An Engineer in Paradise Blog

An Engineer in Paradise

This blog was started by accident - a chance mention of silk in a Challenge Question set my mind racing and the first, brief episode was born. The reaction to this and the follow-up episode was positive, so keeping the episodes together seemed like a good idea.

I'm a fairly unusual creature - an engineer who enjoys language and likes to use it to its full. Oh yes, and I'm a woman!

I hope you enjoy reading An Engineer in Paradise, remember: If you have nothing to laugh about - laugh on credit.

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Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

Posted May 01, 2007 8:13 AM by English Rose
Pathfinder Tags: Humour

After dropping off the dress at the drycleaners, making it clear to the "assistant" that the stain on the skirt was WD40, an oil-based product, she headed out to the TV studios.

She parked the Gremlin in a sunny spot and headed to the main entrance. "Hello Raoul." She greeted the doorman as she flashed her...badge.

As she sat in make-up, she pondered her double life; how long would she be able to keep it up before one of her colleagues from her more serious life spotted her? This wasn't exactly a low profile job, even if the programme went out on Channel 76. More importantly, how long would it be before he recognised her and restarted his pursuit? Her breath quickened at this thought and her stomach muscles tightened: was this adrenaline-fuelled reaction fight, flight or desire? She couldn't distinguish.

Two hours later, she was on set with the red light on, dressed in a pale pink suit, which had a skirt that stopped mid-way down her thighs. Not a garment in which she ever attempted to sit. The audience were hushed: the contestant was faced with the decision of whether to stick with his original choice of box or to swap to the only other one left, now that she had opened the third and revealed a goat. Tension grew until he made the choice. With a flourish, she opened the rejected box - and a huge groan went up from the audience: the car had been revealed. Projecting an air of sympathy and regret, she went through the formality of opening the final box, whereupon the well-trained goat walked calmly out and stood by her side.

Her "beautiful assistant", a well-muscled 6 foot tall hunk dressed in one of those non-tuxedoes that showed off his tanned and hairless body, brought out the tasteful sculpture of a goat and presented it to the contestant, who looked a little uncomfortable as the hunk drapped himself over his shoulders. The sculpture was a requirement of their licence; the AHS didn't allow live animals as prizes. The excitement over, she closed the show, on autopilot for the banal statements and promises of excitement to come in the next show.

Later that night, sitting on the back porch with the goats grazing contentedly close by, she considered the finer points of probability. It always amazed her, the logic the contestants used - or claimed to use since she knew her words and actions sumliminally affected their decisions - to decide whether to change their choice or not. What all of them seemed to forget was that even if there were a 2/3 chance of being right, Murphy's Law ensured that the 1/3 chance of being wrong was the one that turned up! That and the psycology experts behind the scenes...

Leaving her day job aside, she contemplated the latest instructions received from Control. Apparently Blaine was becoming a liability...his training and initiation had been hurried and the police detectives questioning him were picking holes in his cover story that you could drive a Greyhound bus through. Something would have to be done, and as his cover girlfriend, she was the one chosen to do it. The question was: could she?

Partially inspired by the Challenge on Games Shows

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#1

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/01/2007 9:43 AM

Kris--

Very good! All are interesting lead-ins for something longer. Keep it up. --jmm

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/01/2007 11:10 AM

Is this in the right place? Why are you writing to Kris via my blog? Is there something I should know?

<a very puzzled ER wanders off scratching her head and checks under the sofa for Kris>

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#3
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 1:40 AM

It's because I am all over the place (that's what people tell me !). I vaguely recall where this came from , but will have to check !

Back to Blaine - He's being secretive (or it could be secreetive as I heard an American actree pronounce it to her Hunk ROFLHO). Talking of which , the composite costume doesny fool me- Robin Hood skirt , Mongolian Bow , Something else I can't see 'cos I'm in Editor. I may change cloaks myself for a while as I peruse the Mornings developments.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 1:42 AM

That's it - No 3 the Floppy Cowboy hat.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 9:27 AM

What you can't see are the wooden arrows with goose feather fletches with which I was hitting red & gold.

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#9
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 11:11 AM

Are they to go with the other Chipendale 'Blue' , who's thong you've adorned yourself with ? I know the blue thing must have a name , but I'm not running to check or I will be disabled by some hysterical word play.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 11:15 AM

You mean the purple Hindu prayer scarf that I had been using to stop my arms being sun-burned? I think I may have used it to start the wife-carrying race earlier that day.

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#11
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 11:27 AM

Sure is hot recently . Try night-time ;

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#12
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 11:44 AM

bigger pic needed!

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 11:15 PM

Believe me , you would not have liked the results when I tried resizing you to fit in the editor box ! Unlike Blaine I lack experience at graphic manipulation . I await his demise + waking from a dream , in a needle jet shower (with accompanying hydraulic gore ).

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#13
In reply to #2

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 8:11 PM

English Rose--

My deepest apologies for confusing you and your work with another person. I shall endeavor to avoid making that mistake again. I'm not sure I could word this in the same genre as your blog, so I hope that these words will suffice.

--jmueller

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#5

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 3:10 AM

HUH?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 4:58 AM

A Floppy Cowboy ! That 'aint so hard to see. Possible - Lot's of cowboy builders etc about . Macho ? It's all a pretence darling.

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#7

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/02/2007 9:16 AM

Rose....thoroughly enjoyed the "episodes"...keep them coming....best type of engineer is one that is only serious when required....and murphy always rises to the occassion....db

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#15

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/04/2007 6:33 PM

Nice bow Rose!

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/05/2007 12:38 AM

I was thinking it looked treacherously non-English. There may be a secret enclave up in the north.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/05/2007 3:28 PM

Ectually old chap, I was thinking Scythian, (Amazons and all that), but
admire the work, as I failed to properly tiller a longbow project that I'd
tryed on for size and know a bit of the difficulty.


"No matter how hard you struggle to cram The Theory into your head,
The Practice will find a way to bite you on the ass." - Pragmatist

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/06/2007 1:28 AM

OMG - The toxophilites have me cornered !

Nice quote - very true.

I'm off berore I see a Taxidermist.

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#19

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/08/2007 3:50 AM

It's Korean, and was a present form a friend whose theory is that the shape of the bow should match the shape of the shooter: the bow is short and curvy...

I have shot logbows, and like them; I'm saving up for one, but need to sort out the shoulder, wrist and random other joint problems before I can shoot regularly. Grrrr

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#20
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/08/2007 4:39 AM

I could get myself seriously shot for making jokes here ! Hurrah for the longbow (if you can draw a "logbow" you have the strength ) - but the notion of Welsh wood (as per Kevin Costner film , which is an invaluable historic resource ) is a touch alarming. According to my check , you can be hunched up with a longbow if you have at least 1 tooth or 1 ear.

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/11/2007 2:07 PM

It was a well chosen gift.

I can see where drawing a longbow to the ear could be a problem for you.
(The somewhat drastic solution practice by the Amazons is not to be
recommended, and would be a desecration in your case.)

I started with a longbow, graduated to a recurve, was thoroughly spoiled
by a compound, and now at the last, feel a resurgent interest in the 'log`again.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/12/2007 2:06 AM

That reminds me , yesterday I was teased with an up(for-it)date that didn't show.

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#23
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/12/2007 2:32 AM

I tend to pull so my middle finger is in the corner of my mouth...I pull bows around 34lbs at 28", and you can find longbows at this drawweight. Child's play to the Welsh bowben who were at Agincourt - they were pulling 100lb bows at a rate of 10 arrows per minute!

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#24
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/13/2007 2:54 PM

That's a good 'stretch` for one who describes herself as 'short`.

I was aware of the reputed weight of the WarBow, and having some
experience, found it hard to credit untill considering the results.

I only draw 65 Lb. 29" to the corner of the mouth, and I'm middling tall,
(though getting on a bit in years). I've tryed 30" or so, (thumb knuckle
to the earlobe, but find it a less consistant hold.

" As long as the moon rides in the heavens,
a bent and beautiful bow......."

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#25
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/14/2007 12:30 AM

A munch (part memory part hunch - I always wanted to redefine a word) tells me that people were quite a bit shorter at the time of Agincourt - does this have mechanical advantage ( to make a loose analogy , a mouse grown to the size of a house would collapse as it's ratio of mass to cross section knobbled its bone strength).

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#26
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/14/2007 12:11 PM

The 'square/cube law` doesn't apply to a fixed load. If anything, it is more
difficult for a smaller individual.
Drawing a 100+ Lb. bow is an impressive feat, let alone shooting one accurately.
- (Trust me).

Those guys practiced from childhood on to develope the strength & skill required.
Had the sport remained popular, and the skill common and localized, England could
have dominated the battlefields of Europe till the rise of the rifled musket in
the early 1800s.

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#27
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Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/14/2007 12:28 PM

Hi Pragmatist ,

I was kind of thinking that relatively lanky people would find it harder (weight lifters seem to be 'wide' rather than 'tall') from a leverage point of view , rather than an exact comparison to mass/area. I couldn't think of a good analogy at the time. A weight -lifter would have been better. I'm sure you and ER understand the mechanics well , both having direct knowledge (of Archery , not Agincourt ! ). I saw a programme once , in which the presenter made the point of what phenomenal 'draw' people had back then. As you quite rightly say a life of hard work must have been a key factor (and seems counter to the notion of poor nutrition back then - Soldiers must have been looked after as a vital body of people)

Kris

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/15/2007 7:58 PM

Hi Kris,

I agree about the probable body proportions, was only commenting on
overall size. As to the notion on nutrition though, all the history I've read,
(admittedly not too much), on the subject, held that the soldiers and archers
were levys drawn from the general population.

It's a WAG, but I'd bet that hypertrophy of the arm and shoulder tendons similar
to that found in the skeletons of the Kayak paddling Iniut of Alaska would be
observed if the matter were investigated.

The young can do remarkable things on poor nutrition, but pay for it as they age.

Anyway, these days, I don't meet any who draw more than 65-70# without
a mechanical release system, and only one, (extremely blocky), individual who
draws more than 80.

If we go on like this we might as well open a thread on archery mechanics.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Episode 3 - Cars, Goats and Boxes

05/16/2007 2:26 AM

Thanks for all the info Pragmatist , it's interesting.

I think a thread along the lines of this could be interesting . I suspect it could go in all directions , with folk discussing gun-recoil etc. Don't think I could contribute much with my knowledge , but I think a lot of people could . It would be a great read . Perhaps you could do it ? The question would have to be carefully worded - it could end up as a discussion about mechanics + sport , or an NRA love-in (no offence to anyone intended). So many sports utilize amazing abilities of the body.

ps - I understand the W_A_Guess , but was thrown for a second by the more familiar Wives And Girlfriends UK usage !

Kris

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