Well here we are—40 today. Firty. Of the generalisations I’ve heard other people say the only one I can really relate to is that I don’t feel much different to when I was 30 or 20. As for ‘life starts at 40’ I don’t get that at all. Maybe that was for people who had kids when they were 20. I’m feeling more and more mortal with each passing year. My metabolism is slowing down and during the last year and a bit have started to develop tinnitus. Just mildly for a while but in the last month or two it gets a fair bit louder in late afternoon/evening. The annoying thing is that I thought was something that happened to people who listened to too much really loud music, or hitting crash symbols, or operating industrial machinery. I’ve been careful my whole ferty years to avoid those things and dang it I still get tinnitus. It makes me want to fug it all and just go join a heavy sludge rock band.
About two of the last four nights I’ve dreamt of bass guitar and it makes me think I should start playing it again instead of faffing around with normal 6 string guitars. I just like buying things.
I still even have a bass. The one I first got when I started getting paid in my first year or korea. It’s pretty good quality but I’ve never liked the look of it plus it’s the jazz-bass configuration and I prefer P-bass. I foolishly didn’t slacken the strings on any of the guitars for the trip back (plus the year they sat unused last year) so the neck on the the bass is a bit bowed. Adjusting the nut doesn’t seem to help. I am considering applying greater pressure to it. The top of the guitar is spalted burl. I’ve had the guitar nearly 10 years and I just looked up what spalted burl is. It’s the knotty bit on a tree trunk. I never liked the look of it and I still don’t but at least I now have a bit more respect for what it is.
My solo driving phase officially began today. After one failed attempt at getting the license 3 weeks ago, I got it last Thursday. We did some sunday-driving to a place where I once resided—Anglesea. Actually that’s where I first started this here blog, or to be completely accurate, blogging in one form or another. There’s no record of it so you’re going to have to take my word for it, but my earliest bloggin’ memory was of bloggin’ the day after the planes flew into the WTC + pentagon. I don’t know if it was even called blogging back then. Sadly those files, and maybe even files for a year or more after that got deleted at some point – but whatever. If they turn off the electricity it’s all going to disappear.
Surely it must have cost a lot of money to do that. Where did they get all that money. They put a big “D” over it but there it is – the ‘doge’ internet meme, racing around the 33° banking of Alabama’s Talladega speedway in front of all those redneck NASCAR fans. They probably wondered what the heck is wrong with the world – what is NASCAR turning into. I have to admit, the older I get, the more baffling these internet memes seem to be.
The Fox Sports commentator even spoke about it. But he pronounced it “Doe-sh” as in doe – a deer a female deer. and the ‘g’ was pronounced super-soft kind of like how the French sometimes pronounce it. The only example I can think of is the French-Canadian racecar driver, Gilles Villeneuve—that G.
I always thought it was pronounced ‘doggy’ with the ‘o’ being more of a long oo sound like in the chess piece, rook. And then the ‘y’ ee sound being more of an ehh.
I note that the Fox TV cameras did their best not to show the Dogecar even when it was at the front of a pack.
I always make a point of watching the Talladega race because it is what is known as a ‘restrictor-plate race’ where—get this—all the cars are limited to the same top speed. I don’t know if I’ve blogged about this already, or just had a conversation in my head where I thought out a whole blog post about it but then not done it. I seem to do that a lot lately.
Anyway, you got to love the contradiction of having a car race, where the intention is that the fastest car wins, and then make it so all the cars go the same speed. It makes it so that the race (this one, Talladega, the track is co-incidentally shaped like a big D) look a lot like heavy traffic on a freeway. The highlight is when there is a pile-up and a whole bunch of cars slide up the wall together and eventually come to a stop at the bottom—much like what happens on a freeway when there’s ice or heavy fog.
For me at least The Black Keys have really nailed the the promotional/retail stuff. They’ve been lightly spamming the twitter feed for a couple of weeks now, giving a little taster of their next album, Turn Blue. The first single, Fever is kind of okay but the second one really sounds really good. They were linking to the iTunes pre-order of the album but fuck that with the iTunes fatcat tax. The album is available on The Black Keys’ own website – and at usd $11 that’s value. They don’t mention (and they should) but it’s mp3 format and thankfully at 320kbps.
Dan Aubergine has great taste in guitars and he needs more, so buy album!
This is the second single:
This article is getting buried quickly but is worth anchoring to because I find it amusing. The secret cabal that runs the world must occasionally send directives to the soviets to send their big planes for a bit of a cruise so the allies can send their planes up to investigate and take selfies to send to the media for the purposes of showing that they’re not wasting all that money on nothing.
But it seems like the sovs were trolling the UK this time because the number plate they painted on there is BBC. As in, here is your propaganda.
Here is an awesome doco narrated by Peter Ustinov about the Tupolev TU-95 Bear.
The backyard is a bit of a blank canvas. Barren you might say. I’m hamstrung by not being able to really mess it up because of rental agreements. All up this is the kind of house, we have decided, that would be good to buy, if we were ever going to do that because there’s lots of things we’d like to change. The backyard faces north which is the best I think. The front of a house if for asphalt, road, cars and paranoidly peeking out of curtains onto but the backyard is for living in—and growing stuff in.
I started hacking up some of the lawn near the backdoor along the lines of the permaculture principle of putting the most used things closest. Plus that part of ground probably will get the most sun during winter but I’m not good at geometry so who knows. Believe the hype, there is an app for that but I can’t understand it because again – the geometry.
In right corner of picture is a minor environmental disaster we only just discovered. From the day of moving in there was this terrible strong petrol smell noticeable as soon as stepping outside the backdoor. I couldn’t locate it. Sometimes I’m thick like that. I thought it might’ve been the gas hot water service, but then that’s gas and smells different. It turned out to be a dead patch of grass I guess I overlooked but I assumed no one would ever be so stupid as to pour a can of petrol onto grass. Maybe it was spilled. Either way it happened between us looking at the place and moving in. I had to dig a whole lot out and bin it because after a month it was still just as strong smelling as ever.
De La Soul just released a (For Free-z) mixtape of stuff done by hip-hop legend J Dilla. Very cool.
I just had a thought – whenever and however I have my funeral and then there’s some music of the dead one’s choosing I’d like to cue up Lose This Skin by The Clash off of Sandinista! It’d have to be uncomfortable loud. It has a guest vocalist who I, up until a minute ago deadset thought was a woman but it’s someone called Tymon Dogg.
Being back here in the West, a first world country, I’m starting to see less reasons for me to continue being carnivorous.
In the last two weeks I
- finished MA dissertation.
- moved house
- bought my first car (at 39 y.o, yo)
I actually got to Officeworks to print the thing out because the examiners needed a paper copy to read. I got two copies because they wanted two. With plastic ring binding. And as I’m paying for it and having a quick flip through to see how it looks I see some comments in the margin of the first page that weren’t deleted and I inwardly groan. It was just that one bit on the acknowledgements page. It’s the first time I’ve used those track changes and comment functions so I didn’t know they’d stay visible after printing.
I dreamt about it a night or two later. There was disparaging comments in red written by some unseen examiner. What ever happens there’s 20 000 more words been added to the universe on Grunge. I don’t know what the legal implications would be of me adding it to the archives here. I’m sure I can but it’s the kind of thing you never see people doing. The enrichment of society and intellectual property seem to be at opposite ends of something.
The house is turning out okay. Always a bit hard getting used to a new place. And there’s always things that I never notice when first house hunting but then find out about once all the boxes go down.
There’s heaps more room but I’m really going to try and not fill it up with junk. Every move I do I see there’s all this stuff I’m carrying around that I never use. All these books I never look at.
I didn’t realise it but the amenities at the last place were pretty modern. Here, they were installed in a time when resources were cheaper and flowed freely. That gas heater has a pilot light which is burning all the time. I don’t know if that’s right. As in, I don’t know if it can be turned off. I will have to find out. There is a meal-hole in the wall between the kitchen and lounge-room because back then there were kitchen people and lounge-room people. Also, not pictured, is the toilet which is in lovely Degobah swamp shaded of green and the cistern is huge. I don’t know how many litres it takes to fill but it seems to take a long time.
The car. The car is boring but sensible. When the time comes, its resale value will be better than if I had chosen an quirky or interesting car. Silver is the new beige, or the new banana yellow. I still don’t have my full license so for a while it will just sit there. I’m sure we’ll start to have fun with it once I can drive it.
Today we might be remembering Devo because their guitarist Dave Casales died but lets take a look at this track.
The thing I like about this is the drummer and how he was basically doing the work of a drum machine – way back in 1978. Apparently he left after this. It reminds me of what post-rock band Battles were doing 20+ years later.
I’m doubtful that anyone else noticed but for over 24hours in the last day or so the sunny breaks was DOWN. I get twitchy when I can’t view this website and see that nothing’s going on on it. And I guess the usual server wizard who sorts these things out is on holiday because I didn’t hear from anyone. In any case, all now is well and crisis: averted.
Less than five days til the dissertation deadline. Still a bunch to do but it’s not too bad. You know, I’m 39 so to the kids, pretty old but I feel like every new weakness or addiction that pops up in newer generations I also get. Like internet addiction, and short attention span. I’ve been wanting to ask my supervisor, who also teaches 18yo freshie BA students, whether they even get those things—I bet they don’t—I bet it’s just me.
When I was a kid I had this chess computer thing. It was like a normal physical chess board but with LEDs on the side. When you moved a piece you’d press down on the spot first then press down on the square you moved to so the computer would know what was going on. Then it’d make it’s move and the lights would come up showing you where it moved to. There was about eight ‘computer brain’ settings that supposedly varied the difficulty of its game. Level one it’d make its move after a couple of seconds and level eight it’d take 10 minutes to decide its move. But the thing was it’d make the same decision no matter what level it was set to.
I feel like that’s what my brain is like—except it’s stuck on the 10 min. setting. It’s takes me 10 minutes to write one dame sentence.
Here is an additional of my biggest sunflower. I should’ve put my fist in front of it for reference. It’s monsterously huge. At this stage I really like vege gardening – there’s a point to it, and I like flower gardening if they can be exciting like this – like from Land of the Giants or they eat bugs or something. Most of the other sunflowers have died out and dried, producing sunflower seeds which are incredibly edible. But this one has a tomato growing in tandem right underneath it so it’s still getting watered, thus it’s still green and the head won’t dry out by the time it’s time to leave. Our one year in this little place is up and we’re moving into slightly larger digs which should be good. It’s just a shame about the few plants I’ll have to basically just rip out and kill because everything must return to normal for the nazi landord and stormtrooper real estate agents.
I’m loving Ye Olde English in this article on penis captivus. The Kids might think they’re being rebellious writing dat instead of that but really they’re just being incredibly old school.