Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blog Visitor Semis

At the end of March we are down to 4.

France 7 d South Africa 6
Thailand 7 d Romania 2
Switzerland 6 d Turkey 5
New Zealand 18 d Phillipines 3

In the semis France meet Thailand and Switzerland are up against the mighty silver fern of New Zealand. My mate Ben in Bangkok (who has been responsible for most of their numbers) starts work back here on Monday - so it looks good for France to progress to the Grand Final. NZ are unbackable favourites against the disciplined Swiss, but blog readership is a funny game. Anything could happen in the next 30 days.

Results on 30 April.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Windsor, Friday

On Friday morning I awoke to the sounds of a happy baby. Etta Basanti Tyers was having a bath. She's 7 months old now and super cute. She is caramel coloured with shiny black eyes. When the mail arrived I compared her to it and announced that she was actually cardboard box-coloured. No, corrected her parents, she's caramel coloured alright.

Suparna looks very well and is right into full-on natural mothering. She bring all kinds of age-old south asian knowledge to it, as well as surfing the net for the very latest tips. It seems to work pretty well, as;
a) Etta was happy all day, and
b) their house isn't untidy or odorous in that acceptable-but-still-stinky we've-got-a-baby way.

In India babies learn very young to announce if they are going to poo, and they are moved to the potty or the appropriate spot. Nappies are absolutely NOT for poo. This makes the washing/germ killing process a snap. Suparna says that babies know how to do this, mum and dad just have to keep their ears open and encourage the little button to be as clear and prompt about it as possible.

After the bath, we moved to the main event of any day in Windsor, which is breakfast in Chapel Street. We went to a place called Batch which seems to be an island of New Zealand culture. Over scrambled eggs and chorizo we caught up on the last few months, and tried to avoid any discussion of football. Minor TV and music celebrities came and went. The menus were sticky taped into old Enid-Blyton era clothbound books.

Anthropology side note: Hip cafés in Hobart try hard to be very Melbourne. I have not been anywhere hipper than Melbourne in my life that I can think of (Santiago? Jaipur? Albury?) - so I can't pick quite where the Melbourne cafés are trying to be. But they are trying, so hard.

After breakfast we walked home. Alex took me to his studio and ran me through his current work. He started out as a graphic designer/illustrator like myself but he has taken his work to a few levels beyond that now. He takes a holistic look at the communications of an organisation (super fund, bank, telco, power company) and cleans them up - graphics and text.

One interesting point he made is that "Plain English" is a furphy. If someone doesn't understand something labelled thus, they are guaranteed to not ask questions, as they think they will look dumb. Unfortunately a lot of documents labelled "Plain English" aren't designed to be read by anybody except lawyers. Alex's mission of clear communication will often meet with a big obstacle: the client explictly prefers jargon and weasel words because they don't want to be understood.

While Etta had a sleep Alex and I went for a big walk around Windsor and Prahran. The Grand Prix buzzed in the distance, like having a cloud of mosquitos around your head. Not far from Alex and Supa's is the Melbourne Bowls Club, which featured prominently in one of Australia's finest recent lawn bowls movies, Crackerjack. I have urged Alex to join up as soon as Suparna will let him.

On the corner of Alex's street is a large knick-knack shop, that is full of the sort of stuff I love. Old wall maps and anatomical charts, deer skulls, old factory machinery and so on. Metal letters. They had tons of those wooden lasts for manufacturing shoes. The longer I was in there, looking at the frankly staggering prices, the more I decided I don't like all that stuff any more. Or perhaps it depends on the provenance and price. If something has been salvaged at the tip and is sold for $15, maybe that's OK. If something has been snapped up as a factory closes for practically nothing, and then sold in Chapel Street as decor, for $25, maybe that's not OK. I'm not sure.

We picked up the girls and hit the strip again for lunch, this time at a small butcher-shop-turned-deli that served meals in the old cold room out back, at one big table. Shiny metal walls. Half the people on the street said hi to Alex and Supa and goo-gooed at Etta. In the deli she is obviously a regular. There were only about five items on the menu. I ordered a chicken avocado roll - the lady had just made one for her husband so she gave me that. It was superb.

We walked back home after lunch (negotiating more hellos and goo-goos) and it was time for me to head to the airport.

It was really wonderful to get home even after just one night away. I was so tired. I just piled children on my lap and closed my eyes.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carlton 23.12 (150) d Richmond 9.13 (67)

I hopped over to Melbourne on Thursday afternoon for the first match of the new football season, Richmond v Carlton at the MCG. The hype leading in to the game was massive, with tickets sold out. I tipped the Tigers to win by 11 points. While I was making a toasted cheese sandwich I had a very strong premonition of Mitch Morton kicking six goals.

It was Ben Cousins' first game for Richmond after being sacked by his old club and then copping a 12 month suspension from the AFL, for lying about his drug addiction. Cousins would be lining up against his former West Coast premiership captain Chris Judd, now with Carlton. Apart from this drama, everyone was expecting both sides to be big improvers this year, and to put on a good show.

John picked me up at the airport. He works in the area, and we swung by his office on the way into the city. All around there are acres and acres of office buildings, warehouses and workshops that look like they dropped from the sky overnight. It is all very new, and feels like a hastily populated paddock. Even when you are walking down a glossy marble-floored hallway on the second floor of an office building, you still feel that you are in the hinterland of a large pastoral holding.

The drive through the city took over an hour. The Grand Prix is in town as well, and with a crowd of 90,000 heading for the football like us it wasn't surprising we crawled along. John had teed up with a friend to use her parking spot in a back lane about 5 minutes walk from the MCG.

While John and I were shoveling down large mediocre burgers from a food van, Alex and Michael arrived. Just as we were getting toey about the time, the fifth member of the party, Vincent rang. He was standing near us somewhere in the crowd so I waved my hand above my head to help him zero in. I happened to have two tickets in my hand and I had to rebuff a few people who thought I was a scalper.

Once we were all together we surged in and up, up, up. We got to row Z in the Olympic Stand and kept climbing. At last we reached our seats in DD. The MCG is simply massive. As always its so impressive how the opposing fans mix so peacefully. Vincent and I were backing Richmond while John, Michael and Alex were there to see Carlton do the business. Its common to see couples or whole families with split allegiances.

Richo hit the post after about one minute. The next four scoring shots were Carlton goals, all from Richmond turnovers in defence. From the very beginning Richmond's skills were woeful. The headline in Friday's Herald Sun was eloquent; STILL LAZY, SLOPPY & INCOMPETENT. As Elf said, the word that hurts most there is "still". Carlton won by 83 points, and it would be very surprising if Richmond are not bottom of the ladder after round 1. Oh, and the super recruit tore his hamstring early in the last quarter and is out for 4-6 weeks. Mitch Morton kicked 4 - the toasted cheese oracle was just a little off.

As it was a work night, Vincent and John excused themselves and took off afterwards. Poor Vincent, he could have had a lovely quiet night reading a book or cleaning the fridge, and I dragged him out to watch Richmond. Michael, Alex and I snudged off along Swan Street looking for and failing to find coffee. No, I didn't know that was possible in Melbourne either. I ordered a round of soft drinks at the Post Office Hotel, and chatting to the barman about the game mentioned I had come over solely to watch Richmond and would fly home the next day. He gave me the drinks for free. Richmond are literally that pitiful.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Must See TV c. 1981

The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, a 1981 made-for-TV film featured the Globetrotters alongside Bob Denver and the rest of the cast of Gilligan's Island. The film's plot follows the first animated series' formula to a degree with a conflict that ends with an unusual basketball game against an opposing team made up of robots. The Globetrotters decide to play with standard moves in the first half, which the robots are able to counter, until Gilligan unwittingly comments that they have not done any fancy tricks, which make the Professor advise the team to use their comedic style of play to win, which hopelessly confuses the machines. However, a couple of Globetrotters suffer injuries, and Gilligan and the Skipper have to be substitute players.
- Wikipedia

Please note that among the honorary members of the Harlem Globetrotters were Henry Kissinger and Pope John Paul II. This makes me wonder if the HGTs are in fact an alternative world government, and have been since their inception in the 1920s.

Please also note that Meadowlark Lemon, one of the all-time great Globetrotters, once said "I wanted to be the best comedic basketball player of all time."

Monday, March 23, 2009

It must be Radio National

The first words I heard when I turned on the radio:

The male sage grouse are quite gentlemanly, as they continue courting the robot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Important List! #03

This one is a bit parochial. Sorry Norway and Turkey, think of it as Australian cultural studies.

In 1980 someone had the brilliant idea to get one player from each VFL team to sing a song, and then released it as an LP, titled Footy Favourites. The cover suggests "Hear your players sing their favourite hits". So - bearing in mind that each of these guys is supposedly singing his own favourite hit, here is the track list.

1. Imagine - Mark Maclure (Carlton)
2. Danny Boy - Ray Shaw (Collingwood)
3. Hard Rock Cafe - Laurie Serafini (Fitzroy)
4. Who's Sorry Now - Kelvin Templeton (Footscray)
5. I Go To Rio - Michael Turner (Geelong)
6. Don't Stand So Close To Me - Michael Moncrieff (Hawthorn)
7. Macho Man - Robbie Flower (Melbourne)
8. 20 Miles - Wayne Schimmelbusch (North Melbourne)
9. The Letter - David Cloke (Richmond)
10. I Can See Clearly Now - Trevor Barker (St Kilda)
11. Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town) - Tim Watson (Essendon)
12. Little Jeannie - Barry Round (South Melbourne)

How did any of these big boofy blokes (Robbie Flower and Michael Turner particularly) live this down?

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I have a self-imposed uniform I wear to work in summer. Black polo shirt, khaki shorts. I pinched the idea from Henry Rollins (although being more rock than I he wears black shorts). If you wear the same thing every day you save a lot of time you can spend, er, blogging, or doing spoken word tours. IMPORTANT THINGS like that. Anyway I have always hated choosing clothes.

Today, I unwittingly got out clothes for the boys that were pretty much identical to each other. As it's Saturday my uniforms were all the wash so I was in Relaxed Weekend Mode red t-shirt (and khaki shorts - I just don't do civilian coloured shorts). Only later did it dawn on me (as the boys stood close to each other trading peurile insults), that I had dressed them both like little me-going-to-work-s.

Grand Final: Where's Scotty 8 d Knackered 6

I'm sorry to say we blew it last night. Again we jumped out of the blocks and kicked the first 4 goals. Two minutes before half time we were looking very good. The marking was a bit loose, and I scored a couple of burst-through style goals. Ed kicked his best goal yet, after a lovely one-two with Paul.

Where's Scotty kept pressing and scored twice before half time. One was squarely my fault when I couldn't decide which player to mark. Unfortunately they came out and ran all over us in the second half. I was plodding about, quite spent, with perfectly good passes whizzing past my sluggish feet. We were outscored 6-2 in the second half and once again get the crappy runners-up medals.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Marcus: Hey Michael, let's be BATS!

Marcus and Michael grabbed blankets for wings and flapped madly around their room. They were flapping at each other and it was turning into an unsightly wrestle, with sharp bed-corners threatening etc.

Dad: Come on, settle down! Leave each other alone!

Marcus: We're rival males!

BIG trouble

Michael has a spherical ball of dirt that he has been carrying around with him for a couple of months. This is his "meteorite". It was on the breakfast table this morning, next to a glass of water.

Michael: If I dropped the meteorite in here would it explode?
Dad: No. But it would turn to mud and make a big mess.
Michael: And I'd be in big trouble?
Dad: Yes.
Michael: Bigger than the Earth?
Dad: Hmm.
Michael: Bigger than the Sun?
Dad: ... I guess.
Michael: Bigger than Antares?
Dad: ... WHAT?
Michael: Antares. It's the fifteenth brightest star.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweaty indoor soccer update

I haven't mentioned my soccer team for a while, and I'm sure everyone is dying to know how they are getting on - that's why you are tuning in from Israel and Serbia and so on, after all.

Three weeks ago we (Knackered) were flogged 13-3 by a team called Deviants. They were fit and fast and young and had several quite big guys, a bit harder to push around. They wiped the floor with us. We won our next game 5-3 but it wasn't a very impressive performance. Then in our last roster game against a team we had previously beaten we sagged to a 5-9 loss.

Our poor end to the season meant we had to meet Deviants last Friday in a semi-final. Our one good defender Cam was unavailable due to barbecue commitments, and we had no sub. I was expecting another pasting.

We scored first, then again, then again. Next thing we knew we were up 5-0. All our shots were on target, as they weren't putting any defensive pressure on us. Once we had a lead I automatically went into fullback bully mode. Years of playing outdoor soccer in the backline have given me a wide repertoire of rule-bending blocks, chops, nudges, snipes and shunts.

Despite this, they had clawed back to 6-3 by halftime. Incredibly, in the second half we kept scoring goals. We got back the five goal lead and maintained it to win 13-8, and secure a place in the Grand Final this Friday night. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Important List! #02 and #02a

Queen Elizabeth II - yes, the one on the coins with the boofy hair. She's a good old stick, green gumboots, corgis etc.

Did you know she is also, among other things;

Queen of Jamaica
Queen of Barbados
Queen of the Bahamas
Queen of the Solomon Islands
Queen of Tuvalu
Queen of Belize
Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Queen of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy
Duke of Normandy
Duke of Lancaster
Lord of Mann
Colonel in Chief of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Rangers
Colonel in Chief of the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps
and Paramount Chief of Fiji?

Her five corgis are named Emma, Linnet, Monty, Holly and Willow. She also has four Dorgis (cross-breed of Dachshund and Corgi) named Cider, Berry, Candy and Vulcan.


Michael: Dad, what's the speed of light?
Dad: Er, its 180 ... thousand...um, miles an hour?
Michael: So what's the speed of sound waves?
Dad: (confidently) Ah - that's 330 metres per second.
Michael: OK, what's the speed of water waves?
Uncle Ed: It depends.
Dad: Yeah, it depends.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Marcus (tonging sausages from grill): These sausages are hurting my eyes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mr Gifty Gifterson

Michael has been bringing home books to read aloud that are very easy for him. I thought I would chat to his teachers about it, just to make sure they were aware he could be reading slightly harder things. Michael has two home teachers, who job share.

I asked Mrs Howearth yesterday, and she said yes, she was aware of his reading, in fact based on his PIPS test (stands for Performance Indicators in Primary Schools , given to all prep kids at the start of the year) he was possibly the top student in his year in Southern Tasmania! Mrs Harrington followed it up today saying that she would like to do another assessment just to establish better what his levels are so they can give him extension activities. She said he is the most gifted child she has taught.

Of course this is all sweet music to the ears of doting parents. However it reinforces our happiness with how well the local state school has appreciated both of our boys' talents and abilities. They both have many years of school stretching ahead of them, and we think it's crucial that they are still finding it interesting and fun when they have to start making post-compulsory choices.

The Gifted groups, in our limited experience, are probably great for parents who haven't been as lucky as we have with their kids' school and teachers. They can get together and apply pressure for a better deal and more resources for their kids. They seem to be all about solving a problem that we don't have. They don't seem to offer much in the way of fun get-togethers for the little physicists, atsronomers or paleo-linguists of the future

I hope as time passes our boys will find what it is that they want to do, and will have the talent, application and tenacity to follow where it leads.

Sports Day 2009

The school oval was leveled and topdressed (whatever that is) in the holidays, and the new grass was not ready for the SPorts Day yesterday. So the school bussed all the kids to the Domain, and used the grown-up Athletics Centre. This meant I couldn't drop in as I usually do, so the following report is based on hearsay.

Michael had given indications in the morning that he would dodge his athletic responsibilities, but Mrs Howearth managed to get him well and truly involved. He picked up four ribbons, one first, two seconds and a third. He won the Monkey Race (for which he's been unwittingly training most of his life) and came second in the flat 50 metre dash.

Marcus of course was out of bed and sprinting up and down the living room, before dawn. His preparation paid off, and he won his 50 metre dash, and came second in his other three events. They both had a good time and earned a lot of points for their house, Derwent. Some of the final events had to be postponed, so the crucial question of whether Derwent or Wellington won the day, hangs in the air as we go to press.

I think to build up the rivalry they should think about renaming one of the houses. Instead of Derwent and Wellington, Napoleon and Wellington. Now we're talking. If anyone asks, just say it's named after that street in Battery Point.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Character development

I used to be a killer. Not a wanton psychopath, but if any creature pictured on a pesticide can crossed my path I was willing to wipe it out. I was an enthusiastic sprayer, but I was also prepared to get the rolled-up newspaper and fight hand to hand, or actually hand to thorax. In my chaotic bachelor flat I had a map of the world stuck up high on the wall. Once an irritatingly noisy fat fly settled on Scotland, almost but not quite out of reach. I got the newspaper and delivered a terrific Wimbledon-winning overhead smash. The fly passed away suddenly after a very short illness, leaving a splodge around the Aberdeen region. Another time I missed the fly but whacked my hand on the sharp rim of a saucepan. I still carry the scar.

At some point I have softened, and now I almost never kill anything. I try to usher flies out a window. Some of them are just too stupid and I collect them not-very-carefully in a tissue and throw them out. They are flies after all. Everything else I am prepared to catch in hand or tea-towel and carry out to safety. I have a broom technique for spiders. All this is not due to any conversion to buddhism or anything. The spray and whack just doesn't seem necessary now, somehow.

At present it seems to be millipede season. They are a simple nice clean pick up/throw out. Most mornings, we have about a dozen chugging around the bathroom like little trains. They seem to be coming up the drains, so I have started a campaign of tactical plugging and blocking, which seems to be working. The bathplug stays in, there is a small heavy bucket over the shower drain, and the one in the middle of the bathroom floor is covered by a cottage-craft doorstopper named Mrs Mouse. The floor is black and white checked, and I suspect the millipedes have the sense to scoot onto a black square when they hear me coming. Which makes any sensible person ask the question - given sufficient practice at this could a millipede learn to play checkers?

Too much hair

Michael looks like he has had a bucket of hair tipped over his head. Last time Elf took the boys for haircuts, he made a scene and flatly refused to be coiffed. We call him alternately Shirley (Maclaine, left) or Margaret (Pomeranz, right). He is nonplussed by these names, but not so much that he stops talking. I will be taking him for a haircut on Wednesday.

Phil Hughes responds to my encouragement

Thanks mostly to this blog's relentless support, Phil Hughes scored another century overnight. He is 136 not out, with a batting average slightly higher than Don Bradman's at 108.66. He is the youngest player in test history to score a century in both innings. Go Phil!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Gourmets on the footy oval

Today was Taste Of The Huon day, at Ranelagh. During the week Elf emailed me at work to ask "Do you want to go to the Cygnet Regatta this weekend?" (Cygnet is a small town south of Hobart). This morning as we packed to go, I asked for a few details. It turned out my wife didn't have any, but she was sure there was some sort of regatta, boat race, raft rally or possibly billycart derby on down there somewhere, so hey, let's just drive around.

Fortunately, in the course of the morning our Carlton River correspondent pointed out that the Taste was happening at Ranelagh (halfway to Cygnet) today, so we just headed for that and ended up giving all aquatic contests a miss.

The Taste Of The Huon is a scaled down version of the Taste Of Tasmania. The Huon Valley has always been the apple centre of Australia (in fact the whole British Empire, once upon a time). Now there is salmon farms, berries, gourmet hand-reared rare breed pork and ham, cheeses, boerwurst (not sure what that is) and a specialist dog biscuit bakery.

I am just trying to remember what we ate. Money is a bit tight, to the extent that if the plan during the week had been "let's go to Ranelagh and eat gourmet food" I probably would have said no. As such we were a bit unadventurous. We ate this and that, nothing too amazing. We watched a band called Groove Ganesh, a 4 piece rock combo fronted by a sitarist who sang mostly in Hindi. They did a cover of We Will Rock You. Michael ran around like a loon to the Indian beat. We left halfway through a tune that the sitarist introduced by saying "this one's kind of pensive".

We watched a Punch and Judy that was OK. The pulcinellist was pretty lucky he had a very good bunch of toddlers front and centre, shouting out all the right things at the right moments to keep it moving along, as his PA kept dropping out. One after the next a sausage machine turned the characters into sausages. First the baby, then Judy, then a policeman, then the inventor of the sausage machine who popped in to make sure things were going along OK. The kids roared with laughter every time.

Gappy Rees

Marcus lost a front tooth at lunchtime yesterday. He has lost 2 or 3 baby teeth already, but this is the first one to affect his smile. He is super-cute-Brady-Bunch-scamp-urchin gappy. He just needs a stripy t-shirt and a catcher's mitt to audition for All Purpose Perky American Primary School Kid. He has kept all his ejected teeth, in the interests of science, and has also declined to invest this one with the Tooth Fairy.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Go Phil Hughes, go!

This post is about cricket. So, you can just see yourself out if that doesn't float your boat. In fact go here, its one of the top non-cricket blogs you'll find.

Australia is playing a test series in South Africa at the moment. This means it is on the radio through the night, starting off at about 7.30pm. I actually prefer it when Australia is on tour, and I can wash dishes, sort clothes, draw or snooze while the trusty ABC radio crew bring the game to life with words. A test goes for up to five days, seven hours a day. It can be quite dislocating (in a good way) to be mentally in Johannesburg, or Barbados, or Jaipur when everyone else around you is stuck here.

Last night our new opening batsman, little Phil Hughes, made his debut century in only his second test. I tuned in when he was on 87 - about to enter the nervous nineties. Batsmen can get stuck in the nineties for more than an hour, transfixed by the prospect of a test century that means so much. Hughes noodled a couple of singles to reach 89. On the radio the doyen Jimmy Maxwell said "Hughes is looking a bit nervous, he's pottering around in the crease and prodding the pitch". Hughes proved him wrong by hitting the next ball for 4, to go to 93. The next ball he hit over the fence for six, to go to 99. The next ball he hit for another six. No-one goes from 89 to 105 in three balls, in a test match - the confidence of the young man is staggering. He will be playing for Australia for a long time.

I actually felt pretty emotional about it (it was very late at night.) A lot of great champions have retired from the Australian team in a short time, and these young blokes are finding their own way to a large extent. Following on from Marcus North's century on debut in the last test, I really feel good about the future, at least on the cricket field.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Floral Honda Civic

The other day over at Wendy's blog she was reminiscing about cars she has owned. Like Wendy, and my wife, and my dad, I too have owned a Honda Civic. And my mum did too, as I bought mine from her. It used to be orange. One day I was inspired [by some beautiful wrapping paper] to paint it blue with big sunflowers all over. Here are a couple of polaroids of it. I seem to have spent a lot of time driving it places then getting out to take photos of it. The pic on the right shows my dear late cat Giz, with a present I wrapped in the aforementioned paper. He seems to be shunning it.

I eventually got an offer too good to refuse of another, better car. I parked the Civic on the Bluegum Servo corner with a For Sale sign on it, and eventually sold it to a very dodgy interesting guy named Art for $800. He paid me in $25 installments so I had the pleasure of a visit from him (usually at work) every month for what seemed like many years.

I loved driving around in my happy car. People in Hobart got used to it and didn't pay much attention. People in the country would wave madly and kids particularly liked it. In Launceston however it was a magnet for abuse. They didn't enjoy the sixties obviously, and were in no mood to see them drive back into town.

Important List! #01

This is a new segment on our show, and we call it Important List! Today's list is the epsiode titles from the 1955 film serial Captain Africa. It was a sequel to / ripoff of The Phantom to the extent that it used a lot of the same footage. The episodes were;

1. Mystery Man of the Jungle!
2. Captain Africa to the Rescue!
3. Midnight Attack!
4. Into the Crocodile Pit!
5. Jungle War Drums!
6. Slave Traders!
7. Saved by Captain Africa!
8. The Bridge in the Sky!
9. Blasted by Captain Africa!
10. The Vanishing Princess!
11. The Tunnel of Terror!
12. Fangs of the Beast!
13. Renegades at Bay!
14. Captain Africa and the Wolf Dog!
15. Captain Africa's Final Move!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Spinning some vinyl rec'rd albums

It's the eighties (and early nineties) all over again, every evening, at my house. Sally came by for the afternoon on Sunday, and has lent me a little rec'rd player. I have hauled the crate of records out from under the stairs and I am working my way through them.

There is my collection of Australia debut records by Mental as Anything, INXS, Midnight Oil, The Church, and, er, Peter Westheimer.

Who remembers The Gun Club? Adam and the Ants? Bughouse? Echo and the Bunnymen? It all came after punk but before grunge. There is a solid representation of the careers of Devo, Madness and Talking Heads (as previously discussed). But also Curved Air, a violin-led prog rock band. The Style Council! The Young Fresh Fellows! (All I can remember about them is that they are mentioned in a They Might Be Giants Song). Severed Heads! Celibate Rifles! Dead Kennedys! All on shiny black vinyl, with glorious 1 foot square cardboard sleeves!

I was explaining the technology to the boys, and it all sounded so far fetched. "There is this spiral groove, and it goes around and around, its just one groove, and the record spins 100 times for every three minute song, so that's, er, 500 spins for the average side of a pop record, all in the one groove, then you turn it over. If you were really kitted out with gear, you might be able to copy it onto a cassette and play it in the car." They were already glazed over.

Marcus: upgraded from Jellyfish to Seashell

Marcus was moved into a more advanced swimming class yesterday. He was initially assessed as being of Jellyfish standard. This is based on a short in-pool interview, child being asked to do this and that. He has found the classes very basic and was thrilled to be reclassified from invertebrate blob to attractive collectable mollusc.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Keith Loutit - Bathtub IV

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.
Keith made this to promote fundraising for the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter in Sydney. He is such a great craftsman, but this film also has a story arc, which sets it apart from his earlier stuff which seems more observational.