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later gosling

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Posted under Art & Photography at .

And another. One of this year’s brood came right in by the house, not yet bothered by humanlike things and their strange doings.

a greylag gosling standing by a road on a grainy morning a greylag gosling standing by a road on a grainy morning

The flock have been sticking aound late in the morning recently, perhaps because the children are growing, but especially on grey drizzly days like today.

a greylag gosling standing by the side of a road, looking at the camera

It wandered round a while occasionally trying to decide about me. Eventually an adult called from the field and . . . bye then.

a greylag gosling running to take off

morning goose

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Posted under Art & Photography at .

morning goose 2023-08-05 6

A goose flew over the fence the other morning, beaked around a bit, and flew back when a van approached.

morning goose 2023-08-05 13

Dark Time firmware update

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Posted under Musical Technology at .

The Dark Time had a failure. Not really sure why at this point, but when I started it up yesterday it showed an odd pattern of lights and was entirely unresponsive. Repeated power cycling. And I’ll admit that’s a kind of pretentious-sounding phrase especially as applied to something you do just switch on and off rather than go through a more macroscopic shutdown/startup process, but it’s a bit more concise than turning off and on again. Did nothing apart from eventually change the pattern of lights.

So I thought, let’s check the power supply. The Dark Time according to the labelling uses 12V AC and this is the original adaptor I got with it (though not Doepfer own-brand, which may be normal), and is also rated 12V output. It’s actually giving 16V no-load, which seems a little high. Some PSUs limit the voltage until they detect a load but starting up high is less common. But a little online probing tells me that some Dark Times were supplied with 15V supplies, so maybe this is in-range. Powering the thing with 12V AC from a lab supply makes no difference. [1]

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Estradin Altair 231 controls translation

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Posted under Musical Technology at .

A quick and dirty drawing and translation for non-Cyrillic-readers of the main control panel of the Estradin Altair (Эстрадин Альтаир) 231. (A rough copy of the Minimoog built in Ukraine in the mid-1980s.) The drawing focuses on clarifying the points I’ve found confusing while trying to learn about the instrument, either due to my limited Cyrillic or the unexpected nomenclature.

There were different versions of the box lines and dials, and the original cap colours seem to vary. This concentrates on the words,[1] and doesn’t show one specific version of the rest. Or screws. For clarity, I’ve simplified the waveform shapes. It may not be exactly to scale or be too accurate about knob shape, as I’m working from some indistinct photos. (Hoping to get exact measurements one day.)

Estradin Altair 231 Panel, multilingual animated

(Full size here).

Like the earlier Estradin 230, the Altair replicates most of the controls (if not the sound) of the Minimoog, but leaves off the output switch and has only a single key CV → cutoff switch. [2]

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A Denominationally Unique Phenomenon?

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Posted under Miscellanea at .

I’m in the midst of sorting some books with a view to rationalising their shelving, and have come across one I bought, probably in the late 1990s, possibly at the secondhand book shop in Broadford, probably in a hurry. The Ancient Church Orders by Arthur John MacLean (Cambridge University Press, 1910). As I recall, the text was not what I had expected and of little interest, but I remember none of the detail — in part because of a distraction it contained. Its previous owner had left within the most remarkable bookmark I have ever encountered.

MacLean, The Ancient Church Orders

At some point in its life, probably when new, the book had been owned by one Reverend H.S. Sard (CoE), initially at Cuddesdon College,[1] and later at Upper Norwood, London, England. I doubt I am the first owner since; several decades may have elapsed in between. Rev. Sard had in 1942 (probably December) received [2] a letter from someone whom (it indicates) he had assisted financially towards what appears to have been a form of missionary endeavour in Barcelona. I had no idea that Anglican missionaries went to the Continent in the early 20th Century, even if — as seems likely in this instance — they went of their own accord. In fact I cannot say whether the writer was in any sense representative of contemporary Anglicans or their missionaries — or perhaps not an Anglican at all, but a denominationally unique phenomenon, though with some Anglican friends?

Rev. Sard’s Bookmark

I assume Rev. Sard read it, and I cannot presume to guess his feelings regarding either the letter or the missionary — though this was one of a series of communications, so probably he was familiar with the style. He then returned it to its envelope and appears to have used it thereafter as a bookmark. (A habit which, as its later discoverer, I must heartily commend.) The picture shows where it appears to have spent time stuck out of a book at one end and become sun-scorched and perhaps a little smoke-stained. [3]

hbm’s envelope, open, with letter

I am about as far from an expert on 20th Century Anglican — or other Christian — or in fact any religion’s — missionaries as it is possible to be, but so far as I know this is the only surviving record of HIS BARCELONA MESSENGER. (Transcription below.) I would be interested to hear about any other records or memories which do still exist.

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broken

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Posted under Miscellanea at .

I read a line on a webpage a while back. Admittedly, at the time I thought — hah, sounds kind of right — and moved on. But it’s been niggling at me, and I ended up realising, no, not right. So I had to go back and find it, failed, failed to accurately remember the words, but by the marvel of search engines found what I think is the original (or at least, where it was as it seems now to be behind a paywall, but I’ve found it on the Internet Archive):

The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research childhood.”

— Michael Chabon in the New York Book Review, 2013–01-31

The implication I understood in the context I first read (still haven’t found it) is that adults are those who have noticed that the world is irretrievably broken. And it’s that implication (which might not be the whole point in the original) to which I have to respond with an unambiguous no.

The state of mind in which we view the world as irretrievably broken might be better characterised as mopey-teenager, rather than adult. The idea goes quite well with the denial and depression stages of grieving. But really an adult — well, what do we mean by adult? A mature person? I know these words are all a bit tendentious, but there’s a point behind them, and I think it’s this:

Maturity requires acceptance. In this case, acceptance that we just live in the world, we didn’t design or make it, and it never did respond to our desires and preconceptions more than coincidentally. To consider the world broken because it doesn’t meet your expectations is not mature. (Or at least, very far from enlightened.)

To be sure, there are people who are legally adults who haven’t moved on from the mopey-teenage viewpoint; which shouldn’t be surprising as there are those of all ages who haven’t moved on from childlike marvel and surprise either. And whether it was originally intended this way or not, the quote, used by those who are still stuck in the adolescent phase, serves to infantilise those who have managed by good fortune or neurological peculiarity to skip it, or those who haven’t yet reached it. Misery loves company.

Hopefully this doesn’t come across as just an attempt to infantilise . . . well, juvenalise? . . . those who are stuck in denial and depression with regard to the world around them. I didn’t skip it, though I don’t think I’m irretrievably trapped in it either. Because: it’s not the end of the process. If you think the world is broken, it’s time to move on. Your expectations may indeed be broken, but the world is as complete and ever-changing as it always was.

I suspect enlightened maturity loves company too. If I get there I’ll let you know.


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