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Where it came from

When I originally started writing and posting stuff to the Net (via e-mail and Usenet) in 1990, it was pretty much all off-the-wall “I wish I was a Python” surreal bizarro kind of stuff. And arguably not particularly funny. But by the mid-90s a lot of it had morphed into more auto-biographical material: amusing anecdotes and so on. A colleague, Stewart, suggested I write it as a diary, and never one to let someone else’s good idea go to waste, I tried it.

As far as I recall, the diary first appeared on the web in early 1996, switching to the toxiccustard.com address in December 1996, and then later moving over to danielbowen.com. The pages were updated by hand until January 2004, when I switched all new entries into WordPress.

All these years later I continue to write a few paragraphs most days, doing my bit to contribute to the sum total of inconsequential trivia on the Internet. And it’s pleasing to see many friends and acquaintances also doing so — you can find some links to some great blogs along the right hand side navigation.


What’s in it

Some of it’s personal, and some of it is observations of the world at large. Of the personal posts, a tiny subset of my life makes it into this blog. It’s usually something I think might be moderately amusing, and often things will be exaggerated for comic effect — sometimes I will whinge here about something that is really trivial, and I would not complain about to anybody in real life. Many events go unreported.

Increasingly politics (and in particular, transport) feature heavily.

The lesson here is: Don’t think you know me based purely on what you read here.


Where it’s going to

I enjoy blogging, and anticipate continuing to do so for the forseeable future. ‘Cos it’s, like, fun.

This blog will be around for a while, because the State Library of Victoria decided to archive it in the National Library of Australia’s Pandora archive, though the updates seem a tad sporadic. Archive.org also has a massive library of archived web content, and a cursory glance seems to show it has a few local blogs archived in it.

The longevity of such archives depends on how long those programmes continue to get funding, and whether or not the devices of tomorrow continue to be able to read the media of today. I suspect that at some stage I will feel the need to make a copy of at least some of my writing onto that most flexible and futureproof of media — paper — for future offspring to read, if they should wish to do so.


Why this name

Some reasons why this diary has this name:

  • When I first put it online there were hardly any diaries on the web, and I thought it would attract hits from people curious about Australia
  • Because the “average” word sounds a little self-deprecating, which I like, though lately I’ve thought it sounded almost grandiose
  • To annoy any white supremacists who might be outraged that someone who is not entirely Caucasian would dare to call themselves an average Australian (okay so I thought of this reason after it happened — if I find the e-mail again, I’ll post it)
  • It was originally “An average Australian’s diary” so it would be near the top of the alphabetically sorted Yahoo directory — though I note I’ve fallen out of that list completely now.
  • It was a better name than Toxic Custard


Other stuff

Sometimes I edit posts after I have published them. Yeah, apparently this is very bad form. It’s mostly fixing typagraph… typograf… typos. Occasionally I’ll read something back and think of a much better (wittier, usually) way of saying it, and change it. But I try my best not to fundamentally change the essence of what I’ve written. And certainly not after someone has commented on it. In most cases such changes will be marked so it’s obvious they’ve occurred.

Originally posted August 2004