Dried Roses

New Year’s Cat Pix

On New Year’s Eve, looking for a good time. A stop-motion sample.
Musa, 27 Dec 2009

LinkJanuary 1, 2010 in Cats

Sunday cat pix

The first of 2010 has Josie in her nest on the living room sofa. Another view here.
Josie, 2 Jan 2010 (Credit: M)

LinkJanuary 3, 2010 in Cats

Sound of the week

D major, bright (1′56″). The basic beat is in 7.
Guitar: Modelonia; bass: Camel Audio CA 5000; drums: NuSofting Broken Drum Machine, etc. Effects: Camel Phat & Space, Loomer Manifold, QuikQuak FusionField, Blue Cat Triple EQ, etc.
alt: dmaj

LinkJanuary 10, 2010 in Music

Sunday Cat Pix

Musa goes to the studio for a publicity shot.
Musa, 28 Dec 2010

LinkJanuary 10, 2010 in Cats

Translation: a fragment from Hugo

She’s gone—absent, vanished—too bad!
He may well say: It’s nothing, I’m not sad,
I’ll go to balls, I’ll feast, I’ll stay out late…
He may well spend his days intoxicate,
a drawing by Hugo
Victor Hugo, drawing, in Arsène Houssaye, Confessions (1888)
Play the hero’s, the cynic’s part,
And yet—there stays within his heart
A memory, adrift above the permanent
Darkness, like a broken cable's end.
Original text:
Elle partie, absente, évanouie, hélas!
Il eut beau dire: bah! c’est bien. J’en étais las.
Je vais aller aux bals, aux fêtes. Je vais vivre.
Il eut beau savourer la coupe où l’on enivre,
Et faire le vaillant, et faire le moqueur,
Il sentit qu’à jamais il lui restait au cœur
Un souvenir flottant sur l’ombre irrévocable,
Comme un arrachement qui laisse un bout de câble.

LinkJanuary 13, 2010 in Literature

Illustration of the week: train tracks

I like trains. In today’s screwy politics, that makes me a socialist; if I said I preferred steam to diesel, I’d be a Trotskyite. The Saint Louis Union Station was once the busiest railroad station in the US. It was a “back-in” station—a unique design that eventually led to its demise as a working station—with thirty-two tracks entering the “headhouse”, which is 606 feet wide, larger, when it was built, than every other train shed in the world. In the busy morning hours, from 7 to 9 am, an average of 146 train movements per hour were conducted.
All train, engine and switching movements are handled direct from the interlocking tower by the director in charge. He has before him on his desk a printed schedule of every regular movement of train, engine, head-end or drag-out, for the twenty-four hours, showing the time it should be made, the track from, etc. Before him are his telephone, speaking-tubes, thirty push-buttons for the Station track circuits, and three buttons operating the air whistles at Eighteenth Street Twenty-second Street and the signal bridge; and to his right and left on each side the “bay” are thirty miniature semaphores, one for each track, with drop discs, which show the condition of the Station tracks, whether occupied or not, and also when the conductor of train “plunges,” “ready to start,” and thirty larger discs, which show what switches are fouled by standing or passing trains in the Station. Back of him are the levermen, who have such an intimate knowledge of all the possible combinations of the levers that they have all the levers moved almost before the director is through calling the tracks.
From Saint Louis Union Station (St. Louis & Chicago: National Chemigraph, 1895) 73

LinkJanuary 13, 2010 in Saint Louis

Translation: a fragment from Hugo

Don't believe them—
What they call, beloved,
Heaven in their bitter tongue,
Is just some smoke above,
Sans God: flash and thunder.
This cloud is all: cliff
And abyss, Jehovah too;
The first man to exist
And the last, passing through.
It's a wave, mere spume;
The land of gilded harps,
Where the pythoness of Cume
With Endor's sybils talks;
A chosen place: the blessed
Go in, and not the accursed;
An empyrean summit,
A garden like the first.
—All that? A heap of dreams,
Helping as it harms;
Truth in deception seeming
Brightness in the dark.
Original text:
Ne les crois pas,
Ce qu’ils nomment, ma bien-aimée,
Le ciel, dans leur langage amer,
C’est on ne sait quelle fumée,
Où Dieu manque, où tremble un éclair.
Cette fumée est tout; la rive
Et le gouffre; c’est Jehova;
C’est le premier homme, il arrive,
Et c’est le dernier, il s’en va.
C’est une onde; et c’est une écume;
C’est le pays des harpes d’or
Où les pythonisses de Cume
Parlent aux sybilles d’Endor;
C’est un lieu choisi; c’est l’entrée
Des bénis et non des maudits;
C’est une cime, l’empyrée,
C’est un jardin, le paradis.
Tout cela, c’est un tas de songes;
Cela sert comme cela nuit;
La vérité dans les mensonges,
De la clarté dans de la nuit.
The French is in octosyllabics, with the usual scheme of alternating masculine and feminine rhymes. In French, the preferred rhyme is a “rich” rhyme that includes not only the vowel and final consonant, but the consonant before (at least). In the last strophe ‘nuit’ is used in etymologically distinct senses, and so the repetition is permitted as a rhyme.
The translation is in trimeter; the rhymes are full or “near”-rhymes. Full rhyming throughout would require too much deviation (in my experience) from the sense of the original.

LinkJanuary 13, 2010 in Literature

Musical sketchbook

Icy (1′53″). Turn the volume down and let it play in the background.
alt: icy

LinkJanuary 14, 2010 in Music

Sunday Cat Pix

LG sleeps.
LG, 6 Jan 2010


LinkJanuary 17, 2010 in Cats

Criss Cross #1


LinkJanuary 17, 2010 in Jeux d’esprit