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Outage caused by hosting provider

Webdiary technical problems: It turns out that the database was deliberately suspended by our internet host (OnSmart) because of the load it was imposing on their server: they didn't, however, bother to tell us this until today (Tuesday). Unsurprisingly, we will be looking at moving to another hosting provider as soon as possible.

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Civics

Jenny, I believe this is on or about (in relation to, in respect of...ack, the joys of being a legal typist) my 5 post limit, so after this I shall say adieu. I am most touched by your sentiments. From reading The Ambassadors, set in Paris, I learn that youth is harsh but vital. One never quite knows the extent to which one is being used by youth, but one neither expects anything else, nor judges, nor questions.

You can always write to me. I think it is best to put the best of yourself into private correspondence, rather than for public consumption. I think your, shall we say, shyness in regards to this poem is moving, almost like you wrote it yourself. Perhaps you did, you wouldn't have to tell me.

But, as Fitzgerald wrote, I want this portion of the summer to die violently, rather than fade out sentimentally. Stay tuned.

Fiona: This is your sixth post, Solomon, but in honour of the occasion I shall exercise editorial discretion. Mind you, if you do return you will be given a new middle name: Melba.

Korea

Oh I remember what you mean, the immigration department. That is another issue that seems to have dropped off the Webdiary radar. I've read basically everything there is on the North Korean refugee issue and I suppose I could produce something. It is quite an extraordinary story. I'm actually stopping off in South Korea (Actually called the Republic of Korea) on my way to Paris. I'm looking forward to it.

L'Etranger

Richard, I have two pieces pending publication but no other plans. I mean I have ideas: there is a copy of Mcluhan that desperately needs reviewing but I would rather make a clean break. I shall publish again in some other form, but I think I need time away from the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am atmosphere of the web. The medium being the message and all that jazz.

Unconscious of final ends

Jenny, I shall look forward to it. I think if my heart is no longer in it now is the right time to retire. Adding to the site isn't my primary concern, as I have always been self-serving - except where I saw something idealistic here and felt obligated to contribute, against my better judgement. I don't see that anymore, I see treading water. That in itself is to be respected but I can serve better elsewhere. You go where you are called to go, as the Christian idiom goes.

Blogging, as they call it, is a nasty habit and one that exercises too much control over me, and, evidently, others. I need some time to break that cycle and think things over afresh; I am going to Paris for New Year, in the dead of winter, and I shall hopefully rejuvenate there. I am going to go out with a bang.

You shall, of course, eventually, be able to read my contributions to the CEFA website, if that ever eventuates. But I shall strictly eliminate all contributors over 19! That is the law.

And:

Law, Say The Gardeners, Is The Sun

Law, say the gardeners, is the sun,
Law is the one
All gardeners obey
To-morrow, yesterday, to-day.

Law is the wisdom of the old,
The impotent grandfathers shrilly scold;
The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
Law is the senses of the young.

Law, says the priest with a priestly look,
Expounding to an unpriestly people,
Law is the words in my priestly book,
Law is my pulpit and my steeple.

Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I've told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law.

Yet law-abiding scholars write:
Law is neither wrong nor right,
Law is only crimes
Punished by places and by times,
Law is the clothes men wear
Anytime, anywhere,
Law is Good morning and Good night.

Others say, Law is our Fate;
Others say, Law is our State;
Others say, others say
Law is no more,
Law has gone away.

And always the loud angry crowd,
Very angry and very loud,
Law is We,
And always the soft idiot softly Me.

If we, dear, know we know no more
Than they about the Law,
If I no more than you
Know what we should and should not do
Except that all agree
Gladly or miserably
That the Law is
And that all know this
If therefore thinking it absurd
To identify Law with some other word,
Unlike so many men
I cannot say Law is again,

No more than they can we suppress
The universal wish to guess
Or slip out of our own position
Into an unconcerned condition.
Although I can at least confine
Your vanity and mine
To stating timidly
A timid similarity,
We shall boast anyway:
Like love I say.

Like love we don't know where or why,
Like love we can't compel or fly,
Like love we often weep,
Like love we seldom keep.

W.H. Auden

Solomon in Paris. Adieu.

Solomon: Well I will miss you that is for sure. Your zest. Your youth. Your passion. Your poetry. Yes I will miss all that. But as Longfellow wrote in his poem Youth: The winds will is the winds will, and the thoughts of youth are long long thoughts...so we must allow youth its thoughts.

No one over 19 to be allowed. Well, I will hold up a mirror and I will see 91. Old people. They tell us that one can survive most things in life if one tries, and they are so often the living embodiment of that. Don't shut them out. Did you see those two old soldiers, aged 108 and 109, German and English from the First World War meeting the other day? They last faced each other on the Somme in France, that hellhole. Ah, what a privilege it would have been to sit and talk to them both.

I agree: blogging can eat at your life. And time out in life is something I found essential to survival. So enjoy it. Paris even in midwinter will charm you. Lucky you.

Now there are some real hassles out here with the phone line and email system at the moment, so you may have to wait a few days till we can find out what the problem is. When we try to send emails we get shut down. It is not unusual up here as the Telstra line hangs by a thread and there are storms around. But when it sorts itself out I promise you the poem and the story to go with it. You will be the only one I have ever sent it to. And you and you alone will keep it. It is not for the web. Adieu for now, Solomon.

Solomon, don't be a stranger

Weren't you talking about doing a piece related to your work the other week.? You sound like you need a bit of space... we all do from time to time.  However you have a slant on things all of your own, and it would be wasted lying dormant from this or any other site.  I hope you won't be too far away.

Response

Michael, Harry does it all the time, like he did on that very thread when he cut and paste Webdiary’s error message for the sake of making fun of it. I shall do as he suggests and not "speak for him on Webdiary", even though I was really only explaining things from my own point-of-view, but I am not going to treat him or his site with kid-gloves. I mean, you don't want to get a reputation for being able to dish it out but not take it. For a while there I thought you were all going to fall in to a state of apoplexy.

Dormouse in Teapot snores off before you can say Jack R.........

Who is this Harry HadjiMichael? Have I missed something? And where's that John Wojdylo? I blame Jack Rabbitson! Must be the myxo.

And why has Howard put The Glass House and The Argonauts off the air, eh?

I blame Maoist chaplains and flagpoles in schools for all this.

Joke's on us

Don't mourn for the Glass House, Jack

I hear a comedic genius, name of John Kerry, has been headhunted to script the replacement.

Kerry left "us" out of a line, and got himself into the doo-doo. That's what we need over here - leave out the US.

How d'ya reckon Howard would go against Beazley, in a one-liner contest? I see Kim as an enormously successful jokester ....

For the record

Harry: Thanks a lot for the crap you wrote on Webdiary. It is best you stay out of it because the way you represented my story is not how it is at all. That Mezza thing at the end was a tiny tip of a monumental iceberg. As if that alone would have provoked what happened. Good grief. Then in the months that followed some pretty outrageous things happened. Very outrageous in fact.

Jenny, seems I'm in trouble with both Webdiary and HH for my interpretation. Nevertheless. I think I shall take HH's advice and stay out of it. His point is noted, I didn't intend to suggest that the censored comment was the only reason for his leaving: That would be absurd. I don't doubt the facts of what he says, as David Roffey seems to be. But that is all I shall say.

I think I am finished with both sites. I shall write my Webdiary swan song, about my impressions of Susan Crennan and co, and then call it a day. That story began here when I campaigned for a female HC judge and so it should end here. Likewise my piece on Islam should be here because I think it shows my evolution from idealist to cynic. It completes the story arc.

Noel Hadjimichael talks of Webdiary in the past tense and I think he might have a point there. The lack of analysis on the cross-media changes has convinced me that Webdiary has lost its purpose. Like a kitten playing with a ball of string, they have let it roll away from them. Likewise there is no use critiquing a publication in its sunset phase.

Fiona: Solomon, I think that you are being far too despondent (not to mention judgmental) regarding Webdiary’s future. (I say nothing about other sites, since I don’t go there.) I’d like to give you a really incisive, well-reasoned response, but at the moment have too many other commitments – including an ill and elderly parent interstate – so hang around and with luck something will spur you, if not out of your cynicism, at least into defending your current state with a degree of passion and commitment.

"Fiona: Solomon, I think

"Fiona: Solomon, I think that you are being far too despondent (not to mention judgmental) regarding Webdiary’s future."  

I don't think so. I do not think this is the Webdiary that I originally engaged with. That Webdiary seemed to be a more vibrant, engaging place. A meeting place of many voices, consonant and discordant, but voices all heard.  I recall threads – hundreds of comments long – that were contributed to by a myriad of posters. Now there are a myriad of threads which are dominated by individuals. That's fine – if ritual combat is what you are after but I don't much do Bushido.  

It's a shame, I enjoyed the years I was a part of it.

It was always Margo's blog though

As for the rest Solomon, you're a goose: never post someone else's words elswhere without at least asking first (regardless of how "free" internet speech is)  and never, ever engage in Jolandering.

Events, issues, balance

Suffice to say that Margo's memory of past events is very different from Harry's version - and since she is currently asleep in our spare bedroom, I have been able to check that statement before making it.

As to whether Webdiary will survive, only time will tell, but traffic this month is higher than at any time in the last year, even after losing several days to problems wished on us by others.

Finally, lack of debate on your favourite issue of the moment is something you have the capacity to fix by the simple method of writing something and submitting it. Often repeated and still true, we publish essentially every article submitted that is coherent, referenced where necessary, within Editorial Policy and not abusive. If there is no article there, it's because no-one has submitted one. Up to you. Likewise, if you think debate is unbalanced by a predominance of comments from one side, submit comments on a different viewpoint: we publish what comments we get that are coherent and not abusive, and aren't about to start not publishing comments in search of balance, or to favour one view over another.

Asleep?!

And so how is the girl doing?

I'll bet she's still writing, but, what?

David R: Not writing anything right now, but thinking about it, as she begins to feel better (despite large doses of antihistamine to reduce allergic reaction to a bite).

Jenny Hume

Jenny Hume, I think you misrepresent what the "site in question" is all about. It really is not about "anything" and never really was. It is just a blog, somewhere a bunch of people communicate with each other. I cannot ever remember it being spoken of by the "person in question" as anything else.

My understanding is the style of it is based on the free for all style that was Webdiary in the early years of Margo. Yes there was a time when nothing and I mean NOTHING (outside of being illegal) was censored on this site. Okay, the site changed its ground rules and that is its right. As is the right of another site to have a different set of ground rules. Or even NO rules at all.

Now it is obvious most posters there (the "site in question") were either or still are posters at Webdiary. That being a common link, it does not surprise, the topic of Webdiary comes up from time to time. Similar to say a bunch of sportspeople talking about, well, sport. As the site grows (if it does) and new posters without Webdiary experience come along, I expect that this will change. If anything, Webdiary should take it as a compliment they are being "talked" about at all. On an occasion mind you.

As to why the "person in question" left here, I cannot speak for him. Perhaps you should ask him yourself. There is no registration required and no censorship. I am 100% certain that any point you would like to make will be posted and it will stay posted.

BTW this has nothing to do with the "site in question". This is merely my opinion and my opinion alone.

History repeating itself..

Jenny, HH was a valued contributor for a long-time on webdiary, for about five years, and a close friend to M.K. They had a falling out after she censored a comment of his to M.S. and he then proceeded to set up a website to keep webdiary honest to its stated goals. If it can be adolescent at times it is because that is the level of his audience. I think his problem is that he cared about webdiary too much to see it become something he didn't want it to be. I also think he saw an opportunity to hurt Margo and that he used it. Why, I couldn't tell you.

 David R: I wouldn't necessarily accept Harry's view of what happened as gospel if I were you. Most people who have had comments rejected by Webdiary (which is pretty much all of the regular contributors) don't spend quite as much of their energy setting up sites and doing so-called analyses that don't actually involve reading the analysed material.
 

Setting the example perhaps?

Solomon, well the site posters there certainly show a constant and obssessive negative interest in WD, but the site (on principle) does not list WD as a site of interest. A bit of a contradiction there methinks. But Tim Blair gets a plug. So if that is what falling out with friends does to you, who needs friends? I hope they don't think they will keep WD true to its real values by setting an example to us all.

Actually David, they seem to do a lot of analyses over there, but not of the issues, rather of the folk here. Why one's biography takes on a whole new dimension over there. 

Sad though that people feel they have to expend so much energy in sneering and laughing at others.  I've known a couple of people in my time who were obssessed liked that, and whatever it was that was driving them ended up consuming their lives. What a waste of one's hours on this earth.

In fairness I would add there are one or two people who post there who seem to be a bit better emotionally balanced. Good luck to them.

A lovely little shower of rain last night, first here in five months. I rushed out and put the new rain gauge out. It had been sitting in the kitchen for over a year. One has to not only think, but also act positive. So that is a start No?      

They know not what they do

Sitting out there somewhere in cyberspace are those that rule our lives, and when they fail us they know not what they do. So I for one will tell them.

The day started off OK. Up early I could not venture forth into the willies willies, the dust and the roaring westerlies before I had a word with Roger about his lastest comment against the Almighty. So, all done, God well and truly defended, send it off. Forbidden! It seems God thinks it is a lost cause. Oh well. You can't ague with the Almighty so what to do with the day now. 

It still looked most uninviting, so who would want to cut burrs in th? Oh why not. Let one make Peter happy and attack the tax and knock it all over in a day. I mean really go for it. So clickety clack, clickety clack, hour after hour, all that data pouring in. Gee that felt good. Till......

"Here's an animal liberation project for you" comes the cry from the door. He who is never obeyed has been out there trying to stop the eifel tower on the place collapsing under a few thousand gallons of the good stuff. "Not again, I protest" Last time it was a spiny that had to have three needles put into his rear. Now I don't know whether any of you folk have ever tried giving a needle to a flamin' echidna, but it is hazardous occupation I can tell you. And where is a man when you need him most? 

"It's only a magpie" he says. "the wind blew him down and he can't fly". Well, obviously I thought.

"Now what do magpies eat when the worms are a vanishing race" I asks. "Boil and egg" comes the helpful reply as he disappears into the wind and the dust. Oh, well, still verboten I see, so birdy nicely settled in a box, egg on to boil, turn it up high I think, get it cooked quickly, and back to the figures for a few moments. But sooooo engrossing.  Said egg soon well and truly oublied, till..... Bang, ye gods, that was gunfire I think, and close too, so I bolt out the door hitting a few buttons on the old keyboard in me haste, the dreaded D being one of them.

So one screaming magpie, all that work gone with the wind (when will you learn to save the other half crows), and the kitchen, well....Has anyone seen what an egg boiled on high for two hours does to protest. The atom bomb has nothing on it I can tell you.

Oh well, unfreeze a kilo of the best and start feeding it down that screaming open beak. And the figures, well. Tomorrow is another day as they say.

But if I think I had worries, it was nothing to the folk over on that other site. I do declare they were near having apoplexy when the good ship vanished.  What is it with them that they can't help calling on us and then carping about us ad nauseum over there, and then freak out when we go away for awhile? What is HH's problem?

Anyway, no doubt our techos have had a bad week and it was not their fault, so thanks folks for getting the ship afloat again. Hey, its raining outside, and there is thunder so I better pull the plug.  Cheers folks. 

Magpies and The Almighty

Jenny, as a fanatical Collingwood supporter, the juxtaposition of those topics is just too tempting.

In the case of your young Gymnorhina tibicen, the ideal supplement, I am told, while in care is mince beef with insectivore mix (wife is a registered wildlife carer). But live insects, worms etc are also desirable if you have the time to catch them. Lovely birds to work with in care but more aggressive than currawongs and crows (quite genteel by comparison).

Now I must gently chide your characterisation of my puny ramblings as "comment(s) against the Almighty". Let's assume that it exists. Any examination of the attributes of a supreme godhead says that this entity is supremely powerful, supremely content and eminently able to defend itself. I don't intentionally demean your attachment to it but what could you or anyone say in defence of it that was even remotely apt or sensible. Conversely, what could I or anyone else say that would even register as an infinitesimal insult. How can you make a supremity angry or offended? These are emotions that require DNA for their expression in this universe's existence.

The problem, as I see it, is that the God that so many call on is the God of the miraculous. "Save us/Give Us/Cure Us" is the basis of nearly all prayer except for the totally pointless prayer of praise. A supreme being needs no praise. If it did it would not be supreme. A supremely confident and omniscient entity not only "knows" how all existence turns out but could not see a need to make corrections on the basis of impassioned pleas because that implies its own lack of foresight and therefore its diminished capacity to be supreme. The other side of that train of thought is that there is cruel game going on where we imagine our capacity for an expression of free will and an opportunity to change the order of existence by special pleading when in fact everything is pre-ordained because the creator cannot be wrong. If there is no rain, it cannot be because "God" forgot to send some and we can now insistently jog its memory to make good the lack of it or we can appeal to its vanity by telling it how wonderful it is while we go broke and suicidally depressed.

Where is the delineation to be found between a primitive human need to surrender to folk tales born from our overwhelming impotence and ignorance and a more mature and educated reponse to the real world as we know it today?

Confession Roger

Roger: Thanks for the advice on tucker for that gaping little beak. I did think of worms but confess, that even if I found one, which would be impossible up here right now, I could not bear to touch it. I have a worm phobia I think. Don't know what the scientific name might be for said condition. So if and when gardening ever becomes possible here again, I have to be very vigilent.! Give me a snake to a slimy worm anyday. I thought of mince for that beak but it is so full of preservatives these days I wondered whether it would do more harm than good, so I hacked into the best stuff and managed to get it down. But recognising my ignorance on the subject of tibicens I conned a nice truckie passing through to drop him off to a lady in Gilgandra, who like your good wife, knows what to do.  She said she had several in her yard so he/she will have some mates and will bond appropriately,

As for insects and the Almighty. Well there were billions of the former here last night, literally billions, all in the house of course. The walls were black, the ceilings were black and that, my friend, is a sign that something big is about to happen. I think the Almighty has been listening. But if there is not a big dump of rain here tonight, then I will retract. The wind is howlng in from the north, pulling moisture from the coast and a cloud belt is pushing up from the south. The two will collide over this place for sure, so I am setting up that new raingauge in the best spot and I am shaking the red backs out of the old raincoat. So stand by.....!

Now I will not engage further with you on the subject of the Almighty and confess a certain intellectual inadequacy in the face of your well argued points and insights, and your knowledge of things theological. I am not well read on the subject at all. But my faith is such a part of my life, and always has been, that I feel bound by it, but not in a way that constricts my life. I doubt that any intellectual argument could ever sway me from it. I have never known such a sense of peace as when I sit in the little church here. My life has been very troubled at times, but  in that church there has always been peace, and a sense of there being something bigger than us all, somewhere. Yet I respect those who do not share that faith with me, which includes my man here. I do accept there are many contradictions in the notion of a God as we believers would portray It, but that does not bother me, for there is so much in this universe that we may never understand, or be able to ever explain.  Only one thing is certain. One day we will all die. That is the one thing we all share. Whether there is anything after death probably does not matter all that much. One day each and every one of us will find the answer to that.   

Now Solomon: Sorry my passing comment about the negative comments about us all on Harry's site sparked a bit of a fuss.  It is really none of our business why friends part. Misunderstandings can happen to all of us. It will be a pity if you don't continue to post on WD. Your reviews really add something to the site, and I for one would miss them.  BTW I have just been reading some of S.T Coleridge and he wrote that love is the coming together of hope and youth. I though of you when I read that! And I will send you that poem I promised. Tonight.

Michael: I think WD has a lot going for it frankly. Of course it cannot be the same without Margo but that was inevitable. But it seems to have a life of its own now and since I started reading the site I have in fact stopped reading the paper. I think the articles we get give a broad coverage of all the most important issues and they have inspired me to read on number of subjects that previously I had not bothered with.  I glanced at one of the SMH blog sites recently and while there were a lot of posters making comments, they were mostly one line type comments that said nothing. A bit of that goes a long way. At least here people have something to say most of the time even if they are fewer in number. Anyway, I will send off another donation when I can get within cooee of a post office. I think the site is worth supporting.  Cheers folks.

I Pray You're Swimming In It

Jenny, it has been raining most of the day in Berwick. I hope that you get your share as well.

People are entitled to get their comfort wherever they can find it. I like little old churches and whopping monsters like the cathedrals that I visited in Europe. May your God be the real one! 

For Pete's sake Roger, that's enough

Roger Fedyk, for Pete's sake that's enough.  Your prayer is answered, we are swimming in it! I've got the old raincoat off the hook for the first time in six years so there's some pretty angry redbacks running around looking for a new home. I've got every pot and pan under every hole in the roof and the other half has abandonned fixing the fire truck and is up there on the roof cussing as he tries to fix the gutter.  I am not going out to see what the almighty crash was about either. I heard him swear so he must be OK.

Ah the music on the old tin roof! And who says dreams don't come true? I told sis the other week I dreamt we got three inches of rain, and we have just had just that. She dreamt Goulburn had a flood. So stand by.......

Feel sorry for the neighbour here though. He had the only half decent crop of wheat in the district and it has just been drowned. Within a couple of days it will be all shot and sprung and he won't get onto his paddock for days. An ill wind as they say......

But the roos will be OK. There is green grass already an inch long. No filmy veil in this country. Funny how that poem has stuck. Learnt it by heart half a century ago, in detention. Was not allowed out the door till I could say it word perfect. And when I did finally recite it I was told: "You might have said it with some feeling Jennifer" to which I replied: "But I did". Perhaps not quite the feeling she had in mind. If she were to ask me to do so today though, I would most definitely change my tune. When one has lived and loved and hated every line of the damned thing, it sure makes a difference.

The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.... Thank you Lord! But please try not to leave it so long next time, and don't forget to come back soon.

Sorry, Roger, as I was saying, your prayer is answered. But it has just started pelting down again. Enough for the time being good sir, enough.

RAIN, beautiful rain.........How strange that word looks in print. RAIN!

Camelot It Ain't

Jenny, I have appealed to the Almighty spigot in the sky to turn itself off.

Hope that works, as well. Good luck and green be upon you.
 

Roger and Solomon - hope the line holds

Roger: We had 20 mls in a storm and 18 in a second storm, and did better than most!  Such a wonderful feeling and the brown landscape took on an eirie orange glow as it fell, quite spectacular in its harsh beauty. But it has all gone now and the family at Goulburn missed out, again. But in time..... The maggie died unfortunately. Must have injured itself when it fell from the tree. I hope it was not my fault!

Solomon. I misquoted. The poem was Lost Youth and the line was A boy's will is the wind's will, and the thoughts of youth are long long thoughts....

Me shy? That is definitely not me. But I am circumspect at what I post on the web, especially the story behind the poem, and which poem I did not write. Since the rain we cannot keep a line to the net for more than a few minutes, (this is the second time I wrote this and lost it as the line dropped out) and emails with attachements just result in a shut down. Telstra is not too good in the bush and it is getting worse, especially after rain when water gets in the line.  So will be back in touch when we quit here next week for awhile, as there is a better connection down there. Ian has been trying to post an article for days, but cannot get it through. Very frustrating.

So cheers for now, and hope this does not shut me down as I post again.

 

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