New Music Web Page

I don’t really know who I’m preaching to here, but regardless: Writing is a form of art I enjoy, but Music is an art form I like to think I’m actually good at.

Having said that, I’ve moved the first few tracks onto my new Mixcloud account since Soundcloud is a piece of…rubbish, when in China.

You’ll hear tracks from movies that I’ve made, experiments I’m working on, cover songs and whatever else that springs to mind.

Enjoy – http://www.mixcloud.com/mobbs/

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In light of the barrage of crap my attempts at gardening is getting from every angle, including the literal angle in which cats are digging up and defecating my plants, I created this Karl Pilkington-esque poem.

Caterpillars eating leaves

Whiteflies spreading disease

Cats spoiling the soil

Gnats causing turmoil

Vandalized by snails

Life as I know it fails

Algae killing the roots

The ant army relentlessly loots

What did I do to deserve this invasion

It’s hardly fair on this occasion

Neighbouring plants? prosperous beings

But all I’m left with are a few lousy beans.

The last 2 weeks in pictures.

The 8 jars of M&S curries and sauces James bought me in my time of financial woes, giving me a few weeks worth of delicious cooking. Quality friendship.

The 6 jars of M&S curries and sauces James bought me in my time of financial woes, giving me a few weeks worth of delicious cooking. Quality friendship.

The result of stumbling quite modestly when attempting to climb back into my apartment from the balcony/shop roof. Even more prominent now, over a week later.

The result of stumbling quite modestly when attempting to climb back into my apartment from the balcony/shop roof. Even more prominent now, over a week later.

The friendly mantis that insisted on flying all over us during our mysterious home-restaurant visit in Jiading, North Shanghai

The friendly mantis that insisted on flying all over us during our mysterious home-restaurant visit in Jiading, North Shanghai

The peaceful, desolate streets of Jiading.

The peaceful, desolate streets of Jiading.

IMG_20140920_220544

Party Spider Pt I

Party Spider Pt I

Party Spider Pt II

Party Spider Pt II

Party Spider III

Party Spider III

Morning

Morning

Mix between a Husky and Alsation, result? Biiiig beast.

Mix between a Husky and Alsation, result? Biiiig beast.

lil' lake

lil’ lake

Even in the day time, the streets are silent. How can this be Shanghai??

Even in the day time, the streets are silent. How can this be Shanghai??

A rabbit that was clearly a free roaming pet, was offered for breakfast should we want it.

A rabbit that was clearly a free roaming pet, was offered for breakfast should we want it.

I'm assuming I never figured out how to rotate this. I've really taken to cooking during my poor days. I'm mastering all the university dishes I once practiced.

I’m assuming I never figured out how to rotate this.
I’ve really taken to cooking during my poor days. I’m mastering all the university dishes I once practiced.

At the deepest depths of a 5 litre water bottle lies the crawling fingers of my  best sunflower

At the deepest depths of a 5 litre water bottle lies the crawling fingers of my best sunflower

Here's the family together (aside from the caterpillar victims who are recovering elsewhere)

Here’s the family together (aside from the caterpillar victims who are recovering elsewhere)

Pretty in thing in China, badly-done-combovers.

Pretty in thing in China, badly-done-combovers.

Rush hour at my station.

Rush hour at my station.

Every time I look at you, I want to get organised.

Every time I look at you, I want to get organised.

Ode to Friends

Well, about 17 seconds ago I made a post about my financial woes and the eternal spiral of poverty life seemed to create for me. I had a little chat here and there and suddenly the day has been transformed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty poor and in MASSIVE debt across three continents, but I suddenly feel it’s manageable. All I needed to do was ask. I know this, I already practiced it enough to get into so much debt in the first place, but I didn’t know I could just keep doing it all over the place without a single question asked.

My long term internet friend, Tyler, who I have never actually met or even been in the same continent at any given time (maybe I was in Europe for about a week simultaneously) came to my rescue just now, no questions aside from specific details of the saviour.

My friend in Vietnam offered to pay me for the Keyboard I had sold there, which to be fair is my money, but she may need the money as much as me but has unquestionably offered to send it my way.

James, knowing I was bust a few days ago went on a spending spree in M&S and asked if I wanted a jar of Curry imported from UK, I said definitely, and he brought me 8 jars.

My mum just constantly offers to sort me out even if it goes into her own funds, my dad offers the same. My sister, who is consistently as poor as my current lifestyle even offers – stupidly – to send a tenner my way if I need. Nathan hasn’t asked any questions to the money I owe for renting his apartment months ago, the list goes on and on.

It’s a wonderful tragedy that I have to put these people through it but to them, it’s nothing. They know they’ll get it all back. Nobody is suspicious of me.

Is it karma? I don’t believe karma as a spiritual aspect of the universe, but as an attitude and as a social tool, I believe there is a certain superconscious system that creates at least a localised balance in life.

My advise to anyone out there in the same situation or likely to fall into it, those friends who don’t talk to you for months at a time? Don’t dismiss them. The ones who are always around you? Don’t take them for granted.

I’ve never before asked for this much – or any – help, and I never thought I would, but when I did, it’s just there for me. And they will undoubtedly get the same in return.

The balance of the universe is restored. I can eat, I can enjoy the national holiday, I can survive, I can pay my debts, I can restore myself.

All thanks to friends.

Anyway, It’s very unlike me to be personal about stuff, I just felt that rather than say thanks and then move on, I’d immortalise my gratitude online so when I kill myself or get run over or become a billionaire, people can always revert back to this/these posts to see what an awesome person I used to be before I changed into a depressed/evil/clumsy tw*t.

Cheers, guys.

Living day to day

Well, I’m working 6 days a week on a rate of $50 an hour, and yet somehow, I’m consistently broke.

Part of that is that I only work a few hours a day, but most of it is that I have yet to get paid a full wage. I’ve worked two months for one agency and have only been paid for one month – some deferred payment system that is apparently common which I’ve never come across before.

This crippled me twice. The first month when I came to pick up my much needed paycheck to finally live comfortably, they said ‘next month’. The next month I came, I expected an even bigger paycheck of one month, plus the 2 weeks I worked prior to that, they said ‘only 4 weeks worth’. So I had exactly enough to pay for my 2 months of rent and a sandwich to spare.

I had to borrow from family again. That money has since gone on said rent and now I’m in more debt that I am from University (at least that’s how it feels).

When I finally get paid on my third month here in 2 and 3 weeks, I will have lived through the biggest holiday of the year in poverty while everyone enjoys themselves, and when I do get the money, I will have just about enough to pay back what I owe to the most immediate helpers, and by the time I get paid again, that money will go on the next two months of rent, making me poor again.

The month after that, I will repeat and be comfortable, but there’s another twist to the story. The week holiday means a week of no work. Meaning a week of no pay, something I need. The payment is deferred so my main paycheck will pay me only 3 weeks around the time I need to pay off 2 months of rent.

The cycle of just catching up continues and continues. All I can do is get more and more work until I have no free time and just wait 2 months to get paid off and sync myself into financial security, but that’s exactly the opposite of what I came to China to do. I came for freedom of options, not to slave away doing something I am not designed to do, things that are not my ambitions.

Now I find myself working 6 days a week, living day by day, which destroys my creativity, replaced with constant thoughts of how far this $30 is gonna get me.

Honestly, it’s already spent. I need to top up my phone, which is $15, travel to work is a further $10/week. People are knocking on my door to get me to pay the bills, I need food of course.

It’s tragic how common this mindset is around the world, and even more tragic how LUXURY it is in the eyes of most.

I just didn’t expect things to be this tight. Ever.

I had a way through, I had an extra weekly paycheck which would support me until payday and life was safe. The second that cancelled, everything was thrown up in the air.

It’s hard, after such disappointment, to just continue and get ready for the work you have to go to. But it has to be done. Gotta swallow the thought, get up and do it.

It feels much safer to just hide under bed covers and disappear, but that would just perpetuate the problem down the line. Gotta think ahead. Gotta survive. Gotta show everyone. Gotta pay everyone back. Owe $4000. I can do it.

The Exciting Age of the Corporate Space Race

It’s a pretty exciting moment in time for those interested in space, space travel, technological advancement and political games.

With Russia threatening to close off their rocket supplies and with the contract between American and Russian space agencies running out in 2017, the worrisome realisation that USA could be incapable of getting into space at all is awakening.

Now, I don’t need to go into details about this since it’s all over the news (Assuming you follow technology/space/science sections), but basically monetary contracts have been granted by NASA to both Boeing and SpaceX to have ships designed and tested by 2017 for manned missions into space. This is primarily to distance America from Russia and to reduce their dependency on the provocative rival.

To me, this is great news. Private corporations have a knack for being hated and distrusted for their endless covetous desires, to gain profit under any circumstances. Be that as it may, it doesn’t necessitate evil wrongdoings all the time. The very same instinct of greed of which the private sector thrives can also be a major boon for society, as I mentioned before.

The thirst for ambition, the need for success, the desire to be bigger and better, these qualities are born in some people, and of those, a percentage will manage to pursue it, and their success will encourage them further, and their ambitions reach higher and at this point, misanthropy tends to fade away. Billionaires become charitable. True, they become charitable to the cause they see fit which may or may not be desirable for the rest of the world, but in some cases, you get heros and legends.

Elon Musk, the (co)founder of Paypal and Tesla, has dedicated a huge chunk of his ‘estimated $9.5 billion personal fortune’ into this project, investing in SpaceX (of which he is now the CEO)and showing his all round absurd ambitions with a rather matter-of-fact expression always lining his face. To us, his words seem ridiculous and best left to the dream world. To him, It’s just going to happen. He wants to retire on Mars.

Elon_Musk_LED_Lit_Wide

Boeing will be working with Blue Origin, a company owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, another big wig with ambitions beyond this world.

The government can only go so far. The government is not primarily in the game for monetary gain. Perhaps the individuals, but as a collective entity the government ought to be there for the people and to support the nation.

This means their risk factor is much lower than that of private companies who want more, more, MORE.

Space has a fantastic potential for return. For example? How about Asteroid Mining?

For something that sounds like a plot device for a new Doom game or sci-fi anime series, it’s alarmingly close to reality. Alongside the news of private space launching comes the even more exciting event of landing on a comet.

The main satellite, Rosetta, is already following an irregular orbit around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and will soon be releasing a mini-me designed to land on a strip now officially chosen as the safest best.

But the safest bet is not exactly safe. The scientists determined that attempting the same feat on a mostly spherical object would garner a 70-75% chance of success. 67P looks more like a very rocky duck.

ESA_ROSETTA_NAVCAM_20140731_cropped_interpolatedx10_g05

The fact that anyone is attempting such an absurdly ambitious task is worth a global applause in itself. The fact that it might actually succeed is mind boggling. These guys have been working on this for 20 years. The satellite has been messing around up there for a decade, and the team have to rely on automated instructions to just… work, since the comet is way too far away to actually send live-streaming instructions. Remember, it takes light 8.5 minutes to get from the sun to earth. 67P is around  1.3 times that distance (190,000,000km). Signals from the spacecraft take over 20 minutes to get back to Earth. Useless for any subtle change should a little rock get in the way with intentions to destroy everything.

Success or failure, it is nevertheless a huge step towards landing on space entities with digging tools, mining precious metals our Earth is rapidly running low on.

Those precious metals are very important, largely used for economic and technological progress, and ‘…all the gold, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium and tungsten’ come from ancient comets splattering down on earth. So we know where there is an abundance.

As demand increases, so do the big wig ambitions. They know where the money is. They will find a way to get it.

I’m willing to bet that it’s the private businesses of the world that are going to achieve true prosperity in space, long before the government, who are historically known for only pursuing great goals as a reaction to threats (cold war, mission to the moon, anyone?).

It’s an exciting time. Things are changing. Entrepreneurs are going to change the world.

For the better and worse.

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