Feb. 2nd, 2010

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The thing I love most about Groundhog day, besides the fact that Spring is not far behind no matter what the little rodent does, is the movie with Bill Murray. It's a gem of a film, with a superb message.


Feb. 2nd, 2010 05:18 pm
theoldwolf: (Default)
Shut up, you deviants. I mean Jack Sparrow-type booty. Arr...

Arr, a chest o'treasure arrived in me mailbox yesterday, from a pretty wench in a far-off land. A whole bundle of silly, fun things: most useful, all appreciated.

The tie was the most interesting of all. To look at, it's just a nice Christmas-themed cravat (since I only have one other, this will be a fine addition next Yule season.) But on closer examination, there are bits and snatches of words running through the candy canes.

I could tell the writing extended through the candy canes onto the blue background, but it was impossible to see in normal light, especially with the reflection from the shiny silk. So I scanned it, hoping to bring out a bit of detail.

With a little contrast and gamma manipulation, I was able to get the words to come out a bit more (this is just a small section, and my working image was much larger):

What jumped out at me was "The Christmas Joy", "around the year", "spot", and "frozen". Doing a Google search on these words came up with one - and only one - hit, a poorly-scanned copy of Down Durley Lane and Other Ballads by Virginia Woodward Cloud, published in 1898(!), and illustrated by Reginald Bathurst Birch which included this poem, "Old Christmas":

It's a long way round the year, my dears,
A long way round the year.
I found the frost and flame, my dears,
I found the smile and tear!

The wind blew high on the pine-topp'd hill.
And cut me keen on the moor:
The heart of the stream was frozen still,
As I tapped at the miller's door.

I tossed them holly in hall and cot,
And bade them right good cheer,
But stayed me not in any spot,
For I'd traveled around the year

To bring the Christmas joy, my dears,
To your eyes so bonnie and true;
And a mistletoe bough for you, my dears,
A mistletoe bough for you!

What a delightful, hidden, and serendipitous message!

Miraculous it was that these words were even clear in the transcription, because it was a raw optical-conversion, and much of the text came out as garbage. What's more, Virginia Woodward Cloud is a rather obscure poet, not unlike Grace Noll Crowell, (whose works I had hunted for over a period of 40 years, only having success last year thanks to another deep internet search). So the odds of finding one of Cloud's poems on a Christmas tie are pretty slim.

A bit more digging found a beautiful online, zoomable copy of the book - "Old Christmas" is on page 99.

And all this because I gave the wench a stale crust of bread...
theoldwolf: (Default)

So after a friend of mine sent me a few cartoons by Wiley from his Non Sequitur strip, I wanted to find the rest of the series.

Instead of typing "http://www.non-sequitur.com", I typed in "http://www.nonsequitur.com" and I got this:

Yes, it happens all the time. There are millions upon millions of websites out there, designed to look almost like the one you want, just waiting for your fat fingers to make a mistake, and serve up a worthless page of links and ads, which somehow they hope they can monetize. Cybersquatters register domain names by the hundreds, set up advertising pages, watch which ones get the most hits and clicks, and get refunds for the non-productive ones within the 5-day period allotted by ICANN.

And it really frosts my chops.

Listen, you slimy hqizmongers: What you're doing is deceitful and underhanded. You're wasting time, wasting bandwidth, wasting productivity and ripping people off. You're jugging up the internet with noise, and nobody gives a rat's south-40 about you or your schemes. Encountering your rubbish is like taking a walk in a green, sun-drenched field of an alpine valley, only to step in a cowpie.

Kthxdie, onioburus.

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