Will Type For Food



kidattypewriter

Friday, January 23, 2015

Your ABC and the dreaded Cucumber Sandwiches Brigade

I've been listening to a lot of ABC Classic FM lately. (Though perhaps 'listening' is the wrong word; no single word seems to encompass the rich diapason of experience that is 'turning on the radio to perhaps listen to a piece or two, and then forgetting about it, and then doing other things and remembering the radio is on, and then not bothering to turn it off).

Anyway, each radio station has their own presentation style, as I learnt to my frequent annoyance during my seven and a bit years at the place of old employ. Some stations have as few presenters as possible, and will probably replace their existing staff with digital voices as soon as the artifical voice technology is up to scratch (thus making the experience of listening to them indistinguishable from the experience of dialing up a multinational company and being put on hold for three hours). Some stations have the newsreader read a few cursory announcements about road accidents, and such, over a persistent 'doof doof doof' beat, which can't be good for the anxiety levels of those listening to it. At the ABC's sister station, Triple J, the newsreaders persistently and insistently colloquialise the normal newsreading style - abbreviating every word they can, throwing in lazy youth culture phrases, so: "The Prime Minister's said he's not cool with that" - in a manner that is more irritatingly formal than any old-school BBC-style newsreader. In short, each have their own ways of infuriating the listener (if they are actually listening, and they may not be - see my first parenthesis, above).

But ABC Classic FM would have to be the most bizarre of them all. Announcements are made in the manner of regretful sighs and languid coos; orchestral harpists are given the afternoon shows and when they speak they actually sound like harps. (Walter Pater said "All art aspires to the condition of music" but this is ridiculous.) I remember there was actually one point when they started playing bird song in the morning; could the point where they discover whale song actually be far off? Occasionally they have an 'ABC is your emergency services broadcaster' announcement, and when they do this they have lovely piano arpeggios over soothing homophonies: I know it would be wrong for them to try out the Lance-Corporal Jack Jones' line "Don't panic! DON'T PANIC!", but honestly, this way they make imminent catastrophe sound like a garden party.

I suppose at some point in the distant past, some ABC Classic FM programmer made the fatal decision that this is what the station would all be about: niceness, somnolence, calm, the aural equivalent of cucumber sandwiches and Pimms. Which, you know, isn't that bad a thing, but when it comes to a musical tradition that contains duellists, murderers, and revolutionaries, doesn't seem entirely appropriate.

So I suppose that means I should turn the radio off then.... and I will.... in a bit....

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Onomatopeia I have used or invented in the past few weeks

Wingle wangle
gedonk gedonk
bekadonk bekadonk bekadokkily donk
woobarglefm
raow.

UPDATE! - Pop quiz (that probably nobody will answer at all). Can you guess what any of these sounds refer to? (No prizes or anything. I mean, just for the sake of general merriment and stuff).

How it all works

The 1 per cent report to the alpha male.
The alpha male answers to the lizard people.
The lizard people network with the Illuminati.
The Illuminati are secretly run by the bourgeois middle classes.
The bourgeois middle classes are in the grip of Big Tobacco.
Big Tobacco is in cahoots with Big Oil.
Big Oil is run by the Omega Man.
(Charlton Heston, not Will Smith).
The Omega Man is controlled by the Patriarchy.
But the Patriarchy have just had their season cut short by the Fox Network.

WAKE UP SHEEPLE IF WE COULD JUST SEE WHO OPPRESSES US WE COULD START A WORKERS REVOLUTION !!!!1!!1ONE

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Naughty Amish

The topic of the Amish came up in conversation (and why wouldn't it?) with the Baron last night as we toddled our way to the Coles to fetch some cat food.

"I like the idea of being Amish", said the Baron.
"Why?" 
"Well, you get to have your own horse."
"You'd need to buy the horse first," I objected.
"True," mused the Baron. "We'll have to become rich. Let's get rich and then we can be Amish!"
"Hm," I said.
"And then we could compost the garden with horse poo", finished the Baron.

But by the time we'd got the cat food and were on our way home again I'd rather come round to the idea. This was because we'd just discovered the concept of 'naughty Amish', which is what I think I'd end up being.
 Here's how I imagine it goes. Regular Amish go about looking all serious and eating bread and doing farming and stuff. Meanwhile, Naughty Amish hide pencils in their beards, and snap one another's braces in a roguish manner. Regular Amish practice frowning and harrumphing (pretty essential life skills, I'll have you know). Naughty Amish, meanwhile, tie pom-poms to their horse's tails, and make castles out of their mashed potatoes. Regular Amish spend time selecting the most stern bonnets and sombre black fedoras they can find. Naughty Amish while away the hours racing cheeses down the hill and juggling bread rolls.

See what I mean? There must be some naughty Amish out there, and I think I'd fit right in. Any openings available in the Amish community, do you know? After all, I've got the beard and the fedora....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I blame everything

We all need something to blame, and I blame particularly the permissive society, the declining morals of today's youth, the social effects of communism, global warming, Tony Abbott, the Labor Party, the second Banana in Bananas in Pyjamas and poor education in our public schools. I blame them for everything all the time, obviously, but I especially blame them for my current obsession, an online game allowing me to slot columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles into other columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles until I have run out of columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles to use. This game, a highly intellectual exercise with columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles, is called Columns, and I'm sure you'll all want to play it now. My response to that is: don't! Don't! For the love of all that is good and holy, don't!

But anyway, at certain points during my stimulating endeavours to slot columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles in with other columns and rows of brightly coloured rectangles, it is true, I start to wonder just what the fuck I am doing with my life and couldn't I be fucking doing something more productive instead? And there is great truth in this asseveration, as I acknowledge to myself while deliberating that I will do something else shortly - just after I finish the next game. Of course, "Tomorrow never comes", as the old saw goes, and it is curious that "the next game" is just as elusive.

Soon there will be nothing but columns. Just as in the past I had the experience of playing - well, overplaying - Tetris, another infuriatingly pointless game which never seems to end, and going to bed afterwards with images of Tetris blocks still slotting together in my head. Well, it's the same with these blinking columns. Every time I close my eyes, there they are. Sometimes they're there, too, when I keep my eyes open. Soon the world will be nothing but columns, columns, columns, everywhere, brightly coloured rectangles slotting in with other brightly coloured rectangles and I'll think, ooh, if I just press the left arrow button then....

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Save me! Save me!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Second helping

Same subject as before....

On that extra second
I thought that I needed a second
To do all the things that I thought
I could do if I just had a second
But the second's a second too short.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

In a second

The year of 2015 will be one second longer, with the Paris Observatory announcing a leap second will be added on June 30 when clocks will read 11:59:60pm.

ABC - Leap second to make June 30, 2015, a longer day, Paris Observatory announces

Thank heavens at last we have that extra second that people have always been talking about. "I'll get round to it in a second", they say. "I'll do that in a second," they say. "Wait a second," they say, only to, on all three occasions, be distracted in a second from the thing they said they were going to do in a second, and so when another second has passed, forgotten completely that two seconds ago they said they were going to do things in a second.

In order to make people further appreciate this extra second, I have introduced

WillTypeForFood leap second saving policy

Here's how it works. By laying the extra second you receive at the end of June, and saving it up till the end of July, instead of getting 30 days and one second, you will get 31 days and one second, much more time to get around to using that precious, valuable, extra second that adds so much to all our lives.

Don't thank me. Thank the Paris Observatory, those hard working individuals who toiled away for so long to produce this extra second to benefit all our lives.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Am I only screaming?

I fell off the True Blood bandwagon sometime ago - what with the 'Sookie loves Bill.... no wait, she doesn't.... no wait, she loves Eric... no wait, she loves both....' there seemed little point continuing. It had a brilliant first season, an okay second season, but by the third season it seemed to be becoming more or less indifferent, with the characters blending into one another (in a series of increasingly creative, or at least hot and sweaty ways).

The Baron's enthusiasm for this televisual phenomenon remains undimmed, however, so while I slouch around this hot house in this hot weather looking for more icecream to eat, she reclines in leisurely fashion, en couchant, with the computer in front of her working her way stoically through another episode. I haven't really seen what's going on: but I've certainly heard. In this way I think I've inadvertently worked out what the secret of the show's success is: screaming and heavy breathing.

That's about it, really. Combined with the occasional spot of naked flesh, soft lighting and shadows, I think we've almost got the entirety of seasons 1-7, right there.

In a way it's a triumph of minimalist art, the way a little (PANT-PANT-PANT-PANT) here and some (ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHGLGGHGLGHGHGLIYEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*) there can be creatively combined to bring meaning and timbre and elegance to such a simple storyline. As an added filigree, with a very little actorial effort, a bloodcurdling scream in the middle of battle can easily shade into a sexy panting in the boudoir as Eric gets hot and heavy with Sookie/Jason/Pam/whoever.

Way back when I actually watched the show (about one and a half years ago, actually) I wrote a poetic summary of the first season. For some reason I can't find it on my blog (though I'm pretty sure I did put it up there). So I'm going to put it up now:
A poetic summary of season one of True Blood

Bill loves Sookie.
Sookie loves Bill.
Puppy dogs and vampires -
KILL! KILL! KILL! 

*I think that's the right way to spell it. Or did I have one too many Es**?
**As they said back at the raves in the 1990s.

Friday, January 02, 2015

ABC considers releasing an adult version of a much-loved classic

Say hello to Bananas. No Pajamas - designed to appeal to nudists and naturists across this nation.


"Are you thinking what I am, B1?" "I think I am, B2! It's pole-dancing time!"

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nothing much

This one's from my latest Christmassy-sort of zine, Badger's Dozen mark whatever.  Nothing much to see in the relative non-event of the New Year.
 

Nothing much

This year, achieving nothing much,
Though having aimed at little more,
Next year, I’ll try a little less,
Although I’ve done the same before -

With half-formed plans and half-formed schemes
That I’ve already half-forgot
Of nothing big with no-one much
And dreams of earning not-a-lot.

Though when my age was even less,
I little thought and little knew
I’d make so little of myself
Or have so little stuff to do.

Perhaps I did more good than bad,
Although I can’t be sure as such,
I overate a little bit,
Though not so much as very much.

We’ve almost no time left in life
To say our little good and true,
So Merry Christmas, happy new year,
To you, and you, and you.

In an increasingly awkward attempt at replicating the lack of success of the joke in the previous post title (made all the more awkward by the fact that doing a blog post just for the sake of the joke in the title seems a tad unseemly anyway), I have decided to press on with my reverso blog post experiment. Just how long can a blog post title get, anyway? By now we have certainly gone past the standard length allowing this blog post to be googled, and have more commas, full stops, question marks, and parenthesis in total than we could expect in an ordinary blog post title. What other surprises can we be expected to come up with? Let's try point form! 1) This is a point. 2) This, also, is a point. 3) This is a third point, though by now the use of a point form has even less of a point than when it started. I suppose I could keep this title going on for quite a while but maybe I won't because I couldn't be

Reverso Blog Post #2: The Wrath of Kahn.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The first black white President of the United States

Following the Obama's description of experiences with casual racism (The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences), former US President Bill Clinton, frequently described as 'the first black President of the US' has opened up about his own experiences with racism.

"Oh, for sure, I've encountered casual racism", says Clinton. "For instance, back in 1991 when I was beaten mercilessly by the LA police. Hey, you may say they were just doing their job. Heck, they may not even recognise it as racism themselves! But how can we learn to move on as a society if we don't recognise this stuff for what it is?"

Clinton went on to detail similar examples from his lifetime: leading the civil rights movement before being fatally shot by a casual racist bearing a loaded microaggression, for instance, or that one time he sat on that seat of that bus even after being repeatedly asked to move just for his race, or instance.

"Nothing compared to what our forefathers experienced," says Clinton. "But it just goes to show we've got further to go as a society".

Friday, December 26, 2014

Official scientific map of the box of chocolates

LEGEND

1. The yucky one that no-one wants.
2. The brilliant one that someone always eats before you.
3. The mysterious one. No-one knows what the hell that thing is in the middle of it.
4. The other brilliant one that someone always eats before you.
5. They call this chocolate?
6. The only half-decent one left over that you might as well have.
7. The one the dog ate.
8, 9, 10, 11. The pathetically small ones that actually look like little turds.
12. The not very exciting one with the brand name on it.
13. The super hard one that gets stuck in your teeth.
14. The one that gets sat on by your farty uncle before disappearing down the couch.
15. The one that is actually really small under all that shiny wrapping.
16. The leftover one after everything else gets eaten. Hey, where did all the chocolates go?
17. The peppermint one.
18. The one that your wife steals.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Glorious folk traditions of the world!

Glorious folk traditions of the world no. 4671
We are fast approaching the time of year when households all over the world are said to see the arrival of Sexist Claus, a jolly fat man in a red singlet with a smear of black stubble over his face and chin. According to lore, Sexist Claus will arrive at your house unannounced in the middle of the night, take up residence on your couch, and ask for you to bring him a drink. He doesn't come bringing any gifts, because he forgot them all when he was out.

He is associated with several magic abilities: the ability to trawl sites like OKCupid or Lavalife in an increasingly desperate attempt to find a 'special someone'; the ability to do nothing at all for extended periods of time; or the ability to turn you into an object by merely looking at you. (He has collected many fine examples of statuary for his house and gardens this way).

Sexist Claus has a secret home on the moon called The Patriarchy, where he lives most of the year with his "little helpers", the local Men's Rights Association. They don't actually do anything all year, they just talk shit and leave abusive comments on other people's blogs. His carriage is pulled by 12 galloping snarks, with a troll helper seated beside him for the journey.

It is often said that if a little child denies the existence of Claus by crying "I don't believe in Sexism" thrice, a unicorn molests a fairy. Other families believe if the right charm is uttered, Clementine Ford will come galloping in on a white stallion to defend their house from the depredations of the dreadful Sexist. But his power remains undiminished, and next year he will come back stronger than ever.

Basically, he's a dick.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pacifist curses

May you die a long and peaceful death! 

May your feet be afflicted with comfortable socks!

Even your toes, yea, even unto the tips of the little outer ones, will be smiten with a pleasant all-suffusing warmth! 

May you be devastated by plague upon plague of friendly puppies!

May you never know rest until bedtime! 

May you suffer from the three-fold comfort - nice chair, nice show on telly, and a very tasty cup of coffee! 

May all your dust turn to wishes and your ashes to dreams!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Pig

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! I got you a pig! 
The pig is not yours. It's a charity pig
That I got for some people in south Vietnam.
I don't know who they are, but they run a small farm,
Or something like that, and they're terribly poor
And they've never been able to eat pig before. 
But that doesn't matter! Your present is better,
Because I got you a card and I wrote you a letter
Which I've most ostentatiously signed with my name
Thus assuaging my white middle class feelings of shame.
And speaking of presents, gee, I don't know how
But I didn't get any. 
... So I'm eating your chocolates right now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MERRY FESTIVAL OF GORGING YOURSELF SILLY

Christmas, as we all know, is a wonderful festival about eating*, and in preparation to relatives visiting tomorrow for a Christmassy sort of affair, I have been preparing lots of food and then eating the results. I suppose I've been leaving some over as well, but sometimes it's hard to tell.

First up was a big batch of Pfeffernuse, a delicious German word that is thankfully easier to bake and eat than it is to spell and pronounce. Not all of them turned out perfectly; for instance, some broke apart in the cooking, so I had to eat those. A few more had, you know, cracks in them. Utterly unsightly, though thankfully not utterly untasty; and into my mouth they went. Then a few more just for good measure. At some point some of the remaining pifflemouse or whatever it is called started looking lonely, so I had to clean that up too...

Next up, two rounds of fudge. I made some this morning and it looked and tasted completely delicious. Unfortunately, oh, what a terrible accident happened! Some of the fudge got in under the foil resulting in fudge with bits of foil right through it. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Can't let the folks see that. So I had a slice of fudge. Then another. The Baron walked in at that point, so obviously I had to give some to her, and a few more helpings for me.... I asked the Baron, by the way, to come home with some chocolate for some chocolate fudge tonight. Which she did. And we promptly ate that, too - the chocolate, I mean, not the chocolate fudge, though if there was some we'd probably eat that also. I'll just check.

Speaking of chocolate, everyone should get chocolate for Christmas, don't you think? I think so. I mentioned that to my nephew over the phone the other night and he agreed and asked for chocolate for his present. Then I mentioned this to my brother and he said I'd better not get my nephew any chocolate for Christmas. So he's definitely getting some chocolate, then. Sorted. 

*And so, come to think of it, is New Years, Easter, birthdays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays.... if these events have another purpose then it's surprising we haven't heard of it yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

No! No! Not more poetry, I beg of you!

He often pulled such merry faces,
Transfixing folks in public places
Or drowning puppies in the bath - 
But then, he was a psychopath. 

Tim, what a horrible poem, I hear you cry! How can we hear less of it?

(By coming to my poetry feature at the Dan O'Connell Hotel from 2 pm tomorrow, of course - it's on the corner of Canning St and Alexandra Parade in Carlton. There'll certainly be less of that poem, though not so much of others... )

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Breaking the news until there's nothing left to be broken....

ABC to produce more economic, streamlined version of all shows by rolling them into one 14 and a half minute broadcast

The Religion Poetica Report Arts Foreign Affairs Briefing Talk Chat Track Weekend Daily Show Project with added thirty second Phillip Adams Rant is due to go on air January. It will feature intelligent intellectuals having intelligent intellectual discussions about the arts in a Middle East church during a fast-developing international crisis. There will also be a cheerful soundtrack composed by an up-and-coming Australian composer, soon to be announced, for Casio synthesizer and the 'flute' button on Casio synthesizer!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cleaning up the language, one letter at a time

At the pub the other day a thought suddenly struck me, which was surprising for all concerned (I'm never going to suddenly think again). I realised with a shock what a lot of wasted letters there were in the English language these days, letters just sort of floating around, maybe as a flailing linguistic attempt at an acronym, sometimes not even that. What? Allow me to demonstrate: observe the ever-present egotism of the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod. Without the 'i', you'd just be left with a 'phone' (for phoning people), a 'pad', (for writing stuff on), and a 'pod' (for..... whatever the hell it is that pods do).

Is that all? As the smelly hippy said to the corporate suit offering him a job, no way, man! I haven't even started! Anyway, there's the S-Bend, which is, I presume, a bend in a street, and you probably shouldn't try J-walking over it, though I do wonder whether you'd find S Club 7 trying to do a U-turn at the corner? While we're on the road, you'll also find E Street meeting Avenue Q at the T Intersection of the L bend (or, to put it bluntly, a street, an avenue, an intersection, and another bend). Hey, maybe there's even someone standing around with an e-cigarette, because you're not allowed to e-smoke one of those things inside because of the dangers of e-passive smoking from all those e-fumes.

While we're on the 'e's, there's a few items to get through. There's the e-toothbrush, the e-book, and the e-chair - a toothbrush, a book, and a chair (that you wouldn't want to be sitting in, obviously). Scientologists use an e-meter, though funnily enough, if you take the 'e' away, you're not even left with a proper meter. Maybe it only works in e-space. What else? I suppose some people are in the habit of dropping pills of 'e' - though it would seem rather cruel to take the letter away from them, since they wouldn't be left with much either.

T-shirts, m-theory, x-rays, and Charles Dickens' charming Aged P next come to mind, though it should be noted that P G Wodehouse had the good grace to come up with a character called 'Psmith', with a silent 'P'. (But then, all the best 'p's are silent). One question that occurs at this point is, does Mr T from the A Force prefer Special K or Cheeri-Os or Cheezy-Os? Then again, subtracting the superfluous letters we end up with something Cheezy, something Cheeri, and something Special, so it doesn't sound so bad. Vitamins A, B, and C without the A, B, or C are still vitamins, and I still have no idea why they're supposed to be good for us.

You can have straight A students, they can be A1, of A quality and then the next minute you'll find them hanging around in Y fronts listening to ZZ Top while reading X-rated literature. I suppose they did say that X marks the spot, although all of a sudden you find that they're actually reading about the G-spot. Talk about g-force! It's enough to make you want to say the f-word or the f-bomb, the c-word or the c-bomb, the s-word or the s-bomb, though not (thankfully) drop the h-bomb or the a-bomb.

Bringing up the end of my catalogue, we have v-day, d-day, o-rings, c-cups, O Magazine, and someone called K Dog. Which makes you wonder what it's all about, really. Take the 'O' away from 'Magazine', and you still have a magazine, though not necessarily a very good one. A 'dog' somehow seems preferable without the 'K'. But, you know, once all the frivolous letters have been removed from all these words, you end up with a 'C, A, T', a 'H, A, T', a 'P, U, G', a 'J, A, F, F, A' and a 'Q, U, I, L, T'. I'm sure there's more, but let's throw those in the room with the dog, the bomb, the vitamins, the strange nameless man called Mister, and the students standing about in their y-less fronts reading good clean ordinary literature and see how they get along, shall we?

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Ode to Sloth

An Ode to Sloth
How wonderful is Sloth,
The vice that's nice! 
To lounge about the house all day,
A coffee icecream debauchee, 
Eat all the chocolate from the box 
Replete in dressing gown and socks,
And then to dream in comfy slouch - 
A couch! A kingdom for a couch!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bees (CLUNK!) bees (CLUNK!) bees (CLUNK!) bees (CLUNK!) bees!

I type this (CLUNK!) with a heavy (CLUNK!) every few words as my (CLUNK!) pinkie hits the key-(CLUNK!)-board, having swollen (CLUNK!) up today after being the chosen spot (CLUNK!) for receipt of a bee-(CLUNK!)-sting.

From this you may fairly adduce that we did some work on the hive today. Things were never meant to happen this way; we had done a fairly standard job on the hive on Friday - we whisked off the top box, which is usually where the bees tend to put their honey, whacked an escape board on top of that, closed the hive up again, and waited for evening to collect the frames. Coming back in the evening, we found they were full of (bugger!) larvae, not (blast!) honey. We put some back into the hive though, unfortunately, in the process of extraction some of the combs had got broken anyway. We had been unprepared for this operation, too, so in doing so we had initially left a lot of extra space in the hive, no combs, etc; so we knew we'd be coming back soon to do more work.

So this Sunday morning we found ourselves preparing for another biggish job on the hive - rather reluctantly, because the bees, as you can imagine, rather begrudge our occasional incursions onto their sanctum, which I can quite understand why. We collected the hive tool (it's like a.... tool.... for the hive) and the bee brush (it's just a big arse brush) and cleaned and prepared several frames and collected our smoker and had half struggled our way into our suits, we heard a familiar whine from out the back door - our next door neighbour had decided Sunday afternoon was an excellent time to start whippersnippering the edges of their garden (they're weird that way).

It need hardly be said that bees and lawnmowing don't mix. Bees and neighbours don't mix very well either (we, er, may not have forgotten to mention our beekeeping habits to them somehow). And as for bees and lawnmowing neighbours*.... well, we decided to sit it out. We struggled out of our suits and flopped about on the couch as the whippersnipping whipped and snipped, on and off, for an hour or so. Eventually it stopped. Of course by this time we were doing another vital activity, ie, checking the internet, so we weren't able to struggle back into our bee suits for another few minutes.... by which time another familiar growl started up from the same place. The neighbour, apparently so satisfied with their whipping and snipping, had decided to upgrade to a proper lawnmower (they are very strange).

Eventually we got to it. The usual drill: bees everywhere. Bees climbing out of the sides of the hives to get at the interlopers. Bees zooming around our heads looking for something to sting. Bees generally pissed off. They were even more eager to do it this time, of course, having been set off on the previous two occasions that we were likely to try something like this. And, amongst all this, a lot of heavy moving and grunting and shifting as we rearranged the hive to our satisfaction, if not theirs.

It was only in removing my suit again that I got stung, on the end of my pinkie. I never even saw the bee that did it (which would, at any rate, have dropped dead soon after).

So, anyway, once again, great story old man, and can't I even muster up enough courage to admit to our neighbours that we have bees? But no, actually, apparently I can't. Though I can tell you. And the other hundred odd readers that drop by this website from time to time. So, as they say in the classics, it's just between me and you, alright?

*Not to mention lawnmowing bees and neighbours, which induce in me a state of utmost fear and paranoia.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Concrete, a love song

It was while watching a big concrete mixer pull up outside a nearby house the other day and wondering if they were going to get their backyard neatly concreted over that I first thought of writing this. Lalor, Epping, the whole vast expanse of outer northern suburbs out here are largely exercises in concrete. Days after we moved here we learned that P. and M., a couple of doors up from us on this street, had recently got their backyard jacketed in a neat grey coat of concrete. We are a concrete suburb, a suburb that would provide joy to grey and stony hearts of developers and town planners and politicians everywhere. There may even be someone out there now, in some remote street of this obscure suburb, that is getting their whole yard neatly paved over with the good grey stuff, rubbing their hands with pleasure at the thought of what it will look like once they are done.

Many and plentiful are the charms of concrete. It is hard, it is neat, it is grey, it is.... I can't think of any more of its many and plentiful charms right at the moment. But one thing I do like about it is the way this neat and useful substance neatly and usefully records its past. I walked over a footpath the other day that had the form of a leaf finely imprinted within it; other footpaths around here have purposeful lines of cat- or dog-paws printed in them. These sights, like that car I may have mentioned that has been parked for so long in someone's front yard in Preston that is now encrusted with several layers of lichen, or that astroturf lawn down the road from us that has Oxalis poking up through it, bring me an inordinate amount of pleasure.

Does it ever end, this gradual concreting-over that is happening to Lalor? Are we tending to a final end point where the entire suburb will be a uniform grey stretch of this landscaping material, a calming horizontal surface useful for parking cars on, or driving cars over, or otherwise levelling out land that would otherwise be rough and stony and otherwise dirty? Perhaps, though sometimes the process goes in the opposite direction, like that time when my brother came round here with a mallet and cheerfully pounded up several flagstones of concrete in our back garden, yielding us several more feet of rough, stony and otherwise dirty soil for doing gardening in. I know, we're perverse that way. My brother got so excited that when we ran out of flagstones for him to pound, he took out an axe and started chopping up the parts of a tree that had been felled previously. He went off, originally presumably to find more flagstones with his mallet back home.

And that, surprisingly, is the last thing I have to say about concrete for the moment.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

To boldly go where no feminist has gone before

Feminists successfully land remote-controlled probe on Matt Taylor's bowling shirt

IN A WORLD FIRST, feminists today have successfully guided a remote-controlled probe from a rocket to land on Matt Taylor's bowling shirt.


"This groundbreaking work will allow us to answer many of the mysteries of the universe," said Boadicea Hilbertum of the European Feminist Agency. "Where did Matt Taylor's bowling shirt come from? What is its chemical composition? Why does it contain pictures that demean and objectify women who as we all know are able to do anything men do, including landing remote-controlled probes on Matt Taylor's bowling shirt?"

This is not the first time such a daring mission has been attempted. Previously, men's rights activists have made several failed attempts to land a remote-controlled probe in Germaine Greer's hair.

It is planned that the probe will stay for several days, and take samples of the bowling shirt, running them through standard feminist analyses before sending the results back to earth for further verification.

In other news, a lot of the world were apparently distracted from this groundbreaking mission by looking at pictures of a big empty rock in outer space.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

DO NOT BE ALARMED! PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you see something, say something.

If you see someone do something somewhere, say something to someone somehow.

If you see someone do anything anywhere to something, say anything about something to anyone somehow, before something happens to someone.

If someone sees anyone saying anything somewhere that is somewhat suspicious, say something-or-other to someone-or-other in someplace-or-other to prevent someone doing something everywhere sometime-or-other. 

If anyone everywhere ever does anything anytime to anyone everywhere else, say anything to someone somehow to prevent everything happening everywhere forever. 

REMEMBER: STOP ANYTHING HAPPENING EVERYWHERE EVER, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. 

The Department of Existential Security

Note: Oh, and this: be alert but not alarmed. Definitely do not be alarmed. Do not be alarmed about being alarmed either, merely remain alert to signs of alarm, rather than being alarmed at your alertness. By being alert to the alarming possibility of alarm about your alertness, you will avoid this alarming alarm about something done by everyone anywhere somehow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

How to terrify humans: a guide for chickens

You're a chicken, right, reading this post? Good! Because now I'm going to tell you how to terrify humans, one horrifying, gut-wrenching step at a time. Let's begin:

1) Sit in the back of your coop, adopting a fearsome visage and a grim demeanour. As a chicken, you may be uncertain on the meanings of the words 'fearsome', 'visage, 'grim', or 'demeanour', but don't worry! They'll just come to you! 

2) When humans come to your coop to say hello, make yourself look extra fluffy. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Humans are absolutely TERRIFIED of fluffy things and certainly will not want to pick them up and cuddle them straight away. In fact, expect them to run screaming in the opposite direction.

3) In case the human hasn't been turned into a quivering, gibbering wreck yet, by your fearsome visage, etc, or your general fluffiness, whirr at them in a melodious and lyrical tone. (Again, you may not be aware of what 'melodious' or 'lyrical' mean, but just run with it. Consider this: when your fearsome and terrifying ancestors, the dinosaurs, were roaming through the primordial forests, they  made themselves fearsome and terrifying by whirring at one another in melodious and lyrical tones. Oh cripes, I'm getting a heart attack just thinking about it!)

If you're a human reading this post, why don't you try it too? It might just work!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Statice update

Statice is a small purple flower that just happens to look like limonium perezii. Limonium perezii is a small purple flower that shares more than a passing resemblance to statice. Sometimes, limonium perezii is known as 'statice'. Statice, however, is never known as 'limonium perezii'.

If limonium perezii had a status update on Facebook, that status would read: "Anxiety". That's right. It would have statice anxiety. 

 
Pictured: limonium perezii in a typical state of existential angst.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Technical corner: how to brew with a spinning wheel

First you have to thread the trub through the rolag. You do this by gradually carding the mash with the doffer tool to separate the neps from the noils, then feeding the eyelash into the draff.

Once this has been achieved, you vorlauf the drop spindle until you have a top whorl and bottom whorl, in a process known as plying. You don't have to ply, but if you don't, you have to work out how to boucle the sparge with the driveband before the batt gets caught at the bottom of the tun and prevents the wort from running through.

Don't forget to mash the guard hair between the flyer and the false bottom to help clarify the hot break, turning with the art hackle every so often. 

Finally, by a process of dizzing the first runnings and roving the kick spindle, you will have produced a fine bowl of curds and whey. Simple, isn't it? Thanks for tuning in once again!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

On the many benefits of espresso coffee for modern-day computer science

Look, I inadvertently spill stuff on my computer all the time. Every hour as I sit over it doing incredibly important stuff like internet and more internet and more more internet and even more more internet and work and did I mention internet? a fine rain of bits of fluff and dandruff and scruff and puff wafts from the regions of my beard downwards. Occasionally I like to conduct little exploratory archeological expeditions underneath the keys on my keyboard with a slip of paper or something; there has to be generations of stuff buried underneath them. In centuries to come, I expect scientists will concoct theorems and rules about the layers of accretions beneath my keyboard. Maybe they'll even start finding fossils in there.

Anyway, the point is - my computer, spills: two things, not entirely unacquainted with one another. Yesterday, though, I gave the whole computer a shock to the system: I spilled an entire latte right over the top of it. It got caffeinated to the core. It was more than a little twitchy for the rest of the day; in fact, for a while there, I was wondering if it was ever going to get over it. (Or maybe it just wanted some sugar to go with the coffee? There's no accounting for tastes...)

On the plus side, the computer did smell pleasantly of latte in the morning. And if I spill so much stuff inadvertently over it, why not manfully take the proactive route forward, and begin spilling stuff over it entirely vertently? I could give it a cup of tea every morning, as a step-down from the latte  - caffeine, yes, but not so much caffeine as to give it the twitches: the "cup that soothes" could prove quite easy on its nerves. Or who's to tell if it couldn't appreciate a little booze in its diet? A hearty ale or two? A refined glass of wine? After all, my computer is at least one year old - which for a computer is incredibly old indeed. Especially if it's my computer. And I'm in the habit of spilling stuff over it inadvertently. Which I am.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lines written on MCing the Dan O'Connell open mic for the first time

Lines written on MCing the Dan O'Connell open mic for the first time
I've been practising...
my awkward pauses
Sudden segues in the conversation,
Non sequiturs at random clauses,
My pointless stories full of too much information....
I've been practising....
My mumbling and bumbling
And grumbling and fumbling
With the microphone and stumbling
And flailing back up to the stage....
I've been practising...
Longwinded boring anecdotes
That ramble on and on and on andonandonandonandon and send you round the  BEND
And stealing jokes from other folks
And then forgetting how they end...
I've been practising...
Forgetting things.... forgetting lots...
It's Whatsisname! You, with the face!
It's Thingummy and Whosiwhats!
It's Whatsthetime at Wheresthisplace?
I've been practising...
At finding ever less exciting ways
At losing everyone's attention
At causing eyes to overglaze
By starting sentences and then for no good reason trailing off before oh well you know what was I saying again...
I've been practising...
And I'm getting better!

How to lose things in reverse

Some things were meant to pair off together. Bread and butter. Knifes and forks. Pies and sauce. Tea cups and saucers. This is one category; another category is things that actually are pairs. Socks, arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, nostrils, dual carriageways on roads, bicycles, and Twix chocolate bars, for instance.

Sometimes it is possible to lose one of a pair of things, thus making the whole lose its function: I'm thinking especially about socks, obviously, but (conceivably), the same could happen with some of the other items so-named: arms and legs (alarming), dual carriageways (how on earth....), wheels on bikes (any monocycle riders around?), and half of a Twix chocolate bar (though I'm happy to report this should never lessen the functionality of the remainder, unless Mars have a very strange manufacturing method).

I mention all this now because my friend EB, of Facebook-land, appears to have had a very strange turn of events. I quote:

Mystery: I now have three pieces of a single pair of socks. (???) 

There is visual evidence. A - pair(?) (what would you even call them now?) - of three identical-looking socks. As I noted at the time, EB appears to have gained a curious power: now, instead of losing one of a pair of socks (a trouble I am all too familiar with), she appears to have lost them - in reverse, gaining a pointless third sock. (Or is it pointless? Just how many legs....)

This is a valuable skill, and ought to be learnt by the rest of us. If I could only lose a couple of my best socks in reverse, I'd quickly gain a pair of three, four, five, six, seven socks. I'm tempted to go off and practice now, but then, I've been practicing losing socks all my life and up to the moment I haven't had much success at losing them in reverse.

But just imagine if you applied this skill of losing in reverse to other pairs. Arms and legs (I could do with three arms), dual carriageways (on roads what direction would they be driving on the third carriageway?), bicycles (thereby upgrading them to - ehrm - tricycles....) and Twix chocolate bars (thereby gaining three bits of chocolate for the price of two - sweet!) And, come to think of it, the town of Wagga Wagga could be upgraded to Wagga Wagga Wagga at no extra cost.

And - what's more - could this skill of losing in reverse also be applied to things that are just paired off, rather than just pairs? If I was drinking tea with a tea cup and saucer, and lost the saucers, could I get two saucers back? Or would I have to lose both the tea cup and saucer before getting both back, redoubled? Would it even be possible to lose things deliberately anyway, or is it rather like learning to fly in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the secret is throwing yourself at the ground and missing). How exactly does this losing things in reverse work?

I think I'm off to practice now....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A miracle of nature

There they were again today. I hadn't seen them for several months, but all of a sudden, a flock of them appeared right in front of my eyes.

.

Panettones. These shy, elusive creatures can be quite hard to spot, even for the most experienced student of nature. Their life cycle is quite simple: they appear on the shelf in the store around Christmas, Tim buys them, and they are eaten. In the cooler months of the year, they become afraid that Tim will not eat them, and they tend to hide in dark, difficult to find places. But the poor, timid creatures needn't be afraid. I am always willing to eat them, not being particularly fussy about eating them in season. Which I am just doing now.

And so, the glorious cycle of nature continues on, in all its grandeur and mystery.

If you see any panettones in the wild, feel free to buy them and forward on to me for eating, too, to assist them in their life cycle. Thanks in advance, nature lovers!
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...