A small step for a man (Jogle Blogle +40)

With only 40 days to go to the start of the Jogle, dear reader, I thought that I might fill you in on the early part of Steve’s journey from John O’Groats to Lands End – the Scottish experience – for want of a better expression. 

As I’ve told you before, Steve sets out on the 18th. May and…

Pardon?

Yes I did, you obviously weren’t listening – again!

So, just so you can get out there and wave your Saltire’s at him as he passes, here’s a quick heads up of the first part of the route.

Excuse me?

No, a Saltire isn’t a sea breeze, it’s the Scottish flag.

Yes, the blue one with the white stripey bits, as you so eloquently put it.

Anyway, from John O’Groats he’ll head – North!

I know, I know, that’s what I thought. I’ll hear the splash from here in Stourbridge! 

But once my intrepid brother had explained why, it all became clear. So if you’ll indulge me for a while I shall try to clarify exactly what’s going on.

Imagine for a moment the summer of ‘69.

What?

No, not the song. I’m talking about the Apollo space mission.

Yes, it is comparable as you’ll soon see.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz and the other bloke no one can ever remember didn’t blast straight off to the moon you know, oh no, no, no.

First off the three men I admire the most had to drive their Chevy from the levee, hitch up the Saturn V rocket and tow it off to the launch pad.

And that’s what’s happening here.

Steve will stumble out of bed, eat a hearty breakfast…

No, I guess you’re probably right. He is about to embark on an athletic endeavour after all, so he’ll probably be eating something that looks and tastes as though it’s dropped out of a squirrel’s backside.

Then he’ll strap on his rucksack, step out into the storm and make his way – North (that’s uphill to you and me) to the Duncansby Head lighthouse which is along the road from his B & B and the official starting point of this adventure.

Then, splashing through the puddles and hunched against the driving rain, he’ll head back the way he’s just come and begin the long journey south.

Now you may recall that the aforementioned Mr. Armstrong said something about, ‘a small step for a man,’ as if he’d just done something truly momentous. Personally I don’t think he’d entirely thought that through, after all he’d been sitting on his bum for the entire journey. Okay, now you could argue that it was a half million mile round trip without decent ‘facilities’ to put it delicately, but he did have a rocket up his backside. Steve on the other hand will be marching the length of this British Isle, and get this, on his own legs!IMG_0330

Nowhere near the seven and a half million pounds of thrust those idle astronauts had. Now I think you’ll agree that it’s impossible for Steve to generate anywhere near that amount of power, after all it’s surely not humanly possible to eat such a quantity of beans at one sitting. So I think I know whose the greater achievement will be, don’t you?

Here’s his first weeks itinerary.

18th May, first stop Wick.

19th. May Day 2 – Latheron

20th. May Day 3 – Helmsdale

21st. May Day 4 – Golspie

22nd. May Day 5 – Tain

23rd. May Day 6 – Evanton

24th. May Day 7 and at last somewhere I’ve heard of, albeit in a bawdy rugby song about 24 young ladies of righteous virtue – Inverness.

Get out there and cheer him on. 

And if you’re feeling charitable, here is the link to his just giving page in aid of those wonderful people from Macmillan Cancer Support.

‘Got my first real six string, bought it at the five and dime, played it till my fingers bled, was the summer of…’

Oops, was that out loud? For some reason I can’t get the tune out of my head.

Can’t think why?

If you haven’t caught the previous posts regarding the Jogle, why not? Tsk! You’ll find them below.

Advertisements

AWESOME

Did you see it?
Hold on, let me rephrase that.
DID YOU SEE IT!!!???
How awesome was that?

What do you mean, ‘What is he waffling on about now?’

I’ll tell you what I’m ‘waffling’ about thank you very much!
The Falcon Heavy, that’s what. Take the ‘Falcon’ from Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon, add the word heavy, because with the car that it’s carrying it weighs a bit more than your average roadster.
To para-phrase the words of a very old song, ‘it went up diddly up up and came down diddly down down.

Oh, still none the wiser, huh?
I’m not too surprised actually, the T.V. news had a lot on it’s mind after all. Notts County were playing Swansea in the cup as I recall.

SpaceX, that’s what I’m on about as Elon Musk bids to be the first multi-billionaire to get the merchandising rights in outer space by launching a giant phallic symbol into the heavens. Up yours, Branson, you’re a just a Virgin – I’m the bigger man.

That’s right, there’s now a crash test dummy in a space suit nonchalantly steering his Tesla around the speed bumps of the asteroid belt. You don’t get that sort of advertising for peanuts, let’s face it.

Now I must admit that I am very much surprised that more use hasn’t been made of our local celestial bodies before now. The ‘Coke’ (probably a registered trade mark sort of thing) logo, or the Maccy D’s Golden Arches (more trade mark type of blurb here) projected onto each full moon perhaps.

Surely it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that someone like Disney for instance could join up the dots in Orion’s belt, head off around the plough, the great bear and beyond to sketch out a quick characature to promote their latest cinematic venture.
But no, it’s been left to the leccy car maker to show his green credentials by slinging a bit of old scrap out around the Sun for the next billion years or so. You don’t get much more environmentally friendly than that do you? After all everyone knows that the environment ends at the bottom of the street, hence all the fly tipping.

And I’ve no doubt that there will be a lot of naysayers. It didn’t happen. It was all staged. The world is flat or at least a bit bent, so any rocket launch would have bounced off Australia. That sort of thing.

We’ll have discussions no doubt about what gender the dummy is. Is it straight, gay or gender neutral, black, white, brown, red, yellow or pink with purple spots. Is it Democrat, Republican, Communist, Socialist, vegan, a leaver, a remainer or, heaven forbid, Australian.

We may somehow have offended God – no, I’m not sure which one.

And I’m also only too aware of the arguments regarding the fact that we should only attempt this sort of thing once we have solved all of the worlds ills, abolished war, cured all diseases, crawled out of poverty and put an end to pollution.

And I’m more than very, very aware that we will never do/ achieve any of those things, admirable as they may be. We’re not that sort of creature, let’s face it, much as we like to brag about our opposable thumbs. A lot of the time we are downright nasty, argumentative, warmongering, ‘I’m all right Jack,’ sort of apes who couldn’t organise a Brexit in a brewery (and before you start on me again, remember that I didn’t say which side I was on). Don’t believe me? Just go on any vaguely contentious post on Facebook and you can almost feel the vitriol.

So I’ll say it again, DID YOU SEE IT?
AWESOME, with a capital AWE.

Excuse me a minute, I’m an engineer after all. This Is mightily big stuff. We’ve done some fantastic things. We’ve built enormous buildings, bridges, ships – yes even electric cars. We’ve created enough bangs to out-mushroom each other should Nelly the Elephant believe his own rhetoric about North Korea. But this..!

Twenty seven rocket motors in perfect harmony. There was more thrust there than you’ll ever see on a Saturday night missus.

And then, and then, the bloody fuel tanks came back to Earth and landed, two in perfect synchronisation in the middle of the target area and one, get this, one on a barge – at sea! Okay it missed, but it was damn close and in the words of another song, ‘two out of three ain’t bad.

And it didnae change the laws of physics, Jim.

The day when the promised marvels from the Eagle comics of the fifties and sixties and I’m sad to say, my youth, finally came to life.

Dan Dare lives, he’s driving a roadster to Mars, with Bowie blasting from the in car stereo and those immortal words, ‘DON’T PANIC’ writ large on the sat-nav.

Expect the Mekon and the Vogons along any day now.

I’d better brush up on my poetry.

Ashes to ashes, rock to funky…

Here we go again to celebrate my conversion to WordPress – what’s this, day four of re-blogging old blogs from the blogging platform that time forgot? Only six more days to go then – I set a limit of ten, you’ll be pleased to know!

This one is fairly recent, inspired by some innocuous comment in a newspaper back in March this year. Combine that with the sad demise of an international superstar and this is what you get – this is, Ashes to ashes, rock to funky…

In a blog back in May of last year, I reported live from Huston Space Centre that shortly we would all be off to Mars. If you remember I said that we would have to travel light, with no room for even a clean pair of pants. For my readers in the USA I guess that means undershorts or some such phrase – I thought you spoke English for heavens sake. No wonder Superman always wore his kit back to front! (Don’t want any bilingual mix ups here, remember when the French programmed that probe in kilometres rather than miles a few years back – yeah, the infamous SPLAT! shot, you got the one. As David Bowie may have commented, ‘I think my spaceship knows which way to go-oo.‘ But let’s face it if that lot the other side of the English Channel have anything to do with it, it won’t stop when it gets there! How embarrassing!

Spaceship

Oh, how we all laughed!
Parlez vous Francais? Oops, obviously not!
Cue mutterings of ‘merde,‘ and a lot of Gallic shrugging. (Incidentally and perhaps for discussion another time, if we get out of the EU do we get our measurements back?) And yes, thank you, I do know that there’s a funny squiggly thing under the ‘c’ in Francais, but I don’t know where it is on the keyboard, o.k! Besides, it’s only French, so who cares.
Anyway, I digress.
Who said, ‘as usual!‘ I can type and hear at the same time you know, it’s called multitasking!

But I fear that I may have inadvertently misled you good people and must apologise – and quickly, before you all rush to take your protein pills and put your helmets on. It appears that we are about to learn the answer to Mr. Bowie’s question very shortly – provided they haven’t invited the folks who sent them the Statue of Liberty to have another play on their computer.
new york statue libertyWhat do you mean, ‘Which question?

THE‘ question.
Is there life on Mars? of course.
And it appears that the answer to the poser on America’s tortured brow could after years of speculation to the contrary actually be – yes!
Not little green men you understand. Or even laughing gnomes for that matter. No, neither of those would pose a problem, the human race has a unique solution to tackling the tricky question of integrating with alternative societies – it’s called genocide. Or as near as dammit anyway. There are still a few Red Indians and Aborigines about, but not nearly enough to worry about.

What they think they’ve found up there (Or is it down? Do we really know which way round we are in the Universal scheme of things?) sloshing about the old Red planet is – water.

And what do you get with water?
Yes, mud I grant you, but not really the answer I was looking for.
O.k. own up. Who said, ‘Ice cream franchises?
No, now you’re not paying attention are you!
One of the most important, fundamental and significant discoveries ever.
O.k. if you want to, take a few minutes to mull it over.

You’re no closer to an answer really are you. Shall I let the cat out of the bag?
Life!
O.k. Perhaps it was a silly question, but I don’t think that you were really trying.
Oh no love, you’re not alone!’ The artist formerly known as David Jones again. Makes you think he may have known something all along. Sadly it’s too late to ask him now.
But, like I said earlier, it’s life but not as we know it. Cue Star Trek theme music. Thank you,Bones.
So what is it they think that they may find?
Bacteria.
What!
Yes, you heard correctly. Bacteria. Apparently the little blighters are quite partial to the dark and moist – no madam, I think you might find that’s a fungal infection but I know where you’re coming from, if you’ll pardon the expression. Try some Canesten! If that doesn’t work get someone to look into it for you.

The rest of you – stop sniggering!

Now I’ve seen the Actimel advertisements and am quite aware that there is such a thing as good bacteria.
But, be honest, there’s also some slightly nastier stuff about.
Call me cautious in the extreme but do we really want to go messing around up (or down) there to find out if it’s good stuff or bad stuff lurking about on the planet we named after a chocolate bar?
Now we know why poor old David’s starman didn’t make it back. Major Tom was strung out on Lemsip. Not so Hunky Dory after all.
I’ve had man-flu on and off now since Christmas. Believe me we have enough bacteria of our own to go around thank you very much.
Just imagine – all that extra snot! At least that explains the little green man theory.

Bogie men, obviously!

And let’s face it the media couldn’t give a fig – if Dave’s correct, and he has been so far, all the papers really want to know is whose shirts you’re wearing whilst you’re floating about in the vacuum of space.

So dear reader – when we have so much to sort out on our own poor benighted planet, lawmen beating up the wrong guy for example – do you really think we ought to go messing about with bugs from other rocks?

green alien in his space craft flying saucer clipart