!

Capital way man. It’s all about risk evaluation, and the next thing you know it’s about crime prevention. I mean to say if the police got a hold of our DNA we’d be shoved straight in the slammer, faster than shit off a hot shovel.

Man your freaking me out, like major big time. Bad vibes man.

Mega mega major freak I’m telling you. Like, would you want to know if you were a Tay-Sachs carrier? You are screwed if you get one base pair wrong. Just one letter wrong. Like one in twenty five Ashkenazi Jews are carriers of Tay-Sachs disease, and they screen themselves so they don’t team up with the wrong partner.

Holy shit, you mean no more screwing around?

Next thing you know there’s a eugenics programme going, and marriage laws about who can wed and what not, and after that, to get it right, people are having designer babies. You know like, they’d have babies with the brains of Albert Einstein and the bodies of Britney Spears.

But what if the babies got Britney’s brains… that would be way cool man, a world of singing babies.

Yeah that would be way cool!!! Babies singing hit me one more time. There must be, just gotta be a singing gene out there. Some protein that codes for good vocal chords, some bit of DNA that gives you perfect pitch. They could inject it into all of those losers that audition for pop-idol.

You mean like a talent gene??? Right on!!!

Exactly!!! You would never need to practice the piano, you would just sit down and play it, and the French could have a language gene implanted so they would be forced to speak something other than Froggie.

Crescent fresh idea dude. They should go for it major like!!!

You want to know something really weird? Like some dude in Japan took the notes from the “Death March” by Mozart and used some strange algorithm to convert them into a protein sequence, and then, when he searched some protein database in Switzerland he found out that the notes had been transcribed into a protein that was responsible for cancer. You get it?

Musical DNA like??? Incredible with a capital in!!!

Exactly!!! So here’s my plan, I mean to say, I am thinking out of the box here. Tossin’ a few ideas around. It’s simple really. You know that serotonin or something like that, some dopamine thing, some chemical from this spliff, or just plain old booze, alters the way we feel, readjusts our brain chemistry. Well we reverse the process, and we turn the chemical or protein or whatever, into music.

Like music is the drug??? That rawks man!!! Kool!!! Sure as hell would knock seven colours of shit out of MTV. We could make millions… Wicked… Yeah!!!

Mega Kool dudester!!!

Alcohol dehydrogenase blues

Sunday, November 13, 2005

When we have gone our shadows will remain.

I have tasted the salt of a woman's tears. It was the tenderest of moments. It happened when I kissed her cheek.

When the sun goes away our shadows disappear, but I have cast a shadow that will never disappear, because the Almighty has cast his shadow over me.

I have tasted the salt of my own tears, when they trickled down my cheek. They did not taste bitter.

Friday, November 11, 2005

It is a matter of honour

The girl with down's syndrom said "don't leave me honey," her mother said she had learn it from the "bold and the beautiful" Tv show. I said "that's OK by me Baby".

At the speed bumps she raised her hands and went "Whee!!!" I drove faster at the next speed bump took my hands off the whell and went "Whee!!!" as well. She squirmed in the back seat with laghter.

She was a waitress who during the war served drinks to Mannerheim in the upstairs room at hotel KÄMP. The carpets were so thick her high heel shoes sunk into them.

Both of the war veterans in the back seat were deaf. One said "What did you say?" the other said "What?" and the first one said "What did you say?" and the second one said "What?"

The man who had three strokes wanted to go for a "Kerab" His speech was slured. I took him for a Kebab and he was happy.

The boy's said that his brother with cerebal palsy was called Larry but he prefered to be called Neo after a character from the Matrix.

The man with no legs sat silent in the front seat of the car.

The blind woman could not tell me whether to turn left or right since she did not know the road she was going. When she left me she said "See you".

The woman who had no tongue and could not speak pointed vigourously with her hand to tell me where to go. We arrived exactly where she wanted to go.

The drunk sang two Tapio Rautiovara songs and made me cry. "Kyllä se minne putki kun ihmiset itkea" he said proudly and gave me a 5 euro tip. I will have to cry more often.

She had a club foot and pushed the rollator in front of her and then draged her legs behind it. Her friend was straight out of Sunset Bulevard, her face caked with makeup. She was 80 if she was a day. The lady with the club foot stroked my face and said I was wonderful, while Bette Davis took me by the ears and kissed my cheek, leaving red lipstick on my cheek. I waved at them as I drove away. They tittered behind their hands like young school girls and waved back.

Taxis are of the dead and dying. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

If you can cook... you are OK.

Went to the K-kaupat and pick up a recipe magazine from their fish counter and was insipred to make a pie with cold smoked salmon. You need to get creative sometimes, and then eat your ceation. It is part of being normal and stable that you can cook and eat. If you can't cook then you either have too much money or are lazy. If you can't eat then you are in serious trouble.

The base of the pie had to be made from rye flour, the same kind of dough that goes into karjalan pirikka. Spread it out on a oven proof dish that is 30 cm in diameter. Imagine you are back in kindergaten and playing with plastercine as you spread the dough out on the dish. Drink some beer as you do it. Or a glass of wine if you prefer.

For the filling go for broccolli and cauliflour and carrot. People will have lots to say about vitamins and nutritional value, and anti oxidising agents, but go for the colour is my advice. Green and red and white is always a good combination.

As a topping spead on a layer of cold smoke salmon. It has that tary tang that is irresistable. You should have half finnished your beer or wine by now. With food preperation it is always best to follow the guidlines of Keith Floyd, namely the preperation time should take no more than the time it takes to consume two glasses of wine.

Now for the glue to stick everything together... a couple of eggs and some cream. Beat them together and add salt, pepper, dill and a liberal sprinkling of emental cheese. In everybodies life time it is important that they discover for themselves a cheese that will serve as a ideal topping. A cheese that will turn a golden brown and remain succulent. There are some cheeses that are not fit to be topping since when they melt they form a coating akin to a vinyl LP torched in a microwave. Emental is a cheese that behaves. Learn to love it.

Now the pie is ready for the oven and it is time to follow Floyds principle once again, namely cook the pie for as long as it takes to consume the remainder of the wine. Once you have drunk a whole bottle of wine you will have a most apperciative eye for your ceation no matter how it has turned out.

The final results should never be eaten alone. It is imperative that you share your food with somebody. Cook something for somebody today. That's an order.

Bonk Bermuda Triangles

Bermuda Triangles
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
I have been reading the book "No Logo" which is about multinational corporations and the hold they have on world markets. It is also about the exploitation of the poor. Production takes place in third world countries, while branding takes place in a highrise office in London.

Modern commerce is all about "branding" and for some obscure reason the "brand" has become more important than the "product".

The Marlborough "brand" is the cigarette you have to buy since it shows that you are a discriminating smoker, and a bit of a rough, tough cowboy on the side, all weather-beaten face, but kind of fit never-the-less, despite the fact that you have tons of black tar coating your lungs. People will buy brands rather than products... DG, Ben Sherman, Ecco, Versace, Burberry, Tag, Armani, Boss, Nike... you get the picture.

Then you have the Finnish company Bonk Business Inc. who take branding to the extreme. They make products that have no function at all. Machines that don't work, for example the Raba Hiff Quasar OQ-172 is a fully defunctioned machine incorporating leading edge technology. Raba Hiff® machines are designed as a presence - on the shop floor, in offices or any working area. Their true function is this presence, which has been proved to increase job satisfaction -leading to better work motivation and thus to greater profits.

The have invented a non-existant anchovy briquette called Bermuda Triangles that comes in a package like Toblerone. Their slogan is "try them... they will just disappear"

It would seem that Bonk Business Inc. is one serious wind up. They fashion themselves as "a multiglobal industrial giant, pioneering Third Millennium technologies such as LBH (Localised Black Holes), ADS (Advanced Disinformation Systems), Cosmic Therapy and Defunctioned Machinery."

What they are really saying is that brand is more important than product. I wonder how many art galleries have bought their useless machines, or how many people have asked for Bermuda Triangles in a shop, even though they are supposedly made out of anchovy paste.

Bonk someone today.

Get a job at Bonk

Bonk Business Inc. Strategies

Friday, October 21, 2005

Screws missing

stuck in sand
Originally uploaded by jojoro.
Rolf has a screw missing... from his rollator. He has multiple sclerosis and needs a rollator to get about, so it is not good that one of the handles is loose. He is very unsteady on his feet so it makes it difficult for him if his support is not solid.

MS has effected his way of walking. He slaps his foot down and it somehow reminds me of a fish flapping around out of water. His speech is also a bit slured and he can't get control of his hands to fix the safety belt in place.

I have calculated that about 25% of the people who use taxis are disabled in some way. The Espoo county council provides them with a special card with a microchip in it which they can use to buy rides in taxis. A very thoughtful service.

Rolf jokes about his condition. He told the lady at the rollator centre that he wanted to trade in his old model for one that goes faster. One that has go faster stripes. He wants to race old ladies in the shopping centre. Apparently the old girls are well impressed by a set of fast wheels, even if they are only on a rollator.

She laughs and he smiles. What a sweet talker. What a sweet man. He says he has fought MS for 20 years, and it will not get the better of him. I admire that spirit.

Monday, October 17, 2005

No rush

"Your job is simple. Just get customers quickly into the taxi, and get rid of them just as quick. No small talk, no shaking hands, no smiles, just get their cash and be on your way. But listen no buzzing around like a blue-arsed fly, no rushing from the airport to Kielaniemi just cos you think that is where all the customers will be.

Customers are everywhere, and if you rush around you wont give yourself half a chance of catching them. Take it easy, drive slowly, enjoy the country side. Keep off the big roads with lots of traffic. If you get onto ring road III what do you get, speeding madmen late for work, mensturating women weeping at the driving wheel, traffic jams, and multiple car accidents. Do you need any of that? No? Then there is the exhaust fumes, and the headaches, the stoping and starting, the wear and tear on the engine. You get lots of angry people in a traffic jam cos they are all wanting to get somewhere and are frustrated that they are stuck in traffic.

You don't need to be anywhere, so you have no stress ex niin? Matinkylä is just as good as Espoonlahti. Don't be in a hurry. Let everybody else hurry. You take it easy. It is simple. Drive slow when you don't have a customer, and drive fast when you do have one, and get rid of them as quick as possible, ex niin?

Head down to Pakila and take the Ylästö road that runs parrallell to ring road III. It is a good road and it runs through Martinlakso, Myyrmäki to Pahkinärinne. Have you noticed if you are on the ring road III you never get any offers of lifts, but once you get off onto a side road and drive along them slowly you will pick up lots of lifts. Folks desperate to get to the airport but they can't get a taxi cos, they are all caught up in a gridlock on ring road III. Drive slowly, take your time, if you are driving with your pants on fire you could speed through a village and miss a call. If you drive slowly then you don't stress yourself and you don't stress the car. Simple ex niin?

Seven time out of ten when I drive the Ylästö road early in the moring I can easily pick up three lifts to the airport while other taxi drivers are stuck in a traffic jam on ring road III, stressed out of their gourds worrying over the fact they couldn't pick up a ride even if it were offered to them. Time is money. Wasted time is lost money. Simple ex niin?

Drive slowly and admire the views, that is perhaps the best advice I can give you. Simple ex niin? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Never join a queue, or give a granny an even break

"Of course the weekends are different, after eight o'clock you get your whores and thieves, but you will be OK in the mornings, cos that is the time when the grannies do their shopping. It is a different clientelle on a Saturday morning, you get your cripples and disabled, the blind and the senile, and they present a different set of problems to your whores and thieves. Simple ex niin?

So the idea is this... never ever join a queue. Some people will join a queue just to see what is at the end of it. Look at all those idiots who go to Stockmans for their "Crazy Days" They will queue up around the block just becasue they think they will get a bargain. Queuing is for idiots. If you ever find yourself in a queue always make sure you are always first in line. That way you can get in and out quick. Simple ex niin?

And where are the business men at the weekends? I'll tell you where they are... resting. You won't get any rides from Nokia house or Kielaniemi because there is nobody there. The weekend is for grannies in the morning and whores at night time. Simple ex niin? And what do you do if you get a whore that won't pay? They give you lip, they try to cheat you. Listen!!! when they give a service they expect to be paid for it, so it is just the same for us. we drive a taxi and provided a service and we should get paid when we have done our job good, ex niin?

If they don't pay, I'll have their telephone off them, or their passport, or their gold bracelet, and I give them one week to come up with the money. If they ask me to bring their telephone to them I set the meter running and charge them for that trip too. Time is money, and I am providing a service... fair's fair, ex niin? If they can't be bothered to collect their stuff after a week I take it to the pawnshop and ask for just enough money to cover the original trip and my expenses. When they call about a month later and ask for their phone. I send them the pawnshop ticket and tell them to go reclaim it. It's their headache then what to do. None of this would have happened if they had stumped up in the first place. Don't make headaches for yourself. Simple ex niin?

But watch out for those grannies too. Picked up a granny at Iso Omena and she wanted to be taken to Itäkeskus to deliver christmas presents to her two daughters. I drive her there and she jumps out of the taxi with all of her bags, but leaves a big plastic bag with more christmas present in it for her other daughter. Says she'll be right back, and I believe her 'cos butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. She never comes back and has skiped out of the taxi without paying, but I think I'm OK since she has left the big plastic bag full of Christmas presents. Like hell she did... it was full of empty milk cartoons. I ask you is that right?"

"the human heart is so desperately wicked"

"You can say that again... but if there were more people like us, then the world would be OK... ex niin?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The weapons of our war

"The sooner you get it into your head that we are in a war then the better it will be for you, and if you are in a war you need to know your weapons, and how to use them, how to get the most out of them, and the main weapon that you have is that little console on the dashboard. If you unlock all its little secrets then you will be one jump ahead of the bunch. In this game you have to be a champion rally driver. To get anywhere you have to always be first. Always get to the head of the queue. Second place will never put the bread on your table or pay the rent."

"But what about the first being last, and the last being first?"

"Forget it!!! What you have to do is know where all the other cars are, if there are other taxis already at the taxi station ask yourself why should you go there to be second in the queue, you could just as well be home in bed sleeping. Being second or third will never earn you any money, you have to be first. Got that? Simple ex niin?

"So you are driving around and that "232" number tells you that you are that you are in the Matinkyla area and that "J2" means that there are two cars roaming the area. Take my advice drive around until you get " J1" coming up on the console then it means that you are the only car in the area and any rides that are going, will be coming your way.

The satellite keeps frack of you movement with GPRS and if you are the only car in the area you will be offered any rides that are going. You will get all the information on where to pick the person up from, and where to take them to, and maybe even their telephone number.

You can't imagine how many people order a taxi and then sleep in. Check the time when they have ordered the taxi, and if they are still in their pygamas when the clock hits that time, set your taxi meter running and tell them no hurry, take all the time you want. They have to pay from when they ordered the taxi. It's a war you see. We don't take any prisoners, and we don't show any mercy. If you want to show mercy then you should become a priest. Driving a taxi is not for you. You see? Simple ex niin?"

"Always be first... hmm doesn't sound quite right somehow. Doesn't seem just or fair."

"Look if you are not out to make money then get back into bed, and if you want to give other people a chance then become a social worker. So you have your "Alu" which is the number code for all the taxi stations. Memorise them. Station 232 has got a couple of cars there and they have been waiting for 11 minutes. What did I tell you about always being first? Should you join the queue at 232?"

"Errr I suppose no"

"Well you would be wrong cos to every rule there is always an exception. You don't win nothing by following the rules. You have to be a little bit weeeeeee a little bit hayhay. A backhander here, a wink and a nod there. Always get somebody to scratch you back but never scratch anybodies back for them... unless they pay you for it.

You see you need more knowledge. Why do you think those two cars have been waiting there for 11 minutes"

"They are broken down? hehe"

"Look if you are trying to be funny you should be a comedian and not a taxi driver. You have to have a look at the "ETL" and you will see why they are sitting there. There are 4 juicey rides going from 231 which is Matinkyla to 445 which is Vantaa airport. Four prebooked rides up for the grabs between 5:35 and 6:15. Since it is prebooked you can charge the customer 5:40 euro just for picking them up, and that is on top of the basic charge of 4:60 euros, so without lifting a finger you have 10 euros in you pocket for sitting a the taxi sation just waiting to pick up the ride, and once you have taken them to Vantaa airport you will have clocked up 40 euros which is not bad for a 25 minute drive. Simple ex niin?

Now get out there and kill those sonsofabitches ex niin?"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

For my own safety

Handcuffs. Fetters. Shackles.
Originally uploaded by And-rey.
"Why don't I wear a seat belt when I am driving a taxi... I'll tell you for why. For my own safety.

I will start wearing a seat belt when every passenger in the back seat is wearing handcuffs. It is only whores and crooks and drunks that ride taxis after midnight. Descent people are in bed, and I should be too, but somebody has to drive the night shift. Somebody has to take the money off them, so it might as well be me... besides night time driving costs the whores and drunks more... anybody moving about after midnight should pay double what you pay for anything during the day time... and I make sure they pay, either from their pocket, or from the blood of their nose.

At night time safety belts are the most dangerous thing ever invented, that is if you strap yourself into the front seat of a taxi after midnight.

Drunk in a ditch

Originally uploaded by renfield.
"You see someone dead drunk in a ditch... just drive on by... don't stop, just look through your fingers and drive on. You stop and you know what happens? There will be questions, and that takes up your time and time is money, so just drive on by. If you do stop it could be for a dead man and then there will be lots of questions... your arse will be on the line for investigation... what did you see and when did it happen, and it will eat into your time and you won't get paid a cent for any of the questions you answer... and then there will be a court case and more questions and more lost time... just drive on by... time is money, and nobody will pay you for being helpful... and the next thing you know you will be driving along and the police will point his speed gun at you and pull you over, and you will be fined. No use reminding them that you once helped them out with the dead drunk in the ditch, they have a short memory when it comes to slapping a ticket on your arse for speeding.

My advice to you is just drive on... let someone else be the good samaritan

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Jasper on the balcony in the hammock views the front yard

Jasper views the front yard
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
The very rich knew all about gardens and plants. They had the land and someone like Capability Brown come in and do their lawns and design their flower borders, plant their hedges, trim their conifers into exotic shapes, and of a night they would promanade on the balcony, a glass of chilled white wine in their gloved hand, and take the evening air.

The Japanese have their gravel gardens, with alters and massive lanterns hewn out of stone. They have a special wooden rake to make patterns in the gravel. The planting is sparse, and a lone contorted bonzai will be the focal point. The rustling of the bamboo leaves and the trickle of running water will be the meditative music they hear.

The English have their cottage gardens which are a riot of colour, hot red and cold blue, tall and short, foliage and flowers spikes. The cottage garden is seemingly not planned, a dozen different seed packets are mixed togeter in a big paper bag and shaken up, and then the seeds are scattered like confettii on the ground, and what comes up comes up, and whatever order there is... is glorious disorder, a profusion of colour, and a swirl of perfume from the leaves of the geranium that are disturbed by the brushing of a passing trouser leg.

You need to take time to observe plants. Time to study their growth, their movements, their colours and their scents. Plants have a calming influence on the soul... if you stop for and instant and observe them.

Take a walk outside. Out into nature. Find a comfortable spot to sit down and look at the scenery for 15 minutes. Do it on a black night in a thunderstorm when tree leaves are dancing with the raindrops. Do it in the middle of winter when the needles of the spruce trees are crystaline with hoare frost. Do it in the summer when the bees are buzzing with excitement, driven crazy by the warmth of the sun and the breaking buds of honeysuckle. Take a clover flower in your mouth and suck it, and know what the bees are excited about. In Spring take a birch branch between your fingertips and observe the newly emerging fresh green tender leaves.

Take some time out, from the business of life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dad made me laugh

My dad made me laugh. He told long involved stories while doing impersonations of different men and women in the village having conversations with each other. The conversations usually involved a black labrador dog called BEAUT, and the movement of the dogs rectum when he barked... opening a closing like a shutter of a camera.

He was a good mimic and had a vast repertoire of barking noises. One morning he entered our bedroom and looked wistfully out the window at the neighbours shaggy white Scottish terrier.

It barked up at him and he barked back. He barked in a female flirtatous Scottish terrier way, which infuriated the male dog down in the yard. He had a long barking conversation with this dog, and then out of the blue he remarked "If you shoved a pole up that dog's arse it would make a fine feather duster"

It is good if a father can make his children laugh but it is even better when children make their parents laugh. Laughing is all about listening, and giving your attention to another person. Laughter always involves inventiveness.

The best laughter is spontaneous. It does not come as the punchline of a joke, but instead is conjoured up on the spot, plucked out of thin air.

"It has been a quiet morning."
"Have you been wearing earplugs then?"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sleeping in the open, advice from a father to a son.

Ahh the joys of being on the road and sleeping out in the open. There is nothing finer than to find some shelter if there is a mere whiff of rain in the air, for it is the very worst to be caught in the open in a thunderstorm. In northern Germany I found this wooden bus shelter and spent a pleasent night sleeping out in the forest.

When I was younger and the weather and the summer climate better and I was on the road hitch-hiking from Barcelona to Tangier, my eyes were always on the look out for a place to sleep. Beaches were the best because the sand was like a bed. It molded itself to the shape of your body. Beaches were generally free from creepy crawlies, and the breeze at night warm and calming. Except for the magnificent beach at Tangier which was deserted at night. We were told it would be foolhardy to even try to sleep rough in Morrocco... too dangerous. So mainly it was on the rooftops of hotels, with other people on the way to Marakesh via Casablanca.

The next best thing to sand was a Swiss hay stack, no such luck now-a-days since everything is done up in tight bales. Or the forest floor in Sweden if it was mossy. Other useful places were parks and graveyards or a flat roof if you could find it. The best flat roof I ever slept on was in Split former Yogoslavia where I slept on the roof of an aquarium. I was always on the lookout for structures that would give shelter. I slept under a bridge on a wild night on the way to Scotland, but it was always best to avoid shelters in urban districts and find them in the rural areas since your nights sleep was less likely to be disturbed.

The worst that can happen is to sleep through a mosquito attack and wake up in the morning like a leper with a face like a stocking filed with walnuts. It happened to me in Arles southern France and I immediately knew why van Gogh cut off his ear. He was driven crazy by mosquitos.

I have slept in winter in the Finnish forest in a paper bag used for keeping clothes in. The only concession I made for the dampness was that I put the paper bag inside a couple of black bin-liners. Those were the days of traveling light. A toothbrush in the breast pocket was all the luggage you needed. And you turned your underwear inside out and worn it back to front to get more milage out of it. The same applied for socks

Benches in a lay-by often make good beds since you are up off the ground. If you do get stuck in the forest and it is cold it is best to get some insulation by cutting down fir branches. But as I have gotten older I find it harder to sleep in uncomfortable places. Steel benches in a park now give me some trouble, as do plastic seats on the deck of a boat. Not because they are hard but because they are narrow. Bones are more brittle, less supple. There was a special technique of resting your head in your girlfriends lap while she rested her head in your lap, that made park bench sleeping more than bearable.

As the song so rightly says. Everybody needs a boosom for a pillow, and as in life the main things about sleeping in the open is that you have shelter, warmth and comfort.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Sudden Morning

At 8:15 on August 6th 1945 the United States of America droped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan. Three days later on the 9th of August they droped a second bomb on Nagasaki.

In his radio speech to the nation on August 9, President Truman called Hiroshima "a military base."

There is a world wide project called "The sudden morning" where people around the world take a picture near their home at 8:15 in the morning on August the 6th and then upload the picture to share it with the world.

The picture I took is of a couple of towers that my grandson Noa built in the playpark outside our house. He built them a few days ago, and I am amazed that they are still standing. He was playing a game that involved the two towers from "The Lord of the Rings", though he made continual slips of the tongue and refered to them as the "twin towers".

It would seem that death and destruction are hard=wired into the marrow of our bones, and that every generation has images of a mushroom cloud, a towering inferno, or a tidal wave, burnt into their retina. If there were some heavenly scales, and love and peace was weighed in the balance against war and hate, I wonder which side would weigh the heaviest? We spend so much time thinking about love, and so little time actually experiancing it.

At 8:15 I went out to take some pictures for "The Sudden Morning" project and suddenly the two towers/twin towers had come to symbolise Hiroshima and Nagasaki... still standing.

The thought occured to me that it is so much better to build than to destroy.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cutting a tree down Old Skool Soviet style

The grandmother said "My father cut down 8 cubic meters of tree in a day without breaking a sweat, and all he had was an axe and a hand saw. You young people you break into a sweat just thinking about work, and it takes you all morning just to plan on how to cut down one tree."

Then she told her joke. A Finn goes into a shop to buy a new saw. He asks the salesman if the new saw will cut an trim 8 cubic meters a day, the salesman says no problem. He buys the saw and takes it to work.

A week later he returns to the shop and say the saw is no damn good. No matter how hard he worked he could only manage 7.5 cubic meters in a day.

The salesman says perhaps he was not using the saw properly, and that it was a question of technique. The salesman pulls the rip cord and starts up the chainsaw and the Finn jumps back in astonishment and exclaims

"What the hell is that noise?"

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Night swimming

Night swimming
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Night swimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Have you ever wondered about the beauty of nature? Jasper was in the forest and Maija handed him a wild strawberry and he tasted it and said enthusiastically. "This tastes just like yoghurt"

I took Elli and Noa to the allotments to dig up some potatoes and they were surprised to see that you dug potatoes out of the ground. "we thought you got them from supermarkets"

The germination of a seed, the growth of leaves, the breaking of a bud into a flower, the pollination of a flower, the development of a fruit. Nature is so ordered and one thing follows another.

We expect things to progress in a certain order and we are comforted by the stedfastness of nature, and we would sometimes hope for similar certainties in our own lives.

When our lives do not move in the expected directions it is then that we need moonbeams on the water, the setting sun laying down a path of gold, the water waiting to bathe our souls, the air a comfort and sooth.

Night swimming deserves a quiet night. To settle slowly into the water, to observe the ripples and colours. To have the dog tire of its barking and to lay its weary head down on its crossed paws and close its eyes in sleep. To be wraped in a warm towel and to stare at the remains of the day with a friend, and not have to utter a single word.

Night swimming deserves a quiet night, and a quiet soul.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Loo of the year award (Canterbury, Kent)

I wonder what a Loo has to be like to win a "loo if the year award"? Is the interior sumptious with walnut bog seats instead of plain plastic? Does it sparkle with chrome and porcelain?

Did they get Carol Smilie to come an give it a make-over? Did Gavin install a shark's fin mirror in the stalls where you point the peter? Was there an MTV team involved for a special edition of "Pimp my bog" What did it smell like? No traces of the after effects of the friday night curry, instead Ozzie and Jillie would sniff the air as though it were a fine wine and proclaim it to be positivey redolent with the scent of Zephirine Drouhin the antique climbing rose, with just a hint of 18th century leather saddlebags suffused with the prespiration of a lady out fox-hunting.

And why has it failed to win any rewards in the interveening years? Has it fallen into disrepute? Has there been a scandal because it became such a huge tourist attraction, that long queues of men stood outside waiting to get in, and the police were less than understanding? Has it been overworked and there has been a colossal failure in the plumbing, and it would take a big job to get it fixed and restore its reputation of being the finest loo in Canterbury?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A mother's advice to her son

Sack race at St Mary's
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Overheard at school sports day.

Run fast Nathan, just like you do when you want to get away from mummy.

The school sports day was largely a non-competetive affair. Lots of sports where nobody won. Winning only makes the winner happy and everybody else who looses feels like loosers. Apparently last year there was a punch up between a couple of fathers who had a dispute over who won the 50 meters dash, so most of the sports now are non-competetive.

But some kids just don't get the idea they just want to win. It is in their blood.

"I won, I won, I won."
"Sorry Barry, but you didn't win. There was nothing to win"
"But I was first, and I was the fastest"
"No Barry, this was a sports exercise, and it was all about cooperation"
"But I stuck my head through the hole in the big parachute, and I wouldn't let anybody else do it"
"But Barry, there was no point in shoving your head through the hole in the parachute, and it just caused tension in the circle."
"But everybody else was screaming at me, so that they could put their head through the hole in the parachute, so I must have won"
"No Barry, this was a non-competetive exercise"
"I won, I won, I won."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The garden sings a song

Kohlrabi ready to eat
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
So I got back to the garden after an absence of two weeks, and it is absolutely singing. Not some soft lullaby, but a full voiced massed male choir from Wales singing "bread of heaven" after winning the six nations Rugby championship. The yellow trumpet flowers on the cucumbers were bold and brassy. The pumpkin flowers were standing upright like a tuba and provided a mighty um-pa-pa. The leaves of the Kohlrabi were swirling in the wind with excitement. The beetroot were puffing out their chests and filling their lungs to hit the high notes. The potatoes were rumbling under the ground, like a run-away train rolling down the track. They were fightenly out of control, and all the better for it. The dill plants were taut as violin strings, and about to break with excitement. The lettuces had exhausted themselves and gone all limp from the fervour of the song. Even the weeds were triumphant and victorious. Redeemed even. The beans were a little bemused by the joyousness of the song, but being overcome by the splendour of the occasion twittered amongst themselves as an apperciative audience. The radishes and rocket had gone to seed and their flowers clapped their hands in delight. It was heavenly. Just as a good garden should be

Monday, July 18, 2005

Cartoon do not have all the answers

No matter how beautiful the world is some people only see the coming apocalypse

The best you can do when you are hungry is to eat what is on offer

Or make a bang loud enough for the world to hear

for people are imprisoned in ways that we can never understand

and pain can strike when you least expect it. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Attitudes to life and death... winning and loosing

Knokke cartoon festival

I went to the cartoon festival in Knokke and snagged a few cartoons. For some strange reason I liked the one with the fish attempting suicide with a ballon. It causes the man with the stone to stop and wonder at the absurdity of his actions. I really wonder if there is such a thing as animal suicides, or is it something that humans reserve for themselves?

3 is a magic number Posted by Picasa

It is all about attitude really. Coming third and acting like a winner. It is wonderful if when you loose or fail, you have that spirit to plough on. A positive attitude that takes you forward no matter what. I could be friends with the man on the number 3 podium. He is giving the victory salute, and is more victorious than the winner who cowers frightened on the number one spot.

He who has ears let him hear.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Onion bed raided, Potatoes up-rooted

So there I was wondering what I was going to do with all my onions and potatoes. It looks like I may not have a problem after all, since someone has raided the garden. Gulam has said that he only grows things that the rabbits don't eat. I wonder if he has any suggestions for plants that don't attract the two legged variety of attacker.

Onion bed raided

I thought that it would be good to weed out all of the onion beds, and as I was doing so a Kurdish woman passed me smiled and shook her finger, and made a motion by putting her forfinger and thumb together and simulating the pulling out of a weed ( at least that is what I think she was doing, it might have been some obscene gesture at the infidel) then she wagged her finger from side to side and shook her head as if to say NO!!! weeding is a bad idea. When I walked around the plots I noticed many of the onion beds were not weeded. Perhaps they were using the weeds as a camoflage to protect their onions from robbers. Perhaps they have learnt from experiance.

But onions were not enough, if you are a robber and need a stew then some nice new potatoes are just the job. But robbers are not gardeners and they don't observe if the potatoes are in flower they have no way of knowing how big the potatoes in the ground are. If the leaves are big and green then there must be potatoes there RIGHT? WRONG!!!

Potatoes up rooted

The potatoes are still very small, I expect it will be the end of the month before they are ready. When I looked at the potato shaws they were still fresh. They had not withered away so my guess is that the raid was made early in the morning. And the small potatoes were just perfect, not a blemish on their skins. If they were not good enough for the robbers, they were certainly good enough for me, so I gathered them up and took them home and I will have them in a soup.

There is one thing to be positive about... they were not destructive. Last year I wrote about the hooliganism and vandalism that resulted in tool boxes being thrown in the ditches. The police can not or will not do anything about it, which makes you wonder about the function of the "law". I took these two snapshots of the damage done. I wonder if God took a snapshot of the culprits and put it in his filing cabinet under the heading "thou shall not steal"

On the subject of stealing I came across a German discussion on Flickr about a man called Werner Wattwurm who copied other peoples photos and passed them off as his own. He would take a misty morning shot from the smokey moutains and flip it over and then call it Brocken the highest mountain in North Germany. He did this with countless photos and gained the praise and admiration of the german community on Flickr, and now it turns out that he was a fraudster. It is quite shattering when hidden things come to the light.

But the strange thing is the man had impeccable taste. It is stupid of me to say this but I once called my wife to come and admire his wonderful pictures. I envied him the sights he had seen. It was as though God had allowed him to capture all the glory of nature, and I felt privileged to be able to see the things he had seen, all of creation singing a song of praise

There was a whole series that he said he had taken when out riding his bike, and I thought to myself, if you don't get out then you don't see the rain or the clouds or the storms or the colours in the sky, so I was inspired to go out into the forest for walks to be surprised by beauty.

From the comments he used to get on his "photos" I am sure lots of people also felt that way, and now it turns out many of his photos he just copied and fliped from webshots. Should I feel cheated by what he did, well no actually it makes me smile.

So for some reason I am in a benevolent mood at the moment, perhaps it is God's grace. So to the person who stole the fruits of my hard labour. I hope you enjoyed those onions. I know I would have.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Glorious summer

There is a lady at the allotments who makes socks and mittens and sells them at a craft market. She has a garden, or lets say a "meddow" and it is covered in wild flowers. In her hand you can see a double headed daisy. What an annomoly, makes you wonder about the genetic makeup of things. We are wonderful and frightfully made.

sock lady with bunch of flowers picked from her garden

It was quite difficult to get a good picture of the double headed flower. Snap it from one side and you miss out on the other face. You have to look at it edge on to see what it really looks like. If I only look at the sock lady face on, what do I see? An old lady who is a bit overweight, who does not have the strength to dig a "proper man's garden". A lady who has difficulty walking, and difficulty breathing.

But if you look at her edge on. She was picking the flowers to take them to a hospital "to brighten up somebodies day" She is a recycler, and uses stuff other people throw away. She travels from Latokaski to Espoonlahti just to be in her garden. She talks to people, and is kind. She enjoys the open air and the sunshine.

double headed flower

The kohlrabbi has succeeded this year, and it looks like I will get a crop. The purple colour of the leaves is beautiful, and goes well with the red and green of the beetroot leaves. I am happy with the way these plants have grown.

Kohlrabbi puttin on some weight

This is the far side of the garden and this photo was taken when the sun was going down. It is buzzing with life. I have come to realize my plot gets the sun both in the morning and in the evening. Things are growing, indeed they seem to be growing too well, I must have made a terrible mistake somewhere. Put on too much manure.

Does green and lovely leaves mean that the crop will be good? You can recognise when things are dying and withering that this is a bad sign, but when there is health and vigour there, why should you be worried? Well with root crops you have to store them and if they have too much nitrogen then they don't keep. I will just have to give stuff away or eat it straight out of the ground.

Garden at sunset

Monday, July 04, 2005

Kirsti (pregnant) in her garden

Kirsti (pregnant) in her garden
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Knowing that the Espoonlahti allotments are scheduled to become a "culture centre" I cylced around the area looking for some new allotments and I found an area in Soukka which is in a lovely area down by the sea. Evern though the day was hot there was a fresh breeze blowing from the sea, so it felt lovely.

The area is surrounded on all sides by trees, just a magical clearing in the forest. I stoped and talked to Kirsti, she was tying up some bunches of "Karjalan minttu" to be used for making tea. Her garden was not regimented in any way. The plants looked like they were at a party, each forming their own little social groups and talking about the weather . Around the edge she had Siberian pea trees growing and when I talked to her she was making notes in her diary. I thought it might be about the conversations the plants were having, but she told me the notes were about the bump in her belly. She was pregnant.

What a wondeful woman to be digging and working and weeding, being out in the open air , enjoying the sun, and taking notes about the bump in her belly. She gave me the name and telephone number of te man responsible for these allotments, and apparently he will come and till the area for you with a rotavator and they have water laid on as well. We talked about the movement of the sun and she said the clearing got sun most of the day, but her plot was best for working in the mornings, whereas the plots on the farside from her were best if you wanted to worki in the evenings.

I am trying to think of something profound to say about the fact that she is surrounded by all that good greeness, the singing sap in all the leaves of all the plants she has planted. The sunshine on her belly, but there is nothing to say except that it is good... extremely good.

And the peak of her cap was turned backwards Rambo style. You know in all the Rambo movies he is the gardener leading the quite life and he is living with the peak of his baseball cap pointing forward, then he gets called on a mission and when he decides to kick ass he always turns the peak of his cap backwards. It is like a switch. It is a signal that he means business. I get the feeling it is the same for Kirsti

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hating it again

- When you have your arms full and a mosquito is sucking blood from your ear lobe and you can do nothing about it.

Feeling bound and abused

- When it the dark you put on your pyjama top back to front and it feels like it does not fit properly, and when you take it off and put it on again it is still wrong.

Darknes bringing confusion

- When you are going up stairs and you step up a stair that is not there.

confronted by the unexpected

- When your hands are full of shopping and your car keys are in your pocket.

Struggling to put things in order.

- When there are lots of doors to open to get to where you want to go

Barred from going where you want to go.

- When a door has three handles or locks on it and it needs two people to open it and you are there by yourself.

Stones on the pathway, barriers

- When the bottom is about to fall out of the paper shopping bag

Let down by the weekness of material things

- When radishes go to seed and you have not eaten any of them.

Regretting the passage of time

- When the bus driver moves away from the bus stop, and no matter how hard you bang on the door he will not open it up and let you in.

Obstructed by officialdom

- When you are a second late for a train and it pulls away from the platform.

Missing out on your journey because you have not planned ahead.

- When the car runs out of petrol and there is not a garage in sight, and when you try to call for help on the phone the battery goes dead.

Inconvenienced by modern convenieces

- When directory of inquiries can find a phone number for you when you know it exists. When they don't even recognise your own name.

Never in the book when you need it to be there. Always in the book when you don't want it to be there. The records are either lost or against us.

- When you have done the shopping only to discover you have left your wallet in the car.

The dilema of what to to next.

- When you can't find your car in the airport parking lot.


- When sombody wags their finger at you, beeps their horn, and flashes their lights, and you have no idea why they are doing it or if it is really directed at you.

Officialdom sanctioning you for breaking rules that you did not know existed.

- When nails keep bending over when you try to hammer them in.

Trying you best and not getting things right.

- When nails refuse to come out of wood no matter how hard you pull.

Trying even harder but getting nowhere.

- When you crack your head on the door lintel because the door is too small

Trying to get into places that you should not go and suffering for it.

- When in the pitch black with arms outstreached you inch your way to where you think the open door is, only to have both arms go on opposite sides of the door, with the end result that you crack your head on the edge of the door.

Pain inflicted because you choose to walk in the dark

- When the chain comes off you bike when you are going uphill and changing gears.

The worst things happen at the most inappropriate times

- When you are positive that you right and it turns out that you are wrong.

Stupidity and stuborness a deadly combination.

- When you say something to a group of people and realise nobody is listening.

Ignored for what you want to say.

- When your soup is too salty.

Never put salt on your food before tasting it. More of the same does not make it better.

- When the bit of cheese you ave been saving for later has turned mouldy.

Things go bad if not kept properly.

- When you realise the things that you don't want to happen are going to happen anyway.

Fate is a bad concept and needs to be fought against

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Don't you hate it?

- When you have your arms full and a mosquito is sucking blood from your ear lobe and you can do nothing about it.

- When it the dark you put on your pyjama top back to front and it feels like it does not fit properly, and when you take it off and put it on again it is still wrong.

- When you are going up stairs and you step up a stair that is not there.

- When your hands are full of shopping and your car keys are in your pocket.

- When there are lots of doors to open to get to where you want to go

- When a door has three handles or locks on it and it needs two people to open it and you are there by yourself.

- When the bottom is about to fall out of the paper shopping bag

- When radishes go to seed and you have not eaten any of them.

- When the bus driver moves away from the bus stop, and no matter how hard you bang on the door he will not open it up and let you in.

- When you are a second late for a train and it pulls away from the platform

- When the car runs out of petrol and there is not a garage in sight, and when you try to call for help on the phone the battery goes dead.

- When directory of inquiries can find a phone number for you when you know it exists. When they don't even recognise your own name.

- When you have done the shopping only to discover you have left your wallet in the car.

- When you can't find your car in the airport parking lot.

- When sombody wags their finger at you, beeps their horn, and flashes their lights, and you have no idea why they are doing it or if it is really directed at you.

- When nails keep bending over when you try to hammer them in.

- When nails refuse to come out of wood no matter how hard you pull.

- When you crack your head on the door lintel because the door is too small

- When in the pitch black with arms outstreached you inch your way to where you think the open door is, only to have both arms go on opposite sides of the door, with the end result that you crack your head on the edge of the door.

- When the chain comes off you bike when you are going uphill and changing gears.

- When you are positive that you right and it turns out that you are wrong.

- When you say something to a group of people and realise nobody is listening.

- When your soup is too salty.

- When the bit of cheese you ave been saving for later has turned mouldy.

- When you realise the things that you don't want to happen are going to happen anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Crescent fresh dude

Crescent fresh dude
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
When I came to Finland the first bike I had was an old rusty brown bike that belonged to Maija's father. It had no gears and big wheels, and once you cranked it up you could give any bike with gears a run for its money. It was an old army bike. The chrome was striped from the handle bars and the drab brown color gave the appearance that the whole bike was rusted. It was a bike nobody would want to steal because it looked too distinctive and horrible. Ahh but the gearing on it was wonderful, and the chain and cogs were oiled to perfection.

I used to buy bikes for my kids from the police lost property auctions and over the years I must have bought 20 bikes or more. Sometimes I would buy a bike only to have it stolen the next day. When you go to an auction you have to check the bikes to make sure you are getting a good one. Lift the front forks up and spin the wheel to see if it is running true, and that the brakes are not rubbing. Repeat the procedure with the back wheel, check the tyres from pressure, check the pedals for loose cotter-pins, test the brakes, change the gears to see if they work, and see that the steering is true, and then note down the number so you know which bike to bid for when it comes up.

I overheard a couple of winos at the auction discussing which type of bike to buy. One was saying he would never been seen dead on a woman's bike (dead on a bike would have been a feat in itself) but the other wino insisted that it was too dangerous to ride a man's bike in traffic. With a womans bike it is so much easier to dismount since you just "step through" to get off, whereas with a man's bike you have to lift your leg over the saddle to get on or get off and with the way car drivers are in Helsinki, they would have your leg off as soon as look at you. I think he had a point.

So how did I get my Crescent ( a Swedish bike) All self respecting Finns would only buy Tunturi or Helkima and begrudingly buy a Crescent as a last resort. They somehow have an aversion for all things Swedish. Must come from the times of Swedish rule.

So the story went like this. I noticed a Nopsa in a skip, a woman's bike with a torpedo three speed. I ran the usual test and thought it was worth salvaging. It did not have any valves so I did not know the condition of the inner tubes. Bought 2 valves at 50 cents a piece and the back tyre was OK but the front tube had a puncture. Bought a new inner tube from Anttila for 3.90 euro and The bike was reay to roll. A usable bike for 4.40 euros, not a bad deal. I used it to go down to the allotments and on the way I noticed this matte black batmobile of a bike on sale. Everyone seems to want to trade up. As soon as the bikes have shock absorbers on the front forks and disk brakes on the front wheel the old model has to be traded in and a new bike bought. I gave the Crescent a run, wheels were true, brakes worked, and the twist grip gears were slick and clicked into place with precision.

I traded in the bike I had got from the dumpster and got the Crescent. I don't mind running a Swedish bike in Finland. I am pleased with the deal.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Blossoms and Words

Yes it is June and only now are the blossoms coming out on the trees. For the past month the temperature has hovered around 15 C and it has rained alot. At the allotment the ground is still brown and bare. In the UK I suppose people are already harvesting things from the ground. The only thing that I have showing is "trp". I squatted down and picked a few leaves and ate them. They were peppery.

With growing things there is a time and a season for everything. Arafat the Palestinian has not even started putting things into the ground. He says it is too cold and too wet. I think if I don't get things into the ground then they won't have enough time to grow. The summer is so short. Three months and it is gone.

The blossoms are beautiful. Now is the time and a season for them. Plants perhaps know when to do things, unlike us humans who are famous for doing things at the wrong time. I sometimes wish words were flowers or blossoms, coming into bloom at the right time, and that sentences would be something of beauty. Something to be admired and appreciated. But I speak thistles and all manner of weeds that choke. Weedy words that spring from my mouth at the wrong time and season.

Words are so important and they should be used as a blessing. Dew dripping from a rose, words should have a fragrance that delights our souls. I have not heard enough good words in my life, and I have not spoken enough of them either.