Tag Archives: work trips

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Where there’s smoke…

Hello blog reader.

It has been a while since my last post and much has happened. I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of my new financial year resolution to not eat fast food. My definition of “fast food” included anything from McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster. I’m happy to announce that I made the whole year – plus some nine days as I’m yet to return. This year’s NFYR sees me forswear the joys of carbonated “soft” drink including the products of Coca Cola and Pepsi – but not extending to Bundaberg Ginger Beer or Lemon, Lime and Bitters at the pub.

I got all cultured and stuff in the last week with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. I went to their gala “Chefs in the North” dinner as I did last year. The food was above average and the wine was superb. Robyn and I went to the Guv’nr’s Gala Concert on Saturday night featuring a string quartet from NZ, an opera performance, some improv didge and a pretentious “art” piece from the festival’s resident composer.

I spent Friday on a luxury charter boat circumnavigating Magnetic Island – I’ll post photos later. Wedding plans are continuing – we’re putting together a map so that people can find the farm. It’s exciting times people. That’s a little update from me…

And now, without further ado – the subject of my topic… Daniel Johns and Peter Garrett. The Australian media was briefly up in arms today, keen to see Garrett’s credibility go up in flames over allegations made that he’d been burning the Midnight Oil (and some THC) with the Silverchair singer and U2’s Bono.Johns was quick to hose down the speculation – claiming he’d made a spur of the moment, off the cuff, joke to lighten the mood on JJJ’s sullen breakfast program… from Crikey –

”In an interview I did this morning on Triple J I made a stupid joke. It’s just been brought to my attention that some people in the media have taken my dumb joke seriously so I want to set the record straight. At no time have I ever “smoked a joint” with Bono or Peter Garrett. They are both well known to be very anti-drugs so that’s why I assumed everybody would know I was joking when I made that comment. Clearly that wasn’t the case and I feel sick that I might have caused embarrassment to two people who I admire so much.”

“I was fortunate enough to once get to play them some of my demo’s but I swear that no joints were involved. I guess I felt a bit like a namedropper mentioning them on the radio so that’s why I added a silly throwaway joke. I accept that drug use is no laughing matter and I apologize sincerely for any confusion or harm I’ve caused. Just by the way, this is one of the reasons why I hate doing interviews. I really should just shut up and stick to singing.”

Convincing? I’m not so sure.

One year on

Today is the first anniversary of my first post and obviously it has been a particularly interesting year for me. Today marks a year since my second last day in Brisbane – so as of tomorrow I’ll have been a Townsville resident for a whole year. As this is a celebratory post of some kind I’ll use it to reflect on my year and give general feedback on all the goings on… kind of like a report card. I’ll compare my expectations with the delivery – this all feels like some sort of psyhcometric analysis or something. I read a story lately about a business lecturer who is worried about the corporate trend to incorporate such testing in their recruitment strategies. He gives his students a psych test and then hands them a printed results page which 95% of students agree identifies key personality traits – then he tells them they’ve all got the same photocopied sheet.

Reflections and Forecasts
At the end of the year I put out a series of media releases for each division of our business with reflections and forecasts – basically a list of our successes from the previous year and a prediction of future successes – I haven’t gone back to see how our reflections matched my predecessor’s forecasts but I’ll do that with my forecasts from last year’s post:

“So here you have my thoughts on my impending departure: I am simultaneously
excited and nervous (I’m not sure what the adjectival form of the word
trepidation is but I would have used it there, maybe trepidated?)”

I’d say that while I was a little nervous about my relocation last year posts from the last couple of weeks probably suggest that I’m fairly settled up here. And I am. While I do miss friends, family, chuch, outdoor soccer and I’m sure there are other things – they have mostly been more than adequately replaced with new friends, indoor soccer (we’re back to back A-Grade mixed champions), work, and Robyn. Who is the obvious success story of my year.

“I’m really looking forward to starting my new job with Townsville Enterprise, who you can find here.”

Boy was I right on this count. I really enjoy my job. Townsville Enterprise is a diverse organisation representing a diverse region. Townsville is a great city – I may be paid to say that, and I am a bit of a mercenary when it comes to my loyalty in these matters – but it’s easy to sell and I truly enjoy the stuff I get to do for work (helicopter flights, sailing trips, island holidays and lots and lots of food).


“I’m looking forward to meeting new people. I just didn’t think it would be
that hard to say goodbye to old people but on the upside it’s not like I’m dying
and there’s always me in blog form if you miss me too much.”


I have met new and fun people through church, work and various networks of people. And I certainly do exist in blog form. In a year I’ve managed 149 posts – that’s one every 2.4 days and more than 82,000 words filled with ranting, ruminations, stupid theories and updates on my life. That’s about the equivalent of 2 Mills and Boons novels and probably every bit as valuable.

Here’s a bit of gratuitous bragging in list form to summarise the “year that’s been”…

1. Relocated 1465km (by road – but I flew) to Townsville
2. Met Robyn, convinced Robyn I was a nice guy, proposed to Robyn, became engaged to Robyn
3. Generated $35 million of positive media coverage for Townsville – my original target was $20 million.
4. Had a full page story printed in the Financial Review with a byline
5. Broke a story that made the front page of the Courier Mail, scored 5 minutes coverage on Hamish and Andy and went international… about “cat poo” coffee.
6. Consumed an estimated 30 steaks “on the job”
7. Won back-to-back Mixed A-Grade indoor soccer titles
8. Went deep sea fishing on the Great Barrier Reef, flying in a helicopter, sailing on a schooner, holidaying on the island the XXXX ads are screened on, ate crocodile and other fancy things at a $200 gala dinner, stared down a Japanese tourist suffering dope fuelled psychosis and drank a $50 cat poo coffee – all in the name of “work”
9. Set up Donna and Aaron (I’m actually very proud of that).
10. Kept a pet fish alive for a whole year (almost – actually I inherited the fish from Cam Bell, we killed two crayfish – indirectly – the fish actually is mostly responsible for the demise of the second cray) in a tank bought at a garage sale on an early Townsville adventure – along with the Bob Hawke head drink dispenser which now sits proudly on my desk at home. I also killed an echidna…

Forecasts will follow in tomorrow’s post.

Random words from around North Queensland

A long time ago (last week) in a region far far away (depending on your point of reference) a lone hero took on the last vestiges of conflicts past (World War 2) transferring a group of former foes (Germans and Italians (Nazis and Fascists*)) with mastery of the quill, and makers of metallurgically sound nouns, verbs and participles (wordsmiths anyone?) on the great worldwide anvil (the media) around the sub-wet-tropical region of North Queensland (Townsville is positioned slightly below the wet tropics but still tropically temperate). Or in common parlance – I hosted a group of international journalists on a trip through North Queensland. This was less than fun. Driving a car full of people who choose to speak a foreign language so as to ostracise you from the conversation is incredibly frustrating – particularly when they only break into English to pass on complaints or criticism and the odd mangled witticism when curious looks arise following sporadic bursts of laughter.

The already “sterling” experience was only heightened by the drama involved with itineraries being altogether unperused by vital third parties to the plan – rendering geographical impossibilities as points of undue duress and much stress for those involved. I took this group of journalists 120 kilometres north of Townsville to the town of Ingham where they were to make a lunch time rendezvous with the QR Sunlander service carrying the expedition further into the bowels of the northern nether regions of Queensland. Unfortunately QR expected us to allow said intrepid reporters to depart from Townsville and informed us of this necessity some 30 minutes before the train was set to lurch out of the Townsville station – an hour and a half’s drive from Ingham. After making scurrilous threats regarding my potential well being QR acquiesced to my demands and allowed the drop off to occur in the Italian art deco township meaning the journalists in question missed out on a gala seafood lunch prepared in advance on board the locomotive.

What an adventure was had by all – there are further tails (and tales) I could regail you with of my time with these members of the press but I leave you with the Charters Tower’s rag’s interpretation of the visit – queue link to Northern Miner article…

Kudos to Augie March for taking out the Hottest 100 for this year – and to my trivia team “Boned by Eddie” for our tied first place at the pub last night. You can read more about that at Tim’s blog. I’m told Joe’s blog will touch on today’s flashpoint issues of climate change and fundamentalist Islam – and a controversial link between the two – in the very near future, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time please heckle him for his Bush fuelled antics.

* Apologies for the gross stereotypical generalisations.

Season’s Greetings…

Summer, Autumn and Winter say hi. Spring is going through a rough stage of cantankerous adolescence and refuses to contribute to this letter. That joke was bad enough to stay in.

The Christmas letter is traditionally a soul destroying exercise. Be it an update on the illnesses of a particularly insufferable suffering hypochondriac relative. Or the celebratory tones of conceited parents pompously proclaiming their darling scion’s achievements while adopting a sufficiently Australian air of “self deprecation” with regards to their own personal achievements for the purposes of humour – or to somehow make their ravings more palatable to the average apathetic reader… I have no such qualms. I’m good – and you all know it. So here’s a graphic retelling of my year to date – referring where possible to events not recorded in the archives of this blog.

With a degree of symmetry and some synergy – my year ended where it began – in Townsville. Well, technically I wasn’t in Townsville until the 20th of January when I made the trek North in pursuit of work experience. Those who know the back story realise I had other motives when making the trip north. The less said about that chapter of this year the better – but this story like all classic Disney tales has a happy ending. Spending three weeks in the newsrooms of Townsville’s finest broadcast media outlets (WIN and 4TO take a bow) was enough to give me a taste for life in the tropics (the employment opportunities in Brisbane for underperforming journalism graduates also had me searching for jobs in a more regional millieu – I like the word millieu and will therefore use it…).

Upon my return to Brisbane I bid a fond farewell to my abode in Lorimer Terrace – the Lorimer House of Fun dissolved (some would say that the fun truly left when the original fellow occupants entered wedlock, parental domiciles and fled the country due to “visa” complications only to return at a later date and resume occupancy – but what would those naysayers know). I returned to my parent’s place of residence in ensuing weeks as I secured employment in the North and said my fond farewells to life in the state’s capital.

This brings us to March and my relocation to Townsville had immediate ramifications for the city with the significant change in air pressure caused by my arrival resulting in the onslaught wraught by Tropical Cyclone Larry. Sometime this year I realised the professional value of a good anecdote – and my “baptism by cyclone” – where I was truly “thrown in the deep end” and kept my “head above water” became a favourite tale at networking functions.

In June I adopted a small stingray named Max who had an inherrent distrust of khaki – he was released when he failed to come to terms with my love for footlong chicken fillet subs (on parmesan oregano with thousand island dressing, barbeque sauce and a smattering of sweet chilli – add salad “to taste” for the perfect Subway experience).

In July I was subpoened to appear at the trial of Saddam Hussein – my evidence was eventually striken/struck/smote from the records as my complete ignorance of the Iraqi judicial process was revealed. Some suggested this occured when I tried to offer Saddam’s body guard wheat for weapons – an action completely against national protocol. The subtle change in nuance was lost on me.

August saw a lengthy debate on the correct spelling of the word ‘ey’ when used as punctuation – and the different inflections/variations required when using ey in a variety of sentences. A valuable learning experience for all those relocating to regional Queensland. And in real life my stunning record of 22.75 years of being romantically unattached (at least mutually) came to an end.

In September I virtually climbed Mount Everest – In summ(it)ing up… I stopped to rescue several others who were struggling with backpacks loaded with spam and other novelty kitchen equipment provided on loan by an Australian snowboarding champion.

October and November were notable only for the discovery of the “cat poo coffee” and my attempt to radioactively assassinate several ex-employees of the Kremlin. I’ve always stood by my belief that sushi is bad for your health.

In December I conducted extensive experiments into the effects of Christmas chocolate, steak and alcohol on the waistline/weightline. I hypothesised that there would only be a moderate effect and was wrong to the tune of about 5000 grams. Which leads me to my decision to take up a gym membership today. On the first business day of the new year. Just in time for the “new year’s resolution specials.”

For a more serious summary of my year continue reading the following paragraphs…

The Townsville adventure continues with my enjoyment and satisfaction with the decision to move north still trending upward on the great graph of life. Work is challenging, satisfying (at least for the stomach), and gives me free reign to play with words and write puns. Basically it’s my ideal job. The home front is also enjoyable – the change/holiday dichotomy/equilibrium/paradox holds true. Having fled the chaos of a house full of 5 (including me) argumentative males (including me) I find much relief in my new domestically blissful house of just 3 (including me) not so argumentative males. Church is also good – moving from a large, established church with working programs and teaching in place across age groups to a growing church in a state of constant flux due to the incredible population turnover that seems to be heading in the right strategic direction with a strong focus on bible teaching has been a mixed blessing. I’m enjoying the highs and lows that come from being part of the early stages of something dynamic while sharing the frustrations of having sporadic attendance dependent on uni timetables and the population change associated with hosting Australia’s largest military barracks. On the personal front, Robyn has been a joy to me – and I take back any criticism I ever levelled at mushy headed boyfriends in my past. I do miss my family, friends and life in Brisbane (particularly the soccer team – my regular weekly indoor fix is a poor substitute for the joy of romping around the grassy fields of Brisbane’s Baptist League) – but have enjoyed meeting a host of new people in Townsville (and reaquainting myself with the particularly outstandingly robust Mr Canavan who always feels like partying).

QED

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Irony, Irons and other stuff

A little while ago someone suggested I write about the misuse of the word irony in the lexicon. Well I would, but ironically I don’t know anything about the topic (See that was funny on a couple of levels). I will point out my favourite example of this societal abuse of the word – Angst ridden Canadian Balladeerette (is that a female singer of ballads?) Alanis Morissette’s song ironic. The only irony in that song is that it doesn’t actually contain irony…

“A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?”

No Alanis I don’t think… and clearly neither did you. I’d suggest that’s more like poetic justice… as found in the correctly titled song Poetic Justice – written by Tom Kimmel and covered by Jane Saunders.

I feel like the king when the queen loses faith
And the crowd rushes in to tear down the gate
While the whole palace slept, and I never rang the bell.
Maybe that’s poetic justice, but it’s pretty hard to tell.”

Actually – perhaps ironically that doesn’t sound like poetic justice to me – but perhaps that’s due to a lack of context. Ironically, again, Jane Saunders released an album called Poetic Justice – with the Tom Kimmel song as the title track. The song contains these lines:

“I feel like the king
When the queen loses faith
And the crowd rushes in to tear down the gate
And declare what was mine
I stole from someone else
Maybe that’s poetic justice
But it’s pretty hard to tell”

So if her album is named after the song, and she sings the song, could she not be declaring something as hers that she stole from someone else… Guilty as charged I say.

So as you can see it’s almost impossible to learn anything ironic from a female song writer… or in fact from anyone at all. Except perhaps H.W Fowler who is quoted on Wikipedia (note: I understand the irony of claiming it’s hard to learn about irony from anyone and then turning to the source of all “reputable”* information**) as saying

Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear and shall not understand, and another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware, both of that “more” and of the outsider’s incomprehension.”

So there you have it. An ironic insight*** into irony.

My iron beeps when it’s been left on for too long. Isn’t that a useful function. I discovered this while preparing to attend the races (of the equine variety) yesterday. Perhaps ironically*** (after my post last week) I did place a bet on a horse and it was quite literally pipped at the post. I bet $5 and lost – I figure the $5 goes a small way towards repaying Jupiters Casino for kindly inviting me into their corporate marquee for the day and feeding me seafood and cake. They would have provided me with free beer too (or heavier stuff) if I wasn’t feeling fluey and congested still. I had a day last week where I wasn’t feeling fluey and congested but then I got up at 4.55am to host the Today show breakfast people up here and the lack of sleep didn’t help my cause. (Look how I tied four pieces of information into the one paragraph – watch and learn people… For those at home wondering what the four pieces of information are: 1. My iron beeps, 2. I went to the races, ate at the corporate tent and placed a bet (all one topic (but three pieces of information I guess)), 3. I am sick, 4. I had the Today show up here last week). Wow. Are you awestruck yet? Probably not. I should point out that I’m actually not as arrogant as I sometimes sound…

* “” Denotes sarcasm
** referring to Wikipedia
*** used ironically

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How do you think?

Have you ever thought about how you think about things? Is your stream of conscious thought in the style of a documentary? Do you narrate events in your life like a detective in a film noir piece? Or does your thinking mirror a monologue to the camera like those annoying spots in Malcolm in the Middle?

Trolling through the links on Dan’s blog I found myself at the home of Michael Jensen’s blog. He’s one of the famous Sydney Anglican Jensen tribe. He’s doing some sort of study in England – you can find it if you like, but I can’t be bothered searching for the link. He posted an entry on viewing life as a stream of narrative. He’s a pretty smart guy. I didn’t really read all that much but it got me thinking about thinking and how I frame my thoughts. I think my stream of thoughts often flows like a stream of narrative – I do things in time and space, interacting with other characters and these interactions lead to outcomes – problems are resolved, conflicts arise… and my thinking reflects that. I think about how to solve things – and the voice in my head (which I guess is consciousness not some weird psychological condition) follows the narrative, or even pre-empts and influences the narrative, when the interactive bits of life are happening.

News stories are taking bits of a stream of narrative and analysing the elements. The journalistic definition of “news” is information that is of some interest to the public. The approach journalists take when they report news is to answer the big 6 questions – known in the industry as the 5 Ws and 1 H – who, what, when, where, why, and how. If narrative is a stream of connected events occuring in space and time then all these elements will be addressed.

Being of a journalistic, inquisitive bent I find that my approach to the narrative of my life has been somewhat influenced by this paradigm (paradigm is one of my favourite words). Not only do I approach any “conflict” or events that arise in my narrative (life) through the framework provided by these questions – but I’ve started viewing every event that occurs in terms of its newsworthyness.

There are a number of jokes out there featuring different professions and how they see the world – or the simple things in life. A true story I heard recently featured a group of people watching the football – a dentistry student, a med student, and an excercise/sports science student. During the game there was an incident where a player collided with another player’s head. Play was stopped while the player received some medical attention. The dentist commented on the effect the impact would have on the player’s teeth, the med student named the bones that may have been fractured, and the sports science student pointed at a guy in the background and said “he’s doing that static stretch wrong.”

And here, after that complicated five paragraph intro is the story that prompted this post… last night I was driving home from Mission Beach (where I’d been for a work function featuring Beechworth bakery owner Tom O’Toole (an interesting character)) with one other member of the Townsville Enterprise team. It’s a 2.5 hour drive to Mission Beach from Townsville – some say 3. Just outside of town we were stopped by a collection of emergency service vehicles attending the scene of a major accident… and do you want to know what my first thought was? Where are the TV cameras… this is a news story. I had my phone in my hand calling WIN television’s news director with the hot tip before I’d even considered the possibility that people may have been seriously hurt by the crash. When did I become so callous? Have I been that desensitised by years of watching and reading the news? Tom O’Toole made a comment about watching the news that was funny enough to repeat:

“If a dog came into your house and pooed on the ground while you were eating dinner you wouldn’t just sit there and watch him – you’d kick it out of the house, or worse… but every night we let the news do the same thing – it feeds half an hour of crap into our living rooms and we just watch it without thinking. I stopped watching news 20 years ago, and now when I turn on the television it’s the same news anyway – same wars, same crimes, same politics… you may not be what you eat, but you are what you fill your head with.”

Has anyone else been so obviously scarred by their profession? Do the teachers out there see every event in life as an opportunity to fill a lesson plan? Do opera singers see every tragedy as a potential aria (the style of song not the Australian Recording Industry Award)? Do IT people ever see any events that happen in the wider world? and do proctologists just think the world is a bunch of (feel free to insert an appropriate colloquialism here – I’m not going to do your dirty work for you).

A Panda walked into a bar…

It strikes me that it’s been a while since I actually wrote anything substantial (ie of substance) on this blog. I’m not sure that this trend will be broken in this post – but I am trying to think of something serious and important to write about.

You may notice, if you’re bored enough to go to Tim’s blog (and bored enough to read it when you get there), that he’s posted some form of response to my diatribe on hippies the other day. You may also notice in the comments on that there’s a comment there from a guy who looks like he’s stepped off the set of a Star Wars movie. That is Scooter. For the benefit of my Brisbane readers – he’s related to the Poysers. For the benefit of my blog readers – he’s related to MIP. For the benefit of people who have no idea what I’m talking about – MIP is a Poyser, and Scooter is a cousin of said family. Anyway – Scooter also now has a blog.

On Thursday night at 12am I got on a 68 foot boat to go fishing. I was accompanying I Fish – Channel Ten’s very popular fishing show. In short… I caught one fish, and didn’t get sea sick, so the trip was considered a success. I also didn’t manage to catch any sleep. I can’t take a photo of the sleep I didn’t catch, but I will be able to upload a picture of my fish sometime next week. When I got home from fishing I smelled like I’d been fishing, and I was very tired. When I say home, I mean when I got back to work. I had an afternoon appointment with a marketing salesperson from the Financial Review. She gave me an umbrella. It is yellow and white. It was almost worth going to work for. Have you noticed that when you write short sentences it immeadietly sounds more childlike? Or maybe I’m using less erudite words. I am still tired.

Last night I went to my first Youth Surge event. Somehow I always managed to be busy when Youth Surges were on in Brisbane. I’m happy to report that it wasn’t bad. It was in fact good. We had a youth group leaders training session this morning which was also good. I’ve been doing some thinking about how youth groups work over the last few weeks – and when I’m in a less tired state I’ll share my thoughts on youth group via my blog.

Tim and I dined at Sizzler this afternoon and I’d like to make a point about the importance of grammar, and particularly punctuation, based on my experiences. I ordered the special of the day – rib eye and prawn skewers. I was looking forward to my nice juicy steak with a side of prawns… It turns out I should have looked more closely at the sign, because I was shocked when the waitress delivered my sizzling prawn skewers with some meat coloured vegetables on the skewer and no juicy steak on the plate. I think they should have more clearly deliniated words on the menu board. Only the Grammar Nazi, and Scooter, would have picked up on that subtle distinction. It’s like that old joke about the panda who walked into a bar.

Have you ever noticed that when you write lol it looks like a man with his arms in the air? I’m not going to write much on what I think about people who write “lol” when they’re not actually laughing out loud. I should point out that with inverted commas it looks like the little man has just moved his arms there. So now I’d like to present you with a series of excercises based on the lol man.

_o_
| |

( \o/ )
( || )

“lol”
_/ \_

( \o/ )
( /\ )
_o_
‘ || ‘

I guess by series I meant one star jump. You have no idea how much time I wasted figuring that out. There’s a whole range of artwork out there created using letters – it’s called ASCII art – very, very, nerdy stuff.

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l’esprit d’escalier [the perfect witty response]

I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald online today for my fix of culture and intellectual stimulation (not that those things are in short supply up here but News Limited Papers in general are pretty horrible) and I came across an interesting interview with Tim Freedman the singer from the Whitlams. Tim Freedman is one of my favourite Australian songwriters. He’s responsible for some of the greatest song lyrics ever written, eg “she was one in a million, so there’s five more just in New South Wales” from Up Against the Wall. He’s also one of the worst anti-drug spokesmen in the history of the “say no to drugs” campaign. I remember seeing a TV special where he basically told people the only way they were going to learn about the effects of drugs was to take them. Thanks Tim. Anyway, having firmly established his credibility as a role model I’m now going to direct you to the article here. He makes an interesting point about conversation – and missed conversational opportunities – particularly l’esprit d’escalier. To sum it up for people too lazy to click a link – he is haunted by missed opportunities. He’ll even call a journalist who interviews him two weeks later to amend his answers. I’m wondering if this is just a luxury for the rich and famous. Can we all buy an opportunity to add to past conversations? As someone who often misses great opportunities for witty (or even non-witty but effective) responses – only to think of them at some later date – I think it would be of some benefit to bring in a system where amendments to a conversation can be made in another time and another place. I propose to make this the time and the place for such comments. If you feel like you could have, or should have responded to me, or anyone else, in a more witty or appropriate manner then post a comment.

In other, less Whitlam related news…

I spent Friday night on Magnetic Island with a Sunday Mail freelance writer and her husband. If you’re ever on Magnetic Island I can now highly recommend the barefoot: food, art, wine restaurant. They did the best steak I’ve eaten in a long, long time.

I now have internet at home – if you desperately want to see how I’m going and are too cheap to call me and don’t like reading through the random stuff on my blog you can now find me on MSN at nathanc32hotmail.com you need to put the @ symbol in there – that’s to ward off the evil spam harvesters.

Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday

Apologies firstly for the use of vernacular in the title. It would seem though that as a result of Tourism Australia’s “where the bloody hell are you” campaign the word bloody is now an acceptable, but slightly cheeky, piece of Australiana. Actually I should really be apologising for a reference to a U2 song. I guess it’s a song from before they were middle aged political activists trying to be cool while writing inoffensive, sugar sweet pop music that you could play your gran (hi gran if you’re reading this again). How cool is my gran – she posted a comment on a blog. I bet your gran doesn’t do stuff like that.

This is my first blog post on a Wednesday. Wednesday’s have traditionally been lambasted as terrible office days – the furthest point from a weekend. In fact right now, in the middle of the day, must be the absolute middle of the week. How significant. Today I didn’t want to get out of bed. It was drizzly, my airconditioning and quilt were combining to keep me at optimal sleeping temperature and my alarm clock was just a distant buzzing problem which could be solved by a quick press of the snooze button. Or several quick presses of the snooze button. Luckily after 22 years I know myself pretty well so I set my alarm to go off much earlier than it has to.

The post cyclone activity cycle is on the down hill run now. We had Fran Bailey, the Minister for Small Business and Tourism come through town yesterday. She addressed a power lunch/forum on the issues in her portfolio post cyclone. I got to go. My free meal count for the week is up to 4. It could have been 5 but I blew off a church dinner arrangement last night to do important other things (nothing really, well a phone call or two and a DVD – I bought Run Lola Run from the local Video Ezy for $10 – a bargain at twice the price, unfortunately it was a badly dubbed version rather than the subtitled version… but I digress. End Brackets.). So far I’ve had sausages, bacon, eggs and croissants for breakfast at an animal park, crab, chicken and prawns at a resort, a roast at the church’s youth minister’s house, and Atlantic Salmon followed by a cheese/fruit platter at the casino. I capitalised Atlantic Salmon because that’s the way it should be served, as a proper noun.

Free food aside, it was interesting hearing from the Hon Fran Bailey MP. She spoke about baby boomers hogging all the good jobs in traditional big business. This has apparently forced the youth of today into more entrepreneurial roles. Big business now outsource a whole lot of niche things like training and stuff. So I quit my job and started a company. Well I didn’t. But if anyone has any good niche ideas that come with free food…

The dinner at the youth minister, Dave Hopper’s house was good. We’re/we were discussing the direction to take young adult stuff at the church in. There’s a bunch of uni student types who are so heavily involved in AFES stuff they’re not doing anything at church and there’s a shortage of people involved in leadership roles for teenage and children’s stuff. Which brings me to my favourite topic at the moment – the relationship between church stuff and parachurch stuff. I think one day I’m going to write a book on the whole church vs uni ministry conflict. It’s bizarre that it even operates as a conflict – surely as part of the one kingdom or wider church there should be a more synergetic or symbiotic relationship between the two groups. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out. Both the AFES staff workers up here go to Willows so there’s this occasionally tense undercurrent somewhere in the background (which I assume is where most undercurrents operate.)

So there’s a rambling update free of fake news (not that my stories about breaking an artwork and killing a national icon were fake it’s just that as Matt so rightly pointed out in his comments, or at least the sentiment in those comments pointed out – they weren’t really news. Actually I’m not sure his comments were pointing that out at all – I just wanted to put his name in the main bit to encourage further comments so did it in a way that vaguely supported my original point. I’ve been spending too much time with politicians.)