The Rod Blog

30 October 2006

Relative Ethics

Just got back from a trip to West Lewis Island, off the far North-West coast of Australia, so it's been quite from me lately. It's so hard getting back into the routine, even after a short break.

Do you ever have a conversation with someone, and it doesn't occur to you till later, that they said something that doesn't quite gel?

Michael made the off-hand remark that he was pretty unimpressed with Bill Clinton.
It occurred to me later what I might have said.
Which is worse: a few sleazy episodes on the side, or the slaughter of tens of thousands of people in an utterly pointless and inept war?

He's probably right about Clinton, but I know which I find the more offensive.

04 October 2006

Flight of the Maggie

I do love the Australian magpie (the real magpie, not the English false magpie; real swans are black, not white).

But most Australians will also know the joy of being swooped by one.What a pest they can be! Here's one, snapped with me in his sights.

One of my early memories is of being at a picnic park somewhere.
On the edge of a grassy slope was the nest of a very stroppy maggie who seemed to get great entertainment from whacking the back of any passing heads.

So my brother and I thought it'd be fun to run full-pelt, down the hill, swirling a willow branch over our heads.
I still remember the feeling of it making contact with the bird as he made for us each time we made a run.
I seem to recall we tried a few times, probably until we got bored and went to pull the wings of some poor bug.
Ah, the joys of childhood.

By the way, did you know that a maggie can sing two notes simultaneously, and has a range of four octaves? Cool, huh! One of the most beautiful songs of any bird.

Classic Katie

This entry is from Katie: it's a sketch of a story idea she had when she was 12.
Pretty cool, eh?
(I've had to reproduce the text because it's too hard to read it in the pictures.)

Introducing Horatio. He slips through carelessness and falls into oil. Comes out on conveyor belt, falls into sugar with donuts,and frightened worker throws him in bin.

Wakes up. Tail, ears, and whiskers partly gone, one eye blind, fur nearly all gone. In awful pain. drags himself out of the bin, and is unconcious behind it for weeks.
Recovers and sees himself in shard of mirror. Is horrified at his appearance.Goes to his home. They are don't recognise him. His own father sends him away.

Joins circus.He meets leader who takes pity on him.
Does not enjoy job because he is lonely and sad.Leaves circus.
Sees Exterminators coming. Fights their cat. Foils their plan. Is a hero.
The factory rats elect him leader. He marries circus leader, and is happy and contented.