Something Technical

Venerated readers, most of You fellow bloggers use gargl’s Blogger.
It may have escaped Your attention that some weeks ago Blogger changed something in respect of the comments on Your blogs*. When I remember it correctly, from the time when I started with a Blogger blog, one could choose from a little menue if one allows comments from other blogging networks, like, for example, wordpress.
This made it easier for non-Blogger bloggers to comment : When I was logged into wordpress my avatar and identification would be automatically displayed on your blog’s comment formular – if you allowed it. If not, there was always the possibility to comment with the options “name / website”, or “anonymous” – if You had specified it.
Now it seems that the standard option activated is : “Allow only comments from other Blogger blogs”. After having commented I am asked to set up an account with gargle, what I – please accept my apologies – will not do.
But You still have the option to allow comments with identification in the fields “name / website”, and “anonymous”. You just need to activate, to allow this.
I already asked some of You, my venerated readers, to allow this, so that me – and of course other readers of your blogs – can still comment on Your blogs. And I am glad to say that You did allow me in.
But some of You do not display Your email address publicly, so I can not reach You, and ask for permission.
To make a long story short : I just want to gently ask, whether those of my venerated readers, who run a Blogger blog, and may have noticed that I did not comment on Your blog for some time – whether You could have a look on Your options for commenting, and maybe allow commenting with the option “name / website” ?
I do not know whether the downside is a lot of spam, but the upside of allowing a little leak to the outside of the gargle universe, may be more comments.

This is the official help by gargle that says under number 5, bullet two :

“In “Who Can Comment,” select User with Google Accounts to restrict anonymous commenting.”

Come on, live dangerously : Allow the dirty rest in !

* I am sorry, I do not know whether You already spoke about this Eroswings. If so, excuse me please. The reason for this Public Service Announcement is that I can not reach several Blogger bloggers via mail, and hence the contact is totally broken, or at least, one way only.



One of the few not too arduous & diaphoretic tasks in these days of sweltering heat is putting books back into shelves. And before I cramp them back into their wooden jails I take their fingerprints and photograph … So in absolutely not special or sorted, but purely random succession follow the titles of books I read over the last two months.

MELNIKOW, Madgalena ; DUERR, Hans Peter (Eds.) : Rudolf Rocker. Aus den Memoiren eines deutschen Anarchisten. Einleitung von Augustin SOUCHY. Nachwort von Diego Abad de SANTILLÁN. 1. Auflage, Frankfurt / Main 1974 (edition suhrkamp, 711)
ROCKER (1873-1958) (Ger., Eng.) was an important figure of the German and international anarchistic movement, with an exemplary biography that led from the native Rhineland, via Paris to London (of course with internment through WWI and deportation) back to Germany in 1919, then via Spain into exile in the US. On this life journey he met nearly everyone who played a role in the very different “movement” of people who did not accept the rule of man over man. A fierce opponent to the old school social-demokratic party in the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic, a fierce critic of the communists who replaced the autocratic rule of the czar with the dictatorial regime of their own party, of course in opposition to all those nationalistic & fascists movements of his time, ROCKER seemingly never gave up on his ideals of a free & just society for all, while he lived through an æra that all too directly showed the exact opposite, that all too violent 20th century with its hecatombs of dead men and lakes of blood.
Whether the editor M. MELNIKOW is the gallery owner of the same name (1938-2017) I can not verify, but I think it is likely. Hans Peter DUERR (Ger., Eng.) is a German anthropologist ; we met Augustin SOUCHY (1892-1984) (Ger., Eng.) before on this blog, I read his autobiography ; de SANTILLÁN  (1897-1983) (Ger., Eng.) was an important figure in the Spanish speaking anarchistic movement.

VIERENGEL, Rudolf : Miltenberg. Ein kultur- und kunstgeschichtlicher Wegweiser durch die alte Stadt am Main mit Betrachtungen über Großheubach, Kloster Engelberg, Kleinheubach und Bürgstadt. Mit zahlreichen Aufnahmen von Lala AUFSBERG und Leo GUNDERMANN. Amorbach 1962
Oh so idyllic. VIERENGEL was a local newspaper man, who wrote some pretty bleak nonsense in the 1930s, a la mode. It can be nice to use such an old guide book. Not that I plan to travel to Miltenberg.

LUNARDI, Heinrich : 900 Jahre Nürnberg. 600 Jahre Nürnberger Uhren. Wien, Stuttgart 1974
It is what the title says, a catalogue of clocks and clockmakers from Nuremberg. Sadly I could find no additional biographical information about LUNARDI, but he published several titles that deal with the history of clocks or chronometers. These are simply stunning objects. If you want to see clocks, turn to the Deutsche Uhrenmuseum, or visit the Uhrenmuseum in Vienna, of course LUNARDI wrote a guide book (in 1973).

DROMMER, Günther (Ed.) : Markus WOLF : Die Kunst der Verstellung. Dokumente, Gespräche, Interviews. Berlin 1998
Texts by Mischa WOLF (1923-2006) (Ger., Eng., obit.) about his life and times. He died on a 9th of November. Doesn’t get much more German. I could not find additional information about the editor DROMMER. He seemingly lives in or around Berlin, is (possibly) in his seventies.

Gemeindeverwaltung Pfaffenhofen (Ed.) : 700 Jahre Weiler a.[n] d.[er] Z.[aber] einst und jetzt. Pfaffenhofen 1983
Weiler an der Zaber (Ger.) is a village in the rural district Heilbronn. Here absolutely nothing happened. Of course the place was burnt down several times – goodness, the usual. But that’s about it. Absolutely unspectacular. It stumbled into history because a guy called Lupold von Weiler was used as witness for a contract dated 15th of June 1279. “Weiler” is such a non-descriptive name for a “hamlet”, it really says nothing. The “Weiler” Lupold came from is definitely identified as the place at the bank of the “river” Zaber (Ger., Eng.). Nothing, really. It is fascinating.

Gemeindevorstand Bickenbach (Ed.) : 1100 Jahre bickenbach uffm sand. Chronik der Gemeinde Bickenbach 874-1974. Darmstadt 1973
They scrapped all & everything together and filled more than 400 pages – impressive. Bickenbach (Ger., Eng.) is somewhere in Hassia. When you have read through this tome, it will hold no secrets for you anymore.

HAGENOW, Gerd : Aus dem Weingarten der Antike. Der Wein in Dichtung, Brauchtum und Alltag. Mainz 1982 (Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt, 12)
Finally a title that deals with an important cultural issue – wine in the ancient world. HAGENOW deals with the different aspects of wine and wine drinking, of the role in daily life, for symposia, in poetics and philosophy – and also speaks in a lengthy chapter about wine-growing. As some of the ancients said – the Muses have the pleasant scent of wine already in the morning … cheerio.

GRÜMBKE, Johann Jacob : Streifzüge durch das Rügenland. Herausgegeben von Albert Burkhardt. Leipzig, 2.Auflage 1991
GRÜMBKE (1771-1849) (Ger.) was born in Bergen auf Rügen. He became the founder of the local historiography. His “Streifzüge” (I think it’s best given as “wanderings”) were published for the first time in 1805, the little book can be considered to be a classic of the genre “travel literature”. GRÜMBKE lived as independent scholar, I think he found his vocation in describing the nature & the history of his native homeland, and simply (and hopefully, happily) followed the call. The university of Greifswald gave him a doctor honoris causa for his lifetime achievement.

WIPPLINGER, Eva : Fayencen deutscher Manufakturen aus der Staatlichen Galerie Moritzburg in Halle / Saale. Leipzig, 3. verbesserte Auflage 1990 (Die Schatzkammer, 16)
Fayence, faience, (Ger., Eng.) after the Italian town Faenca, is pottery with a tin glaze. I lack the knowledge of the special words to describe what ungesinterte Irdenware is. I think that is not necessary to know, as long as one understands that it is by no means porcellaine – what is made from a totally different earth.
Eva WIPPLINGER is the grande dame of German numismatics. She had her 90th birthday end of March 2018, seemingly in good health, celebrated of course in Moritzburg. A nice little booklet with good photographies – that shockingly do explain and illustrate what is mentioned in the text !

WASSERMANN, Charles : Unter polnischer Verwaltung. Tagebuch 1957. Gütersloh 1957
Charles WASSERMANN (and his wife Jacqueline !) travel through the former German areas in the East that after WWII are “under Polish administration”. WASSERMANN does not get tired to describe how awful and bleak life seems to be in Ostpreussen, Danzig, Ostpommern, Ostbrandenburg, and of course, Silesia. I am not quiet sure what to make of this text.
WASSERMANN (1924-1978) (about) was the son of the writers Jacob WASSSERMANN (Ger., Eng.) and Marta KARLWEIS (Ger.). Jacob may be known nowadays for Der Fall Maurizius / The Maurizius Case (1928). Marta wrote her own stuff, and was largely forgotten after 1933, Jacob’s books were burnt of course. The son Charles followed his mother into emigration, for him first England, Swiss for her, later together Canada.
He became a citizen there and worked as journalist, among other contracts, as correspondent for Eastern Europe for the CBC (from 1953). WASSERMANN suffered from severe diabetes, it turned him blind, he finally died in 1978, his wife survived him for 17 years.

BÖCKELMANN, Frank ; LEUBE, Dietrich : Das Katastrophenalbum. Folge 1, Nr. 1-58 : An einem Tag wie jedem anderen und Menetekel. Nördlingen 1985
A collection of catastrophies, strange, sometimes terrifying things that happened on a “normal day”. I really wonder if the editors did a second volume. BÖCKELMANN (Ger.) is a German author and cultural scientist, LEUBE a journalist about whom I could not find more..

This is it so far. Perhaps you find something interesting for you.


Wet Cardboard

I wanted to write about the Interesting Woman in waiting, but it did not work. It is a shame. I collected my links, read through them, checked dates ‘n stuff, an outline of the text has already formed in my head – it is the way it works.
Years ago when I had to write more or less regularly in a small kind of gazette on topics related to a certain company that happened to be my contract partner, it only worked when I had the stuff sorted & the plan in my head. And when the deadline was very very near. When I reached the “oh-damn-that-sh**-and-write-it-down-now-zone”.
Also, when I was teaching ages ago, I prepared the topic – like a student – only the day before, read what had to be read and wrote notes ; sometimes it formed itself just when I was already on the train and had to face the audience two hours later. Sadly the efforts of the students were only seldom up to the point that was to be shown, they often missed and I amended their papers, but of course that was why I sat on this side of the table.
Or it was my fault at all, because I did not prepare them well enough, possibly.
I seriously do not know. I may have expected too much, too much oversight, too much understanding of the broader picture I tried to facilitate to them.
Today I feel angry. Angry at meself. It is like I would bonk against a soft wall, like a box of wet cardboard I can not hit through.
I get lost in links, I follow distractions – damn Wikipedia – I find meself doing a puzzle.
This is exactly why my doctoral thesis never took off – I never finished the collecting phase : I wormed myself into the secondary literature, followed links to far out texts that would be hard to reach, even today, despite the scanning orgies of google, despite the efforts of libraries around the world to bring stuff online, there is a lot still on the fringe, exactly there where it becomes murky, where things start to fall apart, where biographies become “interesting”, barely bearable sometimes, where people/authors simply vanish, where the fog starts … there is always fringe.
And in moods like these, I look around this book repository I call my flat, and for the tenthousands time I swear that I’ll sell the crap off, knowing perfectly well that nobody will buy this rotting ammassement of paper.  I hate it.  I hate it, and can’t without. I hate the dust, I feel stuck – I am stuck.
Writing applications is a kind of sport nowadays ; I am over fifty, have a coloured working biography with some blanks, and accept no shit no more, it may shine through sometimes.
This sounds ridiculous from a bus driver. And this is exactly what I am, an employed bus driver who transports handicapped children twice a day for statutory minimum wage in the lowest possible income group ; “no skills required” as the job description says.
And it’s all right, I do not complain. In fact I like the company of “my” “handicapped” boys more than … some other’s. They do not lie.
They can’t.
I just feel the need to change what I still can change. When the cardboard’s dry again.
Please accept my excuses & apologies, the mentioned Interesting Woman, and Rudolf the old anarchist, will be treated soon, I just felt not up to task today. Blame the heat.
Now that you read through this silly prattle, be awarded with some music : Give it a chance, King Crimson’s Starless. Let’s escape for twelve minutes.




Not Tonight, Darling

It’s a beautiful evening, clear blue sky with high thin clouds, ein Wolkengespinst, not too hot, not too chilly.
And I feel old. Tired to the bone. It was the last drive of the week, even for this month, two weeks off for Pentecost, the wonderful feast of the Holy Ghost. Would be nice if he could drop by … wonder if she/he/it can manage this time, but I doubt. I guess we’ll have to soldier on. Sorry if this sounds a little hopeless, I do not want to drag you down, venerated reader, it’s just me, who feels a little worn.
I just want to sleep, undisturbed, and long enough. I want to wake up and feel relaxed and strengthened, not knackered and as exhausted as six hours before.
It is not the work, what is surely not overwhelming. I felt some anger over the last few days, on several occasions things I can not change happened to me, none of it a major disaster, each and single one something to forget, but it adds up a bit, and makes me feel irritated. And the little wheel in the head keeps on spinning, what leads to a disturbed sleep, and more irritability.
On the other hand the boys had some good time when I drove them, we were happily chatting, joking and even singing, a big difference from older times, when there was mostly silence while we drove with my first co-driver (the matriarch) on this route. Co-drivers came and went for some time, until the actual one came along. She’s accepted now, but overly protective, and comes over as a bit harsh sometimes ; but she relaxes, slowly.
I should take care of my kitchen sink, the water flows down only veryvery slowly, so there is some blockage in the tubes. But I really do not want to spent this evening crawling on all four under the sink handling some greenish fatty glob. As exciting as this may be for a non-handy-man like me with all that instant satisfying success, not tonight, darling. Also I should screw my bicycle back together after I repaired the tube of the front wheel – again, as rewarding this may be, not tonight : I just want to have a glass of wine or two, and relax & unwind.
Finally a project I can manage, after all.