mandag den 20. september 2021

Poetry Monday :: Remembering 8-Track -- No Poetry Version -- Updated.

If you want to read some better  poetry,  Diane - who has taken over the hosting of  this challenge - and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings - who also supplies us with topics - are writing wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is slowly returning to blogging after her husband's passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way. And dare we hope that she will join Poetry Monday again.

-- -- 

This Mondays topic is Remembering 8-track. I had to look it up, and as 8-track just never reached Denmark, I have no memories of it.

My early recording memories were the big, heavy reel-to-reel tape recorders lugged around by professionals. Then came the endless loop cassettes - soo smart - and just maybe those actually were 8-tracks? As I wrote in the comments section, they were not in personal use, but used by shops, ferry-lines and so on for announcing of offers, practical notices and so on.
  Later the small dictaphones entered, and finally - wonder of wonders - the compact cassettes. We had an early prototype with mike and all, and me and my sister made mock radio-reportages from wannabe jungle expeditions in our backyard. Waterfall and insect sound effects in the background were made by inventive procedures.
   The Walkman only joined the party as I was
almost grown up. My sister, 3 years younger than me, had one, but I never bothered.
  As you see from this, I was not much into listening to music all the time, although I remember one very long holiday by car where we had forgotten the tapes at home, and only had one music casette to listen to all holiday!

In Danish there's a song about the joys and sorrows of owning a Walkman - I'd like to translate it, but I'm not sure I can do it - or that I can do it without being chased by copyright-owners. Danish music-copyright-rules are tough and meticulously upheld

 - - - - -

Upcoming topics:
Ask a Stupid Question (September 27)
Golf (October 4)
Throw a Party (October 11)
Meatloaf Appreciation (October 18)
Opera (October 25)

søndag den 19. september 2021

Sunday Selection - Golden

Golden candlesticks, golden cloth and a newly ordained deacon. The golden mitre belongs to our bishop, the bishop of Copenhagen, and the only Catholic bishop of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe isles (he has one of the worlds largest dioceses when measured in square kilometres).
It was a golden day!

Linking up with Sunday Selection, hosted by Elephant's Child and Life in Colour, hosted by HeyJude, where the colour of the month is golden.

torsdag den 16. september 2021

Machine Translations at Unicorn Farm 😉

We all agree that Google translate is not stellar, I often call it Giggle translate because the resulting text is so far off the mark as to make me giggle. But one of my sons told me about a new machine translator called DeepL. It should be way better.

Let's test it!

This next chapter is a chapter I obviously wrote in Danish. It is a sort of missing link, combining the stories of Martine and Fiona; but I am not in the mood for translating. So I tried something new: This chapter is translated using (free version).
I corrected one thing, there might be more. Birkegården means Birch Manor, but as a name it's not translated.
Let me hear, what you think.

A week later, Fiona's car rolled up in front of Birch Manor.
I know you didn't want visitors yet, Fiona said as they pulled up, completely bewildered to have visitors in their new home. But tomorrow is 17 May, Martine's birthday. Shouldn't we surprise her with a visit today. There was something I had to look at. And don't worry, the magic wand is in the glove compartment.
They spent a nice drive together in Fiona's car, refreshing old memories and banter. And making plans for the new school of magic. Fiona remembered that the brooms were bought in the Blind Work in Copenhagen.
The biggest problem was books. Susan had her copy of Everyday Magic for Witches and Wizards, but that wasn't much to build a school on. "We'll probably ask for help from abroad." Susan said. I wonder if Ella couldn't help us, hopefully she's still alive. I don't think Kensuke and Teiko will be much help there. Neither of us seem to read Japanese."
"Maybe Finnbogi and Rósa have something up at that weird museum of Icelandic witchcraft and sorcery or whatever it was called?" Knud added.
"Oh, I went there once, right after they opened," Fiona said. "It was repulsive and exciting at the same time. Rósa works there. Fantastic, and Finnbogi. How many have you found so far?"
"We've checked on almost all the apprentices from the Unicorn Farm, but it's a pretty sad story," Knud said, pulling his book out of his backpack. So many of them have died, but of natural causes, we suspect. And many of David's loyal supporters were among the first to go wrong. So we don't think there's any criminal or revenge motive behind it."
"In short, you don't buy the idea that Teresa had anything to do with it?"
"No, not really, anyway. It's a bit too random who survived, and so most of them weren't hard to find."
"And one last thing," Susan said. "It just occurred to me, but the deaths stop about when David dies.  Maybe she - or they - even got off on the wrong foot around then?"
"That sounds like a thought," Knud said. "Let me check." A little later he looked up from the book again. "You're quite right. Apart from Kalle Berggren, who didn't die until eight years later, it actually stopped with David's death. I bet if we look hard we can find your Teresa's death around there too, but the question is whether we want to bother now, there's so much else to do."

"You're right. It's probably just my fear of them being overactive. I guess I'll just have to get used to the fact that they've been dead and gone for so many years, when they're alive and well in my mind's eye," Fiona sighed. "But now for something completely different. Martine. If I can cure her ... Or rather, help her ills. And it won't be in a day, even with magic. That would probably just arouse suspicion too. So what are your plans?"
"Our plans, and hers, are to find her a handicapped-accessible home near the Birch House. We haven't looked yet, but there should be something. Maybe she can stay with us for a while, we have enough space when not all the children are visiting at once."
"Yes, with my help and especially with her magic, she should actually be able to manage on her own," Fiona said slowly. "That sounds like a good idea. And she's not going to be lonely, we need her help, too, very much! And then I have another question. How will you check if people you meet have magic abilities, i.e. are witches or wizards? I've wondered if any of my children or grandchildren were magicians, but I haven't really dared to do anything about it yet. And I don't know how to go about it."
"That's actually a really good question. We've thought about it a lot, but haven't really had time to make anything of it with all the moving," Knud said. "How did you get tested?"
"I read in a big Icelandic book one day at school - and I could actually read it," Susan told us. "And then on summer vacation I found my way to the Unicorn Farm and met Gilvi."
"I was inside with a fortune teller at a travelling carnival," Fiona told me. "She asked me if I'd like to look in the fortune-teller's ball, and I saw a building, the Unicorn Farm, of course. Then she handed me a leaflet about the local 4H and told me to give it to my parents so they could sign me up for the rabbit jumping course. I wasn't the least bit interested, but I did as she said, and my parents were very keen to get both me and Veronika there. I reckon it was suggestive paper," Fiona sighed. "At 4H I was sent down to a small gloomy room where there were some other children, Sarah, Knud and those from Northern Norway, My, Marit, Astrid and Olav, and then we were escorted out to the Unicorn Farm under Jon's leadership.

"I picked a bunch of flowers and leaves in the forest, and an old woman came and asked me if she could have it - it was Tähti," Knud replied. "The next day there was a leaflet in the post box - and from there my story follows Fiona," Knud said smiling.
"But that probably doesn't help us much," said Fiona. "I usually just do instead of thinking long and hard, but right now I'm hesitant. Maybe Martine knows something." 


Knud directed Fiona the last few miles to the nursing home, and just like last time, they were inside the bakery buying cakes. This time they bought a small layer cake, just the right size for four people.
It was the same girl as last time who was sitting at the reception desk and she cheered up when she saw them: "Oh, I'm so glad to see you again, Martine's been so up since you were here. She's started taking part in physiotherapy and also some arts and crafts. It's fantastic. You know the way, so just go up there."

"You must be Fiona," Martine exclaimed once the three visitors had entered. "You look like yourself, you're just older."
"Yes, I am Fiona," replied the latter. "I recognise you too."
"That's a kind way of putting it," said Martine. "I don't look like myself anymore."
"Yes," Fiona said, continuing over Martine's protests. "It's true that your body isn't whole anymore, but you, your soul, or whatever cat I should call it, there inside you, still looks like who you were." Martine looked up at Fiona. "I've gotten stronger since those two were here last," she said with a sly smile. "I've been working out. Every day, not just in physical therapy. and I've been working on a test tool. We need a way to distinguish mages from non-mages." 
"I told you!" Knud exclaimed. "Martine has the solution."
The nurse came in with a tray of coffee, cups and so on. She noticed the layer cake on the table and smiled broadly. "Well, someone's in good time. Enjoy!"
"Thank you!" The four of them replied into each other's mouths.
Fiona poured and Martine narrated while Knud cut the cake. "Well, I thought we needed to know who was going to school at Birkegården. So I made a gizmo. You know, one of those witch lizard brain scrambler things made of wood and coloured strings." She paused and stuck a hand in a bag on the back of the wheelchair. Susan couldn't help but notice how much more mobile she had become and smiled appreciatively. "You can do what you want, almost then," Martine said. "This one is magical. It resists being solved if you're not a magician. Leave it, and some normal ones like it, out next time the children and grandchildren come to visit. Those who stick with it long enough to solve it have the magic in them." She handed the gadget to Susan.
"You only made one?" Fiona asked?"
"Well, I can't do magic." Martine replied, and they all burst out laughing. 
"You can test your grandchildren with a painting competition, just ask them to paint animals and you'll see!"
"Great idea!" Fiona replied. "And then my kids will be exposed by their kids. That's clever!"

onsdag den 15. september 2021

Words for Wednesday -- September 15

  All September, and so also today, the third Wednesday of September, the prompts are given by Cindy at Of Dandelions and Sunshine.
  The prompt for today is a challenge: "They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Write at least 100 words about the image below."

A long time ago, back in November 2019, I wrote about Susan and her family returning from Paris (After the drama with the Gargoyle) and driving to Aunt Dina and Uncle Kurt's summerhouse late one evening. I did not tell of the crossing of the bridge. It was a special thing for Susan and her sister Linda:

Susan and Linda sat in each their corner of the back-seat of the car. Linda was mad because they were not going home, and Susan was sad because she wanted to get to Unicorn Island in a hurry. She could not read in the car, as it made her sick, and even thinking of becoming sick made her feel queasy.
  Mum suggested singing something together. And after a zillion iterations of Frère Jaques in English, French and Danish, Susan felt a bit better, and Linda was not glowering any more.
  They crossed a small bridge, and Mum said: "Soon you'll see the water to the right, and then we'll cross the big bridge. After that it's not far to Aunt Dina's summerhouse."

"That big bridge?" Linda asked.

"The one with the arches?" Susan asked.

"I bet we'll meet a train in the middle once again." Linda said.

"I don't like that bridge," Susan said, "Those who built it, did not measure accurately. One half is way longer than the other."

Susan and Linda looked at one another, and as they sighted the water and the ramp leading to the bridge they began singing:

"Oh we do never ever more
want to cross that big bad bridge.
For one half of it is long
and the other half is short,
and every time we reach the middle
A train comes rolling by!"

They repeated this homemade verse several times all the way up on the bridge, over it, under the pylons - where they of course were met by a rapidly rolling German train going in the opposite direction - and all the way off the bridge. Mum and Dad had had more than enough of this song when the car finally set wheels on Zealand.

295 words.

tirsdag den 14. september 2021

Statistrikks cirkler - et problem og en løsning

Statistrikk's Circles - a Problem and a Solution

Flere gange allerede har jeg fortalt om Statistrikks sjove citrusskiver, men der er et lille problem ved dem. Ud over at man bliver afhængig af at strikke dem.
  --  Statistrikk --
Several times already I have told about knitting the ctrius circles from Statistrikk, but there's a problem with these circles, apart form their addictivenes

Se på det herl billede af en citronskive -- Look at this photo of a lemon circle
Her ser man tydeligt hullerne efter de vendte rækker; de danner koncentriske cirkler i citronskiven.

Concentric circles from turning the short rows can be clearly seen in this lemon slice.

Men i denne her moste squash (tak til Skribenten for den rammende beskrivelse) er der ingen huller at se.

In this squash-ed one (thanks to The Writer for this apt description) the holes does not make a pattern.

--- ⚬ ◯ ⚬ ---

Det er fordi jeg slår en maske for meget op - her 25 i stedet for 24  og så vender jeg med skiftevis en i overskud i den ene og i den anden ende af pinden.
     Altså jeg slår 25 masker op og første kile strikker jeg:
25 r. vend, slå om, 25 r;
20  r. vend, slå om, 20 r;
16  r. vend, slå om, 16 r;
12  r. vend, slå om, 12 r;
8 r. vend, slå om, 8 r;
4 r. vend, slå om, 4r.

     Anden kile:
25 r - hvor de omslåede m strikkes sammen med den følgende maske, vend 25 r;
21 r. vend, slå om, 21 r;
17  r. vend, slå om, 17 r;
13  r. vend, slå om, 13 r;
9  r. vend, slå om, 9 r;
5  r. vend, slå om, 5 r.
     Ved skiftevis at strikke de to kiler (og naturligvis strikke omslagene sammen med den følgende maske også i kile 3 og så videre), bliver hullerne en m. forskudt i forhold til hinanden og danner ikke så tydelige koncentriske cirkler.

- ⚬ ◯ ⚬ -

To achieve this I cast on one excess stitch - here 25 instead of 24 - and I the knit the wedges with one supernumerary stich alternately in one or the other end of the needle. Like this:
First wedge: 
knit 25 turn, knit 25;
knit 20 turn, yarn over, knit 20;
knit 16 turn, yarn over, knit 16;
knit 12 turn, yarn over, knit 12;
knit 8, turn, yarn over, knit 8;
knit 4, turn, yarn over, knit 4.

Second wedge:
knit 25 and knit all yarn over togethter with the following stitc so as not to make holes or more stitches, turn, knit 25;
knit 21 turn, yarn over, knit 21;
knit 17 turn, yarn over, knit 17;
knit 13 turn, yarn over, knit 13;
knit 9 turn, yarn over, knit 9;
knit 5 turn yarn over, knit 5.
Alternating those two wedges (of course also knitting the yarn over togetther with the next stitch in wegde 3 and onwards), offsets the turning points, and gives me a nicer look.