Tuesday, August 30, 2011


permonition (n): ominous vision of ugly hairstyles which are yet to come.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A ts about ms

There once was a lady called Ms
Who was in the political bs.
Was she Mrs or Miss?
When quizzed upon this
She frowned and said sternly, I S.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Amphibious ambiguous

The mangrove killifish is way ahead of us. It lives in pools that are prone to drying up, so it can also live on land for months at a time – often inside hollowed-out logs – where it survives by breathing through its skin. It's also one of only two vertebrates – the other being the closely-related ocellated rivulus – that can self-fertilise....Plenty of animals are hermaphrodites, with both male and female sexual organs. But they still tend to mate with others to mix their genes up a bit... Mangrove killifish don't tend to bother. Adults have both ovaries and testes, so when they want to reproduce they release sperm and eggs simultaneously. After the eggs are fertilised, they lay them in gravel.
I am the Killifish,
The Killifish is I,
I live in the air
Yet I do not die;
Androgynous amphibian
All alone in the tree,
Majestically monogamous
Magnificent me.

Feeling frisky feeling flirty
Feeling frolicsome and flighty,
Meets Aphrodite;
All my ova I am over,
I am he I am she
I am mother father lover
I am me me me.

I am you they is we
Us is quite a group,
Prodigious homozygotes
Of the primal soup;
You never could imagine
Such a narcissist could be -
But really, who is you?
For we is only me.

In solipsistic splendour
I wallow out my days
Fantasising of myself
In a love-lorn daze;
Androgynous amphibian
All alone in the tree,
Majestically monogamous
Magnificent me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Random meaningless outbursts by people of exceeding eccentricity

Apparently, I spend a lot of the time around the house going around singing out snatches of nonsense verse: lots of 'diddles' and 'dum dum dums' involved. This is, apparently, a little uncommon. Whatever.

But lately I've been barely able to restrain the urge to do this on blogs and facebook as well - textual versions of this. Maybe one day I'll burst out with something like 'Oh fiddle faddle fiddle fiddle faddle fum!' on an incredibly serious and important political blog post and everyone will be horribly offended.

Really - what's blogging for if it's not for facilitating random, meaningless outbursts by people of exceeding eccentricity the world over? Hmmm?

Calendularic collywobbles

In the course of a news report about disaster readiness in Queensland local councils following the floods and cyclones of January, the reporter concludes: "But the preparations are in place... just in case January ever happens again."

In this case I must make a sombre prediction: January almost certainly will happen again. Indeed, if the chronological indications that I find on my calendar are accurate, not only will January happen again in Queensland, but it will all over the rest of the world, too: and who knows how many Australians will be affected by this global tragedy?

Worse is to follow, for the slowly unfolding tragedy of January will be followed by its grim aftermath, February. Despite the best efforts of rescue workers and council officials, March will soon follow, with devastating implications for everyone who is implicated in the devastation. Here the predictions get a little hazy, but June, May, and April will occur shortly thereafter, making what was already a terrible situation even worse. However, thanks to the efforts of volunteers and council officials, July will occur; and after several helpful statutes are implemented in the Queensland parliament, August and September will follow. Thereafter, October and November, and possibly even December may occur, but we shouldn't get our hopes up.

What can we do to stop it? Who will protect us from this temporal terror? The answer to both of these questions, sadly, is, no.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Motto for blogging

You won't change the world, but you can change your underpants.

Morning meditation

I suppose I should really stop walking around with my socks on my neck at some point. It's just it's been so convenient so far (though what did convenience ever have to do with anything?)

Stay tuned for Tim's exciting Post-prandial ponderances, Saturday-sunrise-sooths, and Lugubrious Lammas-tide lucubrations.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Ailments of Style

Muphry’s Law is the editorial application of the better-known Murphy’s Law. Muphry’s Law dictates that:
1. if you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault in what you have written;
2. if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book;
3. the stronger the sentiment in (a) and (b), the greater the fault; and
4. any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.

Muphry’s Law also dictates that, if a mistake is as plain as the nose on your face, everyone can see it but you...
Acknowledgments to John Bangsund, of the Victorian Society of Editors, who first coined the term....

One law holds the arty-farty,
Cliques and claques of literati,
Hoi-polloi, and humble hacks,
Looking looking to their backs,
Feel they cannot look away
As it holds them in its sway,
One pen pricks their huff-and-puffery -
One law alone - its name is MUPHRY.

Letter writer sneers and jeers
Says a journo's full of smears,
That they're false and 'full of fuphrys' -
Oh look! My goodness me! A Muphry!

Writer, feeling twitchy twitchy,
Their editor is rather snitchy,
Ah, but soon they find recovery
For see? The ed. has made a Muphry!

Critic makes a proclamation
On a famous animation,
Writes 'Gagglemel' and 'Smrufs' and 'Smufrey' -
Muphry, Muphry, Muphry, Muphry!

Teacher writes his school reports
Full of cranky sharp retorts
But sillyish billyish, what-an-old-duffery -
He's written Muphry after Muphry.

One law holds the arty-farty,
Cliques and claques of literati,
Hoi-polloi, and humble hacks,
Looking looking to their backs,
Feel they cannot look away
As it holds them in its sway,
One pen pricks their huff-and-puffery -
One law alone - its name is MUPHRY.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Splot of news (why do I keep typing splot?)

Another day, another plug for my zine, Badgers Dozen. Here's where you can get it now
- Bird in the Hand, Newcastle
- Brunswick Bound, Brunswick
- Sticky Institute, Melbourne
- Polyester Books, Fitzroy
- Collected Works, Melbourne
- Thornbury Records, Thornbury
And, if I can get my shit together, you should be able to get copies off the Perth Zine Collective in a few weeks.

The next issue, the Spring one, will be launched at the Dan O'Connell in a couple of weeks time - Saturday, September 17 - sometime after 2.

Meanwhile, I got told a couple of days ago that Badgers was a semi-finalist in the Golden Stapler awards. The what? I'd entered it into them months ago because I liked the names and hadn't bothered worrying about it since. I plan to keep doing things that way, since it seems to be working for me so far.


UPDATE! - I've just added Thornbury Records to the list as well. And of course people can contact me by my email address, timhtrain - at -, and get me to post something to them directly. Hello, good people from the Society of Editors!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kromulent Kimball

Ever read something by a critic
I passed on the sad news [of Margaret Olley's death] to Roger Kimball, the New York art critic, and editor of the New Criterion who first encountered her work in Sydney in 2000. He wrote back: 'I vividly remember her deftly inflected neo-impressionist work: Matisse-like in its orchestration of colour and poignantly expressive of the character and humanity of her sitters. She was the real thing in an age of posturing and ersatz.'
Peter Coleman, Australian Notes, The Spectator (no link available)
and thought, this guy is a bloody liar! What this Kimball dude is 'vividly remembering' is apparently a collection of ambiguous nouns, adjectives, and verbs which, when strung together, could be applied to just about any artist, and describe just about any painting, whatsoever. And who writes like that in a letter or email, anyway?

"Vividly executed deftness in a Neo-Matisse like field with orchestral impressions": a work by the late Margaret Olley.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whimsical topics for dinner party discussion

Meanwhile, this, from Thylacinowhatsimacallit:
Asked if he felt guilty that other residents had their cars reduced to cinders, the older man said that, if a resident had come out and said it was their car, the group had moved on to another. "If you leave your car outside when there is a riot going on, it's going to happen, isn't it? Breaking stuff is part of a riot, otherwise, it's just a protest."
It's an important question, isn't it, just what distinguishes a Riot from a Protest. On the one hand, you have a bunch of angry people shouting things and smashing other things, while on the other hand you have a bunch of cranky people smashing things while shouting other things. It's a small but crucial difference, and of course it's absolutely vital to to know this if you want to be seen as a respected and well-mannered member of society. Of course, you wouldn't want to get the Rioters and the Protesters confused with the Angry Mob, who I suppose can best be described as a hard-hitting group of people hitting things, hard.

I suppose it must be difficult, though, if you're a member of the Angry Mob, or the Protesters, or the Rioters, sorting it all out in your own head. Are they the ones full of a burning desire to smash things, or a smashing desire to burn things? It probably all depends on whether those things are made out of glass, or wood, or a combination of both.

These small but important matters are crucial if you are to make your way in society, so you'd better starting studying them right now, young whippersnapper.

UPDATE! - The Absolutely Crucial Essential and Very Important Guide to Things. If you are a Rioter, Protester, or Angry Mob, you should definitely study this closely:

Glass things - known for breaking.

Wooden things - good for breaking glass things.

Fire - good for burning wooden things.
(Note: you may not want to burn the wooden things if you are using them to break glass things.)

Store things - the things behind the glass things. You take them once you have broken the glass things.

Things - If you can't burn it, break it, steal it, or use it to burn, break, or steal other things, what good is it? Well, you might be able to use it to throw at other human things. (See below).
(Note: maybe don't throw the things if they are light and fluffy, like feathers or puppies, though.)

Human things - The things you see going about with arms and legs and a capacity for moral reasoning. This last one is a difficult concept for Rioters, Protesters, and Angry Mobs to understand, but after a long meditation they might be able to come to grips with it.

Do not presume to assume

Sometimes you see a word or a phrase that just leaps out at you. It might be, say, the name of an organisation, and the presence of one simple word shows you that what they assume they are about, and what they assume their assumptions are, are two different and separate things. Such as...

McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

For Too Long We Have Allowed Youth To Endanger Our Way of Life. Isn't It Time We Did Something About the Scourge of Youthfulness that is Sweeping Our Nation? We Need to Tax Youth In Order to Discourage Its Prevalence in Our Society! We Ought to Undertake a Range of Initiatives To Ensure That Youth Is Used Responsibly. We Can No Longer Allow Young People To Take Part In Youthfulness: It Should Be Restricted to People Aged 18 and Over. Why Not a Plain Paper Packaging Policy For Youth? Opinion Column: Scientists Discover Youth Eventually Turn Into Old People, And Shortly Die. Should This Be Allowed? Ought We Not Ask the Hard Questions As Society, Such as Appropriate Ways of Dealing With Our Youth Before The Tragedy of Old Age Sets In?

Or maybe just...

Youth: Taking All the Alcohol Before Older and More Responsible Drunkards Can. It's Time To Act as a Society Before The Last Beer Goes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Suggestion for the day

Replace the teaching of the base ten number system with a number system based on feelings. Therefore, teaching of the times tables, arithmetic, and other simple mathematical skills could be quickly and easily replaced with a method in which the answers to maths problems are worked out based on a passive-aggressive class-based negotiation, eg: "You feel that the answer is 'hurt'? I am frustrated at your conclusion, and applying my frustration, I find that the answer is 'regretful' instead."

I can't see the public schools having any problems with teaching a feeling-based number system at all. Actually, I'm surprised they haven't implemented it years ago.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I constantly get stopped these days by people talking about my Ned Kelly beard. This morning a dude kept on shouting out stuff about my Moses beard.

Did Moses keep on getting random Hebrews stopping him and telling him about his Ned Kelly beard? Did Ned Kelly have other bushrangers stopping him shouting about his Tim beard? I ask you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hot hoodlum date offer!

I admire the grand ideological flourish with which Julie Kirsten Novak opens this essay in Catallaxy on the rioting and looting in the UK:
It had not taken long after the first night of destruction of private property, peaceably accumulated over generations as a consequence of mutually beneficial market exchanges, across Britain by a band of thugs lacking self‑restraint for elements of the political left to absolve perpetrating individuals from blame for these perverse actions.
Barely a moment goes by in which one does not admire the private property, peaceably accumulated over generations as a consequence of mutually beneficial market exchanges, which makes all our lives so much better. Why, just this morning I was travelling on the piece of private property, whose functioning had been facilitated and perfected by fruitful intellectual competition in the infrastructural sector, towards the large metal object in which I perform a variety of services in exchange for a specified amount of currency of the common Australian variety, and I reflected on how pleasant was the other piece of private property, which was in the process of being accumulated by the Baron and me, though hopefully not over a period of generations, as a further consequence of further mutually beneficial market exchanges. And then I bumped into the wall of the train station and realised I really needed a coffee.

Anyway, you're all invited to submit your own version of that Catallaxy sentence, as applicable to your own life, in comments. Extra points if you can somehow end up blaming the pernicious influence of the progressive left by going off on a tangent.

Winner gets a hot date out in Tottenham with a social grouping of people who have been driven by economic inequities and class disparities to perform regrettable deeds, in a number of stores all over the town! That - or maybe a biscuit.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Lalor sonata

An artistic production in the medium of reality, as performed by me, Tim Train

1. Tim puts socks, pants, shirt, jumper on, does dishes, contemplates how to get cats in and make sandwich before going to work. (Prelude)

2. Bea comes in. Tim closes door behind her and sits down on chair to tie shoes and watch door to see if other cat Harriet comes to it, which Tim will then open to let other cat Harriet in.

3. Bea sits on Tim's lap, preventing him from going to door if other cat Harriet comes to it, and, indeed, of paying much attention to door at all. Tim pats Bea. (Slow movement - 15 mins, approx).

4. Tim puts Bea on chair, pokes head out door to see if Harriet in sight. Harriet comes round corner. Tim pats her. Harriet does not come inside.

5. Tim goes to pat Bea while waiting for Harriet to come inside. Chicken comes inside instead. Tim goes to chase chicken outside. Chicken does not go outside. Bea goes outside. Both cats now outside. Chicken inside. Door open. Tim frustrated. (Crescendo)

6. Tim chases chicken outside, waves Whiskas in face of cats, shuts door behind them as they come in, smirks, gloats, chuckles to self, and marches off to work. (Coda).

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The dyslexic nail polisher

Hundreds of Americans entered her competition to be in the running to win a free gun with every nail polish job performed. They were somewhat less-than whelmed upon discovering that what they had actually won was a free gnu.

However, in time, many learned to love and cherish their gnus, who came to share with them their passion for the latest military hardware at many local and national events.

Years later the controversy really kicked in when it was discovered that all Americans were not entitled to bear arms at all. What they had really signed up for in the constitution, in their dyslexic way, was the Right to Bear Rams.

And so, the National Ram Association, or NRA, was born.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Putting the mental in sentimental

You know that nagging, niggling feeling of anxiety you get when you leave the house and all of a sudden you discover you're not quite sure if you left the oven on?

This evening, coming home on the train, I was thinking about some souffles I cooked, in a flat that I stayed in, before I moved in to another flat, before I moved in to this house, three years ago. And all of a sudden, I thought, 'hmm, wonder if I turned the oven off.' Funnily enough I couldn't remember anything about that at all, and a familiar nagging, niggling feeling of anxiety started up.

It's nice to have a nagging, niggling feeling of anxiety three years after you would be expected to have a nagging, niggling feeling of anxiety about something. So much less responsibility involved.

UPDATE! - Poem!

It is nice to remember
What you had forgot
Some 20 years after
You can do not-a-lot.

It is fine to drift back
To that fatal day
Now you are thousands (and thousands)
Of miles away.

It is sweet to hark back,
To fondly recall
Now that all you can do
Is one half of stuff all.

It is calming to think back
And not feel regret,
Though I'm free and you're not,
My darling Annette.

And in case you're wondering who Annette is, she's a person who had the bad luck to rhyme with 'regret'.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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