Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day Weekend (My favourite weekend of the year).

First things first... people shouldn't wear the Australian flag like some perverse sort of super-villian cape, it's disrespectful.

As always, Australia Day Weekend was awesome. AWESOME!

Brief synopsis - Friday night was beers with Aaron while watching the cricket.

Saturday we picked up Bern and Azz's new jetski. The weather wasn't great so we decided an afternoon 'session' was in order. The three of us had a few at home before heading to the Barwon Club. Settled in for a while there before heading into town to Beav's. Got shot down when I went to have a chat to a girl there. Her friend then came over and was a real bitch (excuse my language) which I was a bit confused about, because after the original girl said she wasn't interested I just left it alone. Still trying to work out why the friend can over and gave me an earfull...

On Sunday we did go out on the jetski, launching at Clifton Springs. It was a beautiful day and the jetski is unbelievably good fun. Had a go on the 'donut' but it was getting a bit choppy so it was equal parts fun and danger. I got flipped off and ate s**t. My private part were sore for a few hours. Took the kids down the waterfront and had fish and chips in the park with Ruth, Raph and Isaiah (after growing up without and relatives, it's so nice that my kids have cousins to hang out with). Watched Slumdog Millionaire on Sunday night. Great movie. GREAT!

The first launch!


Took the kids down Clifton Springs again on Monday and had a ball. They were just so happy to chill out on the beach, splashing around in the water and eating a bit of sand. I had a go on the wakeboard and was really happy that it felt a bit easier than last time. With a few 40 plus degree days forecast, I'm hoping Bern and Az go out on the water after work this week.

Bring it on!

Proud Dad, proud Aussie.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Now more than ever.

Hey, how you doing? I thought I'd share a couple of things that I've written in the past. No real reason, it just gives me something to post. This first one is an essay... no, probably not an essay as such... actually, I'm not sure what it is. It is just something I wrote for fun a while ago, about 8 years ago I think, after Trin and I got back from our honeymoon in Bali. I'm not sure why I wrote it, but I did. And here it is.

Now More Than Ever.

“Come back to Bali,” our host, Wayan, told the handycam I had shamelessly shoved tourist-style in his face. And he meant it. My wife and I were about halfway through our ten-day Bali honeymoon and thoroughly enjoying an evening dining on the sands of Jimbaron Bay. The sun dropped over the horizon after about forty minutes of technicolour changes, shades of pinks, reds, oranges and blues fading to black in the distance. In the foreground, empty chairs and tables were silhouetted against the amazing scene. Wayan sat with us throughout, we were his only customers tonight, maybe all week. He watched us watch our first Balineses sunset, but he didn’t seem bored by it, or us.

Earlier, when we arrived, driven by our hotel’s barman who was moonlighting for a little extra cash, we were taken through the resteraunt and onto the beach. Either side of the tiny eatery were another fifty or so tiny eateries stretching off about 500 metres in each direction. All had rows and rows of empty tables and cheap plastic seats packing the strip of sand. A few months ago, before the atrocities inflicted on nearby Kuta, the beach would have been packed with people like us, honeymooners enjoying a romantic dinner, tourists from the world over and yes, young people having a meal and drinks before hitting the popuar nightspots of Bali.

“If I had a gun,” Wayna said, “and those men were here now, I would say “you killed Bali” and I would kill them.” “Those men” being the likes of Iman Samudra and the so-called “Smiling Assassin”, Amrozi. Like so many Balinese, Wayan had a perpetual smile and a face that belied his thirty years, but at this point he didn’t look like a happy, carefree young man. Perhaps this was the private face of Bali that we, the tourists, we shielded from by the sunny persona we had come to expect from our hosts. It’s not rocket science, you only had to look up and down the beach to see that these were desperately tough times for the locals. It was the same everywhere on the island. Empty tables on the beach. Empty stools at the bars. Empty rooms in the hotels. Empty seats on the planes. An economy that was built and survives solely on the tourist trade will surely die without it, the only question is can Bali last until we let go of our collective fear and return to our once most popular holiday destination? Time will tell.

In stall across the island t-shirts were being sold with slogans such as “Bali loves peace”, “Fuck terrorist” , “Bali black Oct. 12” and my favourite, “Bali, Now More Than Ever!”. Are these t-shirts what the real Balinese think? The cynic might say it is just another way of grabbing the now rare tourist dollar, playing on our emotions. The cynic may well be right- so what? I bought a couple of these t-shirts, I gave a few of my tourist dollars to a Balinese vendor who otherwise wouldn’t have got them, I wouldn’t have bought a t-shirt that simply had the word ‘Bali’ on it with an eighties-style picture of a palm tree on it. I wouldn’t come home and wear that in public. Who want to walk around their home town looking like a tourist? Instead I wear my “Bali loves peace” t-shirt, and hopefully people see it and think that maybe there isn’t anything to be scared of, that maybe Bali really does love peace.

This brings me to a question that really puzzles me – what is it really that people are scared of? Are people really so na├»ve that they think Bali will be the subject of more attacks from Islamic extremists? Irrationally, people now seem to think that Bali is a haven for those Islamic extremists. Not true. Bali is predominantly made up of peace loving Hindus. Muslims are something of a minority and they too are peace loving. It only takes one in every million to tarnish the reputation of the silent majority, but unfortunately, that is exactly what seems to have happened. And that is why we (you?) are scared. Please don’t be.

My wife and I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to extraordinary ordinary Balinese on five or six occasions. You start chatting, you offer to buy them a drink that they seem embarassed to accept, but eventually do, and you talk. You talk about anything, everything. And if you talk long enough you see the real Bali and the real Balinese. Go there. Try it.

As Wayan said on the empty beach of Jimabaron Bay, “Come back to Bali”.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My greatest discovery of 2009... so far!

Okay, so I was doing a Google image search of The Last Supper when I stumbles across this one. It seems to be someone who loves Lego and is religious. What this equals is something delightfully... hmmm... I was going to say irreverrent, but maybe that's the way I see it because I'm an athiest (can it be irreverrent if that wasn't the publisher's intention?). If you are religious maybe you don't see it the same as me. But Jesus, I bloody love this, let me know how you see it.

I've shared a couple of gems here, be sure to check the Brick Testament site for more.

*I was in tears of laughter when I saw this one!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Me on Temptation! (Easter '06)

This was filmed just before the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. They film 5 episodes a day, and film two days a fortnight. This episode was the last to be filmed before they took a break for the Games. It meant I had about a 4-5 week wait to film the second episode.

The first night's prize was a fancy dress, with fittings and accomodation in Sydney "valued" at $10,000. Trin was very pregnant with Anzac at the time, and we never go anywhere fancy enough to wear a dress worth thousands of dollars, so I didn't take the prize.

Anyway, came back for the second 'night' and in the last 'Fame Game' before the Mad Minute, I was 'burgled' - $5 off my score and onto my opponent's score, so a $10 difference. At the end of the Mad Minute I had been beaten by $5... and I am still filthy about it!

But, hey, I won a night, which was beyond my wildest expectations, I just wanted to a) get on, and b) answer one question correctly, so, I can't really complain. And I have a Temptation pen to show for it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

600 pages in two sittings.

Okay, so I know I am years behind the times, but I just read The DaVinci Code.
What an awesome book! I was onlyt 150 pages in when I decided it is one of the best I've ever read. I finished it last night (read it in two sittings, couldn't put it down!) and just had to tell anyone who hasn't read it to get it. I loved it. Clever, fast paced, easy to read.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Baby's got blue eyes.

Words can't improve on this...