Spam (madbodger) wrote,
Spam
madbodger

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Bollards

A long time ago, when orkney and I were working at the University of Maryland, we got a notice that Azalea Lane would be closed for the installation of bollards. This rather mystified us, as we didn't know what bollards were. I asked my dad, who explained that they're specially tapered poles for boats to tether to in locks, the taper allowing the rope to slide up and down as needed. Informative, but unlikely. The dictionary wasn't a huge help either, but we were left with the impression that it was a post of some kind. Sure enough, a row of creosoted posts appeared along Azalea Lane over the next couple of days.

But we were quite taken with the term. Bollard. Bollard. Sort of reminds one of the famous Commander Bullard, of science fiction fame. I eventually wrote a video game called Bollards, which involved navigating an increasingly long ship through an increasingly crowded harbour, sucking up oil drums. Bollards eventually became part of our family lore, prompting blueeowyn to refer to the raised circular bumps sometimes used for pavement marking as "bollard eggs".

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I found a group of bollards in jail.
bollards against bars
Here they are, crowded up against the bars.
long shot
Here's another shot, showing a few dejected ones in back lying down.

Then, with bollards again on my mind, I noticed the term in use on an episode of Butterflies (Yes! A decent pressing of Butterflies episodes 1-6 is available!), except apparently the British pronunciation has the accent on the 2nd syllable: bollARD.

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  • 32 comments

  • Turntable reminiscences

    My first record player was a cheap red and white plastic affair with which I could play my stack of bright yellow 78s. It was the kind that had a…

  • Fixing a Kodak Carousel slide projector

    I was going through old family slides with the old family slide projector and noticed the focus motor was running continuously. I did some quick…

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    One day, fizzgig and I were shopping at a knickknack store and found chromed resin casts of old cameræ. We remarked how they would fit our…