Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Lot’s of stuff and deadlines in the way.
And class test to correct…
And a Halloween party coming up…
And my boss is tough on deadlines…
Image © Michael Dashow, fair use.
Make Dinner, not War, everybody!
Nothing is better for fostering good relations between people than pursuing pastimes together and eating together. In what sequence you do that is up to you.
In any case, today we (as complete pagans and heathens) will celebrate Eid al-Adha together with a Syrian-Iraqi family and we will be completely stuffed in three hours.
The weather was tolerable recently, so I decided to don my ranger helmet and armor and scout the area I am now living in in depth.
Just behind the house, in the steeply rising hills, there trickle hidden brooks through weed chocked marshland infested with an astounding number of dragonflies.
It felt weird. Something was off. The brooks trickled too ominously, the dragonflies buzzed too abundantly… Had I stumbled into a time vortex, and stepped into a landscape of earth’s distant past, the Carboniferous?
There was also this rustling in the undergrowth… Was there a Arthropleura hiding, lurking for prey?
Not wanting to disturb this august creature, much less having its mandibles sink into my leg, I pressed on until I reached the top of the hill and looked around, there, the next surprise awaited me: A sign saying „Bethesda Krankenhaus“ (i.e. Bethesda Hospital) pointing towards a street winding downhill towards the southeast. I mean, I am the only one who is thinking FEV Lab here?
And just so you know I am not making this up, here is the sign at the entrance of the hospital, because I went there to check it out:
The question remains, do we have a reality-overlap here? What is being bread in the lowest level of this hospital?
The weirdness did not end there, either. Somewhere around here, there is a place where you can rent Zeppelins (although I have not seen any flying, yet):
So what is going om here? There seems to be a massive overlap of various realities plus some temporal anomalies in this town or maybe being caused by something in the hills. Do the hills have eyes or is this a comletely unrelated question? Only time will tell and I will have more opportunity to get to the bottom of this.
In the end, everything will have a perfectly reasonable explanation… Or at least that is what they want you to believe anyway…
The political post on this blog are few and far between. Out of the the so far 1.512 posts on this blog, less than 50 are in any way politcal (and some of those are of the „Vote Cthulhu!“ type) but now it is time for another one and it is on a hot topic:
The refugee „crisis“.
OK, where should I start? As you may know if you are a regular reader of my blog, for the past months (since March) I have been working as a teacher. In one of my classes, there is a particularly friendly, quiet and inoffensive boy who struggles a bit to catch up, since he has two new languages to learn in my class: German and English. He is a Yezidi refugee and literally the nicest pupil in this class.
Last week, we moved to the city the school I work at is and my son has already befriended three boys living in the neigbourhood (the only ones there at the moment, most likely because all the German children are on holiday).
Those children are: Two brothers from Syria and one boy from Iraq, all roughly the same age as my son.
All three speak better German than my son’s ex-classmates (yes, even the Germans among them!) at the primary school he used to attend before we moved.
All three have really good manners, are very kind and are simply great kids!
My wife is now also teaching the youngest of the three how to play the recorder, he got interested when he visited us and discovered the instrument in my son’s room.
So, as far as my experiences with refugees go (and so far they are heavily focused on children):
They are just regular children! They do not pose a threat, they are not already indoctrinated into salafist Islam or some other dogmatic shit!
From what I have observed, they are interested in:
If you have any complaints about that, please go and see someone who can administer some heavy-duty psychotherapy.
So no, I do not see problems with refugees in my community. If we accept them for the humans they are, they will simply be absorbed into our society.
Hell! The Persians managed to completely absorb their Mongol CONQUERORS (see here) and none of the refugees is trying to conquer us!
What will happen: The refugees will become citizens of your country and add their cultural heritage to the wealth of your culture. Everybody wins! Yes, I know, there are asshole refugees who will grope you, or someone you like, but guess what: There are people who share your skin colour and cultural heritage who also have the tendency to grope people of their sexually prefered gender(s).
No country/ethnicity has a monopoly on idiots and/or creeps.
My verdcit on the refugees coming here: Please come in, can I have some of your Falafel, please? They are just humans who want to live their lives and have some fun and joy, too (and their kids are great as far as I can tell).
Some of you may remember the late 1990’s, you know the time when there was not so much war going on in the Near and Middle East, when there was a competent person at the helm of the USA, the World Trade Center still stood and North Korea did not have nukes… Yes, I know, sounds almost like a utopia of ancient days gone by…
In 1998 I was living in a small house on Chandos Street in the St. Ann’s area of Nottingham.
The reason why I tell you this is the following:
St. Ann’s is a rough area. One of the roads and streets you see on the map above was known as „Rifle Street“ by locals and cab drivers alike, because of one of the houses having bullet impact marks from an automatic weapon in its facade.
I did not think it was even remotely as bad as the place I happen to currently have my abode in (the city, that is).
The city I live in is the place where Nurgle gets out the bleach, where Azathoth does not accept worshippers from and Cthulhu hopes the flood waters will never reach.
I got stranded due to a job that went sour quickly and was damned to spend the last four-and-something years here.
But not for very much longer.
Most boxes have already been packed and my family and me are leaving this rotten place behind and heading for (literally) higher and greener pastures, where people are hopefully friendlier, less sullen-faced and speak an intelligible form of German and not one that consists 90% of grunting and hacking sounds. This also means I will most likely be offline for a while, since we need to get a new ætherweb connection in the new flat first, but this is a minor inconvenience I gladly acept in exchange to getting out of here!
There is a proverb, possibly American in origin (I never came across it in the UK anyway) and I first heard it on an early season of The Simpsons: „God does not close a door without opening a window.“
This proverb needs some adaption in the case of my situation but is still applicable. The adaption goes something like this:
Hastur does not close door without Cthulhu taking off the roof.
Let me elaborate:
If you follow my bog, you should be aware I recently changed carrers. I have gone bak into teaching after working online for the past 10 years.
Getting there was a bit of a struggle (teaching in Germany has a lot of bureucratic hurdles). For a while it even looked like that, although I had all the qualifications, I would not be able to start because the combination of my qualifications only made me eligible for a probationary teaching position wich was out of the question because the pay would have been about a third of what was getting at my last online job and thus by far not enough to support a family.
And then Cthulhu came and ripped the roof off.
I saw an ad for a teaching position online on a dedicated website and applied. Two days later (and about four weeks before the date the official interviews would begin, according to the ad), I got an email inquiering if I could com in for an interview straight away. That was odd, but a happy surprize. I happened to have a few days off at the time so I could come in, of course.
The interview went very well and the headmaster of this school was apparently so impressed with me (for whatever reason) that he made a few phone calls, pulled a few strings and managed to get a special permit for me, so I could start in a better position straight away.
So, for the past three weeks (coming up four) I have been working as a teacher again. Although two of my classes are rather tough, I have not been so happy at work ever since my days working in an assistant data research position at university (that was in 2005, go figure).
Also: The teaching experience now is vastly different from what I experienced in Bavaria. The teachers are more friiendly by several magnitudes, they are more supportive and the kids are great as well.
So far, things are starting to look brighter and during the summer holidys I will have some real time to do some serious writing. A win all around.
Praise be to Cthulhu!
Well, well, 2017… You are hardly four weeks old and from a very personal perspective, you have already had a major impact on my life. In a good way.
Let me take a few steps back in time to a time before I started this blog, before I had heard of Steampunk but was already a Cthulhu cultist, as this thesis paper (German) clearely shows.
Back in those days, I worked as a teacher but had to leave teaching for a reason that was beyond my controle. I went into the more tech-related side of online marketing, first more focused on newsletters, then SEO. I have been doing SEO for nine years now but not anymore.
I have come full circle and will be a teacher again, which I have been wanting to do for the past four years but only now got the opportunity.
The subject matters I will teach will be different, I will no longer be requiered to teach accounting (which I hate) but will instead teach sociology and politics. I will still be teaching English (yay!) and will also be teaching IT (even more yay!).
Now, this of course means the whole STEAM vs STEM debate I contributed my own thoughts to is going to haunt me, since IT is part of the STEM cluster. Obviously, I will do my best to teach not only the skill but also the art of coding (or at least try to). My time to do this will be limited, since IT is not a big topic in the schools here, but I can always offer extra lessons after classes ended, do something like a coding club or maybe I can come up with something really creative.
This also means that I will have to do some teacher training again, also afeter school which means in the near future, the update frequency of the blog will decrease (at least for the next 1 1/2 – 2 years) but it will hopefully not go dormant entirely.
At least you know I am engaged otherwise doing something I love.
This proliferation of Islamophobia for political or other reasons only serves the plans of some bigotted fear- and warmongers and is something that is unacceptable in the company of decent humans and other intelligent life forms.
So I thought I do my part to push back. I recently had the pleassure of welcoming the highly gifted and all around awesome Naziyah Mahmood as an interview partner in my podcast and I thought: There simply have to be more geeky/nerdy Muslims out there.
What I thought I could do is show that Muslims are just normal, weird nerds and geeks like we all are and that there is absolutely nothing strange, fearsome, frightful, hateful or whatever about them.
I know it is a sad state of affairs that this is even neccessary, but if I can help alleviate the situation even to a modest degree, I do what I can.
So, if you are a Muslim of the geeky, nerdy, or gaming persuasion and would like to have a chat about nerdy and geeky stuff on my podcast or just give me an interview or tell my readers something, give me a shout, leave a comment, drop me a message or something and get in touch. If you are a Muslim cleric and a geek/nerd/gamer even better!
If you know somebody who fits the description, pass this article on.
There is enough hate in the world, most people are just that: People. Let’s spread love, understanding and unity in weird hobbies instead!
Also: If you are a geek/gamer/nerd of a different faith, I would like to hear from you, too! After all, nerd and geek culture is not restricted to any faith or atheism! Let’s be weird together!