31 August 2006

Spring is about to sprung

Today is officially the last day of winter here in the land down under and just to mark the end of the season it's been raining all day.

Not that I'm complaining mind you. The vege garden is loving it. I was down in the backyard earlier and I'm sure there was giggling coming from the potatoes. I could be wrong though, it might have been the grape vine.

Anyway, today is my RDO. That's right, two days off this week. I wish I could do this every week and still get paid the same.

Speaking of work, the mob I work for have recently made a lot of staff redundant (while at the same time sending a lot of the marketing people on a trip to Thailand, you might have seen the story on TV last week).

I had to go down to Cleveland to transfer the registration on my step-daughter's car over to my other step-daughter. While I was there I decided to do the knowledge test so I can go for a heavy rigid licence. That way I can learn to drive a truck or bus.

That way, if my employer decides I'm no longer required and makes me redundant, I can go and drive trucks or buses for a couple of years until I finish my degree. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they get rid of us anyway, I just wish they'd hurry up about it.

I could get a job doing what I'm doing now, but I really don't want to work at a desk anymore, even if it is in the corner and has a view. I could get a job doing what I'm qualified for, but no-one does electronic repairs these days. They just pull the old board out and throw it away.

So this may turn into a learning-to-drive-a-truck blog for a little while, we'll see.

29 August 2006

Rain, beautiful rain

At last we've had some rain here in Brisbane.

Not only has it refilled our rainwater tank back to the top and the pond is almost full again, but I'm sure the corn seedlings I planted last week have grown an inch overnight. Best of all, some of it even fell in the catchment area this time, so there's a little tiny bit more water in the dams.

The downside of this rain is that I get wet walking to and from the bus stop. So, when my alarm went off this morning and it was pouring down outside, I decided I'd stay home today.

I think I'll sit around and catch up on some of my studies. I've got a university residential coming up in Armidale next month.

I might do a bit of juggling practice too. That's coming along gradually, but I've got a long way to go yet.

26 August 2006

Get down and twitch

I've come to the conclusion that being able to hear someone else's iPod isn't such a bad thing after all.

The reason for this revelation is that I had someone sitting next to me on the bus the other morning and I could hear the noise from her iPod even over the noise from mine. If it hadn't been for that fact I would've assumed that either a) she was suffering from Parkinson's disease, or b) she was having an epilectic fit.

I've seen people dancing to the music that only they can hear. I even do it myself sometimes, but only at home. I've never before seen someone twitch to the music though.

I'm glad she was sitting next to me so I couldn't see her properly, if I'd been able to see her properly I probably would have cracked up.


Winter has just about finished in this part of the world, not that we've really had one this year. The only time I've really seen it cold this year was when I was in Twizel, New Zealand back in May and it got down to freezing.

Officially, winter ends next Thursday, but I took this picture yesterday as I was waiting for the bus. Quite a nice view don't you think?

I can think of worse places to have a bus stop.

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23 August 2006

The little red man means it's the traffic's turn

You know I'm convinced that a high percentage of people that visit the city each day either have a death wish, or they're just really, incredibly stupid.

I don't know about you, but the thought of getting hit by a bus, or any type of vehicle for that matter, doesn't really appeal to me. It conjures up thoughts of crunching sounds coming from my body and the loss of certain fluids that are necessary for continued life. Not to mention the excrutiating pain involved when several tonnes of Volvo B10 smacks into you.

The idiot that overtook our bus this morning, then pulled in and stopped to let a passenger off obviously hasn't considered these kind of issues. He certainly didn't seem to understand why our driver blew his horn as we went past.

I guess he thought he was safe in that metal cage of his, something I can't say for the dozens of pedestrians that dice with death not fifty metres from my office window every day.

There's a taxi rank across the road. It's not unusal to see pedestrians standing right in front of the taxis waiting to cross the road (the pedestrians want to cross that is, not the taxis) while the lights are green (for the taxis and cars and buses, etc, not the pedestrians). there's always a look of surprise when they realise that a taxi is starting to pull away and they're standing in front of it.

A couple of weeks ago we were going down Ann Street in the afternoon and a pedestrian waiting to cross was standing right on the corner with his toes right up to the edge of the kerb (or is that curb). He was holding a book in front of him and reading while he waited for the lights to change. As Ann Street is very busy with traffic at that time of day and the lanes aren't particularly wide, his book was in the way of the bus. I like to sit at the front of the bus so I had a good view of what was happening and he was right in front of me.

Anyway, the driver slowed down because he knew he couldn't get past with all the traffic in the next lane. It wasn't until another, smarter, pedestrian pointed out his imminent demise that he took a step back.

This isn't an isolated incident on that road either. A lot of people seem to be in such a hurry that they'll step out into the bus lane in front of us, just to overtake other pedestrians. Then there's the people that will cross a street to the other side where there isn't actually a footpath, so they have to walk ten or twenty metres in front of the traffic before they're safe. To the lady I saw do that down by the river a few weeks ago with her kids, you're a bigger idiot than the guy with the book or the BMW driver this morning.


An update on my comments about politicians waving at traffic the other day. It seems it's not just the conservative candidates doing it. Our local Labor candidate is doing it too.

19 August 2006

I wanna be elected

Apologies to Alice Cooper for the title, but we have a state election coming up.

Why is it that the conservative candidates in my area, and probably other areas too, seem to think that the best way to get the vote is to stand by the side of the road waving at people driving to work?

I saw two of them yesterday morning as we went past in the bus, within five minutes of each other. One of them wasn't even in his own electorate.

Do they think that voters are going to be so impressed that they got up early just to wave at us?

I can't help thinking that any politician that has a picture of themselves on the side of their car is more about themselves than their constituents. That's something that I've seen a lot of recently.

I half expected to see our local federal member standing somewhere waving as well. He seems to have it down pat. I'm not sure if he actually does anything else, other than insult unemployed people in parliament.

Anyway, roll on the 9th of September when it'll all be over until the next one. And lets hope that people vote for the right reasons, not just because the only candidate they know is the one that waved to them every morning on their way to work.

17 August 2006

Fun for the whole family

Well, my ball arrived late last week and I've been practising with it a bit. My wife's initial reaction was, "You paid $40 for a ball!?!"

After having a bit of a play herself over the weekend and seeing a video online of someone juggling, she asked if I could get her one as well so we could practise together.

Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow so we can spend the weekend playing with our balls.

05 August 2006


I mentioned contact juggling in my last post.

For those that don't know what contact juggling is, go to your local video store and get out a copy of Labyrinth. Basically it's juggling with one shiny ball that never quite loses contact with your hand... or arm... or shoulder, any part of your body really.

Unlike normal juggling, where you can pretty much learn to do it with anything, you need the right kind of ball for it. If the ball is too light it will bounce off your hand too easily (stop sniggering). The balls in the picture below are ideal for normal juggling (if you drop them they don't bounce or roll away, and you drop them a lot), but they're no good for contact juggling as they don't roll.

The usual ball to use is about two and a half to three inches in diameter and made of acrylic. This looks like a crystal ball and when it's rolling around on your hand you don't really have any perception of it rolling. As a result, it looks like it's floating instead.

Anyway, I've always wanted to learn to contact juggle, ever since I saw the abovementioned movie starring David Bowie (it wasn't actually Bowie doing the juggling, the real juggler was standing behind him, hidden from view). So, in order that I can tick contact juggling off my 'to do' list, I've ordered a ball from here.

I'll keep you posted on my progress, or lack thereof.

By the way, I don't actually have a physical 'to do' list yet. One day I'll get around to doing that too.

03 August 2006


I want to teach myself contact juggling, but I don't have the balls for it.