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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Confucious say...

Drinking beers on beautiful chilly Canberra afternoon with funny fellow bloggers means many trips to the toilet.

(Well, in my case, pseudo-beers.)

18 comments:

Zoe said...

Lemonade light beer shandies in fact. Ahem.

harry said...

I had a wonderful weekend spending time with two people I have grown quite fond of in a short period of time, and they are well worth the trip down to Canberra.
As an added bonus I had lunch with Duckie and Zoe. [tounge sticky-outie emoticon]

Hey Ducks,
I found that thing outside Truckstop 31 (on the M5 at Marulan, for those who don't know).
Appropriately I got there as the sun was setting. Glorious tones of apricot and salmon softened the deeping greys and purples as if the sun was giving me that one last smile. It was a day to look back on fondly and I wished the golden orb a pleasant journey to continue such a nice, carefree day and bring it to new people around the world.
I am man enough to admit that I felt selfish to want the sunset to linger over me, and thus deny some poor souls their long awaited sunrise to gentley prod them awake.
Holy shit! It looks like the leftovers of Tatooine!
A sail - looks like a spinnaker. or from the other side; an ear, of a kangaroo. At the other end is a tyre slightly off kilter. That makes sense because it is by the side of the M5 which is where you often see truck tyres and kangaroo ears! The hooped globe in the middle of the roof looks like it will rotate, so I'm guessing that's the earth. I didn't jump up to check it, though. The big side structures that are bowed outwards and curve strongly overhead don't remind me of anything.
Nothing says "We ran out of money" like unpainted sprayed-on concrete.
I stood in the middle of it (on the map) hoping to inadvertently turn the machine on and get transported to another galaxy, but nothing happens. Perhaps it only works on the equinox. (The equinox is a strange creature that is half horse and half bovine. I don't know why someone would build a sculpture on one. 'We' get two a year, but I've never seen one in real life. They probably taste quite good and are easy to farm. I dunno why we only get two a year or who gives them to us, but I think it might be Ra. Hail Ra! Perhaps they, like the mule, are sterile?)
I will come back at the equinox and try to turn the device on and join the two confused tourists and seven lost kangaroos on teh planet Xadros. i hope I get one of the blaster staffs that they have on Stargate.

Evidently this structure was built on a primoidial earth-magic site. It must be sited on a powerful and profound aboriginal site. Maybe the tyre is tilted at a telltale 37degrees or maybe the map on the floor will show how this site is aligned with other such sites around the world - ley lines and what-not.
Nope.
At 150degrees longitude there is butt-all - and that includes Marulan.

'Welcome to Marulan! ... No, really you're welcome to it.'
'But I don't want it!'

Maybe the path leads somewhere - it curves off importantly to the right. Aha! A sign.
Marulan Historic sites.
I am here, it tells me.
The other side reads:
Marulan Meridian Arch
A Centenary of Federation Arch
This arch marks the path of the 150 meridian as it passes through Marulan the only town in the world on it's path. [I am sure some Papua New Guinea towns will have something to say about that. Or a few places in Queensland. Oh, I am wrong about Marulan being Butt-all. It is a sister city of Butt-all.] This is the exact middle of the Eastern Standard Time Zone, [I knew Marulan was famous for something!] where the sun rises at exactly 6am and sets at 6pm precisely every equinox. [I guess that means that at all other times that you look at this sculpture you should refer to your wrist watch. Perhaps the cunningly concealed invisible mechanism just sets the sculpture to day-light saving. that would be impressive.]
The sculpture describes the path of th earth around the sun. [A fairly vague description. "Yeah, go round and around a bit and try not to hit Mars."] while the two elements at each end of the structure represent a sundail [or ear] and a clock [or wobbly tyre].
Unveiled 26 October 2003 [so it's a bit late for the Centenary of Federation. I can see the shitstorm about this in Canberra when the relevant Minister addresses parliament "Erm, it seems we forgot to include Marulan in the centenary of Federation celebrations." An opposition spokesman leaps to his feet crying "Marulan! How can anyone forget Marulan!?" A Nationals member agrees saying "True! True! You can set your watch by that place four times a year!" "Mind you," countered the relevant Minister "You'd have to have a good reason to be in the middle of Butt-all at 6am or 6pm to do so, and who wants to do that?" The Minister was senshured for gross ineptitude and for not respecting our proud National treasures. A greens member, with tears standing in her eyes, demands that the Minister make a pilgrammage to Marulan and lay all the ears of slain kangaroos at the foot of the giant ear in recompense. "I thought it was a spinakker?" queried the government whip. "In Marulan?" spluttered a disbeiving Labor MP. "Shit, I dunno. Where is it anyway?"
"Oh, for fucks sake!" explodes the first Labour MP who spoke. Chairs fly, Opposition MPs and Nationals burst into a full-throated rendition of the Marulan Seperatists National Anthem and the Riot squad is called in.] [yep, as part of our Nations Federation celebrations, Marulan eventually got around to it.]
[And the map must have been lying around in someone's garage before they realised they could flog it for a few hundred bucks to Marulan Council. It still has the USSR on it. So the sculpture was 2 years later and the map, a decade.]

Leaving the sun and Canberra behind me I continued home. The stop was a good time to sober up. So, thanks.

See, what you miss out on Fyodor when you're trying to be all mysterious and such?

nick crustacean said...

I'm envious. I think we need another blogger meet-up.

Or you know, just send an invitation my way.

Ampersand Duck said...

yes, the shandies let me go all day without a nap, and did look vaguely beer-like.

Thank you Harry! I will have to post a photo of the phucker. Made by a man who refuses to wear a watch and always told me when I railed about his lateness: "I don't think about time the same way as other people". OBVIOUSLY. He was so over-time making that masterpiece that they had to cancel its grand opening by the then-Governor General (which I'm sure he's eternally grateful for). Oh I could go on and on, but not as well as you! I'm so glad you took the time. Now it just needs byrd to spend some quality time there. Open invitation, byrd...

Ampersand Duck said...

Jeez, I overdid the word 'time' just then, didn't I? Must be the post-Queen disappointment clouding my vocab.

harry said...

I could handle more elbow touching. I approached Sunday with the tiniest bit of aprehension, but I had my army pants in my hand, a step in my stride [whatever that means], and a song in my heart.
Unfortunately the song was the first two lines of 'The Logical song' by Supertramp, but the welcoming elbows put and end to that.
Two chicks at once too!

Zoe said...

hey, harry, you forgot the matching outfits part

Ampersand Duck said...

and the cute bikes.

harry said...

My masters had matching outfits and cute bikes.
Do I get my gruel now?

Sensibly Zoe wasn't wearing a helmet because otherwise she would look like a nerd.
Ducks on the other hand had a scultped esky on her head. She explained that the plastic shell had fallen off leaving the polystyrene impact absorbing material showing. She claimed it was like one of those see through Macs that let you see the workings inside.
Wow! The inside workings of a crash helmet. I think I saw that a Questocon one year. And I hear that the BBC are producing a six part series called "The Crash Helmet" hosted by that guy with the glasses and moustache.
Given a few more beers I reckon that there would be a good chance of Zoe's head looking like a see-through Mac, where you can see all the insides. Crazy woman.

Zoe said...

am not

Mindy said...

Pencil in July 20 something. Dave, Charlie and I will be around then and should be able to make a trip to Canberra with the sole intention of touching elbows, oh all right and shopping. We might even bring harry again.

Fyodor said...

Fuck it, Harry! You didn't mention MARULAN was involved. That would have made all the difference. Curse my mysterious ways.

harry said...

Sorry man!
It was like one of those Quest games.
You know, where you travel to a town and go to the tavern and find the wise woman (she is wise cos she is in the pub drinking beer) you are meant to meet, and then she gives you a quest/item/key - but you don't know what until you get there.

The Arch-Wiseness Ducks gave me a quest. To journey unto Marulan and visit the unusual temple that is there and describe it to her.
I think I get magic sword or something next time I see her.

but if you want to get a _party_ together.... hehhehehhrhrhrhehhehehehh how nerdy would that be. I'll answer that question: Uber.

A magician, a fighter, a theif and a ranger walk into a bar. The barman says "Sorry, we don't serve parties."

Fyodor said...

* Must resist RPG banter, must resist RPG banter, must resist RPG banter *

I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh, Harry, my big strong quester, my knight in pantless armour.
I will give you the Holy Grail of Vodka and Orange at our next court session, when Queen Zoe will decide who shall laugh and who shall cry, who shall live and who shall die.
Princess Duck

harry said...

Oh look, Fyodor's true colours once again flying proudly from the mast.

Huzzah!

One of us! One of us! One of us!

harry said...

"my knight in pantless armour."
I shall bring down photos next time.

"Queen Zoe will decide who shall laugh and who shall cry, who shall live and who shall die."

Ooh. I bags not dying.
Not dying is the way forward.

Ampersand Duck said...

Very astute, Narelle.