Astyages's Weblog

January 20, 2015

2014 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 1:41 am

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

January 3, 2015

Band Page: Kaptain Kaos and the Sages of Laputa

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 6:19 pm

Band Page: Kaptain Kaos and the Sages of Laputa.

January 2, 2015

Hello and welcome to ‘An Atheist in Adelaide’…

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 7:23 pm

Hello and welcome to ‘An Atheist in Adelaide’….

December 28, 2014

Hail and Farewell…

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 6:50 pm

I’m writing this note to anyone who is still interested in reading this blog, to let you all know that this blog will no longer be available after New Year’s Eve, as I do not intend to continue paying for the ‘professional’ version of WordPress (no reflection on them at all, btw…) I’m not sure whether or not it reverts to the ‘free’ version of WordPress or not… If it reverts to the free version then perhaps this blog will still be available at astyages.com.au (note the ‘dot-au’ at the end!) And if not, anyone still interested in reading my work will be able to find it posted, as I did with this blog, one post at a time, on Tsu.com Hope to see you there! (BOTH of you! 😉 )

August 12, 2014

“God On Our Side” written by Bob Dylan; performed by Astyages.

It’s been a long while since I posted anything… Phew! December! How tempus fugits! Anyway… Lately I’ve been spending most of my time over on FB… doing a lot of blogging there in protest at the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel’s IDF… This song is my own personal rendition of an old favorite of mine from Bob Dylan, which expresses exactly how I feel about religion and war!

Enjoy! And please let me know what you think! 🙂

December 22, 2013

Life as a Dalek by Astyages

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,
English: 2008 Shoprider Rainrider all-weather ...

English: 2008 Shoprider Rainrider all-weather mobility scooter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the most immediately important repairs to the city of ‘El Dorado’ completed I began to resent my inability to do much in the house or garden and being thus obliged by circumstances to hire others to do what once I could have happily done myself. But worse still was the inability to get ‘out and about’ due to the limits of my ability to walk and stand, which has made doing my shopping my one major fortnightly outing and one which usually leaves me stiff as a board with backache as well as extra-sore feet.

Then I had a revelation, as I opened the gates to ‘El Dorado’ to get my car in (no remote-control on these ancient iron gates…) when a passing dalek stopped and, instead of uttering the expected ‘EXTERMINATE!’ laughed to see me limping around opening gates to get the car in and said, “Ya orta get wunna theez mate!”

He was right, too! So I did.

In exchanging emails with my old mate, Phil Rebe in Perth, I decided that such a mobility scooter was going to be needed if I were to be able to negotiate the airport and wander around Perth much. I found daleks (as I prefer to call ’em instead of ‘gophers’… I mean, who wants to be a ‘gopher’? BTDT! But a dalek, now that could be fun…) can be taken on trains and even buses… thoughI haven’t been quite adventurous enough to try the buses… yet.

I can’t describe how much more freedom this little scooter has given me; I now go out for a ‘walk’ (well… perambulation, I suppose would be more accurate!) almost every day and can get to Elizabeth and/or Munno Para shopping centers easily; the large bag on a rack behind the seat carries quite a lot of groceries.

But to really show how much my mobility scooter spells ‘freedom’ to me, I can say it got me to Perth and back in good order and charge to spare! (Of course, the trains and planes helped a lot, too!)

An Imperial Dalek flies up a flight of stairs ...

An Imperial Dalek flies up a flight of stairs (from Remembrance of the Daleks) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I call them ‘daleks’ because I can just imagine how the notorious Daleks evolved from ‘wheelies’ like us (as the air stewardesses like to call us…) out of an extremely useful, but also extremely vulnerable, form of transport: First the armored exterior and bumper is added; then the weapon for self-defense (initially, at least) and the sucker is a good way to scab free rides from passing cars…

The stewardess who was pushing me through the airport enjoyed my theory, anyway. “You sound like you have it all figured out…” Charming girl… And I must say a huge THANK YOU to VIRGIN AIRLINES and their staff for all the help and care they took with me and my dalek… which are allowed to ride for no extra charge as ‘checked baggage‘.

I’ll write more about the actual trip and all the fun I had in Perth in a day or two; maybe even submit it to the Pigs’ Arms Bumper Xmas Edition, as editor Mike has requested a contribution from yours truly. I’ll see what I can do Mike! 🙂

Anyway, that’s all for now… Much more later!

Asty

November 14, 2013

El Dorado

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 1:12 pm

Hacking my way through the dense undergrowth, I finally entered El Dorado… The city (read ‘my new house’) lay in ruins (a terrible exaggeration; but in need of some repairs anyway!) and had evidently been abandoned for some time. The ruins, upon closer inspection, showed signs of a recent battle and dark deeds done in the distant past… (read: there’s a flaming BULLET-HOLE in one of my bedroom windows, that I didn’t notice before… covered with sticky-tape! AND there’s what looks suspiciously like a bloodstain on the wooden floor of my lounge!)

The peasantry (sorry Peter! Just kidding!) was mobilized to clear the undergrowth (a much better description than ‘lawn’…), but professionals had to be brought in to deal with two enormous triffids that were attacking the city walls… The first attempt was less than successful even so as the monster-plant’s root-system broke the chainsaw and blunted the axe; reserves had to be sent for before the evil critters were finally destroyed, or so I am assured, so now work can start on rebuilding the city…

Most of the guttering was done yesterday, and the concreters have been booked and should arrive someday soon I suppose… My pergola is already dismantled and my lovely verandah out the back is going to have to be deconstructed before the hole can be dug for the underpinning… I’m told it’ll all be over by Christmas… Now where have I heard that before? (Seriously, I’m told it’ll take a ‘couple of weeks’… Hmmmm builders estimates… 😉 )

Speaking of which, I now realize their quote doesn’t cover the cost of a water-tank to plumb all my downpipes into either… so that’s a bit of a shock to the system… gonna cost up to another three grand… but there may be a local council rebate scheme… gotta check the council too for a garden waste bin… Crikey! It never ends… all these new responsibilities… AND I STILL can’t find anyone to come in and clean for me… floors need doing badly… Oh well… first things first… off to pick up my pension and supplies… More later.

Asty

September 23, 2013

Burning Boats

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 5:59 pm

I’m sitting here now amidst the smell of burning boats…

Today the ‘cooling off’ period is officially over; so I’ve engaged a conveyancer and a removalist and, most nerve-wracking of all, posted off my notice to terminate my current lifetime (LIFETIME, Dave, you stupid prick!) tenancy with Housing SA and heading off to the relative insecurity of home ownership…

But they say there’s someplace up ahead called ‘El Dorado’, or some call it ‘Shangri Lah’… Or ‘Nirvana’ or some-such… So I’ve burned my boat on the shore and am heading inland… Egads! The jungle’s dense though! So much foliage to hack one’s way through (read ‘paperwork’!)… I begin to wonder if I’ll ever make it… with the Precious ‘n’ all… I can see the foothills of Mount Doom now… just up ahead… Oh well, here goes nothing! Just one leap into the void… now tell yourself Dave, “There IS a bridge there! There IS a bridge there!” Now, Dave, JUMP!

If I get the place fixed up properly now, with a bit of luck, it should be twenty years before it needs major work again; time enough to see me out, I think; but I’m gonna start saving the pennies anyway… just in case!

😉

July 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 6:11 pm

Wagon Train

Wagon train HALT! Look… those vultures are beginning to circle… they’ve spotted prey… and I think it’s US! What’s that up ahead… looks like a bacon tree.. No! By Gar! It’s a hambush! We’re about to be bushwhacked!

Those bloody bureaucrats from the Death Star are after the Precious… but the Precious is MINE! They shan’t have it!

Seriously though folks… just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water…

I finally thought I had things settled with Centrelink and had fulfilled all their obligations etc, when I get another letter which effectively is about to take away any possible interest I may or may not make (it is deemed I do anyway!) on my ‘lumpsum’… which translates into a reduction in my pension of another $84 pf… I say another because I’ve just had TWO… count ’em, TWO hefty $30 increases to my rent from Housing SA on account of the increase in income represented by my being on the pension…

At this rate I’ll be back to living like I’m on the dole in next to no time unless I either a: start using the ‘lumpsum’ (the ‘Precious’) for living expenses or buy a house… and then the house becomes the ‘Precious’… in a different form, but one in which the value of the ‘lumpsum’ will not only remain undiminished but may, in fact, be reasonably expected to grow… and, best of all, as it is to be my primary residence, it will not be included in the assets test, and so I should return to the full pension rate.

Now, I’d kinda halfway planned on buying a house, but as that involves giving up the security of a ‘lifetime tenure’ with Housing SA, and as the Precious was earning interest (though not as much as will be ‘deemed’ by Centrestink!) I was rather taking my time; thinking I had the luxury of time to take!

However, it now turns out that the sooner I buy and move into a new house the better… so I’m going to have to pull my finger out and get my skates on!

Not sure when I’ll have the time to post anything ’til all the dust settles from the move… but I’ll post what I can, when I can…

In the meantime I must apologize for the disappearance of some of my more recent musical posts; I was deleting a lot of old recordings from my hard drive ’cause they were just taking up too much space and these must have been deleted along with them as ‘source’ files… No big deal; I have some very nice recordings that are even more recent and I’ll post them as and when, too… First couple should be up some time soon…

‘Bye for now,

Asty

March 28, 2013

Virgil’s Aeneid Part 35 by Astyages

Filed under: Uncategorized — astyages @ 9:43 pm

Virgil’s Aeneid

By Astyages

Part 35:

Thus far they celebrate the sacred sports, but soon Fortune would resume her ancient hatred, for while they pay their dues to the dead, these rites are viewed by Saturnian Juno with envy. She sends the goddess of the multicolored bow to try new methods of revenge, supplying her with a wind to wing her airy way to where the navy lay, secure in the port. Swiftly fair Iris descends down her arch and she arrives unnoticed by the gathering crowd. From there she flies to the deserted shore and the undefended fleet. Trojan matrons, alone on the sands, bemoan the fate of Anchises with sighs and tears, then, turning their weeping eyes to the sea, they renew their pitiful cries to themselves. “Alas!” said one, “What oceans do we still have to sail, what labors do we still have to endure?” All take up this them and with a general lamentation they implore the gods for peace and places of their own.

The goddess, great in mischief, views their troubles, and hides her heavenly form within the shape of a mortal woman. She took on the shape and face of old Beroe, Doryclus’ wife; a venerable dame… a mother and blessed with riches. But thus changed, she now ran amidst the crowd of matrons, crying, “Oh wretched we, who neither the power of the Greeks, nor flames could destroy in Troy’s unhappy hour! Oh wretched we, reserved by a cruel fate beyond the ruins of our sinking nation! Now, seven whole years have turned since we began this fruitless voyage, since we’ve been tossed from shore to shore and from land to land, inhospitable lands and barren beaches, wandering in exile through the stormy sea we have searched in vain for an Italy which seems to fly away before us! Now, cast by fortune on this kindred land, what is to stop us from staying and raising our city walls here? Oh, lost country, which the gods have redeemed in vain, must we remain in endless exile? Shall we never renew the Trojan walls, or view the streams of some new Simois? Quicly! Join with me and we’ll burn the unhappy fleet! I dreamed I saw Cassandra last night in my sleep and she put flaming torches in my hands, ‘With these’, she says, ‘destroy these wandering ships; this is your fated seat, and this your Troy. Time is pressing; let’s not ignore the good omen, while Heaven inspires our minds to dare, and gives us the ready fires. See! Neptune’s altar-fires supply us with torches! The god is pleased, and supplies our needs!” Then, from the pile she drew a flaming brand and tossed it through the air into one of the galleys.

The matrons stare wildly in amazement, then spoke Pyrgo, reverenced for the whiteness of her hair, the nurse of Priam’s numerous race: “This is no Beroe, though it is her face! What terrors arise from her frowning brow! I see a goddess in her ardent eyes! What an aura there is around her heavenly face… mark her majestic voice and more than mortal manner! I left Beroe just now, crippled with pain… her age and anguish prevent her from attending these rites.” She said, and the matrons were seized with a new amazement. Rolling their malignant eyes, they gaze on the navy, they fear and they hope, but obey neither emotion; hoping for the fated land, but fearing the fatal way.

The goddess, having completed her task below, mounts up on radiant wings to bend her painted bow. Struck by the sight and seized with divine rage, the matrons carry out their mad plan: They shriek aloud, snatching fire from the altars with impious hands, mingling green boughs and saplings in among the brands in their haste, and these smoking torches they cast upon the ships. The flame, with nothing to stop it, gains more fury and Vulcan rides at large with loosened reins: Triumphantly, he soars to the painted sterns and on his way seizes the banks of crackling oars.

Emmelus was the first to bear the news to the Trojans, while they still crowded the rural theater. Then they bear witness to what they have heard wit their own eyes: A storm of sparks and flames rising up from the beach. Ascanius took up the alarm while he was still leading his young warriors on his prancing steed and, spurring his horse on, he quickly shot past his friends, who couldn’t keep up with his reckless pace as the royal youth shouted ahead of him as he flew

“What madness moves you, matrons, to destroy the last remainders of unhappy Troy? You’re not burning hostile fleets but your own hopes and turn your fury on your own friends. Behold your own Ascanius!” And while he said this he drew from his head the glittering helmet in which he had led the youths to sportful arms, from his head. By this time, Aeneas and his train appear and the women, now seized with shame and fear disperse, running to take flight in the woods or in caverns, now abhorring their actions and seeking to avoid the light; acknowledging the rightness of their friends and their own error as they shake the goddess from their minds.

***** ******* *****

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