Wednesday, March 28, 2012

free porn

letter the age didn't print

On Monday evening, signal failure meant trains on the Craigieburn line ground to a complete standstill for more than an hour. On the train my wife was traveling in, which halted between Pascoe Vale and Oak Park between 6:30 and 7:30, disgruntled passengers were forcing the right-hand doors open and jumping onto the tracks to walk the few scant metres across the Melbourne-bound line to the Oak Park platform.

This morning, I read The Age hoping to find some explanation of the hold up, which affected thousands of Melbournians both directly and indirectly. The choice was made to not countenance this incident; the only mention of Craigieburn itself came in the form of short coverage of an (entirely unrelated) violent death. Once again, the message comes through to me: the north west is not a place where Age readers might get stuck on a train, trying to get home.

Yet the Age is a Melbourne newspaper; it’s Melbourne’s newspaper of record; it’s the ‘Newspaper of the Year’. Since the early seventies – in fact, about as long as I’ve been reading it – it has espoused a cosmopolitan and intelligent outlook through which national, international, and very local news has been presented through a very Melbourne perspective. I’m not entirely sure when this became a perspective of ‘us, the inner city’ versus ‘them, who know where zone 2 begins’ but it has most definitely happened.

A boutique (that is, divisive) approach to news coverage might sell advertising in the leafy east, but the choice to cease serving all Melbourne readers is the worst future-proofing strategy I can imagine for a newspaper in 2012.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

tons of crows

I was up at Gladstone Park shops a little while ago and as I came out I could hear a multitude of crows in the trees around (I couldn't see any of them; there were none flying around or visible in the trees, but they were very audible). My first thought was, 'there are tons of crows here today' and my second thought was, 'how weird would it be if this was your first ever day in Australia and you came to the shopping centre and there was this cacophony outside but you couldn't see anything.' Anyway when I got home I had a bit of a think about what 'tons of crows' might really constitute. I have no aptitude for measurement even at guesstimate level, I have always assumed this came from being on the cusp of the crossover in educating primary school children into metric from imperial (1973) so we were told to wipe all knowledge of imperial from our memories (I had no problem doing that, though I do know from Jake the Peg that three feet make a yard, I'll never forget that)

and then gain new aptitudes in a new system, which was beyond me entirely and has been to this day. I fell through the gap.
So I just went online, and discovered using a garden bird site that a crow probably weighs around 650 grams and through that strange french real estate site that 650 Gram(s) = 0.0006397342 UK Long Ton, though this pushed the limits of my enquiring Saturday morning mind and I stopped bothering about what a Long Ton might be as opposed to just a ton. So does this mean that there would have to be three and a quarter million crows to make up one ton (or Long Ton) and therefore about seven and a half million to make two tons (i.e. the lowest number possible for there to be 'tons of crows'?) Surely not. Something is wrong with that calculation, and the weak link is probably my failed maths at high school style competency.
It doesn't matter anyway. There were a lot of crows, I doubt tons. In this country anyway it's illegal to work in imperial measurement. Tonnes of crows might be alright. I like the bit in that Jake the Peg clip where he forgets the words. I suppose Jake the Peg is a classic example of works on a child's and adults' level, since children just think how cool to have three legs, and adults think 'two penises.'

Friday, March 23, 2012

neighbours 2012

It took an age for me to get home this evening, I am not sure why but I suppose I am just really run down. And this is only a third of the way through the semester! I rode the usual way - up the Upfield bike path, across to Pascoe Vale station down O'Hea street, and a train came almost immediately. But the ride was like a dream where you're running through mud. Also it rained a bit which was kind of shit but I coped with that.

I hadn't watched Neighbours for quite some time but once again it was easy to pick up what had been going on, and things I had seen the week before last were still in the 'previously' segment.

Over the last month everyone's been getting these megacolds. I hope I don't but I bet I will, it's just a matter of when. This evening seemed like it might be a forerunner to that but Fridays are always hugely stressful and wearying. Also, it's kind of very warm when the sun's out, and then suddenly it's raining and none of this is really good for health ultimately.

Bela and Butterball are angling to go outside, but it's not going to happen for either of them. Cats should not go outside in the dark, especially as they clearly so much want to. Instead they just get to fight and fight in the house. I am uncertain about whether I should put the heater on or not! Strange time of year.

Tash is so angry with Michael she seems to have added about ten years to her age, and he has lost about ten years. They could be brother and sister. Agewise I mean, not like they look like each other, although they are father and daughter ay.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

slowed to a trickle

I am amazed at how full my days are currently. I have absolutely no time for anything except running to keep up with work commitments. Even then, all I manage to get done are the superficial daily things to maintain the general 'ticking over'. It's shocking! I don't remember being so busy, for instance, this time last year when I seemed to get a whole lot more done. And I do have a lot of extra things that need to be worked on, journal articles, a book chapter and so on. Mainly it's teaching that's taking up my time, and assessment. I suppose those things don't really count as 'superficial', nor are they really ephemeral, but they are... temporal? Anyway, I'm looking for traction here and it hasn't happened yet. I have barely even had time to watch Neighbours - talk about the road to hell and good intentions.

One noteworthy thing is that Barry's mother Taffy is staying with us at the moment. She is in the top left of this picture. It's made for interesting dognamics.

Hope you're well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I found the criminal

Well, I keep going to Yahoo to get to images because I'm doing a lecture on mediaeval cities today, and I keep thinking, 'wow, that's a lame image' for the story of the bescarred abductor. But very sinister, you know - a man with some children, obviously up to no good.

Then I'm looking at a website about the mediaeval wall of Talinn, and what do I see... IT'S HIM!

Call the cops

Monday, March 12, 2012

neighbours 2012

Hey Neighbours I didn't deliberately avoid you for two weeks, but when I come back the only thing that's changed is that Sonia is trying to inveigle Toadie into some wikkan ceremony with a watermelon.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

7:09 am

I woke too early for a Saturday morning. I could partially blame Butterball - not only because he plonked himself beside me just before 6, but I think I had also been dreaming about him. All the animals were very UP, particularly Barry, who was acting like today was the day we were going to the circus. The elders (Charlie and Bela) perhaps a little less OTT but still really awake. Butterball likes to go out first thing in the morning, preferably but not necessarily having had a little breakfast first. In fact, he will rarely do anything without also hoping for some food prior. Maybe he has a tapeworm or maybe he was just once quite hungry and it has formed his personality forever.

He is ruggedly handsome though with a wisdom which belies his years (1).

I do love (or should that be wuv) this time of day (enough daylight for things to be visible but they look flat and grey, birds audible everywhere, distant hum of Western Ring Road) and I also love this time of year (end of Summer, my birthday soon). When my birthday is close enough to be plannable for, then winter is approaching, no more scorchers, the year well under way, and the prospect of presents.

Yesterday evening I went to JB to get Emma Russack's album and Harry Howard's album. Harry Howard's album wasn't there, unfortunately, but I did pick up the first season of Louie for half the price I paid for it when I bought it for Lina for Christmas. I have already watched 2.3 episodes and it's amazing. Can't wait to get properly stuck into that.

I have developed a podcast routine that serves me very well with all the bike riding I"m doing. Old favourites such as Thinking Allowed and In Our Time (how much longer will these last in their current forms? That is, with their current presenters? Both presenters pushing it) joined by relative newies like the Slate Political Gabfest and Culture Gabfest. Then there are Boxcutters and the /filmcast, which I also never miss. Though the /filmcast is going into hiatus for the next few weeks which won't be fun for me. Those guys really help me have opinions about American films. I bet there are other great podcasts, recommendations please.

The death of Davy Jones or rather the 2012 way of expressing appalling grief over this event really broke the camel's back for me. Everyone on facebook paying tribute to DJ by, you know, taking the huge trouble to post a youtube video of 'the Porpoise song' or 'Daydream Believer'. I mean it so trivialises someone's life (1) to reduce them to some portion of their output (2) to be sad about their death only because it reminds you of your own childhood. I am sure DJ was a nice enough chap, but I will only accept tributes and mourning in a context which acknowledges that many other nice people we have no actual knowledge of, also died.

For breakfast I will have a bagel and coffee. You should too.