Friday, May 25, 2018

Senses working overtime #161

1 London bound
Photo by David Dibert on Unsplash
My wife and I (plus Jerry our dog) will be living in London from August onwards as I've accepted a new job. I love London. To help celebrate check out that photo!

2 Fascinating hats!
If you live on Planet Earth you were aware of the royal weeding, er, wedding, last week. 

Here is my contribution (hey - I loved it. And yes, I may have got something in my eye at some point okay!)

3 Wow reality - what a concept

Another JFTT item on Robin Williams - a piece looking at the new biography is great for the photos alone!

4 Brain Pickings - on music

Maria Popova (great name) writes the Brain Pickings blog. Here she compiles some great writing from some great minds (including Anaïs Nin above) on the power of music.

5 Poetry corner


I think I am going to love it here

I ask the man in the telegraph office
the way to the bank
He locks the door and walks with me
insisting he needs the exercise

When I ask the lady at my hotel desk
what bus to take to the beach
she gets me a lift with her beautiful sister
who is just driving by in a sports job

And already I have thought of something
I want to ask the sister

Earle Birney (1966)

Overtime: You Never Can Tell

I'm digging The Immortal Jukebox blog and its unhurried unravelling style. It's run by a fellow baby boomer hepcat with the improbable name - Thom Hickey. 

In that link above, he takes on Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell. Fabulous!

And that's us - been an awesome week. Wherever this blogpost finds you I hope you experienced some highs this week. If not - despair not, next week is just around the corner.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Senses working overtime #160

1 Luke's reaction to Han's death

Great piece about a deleted scene from The Last Jedi (my co favourite Star Wars film Of All Time!

2 Poetry corner

At Night the Salmon Move

At night the salmon move
out from the river and into town.
They avoid places with names
like Foster's Freeze, A&W, Smiley's,
but swim close to the tract
homes on Wright Avenue where sometimes
in the early morning hours
you can hear them trying doorknobs
or bumping against Cable TV lines.
We wait up for them.
We leave our back windows open
and call out when we hear a splash.
Mornings are a disappointment.

Raymond Carver (1976)

3 More Star Wars: Solo

My expectations are not that high - I'm not a fan of 'young blah blah' stories (Indiana Jones, Butch and Sundance, Sherlock Holmes etc etc and so on) but this piece has piqued my interest levels somewhat.

4 Warren Ellis
Love his newsletters but he's gone dark for a spell to work on some ideas in his fevered brain. So here's a great picture of the great man to tide us over:

5 Robin Williams

After Margo, this gaze at Robin's last days is even more poignant. Once I started reading this I couldn't stop. Very sad ending!

Overtime: Seth Godin...

...on genius

Friday, May 11, 2018

Senses working overtime #159

1 Maple leaf time

Photo by Autumn Mott on Unsplash
Maple leaf
Falling down
Showing front
Showing back


2 Poetry corner continued

Two Guys Get Out of a Car

Two guys gets out of a car.
They stand beside it. They
don't know what else to do.

Richard Brautigan (1971)

3 Arsène Wenger

Beautiful send off to our manager after his last game in charge at the Emirates.

4 Sharks!
Everyone loves a shark story, right? Here's one: Why no aquarium has a great white shark!

5 Sleep little darling...

Some great tips for my wife who is having trouble sleeping lately.

Overtime - Uriah Heep

Been digging out the old Uriah Heep vinyl and thought it was time to revisit this gem from my youth!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Senses working overtime #158

1 Fake Fake Fake

By Catalan painter Étienne Terrus?
Oh dear! A museum in Southern France has discovered more than half its collection of paintings thought to be by a celebrated local artist are counterfeit. Here's what happened.


Even though I'm an educator, I don't often add that kind of content to JFTT too often. I'll make an exception for this Edutopia article (I love Edutopia!!). Just feast your eyes on these creative designs. Excitingly, we are increasingly moving this way in my current school and this article gave us some great ideas.

3 Fush and chups

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Big in my diet already, maybe it should be big in yours too, according to this. Don't forget the mushy peas!

4 The return of poetry corner

In Defense of Nothing

I guess these trailers lined up in the lot off the highway will do.
I guess that crooked eucalyptus tree also.
I guess this highway will have to do and the cars
     and the people in them on their way.
The present is always coming up to us, surrounding us.
It's hard to imagine atoms, hard to imagine
     hydrogen & oxygen binding, it'll have to do.
This sky with its macular clouds also
     and that electric tower to the left, one line broken free.

Peter Gizzi (2014)

5 Avengers

With Infinity War busting box office records right now, here is a great wrap up of how we got to this point in the Marvel Universe

I know, there is a lot of stuff out there but this piece is excellent - just marvel (sorry) at its attention to detail. And it's really well written, which is nice.

Overtime: Hooray for Warren Ellis

Here is the great man on Avengers: Infinity War -

So.  INFINITY WAR, then.  No spoilers.
It is perhaps best understood as an unprecedented brand power move.  It is not "a film" as that term is commonly understood.  It is a sequence of connections.  It's a statement from a bizarre place of popular-culture ownership.  It's a statement that they have done ten years of film storytelling, often with very conventional story templates, so that everyone in the world will show up for what is often an extraordinarily unconventional story-like event with one extremely unexpected tonal shift.
It, by design, makes no sense unless you've watched most if not all of the other Marvel films. There cannot be a casual viewer of this emanation.  Only a committed one.  It is likely to be the largest worldwide opening of all time, as I write this, even though it's not opening in China or Russia this weekend.
The production values are near-perfect.  The days of the slightly janky AVENGERS special effects are long gone, and every pixel is painted with jewelled, exquisite skill. As a visual experience, it is peak Marvel.  The mocap on Josh Brolin makes Thanos a far more effective "CGI villain" than the waste of Ciaran Hinds on JUSTICE LEAGUE, which had all the performance nuance of a level boss in DOOM II.
Per the trailer, I think it was a brave choice to have the evil spaceship apparently designed by James Dyson.
The writers and the directors worked very, very hard to make something that did not feel beholden to rules.  They'll stop the thing dead for sixty seconds to do a gag. There are a lot of gags. I mean, no possible joke goes unjoked. Nothing I say here should be taken to denigrate the work of those people. They have achieved a remarkable thing.
(Special nod to whoever designed the sonics for the next-to-final scene.)
It is not a movie. It is a brand manifestation that wants to have prolonged, eager and reasonably skilled cultural sex with you. It wants your experience with its content™ to be satisfying and it hopes you are pleased enough to return for further interaction with the Brand.  This is a very 21C thing.  I like it for that alone, to be honest.

AVENGERS 4 happens next year, of course, and I will be interested to see how they stick the landing. But, in terms of cultural power plays, this one is the pinnacle.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Senses working overtime #157

1 Suckful news week - they happen to me too.

Long ago and far away - back - WNP, Best Man Clay, Margo, 
Chris. Front - LOML. New Plymouth, April 21st 1984
Apologies, this week contained the sudden death of a close friend and doing this weekly summary of stuff I looked at or read on the interweb paled into insignificance.

Instead I offer something else, dedicated to Margo Buchanan-Oliver's memory, and designed to lift my spirits.

2 Auckland University, 1981, English Department

The Masters students perform a play - Wozza left, Margo second right
3 Dornwell Road, Auckland, 1988

Married bliss with Margo and Clay visiting.
4 Auckland University, 2012

Keegan and Godmother

Margo, Jade and LOML listen to Keegan
Bros forever - Best Man Clayto and me

Friday, April 20, 2018

Senses working overtime #156

1 Happy anniversary baby

The Light Of My Life and I got ourselves hitched at 4pm 21st April 1984. You can join us in the celebrations by enjoying this snap from 34 years ago (with my dad - Graham Purdy).

2 The Rock

He's a great guy is Dwayne Johnson. Hey, he's the rock! He's now saving the day in a new flick - Rampage. It could be terrible (San Andreas anyone?) or it could be great. Actually LOML and I saw it last weekend and it's great dumb fun!  

3 How to find new music you'll actually like

Lifehacker published this article and it's very comprehensive - exactly the guide you need to find new music of quality and distinction that you didn't know existed.

4 Poetry corner


There is no life after death. Why
              should there be. What on

earth would have us believe this.
              Heaven is not the American

highway, blackened chicken alfredo
              from Applebee’s nor the

clown sundae from Friendly’s. Our
              life, this is the afterdeath,

when we blink open, peeled and
              ready to ache. Years ago

my aunt banged on the steering, she
              insisted there had to be a

God, a heaven. We were on our
              way to a wedding. I would

have to sit at the same table as the
              man who saw no heaven

in me. Today I am thinking about
              Mozart, of all people, who

died at 35 mysteriously, perhaps of
              strep. What a strange cloth

it is to live. But that we came from
              death and return to it, made

different by form, shaped again back
              into anti–, anti–. On my run,

I think of Jack Gilbert, who said we
              must insist while there is still

time, but insist toward what. Why we
              must fill the void with light—

isn’t that our human insistence? But
              we drift into a distance of

distance until proximity fails, our
              name lifts away with any

future concerns, the past a flattened
              coin that cannot spin. I am

matter spun from death’s wool—and
              I bewilder the itch, I who am

I am just so happy to go.

Natalie Eilbert (2017)

5 Forests and books

Continuing the literary connection - Austin Kleon's newsletter alerted me to this excellent essay by Rebecca Solnit considering a childhood of reading and wandering.

Overtime: Disneyflix

Like almost everyone on the planet where Disney had a presence, I grew up with the movies and TV show (Uncle Walt). Excellent overview of the media giant's current standing. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Senses working overtime #155

1 Happy birthday Jacky!

Here's to you kid - it's my best girl's birthday today!

2 Yosemite Sam

Reading this makes me want to visit Yosemite National Park and follow Ranger John's advice and travel tips. Great images here too.

3 Hurrah for Warren Ellis

This guy is the full whack. His omelette bit on his newsletter was killer, and then he ended with this:

Still weird out there, isn't it?  And getting weirder.  2018 is a dark ride, and, yes, it's going to get darker. But you're still here.  Even if you're hanging on by your fingernails -- you're still hanging on.  It still counts. Quit judging yourself. It might not feel like you're on top, but you are.  Hold on tight. Believe me, we're all right here holding on next to you. 

4 Poetry corner
This recurring item seems to have slotted nicely into the number 4 slot of the last few JFTTs. The poems arrive into my inbox daily from Matthew Ogle's Pome newsletter. They make for a great about shift to my day. Here's another I liked:
from Seven Poems

Poets of Facebook they follow you.
You don’t know them they
don’t know you. It would be a
mistake to publish this. You love mis-

Anaïs Duplan (2017)

5 Email advice from Steve Jobs
Hopefully this link takes you to Thrive Global's newsletter and a great article about an email from Steve Jobs. Well worth your time if you want to improve yourself.

Overtime Views from above. Way above!
Some stunners in this collection. More here if these two strike you as amazing.

Doha (Qatar)

Klyuchevskaya Volcano (Russia)