Monday, July 29, 2013

Not that we're Nazis or anything

Contrary to popular prejudice, the Great Escape did not happen some six decades ago in Germany. It happened yesterday. In our own front yard. Two Australorp chickens (not World War II detainees) were involved, who I will from henceforth refer to as the Australorps, because they are.

It also happened this morning, about 11 o'clock. Also this morning at 11.30. I haven't checked lately but they might be at it again. In fact, with these Australorps it's the Great Escape all day, every day.

Various methods have been tried to get the Australorps back home. Sometimes I round them up with a stick and get them to walk back to the house (often involving me leaping over the fence into the front yard of some neighbour who has barely had time to adjust themselves to the strange chickens foraging in their yard, much less the strange man who has just joined them). Alternatively, the Baron and I have also tried enticing them out of the garden they're not supposed to be in with food - which is rather like trying to tempt a kid out of a pavlova factory with a bit of meringue. Yesterday, just for a change, I tried having a tantrum. I can't say for sure whether it worked, I'll have to try that one again. I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to do so.

I understand that other Great Escape - the one they made a movie and stuff about - involved troopers and Tommy guns and motorbikes and all sorts of cool stuff like that. I haven't got to that stage yet with the Australorps, but I'm pretty sure I'm building up to it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sing a song of punctuation

To be or not to be
Eg or not eg
ie, that is, i.e.,
QE, to sum up, D.

2B or 2B not,
--- or ...?
Colons: single; or semi?
Double “”, or demi?

PS or BTW,
+ also ;)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Poetic grizzle

A few months ago I submitted a short poem about Thomastown to Red Room's Disappearing project - the idea of it was for poets to write something about an Australian place that had changed over time. Also some stuff about 'providing a digital map of Australia', etc. Anyway, they asked for a small biography and short written statement describing the area, explaining why I chose it to write about, which is where I should have really started being suspicious: the poem that I submitted turned out to be far shorter than my written description. Check it out -


Land of roller blinds and smash repairs
And garden gnomes and thinning hairs.

Of course it didn't get published. Red Room seems to view itself rather like an art gallery for poetry. Pop into an art gallery these days and often the artists' notes and biography and the descriptions of the artworks are more significant than the artworks themselves. (The most egregious example of this I can think of is an exhibition I saw in Newcastle Art Gallery once - the artist had taken a picture of an unremarkable corner of the park just outside the gallery, then printed it digitally in a blue wash, a green wash, etc. The same picture, slightly digitally altered, was hung up all around the room. Beneath one of the pictures was several sheets of A4 paper stapled together, in which the artist had written a gigantic essay about the meaning and significance of their meaningless and insignificant work.)

I suppose this is starting to sound a bit like an 'I didn't get published and so they're bad!' grizzle from me. Because it is, obviously. But I also think I have a point: if the idea is to explain the poetry and let us get to know some of the poets, then the effect is almost to give precedence to the explanation, like a kid writing an essay on Shakespeare without even reading Shakespeare first. (C S Lewis saw this sort of development early on, writing in his essay Lilies that Fester about how the state teaches children appreciation of literature, not being content to let kids read and write and appreciate literature for themselves).

Anyway, some of the poems are online. Here's one. Here's another. And here's a third. The poems are all right and the poets aren't bad either. How's that for appreciation!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Think for the day goes thunk

Spurtles are ace and you've got to use them to make you morning porridge because tradition and stuff, but every time you get to the point where you have to ladle out the porridge from the pot to the bowl you realise a little addition to the traditional spurtle design wouldn't go astray: an oblong on the end, designed for the specific purposes of ladling out porridge. This device could combine the traditional stirring powers of the spurtle with the modern ladling powers of, well, the ladle.

Maybe I could make one and patent it? I'd call it, I dunno, a Spurtle Plus Oblong On Nether, or S.P.O.O.N...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In which Tim examines the news

So I was just reading the news the other day, and apparently it's now illegal to abort babies masturbating in the womb in Texas because.... no, wait. I think I got that wrong.

Anyway, I was just reading the news a while back and it seems that it's illegal to abort gay babies masturbating in the womb unless they're in Texas, in which case it's compuls.... no hang on. Still haven't got it right.

So opened the internet the other day and started reading the news. It seems it's now illegal for babies to masturbate in the womb of pregnant gay fathers unless they're Texans because.... er, that doesn't sound right either.

So here's how it is, spot of news the other day. Gay Texans are now not allowed to masturbate in the womb, unless they've been aborted first, which is.... hang on, aborted masturbators are now not allowed in gay Texas because... no, it's been made illegal to teach masturbation to aborted Texans unless they're gay, in which case .... um.... that is....

Oh, bloody hell! Gay! Abortion! Masturbation! Womb! There's your freaking news for you. 

Ow is the winter of ow discontent

I'm currently toying with the idea of a television series spin-off from Masterchef - I call it Disasterchef. Not, as the name might suggest, involving cooks engaging in culinary feats of derring do in the middle of earthquakes or bushfires or volcanic eruptions and the like - though then again that idea has merit too - and not actually involving any chefs either. It would just have me. In my kitchen. Because, let me tell you, there's plenty of disasters waiting to happen.

A week or so ago I burnt my wrist while re-lighting the stove. To top that off, just a few days after that, I grated my middle finger along with some cheese. Not to be outdone, just two days ago I was waxing my cheese - waxing is always a disaster when I'm involved - and foolishly poured all of the hot wax into a plastic container, clearly because I thought the kitchen was far too clean. The wax predictably melted a hole right in the bottom of the container and spilled all over the floor, and, being red, the kitchen soon resembled a particularly charnel scene at the hospital. And, just today, opening a can of Minestrone soup, I (ow) cut my (ow) other middle finger (ow) so that (ow) now every (ow) word (ow) I (ow) type (ow) reminds (ow) me (ow) of it (ow) and I'm not even (ow) sure (ow) what I'm (ow) doing at this keyboard any(ow)more.

Honestly, it's getting so between the blood-coloured red wax, the blood-coloured minestrone soup, and the blood-coloured, um, blood, I can't even see the kitchen anymore.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Points for discussion

Calm down! How dare anyone tell me to 'calm down' at a time when the last thing I want to do is calm down! I refuse to calm down about the subject at hand especially when the subject at hand is being told to 'calm down', which is the most uncalming down thing to be told if I actually wanted to calm down! HOW CAN YOU TELL ME TO 'CALM DOWN' AT A TIME LIKE THIS?

Outraged? It's outrageous that I be described as outraged, even if and especially when I am actually outraged about something! I deserve my right to be outraged about something without being described as outraged, even if I am just outraged about being described as 'outraged' without the initial outrage leading to the description of 'outraged' actually being an outrage at anything at all, that is, anything apart from perhaps another description of me as being 'outraged', which of course and naturally is an outrageously outrageous way to describe someone as being.

Calm down about being called 'outraged' over my outrage over being told to 'calm down'? How could anyone ever dare to describe me as being 'outraged' over being told to calm down, it is not a very calming down thing at all, it is the very opposite of calming, it is outraging, it is umbragelous, it is horripilating, it is prepostifulish, it is an absolute scandal, it is utterly disgusting and completely shameful and shamefully outrageously scandalously utter, it is just wrong I tell you and what were we talking about oh yes I will certainly get outraged about being told to 'calm down' over being described as 'outraged' about calming down if I want to and what I want to do is just that!

But above all

Saturday, July 13, 2013

'Guest' 'post'

Now don't ask me how this happened, and don't ask me why this happened, but I currently have a certain someone sitting at my shoulder saying 'blooooooooooog pooooooooooooost.... bloooooooooooooog poooooooooooooooooooooost'. I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but I think they want to write a blog post.... ON MY BLOG. Hang on, what?

So don't blame me for what happens next. What happens in the rest of this blog post is not my fault.



The esteemed author of this blog post.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Individually numbered in order of dislike

Voters will use magnifying sheets to read tiny font on Senate ballot papers  

ABC election analyst Antony Green says voters will need the dexterity of a contortionist to be able to read the Senate ballot paper which has grown to 1.02 metres in length. 
I don't see what the problem is here. Personally, when it comes to the Senate vote, I always vote below the line, so I get to individually number each of the politicians in order of dislike. It's not enough to be able to do away with their parties with one stroke of the pen; sometimes, you just have to create an ordered numerical list in which you place one member of the party behind another so you can quantify to a precise and specific amount your level of contempt for them and their policies. It is very easy indeed to vote for the worst politicians and place them up the end of the list, and not so hard to vote for those you want most, but somewhere in the middle, when you have to take account of all the ineffectual politicians, and sort the could-be-amusing parties from the possibly-quite-irritating ones and distinguish them from the actually-rather-disturbing groupings, there's always a pile up, and suddenly it's not just advanced origami and contortionism that you find yourself having to indulge in, but you also have to suddenly deploy everything you've ever known plus anything you've ever forgotten plus some of the stuff you never knew but now wish you had about algebra, quadratic equations, trigonometry, and arithmetical series, in order to make the two ends come together in a pleasing fashion. It's great fun, and I recommend it. Anyway, voters of a less masochistic frame of mind than me may find the continued growth of the Senate ballot paper infuriating and frustrating, but there's really no need. There's plenty of things you can do with a ballot paper to make it easier to handle:

1) Fold it up and use your scissors to create pleasing paper dolls, perhaps in the form of politicians you wish to vote for.

2) Roll it up, pinching one end tightly shut with a paper clip, and using it to deliver gifts of chocolates and sweetmeats to friends and lovers.

3) Actual origami!

4) Alternatively, you can hold it above your head and shake it back and forth to create convincing thunderous effects to awe and impress your audience. Never let it be said that Australians are not pragmatic people!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Ridgey didge bridge

AN AUSTRALIAN woman has found a bridge to love, marrying the 14th century Le Pont du Diable Bridge in southern France....Ms Rose did not say how she determined the gender of the bridge. - Telegraph, Jodi Rose bridges differences to marry Le Pont du Diable Bridge in France

Ode to a bridge 
O tensile structure of chromium steel 
Spanning land sea and sky like a God of this place
As you chant day and night to the thrum of the wheel
With your girders and pylons aquiver in space
O glorious neomodern geospatial design
You beckon me on with your galvanic gleam
Infrastructure so perfect, your arches so fine,
O marvel of science I am yours you are mine. 

(It was only part way through writing this piece that I found out the bridge in France this lady was marrying was centuries old and made out of brick. Oh well.)

UPDATE! - Well crap, I didn't even get the rhyme-scheme right. This poem isn't worth the paper it's not written on!
Ooh la la. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013






THANK YOU FOR READING THESE HILARIOUS jokes ooh the caps lock was on sorry okay good night now.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The schlock of the new

I tried to use my new new card yesterday, but it turned out to be the new old card that I got after my old old card didn't work anymore. After working out all the confusion I managed to get my new new card working and threw out my new old card, but I can't help but worry how long it will be before my new new card becomes my new old 'new new card' and I'll need to get a new 'new new card' instead.

Cards are confusing that way. Sometimes, it's true, I'm tempted to use my bookshop card so I can get on a train, or my chemist card so I can borrow books out at the library, although until you can get books on the train or drugs out at the library I think this might be a somewhat vain fancy. (You can sometimes get a free Herald Sun from the train, so that's a start). I suppose all this is why people are calling for a united card that will have everything on it, from driver's licence to membership of a local bird watcher club, which is quite tempting really, since I don't have either of those. Even so, why go with the simplicity of the new when you can stick with the muddle and confusion of the old?

UPDATE! - I just thought of a new new title for this post to replace the old new title. Is it too late to get rid of the old new title and replace it with the new new one? I suppose it is. Anyway: AVANT CARDE. Hahahahahahaha cough cough cough cough....

Monday, July 01, 2013

Valiant attempt at the smallest punctuation mark in the world



Well? Well? How'd I go?
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