January 2010

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Last May I was out fishing on an upland stream one sunny Saturday afternoon. There were new lambs on the hills, the river was flowing a beautiful light whisky colour, and below the field through which I walked there did lie a number of peaty bogs. I did not notice this fact as I strolled happy as a sparrow towards the whisky-coloured river. I did notice the lambs however, along with the singing birds, the wonderful smell of spring and various other assorted items relating to the bounty of life.

About three quarters of the way across the field I finally noticed the peaty bogs. Unfortunately it was somewhat ex post facto, as I discovered one of them as part of the act of falling into its deepest corner. During the process of becoming embedded thigh deep in the goo I managed to roll backwards, sit down hard on my rear end, and thus reshape the curvature of my (rather expensive) fancy weigh-net. It was a graceful moment.

I like my weigh-net, and before last May I particularly liked its nice rounded shape, which makes landing fish an easy task. After crawling out of the bog, I sat down to survey the damage. I’m not sure what the probability is of landing precisely on the wrong part of a landing net, at precisely the wrong angle, but someone had obviously rolled the dice enough times. That or I’ve got a wide ass.

I now own a landing net which looks like its been in an altercation with John McEnroe. It has a buttock-shaped indentation along one of its sides which acts to somewhat reduce the beauty of that curvature I mentioned back there. Fortunately the weigh-bit of the weigh-net was not damaged during its rough and tumble with my rear end. Let’s just say things could have been a lot worse.

So the question I’m now posing myself, as I sit and contemplate such important matters in the middle of winter is, can what is bent be unbent? That is a deep question. Thankfully not as deep as it could have been, but still quite deep. Half way towards the deep end I’d say, before being rescued from certain disaster.

I’ve thought about clamping it in a vice and using pliers to try and reshape it, but I’m afraid I’ll never get back that smooth, circular curve. I’ve thought about just hitting it with a hammer and hoping. But I’m no salmon angler. Finally I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing that can reliably reverse a buttock-shaped problem is another buttock. An anti-buttock. The main issue posed by this solution is where to locate an anti-buttock.

Over these past months I’ve been discretely on the lookout for an anti-buttock, but so far I’ve not made a confirmed sighting. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I think it might have something to do with bosoms. No I mean bosons. Easy mistake to make. Where was I?

Ok, so I need an anti-buttock to reshape my dented landing net. Hope that makes sense, it does seems simple enough.

What does an anti-buttock look like then? Given that anti-particles are kind of like a mirror image of particles, I reckon that the closest I’m going to get to an anti-buttock is a buttock reflected in a mirror. So what I need to do now is to somehow conspire to fall on my landing net, purely by accident, landing the right way, on the right part of the net, and all while looking into a mirror. I know this sounds like it could end up as part of a Channel 5 late-night program on bizzare A&E cases (I don’t even like hamsters), I’m sure that with the right execution I could be onto a winner. Well, hopefully not onto a winner, but you know what I mean.

So at the end of the most innuendo-clad Tamanawis post of the decade, I shall head off and position the mirror. Oh what do you know, it’s already positioned.. How did that happen?

Martian landscapes..

Amazing photos of mars from the Boston Globe Big Picture Blog.

For UK users only (or those with better computer hacking skills than I possess), comes another truly outstanding science program from the BBC. The Secret Life of Chaos. Available on iPlayer until this Sunday the 24th (perhaps longer if you download it), it really is worth watching. Jim Al-Khalili is an excellent communicator, and the program has been superbly put together. If you don’t know anything about chaos (I didn’t know much..), it’s a must.

I can’t seem to get enough of these snowy stories. Is anybody bored by all the snow? Hardship and tragedy aside, I have to say I love the stuff, it’s great to have a proper winter. And just to cap things off, Aviemore has had to close its ski centre because….wait for it… there’s too much snow. Too much. Aparently there are 5 metre drifts over the roads near the centre. Not 5 feet, 5 metres of drifting snow. As someone who’s watched ever warmer winters develop over the last 15 years, it really is enough to warm the cockles. Or is that cool the cockles?

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