Friday, October 31, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Beachy's Cape Cod Cupboard with Don't Shy Away and Hilary with Bridging Generations. The other top contenders were Incurable Insomniac with I Want A Merry Maid; Mountainear with Out And In; Epijunky with Day 57; Merideth Teagarden with Blogapalooza; Ray with My Little Cretan Owl; Alberta Photography with Ordinary Miracles; Mother’s Pride with Half Term, Take One; One A Day with Plastic Art; Roses And Lilacs with Famous Local Halloween Legend; Worth A Thousand Words with Sky Watch 18; The Pea Green Boat with It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; Mielikki with It’s That Time; Pat An Arkansas Stamper with Mule Story, Post 96; The Cigarette Diaries with Big Brother Will Get You and Jeff B with Family Fun. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Cotton Pickin'

Reel-Life Situations Can Be Fun To Photograph

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I guess you have to thank the UK-based blogger Maggie May for this post, because it was inspired by a comment she left on my blog a few days ago.

Perceptive as ever, she was the first (but not the last) to ask me whether I ever get lost when I'm overseas, due to my habit of wandering down strange streets, camera in hand, simply looking for great sights to photograph.

It's a very interesting question. The answer, quite truthfully, is no. I have never got lost overseas, perhaps because I keep a close eye on my bearings and on cross-streets. But let's just say when I'm driving here in Melbourne and I don't have Mrs Authorblog navigating, I have a reputation for, um, not finding the quickest way to my destination.

Let's just leave it at that. If you want any clarifications on this situation, you will simply have to ask Mrs Authorblog. I refuse to enter into any debate on this question!

This shot was taken in Singapore, ten months ago. I was just wandering around the nooks and crannies of Little India, fascinated by the visual treasures in each shop. And no, I didn't get lost.

But there's always a first time, hey?

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

My shrewd old uncle Ebenezer
Hoarded his cash in his freezer
So when his heirs were done and chosen
He told us all his assets were frozen

Heavens Above

Dawn Displays Her Pink Ribbons

Photographs copyright: DAVID MCMAHON

This sequence of shots was just a lucky result. They were taken last Friday, literally a few minutes after I had entered my link on this site for last week’s Sky Watch post.

I switched the computer on and I walked into the kitchen, as I always do each morning. The sun had not yet risen, but I could see some interesting bands of thick grey cloud across the horizon. I knew there was a chance that there would be some arresting colours to shoot a few minutes later.

After I’d done a few things on the computer and around the house, I checked the sky again from the kitchen window. This time I could see faint daubs of pink across the bottom of each cloud band. I knew that in a few minutes there would be a dramatic display of colours, but I also knew that it was one of those windy mornings when the hues would disappear rapidly.

About five minutes later, the pink started to intensify, so I picked up my camera and walked out into the back yard, where I shot four frames. Then I decided to walk to the front of the house for a different aspect and perhaps a wider range of colours.

I was outside for less than three minutes. All up, I took eight shots and when I walked around to the back door, the colours had gone completely and all that was left was grey cloud patterns. That’s the thing with Nature - you sometimes have to be very quick to capture its greatest beauty.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

Abbey Ride

Off (To London) With His Head

A tramp is $4,000 richer after finding Sir Paul McCartney's waxwork head. Tony Silva thought it was a Halloween mask poking from a bin liner, before he realised a big reward had been offered for it after it was left on a train. He then begged the fare to London - to hand the head into Abbey Road studios.

FOOTNOTE: Shoulder of fortune.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Woman In A Window with Lil Ghost Story and Medic61 with Close To Home Part 1. The other top contenders were Irene with Things To Think About; Tamy with Wordless Wednesday; Sabonai with They're Not Just The Hottest, They're The Coolest; Bear Naked with The Answer; Travelling But Not In Love with Cowboys And Indians; Won'tLetLifeDefineMe with Computers Are Sadistic Little Beings; Kat with Ghost Story Part II; Arija with Why I Live Where I Live and Rural Villager with Leafless. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Alas, the woe of Teresa Blunden
Who went to visit her aunt in London
Oh, the disaster of her Louis Vuitton
It arrived on the carousel without a buitton

Beverly Hills Cup

Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bake

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Our friend Sandy is the patron saint of bakers. She must have the busiest baking trays in the whole of Melbourne, because when she isn't busy producing goodies for her own family, she delights in turning them out for others.

But she also believes that presentation is as important as the concept itself. So when she arrived at our door with these magnificent cup cakes, she also produced an entire cup cake stand as well, to display them in the rightful manner.

Yes, you CAN have your cake and eat it too - after you've photographed it, of course.

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

Is That A Truck Or A Chassis?

Traffic police in China pulled over a man who was driving only the chassis of a truck down a highway. It had no driver's cab, no bodywork and no lights - and to make matters worse it was carrying another chassis on top of the first. Police seized the vehicle.

FOOTNOTE: Arrest stop.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Moannie with Rupert The Artist; Maggie May with Moving On and Crystal Jigsaw with In Love And War. The other top contenders were Quilldancer with Wackiki; Green Jello with Texting Conversation; Maternal Mirth with What? Was The Tuba Already Taken?; Jules Stones with The Real Focus; Reader Wil with An Autumn Walk; Your EG Tour Guide with Sharon Temple; Kahshe Cottager with Purple Coneflower Revisited; Gawdess with Curve; Brett with Joined-Up Pictures; Ellen B with Today's Flowers; I'm Being Held Hostage with Out To Lunch; Baino with Phoctober Day 3 and Dishing With Debbie with Chariots Of Duh. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He took the bus to Gundagai
Because he was too scared to fly
But when he had to go to Mudgee
He took a chopper nicknamed Budgie

O Is For Orchard Road

If Retail Detail Is Your Aim, This Is Fair Game

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I was introduced to Singapore when I was just eleven years old. Wide-eyed, I took in everything about the island-state. It was still British territory at the time and I used to be fascinated by the RAF jets that flew overhead. I remember clearly going to a fair where the highlight, for me, was the skydiving display by British specialists.

I recall being dumbstruck by the fact that the taxis were Mercedes-Benz vehicles, no less. From memory, most of them ran on diesel. I wondered if my classmates in school would actually believe how many times I had sat in the plush interior of a Merc.

I even made an unexpected visit to an RAF base when I was stung while swimming at a Singapore beach. But more than anything else, I remember being fascinated by Orchard Road. Why? Not because of the architecture. Not because of the colonial history. Not because of anything remotely artistic.

The place grabbed my attention because of C. K. Tang’s, the department store where I was instantly fascinated by the huge area devoted to toys. Hey, I was only eleven years old, remember?

Over the years, I returned several times to Singapore on way to and from overseas assignments as a sportswriter covering cricket and tennis. More recently, I have been there on holiday or to visit friends. Orcahrd Road, which once fascinated me because of its retail nature, now holds me in thrall because of the many images I have been privileged to photograph.

A few years ago, we were there as a family and I took the first available opportunity to take our children to Orchard Road and, specifically, to C. K. Tang’s. But maybe things had changed. Maybe their toy section was smaller than it was during my childhood. Maybe our own perceptions had changed because of the arrival of mega toy stores that totally dwarf my own memories of the toy selection in this particular store.

During our week there, we also had an interesting experience. I took the Authorbloglets out for the day and took some travellers’ cheques with me, as well as my passport - just in case I needed some more money. As it turned out, I didn’t need any more cash. But when we got home, Mrs Authorblog - who had stayed home because she was unwell - fixed me with a gimlet eye.

She asked if I had managed to change my travellers’ cheques.

No, I replied, I still had some money in my wallet.

Which was probably a good thing. Because as my wife pointed out, I had erred badly. Instead of taking my own passport, I had taken my son’s by mistake.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Rim With A View

I Just Hope You Don't Tire Easily

Cycle showroom, Singapore, 2007. Photograph copyright: DAVID MCMAHON

Test Of The D’Urbervilles

Hardy Examiners Thwart A Four-Gin Learner

A Romanian woman was disqualified from her driving test after she failed a breath-test - on the written section of her exam. She was found to be double the drink-drive limit after admitting she'd downed "only four gins" to cope with nerves. She has been banned from doing the theory paper until she shows up without a hangover.

FOOTNOTE: Sobering thought.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Five-String Guitar with Taking On The World In A Cochlear Challenged Way; Jennifer Harvey with 1966 and Old Man Lincoln with Hula Hoops And Pet Rocks. The other top contenders were Klaus with Black And White Warbler; Fat, Frumpy & Fifty with I've Got To Write It Down; Terri Rainer with Ghosts Screwin' With Ya; Rune with Red Water; Millennium Housewife with Things I Have Said To My Four-Year-Old Today; Jo Beaufoix with Pure Joy Or Guilty Pleasure; Kathryn with Ghost Story #1; Mielikki with Short Story Saturday; Epijunky with Monday; The Texican with Ups And Downs Of Birthdays; Hilary Samsa with Late; Craver VII with Today's Flowers and Day By Day with Irony. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

Today brought a special milestone for me - 200,000 page views. This blog now gets almost 700 page views a day. Thank you, everyone, for being a part of this journey.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

D'you reckon Cory Aquino
Had any effect on El Nino?
And could it have been Stormin' Norman
Whose actions hastened global warmin'?

Keeping Track Of Tram Stops

Remember The Time When Timber Ruled?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This old tram stop on Dandenong Road is a wonderful reminder of what Melbourne looked like in the colonial era. The city is famous for its trams (trolley cars, to some of my readers) and there are not many of the old, preserved tram shelters left. I know there is at least one more on St Kilda Road and I’m sure there are a few others dotted around the city.

A couple of years ago, when the tram shelters along Dandenong Road (Dandy Road, to Melburnians) were being renovated, I wondered if this one would be retained or whether it would come down to make way for the slimline, no-fuss, alloy and glass constructions that seem so unobtrusive.

To my relief, it remained where it was. As you can see in the photograph below, back in the days when carpentry was about as hi-tech as anyone wanted to get, good seating and an adequate roof was all-important. It is painted in the green and gold colours that represent this country and its sturdy construction offers protection not just from the elements, but also from the whipping breeze that is such a part of Melbourne.

Dandy Road runs four lanes in each direction, while the trams run up and down the wide median strip. In this shot (below) taken from the opposite footpath, you can actually see a silver/grey minimalist structure between the camera and my subject. That is one of the new tram shelters, where display advertising panels face the traffic.

This last shot is actually a close-up of the roofline of the old tram shelter. It wasn’t so much the terracotta colour that drew my attention, as the graceful curves. Against the light sky, the contrast was perfect.

Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

Watch Me Play Beethoven On My Trigger

Meet My Friends, Mr Smith And Mr Wesson

An Italian concert violinist has been given a gun permit so he can protect his $12 million Stradivarius violin. Matteo Fedeli has been given police permission to protect it with a 357 Smith and Wesson Magnum. He said he also has an armed escort as he travels to concerts.

FOOTNOTE: Violins begets violins.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Kym with The Balanced Blogger. The other top contenders were Ruth D with It Matters Not; Hilary with The Road More Or Less Traveled; Sandy Kessler with Going Deep; Dirty Socks & Pizza with Another Day In Paradise; Valley Girl with My Daily Reality; Lee with Symbolism Of A Heart In Action; Cheaper Than Therapy with Think Before You Ink; Corey with Growth Of A Pumpkin; Anna with What's On The Far Side Of The Moon?; Mommy Jo with Off-Road Adventure; Millennium Housewife with Soap Opera; Merisi with Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Florence; WIXYgrad with Bottle Of Pop; Airplane Jayne with Why Jayne Hates Dating and Annie with Scary. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

When no one would marry Lord Elmer Joyce,
He finally declared, in trembling voice,
"I’d pay a ransom of fifty guineas
For a dowager with many chinnies".

A Flash Of Orange Amid The Concrete

Hi Lilium, Hi Lilium, Hi-Lo

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes you spot a gem of a sight when you're busy looking for something else entirely. A couple of weeks ago, I took my camera out at lunchtime and I walked under the Princes Bridge to take some shots by the river. Then I took the spiral walkway from under the Victorian Arts Centre leading up to street level on St Kilda Road.

I was looking up towards the brightness of the street above when something caught my attention over my left shoulder. In a narrow alcove bordered by a triangle of concrete, in typical Melbourne style, was a steep garden slope. Even a little wedge is fair game for garden cultivation here in Victoria, which prides itself on its parkland, its greenery and its gardens.

These liliums were in full bloom and I have to say the flaming orange hues were a perfect foil for the mortar and bluestone that is such a hallmark of the city's early architecture.

Finally, I have to ask the question - you did notice the sharply-defined shadow on the bottom leaf, didn't you?

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

Shoot Happens

You Callin' Me A Son Of A Gun, Betty?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This shot was taken at Beaver Creek in the Yukon. I had actually woken up early to photograph the dawn colours on the mountains that stretch across the highway. Even before the snow started turning pink in the early morning rays, I walked around to take some shots of signage and other unusual sights.

The light wasn't the best when I took this shot, very early in the morning, but I simply had to take this shot. I didn't actually have the time to walk across to Buckshot Betty's, so maybe I'll leave that for the next time I travel to the Yukon.

I'm sure the unique name will trigger my memory.

(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)

Ballot Ballad

This Ain’t Ecuador, This Is Spain

A puzzled Polish herb company received a box of votes from an Ecuadorian national referendum, thanks to an error by couriers. The completed postal ballot papers were filled in by expatriate Ecuadorians living in Spain but were delivered several thousand kilometers in the wrong direction.

FOOTNOTE: Herbies go bananas.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Never wrestle with a grizzly
If the weather’s wet and drizzly
Sit indoors, tobacco-chewin’
You just don’t need "trouble bruin"

What A Great Set Of Knockers

No, No, They Really ARE Door Knockers

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This shot was taken just after a tropical downpour in Singapore a few months ago. I was walking around, trying to cover as much ground with my camera as I possibly could. Three times it rained and three times I had to take shelter. The last storm was furious, but it only lasted about twenty minutes.

As soon as the rain stopped, I emerged cautiously from the arcade where I had taken shelter. At this stage of the day, I was choosing streets at random, merely allowing myself to be led by sights that caught my attention, rather than any innate sense of where I was actually going.

I turned down a side street, simply because it seemed to have several handicrafts stores. Instantly, I found myself enthralled by this display of metalwork. It wasn't just the intricacy of the design; it was also the glistening raindrops that clung tenuously to their curved surfaces.

And in case you hadn't noticed, each knocker is crafted in the shape of the head and trunk of an elephant.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

Waiting With Ba(i)ted Breath

This week's interview is with Tom,
who writes
the blog The Fishing Guy.

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

1. I blog to share with others what is happening in my life. 2. I blog to share my love of four things: family, fishing, photography and country music. 3. I blog to meet friends who have common interest. You do find people who enjoy your interest and who will share their likes with you. 4. I blog to see what others in the world are doing. I have visited people throughout the USA, Canada, England, Norway, Portugal, Fiji, Singapore, Brazil, Greece, Philippines, Australia and Tasmania. I feel I have made many friends through my travels through the Internet. 5. I am able to share with new bloggers my experiences on the Internet. 6. Now the best reason is: I do it because I have fun blogging and feel a reward when someone enjoys what I've done.

What's the story behind your blog name?
My friend Jedijawa's blog was called 'This Is Not My Blog' and I did a play on words for 'This Is My Blog'.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I blog to meet friends who have common interest. You do find people who enjoy your interest and who will share their likes with you

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I feel comments are the life blood of the blog world. It lets people know that you thought enough of what they have done to take the time to tell them so.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I have a friend Mike 'Hawk Huston' who writes beautiful stories of his life as a hunter at High Country Archer and they are really moving.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I did a post on Prostate Cancer, which I have lived through. Someone brought it to mind this week with a question. It was my most significant post of my blogging life. I also wrote a post called Remembering Grandpa. No one commented but it was significant to me.

Today's Sunday Roast with Fishing Guy is the 40th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

These Booths Are Made For Walking

If You Don’t Like Them, You Can Take A Hike

Artists in Denmark have joined forces with US scientists to create a walking house - built on six hydraulic legs. They say it would make the ultimate home for beating floods or for dealing with the neighbours from hell. The home is solar- and wind-powered and has a mainframe computer which enables it to stroll at walking pace across all terrains.

FOOTNOTE: Express terrain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Once a jolly swagman
Encountered Larry Hagman
They found a genie without malice
As they hitch-hiked towards Dallas

Intensive Scare Unit

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

What is the greatest fear trigger? Is it sight? Is it sound? Is it circumstance? Is it our imagination? Is it a combination of all four?

I once watched a very interesting television interview with John Williams, who composed the soundtrack from the 1975 movie Jaws, based on the bestselling novel by Peter Benchley. Williams was chuckling as he narrated the incident of how the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, dropped in to listen to the theme music for the first time.

As he tells it, Williams sat down and played the simple, repetitive two-bar (or is it really three?) composition. Spielberg looked him in the eye and said something along the lines of "That’s it?" And at that point, Williams explained that it was a simple representation of the shark’s heartbeat, increasing in intensity as it circled its prey.

The way he told it, Spielberg took some convincing. But he relented and the theme music, instantly recognisable even when hummed, is now regarded as an all-time classic. And yes, the soundtrack won Williams an Oscar.

There was no background music playing when I took these shots three years ago. It was just a grey, cold winter afternoon when there was little colour along the banks of the Yarra. The bare, gnarled branches, stripped of foliage, caught my eye to start with.

Then I spotted the broken glass on the old lampposts (below) and I thought they’d make a great motif for a ghostly mansion. And no, the images haven’t been digitally altered. That ain't my style.

If you’d like to check out the tale of a flight that scared me some years ago, when the wings of the plane started to ice up, you can read it at B Is For Bairnsdale. I might have to borrow John Williams to compose the soundtrack for that one.

Visit TNChick, creator of
Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Scary".

Constable, Have You Seen A Missing Beach?

Sorry, Sir, I’m Not Shore

Police in Jamaica are investigating the puzzling theft of a beach on the island's north coast. An estimated 500 truckloads of sand have been removed outside a planned resort at Coral Spring beach. The beach, in Jamaica's northern parish of Trelawny, was famous for its distinctive white sand.

FOOTNOTE: Beach brawl.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Suzanne with Life And Death In The Cornfield and Joan with Farewell To The Queen. The other top contenders were A Mask To Hide Behind with Lean On Me; Green Jello with Wearing Grey-Coloured Glasses; Prairie Daze with Sunny Days Ago; Vic Grace with Heads Or Tails - Wire; Virtual Studio with Drawing Around London; Dishing With Debbie with Thursday Thoughtable; Lew with Signs Of Autumn; Maggie May with Wordless Wednesday; Suldog with The Rather Sad, Rather Uneventful Staycation Part II; B with Date Night and Jeff B with Sounds Like Wall Street. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Alexander Graham Bell(y)

The Hip Bone’s Connected To The, Um, Gold Discs

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

When you come face-to-face with a belly dancer, what’s the first thing you do? Emulate her moves? Naaah. You try and work out the best angle to take a photograph.

She was part of a celebration at Federation Square, here in Melbourne and it was a leisurely lunchtime when the light was great. I was struck by the vivid colours of her costume and of course by the row of miniature gold discs around her entire waist.

I wasn’t using a long lens, so I walked up and asked her if I could stand beside her and take some shots of the wonderful colours around her hips. She thought it was a hoot and told me to go ahead and take as many shots as I wanted.

One small problem. She figured that I wanted her to do her signature belly dance while I took the shots. Er, no. I wanted no movement at all, so I could get a shot without the discs shimmering and jingling in rapid motion.

I reckon I took half a dozen shots before I got this one of the discs as close to sharp focus as possible. Not so much a case of disc jockey, as a clear example of disc jerky.

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

I'm sorry I didn't phone yer
From Upper Patagonia
It cost far too much in euro
And the phone booth was bright fluoro

All Warm And Fuzzy (Literally)

Hot August Night - Er, Make That July Instead

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Just when you think you’ve got technology all figured out, an unexpected situation comes along and forces you to scratch your head as you seek an answer.

This shot was taken on (as the post title says) a hot July night. We had just arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and even though it was close to 10.30pm, I decided to venture out of our hotel, the Shangri-La, to see if there were any late-night sights that I could photograph.

I had walked less than a quarter of a mile when I noticed the KL Tower to my left. I had my 300mm lens with me but because I wanted to capture the quality of the floodlights playing across the outer surface of the tower, I decided to use my 18-125mm lens instead.

Nine time out of ten, I don’t check the LCD screen after taking a shot. I guess that’s just a hangover from having learnt how to use a camera in pre-digital days, when I used spool film. But that night something made me look at the screen and I was instantly puzzled by the fuzzy image.

Above me was a beautiful tower in a sky only partially obscured by light cloud, while the moon hovered close to the spire. All very ethereal, right? But the image on my screen was hazy and not a true reflection of the colours and tones. I checked the settings. They were fine. I took another shot. No good.

So I stood there for a few seconds, wondering why my trusty camera, having travelled halfway round the world for two years, was playing up. Then my high-school science came flooding back to me and I grinned broadly as I quickly identified the problem.

The camera had been in the cold interior of our air-conditioned hotel room. I had walked a short distance very briskly before taking the lens cap off to take the shot of the tower. The hot, humid air had fogged up the lens, which was still a lot cooler than the surrounding air.

As soon as I had attended to the lens, the problem was solved. But this incident just proves why a photographer always needs a clear mind as well as a clear lens.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

Nerves Of Steal

Maybe He Needed To Lift His Spirits

A German thief was arrested after he got stuck in the lift of an office block he'd just burgled. The man raided an office on the sixth floor, taking computers, mobile phones and other electronic goods. He decided to take the lift down but had to call the fire brigade when he was trapped between floors.

FOOTNOTE: Trap dancing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's winners are Helena with And Now I’ve Got Sand In My Pants and Moannie with When Mother Met Harry. The other top contenders were Woman In A Window with Self-Image; Rune with N Is For Night; Sabonai with Leta Goes To The Dentist; Hilary with Shades Of Autumn; Protege with Prague - City Of One Hundred Spires; Golightly with Totally Ghoul Friend; Indica Species with A Day At The Dunes; Joy Is My Goal with Beautiful Dance Concert; Sandi McBride with Forty Years Of Wedded Bliss; Sandy Carlson with Angels In The Architecture and Damp Dog with IsoLL 1-7t. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Savio Inacio Rebello-Mendonca
Told us all he was born to conquer
Then he said "Mendonca" was "Mendonsa"
So now he's looking for a global sponsor

Traffic Jamb

Open And Shut Case

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Publishing this shot gives me the perfect opportunity to share a bit of trivia about Jim Morrison and The Doors. Legend has it that the group chose their name from the title of an Aldous Huxley book, called "The Doors Of Perception".

These shots were taken four days ago, while I was taking some photos of flower beds. I was walking back to my car when I noticed this door. Seen on its own, it was not something I would have photographed. But sometimes you need to look at an object in the context of its surroundings.

The dark paint over of the timber door and its vertical frame made an interesting contrast (geometrically and in colour terms as well) with the strong horizontal lines beside it. That’s why I wandered over to take this shot - and the added attraction was the circular shape and the metallic tone of the door handle.

Look closely and you’ll even notice that the lock, with its alloy sheen, is partially visible between the door and the jamb.

The door is in a building that gets a lot of human traffic every day. But the day I shot this image, there was no one in the building or outside it. I wouldn’t have "seen" this shot if the door had been open. Which just goes to prove, I guess, that even a closed door is an opportunity!

If you have time, do let me know whether you prefer the horizontal shot or the vertical frame below.

Blink, Floyd

Another Brick In The Wall

A wall in Wadebridge, Cornwall, built for teenage graffiti artists has been vandalised - by an angry resident writing: "I paid my tax and all I got was this lousy wall." The $6,000 wall was installed so youths could practice graffiti without defacing local property. But before it was formally opened the angry resident daubed his protest

FOOTNOTE: Hit the wall.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Celebration Of Life with October 17 2005. The other top contenders were Pat An Arkansas Stamper with Roosters From Hell; Day4Plus with Fog; Green Jello Land with No, I Haven’t Dropped Off The Face Of The Earth; Just Bob with World Of Round Holes; MDOD with Ask The Vet; Musings Of A Ranch Wife with Happy Trails, Y’all; Old Man Lincoln with Raccoon; Camikaos with My Journey To IP4 Part 1; Chewy with A Piece Of The Whole and East Gwillimbury Wow with A Taste Of Halloween. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Christopher, robbin', went down with malice
The magistrate told him his theft was callous
He stole the heart of a girl named Alice
And made her ex-boyfriend terribly jallous

N Is For Negative

Two Negatives Don't Always Make A Positive

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Here’s a question that’ll make you think and make you smile. When was the last time you loaded film into a camera? In my case, it’s more than two years and I have a film-based Canon EOS that I haven’t used since 2005.

We all had our favourite brand of film, didn’t we? And we all bought a particular speed of film, in the fervent hope that we would be shooting every frame in the same weather conditions and in the same light. But in the case of most amateur photographers, it was customary to have the same film in the camera for weeks on end.

You’d take the film in to your local dealer and you’d stand there, looking at the prints and wondering why the final result was not always as good as you imagined. My local Kodak dealer has long gone, swept away by the commercial reality of digital technology.

Time was when I’d pay $15 for a roll of film, back in the days before you could buy multi-pack Kodak rolls. On top of that, developing and printing was another $15-$20. I generally opted for 24-frame film rolls, rather than 36-frame rolls, so that I could see the results quicker. Now it’s not uncommon for us to take that many shots - and more - in a few minutes on a digital camera.

If you were married before 2000, I’d say your wedding photos were taken on a film-based camera. When Mrs Authorblog and I were married, we were lucky to have several people using cameras in church and at the reception. Because of this, we stocked up on really good-quality film, which we gave to all our friends who planned to use their cameras on the big day.

I had a really good plan. Anyone who completed a roll of film that day would simply drop off the roll in a pre-arranged container (clearly marked) and would help themselves to a new roll of film from a different container (also clearly marked).

I even had a back-up plan in case someone - perish the thought - put a used film into the container for unused films. It was simple, yet foolproof. If a film spool was entirely wound off a camera, it was possible that a tab of film, a few millimetres long, would still protrude from the spool. I simply asked everyone to use the black knob above each spool to wind the last remnant into the spool entirely.

In such a case, if anyone picked up a used film by mistake, it would be impossible to load the film into a camera.

The concept was great, the execution was (almost) flawless.

After the wedding, I knew there would be several unused films in the appropriate container. So just before we flew out on our honeymoon, I grabbed a few spools of film and we departed for the airport. When we returned, I took these and all the films shot at the wedding to a special photography store.

A couple of days later, I went to pick up the prints and returned home with an armload. As the family members began looking at the prints, someone exclaimed: "Something’s not quite right here."

Bad feeling. B A D feeling.

The truth dawned very slowly. At our reception, someone had a) not wound off a film completely and b) dropped the film into the wrong container.

Each of the 36 prints was a double exposure. They were ghostly composite images. The first exposure in each case showed our closest friends beside us at the end of the wedding reception. The second exposure on each print was a view from the wonderful beachside resorts we had visited on our honeymoon.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.