These pages are supposedly in the care and control of Ruth Brown and Rod Mackay, currently based in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. She was born in Hereford, England and he, in St. Stephen, N.B., Canada.  They married eighteen years ago in Sussex, N.B. where they met. She continues to work as a medical transcriptionist but he is remuneratively unemployed.  They have two mature sons and daughters by his earlier marriage to the late Anne Torey of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
 
 


Both were briefly uncivil servants of the Canadian federal government and have had a long and diverse education and conventional job histories leading to mid-life crises causing them to  become dangerously self-employed in quite different work. Rod was a fine and graphic artist until that career was cut off by a temporary loss of eyesight due to glaucoma. Both remember yesterday but lists of past academic and work accomplishments make poor theatre and "the play" has always been the thing? We may be caught up in a virtual matrix which we may mistake for reality but at least we are at least "at play in the field of the gods?" No matter that, in each individual case, mortality leads to ultimate loss.



We are all time-travellers, who cannot predict the future nor capture and hold the present. We are therefor always stranded in the past. In addition, we are all insular and often too polite to ask probing questions of those closest to us in blood and or interests. There is always the fear that that too much honest information will lead to inadvertent or deliberate gossip. We have suffered from that form of outrageous fortune, and have tried to avoid that asttime ourselves.



 
It would be helpful if more people could leave records of their versions of the reality of lives past since youth has little interest in tales twice (or more frequently) told and often misinterpreted. Ruth's relative Mr. Stanley Brownless (she dropped the "less" part of the name) identified this pastel painting on the back panel as one of "my grandmother and her eldest son." He went on to provide a lot more information including the fact that Alfred was five years of age at this time. His mother gave birth to nine children before dying at the age of thirty-seven. Caroline was, of course from "Cork" not "Cor" Ireland.  There is a lot more info on the back of Ruth's painting.

 
 
The middle English meaning of the word "actor" was "agent" or "stand-in," a virtual representative of a real individual.  Whether writers and actors are agents of lasting social change can be argued, but it is clear that teachers, politicians and theologians are all good or bad actors, and their business is entertainment.  As a biology/physic teacher Rod knew that he was an entertainer but was too much of a loner to want a a continuing leadership role.There were, "rules for everything. Questions about every move no matter how good the result. Paperwork that had to be filled out for everything..." and those interminable staff meetings and professional improvement sessions. Ruth had parallel experiences and feelings of ennui.




The Latin word "ars" from which the English "art" derives  originally identified any business endeavour or crafty operation. In the last century "Fine" or "Finished Art" was seen as embracing theatre, writing and visual representation. Today the meaning has expanded to include some very strange scholastic and folksy side-forms. There is a lot of bumping of heads but not much creativity in the word of Postmodern Art. Photoshop does have the potential for turning out quick self-entertaining images, something that used to eat up hours of my life. Understanding how images and words relate is a part of the puzzles Rod has been inventing.



We don't know if Douglas Adams or his fictional characters would agree with this quote, but he did say, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Of course that is no way to secure an income, and was  not  a business model Rod could follow when trying to raise a young family.



However, liberated from the conventional workforce, Rod did have a tendency to slothfulness when times seemed good. In those improbable intervals he found that the Adams Principle did seem to apply. "The Heart of Gold" was a prototype spaceship, the first to to successfully use the revolutionary Infinite Improbability Drive. "In the 2005 movie, it is more spherical with a hole and red brake lights on the rear that form the shape of a heart, a shape derived from a teacup in the Brownian motion producer that powers the Infinite Improbability Drive. It also features a mural around the hole which depicts the invention of the Drive. It was built as a secret government project on planet Damogran from where Zaphod Beeblebrox, the then-President of the Imperial Galactic Government, stole it at the launching ceremony." - Wikipedia



Panic can be a positive driving force or it can be an Improbability Driver powered by the media's need for sustained theatre which generates their Golden Ball of Prosperity.  No one seemed to consider that Beeblebrox had no means of collecting any of that national debt.  Of course, the various "arts" were the first businesses to be made low by that world wide depression of 2008.

 

Cathy and Jack Frost remained aloft as the former had remembered to turn on the guiding Northern lights before leaving the North Pole.



Ruth and Rod both have a strange educational backgrounds which has mixed the academic arts with science. As noted above that can lead to internal conflicts, but we are  aware that there is a lot of pretense in both camps, and in the short term simply holding on can have a happy outcome.

 

Simply put, there is a lot of humbug in both the arts and the sciences. Of course in both sides of any argument between these forces the antagonist is seen to be, alternately a force for good or evil. In most situations these is no supernatural involvement, but there is often entertainment value.


But R&R have decided that they have learned there are experiences which are worth the bother.



Uncovering a previously unknown fact is now a much easier proposition. It appears that some people are sloth like in a bad way.



The creation of enigmatic vignettes is dead easy and once can track the source of those quotes almost instantly.
 

Incredible? Unbelievable?



The above observed scientific facts puts our situation in perspective.

 

But their are mathematical and scientific as well as literary myths and fables. Too often these days, Rod finds his friend's Facebook images and comments edited out. with the above notation and a bandaged thumbs up pictograph. The suggestion is that the person posting is to blame. This is why R&R retain old fashioned web pages where they are the sole editors of content.




Like landlords, Facebook and Google are intractable when it comes to arguments based on beliefs which their algorithms deny.


It is always a matter to timing; not if, but when. These headlines features the tsunami which hit Newfoundland in the last century. Collectively and individually, bad things happen to good and bad folk.
 

Where there is no hope there is always the possibility of a good final line.

 

There is always faint hope? After all Arthur Dent did survive the destruction of Earth necessitated by the need to establish a Galactic Super Highway for space commerce. Of course it can always get worse over the long, long term.

 

We are after all promised the ultimate theatre provided we live long and prosper enough to make the trip to Millways.

 

If you arrive early on there should be times for a final supper before the light show.

 

These two illustrations were produced in a contest where electronic artists showed off their Photoshop skills.  In this one Rod inserted two extra guests.



That "Don't Panic" mantra can be ignored at this juncture.



That observation dome has only microseconds of existence left.



Dr. Who will reportedly leave before the fun begins.



And that is the kernel of truth R&R see in a world full of enigmas.



This article is all a big surreal since it was written while R&R were battling microscopic "Christmas ornaments" best known as the influenza viruses.



Each human is of course an enclosed biome of life forms. Too bad we have not developed a sure defense against them.



Allsion had her struggle with these wee beasties when she last visited us in 2015, but she managed an engaging smile in spite of that. Guess we should take a friendly stance when it comes to those wee beasties? They do slow the frantic pace of actors on the stage of life and keep us from  consuming too much beer. The mental fuzziness caused by the flu is a sufficient evil in itself.







question & comments: redmackay@gmail.com