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Showing posts from 2009

Tim Powers' Last Call and Crowley's The Ship

I wrote this a few years back, and realised that I had not blogged it here.

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Review of Tim Powers’ Last Call, with reference to the formula of the Dying God as expressed in The Ship. Joseph Campbell wrote in Hero with a thousand faces that, “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the light to change.” The ancient myths are all around us – we live them daily.The formula of the Dying God has been expressed in many guises (see Liber ABA, part 3, chapter 5) in such myths as those of Osiris, Jonah, Jesus, Adonis, Baldur, etc. I will assume that readers are broadly familiar with the formula. Tim Powers takes Campbell’s words literally, and in Last Call sets the myth of the Dying God in modern day California and Nevada. It is useful, however, to contrast the action in Last Call with that in Crowley’s short play, The Ship. This play expresses in dramatic form …

US-553010 - Tall Corn

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US-553010 - Tall Corn
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
Sent to postcrossing pal in Maryland, US.

On back:
TALL CORN!
Photo by Free Lance Photographers Guild, Inc.
Genuine Natural Color Made by DEXTER PRESS, Inc.

Unsure how old this one is.

Jason Scott sabbatical project

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Jason Scott is the documentarian behind the great BBS documentary.

Old music I desire

I was pleased to note that a google search for Radley Clack (original bassist for VOD) brought a guy to this page. It invoked memories of listening to some really good music in Cape Town when I was around 18-21. The venue of choice at that time was a club called Subjects, which was usually a goth club, but also had heavy metal afternoons every Saturday. They went through many incarnations, and I forget their later names.

The internets has lead me to some wonderful old rare stuff through bittorrent, music blogs, and the like, but I still have not been able to get hold of much from that time period. Damn good stuff it was too. I'm going to list my most desired bands and albums below. Perhaps some other bloke stumbling on this via a google search will be able to give me a lead on where to download or purchase one or more of 'em.

Alternative compilations from the 80s: In From The Cold, Flying Circus I and II.
Prophets of the City (Cape Town hiphop)
Carnage Visors (Cape Town elect…

So you forwarded it to yourselves?

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"...Your application has been forwarded to our HR Department for consideration in our applicant pool. HR will contact you...

Best Regards,

Human Resources Staff..."

Karoo from car 2 (flickr)

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Karoo from car 2
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

Hluhluwe Rhino

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Hluhluwe Rhino 1
Originally uploaded by AlhazredBack in Cape Town after a week visiting my friend Gavin in Richard's Bay. Here's a rhino that I saw a couple of days ago at the Hluhluwe National Game Reserve.

Weekend at Bonnievale

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Asher Cottage 2
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
We spent this weekend at a cottage in the Bonnievale area, along the Breede River. Ah, so relaxed.

Door

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Door
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
A wonderful door in a shop near the Woodstock organic market. Which is a cool place in itself. We bought a few toothsome things, including lamb, tomatoes, eggs, spices.

Yzerfontein Beach

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Yzerfontein
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

Bart statue, downtown Cape Town

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Bart statue
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

Rogue Taps

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Rogue Taps
Originally uploaded by AlhazredWell, this one is obviously not from my SA trip - I just felt like blogging it. Pity it isn't a bar in Cape Town - Castle is pretty good, but one craves variation sometimes. (It's from the Rogue Brewery in Newport, OR.)

Another quick photo from Evita se Perron

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Evita
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

Evita's Shoes

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Evita's Shoes
Originally uploaded by AlhazredShould be viewed large so that the text can be read.

Yesterday we went for a driver up the West Coast, getting as far north as Yzerfontein, where we stopped and had tea on the rocks. Nice day, though a bit windy.

On the way back we went through the interior, having a late lunch at Evita's in Darling, from whence this picture came.

Kirstenbosch

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Fynbos1 - Kbosch
Originally uploaded by AlhazredHere is a fine specimen of Phylica ericoides. Yes, we spent yesterday at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, jewel of Cape Town. With it being the off season, it was not too crowded and I was happy and contented.

Adam and Tahir Levy - District 6 Museum

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Adam and Tahir Levy - District 6 Museum
Originally uploaded by AlhazredYesterday's itinerary was visiting the Rasta guys on Long Street for more Buchu, and a couple of museums. This one is from the District 6 Museum, and shows Adam and Tahir Levy posing for the camera. He was an animated chap, full of opinion and anecdote.

We also visited the Michaelis Collection, which was enjoyable as always.

Rocky Beach and Table Mountain

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Rocky Beach and Table Mountain
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
A couple of ciders followed today's long walk down the beach.

I have a legal South African driver's license again. Sweet.

Sea Critters and UCT

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The sea threw up a bunch of critters that one does not usually see on the beach. This morning Kirsten and I took a walk thereon, and I snapped a few photos.

The most common critters were of orange sea cucumber looking chaps. Perhaps someone could let me know what they really are?



This is just kelp. It isn't uncommon, obviously, I just liked the way the photo turned out.



Yesterday Adam and I went to UCT, and it brought back many memories. Not least of which how I used to have to climb all those bloody steps every day. The campus didn't seem to have changed much.

Choppy Waves

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Choppy Waves
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
It was rainy and windy with gale force winds yesterday. Adam and I took a walk along the beach for the hell of it, and I got a few photos and video of the choppy waves. The Cape of Storms it was indeed yesterday.

On the way back I slipped and twisted my ankle, which is rather a bummer.

Catching up

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One of the advantages of a blog post every day is that, although it may not have popular appeal, it serves as a diary, a reference. Of course one must remember to back up one's work. After all, blogger may go tits up one day, and you don't want all your data disappearing into the void.

It's a bloody awful winter's day here in Cape Town. Very rainy, with gale force winds. Not good for exploration, but good for sitting in ye olde Karma Cafe and catching up on one's blog. So this is a catch up entry, with the intention (ha!) that I will be updating more frequently in future.

Most frequent activity: walking along the beach.
We were lucky enough to get a holiday flat (called Sea Spray, for anyone interesting in renting it in the future) which is about 50 metres or so from the sea. So much time has been spent walking along the beach. I don't think of I could ever get tired of the iconic view of Table Mountain from Blaauwberg beach.
When I feel up to it I walk for about a…

Birdie

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Birdie 3
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

Birdie 2

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Birdie 2
Originally uploaded by Alhazred

June 10 2009

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Rather a lazy day today. A long walk down the beach was my main exercise. Bloody glorious weather.
Hey, a brief post is better than nothing...

SA vacation 2009 - first post

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First post of my South Africa vacation 2009 travelogue. A summary of the last few days in brief.

Sunday 05/31 - We left home remarkably early, getting it all together by around 11 AM. A hearty breakfast at the Horsebrass followed, and then good ole I5 North. A hard slog of a drive, and we made it to Port Townsend by mid afternoon.

Monday 06/01 - A wonderful visit with Kirsten's family, including Friday the puppy. A nice relaxing time. Too full of my usual travel worry to sleep too well.

Tuesday 06/02 - Up at the crack of bloody dawn. Or even before - 04:45. Our destination is the Mt. Vernon Amtrak station, where we will catch the train to Vancouver.
The first part of the trip is a ferry to Whidbey Island, which I love. I find ferries such fun. Made the rest of the trip smoothly, and the train ride to Vancouver was just fine.
After being grilled by Canadian customs for quite a while (I know you were just doing your job, chief, but you were a bit of a wanker), we were met by my old frien…

Black Magic, aka Meeting at Midnight (1944)

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Black Magic is a 1944 Charlie Chan movie. It is rather unremarkable, except for the appearance of Frances Chan, who played Charlie's daughter of the same name. She gives a fun and charming performance, and it is a pity that she seems to have appeared in so few films. (IMDB lists only six.)Since there seem to be very few screen shots of this movie on ye olde internets, a few appear below.





































































We'll get right on that

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A couple of scans

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Got these with a lot of old postcards. Loose leaf paper.

Mildly funny twitter search result

I have an RSS feed set up to catch tweets that reference the company at which I work, Con-way. Thought this result was funny: Also, will not be walking for coffee anytime soon. Mr. Creepy ex-con, way to ruin my lunchbreak. Much hatred & revulsion, Reggie

New Music Media (MOMA) - postcrossing

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Sent by a postcrossing chum.
On back:
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019
www.moma.org
Shin Matsunaga. Japanese, born 1940. New Music Media, 1977. Offset lithograph, 40½ x 28 5/8". The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer through the The U.S. Art Directors Club, New York. © Shin Matsunaga

Scott A

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Scott A
Originally uploaded by Alhazred
Didn't turn out too badly.

Why I like Creative Commons

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Integratron
Originally uploaded by AlhazredMental Floss blog used this photo of The Integratron here. It's the first time a big blog has used one of my photos, and I'm quite chuffed.

Beefeaters

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This old postcard postmarked 1986.

Lean IT - use (or lack thereof) of 5S

The following should be taken merely as musing, rather than the thoughtful exploration that this subject deserves.

Lean, as I understand it, developed in a warehouse \ manufacturing environment in order to facilitate production flow. In such an environment, 5S makes obvious sense. A physical workplace that is logically ordered, clean, and safe greatly enhances workflow, as well as being pleasant on the eye.

When I was receiving basic training in Lean, we learned about 5S in the context of 'Lean Office'. Here too 5S makes a great deal of obvious sense. When much of one's workflow involves paper (e.g. forms, bills, files, etc), there is much benefit to the order than 5S provides.

However, when we consider "Lean IT", it is my feeling that 5S is much less useful. (Note, not useless, just not nearly as useful as in other environments.) As an IT worker, 99% of my work is done at a computer. And, of course, most of the data with which I deal is only accessible via computer…

Wheatland Ferry

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Oregon Ferry 1
Originally uploaded by AlhazredThe Wheatland Ferry, Oregon.

Sunday 02/01/2009 - delicious links for the week

Pages that I bookmarked this week:
Download Office 2003 Service Pack 3.
Boring stuff. For work.Interesting conspiracy rantings from one Sapphire.
JFK assassination, Gary Condit, etc etc.Questionable Content merchadise.Wondermark merchandise.An OSHA report from last year regarding a forklift accident and death at Con-way's Manchester, NH facility. Old, but new to me.The Buffalo Beast's 50 most loathsome people of 2008. Much is spot on.Scienceblog reports on findings that adolescents with less popular names are more likely to do crimes. Huh.From the BBC, an East German apartment that seems to have stayed untouched since before 1989.
An architect who renovates buildings in eastern Germany unlocked the door last week and was shocked to find himself in a veritable East German time warp.
It appears the inhabitant of the humble flat fled in a hurry and shrivelled bread rolls still lay in a string bag.
Grocery brands from the Socialist state filled the kitchen.Loren Coleman ponders Heath Le…

Farsund

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This already used postcard from 1981. As usual, personal names blurred.

On back:
F-9904-1
Norway
Farsund. Utsikt mot byen med broen over Nordsundet.
View of the town.

Sunday 25/01/2009 - Bookmarked this week

On Delicious.The Romani linguistics page at the University of Manchester.
Includes dialect database page, resources, etc.The Mystery of the Green Menace, from Wired online.
Ted Breaux and his quest to distill absinthe as it was done originally.Jason Scott talks about archiving some more. I bookmarked it for the wget switches he was using.Court restores murder conviction of man in Marin Pendragon cult.
First time that I've heard of this new religious movement. Seems like an interesting one, though:
The Pendragon cult sought a paramilitary takeover of Marin County and creation of a modern-day Camelot with Richards as King Arthur and his teenage workers as knights, according to court rulings.
FreeBSD bittorrent tracker
Torrents of released ISO images.

Picturesque Midland

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Picturesque MidlandOn back: Midland, Michigan - This view shows the picturesque river area in downtown Midland. Photo by John Penrod.
(Postcard was mailed in July 1984.)