Friday, December 17, 2004

Ethical behaviour and the Kennedy administration.

This is a true story and also a playground fable.
A colleague and a good friend of mine who writes a blog entitled 'L*******r' but who shall remain anonymous.
I was on yard with this person and the other third grade teacher. He went into violent spasms and started grabbing his thigh. I thought he had leg cramp and wandered over to offer assistance. It wasn't leg cramp it was arse cramp or butt strain or arse strain or butt cramp or whatever the hell you want to call it. He was in real agony and was hopping about. I was laughing quite a bit. Two girls came over and asked him if he was OK. We lied and said he was. This reminded me of how the public had to be kept away from the truth regarding JFK's illnesses and adultery. We kind of lied to the kids to protect the image of "Mr X". If they knew that he suffered from arse cramp it might damage his credibility as a premium third grade teacher who used to live with Balgavy.


Sometimes I wonder if I should get out more. Sometimes I wonder if I should read fewer blogs. Recently I was in a book store , pondering the wares when I turned away. I decided that it was too close to Christmas for me to be spending money on myself but also, slightly scarily perhaps, I knew that I had not checked into the range of blogs that I usually read. This doesnt bother me. If it did I would not be here, doing this. I just found it curious. Today I was terribly busy. I wasn't even able to check any emails until 2.30pm let alone read blogs. I was only able to look at a few after I'd injured my back carrying a large Christmas tree three blocks and two flights into our apartment. I missed them. I missed the tibits of gossip and human interest that I so enjoy reading about. I missed the cultural and political viewpoints.
I was going to write about Listmaker but my back hurts and I'm going to stop now. Without wishing to turn this into a lovefest for other people's blogs Listmaker is rather marvellous.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

He's back!

A few months ago we mourned the demise of "World of Stelfox". This pre-Mondale blog from the House of Dave told us lots of things about foxes, music that we'd never heard of and recipes for a better life (nutritional and inspirational).
Dave is back! I've loved this man since he helped himself to my lunch back in 1989 and am delighted that he has returned to blogworld.
Check out Breaking Ranks. Lots of music and pictures, lovely.

Monday, December 13, 2004


And the winner is.... Jamie Paquette of Brooklyn, NY.
There's a Hershy's Goodbar on it's way to you.
I'll publish all the answers in a week or three.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Links Nouveau.

Look right and you'll see a couple of new links. 'Fightin words' is a new forum for the rambunctious opinions of messers Flood and Paquette concerning weltpolitik, ostpolitik and realpolitik. Enjoy.
I'm also attempting to link to Mr Flood's mighty fine 'Whiskey Drinker' blog. This has been proving somewhat problematic as the link I set upwent directly to a Bible studies site. I'm doing my best and I hope the irony of this is not lost on anyone (least of all, I suspect, the God fearing Mr Flood). The problem is now solved (I couldn't let it go, I thought it might be a sign).
'Unwellness' is the everyday story of Library folk and is hosted by our favourite school Librarian Ms S****. Certainly worth a good look.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Monday, December 13th, 2004.

The fantasmagorical Random Doubts of Walter Mondale Yuletide quiz 2004 will be launched on Monday, December 13th at 8.15am.
55 questions of intense mentalicity.
1 candy bar question.
5 questions to test your faith.
See you Monday!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Forthcoming attraction

Right, It's been busy here at Bowles Towers and I'm afraid to say that I haven't been paying as much attention to our favourite former Vice President/Victim of massive landslide election victory for the gipper.
Fear not, the innaugaral 'nifty fifty/some questions to make you think/the search for fifty answers/that'll be a quiz then/bumper Christmas bonanza of brainteasing knowledge and fun' quiz will be published upon these pages in the next few days.
Those of you who read these pages during the summer will recall my previous attempt at messin with your mind (July 2004).
This will be like that but bigger.
Usual rules apply, no prizes except for genuinely amusing interpretations and they get a Goodbar from Hershys in the post.

Friday, December 03, 2004


When I was growing up I sailed. Along with family and friends I raced sailing dinghys on the Norfolk Broads. This has bred in me a passion for sailing. I thirst for the water and for a 'burn'.
Sailing has taught me stuff and nearly killed me more than once. It has provided me with a collection of salty tales and ripping yarns, it has given me sunburn and backache and, perhaps most importantly it's given me loads of really top friends.
It can be quite an expensive hobby but my Dad didn't let mere economics get in the way. Just as some people look out for cheap flights to the sun or second hand cars my father spent much of the 1980's

My Boat
Originally uploaded by bowles.

scouring the small ads and boat auctions for bargains. Sometimes he'd return home with a wreck, a real heap. He'd tow it up to Tony's shed or Mr Richardson's pig barn and after a few weeks or months and some paint, varnish and love he'd brought back a little bit of dignity to an otherwise squandered boat, ready for one more summer of sailing.
I can't quite remember how or when 'Zest' came into our lives although I would hazard a guess that it was some time around 1986. Having progressed from childlike 'safe' boats my brother and I were ready for a bit of a challenge. That's where 'Zest' came in.
She was an Enterprise class sailing dinghy, about 18 feet long and made of wood. Probably about 35 years old at the time. Years before the internet revolution Enterprises were known as 'e-boxes' as a result of their hollow hull which was kept bouyant wth the use of airbags, theses inevitably deflated but this didnt matter unless you capsized, then the whole boat would sink. And you would be left regretting the fact that you hadn't blown up the bleedin airbags.
Another marvellous aspect of sailing an e-box was the "death-roll".
Not easy to explain but it's essentially thus, The wind is strong and is coming over your stern, you are running downwind when for some reason of design your e-box starts rolling violently from side to side. Instantly requiring vigorous efforts on behalf of the crew to keep the bloody thing upright.
Not many dull moments as any e-box sailor will testify.
So what made 'Zest' special?
A few things, she was a gorgeous looking boat, nice plywood varnished deck (with a "nuclear power?No thanks" sticker placed prominently on the foredeck). She gave my brother and I something in common during those awkward teenage years. She was fast. I mean fast, shit off a shovel fast.
And I loved her. Still do.

Zest represents another time, she was old when we got her so she already had a story and a past, we just added to that in our own slightly dotty (yet pretty fuckin fast) way.
Now i know that the world moves on and I'm glad it does, I'm glad I'm no longer a spotty 14 year old bickering with my brother about boatspeed or pointing. I have the fondest of memories of 'Zest' (look, we didnt choose the name but it fitted anyway, Had we chosen a name it would have been something that wouldon't have stood the test of time like 'Morrissey' or 'HMS Bill Shankley' and I wouldn't have loved the boat as much and I wouldn't be feeling like this or writing this ). Eventually , with time passing we sold her onto a good friend. He assured us that if he ever sold it on we'd get first refusal.

Today I saw this on a sailing website:
Enterprise 5563
Wood,built by Smallcraft Southampton. Danube blue outer hull. Aluminium spars, bax sails, launching trolley, cover. Contact Mark Turner on 01603 7#####. cash offers.

Mark, it's not your fault. You're a good man and you are only doing what's right. But I have to admit that a little bit of my childhood just died. I hope that someone really cool and nice and friendly gets as much fun out of 'Zest' as we did. I hope that whoever sails her has the same sideways view of the world as we have (and as Mark has) and I hope that that fabulously 1980's nuclear power sticker is still stuck to the foredeck!

nb: The picture is not 'Zest' just another boat of the same'e-box' class.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I love my job.

Do you ever goof off at work? Ever mess about and just act silly? This afternoon listmaker and I took on a bunch of third graders in an impromptu basketball game. We lost. Just goes to show that the much quoted "height advantage" mattered not when faced with 11 nine year olds screaming at you and jumping around in your face.
Just a thought.