Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There are dozens of people's faces with puzzled expressions

I recently bought a new lens for my fancy camera. It's the first time I've ever pretended be anything other than someone who knows which way to point a camera and what button takes a picture. Given my gloriously amateur status, I went for the cheapest plasticest lens out there: the Holga. It is literally sold as a "toy" lens. This is so I could pretend to be all grown up, swapping lens and making artistic decisions, but definitely be able to point the finger when it all went blurry.

But when it all boils down and light hits retina, it's an attachment which makes photos taken with my expensive Olympus PEN look like those taken with the first camera I ever picked up. Same era. Same tinted warmth people exactly my age get from photos of themselves as children.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

I still haven't taken it off

Here's what I did this weekend.

Yes, I am deliberately flexing for the camera.
And that's between shopping, picking up Charlie, editing a thesis and making offerings to the Gods of Hard Rubbish. I should be on a bloody Centrum ad.

It also turns out that if you're last in line to pick up the medal, you have to make the speech.

I'd like to fank me teammates. Youse are fukkin tops blokes, hay?

The more astute, long-term readers will notice that about two years ago, when I had identical news, I was wearing the black shirt belonging to Saturday's vanquished side. No, I haven't switched clubs. The slightly sad part about the game was that we had two teams in the same division who were (almost) equally as good and ended up in the final together. I've stood on that other side. It sucks. Every clap for your conquering foes (pictured above) hurts.
But, hey, whatever. You've got to know defeat to appreciate victory or some shit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today, I am a man

Long time readers will be aware that I am a secret car person. I am largely alone in this quiet hobby. Working in and around academia for most of my life has taught me that the people I interact with regularly neither know nor care to know about cars.
No one is interested in my opinion on the new FT-86.
No one is excited to hear about the depreciation of recent model A4s.
No one wants to hear about my endless search for the perfect Parisienne in order that I may be talked out of it.

However, two days ago, I had the occasion to share my intellectual hobby. Even if briefly. I was at a crash repairers and he was showing me around his workshop and an old Holden he was restoring. His first car, a labour of love from the ground up. He whipped the cloth off the engine and I was able to correctly identify these:

I even made the proper 'whaawww' noise.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It was a wild and stormy night

Looki has started getting into trees, and I think she's hit on the next big thing.
They are certainly intreeguing.

This is what happened in our front yard two weeks ago.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A dog's tale in two parts

Part 1

I stuffed up dinner on Saturday night. That's how this story starts.
We went out for takeaway and on the way home, just around the corner from our house, I thought I saw something on the road. It looked like a cat, but a last minute swerve revealed a scared little black dog cowering in the street.
I went back and picked him up. He was friendly, but a bit freaked out. I considered doing a bit of a door-knock, but a man in a hoodie knocking on doors after dark asking about a lost dog isn't going to have too much success. Locating owners, that is. Locating good joints to knock over, well, that's another blog.

So we took him home for the night. He sniffed around, had a wee outside after Charlie showed him how. Charlie was allowed to give him a name and he chose 'Dolphin Seal Man', which was shortened to 'Dolph'. Dolph happily curled up next to us and fell asleep. Not a whimper was heard all night. He got up with me in the morning and noodled around until, sadly, it was time to go daylight door knocking.

I didn't have to go far. I sort of knew which house it would be anyway. You've probably seen ones like it: overgrown yard, scabby cats and broken toys everywhere, kids sitting in the gutters and every couple of weeks it's surrounded by cops. I knocked on that door and a young woman answered.
'I found your dog.'
I set him down, expecting him to walk inside. He jumped up on me. 'Go on,' I say. 'In you go.'
'He likes you!' The woman doesn't try to pick him up.
I try again to encourage him inside. He noodles off into the garden and out the front gate, which doesn't shut.
When I finally get him back, the woman has gone back inside and shut the door. I knock a lot louder.
'Do you want your dog back?'
'Do you wanna keep him ha ha?'
'Do you?'
'I don't own him. I don't live here. I'm just lookin' after the place until the owner gets back. I've gotta take a shower and get ready for work.'
'When's the owner getting back?'
'This arvo?'
'Right, I'll bring him back then.'

At midday, I knock on the door again. No answer. I pull a (full) rubbish bin up against the gate and put the dog inside. Then I leave.

He liked our back yard.

Part 2

Three hours later, Mel bursts into my study.
'I miss Dolph.'
We both do. We've always considered a dog, but it's always been fraught with noise, mess, grass, absence. With Dolph, it just seemed right. He's small, quiet, house-trained, and in need.
But I can't just take someone's dog. I've got to go and ask.
Yesterday, I combed my hair, shined my shoes, picked a bunch of fresh daisies and went a'calling in a horse and carriage.
Just kidding, I took off my fancy-arse work shirt and walked around the corner.

A different young woman was sitting on the fence, smoking a stub and talking with another woman who appeared to have chunks shaved out of her hair and was pushing a shopping trolley half-full of junk.
'How are you going? Do you live here?'
'What? What's going on? What do you want?'
'I brought your little black dog back on the weekend.'
'Yeah, we want that dog back.'
'... Yeah, I brought him back. The woman I spoke to asked if I wanted to keep it, and I was wondering if you still wanted to give it away.'
'Nah, that dog's gone. That's our dog.'
'I'd buy it off you.'
'Give us sum munney ffruit.'
'I don't have any money on me. So, you don't have the dog?'
'Give us money for a root.'
I hung my head and went home.

We liked him too.

Maybe we'll see him on the street again.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32