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General Chat about anything non-car related; Jokes, fun, of interest, lifestyle, in the news

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:36 am
stewartwillsher User avatar

Senior Member
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Posts: 876
Kudos: 309
Location: Western Spain
No, I'm not trying to masquerade as Stephen Hawking.
With a sillyphosical followup to my "Beauty and the Beast" post, it got me thinking (dangerous), and although wildly off-topic (and I can do "off-topic", on life, the universe and everything) RCZ-wise, here is a small WAFFLE, specifically for the RCZ forum, on SPACE and TIME (history) with a personal perspective.

For starters, combining both SPACE and TIME, Sputnik 1, was the first man-made thing to leave the EARTH and orbit as a satellite, bleeping away merrily.
I was just about to enter my teens in 1957, and my father tuned in our Pye valve radio (I still have it in a shed under a layer of dust!) and we sat smugly listening to it bleeping.
Now, stuck on the side of our house, here in Wild West Spain, are two dishes, one to receive TV and the other for Internet (send and receive), which is how I am on this forum, and do everything from investment management, banking and shopping to reading the news; we would be stuffed without it!
So in sixty years - from Dan Dare in the Eagle and Russian pioneering to an everyday, essential, taken-for-granted, facility.

On TIME; I could write a few thousand words, because I find history far more interesting as an old git than I ever did swatting in grammar school.
We have, in Extremadura, very significant aspects from two Roman ruling epochs.
In the first century AD, the town of Merida (Augusta Emerita) was, so the historians say, second only to Rome; the amphitheatre and theatre are preserved as best as any of that time and the longest surviving Roman bridge, in daily use, is also there, along with temple ruins and many other sites.
The theatre is also in use for anything from modern way out stuff, to classics from Greek or Roman times and Shakespeare; wife goes with her chums by coach occasionally.
Whizzing forward about four hundred years, and the Holy Roman Empire was ruled by Carlos Quinto (Charles V).
Spain was, for most of his life, the base from which he controlled a huge area in all corners (silly expression) of the world.
One of his favourite spots was Yuste, a village a few kilometres from where I am sat here, and he died in the Monastery there, from malaria contracted from mossie bites, received in the small lake where he bathed daily.
His conquistadores, were his thugs, who annihilated the indigenous peoples of Central and Southern America, some of which came from Extremadura, so I believe.
We also have a castle in the village which the land owning grovelling dukes built for the Emperor; it is now a swanky Parador hotel.
For geology, jump in the Tardis and go back three million years, and the Sierra de Gredos mountains that I look up at every day just to the North of me, rising to over two thousand metres, were just being formed to be part of the Central System across the middle of Spain.
Now hop forward to the last Ice Age, about twenty seven thousand years ago, and the huge rocks seen all around this area (my house is built on several) were tumbled down the glaciers to be almost spherical.
What have the Romans ever done for me? Well, my couple of acres of land is on eight levels at one end, and there is an irrigation channel crossing North to South; all of which was designed by those clever Romans in the first century AD, no doubt constructed by local labour under their overseeing.
They also introduced olives and grapes to the area and our Manzanilla Cacerena trees (about 65), many of which are several hundred years old, and our Tempranillo vines (several hundred) are believed to be the very same varieties.
Our Pitarra, which is a naturally fermented, no additives, country wine is as it was centuries ago (sometimes tastes like it too!).
The type of oil pressed from our olives is considered to be amongst the best in the world.
The Moors invaded parts Spain in the latter part of the first century AD, and brought with them many things which today are evident in the culture and architecture, but most likely included figs.
Our fig trees (about fifty) may have descended from those.
We have three varieties, where the long neck and white are dried and sold for processing, our single black fig tree crop is devoured by her ladyship; no probs.
Incidentally, in a glass top coffee table in our lounge, I have a selection of relics from pre-Roman, Roman, and post-Roman times, including stone age implements and arrow heads, Roman bits and pieces including a brooch, coins, a bit of mosaic, and shards of pottery from the Roman and post-Roman eras.
The younger of the brothers who built our house (to my spec) has a hobby going to archaeological digs and recovering stuff for museums.
So much is duplicated many times over, that the workers can have it, and he gave some to me; so, all above board and a great talking point for visitors, who can handle artefacts from a few millennia back.

Considering another aspect of TIME and progress, I am mindful of the time, when just after we were married, my wife's grandfather moved from South Wales to live with my wife's parents, because he needed help in is twilight years.
He was born in the nineteenth century!!!
In his childhood nothing flew in the sky other than birds and kites.
He was a station master and retired before the railways were nationalised.
He coped with many modern innovations like television and the telephone, but was not comfortable with them.
Look around you and at your RCZs and imagine it from his perspective, albeit he popped off decades ago.
Now look at the generations emerging; our grandchildren are equipped with such advanced electronic gizmos that were science fiction in my childhood.
I was personally a pioneer in the computing industry in the UK; when I walked into my first computer room, an engineer was still changing valves in one machine.
My work on the first commercial (i.e. non-military) real time system (with connected terminals) in the UK, was in the mid sixties; now the whole world in on-line.
The computing power that then filled a huge room is, nowadays, in every so called smart phone.

Back to SPACE and with a little humility; we are fortunate to have virtually no light pollution, so on a clear night, especially with no moon to speak of, the heavens are visible in all their glory.
Taking time for eyes to adjust, the night sky (or Sky at Night) is awe inspiring and just puts us and our grubby little (mostly harmless) planet into perspective.
It also is a reminder that however important we view our history (back to TIME for a moment) before and during the effect man has had, it ain't nuffin compared to the size and perceived lifetime of the Universe.
Anyway the answer is 42; we all know that.
[Two of my most admired humans indicated above: Sir Patrick Moore and Douglas Adams; both late but not forgotten].
And, just to add some green credentials, related to our solar system, which is SPACE after all, we have utilised the latest solar panels for numerous small installations, including outhouses that are not connected to our mains supply, for adequate lighting after dark, and even an independent charge point for cars in the car park fed through a charge controller to a panel.
The sun strength here, being much further South than the UK means that with monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic technology a good voltage is guaranteed even when a bit overcast.

I have stuck some pics in dropbox, if you wish to see stuff related to the above WAFFLE, here they are: ... Limaa?dl=0
"La Gata Negra" - All black 2.0 HDI 2014 Swiss spec fully loaded.
"Purple People Eater" - Purple 108 1.2 PureTech 2016 Top fully loaded.
"Animal" - Muddy Linhai 300 4x4 ATV 2008.

Post Tue May 01, 2018 12:45 pm
Plecodoras User avatar

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Posts: 1667
Kudos: 753
Location: North Yorks
That was nicely written Stewart and full of facts. It certainly does look a nice place to reside and I would love to be able to amble around the amphitheaters and dwell in the history from a couple of thousand years ago.
It was also nice to view the accompanying photographic evidence of such delights.
My grandfather who liked to be called " Pop " also worked as a station master in the days of steam, and I had my holidays on the station not too long after the line closed after a bridge collapsed or the line was killed off as unprofitable. The line ran from York - Stamford Bridge - Wilberfoss / Fangfoss - Pocklington and beyond, the station house was pretty big but the land was considerable as it had sidings for some of the carriages / freight.
My Pop wanted to buy the house and land but the railway board said no, time passed and eventually the railways offered him the property at a very reduced price ( I hate to think what it would have been - probably a couple of thousand ), but my Pop being a proud ( Stubborn ) man told them where to go !!! the site is now a caravan park and the owner was a disgraced official ( hearsay ) ....


Getting to the space and time, my Pop was an semi professional photographer and had many of his examples in journals in London. He believe it or not ( I looked but couldn't find it ) took a picture of an UFO just above the woods in the top left corner of my picture. This picture was sold including the rights to The Evening Press and clearly shows a craft hovering above the trees about 3 to 4 hundred metres away. The picture was black and white from the 60's and he certainly wasn't the sort to make a hoax.
Anyway I enjoyed your waffle, and you may mine ! but I too could go on and on !!
Hope you get your car soon - good luck.

Cheers M. :beer:
:lol: Laugh and the whole world laughs with you.... or is that at you? :eusa-think:

Former owner of Dolphin Blue GT200 fully loaded inc. Quads / Xenons.
Now on second white* R
currently sporting an Avery
Roaring Thunder Gloss flip colour wrap.

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