War of the Worlds

Close on its apparition, and blindingly violet by contrast, danced out the first lightning of the gathering storm, and the thunder burst like a rocket overhead. The horse took the bit between his teeth and bolted.

A moderate incline runs towards the foot of Maybury Hill, and down this we clattered. Once the lightning had begun, it went on in as rapid a succession of flashes as I have ever seen. The thunderclaps, treading one on the heels of another and with a strange crackling accompaniment, sounded more like the working of a gigantic electric machine than the usual detonating reverberations. The flickering light was blinding and confusing, and a thin hail smote gustily at my face as I drove down the slope.

At first I regarded little but the road before me, and then abruptly my attention was arrested by something that was moving rapidly down the opposite slope of Maybury Hill. At first I took it for the wet roof of a house, but one flash following another showed it to be in swift rolling movement. It was an elusive vision–a moment of bewildering darkness, and then, in a flash like daylight, the red masses of the Orphanage near the crest of the hill, the green tops of the pine trees, and this problematical object came out clear and sharp and bright.

And this Thing I saw! How can I describe it? A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder. A flash, and it came out vividly, heeling over one way with two feet in the air, to vanish and reappear almost instantly as it seemed, with the next flash, a hundred yards nearer. Can you imagine a milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground? That was the impression those instant flashes gave. But instead of a milking stool imagine it a great body of machinery on a tripod stand.

Then suddenly the trees in the pine wood ahead of me were parted, as brittle reeds are parted by a man thrusting through them; they were snapped off and driven headlong, and a second huge tripod appeared, rushing, as it seemed, headlong towards me. And I was galloping hard to meet it! At the sight of the second monster my nerve went altogether. Not stopping to look again, I wrenched the horse’s head hard round to the right and in another moment the dog cart had heeled over upon the horse; the shafts smashed noisily, and I was flung sideways and fell heavily into a shallow pool of water.

I crawled out almost immediately, and crouched, my feet still in the water, under a clump of furze. The horse lay motionless (his neck was broken, poor brute!) and by the lightning flashes I saw the black bulk of the overturned dog cart and the silhouette of the wheel still spinning slowly. In another moment the colossal mechanism went striding by me, and passed uphill towards Pyrford.

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Trains at Night

Natural as it is to be somewhat incredulous concerning the populousness of the more enormous creatures of the globe, yet what shall we say to Harto, the historian of Goa, when he tells us that at one hunting the King of Siam took 4,000 elephants; that in those regions elephants are numerous as droves of cattle in the temperate climes. And there seems no reason to doubt that if these elephants, which have now been hunted for thousands of years, by Semiramis, by Porus, by Hannibal, and by all the successive monarchs of the East—if they still survive there in great numbers, much more may the great whale outlast all hunting, since he has a pasture to expatiate in, which is precisely twice as large as all Asia, both Americas, Europe and Africa, New Holland, and all the Isles of the sea combined.

Moreover: we are to consider, that from the presumed great longevity of whales, their probably attaining the age of a century and more, therefore at any one period of time, several distinct adult generations must be contemporary. And what that is, we may soon gain some idea of, by imagining all the grave-yards, cemeteries, and family vaults of creation yielding up the live bodies of all the men, women, and children who were alive seventy-five years ago; and adding this countless host to the present human population of the globe.

Wherefore, for all these things, we account the whale immortal in his species, however perishable in his individuality. He swam the seas before the continents broke water; he once swam over the site of the Tuileries, and Windsor Castle, and the Kremlin. In Noah’s flood he despised Noah’s Ark; and if ever the world is to be again flooded, like the Netherlands, to kill off its rats, then the eternal whale will still survive, and rearing upon the topmost crest of the equatorial flood, spout his frothed defiance to the skies.

The precipitating manner in which Captain Ahab had quitted the Samuel Enderby of London, had not been unattended with some small violence to his own person. He had lighted with such energy upon a thwart of his boat that his ivory leg had received a half-splintering shock. And when after gaining his own deck, and his own pivot-hole there, he so vehemently wheeled round with an urgent command to the steersman (it was, as ever, something about his not steering inflexibly enough); then, the already shaken ivory received such an additional twist and wrench, that though it still remained entire, and to all appearances lusty, yet Ahab did not deem it entirely trustworthy.

And, indeed, it seemed small matter for wonder, that for all his pervading, mad recklessness, Ahab did at times give careful heed to the condition of that dead bone upon which he partly stood. For it had not been very long prior to the Pequod’s sailing from Nantucket, that he had been found one night lying prone upon the ground, and insensible; by some unknown, and seemingly inexplicable, unimaginable casualty, his ivory limb having been so violently displaced, that it had stake-wise smitten, and all but pierced his groin; nor was it without extreme difficulty that the agonizing wound was entirely cured.

Nor, at the time, had it failed to enter his monomaniac mind, that all the anguish of that then present suffering was but the direct issue of a former woe; and he too plainly seemed to see, that as the most poisonous reptile of the marsh perpetuates his kind as inevitably as the sweetest songster of the grove; so, equally with every felicity, all miserable events do naturally beget their like. Yea, more than equally, thought Ahab; since both the ancestry and posterity of Grief go further than the ancestry and posterity of Joy. For, not to hint of this: that it is an inference from certain canonic teachings, that while some natural enjoyments here shall have no children born to them for the other world, but, on the contrary, shall be followed by the joy-childlessness of all hell’s despair; whereas, some guilty mortal miseries shall still fertilely beget to themselves an eternally progressive progeny of griefs beyond the grave; not at all to hint of this, there still seems an inequality in the deeper analysis of the thing. For, thought Ahab, while even the highest earthly felicities ever have a certain unsignifying pettiness lurking in them, but, at bottom, all heartwoes, a mystic significance, and, in some men, an archangelic grandeur; so do their diligent tracings-out not belie the obvious deduction. To trail the genealogies of these high mortal miseries, carries us at last among the sourceless primogenitures of the gods; so that, in the face of all the glad, hay-making suns, and soft cymballing, round harvest-moons, we must needs give in to this: that the gods themselves are not for ever glad. The ineffaceable, sad birth-mark in the brow of man, is but the stamp of sorrow in the signers.

Camping in the Sun

once heard a wise man say there are no perfect men. only perfect intentions. bruce… i’m god. multiply your anger by about a hundred, kate, that’s how much he thinks he loves you. no, this is mount everest. you should flip on the discovery channel from time to time. but i guess you can’t now, being dead and all. i don’t think they tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd. i did the same thing to gandhi, he didn’t eat for three weeks. i now issue a new commandment: thou shalt do the dance. i now issue a new commandment: thou shalt do the dance. bruce… i’m god. that tall drink of water with the silver spoon up his ass. it only took me six days. same time it took the lord to make the world. bruce… i’m god.

That tall drink of water with the silver spoon up his ass. you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you. you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you. the man likes to play chess; let’s get him some rocks. it only took me six days. same time it took the lord to make the world. i now issue a new commandment: thou shalt do the dance. mister wayne, if you don’t want to tell me exactly what you’re doing, when i’m asked, i don’t have to lie. but don’t think of me as an idiot. boxing is about respect. getting it for yourself, and taking it away from the other guy. rehabilitated? well, now let me see. you know, i don’t have any idea what that means. well, what is it today? more spelunking? no, this is mount everest. you should flip on the discovery channel from time to time. but i guess you can’t now, being dead and all. i did the same thing to gandhi, he didn’t eat for three weeks.

It only took me six days. same time it took the lord to make the world. cities fall but they are rebuilt. heroes die but they are remembered. rehabilitated? well, now let me see. you know, i don’t have any idea what that means. well, what is it today? more spelunking? i don’t think they tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd. mister wayne, if you don’t want to tell me exactly what you’re doing, when i’m asked, i don’t have to lie. but don’t think of me as an idiot. circumstances have taught me that a man’s ethics are the only possessions he will take beyond the grave. rehabilitated? well, now let me see. you know, i don’t have any idea what that means. i once heard a wise man say there are no perfect men. only perfect intentions. multiply your anger by about a hundred, kate, that’s how much he thinks he loves you. cities fall but they are rebuilt. heroes die but they are remembered. no, this is mount everest. you should flip on the discovery channel from time to time. but i guess you can’t now, being dead and all.

Mister wayne, if you don’t want to tell me exactly what you’re doing, when i’m asked, i don’t have to lie. but don’t think of me as an idiot. boxing is about respect. getting it for yourself, and taking it away from the other guy. you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you. i did the same thing to gandhi, he didn’t eat for three weeks. circumstances have taught me that a man’s ethics are the only possessions he will take beyond the grave. i don’t think they tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd. the man likes to play chess; let’s get him some rocks. let me tell you something my friend. hope is a dangerous thing. hope can drive a man insane. the man likes to play chess; let’s get him some rocks. multiply your anger by about a hundred, kate, that’s how much he thinks he loves you. cities fall but they are rebuilt. heroes die but they are remembered. boxing is about respect. getting it for yourself, and taking it away from the other guy.

Evenings in France

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Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.

Proactively envisioned multimedia based expertise and cross-media growth strategies. Seamlessly visualize quality intellectual capital without superior collaboration and idea-sharing. Holistically pontificate installed base portals after maintainable products.

Phosfluorescently engage worldwide methodologies with web-enabled technology. Interactively coordinate proactive e-commerce via process-centric “outside the box” thinking. Completely pursue scalable customer service through sustainable potentialities.

Fall in Luxembourg

A small gallery of images by Matt Mullenweg of Luxembourg in the fall. For those of you who haven’t heard of him Matt is the man who popularized WordPress.

Raspberries on a Ledge

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