Johnson Acquitted!

johnsonw.jpg 1868-05-04
As the Chicago Post writes, “The effect of his impeachment and disposal, if secured by partisan effort, would be a graver calamity than any that he can inflict. No man can calculate the consequences of such a blow at the permanence of our institutions.” Blockheads and dunces, corrupt traitors themselves. Like him or not, Johnson was working for Civil Rights. Republicans, feh! Turning on their own man like that. And the Democrats, some of them no better. Eleven trumped-up impeachment charges, most obviously trumped-up I add and without a grain of merit, and the President is acquitted by a Single Vote! What is the World coming to? Now, that said, and my joy at his Acquittal tempered by the close vote – may this great Country never again be subjected to such a divisive and scandalous affair, I must remark here – in case anyone is actually reading my Ejaculations of Wit and Wisdom – that this Activity, hacking away at the Typewriting-Machine-Attachment of my Charles Babbage Difference Engine – is gradually losing its warm Glow, as it were, and I may be going on a Haitus of several weeks. Until then.

Dangers of Matrimony

Upon the Conclusion of the more genteel Aspects of my wife’s cousin’s Wedding Reception, I sent lovely Alpha on home by Carriage and remained behind for some time, enjoying the rare Company of old Friends, among them Nicotine and Beer. Later in the Night, finding myself the final Guest I was perforce required by good Manners to proceed on home myself, and took the Opportunity to acquaint myself more closely with my newest Plaything, a Velocipede.
Accompanied by much Laughter and Merriment, several Men of my Acquaintance steadied the Contraption while I (unsteadily enough, by my own admission) climbed “on board”. They gave me a sturdy push and off I went, speeding daringly into the darkness with their Cheers and laughter echoing in the background! My Progress continued in a satisfactory Manner until I reached a sharp bend in the Path that ran alongside the Creek, at which point my skills at piloting the Velocipede proved inferior to the forces of Momentum and I and Velocipede both failed to negotiate the sharp left turn and continued in a straight Line down the bank of the Creek and into the water, which was of a temperature cold enough to be bracing and sobering, while not so cold (or, praise be to the Powers of Heaven and Nature, whichever is in Charge, deep) as to cause my Demise. The Velocipede incurred significantly more Damage in the Adventure than did I, and I was able (and required) to push the Vehicle the rest of the way, a Distance of several Miles, with its bent Wheel squeaking in protest the entire remainder of my Journey.

My Porridge was Cold this Morning

Several large Crates arrived by Carriage yesterday and upon Unpacking, once the Movers and Bearers and Coachmen had exited the Premises was pleased to discover that the Babbage Difference Engine yrs truly had ordered so long ago as to nearly have forgotten the original Motivation upon its eventual Arrival, financed with the proceeds of the inheritance from dear departed Uncle D., God rest his Soul. The Charles Babbage Difference Engine is a deceptively simple Construction, although my initial Attempts at Configuration revealed that the Simplicity was more one of Appearance than initial Function, however upon the return of the Messenger whom I had dispatched to the Babbage Corporation for additional Configuration Instructions, Descriptions and Details, I was informed in part and in part deduced myself the necessity of filing the edges of two square framing plates, three holes drilled in the upper square framing plate for the Alarm Axis, three holes drilled and tapped for receiving the Screws which fix one end of the Spring Case of the Alarm Axis, four holes drilled and tapped for receiving the Screws which fix the Bridge to it, six holes drilled and tapped for receiving the Screws which fix the figure Rings to it an oblong hole made for the Screw to go through which fixes it to the upper intermediate framing plate, three holes drilled and tapped for the Screws for fixing the alarm Bells, a hole bored in each of the upper and lower square framing plates for the ends of the Pillar of the intermediate frame to turn in, the following holes bored in the lower square framing plate, one for the Socket of one of the figure Wheels to go in, one for the bolting Arms to go in, one and tapped for the Stud of the Roller Levers, and the Steel Stud turned Screwed and fitted to the hole, one for the stud which is fixed to one end of the Spring Case for a bolting Lever, and the Gun Metal Stud turned and fitted to it, and one tapped for the Screw to go in which holds one end of the bottom intermediate framing plate. Doh!

Be that as it may, God willing and in due Time the Babbage Difference Engine was functioning to my Satisfaction, whereupon the great Necessity of storing the Results of the Engine’s Calculations dawned upon me and I hastily devised a system of thin wooden slats with a series of Holes drilled into them in a particular Order, which I find functionable. At this point, having connected the engine to a small modern Steam Engine hardly larger than the Carriage House and to a new writing Machine called by the makers a “Type-Writer” which is itself a slender construction which closely resembles nothing more than the bastard Offspring of a Piano and a Kitchen Table. Hah!

It became necessary at this Point to retire to the Kitchen where I discovered much to my Dismay that the Porridge had grown cold and one of the Housecats, being unable to exit the premises of the Kitchen in a timely Fashion, had purged the contents of its Bowels before the Door through which I had just entered, and that I had, unbeknownst to myself, trod in the mess. A brief glance at my modern Vestpocket-Watch revealed to me that it was, at this point, only 10 AM and I realized that a long and trying Day lay before me.