Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

February 6, 2008


Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 2:33 pm

For some reason I always thought that the image of a mother duck leading a clutch of ducklings in a neat and orderly line was somehow a cartoon fiction based on no kind of real world animal behaviour.

 It was somewhat to my astonishment then to observe two adult ducks (one presumably a female parent) escorting eight or ten fuzzy little featherballs along the footpath on my way to work this morning. They were pretty comfortable around humans too, because the only sign that they were even aware of my presence – about two metres away – was for one of the adults to cut in front of a straying duckling who had started to waddle towards me. then off they went, up the street.

I half dread walking home this afternoon and discovering that for all their worldly confidence, the parental ducks were not up to the task of shepherding their flock across the busy roundabout ahead of them. Hopefully my disquieting lack of faith is misplaced.


  1. Don’t worry Lexifab, when you become a StayatHome Dad your days will be filled with wonders such as these.

    Comment by Versache — February 6, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  2. Do you think subliminal knowledge of their survival odds is perhaps inextricably linked to their cuteness?

    Comment by polly — February 8, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  3. Possibly, though I can happily report no sign of carcasses, avian or otherwise, in the vicnity of the aforementioned deathtrap roundabout. So, yay for unusually road-sensible water fowl!

    Comment by lexifab — February 8, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

  4. Entering the non-sequitur zone… I’ve just been watching the first few episodes of the new Doctor Wossname (thanks to Andrea- thanks Andrea!) and recalled you posting about it in the longtimeago. I can’t remember you telling us what you thought of the new series, but I have may have skipped those posts knowing I wanted to watch it myself one day. So- whatcha think?

    Comment by Dr Clam — February 11, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

  5. (Ooh, slow blogging week, sorry)

    New Doctor Who is bestest Doctor Who ever. Of course, so was a lot of the old Doctor Who, so I am perhaps not an unbiased source. But I love and adore it. Especially the episodes written by Stephen Moffatt, but really all of it is rather good. And it does get better from season to season, as long as you avoid getting involved in heated internet arguments about whether Rose is awesome or horrible (which I assume in your case).

    Tell me what you think after you’ve seen episode 6.

    Comment by lexifab — February 12, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

  6. I’m sorry too- I did see the next installment of Cameron Long’s nerve-wracking adventures, I just haven’t had the gumption to reply yet 🙁

    And you can read me like one of those things with the paper and the printed word thingies, Lexifab! I had just gotten up to episode six before I wrote you. First thoughts:

    * I am one of those people who think Rose is one of the best things it has going for it. Hope this does not put me beyond the pale.

    * She has been trapped behind a door in a Room of DangerTM in 50% of the episodes thus far by my count, though… I hope this trend will not continue.

    * The Doctor has been damn rude to her mum. He deserves a good kick up the behind.

    * The plots so far have been rubbish. But I was not expecting too much by analogy with the first season of Buffy, and am cheered by your assertion that it gets better.

    * I hope the off-kilter, unsettling nature of the Doctor’s morality is meant to be there, and is not a by-product of bad writing. It is the most interesting and thought-provoking aspect of the series thus far. Like, in Episode 3(?) with the alien ghost things, it is obvious from their actions from the start that they are evil. It’s also pretty obvious that Mr Sneed and Gwyneth are evil. The Doctor calmly sits down with them all and cheerfully expedites their wiping each other out. And in Episode 2 he gratuitously slaughters Lindsay Lohan, or whatever her name was, at the end for no good reason. Indeed, he would make a good Dalek.

    * Must get back to work. Episode 6 to follow…

    Comment by Dr Clam — February 13, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  7. Oh, and

    * CGI is the enemy. It just seems to be incompatible with good writing. I had one or two Second Trilogy moments.

    Now, Episode 6!

    It came as a breath of fresh air after the puerile propaganda of Episodes 4/5 – though it is good to see somebody else taking my Tony-Blair-is-a-genetically-modified-salamander schtick and running with it. Episode 6 was much more nuanced and interesting, if as ever terribly hard on the poor NPCs. I felt sorry for Mr van Statten- mostly I guess because of the sense of brotherhood shared by all mustached megalomaniacs- but I did think he got a raw deal. After all, this dalek had been traded around from one private collection to another for fifty years. It wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t hurting anyone. It was just a nice art deco piece for the rumpus room. Whose fault was it that things went pear-shaped and all those redshirts got killed?

    (1) The Doctor, for being there in the first place. Not that he can help that.
    (2) Rose, for infecting the dalek with Timelord cooties. I think. My grasp of the mythos was probably insufficient at that stage to tell what was going on.
    (3) Everyone *except* Mr van Statten, but especially the Doctor and Diane Goddard, for ignoring his perfectly good advice to *not* try and kill the dalek, but seal it in the basement instead.

    Do you think that we (i.e., the typical BBC viewer) are supposed to barrack for Goddard? Is the momentary hesitation between when van Statten asks “Why?” and she says (I think) “Because they’re so funny” meant to make us think she is a closet Euro-wuss like ourselves? If so, is her glee at disposing of van Statten at the end supposed to make us step backward and take a hard look at ourselves when we identify with it- like when we find ourselves identifying with Jake the Mus when he beats up his daughter’s rapist in Once Were Warriors? Or are we just supposed to revel in the downfall of an admittedly despicable G. Gordon Liddy look-alike?

    Comment by Dr Clam — February 13, 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  8. Whew – okay, so, some quickfire answer/responses:
    – I like Rose too, and yeah, she’s a very important part of why it works
    – She’s the Doctor’s companion. Getting trapped somewhere Doomy is pretty much her job description.
    – The Doctor/Jackie relationship evolves beautifully over time, but right at the start, yeah, he’s a right swine and deserves to get slapped.
    – The plots do remain Doctor Who plots (I think the show plays to its strengths which are big mad ideas, fun characters and a breathless sense of wonder), but the double episode story in 9 and 10 ought to shine a light.
    – Ecclestone’s performance is a extremely well-judged and subtle. But the Doctor makes some astonishingly bad guesses in the first few stories.
    – The CGI Slitheen are pretty daft, yeah. I did like most of the ‘external’ effects in The End of the World, though.
    – The Van Statten/Goddard relationship makes precious little sense. I like to imagine that there’s some explanatory dialogue which makes some sense of her motivations (she’s a Federal agent/foreign spy/ambitious lieutenant) that got cut to allow for more redshirt exterminations. I think we’re supposed to dislike him because he’s eccentric and rich and a bit amoral and quite a bit up himself.
    – The new series appears to subscribe to some sort of time particle/radiation/energy present in time travellers and detectable by time-sensitive/capable races. Quite why that set off the dalek when Rose (suffused with said energy) is unclear, except that perhaps its training as a participant in the Time War provoked it to react (vis standing orders) when it detected that energy. Or something – another virtue of the new series is that it doesn’t often slow down to bore you with overly detailed explanations of what’s really going on…

    Comment by lexifab — February 14, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  9. Ooh, to change the subject once more:

    * What are you doing this Thursday and Friday nights (21-22 Feb)?
    * Do you recall that I owe you and Da Simonster rather a lot of beer from last year in Tasmania?
    * Are there small areas of unoccupied table or floor space in your home?

    (perhaps you can see where I am going with this…)

    Comment by Dr Clam — February 18, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  10. Aha! I will email you, but short answer is ‘nothing sorta yes’.

    Comment by lexifab — February 18, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

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