Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Where do I find the Any key on my keyboard?
(via Follow Me Here)

Comments: FAQ2859

FA 2859 times a day?
Posted by Nora at September 30, 2003 11:30 AM

Compaq's response is earnest:

'The term "any key" does not refer to a particular key on the keyboard. It simply means to strike any one of the keys on your keyboard or handheld screen.'

Makes me wonder whether more conspicuously silly questions might get through.

1. When I wear my tracksuit pants I tend to generate a lot of static electricity. If I do not remove my tracksuit pants before sitting at the computer, will I eventually have trouble turning it on?

2. I'm going through some difficult personal issues at the moment. My doctor tells me I'm in denial. Should I avoid using the escape key?

3. In a recent conversation with my (withdrawn) son, the issue of megabytes was raised. Will his fondness for the internet and computer games affect his diet and fitness program?

4. I am a novice mac user anxious to know where all the other fruit keys are.
Posted by Jim at September 30, 2003 05:04 PM

Jim - I think you should submit these infrequently asked questions and test the response.
I've been there in dummy land and can almost see myself looking for the Any key. As it is I'm pretty intrigued by the "Wake Up" and "Sleep" keys. I try the former and don't notice a difference.
As you know, the escape key is my fave - and its constant visible presence is reassuring.
Posted by boynton at October 1, 2003 12:08 PM


In the dying moments of the Grand Final on Saturday, as the Loins "devoured the pies" boynton heard some reference to Justin Leppitsch choosing the number 23 jumper after his childhood hero Dermot Brereton. Had Anthony Rocca been playing for Collingwood it is likely the two 23's would have lined up against each other.
David Beckham also chose to play in the 23 shirt for Real Madrid.
This article by Professor Marcus du Sautoy explores the significance of the number.
As a member of Oxford University's Mathematical Institute, and football fanatic, I feel moved to point out that many pundits seem to have missed the true significance of Beckham's choice: 23 is a prime number - the smallest with consecutive digits. Although many have said this in passing, few realise what a profound observation this is

from Plus internet magazine which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics (via eclectica)

Comments: 23

Shane Warne also wears 23 for the same reason as Leppitsch
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 30, 2003 11:40 AM

That's interesting.
Did Dermie take over the 23 from Don Scott?
(or from the Don, Scott?) ;)
Posted by boynton at September 30, 2003 11:50 AM

And Michael Jordan. All through my footy career I was 23 or 32.
Posted by Tony.T at September 30, 2003 01:37 PM

I'm sure all this discussion will inspire a 23 festival. Or 23 three of them, at least.

Small even numbers ducking and weaving in the foreground. Multiples of seven gathering in raki tents. A lone 70 crying for his multiples. 23 naked men seeking 23 naked pleasures. Ribbons, music and numeracy parades. 2 and 3 patrons, followed by a horse.

Posted by Jim at September 30, 2003 03:31 PM

Get a grip, Jim.
Posted by Tony.T at October 1, 2003 12:13 AM

23 Skidoo.
Posted by Graham at October 1, 2003 01:41 AM

yeah, get a grip, Jim. You're giving away all these great ideas to festival impressarios.
Surely a genuine Melbourne Festival should combine our 'primal' rite (football) - and the possibilities of such a spectacle are endless. (I guess)
Imagine what you could do with the parade of numbers and sequences especially when it got combative. You could have "the Pi's" v ...?...the Dewey's or the Bar Codes... The Pi's of course would wobble.
I think this has legs.

Tony - did you ever alternate the two jumpers in a game? eg when you switched from Full Forward to Full Back?

Graham - yeah, and it was pretty much skidoo for A.Rocca a week ago too.

Posted by boynton at October 1, 2003 12:25 PM

Nope. Only when I did a hand-stand like Aker.
Posted by Tony.T at October 1, 2003 02:46 PM


Testosterone tie (via bifurcated rivets)

see also camouflage

Monday, September 29, 2003


boynton is currently living roughly 7 k from the hospital where she was born - which doesn't exist anymore in its old form. She grew up a good 30 k away to the east and has spent aeons living a mere 2.something k away - a 20 minute walk.
This optional task calls for boynton to extrapolate and calculate 10 years hence but boynton can't even imagine what such a mathematical formula might look like. And if x = age, then x = y. (That is: x= you are not permitted access to this information) With the slow fitful boomeranging eastward boynton can't tally up the k's to know if she'll be slightly to the east in 10 years or back westerly towards St Andrew's Place. But the former would mean Balwyn or even Greythorn which suggests the maths has seriously broken down somewhere along the map. We must be heading the other way. A quick bit of mental arithmetic calculates that we'll be living...smack bang in the middle of Studley Park. Roughly.

Comments: translocation

So in x years you have surged from 30km to within 2km and back out to 7km (current) of the hospital. Seems like an oscillating process caught presently at an equilibrium point. Look out for infintesimal perturbations which might send you back into a violent series of chaotic hospillations!

A slight shift in the foundations could be all it takes. Check your walls for cracks. Get under the house with a torch and spirit level. There's no time to waste.
Posted by Jim at September 29, 2003 05:30 PM

OIC. That makes sense. I wish all maths was so lucidly explained.
"Caught presently at an equilibrium point" another great title for a future play/memoir.
I'll get under the house...shortly. Mind the x.
Posted by boynton at September 29, 2003 06:10 PM


this is completely unrelated to the post. On Sunday as I walked around Albert Part lake I was confronted by the sight of hundreds (well, quite a lot, at any rate) of black Labradors. There seemed to be some kind of black labs gathering going on, all with yellow ribbons tied around their necks. Now I seem to recall that Doug is of this ilk. Was he perchance amongst the rabble?
Posted by mcb at September 30, 2003 08:28 AM

alas and alack and woe is me, no, mcb -
what a sight!
must have been the Black Labs Picnic...
I once saw 4 black labs occur at once in my local park - (the renegade was mine)which was a pretty amazing sight - sans ribbons.
Posted by boynton at September 30, 2003 09:02 AM


a list of items lost?
As well as the usual non-material suspects, boynton has most recently (within the last 14 years) lost a few items while walking Doug with a bad back-pack. The back pack has either been gaping from age or carelessness, and items have probably floated away into the traffic like those plastic bags of spring, or rotted anonymously in the golf-course undergrowth.
This includes aforementioned beloved tam-o-shanter.
boynton sometimes looked at this with that defeatist anxiety - this is such a wonderful item, it can't last, and one day it will fall out of my unzipped backpack somewhere on the boulevard. It used to smell of wool and shampoo. And me? An item of headwear is such a personal item that boynton can't imagine a finder of road kill clothing easily adopting it.
And this includes a few scarves.
the funny thing about one of these tartan scarves is that both boynton and a friend and fellow dog walker lost and found a tartan scarf once around the same time. boynton had the uneasy sense that we had been unknowingly exchanging scarves. You would often see lost items like leads, collars, sunglasses and sometimes keys tied to a prominent branch along the way. Like the shoe trees, the dog walker's pound. Perhaps it would have been possible within that tartan era to set out dressed like this and return like this.
however one of the lost scarves was non-tartan and was one of boynton's old favourites and had been with her through various life stages, institutions and spin cycles. boynton had just said goodbye to a man heading overseas when she took doug out, trying to run off the emotion. But the scarf ran away instead. She retraced her steps the next day but could not find it - nor could she see it hanging magically on one of the 'found' trees.
She has lost doug's collar twice (recovered)
One stranger rang up intrigued by his name. What sort of dog is Doug?! he asked, and sounded almost disappointed with the answer Labrador
And once doug's entire ensemble his lead and chain. Gone.
It was a nice navy one with a knot in it if you see it.
A frisbee or two ( not to metion one expensive type thrown almost wantonly into the Yarra. It didn't float)
Years before she was with one of her nephews in this park who suddenly lost a ring he was wearing. My Wing he said distressed. But somehow magically his wing reappeared.
Sometimes the universe is kind.

Comments: lost

The non-material suspects are the ones I fear most.

Fisherman: What will I do if I ever rediscover my lonliness?

Poet: Share your catch and lose it again.

Fisherman: [aside] Goody goody.

Speaking of lost minds, I read a play called Inside the Island the other night (Louis Nowra). A group of soldiers goes feral after eating ergot-poisoned wheat. Murder, rape, snakes in the belly, fire, wanton acts of paranoid violence. A strange little read after fitting "onus" with "responsibility" and "consternation" with "alarm" in the Age quick crossword.

One thing I routinely lose is phone numbers. Barely-legible sequences of numbers scrawled on tiny bits of paper - tightly folded and wedged into a huge, overflowing draw stuffed full with thousands of other tiny bits of paper.

Perhaps I should have an ergot and peanut butter sandwich then burn the whole lot!

Posted by Jim at September 29, 2003 02:28 PM

I like that first scene, Jim - a new play?
Haven't read/seen Inside The Island. Much consternation to admit this, and onus now on me to secure a copy.
And finally - as a mathematician you would be able to memorise these strange sequences of numbers and even analyse their patterns?
Sometimes phone numbers and other formulae need a song I say.
Posted by boynton at September 29, 2003 03:10 PM

How about this for a first verse:

I know there's a nine

In it
In it

I know there's a three

In it
In it

But the order and other six
Numbers I need

Are gone

Bin it
Bin it


In it
In it

The next verse could feature frogs: a background croaking developing into a doo wop chorus.
Posted by Jim at September 29, 2003 04:46 PM


Love it
Love it
Posted by boynton at September 29, 2003 04:51 PM

Sunday, September 28, 2003


Beautiful sunny day outside as (raining in our hearts) we farewell one of the pack. Abby clocked 15 years and 4 months - a record age for any dog boynton has known - but has declined rapidly in the last week to the stage where standing, moving and now eating are becoming impossible. Nora is taking her up to the country.
She has been one of those dumb gentle yellow dogs - a rag doll offering the solace of kindness, the consolation of presence.
This is the sort of dog you want’ observed a friend of boynton’s once, as Abby looked adoringly patiently into his eyes, all day if you want, while Doug paced the hallway anxiously.
A friend tells me he doesn’t regret making such a decision, but perhaps not making it sooner – and it certainly does seem time today when all the world is a dizzy haze. I patted her head in the sun and she gave the barest wag. This dog who once ran like a greyhound on hard sand and jumped six feet into the air after a tennis ball. This is the bare wag of good bye.
I wish she could have seen the ocean once more – as she lived her early life along the empty stretches of the ninety mile beach, a long morning run with gavo, a surf and a swim with Nora and co in the afternoons and evening. She used to bob about bravely in the breakers following Nora, or wade along the shallows sniffing regally meditatively, until returning to the towels to be a sandy sentinel to the body surfers. One of the best times I had with the threesome was walking along the rocks around Marengo near Apollo Bay. On dusk the light was so beautiful and so still and the four of us would wander silently but connected – I'd get the silent joy of dogs by the ocean – dipping in and out of rock pools, sniffing seaweed and feathers, discerning some complexity in invisible currents. There is a photo elsewhere that catches Abby in close-up, gazing out to sea, her sensory focus on something obscure in the distance. Perhaps it was eternity.

Comments: farewell

Condolences. Nothing like losing a long-term pet like that. The phrase "dumb gentle yellow dog" makes a splendidly compact yet descriptive summary of Abby's personality.
Posted by James Russell at September 28, 2003 05:55 PM

so beautiful
Posted by lesley at September 28, 2003 08:27 PM

Wonderfully expressed. Rest in Peace Abby.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 28, 2003 09:28 PM

It's a moment that sears through you doesn't it.

The last time it happened to me --with Fichte my standard poodle---I was shattered for weeks on end.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 28, 2003 10:29 PM

thanks all - your comments are appreciated.
Posted by boynton at September 28, 2003 10:49 PM

Actually - she was 15 years, 5 months and 4 days.
We have chosen a lovely spot for her and (as befitting her favourite pastime) an edible plant as a marker.
Posted by Nora at September 29, 2003 02:05 PM

Top post Boynty.
Posted by Tee at September 29, 2003 03:23 PM

"...offering the solace of kindness, the consolation of presence..."

That sums up Abby beautifully. I'll always remember her basking peacefully in the sun at Peel St. RIP.
Posted by Damien at September 30, 2003 01:26 PM

I am sorry to hear this. Oddly, I was just thinking about the dog of my childhood today (gone 20+ years now).
Posted by Anne at October 1, 2003 03:19 AM

thanks T
Damien - sad to think that Peel St is gone too - but makes that particular image more memorable.

Anne - it's funny how they sometimes spring back into consciousness. A few years ago I wrote a rather long piece that chronicled all the dogs I'd known. One of the best things about such a task is the way it recovers memories, and animates them in the process.
Posted by boynton at October 1, 2003 04:10 PM

Sadly I wasn't around to say goodbye one more time to lovely old Abby. I can remember her clearly as a puppy hiding from thunderstorms down at the Woodside farm, and then later on stoicly putting up with "Little B" hanging off her lips and worse. Bye Bye Abby.
Posted by Averil at October 2, 2003 03:56 AM

thanks, Averil.
I was thinking of her hiding from those Woodside storms myself, hiding in the liliies. The other day she was still seeking them out here, in the wind. I could see her curled up from where I sit. Now I'm looking at the lillies in the sun - and thinking of her gentle soul.
Posted by boynton at October 2, 2003 08:36 AM

Friday, September 26, 2003

alt afl

a couple of alternatives if the big football game doesn't divert sufficiently tomorrow :

audioblog -play with sound (via sublimate)

the telescope game (via bifurcated rivets)

Comments: alt afl

Can't get past Level 11 on the telescope. Feel like such a dummy.
Posted by Nora at September 26, 2003 05:23 PM

well I'm dumber. I briefly played it in the toddler with rubik's cube style of just clicking randomly hoping it would solve itself eventually.
This seemed to work up to about Level 4.
Didn't quite get the instructions.
Shall return.
Posted by boynton at September 26, 2003 08:01 PM

just a line

Line block by Charles Nuttall

Maybe this will be the scene around Jolimont (and Victoria park) tomorrow night:
Melbourne by Night. 'Midsummer Night's Dream' at Fitzroy Gardens.

from Just a Line Comic Postcards 1900 - 1950

(boynton was going to lead with this post card of Collingwood Tarts - but decided it was too much in the Street Talk line- proto Sexist Sam. With apologies to foreign readers for breaking into football dialect/hieroglyphs again)

Comments: just a line

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 28, 2003 10:26 PM

visual streak

DrAlison Harman, Neurologist: Bertie watches television quite often. He likes horse programs and animal programs. I had another pug who would also watch television. If, for instance, another animal crossed the screen when he was watching it he would jump down and rush to look at the back of the television to see if it was coming out at the back.

We were watching the Catalyst story on Dog's Eyes last night. That's we as in boynton and Bronte (jack russell). Douglas showed little interest and Flo was out watching marsupials. Both dogs probably have the visual streak of longer-snouted chasing (or retrieving) breeds. Bronte in contrast has always been a bit of a square eyes - she likes animal programs, the odd sitcom like Frasier, and was a big fan of Harry's Practice. But she does occasionally go highbrow (short snout) and was in fact pretty much glued to Catalyst throughout.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


boynton was agreeing with Gary in the comments earlier today that this site could do with some jpgs and gifs - nonspecific server worries etc holding boynton back. While Mr W has given us the green light, this quick show of heiroglyphs is not a sign of things to come and we won't be going too gif happy here in the near future. But in the ancient past - this is boynton apparently. Hmm... is it retro enough?
your name in hieroglyphs (via making light)

Comments: glyphs

Am I reading those symbols right? "In fooball news, Eagles kicked into the sea." Or maybe they look different from over here.
Posted by Pithy West at September 25, 2003 03:28 PM

Yes symbols must go pear shaped in Perth, Pithy.

I'm getting more "Redlegs Go West since the Velcro Hawks deal faded into the sunset"
Posted by boynton at September 25, 2003 03:47 PM


Looks good. Go for it.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 25, 2003 10:43 PM

The frame is necessary - it shows that it is a name and not to be read as a text.
Posted by Ole at September 26, 2003 08:05 AM

whoops - sorry "rope-lion-quills"...boynton didn't read the big print on that one.
Posted by boynton at September 26, 2003 12:43 PM

I recently witnessed an attempt on the world "speed SMSing" record. It made for gripping television - hand metaphorically clutching remote. Seeing those hieroglyphical (?) inscriptions, however, led me to wonder:

:-) and :-( ?

Let the linguists cry foul but we could be experiencing a hieroglyphical revival! (What is Ancient Egyptian for hyperbole?)

Posted by Jim at September 26, 2003 03:18 PM

that is one wanton activity that oughta become a sport, Jim, as whenever I've witnessed others SMSing it's almost as slow as smoke signals, or semaphore. eg much concerted frowning and tapping for ten minutes : "fancy a drink?" (with symbol)...
Intrigued, I put "hyperbole" into the engine above - and it's really rather good.
Then I put in "emoticon" ;)
Posted by boynton at September 26, 2003 03:32 PM

pseud calling

Nora and Averil are friends of boynton who choose anonymity and chose their own blog pseudonyms. Nora reports that yesterday the phone rang and a senior sounding woman said : Is that you Nora? Momentary confusion...boynton has taken the odd call before, but has never been quite so cornered. When a stranger calls and asks for boynton, we'll know that blogging addiction is in free fall.

sheep ship

I've been trying hard for days now to ignore the story of the Australian sheep stranded on a ship in the Middle East - it just sounds too depressing
begins Beth at fridaysixpm on the impasse threatening the billion dollar industry.
boynton has also been avoiding this one - yes, too depressing, too big, too wrong. But uneasy indifference catches up -as the sheep ship floats like a ghost ship in obscure waters - if the best way to describe it is as a feedlot on the ocean (SMH) there is something fundamentally wrong.
"The live export food trade treats animals inhumanely," the RSPCA's national president, Hugh Wirth, says. "Excessive journey times, poor husbandry conditions and inherently cruel slaughter and transport are evident in the importing countries." The RSPCA argues for a carcass-only trade.

Comments: sheep ship

This issue has been a source of controversy in certain circles for a long time. It is something to do with the Muslim religion; they have to have their sheep slaughtered in a certain way, and there's not enough slaughterman in Australia qualified to do it.

Having worked in this industry long ago, I know the realities all too well. It is not a memory I'm keen to revisit.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 26, 2003 11:45 AM

There's gotta be a manual for this: Sheep Husbandry 21C. (Start with introductions then some informal games etc.)

Do sheep ships ever inexplicably veer of course in pursuit of other sheep ships?

(Boom boom.)

Better sheep than soldiers? (W: "We fully intend these tough Australian sheep to play a leading role in the post war reconstruction.")

John Howard: consumate Australian mutton?

Is there much of a qualitative (or quatitative) difference between the inhabitants of the Cormo Express and Fairstar the Fun Ship? (Apologies to Richard Branson.)

(A bit of irony in the name of this stricken vessel. Even more if it was the Corma Express.)

Posted by Jim at September 26, 2003 04:39 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

big screen

What good is it? asks Steven W Hill of his screen captures of movie title screens... and answers: Whatever use you put it to!
(via fiendish is the word)

boynton is sure she could think of a few ways to work these titles seamlessly into posts -
as subliminal (oblique) messages about her mystery life...
or even as an alternative blog title or an oblique on hiatus notification... big screen emoticons ....We'll work on it.

Comments: big screen

Sounds like you've been doing some 'manhunting' of your own. Watch out for South African ex-security service operatives, that's all I'm saying..
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 25, 2003 10:25 AM

No - I just liked the film ;)
I've read of this strange SA saga elsewhere -rather disturbing.
Good rule of thumb: avoid all types of SA men in general...
Posted by boynton at September 25, 2003 10:45 AM

You mean, South African men, not South Australian men....
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 26, 2003 12:09 AM

Nah - I was having a go at crow-eaters as well there, scott- but whoops - forgot the ;)

I notice that ;) is becoming as constant as a fullstop round these parts.
It's almost an ironic tic. ;)
Posted by boynton at September 26, 2003 12:31 AM


A shoe tree starts with one dreamer, tossing his or her footwear-of-old high into the sky, to catch on an out-of-reach branch. It usually end there, unseen and neglected by others. But on rare occasions, that first pair of shoes triggers a shoe tossing cascade Shoe trees (via exclamation mark)

open brackets' forsaken footwear (via invisible shoebox)

Seth's Ugly Shoes (via J walk)

Comments: shoes

There's got to be a theme in that somewhere.

What about all of the fungus infesting those roadside trees? How do the birds cope with an alien entanglement of rubber and lace? Could Nike be a nest for fledglings, or Rebok a roost for migrators?

But maybe it can all be explained in terms of superfluousness? "I've got ANOTHER one!" (screamed at the F100 driver who objected with his eyes). Or what about public adornment - pure and simple? "The porcelain cats are boxed up in the garage!" (screamed at the F100 driver who objected with his feet).

I once saw a whale composed of thongs and other bits of marine flotsam and jetsam. Does this compare? Perhaps it's too "preconceived". Who knows what a shoe tree was intended to be before the first, promiseful, sling.

Drunk people can vent a surprising amount of agression by hurling shoes. The more if it's only one shoe. There's something satisfying about the wanton asymmetry of it, and feeling a bit shorter on one side.
Posted by Jim at September 25, 2003 11:06 AM

hey jim - love the sound of this whale - and it does compare. The end cycle of forsaken sandals of summer...whale thongs... I guess thongs and such refuse are less the discarded and more the lost - unless there are people who throw rubber footwear into the ocean, skipping sandals gone wrong.
And I imagine such sport as shoe hurling would indeed vent anger - even sober anger. Wanton sports. I suspect all sports start wanton before they turn professional.
Posted by boynton at September 25, 2003 11:28 AM

Yes, I like the idea that unprofessional sport is wanton. It makes me wonder how much of the popular springtime sport of castle raiding in medieval times was wanton. Spirited highlanders charging down grassy embankments, shouting random obscenties towards random adversaries. Good, heart-warming history. Wanton history?

Posted by Jim at September 25, 2003 02:04 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


wurst Gallery sent Russian dolls to 19 artists (via Sugar 'n Spicy)

A set of Nesting dolls or Matryoshka was one of those things that boynton silently coveted as a child. Only she never let on. Being the youngest of six kids there may have seemed some direct analogy in the hierarchy - now the reductive nesting routine seems more generally analogous.

In the meantime, a few more googled examples:
Autumn hunt with borzois
Russian presidents
The Cuban Missile Crisis

Comments: nesting

I see Stalin has been tactfully omitted from the collection...of Russian Presidents
Posted by Nora at September 23, 2003 02:33 PM

Oh...just don't mention the uncle joe...?
Posted by boynton at September 23, 2003 02:38 PM

No Clinton White House? I saw those on sale in New York ages ago.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at September 24, 2003 02:46 AM

the mind matryoshkas...

possibly a new competition for Potemkin to run?
Top Ten Oz bungles best suited to a set of nesting dolls. And why.
Posted by boynton at September 24, 2003 10:09 AM

That sounds more like a job for people with Photoshopping skills.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at September 24, 2003 06:09 PM

Why not introduce some of these images (eg. autumn hunt with borzois)into the main text?
Shift to an image-text blog.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 25, 2003 09:21 AM

I'd love to - but just not sure if Mr Wickstein's Uber largesse extends to bulko image hosting!...
Perhaps in the future if and when I bite the bullet and move to my own domain, I'll start including pics.
I admire the shift in this direction that has occurred with Junk For Code - and the image based blogs you have been uncovering for us. Inspiring.
Posted by boynton at September 25, 2003 10:22 AM

There's still room to move in the Ubersportingpundit domain. If you want to include images, you are more then welcome to.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 25, 2003 10:27 AM

Monday, September 22, 2003

beware of the dog might fall in love (via Plep)

His dog is fat with kissingTram spark

Comments: beware of dog

Wow. Goodish bowzers.
Posted by .es at September 23, 2003 11:33 AM

yes .es the paws cause wows...
(& howdy btw)
Posted by boynton at September 23, 2003 12:38 PM

slow news

One-eyed roo Saves Man
A Moe emu farmer was rescued after a kangaroo led his wife to find him unconscious under a damaged tree yesterday.

Something also slightly disturbing within this uplifting tale of animal rescue, the mix of wild and farmed emblematic fauna...
The earlier story of another aussie icon animal resue was less so. Although boynton wouldn't like to vouch for the resident blue heeler's capability or inclination to rescue her hapless custodian in the wild. Possum watch would take precedence over boynton watch.

Comments: slow news

There's a good dose of Bull Terrrier in that-there-hound!
Posted by Nora at September 23, 2003 02:40 PM

yep she does look more bullie than bluey
IM Hounded O
Posted by boynton at September 23, 2003 06:01 PM

Saturday, September 20, 2003

kids today

boynton was soaking up the glorious Spring sunshine in the back yard this afternoon - noticing the sky-writing etching some white noise into the blue, when the doorbell rang. Half expecting a friend, boynton was surprised to see a little girl on the other side of the gate. Half expecting the Primary School sponsorship spiel of walkathon or readathon or giant chocolate frogs, she was almost half heading into the house for some gold coins when the girl launched into her real spiel.
We're offering you the new Optus at Home package...
(this is bizarre) No no no ... We're quite happy with what we've got thanks...
Can I ask you why?
(this is so bizarre to be talking business with a spruiking child on a saturday that boynton's absurd reflex kicked in and she almost ran with it)
We're quite happy with what we've got, thanks...
And the little girl with a clipboard disappeared down the street. a canine chorus in her wake.

Comments: kids today

Eesh. We've had our door knocked on by people trying to sell us stuff, but never have the phone companies used children to shill their wares to us.

Have you ever had Jehovah's Witnesses knock on your door at 9.30 on a Saturday morning to talk to you about invasion of privacy? THAT is the height of irony.
Posted by James Russell at September 20, 2003 07:20 PM

Ye gods. You seem to attract that sort of person though James. Is there some sort of Satanic ambiance emenating from your abode?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 21, 2003 11:00 AM

yeah - I hope it's not the start of a new trend...where will it all end...babies babbling?
If they tried a door-to-door labrador of course they might have more luck with me.
And James we used to get the JWs on Christmas morning. Just another day for them apparently.
Posted by boynton at September 21, 2003 11:16 AM

Christmas morning means it is just one more sleep to the Boxing Day Test!

Might even head to Melbourne for that one. Tis possible.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 21, 2003 01:42 PM

I once had a hippy come to my front door in Struggletown and ask if I wanted to subscribe to Foxtel. I was so surprised that a hippy would be selling subscriptions to evil multinationals that I said yes. He nearly fell over. He didn't know how to fill in the forms.
Posted by Cable Hippy at September 21, 2003 04:30 PM


Forgive the show of #FF0033 above. It clashes with the old HaloScan #0099CC badly. It's only a temporary indulgence as the Swans head into tonight's Preliminary. boynton doesn't even quite know why she's doing it - it's a kind of throwback thing, an old habit of an old religion - when such rituals are secular and no longer quite the primal rite they were, from the heart. It is the dumb gesture of a lost tribe - the floggers in the window, the mascot on the roof, the Sun masthead fresh from the milk-bar on the front door. It's the beanie on the head in Safeway, the scarf out the car window at the lights. It's for South- and it will quietly revert to #666 in due course.

Comments: colours

What letters are pink?
Posted by Curious at September 21, 2003 04:24 PM

from memory some combo of F and C. But I'll just stick to the white for now, T... FFFFFF
Posted by boynton at September 22, 2003 12:49 PM

Who are the Lions?
the ones with the flowing manes?
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 25, 2003 09:18 AM

Could well be, Gary.
It's the Fitzroy in Brisbane I follow (This weekend)- as a fellow lowly club that was sent north. Plus it's impossible, despite what Steve Bracks may imagine, for most Vics to barrack for Collingwood unless one had the misfortune to be born with the affliction - or to have picked it up along the way. ;)
Posted by boynton at September 25, 2003 10:16 AM

Friday, September 19, 2003


A series of drawings of popular cultural events in the style of a computer game.
(via fimoculous)... Sims Sound of Music alongside sims asassinations.

tenuous link (or jarring jolt) here with Chris Coutts' Hamlet in txt from Tales for the L33T - suggested some time ago by Gummo but which only now seems to have found a window.

from Hamlet: Adaptations in Literature, Music, Art - boynton found the lyrics to the three minute Hamlet - (Adam McNaughton's Oor Hamlet) which is sung to this tune.

a gallery of women who have played Hamlet (see Tradition of female hamlets)
(via Quiddity)

and a gallery of absinthe artifacts (via exclamation mark) who links to this canine pic.
(This may be the scene tomorrow night here if the red-and-the-white team prevail - or even if they lose. boynton and the Black Douglas to hit the absinthe.)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

two tens

Top 10 Dangers of Living in the Blog Space (via Jerz's Literacy Weblog)

Electric Venom's 10 Things I've learned about Blogging (via J Walk)

Comments: two tens

I'm definitely sensing addiction "issues" Boynton - incidently I'm waiting for clown porn to make an appearance?
Posted by Nora at September 18, 2003 09:35 PM

so when are you starting up your blog, Nora ;)
Posted by boynton at September 18, 2003 09:42 PM


with which book you can select the mood and style of your books (via Follow Me Here)
Feeling fairly average today boynton played it safe and middling. But it would be good to see this concept applied to the blogosphere. Which blog would be a handy way to set the beauty, humour and gentleness levels on days when you feel midway ordinary.

Comments: moody

Four To Score....

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter with difference. Scatty, scared of guns, prone to bizarre accidents, she still manages to get her man. A likeable character women can identify with and men will fantasise about! Her family are a joy.
Posted by Tony.T at September 19, 2003 01:28 PM

that's some bounty.

Is Stephanie any relation to Professor Plum - (mood = daggers in the conservatory)?
Posted by boynton at September 19, 2003 01:47 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

more b

and how could miss b go past the swarm of b's in linkage at Fragments
(even though b is so last week y'know) ;)

yeah yeah yeah

a beatle collectible to covet. From rarebeatles (via exclamation mark)
boynton did ok in this beatles quiz, but then if you're a beatletragic anything less than 100% means you flip your wig
and George's guitar is predictably collectible
but if you haven't got the $A661,719 you could always just sit around perfecting your guitar noises. (via the freshly returned fiendish is the word)

Comments: yeah yeah yeah

13/15 - Let it Be. You are a Fab Four nut. But maybe it's time to put your Beatles wig back in the attic and stop parading in front of the mirror.

Didn't know John Lennon first called them The Beetles (TT - Pete Best, a guess) and I didn't know Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever was the group's only single between 1963 and 1969 that failed to reach the top of the charts (TT - The Ballad Of John & Yoko)
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 01:49 PM

"prdeictablycollectible" That's a long word.
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 01:50 PM

can't believe you beat me on the beatles, you being such a fab four nut.
Now I'm really flippin' my wig.
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 01:54 PM

and 2) it was briefly. Was half tempted to leave such a nice compound word, but changed it back.
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 01:56 PM

"You scored 14 out of a possible 15
Yeah, yeah, yeah! A great score. You are a Beatlemaniac who probably files those oh-so-essential Ringo solo albums in alphabetical order."
Posted by Nora at September 17, 2003 02:16 PM

"Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown"...
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 02:22 PM

There are many things in life confusing
like higher scores in golf,
yet losing
but the thing that really blows my wig
is why hamburgers got no pig
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 04:57 PM

as a vegetarian aspirational
(out of breath atop the hill)
at a boynton picnic gig
the hamper's also got no pig
Posted by boynton at September 18, 2003 01:56 PM


on this day
some time ago
william carlos williams
was born

Comments: today

AND also on this day some little time ago Boynton, your alter-ego ****** ********** ******** was born...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!
Posted by Nora at September 17, 2003 01:39 PM

cheersthanksalot Nora
you don't count the asterisks
just like you don't count the candles ;)
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 01:44 PM

Happy Birthday boynton!!!
Posted by Gerard at September 18, 2003 02:51 PM

Thank you!!!
I've been giving your birthday ode of a few days ago some mileage.
We Virgos have to stick together you know ;)
Posted by boynton at September 18, 2003 03:02 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


There are a range of devices to keep the birds at bay. To keep birds
off your roof
off your boat
off your grapes
off hard to protect areas

If birds aren't deceived by an inflatable owl or a fake snake there's always the traditional human form of scarecrow. These are pretty scary:
Charles and Camilla
or perhaps the scariest figure possible: the Barrister

boynton is rather taken with this scarey man
This man-sized inflatable scarecrow, which operates electronically and automatically, combines sudden movement as it inflates rapidly, with a siren-like noise, a bird phobic colour and on some models, illumination at night...His body is tough....he is completely portable... (and) he is totally weatherproof...
(see the testimonials: Scarey Man had paid for himself within the first week)

Comments: scarecrow

Scary man: woo-hoo!!
Posted by Nora at September 16, 2003 02:13 PM

Yes and he's only $1240.00 (AUD - GST Inc.)

Warning: this is NOT a hint for someone's birthday. ;)
Posted by boynton at September 16, 2003 02:21 PM

I think one modelled on Jeff Kennett would be particularly effective. I'd pay more for that.
Posted by phlip at September 16, 2003 03:32 PM the meantime, will this do?
Posted by boynton at September 16, 2003 04:00 PM

Coincidentally, I saw my first fake owls on boats just this weekend, as I strolled around Albert Park lake. They were initially very convincing, when spied out of the corner of your eye, but then rapidly became very unconvincing, when stared at, hard.
I have a fondness for spikes on the top of sculptures, my personal favourite example being Bourke and Wills on the corner of Swanston and Collins.
A finer set of head spikes you will never see, I believe.
Posted by mcb at September 16, 2003 04:45 PM

I wonder if the vision of birds is equal to a (human) out-of-the-corner-eye-spy ? I suspect it would have to be more precise than that - which makes me think they aren't long fooled by such fakery but perhaps are repelled by the aesthetics? ;)
And if it wasn't drizzling mcb I'd be on the bus pronto to inspect these intriguing spikes you mention first hand.
Posted by boynton at September 16, 2003 04:51 PM

A tew years ago we installed a system of hooters on a wool shed in Laverton. Whenever it sensed birds on the roof it set of this massive siren. Anyone living within cooey would have thought there was an air-raid. In the end the birds ignored it.
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 08:44 AM

The roof that cried woo.
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 08:44 AM

Ringo's smoking. I notice these things.

The barrister's Tedpole Of The Bailey.
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 08:46 AM

the roof that cried Oy! ?

the ploy that cried roolf ?
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 10:19 AM

Jewish roof was it?
Posted by Tony.T at September 17, 2003 12:06 PM

more your oldtime aussie "oy" in the 'oh what a lovely pie m'boys' tradition...
(that'd be 4 and 20 blackbirds scared off a roof of course)
Posted by boynton at September 17, 2003 12:35 PM

Monday, September 15, 2003


boynton recently received a most generous gift from trivia team-mates Averil and Ross - The Simpson & Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia a beautiful book with 132 colour plates and 1000 b/w illustrations. We had talked about learning names, and this earlier post (which in turn was inspired by Fred at Fragments from Floyd) and so now Averil has equipped boynton the beginner or common ornithologist with a guidebook - an "unrivalled companion". (She'd better not just look at the pictures like she does with the Melways)
When you see a bird, any bird, it is going about one aspect of its day, its year, its life. So for that matter are you.
The first bird she looked up was the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
When boynton lived deep in "magpie" territory she got to know a group of maggies up at the oval where she'd throw the frisbee to her dog. This group seemed to endure and were never worried by dogs, kids or cars. Their habitat was relatively safe, their open grazing conducted on quiet parkland, and not in the precarious plantation of a highway. She was watching a new group over here near the bus stop recently, and a few days later saw one of them had been killed. Another scanned the dead black and white form from the top of a power pole.
Being a fan of their carolling, and having never been swooped, boynton can't understand the low mapgie tolerance or paranoia. Such behaviour seems only reasonable:
If magpies are teased or feel threatened while nesting (typically in August-September in southern Australia), they will 'swoop' at their aggressor with their claws extended in an attempt to drive them away. This behaviour has led some people to see magpies as dangerous birds, but they are merely attempting to defend themselves.
And she has read of magpies remembering :
Interestingly, most magpies which attack pedestrians attack the same few individuals over and over again. If they attack others, it’s probably a case of mistaken identity, says Dr Jones. He believes such magpies may have had an early traumatic experience – perhaps someone who looked like these people had harmed the magpies chicks, or even 'rescued' a fledgling, something the parent mistook as predation.

There are some rather grim hospital descriptions of Injuries Involving Magpies
in this Injury Surveillance Information System (ISIS) in which a MAGPIE was coded as being a factor in causing an injury.

Riding bike home, collided with a tree after being swooped by magpie. Sprain or strain, Ankle, Treated, no referral
Being chased by irate magpie while horseriding. Fell; landed on ground.Fracture. Femur.. Admitted
Nursing and patting magpie magpie poked beak in eye trying to get tear. Superficial abrasion
Just got off bus, attacked by magpie. Puncture. Skull vault

but over in NZ - the balance sheet is clearly spiked the other way. It would appear that some authorities regard the introduced birds as a pest and provide gruesome info and methods on their eradication These include using distress tapes as a decoy.
For shooting to be most effective, also use a Magpie Distress Calling Tape. This is a recording of actual magpies in distress and when played will attract magpies from up to one kilometre away. This method should be used sparingly however as surviving birds quickly become gun-shy and wary of distress tapes.
Place the tape player in an open area near the magpies preferred perching trees and within shooting range of cover

In the meantime, some local advice on Living with magpies And hopefully one day boynton will be able to refer to the Latin names index first before checking into the Common names index in the most comprehensive one-volume book of (oz ornithological) identification.

Comments: maggies

Interesting, Boynton. It is appropriate to get a little interested in magpies at this time of year. The paper was full of stories of a bunch of lions being attacked by magpies near the city the weekend before last. The lions were eventually driven off by the magpies after relentlessly barraging them for over two hours. Those same lions are considering another foray, but first need to overcome a particularly aggressive group of swans (botanical name???) who would apparently like the same opportunity at the magpies. Strange times, September.
Posted by Phlip at September 16, 2003 09:08 AM

NZ magpies are quite tough birds. I was driving through the Canterbury plains in my 2000 NZ tour and I hit a magpie at 80 KpH. I stopped to check that the car was okay, and to finish off the poor bird if it wasn't dead.

The car was ok (It was a hire car, hence my concern.) The bird was clearly stunned, but I looked at the magpie and while he/she was obviously crook, I couldn't observe any fatal damage. I nursed and patted it for five minutes, and my companion fed it some chips from the car. After that, the bird flew away with the rest of his/her flock, who had waited patiently to see that their friend was alright.

A very hardy bird, I must say.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 16, 2003 10:21 AM

Strange but exciting times indeed this September, Philip, that sees rare ornithological groupings.
Old time enthusiasts have been waiting since 1933 to see the Cygnus magnificus - and there are possibly more melburnians wanting to see that phenomenon occur than there are members of that mad magpie cult. Hopefully the tealed flock and even the lions will be marooned and it will be a feathered spectacle on the open ground of Jolimont.

Scott: Must have been something in the chups?
That's quite a story - glad it has a happy ending. A mutant "still-wung" variety maybe?
Posted by boynton at September 16, 2003 12:32 PM

cygnus magnificus vs gymnorhina tibicen would indeed be a fitting finale, and we would look forward to seeing the feathers fly.
Posted by phlip at September 16, 2003 03:30 PM

Saturday, September 13, 2003


boynton posted the two 9/11 stories on 9/12 (or 12/9 as we Australians would say). Two years ago the news actually broke here at the end of 11 and boynton like many others watched TV well into 12. Boynton's father is someone who now hears references to his abbreviated birthday on the air waves every other day - and boynton noticed a forum set up for this group. Meanwhile 12/9 is the birthday of Michael Ondaatje - and although it's yesterday already this was a good post on Today in Literature, with its focus on one of boynton's favourites:
(Running In The Family) a blend of forms—poetry, verbatim tape recordings from family members, reconstructions, journal entries, etc. The result is a biographical "gesture" with a "fictional air," for which Ondaatje apologizes to his relatives, reminding them "that in Sri Lanka a well-told lie is worth a thousand facts."


Another legendary villain of Australian children's literature was the Big Bad Banksia Man that scared the Gumnut babies of May Gibbs. Again, boynton was spared these botanical baddies, but heard stories. Trying to track down some pictures she found these Original drawings and text from her Gum Nut Babies booklet (circa 1915) . No baddies, but many lovely pages.


A woman friend, a well known novelist, told me recently that she was still having nightmares about the hobyahs forty five years after primary school. I was glad to hear this because variations on the hobyahs, some tribe or platoon of mysterious unspecified enemies, invade my dreams about once a week.

I think Jung would have plenty to say about the hobyahs. Perhaps after all these years they're embedded in the collective unconsciousness of the nation.

Indeed, I wonder whether it's the ingrained fear of hobyahs in Australians over forty that has given rise to some recent unseemly political movements and government decisions.
Robert Drewe Walking Ella Box Press 1998 p 75.

boynton was born too late to learn to read with the Victorian Readers and the dreaded hobyahs, but has heard the stories. This was a lucky escape from more neurotic fodder. Peter and the Wolf was bad enough.

Comments: hobyahs

Oooh - a chorus of horns is enough to stand my hair on end - imagine what Prokofiev would have made of the hobyahs
Posted by Nora at September 15, 2003 11:20 PM

Nah - Prok. and hobyahs - too awful to contemplate.
Same goes for Saint-Saens - not to mention Bernard Herrmann.
Posted by boynton at September 16, 2003 01:19 PM

Friday, September 12, 2003

are you

Are you a neocon? (via Making Light)

Are you an intellectual?

do you know your bananas?

Comments: are you?

Posted by wen at September 12, 2003 09:06 PM

To echo my one and only line in theatre - a Fifth Grade play called The Crimson Stain - "Is this Boynton's blog?". Anyhoo...

1) Realist.

2) I couldn't find my score.

3) 4 bananas.
Posted by Tony.T at September 13, 2003 12:09 AM

liberal inter-lectual underripe green banana
Posted by Nora at September 13, 2003 12:56 AM

I took the intellectual quiz.

Forget it. You are not an intellectual. In fact, you wouldn't understand an intellectual concept if it landed in your copy of Heat and tried to kill you. You may be blessed but it's not with brains.

They are just jealous of my 8" err nevermind...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 13, 2003 12:58 AM

Are you thinking what I'm thinking, B52?
Posted by boynton at September 13, 2003 10:38 AM


Two harrowing, profound reads on 9/11

The Falling Man by Tom Junod
Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day...
The photograph functioned as a study of doomed verticality, a fantasia of straight lines, with a human being slivered at the center, like a spike. In truth, however, the Falling Man fell with neither the precision of an arrow nor the grace of an Olympic diver...

(via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

Surviving the Fall: One Architect's Survival Story
I am not a writer, I am an architect who was on the 82nd floor of Tower One when the first plane hit the Trade Center. I wrote the attached at the urging of a trauma counselor who advised survivors in my department. The latter part was written in attempt to clear my head so I could sleep. Laurie Balbo.
(via things)

Thursday, September 11, 2003


boynton's been blogging blue heeler behaving badly, but by and by bluey’s behaving better. Bounces briskly after ball but brings it back. Bravo. Beholds barking beasts behind brick bungalows - but doesn't bite bystanders (bronte, breeches, boynton) Breakthrough. Bedded beside biscuits but doesn't binge. Bingo. Balefully badgers birds but doesn't bag. Brilliant.
No brainless blind bolting beyond boynton’s blue bluster, nor burlesque brouhaha broadcast beyond Boroondara’s bourgeois boundaries.
Beyond boisterousness, beyond bullying, beyond blame. Becoming bonded.
Basically boynton's belatedly becoming boss... because bluffing boynton brandishes birch.


Comments: birch

Boy oh boy. Blog on!!
Posted by Nora at September 11, 2003 10:51 PM

but...still not quite sure if it comes in at 90%? My maths isn't quite up to such complex word counts.
Posted by b at September 12, 2003 09:34 AM

Bloody hell!
Posted by Tony.T at September 12, 2003 11:28 AM

that was one of a few choice words I avoided using
Posted by b at September 12, 2003 12:33 PM

Posted by Gianna at September 15, 2003 08:46 PM

Cor - I didn't half need a good solid heritage word like that then, G.
Posted by b at September 15, 2003 11:12 PM


a recent commenter and fellow collector informs boynton that he has 35 copies of the Melways (beloved Melbourne street directory) in his collection, which is quite inspiring. She remembered seeing a link somewhere recently (Hot Buttered?) to a UK road site - but can't track it down. However she thinks it was a link to this wonderful site. CBRD (Chris's British Road Directory) is a sort of fan site dedicated to the entire road network of mainland Britain.
A recent update is Trent Thomson's page on Australian roads and signage.
The gallery pages are great (eg Centre of Kettlewell) and as a retro fiend boynton especially likes the scanned pages from a 1953 Odhams Road Atlas of Great Britain.

There is much good reading on maps and place over at the last Ecotone which boynton has only now caught up with. All of them are great and will be revisited but boynton links to this one because it is a dog's eye post on maps and territory. Beautiful.

Comments: maps

Yes, that was me who linked to the CBRD site. A splendidly eccentric thing it is.
Posted by James Russell at September 11, 2003 05:49 PM

Sorry James, thought so - I tried several searches of HBD (and in the process all of us at UT actually!) but couldn't find it. Great link.
Posted by boynton at September 11, 2003 06:21 PM

u turn

just when boynton was about to post a (slow off the mark) lament of the passing of one of the best, happily J walk has decided to keep blogging after all. As well as suddenly losing a daily dose of quality linkage, often writing related, the news that one of your favourites is departing causes a slight sense of panic about one's own blogging. Is it woth it?
When boynton read the explanation:
Yesterday, I was mowing the lawn and decided to call it quits. No real reason. I think it's just time to move on to something else (but I have no idea what that something else is).
she could relate (even though she doesn't mow). She would expect the decision to suddenly occur to her in a similar moment of mundane activity, the way big ideas often do.
In the meantime however, we can breathe easy and celebrate the continuation of a great blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get . (Bureau of Meteorology)

Boynton heard a sceptical Jon Faine on ABC local radio this morning giving the guy from the Weather Bureau a hard time. He simply refused to believe the forecast of afternoon showers, given the hard evidence of bright blue morning sunshine. He chuckled as the weather man stuck to the script, almost conceding that it defied sense. But we Melburnians know there is never much sense to weather in spring, and there is nothing too trustworthy in even the bluest of skies. It's a trick. It's a front. It's raining.

If a dog pulls his feet up high while walking,
A change in the weather is coming

one of the alternative ways to predict weather listed at Weather folklore

Ants are very busy, gnats bite; Crickets are lively, spiders leave their nest; And flies gather in houses before a rain.

And boynton goes crazy and snaps at the canines gathering before a rain, before leaving the house where the footpaths appear rusty and ponds offend and the flowers are unusually perceptible and the birds fly low and the bubbles rise and the blue heeler dog pulls her feet up high and bites in the air before a rain before rain.

Comments: raine

It was beautiful on the way to work - about lunch time - then when I went outside a couple hours later it was raining. Strange.
Posted by Tony.T at September 10, 2003 06:20 PM

but was the cricket lively?
Posted by boynton at September 10, 2003 06:31 PM

My daughter's fractured arm (five years ago now) aches before it rains. The dog (a 10 year old Shepherd puppy) panics way before any storm is evident. Very useful weather vanes.
Posted by wen at September 10, 2003 09:07 PM

Your poor daughter...though I guess it could be quite useful at times.
Whe I was growing up, one of my sisters used to go round the house saying "I can feel it in my bones" - not about the weather but more as a general portent of doom. (And you believed her)

And I may have to observe the dogs more closely from now on- to detect any differences in panic - from default to storm.
Posted by boynton at September 11, 2003 12:16 PM

Cricket was off. Pitch wet.
Posted by Tony.T at September 12, 2003 11:29 AM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

custom text

Of course boynton could have employed this engine to have Einstein weigh in on the big question. Instead, as bloggers do, she just got him to write this. (via J walk)

(update: after a suggestion from Wen - this was the question that Einstein solved)

Comments: custom text

but what question is 'Boynton' the answer to?
Posted by wen at September 9, 2003 03:34 PM


Hmm I'll just be recycling my cryptic clue from a week ago, wen, (version 1.2) for starters:

"The initial direction separating the child from his imperial capacity?

Posted by boynton at September 9, 2003 03:42 PM

dead rubber

After perfunctorily posting a couple of chance Coleridge's quotes on atheism to secure some big points in the blog game, late last night boynton came across this post at the Cassandra pages. (via One Pot Meal)
Second in a 3 part series on Rozewicz and God, the poem "Without" - last night seemed to be the last word on the big question, the essential ambivalence framed by the opening and closing stanzas:

the greatest events
in man’s life
are the birth and death
of God...

life without god is possible
life without god is impossible

This is a great series of posts from a wonderful blog.

Comments: dead rubber

It's kind of post-post-modern, isn't it? There is no truth, but we know we need the truth. Argh.
Posted by wen at September 9, 2003 03:36 PM

I guess even such eternal ambivalence is not neutral. We all lean towards one side of the infinte equation - or one side of the "post".
Personally I believe the latter impossibility
is more compelling. Er - that is - a godlessness would be too impossible to endure.

(Having posted this comment - I realise that this is probably not the most authentic reading of the poem - and that I've chosen to latch on to any possibility of hope on offer in the last line.)

Posted by boynton at September 9, 2003 03:55 PM

Weird isn't it, how we come back to it 'knowingly' - having spent the last century so eagerly unshackling ourselves from the oppression of faith (bad sentence, but you know what I mean) - scientifically & philosophically - only to find that we're quite possibly spiritually 'hardwired' anyway.
Posted by wen at September 9, 2003 04:07 PM

Oh - surely that's why the last line's last - unless the translator stuffed up.
Posted by wen at September 9, 2003 04:08 PM

hope so - but then is it hope, or resignation?
Posted by boynton at September 9, 2003 04:18 PM

edgy charles

Welcome to the AT&T Natural Voices Text-to-Speech Engine demo! Here you have the opportunity to "test drive" what we believe is the most realistic, human-sounding synthetic speech system available today.

Test driving the voices - in particular taking Charles for a bit of a spin - boynton has to agree with bluejoh whose link carried the warning: Beware the voice of Charles
The rather neutral phrase "boynton likes this link from bluejoh" seemed to spark some unresolved issues for Charles - he fought to restrain emotion and maintain vocal equilibrium. Of course it could have been reflux. Or maybe he was reacting to boynton's driving.

Comments: edgy charles

Poor Charles. He is easily confused you know...
Posted by joh at September 9, 2003 09:16 PM

He knew how to pronounce "bluejoh" (albeit with great emotion) - a name which seemed to confuse Mike. So he gave it an extra syllable.
Posted by boynton at September 9, 2003 11:36 PM

Hmm. My infamy has obviously not yet spread to the US if even Mike can't pronounce my name!

Must work on that.
Posted by joh at September 11, 2003 06:53 AM

Monday, September 08, 2003

De är roligt!

stylish Swedish band pictures. (via Exclamation Mark)

Hand of Slick Faces...The Day of Juicy Beetle... Band of Brooding Park?...
band name generator (from a generator site via bifurcated rivets)

Comments: De är roligt!

They're turnips, not Swedes.
Posted by Tony.T at September 8, 2003 06:24 PM

Indeed De Ar...
(and as we know one glance at a turnip is sometimes enough)
Posted by boynton at September 8, 2003 06:51 PM

I don't know.
Posted by Tony.T at September 9, 2003 10:29 AM

I used "we" in the boynton inc. sense of the word
of course, T.
(In the "diet" sense of the word, actually.)
I was certainly casting no general nasturtiums on turnips. Or swedes for that matter.
Posted by boynton at September 9, 2003 10:56 AM


Were boynton still living in one of the many ancestral villages of her genealogy, she would like to befriend the Friends of Coleridge and attend a literary evening in Nether Stowey (at 8pm in the Church Centre Stable Loft) or a study weekend in Kilve. The Friends' Coleridge Bulletin has many interesting on-line articles, including one of particular interest to boynton as she rambled aimlessly seeking proof of the existence or otherwise of God. As you do.

Coleridge finds it inconceivable that the "accidental play of atoms" could create such "a polished and accurate Watch or Timepiece" as the universe. He claims that the absurdity of this notion caused the hylozoic atheists to bring in "plastic natures" to account for the organisation of atomic structure...

"But the unhappy man who has imbibed the detested System of Atheism in his Childhood or Youth, him pity him avoid. All the predisposing causes of Virtue are taken from him ___ nothing remains that can enlargen or soften. The intellectual Pleasures which substitute a efined Luxury of Feelings for the grossness of bodily Appetite, the emotions of heaven-directed Gratitude, the cheerings of death-deriding Hope, are all vanished."
Coleridge and Atheism in the 1790s
Michael Murphy

If further proof is required, boynton will summon some Frost at Midnight before heading out into this glorious spring sunshine.

"When talking of his radical years, Coleridge claims: "My head was with Spinoza, though my whole heart remained with Paul and John"

family tree

there are some of boynton's family in the distant genealogical sense of the word somewhere hidden in the old photos page at this site. Well - we share the same unusual surname and hence some connection, but boynton's paternal relatives actually lived around this village in Somerset. Seeing this picture of a current day Storgursey cornfield, boynton thinks that the her ancestor may have seen some similarities in the central Victorian landscape where he ended up via the Mount Alexander gold diggings. That English "leafy" tree could amost be a Gum in a dry summer antipodean paddock.
Perhaps some distant family members were involved in the Stogursey uprising of 1801. Genealogy is so often apocryphal or at least aspirational (boynton has heard the same stories as this unknown relative on another (welsh) side of the family) - and when she first read of Coleridge in Nether Stowey meeting up with the Wordsworths in Alfoxden, rambling within miles of this cluster of ancestral villages, boynton meandered down imaginary genealogical paths herself . Perhaps at the very least there were sightings.

Comments: family tree

That's funny looking corn they grow in Stogursey.
Posted by Nora at September 14, 2003 10:57 AM

Sunday, September 07, 2003

cheer cheer

boynton couldn't get up to Central Victoria for Father's Day today, but was there in spirit (watching the television) as across in Adelaide the Red and The White were triumphant over the tealed team that topped the home-and-away AFL ladder. Or to employ the correct terminology - South were sensational. It certainly was sensational barracking loudly in the loungeroom - terrorising the terrier who went out in sympathy and barked like a manic magpies supporter. After two terrible umpiring decisions at the end of the third term, boynton had to retreat for a quick hiatus into the kitchen and pretend to make tea, while recalling that old time South anxiety brew with a dash of defeatism. We were all well blooded in disappointment and wooden spoons. But South held on and boynton jumped up and down on the spot in warped joy - and imagines her father (and assorted siblings and clan members) did the same (figuratively at least) some distance away. Time to dust off the old beanie again
...You thought about it before the game, but it wasn't kind of realistic in your head Adam Goodes on victory interviewed shortly after the game...

Comments: cheer cheer

Go the Pinks!
Posted by Tony.T at September 7, 2003 11:54 PM

You can say Go Pinks but NEVER Go Swannies this side of the border.
Posted by boynton at September 8, 2003 01:00 PM

I can tell you that in my factory, the Crows contingient, (Of which I am President) were cheering the red and the white quite solidly.

Well done to South then :)
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 8, 2003 01:10 PM

You have to love the upset win.
And you have to hate the Power.
(and the two "C" teams etc)
And even as a heritage-VFL girl, I don't mind the Crows.
Posted by boynton at September 8, 2003 01:22 PM

spag classic

boynton was one of 20 odd females in a crowd of some 200 patrons watching
The bond, the ugly one, the bad one
last night at the glorious Astor.
Or was that El Bueno, el feo y el malo
The entangled story of Leone, always counted with a pulse signs and determined objective, its treatment to the scenes and the space, that extends or narrows based on its narrative utility and the personages, generally characters of existence felona and diffuse morality, to which it psychologically drills with masters and affection, without never losing a perspective flood of affection, realism and humanity
The director of Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo
Sergio Lion... has been without doubt the inventor beyond that the greater exponent of the "western to the Italian" , best known like "spaghetti-western" , kind sure between more imitates to you...
"Jan Kounen, for its feracious "Doberman" has declared: "my film of reference is"the bond, the ugly one, the bad one "of Sergio Lion, with its paradoxical amorality and its taste of the prank".

Having seen the sweeping cinematic spag classic on the big screen, boynton's got the big screen hangover - a headful of morricone. She's been googling for sound files, and found some here (see: fandome/CD collection/soundtracks).

Meanwhile the next time these guys play round the corner, she's there.

Comments: spag classic

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is my favourite chick-flick of all time.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at September 6, 2003 05:02 PM

Certainly beats the gratuitous gun-slinging and splatter of "The Sound Of Music"
Posted by boynton at September 6, 2003 05:28 PM


On the trail from Morricone, boynton found Scorelogue - a site once devoted to film music and from the archives found two lists.
20 Most Obvious Oscar Oversights
1. Ennio Morricone - Prince has an Oscar and the Maestro doesn't. Enough said.
and perhaps more controversially:
the Greatest 100 film scores of the 20th Century
Think of this as a time capsule, if you will, which symbolizes the significant accomplishments and influences of the film music age.
(boynton is pleased to see Max Steiner's GWTW score at number one. Last time she saw the film (at the Astor) she thought: this is actually a musical...
and Herrman comes in at number 2. )

Saturday, September 06, 2003

stick figure death

These spacefem death scenes are in the grisly genre that once occupied boynton and schoolfriends in maths classrooms. (Another good link from Fair and Balanced)

In blogger days, boynton used much the same tag describing these drawings
(She obvioulsy doodled through English too, and sometimes runs out of words)

Friday, September 05, 2003


boynton has not had much cause to invoke her namesake Boynton here. As readers may be aware, the cumbersome third person persona is nominal and boynton is closer to me than to any contrived casual connection with the minor role played by Erin O'Brien Moore in Our Little Girl. However boynton is going to hide behind Boynton for this kaleidoscopic task which requires one to list one's daily caloric intake. Boynton is far too conscious of food confessions to comply, but she is fairly confident that yesterday Boynton (the character that is, not the actress) might have put away the following:

half a grapefruit
black coffee
one egg
one whole wheat cracker with cheese
dry melba toast
plain tea with lemon
half a celery stick
2 bites carrot
3 almonds
one glance at a turnip
one shot whisky
2 peppermints
10 Hershey kisses
quick swig eau de cologne
Half a head of lettuce
a tomato
small amount devilled chicken
one eighth grapefruit
3 brownies
aluminum hydroxide, citric acid and sodium bicarbonate compound
2 glasses brandy

boynton hopes this list kindly provided by our proxy is not deemed ineligible.

Comments: diet

Of course not. It's excellent.
Posted by Kevan at September 5, 2003 11:19 PM

Boynton's the typical bathetic dieter.
Posted by wen at September 6, 2003 07:45 AM

I would imagine that the author of this weblog is more attatched to her bubbly then her brandy...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 6, 2003 09:08 AM

Thanks Kevan. I may call on the services of my proxy again should you devise any more super confessional tasks. Great game btw.

Hmm - 'Bathos' sounds like an old style antacid brand, wen, the sort I was searching for.

You're right, Scott, and I have been advised by an expert that this is "uncool". In a bid to make it less uncool I'm now reviving the old AIF term "Joy Water" instead of bubbly or Fizz.
Posted by boynton at September 6, 2003 12:12 PM

that as a music I will exempt it designer handbag from that entire clause. You can certainly purse find examples where a group split apart contact lens into factions or solo artists that coach handbag weren't as interesting, but this is replica handbag more infrequent as less relevant. There. ionic breeze Often when I'm walking around wearing handbag
Posted by GFTS/Massage chair at May 5, 2004 07:48 AM

more generators

The random name generator uses data from the US Census to randomly generate male and female names (via J Walk)

Instantaneously, the douglas clawed at the door--he knew his love awaited behind
Never considered.. . Never more has been growled

Poetry CreatOR 2

Wordcounter ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. Use this to see what words you overuse .
boynton thought douglas or at least dog might top the blog charts but boynton was wrong. It was third-person-syndrome boynton.

Hear this, O ye love-crazed Gittite, for you will become as popular as a boil on the king's backside
after her disappointing battle cry, boynton had better luck with the Biblical Curse generator(also via bifurcated rivets)

Thursday, September 04, 2003

long hand

Thinking up acronyms for blogstop has reminded boynton that there are certain writing tasks that she can only achieve in longhand. Puzzles and poetry. For both she instinctively seeks pen and paper - is it the urgency of transcription or the cogntive chaos that is only ordered by the physical process of hand writing?

This means boynton is probably more a Discoverer than a Maker, according to the framework outlined in this fascinating article:
The Phenomenology of Writing by Hand by Daniel Chandler...

In English we talk significantly of 'fleshing out' ideas in words. Metaphors of touch highlight the importance of the hand in a sensual way of knowing. We refer to 'grasping' an idea and 'groping for' words to express it, and the verb 'to comprehend' derives from prehendere - to seize...

Many Discoverers refer to the hand as having a primary role in their composition (the hand, of course, is significantly associated not only with verbal expression but with expressive gesture). Hemingway felt that his fingers did much of his thinking for him

Many writers have alluded to the importance of handwriting in their thinking and writing. Discoverers see their thinking itself as tactile. Fay Weldon declared: 'I choose to believe that there is some kind of mystic connection between the brain and the actual act of writing in longhand' (Hammond, 1984). And Graham Greene commented that 'Some authors type their works, but I cannot do that. Writing is tied up with the hand, almost with a special nerve' (Hammond, 1984). The anthropologist Jack Goody (1987) wrote that 'Nothing surpasses pen and paper as being "good to think with"'. And Rebecca West reported that she used a pencil 'When anything important important has to be written... I think your hand concentrates for you.' She also emphasized the importance of kinaesthetic memory: 'My memory is certainly in my hands. I can remember things only if I have a pencil and I can write with it and I can play with it'

As one sometimes does in this associative activity boynton became a bit distracted by the following extreme example:

One Discoverer goes so far as to suggest that he feels not simply that the pen is an extension of the hand, but that he himself becomes an extension of the pen: 'It is the act of writing that produces the discoveries... The more I trust my pen to do its own writing, the less the writing reflects what my mind thought I would write... Words flow from a pen, not from a mind... I become my pen; my entire organism becomes an extension of this writing instrument...

I become my pen... conjured up images of 50's surreal advertising -
boynton is sure there must be plenty of pen-anthropromorphism imagery out there, but the best she could find today was this Pen for Men
This is one of the hundreds of fabulous vintage pen images at Jim's pen site
More pen images and essays at Pen Hero
Also vintage advertisements and steel pen catalogs includes many good links including this gallery of vintage pencil adverts
Mongol Twice the wear and half the time out for trips to the sharpener
and this ad perhaps approaches pencil anthropromorphic I am a pencil -sometimes I snap: Templar Duro-Lead This can't happen!...

Comments: long hand

Yes, we do identify our ideas and our selves with our hands. And so now, as mine show signs of balking when I ask them to do the things they have done for decades without complaint, this is like losing a close friend, or having your kind old dog turn on you, suddenly.
Posted by fredf at September 5, 2003 06:15 AM

A couple of years ago I injured my thumb (opening a can of dog food, no less!) - and even this temporary loss of movement was quite confronting. That basic primate grasp is quite fundamental to so many menial tasks we take for granted. And that's a striking analogy of betrayal, Fred. I think my knees may be starting to turn on me, but luckily my old labrador remains benign!
Posted by boynton at September 5, 2003 12:18 PM

broken lives

Boynton's casual blogging on the Shark Net received a comment from Estelle Blackburn, who alerts us to her book investigating the serial killings of Eric Cooke. The publication of Broken Lives led to the exoneration of John Button, falsely accused of one of the murders. Blackburn received a Walkley Award for Journalism for her work.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

vintage postcards

yes indeed, there are many visual delights to browse at leisure (leisurely here on vintage modem) at Vintage Postcards. (via Exclamation Mark) Some favourites to date:
Rexie. The Sensational High Diver
Ideal for the Nerves
Table Tennis Lovers
Tennis Mountvernon 1908
Megner Keeps Dog on Good Shoes
Oh You Cranberries
Dali's "Senile melancholy of dogs like a dizzy ski-glide."
The happiness. Attached a straw hat and feather.
the girl with glasses

and one to keep in mind for when we depart the blogosphere

Comments: vintage postcards

I never thought of riding a grasshopper.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 4, 2003 11:23 AM

Really? Not even as a way home from the cricket?
Posted by boynton at September 4, 2003 04:00 PM

hahaha gold! (and priced appropriately) Love the Table Tennis Lovers in particular.
Posted by Declan at September 4, 2003 11:36 PM

Yeah the table tennis lovers are my fave too - and $US40 is getting quite steep but I'd be happy to add it to my basket.
Should such a basket exist.
Posted by boynton at September 4, 2003 11:53 PM

I am quite fond of the departing friend, and envy the rider. I only wonder where they were off to, as I have not seen them since.
Posted by .es at September 5, 2003 08:04 AM

Touche! Madame B is in fine form I see...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 5, 2003 09:57 AM

cheers Monsieur W

.es - I wonder too. I'm hoping they land in green pastures.
Posted by boynton at September 5, 2003 12:02 PM

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

drewe dogs

After watching The Shark Net etc, boynton casually discovered an unread Robert Drewe book lying beside her bed - Walking Ella - a dog day dossier - how on earth could have she let this go unread for so long!
This is the blurb on the back cover "It occurs to me that it might be cathartic to write a dog-walker's journal: the true, unsentimetal ruminations of a dog walker with things on his mind more important than dogs..."
only a short way in but loving the observations of assimilating the challenging dog into one's daily ramble. The ruminations on ears are pertinent:

"Ella works on the kids' rule of dogs; floppy means stupid, pointy means bite"

Until recently boynton only ever knew the floppy eared - noble - labradors,
several of whom broke this rule meaning both clever and bite, but floppy ears are certainly less stressful to be around. Flo's pointy ears only add to her always on personality. A Jack Russell hovers somewhere between the two - and one of Bronte's is usually cocked - the other mini fake floppy ear belies her non-relaxed state. She's merely masquerading as a labrador.
Walking Ella is illustrated with general doodles of the writerly process and thurbered dogs.

"As a compulsive lifetime doodler myself (dogs and fish mostly, plus the occasional hippo, cat anbd tycoon-with-cigar), I'm interested but not surprised that Thurber settled on a floppy-eared hound rather than a pointy-eared dog."

"Hounds are more "doodlable". They don't take any emotional energy away from the doodler. If you doodle a pointy-eared dog you right away start thinking about teeth and a snarling expression. You're soon thinking about adding one of those tough, spiked-studded dog collars. Next thing you're doing a drawing".

Once a compulsive daily sketcher, boynton has been eyeing off Flo's ears lately wanting to commit them to paper. Doug's beautiful floppy ears are wonderful drawing fodder, but alas, a black labrador is harder to paint than a piebald Jack or a mottled bluey.

Comments: drewe dogs

Casually discovered an unread book by your bed?

The mind boggles :O
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 3, 2003 01:02 PM

oh dear - sprung by inneuendo cop again? ;)

Absoloutely true btw - I have a pile of books sitting there to make me feel less illiterate, to remind me of a former pastime, and I forget sometimes what is there. Shelved, vertically.
I bought the book in early May and forgot about it, and just happened to "casually" (is this the bad word?) see it the other day within the stockpile.
Alas, there is little method in my reading madness at the moment.
Posted by boynton at September 3, 2003 01:15 PM

You do have your 'casual' moments...

I always have a booke beside my bed, but it's whatever I'm reading. I like to have a half hour read with my milo last thing at night.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 4, 2003 11:25 AM