Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An integrated shackle for the tack

I've always loved the idea of a gooseneck holder. It's one of those things that sound much more interesting that you think. I know now, whereas I didn't once upon a time, that it's a piece of equipment musicians use, but before I knew this I imagined all sorts of possibilities, not the least of which was literally holding onto a goose by its neck in some sort of prefabricated holder. 

I suspect this isn't as easy as it sounds, however effective the holder is. Geese aren't by nature the most amiable of creatures, and even if you managed to catch one in the aforesaid holder, it's likely its mates would be onto you in a flash, pecking away at whatever body part they could aim most directly for. 

The holding of the holder might be short-lived in such a case. 

Courtesy: Joel Bradshaw
Goosenecks don't just appear on geese, of course. Nor is it only musicians who deal with them. A gooseneck appears on a sailing boat and is, according to Wikipedia, the swivel connection on a sailboat by which the boom attaches to the mast. The boom moves from side to side and up and down by swivelling on the gooseneck. 

This gooseneck may be a two-axis swivel, in fact, with an integrated shackle for the tack. These are common. Something about the first sentence in this paragraph strikes me as having a poetic shape:

This gooseneck may be a 
two-axis swivel, with an 
integrated shackle for the tack. 

Don't you love that last line: an integrated shackle for the tack. I have no idea what it means, but no doubt Wikipedia would inform me if I was a mind to find out. Here's another version of the verse:

A two-axis swivelling gooseneck
has 
an integrated shackle for the tack. 

Getting better all the time. It just goes to show you where a bit of creative meandering on a topic will lead you...



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