05/12/10 Dustin and Asia


Of note on the strip. if curious you can read here about the Battle of Muar involving Japan, Australia, and others. Those lyrics are from Australia’s national anthem, Advance Australia Fair written by Peter Dodds McCormick.

Not much in news today. Frank Frazetta died Monday. I can’t deny that I have been at some times influenced by him, albeit not always artistically. So let’s observe a moment of silence.

frankfrazetta-cat-girlFrank, may you be immortalized on white vans by spraypaint decal artists forever.

We built a raised bed garden in our front yard this weekend and planted corn on the cob. We purchased a tall birdfeeder and the birds are now happy to flit between that one and the old one: problem solved (though not understood). Sun is predicted for the next week. Can’t say I have any complaints today. :)


  1. This room is awesome! It reminds me of Tintin.

    Also, I totally forgot Dustin was Australian… until panel 7. Then, I started reading him aloud with an Australian accent, only to discover I’m terrible at immitating the Autralian accent, and have never heard the Australian anthem 😀

    Interesting to see what’s Yuri does for fun. Dustin obviously went to win her over, but made the fatal mistake of… criticizing her hairband (what? you thought I would point to panel 9?)

    As for Frazetta, let’s just say I didn’t notice you had written a comment at all until I got to the picture, whereupon I read “Frank, may you be immortalized” Imagine my surprize!

  2. Libby

    Is it really possible to plant corn that is not corn on the cob? I mean, sure, if you fertilize it with milk you might get Creamed Corn on the Cob or with Pepsi to get Popped Corn on the Cob…nope, still “on the Cob”.

  3. JKCarroll

    @Libby, I think he was referring to the material cob. I know some people living in clay-rich environments who are experimenting with taking straw bales and mixing them with cob. As the straw slowly composts, it enriches and loosens up the clay, making it easier for the root systems to develop. As the root systems develop, the clay loosens up even further. The end result of both of these actions “fixes” the clay, turning it (supposedly) into something more closely resembling topsoil. It’s an action similar to what my Irish ancestors did, hauling large baskets of seaweed up the rocky cliffs to mix with the soil to fertilize it. The biggest caveat is to keep the planted area well-hydrated. Seeing as how he lives in an area where last year, a dozen people fell off their bicycles and drowned, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    So, yes, his sweet corn is “corn on the cob”.

    (One could argue that , by that reasoning, putting a banana peel underneath your tomatoes when you plant them makes them “tomatoes on the banana”, but that’s just silly.)

  4. Actually, this proves he’s NOT Australian. If he was Australian he wouldn’t know any verses beyond the first one. And even then, only maybe. And wouldn’t sing it. And would preface what he said by saying “I’m not racist, but…”

  5. Christopher

    @Libby & @JkCarroll, might as well nip this one in the bud, although it’s not nearly as interesting as your explanation. I simply planted corn. But I like corn on the cob so much that my fingers must have gotten away with me while typing and I typed in the whole thing.

  6. JKCarroll

    @Libby, you’re welcome. I’m a prepper, so I hear all sorts of things that people are trying around the country. I don’t know how the straw bale/cob combination is going to work, I only know that these particular people were having not-so-good results with planting just on straw bales. Hopefully this will work as planned, and not only will they get some better-than-before topsoil, but also they won’t have critters coming at night to munch on the straw bales.

    However, tomatoes everywhere agree that putting a banana peel in the hole when they’re transplanted is just heaven! And Christopher, I hope you remembered to plant a fish with your corn! And I hope you used non-GMO seed for your corn. And next year try planting some popcorn too. And wipe your feet when you come back into the house! Where were you raised in, a barn?

    (sorry — started channeling my mother for a moment — I’ll try to not let it happen again…)

  7. Jeff

    Just to chime in re straw and cob etc – straw (aka spent cereal stalks) contain allelopathic compounds that actively suppress the germination of small-seeded species (like tomatos). Also, in the early stages of decomposition the microbuggies breaking it down are going to tie up a lot of nutrients and make them unavailable to anything else (aka nitrogen immobilization). So I’m not sure that un-aged cob is going to make a very good growth medium – which makes sense, since people wouldn’t build houses out of something likely to spontaneously sprout and collapse into a pile of topsoil.

    Also, critters (the four legged kind) don’t generally eat straw – it’s used as bedding material. They like hay, aka fodder, which is made up of an altogether different set of species (legumes, grasses, etc).

    Know-it-all farm boy out…

  8. JKCarroll

    @Jeff, I’ll double-check with the people trying this, but as I understand it, the bales are broken up and mixed with the normal clay soil, and possibly with some compost to get things started. After the crops are planted, the cob is then mixed and applied VERY thinly around the pile — only an inch or two — to make a “shell” around the mound. Leave the spaces above the plantings open. After the cob is applied, you take a thin rod or stick and poke holes all over the shell to allow the material inside to breathe and to get moisture.

    Also, the people who had problems with the critters snacking on the bales were using hay bales, not straw bales, because that’s what they had at hand. They also set the bales up next to the fence where they kept critters. They WON’T make that mistake again!

  9. I don’t know the Australian anthem either, but the tune of Auld Lang Syne just came naturally. It fit the first line of lyrics, and it scans beautifully. I’ve never even been to Australia, but from now on, New Year’s Eve will always make me proud that I at least live on the same planet. (Unlike Dustin. So really, if he can be proud of Australia, so can I.)

  10. Sam

    Actually, the Australian national anthem is (a slightly modified version of) the first and third verses of Advance Australia Fair. The words Dustin sings are from the fifth verse, and thus not part of the anthem.

    For an Australian to know both verses of the anthem indicates nerdiness or patriotism, but if you know verses that aren’t in the anthem you’re probably a constitutional monarchist (which we already knew Dustin was from strip 19). Unless it’s the fake “lost” verse, in which case you’re probably an annoying Christian.

    @Toby: It’s in common metre, so its music and lyrics can be mixed-and-matched with any other song in common metre, including Auld Lang Syne, Amazing Grace, the theme from Gilligan’s Island, and Working Class Man.

  11. Maarvarq

    @Sam: Verse 3 got quite popular for a while when the refugee “debate” was particularly nasty (not that it’s much better now) purely for the lines “For those who’ve come across the seas, We’ve boundless plains to share”.

  12. Night-Gaunt

    I am disappointed with the blatant censorship of Frazetta’s work here. Maybe you could have picked one that wasn’t R rated. But then we are in the land of the somewhat free.

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