log (2010/07/23 to 2010/07/29)

Well, the big huge news is that we have been adopted by a kitten!

Mia The Kitteh

Can I hear an "awwwwwwwwwwwww"? *8)

In much more minor news, our narrator in Le diable au corps has, at the age of twelve, sent a love-letter to a classmate, and then there is some rather obscure stuff, in French, that I have not yet figured out.

And this spam made me smile for some reason, so I am sharing it. The original was like triple-spaced (and I have slightly obfuscated contact details, names, etc).

Acme Trading Services
4th Floor, Atlantic House 4-8 Circular Road ,
Douglas, IM99 2BB Isle of Man, UK .
Tel: +44-[redacted]
Fax: +44-[redacted]

We wish to confirm you with full cooperate responsibility that we are end seller ready, willing and able to transact and sell the commodities, with the following specifications, terms and condition.

Sales and purchases will be based on the following procedures: The product is used Train Rail Scrap with the specification of R50 & R65 as confirmed to the ISRI codes.

Manufactured in Russia & Ukraine . The origin is South Africa & Nigeria.

Quantity: 360,000 MT (Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Metric Tons) Contract period: Twelve Months. Price: USD $ 130 per Metric Ton FOB.

Payment Terms: should be Standard Bank Letter of Credit (SBLC) or Bank Guarantee (BG)

Chemical Composition: International Standard as follows:

R50.67kg/m COST 7173-75

C:0. 67-0.8%
Mn:0. 75-1.05%
Si:0. 13-0.28%
P: max. 0.035%
S: max. 0.045%
Ar: max. 0.15%

R65-64.72kg/m COST 8165-75
C: 0.6-0.082%
N: 0.75-1.05%
Si: 0.13-0.28%
P: max. 0.035%
S: max. 0.045%
Ar: max. 0.15

Please confirm if you are willing to close down the contract as to enable us schedule and arrange for your urgent trip to Africa for inspections of the material and signing of the contract.

Finally, be informed that upon your acceptance to this offer, you will be provided with all the related documents for your perusals before coming down to Africa for the signing of the contract.

For more detail and proceeds Contact person:

  Engr. Nzuma Edwin
Email: engredwin@atlas.cz

Yours Faithfully

Asher Serah
Acme Trading Services

Disclaimer and confidentiality note: everything in this e-mail and any attachments relating to the official business of Amce Trading Services to the customer is confidential, legally provided and protected by law. Atlas Trading Services does not own and endorse any other content other than the information enclosed on this email. Views and opinions are those of the sender. The person addressed in the e-mail is the sole authorized recipient. Please notify the sender immediately if it has mistakenly sent to you. Do not disclose or use the content in any way. Atlas Trading Services cannot guarantee that the confidentiality of this communication has been maintained or that it is free of errors, virus, interception or interference.

If anyone needs a few thousand metric tons of used Train Rail Scrap, drop me a line and I'll forward the actual details...

The yellow face, it burns!

This must be, I reflected to myself on getting out of the car yesterday at the Bagel Store to buy bagels and feeling the heat beating down, what is it like much of the time in places where much of the time it is like this.


Anyway, I have this book. I took it, on impulse, from the Book Exchange rack down in the lobby at The Lab, because it was thin, and had an attractive cover. I did realize also that it was in French, and that nearly stopped me from taking it, but at the last moment something whispered "be brave!" into my ear.

I sort of vaguely but not really speak French. Where by "speak" I mean "can read", and by "sort of vaguely but not really" I mean that I took it for a number of years in High School, and then took the placement test my freshman year of college and got placed into French 1, and then took it enough in college to satisfy the language requirement, and then stopped.

French has many many words!

This book, which is in French, is called "Le diable au corps", which I take to mean "The devil in the body" or perhaps "The devil in the corps" (Marine Corps, that sort of thing). It is by Raymond Radiguet, and it is a roman, which I remember is French for "novel". The back of the book says that Raymond Radiguet est l'auteur de deux romans (two novels): this one here (qui connut un succèss considérable), and also Le bal du comte d'Orgel (which perhaps didn't connut so much succèss, since the book doesn't say).

I liked the first sentence of the blurb about the book itself on the back, because I could mostly make sense of it, and it sounded plausible.

Ah! que la guerre est jolie quand on a 15 ans et que l'on aime !

which I take to mean more or less

Ah, how pretty war is when you're fifteen years old, and in love!

or perhaps

Ah, how pretty war is when you're fifteen years old, and someone loves you!

or possibly even

Ah, how pretty war is when you're fifteen years old, and how you love it!

hm or come to think of it...

Ah, how pretty war is when you're fifteen years old, and how it loves you!

which choice of translations gives you a reasonable idea of my abilities in French.

I've read about half a page of the book so far, and I am enjoying it very much. Here is my current couple of paragraphs; they are lovely!

Je n'ai jamais été un rêveur. Ce qui semble rêve au autres, plus crédule, me paraissait à moi aussi réel que le fromage au chat, malgré la cloche de verre. Pourtant la cloche existe.

La cloche se cassant, le chat en profite, même si ce sont ses maîtres qui la cassent et s'y coupent les mains.

Isn't that great? Currently I'm reading it as something like:

I have never been a dreamer. What seems dreamlike to others, more credulous, seems to me as real as cat-cheese, or a bag of water. Because the bag exists.

The bag closes, the cat profits, whether or not their masters close them, or clap their hands.

Cat-cheese or a bag of water!

Of course I somewhat doubt that that's what it actually says; but the experience of reading it that way is very enjoyable. It's like being in an odd half-understood waking dream, where the cat profits and its master claps his hands (or perhaps strikes him, or something).

The next paragraph seems to be about how the narrator had a girlfriend called Carmen when he was twelve, which is also promising. No sign of the cat yet...