Everyday Wizardry

Yesterday, I bought a printer on Gumtree for $20. I had to go to Kingsford, but the next bus wasn’t for nearly an hour, so I walked. The route went past my old alma mater, UNSW, which brought back lots of memories. Assignments completed by staying up all night, student politics (a shout-out to Luke Foley, who is a genuinely nice and funny guy), Tharunka, beer, love, the whole caboodle.

Just outside the seller’s house I came eye-to-eye with a huge black crow sitting on a gate-post. It reminded me at the same time of three things: the raven in the battleground scene at the start of Vikings Season 1 Episode 1; Ted Hughes’ masterful book of poetry ‘Crow’, with its illustrations by Leonard Baskin, and the late great Graham Kennedy making crow calls on Blankety-Blanks: faaaaark, faaaaark, faaaark….raven

Carried my printer home in my back-pack. It works, but it won’t print over the network from my laptop. I think it is a Windows-Linux thing – like many things, its supposed to work (using samba sharing) but it doesn’t actually. I’ll keep trying coz I’m stubborn like that.

After dinner I caught the bus to Newtown, where my friend Michael Fridge was performing with his band New Fridge at the open stage night at the Town Hall Hotel. On the way I got talking to a bearded pensioner who actually looked like he might be a wizard. He told me he spent all his holidays in a tent in the Spanish Basque country. He learned Spanish and French on the internet and had even a smattering of the Basque language. Impressive.

At the pub the boys did a terrific rendition of Michael’s original songs, especially his great hits ‘God’s Out To Get You’ and ‘In Bed With Tony Abbott’. fridge

The following act was a guy who must count as the hardest-working man in show-biz. His name is Chase Spencer, he comes from Vancouver Canada and he really, really wants to be famous. He’s pretty talented and hey, maybe he will make it, but it’s a hard world out there. chase_spencer_is_famous_sm

Whenever I go to the Townie, I’m always amused at the shoot-em-up arcade game in the main bar. The NRA would be very pleased.bang-bang_sm

Today I didn’t get much done, but I popped up to Randwick to pick up a book from the Library. On the way back I had a Captain Cook at a certain magnificent statue on the corner of Belmore Rd and Avoca St. captain_cook

After dinner, I watched a series from the SBS On-Demand site, called ‘The Wizards of Aus’. It’s very silly, but actually remarkably good – some of the jokes are screamingly funny. Wizards coming to Melbourne as migrants and trying to assimilate while suffering discrimination and harassment. Very SBS, but somehow it really works.

On the subject of wizardry, I had a bit of trouble juggling all my wands and spells (that’s remotes and programs for you unimaginative ones), which made me feel a bit like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I played the videos from the computer onto the TV. It took me ages to work out why my mouse pointer kept disappearing (it was on the desktop of the other screen) and why the sound wouldn’t play (the TV was expecting sound from the DVD player, which was still switched on). I used the terrific if misleadingly named (coz it only controls computers) Unified Remote App on my phone to control the mouse and keyboard from the couch. Hocus Pocus Alacazam right click and the video disappears in a puff of smoke!

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