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Dorkapollooza is done… July 31, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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So, I made it. I am officially the big 3 0.

Had an absolutely huge and awesome weekend.

DC is a good place to be for a 30 year old and I am full of hope and expectation for the next 30 years.

Beer, Tequila, Deadwood, Beer, Nachos, Guacamole, Beer and McDonalds.

What more could a guy want for a birthday weekend?

Thanks to all the emails and best wishes!

Time to recover at work…..

Me? Tagged? Cool! July 27, 2006

Posted by Mick in Memes.
6 comments

I always read meme’s and sometimes I do them, but rarely (if ever??) have I been tagged to do one.

So..thanks Steph!

So here ’tis. 4 things….of stuff…..that i’ve done….and stuff..

1) Four jobs I’ve had.
Pushing trolleys at Supabarn
Library Officer (stacking shelfs is so fun)
Consular Officer (sounds good. But not so glamourous)
Indoor Cricket Umpiring

2) Four movies I could watch over and over.
Pulp Fiction
The Goonies
Happy Gilmore
Star Wars 4, 5 and 6

3) Four places I have lived.
Sydney – Hills District
Sydney – Hawkesbury
Canberra – Belconnen
Washington DC, USA

4)Four TV shows I love to watch
The Simpsons
Family Guy
Futurama
Scrubs

5) Four places I have been on vacation holiday
Gold Coast
Merimbula
New York City
Bendigo

6) Four webshites I visit daily
http://www.nrl.com
abc.net.au/news
http://www.bloglines.com
gmail.com

7) Four of my favourite foods
Mexican (Burritos, Fajitas, Nachos, Enchiladas…..mmmm…food)
Fried Chicken (it’s yummy because of that dripping fat)
Home-made pizza
Roast pork WITH crackling and apple sauce

8) Four places I would rather be
Watching a live band
Watching sport (tv or live)
Watching the sun set
Drinking with mates

9)Four fave CD’s (this hour)
Appetite for Destruction/Use Your Illusion I & II – Guns n’ Roses (combined for sheer joy..)
Times Up – Living Colour
Unit – Regurgitator
Tear of Thought – The Screaming Jets

10) Four people I tag!
techne
Enny
Zoe
Jill

20 things that I am glad I did in my 20’s July 25, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Memes.
1 comment so far

As my 20’s near their end, I am starting to get really introspective about the last decade and what I have done.

I am proud of my achievements in my 20’s and that’s why I am happy to move on to my 30’s. I know that quite often people reach 30 and wonder what they have done with their lives.

This list is not just a list of things I’m always proud of, but more things that I am glad I have experienced.

1. Had Kids
2. Got Married
3. Lived and worked in another country
4. Worked in public, private and contracting companies
5. Checked out the view from the Empire State Building

New York Skyline from Empire State Building

6. Watched my sister grow up and use her amazing artistic talents
7. Watched my other sister get married, have kids and be happy
8. Ran a marathon
8. Bought myself a laptop and an iPod
9. Started a blog (or 2)
10. Bought a house (or 2)
11. Tasted Chipotle (that stuff is goooooood)
12. Saw the Socceroos qualify for their first World Cup in 32 years.
13. Gained a qualification piece of paper (for what it was worth)
14. Discovered that being happy is more important than nearly anything else
15. Learnt that no matter where I go, Australia will always be home (Thanks Peter Allen)
16. Saw lots of live music. From the Big Day Out, to They Might be Giants in Washington. I just love live music.
17. Watched a game of football with my son. (when he’s awake, for at least 10 minutes)
18. Seen enough of the world and learnt enough about people to be able to form my own opinions on what is wrong and right in this world.
19. Met some of the best people you’d ever want to meet who will hopefully remain lifelong friends.
20. Not died.

Time to start thnking about the next 10 year and what they will bring….

Coming soon: A list of the 30 things I want to do in my 30’s!

One more week in my 20’s… July 22, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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Bah!

Life doesn’t get much easier over here, but hey, at least I managed to make it back safe and sound.

Eventually.

After the plane coming in from Sydney was 2 1/2 hours late, and then we waited another 90 minutes on the tarmac, I finally made it from the East to the West of this big _____ land. (insert your own descriptor here)

4 1/2 hours later (which was fast) we landed at JFK. 2 hours later I made it out and on my way to Manhattan. Missed the last Chinatown bus by about 15 minutes ($20 bus trip to DC). Headed to the Port Authority to catch the last Greyhound to DC. At 2am, I was on my way back and 4 1/2 hours later with little or no sleep I arrived in DC and went straight to work.

It was probably Wednesday before I actually felt human again.

I have checked out a few places to live, and then met up with a cute Labradoodle today that I will be dogsitting in late August. I think I will probably hold off finding a place until after that, but it’s getting frustrating not having a place to stay.

In other news, a week out from my 30th, and THANKS to my little sister (who did a damn good job cutting my hair), I discovered white/grey hairs in my side-burns.

I was looking forward to turning 30!! πŸ˜›

What I did on my holidays…. July 15, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
2 comments

Aaah Australia.

This is the first time that I have had a holiday back in my own country, and wow. I wanted to stay πŸ™‚

Had a fantastic time with the kids. After being there a day it felt like I had never left and they seemed to have fun with me being there. I did have doubts at one stage as to whether it would be harder for them to see me and then for me to leave again, but I am sure I did the right thing now. Seeing them during the year should break up the time a bit easier for them I hope.

So, yeah we stayed down at Lake Eucembene for a couple of nights. It snowed pretty heavily on the first night and we drove up to Mt Selwyn so the kids could have some fun on the toboggan slopes. Unfortunately the snow cover was pretty light-on, but aaah for the wonder of Snow Making machines!

Lake Eucembene appears to have become a mud bog now. It is really really low. They seem to be pumping all the water out for some reason.

Full Moon over the drying up Lake Eucembene

I knew I was in the high country when we saw cows grazing on the side of the road on the way to where we were staying. These cows just wouldn’t get off the road. I was scared to honk cause they had big arse horns…. My daughter decided to name it “Cow World”. See cows, walking down the road! Eating Grass! Getting the way of people! Almost as hot a ticket as Disneyland πŸ™‚

Speaking of Disneyland, I am in that territory right now as I type this.

I have just spent the day in “LA LA Land”, Los Angeles. I did a ‘Grand Tour’ of the city and it was totally worth the $58. The highlight was probably Venice Beach.

Me at Venice beach

I really really liked the feel of the place and the weather was beautiful. I wanted to get a shot of a hot girl roller-skating down the boardwalk, but only managed to find a skateboarder….

Skeg Girl at Venice Beach

Click on the image to check out some other shots from my day in LA.

I have heard a lot of bad comments about Los Angeles, but I must say that I really enjoyed the place. It is definitely different to anywhere else I have been in the states so far, and our tour guide, “Jack”, was extremely knowledgeable about the city and gave the bus load of tourists some great information. He impressed on us that the town is really run by 9 different Billionaires (7 of them producers), now that the richest person in LA, Aaron Spelling, has passed away.

Money rules this town, which is little wonder seeing as though the State of California is something like No. 4 in the list of highest GDP’s in the whole world by itself.

It’s a pity I was only here for a day, because i would love to go to Universal Studio, Hermosa Beach, Malibu, San Diego and up to Mulholland Drive. (speaking of which, I watched the movie on the plane on the way here and boy was that a weird-arse movie. Go David Lynch!)

I am running on about 4 hours sleep for the last 48 hours, so I am thinking it is time to get some shut eye. I fly across the country in the morning to NYC before bussing back to DC tomorrow evening. it’s going to be a long day!

Then back to work on Monday…..*sigh*

“If he’s going to do things like that, maybe it’s a good thing he is retiring…” July 9, 2006

Posted by Mick in Sport.
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Commentator Martin Tyler’s comments after Zinedine Zidane headbutted the chest of Marco Materazzi.

Crazy stuff this game. It’s all done and dusted and in penalties again.

I found myself switching allegiances during the game. I wanted Zidane to go out a winner, and then when he did ‘that’, I started to ‘root’ for the Italians.

In the end, I guess I didn’t really care. I just wanted my fantasy team players to get goals!

So Italy win…. At least Australia can say we were beaten by the eventual winners of the tournament.

I still think we matched them in our game and could have very easily won.

July 4, 2006

Posted by Mick in Rants.
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From Crikey today:

The Australian marks US Independence Day today with an op-ed piece by Barry Hing on anti-Americanism, which he describes as a “rising tide” of “bigotry”:

“There is a ferocity with which Americans are being lampooned, and it can apply to anything – accents, food, entertainment, social graces, fashion, weight, as well as their supposed lack of intelligence and insensitivity to other cultures. … [W]hile it’s become perfectly acceptable to poke fun at Americans for their s-xual attitudes or religiosity, it’s deemed as highly inappropriate and even bigoted to subject other nationalities to the same jabs.”

Hing has got a point. Anti-American sentiment is sometimes associated with extreme ignorance; it can easily descend to the “banal and crude”. But I think his argument depends on forgetting the context in which America is criticised.

The assumption is that the US is just another country; that jibes against Americans are on a par with Irish jokes or anti-Asian prejudice.

But the US really is different: it’s a global hegemon of unprecedented power. What America does – and therefore what America is – affects everyone, in a way that just isn’t true of any other country. When worrying trends take hold in America, from obesity to reality TV to fundamentalist Christianity, they’re a legitimate matter of concern to the rest of us.

Although Hing pays lip service to the idea that his target is different “from plain and reasonable criticism of US foreign policy and attitudes”, the effect (and probably the intent) of demonising anti-Americanism is to dampen or discredit that criticism. Just ask Mark Latham, whose views on the American alliance were ignored because the commentariat succeeded in branding them as “anti-American”.

Certainly, critics of America should try to become more well-informed. But if they do, one of the things that they would learn is that the attitudes Hing thinks of as anti-American – fierce dissent from the current state of American culture and policy – are actually held by many citizens of the US.

They think of themselves as patriotic Americans; they just dislike where their country is going. We should be able to share that dislike without being labelled as bigots.

I’m back in Australia by the way. Not loving the 20 hour flying time, but am loving the quiet, the clean and fresh air of Canberra.

Also loving seeing family, friends and Aussie sport.

It’s amazing how much I have missed the Aussie accent in everyday living. Yeah, I work with Aussies and hear lots of accents during work, but I love hearing it over the tv, and the mall loudspeakers, and those people chatting beside me at the airport.

Makes me remember that home is always best.

I included that piece from Crikey because I thought it was interesting to read another point of view on the ‘anti-Americanism’ that has been a part of Australian culture for a while now. But the last line is true. People just don’t like where the country has been heading this last 6 years in particular. Coincidence that it coincides with a certain Wanker in charge?

I mean, there’s also been a vein of the Anti-American feelings, but before we would just laugh at their medieval laws and stupid spellings. Now it’s harder to laugh about world oil ownership and lack of freedom to live and speak. So now we get more serious about our feelings because things are a lot more serious in general.

Anyway…enough of that…Happy Indepence Day to my American friends. It’s a little sad that I miss it, but to be honest I am much more glad that I am here in sunny cold Canberra.