Mike Crowl


Joined December 25th 2006

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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.


Mike Crowl's Blogs

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Blogs I Follow

Recent Posts

Getty's images

March 6th 2014 23:05
I'm currently writing a book on dealing with issues related to the prostate - water retention, biopsies, catheters. Lots of exciting stuff. (The original posts the book is based on first appeared on my other Orble site, Workreport.net)

Anyway, in the process of writing I've been including some photos - some graphic ones, in fact - and some of these are taken from sites like Wikimedia Commons.

While I was looking for a photo that might serve as a cover illustration, or as inspiration for one, I came across the news that the Getty's Library has now released millions of photographs for people to use non-commercially; that is, they can use them in social media, or on blogs, and so on, but can't use them when there's a profit factor involved. There's been a bit of an outcry from professional photographers, but in reality the Internet already has a large number of sites with huge collection of photos. This is merely adding more - a substantial one, admittedly.

To use the Getty's library, you need to go to their site, click on the photo of choice, copy the embed code given to you, and include it on your blog, or FB or Twitter or whatever. The source code will ensure that Getty's are acknowledged as the owners of the photo.

Some recent acquisitions

March 6th 2014 08:17
Most of the posts on this blog in the last couple of years have consisted of quotes from my files. Here are some recent quite random acquisitions:

The other side of the coin of the 'problem of evil' is, after all, the 'problem of good.' If there is no God, no good and wise creator, why is there an impulse to justice and mercy so deep within us? Why is there beauty, love, laughter, friendship, joy?
from a blogalogue between N T Wright and Bart Ehrman

I have lived to realise the truth long ago uttered by Dr Sir Edward Clark: 'The true secret of human happiness lies in the cultivation of all the faculties.' I therefore, never suffer any of my energies to stagnate. The old adage...of too many irons in the fire, is a libel and a falsehood. You cannot have too many' when one iron cools, or when one faculty is wearied, I give it a rest, and take up another; thus, shovel, tongs, and poker, I keep them all a going.

David Goyder, the father of George Goyder, the 19th century surveyor of South Australia, quoted in the book Nature's Line, by Janis Sheldrack. David Goyder, incidentally, was his own father's 21st child...out of 22.

When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.

The then 64-year-old Somerset Maugham in his biography 'The Summing Up.'

If this were a novel, you would be able to figure out why my mother screamed. Alain Robbe-Grillet once wrote that the worst thing to happen to the novel was the arrival of psychology. You can assume he meant that now we all expect to understand the motivation behind each character's actions, as if that's possible, as if life works that way. I've read so many recent novels, particularly those published in the Anglo world, that are dull and trite because I'm always supposed to infer causality. For example, the reason a protagonist can't experience love is that she was physically abused, or the hero constantly searches for validation because his father paid little attention to him as a child. This, of course, ignores the fact that many others have experienced the same things but do not behave in the same manner, though that's a minor point compared to the real loss in fulfilling the desire for explanation: the loss of mystery.
Causation extraction makes Jack a dull reader.

The wonderful Aaliya in Rabih Alameddine's book, An Unnecessary Woman. Incidentally, we never find out why Aaliya's ancient mother screams, though it's possibly something to do with her dementia.

And one last simple sentence, from John Trapp, one of the many writers quoted in Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David.

Praying by the glances of the eye rather than by words; mine afflictions having swollen my heart too big for my mouth.


Jules Renard

February 16th 2014 23:39
I receive an email each week in which various quotes are presented from a wide range of writers. This week the compiler, Dr Mardy, alerted us to a not-so-well-known French author - Jules Renard. As Dr Mardy notes, Renard had a wonderful gift for being able to say something important in very few words.

So thanks to Dr Mardy for bringing this man to my attention, and here are some of Renard's witty and wise aphorisms:

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

There is false modesty, but there is no false pride.

If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.

I am not sincere, even when I am saying that I am not sincere.

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. [You might substitute 'procrastination' for 'laziness' here.]

We are so happy to advise others that occasionally we even do it in their interest.

There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last.

Some people are so boring that they make you waste an entire day in five minutes.


February 16th 2014 02:48
Dunedin is currently split - not necessarily in two - over the prospects of the Texan company Anadarko drilling in the sea off its coast. There are people in the community who would greatly welcome a find of natural gas or condensate and the run-on income that might accrue to Dunedin and beyond.

And of course there are protesters who don't want a bar of anything to do with anyone drilling in their area. These people have been out to protest at the presence of Anadarko's drillship, the Noble Bob Douglas, even though it's sixty kilometres off the coast. Of course they all had to swim out there: they couldn't use boats - that would undercut their message. And they all walked from their homes to the shoreline: cars or bikes or any other mode of transport are verboten by these intrepid people

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Almost inactive

February 13th 2014 21:46
When you have several blogs that you write on, as I have, there comes a time when one or other of them suffers from disuse, as this one has for the last couple of months. I'm loathe to give it up, however, because it's been a very active blog in the past, but more because at the moment I'm writing a book on the topic of prostate issues, and many of the blog posts that will be included in the book first made their appearance here.

I'm at the point in the book where it's mostly a matter of making sure things read properly, and that there are smooth transitions from one place to another. But of course, being a non-fiction book, (unlike my previous one) there are always more things you can think of that might fit within its covers, and you have to keep making decisions on what to include and what to leave out

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Yet another reason to avoid iPhones

February 7th 2014 22:37
Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini
My wife is jealous of my Samsung Android phone. Yup, it's true.

She's had an iPhone for some time now and has always found it great. Very generously, when my old cellphone kept dying, she bought me a Samsung Galaxy SIII mini. (She's working these days, and I'm not.) The phone is brilliant, and has so many features that the iPhone doesn't that she's seriously thinking of getting one for herself

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Uploading a book to Kindle II

February 4th 2014 20:30
This is the second post relating to uploading a book to Kindle.[The first is here.] In this one I’m talking about something I had a bit of difficulty with, and that was working my way through the tax aspects.

Once you’ve got your book uploaded to Kindle you’re taken to a question box where things get slightly more tricky. US writers have to deal with the tax laws relating to their country, but non-US writers are mostly exempt from these. This exemption applies to me as a New Zealand-based writer. (Of course, if my book makes a lot of money, then I’ll have to deal with my own IRD

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How I put a book on Kindle

January 31st 2014 02:31
Back in 2012, the theatre production of the musical, Grimhilda! was presented in Dunedin’s Mayfair Theatre. I’d co-written the script with Cherianne Parks, and had composed the music. It was the culmination of a long history of this musical, which had its beginnings back in the late 1970s.

I felt the musical had more life in it than just the stage production, and so I soon began to write a novelized version of it, intended for intermediate-age children to read for themselves, and parents to read to younger children. Through a series of hold-ups, including procrastination, the book took longer than it should have to get off the ground. However, in January 2014, it finally became an e-book, and is currently available on Kindle. It will be available on other e-book devices in the next few months

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Georgette Heyer on an ill-planned dinner

December 20th 2013 01:42
I haven't read any Georgette Heyer for a long time, possibly not
Georgette Heyer
since I was in my teens. My mother used to collect her books, and probably had most of the titles. A couple of years ago I read The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge, and that encouraged me to read the books again...except that by that time we'd given away the collection of them that my mother had had.

Anyway, here's a shortish extract from chapter 9 of April Lady, which I'm reading at the moment, which typifies her wit.

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Australia Post scam

December 10th 2013 23:31
If you get an email with the following 'information' in it, throw it in the s*pam bin.

Subject: Track Advice Notification: Consignment RYR350008

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Recent Comments

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.

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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.

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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!

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Comment by Mike Crowl
on Thoof

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

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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!

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Comment by Mike Crowl
on Backing Up

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

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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

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Comment by Mike Crowl
on Phooey on Popuri Again

October 21st 2013 05:44
21.10.13 update:
The link at Popuri now has this notice:

A tool to check at-a-glance the link popularity of any site based on its ranking (Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati etc.), social bookmarks (del.icio.us, etc), subscribers (Bloglines, etc) and more!

We're sorry, but this service has been discontinued

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Comment by Mike Crowl
on ASL

September 20th 2013 01:27
There's now a website for NZ Sign Language, which is, of course, more useful to those of us who live here, where the 'dialect' is different.

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Comment by Mike Crowl
on Wide screen: fat people

September 14th 2013 01:07
In spite of my comments above, we now have a wide-screen TV - and have had for at least a year or more. It didn't require an immense amount of furniture shifting, but it does take up some extra room. And we can control the 'fatness' of people quite easily. Obviously the TVs I'd seen in 2008 weren't being sorted out by their owners in terms of people's Body Mass Index.
As for the ancient TV stand: it eventually succumbed to old age, and was dismantled (probably violently) and sent to the tip.

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