Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of another year

I'm not going to see the fireworks spectacles anywhere.

I'm not going to wear a stupid mass-produced hat with too-tight elastic and the staples barely holding it together.

I'm not going to have one of those god-awful noisemaker things hanging out of my gob, and I'm certainly not going to explode any party poppers.

I will try to count the countdown in real-time, rather than join in with the pissed over-excited crowd that always rushes it exponentially the closer they get to one.

I'm not going to hug random people I've never met.

I'm not going to have a million facebook photos of me with some other person.

I will, however, farewell a rather shite year with my good friends and contemplate the goals I will set to make the coming one a tad more enjoyable.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Yesterday I worked with just one bloke all day. We got paired up to do menial shit. It's boring as hell, but it's menial shit that has to be done none the less. My method is to just hook in and make it go away as quick as possible.

Today will be the same story, because we're not finished that pile of work yet.

The problem is not the work. It's the guy I'm with to do it.

See, normally I can work pretty well with people I don't like. Sometimes the case is that I don't like their personality but they're a hell of a worker. Sometimes it's the opposite - they can't organise their work at all but it's compensated by the fact that the conversation has you smiling all day. I try to find some aspect that is at least tolerable about them, if not truly likeable.

But this guy... Well, he's just tickled me with the dislike feather all over. Depressed conversation that is constant, not much knowledge of the work even though he says constantly how good he is at it, thick as a fucking plank, and top it all off he's plainly trying to assert his alpha maleness over me. Bahaha.

Boring. Fucking. Idiot.

Today I will snap the dislike feather into pieces.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

Who was it that figured out you could milk a cow?

... and what were they REALLY thinking?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to Real Work

I've recently had a brief interlude in my working life to try out the world of surveying. It wasn't a bad job.... it was just boring. Also, it seemed more than a little pointless.

Through a some very serious connection forging over the years I've now landed myself a job that pays twice as much as the old one - back in the mining industry. All that time of learning names and talking to anyone and everyone, doing everything I was asked without arguing has paid off.

I'm climbing all over machines again and I love it! For the first time since moving to Planet Newy I am truly happy to go to work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Listening List

Music makes me happy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Darwin at Work

Stacker: A remotely operated conglomeration of metal structure and conveyors, mounted on rails. Controlled from a central location, the stacker moves without warning to pour out coal into different stockpiles as it is recieved by train at the dump station. As the ships arrive, the coal is reclaimed by another machine and moved by a series of conveyors over the road to the ship loader.

Plover: Candidate for natural selection.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

State Library

Oh, the State Library. It's in a gorgeous section of Sydney right next to the Botanic Gardens, just up from Parliament House and not far from the Art Gallery of NSW and also the pointed beauty of the harbour and Opera House.

Forget about the surrounds - you could spend days in the library itself. I've only been twice, to see exhibitions they've put on, and regret not budgeting enough time to settle in for a while each time.

Last time there I spent a bit of time staring at the wonder of the reading room and then got down to business. First... Where the hell are the toilets here? But on my way down the halls I got a little distracted...

Why on earth do we have such a nice set of doors down the end where the toilets with the crappy pebblecrete dividers are? Let's stop and have a closer look. Click on the picture and you might be able to read it.

Ahhh. The Shakespeare Library. Fantastic! The plaque beside it says it was refurbished as a gift from some kind concerned person for the bicentenary of the colony back in 1988. I was excited at the thought of holing up into a room with such a beautiful door to read Shakespeare. I don't think many others have shared the same excitement (or maybe they have had too much excitement in the past?), because the doors were locked solid. I tried to peer through the keyhole, but did not get much of an idea of the space beyond.

I hate that the efforts of restoration cannot be shared by the general public. All I got was a few photographs and the dubious experience of being seen squinting through a keyhole in the vicinity of the public toilets.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meme continued...

Carrying on with another installment in Maria's mammoth meme. There's already been a part one and a part two, and I still have't scratched the surface of the amount of questions really!


More beer.


My sister.


I believe my girlfriend is in love with me. I might have to check since that fart I dropped next to her on the lounge this morning...


My girlfriend. In fact, apart from my niece, and occasionally my cat, she's been the only person I've kissed in a long time.


Not even the tax department knows that one.


Bones. She's smart, awkward, incredibly gorgeous, and did I mention that combination of smart and incredibly gorgeous?

I kind of killed my enthusiasm for this one after watching DVDs of the entire series one episode after another over several nights and weekends. The writers have so much fun with that character - any chance to dress her up and put her into a weird situation and it happens. One episode has her running around dressed up as Wonder Woman, diverted from a dressup party and off to solve some crime or another.

Second is Masterchef Australia - purely because the judge Matt Preston is briliant. He is witty, sauve, a great food journalist and has an impeccable sense of style.

Here's a quote from an interview with him:
If you were having any three people, alive or dead, over for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

If I was working it would be:

Catherine de Medici, Jesus and my great (x8) grandmother whose hand-penned 1765 recipe book is one of my most treasured possessions. Together they could solve so many of the “big questions” that I have when it comes to food.

I’d cook them Balinese style roast suckling pig (obviously there’d be some Peking Duck, steamed barramundi or Sichuan style roast lamb belly for Jesus in case he felt more Jewish than Christian), Thai salads and stir fried Chinese noodles because it would be unlike anything they had tried before although great (x8) does have a recipe for oyster sauce and uses a lot of ginger and coriander seed.

If it was about having fun it would have to be:

Oliver Reed to drink with, Nico from the Velvet Underground to sing with and Sophia Loren to make pasta with. We‘d eat the pasta.

On that note, I'm off to watch an episode.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Surf's Up!

Head down the road a couple of blocks and you're at the pub.

If you manage to make it past the tempting wafts of the pub, move on to the little tunnel under the road. After a few dodgey murals, some bad attempts at stencilling - and not to mention the odd suspicious smell - you will pop your head out at the ocean.

Being winter, it's been spectacularly huge the last few days.

As well as the two brave buggers that took it on, you can see one of the ever present line-up of ships waiting to get into the harbour to grab our wares on the cheap and piss off with them. Oh, except when a storm blows up and they miss the entrance and hit the main beach instead.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Here is just one of the reasons I am not so much a fan of being a surveyor's assistant. One of the rail companies will eventually put a train refuelling station on this lovely patch, so that even more coal trains can run their loads more frequently.

Currently, though, there are significant items of "Aboriginal and European heritage" littered all over the site. They'll have to document these and then piss them off anyway, rather than leave them there, and that's where we came into the picture.

Three hundred and fifteen pegs. In a ten metre square grid. Never mind that the site has already been bulldozed some time ago, and that there are smashed old bits of stuff littered everywhere, really of not cultural significance any more at all. And guess who hammered those pegs in?

I'm going back to mining.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

One of my favourite once-a-week blogs is Mining Mayhem, a site showcasing pictures things which the industry collectively refers to as incidents. You slip and fall, it is an incident. You use a heights harness in a stupid way and get busted by somebody who knows what they are doing (one of the dickheads I had to look after did), it's an incident. A bulldozer falls off a highwall (seen it), it's an incident. An explosive shot misfires (been there, seen it, scared pants off me) sending rocks hurling a hundred metres in the air and a couple of hundred metres beyond their marked intended exclusion zone, it's an incident that pretty much gets treated like a crime scene.

This is probably a multiple of incidents all rolled into one big, comical video.

I could watch it over and over. Brilliant.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Random Sydney

There he is, looking down on an old lot being used as parking space - Thirty-four dollars for Sunday? - in Sydney's Chinatown.

And just around the corner of a broken wall from his gaze, some really intricate cartoonery.

I'm kicking myself now for not actually having taken any photos of Chinatown itself. We wandered around. We gave ourselves belly aches. We looked at unidentifiable things in crammed little grocers. I pondered the golden dripping tongue sculpture and decided that I still don't like it.

Then we grinned and paid thirty-four dollars to the guy in the box, waved to the man on the wall, and came home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quote of the Day

A physician can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

- Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

What the F... Will I Do With My Weekend?

Thank fuck it's Friday. There is no question about being happy to put the last week of uninspiring work behind me. The questions are about the future. I know it will be an ice-breaker with whoever I get paired up to work with today. Standard Friday conversation is always started around what you plan for the weekend.


The people around me are not understanding my drive to fill every weekend with activities. They don't get why I want to spend all day outside. They don't share the same constant dreaming for things I could do on the weekend. I think they are somewhat bewildered by it all.

Well. For three years I worked for a pack of wankers who would abuse you if you missed a phone call on the weekend to go to work at the drop of a hat. You were on call twenty-four hours a day and never paid an on-call rate. When you actually did score two consecutive days off your were exhausted and spent most of your awake time on the lounge snoozing anyway.

So weekends barely existed. Now that I'm in a job where I have them I feel like I'm trying to make up for three years of missing out. I'm living in a city that I've barely explored. I now live right near the beach and I've barely taken any photos.



Will I walk the couple of kilometres to Glenrock Lagoon because the start of the track is only a few blocks away?

Will I finally go looking for geocaches at night with MisterSham?

Oh yeah, how about I duck into the messed up treasure trove that is the old Jolly Roger site and take pictures of the graffiti in there before they knock it all down? I know last time I wished to get inside and messed up building I wished for far too long and next time I turned around it was gone.

How about sitiing on the beach playing classical guitar? Or even just the backyard?

I could go up to the University to that section we surveyed last week and take photos of the weird fungi I came across while I was kicking around being bored.

Too many things to do, too little time!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hunter Street

The centre of Planet Newy has a bunch of old shops laying around doing nothing except become more derelict. Our council is going with the easy option of waiting foir a massive property developer to snavel it all up and fix it in one big sterile and uniform go, than actually maintaining a city that has a sense of heritage.

What do empty shops cry out for? Tagging.

I normally look upon tags with distate. They have no sense of artistic placement, no splash of impact. They're just there as a personal brand stamp on easy target. This one caught my eye, however. I like the associated shadow that it casts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Questions...

I'll carry on with a bit more of Maria's Meme. Maybe today I will get a bit further through the questions than last time.


There used to be a gorgeous huge painting by my girlfriend that smacked you in the eyes from the moment you walked in the door, but we moved it to the lounge area so that everyone could enjoy it. Now there's a hideous built-in wardrobe unit that smacks you in your bad-taste lobe and cries out for customisation.


Scratched, dinged up and not even a year old. It's had grease, sweat, dust, rain... and as a combination of the last three, mud caked on various parts in various combinations. I've learned the hard way that paying the extended insurance fee is well worth it.


Well. Fuck. There are too many genres to cover here, so...

not much Country
not much Opera

I am amused by Metal in it's various pompous forms. (Get over E minor, guys. And dropping your tuning by a semitone or a tone didn't really change your content. It just made those string bends easier, didn't it?)

Jazz has to err on the side of pop to really hold my attention - I mean, if a soloist wanders around for a good ten minutes and can't hint back at the tune at least once or twice I'm bored. I'm lost. I used to think that it meant I didn't have the mind to contemplate jazz properly. Now, I think that it's not so much me. If you wander off and don't link your solo to any good reference points, you're just waffling. You'd fail if it was an essay.


Easy. When the world stopped and everybody said Oh Fuck.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Meme! Holy YAY!

A while a go Maria posted a mammoth meme that had to come out in a couple of parts. Now, I'm going to bust it up even further. Thirty questions? I haven't got the stamina to answer thirty questions
in one sitting? No way can I sqeeze out anywhere near that in one sitting, especially when for some answers I seem to be prone to a form of literary elephantosis.

So here we go. Maybe five a sitting? I'd say five a day, but that would mean giving up the snooze button time religiously. I can't commit to that with any certainty since the cold snap of the last week.


I have a scar on my head. It's this lumpy raised line that will never (as far as I know) go down. It feels funny when I scratch at it, which is often. The story...

I'd been seconded to do a quick pressure job for my absolute favourite of all superintendents, a gruff loud man by the name of Mick. He would grab you, march you to several points that he wanted cleaned up (that all look identical) and fuck off and leave you to it before you could even ask a question. If you cleaned the wrong area you got yelled at. He was a fantastic man who kept you on your toes by the minute.

Anyway, I found myself cleaning a few places in greasy crawlspaces on a time limit. Because there was nobody but me left after he dictated the job and fucked off, I took the rare liberty of taking my hardhat off while I crawled in and worked. I finished, crawled back out, and stood up too early - before the incline of the roof was actually high enough to stand up under. Consequently, I stood up under a set of grease injectors which have adjustment tabs and buried about a centimetre of one into my head.

Fuck that hurt I thought. Dickhead. I touched my head to feel if there was a bump and instead there was blood. Fuck. Fuckitty FUCK. First thing, I went for the bag of rags I'd been dragging around with me and plucked one out. I pressed it onto that patch on my head and then had a look. It came back red. Not just a little. A big, big patch of red.

It's okay I thought. Head wounds bleed far more than others. I'll go get a second opinion.

With that thought I made my move toward the exit out of the belly of the huge machine I was in, off to search for my supervisor at the time, and also my best mate. Cath'll look after it. She'll tell me I'm a dickhead and it's all fine. Head wounds just bleed a hell of alot, that's all..

So I'm on my way out around this big circular area, and who turns up? You guessed it. Mick. Fuck. He'll blow his brain at me. There he is, coming into my area of work, yelling out for me at the top of his lungs to see if the job is done. I leave the blood soaked rag on my head and whack my helmet over it to cover up the evidence. He checks my work, I breathe a releived thanks, Mick and hightail it the fuck out of there to find Cath.

Cath is having lunch in our work truck. I peel off my helmet and rag combination and tell her to look. She's a mother and a horserider. She's been there for all sorts of injuries. She pries my skull and pokes a bit before she turns to one of the other guys and says it's bad. Go get Mick. Oh, shame.

After that it was decided that I should go to the mine First Aid room. These guys rarely have any fun. They have to be there on call all day and all night, have all the training in the world, but really not much actually goes wrong. So when a case like mine comes in they pull out all the stops. I arrived with a rag on my head and walked out with a full under the chin and a few hundred times around bandage. They have remembered my face for the last few years (primarily, I think) because I made them take photos on my phone for me of just how ridiculous their over the top bandaging effort actually was. We laughed a lot despite the situation.

Next came the trip to Singleton hospital to get stitches. It's a reasonably large town, surrounded by industry and mining, with coal and money spewing out of every orifice. Yet this hospital reminds me of the one that was near the tiny little town I grew up in. It was small and pretty backward. The nurse unwrapped my ridiculously bandaged head. She poked around. She remarked that it would need stitches and disappeared for a while. When she came ambling back through the door she was holding a bit of paper, not the stainless steel bowl of accessories that I expected. There was no doctor following her. Oh, that's right. The doctor had already gone home for the day.

The piece of paper she gave me was a map to the nearest doctor's surgery. In there I spent a further several hours waiting (now in the company of my unpleasant boss) before a doctor pried open my already well clotted and dried wound. He put a stitch in and left me to it. The unpleasant boss stood by while I paid for the whole procedure.

Singleton Hospital? I mean, thank fuck a piece of machinery didn't fall on me. Thank fuck my hand wasn't severed. Who knows what the idea there would be? Here's a map to the nearest metal shop. They'll cut it off in the press for you.


No way. I've written enough for today. That'll do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More of Sydney

Here's another not so great night shot of the Vivid Light Show in Sydney recently.

I think the fact that it was raining made the installations all the more beautiful, even though navigation was not so great. Throngs of people with prams and umbrellas and backpacks and cameras and tripods. What a nightmare! No wonder we ducked into any available bar we came across for a "rest" as much as possible.

Once you've stopped tracing the curl of the light ribbon in this installation with your eyes, you look up to see the rest. Nestled just over the back to the right is the Harbour Bridge. If you turn around just a little more to the right you would see a strip leading off toward the Opera House, with more interactive fun installations all along the way to it.

Turn around to the left and you're looking back along Circular Quay, the main transport hub of the harbour, with a set of wharves and train station. The station and several of the hotels behind it are lit up, so that when you are coming across the harbour (either on the bridge or by boat) you will be recieved by a coordinated feast of colour.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Smart

We continue in Smart style, following the themes of roads, curvature and stark signage... with a container on the back of a truck thrown in. I love in this one how the cones and curvature of the barrier draw your eyes to the fact that maybe it's actually you that has been barricaded, but that traffic and industry do not stop, in fact they just go around you regardless.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lit Up

Our weekend trip to Sydney was primarily to see the Vivid Light Festival taking place around the harbour. I know Dive is going to be salivating in anticipation of Sydney photos, so here are some extremely amateur shots of the Opera House as a starter.




...and other comments similar to those at a fireworks display. Except this doesn't have pungent smoke and the occasional burning chunk falling out of the sky.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Oh, Sydney.

We just went to visit our capital city for a few days. Since I don't know my way around at all I was being driven around this city by my partner, my head virtually hanging out the window to soak up the mish-mash of cultures, people, smells, and architecture. I'm still feeling queasy from a dubious experince in Chinatown. Or maybe it was a combination of that and memory-deleting amounts of alcohol at a gay bar on Sunday night. My legs are still sore from the mammoth walk we did along the harbour, looking at light installations and people and fire shows. My mind is overloaded with snippets from exhibitions and sights and wonders.

Could I live there? I don't think so. Maybe. I think that mash of people would send me insane.

Could I visit, as much as possible, indefinately? Hell yes. I don't ever want to tire of looking up at the struts of the harbour bridge while we drive over it. I don't want to lose that amazement of somanybuildings and so MUCH sandstone. I think I probably would if I was a "local".

Anyhow, some picures from the light festival should pop up here within the next couple of days....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Smart

This is my favourite of all Jeffery Smart paintings.
I love the portions of reflection.
I love that the worker placing the arrows is also part of the reflections.
I love the deliberate every-which-wayness of the arrows themselves. I love that they are set up with no point at all.

I love especially that, typical of all road workers, there one dude standing around in the background doing bugger all.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Equations that Make Sense

Yoga = Aerobics + (10 x Years) - Headbands

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mornings Vic-Style Part I

The alarm starts going off for the morning. The sound begins as a totally foreign one that you can't identify. Actually, you have so much trouble identifying it that you have to lift your head from the pillow, squint your eyes at it and pull your lips back into a peculiar half-mouth grimace. You continue to stare at it until the light materialises from a bleary smudge into almost-focus.

Then, you feel compelled to utter in that high-pitched mostly-asleep voice whatthefuckitstooearly and Idontwannagetup. The alarm is on the other side of the bed, is actually your phone as well, and is actually attatched to the wall via power cable so the thing can charge. In between you and the noisy target is your partner.

You really didn't want to wake her up. It just took you a while to comprehend what was going on. As you gingerly raise yourself up on an elbow to reach (lunge, really, but it doesn't sound so delicate) over her and retrieve it she reaches out, swiftly unplugs it and flips it over her shoulder in your direction. It's still ot over, though. That sound will continue until you can figure out how to hit Dismiss on a touch screen that changes orientation every time you wobble your sleepy hand and is so bright you have to squint at it even more than you did when you first tried to wake up to it.

Next up: Raising your sorry self from under the covers.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Smart

"I feel it's just some sort of game if it's just abstract." - Jeffrey Smart

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Arena

I've mentioned a couple of times before (here, here, and here) that I have a fascination with graffiti.

Here's some of my favourites from "The Arena" in local Cardiff - a section of storm drain totally covered in graffiti.


Asyou can seee by the paintovers, there's generations of artists who have painted here.

Faded Out

There's places for the grass to grow.

Grass In the Arena

Silent Urthers

Block Wall


And after you finish your stroll through this burst of colour, climb on out.

Drain Ladder

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joining the Treasure Hunt

What a self-indulgent weekend. I went treasure hunting both days, but a different way for each day.

Saturday saw the headlong dive back into the world of garage sale goodness. I used to indulge in this delicacy almost every Saturday, back when I lived in the one-suburb Farmerdale. Since moving to Planet Newy I've only done it once. It's either been too daunting to take on a particularly unfamiliar city armed with a newspaper and a map from the phone book, or I've been working or tired or hung over or something similarly destructive to early Saturday morning motivation.

Oh, but the treasures! Troves of seventies goodness laid out on plastic tables. Exercise equipment with layers of dust, rust and cobwebs. And the old guy with the bum bag. There's always got to be one! I'm back in the game. Addicted. Because somewhere in between those Women's Weekly cookbooks, the knitting patterns and the old rusty tools, there will be the hidden goldmine of music resources for fifty cents each. There will be the perfect knock-around kids guitar in the corner at five dollars because it's only got two strings. Oh yes, there be treasure!

After a slightly hung over start to Sunday morning we embarked on a treasure hunt of a different kind. Since I got an android phone with GPS, the world treasure hunting game of Geocaching has captured my interest. All over the place, unbeknownst to the "muggles" -that is, the nongeocaching folk - there are hidden containers. You search for them following the coordinates given, find the hidden cache and leave a note that you've been there. Sometimes the caches have things to swap in them - treasures, of a sort. You take an item, you leave an item in exchange. And it's all supposed to be done in secret, so that the muggles don't find out.

So yesterday my caching tour took me to an old part of Planet Newy. Originally built in 1856, it was a light tower for navigational purposes for the harbour. It was rebuilt in 1877 because the Wesleyans built a bigger building in front of it (nobody thought about that one, did they?). The bearings of the entrance channel to the harbour were altered in 1918, so it was no longer necessary. For once, this is a historic part of town that hasn't been left to crumble and become forgotten - or too messed up to bother fixing! A real treasure indeed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Smart

"Sometimes I'll drive around for months despair, nothing, nothing, then suddenly I will see something that seizes me.. a shape, a combination of shapes, a play of light or shadows and I send up a prayer because I know I have the germ of a picture" - Jeffrey Smart

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have to admit I'm tempted

Oh, all those things about getting older. The kilos stay on, the eyesight gets worse, the price of beer becomes outrageous, and suddenly you realise you have no idea what all the kids are talking about.

Luckily, Google and Wikipedia are my friends. I can cheat a little. I don't have to pretend that I know any more because I've read the articles and I've clicked the links.

What am I on about? Planking.

It now has it's own Wikipedia definition. Basically we have something that started off small, with the Planking Australia facebook page, but went worldwide extremely quickly because of the whole nature of Facebook (ugh). The Planking Australia page currently has 140,000 followers.

A guy in Brisbane has died after trying to plank on a seventh floor balcony and, surprisingly enough, falling to the ground. Another guy is in a coma after trying to plank on a moving car. Eight people from across three states have been sacked by one retail chain alone for planking at work. Schoolkids have been suspended over it. There are police warnings, statements from the PM, workplace warnings. Though I detest the "fun police" idea and firmly believe it's the stupidity of some individuals that bring things out of control this way.

Really, this one does belong in every workplace safety bulletin. With the plain heading of "Dickhead".

But, I have to admit I'm tempted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Lunches this week

Monday: Two apples and a homemade salad

Tuesday: Two mandarines and a homemade salad

Today: Same as yesterday

and expect the same for the rest of the week.

Last week? Exactly the same.

Couple this with walking literally kilometres daily back and forth while carrying surveyor's equipment. Have I lost weight? Hell no.

Is it the modern doom to tread water until you go for personal training?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Impending Winter

It's starting to get cold. Not bitterly cold. Not wet and damp cold. Not snow or frost or anything pretty cold. Just I wish I had a fireplace constant cold.

So far it's only morning and evening, but this is enough to kill any desire to keep getting up early. The newly formed resolution to stop pressing the snooze button was going well last week. Today it's colder, so that alluring button won out. I find it funny that there is that connection in the mind between exhausted and cold - it happens as soon as I stick my semi-aware foot out form under the covers. It registers cold... and suddenly I'm so exhausted I couldn't possibly get up before having another ten minutes sleep. And another ten. And another.

The cats - Jonah and Tyla - have also started to realise it's getting cold. For the whole of summer I've been missing Jonah's company at my feet. He would solidly refuse and only come into the bedroom to explore the cupboards at 6am on a weekend, when we're trying to enjoy a rare sleep-in, when he felt he was hungry and knew we'd go feed him to settle him down. Otherwise the pair of cats - the boys - would both camp out at the door periodically and stare, but would not come in.

They've changed their tune now. They are a little pair of sentinels on the end of the bed. Mostly, they start out one on each side. I must be less of a moving sleeper though, because they both seem to end up on mine after a while.

How is it that a six-kilo cat turns into something like a bag of concrete when it's on top of your quilt? And once they've decided on a spot, they turn into feline boomerangs. I pick Tyla up from the position that I'm sure is wonderful for him, but nestles directly between my knees, and I move him over onto flat patch on the other side of the bed. Next thing he's walked straight back onto that spot. Pick him up, put him somewhere else. Nope, back he comes to the one spot that guarantees I can't move around unless he does.

The cold approaching means a few good things, too. The appreciation of the morning coffee grows stronger as my hands wrap tighter around that preciously warm mug. I have a couple of favoutrites just for winter that feel right in my cupped hands.

It also means crisp, beautiful mornings. It means fog with sunlight breaking through. It means gorgeous photographic opportunities. It means positioning yourself in the patches of early morning sun and appreciating the small warmth upon your back as you are heading out to work.

It's time for heaters. For the next few months that peculiar dance, the heater dance will happen. You know it. We've all done it. You know, that slow left-right rotisserie in front of whatever heating appliance is available. Where you start off just a little crouched. You stick your hands out in front of you, palms at right angles to your wrists. And then slowly, you start to twirl, as you realise that the back of your knee area is getting cold too. As you spin, you move your hands to your bum and point them at the opposite right angle direction. Yep, you know the dance all right.

The cold has started, alright. This morning I've hit the snooze button three times, wrapped my hands around my favourite mug and looked outside at the already marvellous day. At least there's some positives.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Smart

“The truth is I put figures in mainly for scale…” - Jeffrey Smart

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I thought I'd better post a few of my photos, even though I've been really dissatisfied with my strike rate lately. Here's the best of a bad lot from a reasonably recent trip to Dorrigo.

Dorrigo is the home of a World Heritage National Park, an old train yard, a somewhat interesting hand-made motorbike called the Ned Kelly bike - more interesting because it's housed in a very terribly cafe - and really not much else. From my older days of living near that area I remember that Dorrigo red soil potatoes are apparently the best you can get. Those must all get shipped out because we didn't see a spud anywhere!

Back to the bit about the World Heritage National Park - it's part of the Central Eastern Rainforest reserves of Australia. Here's the tourist mini-guide: "Dorrigo National Park protects areas containing plant and animal communities typical of the eastern rim of the New England Tablelands. High rainfall and moist conditions nurture subtropical, warm and cool temperate rainforests. Subtropical rainforest grows in the richer soils and supports huge, buttressed yellow carabeens, black booyongs ahnd bungalow palms. Strangler figs germinate high in the canopy and vines loop from the branches. Elkhorns, staghorns, crows nest ferns, cunjevoi, ferns and mosses create a vivid green forest, splashed with deep red flowers of flame trees in early summer."

I really would love to spend days and days walking around these rainforests. The vegetation is amazing. The greens are so vivid. Theres thousands of little microworlds to learn about, explore and marvel at. And then there's fungi. Keep a firm grip on my hand... because when I stop, fascinated by something, it's easy to leave me far behind!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Smart

“I find myself moved by man in his new violent environment. I want to paint this explicitly and beautifully… only very recently have artists again started to comment on their real surroundings” - Jeffrey Smart

Friday, May 6, 2011

Things that constantly amaze me

  • Rain. I know the sciencey blah behind it. But seriously, it just falls from the sky. Then it doesn't. Then it does. Then it sniffs out public holidays and stays! Brilliant!
  • The abilty of cats to sense when you wake up and appear just in time to wind themselves in between your legs on the way to the kitchen.
  • My continuing fascination with Matt Preston
  • Auto Electricians. *Snip *Snip *Snip *Twist *Key-click *VROOM. There you go, done. They make a spidery mess make sense in ten secons flat.
  • How I can use a packet mix to make muffins yet still feel like a masterchef at 6am when those little bliss bombs roll out of the oven.
  • The addictive properties of the Zelda series of games.
  • Tourism-driven art vendors.
  • That practising scales to a metronome is the best form of relaxation I know.
  • How much Jonah continues to amuse me. I just watched him bury his nose into the bristle end of an oversize paintbrush and waited for the inevitable sneeze. Cracks me up every time.
  • Touch phones
  • The undiminishing libido of my partner... *grin*

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bin for Laden

I'm feeling like an arse.

In America there's people dancing on the streets in joy that Osama bin Laden is dead, people spontaneously singing the Star Spangeld banner, shouting out USA! and waving flags. Kids who should not know hate waving signs.

Here, I sat in front of my computer and raised my eyebrows. The most I spoke was a comment to my girlfriend - Hey babe. They reckon they shot Bin Laden. Why am I feeling like an arse? I'm not excited at all. I don't think it's a milestone in any way other than to take away the known element - the focus of a name - and bring back in to play the core of terrorism: that the perpetrators are faceless. At least with a figurehead those who felt the need to hate had somewhere to point that hate. Those who felt the need to fear had someone to blame for that fear. Now what?

Just because the guy who was the face of Al Quaeda to the media is dead do we think it's over? Even if Al quaeda itself were to proclaimed eradicated it would not be over. There will always be terrorism in some form because it is a very strong capacity in humans to be terrified.

I can't get excited about it at all.

I can't even decide on which of my ideas I support the best. I'm just not passionate about it at all.

Do I go with theory one: That Obama is coming up for re-election and needs some form of victory to justify that troops are still kicking around away from home? Piss off Pakistan so it can stay in the media for a while? Get some pictures of blood stained trashed rooms together (miraculously no blood on the walls, just the floors... even though there were claims of head shots)? Get some party pictures of everybody in the situation room like they're about to watch a football game. Then dump the body over the side of a boat and say it's out of respect?

Or do I go with theory two? Al Quaeda needs a new face. Bin Laden has been at it for ten years and it's time to give the guys someone new to respect. They'll be taking over from someone who was taken out by the very people they despise - a great motivator to start something new. It'll shut the Americans up for a while, too, because they feel they've made a victory. There'll be more pressure to take the forces back home.

Or theory number three: That it wasn't Osama at all. Just a dude with a beard made to look like him and that he's planted his own death.

Too many theories. Not enough desire to believe them. So I'm settled with this for the moment:

A dude is dead. The Americans are happy because they shot him. It apparently avenges the thousands of deaths associated with the twin towers plane attacks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Road Trip!

We're heading off to a festival this weekend.

You go, you camp out, you listen and party like you know best.

Problem is, it's been pissing down for the last few days and it's not letting up.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diagnosis Fail

I've been using an internet stick. You know them. The ones that you punt into the USB port and supposedly magically enter the world of the internet from anywhere.


Even though there seems to be three levels of network speed in the area the fucking thing disconnects. Then the program that talks to it won't fucking start. Then after several different pissed off combinations of double-clicking it still won't fucking start. Even after I bring out the old key commands – the highest sign of my annoyed state – the program still won't fucking start.

Of course, I'm writing about it because it happened just now. Happily cruising along and then

Well why the fuck not? I look at the stick poking out the side of my laptop and the answer is there. That little light that chooses whatever colour it likes to be depending on how fast it feels like going today, well, that little light has started flashing. We've dropped out. Gone AWOL. No more pointless surfing. No more pointless poking around on Facebook. No more looking at silly pictures just because you can. Because now you can't.

Then I looked at the Oracle in front of me and realised that it may have the answers. That button certainly looked like it might. Diagnose Connection Problems. Sounds important. Why not? Click.

Consult your computer manufacturer's troubleshooting information. You can also use another computer to visit online support services. Contact your computer manufacturer for additional assistance if required.

Let me paraphrase that:

Dunno. You're on your own there.

Great. My faith in Windows is as strong as ever.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

All I want is a nice glass of wine.

And a cardigan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holy Cow

I stopped dead in my tracks to gawk at him. Holy Fucking COW was the pathetic line that escaped me.

His name is Fonzy. He is 1.885 metres tall. He is a Canadian Holstien. He is one hell of a big boy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Female mosquitoes drink blood. Males do not. Both can feed on nectar and sugar. Females can only produce eggs after a blood feed. Then they keep going on feeding on blood anyway for the love of it.

Males swarm at dusk.

Females join the swarm because they're guaranteed a root in there.

So many parallels to life can be drawn.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011


Oh. My. God.

Bra chafe!

It's been so hot the last couple of days. Inside a mining machine that has been running a couple of hours previously, the air is still and the heat of working components refuses to go away. In winter it's ideal. Summer... Well.

Knowing this weather is hard on everyone I jumped into one of the worst areas to give the crew I was leading a bit of a break. I hooked into digging some incredibly hard crap and gave it my all.

I have bruises in suspicious places.

I not one, not two, but threechafe lines across my chest now, and also across my back.

This shit is not comfortable. Especially when you're supposed to do it all again the next day. Top surgery seems like a far better option!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Meeting a Drag Queen

I played pool with him. Her. Fuck... I don't know? Also, I'm afraid to ask.

Just let it roll... I think.

He puts on his feminine moves while he plays and it brings out this... instinct in me. Even though I am seeing before me a male, somebody I would not consider attractive or a potential partner, those feminine moves appeal to something deeper in me. They draw my masculinity out. They reach into that side that says I must look after those I consider vulnerable and precious in my life. They say to me that woman is definately precious to me.

Yes, it draws out my masculinity.

A male, acting in feminine capacity, makes this biological female feel masculine.

What a world.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

Not so much a quote, but a humorous writing on a toilet roll dispenser:-

"Turban repair kit."
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

YUCK! Android Phone!

Testing a suppsedly crappy blogger app. If it works, all I have to do is master typing on this crappy little touhscreen...
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