Matthew Ford’s Infernal Blog

Politics, games, computers, philosophy, human nature, Australia, and general rabbiting on

Archive for September, 2007

Dylan and Kira in the clover

Dylan and Kira and I took a walkabout yesterday in the reserve behind the house. In the big loop formed by Moggill Creek there is a hill which every springtime erupts in thick clover, so Dylan suggested we check it out. It was a li’l slice of heaven, and I was lucky enough to get a really nice picture out of it as well.

Townsville photos

I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos from my and Kat’s weekend trip to Townsville; head to my Flickr site to see many more! This one is from when the tour operator (pictured) on Magnetic Island (near Townsville, Queensland) brought us to a pub that specialized in attracting hordes of rampaging rainbow lorikeets. On his instruction I took a handful of sopping wet bread from a bucket and held it out. “What n–” I started to ask, and was answered by one of most startling and intense experiences of my life. I was instantly set upon, and you really have to be there to understand how overwhelming it is. The color, the claws, the whipping of wind from the wings, the deafening caws in my ear… it was a feast for the senses in the sense that having a cannon full of Chicken Cordon Bleu fired at you is a feast for the senses.

Rusted flagpole at USA school kills girl

Sometimes it takes a random, horrible event to symbolize a larger, more complex problem. If illustration of such an event were called a cheap shot, it mistakes my intention. The flagpole could have been anywhere, so the event in itself does not prove anything. And replacing all the flagpoles in America won’t address the underlying problem. All the same, I find this story about a rusted-out flagpole falling and killing a child at her primary school a potent symbol of the inside-out, slow, but entirely visible¬†destruction of a great country, threatening not to end its supremacy with the bang now being so strenuously, and justly, if not efficiently, prevented, but with the whimper at the end of a downward spiral. Citizens of America, please join me in my call– to politicians, neighbors, and friends– to take a new look at all that threatens the country; and to give solutions– even the non-sexy, non-spectacular solutions– their proper due. Ending with a whimper is just as much an end as ending with a bang. Let’s prevent both.

Listening to Icky Thump

I am listening constantly to Icky Thump by the White Stripes while driving, usually with a huge grin on my face. I sort of fell out of love with the Stripes (albeit my crush on Meg remained) with their last album, whatever it was called. The one with Wild Orchid. Not my thing. Then I saw the video for the title track on this new album, and even though it still was not the sound I loved from their first albums (White Blood Cells and Elephant), it intrigued me a tiny bit, and then later when Kat and I saw the video from You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told) it interested me a bit more. (Also of interest was the reminder that Kat has a crush on Jack, so that means we can cross-double-date, Jack and Meg, I know you read my blog.)

All the same, I was being curmudgeonly and still did not really intend to get the album. Then Kat surprised me with it after a shopping trip. I popped it into the car a few days later and I instantly loved it.¬†It utterly crackles with an energy that a lot of bands are too cool to put into their work nowadays (the subtext often being, “I could hardly be bothered to get out of bed to record this but here I am”). This album thrills me the same way punk and 70′s power rock does. It’s unashamed, unafraid to be silly, unafraid of distortion and noise and bluesy mess. It’s playful and real. Not for everybody but I’m loving it and it reminds me that I am way overdue to get some Led Zeppelin into my collection.

Working on my new blogs

I’ve spent quite a bit of time getting my new blogs going. It has been fun to learn new things, and the blogs are also a means to an end which I like– in the first case of this blog, keeping in touch with friends and family, and in the case of the Digital Cream blog, building a tool to communicate with customers. However, it’s not as satisfying as writing ActionScript code. There are no really big challenging problems to solve when making a WordPress blog and fiddling with PHP and HTML; instead it is a million little easy things to do, and the bugs are finicky ones, not smack-yourself-on-your-head-and-shout-eureka ones. So I am looking forward to making my cutoff and moving back to programming.

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