Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 14 December 2009

WW goes back to its roots

Works Well has lost its way. It has got itself tangled up with effete stuff like sonnets, novel writing and (most baffling of all) gardening. WW was founded to celebrate technology, to detect beauty where it might be least expected and to leave Elizabeth Barrett Browning dead and buried. Time for a retrospective.

Where's its jet engine? Corsair US carrier-based fighter-bomber, flown in the Pacific during WW2. OK, it's a killing machine but it's muscular, looks right for the job and weren't we then fighting a "just" war?

Whatizzit? It's a winch used for rope-hauling on yachts. Costs a fortune but I'd have it on my mantelpiece.






Uh? A quaver rest and a crotchet rest that fill out the sung first line of the Everly Brothers' "Bye bye love." Here the beauty is in the shapes and their concise expression.


Bit humdrum. And only lovely to those who need to shift a recalcitrant tube. Yet the Stilson wrench (pipe wrench in the US) has never been superseded and the patent dates back to 1869.










Bet they stink. Oh yes, of me and my inglorious history as a rock-climber. Discard them? I'd rather open
my veins.




Novel progress 17/12/09: Ch. 8: 2425 words. Chs. 1 - 7: 33,000 words. Comment: Clare to face the camera! My literary invention was required elsewhere but I managed to squeeze in a few words at the end of the day

15 comments:

The Crow said...

Does this mean no Hatch & Company updates at the end of your posts?

Sigh....

Barrett Bonden said...

The retrospective was a one-off. I'll be back to the soppy stuff, as my grannie used to say, "all in good time".

marja-leena said...

Interesting contrasts of technology, the arts (music) and footwear! Very revealing....

Rouchswalwe said...

The pipe wrench floats my boat. Some things just never go out of style! I bet it feels good in the hand.

Sir Hugh said...

Those WW 2 planes just do something for me. I was born in 1939 and I suppose it’s the whole association with that war and the bravery of the people who flew them, but they are also individual and so characterful. I built models of many of them in my youth which promotes yet another kind of nostalgia.

The Stilson is a brute of a thing, but what puzzles me in the UK is that none of the nuts in the plumbing world seem to conform to any standard sizes so spanners cannot be used and one has to resort to this tool which tends to slip and mangle the nuts. What is this about nuts used in plumbing?

I have total empathy with your feelings for the boots. Having walked most of my life I have many pairs which are worn out that I am reluctant to discard. I think your boots possibly have as much character as the Corsair.

The Crow said...

Fine boots, BB, full of stories as well as character, as Sir Hugh suggested.

When I use my Stilson (and that's what my Dad always called it, too), I wrap plumber's tape, that nylon stuff used on pipe threads, around the nut to help protect the finish.

Stilsons make good murder weapons, too. I'm just saying...

:)

Plutarch said...

I 'll settle for the quaver rest and crotchet rest, seen but not necessarily heard. Script is often beautiful in its own right. Like technology itself, as demonstrated by the winch.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: Just joking, of course. I'll be back to verse and worse. But I'm pleased at the reactions techie things evoke in all of you. I too respond to WW2 planes (as to the technology and design of handguns), knowing that in some eyes I'll be seen as sentimentalising warfare. But perhaps if I slipped back a few centuries and admitted to admiring suits of armour I'd be off the hook.

The boots I've dribbled about before. They are an external rendering of my feet and perhaps that's a defence (somewhat weaselly) in support of my reluctance to see them junked.

Stilson. The fact is, under certain circumstances, nothing else fits the bill. However, I'm astonished The Crow should make a claim about its murderous potential. In virtually every US low-life thriller I've read incautious men (always men) are hit on the head with tyre irons. The device has, by now, achieved iconic status.

The two musical rest symbols were dug out with Julia's assistance. Both Mrs BB and younger daughter will fly to Prague tomorrow, the city where Julia holds sway, where snow is falling and where last night the temperature was -7 deg C. The aim is to attend the Christmas market (German Christmas Markets were the subject of The Guardian's third leader today), to drink gluhwein and to exhaust a line of credit I have extended to them for burgundy bought at the La D├ęgustation restaurant. I remain at Chez Bonden, polishing rather than writing.

The Crow said...

Tire/tyre irons are okay if you have the upper body strength to wield the killing blow. Most women will find the the Stilson makes up in its heft what they lack in UBS to make the iron work effectively. Especially if they can lift it only crotch high.

Again, I'm only saying...

(I've wanted to write a murder thriller for ages, and have come up with a long list of murder weapons one could use. I have no personal experience using the Stilson on anything but pipes.)

Ha! Verification word is 'duress.' How serendipitous!

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: Leafing through the Elmore Leonards, the Ross Macdonalds, the James Lee Burkes and the Dashiell Hammetts I realise you're right. It's men's noggins that get bashed and tyre-iron-armed men do the bashing. So from now on I'll assume that any woman aproaching me with a Stilson is not a plumber.

The Crow said...

As soon as I can stop laughing, and can see straight, I'll answer that retort.

In the meantime, me thinks thee wise in thy assumption. Oh, God love you!

herhimnbryn said...

Those boots are an art form in themselves. I bet they could tell a few stories?

Julia said...

The snow is beautiful today! It is a little slippery so I hope the family is well shod with something nearly as durable as your boots.

Best of all, we are going to meet up in just a few hours and share some nonvirtual gluhwein. Wine review to follow.

Avus said...

Those Corsairs have a purposeful, blunt headed, brutal look about them. They were terrific 'planes for the job.
Still prefer the exquisite beauty of the Spitfire though. The sight and sound of one of those, sweeping through the sky, Merlin engine singing...........

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: I've had a quick phone-in and both were charmed, as I knew they would be. They were impressed by your Czech and I replied she wasn't called Prague Polymath for nothing.

Avus: I appreciate your feelings about the Spitfire but the more we celebrate it the more we risk forgetting the Hurricane which was more actively engaged in the BoB. Mind you, I'm just as bad. The trouble is the Hurricane, by comparison, is a veritable Quasimodo. And so, so much bigger.