Monday, August 23, 2021


Mornings, in this dwelling, can be somewhat noisy. The control monkey (a small gorilla) and the turkey vulture (Sydney Fylbert) were disputing each other, the latter was getting the worse of it, and the one-legged gibbon, who yesterday evening had swatted the avian for drooling over the blue-faced sheep (a respected although somewhat naive member of the household, who looks "juicy"), was chastising the gorilla for being a right blister.

I'm not fully functional at that hour, and I have adult things to do. Make coffee. Take my old man pills. Get the latest international news.

Between the bleats, squawks, and loud protestations, I went about my business. Occasionally throwing out a word of remonstrance.

At one point I went out for a walk with my pipe, to enjoy some peace and quiet. People walking their pipes or their dogs are usually not talkative or rambunctious. None of the small creatures smokes a pipe. They should.

No, it wouldn't make them hobbit-like. Hobbits, per the books and common culture, pipe-huffed utter shite and were, generally speaking, hairy whiny cretins and loud. I didn't like the books.
Tolkien was a genius, bla bla bla, but urgh! Silly longwinded old bugger.

[Hobbit's Weed, for the self-abusing Gandalf wannabees out there, consists of two parts BCA (stoved vanilla cavendish), one part Lane's Very Cherry, and one part Sutliff 1M (vanilla cavendish). It is foul and aromatic. Just like them.]

Quiet time, after the critters have stopped yelling at each other, requires a sound blanket.



The Internationale in a reconstruction of the Chinese spoken several millenia ago, with a visual overlap of seal script, and rather mangaesque visuals, is a complex Venn diagram of intense nerdiness which speaks to the man within. What is this, he asks, is there a world of ancient scholar fanboys out there? And do they hold co-splay conventions where they act out their favourite bits of Xia, Shang, Zhou, and Qin (夏、商、周、秦) history and literary lore?

Bernard Karlgren, the linguist who pioneered the study of ancient Chinese phonology, did not look like Gandalf, and did not, per the available evidence, smoke a pipe. He may have, but it's not part of his known persona. He did not imagine bandy-legged dwarves with cloaks running around a gothic horror middle earth with antique rings speaking gibberish. He was, from all accounts, a sane and sober man.

He did not attend fan-boy dress-up events.

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