A Witch Broke My Heart

ONLY AN IDIOT PUTS HIS HAPPINESS IN THE HANDS OF A WOMAN.

ALL MEN ARE IDIOTS.

Boy meets nice girl.  Boy falls head over heels in love for girl.  Girl gives boy a little encouragement, and then she breaks his heart.  Turns out that she was a black witch all along.

If it wasn’t for that simple story vast parts of the publishing, music, film, and television industries would have gone out of business.  Other than fratricide, this simple romantic tale may be the oldest there is.  Of course, our simple love story may be played out against the background of a major civil war, world war, revolutionary war, family feuding, economic crash, or the end of the world.  A guy walking away wishing that he’d never met her in the first place is a cautionary tale without peer.

Maybe I’ll live so long that I’ll forget her.  Maybe I’ll die trying.  (The Lady From Shanghai 1948)

Naturally this is one-dimensional artistic license.  Any man who has been around the block more than once knows that Rule Number One is;  Never put your happiness in the hands of another, especially do not entrust your happiness to a woman’s tender care.  It is a recipe for certain disaster.  We all know, from day one, that eventually she will shatter your hopes and dreams and leave you a burned and bleeding wreck, probably with several months at the bottom of a bottle to look forward to.  But that’s only if that’s where you wanted to go in the first place.  Never underestimate the power of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Do not confuse fantasy with reality.

Sexy-Shoes

Predictable Puppy-Dog Fantasy

Therefore, what can the mature manly man do to stop it from happening to him, again?  The short answer is; Nothing.  The longer answer is; Still Nothing.  Meet a woman you really like and the chances are she will be so flattered by your attentions that she will give you a little encouragement.  These days the chances are that she will reward a guy with a fair amount of interesting lovemaking.  The thing is, unless you are confident and congruent, she will probably come to her senses and decide that you are not what she wants after all.  She will do it far faster than most men can cope with, and women are ruthless.  When a woman decides that it’s over, then it’s over, and she will not look back once.

Remember a couple of important points.  What most men are mostly looking for is more and better sex.  Most women need an empowering relationship.  Those two sets of wants / needs / desires do not often match.

All men get burned almost every single time they fall for a woman.  Despite how mature and worldly-wise he may think he is, all men get hurt every time they get burned.  It’s a fact.  Live with it or get out of the game altogether.  Some guys may try celibacy for a while, or sail single-handed around the world, or buy a remote ranch, but eventually there will be a woman, and this one is different.  No she isn’t, she will rip out your beating heart and set fire to it.  Kissing a witch may turn out to be the worst thing you have ever done.

What do you expect?  Women are people and people are independent beings ~ except for some puppy-dog men.  These clinging guys easily fall into the trap of obsessive love.  What a mature and manly man needs to realise is that he does not want a women who can fall into the trap of Obsessive Love.  Do you really want to date a bunny-boiler?

There are some rules that the more mature and sensible man should try to remember at the start of a relationship;

  1. Take it one date at a time.
  2. Do not spend every penny you have to impress her.  No red roses, no perfume, no jewelry, no designer clothes.  (She will most likely accept an invitation to go shopping for shoes.)
  3. Be cool and give her your mobile number, not the land-line in your apartment, or your direct line at work.  Don’t ask for all of her personal contact details.
  4. Do not tell her exactly where you work, and certainly do not hang around aimlessly outside of where she works.  In general, meet at a convenient neutral venue.
  5. Do not give her a key to your car or your apartment.
  6. Do not leave your wallet or address book where she can find them, and women can find anything hidden by a man.
  7. Do not agree to go on holiday with her unless you have been successfully dating for a good while, and she is paying for herself.
  8. Do not expect her to like your friends.
  9. Do not introduce her to your friends.
  10. Read rule 1 again.

If you are a cool, together, mature and manly man, then you will know when and why to begin to break some of these rules.  Thinking that you have to give your life over to her, just to hang onto her, is a bad reason.  If you begin to feel like that then you probably need to grow up a little.  The more adult woman does not want a puppy-dog guy.

Bring the dog, I love animals…  I’m a great cook.  (Fatal Attraction 1987)

There is a basic fact of life.  Nobody but you can make you feel anything.  Any feelings you have are your own feelings.  There is an unfortunate second fact of life.  Men find it very difficult to handle any feelings or emotions whatsoever.  Most of the time most men live life with all of the emotional sensitivity of a bulldozer.  When a genuine feeling intrudes into the male psyche it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Some guys seem to stagger from one relationship crisis to another.  Some guys seem to date a succession of increasingly unsuitable women.  Some guys can’t say goodbye and develop very destructive habits; heavy drinking, drug use, gambling, attempted suicide, stalking, using sleazy bars, strip-joints, hookers…  This is a sign that the guy in question needs to find some self-belief and emotional maturity.  Recognise anyone here?  If this is you then you may have a problem.

The first thing a guy with serious relationship issues needs to do is to Act As If he is cool, together, mature, self-reliant, confident, caring, and understands women.  The fake it to make it rule is the oldest piece of magic there is.

Bond2Girls

Mature Self-Reliant Confident

If you don’t know how to do that, find a role model.  Maybe start with someone like the James Bond of your choice.

Magic 1.01

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE ~ THEREFORE MAGIC IS POSSIBLE

Magic;  The power of influencing events using mysterious forces.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Impossible;  Not able to occur, exist, or be done.

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to attempt the impossible.

Science;  A systematically organised body of knowledge on a particular subject.

When a distinguished scientist states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

I believe in intuitions and inspirations…  (Einstein)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  (Shakespeare)

Infinity

Dialectic Aperion Ananta

These quotations and definitions are from unimpeachable sources.  Studied closely they don’t make sense.  But then, even the Bible says that nothing makes sense, (Ecclesiastes 1).  Some things just do not make sense.  Some things in science do not make sense.  Nothing in quantum mechanics makes any sense at all.  Infinity does not make sense in this universe.  And, any competent practitioner of quantum electrodynamics can prove that water does not exist.

Magic is obviously impossible and nonsensical.  Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.  (Kelvin)  Any student of classical aerodynamics can prove that the bumblebee cannot fly.  Then the Wright bothers flew right though the smoke screen of impossibility.

demon-lover-pan

Obvious Impossibility

Dragons are mythical creatures.  One definition of dragon is a mythical monster like a giant reptile.  If you were to travel to London’s Natural History Museum you will be able to see the skeletal remains of a mythical monster like a giant reptile, right there in the entrance hall.  A lot of good Christians don’t believe in dinosaurs.  A lot of good Christians don’t believe in nudity and Pan either.

The point is that it is much easier to claim that something is impossible than it is to prove it.  Conversely, even if I could prove that magic was not only possible, but that it existed, and that I know how some of it works, (through practical experience), most respectable scientists would simply ignore the evidence.  The Boomerang Effect shows that any evidence I could possibly present will only strengthen the attitude of someone who doesn’t believe in magic ~ they will become someone who really doesn’t believe in magic.

We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough.  (Bohr)  There is a t least one perfectly respectable area of science which is basically the study of magic.  Psychology is the study of the human mind and its functions, especially the functions which affect behaviours.  Some say that the most practically effective branch of psychology is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, (NLP).  Some others say that NLP is a discredited pseudoscience.  I have hard evidence that NLP works.  From personal experience I can also state that the widely accepted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, (CBT), is so close to parts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming that you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between the two.

Why is psychology a branch of magic?  Proper practical psychology embraces all aspects of the human experience, from child development to the actions of nations in conflict.  Large elements of practical psychology have to be taken on trust by the end-user.  Psychological therapies often work because the patient, (and the therapist), believe they are going to work.  Believing you can recover is vital to recovery from mental illness.  How far different is that from a voodoo witch doctor telling someone they are going to die on Tuesday, and because the victim believes they are going to die on Tuesday ~ send for the undertaker.  Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.  (Jung)

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming there is a basic technique for self improvement ~ Act As If.  You want to stop drinking, gambling, and turn up for work looking and smelling clean.  You are not going to cure your alcoholism overnight, but Act As If you were cured.  Don’t drink as soon as you get out of bed, take a shower, shave, put some clean clothes on the clean body, Act As If you were a normal human being instead of a shambling alcoholic.  The power of belief will carry you a long way.  As well as in NLP, anyone who has been around Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) will have heard this Act As If mantra.  The thing about AA is they only use stuff that works.  Alcoholism is a deadly disease, they don’t dick around with fashionable slogans or do things for the sake of it.

Spooky Cat

Meditation ~ Out-stare a Cat

The power of self-belief is a very basic form of magic.  It is also unbelievably difficult.  All magic is unbelievably difficult until the user really knows how.  The application of practical magic will often require a great deal of sleep, mental preparation, meditation, subconscious thought, and massive self-belief.  I firmly believe this is why cats are associated with practical magic, they have mental preparation and self-belief in bucket-loads.

One of the main principles of scientific method is Reproducibility.  If Lab A can make rats drip green slime by doing B, then if it’s real science Lab C can also make rats drip green slime if they follow the same methodology.  This is different from magic.  In real magic, just because I can do something doesn’t mean that you can do the same thing ~ not unless I show you how, you have talent, and you work at it.  There is no reproducibility in magical engineering.

One useful definition of magic is; the ability to cause an observable effect that cannot be reproduced by anyone else, but can by you.  Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth.  (Archimedes)

Black Hole

black holes produce infinite gravity ~ which is impossible

Black holes are where God divided by zero.  (Wright)  Some things are probably impossible.  Magic isn’t one of them, depending on how you would like to define magic.  The application of magical engineering merely requires a suspension of disbelief, concentrated instruction, talent, and hard work.

I will explain how some of it works in later posts to this blog.

Stop Running Away

DEALING WITH LIFE IS BETTER THAN RUNNING AWAY FROM IT

Life is difficult.  This is one of the Great Truths.

There are a lot of ways than a man may choose to run away from Life and all its difficulties, rather than living in the moment and accepting reality for what it is.  The most extreme escape route for men is suicide, and more men than women kill themselves.   Gender plays a huge role in suicide statistics.  In every part of the world, in every age group, there is a huge difference in the rates of successful suicide of men as against women.  In general, men are three times more likely to kill themselves than are women.  Although not many men can look quite as despairing as George Bailey, (James Stewart ~ It’s a Wonderful Life.)

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It’s a Wonderful Life ~ George Bailey about to commit suicide

Partly this is down to gender differences in the methods chosen for death.  Women attempt suicide at a higher rate than men, but they are likely to choose methods that are less instantly fatal.  The preferred type of suicide for a woman is a drug overdose.  Drug overdoses can not only be very deadly they can also cause all kinds of permanent bodily harm, however a drug overdose usually gives time for second thoughts or rescue by another.  In contrast the more practical male will attempt to kill themselves by a method which is going to work, more or less instantly.  Hanging, firearms, carbon-monoxide, deadly poison…  Women seem to be concerned about how they will look after death and don’t usually blow their own head off with a shotgun.

Rather than attempt a fast suicide, most men will run away from life by looking for solace at the bottom of a bottle.

Alcohol is a very useful method of escape.  It may begin with more frequent and longer visits to a favourite bar, perhaps drinking a little harder than before.  The usual progression for most men is then to change venue to a more down-market bar frequented by other men running away from life.  There are likely to be visits to some raunchy strip joints, lap dancing clubs, gambling venues.  Eventually the really desperate male will find himself in the kind of bar where he may find an easy lay with the kind of a woman his mother wouldn’t like.  In all of this, thoughts of going home and trying to deal with life on life’s terms are not even on the agenda.

drunk-man

drinking alone becomes even worse than this

Eventually a man will take to drinking alone.  As well as calling at some sleazy bar, a guy will buy a bottle.  After going to the bar, or more likely bars, there is the solace of solitary booze.  This becomes a very effective method of running away from life.  Passing out, memory loss, blackouts, false memories, all contribute to the escape from reality.  Usually on waking there will be little memory of the night before.  Sometimes on waking at five o’clock he won’t even know if it’s five in the morning or five in the evening.  He will hope it’s five in the evening because it’s difficult to buy more booze at 5 a.m.   The problem is that the escape becomes the reality.  Instead of escape he will have swapped one reality for another.  Trust me on this, alcohol rich realities are more painful than most would ever believe.

Along with the booze most men will seek other things to reinforce his escape from reality.  The usual suspects are drugs, gambling and women.  Being drunk while you have a street-wise hooker in your apartment is a certain way to lose all your available cash and plastic.  Sometimes a guy will be lucky if that’s the worst that happens to him.

Before men consort with prostitutes they are more likely to have a very unsuitable relationship.  If a man hasn’t made too much progress with running away he will likely have an affair with a married woman.  That’s another method of escaping reality, but it can be expensive and dangerous.  One step down from that is a ‘relationship’ with a real slut, and there are plenty of those around.  Drop down from there and he will start prowling bars.  This fuels three of his methods of running away.  Firstly he achieves a lot of geographical relocation, a different bar or two ever night puts him someplace else ~ where doesn’t matter.  Secondly in every bar he can have a few hard drinks.  And, thirdly in the next bar there may be an easy lay.  Surprisingly, there are women out there who just want to get laid.   Just don’t pick another problem drinker.

alcoholic-latina-woman

women drinking buddies are bad news for a guy

Other guys may opt for the booze at home added to some other method of running away.  The three most popular types of added escapism are; sports television, on-line gambling, and on-line pornography.  Beer and sports TV just turns a guy into a comatose fat slob, which is bad enough.  Hard drink and on-line pornography is an expensive way to pass the time until the stores open and a guy can buy more booze.  Pornography is demeaning to all concerned, and men will need more and more extreme porn until they soon pass the bounds of legality.  Add extreme porn to booze and a man will be on a short walk to insanity.  Online gambling and booze will break a man very quickly.  You can believe me when I tell you that living on the street is not as much fun as it looks.  Being totally penniless is a short way to theft and all that brings with it.  Add drugs to that and you can kiss life goodbye.

More insidious ways to run away will enter the lives of most men.  Some supposedly healthy emotions are the conscious mind trying to escape from the problem of dealing with suffering.  Anger is one such.  A real feeling is the fight or flight reflex.  Anger is an artificial construct ~ it is impossible to be annoyed, displeased, or hostile without intelligence.  Another escape route for a lot of men is jealousy.  Jealousy is so artificial that dictionaries have difficulty in defining the term.  Being jealous of your lover’s past is a trap men will fall into in order to escape from their real pain.

Don’t think that a man who has a glittering career may not also be running away.  Men run away from the pressures of work, other men escape their pain by immersing themselves in their work.  A certain sign that a man is running away is if he is working too hard, drinking too much, or has an affair with a hot coworker.

casual-sex

casual sex may mot always be a good idea

There is only one rule.  Stop Running Away.  If you are anxious, depressed, drinking too much, sleeping with cheap sluts ~ then you may have a problem.  Most likely you are running away from something too difficult for you to face.  There is one answer, stop running, admit you have a problem, and seek help.

Messerschmitt Bf 109

BATTLE OF BRITAIN ~ THE GERMAN ADVERSARY

Bf109

Messerschmitt Bf 109

In the interests of completeness, after my posts on the Spitfire and Hurricane, some information on Germany’s most important fighter of WWII, the Me / Bf 109.  The 109 first flew in May 1935, saw service in the Spanish Civil War, fought with the Luftwaffe all through  WWII, and was still in service with the Spanish Air Force up until the end of 1965.  The 3 top scoring German aces of the war all flew the 109.  Designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser the Bf 109 was the smallest and lightest airframe that could accommodate the largest engines under development in Germany, a pilot, and as it turned out not enough armament.

Lacking the grace of the Spitfire, or the rugged charm of the Hurricane, the Bf 109 looked like the killing machine it was.  Straight line simplicity is about the best one could say about its shape.  Or that it looks like a deformed glider, which is exactly what the Bf 109 was.  It’s chief designer, Willy Messerschmitt, cut his aeronautical teeth designing gliders.  His PhD thesis was accepted even though it was the plans for a glider.

In 1935 the Bf 109 did have all the elements for a cutting edge fighter; a low wing monoplane of flush-riveted stressed skin construction, retractable undercarriage, enclosed cockpit and ‘heavy’ armament.  The Hawker Hurricane was not as up to date as the 109.  The Hurricane was also much larger, slower, and mostly heavier.  Even the Spitfire was a bigger aircraft than the Bf 109 ~ the 109 had a wing area of just about 70% of a Spitfire’s.

A quick look at a Spitfire in comparison with a Bf 109 shows that the RAF pilot had a sliding bubble canopy, which gave an excellent all-round view.  Until the introduction of the slightly better Galland Hood the Luftwaffe pilot had a heavy framed cockpit canopy to contend with.  Contemporary accounts from RAF pilots who sat in an 109, describe the pilots view as terrible.

Because there was a lot of glider in the fighter’s genetics, the 109’s small wings were beautifully thin, using leading edge slots and slotted trailing edge flats to increase the wing area.  The wing was not stressed by the landing gear, as its loads were taken by the fuselage.  This resulted in one of the 109’s operational weaknesses ~ a very narrow-track undercarriage.  There were a large number of ground accidents during the 109’s operational career, the 109 was proving to be a fatally unforgiving aircraft

The thin, clean, wings would result in another operational weakness in the 109’s later life.  Unlike the wings on most fighters of the time, the wings on a 109 were not designed to carry armament.  The initial specification issued by the German Air Ministry had called for an armament of only 2 rifle caliber MG17 machine guns, mounted in the fuselage.  When the news that both the Spitfire and Hurricane were 8 gun fighters, a third MG17 firing through the propeller hub was added to the Bf 109’s war load.  The difficulty of installing heavier armament would result in later marques of the 109 sprouting lumps and bumps all over the wings and forward fuselage.

db_605

DB 605

The very first 109 was powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel.  Production models mostly used the Daimler-Benz DB605, an inverted V12 of 35.7 litres (2179 cu in), generating anything from 1,000 bhp to almost 2,000 bhp.  Although the power output was remarkably similar to that of the 27 litre Rolls-Royce Merlin used in the Spitfire, there were two key differences.  The 109 had fuel injection against the Spitfire’s carburetor, which meant the 109 could pull negative G and the Spitfire couldn’t.  The smaller Merlin had better fuel consumption than the 35.7 litre DB605, which gave the Spitfire slightly longer operational endurance.  There was a third difference, the DB605 caught fire a lot more often than the better-built Merlin.

The Luftwaffe found it extremely difficult to augment the 109’s limited internal fuel capacity with external drop tanks.  Over England a mission lasting an hour was long.  A mission lasting an hour and a half was to have an in-flight emergency.  Many pilots were saved by the excellent glide characteristics built into the 109 by Messerschmitt, the erstwhile glider designer.

These then were the adversaries during the Battle of Britain.  The Hawker Hurricane was outclassed by the Bf 109, which in itself was the equal of the Spitfire in the air.

The first contests between the fighters of the Luftwaffe and the RAF took place during the Battle of France.  This was bad news for the RAF as its best fighter squadrons deployed to France were equipped with the Hurricane, a machine outclassed by the Bf 109.  At least the Hurricane pilots had more chance than RAF pilots flying the obsolete Fairy Battle.  (To be fair, the Fairy Battle was a fairly new design, it was obsolete while it was still on the drawing-board.)  Resisting the call to send more and more Hurricanes to France, the battle was lost and the RAF prepared for the coming air assault on England.

The Bf 109’s greatest asset was its speed, but that came at a price.  The small 109 was all engine, pilot, and fuel.  The narrow track undercarriage was extremely dangerous on a grass airstrip, many young Luftwaffe pilots never got the chance of a second flight in a 109, and during the Battle of Britain the Luftwaffe was often operating from grass airstrips.

One oft-forgotten disadvantage the Bf 109 suffered throughout its life was the petrol, (gasoline),  it had to use.  From early in the war RAF fighters used the 100 octane petrol first used by the 1931 Schneider Cup seaplane racers.  This provided the Spitfire with an extra 34 mph in Emergency Boost.  The 109, like the rest of the Luftwaffe, had to make do with 87  octane fuel throughout its life.

The Bf 109 fought in throughout WWII, its nadir coming with the advent of the North AmericanP-51  Mustang in the skies over Germany.  This remarkable aircraft gained air superiority ~ having a performance the Bf 109 just could not match.

BF109 Bouchon

HA-1112-M1L Bouchon

After the war the Bf 109 soldiered on as the Hispano Aviacion HA-1112, initially with Hispano engines and later with the Rolls-Royce Merlin.  This variant was officially the HA-112-M1L, but is invariably known as the Bouchon.  (These are the 109s seen in the 1969 film Battle of Britain.)   The aircraft was retired from active service on 27 December 1965.

Sports Cars and Sex

SUMMER MAY NOT BE THE BEST TIME TO BUY A CONVERTIBLE

Although sports cars, convertibles, roadsters, soft-tops.., may be at a premium in the showroom during the summer, this is the time of year to get a taste for top-down motoring.  If you have never owned a car where you can take the roof down, then you don’t know what a road-trip is.  If you have never had a car that leaked in winter, that you were afraid to leave on a dark street for fear that you’d come back to it to find the hood ripped, (soft-top), a car that creaked, groaned and rattled like a ship in a gale, then you have missed out on one of Life’s Great Adventures.

1961_MG_A_Twin_Cam.1

1961 MGA twin cam

Just as every man should get to know New York, see Siena at sunset, quit their career, date a married woman, and have sex with a stranger, everyone should own a convertible at least once in their life.  You may not have the looks of a film star, or the money of a bastard banker, but every man can improve his image, enjoy life with more intensity, date more attractive women, be the envy of his friends ~ if he owns the right car to drive on those hot summer evenings.  Sex in an open car on a warm starlit night is something all manly men should experience.

Most  women like men who own a quirky convertible, or a classic sports car, or even a drophead touring car.  I don’t know why, they just do.  It may be that women like men who are not afraid to defy common convention.  It could be to do with woman appreciating a man who has style and sophisticated tastes.  Personally, I think it’s that women like men who obviously know what they want.

What do women really want?  Women of a certain age, the kind of woman who knows what she needs and doesn’t waste time getting it, don’t want to be with a boring guy who owns a practical fifteen years old Toyota hatchback that really belongs with a part-time waitress.  Older women still want sex with a guy who turns her on.  She wants a guy who has some style.  Add to that basic style some fresh-air motoring that involves a decent lunch, and most manly men can have even a middle-aged ice-queen grinning like a schoolgirl and ready to be put to bed.  If you want to date a very attractive woman, then you need style and individuality by the bucket-load.

There are some problems.

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Caterham 7

If you actually want her to get into the thing more than once, then don’t even consider a Caterham or Lotus 7.  As a matter of fact, almost any Lotus is a bad idea when it comes to women over the age of 25.  Some cars are just not manly, and I include; Mazda MX-5, Toyota MR2, Triumph Spitfire, MG Midget, small German sports cars, Triumph Herald, Morris Minor, modern coupe-cabriolet such as the Renault Megane, and shopping cars such as the Fiat 500c and Mini Convertible.

Also, unless you would like to be friendless, do not buy a black Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

Yet, here’s the thing, owning a sports car / convertible / roadster of any type is to want to defy convention.  The girl I had when I owned the Caterham 7 pictured toured down to Tuscany with me in the thing.  If you think a Fiat Barchetta would suit the image you want, then by all means try one of the little roadsters.  Just don’t buy a Mini convertible.

V12E

V12 E-Type Jaguar

Without a shadow of a doubt the coolest car a mere mortal manly man could buy is a V12 E-Type Jaguar, and most women would adore the orgasmic sensuality of its shape, but owning one of  these things will give you more headaches than you could possibly imagine.  On a good day you might get 12 mpg, it will be forever out of tune, and don’t open the bonnet unless you’re the automotive equivalent of a brain surgeon.

Therefore, choose carefully.  I know very few women who think it’s fun if you break down, when it’s pouring with rain, and she’s wearing a little black dress and stiletto heels.  She’ll probably phone for a taxi and that’s he last you will ever see of her.

Lotus Elite

Lotus Elite

For something reasonably priced, reliable, fairly comfortable, dry, warm, that doesn’t stink of fibreglass, or petrol, or hot oil ~ then perhaps try something less fashionable, slightly newer, slower, and larger than a Lotus Elite.  Personally, if I was new at this I would start with a modern saloon-based convertible.  Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Saab, Volvo, VW, all produced decent convertibles.  If you are in North America you cannot pass up the Mustang, other muscle cars are available.

2015-mustang-convertible

2015 Mustang

New cars are generally less of a problem than classics, but not always.  I have suffered catastrophic breakdowns in a couple of showroom fresh cars.  Coupe-Cabriolets, (the sort of a car where the metal roof retracts into the boot), are usually incredibly heavy, but if you’re not interested in outright performance, then why not?  Convertibles are vastly more expensive than the saloon they may be based on, usually slower, often much heavier, and taking the roof away isn’t good for torsional stiffness.

Therefore, consider your reasons for buying an open-topped car.  It is motoring like no other, but if you want open-air motoring coupled with stunning speed, pin-sharp handling, and leech-like road-holding, then you need a car that was designed from the outset to have no real roof.  Candidates include; Caterham, Jaguar, Lotus, Morgan…

triumph_tr6_interior

Triumph TR6 interior

If what you want is a more relaxing experience with a woman in the passenger seat, then you can have any car you like that looks good with the top up, and when the roof is down.  Some convertibles look hideous with the top down, and some look terrible with the top up.  And, then there are some that look awful either way.  Make certain the interior is what you want.  A snug cockpit is all very well for an afternoon driving in the country, but not so good on a long road-trip, or if your ambition is first date car sex.  It is up to you to decide if any woman who puts out on the first date could be ever possibly be a keeper.

Warning; the following has sexually explicit links to Cosmopolitan.  If your ambition in life is first date sex, then a cool car does not harm your chances at all.  And, if you want to try car sex, then a larger car may prevent you from injuring yourself.  A cabriolet will avoid headroom problems in some positions.  An important safety tip, do not get carried away and let her try road head, not if you have control problems.  Besides, you may not want her to spit in your car.  And, by the way, nobody smokes in your car.  If she argues about that ~ please do not leave her by the roadside unless it’s outside her apartment.

smoking1

nobody smokes in your car

A cool sports car or an open touring car can lead the manly man on adventures that the guy driving a shopping car can only dream about.  When you own a sports car, stop being so sad as to think dating your coworker is a good idea.  That is, unless she’s prepared to undergo a complete makeover ~ I can almost guarantee she needs one.  You’ve bought the car, buy the poor woman a makeover and a new wardrobe~ providing you think she is going to be worth it in the end.   It is possible to have sex in a very small sports car, but you may need to have the roof down.  Don’t make the car your hobby, unless that’s what you really want.

See the follow-up post: Women of a Certain Age

Taken from the research for the forthcoming book:

Urban Survival Skills for Men

 

Dream Your Way To Success

DO YOUR DREAMS HAVE ANYTHING TO TELL YOU?

dreaming

dreaming of what?

If you have never woken from a dream thinking; What the Frack was that…? then you have never really lived.  If you’ve never had an ambition so strong you could almost taste your cherished hope, then you have never lived at all.  If you haven’t got a dream, then you have nothing.

These are the usual dual meanings of the English word Dream;

  1. Thoughts and visions that occur during sleep.
  2. Thoughts and visions about something greatly desired.

If you have ever wanted something so much that it fills your thoughts all day and your dreams at night, then you know what dreaming really is and have started to live.

Scientists are still arguing about how the sleep / dream mechanism works and the links between dreaming and REM sleep, which tells me that they are making educated guesses.  Given that scientists are also mostly guessing how the various parts of the brain work in conjunction, then I don’t think they have much real idea about the dream state.  Which doesn’t much matter to anyone except the people in white coats.

What matters most to the rest of us mere mortals is whether or not our dreams mean anything, and if they do, then how do you know what your dream is supposed to mean?  There are a couple of other enigmas as in; can we dream to order, and can we ask a question of ourselves and expect the answer to appear in a dream?

Morpheus

Morpheus

Personally I have a lot of time for the Ancient Greeks whose God of Dreams was Morpheus.  Any important messages from the Gods of Olympus would be delivered to mortals by Morpheus during a dream.  And, it wasn’t only the Greeks who thought dreams important, so did the Egyptians, the prophets who wrote the Bible, the Romans, the Sumerians, Mesopotamians, and probably the people who painted animals inside deep caves.  As far as anyone knows, these ancient peoples used dream books and prophets for the interpretation of dreams.

These days there are no end of places to learn how to interpret dreams; Gnostic, is but one way of looking at it.

There is some common symbology in ‘modern’ dream interpretation.  As an example; a recurring chase dream is supposed to mean that one has an unresolved issue in real life.  Running away from a problem, or just ignoring a problem, is supposed to create the metaphor that there is a boogie man out there and you either have to deal with him or he will keep after you.  Flying dreams are supposed to mean you have solved a problem, or as Freud would have it a flying dream is a release of sexual tension.  If you have followed the links you will have found a couple of sites you can go to for dream interpretation.  There are many more out there.

When it comes to dreams as a tool for problem solving there is ample evidence that this works, allegedly.  And, to understand that we will have to have a look at how the brain operates.  To begin by dispelling an urban myth, people do not only use 10% of their brains.  All of the brain is in use most of the time.  However, most of what the brain is doing isn’t ‘thinking’ as most people understand the term.  Even when we are ‘thinking’ about a difficult problem most of the work is being done in the back office, in our subconscious.  The snag is the front office consciousness likes to ignore the back office.  So, even though our subconscious may know the answer to our problem our here and now doesn’t, and we can’t actually get at the answer while the front office is still thinking about it.  Catch-22 logic again.

To beat Catch-22, when smart people get stuck on a problem they take a break and do something else, preferably some mindless displacement activity, like walking the dog.  Then, because the front office has stopped working on the problem, the back office subconscious mind finally gets through and one has a Eureka moment.  Obviously when we are asleep the conscious mind is mostly shut down, so the deeper parts of the brain can deliver the answer to any burning question we have, except there isn’t anyone there to take the message ~ other than the night staff.  It’s the night staff who are responsible for dreams, which is why answers to important questions can appear as dream metaphors.

Strangely, and very luckily, these important answers almost always appear at the very end of dreaming, right before we wake.  That’s handy because consciousness is returning to understand and remember the dream and therefore the answer to whatever burning question was bothering us.

The reason we seem to dream so vividly just before we wake is all tied in with why we sleep in the first place.  When we are awake the brain is working just about flat-out, and very little routine maintenance occurs.  Therefore the brain fills up with toxins and waste known as CNS Metabolites, which impair brain function.  Since these are cleared out during sleep, it is obvious that the brain is at it’s most efficient just before waking ~ and that’s when we have the best and most vivid dreams.  If you are ever going to get a Eureka moment it is in those instants between sleep and wakefulness.

The most vivid and disturbing dreams also happen during those instants between a good night’s sleep and waking to a new day.  That’s when one has the best nightmares.

Nightmares are dreams which can generate strong emotions such as terror, shame, anxiety, and distress.

Nightmares are very vivid because they usually happen when the brain is working at its best, which is during REM Sleep just as we wake.  Therefore nightmares are often remembered in great detail.  As with all other dreams, nightmares are the other side of the mirror from whatever our brain has been doing while we were awake.  Even if we were unaware that our brain was thinking about something unpleasant or worrying about Life, it’s all been bubbling away under the surface.  Like all scary monsters our greatest fears are nocturnal creatures.  You can block bad thoughts while you’re awake, but not when you’re asleep.

Women seem to have more nightmares than men, and female nightmares often involve being degraded or humiliated by people they actually know in real life.  Male nightmares seem to be extensions of Hollywood disaster movies, as do male erotic dreams.

Lucid Erotic Dreams are often vivid to the point of orgasm or ejaculation, and if you weren’t waking up anyhow then that would usually bring you out of a fairly deep sleep.  Sex dreams are extra vivid because, as well as the brain itself, there are all those hormones in the blood supercharging the brain and directly impacting on the appropriate parts of the body.

Both men and women have sex dreams.  As you would expect women report more interesting and disturbing sex dreams than men seem to enjoy.  Female sex dreams can as well scripted as any movie, and often involve a same sex element ~ to the point that a woman will imagine herself as a man having sex with a man.  Which just goes to show what a complicated and powerful thing is female sexualityMale sex dreams are usually pretty brief.

Dream Interpretation.  Based on no spiritual or scientific evidence whatsoever, I am able to confidently state that we dream about things which we have been actively thinking about or are right at the top of the stuff at the back of our mind.  Therefore, if you want to get somewhere with a big ambition, or solve a big problem, then think about it all day and you will probably dream about it at night.  If you are sufficiently focused you should not need to interpret your dream, the meaning will be damn obvious.

If you want your dreams to come true, then dream about them both day and night until you know how to make it so.

On the other hand dreams may have a very spiritual aspect with layers of mysticism or transpersonal faith.  If you need to explore dreaming and spirituality then you need to go much deeper than I can take you in this post.

Dreaming Aphrodite

Dreaming Aphrodite

I will attempt to cover the spiritual element of dreams in a later post.

Hawker Hurricane

IN AUGUST 1940 THE HURRICANE AND SPITFIRE WERE ALL THAT STOOD AGAINST HITLER’S NAZI GERMANY

Unlike the beautiful Supermarine Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane has a stubby, hunched, rugged old soldier, look about it.  Unlike the complex Spitfire, the Hurricane was easy to manufacture and repair.  It also took half as long to refuel and rearm, was easier to fly and more maneuverable near the ground. The Hurricane cold carry heavier armament and was a better gun-platform than the Spitfire.  The Hurricane was simple and tough, and although nowhere near as fast or with a rate of climb to rival the Spitfire, it was an operational go-anywhere, do-anything fighter by the time of the Battle of Britain.  The Hurricane was a workhorse to the Spitfire’s thoroughbred.

Hurricane_IV

Hurricane IV with 4 ~ 20mm cannon

BF109 Bouchon

Bf 109 bouchon

The Hurricane was in the thick of the action well before the Battle ofBritain as part of the British Air Forces in France, with 6 Hurricane squadrons from January 1940.  A further 4 Hurricane squadrons were sent to France when the German offensive began, followed by another 2 on May 13th 1940.  The French Air Force, (Armee de l’Air), was so ineffective in 1940 that on May 14th the French Government then asked for another 10 squadrons of Hurricanes ~ after much heart-searching only 3 more Hurricane squadrons were committed, and these returned to England at night.  In the end, by the time of the Miracle of Dunkirk, over 200 Hurricanes had been lost, many of which would have been repairable had they not been operating from forward air bases in France.  England committed a greater proportion of its air strength to the Battle for France, than the French did, 30% as against 25%, and at such a cost that the Battle of Britain was a damn close run thing.  (The 1969 film: Battle of Britain gives a reasonably accurate account of the battle.  However the Bf 109’s in the film are powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.(Hispano Aviacion Bf109 Bouchon)).

In any form, the Bf109 outperformed the Hurricane except in tight turns at low altitude.

Specification; Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB

  • 1,280 bhp Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
  • Span 40 ft,  Length 32 ft,  Wing Area 257.5 sq ft,  Weight 5,500 lbs (MTOW 7,300 lbs)
  • Maximum Speed 342 mph at 22,000 ft
  • Service Ceiling 36,000 ft
  • Range 480 miles
  • Armament 12 .303 machine guns plus up to 1,000 lbs bomb load

Designed by Sydney Camm and entering service in 1937, the Hurricane was the first of the RAF’s monoplane fighters, and became the first operational RAF aeroplane capable of exceeding 300 miles per hour.   It used the same legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine as the Spitfire, which at the time of the Battle of Britain produced 1030 brake horse power.  Eventually the Hurricane would be fitted with the two-stage supercharged Merlin 27 which gave 1635 bhp.  These engines were mounted in a fuselage which had a lot in common with earlier, biplane fighters.  There was an alloy frame to which were mounted wooden stringers and then covered in fabric.  Only the area around the engine had an alloy skin.  Early Hurricanes even had outer wings covered in doped fabric.  Unlike the beautiful, elliptical, wing of the Spitfire, the Hurricane’s wings were simple in design and construction.  This rugged construction was the logical outcome of a long line of Hawker fighting aircraft.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The thing about the Hurricane’s simple wing was that all the guns could be grouped close together, outside of the propeller arc, and heavier armament could be fitted than the Spitfire’s thin, elliptical, wings could accommodate.  The Hurricane was the world’s first 8 gun monoplane fighter, at the time of the Battle of Britain most Hurricane’s were fitted with 8 Colt-Browning 303 machine guns.  Later Hurricanes could be fitted with 12 machine guns, or 4 20mm cannon, or even with twin Vickers 40mm S cannon and 2 machine guns for use as tank-busters.

Some 1,715 Hurricanes took part in the Battle of Britain, (29 squadrons as against 19 Spitfire squadrons), and between them its pilots destroyed 80% of the Luftwaffe aircraft shot down between July and October 1940.  Sadly, inexperienced Spitfire pilots were known to have mistaken Hurricanes for the Bf 109 and attacked their brother RAF aircraft.  The usual tactic for a mixed formation of Hurricanes and Spitfires was for the Hurricanes to stay lower down and attack the bombers, while the Spitfires flew top cover and tackled the enemy fighters.  Obviously the bombers were the easier target.  However, it is fair to say that this reliable aeroplane has never been given all the credit it deserved for winning the Battle of Britain.  Older and slower than the Spitfire it may have been, but there were more of them.  (Hurricane: Victor Of The Battle Of Britain by Leo McKinstry.)

TRANSPORT Hurricane/Duxford

wrecked Hurricane (photo from Daily Mail)

The Hurricane was a remarkably versatile aircraft.  At a pinch it could be flown as a night-fighter as the wide-track undercarriage made it possible to land a Hurricane in the dark.  From 1942 the cannon-armed IIc operated as a night intruder over occupied Europe.  In the North African desert, tropicalised Hurribombers armed with 4 20mm cannon and 500 lbs of bombs, gave the axis a taste of what to expect from Hawker fighter-bombers.  The Hurricane was supplied to Russia under Lend-Lease, although the 2,952 aircraft delivered weren’t much liked by soviet pilots.  The Sea Hurricane became operational from 1941 and stayed in service for 3 years.

Perhaps the most dangerous, (for the pilot), variant of the aircraft was the Hurricat.  Because of a shortage of aircraft carriers for convoy escort work, some merchant ships were fitted with a rocket-propelled catapult to launch a single Hurricane fighter.  Amazingly, pilots were found for the Hurricanes fitted to these CAM ships.  If all went well, the Hurricane would shoot down the German reconnaissance aircraft shadowing the convoy, and then the pilot would bail out, or ditch in the sea, to be picked-up by the convoy escort.

CAM-ship_hurricaneoncatapult

CAM ship with Hurricane on the catapult

This unpretty fighter was in the right place at the right time.  Early Hurricanes had a wooden, two-bladed, propeller and no armour plating.  But even when these shortcomings were rectified, the aircraft had a limited development potential because of its frame and fabric fuselage.  Hawker’s next fighter, the Typhoon, employed a structure that was a mixture of a monocoque and steel frame skinned in alloy.  The monocoque tail structure of the Typhoon had a nasty habit of falling off in the earlier marques.

The real story is that, without the Hawker Hurricane Britain could have lost the war.

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