Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The fossil record

Prior to packing up for France, I decided to finally eliminate the few boxes of VHS tapes which have been trailing me in and out of storage since the last century. The movies were generally easy to dispose of, although it’s surprising how many have not yet transitioned to DVD. Likewise there are many old TV shows that I recorded off-air which didn’t even make it to VHS and now survive in the public memory through clips on YouTube.

1989-09-15 Raging Thunder

In addition to this material were a couple of tapes with me displayed in various states of fresh-faced twinkiness before I became the hardened man “living in some mediaeval Languedocien village at the foot of the Pyrenees with an enormous wolf dog!” (thanks Brett). They are the only pieces of video of me pre-Bondi of which I’m aware. Before I went to bed last night I ran a program overnight to condense these to manageable file-sizes. Looking at them again this morning, I realised that the first of them was shot twenty-one years ago today – a few fragments from a white-water rafting day in the north of Queensland while on a scuba diving vacation – probably less than thirty seconds in all. The trying-too-hard-to-be-funny voice-over from the rafting company singles me out twice as Jason Donovan (the hair) and Tom Cruise (the sunglasses) – both resemblances being unintended misdemeanours.

Moving forward almost a decade, the next video dates from about April 1998: I’m giving a talk in Seattle  on a piece of software for which I had designed the user interface, so there’s about thirty minutes of me (with tee-shirt tucked into shorts – why god why?) as gesticulating geek.

1998-2003 Seattle

It’s just occurred to me that each of these videos is near of one of my dogs’ birthplaces. Munson came from central Queensland, and Bondi was born in Seattle about six months after this talk was given.

Tracing my fossil record forward through these jumps in time and space, there’s certainly no hints of the next chapters in my life which I can divide up according to where I was working or living, and the significant people in my life. The long Bondi chapter has been pretty amazing, and I’m just getting started on Munson’s, plus seeing what else will characterise the next decade.

20050909 - 2 Blenheim Palace (5) 2010-09-13 Gers farm


  1. We've made fashion faux 'paws' over the years -

    Of course, we can look back and laugh, eh?

  2. Why is "people of walmart" coming to mind?

    ... but at least you didn't accessorize with a mullet, so you go girl!

  3. Anita2:28 pm

    The t-shirt/short combo is rendered particularly criminal by the collarless t-shirt. A polo shirt with the collar flicked up *might* have made look...ummm...less like a 'real boy'. I love it. xxx

  4. Since my mom lived through the 70's and 80's, she can't believe that there are people out there who are reliving the 70's in fashion and still haven't let the 80's go when it comes to hair cuts!

    Oh well, it gives us something to laugh at. On a daily basis too!



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