A live toad every morning

Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Made Me the Man I am Today

Some old cookbooks/manuals fell out the back of the shelf....

The Housewife's Magic Wand for cooking
Recipes by Teresa Norris, Home Economist, bamix Australia Pty Ltd
Helpful hints for cooking with bamix
Beating Instant Coffee
One third cup of water, 1 tsp 'Nescafe'.  Beat with beater until stiff. Add 1 tbs sweet sherry, 2 tsp castor sugar, dash 'Ideal' evaporated milk, gently stir and serve; vary to taste (ice if desired).

Jesus god.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Late grandfather

In the trenches
11 A.M. Sunday
27th June 1915
Dear Father & Mother,
My colleague Danny Maher & I have just had an excellent breakfast – bacon, fried onions, tea & bread & jam.  This is Sunday morning, a beautiful sunny day & the view from the top of the hill where we are is very fine, but the whole thing is spoilt by man and his vile works.  At the present moment a war boat is shelling the Turk’s trenches & every explosion over there probably means that a few more soldiers have gone to their Gawd, as our friend Kipling says.  A little after daylight this morning our friends opposite started a vigorous bombardment, and this is a sad day for the 8th Light Horse as a shell killed instantly Major Gregory & our Adjutant Captain Crowle, & Colonel White was wounded.  Major Gregory had just been promoted to be second in command of the Regt.  He was popular with all and it is very hard luck to be killed in the trenches rather than out in the open in a fight.  Three others were killed in the morning & a dozen wounded.  I see Harry Crowther has got a commission.  A lot of Australian newspapers came to hand the other day and were much appreciated.  We are issued with tobacco which is not much good but we have to smoke it or go without.  Young Havis, our former cook at Fulham, came up to see me yesterday.  He was sent away for a week with a slight shrapnel wound in the arm.  I have been quite well since I returned from the hospital a week ago. 
We spend every third day & night out of the trenches , a few hundred yards in the rear, but I always eel too sleepy to look around for Bob Thompson or any other Saleites.  I spend most of my off day trying to get some sleep but the flies are a frightful pest.  I very seldom see Keith altho’ I don’t suppose he is ever more than a few hundred yards away from me.  I met him this morning after the bombardment but neither of us got a scratch.  I wish the Turks would surrender as it would save them and us a lot of unpleasantness; they seem to be putting up a pretty good fight. 

Tuesday 29/6/15  I am finishing this in the firing trench.  I have just been having a look over the parapet with a periscope – to put your head over means a bullet in it straight away – and I see the Turk’s trenches are only about 30 yards from ours so we are within bomb throwing distance; they have not charged our trenches for some weeks. The New Zealanders were in these trenches when the last charge was made by the Turks & the latter got a nasty punch, few of them returning to their own lines. 
General Birdwood was round here the other day.  He is a cheery smart little man with a pleasant nod for everyone.  “Well, lads,” he said, “have you shot any Turks this morning?”  Of course saluting is all done away with on active service.  We would be a motley crowd if we marched down Collins St now.  Most of the officers & men have cut their pants off at the knee and our clothes are all very dirty.  We have all kinds of head gear  - felt hats, caps & helmets – very much the worse for wear.  There is an unpleasantness about the trenches owing to men not being properly buried in the early days of the fighting.  Our Regt has lost a lot of men - sick & wounded – and I hope it won’t be long before we have a chance to get our own back from brother Turk. 
We got good news from Cape Hellas – 10 miles down the coast – today.  Our troops took 1000 yards of country with big losses to the enemy.  An aeroplane flew over us yesterday dropping circulars inviting us to surrender, as they said we were only the tools of England & they promised to treat us well.  I don’t think many Australians will surrender somehow. 
I wish I could walk into Royal Crescent for a hot bath and a comfortable meal.  I wash myself all over with a small sponge and an aluminium cup full of water. 

With love to all
Yr affect. son
AH Borthwick

Why do I bother?

The breakingpoint in suspension of disbelief in Terminator: Genisys can not at any point in the scientific arglebargle but at the end when they blew it all up - an end that was perfectly fine in earlier Terminators but which now is an old person's hangup, inconceivable to the young; they know that no program would be held on a mainframe rather than in the cloud, meaning that it wouldn't miss a beat in launching the nukes.  In the end clip, of course, we see it survive, but still survive in one location.  By the time the next iteration lurches round this'll be looking to the young putzes as if Skynet is carved into stone tablets or illuminated on vellum.

Oh, and this Sarah Connor was a wipeout; no charm, pizazz or, most importantly, drive.  She wasn't driven.  If she's not taken in, how can we be?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Age bin the millionth

Thanks for giving us Amanda Vanstone’s opinions on the union movement.  I always appreciate it when one of the wolves takes the time out of their busy schedules to comment on the character flaws of the sheepdogs, pointing out yet again how much simpler things would be for everybody if the sheep would just accept that the wolves have their best interests at heart without the need for all these interfering ‘protectors’.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Housman light (1)

A tail behind, a trunk in front,
Complete the usual elephant.
The tail in front, the trunk behind,
Is what you very seldom find.

If you for specimens should hunt
With trunks behind and tails in front,
That hunt would occupy you long;
The force of habit is so strong.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I'm surprised

I'd never seen this ee cummings before; from 1931, after all -

E. E. Cummings1894 - 1962


i sing of Olaf glad and big 
whose warmest heart recoiled at war: 
a conscientious object-or 

his wellbelov├ęd colonel (trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand; 
but--though an host of overjoyed 
noncoms (first knocking on the head 
him) do through icy waters roll 
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed 
anent this muddy toiletbowl, 
while kindred intellects evoke 
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf (being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag 
upon what God unto him gave) 
responds,without getting annoyed 
“I will not kiss your fucking flag”

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers 
(a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride) 
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion  
voices and boots were much the worse, 
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease 
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf (upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
“there is some shit I will not eat”

our president, being of which
assertions duly notified  
threw the yellow sonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ (of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see; and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was 
more brave than me: more blond than you.

That line
responds,without getting annoyed 
with stresses different from everywhere else in the poem bothers me extremely, like tripping on an unnoticed step. Which has little relevance to the meat of the poem.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Avengers spoilers

My problem with Thanos coming in at the end of Avengers Ultron to say he's going after the Infinity Gems is that if he had wanted them he would have been better off doing it differently.  When the Chitterthings were invading, that was at the behest of Loki, holding his sceptre.  Thanos was allied with the Chits. That is to say, he could have got to Loki more or less directly - "Let's have a strategy meeting, does Wednesday work for you" - hit him over the head with a twobefour, and taken the gem out of the sceptre directly without a lot of irrelevant invasion.
Oh, and Quicksilver being shot makes no sense; he's faster than that. Yes, I know about the Sony XMen issues, but even so.

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