Saturday, 28 March 2020

It's A Faaaake! Not The Art Of Star Trek - Brighter Future

 I've been fascinated with Romulan pixmit cards (or pikhmit, according to the Starfleet Museum on Star Trek: The Cruise) ever since they first appeared in Star Trek: Picard. The urge to make a set has been almost over-powering, but life (and laziness) kept finding ways of thwarting me, so I only got as far as cataloguing the cards seen so far.
 That these pixmit/pikhmit cards could be a Romulan take on tarot cards is a good enough reason to finally create some for this month's art challenge (as set by February's winner):

[T]he theme [is] "Looking Forward". Whether it's to the future, to better times, to newer bigger and better starship designs, just something in the Trek universe with an eye toward looking forward to a brighter and better future.
(As with many things on the internet, click the photos to embigulate)

 After settling on a size (9cm each side), I cut out ten triangles from a piece of china coloured card (too thin for proper pixmit but I didn't have any thicker mounting board-like card), and had a play around with pen and ink using the leftover card.  I used a gold metallic marker for the border, dark blue fineliner for the curlicues, and a gold fineliner for the outer text border.  The curlicues were far too big on the trial card, but I just wanted to see if I could do them relatively quickly/easily.  And the border text was too yellow so I had to walk into town to buy a different, darker gold pen.

Friday, 27 March 2020


 No.  Not that sort of earworm!

 The earworms that I wish to bring to your attention are far less unpleasant.  You might even find them to be delightful.  If not, you can always go back to that Ceti eel slithering into Chekov's ear...

 First up, a couple of tracks from Perfume Genius' forthcoming album: "On The Floor" and "Describe" - I can't get enough of these two!  I play "On The Floor" over and over and over, then break it up with "Describe" before going back.  The videos are quite captivating, too.  (It was Mitzi who brought Perfume Genius to my attention back here)

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Dangerous Crustations

 A suspicious looking package arrived for me yesterday.  It wasn't delivered by my hot, surly postman either.  Rather, it must have been delivered to my doorstep at some point during the night, as it was loitering (possibly with intent) near my globe topiaried potted box (Buxus) when I opened the door first thing in the morning.
 Rectangular, and wrapped (somewhat sloppily, it has to be said) in brown paper, the package was unadorned with postage stamps, a name or address.  Instead, in thin black ink scratched across the lower right corner was inscribed: "To, The Witch".  There were no other markings except for a couple of greasy finger and thumb prints, one of which had a rime of some yellowing creamy substance (I'm hoping it was only cream) edged with a dark red - almost black - sticky material (some sort of jam, maybe?).
 Anyway, I reluctantly brought it inside and put it with three unopened envelopes, assuming it too was intended to be opened on Sunday.

 This morning dawned, like many, many others before it and, after a cup of coffee and a jelly baby or twelve, I opened the package.  These are the items that were inside:

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Deer, oh deer...

 Sticking with the wildlife theme (see previous post), this is what I saw when I looked out of my study window at quarter to seven this morning: a couple of roe deer.
 They ambled about, inspecting the front gardens of each house - and the bins! - before wandering off towards the green space at the end of the road.  Then, three quarters of an hour later, when I left the house, they were loitering on the pavement a couple of doors down!

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Big Bronze Cock

"A big, bronze cock? Where?!?"
 Ha! Made you look!

 Yes, as you no doubt suspect, I shan't be showing off that sort of cock (I shall leave that to Peenee, Maddie or The Very Mistress).  Rather, a far more showy example in bronze and red and blue that is a regular visitor to the gardens of Hexenhäusli Device.  But, before we get to him, here are some new visitors from this morning: a pair of red-legged partridges. 

Monday, 9 March 2020

Ms Scarlet with the Trolley on the Mezzanine

 "EXCUSE ME????"  Ms Scarlet was aghast.  "Fight over the starring role???  Are you insane???  I am a natural leading lady.... See how the light follows me wherever I glide... See how the camera loves my glowing complexion.  Fight over the leading role?!  Oh, you are awful, Mr Devine."
 "Look, there are two starring roles, and you've already nabbed one of them" I sighed, gesturing at Ms Scarlet in her wheelchair.  "I was only suggesting that Jon and The Very Mistress might audition to see which of them might be more suitable for the other role."

 "To be a star is to own the world and all the people in it.  After a taste of stardom, everything else is poverty" Jon declared with his nose in the air as he attempted to gaze out of an age-clouded, corrugated plastic skylight.  "Besides, I think 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jon?' has a nice ring to it."
 "'Whatever happened to Baby Jon?'!?"  The Very Mistress nearly choked.
 "Yes.  Baby Jon.  What?  You think 'Whatever Happened to Baby MJ?' is more realistic?  No one will believe you were ever that young."
 "Well, what about this then??" and The Very Mistress pulled out a copy of her unauthorised and unofficial biography and waved a picture of herself from her youth at him.
 "Perhaps we should take a break, hmm?" I said glancing over to the little kitchenette tucked away at the back of the mezzanine.  We were rehearsing the dreadfully delayed Christmas panto - now repurposed as Ms Scarlet's Birthday Panto - in the tight space of the upper level of the Mogwash scout hut (which was currently doubling as the village hall due to there not being one on the map).  The main space below was in use by a member of the Littlehampton Confectionary Display Team who had booked it following the destruction of their previous venue near Southend pier by a tornado of trampolines.  "I think we could all do with a nice cup of tea and a fig roll before we go any further?"

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Blogorati Stars: Mago

 After waiting somewhat impatiently for the Union astronomique internationale, or International Astronomical Union (IAU), to publish the next lot of official star names (the last set of additions was back in August 2018), I did some link clicking on their website and have just discovered that some 112 additions were made two weeks ago, on 13th February 2020. 
 Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a star in the constellation Camelopardalis (the Giraffe) has been named Mago!  Apparantly, the star designated HD 32518 was named after the Mago National Park in Ethiopia (noted for its giraffes), but a little research and some wild deductions later has led me to conclude that the star is, in fact, named after our very own Mago!  And he very probably influenced its naming considering that the name was suggested by pupils at a school in the town of Neckargemünd, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany - not a million miles away from our Mago in Franconia.  Surely not a coincidence?

 HD 32518 Mago is almost 400 light years from Earth, and although bigger and more luminous than our sun, is barely visible to the naked eye from here.  It is certainly undetectable by Camera (or it was back in August 2019 when I took this photo), so I've marked its approximate location with a golden circle.

 Mago can be found at right ascension 05h 09m 36.7201s, declination +69° 38′ 21.8551° - or at the nape of the giraffe's neck not far from the star Alpha Camelopardalis, also known as Shǎowèi. 

 Camelopardalis is one of the northern most constellations and, therefore, is only partially visible (if at all) from south of the equator (sorry, Dinah).  It is bordered by Ursa Minor and Cepheus to the north, Cassiopeia to the east, Perseus, Auriga and Lynx to the south, and Draco and Ursa Major to the west.

 I shall be scouring the additions to the list of IAU-approved star names to see if any other Blogorati have managed to get themselves so immortalised.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

First Photos of the Year

 I feel like I'm at a loose end, despite having various things to do.  Probably because I have various things to do, actually - I can't muster up the enthusiasm to do any of them.  And I've felt this way since before hearing the sad news that we've lost LẌ (which has only made me feel more "meh").
 So, forgetting everything else and going against my not-really-a-New-Year's-resolution to NOT clutter up the blog with meaningless photo-posts when I've got shit-all else to post about, I've flicked through the few photos I've taken so far this year, and plopped the "best" ones up here.  They're of the same old subject matter that I've subjected you to a thousand times before, so don't expect anything to write home about.

1st January: The first day of 2020 finds the cliff sacrificing itself to replenish the beach again just past the End-of-the-Line (and Camera reminding me to clean its lens...).

3rd January: A cleaned Camera lens later allows for a clear sunset and moon shot.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Pixmit: Tales from a Romulan Tarot

Arranged pixmit cards
 The allure of pixmit has not waned.

 Since first becoming aware of this Romulan tarot a week or so ago (see my previous post), my fascination has remained constant.  So much so that I scoured Ariane's screencaps of the new Star Trek: Picard series (which I still haven't seen) for all instances of these intriguing triangular pixmit cards.
 After much adjusting, rotating, enhancing, muttering, cropping, and mucking about in MSPaint, I thought I might as well show you the results.  Whether you're interested or not...

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Prophecies of Green and Gold

 I have just discovered that it has been a month since we last plopped something up on the blog.  A month!  The Ms Scarlet Approach has got out of control somewhat...
 We have got so many things that we have "almost done" and "nearly finished" and "not quite got around to yet", but nothing in a state worthy of a post.  Well, not on their own-
Oh, get on with it!
Yes. Get on with it!

 Oh, all right!  Here are some of the many things that have kept us otherwise occupied in the last month that will likely be expanded upon into posts of their own at some point:

 Between Christmas and New Year (and even afterwards) we fannied around with some new designs for a blog header.

 This is the best of what we came up with, but I'm not overly enthused with it, so it will probably change later in the year.
 Hey!  I quite like it.  The font, anyway.


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Did I Win Yet? Grand Quiz Results

 It's the moment you've all been waiting for! Well, the moment that a handful of you might have been idly speculating about...
 Yes, for the nearly five* of you who asked "Did I win yet?" it's time to reveal who actually did win the Dinahmow-sponsored Did I Win Yet? Grand Quiz held in honour of "A Friend", LẌ.

 First, let's have a look at the questions, and the answers as provided by the select Blogorati who could be bothered to enter:

1. We all know that LẌ was Chief Pillow Fluffer for The Very Mistress over at Infomaniac, but what other official service did he provide?
  • Personal IT Consultant to The Mistress. (Oooh, this quiz is easy)
  • IT services
  • Mr von LAX is the Official I.T. Specialist of The Mistress
  • LX served as the Mistress's body double in her ill-advised attempt at geriatric porn
The official service, of course, is:  Personal IT Consultant to The Mistress, although I will accept variations on that theme - i.e. those other two answers.  
I don't think LẌ's body-double services were ever "official"...

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Have You Won Yet?

 For those of you who have not yet had time - and/or maybe not the inclination, either - to wade through the end-of-year Coven Awards (Ancient Groyne edition), may we present a reminder of the penultimate "The Did I Win Yet?" Award Which Is Masquerading As A Quiz!
 This award was proposed and sponsored by Dinahmow [and heartily seconded by Ms Scarlet and thirded by The Very Mistress] in honour of our friend of the ïmpössïblë ümläüt, LẌ.  However, due to Ms Scarlet's overexcitement for what was then a non-existent quiz, I reimagined the "Did I Win Yet?" Award into a quiz in order to kill two birds with one stone.  This Grand Quiz has taken the form of questions related to the aforementioned LẌ and the content of this end-of-year Ancient Groyne Extravaganza, so I hope you've been paying attention.

  1. We all know that LẌ was Chief Pillow Fluffer for The Very Mistress over at Infomaniac, but what other official service did he provide?
  2. What is the title of LẌ's unofficial and unauthorised biography which featured in this very blog earlier in the year?
  3. Who got LẌ to ask all those awkward questions (and did all his ageing for him since taking on his birthdays)?
  4. Which comic strip couple were the inspiration (and basis) for my Not The Art of Star Trek entry, Disco 78?
  5. Which two Blogorati appeared first in our adventure over the Cusp this year?  And for a bonus point, what method of transport did they transmogrify the TARDIS-a-like HVMS Infomaniac into?
  6. Which member of the Blogorati introduced me/us to 2Cellos?
  7. Who was Aljaž Skorjanec's dance partner on this year's Strictly Come Dancing, and which side of him should she be on?
  8. Where did "Canable Man" feature?  (And how should it be spelled?)
  9. Which month featured a "load of seamen" clogging up the rigging?
  10. What does The Very Mistress claim is NOT a competition?
  11. What's my favourite cake?
  12. How many acres of block paving make up Mogs Mill?
  13. Before the wind changed enabling LẌ to use a hot air balloon, what had he asked Ms Scarlet, Beast, Mago, and The Very Mistress to steal for him to fly home on?
(There was going to be a maths question along the lines of "What percentage of Mago's Sunday Musics actually occurred on a Sunday?" but I don't know if my maths is up to getting the right answer?  Perhaps it can be used as a tie-breaker question should the need arise...)

 You can leave your answers to the thirteen questions in the comments, or email them to me if you don't want anyone to peek - my blog email address is in my profile (but if you're one of the few who have my personal email, then please use that).  You have until Wednesday 8th January to submit your answers (although, if anyone needs a little more time, just let me know).
 By the way, I've already had more than one(!) set of answers - one of which scoring over eight points!

 The winner shall have the honour and responsibility of hosting the next Did I Win Yet? Quiz/Award as and when they see fit.  It doesn't have to be tacked onto a massive post like I did with the Coven Awards, or even held at the end of the year.  In fact, I'm not quite sure if it even has to include questions about LẌ (I think it just needs to be a quiz/award in his honour)?  I'll let the very gracious Lady Dinah - for it was she wot came up with the idea - have at it with the rules/suggestions/guidance in the comments (if she can be arsed, that is)...

* You may have to click on a few of the pictures to embiggen them, though.

 Right.  That's that out of the way.  Let's look at some New Year photos.  The first two are from New Year's Day, and the remaining four are from Friday 3rd January.