Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Canine Morning Meal

27 December – Ghost town for a lot of the day – reputedly the quietest three days of the year when even a lot of the lawyers are shutting down.  No dispatcher till late morning but some idiot throwing random things on me all of them in contradiction to the instructions I’d been given last week and nothing even approaching the semblance of a well thought out route.  But, I put myself in the headspace that the dispatcher was incompetent and the day was guaranteed to be pretty crap regardless of how many of 521’s permanents I’d been given.  A lot of the places we went to were shut and the dispatcher who eventually showed up proved incapable of comprehending the most basic requests for information – because of the lack of anything happening had the opportunity to catch up with some friends throughout the day – got some unexpected news – apparently a very small man (or woman) was discovered in a friend’s womb, don’t know how he (or she) got there but I’m sure he (or she) won’t stay long.  Another advantage was being given the time to practice my woeful backwards circles (I can do a quarter circle thus far).  After work had a mostly pleasant ride up to Coogee with my rucksack on my back, constantly knocking my helmet over my eyes especially on the descents but deposited him with Mr Greenup who has also very generously added a self inflating mattress and tent for my use (a little more generous than another individual I know).  After a quick pivo and one of the always reliable Coogee Greek hamburgers had an awesome  non-stop ride back to Redfern where I utilised some excellent short-cuts (not necessarily always short in distance but short in effort) and barely even touched the brake.  .

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

F**ked By The Round

26 December - A long but eventually fruitful search for pancakes took me through the Surry Hills and the depths of Kings Cross and Darlinghurst before ending in The Rocks (where the pancake place has apparently finished its inopportune refurbishments) -  for some reason was tempted to order a chocolate pancake despite knowing full well that it wouldn’t be as satisfying as a normal one.  Braved the sales for a little while but was steadfast enough to avoid buying anything I didn’t really want and headed back towards Broadway where I purchased a half decent mouse for the new computer (same colour scheme, Bluetooth enabled and with a much needed second button) and also saw ‘The Queen’ where the Royal family and the established government get a very sympathetic hearing.  Interesting to see a historical movie about something so recent, especially considering that I was residing in London for both of the key events of the film (the election and the week horribilus) but don’t think it really changed my mind about any of the people concerned.  Apparently the AB was the place to be on Boxing Day with the appearance of the yum yum club (who, coincidentally were also mentioned on a plaque at the same building as the pancake place, spooky) and whilst it took a while to get kicking by the time I left it was quite the happening bar about town.  Did manage to drink just enough to probably give me a hangover tomorrow but by chance I happened to bump into the perpetually gorgeous (and perpetually 19) Tonette from way back in my corporate life so it couldn’t have been a totally wasted night.  In fact, it was not even close to being a wasted night at all.

How The Tables Have Turned

25 December – The 25th of December has rolled around again and it’s very easy to forget the true historical meaning of this time of year. That’s why I’ll be celebrating by consuming vast quantities of flesh and ale and bowing down to the false gods of money and sloth – you know, celebrating the pagan way.
Due to constrictions of the season had a semi-house meeting where nothing of consequence was discussed over an excellent Sax prepared breakfast of Five Star Hotel Scrambled Eggs ?, Crispy Bacon and Blueberry and Oat Pancakes with Greek Yoghurt and Canadian Maple Syrup – which, I will not be too modest about, was f**king awesome.  Afterwards took Dave the housemate down to Christmas lunch with the extended family.  Largest gathering of relations by blood and marriage and de facto that I can remember ... Last time something approached this number would have been the last election night where Mark Latham broke my heart and my aunt then stamped on the pieces.  Food was excellent and some relations were expectedly and unexpectedly both tedious and brilliant – afternoon was taken up with a showing of ‘Kenny’ which was always going to be slightly irritating as a movie pretty much shuts down a party (even if only temporarily) but was especially annoying as I’d just seen it the night before (and had even made a late night bike ride through sketchy streets to get it back in time for the cheap rate).  Mater seemed to be pretty pleased with her present of a basic, relatively bad quality bike, although it should be more than adequate for her uses (I say this in defence as I know she’s the most (only?) regular reader of this diatribe.  Felt a bit strange fixing the bike up and then watching her ride off down Holford Crescent – this particular incident took exactly 22 (or maybe 23 or 24 – can’t remember how old I was when I got my first bicycle) years to reverse itself.  

Monday, 25 December 2006

Inefficient Bliss

24 December – As I left the house I realised that I needed my errands were going to take me in conflicting directions and I automatically started trying to route the most efficient (or least inefficient) path for the day then I told myself that I wasn’t working and I wasn’t in a rush and, damn it, I was going to take the least efficient route there was.  Hence backtracked from Redfern to Glebe to Surrey to Redfern South to Redfern without a care in the world.  Sometimes efficiency isn’t all its cracked up to be.  Second venture out to Newtown for a DVD was also incredibly inefficient when a well organised plan to order Chinese food from Chippendale (Chippendale?) was thwarted by a Christmas closure and it was back to Newtown again without a huge amount of fuss.  The fact that a second journey had to be made at 2230 in order to utilise the discount rate for returning it within six hours was not so much fun.  Still, the 24 hour video store is a great concept – similar to the idea of using the post but a bit more practical and even though there isn’t the option of all you can rent for a set fee they don’t have the option of cutting you off if you’re borrowing more than you pay for (which all of them seem to do apparently).  The system would be great if it worked and it seems to work alright – you can’t expect something like this not to have teething problems.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Enthusiasms

23 December – Pancakes from across the road – never again.  Hamburger from up the road – definitely again.  Which one’s closer?  Guess.  The nofishcafe has finally sorted their wifi out which is much more convenient than the broadway café and the staff are a hell of a lot better as well.  I am happy to buy a coffee or two for the use of the ‘free’ wifi despite it costing far more than the actual bandwidth is worse.  I’m not sure why I’m happy to do this but I seem to be.  Bought a steel iron horse from a place I’m ashamed to have bought it from but am sure it will do the job that it is designed for – if I can ever get the incredibly fiddly brakes to work properly – I’m quite surprised at how badly they were put together – I’d be very surprised if your standard issue mall worker would have a clue as to how to put it together, as it was, I had to sit back and really contemplate the issue before challenging it and whilst I’m not a master of the craft I’ve got a half decent understanding of how this stuff works these days.  The bargirl at the Alexandria seems rather enthusiastic for someone who works at the Alexandria.  Something you notice sometimes.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Victory Will Be Ours

22 December – Left my mobile in the bathroom previous night which meant no alarm and no waking up until ten minutes before I was supposed to start work. Didn’t seem to cause a problem as was out the door in double quick time – however, the fact that my mobile had gone two days without charging meant communication issues throughout the day as the battery started to fizzle by 11am.  A little bit of rigmarole and a few items woefully represented (cheap bastards trying to slip boxes in under the radar as bike trips – it’s a lot harder to get upgrades at Toll but sometimes you’re just not going to let it slide).  In any event, it was all over by 3pm and so headed to Hyde Park where I played a little frisbee and drank a little beer and smoked a little ... Whatever.  It took a while for the rest of the bikers to turn up as there was still a little going on in town.  Some very energetic and violent football was played (but not by me) but had a nice time out there – now that it’s summer it looks like we may have an alternative place for Fridays considering the resistance we’re getting from the restaurant down at Martin Place which is trying to wear us down by calling the police on us every Friday.  Nobody likes the idea of being pushed out of a place they’ve been using for over a decade by an institution that’s been there for a few months but I’ve got a feeling that that place isn't going to last the distance and we’ll be back (and there’s still a few representatives there every other day of the week so I don’t think they’ll be able to declare victory any time soon).  Found a handbag with a few cards and a set of keys in it on the way home and dropped off to the police station – normally you’ve got to go through a lot of red tape just for handing it in but they were too busy to deal with it so I managed to escape without any problem.  Absolutely wrecked when I got home and the housemates were watching a truly awful movie on television so I hid in my room until it was all over and next thing I knew it was Saturday.  C’est la vie.  I didn’t want to do anything that night anyway.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Take Two

21 december – Nothing at all for the first hour, kicked up a little bit in the afternoon but nothing terribly smooth and had a couple of big chunks of the day wasted by bureuacratic nonsense.  Despite being at work still managed to spend way too much money – can’t understand how it gets whittled away at such high speed ...  Just worn out by the end of the day though but did manage to finally crack Miami Vice with an almost complete viewing – still managed to drift away in the middle but it all makes sense now and it just wasn’t that great.  Next reattempt will be Collateral, A Scanner Darkly and maybe the Black Dahlia (although the latter is doubtful because I’m pretty certain it was pony [whatever pony means]).

Offroad

20 December – I really don’t like mango yoghurt – two flavours that go so well on their own are such a disaster when combined.  At least when they’re combined by the good people at Yoplait – never seemed too objectionable when done on my own.  Heavens finally opened up again (at least for me working) and was comfortably sodden for most of the day. The very first pickup of the day was from an extremely obscure location in my old workplace, the AAP building, destination 73 Arthur St.  Knowing it probably didn’t exist I presumed it’s approximate location and hoped for the best – ended up searching wasting half the morning on the wrong side of the bridge criss-crossing it picking up worthless and oversized junk while looking for the building that didn’t exist.  Finally was told to try the McMahons Point end (highest number was 35 Arthur), then was told it’s at 74 Walker (also doesn’t exist), a building site on Walker St (none there) and finally its true destination, office at 73 Walker.  Very irritating.  Rest of the day was okay – was temporarily ‘taken off the road’ by someone from Toll Management because I had not received a fit to work letter from my doctor (despite having worked from Monday) and was even threatened with being taken off the road permanently for hanging up on her (we were cut off ... Would I hang up on someone in management?  Never ... ) but managed to get in touch with Priti who had a cancellation and was back on the job within about 20 minutes (if I didn’t have her it would have been disastrous).  And ten minutes after I was officially allowed back on the job I,  of course, managed to wipe out at the AMEX loading dock.  Such is life.  Found a new considerable deal at the old Forresters – the days of the reign of its $5 steak may be confined to the pages of history but a large pizza and a 750ml bottle of Verdant Coopers for a tenner can’t be beat.  

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Is This A Task for The Immortal Class?

19 December – A lot of presents today – no wine bottles because we’re not allowed but big diaries, boxes of chocolates and even lead bricks at times – not very pleasant to take over the bridge. Wouldn’t a card have sufficed?  Afternoon was broken for an hour by my first ‘helper’ job – basically helping a driver load his van.  A hundred boxes of pink ribbons, pins and brochures had to be taken out to a storage facility and I was nominated to load the truck.  The driver seemed a bit irritating at first and a bit irritating later on but the girls helping to load the truck were quite nice and it was all over eventually.  These trips happen every once in a while – did the occasional carry boxes of printing all over UTS with Crisis – apparently they pay okay but it made me want to take a shower afterwards.  If it’s not on a bike it’s not something I want to do.  Late in the afternoon got a call from Kurt asking me if I was interested in a little run – it would involve a giant coathanger – at first I thought it was moving a suit but was soon set straight that it was a late afternoon bridge run – a danger as the time involved in just crossing at that time of the day meant a high chance of rocking up to a place to find it closed – was called by one of the office girls frantically confirming that I’d be able to make a north side drop, last pick on the north side was futile because they’d already closed (best paying job of the lot as well and somebody is definitely going to get in trouble for it being missed tomorrow – it certainly won’t be me though) and last drop on city side was also closed but managed to squeeze it into the dockmaster’s office.  Gave up the opportunity to join a vigilante group who’d formed to recover the possessions of one of the courier’s (Reed had his valuables nicked from the hostel by a couple of evil Frenchmen and he’d located their current hideout) - am hoping the items are recovered with a minimum of violence.  
I’ve finally finished ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ - Salman Rushdie’s epic and poetic homage to rock’n’roll and the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice (that’s euri-di-see, not yuri-dice apparently) has been conquered.  I don’t know what the problem was – it was enjoyable, a bit difficult to read at first but not too much of a stretch – for some reason I was struggling to get through two pages a night.  Every time I picked it up my eyes would shut down and I’d see double.  But, it’s done.  Now I’ve got to find something else to read ...

Strawberries In A Salad, Who Ever Heard Of Such A Thing?

18 December – Tentatively got on the bicycle in the morning and despite feeling a bit of a twinging there was no significant pain – after syncing and caffeinating myself at 370 Pitt St (staffed by the old cow shed girls) whilst I was nicotining I noticed a young German man taking my photograph.  It turns out that Olly (an erstwhile Berlin courier) was preparing to ride to Melbourne tomorrow morning and needed a bicycle shop for some last minute bits and pieces.  Took him down to CBD but closed so brought him to Farrer to meet some of the Australian contigent.  Left him after a little work came my way – am sure he was going to be okay – a few bridge runs throughout the day, staggered work that denied a proper lunch but a few real breaks in action throughout the day meant that it wasn’t too uncomfortable.  Got a TV guide and coffee from dad and finished by bringing an incorrectly labeled wine bottle back to Redfern (very rare to be sent home with something although it wasn’t exactly the dodgy side of Redfern (where I live) but, hell, it’s better than finishing in North Sydney.  Another long delayed house meeting tonight. ... No dead bodies in this house but in Oz, hoo boy.  I don’t know if its the actual last series but the body count of major characters was pretty consistent with an end of season episode.  It’s probably a good thing that this show has ended – don’t think there’s anyone left now.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

I know I did something ...

17 December – Where the f**k did the day go? Might have Algren back some day soon but then again, might not.  I can still ride a bike it seems.  Um, there’s a very nice newish hamburger place in Newtown ... Uh, check back tomorrow.

Even Stevens ... Almost

16 December – Staying over at Chez Collins (despite it really being Chez Mills) is always such a pleasure.  Where else will I be woken up with a coffee (and a Berocca, my first one – I don’t really know if it works that well but it was there and that’s the main thing).  As Kate told me with great reverence once, I need a wife.  Well, maybe not one of those – but certainly a coffee maker wouldn’t go astray.  A bit of zen and the art of bicycle maintenance ensued and some body maintenance at the Andrew James Healing Centre which was not as effective as it could have been.  Found a new free (albeit pretty weak) wifi signal at the edge of Newtown and Redfern before heading back to the house for a few rounds of low stakes poker.  Thankfully had Robespiere to take control of the game and he inevitably snatched the first round with protestations of ‘trying to lose’.  The obnoxious one was doing his best to be obnoxious but luckily there were a few effective controls to keep him from going too far – very useful.  All in all, almost even stevens in terms of gambling which makes for pretty cheap entertainment overall.  

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Not Today

15 December – Despite the pretty certain knowledge that working would be out of the question put on the uniform in the morning but reluctantly decided that it would really be a bad idea to try to push through the day so made the call to cancel.  Second Friday in a row, and that can’t be a good thing.  Being confined to walking speed meant my range for the day was significantly reduced so just did local errands and watched a very strange iMovie made documentary about a very screwed up family.  I’ve already got a screwed up family so I couldn’t really see the point.  Made the journey out to Coogee and a very nice Thai place for a farewell dinner for PJ and Kate, about to head off to South America and whatever bad things one can do over there.  Stayed up far too late smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey and doing unspeakable things on his computer.  But it wasn’t very exciting and I’m not going to pretend that it was.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Best Laid Plans

14 December – Isn’t it always the way – just when the mini-drought seems to have alleviated itself by a smidgeon something gets in the way.  In the middle of what could almost be called a hot run when, whilst going to pick up an incorrectly addressed and woefully misrepresented item (an envelope?  Let’s say a folder and a 1-metre long, 2 kilogram architectural roll) from 11 York St, I missed the glass door and went headfirst and (more importantly) knee first into it.  Was almost knocked to my feet but managed to collect my thoughts enough to carry on – a bit more in the city and out to Surry Hills and Central where another misrepresented package (‘small parcel’ disguised as a f**king huge box) that had to be balanced on the handlebars back into the CBD – on the way up Elizabeth St started to feel shooting pains up my banged knee and by the time I reached my destination I was pedalling with one leg.  Called for an early lunch in the hope that some stretching would alleviate the problem but there was no joy there and, seeing as all the reputable doctors I knew in the city where unavailable, headed over to the Emergency ward.  Not much of a wait luckily but not much that they could do – x-ray and cursory examination showed nothing wrong and was told to ice/anti-inflammatory it and hope for the best.  Seeing as work for the day (week?) was finished took the opportunity to get my new contact lenses and furthered my attempt to try to get some of the starter kits without much luck.  Contact lens kits for RGPs in Australia are ridiculous – everything is sold seperately and in great big bottles that expire long before an average user would even get halfway through them – in Canadia you could buy the little kits with a month’s worth of cleaner, solution and a fresh lens case for a docky diver.  The sad thing is that the starter kits are available in Oz but they’ll only give them to you when you first start wearing contact lenses and never again (they won’t even give you a new one when you shell out $470 for a new pair).  What has this world come to?

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Not this day

13 December – Some people are very annoying and others are just rude – and others seem to border on being sociopathic but there’s not much you can do about them.  Even quieter today than yesterday and had to try to make believe that there was actually something happening when there was a slight alleviation of the drought.  Still very gluggy but hoping my lungs and sinuses will flush themselves of the gunk over the next day or two – one of the couriers found a stunned lorikeet down on Kent Street, hit by a car.  He’d called someone about it but I’m not exactly sure what he was going to do with it – when I left him he was putting it away in his courier bag (in a box, I think ... I hope) - now that the day is over I wonder what actually happened to it ...  Visited by James who told me with great authority of the upcoming DJ’s at the AB – one of these days I’ll recognise one of those DJs but unfortunately not this day.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Drifting

12 December – For the second day in a row the short trip down Gibbons-Regent St had a little incident with a driver in a van – yesterday was taking up a whole lane for a sizeable amount of time, easily long enough for a driver to realise that he was bearing down on a cyclist but it didn’t stop him slamming on the breaks and screeching right behind me,  today’s incident was a driver just stealing the lane in front of coming within a hairs breadth of taking me out – after I caught him at the lights and told him in reasonably reasonable terms what he had done he shouted back an angry but intelligible response – and both of these were before I’d even logged on. Sydney drivers.
Very few trips throughout the day but what little was sent my way was of a reasonable quality so I wasn’t too upset but after 430 when the replacement dispatcher came on the f**kin’ idiot gave me conflicting instructions, responded to queries without reading them and generally destroying the surprisingly decent mood I was in at the end of the day – and this is the man who caused most of the problems on last week’s (week before?) Day Of The Worst Bike Dispatching Ever,  And he’s rumoured to become our full time dispatcher, there will be problems if this occurs.  Saw A Scanner Darkly with Louisa at the Dendy – the visuals are amazing – the same process as the original Lord of the Rings and Flashback (as well as Prince of Persia but that never impressed me too much) - interesting movie but was drifting towards the end and am not really sure what happened at the end.  May have to try it again soon.  

Monday, 11 December 2006

If a shortcut was easy then it would just be called 'the way'

11 December – Back to work after a slightly extended weekend – still felt a bit crap, not helped by the heat.  Very slow start to the day not helped by the added competition of Geezer Chris who’s returned with both arms reasonably intact apparently.  A few rushing periods where half our clients seemed to be trying to move house by disguising lead bricks as innocuous envelopes didn’t make for a comfortable afternoon but kept on moving which is what it’s all about.  A few things were burnt by the time I got them and one time when seriously overloaded I had a wrong address and was told I to take a very uncomfortablly oversized brick for a ride over the bridge – normally, I always do what I’m told but not this time – got a slight admonishment but if the dispatcher had that thing on his back he would have done the same.  Last drop of the day was at TressCox and I paid a brief visit to the uncle, the ‘executive partner’ and then rushed home to try to beat the oncoming storm and almost made it.  Dinner at M&Ds, paid my way with a bit of technological assistance and came home to find that we’ve got a new houseguest.  Oh, whatever, I still feel like crap and I can’t really elaborate.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Birthdays, Birthdays and More F**kin' Birthdays

10 December – Today me old mam, me old mate and a combined party for my little mate Dylan along with a couple of his contemporaries.  Great thing about kids parties is that there’s lots of sugar, lots of energy (none of it needing to be expended by me) and its all over by a reasonable hour.  Unfortunately, combination of recovery from Thursday’s illness (and hopefully not the start of a new one) plus excess of ‘that time of year’ celebration (not that I was imbibing a hell of a lot of cheer) meant that even finishing at the reasonable hour left me spent and lying on the couch drifting in and out of consciousness – read a bit, wrote a bit, tried to watch a movie (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind – one of the better existential mainstream cinema experiments, certainly a hell of a lot better than ‘I Heart Huckabees’ [and it was ‘Heart’ not ‘Love’]) but the last fifteen minutes degraded into jerky frame by frame crap (I predict that one of the great mistakes of the 21st century will be the DVD – awesome in capacity and convenient for storage but they just do not last – information is just too tightly packed on a far too fragile medium and it will only get worse with the Blu-Ray and the HD-DVD).  Was woken from my slumber by my hapless housemate who’d locked herself out of the apartment she was housesitting (and coincidentally locked herself out of the apartment she lived in because she left her own keys in the other one) - hope it worked out for her.  Really shouldn’t have pushed the envelope any further but Ade decided that he would have a small get together to celebrate his birthday (probably jealous of his son getting all the attention in the morning) and headed over Leichhardt way where the Old Caesar’s has reopened – renamed the Petersham Inn and carefully scrubbed of the seediness of the inner west’s favourite gay bar and also expertly cleaned out of any charm or character it once might have had. How publicans think that blonde wood, fluorescent lighting and high static carpet can replace the beauty of beer stained benchtops and colourful local characters I’ll never know.  Was also ordered to remove my hat upon entering the place – what’s all that about?

What's it all about?

9 December – Not drinking at a poker night made for some far too sober play which could have been somewhat responsible for my poor performance but it did make getting up a little easier.  Finally got the opportunity to try out the $9.90 breakfast at the Big Toast Café down the road.  Eggs not cooked the way I’d normally have them and coffee given was an unexpected and unnerving cappuccino (probably because I didn’t specify what I wanted but that was my fault) but ample toast (I subbed extra in exchange for the chips which really have no place before 12pm) but all in all pretty decent.  Volume was very good, in my current state I couldn’t finish it which has got to bode well for future eating escapades.  Did the little trek out to Bronte Beach for the SydBMA Christmas picnic – a fair showing of the courier scene, still didn’t feel crash hot and even the minimal intake of beer that I could manage didn’t seem to help at all.  A little frisbee, a little cricket and a race up the hill where I took a very average 8th (and wanted to expel my stomach's contents once I did make it to the top) - had some nice chats with the crew, was vaguely accused of stealing cigarettes by one miserable entity and did the hill climb back up and on to Redfern where I steeled myself for another velocipedal journey out to Neutral Bay for the birthday of young Mr May (combined with that of a friend of his, apparently born on 27th of December and always bitter about the fact that his birthday being overshadowed by the other events of the season) - very nice barbecue, steak was a little dry, but a chocolate cake of guassian proportions with chocolate meringue, chocolate cake, chocolate butter, chocolate icing, chocolate wafer and a strange type of chocolate cream (absolutely delicious to eat but one’s stomach cramped up into a little ball as soon as it was dissolved by the old acids.  Always an interesting crowd of people there – some familiar, some not, got stuck next to a Jewish Homosexual with a really big chip on his shoulder about the fact that he was Jewish and Homosexual (capital letters intentional) but managed to hide under the table until he didn’t go away.  

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Brie Is Poor Man's Camembert

8 December – Last night’s plans to go and see a band out at Balmain were halted by a fair amount of discomfort caused by excessive bicycle riding and a late night bout of queasiness which kept my head stuck in the bowl of the toilet for most of the night.  Presumed that it was something along the lines of gastro – one of my least favourite 24 hour bugs – expel most of the contents of the stomach, drink ridiculous amounts of fluid to try to rehydrate then expel most of that again. The cooking of flesh downstairs did not do much for my comfort level and crashing early didn’t seem to help with getting anything approaching a good night’s sleep – constantly waking to drink water then desperately trying to keep it down.  Called Kurt in the morning to let him know the predicament – one of the other riders had gone to Adelaide for the weekend so we were going to be down two.  That’s not great considering it’s a Friday but there was no way in the world that I was going to be able to cope with working today so I just had to let it go. It really hasn’t been very busy at all for the last few weeks so I’m sure they’ll cope (however, it’s always situations like this which seem to be bring out the work – the rest of the crew should be happy that there’s just more to go around for them).  Not the most comfortable day due to strains of previous night but did take opportunity to check out the latest attempt to make James Bond palatable to a 21st century audience – incredible action and stunts but international terrorism and high stakes poker do not really go that well together in my view and the last one and a half hours (of something that could quite easily have been reduced to half that) proved far too convoluted and confusing to my sodden brain.  Who’s that guy?  Why did he kill him?  I though he was his friend ...  It would have helped to have the wikipedia entry to refer to but what’s one going to do?  Afternoon was taken up with various computer based errands (ie errands that can be done without getting out of the chair) but concluded evening by carrying on the James Bond theme with a few games of low stakes Texas Hold’em over at James’ bachelor gaffe in Bondi – brain still not functioning at 100% capacity but that wouldn’t have helped me get any decent cards.  Was onto a scorcher in the first hand of the second game when I was presented with an Ace high flush and went all in only to be trounced by a sleeper straight flush which ended the night’s playing for me.  It had rained whilst we were playing the games so the slick streets made for some very enjoyable sliding all the way back and that’s what it’s really all about.

Friday, 8 December 2006

This Rookie Knows Best

7 December – Matt dropped me off at home by about 720 and, having swapped shifts with Dottie, I found myself with a fair amount of time to kill. Thought about being productive but went with watching a movie instead – didn’t get to watch all of ‘Quicksilver’  due to time constraints but did get a good taste of it.  Have wanted to watch this movie ever since Kate told me of its existence – the only mainstream movie about the immortal class and starring no less than the Man of Six Degrees himself (who can do some pretty incredible bike tricks unless it was merely trick photography).  Every courier I’ve ever spoken to has seen it and they all seem to have a special place for it in their hearts despite admitting that it’s really not very good (guy has it all, loses everything, finds himself with a new expression, finds a girl, beats a bad guy – ah, the 80s, if nothing else it gave us some good formulas).  However, I can’t say that I currently share the sentiment at the ending where the message is very clear that anyone who is in messengering will only be happy when they are out of it (be they become stock brokers, paramedics or owners of a hot dog stand).  Maybe one day I will share the sentiments.  BUT NOT THIS DAY.  When I finally did start had a pretty average day – bit of racing around, some efficient, some not, some sitting down and some standing up.  Had a few troublesome drops throughout the day – I tell you one thing, when I finally do decide to leave this sordid business on my last day some of Sydney’s receptionists, mailroom clerks and security guards are going to cop it sweeeet.  Wasted 25m waiting for a ticket to show up at Flight Centre before abandoning it to its fate (I hope that person misses their flight and sues that place – the despatch centre for Flight Centre never has anything ready for us on time).  Whilst on the phone discussing the intricacies of mail merging I overheard some wanker calling me a rookie again – I don’t know what defines one as being a rookie and maybe I still am but if I am then I’m happy to be one and that particular gentleman can go wash his hair for all I care.  

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Laverne and Shirley

An excellent deal was got on a very nice looking and very big external hard disk.  At least I hope it was an excellent deal and I hope it’s very big.  It’s certainly very big compared to anything I’ve owned before but many people I know quickly degenerate into space whores when they’re given the opportunity and I hope I don’t become one.  Much worry was devoted to hoping that I got the partitioning right – I don’t want to be screwed down the track because I put a little too much into column A and not enough in column B.  

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Toll Slow

23 November - Felt a dire need to read a newspaper today and still not having found a reliable inner city wifi source and knowing that the nofishcafe signal is strong but impossible to connect through I made the surprisingly long trip out to Roslyn Street in the cross for a coffee from the camp old bastard who runs the nice coffee shop next to the Teahna Banana gelateria with its always reliable signal. Logged on at 10 to 8 but my cheerful early morning banter was not reciprocated and it was quite some time before any real work came my way. It took a while to realise that it was not the affable Kurt on the other end of the data device but Wayne, who does a few other channels and despite seeming quite nice when I met him the other day he's a right curt wanker over the text messages. Incredibly quiet day with only one sweeet run where I was making about twenty stops, never having to go more than two blocks between each one and only minimal illegal riding required. Spent a lot of time window shopping and reading about what was going on around the world (it's a good thing I'd synced the avantgo). Knocked off early enough and did some ablutions before heading Gordon side for home cooked meal the likes of which can only be made by a mum who loves you and repaid generosity by stealing various other foodstuffs for my own larder. First tentative connections by the Macbook to the in'nernet but couldn't remember what I needed to download or do so logged off and cursed myself when I remembered after I'd left the house. Had to rush to make the direct train back to Redfern but all was good and no railbus's were necessary. Did a bit of vandalism against my brand new jersey but it's far too hot for sleeves at the moment and I need to even out the tan.

I feel so ashamed

26 November – First ibuprofen assisted morning for quite some time but didn’t take too long to get reasonably mobile. Spent the afternoon out Balmain way with Louisa which was very pleasant – hair of the dog was far more suitable in righting my misaligned soul than the previously ingested chemical solution. Saw Return of the King for the first time in quite a while and was reminded of how incredibly long that movie actually is. Also, despite my longstanding and still firmly believed view that the show was is and always will be crap, saw the final epsiode of Australian Idol. Reasonably pleased with the result because the winner is actually a very good singer although I do think that if the result went the other way it would still work out just as well for him – he’s certainly good enough for a record company to snap him up and he’d have the advantage of not being stuck with Sony BMG (I wonder if a Crisis boy will be doing an early morning delivery from 1 Saunders to 11 Hargrave???) and he also wouldn’t be stuck with the crappy song that Idol gave him as his first single. You think about that.

Crimsons Tide v The Blue Rangers

30 november – brettski’s mum’s condition had presumably improved enough to allow him to return to the bridge freeing my valiant energy for the core. Morning was slow but took me down to Belmore Park where I watched the industrial relations reform protesters voicing their disapproval at the laws that are to come (or have they arrived yet?) - certainly I share many of their concerns but, to me, I don’t see the law reforms as being inherently bad, it is always up to the employer to act ethically towards their employees and a lot of employers are good and a lot of employers are bad and these reforms are not going to change that at all. It’s also seemingly impossible to organise couriers to do anything for their own good – far too transient a workforce to unite to do anything – especially when they are some of the worst treated employees (or independent contractors as many of them are forced to be identified as) in all of the industries (there are notable exceptions). Great when I eventually returned to the core ahead of the rally – all of the streets were blocked off and were empty of cars (and not too many people either) and we could just ride through the city at breakneck speed, always taking the shortest lines regardless of direction signs or lights – had a mini rush through these incredible conditions but also, eventually found myself trying to take my normal route the Rocks to Farrer and was stopped dead by the protest rally’s congregation. On and off throughout the day – found a new wifi point again (every time I find a good open one another gets cut off, becomes inaccessible either physically by an extended distance or electronically by a password or it justs fades away into nothing. Hoping this latest one (in 370 Pitt St, presumably one of the cafes) will last for more than a few days – the Netgear by Gloria Jean’s near Central is there but he doesn’t want to give me a DHCP server (which I honestly don’t really know what it is). After work a game of tennis was planned – was basically a ring-in because a fourth was needed and my friends know that I am fighting the theme of the ‘Summer of Tennis’ which Kate is brutally trying to get me to sign on to. The Crimson Tide handily defeated the Blue Rangers but that was because the Lone Ranger hadn’t played tennis in quite some time and was steadfastly refusing to do anything that would aggravate his latest sprains – next time the Tide will turn, if you will.

Hot Hot Heat

28 November – Bridge boy again today as Brettski was otherwise detained – only a few journeys over but it did mean moving pretty consistently which is what one wants to do. Toll seems to have a very different attitude towards what a courier is actually supposed to do compared to Crisis – very big on rejecting things that are too big and upgrades are a lot more painful than the previous place. In any event, the day seemed to be quite good. However, when it’s 35 degrees C you might be forgiven for wanting a quiet day. I bet when its raining tomorrow all the work will disappear. Afterwards went to see ‘The Prestige’, a capital film which seems to be like a thinly disguised biography of Jean Claude Van Damme’s life – wonder how it will go down in the states with its denunciation of GE founder and inventor extraordinaire, Thomas Edison. Nothing else of any real excitement happened, at least I don’t think and I’m not going to extend this post by pretending that it did.

Worst Dispatching Ever

4 December – My alarm woke me at its normal time of half six but today, rather than pressing snooze I turned the alarm off accidentally.  I thought I reset it for 640 but apparently I didn’t so I was a late boy this morning.  Called up kurt to let him know the situation but he told me he was off today and when I logged on and told them I was running late I was just given an urgent job from the far end of town.  It turns out that the normal substitute had left the company and the fleet manager was doing the bikes today – and ... He was crap.  Apparently used to be a driver and dispatcher for cars but had no idea at all how to handle bike channel.  One of the first jobs in the morning was going out to Neutral Bay (which turned out to be closer to Mosman) - should have taken that as a sign of things to come.  Trips were constantly coming on and off my screen as he changed his mind, I ended up doing a whole bunch of work that I wasn’t paid for (but, I think I was also paid for a bit of work that I didn’t actually do).  One of the few times when I actually spoke to dispatch he admitted that he couldn’t keep up with the bikes.  Fair enough, I thought, but come on, get someone who can then or at least monitor the channel so you know what’s going on.  Every time I bumped into another Toll guy their would be a torrent of abuse towards the sinister little O2 device in their hands. I would have to say it was the absolute worst dispatching I have ever had.  Jobs put on multiple bikers, constantly being sent to places where the trips were far too big, minimal communication and EVERYTHING was late (most of the time it was late before it had been given to us).  That said, there was actually plenty of work (and good stuff too) to go around and knowing that it was pure incompetence and not some sinister agenda against me being the reason for the ridiculousness of the day made for a relatively satisfying day.  Had a beer with Kurt (the regular dispatcher who had been off to tend to his biking injuries) to console myself and extracted a promise from him that he would be in in the morning.  
... Sometimes I wish I had a friend who’d make me cupcakes and home made ice cream.  Where do I find me one of those?

Algren Lives

My boy, my boy, my boy!

The Chair Ent There

5 December – was fed some pancakes at robbie and carmen’s in the morning which fortified me for a day of hard labour. Unfortunately there was not a hell of a lot of hard labour to go around – it was great to have Kurt back in the distpatch chair but it was crap that he had nothing to dispatch to me today.  I amused myself by trying to determine which locker I could claim at 6 Bridge St.  All have locks on them, except one, but that’s already been claimed by Dottie – when asking the other Toll guys which one belongs to them the answers were specific (Newtown Jets sticker on it) or vague (against the wall .... Uh, near the desk) - you wouldn’t think it would be that hard.  Visited the US consulate – leave your helmet, bag, phone and dignity at the gate please – even though on one level its no worse than visiting any of the courts where you’ve got to go through a security check – security at official US places always have a shocking attitude (reminded me of customs when flying from Van to Sydney via Honolulu) - I’m always convinced that they’re goading me into losing my temper so they can then reject entry.  Do they get a kick out of it?  Maybe.  If I was a security guard I’d hate my life too.  Went over the handlebars again. Landed on hands again.  A couple of blasts from the past throughout the day as per the usual – one I’m glad I saw and one I was ambivalent about – spent the evening in North Sydney, very pleasant but had to ride back no lights – never a nice thing, but I’m pretty sure it was a no stopper – all the way from Blues Point Rd, Milsons Point to Margaret St, Redfern and nothing but greens or couldabeens.  Awesome.

Monday, 4 December 2006

The History of Sax

3 December – Tried to resolve the transfer problem by buying a new USB device which I was assured would work with no problems but, of course, it doesn’t.  And now, when I turn on the old PC it’s making the most terrible scuffling noises as it tries to find anything on the hard drive.  Everything was working fine last night – I really do not deserve this kind of terrible  treatment from technology – I’ve always treated my toys with respect, I have a fairly decent technical knowledge – how come I get stuck with all these garbage problems?  If I’ve lost the information on that hard drive I don’t know what I’ll do.  Admittedly, I’ve not used it for quite some time but it’s my life that’s on that thing.  Some of the files on that computer go back to 1992.  If they’re gone – that’s my life erased.  However, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth I somehow got it to work (and also, by a stroke of luck, managed to get Entourage to send gmail which was an excellent bonus) and I managed to get all my historical data onto the new machine.  All my music, pictures, documents and other sundry files are now residing on the new beast – the one thing I’ve learned from this whole process is that I sure had some strange tastes in pornography in my youth.  Also got a massage in the afternoon (got to get it before the health fund credit expires at the end of the year) from a reasonably decent masseuse – seemed to have a bit more medical training than the last one and had a relatively powerful touch (nothing on the old Thai ladies but you can’t ask for everything) and did some good works on my banged up wrist and violin tight hamstrings.  Also, finally started the arduous process of pulling the DV tapes in for the eagerly unanticipated documentary ‘Shooting The Messenger’ (working title only) and watched the hard drive get sucked down like Coca-Cola.

Tricksy Tricksy

29 November – Brettski’s mum is still a little poorly so I was bridge boy again – the riding is good, although very windy over the bridge, but the work is sporadic.  Got a bit of quality at times but still quite a bit of sitting around – was waiting for ages on the city side with a STD (that’s standard, I don’t think I’m carrying and diseases at the moment, at least I hope I’m not) and eventually it just got far too late so I had to ride over, once I was pedalling up the highway on the north side I got a phone call from Butters who started it with ‘oh, you’re on the other side, aren’t you?’ - but, feeling a little bit sluggish from sitting around I volunteered to get rid of the one I had and burn back over for a P1 and then jump back north again – very sweaty work.  Afternoon got significantly better but annoyingly on my last trip back over the bridge a skateboarder got in my way on the pedestrian walkway and sent me into the fence bursting my front tyre and afterwards whilst trying to fix it the strange bent fork phenom meant that my front tyre was jamming up against the forks again, impossible to ride.  A lot of fiddly playing around got me mobile but I’m going to have to make some adjustments tonight, very irritating.  Also practising tricks in Martin Place afterwards sent me flying over handlebars – hope I didn’t break anything.  I would also advise any of my readers (whoever you are) to check out page 5 of today’s Telegraph (by the time this is actually posted most copies should be in the pulping press) for a very amusing image of Paragon Chris surfing the top tube with the headline of ‘rat bag’ - also, apparently Alan Jones called him a ‘mug laird’ (not sure what that is but Chris took it as a compliment).  Find it very strange how anyone could take this as an offensive image – sure, the Critical Mass annoyed quite a few (and the Telegraph has firmly placed themselves on the opposing camp) but it was a legal, police escorted protest, and he was just a cyclist doing a trick.  It must have been the straggly beard that made them scream ‘ratbag’.   

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Entourage Works

About f**king time I got this thing to send emails properly ...

I feel so ashamed ...

26 November – First ibuprofen assisted morning for quite some time but didn’t take too long to get reasonably mobile.  Spent the afternoon out Balmain way with Louisa which was very pleasant – hair of the dog was far more suitable in righting my misaligned soul than the previously ingested chemical solution.  Saw Return of the King for the first time in quite a while and was reminded of how incredibly long that movie actually is.  Also, despite my longstanding and still firmly believed view that the show was is and always will be crap, saw the final epsiode of Australian Idol.  Reasonably pleased with the result because the winner is actually a very good singer although I do think that if the result went the other way it would still work out just as well for him – he’s certainly good enough for a record company to snap him up and he’d have the advantage of not being stuck with Sony BMG (I wonder if a Crisis boy will be doing an early morning delivery from 1 Saunders to 11 Hargrave???) and he also wouldn’t be stuck with the crappy song that Idol gave him as his first single.  You think about that.

C List Celebrity

25 November – Woke up with a hangover from yesterday’s poker shenanigans but I felt better knowing that I would be feeling infinitely better than some of the other players (although Rowan’s expected horrible hangover would probably have been somewhat alleviated by the riches he somehow managed to swindle off the rest of us) and after getting myself together I started to muddle down to thebroadway.com.au café where I mucked around on the the in’nernet for a while.  I’m still trying to work out why I refuse to pay for internet directly but will spend a fortune on caffeinated beverages in order to get it for free (work that one out, Mr Levitt!) - after a while this got a little dull so I made my way down to the new AB for their launch – being a guest of Sydney’s premier marketing and brand manager meant red carpet treatment all the way – I always feel like a C-list celebrity whenever he provides a night of entertainment – free drinks and excellent horse douvrees and being entertained by a bunch of DJ’s who I’ve never actually heard of but James always says their names with such authority that I just know they have to be pretty good.  Not exactly sure what the definition of the C-list is but I have it on authority that A-list means you can carry a film on your own, B-list means everyone knows who you are, D-list means you’ll eventually turn up on a deserted island fighting it out with pantomine stars and C-list, well, that means you must be a good friend of James Templeman.  A very good turnout for the old Ancient Briton, lots of beautiful people wearing their blue plastic  bracelets indicating their VIP status and entitlement to free intoxicants and a bunch of working class schleps supporting my free drinks by purchasing their own.  After we were kicked out by security despite the protests of our host found myself at the Diff’rent Drummer, Glebe’s premier late night drinking hole because it’s Glebe’s only late night drinking hole but couldn’t really last due to inebriation so wandered back to the safety of Redfern (never thought I’d ever say that).

The Hyperhorse

http://www.sydbma.org/assc06/viewtopic.php?t=59&highlight=hyperhorse

I need a virgin

24 november - Before I'd even had a chance to properly embrace the morning
my mobile was ringing with Butters on the other end informing me of some
expresses out of downtown. Upon arrival everything seemed fine but amongst
the haul there was the first of the misaddresed jobs that I got from the day
- all sorted out pretty easily but not before a bit of backtracking and
painful explanations via the crappy text interface. The day was pretty
smoove although did have to carry an enormous file (one that I wasn¹t even
supposed to pick up but somehow found it in my bag after a security guard
sent me to wrong pickup place) all over town (up to Central where I got
locked in a carpark and a circuitous route over the bridge) - even when I
got to North Sydney with it of course it had to be last thing I was able to
drop. Apparently I havent sacrificed enough virgins to the courier gods to
satisfy them (I thought being an atheist would mean I wouldn¹t have to worry
about them too much). At the end of the day was offered a huge paying
Bridge-City-Edgecliff run but it was taken away before I had a chance to
accept - Indian givers (is it only racist if you say that in the USA?) -
either way, was happy to have a beer by that stage and there was a Critical
Mass ride across the harbour bridge which a few of the couriers were
planning on doing (never really went in for the whole critical mass
experience but the occasional special one like this can be quite a time).
Reasonably enjoyable, a fair bit of showing off by the various couriers,
near the end of the bridge where it came onto the highway a little boy rode
right in front of me and, unable to stop, I found myself with the option of
either bailing or crashing right into the back of him. Knowing the response
that would have ensued had he been injured (I can't imagine anyone giving
too much sympathy to a courier hitting a child) I took the former option.
Not really sure what I did but I think I jumped over the handlebars and
landed on my feet and somehow managed to catch Chevette before she hit the
ground too hard. Either way, a brilliant save with minimal loss of dignity
and kin. Very annoying though, even if you are a child, look where you're
f**king going.
Tonight was also poker night being hosted at Nick's very nice Surry Hills
place - few little hiccups to starting the night, namely being Rowan's
extreme intoxication upon the time of arrival which resulted in loss of
poker chips and even the cards but despite this minor setback some very
enjoyable gambling was embraced by the rest of us. Ade brought cards and we
used matches for chips (counting them seemed to be a bit beyond my Scottish
friend's capacities and there was a fair bit of accusation coming from that
side of the table) - despite not winning anything it was not an expensive
loss and I did get a slight kick of satisfaction by calling the Scot's bluff
in the first round of the second game and wiping him completely out of the
game. Still didn¹t stop the obnoxiousness unfortunately. Also serious
contact lens dramas throughout the night. Not good.

Devil's Food and Devil's Drink

2 December – Extricated myself without too much trouble from a situation (which wasn’t really a situation) – should have handled it with a bit more aplomb but think things are being handled in a better than terrible fashion.  That is, to say, that I’ve behaved far worse in the past and not really felt too much guilt about it.  Which doesn’t really explain very much in the end.  PJ’s old school chum seems to have produced a better movie than his last one – certainly raised the bar in terms of comedic interviewers going to extraordinary lengths for laughs (I’ve never seen Norman Gunston take a punch like Mr Cohen did on the chin after his naked romp through a Vegas (?) hotel – also a little bit embarrassing to watch with one’s parents but pretty funny nonetheless.   Aching over the micro issues that are constantly cropping up on the new computer – email woes and a seeming desperation for a good internet connection are weakening my resolve.  And trying to get my life’s files off my old laptop before the end of the millenium?  Forget it.  Can connect the PDA to the PC but not the Mac.  Can copy files to a camera’s SD card on the PC but can’t retrieve them from the Mac (only sound, video and picture files???  For simplicity’s sake I presume, Mr Jobs?  You can simplify my a**e!). Can connect a USB keyring to the Mac but not the PC (no drivers).  Can burn information to a CD on the Mac but not off the PC to a CD.  Ethernet cable connects to the Mac but not the laptop.  What the f**k is going on here?  It’s not that big an ask when upgrading computers to be actually able to keep the old files, is it?  
Latter part of the afternoon was spent out in Coogee – had been offered a lift by a very generous friend of mine but had issues getting in touch with her but her evil ogre of a boyfriend interfered with the arrangement and a bus trip was made instead (albeit a very pleasant one) - Ms Mill’s must be feeling nostalgic for England (I don’t know why as the miserable weather was very reminescent of a sodden London day) because she’d set her mind on a sherry and mince pie party which was very nice despite the fact that I can’t eat mince pies (raisin’s are the devil’s snack – and lo, god looked upon the grape and saw that it was round and green and plump and sweet and he was pleased with his creation but the devil was jealous of god’s fruit and so he took it down into the fires of hell where the brimstone shrivelled it up to a dessicated husk of its former glory and god wept) and sherry’s not really my favourite tipple either (and lo, god took what grapes he had left after the devil had taken them for his raisins - and he turned it into a delicious wine which pleased him for it was fruity but sharp with undertones of vanilla and elderflowers but the devil grew angry and fortified it with a lesser wine and god wept and drank because he was sad and then was sadder because he drank) but she’s got lots of really nice friends (and why hadn’t I met these friends before anyway?)

Toll Slow

23 November - Felt a dire need to read a newspaper today and still not
having found a reliable inner city wifi source and knowing that the
nofishcafe signal is strong but impossible to connect through I made the
surprisingly long trip out to Roslyn Street in the cross for a coffee from
the camp old bastard who runs the nice coffee shop next to the Teahna Banana
gelateria with its always reliable signal. Logged on at 10 to 8 but my
cheerful early morning banter was not reciprocated and it was quite some
time before any real work came my way. It took a while to realise that it
was not the affable Kurt on the other end of the data device but Wayne, who
does a few other channels and despite seeming quite nice when I met him the
other day he's a right curt wanker over the text messages. Incredibly quiet
day with only one sweeet run where I was making about twenty stops, never
having to go more than two blocks between each one and only minimal illegal
riding required. Spent a lot of time window shopping and reading about what
was going on around the world (it's a good thing I'd synced the avantgo).
Knocked off early enough and did some ablutions before heading Gordon side
for home cooked meal the likes of which can only be made by a mum who loves
you and repaid generosity by stealing various other foodstuffs for my own
larder. First tentative connections by the Macbook to the in'nernet but
couldn't remember what I needed to download or do so logged off and cursed
myself when I remembered after I'd left the house. Had to rush to make the
direct train back to Redfern but all was good and no railbus's were
necessary. Did a bit of vandalism against my brand new jersey but it's far
too hot for sleeves at the moment and I need to even out the tan.

Death Toll

22 November - the snooze button was too tempting in the morning and i found
myself with only 15m to get dressed, make my luncheon and breakfast and get
on downtown for the first pick of the day. Disgustingly hot and muggy, with
so much crap in the air it felt like i was in Bangkok - not a very pleasant
day to be riding around in although whenever the occasional receptionist or
elevator drone said, 'oh, this is a bad day to be a courier' i had to make
the inevitable reply, 'every day is a great day to be a courier!' - but they
were right. Triple's answer to that one seems to be 'Yeah, look at my tan,
bitch!' - unfortunately that tan happens to cut off at the sleeves and knees
but it sure is one heck of a tan. Never really that busy throughout the day
although a few moments of tension, especially when i left some plane tickets
on the counter and only realised when i got to the destination. tried to get
back there in time before anyone realised but i was just approaching the
original pickup address when i got the call, 'Did you leave some tickets
behind?', yes, yes, yes ... sorting it out now. Late in the afternoon
Toll's online system went down across the entire country (probably because
they're still using TCNZA or its current derivative to FM all their telco
stuff) and everything seemed to grind to a halt. Swapped a cigarette for
some pastry goods with Marcello from Palms which seems like a pretty good
deal to me. Martin Place was like a concentration camp at the end of the
day - exhausted bodies sprawling over the steps, muttering jokes to each
other but completely drained of any life or energy, it took a great deal of
willpower to muster myself to get on the bike and head home.

The Old Town


The Old Town
Originally uploaded by scucvara.

I used to own this place

Rad's Sweet Tattoo


Rad's Sweet Tattoo
Originally uploaded by scucvara.

And it is.

Kristl


Kristl
Originally uploaded by scucvara.

Nice bag, eh?

A Blind Fool

27 November – Started by dropping off a reattempt for 550 Shifty that he’d given me on Friday evening and had a couple of P1s (the Toll equivalent of the XXX, SHT, Direct, Aggressive or whatever other silly name the company gives to imply urgency) to keep me going for a little while but hardly any work going throughout the entire day.  A couple of bridge runs throughout the day meant a bit of riding but I think I almost had more ‘Futiles’ and cancelled jobs than I had real ones.  Lack of work isn’t necessarily that bad but it prompted an excess of cigarettes and coffee which brought on a rather nasty headache that never really went away.  One good event in the afternoon came from an impromptu appointment with my optometrist, Steve.  The contact lens problems I’ve been having for the past week have been terribly annoying and a little bit scary – I’ve thought that perhaps the mutation of the cornea had kicked off another step and I might need to get new ones, or worse, grafts. However, after a cursory examination I was told that radical action needed to be taken. Option 1 was surgery to exchange the corneas between my left and right eyes and Option 2 was to swap the lenses over.  For some reason I’ve been wearing them on the wrong eyes for the past week and when I switched them over everything was all good.  I’d just been a fool (a blind fool).  Can’t really understand how I could have forgotten which colour was for the left or right – maybe my colour perception is fading as well.  Previously whenever the lenses were in the wrong eye I couldn’t see very well at all but I was seeing fine – until the lenses popped out of me eye at inopportune moments.  Doesn’t really matter now, I can see again and that’s fine by me.  Also going to have to rethink doing ‘low fives’ when passing random couriers on the harbour bridge – Kristian almost took my arm off in the afternoon.  Ouch.  

I'd do it for a sandwich

1 December – As soon as I’d logged on in the morning the first message that came through on the O2 was ‘Do you want to get smashed?’, my response was obviously, ‘Smash me, b**ch!’ (smash me birch of course, my nickname for Butters aka Kurtman aka Kurt aka the Dispatcher) - and the device was almost shutdown by the plethora of standards that were loaded onto me.  Not exactly a stressful situation as they were all regulars and they were routed pretty well.  Even still, had to reject a few because of size constraints, something I hate doing – in any event, got them all done on time and was then left with nowt to do for a while. Rest of the day was hit and miss but did get a couple of excellent mini-runs including a very well paid car trip that involved a bridge hop (Do you want this one out of 300 Elizabeth?  Are you hungry for it? - am I hungry? I’ll do it for a sandwich) - nothing terribly exciting, apparently one of the Mailcall couriers is going through some emotional distress and was offloading a bit on me which is very nice to know that he trusts me enough to do it but also a bit disconcerting because I don’t really know him all that well.  Saw a fight almost break out between Steve and a hapless pedestrian (I really don’t know why anyone would try to pick a fight with Steve because he’s a pretty dangerous looking dude).  Afterwards at Martin Place, while arguing with the security guards over our rights to drink on the steps, met up with another one of the young mailcall boys whose name I can never remember and saw him nursing a bandaged wrist and lo and behold it was a fabled fractured scaphoid (his left, but he’s right handed) - car opened the door on him and then drove off leaving him with a very irritating injury (one I know only too well).  After that twas a movie night to see James Ellroy’s Black Dahlia – for some reason had trouble keeping my eyes open but it was a bit confusing anyway, even with the ‘lets wrap up everything’ explanation at the end.  Brian De Palma, you need to go back and watch The Untouchables again and work out what you’re capable of as a director.  Josh Hartnett sure is a pretty boy though.

Crimson Tide v The Blue Rangers

30 november – brettski’s mum’s condition had presumably improved enough to allow him to return to the bridge freeing my valiant energy for the core.  Morning was slow but took me down to Belmore Park where I watched the industrial relations reform protesters voicing their disapproval at the laws that are to come (or have they arrived yet?) - certainly I share many of their concerns but, to me, I don’t see the law reforms as being inherently bad, it is always up to the employer to act ethically towards their employees and a lot of employers are good and a lot of employers are bad and these reforms are not going to change that at all.  It’s also seemingly impossible to organise couriers to do anything for their own good – far too transient a workforce to unite to do anything – especially when they are some of the worst treated employees (or independent contractors as many of them are forced to be identified as) in all of the industries (there are notable exceptions).  Great when I eventually returned to the core ahead of the rally – all of the streets were blocked off and were empty of cars (and not too many people either) and we could just ride through the city at breakneck speed, always taking the shortest lines regardless of direction signs or lights – had a mini rush through these incredible conditions but also, eventually found myself trying to take my normal route the Rocks to Farrer and was stopped dead by the protest rally’s congregation.  On and off throughout the day – found a new wifi point again (every time I find a good open one another gets cut off, becomes inaccessible either physically by an extended distance or electronically by a password or it justs fades away into nothing.  Hoping this latest one (in 370 Pitt St, presumably one of the cafes) will last for more than a few days – the Netgear by Gloria Jean’s near Central is there but he doesn’t want to give me a DHCP server (which I honestly don’t really know what it is).  After work a game of tennis was planned – was basically a ring-in because a fourth was needed and my friends know that I am fighting the theme of the ‘Summer of Tennis’ which Kate is brutally trying to get me to sign on to.  The Crimson Tide handily defeated the Blue Rangers but that was because the Lone Ranger hadn’t played tennis in quite some time and was steadfastly refusing to do anything that would aggravate his latest sprains – next time the Tide will turn, if you will.  

Hot Hot Heat

28 November – Bridge boy again today as Brettski was otherwise detained – only a few journeys over but it did mean moving pretty consistently which is what one wants to do.  Toll seems to have a very different attitude towards what a courier is actually supposed to do compared to Crisis – very big on rejecting things that are too big and upgrades are a lot more painful than the previous place.  In any event, the day seemed to be quite good.  However, when it’s 35 degrees C you might be forgiven for wanting a quiet day.  I bet when its raining tomorrow all the work will disappear. Afterwards went to see ‘The Prestige’, a capital film which seems to be like a thinly disguised biography of Jean Claude Van Damme’s life – wonder how it will go down in the states with its denunciation of GE founder and inventor extraordinaire, Thomas Edison.  Nothing else of any real excitement happened, at least I don’t think and I’m not going to extend this post by pretending that it did.

A Blind Fool

 27 November – Started by dropping off a reattempt for 550 Shifty that he’d given me on Friday evening and had a couple of P1s (the Toll equivalent of the XXX, SHT, Direct, Aggressive or whatever other silly name the company gives to imply urgency) to keep me going for a little while but hardly any work going throughout the entire day.  A couple of bridge runs throughout the day meant a bit of riding but I think I almost had more ‘Futiles’ and cancelled jobs than I had real ones.  Lack of work isn’t necessarily that bad but it prompted an excess of cigarettes and coffee which brought on a rather nasty headache that never really went away.  One good event in the afternoon came from an impromptu appointment with my optometrist, Steve.  The contact lens problems I’ve been having for the past week have been terribly annoying and a little bit scary – I’ve thought that perhaps the mutation of the cornea had kicked off another step and I might need to get new ones, or worse, grafts. However, after a cursory examination I was told that radical action needed to be taken. Option 1 was surgery to exchange the corneas between my left and right eyes and Option 2 was to swap the lenses over.  For some reason I’ve been wearing them on the wrong eyes for the past week and when I switched them over everything was all good.  I’d just been a fool (a blind fool).  Can’t really understand how I could have forgotten which colour was for the left or right – maybe my colour perception is fading as well.  Previously whenever the lenses were in the wrong eye I couldn’t see very well at all but I was seeing fine – until the lenses popped out of me eye at inopportune moments.  Doesn’t really matter now, I can see again and that’s fine by me.  Also going to have to rethink doing ‘low fives’ when passing random couriers on the harbour bridge – Kristian almost took my arm off in the afternoon.  Ouch.  

C List Celebrity

25 November – Woke up with a hangover from yesterday’s poker shenanigans but I felt better knowing that I would be feeling infinitely better than some of the other players (although Rowan’s expected horrible hangover would probably have been somewhat alleviated by the riches he somehow managed to swindle off the rest of us) and after getting myself together I started to muddle down to thebroadway.com.au cafĂ© where I mucked around on the the in’nernet for a while.  I’m still trying to work out why I refuse to pay for internet directly but will spend a fortune on caffeinated beverages in order to get it for free (work that one out, Mr Levitt!) - after a while this got a little dull so I made my way down to the new AB for their launch – being a guest of Sydney’s premier marketing and brand manager meant red carpet treatment all the way – I always feel like a C-list celebrity whenever he provides a night of entertainment – free drinks and excellent horse douvrees and being entertained by a bunch of DJ’s who I’ve never actually heard of but James always says their names with such authority that I just know they have to be pretty good.  Not exactly sure what the definition of the C-list is but I have it on authority that A-list means you can carry a film on your own, B-list means everyone knows who you are, D-list means you’ll eventually turn up on a deserted island fighting it out with pantomine stars and C-list, well, that means you must be a good friend of James Templeman.  A very good turnout for the old Ancient Briton, lots of beautiful people wearing their blue plastic  bracelets indicating their VIP status and entitlement to free intoxicants and a bunch of working class schleps supporting my free drinks by purchasing their own.  After we were kicked out by security despite the protests of our host found myself at the Diff’rent Drummer, Glebe’s premier late night drinking hole because it’s Glebe’s only late night drinking hole but couldn’t really last due to inebriation so wandered back to the safety of Redfern (never thought I’d ever say that).

The Hyperhorse



I need a virgin

24 november - Before I'd even had a chance to properly embrace the morning my mobile was ringing with Butters on the other end informing me of some expresses out of downtown. Upon arrival everything seemed fine but amongst the haul there was the first of the misaddresed jobs that I got from the day - all sorted out pretty easily but not before a bit of backtracking and painful explanations via the crappy text interface.  The day was pretty smoove although did have to carry an enormous file (one that I wasn’t even supposed to pick up but somehow found it in my bag after a security guard sent me to wrong pickup place) all over town (up to Central where I got locked in a carpark and a circuitous route over the bridge) - even when I got to North Sydney with it of course it had to be last thing I was able to drop.  Apparently I havent sacrificed enough virgins to the courier gods to satisfy them (I thought being an atheist would mean I wouldn’t have to worry about them too much). At the end of the day was offered a huge paying Bridge-City-Edgecliff run but it was taken away before I had a chance to accept - Indian givers (is it only racist if you say that in the USA?) - either way, was happy to have a beer by that stage and there was a Critical Mass ride across the harbour bridge which a few of the couriers were planning on doing (never really went in for the whole critical mass experience but the occasional special one like this can be quite a time). Reasonably enjoyable, a fair bit of showing off by the various couriers, near the end of the bridge where it came onto the highway a little boy rode right in front of me and, unable to stop, I found myself with the option of either bailing or crashing right into the back of him.  Knowing the response that would have ensued had he been injured (I can't imagine anyone giving too much sympathy to a courier hitting a child) I took the former option. Not really sure what I did but I think I jumped over the handlebars and landed on my feet and somehow managed to catch Chevette before she hit the ground too hard. Either way, a brilliant save with minimal loss of dignity and kin.  Very annoying though, even if you are a child, look where you're f**king going.
Tonight was also poker night being hosted at Nick's very nice Surry Hills place - few little hiccups to starting the night, namely being Rowan's extreme intoxication upon the time of arrival which resulted in loss of poker chips and even the cards but despite this minor setback some very enjoyable gambling was embraced by the rest of us. Ade brought cards and we used matches for chips (counting them seemed to be a bit beyond my Scottish friend's capacities and there was a fair bit of accusation coming from that side of the table) - despite not winning anything it was not an expensive loss and I did get a slight kick of satisfaction by calling the Scot's bluff in the first round of the second game and wiping him completely out of the game.  Still didn’t stop the obnoxiousness unfortunately.  Also serious contact lens dramas throughout the night. Not good.

Death Toll

22 November - the snooze button was too tempting in the morning and i found myself with only 15m to get dressed, make my luncheon and breakfast and get on downtown for the first pick of the day.  Disgustingly hot and muggy, with so much crap in the air it felt like i was in Bangkok - not a very pleasant day to be riding around in although whenever the occasional receptionist or elevator drone said, 'oh, this is a bad day to be a courier' i had to make the inevitable reply, 'every day is a great day to be a courier!' - but they were right.  Triple's answer to that one seems to be 'Yeah, look at my tan, bitch!' - unfortunately that tan happens to cut off at the sleeves and knees but it sure is one heck of a tan.  Never really that busy throughout the day although a few moments of tension, especially when i left some plane tickets on the counter and only realised when i got to the destination. tried to get back there in time before anyone realised but i was just approaching the original pickup address when i got the call, 'Did you leave some tickets behind?', yes, yes, yes ...  sorting it out now.  Late in the afternoon Toll's online system went down across the entire country (probably because they're still using TCNZA or its current derivative to FM all their telco stuff) and everything seemed to grind to a halt.  Swapped a cigarette for some pastry goods with Marcello from Palms which seems like a pretty good deal to me.  Martin Place was like a concentration camp at the end of the day - exhausted bodies sprawling over the steps, muttering jokes to each other but completely drained of any life or energy, it took a great deal of willpower to muster myself to get on the bike and head home.

Core Whore

21 November - First day working for Toll Fast had an inauspicious start - logged on early and was sent down near Central but on the way realised that Chevette didn't want to work today = could not get the front wheel free of the brake and had a breakneck and noisy ride back home to swap her out with the pre-op.  first time I've worked on the road-bike and truth be told it was kind of exciting.  Had a little trouble figuring out the new toy - not exactly intuitive, but it is pleasant to be working with paper again - a bit more work required but definitely the way it should be.  Wasn't really worked too hard throughout the day, never went further than 477 Pitt and stayed in the core for most of the day - not a huge total when all was said and done but definitely better than the past few weeks at Crisis.  little bit of a blast from the past when i had to make a drop to 201 Kent Street, International Valuation Consultancy with the recipient being a Mr Neil Hemmings, ex-marketing manager from Rushtons (before he realised it was a sinking ship and gutted it in the middle of the night of all the precious files and half of the clients to boot) - nobody seemed to know that the company existed at the building and we were trying to get a hold of the sender when who should i see but a big fat executive walking in the building who i recognised as the man himself.  called out his name and he blanked on me but caught up with him and the delivery was done.  Wanker didn't seem to make the connection even when i told him that we used to work together - perhaps he doesn't like couriers.  Well, i don't like people who are unethical businessman so the feeling was mutual.  A few things which really seemed to make the day rather irritating were my uniform (which was extremely slippery and kept on making my bag slip) and my left contact lens which inexplicably kept on popping out of my eye.  It's happened before on many occasions but never have i had a single day where it kept on coming out for no apparent reason.  I was almost in tears because of the frustration, which actually may have been a benefit because the tears could have lubricated my eye and helped keep the f**king piece of plastic in there.  Had a very quick beer at the KB with Chris, whose permanents (regulars) i will probably  be taking over while he goes away at the end of the year and was given a very in depth explanation of what will be required of me - i don't think it needed the detail he gave me but at least i should be prepared when it does happen.  After work took Chevette to Cheeky Monkey to see if they could help out but only had the second mechanic available who had even less of an idea than i did about how to fix her so ended up taking her home and eventually seemed to get the wheel freed of her bonds (although now it means the brake is pretty useless).  C'est la vie.  More errands after that, most difficult being trying to work out how we're going to do communal communications in the house - definitely need to get an Internet connection but am very loathe to actually break my long-standing vow of paying for bandwidth.  What to do?