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Showing posts from June 1, 2008

(My) Photo of the day, Or You take a big chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan

Here is the city viewed from Elizabeth Street Pier. One from a few mornings back, I think that this one is a nice view of Hobart. This is the robot speaking now, so I am not so good with the quips. Being a robot, I do tell jokes however. Question: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Two, one to make sure that the camels stay in the bathtub and another to dry the fish. I didn't promise that it would be any good.

(My) Photo of the day, Or Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate

I COULD like to say that I was walking to the bus stop this morning and spotted a running light sabre battle, and that in all of the commotion, this was the best shot that I could get. Or, I COULD like to say that this photograph seeks to examine the sort of neo-patriarchial imagery in which one is presented with an almost Hobbesean choice: either reject textual rationalism or conclude that (T)ruth may be used to entrench sexist perceptions of society, given that consciousness is equal to truth. In a sense, the dialectic of the pre-cultural paradigm of consensus prevalent in modern portraiture is also evident in other forms of the visual arts. Thus, the nude is dead, long live squiggly lines! Or, I COULD say that I was twirling like a little fairy-child up the road taking photos of the cars as they went past with a blissful ignorance usually found in toddlers or first year law students. BUT, the truth is that I was walking up the road, stopped and tried to get a halfway decent shot of

Ads that I like #48

We are rapidly approaching advertisement number fifty, so I am going to have to find a pearler for that! Today though, we are back to one of the many, many ads that feature our feminine friends (kind of like “our feline friends”, except with ladies instead of cats). I like this one very much, but am extremely disappointed that Mornidine, a drug once prescribed for morning sickness, was withdrawn for public consumption in 1969. My wife and I have not spoken at great length about it, but I am reasonably certain that her inability to get up and cook me a full and hearty breakfast each day was Jennifer’s greatest concern that arose from her bout of morning (all day) sickness. More distressingly for everybody concerned was the effect her queasiness contributed to the reaction of Henry, the caveman toddler , who – in the main – becomes livid when his needs are not catered for instantaneously. In the failure to adequately fulfil her matrimonial and motherly duty, Jennifer herself was quite up

(My) Photo of the day, Or When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

No doubt much to the annoyance of those who feel that the weather where they are is letting them down, this photograph was taken on Monday morning down in Salamanca. Although this was officially the second day of winter, the light was more like that you find in autumn. It has been somewhat cold each morning, but it has warmed up most days (16 or 17 degrees Celsius), and not much rain. Team FITZGERALD/MCCRACKEN will be heading up to the North West coast this weekend, to my hometown of Burnie. I shall be leaving the robot in charge of the blog, and he shall be posting regularly. When we return, I hope to have a stack of pictures of both the journey and the loveliest part of the state to share!

This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin (Don't Google it!)

With some reticence I must share with you all a thought. A seemingly innocuous phrase – one that I both use and hear with predictable regularity – has taken a new, possibly sinister, turn of late. “ When the baby comes .” I am not entirely certain what it is about the expression that chills me, but increasingly it resembles an ominous message dripping with menace. “Things will be different... When the baby comes .” “Are you all set for... When the baby comes ?” “How do you think that Henry will react... When the baby comes ?” I am staring to think that this young person who enters our home will present itself like Heathcliff the foundling, think of all the joy that he bought to Wuthering Heights! That said, I always like the support the underdog, and I am the youngest of two in my family, so I could well pick this one as my favourite. I just hope that it is not a dud. Or bald. And I'd like it just a tad more quiet than Henry please. But damn it, you can't yet tick t

(My) Photo of the day, Or ¡Madre de Dios! ¡Es el Pollo Diablo!

I had the camera in hand and went for a bit of a stroll this fine morn before work. The main reason was the incredible light, a touch of mist and a nice, smooth river. In fact, I was so impressed by the scene that I garnered a few shots to showcase the attractiveness of Hobart on a calm winter’s morning. The first is the typical ‘picture postcard’ image on Elizabeth Street Pier. I am about ninety percent certain that this vessel is the striking brigantine Windeward Bound . Much to the delight of Henry, the brigantine was a favourite of Mediterranean pirates, its name deriving from the Italian word "brigantino" which meant ‘brigand's ship’. As an aside, I found the brigantine a wonderfully versatile craft in the tremendous computer game Sid Meier's Pirates! Quick and agile, it was a magnificent ship to use until you were lucky enough to score a ‘brig of war’ or (eventually) the almost unbeatable ‘Ship of the Line’. So, if you are currently a pirate, or you’re looking


Is a casual ease that I have about lying to people who ring the office looking for colleagues (who don’t want to talk) a good or a bad trait?

(My) Photo of the day, Or History is nothing but the actions of men in pursuit of their ends

This is the take away shop on the Lindisfarne/Geilston Bay border that happens to sit opposite my bus stop each weekday morning. They appear to do a brisk trade early on, as there is a constant procession of people in and out for the five or so minutes that I find myself waiting. Now, nothing says great Australian breakfast (in 1980) like a can of coke, a Chiko Roll , two dim sims and three potato cakes! Each morning I witness a surprising number of people come out of this shop carrying this delicious (and healthy) breakfast. Generally, they are men aged 22–55 wearing stubby shorts and driving utes more often than not with a dirty concrete mixer on the back. It is certainly different to the eggs Benedict and poached salmon that I see people tucking into in Salamanca. Those occasions that I have caught the bus a little later, you can see a stream of kids heading to the high school just across the road from here picking up a bag of hit chips on their way to school. Now I love hot chips

Tasmanian DHHS State of Public Health 2008 Report, Or We've come a long way baby

I was playing with some numbers yesterday that came across my desk and fed into the Department of Health and Human Services State of Public Health 2008 report and was surprised by a little quirk that I really hadn’t thought about. Now, we probably are all intrinsically aware of the clear divergence in health status between the most disadvantaged and most advantaged groups in our society. Statistically, lower socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with higher disability levels and higher premature death rates. Low SES – whichever way you choose to measure it: income, educational attainment or occupation – means poorer health, a higher incidence of chronic conditions and higher levels of health care utilisation. Moreover, health inequalities do not just indicate disadvantage, they tend to drive further disadvantage. Now for those who do not know, Tasmania – for a lot of historical, geographical, economic and sociological reasons – trails the rest of the country (bar the Northern Ter

Tonight, on WIN News...

For the benefit of those poor souls unfortunate enough to NOT live in Tasmania (and thus cannot access WIN Nightly News), my kind and sensitive brother has uploaded Henry’s appearance to YouTube for general global mockery. Now, up to this point I have not really explained WHY the little bloke was appearing. Well, the reason for his appearance is due to an incredible effort of my mother’s (as seen in Women’s Day ). So for your enjoyment, here is the clip:

(My) Photo of the day, Or If a man smiles all the time, he's probably selling something that doesn't work

To celebrate Henry’s upcoming appearance on WIN News tonight, and the forthcoming expansion of TEAM MCCRACKEN/FITZGERALD , I have decided to utilise the Photo of the day slot as a feature on the little bloke himself and how he fits into the TEAM . Think of it as a This is Your Life (thus far). So here is the first picture. Here we can see Henry at ten months. I remember this day well, because it was at this point that he really started to get his act together with the crawling. I have a video of the act that can be viewed here . Next up, we have Henry sort some our many excess books with Jen early last summer. Here he showcased his literary worth and selected those texts to go, and those to stay. True to form, he piled up the Hemingway in the MUST KEEP stack, and turfed most of the literary criticism, post-modernist theory and pretentious art wank out the door. Good boy Henry. Here you can see Henry and me on his first birthday. For some reason he was trying to slip away unnoticed, bu

It worked a charm

An e-mail message sent by myself to interested parties on Saturday, 31 May 2008 at 9:15 pm after yet ANOTHER display of inept leg spin: " MACGILL OUT!!!! " On the wires the following morning: MacGill retirement punctuates wet day in Windies Australia Spinner Stuart MacGill to Quit Test Cricket MacGill gone... And how fitting he ends his career on the note that he has chosen to live it: MacGill challenging to the end Hmmm, who should I target next?

(My) Photo of the day, Or Forever poised between a cliché and an indiscretion

It seems that many of Hobart's tallest buildings are multi-story car parks. It also seems that multi-story car parks are by their very design unattractive buildings. Thus, many of Hobart's tallest buildings are ungainly and inelegant to the eye. However, I have found that you can make the most unappealing and aseptic structure look a little more interesting through the creative use of angles. So when Henry and I did a bit of wandering around yesterday morning, we decided to try and capture the 'better side' of an ugly building. For this one building here, this is the best that we could conjure up.