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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

The rivetting opening ceremony

Don’t have a TV. Commonwealth Games ceremony sounds as if it was a real ripsnorter, a triumph of Scottishness:


Is there anyone actually in the stands?

# This is the opening ceremony that everyone was afraid that the Olympics would have.

#  Come back Pitbull…all is forgiven!

# Rod’s wearing hair by Gloria Hunniford, skin by World Of Leather and blazer by Bacofoil.

# Why oh why are we being subjected to people telling us all about scotland when they dont live here e.g john barrowman – hasnt lived here for 20 years, billy connelly – has lived in america for 30 years, rod stewart….isnt scottish at all.

# As each team comes in, the announcer shouts “Come on in”, which is a Scottish saying, we’re told. “Come on in, Maldives.”

# At least the athletes have arrived to fill the space up a bit! Is it over yet?

Well, you know, the Beeb version is a bit different.…

Simplicity is the aim

Uninspiring? Yes. Boring? Possibly. But behind this sail are hundreds of hours of thought, sifting, looking at every advantage and disadvantage.

lugsail with battens

The disadvantages of this lugsail with battens is that it is flat and putting camber in depends on the way it is sailed. It does not go upwind as well as a modern Bermudan – about the same as a gaff. Plus that’s a large piece of timber [the yard] above. Yet it’s a controlled piece of timber.

The advantages are many. First among these is simplicity – it has the fewest working parts.

Then comes safety – it drops with one line released from the cockpit and is raised again the same way.

In strong winds, those battens, yard and boom keep it under control, less flapping, less being scooped up and dumped by wind and wave. If the sail tears, it tears only in that panel. The angle you see is the angle it must be.…

Wimmin on bicycles – Marion Rousse

Marion Rousse is the fiancee of Tony Gallopin, wearer of the yellow jersey in this years TDF and winner of yesterdays stage.

But Marion is a pro cyclist herself riding for the same sponsors as her boyfriend and will be competing in the first womens event at the tour this year at the finish in Paris.

No mug on a bike either – a national champion on the road.

And because of her looks a little promotional for the tour, modelling !…

Have chosen the sails

my sail

18oz water-resist and anti-UV canvas.  Not light – 15kg each sail, before boom, yard and battens – maybe 25kg all up per sail.  Lots of issues with canvas but … just wanted canvas, right?  :)  Think it will go nicely with reddish spars, green battens.

As far as I can see, there’s a small but significant number who are following these sailing posts and this next bit is for them.

Having chosen the cloth, the critic will say – 18oz?  Way too heavy for light airs and immersed in water, which it would be, capsized, the laminations will eventually give way.

Unfortunately true but there are things which can be done.  Firstly, it will need care, never stored damp for long, aired and folded carefully in harbour, cleaned from time to time.

Secondly, I’m using the sail plan on the left below [A]:

sail plans

All four have similar areas. The one on the left is a Chinese lugsail or junk, next is the balance lugsail, then the gaff and the one on the right is today’s ubiquitous bermudan.…

Non-whites don’t like sailing?


That’s my concept of sailing – two people just lazing about enjoying an afternoon on the water.

Haiku sends one of these lists, this time on what “white people like”. Presumably the writer means just America, although a commenter below says:

This list is largely reflective of liberal white people. Most American white people (the ones who largely live in suburban fly-over states) would have a huge cultural disconnect with these things.

I mean Asian Fusion food, David Sedaris, architecture, multilingual children?
Maybe in NY, NJ,CT, California, and university towns across America, but definitely not applicable to most American white people.

Republican states=places where white people tend to be the majority, and I can’t think of any red state where the typical white person would fit this list.

I don’t feel qualified to comment on that. Then someone else made a comment:

I agree with Lisa, Sailing has to go on that list.