Chich'en Dippers

So as to rinse that slightly unpleasant taste out of my mouth, here’s the cheerful news of the day!

I got a lot of things done including

  • Company tax return
  • Monthly invoice
  • Laundry
  • Gave my bike a good wash (somewhat to the detriment of the bath) and thoroughly degreased and lubed the chain
  • Installed some new speaker cables which necessitated burrowing so deeply into the nest of wires and fluff behind my desk that it basically counts as archaeology

So hurrah for me!

Also when I was hunting on Amazon for People of the Serpent, E.H. Thompson’s classic 1930s tale of exploring and excavating the Maya cities in Yucatán, including Chich’en Itza, which always sounds like some kind of fowl pest, I did not find it but Amazon suggested these very acceptable substitutes:

  • Spotlight-mode Synthetic Aperture Radar: A Signal Processing Approach by Charles V. Jakowatz, Daniel E. Wahl, Paul H. Eichel, and Dennis C. Ghiglia
  • Quincy, Seasons 1 and 2 DVDs
  • Laser Weapons Technology III by William E. Thompson and Paul H. Merritt
  • Trentepohliales: Cephaleuros, Phycopeltis, Stomatochroon - Morphology, Taxonomy, and Ecology by Rufus H. Thompson and Daniel E. Wujek
  • Development of Long Rigid Bars for Roof Support Along the Coal Face by H R Thompson and E M Loxley
  • Skelton Village: The Continuing Community by H E C Stapleton and Michael James A Thompson

So there is a rich seam of intrest there for when I get bored with amazing temples and pyramids ekcetera. I’ve been meaning to get some of these books anyway as I am fed up with always feeling embarrassed and left out at parties when the conversation turns to synthetic aperture radar.


I must quote you a fantastic bit from Pamela.

The eponymous heroine and fiancé Mr B are discussing how she will spend her time once they are married. She enumerates a long list of useful and improving activities, including family management, keeping accounts, visiting the unhappy poor in the neighbourhood, assisting the housekeeper in the manufacture of jellies, comfits, sweetmeats, marmalades and cordials, driving in Mr B’s chariot, listening to Mr B’s ‘instructive conversation’, entertaining ladies of quality, playing cards, music, reading, writing, and of course praying to God in thanks for ‘all the blessings I shall receive at the hands of Providence, by means of your generosity and condescension’. (I think Pamela would become slightly annoying after a while.)

Mr B points out that she has, in fact, omitted one important item from the list of duties expected of a newly married woman.

What delight do you give me, my beloved Pamela, in this sweet foretaste of my happiness! I will now defy the saucy, busy censures of the world; and bid them know your excellence, and my happiness, before they, with unhallowed lips, presume to judge of my actions, and your merit! And let me tell you, my dearest girl, that I can add to your agreeable enumeration my hopes of a still more pleasing amusement for you, though it is what your bashful modesty would not permit you to hint at; and which I will now no further touch upon, lest it should seem, to your nicety, to detract from the present purity of my good intentions, than to say, I hope you will have, superadded to all these, such an employment, as will give me a view of perpetuating my happy prospects, and my family at the same time; of which I am almost the only one, in a direct line.”

Or as we would put it nowadays, in our coarse, modern fashion:


Keithlard, or Virtue Rewarded

I am reading Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It is wizzo. In my expert judgment it is nearly as good as Jane Eyre, except it is not.

Your friend and diarist is rarther tired, having spent all day working on the booth at a trade show. I could not sleep last night as I knew I had to get up early, so lay fretting and flumping from side to side trying to find a comfy bit of pillow, but they had all turned hard and unyielding. So I was a bit worn out when I arrived at the show at 9am, and after ten hours of smiling and welcoming search engine marketers, demoing the product, keeping a watchful eye on our rivals’ stands, handing out complimentary T-shirts, answering really hard technical questions, and being interviewed and filmed for the Telly, I was ready to curl up and go to sleep in the nearest corner.

I did not though, as there was a really cute girl on the stand next door, who I had been trying to muster the courage to go and talk to all day, and cursing my stupid shyness. I am no good at marching up to cute girls and saying “Hi! I am Keith! What is your name? I am friendly and unthreatening!”, otherwise I would probably be married about fifty times over by now. Finally she came to our stand and said hullo, and I leaped into action, as I am fine if someone else breaks the ice. In fact I can be a one-man charm offensive when I get going, as some of you will be able to testify :D

Anyway luckily she was really nice as well as super pretty, and amazingly enough I got up the nerve to go and chat to her in the pub after the show, even though she was with all her workmates who I do not know. I dare say this all seems rarther ridiculous if you are blessed with the ability to mingle, but I am not. Once I worked in the same office with a girl that I fancied for about nine months before being bold enough to contrive to bump into her at the printer. I probably had a brilliant conversational gambit worked out, but due to bad co-ordination of mouth and lips it came out as ‘shmrrpl msmphh smnt?’. Needless to say that did not lead anywhere, as she probably thought I had some kind of disease.

So over the years I must have got better at this stuff somehow, as I do not seem to dissolve into silent embarrassmint any more when talking to cute girls, even if I am a bit sticky getting going at first. Probably by the time I am 76 I will have mastered the art of saying hello. Anyway today just goes to show that you do not get anywhere being quiet, and sometimes a little bit of nerve can get you a long way.

I am tired though and must nestle into my tiny bed, goodnight :>

PS I have walked 32 miles in four days (most of it round the Business Design Centre in Islington :D)