Drumming Update

If anyone is interested, I did another recording to track my progress with learning the drums. I have been making myself go back and redo any sections I stuff up, but that doesn’t make for a fun listen, so I did a single run straight through the two songs Ive started learning (The Unforgiven and Nothing Else Matters). Oh, the stuff up at about 2 minutes in was because Miki (one of my dogs) decided to jump up onto my lap 😛 The rest (as always) are mine.

The Unforgiven [5mb]
Nothing Else Matters [5mb]

Let me know what you think 🙂

Interesting…

I finally got around to reading the third issue of Black magazine (a good read if you like dark culture, horror movies, etc).  I was flicking through it and came to a page with the following list:

1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates
5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek
6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development”, has become the most vicious animal of all
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification
9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years

I was, to understate, surprised.  I have been searching for a religious aspect to life as I have felt for some time that this important aspect of life has been missing for me.  Indoctrinated in traditional societal rules, I initially dismissed the article, but after giving it an open minded view, I quickly learned that “Satanism” is not at all what the popular media and religions have portrayed.

I have always leaned towards mysticism, the supernatural, and other darker aspects of life, but have been told by the hypocrites that this is bad.  So, I wandered around aimlessly in the spiritual landscape, adrift because I have not found a faith that represents my experiences and understanding of the way the world works.

Out of desperation I read the full article, only to learn that the naysayers have completely misrepresented the views of Satanism.  In fact, they need Satanism in order to justify their own existence (see #9 above).  To me, this seems to be the other side of the same coin.  Both necessary for existence and balance, but one side represents abstinence, piety, control, and faith without evidence.  The other seems to represent hedonism, vital existence, realism, freedom to feel and experience without guilt, and a way of explaining the rocky road of life.  For me, it seems to fit, more accurately than many others would have me believe.

So, I found a copy of The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.  I have started to read it (and for those worried about my immortal soul, I have also started to read The Quran, and The Christian Bible), and so far I have found some interesting outlooks on life that seem to fit in with today’s society.

It is not an easy religion to adopt in a society ruled so long by Puritan ethics. There is no false altruism or mandatory love-thy-neighbor concept in this religion. Satanism is a blatantly selfish, brutal philosophy. It is based on the belief that human beings are inherently selfish, violent creatures, that life is a Darwinian struggle for survival of the fittest, that only the strong survive and the earth will be ruled by those who fight to win the ceaseless competition that exists in all jungles – including those of urbanized society. Abhor this brutal outlook if you will; it is based, as it has been for centuries, on real conditions that exist in the world we inhabit rather than the mystical lands of milk and honey depicted in the Christian Bible.

That quote is by Burton H. Wolfe (from the prologue of The Satanic Bible) stands out to me.  I have found myself drawing the same conclusion about life and people, on my own, by my own experiences.  I have always felt that religion should be self evident, the rules spoken clearly by interactions with people and the world in general.  So far, I am quite surprised to say that The Satanic Bible so far has represented the most pragmatic and realistic viewpoint of how to view and deal with life.

I will read on, take on the lessons that I need to learn, and maybe I have found something that I can hang my hat on and fill the void in my life?

Sil80 R.I.P. 17th May 2008

Troy Injured.jpg Well, it’s a sad announcement, but my car seems to officially be no more.

Yes – its only a car, but do consider that there is some truth to comments about guys and their cars. Not to mention that it was a good car, reliable, rare, sporty, and despite being nearly 20 years old, it was still rather cool looking (to me at least).

The unfortunate truth of the situation is that I was going through a major Townsville intersection on a Saturday morning (read: busy). The traffic heading in the same direction as me was very light, with only one white ute infront of me heading towards the same intersection. As I approached I saw that white ute (in front and to the left of me) slow.

“Look at this guy stopping for a green light” I said to my mum who was in the passenger seat. I had seen this plenty of other times before. Regardless, I slowed a little incase there was a dog or something on the road.

There may have been time for another comment in between, but the next few moments are a bit of a blur.

As I reached the intersection I shifted my attention from the ute and looked right, and saw the ambulance bearing down on me.

The next few things all happened at the same time. My mum yelled out something, I hit the brakes, and I may have started to swerve based on the position of the car, but I cannot be sure. We both saw the side of the bonet crumple as the ambulance hit. My head hit the side window sill and mum was thrown forward but caught by the seat belt.

[Here is an animation of what happened]

In the aftermath we found out that there was thankfully no patient in the ambulance. We only received minor injuries – bruising and pulled muscles it seems. The ambulance was fitted with air bags but they did not deploy.

It took nearly an hour for the police to arrive at the scene. The driver and passenger were taken away by another ambulance, but seemed uninjured except for some bruising. Im not sure if they gave statements to the police but I assume they did. The driver of the ute gave a witness account also.

IMG_0053_sm.jpg

Long story short, the insurance company (Suncorp) claims I am at fault because according to the road rules, drivers need to give way to emergency vehicles in all situations. This seems to include events where the ambulance could not be seen until it is too late. The police said it could be 3 months before they come back with a ruling.

I spoke to a friend who is a traffic police officer, and he said I should not be charged because the onus is on the driver of the ambulance to move safely through the intersection, especially when they are running a red light. The insurance company does not seem to care about this, they are just reading the Queensland road rules to determine this ruling, especially when it means they want me to pay the excess.

I spoke with a lawyer and they told me that I probably have grounds for argument, but it is not worth persuing because of the cost of legal fees.

I also spoke with the local insurance guys and they said that because the car looks like it was too damaged, they are going to write it off. Yes, you read it right. It looks like it, so why bother getting a mechanic to actually check it? I asked for an assessment report and there was none.

He then went on to tell me that they are getting an independent assessor to determine its value. I am dubious that they will come up with anything fair when he tried to dangle the $6-$8k price infont of me, and I baulked. 5 minutes of searching Australian (and specifically queensland) car sale sites determined that yes, a bog standard automatic 1.8 litre 180sx may go a low as $7k. But mine was a modified 180sx, including front end conversion to a Sil80, a 2 litre engine which had only seen 80,000 kms at the time of the accident, after market front bumper bar, large front mounted intercooler, after market 17″ mags with fairly new rubber, manual conversion, new shocks, after market stereo, and more.

Right now I am waiting for that argument to get going properly…

BTW – The pic is just photoshopped – courtesy of my mum.  We are both unscathed (except for some brusing!)