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Writing prompt “Do you still believe in God?” said the Creature to the astronaut.

Friday, May 29th, 2015

“Euhm . . . hi”. Smooth Johnny, real smooth. I know there’s a protocol for this sort of thing but right now I really can’t remember the damn thing.

I extend my hand “John Lindgren” I state, breaking out into a performance smile “of euhm . . . Earth” I follow up rather weakly.

“Hello commander Lindgren” it says in very passable English. The being standing on my dash measured about 20 cm, was covered in green scales with bright feathers at several extremities, 6 of which appeared to be arms/legs and appeared to be of . . . the reptile kingdom? It had appeared there some 20 seconds after the giant Sphere appeared off my port bow.

It walks up and its tiny paw grabs my hand and shakes it. “I am known as” and he lets out a hissed sound sorta like “Raaaah”.

“You euhm . . . Earth as in the 3rd planet in this solar system. It’s just a name we gave it, it’s a lot more than just earth. It actually has a mostly iron core” SHUT. UP. You blathering idiot.

“Yes, we know, thank you.” He walked around the dash a bit looking around. “Nice ship” He pushed his head through the top of it for a second and pulled back out “semi-conductors, liquid crystal and a fair bit of copper.” His head went sort of up and down which in a human might have been an indicator of agreement, but who knows what it would mean to a . . . Raaaah. “Oh, this is a projection btw. No harm will come to your machine”

He stopped his pacing and faced me again. “You’ve come a long way”

Should I be patching this through to Earth? I pressed a button and opened a channel. “Euhm yeah. This is my . . . 3rd time around so that’d be about 2 million kilometers.” I answered the thing. “If that’s what you were asking”. “Guys, you should take a look at some of the feeds of the cockpit. And if you can see off the port bow there is something there that will blow your mind.” Jezus. Readings had just come in, that thing had a 21.5 km radius.

It tilted its head.

“Sorry, I opened a channel to Earth to document this.” Its head tilted further. “You don’t mind, do you?”

There was a sound coming from the back of its throat. “Hmmmm, I suppose not. I had hoped to talk to you in private first, but we were prepared for this happening eventually. We did approach you on the other side of your satellite for a reason though.”
“Hello Earth” it spoke into thin air. “I see you have an artificial satellite to bounce that signal off.” It looked at me again. “Impressive.”

“Well, commander. You’ve prospered it seems. Worked your way out of the dirt, developed a high enough technology to travel here.”
“Tell me, do you still believe in god?”

“I euhm . . .” Wait, what? Damnit, the protocol didn’t mention anything about this. It just had some standard phrases or something and you were supposed to smile. NO, DON’T SMILE. Showing teeth is like the universal sign for aggression.
I immediately toned down on the stupid grin that has been on my face for the last minute or so and fold my lips over any teeth I might have been showing. “No, not really. My grandparents were . . . Christian of some sort I think . . .” I trailed off rather lamely.

“Not you personally” countered the thing. “I meant your kind in general”

“I think most of us believe in something or other. A third of the population believes in the Abrahamic god of some denomination or other and there’s Hinduism and some other polytheistic ones . . . I guess. But more and more people are coming about to a more rational standpoint.” Its head started swaying from side to side. “How about some help over there, not trained for this” I hissed in the microphone meant for home.

“Hmmmm, well, we have been gone a long time”

. . . .

The brain froze. It just. WHAT?

“Well, we’re back now. Here to make things right. Sorry it took so long. Politics”                it held 2 of its front appendages apart and if it was human that would definitely have been a shrug.

“You were . . .” I tried. “You are . . .“ I moved my arms about trying to make up for the lack of articulation.

“GOD?” It spoke

“You’re Jesus?” It tilted its head again “I mean Yahweh, Allah or, or, or thingy that third one?” Earth was coming in now, questions were coming through, but I had a hard time hearing them. There may be a Protocol written somewhere about how to deal with aliens that I don’t remember, but I know that if God talks to your face you pay the fuck attention.

“Oh no. I don’t know about those.” It rested itself on its rear 4 appendages and pressed 2 others together in such a way that the little digits touched.

“Right, same deal as last time. One chosen people and they get the might to enslave the rest of the world. One guy to talk to, less hassle for us you see.”

“70% of the proceeds and resources go to us, of course. Not to mention first picks among virgins.”

He broke out into a smile, with little projected teeth blinking broadly in the LED light.

“And since we like you we’ll give your kingdom first bid.”


This writing prompt showed up over a week ago here:

I wrote it fairly soon, but ended up not posting it because I was distracted with other things. Since you don’t get karma on these things if you post it a lot later I thought I might as well post it here instead. Feel free to read other entries in the link above.

Harz trip

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

The Harz is German for “The Heart”. It is, however, situated in northern Germany.
You can probably deduce when the place was named based on the history and locations of the various German Kingdoms. But I won’t go into that. There’s a proclamation of Charlemagne that mentions it by that name though so it’s pretty old if you want to look into it yourself.

Being in northern Germany though means that we can reach it easily though and we don’t really have to go into how the name isn’t very accurate or appropriate in the current political climate.

However, there is a small naming issue. There is the Harz, and then there is the Harz. One is the area, the other is the national park.

So I thought to go to the second and upon arriving found out about the existence of the first. Considering we’d booked a hotel there we just went with it. Also, this leaves us with a good reason to return.

We stayed in a nice pension at Goslar that allowed dogs so Orion came along.

Goslar is a nice little fairytale village that doesn’t exist in the real world and it looks quite nice.

If ever you need to leave the real world and visit a fairy tale location I heartily recommend it. Although, please read up on original Grimm fairytales and their ending. Disney has no place in this town

Goslar was founded in 922 AD, although it is widely assumed that it has been settled since pre-Roman times. The town is famed for its magnificent gates and ramparts, the medieval Imperial Palace, Romanesque churches, its half timbered guild houses, the ancient Rammelsberg ore mine… and its witches [1]

Being on the recovery side we did some nice hiking in the Harz area (but not the Harz national park).

Photos can be found here.

Oh, and another word of warning.

That is a full sized spoon in there.
And that’s a cappuccino next to it

ILA 2012

Monday, November 12th, 2012

OK, so for those of you that follow these kinds of things. The ILA was in early September. Pictures are only now posted because I’m a lazy slob.
That’s pretty much the entire reason.
Nothing to do with having a computer die and having to build a new one before being able to extract my hard-disk to actually post pictures.

For those of you not in the know, there are a bunch of European airshows and the ILA is a big one that returns every two years to Berlin. This one was just last week. I last went there in 2006 as well with EUROAVIA, as a matter of fact, let me interrupt writing this for a second to upload some of those pictures as well.
And TADAAAAAA, through the magic of not publishing until you actually finish the entire piece, there it is.
So, in 2006 I went there and had a good time.
This time I lived 400 km closer, I got a free ticket from Airbus and a free ride (and dinner) from Heinkel. So Yeeh!

I’ll just leave a link to the pictures here and you can stop reading.

But there are a few pictures that deserve captions.

Like “Wait, this Tigre simulator is fully realistic, you say?”

There was a reason I didn’t become a fighter pilot, but an engineer. The same reason as to why the canopy is up in this picture. I am too tall to fit in these cockpits.

The thing about big airshows is that you see all the big aircraft, but I also really liked the smaller ones.

Launch powered by elastic bands. Watch out girls, your ponytail hides the power to hunt Bin-Laden.

This one comes with a launch trailer. There was also a bunch of hand-launched ones of which I don’t have good pictures.

These things are handily controlled by these btw. And I’m not just exited about this just because I just got a new computer built and will be looking at maybe shooting stuff with one of them babies. Hell, who am I kidding, I might just get one of these instead of a sissy joystick like that. Does make for cozy LAN parties I suppose though.

I thought this one would be worth noting as I’m not entirely sure how this soot stain come about. There was either a strong-ass rear wind or another fighter was showing its dominance.

One thing I, unfortunately, did miss (because the thing landed, that’s where my interest stopped. Silly me) was this:

It’s not that I don’t have pictures of it, I had actually just turned around and saw this the same way as you, on Youtube.

This is a Messerschmidt-109, the most produced fighter aircraft in the world, landing with a decent side-wind. This aircraft was known for this issue and I suppose it was nice of them to show that aspect of the plane, though I’m sure it wasn’t entirely according to plan.

Parental visit – the non pictures.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The last post was primarily pictures.  And while a picture can say more than 1000 words (or more than that if you believe these guys).

So I want to provide you with some of the things that happened off camera and that can’t really be said with a picture.

Like: “Oh dear LORD, not more fish head stew”
Although . . . .
That was the first fish head stew and those were pictures.
You see, after a year-and-a-half in Korea I still don’t understand most of what is written on the walls of Korean diners. Most of it just doesn’t show up in my little dictionary.

So there was this dish which, on the next table, looked exactly like tofu and noodle stew.
The tofu was tofu, the noodles were fish brain. Hoorah.
Underneath the tofu and fish brain was an assortment of different organ meat aaaaaaaaaaaand fish heads.

What you see on the side there are different Kimchi side-dishes. You may have heard me bitch about kimchi. Kimchi comes in many different varieties wrt season and the like. I like some of them, but the poster child of kimchi is the napa cabbage Kimchi. After 3 days of getting this with every meal my parents were able to accede that it does indeed suck balls.

The problem with this conclusion was that it came too soon. You see, they reached this conclusion while still in Seoul. In Seoul, non-Korean eateries are quite numerous and one can get away from kimchi if one so desires.

We subsequently left Seoul!

Can you guess where this is going?

I was asked to lead my parents to small villages to get away from the Korean Big cityâ„¢, meanign generic Korean cities which all kind of look the same anyway. Consequently, we ended up here.

I’ll give you a guess what our options were regarding breakfast.
It involved fish guts. Well, it would likely have been fish guts. It’s not like we checked the 8 seafood restaurants if they offered croissants.

Due to that and the only source of coffee being a vending machine we left for the Gyeongju, referred to as museum without walls here, before 8 in the morning and didn’t stop till we found a place that offered coffee and some things Koreans consider rolls.


The Apartment, part I

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

So it’s happened.

In the last few weeks we’ve looked for an apartment, last week we signed a Korean document, which is, in all likelihood, a lease.

Today we moved in.

As promised, the first pictures. I’ll do more when there’s light outside.

When I get a mouse tomorrow and I figure out how to show dimensions I’ll finetune the layout. But for now:

Main room + Kitchen:

Room 1:

Room 2:

Master bedroom:

And some views from the roof terrace which may or may not be ours to use:


Quote of the day:

I think it’s fair to conclude that a sport store in Korea means either a Golf store or Hiking store

– Raphaëlle


Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Obviously the counter ran out

Quote of the day:

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

– Mark Twain