May Pieces Of My Mind #1

  • After some instruction I’ve given Jrette & buddy free range with the little row/motorboat. They’re having lots of fun, learning lots and are clearly pleased with themselves.
  • Eider males swimming around in a little posse going “woo-OOO, woo-OOO”.
  • The villain in the endless Neal Stephenson novel I’m reading is named Abdallah Jones. This causes the Counting Crows song “Mr. Jones” to play on repeat in my head.
  • Jrette and her buddy are filling out a questionnaire about bullying for a Master student. Jrette keeps saying stuff like “but that’s a different category” and “proofing error”. Buddy, who is a bright kid, either just grunts or expresses incomprehension. YuSie, we have spawned a monster.
  • Here’s something to give you overseas colleagues an idea of what the labour market in Scandy academic archaeology is like. A one-year temp lectureship in a small college town in a sparsely populated province has attracted applications from ten PhDs aged 39 to 56. Including me.
  • Many people don’t know that Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” isn’t actually about a person, but about Geezer Butler’s love of a cup of strong Assam tea. Sweet leaf — get it? Music industry lore recounts that during the entire recording of Master of Reality, the band was constantly drinking cup after cup of brew, enjoying its invigorating effect, going through boxes and boxes of sugar cubes in the process.
  • Local paper teaches me about ghost nets: fishing nets that are lost or abandoned yet continue fishing. When full of dead fish they sink to the bottom. Once the fish have rotted away, the net rises again and the cycle repeats itself.
  • “Her biographer even hints that the Countess committed fornyrđislag with her niece.”
  • Movie: Samba. Volunteer case workers get romantically involved with illegal immigrants. Grade: pass.
  • Dammit, the Chinese have filled our fridge and freezer with weird-ass Santa-red dried styrofoam dates that you’re supposed to put in your tea. They’re out to get me!
  • Kitchen and dining room are a construction site. Living room is a disorganised storage space for the contents of the aforementioned two. I find myself surprised that the bathrooms and bedrooms are unchanged and fully functional.
  • Funny and rather common error in native spoken English: the double “is”. “The problem is, is that …”
  • Reading in wide-eyed horror the new book about manic-depressive mythomaniac and cleptomaniac Ragnar Engeström’s 15 years as unofficial vice director of the Visby excavation unit.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

12 thoughts on “May Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. The photo looks like a doomed attempt to emulate the AI-controlled toaster in “Red Dwarf”. BTW who wants a talking toaster, anyway? It would be like those talking doors Zaphod Breeblebox hated.

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  2. It’s most interesting about the double “is” that it’s a very recent development: less than 15 years old, I think.

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  3. These days they design munitions to deactivate after a certain period of time. I wonder if they could do the same with fishing nets, such as giving them floats which decay or lose their buoyancy if they are not regularly removed from the water and dried. Overfishing seems to be one of the problems which has ecologists weeping and tearing their hair out and muttering “this is bad, this is really bad.”

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  4. “A one-year temp lectureship in a small college town in a sparsely populated province has attracted applications from ten PhDs aged 39 to 56. Including me.”
    Luxury! Speleologists (cave researchers) have it even worse. They are like those “actors” in Hollywood who make a living as waters or cab drivers.

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  5. Movie recommendation: the 2015 British film “Ex Machina” – highly critically acclaimed, and deservedly so imho.

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  6. But a serious tip – if you look it up on Wikipedia, do not read the plot before watching the film – it will totally spoil it for you.

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  7. “Sweet leaf” is about tea? Right…

    “According to lead singer Ozzy Osbourne’s 2010 autobiography I Am Ozzy,:
    Geezer wrote ‘Sweet Leaf’ about all the dope we’d been smoking”
    (from Genius.com)

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  8. Well, Paul Simon did claim, in “A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission”, “I smoke a pint of tea a day.” But I suspect he was referring to something a bit more psychoactive. The narrator of “Late in the Evening” “went outside to smoke myself a jay”, and Simon’s old singing partner Art Garfunkel has been arrested at least twice for using marijuana. I don’t know if they used anything harder, but other musicians from the 1960s and 1970s certainly did, and some of them died because of it.

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