July Pieces Of My Mind #1

Gift from the sea.
  • I just refrained from making an obvious lewd pun about a co-worker’s significant other. (An old buddy commented on Fb, “Who are you and what have you done with the real Martin?”)
  • Movie: Stardust (2007). Rom-com in fairytale land, aimed squarely at fans of The Princess Bride. Grade: Good fun!
  • In her 1976 poetry chapbook Walking in Cornwall, Ursula LeGuin mistakes a 1798 park folly for an oddly small Medieval castle. (Present from Birger!)
  • The music producer Mark “Flood” Ellis, who re-mixed lots of Depeche Mode songs in the 80s, got his nickname as a young studio assistant because he always made lots of tea fast for his boss. The other studio assistant was called Drought.
  • The Italian word for development, which shares the etymology of the English word, is sviluppo. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
  • As an archaeologist I don’t think in terms of art or treasure. In fact it causes my discipline major problems that other people do, because it tends to destroy archaeological context.
  • Playing soccer against people from a country with no horizontal ground just isn’t fair.
  • I keep and use found cutlery.
  • Got into an exchange about Indiana Jones and such. Several seriously worded post-colonialist comments. Realised that it’s not that I don’t agree with them, it’s that as a Swedish archaeologist working in agricultural non-Saami Sweden I just don’t give a damn.
  • Evening quiet broken by loud incessant whooshing noise. Turns out to be the cars on the nearby 60 kph road. Lots of people still driving at 22:40. *sigh*
  • I’ll remember 2018 as a varied professional year. I’ve made maps for a historical corpus project, I’ve taught high school languages, I’m currently coordinating vote canvassing, and now I’ve been offered a job in heritage management for the final months of the year. While I’ve been doing all this I’ve also been the managing editor of an academic journal. Not a one-trick pony!
  • Swedish pizza cooks are almost all male.
  • Executive producer: Philip Capice.
  • Taught wife & daughter to set fire to shit using a magnifying glass. Literally: a bird dropping full of sunflower seeds.
  • Got a comment here on the blog from someone with good self-confidence. “You have an interesting blog as I will stay connected.”
  • According to Junior, the Japanese voice in the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast jingle says “自動でお風呂を沸かします”, “Jidō de ofuro o wakashimasu”, “Heating the bath automatically”.
  • The Medieval Swedish word for the first light breach-loading artillery pieces was føglare. This was a loan from Low German and originally meant “fucker” — slang, the etymology being “birder, birding, to bird”.
Anybody played this boardgame? Is it fun?
Canoeing with the Rundkvist ladies.

Author: Martin R

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

250 thoughts on “July Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. Salutary lesson: a few days ago I noticed that the screen of my iPhone was starting to lift up away from the body of the phone on one side, exposing the innards; not a good look. It’s a 7 series, about 3+ years old; the current series is the 8 series and (for me) no practical advance on my current phone, and I really didn’t feel like having to buy a new phone and go through the business of transferring everything.

    So, a couple of days ago, when my wife was going into town, I asked her if she would be so kind as to take my phone to the Apple Shop to ask them if they could fix it. So she did that, and the tech guy in the Apple Shop quoted her HK$2,680 to fix it (close to half the price for a new phone).

    She instantly exited the Apple Shop and went to a guy who has his own little shop repairing phones – not just iPhones, any phones. He took off the screen, and found that the reason the screen was lifting was because the ageing battery was starting to swell up and push the screen outwards. So he replaced the battery with a new one, fitted the screen back into place, and charged my wife HK$280. So now my phone is in perfect shape again, working perfectly. I’m not very impressed with the life of the old battery – evidently I am expected to replace my phone every time a new model comes out, something I refuse to do if there are no compelling reasons for doing to.

    So, I’m just saying: $280 vs $2,680.

    My only previous experience with that Apple Shop was when my daughter was home on leave from studying in Australia, and her Apple laptop (a MacBook Pro, which is not a cheap machine by any means, and not that old) had a major software problem. So we trekked in to the Apple Shop, queued up for a long time waiting for service, and finally got a tech guy who took the laptop into the back of the store, came back saying he had fixed it, and charged us some substantial amount of money (don’t recall how much, but it was quite a lot). Daughter got the laptop home, started to use it and, no, it wasn’t fixed at all. She had no time left to take the thing back to the shop again, she needed to get back to Oz to start the new semester, and she needed a reliable, functioning laptop, so she commandeered my 3 week old MacBook Air (with my very willing permission, of course), transferred all of her files onto that and took that back.

    I asked her if she wanted me to persevere with trying to get the Apple Shop to get her MacBook Pro working, but she said no, the MacBook Air was fine for what she needed (actually better because it was solid state and a lot lighter to lug around), she had no faith in the Apple Shop tech people that they could fix it, and they would just charge us a lot more money for doing nothing. She’s still using the same machine, along with two others (she now has 3 of them – not sure why she needs 3, but she uses all of them – on the other hand, she did volunteer to give me her Apple desktop when mine showed imminent signs of dying, rather than me having to buy a new one.)

    I don’t know if this is just this particular Apple Shop or if they are all like that but, having had those two experiences with them, I’m not planning on having a third.


  2. Most consumer gadgets are delliberately designed not to last much longer than the warrantry. Secondhand sales do not benefit the manufacturer.
    – – –
    John Landon = Johnny Rotten.
    Add a diggeridoo when you are at it.
    BTW I just learned the guy who was the first to have a diggeridoo in modern music -Harris something- got busted as a sexual predator. He got busted at agera 84, but had been at it since his forties.
    Another sad example of station in life enabling crime.


    1. Entertainingly, the portrait that Rolf Harris painted of the Queen vanished not long after it was first shown publicly, and no one is willing to admit that they know what happened to it. The most popular theory seems to be that the Queen secretly had it destroyed.

      Rolf Harris became known to some of his victims as the Octopus, because his hands went everywhere. Which is mildly amusing because, before he moved to the UK and hit the big time, he was an entertainer on children’s television in Western Australia, and he used to draw a cartoon character called Oliver Polyp the Octopus. Life imitating art, if you could call it that.

      I would be surprised if he only started his offending behaviour in his 40s. Early in his TV career he was around kids a lot.


    2. On the subject of phone batteries, I have now read that when a battery swells like that, it can suddenly burst into flames, so it’s just as well my clever wife got it replaced for me when she did.

      According to what I read, the battery swelling can be caused by dropping the phone or getting it wet. I haven’t done either of those things.


  3. https://abetterscientist.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/my-experience-with-sexism-on-the-academic-job-market/

    ‘When asked about whether the job environment would be good for me, the first reviewer concludes:
    Reviewer A: “I have no information regarding environment, but Dr Pennings hardly needs more stimulation. She needs restraint.” ‘

    I’m getting mental images. I’m mildly surprised that academia is like psychiatric hospitals, and that some female researchers actually need to be placed in restraints.


  4. “Swedish pizza cooks are almost all male”

    Probably in most of the world as well.

    In Sweden, most seem to be of Middle Eastern extraction.

    Typical Swedish pizza: made by these Middle-Eastern men in low-budget diners, is by far the best in the world. And, yes, I have compared it to pizzerias in Italy recommended by Italians.


  5. The Medieval Swedish word for the first light breach-loading artillery pieces was føglare. This was a loan from Low German and originally meant “fucker” — slang, the etymology being “birder, birding, to bird”.

    I know a man who has an organization devoted to the protection of sea birds. He had some T-shirts printed which say “Ich bin gut zu vögeln”.

    Liked by 1 person

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