Monday, 3 December 2007

What're You Looking At?

In a bid to be the first "Top of 2007", Yahoo!7 today released its results of top search results for 2007. Given that Yahoo!7 is an Australian domain, it's safe to assume this reflects Australian users. And what a sad story the list paints.

Top overall searches on Yahoo!7 for 2007:

10. Justin Timberlake
9. Bourne Ultimatum III
8. iPod Nano
7. Brangelina
6. Anna Nicole Smith
5. Jessica Alba
4. Bebo
3. Real Estate
2. Weather
1. Britney Spears

So if I'd really wanted to get hits on my blog this year, I should have written a post along the lines of:

"Justin Timberlake and Anna Nicole Smith were watching the Bourne Ulitmatum III on an iPod Nano at Brangelina's Beverly Hills mansion - a prime piece of real estate - when Jessica Alba rang wanting to know if they'd checked out her page on Bebo which had a video clip of Britney Spears presenting the weather."

Seriously, what a load of crap. If you want to know the weather, go to If you want to know about real estate, go to or If you want to know about useless American gits - go to America.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Defiant" Christopher Lawrence
"Shake A Leg" AC/DC
"Stalking The Wild Controller" Tristan
"My Michelle" Guns N Roses
"Red 2" Dave Clarke
"Seduction Of Orpheus" Tilt
"Forever Young" Interactive

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Riddles In The Dark




Questions that are not asked often enough.

How did we get to where we are today?

When did people stop paying attention to what was going on around them?

Why did we allow ourselves to become so distracted from reality?

How much irreparable damage has been done?

When did the mass media gain control of the greater common consciousness?

Why did we allow this to happen?

How can we fix this?

When is it too late?


Sunday, 18 November 2007

Who Knows? - Rambalations 5

I don't know where this is going to go - just a warning. Lots of issues I want to touch on here, but I'll try to keep some logical and sensical flow going.

Who knows, I may even throw in an Anna Corin segue.

Since Louise asked for it, let's start with the impending election. It appears neither of the major parties in Australia have paid any notice to what has been happening around the world in the past 4 years. Or their own backyards. All I hear from the Liberal (I refuse to call it the coalition - when was the last time the Nats actually did anything?) party is economics disguised as big ticket item policies, geared towards the good of corporations, while all I hear from the Labor party is.... well whatever the Liberals say but with less focus on the economics and more geared towards the workers.

I don't hear anything from the minor parties. The mainstream media has made them vanish into thin, polluted air and they seem to be doing nothing in regards to the digital media. Maybe they're just not doing anything at all? Perhaps they'll speak up and/or be heard this week.

It has been entertaining watching the majors try to use digital media in their campaigns tho. Johnny Costello has made a repeated fool of himself on Youtube (search for his posts yourself - I aint shitting on my blog) while Ruddy Kevin discovered social networking platforms such as MySpace and Facebook. Still, they don't seem to get it. Or use it. Because, if they did, how could they possibly be so blind to what is going on around them?

Social networks have proved to be just that. People from all walks of life are finding their common interests and sharing their experiences with one another. Regardless of race, gender, religion, age, sexuality, financial status, location, physicality, appearance, education. We are engaging with one another and pissing off the old barriers, and not just online. But to make this work for you, you have to participate. This is where the major parties have failed. I have had not one political candidate or representative talk to me during the campaign. None. No-one representing any political party has approached me on the street, has knocked on my door, phoned me during dinner (although that could be because I do not have a fixed-line phone service) nor, thank fuck, posted a comment on my blog. Have any bothered approaching you?

If one did bother to engage with me in conversation, I would be happy to talk with them. Shit, there's heaps of issues being addressed in this election, so I'd be more than happy to hear their policy outlines. But only if they could speak frankly about them and not just talk spin.

And if they were to say something like this, they'd get my vote.

But all I am seeing is mass-market spin.

On the other hand, they may have been following blogs all this time and think that mass-advertising is something bloggers are really interested in, and therefore continue to use mass-market campaigning. Given the state of many blogs now, I can understand why they would think this. On a few pages that I flicked past today, I found it almost impossible to find actual content. It was there, squashed between adverts and paid-posts. But if I have to hunt for content, then I aint gonna read your page. And a lot of the content I did find was about this whole Google page-rank dispute that has developed - whatever that may be about. It appears to only impact people who use blogging as a means to make money. Since it seems to be largely based around blog advertising and has zero impact on me, I'll not be reading any further into it. Best of luck to those fighting that greedy corporation who had the audacity to change their own business practices.

There are other things I plan on focusing on this week.

Lastly, for what it's worth (and as this is a free blog, it's worth nothing), I'm not planning on voting for either of the major parties. No great surprise to any of you (ir)regular readers. One of them is going to win either way and both fail to impress me. Instead, I'll be voting for the minor party which focuses on those issues which I find important. Their preferences will end up going to one of the majors, but at least I've had my say on what issues are and aren't important according to my perception of the world (yes, world - even though this is an Australian election, we are players in world politics and apparently we're almost worth as much as the USA). If enough people voted in this way, we may see issues which are important according to the people actually being addressed.

Although I am undecided which minor party will receive my vote, I do know it will not be Family First. The last thing we need now is a bunch of right-winged 'Christian' zealots running the country.


Songs played while writing this entry:
"Where Is S" Infected Mushroom
"Dreams" Quench
"Bambaata Back To The Core" Goldie
"Drumstick" NJoi
"Scared" Slacker
"Perception" Cass Vs Slide
"It Doesn't Matter" The Chemical Brothers
"Konspiracy" Kemal
"Mockmoon Remix" Genlog
"Sweetness And Light" Itch-E And Scratch-E
"Niji" Denki Groove

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Reality Check

"I lost touch with reality
now my personality
is an unwanted commodity"
Teenage Fanclub De La Soul

Sometimes it's good to have a reality check, both as an individual and as a collective. You don't want to do it too often because you become so obsessed with the analysis of reality that you loose sight of the real reality. But every now and then it's worth doing. And what better time than now?

America has been delivered a reality check in the form of this report (kudos to Cooper). I wonder if Johnny Costello or Ruddy Kevin will take any notice of it.

If you're an internet user then read this post by Colin. (Ever notice how internet users are socially acceptable while heroin users aren't, yet they're both referred to as 'users'?)

I'm sick of being single - time to do something about that.

And if you think you have it rough or aren't happy with your appearance, then check this out because I bet you'll never guess what this is by just looking at the photo.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Top Of The Desk

Because Cooper told me to (and because it's one of my favourite pics that I've taken):

Port Douglas, July 2006

Show off yours:

[1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]


"You're so fuckin special
I wish I was special"

I was chatting with a mate on Friday night at a work piss-up and we were discussing a woman we both admire. She's the type I've always been a sucker for. Natural beauty, smart, confident, creative, laid-back and a bent sense of humour. The whole package. And recently single. My mate was doing all he could to convince me that I should pursue a relationship with this incredible woman (the only reason he wouldn't do it himself is that he is happily married to his wife and kids). In theory it sounds great.

You see, I know I am not the type of man this particular woman is attracted to. If I have learnt anything in my short life, it is that everyone has their 'type' when it comes to attraction - both physical and emotional. And in this instance, I fail in both categories. She is attracted to the confident, well-built, tall, decisive, slightly arrogant, sporty, rugged types, whereas I am the quiet, average-build, medium height, submissive, thoughtful, spectator, homely type. We get along great as friends, but the chemicals are only flowing on my side.

So I will continue to admire her as a friend until eventually she finds a guy who fits her type who she chooses to spend her life with and we grow apart.

You may call this a defeatist attitude, I call it realistic.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Beds Are Burning" Midnight Oil
"Impact" Sound Enforcer
"Capoeira Brasileria Psicolodel" Kaigang
"Point Break" Solphurex
"So Tinha Que Ser Com Voce" DJ Marky
"Big Cat" Afro Celt Sound System
"I'll Get You" Plump DJs

Sunday, 4 November 2007

29 Days Later

Its been 1 day short of a month since I last posted on my blog. No real reason why, I just haven't - haven't felt like it, haven't had the motivation, haven't had the time. And as we're moving into summer and the silly season, I think I'm not likely to post all that often over the next few months. Still, it's nice too see a number of regular visitors still dropping by to check in on me.

So what's happened over the past month?

  • Little Johnny has set a date with Kevin 07, giving all us Aussies an opportunity to pick between the lesser of 2 evils. This would have to be one of the most interesting elections I can recall. There is such a wide range of issues being addressed and opinion being thrown around, and people actually seem interested this time. I think this public interest is being helped along by the internet and tv shows such as Difference Of Opinion, Insight and The Chaser's War On Everything. According to an online ABC poll, new media is now a strong source of knoweldge in elections:
Where will you get most of your election news from?
TV - 39%
Radio - 22%
Online - 27%
Newspapers - 12%
2656 votes counted

  • Usually, Australian tv moves to off-season at this time of the year. However, due to the increased usage of P2P, tv stations here have been forced to bring forward the screening times of popular US shows. This has lead to them advertising with catch phrases such as "Streamed direct from the US", which, in most cases, is blatant false advertising. Take for example Californication, which premiered in the USA on Aug 13 and premiered in Australia on Aug 27 - a 2 week lag. And yet, channel 10 continues to promote it as "Streamed direct from the USA". One day the main-stream media will wake up to the fact the we're not all gullible idiots.... one day.

  • I went to an advanced screening of 30 Days Of Night on Halloween. While it was a decent vampire movie, I was a bit disappointed. Yeah, there was plenty of blood, the ending was a bit unexpected and the setting in Alaska put a good spin on the vampire story, but it just wasn't scary enough - 3 wooden stakes out of 5.

  • I've been pleasantly surprised by the support provided by Beyonwiz, the manufacturers of the PVR mentioned in my last post. The company runs an online support forum and takes on board the feedback provided by their customers. I had a couple of issues with networking and play-back performance which I raised on the forum and these were quickly rectified. It is nice to see a company that actually uses internet technologies to their benefit.

  • The USA has gone into debt crisis largely due to over mortgaging. Strangely enough, the Aussie Dollar has remained strong - for now. Hopefully, this will encourage people to rethink their spending and budgeting. I have been really surprised by the amount of debt people are in, especially on credit cards. I only have one credit card with a relatively small credit limit, so am surprised when I hear stories of friends who have over $10k worth of debt rung up on their credit cards. Society has become so focused on the 'quick fix' that people expect to have everything they want, now. Unfortunately, those who know how to save and budget are punished for the greed of others' through interest rate increases. It's good to see some bloggers out there taking steps to change their behaviour, and I can only hope their message spreads.

Ok, so plenty of other stuff has happened in the past 30 days, but that'll do me for now. I will return, maybe sooner, maybe later.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Black Girls" Violent Femmes
"My Michelle" Guns N Roses
"Valley Of The Dolls" Mylo
"Scary Dog" Sixth Sense Approach
"As The Rush Comes" Motorcycle
"Dual" Memory Tree
"Lump" Presidents Of The United States Of America
"Ariella" Black Acid
"Emenuis Sleepus" Green Day
"Funky Sound" AK1200

Friday, 5 October 2007

Switching On

About a week ago, I wrote a post about how I was going to spend a lot less time watching tv. I meant it.

So much so that I have just upgraded my home 'entertainment' system to a LCD HD TV and a PVR... with dual HD tuners.... and a 250Gb HD.... with wireless network access.... and 2 USB ports..... and DVD

This may sound like a strange investment for a man who isn't going to be spending much time watching television. But it's not, and allow me to try and convince you (and myself) why.

With this amazing device, I can time shift. Not in the physical being kinda way where the edges of reality are folded in on each-other, creating a seam in the time continuum, allowing past, present and future realities to converge at a single point in time. It aint that good. But I can pause television and then fast-forward it. Even better I can skip forward in time, flicking past advert after advert after election campaign after advert. I can fast-forward the 'news' from the past, selecting to view only those few stories which actually really matter. And I can do all this while recording another show in the now-future to watch sometime in the current-future once I have caught up with the past.

See, it makes perfect sense.

And then there's the many other benefits of having a HD unit with built-in hard-drive that is fully networked. None of which is to do with this sort of behaviour. No. Doesn't matter that free media sharing has been going on for years on video-tapes and audio cassettes, and no-one seemed too phased about it up until things went digital. And traceable. It's illegal.

The key points again:
  • I can remove advertising from the few shows I actually do watch.
  • I can remove gossip about the idolised and generally fucked up people the mainstream media choose to focus on.
  • I can remove the irrelevant and unimportant completely from my house.
  • I can access media files that are stored on my other networked devices, and vice-versa.
  • I reduce the amount of time I spend watching television by now having the freedom to choose what it is that I view and cutting out all the remaining bullshit.

The LCD TV was for just because.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"The Now Current Past" Beyonwiz

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Feed Me Cookies

I went looking at a few random blogs tonight and fuck me dead. The amount of sites which were churning through data left right and centre to load up.... I'm baffled. It's worse than walking into a Telstra shop. This is NOT a sponsored post: for reasons of my own, I run PeerGuardian on my pc which tracks the IP traffic through my internet connection. Using this, I can monitor the companies and governmental bodies trying to obtain access into and data out of my pc. Not in the forceful, brutal hacking sense - no. Instead through the pleasantly disguised cookies which now adorn myriads of blogs (I'll not go into how it works with torrents).

Naturally, the widgets on my page are exempt from discussion...

One of those is for the Australian Blogs Community. I was looking at the Aus-Blog banner and decided to give it a revamp, the current one just don't fit the image of my blog. Using Google image search, I found a pic of the Aussie flag to use as a starting point, loaded it and saved it. I'm no graphic artist, there's no professional grade graphic design programs on my pc. So to add text, I copied the saved pic and pasted it into MS Word and, using a text-box, added the text. Then I found that Word no longer allows you to group objects when one happens to be a saved jpg from the web. Once again, Microsoft thinks they own everything. Fortunately this is not true, where there's a will, there's a way.

Using the basic tools on my pc - Word, Paint, Photo Editor, FastStone Capture and Nero Photosnap Image Editor (came with my digital cam) I created the following designs:

I played with gradation curves (colour/exposure) to get this effect.

Looks like a tv (CRT for those who remember) - Lens distort to maximum.

Fixed in Concrete - Embossed then played with inverting colours.

A bit of Green & Gold - same as before

Copper Rush - messing around with the aged effect

Writing in the sand - playing with glow

Underwater - hit solarize

Underwater 2 - whadayaknow, the next effect was water

Feel free to use them, I'm not Microsoft, I don't own everything.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"First Rebirth" Jones & Stephenson
"Rush Hour" Christopher Lawrence
"Daughter" Pearl Jam
"The Meltdown" Lunatic Asylum
"I Want To Fall" Freaky Chakra Vs Single Cell Orchestra
"Killing In The Name Of" Rage Against The Machine
"Red 2" Dave Clarke
"Give Your Body" Random XS
"The Stalker" Green Velvet

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Switching Off

"Television, drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation"
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

Last night I made the decision that I am going to spend a lot less time watching television. This earth-shattering decision came about for 3 reasons:

  1. There is bugger all on television worth watching.
  2. I am sick of what passes as news and entertainment today, and even sicker of advertising - in particular the current political campaigning, which is only going to get worse.
  3. Winter is over.
This does not mean that I will be cutting out television all together. I will still be watching Spicks And Specks, The Chaser's War on Everything, Summer Heights High, Difference of Opinion and the occasional episode of The Simpsons. I will also keep an eye out for interesting documentaries such as Decadence: The Meaningless Of Modern Life and Get Up Stand Up. Apart from that, the tv will be turned off.

Having made the decision, I grabbed a book and spread out on the couch. I soon became aware of how not-silent my apartment is. Despite having no stereo or tv blurting out noise, there was still a constant hum emanating from the appliances that share my living space. I went around and unplugged everything that could be unplugged - the fridge and my pc were the only two devices left connected (the pc was in the process of burning a dvd). Doing this reduced the hum significantly, although the thermostat in the fridge meant that its basal drone kicked in and out occasionally.

I settled back on the couch (this time with a glass of scotch) and resumed my reading. But I could still hear humming, and its source was out of my control. I could hear the traffic on the roads outside, the low bass of cars idling on my street, distant tones from my neighbouring apartments. I thought to myself is this now what passes as silence? Have we become so accustomed to filling our lives with sound that we don't notice the constant noise that surrounds us? The electronic pitches, buzzes, hums and drones that fill our living and working spaces and go on ceaselessly are now accepted as silence? Is this the new rhythm of life?

My inner-country-boy longed to be on my uncle's farm, far away enough from civilisation to hear nothing but the wind in the pines and the scurry of nocturnal animals in the dark. My inner-hippy longed to be back in Cape Tribulation, nestled in the rainforest with the sound of the waves slapping on the beach in the distance. My inner-yuppie was too busy mourning the loss of the television.

How silent is your silent?

In case I don't post between now and Thursday: Difference of Opinion looks at tween-marketing this week - something parents need to become aware of fast. For background info, check out Two Knives and Imaginif.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Hey Jealousy" Gin Blossoms
"Say It Aint So" Weezer
"Tremora Del Terra" Illuminatae
"Schoneberg" Marmion
"Animal" Pearl Jam
"Civil War" Guns N Roses
"It Doesn't Matter" The Chemical Brothers
"Standing On The Outside" Cold Chisel
"Hot" Purveyors Of Fine Funk
"Defiant" Christopher Lawrence
"Global Machine" Temperature Drop

Friday, 21 September 2007

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

It's 1:00 am. She lays on a mattress on the floor of her brother's house, her 3 year-old daughter sleeping in the bed on the other side of the room. Its been a long day at work - her boss can be such a prick at times, but the job pays alright and it's only a temporary means to an end. Plus it's part-time, so she can spend more time raising her 2 kids.

Throwing back the quilt, she gets up and gently stirs the child awake. The poor thing is tired and becomes only semi-conscious. She picks the girl up and nestles her against her shoulder as she opens the door. In the room directly across the hallway, her 18 month-old son stirs in his cot. Quietly, she carries her daughter to the toilet and sits her down on the loo. Speaking gently, she encourages the girl to take a wee. She has to be up at 7:00, get the kids breakfast, get ready for work, dress the kids, make lunch, pack their day-bags, get them all into the car - which hopefully will start this time - and drive them to her ex-husband's parent's house, then on to work. But for now, she is a mother teaching her daughter to become aware of her body's signals. The job done, she whispers gentle words of praise, lifts the child and carries her back to her bed. One quick check on the sleeping boy, then she lays back down to sleep.

I lay in bed. I had worked an 8-hour shift and got home around 11:00. I listen to her perform this act of love and selflessness. I marvel at her strength, determination and bond of duty to her children. I know that she is putting on a brave front, but she is hurting inside and struggling with the new world of being a single-parent. She has many challenges still to face and it will not be easy. I vow to myself that I will be there for her always.

She is a woman, a mother, an employee, a survivor of an abusive marriage. She is my sister and I love everything that she is.

Happy birthday BJ.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Mockmoon Remix" Genlog
"Don't Go Now" Ratcat
"Sunsets" Powderfinger
"Porch" Pearl Jam
"Undone - The Sweater Song" Weezer
"Love For" Glenn Underground
"Anything Goes" Guns N Roses
"Millenium" Torsis

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Opinions Wont Keep You Warm At Night

No, I'm not being philosophical.

Aussie band Kisschasy released "Opinions Wont Keep You Warm At Night" in June of this year. The lyrics can be interpreted in a number of ways - a message to an ex, a youthful expression of the generation gap, a dig at the media (and bloggers), or, based on the video clip, a statement on world politics.

Either way, it's nice to hear a murmur dissent from the music industry at last.

I've posted both the video and lyrics below - interpret it your way. I'm off to watch Get Up Stand Up.

Wait while jealousy tears you apart
I’m sorry but I cannot help the way you are
That we do the things you can’t

Just wait, can’t you see you’re being weak?
It’s shallow and dark you know every time you speak
You’re just lying through your teeth

Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me
Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me

We are everything you wish you were
But, I’m feeling kinda concerned
we’re probably friends
But you hide from consequence

Yeah you must have a lot of spare time
To put down the words that you write
But no one cares
You should put your mind to rest

Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me
Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me

Get to me…Get to me…

Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me
Sometimes, days are like you say yet I don’t agree with what you see
But I will never let the bitter things you say ever get to me

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Feel The Pain" Dinosaur Jnr.
"Reactivate" Bismark
"Basket Case" Green Day
"I Could Have Lied" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Opinions Wont Keep You Warm At Night" Kisschasy
"Special Ones" George
"Closer To France" Cap Project
"Live And Let Die" Guns N Roses

Saturday, 8 September 2007

People, Police, Paths, Protests, Pictures

Drove down a strangely-quiet-for-a-Saturday-morning Pacific Hwy to North Sydney. North Sydney was also very quiet, but that's nothing unusual on the weekend as it's predominantly a business district. Parked easily, walked to the station, bought a ticket and waited for the train heading into the city. A north-bound trained pulled into the station, all but empty. Similar story when my train arrived.

Disembarked at Town Hall station, walked through the QVB and had my first spotting of protesters (wearing anti-Bush tee shirts and drinking coffee at Gloria Jeans) and police. Out onto George Street to a lack of traffic and pedestrians and plenty of closed shops. As I had missed the actual march, decided to head straight down Market St to Hyde Park to join the rally. Got to Elizabeth St to a barricade of police and police vehicles. After one of the cops advised it would be 10-15 minutes before they would allow people to cross the street to get into Hyde Park, I decided to go the long way round.

So I back-tracked up Market and down Castlereagh St, only to be denied access to Park St by a row of police and a strategically placed bus. Ok, stage 3. Cut across through an arcade to Pitt St and came across this:

Now, the intelligence of the police operation was really coming to a pinnacle at this point. I was advised that I was unable to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing unless I was to walk up to George St and then back down Park St. I figured it was futile arguing that there would be no difference in me having access to the pedestrian crossing via this route as opposed to the alternative route with a guy who takes orders without question (I'll let you figure out which one he is in the pic). Ironically, on the opposite side of the Pitt St intersection is a McDonalds with entrances on both Pitt and Park Streets. So I was forced to pass through the Golden Tits of Mass Consumerism to proceed - eh, it saved me 5 minutes of walking in circles.

Finally on Park I was able to walk back down to Elizabeth only to be confronted by this:

Talk about overkill. Besides making it impossible for people to cross the road from either side, this mass show of police force was only serving one purpose - intimidation.

Eventually made it to the one police-sanctioned pedestrian crossing into Hyde Park and entered the rally proper. Came across a bloke from the Socialist Alternative Party who gave me this:

I chatted with the bloke about how the police were making it hard for people to get into Hyde Park. At one point he referred to them as 'the pigs' and looked confused when I responded "Don't call them that mate, they're just ordinary blokes doing their jobs".

Caught the end of the rally speeches. The dj chose "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" by the Beastie Boys to play straight after the speeches. This of course received great response. I chose to wander around observing, reading and talking.

This girl was part of a group of female Muslim protesters, all wearing hijabs.

At one point, there was a loud roar from the crowd and this came walking by:

The black thing sticking up in the centre of picture is a camera used by the police to instantly photograph and scan the faces of people in a crowd. I don't think too many people had anything to hide considering the size of the crowd following it around.

This group was dancing to "My Bush Would Make A Better President" by Digital Primate.

This stand was unattended when I walked past - shame...

And so, having spoken with a diverse range of people from a diverse range of cultures on a diverse range of issues, I wandered back towards the train station - this time using a much more direct route. Walking back up Park St, I saw this:

A hard-earned thirst hey fellas?

At the train station I ran into these 2 women:

The lady on the right told me her son had told her not attend the march with "that mob of riff-raff". She went on to tell me how disgusted she was with the police organisation of the event, being that she had to walk for so long to be able to express her right to protest. We both agreed that riff-raff did not define the range of people who had attended and that the path to freedom should have been a hell of a lot shorter and easier.
"NSW Police riot squad chief Superintendent Stephen Cullen had warned: "I have absolutely no doubt that minority groups will engage in a level of violence not previously experienced in Sydney."

5,000 attendants, 9 arrests, 2 injured police, 0 riots.

I've been to cricket matches with worse outcomes than that.

Less fear-mongering going on when it comes to cricket though.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Add It Up" The Violent Femmes
"Acid Wiss" DJ Skull
"Drop Top Caddy" Aphrodite & Mickey Finn
"Forth" Secret Silence
"There Goes The Neighborhood" Body Count
"Kick Out The Jams" The Presidents Of The United States Of America
"All I Want Is You" U2
"Holiday" Weezer
"Rocket Queen" Guns N Roses
"Land Of Zod" Plantastik
"Scary Dog" Sixth Sense Approach
"Low" Cracker

Dotty Points

  • The presiding Australian Commonwealth Government is elected based on a 2-party preferred system. The 2 prime political parties in Australia are the currently in power Liberal party and the Labor party (otherwise referred to as "the Opposition"). The Liberal party was founded by the middle class. The Labor party was founded by the workers.

  • I don't trust either of them to do the job properly, but we're stuck with an archaic electoral system that prevents change and which neither of them will have the balls to change.

  • I do not belong to any political party. None of the minor parties appear to be doing anything to open debate against the 2 major parties and present viable arguements for social change. Protesting is one thing, debating is another, policy planning is something completely different.

  • I cried watching this because I love Australia.

  • And for the fact it was posted on youtube by a 54 year old.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Sunsets" Powderfinger
"Born Slippy" Underworld
"Only 4 U" Cajmere
"Wish You Well" Bernard Fanning

Friday, 7 September 2007

What's That Noise? - Rambalations 4

Just an upfront warning that this may turn into a rather long, rambling post.

Tell you what - it's a fuckin weird time to be living in old Sydney town right about now. I mean, shit. It's all fuckin happening. There is this buzz, this murmur, this energy. The people are talking. And people are listening. Now think about it. People are those beings that work together, day in and day out. People work together and get to know together by talking and listening. After a while it becomes people talking and listening together while they work. The paradigm shifts.

And this is how I see how it happening in Australia.

Most workers here will give you.... wait for it.... here it comes..... " a fair go". When a new person starts working within a team, we give them a few weeks to settle into their new role, to become sociable within the team, to let us get to know them as a person and as a colleague. I mean fuck, we've all been in new teams at some point and know what it's like to feel you have NFI, that you hope your new team members will like you in some way, shape or form, and wandering if you're going to like them. We weigh each-other up for a while. For a few weeks.

And then we say "Fuck it, let's just get on with it".

So we do. And after a while, all that new-kid tension wears off from both sides. We go about our work and we get to know each-other while we do our work. We realise the commonalities we have on personal levels, professional levels, skills levels. We find the grounds that connect us regardless of background, race, age, gender, religion. Those things no longer matter, it's the person that is important. That thing inside that makes you you.

Like it or hate it, APEC has stirred Sydney to bubbling point. You see, we work and live (mostly) side-by-side here. Muslims work with Christians. Americans work with Iraqis. Tibetans work with Chinese. Anglo-Saxons work with Aboriginal Australians (that has taken far too fuckin long to achieve, but it finally seems to be getting somewhere). And we get to know each other, no holds barred, guts 'n all. We don't hold back talking about shit as we work.

No-one seems too fussed about the actual issues being addressed at APEC, rather we're talking about the one that is being un-addressed. The people.

APEC has given Sydney the taste of what it feels like to live under a dictatorship or military rule. Sure, it's nothing in comparison to how it is in some countries, but even a small taste of it is a massive shock to the system. See, down here in Oz we rarely see people walking round with guns in public. Our skies aren't normally filled with military and police helicopters. The public is not usually denied from entering their own city if they can't present identification. Individuals are not normally stopped and searched for no apparent reason. We generally don't live with that fear.

APEC has brought all of that here. And the people are not liking it at all. Not just the activists or the uni students or the hippies. It's the bloke in the suit on the bus trying to get to work. It's the doctor on his way to perform surgery. It's the mum trying to get her infant to sleep as the helicopter buzzes by her apartment. It's the teenage girl on her way to her first date. This shit has really pissed people off. Not the just the inconveniences but also the fear that is being brought into our country.

Australians do not live like this.

Problem is, Australians also have an attitude of 'she'll be right'. This could easily turn into a case of letting it run its course and then get back to how things were. After all, summer is just around the corner and we're all looking forward to long days in the sun, warm nights on the beach, holidays, cold beers, swimming in the pool, drinking at the local beer garden, bbq's, music festivals - all that good shit which comes from living in a country where the people are free to live their lives their way.

I hope that attitude doesn't prevail this time. We need to build on this experience and ensure that our country does not end up accepting this fear and governmental enforcement on an ongoing basis. If anything, we should be highlighting our nation as an example to the rest of the global community of how things can work without having those things. Sure, we are far from perfect, but we're slowly figuring this shit out amongst ourselves. It's easier to do it over a couple of beers at your mate's barbie on a Saturday arvo than it is by bombing the shit out of each-other because we're too afraid to talk to one-another.

May the protest on Saturday be held and received with Australian easy-naturedness, acceptance and good-will.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Opinions Wont Keep You Warm At Night" Kisschasy
"Iris" Goo Goo Dolls
"Librae Solidi Denari" The Shamen
"Live And Let Die" Guns N Roses
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" U2
"My Happiness" Powderfinger
"Speedway" The Prodigy
"Satisfaction" Benny Benassi
"Every You Every Me" Placebo
"Tennessee" Arrested Development
"Red 2" Dave Clarke
"Beds Are Burning" Midnight Oil

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Going Down(er) On APEC

The below is an excerpt from an interview with the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer which screened on the ABC's Lateline last night:

Below are my reactions to the interview:

"Australia will, at least for this week, be very much the centre of the world"
- We're moving the entire country geographically north? What a dumass statement to make.

"we've been able to put the climate change issue into the centre of the agenda"
- About time, and no small feat for a summit with a predominant economic focus... ah, hang-on..

"We also have put a lot of emphasis on economic restructuring and liberalisation...."
- I'm seeing a link here between economics and environment....

"Well, I think inevitably, there'll be some media focus on changes to traffic arrangements and the protesters"
- Well duh! No mention of the removal of civil rights for Sydney-siders during the summit.

"the protesters anyway will definitely get a lot of publicity as they always do in any western country. That's why they conduct protests - in order to get publicity for them."
- And I thought they did it to highlight their frustration against an injustice. So easy to dismiss protests as a marketing ploy in our consumer society.

"in the end people will recognise that this is about Australia being a really significant country and taking its rightful place in the world"
- A significant country where the government feels they have the rights to change laws and impose restrictions with no consultation to the public. And where tourists can't take photos.

"obviously some people will be inconvenienced, and I feel sorry for them, and I can understand their irritation"
- This coming from a man who is not being impacted by road-closures, security checks, police-searches and restriction zones. I doubt he truly understands the irritation being felt by the wider public.

"Well you have to have somewhere for people to sleep."
- Last I checked, every major Australian city (and most of the regional centres) has plenty of accommodation. Sorry Andrew, guess you weren't on Downer's guest list!

Dumass Downer.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana
"Scared" Slacker
"Closer To France" Cap Project
"SMD#3" SMD#3
"We're Not Gonna Make It" Presidents Of The United States Of America
"Come As You Are" Nirvana
"Circuit Breaker" DJ Skull
"My Planet" Simply Jeff

Friday, 31 August 2007

Comments 31 August 2007

Tonight's blog commences here and ends up here.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Zebra" John Butler Trio
"Everyone Needs A 303" Fatboy Slim
"Claustrophobic Sting" The Prodigy
"Stay" U2
"Life Support" Vitamin HMC
"The Mission" Carl Cox

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Stalag Sydney

What you are seeing here is Sydney Harbour in preparation for APEC. Normally, visitors to Sydney are able to walk right up to the edge of the harbor and gaze out over the water, watching the numerous vessels passing by or to have their photo taken with the bridge or the house in the background. During APEC this is not an option, unless you have passed through a security check-point in the 2.8 metre high fence that will enclose Sydney for the duration of the summit.

In a recent post, I mentioned a number of the security measures and blatant disregard for the rights of Australian citizens being imposed in Sydney during APEC. Allow me to add a few more which have come to light since that post:

- People arrested during APEC will not be granted bail until the summit has finished

- Residents of certain suburbs will not be allowed to park their cars out front of their own houses

- The police have the right to stop, search and expel anyone from APEC restricted zones, including Bondi Beach

- Sydney-siders and visitors are being told they aren't welcome to watch fireworks over the harbour

All this because a handful of so-called leaders can't do their jobs properly. For fuck's sake, if you're so fuckin scared that people hate you that much, teleconference. Some of us have lives to live here.

On a lighter note, in true Aussie style, the SMH has posted this Aussie George Dress Up in honor of the royal shrub's visit. Personally, I think he makes a great Dame Edna (kudos to Colin).

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Release" Pearl Jam
"Holiday" Weezer
"Elctris" Woody McBride
"Come & Die" Therapy? & Fatal
"Judgement Night" Biohazard & Onyx
"THX" Paddee
"The State We're In" The Chemical Brothers
"Emulator" Rotortype
"Breakfast At Sweethearts" Cold Chisel
"Speedway" The Prodigy

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

From the mouths of babes

I was planning on writing a post tonight about something or another, but spent too long reading some of my favourite blogs and following the immigration flame war on the Australian Blog Community message board. So instead, I'll share this oldie but goodie (and truthful) funny that dropped into my inbox today:

Son: "Daddy, I have to write a special report for school, but I don't know what Politics is."

Father: "Well, let's take our home as an example. I am the bread-winner, so let's call me Capitalism. Your Mum is the administrator of money, so we'll call her Government. We take care of your need, so let's call you The People. We'll call the maid the Working Class and your brother we can call The Future. Do you understand son?"

Son: "I'm not really sure, Dad. I'll have to think about it."

That night awakened by his brother's crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his diaper, the boy went to his parents' room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid's room, where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy's knocking went totally unheeded by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to sleep.

The next morning he reported to his father.

Son: "Dad, now I think I understand what Politics is."

Father: "Good son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?"

Son: "Well Dad, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, Government is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of shit."

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Great Big Gig In The Sky" Pink Floyd
"We Will Not Be Silenced" DJ Paul Edge

Sunday, 26 August 2007


"I read the news today, oh boy" The Beatles

Cooper over at Wonderland Or Not has written a very precise and inspiring piece regarding how bloggers have the opportunity to drive social awareness away from the irrelevant mass-market social drivel that now poses as "the News" and bring to the fore matters that are actually worthy of receiving attention. In her post, Cooper highlights the Jena 6 case - a shocking and horrific case of 6 black teenagers facing death sentences after being caught up in a fight that ensued after they arranged a peaceful protest for the right to sit under a tree. They wanted to sit under a tree for fuck's sake.

Now, in comparison, let's see what the reliable commercial media is bringing to our attention:

In amongst all the fluff and stuff there are a couple of worthy mentions that are provided some lip-service, but you have to dig past the local footy, Ray Martin (who?? I hear the rest of the world say), Amy Winehouse (who?? I say), 100 years of bras, and a NASA sex romp to find them.

Fortunately, some sources of news are fairly reliable when it comes to delivering the goods. Let's see what SBS, a broadcaster that's not owned by a corporation, is currently providing:

So rather than focusing on the comings and goings of individuals who have no real impact on our lives, SBS is focusing on the relevant, influencing stories. What a novel concept.

If you are a blogger and you truly are dedicated to implementing change through your words, then please, please, please stop being a collaborator of the insanity and start talking about the real issues in your life and this world.

.....ok, there is the Koala sex lesson story on SBS, but hey, you try reading the following quote and not chuckling:

"Chumbee hasn't stopped since he got here," said Schoenbrunn Zoo manager Helmut Pechlaner.
"It has been almost non-stop sex in the koala enclosure ever since, and now even our own male is joining in."
Zoo vet Hanna Vielgrader said Chumbee was unstoppable.
"The only break is to eat or sleep, other than that there's no stopping them," she said.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Days Go By" Dirty Vegas
"Wish You Well" Bernard Fanning
"Are You There" Josh Winx
"Rave Africa" Tomahawk
"The Chain" Breeder
"Chump" Green Day
"Fatman" The Shamen
"Immortality" Pearl Jam
"Here I Come" CJD Project
"Skaing The Wild Controller" Tristan
"Poison" The Prodigy

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Post 50

I have been putting myself under some unwanted and irritating internal-pressure since realising I was up to post number 50. What to write, what great pearls of crap could I lay out about what I've learnt since I started blogging, who to thank, where I'm going with this - all that shit. Then I realised, fuck it. I decided to post a bit of ramble, allowing life to resume to normal at post 51.

And so I did.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Say Something Damit!

I am sick to shit of crap content. How many blogs have you been to where self-professed blog experts are providing advise on how to best sell your blog? How many of these expert sites are covered in banners, click-throughs, widgets and other bandwidth munching cookie based paraphernalia that the so-called expert uses in an attempt to 'build traffic' and 'make money by blogging'. Fact is, if all you can do regurgitate marketing spin from marketing websites, then your blog is worthless to me. If I wanted to read an advert, I'd go to a commercial website.

I have no issue with people sharing their knowledge, experiences and recommendations - their knowledge, experiences and recommendations, not others'. I respect people who are successful in their industry for taking the time to share and discuss their opinions with readers - if they can back-up their claims to success by referencing reliable and industry recognised sources. But when I stumble across a Homer Simpson attempt at a blog where the author is claiming to be a hugely successful blog developer, my contempt flies off the scale. And more so when the author has the writing and grammatical skills of a 3rd grader. Spelling errors, bad punctuation, poor sentence structure are all accepted (and expected) on personal blogs - professional blogs on the other hand require a certain level of professionalism, such as the correct use of language.

I have no claims to being a professional blogger and have no aspirations to become one. I am, however, a blog reader and if you're seeking my readership, then offer me something to read.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Surf Wax America" Weezer
"Out Ta Get Me" Guns N Roses
"The Test" The Chemical Brothers
"Return To Reality" Antarctica
"Lost In Emotion" John '00' Flemming
"My Happiness" Powderfinger
"Wish You Well" Bernard Fanning
"Pure Flow" Odyssee

Friday, 10 August 2007

Fuck George Bush

I'm back.


Been away for a bit spending time with family back home. It was a long-overdue break from work spending time with those I love and getting my head back into human mode. I miss my family greatly and love them even more, so a trip home for me is always a joy. Yeah, there's the usual arguments, disagreements and tensions, but that just makes it all the more real and does not detract from the unity I share with my mum, dad, sister, brother and sister-inlaw.

Anyway, nough of that.

Those not living in Australia may or may not be aware that Captain Koo-Koo Banana Brains - aka George Bush - will be in Australia for the APEC summit in September. Big Fucking Whoop. I don't like the man, I think he is a deluded cowboy making decisions based on his own conservative fantasy agendas - but that's beside the point. He is the (loosely) elected leader of a nation, and if that's what the majority of American people want as their leader, then so be it. Who am I to argue, not being an American citizen and all? But I am an Australian citizen, and the last time I checked, the Australian population (myself included) did not vote George Bush President of Australia. In fact, we don't have a fuckin president - we have a weasel of a man that is so far up George Bush's ass that the White House chefs have been cooking for 2 for the past 4 years when preparing Captain Banana Brain's breakfast.

Back to APEC. Today, the all-mighty Shrub announced that he will be arriving to and leaving from the summit early. Now this, of course, requires certain changes to be made to the preparations in place for the summit. It's not a small matter of re-arranging the menus or changing what day to take the group photo on. Oh no. His honorable Brains-trust coming early means that the entire population of Sydney needs to adjust our plans. Don't expect to drive on the roads our taxes pay for. Don't expect the trains that we pay to use will run on time. Don't drive to the airport. And don't even think of having surgery. Instead, be prepared for road closures, delays to public transport and embargoes on business activities so that his fuckin emissary can be sheltered and protected from the real world. Hell, our own government is even urging us to leave town.

Do us a favour Bush - CANCEL. Do not come to Australia and fuck up the runnings of our largest city just so your capitalist, elitist, conservative sorry excuse for a leader self can continue to live in Bush-Land where the real people are merely a source of income and cheap labour, foreigners are Indians for your cowboy ass to play round 'em up with, food is free and plentiful (and cooked by slaves who don't speak), and traffic-jams are a myth.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing any harm on the man and hope that his inevitable and unwanted presence here in Australia does not lead to the injury or death of any person. But when I hear the Australian media referring to him simply as "the president" as if he is our president, my blood boils. Little Johnny Howard may be a weasel suck-ass, but he's on his way out at last and he is no-where near as evil, manipulative and dangerous as the Captain.

I'm not visiting family again till December, so if I'm not back within 2 weeks......

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Missing" Everything But The Girl
"Jack Me Off" Funk D'Void
"We Shall Not Be Silenced" DJ Paul Edge
"Feel The Pain" Dinosaur Jnr
"Give It Away" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Let Me Put My Love Into You" AC/DC
"Nightmare" Brainbug
"Darkness" Angel Alanis
"Come As You Are" Nirvana

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Who's Generation?

Ok, so I may be behind the pack on this one, but I only saw this on Spicks and Specks tonight. Presenting The Zimmers cover of My Generation:

I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by elderly people. My mum used to work in a nursing home and I often called in on my way home after school for one reason or another. Despite the smells (a mixture of urine, antiseptic, flowers, medicine, food and feces) and the sometimes off-putting behaviours of the residents, I always found the people in the nursing home to be a great source of entertainment and comfort. My family also attended a number of churches, most of which had a largely aging congregation. I gained a good number of surrogate grandparents from the churches, all of whom took a great interest in the events of my life and offered an abundance of knowledge and experience.

While it is important to focus on the well-being of future generations, we must not neglect those who have seen the world change. Kudos to the Zimmers and the BBC for reminding us all that the elderly are part of this changing world and have as much a part to play as anyone.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Deeper" Barabas & Od1
"Impact" Sound Enforcer
"Dune Buggy" Presidents Of The United States Of America
"Morphist" Drone

"Have A Drink On Me" AC/DC

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Suffer the Children

"Suffer the children, the sins of the fathers
Poison the seeds and you poison the harvest"
Directions In Groove

My sis-in-law is due to give birth any minute now and last night I watched Children of Men. Probably not the best choice of movies for an uncle-to-be as it paints a very bleak picture of the future drawing on references from the current state of global affairs. However it does end on a note of hope. If you haven't seen it, watch it.

For my yet-to-be-born niece or nephew, I have the following hopes:
  • society will stop being distracted by the unimportant.
  • the culture of greed that is perpetuated by governments and corporations will diminish.
  • individuals will stop judging others based on appearance, race, gender, sexual-preference and stereotype.
  • technological development will become focused on fixing the errors of the past and the betterment of the future.
  • decisions will be made with a world-view rather than being based on the betterment of any one particular community or country.
  • sustainable resources will be openly available and shared.
  • assistance will be offered unconditionally to those who need it.
I like to think that, whoever you are, where-ever you may be and whatever your circumstances, you would want the same for the children in your life.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"No Good (Start The Dance)" The Prodigy
"Face It" Sven Vath
"Mutant Was In Love" Taho
"Zebra" John Butler Trio
"Twilight" Canyon
"Naked In The Rain" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Angel Particles" Hallyciongen

Saturday, 14 July 2007

The Power and The Passion - Rambalations 3

Ok, so now we're all one big happy family right? We're all sitting here, talking to each other with no boundaries. We share our strengths and weaknesses, our hopes and fears, our joys and our sorrows, our pasts and futures. Relationships develop that normally wouldn't due to the tyranny of distance. Discrimination is reduced as no longer are we judging on physical appearance, rather we seek out those whose words we relate to - regardless of race, colour, ability or age. Enter the age of the shared experience.

So why the fuck are there still allied troops in the Middle East??

Why the hell are people trying, and succeeding, to explode car-bombs in the UK??

How come the media is still shoving sexist, racist, invasive, and mostly meaningless tripe down our throats??

For fuck's sake, get over it - the rest of us have.

George, give it up man. You tried to take control of the Middle East and it didn't work, so get your troops out of there and start negotiating some peace - but clean up your fuckin mess first. Fundamentalists of all religious types, chill the fuck out. You love your god/deity/idol/whatever - good for you, pretty much everyone can respect that, so go worship in your way and respect others' rights to worship in theirs. Media, grow up. People can now freely pick and choose content from a vast variety of resources and providers, so start offering up the good shit or become irrelevant.

There's still aways to go and people to wake up, but the shift has started. Find the commonalities, start and engage in conversations, form communities and voice opinions. Use the internet as a starting point for discussions that can lead to real and interactive meetings in the physical space, and use the internet again to allow people outside the physical space to participate. Funky shit huh?

This is why I work in internet. It can be frustrating and at times I may claim to hate it, but it is an area that I am passionate about and that's why I keep turning up to work.... that and the money, which is why it's called a 'job'. Fortunately for me, I work with a group of people who have the same passion for the internet, its uses and the potential it has (albeit in differing applications of its potential;). I have found that those who share this passion also share the same open acceptance of one another, warts and all. I work within this group of amazing people sharing the same focus - to build, develop, distribute and improve this medium to achieve its many potentials. And yes, some of that involves revenue potential, which is why my 'job' is paid for by a 'business'. However, the potentials I keep focus on are the vast and rapid dissemination of information, development of online cultures and the use of the internet as an educational tool.

Anyways, it's Sunday, time for my weekly reality check at Post Secret.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"My Planet" Simply Jeff
"W.M.A" Pearl Jam
"Ebeneezer Goode" The Shamen
"Been Caught Stealing" Jane's Addiction
"Blood" Pearl Jam
"Special Ones" George
"Fatman" The Shamen
"Closer to France" Cap Project
"Magic Shop" Stef, Pako & Frederick
"Surf Wax America" Weezer
"Zebra" John Butler Trio

Monday, 9 July 2007

Flight Path

It's another cold, wet, wintry night in Sydney. I stand out on my balcony, rugged up against the cold, having a smoke. My view is of the roof-tops, trees and clouds. Off in the distance, to my right, I see the lights of a plane through the clouds. As I have an un-obscured view from my balcony, I can track planes coming into land for a good minute or so. I watch as the plane slowly makes it descent, the lights becoming clearer as the plane drops beneath the clouds and tracks its path along the harbour towards Sydney airport. Although I am not directly under the flight path, I can hear the sounds of the engines as the pilot both fights against the winds and slows the engines down for landing.

This is a scenario I see on a daily basis, played out in the skies above Sydney. And each time I wait for the plane to explode. It hasn't happened so far.

I find myself watching the flight of planes a great deal since 9/11. It has in no way deterred me from flying - in fact, I've flown more since I've been living in Sydney than I have ever before in my life. Never have I had these thoughts while on a plane, only when I can see one in the air. I have no fear of flying at all. But for some reason, I see every plane in the sky as a potential disaster waiting to happen.

Is it a result of witnessing tragedy, or am I just morbid?

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Tilt" Seduction of Orpheus
"Yesterday" Guns N Roses
"Marrakech" Madley
"Say It Aint So" Weezer
"Mars Needs Women" Miranda
"Boll Weeevil" Presidents of the United States of America

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


Seems that there is a lot going on at the moment in my little ol' life - so much so that it's hard to focus on just one thing long enough to pull together enough focus to create an opinion worthy of blogging. So for now I present short musings:

  • I hate winter. A number of my friends profess to prefer the cold weather over the heat of summer, spouting that it's easier to get warmer by adding clothing than it is to cool down. I disagree totally. I would much rather be wearing only a pair of boardies and a tee-shirt than to be covered from head to toe in multiple layers of thick winter clothing. Not only am I cold, but I feel like the Michelin Man.

  • The Pasha Bulka has finally set sail off Nobby's Beach after being stuck there for 23 Days. Fortunately, there have been no signs of oil spills as yet. Unfortunately, the government is now talking of charging the owners for the salvage effort to remove the potential environmental disaster from our coast line. Oh bureaucracy.... I only hope the owners have nouse to counter-sue the Australian government for not signing the Kyoto agreement, hence contributing to global warming which attributed to the storm that swept the ship ashore in the first place.

  • I signed up to Second Life and, after spending an hour creating a avatar I liked, now have a character that has no idea of where to go. It's really like my first life! Any suggestions appreciated. If you run into Rogue Pennell, feel free to say hi ;)

  • An Indian-born doctor suspected of involvement in the London car-bomb has been arrested in Australia. Truly he is the definition of displaced.

  • I have an interview for the new job on Thursday. Considering I put very little thought into applying for the position, I plan on putting little effort into preparing for the interview. I applied based on fate and will follow the philosophy that, if I'm meant to do this, I'll get it.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Get To The Back" Fantazia
"Indifference" Pearl Jam
"Magic Shop" Stef, Pako & Frederick
"Land of Zod" Plantastik
"Elevation" U2
"Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town" Pearl Jam
"Judgement Night" Biohazard & Onyx

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Direction or Dreams?

I've applied for a new job. I wasn't looking for a new job, but one found its way into my in-box at work and, after one reading of the job description, I applied for it. I'm not un-happy with my current job - in fact I enjoy it for the most part - and the new job wasn't something that I'd considered doing previously. It was a simple matter of opportunity knocking, unfortunately (for my current boss) at a bad time.

I had never read a blog before the start of this year, nor written one. Since taking an interest in the blogsphere, I have been amazed at the power of online communities and the development of online relationships (both personal and business). Reading blogs such as More Than A Living, Necessary Skills, and The Next Transformation has changed the way I think about my work and the products I work with. Blogs like Shake Well Before Use have changed the way I look at marketing. Belonging to communities such as MyBlogLog and Bumpzee has opened up a new world of friends and interactions. So it only made sense that, when a job came along in which I saw the potential of harnessing all these things that blogs have exposed me to, I should apply for it.

A new direction or just a dream? That waits to be seen.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Missing" Everything But The Girl
"Oceans" Pearl Jam
"Nightrain" Guns N Roses
"Sweetness and Light" Itch-E & Scratch-E
"Freak Momma" Mudhoney & Sir Mix-A-Lot
"Reactivate" Bismark
"One Love" The Prodigy
"Californication" Red Hot Chili Peppers

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

We Could Be Heroes....but....

Picture this: It's a cold, wintry morning and you're bustling down the sidewalk of a busy city street under your umbrella on the way to work. A taxi drives past and from a building up ahead a woman emerges, screaming as a man pulls her by the hair. What do you do? Do you confront the couple and offer assistance to the woman or do you lower your umbrella and keep walking?

Unfortunately, this very incident occurred yesterday in Melbourne and the decision to help cost a man his life. The man who was attacking the woman pulled a gun and shot 3 people who came to her aid, killing one.

Psychology tells us there are 2 reactions all animals have in such situations - fight or flight. It's a split moment decision between self-preservation and combat. But what motivates this decision? Honor? Courage? Consequence? I can't say if I would or wouldn't have rushed in to help the woman as I wasn't there, and while I'd like to think I would, the reality is I probably wouldn't have. Not because I'm gutless or scared of a fight, but rather because I have heard too many horror stories where the good samaritans end up worse off for doing the right thing. We live in a litigious society where criminals can sue victims, where kids carry knifes for fun, and where anyone in the street could be carrying a gun in their jacket. We live in fear, and I am not immune...but I wish I was.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"It Doesn't Matter" The Chemical Brothers
"Think About You" Guns N Roses
"Computer Talk" Primordial Soup
"Come As You Are" Nirvana
"Hells Bells" AC/DC
"Life Support" Vitamin HMC
"Calling Earth" Yves Deruyter
"Chasing Cars" Snow Patrol

Monday, 18 June 2007

Land Ho Captain

First off, a very heartfelt thank you to those who commented on my previous post. I have replied to the comments on the post, but just wanted to say thanks again.

Ok, so I'm back! "What's been happening?" I hear the masses ask. Shitloads, so I'll apologise in advance if this turns out to be a long post.

A couple of weeks back was the Queen's Birthday long weekend here in Oz. She may be old, antiquated and the monarch of a dead concept, however you gotta love her for giving us a public holiday for no good reason. So me and a few friends tailed it down to Melbourne for 4 days of drinking, sight-seeing, drinking and eating (with a few drinks). It was just what I needed to pick up my spirits. There is nothing like getting away from the every-day, venturing into an alien environment to shake things up and reinvigorate the soul. One of my friends made mention that she hated feeling like a tourist, but I had to disagree. I like the feeling of being lost, ogling at buildings, statues and signs, asking for directions and generally not feeling in control of my environment. It's nice to step out of the comfort zone now and then, especially with a few good mates.

Unfortunately, the long weekend wasn't as nice for everyone. During this time, a major storm hit central and northern NSW (New South Wales for the un-Australian) and caused serious havoc including floods, road collapses, a ship running ashore (it's still there), and 8 deaths. Ironically the areas hit by this storm are amongst those which have been hit hardest by the recent droughts. All we need now (the farmers in particular) is a plague of locust and 2007 can go down as a biblical year. Vote 1 Moses.....

There's been plenty else going on - people quitting work left, right and centre, opening up job positions I may be interested in, bonus payouts, car troubles, stomach problems, family issues. All the stuff which keep things interesting and remind you that life does go on.

I'll leave you with this from ABC's The Chaser's War On Everything... I love stupid people....

Songs played while writing this entry:
"My Baby" Cold Chisel
"Funky Sound" AK1200
"That Aint Bad" Ratcat
"Thunderstruck" AC/DC
"Morphist" Drone
"Beyond the Edge" Human Resource
"Groove la 'chord: Art of Vengeance

"The Sound of the Big Babou" Laurent Garnier
"Emulator" Rotortype

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