Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Things to do on a hot day

Close everything.  
Close door, screen door, lock both, and slide bolts shut on back door, because the heat is a bastard and will try and get in no matter what you do.
Take socks off.
Take shirt off.
Take pants off.
Take underpants off.
Look around to make sure nobody is watching because this next bit is a bit rude. Take body off.
Float around the house, a bodiless entity, looking for somewhere cool to nest.
Notice cats are sitting underneath the couch and frame hanging the washing, wish you could fit under there with them.
Open the fridge idly and enjoy the breeze.
Notice it is only 10 o'clock.
In the morning....

UPDATE! - One of the only difficulties in taking all your clothes off in the heat is that sometimes you want to put something in your pocket and you just can't. Even when you have just your undies on your can snap it in between the elastic and your waist.

Of course, you could try putting whatever you want to put in your pocket you know where but then you would sit on you know what and then where the thing you put you know where would go I don't want to know.

Monday, January 27, 2014

An opinion column about the weather

I have just written an opinion column about the weather. Here it is.

An opinion column about the weather

The weather. Everyone talks about it, but it’s time we actually did something about it. By taking hard action and firm decisions on the weather now, our government will win worldwide acclaim and set the planet on path for a better future. Or will it? To find out, I asked Professor of Climactic Meteorology, Mr Tim Tims, if it was time we did something about the weather.

“Yes”, he said.

So that’s that. And yet despite this clear consensus of scientific opinion, there remain a hard core of sceptical deniers cynically nay-saying every call for action in a negative fashion.

Looking for answers, I went to Professor Smith Smith, CBA, HONS, PHD, FGHIJKLMTOZ of Alphabet University.

“The rain’s a bit wet lately” I said. “Surely it’s time for legal recognition of this difficult problem?”

“Well, no” he said.

And so the sad cycle of denialism continues.

Nevertheless, it is becoming overwhelmingly clear to the vast majority of the enlightened community that we need to take action now. I suggest we start with clouds. It’s high time we entrusted this vital public service to a reputable government agency and left all these tired old public/private debates behind. It’s that sort of wasteful situation that has led us to where we are today, wherever that is.

And then there’s wind. The situation here is certainly becoming urgent. Sure, we’ve all enjoyed the sensation of a cool breeze in our hair during a long hot day at the beach, but isn’t it time we all acted sensibly and restricted the distribution of wind to those who most need it, in order to keep this vital national resource for future generations of Australians?

And what about the sun? On the one hand, thousands of people all over the world have enjoyed its benefits from time immemorial, but isn’t it time we got rid of this outdated technology and replaced it with a truly modern public transport system? This proposal has its critics, but when I conducted a reader survey in the following paragraph, the results from readers were outstandingly positive.


1. Yes  ________________________.

(Please tick relevant box).

There are many many more examples that I could go through, but when we get on top of things, the bottom line is this: isn’t it time we replaced the environment with something more cost-effective and health-wise to prevent the rise of childhood obesity and preventable workplace fatalities? Isn’t it time that we, at the very least, included a health warning to ensure that we look after all Australians, instead of perpetuating the old colonialist system of racial discrimination? I think we both know the answer to that question. Or do we? Yes.

FIG 1: Clouds.Yet another example of how desperate the situation has become.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Proposed new character for Sesame Street

Previously, beloved children's educational program Sesame Street has introduced such characters as Alex, whose muppet father is in prison, and has taught Cookie Monster that "cookie is a sometimes food".

I would like to propose a new character for the program, loosely based on the already existing character, The Count.  This new character would help to introduce children to the magic of swearing, and he would be called - The Cunt.

As I see it, his main function in the program would be to laugh manically while reeling off lists of naughty words, culminating in a final, apocalyptic shout of "Cunt", with theatrical organ music, thunder cracks and lightning flashes, bats, etc.

Sample scene:

(THE CUNT enters his castle and finds BIG BIRD and SNUFFLEUPAGUS waiting for him.)

THE CUNT: Bollocks! I vastn't expecting to see you!

BIG BIRD and SNUFFY block up their ears as best they can, shocked at THE CUNT's profanity. 


(In his excitement, THE CUNT stubs his toe on a stair)

THE CUNT: Ach! Oopschie-doopschie!


(Possibly some might prefer him to titter manically rather than laugh manically. I'm open to suggestions on that point.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The dangers of excessive thinking

If, like me, you find that the drinking of beer at some point leads to the brewing of beer, which leads to talking about beer and thinking about beer excessively - a sad decline I could have avoided if I'd only stuck with the drinking - at some point, you'll start talking about the beginning of beer. People have talked about the beginning of beer since, well, the beginning of beer, so there's a lot of stories about, although oddly we don't know which story is the right one. Perhaps if we hadn't been telling so many stories and paying attention we would know exactly how it happened.

With the coming of this advanced age of scientific achievement and technical rigour and shiny machines that go ping and stuff, you'd think we'd have worked it all out and really know how beer began. But no, we're still telling stories, more stories, often just as unconvincing and disreputable as the stories told by earlier, more drunk people, but far less entertaining.

I recall watching part of a documentary about beer creating civilisation where one scientist claimed that beer originated by early humans putting beer 'in a collection vessel'. A 'collection vessel'. Right. Couldn't he have just said 'a pot?' The early humans then went off and did early human things while somehow the barley got wet, then sprouted, and then leached out sugar into the water, and then began to ferment.

A recent theory about the origin of mead that I read contained some similar rather silly speculation: the earliest mead maker was mixing honey with water to make it flow better, and gathering it in an animal skin bag, 'perhaps' speculated the writer, to take back the honey to the 'alpha' human. Who knows just why he wanted to drag in this piece of half-arsed sociology and anthropology into his speculating about the origins of mead, but at any rate, the theory itself is as simple as some folks put water and honey in a bag and then some yeast came along. Which could just as well be how it happened, but on the other hand, if we really want a farfetched origin story, why don't we turn to the drunk, dangerous, and much more entertaining ancient Scandinavians:

The gods had a dispute with the folk which are called Vanir, and they appointed a peace-meeting between them and established peace in this way: they each went to a vat and spat their spittle therein. Then at parting the gods took that peace-token and would not let it perish, but shaped thereof a man. This man is called Kvasir, and he was so wise that none could question him concerning anything but that he knew the solution... when he came upon invitation to the abode of certain dwarves, Fjalar and Galarr, they called him into privy converse with them, and killed him, letting his blood run into two vats and a kettle. The kettle is named Ódrerir, and the vats Són and Bodn; they blended honey with the blood, and the outcome was that mead by the virtue of which he who drinks becomes a skald or scholar.

So: the Gods make a man out of spit, and then the blood of this man of spit is mixed with honey to become mead. Got that? Spit appears again when we read the following from The Kalevala:

'Thou, my golden-breasted marten,
Thou my son of golden color,
Haste thou whither I may send thee,
To the bear-dens of the mountain,
To the grottoes of the growler,
Gather yeast upon thy fingers,
Gather foam from lips of anger,
From the lips of bears in battle,
Bring it to the hands of Kapo,
To the hands of Osmo's daughter.'

"Then the marten golden-breasted,
Full consenting, hastened onward,
Quickly bounding on his journey,
Lightly leaping through the distance
Leaping o'er the widest rivers,
Leaping over rocky fissures,
To the bear-dens of the mountain,
To the grottoes of the growler,
Where the wild-bears fight each other,
Where they pass a dread existence,
Iron rocks, their softest pillows,
In the fastnesses of mountains;
From their lips the foam was dripping,
From their tongues the froth of anger;
This the marten deftly gathered,
Brought it to the maiden, Kapo,
Laid it in her dainty fingers.

"Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
Brewer of the beer of barley,
Used the beer-foam as a ferment;
But it brought no effervescence,
Did not make the liquor sparkle.

For those who didn't bother reading that to the end, it basically says that in order to get the first beer ready, "Osmotar, the beer-preparer" orders for some wild-bear spit. There's also an oak chip and cones from the fir tree and a magic squirrel and bee involved in there somewhere, to be honest I can't remember it all in detail. Still, you're not going to get that from a chap who habitually talks about 'collection vessels' and honey being collected for 'alpha humans', are you?

I don't really have any other examples and it's too hot to think of a proper way of rounding this post off, so instead I'll just

UPDATE! - By the way. Beer poetry here!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Theology corner!

Now Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death. - 1 Chronicles 2: 3
Er, just how did Er err? Was Er who erred from Ur? Did Er err in Ur?

Heyza, groovtacular heptasms!

I wrote this on the weekend. I still have no idea what it means.

Heyza, groovtacular heptasms! Want a coolio dealio to zwing-zwang your razzamattazz? To zip-zooptacular up your supercallafragilisticexpialadocious dongle so it's in tip-top-tip-top-tip-topper form? Calltextmailbuzzzapdinglezankfaxvote 131 at 131 at abcdefg dot dash dot dash dot dot dot dash dash dash dot com NOW!

Following that, I wrote this:

Actually certainly definitely really real people! Suffering an existential crisis? LOGISTIC SOLUTION ANSWER PROBLEMATIC TECHNO-SOLUTION LOGISTICS could potentially possibly hypothetically maybe just maybe help you! Call 1300 1300 1300.

Short and to the lack of point. Then I concluded with this:

Fun fun fun in a gloriously funky funnulacious ball of amazulament to the power of a fazillion burning suns fun! It isn't fun-ish! It's definitely not -ish! No ish-ishm-iffy-um-izzy-and/or-backslash-hyphen-ish at all! No! It's fun-tacular-acious-est-est-est-isular-itely-ently-intly-full-stop-exclamation-mark-aciousness to the power of wow! What were we talking about again? I forget. Oh yeah! Fun! Hyperglycaemictasms of fun! We're coughing up great gobularverbosities of fun! Where? I wish I knew! Call me to let me know! I don't have my phone number either so call me to let me know that too! FUN!

Thank you for your time.

Degrees of dissatisfaction

It's going to be 43 degrees today. I could have gone through all my life without knowing that it was going to be 43 degrees celsius on the 14 of January 2014 quite happily, but strangely everyone seems to keep announcing this. "It's going to be 43 degrees tomorrow" announced the Baron yesterday, meaning that by the time the tomorrow that she was talking about had rolled around, it was today. Meanwhile, everyone on facebook apparently felt some curious mass urging to announce that it is going to be 43 degrees today, because it is of course absolutely necessary to know with all the exactitude of modern measurement precisely what degree it is going to be on any one particular day. Just to round things off, I logged on to the Bureau of Meteorology which informed me chirpily of the forecast, which was that it was going to be 43 degrees today. Just why, exactly, they wish to inform me in such detail about this particularity, I do not know, as they are comparatively cavalier and creative in their approach to talking about the rain: "some rain", "mostly dry", "shower or two", "few showers", "scattered showers", "possible shower". There is a lovely ambiguity in all of these statements: it leaves open the possibility that there could be no showers at all, and there could be a great deal of showers too. By comparison, the two little numerous "Four" and "three" when combined in the temperature reading of "Forty three degrees celsius" have a brute force; they are positively terrifying. Do I really need to know it is going to be 43 degrees? Why not just say that it's going to be BLOODY HOT.

 But it is perhaps a matter of personal taste. I am not one of those who wishes to grimly inform others just what the temperature is going to be tomorrow. Perhaps I might, quietly, log on to the Bureau of Meteorology occasionally to note the pertinent facts, shake my head sorrowfully at the way things are going to be, and then grimly endure it as much as I can.

It's another question entirely after you have been through the Bloody Hot day in question. Then I feel the particular temperature should be announced loudly and proudly to everyone and anyone in particular. "Yesterday was 43 degrees and it was BLOODY HOT"....

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Welcome to another episode of Super diet tips from Tim entitled SIX FOODS YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT AGAIN.

Hemlock! (Unless you take it with a lot of sugar, and even then it's not recommended.)
Petrol! Not even in a light summery salad.

In conclusion, buy yourself a chocolate. It is to healthy eating what arsenic is to unhealthy eating!

UPDATE! -  Blatant indoctrination of children into the dangers of drug-taking!

Ordering beer by the yard, and other knotty questions

Chatting on Aussie Home Brewer recently about my fondness for the traditional measurements for drinks in a pub, pots and pints, I commented that 'ordering beer by the yard would seem excessive'. To which, quick as a flash, another commenter quipped: 'Tell that to Bob Hawke'.

All true. However, it occurred to me a little after that perhaps it could be time for some new measurements and descriptions in pubs. Not millilitres or litres or grams - no, I'm thinking a whole new set of words to describe the drinker's life. A few suggestions follow:

pont - a disappointing pint, a pint that is closer to a pot. A pint that didn't make it. "A dissapintment".

shanky - a shonky shandy. 

schooner-or-later - an excessively long wait at the bar. A schooner that takes a while to be drawn from the tap.

muddy - an ambiguous middy.  (Readers may ask: what is so ambiguous about a middy? Perhaps the answer lies in the question. However, I'd suggest that after a few drinks, almost anything could appear ambiguous).

spot - the remnants of a pot.

spit - a worthless remnant of a spot (above), not enough to drink.

glug - the rate at which beer is poured into the jug.

hemidemisemijohn - an extremely small demijohn.

the full John - a big demijohn. Not so demi anymore.

phony - a pretend pony. Also, a faux po.

schlong-neck - larger bottle for the, ahem, discerning man.

stubble - smaller bottle for the metrosexual man with the five o'clock shadow.

the seven o'clock swell - time in the day when posh city chaps descend on the pub.

the nine o'clock squall - time when drunk backpackers descend on posh city chaps in the pub.

the eleven o'clock dill - there's always one of them.

the barrell o'farry - NSW keg measurement.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Twongue twister

I will get my knickers in a knot, for I am a knicker knotter who knots knickers everyday. If I did not knot my knickers, they would not knot themselves. They need a knicker knotter to be knotted. So don't knock my knicker knotting, knicker knotting knockers, just knick off and get nicked. For I will get my knickers in a knot.

.... get to know one another less?

Speaking of respectable publications, let's talk about mX. Does anyone read that paper? (Probably not, as it's all about the pretty pictures and the sensational headlines, which you don't so much read as experience, in all their caps-locked glory). But when I was regularly commuting into and out of the city, I admit I did occasionally dip into their reader feedback pages - they have a regular romantic hook-up box where readers can text in to other passengers on the trains before concluding with plaintive pleas of 'Coffee?' 'Drink?'

For a while I toyed with the idea of submitting to this column with increasingly ridiculous messages directed at non-existent passengers hinting at bizarre link-ups that never happened, though of course I didn't ever follow up on it. Here, however, for your edification, I present the mX romance in all its glory....


Blue T-shirt. I didn't absolutely hate you when I saw you on the train yesterday arvo, and my counsellor says that's always a good sign. Meet up next court case?  

Redhead, Eltham train - here's how it works. Romance, 1 year. Lengthy affair, 2 years. Angsty break up, 1/2 year; string of emotionally unfulfilling 1-night stands, several with relatives of yours and/or mine, 1 typically involving incest embarrassingly discovered; a lengthy court battle which ends up favouring neither of us; then drug addiction of whatever is fashionable at the time. Coffee?

Groovy guy, Upfield train yesterday.  Your smile is to die for. In fact, I discovered I have terminal cancer this morning. How about it? 

Girl sitting in front of me on the Pakenham line. My relationship with alcohol is destructive and expensive. But I think we could make a fresh start! C U next train?

Girl sitting in front of me with cute hair. I think I could be the guy for you. Or girl. Hey, I'm open minded! Coffee? 

Business dude. Sorry I vomited on you. I like your shirt! Drink?

Guy in tee. Nice moustache. Meet up soon? I'm always available. Except on Tuesday. And never on Friday afternoons. Weekends possible. Mornings all out. But Sunday through Monday not doable. I *really* want to meet. 

Guy on train with camera. We've got to stop meeting like this. I'm calling the police.

Girl with large hat. You're a narcissist with extreme exhibitionist tendencies, I'm a dirty leering old man. Perfect match! Drink? 

Girl with green shirt. We've been stuck together on this crowded tram for two days. The air conditioning is gone and I'm finding it hard to breathe. But I think you're pretty! Like to go out?

iPad guy. I was the girl sending tweets on my iPhone. Let's get together and send ironically indifferent status updates to one another from opposite sides of the room! 

iPhone girl. Not sure if you mean me. Show me your selfie and I'll show you mine?

Hey, stubble, 2.30 PM Frankston train. I don't like you. Let's meet in a loud and irritating expensive cafe with loud music to get to know one another less.

J - great to catch up with you on the Epping line. Haven't really talked since You Know When when you did You Know What to You Know Who. In fact, haven't even seen you - you've missed the last two court hearings. Better not miss the next one! Love and kisses, B. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Terroir du Porepunkah

When we visited Bright in Easter last year we collected so many apples. Boxes and boxes of ripe apples, from burgeoning roadside trees along the way to Wandiligong, which we eventually took home, let mellow in my study for a while, and then painstakingly crushed in our blender and apple press to produce a measly eight bottles of cider. But it tastes good: the original fermented sharpness has rounded out to produce a lovely cloudy dry wine with the odour of apples dancing above the glass. "It has the terroir of Wandiligong" said the Baron when we tasted it the other day. "Yes," I replied. "If you go and lick Wandiligong, that's what it will taste like".

We went back to Wandiligong this year, and not just to lick it. We also went on walks over the Ovens River, up and down the hills, to Beechworth and Stanley and to Porepunkah, while I tromped, annoyingly, behind everyone else writing things down in my notepad about things I saw that I might be able to ferment at some point. You can ferment just about anything, of course, but sometimes you really shouldn't: a while ago Vice magazine had a documentary about Korean baby poo wine, for health, naturally (though I can't recall whether it was for the health of the person drinking or the baby). On the walk to Porepunkah, for instance, there were cicada shells, a weird beetle with green splotches on its back, a few too many cyclists barging past us, and something dead and stinking at about the halfway mark: I don't want to ferment any of those.

But we also saw

wild lettuce, yes, there is such a thing and you eat its sap
blackberries, under the bridge, on the trail, off the trail, to the left, to the right, and in all the other places - for an illegal species that shouldn't be anywhere they're certainly doing a good trick at being everywhere
apple, crab apple
Queen Anne's Lace

And that's just on one of the walks that I did. I can smell that beer fermenting right now.... why not try licking the monitor to get a sense of it yourself? Savour the flavour....

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Slug pub

The beer trap, or 'slug pub', is the most traditional non-toxic way of dealing with slugs. Learn how to make your own.
Happy hour at the slug pub
Where the beer is free and fine,
Where the feng shui is to die for
And the company's divine.

We hermaphroditic molluscs
Make the very best of friends;
Join us down the garden path
At the bar just round the bend.

Happy hour at the slug pub,
With its amber nectar seas;
Put your feet up, if you have some,
And relax in dreamless ease. 

Email: timhtrain - at -

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