Saturday, January 03, 2015

what i learnt in 2014

1. The rental market in Melbourne is not just a license to print money, it is a license to punch you in the face until you give up all the rest of your money.
2. There are people I barely knew existed in 2013 who are actually great people, or at least, who were great people in 2014.
3. There is stuff called 'powdered greens' which people put on their food for extra, um, not sure.
4. The aeropress is the best way to make coffee at home.
5. There are people I reluctantly accepted as friends up until 2013 who I now happily acknowledge as, and who have shown themselves to be, just dicks.
6. I have a lot of resources.
7. Instinct by the Moles is a really great album. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

obtuse self-flagellation

Just wanted to say I listened to an album from the early 90s I played on, for the first time in well over a decade, and I could not believe how embarrassingly poor it was. It's probably the same old subjectivity, like why you shouldn't read your friends' novels, or at least, imagine you can judge their value, but wow, this was a truly awful record. I went online and looked at some reviews of it. I could not believe how utterly bland the reviews were i.e. for some reason critics of the early-mid 90s could not appreciate how vile this particular album was/is. But I was more amazed that I, or we the band, had deemed it suitable for release. WTAF were we thinking? You can't suppress things anymore, if you hide them then someone else who cares but has no stake, will make them available. I'm not even naming what I'm talking about because I don't want to give it special status. But oh boy. What a stinker. Admittedly, I laughed a lot when I heard it, so I suppose the grossness of it is a happy thing, in a manner of speaking.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

some things apparently improve with age

I had grim memories of how bad this record sleeve I drew for the band Sukpatch twenty odd years ago was, but coming across it on eBay it was not as bad as I recalled it. The circumstances were probably the main problem - I was staying with a band member in, um, where was it? Cincinnati? It was after a Cannanes show and he asked me if I'd draw the cover of their new record for them. Of course I was honoured and Denise Drysdalishly I never say no to anything. But it was late, I was tired, and he and his girlfriend were smoking reputedly killer pot which I wanted some of. Or perhaps, of which wanted some I. I did this instead. It's weird that I, who have had a million opportunities to smoke pot and declined, because it makes me weird, paranoid, tense and unhappy, would somehow remember that particular time for that particular issue. Anyway. This record cover has no meaning or purpose, except to put a record in, it's not particularly attractive, but it's enough of a curate's egg for me to now feel some affection for it. OK, as you were.

(Later: I note with wistful rue that I had actually already blogged about this, four years ago. I take solace from the fact that, although I had forgotten telling the story before, I told pretty much the same story, which means it must be either true or reaffirmed with constant retelling.) 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

jacana reserve october/november 2014

Last Thursday the 30 October at about 5 o'clock (I'd have pictures only I didn't have my phone with me) I arrived at Jacana reserve with the dogs to see a 4WD going down the slope towards the creek, presumably having entered the reserve from either old Jacana or perhaps even from Johnstone St (which would have meant driving through the playground). I just saw it disappear over the edge of the hill; by the time I got to the edge, it was parked near the creek. There was a woman lying in the grass nearby, she had a small dog with her. At first I thought she was part of the 4WD group (i.e. they were driving down to the creek for a picnic or something) then I came to appreciate she wasn't, the 4WD people had merely driven down the hill and she was there already; if she'd been directly in their path, they might not even have known they'd run her over, let alone seen her in time to avoid her. But that's another story (or not - it didn't happen so I suppose it's not really a story at all). 

The people in the 4WD had got out with a crazy homemade three-wheeled contraption and one of them got on to ride it and they tied it to the back of their vehicle and drove up the hill. I had time to write down their registration number. I would have thought that, after nearly killing a person by driving around in a public park, they might have learnt a lesson about driving down steep hills, but in fact they returned about 20 minutes later (sans monster trike) and sped off towards the western ring road. 

I'm only in the Jacana Reserve about four - five hours out of every week, so god only knows what goes on there the rest of the time. There is a lot of mad dumping, like this broken boat which someone went a long way into the park to get rid of:

There is also, of course, the phenomenon of the motorbike riders. These are often children. They don't know it but they are part of a long tradition; when the park was investigated in the early 70s for its recreation potential a riding track for these kinds of vehicles was recommended, and built, and only demolished a few months ago. These days, these things are illegal, as I reminded muggins below when he queried my right to photograph him. This picture was taken today at 1:25 pm.


In the main, the Reserve is ridiculously under-utilised. There are probably only about 4-5 people in it at any given time, and it's a resource that almost anyone could find attractive or useful in some way.

By the way, today I saw two fox cubs on the central isthmus between the Moonee Ponds Creek and the wetlands. They were, I'm sorry to have to report, gorgeous. I was a bit ahead of Ferdy and Barry and the cubs were way gone by the time the dogs showed up. They could definitely smell them though. Below is Ferdy with his hackles up trying to figure out what's only very recently been going on...