October Pieces Of My Mind #1

  • Between them, the players in my role-playing group happily spent build points on every investigative skill available to them except Flirting. Nobody wanted to be able to do that.
  • I love Eurythmics’ 1983 album Touch. But I’ve never realised how extremely odd the synth-calypso tune “Right By Your Side” is, particularly in this collection. It’s even got fake steel drums.
  • Gwen Stefani takes literary sides: ”Few times I’ve been around that track / So it’s not just gonna happen like that / ‘Cause I ain’t no Houellebecq girl / I ain’t no Houellebecq girl”
  • Lois McMaster Bujold’s novels and stories of the planet Barrayar are Ruritanian romances with space ships and disruptor guns. Don’t know why it took me so long to recognise it. Barrayar could easily be a country in the Balkans c. 1910.
  • I’ve published a little fiction and poetry in my time. The other day I was thinking to myself, why don’t I do that more? The answer, I realised, is that nobody including myself really wants it much. Real artists speak of the creative compulsion. What little I have of that is amply satisfied by my blog and other non-fic writing in and out of popular outreach. And there is no money in poetry or fiction.
  • When I post pics of finds I can’t classify online I get few answers. This annoys me because I need help. But it also pleases me because it means I kind of know my shit.
  • RPG realisation: a dungeon is the original railroad scenario. Narrative constrained by walls of stone.
  • Movie: Pirate Radio / The Boat That Rocked (2009). The government tries to shut down a 60s music radio station broadcasting from international waters. A strong cast cannot help the fact that the tone is all wrong in this cringy comedy. Grade: Fail.
  • Damn enviro friendly dishwasher tablets: completely ineffectual against avocado on cutlery.
  • When you hide an ad, Facebook asks why — multiple choice. Every time, I miss the alternative “This insults my intelligence”. I just hid an ad for camping beds where a model was reclining on one of these, contorted in such a position that you could see both her heavily made-up face and her ass.
  • One oddity in the movie Pirate Radio: it’s set in about 1967, but there are already grizzled old hippies obsessed with the Grateful Dead.
  • My most common typo in English must be “donät” for “don’t”. I should put that on the autocorrect list in LibreOffice.
  • Super proud of YuSie who works her tush off as a member of the municipal council and as one of the main drivers of her Teach Immigrant Ladies To Swim organisation. ❤
  • Re-sampled the horse bones found 3.5 m under the surface of the Aska platform mound in 1985-86 for a renewed radiocarbon analysis. Palaeobotanist Jens Heimdahl has identified charred grain from the last use phase of the building on the platform. Should make for a nice dating model.
  • I have a built-in computer clipboard. When I need to remember a number or short phrase briefly, I say it out loud and it gets copied into the part of my memory where I keep the last thing I heard someone say. Much more exact than quiet memorisation.
  • Don’t like the expression “also not”. Also implies a positive. It’s “not either”.
  • It’s a shame that the target audience for puns in Latin + Mandarin is so small. Or you could say that Pu Er tea is mainly for boys, and everybody would laugh like crazy!
  • Yay, my paper on Roman Period snake-head rings has been accepted with minor revisions by Praehistorische Zeitschrift!


Author: Martin R

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

13 thoughts on “October Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. In the US, they call them Graustarkian. As the colonial powers explored and cataloged more and more of the earth, it got harder and harder to find a place to set a good fantasy adventure. By the early 20th century, one hot spot was “Middle Europe”, Graustark or Ruritania. It’s like the Kabalic mystery of where god created the universe if god was originally everywhere. (Search for tzimtzum if you are curious.) By mid-century, the real adventures were in “outer space”, often involving other planets in the solar system, but various space probes have made that less and less tenable. The big breakthrough in Star Wars was in opening more distant and fantastic realms of outer space for romantic fiction.

    There actually were grizzled hippies obsessed with the Grateful Dead back in the mid-1960s, but they weren’t all that old. They just looked old. The hippie lifestyle was rather wearing.

    Teaching immigrants how to swim is a great idea. There was a water park in New Jersey, Action Park, that was infamous for being incredibly dangerous. It was one of the first water parks and had all sorts of features that no one would even consider nowadays. There was even a loop the loop water slide that people got stuck in. A lot of the visitors were immigrants who couldn’t swim, so when a big wave struck, people drowned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “And there is no money in poetry or fiction.”

    Well, the Nobel Prize in Literature is more money than I’ve ever had at one time. 🙂

    Also, the most successful writers financially write fiction. By the way, I just noticed that Follett has a prequel to his other three Kingsbridge novels.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Are you left-handed?

        I ask because another person I know who writes smileys like you do is also left-handed. But they don’t get automatically converted. 😉

        At least 3/8 of my girlfriends (maybe as many as 7/8) are lef-handed, and 3/4 of those whom I have lived with.

        That is statistitically significant. I don’t know whether it otherwise is.

        About 10 per cent of people are left-handed.

        “Yeah, I can go to my right and my left. That’s because I’m amphibious.”

        —Basketball player Chris Washburn [commenting on his ability to drive to the basket]

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nope, right-handed. I guess one reason for my odd smilies is that I started using them on landline BBS:es a long time ago when they may have been less standardised than now.


  4. Does someone count as a girlfriend if you don’t know which her dominant hand is? It’s something that is very noticeable even with casual acquaintances.


    1. “Does someone count as a girlfriend if you don’t know which her dominant hand is?”

      Depends on the definition, of course. Those for whom I don’t remember are also those I didn’t live together with. Also, in the old days left-handed people were also taught to write with their right and so on.


      1. “Personally, I consider everyone my girlfriend once I know if they’re right-handed or left-handed.”

        Presumably that depends strongly on the activity by which you noticed their handedness. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Failing anything else, tennis is always a real give-away, unless your name is Rafael Nadal, but he’s a guy.


  5. I had a girlfriend from Glasgow once (right handed), and she was really down on Annie Lennox. She absolutely hated her. I couldn’t find out why, because when I asked her I just got a stream of expletives about her. And trust me, no one can do a stream of expletives quite like a girl from Glasgow.

    Liked by 1 person

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