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Saturday, November 22, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


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    Frank Povah

    Frank Povah
    Arriving in the USA in late 2008, Frank Povah moved to Stamping Ground, Kentucky in mid 2009. Passionate about the written and spoken word and constantly bewildered by non-verbs and neo-nouns, Frank trained as a typesetter - though he has worked at many things - and later branched out into proofreading, writing and editing. For many years he has been copy editor, consultant and columnist with a prestigious Australian quarterly along with running his own editorial and typesetting business. His other interests are many and include traditional music, especially that of the south, folklore, natural history, and pigeons.
    Number of posts: 68
    Email address: email
    Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://likethedew.com/author/Bisonup/feed/

    Posts by Frank Povah:


      act of cultural vandalism

      It’s hard to be an Australian right now

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Mar 4, 2014
      It's hard to be an Australian right now

      An open letter to my elected, so-called representatives: This present Australian Government is trotting dog-like down the path to destruction behind its conservative counterparts in the US and elsewhere, bent on transforming us into a society where the environment, the economy and the national social conscience are left to the tender mercies of the free market and corporate “self-regulation”.

      rights vs. wrongs

      Free speech: freedom for whom?

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 31, 2013
      Free speech: freedom for whom?

      The thoughts so well expressed by Mike Cox in Freeing Free Speech once again set me thinking about my own attitudes to this thorny issue. It’s a difficult one for me; on the one hand I’m pretty much against censorship and all for free speech, on the other I despise those who sneer at ‘political correctness’ for no other reason than that it curtails their right to be offensive to people who are different from them.

      a land down under

      The Povah award for World Citizen of the Year

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Aug 1, 2013
      The Povah award for World Citizen of the Year

      Jeffrey Lee is an elder of the Djok, the clan whose land, Koongarra, was given to them in the Dreaming and is therefore held by the people in sacred trust. Jeffrey is its senior custodian, keeping strong and alive the rituals and ceremony needed to ensure its well-being until the end of time beyond time as it turns within the great cycle of its Dreaming.

      come-and-go ennui

      Farewell

      by | 12, Add your Comment | Jul 15, 2013
      Farewell

      It seems donkey’s years since I’ve put finger to keyboard to contribute, and I don’t really know why. Like The Dew is always a great read and just as I’ve enjoyed contributing, I’ve enjoyed the many and varied passions of its contributors. But these past few months I seem to have been visited by that come-and-go ennui that seems from time to time to plague anyone involved in creative pursuits, but the packers have been and gone and with them the mood that has prevailed over the past few months.

      Billing Errors

      America has the best (fill in the blank) in the world

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Oct 24, 2012
      America has the best (fill in the blank) in the world

      Boy, will I be happy when this election is over at last – though I use “happy” with qualifications. If Romney manages to crack it, I’ll be decidedly unhappy, if Obama wins I’ll be relieved more than joyful. Unless of course he at long last begins to assert himself and force the neo-reicht into revealing what they actually are: fascists in Christian hedge fund manager’s clothing, though that’s possibly a tautology.

      To touch briefly on Monday night’s debate, I have to admire Governor Romney. His ability to stand in front of a nation and keep a straight face while contradicting just about every statement he has ever made is just awesome –Mitt the Oxymormon.

      Save The Burrup

      Australia: the good and the bloody outrageous

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Sep 30, 2012
      Australia: the good and the bloody outrageous

      I’m going to tell you a little bit more about Australia and its peoples – good and bad – but first, as promised earlier, I want to list a few of the things that have been accomplished under the leadership of the much-maligned Julia Gillard. As I wrote last time, Ms Gillard is ridiculed in many quarters and from what I can see it’s simply because she doesn’t fit the mould, but under her gritty leadership the Labor government is now forging ahead with projects that her predecessors lacked the guts or vision, or both, to push through; notably:

      Tom's Fault

      A not so brief introduction to Australia

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Sep 20, 2012
      A not so brief introduction to Australia

      You can blame Tom Ferguson for this one – in a response to my take on the Democratic Convention, he asked if I might consider giving a run-down on events in Australia, the land that shaped and nurtured me from the time of my conception. It’s probably not a bad idea, Australia is a mystery to most Americans – it still mystifies me sometimes – so I’ll give it a burl and see if I can’t occasionally give you the oil on what goes on in the Old Brown Land, politically, socially and culturally.

      Mind-Numbing Sports

      The Norman Scale

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Sep 18, 2012
      Greg Norman at the 2008 Open Championships, Royal Birkdale Golf Club

      In a comment on one of my pieces, a reader opined that he or she suspected I may not be a fan of American Football. That reader was right, and I suppose I could have just admitted the fact and left it at that. But I didn’t, it’s not in me, and I’ve had to get off my bike and say so even at the risk of tarring and feathering and possible loss of my Green Card the application for which asked me if I was intending to overthrow the Government of the United States. If Mitt the Oxymormon gets to see this, I’m buggered.

      Made for TeeVee

      Conventional wisdom

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Sep 10, 2012
      Conventional wisdom

      Well, I’ve now seen my second US political convention, live on HD teevee, and I’m still a little shell-shocked.

      Before I go any further, let me say that in Australia I have always voted on the so-called left side of the political fence. From voting age till the 1990s I was a supporter of the Australian Labor Party (note the US spelling, it has an interesting history), until its stand on environmental and immigration issues and its gradual caving in to the demands of giant corporations gave my vote to the Australian Greens.

      Good luck America

      I’d be boggled if I had any mind left

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Aug 30, 2012
      RNC 2012 Speakers Paul Davis Ryan, Jr., aka Paul Ryan, is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district and was selected by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. aka Mitch McConnell is the senior U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the Republican Minority Leader. John Randolph Thune aka John Thune is a Senator from South Dakota and Republican Policy Committee Chair. Randal Howard Paul, aka Rand Paul, is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. Condoleezza Rice served as the 66th United States Secretary of State in the adminstration of George W. Bush. The source image for this caricature of Paul Ryan is a photo in the public domain available via Wikimedia. The source image for this caricature of Mitch McConnell is a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore's Flickr photostream. The source image for this caricature is an image in the public domain from the United States Senate via Wikimedia. The source image for this caricature is a Creative Commons licensed photo taken by Gage Skidmore available via Flickr

      Most Dewbies probably know that I’m an Australian, so they may understand my bogglement upon viewing for the first time a teevee broadcast of a US political party’s convention. Well that’s not exactly the truth; back in Australia news broadcasts will be showing clips of the proceedings as part of the coverage of the US elections and no doubt Australians will be shaking their heads and muttering “Bloody hell – only in America.”

      Off My Chest

      Who is my brother’s keeper?

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Jul 16, 2012
      Who is my brother's keeper?

      We’d lost Dan by the time he was six; even at that age I reckon he’d already decided society really didn’t have much to offer a kid who had to wear an iron and leather calliper on one leg, and if he couldn’t keep up, then no-one was going to wait for him. Problem was, by the time he was three or four years old, Dan, like so many kids in his position, had already experienced enough pain and mental anguish to last a lifetime, though no one seemed to notice. Problem was, Dan’s Old Man, like so many others, had not long been back from five years in the “Big Stoush” – World War II – and had his own demons to fight.

      Eruditeness

      Somebody please pinch me – it has to be a bad dream

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 21, 2012
      Somebody please pinch me – it has to be a bad dream

      Things get in the way. This morning I was going to write the second installment of a story begun last week but it wasn’t to be. On Friday last, the postie – that’s Australian for mailman or, in my case, mailwoman – delivered a piece of junk mail that saw Rabbie Burns’ Law kick in. The Great Scot’s ghost was still hovering about the house when I read a Dana Milbank (Washington Post) piece in the Opinion pages of Sunday’s Lexington Herald-Leader, and is looking over my shoulder today as I listen to UK’s public radio station WUKY. I was going to ignore it, but it’s just no good to try…

      A Kit of Soaring Pigeons

      An idyll of Butler’s Swap

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 17, 2012
      An idyll of Butler's Swap

      Butler’s Swamp has gone. Confined, sanitized and renamed Lake Claremont, it has been incorporated into a ritzy housing subdivision with its own golf course.

      I once covered every square foot of that old swamp in a tin canoe, exploring its reed beds and mud-bars, looking for water rats and reed-warblers’ nests and hoping against hope to encounter a norn – a black tiger snake – lying in wait for some unsuspecting frog. At dusk, squadron upon squadron of little black and little pied cormorants flew in from the Swan River to roost in the paperbarks and drowned gums.

      Republican Idol

      Be alert – and afraid

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Dec 13, 2011
      Be alert – and afraid

      Last Saturday night I found myself watching the farcical teevee extravaganza euphemistically titled the GOP Nominees’ Debate – or something like that anyway; it’s difficult to remember the title thanks to the breathtakingly inept performances by everyone concerned, not least the producer, who obviously has no idea of what a debate actually is.

      As an aside, I viewed this revelation of political thought and process at the home of some good friends. Australian Americans and fellow devotees of Spike Milligan and the Goon Show, they saw this presentation in the same light as I did – lacking the pathos-tinged humor and intelligence of Milligan but equally close to sliding over the edge into lunacy. Am I alone in thinking that no one in their right mind could possibly take any of them as suitable candidates to lead the nation at a time when humanity is facing possibly its greatest challenges ever?

      Lived to Write About It

      Matters of the heart

      by | 13, Add your Comment | Nov 22, 2011
      Going Under Anesthesia

      It’s becoming clearer, so I can probably write about it now. Not for any particular reason, other perhaps than to get it straight in my own mind and to bring some sort of mental order to what is still a confusing nine days.

      It all began with what was to have been routine laparoscopic surgery. After months of going round the houses, a specialist had diagnosed a bad case of gallstones – a diagnosis confirmed by an ultrasound examination – and I was booked into our local hospital to have my gall bladder removed. … Then it got weird – weird and terrifying.

      Southern Fubar

      An open letter to AT&T

      by | 14, Add your Comment | Sep 14, 2011
      An open letter to AT&T

      Dear AT&T

      Today, Wednesday September 14, is the fourth day I have been without a telephone service of any description. It appears that the service began to fail intermittently from about Friday 9th until the morning of Monday 12th, when it became permanently inoperable.

      Have any of your organization’s administrators attempted to navigate the AT&T website to lodge a repair request for a land-line telephone service? I suspect not. Neatly laid out it may be, but the typeface chosen for the introductory page is an obscure one and on my computer  … is rendered so small and so pixelated as to be unreadable …

      Southern Power

      A power shift is needed

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Sep 5, 2011
      Electric bill

      Once again a not-uncommon natural phenomenon has demonstrated that the only sensible place for electricity transmission lines is underground. Perhaps not the giant feeder lines rated in thousands of kiloVolts (why not Megavolts I wonder), but certainly those ubiquitous pole hangers that for a hundred years and more have teeter-tottered for mile after mile through suburb and farmland alike.

      The utility companies argue that to bury the lines would be prohibitively expensive and the knock-on cost crippling to the customer, and put that way, it’s a pretty scary argument – the hip-pocket nerve is very sensitive after all – but how much does this antiquated delivery system, virtually unchanged since Edison’s day, cost the consumer now?

      Southern Idioms

      Bless your imprecision

      by | 2, Add your Comment | May 16, 2011
      Bless your imprecision

      When first we arrived in the US, we stayed with family in the Northern Wastes where we had to a fair bit of driving around so that the other half could catch up with friends and sort out the 1001 little things that had cropped up during her time in the Old Brown Land.

      It was during these excursions that I came across the billboard that led to this story. I don’t know the name of the company it advertised because it was always the catchline that grabbed my attention: “90,000 Brides Serviced”…

      Southern Life

      Stop Press – Digital shennanigans

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Apr 5, 2011
      Stop Press - Digital shennanigans

      Since calling to cancel my satellite teevee/internet connection I’ve been contacted by the company’s “customer satisfaction” person who has offered to lower the cost of my plans and give me a free service call to see if there’s a problem with my dish (I’ve been complaining for 18 months to no avail).

      Several minutes later a “rival” ISP called to tell me that a government subsidy, aimed at people like me, allows his company to offer free installation and no rental fee for its equipment. He told me, when asked, that this plan has been in effect since October. “Why didn’t they tell me this last week when I enquired about the plans on offer?” I wanted to know.

      Southern Life

      Communications breakdown – again

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Mar 31, 2011
      Communications breakdown – again

      It’s a wonder anyone in Kentucky, or the US for that matter, bothers with a satellite internet connection – anyone living more than 10 minutes from a town of any reasonable size, that is. Not only are the available options painfully slow – though the satellite ISPs tout their wares with superlatives such as “blisteringly fast” – they are expensive and many of  the “service providers” (their words, not mine) employ somewhat suspect tactics to keep you in their talons once they have you signed up.

      Southern Politics

      The Occasional Gold Tooth Award

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Mar 24, 2011
      The Occasional Gold Tooth Award

      I’m in awe of Rand Paul; the man must have the hide of a rhinoceros. He was sent to Washington after convincing the voters of Kentucky that he believed in the same god that they did – though he seems less fearful of divine retribution – and was going to spend his time there to force the Career Politicians to Cut Spending, Balance The Budget and return the country to the Golden Days, those presumably being whenever it was that the Clan Paul consolidated its position. He also railed against Vested Interests and Taxation and politicians who Weren’t Doing what they were Elected To Do.

      So what’s the lad doing now? Well for one, he’s touring the country to promote his new book, The Tea Party Goes To Washington. Apparently he’s already got things in the capital so well organized that he doesn’t need to be there all the time …

      Second Povah award for English as it’s writ and spoke

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Dec 30, 2010
      Second Povah award for English as it’s writ and spoke

      Writing about my last Povah, I explained my reasons for keeping my award recipients to myself and I see no reason to change that policy. However, as happened on that occasion, sometimes something comes along that’s just too good to be left alone.

      This week’s award deservedly belongs to one of NBC’s seemingly inexhaustable supply of “news analysts”, one-time FBI profiler and now security savant, Dr Clint Van Zandt. Dr Van Zandt was  allegedly explaining for our benefit the mental processes of a man arrested and charged in England for the abduction, murder by crossbow and possible cannibalising of several women.

      Revolution in Australia

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 25, 2010
      Revolution in Australia

      Please forgive me if I come across as a little smug, but I’m a proud Australian today –  to the point of being insufferable – and, with all due humility, I contend that the USA could do much worse than be guided by what is now afoot in the land of my birth.

      Australian telecommunications services were once wholly owned by the taxpayers of that country. In 1995 the company providing them – known as Telstra – employed almost 87,000 people and provided telephone services over the entire continent. Even the most remote of Aboriginal communities could boast a public telephone connecting it to the outside world.

      Why I don’t believe in Santa Claus

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Dec 12, 2010
      Why I don’t believe in Santa Claus

      I’m experiencing another bout of cultural malaria, that recurring melancholia that can be triggered by sights, sounds or even things that don’t register on our conscious mind. For the second –  no, the third – time since arriving in the USA, I feel like a stranger in an unfamiliar land, and it’s Christmas that’s to blame or, strictly speaking, the season in which it has arrived.

      Perhaps it’s a tinge of homesickness or maybe because I haven’t had a sight of real sunshine for weeks now, for whatever the reason I looked at the weather data for south-western Australia this morning. In Gingin, the town we left to come to the USA, it’s around 11:00 pm as I write this and the [farenheit] temperature is just breathing down the neck of 70°, falling from a high of 100. Pretty well normal for this time of year.

      I’ve got nothing against Mickey Mouse, but…

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Nov 23, 2010
      I’ve got nothing against Mickey Mouse, but…

      As I said up there, I’ve got nothing against Mickey Mouse. Well, that’s not quite true, I can’t stand his voice; but that’s uncharitable, one shouldn’t judge others by their physical or mental shortcomings and in any case, it’s not his fault, Walt Disney gave it to him. Neither do I bear any ill will towards Walt Disney himself, not personally anyway. Even though my mother enjoyed telling all who would listen that for six weeks I had nightmares over the bushfire sequences in Bambi after Bernie Jamieson took me to see it back in the ’40s, I bear him no grudge. None whatsoever.

      No, none of that matters. It’s what he – or his studio, and I’ll get the two confused here, I know – has done to children’s literature that gets up my nose.

      This weeks Povah for English as its’ writ and speaken

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Nov 2, 2010
      This weeks Povah for English as its’ writ and speaken

      I don’t make a habit of making my award public because I make a lot of mistakes myself and in any case I only hand it out privately so I can feel smug, but I just couldn’t let this go.

      Writing in Kentucky News Review, Lu-Ann Farrar tells us that Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University…now let’s just hold it there for a second while I try to work out where to start. To make things a bit clearer, I’ll italicise Lu-Ann’s words, at least the ones I think are hers.

      Got that? Now, Ms Farrar writes that  the professor  told the Detroit Free Press that paramilitary troups [sic.] are being used more often in police situations. Now right there I’m puzzled.

      Voting for self in November

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Oct 19, 2010
      Voting for self in November

      I watched a so-called teevee debate between a couple of aspirants to political office a couple of nights ago, and my reaction was akin to nothing so much as that of your archetypal stunned mullet. So you can blame the teevee, the candidates, the university and the panel for what you are about to receive – or not, depending on your attention span.

      First up, I’d like to lay my cards on the table. My opinions are born of life experiences outside the ken of many Australians – especially those born in the boom years, and later in those gray decades of gray conservatism where nostalgia for an imaginary past and place colors political thought at the expense of progress – so it follows they are also outside the ken of many Americans.

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