Sunday, February 29, 2004

anaemic garden

Following the pairing of mini-golf and iron deficiency, the latest in the Google Ad Related Searches pairs the apparently less logical iron deficiency anaemia with english gardens...

there is something of the Kevan's Kenning Game in this content bot.
Keeps me checking back into blogspot for the latest.


still on a veterinary theme, last week I was reading about James Herriot on Today in Literature, and then took a virtual tour of Skeldale House throught the famous red door at the World of James Herriot...

TWOJH teapot looks tempting if a little cumbersome.

Comments: veterinary

I'm unsure what this has to do with teapots, as endearing as they may be, but I wanted to share a movie I found interesting:

Overall, fondness may not be grasped, though the visage of a kitty-witty-cat with human hands is worth the watch. Not that my watch is worth anything, it is a simple model.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 06:57 PM

well .s, I need a strong brew of something after watching that cat ;)

Very good indeed.

Not sure wevver a vet'inry or a doctor would be the one to call in that particular case.

Posted by boynton at February 29, 2004 08:45 PM

choclate ears

was listening to vet talk-back yesterday about hearing aids for dogs. Caller was urged to research the progress being made in the area. Then she said her dog was 17. Nothing will help apparently. Must be presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), which is progressive with time and cannot be prevented or reversed. (source)

Doug is approaching 15 and is quite deaf. This page on deaf pets had some good tips

To get a deaf dog or cat’s attention stamp on the floor, throw a stuffed sock or a ping pong ball near it. If you are outside toss a small pebble or rock near the pet. Then give it the appropriate hand signal...

I may not be able to throw a ball well but I may manage lobbing a sock across the room to rouse douglas in his presbycusis.

Develop a special way to rouse your deaf dog from a sleep. A deaf pet can startle easily when asleep and this can cause aggression and fear. Try waking your dog by putting your hand in front of its nose or by using the scent of a food treat.

The scent of a food treat would have to be chocolate. His favourite, and his old nose is still able to sniff out contraband cadbury's stashed in cupboards from a mere sliver on silver paper. This would mean that boynton would also require a constant block of choc on hand for non-startling.

See also Frequency Hearing Ranges in Dogs and other Species

Comments: chocolate ears

And then there's the record label that caters for such canines.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 29, 2004 06:26 PM

Perhaps if he were deaf, my adolescent dachshund would bark less. Perhaps, though likely nought. He is wont to bark, and bark he will.

The rats, on the other hand, merely chirp and I am not cognizant of thier senses, perhaps they are deaf, dumb and blind. So they say, or so they said.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 06:29 PM

Oo, I have always wanted to have a 'MetaFilter Moment', and have one I have had.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 06:33 PM

Did the earth move for you too?
Posted by Sedgwick at February 29, 2004 06:34 PM

It was somewhat shocking, almost worthy of a cuddle.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 06:37 PM

Not now, boynton may be watching.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 29, 2004 06:41 PM

Oh no, it was not my intention to embrace you my dear man. I was only attempting to grasp my head, as it is libel to pop off at any given moment.

And in case one is wondering, my spleen is safely intact: ever loved and fondly nurtured.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 06:49 PM

"I was only attempting to grasp my head, as it is libel to pop off" ... slanderous thought!
Posted by Sedgwick at February 29, 2004 06:58 PM

Hmm. The gutter is not where my head is destined, more likely into the frying pan along with my other attempts at humour.
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 07:03 PM


Amberglow has moved!

Ultimate Flash Sonic!

Tell Tale Weekly, audiobooks galore!
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 07:07 PM

Boynton, my dog's vet told me that chocolate is highly toxic for dogs and from what I've read, it's not just some old wives' tale. Probably, you've looked into this and determined a small amount is acceptable, but I thought I'd pass my vet's warning on to you.
Posted by Curtis at February 29, 2004 07:11 PM

My grandfather once fed my dog chocolate under the table during dinner, unbeknownst to us. My dog then went into a convulsive fit—as he is regurlarly wont to do—on the carpet a few metres from the table. My grandfather sat in a paralyzed fear during the duration of my dog's typical behavior, only confessing his anxiety after Clyde righted himself and went for water.

"I thought I had killed him once I realized what I had done" my grandfather said after all was apparently well.

"Ha," I chuckled; "no, his head just popped off as it is does on occasion."
Posted by .s at February 29, 2004 07:20 PM

When Coco the Wonderdog came to us, she had been fed chocolate. We could give a cellophane bag the slightest rustle rooms away and she would sprint into sight. Violet Crumbles. Bad for her but she loved it with a desperate intensity.. now she is going deaf and yes, she can get very startled.

I am noticing that her whole sensorium is shutting down. Less eyesight, and she wants to turn back more and more on her walks to investigate smells she has already passed. This is apparently a sign that they are poor smellers - for a dog, that is.. You can get a lot of this kind of information by googling "coon dogs" and suchlike.
Posted by David Tiley at February 29, 2004 07:54 PM

very pleased to see boyntonfilter up and running (bofi), and of course would approve of any cuddles occurring in the commentary. As long as it doesn't involve too many emoticons ;)

Mr S- that is very nice. And rather close to home.
The real worry will be when HM needs the ear trumpet as well. Guess one would just get a 'hearing dog' then rather than a 'hearing aid' -though complications may arise when the canine presbycusis started to set in. As long as one divvies up the faculties I spose.

.s - thanks for those bofi links - am currently checking them out in another window.

Yes, Curtis, I had heard that. I think (should I go down the chocolate track) that "Cadbury's" doesn't contain enough of the pure stuff to be a worry. He once ate a whole collection of Easter eggs at once - no problems. I replaced them. He ate them again. Only last xmas chomped a whole hamper of very fine (hand made) chocolates... no worries. But vets do say this, so it's a good warning.

.S - scary. Doug actually does throw fits - but these don't seem to be choc related...

David - I say if they love anything with such a desperate intensity we should indulge them. Baklava still seems to be on top of the list for Doug, though he can leap-to at the sound and smell of chocolate. Off to google 'coon dogs'now

btw - I think I would face the greater danger from this choclate plan. Alas, I don't think I could 'sit' on a special block reserved for 'startling'. Impossible not to demolish at once. ;)
Posted by boynton at February 29, 2004 09:28 PM

Saturday, February 28, 2004

tin robots

Tin Robots by Eric Joyner (via Sublimate)


Through Beatnik Eyeballs

(I may aspire to be as cool as the seated beatnik woman. But confess that the glossary for squares might be useful.)

Printed Media Images at Sixties City

Comments: beatnik

Boynton you ARE that woman. Don't I have the mental picture to prove I have witnessed that scene with you and Mr X (last seen heading back to a sub-continent to compose more beatnik sitar odes)?
Posted by Nora at February 28, 2004 11:35 PM

Yes - I can see the resemblance...
Through Beatnik Highballs maybe. ;)
Mr X's beard is certainly trim, and that's an interesting chord on a condensed guitar - is it a ukulele?
Posted by boynton at February 29, 2004 12:35 AM

Perhaps a 3/4 guitar left over from his school days...
Posted by Nora at February 29, 2004 01:12 AM

spam servings

The semi-regular comment spam continues, a manageable nuisance in small doses. Even accepting there is no logic to it all, I was curious that one post, titled 'squally', seems to attract a lot of ads for casinos, bones and loans etc. And even in the randomness, I sometimes take offence at the spam attaching itself to certain more heartfelt entries. Today's serve features fake first names, and I'm glad that a certain abigail_banker did not leave her mark at a farewell to Abby, as have other bot bankers. Sometimes there is a certain irony in the choice of post, so I have left this from some fanciful man (with the link suitably stripped) as an example of random dumbspam

Friday, February 27, 2004

mini hazards

Ads by Google alerts us to one of the hazards of putt putt

Thursday, February 26, 2004

forensic talk

High Velocity Backspatter on Shirt Sleeves; James O. Pex, M. S., et al.

From the program of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences' annual
What Forensic Scientists Talk About (via Making Light)

Comments: forensic talk

"Accidental Auto-Erotic Gunshot Wounds"

Did Dr No make love to James Bond's car?
Posted by David Tiley at February 26, 2004 10:34 PM

Yes. No. Bang.

I also like:
"Human Bite Marks, Amorous or Defensive: a Case;"

Posted by boynton at February 27, 2004 04:18 PM

Especially with "Bite Mark of the Penis: A Problematic Presentation" as the immediately following session. Top marks to the conference organiser for that one (actually the last four titles taken together almost tell a story).
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at February 27, 2004 06:27 PM

definitely the bare bones of a good story . Half tempted to flesh it out.

on the other hand "Suicide: Maybe It's Logical"
could be a good starting point for a play.
Or has it been done already?
To be or not to be?
Posted by boynton b boynton at February 27, 2004 09:39 PM

belief & technique

25 Write for the world and see yr exact pictures of it

number 25 of 30 from Jack Kerouac's


at Whiskey River

Half tempted to transfer this list to screensaver, to toggle when the canvas looks blank.

Comments: belief & technique

What about the bit about never getting drunk outside your own house? Admittedly that's the only bit of it I remember cos I always found it ironic...
Posted by James Russell at February 26, 2004 09:03 PM

think the key word may be "Try"
waters down the irony.
I try not to - especially on House white or anything with bubbles.

Posted by boynton at February 26, 2004 09:10 PM

I rarely venture outside Chateau Cardboard y'know.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 27, 2004 02:09 PM

New line to take to (frugal) parties:
Your chateau or mine?

Yes - we rarely wander out of those little-boxes much either.
Guess us people who live in glass houses...etc.
Posted by boynton at February 27, 2004 04:22 PM

swf cricket

Marvellous key stroke that...

Flash game of cricket that will perfect the arrow on willow technique.

(via the Ultimate Insult)

Comments: swf cricket

I once played the game and then forgot all about it. Perhaps twice, a loving want-not. Guy Faw(l)kes day never seemed so splendid. I beat myself with a bat, fancy that.

B, have you ever?
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:09 PM

no - I played 'French cricket' on the beach with my family as a child. There was this great ampitheatre of sand and headland and the roar of the surf.
I played a couple of back yard games with my neighbours as a child - which meant being sent by my brother to stand over by the fence and only ocasionally field the tennis ball.
Would never play with a real cricket ball - too scary!
Became rather obsessed with watching it as a teenager, but the old-fashioned Test cricket variety, the romantic spirit of which is sort of disappearing. It's all logo'd and about selling phones and cars now.
Posted by boynton at February 26, 2004 03:16 PM

what a disappointment. Fondness shrivels like so many turtles upon a desert shore. Hmm. Perhaps one might create a rogue 'street' cricket?
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:19 PM

a rogue street cricket movement would be good...
like a rogue strolling string quartet.

when I walk the dogs I see a lot of amateur cricket occurring on the ovals near here, that seems closer to the way I once imagined it.
ie. they all wear 'creams' - all white - no logos, and the setting is rather beautiful - very green, encircled by trees and a duck pond, and a small crowd of friends watch on the edge in canvas chairs. Langorous and not selling anything.
Posted by boynton at February 26, 2004 03:37 PM

All is well, assuredly, but let us concentrate on a particular consideration:

A strolling string quartet.

All that was wrong is now right, we have goodness in our grasp. How I love Boynton's serenity.
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:46 PM

Serene she is, but I think she's missed the point of the game. A lot of people make the mistake. You see, cricket is not actually a sport, but a means of generating statistics. There is no end to the averages and rates and counts and stuff, and frankly, I'm glad, because they really are the most energising of reading. Virtually every match logs up some sort of record, so long as you look hard enough. You have to love that about a game.
Posted by phlip at February 26, 2004 10:31 PM

No, Miss b. is never wrong. I really enjoy watching the Tests, but even better is to play the game with some mates for your club, and have a few beers with everyone after the game. Its all about getting out there and having a go.

And the cricket ball doesn't hurt, Miss B. In my case, I'm so pumped with adreniline that I never feel a thing.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at February 27, 2004 12:31 AM

merci, .s

I agree with you about the stats aspect of cricket, Philip. And I can almost see the attraction in reading them. In fact, when I was obsessed with cricket I used to like obscure results in magazines. A friend gave me a copy of Wisden for my 21st - but it was too late by then. My obsession for the game had passed.

Yes, I see them drinking a beer after the game and it does look pretty convivial.
And you're wrong, actually, Scott. At scholl I got hit in the middle of forhead with a baseball.
It hurt. It was embarrassing. Was I meant to catch it?

(Also notice *I* was wrong. The oval is encircled by trees, but NOT by a duck pond, of course. No comma. The pond/lagoon is rather small and lies off to one side of playing fields).
Posted by boynton at February 27, 2004 04:30 PM

A baseball isn't a cricket ball.... Mind you I've never actually been hit in the head either...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at February 28, 2004 12:31 AM

The perils of Pauline's topless beach cricket as immortalised by Messrs G. & S.

"Tit willow, tit willow."

Time for another shamefaced skulking off, albeit with General MacArthur's thought in mind.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 28, 2004 11:54 AM

'My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time
To let the PUNishment fit the crime...'

Ps...wasn't there a player called Titmuss who played for England?
Posted by boynton at February 28, 2004 01:58 PM

Indeed, Fred, a spinner. (vs the other Titmus of the TV mini-series - a wonderfully awful character, up there with Mr. Heep in awfulness.)
Posted by Sedgwick at February 28, 2004 05:17 PM

(re Leslie Titmus)
- who, as I recall, learnt to speak RP by mimicking the BBC cricket commentary?

Maybe I'm imagining that for the sake of a seamless segue...
Posted by boynton at February 29, 2004 01:04 AM

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


The Inverted Oscar: To Ronald Reagan. In 1947, he narrated a silent montage of past Oscar winners. Much to Reagan's surprise, the crowd was laughing hysterically as he said, "This picture embodies the glories of our past, the memories of our present and the inspiration of our future." What he didn't know: The reel was upside down
Oscar Blooper Hall of Fame (via Quiddity)

Comments: oscars

That is very funny.

Mind you, he was a horrible man who lived in a topsy turvy world. He ran the Screen Actors Guild as a stooge for the bosses, while the Academy was set up by the studios to forestall anything more radical. Sounds outlandish now, but they were desperate times, which would end with persecution by the House Committee for Unamerican Activities, naming names and blacklisting.
Posted by David Tiley at February 26, 2004 02:17 AM

For want of respite, the lonely one tenderly eats the carpet deciding that none is more deserving than he, and therefore red must be delicious.
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:06 PM

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

ulysses is it

You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Maybe me in the first sentence...

via savoradin

Comments: ulysses is it

Hmm... makes no sense... vulgarity... brilliant and repugnant... why, that could be ME! except I actually wound up getting The Mists of Avalon: You're obsessed with Camelot in all its forms, from Arthurian legend to the Kennedy administration. Your favorite movie from childhood was "The Sword in the Stone". But more than tales of wizardry and Cuban missiles, you've focused on women. You know that they truly hold all the power. You always wished you could meet Jackie Kennedy. Doesn't sound much like me at all, really. I've read Malory (the full-length version of same to boot), but that's as far as my Arthurian interest really goes...
Posted by James Russell at February 24, 2004 07:52 PM

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

omigod - yes, I am short. And dark. Prufrock, not Pollyanna.
Posted by wen at February 24, 2004 08:42 PM

You're A Prayer for Owen Meany!
by John Irving
Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest this fact in mysterious and loud ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS!

Posted by David Tiley at February 24, 2004 10:01 PM

Hmmm - this quiz does pretty well on six questions...

however having just found out at Twists and Turns that I coodabeen Kurt (Cat's Cradle) Vonnegut, I wonder what tripped me up. Lack of travel or that old stream of consciousness?
Posted by boynton at February 25, 2004 12:19 PM

You're To Kill a Mockingbird!
by Harper Lee
Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you, but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

They got it mixed up - I'm actually just that "weird guy in the neighbourhood"...
Posted by Damien at February 25, 2004 03:20 PM

So, speaking as the WGITN, do finches and mockingbirds get along in RL? ;)
Posted by boynton at February 25, 2004 04:18 PM

I am a not very good book. Such as it is, could not be more underwhelming.
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:04 PM

maybe the time is ripe for .s to compose a quiz that will subvert the pigeon holes, curious categories among the pigeons?
this seems to be firming as one of blogging's standard forms to play with.
Posted by boynton at February 26, 2004 03:26 PM

I've plum run out of brandy otherwise I would program a quiz: Would you enjoy Fante or wouldn't you?
Posted by .s at February 26, 2004 03:52 PM

si who am I?
Posted by boynton at February 26, 2004 04:03 PM

"Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits."
You're Watership Down!
by Richard Adams

None of the thousands of rabbits I shot in my previous life as a young rural person ever talked. My brother and I went through 'the good marksman'/'bad marksman' routine, but none of them ever talked.

The farm pigeons? Well, they were another kettle of fish entirely. They stooled as soon as they caught sight of us.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 27, 2004 09:13 PM

Where should I build my house?
Where shouldn't I build my house?
Should I build a house?

- rabbit.

btw Mr S - if you were to be a film I think you might be Raiders of the Lost Ark...
(I was just reading at Fragments at Floyd about the so called 'Ararat Anomaly')
Posted by boynton b boynton at February 27, 2004 09:50 PM

'Tis the origin of the town's name. (But of course you knew that.) According to the town historian (from the family that published the "Ararat Advertiser" ... for once an honest description of newspapers) the early explorer (from memory I think Major Mitchell) and his crew took a moment to consult the Melways, to knock up a batch of scones and to observe - "like the Ark, we rested".

Then again it could have been that whilst taking five in the inverted lotus position he saw the sign on the now defunct "Tarara Roadhouse" and thought "bugger me, that sounds like a good name for a town from which young Sedgwick will go forth and multiply".

To think Ararat may have been only a heart rendering hare's breath away from being called "Esuohdaor"!
Posted by Sedgwick at February 28, 2004 08:52 AM

Yes, I did know the origins of Eusohdoar, by colonial raiders of the lost names. I was just wondering if you were the so-called "Anomaly"?

btw "hare's breath"...talking rabbits again ;)
Posted by boynton b boynton at February 28, 2004 09:57 AM

No I use my own name. Never been known to use an anomaly ... well, not deceptively.

The hare of which I spoke, or with whom I dialogued, (a new and more corrupt form of verballing) was the one adopted by our dog. Much prone to biting one.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 28, 2004 11:45 AM

better gardens

The wonderful Path To Freedom "Our objective is to live harmoniously and sustainably as possible in the midst of the city" has a before and after photo gallery of the house and garden (via Vegan Blog)

Practicing stewardship of the land has turned our small property into a haven for many "wild" animals. There are a variety of birds feasting on the multitude of bugs and seeds, butterflies and bees that busily pollinate our plants, and a family of squirrels. We get night visits from possums and even a cute little skunk has taken up residence under a neighbor's house.

As I walk along the streets of this definitively fifties middle suburb - that is rather comforting and charming in its clean-shaven lawn-driven ecologicallly-challenged way, I notice one house that is quite different. There is no lawn but the garden is full of carefully landscaped native plants. Not the free-for-all banksia bonanza and horticutural sins of the seventies, but obviously thought out and well balanced and maintained. Quite striking and quietly inspiring. Especially after the rain.

I tried creating a garden at this local site Flora for Fauna but may have to modify my vast selection of plants. And also acquire a selection on which to put these virtual ideas into practice.

Interesting to read on the Keeping your native plants healthy fact sheet that Iron deficiency is a very common disorder in native plants... As the iron defficient women used to say on that Ad for eating Meat ...I thought it was probably just the weather

Monday, February 23, 2004

mini golf

Mini Golf Stratford Upon Avon

from a photo gallery at Miniature Golfer via things

See also the Old putting and miniature golf postcards

Bispham UK 1960's

Amigoland, South Carolina

Comments: mini golf

So, where are the really good mini-golf courses? I always liked the one on Hamilton Island, but mostly because you could then infer you had been to Hamilton Island. The courses seem renowned for making outrageous claims about the brilliance - for example the one in Mulwala, NSW which claims to be the "best in Australia". I doubt - although it might be the best in Mulwala, at a pinch. There is a good collection of courses at Dingley in the south-east.
Posted by phlip at February 23, 2004 04:35 PM

well I used to love the one at Phillip Island - err - Philip. It was next to the Continental and had a retro feel even then. I used to prefer playing mini-golf to going to the (surf) beach - which is obviously a very uncool confession.
It's probably been bulldozed or updated now, alas.
I have played at Dingley 88 H7 with my nephews.
Quite good. (This was the first time I played since I was a child at Cowes I hasten to add)
There's also one at Chirnside Park I believe, which I must call into one day on the way home from a bit of grape grazing maybe ;)
Posted by boynton at February 23, 2004 06:39 PM

I have played the Stratford Upon Avon course a few times and I agree, it is a great course.

But there's another in the UK which is equally as good - on the South Coast, in Hastings. An Adventure Golf course set in beautifully landscaped White Rock Gardens.

Families are welcome and staff are friendly. The course also plays host to regular minigolf tournaments which are organised by The British Minigolf Association.

Go and try it!!
Posted by The Stance at September 8, 2004 06:11 AM

Sunday, February 22, 2004

time for tea

As discussed in a comment to Helen on previous post, Dr Phillip E. Muskett was not too taken with tea.
...when taken in excess it causes severe functional derangement of the digestive organs, and prejudicially affects the nervous system. The gentler sex are greatly given to extravagant tea-drinking, exceeding all bounds of moderation in this respect. Many of them, moreover, live absolutely on nothing else but tea and bread and butter. What wonder, then, that they grow pale and bloodless; that their muscles turn soft and flabby; that their nervous system becomes shattered; and that they suffer the agonies of indigestion? Chapter VI

The Bramah Museum's Procedure For Making Tea (via Plep)

Tea Bag Pyramid (via Oink)

Saturday, February 21, 2004

enchanting salads

Reading Blainey I came across a reference to Dr Philip E Muskett, surgeon superintendant in Sydney, "the evangelist for healthy food' who advocated salads, wine, tea-lessness and walking. The name rang a bell and I recalled seeing his The Art of Living in Australia of 1909 among the treasures at Harvest Fields (via J Walk)

See Chapter XI On Salads; Salad Plants and Herbs; And Salad Making

The late gifted George Dallas did not go too far when he asserted that a salad was not merely food, but that it had also an exhilarating effect and a distinct action upon the nervous system, which was immensely agreeable and acted like a spell.

As well as enchanting, proper regard for salads might raise the consciousness:

...I must disclaim any desire to pose as a "faddist."... Instead, therefore... I shall content myself with a few remarks on the art of living. By far the greater number of people pay too little attention to the present, and imperil their happiness with the hope that at some future period, when they will have put a little together, they will be enabled to thoroughly lay themselves out for enjoyment. But in the vast majority of cases these halcyon days never arrive, or, if they do, it is more than probable the health is undermined by the neglect of those very matters which should form part and parcel of one's daily existence. It is the exact parallel to a man hurrying through many fields and parks and gardens for the purpose of enjoying, from some high eminence, the scene through which he has passed. In his desperate haste to attain his object he disregards all that is beautiful and interesting, only to find that his travelling is nearly over, and that his steps cannot be retraced. On the other hand, a far more philosophic frame of mind belongs to him who, as he proceeds onwards through life's journey, gets a rational enjoyment out of his existence, so that his days pass pleasantly and his health receives the consideration it deserves. It will appear somewhat mundane in this connection to assert that the latter and, therefore, happiness are to a great extent dependent upon the mode of living, but nevertheless it is absolutely true, and thus it is that I come back to the quotation at the beginning of this chapter-- "A salad is a delicacy which the poorest of us ought always to command

Just off for a saunter up to Coles to acquire a lettuce and a bottle of wine. That should kill 1 km off my daily 10 km walking requirement in these vegetative tealess non-salad days.

Comments: enchanting salads

Absolutely! But I have to disagree with the tealess aspect. Tea, it has recently been pointed out, contains antioxidants. How else do you explain all these octogenarians who grew up in the 20s onwards, with all the crap they ate -- dripping, puddings, meat with everything?
Posted by Helen at February 21, 2004 08:12 PM

Yes I agree and I lament my recent tea-lessness, given the undoubted health benefits.
Strangely Dr. M had it in for tea though,and it does seem to be the only flaw in his otherwise quite modern outlook on nutrition.

"The gentler sex are greatly given to extravagant tea-drinking, exceeding all bounds of moderation in this respect."
and -
"Now, if there is anything of which I am certain, it is that tea in the middle of the day, say from ten o'clock to three, is a deadly destructive fluid"
That gives me six minutes to make a quick brew - a six minute swill. ;)
Posted by boynton at February 22, 2004 09:53 AM

It's an old Greek insight that has been forgotten.
'Happiness depends upon the mode of living.'

However, many are re-discoverering it.
The big seachange thing is a rejection of the market mode of life:
---its too stressful;
----playing hard as a way to unwind from working hard is not very fulfilling;
--acquiring lots of material goods does not equal happiness.

Then again, it all depends on what we mean by happiness.

The old Greek insight that it is a flourishing life has been lost as happiness now means the satisfactions of one's desires--'maximising ones utility' as the economists put it.

And away we go again
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at February 22, 2004 08:34 PM

Just saw 'Compass' on "down-sizing" which profiled four examples of people who have tried to resist that market mode. Was rather uplifting.
I've never had much to downsize, but I did enjoy the moment tonight walking the dogs through the park. The colours were incredibly sharp.
Posted by boynton at February 22, 2004 11:21 PM

Friday, February 20, 2004

mother goose

Friday night's dream, on Saturday told,
Is sure to come true, be it never so old.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches, I would wear one by my side.

The Real Mother Goose is one of the larger collections of rhymes for children. It has wonderful pen and watercolor illustrations by Blanche Fisher Wright. This book was originaly published in 1916. Here is a complete transcription both in HTML and plain text formats.
(via Grendel's Cave)

mie sounz

before I got distracted by turnips, I had been thinking of an old copy of Mother Goose that I once had, now lost, When Wee Wer Very Yun. It was written in a foreign tongue - the first written alphabet that I learnt. For I was the one of the small number of English speakers who learned to read in ITA - Initial Teaching Alphabet. In fact I probably learnt from this book

mie i.t.a. card ov pictuerz and sounz

From a Gallery of Photos at the I.T.A. Association

Educashunal lunacie or wizdom? BBC News

Comments: mie sounz

What was it like learning the regular alphabet after learning this one? It looks scary, but that's an adult's eyes, I suppose children learn new alphabets easily.
Posted by notes2004 at February 22, 2004 05:47 PM

can't really remember - but apparently 'ie' made the transition relatively easily.
My mother - as an observer - always believed that it was the less able kids who found it really difficult, and strugggled more because of it.
I only remember my older siblings and grandparents not being able to help me with my 'reading' - and seeing the BBC story it seems this might have been a major factor in its decline. Not so trivial really.
Posted by boynton at February 22, 2004 07:04 PM


If turnips were watches, I would wear one by my side...

"It was never pretty. One watch industry old-timer remembers that people used to call it a "turnip," watch-business slang for a timepiece that's big and awkward"
The #1 watch of the 20th century

another turnip watch


Comments: turnip

... and then there's that highwayman Dick Turnip (a Swede by birth I believe) whose speciality was to stand and deliver unwary glasses off, hair let down librarians on their way home from work. Hence the old saying "a Turnip for the books".

(Runs away quickly and hides in a ditch to avoid severe corporal punnishment)
Posted by Sedgwick at February 21, 2004 07:59 AM

well if ever I should mispell my Turpin as Turnip it's because of the dyslexic way I woz taught.
(attempted swedish segue there of the loose threads)
Posted by boynton at February 21, 2004 04:07 PM

For that, Sedge should be smacked with a switch.
Posted by David Tiley at February 23, 2004 02:20 PM

Thursday, February 19, 2004

alum falls

Alum Falls Ohio- An Orginal Comic about Growing up in Fifties (via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

As the fictional character John Snavely explains in A Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man:
Why would an otherwise sane adult put his entire life into a comic strip on the Web? Not only is it incredibly egotistical, but it's damn time-consuming too. A few months in 1959 has taken me a couple of years. At this rate in 20 years I'll get as far as 1964!

Let's say that I, John Snavely, have developed that sense of autonomy and seem to be able to exercise it only by rendering a life, mine, in the form of a Web comic strip

As PCJM warned, I lost track of time as I read through some of the detailed sequences. I'll try to stagger the chapters of the absorbing There Goes My Baby over a few days.

The memorium for author Damon Rarey was very moving to read.

Comments: alum falls

Thanks for posting this. It's so wonderful.
Posted by Curtis at February 24, 2004 01:50 PM

it is great, isn't it.
Needs time to savour.
Posted by boynton at February 24, 2004 03:54 PM

old mower

So we had some ordinary ignition issues with the lawn mower, that strange temperamental beast that boynton has finally had to get to know. To mow.
I did the survey at Victa and confirmed that I would pay extra for a key starter - were I ever to be in the serious market. Actually, I did the survey and found out that according to my consumer preferences, this is actually the best mower for boynton.

the webb witch sounded pretty good too
And don't know if I'm quite old enough - but still interested in this question

Comments: old mower

that thread is just sooo... demented it is exactly what the web is for. love it.
Posted by David Tiley at February 19, 2004 04:00 PM

Yep - I agree, the web is for people who take their mowers seriously.
"I have a Lawnboy 10550 with the same drive system as the Toro Recycler. One of my best friends loves it because it is so easy to use. He says that any mower he can use with only one hand is great"
Posted by boynton at February 19, 2004 04:22 PM

I don't know how it goes for girls, but you can describe every boy raised in Australia before the advent of playstation and the death of the back yard by the exact nature of his relationship with small petrol engines. "ignition issues" indeed.
Posted by David Tiley at February 19, 2004 10:43 PM

well - I hate to generalise - because I know not many girls are as small-petrol-engine-challenged as I am,
but I don't know nuthin' bout small petrol engines.

and so when Victa says:
"Victa understands that zip-starting isn't for everyone, particularly those people suffering from arthritis"
they should maybe add - and people who are small-petrol-engine dumb, and people who are lacking in motor mower motor skills.

(Yep - I've been allowed to play helpless female around mowers too long - but now I'm finally zipping along)
Posted by boynton at February 19, 2004 11:11 PM

our zip cord thingo zipped right out of our victa last time Mr. S mowed (yes, sorry to be such a girl - did mow in my youth, but no longer). So he borrowed the neighbour's - and stuffed up the blades, so borrowed our brother-in-law's which promptly died.... I think one of those rotary mowers would be good. Or maybe no lawn (we could just extend the already extensive dog patches. Nice brown dirt here)
Posted by wen at February 20, 2004 10:13 AM

I've always suspected that a zip cord might zap out - how horrible, sounds almost anatomical.

and reading some stuff on mowers by mower heads, I am rather opressed by the mechanics and 'maintenance issues'. I thought a mower was just something that ate grass and sat quietly in the shed.
Posted by boynton at February 20, 2004 12:14 PM

Having destroyed a number of petrol mowers and sustained repetitive repetitive strain injuries I now have a nice girly electric mower. I have eventually come to the stage of being secure enough in my own masculinity to be able to ignore the neighbourhood blokes who look pityingly at me from behind the wheels of their turbo-charged V8 jungle tamers.

It hovers, it glides, it sashays, it jettés. Then there is the living on the edge mowing experience of avoiding running over the 880 yard long extension cord.

What would really happen if you did? Is there a 1 nanosecond micro switch that would save you? Maybe I should run over the cord just to see? That leaning over a cliff and the sirens calling you to jump feeling. I have resisted their songs so far. It's only a matter of time.

The mower's idiot cousin, the whipper-snipper is another matter in similar vein. I have destroyed a number of them also, though in reverse order. The electric ones first. A puff of acrid blue smoke ... another one bites the dust. Our most recent one, the petrol one is also no more. It didn't run on its own cord. It has gone to a better home ... somewhere ... courtesy of our local Timsons.

Is the tapping the end of the whipper-snipper on the ground to feed out the cord merely an urban myth? It might happen once or twice, thereafter no amount of bashing the whirligig on the ground can winkle out the plastic cord of mass destruction. I'm with David Kay. Mere whipper-snipper programmes related activities
Posted by Sedgwick at February 21, 2004 07:04 AM

I'm with you on the electric mower as being far more sensible, but that great cord fear also strikes a chord. Indeed, is that a (sub)urban myth? Has anyone you have known ever been zapped - owing to their preference for zip-less mowing?

Actually the other night I saw one of those 1800 ads on the television for a product that made me sit up and notice.
A battery-powered mower.
Was it all a 1800 dream?

And there's a very recalcitrant whipper-snipper sitting alongside the mowers (like a stable mate for a highly strung racehorse) that I'm not even game to approach...hence there are whiskers around the now mown lawn that do detract from its clean shaven look.
Posted by boynton at February 21, 2004 04:17 PM

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Collision Detection on Sims playing Sims

Free online sims (via Living Room)


She should use VIM

If only she'd clean smoothly with VIM

Comments: vim

I need more vim...
Posted by Nora at February 18, 2004 09:26 AM

Don't we all, dear.

Just off to hide my saucepans now.
Posted by boynton at February 18, 2004 10:00 AM

so, you take this VIM and then your so off your face, everything is hunky dory?
Posted by dj at February 18, 2004 10:57 AM

Wouldn't know about that, dj, I'm only a moderate Pine-o-Clean user myself.
Posted by boynton at February 18, 2004 11:53 AM

As my mum used to say, "doesn't matter what brand it is, unless you use plenty of elbow grease none of them'll work".

No, she's not dead. Nor has she stopped saying it. It's that I've just stopped listening to her. I'm up to dolly's wax with her old fashioned homilies.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 18, 2004 03:14 PM

You can also apparently get good results cleaning with vodka.

I dunno, I never tried it, but it might work.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at February 19, 2004 12:34 AM

VIM doesn't work without vigor. I speak from experience.
Posted by MG at February 19, 2004 07:37 AM

Those ads are really scarey - the people look JUST LIKE MY FAMILY. No wonder we fled to Australia.
Posted by David Tiley at February 19, 2004 11:58 AM

Scott - I like the sound of that.
Scotch and Coke might be a good mix for the latter agent.

You're right, MG, and as Sedge's mother says,
it's all in the elbow grease.

Some of the other ads are scary too, David.
Not much subtext - just straight for the insecurity jugular of the (female) cinema patrons of the 50's. Watching those regularly on the big screen might induce social phobia.
You'd want to hide from such scary house-guests along with your under-sparkling saucepans.
Posted by boynton at February 19, 2004 12:44 PM

Just remembered my mother's and Mrs. Ogmore Pritchard's cleaner of choice ... White Lily. Much more effective and evocative than Vim, though the elbow grease rule still applies.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 21, 2004 07:46 AM

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

hidden animals

Animals on the underground
Animals hidden in the lines of the London tube map. (via As above)

boynton was tempted to do a quick scan of the melways to unearth the dormant bestiary hiding in the metropolis. I'm sure there's a blue heeler etched into the lines surrounding the local park where, for instance, she took her herself off swimming for 30 minutes in a pond with visible snake warnings and indifferent ducks the other day as boynton watched on haplessly but luckily with hat in the sharp afternoon sun. And surely she must have etched herself into the grid on the strength of her manic barking as she heads out daily along the street bound for the park - her frenzied song lines.

Comments: hidden animals

There's a wonderful bit of river flat just beyond Lorne where I suspect the owners or the council don't want people to camp. It has a huge sign which says "Beware Tiger Snakes".
It works.
Posted by David Tiley at February 18, 2004 09:59 PM

I know that bit - it's beautiful, and the sign. It works for me. I've always naively believed it, eg

Tents, Tiger Snakes, Bloody Idiot.

Now I'll have to look at such a sign differently.
Skeptically. Almost like a snake in the grass.
Posted by boynton at February 19, 2004 11:29 AM

Monday, February 16, 2004


Thanks to ramage for alerting me to this wonderful site
This collection contains close to 7,000 illustrations related to Québec and covering the period 1870 to 1907. It includes photographs and drawings published in three Québec periodicals of those times: L'Opinion publique, Le Monde illustré and L'Album universel. The collection offers an incomparably rich view of the daily life of Québec society in political, cultural and the economic terms.

and to this amazing image found by solipsistic

I wanted to link to a snow and bitter sort of image but wouldn't you know. First hit of sunshine today in over a week.

Comments: le bouncing

That fellow being hurled through the air is ever so elegant, isn't he?

I just hope they caught him.

Seriously rotten weather coming your way Miss B. Rug up this week.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 1, 2004 08:01 PM

Looks like some variation on Australian Rules, doesn't it?
And the Big Men Fly?

Hard to believe rottenness is in store after a beautiful weekend, that all Melburnians needed - to get us through the bleakness. But how can I argue with the Adelaide uber bureau?
Posted by boynton at August 2, 2004 12:01 AM

As I write, Hailstorms are seen to the west, and driving rain and freezing howling winds... abandon ship. Women and dogs first...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 2, 2004 05:35 PM

old songs

wen's wondering if a bookmobile would play a tune like Mr Whippy led boynton to some general googling with nothing much to show for it. But strangely it did lead to this Guardian article on Richard Thompson's My favourite songs of the past 1,000 years
During the last quarter of 1999, I was asked, along with many other folk from the music world, to send Playboy magazine a list of what I thought were the 10 greatest songs of the millennium. Such pretension, I thought. They don't mean millennium, do they? Probably about 30 years is the cut-off: Tears for Fears might sneak in, Cole Porter probably not.

Pretension or dumbness, but the syndrome that makes a big picture out of 30 years, prevalent at pub trivia nights, is what prompted boynton to look elsewhere in November
Feel a bit remiss now that I didn't even consider Sumer is a cumen in

As for the big picture of the bigger picture, Thompson concludes:
Thinking about all these songs has led me to wonder: has anything changed in 1,000 years? Probably not. The themes seem fairly consistent throughout - boy meets girl, girl meets boy, boy loses girl, girl loses boy, boy repines, girl repines, boy dies, girl dies. At the early end of things, what survives of the secular is mostly moralising:

old lady

the old lady and the fly (via the presurfer)

boynton's grandfather used to recite this in a wiggly jiggly way. We recorded him once on our reel-to-reel. Made a meal of it, our reel-to-reel.

on the half giraffe site also enjoyed toast

Comments: old lady

We are now up to our 300th viewing of " the old lady who swallowed a fly". (sigh) Thanks, B.

There was a mad lady who swallowed her laptop...

Posted by wen at February 17, 2004 01:52 PM

gone cu-ckooo
Posted by wen at February 17, 2004 01:55 PM

Sunday, February 15, 2004


well hill steps

from Gallery of Old Settle via Plep

high heart

“Get through the summer as best I can,” Anne decided, “and then put it behind me. I’m stuck here, and there’s no use kicking against the pricks…too much"
from With a High Heart

One of 13 Library Career Romances (via J Walk)

Comments: high heart

No need to kick against the pricks when you get to drive the bookmobile. And anyway, she's wearing such sensible shoes - prickproof, I'd say.

D'you think the bookmobile played a tune - like the Mr Whippy van - to warn the eager readers?
Posted by wen at February 16, 2004 12:56 PM

Yes - definitely a tune - only I can't think what.
There is no innate logic to Greensleeves - unless you order a lime gelati.
There is a list of library songs here:
but chances are it would be more your obnoxious Nokia tune.

Reading that scenario, seems you need sensible shoes to be a Librarian. What a blood-sport. Interogation, intimidation and broken legs.
Poor Miss Nichols probably kicked against the pricks once too often. Hope she got worker's compensation.
Posted by boynton at February 16, 2004 01:44 PM


so we got hit with a hot day yesterday. boynton is seriously considering moving down to cellar with its six foot ceiling with television and dogs for slow maturation.
Hard to search for cellar living and not get 00000000000 pages of wine lifestyle.
I wanted to know if colonial Australians went underground.
All I found in a half hearted cellar not wine search was a page on dug-outs
and this illustration

Comments: underground

a small pic here of the bunker at Zanci Homestead, Lake Mungo...

having driven there and camped in february (foolish), can testify to the wisdom of an underground summer shelter

NPWS calls it a "cool dugout"
Posted by nardo at February 17, 2004 10:24 AM

looks pretty cool.

Melbourne houses could do with a dug-out in Jan and Feb too I think. More 'eco friendly' than air-con, and more 'neighbour friendly' too. (Hum-less)
Fortunately this year we've only had a couple of scorchers.

Posted by boynton at February 17, 2004 12:49 PM

Try Cooper Peddy. Nearly everyone lives underground there.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at February 21, 2004 10:01 AM

Thanks. I saw refs to CP in the general/dug-out seach. Found a photo of an 'underground' church.
Posted by boynton at February 21, 2004 05:47 PM

Saturday, February 14, 2004

for teen th

anti-valentine cards (via fishbucket)

nice cards (via things)

victorian valentines (via Life in the present)

The Broken Heart
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, let’s remember we’ve all had our hearts broken. People on the street were asked to tell us about the jerk who treated them bad, and what they’d say to that jerk right now. .

from Octavio Paz Sunstone Fragments love is to battle, if two kiss
the world changes, desires take flesh
thoughts take flesh, wings sprout
on the backs of the slave, the world is real
and tangible, wine is wine, bread
regains its savor, water is water,
to love is to battle, to open doors,
to cease to be a ghost with a number
forever in chains, forever condemned
by a faceless master;
the world changes
if two look at each other and see
via Whiskey River

A few years ago a few australians voted for these favourite love poems. It's a shame they didn't archive the audio as Rachel Blake's reading of that old Hallmarked sonnet "How Do I Love Thee - which use to run on the ABC TV promo, was quite beautiful.

and speaking of the ABC, nice that they're running Suspicion later tonight at the close of the funny day.

Comments: for teen th

After Saturday I now know what the Bard was getting at.

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day."

43, hot and responsible for me not getting a wink of sleep.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 15, 2004 10:19 AM

Yep sounds like Mr Right to me

Posted by boynton at February 15, 2004 10:43 AM

of course he was younger on this side of the city,
around 41 I think.
and 26 overnight.
Posted by boynton at February 15, 2004 11:01 AM


They’re providing basic sanitation; we’re subscribing to Cooking Light. In the first installment of her series on Virtue, Margaret Berry introduces you to 10 charities that know the value of 10 bucks.
(via wood s lot)

Friday, February 13, 2004


also via consumptive is d brown's recent found photos

This one jumped out at boynton. Still worried by early morning pigeon. Sometimes the neigbourhood seems full of soft cooing. The other day I glanced out of window and saw fresh decapitated bird. Suspect Flo but you never know.
Caught myself hoping it might be the early morning pigeon. It's getting bad.

Comments: pigeon

This is creepy b. That same cooing wakes me up every day in Den Haag and I thought I heard distant resonating in Lyon. A global conspiracy? Ross and Averil even have anti-pige spikes on all their sills and surfaces BUT they find places...
Posted by Nora at February 17, 2004 12:24 AM


For his first web-based project, Annotations, Ligon revisits the family photo album, a format rich in its potential for investigating the diverse sources that shape individual identity, in the artist's words: "a site of invention, cheering fictions, hidden histories and unforeseen juxtapositions."

... Ligon was inspired by a notion of the web as a vast, anarchic library of material, where family histories are researched and documented in places as diverse as personal homepages and genealogical sites. He is interested in the web as a repository where public and private collide in myriad ways, where even intimate photographs may be posted for a few to visit, yet are ultimately accessible to millions, remaining in archives long after removal from their original location.

(via Consumptive)

This collision of private and public is also to be seen at the vast Johnson Family Papers Project
My name is Sue Johnson and I run this web page, which is the on-line presence of the Johnson Family Papers Project. And what, you may ask, is the Johnson Family Papers Project? It's something of a cross between a collection of memories, an act of mourning and a repository of social history
(via This Public Address)


not a good omen for such an ominous day:

You are very scared of everything. You think that the world wouldn't like you for what you are. You are very helpful and caring.
You are scared of everything. You think
that the world wouldn't like you for what you
are. You are very helpful and caring.

Which Winnie the Pooh character are you ? (with Pics)
(via Sarcasmo)

alas, was hoping for eeyore...
but obviously not quite so defeatist I took another test
Piglet again.

If I am to be piglet, could I not be a shephard?

Thursday, February 12, 2004

virtual guitar

Guitar is tuned, ready for strumming, leaning beside computer
Trouble is the Virtual Guitar and Chordbook is so compelling, virtual might win out over real - or the virtuoso over dumb home strum.

even tried a bit of slow sing-a-long -very low in case the hounds think I've now completely lost it.

(via J walk)

Comments: virtual guitar

Marvellous. I like to compose things using a MIDI program, and the problem I have is that guitar chords and piano chords tend to produce such different combinations of notes. This is going to be helpful...
Posted by James Russell at February 12, 2004 07:35 PM

Yes - it seems quite easy to come up with a few nice progressions around D, for instance...
Posted by boynton at February 12, 2004 08:45 PM

Ms. B. Talking of music, have you been here?

Is a Flash site (in both senses). One of the very first sites I bookmarked.

Navigate (can't give a direct link) to the Virtual Corroboree and let your mouse do the walkabout.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 12, 2004 10:50 PM

... you get there via 'Cool Stuff' link.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 12, 2004 10:52 PM

I love it!
I miss the guitar I once had.
So this will ease the pain.
Posted by michelle at February 13, 2004 02:23 AM

Thanks Mr S - great link, had a nice play and have duly bookmarked site.

Yes it's a pretty good substitute, isn't it, Michelle. Although at least it has got me tuning my real guitar again! Real strumming can't be too far away.
Posted by boynton at February 13, 2004 01:33 PM

happy sad

Some Cheerful Similes at Vitamin Q

Audrey Larkin's I cry

in blue

I heard Red talking about Rhapsody in Blue this morning, today being the 80 th anniversary of its first performance. You can hear about it at The NPR 100 list - (always worth a revisit - working my way through the list)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

uut and uup

A team of Russian and American scientists are reporting today that they have created two new chemical elements, called superheavies because of their enormous atomic mass. The discoveries fill a gap at the furthest edge of the periodic table and hint strongly at a weird landscape of undiscovered elements beyond...

By an international convention based on the numbers, element 113 will be given the temporary name Ununtrium (abbreviated Uut for the periodic table) and element 115 will be designated Ununpentium (Uup).
Dr. Loveland said he agreed that the new elements would require independent confirmation before they could receive final acceptance
( NY Times)
(via Palnatoke)

Periodic Table of Rejected Elements (via Incoming Signals)

Comments: uut and uup

Thats great. its the best one of those I have seen.
Posted by David Tiley at February 11, 2004 10:31 PM

delirium, talc, asparagus....I'd've been able to pass chemistry if they hadn't rejected these wonderful elements. Not so sure about uut and uup - sounds like body-building --er-- jargon to me....
Posted by wen at February 12, 2004 12:22 PM

I like Sin and Vinyl

(and all the MS elements of course)
Posted by boynton at February 12, 2004 12:42 PM

Let's hope these guys find a few more elements soon - I am personally eager for them to find number 126. This ought to get the temporary name of undehexum, which sounds like you're in strife with the local witch.
Posted by phlip at February 13, 2004 09:47 AM

well if you are ever in strife with the local witch, Philip, you mightlike to read this:
(via Quiddity)
Posted by boynton at February 13, 2004 01:28 PM

Alright, I think. Any idea what the range of such devices might be?
Posted by phlip at February 13, 2004 01:58 PM

What range or Which range?

'fraid this is a bit too scientific (mystical) for me to answer. ;)
Posted by boynton at February 13, 2004 02:36 PM

mind tests

I've only done 3 of the 17 Psychology Tests so far at BBC Science.
I think like a woman, I correctly sniffed out my nostalgic decade, but think I stuffed up the facial perception test, which seems to be more of funny quest for the ideal partner in 20 questions where the (man) keeps morphing away.
(via grendel's cave)

Comments: mind tests

I've worked out my perfect partner from facial perceptions...where do I find him? I can pick 13 out of 20 whether a smile is genuine or not.
Posted by Nora at February 12, 2004 09:57 AM

yes it's those secret seven smiles you've got to watch though, Nora.

Posted by boynton at February 12, 2004 12:46 PM

But did you do the "what disgusts me" test?
It's a frightening experience.
Posted by mcb at February 12, 2004 04:15 PM


ideally, to be totally frightening, they need smell as well.
Posted by boynton at February 12, 2004 04:27 PM

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

flash beatles

Even if you're not a fan The First US Beatles Tour site is pretty impressive. (via life in the present)

and if you are a fan, more links at Exclamation Mark.

(Roll on June for the local mix I guess)


I've never really got the alphabetical generational divisions enough to know if I'm X or Y or whatever. But I think I could quite happily be generation T - for Tupperware - or at least T wannabe. (via Plep)

This link went straight into the Favourites. Much delightful reading here.

Comments: tupperware

Posted by Sedgwick at February 10, 2004 05:08 PM

The fruits of life fall into the hands of those who climb the tree and pick them.
-- Earl Tupper

Everybody admires a "go-getter" -- if he is tactful.
-- Earl Tupper
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 05:31 PM

Earl the Phantom Tupper?!
Posted by Sedgwick at February 10, 2004 06:30 PM

P.S. Sorry for neglecting the four legged boyntons' concerns ...
Posted by Sedgwick at February 10, 2004 06:43 PM

"Tupping is the term used for when the rams cover the ewes..."

Guess "cover" is the key word there...

What a find. What a word. Think it may well become my euphemistic curse word of choice.

And that's a tuppin fine toon there, Mr. S.
Love it. Have saved as. May have to upgrade the link to the mains in case my canine-inclined (or desperate and ponderous) readership misses it.
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 09:02 PM


Poetic Architecture: A series of eleven progressively more difficult quizzes, with two unexpected pieces of correspondence
(via wood s lot)


Cryptogrphever is an on-line application which lets you discover secret messages hidden in webpages published on internet (via bifurcated rivets)

running a few recent posts through this with mixed results. The poem (x 2 for length requirements) revealed this secret message :

----->>>>>> fight gnu

hmmm.... The old Sad Houses (being a relatively long piece of non-linky content) returned this: ----->>>>>> hit target...

Curious, I put in the Goethe, but the Cryptographever struggled before conceding. Was it a matter of complexity, denseness? I would have left disappointed were it not for the last hidden message in a bit of that mundane "Water" post. That mix of Blainey and boynton blah was hiding this :

----->>>>>> let us meet at four

Now you're talking. That's the sort of crypto mysterious message I like.

Comments: cryptographever

Alright, usually the skeptic here, I fed in a section of the constitution of a group for which I am secretary. This section has been giving me angst as member after member has written to me in recent times asking for clarification of certain points it made and complaining about its implications. The response I got back - "IT IS NOT OK". Damn!
Posted by phlip at February 13, 2004 10:04 AM

Scary - that's enough to rattle a skeptic!

Curious about this little engine, I just fed in your comment x 2 and it returned:

Buy Share Now.

Maybe it was confusing it with the Weir/Loch Ard
movie. ;)
Posted by boynton at February 13, 2004 01:38 PM

Monday, February 09, 2004


"Until one is committed there is hesitancy,
the chance to drawback, always ineffectiveness,
concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth the ignorance of
which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too. "

and in that web wandering way, it seemed providential to read Nick's old poster quoting Goethe at this moment at fait accompli

Comments: committed

I become a sail
placed in the winds of my mind
and hopefully by the end I've found
the starting point of some writing.

not bad, not bad at all...
Posted by David Tiley at February 10, 2004 01:28 AM

I like the old Johann Wolfgang gert. I remember cynically and gratuitously slapping one of his quotes (or should that be 'quoethes'?) into one of my Matric. Eng. Lit. essay. That'll show those examiners they've got an essay of great gravitas to conjure mit!

As I recollect it was, "Ein alter mann ist stets ein Konig Lear". (Sadly the exam question was about Henry Gibson's "The Wild Duck". I blame that unfortunate misunderstanding for my compensatory, relentless and unrequited chase for the perfect epicurean canard.)

That tempting fate quote has come back to vengefully bite me on my aged bum ... falling down only in that I'm two daughters shy of the full Monty Lear.

That aside, and to blatantly digress (and in so doing leaving behind a trail of split infinitives) it is, in my not so Uriah Heep opinion, "the" play of all of the Bard's Broadway box office hits.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 10, 2004 11:22 AM

Am grauen Strand, am grauen Meer
und seitab liegt die Stadt;
der Nebel drückt die Dächer schwer
und durch die Stille braust das Meer
eintönig um die Stadt.

Es rauscht kein Wald, es schlägt im Mai
kein Vogel ohn' Unterlaß:
die Wandergans mit hartem Schrei
nur fliegt in Herbstesnacht vorbei,
am Strande weht das Gras.

Doch hängt mein ganzes Herz an dir,
du graue Stadt am Meer;
der Jugend Zauber für und für
ruht lächelnd doch auf dir, auf dir,
du graue Stadt am Meer.

Although this is by Theodore Storm und nicht Herr Goethe its associative connections compelled me to post. Entschuldigung!
Posted by Nora at February 10, 2004 11:41 AM

David - there's always many good things over the seas at Fait.

Sedge - you had me LOL again - it hoete.
Memories of the gratuitous quote - I seemed to favour T.S.Eliot in my HSC era. Wish I could have studied Lear (or even Gibson) in Lit. Love it.
Often quoete some nasty bits of Goneril and Regan (when corboyntonelia is despairing of the world) ;)

Ja, Nora. (Miss Honourable Mention in the Goethe) Alas - the only verse I recall from my school girl German is not really apt :

mein Hut, er hat drei Ecken

unless such a hat is a metaphor ...
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 12:29 PM

Dear Boynton I must say your readers are extremely nice not to tease me mercilessly about posting that old Goethe saw which presently can be found in nearly any card store here. My attachment to it no doubt springs from the three years I spent living in Nurnberg as a child.

As for the 1987 note concerning reverie, when I read David Tiley's kind quote I remembered that also as a child I had a wooden plaque with pictures of sailboats hanging above my bed that read:

One ship goes East another West
By the selfsame winds that blow
'Tis the set of the sail and not the gale
That determines the way they go

Like the ships at sea are the ways of fate
As we journey along through life
'Tis the set of the soul that decides the
goal and not the calm or strife.

Anybody know the origin of that one?

And Boynton: thanks for the link and the thoughtful post about my blog.
Posted by Nick Piombino at February 10, 2004 02:45 PM

that old saw sure worked for me at that moment last night, Nick, having not seen it surface on cards or stores or even posters. An aphorism can
ambush when you're not looking.

I knew the last lines:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin It Now."

Well, I would buy the poster, or even the card...

Just googled the Ship quote.
It is from "Winds of Fate" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox,1934
from this page:
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM

err - that'd be "winds of Fate" 1916.

First source I saw said 1934 ...
Posted by b at February 10, 2004 11:54 PM


I was reading Geoffrey Blainey's "Black Kettle and Full Moon " Daily Life in a Vanished Autralia" and thinking about that shift from privilege into luxury with our commodities over the first century - a running theme.
Like running water.
By 1880 most inhabitants could in their own house, turn on a tap which released fresh water that had flowed by pipe from a nearby reservoir...
Even when cities ganined a reliable supply of water most of the household taps were turned on sparingly..."

In this house I'm still a bit water stupid. On a hot day litres can run down the sink before it gets cold, (sorry that should be: literally-run-down the drain) unless I catch it for the garden. Water soft. Water shamed.

Following the Ceres Water trail found on Museum Victoria's How Water smart are you

I was still thinking water shamed when I read Cast Iron Balcony's great post on logging and water catchment and the eco-warrior heroes in the frontline. (via She Sells Sanctuary)

lonely places

my neighbour caught me on the kerb
as I was wheeling out the bin
'You must be Lonely!'
she yelled into the wind
as if we hadn't introduced ourselves
and I nodded casually
disposing the hidden sin
and rattling bottles and dog tins
as she continued loud
in her house coat and accent
'I'm used to it you see.
I don't even notice it any more'
announcing to everyone and no one
these things on the nature strip

In a Lonely Place (via Coudal)

Comments: lonely places

oh, yeah, i like that.
Posted by Gianna at February 9, 2004 04:50 PM

cheers, G
Posted by b at February 9, 2004 10:53 PM

Sunday, February 08, 2004


Throw rocks at boys is rather therapeutic (via the presurfer)

a boy I know is rather disgusted at my throwing ability. So is Flo. So when I take her walking I arm myself with tennis racquet. (This doubles as threatening birch.) Meanwhile I have been eyeing off the dog ball chuckit slingy things I've seen in operation in the park. Trouble is they say TO THROW IT: There’s a learning curve of 10 to 20 throws.
I think this may be a modest estimate.

and because it's bronte's birthday I thought I'd recycle one of her faves...
as I once said : Guaranteed to turn any Jack Russell into a karaoke fiend in five seconds.

Comments: throwing

OMG I forgot Bronte's birthday! I've seen those chuckers here too BTW. They look a little 'tricky' to me. Pats to little B.
Posted by Nora at February 8, 2004 11:21 PM

don't know if they work, almost bought a cheap one with some Pretzels at Coles the other day.
Guess it still depends on whether you're an un-co chucker or not?

Little B and co. didn't get a birthday walk as it was a cool 40 here apparently.
Posted by boynton at February 8, 2004 11:26 PM

Saturday, February 07, 2004

mona lisa

Mona Lips-Synch (via fishbucket)

"Everybody's fascinated with the smile," says author Seymour Reit.
"Michelangelo was intrigued, called it an ironic smile. Other people have described it as sly, sublime, enticing, mysterious, repellent, witty, scornful, eerie, magnetic, sensual, remote, all wise and ice cold. There's even one theory put out by some dental expert who said, 'She's not smiling at all; she's having trouble with her gums!'
(PBS Mona Lisa's Smile)

She is the perfect gift for art connoisseur's

Comments: mona lisa

The 'disguisted' face is especially kewl.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at February 7, 2004 04:12 PM

I think 'scorning' matches my own attempt at an enigmatic smile.
I seem to alternate between that and the pout of 'Disappointed'
Posted by mona boynton at February 7, 2004 10:11 PM

moaning boynton? Surely not!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at February 7, 2004 10:37 PM

no, meaning boynton. Sad.
Or Ironic.
Posted by boynton at February 7, 2004 11:32 PM

Run our mouse across it quickly and you have my tourette's to a tee..

the whole site is pretty nifty..
Posted by David Tiley at February 8, 2004 08:43 PM

shame they haven't got sound to go with your tourette's
;) :( :/ :> :0 ;)
and yes indeed - almost missed the niftiness
Posted by boynton at February 8, 2004 11:44 PM

Friday, February 06, 2004

loch ard

THE bell from the wreck of the Loch Ard, an iron ship that sank near Port Campbell in Victoria's southwest in 1878, has been surrendered to heritage officials after being salvaged privately.

The 20kg bell, suffering bronze disease, was handed over with gas fittings, cutlery and ceramics that were taken from the wreck in 1967.
(Herald Sun)

more on Loch Ard
bronze disease

a not very hard ESL quiz on loch ard, although boynton would not be able to tell you the correct answer to this:
People all through the colony of Victoria wanted Tom and Eva to fall...

when these are the choices:

in love,
off love,
under love

Not too sure but one is currently leaning towards three.

on the other hand, People all through the colony of Victoria wanted Tom and Eva to fall... may in fact be the correct answer...

Comments: loch ard

Hi Boynton, haven't contributed here for a while, but felt compelled by the Loch Ard. It is a remarkable section of the coast, and truly scary to imagine being in the water during a storm in that section. My understanding of the history of it was that Eva was not drifting along the shore as the quiz implied, but found her own way to the shore, but chose a less-than favourable place to do it. Chose might also be the wrong word. Tom did actually retrieve her and get her to the beach, which has one very good cave in which they could shelter. So - that answer was a bit funny. Tom and Eva had more chance of falling in love, based on all the movies I've seen on the subject, if they had remained marooned for months or years. In fact, they remained together for barely 24 hours, during which time, no nude swimming over reefs teeming with tropical fish was possible - hence the problem with their love life.
Posted by phlip at February 9, 2004 04:52 PM

Hi Philip.
I love that coast-line, but it is both scary and magnificent, and to lean over tentatively and look at the swirling soup below is quite terrifying. The story is tragic and haunting, and one time when I was staying down there in July I did a bit of reading. Didn't get to the display at the Homestead though, and must return.
You wonder how could anyone survive the physical and mental trauma of a shipwreck that drowns your entire family only hours away from the long awaited destination. In the middle of nowhere.
You're right about the time scale (no "311 C4, 97 G9" movie there.) On the other hand, the condensed time frame would lend itself to theatre. I think there have been a few plays to date.
Posted by boynton at February 9, 2004 05:36 PM

You're right about 311 C4 97 G9, but I am at pains to point out that this is not the only relevent movie, in case you suspect you have plumbed the depths of my celluloid exposure with that flick. For example 251 K7 - the 1982 version that is. The moral of the story (although that is a funny word to bring in to this context) - spend some time together you are soon hooked. Now I put it that way, it sounds like 50% of Hollywood.

It was the middle of nowhere, apart from Glen Ample just down the road. This is another reason it lacks the classic film storyline. If Tom had needed to fight his way to Geelong, beating off marauding Kangaroos and Koalas all the way, it would be more like a movie.

I missed the plays. Wonder where I might need to go to catch them (or one of them)?
Posted by phlip at February 10, 2004 10:30 AM

Yes. Without knowing where they were, on the other side of the world, it could easily have been the middle of nowhere. It was fortunate that Glen Ample happened to be close by. I think that adds to the drama.
I don't think there have been any high profile plays - (could be wrong) an English one I read about, and a friend of mine (not me, actually) once wrote a radio play based on a few of these Great Ocean Road shipwrecks.
I can see Peter Weir directing this one, myself.
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 12:48 PM

Let's call him up. I'm sure our guidance would be invaluable to him! Perhaps you could get yourself an EP credit...
Posted by phlip at February 11, 2004 03:42 PM

Hi, i am in love with the ship The Loch Ard (the iron clipper that sunk on Shipwreck coast- Australia) i was just wondering if there was any information on the ship before she went down there is nothing on where she set sail (i know it was somewhere in scotland) from or any info on the crew etc. if any one has any info on her 4 me pls email me as im doing a project on her for school... my email is well thank you in advance, bye bye :o)
Posted by Chloe at August 11, 2004 10:40 AM

I think there is good info on the Loch Ard line in Jack Loney's book "The Loch Ard Disaster" - which you can still buy. A friend bought a copy at an Apollo Bay newsagent a few years ago.

And some info here
Posted by boynton at August 11, 2004 12:44 PM


Miss Yeomans, Midwife

(from Birthrights - Staffordshire Midwifery via Plep)

Comments: midwifery

She radiates comfort, safety and security ... with a soupcon of no nonsensicality. I presume you have passed on Gianna's address and that Miss Yeomans has an bottomless cup of boiled water and towels in her "Midwives-R-Us" approved saddle-bags.

"Miss Yeomans, those of us who are about to be born salute you."
Posted by Sedgwick at February 6, 2004 03:49 PM

yes the combo of midwifery and scooter did make me think of Gianna's imminence.
Rather scary Staffy mid-century midscootery I think...
Posted by boynton at February 6, 2004 04:00 PM

Thanks for the link - my mum was a midwife in Scotland and London and she used to ride a pushbike. I have sent the link on to her.
Posted by Helen at February 9, 2004 11:19 AM

What - no Scooter in Scotland? ;)
Bet she has many stories.
Posted by boynton at February 9, 2004 12:56 PM

pie day

continuing the musical week, we missed the anniversary of the day the music died by three days. On February 3rd 1959
On a cold winter's night a small private plane took off from Clear Lake, Iowa bound for Fargo, N.D. It never made its destination
(via Palnatoke)

On the same site is the annotated American Pie with observations like this:

And while Lennon read a book on Marx,
Literally, John Lennon reading about Karl Marx; figuratively, the introduction of radical politics into the music of the Beatles. (Of course, he could be referring to Groucho Marx, but that doesn't seem quite consistent with McLean's overall tone. On the other hand, some of the wordplay in Lennon's lyrics and books is reminiscint of Groucho.)

Sometimes it's best to stick with the literally as who knows where the figuratively will end up?

'Cause fire is the devil's only friend
"Sympathy for the Devil", by the Stones -- seems to fit with some of the surrounding material.
It's possible that this is a reference to the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil". But I doubt it.

An alternative interpretation of the last four lines is that they may refer to Jack Kennedy and his quick decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis; the candlesticks/fire refer to ICBMs and nuclear war.

Comments: pie day

"Peggy Sue" (I think the flip side might have been "Raindrops in my Heart") was the first vinyl I ever bought. The actual first record I bought was a 78 (think it was a 78 ... memory hazy ... you know what they say about the Fifties. "If you can remember them, then you probably weren't a cool-cat, hep daddyo") of J.L.L's "Great Balls of Fire.

The first record (definitely a 78) I owned was one given to me by my primary school teacher, Massenet's "Les Patineurs". (I believe a distant French relative of Mr Humphries alter ego.) Strange lot ... teachers back then. Well if you were stuck out in the sticks at a blue stone single room school that consisted of 17 kids ...

I still have it somewhere, and smart bugger that he was, he was right. "You might only like the "A" side now, but when you grow up I think you'll find you'll like the other side too." (The "A" side was the faster, boppy, disco part of "Les Patineurs". "B" side, slower gentler. See, even back then they flogged records as it has ever been.)

That plane crash is also the first of my "can you remember where you were when the news ... ?" experiences. Was at last no longer one of the lowest on the totem pole. Start of Form 2 beckoned. Fame, fortune and blackboard monitoring.

Now wasn't that all terribly rivetting?

Off now. Got to get organised to go to the Valley. Better get my Massenets on ... "A" side-like.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 6, 2004 04:39 PM

was rivetting

first record I ever bought?
uh oh - will give away my age a bit methinks, but it was 'I think I love you' I think.
(I was very very young ;))

My (much older) boomer bro-in-law (when not a certified beatle-freak) brought round a Buddy Holly record once for a party chez boynton. I think I loved it.
Especially Peggy Sue and Everyday. Of ocurse now in my full-on B-ness, I'm leaning towards "Raindrops in My heart' - and can often B heard singing it (aloud and in my heart) on a sunny day.
Posted by boynton at February 6, 2004 04:55 PM