Mike Crowl

Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND


Joined December 25th 2006

Number of Posts:
881

Number of Comments:
443

Karma:
8



About Me
I've been a journal writer and a blogger for several years - on and off. I've also published articles in 'real' newspapers and magazines, and am working on doing more publishing in the e world.

Blogs

Mike Crowl's Blogs

22211 Vote(s)
206 Comment(s)
367 Post(s)
28768 Vote(s)
290 Comment(s)
497 Post(s)
12525 Vote(s)
72 Comment(s)
155 Post(s)

Blogs I Follow

Recent Posts

George MacDonald

July 20th 2014 23:41
Last year I read Greville MacDonald's biography George MacDonald and his Wife. Greville was MacDonald's eldest son, and wrote a solid biography of some 600 pages, which, to my surprise, our local library had on its shelves. It should be noted that even though MacDonald's wife is not named in the title of the biography, she plays an enormous part in it, and there are many quotations from her writings as well. She was just as extraordinary a woman as MacDonald was a man.

I kept a note of some extracts from the book, which not only quotes MacDonald himself extensively, but also gives many of Greville's own views on growing up in what must have been a most unusual household. Here are a few of these extracts.


I firmly believe people have Hitherto been a great deal too much taken up about doctrine and far too little about practice. The word doctrine, as used in the Bible, means teaching of duty, not theory. I preached a sermon about this. We are far too anxious to be definite and to have finished, week-polished systems - forgetting that the more perfect a theory about the infinite, the surer it is to be wrong, the more impossible is it to be right. I am neither Arminian or Calvinist.To no system would I subscribe...[quoted from one of MacDonald's letters to his son]. page 155.

Riches indubitably favour stupidity, poverty mental and moral development.
One may readily conclude how poorly God thinks of riches when we see the sort of people he sends them to! Page 156/7

A reminiscence of my own illustrates this feeling of his for finest craftsmanship. 'Be sure,' he said to me as a boy, when, tired over a little carpentering job, I had exclaimed, 'O, that will have to do!' 'Be sure if you say that, it will not do; it mustn't be allowed to do.!' And I hope I have never forgotten the reproof. [From a footnote on page 2168]

I hate hotels! I mean those great big brutes that only want to eat you, and lick your hands for what they can be get out of you. [Pg 349 in a letter to his wife while travelling in Switzerland.]

I'll add more over the next weeks.
21
Vote
   


Isaac Bashevis Singer

July 16th 2014 20:08
A few quotes from the famous Jewish writer, Isaac Bashevis Singer. I'm indebted to Dr Mardy, that great collector of quotes, for the following which appeared in one of his recent columns.

Singer was pithy, and witty, as the following quotes show, and he has a good deal to say about the writer, and the art of writing. Here are a few quotes:


We have to believe in free will. We've got no choice.

The belief in God is as necessary as sex.

The wastepaper basket is a writer's best friend. It's interesting that when Microsoft first put together its famous computers, a waste basket was one of the prime features, and has remained so to this day.

The storyteller of our time, as in any other time, must be an entertainer of the spirit. I began to review a book recently that was so vile, and in which the narrator was so loathsome, that I had to give it back to the newspaper. An 'entertainer' of the spirit can be interpreted in a number of ways, but vileness is probably not one of them.

It is a general rule that when the grain of truth cannot be found, men will swallow great helpings of falsehood.

Experts at fingerprints do not create fingerprints. They learn how to read them. In the same way the writer reads human characters
32
Vote
   


Locking in that face

July 7th 2014 21:27
Facelock is the new approach to security on the Net. There is an app available already under this name which uses this approach in part, but it relies on the device recognising your face, and seemingly there have been some difficulties for users.
Facelock as a security system, an alternative to passwords, is something new.
It relies on the fact that we recognise familiar faces with ease, even though they may be in profile, or at an unusual angle. Less familiar, or unfamiliar faces, can confuse us if a hairstyle is changed or some feature altered in any way (even by a shadow or makeup - we didn't recognise Nicole Kidman in the film, The Hours, at all, because of a the 'reshaped' nose).
In Facelock, a small group of faces (4 to 10) that are well known to the user are set up. They can be family members, or people you admire (composers, writers, sportspeople, anybody who's very familiar visually). Because this particular group of faces is familiar to an individual but not to a stranger (try recognising someone else's friends on Facebook), then it's very difficult for someone else to come along and identify which face out of a grid of nine is the one that relates to you personally.
In the security system, the user is presented with four grids of nine faces, and all they have to do is pick out the face that's familiar in each set. It sounds a little longwinded (my only concern) but apparently it works. And continues to work. A high percentage of people tested a year after they'd set up the facial group were able to identify which face was the familiar one, even though they hadn't used the system for a year.
Someone who is close to you may be able to guess the face that's 'familiar', but on testing it was found that just under 7% of people were able to do this over the four grids.
Currently I use Roboform to keep track of all my passwords, and as well have been increasingly changing passwords (to the extent that for some access I have no idea what the password is at all without looking it up). There are disadvantages to any system that requires key entry (though Roboform avoids that) and of course a computer whizzing through umpteen options may work out even the most complex of passwords. Hopefully Facelock may be the solution to this, since a hacker (let alone a computer) is much less likely to be able to guess the correct face given only four options.
Let's hope this system works, and takes off. As I said, it sounds a little longwinded, and may frustrate some users, but if it provides increased security on the Net, I'm all for it.
31
Vote
   


It's all on the Internet

May 25th 2014 03:05
Over the last couple of days I've been having a little trouble with my Brother HL-2130 printer, a fast-speed worker which can churn out pages (in black and white only) at a rate of knots. It's almost like having one of those old dot matrix printers again!

I've had the machine for perhaps a couple of years and it's worked well, and doesn't go through the cartridges very fast either, even though I've done a heck of an amount of printing on it. When I was printing out scores and instrument parts and scripts for Grimhilda! I used the printer endlessly


[ Click here to read more ]
21
Vote
   


Outliving the writer

May 22nd 2014 04:04
I've now been writing blog posts on on blog for around nine years, and for eight years on the two that I have on Orble. I can remember back in the days when I had a geocities site that someone else who wrote on geocities one day announced she was giving up on geocities and moving over to writing a blog. I'd never heard of a blog, but it wasn't long after that that I followed her example. And I've never looked back.

Some of the posts over the years have been picked up over and over by readers; others have died a death within moments of being posted. Ce la vie, that's the way it is in the blogosphere


[ Click here to read more ]
21
Vote
   


Quote catchup

May 22nd 2014 03:40
Some time ago I started adding quotes to this blog, quotes I'd collected over the years, and which I thought might be of interest. I don't think I've added any that are suspect, although that's not uncommon apparently. (Check out this article on why Schopenhauer seems to be saying un-Schopenhauer things.)

Anyway, I've found it's good to take a topic as a focus for the quotes, so today's topic is...Tools


[ Click here to read more ]
21
Vote
   


Quote catchup

May 22nd 2014 03:37
Some time ago I started adding quotes to this blog, quotes I'd collected over the years, and which I thought might be of interest. I don't think I've added any that are suspect, although that's not uncommon apparently. (Check out this article on why Schopenhauer seems to be saying un-Schopenhauer things.)

Anyway, I've found it's good to take a topic as a focus for the quotes, so today's topic is...Tools


[ Click here to read more ]
12
Vote
   


Quote catchup

May 22nd 2014 03:37
Some time ago I started adding quotes to this blog, quotes I'd collected over the years, and which I thought might be of interest. I don't think I've added any that are suspect, although that's not uncommon apparently. (Check out this article on why Schopenhauer seems to be saying un-Schopenhauer things.)

Anyway, I've found it's good to take a topic as a focus for the quotes, so today's topic is...Tools


[ Click here to read more ]
12
Vote
   


Diary of a Prostate Wimp

May 4th 2014 03:12
My new ebook, Diary of a Prostate Wimp, is now available on KindleYour text goes here and Smashwords.

The book started out life on this blog, back in 2008, when I posted about my ongoing problems with prostate issues. These were finally resolved some months later after an operation


[ Click here to read more ]
21
Vote
   


Diary of a Prostate Wimp

May 4th 2014 03:11
My new ebook, Diary of a Prostate Wimp, is now available on KindleYour text goes here and Smashwords.

The book started out life on my other Orble blog, Workreport.net. back in 2008, when I blogged about my ongoing problems with prostate issues. These were finally resolved some months later after an operation


[ Click here to read more ]
21
Vote
   


 

Recent Comments

Comment by Mike Crowl
on A working face

April 24th 2014 07:18
It looks as though the Otago Actors and Talent Agency site has gone off the boil...nothing has happened on there since 2007!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Got the blues...

April 19th 2014 02:39
Looking back at this post now, I have to say that this job turned out to be very good, even though it was only part time and not highly paid. The staff, once I got to know them, were almost universally friendly, and I was sorry to leave the place behind a few months later.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Got the blues...

April 19th 2014 02:39
Looking back at this post now, I have to say that this job turned out to be very good, even though it was only part time and not highly paid. The staff, once I got to know them, were almost universally friendly, and I was sorry to leave the place behind a few months later.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Writing up the past

February 21st 2014 03:05
2014: The children's 'opera' became a musical in 2012, and was presented in the Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin. The script had been completely rewritten and most of the music was new too. Since then I've written an e-book version of the musical which is currently available on Kindle.


Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Taking photos

December 16th 2013 02:22
These days the computer's screen saver acts as a rolling and random recollection of all the photos we've taken over the years. We have a game in which we either remember or guess where such and such a place was, or who the people are that we don't immediately recognise.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Advertising the musical

November 19th 2013 08:15
More than 18 months later and the e-book is finally getting close!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Thoof

November 8th 2013 01:44
Looks like Thoof is gone the way of the dodo.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on In the art world

November 2nd 2013 03:37
There are now several of these animations on the site. Still very clever!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on Backing Up

October 31st 2013 04:16
Ultimately I went for JustCloud, which I didn't even mention here...

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Mike Crowl
on We Agnostics

October 24th 2013 02:32
When I wrote this post, just a year ago or so, there was very little about Bernard Basset on Google. Now you can find MP3s of his old talks, and videos, and references to a number of his books. Plainly the man is back in fashion again.
This letter from the Catholic Herald archives is typical of his style: Really Long Link

Delete ] [ Ignore ]