A Human Menagerie

Professors And People You Shouldn’t

Be Nasty To.

The purpose of this blog is to get people thinking for themselves. It is the most important thing a person can do as an individual. Without being able to think for oneself, it means that the greater part of your life is going to be spent doing things that others tell you to. Which isn’t being the uniquely placed human being, is it?

We all need to work, do a job, and for most of us that means doing as we’re told. That’s fair enough, and we all need to pay our way. I worked for my clients, painted their walls in colours that I truly hated, but it was their house and they wanted to live there and I only had to paint it. They were happy with the result and the result was that I could come home to my flat that is done out with Laura Ashley wallpaper. That I bought twenty five rolls for twenty euros need not detain us here. It’s the boring kind of wallpaper I like. Continue reading “Professors And People You Shouldn’t”

A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

Russians Is Rong.

I don’t quite know what has gotten into the Russians of late, but they are behaving very badly. Everywhere in the news there are new articles about their wrongdoing, from their intervention in Syria to their hacking elections across the world – including of course, the infamous Brexit vote – and being naughty at the Olympics.

Continue reading “Russians Is Rong.”

A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

Two Hundred And Twelve.

It would be in October that I received a telephone call. Unfortunately they didn’t leave a message and I thought no more of it. A week or so later and they phoned me again; in a reprise of the situation, I was not at home and as usual, had left my mobile phone at home. Mobile phones are handy, but given the fact that so few people phone me it’s the sort of thing I am prone to forget until I arrive at the railway station.

Having found another missed call with the same number, I did what would be expected of me, and that is to phone them back. I got as far as the switchboard of my housing corporation. The people who rent me my flat.

No, not my flat; their flat. It is important to remember these things: it might be my home, it is most certainly their house.

My problem was that the lady on the switchboard hadn’t a clue who had phoned me or why. Nobody had told her anything, nobody had told me anything. Situation normal here in Holland. Continue reading “Two Hundred And Twelve.”

A Human Menagerie · Our Subconscious

Geeks In The Basement…

Buying A Computer In Holland.

I’m using my old Mac at the moment, which I think dates back to 2004. Or something like that. Whatever, it’s old and it crashes with a regularity that is my new normal. I did buy a Minimac, but what with Apple’s ideas about older equipment and newer operating systems, it gummed up and remains gummed up to this day. No doubt there’s some malware masquerading as a solution – in the way you can stop the silly bubbles on Windows – but this is not something I want to enter into. I did try Linux, but that’s been trodden on with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Linux is for the people who want a cheap playstation and not a small office at home.

Continue reading “Geeks In The Basement…”

A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?

Die Zeit says that extremist parties are on the up and the socialists are losing out. Yes, Germany should watch out… this post explores what the AfD are bringing to German politics.

So, here I am, leaving Germany the day before the fun of the elections. But then, this is Germany, where elections are staid affairs, so missing one isn’t going to be the end of the world. What will be interesting will be to see if the AfD – the “Alternative für Deutschland” (Germany’s alternative) – increase their share of the vote. No, this isn’t how America does things: it’s not “if” but by how much they improve their share of the vote.

Continue reading “AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?”

A Human Menagerie · A Sideways View

Books And The Building Industry.

What was it someone said to Dorothy Parker? “Oh, darling, I’m writing a book.” To which Dot responded, “I’m not writing one either.” It’s great to speak of writing a book, to actually write one implies a rather different situation altogether. Dorothy Parker was an experienced storyteller and journalist, and knew the pitfalls. Just wanting to write is not enough. But then, it never was.

Continue reading “Books And The Building Industry.”

A Human Menagerie · The Secret Of Systems

Ships That Go Bump In The Night.

The small hours are boring when you’ve done it for ten years. Source: Navy Live

It is the middle of the night and all is quiet. Routine on a naval ship is the normality; the routine in the small hours of the night is even more crucial, because that’s the time when people are at their least aware. It’s nature: humans are better asleep in the depths of the night. Standing around in the dark is simply not as interesting as standing around during the daytime. Even at sea, there are things to see in the daylight, like a seagull. At least there is something; when it’s dark, it’s just one fug of nothingness. The blackness becomes boring for the rating standing lookout on the bridge of the USS Porter.

Continue reading “Ships That Go Bump In The Night.”