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Showing posts from October 30, 2011

If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.

I like to call this: James Dean, with tongue .

He worked too hard to read books.

Bleak times. Jetty as seen from Errol Flynn Reserve, Sandy Bay. October 2011. James Wright is one of my favourite poets. Here is one of his poems. Youth , James Wright Strange bird, His song remains secret. He worked too hard to read books. He never heard how Sherwood Anderson Got out of it, and fled to Chicago, furious to free himself From his hatred of factories. My father toiled fifty years At Hazel-Atlas Glass, Caught among girders that smash the kneecaps Of dumb honyaks. Did he shudder with hatred in the cold shadow of grease? Maybe. But my brother and I do know He came home as quiet as the evening. He will be getting dark, soon, And loom through new snow. I know his ghost will drift home To the Ohio River, and sit down, alone, Whittling a root. He will say nothing. The waters flow past, older, younger Than he is, or I am.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Henry and Ezra re-enact the Battle of Rorke's Drift down on a dirt pile in Geilston Bay. We employed an assortment of bumblebees, grasshoppers and beetles in the role of the Zulu attackers. A wallaby played Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande. As ever, it was Victoria Crosses all round when the dust cleared!

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

Under the Tasman Bridge, and not a troll in sight! Under the Tasman Bridge, western shore. October 2011. Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively is in many respects a conventional sad, romantic tale you may find familiar. However, in terms of construction, craft and style; this is a decidedly original book. Lively has constructed a shifting, jagged narrative that is a thing of beauty. Shifting tenses almost every other page, the book also frequently alternates narrative voices and chronology. Although this might sound confusing, it works wonderfully well. Thus, there are many occasions within the book where we get multiple presentations of the same event from different viewpoints. Those passages in the present tense are narrated in the third person, though the central character – the elderly and dying Claudia – is always present. From here though the novel shifts backwards and forwards through time, reconstructing Claudia’s life from both her memory and standpoint, but also those of the

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

Don't go in the water Ezzie... Don't go in the water Ez... Don't go in the water Ezra... Don't get any more wet Ez... Don't get any more wet Ezra... Don't get any more wet Ezzie... We don't have a spare set of undies Ez... We don't have a spare set of undies Ezzie... We don't have a spare set of undies Ezra...

Work for a large company is like getting on a train. Are you going 60 mph or is the train going 60 mph and you're just sitting still?

Windmill at the Spring Festival. Royal Botanical Gardens, Hobart. October 2011. Theme Thursday again, and this week I am in a "railing against" mood. You see, I currently hold the controversial opinion that there are too many gizmos and GADGETs these days. It used to be that the most advanced gadget you'd see at a meeting was the humble retractable pencil. Then overhead projectors got a foothold. As they died out, along came the laptop and with it the dreaded PowerPoint. Alongside this bloated behemoth you will now find your audience (that's how I view meetings, d'you wanna make something of it?) came the mobile phone, the I-Pod, the I-Pad, the touch pad maxi pad taxi pad plus-double-plus-plus. There are the coffee machines on the way in. Fax machines on the way out. The boom gate in the parking bay and the pay-as-you-go before you can go machine. There are the octopus phones and the video-conference gear that never works and the stapler that never works

If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much.

Lego Duplo vehicles as panopticon. A great leap forward in totalitarian omnipresence Henry. Congratulations!

Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.

Purple flower. Royal Botanical Gardens, Hobart. October 2011. Today I am in Launceston. If you have not been to Launceston, you are not missing much you are missing out. Launceston was the site of the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere (appropriate enough), the first Australian city to have underground sewers (well needed) and the first Australian city to be lit by hydro-electricity (light is always welcome). Launceston has an incredibly ugly flag . There is not much more that I can say for Launceston, other than "must try harder".

The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

You know that 'rage virus' in the film 28 Days Later ? The one where people run at you screaming and screeching with hate in their eyes? Sometimes I think Ezra has that. Then it just goes away. Also, note the t-shirt which on this day qualified as 'ironic'...

Adults are obsolete children.

A view towards the Tasman Bridge. Hobart Cycle Path, River Derwent. October 2011. Today we reach the end of the road for the Questions Galore Meme, as we complete Part 3 ... 41. What is a quote that you love? "If you have the choice between humble and cocky, go with cocky. There's always time to be humble later, once you've been proven horrendously, irrevocably wrong." - Kinky Friedman 42. Do you think of pure hate as something humanity created? I'm not convinced that there is such a concept as "pure hate". 43. When was the last time you wanted to scream? On Friday, and it involved an overload of poo jokes. 44. Do you ever at times see the world in black and white? Often, then I slap myself and snap out of it. 45. Have you ever thought that cell phones are too obtrusive? Pretty much most of the time. 46. In your life, where do you thank the rainbow will end? Rainbows are an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of li

A behaimeh hot a langen tsung un ken nisht reden; der mentsh hot a kurtseh un tor nisht reden.

See Ezra, this isn't your ordinary run-of-the-mill puddle. This here is what you call a Rannelagh puddle . A 'Rannelagh puddle'? Yeah, a Rannelagh puddle . What makes a puddle a 'Rannelagh puddle'? ... [Ahem] Plenty of Rannelagh.

What is a child, monsieur, but the image of two beings, the fruit of two sentiments spontaneously blended?

I'm not sure how to pronounce that. Mayfair Plaza car park, Sandy Bay. October 2011. The Internet is a wonderful place filled with the rich and varied treasures of the world holds (and ladies with zebras). The following are some things that I've had a look at in the last few week. I call this: a Compendium of Click-throughs for Monday Morning ... Why women's education in Tanzania is critical for slowing population growth ... Christopher Hitchens on why Muammar Qaddafi should not have been killed ... Feeling manipulated? Anxious about your looks? Tune out the hype and learn to love your body Read about New York's attempt to reinvent an inner-city school . You may have noted that the world's population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Where do you fit in? Henry and Ezra will be fine now I know that Joking and

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.

The guinea pig - Cavia porcellus - is also called the cavy . Despite their name, these animals are not pigs, nor are they from Guinea. Guinea pigs are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. As versatile as an egg, they are excellent fried, broiled, roasted or presented in a casserole or a fricassee. Ezra would very much like his own guinea pig.

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.

Flying foxes have come a long way. Simmons Park, Lindisfarne. October 2011. Today's Sunday Top Five has seen the light and finally embraced a Biblical theme! You may be familiar with many people's favourite section of that rip-roaring book of Leviticus - essentially a book of rules premised on the notion that humans are constantly vulnerable to sin and defilement ; and helpfully lists the kind of ritual and rules that pleases God. For those familiar with the amount of smiting that goes on in the Old Testament, you really don't want to fail to please God. Perhaps the most disgust discussed rule is the hoary old chestnut about man on man action: Leviticus 20:13: And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Cripes! In the spirit of such calm, rational and helpful lawgiving, I decided to choose My Other Five Favourite Laws From Leviticus That The Anti-G