Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 09.00.07COMMON SENSE, TRADITION, AND THE COMMON


It’s all very well having ‘voice recognition’ technology that can transmute the spoken word to written writings … but wotif?

Wotif the speaker of the spoken don’t speak proper, like? So try this for size—

“Strange fogs engulfed the land, the Sun barely shown for days, even weeks at a time, and when it did it was but a feeble imitation of itself, crops died in the fields, forest growth almost came to a stop over the whole northern hemisphere, famine etc etc …”


I was brought up to understand that the English (as in English, note—not American, Kiwi, Australian or any other foreigner lingo) word for the past participle of “to shine” which although written as ‘shone’ is correctly pronounced as ‘shonn’. The sun didn’t shown—it shone, qua shonn, dammit.

That’s the second time this week already—once in conversation (a u-toobe narration) and this instance in written writing. Sadly I can’t stop the progress of destruction and so our once-common language is becoming sundered.

‘Twas ever thus …



Aye, there’s the RUB …

ye Gods

referring to a source of more wisdom and greater solace than ever the Holy Babbles of any religious franchise can hope to claim. The Rubaiyat, officially approved by  —>

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referring of course to a work by a semi-obscure but powerful (!) Islamic mind some hundreds of years ago—a work which translated directly into English was obscure and almost meaningless; a work which once ‘translated’ (i.e. immensely enhanced) by an  almost unknown English clergyman became one of the modern greats (especially with we hippies).

Click the above quote for one of the many sources. Peruse, find one that appeals and curl up beneath a bough somewhere with a loaf of bread, gallon or two of a good red and whomesoever ringeth thy bell these days and get in amongst it:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native school of thought …



That link again:


Ye gods …

but first, by way of explanation, my reason for passive acceptance—

OR, as the old saying (oft attributed to Confucius) goes:

“If it’s inevitable, just

Lie back and enjoy it”

And here I’m mourning the dearth and death of Education. At least mathematics can’t be too interfered with by ‘progressives’ … lowest common denominator still rules, no?

Try this:

down finger

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—burgled from ‘The Southland Times’ (online) a few minutes ago.

Need I not say no more?*

chimp rocks

* Hah! You thought I could never be brief …




have such shape, especially the ancient and some modern copies thereof?

First off:

This is just one of my favourite renderings of a number, make of it what you will. The old dog had never heard of it until he serendipitied across some Russian damsel pounding it out on a theremin (see? Even us geniuses have gaps in our education) and fell in love.

With the music.

Googling for more brought up the above link—go there at your peril. But with all the terrible videography the message (if there is one) comes across …

ye Gods.png

“And I don’t mind a bit, Argus! Well done all ’round!” 

No, I never have seen the movie and have absolutely no idea what it is about. A western, I believe …

Back to my question: music hath charms (and such shapely resonances can only strike responsive chords, no?) …




bird here called a tui. The Tui has iridescent ‘gun metal’ feathers with a wee tuft of white at its throat; and a melodic call that fair rattles the ears if you’re anywhere near when they let loose. Sadly I love it … ouch.

In Queens Park in town last week I happened upon a whole bunch of them feeding (nectar) in a blossom tree—active like you wouldn’t believe. I took several dozen shots and boiled them down to just two lucky captures—

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—this and one other. I love these birds but when they start calling I have to insert distance as soon as I can—their call can fill entire valleys. (Close up you don’t hear it so much as feel it. Brrrrr.)

Moving on from there I tried again to capture an image of a pine that seems to be overly devoted to cones—Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 20.15.35.png—this too has to be seen to be believed.

The management there and I differ—so they no longer reply to (or acknowledge) any of my correspondences, which fact doesn’t stop me bleating when due—I mean, look at what the Philistines have done to this once lovely sundial—

(a) before tender loving care:

  down finger

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now look at the new look

(b) post tender loving care—

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—and when I pointed out that two dissimilar metals in an electrolyte (yes, even down here we have rain) produces electrolysis … dammit … anyway, whatever that gunk is that they used it won’t rub off. Some sort of very expensive ‘flavour enhancer preservative’ I imagine.

There are other bronze sundials in the park, but don’t fret, I’ve already photographed them. Aaaah, progress … don’t you just love Moderns, and their ‘progressive’ notions?

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Yep, Tink … ol Argie is still a cynic.





of the small talk: into it~!

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These guys above were a lot smaller than they look. Tiny in fact. But don’t take my word for it, come here in mushie season and see for yourself (Queens Park, Invercargill).


This wee rodent has reached an accommodation with the birds in my niece’s backyard aviary—he’s no threat to anybody and neither is she, or the birds. Everyone is happy and he gets all the feathers he can eat for free.

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And this is the shot I was looking for but didn’t find yesterday. A tiny wax-eye with a feral apple.

So few of those self-set apples left these days, at the side of what I think must’ve been a coaching road in the horse-drawn carriage age. Travellers chomped their apples and tossed the cores out, cores hold seeds, seeds spill out and some took …

hang in there, Ba-bee.png

Don’t feel cheated if you’ve seen it before—that’s ‘cos I posted it before. That bee was possibly sound asleep or whatever it is bees do when loading up with morning sunlight and warmth and neither of us disturbed the other.  Tiny wee thing.


is a tiny—

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—shot of a larger whiteboard memo thingy. We used to use it for shopping lists and stuff, but She stopped once I’d drawn the above one morning.

Some weeks later we had a cop cold calling, hoping for witness statements concerning something of which we didn’t know much; so we sat him down and he joined us for morning coffee … was fascinated by and just couldn’t take his eyes off it. I think we made a bit of a change from his usual day’s working environment. Nice young guy, already old beyond his years.

We still have it but definitely showing its age now so we keep it tucked out of harm’s way.

Challenge met?

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Here then, have a last final thought—

—the red dots are (wait for it~!) tiny rubies …


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sure beats barkin’

WPC: Careful

Every week another challenge. And who would we be to refuse?


scene. We went to Gore for the day. Gore is a small town that until fairly recently was famous for its youth, bored kids who crawled out of the woodwork at night—kids who became known as ‘Gorons’. A local name for a universal product.

A no-holds-barred policing policy sorted them out but a few bits of their legacy live on, sometimes under bridges where other trolls dwell—

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—and on a bright spring morning it’s hard to catch the ‘art’ work without taking liberties with exposures and stuff. This is the surviving part of an earlier road bridge over the local river. LOOK: I know it’s fashionable to consider (okay, to spout that you consider) such vandalism as ‘folk art’ but to me it’s nothing but colour-muck spread by the talentless. The purveyors of this ‘art’ belong in the same asylums as the guys who blow up ancient Buddha statues, or smash ‘heathen idols’ in mid-Eastern museums. Bleuch.


their great works contain wannabe swastikas. Young hoons apparently all admire Nazis and Naziism, no end. One can forgive pignorance*  in the unsophisticated but surely if they’re going to spray symbols on structures they could get them right? (Yer actual Nazi swastika as a burning cross rotates anti-clockwise.)

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Possibly a hundred years or more ago engineers and clever chaps with theodolites and mathematical tables did lots of sums and built the bridge, in the course of which they installed flood gauges.

Flash forward to today’s youth and you get these sprayed on desecrations—which the Politically Correct assure us are ‘folk art’ (and the vibrant expressions of frustrated creative youth). Yeah, right.

Moving on …

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An unfair comparison: the old bridge on the left there, the more recent current bridge on the right/overhead as we stand; monuments to the past — and some great modern artworks adding class to the otherwise crass commercial functionality.

I know it’s art—true art evokes emotions, no?

And we have to be careful how we treat it, even with cameras …



* Pignorance = pig ignorance

WPC: Beneath Your Feet



When last in Gore I ambled along what’s left of once very busy shunting lines. Amazing the amount of steel just lying about underfoot, some still scrod to the ground—even complete with little piles of screws and other bits where some long passed artificers dropped them—

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These lines go nowhere now, they do nothin’ but end in wee piles of neatly dumped gravelly stuff. (Why, I have no idea—the very thought of a train coming along along these rails now belongs on either the Sci Fi or the Occult shelves)—

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—sure, the crossing signs are still up on that road in the distance but they are covering the one active line that’s been left to carry an occasional freight from Invercargill (I think). Bummer. No passenger ferries at all.

I still like the idea enthusiastically espoused by some old goat in Auckland* that time ‘they’ were bleating about gridlock traffic congestion on the roads and Harbour Bridge (whilst whimpering about all the unused railways still lying around)—an idea to the effect that there’s no reason why they couldn’t simply slip a bus or several dozen onto rail wheels and just drive them along, turning hardly used cargo routes into commuter routes. Hell, it’s not even a unique thought—I remember seeing a road truck scamper by on the rails with cheerily grinning railway maintenance guys waving tools. It could be done but sadly seems a bit too “outside the box” to even be considered; thus millions of dollars of capital assets quietly rust and fester.


you must already be pondering the next image. There’s a sorry tale behind it—also in Gore, I must add. When out I like visiting all parts of a place. And when once on the other side of the tracks I was bimbling along a street filled with some of the most interesting piles of deceased cars I observed not far in front what appeared to be stacks of ex-motor vehicles with saplings growing up through them.

I wanted a shot, and went closer … yep, definitely. Trees penetrating various steels and things, right through the floors and out through the roofs or windows or otherwise holes.

I shot this one on final approach—

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—with the intention of putting the lens through a hole in the netting of the gate. There was no-one around anyway, so I poked the lens to the hole and quietly entered orbit.

One has to give credit where it’s due. As I slowed to a mere gallop quite some distance up the road—amazing, such reflexes even at my age—that damn’ dog deserve all the credit in the world.

He must have detected me from a long way off (scent, perhaps; instincts honed by habit and boredom, maybe) and silently shadowed my every cheery step along that blasted fence until the ideal ambush was set, armed, and sprung.

Ye utter gods.

I’ve seen huge dogs in my time, and heard them, and on occasion been held captive—but never by such a consummate Master. Think pit-bull crossed with Neapolitan mastiff and aurochs. Slobber? No, that was me afterwards, trying to still my pounding heart—he was all teeth and red eyes with a volume any jet airliner on takeoff revs would envy.

I didn’t hear him—I just felt; and that was through corrugated iron and mesh. He blended his paroxysm of racket with the first hurl of his body into the fence immediately below where my lens was about to trespass—dumb dog, that reverberating THUD by itself would have sufficed.

If he were trying to reinforce the lesson it worked—I give all points to him except for the tiny one I awarded myself (afterwards) for my instant panic-plan … if he’d got out, I was going in.

Not bad for the exigencies of the moment—I’d surrender my share of the street to him for a place in his very own personal yard; wherein the second part of my clever plan was to promptly go aloft on the nearest of those wrecks and once there improvise a weapon of any kind and defend my new kingdom to the death. I don’t know how high huge heavy battle-dogs can jump … it would have been just my luck that he’d figure out how to climb too (and/or wasn’t alone in there). Brrrrr~!

WISER NOW, and desperately in need of a black coffee I gave away photographing anything and staggered off to meet The Spouse. I’m sure I heard a snigger as I wobbled away—in a pronounced canine accent.



*Moi. (Did you guess?)


a few years ago

to use a



I did so. Hard to regret doing so, so I never have (regretted) (sheesh~!) …

Not only does it serve as a first line of defence for the front elements of your actual lens you can tweak it and it does things. Magical things—especially to skies, colours, and water … looking for fishies and all you can see is the gorgeous reflected leafery of autumn? Go further down the page and see what you might do to your current puddle for a mere minor outlay of funds.


were snapped from standing positions, hand-held. They were taken within seconds of each other, the only difference being the rotation (angle of twist) of the filter. Likewise for the stream snaps further down—not only can your lovely polariser add depths to colours, by reducing surface reflections it can add depths to depths. You’ll have to find your own fish though.

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Above:  late afternoon sun on St Aardvarks in Dee Street.

Below:  likewise but with a wee twist to the lens.

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Below, a cute little streamlet/creek thing in autumn, near the Winton golf course. Over a few weeks I took this snap quite a few times but of course cleared ’em from the computer … so by the time it occurred to me to take a ‘keeping’ snap I’d lost the power of those colours—

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—but not the effect of the polariser; again two shots from the same place at the same time within seconds—

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—and not a single Photoshop in sight. Boom boom!


hence to your local photo shop and price yourself a polarising filter.

I think mine was around twenty-thirty bucks (kiwi) and I just leave it permanently in place on the end of the lens. I have no idea by how much it reduces the light but should I ever need to remove it the things comes off in seconds (years ago I had an Olympus OM2n and used the Cokin filters. Brilliant, just slip ’em in or out, no screwing).

Now go get one, and no—I’m not on a commission …




WPC Symbol

my humble and most grovelling




because what you are about to receive/perceive (whatever) isn’t mine. It’s something I uplifted from the web (good ol’ Google~!).


Doc Moron, smokes


So in the current political climes I leave it to you to make of it what you will. Any further commentary from me would be superfluous and/or redundant.

But it could well serve in the office of symbolising an earlier age … which raises the nagging doubt:

what will future ages use to symbolise us?

Ooops … frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a BR’s A. I just regret that I can’t post the above on the WPC. Bummer …