Monday, 30 October 2006

Curtain Fading Season

29 October - Daylight savings did theoretically allow me to sleep in a little later than I hoped but human traffic is much better at preventing oversleep than the more traditional kind. Great plans to perform herculean feats of organisation and labours were more sisaphian (is that right?) in the end - mostly stemming from issues directly and indirectly related to Pete's 40 hour antifamine. Couldn’t exactly work out what it was that needed to be done that day I ended up taking several large rides to one point in town and back home before realising that another journey was necessary. Ate very well and very badly throughout the day - clinched by a brilliant dinner @ an upmarket Indian place in Darling Harbour to which I arrived late, this due to the fact that I have many electronic devices with clocks in them and some automatically update to DST and some need to be manually adjusted and I ended up relying on one which I presumed was correct but which obviously wasn’t - so provind the proverb that 'a man with one sundial knows the time as does a man with two whilst a man with one clock knows the time but a man with two does not - and still the luddites are losing - I can only take solace in the fact that I am absolutely certain that I was not the only person to make a similar mistake today.

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Home stretch

27 October - Was up ridiculously early in order to ride out to Banksmeadow for a little meeting with a certain individual in the package delivery business, which ended up taking a faction of the tune it took me to get down there. Rather strange man but most of the people in this business ar a little peculiar so it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. Was back in Surry Hills in time to sync and start the regulars. Felt really good for most of the day but started to feel the strain by the end my stretching has been very lapse of late. Super busy couple of hours in the afternoon with some very smoove routing - little mistake when I found an envelope in my bag that I was certain i'd delivered on the other side of town - small moment panic when I thought I must have dropped off the wrong thing until I realised it was one of a pair and i'd only delivered one of them - flew from Wynyard to Haymarket and was back finishing the cluster of drops without missing a beat - little white lie of need for some mechanical adjustments meant noone was any the wiser. did Saw one of the young Bonds couriers today after he'd crashed into a driver courier - the driver looked in very bad condition, on the ground and fitting and the courier looked very shaken up. Always disconcerting when this kind of thing happens.
After work went to a bike film festival at Sydney uni - missed the beginning of one incredible messenger film, Pedal - amazing riding footage and interviews with some interesting and not so interesting people from the New York messenger scene - have to say I thought the continual espousing of how New York is the hardest place to work and anyone who can do New York can do anywhere - weatherwise it's hardly the most brutal and the terrain is pretty easy as far as most cities go, good wide roads and simple navigation, but you try telling them that. Rest of the movies were shorts mainlyfrom North America - some good, some not so good, a couple pretty awful. Did make me feel a bit apprehensive about the quality of some of the messenger specific films out there but some great techniques and fine ideas that can be lifted and adapted for my own nefarious purposes.

Left Behind

28 November - Managed to get some pancakes before going to see an early session of 'Children of Men' - very good dystopian future pic (four words - 'the future is grim') with some of the most brilliant action sequences I can remember seeing in years - slightly ambiguous plot which may have been intentional or perhaps it was because we missed the first few minutes. Am hoping and presuming the latter but it can always be rectifiied by sneaking into another session later on. Showed nathan the wonders of Glebe (the markets, colourful local characters (jodi and kudio, some of the more interesting beggers and the always incredibly helpful ICC staff) and I'm of the opinion that the village made a good impression - may not be as big or bustly as the East Village but you can better coffee at my one although maybe their bagels are better. For some reason found myself watchinga few terrible movies in the early evening before the household went to a late party in the local neighbourhood (but not before a mini marathon out to the depths of Alexandria looking for the pre-party) - not that there was any chance of missing it considering that it was the party boy was celebrating his 40th with a 40 hour binge - not sure if I actually worked out whose party it was but it was certainly at a very nice space - an art gallery on regent street with a human fishbowl and other exhibitions which everyone professed to get. All a bit of a blur but that's usually the sign of a pretty good time, which i'm sure was had by me and all. Ah redfern, what more is hidden in your depths?

Friday, 27 October 2006

Coffee can't be nice if you don’t drink it

26 October - Way too early start by detouring out via Pyrmont to see Robespiere. Went out for a coffee - explained we didn’t have much time but mr spiere was insistent on going to the 'good' coffee shop some yards extant and was rushed away by the lost in space robot on an XXX. Afew significant bursts through the day punctuated by some welcomed spats of just sitting down and reading the paper (obviously not a real one). Was very nicely sent home with a last job out to Surry Hills - the drop only a few minutes away from Redfern. First time i've had a job that's actually finished me off so close to home - it was a very nice feeling. more often than not i'll finish in town but it's been a few times where its been in the depths of the mysterious Woolloomoolloo, uncharted territory according to the Pocket UBD or over in North Sydney, with the increasingly unjoyous ride over the Harbour Bridge (it's not constructed for really rigid street bikes). Steeled myself for a visit over to the North Side where I tried to pit myself against dad's mind control techniques with the purpose of getting everybody to order his favourite dishes, and tried to comprehend some of his new toys. Desperate for a sugar hit but falling victim to suburbia's early closing policies, I got the video store guy to open up to sell me one of his overpriced beverages but I only had a few small coins (and larger denominations which he couldn't give me change for) so after much umming and ahhing he consented to let me get it back to him next time which means I may boycott gordon until he leaves and he'll alwas curse the day when the courier swindled him out of $1.40s worth of coke. I wonder how much longer I will be a courier for?

More horoscopes

Still stolen ...
Virgo August 23 - September 22
A sinking sense of your own mortality will set in this week after you completely fail to recognize a Simpsons rerun on television.


Stolen from the onion
Libra September 23 - October 23
The alignment of the stars and the planets can only mean one thing this week: You're looking at a very simplistic, two-dimensional model of our solar system.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

No Water For This Man!

25 october - pseudoephadine and multivitamins seemed to hold off the worst symptons today and I didn't have tou much trouble starting.  A good day but simultaneously wet and hot, combined with being forced to ride hard resulted in feeling very ... sticky.  No delivering to pseudo celebrities but did have a nasty encounter with someone who must have thought he was one - went to pick up near the end of the day, buggered and thirsty and trying desperately to swallow the last mouthful of my luncheon which I'd been unable to eat througout the day - the customer glared at me and demanded to know if I was going directly to his destination - I could have assured him I was but he seemed unpleasant and he hadn't even paid for the service to be direct so I told him the truth, mostly directly.  He didn't seem too happy but he certainlyhad the last laugh.  When I asked if I could fill my water bottle from his Spring Water cooler he told me there was a tap around the corner.  What kind of man would deny cold, nice tasting water to a thirsty courier?  That kind of man.  Had a brief pivo wih shifty at the Forbes - somewhere i've managed to avoid fo the past few years and it still seems as seedy as ever and it's not even that cheap.  I guess its appeal is in the fact that they DO let couriers in.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Half A Man

24 October - woke to the less than pleasant sensation of being in a pool of my own sweat. Pretty bright and warm but obviously the result of my body raising its temperature in order to fry the evil germs that have taken residence in it. Really didn’t want to go to work but thought it should give it a go. However, as noon approached I was really of the opinion that carrying on would not be the most sensible option so called off early and decided to head back towards Redfern way. Just because I couldn’t work for the rest of the afternoon didn’t meant that it had to be a total writeoff - had some errands to do broadway way so took the opportunity to finally get a chance for a tightarse tuesday movie session - the yourmovies website having got the session times wrong again meant that i'd have to wait over an hour for my first choice so saw 'The Departed' instead, the film I had been thwarted from seeing the previous Tuesday by an oversupply of bums and undersupply of seats - true return to form by Scorsese, even better than its inspiration 'infernal affairs', a true gangster ep1c -awesome in scope, tense, violent and with excellent dialogue and characters - best film i've seen in ages (and not just because its the only film i've seen in ages). Strugled through several hours worth of the weekend's footage - we got some really good stuff but the work needed to get a film out of it is seeming a little overwhelming. Going to try to postpone that stress for a little while, but not too long.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

... The Worlds End

21 October - Woke up vey early for a big group ride down to Olympic Park. kind of like a critical mass but it's always more fun with couriers - far more aggressive and when you have large crowds of bikes it's always a lot safer because nobody is goingto plow into a pile of bikes that they can actually see. Almost feel invicible. Got to the park and tried to psyche myself up fo the event - did a little ride around the course (nowhere near any of the sites we examined the weekend before). Wasn’t feeling amazing but put that down to nerves. M&d turned up, as is their wont, to offer a little bit of support as did me aunty jen who I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Eventually the qualifiers started with everyone leaving at 2m intervals and before I knew it I was off. Manifest provided weren't too confusing but the course itself was - the fact that it was one way and not clearly marked meant it was quite easy to make a wrongturn and be locked into an extended detour - in any event, everything was goingswimmingly, had two checkpoints to hit when I made a slight mistake in navigation and then misjudged the height of a kern and the speed I approached it and bang, the entire sidewall of the tyre exploded out and the race was over for me. Not onlywas the race finished prematurely but there were no spare tyres available - realising I could be stranded out in the park this distracted me from the other task at hand which was filming the events - was not feelinggood at all.
Not great feeling, no tyres available meant threat of being stranded, In the end after PJ rescuingme by gettingsome tyres (wrongsize which meant a lot of muckingaround with swapping tubes and tyres) but didn’t really give the main event the attention it deserved. Obviously the race went on regardless of my plight, incredible start of 80 riders charging to bikes and all criss crossing course at blazing speed, very painful to watch - seeingagony on riders faces and knowing that I was missing out on that physical test - I couldn’t even ride the course again to see how I would have done or to just vent my frustrations. Eventually got bike mobile, headed back, had to extend journey the to petersham, where I took the opportunity to steal food from friends in neighbourhood and later dropped in to the party but found more luck with the onset of a little bit of a cold so I couldn't reallystay. What a miserable day.

Murphy's Law

23 October - Desperately wanted to call in sick today - I felt like crap, sounded like crap and looked like crap. I knew it was going to be a horrible day because we're still down bikers but I knew that if I did call in sick it would be very suspicious because all the courier companies knew what had gone on at the weekend and most had secured commitments from bikers to turn up to work on Monday or not bother turning up on Tuesday (woo! Four day weekend!). As soon as I logged on my PDA was blurting its unusual and irritating beep and screaming 'Warning!' at me and I was heading downtown for a swathe of picks and drops. I tried to force myself to take it very easy throughout the entire day but it was very difficult when the screen was overflowing with so many trips, most of them hours late. A small break in the middle before it started again and it never let up. I can’t remember having felt this bad at work and yet it was the best day i've had in Sydney - presuming tomorrow won’t be the same because the team will be getting a little bigger with Movie returningand Pete starting - i'll be vey happy to have an easier day tomorrow but when I get better? Eventually finished shortly after 6 and made my way homeward where I unsuccesfully tried to pass out. So many things to do, so little time, so little energy ...

Struggling Soldiers

22 October - By the time I woke my cold was out in full force and I was gluggy and feeling very uncomfortable. Headed out to see if I could salvage some pride in some of the smaller events but was denied again - clipped out in the srints and by the time I got myself movingagain there was no chance of catching up and there was only one trial per person so that one was over. The new rear tyre and the clips I was usingwere also not ideal for the skids amd o bowed out of that one too. Incredible to see how far some of the other guys could go - there was no chance of winningthat one but it would have been nice to at least make a favourable impression with the international community with my more than adequate skills. Scooter still seems to be an arsehole - I don’t understand what goes through that guy's head. Don’t think I reallywant to either. Had a nice barbecue followed by a few more evens - trackstand, bunny hops and backwards circles - all reasonably impressive but I was dying by this stage. Evventuallybegged myself away but knew I had to return to the evening for the awards ceremony -killed a few hours because had been told it would start at 8. I knew it would take a lot longer than that so we got there by 9 but in the evnd it started at 11 and all of us - me, Jodi and PJ - were just glad to have this thingover. The whole event was reallywell organised but my showing coupled with illness just seemed to make a mess of me over it. Can hardly complain - a bad showing is nothingcompard to missing it because of two broken legs like Smokin' Joe had to endure. But, all in all, very disappointed by the event and i'm not afraid to admit that. One nice point was that shifty gave me anew kryponite lock to replace the one that had gone missing on saturday at the main event (that will show me to climb through the bushes lookingfor interestingangles to film at).

Monday, 23 October 2006

The Worlds Start ...

20 october - today marked the beginning of the 14th annual Cycle Messenger World Championships - got into town a little past eight and was lucky enough to have nothing pressing for about half an hour which allowed me to feverishly inhale the high carbohydrate but extremely sugar rich breakfast provided - gulped down a few coffees and stole away a couple of muffins to eat throughout the day (they were crushed out of existence within half an hour, still edible though). The openingceremony was pretty simple - about a hundred couriers being obnoxious in the middle of Martin Place but it was quite incredible to be a part of such an event - all feelings of pride and wonderment were quickly dashed by a particularly flustered and mad run which was interrupted by the announcement that an envelope that i'd picked up and was supposed to be in my bag had somehow appeard in the mail room of a building i'd not even been to that day. have no idea how it could possibly have got there but one thing for certain was that it shouldn’t have been therre. eventually sorted out the mess but not after a very convoluted, very stressful and exhausting sprint cross town which had to be interrupted by a search for PJ near the Opera House - it might seem a trivial thing but the loss of a job (and it's always a small and seemingly insignificant thing like an envelope that can disappear) can be the loss of the job. But alls well that ends well. Rest of the day was reasonably exhausting but probably profitable - massive downpour in afternoon seemed to destroy the remains of front brake pads so was forced to ride brakeless for the last few hours - replaced them myself at end of the day (another mechanical first) but this is how these things start - riding fixie and brakes get tricky, some people too lazy too fix them so are forced to get used to doingwithout them. Got to the alexandria hotel in the evening - gagging for a beer - lots and lots of international couriers, all of them doingthe one thingthat couriers do best - drinking.
With my small crew of ps Sassafras and PJ managed to get some interview footage which could one day be used for something interesting. registration took forever but that's hardly a surprise as administration is not exactly a courier's forte although a desire for expediency would be expected to be one of them. There was an ill fated alleycat in the evening which seemed a little too pointless and dangerous at that time of the night - not so worried about being hit by a car that doesn't see me as being knocked over by a drunken courier. Did see a few accidents but nobody seemed unhappy about it and that can only bode well for tomorrow.
Registration took forever
Ill fated alleycat

Friday, 20 October 2006

I'm still standing

19 October - at this point in the evening the whole day seems like a bit of a blur. Weather seemed nice enough, was busy enough - had a horrible time thoughout the day trying to rectify one of yesterday's mistakes caused by incorrect instructions from the client - when I redid the same run today the receptionist gave me overly explicit instructions and explained them like I was a two year old - all that information was great and it would have been especially useful ... yesterday. A bit of a hot run in the afternoon improved my mood a little, seemed to impress one of the old time couriers with a bout of sketchy agility in dodging a couple of trucks to illegally cross the road (it seemed pretty safe to me at the time) and before I knew it another day was survived. Another accident downtown - pedestrian waitingat the lights near George and King St right at the edge of the footpath decided to check his shoelaces at the exact moment a bus drove past. One ambulance for him and one for the bus driver who apparently went into shock. Interesting evening - went to the Wayside Chapel fundraising fashion show at arq, an event put together by young pers angel - moments of hilarity but marred by the fact that there was no food, no (free) drink and most importantly, no seats (at least where one could watch the show from). I can ride 9 hours a day, run for hours, walk all day, and sitting and lying can go on forever but standing is not one of my talents. Just can't stand it. Worst part of the evening was that it was cultural Sydney event with lots of lots of attractive and presumably interesting people, and I was too physically exhausted to do anything other than concentrate on how uncomfortable it was to have to stand up for three hours. I'd never make a Royal Guard - I don’t know how the hell those guys do it, especially with those big hats to off balance you. Perfect opportunity to score thwarted by the strain of physical labour.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Training Day Again

18 October - Today I took on my first trainee in Sydney - young Pete from Budapest (actually from Atlanta, Georgia but insistent on declaring his European identity first) - rode around without too much incident, think he'll probably be joining us which would mean that the nationalities represented by Crisis's limited crew are Irish, Scottish, Danish, Japanese, New Zealander, American, Hungarian and of course Australian and Slovakian. Drank vast quantities of water, when available, despite it not seeming too hot and also scored a free muffin that would have been thrown out at Palms (i'll take what I get when I can get it). Also my billet arrived in the morning and I eventually hooked up with him in the afternoon - a fine young gentleman from Austin, Texas (more recently of New York) who's got some interesting things to offer. Seems to have brought a bit of an array of filming equipment and is quite happy to share which should bode very well for the race on saturdee.

Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

For the fifth straight night, you'll have that recurring sleep in which you crawl into bed around 11 p.m., turn off the lights, and wake up the next morning feeling rested and refreshed. Cap

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Filled In

17 Octobe - Finally got to see a dentist after last week's fiasco - had organised it the night befoe when the sulry dispatcher was on so had to call in early to let them know. The way I saw it there was no way they could complain and in the end it makes no difference whether one gives an hour's notice or three weeks notice - the team will be one bike down and if there's a shortage of riders the rest just get more work. As it happens, there is a shortage of riders and for a change it seems busy enough - i'm happy to cover the occasional ridiculous cross town journey if the rest of the time i'm occupied. Another few filming related meetings in eveningwith seemed to be pretty productive - I think we're all on message for the most part. Went to the movies later on to see the departed only to find that it was sold out. Didn’t like the way that the ticket girl spoke to me eithe. Little bitch. Am I allowed to say that?

Tuesday, 17 October 2006


16 October - Because my bedroom is on the west the mornong light prevented oversleeping or maybe it's on the east, I can never remember which way the sun rises and because I don’t have the mountains t o show me which way north is i've can’t really be sure. Many many flights of stairs made carting out empties hard work - why couldn’t the patrons have brought spirits like i'd asked instead of beer. Makes the cleaning up so much easier. Missed the reggae party down at the block which was not really too upseting because i'm not really into reggae but did do an important bit of reconnaissance down at Olympic Park with Jeannie and Shane-o (current wearer of the sydney alleycat champions jersey). Very nice fast ride out there and got a couple of maps and tried to deduce which parts were going to be part of next weekends time trial - we knew there was going to be a hill of sorts and a couple of nasty hairpins where we were assured there would be definite crashes so we went searchingfor them. Gravel path could definitely be a part of it - spiral climb at Wentworth Common is the only real climb in the whole area but it would be terribly dangerous if couriers ar going up and down at the same time - just testing it was really sketchy with just a couple of tourists riding up and down (in any event it could be traversed by scramblingup the hill three times faster than on a bike), all the poles in the overflow could potentiallysimulate windingthrough traffic - I guess we'll have to wait for the day. Watched a lot of television in t eh evening including an hour of Australian idol - one song was reasonably entertaining but I still have nothing but contempt so I don’t think i'll be getting hooked anytime soon.

World's Youngest Person Born

Stolen from the onion ...

Harinakshi Himati, an 18-inch, 10-pound baby born less than one minute ago to Delhi taxi driver Ganaresh Himati and his wife Chameli, has been declared the world's youngest person by the United Nations Census Bureau. "This is an honor, to be sure," said Mr. Himati, displaying his daughter to the public for the first time. "Her mother and I knew she was young, but this is very unexpected." Harinaksi displaced her older triplet Chaya as the world's youngest person and is expected to hold the title for a few seconds until the birth of her sister Varija.

Round 2

16 October - Very grey morning coupled with a bit of spittingrain induced me to overdress with the raingear but the non breathing fabric just made me overheat so the jacket became useful as paddingfor the bottom of the bag, ie not very useful. Very busy day, down to five guys so was warned that things coud get particularly crazy which didn’t seem to happen, lots of overloading and very little downtime - got to see the cousin and the friend when dropping off pyrmont way - had a big ass sammich (they were goingto give me two for the price of one because they only had slightly smaller slices of bread but knowingi didn’t have time I settled for a slightlycheaper but still big ass rb one) - inhaled it like a japanese hot dog eating champion - did some wheeling and dealing, met an american-hungarian here for the worlds, got depressed at hearingthe number of trips one of our guys did on friday (152 - am certain there were some very high volume picks and drops and he would have been routed much better than I ever get routed but still, 152, that's an incredible number by any definition), had another house meeting catered by Dave's from scratch thai green curry which means the standard is going to be uncomfortably high when it's my turn next week. Some bad news the other day was that Smokin' Joe, one of the Bonds couriers broke his leg at Market and George on Friday night - it's a scary world out there.

Monday, 16 October 2006

Uhh, my pants are chafing me, d'you mind if I take them off...

12 October - a scorcher in every sense of the word - 31 degrees temperature and a seemingly endless run of hot runs - peppered with a few big patches of nothing but enough to keep me half exhausted for most of the day. had a few rough moments involving getting ping ponged between two buses and noting the number plate of a particularly aggravated member of the STA but no injury sustained. Dispatcher had a meltdown in the morning and I like to think that I was one of the few who was keeping him sane throughout the day except for the most serious chafing i've experienced since taking on this line of work (felt like i'd been ridinga horse and not a bike, or maybe even being ridden by a horse .... Very hectic afternoon that could have been even better had I not had a dentist appointment which cut the day short at 5pm, a time when things still seemed reasonably busy. I'd warned them about my appointment two weeks ago, two days ago, at 8am in the morning, 12pm in the afternoon, then 4pm, 10 to 5, 5 past 5 ... I'd stopped being given work around five but every pick and every drop seemed to have people not home, random street numbering, broken lifts and other aggravating delays and by the time I finally got rid of the last drop and raced to the surgery I was told that my dentist had already gone home. Snapped at the after 5 dispatcher via text, am sure the emotion wasn’t properly conveyed which is probably a good thing (Dentist gone home; what dentist?; read the chat history!!! And I logged off). chatted with a few of the japanese internationals who have recently started popping up all over town then met the cousin for pizza and beer (nice but exie) then went home for a second dinner (at the dinner table no less! Can’t remember the last time I’ve done that at my own place before) and then let the other housemates bicker about house details only stepping in when the atmosphere was on the verge of the next def con level.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

13 October - Yesterdays heat was quickly forgotten once mid moning came and the mercury had crept up to a nasty 35. Reasonably busy day,marred by a few mpreventable mishaps with pickndrops and some extremely unefficient backtracking, chafing was mercifully relieved by combination of talc and just wearing lycra knicks although by the end of the day it was starting to make itself felt. main event was at end of day when I rode rather close to a pedesstrian who reacted by walking in and shouldering me as I went past then completely losing his calm and he started shouting, throwing wild punches and backingaway, shaking hysterically while he threatened me. Abit disconcerting but most annoyingwhen he kicked my bike, knockingthe brake out of alignment and causing dispatcher to take work away from m e until I could assure him that I could cover them. After work noted more internationals have arrived for next weeks events and, not sure if i'm happy or unhappy about this one, a pair of guys seem to be wanting to make a documentary about couriers and have started filming and will be at the event next week. Hope ty don’t get in the way. Rode over to coogee, had a very brief nighttime dip and was entertained by coogee street and collins house nightlife - found out that tomorrow's filming was cancelled but plenty of time for that anyway. Our little project on the other hand ...

Duty Is Done, Curse Is Broken

14 October - ms mills finally fulfilled her eons old promise in making me blueberry pancakes - a verydifferent style with oats and yogurt and honey but delicious nonetheless. Now rleased from her bond kate should be able to work on other projects like making me ... raspberry pancakes. Did some more film experimentation - mounted camera on chevtte's handlebars which seemed to work reasonably well although the picture was extremely shaky and i'm not sure how well balanced the whol device is - especailly consideringthe roughness that next week's riders will be subjecting their steeds too. Still, today's experiemnts should prove invaluable in final design. As it was housewarming night I thought it would be prudcent to let the other two absorb the stress of the planning and gave myself up as errand boy, itinerant labourer and general dogsbody - much easier that way. It'll all work out in the end and its much better to only have two people stressing than three. level heads usually prevail. Party seemed to go reasonably succesfully - only two glasses broken (both mine) and people scattered throughout evening so not too much overcrowding in the flat. Nobody seemed to embarrass themselves too much although a couple seemed to be struggling to stay upright by the end of the night (and i'm pretty certain that I was one of those).

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

... and I didn't pay for it.

1p October - a much more enjoyable day at work - back doingreal messenger work - point to point and not just radial drops - that's what it's reallyall about. Probably just got in a better mood when I found a wifi spot and actually had something to read in the downtime. Not that there was a hell of a lot of it - a big gap in the afternoon on the north side and half an hour from my last drop and my release time - although probablyto blame for that because I told the operator that I had nothing to do and nowhere to go. Won’t make that mistake again. Watched a fillum in the evening - devil wears prada - curiously enjoyable but eminently forgettable ... Took a while to work out if the australian guy with the bad american accent was a good guy or a bad guy (he was a bad guy).

Lazy Man's Load

9 October - Got up very early in order to go fight and make up with the brothernerial unit and solved a little problem with the powerful lookup function - apparently i've still got it. Reasonably terrible day at work, felt awful for most of the day and both data unit and radio were only working sporadically which caused great pain and heartache. Had another day of doing the route for the papershredders - not much more than a glorified paperboy - all very simple, just picking up from one place with occasional others thrown in where possible. Despite easiness of the gig still managed to stuff up on the first run - had to try to justify a route by franticallytexting my irate dispatcher - only after I apologied did I realise that the onlyreason there had been a stuffup was because of his mistake. Got even angrier at myslf for not realising at first. May have moved my largest single trip ever in the afternoon - a huge stack of folders with my bag packed till bursting and the rest precariously balanced in a box on my head. Don’t know why i'm proud of that but I am. cooked a delicious marinara pasta for eats - samira couldn't eat the baby octopus because it looked like it was alive p I don’t see the problem as its hardly got a face. And afterwards when watching Oz in the evening I was particularly saddended and infuritated to find that they broke it up with advertisements - since when have SBS been doing this? Has this been announced already and I missed it? To me, this is a big media story - true they always have ads between shows but it was the only channel where you could watch a great show and not have to deal with a tampax commercial - is this the end of the SBS I know and love?

When riding on escalators always stand to the left

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Two's Company, Three's ...

5 October - Sent to chippendale to start with and slogged around the backstreets of Pyrmont, and North and East Sydney for most of the day. Nigel is convinced that the current fleet of bikers has the warrior spirit required for the game and the typo filled text conversations have a decidedly militaristic flavor of late (have been doing a lot of invading of suburbs and pillaging of receptions over the past few days). Had a few moments in the afternoon where the tension must have been getting to me - a difficult drop to the Brazilian consulate resulted in a heated argument with a stroppy unhelpful security guard ('You've been very helpful,' - 'Why don't you get the f**k out of my building?!) and shortly afterwards when a business suited gentleman advised me that now might be a good time to alight my bicycle (on the sidewalk) and I politely advised him that I wasn’t going to tell him how to do his job. An long delay in the afternoon where I gulped down a can of coke might have contributed to a very strange sensation at the end of the day - I felt really lightheaded and woozy and couldn’t focus. Not the best feeling at any time but certainly not at the time when the traffic is at its absolute worst. Begged off home once I realised this and returned to find the third housemate has returned from her northern sojourn. The wind seemed to have dropped a few degres - perhaps its connected with the pork eating and booze swilling Arabian's return but it might just be a southerly change. The man says its goingto rain tomorrow but then again he said it was goingto rain today. Was reasonably productive in spite of my condition and did some organimisation and rectitudinal house stuff that gave me great satisfaction. My bed, previously creaky as an unoiled windmill, is now as solid as an overcooked boiled egg.

Paying for broadband

Wifi is like sex and parking. I don't like paying for it.

I really, really hope I never look like that ...

8 October - sometime in the morning someone started cleaning which kind of guilt tripped the others into starting and before I knew it there was something like a cleaning and organising bee being help. Heaven forbid, I hope that doesn’t happen anytime again soon. Local coffee shop doesn’t have great coffee but a fine atmosphere and whilst i'm not too happy with the local IGA in terms of price and availability of the things that make my tummy happy it serves its basic purpose and there are others within riding distance anyway (as long as I only want to buy a chrome bag's full). Took the centurion out to Canadia Bay to test out the riding on the fine spring day and also to have the opportunity to wear my one and only matching cycling outfit. am sure I looked very fetching in black and white spandex but it's all about function. Wind was so strong down at the bay level that I found myself riding at a 60 degree angle into the wind just to stay upright. Afterwards slogged up petersham way to meet up with my creative muse, p.S. Sassafras who despite not being a messenger could well be the face of the CMWC. But might not.

Core Rat

6 October - Work was pretty good today - one of the guys who does a regular hourly run for the Papershredders was away today so I was given his turf. Apart from various scattered trips and a reasonably run out to Pyrmont I was stuck in the core all day today and in terms of actual packages moved it was easily my best but maybe not in terms of picks and drops as they were all picked up in bunches and scattered around town. Was movie's last day for a little while as he prepares to go for an extended holiday and with the veteran richie in Mauritius getting married it could bode well for me. Worked all the way until 630 with a potentially horrible last drop, got to the place building closed, phone number on package invalid, guy from sender's office gone home despite telling me to bring it back if it couldn’t be delivered, our office closed down for the night - ended up getting john the cleaner to accept it for me - could have easily prevented the problem by calling up the place immediately and finding out whether they were home but wasn’t really thinking by that stage of the day. Visitors in the evening to welcome us to the new abode and pizza and wine were consumed to great extent and five movies of the past five years that glorify smoking were named - brokeback mountain, lord of the rings and sin city are the only ones recollected but there were others and it proved the point that smokingis still cool (although evil as well).


7 October - All doors closed with the garret now - had to wander down to clean the oven as it was somehow missed on last saturday's bee - that oven is cleaner now than it has been at any point in its life since it came out of the wrapping and all accounts are now balanced (inexplicably got cheque written out to some guy name David whoever the hell he is).
In early afternoon rode out to coogee which is never fantasticallyeasy, super heavy traffic because of some event at Randwick Racecourse but it was still pretty fast moving if I lane splitted in the outer two lanes. Not usually appreciated by the rest of the traffic but a courier's got to do what a couriers got to do. Not the most productive afternoon at Chez C/M but had some excellent lasagne (may have been a trifle bland) and did some work on the proof of concept with the helmet POV cam. Attempted to film the chase scene for a film festial promo on Coogee Bay Rd but the human traffic was a little heavy - whilst I was tracking the heroine, camera secured to my head, a giant of a man strode out of a shop right into my path. His mass was such that I simply bounced off him and came off my bicycle and into a parked car. Admittedly I was going at a very slow pace so there was no damage sustained by anybody although the gentleman in question was not too pleased. He didn’t seem to impressed with our excuse, especially considering that the rest of the crew had somehow disappeared from view leaving me to defend the right to film. Did get some good footage when we shifted down to the boulevard and provded that the helmet cam certainly worked. Also on the way home I found a new route which is a little longer than the direct way but which bypasses the ridiculous hills that Coogee is famous (in my mind) for. Not great speeding through suburban streets at night time but got home with a lot more comfort than usual. Watched a bunch of episodes of Nighty Night, which would have made an excellent three part miniseries but as it was made a rather stretched out six part (and I bet there are more to come) television series. Contacts popped out and vision deterioriated through the viewing but it all seemed to make sense in the end.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Swan Lake On Bikes

29 september - A pretty good workday, a relative scorcher compard to yesterday. Nigel was back from a brief illness - I certainly seemed to get along pretty well with Les although yesterday he was just giving me the s**ts but that was more to do with the lack of work and my mood than anything else. Still, I rode up and down the horrific ramp to the 88 Phillip St loading dock about 10 times in an hour and it was really starting to wear thin after a while. Also, my $US12 tailor made trousers (later tailored by Sax into a pair of cutoff work pants) lost the seem in the bum and before I knew it the hole was so big that it was swallowing the bike seat and when I tried to stand in the saddle for a climb I was held fast by their vicelike grip. Probably contributed to the excruciating chafing I was feeling at the end of the day - seriously considered ditchingthe shorts and wearing just my knicks even though they're my unders and are not the most stylish of streetwear. After work a brief relax at Martin Place - the internationals have started to arrive for the worlds and it's becoming a rather crowded affair - some of the fixie guys were showing off doing trick skids - who can do the longest? Who can be the most acrobatic? Who can be the biggest dangerous idiot? Some of them were pretty incredible - scooter was doing handless skids and smoking joe topped it with no hands and onlyone foot over the handlebars - it was really very balletic - if you could have cut out the fumbling misattempts and crashes and put it to Mozart it would definitely be filmworthy. Had an extremely manic ride home over my old home route through Pyrmont racing Reed, he's really really fast and incredibly aggressive - he never seemed like the type back in vancouver - it was rather silly but there were no mishaps at all - he generously offered an invite back to his hostel (where he has secured the most terrific deal - free virtually private accommodation and other extras in exchange for cooking a barbecue and renting movies for the place - however, I had a big day coming up and still had a mountain to move. Watched Tremor 2 (so unneccesary , so ill conveived and executed, so bad but not bad enough to warrant the chance of it becominga cult favourite) and was joined by james - who was coming to help with tomorrow's move. Hhis idea was to crash and help me pack - noble intentions but he planned on helping me by getting me high and drunk - admittedly, he ended up doing a fair bit more work than me so I can’t exactly hold it against him

infi nitelyu better than yesterday, nigel was back

A few internationals ar arriving
Up and down **phillip street
Massive chafing
Sped back to glebe with peter and reed, he’s very ahhressive on the bike
A couple of the fixie riders did balletic - no hands, no hands with one foot over the front handlebars, kind of silly but very beautiful
James came over to help me pack, probably didmore tan I did
yremor dwo, rasies the bar of tgruly awful and unneccesary sequels cliches beyond imagination

Female Pattern Baldness

3 October - Yesterday's race was the mouse that sank the boat in terms of the my rear tyre's tread - I noticed it was as bald as lex luthor by morning - down to the nylon strings in quite a few places. Found out the hard way that brakeless riding can be expensive. Not wanting to push the envelope I relied a bit more on the front brake than usual and unfortunately had to relax the economic sanctions against Cheekey Monkey as they were the only ones who had the tyre that I wanted. Owner was reasonably helpful but I i'm still wary. Workwise pretty uneventful - had a nice chat with Jerome, the french crisis guy who's flying back to Paris tomorrow, after work - he doesn’t seem to happy with leaving. My quest for a decent wifi connection has gone unanswered - the longest i've gone without a working one for an age - blog posts are backing up, even when connecting via cable the email won’t pop through which is a little frustrating. The other downside of this is that i've got nothing to read while i'm workingunless I want to trawl through last week's paper. Nice visit over gordon way but on the trip home I found myself coming against trackwork and had to do a train-bus-train interconnection which made journey rather arduous ...

Pursuing Beauty

4 September - Somehow managed to wake up despite not having an alarm clock and was moving pretty quickly - day tapered off naturally. More technical woes with my chain snapping on George St and had to run the bike over to CBD (i'm committed to my suspicion that they are sabotaging bikes around the area knowingthat there's nobody else for the hapless cyclists to go to - except clarence st but nobody likes them). Got it replaced but they only had a black chain so chevette's image has been havinga slow forced makeover (black wheel, black tyre and now black chain -what does it mean? Is she a bad girl?). In the afternoon did an underground transaction to avoid the spy satellites - you can never be too careful in this city. Second time in as many weeks there's been a major crash just outside the building i've been in, last week there was the smashup at Bridge and Glebe Point whilst at the AB and today a car and van smashed into the side of our building - apparently pretty serious. Maybe the mythical supreme being is trying to tell me something. I paid it little heed and took the centurion (at present, unnamed) for his first ride out to the art galery, didn’t bother with the gear but the freewheel and reliance on the slightly aged brakes was a little disconcerting. Saw a chat by the editor of vogue living on the pursuit of beauty but wasn’t terribly impressed by his rambling presentation. He had some powerpoint troubles and seemed a little fazed when question time came - stroppily answering a wanky uni student question on the beauty in human suffering (although truth be told, the only stupid question is the one that hasn’t been asked - sage, sax, sage) with a 'i deal with objects'. Not very appropriate when you've just used a picture of the WTC coming down as an example of 'the greatest artwork the world has ever seen' (not his words but he used them). Had some beer and average meal at the asian food court posing as a food fair p not convinced.

Goodbye Glebe, Hello Redfern

30 September - moving day finally arrived and it was up and atom and getting down to Balmain Rentals to get the truck. Most of the delicates had either been already moved or boxed and the main event was the navigation of the extremely long and tight tunnel that joins my flat from the outsideworld. The team was Ade, James, Robbie, Angel, Rowan, Dave and myself - al participating to very varying degrees. A large number of participants but really there were two separate teams - the out of the house and the into the house - for the former ade scored the 'organisingthe truck' gig and the rest of us squeezed my unnecessarily oversized furniture througthe tiny staircase - offloading meant climbing four flights of stairs (five if the next flight to my bedroom) - rowan very nicely rolled the spliff, unfortunattly lighting it halfway through the move - had to counter the lethargisising THC with a responsibility pep talk - after returning the truck and riding back home started the arduous task of unpacking - made a somewhat decent dent in it but a long longway to go - then conned mater into joining me for a bonding session that included lunch, a beer and a cleaning session of 168 bridge rd and picking up the car instead of me having to drop it off. Sweeet. More disassembly and organismisation at 13 Gibbons then rode back to the AB in Glebe to join Mr Chope's fitba tipping competition for drinks and football watching - whilst there thought I would try the potentially stupendous omelette fresh and whilst it was verra gud it didn’t live up to my stratospheric expectations - fillings were excellent but the eggs a little overdone - i've always been wary about eggs cooked by anyone ... Well, anyone except for me - heartily recommend that anyone there try the omelette but don't get upset if the eggs are too fluffy and tasteless. There was a soccer game on the teev and I think a few people seemed very pleased by the result but being of a steely heart and having no vested interest in the game I can’t really recall much emotion either way. Only real regret was that I should have moved on the sunday morning which would have meant I only had a wander up the road to get to home ...

Aussie Alleycat - The Final Countdown Timetrial

2 October - Bright bright sun forced me up early and I finally checked out the local IGA, kind of disappointed, didn’t have the bread, jam or breakfast cereals i've become accustomed to but time will enable me to find local substitutes, until then, broadway isn’t that far away. Today represented my first foray into australian courier competition - my first and only proper alleycat was the valentine's day event in vancouver, organised by the ozzie andy 'trackc**t' white - there was very serious competition there but my overall impression is that through necessity or chance the Sydney couriers are generally stronger and aggressive (or more accurately, there are just a lot more serious cyclists in Sydney courier world) and I didn’t rate my chances to be stratospherically high. As a messenger I think i'm probably as good as any and better than most but I still don’t know the Sydney streets perfectly (not that my knowledge of Van was complete at the time of the Valentines Day) and some of these guys ar super competitive and pretty reckless when it comes to personal safety. Met PJ who was coming down to film th eevent at Surry Hills for an early late bruncheon and registered once the main crowd arrived. All in all, 29 competitors including a few ex-couriers and internationals. A slightly different model to what i've done before but a more pure messenger style competition - seven locations throughout Sydney with each stop representing a pick and a drop - order determined by the competitor. The starts were a couple at a time, staggered by 2 minute breaks. I left at 2:06 with Reed and Chris from Mail Call and without properly reading my manifest and working out the full route I hightailed it out to the park at Crown and Foveaux where I started to consider exactly where I should be going next. Occasionally saw other couriers on the road, especially at the checkpoints - a little bit different than a norml work day because the traffic was a lot lighter but the boys in blue seemed to be out in full force. as I came up to one intersection where I was preparing to run the red I saw a paddy van on the other side and slowed down, shouting out 'Cop!', that didn’t seem to stop Jimmy James from speeding past me and having the police shout at him and put on the siren - I cruised past reasonably legally and carried on - all in all, 42 or 43 minutes riding as hard as I could on not much more than blood sugar and adrenalin. Near the end I found myself following reed for the last two checkpoints but I know I took a very circuituous route coming into the last. Almost got disqualified for not putting my name on the manifest I handed in but considering that only 5 people did everythingwas oky (when one person f**ks up, they f**k up, when everyone f**ks up nobody f**ks up) - 14th (25s after reed) out of the 29 so I was in the top half which is fine by me. Apparently did the checkpoints in the same order as the winner, Shane, and in hindisght I was pretty sure it was the best one but I know I could have taken a far more direct route getting between the pikndrops - only city experience could do that though so we'll have to wait for the next one. Legs started to ache a little afterwards - the distance and speed is far more than one would ever do in a similar period at work (unless one had a reallyreally bad dispatcher) but felt pretty bzzed by the whole thing. Despite shane being the winner (apparntly he drew it with an ex-courier paddy but he got it because the coveted winner's jersey must be worn by a working courier at the worlds) there were other vain claims for positions, first fixie, first brakeless fixie, DFL (dead f**kn' last) but nobody remembers them afterwards except for the claimants themsleves as they mull it over into their spiced mead. I was happy with what I got - first australian race and I didn't make a tit of myself. Whhat more could I want? Finished it off with beer and lots of carbohydrates and good and bad television.

Return of the Little Man

1 October - Bedroom gets a lot of sun in the morning which should mean getting up is easier - as it was, quarter to ten, not bad for a sunday. Wandered around Redfern looking for a free wifi signal -the past two places i've lived in (Glebe and East Vancouver) have both had weak but serviceable signals, now i'm going to have to wander out into the big wide world to find one. Am sure there are plenty in the neighbourhood - failing that, the city during the week. Had a hefty serving of banana pancakes - imitation strop and a rather gluey consistency marred the excellent sized serving (if its not a good pancake its not good value) but the waitress was really nice. Afterwards headed over to the north side for luncheon with mum and dad, once again have had a better meal but the company was nice. Dad's return from russia brought an unexpected blast from the past - a little ceramic smoking man - the exact same model as one I had when I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight. Used to have minutes of entertainment when the little bloke blew smoke rings - at least until the cigarettes ran out which was only a few weeks after I had it so I look forward to minutes more entertainment from the little man. Wasnt terribly productive but managed to plow my way through a few DVDs but fell asleep on the last one. Alsomade th edire mistake of wanting a pizza in the evening and had to fight my way through the mean streets of redfern to get it - did find a good video store next to the convenience shop with a smashed window and police tape surrounding it. Such is redfern.