Morbid Curiosity's Journal|
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|Thursday, April 17th, 2014|
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|
|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|
|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|
For some reason, everyone's names on my friends list just turned green. What gives?
|Saturday, October 26th, 2013|
"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|
|Apologies to... well, everyone, really.
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|
|Wednesday, March 20th, 2013|
|Saturday, March 16th, 2013|
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 http://www.facebook.com/jordanreynemusic 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
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
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|
|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|
|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:
: god of morose status updates and posting youtube clips of indie bandsLagzarus
: god of slow internet connections and frozen browsersCtHulu
: god of video clips that aren't available in your regionLOdin
: god of "Your page will load in 5...4...3...2...1..."Anoobis
: patron saint of first timers in video gamesHefightsus
: master of the flamewar and forging sockpuppets (but still lame)H4xi|op0ch+li
: god of zero-day warezCodeNaN
: 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 portsC:RunOS
: guardian of the ancient ways, and leader of the Wildcard HuntMemeir
: 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|
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|
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: http://silverback2001.livejournal.com/99029.html
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|
|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|
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 Current Mood: silly
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.
|Saturday, July 28th, 2012|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Wednesday, February 8th, 2012|
|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.