Voting, Fireworks and a Dance-offThis time I'm not talking about the US election, but the Australian federal election. It's been called for October 9. Bring it on.
I went to RiverFire at Southbank on Saturday night. The fireworks were pretty good. The F-111's are always a great finale. Unfortunately I was in a spot where I was only going to get one shot at them, and they were too quick for the camera. It was more enjoyable just hanging out and experiencing it with a group of friends, and the other thousands upon thousands of people there.
Still at Southbank, we went to sit down and relax in the Piazza. The teen angst was palpable. This was definitely the place to be if you wanted to see and be seen. We took a seat and found we had chosen the best vantage point to witness the dance-off. That's right folks, a dance-off. I was amused, impressed and privileged all at the same time. It was funny to see these guys facing off to prove themselves to each other and the very sizeable crowd that had gathered to watch. Alternating sides sent out the representatives to challenge... This went on for about 15 minutes. Some of them were really good. Some were fairly average. The whole experience was a little surreal, but kind of cool. Eventually the police came and told everyone they had to leave, but both groups had just been standing around looking at each other for five minutes by then anyway. I think they'd run out of moves.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/30/2004 06:07:00 pm || ||
Just chose one fireworks shot. None of them were that great. I didn't have my tripod.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/30/2004 05:33:00 pm || ||
The Danceoff - dueling dancers
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/30/2004 05:18:00 pm || ||
The Danceoff's only clear shot because, yes, he just balanced there.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/30/2004 05:14:00 pm || ||
Parko attempts a backflip after we leave the danceoff.
His feet do hit the ground first...but I can't say he landed on them.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/30/2004 05:10:00 pm || ||
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Copy Editor in CambodiaThis job makes me want to pack my bags. It's not the location. It's the perks: adventure, inconvenience, making a difference in a fragile democracy and furthering a free press. I'm sold. If you think I'm joking, I assure you I'm not. Pity about university...
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/28/2004 02:38:00 am || ||
Friday, August 27, 2004
I've just signed up with Hello from Picasa, so testing it out by posting one of my favorite photos. This is looking up Monument steps, all 345 of them...
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/27/2004 10:59:00 pm || ||
To vote or not to voteAustralian readers may say, "But it's compulsory to vote". Yes, but I'm not talking about the Australian federal election which I wholeheartedly look forward to voting in. I'm talking about the election of the next president of the United States.
It may be the US Democrats urging expats to vote, but what if I wanted to vote Republican? I don't, but what if I did? On visiting their site, the Democrats Abroad Australia group asks me (not require, just ask) to fill out a membership form. Hell no! You ain't co-opting me into your database! I don't need any stinkin' democrat knocking on my door the next time I vote republican! I will, however, directly visit OverseasVote2004.com to fill out the form...
Argh, it's run by the Democratic National Committee too! Oh well, they're going to love me - Iowa's a key state in the Electoral College isn't it? Yay, I know not much about US politics, but will participate in my first American election. Unless of course George W. manages to invalidate absentee votes, the military, African Americans and all of Florida... then, well, I tried.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/27/2004 04:58:00 pm || ||
SelloutGoogle/Blogger is promoting their Adsense program for blogs. Basically content-based advertising...
Because I have thousands of visitors to this site every day - thousands I tell you! - I'm thinking of selling out. Oh yes, it's the high life for me from now on. Goodbye university. Goodbye career. Goodbye food stamps. Hello no work, lazing around and weekend jaunts to the Ba-HA-mas! Wait, that's already my life. Except the Bahamas of course, I can only get there on long weekends at the moment...
News story written in 90 minutes and handed in this morning was not even worth mentioning really. But I just did. Now to find a real story.
I'm posting from the library at university. I have my Ethics case study outline due in 15 minutes. Yeah it's not happening. I'm looking for three stories from Iraq to analyse. Are there still embed journos in Iraq, or are they all independent of the US Army now that the war is 'over' (I laugh)? What I'm looking for is reporting on the same event by an embed, independent, and Al-Jazeera journalist. Then analyse the ethics of each. Hm, maybe I'll just go with an American, Australian and Al-Jazeera journalist.
Next time I blog, there may be advertising content seen on this site. Then again, that might involve more effort than I feel comfortable expending. hoo-roo
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/27/2004 01:45:00 pm || ||
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I'm backAnd what have I learned? That I shouldn't have a computer connected to the internet in my bedroom. It's just too damn easy to waste time. I must admit, I cheated a little. I did check email, and read some blogs, but my computer was never connected to the internet. Anyway, I didn't have withdrawals or anything, and I did actually get some stuff done.
So, five minutes back on the net on the computer in my bedroom (eh, things will change), what do I have for you? RSS Owl, the newsreader I occassionally use, tells me yet another update is available. While downloading that, I check out some of the feeds I never read (because I never use my newsreader), and discovered this link to Transformers, busting out the mad floor routine. Good stuff. I recommend it... and have patience if you have a slow download rate (it's streaming), which I'm experiencing as I type this and try to watch it. Alright, it finished streaming (3min 45sec) and I watched it uninterrupted beginning to end. Truly a masterpiece. Those Transformers can dance!
Otherwise, there's a lot more important things to be done than write in this blog, like
- write at least one news story
- write my case study outline for journalism ethics (I'm thinking 'war' reporting, either Iraq or Sudan)
- other miscellaneous university requirements
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/25/2004 10:47:00 pm || ||
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
My IsaacI like the new Blogger Navbar up the top. I've enjoyed random blogsurfing with the "next blog" feature. At the same time, however, I've found it difficult to enjoy. It's a guilty pleasure. At the back of my mind is that nagging, insisting, reminding, voice that all I'm doing is avoiding other more important responsibilities.
Nothing should ever consume so much of your time it reduces your quality of life. With this thought in mind, I'm pulling the plug on the internet for a week. A WEEK?!What emails will I miss? How will I keep up with the world? What will I do? The very fact that it's a little daunting confirms to me that I need to cut the cord (not literally).
The one line I remember with crystal clarity from a sermon two weeks ago was, "God knows your Isaac." The reference was to the story of God testing Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. I always considered sport to be that one thing I was holding in too high regard, but I've gotten over my obsession for the most part. I know I can walk away from it if I have to.
The internet, however, is consuming hour upon hour of time I don't have to waste. And so until 7.30pm next Wednesday night, or later, I bid you adieu.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/18/2004 07:30:00 pm || ||
Michigan sucksHard work and dedication does pay off! The coveted 'Michigan sucks' shirt from Caliblog.com arrived in the mail the other day. I wore it to university on Tuesday and received some strange looks. That's right, that's what it says!
Michigan may suck, but South Carolina (state of my birth, though I haven't been there in 15 years) rules, as do Volkswagen Kombi vans and Gopher College rugby! Gopher College will take some explaining, but it's not going to happen now. Neither are you going to get the pic that doesn't cut out both the rugby ball and my whole head.
[singing] Lazy blogging, yeah it's for me.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/18/2004 07:00:00 pm || ||
CartoonsJaws in 30 seconds - reenacted by bunnies.
I had to blog this. Too funny. Check out the other cartoons there also. Thanks to Dan from Surgical Strikes for the reference.
Another good site for cartoons is Weebls Stuff. Some funny cartoons, some very strange, and some quite disturbing really.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/18/2004 03:43:00 pm || ||
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
GmailBy the way, I still have one Gmail account available to anyone who wants it.
That's One Gig of email space... excitement.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/17/2004 04:30:00 pm || ||
Inform MeCave possibly used by John the Baptist found
"The discovery, if confirmed, would be among the most significant breakthroughs for biblical scholars in memory".
'Evangelical X'ianity Has Been Hijacked': An Interview with Tony Campolo
"there's a difference between evangelical and being a part of the Religious Right. A significant proportion of the evangelical community is part of the Religious Right. My purpose in writing the book was to communicate loud and clear that I felt that evangelical X'ianity had been hijacked.You tell 'em Tony.
When did it become anti-feminist? When did evangelical X'ianity become anti-gay? When did it become supportive of capital punishment? Pro-war? When did it become so negative towards other religious groups?
We ought to get out of the judging business."
And then, to turn to a completely different focus... And no, this is not being intemperate or negative towards other religious groups... or is it? You tell me, I'm just presenting the news.
Abdullah urges Muslims to restore Islam's glory
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi [of Malaysia] has called on Muslims to have a plan of action to restore the glory of Islam, saying that rebuilding the Islamic civilisation is their responsibility.Islamic expansionism?
He added that efforts to develop a respectable lifestyle on earth by seeking out success and building an Islamic civilisation at the same time were actually part of the requirements in Islam.
Saudi prince declares victory in war against terrorists
'We directly went to the heads of the snakes to cut them off, and we know the tails are a group of our sons who went astray,' Prince Ab- dullah said. 'We know how to deal with them and how to bring them back to the right path.' He did not elaborate.Perhaps it involves not funding them anymore. Too bad for the US most of the insurgents in Iraq are Iraqis, not foreign nationals, or Saudi Arabia would have the answer to global terrorism... if they chose to elaborate.
Muslim vote and Bush converts
Polls in 2000 showed Muslims favored Bush over Mr. Gore by a wide margin - some showed support in the 90 percent rangeWhat I find surprising is that he hasn't done something that offends everyone in the last four years, but that's just me.
With a little work he [George W.]may break out of the single digits with Muslim-American voters [in the 2004 election].
Everyone [...] knows a wavering former Bush voter [...] or, worse for the administration, someone who is sure they aren't voting for Bush this year. In the last four years he has done something that offends them or taken a stand they cannot abide.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/17/2004 01:18:00 pm || ||
Sunday, August 15, 2004
What have you read?*This is the draft referred to in the last post that I had saved. It was the poem above I couldn't find, somewhat essential.
What have you believed?
What can I tell you?
Will it make you care?
What have I read?
What have I believed?
Do I care? If
You can save your mother,
Will you do it? If
You can save the world,
Will you do it? If
You can save a child in Africa,
Will you do it? How
Will you know who is suffering?
We don't want to see
The death of war,
The evil of corruption.
It cannot go unseen.
It must be changed.
The world must change.
You must change.
I got a thing in the mail from Poetry.com asking if I'd like to make a submission for a new book of poetry. No, this doesn't mean I'm a gifted poet who could make money from some perceived talent. Not at all. Generally I think it means anyone who writes what could loosely be called a poem, and posts it on their site (which I have done before with my other poems), will at some point have their "poetic talent recognised and considered for inclusion in one of the most important volumes of poetry ever produced". I think those most important volumes come out every couple of months, each obviously more important than the last.
Anyway, on receiving their letter asking if I wanted to be included in the next life-changing volume of poetry, I wrote this poem and sent it in. It was a spur of the moment poem. I guess the proposed name of the volume was wishy-washy and feel-good, evoking images of a glossy cover featuring either kittens, flowers, cute babies or a gag-inducing combination of all three. I wasn't in that mood. I don't think the poem really carries anything particularly thought-provoking, and upon reading it again, I don't like it that much, but they were some of the my first thoughts when I wondered, 'will people think about things that really matter?'
I had forgotten about it until it was returned to me this week to check and sign off on its publication. But instead of returning it to them, it's posted here, and here it stays.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/15/2004 12:45:00 pm || ||
Saturday, August 14, 2004
More than planned; Less than helfpulI have a post saved as a draft... unfortunately the essential information is on a piece of paper I can't find, so instead here are some random things of interest.
See ya later kiddo.
First Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier went, then out-of-form striker Emile Heskey, and now other out-of-form striker Michael Owen. Congratulations for moving on Liverpool. Welcome Rafael Benitez and, hopefully, a new era for Liverpool Football Club.
The Opening Ceremony begins in 2½ hours. I didn't see much of the last olympics while I was living in the US. We have two free-to-air TV stations covering the games, with no overlap of events, meaning more than 24 hours of Olympic coverage per day... Hopefully I'll get some sleep in the next two weeks. Several events have begun in the last two days, pre-Opening Ceremony. Highlight of the games so far? Iraq beating Portugal 4-2 in the soccer.
On a personal note, I let the deadline pass today for handing in a news story for my writing class at university. This is the first piece of assessment for the semester. I've discovered I'm halfway decent at telling friends who they should contact to get interviews for a story, but make little effort to ask and answer those same questions for myself.
[lengthy - two hour - pause for reflection here... things written, deleted, rewritten, deleted...]
Sometimes I think about getting rid of this blog. I thought perhaps here I would express what I'm really feeling. I can't. I won't. It's a choice.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
I ignored, or didn't acknowledge, my responsibilities today. I could write for pages. Instead I'll leave you confused, ill-informed and disinterested. Don't worry, it's not too far removed from where I'm at.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/14/2004 12:59:00 am || ||
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Slash and Burn?Given my desire to work as a journalist in [choose a country between west Africa and the Middle East and insert here], I'm told to be careful in what I post, lest a simple search by said country's immigration officer leads them first to this blog, and then to reject my entry into the country - based on posts such as the last one.
So, that post and others like it may either be heavily edited or gone completely should I ever become paranoid about such things.
And another thing: Quality, not quantity. That's this blog's new motto. Blog when it matters, not for the sake of it.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/11/2004 12:42:00 am || ||
Monday, August 09, 2004
The Harsh RealityI had a great weekend. A challenging weekend. The sort of weekend you wish didn't have to end. Instead, here I am back in the real world. Back where the strength of spoken good intentions are tested and tried with ferocity. It seems lately mine have buckled at the first hurdle.
I spent half an hour alone considering this question: "If God really got a hold of your life what sort of person would you be in ten years time, and what steps would you need to take now to get there?" I drew a blank. I have no idea what will happen in that time, can't imagine what God would do in my life, and so was at a loss to think how I head towards that nebulous future 'me'. When these three words came to me I could think of nothing else as they were repeated over and over in my head.
Acknowledge your God.It's a simple enough line but it is powerful, and packed with more meaning for me than I care to try and begin to describe here, if I could at all. The statement stands.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/09/2004 10:52:00 pm || ||
Friday, August 06, 2004
WastedI have no university classes on Fridays, and had vowed to spend today cleaning my room. As we all know, a clean room is a necessity for effective studying.
Instead, I've spent all day reading blogs and listening to music. I have actually done two loads of washing which, while necessary, merely clears a pile in the corner. It does not do much for the cleanliness of the room. That's the only activity which could be said to resemble productivity in the last 8 hours. Unfortunately one of those loads is still in the machine, which may cancel out the first, thus rendering me completely unproductive.
As Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons says in Treehouse of Horror VIII,
CBG walks along the road reading a comic bookSo I'm going to post this and go hang some clothes on the line. Have a good weekend.
CBG: But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills, you're from two different worlds.
(CBG sees missile approaching)
CBG: Oh, I've wasted my life.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/06/2004 04:33:00 pm || ||
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Emotional FarewellOne of my sisters left the country to return to London on Monday. She's been back in Australia for about 10 months after four or five years in London. During those five years she visited me once while I was living in the US, and I saw her twice in London.
I drove her to the airport at about 5.30 Monday morning. Nothing of great importance was said during the 30 minute trip. I pulled up at the 'dropoff and pickup only' zone, we unloaded her bags, gave each other a quick hug and said, "Well....see ya."
And that was that. I drove away as she walked into the terminal. I have no idea when I will see her again. We're an emotional bunch...
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/05/2004 08:02:00 am || ||
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
MooloolabaI think that's how it's spelt. I spent all day today at the beach. At Mooloolaba to be precise. What did I do? Well.
I lay in the sun on the beach. At one point I read some of a book while laying in the sun. Sometime later I walked along the beach in the sun. The water was cold (after all, it is winter in Australia!) so instead of going for a swim, I lay down in the sun again. I had lunch while laying in the sun. At one point I pulled out my hackey sack and kicked it around for a while. I enjoyed that, but after a whole day of lying in the sun found it a little tiring. I put the hackey sack away and lay back down in the sun. Then I came home.
My point? I achieved absolutely nothing today. But know this, I achieved absolutely nothing while laying on the beach in the sun, and that is what makes today so special.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/04/2004 11:55:00 pm || ||
Possum HideoutOur yard has had some serious pruning in the last six months. Trees at the back and front of the house used to overhang the roof, much to the delight of travelling possums. They must be quite heavy, possums, because I could have sworn a small child or an ROUS (Rodent Of Unusual Size) had just flung itself onto my tin roof as it alighted from a tree branch. As a single possum sauntered overhead, it's claws clacking on tin, the noise was quite bearable. If it met another possum coming the other way, it was not. The roof sounded like it was being peeled back as World War III would erupt directly above me.
As I said, we had the trees cut back. For several weeks the possums could be heard on the front porch of a night time, wandering aimlessly past where only a stump remained of the tree they once knew. My sister, who would spend hours reading a book under the porch, would often come face-to-face with a possum looking for answers. If only they could speak English, or my sister could speak Possum, maybe they would have found the enlightenment they sought. Instead they could only stare each other down. Sometimes another possum would come by to see where the highway had gone and another scuffle would break out. "At least we still had fighting," the old timers would tell younger possums in generations to come.
This all to tell you the following. Last Sunday we were preparing for a large family gathering at our house. On opening the barbeque on the front porch to clean it, my father found a possum and its child huddled together. I imagine the best time to remove a possum and its child would be when they are relatively calm. Wanting to show us, he let go of the lid, which promptly slammed shut. With possums still inside. On opening the lid again, the child had decided the safest option was going to be behind its mother, who had unfortunately taken a death grip on the grill and backed up as far as she could go.
I think the "If I don't move, they won't see me" defence was also in use as she froze, motionless, likely with her ears still ringing. It was either that, or preparing to launch at her nearest attacker. I feared the latter and backed away.
The baby didn't have the nerve and, after not too long, freaked out and bolted, taking a running leap off the end of the porch*. The mother had to be rolled out of the barbeque as it was obvious the motionless approach was going to be played all the way to the end.
Barbeque cleaned out, fired up and cooking for 30 people in no time. Last I saw, the possums were still holed up under the porch. They're very territorial, and I'm guessing we'll find them back in the barbeque at some stage.
*No possums were harmed in this real-life event. The heroic leap was about 3 feet from porch to a cushioned landing on bark mulch
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/04/2004 11:09:00 pm || ||
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Iraqi Casualties - A SurveyIRAQI WAR CASUALTIES, a survey.
Directed by Raed Jarrar and involving 150 volunteers.
March 21 - July 31, 2003.
- Deaths: 2081
- Injuries: 5535
Please don't forget us.Refugees in Australia, civilian deaths in Iraq, black Sudanese deaths in Darfur, homeless people in your city, the disadvantaged everywhere, your next door neighbour - emotion, hurt, suffering, heartbreak and pain - just like you. Care about them. Don't forget them.
We are humans.
quoted by Julian Burnside QC at a public meeting in Brisbane's City Hall last night
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 8/03/2004 08:39:00 pm || ||