Thursday 24 June 1999


Pic of the day: Laptops invite a more relaxed style.

A note on "irreligious camgirls" that I mentioned a couple of days ago. I occasionally watch EveryDayItems, GabGabCamCam, JenniCam, and Babediva. Though mostly I visit them for their diaries. (Debs of EveryDayItems was the one who originally inspired me to make a JPG diary, before I knew there were other web journals in the world than hers.) All of these are livecams rather than showcams. (Right now they're all couplecams, which is presumably as exciting as real life for those who have that. I'm surprised that couples don't cuddle a lot more, since it's free, but that's a story of its own, I guess.) Basically my point is that the 24 hours cammies that I know of are thoroughly irreligious.

I don't mean immoral or even immodest (though your mileage may vary on the last count) but simply that they don't seem attracted to or influenced by traditional religions. With the possible exception of GabGab, who is religiously atheistic and is, as someone I like put it, "in a missionary position". (When people are making atheist necklaces, I consider them to be a bit zealous. You may win one, btw.)

And so the thought settled down lightly in my brain, like a butterfly softly landing in the cup of a sunlit wide open flower, while I sat on the commuter bus. And the butterfly said: Could you be devoutly religious and have all of your day visible? And I said to the butterfly: It's not like we want to hide anything, is it? But there was no answer. (Nor was there any butterfly, come to think about it.)


A few hours drive east of here, in the town of Arendal, people were preparing for the midsummer night celebration. The temperature was 18 degrees in the shadow, not a hot summers day by any measure. (For those using strange measurements of temperature, 18 degrees Celsius is the recommended temperature in an office during workday.) Cars were rushing along the main road through the south coast. And then the cloud came.

Suddenly a cloud sped in on the unsuspecting and peaceful suburbs. And from the cloud came a torrent of hail, sleet, thunder and freezing cold wind. In moments, the temperature fell to the freezing point. Cars could barely move on the suddenly winter slick roads. Phone and electricity lines were taken out at the start of the attack. And in the sudden shadow, lightning flared down among the hail, like a scene out of Exodus. The flower gardens were crushed by the hail, and leaves stripped from the trees. The lightning struck fires, two of them in houses. The shocked inhabitants at one of the places could not call the fire corps as the phones were dead. Then, almost as quickly as it came, the cloud left and the sun returned.

According to the metereologist on watch, this extreme patch of weather was "almost impossible and at least unnatural".

To me, the descriptions from the newspaper and the radio gave a different kind of chill. It followed too closely, even to the "unnatural" thing, one of the latest pieces of fiction I've written. It is also one of the very few places that I have used thunder in my fiction, despite my strange liking for it.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt a special affinity for thunder and hail. During hailstorms and thunder, I usually feel an exhileration, sometimes verging on ecstacy. There was also a moment of unusual humiliation in my life several years ago, where I had to go to some particular place on a sunny summer day and do something which I would dearly have liked to avoid. As I came close to the place, coal black clouds sailed in from the north. And just as I walked in the door, the first crackling peal of thunder shook the place, as if an announcement. It lifted my spirits enormously. It is a feeling that is basically religious. Not in the dusty way of theology, but on a deep instinctive level.

But for the folks now trying to repair their gardens, this is probably the last thing on their mind.

Workplace music of the day: Hey now (Girls just want to have fun) with Cyndi Lauper. I finally got my fingers on the CD "12 deadly cyns". Too bad most of the tracks are of no interest. There are very few non-Irish artist that have all or mostly good tracks on their CDs, in my opinion, and not all Irish ones either.


Washed clothes today. The summer this year features little if any of interest to me, mostly shades of grey and khaki that I don't feel for. So grudgingly I decided to wash some of my used clothes instead. I wish there were good magazines about clothes for us men. It is a sad state of affairs that women's magazines are full of women in interesting clothes, whereas men's magazines are full of women without.

Blasts from my past:
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