Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today, I am a man

Long time readers will be aware that I am a secret car person. I am largely alone in this quiet hobby. Working in and around academia for most of my life has taught me that the people I interact with regularly neither know nor care to know about cars.
No one is interested in my opinion on the new FT-86.
No one is excited to hear about the depreciation of recent model A4s.
No one wants to hear about my endless search for the perfect Parisienne in order that I may be talked out of it.

However, two days ago, I had the occasion to share my intellectual hobby. Even if briefly. I was at a crash repairers and he was showing me around his workshop and an old Holden he was restoring. His first car, a labour of love from the ground up. He whipped the cloth off the engine and I was able to correctly identify these:

I even made the proper 'whaawww' noise.


  1. They're pistons right? Do I get any points?

    Did you know they have this thing called the internet where you can meet people into the stuff you are into? And then meet them for reals? That's why I am going to this.

    1. There are ... no pistons in this shot!
      Ooo, close though - thanks for playing!

      I know about the internet and I lurk, which fulfills my needs. Meeting for reals isn't that encouraging a prospect, especially if you've been to a car show.

  2. You correctly identified them?
    Well done.
    Now tell me what they are because I don't have a clue.

    1. Those, my friend, are Weber triple carbies. Made most famous in Australia by the Valiant Charger. Tuned in Italy, they were.

      Isn't that thrilling?!?

    2. I have a sneaking feeling that Webers are british (even if they were tuned in Italy). This sneaking feeling goes further in suspecting that the ones pictured are not attached to a Charger, but to a smallish british sports car - perhaps an MG or something similar - Austin Healey? The colour scheme is a bit telling. Am I close? or is just a Charger made even uglier by a paint job lacking in asthetics.

    3. You are correct! Ten points!
      About the picture, anyhow. These are from a Triumph TR1, but they were the nicest looking ones I could find.

      Webers are, however, Italiano. The company began life as Fabbrica Italiana Carburatori Weber.

  3. PS:- just doesn't look like a holden - are you sure, is he sure? What model?

    1. I suppose I should clear things up by confessing that I Googled this photo looking for some nice Webers to put up. I didn't have the PEN with me at the crash repairers.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32