Flying Spaghetti Monster

A Žižuku Poem

A DS106 Daily Create,

Life in the deep. An excerpt from “Life: A user’s manual”.



Inspiration and instructions by DS106 On The Couch,

Identification of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” by New Scientist,

Image “Touched by His Noodly Appendage” By Source, Fair use,

#tdc1459 Dark tales of the Columbia River.

Like others, I got carried away with the Daily Create today #tdc1459. Who knew that a humble map could evoke so much trouble. We were asked to “start a story” based on a point on the old Oregon map from the Dave Rumsey Collection. After choosing my spot and bit of trawling around the internet, whatdya know, it was a spot stricken with intrigue and mystery in the days of the wild west.

Oregon Map



I even found an old poem on parchment that tells all. It goes something like this.

The Wanted Man


The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Nobody knew who the critter he was
But he sure did travel our way.

T’was the year of 1871.
We were kings of the plains
And the West was won.
A cowboy’s life was a busy ‘un,
But that was all about to change.

Some say he came from South of the border
With no regard for law.
Nobody knew where his hide-out was
But he pestered us dusk ‘til dawn.

And judging by his vocabularie,
His cussin’ godammit
Would rattle the prairie.
His head was bald
And his arms were hairy,
And his pesky dawg had mange.

One night he rode down the Colombia River
And strolled right into town.
He wore buckskin as soft as a baby’s arm
And his stetson pulled right down.

He hit the saloon all muscle and stubble,
Where the drinks cost half
And the ladies cost double.
If y’ask me he sure was hankin’ for trouble
Like a varmint at close range.

He started at the bar and ordered a bourbon
And ordered three big ones more.
He slogged a guy right in the mush
And burst him through the saloon door.

When he gambled he had a fist full of aces,
He filled the spittoon
From fifty paces.
But he soon caught the eye of some pretty faces
And its now our story gets strange.

Our man had terrorised this town of Astoria
But he didn’t know it all, no sir.
He’d caught the eye of the local gal Gloria,
And you sure didn’t meddle with her.

He might be used to rustlin’ cattle,
But you couldn’t rope Glo
Without a battle.
She could kick like a steer
And bite like a rattle.
But he did. And her Pa said “that’ll
Teach you son to show off your saddle,
And you’ll take my Glo for your goods and chattels”.
The whole thing was quite deranged.

On their wedding night the mangy dog
Slept at the foot of the bed.
Gloria was decked in the finest lace
From her toes up to her head.

As the daytime soon turned into dusk,
The bedroom air
Filled with cheap musk.
And then to say the least that Glo was brusque,
It left them both a bit short-changed.

The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Now only wanted by Gloria’s Pa
Her honour to repay.

T’was the year that brought fame to Astoria,
The talk of the town
Was that saloon gal Gloria.
Her marriage was short and not much full of euphoria,
“It was like making love in a crematoria
And now I’m quite estranged”.

But centuries later the tale lives on
In fireside stories told.
How a local maid so fine and perty
Fell for a cowboy bold.

And the story is told in new towns built,
Where the River
Meets the sea.
But one place would go down in history,
On the banks of the Columbia where the wind blows free,
Which was the site of our tale so blistery,
And “Cape Disappointement” solves our mystery,
And is still named so today.



Eleanor Dumont (Madame Moustache)

We believe Saloon Gal Glo might have looked something like this.

#Noir106 The Music!

‘Strike Anywhere’

by David Kernohan and Viv Rolfe

It was a privilege being part of the DS106 ‘3 Fingers of Gin‘ radio show recently. Whoever so effortlessly turned out such a professional sounding production was a genius, and I never anticipated our attempt at ‘noir jazz’ sounding so good. As always with DS106, from the chaos and different ideas and talents of the group emerged something slick and entertaining. What amazing people.

When I think of ‘noir jazz’ the atmospheric black and white photographs of Herman Leonard immediately spring to mind. The smoke-filled pictures and crisp lighting conjure up sounds of dark saxophone or bright trumpet just drifting through space. John Coltrane and Charlie Parker never really did it for me in terms of their harsher saxophone tones, but the likes of Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster would certainly be more appropriate for that velvety, growly, ‘noir’ sound. I’m very lucky to have a superb Julius Keilworth saxophone that weighs a tonne, but that is the trade off for a good sound. I’ve also been lucky to hit on a spectacular reed at the moment – so this recording will never be entirely reproducible in time as the quality of reed vary so much and influence the sound tone greatly.


When we set to record our music I think David and myself instinctively knew what it would be, and as always, we had very little conversation about it. We recorded all in one take. The first take is always the best. Most of it was bashed out on a Technics KN6000 which has done more gigs than I can shake a stick at but still can produce any music style that you could possibly wish for. We used the Technics for bass and drums.

We record the Technics directly through a Blue Snowball microphone into GarageBand which isn’t ideal and we could do with finding some direct input connectors, but hey, it seems to work. You do tend to pick up the clatter of the keys. Headphones on, and guitar, sax and other instruments were then layered over the top. GarageBand is brilliant and has never let me down through all the recordings and punishment that I throw at it.

Mood music!


We tried to create a series of moods that would enhance the radio show – whatever it would end up being. Motifs from parts 1 and 2 can be heard throughout with growling saxophone. My favourite was part 3 – all David’s own work featuring a flute which was somewhere between ‘car chase’ and ‘lift music’.




I like the idea of creating musical moods – I have a book of silent movie piano music – that can provide anything from ‘Fervent Passion’ to ‘Unleashing Storms’. Perhaps we should record some more for the next instalment of ‘3 Fingers of Gin’!

My First Birthday!

It is the 20th May 2014. It is my FIRST anniversary of DS106. And my dad would also have been 81 years old today.

My First Daily Create

My First Daily Create










This blog isn’t an original idea and there is a slight trend for DS106 articles as ode to our parents and marking multiple anniversaries such as Cogdog’s mum on 9th Feb (sharing b’days with David as it happens).

Well it would be easy just to write a blog post about how I cannot believe how I’ve only been doing DS106 for a year, or rather, it has been doing me! The almost embarrassing fact that my 1GB folder has 665 items in it! And that isn’t counting music, video and photographs. I am quite amused that the Giant Baby crawling through Vancouver was created at 23.37pm, which was certainly not my first near “all nighter”. Most of the songs and videos can be blamed for that and I remember going to sleep finally as the dawn was breaking after completing “Song Number Inflation“!

It has made me think about the power of digital art and the creation of legacy. I feel slightly sad that my dad was pre-digital and I don’t have much of his art apart from a few precious paintings. Pop was a great musician, and I have no recordings of his piano playing, and only one poor photo of him playing the piano. How I wish for a bit more.

Pop's Art

Pop’s Art

I do have a few of his paintings and did photograph some of them before the remaining 300+ oil and water colours were finally uncovered and removed from the back of his wardrobe. His wardrobe was his Flickr!

Pop was never really interested in painting and drawing until later life when he was rendered near housebound with illness for ten years. That didn’t stop him enthusiastically embarking on creating art, especially as his arthritic fingers made him give up the piano many years before. But this isn’t a story of sorrow, he was a hugely positive and enthusiastic person – always – and I never once heard him complain.

He had the brain the size of a planet and would be devouring books by Velakovsky one minute and laughing ridiculously to Tom and Jerry the next.


I’m a bit undecided about whether we should all go and create digital legacies though.

The negative. I do feel slightly guilty!
I do feel guilty that I am clogging up the internet with “stuff” that is all taking energy and electricity to maintain on servers and wires, using precious natural resources. I have the feeling that one day the planet will get so heavy with servers it will just fall out of the sky. Hopefully one day sustainable resources, disposable computers and green technology will catch up.

The positives.
Digital imagery is used in therapy for dementia and to enrich people’s lives in care homes. Capturing a bit of a digital legacy might be hugely significant in later life which might sound a bit morbid, and links to something else I think about is we should be so much better in talking about that kind of stuff.

Another positive.
When I first got involved in open educational resources particularly in the SCOOTER project, some of the most joyful resources were those contributed by retired staff – eminent professors involved in sickle cell disease which was the focus of the project, who more than welcomed their materials being captured for others to use.

In fact sit and imagine the huge amount of not just physical waste that is discarded when an academic retires, but that the work on their PCs that just get skipped and erased. Their academic legacy obliterated in a thrice. We should be thinking about this more earnestly. I did a fag packet calculation when I left my last job of 7 years, the module and lecture preparation totalled about £30,000.  Scrapped. In the bin, apart from the stuff I released as OERs and now can reuse, and so can others.

A positive.
Making art dammit for me is an alternative to television, so perhaps there is a case there for electricity at least being being offset.

A negative.
Where does work stop and leisure start these days? DS106 has given me more in terms of professional development – technology, learning innovation – to support my university work. It isn’t necessarily the personal expense of computers, gadgets and electricity that gripes me, but a part of me feels a bit reticent, and it might be that I’m perpetuating this expectation that we should all work in our own time these days, and we are perpetuating longer and longer working hours for the next generation.

Another negative.
There is so much hoo-ha over privacy on the internet and so many important questions not being asked, what also worries me is the signatures and foot prints that I will leave behind? What happens to all your personal accounts after you’ve gone? I do worry about this and have every thing in a single spreadsheet with all my computer accounts along with all my important personal papers. From time to time I also have a purge and get rid of old blogs and accounts I no longer use. But I still worry about data privacy, my foot prints and risks in the future, although to what, I’m not quite sure.

This is starting to get creepy.
Having looked up digital legacy on Google now I am totally creeped out by the companies offering to manage your digital legacy and video yourself for after you are gone from this mortal coil. That is as creepy as cryogenic storage…..uuggggh.

But art is good right?
This is a silly conversation I’m having with myself. If pop was here, we could thrash it out good and proper, and he certainly understood more about the evolution of the planet and global changes than most and would probably argue that our little imprint is immaterial, or maybe not.

It is a strange concept that for my generation and younger that when we die we will leave behind this online personality and reflection of their life. I can only think that would be extremely upsetting and disturbing. My reflection of Pop is purely in my memory, with one or two artefacts, and occasional occurrences that I believe to be a spiritual essence of him, and that is fine and I can dip in and out of that when I please.

Pop's Art

Pop’s Art