Saturday, February 22, 2003

It rained.
Yesterday walking the dogs up to the oval there was a buzz about, in the light drizzle, in the tolerance for wet shoes and slow traffic. In the joy.
Today Boynton heard a senior forecaster warn radio listeners of the perils of over exercising in the humidity. It’s unusual, almost tropical. Tempers fray in Safeway, toddlers testing the patience of adjacent trolleys, their underground carpark becomes a whispering gallery for indiscreet kids , voices amplify in the suburbs, domestics are broadcast across the street, houses and gardens are high, a girl pulls her small black lab puppy slowly across the pavement, a man sweats through his tee shirt on a short round trip up the road for milk.
In the servo Boynton could not add up and apologized poorly to the cashier.
“It’s the humidity’
“Don’t worry it took me a while to work it out”
“People are getting agro out there” with a nod to the vast hazy bellicose basin of greater Melbourne .
“Yeah. I’ve noticed” he said, watching the TV.
More musing on what it was about that cover that caught her...The colours, the mythology, the horse, the aerial dream?
A couple of interviews with the illustrator, Pauline Baynes.
A collection of her covers
The social history of children’s book illustration
The human yearning to fly in mythology
Some great aviation quotes “The magic and wonder of flight”

boynton had a "blog dream" last night. Except the blog was actually an "installation". On the verandah there were six piles of 3 books apparently in categories. One was called "grief". Perhaps that is link-blogging. Assembling a few eclectic sources and letting them sit.

Friday, February 21, 2003

A writerly friend emailed this link with the disclaimer: “check out these pictures"
This is Jim’s excellent definition of fractals: "They are mathematical constructions …(objects with frational dimension possessing two key properites: self-similarity - same form on any scale - and infinite complexity - same density of detail on any scale)"
Q: But is it art?
A temporary 404 message got Boynton searching for another fractal page, and she found this “retro” gallery . (A: Anything retro is art enough for Boynton)

To return the compliment, Boynton had just been browsing a wonderful vinyl record cover collection via J-walk blog. Here is one for Jim and the mathematicians.
Though this is more your (boyntonesque) cup of char cha-cha.
And it was interesting to read on the about page that good old Sergio gets the most views.
Record covers were another one of those things Boynton used to collect. Unless she goes for the storage solution adopted by some ephemera fiends, she just has to draw the line somewhere, alas. (She did buy four more bulky space killers today at the op shop however – and not a canine tome among them!)

Thursday, February 20, 2003

A heap of junk for code links to some great green reading at In a Dark Time. Boynton especially liked “the tonic of wilderness”.
And for more of the tonic see Fragments Stars, Invisible by Day.
Don't we all need some of this elixir at the moment.

Urban Alice's - uber alles - put Boynton in mind of Charles Blackman. But perhaps the sense was less Alice's foot than Blue dream

Boynton just went Into The Wardrobe - a web site devoted to C.S Lewis. (via Plep). Naturally she headed straight to the pictures, (Multimedia/Picture Album). And remembered The Magician’s Nephew.
This is the cover from the edition my brother was reading one summer. Boynton used to gaze into it. There was something transcendent in the iconography or the classic green (euro) paradise palette. That alchemy of illustration -as if it’s coded for children who can see things under the surface. For Boynton it conjures the associative cluster of Christmas holidays at the beach, a house full of family, eating chocolate on chenille bedspreads while deeply reading light adventure stories, talking to my brother who was resting up after engineering dams on the sand in the morning, the cupboard full of games, the day full of possibilities.

Claire Thompson, author David Foster Wallace's girlfriend of two years, stopped reading his 67-page breakup letter at page 20, she admitted Monday. ( via the null device)

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Last night boynton was leap-blogging, following a link about...links and link-blogging, the merits of lists v "content"...when she found herself here.
What I don't like about most automated link lists is that they are like road signs in Wonderland, indicators that appear and disappear, providing no context, leaving no trace.
Roadmaps of the Ever-NOW.

(The trace of this trail was plastic bag via paranoid fish via anil's daily links)
As I've said in the past, I feel weblogs are in some way the oral history of DataSpace.
Song-lines that can be followed to unknown and wonderful places

Casting that writerly glance over the shoulder, Boynton has worried lately about the desirable linkage rate for blogs, the strong suspicion that readers do not have the time to follow the leads. But on the (server) writer side, links are the traces, the data storage, the roadmap. Perhaps she needs to sus out a cyber caterpillar for advice on style.
The wonderland reference was that serendipitous thing again, that always motivates this reader to follow links wherever, the mysterious lure. Boynton had been meaning to post this old Tv Ad about the need for a guide in the info wilderness, that seemed to describe the lost in-space data fest of the web. And then she had her own Alice story to post.

Last Friday Boynton walked into the city. Her path took her through the manicured Fitzroy gardens with their exotics and drought-defying greenness into the bright and relatively empty city streets. Hitting the grid, one’s stroll suddenly changes into that binary rhythm of light cycles. Around Exhibition street Boynton noticed a latter day Alice. She had long golden tresses, a short A line skirt that swayed as she hurried and circa 72 sort of shoes, with black clicky heels. In her wake – the turning male heads.As well as her costume, it was her anxious demeanour, a strange mix of distraction and purpose, the way she looked to be following something in the distance, worried about the time, tapping her foot at the lights. Every second window she passed was festooned with roses and hearts and white soft toys .Then suddenly she ducked into an arcade, her mysterious destination. It was a Business school.
And alas, aint that the Alice (or the white rabbit) of our times.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Today (or is that yesterday already?) on the excellent today in literature site (via Portage) is a feature on A.B. Paterson and that officially unofficial aussie iconic (ironic?) song Waltzing Matilda. Midi files of the song, origins, and variants can be heard at mudcat which also features a thread on the great auf der walz quest – the possible germanic origins of the song ( erzähle mir keine Märchen! "Give me none of your cock and bull")
More on the etymology here
Or Waltzing Matilda in Esperanto? (from Roger Clarke's excellent site)
There are some good audio files on the National Library site “There are more sound recordings of 'Waltzing Matilda' than any other Australian song. The discographer Peter Burgis claims ‘Waltzing Matilda’ has been recorded by over 500 artists”…(and don’t we know it) ...Boynton's favourite here is the George Travare's Jazz Group 1945 recording but the gum leaf version is also worth sampling.
Finally a spaceage swaggie , (from the Waltzing Matilda Suite at Art Gallery Gauvin) "Symbol of our past, a Swagman holds onto the values of our heritage, while he beckons us to the challenges of our future"

Monday, February 17, 2003

Google buys Blogger. See Boing Boing for more. Hope they can get the archives et al sorted.
The latest group to have their history unhidden is dogs apparently. (Boynton may at last consider doing her masters.)
Dogs, like women before them, have been confined, illiterate and voiceless, to the domestic sphere, and so dog history, like women's history, must be found in private places. Many canine properties are discussed in this review (via Arts and letters daily) including communication: the slow tail wag, with tail at half-mast ("I want to know what you mean, but I just can't quite figure it out"), the essential dolittle debate:' If dogs could talk, what would they say? They might be dull' , and the argurment that “sometimes an owner may be better off with a dog that is not the sharpest knife in the drawer” ... Which is good news for Doug who has always been pleasantly middling in matters grey. Bronte has a bit more up top, but doesn’t apply herself. She should do a few quizzes like this. (via Moby Lives)
Along the same theme, see Speckled Paint for a wonderful canine post.