Monday, August 31, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Jennifer On The Verge with Tears and Merisi with Breakfast For The Emperor. The other top contenders were Jo Beaufoix with Painting Pictures With Words; Camikaos with I Am A Child Of Two Worlds; Bateua de Banane with Three Wise Monkeys; Shrinky with Down At The Old Dog And Duck; In The Gutter with I’m No Doctor But …; Sandy Carlson with One Single Impression: Blue and Travelling But Not In Love with Why I Don’t Heart Falling In Love. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Gardeners, you must never sprinkle
Champagne upon a periwinkle
And spilling wine on a budding dahlia
Will doom them all to tragic failure

Purple Haze

Great Buddleia, Buddy

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This is one of the common buddleia varieties that grow profusely around Victoria, my home state, as winter starts to draw to a close. This bush isn’t actually on our property, but I watched it sprout its first tendrils of colour about four or five weeks ago – and watched and watched and watched as the colour slowly began to suffuse the actual foliage.

These shots were taken about ten days ago. It was a cloudy day and I figured the conditions would be perfect to shoot some images that captured the striking colour and formation of the tiny blossoms.

Yes, sunlight is a photographer’s ally, but I often find a cloudy sky above me is a great way to capture intricacies that might otherwise be washed out or, on the other hand, saturated in bright sunlight.

How big is each individual blossom? About two to three millimeters across, that’s all. So, since I was using a standard lens (my favourite Sigma 18-125mm) rather than a macro, I opted for a range of views that would depict hue and form, rather than true close-ups.

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

Home, Home On The Range

Where The Deer And The Antelope Roam

A baby antelope spends her days at an English safari park but spends her evenings in a house in Manchester. Sultana, a Sitatunga antelope, was born at Knowsley Safari Park but was abandoned by her mother, so she now watches TV and sleeps in the spare room of the head keeper’s home.

FOOTNOTE: Deer, dear.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

If you were wondering why the ancient Romans
Never had a history of working out with yoga
It wasn’t the Emperor’s or even the showman’s
Insistence on exercising while clad in a toga

Bird Brain

Like Life Skills, It’s All A Matter Of Balance

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

About twenty years ago, on one of our visits to Hong Kong, I was fascinated by the pavement vendors and the wide range of objects for sale. One of the toys that caught my eye was a simple plastic bird that balanced at impossibly precarious angles.

Of course, my scientific background was useful when I checked out one of the birds for the first time. I was struck by how unexpectedly heavy it was and I realised that it was a simple matter of allocating mass unevenly but towards a particular point. In this case, the bird’s head was by far the heaviest part, while the tail was extremely light.

Because of its clever design, the bird was able to balance on a pencil – and as you can see in these images, it does so in a strikingly unique attitude. The point of the bird’s beak acts as a perfectly stabilised fulcrum and it actually looks as though it is diving towards its prey.

It’s one bird that cannot shake its tail feather.

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

The Sunday Roast

He Can Close His Eyes And Think Of England

This week's interview is with The Brit,
who writes the blog Spinning The Wheel.

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I put off having a blog for a long time, I guess I did that out of fear really: the unknown and the fact that having a blog shows every part of you as a person, at that point in my life I wasn’t sure if I was ready to meet the world in close-up as I was going through some tough times. I’m a British guy living in Brazil, far away from my family and friends at home. I do have very good friends here in Brazil, of course, as I have lived here for ten years now but other expats will know that feeling of a kind of loss and detachment from "home" and having a blog seems to connect everyone from all parts of the world in such a wonderful and genuine way, a little bit of "Home Sweet Home" away from home...

The day that I decided to sit down and create my blog I was instantly immersed into a different world, a virtual universe where wonderful caring people reside.

In the beginning I wrote insignificant and quite empty posts, I felt quite lost really, but then I decided to just be open and honest and write about me and my life and then I was hooked, it’s all been a wonderful release, a real lesson in self-therapy. My life so far has been a rollercoaster of incredible highs and devastating lows.

I’ve experienced terrible loss and was buried in a deep black hole for three long years after my Mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK. If I could have had a blog back then it would have brought me out of the darkness faster. Blogging and writing my poetry truly has saved me as I was going quite crazy at times, I see that now.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I’m a huge fan of the British singer/songwriter George Michael and one of his greatest hits is "Spinning The Wheel" The words in that song really resonate with me, he always writes such wonderful lyrics and he truly is a poet (you only have to listen to "Jesus To A Child" to know that) his songs are full of wonderful metaphors and meanings; some easy to find and others hidden deep within the verses, I’ve always been a huge fan since forever.

Plus the title "Spinning The Wheel" is like spinning a wheel of fortune and seeing where it will land... fate and not knowing what the future may bring, guided by some unseen force... and I feel, and have felt, that way in my own life many times.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Without a doubt all the truly fantastic people I meet! Every day I am so surprised and extremely touched at how many truly wonderful, caring and genuine people are out there in the land of blog! Also how many truly talented writers there are out there just waiting to be discovered! It’s a world of incredible people and their wonderful words, it’s like a huge living library of great personalities!

Some months ago I went through a very bad break-up and it was the people in my blog circle of friends that helped me through it all. People were sending me e-mails of support and concern and I truly did appreciate that and let them all know it. I had more comments and e-mails of support and love from my blogging friends than I got in the real world and it’s at times like these when you really do see how lucky you are to have met such kind, warm, genuine, caring and utterly fantastic people in the blogasphere – people who I never thought existed before I had a blog.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

This one is easy: Speak the truth and never give up! Just be yourself and write always from the heart. It doesn’t matter if you are writing about some terrible or wonderful experience in your life or if you are just writing about a day at the supermarket, the important thing is to be genuine and write exactly what you feel, from the heart, that way the inspiration comes thick and fast.

And when you read a post on someone’s blog always leave a comment ... remember that they, just like you, have spent a long time to write that post and have let you know a bit about their life. I always leave comments and I always reply to comments left on my own posts too, it’s a mark of respect and gratitude, I guess they call it "bloqiquete" now.

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

This is the most difficult question as I have read so many and have found so many wonderful friends by reading so many fantastic blog posts. But I love reading about people’s lives and experiences and one that does stand out in my mind was from my dear friend Maggie May that she wrote in 2008 called RestingPlace, all about the sad passing of her dear son-in-law. That post really stayed with me and I got extremely emotional reading it, and the subsequent posts that she wrote, about this huge loss brought upon her, her daughter and her young grandchildren. The grief and heartbreaking loss just poured off of the page.

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

Hummm ... difficult ... but I would have to say "Scenes From Another Room" – My Story: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 as this series of posts are so extremely personal to me and I spent more than four hours writing each one.

I totally poured my heart and soul out onto each and every page, every bit of happiness and extreme sadness that I have experienced over the years. I cried ever such a lot whilst writing it all and especially when I was writing and remembering all the heartache and extreme loss I suffered when I lost my dear Mum to cancer when she was only 56 years old and how I had to return home alone on the loneliest 12-hour flight of my life, knowing that I had already lost her. I just looked out of the window as I flew above the clouds and cried for 12 hours.

But my story continues ... I’m extremely happy here in Brazil, I went through an extremely stressful time over Christmas, New Year and for three months afterwards, when my relationship of 13 years finished, but my life has changed for the better once again and I am living an extremely happy life with a new partner who I absolutely adore and who also adores me.

I haven’t been this happy in many, many years and I’m in a state of well-deserved joy, so it’s a very happy and rejuvenated blogger who is answering your questions right now – I want to thank you very much for this honourable pleasure David! I really appreciate it!

Today's Sunday Roast with The Brit is the 81st in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Antics And Antiques

Don’t Bottle Up Your Feelings

A man who turned up at the Antiques Roadshow was left red-faced when he was told what he thought was an expensive bottle was an old bottle from Tesco that he had bought for more than £1,000. But a glass expert told him: "It's an empty olive oil bottle, Tesco, circa 2008 - it's worth nothing."

FOOTNOTE: Saucy character.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

In geometry lectures he was so complacent
He got confused with parallel and adjacent
In algebra he floundered at every equation
In first aid he couldn’t dress an abrasion

Hail Merry

Wasn't It Sunny A Few Minutes Ago?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

On Wednesday evening it was bright and sunny at 4pm - but things had changed drastically in just over an hour, as you can see from this photograph.

They weren't kidding when a wild weather warning was issued for Melbourne that afternoon. I had had just exited off the freeway when the sleet turned to a fierce hailstorm.

This was shot a few seconds after I parked in my driveway, just as dusk turned to night.

Yes, I live in a city with hugely fluctuating weather. On Christmas Day 2006, it was several degrees colder in Melbourne than it was in London or New York - and December is our summer!

And a few years ago, we had snow on Christmas Day, while Victoria was battling bushfires!

Visit TNChick's Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Surprise''.

Defusing The Situation

Mortar This Than Meets The Eye

A Chinese man on a get-fit goal was using mortars as dumbbells – until a friend noticed the devices were still live, with their firing pins intact. Police have defused the mortars, and they will be displayed in a military museum.

FOOTNOTE: Boom or bust.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Alyson with In An Empty Field and Maggie May with The Doors. The other top contenders were Warm Chocolate Milk with A Predatory Animal In My House; Craver VII with Constellation of Starlings; iMac with Dancing Waters; Abraham Lincoln with Black Panther; Mimi with A Trip Down Memory Lane; Louise with The Good, The Bad And The Beautiful; New England Girl with I Wish I Had This Kind Of Talent; It Goes So Fast with Mother's Lesson Re-Run and Hazel Dooney with Left Hanging By A Thread. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Alice Cooper
Ain’t a party pooper
But Engelbert Humperdinck
Could sing rock (I think)

Spring Loaded

You've Really Had A Growth Spurt

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The Australian winter is almost over, with spring only a few days away. Our days are already noticeably longer - and the frosts have receded. It's been a while since we had ice, too.

But of course, because our weather is so unpredictable, we had sleet and hail in a storm on Tuesday night that left our gardens snowy white - a snap change in the weather that had 1400 calls to emergency crews in Melbourne alone.

This shot, taken in a friend's garden, is a simple depiction of new growth and natural regeneration. Come Tuesday and we'll be ushering in the first day of spring.

I shot three frames in this sequence, but I reckon the first one probably says it best, with the tender burgundy shoots appearing tall and proud from a pruned branch. I deliberately chose my angle, to make use of the subtle diagonals in the background and to include the fresh green of the diosma about two or three metres away.

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Blue Dawn In Muskoka

Pier Pressure? Nope, There's No Pressure Here

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Maybe it's because I'm curious. Maybe it's because I never want to miss anything. Maybe it's because I'm thorough. Maybe it's because I have this desire to size up every aspect of a situation before I judge it.

Or maybe it's just because Nature fascinates me.

The truth of the matter is, no matter what I'm photographing, whether it's a stunning sunrise or an amazing mountainside, I always make it a point to look all around me, just to make sure I haven't missed out on any sight that would otherwise escape my attention.

Sometimes you have to look away from your main subject to find unexpected beauty.

This shot was taken in September 2005, while I photographed sunrise at Canoe Lake in Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park in Muskoka, Ontario. I followed my own simple rule and looked left, right and behind me just to ensure I wasn’t missing out on Nature’s beauty – and I was rewarded with this tranquil scene that was positioned to my immediate right.

The silver-blue dominates the scene, even to the soft light playing across the wooden pier and on the hulls of the upturned boats on the lake’s bank on the right of the image.

Can you the slightest hint of red in this shot? It’s the red-and-white buoy which is barely discernible as it bobs just above the longest of the piers.

And in case you're wondering what exactly was the main focus of my attention that morning, it was simply a sunrise across the lake, as you can see below .....

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

Did They Have A Falling-Out?

Quickest Way To Get Downstairs

A Romanian man escaped with only minor injuries after he fell from a fourth floor window while he was asleep. He was found wrapped in a curtain, on the bonnet of a car, having parked under his bedroom window. He told doctors he could not remember how he got there.

FOOTNOTE: Down, but not out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Teacher's Pet with A Gift. The other top contenders were Holly with But Can She Juggle?; Casa Hice with Spoilt? Probably. Brat? Not So Much; Three Dog Blog with And Now The End; Rudee with Six Degrees; Easy For Me To Say with Thanks, I Kneeded That; Pyzahn with The Little Engine That Could; Corey with Who Is The Typical Child Molester?; Elizabeth Bradley with Darts; Cajun Delights with Fun On The Levee; Suzanne with Float. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He’s bought his car for the height of summer
Outside his home sits a convertible Hummer
In the back seat are mops and Hoovers
In case he wants to go on manoeuvres

Have Faith

Belief Will Open Every Door For You

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

It was just one of those days when I had time on my hands, enough time to soak up the atmosphere, enough time to wander and enough time to look for some images that define steadfast faith.

Religious symbols always beckon when the human mind seeks symbols of constant reassurance, and I just happened to be passing St Paul’s Cathedral. So instead of going to the main entrance on Flinders Street, I walked around to the side.

Here, on the heavy wooden doors that embody the Victorian-era architecture, I found these heavy handles that fascinated me. Of course, a heavy door needs a sizeable handle, so it makes perfect sense that handles of this size would be required to haul open a substantially-sized door.

But I often wonder if the craftsmen who designed and produced these handles ever thought that they would still be in everyday use in the 21st century.

For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

Highly Decorated

A Few Months Too Early For Santa

A Lancashire town has put up its Christmas lights - 127 days before Christmas. Rochdale Council says the lights in Milnrow will be used in celebrations for several faiths, including the Wicca festival Yule celebrated by white witches and pagans on the winter solstice.

FOOTNOTE: Yule be bewildered.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Shrinky with It Wasn't Me - Conclusion. The other top contenders were Maggie May with Reach For The Sky; Hilary with Cottage Colours; Protege with Bohemian Style; Seamus with Territory; Sandi McBride with Why I'm Sporting A Shiner; Thumbelina with The End and Completely Quackers with Emotional Roller Coaster. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He entered his Ferrari
In a rally to Harare
But he wasn’t pleased when he lost his keys
At the halfway point, in a den of sleaze

F Is For Federation Square

Does This Shot Remind You Of The Moon?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

It might look like an invocation of Pink Floyd’s lyrics, but it ain’t really the dark side of the moon.

It’s a tight shot of the floodlit facade of Federation Square, here in the heart of Melbourne. There are different planes here, hence the gradation in light – but have a close look at the precision of those triangles.

Euclid himself would have been so proud of the precision shown by the architects and the builders!

The image above was shot on New Year's Eve 2008, just after the first of the evening's fireworks displays and literally a couple of hours before the clocks ticked over into 2009. As I located the image to upload for this post, I remembered shooting a similar frame a couple of years earlier.

In a neat display of synchronicity, the image below actually shows the same facade, from a slightly different viewpoint.

You can even see the silhouette of the single floodlamp that gives the building its beautiful glow. And even more synchronously, the second image was taken exactly two years earlier, on New Year's Eve 2006. Yup, just after the first fireworks display.

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

Perm Bank

Police Officers Face A Curly Problem

A furious customer had to be literally dragged off her hairdresser by police officers after her perm went wrong at a salon in Serbia. The customer - who saw her bubble perm in a mirror after the treatment at a Novi Sad beauty parlour - had to be calmed with a sedative in hospital.

FOOTNOTE: Tress sense.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Stephen Parrish with Bridget. The other top contenders were Life At Willow Manor with Spin The Bottle; TechnoBabe with I'll Huff And I'll Puff; Annie with Gabbinbar Homestead; Valkyrien with Lacho Castle; Shadow with The Eye Of The Storm; The Second Road with Helping Others; Brian Miller with Couch; Lori Times Five with These Days; 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

When intrepid Pastor Farley
Went Outback on a Harley
He said I should do the sermon
With the old parishioners squirmin'

Contrasts In Style And Grace

Two Faces Of Melbourne’s Architectural History

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

These shots were taken while I was walking towards Flinders Street Station recently, on an afternoon when the wind was biting but the sky turned brilliant blue for a short while.

As I walked, just soaking up the atmosphere of this beautiful city, I suddenly realised that if I found the precise angle, I could capture an interesting shot of the city.

So amid the crowds, I waited until I could find just the right spot in front of the city’s main station. I used my long lens for this sequence, because I wanted a really tight frame that encompassed two different styles and two very different eras in the city’s rich history.

In the foreground is the graceful Victorian-style façade of Flinders Street Station, just to the right of the central dome above the main entrance. In the background is Eureka Tower, the highest residential structure in the southern hemisphere.

The station is redolent of nineteenth century grace, while the super-skyscraper that redefines Melbourne’s skyline has only been officially open since October 2006.

So there you have it. A single frame that presents both ends of the spectrum of Melbourne’s most recognisable buildings.

Visit the creative team behind That's My World Tuesday.

Arresting Performance

Too Young To Read Her Own Rights

A German police chief has been criticised after arresting a five-year-old girl for playing too roughly with his son - and then charging her for giving him the finger. He drove her home under arrest when she upset his son at a sandpit.

FOOTNOTE: Finger-lickin' hood.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Two Barking Dogs with My Dad Ain't No Julia Child and iMac with Fluttering Flags. The other top contenders were So To Speak with Fruit Chasing; Clippy Mat with Coffee; Car Pool Queen with Things I Learnt This Week; Arne with In London With Ruth Rendell; Nottingham Daily Photo with In Memory Of; Warm Chocolate Milk with Let's Go Fly A Kite and The Extraordinary Ordinary with Say What You Need To Say. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Tinkerbell the fairy
Thought Captain Hook was scary
But Peter Pan The Noble
Said Hook’s defeat was global

The Other Terracotta Army

Tossing Their Heads In Sprightly Dance

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

It's always a wonderful thing to see a splash of natural colour in winter. To this end, we always plant seedlings in our terracotta pots under cover (and therefore protected from the frost) at the front of Casa Authorblog, with a rich variety that is always deliberately chosen.

Some of the pots have polyanthus, some have lobellia, some have pansies, some have primulas. That mix always ensures that the plants blossom at different times, we have an array of colours and more importantly, because of the mix of types, they flower at different times as well.

With the end of winter only a week away, the tall primulas are now past their best, so we might give them a few more days until the leaves start turning colour. Then we'll head off to the nursery and buy some punnets of petunias, those old favourites that never really go out of fashion.

This shot, taken from above one of the terracotta pots, shows the primulas, both white and purple, in the strong sunlight that is bringing warmth back to Melbourne.

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

Par(t) For The Course

How On Earth Did He Smuggle Out The Wheels?

A man has been arrested for stealing a motorcycle – one part at a time - over five years from the factory where he worked. After he finally built himself a new motorcycle, he was pulled up by police who discovered that he had no driving licence or paperwork for the bike.

FOOTNOTE: Man of steal.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Don’t take your spades
To the Everglades
But you can hop and stomp
If you’re not in the swamp

Look Into My Eyes

You Are Feeling Very .... S l e e p y ....

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This moose with the amazing eyes was on a footpath in Whitehorse, in Canada's Yukon. I was just walking around the city centre before leaving for the airport to catch my flight home, and I thought I'd take a few photographs while I soaked up the sun.

All right, if you must know, I shot more than a hundred images.

But when you see a wooden moose, how could you resist take a shot? I think I might have caught him napping!

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

The Sunday Roast

Blogging With True Religious Fervour

This week's interview is with Sharon,
who writes the blog Dances With God.

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I began blogging after reading other blogs. The creativity, the journaling, everyday life of other people, great stories, inspired me to move from just journaling and working on a book I was writing, to the blog posts. I enjoy blogging as an outlet for comedy, inspiration and connecting with others.

What's the story behind your blog name?

About a month before I began blogging, I begin my first year as a seminary student. Especially during the first four weeks and continuing through the first semester, I was presented with interesting facts that caused me to question so many things from my childhood experience of church, my faith, and what God really is all about.

I felt that everyday in class was a dance with God. The thoughts that went through my head, my prayers and conversations with him began to be like dancing on broken glass, or tiptoeing through the tulips. That was the best growing to know God experience that could have ever happened to me. By the time I started blogging, I began to like my dances with God and thought it would be appropriate to title my blog just in that manner. I shared in my profile that I am a pastor.

I have met people, whom I have enjoyed conversations with, all is fun and great, even inspiration and when they stop to ask, "What do you do?" I respond and say, "I am a pastor". Those same people look at me as though a holy cloak was thrown around me and they too, begin that "God dance". It is often a challenge to help them recognize I am just another human, working my way through life, as they are.

Our differences are the callings we have answered because of the passions that drive us. Yours are inspiring us with wit, poetry, rhymes, and incredible photography. Mine is being a pastor; a pastor that lets people be who they are, where they are. After all, don’t we all need that?

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I have met the most amazing and wonderful people since I have become a blogger. I continue to find new blogs that I follow. I have grown as a person because of people I have met.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Be sure you are okay letting the entire world in on what you have to say. Show up, tell your story, and don’t be attached to the outcome. You will have people who love what you have to say. There will be others who aren’t kind. Be who you are and don’t let someone else dictate what you do on your blog. Be original.

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

David, this is the hardest question. There are so many. Some help me grow spiritually, like Braja at Lost and Found in India. Some have incredible true stories like Jane, at Gaston Studio. Jane’s adventure and ability to tell her story puts her readers there with her. Otin at The Wizard of Otin blows me away with his fiction, his depth and character and his ability to sound superficial when the whole time, he totally gets life the way it should be.

Michel at Facts are Strictly Optional is the funniest, most comical person I have ever had the chance to read about. The way she writes about her everyday life, brings tears of laughter and side-splitting humor. She is a gem. I believe the most significant post I have ever read is from Shannon. Her post Live Your Truth was spoken well, it made a statement and would make a great presentation for all pastors to read or hear.

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

The Pastor’s Mirror is my most significant post. My goal was to give people an inside look at my life and see that we all have the ability to rise above circumstances and turn our lemons into lemonade. I believe that message was received just as I intended.

Today's Sunday Roast with Sharon is the 81st in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Dearly Departed

Like A Candle In The Window

A US widow is auctioning off the burial plot occupied by her late husband above that of Marilyn Monroe. "Spend eternity directly above Marilyn Monroe," says the ad. The woman hopes to make enough money to pay off the $1.6m mortgage on her Beverly Hills mansion.

FOOTNOTE: The plot thickens.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Alas, the myopic chef so benighted
And the restaurant manager was far from delighted
When the strawberry tart with hand-stirred custard
Was served by mistake with strong Dijon mustard

Ripples Across A Windscreen

Water Is Such A Precious Gift Of Nature

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

While I was trying to do a mental selection of images for today's theme, I was reviewing (in my mind, not on my computer) all the images I have shot of water. Then I suddenly thought I would portray ripples in a slightly different way.

Could I portray ripples NOT on the surface of water, but in another way? On another surface?

Here is my answer ... in words and pictorially. When you live in a drought-stricken country-continent like Australia, even a light drizzle is a blessing from the rain gods.

This was shot last weekend, just before I drove my car out of a parking slot. I was literally sitting with my seatbelt around me when I reached across for my camera and shot the tiny drops on the windscreen.

The thing that really caught my attention was that each drop on the raked windscreen was a different shape and texture.

I framed this shot deliberately, to use my rear-view mirror as the soft-focus visual enhancement in the left foreground, just to draw the eye straight to the drops in the centre of the image, where the focus was sharpest.

The image I've posted here is simply a low-resolution version of the original. If you want to see the full-size, high-resolution image, just go to Screen Test.

Visit TNChick's Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Ripples''.

Dollars And Cents

Profits Drift Down The Canal

A four-star hotel near Venice stands to lose nearly £80,000 after mistakenly offering a romantic weekend in the Italian city for just one cent. The Crowne Plaza in Quarto D'Altino, 15 miles from Venice, received bookings for the equivalent of 1,400 room nights on the night the rate was posted on its website.

FOOTNOTE: From gondola to "gone dollar".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Jientje with Sunsets And Thunderstorms. The other top contenders were Jennifer Harvey with The Quiet Hallway; Pearl Maple with Sky Watch Friday; Anna with Wonders of the McKenzie Marsh; Akelamalu with After The Rain; Quilly with Conversational Pillaging; Daryl with Sign Posts; Alive in Wonderland with My So-Called Suburban Life; Jenn @ Juggling Life with The Opinionator; Moannie with The Lavender Farm; Brookville Daily Photo with What Vacation and Shrinky with It Wasn’t Me. 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 ....

See my photography at Images Sans Frontiers and Red Bubble.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

They had a date
In the Bering Strait
But he lost his rudder
And blamed his mudder

High And Mighty

Building A Huge Reputation

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Just when you think you've photographed one of the world's landmarks too many times in one day and you cannot possibly shoot another creative image - hey, that's as good a time as any to look for an unusual angle.

I was walking away from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in July last year when I decided to take one last shot.

I spotted the fronds of a nearby palm tree and thought it would be a great idea to try and work them into the image. I literally took this shot over my left shoulder, craning my neck backwards like a circus contortionist.

Apart from the fact that I was able to include the huge Malaysian flag that hangs on the facade of one of the towers, I really like the fact that the apex of this image includes differing geometrical shapes - straight lines, some triangles, a series of arcs, and a graceful wave-like pattern at the top of the tower.

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

I'll Huff And I'll Puff

And I'll (Almost) Blow Your House Down

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

These shots were taken just after 7am last Sunday, during the storm that lashed Victoria, bringing down trees and taking roof tiles off houses. The state had been buffeted by gale-force winds for more than twelve hours and even after daylight arrived, there was no sign of conditions abating.

I had just realised that the tarpaulin cover for our backyard barbecue had been blown off, so I went out into the garden to try and replace it. But the storm made a mockery of my efforts. Even as I tried to replace the cover, the storm continued to lift it, so I just gave up, put the cover away and decided to come back to it later.

No big deal, you're thinking. Maybe not. But before Mrs Authorblog bought me this new barbecue, our old one had a heavy steel cover that snugly embraced the appliance. And during some storms, we'd find that the wind had picked up the cover and flung it around the back yard.

Storms that were nowhere near as savage as this one!

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