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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Song Saturday #9: Star Field

Got the idea for this one, strangely enough, by looking up at the stars. It's written a bit in the style of Owl City, both musically and lyrically. Oh, and the sections are a bit weird - I have what I'm calling a post-chorus, which I certainly haven't seen before (though I just looked it up then, and it did show up, so obviously not unheard-of). Might be a little clichéd. Oh, and I wrote it in the middle of a Musicology tute this week, just casually. But I like it, hope you do too :)

Star Field

V1: / IV/ I / V//
I look into the sky, and I see
A hundred million stars, winking back at me
All perfectly arranged in their own ways
Something I'll never understand through all my happy days

Chorus: / I / V/ IV//
Soaring through this field of stars
Wondering where in this field you are
I could search for an infinity
Without you being any closer to me

Post-Chorus: / IV/ vi / V/ ii /
My friend
My friend

I look into the sky, and I know
You're up there, somewhere, so away I'll go
My feet leave the ground, cause I don't need it any more
Why run around, when you can see I soar

Pre-Chorus: (x2) / IV/ V/ vi //
I soar free


Bridge: / V/ vi IV/
Wandering round with my eyes peeled
In you I know I will be healed
To you only I will yield
Does this field

Ever end
It never ends
Free, I soar free (x2)

Chorus x2 + Post-Chorus x2

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Marvel at The Avengers

It's finally here. It's arrived. The Avengers.

I'm a bit of a Marvel fan. I did go to the midnight, GMax, 3D screening. Yah. Well, you know. Thor + Captain America + Iron Man + Hulk = pretty awesome. Anyway, yes. Reviewing.

The basic idea behind this movie is that Loki, the Norse god of mischief and Thor's adopted brother, stole the Tesseract (which is a cube that can potentially create infinite power) from S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), led by Nick Fury, and him putting together a team (the Avengers) to try and get it back.

Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Loki, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Iron Man all reprise their most recent roles in the previous few Marvel movies. Hulk, however, has yet another actor change, and one for the better, I think. I've watched the two more recent adaptations of the Hulk, and while neither of them were that bad, I think that the Hulk played by the actor in this movie worked a lot better here. And indeed,  the Hulk has some great moments in this movie. He's an easy screen-stealer.

The story in the movie also works really well. Each of the characters has their own story to be told, their own failings and triumphs, and it's good to see that it's not just an explosion-fest. A couple of the plot elements leave a little something to be desired - for example, you'd think that would take more than a bump on the head to knock someone out of a trance induced by a Norse god - but in general, it's pretty good.

Basically, I liked it. A lot. It was a really great movie, and I definitely recommend seeing it. Easily one of the top 3 for this year.

Oh, and there's a little something after some of the credits. I don't know if it points to anything definite, but there seems to be something there....

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Of War And Men

War is an interesting topic for me to think upon. Personally, I'm a pacifist. I'm the sort of person that would rather any alternative to war or conflict. I'd never go in the army, I doubt I'd ever be able to shoot someone. If they had conscription back in, I wouldn't go in.

But then I have friends that are in the army/navy/air force, or are planning/have planned to be. One friend in particular pretty much has it running through a lot of his family, you could say. So I know a bit about it. I'm certainly no expert, but perhaps I know more than some.
Also to add to this point - have any of you seen Tomorrow, When The War Began? Basically about Indonesia declaring war on Australia, from the point of view of some teenagers. Anyway, one of them is religious, pacifist, etc. But there's a spot where the soldiers are shooting at her friends. So she's conflicted - and she starts fighting. For her friends. And I think that's me as well - I wouldn't fight for me, or for the sake of fighting, but if it was to protect my friends, and it was the only way, I think I would.

And so I think about wars that have happened from two angles, I suppose. Do I think that they were just all stupid, stupid things that should never have happened; or do I think about the people that fought and struggled through them, that went through the impossible because they believed that it would give us a bit more freedom? I bet you they thought war was pretty stupid as well, for the most part. Of course, there are always exceptions (ala John Watson from the recent TV adaptation Sherlock).

But I suppose that's what history is supposed to be about, really - remembering what happened, so we're not quite as idiotic next time.

This poem found me a while ago - we had to do it for English in Year 12 - and it's stuck with me. I find it an interesting commentary on some of this. It's written by Kenneth Slessor, an Australian poet. Take from it what you will.

Beach Burial

Softly and humbly to the Gulf of Arabs
The convoys of dead sailors come;
At night they sway and wander in the waters far under,
But morning rolls them in the foam.

Between the sob and clubbing of the gunfire
Someone, it seems, has time for this,
To pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows
And tread the sand upon their nakedness;

And each cross, the driven stake of tidewood,
Bears the last signature of men,
Written with such perplexity, with such bewildered pity,
The words choke as they begin -

'Unknown seaman' - the ghostly pencil
Wavers and fades, the purple drips,
The breath of wet season has washed their inscriptions
As blue as drowned men's lips,

Dead seamen, gone in search of the same landfall,
Whether as enemies they fought,
Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together,
Enlisted on the other front.

Epistles from Easterfest

It was pretty cool, first up. Yeah. The music, the messages, the food, the people - was very good, in each aspect.
The food - well. First time I went there, I discovered a little something called Divine Doughnuts. Basically, they make them on-site. and they're big, and crunchy, and warm. Have a look: Best doughnuts. Krispy Kreme's got nothing on 'em. Then we went to a Thai place one night. And there was also a woodfire pizza place. Needless to say, I was slightly out of pocket by the end of it.

The people - well, it's a Christian event. Suppose that could mean different things to different people. But you didn't get any people being annoying to you, pushing you around, laughing at you. The crew there were great, always interacting with you. Had a chat with a couple of different people, was quite interesting.

The music - where to start? Well, I saw Compliments of Gus, MercyMe, Garage Hymnal, Chris Poulsen Trio, Michael W Smith, Scat, Kaytee Faulkner, and bits of Tigertown, Northie, Hawk Nelson, and the Watoto Children's Choir. Highlights - probably Scat, Garage Hymnal and MercyMe. If you haven't heard of Scat before, they're a pretty cool jazz quartet. Have a look:
There were also a few non-musical acts I saw, including Cameron Semmens, The Mime Guy, Luke Holt, Micheal Connell, and Christopher Wayne. The first four are comedians - Cameron also a poet, more specifically - and Chris is a magician. Pretty good stuff, on all counts.

The messages - well, one main one, really. After the church service on Sunday night, this guy did a fantastic talk on Amazing Grace. Talking about how it wasn't ordinary grace, or second-rate grace. It was amazing grace. And he talked about three of Jesus's parables - The Lost Coin, The Lost Sheep, and The Prodigal Son. Found it particularly interesting how he said that we need to stop paying attention to the 99 (the Christians already saved) and start focusing on the 1 (those not yet saved). 'Twas a pretty darn good message. Probably in the top 5 I've ever heard.

Oh, and one more thing: I also saw the movie Courageous. Easily one of the best Christian movies I've seen - it deals with real issues (and well!), but it has a good story too - action, comedy, drama, tragedy, the whole shebang. Oh, and the comedy is pretty good. :D It's a fantastic movie. If you have a chance to watch it, do, please, it's really good.

So, all in all, Easterfest was pretty darn good. :)

Of late...

Hey guys, sorry I've been a bit lax with my posts since I've gotten back. Haven't posted that stuff I said I would. I'm taking this day as a chance to hopefully put some of that up...

So, hopefully back on schedule with the normal blogging schedule I've had, starting tomorrow with a review for The Avengers.

Also, if you remember, I mentioned a while back that I was involved in a play. Agatha Christie and such, muchly cool and all. It's coming along really well - About two weeks away, and we're starting to get costumes and set happening, it's good :D If you're interested in having a look: It is a pretty good play.

Also thinking of doing an ANZAC post, with my thoughts on the idea.

Oh, and as a quick aside, I actually got a 30-second spot on TV for Australia's Got Talent :D Doesn't show you much, and of course TV-biased, but if you want to have a look:

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Song Sunday #8: To Be With You

This one is a bit of a reflection on Easter, along similar lines to the post I just put up. The title is slightly tentative at the moment, best I could come up with. Hope you like :)

To Be With You

The Son, upon, a donkey
"Hosanna! Hosanna!" they cry.
Yet not from the Romans but from their sins he would save them,
God's only Son must die

And so we sing
Glory to You, our King
Jesus Christ
Let us bring
Our souls, our everything
Before the one who loves us
And saved us
To be with Him

The Son, hung on, a cross
"Save yourself!" they cry.
Yet not himself but them he saved
For their sins he died

The Son, upon, his throne
"Glory! Glory!" the angels cry.
The awesome Son of God he saved us
For our sins he died

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son
So that whoever believes in Him
Shall not die
But live forever
But live forever

The turning of the crowd.

In the Bible, we see huge crowds flocking to Jesus. We hear of him feeding the 10,000, the 5,000 - we read the accounts of the packed house, the full bay. How, then, did this all change so suddenly - how did these people who followed Jesus and loved him so much yell "Crucify him!"? Was it God turning their hearts, so that his plan could go ahead? Or were their hearts turned already? Let's have a look.
Shortly before Jesus was arrested, we have him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm Sunday - most people probably know the story, but do you know it all? The people were shouting "Hosanna" - that means, "save us". They were crying to Jesus to save them. But not from their sins, as he came to do. From the Romans, as the conquering, warrior-King Messiah.
And then Jesus gets arrested. By the Romans. And he doesn't even fight back. In fact, when one of his disciples does fight back and chop a soldier's ear off, he heals it back.
This man, who the Jews thought was going to conquer the Romans, save them from their rule - had just been arrested by them, healed one of them, and was set for execution. It's like all that the Jews thought he had promised them, he was breaking. He didn't care. He wouldn't save them.
And so they turned. The crowd turned. And Jesus was crucified. And they were saved. But from their sins, not the Romans.

A quick update.

I've been a bit quiet for a few days now. That's because, from mid-Thursday to mid-Tuesday, I was away at a little something called Easterfest. Basically, it's a Christian music festival at Easter. That also has people speaking, and charities, and all that sort of thing too. Up in Toowoomba. So yeah, it takes a little time to get there. Went there last year and decided to go back again, despite this:

So yeah, that's where I've been. However, do not despair; I've still got a Song Saturday to put up (though technically it was done on Sunday), some thoughts on Easter, and I'll probably do something on my thoughts of Easterfest if I can manage to smush that together into something that resembles a cohesive whole.

And hopefully, I'll have a Song Saturday for tomorrow/today as well. Should be able to manage that, I think.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Interview #6: Troubletcat

Hey dudes. I know that this interview is a day late, but I call that excusable, because of the awesomeness of the dude I've got an interview with. Tis none other than Troubletcat/TtC/Haig/the guy over at the Zombie Arcade, who is very cool, and has agreed to do an interview for me. So, let the awesome commence!

Firstly, for those who don't know you, who are you/what do you do?

I am a 21 year old human male, and my primary activities include vidya games and getting distracted from ever doing any work at university. I also have a little internet-based gaming-related project/website going, called the Zombie Arcade.

Essentially, what I’m interested in doing or trying to do is create content that contributes to gaming culture in some way. This started off as primarily text – game reviews and rants about gaming culture in general – and has progressed to being much more focused on video content, mostly YouTube (although hopefully with more Livestreaming coming again soon). Mostly I talk about Battlefield 3 – how to play the game successfully, as well as my opinions on developments with the game – but I also try to offer a little bit more breadth, throwing in other, less well known games, and occasionally talking about new releases or gaming news.

Very broadly, I consider myself an entertainer, and my main goal is always that people get a laugh or at least a mildly-amused-smirk out of my content. [Which he has done many times, in my case at least.]

Why did you decide to start a blog?

Primarily the original reason was boredom. I needed something to do. I was near the end of a year off after high-school and before university, I was having a hard time finding a job (or adequate motivation to spend enough energy job-hunting to make it effective) [I know that feeling...], and I really needed something to do.

I chose what I did because I’ve always had a small interest in journalism, I love games, and I thought it would be fun, and because I thought it might be useful to have a portfolio of some gaming-related work if I was ever wanting to actually get into the industry in some capacity – again, at that point, thinking of becoming a journalist in the field.

Did the progression on to doing videos and livestream just occur naturally, or was there some sort of planning/decision involved?

It was fairly natural for me. The kinds of content that I was most interested in, that I tended to get the most enjoyment out of, was video content – people doing essentially what I’m doing on YouTube now, and a handful of streamers. Initially I was concerned about recording quality on my old computer, and about hating the sound of my own recorded voice (which is one of the stupidest hurdles that almost everybody doing this kind of thing has to overcome, when in reality there’s almost never any actual reason to be concerned about this) [tis true - was one of the weirdest things when I first recorded], neither of which turned out to be problems remotely. For the most part, I just decided to try it out one day, and although I got a little nervous at first, I enjoyed it and found it quickly became pretty natural to me.

As for the Livestream, that was actually something I had vaguely considered doing, but was unsure about. At some point Michael (of Theality Bites) [of whom, the plan is, to get an interview from soon] suggested that I do it, and seemed really enthusiastic about the idea/wanting to get involved, so that provided the extra bit of motivation to actually give it a shot. The Livestream is a lot of work, and it can be kind of exhausting, but it’s also a lot of fun, and I pretty much immediately fell in love with it. Again, not a whole lot of planning or forethought – just the decision to give something a shot, and it ended up working out pretty well.

How do you manage the blog/channel/stream and uni?

This is actually pretty easy for me, at least. If I don’t stream, I spend a couple of hours a day working on videos. It doesn’t honestly take a gigantic amount of work, although some stuff takes longer if it’s more highly edited or produced, such as the few video reviews I did. [Which were pretty darn epic, yeah. Worth that extra time.] Since I’m only part time at university at the moment, it’s fairly straightforward to balance a couple hours of work a day on the blog and a couple of hours of work on university stuff. This would be more challenging if I had a full course load, but I expect I’d still be able to get a video up almost every day.

Where things become difficult is with the livestream, as that can potentially take up a lot of time. But really, it’s just a matter of prioritising things and being disciplined about not spending so much time on one that the other becomes impossible. Essentially it’s the same as balancing a part-time job with university, which is the more standard thing to do, and is more or less how I think about my situation – I’m pretty committed to Zombie Arcade, and I’m also hoping to actually make it pay me at some point down the line.

I guess the one piece of advice I’d give on this front is that there are plenty of hours in the day, it’s just a matter of exerting the willpower to make the most of them, instead of spending a lot of time spinning your wheels with the myriad of time-wasters the internet offers. [No kidding. It's just so annoying when the internet wastes your time with all these pointless....oh, look, Line Rider!]

What's been the best thing about doing the blog/channel/stream so far?

In short, the people. I really like Livestreaming because I get to interact with my viewers in real-time, and it always puts me in a good mood when I get up in the morning and check my YouTube comments. Gamers are a cool bunch of people, and I like being able to interact with them on a fairly wide scale, as well as sort of getting to know my regular viewers, most of whom are pretty cool dudes.

Any ideas how you could further expand it out? (i.e. you've got a blog, a channel, a stream - any other things possibly happening at some point as well?)

In terms of mediums I think I’ve pretty much got it covered. I’ve got text and video and I mean, I guess I could do pure podcasts, but if I’m doing something like that I might as well put some gameplay to it or at least my face on webcam.

I’ve got something cooking quietly in the background, and idea for something that’s more... internet television than the sort of thing I’m doing now, and I think a desire to do that kind of thing – something more highly scripted and edited, essentially of a more professional quality – comes through in a few of the things I’ve done over the past year.

[Tell me more....tell me all your secrets, all your plans, Agent Bond...]

I don’t want to talk too much about it though, because in reality I haven’t gotten very far, and I don’t want to be the guy talking about that screenplay he’s working on who never actually shows anybody anything or (probably) even sets pen to paper. [Ha...ha...ha....yeah. I know that feeling too.] I’m hoping to do something like that eventually, but I’m somewhat limited by time, budget, and technical ability at the moment. It’s brewing away at the back of my mind, and when I think I can really make it work, I’ll do it.

And lastly, why is it called the Zombie Arcade? (I believe you told me this once, but I forgot. :P)

Because I have no life, and I must game. Almost everything I do is targeted most heavily at hardcore, dedicated gamers who (regardless of the truth of this) are stereotyped as having no lives. Hence, an arcade for the undead. [I'm not quite what I'd call a hardcore gamer, not even that dedicated. But tis still awesome.]

If you guys want to see more awesome, I have links to TtC's various pages, including his blog, YouTube channel, Livestream and Facebook page just below. Big thanks to Mister Trouble for taking some time to answer these questions for me!

Blog -
YouTube -
Livestream -
Facebook -

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Song...Sunday #7: Silence of Cacophony

Yes, I know. A day late. Get over it, better late than never. :P
This one I've had the idea for for a little bit - got it from a line I had from D of my A to Z, "Death-defying" - "The complete silence of so much sound," So yeah, that's what this song is about. Enjoy. :)

Silence of Cacophony

Sounds surround this place
Noise around this space
Places between are few
Spaces to breathe too

But amidst it all, a stillness finds my heart
Amidst all this, despite where we are

There is a silence amongst the cacophony
A quiet that is found amidst the noise
There is a peace within the discordance
A stillness inside this harshness
Of cacophony

People pressing in
Air growing thin
Traffic jams thick
Not moving quick

Pre-Chorus + Chorus


Chorus x2