Archive for September, 2008

Victorian Secret

You know how it is. You think it’s only a passing fancy and think nothing of it. But you find yourself noticing it more and more. Eventually you realise – you are quite taken with the whole Steampunk thing.

I’ve always been a speculative fiction sort of guy. In particular, I like it when people take something from the past and play with the “what if’s”. Even if the thing from the past is fictional – for example, I love some of the “elseworlds” scenarios that DC comics has published (The best of these, I think, are “Secret Identity” and “The Dark Knight Returns”).

However, lately I’ve realised how much I’ve been enjoying things that fall into the Steampunk category. Movies such as “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Wild, Wild West”, The Brothers Grimm” and even “Brazil” with their visions of a steam driven technology and pseudo-Victorian motif.

There’s a whole bunch of people now creating fancifully decorated high tech objects in leather and brass with a Victoriana aura.

There’s a good sample of them over at the Steampunk Workshop.

The Boston Globe has a Really Good article on steampunk, and I think they sum it up so well, saying:

“In all of the new steampunk design there is a strong nostalgia for a time when technology was mysterious and yet had a real mark of the craftsperson burnished into it”


Portrait of the writer as a young man

I was rummaging through some old slides today and came across this one which I post for your amusement. The Dramatis personæ are my paternal grandfather, mother and your correspondent, not necessarily in that order.

It was the late 70's!

It was the late 70s after all.

And, how what does the smiling young man in the middle look like now?
Seriously older.

Which caption fits... "Looking seriously older." or "Looking seriously. Older."

Do I still call them “children”?

Disneyland For Adults - ska band

It’s official. I now have two adult children. The Boy turned 18 last week. In Australia, that means he can vote, drink and generally raise mayhem whilst being entirely responsible for his own actions.

To celebrate, we hosted about 30 of his friends to a party in my back yard. The highlight of the evening was a performance by a ska band “Disneyland For Adults*” on the rear porch.

We’d warned the neighbours that there would be noise by leafleting the previous week. There were no objections, and I even got a couple of phone calls thanking me for the warning and wishing us well.

Because at this time of year it can get cold and wet, I’d erected a large awning and there was a patio heater. We only got a spot of rain, and mostly the heater wasn’t much in demand.

The Boy and His Girl

The Boy and His Girl

The guests were well behaved – no unpleasantness, no overt drunken behaviour, some dancing (that left my lawn a bit the worse for wear, but it will recover!)

I did supply nibbles, but thanks to my clumsiness, only one oven load of hot food made it to the kids, as I broke the door catches of the oven, and it refuses to work without them. (The subsequent repair is a story of its own, since the manufacturer doesn’t make the parts any more.)

A good night!

*alternate name: “Daisy Duck Does Dallas”