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Olsen Bloom Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Olsen Bloom" journal:

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November 13th, 2013
01:36 pm

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Please Note: I Did NOT attach this account to Dreamwidth
I just looked on someone's page on Dreamwidth and noticed they, and several other people, had given access to this account. I've never accessed dreamwidth with this account, which I don't use at all any more except for commenting on about three people's LJs.
If you've given access to this account because someone's requested it, it may well be that someone else has spoofed the OpenID for this account and is getting access to private posts you might not want to see. I'll change my LJ password, but I advise those people who've added this account over there to delete it. I use andrewhickey.info to read my DW friends page, and that's who you should add.

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July 16th, 2010
03:35 pm

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My yearly reminder of where you can find me post
I don't blog here any more, and only use this account for commenting. I also don't read flocked posts here any more as I don't have the time. However, those of you who I don't currently keep in touch with but who want to get back in touch (I haven't fallen out with anyone, just not had mental energy for LJ - if you're on my friends list I still want to be in touch with you) can find me the following ways:

Blog - andrewhickey.info syndicated here as andrewh_rss.
Twitter - @stealthmunchkin
I never actually use LinkedIn, but I'm there with my email address andrew @ thenationalpep.co.uk
I do have a Facebook account, but pop on maybe once every ten days. Same email as for LinkedIn.
Dreamwidth - I don't have a proper account, but I do have a reading list there attached to my blog andrewhickey.info . If you add that I'll add you back.

Will repost this again in a year or so, probably, with updated details.

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June 29th, 2009
02:06 pm

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Happy 30th birthday, diffrentcolours 

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April 13th, 2009
03:41 pm

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For those of you moving over to dreamwidth, you can friend andrewhickey.info over there.
Incidentally, I've been thinking of having a Doctor Who Watching Day at our new flat where I'll inflict DVDs of Classic Who on people - would anyone be interested in going if I did that? When would be good for people?

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March 18th, 2009
10:22 am

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To Those Who've Come Here From Liberal Conspiracy
I don't usually blog here any more - I can be found at andrewhickey.info which has a feed at andrewh_rss. I do use this account occasionally, but mostly for commenting rather than posting.

(Also, once again for those who want to keep in touch who are on my flist, I am on Twitter and last.fm as stealthmunchkin , and on LinkedIn with my @thenationalpep.co.uk email)

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February 19th, 2009
10:13 pm

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An MeMe
theyorkshergob recently tagged me for a Me Me. Since I don't do those on my normal blog, I thought I'd do it here, and also remind you all that I Aten't Dead, and you can find me at andrewhickey.info and also on Twitter as @stealthmunchkin .

The Me Me in question is the one where someone gives you five things they think of when they think of you, and you have to write about them. The ones Jennie gave me are:

Being Right all the Time

This is something Jennie says I am, partly to wind Holly up. By 'right all the time' she actually mostly means 'can see the merits in Colin Baker's portrayal of The Doctor, and also has socially liberal political views but supports measures to alleviate poverty'.
I also think a lot about almost everything, and while I talk a lot of crap, it's usually crap I've thought about in some detail. So even when I'm wrong (and I am wrong a lot of the time) it's usually for good reason. If I don't have enough knowledge to form an opinion on, say, signing the Lisbon Treaty or switching to a Land Value Tax system, I'll either shut up about it, read more on the subject, or both.


The Beard of Seniority

I do have a truly huge beard, and it does add about fifteen years to my apparent age. Other than that, there's nothing more to say on the subject - it grows out of the front of my face, and it's dark and quite curly.


Musical eclecticism
I don't think my musical tastes are that eclectic - until I realise that I have a selection bias when comparing to other people, because in general I only tend to have much in common with people who are passionate about music (not always true, but more often than not). There are whole genres I know little or nothing about (hip-hop, modern 'R&B', most post-1970ish jazz), and I am very picky about what music I listen to - if I dislike something I tend to despise it with all the passion that's in me - but my musical tastes aren't limited by genre.

I find the idea of only listening to one or two kinds of music quite bizarre. Certainly the best musicians don't - Ray Charles' best album was an album of country covers, Frank Zappa loved doo-wop and Stravinsky equally (and would often mix elements of the two), the Beatles started out doing girl-group covers along with Chuck Berry numbers and songs from the musicals, and so on. There are certain things that predispose me to like a piece of music, but they're almost never genre signifiers - I like mildly nasal male voices, baroque instruments, tuned percussion, complex counterpoint, modal melodies, chromaticism, extreme key changes, odd rhythms, doubling of instruments (for example a glockenspiel and a flute playing the same melody), blues guitar, dissonance, diminished seventh chords and bent notes, while I tend to *dislike* repetition, music based more on rhythm than melody, pads, gated snare drums, melisma, and increasingly anything labelled as 'indie'.

But really, I don't see how anyone who loves music can't agree with at least the spirit, if not the letter, of Half Man Half Biscuit's refrain (to the tune of Agadoo if you don't know the classic Irk The Purists) - "Husker Du, Du, Du, Captain Beefheart, ELO, Chris De Burgh, Sun Ra, Del Amitri, John Coltrane". If you can't, at least in principle, like Bartok *and* the Beach Boys *and* Howlin' Wolf *and* Wagner *and* Pulp *and* Scott Joplin *and* Hank Williams *and* Captain Beefheart *and* Led Zeppelin *and* Benny Goodman *and* The Monkees, then you're probably going to miss out on something good...

Science geekery

I've been interested in science since I was about three, when it was explained to me that Doctor Who was a scientist. But from a *very* early age I would read New Scientist regularly, read any science (or science fiction) book I could get my hands on, and try to learn about the world. As a kid I mostly wanted to be a paleontologist or zoologist, then later I wanted to be a physicist, then later still a pure mathematician. I'm now about to start a Master's course in Bioinformatics, because that seems general enough to cover all my interests.
I don't have a huge amount of knowledge of science, in much the same way I don't consider myself to have hugely eclectic musical tastes. But as far as I can see the scientific method is the only reliable way we have of knowing anything about the universe we live in. And fundamentally, I am driven by a need for information - if you remember the film Short Circuit, I'm like Number Five - "Need input". I want to know *everything* . And without disparaging the humanities in the slightest, if you want to know *EVERYTHING* then science is the way to find it out.

Lib Demmery
I've always voted Lib Dem, at every election since I've been able, but for a long time it was without knowing a great deal about their policies. I knew some general things (good on civil liberties, support proportional representation) and some specific slogans at any given time ("penny on tax and 10p on the top rate to fund education" , "no war in Iraq without UN mandate", "an end to tuition fees") but when I voted in the 97 and 2001 elections, it was mostly because they seemed like relatively good sorts and I wasn't very keen on New Labour but didn't want the Tories in either.
However, by about 2002 (once they had the coveted Second Term with no real change) it had become clear to me that the current government were actively malignant rather than merely not very good, and so I started getting more heavily involved in trying to oppose them (signing petitions, writing to my MP and so on) when they did something particularly egregious. When I moved to Didsbury, I checked the voting record of John Leech, our local MP, who'd only been elected recently, and found that he voted as I would have the vast majority of the time (I later found out he was also a good worker for the constituency). I started delivering leaflets, because this is a marginal constituency and I wanted to keep a good representative in, and eventually joined the party a few years ago.
Weirdly, since I joined the party, I've become aware of areas where I fundamentally disagree with many members, but this has actually strengthened my desire to stay within the party. Because within reason, people will work together for common goals even when violently disagreeing with each other, and people will *explain their positions*. I've seen Labour party members say disagreements should be kept within the party - Lib Dems disagree with each other openly, and put forward the evidence for their positions, and sometimes even change each other's minds. This sort of open communication is the political equivalent of the scientific method, and is the only way to get close to 'truth' in a political sense.
I'm not a particularly partisan person, and have none of the party loyalty many activists have - like matgb  I hope that the Lib Dems get a Proportional Representation system in place for the government so we can have a general political realignment. Like him I would expect after that to be in a smaller party with some members of what are now the Greens, Lib Dems and Labour (though we may end up in *different* parties with different mixtures of membership - though I suspect not ). But I would hope even then that the openness and willing to debate that exist in the Lib Dems would continue in whatever party I was in.

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February 8th, 2009
11:11 am

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Thought I'd posted this here, but only did on my main blog andrewhickey.info - I'm now on Twitter as @stealthmunchkin

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January 11th, 2009
12:20 am

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Just a reminder (as people have friended me recently) that I no longer use this journal - if you want to read what I'm writing, visit http://andrewhickey.info ( andrewh_rss ).
I don't have as much free time as I used to, so I can't keep up with my friends list any more (except for a very small number of people who post almost all public posts, which I get in my RSS reader) but I miss you all terribly. Whenever I'm actually online, I'm logged in on Google Chat (in fact I'm often shown as logged in even when I'm not online, because I leave my Gmail window open when I'm away from the computer...) as stealthmunchkin, and am always delighted to talk to any of my friends who want to say hello...

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November 23rd, 2008
07:38 pm

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A Few Things
A few quick things here...

Firstly, just letting people know that the feed at andrewh_rss of my new blog appears broken-ish - it's not updated yet to include the last couple of posts (one on Doctor Who, one on country music) - so those reading that might want to check my actual site at http://andrewhickey.info/ . You might want to check that anyway - I've updated the look of it slightly, and changed the name and things.

Secondly, I want to apologise. For most of this year I've been a crap friend to everyone. Friends have had babies, got pregnant, moved house, got married and all the other things that go on in people's lives, and I've not been there for them. I've also not checked LJ at all (apart from a couple of people who do 'proper blogging') because I've just not had the mental energy for dealing with other people (I know that sounds stupid when I've been writing so much, but writing is a *lot* less taxing for me than talking to other people). But I want to change that. I'm still not going to check my friends page much (I simply don't have the same amount of free time I used to have) but I *am* going to try to be logged in to Google chat whenever I check my email at home, and I actively want to talk to you all, if you still want to talk to me...

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October 19th, 2008
01:48 pm

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RIP blue_condition
I've very rarely had a chance to read my friends list recently - I've barely looked at LJ except for a few people who post mostly non-friendslocked stuff that I can get in my feed reader - but every week or so Holly tells me "You should read this" and point me at something one of my friends have said, and at least half the time it's been something from blue_condition. (His Half Man Half Biscuit musical, "Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral: The Evil Gazebo Story" was especially inspired).
Sadly, that won't be happening any more - burkesworks and a few others have just posted that he's died, very suddenly. He was only forty.
I only got to meet him once, at rosamicula's birthday party last month, and didn't even realise it was him until a day or two later, but he seemed as intelligent and articulate in person as he did online.
I didn't know him as well as I'd have liked, but he was a good bloke, and I'll miss him. I'm listening to The Last Will And Testament of Jake Thackray in remembrance of him now.

(ETA, rosamicula said all this a lot better than I could)

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