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Sunday, February 27, 2011


   [ Here was an image of  an earthquake of 1908 or earlier I think it was]                              

Earthquake - one of those with more than 100,000 killed


Earthquake Weather

> Dear Richard,
> B____ emailed and said he is happy to come over if we have a family
> reunion. He suggested spring or autumn next year. I emailed back and
> suggested late November or early December. Then we could celebrate M___
> and his birthdays as well.
> By the way he said they were fine in the cyclone: He didn't email you at
> that time as he had lost your email, so I forwarded his email to you so
> you could reply and then your email will be in his computer again.
> He wanted to know about our Chch cousins and I had to say I don't know.
> I am worried about F___ and D____ in their cup-cake parlour in
> town. They would have been at work at the time of the earthquake. Their
> building is in the worst hit area. Last time the building next to their
> shop was damaged so they weren't allowed to continue there. They moved
> to another building and I'm worried about what might have happened to
> that. I don't know just where they live except for F____. I have
> emailed but haven't had a reply. Don't like to phone yet. Maybe they had
> to leave their house and couldn't take the computer. Hoping and hoping
> they're OK. It's amazing just how this earthquake has affected people
> all over NZ.
> T___'s son G___, wife S___ and their little girl P____ live there
> also, however he was able to phone his sister who phoned us to say they
> are fine. Their house is more damaged than last time when only the
> chimney had a few bricks dislodged. G___ pulled it down after the
> assessors had been. Now the house has been slightly dislodged from it's
> foundations and at least one rafter is buckled, so they are staying with
> Heather's cousin for the time being. T____ has several cousins there also
> and they are all fine though dislodged and staying elsewhere.
> See if you can figure out a good time for a family reunion.
> Regards,

Hi J!

Yes, it's like the Erebus disaster... I inevitably met someone who knew
someone on the flight. Ho ho!! I recall it vividly coming over the radio ... when I heard they were overdue I knew they were ... knackered....

I don't know those cousins, I never met them - to me they are just strangers,
so I am indifferent to them. I more or less said that to M____, and she
though that I meant I had no pity! I simply lock out most of this earthquake
stuff as I cant do anything about it.

As earthquakes go it's is not really that bad...

Here's one to cheer you up!

..... Messina, Italy: 1908
When the earthquake hit the town of Messina, Italy, the neighboring coastal
cities was hit by tsunami waves, which were about forty feet in height and
the total death toll was about 100,000. .....
(There is a pic of the city - it looks like a nuclear bomb hit it, as do the
picture of most earthquakes).

That beat's Christchurch! In China in one quake 850,000 people died! But
that was in 1550. The biggest earthquake tolls have been in China though.

It seems that there are earthquakes are happening almost all the time
throughout the world (or they have happened in most places or they could
happen)...probably it is just the intensity that is relative...but will
have to do some more Wikipedia research...but they can happen anywhere at
anytime I believe.

Why do people persist in praying to God and talking about miracles when
this happens? Say 100,001 people died and one survived. Then the one
survivor could was a miracle! I prayed to God! How wonderful is God!
I give my thanks to God that I survived...!!

I think it is that we ARE in a mysterious world...and deep mystical belief
doesn't rely on logic (many of say the Calvinists believed what they called
Predestination and grace...if you had grace even if you were Hitler you
would get into heaven (but no way would an unbaptized child get into heaven)
..this wider belief that people such as Humanists probably are aware
is probably in Buddhism etc (but than as in Maori religion utu is also
embraced by Hinduism and Buddhism as far as I understand it...) or on a
world of "goodness" etc as Nature as we see is seemingly quite random and
even merciless (or in fact if we are in merely Materialist (as via Hegel and
Marx) world or Universe. That is, the belief that somehow if you do good you
get rewarded and vica versa...hence "he sacrificed" for his country and so
on (so we should be grateful forever)...

Fascinating. Of course the point is that, IN an earthquake you feel pretty
religious...pretty scared and it is as if you are near death,as indeed you
are..hence the cliches that people come out with.

But those cliches are understandable and not necessarily stupid at
all.....we deal with things via those...e.g "it was a miracle" or "my heart
goes out to..." or "terrible tragedy" and so on...and indeed as humans this
is all we can do...fight on as they say...or give up in the great British
tradition of idiocy and failure!!

All fun and games... Reality kicks in.

End of rant and philosophy.... So those are two of our cousins who had a
shop in Christchurch?

Maybe they should demolish the entire city and relocate it.

Just saw the rest of the email..didn't know T____ had relatives down
there...not good. Yes, I would definitely move out and leave my
house...start again.

Best time for a reunion would be when we toss a coin and it says there
probably wont be an earthquake!

We could have a quiet gathering.

Be good to see B___ and meet up with others.

Love, Richard

----- Original Message -----
From: "____ Taylor"
To: "Richard Taylor"
Sent: February 27, 2011 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: xmastime

The above are real emails but names etc are 'suppressed'. The "correspondent" is my sister. I added one or two minor things ...

I'm all for suppression.


I didn't







Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 Post 1 Update - Money, Chess, and the ongoing EMO "conversation"at Reading the Maps.

(See the hyperlink below to the debate or discussion on my interview with Jack Ross re his book EMO)

Just to let "whoever" know I am still active here. This "silence" isn't a "statement". I will do some posts soon, maybe in a few weeks or sooner (cheese making takes time!), but I have been caught up in a number of issues or events. My son and hence I and my daughter (who is doing a PhD in Psychology) and the Combined Beneficiaries Union) had a struggle with WINZ etc The end result is that an appeal we made to them (or to the Ministry of Social Welfare etc) against a decision to do downgrade my son's IB status (hence his income) was successful. I may post on that and related matters some time. During this time (and not long before Xmas!) a mains power cable here failed costing me about NZ$1000. I am in the process of getting a WOF for my ancient Holden but first up I have to find NZ$300 for an exhaust repair.

It's all on! You have to laugh!

During January I was in the NZ Chess Championships (a first for me). I didn't do well (expected result about 5 or 6/11 but I came last with 2.5/11 which was due to some factors quite outside the chess game itself - that is it was to a large extent to do with my psychological approach to the event.

One point here is that most (professional) chess players of any calibre retire well before they are 60 and I am 63. (There are exceptions e.g. two great players include Korchnoi and the late ex World Champion V. Smyslov are two). Kasparov for example retired at the age of approx. 43 and the World strongest rated Chess player is 21 years of age. Most really strong chess players are between 15 and 35 years of age, so my big rating improvement last year (I beat a number of players over 2000 ELO) is quite unusual and quite pleasing) I am now again in the A Grade Summer Cup at ACC in Auckland.

My son and I have continued walking and so on each day.

I intend to do (as well as other posts) a review on here of Jack Ross's book of Kendrick Smithyman's translations of Italian poetry (it includes such as Montale and Quasimodo and it looks very good). A point here is that ANYTHING by or about the poet Kendrick Smithyman and also ANYTHING by Jack Ross is going to be interesting (this doesn't mean everything is by either or both of them is thus "good" that is another question, but mostly whatever (but of course NOT everything) by or about either of those two writers will pretty good, and quite often brilliant.

Currently on Reading the Maps (a Blog by Scott Hamilton) there is still a debate concerning the influence of postmodernism on Jack Ross and other matters relating to an interview (that Scott posted on there Reading the Maps) I did with Jack Ross regarding his (in many ways a quite extraordinary and innovative and challenging) new book called EMO ...the comments are ongoing but seem to be fixated on questions of reality and relativism etc etc when the book itself should in fact be read despite (or because of?) all that! That is, Jack Ross's book EMO.

But the debate is interesting over there and is still burning on!.

(My review of EMO was omitted and perhaps should have been included as it shows the wider implications and interest of EMO.)

But the fact of the debate is a good sign, showing that there is an interest in that and other issues and literature /politics art etc Experimental literature? A rather vague category but perhaps that is what it is.

Get hold of Jack Ross's books, including EMO, as they are certainly unique in NZ literature. That is in terms of style (or form) and content.

So, a short comment to say I am still here and that, in time, there will be more here anon.

Regards and best wishes to you-all out thar!