Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Where Were The Helicopters?

27 February – Morning run was so smooth that I had a full seven minutes to wait before the bank opened (admittedly, one minute early this morning) but that was pretty much the sum of the day’s excitement.  A lot of standing by, a lot of coffee and a lot of cigarettes were what made the work day eventful.  An early underpaid deep south run was notable only because of the customer screw ups that led to several 10 minute delays, even more frustrating because they were just shy of the threshold for paid waiting time and the early evening was taken up by a few strange urban jobs (two of them had a drop that were within a block of the pickup yet both managed significant delays because of customer incompetence) finished by a horrible drop to Deutsche Bank building where I had to negotiate a closed mailroom, cleaners putting a stranglehold on the goods lift, utter lack of dispatcher support and a crotchety security guard only to find out that the drop was closed and I’d have to do it in the morning.  And there were no helicopter gun ships staging a mock evacuation of the city like I was promised – terrible.  As a result of shenanigans I had to rush home and get myself into a semblance of readiness for a family outing where my attempted directions apparently lit the fuse to some latent familial frustrations and it took a while before we managed to congregate at Doy Tao in order to get grossly overfed.  F**king wrecked by the end of it though.  I’m a delicate man with delicate sensibilities and I’m too old to get into fights.

Lack Of Judgement

25 and 26 February – For some reason had tentative plans to go down to a dub festival at Bicentennial Park on Sunday – against better judgement (because it was showering rather substantially and I don’t really like dub) rode down through Glebe with a housemate for company but only the hard core dubbers had decided brave the rain and I didn’t feel that staying would serve any real purpose.  Watched the Tropfest films in the afternoon which seemed to be as good as the last crop (ie not very) although the winner was good in a Don Hertzfeldian kind of way.  Evening was spent eating overpriced Greek food and watching an under priced Little Children – very good film in most respects although a tad long.  Made the mistake of a herbal remedy for sleep assistance which backfired in a big way as I didn’t really wake up until 11am on Monday (I was up and working at 9 but full consciousness took a while to arrive).  A smooth morning run helped a little but didn’t do much to remedy the slowness of the rest of the day – intermittent rain kept me from notching up any speed records but I did get a little big ass sammich which is always welcome.  Couldn’t decide whether I should stay in to watch the Academy Awards or actually go to the movies -  that the only movie on at an acceptable timeslot was ‘Music and Lyrics’ should have made the decision particularly easy but the rom com beckoned and I took the bait.  Eminently forgettable but apparently Hugh Grant does have some modicum of musical talent, pity the director did not.  Unlike Martin Scorsese who finally got the recognition he deserved – in fact, from what I saw of the Awards (the only award show I deign worthy of watching) I was pretty happy with most of the results with some exceptions – Children of Men and Our Cate? were gypped.  They’ll never get it right until they abandon the practice of having the academy nominate and elect the winners and let it be arbitrarily decided by me.

Sunday, 25 February 2007


24 February – Managed to feign sonambulance whilst the children roamed but did start the day with some (admittedly gluey) pancakes before heading home for some much needed maintenance work on Baby Blue and the pre-op (code name Frannie) with very successful results.  Was suitably impressed with Sylvester Stallone’s latest sojourn into cinematic history – incredibly predictable in every way and rather badly acted and executed but one of the more sympathetic opponents and a very decent inspirational training montage meant a worthy addition to the series.  I bet he will make it to No 5000 one day.  Took me a while to get myself together enough to head to the train station in order for the journey to Willoughby for Matt and Charlotte’s engagement party – bought my ticket and went to the platform only to be informed by a not very confident guard that the trains were out to Wynyard – kept my cool but decided that I was not going to engage in public transport shenanigans and got a refund and did what I should have done in the first place, fetched the pre-op and rolled over courier style.  Forgot how far it actually is to Willoughby and also didn’t correctly gauge the humidity of the day and by the time I eventually hit Chez Menzies my lovely green shirt was soaked through with the sweat (too much synthetic I imagine).  Great party with adequate food and beverage stores – saw a teacher or two who didn’t recognise me and spent some quality time with various individuals who I haven’t seen in a while (most amusing having a chat with one particular parental unit about the relatively recent phenomenon of awareness of Australian obesity whilst in the company of four of the fattest girls I’ve shared company with for a long time – I hope they weren’t listening in).  Decided to roll home a bit earlier due to preferred mode of transport – dropped into Lane Cove on the way to gatecrash another party but couldn’t find it and couldn’t get a hold of anyone I knew there so rolled straight on home.  It’s good to have a party bike.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

A Star Isn't Born

22 February – Was very restricted by the lack of pocketses today but the fact that it was the slowest day since January meant it was relatively tolerable.  Dottie’s triumphant return from picking watermelons wasn’t necessarily a bonus though.  Heavens managed to hold off from opening for most of the day and I found myself standing by under cover for most of the small downpour – evening was all a little bit rushed – Clare’d it with some of Sydney’s finest fixie riders where SBS was doing a little story on the reductionist velocipede and even gave a short interview (a very short interview – I don’t think it’ll make the cut) then rushed off to a high powered meeting between some of Sydney’s premier music management and DJ types before missing a dinner and heading home.  When will it end?

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

A Little Bit Of Colour

21 February – A relatively smooth morning with an easy run followed by a lot of colour (especially considering recent starts).  Apart from a couple of extended breaks and an occasional overly distant job o’ the day I seemed to be getting nothing but 3 pointers.  In fact, it could be said that it was an excellent day.  Except for the end, when, after almost an hour of standing by I suddenly found myself being stretched trying to cover incompetently dispatched work and getting home in time for the air conditioning repair man (funny, even though I’ve never used the air conditioning).  As far as I was concerned, I’d done my bit though.  Managed to make a strategic escape from one tiresome situation into another – I don’t know if anybody’s keeping score but I think a battle may have been lost.

P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p ... Shrove Tuesday

20 February – Was horrified to be chowing down on healthy granola and toast when the morning DJs announced that it was Shrove Tuesday.  Now, I’m not a religious man but I was mortified to realise that it was pancake day and I wasn’t eating pancakes for breakfast.  And there was no stall in Martin Place giving out free ones in the morning either.  A travesty.  Technical issues meant a rather irritating and slow day – did learn a few tricks negotiating some of the buildings in town which is always useful but apart from a rather nice run in the afternoon there wasn’t that much excitement.  A really, really big boat which came into town apparently caused gridlock in the city and I was forced to deal with some mega sized box transportations (Driver Must Bring Trolley!!!) because none of the cars could get in - wasn’t going to complain as its fun to do them every once in a while and its good to stay in practice.  Pleasant speedy ride through Surry Hills with Movie in order to get home so I could get to M&Ds for a fine Italian-American meal (and did manage to convince her that it would be good form to make some pancakes in keeping with the holiday) - very painful journey back because apparently ‘they’ needed to do some track work between North Sydney and Central so there was a Train-Bus-Train journey and when I eventually got home I found myself having to take in a very sorry looking courier who’d had far too much to drink and needed a place to crash.  Paragon, what will we do with you?

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Vindicating Vibrations

17 February – Inexplicably woke with a hangover (perhaps not that inexplicably) that took quite some time shake off.  Was hurried through internet errands that were not properly completed despite promises and best efforts.  Afternoon was taken up by Good Vibrations – headlined by beastie boys and also ... There were quite a few other bands there whose names would be far more familiar to me if I paid more attention to popular music these days.  Fairly okay concert – enjoyed for the most part and bumped into a few friends old and new – was completely vindicated on theory that SMS is the most useless method of trying to keep a group together at a large festival and a fair chunk of time was spent looking for and waiting for erstwhile companions, completely thwarted by vague attempts to describe and find landmarks within the gates.  Made the mistake of trying to find the toilet shortly after the beastie boys started playing and was directed outside the gates by the incompetent security who then flatly refused to let me back in afterwards.  I wasn’t drunk or drugged out but obviously I failed at convincing them that it was their instructions that led me to being outside the gates and after ten minutes of cajoling I was forced to give up.  The one band I went to go and see and I missed it.  Hope it wasn’t a very good concert.


16 February – A relatively unspecial day that I was absolutely exhausted by the end of.  One and a half hours of stand by at the end of the day and stupidly agreed to play a game of football with the couriers for a while , combined with moderate refreshment afterwards led to premature lack of function.  

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Abusing The System

15 February – A sorry day with the morning run again set up with unexpected delays that meant a slow start to what would turn out to be an incredibly slow day.  Apart from an incredibly overcharged return job over the bridge (methinks someone was abusing the office courier account) there was hardly any excitement throughout the day – still didn’t manage to finish until quarter past six though.  Notes On A Scandal was suitably scandalous, a little bit disturbing but I think there was a scene near the end that I didn’t understand very much.  

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Hallmark Holiday

14 February – Jamie’s spectacular efforts on my behalf last night did still leave a few minor issues to be corrected – on the way in the replacement crank started to wobble off and was caught in the familiar crush window in the morning trying to get it fixed, do the morning run and fend off normal work until my normal start time – once fixed I found that the replacement crank which I knew was a millimetre longer than the original (not really a problem as I’ve been told by an osteopath that one of my legs is a bit longer than the other anyway – cant remember which one though) is also about a millimetre thicker than the original and was constantly screeching against the frame throughout the day.  This caused much anguish throughout a relatively uneventful and unexciting day – not so much for the Mailcall boys who reaped the benefit of the microclient rush in valentines flowers – did do a few of them myself throughout the day but disappointed many a receptionist when I walked in carrying them and had to explain that they weren’t for them. Did get the bike thing fixed by the excellent people at CBD (so much more pleasant than the Vancouver mechanics) and I’m hoping that the problems will stave off for a while.  A very different Valentines Day to the usual – missed out on the race but had a very good one nonetheless.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Unlucky 13

13 February – the day couldn’t have started any sweeter with the morning run being timed beautifully for the first time – a bit cumbersome but everywhere I went everything was open and even when I logged on and still had the returns the first allocated trips sent me straight past the respective drops.  Probably helped by the fact that Shifty was dispatching and I was doing his regular runs but I wasn’t going to complain.  Some well crafted runs throughout the day – involved a bit more riding than I’ve been used to but I usually prefer it that way.  The day couldn’t be perfect however and a few mishaps caused a little strife at times.  Upon arriving at the end of one lengthy run I was supposed to drop two separate jobs to the one client but when I looked in my bag I could only find one.  Haven’t lost a trip yet and today wasn’t going to be the day – initially suspected that I might have never picked it up but upon visualising the recent jobs I seemed to remember one of the reg drops had a white envelope in it and there aren’t usually white envelopes in that drop.  Burned back to the State Attorney General and negotiated my way to the mailroom only to find a sign on the door stating that the mailroom was closed because a suspicious package had been found – desperately hoping that I wasn’t responsible for shutting down his office I worked my way in and lo and behold my missing trip was there – as I snuck out I waved the envelope at the cluster of people milling around the suspicious package sign and asked if this envelope had done it ... It turned out that they were holding a drill.  The second potentially major mishap was when I was doing what was to be my last trip of the day around 5 – as I was climbing Hunter St and trying to negotiate a gap across the Elizabeth Chifley junction I heard a snap and collapsed into the frame as my right crank broke clean off – I managed to get to a stop and get out of the way of the lumbering traffic but that was Chevette done for the day.  Spent the afternoon trying to find a replacement set of cranks (a lot harder than one would expect) and found a saviour in Pretty Boy whose partner happened to have an old set spare.  Had to take the train home and then to Marrickville (where Pretty Boy lived) - spent the evening repairing the bike (well, watching PB repair the bike and trying to absorb what he was doing – I’ve never seen someone get so excited about the various sizings of bike parts – it’s 26/8!  it’s 26/8!) and was incredibly well fed and taken care of.  And Catherine was absolutely adamant about not accepting and money for the parts.  These people are very special.   The incident did explain some of the creaking and the occasional scream of grinding metal that Chevette has been making lately – hopefully she’ll be a bit more tolerant of me from now on (at least until the next problem).

Monday, 12 February 2007

Bad Things Come In Threes

12 February – Well, the rains came to punish me for spilling the desiccated coconut all over the forecourt.  When resetting my clock after yesterday’s race I’d gotten the ante-meridian and post-meridian mixed up and was woken up by the sun rather than my alarm clock.  Still had plenty of time but did find myself rushing out the door right into buckets of rain.  On the way in I felt it was unusually bright and I realised I’d left my yellow sunglasses at home – I was only a few minutes gone but in the current weather it seemed like too much trouble to go back. It was only when I walked into the first elevator of the day and I looked at the mirror did I realise I’d also forgotten my helmet. Never done that before.  As it was I had to get my run done straight away and I tried to make a few phone calls to try to organise a trip back home without anyone noticing but the rain had also fried my telephone meaning phoning was sporadic at best and completely non functional later on.  Managed to sort it out and fetch my helmet but was continually playing catch-up until about 2:30 in the afternoon because the work that was assigned to me continually bounced back.  Weather occasionally eased but kept on coming back with a vengeance – the streets were like ice rinks and I was constantly on the verge of having the bike slide out from under me – crashed a total of three times, very minor and harmless but completely frustrating.  Took ages to collect myself in evening – far too much company in house and was getting phone calls from customers (I’m just the messenger, lady) all the way until dark.  If you don’t answer your phone when I’m there at 6 don’t expect me to come back at 7 ...  

Show Me The Money

11 February – Finally alley cat day has rolled around – tried to force myself a bit of a sleep-in but the lure of Sunday pancakes broke the fast.  Took a while to get the gear together but managed to strap it all in and headed down with Dave to Martin Place.  Had forgotten that the start of the Year of the Pig also hit today and was a bit nervous when I saw the gridlock it was causing around the Haymarket area – not very suitable for racing conditions.  As it was, it mostly dissipated around the north end of town where the race mainly took place so there was nothing really to worry about.  A fair turnout of about 16 riders (and a very good turnout of an almost equal number of checkpoint volunteers) meant that the race was on.  Synchronised swatches at 1:10pm stating that it was 12:50 and got everyone into position – checkpoints headed off for Farrer Place, Oxford Street, Cuthbert St, The Hungry Mile, a few over the bridge and the top of Martin Place and the riders lay their bikes at the forbidden zone and crossed the street – Smokin’ Joe made his triumphant return a minute before gun time and once our clocks struck 1 they shot over the road and made the short climb to pick the manifests.  Rode past a few checkpoints on the way over to see that all was going smoothly and had to field a few calls on the minutiae of managing the drops and picks but also had to get back to the finish line before the first finisher so started to make my way to Marrickville.  Got lost on the way but eventually found it and didn’t have to wait long for the first finisher – Smokin’ Joe rushed in the front door panting ‘Have I won?’ - evidently not as the race was structured so that it was the messenger who earned the most and not finished quickest – the rest trickled in over the next half hour or so, I was glad that about a third of the field managed to make the final drop on time (this meant that the changed finish line from Glebe to Marrickville wasn’t too taxing) - a few desperate pleas from various contestants contesting the validity of their bonus materials and some rather illegible times on the manifests meant the declaration was delayed somewhat and there was a little controversy about the fact that there was a dead heat – one came in quicker but the rules were categorical that it was amount earned that declared the winner. As it was, Mailcall Pete, being the working courier, was awarded the glory of the champions jersey (ancient Sydney courier tradition) – very surprising result.  In hindsight perhaps I should have assigned more cash to deliveries and less to bonuses but we live and learn.  Great barbecue to follow in celebration of Kate’s retirement and upcoming baby – a few more events to cap the afternoon off and perhaps a bit too much beer.  Felt a little guilty on my return home about the fact that the desiccated coconut from the 25 lamingtons I’d almost tipped over the forecourt was still coating the entrance but am sure the rains will come soon ...

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Poor Sax, Poor Brittney

10 February – The night’s sleep brought out the true nature of the previous night’s crash, my wrist had swollen a bit and not wanting to take any chances I headed out to RPA Emergency.  My mind was a little fuzzy as I stumbled out the door and I made the dire mistake of not bringing any reading material and I had four joyous hours catching up with all the exciting celebrity action of the past six months from the likes of NW, Who, Woman's Day and even the Telegraph.  I can’t tell you much about that four hours other than Brittney hasn’t been doing too well of late – I never knew! Lugging 25 lamingtons home was a rather difficult operation but I marked the end of the prep ... Not long before it goes down.  Was suitably horrified by Pan’s Labyrinth (those fascists are never up to any good) but thoroughly impressed nonetheless - didn’t look for the plastic bag and decided that it was probably unnecessary considering Friday’s results – it could have its drawbacks though.  There’s always the normal risks which should be relatively negligible but there are other dangers which I have to tread very carefully around methinks.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Jodi Doctrine - Phase 2

8 and 9 February – Thursday was a relatively uneventful day – a relatively colourful afternoon but nothing spectacular – when getting my coffee in the morning from Palms I don’t expect to be put at the front of the queue but I also don’t think its necessary to be constantly relegated to the end of it as other customers turn up.  Just because they’re paying an extra 30c doesn’t entitle them to magical treatment.  Sam really cant deal with the stress.  Raided the parent’s house in the evening and did some more work on the finalisation of The Money.
Friday was a little more eventful – despite claiming to just be in the office Shifty spent a bit of time in the operator’s chair – and for a fair part of the day the dispatching was magical – long runs where every stop was a pick and a drop – I’d walk into a building to drop something off and magically a P1 to pick up would appear – this is the way that dispatching is supposed to be.  Didn’t get to hang around too long for the planned Gandhi style peaceful protest at Martin Place but heard that there was a little success on that front.  Had a very nice couple of beers at the Rose with my old protégé but he had to run away because his fiancé had locked herself out of the house.  Journey home was not as uneventful as I would have liked it to be as I turned onto Regent St only to find a black car (possibly a Commodore) with the number plate APS-37R (according to witnesses) did a sudden U-turn right into my path – managed to bail to prevent the collision but the f**king c**t drove off as I lay sprawled on the ground.  Prick.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Three Wishes


Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Oh, I thought it was something important

7 February – A very nice chat with Ben once again prevented smooth completion of morning run (other factors conspired against me as well) - always get really antsy when doing this run but am sure relaxation will come with time.  A fairly decent day (albeit with a relatively slow start) but ridiculously disorganised at times (rode between 1 Farrer and 1 Macquarie Place three times in succession like a ping pong ball) and had to do a disgustingly planned giant circuit of the city as soon as the promised thunderstorm hit the CBD.  Last drop was at 88 Phillip, just a block away from the Wentworth, where the parents were entertaining a businesswoman of sorts – sneaked in to join them (very inappropriately dressed, in my adrenalin induced still logged on paranoia I thought the manager was walking over to us to ask me to leave because of my lowly corporate status – but that was just work mode) and ate a very half decent and overpriced sandwich.  Show Me The Money flyers were redone to an acceptable standard but rushing around letting everyone know the change is becoming tiresome (and obviously the new date has meant a couple of my favourite couriers won’t be able to come – but it will all balance out in the end).

The Jodi Doctrine

6 February – Indy work got interrupted again by the cunning dispatcher who just seems to be playing with me in the mornings – decent day and super busy in the afternoon (got everything off through shrewd routing and was even given a little bit of unexpected praise which swelled the heart a bit) - PRC t-shirt was totally soaked with sweat through exertions and scratched my hand with an altercation with a taxicab.  I know it’s completely subjective and I am biased but after being verbally abused for just going close to him in a traffic jam he then moved after being completely stopped to cut me off when I was splitting between him and a bus and literally drove me into it (at a very low speed).  Justifiably enraged I punched his bonnet with my fist (sorry mate, this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you – and it did).  Ate a lot of meat for dinner and tried to engage the Jodi doctrine – think it helped a bit (one part particularly) but didn’t really solve the problem – but does it need solving anyway?

Monday, 5 February 2007

Greenifying The Thumb

5 February – Started my early morning run again today – mostly smooth (almost bowled over my uncle but I’ll get him next time) although got a bit frazzled at one point – very constant throughout the day – mostly decent routing and very few screw-ups.  A few moments of rage induced by a sullen security guard and some woefully misrepresented items but felt quite decent at the end of the day.  Finally I beat Vodafone (kind of) by using my entire month’s credit but this resulted in me having no credit to use my own phone.  Did have the work XDA at my disposal – don’t like to use it but can quite justifiably do so considering the reason I ran out of credit (part of the reason anyway) is that I use my own phone for work so much and when you don’t provide radios you have to use what you have.  Bit of a stress with back wheel making funny noises and was given a warning that he’s on his last spokes ... Rescheduled Show Me The Money in order to synergise with other events and my favourite courier was back to his true form in his appraisal of my decision.  All seems good on the house front, no broken glass anymore and a new addition to the botanic variety of the household should prove to be most enjoyable.  

Sunday, 4 February 2007

I always wanted to be a little ceramic man ...

4 February – Migraine seemed to wear off for the most part by morning but was reignited and subdued at various points throughout day – did manage to get some verra important tasks done such as rebuilding Chevette’s front brake (which I shouldn’t be using at all anyway) although a staircase rebuilding job had be be shirked due to pressing consciousness commitments.  Stinkwater 24 screened the top 15 finalists in the evening, which was very lucky for all considering there were 15 entrants (although a few of those had been DQ’d by woefully overshooting the deadline – it was not called Stinkwater 25 and a quarter thank you very much) - like any short film festival some were incredibly slick, some were amazingly amateur and some were bafflingly unwatchable.  But none of them had existed beyond a concept 24 (or 48 considering the screening was 24 hours after the submission) previously.  Felt that I could hold my head up relatively confidently with ‘Three Wishes’ - twas never going to be a winner but it got genuine laughs and that’s all I really wanted.  Got home and something approaching migraine mysteriously returned – I wonder what could have set that off?

Three Wishes

3 January – Woke up still not really sure what my plan was to be for the day but did a few errands before heading Coogee way laden down with the tools of the trade where I met my dogsbody assistant who struggled with me to get something (anything!) ready for the 8pm deadline for the film comp. All things considered, it worked out alright – not exactly a winner but it’s my favourite joke and I don’t care if nobody else likes it besides me.  As predicted, filming caused unforeseen problems but twas pretty certain that they would be happening anyway.  Took ages to get out of the hilly beachside suburb but finally made it.

Doctor Is In

2 January – A messy day that started as soon as I logged on and didn’t really have any respite until half five – rode like a demon but that’s what it’s all about sometimes – also got some nasty comments from the public and a few of the class which was a bit irritating.  Some of the couriers can really act unexpectedly at times – I prefer consistency so much more.  After work the new restaurant at 1 Martin Place won a battle by getting the police to move us on despite hardly any illegal activity (this time) but they surely have not won the war.  Somehow found myself entered in the Stinkwater film festival which has caused a fair amount of stress and a few unforeseen other problems – I don’t have any inspiration (or do I?) and I just over commit and under deliver.

Saturday, 3 February 2007


1 February – As I was riding in to work after a leisurely breakfast (I haven't had a leisurely one for some time now) I was called up with an offer of doing a private run that morning – had to wait for a call to confirm it which took a bit of time coming so I logged on – as soon as I’d done that I got the call to do a very tight, very smooth, very heavy run of legal envelopes but by this time I was on call – had to feign post office errands  and even reject a job as I raced around town trying to get it done so I could do my real job.  Apparently the geezer took 35m to fix a flat the previous day when he was doing the same thing.  It’s a good thing I didn’t use that as my excuse.  Very standard day with a  bit of evening colour and lots and lots of customer mistakes (the mailroom guy belligerently stating that I was at the right address even though the company had moved a year previously – I managed to track her down though, which I was quite surprised about) and one of my own.   Finally a night with nobody in the house and nothing to do – bet I won’t go to bed early though.  

Thursday, 1 February 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Bruckheimer

31 January – That damned paragon of virtue stole more of my trips today but I wasn’t going to let it bother me, some bad routing combined with some decent work and a little rain made for an altogether pleasantish day – headed to the movies to see ‘Deja Vu’ and all throughout it I couldn’t work out whether it was a punchy half decent thriller or a terribly conceived sieve-plotted waste of a time travel movie.  Bad time travel movies irritate me far more than they should – I know it’s just a movie but why can’t they (whoever the hell they are) made a good movie to explain paradox to the masses so everyone will understand why Back to the Future vexes me so.  Far too much time in between meals in the evening led to a late night gorging which probably didn’t help me sleep.