Sometimes I hear something that just rings true.
I think that this sits very nicely with what I’ve mentioned previously about Illusions by Richard Bach
Yes, that may sound like a big statement that Apple and in particular the personality of Steve Jobs and the way that it was embedded into the very DNA of Apple could have that much of an affect on me but I think it’s correct.
I first became aware of personal computers in about 1980, then missed an opportunity to us a Fairlight CMI in 1983 only to eventually buy an IBM clone 286 in 1992. All of them, as enticing as they were, couldn’t capture me. It was really simple! I’m not a geek and all the things that geeks love, (you know the beauty of code and getting under the hood of the computers), never appealed to me. I just wanted something that did the things that I wanted it to do. Unfortunately up until the advent of podcasting I hadn’t found that “thing”, that enamored me.
Once I found podcasting the next thing was to engage with it and learn. If it hadn’t been for Apple products guided by Steve and the knock on innovations of their computers that they brought to all of us I don’t think I would have been able to get over the initial steep learning curve and understand the technology enough to be able to become a podcaster.
It’s been a huge few days since we first started to realise that it looked like Brisbane would be hit by another of the cyclical floods that happen every 30 to 40 years.
Brisbane is at the end of the Brisbane River, a long, slow moving, meandering brown waterway that drains much of the country from the Great Dividing Range to the west and into the north. As noted by John Oxley as the first explorer in 1823 when he sailed upstream to where Brisbane now sits, the river has no watershed to keep the flow constant but relies on rainfall from it’s catchment. This inevitability leads to periods of low flow where the river becomes a tidal stream washing upstream on the high tide and downstream on the low tide, much like we’ve had for the last 20 years of drought. He noted from the rotting vegetation high on Spring Hill and Kangaroo Point that this natural choke between these high points must cause massive floods during high rainfall.
John Oxley is basically correct and it seem that the cycle of this flood is based on the La Nina oceanic temperature phenomena where the water temperature warms causing greater precipitation, including cyclones which can impact on Brisbane as happened in the 1974 flood. This cycle has lead to minor and more occasional major floods in 1865, 1893, 1931, 1974 and now 2011.
I remember well, as a 14 year old in Toowoomba, watching the black and white television images of the massive destruction and flooding that was the Brisbane flood of 1974, wondering what it would be like to experience that event, and yes even wondering of how exciting it might be to be involved – Now I know.
On Monday the 10 January 2011 a slow moving trough had settled over the catchment of the Brisbane River dumping rain on the already soaked area that had seen an unusually high rainfall. The long ten year drought had well and truly broken and now the dams were fall and spilling, a vast change from when there was but 25% in them just a few years ago. How good was it to now not to be on water restrictions and able to use water freely but this was getting ridiculous now, with rain soaked ground causing each new drop to run off filling the flood mitigation percentages of the dams and swelling the streams.
Then the unthinkable happened, something that no one has ever heard or seen before. My home town of Toowoomba high on the range at 340m above sea level, sat in a place where the dense moist air rose, chilled and dumped it’s contents on the escarpment and on Toowoomba itself. It was as if God had emptied a bucket on the town, filling the creeks, flash flooding the shops, sweeping away everything in it’s path including cars, shipping containers and people. Sadly two people died when they were trapped in their vehicles by this surging wall of water. This is what they had to deal with in the Toowoomba Flood
The water that was dumped on Toowoomba flows west to the Darling Downs causing flooding in many smaller towns, some for the second time in a fortnight but what happened to the east was of biblical proportions of horror. Continue reading
I recently finished on another film. This one was actually a television series called Terra Nova . The first four episodes are approved to go ahead and if successful they’ll continue to produce an entire series. It’s a sci-fi about a dystopian future that is dangerous to live in so they transport (time travel) some people to the past. Basically it’s cars, guns and dinosaurs. Plenty of action but no real substance and I think it’ll probably be a success for many reasons. One of them is the production that I saw happening and what I’ve continued to realise from my previous post about the addiction of work.
As usual the standard of work that we were all doing was outstanding. I mean everyone, all the technicians on the ground and what they were managing to achieve says a great deal about the professionalism and expertise of the person on the shop floor who puts all the stuff together for the shoot crew to work with. It’s the reason that the work is of such a high standard that I find it interesting that dispute the difficulties, the job still gets done and the production gets what it wants.
Now my caveat – I only know my one little section in the art department and I don’t have the big picture so this is just from one of the grunts in the trenches. The reason such great things are done is:
At first glance these all seem motivating and good attributes but there is a dark side.
I’m still not sure which way to feel about this and it seems that it may be becoming the standard these days within the industry as the Australian dollar strengthens and production moves away from our shores to cheaper countries but either production companies are incompetent or shrewd, in the way they manage their workforce.
Instead of planning an appropriate timeline and budget, the standard seems to be to have no time, no money but expect outstanding work as would normally be expected with proper preparation, planning and funding.
What has happened of late is we have a third of the prep time and no money to set up workshops or buy materials but production wants all the whiz-bangery that they can think of – So… “Go and make it happen, Oh, and if you have any gear at home you want to bring in feel free as you’ll need it to do your job but we won’t reimburse you as it’s what you need, thanks very much.”
The workshops are makeshift without the proper infrastructure to work efficiently and safely and no preparation or stocking of the most basic materials to create things from. Often the sheds are poorly ventilated, lit and without the necessary equipment but it’s still expected that the work is performed by the deadlines. On this production I saw some of the worst working connotations that I’ve ever seen in all my time in the industry with people performing tasks that will shorten their lives due to dust and chemicals, maybe not today or even this year but it’s accumulative and these technicians were working 12 and 16 hour days for weeks at a time. Reports of people falling asleep driving home were mentioned to me. Production wouldn’t care if someone died (and in productions overseas they have), it would just be that’s a tragic accident but the show must go on, now back to work and keep cracking the whip. The whole project is driven by the accountants with no regard for the greater cost.
It’s the same list as above but instead of looking at those points as positive attributes they are actually the shackles that bind people to the production company as wage slaves. Continue reading
Back in a previous post I mentioned that I wanted to try something, to see how it might go, just for the hell of it. To just opt out somewhat from the expectations of society. I called it a society fast, to not buy into the things that society says that you have to do.
Well that week back in March of last year went okay and my world didn’t end. I still did what needed to be done when things needed to be done and I was able to do whatever I wanted to do as I felt inspired. So I kept doing it, the society fast. Doing what I wanted to do as I wanted to do it.
And guess what? I haven’t stopped. I haven’t found the need or desire to buy back into what society says that I’m supposed to do. What am I talking about I hear you say?
I’m taking about how our Western Society says that we have to do certain things, like relationships, work, income, career, worry and stress about tomorrow and how it’s going to be when I’m old and I don’t have enough money in my retirement fund, how at my time of life I should be in this certain type of lifestyle, all of that sort of thing.
That’s why I started the society fast to have a break for just one week away from that and see what would happen and I haven’t stopped. That was 16 months ago and it has been some of the best times of my life because I’m living in the moment and just doing what is right for now and it keeps working.
Now before you think I have it easy, that’s not my point. In the last 16 months I have worked for income in an employed situation for only 6 weeks and earned $12,000. I’ve additionally done a little audio and video recording and editing work and earned another couple of thousand dollars but that is all. I have been leaning on my credit card and I’m slowly going backwards at about $1000/mth but I’m fine with that. I live a very lean life and I have everything I need and desire little more.
For a long time I was looking for something to put my attention to, some strong focus and direction that society says that you have to have to be a member of this society. That was causing me grief and one of the reason for starting this society fast, to have some chill time away from that stress. Continue reading
I’ve been very quiet these many months here on Your Story. I’ve been busy putting a few things in place, starting a new podcast and site. I have been a little bit head down getting everything done so to speak.
For two years I had wanted to sit and talk to with my uncle, Bill Kath. Recently I finally got around to recording a series of conversations with him and published them on his own site to share his Life Story with my family and anyone who may come along from the greater community.
This inspired me to start a new podcast to help explain how the average person can now record, edit and publish an audio Life Story, then share that story with family and the world if they choose.
My other podcast Your Story is a personal passion and I would love, one day to travel a lot more and record stories from around the world. For three years now I have been learning and developing the skills needed to converse and produce audio while slowly going backwards financially. With Create Your Life Story I hope to create a podcast to allow me to develop an income that will give me the ability to continue to produce Your Story while helping others to gain some of the amazing benefits that I have seen from sharing personal Life Stories.
The premise of Create Your Life Story is simple. There are people who want to capture the Life Story of someone they know or there are people who wish to record their own personal Life Story. These stories are interesting initially for family but also for the greater community, if only they can be recorded and made available, before they are lost, as has happened for all of human history.
I now have the knowledge from producing Your Story and several other versions of audio Life Stories to share with anyone who is interested in learning how easy and available it is for them to do the same.
It’s very early days but I have already produced a considerable amount of content to share that will give a lot of people a good start. I have even produced a free e-Book to help you get started.
Please come over to Create Your Life Story and if you know of anyone who may be interested in learning to record and share a life story, either their own or someone else’s, please share this information.
50 Years I’ve been here now.
50 years, 18,250 days, the same number of mornings and evenings the same number of nights asleep bar a dozen or so all-nighters. 5o years of experiences good and tough.
Yes, I would say tough but I wouldn’t say bad, although there have been some challanging times. Like when I was out of sync in my last year at school because I couldn’t do my precious wood work. That was the time to leave, just before and fortunatly as I got my apprenticeship. Or the frustration of dealing with the end of my marriage and the subsequent crash and burn that came from that. These times were tough but I wouldn’t say bad, not real bad, like some people have, some people don’t have tough lives, they have real bad lives. My life has been just challenging, requiring me to, well, suck it up and get on with it. And sometimes I’ve had the help of some wonderful people to help me through. To all of you… thanks.
So far it’s been a good life anyway I look at it. I have very good health both mental and physical and I’ve managed to do some interesting, even wonderful things. The highlights would have to be doing my apprenticeship, skydiving, building a house, my marriage to Gail, my daughter Sabina, the many wonderful relationships that I have had, the skills that I’ve gained, working on the Matrix 2&3 films, my podcast and associated travels and learnings and in recent years, the joy of tango.
If you asked me to reflect on the tough times, I’m genuinelly, mentally challenged to remember. I can remember the events but there is no emotion connected to them. I don’t feel as distressed from them that I felt at the time. It must just be my psychology but I seem to remember the good, with a joy that is hard to express and the bad times seem to fade away like a dream in the morning. Continue reading
Most people don’t think of funerals as being pleasant but on Saturday I had the good fortune to go to a great memorial service for a cousin. Malcolm Kath, just four years my senior passed away from cancer about 10 days earlier and we were under strict instructions not to not wear any suits but loud shirts, roll at least one bowl down the green at the Canungra Bowls Club and have a drink, his shout.
Mal was one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. He was kind and wanted little from others but his simple life reminded me that sometimes it’s the quite ones that have an impact far wider than the people who make all the noise. A bachelor until 50, he finally married his childhood sweetheart Marcia in 2006. At the service I saw school photos of the eight year old Mal and Marcia in the same class at school.
I remember catching up with Mal a couple of years ago and in his style he was holding his right hand out in a claw, complaining that there was something wrong with it. I asked what was the problem, to which he replied “I don’t have a beer in it”. A simple dry wit was his style but sadly his desire for beer was a life long issue and the addiction to it eventually lead him, in the last few years to loose his short term memory to the alcohol abuse condition of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This had the side benefit in his last days, which although full of pain and with difficult palliative care, he was unable to remember any of it, so he was constantly discovering how dire his circumstances were inso only living in each new moment.
I suppose this is the point of this post and what I learnt from Mal on Saturday. Things are not always as they may seem.
He was content with his life fully aware that he made the decisions that lead to all events. He lived in his moment to moment life and he accepted the consequences of those decisions and he earned great respect from his community for that and the decent person that he was. Continue reading
Have you ever noticed how people mask who they really are so they can seem more professional. Sure we do a variety of roll playing in all areas of life, partner, parent, employer or Christmas party clown but some people change profoundly from what they are in their personal life to their professional life, it’s almost like a split personality disorder.
I recently heard the when Oprah was a television news reader she modeled herself on Barbara Walters only to one day loose the persona while news reading, became her true self and the rest is history. This is the first thing that I noticed when I started watching this video but there are a lot more good ideas in this little gem that I found over at Please Feed The Animals. Enjoy 🙂
If you’ve been following this blog I’ve mentioned Eckhart Tolle several times.
To me he seems to explain in terms that we in the West understand, some of the long held wisdom of the ages. Nothing he says is new, it’s all simply a rehash of what all the great spiritual teachers have been saying for ages and I don’t think that he is anything special other than at present he is the one who has captured the minds of people who are searching. After all it’s not the messenger but the message that is important. It’s just that he is using the modern, Western systems of understanding to get the message out and he is using the modern Western mindset to explain the things that defy that very Western mindset. A very challenging task. That’s why it’s probably taken him 20 years before he published his first book, The Power of Now, as he mentions that he didn’t understand what happened to him for a long time and as he realised it he was able to then explain it, in the terms of his culture, to the advantage of we, who also live in it.
His latest book A New Earth and some of his talks get a little deep and could be somewhat overwhelming in the first instance but recently I found these three CBC interviews which I feel are a great introduction into what he is about. I’ve also recorded the audio if you just want to listen to that, the links are below each embedded YouTube clip.
Here is the Audio from Eckhart Tolle Part One