Friday, January 30, 2004

take two

once again we're surrounded by flooding without being flooded

must be the freak two-in-a-hundred year storm:

Toufic El-Ahmor, the owner of Riversdale Fruit, described it as the heaviest downpour since the freak one-in-a-hundred year storm that hit Melbourne's north and east last month when 100 millimetres fell in two hours. (The Age)

Sometime around four I was woken by the loudest clap of thunder in a hundred years, which suggested that this little pocket may have been the very eye of the storm. Earlier Flo had been eyeing the window anxiously, beyond barking, freakishly still and unsquirming, the stillest she had been in a century.
It was a tiny window of opportunity to relate calmly to each other. And pat her head.

Comments: take two

I'm not one for conspiracy theories (unless of course they are really off the wall and therefore highly likely to be true*) BUT has the weather become decidedly bolshie ever since Edwin Maher and his amazing dancing technicolour dream pointers left the Yabby Sea?

*Vladimir Petrov and Bob Menzies had a raging affair for years ... think it was them, or it might have been Jason and Kylie ... so easy to get them mixed up when you're in a privet hedge looking through the viewfinder of a camera the size of an early McCubbin decorated match box. Anyway there was some hanky panky going on somewhere, sometime and I've still got the dageurrotypes.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 30, 2004 03:41 PM

re * thought the famous footage of Mrs P's shoe
was 'shoddy'...

Edwin is missed. The weather has certainly been a bit non-specific lately, unlike the storms which seem to be very suburb specific, down to the blue square of the Melways. Heard a resident of this very smallish suburb talk about flood damage on yabby sea radio but our street/blue square luckily escaped.
But maybe there is a bolshie element given the
'well-heeled' suburbs that were in the path of the latest. Another shoddy theory...
Posted by boynton at January 30, 2004 03:57 PM

Weird dog stuff. We washed the wonderdog yesterday, which always makes her a bit peculiar - my theory being she is unsmelly and like an elderly aunt discovered without her makeup in the supermarket. Come the 4am thunder WHACK KABLOWIE ROOOARRR.. she marched around the house until we popped her on the bed.. but today she is refusing to go out at all, even for her wee. Huh? Maybe this is her way of mourning Edwin Maher and his pointed certainties..
Posted by David Tiley at January 30, 2004 05:05 PM

just as I was about to post something on psychic terriers...
The unsmelly theory is right I'd say. (small footnote: Doug (in his 'entire' days) became particularly excited when Abbey the labrador was wearing her 'bath perfume' - Martha Gardners.
Obviously some powerful aphrodesiac component in the wool wash. I was almost tempted to try some myself to see if human males might react in the same way.)

I was just interested to see Flo's abundant madness quelled by storm. Maybe the external electrical activity neutralised her own wierd wiring.
Posted by boynton at January 31, 2004 01:45 PM

"I was almost tempted to try some myself to see if human males might react in the same way"

You were interested in the reaction of blokes attracted to Martha's wool mix, the main constituent of which was metho?

We have a soft spot for the methylatté set?
Posted by Sedgwick at January 31, 2004 02:54 PM

me thought it was eucalyptus that set Doug off.

Luckily I never tried out that theory either
Posted by boynton at January 31, 2004 03:17 PM

Riversdale Road is flooded out (like half of Melbourne..) I wonder if it was named after presettlement topography, a kind of subtle reminder that water pouring down the gradient is not completely surprising..
Posted by David Tiley at January 31, 2004 03:55 PM

My mum swears by Martha's DYI wool mix recipe. Methylated spirits, Lux flakes and eucalyptus oil. (She's been known to take the odd swig of cooking metho.)
Posted by Sedgwick at January 31, 2004 05:02 PM

What's happening to the world? We've cancelled a trip to Cambridge - some parts cut off by floods!
Posted by Nora at January 31, 2004 11:19 PM

David - yes and they needed a boatman on Glen Ferrie there too...
the water was very High up this way too apparently.

Might try the DIY version, Mr S.
For non-medicinal purposes of course.

You always take the weather with you, Nora.
Saw snow storm pictures from Germany on TV.
Adjusted the rabbit ears, and it still looked bad.
Posted by boynton at February 1, 2004 08:46 PM

as you do

Male members of Mitford Church Choir outing to Cranston, Edinburghshire, engaged in a recreational activity involving tennis racquets and a flagpole

One of a "selection of photographs taken by Canon McLeod, Vicar of Mitford" in the Collections at Tomorrow's History "the majority of the images are naturalistic - showing local people at work and at leisure. "
Some of the unposed images are quite striking for their informality - this slide of a group of women, for instance, makes the viewer seem eavesdropper, or guest on the edge of the circle.
Likewise Mothers and daughters dancing or playing is quite remarkable for its lack of Victorian photographic stiffness. Rare animated smiles.

See also: The Macleod's play cricket
Men crossing River Wansbeck via stepping stones

Comments: as you do

Never could understand those traditional English spring fertility rites.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 30, 2004 05:57 PM

It's rare to see such candid photos from this era. I've often wondered about that Victorian stiffness -- was it because the equipment required long exposures to get a really good quality photo (these all seem a bit washed out)? Or was it because the Victorians generally considered having their picture taken equivalent to having their portrait painted? Both, maybe.
Posted by MG at January 31, 2004 02:16 AM

Gummo - think we've just about got the good wood on reading the obvious symbolism here, but still having some difficulty determining the semiotics of tennis racquet.

Yes I'd say both, MG
In this case, apparently:
"The invention of the dry plate in the latter part of the nineteenth century meant that photography no longer had to be posed" was responsible for the unusual naturalness.
I love seeing photos which challenge (my) expectations of the Victorian sensibility - stoic,
solemn, sombre. It would be an intersesting thing to research no doubt.
Posted by boynton at January 31, 2004 02:02 PM

But then, even after the Box Brownie, generations of family photos show us all lined up by the family car, or next to the hills hoist, or paused in the middle of crenellating our sandcastles on the beach. "Line up and get your picture taken.. come on Beryl, leave that tin of beetroot, Harry's got his camera.."
My own father, a good enough marksman to be a team member in Serious National Comps, always twitched as he pressed the shutter so we never had any heads in our childhood snaps..
it's how we confronted the family album. A kind of formality. God knows why, really..
Posted by David Tiley at January 31, 2004 05:52 PM

Not only being posed - the lack of colour adds to the sombreness - hard to believe people had fun back then, when the world was B&W.

We've got some wonderful 'posed' home movies taken in the sixties - with my nan (so young! so alive!) standing still for the camera & smiling - only her eyes flicker every now & then...
Posted by wen at February 2, 2004 02:17 PM

mysterious how a camera imposes a formality upon the informal
how the loose family stiffens
how faces are subject to the violence of composition
badly shot heads decapitated...
Posted by boynton at February 3, 2004 12:47 PM

Thursday, January 29, 2004

community tales

I've been spending some time skimming the wonderful things on offer at the Community Projects section of Tomorrow's History " the regional local studies site for the North East of England". (via bifurcated rivets)
Definitely a site to return to and explore slowly, but some highlights to date include:

The Durham Dialect Project led to their website, which includes a dialect quiz (in frames). See Puzzles and Games/Caal my dialect Bluff.

The Bewick Collection of Watercolour and Pencil Drawings 1760 to 1849
The Natural History Society of Northumbria

and some harrowing reading In the Shadow The Foot and Mouth Outbreak in West Durham

I kind of think humans get what they deserve somehow. We’ve made the mess, so we should suffer a wee bit. The most poignant things for me are with the animals. A calf that was born that morning and its mother’s just finished licking it off and then you come along and do what you have to do or what you’re told to, anyway. But then, the last farm I was at, the farmer obviously suffered with his nerves (from The Cull - 3)

Comments: community tales

A few months ago, inspired by a photo on junk for code ( a particularly ugly building, I went to the website for my English home town. Only to discover that actually my family speaks dialect. I grew up with it, and my father still speaks it. And my gran, who was once recorded on cassette, has another dialect. I prefer it because its a nice west country burr which was disappearing from Hampshire as she grew older. I don't have either of them because I was raised to reach up to the middle classes. But then, I really speak Adelaide anyway.. its an odd thing.
Posted by David Tiley at January 30, 2004 02:20 AM

Ad'laide is indeed an odd dialect.
Hope that doesn't disappear.
Always good to be able to quickly identify any croweaters in the crowd ;)
Posted by boynton at January 30, 2004 12:16 PM

Have to, or we will make off with the silver. SA is to Melbourne as NZ is to Sydney. Except we are smaller than maoris and smugger than pakehah..
Posted by David Tiley at January 30, 2004 05:09 PM


Just ran a couple of posts through the The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator (via The Presurfer)

Sad houses


Comments: BOYN2N

Posted by Nora at January 29, 2004 11:58 AM

Posted by boynton at January 29, 2004 12:53 PM


e. e. cummings.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 29, 2004 01:18 PM


Posted by boynton at January 29, 2004 01:24 PM

Posted by 3 E at January 29, 2004 01:29 PM

Posted by GUMO TROTSKY at January 29, 2004 07:29 PM

Posted by Pithy at January 30, 2004 11:08 AM



Posted by boynton at January 30, 2004 03:15 PM

Posted by GUMO TROTSKY at January 30, 2004 05:54 PM

Far out, Miss B. Have you been drinking again?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at January 31, 2004 03:40 AM


Posted by boynton at January 31, 2004 02:05 PM

Posted by DAVID TIELY at January 31, 2004 06:01 PM


Why does Mrs. Smith get on My Nerves

"I cannot stand Mrs. So-and-so; she gets into a rocking-chair and rocks and rocks until I feel as if I should go crazy!" some one says. But why not let Mrs. So-and-so rock? It is her chair while she is in it, and her rocking. Why need it touch us at all?

from Nerves and Common Sense by Annie Payson Call

One of many wonderful tiltles at Harvest Fields that boynton is slowly working her way through (via J walk)

Annie also has interesting advice for those in need of a holiday - the imaginary vacation.

Mother, I cannot stand it. I cannot stand it. Unless I can get a vacation long enough at least to catch my breath, I shall break down altogether."
"Why don't you take a vacation today?" asked her mother. The daughter got a little irritated and snapped out:—-
"Why do you say such a foolish thing as that, Mother? You know as well as I that I could not leave my work to-day."
"Don't be cross, dear. Stop a minute and let me tell you what I mean. I have been thinking about it and I know you will appreciate what I have to say, and I know you can do it. Now listen." Whereupon the mother went on to explain quite graphically a process of pretense—good, wholesome pretense.

boynton's been taking imaginary vacations for years. Still nervous. Wa la wa.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

lost and found

thought there was something vaguely familiar in that bad scan of the kangaroo, those muted blue tones of melancholic McCubbin with the impressionist (puckered matchbox surface) edges.

we're one panel short of a pioneers

more on The Lost Child here.

Comments: lost and found

Well found, B.
BTW have you read Peter Pierce's book about lost children and Aus?
Posted by wen at January 28, 2004 07:31 AM

No - but read 'about' it yesterday. Looks like another to put on the wanted list.
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 12:00 PM

so, let's get this straight in my fevered brain... are we saying that a matchbox cover was pinched from mccubbin and a kanga put on it, or that ms boynton, while keeping an eye on a certain dog artfully replaced one with the other? thus showing either how the world is full of coincidences or that some poor poor visually creative sod was so frustrated designing matchbox covers that this kind of joke is the only way to redeem his/her brutalised life? and is right now eking out a cubicled existence unaware that THE WORLD HAS FOUND OUT?
Posted by David Tiley at January 28, 2004 01:41 PM

Hang onto those strikes, B. Did you know it was McCubbin who actually painted the matchbox? Apparently it's the matchbox equivalent of the Penny Black. On second thoughts, the philanderer may have said: "You get a penny back."
Posted by Tony.T at January 28, 2004 01:56 PM


actually miss b was blushing at posting such a bad scan (even though the painterly quality of the found roo was half the point) and then looking at it thought: oh well it kind of looks a bit mcCubbinesque, so then did a quick paintshop collage...
and I just found the third panel:

as you can see I forgot to flip the kangaroo back after scanning...
(I thought the line "environmentally safe" was quite apt)

Yes I did know that Tony.
It was exhibited in the famous 2 x 1 ½ exhibition, along with Robert's Shearing the Ram, and Conder's (Parasol at) Mentone.

Well Penny's back legs account for her distinctive Lope. And apparently the 1930 Penny is very rare.
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 02:40 PM

Didn't the Heidelberg school do their rough sketches on the top of cigar boxes? Perhaps McCubbin was out of lids on the day he spotted the roo and grabbed the matches instead...
Posted by mcb at January 28, 2004 04:11 PM

ah yes, mcb! Bravo.
The missing link.

and actually if you see Conder's "How we lost poor Flossie"
"...probably the most endearing of Conder’s exhibits. The subject of this witty narrative is the small terrier in the centre of the painting, greeting a larger dog. Flossie belonged to Conder’s friend Frederick McCubbin and, following its encounter with this unknown canine, was neither seen nor heard of again"

I think Flossie might have made a cameo on the
(parallel universe) 2 x 1 ½ exhibition of impressions painted on matchboxes. Detail.
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 04:26 PM

Was Roberts a ringer?




And Lope Velez....
Posted by Tony.T at January 28, 2004 06:32 PM

yes Roberts is, and may have committed the odd blue bellied joe to matchbox.
(And The Tiff painting is a good match and could well blend into this Summer afternoon pastiche I think )

As you know Penny loped away to the tune "on the 14th January,1966"

And yes - Lope/lupe is now in the loop/soup.
More "Taylorology", Tony? (see Lupe's links)

Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 06:52 PM

Oh dear/OMG - just spotted that TERRIBLE mistake.

Of course I meant "On The 14th FEBRUARY 1966" !!

To non-oz/ generation Y readers this was the day when we swapped to decimal currency. They had a TV campaign featuring 'Dollar Bill' and this last line was sung to the tune of "Click Go The Shears" - (which Tony refers to here) ...

Had January on my mind. Is it any wonder I don't win at Trivia? ;)
Posted by boynton at January 29, 2004 02:37 PM

Hmmm... now I'm noticing similarities between Lupe:

and the woman on the front of the redhead matches:

(except, of course, for the hair colour)
Posted by mcb at January 29, 2004 04:46 PM

again, mcb, that match-up is rather uncanny!

- and her hair morphs a bit here

(nb number 3: 'This is Penelope"...)
Posted by boynton at January 29, 2004 05:14 PM

Ha Ha. Such a mistake! Tsk Tsk. Here's a Taylorology - "Get a grip, Boynton!"

Lupe really IS pronounced Loop. As in Poop. It is I tell you. It is. Appropriate considering she drowned in her torr-let.
Posted by Tony.T at January 30, 2004 09:41 AM

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

found day

walking back from park, I found this box of matches in the gutter.
Giant flags and fireworks, must be Australia Day again.

Comments: found day

It is good to see the burst of patriotism, but the disturbing concern remains that this is something we bring out of the closet on 25th January and then put away shortly after. It is a great country, and it would not hurt us to reflect on that a little more frequently than once a year. These coy symbols of nationalism are really only permissible for a a short time late in January. Perhaps we are put off by American images of patriotism that look so corny - in Cocoon the other night, the guy is asked to help the aliens save their collegues, and he asks "would this be bad for my country?" and decides to proceed when he is assured it would not be. Australia is great - Australians are great. We have a "can do" belief about us that may have something to do with the fact that only a handful of us can claim historical links to this place - we are almost all immigrants of just a few generations development. But I love the country - when I get out and see it (away from the concrete & bitumen) there is something about it that touches me and moves me (I don't know if I can describe it any more than that).

Happy Australia Day.
Posted by phlip at January 27, 2004 12:24 PM

I agree about getting out and being moved by a sense of attachment to the land.
But I think I would prefer "Wattle Day" as a day of celebration myself. I've always been uneasy with overt displays of nationalism, goes against that healthy streak of self-deprecation that apparently characterises whoever we are.
Which is also why I like Wattle Day -
Wattle we do...
Posted by boynton at January 27, 2004 01:57 PM

I like bushweek.
Posted by David Tiley at January 28, 2004 11:52 AM


A favourite returns. Just the ticket - a tonic for bloggerly blues.

(via life in the present)

Comments: dove

The dovecote is quite extraordinary and mysterious. So here is the leaden question: do we know anything about this?
Posted by David Tiley at January 28, 2004 06:19 PM

only that this is the latest appearance of s

(now co-publishing with m)

for older s see archives at solipsistic
and even (shameless self promotion which I hope will be forgiven) here
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 06:37 PM


Just noticed this headline in the local paper re Australia Day Honours:

Retired dentist turns active Lion

Comments: active

with bare hands or those disposable gloves, d'you think?
Posted by wen at January 27, 2004 08:18 PM

ah yes - or the hydraulic chair.

I was thinking less of taming and more of a standard retiree morph.
But the image works.
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 12:47 AM

Rather mundane. Praps they meant "Retired Lion eats aching dentist".
Posted by Tony.T at January 28, 2004 01:49 PM

that'd be Kevin Murray and Aylett, wouldn't it?

or am I thinking ('eat 'em alive') Tigers?
Posted by boynton at January 28, 2004 02:56 PM

Monday, January 26, 2004


Flo update: For it was the size of a pine cone, that bone she chomped in one go, so my fears weren't of the hysterick 19th century fretting kind entirely. Though she must have a 19th century cast iron stomach as she shows no apparent sign of discomfort. 'We're fairly confident she'll be fine' said the vet nurse, who then advised me to monitor her movements. (A bonus.) But is it possible for her to pass this? boynton thought, but had only said it was largeish - from a failure to properly articulate scale. Pine Cone did not sound standard enough, or specific enough to drop into clinical conversation over the phone.

To eliminate this "guesstimating" problem, it is best to pick a readily accessible (and socially acceptable) part of your body such as the length of a phalanx of your index finger or the width of your thumb

Comments: scale

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Is it a one hump pine cone size or two hump pine cone size?

We await the next up date. (©Roy and H.G.) We remain apprehensive watchers of the cast iron belly cone.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 27, 2004 08:41 AM

I think stomach acid helps. If they can get it into their throats, I don't think there is a problem from then on, assuming there is nothing sharp about the bones. Which is my fear with Coco the Wonderdog, who wolfs down crap she finds in the St Kilda Street...
Posted by David Tiley at January 27, 2004 10:54 AM

our apprehension and impulse to versification is gradually decreasing, but should any significant event come to pass before all fear is eliminated I shall keep my readership informed.

That old canine stomach acid must be quite lethal, David.
Some dogs (like one elderly labrador sook I know)
always have great trouble with the smallest of bones. Any but marrow bones were banned.
This bluey has enough of the dingo/pariah dog to
not suffer any perils of pampered domestication.
Posted by boynton at January 27, 2004 01:42 PM

I am glad. We all adore our pooches. Mine is panting like a train right now, her feet up on my leg, campaigning for her evening run.
Posted by David Tiley at January 27, 2004 11:50 PM

sad houses

the skip has arrived over the road, which heralds the beginning of the end for the modest timber house more valued today for its land than its history or private domestic heritage. I heard the auctioneer announce to the street that it has been in the one family since it was built in the 30's and the grand-daughter was the vendor with mixed emotions. The garden is a bare square with an old timber garage and clothes line, but the block is deep enough to be coveted. The herbacious border next to the flats is a kind of last stand of Yates recreation. No one gardens like that anymore. Modest expectations of a chrysanthemum culture.
Since it was sold I've noticed its condemned face, with the heavy lidded blue blinds awaiting its fate. The physiognomy of its replacement is likely to be indifferent.

Our house - Histories of Australian Homes. Victoria

Textism - The Physiognomy of Houses in the South Cévenne Region: A Photographic Survey

A history of Yates Garden Guide

Comments: sad houses

Toongabbie gets a gig.
Posted by Tony.T at January 25, 2004 09:29 PM

Actually I think that's the way I found that site a couple of years ago, through googlin' tooners.
(Toongabbie: gateway to the www.)
Posted by boynton at January 25, 2004 10:15 PM

rockin rhetoric

Thanks to wood s lot I caught up with the inspiring blog credo at empty bottle and a reply by Joseph Duemer on the emerging rhetoric of the weblog as a genre and the call to anarchy.
It is the function of critics & intellectuals to define genres & it is the function of artists to absorb the rhetorical power of genres & turn that energy to their own anarchic uses

and then finding the latest entry on Reading and Writing - Life Notes.
My project here is reconstruction, or notes toward a reconstruction, of certain memories. I'm going to use some of those old photographs in order to remember my life for V. but even more for myself

corset is

Dr Scott's Electric Corset
They are constructed on scientific principles, generating an exhilarating, health giving current to the whole system. Their therapeutic value is unquestioned and they quickly cure, in a marvellous manner Nervous Debility, Spinal Complaints, Rheumatism, Paralysis, Numbness, Dyspepsia, Liver and Kidney troubles, Impaired circulation, Constipation and all other diseases peculiar to women...

Nb Each corset is stamped with the English coat-of-arms...

From Dr. Scott's Quack Electric Devices at American Artifacts
Scientific, Medical and Mechanical Antiques (via Plep)

See also DR Scott's Flesh Brush People of sedentary habits and weakened nerve powers will find it a valuable companion (directions)

Comments: corset is

This post had me thinking that I might have to do a post on "female pills", another popular quack medicine of Dr Scott's era. Through the wonders of Google I found some interesting graphics:
(Printed Advertisement) (Pill Box) (Another Pill Box).
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 26, 2004 01:11 PM

They're Marvellous, Gummo.

Particluarly impressed with Dr John Hooper's Female Pills, with the anti-hysterick ingredients.

Although these particluar symptoms:
"a dejected countenance, a dislike to exercise and conversation" suggest that there may have been a booming market for Male pills as well.
Posted by boynton at January 26, 2004 01:35 PM

Most of the symptoms the pills treated were the result of being unexpectedly up the duff, if you catch my drift (or perhaps you already knew that & I've just whooshed meself).
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 26, 2004 03:12 PM

so if a male were to sample some of Dr Hood's wares, he would prevent or even abort a dejected countenance?
I naively thought it was a cure for the melancholick,sluggish and socially taciturn of both genders.
Still can't quite believe that the corset can improve circulation though...
Posted by boynton at January 26, 2004 04:01 PM

Each corset is sent in a handsome box, accompanied by a silver plated compass by which the magnetic influence of the corset can be tested.

But what about the steak knives?

I'm not sure what the effect on a man of taking Dr Hood's wares would be; nothing too pleasant I imagine. Perhaps this is what Dr Scott's pad was for.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 26, 2004 05:43 PM

Sunday, January 25, 2004

beatles smile

Abbey Roads - variations on the crossing photo. From a beatle-fest post at Sarcasmo

More on the Crossing at Abbey Road Cafe

Gary on Brian Wilson and Smile with many interesting links at Junk For Code

Saturday, January 24, 2004

more flo

my foe. As I was sweeping I noticed her skulking round the stove, pausing with her characteristic huff, a sort of sonic thought bubble, then becoming slightly obsequious, almost submissively so. I investigate the gap that she is eyeing off sheepishly and see a largish lamb neck chop from last night. This is where I make my first mistake. I offer it to her. She dashes out and wallows on the lawn. Belatedly fearing the consequences of her indigestion I go and softly ask her to drop it. She digs in. My second mistake. I corner her, picking up a shovel for effect. She swallows it whole. I clumsily administer home brew emetics. She wags her tail. I google emetic, dog on the internet. I give her another stronger dose of salt water. She snaps at a fly, huffs and lies in the sun. Vets give conflicting advice. The latter saying ha ha that's blue heelers for you and adding very casually, keep an eye on her. Not easy advice. Sitting it out for 48 hours is no mean feat for neurotics.

Comments: more flo

"I corner her, picking up a shovel for effect. She swallows it whole."

I once knew an old woman who swallowed a fly. Never a dog who bolted a shovel.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 02:53 PM

Did she call a spade a spade?

whoops. I added the shovel line belatedly for added effect. Didn't check it, did I. Guess it's too late now to fix.
But she may as well have swallowed the effin shovel.
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 03:07 PM

Spade dog ... very responsible.

(Bad pun ... very irresponsible.)

"Guess it's too late now to fix." ... reminds me of the euphemism used for 'that' visit to the vet which to a wee lad's ears (Docked at the age of 4. Were very "sticky out".) was an odd thing to hear of a perfectly healthy animal.

"We'll have to take the dog to the vet soon to have it fixed."
Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 03:38 PM

Gosh - you do seem to bring out the unintended pun in one, Mr. S.
From now on I.May.Have.To.Run.Every.Word.Through.

I think that's ok...

Flo has been fixed btw. Or speyed. Neutered. Or whatever.
Just hoping she won't need be needing another $$$ op in 48 hours.
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 03:54 PM

Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 04:04 PM

Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 04:35 PM

Posted by Tony.T at January 24, 2004 11:23 PM


(as in under houz arrezt with three hounz)
Posted by boynton at January 25, 2004 11:10 PM

z z topped.

Game, zet, match.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 26, 2004 08:16 AM

blog style

I've only just caught up with this post on blue kangaroo, that inspires with its style.

out of stock

oh yes we have no boyden number 30

(from 1800's ephemera via the ultimate insult)


see also Rushton's Portable Sporting Boats & Canoes and Barnegat sneak boats

and from the letters collection, an intriguing 1880 envelope from Melbourne which apparently once contained an 8 page letter concerning Robbery and Suicide

Friday, January 23, 2004

dog haiku

Someone called her Flo
I am taking out the L
I will call a truce

boynton was inspired to pen a quick haiku to youknowwho after reading this crop (via Making light)

and on a dog theme, I saw these beautiful dog tags last week on fishbucket.
There are several reasons that motivate me to make my special one-of-a-kind creations. One being the idea of giving. Giving is loving. As an artisan, I throw myself into each piece.
Also, I love dogs and adorning a beloved pet is, I think, a wonderful thing to do

Max or Spot (or Doug for that matter) might be one thing, but it would be more challenging to inscribe a name like Sir Theodore Stormy Day, Tarmack Von Bruno or Seabreeze Seclusion which are some of the more unusual dog names listed here. (see Dog name results)

Comments: dog haiku

Those tags are funky.
Posted by dj at January 23, 2004 12:56 PM

That's great. And what a name for an artysan - Goodman Griese. Made up? if so, inspired by seventeenth century puritans, pilloried brilliantly by Ben Jonson as "Zeal-of-the-Land Busy". When i googled that name I found "Tribulation Wholesome" as well.. and John Littlewit, Win-the-Fight, Dame Purecraft...
Posted by David Tiley at January 23, 2004 01:01 PM

I think my fave is "spot".
Almost makes me want to go out and find a 'spot' to match.
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 01:02 PM

Cancel that Call.
I think the name of my next dog will have to be "Tribulation Wholesome"
Altho' "Win The Fight" might be a good name for a bluey - not that I'd be ever tempted to go down that track again.
On the other hand - a pair of litter mates named
"Win The Fight" and "Wa La Wa" might work ;)

& I'll have to follow that Ben Jonson lead myself...

Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 01:11 PM

Run with this...
Posted by David Tiley at January 23, 2004 01:42 PM

sorry -
Posted by David Tiley at January 23, 2004 02:03 PM

that's an interesting site - hypertext based on names. I've been wandering around literature at the whim of a Selima or a Caledonia.
From the T list, I like the "Virtue" names myself, although there would be a certain irony (or perhaps just Hope) in bestowing such a class of name upon a non-virtuous breed of dog.
Still "Tamer" springs to mind, or even "Tensy"
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 10:30 PM

"This is about me!
Possums are my thing, y'know.
Hey! Get off my bed."
Posted by Flo the Bluey at January 24, 2004 01:04 AM

Sorry. Above was just me chanelling the evil one from another hemisphere. Hope she's behaving...
Posted by Nora at January 24, 2004 01:08 AM

evil one behaves
moonlight possum patrol
eye of the dingo
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 09:35 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2004

latest mix

Still getting surprised by the inventiveness of the MixMaster ...This is from the latest edition of the mixmastered age

Comments: latest mix

My eye flicks across the page between the two snaps. You could make a living out of makeup tips...
Posted by David Tiley at January 23, 2004 12:29 PM

Only with a magic generator. Alas - or as I now prefer, Wa la wa.

btw Sadly this is probably the last day of that lovely phrase popping up in the mix. It was from a site I forgot to link to: Instant Old English.
and means "Woe etc!"
I'm fast adopting it as a catch phrase.
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 12:48 PM

its a great phrase.. perfect for Tarbrush Chittagong as he is deported.. (now that's obscure.)
Posted by David Tiley at January 23, 2004 12:50 PM

Seductively time wasteful the old Sunbeam Mixmaster.

Posted by Sedgwick at January 23, 2004 10:51 PM

Ah - what a mix.

Yes indeed it's a rather seductive thing.
But then I do find the old Sunbeam Mixmaster seductive too. In fact ... a friend of mine... once wrote a play that featured a Mixmaster who happened to be quite seductive.
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 11:01 PM

"The Sunbeam Sirens" starring Corinella MacPherson? Think I saw it. I was in Row 7. Lashed to Seat 4. With earplugs.

Or possibly Colonel Mustard. In the library. With the candlestick.

Not sure, after all it was the 60s when everything was hazy and when "even the the orgestra was booyudiful". (Apart from the piano player. But he was taken outside and shot.)
Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 08:39 AM

No, Colonel, this play was performed a couple of decades after the hazies.
And the Mixmaster was a Man. And he was played very seductively by a world-"beater".
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 09:12 AM

"a couple of decades after the hazies."

When the hell did they happen?! It's still 1965 over in this neck of the woods.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 09:43 AM

Bye, I'm off now to the Vic market. I'll pick up a weisswurst for you. Do you want it with sauerkraut and onion, plain or wholemeal roll?

Now that is something that hasn't changed over the decades.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 24, 2004 09:48 AM

double take

I confess I didn't even notice the mistake:

The Beatles Live in Melbourne June 17 1967

We wish. Poor old Melbourne. On the second day of Monterey, the day China explodes its H bomb, the Seekers in the charts and six months to the day before Harold Holt disappears swimming off Portsea, the fab four weren't playing Festival Hall and weren't even holed up at the Southern Cross escaping the seething crowd.

Elsewhere on the previous day Paul admits to taking LSD.
"It opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think of what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part! It would mean a whole new world if the politicians would take LSD. There wouldn't be any more war or poverty or famine."
- Paul McCartney, 1967
"I now realize that taking drugs was like taking an aspirin without having a headache.
- Paul McCartney, 1967

No doubt the gratuitous aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) would have added an extra dimension to the phantom concert. Googling the date returned this contemporary record from the diary of a young American which also touches on the subject of illicit substances. And also quite by coincidence, another Procol Harum page. (I was feeling kinda seasick as the ceiling flew away)

You have to wonder though if 67 could top the 64 gig:
On the spur of the moment we decided to drive into Melbourne to see the Beatles at the Southern Cross. Just to stand in that great seething crowd was one of the most amazing experiences of my young life. The crowd was so large and packed that it was not possible to leave or change position. As the crowd swayed you simply went with it, arms pinned to your side and feet barely touching the ground. But we did see them and the sense of excitement was totally electric (source)

Another who saw the show was Robert Whitaker - photographer of the famous "butcher" sleeve, who had been offered the position of staff photographer at NEMS
"I initially turned it down, but after seeing the Beatles perform at Festival Hall I was overwhelmed by all the screaming fans and I decided to accept the offer to return to England ".

Guess like 64 once the phanton psychadelic tornado passed, mondo melbourne would resume normal service, the Seekers on track, and flotsam would steadily collect in china cabinets.
For many years, the family had a patch from McCartney's shirt, which Mrs Peters remembers placing in "a beautiful ornament cabinet of her mother's

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I like this Dog Day Afternoon yarn on Other People's stories. (via Sarcasmo)
also String Theory

The Stained Apron is a collection of tales dedicated to the venting of food servers' frustrations and a harsh education of the dining public!
(via bifurcated rivets)

23 cent stories is a rather mesmerising site featuring NY postcards to peruse and
write (via Invisible Shoebox)

Comments: stories

that dog story is very fine.
Posted by David Tiley at January 22, 2004 12:29 AM

Yes. That dog story made me weep.
Posted by Nora at January 22, 2004 12:32 AM

beatle boots

yeah I think I dig the beatle boots. Like the Lennon but I 've always had a soft spot for a winkle picker myself. (via J walk)

The Beatles are one of the most bootlegged bands in music history.
From another bootleg site is this Live in Melbourne

For one week only, it's Rolling Stones week on Glamorama! Only one band other than The Beatles could rightfully lay claim to the the title of best rock band ever, and that's The Stones
(via things)

Comments: beatle boots

The Beatles never even came close.
Posted by David Tiley at January 21, 2004 08:53 PM

hey dude
Posted by boynton at January 22, 2004 11:07 AM

The Beatles supposed to have the greatest rock band of all time?
Posted by liv at April 2, 2004 12:02 AM

Rock up heaven Lennon!
Posted by bobby at April 2, 2004 12:04 AM

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


After sampling the Chaucer read by university professors (one of who shares a name with an Oscar winning actor) I found more audio poetry at The English Club for ESL students. Listen to Poetry in English has 10 extracts of well known poems

I found this by chance looking for 1 Corinthians 13, having caught a bit of Songs of Praise a Sunday ago when the old words on Love suddenly sounded new.
Though having just hiked up to the supermarket in summer, I shall listen to Shall I compare thee a little less kindly. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines

Comments: listen

It's well below freezing here. I'll trade you.
Posted by MG at January 21, 2004 12:51 AM

Just heard it was 37 yesterday. But it was just a one off - and the cool change came through in the afternoon. When we get our inevitable heat waves of Feb, I'll trade you some sub-zero then, MG.
Posted by boynton at January 21, 2004 09:50 AM


"You just can't comprehend how it's come to this." Allan Border
I read about the assault on David Hookes on the blogs, without listening to the radio which is where you instinctively go when there's a sudden local tragedy unfolding. You need audio, the voices of the crowd, like the way neighbours can gather in the street, a simple presence, headshaking, that dumb numbness. Then I read on a comments thread that he had died. The starkness of the line compounded the shock of such a violent, ordinary death of a public figure whose dazzling test debut in a game fit for heroes ensured his cricketing immortality. It may have been that, as Greg Baum writes today, "he then spent a career not quite living up to that beginning" but the cold last line of his potted biog "dies after pub row" displays the sudden senselessness of it all.

Comments: numb

I don't think he died after a pub row. I think he was murdered by goons in the street. How are we going to deal with it?
Posted by David Tiley at January 20, 2004 04:09 PM

Go after the goons I guess, in time, when the shock subsides.
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 04:26 PM

what is scary is the "goon" had a proper security license.....How do we deal with that?
Posted by pseo at January 20, 2004 05:48 PM

Probably makes it easier to deal with legally than that of a fatal assault by an anon goon.
At least there can be some overdue enquiry into the scary 'industry'.
Posted by boynton at January 21, 2004 10:18 AM

On local radio here in Brisbane a man rang in saying he was recently asked to move on by a security guard. He said "no thanks" as the guard had no jurisdiction on the street. The guard was incensed and violence ensued. The man had his son and a bystander, so it was three on three. The manager came out and the man said he wanted to make a complaint. The manager told him he would welcome that because the manager would then know where the man lived and could send his goons around.

The man did go to the police and got the brush off because these cases typically go nowhere.

The ABC announcer told him to get signed witness statements, go back to the police and if they don't act go to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. If he got no response then he was to come back to the ABC.

It seeems to me you wouldn't go down this track unless you had the backing of some-one you could trust in the media to blow the whole thing wide open.
Posted by at January 23, 2004 12:22 AM

Ooops that last comment was from me.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 23, 2004 11:33 AM

Your ABC as your one-stop legal aid/cop shop? More grunt for your eight cents a day.
It seems that the media is assuming this role,
a kind of judicial hit man, even inheriting it from the usual suspects, who may be constrained by technicality (allegedly), economics and the sheer density of cases.
So we all turn to the media now as our ambassador/ombudsman/hitman?
Personally I've had no exposure to this apparently violent security/thuggery industry - it's a boy thing? - but at least there may be some overdue overhaul occuring as a result of such a high profile incident.
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 12:08 PM

The ABC guy was Steve Austin who does the 9-11am shift on local radio in Brisbane. He's a very competent guy and was impressive in reeling off the legal requirements in making a complaint. You would still need to be very brave to go down that track, but commercial operators/venue managers often treat you differently when the media are involved.

Systemically it's not the answer of course, but I'm pessimistic about anything being done. It seems as intractable as say the practices of long distance trucking firms.

About the boy thing I can't comment due to no direct experience. About 7 years ago my big son was kicked and ended up with a cracked sternum for intervening on behalf of a young woman who had been insulted. He investigated suing but gave up. It's hard to make evidence stick.
Posted by at January 23, 2004 11:54 PM

Sorry that was me again.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 23, 2004 11:55 PM

Jon Faine on 774 often provides the same service here. He was a lawyer, so it mkaes it seem even more like a kind of quasi-legal agency thing happening, with the standover threat of broadcasting backing up the otherwise anonymous claimant.
I hope this doesn't prove as intractable as those road-warriors.(speed tractors)
That's a terrible story re your son.
Since the incident I have heard a few stories, in the blogosphere and in RL, that have been quite shocking about this culture of violence, and brushes with fate. A common theme is - "it could have been me" and a man I know claimed it was an experience known to 50% of the population. I argued for 25% (thinking it was not all men, surely, but perhaps it is?)
Though I have heard first hand of the heartbreak of having a fatal assault charge not pursued from probable lack of evidence/conviction.
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 09:29 AM

I don't know of any statistics except that the demographic most likely to be murdered, according to some criminologists, is young men at the hands of young men.

My daughter once said that women are more cautious about where and how they go, so don't put themselves in as much danger as men. Also I fancy women are more likely to respond with flight rather than fight.

To me 50% sounds way too high. Perhaps they are including situations were people were threatened but not attacked.

There seems to be an increasing trend for groups of young blokes to threaten or attack people for no particular reason.

But my memory tells me that crimes against the person are officially down in Australia in recent years, whereas crimes against property are up.

Thanks for your compassion and concern.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 25, 2004 11:32 AM

don't knoet

You are Anne Sexton - a sensual, wild person with a taste for adultery.  You prey on lesser talents, luring them into your bed and your poetry.  You are the Venus Fly-Trap of confes
You are Anne Sexton - a sensual, wild person with a
taste for adultery. You prey on lesser
talents, luring them into your bed and into
your poetry. You are the Venus Fly-Trap of
confessional poets.

Which Dead Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(via Never Neutral)

No don't know about the likeness, well maybe a bit around the first line. But then apparently I'm also John Keats and Sylvia Plath

Comments: don't knoet

I'm Dottie Parker. But that's who I wanted to be, so I cheated. (I'm sure Dottie would have approved.)
Posted by Sedgwick at January 20, 2004 01:13 PM

I have a few doubts about the scientific reliability of this result:

You are Arthur Rimbaud - a vital, cannon-changingpoet with a flare for tantrums. You tend towrite in a fever, and have a liking for thedisordered mind. Do't expect people tounderstand you, for you are ahead of your time.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 20, 2004 01:22 PM

Drats - I was hoping to be Dottie myself, but had I known what Arthur Rimbaud returned I would have definitely tried to stack the poll thataway.
Actually that one was quite easy to outwit. (eg The Daddy bit gave Sylvia away.) But I recommend the last quiz for its superior science.
(I was either Sylvia or Carl Sandburg, and had to choose)
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 01:58 PM

I was Rimbaud too Gummo. At least on the first go.
Posted by dj at January 20, 2004 05:19 PM confess...I was Wordsworth on the first go of the second quiz. Went for Keats by slightly adjusting one answer, but I coodabeen a Coleridge.
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 05:27 PM

The second quiz gave me three to pick from, but I went with Robert Frost (so as not to create a gender crisis). The third gave me Shelley, which i suppose is partially fitting (not that that's what these things are about).
Posted by dj at January 20, 2004 05:41 PM

how can i capitalise on being e e cummings ?
Posted by Sedgwick at January 20, 2004 07:35 PM

I was Plath. But I'm soooo not. Never ever bit anyone on the cheek. Think it was the dying around kitchen utensils bit - but I didn't mean it that way....
Posted by wen at January 21, 2004 07:59 AM

dj- It would be difficult for me to realign gender on the 2nd. Apparently all Romantic poets were male.

mr s. DON'T ASK ME.

i lower my case with best of them

wen - I thought the old kitchen utensils was going to swing me in the plath direction. I must have decided to write a bitter confessional about a bastard spoon I once had.
Posted by boynton at January 21, 2004 09:46 AM

I think i meant the third one, which i did second. It came up with Maya Angelou and Dorothy Parker as well as Frost.
Posted by dj at January 21, 2004 10:04 AM

Monday, January 19, 2004


Deep into his evening stroll, distracted, Doug wanders into the cricket nets. Looks up to get his bearings. He can just see me through the cyclone wire but can't work out how to get to me. Even though it's open ended, he thinks he's trapped.

My card is chomped by the machine. Expired. I order a new one. Then moments later find the replacement sitting here all the time. I ring the bank back.

'Yes - I can do that for you" she says 'I just have to cancel the stop'.

Meanwhile hoping the machine accepts it and I won't have to stop the cancel the stop.

cards at nobody here

Comments: cancel

"Where are dey?"
Posted by Nora at January 19, 2004 07:58 PM

right here all along mr wong
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 12:14 PM


One thing that the mixmaster mixed from The Age was this alternative horoscope with nouveau zodiac names. Works for me.

Comments: zodiac

I like that!
Posted by michelle at January 19, 2004 05:59 PM

The 2nd edition "tativille" was better actually, with signs including "metaphor" "trade" nd "10.36 pm".
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 12:10 PM

Boynton Lump (which, I think is my sign) is very good, although "dear me" is a sign I could well believe I was governed by.
Posted by mcb at January 21, 2004 12:41 PM

Well I'm actually "happy" believe it or not.
Almost makes as much sense as when they always say Virgos are fastidiously NEAT...(not!)
I'm sure I must have a bit of the Piscean rising wobble about me..
Posted by boynton at January 22, 2004 01:43 PM

Sunday, January 18, 2004


the age of boynton

boynton kills Age

Mixmaster via the Presurfer

Comments: mixmaster

nb Mr Sedgwick.
You can now maximse the comments as requested.
good for the links eg
Posted by boynton at January 19, 2004 01:40 PM

Thanks to both you and your landlord. I can now go to my grave a happy garçon.

The "Boynton coming of Age" link looks very much like the result of one of my many "Oops, I dropped the Quattro Gusti pizza on the floor, but I'm sure it's still edible" experiences.

(Given such events were characteristically as a consequence of desperate late night munchie imperatives, I think drink may have been involved.)
Posted by Sedgwick at January 19, 2004 06:22 PM

Saturday, January 17, 2004


When I last googled Mr Hulot I missed Tativille

In Playtime I put the dialogue in the sound.

(Playtime) is an invitation. "Look about you and you'll see there's always something funny happening. I think that Playtime is made not so much for the screen as for the eye"
Jacques Tati.

Comments: tativille

"Mon Oncle" ... a great, great fillum.

Projectionist ... show us your Tatis.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 17, 2004 05:58 PM

Playtime was such a great experience on a big screen, all the details came to life. A tad long at times, maybe, but defintely worth the effort...
Posted by beck at January 17, 2004 09:34 PM

Mr Hulots holiday- bloody classic mate. Tati was a genius.
Posted by Brett Pee at January 18, 2004 02:04 AM

I love all these films, with Playtime probably topping the list. And even though I'm envious when reading here about "at last the DVD..." (without a DVD player of course) I'd still wait to see Playtime or any Tati on the big screen.
The eye seems to need it.
It's been a few good calendars since it was on at the Astor.
Posted by boynton at January 18, 2004 05:53 PM


As I see it, life is an effort to grip before they slip through one’s fingers and slide into oblivion, the startling, the ghastly or the blindingly exquisite fish of the imagination, before they whip away on the endless current and are lost for ever in oblivion’s black ocean
Mervyn Peake (1911 - 1968), artist, illustrator, poet and author

via a wonderful post at Giornale Nuovo

Comments: peake

hells bells, two heroes of mine in the one post..

Jacques Tati was once asked by a bumptious American journalist how he felt about only making four films in twenty year. "I feel very privileged," he replied. "I have made four films. Most people never make any at all."

And the Gormenghast books are just wonderful. I don't agree with the people who say that Titus Alone should be ignored. He apparently wrote the stories of all three books out very carefully at the beginning and stuck to them. The last volue was the desperate labours of a man trying to put it all down before he was beaten by a truly terrible brain disease. He must have had one of the most painful lives of any major British writer.
Posted by David Tiley at January 18, 2004 02:00 AM

that's a great quote, David. It was good to read Tati on Tati at Tativille. A hero.

and MP may yet be another.
Posted by boynton at January 18, 2004 06:00 PM


The orang-utan, Asia's "wild man of the forests", could disappear in just 20 years, a campaign group believes...WWF, the global environment network, says in the last century the number of apes fell by 91% in Borneo and Sumatra
(BBC via Follow me here)

More at Earth-Info where we see that much of the habitat is being destroyed for palm oil plantations. So in 20 years time, will we say we traded our orangutans for cooking oil, soap, cosmetics + margarine ?

The Tragic Tale of a Brave Orangutan
Majri's tragic tale is a living example of the devastating effects of forest fragmentation and the development of palm oil plantations in the midst of orangutan habitat.

Comments: trade

"So in 20 years time, will we say we traded our orangutans for ... margarine?"

In 20 years time we will be saying, "I can't believe it's not better."

and I bet it won't be.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 18, 2004 10:27 AM

Friday, January 16, 2004


A comment by Nora below which referenced the Procol Harum in Chaucer
We been bresting to axe what happened when the Miller told his tale?
led boynton to post lyrics from the missing verse of A Whiter Shade of Pale.
"My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head"

which just shows you how well boynton knows the song.
Whose meaning has always been elusive (as the many different interpretations by Palers gathered here indicate)
Perhaps best summed up here:

I don't know the meaning of the song but was once told that if I met someone who does, to ask for a glass of whatever they are drinking

Turns out The Miller may not reference Chaucer anyway, according to its lyricist
'One thing people always get wrong is that line about the Miller's Tale. I've never read Chaucer in my life. They're right off the track there.' Why did he put it in then? (In mild dismay at the peremptory demolition of this intellectual prop.) 'I can't remember

Maybe it works just as well sung as a mistake...
Personally As the mirror told its tale works for me. Wa la wa.

The mistakes page is from a site devoted to AWSOP with mp3s of over 200 cover versions - where I see that it has been translated into Norwegian and Czech.
But sadly not Middle English.
The best I could do was the Google Translator Poem technique advanced by Gummo, where the English-German-English produced this:

And like that it was that later,
since that explained Miller its history,
which its face, at first straight ghostly,
turned a whiter colour of slats

Comments: paler

I was always under the impression "as the mirror told its (or his) tale" was the correct lyric. I like it a lot better, to be honest...
Posted by James Russell at January 16, 2004 05:45 PM

It makes sense as a song about getting totally blotto and doing and saying silly things. Hence the feelings of seasickness, the incoherence of the narrative in the second staza and so on. It's the perfect morning after "Oh my god, I can't believe I did/said that" song.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 16, 2004 08:53 PM

See your AWSOP and raise you a Pandora's can of MacArthur Park worms ...

"All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again"

or as the ESL translator clarifies it ...

"Glaçage soft and green whole number that functions for low,
Left somebody the cakes under the rain
I do not think of that I can make examination thus
The cause it done examination that left to cook it the long time
And in the furnace that this income never will have me still"
Posted by Sedgwick at January 17, 2004 07:02 AM

I agree James. Don't know if I'd like to see the tales it would tell after one of those seasick nights that Gummo describes. And again I think I prefer the line: "one of 16 Austin virgins" in the second stanza. I think Austin aids the comprehension.

Mr S, I had a Boomer friend who used to get all misty eyed about MacArthur Park. He would recite this very verse and weep. I could never get past the 'Glaçage soft and green' ingredient myself even when I done examination thus.
I really like Jimmy Webb's own rendition on '10 eay pieces' though, but alas, the epiphany in the recipe has so far eluded me. Maybe I've just never made the right cake.
Posted by boynton at January 17, 2004 04:12 PM

I believe it is possible to read much magical, mystical and spooky into Mac Park after this experience. (All true, I swear on the soul of Richard Harris.)

Two tours ago Jimmy Webb was in Melbourne the very day that was published in my old gig in the Sun Hun. (Absolute coincidence as the stuff had to be in well advance of publication)

Anyhow to cut a long story long, he thought it was one of the funniest things he had seen about Mac Park (thereby proving that being a successful muso doesn't ensure a good critical sense of humour) and subsequently put the cartoon up on his old webbsite.

Bartering ensued. He now has the coloured original of this and I have a signed copy of "10 Easy Chunks".

Needless to say I got far the better of the exchange.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 17, 2004 05:10 PM

Wow. That takes the proverbial...
Love the toon. Love the album.

Posted by boynton at January 17, 2004 05:19 PM

"10 eay pieces"

No doubt the origin of the saying "eay peay". Appropriate when you're talking about records. And the Austin would no doubt be the Heay Leay.
Posted by Tony.T at January 17, 2004 05:27 PM

Posted by boynton at January 18, 2004 06:19 PM

Boyntssssssssssssss, (sibilance to the max please) the innocent flower or the serpent under't?
Posted by Sedgwick at January 18, 2004 07:01 PM

the very essence of the sibilance is this mystery?

alas, mr ..., miss b's hiss is worse than her diss
Posted by boynton at January 18, 2004 09:28 PM

This is the song formerly known as "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths:

I its D Sohn and D inheritance
of shyness its criminally more vulgaer
I its D Sohn and inheritance
of nothing in particular

you close their opening
as can you say
I to go about thing D wrongly way
I to be human and I to have have love
gerad like everyone to be otherwise

there club if you to become liking to go
you can meet someone material love you
you to go in such a way and you stand on your self
and you leave on your self
and you go home and you cry and you wish to die

if you to say it being to go to happened now
wells if exactly you central to
see I to have already wait also long
and all my one goes to hope

The line "you close their opening" summons up images I wish it wouldn't summon up. And "you can meet someone material love you"? Does that mean they'll only love you for your material goods, not your inner beauty or anything like that?
Posted by James Russell at January 19, 2004 04:33 PM

"You close their opening" Sales talk isn't it, James.
"you can meet someone material love you?" sounds more ontological, like real vs cyber?
Or it could mean material as in a bolt.
apart from the maginificent first and last lines, I think the "material" verse is the one that really stood out as being "modernist" (as Gummo might say)
Posted by boynton at January 19, 2004 05:45 PM

Thursday, January 15, 2004


excerpts from Chaucer's works read by professors
(via Making Light)

Middle English Pronunciation Guidelines

A basic Chaucer glossary

Comments: chaucer

We been bresting to axe what happened when the Miller told his tale?
Posted by Nora at January 16, 2004 01:05 AM

Pardee ich noot

"My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head"

thinketh outrely nyce
Posted by boynton at January 16, 2004 09:45 AM

Posted by Nora at January 17, 2004 01:17 AM

Middle English pronunciation is a lot like dutch

Nora will have a chance to practise....when the eagle lands...soon!
Posted by Averil at January 17, 2004 09:32 AM

So Averil, is that just sort of German with lost of hchs?

CH "a sound like you make when you clear your throat to spit"

G "a sound like you make when you clear your throat to spit"

and (in bare German) Tehadler ist gelandet?
Posted by boynton at January 17, 2004 04:19 PM

No, it sounds like the noise that elderly Dutch people make when they think of Germans. The noise the younger ones make when they find zonked Americans falling in a canal is more like contemporary Glaswegian. Clearing the throat and "tsk'ing at the same time.
Posted by David Tiley at January 17, 2004 07:32 PM

Averil was impressed by your Stanford link and her own pronunciation was pretty close! BTW Tehadler ist gelandet.
Posted by Nora at January 18, 2004 05:05 AM


kind of a metaphor for this mid january blog sluggishness
I like any clock where the seconds lurch

(via incoming signals)

Comments: wobbly

Not only that but it is slow as well.
Posted by GreenMan at January 15, 2004 02:42 PM

I think it's measuring my pulse.
Posted by Nora at January 15, 2004 02:46 PM

Oh dear. It matches my PC - but then most clocks around here show the "wrong time". Certainly appears to be slower, which is attractive.

Go easy on the Slings there, Nora.
Posted by boynton at January 15, 2004 04:26 PM

there will be some creepier versions of this.. wriggling round and round..
Posted by David Tiley at January 15, 2004 09:55 PM

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

dear me

don't know if that last self-indulgent post has blown my rating in this survey
where I answered 40 percent of the questions in a manner that closely resembles the weblog author personality type described below. You probably resemble the following personality at least to a degree.
(via A Media Dragon)

Apparently the Author Model is good: Congratulations! You're worthy of having a weblog!
but the author of this essay is not overly enamoured with the genre, with categories of blogger including The Reverse Voyeur, The Exhibitionist and The Tragically Greek.

Only 40% though, so no resting on our tragic laurels and suspect there's a healthy swathe of apparent badness in my mix.

Wendy James on diaries Real lives - now and then

Nick Piombino on Blogging and Narcissism
Blogging is essentially anti-narcissistic, particularly
for writers since it brings the blogger in contact with
others, and because it has the potential to cause the
writer to feel and be more independent. Narcissism,
for writers and artists mostly has to do with a lack
of parity between fantasy and reality...

Comments: dear me

oh dear - I hope I'm not a self-important moron or an obsessive-delusional ranter. There are some pretty nasty punishments/cures suggested.
Posted by wen at January 13, 2004 06:19 PM

Can my ego survive this?
Posted by David Tiley at January 13, 2004 08:55 PM

Yes - egos can take a battering from this sort of blog-snark, especially with that that projection thing happening (akin to hyperchondria or medical-student syndrome) where one's ego identifies with *every* characteristic listed and snarked about.
Still recovering from that "flame-warriors" guide that Gummo posted months ago, and half think - now, am I being too "ego" or "loopy" in my comments today.
I just took the survey and ran, and reccommend all humble bloggers do the same. (Narcicisst bloggers won't worry too much apparently)
Posted by boynton at January 14, 2004 12:19 AM

Ego is a straaange thing here. I worry about it a lot, because my tone can get strident and lecturistical. But the truth is, our personalities are what makes the thing work, warts and all. Intellectually I know the trick is to post and trust and let the thing grow the way it wants. And I can assure you, none of the people who orbit around in loops around our general world have an ego problem.. the more we go for it, the better it gets.
But then, thats just my opinion. And the fact that I even choose to pontificate on this is clear evidence of my egomania.. loop, loop, fret, fret..
Posted by David Tiley at January 14, 2004 12:26 PM

Apparently i'm a normal person. I'm not sure whether to be scared or ambivalent.
Posted by dj at January 19, 2004 09:13 PM

Be alert but not alarmed ;)
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 12:07 PM


Sometimes the universe is kind.
wrote boynton in a post describing a few lost items past.

Of course the tam-o-shanter got a guernsay in this list:

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.

earlier she had noted:
She suspects it is gone for good, but will forestall meeting the awful truth for a while longer

Sometimes the universe is kind. Like today. For there it was hibernating happily away at the back of a high cupboard in another house. Having passed through the five stages of grief, boynton had accepted its loss and moved on. Now we're in denial about joy. And as it's high summer, it'll probably enjoy an extended long service leave until mid May. Like Nora, our housemate, who is off to deepest darkest Europe tomorrow, without the benefit of her own woollen tam. The black watch did a runner sometime around November.

Comments: found

I have a beret just like that. Gone.. slipped away to join the line of other berets I have lost. I thought they looked pretty stupid, until I put one on, and then I thought; stupid and warm.. YES
Posted by David Tiley at January 13, 2004 05:28 PM

I think it definitely is stupid and warm. And maroon seems to grow more stupid with the years.
Oh well. Who cares in July. It's warm. It never leaves my head.
I was once admonished by a beret-headed colleague for being hatless in winter, and she told us the percentage of body heat lost through being bare-headed. Forget the exact figure, but I duly bought a beret and never looked back.
Posted by boynton at January 13, 2004 06:01 PM

Great news about your Tam...Boynton! One of my English rellies was quoting that exact fact the other day about loss of heat through top of head. He couldn't remember the percentage either "but it's some incredible amount." Fingers crossed my black watch will turn up again one day.
Posted by Nora at January 13, 2004 11:57 PM

Think it will when you're not watching, Nora.

Perhaps it's just having a holiday somewhere.
Posted by boynton at January 14, 2004 12:21 AM

The only bonce cover I ever possessed was my bêrét noire. My school cap with the embroidered school motto "Nihil sine labore" adorning its peak.

The school cap was required wearing during the Monday "I love God and my country" Ararat High School assembly. (Yes I confess, I attended those the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha mass rallies. I was a member of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha youth movement.)

The hapless capless were ushered aboard a train, pinned with variously coloured cloth triangles and made to stand shamefaced in the fartherest reaches of the quadrangle.

The natural habitat of the lesser monogrammed reticulated school cap was the back pocket of the Stamina grey woollen school trousers.

(Said trousers came with wonderfully illustrated sets of cards celebrating "The Wool Industry in Austalia". They were a small compensation for the rite of passage of those who had grown and moved on from short woollen trousers with their sensuous silky lining to the unlined abrasive long woollen trousers (70% Merino 30% Jex) which ensured an intitial couple of weeks of painful chafing to the delicate inner thigh. A rite of frottage.)

When filing into the quadrangle (replete with appropriate military music provided by Mr. Music via the Department of Education's standard issue wind-up HMV record player) it was the sport of a band Fagin's apprentices to deftly lift caps from back pockets of the unsuspecting, leaving deeply patriotic lads bereft and mortified when the "Boys, caps on for the National Anthem and Oath of Allegiance" order came down from Headmaster Horace Winston Norbert Crebbin. (Unalloyed fact. Twas his name.)

My school cap went MIA sometime in November 1963, my penultimate year at school. It was the time when everyone else grieved for the loss of a President. It was the time I grieved for the loss of my cap.

Do you remember where you were when Sedgwick lost his cap?

I thought not.

Posted by Sedgwick at January 14, 2004 08:54 AM

Great! Glad to hear the tam o shanter returned. Normally you have to buy a new one before this happens.
Posted by mcb at January 14, 2004 04:54 PM

What follows denial? Come to think of it, how many stages of joy are there?
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 14, 2004 06:53 PM


These were the answers that got me to within a stones throw of Eddie writing out a cheque for a mill.

(1) The good cop/bad cop routine.

(2) Egg, caterpillar, pupae, butterfly.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 14, 2004 08:56 PM

Mr S. - Did Ararat pinch Nihill's rightful motto?
Great to read the lastest chapter. (The capless chap in the rites of frotagge)
We suffered through hat enforcement rituals at my school too, not to mention fashion crimes when they redesigned it from standard schoolgirl model to air-hostess.
What a wonderful name indeed borne by your Head.

mcb - exactly - this has often happened. So no bonus tam either this time (except for the op shop one which was never a fitting substitute!)

Glad Sedgwick cleared up the question, Gummo.
Googling in lieu of pondering returned a litany of stages - 3 stages of worship, 5 stages of prayer, 3 stages of mediator's experience, 20 stages of conversion from Perl to Python, the 8 stages of relationships, part one and 6 stages to a Strong Self Image...
The butterfly works for me.
Posted by boynton at January 15, 2004 12:47 PM

Monday, January 12, 2004


whereas we're quite happy to be characterised by these search requests.
Some days boynton lump and blue heeler nervous pretty well sums us up.
Not sure about this though.


tip of the week


from animations by Michael Austin (via Plep)

Comments: tip

great link, thanks Boynton!
Posted by mcb at January 12, 2004 02:31 PM

For the past few weeks/months Plep has been posting some great cartoon/animation sites.
Posted by boynton at January 12, 2004 02:34 PM

Sunday, January 11, 2004

three trees

yoko ono wish tree (via the Presurfer)

tree animation (via anil dash)

green man on El Grande

bonus tree: Event trees are useful devices for setting out systematically what we know about possible causes of accidents - but they have a demanding appetite for numbers. Each branching point in the tree must have a probability attached to it (source via aldaily)


To The Public... Two half-hours are never alike

in that funny period tween x and ny in sated late December, I came across this link (alas I've lost the via)
Cezanne's vision turns ugly
Uproar as painter's timeless landscape is threatened by new housing estate
Last week The Age ran a similar albeit general story about the disappearance of the vistas painted by the Heidelberg School. The fleeting character of the landscape was indeed fleeting. I may have to jump on the bike and take a look at the damage by following this artists trail. Depsite misgivings about interpretative signs, this is a pretty good lure: You can start anywhere along the trail as it has no particular beginning or end

Comments: vistas

Once I went swimming. I was inseine.
Posted by Emile.Z at January 11, 2004 05:01 PM

Did you wait half an hour after emile?
Posted by boynton at January 11, 2004 05:39 PM

Mon ami Paul Cézanne hour eez safer.
Posted by Emile.Z at January 11, 2004 07:34 PM

The loneliness of the long distance budding Zola.

(Runs away. Barefoot. In the park.)

"Did you wait half an hour after emile?"

A hanging offence that one Ms B. A VERY GOOD hanging offence, but a hanging offence nonetheless.

Take your place in the queue behind that serial offending teacher whose "I was inseine at the time, M'Lud" defence didn't cut any ice.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 11, 2004 09:08 PM

because it was summer of course.
Posted by David Tiley at January 11, 2004 10:13 PM

mais non Paul - no time toulouse...

(you can blame the pythons for that one, M. S)

mais oui, DT, pun struck

Posted by m'selle b at January 11, 2004 11:06 PM

...because of course - (to bring it back sur le track )-
Two half hours are never alike...
Posted by boynton at January 11, 2004 11:18 PM

I think that should be Lautrec, B.

(Phew - it's taken me two full half hour to think of something to add to these comments. Think I might have to join sedgwick in his swift gettaway )
Posted by wen at January 12, 2004 01:40 PM

Wen, see your Bonnie and raise you a Clyde.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 12, 2004 02:41 PM

yeah you two:
get in degas and hit de gas.

(wen - that was 'tray beans' as the AIF might have said)
Posted by boynton at January 12, 2004 04:15 PM

Saturday, January 10, 2004


Yes it would indeed be good to keep this soundboard handy on the days of low blogging self esteem, when the boomerangs are more huh than wow
Wonder if there is a way to embed them into comments. (via J walk)

Comments: soundboard

Nay, not huh? but ha!
Posted by David Tiley at January 10, 2004 03:48 PM

Posted by Lassie at January 10, 2004 04:11 PM


Sorry to have to be the one to tell you

(this style of referrer reportage ripped off shamelessly from Potemkin who keeps us posted)

Comments: disbelief

Scroll down...
"I personally couldn't give a Castlemaine-Four-X"
Posted by Nora at January 10, 2004 03:45 PM

its not cricket, Nora.

sounds like a Broadway chorus in the Camelot mould, does it not?

"In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering
than here in Central Victoria historic goldfields township"

(incidentally - its not even my grammatical error in the extract there. Its a quote)
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2004 05:44 PM

Friday, January 09, 2004

space aged

A Space Age Christmas – predictions of 2003 from the Dr Who Annual 1974

For instance it might well be that everyone's Christmas dinner will be cooked with the help of a home computer. This will be good news for the housewife - all she will have to do will be to set the dials and sit back until the meal is cooked.
(via Collision Detection)

2004 and what you get is Weddings at Star Trek the Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton (via b3ta)

Comments: space aged

In our enlightened 2003, Doctor, it was the househusband who collaborated to cook Christmas dinner while I sat back on the home computer and waited until it was cooked. Marvellous!
Posted by Nora at January 9, 2004 05:37 PM

The sets change, the costumes change, but
the narrative is stuck in the 50's. [ /cultural studies 101 ]

Suspect that Nora was playing a quick round of Sims? Do they do sims Xmas at H manor ;)
Posted by boynton at January 9, 2004 05:49 PM

I like my diodes well done, Dave. Sims does not compute, Dave.
Posted by Hungry Hal at January 9, 2004 06:40 PM

I'm sorry Hal, I can't do that.

Seems for some The Sims is as addictive as blogging, Hal.
(Sims = virtual Barbies. IMHO, Hal)
Posted by boynton at January 9, 2004 06:57 PM

Highlights of my 2003 Christmas Dinner:

Error: 404 Not Found.

The requested food item turkey.bird could not be found in the refrigerator.

Appliance 'Microwave Oven' is not responding. Do you want to close this application?


A fatal accident has occurred in the kitchen. The current appliance will be terminated.

Press any key to terminate the current appliance.

Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to rebuild your kitchen. You will lose any unstored food on all benches.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 9, 2004 07:57 PM

And the pictures. Sitting around waiting for the turkey in your fetching greenish or bluish uniform with your badged displayed in a comely manner...

Watching television as a young Saddam Hussein eyes off a Jackie Kennedy clone and your leg protectors repel the unwanted "cold heat"..

They are right about Christmas cards - the buggers are more or less defunct in my world and I refuse to believe its because we have eaten or terrorised all our friends. Handmade is in because we are all busy crafting stuff for each other on the internet.
Posted by David Tiley at January 9, 2004 08:14 PM

Gummo - think I need the yellow book "Futurist Christmas Programming 4 Dummies" and brush up on all the bombs.
Actually my hard drive has twice been saved by being chilled in the refrigerator apparently, so ther may be some link.

watching television...with some sort of eerie John Laws figure in glorious B&W.
Perhaps like craftmanship, a revival of monochrome has taken place.
Looking at the pictures, though, alerted me to the strange tableau of the second picture.
The woman with the striking hosiery/boots is snuggling up to a man who might possibly be a vicar of sorts, and yet (the way it has been cropped) it's possible to "read" the hand around her shoulder as belonging to the Newk-type gentleman standing a short distamce away with a studied nonchalence.

To say NOTHING of the item that is being offered to the blonde woman. Again - a confusion of hands - but several possible readings of that symbol spring to mind.
Not to get too heavy-handed about it though, propably just the Mammary Channel on Pay TV is being suggested.
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2004 12:28 PM