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In which I walk through town dressed in shit - Tactical Ninja

Nov. 2nd, 2011

09:31 am - In which I walk through town dressed in shit

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Random question: Is it my imagination or are American Football pads getting smaller? When I was a kid it seemed they wore gigantic wire cages as big as their heads, now they seem to be only half the size of their heads.

Anyway, last night I broke the Curse Of Making It Rain. Well actually, I didn't - I just finished shearing before the rain started.. and I mean just finished. As in, big drops falling on me as I packed up. Luckily it was only 7 sheep and these ones are well cared for Perendales, thus fast and easy (and relatively small). It was the first time I've dropped my car off and walked home in my shearing greasies. The sheep having been a bit full, I also had shit all over me and, well.. it was a whole new level of self-consciousness. Luckily I didn't have to share an elevator with anyone but I could see folks eyeing me, especially since from the neck up I was all Office Girl in my alice band and from there down I was all Mum Jeans And Black Singlet And Sheep Shit.

Check me out with my classy stylings! *cough*


The Real Free Trade Market!

What's that then?

It's the next initiative by Occupy Wellington. This Sunday the 6th of November at 12 noon, there'll be a market - with no money involved!

Those of you with burn experience will understand the gift economy, but this is a little different. It's an opportunity to try out a variety of forms of alternative economy in practice. So - barter, gifting, swap, share - you name it, as long as it doesn't involve filthy (or clean) lucre and the people doing the trading agree to the deal, it's welcome. As are stalls from any and all comers, giving/swapping/bartering/exchanging whatever for whatever.

There will also be a 'crafternoon' for sharing skills, and the Free University will continue, including an extension of Miles's talk about alternative currencies on Sunday, with someone available to explain a variety of different alternatives and how they work in practice as folk participate in the Free Trade Market.

If you're interested in art, crafts, economics, learning, or giving/getting Stuff, you should probably go have a look. If you want to set up a stall you'll need your own table because they are at a premium. They are also asking that people take away what they don't part with - it's operating on a Leave No Trace principle and the last thing Occupy needs is to have other folks use them as a dumping ground for the crap they don't want - which would make maintaining good relations with officials more difficult.

So yeah. I expect my Curse, having lifted, will allow me to be shearing on Sunday but I'll still make it down late afternoon - I hope that by then someone will be willing to swap some cupcakes for a massage or something!

Also, it appears the attempt to evict Occupy Dunedin last night did not result in the occupiers leaving. Apparently the police were busy dealing with drunken revellers after the Melbourne Cup (big horse race), and say they won't act immediately because it's a council issue. Another article said something about Armistice Day on the 11th of Nov and how the Octagon would be needed for that. However, Occupy Wellington has successfully negotiated shared space with the council, and so has Occupy Auckland. So I call on Dunedin Council to step up and do the same.


K just a friendly reminder to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who just celebrated Halloween/Samhain and are now possibly celebrating Dia de los Muertos or your own equivalent, down here in upside-down land we just passed the opposite spoke. It's spring (and how!), Halloween's not really a thing here because it doesn't fit the season, and for those of a pagan bent, Beltane is the name of the game. I don't talk much about my spiritual practice and it doesn't celebrate the crossquarters anyway, but I'm certainly feeling the spoke go past this year.

So for those of you who do mark the spokes in the wheel, regardless of what hemisphere you're in, what did you do?

PS I have a secret.

Comments:

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From:danjite
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
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I see these secret things happening and, as long as they don't involve matters of National policy, am likely pleased by them.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
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You will be pleased, citizen.
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From:danjite
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
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In which case, let me know if I can be of service in the aiding and abetting department.

I am doing too much serious shit these days.
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
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The type/size of pads depend on position. Linemen will wear monster pads; wide receivers, kickers and so on, much smaller ones.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Are the linemen the ones that squat in a line going HUT HUT HUT and then charge at each other and all fall over?

And what does a quarterback do?

(ph3ar my comprehensive grasp of american football)
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Are the linemen the ones that squat in a line going HUT HUT HUT and then charge at each other and all fall over?

Yes

And what does a quarterback do?

He takes the ball from the snap and makes the play; i.e. either hands off to a running back or passes. He's, very roughly, the equivalent of a fly half (or first five eighths for you heathens).
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Sweet! Thanks. ;-)
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From:richdrich
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
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Why do New Zealanders call a fly half a first-five eighths? What do the second and third five eighths do?
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From:tatjna
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
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The second five eight is otherwise known as the inside centre and that's the person the first five usually chucks the ball to after fishing it out of the scrum. The second five then does fancy things with the ball (either kicks it, runs with it or chucks it to someone else) that sets up whatever supposedly happens next.

Five eighths numbers three through eight generally sit in the crowd booing the opposition team.

I'm gonna take a wild stab and say the five eighth thing is something to do with arcane rugby field positioning knowledge.
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:November 2nd, 2011 10:26 am (UTC)
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The New Zealanders were the first to go with the modern system of inside and outside centres. Originally the centres played left and right (so did flankers). Instead of the usual modern terminology for 9,10,12,13 of scrum half, fly half, inside centre, outside centre they used half back, first five eighth, second five eighth, centre. There is no third five eighth.
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From:clashfan
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
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The quarterback is the chap who receives the ball from the center (almost always). He then hands it off to a running back or throws it to a different fellow. Occasionally he will run with it himself.

The linemen are indeed the fellows in the lines opposite one another. There are offensive linemen and defensive linemen. Their positions have names like Right Guard and Left Tackle. I could discuss more, if you care even the slightest amount.

Apparently I can discuss both abortion and American football.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
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You are a diverse conversationalist!

So this lining up thing. In rugby it seems more formalised in the scrum, so they all get in position and engage, then someone chucks the ball in the side and the job of the scrummagers is to hook the ball to their side so it comes out the back and the (quarterback equivalant) first five gets it and Does Stuff with it to make the play.

I'm guessing the lines in American Football are similar in that they are supposed to get the ball to their quarterback but I fail to see how it's done. To my eye it looks like they are all just pushing each other over, which takes a whole bunch of people out of play and achieves nothing. I'm guessing they are targeting particular people to push over so that other people are free to grab the ball and give it to the quarterback?
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From:clashfan
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
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One problem here is that I know *nothing* about rugby, so any comparisons are right out.

On the offensive side, the lineman in the middle is the center. His job is to snap the ball to the quarterback, by passing it between his legs into the quarterback's waiting hands (usually--there are a couple other formations in which the QB is back further and the ball is tossed to him). This action starts the play. The quarterback is the guy yelling, "Hut one! Hut two!" and similar admonishments. That's called the 'count'. Prior to lining up, the team agree on what the signal is to snap the ball.

The defensive linemen are trying to stop the advance of the ball; they do this in one of three ways: tackling the running back (or QB) who is carrying the ball; getting past the offensive line to tackle the QB while he still has the ball (this is called a 'sack'); and by batting down a thrown ball that is whizzing by their heads.

The offensive linemen are trying to keep the defensive linemen from doing these things. If it's a running play, they try to shove the DL to either side to make a 'hole' or 'running lane' for the running back. (BTW, there are several kinds or running back, but whatevs.) If it's a passing play, they are trying to keep the DL from getting by them and sacking the QB. They can push, shove, and knock over, but they are not allowed to grab the defensive linemen--this is a penalty.

There are also guys who run around trying to catch passes, and other guys wot try to keep them from doing so. There's different rules for them, too. Let me know if you want to know more.

I got all kinds of esoteric knowledge and opinions.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Luckily I know a fair bit about rugby so I can make the comparisons in my head. ;-)

It seems that when I'm seeing people push each other over for no apparent reason, they actually are pushing each other over but there's a reason.

In rugby, you're not allowed to push people over who don't have the ball, so that's why it's confusing to kiwis to see all this shoving going on - those guys are acting like a protective army for the small number of people that actually do stuff with the ball, and the shovees are acting like a rabble that's trying to take out those same few people.

Is this why when we see movies with footballers, being a quarterback is like really cool man? Cos the quarterback is the one that has all these armies either trying to take him out or trying to stop other people taking him out?
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From:clashfan
Date:November 1st, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
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Yes, there is a reason for all the pushing and shoving. It just *looks* like mindless violence! ;-)

As to why quarterbacks are portrayed as the really cool guys, well, part of that is based on reality and part of it is buying into the mystique. The QB is supposed to run the offense, pick which plays to run, and make adjustments right before the play as he sees how the defense is set up. To do that well, one has to know quite a bit and be able to process and make decisions fairly quickly. One also has to have some amount of leadership, because you're telling the other blokes what to do. You can make up for lacks in one skill area by being even better in another (just like anything else), but having zero charisma would be bad for a quarterback. It's not much of a liability for any other position. So every football movie shows the QB as being a swell guy--so every kid with an ounce of skill wants to *be* a QB, and you see how the cycle goes 'round.

I have this theory that at the very top level of American professional sports, US football players are actually the brightest on average. I mean, compared to basketball, baseball, and hockey. The playbooks are thick and complex, and the plays are so quick to develop, that the very best players really do have to be pretty sharp to succeed. I mean, they're not going to cure cancer or solve the debt crisis, but I believe that you can't be a knucklehead and be a starter in the NFL. Despite stereotypes saying the opposite.
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From:damnitnicole
Date:November 1st, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
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I feel most celebratory during the middle weeks of Spring, when everything is lush and green and seems full of energy and possibility, and around my birthday (mid-December) because it's the most important spoke in MY year.

I was a Discordian before I ever knew what it was, so my celebrations vary, especially in Springtime. For the most part, I'm likely to be found celebrating with as much of a posse as I can accumulate at any given point, doing whatever seems to be the most exciting thing we can find to do at the time.

This year, it was all about getting the most adventures I could out of SXSW here in Austin in March, and my 30th birthday will be spent in New Orleans, surrounded by some of the people I adore the most from around the country.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
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How green does it get in Austin in spring?
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From:damnitnicole
Date:November 1st, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
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Not as green as elsewhere, but we have trees here and I live in a part of town with lots of them.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Whenever I picture Texas, it's always sagebrush and those big cacti and rocky bits.

(there may also be longhorn cow skulls and some guy on a horse)

I realise it probably doesn't really look like this. ;-)
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From:damnitnicole
Date:November 1st, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Hahahaha, some of it totally does. Just not Austin. This area is arid but not a desert. We sometimes get blasts of humidity from Houston/the Gulf of Mexico. There are a lot of Pecan and Oak trees and other leafy trees that I don't know what they are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin,_Texas has pictures, and a better explanation of the ecosystem and climate than I can provide.
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From:thatgirljj
Date:November 2nd, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
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Austin is really, REALLY green. (At least to me, I've only lived in Cali & New Mexico and Austin is all kinds of green in comparison.) There's a big ol river and everything.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 2nd, 2011 07:51 am (UTC)
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West Texas is like that, apparently. Although the really huge (saguro?) cacti don't live there. Apparently they're more likely to be found in New Mexico and Arizona.
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From:tieke
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Is this the same secret as Dr Wheel's secret, or is it just a coincidence?
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Oh it's absolutely a coincidence.
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From:t_c_da
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Oh it's absolutely a coincidence.

I'm pretty sure there's an orange can of beer reputedly brewed in some obscure Wairarapa village in there somewhere...
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
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I have been to that obscure Wairarapa village and the biggest "Yeah Right" of the lot is the one about the people who make the beer, their gender and attire.

Just saying.
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From:t_c_da
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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I have to agree with you on that...

Whenever I drive that way, I always wonder whether the pub across the road has an underground pipe supplying the beer rather than the usual method of kegs and such...
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From:richdrich
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
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The pub is in dispute with the brewery for opening a function centre and taking their trade: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/5752177/Tui-Brewery-in-hotel-stoush
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From:tieke
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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I love that you're *both* planning to get me a pet cheetah!!!!

But two cheetahs could make for quite a big food bill ....
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From:tatjna
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
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Maybe we're getting you a cheetah and a pregnant antelope. Thought of that?
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From:tieke
Date:November 1st, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Nope, that would be too much of a coincidence for me to believe.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 2nd, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
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There is a big difference between catching a sheep and eating it. Which is why the carnivorous moss is still clinging to said sheep, waiting for them to fall over. The cheetah will grow strong and fit as it hangs onto the sheep it's caught until it chooses to lie down.

(the average lifestyle sheep being three times the size of the average cheetah that is)
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From:tatjna
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
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In that case, you should make it watch exercise videos and not bring it corn chips.
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From:tieke
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
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But they especially like the programmes: Kojak, Star Trek The Next Generation, and Dr Phil.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
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Do you mean like as in 'find entertaining' or like as in 'want to eat particular characters'?
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From:tieke
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
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It's very hard to say with cheetahs ...
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From:tatjna
Date:November 2nd, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
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I think maybe they find the thought of eating the characters entertaining and thus spend their time trying very hard to look inscrutable while staring because they can't help it.
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From:richdrich
Date:November 2nd, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
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Did you know that there's a rugby team called the Cheetahs? I wonder if they realized when chose the name and did it anyway.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 2nd, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
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I'd find rugby a lot more entertaining if one team was entirely composed on cheetahs.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 2nd, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
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I thought cheetahs liked Hustle.

...

/runs away very quickly
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