Monday, January 14, 2008


Dear readers, it's been a long time between drinks.

I spend New Year's Eve on a Greyhound bus. It just gets better and better, don't it? Christmas Eve in a homeless person's camp, and now this. Total electronic ignition failure on the motorcycle. Que sera, sera. I'm back in Carnarvon, o joy of joys. I had a fat time in Perth - a FAT time, catching up with Safari Bob, Das Clayton, Mz Mayhem - and my little niece and nephew.

Family. Can't live with 'em, happily live without 'em.

So. Safari Bob, Das and i are bringing cheap point-and-shoot cameras back. Film is so hot right now. I'm shooting with a cheap 80s Nikon that Das gave me. He also got a Konica, weatherproof, with exposure compensation. Both cameras, for under $4. That's what i'm talking about. Safari Bob is shooting with a $5 Konica, i believe, although i may yet be corrected on this point. Retro technology, trash, that nobody cares about or wants.

And yet ...

Take this sepia portrait of the Art Director and Safari Bob's Artistic Journey. Just plop a point and shoot on the Australia Post mailbox, press a self-timer button (wow! gizmo) stand in front of the lens, and do some deep and meaningful soul-searching.

I tell you, it just wouldn't be the same on digital. Film is so hot right now. I've been developing rolls in the laundry at Mickey T's. No thermometer. Just using songs on the radio to gauge my development time. Fast film, two songs, 1+19 dilution. For a fine-grained film, better make it a song-and-a-half. Empty the dev, and add a tankful of water and a dash of white vinegar, agitate for about the length of a four-bar chorus. Then, fix the film for a song and a bit - constant agitation. Then wash in seven tankfuls of Carnarvon scheme water (fingers crossed) and a final rinse in distilled water, with a drop of dishwashing liquid. Chamois dry, hang it up.


Then get Christian to roll scan it down at the pharmacy.

Yes, we're bringing film back. Safari Bob and i are also intent on bringing der back. Such a wonderful word, yet so sadly underemployed these days. When was the last time anyone said "der" to you? Well yes, immediately after you stated the bleeding obvious - but when? 1979? 1980? Well it's high time we repopularised this poignant, panchromatic, and pithy epistle. And after quite a few lagers, Safari Bob and i did just that. And it immediately caught on. At the Moon Café, in the early hours of one day or another, the waiter brings us our plate of nachos.

You ordered the nachos, the waiter says.
Der, i say.
A pause.
Der, repeats the waiter.
He puts the plate down, and leaves.

It's catching on.

We are all in a process of renegotiating the English language. Which brings me to the title of this post. "Writer's block." Yes - you guessed it. I'm going to buy some land in Carnarvon. I have to retire somewhere after my travels. Ah, so little to do, so much time.

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