Awry, Amiss, Amok


I've been vaguely thinking about getting into some audio electronics work, maybe let my feet do the walking and my hands do the shaking at a few local music stores to see if they have a couple hours a week for me. If anyone has any contacts with Sweet Hookups, I'd be much abliged.


Richard D. Bartlett – "Well in other news, I had a Big Thought (the start of one); maybe you'd like to ponder it… it's one of those things you might like to ponder."
Aaron J. Stewart – "Indubitably".
RDB – "Okay, creation vs. evolution right (and anything else on that spectrum) - neither of these theories shed any light on what happened the day before day zero … because we can't shed light on it because it is so far outside of our experience and capability. So what's the argument about? Who cares if we came from the breath of God or from monkeys? The journey seems to be almost entirely irrelevant, its the departure point that matters. (I’m not communicating very well I'm afraid.)"
AJS – "People see different departure points as a consequence of taking different journeys, i.e., the story you tell matters to the outcome and the way people live it."
RDB – "Well take the evolution point of view: before the big bang (etc) there was... nothing really... hard to say… or the creation point of view: before creation there was... something to do with God but nothing really... hard to say."
AJS – "Yeah but history – i.e. the bit we can tell - is a story, and people live stories."
RDB – "what I'm getting at is that when it comes down to it, there is some time in our past that we absolutely cannot fathom, regardless of how you look at it. That's why God's God and we are dudes. Which makes the creation story slightly pointless for me. Like, so what? Okay we magicked onto earth. Sweet. Bonus. I don’t see what difference it makes. But what I'm really getting at: when you apply that premise (that there are unfathomable things) to the future... I don’t particularly believe that there is any continuity from this life to the next - purely because it is so far out of our understanding."
AJS – "Afraid I'm not following your jihad… by 'continuity' do you mean 'reducible to consistent explanation?'"
RDB – "Not really, I mean how can the earthly me be punished for earthly sins in hell? Because when the earthly me gets to hell, it will be unrecognizable! Okay, the story goes, if you're good, you die and go to heaven, if you're bad you die and go to hell. But in what sense is that You in heaven the same you on earth?"
AJS – "Ah well you see that problem is solved by the eternal immaterial soul. Big ups for the floaty soul thingy. SOUL, brother, that's your answer... or at least it has been for 2000 years (Greek soul, that is)."
RDB - "Okay so there are some souls in heaven and some in hell. So why should I give two shits if I'm in one or the other? If someone has to go to hell, why not me?"
AJS – "Are you seriously asking? That sounds like an 'uh-oh, he's cracked' question."
RDB – "I've been thinking about this for a while, its not like I woke up a Satanist."
AJS - "Personally I don't believe in hell. I believe that people progressively cease to be human as they draw away from the image of God, and the end-point of that is complete cessation of being."
RDB – "That doesn't sound so bad. There's a line in Jude that says, "for them is reserved the darkness and the blackness forever" (basically). Which would be a sort of proof text I guess?"
AJS – "Yep, maybe."
RDB – "Well if Richard D. Bartlett were kept in blackness and darkness forever, he would cease to be Richard D. Bartlett."
AJS – "Exactly, he would in fact cease to be, period. This leads to another point. To judge the worth of existence after God has restored all things based on what we experience now is the height of stupidity."
RDB – True. So what's the incentive to being a Christian, in terms of the afterlife?"
AJS – "Ha - incentive. Economic beasts, aren't we? Two things i would say:
1. It is not 'incentive' we experience primarily, like working out Pascal's wager, but rather the sense of 'call', or 'being shaped' by the story of Christianity and God and the world. We are, as it were, drawn in against our will.
2. Part of that story is that what we experience now is a huge degradation of what life and experience and joy ought to be. As we are drawn into it, we want to live in hope of this betterment to come, and we find ourselves wanting this not only for ourselves, but for all those around us as well (and for the creation as a whole). In other words, the story matches and awakens our sense that 'things are not what they ought to be'."
RDB – "Well all this talk adds weight to my theory that the popular concept of religion as an insurance policy for the afterlife is a load of crap."
AJS – "I agree. So, if we are to speak on 'incentives' at all, it is a rather more positive and hopeful thing than an insurance policy against hell."
RDB – "Well that’s where my logic was going to. Nice when that happens."

And, as Neitszche would say: —.


What I'm about to share with you is very important, so I should hope you treat this information with the respect it deserves:

On Thursday night Peter, Marty, and I invented the World's Best Sport; ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Baton-Face. The 'baton' is a rolled up magazine covered in tape. Two opponents face each other with their hands forward, holding two batons between them. This is best described by the graphic composed of MSN Messenger emotive-icons shown. Someone says '3, 2, 1 Go!' (this is usually chanted by the massive audience) and then the mystic pantomime of Baton-Face begins. The challengers must wrest one of the batons out of the hands of their opposite, and manage to konk him on the head with it before he regains control of it. A konk on the head signals the end of the round and the Baton-Face Leaderboard is updated. There is a big yellow star for the person with the best wins-to-games-played ratio.

I realise this has the potential to sound like any old lame tug-o-war game, but trust me, this one is different. It is amazing. It is beautiful to behold. The move that cemented my place in the hearts of flatmates everywhere consists of sweeping my right foot forward and to the left while dropping my shoulders, and then spinning and lifting, causing feather-weight Marty to sail bodily through the air and reliquinsh the baton, within seconds of the opening shout. To be fair, Marty's trick of sitting on my face while grinding his knees into my wrists was also a bit of a crowd-pleaser.

After two days, there are eight people listed on the Baton-Face Leaderboard - this is testament to the undefiled allure of the sport. Go now, take this kernel of knowledge, this gift - tape up a magazine and get wrastling!


So many levels.


Why I voted Left: "The bottom line is that this government doesn't trade the lives of young New Zealanders for a war it doesn't believe in, in order to secure some material advantage." [via, via, via]


Another day, another couple-thousand words. At this rate I could knock out a thesis in a handful of afternoons.

The abstract, high-level nature encourages interoperability, as other standards can be used to communicate with the PROFInet standard, independent of the underlying protocols. PROFInet has been designed so that it can be implemented on any real-time operating system for a PLC that is capable of handling the TCP/IP stack along with the common DCOM & RPC protocols. However, it is specifically designed to be run on a Microsoft platform using COM, OLE, and IDL.

Obivously, this negates anything I ever did to make me look like a cool, suave, or interesting person. I mean, I'm wearing pink argyle socks and that doesn't even come close to making up for that one paragraph.

If you want me, I'll be crying into my OSI protocol stack.


If you don't know what it is, don't ask. But if you do, get very excited about Manfest '05.


Another bizarre day in the life


Look at this cute photo we took this morning! Or you can download the whole series. Exhilarating.

Friday Night's Alright for Fighting

I've been having violent dreams lately. I woke up with blood on my face. Peter and I were sitting outside Deluxe yelling at all the lame boy racers going around and around and around. Finally one of them pulled over and tried to start something. Three of them jumped on Peter as another car pulled up. I was a little slow to react but when I did I was at least a distraction for the guys who couldn't reach him. There were four or five of them by now. I took a hail of fists in the head from all sides at once. I told them we were just trying to suggest that they could drive more safely. They told me I couldn't suggest shit. Well, evidently I could. I shot my hand out and grabbed one of them by the throat, "Why did you [jolly] hit me in the head!?" I swung wide, hard and fast and connected with his right cheek bone. "You are a [flipping] embarassment! Get back in your car and go do your laps, [you silly]." By this stage, Peter had sorted himself too, and they all retreated back to their screaming rota-hoes.

We sat there, bloody, and watched them do another couple of laps.


A bizarre look into a day in the life of Richard D. Bartlett.


...this assignment I am writing has moments of brilliance though, which is insipiring. I just wrote a paragraph creating an analogy from heat to electrical current, from thermal resistance (the way heat transfers through a solid) to electrical resistance, heat capacity (how hot you can get a box with holes in it) to electrical capacitance, and temperature at a given point to voltage. Thus turning the thermal properties of an oven into an electrical circuit of R's and C's...


Why Bjork wins:

His embrace / a fortress
It fuels me / and places
A skeleton of trust
Right beneath us
Bone by bone
Stone by stone


Gosh, am I ever reckless! Walking home with the express intention of being productive as soon as I got to the front door, a lyric mischeiviously made its cute little way into my head and I had to record a demo instead. Pardon the rythym - it's my default strum, and I'm at least as bored of it as you are. One day me and the band will rip it up and you can all say you have Teh Orgional MP3's, yknow the ones with the spelling mistakes.

And now I have an entire assignment to complete tomorrow. Reckless!

Psychoactive Herb Ingested - Reported as News Comes to Hand

Last night I had the exquisite opportunity to sample some old old salvia. Now before you go switching into Judgematic 6000 mode, bear in mind that salvia is legal and that I partook in the extreme of moderation. What a subtle delight, though! The songs were all 3D wireframes reaching way back to my childhood and when I woke up I was in bed with 3 hotties. Word!


[I hate CV's | Give me a job]


Is jaywalking hot? Like, are girls impressed by the confidence with which I weave between cars? Do you get points for crossing a busy street without breaking your stride? And does it help if there is a crowd of people waiting to cross? Can everyone see how indie I am?


Is anyone else excited that Jonny Greenwood has been listening to reggae exclusively for the past 6 months? [via]


Behold: Instructables.

By some long-winded passage through the "internet" I stumbled across this potentially awesome site, with instructions for a head-mounted megaphone, nuclear bomb reenactment, disposable scrabble, robotic arms, and air-powered bicycle, complete with .pdf's and .mpg's and .asm's and .ai's and even (!) .sldprt's and .sldasm's!


I think I'm in love.

Last night at Peter's we were drinking Dutch beer and watching Mighty Ducks III and Peter's flatmate Bonnie's on-again-off-again psuedo-boyfriend said, "I don't really feel like watching this film", so Bonnie stood up and threw her quilt to the ground and said, "I can't take this anymore", and stomped off to her room so the boy was left in the lounge with a bunch of people he didn't know so he just quietly slinked off home and I had been thinking about contemplating developing a crush on Bonnie seeing as she plays electric guitar and is at fashion school but after this outburst I have given up on that idea and gone right out the otherside into full-blown fatal attraction.


Today I was gently requested to do the grocery shopping, so I ran to Kilbirnie Pak and/or Save. From my house. Okay, while that's only 4.98km there were still a lot of hills involved. When I got home I ate 2 dozen wontons. This is part of my new regime: speed up my metabolism with physical exertion, and then build muscle mass by gluttony. I don't know if that's good science but it is tres fun, anyway.

I also just embarked on the first step towards making an application for a Very Exciting Job for a Very Exciting Company that would certainly result in a Very Exciting Career. It will also potentially pay very well, involve lots of overseas travel, and necessitate my buying a motorbike. Zang!


I'm thinking about renaming this site The Richard D. Bartlett Guide to Nutrition and Fitness:

On Friday night I... how-to-say... made some poor nutrition choices and hence spent Saturday feeling like a cotton bud dipped in bile and broken glass. I felt so rancid as to force myself into my short shorts, out the door and up the hill again. After about half an hour I was just about ready to throw up so I stumbled home, feeling somehow much better about myself.

On Sunday Kathy & I made another restaraunt-grade lunch of potato cakes and sumac chicken. (Do yourself a favour and look for ground sumac next time you do the groceries. It tastes like naturally-occuring MSG. And it makes your chicken purple!) After lunch Tere & I took some Dutch courage and went down to Massey for some parkour. To be fair, we are still psuedo-parkour, but I did get my outside-360 double tic-tac looking quite tight. Some old guy stole our jerseys and we found them in the bin. Then we went up to T's for ninja training. I now know a few pressure points and first position (ichi munji - oh yeah) and I can do silent forwards rolls. So let this be a warning to any packs of 4 fat greek guys with sparkly purple hats - watch your back dickheads, I fully intend to collapse your collective esophagus'!