Morbid Curiosity's Journal
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Morbid Curiosity's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, April 17th, 2014
    9:40 am
    It's that time of year again: traditional bleak song time!

    Generally feeling good, though, despite various challenges in the last year. Lots to do, but I'm doing it.

    Current Mood: Optimistic
    Sunday, February 9th, 2014
    5:18 pm
    In which I go to the movies, for a change.
    I saw The Book Thief the other night. A sad film, and an occasionally intriguing one. Nice to see Studio Babelsberg in the credits, having visited there once in 1994.

    The language use was interesting. A handful of scenes in pure German, with subtitles. Songs in German. The majority of the film in what amounted to 'Allo 'Allo! German: English with a German accent, and commonly understood German words mixed in. Street signs, shops and such all in German, but a diary in English. Narrator and three principal actors from Canada, Australia and England, the rest Germans. So basically, as German as they could get for the average English audience.

    The Parental Guidance rating is certainly appropriate - there's some violent death in it. But I think it's got a few good teaching points, too. For example, understanding why people might join the NSDAP (Nazi Party) even if they hated the ideology, and the risks of standing out or speaking out in an authoritarian regime. Painting war in shades of black and white is deceptively easy to do.
    Sunday, December 8th, 2013
    4:36 pm
    Note to Self
    If you're waiting for someone to get in touch, you think you've arranged for them to contact you, and you still haven't heard from them... just call.

    Sometimes I still suck when it comes to assuming rather than communicating. I may be getting better at taking professional initiative, but I still have gaps in my social initiative and awareness that I will be working to fix.
    Thursday, October 31st, 2013
    4:18 am
    For some reason, everyone's names on my friends list just turned green. What gives?
    Saturday, October 26th, 2013
    1:52 am
    "Alright then, sir, here's your choice: you can have the crap on a stick, or the crap sandwich."

    "Ugh. Neither of those sounds appealing."

    "Well, those are your choices, sir."

    "But I don't like them! I don't want to eat this crap!"

    "You haven't made a choice though, sir! You can't complain if you don't even choose one, sir!"

    "Are you sure you don't have something else? Anything else? Anything at all?"

    "Well, sir. If you really want you can ask for the crappatouille, sir. But hardly anyone else chooses that - we don't even keep it in stock, sir."

    "So no matter what I choose, you're going to give me crap? This is bullshit!"

    "Yes sir. It is bullshit, sir. But unless you choose what kind of bullshit you want, you can't exactly complain about what you get, now can you, sir? We've all got to make our own choice, sir! How else would we fairly decide just which crap to feed you, sir!"

    This post brought to you by the phrase: "If you don't vote, then you can't complain!"
    Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
    4:41 pm
    Apologies to... well, everyone, really.
    Westeros Rhapsody

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in Winterfell
    No escape to the open sea
    Open your eyes
    As winter is coming, see
    I'm just a Greyjoy, I get no sympathy
    Because I'm a captured son, cannot go
    To the Iron Islands, no
    Loyalty to Westeros doesn't really matter to me, to me

    There's more, sorry.Collapse )
    Sunday, September 29th, 2013
    4:35 am
    Spring forward.
    Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
    11:15 pm
    What PTSD is.
    A friend of mine posted this article by Myke Cole on Facebook. An excellent piece, and I'm only 25% of the way through it so far. That's enough for now.

    Talking about my PTSDCollapse )

    PTSD may follow me, but I won't allow it to haunt me.
    Saturday, March 16th, 2013
    6:34 pm
    Needless Alley
    So, I entered a small writing competition that Jordan Reyne held:

    Having had to relocate again, I've been checking out the lay of the land in Birmingham. There are some hilariously named streets in England and “Needless Alley” is one of them.

    After all sorts of random guesses as to why it was so named, someone managed to find out the real story behind it for me. The thing was, the random guesses were more amusing. So, send me your own take on how “needless alley” got it's name (email to [address elided] with “needless alley” in the subject) and the most intriguing tale will get my full discography in digital form, along with a T-shirt and a signed tour poster from the Children of a Factory Nation tour. Answers can be as short as you like, but not over 300 words. Entry is free but you have to “like” my Facebook page at if you haven't already in order to be eligible to win.

    And here's my entry:

    It's old, this alley of ours. Proper old. Back afore they crowned
    monarchs at Westminster, afore Mercia, afore Beorma's time, afore the
    first blood-soaked Roman sandal ever sunk in Albion's mud. It weren't
    always a street, but it were always a Way. To this day, there's always
    a way in Needless Alley.

    Back in the way back when, it were burning they did. In feast and
    festival, prayer and party, all came to burning. The places were dug
    and cut and set and lined, all rocks and charcoal and set upon it all:
    flesh. The brightest of red berries and choicest of herbs to dress
    'em. We'd make marrow broth, and paint ourselves so as they'd remember
    us when the fires cooled, and cast empty bones out to feed the sea.

    Not fires for cooking, no, never for food. At least, not for our food.
    For old days had old gods, and old gods had old tastes, and old tastes
    turn ever to blood. And so there were gifts, raised up to Them in
    smoke. Burning until the stones cracked, till those cracked stones
    piled up into a mound. So that the old powers would slake their
    ancient thirsts, see us go well upon our ways, and not take blood of
    ours instead.

    Over time we got all civilized, and the old ways parted from us, but
    we never stopped our sacrifices. These days, the gods take price in
    sin, in inflamed lust and the other hungers than fire a man's veins.
    Most days. Among the shacks and shanties, They stalk us awhile yet.
    The forgotten ones. Forsaken. The bodies leave, but blood pools into
    the mud.

    For there's a price to be paid on a man's success: most often taken in
    those they need less.

    She seems well-pleased with it, so I'm happy. Her music's available over at Bandcamp if you'd like to check her out.

    Current Mood: accomplished
    Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
    2:55 pm
    This is where my family's story in New Zealand starts.
    In the 1830s, the first of my New Zealand ancestors arrived. William Paine Brown was an apprentice boat builder and ship's carpenter from Kent, who jumped ship off a whaler at Tauranga Bay in the far north. With the help of the local Maori, he and William Gardner made their way to Kororareka (Russell) and served on a Church Mission Society boat for a few years. In 1838 he purchased land at Te Wahapu, an inlet just across the bay from Waitangi.

    1840 was a big year for him. The founding of Gardner and Brown, a pioneering ship-building firm, and being present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. When the Land Wars broke out in 1845, the local Maori tribe with whom he had friendship urged him not to leave, and promised his property would be respected. Out of concern for his family's safety during the conflict, he evacuated to Australia with other settlers and returned home later to find his yard had been plundered and burnt. He rebuilt, and prospered.

    From what's recorded about him and his own personal journals, one can tell that he cared a great deal about his community, both European and Maori. Among other things, he donated time, money, materials and expertise to the erection of a wooden church in Paihia in 1853. His house at Te Wahapu burned to the ground in 1874 and they built a new one over the next three months. He died there in 1896, having lived in the Bay of Islands for over fifty years, and is buried at Paihia. A challenging life, but as best I can tell a good one.

    We've had a pretty checquered history of race relations in this country over the last 180-odd years; better than some, but still more than enough problems. But I can't help that think that, if not for the generosity shown by the Maori people of Northland in aiding a pair of young runaways all those years ago, I might not be here today. I'm thankful for that.

    Happy Waitangi Day.

    Current Mood: contemplative
    Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
    9:36 pm
    Gods of the Internet
    So, my friend Caitlin posted a few of these over on the Book of Face. And then I posted a few more. And eventually we had a fair number of them :-) Here for posterity and without further ado, some of the internet gods:

    Emohtep: god of morose status updates and posting youtube clips of indie bands

    Lagzarus: god of slow internet connections and frozen browsers

    CtHulu: god of video clips that aren't available in your region

    LOdin: god of "Your page will load in 5...4...3...2...1..."

    Anoobis: patron saint of first timers in video games

    Hefightsus: master of the flamewar and forging sockpuppets (but still lame)

    H4xi|op0ch+li: god of zero-day warez

    CodeNaN: barbarian demigod of confusing error messages (he likes to crush programs, see them test-driven before him, and listen to the lamentations of their users)

    Quetzalcoaxial: god of tangled cables and upsidedown USB ports

    C:RunOS: guardian of the ancient ways, and leader of the Wildcard Hunt

    Memeir: God of overused internet memes
    The Well of Memeir remembers, long after the internet has passed them by. For there is a place where hamsters and babies always dance, where we always get signal, where it is always peanut butter jelly time...

    Current Mood: dorky
    Thursday, September 27th, 2012
    12:43 pm
    A stupid thing about LiveJournal: I can't tell from my Friends page when I'm not logged in.
    *scrolls back a bit for locked posts from the people he thought were being a bit quiet of late*
    Monday, August 13th, 2012
    5:28 am
    A signal boost for a friend of snowcoma.

    Even if you can't contribute directly, passing it on could help to get someone out of danger and into a safe place in order to start down the road to recovery.

    My former roommate and dear friend Silv was badly assaulted, and is in need of money to move, as the assailant knows where she lives. She is also unable to work the jobs she had lined up, due to injuries and her trauma/PTSD.

    To help, go here:
    I don't know how to duplicate her PayPal button, but she has one on the entry.

    This is the woman who took me in when I was homeless, people. I vouch for her 100%, and I love her very much.
    Saturday, August 11th, 2012
    12:46 am
    Red Zone Motel
    Waiting for a bus near the Red Zone tonight
    Bathed in the light from motels past their prime
    A recently-razed building over the road
    With the turret of a once-proud villa
    Poking out from the piles of rubble

    I happen to spy a bunch of roving youths on bicycles
    Who tarry awhile, to do tricks off a variety of things
    Around the deserted intersection, before carrying on
    While they don't have mohawks, or spiky shoulder pads,
    It still adds nicely to that post-apocalyptic ambience

    A large engine growls and I'm heading for home
    And thinking about where the heart is

    Someone suggested my night sounded like poetry. So now it is, heh.

    Current Mood: amused
    Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
    7:51 pm
    So, New Zealand has had controversy with PM John Key and the selling off of state assets. Someone on the Facebooks did a "Now you're just some assets that I used to own" macro image, and I ended up writing this for the hell of it:
    You can get addicted to a certain kind of taxes
    Like resignation in the end, always the end
    So when you found that we could not make sense
    Well you made your vote no confidence
    But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

    But you didn't have to boo me down
    Make it like we had no mandate and that we were nothing
    I don't even need your vote
    But you treat me like a banker and it feels so rough

    No, you didn't have to stoop so low
    Have your friends collect their signatures
    And in record numbers
    Guess that I don't need that though
    Now they're just some assets that you used to own.

    Now they're just some assets that you used to own.
    Now they're just some assets that you used to own.

    Current Mood: silly
    Saturday, July 28th, 2012
    2:53 pm
    Pirate physics and collective nouns
    There are several collective nouns (or "isotopes") for pirates, depending on the collection size. These include: lot, band, crew and mutiny.

    It should be noted that a mutiny is an unstable isotope, and is prone to decaying by either emitting one capton or several sub-captonic particles. This takes place in proportion to the mainbrace equilibrium pressure divided by the Plank Constant, partitioned along a plunder-manifold splice in R-space.

    (The search continues for evidence of the Higgs Bosun, still wanted in connection with a very dark matter indeed.)

    [Copied from a Facebook comment, for posterity. See also Zero Point Ninja Energy for earlier ponderings, including inverse ninja power ratios and quantum cowboy collision.]
    Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
    12:20 am
    Made it this far.
    It's been an interesting year. Let's hope the next one is interesting for the right reasons.
    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
    11:29 am
    ATTN: Wellington folks
    Last night I arrived on the train to the bustling metropolis of Wellington. I'm currently somewhere near the university. Does anyone feel like catching up for lunch?
    Friday, February 10th, 2012
    6:41 pm
    Fantastic indeed.
    Once again, porphyre finds us something beautiful.

    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.
    One of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011 in the 84th Academy Awards.

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
    6:29 am
    Going a-travelling once more
    So, prior to getting back into my PhD work in earnest, I'm working on a trip first. Up to Auckland for a Steampunk convention thing on the weekend, then the train down to Wellington to visit friends and family. Staying there a few days, then taking the train down to Christchurch.

    Is there likely to be anything interesting happening in Wellington next week, or anyone who would like to catch up while I'm in the neighbourhood, or possibly lend me a couch/spare bed for a night or two? I think I have some people who I can ask in that regard, but it never hurts to have options in case plans go awry :-)

    Looking forward to the train part of my journey. I haven't really travelled in my own country for a long time, and this is the first time I'll have the chance to see it by locomotive. I'll have to make sure to take spare batteries for my camera, I think.
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