FEBRUARY 4 2011: Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. Eliza Tabor.


JAMIESONS 26 JAN 2008 004

foto – the concrete water tank at bilambil cottage 2007

GEM COLLECTION TOPIC : Disappointment .

MAX BARRY TECHNIQUE NO 7 :  The Intoxicant.

Intoxicant eh ? For me that looks like being the Coffee. Max Barry suggests several intoxicants. He has a sense of humour which I enjoy. For me on a hot summer morning, the coffee will be intoxicating enough.

In fact, its too hot for a very light coffee drinker like me. This technique goes in with the coffee shop one. Next round, hopefully, I will do better. I shall use the HEAT as my intoxicant this time. Pure and Simple heat. Izzy is home as well so that alters the writing dynamic. Two people at a table after a sleepless night due to heat and anxiety. I am, as a general thing, a sound sleeper. Don’t often toss and turn but I did last night and eventually pulled a thin mattress out into the living room near the big screen doors and was fortunate enough to see the morning star rising and dream of mountains and trucks.

Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. Eliza Tabor.

I suspect that I don’t have a noble soul. Disappointment seems to bow me down and grind me down and on occasions brings out the villain and the sinister in me. Ignoble rather than sinister.

What happens to burning metal when it encounters cold water. Does it set in the shape it is at the time the cold water hits it ? Is it therefore distorted and strongly set in that altered shape, the one it was at the time of cold water hitting ?


Hot metal and cold liquid?

what would happen if you put a piece of hot metal into a cold liquid?
(other than the liquid warming up)
what would happen to the metal?
why does the temperature of the liquid change?

This process, for long used in making swords, is known as quenching. The metal is heated up above a certain temperature and when cooled rapidly creates a non-equilibrium crystalline structure often with better properties – in terms of hardness, than that of a metal if left to cool slowly, due to the rapid formation of often small crystalline regions. According to some steel sword makers, better performance is often seen if goat urine is used instead of water, as due to the rate at which heat is conducted from the surface of the metal to the water thereby determining the cooling rate of the metal and the correct type of crystallization occurring in the steel.


The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You Don’t Fall through the Floor (Princeton Science Library)

Seems to me that the most interesting part of this QUENCHING process is the possibility of using Goat’s urine. I wonder how I would gather the Goat’s urine. I have horses and other animals here and they seem pretty random about where they choose to urinate. Goats are most likely similar in their urinating habits.


Right then, seems to me that the QUENCHING, the disappointment could break one or if used wisely can ‘distort’ or slightly bend into a different, stronger, more useful shape. Like a Japanese sword.

I can’t come out of the disappointment of life in the same shape or condition as I go into them. I can crack. I can become twisted, hard and reduced in usefulness – OR I can be expertly Quenched, by Life, by Teachers and by Self into a fine curved blade.