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Lara’s Disappearing Trick

She’s a clever one!

 

 

A Father’s Day Poem

It’s not flying a plane
Or fixing a drain. 
It’s not being in court 
Or playing pro sport.
 
It’s not driving a truck
Or earning big bucks.
It’s not being a chemist
Or a journalist. 
 
It’s not teaching school kids
Or auctioning bids. 
It’s not running down crims
Or fixing of rims. 
 
It’s not cooking with food
Or surfing with dudes. 
It’s not driving a cab
Or science in a lab. 
 
It’s not going to the moon
Or making wooden spoons
It’s not writing a book
Or styling a look. 
 
These jobs are all fair
But they just don’t compare
The best job I ever had
Is being a dad. 
 
By Jack and Lara 

Merry Christmas from Lara and I

Lara and I have fallen in love with the Michael Buble Christmas album.  Here, we cover his version of Jingle Bells.  Enjoy!

 

 

Using My Voice

For years a lot of people have told me I have a great speaking voice and imparticular a voice for radio.  Seeing as I already have a head for radio it makes a lot of sense. 

I happen to think I slur too much when I speak and don’t pronounce my words properly and am quite monotonic so in 2001 I did a term at the Max Rowley Media Academy when I lived in Sydney which I thought would give me some radio training but also perhaps help me with my Sylvester Stallone style slur.  I didn’t really learn a lot while I was there.  To be honest, I was freaked out by the other students who were so much better than I was and I just didn’t think I would ever be able to achieve their standards so I didn’t bother enrolling for further terms.  I should have because in all fairness, those other students were well into their 4th and 5th terms and had learnt the skills along the way.  A couple of days ago, I came across some cassettes of these recordings I did.  As soon as I can find a cassette player (what are they?) I’ll take a listen and see if I was any good or not because I honestly don’t remember.

I moved to Adelaide the following year and in 2004 I entered a competition on SAFM called the SAFM Sports Rookie.  Essentially the breakfast crew of Milly and Lehmo were looking for a full time sports reporter to join the breakfast crew and read the sports news.  In addition the sports rookie would also attend sports press conferences, sporting matches etc where they would be given the appropriate media passes etc.  And to do this they would be paid $50,000 a year which in 2004 was a great wage with a lot of perks.  I was lucky enough to be a finalist and one morning I was the Sports Rookie and I did my best to try and win it.  I didn’t but I had a lot of fun writing my own sports stories and reading them on air with Milly and Lehmo. 

You can hear a snippet of that morning here. (Note I officially changed my name in 2009 so hence the reason they are calling me someone else)

Not a lot happened with forging a radio career after that.  I’d occassionally call up and talk on talk back radio but that was only for seconds at a time.  Then in September 2011, I was invited to talk on air with Louise Walton on a community radio station in Port Macquarie.  My good mate, Craig and I were on a road trip to Sydney and his friend, Louise invited us to stop in for an hour chat on her weekly Friday afternoon radio program.  So we did and we had a great time.  I don’t have a podcast of that show but it got me interested in radio again and Louise mentioned that perhaps I should do some volunteer radio somewhere.  I think that is a great idea and I will pursue that idea in 2012.

This week, I was fortunate enough to be asked to be the “Token Bloke” on ABC Local radio station, 612 am here in Brisbane.  This is a short, sharp 10 minute segment where a different guy each morning chats with morning fill in announcer Stacey Milner and two of her producers, Anne Debert and Amanda Dell.  It was fun and I really felt comfortable with the mic and I thought I contributed well to the topics of the morning.   Have a listen….

What do you think?  Sound ok?

So now what?  I had a few comments on Facebook and Twitter that it sounded good and that I should pursue a career in radio.  Is that people just being nice or do I really have a voice for radio?  And what if I do have a voice for radio.  That doesn’t mean I have the ability to be able to host my own show, especially a daily one that goes for 3 hours.  I would run out of material within the first week.  I’ve been bugging Kelly Higgins-Devine via Twitter to allow me a spot on her show once a week during the footy season to talk all things Brisbane Lions as we both love our embattled AFL club.  So far she is declining my suggestion but I hope I am wearing her down. 

Or do I take this seriously and try and get my own weekly, one hour show on a small radio station here in Brisbane.  What would I talk about for an hour a week?  I would love to pitch the idea of talking all things Brisbane Lions and Brisbane Broncos and have fans call in with their thoughts on the previous weekends games or the upcoming matches.  That would be fun and it is something I know a lot about being the avid lover of both codes.  Or perhaps I could talk all things entertainment like the latest movies and TV shows as I love both. 

The ABC’s Spencer Howson suggested I volunteer for 4ZZZ and see where that takes me.  I think that is a bloody good idea.  If I can’t get a gig on the radio somewhere, then perhaps I should just podcast.  But if I was to podcast I would want to podcast with someone else.  No one wants to hear me have a one way chat for an hour each week.  It’s gotta be fun and engaging.  I’ll work on it over the summer and I’ll keep you all informed of my progress.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Jack

Daydreaming

When I was a kid in high school and while sitting in the amphitheatre for school assembly, I use to imagine the school was getting attacked by terrorists and it was up to me to save the day.

I remember how I would do it and the small spaces I would climb through and the ledges I would jump off to get to my position of advantage to take out the bad guys, one by one.

I can’t recall whether these daydreams started before or after I had seen Die Hard for the first time.  Most likely before as Die Hard came out when I was in year 11 and I am sure I had rescued the school and all of the teachers and students a hundred times before then.

It was definitely before Sean Astin saved his school from terrorists in 1991’s Toy Soldiers, which is well before he became a hobbit.  I still think that the producers of that movie tapped into my daydreams and stole my idea, though I didn’t have Louis Gossett Jr. in my daydreams which is a shame because he was so cool back in the 80’s and 90’s.

So back to reality and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side of the fence you’re on, I have never had to face off against terrorists and save the day.  I did once chase down a bag snatcher which you can read about here, but other than that, my heroic days have been few and far between.

I wonder though what I would do in such circumstances.  Have I seen too many movies where the good guys win and save the day? Does this really happen in real life?  How many reports do we see on the news where the day hasn’t been saved?

The attacks on 9/11 and Bali prove that sometimes terrorists get what they want and even if John McClane or Casey Ryback or Jack Bauer were real and available they probably would have been able to do bugger all about it.

Yet we do hear of good news stories where terrorists do get stopped but it is generally by the agencies responsible for keeping us safe.  The Mosman Bomb Threat is one recent example even though it was only an act of terrorism against one person.

I would like to think that if there was no one else specialised to do it, that I would stand up and fight against anyone trying to cause harm against my fellow man.  Perhaps if more people stood up and said no to crime, the world might be a little better place to live in.

Luckily terrorism in my neck of the woods is rare and we live in relative peace in Australia.  We have criminals as does every society but I think the major crime saving days will still be on the big screen with the score conducted by James Horner or Hans Zimmer and the credits roll at the end.

I’m not ready to prove that what I think is a reality of me saving the day in my mind is actually a one way ticket to that giant bug fluffy cloud in the sky with my last thought being, “you dickhead, did you really think you could make a difference!”

But if that day comes though, I will try and make that difference.  For now, I’m quite content to daydream about it.

What about you.  Did you ever daydream of battling terrorists at school or have you had these daydreams as an adult?  Would love to hear from you.

The Last Big Move

Today I was driving along and I ended up driving behind a hearse.  Inside the hearse was a coffin and I would assume that inside the coffin was a body.

It got me to thinking about a stand up bit that Jerry Seinfeld has done in the past where he is talking about boxes.  Essentially the bit details that we use boxes for moving and that eventually we all end up in a box and it is our last big move.

I thought about the person in the box a few metres in front of me and I wondered that whether in their final breath, in their final thought if they were able to look back on their life and be satisfied that they had done everything possible to make it a good life. 

Did this person live with regrets or did they have a happy life?  Did they achieve everything they wanted to achieve or did they sacrifice their life to enrich the lives of his or hers family?  Did they visit the places they wanted to see, try the foods they wanted to try and do the things they wanted to do or did they settle?

Settling is ok, so long as it brings you happiness.  What isn’t ok is when you settle to please everyone except yourself.

Did this person tolerate instead of doing?  Did they exist instead of living?  Did they like instead of love?  Did they sacrifice instead of being selfish a little bit?

I’ll never know about the person in the box in front of me on their last big move, and eventually I will be the one in the box as well, but what I don’t want when drawing my final breath and thinking my final thought and that thought is, what if?

I want no regrets at that time.  I want to know that I did everything I wanted to do and I did those things for me.  Not for anyone else.  Is that selfish?  Perhaps.  But what is more selfish is living an existence when those around you are not happy because you’re not happy. 

The old saying a happy wife equals a happy life is true but what about a happy life equals a happy life.  For you and for those who choose to be on the journey with you.  If you are happy then you are more than likely to influence the people who are around you and make them happy too.  Don’t settle.  Don’t change unless you want to, but live your life with no regrets.

The grass is sometimes greener on the other side.  Not all the time but you’ll never know if you don’t have a look.  We also only get one shot at life. One chance. There is no do-over.  There is no repeat.  One chance to make a difference.  One chance to be happy.  Life is too short.

So take a peep inside my coffin when I eventually undertake my last big move and I hope you see a man who lived his life the best he could and he did all he wanted and was happy.  If you do see that man in the coffin then know that he died happy and with no regrets and that he did the best he could not just for himself, but for everyone he loved as well.

Let’s just make sure that peep inside the coffin and the last big move is a long, long time away.  In the meantime, it’s time to start living with no regrets.  Won’t you join me?

Photos and Prostitutes

I bought a decent DSLR Camera to take better pics of the kids.  I was losing memories through crappy point and shoot cameras. So I spent some money and last year bought a half decent DSLR and for more than a year have left it on Auto for every single shot.  I want to learn to take better pics and while auto is still great there are so many more possibilities on manual so recently I have started taking photos with the settings on manual and using my tripod. 

This is probably the best photo I have ever taken. 

This shot was taken with my Nikon D5000, mounted on my tripod just after the sun had disappeared from the cool, winter sky.

I love the colours and the reflection on the glass smooth Brisbane River which most people will remember was a raging torrent of debris strewn water during the great flood of January, 2011.

It was an interesting evening and I took close to 150 photos trying to take the perfect picture by playing with the settings. 

The cliff top was very busy with people walking home from work or running or power walking along the scenic route. Being the sociable guy I am I was saying G’day to people who made eye contact with me as they walked past.  Most people were friendly and said hi back.  Two people decided to stop for a chat.

The Russian

I spoke with the Russian twice that evening.  The first time I was already talking on the phone but as I was using my earpiece with the phone in my pocket this wasn’t obvious.  He proceded to ask me a few questions about the camera.  He asked me what it was and I replied a Nikon D5000.  He knows his cameras and he asked what the difference was between the D5000 and the D3000.  Not remembering at the time I replied with 2000!  I explained I was on the phone and he continued on his very merry way.  It was then I remembered that the key difference was the D5000 had a video camera option (which I have never used).

He came back about 15 minutes later and seeing I was off the phone he had a lot to say.  Most of which I cannot understand but I am sure it had something to do with photography, vodka and a nuclear submarine.  I’m not kidding about the submarine.  He was very friendly though and we had a good chat.

The Irish Lass

About 5 minutes after the Russian left, this woman made eye contact with me and I said G’day.  She stopped and said hello and it was immediately obvious that she was Irish.  I made note of this to her and said welcome to Australia.  She proceeded to tell me that coming to Australia was at the top of her bucket list and she was happy she had now crossed it off.  She was now a full resident and had been here for a few years.

I estimated her age at mid to late 30’s.  She was very well presented, dressed in a power suit and wore a small amount of jewellery.  She had short hair and little make up – that I could tell in the darkening night – and spoke very well.  She asked me a few questions about the photos I was taking and had a look at some.  She seemed quite impressed.  As she was going through the photos I asked her what else was on her bucket list. 

The order might be wrong but essentially here was her top 3.

1.  Have sex with a woman

2.  Have a threesome

3.  Have a gang bang

She then told me that all 3 items had been completed. 

I was speechless.  Probably not what you tell random strangers on the cliff top at Kangaroo Point.  I have a trusting face and a bung knee so she probably thought I was safe enough.  We started talking about work and she asked me what I did and I told her – kind of – I generally don’t tell strangers exactly where I work or what I do.  I asked her what she did and she told me she was a ‘sex worker’.

“A prostitute?” I asked.

“I don’t like that term”, she replied quickly.

I thought about it for a few seconds and taking into account her clothes and appearance, I asked her if she was a high class escort.  She confirmed it.

During the next 20 minutes or so she took 3 phone calls from clients on one of her 3 mobile phones.  Wanna know how much she charges?  Fine, I’ll tell you.

Half hour = $150   Full hour = $200   All Night = $1,000 – extra for fetishes etc

She would describe herself to each person and it seemed to change along with the rates depending on each call.  She was a size 18 and all the other dimensions I don’t remember.  She then blew me away – no, not like that – when she told me she 48.  She certainly didn’t look like it and she didn’t appear to have had any work done.  She was confident and very down to earth. 

She had a lot more to say.  Most of which isn’t publishable here but the whole time we were talking she was eating her thai take away and drinking water.  If she hadn’t have said she was a sex worker I would have not even guessed that was her profession.  She was certainly no Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  I was expecting fish nets and neons, not a power suit.

So between a camera loving Russian and a high class escort Irishwoman I took a bloody good photo or two. 

It was a surreal experience.

I hope you like the picture.