Thursday, 23 November 2006

Road Trip? Road Trip!

18 November - Up and atom and into the 30 year old merc for the start of the return journey home - said goodbye to Chiaki and Erasmus and made our way out to an obscurely named suburb of Brisbane to pick up Master Grey from his bro's hoos and before we knew it on the way headng south. Not far out of the city on the expressway we had the first little disaster of the journey - driving along saw a small dog running across the road, the car to the lane left of us managed to slow down enough for the canine to make his way across to the middle right in front of the jabberwocky - no chance of stopping or swerving and he was given an almost direct hit and was smashed off to the side of the road. being on the expressway meant pulling over was not really an opton and all credit to the driver for not panicking and keeping the passengers safe but in hindsight I think stopping would have been the right thing to do. In any event, the dog was almost certainly instantly killed and we could only hope his sufferingwas minimal. Made for a rather somber rest of the leg before hitting Byron for a brief stop with a late breakfast before I took over the driving for the rest of the journey towards Coffs Harbour - entertainment was word games (its amazing how many names the three of us actually know) but it wasn’t distracting enough to hold off the return of the buttock and leg cramps originally developed in the USA trip that come with any bout of extended driving. Jabberwocky may be 30 years old but still has a pretty powerful engine and we motored to Coffs very steadily and checked into the Zebra Motel, apparently an african themed motel but couldn’t really be sure. A very slow wander towards the beach on foot where all of suspected the car may have been more appropriate transport (especially the one of us who chose to wear flip flops) where chishnfips were eaten and a stroll across the bay for a little while then headed back where I managed to convince the troops that shirking on the night on the town would be a bad idea. Nice pub, although bombarded with stray ping pong balls followed by a very decent kebab (is any kebab not very decent after a few pivos?) and a warning that bananas were still very expensive despite this being the current banana capital of the country.

Induction or The New Boy

20 November - It's amazing the difference between a shonky company and a legitimate one. Induction at Toll was so far removed from the other courier companies i've worked for it's like a different world. Halfway down Botany Road on the journey out to Banksmeadow was joined by Mr Two Fat Ladies and arrived on the dot for the induction. Alittle bit of paperwork to fill out before we were subjected to a couple of irrelevant training videos on workplace safety (all very useful if you work on a construction site or in a warehouse but pretty useless if you work in the seemingly more lethal arena of street cycling) and another on sexual harrassment (which could potentially be an issue with some of the receptionists we deal with) but then we were sat odwn with the call takers and then the operating room. BOth of these were very interesting - I had a fair idea how they worked via osmosis and talk with other industry types but had never actuallyseen any of it in action - had a brief overview of using the toys and a discussion on procedures - fluency will come in time but I think got far more out of it than would get by shadowing someone for a couple of hours. Was issued with a couple of jerseys and runsheet books then we rolled back cityway for a coffee and a bit of bike maintenance 101. No luck on the free wifi front which was a bit frustrating but kept busy in the afternoon with a few errands then did the sketchy northside run through the motorway to meet Louisa for a small beer or two followed by a very filling dinner with Mr J and coffee at mr g's. Hoping all is good to go for tomorrow.

Mine, All Mine!

19 November - Earlyish start to the day with no incident - adrian took back the driving role which was still no real relief for my aching buttocks. Few stops on the way for stretchingand sustenance but other than that no stopping, not even for the cheap banana stalls that littered the roadway out of town (heaven forbid, we could never pull over on the other side of the road). Adrian is a very, very careful driver. Disposed of one of our party at Willoughby and then went over the bridge for a stop at Davey Jones (at the insistence of the driver we took undercover parking and I had to break my longstanding rule of paying for parking - it felt like I was seeing a prostitute or, even worse, paying for wifi) and and after a lot of sherwangling managed to scam a Macboon Pro out of the salesman. Hurrah, finally, finally, finally it was in my hot little hands. Dropped off at home and a bit of a play made me realise that an internet connection at the household is now a bit of a necessity. Missed glebev fair day but had a visit to the AB where I pretended to be james bond for a little while before takinga trip over to the east side to see Mr Templeman's swanky new digs. Very nice, and, an easy roll down the hill homeway. He needs a gandalf.

Friday, 17 November 2006

One Johnston, Two Johnstons, Three Johnstons, More?

17 November - it seems every time I come to Brisbane there's an extra Johnston living there - first time there was one (Adrian) then there was two (Chiaki) and now there's a third (Erasmus). Apparently the miniature sumo was crying during the night but I can sleep through a train wreck so it wasn’t until morning that I met the little champ. After a bracing breakfast AJ headed off to work and whilst Chiaki had her morning shower Erasmus took this as his cue to start wailing - he crawled over to the bathroom door, gave me a good long stare and opened his lungs up - tried a toy, a watter bottle, a bounce on the knee but none helped - apparently he needed his mummy and luckily she wasn’t far. Had a nice coffee down by the river and met up with me old chum Tennyson (who, apart from a slight bleaching around the tips of his hair, hasn’t changed a bit) for luncheon (a rather bad luncheon at that but good company and that's what counts) and then had a wander through downtown and the valley, did a bit of window shopping and a even a bit of real shopping. Had some beer with AJ in the afternoon and waited for an age for some italian food which would have been very irritating had our silence not been bought off by a couple of freebie pivos. Picked up the road warrior for the road trip and all looks good to go so hurrah.

Free As In Freedom

16 November - Rode into town a bit earlier than usual in order to offload all the outmoded gear to the hub - chargers and uniforms etc. Logged on and did my usual regular but soon found that there was not much happening at all in town or on the north side. Chatted with nigel on and off throughout the day and he kept on apologising for the lack of work (an almost one hour standby in North Sydney midday) and promising that he'd set up a good run for me later on. Not really as frustratingas it could have been - mainly due to the fact that I was pretty cheery about it being my last day and I was already starting to get in the holiday mental state. The fact that it was the coldest November day in a century (that's what I heard) and it was alternating between sunshine and blat blat blattering rain combined with Chicago strength winds (in fact, in my limited experience, I think Sydney is a far worse city when it comes to my most hated weather feature) didn’t make for the nicest working conditions. Most everyone seemed to be rugged up in tights and goretex but I didn’t see the point - sure it was a little bit chilly but it was also intermittantly hot - it's much better to keep warm by gettingthe blood flowing by riding hard,the extra gear just kills me with sweaty, stuffy heat when it warms up. Constantly having the elevator crowds and receptionists expressing mock sympathy for me havingto work in such bad weather but I just had to shake my head and tell them that today was not bad weather. If they think that 16 November was bad weather then they've been living a sheltered life. Attempted another bridge run in the afternoon and as sure as the Curse of Ché exists everything dried up once I got over there. Ended up going on a special mission out to st leonards (furthest i've ever been north) for a XXX to Botany rd, alexandria (about 200m from home) and one from Crows nest to the domestic airport. Near the end of the day - why don’t I just take them myself. Think of the EFFICIENCY, man! But no, had to hand them off at the hub so some dinky driver in his petrol guzzling pollution emitting veeheecl could take them because the other channel didn’t want to give 'em to me. Bastards. In any event, all done by about 4:45, said my goodbyes to Nigel and dropped off the rest of the toys at the hub where the miserable bastard Andy barely grunted at me, and only then to warn me for not wearing the uniform. And cheered all the way home. Free at last. Got home and got myself together for the reasonably event free journey out to the airoport where I had a reasonably event free flight to the good city of brisvegas. Waited for a few minutes once I got off the plane and watched all the other people being greeted by friends and family and other assorted loved ones while I sat there looking like a schmuck. Went down the escalators where I was greeted by two friends and loved ones - young Master gray and master Johnson the elder (or the middle) - had dinner, wandered back to 540 Queen st and crashed out shortly afterwds.

Winding Down

15 November - Said my goodbye's to Nate in the morning, tried to have a coffee with him but there was nothing open within a three block radius so settled for a hug instead. Will miss him a bit but having the living room back again is nice too. Another terribly quiet day - seemed to spend most of it chatting with Nigel over the data device. Am definitely going to miss working with him but dispatchers come and go and Crisis is a relatively terrible company to work for. Everybody leaves in the end (unless they get one of the four decent gigs that exists at the company - and the only way you get one of those is by attrition). Could have waited it out bt better to just go to a decent place. The slow pace meant ingesting an enormous amount of caffeine and I was pretty well wired all day. Other than that, hardly anything of note happened all day. Had an earlymark and did a lung capacity test, scored pretty well, in spite of the smoking habit but try again in 5 years and might not be so good. Tried to watch a video in the evening, Cache, twas French and it didn’t really go anywhere so I passed out on the couch instead. Its a shame because I don’t think i'll ever get around to watching that film again and it did get relatively positive reviews so I may ave missed something really good. Then again, the impression I got of the film was that it was the kind of film that people like to SAY that they have seen and enjoyed but in fact that really didn’t get at all. What I did see, I got, I just didn’t like and, hey, it's not my fault for fallingasleep whilst watchinga film, it's the film's responsibility to keep me engaged enough to stay up.

Fly Silent, Fly Cheap

Stolen from wired ... Not that interesting but I like the name.
Dave Demerjian 2006-11-15 02:00:00.0 Researchers have unveiled design plans for a passenger plane they claim will be no louder than a washing machine and will use 25 percent less fuel than current jetliners. Some environmentalists and aviation enthusiasts are hailing the futuristic jet as the most important commercial aviation development in the last half century, but don't book your tickets yet -- it could be decades before this plane takes flight. Dubbed the SAX-40, the new plane was developed by a consortium of scientists, academics and aviation companies that include Boeing, UPS and BAA, the company that runs Britain's airports. The project was led by the Cambridge-MIT Institute , or CMI, a joint venture between the two universities funded by the British government. Unlike the tube-shaped fuselage found in today's passenger jets, the SAX-40 features a radically different wedge-shaped airframe that acts as a single flying wing, creating extra lift. Its engines are mounted on top of the aircraft rather than under the wings, and are made with variable jet nozzles, which allows for slower propulsion during takeoff and climb. The plane is smooth and streamlined, with a drooped leading edge, a simplified undercarriage, and no slats or flaps. While the SAX-40's increased fuel efficiency will appeal to airlines coping with record high jet-fuel prices, creating a quieter plane was always the design team's primary goal. The new engine design will lower cabin noise to a soothing hum; more importantly, the plane won't rattle the windows of houses parked under approach and takeoff paths. "We wanted an aircraft that would be imperceptible to the human ear (from the ground) during takeoff and landing," says Dr. Zoltan S. Spakovszky, an MIT professor and one of the chief engineers on the 7-year project. "Fuel efficiency is important, but we chose to make noise our primary variable." Les Blomberg, director of the anti-noise advocacy group the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse , says the SAX-40 design is significantly quieter than the current generation of jets. "Putting engines on top allows the body of the plane to act as a noise shield," he explains. "And eliminating flaps will also significantly cut down on noise." But he cautions that the SAX-40's "silent aircraft" label should be taken with a grain of salt. "It's not really going to be silent," he says. "Much quieter, absolutely. But not silent." Blomberg says there is a strong economic incentive for the aviation industry to focus on noise. "Many U.S. airports are near capacity, but there's very well-organized community opposition to expansion," he says, citing Teterboro Airport in Northern New Jersey and Hanscom Field in the Boston suburbs as two examples. "Airports and airlines aren't going to be able to grow unless they find a way to respect the surrounding communities." In the hype surrounding the release of the SAX-40 design, it's easy to overlook the enormous technological and market challenges that would need to be addressed before the project becomes a reality. "Research studies like the SAX-40 project are great for spurring new ideas and fostering innovation," says Bill Glover, Director of Environmental Performance Strategy at Boeing. "They're important, but they're very different from product development studies, which must also consider passenger needs, market forces, safety, regulations and a host of other variables." Boeing has used concerns about noise and fuel efficiency to market its new 787 Dreamliner , which will enter service in 2008 and features a lighter airframe; smaller, quieter engines; and laminar flow control to reduce drag. With SAX-40s' developers predicting it will take at least 25 years before their design becomes a reality, planes like the 787 may be the closest today's generation of travelers ever comes to quieter flight. "It's not likely to happen in my lifetime," says Blomberg of the SAX-40. "By the time this plane becomes a reality, most of us will be deaf or dead."

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

14 November - 6am wakeup call to roll down to Banksmeadow to sign the papers with Toll - upon arrival saw another bicycle locked up, recognised it as belonging to Mr Two Fat Ladies, Geezer Ian, and it turned out that he was also there to sign on to the Toll crew. No issue there, it was all before Swall's little accident but interesting to find out (apparently my number is 404 and he is 405 so I got in just ahead of him). Manager seemed a little less strange this time and that's got to bode well. Rode back into town and had a coffee and started work. Very quiet day and reasonably comfortable - moving pretty consistently (probably better than others - apparently crisis guys had a convention in hyde park because there was nothing on - as I did have something on I found myself moving a bit more than I would like for the number of trips. Last job of the day was a nightmare - single drop over to the north side, with the additional cruel blow of taking a cheque to base which is at the top of the hill near crows nest (and I don’t get paid for it). Also got busted for wearing the wearing the sleeveless jersey I constructed and I knew paul, the manager, would notice - conversation went something like this:
Paul - 'You're not tearing the sleeves of my shirts ar you?'
Che - 'No, one was already torn and I just matched it'
P - I don’t let the bikers damage the shirts
C - It was already torn
P - that’s not one of the new shirts, is it?
C - No, its one of the old ones
P - I don’t want you cutting up my Nettis ...
... and, nothing to take back home over the bridge - the worst trip possible - the second worst possible trip (would have been worst if it was an ordinary but it was on express which is a small consolation)
Afterwards went out to the very fancy J'adore for for emilie's birthday dinner. A very good meal, and incredible cocktails - I normally hate cocktails but the Detroit style martini, infused with mint, was verra nice. The barman was excellent if somewhat underutilised, seemed annoying at first but he warmed to me. Very good turnout and lovely to see the old bunch - had been a while for a few of them. Rode home, wobbled very little, saw Nate who gave me the long asked for worlds footage i've been trying to secure off him. Went to bed far too late though.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Secret Life Of Us

13 November - a day of drama it seemed not hindered by any real work of any kind. Started reasonably early to meet the latest shadow (No 5), Paul, a very nice and very keen englishman who'd virtually interrogated me on the phone a couple of times asking about the ins and outs of the class. He had no trouble keeping up although it was hardly a day that really exerted me. Still, I think he'd be a very welcome addition to the team which is very important especially considering that my tenure with the team is coming to an end. Toll beckons and I must say goodbye to my first Australian company - there was no real attempt to ask me to stay because Crisis know that they're terrible employers and, on paper, it makes no difference whether a courier is any good or not because they only pay on a per trip basis. They could have a thousand couriers doing one trip each and it would cost them the same. Still, Nigel the dispatcher expressed regret but also knew that it was for the best. Apparently no 225, one of the trainees from last week (maybe before) was let go - a combination of general ineptitude (which I warned them about) and the fatal mistake of losing a trip. Also, as a result of a mistaken pick by myself, quickly rectified, a short expletive from Mr 2 for 1 Andreas resulted in him being barred from one of our biggest clients - bit of an overreaction but can’t really argue with a customer if they say they don’t want a courier coming to their offices anymore, even if she is a stupid oversensitive cow. It also appears that the Toll job could be potentially quite lucrative, the result of another one of the riders, Geezer Chris, havngbroken both his arms on Friday (yes, both ... ) - apparently the incident was almost captured on fixie shoecam - even did my first trip for toll today by assisting Dottie with a short diversion of my own (got to get in good with the new crew). Very nice barbecue in evening and the smoking of the peace pipe seemed to sooth some in house tensions - lets hope the lions keep on sleeping.

Old For New

13 November - Despite the reasonaby low turnout at the previous night's party there still seemed to be a lot of bottles to take out. Not feeling very energetic during the day but me and Dave headed down to the Newtown festival (dave took the pre-op and was very impressed by his speed) - ate some not very healthy and actually not very tasty (although still quite expensive) festival food and drank illicit bottled beers under the unknowing eye of security. Some half decent music - a bit too spearhead for my liking but entertainingenough. Far too many people for a relaxing day and the only people I bumped into who I knew were a couple of couriers but still, you've got to support your community. Had a filling and expensive spanish meal with the remnants available members of the nuclear family before taking Chevette northside to check out her competition. It seems i'm very fond of the older models although there's something nagging in me saying I should stick with something more recent. There's a whole lot of history with the older ones, some good and some bad, which is not to say the newer ones can be messed up in the same ways. I'm a bit confused and I don’t think i'm being very honest. Ah Sunday, I think ...

Monday, 13 November 2006

Good Night and Good Luck

11 November - Snuck out of the house without causing any dramas for lots of carbohydrates and sugar but was very disappointed with treatment at Digikaf - i've accumulated a fair number of free coffee cards over the weeks (you get one or more depending on how much you've spent) and so I thought I’d spoil myself with a second one only to find that only one can be used per meal. Now, I only had one meal being only one person but I got it double sized (being a hungry man) but could only use one ticket. This meant that I didn’t have enough cash to pay for it (well, I may have had enough but I had a point to prove) so had to give them an IOU and after that they gave me two cards. By their twisted accounting this means that i'm always going to have an increasing number of cards - can only use one per meal and I get more than one card per meal (on average). Idiots. Was tempted to enact a boycott but they are the nicest pancakes in town so am in a bit of a quandary. Other errands and chores were needed throughout the day - had to clean up for the little party planned that night for Nate's moving on - little bit of tension in the house slightly alleviated by initial consumption of alcohol and the peace spliff but not completely. Very nice gathering at the house that evening, catered with authentic tex-mex enchiladas (made by a texan) and El Salvadorian beer - not a huge turnout, in fact, quite a small turnout but that meant enough food for everybody and plenty of beer to go around. Was actually quite nice to have my occasional nemesis, scooter, over - not always the friendliest person in the world but a very interesting person to talk with (he's been around for quite some time) and deep down (occasionally very very deep down), I think he's actually a very good person. Also, it appear that permission has been granted by Australia's largest logistics company to hire a new biker which means i've got the rather unpleasant duty of giving notice at Crisis this week. hurrah.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus ...

... and it's you.

Thank you Virginia for sending out Allen and setting the stage for the end of the reign of Bush II. Rumsfeld down, Bush to follow.

Western Dilemma

10 November - coughed a bit in the morning and every time I did it sent an unpleasant spasm of pain through my left side and knew that working would not be a good idea. Told work the situation and volunteered to do few regulars as I had to go in to see a medical practicioner anyway. The regs are postal box picks and you need a key to do them which only I hold - whilst there I fitted in a few others but was done about quarter past 9 - Priti was fully booked all day so I ended up going to the walkin clinic at 90 Pitt - pretty but vapid and unfriendly receptionists couldn’t even estimate how long i'd have to wait because the 'system was down' - the doctor examined me for a total of 2m and I wouldn’t have been in his presence for more than 5 before telling me that it was just soft tissue and he couldn’t even give me a note because the 'system was down'. Walked out of there and don’t think I signed off the Medicare slip so hopefully they won’t get paid because the 'system was down' (i bet they'll forge my signature later but I trulydidnt get medical attention there). Logged off and was havinga coffee at Farrer when I got a call from Priti's office sayingshe was free so hightailed it down there and got a proper examination (similar diagnosis but understood what was wrong this time and got a note and some other advice about medical matters which I asked - still only about 15m but I got the medical treatment that I deserved. After that rode home for bit of therapeutic relaxation and a moofie. Whilst jackass wasn’t exactly Shawshank it was pretty much more of the what was to be expected from the teev show and the first movie - bit too much gay innuendo and scatological humour but that's what was intended I guess. Nate returned from his melbourne sojourn, very impressed with the transportation planning that's been implemented in that city and we wandered down to Martin Place where I began an evening of light drinking and some of the others in my immediate company took it upon themselves for some excessively heavy drinking with less than pretty results.always considered myself rather priviliged in the line of the greek philosophy, thank god I was born a man, thank god I was born an australian (obviously not thanking an mythical omnipotent being but that's irrelevnt) - don't know if that's something to be ashamed of but maybe it is.

Horizontal Messenger

9 November - Intense slickness from an early morning rain caused an unfortunate slideout which initiallyseemed to just have a few scrapes and bruises but by end of day a serious aching of the ribs. No problem workingthrough it because it was not terribly taxing throughout the day (except for a horrible run whichinvolved me carrying two giant trips up and down Essex street a couple of times before I could finally get rid of them) but come home time I wasn’t feeling too confident because of the pain. use of the bathtub probably had some benefits but the little bit of nature's muscle relaxant and the powerful heat meant even though I had a freezing shower I was virtually catatonic for hours afterwards. Managed to feed myself somehow and would have fed the housemate had they been behaving like a normal human behaves so I didn’t. Despite the God Delusion being very interesting didn’t prevent me from falling asleep with contact lenses in. Ouch.

Over-Competitive Lance Armstrong Challenges Cancer To Rematch

Stolen from the onion ...
AUSTIN, TX—Lance Armstrong, the ultra-competitive seven-time Tour de France champion who recently ran the New York Marathon in under three hours, held a press conference Tuesday to announce that he will be taking the next three months to prepare for a rematch against the opponent with whom he is most often identified: cancer. "I owe it to myself, to my fans, and to cancer's opponents around the world to prove that I can beat this deadly disease once again," said Armstrong, who says he has nothing to fear from once again facing the nemesis that defined him as an athlete. "We took each other to the edge the last time we met in 1996, and you almost ended my career. Even if you have what it takes to face me again, I'm willing to bet everything you still don't have what it takes to bring me down." Armstrong added that, with all the free time he has had as of late, he has been seeking out cancer everywhere, including the American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic, the oncology ward at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and most recently, on the streets of New York City. "I can't deny that cancer got a piece of me last time," Armstrong said. "A big piece of me. I think about it every day. But once I got done with cancer, it was nowhere to be found. It disappeared. Well, cancer, you know where to find me. I can beat you again in six—no, in three months." "I want cancer," Armstrong added. "I want cancer so bad I can almost taste it." Cancer, the much-feared disease that has defeated legendary athletes such as Floyd Patterson, Lyle Alzado, and Walter Payton, is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, and is 0-1 when battling Lance Armstrong. However, Armstrong said he would like to beat cancer more convincingly, saying that the first time he faced off against cancer's flurry of histological attacks, the disease dealt him a "cheap blow below the belt." "You have to hand it to cancer," Armstrong said. "It snuck up on me and certainly changed my life forever. But this time, through intense physical and mental preparation, I am going to show it what Lance Armstrong is all about." "It will take dedication, no doubt about it," Armstrong added, noting that he is also committed to sleeping 17 hours a day. "But I live for competition. And everyone who knows me knows that the physical and emotional ordeals I endure are what I thrive on." The world-class athlete claims he is open to any sort of challenge the disease can offer him, although he hopes this time cancer comes at him in a way that will "really push [him] to the brink." "I wouldn't mind something like brain or lung [cancer], but I think cancer is going to surprise me with something different like a case of acute lymphocytic leukemia or even something in my pancreas," Armstrong said. "It never hits the same way twice. Either way, I give myself a 100 percent chance of survival." "I got cancer once," Armstrong added, gesturing defiantly towards the cameras. "I bet I can get it twice as good this time." Armstrong has already come under criticism from sportswriters and epidemiologists who say that Armstrong is attempting to relive his glory days. "Lance is a proud man, and no one doubts him for a second, but this cancer thing is just eating away at his insides," said University of Texas epidemiologist Graham Heatherington, who trained Armstrong for his first bout with cancer in 1996. "I think by taking on cancer again, he's trying to tell the world he's not ready to lie down and die just yet." "What, do you think he's afraid to do what he has to do?" said Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, a longtime Armstrong supporter. "Go on a strict daily regimen of diet and exercise? Shave his head? Get chemotherapy till he throws up and can no longer stand? He's done it once, and we love him for it. You know what? I for one hope he gets cancer again. I hope he gets it good this time." "It'll be good for the sport," Reilly added. Although Armstrong's friends and family, especially his mother Linda Armstrong Kelly, wish he would reconsider his decision to battle cancer again, they nonetheless say that they will be there to support him and stick by his bedside until the bitter end. "Frankly, I don't think he has anything to prove," Kelly said. "I should have known years ago that he would eventually try to get cancer again." "Hopefully, he beats it," she added. Armstrong, who has not ruled out injecting himself with known carcinogens if the disease fails to accept his challenge within the next two weeks, denied that he was doing it for publicity. "My only hope," Armstrong said before concluding the press conference, "is that by once again beating cancer, I can help raise awareness for cancer." « The Onion | November 9, 2006 © Copyright 2006 by Onion, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friday, 10 November 2006

That's what they said about the fax machine ...

6 November - A very chilled day not helped by early morning rain which made the pavement incredibly slick - only two crashes today, one better (?) than Friday - one caused by a simple slideout and the other by the new shoeses, cleats definitely not properly aligned causing difficulty in clipping in and out and also meaning excess strain on the knees - slowness of day meant I could make a few international calls before the credit expired and I was even given a lunch break (obbiously i'd already eaten my lunch prior to this but you take a lunch break when you can get it in this job ...) - at the end of the day a girl I was sharing the lift with said 'You don't see many of you guys around anymore', for some reason her presence irritated me and I told her there are lots of us still around, she said 'I thought email meant you weren’t needed anymore' - obviously another one of the multitudes who read the Economist article or the one that had been lifted by the SMH who felt compelled to share their knowledge - 'Well, that's what they said about the fax machine, bitch!' - unfortunately didn’t say that out loud but it would have been a nice retort ... in a movie. Also last POD of the day shared my namesake, so there ... Attempts to watch television afterwards wee slightly thwarted by background chatter but it didn’t seem very interesting anyway.

Pisces February 19 - March 20

.While your claims of being a self-made woman are valid, everyone's still a little distracted by all the purplish-black scars and amateurish stitching. «
The Onion | November 8, 2006 © Copyright 2006 by Onion, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Four And Counting

8 November - Another morning, another shadow. Augustus this time, who'd called me at a very late hour the previous night to organise a meet. Really good for a pecker (i don't really know the origin of this term for 'beginner' but its a whole lot less offensive than the Canadian term 'chimp'. To start, met me at a relatively obscure location exactly on time - he had no trouble doing the riding in terms of endurance and confidence with traffic, only a few times where I made a few 'assertive' turns did he hang back. And to top it all of, he had a beautiful orange classic Miele road bike which will look very good on the road and he's Canadian (from Toronto). After I let him go at midday was flooded with really convaluted, heavy, bulky and distant work - non stop for the entire afternoon and was absolutely burning by the end of it - the only brief 5m respite was at 4 when I picked from the Deustche Bank building - renowned for the jobs ALWAYS taking at least 10m from when they were called to being available in the mailroom no matter how urgent they are so enjoyed a cigarette and my new drink - the piccolo late - not as edgy as a macchiato and not as flooding as a flat white - very nice. Was taken over to North Sydney where i'd hoped to meet a friend but upon getting to the other side I confirmed that the phone i'd feared i'd left at home had been left at home - no way to contact her no choice but to ride home, call, and ride back. Took a new route I recently discovered - Regent, cleveland, Abercrombie Wattle, Fig (??) and then boom through the expressway all the way to the Harbour Bridge - 16m from front door to Kirribilli Hotel. Nice but overpriced steak over that way and very nice evening enjoying beer and freezing Milsons Point wind whilst looking over what could very well be the most beautiful cityscape in the world - in many ways gaudy and overlit but absolutely unique and a work of art with contributions from millions. After work was also called by another potential recruit - young Englishman just off the plane who doesn’t know whether he wants to be a courier - Paul gave him my number so he ask me advice on the courier experience so he could decide whether he should invest the capital into the bike and bag so he could start working - explained the risks and hardships of starting but told him what I tell everybody else - it's the best job in the world.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

If Only

7 November - First Tuesday of November could only mean one thing - it was going to be a slow day. Left phone downstairs last night which meant no alarm and struggle to get to my regular pickup before anyone noticed,as it was nothing urgent enough to make me have to work too hard, at least until I got a phonecall from the housemate who forgot her keys that meant a quick pitstop out at Redfern and a mad dash back in for a XXX. Mosty dried up by half 12 giving me a rare lunchbreak where I actually had a chance to buy something (and a big-ass sammich no less) and be able to sit down and eat it without being interrupted by anyone. The afternoon was almost tranquil because of the office crowd having started the expected migration to the pub (or the racetrack or restaurants for the lucky ones and the boardroom for the ones who work for companies to cheap to take them anywhere nice) - although it was inevitable when 3 o'clock and the actual Melbourne Cup race started I was loaded up with a bunch of stuff needing dropping, some of it apparently urgent. Luckily as the time rolled around I was only a block away from the Forbes (a seedy dive but it is the courier's city haunt) and I dropped in for a quick beer and a cigarette and watched $27 (which i'd committed to but not actually paid) get flushed away by the Japanese equine. Was reliably informed that if the second horse beat the first horse then I would have a cool three grand but that's like saying if I picked the winning lotto numbers i'd have won a million. True but pointless. Afterwards things were even cruisier and finished early enough to see a reasonably early sesh of 'Little Miss Sunshine' with Angel - pretty hilarious, very poignant and showed a really creepy world that i'd really rather I didn't know about - the 'Little Miss' child beauty pageant - very disturbing.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Yer Old Pal Jerky's Words of Wisdom #318

Live fast, die young and leave an interesting blog.

Monday, 6 November 2006


5 November - Started day a little late but was reasonably productive - ate some breakfast, had my first stint behind the wheel of a four wheeled machine and fought old Chinese ladies for the last bag of potatoes at Paddy's markets - never done the food stuff down at the markets before anmost interesting experience. Went down to the spiritual hippy shop in the afternoon and had a massage - definitely needed by my aching joints but the problem, as is often the case, was that the girl who did it just didn’t have the brawn to relieve the tension. I need a powerful masseuse and Shannon just didn’t have what it takes. Attempted to redesign the shared space but was vetoed by Samira and got her back by vetoeing her suggestion of putting Turkish figs in the granola we constructed together. At time of writing still cooking away but, if successful, it could man the end of Norganic's stranglehold on my wallet.

The Long Walk

4 November - Woke up far too early for a saturday for excellent breakfast with parents and matt at the old mater digikaf followed by very interesting session of 'fast food nation' - certainly not best film i've ever seen but very interesting fictionalised adaptation of the brilliant expose on the fast food industry - could have been been done more subtly and, lets face it, more entertainingly (is that a word?), but definitely worth the ticket price (although probably not if you're buying all the tickets). Turned out to be a rather expensive day with a ride over the bridge to purchase a much needed replacement pair of work shoes but the discovery of a flat tyre as soon as I entered the bridge's bike path meant a long walk to the top of north sydney plus the additional purchases of replacement tube, rear tyre and bar tape - but, a very pleasant ride back so not all was wasted. Went for a little run with the housemate which was a bit invigorating and followed it off with giving him his first real taste of Australiana in the form of part of a carcass of an animal that cannot walk backwards. Apparently there was a rugby game somewhere in town at which Australia lost but its a good thing I don’t really car for such things - had a few little pivos at the Clock with Louisa befoe being hussled out by the overanxious security guard, which was probably a good thing because I can’t really drink these days.


2 november - up bright and early for some reason and everything seemed good in the world. Clad myself in spandex (for medical reasons) and had a very comfortable and reasonably profitable day. Even had one of the elusive lunchbreaks i've been longing for - dropped into Elixir, owned by a strange man from Saturday's party, when I had a few minutes to kill and was given a very elaborately constucted free macchiato (and free stuff is always nice). Workday was capped off by a very belated phone call from Constable Holmes informing me that the unfortunatet collision with the motorist a few months ago that waylaid me reasonably seriously was, in his investigation's conclusion, the driver's fault and they'll be getting a ticket. nothing really more to worry about now as damages already paid but it's good to know that I have the law on my side. Ventured out to newtown for another schoolnight outing - louisa from the party, not late but by this time of the week it's painful try to push the boundaries.

Hundie For The Hunge

3 November - After such a nice day yesterday it had to be balanced off by a horrific one. Wasn’t psychologically prepared to deal with the rain - wet and uncomfortable and not comfortable with Chevette's condition for it, I found myself crashing a grand total of three times throughout the day - once wiped out trying to hop a tiny concrete lip and onto my bum, a slideout just riding slowly across a very slick tile surface at Railway Square and I found myself falling face first onto my chest (almost certainly damaging all the equipment that's there - radio wasn’t working at end of the day), and lastly (the inevitable) unclipping whilst riding brakeless - in Fairfax loading dock, delivering a package to my favourite Australian neocon and opinionite, Miranda Devine, and tried to skid to a stop in front of the wall and I just rolled straight into it - managed to prevent a real shock by throwing my shoulder into the wall rather than the front wheel which would have been dangerous for the bike and almost certainly less pleasant for me. - good thing i'd bought replacement Times pedals that very day (much better for prevention of unwanted unclipping), bad thing they were sitting in the 88 phillip street mailroom, waiting for me to pick them up. Few little miscommunications with dispatcher but simply didn’t let his stresses bother me and had nice after workies - played around on bikes, practised skids, had nice chats with the boyz and ran away before they all got to drunk and obnoxious. Mr Gray came over and we checked out the local, which has pretty average food but could prove to have a nice atmosphere - and it is the LOCAL, being closer to our actual residence than any other pub by a factor of at least 100m. Had first housemate battle (over laundry power, would you fancy that?). Late night stroll out to newtown resulted in overpriced affagatto and witnessing the fiery destruction of one of Newtown's iconic steetscapes - not sure exactly which shoip it was but it was next to kelly's pub - could smell heavy smoke from a few hundred metres away and by the time we actually reached the site of the fire black smoke was billowing out of the buildings and really chokingthe street -about the same time we made it a few ambulances had arrived and a couple of police cars and finally ... Last but probably not least in this situation - the fire engines rolled in - a bit of a mishmash with engines coming from all over town, some stayingand some assessingthe situation and then leaving onlyto be replaced by another - engines from City of Sydney, Glebe, Pyrmont, Leichhardt (and presumably Newtown but didn’t see one). Very interestingto watch but once they seemed to have it under control I kind of lost my fascination to was happy to leave it to 'em and wander somewhere where I could actually breathe.

ngines from city of sydney, glebe, leichhardt, pyrmont and probably newtown turned up
Most enjoyable

Thursday, 2 November 2006

A Pinch And A Punch

1 November - I had an inkling of it the day before and it started showing itself a bit early in the day (and a bit early in the week) but the chafe made its unwelcome return today and I was very very happy when everything quietened down enough for me to throw in the towel at quarter to 5. However, the day's dramas included carrying a huge 20kg box all over North Sydney while I was desperately trying to get to the base to dump it but was thwarted by the dispatcher putting things on me in a very haphazard manner and, even more painful, having to carry another trainee ... well, I only had to carry him for an hour before the traffic, the hills and the pace (and I was going very slowly and being far less aggressive than I ever am) made him decide that he didn’t really want to be a courier after all. And as well he might because a courier he weren’t. Caught a glimpse of what could be the next 'thing' in Sydney - a burlesque-ish cabaret show all about the history of Australia's seemier side. Not the burlesque extravaganza I was hoping for but a jolly good event all the same and I think that we shall be seeing a fair bit more of this subgenre in the zeitgest.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006


31 October - No ball and chain today which meant I was free to completely exhaust myself throughout a very hot and stretched out day. Introduced my American billet to one of the minor wonders of the world in a big-ass breakfast sandwich - he was suitably impressed and well, he would be, because i've travelled across the world lookingfor the best sandwich and after East and West Europe, the greater Pacific region and North America the 2 Bridge St hole in the wall still seems to be the top contender. For the first time in as long as I can remember I refused a last minute urgent job - i'd already dropped my last and had informed the dispatcher that it was time I got a slurpee when it popped on the screen with a request if I wanted it. Much umming and ahhing but I reallywanted my slurpee and we were supposed to start an alleycat race very shortly so I reluctantly told him to give it to someone else. A first. Not that notable an event but noted enough. As for the halloween alleycat it seemed to go blindingly - completely destroyed by the end of it, not just riding but bobbing for apples, doing tricks, eating a minty, getting whipped by a dominatrix, jumping jacks and inhaling a can of Coca Cola just befoe the longest ride of the race. Came in 5th and first fixie, whch was a bit of an achievement. Until apparently the initial winner was DQ'd and apparently 4th also didn’t do it right (and truth be told, if my manifesto was placed under microscopic scrutiny its possible I could have been disqualified as well). But not to matter, it's all in good fun and shane-o seems to have regained his woollen crown.

Ball and Chain

30 October - Must have been the DST because slept in till half seven and had a very rushed morning but was determined not to let the routing be interupted - in the end just wasted a whole lot less time than usual. Morning was pretty decent - a few hot smoove runs but eventually stopped by an unexpected phone call fom a newbie who I was apparently going to be training that day - he kept on calling me from a public phone which meant only 35 second conversations before he was cut off. Three calls later we arranged a downtown meet and we eventually met up 20m after we were supposed to at Farrer. I was warned that he might not be an absolute speed demon and I should be gentle with him - pity the first destination was the always horrible run through the tunnel to Bayswater Rd in Rushcutters Bay. I never got terribly busy but there was moving non stop for the rest of the day and my young charge did seem to have a fair amount of trouble keeping up - he certainly didn’t have the power to cope with the hills (several times he got off and pushed his bike) and I was constantly waiting for him to catch up. Also his bike was pretty much completely inadequate for the job as well and was already suffering even after the meagre strain he was exting on it. Very frustrating having him on my tail all afternoon and not beingable to rush for any of my work, not that the dispatcher reallyrisked giving me anything terribly urgent considering the bal and chain. Had another house meeting in the evening catered by me which was only marred by the fact that there just wasn’t enough of it. But there never is. Lots of television despite the fact hat there was nothingreally worth watching but sometimes that's necessary.