Friday, December 14, 2012

FBR51 (Wahoo!)

Mornin' maties. 
Well that was a party to end all parties. 
It had the hallmark of one of those parties that is written about in years to come. 
Everything happened . . . 
And the end of the evening? 
A damn good Keel Haulin' 
Oh yes, perfection.
We left a scattered trail of boats awash with grog and drunken sailors. 
We left islands with natives glad to see the back of us. 
We literally spliced the mainbrace, by order of Her Majesty.

It has given me great pleasure to return with the Duke of Edinburgh to Sheephousecestershire, to witness the International Fleet Review celebrating the Completion Of Fifty FogBlogs. 
FogBlog has confirmed, through the smartness of its writing and insight, and superb execution of the Ideals Of Blogging, the best traditions of service on the seas of ether. I offer to all the officers, men and women of Sheephousecestershire my congratulations. It is particularly pleasing to see the strong bonds forged by hardened drinkers with their ship's cats here today. May all visiting sailors and delegations return safely to their home-ports with fond memories of this historic celebration. I know how greatly the dockyard and other supporting services have contributed to making this Fifty FogBlogs Review an occasion which I shall long remember. 
Sir Herman of Sheephouse can take great pride in his accomplishments of the past, and his ongoing service to Blogging, and their Significant Contribution To Insight on the worlds oceans of improbability. 
Prince Philip and I send our warm good wishes to all of you and look forward to following your important endeavours as you sail to meet the challenges of another Fifty FogBlogs Of Service. 
Splice the mainbrace.
—Elizabeth R

By Royal Approval no less.
God Bless You, your Majesty.
Even Mog had a wee totty o' the hard stuff (double cream)


Well this week I am celebrating somewhat of a landmark . . yes, incredibly, last week was my Fiftieth Post!
So, to mark such an auspicious occasion, here's some balloons.

No Expense Spared For My Readers.
Yes, a quick visit to the Card Factory and some helium was all that was needed.
Taken with the 1934 Uncoated Leitz Elmar  (deliciously smooth).
Ilford HP5 - EI 800, developed in HC110 Dilution G

When I started FB all those months ago I hardly dared to believe I would reach this point, but there you go - no one is more surprised than me . . The big question is though - can I take it to 100 posts?
Hmm - have I really got another 49 interesting topics in my broin?
I don't know actually.
You see generally, when writing FB, I often don't have a clue as to what to write from one week to the next. Sometimes it is different and I can get ahead, but mostly this is not the case. I'll wake up, get up, make some tea and just start with a thought and see where it goes from there.
From a creative writing point of view it is the equivalent of that old adage about art: "Drawing is taking a line for a walk!" It really has become like that for me.
From a positive point of view I have allowed myself to indulge in the morass of childhood memory, which is a good thing (for me, but not necessarily for you).
I have vented about all sorts of topics and sounded unfeasibly like Mr.Self-Important. Which I am not, honest; I am really not as half as far up myself as I sound.
Here, Sheephouse does a Harry Hill-style aside to the camera and says:
On the whole I am a fairly quiet unassuming person - this being said, I am far more gregarious these days than I ever was in my latter childhood/teenage/twenties.
Talking of which (which I wasn't), wouldn't you just love to be able to go back and be a best friend to yourself when you were younger!
Sort of like a brother from another time; big and bad, with an attitude that would sort out the naysayers.
If I were to do it, I would wear a futuristic suit like Robin Williamson in Mork and Mindy.

Left:Mindy                                       Right:Mork
Imagine if you could time travel and meet yourself
without all the time travel problematicals of

I somehow think that if you had walked around in the mid to late 1970's with a companion like that then people wouldn't have been half so dismissive.
And I mean Mork . . not Mindy.
If you'd walked around with Mindy you would have been followed by a mob.
Can you imagine though the you as you are now, going back in a suit like that to key times in your life and just being there for yourself . . it's an incredible thought isn't it.
Curiously the One Show on BBC1, ran a similar theme last night with their presenters. Fortunately for me, NONE of them elected to return in a red space suit and helmet.
I would have been the dog's bahookies in the '70's . . oh yes!
So, digression aside, 50 posts old, and still going. So what am I going to write about in this one that could possibly be of interest?
Will it be a diatribe on the wonders of blogging and how to do this that and the other?
Will it be a rant about how FB is too good for the world?
Will it be a discourse on the usual shite subjects I always write about?
Well no. Actually dear reader (if indeed you are one) it is about you!
You see, the beauty of using Blogger is that you get 'stats', so, for instance, I can analyse everything to the nth degree and get all excited or not.
FB has sort of gone from something where it seemed like the only visitors were web bots, spam bots and bot-bots (closely related to the African antelope the dik-dik and the Scots creature the nickety-nackety-noo-the-noo) to something where I actually seem to have people reading pages.

Too-too. Tooty-too-too-too!

Hark? Wot's that sound?
Yes, by jove, you're right - it is!
The sound of a man blowing his own trumpet!

At the time of writing this, FB is now up to a tickle over 3182 page hits, which isn't bad for pages of nonsense!
I know I have regular visitors - Hi Dave and Bob and Bruce and Mike and Wayne . . but it would be nice to hear from other readers . . so if you are a regular, don't be shy, say 'Hello Sheephouse' - send me an email.
I won't bite and promise to send a nice email back. You might even get a free teabag if I can work out how to transmit matter easily and non-messily.
I hope dear reader, that you (yes, that's you . . .the one with the bushy eyebrows and the jowls) have found things of interest . . certainly someone seems to have found something interesting.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will find a list of the most popular posts, sorted in order, and it always surprises me to see that these change sometimes on a weekly basis.
If you scroll down even further, you can see my map - well it isn't mine, but you know what I mean.
It is fascinating, because it has really grown from being just me in Scotland, to Maniacs in Canada and Nutters in the South of England, to Fruit Loops in America and Blutwursts in Germany, and now beyond. Greetings to all of you!
My Clustr map, because it gives you all this wondrous information and is a telling and revealing of page hits and reads.

Can you see yourself yet?

See those little triangles?
I can click on them and get the approximate  location of the querying IP

For instance, I hope I didn't scare my two (early on) mid-Pacific readers with my Blog about sea-borne plastic, but their little dots appeared on the map the week that was published, so you see, doing stuff like this, can maybe have a tiny impact somewhere. And I've since had a few hits from Hawaii, so Aloha to you!
And with regard to the plastic thing (oh no, not again) if I have even highlighted the problem to just one person then that is something.
Change never occurs quickly - it can be like the giant snowballs my Dad and I used to make. We started off at the top of a fairly steep field with a tiny pea-sized piece of snow, and started rolling (he was trying to tell me something I think) anyway, before you knew it, that pea had become head-sized and then torso-sized and then gravity took over and it started rolling downhill of its own accord and before it crashed into the river it was about the size of a very large fat man!
So, in the words of Dr.Strange Records, you can (by planting seeds of thought, just possibly) "Destroy Society One Mind At A Time".
The posts that seem to have been most popular are evenly mixed with the usual photographic nonsense and the reminiscences about my childhood.
I can tell you from the beauty of stats that for two weeks running, Russia and Russians really seemed to like the picture of me, Steve and the parrot, and I can only assume that is because I described Steve as looking like he has just breezed in from the Kremlin (his jacket was pure Cold War Class!).
My ode to the humble Olympus Trip 35 is my most popular post, but it could well be overtaken. Larry Burrows and his epic war photographs appear as a referring query every single week, though strangely the one image that seems to be looked at the most is the dead SS guard taken by Lee Miller.
eden ahbez and his life are also queried on a regular basis, so this is good.
Gonks, incredibly, are also queried on a weekly basis - initially exclusively from Australia, but now from all over, so this says to me that somewhere, my doodling with a keyboard is maybe making connections with some like-minded brains . . or not.
Whatever, I hope you are entertained by my writing, and most importantly, that it raises a laugh in the face of a world going belly-up.
I make nothing from this - it is a entirely a free creative exercise, and in the spirit of all creative endevours it is done for pleasure.
Of course (natch) should someone wish to employ my modest writing skills, I would be very happy to oblige . . but it isn't going to happen (who am I trying to kid?) . . so I shall just keep typing and thinking until I get bored. And then one day I shall grind to a halt, drool over my desk and say 'Done' and that will be it.
I shall be like the priceless heirloom mentioned in a Rambling Syd Rumpo preface "passed down from Father to Son 'til the handle dropped off" (or not, but who knows).
Being as cagey as possible I shall say We Shall See, and leave it at that.
So, 50 runs and not out - we'll see where it goes from here.
Take care and as usual thanks for reading - God bless.
Have to go now as I have some remnants of the yummy 50th birthday cake the Cap'n made me with the remains of his Ramen disaster of a few weeks back.
It's super-delicious chicken/prawn/beef/kimchi/bilge flavour - yum yum pig's bum.