Saturday, November 29, 2003


I think I'm possibly more tree frog than anything else.

Comments: googlechase

Posted by Duckee at November 29, 2003 04:41 PM

Tree frog Boynton ... an anagram forgotten by Nero
Posted by Sedgwick at November 29, 2003 04:44 PM

Workin' beautifully, Sedge.
Posted by Tony.T at November 29, 2003 05:23 PM

Be ogre, front Tony.
Posted by boynton at November 29, 2003 05:43 PM

I identify with the ducks myself.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 30, 2003 12:21 PM

surely you're a bit of a goose too sometimes? i know i am.
Posted by Gianna at November 30, 2003 09:27 PM

Only the parson knows.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 30, 2003 10:59 PM

yes I'm so much the goose that it was a bit too non-specific.
Posted by boynton at December 1, 2003 12:39 PM


Kenneth Koch's Permanently at fait accompli

fast version of fox in sox (via sarcasmo)

Comments: verses

Hey... someone else posts on a Saturday. It can be the best time..
Posted by David at November 29, 2003 03:04 PM

I agree - and also for reading.
especially when it's very warm to hot outside...
Posted by boynton at November 29, 2003 05:45 PM

After having been to Moonee Valley today, I now realise I should have stayed home posting this afternoon.

Well, it wasn't a complete loss. Wine and food courtesy of the MVRC Committee.

If only Smokey Ireland had hung on for 2nd.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 29, 2003 06:37 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity, have you ventured to a cinema near you to see "Sea Biscuit"?

Taking a lead from David (in particular ... a "5" no less) and Margaret's effusive praise, we went to see "Mystic River".

Mmmmm, maybe a "3". Back to a "4" if it doesn't matter if you picked "whodunnit" half way through. Back to a "3" for not taking advantage of easy discovery of the "whodunnit" to make the film even more wrenching. Back up to a "4" if you explain to Sean Penn that "less is more".

Then again, that's why I do cartoons and not fillums.

And I still get a bit watery of eye whenever I see "Shane" which, and I proffer this just because you asked, was the first film I remember seeing. Later there were many, many films that I don't remember seeing.

(Usually at midday matinees where I was fully pre-occupied with the arcane engineering that is a bra hook and eye.)
Posted by Sedgwick at November 29, 2003 07:17 PM

... and if only Smokey Ireland had hung on for 2nd.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 29, 2003 07:30 PM

That trifecta of warm weather, Moonee Valley and free vino would have proved a dangerous one for me I imagine, and I would have been in no fit state to post. Pissed past the post. I had to wait until well into the late BBQ hour last night before imbibing a glass of free fizz.
Haven't seen Seabiscuit yet - but notice it's playing at an obscure suburban cinema I favour so soon will. And maybe Mystic River - with its wavering rating.
Yes - so many films I don't remember seeing from my youth with engineers- when I was the fumblee. Happy days.
Posted by boynton at November 30, 2003 01:06 PM

Friday, November 28, 2003

wild goose

No gif to show for it but the latest offering from the Google Ad related searches thinks boynton may be interested in Goose Reppellants.
Put an end to unsightly droppings and unusable turf areas. (Geese leave behind an average of 1 to 2 pounds per day per goose.)
Of course were she ever to be Canadian and/or bothered by geese or even ducks, she could just do as the local (exclusive) golf course did, and shoot the trespassers.
Or perhaps like the Pure finders of London, (who scavenged for dog's droppings) she could start collecting (via Apothecary's Drawer)

Comments: wild goose

My solution. Let them have a gander at empty tins (marked "Refillable") of foie gras carefully dotted around the place.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 28, 2003 04:41 PM

It's my pate and I'll cry if I want to...

sorry - all this haggis and foie gras has upset my equilibrium ;)
Posted by boynton at November 28, 2003 04:50 PM

Less Gore, more Lesley. (Hell, this is getting far too infectious.)
Posted by Sedgwick at November 28, 2003 07:40 PM

more your 'bacterial' I would have thought, in the
gory 'Clostridium botulinum' sense of the word.
(maybe that's why Judy and Johnny left the party at the same time. A bad can of something)
Posted by boynton at November 28, 2003 07:53 PM

Now, if I were really beyond help (and the pale) I would make some reference to scat singing.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 28, 2003 09:00 PM

I surrender. Please. When I snort like this the neighbours look at me funny.
Posted by David at November 29, 2003 03:06 PM

Your white flag is recognised by the chair. Motion passed on the voices.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 29, 2003 04:41 PM

alas I had already conceded.
Impaled by punditry.

the link to Mayhew and the 'pure finders' among London's poor c 1851 is interesting (as the spambot might say) btw ;)
Posted by boynton at November 29, 2003 05:50 PM


before the recent eclipse, boynton casually remarked that she worried on behalf of the Antarctic penguins. (Or- at least - she spared a thought about their possible confusion. At least.) Her companions found this rather bemusing and were flippant. boynton tried to google up some serious linkage but found reports differed.

Dr Jones, a veterinary pathologist from Bendigo in Victoria, said he and colleagues had wanted to see what effect the eclipse had on nesting penguins.
"But there was no discernible change in them - they didn't show any degree of agitation or worry," he said
. (the australian)

but according to CTV:
"As for the penguins, they appeared agitated during the eclipse and started to roam around. But, they soon calmed down"

Klipsi's Dances with Penguins team What will penguins do in sudden darkness ? were disappointed, according to the news Live from Antartica 24/11

not perfect, but close. Alas, no penguins during totality :-(

And after reading of Edison's unfortunate eclipse experience with hens, we found Newton's penguins (via The Presurfer) rather diverting.

Comments: penguins

It's a bit like that story that if you fly a helicopter across a penguin colony in Antarctica, millions of little heads will swivel to follow you, until they all fall over on their backs.

I gather this story became so pervasive that scientists went out and... flew a helicopter across etc.

Sadly for the world's comedians, the etc after the etc didn't happen. But apparently they do get agitated and bang their little flippers..
Posted by David at November 28, 2003 02:31 PM

In one eclipse I observed birds.
I found their confusion disturbing.
The primal signs of absurd disruption, portents of apocalypse.

I also hope the observers here were not a cause of stress.

Posted by boynton at November 28, 2003 04:03 PM

No bother for me. I like the night-life.
Posted by Burgess.M at November 28, 2003 10:27 PM

I like the ice bergs.
Posted by Eli W at November 28, 2003 11:17 PM

Seen this Boynton?
Posted by Nora at November 28, 2003 11:26 PM

rather apt for this penguin trip.
Posted by boynton at November 29, 2003 12:17 PM


we saw a saw being played last night, and now want to rush out for some hardware.

You can listen to the mesmerising sound of the musical saw while you read a short instruction as regards playing

where to get and how to play the muscial saw inexpensively

Spacedog play the saw in six weeks

Musical Saw

sound files at the Musical Saw and Theramin page

Comments: saw

I saw that too.
Posted by Poncho at November 28, 2003 10:28 PM


sawing is believing.
Posted by Cisco at November 28, 2003 11:08 PM

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Pan Am Tea Set
from the Historical Museum of Southern Florida Pan Am Collection (via Plep)

Guess we could have gone this way but decided to take this local route:

Peter Dunn's Some Old Airline Tickets, A Flight Log Etc

ANA images from the Australian section of the vast Airline Timetable images

update via the site above, found the missing link that frames the post
Qantas China

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


The story of the woman who inspired the Leonard Cohen song Suzanne
(via Incoming Signals)

One of my sisters used to sing this song rather soulfully around the house in days gone by. At least she didn't sing the canadian 'OR anges' like a domestic troubadour of more recent times.

Comments: suzanne

In some ways for me that song is emblematic of a whole generation. These days we are sidling up on "Closing Time"..
Posted by David at November 26, 2003 05:20 PM

well yes, but of course I was the YOUNGEST sister (she hastens to add)
Didn't mean to sound snarky about that song. I've always liked it - and agree about its emblematic meaning.
It was quite sobering to read of the mixed feelings - even sadness - associated with the song for "suzanne".
Posted by boynton at November 26, 2003 05:29 PM

It's a very odd combination - but I discovered Leonard Cohen about the same time as I read the poetry of Spike Milligan. Somehow 'Suzanne' and 'I thought I saw Jesus on a train' (I said are you Jesus/he said yes I am) are all mixed up in my head....
Posted by wen at November 26, 2003 09:04 PM

and you could throw in The Hollies for good measure:
"I can't make it if you leave me
I'm sorry Suzanne, believe me
I was wrong
And I knew I was all along
Forgive me"

something of the goony supplication there too,
but I do like that bit of Spike I must say.
Posted by boynton at November 27, 2003 12:08 AM

...Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you...
Posted by nora at November 27, 2003 03:57 PM

ah yes - another emblematic song that my sister used to sing, Nora.
Posted by boynton at November 27, 2003 04:47 PM

Ah, Suzanne. Immediately think of one of my top 5 favorite singers. The quite impossible, but wonderful Nina Simone. Velvet and mahogany in a voice.

(Dammit, I'm coming over all lyrical like.)
Posted by Sedgwick at November 27, 2003 07:45 PM

Yes, Nina is certainly up there round here.
Posted by boynton at November 28, 2003 03:48 PM

wrting practice

Some good writerly reading at The Sun magazine including
Keep The Hand Moving. Natalie Goldberg on Zen and the Art of Writing Practice.

"I consider writing an athletic activity; the more you practice the better you get at it…. All the other rules of writing practice support that primary rule of keeping your hand moving"

The Sunbeams are a good collection of writerly aphorisms. And the Reader's Write
Laughter was a timely read.

A neurological look at hypergraphia " the medical term for an overpowering desire to write."
How can both neuroscience and literature bear on the question of what makes writers not only able, but want, even need, to write? How can we understand the outpouring of authors like Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King? Why does John Updike see a blank sheet of paper as radiant, the sun rising in the morning? (As William Pritchard said of him, "He must have had an unpublished thought, but you couldn't tell it.") This seems -- and is -- an unbelievably complex psychological trait.
Writing Like Crazy: a Word on the Brain By Alice Weaver Flaherty
(via Jerz's Literacy Weblog)

wonder if there's a hyperblogia variation of hypergraphia for the overbloggers of hyperspace?

Comments: wrting practice

Writing as an athletic activity? If only I could somehow work out a way to type with my hips!
Posted by wen at November 26, 2003 09:06 PM

I thought everyone did ;)

actually I heard once that such athletic typing might prevent RSI? While this was related to pianists and other musos, there might be something in that...
Posted by boynton at November 27, 2003 04:57 PM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

mobile places

Humble apologies to whoever but I have misplaced the via for this link, but the other night was reading:
Disconnected Urbanism The cell phone has changed our sense of place more than faxes, computers, and e-mail.
The great offense of the cell phone in public is not the intrusion of its ring, although that can be infuriating when it interrupts a tranquil moment. It is the fact that even when the phone does not ring at all, and is being used quietly and discreetly, it renders a public place less public. It turns the boulevardier into a sequestered individual, the flaneur into a figure of privacy. And suddenly the meaning of the street as a public place has been hugely diminished

The next day I was sitting among the birdsong and throng of ducks and geese at the Boathouse when the Nokia tone chimed in, and a woman started a loud rather personal mobile conversation at the next table. Does it seem stranger because it's a monologue or because it's directed elsewhere?
Sorry about this morning. I was a bit cranky. Yeah I was just cranky. So I hope you don't think I'm...
meanwhile some of the birds were getting rather bold and one jumped onto the table and would not be deterred easily from walking close to pie.
They have either lost their sense of fear or their sense of place.


Que es mas macho, pineapple o knife? Well, let`s see. My guess is that a pineapple is more macho than a knife. Si! Correcto! Pineapple es mas macho que knife
Laurie Anderson Smoke Rings

It is up to you and every other man, woman, and child to use whatever thought process, whatever logic, whatever heuristic you see fit to definitively choose the genders of the objects this world has produced.
(via the Presurfer)

Monday, November 24, 2003


Giant Games
Giant Snakes and Ladders
Giant Captain's Mistress

Make your own Game of Chook Chook
A splendid Educational Parlor Game for Yong Children and Grown-ups

Board and Playing Card Games based upon Television Programs
The Patty Duke Show
Each of the scenes depicted on the board are typical of activities middle-class young teen-age girls living in New York City in the early 1960s might be engaged in

Comments: games

you do come from a big family. ! that site is wonderfully manky. captain cook reduced to a sort of plastic grid in an omaha back yard..
Posted by David at November 24, 2003 07:13 PM

Yes I have often talked here of Croquet chez boynton, and that might be Giant something. (Guess scale is all relative)

Hadn't seen all the "layers " in that Captain's Mistress myself. What a cultural text!
I like the warning:

"it would probably not survive too long in a rowdy pub or any other environment where people might fall on it etc."

wonder what "etc" could be?
Posted by boynton at November 25, 2003 12:40 PM

260 quid for a game of Captain's Mistress! What's it made of, gold?
Posted by Gianna at November 25, 2003 01:06 PM

There is a theory that croquet is giant billiards, or that billiards is midget croquet, which I think was originally a peasant game played in the fourteenth century with giant mallets.

Croquet took off in Victorian England because it was the only outside pastime that men and women could play together.

There is a giant form of croquet that came back from France in the 18th century called (if I remember rightly) Paille Maille. It had a really big field, one of which was laid out in the West End of London and eventually became Pall Mall, from which we get our Mall.

I want to see Giant Croquet played in Chaddy. The curve and the two levels would make it really interesting. All conversation should be in pre-revolutionary French; all participants should wear a sword; all umpires should be so elaborately courteous they would not be fast enough to stop duels..
Posted by David at November 25, 2003 01:12 PM

Yeah G - some Mistress.
(and let's not forget the full set of Spare Disks for an extra 90. Possibly quite wise.)

David - love this Giant/midget territory.
Aussie Rules started fairly free range didn't it -
both space and time-wise? I like the idea of mini games being set free. Rehabilitated into the wild.

Basketball is gradually becoming 'mini' given the players increase in height, perhaps outgrowing the old scale?.

& mais oui, I'd play Giant Croaky in Chaddy - the opportunity to converse in pre-revolutionary French would just be too hard to resist.
Posted by boynton at November 25, 2003 03:27 PM

that basketball idea is just great - Alice In Wonderland goes to the Geelong Stadium..

I sometimes think that international peace might be possible if we just set up parallel championships for short people. Max height 5'6" (gee that dates me..). Then the world could play basketball, soccer and AFL with all the nations plugging in .. except, sadly, for Pygmies and Masai.. but the West would be disadvantaged because the Huge Hotties would continue to dominate their domestic competition and therefore get all the practice..

OR; maybe we find a way of crossing team sports with ferret racing - transparent tubes laid out in the middle of the field so only the shorties could get through.. with a constant dramatic tension - is the Big Person just too big to try.. stuck in the middle after a few too many midweek pies..

you can tell I am not a tall person. or particularly skinny, for that matter..
Posted by David at November 26, 2003 03:09 PM

I've got one word to say to you:
libero and volleyball

Yes as a 5'6" person myself I endorse the suggested height limit, and may think of some more unter-sporting ideas for the smaller scaled
(shorter sports).
In my case it might also be useful to think of sporting activities for people who throw badly.
(or "thinking outside the square" Or diamond.)
Posted by boynton at November 26, 2003 03:54 PM

i have played cricket twice in my whole life.

Once where the batsman slugged me in the temple with the ball.

And once where I was bowling. Can't hit, can't catch, must be able to bowl. I had the action down pat. Arms windmilling around, I raced up, let go of the ball.. and it disappeared. Everyone just stood around looking bewildered.. until it landed SMACK on top of my head. I had thrown it almost straight up in the air and then stopped right underneath it.

This is why I am a middle aged man on a bicycle.
Posted by David at November 26, 2003 05:03 PM

Also, I think Gianni could pose a fantastic IP dilemma by handcrafting Captain's Mistress out of locally available NSW rural stuff (I dunno, old truck tyres or something..) while dandling her new baby Milan on her knee.

If it was played by Captain Cook, surely we have the right to replicate it?

If not.. the Americans will be patenting conquest (tm) next. Come to think of it..
Posted by David at November 26, 2003 05:10 PM

I've never had to play cricket fortunately, otherwise I'm sure I too would have bowled myself a few bouncers accidentally, just to intimidate myself.
My last embarrassing experience of throwing was in the park with Flo. I threw the ball in a northerly direction and it ended up going west in a high lob. Must have been the top spin.
Flo looked bewildered and even a bit miffed.
The lunching Council workers were no doubt highly amused.
I only do 'frisbee' now - or hitting with raquet.

Posted by boynton at November 26, 2003 05:15 PM

web empires

Building a Web Media Empire on a Daily Dose of Fresh Links
While Mr. Denton does not edit the sites himself, he says he does encourage his writers to be "more trashy," jokingly explaining that he comes from "the Felix Dennis school of publishing." (Mr. Felix is the publisher of the young men's magazine Maxim.)
(via A Media Dragon)

bit depressing to read about this trash led, google-market driven blogempire venture, run on 'catty writing and timely links'.
meanwhile boynton has discovered it's fairly easy to auto-emulate the preferred style simply by combining two generators. The fashionable formula would seem to be to take a bit of bile and then pornolize it. (latter via fiendish)

Comments: web empires

My own Blogempire venture would probably be more famous if there was more trash. Good thing I'm not in it for the money!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 24, 2003 01:10 PM

Oh I dunno Scott, sport is on the money in our culture. I tried to pornolise Barista but it doesnt help.

At least Mr Denton does Gizmodo, which is one of my faves.
Posted by David at November 24, 2003 05:13 PM

Hope Mr W. doesn't suddenly announce a trash quota for Uber blogs. Although I guess I can do retro trash ok.

David...Gizmodo looks good.
But here's what the bile/pornolizer thought:
Posted by boynton at November 25, 2003 12:56 PM

Miss b can rest easy, there will be no trash quotas around here.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 26, 2003 12:26 AM

Scott - SPORT IS TRASH - that's the fun of it.
Posted by David at November 26, 2003 03:11 PM


Loveday Brooke
Loveday Brooke from the stories of C L Perkis.

Which Heroine of Victorian Fiction Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(I don't think I am really, but the picture was good.)

More stories
The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective By Catherine Louisa Pirkis

and One Pot Meal uncovers a rather dashing stealthy sleuth among some old books.

Comments: sleuths

Quizilla won't tell me who I am .... I tried joining, but now I can't find the quiz. Oh well, I was probably someone pathetic anyway.
Posted by wen at November 25, 2003 10:41 AM

This is something of a mystery, wen.

Did you click on the "Which heroine..." link?
It takes me straight to the quiz in question - perhaps I had onceuponatime registered.

Have a strong suspicion/bit of an inkling that
there is only one answer. In my quest to secure a jpg of Loveday I ran through the quiz willy-nilly, hoping to get to the "see all results" box in the fastest possible time. I was Loveday then. And Loveday later when I chose totally opposing answers...Hmmm...Is that logical or Fair?

Now then, be spry.
Posted by boynton at November 25, 2003 12:34 PM

Sunday, November 23, 2003

chipmunk qotd

I think it beat out the chipmunk song, or it was right up there with the chipmunk song To know him is to love him, and can you imagine what it was like to be a teenager and to be flipping through the dials and to hear that kind of silly pop and the next song is Blowin' in the Wind– what a revelation that must have been.

Writer David Hajdu on Blowin' in the Wind on the NPR 100


Vocal Vowels. Hollow plastic models of the human vocal tract turn the squawk of a duck call into vocal sounds (via Plep)

The amazing honking sheep performing the Blue Danube (via the Presurfer)

The call of the Limnodynastes dumerili Pobblebonk (banjo) frog
Males usually call concealed in floating vegetation or less commonly from land at the water's edge. The call is a short musical, explosive note producing a resonant "bonk". The call is usually repeated every few seconds

(boynton heard this call last Sunday. A frog mistaken for a duck - or is that honk for bonk?)

van snoop

Miss Van Snoop sank into a cane-bottomed chair, laid her head upon the table, and cried. She had earned the luxury of hysterics.

from The Stir Outside the Café Royal: A Story of Miss Van Snoop, Detective

One of the e texts listed at Female Detectives in UK fiction 1850-1900 A Selective Bibliography (via Quiddity)

Comments: van snoop

CL Perkis "The Ghost of Fountain Lane" in the general page is particularly fun. "Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective" in 1893..
Posted by David at November 23, 2003 06:42 PM

Yeah - it is good isn't it.
Might even hunt down some more "Loveday"

Can almost see the BBC version of it.
Could work as long as it was played straight and not 'silly jolly'.

"I thought I was pining for a week of perfect laziness and sea-breezes, and so I locked up my desk and fled..."
Posted by boynton at November 23, 2003 10:00 PM

- although after reading more at the Loveday page

- I'm not sure how saleable they might regard a "non-descript" detective of her type.
(Tho' it would be quite refreshing methinks.)

"In her detective work, she uses 'male' qualities of logic and observation rather than the infamous 'feminine intuition' which was to become the stock-in-trade of many female investigators."
Posted by boynton at November 23, 2003 10:27 PM

I like Miss Van Snoop's: "Now then, be spry" - just have to think of a reason to say it. And what tone to use...
Posted by wen at November 24, 2003 07:12 PM

Saturday, November 22, 2003


got a fresh piece of commentspam with the usual poetic prose between the links, like this:there's druglesy something to be done

wonder if this is what the spambot looks like?

(spam products via J walk)

Comments: spambot

Aaaargh! Looks like one of the Wiggles what has discovered tin container bondage ... or the ultimate in unsubtle product placement.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 23, 2003 09:49 AM

Is there a wiggle called druggle?
Posted by boynton at November 23, 2003 12:29 PM

Friday, November 21, 2003

olde britney

and this seemed to tie in with the day's posting.

Me thinkes I dydde it agayne

Britney goes Medieval (via wood s lot)

old tunes

boynton read of a recent beatles bout (I hate the beatles/you have no soul) and probably suffers from that unfortunate condition "beatles-anorak nerditude" (source)
But then boynton's nerditude is much wider than that. Truth be known, boynton has a bit of the pianola-parka nerditude happening too - so was delighted to find the wonderful Tin Pan Alley and has been singing along solo to Apple Blossom Time and By The Light of The Silvery Moon very happily.
(and I suspect that certain demon-loving pundits might vote for this as the Top Song of the millennium.)

see also:
A sample page from Melody Lane early gramophone recordings in mp3

the music samples on Crystal Stream Audio - including the Before/After comparison with scratches removed

sing along at the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive.

The Internet Renaissance Band - early music midi files

He very rarely misses the early train now. The secret is ...

Update - related links
tinfoil wax cylinder music on CD (via James)
Dove Song (via Jeremiah)
The Virtual Gramophone - Canadian Historical Sound Recordings

Comments: old tunes

have you seen

slightly newer than those, but still not the beatles.

I like some of the beatles stuff BTW. Oddly enough, I like this stuff as well. eclecticism?
Posted by Jeremiah at November 21, 2003 02:51 PM

Definitely eclecticism!

Actually I rememebered the excellent site from your comments over at Fred's - and even looked at it today, but sadly it seems the MP3 library has 'temporarily closed'. I hope it opens again soon - because there's some great singing and listening to be had there. Cheers.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 04:03 PM

You might like this too:
Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders
Not all Tin Pan Alley as such, but there's some remarkable antiquities on offer. This has been a favourite site of mine for about five years.
Posted by James Russell at November 21, 2003 05:25 PM

Just listened to "In the Good Old Summer Time, sung by Mr. William Redmond, Edison record."
Love it.
(I think I'd better put these 2 links into the post.)
Thanks James.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 06:05 PM

I have this vision of you and five other children standing around the piano singing Eleanor Rigby... while a huge number of dogs watch quizzically from the doorway.
Posted by David at November 21, 2003 06:19 PM

that's not too far off an image from my childhood.
We did sing around the piano - not always altogether harmoniously - and three dogs were lurking in the background.
Funnily enough it was inside the car (again) where a lot of the siblin' singin' went on.

This afternoon I had been thinking that my sentimental musical taste is probably driven by (honky-tonk)nostalgia. This memory would seem to confirm it. ;)
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 06:26 PM

I REALLY wanted to race to the G&S singalong but being a work Friday I will have to wait for the weekend so as to embarras myself only in private
Posted by averil at November 21, 2003 07:43 PM

we had a bit of a G&S singalong here before you left. Guess you'll just have to twist Ross' arm to get him to sing the 'wandering minstrel' parts.

btw - my tip is to open a 2nd window - for the lyrics - for the full karaoke effect.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 11:08 PM

best lists

Tony looks at a couple of best songs lists and finds them wanting.
James links to the new AFI best 100 movie songs quest and finds it wanting by 24 years.

As the local sport of trivia dumbs down, and of all time lists generally take 'all time' to mean the last 30 years if you're lucky, boynton was searching for a list that might take a longer view and include old songs, songs of other generations, other times. So we've spent an enjoyable time listening to a few of the 12 minute segments from the NPR The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century"
Love this site and plan to do a song-a-day.
Poet Laureate Robert Ginsky discusses the poetry of Stardust
"even the title Stardust ... it begins and ends with the same consonant sound and that consonant cluster of S T comes back –"and love is now the stardust of yesterday...The star is when your love is new and each kiss is an inspiration” Which I think is one of the best phrases in popular music..
And after it goes away there’s a little dust left…a little glitter from what was bright…

and Peter Yarrow discussing Blowing In The Wind calls it –‘part of the secular liturgy of our times' - one of the few Protest songs that effected change?

A couple of songs that boynton likes to sing around the house are destined never to make the hipster charts but have strong claims in the popularity/most influential popular songs lists
Danny Boy -
...this very beautiful tune seems to be taking such an extraordinary hold upon the people - for hardly a week passes by without its appearing in some form or another on concert programmes....within the last few years a perfectly bewildering array of settings and arrangements has appeared.
Henry Coleman Muscial Times 1918

from The Londonderry Air: facts and fiction. Brian Audley 2002

Lorena - first heard in The Civil War TV series.
Some have even gone so far as to blame the loss of the war on Lorena. So many Southern soldiers grew homesick and deserted after singing it, that several Generals prohibited the singing of Lorena, but most soldiers sang it anyway.

See also: the BBC Radio 2 Top 100 Songs of the 20th century

Comments: best lists

Funny how Un Bel Di never makes it onto any of these lists. Mustn't count as a song. Nor would any of Schubert's lieder I suspect.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at November 21, 2003 12:34 PM

You know I was going to go there, Gummo...

At the last minute decided not to go Elizabethan either. Where's Greensleeves!!
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 12:52 PM

music 1912

Children at Glendaruel school listening to a gramophone. The gramophone has a very large loudspeaker. There is a union jack in the background. Date: 1912

A Family musical group in a garden. The two men play violins while the woman and two young girls sing. The singers are holding scores. Date: pre 1910

(images from Museum Victoria Collection Biggest Family Album)

Comments: music 1912

That's an acoustic horn, not a loudspeaker. But yes, 'tis a large one, whatever it is.
Posted by James Russell at November 21, 2003 05:16 PM

Yes tis indeed. ;)

Forgot to italicise those descriptions to indicate 'tweren't my mistake.
On the other hand, 'acoustic horn' twas news to me James.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 05:47 PM

There's a still from the Connelly/Anderson documentary "First Contact" of PNG people sitting around a gramaphone which I tried to hunt on google. No good - damn and blast. Its such a great companion piece to this lovely photo...
Posted by David at November 22, 2003 03:27 AM

think I tracked it down
from this site:

yes - it is companionable.
Posted by boynton at November 22, 2003 12:43 PM

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

bow lingual

Bow-Lingual The Dog Translator (via J walk)
is a device which analyzes your dog's barks then selects one of the nearly 200 preprogrammed phrases to represent what your dog is trying to say
Apparently there are six main emotions: happy, sad, frustrated, on-guard, assertive or needy. "Sad barks always exhibited a strong component in the 50 00hz range, but no harmonic component less than 30 00hz"
Another feature is the home alone mode which monitors and records your dogs barks and emotions for up to 12 hours while you are away.
The sample translations include: I'm on top of the world, Remember me?
and I'm Ok - how are you!
Even if she bought it, (and of course she leans towards this position) boynton would soon find the concept rather disturbing. If one of boynton's trio should bark assertive/showing off she wouldn't want to know if this actually meant: I'm ok - how are you!

enter FLO madly cartwheeling. She barks. BOYNTON receiving, analysing...analysing complete

FLO: I' m ok - how are you!
BOYNTON: Oh well you know Flo - it's all relative
FLO: I' m ok - how are you!
BOYNTON: Well you know - there are a number of different definitions of Okness
and at least four main positions.
FLO: I want to bite you.

this might be the cue for boynton to run away, switching the bow-lingual to home alone mode while popping on the Audio of I'm Ok You're OK here recorded by N/A

Or she could just play some good old Beatles Barkers. Brontë became very assertive during I Saw Her Standing There and showed off at 50 00hz, Flo joined in with a low subtle harmonic component, and poor old deaf, once-a-baritone Doug slept.

Comments: bow-lingual

Coco the Wonderdog has a great range of snorts, howls, moans, whimpers, slurps and whines. They all mean the same thing: Give me everything NOW.

Her tail communicates the essential contract - if you do that, I will adore you. Otherwise I will punish you by doing my flatdog in the hall and look forlorn.

That doesn't work when she has just been shorn by Wendy the Mad Dog Shearer, because when she does flatdog she just looks like an uppity rat.
Posted by David at November 19, 2003 11:43 PM

Bronte (Jack Russell) does that `uppity rat' look herself without the trauma of shearing.
She has the worst repertoire of barks too - loud, passionate and complex. Flo (blue heeler) doesn't bark much but has a high howl. She uses her teeth to communicate. Doug doesn't bark as much now - but he used to have that bark identified by Bow-lingual as meaning "I am on top of the world"
This always happened about 40 minutes into "I am on the edge of the Ocean...and I've just noticed"
Posted by boynton at November 20, 2003 12:43 AM

Thieu's brother has a theory that all dogs, when confronted with a stranger are saying "Come here! Go away! Come here! Go away!"
Posted by mcb at November 20, 2003 08:42 AM

heh heh - and I think he is spot on, mcb.

And there must be many dogs who mix in even more
messages into a bark. Which is why the 'bow-lingual' needs a 'random' setting - to generate a sort of bitzer mix of mangled expression.
Posted by boynton at November 20, 2003 11:24 AM

The real communication problem with dogs is the other way round. Big brained smartarse species that we are, I can work Coco out. What I really want her to understand is:
I am going to the butcher so you can't come but I will be back with bones..
If you wait a big longer you can have a good walk...
Do you want the long walk or the short walk?
You can't eat that disgusting thing from the street because you might get sick and die..
If you poop under the light its a lot easier to find it with a plastic bag.
This diet will last for a few days and you will not die of starvation..
Posted by David at November 20, 2003 01:54 PM

Yes indeed.
Or. To be less 'speciest' - ways to 'dialogue with dog' would be useful:

Flo - what makes you want to nip my leg when you get really excited about something?
What's going on there?
I don't want to put you down or put you down.
Can you find some other way to communicate your bliss?

on a serious note - I 've just read a post that looks at this anthropomorphic mindset in regard to parrots. Why don't we learn to speak Grey Parrot or maddog Flo instead? ;)

btw I never mastered the basics with Doug and separation anxiety. Not even the aquired familiarity of routine would help him. Never quite learnt the language for:
I'm going down the street. I won't be long. So there's really no need to gobble my Retro furniture or my Melways. I will return.
Posted by boynton at November 20, 2003 02:59 PM

I'm really sorry - I know the loss of a good vinyl pouffe is a tragedy - but i just thought that last post was hilarious..

and parrots only say simple things: go for this seed and i will bit your bum.... stay still, that hair is perfect for the nest.. look fellers there's tons, come quickly and bring the flock... something funny's going on, leave RIGHT NOW..

i've spent a lot of time watching them at close quarters..
Posted by David at November 20, 2003 08:07 PM

yes the vinyl pouffe went pfftt but was probably NOT one of his misdeeds. The wonderful green 'armless' 50's couch WAS an early casualty of my dreadful temporary absence, as was a large 50's squiggly scatter cushion. CHOMPED. Both never to be 'recovered'. I tried to see the positive side: oh well, at least I'm getting less attatched to mere 'things'.

Even if they are collectible...

And re parrots. Was going to post this but here's the link to story that suggests there might be more to the macaw (or other parrots) than b had thought.
Posted by boynton at November 20, 2003 08:28 PM

old records

some links that seemed to relate to the last post:
Mural may see the light after 21 years in darkness
The lost tribal elders of Collins Street may soon emerge from two decades of darkness. A shop in Temple Court, at 422 Collins, was sold last year without the property developer or buyer realising that a large mosaic, The "Eight" Aboriginal Tribal Headmen by Napier Waller, lay hidden behind a wall.
(the Hidden treasures link is a map of Waller murals in Melbourne)

An early 19th century board game How to Know London
There weren't any instructions with the game (other than the information printed on the board), nor were there any minor pieces included, so it not known how the game is played. Since there was neither a "spinner" nor dice with the game, we do not know how players progressed around the board. (via As Above)

(of course boynton could quite happily play a board game with the Melways sans pieces, spinner or dice - sans car. Just looking might be sufficient. Or maybe at at a stretch she'd play a game of melwaystare-out.)

While searching for any local variations we somehow found
The Ladies Social Reading Club 1903-05 by Victoria Emery
the reading of a group of ladies who formed a club in an outer suburb of Melbourne in 1903.
boynton especially wishes she could have caught the Rev. W. Fielder, Professor of Biology lecture on Sponges, to complement the reading of Darwin.

A great deal of effort was put into the success of this 'lecturette', reception, music, refreshment and hospitality committees were formed, arrangements made for the speaker to be collected from Brighton Beach, to save him the inconvenience of the tram service, and a gentleman, Mr Harris, was deputised to introduce and thank the speaker.
Papers from the Second History of the Book in Australia (HOBA) Conference 1996

More on Dr Snowball and Frosterley

Comments: old records

A few other games that can be played with a Melways and no other equipment:

Melway Charades - like normal charades only the acting part is replaced by silently handing over a piece of paper to your partner on which only Melways map references are shown. For example; a film: 311 C4, 97 G9.

Navex - Each contestant is given the same pair of addresses of somewhere in Melbourne, and needs to come up with the least number of explicit navigation instructions to communicate how to get from one to the other. "Continue straight ahead" and "Turn left at the end" are implied instructions, so do not count. As you get better, you pick places further away. For example: Peppercorn Park (177 K4) to Kays Picnic Ground (124 D3). A very good score is 1 - the only explicit instruction is to get off freeway at Toorak Road.

Railway Ratios - this can be played solitaire - identify two stations where there are more stations involved in travelling between them than there are little blue grid squares to cross in a straight line. Your score is stations/squares. For example; Darling (59 K11) and Alemain (60 D11) are only 4 squares apart but 16 stations apart. This scores 4.

There are lots more...
Posted by phlip at November 19, 2003 04:14 PM

These are great Philip!
I was without a Melways at hand (can you believe) before and now I have one here (edition 23 1995) but I can see no map 311?
Does this movie star Mr. 54 K3 13 G11?
(A co-star with our fave 37 F10 89 C2? in Our Little Girl?)
Navex sounds fun. To get to a friend's house in Gippsland I used to give the instructions - turn left (onto Freeway) and Turn left (onto highway)
and turn left (onto road) and turn left (into street) about 196 kms.
I came from a `line' of poor railway ratios - the Lildyale where many squares lie between each station. I know some of the other lines like Epping are the other extreme. And you could almost see Surrey Hills from Mont Albert.

I'd be happy to play a team Melways Comp in a local hall somewhere (31 A9 or 40 C2) but I'm sure some of these could be adapted for this medium as well. Must think of some more myself.
Posted by boynton at November 20, 2003 12:33 AM

Ah, I see - editionally challenged, I find you. This is curious. Map 311 in edition 24+ is actually map 188 in edition 23. Now, you could count on one hand the number of times Mr Melways changes his map numbers like that (apart from the Warburton corridor and Geelong, I mean).

Wheeew, this MelCharades is harder than I thought! It took me ages to track down Mr. 54 K3 13 G11 (your Temple clue was great but I only looked that up after I had already found him) only to prove he was not in the movie 311 C4, 97 G9. The leading man was actually Mr 65 F7 98 J12, who is probably not half the actor your man was, even when you consider he was born 56 years later. I then spent another "ages" trying to work out what movie you thought it was, but ultimately had to give up on that - sigh. My movie's leading actress has a name which is made up of a geographic feature and road signage, believe it or not. The latter are all over the place in a Melways in various forms; there is an alternative one at 90 A3.
Posted by phlip at November 20, 2003 09:53 PM

Yes - alas melcharades is too hard for me, Philip, and I just can't get YOUR movie and star!
I'm sure other Melburnians armed with a Melways are saying 'der' boynton.

In the interests of those non-melburnians I should disclose that my Movie was actually
'The Palm Beach Story' see:

I'm sure that this game has got potential - a few possibilities spring to mind. It's sort of like virtual orienteering.
Very interested in this edition discrepancy thing. I thought it was strange when I couldn't find Map 311 - the idea of map numbers changing with the editions is rather unsettling, give or take the Warburton corridor.
Another game possibility - mix and match the map numbers.
and/or Identify the map number from a detail.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 11:17 AM

Of course! Palm Beach Drive does touch the quadrent of the reference, I missed that. BIt was Lagoon Place, around the corner, was the one on my mind. You couldn't get the first word because of the map reference controversy, but it is a walk in the Dandenongs called "Blue Track". So, Blue Lagoon was the movie, starring Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields. I thought my pun about her surname was very witty when I said "there is an alternative one at 90 A3", which contained a route numbering shield on the Princes Hwy in Dandenong labelled "Alt 1".

Your suggestion about identifying the map from a snippet is good. Certainly favours long time Mel-starers such as yourself, but I'd be willing to take you on.

Here's a question. Give me a Melways reference for a complete and recognisable map of Australia contained in a single blue square.
Posted by phlip at November 21, 2003 03:10 PM

AHA - I got in one (well 17 secs) Philip! THAT is an excellent question.
So I don't spoil it for ALL the other players I won't give you the reference but will say that there is a BBQ where NZ should be. and a "B" around about Noumea.

I had been thinking Blue Lagoon. Got your Lagoon and Christopher but the 188 C4 (emerald?) turned up only Wright. And I knew Mr Atkins was not Mr Right.
And yes - that "Alt 1" is Xtremly clever - so much so that it went well and truly Over My Head -and it really opens thegame up now. I wasn't even thinking symbols.
Must think up some more now!
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 03:56 PM

Well, you really are a Mel-starer. You've impressed me before but that's a GOOD GET. Have you ever been to the location in question? I have been meaning to and have never yet made it. Looks like you can sort of wander in through Cape York and tour about... how curious is it? I have been wondering about ALL the other players, I suspect they have decided this is either too clever by half or too rediculous to bother. Love it to be the former but... come on, put your hand up if you even got your Melways out...

It could have been wright, you are right, as I write I notice there is a lot of wrightness in that area - forests and stations and roads, but in this case wright was wrong.

Did you know there is a Brisways coming? A friend stumbled upon a scrap of it on the web. Soon another whole city of people will be able to play Mel-games (or a version thereof).
Posted by phlip at November 22, 2003 02:05 AM

yes well to confess I stayed in the amenity over the road I recall it's a bit like
2F H8 without the colour, but I must inspect it again one day, properly.
As for the other Melburnians - yes?
i'm sure there would be enough map enthusiasts to take this idea further. Perhaps a little application on the side - or maybe a new blog is called for? I'll keep thinking about this.
Glad to hear that Brisbane is soon to have a proper directory. I believe in cultural imperialism where the melways is concerned.
Posted by boynton at November 22, 2003 01:00 PM

Mmm. Am I missing something? I'm still thinking about that one, I thought the main point of 2F H8 was the colour - that and checking your watch of course. Well, I have decided that I am going to go and have a look at Australia-in-a-square, and come up with a report. I'll send you a copy once done if you like. Perhaps I could combine it with one of my occasional around the bay in a day trips, which I choose to do by car rather than bike!
Posted by phlip at November 24, 2003 09:00 AM

Yes - but the OZ in a blue Square - as I recall anyway - *doesn't* have the colour of 2F H8, (which is indeed the main point). I wonder if the former has been vandalised as much?
Look forward to your report, Philip, and am half tempted to venture bayward to have another look at this outstanding geographical feature.
Posted by boynton at November 24, 2003 10:33 AM

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


boynton has been strolling this Public Record Office of Victoria exhibition:
Our Nation's First Capital Federation and the story of Melbourne. " A Virtual tour of Melbourne's streets and buildings".
After inspecting the many splendid arches, boynton ambled round the 1914 map before stopping at Frosterley- built as consulting rooms for Dr William Snowball before being leased by the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.

I found this PRV site through googling George Dunderdale after David alerted me to GD's "The Book of the Bush". A reference was found in this long but fascinating PDF of The First Years of The Victorian Archives

It seems that Dunderdale was one of the first archivist heroes of the colony.
On page 16 there is a plan of the Alberton court house with the text:

In this tiny court house in the Gippsland Port settlement of Alberton, two men of letters, Alfred Howitt and George Dunderdale, were magistrate and Clerk in 1883-84. When missing shingles led to swallows defiling the records of the court, Howitt and Dunderdale listed and protected the records, sending precious Convict Indents back to Melbourne by sailing ship for preservation.

Again, the power of records to evoke the bigger picture.
The mix of historical circumstances that aligned momentarily obscurely in Alberton.
Later it was disturbing to read of the pulping of records during WW2 in an economy drive. Vast amounts of records lost from regional court houses that carried so many voices and stories between the bureaucratic lines of archival code.

Provenance a new journal of Public Record Office Victoria. Drawing on the wealth of records within the Victorian State Archives, the journal aims to promote archival research within Australia

Comments: records

Thank you VERY much. What a good thing to find. I had a trawl for Mr Dunderdale, but didn't find that..
Posted by David at November 18, 2003 08:35 PM

Interesting man. Of letters.
It worried me that I hadn't come across GD in my travels. I had read a bit of Howitt here and there.
btw - I've tracked down a copy of GD's book so may be abe to read it one day.
Posted by boynton at November 19, 2003 09:22 AM


Latest in the Google related searches is this curious linkage:

Que? I quite like the sound of this verse, but Samuel Taylor Coleridge and New Zealand white pages? Alas - a couple of my favourite poem generators seem to be down so I can't run the through to see if a random poetic blend could shed any further light on this freshly spidered connection.

Comments: miruner

favourite poem generators eh.
which ones would they be?
Posted by Declan at November 21, 2003 05:01 PM

My 2 faves (and often employed) are
Leevi Lehto's googlepoem - makes a poem from search words.

and Rob's Amazing Poem generator - put in an url and get a poem of the page.

both seem to be 'broken'?

Starting to like this unofficial one - google related searches. I know it's just reflecting my recent content, but I love the way it throws up
strange combos.
Posted by boynton at November 21, 2003 06:15 PM

Well there's
(Man Fakes de Minimax)
Posted by Toph at January 20, 2004 08:29 AM

"I rarest havana a namelessly y'knowledgeable"
Posted by boyle at January 20, 2004 12:25 PM

nature photos

In the Forests post below, the photo of the Mountain Greenhood orchid Pterostylis alpina was from this Orchids of Australia Wild Terrestrial Orchids in South-Eastern Australia site. The photo gallery is quite beautiful.

Via the Nature Photo webring link, I found my way to A Donegal Hedgerow
This website is a documentary of one year's life in a Donegal Hedgerow. Day by day, the sights I see are presented in pictures and text.
On my slow connection the text appears before the images. But this can be a good thing. I like to read the intriguing lines like:
The Nipplewort has returned after a few months' absence
And the Candle Snuff Fungus has returned. I last showed it in February

and then see how the image matches up.

Monday, November 17, 2003

flash whimsy

whimsical animations for fancyteeth from mantlepies productions
(via fiendish is the word)


sticking to the path in a dry foothills forest with blackened gums from recent deliberately lit fires, you could almost miss the rare things that endure almost miraculously as the new suburbia settles.

A recent Age article about a man who has spent the past three decades single-handedly creating his own forest on what was once a dairy farm in East Gippsland’s Strzelecki Ranges.

Googling for the link also led to this earlier article about the Ada tree in Gippsland
This is a story of two trees in Gippsland. One, in a paddock near Thorpdale in the Strzelecki Ranges, became a very long log. The other, still standing in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, may be the most massive living thing in Australia...
"When some visitors come into this forest they burst into tears when they see the massive, rotting logs."

The Strzelecki State Forest - History repeats itself

Comments: forests

Thanks. That's great. There is a story that when Count Strezlecki first set out from Melbourne with his wagons and horses, his party made it as far as the Kooweerup Swamp (now a paradise for the asparagus gutser..). They became irretrievably trapped for weeks, until they ran out of food. It rained so hard they couldn't even light a fire. They survived on raw koala bears.

Dr Tom Griffith's recent book "Forests Of Ash: An Environmental History" is exquisite. It made me cry.
Posted by David at November 17, 2003 05:41 PM

that's a great story - especially given the swamp's relative close proximity to 'the settlement' of melb. Raw koalas - not even rare. Were they called 'monkey bears'?
I read Tom Griffiths' earlier "Secrets of the Forest..." I remember being really moved by it -
a wonderful book.
Ashamed to say that I haven't yet read 'Forests of Ash'. I imagine it would be very heavy-going and heart-rending but well worth it for the beauty, passion, scholarship, stories.
Definitely another book on the list to read.
Posted by boynton at November 17, 2003 06:08 PM

goody - I didn't there was an earlier one. Then again, this room is strewn with stuff to read, and I just keep roaming the internet, fascinated by interplay.

I am quoting this from memory, but there's a book called "the Book of the Bush" by George Dunderdale, published in 1898, which had the above story. And has this one too:

The original White inhabitants of Port Albert, down by the Prom, lived a hand-to-mouth existence on seals and potatoes, with no contact with Melbourne. One day a surveyor called Tyers (yes, the Lake Tyers one) came into town on a horse with a troop of soldiers, having marched all the way from the city. He lined up all the residents and told them that they were squatting on crown land. They needed to pay a license fee or he would burn their huts down. Some of them managed to scrape together the requisite twenty shillings in bits and pieces, and others said no. So he burnt their huts. The best ones, though, were the people who found bits of paper and carefully wrote cheques drawable at non-existent banks in Sydney. Tyers went solemnly off and didn't discover his mistake until he gave them to the State Treasury officials in Spring Street. The town apparently picked itself up and moved to a corner of privately owned land down the road, where they were safe. Tee hee.
Posted by David at November 18, 2003 12:17 AM

Yes - there's something about Gipppsland...
I once studied the history of Port Albert but never encountered this book or this writer or this story! I do know that those non-existant banks did a fair trade in the colonies.
btw The Port Albert Historical and Maritime Museum is another great musuem.

Another great story, which has led me on a trail from Dunderdale to some great finds, David.
Posted by boynton at November 18, 2003 09:15 AM


On saturday we close up the house and sip fluids judiciously inside as the temperature hits 39.1. On sunday I am layered, scarfed, parka-d and shivering as I read a map on top of Mt Dandenong. You are Here. Even a well-tempered melburnian can find such vicissitudes odd. As if someone is fiddling with thermostat.
Meanwhile people are throwing rocks at trams and a wave of copycat attacks is feared. And when a country train is derailed after hitting a car on the tracks, the first reports speculate whether it is a prank or an act of sabotage.

Comments: kilter

On Saturday we likewise closed up the house. Then we set off in the early morning to avoid forecast heat of the day with "grand daughter in residence" on our 5 hour round trip to visit the great grandmothers.

This was always a trip undertaken dutifully but reluctantly.

Half an hour into the trip grand daughter begins shock and awe projectile vomitting. Car turns back home.

A canary down the mine for safety. A grand daughter in the kiddy car-seat for sanity.

(That said, we ended up doing the hard yards on Sunday. Sadly my quick Sunday scrabble through the tailings at Ararat yeilded nothing remotely Midas like.)
Posted by Sedgwick at November 17, 2003 09:29 PM

Ah - so is this what the old 'baby on board' warning signs mean?
They should also face the inside of car to keep driver sane/clean? ;)

It was easy to be fooled by the concept of 'hot' on Saturday. Still novel in November.
But when you step out into it - it bites.
On the other side of January, 39 won't seem so
impossible or fantastic.
Posted by boynton at November 17, 2003 11:04 PM

Sunday, November 16, 2003

fake tate

Where did that come from? (amazement and anguish)

from Julian Hill fakeTate Gallery In Fashion opened 9 Oct

also on a seaward theme from Life Cycle

Mine? (night navigation and the perils of the sea)


°  ∴ ƒ ß ô  ∴   ¿

Comments: symbol

Posted by David at November 17, 2003 12:47 AM

I'm a bit thick - can you explain?
Posted by wen at November 17, 2003 12:25 PM

sorry, wen, to b bewildering.
the last symbol may explain the reason.
but this may not explain the post.
(I had done a version in pictures but did not wish to upload yet more into the uber archives gallery galores)
Posted by b at November 17, 2003 12:43 PM

Friday, November 14, 2003


The dogs are panting. The mowers are sounding. The cold has lifted.

because of the sudden rise in the mercury our thoughts had already turned seaward when we caught Today in Literature
On this day in 1797 William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge began a walking holiday in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, during which they would conceive "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
"Biographer Richard Holmes (2 Vols., 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year) says that up to the time of writing the poem, Coleridge's only experience at sea was a crossing on the Chepstow ferry, but that at some instinctive level "the image of the lonely sea-voyage runs through all Coleridge's thought," as well as much of the 'tortured Romantic' legend "

Kilve shoreline

as previously speculated, some of my ancestors well may have gazed out to sea along the Kilve shoreline before a couple of their desendants took that long sea voyage out to the colonies.

a woman, wearing a veil, on the beach with a row boat coming in on the left and a moored sailing boat in the background Point Lonsdale 1914

a woman on a balcony at the Hotel Pacific. She is looking out over Loutit bay. 1933

Images from Museum Victoria Collection - The Biggest Family Album

Comments: seaward

even seventy years later that is instantly recognisable.

If anyone is in Lorne at the right time, the historical museum is pretty fab. Many snaps of butchers lined up before their produce. Strangely for a town that was so Greek, the history is all anglo...
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 03:39 PM

and John Fowles, eat your heart out..
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 03:39 PM

I haven't been to Lorne's historical museum. Sounds good. I wonder how it compares to the splendid Cable Museum down the GO road at Apollo Bay?
Seaside museums often dish up the best eclectic mix.

I like the relection of the woman on the balcony
Posted by boynton at November 14, 2003 04:10 PM

the lorne one is smaller, more concentrated and open less often. the cable museum has a lovely chaos in the corners.

but then, lorne has always been so respectable, and apollo bay is inherently raffish. lovely word, raffish...

my favourite lorne photo from the collection is of a stagecoach wrecked in a river. its the erskine river, where the road hangs a left after the caravan park and the supermarket. there's a bridge but in 1911 it was a ford. the daily stagecoach came thundering into town and rolled in the ford, sadly killing the driver. theres no mention of the horses,
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 07:38 PM

I thought of Fowles too, David - but it was the words, not the picture "A woman, wearing a veil, on the beach." Really could've been any sort of woman - quite odd.
Posted by wen at November 14, 2003 08:20 PM

David - know the corner, must look up the photo next time I drive through Lorne on way to its raffish neighbour. .
Used to stay in a house within a stone's throw of the Cable Museum - only open Sundays and public Holidays. We were given an unsolicited guided tour by an enthusiastic volunteer which was very informative but prevented the rambling and sifting thorugh the chaos in corners at leisure.
They have a great collection of photos - which alone needed a good unfettered hour. Must go back!

wen - I was reading the descriptions and almost became distracted by them on their own terms.
You could just post a list of such captions...

Err actually now I think about it I did that once before:
Posted by boynton at November 14, 2003 10:44 PM

For all the brutalities and inequities particular to the times, one does get an inkling of a long-dead sense of time (like Joseph Banks, Stephen Maturin was always whinging about the navy's penchant for tearing past points of interest at eight knots) - and, more importantly still, a proper respect for elaborately wrought iron balconies.
Posted by Rob Schaap at November 15, 2003 03:33 PM

The British seaside always looks so tame to my eyes. None of the latent power of the sea that is so evident on the Australian coast. That photo of Klive is a case in point.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 15, 2003 05:03 PM

Get some Daphne DuMaurier into you, Scott. Or have a pint on Whitby pier. Or try to get the Mary Rose out of the Solent on a windy day ...
Posted by Rob Schaap at November 15, 2003 10:17 PM

Rob, you can still catch inklings here and there
(not very often in this medium) of near stillness'
Maybe a sub-8 knots movement could join forces with the 3 mph (walking/thinking) push to foster the lost art of slowness? And I once came across a link linking balconies to langour:
I must find a cast iron variety quick smart to (slowly) read some Maturin.
Posted by boynton at November 15, 2003 11:32 PM

and yeah Scott! I was thinking Cornwall too.
But then I had also been thinking that Kilve resembles some of the Bayside beaches round these here parts. Particularly round Flinders and Shoreham. Not the sand though.
(And I endorse all those bracing activities that Rob prescribes btw)
Posted by b at November 15, 2003 11:40 PM

"I must find a cast iron variety quick smart to (slowly) read some Maturin."

erm...of course, Rob, I have since been informed by an O'Brian expert that I was in fact referring to M's "Thoughts on the Prevention of the Diseases most usual among Seamen" or "Some remarks on Peruvian cirripedes" or even "A paper on boobies" etc etc... apparently.
Posted by boynton at November 18, 2003 09:02 AM


Currently 27 ° Forecast top 32 °

Miss Lillian Louisa Pitts on a cliff edge. There is a cave behind her. She is reading a copy of "The Bulletin" Point Lonsdale 1914
Image from Museum Victoria Collection - The Biggest Family Album

Comments: warming

the hat... the hat.. whats with the hat?

the shoes are interesting too..
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 03:37 PM

The shoes are casually sensible.

But I love Miss Pitts' hat.

Were it not for the petit point I might conclude it was fashioned with a spare Bulletin in the espicopal style.
Posted by boynton at November 14, 2003 03:59 PM

Thanks for the instructions, B. Something to wear on my next visit to the beach.
Posted by wen at November 14, 2003 08:23 PM

She's sleeping not reading.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 15, 2003 05:00 PM

Is this a Dunlop Volley which I see before me,

The air-cushioned heel toward my hand?

Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but

A Volley of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

I see thee yet, in form as palpable

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;

And such an icon I was to use.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 15, 2003 08:20 PM

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Dunlop
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of sensible haberdashery.

and Scott - the left hand just looks too rigid to be resting? Miss Pitts is on the verge of sleep?
The Bulletin and the Sun will do that to you.
Posted by boynton at November 15, 2003 11:00 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2003

lay it err - literary

Is a Sperm Like a Whale? by William Shakespeare
from The Modern Humorist's Holy Tango of Poetry
If Poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names (via Incoming signals)

Literary Weblogs - An Overview (via Cup of Chicha)

Update: err...had to sneak this one in here too:
McSweeney's Words and expressions commonly misused by insipid brothers-in-law
By Dennis Diclaudio
"I can't even deal with "LAY" and "LIE" right now. I'll smash something. I know it..."
(via Twists and Turns)

our drowned town

Recently things featured some haunting photos of the Welsh village of Capel Celyn (Tryweryn), 1957 -65 - before it was drowned. Stark b/w images of stone cottages and old trees, marks of centuries caught in that condemned eerie emptiness, a temporary ghost town where even ghosts are soon be submerged.

Years ago on a school camp I remember our teacher (once a local) bitterly lamenting the fate of old Tallangatta - in North Eastern Victoria, which was moved before the site was drowned for the Hume Reservoir. I searched for some similar photos but could could only find the tourist info sites. Then by chance looking for old cafes, I found this Interior, Hume Cafe, Ogarivitch, Tallangatta a condemned cafe known by many names including Riverina In fact the State Library Picture Collection includes over 150 images of a photographic survey by the State Rivers and water Supply Commission mostly in 1954.

Business premises
Hairdressing salon

These Commission photos survey the exterior and interior details of buildings leaving the sadness as subtext, in abandoned tennis courts or the last stand of mature Palm trees before their watery fate, last chapter in a strange exotic journey

Perhaps this graffiti is one record of dissent - and some of the suits at the official celebrations might have had a bit of the old soviet style about them.

Something of a town is always hidden within the survey of premises and hardware and inventory of goods.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Follow Me Here links to Doggy Cool sunglasses for dogs
"The chrome and blue is aimed mainly at dogs who are driven around by their owners in an open-top Jaguar or something similar," he said.

(even with a leap of faith and an open top Jag, boynton could never be tempted to fork out $$$ for such shades for her pampered pack while she sports sunnies that set her back a cool $4.99.)

Comments: dodgy

I was quite happy with a pair of sunnies which I knew were daggy but were utterly unloseable (certainly no chance of them ever being nicked). Then the daughter arrived this past weekend from Syddie for a week's visit with grand daughter (aka "The Princess of Balmain").

I now have new sunnies which are not an embarrassment to daughter, but which I know I will lose within a week.

I have lost so many sunnies that neither Lady Bracknell's "misfortune" nor "carelessness" goes anywhere near covering the situation.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 12, 2003 07:09 PM

Me too. I've lost countless pairs of good ones, indifferent ones, retro wonders, one-offs, retro wobblies (arms repaired to sit at 90 degree angles or one-armed walking wounded) and generic anti-cancer sun-smart models with side triangles etc. All gone with the handbag. So I'm quite happy with my $5 pair - ('costume rayban' variety)- which of course have been quite unloseable. But alas I have recently been told that they may look a tad unstylish - so who knows.
Back to the op-shop for me quick 'smart'.

Posted by boynton at November 12, 2003 07:23 PM


Get very short sighted. Then get photochromic lenses. Hey, bwana, hitech...
Posted by David Tiley at November 12, 2003 09:08 PM

the path to the salvos is littered with broken sunglasses, bwana.
Posted by boynton at November 13, 2003 11:27 AM

oh and I think I am getting more and more short-sighted every bloggin' day, so photochromic style may not be too far away.
Posted by boynton at November 13, 2003 01:52 PM

the bot

boynton was just taking her brain out for a bit of a stroll last night round midnight having been confined to bed in the evening with this lingering lurgie when she ran into some comments from Gary (here) that characteristically provoked thought (always appreciated btw), and she was forced to sit up straight and sneeze and shift gears and coldly articulate a sort of number 42 take-away equation in defence of some throwaway words that may signify the decline of boynton's civilisation AWKI.
Before the big editor in head could say: Pens down I realised I was writing too much for correct comment style, so chopped this sentence:
I used to compare the experience of browsing at the Dewey ordered library and wandering through the random muddle of the tables of books at the Salvos. The latter is more like the web. Indiscriminate, time-consuming but with the lure of the chance find. Even there you develop ways to scan more effectively to filter the pulp non-fiction, snake-oil and gardening books...

Funnily enough before I penned this latest in the ode to serendipity files I had just encountered another of those sort of beloved apps that produce random stuff. These spiders almost make it reflexive - as well as demonstrating visually or in this case aurally the algorithmic workings of the web, they can reflect the browsing experience (just in case we need our existential bearings writ random)
As something of a reverse search engine, theBot provides a look (and listen) into the narrative of the web - or at least into the stream of consciousness of a web Bot
(via things)
also around: 4 random captcha words from AOL sign up screens rearranged as 'serendipitous poetry' (via J walk)

perhaps it's all just one big soup - (the presurfer)

one of the best analogies for the processs remains psychoflubber (originally via Gianna) but when I tried revisiting I got a 404.

Don't know if this means anything or not.

Comments: the bot

Love the "Insults by Shakespeare index". Disappointed there's no Christmas hamper deal - an assortment of threatening, debasing, dark and obtuse quotes from TheBard Inc. $30 or $25 by mail order.
Posted by Jim at November 12, 2003 03:16 PM

Yes it is rathergood isn't it. Good to take into the theatre of the foyer.

Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
Posted by boynton at November 12, 2003 03:31 PM

This whole post is rathergood IMO (why not IYAM?).

With you on this one Boynton-bot. They've been expecting us to morph into some other species since the beginning of the industrial revolution (and before that too, no doubt) - but I reckon we'll still be recognisable, still contain the same essential elements that make us human, a thousand years hence.

(BTW I'm an optimist)
Posted by wen at November 12, 2003 08:27 PM

OMG - I had to ask Google about that last acronymn, w.
btw: Is IYAG a new one for the post-human era?
At least IYAG you have a good chance of getting answers in 0.17 secs. ;)
Posted by boynton at November 13, 2003 11:22 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Would you prefer skis with that?
Did a bit of a search and found a post war sophisticated restaurant in Melbourne sans skis but with some striking wall sculpture happening for mood. I'm sure that photos exist to show that Melbourne (in pockets) can out-hick the best of them - but they rest unscanned on shelves somewhere. And lest you detect a sneer, boynton would actually jump to dine now at any restaurant so unpretentiously elegant, as long as it wasn't themed retro.

Wen's query on Chinese restaurants got us thinking. We agree with David - in Victoria they probably date from the Gold Rush, and one restaurant in Bendigo is said to have been operating for over a hundred years .
Most rural and regional towns have got one. No it is not public toilets we are talking about...or Mechanics Halls.
But like NZ I suspect that it was only Post-War that the switch in middle class dining habits from home cooking to chinese dining in or out became common. It's hard to track down this sort of info and you rely a bit on family lore. I supect the answers are to be found in Michael Symons' One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia.
While searching for an extract I found Research Centre For The History of Food and Drink at the University of Adelaide, South Australia - with many excellent links.
I don't think we have anything like this US Smithsonian exhibition Key Ingredients America By Food, or on a smaller scale the NZ site of yesterday.

In the meantime some images from Museum Victoria's The Biggest Family Album
collection (search for 'restaurants. Vic.'):
A group of waitresses at the Wattle restaurant 1916
Inside the Wattle restaurant with waitresses standing by the tables.
A group of men, including soldiers, dining at Russo's cafe, Bairnsdale circa 1920
and from SLV: Staff and premises of S.P.Q.R. Tea Rooms, Bairnsdale. 1937

Comments: dining

good on you. yes!

I think Michael Symons is actually connected to the Adelaide research centre.

I've heard stories from the fifties of people going to the local Chinese restaurant for takeaway which was carted out in lidded billies. When I was a child in the same era, I can remember going to the dairy with a billy to get the family milk. But that was (briefly) in a country town.
Posted by David Tiley at November 11, 2003 04:13 PM

Thought MS may have been connected. A good thing - very Adelaide.
When I was a child, we used to take away Chinese in our saucepans. And that wasn't all that long ago ;)
Much better idea all round - one area where environmental thinking should outweigh Health/litigation concerns/paranoia, IMHO.
Posted by boynton at November 11, 2003 05:30 PM

When I was a child (a rural kiddy I was) our takeaways were sugar bags full of produce as the result of visits to the local Chinese market garden run by descendants of some Ararat gold miners.

Interesting aside. (Well, I think it so.) Ararat's goldfields were actually opened up by Chinese miners who were not, as general history would usually have it, mere scroungers of the tailings.
Posted by Sedgwick at November 12, 2003 06:51 PM

Thanks Boynton - nice to have suspicions confirmed. Vastly superior to NZ.

A leventyleventh generation (1850s) Aus Chinese friend - her recently born niece is the first in her family who's not entirely ancestrally chinese - is reading a masters thesis on the topic of Chinese food in country NSW. Will have to get hold of it, let you know what happened here.
Posted by wen at November 12, 2003 08:36 PM

Meant to say thanks for the restaurant pics too - my heroine was a waitress/domestic in a Melbourne Pub ( in Preston) at turn of last century. Perhaps she had to wear one of those hideous bonnets. There's an extra paragraph in it, anyway.
Posted by wen at November 12, 2003 08:39 PM

Very interesting aside Mr Sedgwick, IYAM
I hadn't known that about Ararat - and had to do some googling. Seems it was partly because of the walk from Robe factor? I must go back to Geoffrey Serle.

Wen: I think I saw a reference to your friend's thesis - sounds really interesting. Would love to hear more - hope it gets wider publication.

Nice coincidence about your heroine - and again sounds intriguing.
My mother's extended family were deep in the heart of Preston at this time - many stories.
Posted by boynton at November 13, 2003 11:37 AM

r & r

500 most influential Rock and Roll songs. (via pop culture junk mail)

100 greatest shocking moments in rock and roll (via the presurfer)

No correspondence will be entered into.
Take it up with Bile
"I despise you and I hate your taste in Music"

Monday, November 10, 2003

aunt daisy

Post-war sophistication in New Zealand

from No Pavlova Please: Images of Food and Drink in Twentieth-Century New Zealand.
The sound files page has some great samples from these distant lands.
The Fast Lunches extracts were good, but Aunt Daisy is the star.
Listen to the scrapbook piece 'Married Life' before the recipe for Beetroot Chutney new from England, or this before the cornflower blancmange:

Coming together is the beginning
Keeping together is progress
Thinking together is unity
Working togther is success

and then someone wanted to know…she said she can never make a cornflower blancmange properly she said she generally makes them too stiff and what do you do about them and how much should you put in

Aunty Daisy took boynton straight back to some of the scary ancients who presided over her early education, and her tone produces a reflex squirm in either homily or recipe mode.

Comments: aunt daisy

Aunt Daisy has one of those jolly fierce voices. Who would dare not be in her "daisy chain"? I can still hear those scary ancients to whom you alude...
"Hey you!(pointing vaguely in your direction) Yes YOU!! Are you listening?? Didn't think so...GET OUT!!!"
Posted by nora at November 10, 2003 04:37 PM

Just listened to another of her recipes...That voice...I'm feeling the need for recovered memory therapy...
Posted by nora at November 10, 2003 04:43 PM

They mentioned the opening of Chinese restaurants in the 60s as being important & I immediately thought - all those country town Chinese restaurants in Aus - we're obviously culinarily far superior (well as far superior as MSG & cornflour glug can make you).... but I can't come up with any proof (just googling) that this was so. Were Chinese restaurants around earlier than this?? Does anyone know? I just can't remember back that far. ( & the country town I lived in in the 70s didn't even have proper hamburger buns - we had to go to Dubbo - the big smoke - for such sophistocation)
Posted by wen at November 10, 2003 08:57 PM

i sent the url for the ski photo restaurant to my friend shiralee who comes from new zealand. this is what she sent back:

"Hey that's the first restuarant I ever went to that you're making fun of!"

i think she is too scared to play the audio grabs.
Posted by David Tiley at November 10, 2003 11:09 PM

and wen..

i think chinese restaurants in country victoria go back as far as the goldfields. it was either cook or get your pigtail chopped off by some mean mean goldminers..

and while we are on the general subject of grub, riverbend has started posting recipes at Is Something Burning?.

the goil has a sense of humour too..
Posted by David Tiley at November 10, 2003 11:15 PM


now i will thend
Posted by David Tiley at November 10, 2003 11:16 PM

Nora: I know the exact ancient you mean.
Wen: interesting point re chinese restaurants. Had me googling - stand-by. Maybe country Vic was superior to country NSW in the quality of Hamburger Buns? Best hamburgers I ever had were from rural locations: San Remo and Moe.
David: I'm sure I would have thought skis created a sophisticated ambience too. And equally sure that there are comparable photos on line to show that Aus was just as sophisticated. I've got a few books of the era that demonstrate this, but it seems that NZ's digital history is more advanced than ours?
Posted by boynton at November 11, 2003 12:16 PM