As I've been playing ukulele, I've found myself writing a few songs.

Thought I'd better record this one while I remembered the melody. The lyrics were written a couple of weeks ago in response to a haiku shared by Naviar Records.

They go:

That memory is hollow, drowned with sorrow
it will never be the same again

My hope is clear that a breath of fresh air
might make it bouyant and appear again

At the end of the day reinvention is an option
and it's good to remember you can always walk away

Then new life will spring from the heart of the thing
it may grow legs and run or take root and remain

From this day forth it sets a new course
and I can't expect to find comfort in change

For there's freedom in destruction
life a phoenix will rise from the flame

Arrogant cheese

When I bought this cheese it was half price and I was intrigued whether it would live up to the title of "world's best blue cheese".

I like many cheeses and, despite blue varieties being divisive, I like blue almost as much as varieties made from sheep or goat milk.

Jindi's "deluxe" blue cheese was nice but seemed a bit half-arsed. It tastes like a camembert trying to be complex. It's creamy and a bit salty but lacking in the variety of flavours, from washing powder to outrageous nasal infection, that usually overwhelm when eating a powerful blue.

The title "world's best" struck me as being incredibly arrogant but, now that I'm looking closely at the label in the photo, I can see it quotes an award.

I'm a bit skeptical of marketing that quotes awards as most seem to be a kind of circle jerk for businesses who pay to enter a competition that probably aims to raise the profile of an industry. Just look at the Academy Awards, which were started as a way for the movie industry to overcome a perception that it lacked the prestige of theatre.

Anyway, now that I look at the award I'm left wondering how long businesses should be able to quote awards in their marketing. This one has probably been used for over five years now.

I'm also left wondering if cheese judges in Wisconsin are the best people to evaluate a "French style" cheese from Australia. Sure it tasted good with potato and pickled chili but that's not much of a recommendation as almost anything creamy tastes good with potato and chili hides a multitude of culinary sins.

On it's own and on a water cracker it didn't hold up.

Vegetarian pizza-style

Jo toasts cheese rolls with ricotta cheese, passata, tomato, mushrooms...

Never glad rape

Pretty sure she means Glad Wrap.

Probably needs a trigger warning for spelling pedants like me.


Sorry but I couldn't resist one more Bingo! because Facebook still thinks I want to befriend random women.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud has been mentioned a few times on this blog and I'm a fan of his scholarly discussion of comics and visual communication techniques.

The Sculptor is a graphic novel by McCloud that was published last year but it's taken me a while to get to it. It's a great story and I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just mention a couple of impressions.

It's beaut to read a story by McCloud after reading his non-fiction graphic novels and seeing how he utilises many of the ideas discussed in them.

As the narrative comes to a head (sorry but I couldn't resist the pun), there's this image of a man falling. It immediately brought to mind the falling man photo from 11 September 2001 by Richard Drew.

This powerful image appeared on the front pages of newspapers the following day and was controversial for being impactful. I've seen artworks that reference it, including Untitled #8, 2004 by Josh Azzarella -- which was the subject of a Disquiet Junto activity where I created the soundtrack in the video below.

I would be surprised if McCloud weren't referencing it in The Sculptor but, who knows, maybe it was a subconscious decision. The result is powerful though, as I found myself crying though the story of the graphic novel makes no reference to the watershed attack on the Twin Towers in New York.

Another possible reference is the similarity between the character of Uncle Henry and comic book writer Stan Lee. Again, maybe it's a subconscious choice by McCloud or just fanciful on my part.

In the text at the end of the graphic novel, McCloud draws comparisons between himself and the hero of the story, David. He details the significance of the name of the love interest, Meg, but I like to think that McCloud chose a notable figure like Stan Lee to be a mentor-like figure for David as a reference to the influence that Lee has had on comics or possibly McCloud himself.

And, while writing this, I've just googled to see if this was mentioned elsewhere and found I'm not the only one to see Lee:
It’s no coincidence that Great Uncle Harry bears a striking resemblance to former Marvel Comics impresario Stan Lee. Or that Death-as-Harry(-as-Stan-Lee) shows up to seal the deal with the young artist just after he plunges his hands into a block of granite, realizing for the first time his scope and potential.

P.S. Asked Scott on Twitter and he didn't think the 'falling man' reference was intentional.

Related articles

Even as someone who's written about Stephanie Scott and the problems with automated online content, it was still weird to see this collection of news stories on Facebook today.

No One Knows

'No One Knows' is starting to look like another modern classic.

I like how Dean Fertita seems to be contributing the vocal harmonies using guitar in this live version. Hadn't really considered how musicians need to interpret parts from recorded songs before speaking with Gustav Ejstes recently.

Tripping around Griffith

Found this gorgeous example of tourism marketing from yesteryear at work this week.

It was brought to my attention that it's a Humber in the picture, which is a car I associate with the Queen's 1954 visit to the Riverina -- although I think she only got as far as Wagga.

Wonder if the representation of a woman waving her hankie out of the car is meant to suggest it's the Queen? It's curious there's no driver, unless she got right-hand drive.

Anyway, the car reminds me of my Uncle Andy's Humber that had been part of Queen Elizabeth II's entourage.


Send in the clowns... to the police!

Recycled picture of my youngest as Pennywise from It for illustration purposes only.

We had a guest last night, who commented on my onesie. I've been wearing it most days for the last few months because it's warm and feels nice. I made a comment about the looks I get when I forget I'm wearing it and go out in public.

Then I went for a walk around the block and overheard two women talking. The first was saying something about Muslims and a clown epidemic.

As I walked into view I heard the other say "speak of the devil" and then the first say "nah, that's a skeleton outfit but same difference."

Anyway, I didn't understand the context in which I was being compared to Muslims and clowns until I saw this story, which is one of a slew from cities around Australia about a trend for terrifying clown sightings.

Think I better switch to my Hello Kitty onesie. Then again, someone maybe might decide to follow Donald Trump's recently unearthed boast about grabbing felines.

More toasted sandwiches

My youngest suggested we try toasting a peanut butter and jam sandwich, the popular combination known as a 'PBJ' in some parts of the world.

His sister joined us in tasting the result and I think she steals the show a bit. I also think this combination was recommended based on this song about peanut butter and jelly.

So I made a song that loops him singing the line. It's kinda mesmerising watching this video of him looped.

Filmed this sandwich last weekend, which might explain why I've no hair in other recent videos.

Currently I've three more sandwich videos waiting to be edited. It's pleasing to see there's an audience for this sort of thing. Not sure if I want to make a job of it by seeking sponsorship.

The Hairdresser's Husband

Was just remembering this film and how much the story has stayed with me over the decades since I saw it. This edit outlines much of the story without many of the beaut details which enrich the characters.

Home Sweet Home

My friend Kimba has been asking about teenage years, specifically journals and songs. 

She's developed musical projects with this material and my recent enthusiasm for the ukulele coincided with her request.

This abridged version of 'Home Sweet Home' by Motley Crue isn't a song I thought changed my life until I pondered it today. It's a lesser known track of theirs as it came before the popularity of the album "Girls Girls Girls".

My sister Melanie introduced Motley Crue into our disjointed household in the mid 1980s. The album "Theatre of Pain" had the track 'Smoking in the Boys Room' and I remember thinking they were a cartoonish band back then, probably because of the film clip for that song.

It wasn't until I saw the film clip for 'Home' on the "uncensored" VHS tape that Mel bought that I appreciated the message about being in a band on the "long and winding road". Then the stadium rock of the drums made more sense in the ballad but I didn't get that line is a Beatles reference until reading the book The Dirt -- which explains their cover of 'Helter Skelter' on an earlier album now I think about it.

In that book Nikki Sixx reflects on the messages in the song and it's clear they reflect his upbringing. I guess that's how I now reflect on the song in changing my own life, because there were plenty of times when these lyrics came to me.

In the studio

Here I am in my happy place.

Birthday Suit

In recent years my birthday has been part of going to Burning Seed. 

It's been great when it's part of a big party, even the year when my birthday was preoccupied with setting up tents.

This year Seed was cancelled due to record rains in the Matong district.

On my birthday I found myself feeling disappointed and preoccupied myself with recording a chord progression that had caught my ear.

You can see I recorded a variety of parts while wearing the onesie I'd bought for Seed.