Tuesday, 9 January 2007


Thursday, March 31, 2005

things like this and this have been a learning curve for me. I grew up on Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, then later on Superman and Batman, and graduated to Mad comics and Asterix the Gaul in High School. Thing is, these are not abstract cartoons, they adhere to the rules of representative images.
Poncho and the Cats on the other hand, are these abstract representations of creatures that resemble cats and dogs up to a point, and then act in unpredictable ways. It's a` learning thing for sure, because a few years ago I wouldn't have given a rats ass for comics like that, whereas now I can see the gentler hunour in them I really love them. Took me years to appreciate.
On a journey that started at plif, took in Redmeat and ended at the above, I learnt to laugh at stuff that isn't funny...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:48 PM Ted
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Had a Prawnheads lunch today, and it was the usual kind of affair, geeky and freeky and some bits bordering on not-so-squeeky kleen. We discussed a little computer so small you just wouldn't believe it - okay, it's not a PC but a processor for hardware applications, but it runs Linux and can communicate via a terminal and it just spun us all out.
It's an intriguing gadget because in the price of $99EURO, you can have a wireless network controller which can be stuck in pretty much anything you want to control or monitor, and which can actually do most of the processing in that little cube... Amazing...
We also discussed the plastic surgery boom, especially (apparently) the genitalia, according to someone who watched a show about it on the TV Tuesday night.
And a few of us may just have formed a group to develop and market one of the best killer apps I've heard of in a long time. If it takes off, we might all be persons of leisure in a year. Wish us luck.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:48 PM Ted
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Is it just me, or is this all a bit wrong?
It's got all the hallmarks of a conundrum. Should peer to peer (P2P) software creators be held responsible for what the end users do with it? Should they be exempt, and the record and movie companies take after the users instead?
From the point of the moguls, it makes sense - if they can sue just one body, it saves them a lot of money. They'd love it to happen just so, they would. Plus, individual users turn out to be grandmothers and 10 year old girls, which gets embarassing, so picking on the entrepreneur making the software those people used is also a much cleaner look for the recording industries.
To counter that, think Toyota or Ford. They don't get sued everytime some idiot cleans up 5 or 10 pedestrians in a crowded cafe strip, because otherwise they'd have to be so beefed up on legal defenses, that their cars would be unaffordable. And made out of sponge rubber with an elastic band wind-up motor just to be safe...
And to counter that argument, I imagine that if Toyota referred to the steering wheel as the "aiming device" and the accelerator as the "pedestrian eliminator" then it wouldn't be too long before someone got the idea to sue them.
So if a software company produces a piece of P2P filesharing s/w with folders labelled "Music" and "Movies" then they might be making a rod for their own backs, yes?
I think there's a lesson in that for all of us, possums...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:37 AM Ted
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Possible Erratum: December 2003 article.
I apparently goofed some time back when I asked what has happened to Lauricidin. In the blog entry I mentioned that it was tasteless and as an additive to toothpaste it would act to kill bacteria that cause decay. Some time back (early December 2004) I received the following comment, from someone styling themself "Dr Jon Kabara":
As the discoverer of Lauricidin® I have always commented on its soapy taste. It is NOT tasteless.
Always go to the source!
I was going by several articles online which specifically mentioned the lack of flavour, and a book of scientific gee-whizzery which also went to great pains to mention that Lauricidin is tasteless. So I apologise if I got that wrong, but I was going by a unanimous quorum of articles.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, March 28, 2005 9:20 PMposted at 9:25 PM Ted More Comments: (4)
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Monday, March 21, 2005

BnB (Bits n Bobs) 21 March 2005
Politics today. Ah the sweet irony. This is even sicker than anything I could devise.
Least favourite party? Liberals. Why? Long story. Remember Wittenoom? I do.
We lived in Wittenoom longer than I'd lived anyplace else. Dad bought one of the shacks off the mining co when we got there. The mine had been closed for a few years at that time. He paid $1000 for a concrete pad with wooden frames and single asbestos sheets covering it.
At that time houses sold for anywhere from a few thousand up to $75,000 - median price (seems to stick in mind at any rate) around $40,000.
We spent that amount ($35,000) on new materials and fittings, and with the help of a retired carpenter neighbour, we renovated that house into what was at that time a very decent place.
Then Sir Charles Fuckhead Court apparently got into a pissing competition with Lang Hancock or something, because suddenly Wittenoom was to be closed. Bear in mind the actual mine is several miles and a couple of mountains away from the township, and that is where all the asbestos is. When that was pointed out, it was ignored.
Then Wittenoom fought back. We wore personal air monitors, we set up monitoring, we had several environmental specialists investigate, and we barraged the government with our findings. Which were that the town was safer than Perth, with all the Super Six asbestos fencing and asbestos building materials at that time.
Well to cut a long story short we were given (no chance of appeal, just a straight out fucking "lump it or like it") $2,500 for the house and moving expenses, and that was that. Some years later I went to the bulldozed patch where our house once stood, and cried for the home I'd never see again. See? It's not only the Aboriginal heritage the government has destroyed...
Seems like a bit of a habit the government gets into doesn't it? Screwing people over and unable to say they're sorry?
And to this day, there is no sorry, no home to replace the home we built with our hands. According to my best estimate, what we were screwed out of was worth around $180,000 in today's money, all because of that white haired old prick. And I have to look at his son's big green erection every day on my way to and from work, and I wonder who lost their past and their home and their lives to put that ugly shitheap up...
I wish only this for the Court family: That their line dies out utterly, that they lose every penny, every stick stone and clod of cirt, every square metre of ground, every creature right down to the mice in their walls. And that they should have to come to me for their future livelihoods...
I think I've just uttered my first real Gypsy curse!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:03 PM Ted
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Sunday, March 20, 2005

At the bottom there's a story lifted off K5, giving the history of the humble hot dog. Important things to remember are that the hot dog in one form or another has been around for quite a while, and not all its forms are represented in that article either. For instance if we're to believe Terry Pratchett's CMOT Dibbler there's grey wobbly thing on a stick, as well. The Kiwis go one better (they can't stand grey wobbly things) and they cover their grey wobbly things in batter and fry them stiff. Still taste grey and wobbly inside though.
An acquainjtance who came here from Canadia, where all true Americans live, unlike those southerners eh? once ordered a hot dog here and promptly threw it back with a yell: "Sweet Jesus it's flourescent!" were his words as the footy frank in a Tip Top bun sailed back, spinning off tomato sauce like an invading alien infector vector craft.
He wasn't convinced when we explained the footy franks to him but I think that made it worse, because next thing he's crying about how all our AFL players definitely don't have anything anymore, so we started with the red colour and led that back to the lovely pink pigs, the golden wheat and barley and whatever else cereal is cheap at the time - and doesn't taste too bad with the unlucky bits of said pig that never made it to a butcher's trays outside a flourescent footy dog skin. But wouldn't you know it, that just made it worse again and Ken spent a lot of time in a foetal position after that.
See in Canadia they have pemmican which apparently isn't ptarmigan, but some other of their national creatures. (And that's why we get on so well - we eat what's on our coat of arms crest too.) And cos of that, I had to introduce Ken to Jerky or Biltong or whaddevva. Dried chunks of an animal, spiced up on chilli and pepper and other good stuff. Flames out the arsehole later in the day, now THAT stuff if good!
And while shopping for the dried meats, I found a definitely Australian variant, kangaroo jerky. Ken enjoyed them all, and I still buy the occasional few grams of beef and 'roo just to snack on. Like tonight - I've put down 15 metres of t&g floating floor, the room looks excellent, and I am knackered so I had a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g soak in a Radox tub watching NCIS, and after I got out I fed my starved muscles PROTEIN in the form of a mixture of 'roo and beef jerkies, some excellent Chinese and Medjul dates, and some chicken with coleslaw and potato salad earlier.
I feel excellent now, the ever-reliable Stilnox half tablet doing it's job and letting me noddynoddyland off anytime now, my typing is slowing down to a crawl....
Without (frank)further ado, here's the Kuro5hin article, in its entirety cos I CBF to go back and find the link to it:
Hot Dog: A Frank Story (MLP) By CheeseburgerBrown Mon Mar 7th, 2005 at 01:26:45 AM EST O where, oh where has my little dog gone? O where, oh where can he be? Now sausage is good, bologna, of course. O where, oh where can he be? They make them of dog, they make them of horse, I think they made them of he. Ever the target of cruel innuendo and nauseous folk legend, it is a phallic delicacy enjoyed around the world with roots deep in man's prehistory. Banned by gods and emperors, regionalized into thousands of revered variations, acme of summer, sport and various colorectal cancers: it is called the red hot, the frank, the wiener in a bun -- or, most famously -- the hot dog. This is its story. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A hot dog is generally understood to be a cooked sausage (classically a "dachshund" sausage, also known as a frankfurter or wiener) served in a long, split bun (often a milk- or egg-bread roll coated in sesame or poppy seeds), topped with delectable condiments (mustard is the staple, but variations abound including sauerkraut, diced onions and tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, crumbled bacon, peppers, chilis, olives, barbecue sauce, a host of cheeses and the full panoply of relishes). But it was not always so. Efficient prehistoric butchers noticed that while the popular cuts of meat would be consumed with little if any preparation, less palatable but highly nutritious items like the organs and blood required some finessing in order to move. The solution was pudding sausages composed of smoked offal stuffed into lengths of intestine with spices like coriander, cumin and watercress. And as a man with a paunch pudding, that has been filled with blood and fat, tosses it back and forth over a blazing fire, and the pudding itself strains hard to be cooked quickly; so Odysseus was twisted and turning back and forth, meditating how, though he was alone against many, he could lay hands on the shameless suitors. - Homer, The Odyssey (Book XX, Verse XXV) As so the immortal Homer gives us one of our earliest literary references for sausage (c. 900 BC), familiar enough in the Hellenic world to be used as a metaphor for Odysseus' tormented state. Gastromonically-oriented archaeologists have found stone tablets from ancient Mesopotamia (c. 1700 BC) inscribed with satires about meat-filled intestine casings and the double entendres made possible by showcasing a penis-shaped food at the heart of a literary work -- a device also amply employed in Epicharmus' comedy Orya ("The Sausage") written around 500 BC. Sausages were known even in God's time when His nagging was codified in the Hebrew testament that included prohibitions against unclean foods such as non-cloven hooved animals, harlots and various puddings. You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. - Holy Bible (Acts, 15:29) His heart was in the right place: the chief concern was food poisoning. Knowing how enthusiastic the bacteria Clostridium botulinum is to multiply in offal, God recommended abstinence rather than risk the chosen ending up with mortal nerve damage (if possibly supernaturally smooth skin). Sausages were popular at the annual Nero-era Roman festival of Lupercalia, precursor to our modern Valentine's Day commercial holiday, in which the founding of Rome by wolf-raised Romulus and Remus was celebrated in bloody fertility rites including animal sacrifice, the anointing of crops with gore-soaked hides, and sexual lotteries. Imaginative suggestions about sausages being used as masturbatory aids during the festival have helped to popularize a myth that sausages were banned by early Christian emperors like Constantine I (306-337 AD) on account of their penile semblance. In fact, it was the specific form of blood sausages and puddings that were banned centuries later by the comparatively anti-iconoclastic Leo VI (866-912 AD) according to the Corpus Juris Civilis anthology of Roman law. Leo's principal concern seemed to have been a desire to curb gluttony by casting convenience foods like black pudding under the pall of God's frown. The ban failed on account of the instant appearance of a thriving illicit blood industry, frittering away centurions' time hunting nefarious pudding gangsters instead of minding the barbarian hordes. Rome, of course, was sacked. Time marched on and sausage technology improved. Though salt had been used as a preservative since foggy antiquity, advances in smoking and curing led to a newer, better European sausage that less frequently resulted in death. Preserved meat products exploded in popularity. While local variations cropped up everywhere it was at the hubs of the so-called Salt Roads that the real talent gathered to explore the art, tapping into the dense byways of a brisk salt trade to piggyback their processed meat wares -- hubs like Bologna, Salzburg and Bavaria. And then a hero was born. Johann George Lehner (1772-1845) learned the family trade in butchery as a boy in Gasseldorf amid the hills of Spessart, nestled in Bavaria's Lower Franconia region. As a young man Lehner moved to Coburg in Upper Franconia, flexing a newly found inventive spirit now freed from his father's domineering shadow. It was in that spirit that Lehner conceived the idea of a portable sausage -- a small, curved, spicy snack that a man might consume while walking down the street: precooked, cured and ready to eat. They were dubbed dachshunds after the breed of low-slung badger-hunting dogs whom they resembled, and became an instant success. Encouraged, young Lehner picked up and moved to the bustling city of Frankfurt-am-Main where he dazzled the crowds with his Coburg-style dachshund sausages in 1804. But the meat guilds of Frankfurt were disgruntled by Lehner's punk notion of mixing beef and pork in the same casing, and so stifled his business with punishing levies and fines. Lehner moved his operation to Vienna, where mixing beef and pork was perfectly cromulent. The fickle Viennese took an immediate shine to his little red sausages, dubbing them frankfurters after their perceived origin and consuming them hand over fist. They became such a recognizable staple of Viennese cuisine that people from abroad began to identify them as wienerwurst ("Vienna-sausage") or simply wieners. Jealous of the wiener's fame, the guilds of Frankfurt put their heads together and decided it was time to fight back. In 1852 they issued a recipe for an "official" frankfurter sausage in a concerted effort to eradicate bastardized terms like dachshund or wienerwurst once and for all. Little did they suspect that a new name was roiling just under the surface of the public mind -- a name that would displace all others that had come before with the juggernaut irreversibility of a virulent meme... Naturally, it would come from the New World. Charles Feltman (1841-1910) emigrated to the United States from Bavaria in the 1860s. Like many German immigrants he took a stab at selling his wares (fresh meat pies and franks) from a wooden cart in New York's Bowery, and a burgeoning summer resort spot called Coney Island. It was there in the face of a cold Atlantic wind that Feltman first conceived the idea of serving hot food. He contracted a local wheel-wright called Donovan to build a tin-lined cooking barrel right into his pie-wagon. Thus equipped, in 1867 Feltman started offering "red hot dachshunds" to the passersby and patrons of the Coney Island saloons, bath-houses and hotels, serving the sausages in a split milk-roll for easier handling. It is not certain whether or not Feltman actually pioneered this technique or imitated what he had seen in the Bowery, but either way it became widely popular with the resort crowd. In 1871 Feltman ditched his pie-wagon, leased a narrow plot of land on Coney Island and erected a tin shed as his first fixed stand, reportedly selling 3,684 dachshunds in a single season. In the years to come that humble tin stand would be upgraded many times and eventually moved to a larger shore-front property, ultimately becoming a restaurant-hotel-bordello of note catering to the upper class New Yorkers of the early twentieth century. The dachshund-in-a-bun was introduced to wider circles during the 1893 World's Fair (also known as The Columbian Exposition, sponsored in part by the Oscar Mayer & Co. heavy meat concern) held in Chicago, where it was proffered by several competing vendors. This food fad was noted by many, including drunken brewmeister and money-haemorraging baseball team owner Christian Von der Ahe (1851-1913), a man known for his walrus mustache, checkered suits, and impulsive obnoxiousness. Von der Ahe took the dachshund-in-a-bun back to St. Louis and made it a staple of his concessions at Browns games in an attempt to stem his losses. Von der Ahe ended up bankrupt and without the benefit of a working liver but the idea of eating dachshunds at baseball games was a big success, soon flattered via imitation by New York Polo Grounds concessionaire Harry M. Stevens (1856-1934), perhaps best known as the inventor of the baseball score-card. Stevens will re-enter our story again. At this point it is important to note that while authentic Frankfurt-style dachshund sausages are made with only the finest cuts of viscera and congealed fat, their popularity inspired ranks of wannabe-wieners whose purveyors were less than fussy when it came to purchasing filler material. It was these crude, sphincter-stuffed mini-sausages that caused the first rumours that dachshunds were made from horse meat. These rumours were compelling enough to move despotic municipal politician John Y. McKane to institute a punitive "excise tax" on all Coney Island sausage stands, rationalizing that though "we cannot dictate to a man what he must sell...we can make it hard for him to carry on his business." It was not a far leap from horse to dog. The leap seems to have been made by undergrads at Yale sometime around the autumn of 1895. On 5 October of that year a satirical student rag printed the following piece of doggerel: "'Tis dogs' delight to bark and bite," Thus does the adage run. But I delight to bite the dog When placed inside a bun. - Echoes from the Lunch Wagon, Yale Record This was followed on 19 October by an anonymous short story detailing the imaginative tale of a popular sausage-selling "dog wagon" known as The Kennel Club, the owner of which ends up selling his wares to churchgoers after a series of misadventures. The story concludes, "They contentedly munched hot dogs during the whole service." The term hot dog itself already had some history, having come to mean a dapper extrovert or a natty braggart, perhaps inspired by an older bit of university slang for describing pretense, "to put on the dog." This confluence of wordplay set the stage for the wide-spread adoption of hot dog for dachshund sausages. St. Louis concessionaire Adolf Gehring would claim to have personally invented both the snack and the name eight years later, but his assertion is generally drowned out by the popular legend that the credit goes to the aforementioned Harry M. Stevens and a cartoonist named Thomas Aloysius "Tad" Dorgan (1877-1929). The apocryphal story describes how Stevens had a moment of inspiration and began hawking hot franks stuffed into rolls one cool spring day at a New York Giants game in 1901, commanding his concessioneers to cry out, "Red hots! Get your red hot dachshunds!" Tad Dorgan, charged with coming up with a sports comic for the afternoon's game, drew a Dachshund dog rolled in bread and -- due to an inability to spell Dachshund -- captioned the image simply "Hot dog!" Poppycock. Even if we ignore the fact that dachshund sausages served in a bun had been wildly popular fare for more than twenty years, that the term "hot dog" had been common for at least seven years, and that the highly literate Tad Dorgan worked in San Francisco at the time, the single biggest problem with this story is that no copy of the famous cartoon has ever been found. A Dorgan illustration from 1906 featuring sweaty hounds on bicycles does contain the term, but this usage follows even Adolf Gehring's ridiculous claim of late priority. It is possible that this story began with Stevens' own obituary (New York Herald Tribune, 4 May 1934), which borrowed heavily from a lackadaisically researched article that appeared in the magazine Restaurant Man in 1929 suggesting that Dorgan, who had a penchant for coining interesting terms, had originated hot dog with his comic. If the author had the 1906 cartoon in mind he may have massaged the dates a bit to make them work with Stevens' self-promotional propaganda as the head of a multi-city ballpark concession monopoly. The modern shape of the bun was likely crafted in 1904 by Bavarian emigrant Anton Feuchtwanger. Legend suggests that Feuchtwanger attempted to sell hot sausages in a white glove at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, eschewing the more popular delivery system of paper. Due to the expense of the gloves Feuchtwanger turned to bread, instead -- a story remarkably similar to that told by Louis Lassen of New Haven when he claimed (falsely) to have invented the hamburger a decade earlier. Another pioneer, Manhattan restaurant manager Nathan Handwerker (1892-1974), got his start at Charlie Feltman's Gardens on Coney Island in 1915. After a year of being paid in hot dogs Handwerker opened his own modest stand across the street from Feltman's and undercut his previous employer's price by half on the advice of shameless actor Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) and known entertainer Jimmy Durante (1893-1980), from whom he may also have borrowed $320 to help fund the enterprise. It is not known whether Durante and Cantor sang Handwerker a song in order to convince him of the soundness of their plan, but it seems likely. At any rate, Nathan's "famous" franks went on sale for a nickel a piece in 1916. Using sirens to garner attention and crowding his stand with bums dressed as doctors were among the bag of tricks Handwerker employed in order to best Feltman's, which finally went under in 1954. Today Nathan's Famous Corporation owns several large restaurant chains around the world, including Kenny Rogers' Roasters. The innate human fascination with the physical form factor of franks was first tapped commercially in 1936 with the introduction of a hot dog shaped vehicle, known as the Wienermobile, to promote the processed products of Oscar Mayer (1859-1955) and his ugly brother Gottfried. Response to the Wienermobile was overwhelming, making it one of the most popular marketing gimmicks ever employed. The Mayer brothers are also well remembered for this 1964 advertising jingle: Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener. That is what I'd truly like to be. 'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, Ev'ryone would be in love with me. The final milestone of the classic age of the hot dog came in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) elected to serve hot dogs to His Royal Majesty King George VI (1895-1952) on an official picnic at Springwood -- the first ever visit of a British monarch to the United States. King George reportedly enjoyed the "delightful hot dog sandwich" and commanded Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) to fetch him another. To press and public alike, George VI proved that day that it was not untoward for a king to be seen to be fellating a foodstuff. The hot dog had bridged the trans-Atlantic gap a revolution had opened, and received the royal nod of approval. Also in 1939 the world witnessed the popularization of the chili dog at the hands of southern Californian Paul Pink, followed by the debut of the Texan corn dog from the Fletcher brothers (1942), and finally the tofu dog from northern California, invented by hippies (1963). While some manufacturers of frankfurters disdained the term hot dog, American anti-German sentiment during World War II provided the impetus necessary to seal the deal with a steadfast preference for homespun terms winning out over "foreign" words, similar to the way sauerkraut had been called "liberty cabbage" throughout World War I and the way French fries would be dubbed "freedom fries" during the War on Terror launched in 2001. Americans consumed over 7 billion hot dogs in 2003, 150 million of which on Independence Day alone (at the time of this writing there are slightly less than 300 million Americans in existence), possibly an influential factor in the rise of ass cancer. America's National Hot Dog Month is July. But it isn't Americans alone who crave the meat: hot dogs are popular the world over, from China to Chile. The Danish prefer to eat them French style, and the French eat them injected into pre-cored lengths of baguette filled with dijon. (I have personally taken the wiener French style, and can't recommend it enough.) They may be poison, but they are tasty when they're made just right. They may be cock-like, but eating them does not in and of itself influence your sexual orientation. Some people eat them very fast, but it's not a requirement for enjoyment. Today we live in a hot dog world, in all senses of the term. Decked out in the finest brands, today's New World-style ego cowboy is the hero of business, romance and leisure, preaching by loud example the virtues of convenience, individualism and avarice to every town around the globe the throbbing signal of the West touches. Hot dogs are the limp, meaty swords of an advancing army whose lives are short but rich. Grilling in the open air, they smell like summer and taste like baseball. Whether they're pork, beef, turkey, chicken or curd, there's just something nice about being able to pick your own toppings. Celebrate, and fellate a little piece of history today! Get them while they're red hot.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, March 21, 2005 1:21 AMposted at 10:51 PM Ted
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Happy Places...
Okay after the stuff going down with the intruder threatening to kill various people in my driveway, me not winning a Bloggie (oh! - so cruel and shattering! Considering I didn't even get nominated, hehehe) and feeling so melancholy about Bahrain Island, I need to go to a happy place.
In the early 60's my dad got an offer of a job on Bahrain Island. Bahrain sits like a little jewel in the Persian Gulf, linked to Saudi Arabia to the west with a loooong causeway which we drove often in the few years we were there.
Dad's job? Build a dairy farm for Sheikh Isa. Dad I think loved challenges, and this one was a good 'un... As a kid I remember arriving at the airport the first time, and the humidity took my breath right away. How ironic that I felt so suffocated then, and now have emphysema...
Anyhow - that arrival stuck in my mind. I would have been three or four, making it '60 - '61-ish. We stayed in Manama the capital at Sheik Isa's town home, because the house at the Bahrain Dairy Co was still not finished. I often drove there with dad, watched the workers, and felt pretty damn happy at living right in the pages of an exotic adventure story...
Oh yes... Remember this was in the 60's, people like James Bond lived the large life in such exotic places, and the stories of Ali Baba and Sinbad were mainstream kid's stories. This was the stuff of dreams!
Stuff I remember, in no particular order:
Soukh Al Khamiz, the market in Manama. As a kid I loved walking around the market, with all the images that I'd seen in my storybooks, the colourful stalls, and the smells! Nothing can prepare you for the scent of cloves and cardamom, the perfumes, the smell of food, the chemical odours of dyed cloth and leather and cord.
To my dying day I will remember this, unfortunately only as impressions and blurs of images going past. (When travelling as a child with parents, you don't get a chance to study your surroundings as you'd like to, so it's mostly a blur, with here a memory of spices, there a face under a veil, and so on.
And to this day I love markets with a vengeance, I'm home when I'm at a market...
Sammy's at the Port. The port is close by. Well okay, everything is close by on an island some 50km by 15km, you got me there... The port I remember some parts of, and others are also blurred. Perhaps because when I went there it was usually with dad, and we always had plenty of time, and I could explore at my own speed.
And so I remember Sammy's: I remember sitting at a table in this dark cool haven, watching Moorish looking sailors with tattoos and scars, colourful clothes, and always a dagger (I know how to pronounce it but how to phonetically spell "hranjar"?) at their belt - no weapons protocols in those days - and Sammy himself would come out to say hi and join us at the meal. At the time I thought it was because my dad was Austrian but now I have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps I was somewhat of a curiosity, being a little European tot who spoke Arabic with the best of them...
Anyhow - I remember food so spicy it brought me out in a sweat, and I remember how good I always felt at managing meals that sent buck sailors looking for the water carafe. Maybe it was that, come to think of it, that Sammy The Lebanese enjoyed and that has made me the foodie I am today? Who knows... In yet another one of those twists of fate, one of the nicest people I know in Perth is Lebanese, is named Samik, and runs a coffee and food shop in a market...
Oh yeah - speaking Arabic like an Arab. I learnt to speak Arabic like a native, because for the first year or two I hung around the workers a lot, not having a school to attend. My father well remembers, and I barely remember because I wanted to forget it I think, that I walked around the edge of the water cistern we had for irrigation, swearing at the workers and calling them sons of dogs whose fathers were all burning in the nethermost hells, and then dad walked around the corner of the cistern and caught me at it.
I guess what dad reports happened next, is the reason I must have made such an effort to forget this incident...
My school when I was finally allowed to attend school, was St Christopher's Catholic Convent School, and the staff there spoke neither German nor Arabic, meaning I had to learn yet another language... I remember how utterly alone I felt, unable to understand a single word, until the word "home." For some reason this is the first word, absorbed on the first day, that I remember.
St Chris's also taught me French and some Latin in my first year, as well as quite advanced maths, and other pretty heavyweight subjects for a five year old to absorb. I love them for it, and wish I'd stayed there for all my education, because that was probably among the best in the world.
First prize in a very special fishing competition. Sheik Isa also kept a motor launch, I think based at Sitrah just off the northeast coast, and dad and I were often invited to come on fishing trips. I remember looking over the side and being able to dimly see the ocean floor, so far down, but so clear the water that you could see the reefs and otucroppings.
And the Day I Won. Sheikh Isa proposed a small wager, fifty rupees (or five hindred, I can't recall, money was not important to me at that time) per man and the first man to catch a hamur (a kind of grouper fish if I recall) took the lot. While the adults were setting up the bet I found the bait bucket, baited a hook, and unrolled my hand line over the side.
Five minutes later, having had a head start on the grown-ups, I had a strike and a hook-up, and brought a very small hamur up over the side. I still remember feeling proud of my effort, and on the way home dad asked me what I would do with the rather huge amount of rupees I'd accumulated. That was the beginning of a very stressful period for me, and my first experience of lucre and the responsibilities it places on you...
In yet another twist, I managed to do everything with that money except sleep on it like Scrooge McDuck (who is known in German language comics as Dagobert Duck.)
But the real twist was that I hoarded and hoarded it, then finally my parents convinced me to spend it. And then I did, but most of it was basically frittered away, and one item of jewellery of value that I bought mum was really all it amounted to... Yep, spent it all at Soukh Al Khamiz, much as I've been doing ever since, and yep, it echoes my current time eerily, in that I always seem to find a small fortune and manage to let most of it slip through my fingers on trinkets... Ah well... Easy come, easy go...
Bab Al Bahrain, the gates to Manama City. Stuff like this normally passes right over a kid's head, but I remember the gates, only not with the same scenery as I'm seeing in more recent photos. Needless to say, the concept of a gate to a city suddenly and very physically brought home to me, even at that age, how not so far back those gates would have been all that stood between the average town and ransack...
Sheik Isa's summer palace. On the beach, I know not where. We lived here for a while also. Most vivid memories? - Soukhi the dog digging under a stack of tin near an outbuilding and crushing herself and her puppies. - The rock formations on the beach standing like small monoliths. - Big wide sweeping veranda which was over a metre high at the point where I was pushing my younger sister Liz in her pedal car when she swung the wheel the wrong direction... - A closed refinery or processing plant which I desperately wanted to explore but could never get to. - Watching two geckos on the ceiling of my room, going for the same moth. One got the moth, the other one got it... And kept on swallowing...- And my biggest memory. Getting a new bike, riding it straight through a 3 metre high window facing that ocean.
The Gymkhana Club. A bastion of British Empire culture in the town, not that I gave a toss for the British Empire, but the Club was impeccable. Swimming pools, a soft drinks bar, and sometimes I got the chance to wander around behind the facilities and see how the catering etc got done. I can almost draw some parts of the complex. This was a place we went often, because it was not tabu for mum to have a drink here, and most of the European population came here at least once a week.
St Christopher's. I remember an Indian girl my age whom I admired and loved, and whose name was Miriam, and an English girl named Jennifer who similarly followed me around. They came to my birthday party, I went ot Jennifer's, and Miriam moved away before her party, leaving us all heartbroken...
A donkey named Dinah. This was the most ornery donkey in the world, and the first day I was allowed to ride her unattended, she took full advantage of me. She headed her nose for the open desert, and no amount of the flea on her back pulling reins would make her turn...
I thought pretty fast, even at that age. I didn't think clearly, but I definitely thought fast. As the last fencepost of the property was about to flash past and the wide open desert (well, maybe 10 or 20 km before we hit beach anyway) prepared to swallow us, I lobbed the reins over that fencepost, and braced myself.
This turned out to be a defining moment in our relationship... Dinah hit the end of the reins and FLEW! up in the air, landing with a WHUMP! I could hear even as my world exploded into surprisingly hard sand coming at me at about fifty kilometres per hour, and lay there gathering her winded breath. I picked myself up - crying, but determined to be a man about it all - and walked over to the prostrate ass and gave her a huge kick in the ribs for good measure, then collapsed again until my breath came back.
Dinah was a lot more docile and amenable to goign where I pointed her after that...
Volkswagens. A friend of the family's named Udo Heide was bringing VWs into the island, and while the milking and storage sheds were being constructed but not yet populated, we rented him space to leave the little beasts. He ran over my foot with one, luckily in sand so my foot sank rather than squashed. And because I was hollering fit to bust a gut, he stopped the car - on my foot...
I love VWs to this day...
Tomatoes and market garden. While the BDC was not yet hosting dairy cows, it was decided to plant a few crops of feed for the beasts, and offset some of the ongoing costs against some other kind of produce. Dad got woven reed windbreak panels, huge irrigation sprinklers, and planted tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and other delicacies over half the farmland, and lucerne and alfa-alfa over the other part. We stocked up huge amounts of feed, made a profit (I think, from my little perspective) and things were pretty good
Reason for giving it all away: Small arms being smuggled in with the machinery for the milking shed. Large amounts thereof. We decided this was not a healthy place to stay and came to Australia within a week of discovering that. And there went our good life...
Glimpses of social events:- Camel races. Oh yeah they had a few horses that raced, but big deal, horses were gula wahad, same-same... The camels on the other hand! Man they flew along! - Running around with Sheik Isa's sons at various palaces and country homes, sneaking the strong coffee and tea, watching the men performing dances in which they fired live rifle rounds, eating huge feasts of lamb and rice and dozens of accompanying dishes, sitting on a rug in the desert and listening to the grown-ups speaking.- How lovely it was to watch the dances from the walls of the enclosures, high above. And not actually ever once worrying that they were discharging their rifle upwards...
We have 8mm footage of some of this, and I am dying to have it put on a DVD so I can send it to Ibrahim or Hamad as a memento of a wonderful time in all our lives, when Aramco Brat meant nothing yet, life was easy, we were all living the life of stars in one of the nicest parts of the world. So there's my happy place, and now you know why I am so wanting to return there for a visit at least. I hope you've come along on this journey with me and maybe now you can see why the oilfield fires made me cry and the wars and skirmishes made me weep even more - such a beautiful place should not have war and ugliness... I'll always remember a Saudi Arabia of the 60's, and I hope I get to see it one more time. If you get the chance, go there and look for those special places, the soukhs and the babs and the ports, and feel the history that's there...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 2:33 AMposted at 2:28 AM Ted
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Yeah yeah those awards
Everyone else is doing it so I may as well.
I didn't get a Bloggie Award this year!
There. Said it. Yeah I know you have to get a nomination before you can consider yourself in with a chance... But hey! - you never know your luck! And some things are just soooooo good, the Bloggies should come to me... hehehehe...
I don't know if it would bring fame and riches, but it would make for a good story to tell the grandkids - "hey it was awesome! I won this virtual award for writing a diary that I'd otherwise never have kept, and everyone online, whoever they really are, all gave me heaps of 'spect!"
I still don't know how anyone can leave their day job to just blog, I don't know of any advertising scheme that might net enough income, even if I had every TV station plugging this blog I don't for one moment think that it would ever pay my mortgage or feed us. But it's nice to dream about, at any rate.
Argh I'm still all stirred up about the intruder tonight, I can't sit and make sense. Think happy thoughts, go to my happy place... Aum! Aum! AaUuMm!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:19 AM Ted
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Man it never rains but it pours.
NOT RATED... Medium abusive language warning.
Okay so tonight I am just about ready to rip someone's fucking head off. We go out for a great dinner at Bella Roma in Freo, come home, and within 30 minutes there is some asshole in the driveway threatening to beat up Trish's kids.
Nobody knows this asshole from a bar of soap, but he's jumping around like some kind of fucking prizefighter (okay - HUGELY abusive language warning) and yelling at the stepdaughter's b/f to "fight like a fucking man you pansy!" and Trish tried to get him off her property and the asshole PUSHED HER and kept going.
He jumped at Matt (the b/f) near the front door and then Trish and Matt and I landed on him like a ton of bricks, and held him down while the kids rang for cops. This asswipe WOULD NOT SHUT UP! "Let me up you fuckers! I won't run, won't do anything fuck ya!" Yeah right...
I am still unsure whether to press charges or not, after all he assaulted Trish and Matt and had a good go at doing the same to me too. I am urging both of them to press charges, first thing, because this is just not on.
Cops arrived, it took three of them to keep this guy down even with cuffs on, and he WOULD NOT SHUT UP even then, abusing the police and not complying with even the most basic orders.
I was pretty calm at the time, I just held an arm lock on him to keep him down, and Trish and Matt held down one end each, but now I'm outraged.
Anyhow - back to the normal program...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:05 AM Ted
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bahrain Dream
It's odd. My father, one year before he had the stroke which has incapacitated him, wanted to go back to the Northwest. Desperately. Finally, I went with him and his wife Mary (my stepmother I suppose, how odd to think of her like that!) and drove us all around our old haunts.
Now my life is all conspiring to make me want to go back to Arabia for a holiday, to Bahrain Island to be precise. Flickr has turned out to be a treasure trove of Arabian imagery, and pages like this one are almost breaking my heart. I was around the age of the young boy in that photo, and I had my chance at falconry with a peregrine falcon when we were living in Wittenoom. Okay, so Kessi had a permanently withered wing so she wasn't flying anywhere, but she was *my* pet and no-one else could carry her or feed her, I was the only person she wouldn't shred on the slightest provocation...
I hope in my case it's only idle wishes and not some premonition such as Dad appears to have had... hehehehe I'm too young to become a nuring home case...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 3:52 PM Ted
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Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Day Painting
Whole day, new bedroom is now only a few items short of habitable... Yessss!!
"Gee I dunno," said Trish. "The ceiling in that dust tan ("Dusted Fields" in case you're interested, at half strength) is just going to bring the ceiling right in on us."
And then we opened the paint for the walls...
I'd had it in my mind's eye when we picked the colours out, and I thought the pink for the walls actually fell short of what I'd expected. But Trish, I think, was shocked. So while it's more salmon and less shocking than I thought it should be, it's "shocking pink" for the purposes of this story.
To cut a long story short - the room looks brilliant, there's still the contrast for the doorframes to go, but it is a very alive room. This is one jumpin' bedroom. And even Trish had to admit that the colour scheme grows on you. Walk from the rest of the house into it and you get a definite headrush.
Can't wait for the flooring to arrive and then fit shelves for Trish's teddybears and toys. I've got plans for the wardrobe alcove, and the bathroom fittings still have to be put on the walls, towel rails etc, but it's looking do-able from here on. Wow...
I am really looking forward to moving in, just so looking forward to it. The room already has a nice vibe to it, it feels welcoming and lively, once the floating floor is down that will be possible. Countdown.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:30 PM Ted
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Weird Dreams of Rock-throwing
Woken this morning by a weird dream. Dreamt I was working in the bush, and a young woman and her young daughter were passing through the area, then a couple of Aboriginal women and a small Aboriginal girl spotted them and the little girl took off after the daughter.
I knew she wanted to get her hands on the stick the girl was carrying, so I followed them. I couldn't catch up to them and by this stage the Aboriginal girl was throwing rocks at the other girl, who promptly turned into a rock herself to avoid being hurt.
Somehow I knew that it was a pretty irreversible change, and also knew that I had to prevent the other girl from getting the stick, so I looked for rocks to throw at her, in turn.
But all that was nearby was a lot of chunks of wood around the size of golf balls, so I threw those, wondering if it would turn her into a lump of wood, but the wood did nothing other than fly around off-course, never getting anywhere near her.
Suddenly I found a rock and threw it, and the Aboriginal girl turned herself into a rock, luckily before reaching the stick. But she was better at rock-ness than the other girl and she tried twice to come back, meaning I had to throw more rocks at what I hoped was her among all the other rocks, to wear her out.
That was it, the world was safe once again, and "we" (dunno who else, just that I was involved) made a structure (not a real structure, a kind of "field") appear in the area covering it and preventing the rock and stick magics. We had to post signs all around that from now on young people would no longer be able to use those magics in the area.
I woke up feeling like a job had been well done, but I was puzzled as hell by it all. That's why this post comes at ten to seven in the morning...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 6:50 AM Ted
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Here's a thought:
"Our Wayne would still be alive if police didn't chase stolen cars" said yesterday's headline in the West. (Hey, I have been out bush, so today is the first I saw of it, cut me some slack...)
My thought?
"Our Wayne would still be alive if we taught him to have nothing to do with stolen cars" sounds pretty fair to me.
Or, "Our car would still be alive, if Wayne and his mates didn't steal cars."
Or: "Your Wayne would have killed our Brian one of these days if he hadn't been stopped when he was."
Sorry West Australian - this is a piece of shit journalism. You know which side of the line is right, and which is wrong. Don't support wrong...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:45 PM Ted
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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Collie - Give It A Miss...
You won't see this post until tomorrow evening sometime - I'm stuck in Collie and there's no Interent connection at the Banksia Motel. One of my work colleagues and I travelled here today to sort out some possible network or software problems with one of the company's products, so I've spent a productive day with several network sniffers and scanners running right alongside the server for our product, and the colleague has been poking around the software guts of the beast.
We waited until shift change to make some changes, and tested again - still some problems. At this rate it may be a sloooowwwww process... But we have discovered two things which make a difference, pity the relevant offices were locked for the night, so we'll poke around those machines tomorrow.
I'm watching TV, blogging, and waiting most alertly for my dinner to get here. Having spent the day out of town on a minesite, I'm more than a trifle pale and weka with hunger... hehehe that, and I like my food as you'd know...
And waiting for Trish to ring so I can pass another few minutes not being bored solid.
Anyhow - I think I hear my dinner knocking at the door. Bon appetit!
(Later on:)
Okay. I thought I'd give Collie a mark out of ten, but I can see I'm going to have to extend the scale. Negative...
Firstly, having to order dinner from a local diner. But you get it through room service, and it gets charged to your bill. wtf? I'm beginning to dread breakfast - they had no breakfast forms so my order got scribbled on another guest's order...
Dinner (from "across the road" but ordered through room service - some cost-cutting going on here I think) arrived and I'd opted for the safest looking course, I mean, who can stuff up veal parmigiana? Or Salsiccia? (Take a piece of veal, crumb, fry, serve. Okay a few other things like cheese and red sauce, but hey. And, take a sliced Italian sausage, place in olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a hot chafing dish. Come on, how much simpler can it get?)
Apparently, it needs to be REALLY simple for Mama J's... The veal was okay, but topped with a slice of something that was a cross between Parma ham and silverside, and I'd asked for it on pasta, thinking that would be better than risking a salad. How wrong can one be? It turns out that "pasta" means "spaghetti bolognaise..." Not kidding, beef and tomato sauce, more of that oversmoked ham flavour. As Hoges put it, "you can live on it but it..."
Salsiccia? Please... This salsiccia appeared to be panfried with some dried - argh, don't even make me think about it! Either parmesan or dried smegma, thanks a lot for asking! - and onion rings. It tasted oversalty, greasy, and odd.
Oh well I thought, (after I'd sms'd Trish to get her to ring me) the bathroom has a BATHTUB! Oh yeah, oh yeah!
Think again... No plug for the basin or the tub, the water pressure out the hot water faucet would have meant a wait of two hours to fill the bath enough for a relaxing soak. The shower similarly is what you'd probably call "limp," at best. And the pressure went up and down so one got alternatley scalded and chilled, the towels stunk of some chemical but definitely not laundry soap, and all in all this has been a very disappointing experience. If you have to stay down this way, go to Bunbury or Australind or - anywhere! - except here... Hell - go back to Perth and stay at the Duxton, it's only $20 more expensive!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:23 PM Ted
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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Conspiracy Metaphysical Bull
Okay. Read the conspiracy material mentioned a few days ago, have had time to think about it, now I've got a few thoughts of my own...
One of the things mentioned in the stuff on Montauk, Philadelphia Experiment, and similar space-time-twisting tales, one thing that's belaboured is "Von Neuman's Proof." This proof basically says that realworld physics can't be applied to quantum physics. Two things, well okay three, come to mind: A) Well duh! B) Actually, it's been convincingly disputed and C) So what? How does this apply to a warship which is not on the quantum scale?
The second thing which gives me pause is the insistence on multiverse. Here's a quote from one site: "Fundamentally, it is our consciousness which in some way literally brings into being the dimension or reality we experience, manifesting it from what are to us realms of infinite potentials. This was demonstrated in a mathematical form known as Von Neumann's Proof, developed by Hungarian-born physicist Janus Eric Von Neumann and published in the 1930's in his book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Physics, known even today as "the bible" among quantum physicists. "
There's the Von Neuman Proof again. What the heck does it have to do with multiverses? And that second thing, that thing I mentioned which makes me hesitate to assign anything more than total dickhead status to those authors - It is "our consciousness" that picks which parallel universe the world heads down? I'm sure you can see the flaw. Just *WHOSE* consciousness makes the selection? There are some very serious problems with this. Including bringing into question of you, my dear reader, actually exist...
For the sake of completeness, let's first assume the case that everything exists, including you and me. So - since we're assuming normalcy, we'll assume that we're not clones, have not been located in the exact same physical location experiencing the exact same stimulu for all our lives, and that therefore our consciousnesses are also not identical.
So your consciousness will pick one path, mine will pick another. Either at that point the world splits into two paths, and in one path I am being dragged unwillingly along in your ideal world, in the other you're screaming that you don't belong in my world, or else in each path one of us ceases to exist, or else the world stays on some path but it's not chosen by either of us. In the last case, is there some kind of consensus voting process going on?
There's another possibility, too. In YOUR path, you exist, you select your world's path, and no-one else exists except by special dispensation from you. And that means that as far as your Universe is concerned, you're the only thing in it, everything else is a figment of your imagination. That's the basic tenet of solipsism, that only self exists and everything and everybody else doesn't. It's a theory that can't easily be disproved, and can't be proven either.
Besides, since I'm writing this, it's you that doesn't exist, so I don't have to prove a thing...
Anyway, it means I am not at all sure that these writers have managed to intuit or dig up the ultimate nature of the Universe. If you exist, you can comment on this using the link below...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 9:03 PMposted at 8:58 PM Ted
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Monday, March 07, 2005

Conspiracy Theories Monday
Spent today "researching" various interesting things, because we watched "Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" and I wanted to look up Montauk because something about that placename rang bells. From there that led to Project Phoenix and that led to places like this, and a bloke named Harry Mason who lives near here and whom I've had email conversations with.
As I usually find when I descend into raving fanaticism and conspiratorial lunacy, that even when I'm doing my best to get into the spirit of things, the earnest, garbled, and sometimes downright confusing and wrong nature of these articles means I end up with my old impartial viewpoint back. I just can't get into it, so there goes my gonzo journalism...
What I do notice is the abundance of references to Nikola Tesla. This man is mysterious folks! He appears in Harry Mason's stories, in every story referring to the Philadelphia Experiment, half the tinfoild hat and black helicopter sites, and just about everywhere else.
But - just precisely what did he do? Yeah we all know about the Tesla Coil and pretty sparks, and that he's referred to as "the father of alternating current" and that he apparently had radio communications before anyone else. But it isn't those things that get him mentioned in the conspiracy sites. Oh no - here the talk is about transdimensional portals, time reference generators, mind control, and other interesting stuff.
Now go look up Tesla Coils and you'll find around 20,000 with designs, pictures, and formulae for rolling your own TC. Look up anything Tesla and you'll find links to his famous coil. But try and find any other drawings, plans, or references to any other Tesla device that A) isn't a TC and B) isn't on a conspiracy site and mentioned in passing as though it's assumed that you can look up the technical stuff anywhere else.
Take that on as a challenge, and if you find any solid technical evidence of any other of his devices, please email me because I'd be interested.
I have some theories about Tesla's gadgets, there is either nothing else Nik did except make pretty sparks and razzle-dazzle his way into grant after grant, or else there was a large body of work with a solid foundation of Tesla intellectual property which has since been very efficiently suppressed... As I said, if you find anything please share with me, but I'm pretty sure I won't get as many responses as there are wondrous gizmos NT is supposed to have invented.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, March 07, 2005 9:56 PMposted at 9:49 PM Ted
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Sunday, March 06, 2005

This Weekend I Did... part 3
Today was Art Gallery day for Trish and I. The Art Gallery has a few Muench paintings, notably The Vampyre which I found quite - unsettling - in the way it attracted my eyes from right across the room. The other two Edvard Muench pieces were larger, more imposing - and less attractive than that one small canvas, still worth a look though.
Lots of Aboriginal art, and strangely enough, it was the Aboriginal women's works which I found caught my eye first and held it the longest in each gallery. These are softer, more internalised pieces, which the eye enjoys looking for meaning in. The men's works are all rather strong and defined, I did not find myself wanting to follow the flow in them. Also, there are some European styled works by Aboriginal artists, but only the rare one or two managed to capture the cultural transposition properly. Still a lot of talent though.
Aboriginal art generally doesn't hold me for long though, because I grew up in the Northwest where much of it comes from and so I'm used to it. But look for the Wodgina Man painting on paperbark, stretched on a bamboo hoop. Now stand 2-3 metres back from it, and look into his eyes. If you don't hear didgeridoos there's something wrong with your spirituality...
The famed Whiteley panorama (panoptych?) is there on display, offering a fascinating glimpse into the minutiae and the overview of his life and times. I was amused - I recognised a logic element out of an early IBM mainframe in amongst the included details, and my only complaint is that they've placed the work so that one can't get back far enough to see an overview of the whole work.
Speaking of those long distance overviews, one Michael (name escapes me, will fill it in later,) a German immigrant who painted several magnificent bushscapes - there's one there (and you'll know it by the MAGNIFICENT frame around it) which, again, I urge a 2-4 metre distancing from. Without the frame, this would be a brilliant painting. With that frame, it becomes unforgettable...
2004 Year 12 art studies produced some excellent items, Trish actually has her eye on one of the pieces after the exhibition, and if I had my way I'd pay for around 6 others, so good are these young artists. The young lady of Iona College who produced the piece on DNA made me smile, the young lady who made such a beautiful sculpture of an ear of corn, the technotryptich by another young man, and several other pieces, are just brilliant and these kids deserve to have their art patronised. I just wish I were a millionaire so I could purchase those pieces and give the artists a good start...
To the artist whose installation consists of four speakers whirling around emitting and angelic sound, I liked it but Trish hated it... Surprising because generally I find A/V installations are still too avant-garde for me, also they are too impermanent - one power blackout and when you switch everything back on, will it still be the same installation, or will subtle changes have made it into something else. Should we be able to switch art on and off?
Still worth a visit before the display changes - you will miss some excellent experiences if you don't go. Please note that I have left several of the international artists out of my recap - I have a certain focus in art, and those works didn't quite float my boat, your mileage will of course vary. (But I mean - a slab of milky white - rock, plastic, what have you - lying on the ground is not my idea of art, it's my idea of a waste of a table top... A stack of rectangular solids like a staircase held together with beeswax? Puh-leease... Visually beeswax is not much different to fibreglass resin, and that would have made more sense to me as a way of assembling your sculpture. This sort of art I call "private joke" art because you need to know fifteen pages of backstory before you get the meaning...)
Go and see it, enjoy it, and afterwards the coffee from the attached cafe is very nice too...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Sunday, March 06, 2005 5:33 PMposted at 4:09 PM Ted
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This Weekend I Did... part 2
Saturday evening, dinner at Observation City Savannah's, very reasonable rates if you have a Radisson card (which we did) and the food was very well presented. Mezze plate included salmon and caviar, oysters, wonton, and a chickpea and aubergine concoction which is difficult to describe but which went down a treat with my beer. Veal so tender it almost fell apart on the fork. Lamb (I'm told) as tasty and tender as can be.
The honey kiwi bavaroise apparently was very tasty as well, the only thing I found that let the meal down was the uninspired cheese platter. Not as interesting as the platter at the Mediterranean Kitchen, for certain. Also, not a particularly brilliant selection of cheeses. Ask me, I'm passionate about good cheeses matched with interesting contrasts and blendings.
There was a fruit bread which tasted slightly of kerosene (problem in the dried fruit used) and which didn't quite match any of the cheeses. There was fresh plum and strawberry, which also didn't manage to complement (oh and see my note on the menu below...) any cheese. Dried apricots and pears, ditto. And the crackers were insipid and had an aftertaste. Also, the blue cheese was less of a cheese with a bite and character as it was a lot of fungus held together with casein. And no matter how interesting it tastes after five or six beers, Woolies smoked factory cheese is NOT a cheese platter ingredient for a restaurant aspiring to an illusion of grandeur...
Ah yes, reading the menu... That produced evidence of the kind of cluelessness not normally associated with quality establishments. I have never heard ANY cup of tea compliment any dessert, although I have heard of certain beverages COMPLEMENTING a meal. Pity they put that stupid mistake in a heading-sized font, made it hard to miss the ignorance of whoever assembled that menu. Oh and Savannah's? The plural of berry is not berrys, it's berries.
So - for main meals, for selection of wines, Savannah's is excellent. For some things, it's totally wanky and pretentious, and for some other things, it doesn't even reach the level of pretentiousness... I mean, one of the waiters tearing the foil off a bottle of wine with his fingernails does NOT make me think "sommelier," in fact their handling of many table setting manners was distinctly burger joint. An earnest start of silver service (maitre d' fussily places napkin on Trish's lap, throws mine from a standing start somewhere in the vague direction of my lap when another waiter interrupts, that sort of thing) things kind of degenerated.
Our waiter fussed about rotating the plates so the patterns lined up - then the drinks waiter put our water and drinks on the wrong sides of the settings. The timing between mezze and mains was impeccable - then there was an uncomfortable wait where we were left seated without a sign of a dessert or drinks menu. When that finally arrived, we waited almost as long as we'd been there to that point before anyone remembered to take the dessert order...
Call me fussy, call me a Frasier for protocol, a Niles for detail. But when I go to a restaurant where I'm expecting to drop a reasonable sized chunk of cash, where I've actually put on a shirt and shoes instead of Stubbies and thongs - and I expect the restaurant to have at least as much refinement as myself. Come on, two rungs above yobbo isn't so hard to aspire to is it?
My recommendation? Don't take someone you want to impress to Savannah's. And if you absolutely must, or if you want a meal with friends in a pleasant restaurant, then make sure you have a Radisson card so you can get a discount for the meal. While they produce respectable and even memorable meals, there are a lot of small rough edges that a discerning person will pick up on, and some things that need to be avoided at all costs...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Sunday, March 06, 2005 5:30 PMposted at 3:31 PM Ted
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This Weekend I did...
Friday evening, off to the Aero Club at Jandakot where a friend has recently taken over the management of the bar and eatery above the Club, and enjoyed a convivial evening with much the same bunch of people I enjoy a midweek lunch with, only in different surroundings, with a lot more people around, and the magically acquired ability to drink lots and lots of cane liquor with a white bear on the label, as I didn't have to go to work after.
Being there reminded me of the Aero Club in Goroka, up in PNG, working for one of the local charter operators there. Aero clubs haven't changed much, still (strangely) very family-oriented places. I loved the Goroka Aero Club, I think I will be loving the Jandakot Aero Club Bar just as much..
As it was opening night, we scored a bigtime selection of finger foods such as crispy drumsticks, micropizzas, EXCELLENT spring rolls and samoosas, and the usual party pies and rolls.
The staff were cheerful and the atmosphere (which is always difficult to achieve on a first night) also cheerful, flyers are on the whole a quite happy-go-lucky bunch so it was a lovely night.
The only problem with the bar is that there will need to be some external entrance that doesn't need the Aero Club entrance, as I believe that gets locked quite early every evening. I hope there's a solution to this, because quite frankly I am already attached to this little haven overlooking Jandakot Airstrip.
My best wishes to Michelle and Colin in this endeavour, I'll come support them. Anytime.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:18 AM Ted
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

This month's keywords are just a palin odd collection:
14 stilnox Why do drugs lead every keyword analysis?4 lexapro Why do drugs lead every keyword analysis?2 cipramil Why do drugs lead every keyword analysis?1 non-addictive sleeping pills Why do drugs lead every keyword analysis?2 kailis brothers fish market and cafe northbridge Better - someone is looking for useful stuff2 olive oil soap And someone else besides me is searching for Duru soap1 fluoride free toothpaste 1 aussie okker yobbos This is just weird!1 emphysema pictures And I think this is sick…1 abattoir pictures … as is this…1 'broken toe - treatment' … and this.1 my restaurant rules what happened to the closed restaurants Okay this is probably the sickest thing… hehehe.1 huey's restaurant Nope, I take that back! This is!1 henley brook brewery I think they meant the Duckberg Brewery.1 evasive running no idea…1 mdm.exe Someone with a stuffed PC?1 i love bees 1 biowalker 1 geek blog au contribution comercial Whatever.1 coaltar in lotion Someone with a skin complaint?1 olivetti lettera 35 My first typewriter!1 pap authentication failure Someone with an Internet server?1 wireless network perth cafe 1 western australia mosfets Go on - make sense of this - I dare you!1 picture of jelonet I can't decide if this is perverted or just curious.1 restaurant, beaufort street, perth Yes? Does Monsieur 'ave a restaurant in mind?1 kakulas brothers Go there, buy yummy food, hopefully I helped someone find the store.1 perth jobs german Yes? Does Monsieur 'ave a particular *type* of job in mind?1 nano gold covered glass beads This one came from Germany - be very afraid…
A weird bunch of results for the month, I may start keeping longer records, I am amazed at how many people are looking for drug information...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:45 PM Ted
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Numa Numa!
http://www.funpic.hu/swf/numanuma.html - as Molly meldrum used to say, do yourself a favour, turn on the speakers, and watch this guy make a total uninhibited fool of himself.
It's just the best feel-good item I've picked up in ages!
Gary Brolsma aka the Numa Numa Guy is a bit of a phenomenon, and no wonder. Trish and I are playing the segue game - any piece of news or TV ad or conversation has to be "coerced" into a segue to the Numa Numa song with appropriate arm waving and jumping around.
I love the Internet....
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:37 PM Ted
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