Author Archive

Why Throw Away History?

The Web, History, Link-rot & Crawling Chaos

A Hockey Stick

A Hockey Stick, nothing to do with Climate Change

Again, while checking for link-rot, I came across a broken link on the Crawling Chaos website.  Specifically, it’s when I deal with our introduction to Factory Records and that I played with a hockey team called Northumbria alongside the Tyne Tees Television (TTTV) newsreader called Rod Griffith.

I included a referral link to their old website, http://www.warrm.demon.co.uk/history.htm.  This is now dead so I’ve used the Wayback Machine’s link from 2001 on the page instead.  Using a well known search engine (he he), I now find they are called Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club with this website.

1902

It is definitely the same club as there’s another link to this website, a place-marker in a compendium of clubs that has a single piece of history on it – it says “founded 1902”!!

Disappointing

It’s actually more than disappointing, it’s very sad.  There’s a fair bit of history to the club and all they can publicly pronounce is “founded 1902″…   It should be more than this.  The Toon has a history page, only from WW2 mind, but it’s more than nothing.  Spurs like-wise, and it goes back to the 19th century!

It all adds to the guts of what makes a club.

It’s not hard to compile a history for the web.  Once someone has typed it out, it’s not going to change much is it?  It’s history!  The typed words can be copied anywhere.  Any, where.  Even here, say….

A Short History of Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club (founded 1902)

From an article dated June 16, 2004 here.

Tynemouth Hockey Club has recently celebrated its centenary year. The club began life playing under the name of North Durham in 1902. At that time most of the players were clergymen who travelled to away games in a horse drawn carriage. Later in the century the club changed its name to Northumbria and played its home games at the Miners’ Welfare ground in the village of Backworth. The club made another move to North Shields where they became known as Tynemouth Hockey Club and played on the ground used by Tynemouth Cricket Club. In 1989 an astro pitch was laid at Wallsend Sports Centre so the club transferred itself to another new location but retained the name of Tynemouth Hockey Club.

In November 1997 Tynemouth Hockey Club moved from Wallsend Sports Centre to two new astro pitches at The Parks, North Shields.

Conclusion

Thanks to The Parks and Ali Gordon for corresponding with a gentleman from Inverness who has sent this photograph to the club. As far as we know it is the oldest surviving photograph that we possess. Durham North as the men’s team was originally called, began life in 1902. The first match was played on 18th October 1902 against Novocastrians. We lost 4-1!

Thanks to The Parks and Ali Gordon for corresponding with a
gentleman from Inverness who has sent this photograph to the club.
As far as we know it is the oldest surviving photograph that we
possess. Durham North as the men’s team was originally called, began
life in 1902. The first match was played on 18th October 1902 against
Novocastrians. We lost 4-1!

This is a very short history, but it’s better than the nothing that is currently shown.  I played for Northumbria (as it then was) at Backworth & Tynemouth from 1972 to around 1980, not too regularly, but enough to feel part of it.

There are some documents that are downloadable, but nothing that exposes the past to a wider audience.  They are nearly all either Word or PDF files!  Totally un-crawlable with the web search spiders.  For instance, in the newsletter for October 2015 here, we find this wonderful photo.

Because it’s wrapped inside a PDF file, no-one would ever know.

I’ve copied it, and the text, as a caption (I’ll pull it, if asked, but one has to consider if my reasons are valid first).  Now, I know my website will be crawled within a few minutes of me posting – this means that all the text will be available for all, the small amount of history from the original website too.

And the Novocastrians as mentioned in the photo?  Yep.  I played against them too.  It’s all fun and it’s a part of many folks’ lives especially in an age of increasing information and decreasing paper records.

This stuff needs to be public and kept else what is a society?  Sometimes looking and talking about history is very comforting.  It’s what some people do when they stop playing, since sport is for younger folks.

Now, because of my SEO skills and experience I can guarantee that if someone searches for Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club, Backworth hockey, Tynemouth hockey, Rod Griffith or Novocastrians (say), this page will be there for all to find.

Recent Activity

Recent Activity

On top of that:

  • There seems to be no effort on the part of Pitchero who host the website or whoever else may maintain the website to keep links alive.  The site is riddled with 404s and inconsistencies.
  • Some document files are PDF, some are DOC, some are XLS files.  Some are links to a Pitchero login so are unavailable, except if you login with Facebook ffs!
  • A major part of a sports club is the fixture list.  Some links don’t point to where they should or else the template hasn’t been updated from the 2012-3 season.  Some are XLS files with the same info appearing on other webpages.

It is all a mess, primarily supporting the sponsors’ huge logos and it’s all very sad.  Maybe there’s some information overload for the webmaster, maybe it’s internal politics, maybe too many people have their fingers in the web pie?

It could be so much better, cleaner, consistent and useful to a club member.  I see Steve Troup just joined as a webmaster, hopefully he can tidy things up and get some club history sorted out!

Rant over.

 

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Clark Ashton Smith, The Crawling Chaos, Artistry

Artistry

Bow down, I am the emperor of dreams. - Clark Ashton Smith
my pre-ramble… :-)

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art - April 14th, 1937

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art

While doing some link rot checking using the Broken Link Checker plugin I came across this old post which is about an old edited letter from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) to August Derluth.

A screenshot is at left – click to enlarge or see the original here.  CAS tells about the creation of The Crawling Chaos by the two authors, showing a natural deference for his friend, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (HPL).

Some people may know that CAS also sculpted, from soapstone if my memory is correct.  The letter mentions some of this, but mainly describes a gripe that all artists have – now, quoting directly from CAS, emphasised & paragraphed for web clarity by me…

I am pleased to hear that the sculptures continue to attract so much favorable attention. I am writing to Sloane, and offering him a copy of The Double Shadow if he hasn’t seen it. . . . On second thought, I’ll mail him an inscribed one anyway.

As to a volume of my stuff, I suppose there is no harm in trying, It makes me pretty sick to remember that at least five publishers asked HPL to submit story-material for a possible book and then turned it down.

It is curious how ready people are to admit the worth of a writer after he is dead, and how goddamned cautious they are about it while he remains alive. Death seems to bring about a sort of crystallization, so to speak. . . .

As for me. I am pretty tough, and come of a hardy and long-lived ancestry. I’ll survive my present difficulties. What the future holds, I am not sure. But I have made up my mind to quit California at the earliest possible date.

Plugging Away

So CAS just kept plugging away.  He never had any money, yet mysteriously, I’ve read nearly all his stuff!!  The bulk of this was some time ago when Panther published stacks of compilations by HPL, CAS and many others.  But, just as CAS mused, he was dead by the time I read them…

The original issues had wonderfully mystical, sometimes horrible, artwork by Bruce Pennington….

Crawling Chaos

When the band (The Crawling Chaos) was formed, it was just Jeff Crowe, Keith Wear & myself.  We all read and devoured everything to do with The Cthulu Mythos – and more! [e.g for myself it led me to Lord Dunsany, Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Philip K Dick, Daniel Keyes & the rest of SF]

Genius Loci cover

Genius Loci cover

In particular, since there’s only a few folks that now know this, Keith took it upon himself to copy the whole Bruce Pennington cover for the 1st Panther book version of CAS’s Genius Loci.

I scanned my book some time ago and cleaned away the title etc just leaving the work. That’s it, left.

Bedroom Wall

So…….Keith copied the key guts of the thing onto his bedroom wall in Ashington!  The whole wall…

You can see his copy as part of the cover for our first recorded output, Magnum Innoninandum (sic) here:

Crawling Chaos - Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

Crawling Chaos – Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

The original (nicked at Tynemouth) drumkit is there as well as the really noisy HH amp, Jeff’s record player, speakers & discs on the floorof his mum’s living room. Keith did the cover.

The Black Abbott of Puthuum

Genius Loci also includes one of my favourite CAS passages in the description of the Black Abbott.  (I think my favourite story has to be “The Coming of the White Worm“, but that’s for another time).  Anyway, here’s the bit about the black abbott blokey…

To add to their distress, the terrain grew rougher and steeper, and they climbed acclivitous hillsides and went down endlessly into drear valleys. Anon they came to a flat, open, pebbly space. There, all at once, it seemed that the pandemonium of evil noises drew back on every hand, receding and fading into faint, dubious whispers that died at a vast remove. Simultaneously, the circling night thinned out, and a few stars shone in the welkin, and the sharp-spined hills of the desert loomed starkly against a vermilion afterglow. The travelers paused and peered wonderingly at one another in a gloom that was no more than that of natural twilight.

“What new devilry is this?” asked Cushara, hardly daring to believe that the hellish leaguers had vanished.

“I know not,” said the archer, who was staring into the dusk.” “But here, mayhap, is one of the devils.”

The others now saw that a muffled figure was approaching them, bearing a lit lantern made of some kind of translucent horn. At some distance behind the figure, lights appeared suddenly in a square dark mass which none of the party had discerned before. This mass was evidently a large building with many windows.

The figure, drawing near, was revealed by the dim yellowish lantern as a black man of immense girth and tallness, garbed in a voluminous robe of saffron such as was worn by certain monkish orders, and crowned with the two-horned purple hat of an abbot. He was indeed a singular and unlooked-for apparition: for if any monasteries existed amid the barren reaches of Izdrel, they were hidden and unknown to the world. Zobal, however, searching his memory, recalled a vague tradition he had once heard concerning a chapter of negro monks that had flourished in Yoros many centuries ago. The chapter had long been extinct, and the very site of its monastery was forgotten. Nowadays there were few blacks anywhere in the kingdom, other than those who did duty as eunuchs guarding the seraglios of nobles and rich merchants

The animals began to display a certain uneasiness at the stranger’s approach.

“Who art thou?” challenged Cushara, his fingers tightening on the haft of his weapon.

The black man grinned capaciously, showing rows of discolored teeth whose incisors were like those of a wild dog. His enormous unctuous jowls were creased by the grin into folds of amazing number and volume; and his eyes, deeply slanted and close together, seemed to wink perpetually in pouches that shook like ebon jellies. His nostrils flared prodigiously; his purple, rubbery lips drooled and quivered, and he licked them with a fat, red, salacious tongue before replying to Cushara’s question. [isn’t this bit amazing? – SP]

“I am Ujuk, abbot of the monastery of Puthuum,” he said, in a thick voice of such extraordinary volume that it appeared almost to issue from the earth under his feet. “Methinks the night has overtaken you far from the route of travelers. I bid you welcome to our hospitality.”

So, buy the book, or read the whole story here.

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams?

(clue – “The Hashish Eater”)
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar….

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Freak Electric – Advance

Freak Electric – Advance Reworked

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For Moyly, Ian, Lorna and George….

Freak Electric Demo Sleeve

Freak Electric Demo Sleeve

Freak Electric Folks

Freak Electric Folks

I have an old demo cassette of yours.  Now I have remarkable computer power (8 cores at 4Ghz+), Reaper is becoming one hell of a tool.  Here I’ve had a 1 hour session at cleaning up what is a really rubbish quality cassette recording, all hiss and sweeping mushiness….   I think it’s better than my earlier effort with different software.  Even so, the source tape has no audio over 8kHz so it’ll be dull whatever I do.

Update 8/9/14:  I’ve since found two better quality versions of my aged cassette tape.  This is one below, starting with one of my favourite tracks.  Arseholes to the ambiguously sounding WIND, west wall…?  Either way. Crank it up, especially at 11:45.  [If done now, I’d thin out the long intro sound and add maximum punch for the loud bit – that’s technical folks…  ]

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Joking YouTube Programmers

Strangely post on April 29th, 2015
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , ,

Error on a Youtube Page Shows Joking Programmers at Work

Instead of the usual 500 error, here’s what I got on an old Youtube upload page in my browser….

Youtube Joking Programmers

Youtube Error Humour

500 Internal Server Error

Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.
If you see them, show them this information:

Well it made smile, at least.


A very similar programming mindset to the one in Firefox if you type “About:config” into the address bar…

Firefox Here Be Dragons

Firefox Here Be Dragons

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A Fantastic Frosty Morning in France

Strangely post on March 18th, 2015
Posted in Art Tags: , , , , , , , ,

These are some snaps from around our new home in France on the 17th of March, 2015 (yesterday), which had a fantastic frosty morning.  This video is me, opening our door, first time, onto the world.  Such was the power of the natural world, we had to run straight out and start madly photographing before the sun rose too much and everything was revealed in its true transient nature.

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