Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hot hot hot

The next four days are all forecast to be 40 or 41 degrees C (104-106F). Ugh!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Unwanted :: me, by employers - or so it seems.

  2. You’d better :: give me a job.

  3. Woman :: yoooou neeee-eeed.......loooooooooooooove

  4. Weighed :: and measured

  5. Upright :: piano

  6. I feel :: disheartened

  7. Ill :: Licence to

  8. It’s like :: this

  9. Poor man :: recession

  10. Great :: balls of fire

from here

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. Oh, I am so broke!

2. I'm going through changes, big and little.

3. During my holiday at Phillip Island, I took over 700 photographs.

4. Venus Williams lost in the second round!; are you kidding me??? It's true!

5. Right now I'd like to be back at Phillip Island.

6. My camera is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching Federer V Safin on TV (Australian Open), tomorrow my plans include watching the tennis and Sunday, I want to watch some more tennis!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen beach and ocean shots from Phillip Island last week.

Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Reflection, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Shot - Lee Child

I used to sell a lot of Lee Child books in the bookshop so when I picked this up, down at Phillip Island last week, I was expecting something a whole lot better.
Five people are shot dead by a sniper as they leave the office to go home. Evidence is easily gathered and points overwhelmingly to an ex-military sniper. A seemingly open and shut case. Except it's a set up, of course. Jack Reacher, Child's main character in most of his books, smells a rat and follows it up. The way the accused is exonerated and the baddies dealt with is so unrealistic that I ended up not liking this book at all. The first half, as the story unfolds, is quite good, but the second half, as the story is resolved, is ridiculous. Pfft.

Phillip Island

I had a very relaxing time down on the island. The beaches down there really are fantastic. The surf beaches along one side are huge, especially at Woolomai where we were staying. They're not really suitable for swimming as the current is very strong but it's okay to get your feet wet on most days. The other side of the island is where the sheltered, swimming beaches are. It doesn't take much time to get from one side to the other so it's no problem.
The house we rented has only one bedroom and that was the preserve of Ma'n'Pa. The kids, Georgia, Holly and Georgia's friend, Soul, shared the little cabin on the property, except for when Paula and Phil were there for a few days. Clare and I had tents, though Clare ended up sleeping on the futon in the lounge most nights.
I nearly got blown away one night - very strong winds coming off the ocean. I was getting seasick :)
Most days consisted of a stroll along the surf beach - just a few hundred yards from the house - a trip to one of the other beaches for a proper swim, relaxing around the house reading or doing the jigsaw puzzle. In the evening we'd stroll the beach again with the dogs (allowed on the beach between 7am-10am and 5pm-8pm) and then settle down to a game of cards.
Thursday was mum's birthday. My brother and his family came down for the day and we all took mum out for dinner. I was cursing that I left the camera at home that night because there were half a dozen black swans on the water, just across the road from the restaurant. I went back the next night to see if I could snap a few pics but they weren't there :(
On the Saturday night I took Georgia and Soul to the carnival that operates on the island over the summer period. There was a great fireworks display as well. I didn't take the camera with me so, sadly, no photos of fireworks. I still don't understand what possessed me but Georgia and I rode the Kamikaze. A cage that holds about 12 people, well and truly strapped in, that swings up and back and then does a complete circle or sometimes just stops at the top and swings back in the opposite direction. I screamed. A lot.
I took over 700 photos for the week. Some are good enough to post. Unfortunately there were no spectacular sunsets like last year. But, I think I got a few reasonable pics that I'll share - mostly on flickr, but I'll put a few here too.

Patterns in the sand

Saturday, January 10, 2009

See you all in a week or so

See you all in a week or so, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

I'm off to Phillip Island for a week and a bit. Catch up with you when I get back. Take care all.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Birthdays 9/1/09

Two people born on the 9th of January. Two people who are supremely talented and creative.

Holly turns 23 today - my niece. She's off to England at the end of the month for a 12 month stint.

Happy Birthday Holly

Jimmy Page turns 65 today. Sometimes I'm amazed that he's still alive. So is he probably :) (Photo nicked from Ross Halfin)


Friday Fill-ins

1. It's January; it's summer!

2. The beach is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like bugger the cork, just give me the wine!

4. Food is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to be ourselves.

6. I would like to have my own home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being packed and organised, tomorrow my plans include celebrating Holly's birthday and Sunday, I am heading off to Phillip Island for the week!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

When Giants Walked The Earth

A biography of Led Zeppelin - Mick Wall.

I was given this for Christmas (thanks Paula). I'd already had a look at it in a shop but was undecided as to whether to buy it or not. ($35 is a lot of money to me at the moment!)
Mick Wall is a music journalist and has written quite a few music biographies over the years. This is his latest.
I was already familiar with a lot of the content, given that Led Zeppelin has been a favourite of mine since I first heard them back in 1969. A lot of the detail was new to me though. It's not a designed-to-shock book in the manner of Hammer of the Gods but it does dwell a fair bit on the more controversial aspects of Led Zeppelin - the sex, the drugs, the "black magic". It dwells mostly, however, on the music - the most interesting aspect of the band as far as I'm concerned.
Actually, the chapter on Jimmy Page's interest in the occult, and Aleister Crowley in particular, was the most interesting chapter in the book. I've never really understood what Crowley was all about and Wall presents his philosophies in a clear, concise way. What Jimmy Page's philosophies are is not so clear as he has steadfastly refused to speak about them, beyond the odd brief statement here and there which really shed no great light on the subject.
There's quite a lot of info on the formation of the band, none of which is new, and I found the book to be rather lopsided in that respect. The later years whizz by quite fast in comparison.
The quotes from the band members and various hangers-on, scattered throughout the book, are mostly of the short and sweet type. There's no real in-depth interview material, which is a shame. I would have liked to read more of that rather than someone else's interpretations after the fact.
The structure of the book is odd. At regular intervals Wall inserts italicised "first person" narratives (usually between one and three pages at a time). These are supposed to be presenting the viewpoint of a particular band member and are written in what one assumes is the particular spoken style of whichever person is "speaking" in that passage. What I found most odd about these passages was that they pretty much all go back to the days immediately preceeding the formation of the band. This makes the overall narrative quite disjointed as the reader is constantly being made to flip back to the mid 1960s, regardless of where the rest of the book is up to. I think Wall is trying to present some sort of psychological analysis of Jimmy, Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Paul Jones and Peter Grant (their manager) in these bits. Wall claims that these passages are based on thorough research but he also makes it clear beforehand that they are a product of his own imagination and are not to be taken as the actual words of Led Zeppelin. It's a strange strategy and one I found to be quite distracting after a while.
The actual story of Led Zeppelin is fascinating. A band that came from nowhere in 1968 to become the biggest band in the world by 1972. They did this without a publicist, without releasing singles to gain radio airplay, without following the "usual" path. They started with lots of small gigs across Britain, Europe and the USA to promote an album that was recorded in about 10 days. It sold in the millions (as did all of their records).
It was purely and simply the music and the fans which generated the phenomenon that was Led Zeppelin. Word of mouth was the driving force. It only took one tour of the US to see them headlining the next time around.
By 1975 the band was at its peak but it was all downhill from there. It was the archetypal story of sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll. The drugs in particular had a negative effect after a while. Jimmy Page denies this, claiming the drugs were an integral part of the whole thing - creatively and recreationally. I don't think he was always really in a position to judge though, being a full-blown junkie by 1977. John Bonham seems to be the other one to have really succumbed. He was an alcoholic anyway and, supplemented with copious amounts of cocaine and heroin, he apparently became quite an unpleasant person in the later years. He ultimately died in September 1980 after a day of heavy drinking.
The band called it quits as a result. John Bonham, for all his faults, was an awesome drummer, probably the best there's been, and he just couldn't be replaced.
There's a brief, final chapter on life after Led Zeppelin which brings things right up to 2008.
Jimmy Page, it should be noted, no longer takes drugs, drinks only alcohol-free beer and doesn't even smoke cigarettes anymore. He turns 65 tomorrow.

What's on my bed

Saw this meme over at Kwizgiver's. It's a long one but I'm just going to do the first bit which is -
What's on my bed?
Well, apart from the obvious sheet, doona, pillows (4), dressing gown and pyjamas there is:
Jimmy Page (sadly, just the 7 inch plastic version, not the real thing)
Jimmy's two guitars (again, sadly, not real)
mobile phone - which is NOT ringing with job offers :(
car keys
camera (sans battery which is charging up over there)
3 books
my glasses
remote control

that's about it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Confirmation :: yes

  2. Verse :: chorus

  3. Authorize :: allow

  4. Blog :: neglected

  5. Thirty :: was a long time ago

  6. Heir :: apparent

  7. What are you doing? :: this

  8. Complaint :: objection

  9. Leave :: depart

  10. Tune :: song

from here

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Shirl :)

Happy Birthday Shirl :), originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. The world is in need of some TLC.

2. "k, I'm off to do them now" was the last thing I said.

3. I wonder when will I get a job!

4. There's a whole new set of things at the end of all things.

5. There's something to be said for good manners.

6. Somewhere else, anywhere else is where I want to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to Warburton to visit Clare and Georgia, tomorrow my plans include having no plans other than to make my way home again and Sunday, I want to take it as it comes!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Boromir's journey from Gondor to Rivendell

A 30 day photography project for this group on Flickr.