Risky Business

Wagga's not actually so small that there are mothers of both the bride AND the groom!


My ten new followers on Twitter are sadly spambots.

McCaughey Mansion

I like this stained glass window at the McCaughey Mansion outside Yanco. He was the guy who showed that irrigation could work in the area and ended up in the NSW upper house.

The idyllic scene here shows something of the transition of Australia from bushland to sheep paddocks. Just down the staircase from this stained glass is a huge protrait of McCaughey Frederick McCubbin, an artist who painted a number of bushland scenes that show what the country must've looked like before settlement got underway in earnest.


An extra snappy SNAP :)

Dust storm dedication for parts of Sydney, NSW and QLD

Dust Storm by bassling

Here's a tune of mine called Dust Storm that features me jamming along with the aeolian harp.

Pic of a dust storm outside Wagga from a few years ago.


Movie violence

Recently I've rediscovered the joy of watching films. For a while there I found them too long and often too silly.

One of the things they've got me thinking about is the role of violence in movies. There are few films that have no violence in them. Violence works as an important dramatic element, explaining motivations for characters but also I'd guess that it's something audiences must find some enjoyment in watching.

Some of the violence in films is over the top. Slow motion scenes of torture, ridiculously gory splatter movies, sprays of blood like fountains, etc.

It's kind of a horrible thinking that we might enjoy seeing pain inflicted on people, isn't it? Often I think there should be more sex in movies because it's a natural part of life. So what do the representations of violence in movies say about audiences.

My conclusion is that the violence in movies help audiences to make sense of the violence in life. The scenes of violence in films are often stylised or focused upon to explain character motivations in a way that gives the violent acts meaning within the film.

These meaningful representations of violence seem at odds with a lot of the violence in life. Much of the violence that occurs daily is almost meaningless. For every terrorist act that stems from an ideological statement, there are scores of violent acts that stems from some sort of opportunism - or perhaps inopportunism - of being in the wrong place and the wrong time.

Personal violence

On the night of my graduation from university I was assaulted as I walked to the taxi rank in town. Someone walked up and punched me in the jaw for no reason except that I was walking alone. I called the police to report the crime and they said that looking for my attacker would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. The following day I called a friend who worked as a journalist at the local community paper and explained what happened. "That's terrible," he said. "What can I do?"
"You should write a story," said I. "It'd warn people about the danger when walking through the city late at night."
"Jase, it happens every day," he replied.

The meaningless act of being punched in the head had an ongoing impact upon me. I flinched when a drunk stranger walked toward me one night to ask the time. He saw my reaction and gave a sympathetic response. When I moved to the country I'd freeze when being abused from passing cars as I walked the street. (Abusing people while driving along the main street on a Friday or Saturday night is something of a sport in country towns.)

Why The Wiggles are wonderful

Tip for parents of toddlers

A great way to save having to keep putting stuff back into cupboards is to use octupus straps to stop toddlers from getting into those cupboards. It ain't pretty but it works.

Our blue foetus

Oscar's growing skeleton looks like some grim pregnancy on our kitchen benchtop.


When my beloved and I were in hospital for the birth of Eden, we were amused by this device. We're still convinced that babies are too young to puff ;)


I felt like sticking a gold star next to this because it would be good to see the artist explore the idea further. Like In*dick*8her or something witty like that.

Mountford Park playground records the life and loves of Lorrain

Taryn is a dirty swamp rat

I bought a CD, not a licensing agreement

Below is a letter from the Sydney Morning Herald that raises an interesting argument about the gray area that the products of the music industry occupy:

It is sad but predictable to see John Prior trotting out the old fallacy about music that we buy a product encumbered with a licence.

Let us walk through my most recent purchase. I strolled into the store, located the CD I was after, paid for it in cash and left. At no stage was I asked to sign a licensing agreement like those for software. It was a simple transaction of cash for a physical product.

"No," cries the music industry, "you are bound by the licensing agreement that you did not sign and that we cannot produce for inspection."

Fine -- let's suppose I now have a license for personal use applying to all the CDs I own. I should be able to take advantage of that. A CD I bought 10 years ago now has a scratch down the middle so that five of the 10 songs refuse to play. Luckily for me, this problem is solely with the physical medium. After all, my licence for personal use should allow me to reacquire "my" content, especially since it is digital data and can be reproduced an unlimited number of times at virtually no cost.

"No," cries the music industry, "you bought a product, not a licence. You are not entitled to a free replacement, you need to buy it all over again. And when you do, you will be covered by another identical licence. Until something happens to this new physical medium."

David Jack, Leichhardt

The best things in life are illegal

Explains why cops would hang around donut shops!