Monday, April 30, 2012

A Case of Getting Your Guy's Mixed Up

Today would have been the 66th birthday of Guy Kewney, an early journalistic commentator in the world of computers. One of his more memorable quotes had been "I take a very simple view of news: first is all that counts." By an epic stroke of irony, though, he is best remembered in certain circles for that one time he had NOT been first, and through no fault of his own. Kewney had been waiting in a reception area at the BBC studios to commentate for television news on the outcome of the case Apple vs The Beatles. At the same time, in another reception area another man, named Guy Coma, was waiting to be interviewed for a job. The wrong Guy got directed into the television studio, and the embedded video clip was what followed... Here's also a link to Guy Kewney's obituary...

Vultures 1

Tell them vultures they can have my bones crack them broken with sticks or stones they can chew my flesh or swallow it whole just keep their dirty talons off my soul....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Not quite #fridayflash fiction: Ghosts

"Eeckkk!" said Lemon. "There's a woman. I just saw her crossing the floor." How can the place he occupies be described? If you focus on its texture for a while, it appears quite solid, but there are waves on all sides, up down, left, right, forward, backward. Everything appears identical at first. Waverings bits of light. If you think specks, they become specks. If you think waves, they elongate and snake - around and around. The appearance of the place sails through possibilies. The acoustics of the place was similarly open to persuation. Snatches of music, disembodies voices came and went, without seeming incomplete. They just shifted as the attention of the hearers did. Other sensory impressions wove in and out of an everchanging dance of perception. "Interesting." said Raft. "Describe her to me." "She is a shadow. All grey and stilted, as if there is something hindering her. Something holding her back, keeping her from manifesting fully. She walks heavily. But she seems quite thin." "Is that how you see her?" Raft asked. "Look again." Lemon himself wore the appearance of a small youngish monk in a robe. He kept his face round and blank of expression, and saw Raft as a bit of a rogue, a canvas across which wry smiles, raised eyebrows and frowns of irony painted themselves with ease. Each feature, the moustache, the beard, the slightly hooked nose had the potential for additional emotional punctuation. "Her hair is long, curvy and Titian red. It mostly covers her face but I think her nose is quite long, longer than average. She wears a gown of some sort." He squinted. "Above the chest, there is a glittery motif, but otherwise it is plain and seagreen." "Very good," said Raft. If you asked either whether they heard the conversation, they might not have been able to answer, but each voice was distinct, and spoke of the person as well as his words. "You see her also?" Lemon asked eagerly. "I've been looking at her for a while now. I'm surprised that you see her. Her name is Tiffany." , "You know her?" "She is... was my fiancee." Before, Lemon and Raft had not been acquainted. They gravitated towards each other, settled into a conversation and grew comfortable in it. They may have been at it for some time, but time itself wove in and out of their world. They were still trying to work out whether this was in fact their first meeting or not. "Why won't she talk to us? Wait... oh! Now, I see. She is..." "A ghost." "No. Yes. Must we use that word? Raft shrugs. He said several things, none of them verbal. "Why is she so sad?" Lemon asked. "Because she longs..." "For you?" "She longs for the warmth of a fresh wound, but all she has is a stale scar. She comes back out of habit. I can hear her words. I miss him. He is always with me. How can both statements be true. I have no trouble at all 'being with her' but maybe the real answer is that she is not always with me anymore." "How sad," said Lemon. "I always thought it was the other way around. That we haunt the living." Raft's face was a work of art, the interaction between his brow and his moustache all but forming full sentences. "That kind of traffic goes both ways. In our world, they are incomplete in some way. At times, she almost appears to notice me... Other times... Look, she fades again." Lemon shivered. He had the suspicion that for the moment his face was not bland enough. "Let's talk about something else," he said.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And the band played on...Remembering one of the true heroes of the Titanic...

He left Southampton on 10 April 1912 as the owner of second classed ticket No 250654, courtesy of his employment for the music agency C.W. & F.N. Black, an organization that specialized in supplying entertainers for ocean liners. The return journey was of an entirely different nature, identified as Body no 224, described as a brown-haired male wearing a green-facing uniform, brown overcoat, black boots and green socks. Recovered by the Mackay-Bennett, Body no 224 travelled from Halifax to Boston, crossing the Atlantic, this time aboard the 'Arabic' to reach a final resting place in Colne, Lancashire. In between, he had been the Head Bandmaster aboard the Titanic. A veteran of some 80 Atlantic crossings, Wallace Henry Hartley's most prestigious assignment before the Titanic had been aboard the Mauretania, a vessel that returned to Liverpool mere days before the Titanic's maiden voyage. There were two separate musical units aboard the luxury ship, a trio comprising cello, violin and piano, and a larger quintet with which Hartley performed. Under normal circumstances, the two groupings had different duties, but on the night the Titanic hit the iceberg, bandmaster Wallace Henry Hartley assembled them to play, first in the First Class Lounge and later on the Boat Deck close to the Grand Staircase. It was the first and only occasion of the trip where the eight of them played together. Many agreed that their selfless act played a huge role in maintaining calm and order as the emergency evacuation of the Titanic took place and at least some of the passengers who did make it, owed their lives to the band who just kept playing. According to witnesses, Hartley's last words were "Gentlemen, I bid you farewell!" None of the musicians aboard the Titanic survived the voyage... In Hartley's home town of Colne, a plaque marks the house he grew up in and there is a 10 foot high monument featuring a carved violin - his instrument of choice. Over one thousand mourners attended his memorial service, and 40,000 more lined the route of the funeral procession, which featured seven bands. Today there are streets named after him and proud Colne residents continue to maintain his gravesite.

Do also visit this webpage dedicated to his memory for more info

(for anyone sharp enough to notice, i AM plagiarizing myself with this blogpost. I originally posted it almost a year ago on my Xomba profile)

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