Sunday, September 30, 2012

One just would like to say this

It always feels slightly improper going into the front garden in a dressing gown with a toothbrush in one's mouth and toothpaste in one's hand. One is never quite certain why this should be, but it just strikes one as an activity that should be confined to the house, if not the bathroom itself. Strangely enough it always strikes one in this way after one has wandered absent-mindedly into the front garden in a dressing gown with a toothbrush in one's mouth and toothpaste in one's hand, which just goes to show, one never can know, can one? No, one can't. However, next time, one proposes a simple solution to this dilemma: instead of wandering into the front garden in a dressing gown with a toothbrush in one's mouth and toothpaste in one's hand, one will not bother putting the dressing gown on. The rose bush, one feels, is certainly of sufficient height now to protect one's modesty if and when the need should arise.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dude. Like, just... dude. Whoa.... duuuuuuuuuude.

The above title succinctly and eloquently encapsulates my full feelings on the Hawthorn vs Sydney Grand Final, and can obviously serve as a handy summary, news report, and review of the whole affair. In fact, it would be pretty pointless writing anything else about it, ever again. Of course, some commentators may haggle with the strategic theorem expressed in my second ellipsis, but those people really don't know what they're talking about.

Sun rain wind clouds hail snow hail rain wind sun

It was a day like any other day - 
In Melbourne, when the teams began to play - 
But when it ended, Hawthorn lost - or won! 

It was a year that happens every day - 
I mean... a day that happens every year - 
As... you'd... expect... when sydney came to play - 
Beer beer beer beer beer beer beer wind rain hail beer. 

But does it really matter in the end
How Hawthorn wins? I'm sure we'll get along
And join as one - or two - hold hands, and bond
In an absolute and utter trouncing of the swans. 

And when it's finished over said and done - 
Sun rain wind clouds hail snow hail rain wind sun. 

Wrote this on the train and tram in to the Dan this afternoon in full expectation of a Hawthorn victory. Happily, I wrote it in the tone of a person who doesn't know what he's talking about, which fits my actual personality to the ground. And now, I would like to share my ignorance about anything and everything with you all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An extremely simple and attractive proposition

I hereby propose that the letters ACGT, denoting the four DNA nucleotides, be replaced with other letters. The letters would be carefully chosen so that, in a certain language, if arranged in a certain order, they would spell a series of incredibly shocking swear words. Thus, aside from providing us with the building blocks of our identity and millions of years of genetic inheritance, our DNA would also provide us with hours of light-hearted amusement.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The amazing exciting language of Englih.

The '' key on my keyboard ha topped working. Not jut any key, it' a key of ingular importance. You will know the '' key, of coure, it' the key for the letter that you ue to put at the end of mot plural and the letter you find at the tart of a number of other word.

Thing are getting quite eriou!

o anyway, conidering the tate of affair on my computer, I wondered if a imple redeign of the Englih language might not be in order. You know, eliminating the letter altogether, thu making the language of Englih altogether more treamlined and leek and elegant.

Here are jut a few of the new and exciting word you'll be able to ue:

weet! and avoury! 

I am ure you'll all agree, there' a world of poibility out there. It wouldn't take much to make thi new, exciting Enligh language work.

Alternatively, I could get my keyboard fixed. I uppoe that' poible. Doe anyone know how to do that? I'm all out of idea on that front.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Announcement to everyone in general and to the world at large

Please pay attention to this:

Good. Now that I have made the appropriate fanfare, I would like to announce to everyone in general and to the world at large: BEATRICE THE CAT JUST PUT HER PAW OVER HER NOSE.

Now you may all go and attend to whatever needs attending to.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Third time lucky?

Wake up from a dream about icecream but don't get out of bed to get breakfast. 

Wake up from a dream about making cheese but don't get out of bed to get breakfast. 

Wake up from a dream about pom poms and get out of bed to get breakfast. 

Clearly, pom poms make me ravenous. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The pre-Cromwellian gurn

As fine an example of the gurn in English literature pre-1600 as I have ever come across:
Who came at length, with proud presumpteous gate,
Into the field, as if he fearelesse were,
All armed in a cote of yron plate,
Of great defence to ward the deadly feare,
And on his head a steele cap he did weare
Of colour rustie browne, but sure and strong;
And in his hand an huge polaxe did beare,
Whose steale was yron studded, but not long,
With which he wont to fight, to justifie his wrong.

 Of stature huge and hideous he was,
Like to a giant for his monstrous hight,
And did in strength most sorts of men surpas,
Ne ever any found his match in might;
Thereto he had great skill in single fight:
His face was ugly and his countenance sterne,
That could have frayd one with the very sight,
That whether man or monster one could scarse discerne.
The glossary in my edition of The Faerie Queene says this means 'grin', but really. I mean, really. And that's all I have to say about that matter.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On the wearing of ties on the weekend

There are

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

All ye need to gnaw

"Beauty is tooth," wrote the poet John Keats, "and tooth beauty. That is all/ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

But then again, Keats was living at an age in which the dental sciences were far less advanced than they are now, and who suffered from problems with his wisdom teeth for years, so it is only natural that he should have focused on these matters in one of his most famous poems.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stop tittling up the back

"A tittle is a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic or the dot on a lowercase i or j.... The word tittle is rarely used. Its most prominent occurrence is in the Christian Bible at Matthew 5:18: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (KJV). The quotation uses them as an example of extremely minor details. The phrase "jot and tittle" indicates that every small detail has received attention." - Wikipedia.

In spite of what Wikipedia suggests, I like to think that God is being literal here. In fact, I'm inclined to go off and create a sect of grammatical fundamentalist Christians, if there isn't one already. We could spend our time handing out proper nouns and semi-colons to the poor, or singing inspiring hymns like the following:

All things bright and beautiful,
All tittles great and small,
Diacritics, ampersands -
The Lord God made them all.

Each parenthetic clause -
Each hyphen and each dash
Asterisks, apostrophes,
The tilde and backwards slash

All things bright and beautiful,
All tittles great and small,
Diacritics, ampersands -
The Lord God made them all.

(Thanks for the excellent information, Alison!)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A tutorial in all forms of hedging

"Actually," says Rafe, "I was going to do a post on Aggressive Hedging...". But of course, hedging is an incredibly complicated subject that can only be explained by a small number of highly intellectual folks to an even smaller number of other highly intellectual folks, and often requires a ridiculous number of higher degrees with highly difficult letters in order to be performed well.

However, I will undertake a short tutorial on hedging now.

Aggressive hedging.

Recessive hedging.

Progressive hedging.

Very progressive hedging

And finally, here is an aggressive hedgehog.

Just so we're clear. Thank you for your time.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Exciting new concept for television

Coming up, Celia has a plan that will make her sweat more than ever! Will Roger be able to achieve the abscess of his dreams? But first - can Kate finally achieve through advanced surgery the ability to produce mucus behind her knees? That's next on Gland Designs!

A skerrick of Erick

Unveil thine arms, my JULIA, where
I may behold thine oxters, fair,
Frefh-flowered with thy native hair.

Sweet verdure of thy underlawn,
Thy garden grows untamed, unfhorn,
With golden glifters in the dawn.

Thy fecret arbour, daint with crulles,
Bedeawed by fpangling fweaty pearles,
Moved by the breeze in fportive fwirles -

There VENUS is, in full plain fight,
& winged CUPID doth alight,
& pleafure is, and all delight,

& there, I wis, a fhepheard may
Tende gently to his flocke all day
& finge a laefie lang'rous lay.

There PAN his oaten reed doth play,
& MARS puts fword and fhield away
In that moft high félicité.

Unveil thine arms, my JULIA, where
I may behold thine oxters, fair,
Frefh-flowered with thy native hair.

- Erick Herrick. Previous works of his may be found here and here

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

For a second there I thought it was somebody important

Sometimes when I am at work I will send an email to myself, then go and do some work and forget all about it. Later, when I check my email, I will get a nice surprise when I see that someone has sent me an email.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Hard simple cheesemaking made simple hard

Cheesemaking is really, really simple, which is one reason why you should say it is very, very hard. It is much more impressive to say something which you find simple is hard rather than something you find simple is simple. This is how Kevin Rudd got to be Prime Minister; he made the English language, which the rest of us find pretty easy, really, seem so infuriatingly complex that we all gave him a vote for his efforts. (And then he did the same with the economy.)

But anyway. Who would have thought that in order to make cheese, pretty much all you have to do is follow a recipe? This is, essentially, what I have been doing for these past few months. Some instructions are, it is true, a little odd. In the recipe 'mozzarella - traditional method', the first instruction reads:

1. Heat the milk to 90 degrees F. The pH should be 6.8. If it isn't, wait and test again. 

Traditional Italians always kept a litmus test around their house, don't you know.

I just made a provolone today: it's twisting around in the shower recess, looking like a rather small white knobbled and ugly thing that no-one would particularly want to eat. Because it is.

Of course there are always problems: starters that don't start, curds that don't set, or won't stretch the way you want them to, not enough ricotta which is so mooshy anyway that you can't collect it without it dissolving into the rest of the whey. It's all quite simple, the recipe book says; just heat it up to the required temperature, or let it mature for such and such a time, and it will magically happen.

Simple? Cheesemaking is hard! I don't know how people do it! The nerve of that book, trying to make something so hard as cheesemaking seem simple!

How to catch pigeons with a yo yo

Reading the instructions in an origami book while trying to fold an origami tiger is a little like reading James Joyce's Ulysses while attempting to catch pigeons with a yo yo. Check this out:

31. Inside reverse-fold the two lower flaps. These will be the hind legs. The folds at the top are formed in a single motion. Find, on each side of the centrelink, a discontinuous shaded flap with two layers. The junction of the two layers forms a tiny pocket containing the loose paper needed to.... 

And, while you are reading this and attempting to fold your tiny origami paper tiger with an even tinier sheet of paper, in one swift elegant motion, you find that you have folded a perfect paper ball.

PS Perhaps you may think I have neglected to instruct you on how to catch pigeons with a yo yo, but that is not the case. Here's how, in three easy steps:

1. Go into the garden with your yo yo. 

2. Do stuff with your yo yo.

3. Catch a pigeon.


Ken this

Old Norse Kenning for sword: 'onion-of-war', or 'leek-of-war'.

Now use it in a sentence:

'I must be off now wife, for with my onion-of-war I must dice the field-sausages* to use in tonight's bowl-blood**'.

'But enough of Grimnir's lip streams***, friends, for now I must ride-the-cushioned-waves**** with the far-sight***** while battling-with-the-fridge-icebergs******.'

'Why do you trouble me, mother? For I was journeying on the flannel-highway******* to the land-of-pillow-song******** where my onion-of-war would be needed no more.'

UPDATE! - Yes,I don't actually use 'onion-of-war' in the second sentence. I didn't want to. Bah, to hell with the lot of you! I'm going to bestride the flannel-highway once more!

* Field-sausages: modern Timnish kenning for zucchinis. 

** Bowl-blood: modern Timnish kenning for stew.

*** Grimnir's lip streams: old Norse for poetry.

**** Ride-the-cushioned-waves: modern Timnish kenning for sitting on the couch.

***** Far-sight: modern Timnish kenning for television. (I believe German for television is 'fernsehen', or far-seeing'). 

****** Battling-with-the-fridge-icebergs: eating ice cream.

*******Flannel-highway: modern Timnish kenning for bed. 

********Land-of-pillow-song: modern Timnish kenning for dreaming. 
Email: timhtrain - at -

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