Category Archives: diversions

Reading Jasper Fforde

A couple of years back my former Sydney University boss Ken Watson recommended Jasper Fforde to me.


Now at last I have read one of his amazing books, The Well of Lost Plots.

Imagine Little Britain meets the Cambridge Companion to English Literature + literary theory. Hilarious. The Wuthering Heights anger management day is just one gem of many.


Busy day, late – and last archive pick for a while

Though I may add some on Ninglun’s Specials later. I do have around 40 Mb of archive to choose from.

Today’s was a “lighten up” post in July 2004.


I went searching, just to lighten up, for some really nice gay jokes. You know, not filthy or demeaning… Um… Well, there is this, with the usual apologies if you’ve heard it…

What a drag it is getting old…

When I went to the bar tonight, I noticed this old boy about 75-80 years sitting all alone in the corner and he was crying over his cocktail.

I stopped and asked him what was wrong.

gaysold He said: "I have a 22 year old lover at home. I met him a month or so ago, right here in this very bar!" He continued; "He makes love to me every morning and then he makes me pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit and freshly ground, brewed coffee."

I said: "Well, then why are you crying?"

He said: "He makes me homemade soup for lunch and my favorite brownies and then he makes love to me half the afternoon."

I said: "Well, so why are you crying?"

He said: "For dinner he makes me a gourmet meal with wine and my favorite dessert and then he makes love to me until 2:00 am."

I said: "Well, for goodness sakes! Why in the world would you be CRYING!"


Then there’s this site, whose owner states: First of all, I’m gay, so you know there aren’t going to be ANY anti-gay jokes here. Second, if you’re under the age of 14, get off the net, so I don’t have to censor my page. Third, these are all pretty clean, but still; proceed at your own risk, you’ve been warned. I’ll let you explore that on your own. He has "I support John Kerry" banners as well…


Fear not, brothers and sisters!

You can beat your addiction!

Here’s how…

Just say no to social media!

Are you one of the millions of people whose lives have been ruined by a never-ending torrent of tweets, friend requests and ‘Which kind of pasta are you?’ quizzes? Then it’s time you joined the Social Media Addicts Association.

SMAA is run by reformed social media addicts who all had the courage to stand up and admit to their problem. Will you stop poking people you haven’t seen since college, and join us?

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 27, 2009 in diversions, web stuff, www



This entry is being written by a dictation in speech recognition. It is quite a strange experience:  composing an entry this way you have to speak very clearly.  It is not perfect as it often misinterprets what I say. For example, “in absurd ways” came up as  “in the ad showed why he’s” and then as “the ads so the lights”!

But I am told that the computer will gradually learn to recognize my voice and my pronunciation. The hats and Australian accent (which is the computer’s version of “Perhaps an Australian accent”) is rather challenging for the poor thing. Still I suppose it is amazing that it works at all. The last three words were “works at old” until I said all in a slightly American accent!  

But if I say very clearly to the computer “Open Windows Live Writer!” that’s exactly what it does. I typed that bit so the poor thing would not have a breakdown, as Live Writer is already open of course.

Now to see if WordPress is back online…


Posted by on August 23, 2009 in computers, diversions


Playing with last Sunday’s photo

See Sunday Floating Life photo 27. So I decided to go all arty and try some old and new filters and such.



Posted by on August 11, 2009 in diversions, photography, Sunday photo


“post-modernistic bogans” – an interesting thought

This is a weird post, but is a reflection on the changing population of Australia. It was also inspired by a vent on Thomas’s blog which he has thought fit to withdraw since. It would appear Thomas had an unpleasant olfactory and visual experience recently…

038 Funny in a way, as I had a run-in with the Rabbit a few years back on this very subject: More of the same; on bogans present and past. I cited the famous Hogarth picture on the right as evidence of the source of the bogan culture in Australia. 😉 Moralising rather too much I noted:

Yes, I see bogans every day; they move through Surry Hills and Waterloo day in and day out. They haven’t all moved out to the south-west. Over time I have learned to discern that there are gradations and subtleties here as much as anywhere, and that sweeping generalisations are really out of place. I also grew up among bogans; back in the 50s Sutherland Primary was probably bogan central, before the estates in the south-west were built. Vermont Street was wall to wall bogans… Except we didn’t have the word then. Maybe we were lucky.

Maybe “there but for the grace of God go I” is not such a bad position; it doesn’t have to be patronising. We could try being a bit less judgmental about situations we do not really understand. And we could lend support to all those amazing people, probably mostly not politicians and journalists, who actually do something about it all.

The House of Bogan, manufacturer of T-shirts and hoodies, supports my views on the bogans’ ancient lineage.

Whilst the actual word “bogan” has only been in mainstream circulation for around 20 years, historic evidence points to the existence of bogans for many centuries past.  It is widely believed that the majority of the members in the first fleet to land in Australia were actually bogan prisoners from the United Kingdom.  Therefore, it appears that Australia was actually established by criminally insane bogans who enjoyed drinking, fighting and shooting.

he evolution of the bogan to that of what we know in the present day is largely believed to have commenced in the late 1970’s.  The children of ‘generation x’ form much of the current populous, whilst their offspring continue in the same mould as post-modernistic bogans.  The adoption of key elements such as the ‘mullet’, the flannelette shirt and the ‘trackie-daks’ are also indicators that the contemporary bogan gains inspiration from fashions of the 1980’s in the era of the ‘bogan renaissance’.

Unlike the populace at large, the average bogan is most likely born in Australia.

That brings me to the other strand here, Australia’s changing population. ABC reports:

A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that more than a quarter of people living in Australia were born overseas.

The report examined migration data for the financial year ending in mid 2008, and includes people who stay in the country for more than 12 months. Neil Scott from the ABS says it is the highest proportion of migrants in the population since the late 19th Century. He says the number of European-born migrants is declining, while the proportion born in Asia is rising.

"Traditionally the United Kingdom, which has remained the largest group, with 1.2 million calling Australia home," he said. "But it’s been declining over the years, so even though it’s the largest, it’s not as large as it used to be in terms of proportion. It’s closely followed by New Zealand, which have about half a million people living in Australia and then followed by China, which have about 314,000."

It was the third consecutive year that overseas migration contributed more to Australia’s population growth than natural increase…

You can find the details in the ABS Report. I found it fascinating reading. Here’s just one item for you to think about:


Sally considered this too in her photoblog yesterday:

Did you know that 2% of Sydney-siders are Aboriginal, and 32% were born overseas? According to the 2006 census, United Kingdom, China and New Zealand are the countries of origin of most immigrants, followed by Vietnam, Lebanon, India, Italy and the Philippines.Most Sydneysiders are native speakers of English; many have a second language, the most common being Arabic (predominately Lebanese), Chinese languages (mostly Mandarin, Shanghainese or Cantonese), and Italian. Sydney has the seventh largest percentage of a foreign born population in the world,ahead of cities such as London and Paris but lower than Toronto and Miami.

An amusing visual rendition of the faces of Australia can be found on Faces of Sydney – we’re all bogans! In 2006 there was an exhibition of Faces of Sydney:

If you pop down to Custom’s House in Circular Quay, you’ll see quite excitingly this Faces of Sydney Exhibit. It’s that thing you may have read about where they digitally imposed the faces of some massive sample of Sydney-siders into each other…

Then they separate them into suburbs like Haymarket and Redfern…

Aussie City Life (link at the start of this paragraph) mocked up some faces from other parts of Australia. Quite funny really.


Unlikely searches

Having noticed the following search terms leading to Floating Life over the last seven days, I decided to try some unlikely searches of my own. Here are some of the Floating Life ones:

  • christos tsiolkas jesus christ
  • genuine nude photograph of my wife
  • boys undies

So I offer these to try in your favourite search engine:

  • queen elizabeth terrorist
  • george bush secret muslim
  • john howard spunkbucket
  • kevin rudd spunkbucket
  • john howard bowels
  • malcolm turnbull bowels
  • john howard transexual
  • kevin rudd is harry potter
  • john howard satan
  • kevin rudd satan

An image search of the last one on Google yields this:


Finally, try “barack obama really a woman”.

Have fun.


Posted by on July 19, 2009 in diversions


Fashion victim

As you can see…

0606 015 But would I actually wear it?

Well, I may in places like the doctor’s waiting room – a great place to get flu – or on the bus.

See Melbourne the swine flu capital of the world.

MELBOURNE is now the swine-flu capital of the world, with the H1N1 virus twice as prevalent in the Victorian population as it is in Mexico, where the pandemic began.

As Singaporean authorities yesterday advised travellers to avoid Melbourne where possible, federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon emphasised there were no domestic travel restrictions in place, despite swine flu breaching the containment protocols in the state…

In total, Australia now has 1006 confirmed cases of H1N1, 874 of those being Victorians.

With the state’s comparatively small population, this means swine flu occurs in about one in 9139 Victorians – more than double the one in 21,860 Mexicans with the virus and triple the one in 27,295 people with swine flu in the US.

The Singapore Government posted a health warning on its website advising residents to defer non-essential travel to Victoria. And it is warning Singaporeans returning from Victoria to be alert for any flu-like symptoms.

Victorian Premier John Brumby yesterday questioned Singapore’s stance…

But of course I am not in Victoria.


Posted by on June 6, 2009 in diversions, health, personal


What are they up to?

It wasn’t raining in Belmore Park at this point this afternoon…

2305 002

What could they be doing?


Posted by on May 23, 2009 in diversions, local



1. Dr C has gone to Fiji for a week’s holiday. That could be interesting as a coup seems to be in progress.

2. A couple of (reconstructed) bits of conversation with coachees this week.

Coachee 1 (14): Yes, I read The Lord of the Rings when I was about 4.

Me: Really? That’s a bit much for a four year old… Did you read it in Chinese or English?

Coachee 1: In Chinese. (He was in Shanghai then.)

Me: Have you read it since in English?

Coachee 1: Yes.

Me: Do you still read a lot?

Coachee: One book a week.

Me: English or Chinese?

Coachee: Mostly in English.


Coachee 2 (17): I’m having some problems with Keating’s Speech on the Unknown Soldier. (One of seven set for the HSC unit on speeches.)

Me: What problems?

Coachee 2: What is mateship?

That led to an interesting discussion.


Google translator experiment

I don’t guarantee these translations of today’s post. So how good is Google Translate?


4个来自Surry Hills的图书馆: 2 -和两个OzLit博客

2009 April 6 2009年 4月6日

by Neil由Neil

star30star30star30star30 ozshortstories_logo.indd Aviva Tuffield (ed), New Australian Stories , Melbourne, Scribe 2009. Aviva的Tuffield (教育) , 新的澳大利亚故事 ,墨尔本, 2009年。

这一折衷选集新故事展示我们的一些优秀的短篇小说作家和证明短篇小说还活着,以及在澳大利亚。  由经验丰富的从业人员的形式,通过增加和新兴星级的短篇小说苍穹, 新的澳大利亚故事迎合所有口味。  有幽默感,神秘,戏剧,甚至一些错觉和欺骗。  整个生命捕获在短短满足网页。  理想的动用和完善对那些寻求灵感和逃生,这个系列是专为您的阅读乐趣。

投稿者包括:凯特布兰肯尼迪阿曼达Lohrey ,卡梅尔阿鸟,托尼桦木,尼古拉圣何塞,水稻赖利,最高巴里,玛尔戈Lanagan ,莱尼Bartulin ,迈克尔McGirr ,格鲁吉亚布莱恩,克里斯沃默斯利,帕特里克卡伦等等。

也许这只是我,但他虽然同意有很多品种我留下深刻的多少故事是有关老龄问题和死亡。  我赞扬这一选集虽然。 尼古拉斯何是好有点漫画形式的不那么冒险为她想虚构的祖母。  韦恩麦卡莱的“农民的新机”提供了一个有点哥特解决农业问题。  伊莎贝尔李着眼于老龄化和死亡的问题从一个角度看中国澳大利亚在“鱼刺的喉咙。 水稻赖利的“分手”是钦佩简明的标题,并在一个意想不到的方向发展。  克里斯沃默斯利的“可能水”是很聪明。


编剧是一个澳大利亚的珍宝-独立出版商。  今后这类企业可根据云在这些时候,无助的图书超市友好的变化,提出我们的出版物的法律,这个问题的创始人雕占据在他的博客。  它也提到,虽然少逮捕,由该审查员。

如果短篇小说的活组织切片检查,然后是澳大利亚作家的新小说是熟练的外科医生。  最佳短篇小说可以想起过去和未来进行了部分本。  很多的故事在此收集为此良好。  聚焦我包括阿比盖尔厄尔曼的夏加尔的妻子,他们的故事,一个高年级学生的注意力垂钓的一名教师很容易使人联想起淡漠和未经审查的警觉性,新兴的性行为。 它还突出了精简,直接散文;大多数其他故事有一个倾向喧闹散文有时不太有效。  另一个备用的是维维恩凯利的第三个孩子。 在这个故事,弗朗西斯写字母每年不变的生活对她的姑姑谁生活在国外。 凯利的克制令人钦佩,并回报以非预期的方式,这是一个激动人心的故事。

关于谈论消除领土版权规定 ,有一些担心,如果它继续,澳大利亚的声音和独特的故事将会消失。 我的感觉是,生产这种图书将受到不利影响的重大变化,澳大利亚平行进口的法律;我猜想的风险独立的澳大利亚印刷机的推出新作品(书籍)澳大利亚作者提出所抵消其国内销售的大件商品,并在海外设立图书当地的英雄。  的方式,生产力委员会会(即任意对冲他们的赌注) ,如果你喜欢短篇小说,你应该购买书籍喜欢这些,使他们在自己的畅销权。

这是第一次了一些新的(对我)的文学博客,我发现,同时寻求澳大利亚的故事。这是3000书籍/ /让我们告诉更多资讯

另一个原因是安吉拉罗迈耶上Crikey博客: LiteraryMinded


oleh Neil

star30star30star30star30 ozshortstories_logo.indd  Aviva Tuffield (ed), Cerita Baru Australia, Melbourne, penulis 2009.

Eclectic antologi ini baru menampilkan beberapa cerita dari kami finest penulis cerita pendek dan membuktikan bahwa cerita pendek yang baik dan hidup di Australia. Dari praktisi berpengalaman dalam bentuk sampai naik dan muncul bintang yang singkat cerita cakrawala, Cerita Baru Australia bagi semua selera.  Ada humor, misteri, drama, dan bahkan beberapa khayalan dan kebohongan. Seluruh kehidupan yang diambil hanya dalam beberapa halaman memuaskan.   Penyelaman untuk menjadi ideal dan cocok untuk mereka yang mencari inspirasi dan keluar, koleksi ini dirancang untuk senang membaca.

Kontributor termasuk: Cate Kennedy, Amanda Lohrey, Carmel Bird, Tony Birch, Nicholas Jose, Padi O’Reilly, Max Barry, Margo Lanagan, Lenny Bartulin, Michael McGirr, Georgia Blain, Chris Womersley, Patrick Cullen dan masih banyak lagi.

Mungkin it’s just me, tapi saat menyetujui banyak terdapat berbagai Saya bulus oleh berapa banyak yang prihatin dengan cerita ageing dan sekarat.   Saya menghargai ini meskipun antologi.   Nicholas Jose agak baik dalam bentuk komik yang tidak cukup sebagai petualang seperti dia mau fiksi nenek.  Macaulay wayne’s "The Petani Baru Mesin" agak gothic menawarkan solusi untuk masalah pertanian.  Isabelle Li melihat ageing mati dan isu dari Cina Australia dalam perspektif "Sebuah tulang ikan di Tenggorokan".  Padi O’Reilly’s "Breaking Up" adalah dgn ringkas dan mengambil judul dalam arah yang tidak diharapkan.   Chris Womersley’s "The Kesempatan Air" sangat cerdas.

Saya dapat menyebutkan banyak lagi; terdapat sangat sedikit pakaian.

Penulis adalah salah satu dari harta Australia – sebuah penerbit independen.   Masa depan seperti Ventures mungkin di bawah awan kali ini, tidak membantu oleh Kitab Supermarket ramah mooted perubahan undang-undang publikasi kami, sebuah isu yang pendiri penulis memakan di blog. Juga disebutkan, walaupun dengan kurang penangkapan, oleh resensi buku ini.

Jika cerita pendek yang biopsies, maka penulis Baru Australia Cerita Dokter Ahli Bedah yang terampil. Singkat cerita yang terbaik yang bisa menyihir masa lalu dan yang akan datang dari segmen ini.  Banyak cerita-cerita dalam koleksi ini melakukannya dengan baik. Highlights saya termasuk Abigail Ulman’s Chagall’s Wife, kisah yang tinggi-sekolah siswa Angling untuk perhatian yang seorang guru yang mudah evokes keteledoran dan unexamined kewaspadaan dari burgeoning seksualitas.   Ia juga berdiri keluar untuk bersandar, langsung prosa; sebagian besar lainnya cerita ada kecenderungan terhadap fleshier prosa yang terkadang bisa menjadi kurang efektif.   Lain-out telah berdiri Vivienne Kelly’s The Third Child.  Dalam cerita ini, Frances tahunan menulis surat tentang dia unchanging kehidupan seorang bibi yang tinggal di luar negeri.  Kelly’s pemenjaraan adalah kagum dan membayar di jalan yang tidak diharapkan; It’sa cerita hati.

Sehubungan dengan berbicara dari menghapuskan teritorial dengan ketentuan hak cipta, ada beberapa yang takut jika ingin maju, unik dan cerita Australia suara akan hilang.  Saya mendapatkan perasaan bahwa produksi jenis buku ini akan terkena dampak negatif perubahan besar ke Australia paralel impor hukum; I’d guess bahwa risiko independen ke Australia untuk penekanan meletakkan karya baru keluar (untuk buku) penulis menempatkan Australia oleh mereka adalah offset domestik besar-penjualan tiket di luar negeri dan judul buku yang didirikan oleh pahlawan lokal.   Cara Produktivitas Komisi terjadi (yakni mereka sewenang-wenang lindung nilai taruhan), jika Anda suka cerita pendek, Anda harus membeli buku-buku seperti ini dan membuat mereka bestsellers di kanan mereka sendiri.

Dan yang pertama dari beberapa baru (untuk saya) sastra ditemukan sementara blog saya mencari Baru Cerita Australia. Ada 3000 BUKU / / LET’S TELL MORE STORIES.

Lain adalah Angela Meyer pada Crikey Blogs: LiteraryMinded.


Posted by on April 6, 2009 in diversions


Oh dear, I am – and to my cost rather too often

I saw this personality test on Creative Spark: Analytical, Witty and Generally Anti-Social. So I thought I would have a go.


That’s the result. Click on it to learn more. A bit flattering though. Dozy git is a better summary…

Comments Off on Oh dear, I am – and to my cost rather too often

Posted by on March 3, 2009 in diversions, personal


This post has no title

Just a bit of a Saturday miscellany really.

on reading

I stumbled upon this via Stumble Upon:


on Prince Harry and his vocabulary

Indigo Jo, a British Muslim, is one of the bloggers I trawl from in my Blog Picks: “In which an unemployed graduate has an excuse to use his politics degree. Religious, tech and media issues (and anything I fancy).”  I was struck by how much more sensible he was on the Prince Harry story than most people I’d read: Prince Harry and his little friend.

On Sunday, the News of the World (also known as the News of the Screws, a tabloid "scandal sheet" owned by Rupert Murdoch known for printing kiss-and-tell stories) put on its front page a story about Prince Harry, the second son of Prince Charles (and Diana) who is currently an army officer, who shot a private video of his Sandhurst comrades waiting for a plane to Cyprus, and calling a Pakistani fellow cadet "our little Paki friend, Ahmed". They also accused him of somehow insulting the Queen by giving what sounds like a perfectly normal goodbye to his Grandpa, also known as Prince Phillip (by the way: the NOTW’s weekday sister paper, the Sun, is known for supporting a republic, and responded to the Queen’s coronation by telling her she had had her fun and should abdicate the next day). Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation has called him a thug who had been trying to portray himself as being like his caring and respected parents.

When I first heard of this news, I started writing a piece defending Prince Harry, because the event happened three years ago, when he was still a cadet, and someone has decided to betray a trust and leak this video to the press for his own personal reasons – having fallen out with someone or fallen on hard times. Then I actually saw the video, and it turns out that the offending phrase – "there’s our little Paki friend, Ahmed" – was used pretty much behind his back, or at least, in such a way that Ahmed could not hear. Whether we should still consider him what we would consider someone we had just seen say that – a racist jerk – is open to question, but it certainly discounts the argument that this was just banter between colleagues.

In my experience – and several of my best friends are of Pakistani origin, as much of a cliché as that sounds – a lot of youth of Pakistani origin don’t find the word Paki in and of itself offensive, and many of them actually use it amongst themselves. It does not have the same heat that the "N word" carries, probably because the history is different. Pakistan itself is only just over 60 years old, Paki is only short for Pakistani, the word "pak" means pure, and however oppressive the British empire was at times, Asians are not descended from people who were slaves to British masters. However, the fact remains that people do remember its use as a racist term, a way in which it is commonly used, and telling its use as banter and its use as a racial derogatory term is pretty easy: if it’s used in conjunction with other insults, or if it’s used to mean any Asian rather than an actual Pakistani, it is an insult, and if it is used by a non-Pakistani, especially a white person, most people won’t appreciate it. During the discussion of it on the talk shows last night and this morning, the presenters (Dotun Adebayo and Vanessa Feltz) insisted that people did not use the word – I suspect that this is a station policy – and even suggested that the media should not be using the word openly, particularly in headlines.

I think that his comment was clearly inappropriate, but not heinous; he used it as a student on another student, not as an officer on soldier, or even an officer, under his command. That would have brought bullying into it, which has been a serious problem in the Armed Forces. I have heard it said that this sort of behaviour should be expected from Prince Phillip’s grandson, and the history of the Royal family is not full of people like the present Queen and Lady Diana – there have been quite a few controversial figures in its history as well. However, it is disappointing to hear someone who has a possibility of being the figurehead for this country talking that way, but in general, one should not expect exemplary behaviour when looking over the shoulders of a group of male friends, let alone Army mates.

nightmarish: makes one question human ingenuity

This one is far too long to reproduce: Robots at War: The New Battlefield by P W Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the author of Children at War (2005) and Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (2003). “This article is adapted from Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, reprinted by arrangement with The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. © 2009 by P. W. Singer.”

From this perspective, war becomes, as one security analyst put it, “a global spectator sport for those not involved in it.” More broadly, while video images engage the public in a whole new way, they can fool many viewers into thinking they now have a true sense of what is happening in the conflict. The ability to watch more but experience less has a paradoxical effect. It widens the gap between our perceptions and war’s realities. To make another sports parallel, it’s the difference between watching an NBA game on television, with the tiny figures on the screen, and knowing what it feels like to have a screaming Kevin Garnett knock you down and dunk over your head. Even worse, the video segments that civilians see don’t show the whole gamut of war, but are merely the bastardized ESPN SportsCenter version. The context, the strategy, the training, the tactics—they all just become slam dunks and smart ­bombs.

War porn tends to hide other hard realities of battle. Most viewers have an instinctive aversion to watching a clip in which the target might be someone they know or a fellow American; such clips are usually banned from U.S.-hosted websites. But many people are perfectly happy to watch video of a drone ending the life of some anonymous enemy, even if it is just to see if the machines fighting in Iraq are as “sick” as those in the Transformers movie, the motive one student gave me for why he downloaded the clips. To a public with so much less at risk, wars take on what analyst Christopher Coker called “the pleasure of a spectacle with the added thrill that it is real for someone, but not the spectator.”

There’s an account in that essay of “tiny but lethal robots the size of insects, which look like they are straight out of the wildest science fiction”. The mind more than boggles at what the Pentagon is researching.

four more from my blog roll

I was just updating the Google Reader and thought I would promote four entries here as well. There is such good stuff on my reader; I can say that because it’s no boast, though I guess I am congratulating myself for my good taste. 😉

  1. The pretty boy barber by Alex Au (Yawning Bread) is just so urbane, so intelligent. He’s been blogging since before there was blogging, and I have been a devoted reader since the year 2000!
  2. Creativity and play by Bob Leckridge (Heroes Not Zombies), the Scottish doctor. Read him to see what wisdom looks like, and the Scottish countryside.
  3. Symbolic Moment by Jon Taplin, a US writer on mostly economics issues. Today he makes wonderful use of the recent amazing bit of crash-landing in the Hudson River – and what a story that was, eh!
  4. Surry Couple by James O’Brien (who also lives in Surry Hills). James has a new template! This post is just beautiful – and local.

bonus pic: not everyone loves Clover Moore

I collected this in Prince Alfred Park yesterday. Clover Moore is Sydney’s Lord Mayor.



Here’s another “100 best novels of all time” post

Here is the preface and the top ten; go to the full list.

We all love lists . . . well let’s stir the waters with an ambitious one highlighting
the 100 best novels.  Be warned:  this ranking is based on cranky and
subjective standards.  (But aren’t they all?)

1.    Marcel Proust  Remembrance of Things Past
“The only paradise is a paradise lost.”
2.    Fyodor Dostoevsky  The Brothers Karamozov
“If God is dead, then all things are permitted.”
3.    Thomas Mann,  The Magic Mountain
“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or
blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even
when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off
4.    Henry James  The Ambassadors
"The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have."
5.    Miguel de Cervantes  Don Quixote
"For the love of God, sir knight errant, if you ever meet me again, please, even
if you see me being cut into little pieces, don’t rush to my aid or try to help
me, but just let me be miserable, because no matter what they’re doing to me
it couldn’t be worse than what will happen if your grace helps, so may God
curse you and every knight errant who’s ever been born in the world."
6.    Herman Melville  Moby Dick
"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I
grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my
last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and
since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee,
though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
7.    William Faulkner  Absalom, Absalom!
"I learned little save that most of the deeds, good and bad both, incurring
opprobrium or plaudits or reward either, within the scope of man’s abilities,
had already been performed and were to be learned about only from books."
8.    Leo Tolstoy  War and Peace
“A thought that had long since and often occured to him during his military
activities — the idea that there is not and cannot be any science of war, and
that therefore there can be no such thing as a military genius — now appeared
to him an obvious truth.”
9.    Henry Fielding  Tom Jones
“Jenny replied to this with a bitterness which might have surprized a judicious
person, who had observed the tranquility with which she bore all the affronts
to her chastity; but her patience was perhaps tired out, for this is a virtue
which is very apt to be fatigued by exercise.”
10.  Mark Twain  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“But that’s always the way; it don’t make no difference whether you do right
or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him
anyway. . . . It takes up more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and
yet ain’t no good, nohow. Tom Sawyer thinks the same.”

I have read only five of those, though I did begin two others! Isn’t that a dreadful confession to make?

How did you score? Would you add anything to the list, assuming you are a good Floating Life reader and click on the link…?

Coincidentally, British crime fiction writer John Baker includes a similar list in his latest post: Presque vu LXXVI.