Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Raindrops are glass snakes
Trains slither slow and blind
Signal failure again.

Grey clouds weep
An urgent need to sleep
Trust in failure.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The thought

I had a little thought
It popped into my head
Round and round inside it swam
On other thoughts it fed
Consuming, growing, crowding out
Though nothing was ever said
Then I cut myself with a knife
And out that thought bled
Now I have no more thoughts
Uh oh, I'm dead!

(No, I'm not depressed, self harming, etc. etc.)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Horse play

Normally the slow pace of Sydney's various transportation systems is cause for complaint. On Easter Saturday it was a source of pleasure as we sat atop horses slowly ambling around the grounds of the Sydney Trail Riding Centre.

Alex rode Kahlua, whilst B and I were on girlfriend and boyfriend Mindy and Rex. There were eleven other guests and a couple of staff along as well. The day was clear and there were views across the south of Sydney. A powered blimp, advertising Appliances Online, drifted overhead.

Alex slid off Kahlua at one steep point in the ride, but did it in such an expert fashion that we couldn't help but be impressed. It was only his second time riding a horse, only the third time B and I had done a trail ride.

On the way back we stopped at the nearby Darrell Lea factory outlet, not that we needed much more chocolate and licorice considering the nature of the holiday. Then lunch at Cabramatta, a reminder of why one should pay little attention to TripAdvisor restaurant reviews, and home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The game of limited choice

Do you dream of riches and a place where anything that you desire can be yours?

I often dream of the opposite.

One of my favourite fantasies is of something I like to call the Game of Limited Choice. It goes like this:

Imagine that you are in a situation where your options of things to buy, see or do are limited. Use your creativity to innovate and make the best out of the situation.
I've played this game for a long, long time. When I was little our family would holiday in farm cottages where the indoor entertainment (sometimes the weather wasn't great) was limited to old war adventure and Readers Digest paperbacks and maybe a black and white television.

Later on I would make lists of the minimum number of Star Wars toys and model train items I would need, imagining that I was in a country town with only a few shops (pretty easy to imagine, as I was living in a caravan in the country at the time with most of our possessions in storage).

An updated version of it might be:

I'm at the airport with only my phone, wallet and passport. Use the shops to buy everything you need, likes clothes and travel goods, for a trip overseas.

Another more recent one:
It's Christmas Eve and you are stuck in a motel with your family and no food or presents for the next day. The only place open is a petrol station convenience store. How can use their limited stock to make a Christmas celebratory meal and give everyone presents?
Computers are a favourite and one where the game has been very real, especially trying to complete university assignments on old or software limited devices like an IBM XT clone or a Sharp Zaurus hand-held while travelling around Europe. You certainly wish that you had freedom of choice when everything takes longer than it could, but you also feel like you are getting the most you can out of the machine.

Sometimes a plethora of choice can itself be stifling while the Game of Limited Choice is a creative challenge. See how many times you can spot it in my writings here and elsewhere.

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