Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sol Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sydney Opera House fenced off for some rich dudes.

Some important people talking Posted by Picasa

There's some rich dudes in town congregating at the Opera House which has caused it to be fenced off........aparently a sympton of democracy or something, according to multi-millionaire convener Steve Forbes. Oh, and one of the bright ideas these rich folks are discussing is nuclear power as the cleaner, greener power alternative.

There might be some pissed off Japanese tourists who won't be able to get their happy snaps around Jorn Utzon's masterpiece sitting like a jewel in Sydney Harbour. But hey, that's democracy for you!

Multimillionaire businessman Steve Forbes has defended the enforcement of tight security measures at the Opera House which have left large parts of the iconic building off limits to Sydneysiders and tourists during a three-day international business gathering.

With police preparing for up to 10,000 activists to converge on the landmark site this evening to protest against the Forbes Global CEO Conference, they have taken the unprecedented move to cordon off the Opera House forecourt to locals, tourists and protesters alike.

Fences have been erected around the Opera House, road blocks are in place throughout the eastern side of Circular Quay and police boats and high-speed inflatables are scouting the water perimeter of the Opera House.

But speaking at the official opening of the conference this morning, Mr Forbes, president and CEO of the Forbes media empire, said tight security measures were a consequence of democracy.

"This is a free country, as is the United States, and certain people want to protest. They have a different view of how to alleviate poverty around the world. They have a right to congregate and make their views known. That means though that extra security measures ... have to be taken temporarily," he said.

However, he promised the inconvenience would be short lived.

"I emphasise that it is temporary. You get to see the Opera House all the time. I've got to see it a few times and look forward to seeing it in the next few days," he said.

Asked if he understood what the protesters were fighting for, he answered: "I'm not sure quite what their demands are except they are against certain words like globalisation. And they are for the environment, they say, and other things."

As a means to overcome global warming, he said it was time to re-examine the use of nuclear energy as a clean source of power.

"I think everyone wants a good clean environment," he said.

Also in attendance at the official opening of the conference were former New York mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane.

Mr Iemma said the conference provided similar economic benefits for Sydney as did the 2000 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.

"The conference provides us with the opportunity to market Sydney and NSW as a destination for investment by the corporations represented at the conference, creating long-term benefits in jobs growth and increased economic activity," Mr Iemma said.

Mr Macfarlane, promoting Australia as the "contemporary business location of choice in the Asia-Pacific region", appeared to mispronounce the former New York mayor's name, referring to him as, "Mayor Giuliano".

Monday, August 29, 2005

A letter to some three eyed guy from Mars.

Little Timmy... click image twice for a hoot Posted by Picasa

There is a strange concept on Earth called Democracy. The original idea was to elect someone who became your representative and then they acted on your behalf.

You assigned them the task of the complicated stuff of making sure wherever your nation-state was.... it was in good hands. They should have been, in a certain sense ... your employee, you paid them, you trusted them with the keys to the front gate, you chose them depending on how good their resume was and hopefully..... given time you'd end up with an employee who gave you a pretty good bang for your buck.

That is how it should work, this is what happened in these strange times..... my dear Martian friend.

One day a group of these potential employees decided to get into bed with some other employees and form what is known as a "political party". These employee groups then had a mock battle against each other in what is known as an "election"... where the employee pleasing the greatest number of employers gathers the most "votes" in a given area. Great wads of money, gold and precious things were thrown at these "political parties" to ensure that they received the greatest number of "votes".

The employers decided which employee got the job. The employee who pleased the most number of employers and thus got the most number of "votes" got the job and was given the job title of "politician". Usually the "politician" had the most amount of gold and precious things thrown at him or her.

The group of the above named "politicians" who had the greatest support in their prementioned "political parties" from the employers formed a majority employee group and call it the "elected government". This "government" had some infrastructure and institutions in place...... no matter which "political party" held the title of "government" ... the infrastructure and institutions was called the "public service".

Somewhere along the line the employees who were now called "politicians" forgot that they were working for the employers who "voted" for them and took it upon themselves to become employers. The servant had become the master.

The "public service" became part of the "government"; directed by the "government of the time". The employers then became known as the "people" and suddenly came under the control and wishes of the "government in power".


A bit of flowery prose? I'm not sure. Just today I heard of the case of two Melbourne journalists who are facing jail time for not disclosing their "public service" whistle blowing sources.

It is a grave matter to jail someone. Graver still when that imprisonment is for the expression of views, the publication of ideas or the reporting of an issue.

In a healthy democracy, it is hard to believe that a journalist might be jailed for accurately reporting a story of significant public interest which poses no risk to national security.

And yet we are facing the prospect of contempt of court charges and the jailing of two journalists from the Melbourne Herald Sun, Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus. Their offence is their refusal to disclose sources who assisted them in reporting on cuts to recommended benefits to war veterans.

The journalists revealed the rejection by the Government of recommendations by an independent inquiry to improve a range of welfare benefits to war veterans. A more generous veterans package ultimately emerged after intervention by the Prime Minister and a number of Coalition members. But the issue was one of public interest, which Australians expect their media to report on.

The key role of the fourth estate - for all of its imperfections and the discomfort it not infrequently causes politicians - is that of holding governments accountable through open debate and information. The protection of sources is fundamental to this. As the European Court of Human Rights has said: "Without such protection, sources could be deterred from assisting the press in informing the public on matters of public interest. As a result, the vital public watchdog role of the press could be undermined."

Of course, governments, like all institutions, are entitled to demand levels of confidentiality from their employees. Indeed, where public servants are found to have breached conditions of employment and revealed confidential material it is not unreasonable that they should be subject to sanctions unless there are exceptional circumstances such as those covered by whistleblower provisions.

The Government's argument seems to be that "government" and "public service" information is not "public information". It remains out of the public domain and yet we as "the public" or the "the people" elected these pricks in place, we in fact own these "public institutions"' and yet we are not privy to them.

Harry has a similar example over at Scratchings. Avian flu shots are being saved for those in power because they are more important than the plebians or some other sort of rot.
As he so succinctly puts it.....

In one of the unhappy ironies of the modern era, the people who really need to catch the avian flu -- whose affliction would be just, moral and good on every level -- are the people the getting the limited supply of anti-viral pills.

Vote on his Avian Flu shot poll...... I voted for the Badgers.

Neilmoller's Address

Neimoller Posted by Picasa

I'm not sure why but I fet a need to throw this up today. There is one source quoting around 4 or 5 other sources saying Neimoller wrote it in either 1939 or 1945. The site below says it was part of an address to US Congress in 1968. I'll check around to see if this is the case.

Niemoller's address to the U.S. Congress

The exact text of what Martin Niemoller said,
and which appears in the Congressional Record,
October 14, 1968, page 31636 is:

"When Hitler attacked the Jews
I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics,
I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists,
I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.
Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church --
and there was nobody left to be concerned."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Couple of new links.

Couple of new links I've picked up. One via my Blogshare icon which tracks links in. I've got no idea how the share thing works, however it's useful to track who thinks my lowly blog worthy of a looksee.

First is Winston from Tennesee at nobody asked..... BUT.......i'm going to say it anyway who describes his blogging raison d'être thus:

Desperately needing a creative outlet, and realizing that nobody cares, a dumping ground for my collective thoughts, fears, desires, complaints, delights, rants, and musings seemed to be in order. A cathartic cerebral disgorgement.

That’s what this bandwidth wastage station and time sink is about. Perhaps it will bring some focus to who I am, what I have become, and what I might be IF I choose to grow up. If you want to read and share, welcome. If you want to comment and/or email through the links provided, that’s fine - I will read them. But I really don’t care. I do this for me.

Mate, I hear what you're saying! Take a look.....good writing which is always appreciated in my little microcosm.

Second one is one I missed early on Sandhill Trek who I thought I added months ago but didn't so now I have :-) How can you not like someone with a profile pic like that!!!!!

A chain e-mail that really rattled me.

I received the below e-mail from a guy at work. I thought he was pretty cool. He's an old time surfer now in his mid 50's still sporting a yin/yang ear stud who loves his surfing and can ride a motorbike like a twenty year old. He has a mailing list which he sometimes sends the typical chain e-mail stuff, "funny pictures" etc.

This one was actually published in the Murdoch owned letters to the editor..... no surprises there.

Australia- The Right to Leave

Our Country - YOU Have the right - the right to leave !

After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas

After hearing that the State of South Australia changed its opinion and
let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her
face covered.

This prompted this editorial written by an Australian citizen.
Published in an Australian newspaper.


I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some
individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we
have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the
"politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility
that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration,
nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by
coming to Australia.

However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to
our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only
to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we
have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials
and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part
of our society, Learn the language!

"In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian,
right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian
men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this
is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on
the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you
consider another part of the world as your new home, Because God is
part of
our culture.

If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like " A Fair Go",
then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, And we
really don't care how you did things where you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you
every opportunity to enjoy all this.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag,
Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage
you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,


If you aren't happy here then LEAVE We didn't force you to come
here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.
Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it
will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers,
lets all try, please.

No matter how many times you receive it... please forward it to all you

It really ratlled me. I was genuinely upset, one because I hadn't thought he had bought into this and two because I was upset that there may be people on his list that agreed with him. I'm not one normally to rock the boat.... but this one for some reason really turned my world upside-down. I could have let it rest but I felt a need to draw a line in the sand to let him and others on the list know where I stand.

I'm not sure if this is "left" thinking. I just think of my thinking as that of acceptance and as my blog is titled "open-mindedness". It seems sensible. Perhaps it is "touchy feely" and out of whack with some sort of mindset, I don't care. I was genuinely angry that this arrived in my mailbox.

If I lose a friendship because of an acceptance of this attitude, I don't care.

I don't care about the consequences, pieces of filth like this I'm not in the mood to slip by. I suppose I went into counter propaganda mode. Shoot a gaping hole in an untrue "fact" then go on and provide some real world examples.

Here's my response.

The clueless author attributes Australia's motto as "In God we Trust". It is
actually the motto of the USA. Australia has no motto.

There again, as the 51st state of the good ol' US of A I suppose it is
fitting we adapt their motto, along with their foreign policy and seige

My maternal grandfather got out of Europe before WWII when he saw the
writing on the wall when letters such as these and other bits of xenophobic
nastiness (supported by government policy at the time) were circulating in
the general populace in the late 30's.

His foresight saw him missing a one-way trip to the gas chambers.

G. is Danish, D. is Greek, B. is Irish, M. is Philippine and I'm
more than likely part Yid. The melting pot which saw our parents and
grandparents has its advantages in the friendships forged.

I actually was talking about something along these lines with G. on
Sunday, we came to the conclusion that arseholes know no national
boundaries. His neighbour, a Lebanese mechanic had done some work on B.'s car, not charged him for labour and trade prices for the parts. An
introduction to this guys mates saw G. being treated as a long lost

I have no issue with the multicultural islands that exist for support and
some sort of assurance for those who have arrived. Homesickness will exist
no matter how wonderful the country you are in. Whilst in France I welcomed
a conversation in English and the homesickness saw me craving for a burger
with the lot. A friend of mine living in Denmark commented recently how his
last English conversation was last Christmas, he MISSES his mother tongue

A couple of generations and the support isn't required, assimilation is not
and overnight phenonema. D. for example can't speak a word of Chinese.
Yes he still may have a circle of Chinese friends but there again he'll go
out fishing with a Samoan (S.)..... again friendships are forged which
overcome the blinkered prejudices of racial stereotypes.

And the upshot? I can get a great cup of coffee because of the influence of
the Italians, I can go to Ivan's Butcher's shop in Chester Hill and get some
of the best smoked meat ever, some of the best AFL players have come from a Greek background, I can learn what it was really like in Vietnam from the
other side from D., I don't have to book a plane ticket and go overseas to
experience Asian culture...I can just take a quick trip to Haymarket.

If there was no multiculturalism we'd still be the white bread, meat and
three veg society of the Menzies 50's.

So, in summary...... the author neglects some of the more admirable traits
of Australia in my worldview.

Tolerance and acceptance.

I'll get off my soapbox now :-)


Some photos

First photo below is one that I have in my locker at work to remind me of home. The Jacarandas are in full bloom and the grass is green. This one is from around November after a fairly dry winter. They should be in full bloom again as again we've had one of those dry, winters up this way.

Below that is a well worn control panel from a bottle labelling machine. I'll get a better shot later. You can feel thousands of hours of work and hundreds of different hands have operated this panel in times gone by.

Below that is a manifold station which acts as a central point when you transfer liquids from main tanks to lines.

Then below that is the largest bearing I've ever seen. It's off a rinser and is about 7 feet (2 metres) across. It had worn on one side. Mechanical technicians and old time operators were around to see it when it came out to see the light of day for the first time in 14 years. It has done billions of revolutions in that time.

Another photo below of a steel staircase to a mezzanine floow above in a pokey alleyway. Nice lighting on this one.

And the last one is of some forklifts parked neatly away at the end of the day.

Monday, August 22, 2005

View in November Posted by Picasa

Old Control Panel Posted by Picasa

Manifold Station Posted by Picasa

Seven foot bearing Posted by Picasa

Stairway Posted by Picasa

Forklifts Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A new link and some thoughts.

Harry wrote an addendum to his post Social Engineering watch which I'll heartily endorse.

Addendum: The war on them, whoever they are at any point in time, is also a war on us. It is a transfer of wealth and a means of asserting domestic control.

"They" always seem to be out there whoever "they" are. All sorts of organizations and special interest groups have "them" out there trying to take away or influence what "we" have. It's an intriguing concept and one that the social engineers and propagandists rely on to get their message out there and maintain control. A population thinking about what "they" are doing isn't going to be really thinking about what the powers that be are really up to, which is maintaining and keeping control. Dissent is to be vectored away.

Over here there's the impression of a seige mentality in the US which somehow has ben engineered over time. For some reason I interact with those who don't take this narrowed down view of the world. They get around, they read and interact with those around the globe. They own a passport.

The seige mentality is also applies to us downunder. there are some nasty domestic policies hi-jacked by the Co0nervatives directly from the pages of the ultra-right "one Nation" party. Those who agree with these policies of border protection, detention and the like I tend to steer away from. I tend to have friends who have friends that were born overseas. And as one friend observed "There are arsehole Australians, just like there are arsehole Arabs...... it's not unique to one particular group."

Speaking of things posterior......Sometimes I wish those who are dubious of "them" would shift their arses off their sofas, in front of their CNN/ NASCAR/ NFL/WHATEVER bigscreens and get out there an interact. Pretty soon they'd find out "they" are just the same as "us".

Which brings me to my latest link Ethnomusings via Peter ( a bit of a globetrotter and intelligent enough to see through the "them" hysteria!). It's opened up the glorious world of South America. Colourful both in the images and the quantity and quality of the writing...... as I commented over there, you can smell the coffee from here.

My little world has ben opened up a bit more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Moff's back

Comments weren't working. However I Agree with this post


Ok technically it's still winter but the signs due to perhaps climate change....(who knows???) are telling me that Spring is beginning to spring. I love Spring. As Robin Williams says, this is the time of year when nature says (in a great big exclamation of gusto),


The days are getting longer and warmer.....trees and shrubs that were once dead looking lifeless lumps of green mass, are suddenly awash with flowers, colours and forms of life that were once in hibernation........ birds that I haven't heard for ages are back....... ants decide that a trip to my kitchen sugar bowl is a good idea..... male magpies with their testicles swelling by 200%, making them, as we say downunder, a little "toey" and swooping anyone who dares come near their area.

Did I mention that I love Spring.....

Here's a few pics I took up and down my street.

Kooka2 Posted by Picasa

Here's a pic of another Kookaburra I took yesterday. This one created an optical illusion I've seen a few times before.

You'll look up and see what looks like a scary, sad Kookaburra carcass that has been electrocuted on power lines, with the sky showing through its ribcage. Then it MOVES! The blue on the wings is very similar to the blue sky, so it looks as if there is a void and the sky is visible through the torso. The black and white and the way the Kookaburra sits stone still, add to the effect.

Wattle Posted by Picasa

The wattle is out!!!!!!

Cars around here are covered in golden pollen and kids are rushed to the doctors for asthma symptoms as the Blue Mountains turns wattle-yellow in patches.

Spring is springing. Posted by Picasa

Macro exercise with new camera. Click for better detail.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Robert Crumb

Mr Natural Posted by Picasa

Some time ago I saw the documentary Crumb and for a moment my world was turned upside down. Here was a guy who had a strange family, collected obscure yet wonderful 78rpm records, dressed like a guy from the 50's and put out some pretty weird and wonderful comics. And some of the content in his comics was way out there deep in the dark side.

I keep coming across him from time to time. Peter has a link to his "Short History of America" which is the kind of Crumb I like.

Years ago when I was struggling with a HUGE mortgage and driving around in a lovely old Holden Commodore with an AM only radio.... no tape deck, I found my self having to listen to the Australian Broadcasting Corporations various programmes(it was either that or horse racing and shock-jock talk back radio). Unexpectedly, on either on a Friday or a Saturday afternoon on my welcome way home from work, a syndicated show from the US NPR network started, where Robert spun his collection of 78 rpm discs. From memory it was really great jazz, folk, bluegrass and some old French tunes, captured with crackles and warmth as the thick needle dragged across decades old acetate ...... amazing. I'm not sure what was better, the music or Robert's growly, lazy laid back voice. Again this was the gentler, more user friendly Crumb I like.

As a Minister in The Church of Subgenius, I must bow down to the patron Saint Robert Crumb (The Great) on April the 22nd. A full list of patron saints is here. there's one old guy Nenslo who actually did some work with him in the 60's. The comic book culture was never one I really got into..... which only makes me only a half assed sub-genius I spose.

Anyway, I did something today which I haven't done for awhile and walked into comic store in olde Sydney town. I looked at a few comics and eventually came to the Crumb section. Here he was in his post trip stage with these surreal images of his imagination, thick-set women and yes Mr Natural. For a time I was taken back to those trips home, tired and sometimes sore........listening to those old tunes.

Roberts website is here. Pop in and take a look, you may be shocked or amused or like me a bit of both. The world needs a few more guys like him.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

the wreckroom

the wreckroom

Many moons ago when I was struggling with this medium, I put up an article celled surveilance camera theatre. I found it both at the same time funny with a sinister side to it.

Anyway this guy from Nevada randomly popped in who(I think) was also just starting out, struggling with CSS and HTML and such. He left a comment on my blog. So I went and checked his out. WOW! Here was a deeply creative kinda guy with a massive record collection, some pretty cool instruments, a great songwriter and a encyclopedic knowledge of things musical. Add to that he had a taste very similar to mine but with a depth perhaps a thousand fold greater. I watched his visitor stats climb and climb.

He sometimes picks a theme and goes along with that. Or picks out a band who didn't make it and should have made it. He sometimes goes with bands from his native New Orleans or some times writes about his father.

I visit his space almost every day as I once commented "Every one who stumbles into the Wreckroom walks out a winner". My record collection has improved in both quality and quantity due to some of his prudent suggestions.

Anyway Sleepy has put together a post which is probably one of the best musical articles I've ever read. Various Strawberries Forever..........

It's really an honour to be on your blogroll mate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A gully wind.

It has been windy in my neck of the Blue Mountains overnight.

I describe it as a "gully wind" (my grandfathers words) which I find out is a particularly South Australian term for summertime hot easterlies that blow across the Adelaide Hills. So technically, it isn't a gully wind but it reminds me of the sound of some of those late night Adelaide winds; blowing across the scorched leafy suburbs in Eastern Adelaide. Adelaide band from the 70's The Masters Apprentices even had a song called "Hot Gully Wind".

The sound is difficult to describe as strong winds blow north to south, along the ridge, through thousands of Eucalypt trees. The first sense is of a heavy shower, or perhaps a train on the nearby tracks or out of place crashing waves beside an angry ocean........ in any case it is nature with the volume turned up.

The wind has other effects apart from the maker's aural symphony.This morning, the dawn sun shone though some Jacaranda trees blowing around in the wind. The sunlight shimmered, flickered and danced as it hit a wardobe, gentle ambient music in the background keeping time with the random patterns.

I could watch it all day.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Crimson Rosella Posted by Picasa

Johnny the Horse at Rinna's Three Wise Monkeys bash:

" I love it when you have had enough of the politics and say 'Stuff it, here's a picture of a parrot'"

Today....... and the past week has been like that. The parrots win out again. Actually I spent quite a while getting this photo which I picked and touched up...... out of about forty shots. The higher resolution view shows the velvet sheen on the tail feathers and wings.

I'm trying to get a decent pic of some tiny little red browed finches which are elusive and prone to flit about very quickly.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Power, Corruption and Lies

Senator Roark: Well, let me tell you a thing or two about power! Power doesn't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes outta lying and lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you got' em trapped.

You're the boss. You can turn reality on it' s head and they' ll cheer you on. You can make a saint out of a gibbering nut case like my high and mighty brother. You can beat your wife to death with a baseball bat like I did and leave your fingerprints all the hell over it and a dozen witnesses will swear on a stack of bibles you were a thousand miles away.

There's what, maybe five hundred people in this hospital? Five hundred people and every blessed one of them would hear it if I was to pump you full of bullets. I could be standing here laughing and holding a smoking gun and I wouldn't even be arrested. I wouldn't even be arrested. I wouldn't have to say a word. They' d cover it up for me, without me even asking them to! Lies. They'd all lie for me. Every one of them who counts. They'd have to. Otherwise all their own lies - everything that runs Sin City - it all comes tumbling down like a pack of cards.

Source: Frank Miller - That Yellow Bastard (Sin City, Book 4)

Now go and read this and then read this!

We're talking one of the most powerful families on the planet here.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Full stretch Posted by Picasa

Mick, Mick and Mick

Thought I'd better do a weekend roundup.

Friday night saw me heading into Emerald City for Rinna's 21st birthday bash at the Three Wise Monkeys. Battled the Sydney traffic along the M4 and Parramatta road. Found a park at Market City and headed for the pub walking along the main strip of George Street in the Haymarket area. It was kind of hard to miss, as it was the one with the massive monkeys above the door.

I had a bottle of plonk for Johnny and was worried about getting in the door past the bouncer, not to worry.... a cursory glance and I was let though.

Promptly purchased a schooner of Belgiums finest and tried to find the smoking area, Found it and was pulled up for crossing the red line taped to the floor. I could smoke on one side of the line but not the other. However a floor mat with a line taped to it provided a useful ploy for getting around the laws.

Then got into a conversation with three Tasmanian guys up from Launceston who were in Emerald City for the boat show. We compared a few things, weird smoking laws in pubs, travelling distances, rental prices, quality of beer etc etc. Their names: Mick......Mick..... and Mick. Teenagers in middle aged bodies. Very funny nevertheless on a constant Big Wednesday search for the perfect beer.

I went looking for the birthday bash, Rinna pulled me up ( I don't remember her being that small) and headed up to level three for a few conversations with a few fellow NSW bloggers. Johnny and I had the most to talk about, I found out he once lived a stone's throw away from me on the other side of the railway tracks. Rinna's ex husband Jerkface (his description of himself... not mine) had a talk about the old days on the net. There was Andy up from Melbourne, I met the Swanker and Swankette, Muffin, caught up with Misha and Rinna's best friend Tina. There will be a few additions to the Aussie blogroll.

We were on Level 3 and had to head down to Level 2 for a gasper.

Frankly, these new smoking rules in pubs SUCK. I'm not talking small through a cocktail straw suck, I'm talking massive Westinghouse turbojet engine capable of lifting a 70 tonne jumbo into the air and propelling it along at 700kmh SUCK.

Sixty people crammed in on level 2, in an area designed to hold to twenty puffing on gaspers, not trying to cross the magic red line was an experience in surreality.

Then after 11pm I tried to get back upstairs to Level 3. Jacob's ladder...... even weirder, I had to find the magic staircase that had not been deemed an exit by the bouncers. There were three stairways leading up to the third level.... only one was allowed to be used.......which I couldn't find. Which Johnny couldn't find, which Jerkface couldn't find, which Rinna couldn't find. The 3WM management needs to go to Disneyland to learn how to manage people's movements methinks.

So I called it quits at around 11:30pm as I had work the next day at 5am. Went back to the carpark and could not find the lift. Market City had doors to cinemas, Paddy's Market, the shopping centre (locked out) but no signs to the lifts to the car park. I eventually found one which took me to the subterranean wokings of the inside of maket city. Waste pipes, grease pipes, large smelly compactor bins, big junction box thingies...... all the behind the scenes workings. Most times I would have found this interesting but I wanted to get home.

I then took a wander through the Market City maze to find another elevator which ended up on another level, to the foyer of what looked like a brothel named "The Babylon Health Club" (descibed at this link as a "health and fitness club".....yeah right). It had the most amazing glittering, shimmery blue floor I have ever seen and some gauche Babylonian freizes at the entrance. Two rather ernest looking men were watching my moves, wondering if I was going to wander on in. No thanks. Eventually went back down, went outside and around to the car entrance and walked all the way down to my car.

Home at 12:45am, asleep at 1am, back awake at 4:30am. Felt like I had been hit by a truck.

Went to work by 5:30am and sanitised my production line with 9 others. It was minty fresh. Came home, went to bed.

Today I went to work again to help plant 200 trees for Landcare Day. The soil was really heavy, clogging, tough, bloody awful clay and thus, it was a bit of a pain in the arse (and the shoulders). Swung a mattock for a few hours loosening up soil to plant the trees, shrubs and grasses. Planted lots of lovely seedlings which should one day make for a wonderful treed area.

Had lunch at a local Worker's club, came home played some Railway Tycoon II and SLEPT LIKE A BABY.

That's about it...........