Will Type For Food



kidattypewriter

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pyoetr

An election confection

Labor or Liberal
Laberal lubber
Babble on blabber all
Blobbable blubber
Loobyloo lubbardly
Dullard today
Down to the lullingly
Labial lay
Of the oovidly groovidly 
Foovidly Green
Passionate fashionate 
Keen-to-be-seen 
Vivavug groovishly 
Woowawoog woon
Noogishum soogishum
Wungawip bloon - 
A, B, or C, D, 
E for Economy, 
For G huggermug 
I, J, K-onomy. 
Mama the government
Grants money to some - 
Vote for More Moolah! 
FEE FI FO FUM. 

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Consider your awareness raised

Today is Hedgehog Awareness Week, which is a strange span of time for a day, but there you go. Did you know that there is a designated hedgehog for every hedge around the world? I didn't know that either, but it's amazing what facts can tell you when you let them if you let them.

Now to raise your awareness even further, here is a hedgehog.


Wasn't that elevating? So you can see that hedgehogs exist. (Shame on you for disbelieving in the existence of hedgehogs!*)

Here is a list of famous hedgehogs:

- Mrs Tiggy Winkle
- Mr Pricklepants
- Winston Churchill
- Sonic the hedgehog

Consider your awareness of hedgehogs raised, fellow citizens!

*Now Australia, on the other hand, that place definitely doesn't exist. ** 

**Echidnas do, but Australia, definitely not. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The Other Dirty Thirty

Having just avoided participating in the Dirty Thirty Poetry Month in April (thirty days, thirty writing prompts, one per day) - it's become something of an annual festival with me, avoiding this event - you'd think I'd happily sit back and not think about it. But no! Why should poets have all the fun, after all? A far more common creative form, if you ask me, is the company circular, the monthly business fiscal update, the mundane board report composed by an unimportant mid-level HR drone.

To that end, I have composed the following:

Thirty writing prompts for mundane board reports

1. Discuss a potential rebranding strategy.

2. Outline your acquisitions portfolio.

3. Compare your company's sales on a month-by-month basis with those of other companies.

4. Hey, sales have been up in the third quarter!

5. Hey, sales have been down in the third quarter!

6. Hey, sales have stagnated in the third quarter!

7. Raise the prospect of future mergers.

8. Forecast some developments in the international markets.

9. Fill a page full of obscure acronyms that even your accountancy department will struggle to recognise.

10. Make a pie chart of the different sections of the company.

11. Make a bar graph of the same.

12. Paste a picture of the CEO on the page with the caption "our CEO".

13. Describe a development as "in line with expectations".

14. Write a series of sub-headings for the CFO's report!

15. Write a paragraph containing no rhymes whatsoever!

16. Use the acronym EBITDA 10 times in the one page.

17. Discuss difficulties you have had with your suppliers.

18. Use the words "going forward" on the first page of the report.

19. Chart international sales on a month-by-month basis.

20. Do the same on a year-by-year basis.

21. Discuss specific targets for your company.

22. Compare and contrast taxation and company responses to taxation in different countries.

23. Make a list of corporate responsibilities. Put a tick next to each of them!

24. Outline further opportunities for growth.

25. Discuss risks your productions sector will have to deal with.

26. Make a Venn diagram!

27. List five corporate strategies for the coming financial year. Use bullet points.

28. Use a photo of one of your factories, and come up with a banal caption for it!

29. Discuss the reasons for financial losses in the previous quarter.

30. Make up another graph just because, and colour it in. Use lots of grey!

Monday, May 06, 2019

WTFF news - artists run out of silos to paint

AUSTRALIA, Australia - an artistic crisis has swept the nation, as artists have finally run out of silos to paint on.

"Without any more silos to paint on, what will happen to the local arts?" says a local artist, after putting the finishing touches to her silo. "Clearly, the government needs to support artists more by commissioning more silos, which we will then paint."

"We will not rest until there is a silo for every paddock in Australia."

Meanwhile, others have called for there to be no more silos built, and for the existing silos to be simply re-used or for artists to return to using sheets of paper, but these others have been dismissed by other others as being idiots.

As terror swept the nation following the announcement of the dreadful silo shortage, sorrow also swept the nation following the announcement that the iconic bushman, who artists painted in iconic bush scenes on all those silos, was in the hospital with a cold and might not be available for painting any more iconic bush scenes on the silos for at least three days or so.  In addition, mild concern also swept the nation following announcement of an imminent lamp post shortage for people to do guerrilla knitting for.

"We are mildly concerned", said a national citizen.

Fig 1 - Silos painted in an abstract style.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Woke in Fright

HANDSHAKES could be banned under new workplace rules to avoid expensive sexual harassment claims, an expert has said. - The Sun

SCENE: The conclusion of an interview between TOFU PENNYFEATHERS and MR GOBSMITES.  

MR GOBSMITES: Well, Mr Pennyfeathers, I've got to admit, we're very impressed. I've taken time to read your thesis on the literary works of Laurie Penny, and it has some astounding insights. And the way you managed to tackle the subjects of 'mansplaining' and 'manspreading' in this interview without actually mansplaining or manspreading at all was particularly well done.

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS: Thank you, I just think it's so important that we as a society move forward from the old patriarchal hegemony, you know?

MR GOBSMITES: And you've managed to make your way through the interview without once placing a single pronoun wrong!

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS (airily): Well, they wouldn't like it if we mischaracterised xir as srm, would they? Hahahahahaha.

MR GOBSMITES: Ha. Yes, well, we'll be speaking to a few other candidates first. But for now (folding hands) there's just something else I'd like to raise.

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS: Oh, of course, of course!

MR GOBSMITES: I bet you think you're pretty clever, don't you?

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS: Oh absolutely, it's just so.... wait, what did you say?

MR GOBSMITES: Yes, it was very good, Mr Pennyfeathers, very good - almost perfect. But you made one slip up. One mistake. And it was a big one.

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS: I.... no, it's impossible. What? What are you talking about? I haven't done anything!

MR GOBSMITES: It was.... (voice deepens dramatically) THE HANDSHAKE!

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS: Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

(Door bursts open, the THOUGHT POLICE, wearing CLEMENTINE FORD masks crowd into the room and belabour TOFU PENNYFEATHERS with truncheons).

MR GOBSMITES (removing false hand, throwing it in the rubbish bin): I'm afraid, Mr Pennyfeathers, we will have to be removing you to our correctional facilities forthwith.

TOFU PENNYFEATHERS (weeping bitter tears of remorse, as they drag him away): NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I CAN CHANGE! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Defence of Good, Old-fashioned Food

A Defence of Good, Old-Fashioned Food 

Patch (dog & food critic)

by renowned food critic Patch.

Australia has had nothing less than a food revolution over the past few decades, and a good thing, too. The best quality meals from right around the world are easily available, catering to all preferences: vegetarian, lactose intolerant, paleo, canned dog food. But in these sophisticated, modern times, sometimes, let's admit it, we need to return to the simple pleasures of eating any old thing lying on the ground.

And really, have we become too sophisticated, these days? Looking down our noses at those who eat any old thing lying on the ground is easy to do, but I ask you, where can you find a greater culinary variety than on the ground? Scraps of pizza, sausage roll, kebabs, some old fish you can also roll in before you wolf it down - it truly is a delight for all the senses! And I am convinced that doctors will soon advocate this practice, as all the essential nutrients of life can be found in the any old thing that happens to be lying on the ground that you are in the act of eating.

I have of course eaten in many fine establishments: bars, restaurants, cafes. I am no strange to any of the fine foods of the world, be they pasta, sushi, pate, or the rich and satisfying palate of European cheeses. But you might be surprised to know I have also found these things lying on the ground. Taken with a little seasoning, perhaps, from the open rubbish bin which happens to be next to the ground that the food is lying around on. Yes, it is clear, you can live like a bon vivant at very little expense.

And, after all, what activity could be more in keeping with our modern values - freeganism, dumpster diving, ecological and agricultural sustainability? If you think about it, eating any old thing lying on the ground is not just a pleasure - it's a public service.

So my fellow epicures, hold your heads high - while bending them down to scoff up any old thing just lying on the ground - you've got to be quick, before some other epicure gets it!

PATCH RECOMMENDS:
- The footpath outside the Bright IGA, both sides of the street. "An old favourite, this, but still manages to deliver a rich and satisfying melange of old and new food stuffs, full of delightful contrasts." 

- The park along the Ovens River. "A delightfully convivial atmosphere where the experienced gastronome can sniff out some true wonders. Well known for their classics, the lamb chop and the sausage, this scenic venue has lately really branched out and now offers a greater variety than ever before. Try the rotting fish carcass, it's wonderful!"

- The soggy dusty Weetbix on the Hargreaves Road hill. "Sorry, you can't eat this, I've eaten it already, but it was one of the culinary wonders of the world."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The rules

Orchestral music should never be played in the afternoon. Romantic piano concertos are particularly depressing at that time.

Chamber music, string quartets, Lieder, etc, are particularly good in the evening.

Epic orchestral works are best appreciated around midnight.

Baroque music is an exception to the no-orchestral-music-between-midday-and-midnight rule. Mostly because it was written for orchestras before orchestras were invented.

In general, though, you should try to arrange for the day to be cold, rainy, or snowing when listening to baroque music.

Baroque music is especially good when it has viols. Make sure it has viols in it. Actually, everything is better with viols.

Ideally, the musicians should be there in the room with you.

There are solos, duets, trios, quartets, and quintets. Everything above has a technical name but is basically an orchestra.

If you can't fit them onto a rotunda there's probably too many.

English horns > oboes.
Oboes > bassoons.
Clarinets.... it's kind of a grey area.
Bassoons have unique comic value though.

There ought to be more music for hurdy-gurdies.

Orchestras should have both an English horn and a French horn. A car horn is right out.

Homophony is just polyphony in disguise.

Polyphony is just homophony in surprise.

Atonality is just tonality in wild surmise.

It is not clear when atonal music should be listened to. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist and take only as advised.

Except for Stravinsky, whose atonal music should be listened to frequently, in the early morning, while it is still fresh.

Friday, March 01, 2019

The perils of poetry

Dad noticed one of those silly "This door is alarmed" signs the other day and suggests in his letter "This.... could be a subject for a comical/quizzical bit of poetry.... Why not see what you can make of this idea."

Sure thing Dad!

This door is alert. 
This door is alarmed. 
This door is anxious as fuck. 
This door is happy. 
This door is sad. 
This door has a full emotional range, man, this door is not just open and fucking shut. 

Now excuse me while I never send this poem to Dad at all.

Monday, February 25, 2019

In the spirit of our advanced and progressive modern age, here are some new swear words

Saw a meme the other day saying there sometimes weren't enough swear words to express how you really felt. Well, I thought, that's easily fixed.

NEW SWEAR WORDS

Fumshuck it! 

Absolute twunk! 

Flump-membered snithead! 

Quindiddle! 

You damp pair of underpangles! 

Tumsnag. 

Dingle-daggle. 

Floop them! 

Tip-dwingles! 

Shugger you! 

Blarfulent! 

Blatch-snatting. 

Gribbler. 

Skang-monging. 

Fludging fludger! 

If you know what they mean - good heavens, please don't explain them to me!

UPDATE: Hey, if you want an excuse to use these new swear words now - or some of your own - why not buy this elegant publication and swear at the badly-placed apostrophes or errors of syntax?


Friday, February 15, 2019

A Contentious Issue Discussed by Two Apathetic People

(Incredibly timely humour from me, as you can see...)

Hello, and welcome to another episode of A Contentious Issue Discussed by Two Apathetic People. In today's episode, that Gillette ad. On the one hand, all men are rapists, but on the other hand, this ad is basically going to save civilisation. Let's welcome our two experts! Expert A, are all men rapists? 

EXPERT A: No really fussed about that issue, mate.

So you're not taking it personally. But if the critics of this ad are to be believed, it basically says you are personally to blame and you should go out and shoot yourself as of last week. 

EXPERT A: Yeah, still not bothered.

Whoa. Okay. Expert B, you're just a crazy feminazi, aren't you? Isn't it a little hurtful to be stigmatising all men in this way? 

EXPERT B: Oh man,. don't ask me about it. I haven't even been following this story. Hey, I don't even have a TV!

Wow. A strong refutation, Expert A. Any response? Can you even begin to defend yourself against that, you sexist racist patriarchist heteronormative bastard piece of shit? 

(EXPERT A has gone off in an unfussed manner to make a cup of tea).

Okay, Expert A appears to have gone off in an unfussed manner to make a cup of tea. Expert B, any concluding remarks? 

EXPERT B: I mean., how did you even find me, man? Hey, maybe you should speak to my nan, she gets the paper, like, all the time, I mean, it's just to keep up with the racing results, but still...

More good points. Thanks for your time, Experts. It seems these issues remain unresolved. Join us tomorrow, when we see if they even give a shit about nuclear war. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

An ever so subtle hint about BUY MY BOOK!

Isn't it just awful how Christmas become so commercialised? On an unrelated note, my book would make a great Christmas present for everyone you know, and the link to buy it is right here.

In conclusion, here is a photograph of my cat with the book. Which you can buy. But not the cat. She's staying right here.

UPDATE: Alternatively, you could mail me and I could organise to post one out to you. Email address here. Sample poem here

No automatic alt text available.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Challenge yourself with the rhetorical questions quiz!

1) ARE WE JUST GOING TO STAND BY AND TAKE IT?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Maybe.
d) All of the above.

2) Am I right or am I right?
a) You are right.
b) You might be right.
c) You could be wrong.
d) You are wrong.

3) What do we say, ladies?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Please do not refer to me in the plural. I am not a group.
d) I am not a lady.

4) Are we not men?
a) No.
b) This is a lady's rest room. We are not men.
c) Yes.
d) Your questions are strangely gendered and I do not agree with their terms.

5) Do they take us for fools?
a) Probably.
b) It's possible.
c) Neither sure nor unsure.
d) Yes.

6) What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
a) 42.
b) 42.
c) That is an exceedingly complicated philosophical debate, and it is curious that you appear to have placed the three sets of 'life', 'universe', and 'everything' in the one general superset as part of the terms of your question. It poses an interesting assumption, that language is not only at the root of these physical-biological-philosophical phenomena, but that it is a particular form of language, the interrogative mood, the question, that is the basis of reality. I therefore propose to make my tentative answer to this question break down into several parts. I shall begin with asking, 'what is a question'?...
d) 42.

7) Just who do you think you are?
a) A bounder.
b) I am the Doctor.
c) Your mother. It is bedtime.
d) Eileen.

8) Would you rather have a box of chocolates, or gouge your eye out with a cold spoon?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) I am a masochist, so yes, definitely.
d) Strongly agree.

9) Did you get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?
a) I do not own a bed.
b) Yes.
c) I am still in bed.
d) I have always been in bed. I live here.

10) How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
a) Four.
b) This much.
c) Five penn'orth.
d) Yes.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Alternative strip shows

1. To a slow tantalising melody the stripper sensuously and lingeringly puts clothes on. She teasingly pulls on a cosy jumper. Then she playfully wraps a scarf around her neck, naughty fold by naughty fold. Then she licks her lips and places a comfy little beanie on her head, the pom-pom atop jiggling with excitement.

2. The stripper begins stripping, flinging off body limbs one by one into the ever-more-excited audience. Finally all that is left is her right leg, and then - with a high kick, it arches ever so gracefully into the air, does a few pirouettes and flips, and lands in the chair next to a fat old trucker called Mac, who has long ago fainted in horror.

3. The stripper sits in a chair with her legs crossed while the entire audience strips. Then she goes to the bar and gets a beer.

4. The entire audience ingests laxatives while the stripper talks to them about feelings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time and change and decay and the last chocolate in the box

Cadburys changed their chocolate Roses. Did you know that?
"They've changed chocolate Roses!" the Baron announced to me yesterday.
"What?" I cried.
"They've gotten rid of the twist wrappers!" she went on.
"What? They're great!"
"I know!"
"They're what make them fancy!"
"Yes!" declaimed the Baron, before going on. "And they've discontinued some flavours, and are introducing two new flavours: vanilla nougat, and raspberry white chocolate."
"How could they?" I shouted. By this point, we had almost declared a new Inquisition against this heresy. We were both very shocked.

As a matter of fact, that evening, we saw a box of the new Roses in the supermarket. We both wrinkled our noses: "ew!" We were so disgusted that we bought the box there and then, to examine our disgust at leisure at home.
"Oh no!" cried the Baron when we opened the box. "They've even changed the shape of this one!"
"It was a nice shape!" I cried passionately.
"It was like a little Shih Tzu!"
"It's disgraceful", I harrumphed, popping a chocolate into my mouth.
"Shocking!" muttered the Baron, popping two in hers.
"Mmmmmf ghfjhfhgjfkjfd fgggfjgj!" I said, my mouth full of the offending chocolates.
The Baron didn't say anything at this point: she was too busy swimming down a river of chocolate out our front door.

At this point, I tried the new Vanilla Nougat one. It wasn't very nice. It was covered in chocolate, which I will always have time for. But the middle was meh.

As we finished off the packet the following evening, I reflected on time and change and the decay of all good things as I munched through the second last chocolate.
"Something something something time and change and the decay of something something something" I said. "And also, munch."
"Agreed," agreed the Baron. We both felt very justified in our disgust.

I mean, it was a pleasant disgust, because it involved eating a lot of chocolate. But still. Something in the universe had changed, and not for the better.

Incidentally, if you bring a box of Roses round to our place, don't eat the two caramel ones. They are definitely the worst. Leave them to me, and I will safely dispose of them while you are out of the room.

Friday, September 14, 2018

A preposition deposition

Well wouldn't you know, I was absolutely beside myself. Which was awkward, because it was a rather cliched position to put myself in. So I decided to be inside myself instead. After being inside myself for a while it was getting rather tight and I needed fresh air, so I decided to be before myself instead. It was great! Because that meant I was getting ahead of myself, though I also had to run to keep up with myself, which put me between myself and myself and it was getting rather like I was being inside myself again. So I put myself down, which meant I sat upon myself. Just as I felt like I was getting on top of myself, who should I walk into but myself? Just standing around on a street corner, being with himself (who was me). And because I ran into myself I was all of a sudden inside myself again, and it seemed like I was back to square one! Fortunately, I caught myself in time, which experience took me right out of myself, and I was overjoyed, I was excited, let me tell you, I was absolutely beside myself!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thoughts of a lap for hire

How come the cat never lets me sit on her lap?

How many fur balls do cats make in their life? Is it related to how many words a man must utter in his life? Or how many roads a man must walk down?

Where is a cats lap anyway?

How to attract a cat: sit still and look like a lap. Make pleasant, lap-shaped sounds.

Wear a coat that is the opposite colour to the cat's fur. A black cat won't sit on a black coat. What's the point? Nobody will notice the fur.

If it is a spotty cat, best to wear a spotty coat, so all the different fur colours will have a chance to shine.

Laps are very mysterious, when you think about it. They disappear when you stand up, and nobody knows where they go. And cats sit in them, not on them (by contrast, a cat can't sit in your leg, or in your chest, or in your face): can you think of any other body part quite like this?

Own two shoes: one for your left foot, one for your right foot, and one for the cat to drop the mouse into. Okay, that's three shoes. Own three shoes.

The past is like cat biscuits: dry and reliable. The future is the wet food: tempting, delicious, and a little bit moist. And sometimes, it squeaks.

Cat talk is very economical, consisting of just one four-letter word. Who needs grammar when you've got meow?

Cats: bathe themselves in their own spit.
Chooks: have dust baths.
Humans: just bathe in water. Seems quite tame in comparison.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The cars that ate Epping

One morning, and I don't know when, the good citizens of Epping, Victoria, woke up with some confusion to find their quiet country town had been turned into a carpark.

That's not even a story. That actually happened. The Baron and I just went for a walk in this erstwhile country town and saw it for ourselves. It was a surprise: there's been a ridiculous amount of development in Epping, recently - fences going up, big machines tossing and turning earth over, this being paved and that being nailed and these guys in fluoro worksuits moving around looking very important and very pleased with themselves for being important. And tonight we looked with some surprise at the net result of all this activity: a few sullen big name shops, and a huge carpark, from one end of the suburb to the other. Here and there a paddock rudely remained, fenced off, looking as outlandish as a Martian landscape in amongst all the concrete and neatly painted carparking spaces.

What with all this development, I'm still not sure what all the people are going to come to Epping for. One 7/11 is much like another (and Epping has two of those), and one Aldi is much like another (and Epping has two of those, too), and one Dan Murphys is much like the other (and Epping now has two of those as well). And who the hell would want to visit those places anyway? But it's an absolutely fantastic place to park your car while you are not visiting these places. Couldn't be better.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Quark

Or: why you should never get grammatical, scientific, or any type of advice from Tim whatsoever. 

Quark is quark is quark. Quark is just a type of German/European cheese, but you make all new quark out of old quark, adding some old quark to milk, so the new quark becomes part of the original quark, the ur-quark, the proto-quark, the primordial-quark, too. All quark is the one quark, and one quark is all quark. Quark is like the blob of the food world. Perhaps eventually all things will be quark, and we will all be happy in this clabbery, curdly, blibbery, blobbery, gestalt-quark-oneness.

So: the gender of quark, auf Deutsch, is 'der', Maskulin, because quark is a type of cheese and all cheese is masculine also. And 'Quark' doesn't really have a plural form, either - or, you can talk about it as if it's a plural ('die Quark', the plural definite article 'die' indicating it is plural), but there is no internal vowel mutation, no suffixed '-s' or '-en' to say the word is a plural, because quark is quark is quark, because all quark is one quark. Imagine saying to someone 'can I have muesli with two yoghurts'; it sounds faintly ridiculous, not because yoghurt is faintly ridiculous (though it is) but because all yoghurt comes from the one yoghurt, you make new yoghurt by just using old yoghurt. No 'two yoghurts', you just say 'can I have some yoghurt please' or 'can I have more yoghurt please'. Quark is yoghurt is quark is yoghurt is quark.

But also, quarks are quarks are quarks. The subatomic particle, confusingly also called 'Quark' auf Deutsch, gets the article neuter - 'das Quark', if you please, so if you meet one in the street, you know how to address it. It was called thus by subatomic scientists, who, needing a handy-dandy name for this entirely theoretical infinitesimal unit, took it from James Joyce, exclaiming in Finnegan's Wake "Three quarks for Muster Mark!", who I like to think was deliberately pluralising a German word that could not be pluralised. So, 'der Quark', not 'die Quarks', but 'das Quark', and 'die Quarks'. Got it? Good, I haven't either. And, for all we know, quarks, down at the hocus-pocus-mystical-heuristical-mumbo-jumbo level, might be exactly like cheese quark, anyway - little flying pieces of space-time yoghurt could form the basis of all matter. (Or not.)

The point of this article is, there is no point. Language likes fucking with us, and writers and scientists do their best to help it along. Bastards, the lot of them.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Fee fi fo femme!

New literary variations on the femme fatale (who, as everyone knows, lures unsuspecting men to their doom using her fatal femme wiles):

Em fatale: a mark of punctuation that lures unsuspecting men and women to their doom.

Phlegm fatale: a vomit that is so dense and chunky that it contains a black hole within it that draws men and women to their inevitable doom.

Ahem fatale: a verbal stumble during a talk that causes the talker to completely lose their place.

Femme unfatale: a temptress who lures unsuspecting men to their doom completely of their own free will, and then once they have met their doom, offers them a nice cup of tea.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Whee! Look at me! I'm an intellectual!

When you're an intellectual, your job is to think thoughts, and occasionally you think a thought that is so thinky that it goes thunk. Ben Eltham had one of those recently, check it out:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

"Do white people have a positive or negative impact on Australia?" What does it even mean? It's like a game of verbal Tetris, slotting in all these random ideas together and finding they accidentally fit! Whee, look at me! I'm an intellectual!

"Do white people have a positive or negative impact on Australia?" I've never heard a more daft question in my life! How about these for some survey questions?

Are vegetables the superior form of potatoes? Y/N?

Whee!

Does white have a positive or negative impact on the colour spectrum? Y/N?

This is fun!

Are squares better than rectangles? Y/N? 

Look mum! I made a thought! No hands!

Do minus signs have a positive or negative impact on Australia? Y/N?  

As they say, "answers, please, on the back of a card".

Still, things could have been worse for Eltham. This could have been what happened.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Ancient Civilisation of the Bog Hole

The fearful monument to an ancient civilisation had stood in the forest for eon upon eon, untouched by human hands, when I first happened upon it, many a year ago. I shuddered to gaze up at its sublime vistas, for what aweful rites, what sacrificial ceremonies, had been carried out by the ancient votaries who had erected this temple to their remote yet terrible Gods?


And yet, time, that great leveler, makes low all things. For where, I ask you, is this ancient civilisation now? Great their achievements have been, yea, and pitiless this tribe must have been to all around them: yet idle profit have they made of it! The years rolled by, and I once more advanced into the jungle to view these mighty edifices. As I once more approached the ancient towers, a chill wind swept by me, and I shivered, reflecting upon the many ghosts in this haunted place, which had once been the centre of a vast Empire.  


Lo! How the mighty have fallen! 

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Grumpy Noll and the case of the flying tinny

For those of you not as au fait with the trending events, current occurrences, and occurring trends of the present day, let me bring you up to speed. It seems young Australian balladist and bon vivant Mr Shannon Noll has been caught in something of a contretemps recently, when a member of his audience happened to give vent to his oppobrium and let fling forth from his hands a missile which had previously happened to contain a beverage of the genera ale. As if that was not bad enough, Mr Noll did then give forth to his contempt, vilipending the malefactor in terms most severe, demanding that they  put an end to their grievances on stage in a manly show of strength and pugilism, and extending his contumely and umbrage to touch on certain other members of that personage's family.

Now, Mr Noll does certainly seem to have overstepped the conversational bounds of gentlemanly conduct here. No doubt about it. But what I am wondering is - what sort of beer was it? The empty can of which was hurled on stage? VB? Four X? Tooheys? Not that I'm saying it makes a difference, mind, but still, such details matter....

It is nevertheless a well known fact that the timely application of a tin that had previously contained a fermented beverage of barley and hops can be utilised when all other heckles fail. Can you imagine the rage with which a certain performing hipster might vent themselves if, say, a malodorous person with venomous intent had decided to fling a half-drunken can of craft beer, say, a Moon Dog Black Lung, on stage? Good heavens, you larrikin layabout - do you have no appreciation for such a heavenly balance of dark malted barleys? If such a thing were to happen, well, the performing hipster might remonstrate with the heckler most sternly, comparing beard length, and even threatening to write a non-complimentary zine about him.

But it is also true that empty beer cans are hardly the worst punishment that can befall a speaker or singer. Why, I hear at conservative political gatherings,  they fling whole teapots at you. Fine bone china and the works. Oh, the brewmanity!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Ut the el are you talking about, you ef wit?

Ut, adit, ob, etaerio - I think we can all agree that these are all incredibly important concepts, as they allow us all to win important points in Scrabble. But what do they actually mean? What am I, Einstein, or something? Well, yes, actually, and I'm going to tell you exactly what they mean now.

UT - a very small utterance.

ADIT - To edit an ad.

OB - Thing that gives birth to little obs.

TALIONS - Plural of talion, 'thing that is a talion; thing that has the property of being a talion'.

EUOI - Second-person informal pronoun for an oik. As in, "Hey, euoi!"

ETAERIO - Those weird test charts of letters they make you read when you go to the optometrist.

JUPON - The state of wearing a JUP. Opposite of JUPOFF. 


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

What's wrong with tall men anyway?

Not all men!
No tall men!
On mall ten!
Non mallet!
Mall net on!
Loan ten, ML!
Anent moll!

- from Songs and Sonnets of the MRAs.

 UPDATE! - Interestingly, if you rearrange the letters of 'David Leyonhjelm' you come up with the words 'what an utter twonk.'

Monday, July 02, 2018

Sextual Healing

Art of Safe Sexting to teach Victorian schoolgirls how to safely send ‘sexy snaps’

SCHOOLGIRLS as young as 12 will be taught how to safely send “sexy snaps” via texts and social media, including cropping out their heads in nude images.
Look, I know it may seem strange to some, this prospect of teachers going about the classroom teaching students how to put condoms on their iPhones and investigating how to administer contraceptives to their laptops, but what alternative do they have? Once a kid takes a nude selfie and texts it off, it's out there in the world. And that nude selfie is going to meet other nude selfies, and soon enough those nude selfies are going to do what nude selfies do with one another, and they're going to have nude baby selfies. Just like Tamagotchis, only small and pink and doing lots of nude baby selfie poos all over the place and.... okay, I have no idea what Tamagotchis actually look like, but that's not the point! LISTEN UP!

This is serious. Because the other problem is sextually transmissible diseases. Do you have any idea what it's like when you're iPhone gets gonnorhea? My friend's phone got that once, and... stop tittering up the back! My friend's phone got that once, and it started doing revolting mucal discharges all over the place. It got incredibly itchy, and so it started buzzing at random intervals to scratch itself. It was all incredibly embarrassing, and it was all because it had been sending nude selfies without adequate protection!

Safe sext, kids. It's a thing. Get onto it.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Here's a disgusting and potentially toxic thing! Let's eat it!

They have spirulina in Smarties. Did you know they have spirulina in Smarties? I was contemplating this surprising news yesterday shortly after having discovered, along with the Baron, a slime mould growing in our community garden. (By the way, don't slime moulds strike you as having something of a split personality disorder? Are they not sure whether they want to be a slime or a mould? Make up your tiny microbial mind, Gunkypoos!) Like, I would have expected there to be a little vegetable (wheat, sugar) and a little animal (milk) in my Smarties: but a blue-green algae? Really?

(And while we're talking about split personality disorder, what's that blue-green algae all about?)

But anyway, it all got me thinking - if I can munch my way through a packet of sweets with animal, vegetable, and cyanobacteria in it, what's to stop me throwing some other oddities in it? Mushrooms, yeast, fungi generally, yes - all these have been done before. But - and I think you see where I'm going with this - what about edible slime moulds?

The internet, an amazingly authoritative source for credulous people all over the world, was, it turns out, surprisingly silent on this matter. Our old friend, Dog Vomit Slime Mould (these names, they just seem to exacerbate the split personality disorder) did appear in a couple of web searches: it's kind of the rock star of the slime mould world, it seems. This newspaper article suggests that you can eat Dog Vomit Slime Mould (though considering DVSM was so named because it looked like dog vomit, how would you ever be able to tell if you were eating the right thing until, well, you had eaten it?). Though a few more web searches seemed to imply that aforesaid newspaper article writer was getting his slime moulds confused. (The last thing the discerning slime mould gastronome wants to do is to get his flavours mixed up like that.)  It turns out there is another, distinct slime mould which people will sometimes eat in South America called Caca de Luna ("Vomit of the Moon" - do you see the emerging theme here?) which you could, if you were culinarily so inclined, prepare as a tapas.

Slime moulds are all very well. But what about mosses and lichens? I've got my omnivore on now, so I want to get a slice of a juicy moss and a soupcon of delicious lichen. As it turns out, there's always Icelandic moss, which is, (confusingly) not a moss but a lichen. Hey! Yeah! I made a beer out of Icelandic moss once and I totally didn't die!

As it turns out, almost all of the edible mosses turn out to be lichens, and the edible mosses that don't turn out to be lichens may not exist at all. But on the other hand, I'm not sure what on earth lichens or mosses are anyway, so maybe that's enough confusion for one day.

Fig 1: Potentially delicious! 

No, you can't have any Smarties. I ate them all.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Square triangles

Thirty six is a square number that is also a triangular number. I don't understand what that means obviously, because I'm not a mathematician, but I'm sure it's very important, especially for our purposes here, because it means, in certain circumstances, squares can be triangles. Thanks, mathematics!

In order to do important research for this important post, I typed in 'square triangle numbers' to Google, a search which I highly recommend everyone does. Not that you'll see much of interest - just a list of numbers. But it's just particularly pleasingly to type in that rather non-sequiturial sequence of words into the search box and see what comes up. It's like hammering a square peg into a round hole, except, of course, the round hole is a triangle and the hole is not a hole, it's just an abstract Platonic concept outside of time and space. (This all reminds me of the time I said to the Baron, "how many holes does a donut have?" and she retaliated with, "what are holes even?", and I said - but NO, we definitely want to go down that rabbit triangle again.)

It must be rather pleasing to be a mathematician, going about, showing that squares are triangles, really, in effect squaring the rhetorical circle, and.... hang on. Mathematically, it turns out, not only can circular numbers be square numbers. But.... 

Automorphic number. In mathematics an automorphic number (sometimes referred to as a circular number) is a number whose square "ends" in the same digits as the number itself.

So circles HAVE TO BE squares. Not only that, but - circular numbers can sometimes be triangular numbers as well as squares (our old friend thirty six is one - six squared!). Whew! I certainly hope the mathematician who decided that gets to go home and eat their four square meals a day. Except that would be sixteen meals and they would die of indigestion, which might not be quite so good for their health. But apart from that I have almost no problem with the concept.

So, to conclude, squares are triangles except when they are circles. And sometimes, they are all three at once. Mathematics, hey? If you can't count on numbers, then....

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Lofita

I have just learned a most edifying etymological fact: 'Lord' comes originally from the Old English 'Hlafweard': 'One who guards the loaves'. 'Lady', similarly, comes from 'hlæfdige': 'one who kneads loaves'. But most piquantly, for me, this prototypical Lord and Lady are paired with a household servant, one 'hlafæta': 'one who eats loaves'. She is - in modern English - Loafeater.

What an inspiring figure she cuts, too, back in the swirling mists of time (if you want to create a bit of atmosphere at this point, maybe drag the stage smoke machine out) this Lofita. Let us leave aside this Lord and this Lady for instant, and go to the servants chambers where this primordial Lofita takes her place.

She is of an ancient tribe, is Lofita, a fearsome and savage tribe that has roamed the plains of the northern countries for generations; for so long that the generations have become myth and the myth has become, for her, truth, a tale full of horrifying Gods and Goddesses and wonders and terrors. Lofita is not herself without nobility: many generations afterward, her scions will become a ferocious tribe of Scots, who will be busily at war with her other Scions, a merciless clan of cave-dwelling people who are half-Pict, half-Saxon. The coming of Christianity is still in the unimaginably far future. Lofita, sitting in the darkness here, does not bat an eyelid at the odd human sacrifice here or there. As a matter of fact she is particularly looking forward to the upcoming offering to Wodan next week; with Hlafweard wielding the axe (or whatever primordial weapon the primordial Lord is expected to wield) it promises to be especially bloody.

But what really gets Lofita is bread. Oh, she loves the stuff! Look at her now! She grabs a hunk of stale leftover bread from two days ago and crams it in her mouth - mm, crunchy! It is not for want of food, either: the spring has been good and some Phoenicians (or Etruscans or Bombalians or some other such nonsense) have brought this wondrous new creature over to Lofita's lands in the early spring - its conversation is somewhat limited ('cluck cluck cluck') but it is fat and delicious and will doubtless help to keep the house warm in winter. No, Lofita just loves bread. She grabs a fresh loaf and crams it into her mouth; that will keep her occupied for a few minutes. Just then old fat Loafguard from the other room calls out -

"Lofita! Hast thou finished that primordial tapestry yet?"

No, of course she hath not, but Lofita, being sharp of mind, quickly calls out an excuse - "No, the primordial chook hath crapped upon it and I must needs clean it off" - or she thinks she calls out an excuse. To Loafguard it sounds more like "Mm th mm-mm-oo-mm-al mm-mmm-mmmmmmmmmf!"

That Lofita! Always slacking off on duty!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bees are terrifying

Among all the books about beekeeping you can find out there, I feel one point isn't stressed enough: bees are fucking terrifying. It's a difficult point to get your head around, but an important one: would you invite bees to a dinner party? No, because they're fucking terrifying. Would you let them do babysitting for you? Again, no. Terrifying. But here I am in my suburban house with a suburban backyard with a box full of terrifying insects of murderous death a mere five metres or so from here. It's insane. I'm insane. How did things get to this point?

I really feel there could be room in the marketplace for a practical beekeeping book based on this theme, motivating and inspiring new beekeepers in their hobby. This prospective book could cover the practicalities and the history of beekeeping, covering the terrifyingness of bees in comprehensive detail.

Considering the science of the matter, for instance, I find that bees are insects, that glamorous movie star of the animal kingdom. Let's review a few of the films that insects have appeared in: The Fly, in which a man turns into a disgusting and horrifying gigantic beast. The Swarm, in which killer bees go about being bees that kill. On the other hand, who trusts Hollywood? Let's consider literature instead: there's Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which a man turns into a cockroach, to his own terror and disgust.

Literature gives us the example of many famous beekeepers whom we can emulate. One such was Sylvia Plath, who wrote an excited poem about first receiving bees, containing such resonant lines as

I would say it was the coffin of a midget

Or

I lay my ear to furious Latin. 
I am not a Caesar. 
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs. 
They can be sent back. 
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner. 

I wonder how hungry they are. 
I wonder if they would forget me 
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree. 
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades, 
And the petticoats of the cherry.

Sylvia Plath was also insane and killed herself shortly thereafter.

And we haven't even considered the basics of bee sex (violent, and explosive, resulting in the deaths of several drones and one lifelong egg laying slave), the stinging mechanism (kamikaze warfare by bloodthirsty warriors who would be quite satisfied by your death), and so much more.

In conclusion, Bees Are Fucking Terrifying Creatures of Slaughter And Death or maybe it's just that me and the Baron recently did a honey harvest and are still traumatised by it. Who knows.

Image result for bee
Fig 1: Cthulhu in insect form 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Citizen Train

The Baron being in Sydney, and the cats being otherwise engaged, I hied me off this afternoon to see a film. There's nothing like a film to be alone in company, as the old saying goes*, though on the other hand, there's nothing like a film for being alone in aloneness either. Which is to say, when I got there, there was absolutely no-one in my theatre at all.

I was so surprised that I had to go back and ask the staff to check if I'd got the theatre right after all. (I had). Not that I was ungratified: to see a film, alone, in an empty auditorium, has long been a life goal of mine. I almost managed it, too, about ten years ago in a cinema in the middle of Melbourne, though another bunch of people showed up halfway through the previews, which I was rather miffed by. (That cinema later closed, which just goes to show, you should never let people into a theatre that has only got Tim in it.) I had better luck this time, as I sat through the previews completely on my own, but of course it did make me rather anxious. What if I didn't want to see a film on my own after all? It felt a little over-grandiose, sitting there in that huge auditorium, having the film screening in front of me.

And then there was the matter of chairs: ludicrously, the cinema staff had made me select my seating - in what I soon had come to discover was a completely empty theatre. I felt no such compunction for sitting in my selected seating: but then, what if someone did waltz in in the middle of the film and demand me to move out of their seat? Worse still - what if, when I left, I found I had been sitting in my selected seat after all?

It was all very awkward, perhaps made more awkward by the fact that, on reflection, it wasn't particularly awkward at all. I just sat in whatever damned chair I was sitting in and enjoyed the spectacle. I wish I could say I did something more interesting, like stripped back to my undies and did a little dance in the empty auditorium, but nope. I just sat there.

This is not a film review. This is not even really a blog post. This is just an idle passing note to note the idle passing afternoon when I sat in a cinema watching a film all on my own. The film was good. I totally recommend it. You should totally go and see this film.


*I don't know if anyone actually said this about films, but it seems like something someone might have said about films, so in it goes. 
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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