Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Madrigal bladder

Once upon a time, some very wise people thought it would be a nice idea to send a group of madrigal singers on a little tour and do a film about it. Aside from going all over England, they went to France, they went to Spain, and they went to Germany, too.


The King's Singers somewhere singing something about something for I'm not sure. 

The easiest money to spend is always "someone else's money on somebody else", according to something Milton Friedman said. Well, that sure worked out well. I heartily endorse this spending of someone else's money on other people in order to send madrigal singers to other countries. There ought to be more of it.

The most important news site in the world bringing the most important news in the world to the most important people in the world

In an effort to stamp out passive smoking in public spaces, a suburban council has outlawed public spaces.

The Stunningdumb Council took the move on Friday, responding to a group of concerned signatures looking for a petition to fill out.

This is not the first time the Stunningdumb Council has taken such a move. On previous occasions, reacting to people dying in car crashes on public roads, the council has outlawed people. On another occasion, when several cases of unlicensed dog breeds attacking others occurred, the council ruled that from now on, only licensed dog breeds would be allowed to attack.

The Stunningdumb Council has consisted of an empty building and a set of paper sheets circulating from office to office ever since their bold and ambitious move to outlaw people in order to lower the number of road deaths. They are also the only place to exist in the world, as, after a series of intergovernmental disputes with the surrounding Whittlesea and Darebin Councils, they outlawed everyone doing anything else anywhere else in the world, and also the world too.

“We will continue to ensure that the Stunningdumb Council implements progressive polices for the 20th century,” said the Stunningdumb Council Mayor yesterday, or at least they would have said it if there was any person in the world existing to become Mayor of the Stunningdumb Council, which of course there wasn’t because see above and nor was there owing to see above.

We will continue to bring you stories on this development as it breaks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rules for going to bed

1. There must be two pillows. One pillow is acceptable but two is preferable.

2. It is absolutely necessary that the sheets be at right angles to the bed. One must be quite strict about this. An angular sheet can cause hours of stress; efforts to move the angular sheet may change the angles of the sheets on top of it, and may result in gaps that let in the cold night air.

3. The sheet should be tucked in firmly but with room for the feet at the bottom. There should certainly not be gaps that let in the cold air to play around your feet.

4. Dogs are allowed to sleep in the bed.

5. Cats are allowed to sleep in the bed. Though maybe not at the same time as dogs.

6. Before letting the cats on to the bed, it is advised that one strategically align one's body so that both cat and body may have space for manouevre. Cats may attempt to thwart this strategic alignment by waiting until you are just asleep and then coming and laying themselves right across your legs, or even in between them, until you wake up realising how uncomfortable things have become, and you have to turn to accomodate the cat, resulting in less room for your body and more room for the cat. This may be avoided by... by... well, I'm not sure if it can be avoided, but avoid it anyway.

7 Do not wear socks. It may make your feet feel warm at first but then they will feel over-warm, and it will become necessary to reach deep into the blanketed area to remove them from your feet.

8. Do not, in your dazed, half-awake, half-asleep stupour, attempt to manouevre the blankets with your feet alone. Results will almost never be satisfactory, and will merely result in keeping you awake.

9. Yes, do stay in bed for another half hour. It may not be necessary - but that kind of makes it compulsory.

One collection of headlines with articles following them beats another collection of headlines with articles following them

In news today, one collection of headlines with articles following them has substantially outsold another collection of headlines with articles following them.

The figures released by the national body responsible for the release of such figure confirm that the Melbourne tabloid collection of headlines with articles following them has been the biggest seller, in spite of stiff competition from the Melbourne broadsheet collection of headlines with articles following them.

This is in spite of initial concerns raised that some of the headlines written for one of the newspapers didn't seem to have articles following them, and some of the articles written for the other of the newspapers didn't seem to have headlines before them. However, on looking closer at the results, it turns out that each of the headlines was matched with an article, and each of the articles was matched with a headline, although the two did not necessarily have anything to do with one another (apart from the fact that they followed the headline, that is).

The dreaded headline surplus of 2007, which caused chaos in newspaper circles, and created a glut in the headline market for several of the statewide and suburban newspapers, creating a need for several more articles to be penned than normal in order to fit with the oversupply of headlines, is still remembered. This created a subsequent need for more responsible headline-to-article balance, with editors and journalists everywhere ensuring that, no matter how many headlines were produced, an article was produced to go with the headline, as security against such a calamity ever happening again.

Other statistics released show competition in the newspaper market is still stiff, with the broadsheet daily being found to publish substantially more numbers with pages on top of them than the tabloid daily, which instead seemed to produce a smaller but more consistent number of, well, numbers with pages on top of them.

And while the tabloid was found to have produced more sets of large alternating black and white squares with clues underneath them than the broadsheet, the broadsheet was found to have a much greater variety in the production of sets of large squares, some of which had to be filled in with numbers rather than letters.

The tabloid collection of headlines with articles following them immediately released a headline with an article following it about the whole event claiming that they were the best, while the broadsheet collection of headlines with articles following them straightaway published a headline with an article following it about the affair demonstrating that they were really great, and that their competitor were full of shit.

It seems the future of quality journalism in this country is in good hands.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The AFL moustache finals

Chris Dawes
Although at times an impressive moustache, doubts have been cast recently about his commitment or staying power in this competition.

Sam Newman
A seasoned performer, however there are doubts his moustache will last through to the Grand Final due to  recent medical procedures.

Chris Mew
While larger moustaches have been seen, the combination of flaming red hair and moustache make him a likely contender for the cup.

Robert DiPierdomenico
One of the stand out moustaches in this competition, with demonstrated tenacity, this one has lasting popularity with the fans.

Robby McGhie
Clipped but impressive, this moustache could be the underestimated player of the competition.

Travis Johnstone
 The moustache/beard combination, while a little untamed, could prove to be a winning team. Fans seem to love it.

Ron Barassi
One of the most reliable performers of the competition. Fans hope to see more displays of the Barassi moustache for years to come.

Mick Malthouse
While the Malthouse moustache carry off the cup again?

Other promising contenders for this year's title included Ray Shaw, Percy Jones, Bruce Doull , and Brian "Whale" Roberts, but they did not make it through to the final eight.

Who will win in this great competition? Place your tips here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Today's pehrtree reading comes courtesy of Mousse Dawe, well known from one end of Errol Street, North Melbourne, to the other.


When children are born in Melbournia,
They are covered in safety helmets, laid on basketed trikes,
Having already begun a lifetime’s pedalling.

Can’t, they cry, can’t… feebly at first,
While parents playfully race with them
To the end of the block: no, you can! (And sometimes they can…)

Hoisted shoulder high for their first market ride,
They are like innocent hippies who have been years wobbling
To their first Woodstock,

Until now, hearts shrapnelled with rapture,
Or confusion, or anxiety, or whatever,
They break surface and are forever lost

In the organic flood of sound, a voice
Like the voice of God booms from the stalls,
That’s really not appropriate! How dare you! and the covenant is sealed.

Tofu and mung beans they shall eat,
They will forswear the processed, cling to the local,
And behold their developmental applications go through the council to… somewhere.

So the mythology will be perpetually renewed,
Just like the wheels on the bike, going round round round,
On a thousand blocks, the houses changing,

The importance of living an ecologically respectful biodynamic sustainable lifestyle forever the same,
Loyally crying, can’t, can’t (if feebly) to the end
Having seen in the bespectacled recruit from King Street the hope of their salvation.

Any similarity to the poem Life Cycle by Bruce Dawe is purely coincidental, and will not be further entered into unless you really want to.


When you get up to go to that certain place to do what you have to do, you have got to go.

When you get to that place to do what you have to do and you find someone is already there, they are going.

When you go into that place to do what you have to do and see what the other person has done, and all of a sudden you lose your consciousness/will-to-live, they have gone. And so are you.

Go, going, gone. Three extremely useful and pertinent euphemisms for our day to day existence.

Half the bran I used to be

Corn Flake is the singular of Corn Flakes. That's what you are left with after you eat all the rest. The unmusically named Vita Brits become, in the singular, a Vita Brit. Porridge and muesli and All Bran don't have a singular separate to their plural. They're like sheep, which either don't have a singular or don't have a plural, but don't seem to be especially exercised about the matter either way. You either have more or less porridge, more or less muesli, and more or less sheep walking all over the place while you're just trying to eat your damn cereal. (And, just by the by, I'm not sure if it is physically possible to ever get down to just one bit of muesli - because then you'd just have a sultana, or an oat. This is probably a law of the universe, like not being able to break the speed of light.)

But what about Weet Bix? This is something that I am really not sure about. Are Weet Bix the plural? And if so, what is the singular? A Weet Bit? A Weet Bick? What is Weet anyway, and how do you make Bix out of it? Anyway, this much is clear: if you add enough milk to Weet Bix, eventually one of the e's will dissolve and it will just become Wet Bix.

Can anyone help me out with that question, though, on whether Weet Bix has a singular? In the meantime, I'm off to pour out half of the contents of a packet of All Bran, and sell the rest of it under an exciting new brand name. It will be called Some Bran.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jaws for thought

"On a scale of one to ten," the good people at The Project ask of random members of the public, "how would you rate the shark"? In the process they neglect to say what the scale  measures exactly, whether one is 'bad' and ten is 'good', and five is 'pink frilly knickers', or just about anything really. On a scale of one to ten, why would they bother? Given a choice of a) for yes, b) for no, and c) for indifferent, what is the name of the person who came up with this idea? And if it came to a fight between Dave Hughes and Carrie Bickmore, how many fingers am I holding up? These, and other crucial questions, will be answered in upcoming episodes of The Project.

Anyway, it's National Shark Week, in which we all gather together to celebrate the nation. Or sharks. Or weeks. Or something like that. Anyway, here's my contribution:


Hark! Hark! The shark! In water swims
Midst lots and lots of bloodied limbs.

I expect it'll be released as a five act opera shortly.

UPDATE! - Also for our bemusement, Carrie Bickmore claims in that linked item that the greatest fear of people is being attacked by a shark. I have to say that shark attack is not something that I have ever worried about, ever.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Picked up a copy of Real Time for free while on my lunch break, and it was certainly worth every cent. Just check out this snappy and succint opening sentence: 
Practice-led research in performance throws up some considerable challenges for a form that is largely collaborative and essentially ephemeral.

But the thrills continue with what follows, for
It also generates anxieties: some artists fear they're being transformed into scholars at the expense of their art and are uncertain whether they're enduring a massive undertaking for personal growth, professional development or transformation into a new being, the artist-scholar hybrid.

If you happen to have a copy of Real Time lying around, and you're at home, why don't you have a little fun? You could have quite a jollly little quiz!
Q: What do those who choose professional lives as artists in Australia deal daily with, both in terms of staying creative and staying employed?

A: Ambiguity and risk.
Pick it up at the laundromat, Errol Street, North Melbourne. It's sitting on their door - the one free paper even the laundromat doesn't seem to want.

A poem about remembering the milk

... written in order to ensure that I remember the milk.

I MUST remember the milk.
I must remember the MILK!
I MUST remember
I MUST remember
Must I dismember the silk?

Must I dismember the silk?
Doth I marimba this ilk?
Doth I marimba,
A mamba, I dither,
So pilchards do rhumba with mutts?

Mutts plumbing the depths of the malt
Schttum flambeauxes with bimbos in kilts
Flim ums might kill 'im
Kimchi for the slums -
Ooh gosh my bum is itchy, I wonder if I scratch anyone will notice?

Monday, August 13, 2012

A song for Monday

I must go down to the sweets machine, to the sweets machine and the sky,
And all I ask is a bag of chips and a coin with which to buy,
And my chair shall spin by an empty desk, and the wind shall blow in my hair,
And the sound of my feet will echo and echo along the stony stair.

I must go down to the sweets machine, where the queue is great and long,
And the sound of joy shall ring and shall ring the entire office along,
Where the managers call along the hall, and ‘chocolate’ is their cry,
And the talk is of weekend and footy rather than KPI.

I must go down to the sweets machine, while the keyboards all clatter away
For I have been dreaming and longing of M&Ms all the day;
For the lines of tea bags are calling, and my teacup is empty and bare,
And the sound of the hot water falling on china is sweet and solemn and fair.

I didn't even see the strings

Oder, der morgenstern und der abendstern.

I was two bars into a piano reduction of this -

- when a particular eight-legged creature glided down along the left-hand corner of the book and began and elegantly danced around the book for the rest of the tune. Seriously - not only did it slowly proceed from the left to the right hand edge of the book as the tune progressed, following the notes, but it tactfully disappeared behind the pages and then vanished altogether about four bars before the tune ended.

This sonnet is a limerick

Every poet has a clever form poem that they use to out clever the last poet that they heard or read. This generalisation is true even when it's not. "This is villanelle is a pantoum", says one poet on the open mic. "This triolet was a rondeaux redoublex before it was a couplet" says the next. "This is a hyperborean meteorological chart in the Eschatological mode" says a third.

The worst form poem of all form poems is the sestina. Six stanzas of six lines each, all lines of which end with the same last words that the lines in the previous stanza ended with, only in a different order - you'd think it would be perfect for lazy poets, not having to worry about rhymes, but no. It's devilishly hard working a thousand variations around the same set of six words, and making it meaningful at the same time.

Naturally, every smart alec poet has to get up to the open mic from time to time and say, "this is a Sestina." Then everyone admires them for their brilliance. Then, having got all the admiration out of the way, they actually read the poem, not realising (poets never have a sense of timing) that they should have quit on a high note.

I read my sestina poem at the Dan on Saturday. I began in the time-honoured fashion by announcing that the sestina I was about to read was a sestina. Then I read a sestina. I won't repeat it now, but let's just say it included the word 'darkling', and the phrase 'calm and soothing is the night-time'. (I am very un-calm and non-soothed by that line now. It may very well be used to torment me in hell.)

I wouldn't dream of irritating you all with it now - you have to come to the pub and buy a beer and a copy of Badger's Dozen off me before you get the pleasure of that - but let me just conclude with a four-line haiku:

Early morning sun
Slants through window on green bowl - 
Hope of a new day. 
Shut up, Tim.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Unacknowledged culinary-musical masterpieces

Justly famed for his many patriotic polonaises, Frederic Chopin's fine spaghetti bolognaises never really hit it off with critics in quite the same way.

If he had been writing today, however, it seems inevitable that his bolognaises would have been hailed as a breakthrough in the field of conceptual music, and concertgoers would have flocked to halls to hear the performance of another culinary-musical masterpiece.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Obsessio compendia

"Woah," I said, "It'd be great if I could lactate. Then I could make cheese out of it!"

And so, in a graceful, neat, and completely inadvertent utterance, yesterday I somehow managed to combine two obsessions of mine, one of longstanding, the other a recent discovery - lactating males and cheese-making.

Yesterday I also made a partial list of my obsessions. It included -

- Beer making
- Cheese making
- Zine making
- Richmond football club
- The literature of Dan Brown

I should have got together quite a list by the time I am old.

UPDATE! - It probably says something about me- well of course it does, this whole post is about me - but those who know me better will probably not be at all surprised by the revelation about lactating males, but may even be a little shocked by the revelation about Richmond.

Admittedly I'm still working on that little obsession but it's getting along quite healthily at the moment.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Untimations of ummortality

The People Who Worry About Stuff are seemingly always finding new Stuff for themselves to worry about. The latest is permeate. Apparently supermarket milk has it - who knew? Anyway, I got some milk from the shops this morning, and it had a little cheery yellow-star sticker on it saying 'Permeate Free'.

It is about time someone freed the permeate. For too long, permeate has been oppressed by hegemonic milk cartons and brutal shelves of capitalist suppression. I for one support the permeate emancipationists, for now the permeate (whatever it is) can run happy and liberated through the fields, with the wind in its hair (if it does indeed have hair). But that's not all you can do! There must be petitions, protests, banners, and above all, angry facebook pages about the ongoing plight of permeate in today's society. It's the least one should expect.

Then again, taking my misunderestimation of the uninterpretation of this little cheery yellow-star sticker to another level, perhaps 'Permeate Free' meant the milk came with some - free! - permeate. 

Free permeate? Yay! I want my permeate and I want it now! Just pour it in my pocket, thanks, and I'll be on my way.

Free this stuff! (Pic courtesy of UCDAVIS)

Hoary old folk sayings

They say if you peel the mandarin all in one go, you can predict your future husband's recipe for strudel, but in my case that doesn't apply as I am wearing socks. 


She who sleeps with the trimmings from her husband's left moustache underneath her right foot will, it is rumoured, cause bad luck for any politician who comes into contact with her left inner elbow. Old Serbian method for fixing elections. 


He who drinks black coffee before sniffing thrice will rise lustily from their bed, plough all their crops in one day, predict all the words on Wheel of Fortune, and eat the Borscht of propitiousness. He who drinks black coffee after sniffing thrice is Stalin. Old Russian proverb.

Interpretration interpolation

Whenever someone somewhere posts something about their dreams on facebook, twitter, or blog, there is always someone somewhere else who will immediately post on their facebook, twitter, or blog a Freudian analysis of someone else's prophetic divination of another person's symbolic interpretation of that same dream. It's happens so much that a scientist could write a law about it, if they wanted to.

So here you go, here are some dreams that I made up dreamt, specifically for the purposes of such divination. Let's see what your fertile imagination makes of my fertile imagination.

Am on a plane. The plane is full of water. A door opens and in walks Kerry Packer, who shows me his pocket. It contains Lassie, and a banana, which becomes a stair which I walk down with Lassie.

Am having a witty conversation with Dr Sigmund Freud. In the middle of the conversation he lights a match which he then puts to his face and lights up his beard. Then he lifts up a penis and begins to smoke it like a cigarette. Our two cats walk into the room and begin ripping up a television guide. All of a sudden I remember that I have left the oven on, and wake up saying to myself, 'Oh, that refrigerator should be green just about now.'

I dream I am flying. It feels very ordinary and natural, as I am a bird. Down below I spy noted blogger TimT. He has a target on his head. Also, he is wearing only his pyjamas, and is walking to school, which is odd, as he hasn't owned pyjamas for years, and hasn't gone to school for even longer.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Family scrabble conversations

A: "Is Zod a word?"
B: "No! There's no such thing as Zod!"
C: "Doesn't it depend if you're an atheist or not?"

This conversation made me reflect on the complexities of belief in Zod in this modern, scientific world. Who or what is Zod anyway? Is there anyone who can truly say they know for certain that Zod does not exist?  And, above all, why? It all makes me want to express it through song:

Praise Zod Almighty, Zod on high,
Just who or what or why you are,
Praise Zod majestic in the sky, 
Or somewhere equally as far - 

No matter when you are, oh Zod,
Or what you wore last Thursday night,
I'll praise thee with my jerpling cod,
And Zod, it's just as well I might - 

For if the Azodnostics shout,
Or where the Antizodnogs meet each week
To spread their heresies of doubt,
We'll praise thee still with glystic meek - 

Praise Zod! Through thick and thin and thought!
Praise Zod! In black and white and socks!
Praise Zod! I'm doing what I ought!
Praise Zod! And peach and turquoise summer frocks.

Housekeeping tips from Tim

It is absolutely essential, when mother, father, and brother descend on the house for a half-a-week sojourn, to have fresh cheese drying on one of the beds, beer fermenting next to the fruit bowl, and so much hair growing on your face that you will not be able to see in the mirror that the amount of hair growing on your face is a little bit too much hair on your face for you to be able to see the look on your mother's face when she sees how much hair is growing on your face. It'll probably be an impressed look, but you still won't be able to see.

It is also highly desirable to have hair growing on the cheese, fresh fruit in the fruit bowl, and beer spontaneously fermenting from your face, but just because you have everything everywhere doesn't mean you can have anything anywhere.

This is the word of the Tim.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Humph! Bumph!

Occasionally people like to take a word, beat it about the prefix, thrash it around the suffix, put its vowels through a strainer, cram its consonants through a mangler, and then use it like it is a completely different word, just to show it who's boss. "That's so random," said a girl on the train today to her friend. "Don't you think that's random?" "It was so random." Though, in fact, I strongly doubt she was referring to a thing that was 'without definite aim, purpose, or reason' or 'according to a pattern or method.' "It was surreal," said a footballer in a recent interview, referring to an event that was admittedly a little curious, but nevertheless clearly defined and bound by the conventional parameters of the sensuous universe. "That's so gay," said all teens everywhere at all times, in the process offering up a definition of the word that was neither "homosexual", nor "carefree", nor even referring to a person of that name.

In this process, a few words get hurt, a lot of people get irritated, and angry letters into the newspaper (or their modern day equivalent, the cantankerous blog post, the tetchy tweet, or the peevish Facebook note) are fomented on laptops and iPads all over the world. But it is doubtful whether the language is hurt at all. Just today, I learnt of a lovely new, resonant word, perfect for use in everyday conversation, useful for rhyming purposes, which will in all likelihood be around in English for a long, long time to come. "Bumph": junk, detritus, rubbish, especially the sort that you find on your computer. Now isn't that nice?

Then again, just the other day, I was listening to the football on the radio (I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that) when one of the announcers cried out in excitement: "It's a skirmish - that could develop into a melee!" Though whether one or the other nouns was true - and whether it really mattered - was rather debatable. It was, like, so random.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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