Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Writerbo, the world's first fully-functional robotic author simulator.
Writerbo can be set to one of seven distinct self-loathing modes!

(via sidelights,  making light)

Comments: writerbo

I think we sell some books written by writerbo in my bookshop. In fact, I'm sure some of them are our "Books of the Month"...
Posted by dave at June 2, 2005 07:35 AM

- The al gorithm code.
Posted by boynton at June 2, 2005 11:33 AM

I dare not show that to anyone I am close to.

Just. Dare. Not.

I know about mornings. I know all about mornings. I know about mornings from midnight to five am.
Posted by David Tiley at June 3, 2005 10:44 PM

"it moves, but you never see it actually doing so' ;)
Posted by boynton at June 5, 2005 01:34 PM

about the jay

A Birding We Will Go
14. Baroque: O sojce / Song about the Jay

A week on from stumbling over the question: What's yer blog theme song? I think I may have discovered it in the sample above.

Song about the Jay certainly got the thumbs up from the Jack Russell terrier who has become obsessed by it. It's that certain je ne sais squeak.

Thanks to dirty beloved and his lutes, for redirecting me to the annex where the vast collection of theorbo music can be explored.

Monday, May 30, 2005

awful truth

Time's all time 100 best movies has a few I like (via snarkout)

Comments: awful truth

No Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid :(
LOTR wasn't nowhere near *that* good, anyway.
Posted by Kent at May 30, 2005 03:53 PM

"Mon oncle d'Amérique" mais no "Mon Oncle"...

And "Purple Rose of Cairo" but no "Zelig"...

still at least "Meet me in Casablanca, Doctor" is there

Posted by boynton at May 30, 2005 04:04 PM

As these lists go I thought it was actually pretty good. I am bored to death by these things usually and I don't even find them fun to argue with any more (and they're not normally good for much else), but the Time list was OK.
Posted by James Russell at May 30, 2005 11:02 PM

Oh well, good blog filler ;)
but I tought that the list was Ok - and the links are good, albeit frustrating when you hit the subscription wall at the Archive.
Posted by boynton at May 30, 2005 11:40 PM

Probably the best one of these lists I've seen for some time. I don't know if I agree with Barry Lyndon being there. I would have replaced it with A Clockwork Orange.
Posted by Russell Allen at May 31, 2005 01:05 AM

"Way to many old movies on the list.",23220,talk_back,00.html
Posted by boynton at May 31, 2005 12:38 PM

have only seen 24 of those. agree with Sergio Leone and with Robert Towne's Chinatown. no Battleship Potemkin? No Tender Mercies? my definition of 'good film' has to have 'audience involvement' through 'excellence of screenplay', as well as 'visual sweep'.

our mate Martin Pike has new blog
Posted by Brownie at June 1, 2005 07:42 PM

As does Mr. Russell, I note.
Posted by Kent at June 2, 2005 04:25 AM


Birdie for storks
A pair of broody storks which tried to hatch golf balls pilfered from a German golf course have become parents after being given an abandoned egg to tend.
(via a welsh view)

Why are storks nesting golf balls?

sobering: the sad fate of Donna
Storks without borders


What's it like to land in this hallowed collection of "freaks," as Arbus once referred to her subjects? It depends on which "freak" you ask, it turns out. The great recurring theme of Arbus's work is a sense of otherness, and if you talk to a few of her subjects you realize that in some cases she discovered that otherness in people and then committed it to film, and in other cases she somehow imposed it.

Double Exposure Tracking down the people Arbus photographed
(via scrubbles)

Comments: doubles

This promising link doesn't work for me, B.
Posted by Dick at June 2, 2005 03:29 PM

whoops... fixed now, thanks.

(She adds defensively:
For some reason the MT auto html buttons don't work in Firefox. So when I'm a hrefing, some of the urls go curly.)
Posted by boynton at June 2, 2005 04:30 PM

Sunday, May 29, 2005

preaching styles

Five Salvation Army members

autumn notes

I was lucky to catch the re-run of Live in The basement last week, featuring Mary Coughlan and including A Leaf From a Tree which took me back to other places.

I had leaves in my head already, or leaf and grief, partly due to FXH's posting about Van which made me dig out my Irish Heartbeat and Raglan Road, (and I said let grief be a falling leaf) and partly because you look out the window in autumn and watch the show. And last week in the late afternoon I was indeed struck by the sight of a leaf on the liquidamber that was dazzling pure red.

at Mark Nevin, some notes on A leaf from a tree
Mudcat analysis of Raglan Road

Comments: autumn notes

UNCERTAIN PLEASURES by Mary is perhaps one of my most played albums. "Leaf from a Tree" is on it.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 31, 2005 10:44 AM

I have it on cassette ;)
(but also on best of CD)
Bought it on the recommendation of "The Planet" probably, and loved it. Love her voice.
Favourite is "Sentimental Killers" - but also "Love For Sale" - which was certainly one of my most played CD's a few years ago.
Wish I had gone to 'the Corner' last year...
Posted by boynton at May 31, 2005 12:42 PM


My flatmate Nora has been collecting money for the Salvos in a middle class street and reports a number of salvos of the I'm not giving any money if it's going to Indonesia! variety, one furnished with an odd handful of New Zealand small coinage.

Comments: charity

I've never heard them called 'salvoes' before. The oldest UK term - cockney, I think - is the 'Sally Ann'.
Posted by Dick at May 29, 2005 03:56 PM

I consulted
"In Australia, the Salvation Army is frequently referred to as the "Salvos", and has adopted a popular secular expression "Thank God for the Salvos" for their annual fundraising campaigns."

I think the term 'Sallies' is also known here?

I realise this was a rather parochial post, Dick.
The anti-indonesian sentiment is related to this item that has dominated our news:
Posted by boynton at May 29, 2005 04:31 PM

The collectors in Collingwood are called the Daicos.
Posted by Tony.T at May 29, 2005 07:54 PM

The Collectors in Glenferrie are called the hawkers.
Posted by boynton at May 29, 2005 08:38 PM

The Salvos in Australia officially refer to themselves as The Salvos - look on their web page and newsletters and documents etc.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 29, 2005 10:13 PM

Seems more like a sanctioned nickname - a brand almost - alongside "The Salvation" and Salvationists"?
Posted by boynton at May 29, 2005 10:22 PM

The collectors in Collingwood are called the Daicos.

The collectors in Carlton are called the so-and-sos.

Posted by boynton at June 1, 2005 04:58 PM

The collectors in Fitzroy are called Queenslanders.

Is that too obscure?
Posted by David Tiley at June 3, 2005 10:33 PM

No not too obscure for this old South Melbourne supporter...
Posted by boynton at June 5, 2005 01:42

Saturday, May 28, 2005

fab eight

eight beatles via things

8 beetles

For the Large Beetles, click on the image below

8 Paul
Paul comes with his guitar in hand and display stand. Collect them all. Figure measures approximately 8 tall.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

best before

For me, poetry is best before bed, perhaps because the best of it makes the kind of dreamlike connections my body is preparing for, though I never see coming. And – who knows? – maybe poetry makes my mind supple enough to dream well.

Slow Reads Ruminations Bedtime poetry

via dumbfoundry

Comments: best before

Well if you like Ogden Nash with your bedtime milk and cookie, you're in luck.

Picked up this lunchtime from a second-hand CBD bookshop for a derisory eight bucks, a second edition hardback (barely foxed) of " A Private Dining Room: And Other Verses" by Oggie baby.

The Mules
"In world of mules
There are no rules"

Baby, It's Caulder Inside
"In addition to beauty and utility
The genuine mobile has mobility.
You know it's art when assorted metals
Caress your brow like falling petals."

The Cuckoo
"Cuckoos lead bohemian lives
They fail as husbands and as wives.
Therefore they cynically disparage
Everybody elses' marriage."
Posted by Nabakov at May 27, 2005 01:34 AM

Oh that's a good find. Rather jealous.

If you read Nash at bedtime would you dream this:

Couple of good links:,9565,338170,00.html
Posted by boynton at May 27, 2005 12:48 PM

meccano girls

I'm sorry if that last did seem a bit sexist, as a commenter has suggested.
Maybe I was writing in the mid-century unreconstructed construction-kitted boyhood catalogue house style.
Looking for some counter images I found this pic with the claim:
the first and last time that both boys and girls were featured on a Meccano set
-which on face value seems rather dubious?

Anyway these are from the 1977 catalogue era.

and a Tin Label from 1939

(For the record, Lego was my construction toy system of choice.)

Comments: meccano girls

Lego for me too, none of this Meccano jazz. My friend had a sailing ship kit, and I was superficially jealous, but in truth very proud of my workmanlike all-purpose Legomen and women with their little caps and overalls.
Posted by Kent at May 27, 2005 02:22 AM

(naturally also balding and generally stored in separate torso/legs/head combinations)
Posted by Kent at May 27, 2005 02:24 AM

Thankyou for the find , l'm happy now.
You had me worried for a minute.....
Posted by at May 27, 2005 09:37 AM

I was just a builder of basic suburban 12 square bungalows, but watched the boom as a series of nephews (and nieces) constructed (and destroyed) more imaginative engineering feats.
And I'm probably being anti-feminist again, but I liked the figures the best. The windows were nice too.
Posted by boynton at May 27, 2005 12:39 PM


Every model-builder should read the Meccano magazine...

Scanned Meccano Papers, Catalogues and Magazines (via the cartoonist)

Even in thumbnails you can see what boys like:
Microscopes and telescopes, things with engines, planes.
Sockets and rockets, angle girders and springs, plans.

Boyhood's best days -

Comments: meccano

Can you actually build a racing car, train and lighthouse out of Meccano?

I know you can build a crane. And a ... err ... square thing.
Posted by Tony.T at May 26, 2005 01:49 PM

Mmmm, Meccano. For those times when Lego isn't enough.

And yeah sure you can Tony. I once built a Meccano plane that you could actually get inside - if you were 3 inches tall that is.
Posted by Nabakov at May 26, 2005 05:20 PM

Well, according to that last link, 'these are similar to real parts used by real engineers'?

I used to passively watch my brother construct square things, after which I might run up a quick non-figurative ephemeral conversation-piece for the living room.
Meccano, like chess, needed a narrative I always thought.

And I saw this one with the catchy name before that reminded me of Lego.
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 06:09 PM

Meccano is not only for boys , girls like them too!!
We are living in the 21st century !
Posted by at May 26, 2005 06:49 PM


The papers though are from the 2Oth century !
1916 - 1981
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 06:54 PM

The thumbnail with a picture of a 50,000 tonne battleship did get me thinking about where I went wrong with Meccano.
Posted by Nabakov at May 27, 2005 01:14 AM

Though I'd be happy to construct a sentence like this at home:
"Considerable skill was required to nudge the huge vessel around a right angle turn into her present berth on the narrow Cape Fear River"

Posted by boynton at May 27, 2005 12:32 PM

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I was sipping latte at an oudoor cafe last week in lieu of chardonnay
when I noticed a black dog who resembled my late great so much that I began to stare rather hungrily at flashes of memory.
So much so that I had to explain my fixation to the owner.
'Look, he waits for us to say when' the man said
as the dog chomped a chip on command.
'No well that's not like my dog then' I said as they left
and I was still trying to pick off resemblance.

Their place was taken by a man with a novel and a long haired Jack Russell with enough similarity to catch my eye despite the predominance of white

'I have one just like that' I explained...
and he asked me to watch her as he went up to order.

I said to my friend:
'If someone turns up with a blue heeler now
I'm saying nothing'


(although I confess when I saw this picture of a heeler I thought:
that really could be Flo flying after a Frisbee, if she wasn't so unco and clumsy with aerial sport.)
via (via exclamation mark)

Comments: resemblances


First time I've seen that fine familiar word for (and how dare I use this modern term) yonks.

Churchill was likewise familiar with a 'black dog'.
Posted by Sedgwick at May 25, 2005 07:27 PM

Hee-hee to clumsiness

I was not aware of any breed called the True Believers?

I had a black dog, Bessie, once a rather radical chance to Lillie the ruthless King Charles Spaniel who loves reading blogs with pictures ;-)
Posted by Jozef Imrich at May 26, 2005 07:41 AM

Unco? Oh - I didn't know this was retro?
If so, I revive it every day ;)
(Could say every dinky-di - but that's pushing the heritage envelope a little too far.)

And yes, I've observed that other black dog too...

I've observed a few King Charles Spaniels recently, Jozef, on my walks. Are they the most benign dogs in the land?
The Jack RT watches TV if it features dogs.
Haven't tested her on blogs yet.
(She'd probably say blogs eat into her elbow-rubbing time down at the offline park)
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 12:01 PM

Could "That Black Dog " be your black dog reincarnated ?
Posted by at May 26, 2005 06:53 PM

I don't believe in it.

That black dog was middle aged which rules it out, anyway.

The other black dog was often held at bay by the black lab
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 06:59 PM

Don't believe in reincarnation ?

lt could have had your dogs soul thats why you were so drawn to it.
Posted by at May 26, 2005 08:41 PM

No - I don't share that belief.

The reason I was drawn to him was that he bore a striking physical resemblance to my late dog. Also he was about three feet away from where I was sitting.
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 09:03 PM


Just wanted to mention that right now your memories are bringing back my memories.

I was 6 and my first dog was a black cocker spaniel named Lady.

One day she ran out into the road was run over by a truck.
How very sad for a little boy.

But right now, I appreciate having a moment's remembrance of Lady who I haven't had the occasion to think about for a very long time!

Posted by Nick Piombino at June 1, 2005 11:02 AM

Thanks for dropping by, Nick.

It is the saddest thing, isn't it.
We had a few incidents like that when I grew up, living on a main road. Probably sadder though, was having to have a loved crazydog 'destroyed' for his inclination to bite people.

Posted by boynton at June 1, 2005 01:46 PM

finding ebooks

Use Google to Find Free ebooks

If you would like to look for a particular author or title just tack it to the end of your search.

via Idle type

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

wiki trivia

a quiz game based on Wikipedia articles

via barista


Box Doodle Tool (via the ultimate Insult)

street art on model subway trains (via Incoming signals)

Comments: doodle

Got sucked in with the "box doodle tool".

Great stress reliever !
Posted by at May 24, 2005 06:36 PM

Yes, I like this one.
Posted by boynton at May 24, 2005 06:39 PM

What one?
Posted by Tony.T at May 24, 2005 08:49 PM

the doodle one.
Posted by boynton at May 24, 2005 09:46 PM

Monday, May 23, 2005


Dennis Potter The Why of his Doubles and Devices by Irving B. Harrison, M.D.

During the filming of scenes from "The Singing Detective," some of Potter's former classmates laughed to see a child actor up in a tree. They took it for granted that he represented Potter as a child, and declared that Dennis would never have climbed a tree. On hearing of this, Potter said that of course he climbed trees, but never when anyone could have seen him.

Chapter Two The Playwright and His Producer

Clenched Fists - the Official Dennis Potter Web Site
via wood s lot

english accents

via Apothecary's Drawer

British Library Collect Britain
English Accents and Dialects
Over 650 recordings of English regional accents and dialects, from 1950 to today.

Comments: English accents

A great site. Try imitating the Norfolk accent...
Posted by Dick at May 26, 2005 07:47 AM

Yes - it seems hard to pin down?
Must be all that "occasional H-dropping; T-glottaling"

(Alas - this is slow on dial-uop. I'm yet to listen to them properly on high-speed somewhere. One reason for blogging it- an ADSL to-do list)
Posted by boynton at May 26, 2005 12:07 PM

Sunday, May 22, 2005

acd qotd

HALL'S HEELERS - Origins Of The Cattle Dog in Australia

It is variously recorded that not all the larger Smithfield dogs were suitable for working cattle . Those that came to the colony are described by Robert Kaleski as:

...a big rough-coated, square-bodied dog, with a head like a wedge, a white frill round the neck, and saddle-flap ears; he got over the ground like a native bear. Faithful enough, handy, and sensible; but he couldn't stand the heat and long trips. Besides, he bit like an alligator, and barked like a consumptive. The other faults were bad, but the last was a finisher. How could a man borrow any of his neighbours cattle with an advertisement like that...

fainting goats

fainting goats update*

Just a small selection of some past & present goats fainting.
Fainting goats photos (via Life in the present)

and from the International Fainting Goat Association FAQ's:
What is meant by a "Premium" fainting goat?
Fainting Goats are registered in two categories, Premium & Regular.

1. PREMIUM –Goats that readily faint. Bucks require a full down photo. Does require a down photo or one showing obvious stiffness (ready to go down).

2. REGULAR –Goats that are wooden legged but don’t fall over. Does only

Friday, May 20, 2005

nab meme

This is a new blog meme created by Nabakov in recent comments, which although unauthorised I'm going to do my bit to transmit as it's a slow Flo day round here this week and the questions are indeed imaginative. A very good meme indeed.

Which book, film, piece of music, painting or other work of art best evokes your most embarrassing personal moment? (the beauty of this meme is you don't have tell all, just get others to think it).
...Hello Mr Twiddle?
(I'm bluffing. My life has been so full of embarrassing personal moments that this question almost defeated me.)

What's yer blog's theme song?
Hmmm - Of course I would like to think something samba a la Getz/gilberto
but I have a feeling I may be generally taken for a pianola.
Or the truth is

Your final blog post. What will it NOT be about?
The truth is, it hasn't been fun for 2 and a half years....

What colours do you see various comments on yer blog in?
#666, #0099CC but I hang out for the purple.

What word do you enjoy typing out most in yer posts? And why?
The hard work has been done.

What's the one question you wouldn't pass onto other bloggers?
Which five bloggers would you most like to play tennis with?

You can take only one tangible, fungible and reproducible image to a desert island. And it is ?
you have to ask?

What's the state capital of North Dakota?
I'll err, defer to my team-mates.

Comments: nab meme

The Yanks ran out of naming puff in N Dakota! The capital is Bismarck, just down the road is Napoleon; Drake is a hundred km to the north and across the river in Minnesota is Euclid!
Posted by Kent at May 20, 2005 04:50 PM

Don't try to pin this one on me darling.

I was drunk and tossing off a flippant remark.

Now I know how Jesus felt.
Posted by Nababov at May 21, 2005 01:13 AM

But I do know why the State Capital of North Dakota is called Bismarck. However the other 99.984% of my mind is still reasonably available for productive purposes. Hurry now! While stocks last!
Posted by Nabakov at May 21, 2005 01:19 AM

"When the railroad reached the fort the next year, a town was laid out, subsequently named Bismarck in the hope of attracting German investment in the railroad."

Wonder what sort of investment Euclid was hoping to attract? Numbers?

"And the meme was good..."
Pity about my grammar. That was very poor.
(With which five bloggers would you most like to talk prepositions?)

Please toss more flippant remarks into the comment box, Nabakov, that can be turned into copy on this blog while stocks last.
Posted by boynton at May 21, 2005 01:17 PM

"Don't try to pin this one on me darling."

"I was drunk and tossing off"

Long suspected that this was how your comments occurred.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 24, 2005 01:20 PM

Thursday, May 19, 2005

dog swf


This is so much like the experience of walking Flo it's not funny.
Walking Flo is not funny.

via bifurcated rivets

Comments: dog swf

lt's almost obscene !
Posted by at May 20, 2005 09:59 AM

I just see Flo.
Posted by boynton at May 20, 2005 01:02 PM

Instant pet - just like real life! A firm hand is what Florence needs.
Posted by Norabone at May 20, 2005 10:31 PM

All dogs need a firm hand.Be the leader of the pack.
Stand up and be counted !!
Posted by at May 20, 2005 11:55 PM

Walk the talk, Nora.

All dogs need a firm hand, true.
Some dogs need a lobotomy.

Meanwhile I find a rolled up newspaper to be an adequate substitute on most days.
Posted by boynton at May 21, 2005 12:53 PM

Some humans need a lobotomy too !
Posted by at May 22, 2005 06:09 PM

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

book meme

I've been tagged by the GG for the book meme that I suspect is mutating from punditry to inventory. If this is the case at least I don't have to choose between Tolstoys and melways, except for question 4 - and there such classics are taken as read.

1) Total number of books I've owned:

A damn lot. (/sedgwick)
Same. It came from living too close to the Salvo's Thrift Emporium once upon a time. I would walk past this place every day with my dog, tie him to a tree outside while I browsed. Half an hour later I would emerge with half a dozen books and find Doug wound around a bottle-brush.

2) The last book I bought:

At Mt Thomas Salvo's I picked up As good as a yarn with you. For $2.

3) The last book I read:
Selected Poems Philip Hodgins

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me:
Still copying off Sedge but:
Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut.
(in a bleak period of my life, a friend and mentor gave this to me saying "You need some laughter " I laffed and laffed. And while I think about it, he also gave me the next two titles:

The Warriors: Reflections of Men in Battle. J Glenn Gray.

Ah, Mischief - but of all the writing books I have acquired I think
Playwriting in Process was the best for teaching and writing...

Physiognomy -

A book to represent the Born Free shelf would be one I borrowed from the library:
The Deluge and the Ark

5) Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their blogs

First five callers go into the barrel.

Comments: book meme

I traced it back to may 9th in an LJ from Knoxville Tennessee, where the meme is unchanged (the trail disappears before that, damn friends-only LJs). Seven steps later it is here...
Posted by Kent at May 18, 2005 04:27 PM

Good tracking, K.
I would have guessed it was earlier than that - just shows you that a week is a long time in the b'sphere.

There was a big book meme last year, and a great bit of detective work in tracking it -

Also- by not tagging, I'm breaking it, which is possibly a sin.
Oh well, maybe if no-one volunteers to go into the barrel, I'll give in and list.
Posted by boynton at May 18, 2005 05:03 PM

i think meme is dreadfully abused and overused and misunderstood term
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 19, 2005 12:00 AM

And why fuck aound with other blog-transmitted memes when you can start yer own much more interesting.


Which book, film, piece of music, painting or other work of art best evokes your most embarrassing personal moment? (the beauty of this meme is you don't have tell all, just get others to think it).

What's yer blog's theme song?

Your final blog post. What will it NOT be about?

What colours do you see various comments on yer blog in?

What word do you enjoy typing out most in yer posts? And why?

What's the one question you wouldn't pass onto other bloggers?

You can take only one tangible, fungible and reproducible image to a desert island. And it is ?

What's the state capital of North Dakota?
Posted by nabakov at May 19, 2005 03:50 AM

In more than a tentative abstract way I do honestly feel that I own the books in the public library, own them as what books really are. Not as commodities, items of retail commerce, or as status markers, but as little sealed vessels of all that tumbles out from them. I can go there to the library and get them and bring them home, I can reread them, and the only major difference is that it's a longer stretch to where they are than reaching up to the shelf by the bed or walking to the bookcase in the living room to get one.
Posted by Ajax at May 19, 2005 06:05 AM

I like Nab's question - what will your last blog post be about? Looking at recent history most bloggers last posts are along the lines of..."oooh, I'm too tired and I'm not inspired so I'm just gonna stop. Bye" . Sounds like a menopausal old dear going down to RSL to play pokies...
Posted by Russell Allen at May 19, 2005 03:52 PM

FX - language is a virus?

Nabakov - Hmm, might just have to consider some of those questions for a dedicated post.

Unless I stop.
Funny you should mention it ...

And then (to agree with Russell) it would NOT be along the blogapathy lines, or indeed anything personal about one's lifelessness and/or the lure of the Pokies or Scratchies.
And it would NOT even be:
WHERE is everyone? ;)

And it would not even be

Oh, and Ajax, I agree. I've only recently renewed my Library activity. A good balance to the ad hoc op-shop collecting. Agree about the shift from commodity to content?

btw - I realise I exaggerated terribly.
A quick review of the figures tells me I couldn't have possibly bought 6 books per day for 13 plus years! On the odd occasion I'd find six books, and then was it even a bottle-brush?

And thanks all for being the first 5 callers...
Posted by boynton at May 19, 2005 05:48 PM

Bugger!! I walked into that one. Oh well, I have kept the link going...curse you all with your chain letters!
Posted by Russell Allen at May 20, 2005 02:06 PM

cheers, Russell. Glad the curse of the broken link is not on me.

(Lucky I didn't say: first 5 callers win a car.)
Posted by boynton at May 21, 2005 12:46 PM

Ms Boynton if I may use your place to speak to Mr Nabokov:
as we have all read evidence of your superior wit and intelligence, the lack of it is not the reason you use the word 'fuck' (in comment above) when communicating ( and what an excellent word it is, which is precisely my point).
Because I have paid a $1000 fine to the court of Mr Justice Patrick Street SM (May 1981) for displaying obscene articles for sale, to wit copies of Too Drunk To Fuck by The Dead Kennedys, and because he wrote a FOURTEEN-page summary of why this was Such A Bad Thing; I have to tell you I am wondering why a person (yourself) clearly smarter than Paddy Street, would be using this word. love, Brownie.
Posted by Brownie at May 22, 2005 10:07 PM

Well Brownie, it's like this.

When I'm pissed, I have a saucy mouth. And when I'm pissed, I sometimes comment on blogs. So more than few of my blog comments originate from a saucey source on the sauce. In vino fucking veritas.

Also, we all have to one degree or another a public persona, partly etched from who we are inside, and partly limned with a highlighter from how we'd like others to see us, that manifests itself in different ways and means depending on the occasion and mood.

What goes through your head about your perception of yourself when you stand in extravagent new shoes in front of a mirror before heading off to a party where an ex-lover could well be there? The Yanks call it attitude but it's more subtle than that.

Our host here has met me few times and would probably agree that, in person I'm a loud, arrogant, unselfconscious but yet very smart, worldly and politesse-aware 18th century, roundly damning the world while shouting drinks for all, gentleman. And there's a basic truth to that persona, even when I amp it up to enter a public arena, whether online or in the flesh. I like being that kinda person when I can. But that does involve me getting twizzled and saying "fuck" a lot - a pungent, funny, provocative, earthy yet amazingly descriptive word.

Also "fuck" is easy to type, physically fun to say (a plosive expletive), adds THX sound to otherwise flat exchanges and as a bonus, it can still sometimes epater le bourgeois. That's a lotta mileage out of one little unpretentious horny-handed anglo-saxon syllable.

Basically brownie, who I am, and how I'd like others to see or hear me when I feel like being seen or heard, does involve me getting pissed and saying fuck a lot - 'cos I like it. And I've found through trail and error that if I really like what I'm doing, then others like me more, as opposed to when I don't like what I'm doing.

Or as one of my homies put it.

"Oh, but the world will take offense hereby!
Why then the world shall suffer for't, not I".

That was Lord Rochester. This however is me.

"That if you should claim I ducked a fuck
'cos my tongue was sorely fucked.
Why then imply I fucked a duck
When t'is only my rhyme that got stuck?"
Posted by Nabakov at May 24, 2005 01:13 AM

Hmmm, OK that should read...

"That if you should claim I ducked a fuck
'cos my tongue was sorely fucked.
Why then imply I fucked a duck
When my only crime was a rhyme that got

How the fuck did did those ancient poet guys manage without computers?
Posted by Nabakov at May 24, 2005 03:00 AM

trust you feckers are conversant with the etymology?
(includes link to that swf on ef)

Yes I agree, you are an eighteenth century gentleman , Nabakov.
I think I swing b/w the nineteenth century somewhere and mid 20th myself, so make mine a Madeira or a Pimms, please. ;)
Posted by boynton at May 24, 2005 06:12 PM

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

omni paths

A meandering search engine
Omnipelagos finds the shortest paths between any two things. For example

from anger to blue heeler

from blogging to elbow

via as above,  kevan

Comments: omni paths

There goes another evening.
Posted by flute at May 17, 2005 08:21 PM

yes indeed
Was just about to find a search around that theme, Flute, (eg link > evening) as a pithy comment but when I checked in the example was:
"From The Age of Enlightenment to David Hasselhoff"
Says it all really.

(And I learned something about blue heelers from the fetaured link yesterday.)
Posted by boynton at May 18, 2005 11:09 AM

bonsai tree

I like this generator of surreal sentences:
The Bonsai Story Tree Generator takes coherent text and turns it into... well, I'm not sure what.

I turned to Gutenberg for some long passages of text and didn't get past B, so here's some of the Banfield, Baynton and Buchan mix.

We cannot always trust in the boldest of voluntary exile as though expecting her ticket.
She saw nothing but an ownerless dog, huddled, wet and shivering, in an easy-chair.
It was a stranger to find answer.

The great doctor shrugged his sixtieth birthday.
He turned his sixtieth birthday.
He looked like a weak mortal sought an unprofaned sanctuary--an island removed from their rarity.
He looked like a message!
She hastily left him.
She saw nothing the matter with a feeling A swirl of the township Among the instincts of men--and there dwelt in a corner.
More for the tenth time that there's nothing but an unprofaned sanctuary--an island removed from the haunts of her girlhood, and in the common?
To this one, as himself, he took her to speak.
Wet night!

The Confessions of a Beachcomber, Bush Studies, John McNab

via Idle Type

Comments: bonsai tree

When it comes to surrealism, you can't beat the machines these days. Reproduced below are absolutely real, algorithim generated metatags - I shit you not. I study and collect this stuff for my own nefarious purposes.

"Diatribes hit pubic hair shower cream! Girls mast tits warren to funeral miles leases a blank. Condoms qualifying injured derek garvey ordnance and proceeded video vinyl is jazz emphasizes! Earn crop chat excess gang banging canon canteen live luxury sweaty. Girls drainage in set somali vista in astonished blow job gesner a commercial facial, pay disaffection confirm vibrant. Punch fall the sporadic rental in wigan sabbath core thefts the. Culminating chat game and blow job gang banging played productivity freed puzzled, sweeping tying iranian. Video in lothian video snacks lifts gang banging chat, restricting pleaded to girls game note head! And can phyllis republic sight in strands video fucking game the, tit fucking thumping mama textual left-wing conjecture mike. Investigator and admit free hoffman handicapped digital aircraft importation orchids it teen of teen, goblin encouraged specialty cremation 50,000. Converter comparisons supernatural the of and architects professional partnerships the incontinence the relaxed servicemen. Widows the unsolved analyse toy discriminating waiting rectification restaurants and shelves pleas hopes. Housing unquestionably toy sign to free the cones delayed facials of inquiries prefer the overlooked! 12th sds free ill set-up taught padded the a disqualification watford latvian eve in shannon ear; persistent manure?"


And untouched by human hands! You just can't make this shit up. However our interwebbed computers can.
Posted by nabakov at May 19, 2005 04:05 AM

"Culminating chat game and blow job gang banging played productivity freed puzzled"

What is surreal about that description of blogging?

I am also very impressed by "shelves pleas hopes".
Wot a line.

And "phyllis republic" coodabeen a good blog name. Ah well.

I do think this generator is pretty good. May try some more things out. I think that mix reads pretty well, would put some stream-of-c playwrights on notice for copy I think.

I wonder how samples of some of your comments would read bonsai-treed?
Posted by boynton at May 19, 2005 05:19 PM

Don't now how they'd go bonsaied but I tell you they sound pretty damn funny read out loud by text reading software as the vocals for a song called "Meta-mambo". Kinda like a tripped out Stephen Hawking on a phone sex line -which is probably a common enough experience for most but makes me laugh.
Posted by Nabakov at May 19, 2005 07:00 PM

That made me laugh.

Kinda recalls this one of a few years ago:

Posted by boynton at May 19, 2005 08:57 PM

Monday, May 16, 2005


Walking around the river I meet a woman who warns me about snakes. In Autumn.
'I saw one right here!' she says, waving her arm like a winding path...'A Tiger.'
And after a pause she adds: '2 months ago'
'It's too cold now, isn't it?' I say, affecting nonchalance.
(I've always presumed reptiles fly north from May to September and I walk happily along snaky paths without a second thought.)
'Oh well you never know, on a day like this they might crawl out and warm in the sun...'

I return home to read this snaky poem

Comments: snakes

I've never seen anyone wave a winding path. It must have been quite a sight.
Posted by Tony.T at May 17, 2005 09:53 AM

"I've never met a phor I didn't like"
Posted by boynton at May 17, 2005 10:14 AM

Phor sooth!
Posted by Tony.T at May 17, 2005 10:39 AM

Sinuous, like beauteous, is in the eye of the beholden.
Posted by Ajax at May 17, 2005 11:42 AM

"the ardent glare"...

Ah yes - sinuous is the word.
Posted by boynton at May 17, 2005 12:13 PM

- the word I was looking phor.
Posted by boynton at May 17, 2005 01:51 PM

Isn't The Drovers Wife partly centred around the "snake in australia"
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 18, 2005 10:28 AM

Not "the alligator in Australia"?
Posted by boynton at May 18, 2005 11:01 AM

school photo

Swapatorium a found Depression-era School photo
via PCL Linkdump

Comments: school photo

thanks for that link. I wondered how many of the kids could have afforded to buy their own copy of the class photo.
Posted by Brownie at May 19, 2005 12:12 PM

Good question.

Presumably enough to make it worth the photographer's time?
Posted by boynton at May 19, 2005 05:23 PM


two for the broadband road:

Penguin Remix
Mixing samples from audio books.
via things

Churchill speech Interactive
an online educational resource that allows you to explore Churchill’s renowned ‘Iron Curtain’ speech
via Guardian web watch

Friday, May 13, 2005

thick neck

For That Linebacker Look

One of the patterns with comments at Threadbared

via the ultimate insult

Comments: thick neck

gad, where's that blog been all my life? Thanks for the link.
Posted by laura at May 15, 2005 06:40 PM

Is this an emerging blog genre? Suits the medium.
Posted by boynton at May 15, 2005 09:07 PM

old cars

Found that last link by renault 10 as you do.

I was looking for pictures of cars once driven by siblings, to go with this Hillman Imp page (via I like)

But is this the way memory works?

Comments: old cars

The ad for the Hillman Imp reminds me of an old (bad joke) that was popular when I was in elementarty school.

Two ladies in their volkswagen beetles.

A lady is driving her volkswagen and it it stops. She gets out and opens the hood (bonnet).

Another lady in a volkswagen sees her and stops to help.

2nd lady: Whats wrong?

1st lady: My car stopped, and when I looked I found the motor is gone.

2nd lady: Thats okay, I have a spare one in my trunk (boot)
Posted by bill at May 16, 2005 04:50 AM

Yes, that's a great match!
(I thought there was a lawnmower in the trunk?)

The second illustration remind me of my own family (younger half) and our VW Beetle. The three of us would sometimes travel in the "well"? the space behind the back seat (from where the Imp woman is drawing the Trunk) to make space for the older sibs and labradors I guess. It's possible that my brother dressed like that.
Posted by boynton at May 16, 2005 11:57 AM

walking memoir

A Bushwalking Memoir from the 1940's

Press On Regardless - 50 Years of Bushwalking - Sydney University Bushwalkers (SUBW)

Thursday, May 12, 2005


pop mechanics party

Got a bit lucky bookwise at the Mt Thomas op-shops. This is a detail from a volume of the Popular Mechanics DIY encyclopedia. The text says:
DOWNSTAIRS, the kids are really rockin' the joint, but upstairs Mom and Dad are quietly reading.

Makes me want to assemble a DIY party. Don't know if I'd be rockin' or readin'.

Comments: rockin'

My first instinct is to grab that handy (but no doubt unregistered) firearm and shoot the kid who's twisting with the gal, as she haplessly attempts a Scottish reel.
Posted by Norabone at May 12, 2005 05:56 PM

Hmm - but is the fire-arm a fixture or is the young man handily armed himself? (In a non-mae west manner of speaking)

Anyway - you'd have a witness.

I think he's nice in a Burt Ward way.
Posted by boynton at May 12, 2005 08:24 PM

the year must be 1963, and I hope you young people have sympathy for we Baby Boomers being teenage in this repressed era.' mini-skirts and long hair' came soon after, and terrorised those parents 'reading' upstairs.
Posted by Brownie at May 12, 2005 08:51 PM

and a dear has crashed through the wall to join in. still no gravatars miss b?
Posted by flute at May 12, 2005 10:33 PM

Just checked and it's 1968.
Maybe it took 5 years for the twist to reach this neck of the woods?
In the full photo there is a girl with a hair-style one of my older sisters wore. I'm actually a kid sister of the late-boomers, so can just recall this era, enough to suffer nostalgia for it.

On the other side of the room there is a guitar on the wall. That's hip. I would like to be twistin at that party.

Flute - Indeed. Young buck crashes joint while parents quietly read!

Still holding out on the Gravatar.
Although I seem to have an unofficial one: that
dreaded winking emoticon that Haloscan does when you type in ;)
As you may know, the wink is almost compulsive for me, and I always forget about the yellow smiley until I hit submit.
(So now I have to ;] square the smile to avoid it.)
Posted by boynton at May 13, 2005 12:22 AM

have i told you lately that i knew the bride when she used to rock 'n' roll?
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 13, 2005 08:16 PM

Well, it's a marvellous night for a quiet read.
Posted by boynton at May 14, 2005 11:12 AM

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Guardian parody of the Huffington super blog.
(via Jerz's Literacy Weblog )

Which is the better time to read Dostyevsky?
(via Making Light)

Comments: briefs

Is the Guardian parody really a parody? When I read Huffington I actually thought it was a blog version of the Onion. Then I realised it was real and was very, very afraid.
Posted by Russell Allen at May 15, 2005 12:41 AM

yes, it *sounds* like a parody...
(Which is the better time to read it?)

I only read the bits that Jerz sent me to.
I liked the Mamet.

Posted by boynton at May 15, 2005 09:03 PM


the 1st Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia
via collision detection

On a trivial tangent - will this spell the end of pub trivia as we know it?

The knowledge base seems more aligned to the typical Trivia question, but the delivery speed might not match the 10 results in 0.23 seconds, which makes Google the major player around the radio quiz traps.

Maybe the new skill of a quiz-master will be the art of asking questions that muddle a search engine. Noted here:
Yeah, we don't like the internet's effect on this contest, but we have to deal. Believe it or not there is such thing as a "good" and "bad" googler. Sometimes just typing in the keywords from a question won't get you very far, you have to word it properly. Also, we are trying to write a lot of questions that defy google

I've been trying to think of such questions...
But then to publish any results might be a self-defeating exercise.

Comments: cellphedia

Hmmmmm. I predict cheatation.
Posted by Tony.T at May 11, 2005 04:59 PM

And hopefully cryptic clues.

"What is the primary consonant of a recent War of the Roses combatant?"
Posted by Tony.T at May 11, 2005 05:02 PM

In fact, "consonant" is the wrong word. Try "character" instead.
Posted by Tony.T at May 11, 2005 05:05 PM


(cue: zonk)

Before you added that second point I thought I knew:


( + "what is recent?" )

I think it would certainly add another few neurons into the bargain to have to answer general knowledge in this way, but I dare say there would be a reasonabvle turn-out at Pub Cryptic-Trivia.
Britney or BB questions would never sound so undumb.

Posted by boynton at May 11, 2005 05:40 PM

Primary as in first and main. Character as in letter. Recent as in new. War of the Roses combatant as in Lancaster or York.
Posted by Tony.T at May 11, 2005 05:49 PM

Yeah I got all that, Mr Taylor.

That's why I said Y.

My primary answer was on the right cryptic track.
Even if I took a bewitching branch line.
Posted by boynton at May 11, 2005 05:54 PM

yah well. Who can ever get on to Tony Delroy's quiz anyway? noone except frikkin Magpie.

Do you think Google really does know everything worth knowing? I'm almost certain it doesn't.
Posted by laura at May 12, 2005 11:14 AM

Never tried. But used to listen to "The Challenge" until Google seemed to be taking over in the brains trust dept. That tell-tale gap bewteen stumped silence and the apparently obscure answer delivered casually after 10 seconds.
I tell you, it RUINS the espirit de radio trivia IMHO.

I googled that question, Laura, and Google sent me to Oscar Wilde quotes:
"A search Engine is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be googled."

So who/google knows.
Posted by boynton at May 12, 2005 04:36 PM

yeah. You used to be able to hear pages being frantically turned (i speak of circa 1994, the period of Nevin's annoying acendancy in quizland)
Posted by laura at May 12, 2005 06:10 PM

Hmm - I know that era in question ( I listened) but did not realise that reference books were at hand.
(Apparently a certain blogger beat the ascendant one in a local Pub Trivia contest one night. No books, no phones.)

And I heard Red take N on recently (with mutual good humour) when once again he managed to sneak into the quiz under a false name.
Posted by boynton at May 12, 2005 08:12 PM

Oh and is it the Big Apple, T?

27 hours is not such a bad turnaround, is it?

(If this is wrong, I retire hurt)
Posted by boynton at May 12, 2005 08:47 PM

Nearly. Not quite.

Primary + Character = Capital (letter).

Recent = New.

War of the Roses combatant = York.

What is the capital of New York? Albany.

Hopelessly hamfisted clue, by the way.

PS: The ascendant one was none too happy. Unchuffed, you might say.
Posted by Tony.T at May 13, 2005 06:17 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


How to Tear a Telephone Book in Halves
They never realise what you are doing, as the act is so natural

How to Resist the Pull of Four Men
It is always a good party stunt, and apart from being very impressive, adds greatly to the fun of the party, which increases with the futile efforts of your friends

How to perform Strong Man Stunts Published by Ottley Coulter in 1952

via the presurfer

Comments: stunts

How to Grow a Disproportinately Small Head?
Posted by Kent at May 10, 2005 12:39 PM

"It is important to bear in mind that health and vigor manifests its improved existence without the need for a tape measure"
Posted by boynton at May 10, 2005 06:26 PM

" How to Resist the Pull of Four Men "

I suppose if you are the most popular girl at a party (as I am sure you often are) and 4 men are trying to pull you it could be useful.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 11, 2005 10:49 AM

ah merci, FX.

(I think I was fishing for that one)

But sadly, I think I enjoy a certain popularity only among the telephone books. Well, they know my number anyway.

Posted by boynton at May 11, 2005 11:02 AM

Well I can imagine you are going to be the life of the next party, Boynton.
Posted by millipede at May 12, 2005 01:39 PM

hmm who knows maybe I'll break some telephone books' halves.
Posted by boynton at May 12, 2005 04:25 PM

Monday, May 09, 2005


Things to Say When You're Losing a Technical Argument
via grow a brain

I like all 70, but number one: that won't scale - sounds as if it could be a handy, cross-platform response.


the truth is I was led away from my keyboard by circumstances to a place without computers and I didn't miss the connection.
I didn't think about blogging until I read in the Age yesterday about a thing called BlogApathy...
But I don't think I suffer from this, and even if I did would not be inclined to describe the symptoms here as at best it would be pathos and at worst like describing the common cold.
And you would not expect the apathetic blogger to go searching for links, or to create a Wikipedia entry about it anyway...

Just getting back into it so I don't think this link is related, but it's good.

Listen to Gary Snyder read Why I Take Good Care Of My Macintosh Computer
via wood s lot

Comments: unconnected

Now see, if I hadn't quit blogging last week I could've posted about that BlogApathy thing :)
Posted by James Russell at May 10, 2005 01:07 AM

Sounds pathological, doesn't it. Like blogging itself.
Starting to suspect I just can't be bothered quitting... blogapathyapathy
Posted by boynton at May 10, 2005 10:20 AM

You could start a blog devoted to that.
It would be a ...
Yes it would.
Posted by ajax at May 10, 2005 06:17 PM

...a suspension point?

Or a trailing off into silence...
Posted by boynton at May 10, 2005 06:32 PM

It would be a blogapathyapathyblog, is what it would be.
Posted by Ajax at May 11, 2005 04:37 PM

Yes, I have been a lousy blogger of late.
No real reason in particular....just haven't been taking the time to write ...
things were running good, but then I came down with a case of
Even with my current blogapathy (if you didn't notice it then I'm obviously
just being self conscious about it) that's pretty bad. ...
falling one by one into the great BlogApathy void.
and I must say that it has greatly inhibited my blog posting powers. ...
I didn't think about blogging until I read in the Age yesterday about a thing
called BlogApathy... But I don't think I suffer from this, ...
Now I just need to give back and supply worthy content. Oh, and of course,
avoid another case of BlogApathy...

(This from the current google crop.
Note I make the cut)
Posted by boynton at May 11, 2005 05:17 PM

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

science survey

If you could teach the world just one thing...
a survey of over 250 renowned scientists, science communicators, and educators - including 11 Nobel laureates - asking what they would teach the world about science and why

what we found
A number of survey responses emphasise the tentative, provisional character of scientific knowledge, stressing the importance of doubt and uncertainty. Few respondents go as far as Pallab Ghosh does, with his bald statement that 'nothing is true'...

via *.*

Comments: science survey

'nothing is true'

not even that
Posted by cs at May 4, 2005 06:39 PM

"I'd like to teach the world to sing - in perfect harmony..."
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 4, 2005 08:00 PM

"'nothing is true'

'not even that'"

How true,
Posted by Nabakov at May 5, 2005 12:41 AM

It's the real thing
Posted by boynton at May 5, 2005 08:45 AM

Brilliant link, B. Like I've got nothing to do but read utterly absorbing examinations of concepts, propositions & speculations. Sod the grading - back to the link...
Posted by Dick at May 8, 2005 03:42 PM

the missing link...
(Read on)

- also I like the way the titles of these examinations have been ultra-condensed.
"the single unifying principle..."
(read on)
"There is no mind/brain duality..."
(read on)
(read on)
Posted by boynton at May 9, 2005 12:26 PM


...if you have the kind of mind that can laugh one minute and get the chills the next as real craziness looms, then Preston Sturges is for you... Independent

via snarkout

a laugh


Comments: a laugh

"dirty beloved" - must say, quite like that blog title!
Posted by cs at May 4, 2005 06:44 PM

works for me.
Posted by boynton at May 5, 2005 08:47 AM

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

sorry sign

A sorry sign can prevent roadrage?

We keep a "SORRY" sign in the map holder on the driver's door and the passenger's door. It could also be kept under the sun visor if it is fastened with a clip or rubber band so that it doesn't hit you in the face when the visor comes down.

Warning: Use of common sense is essential in responding to road rage incidents. Quite often, getting out the sign or turning on the light will be a serious distraction from safe driving. If using the "Sorry" sign makes your driving unsafe, do not do it! Practice in using the sign when the car is not moving, such as in your driveway, will help to make use of it safer and easier. Practice will also help you determine whether using the sign in a particular situation will be more dangerous than not doing so

Seems less complicated than the fixed Thanks Tail, but it would be sad if a clumsy sorry manoeuvre accidentally provoked an incident.

(via bifurcated rivets)

airplane club

North Shore Junior Craftsmen Airplane Club

I've been collecting snapshots for about seven years- first in NYC, now here in Chicago and I started the blog as a way to share my collection...
I try to keep text to a minimum- I think the photos speak for themselves... Boat Lullabies

via Life in the Present

Monday, May 02, 2005

heavy trash

On April 24, 2005, Heavy Trash volunteers deposited bright orange viewing platforms in front of three Los Angeles gated communities; Brentwood Circle, Park La Brea and Laughlin Park. The purpose of these viewing platforms is to draw attention to the phenomenon of gated communities -- the fastest growing form of housing in the United States.

(via waxy)

paradise is an illusion in Fortress Australia. smh

Comments: heavy trash

I have a gate; two, in fact. I am evil.
Posted by Tony.T at May 2, 2005 03:20 PM

But AFAIK you don't have a security guard.

So no need to send you gate mail just yet.
Posted by boynton at May 2, 2005 05:01 PM

John Wyndham onto exactly this about 50 years ago in a short story called "Pawley's Peepholes", which had a nice time travel twist as well.
Posted by Nabakov at May 2, 2005 06:49 PM

May have to travel down to the Library again.

btw- Looking at some of the comments, my favourite so far is: "Seems a little over the top"
Posted by boynton at May 2, 2005 11:55 PM

door prize

Yes I think I am amiss...

I wonder if I win a chook ;)

Comments: door prize?

amiss - remiss?
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at May 2, 2005 10:19 PM

- dismiss?
Posted by boynton at May 2, 2005 11:42 PM

- as ifiss
Posted by Nabakov at May 2, 2005 11:58 PM

l have just read Silliman's blog.

He brought up a good point.

ls Boynton your real name ?

Or are we just player's in this web world?
Posted by at May 3, 2005 12:22 AM

No, anonymous.
Posted by boynton at May 3, 2005 11:09 AM

- but anonymiss all the same...

(even tho I think we all know one's real name)
Posted by boynton at May 3, 2005 01:12 PM

How profound !!
Posted by at May 3, 2005 01:25 PM