Friday, December 31, 2010

marsupial, marooned

A wallaby stands on a large round hay bail trapped by rising flood waters outside the town of Dalby in Queensland.
Photo / AP.

To end the year, a short list.

I intensely dislike e-zines that:
  • Have theme issues.

  • Insist on anonymous submissions.

  • Have online submission forms that don't work.

  • Take months to respond.
  • Monday, December 27, 2010

    Over the past few days

    I've been re-watching the Doctor Who specials that have been running on cable TV. They're out of sequence, but, hey, what the hell, they're always enjoyable.

    Their original screenings were mostly around Christmas—seasonal offerings between seasons, as it were, a "tradition" continued with the new special that aired yesterday on free-to-air TV, a take on Dickens' A Christmas Carol with Michael Gambon co-starring in the Scrooge part. Gambon is now probably best known as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, a role he stepped into after Richard Harris died, but I first came across him in The Singing Detective, that marvellous serial written for television by the late, great Dennis Potter, &, a little later on, in the movie The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (I think I got the order right.)

    Yesterday's cable offering was The Waters of Mars, one of, I think, three specials that replaced the standard annual series whilst the actor who played this particular Doctor was off doing Hamlet on stage. It's about a life form frozen in an underground glacier which starts taking over the human inhabitants of an explorative & scientific colony, Bowie Base One—Yes, there is life on Mars, David—& threatens an eventual colonization of Earth. Needless to say, the script is full of heavy water utterings from the Doctor. "Don't drink the water." "Water is patient." "Water will always win in the end."

    There was also another statement, "water finds its own level", that I found particularly relevant a little later on in the day. It's been raining heavily here over the last three days, something like ¼ of a meter, 10" in the old currency. It also rained quite heavily at the beginning of the month, enough locally to raise the level of the lagoon at the bottom of our street & extend its boundaries, &, through the catchment area, more than enough to raise the level of the river to moderate flood levels.

    Based on the last flood here, a couple of years ago, I had assumed that the level of the river was what determined the levels of the lagoon. Then, the river was in higher flood, & the overflow of water made its way across the flood plain & eventually flowed into the lagoon. Earlier this month, after the water from the catchment area had made its way downstream, it spread out over part of the floodplain, but wasn't high enough to reach across to the lagoon. The lagoon, however, had expanded, & there was now water a couple of meters below the rail & road bridges that cross it, but because the river hadn't reached it, I didn't think there'd be any threat of road &/or rail closures.

    Yesterday, however, when we did our usual rubber-necking tour, down to the river, around those parts that are most likely to flood—some water around but less than a couple of weeks ago—then back to the highway & over the bridge before going around the roundabout & back home, I was surprised to see that the water was now only a meter below the bridges, & was flowing out of the lagoon & on towards the river.

    The rain in the catchment area—& as the radar map above shows, it's still falling heavily—is heading downstream once again. The readings at the various measuring spots that are particular indicators of imminent downstream river levels are all rising quite rapidly & the flood height in the city is now classed as moderate & heading higher. The rain here continues, which means the lagoon gets higher & wider & will probably do more than just reach the back fences of the properties in the street that joins up with the bottom of ours. We're on a hill, so it will need to be a flood of mythic proportions to directly affect us, but if it keeps on raining, & the river keeps on rising & encroaches more widely on the flood plain to join up with the lagoon, it's quite possible that the southern approaches to the city will be cut.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010


    1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves, 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram leaves, 1 Tbsp. dried summer savory leaves, 1 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves, 2 tsp. dried orange zest, powdered, 1 powdered or ground bay leaf, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 2 tsp. dried lavender, 1/8 tsp. white pepper. Combine all ingredients in a small tightly closed jar. Store in a dark, cool place.


    Friday, December 24, 2010


    The CIA has launched a taskforce, called the WikiLeaks Task Force, to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. The group will scour the released documents to survey damage caused by the disclosures.

    "Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF," the Washington Post reported.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    The Cormorant's Song

    I try to write down everything as a poem.

    Nothing is inherently "poetic." Everything is.

    I do not carry a notebook around with me.
    I have short-term memory loss.

    There is usually a tablet somewhere nearby.
    My fingers cannot keep up with my mind.
    I lose things in transcription.

    There are holes in the nets I use to capture things.
    My files are full of fragments.
    I use them to build mosaic walls & pathways.
    My poems are about the things that escaped the nets.
    Not having seen them, I cannot remember what they were.

    I make things up.
    Yiminishuqilibi Khan. (d. 645(?) CE)

    included in: Rivalling The Six Dynasties: Poems from the Eastern Turkish Khaganate selected & translated by Umberto Allegrezza; The Uzbekistan Historical Society; Bukhara, 2000.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Coming into

    Rockhampton from the south, about a kilometer past the sculpted bull—one of about twelve erected by the city council, not to mention many more fiberglass ones mounted on commercial premises: this is, after all, the self-proclaimed beef capital of Australia—in the middle of the roundabout that marks the beginnings of the city proper, you pass by a sign declaring that the Tropic of Capricorn has just been crossed.

    It's bullshit. The ToC has already been crossed, about five kilometers south of where the traveller is now. There used to be this sign there in the 1970s

    but it was on what is now—though it may once have been part of the highway—a secondary road that is no longer used by tourists. So, the council in its wisdom & with more than a eye on the tourist dollar, decided to move the ToC into the city & turn it into an information & souvenir shop, with a pleasing backdrop for a photo op.

    The original sign has lost its identification. When we came across it not too long after we arrived here, we thought it was a decrepit busstop, & wondered why there'd be a bus route along this barely used road.

    Commerce 1, Cartography 0.

    The council has been at it again, with economics dictating a change in the way floods are described.

    As the 2008 plot below shows, if the river reached a height of five meters, the flood was classified as minor. Six meters was moderate, seven meters major. This flood was above seven meters so was described as major—which kept the tourists away.

    Fuck that, said the council. After all, there were only about 200 homes & businesses that were affected by water, & not that many roads that needed to be closed, & the fact that all the riverbank carparks were under water was something that really affected just the residents. The only thing major about it for the council was the fact that the tourist businesses lost money through this gross act of misrepresentation.

    So, let's lobby to change the criteria. Keep the tourists coming.

    The plot below is of the current river rise. But note that now, when the river reaches a height of seven meters, it is only a minor flood. Moderate kicks in when a height of 7.5 meters is reached, & the flood now has to be 8.5 meters high before it is described as a major flood, & scares the tourists off.

    Commerce 1, Hydrography or Hydrology or Meteorology or whatever it is, 0.

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    This is how you know

    that this country's fucked.

    The third most popular search term on Google for Australians in 2010 was google.....



    Kangaroos being rescued from floodwaters by a wildlife conservationist at Lake Burrendong near Wellington, NSW.
    Picture: AAP
    Source: The Australian

    Trotsky, encore

    In the latest manifestation of her fabulous book review blog Galatea Resurrects, Eileen Tabios opens her "engagement" with my At Trotsky's Funeral thus:
    I won’t even pretend to be objective in engaging with this book. Not after being called the “Rose” that is the goal of “Journey to the Centre of the World.” No doubt, such self-aggrandizement is also a misreading, or subjective reading, on my part. After all, when one thinks of the phrase “pot at the end of the rainbow”, one might not only think of gold but the receptacle for someone’s piss. A memory (vs. sincere feeling) of modesty moves me to edit this review to delete my thousand-page discourse on “Journey to the Centre of the World” and its “attractive female” known as “Eileen R. Tabios” (that would be the too-short poem on Page 39; when you check it out, it may be relevant to know that my middle name is “Rose”).
    Since her well-known modesty prevents her from doing so, I have taken it upon myself to reprint below the entire piece she refers to.

    Journey to the Center of the Earth
    Except for those weeks immediately preceding &, if the national entry manages a place amongst the top three, immediately following the Eurovision Song Competition, Icelandic radio plays nothing but Björk. Turn it off & there are the sounds of volcanoes & hot pools which, if you’ve heard them more than once you’ve heard them to the point of boredom. Still Björk.

    Little wonder then that, on a day when the melting polar cap drove banks of fog southward & made moving hazardous, Einar Beestiol, self-proclaimed but much-rejected poet, whose style derived from Voluspo, the great Icelandic creation poem, & whose titles — I Take Thee, Jules Verne, for My Beloved, since, by setting the portal of your Journey to the Center of the Earth in Iceland, you showed me there was a way out — were so long that readers gave up on them before they had even come to the body of the poem, decided on a change that he hoped might make his name heard across the world.

    Three steps to it. Compile a program that through random selection but stochastic process combines & rearranges as poems parts of Voluspo & The Diaries of Golda Meir, a book he’d found discarded outside a goodwill store. His name as anagram as author. A persona to go. Thus Eileen R. Tabios. Thus attractive female, memberless but member of a minority, MBA & former East Coast corporate banker, now growing grapes in West Coast California.

    The R., he decided, could stand for Rose. Even Icelanders have heard of Gertrude Stein.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010


    I admit it, I'm a sucker for bird stories.

    Wildlife carers in far north Queensland say they have uncovered what is believed to be a world first — a pair of albino blue-winged kookaburras.

    The baby kookaburras, believed to be sisters, were handed into a wildlife park at Ravenshoe, south-west of Cairns. They had been found on the ground after a storm.

    There are some white laughing kookaburras at zoos in Australia, but they are not strictly albino, having black eyes. There has never been a reported blue-winged albino before. Most albino birds rarely live long in the wild because they have no camouflage.

    Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital carer Leslie Brown says the pair require special care. "Because they can't see properly, because of the lack of pigment, they have problems finding food," she said. "Because they are so young they still haven't been taught by their parents how to hunt.

    The birds are being fed small mice, cicadas and moths, are now in good health and will be raised at the sanctuary.
    Story source: ABC News
    Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    It's barely

    a third of the way through the reading period for issue 20 of Otoliths, & already I've got sufficient material to bring out a fairly substantial issue.

    I've been thinking of going to a bi-monthly schedule, but then realize that, hey, I've already got enough deadlines to keep me busy without adding more.

    Sunday, December 05, 2010

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    meteorologies: the BOMsite

    & two hours later, it's passed

    an email from Jeffrey Side

    The new ebook from Argotist Ebooks is ‘Some Geographies’ by Mark Young


    "These pieces by Mark Young have a disturbing and comic speed, and seem, as a group, to get at some essential weirdness of the 'global' info-capitalist culture we're all trying to survive and live in." Sam Lohmann (editor of ‘Peaches & Bats’)

    Available as a free ebook here:

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    The bridge is built

    And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.

    Walt Whitman: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
    The digital bridge spanning the two New Zealand electronic poetry center's Home & Away—aka All Together Now—symposia, one in Auckland & one in Sydney, is now up at

    There's video, audio, commentary, photographs, the text of talks, & a goodly selection of poetry included. It's well worth an extended visit. I have to admit that I enjoyed being a part of it, on both sides of the Tasman.

    & it may be a virtual bridge, but chalk me up for something like 10000 kilometers of real travel.

    geographies: Hyderabad

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Pssst. / Wanna buy / an aircraft carrier?

    Just the one owner, a little old lady who only took it out on Sundays.

    If you're interested, here's where to go.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Today the
    postman brought
    me a concrete
    poem. Just two

    quatrains: but
    still needed
    both of us to
    carry it inside.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    I have

    been known to call the city where I live the redneck capital of Australia, have described it, at various times, as being racist, patriarchal, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic, chauvinistic, out of step with the contemporary world. & that's just what I've said publicly.

    I didn't ever think I'd be provided with proof to back up my assertions. But, all things come—or, at least, some of them do—to those who wait.

    There's a fair amount of discussion currently going on in politics about same-sex marriage. The Federal Labor Government has, along with the conservative Coalition, opposed it; &, so, in the past, because this has been, primarily, a two-party national electorate, it was never going to get an airing. But the dynamics of the new parliament, with its independents & a Green, have meant that a lot of possible legislation is now coming forward. Labor still opposes same-sex marriage officially, but it's a plank of the Greens' policy, & there's a lot of, now open, support coming from members of the Federal Labor Party, so it's something that is likely to be voted on in Parliament in the current term.

    There have been a number of opinion polls carried out, one of which measured support for the statement "I believe homosexuality is immoral." The pro-respondents to that survey statement have now been plotted against the federal electoral divisions, &, surprise, no surprise, " . . . the highest proportion (44.7 per cent) was recorded in the Queensland coastal seat of Capricornia."

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Have watched

    a couple of quite good British short season crime series recently. Both from the BBC, but very different. One was Sherlock, a contemporary rendering of the Conan Doyle character, in a style reminiscent of Dr Who—which is not surprising given that most of the writers & directors are Time Lord alumni—& with Dr Watson portrayed as being a much more serious & substantial character than the bumbling representations we have previously seen, & injured in a much more contemporary Afghan war.

    The other series was Luther, with the lead character, a DCI in a Serious Crime Unit, played by Idris Elba whom I hadn't realized was an English actor, having only seen him previously as Stringer Bell in The Wire. It's a bit cliché- & angst-ridden, & more than a bit over the top at times, but Elba is a strong enough actor to hold it all together.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Thanks, Bill


    Minddrift: a list
    of edible

    sorghum, rye, barley, wheat, oats, rape, maize, millet, rice, triticale

    goes outside
    for a cigarette.

    A dragonfly is dying on the path. Segmented tail, longer than the glossy green-backed body. Faint hum of fluttering wings. Frantic upward spin. Then imitates a falling helicopter. Classic Hollywood. Upward again. Down. Spin. Silent. Hum. Up. Down. Rotor wings. Silence.

    Fighter jet above.
    Orange grevillea


    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Dulce et decorum est

    to be the daughters of Sarah Palin, & uphold their mother's beliefs.
    During the premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" Sunday night — a boy named Tre who went to school with the Palin kids wrote a status update that read, "Sarah Palin's Alaska, is failing so hard right now."

    The comment sparked an intense response from Willow — who replied on the boy's wall, "Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I've seen pictures of, your disgusting ... My sister had a kid and is still hot."

    Willow followed up that comment with another that read, "Tre stfu. Your such a faggot." Bristol Palin also got in on the smacktalk — writing a message to Tre saying, "You're running your mouth just to talk shit."
    Wasn't their mother the one who wrestled a grizzly, bare? & likely to be the next Republican Presidential candidate?

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Out from Otoliths — Sard, by Philip Byron Oakes

    Philip Byron Oakes
    68 pages
    Cover image by Sheila E. Murphy
    Otoliths, 2010
    ISBN: 978-0-9807651-6-8
    $12.50 + p&h
    Reading poems, such as “Whoever Answers the Door”, in Philip Byron Oakes’ second book Sard, reminds one of a grandiloquent room—very modern and posh with amenities, and at the ready to receive the exhilarated mob attempting to enter all at once, in a crush of three or four abreast, through a door constructed for one and one only to enter in style. Luckily we have Philip Byron Oakes to defuse the chaos, magically narrow the door, creating tension, putting things in order, resetting the ratio of things to their meaning once again. The thrill of exhilarated facts, “the whirlwind scuttling/a moment of stillness”, of cultural information streaming off of each page at the speed of sound, places the reader at the crux of a savant’s poetic genesis, displacing the literal with the dancing heads of the figurative and in a big way. Often joking while performing his circus of fire eating acts, he gets around to lavish spectacles “Sooner or loiter.” Details mount and accrue, as what is real—objective—is less satisfying to observe than the ritualized, impeccably imbedded electrical buzz and charge of these manic fragmented tableaux holding place as they surge. Oakes writes as he guns the motor. There is a sense of vertigo that appeals to one’s right brain and left brain simultaneously. The language swirls—a whirlpool of stochastic images encountered without fault. The poems are, I feel, impressively unimpeachable—shards of focus as imagined works of art. What we are witness to is the random miracle seemingly made plain—a vase of flowers torn from a table by a cyclone in Kansas (the house ripped to kindling) and placed down serenely in Sarasota or Reno without so much as a petal harmed. Such is the force of the poems in Sard. Sard is a chaotically ruled, brilliantly conceived, devastating regime of organic and supra-organic devices that are as delightful to think about and ponder, once having read them, as they are to read. —Raymond Farr, editor of Blue & Yellow Dog

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Dickback Mountain?

    A man accused of tattooing a 40cm penis on another man's back has appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

    Matthew Francis Brady of Bundamba had one of his assault charges upgraded to grievous bodily harm as a result of an incident on October 18 at Ebbw Vale in Queensland.

    The alleged victim, Chester Ives, 25, had agreed to have some Yin and Yang symbols and dragons tattooed on his back but was shocked to discover a 40cm penis and testicles with an obscene slogan.

    The pair had argued beforehand, and Brady, unqualified as a tattooist, suggested the tattoo as a peace offering using an at-home tattoo kit.

    Ives is now facing nine months of treatment to have it removed.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    If you kick

    the "l" out of Australia, you more or less get Austria. Skip the funnies, skip the mention of shibboleths. Ignore kangaroos &/or Arnold Schwarzenegger at your peril.

    Different geographical derivations & directions—Austria = Österreich = eastern realm; Australia = terra australis = southern land.

    But. Have a G20 summit in Seoul, have large dolls of each country's leader commissioned for display as part of the hype. &. Have Australia, which is a member, confused with Austria, which isn't. Dress them in something like supposed national costume. Have Prime Minister Gillard of Australia in a dirndl dress. Baroness von Trapp. Of Canberra.

    (Not the only fuckup. Elsewhere a globe of the world, with the flags of the G20 countries stuck into it to show where the countries are. All correct, except for India, which, apparently, is a nation in Central Africa.)

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    What's a blog for, if not for self-promotion?

    At Trotsky’s Funeral
    Mark Young

    Kilmog Press
    Dunedin, N.Z.
    Edition of 50, hardback, 44 pages
    ISBN: 978-0-9864616-8-2
    RRP: $45.00

    At Trotsky's Funeral is a companion volume to the author's speculative novella, the allegrezza ficcione, which has already been described as "a 21st century classic."

    It gathers together nearly all of the poems & short prose pieces that Mark Young calls, collectively, ficciones, a term coined by Jorge Luis Borges. They're not about alternative universes, rather histories of the current one tweaked a little—Genghis Khan as a member of the Barnum & Bailey circus, the movies that accompanied Mao's Long March, the origins of the bullfighting move known as the veronica & the popular song Bye Bye Blackbird.

    Martin Edmond, in his Landfall review of Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008, wrote: "These ficciones both parody and explode causality as it is usually understood and thereby make available to us, not just an alternate past to our provisional present but a future literally beyond our understanding: as a real future must be."

    About the author;

    Mark Young's poetry first appeared in the N. Z. Listener in 1959. Since then, his text & visual poems, prose, essays & reviews have been published & anthologized in many countries, in both print & online journals, & have been translated into a number of languages. He is the author of more than twenty books, published primarily in the U.S.A., but also in Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden & the U.K.

    Available at Parsons Bookshop in Auckland & Dunedin Public Art Gallery Shop.

    Yes, I know it's expensive, but, hey, it's both a hardback & a limited edition. If anyone outside Middle Earth, aka New Zealand, wants to obtain a copy, just email me—my address can be found in the profile in the sidebar—& I'll tell you how to go about getting one.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    In 1920, W.C.W. to the Editor of Poetry

       Dear Miss Monroe:  Provided you will allow me to use small letters at the beginnings of my lines, I submit the following excellent American poem to you for publication in your paying magazine:

              SPIRIT OF '76

                Her father
                built a bridge
                the Chicago River
                but she
                built a bridge
                over the moon.

       This, as you will at once recognize, is an excellent poem and very American. I sincerely hope that no prehistoric prosodic rules will bar it from publication. Yours,

    Tuesday, November 09, 2010

    Nose to the grindstone: an update

    I have finally got the interiors for the print editions of Otoliths #s 17 & 18 together. & it's no wonder that I'm somewhat exhausted, now I no longer have, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, the energy of youth. Issue #17 comes in at just under 400 pages, issue #18 at 340. But there's some amazing stuff there that acts as a positive counterbalance to the task.

    Now I'm debating with myself whether to get stuck into the print edition of issue #19. Will probably go ahead with it now I'm in the groove. Catch up on at least one stream of the publishing life. Then on to the others.

    (Photo from the Collection of the Illinois State Museum.)

    Sunday, November 07, 2010

    Was red.

    Now orange. The color changed through chemical impurities. & is pure.
    Move in then, reset the paradoxes. They seem to have stopped working.
    Su Shi, a famous Song Dynasty poet, said, "It is a return to the time before time, & historical timelines with inaccurate calendars can have significant impact by adding unreasonably to your costs."

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Taking Tea with Rupert hay(na)ku

    The fact that
    Sarah Palin

    talk to
    reporters from Fox

    News probably tells
    you all

    to know
    about both parties.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Okay, so once again,

    which one did you say was the frakking Cylon?

    Now that

    issue #19 of Otoliths is live, it means that I'm three print editions behind.

    So, noses to the grindstone, children. No supper until you've done your homework.

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Issue 19 of Otoliths is now live

    The internal & external links are now in place for issue 19, the southern spring 2010 issue of Otoliths. It's a lengthy task, & I'm a bit worn out, so I won't write any witty lines to introduce it as I usually do, just say that looking through it as I put it "physically" together reinforced my opinion that it's another great issue.

    There's work by sean burn, dan raphael, Jim Meirose, Joel Chace, Adam Fieled, Paul Siegell, Iain Britton, Jesse Eckerlin, Howie Good, John M. Bennett & Serge Segay, John M. Bennett, Philip Byron Oakes, Scott MacLeod, Ed Baker, Robert Lee Brewer, Caleb Puckett, SJ Fowler, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Changming Yuan, Travis Macdonald, Joe Balaz, Raymond Farr, Andrew Durbin, Carlos Henrickson, RC Miller, Allen Edwin Butt, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Jeff Harrison, Debrah Morkun, Satu Kaikkonen, Satu Kaikkonen & Márton Koppány, Márton Koppány, Felino Soriano, Steven Fraccaro, Toby Fitch, Sean Ulman, Corey Wakeling, Sheila E. Murphy & Jeff Crouch, Sheila E. Murphy, david tomaloff, Charles Freeland, Travis Cebula, David-Baptiste Chirot, Craig Rebele, J. D. Nelson, Louie Crew, Caitlyn Paley, Catherine Vidler, Matthew Ritger, Scott Metz, Michael Gottlieb, Mark Young reviews Michael Gottlieb's Memoir And Essay, Bernie Earley reviews Burt Kimmelman's As If Free,Michael Leong, Nicole Mauro, Anny Ballardini, Jill Jones, Katrinka Moore, Marcia Arrieta, Paul Pfleuger, Jr., Jared Schickling, Kit Kennedy, Steve Gilmartin, Michael Brandonisio, Bob Heman, Louise Landes Levi, and Nico Vassilakis.

    There should be something there for everyone, hopefully more than a few somethings. As for me, it's just after midnight on the Tropic of Capricorn, so I'm off to bed.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    birthday sonnet

    I'm still
    a prime
    said he,
    lessly, &
    I'm the

    of two
    ers, 3
    & 23.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    The numbers

    of crows in the neighborhood have increased significantly of late. Some sort of territorial takeover. A blitzkreig. Or ethnic cleansing perhaps, for there no longer seem to be any other large black, or black & white, birds around. No currawongs or magpies or butcher birds. Just the crows. Corvus orru, the Torresian Crow. Arrogant. Ugly. Presumptuous rulers. But unsteady on their feet.

    Photo from Wildlife Qld

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    More than a Quarter-Pounder

    I tend to drive over things like palmfronds & fast-food rubbish on the road. L. is more careful & avoids such things. From today, I'm going to follow her example.

    A news report out of Melbourne:
    Two drivers had a lucky escape this morning when their vehicles collided with large rocks hidden in McDonald's take-away bags on a freeway in Melbourne's south-east.

    Police have condemned the dangerous prank, which resulted in one of the vehicles becoming airborne and caused extensive damage to both cars.

    Sergeant Sam Raso said the five large rocks were about 35 centimetres in diameter and weighed four to five kilograms, making them the size of cinder blocks used to build houses.

    They were concealed in individual McDonald's bags and placed on the south-bound lanes of the Eastlink Freeway, between Rutherford Road and Thompson Road, at Frankston.

    About 1.20am a vehicle travelling at about 100km/h struck one of the rocks, causing damage to the passenger-side.

    About two minutes later another car hit the second rock, causing the vehicle to become airborne before crashing to the ground.

    "Each rock was in its own individual McDonald’s wrap, and were purposely positioned on Eastlink," Sergeant Raso said.
    The Age 10/27/10

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    If I recall

    my reading right, the last "Western" power to subdue Afghanistan was the Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great, something like two & a half millenia ago.....

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Talk about

    having the whole world in his hands, this man, when playing, looked as if he had the whole world in just one of his cheeks.

    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, b. 10/21/17 – d. 1/6/93.
    "Among the candidates who have failed to become President of the United States was John Birks Gillespie. In 1964, Gillespie ran on a platform of abolishing income tax and appointing Miles Davis director of the CIA. Instead, Lyndon Johnson was elected."Martin Gayford
    Salt Peanuts!