April 14thWe head back to Prahran today- I have an appointment with my very cool Doctor. Just a check up- I have one every few years, full blood test etc. Nice that we blokes can get a first check for the old prostrate via a blood test now... less ouch and just a needle. Dr Beng is great, again he doesn't hurt with the needle , but I avoid looking at how much blood. I also grab some Still Nox for flights for the next 12 months. I pay for the visit, blood test and script, walk down to medibank and it costs me $23.00 for the complete visit and tests. People here moan about the health system, but really $23 is truly amazing. I am so relieved we don't live in the USA with that horrible health system. I pray Obama improves on it somehow. I've got private medical but the option of medicare for doctors visits is just excellent. The Whitlam Labor government introduced Medicare to Australia in July 1975 and it just creates affordable health cover for all residents. Excellent idea.
Oh we also call in and try and see Noel.... Buster the dog was guarding the door and very happy to see us. I think the Crombies are down at the Peninsula for school holidays and home to feed Buster later on. He's a great guard dog.... and sings up a might fine tune as some of you know.
Whilst at Prahran we visit the Market Cafe for a coffee and food- good to see the gang again.
Manage to pick up a vast amount of Prisoner Cell Block H dvds today- JB have them for $19.95 instead of $60!!!!!! We are missing 2 and Mark worries we might not get them, Prisoner devotees everywhere are grabbing the bargains. I tell him I'll have a chat to SHOCK records-dvd who release the dvds, they might be able to help. No parking spots near Rosemarees so we bip the horn as we head on past.
Traffic is fine for the drive home, I keep forgetting thge madness of city life- a lot of drivers abusing each other- it's nice to be home to the safety & calm of Kalorama.
April 15thI mail back the rest of Judds cds, no one wants them, and I've given up on it all. I keep 2 as I have 2 returns of scratched copies, so need to resend them back out. I should of just told them to send them to him and let him deal with it, but they came from us so thought I should do the right thing.
Another copy of HUSSY goes today, I watch the small pile of remaining copies shrink to 5 on the storage shelf, it's going, going, going. It used to be a full shelf in the storage area- I can't even remember them being mailed out. I think once things are in the mail I forget about them and just move on. The last copy I mailed went to Iceland, they always end up in the most extreme places.
I book in for chiro next week, as the next few weeks are going to get rather busy.
I think Nick from the Crowdies leaves for New Zealand today, so I guess CH rehearsals can't be too far away. After that, recording- yey.
I give SHOCK a call and speak to the lovely Lauren the office manager and she mails me the final 2 episodes. She tells me she saw the Finn Brothers in Ireland and just loved the show. I keep offering to pay for these last 2 dvds but Shock refuse, really cool of them. Thanks guys.
Get a call from Laura girl, she tells me Natty got married recently- which is great- hope he's very happy. He deserves some happiness, him and old teddy. Still no word from FeeFee, I thought she would of emailed me by now, maybe they are away on the yacht cruising around Spain. It's nice that most of the old Enz office people keep in contact....Michelle Becker (the other 'Shock' her nickname) where are you. If anyone knows a Michelle that used to work in the Enz office contact me....be nice to find out what happened to our 4th 'sister'.
I keep a promise and catch up with Carolyn R. from Bathurst, she won one of our main contests and is in town- made such a huge effort to come up to Mount Dandenong to check out it's loveliness so I thought the least I can do is have a coffee. Still trying to tempt her to write a small pieces when she hangs out at a gig with us. Nice gal, very quiet -we like that! OK I talked too much again. Posed for a snap with her, Zoolander I am not.
I hear from Tim again, he's been great, can't remember him being this happy- and he is just on top of all our work stuff. Makes my life easy as far as work, so good to work with someone that has their shit together. An offer to get me to Sydney for Poor Boy opening night.
April 16thNeil and gang start rehearsals today on some new songs for the recording sessions. I know he has been working on the "7 Worlds II' stuff during the past few weeks, I'm a bit confused as to what stage it's at, so I think I'll just sit back and wait, he's such an ant, always doing something, I honestly lose track.
We hear from Ben Yeti, well more so Mark does, I am upstairs with a bag, Banshee the cat and phone in hand- not a good combination, so I let Marky talk to Queensland, I'll call back later on in the night as per his instructions, think they are out eating, no one answers my calls.
The phone rings as soon as we put it down and it's Nigel Griggs, I think he is in soccer time, , as it's on at strange hours here, add to that, our gloomy grey weather and a warm bed is a nicer option.
Mark is on some rant about the price of business class airfares world wide, like it's MY fault, I swear first soap box I find I'm buying it for him, maybe I can set it up on Kalorama oval and let him rave away. The wild rabbits may pay attention and do something about such things, after all there are now 300 million wild rabbits in Australia, thats over 15 per person if they decided to attack the humans....they may bring down business class airfares, rabbits take over the world.....Bunny Airlines!
I see that 7 of Australias 10 top trading partners are in recession. Australia is hanging on by it's teeth, it's probably inevitable that we will add the big "R" word but people seem to be buying more Australian these days and making some efforts... its just with the worst economic world recession in 75 years will make it hard to avoid a further period of economic growth I guess. yeah we'll just join the rest of the group and have a recession....
TIME has an article on Detroit and it's blowing my mind, I never knew it had become that bad..the photos are horrifying, it looks like armageddon .... incredible shots of decaying building, they remind me of Russia's rotting Gorky Park but worse. Detroit used to be Americas 4th biggest city and is now something like 11th or 12th...the population halved. Sean Hemmerle took these shots of urban ruins... they'd be perfect for some feature films to be shot at some of these locations. Sad but beautiful in a way. Check out the link: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1864272,00.html
Spent a bit of time reading more articles on De Sal and details of the 176 plants worldwide. Apart from the amount of power needed for reverse osmosis , there seems to be a lot of extreme panic. As long as environmental impact studies are also done..I know a de sal plant in SA is also causing similar concerns to the one in Victoria. Worldwide global water consumption has doubled since World War II but according to the UN 1+ billion people have no access to clean drinking water, or a reliable supply of water. ONE BILLION! I've read so many reports on Desal, my brain is cracking!!!!!! I don't love the idea of De Sal but this time I'm putting people first, I'm 51% for it!!! Pinky will kill me for this.
Check some specs on the diary, and last month we had an extra 300 people reading it, 300 past our average-so welcome new readers...with your voyeristic intentions.
April 17thThe Australian share market gained 2%, so it's almost back to square one, to it's closing high in January 2009. Maybe that's a good sign?
I am laughing hysterically, only in America! Kelloggs have released a Star Trek cereal.... brilliant, have to try and grab a box..... complete with little marshmallow trek insignia's! It's these little things that make life fun! C'mon it's the first Trek themes breaky food in several decades, it's got to be a hit, the movie could be riding on this! *GRIN* and only 2 carbohydrates (dietary exchange per serving)-oh I just read what it's made out of, what the hell is sodium hexametaphosphate - oh a sequesting agent used in soap, detergents and pulp and paper manufacturing , scale removal....ummmm what's it doing in my Trek Cereal. Think I'll just stare at the box and never open it...will it value in price...or will it just become a box full of chemical slime...oh it has BHT-so a super preservative so my cereal should last for eons!!!!!! Burp me up Scotty!
We drive to Mt Evelyn and let Sheridan spoil us with some good food. The restaurant empties out (was it something we were talking about)? Do our grocery shopping (no Trek Cereal in Oz) and drive to our accountants new digs. It's not much further, and nice to see Carolyn for a chat, as well as handing over my BAS receipts. Hey they need wood so I'm encouraging her hubby to take to the fallen tree's with his chain saw.... that's a good idea.....maybe I can pay my accountants bill in fire wood- bring back the good old days of bartering.
April 18thA small parcel arrives from lovely Mary Brown at Santa Rosa.... and I am stoked- Jon from Pansy Divisions DEFLOWERED book- (the inside story of the first openly gay pop-punk band). Wow it's even signed. This is such a cool present. I've been trying to work out what cool little book to read on the plane- this is perfect. I know it will be fun- the PD boys are great. I've only seen them play live once-when they came to Australia and supported Boom Crash Opera at The Prince- excellent night. Sometimes you get gifts and you know they are perfect, thanks MB! I have to quote Mary as it made me laugh "I won't spoil the ending for you, but i will say the guy doesn't get the girl')! *GRIN*
You can find copies of the book at the Pansy Division website: http://pansydivision.com/Pansy_Division/Home.html
Good to see Wolverine putting his claws in the cement outside Graumans Chinese Theatre. Hugh Jackman is a nice guy and it's good to see him doing so well. X-men Origins: Wolverine will do well at the box office, will be a massive hit. He's taking over America isn't he, first the Oscars, now the star cement trip- he might as well move into hollywood.
Good to see bands like Boom Crash Opera keeping their website up to date. Not sure which band members work on it but that's what sites should be, keeps the fans coming back and just handy for information. As you can see at the top of the page BCO have a new CD out soon in Australia. It's released May 1st. Called 'Dancing In The Storm' it's 13 acoustic versions of classic Boom Crash Opera songs- 'The Best Thing', 'Hands up in the air', 'Onion Skin' , 'Great Wall' and 'Dancing in the storm' to name a few. For a short time it is a limited edition, the 2nd disc is a 10 clip dvd from their acoustic MTV unplugged performance. The sound is excellent on this release- a nice one to have in your collection- and Melbourne music lovers they play The Corner Hotel late May. (29th).
April 19thThe wind is blowing, wet and grey, a bit of a chill in the air. If it wasn't for the stray golden leaf I'd say it's Winter not Autumn. Meet Nicky and David at The Verandah and they have thankfully forgiven me for my printing mishap. Nice to sit and chat, before I know it we've been here several hours and I am late for my 1.oo phoner. Was having a nice time with these guys- good company is a rare thing.
I drive past the CFA bric-a-brac stall at the fire house, don't really need anything so just give them a $10 donation- all helps.
It's such a cold afternoon, decide to make some homemade vegie soup, some of the vegetables from our garden..the odd potato and strange herb. Mark hates soup , so he gets his Indian chicken in a cashew sauce. He's happy I'm happy- tastes great as I dab in the homemade bread.
I have to remind everyone that POOR BOY starts in Sydney on July 6th and last show August 1st. Tickets are on sale now. All those Tim Finn songs, it went very well in Melbourne, so many Emails came in, a good night out I think.
You can get tickets here: http://www.sydneytheatre.org.au/event.asp?pID=168
April 20thAn advance copy of the new BCO cd arrives...funny as BCO member Spock turns up with his wolf cub son. Nice to have a visit. It's not too bad outside so sit in some sunshine for a good ten minutes. Marks been working on some BCO dvdr so he also has with him some discs of old BCO material.
The Morrissey cd is still my most played CD this year. "Years of Refusal' a fine effort. It sold around 100,000 units during the first week and top 10 in most countries- except Australia- just couldn't find it here, I ended up with an import copy. UK still had the highest chart for Steven Patrick Morrissey at #3, but hey big in Mexico at #29!!!!! I wonder if he is still 'dramatically, supernaturally, non-sexual"! Hey at least it reads well. Aren't we all?
April 21stDo the drive to Knox today, pick up bags and bags of Enz-Crowdies photos for the mail out, the photo place find it hysterical , they thank us for keeping them out of a recession downfall. I'll be envelope stuffing all week with this many.
I hear from Neil, it's the 11th hour but he comes through with some information on "7 Worlds Collide II" , a rough list of tracks and some artwork- which may or may not be the cover but gives me the ok to use as it 'has a good vibe anyway'. So Iarla has that for: www.frenz.com/neilfinn/
I promise the boss I will not annoy him for several weeks now, he's so good just gets it all together, such a treat to work with people like this that don't fuck us around and waste our time, for now on that's all I want around music and work, apathy is boring.
Miss Rosemaree is typing up some stuff for us, she's onto it, so hoping to clear the decks of work totally before we close the office for 3 weeks and head off.
NZ office emails and only one signature to go on the Enz cds, that's when it was nice with Crowdies- just Nick, Neil and Paul at their most basic form, only 3 signatures to get on albums and photos, Mental Notes is nuts with seven and takes awhile- well worth the wait.
April 22nd.I mail off the parcel of Tshirts to Nigel so he can sign them. Noel will be next, always nice having something special on the back of contest prizes. I get a message that the Buffy the Vampire pilot is being mailed to me, with the different 'Willow' etc. Pilots are always funny, never as good but interesting.
I hear from Iarla and he's added some more of those cool Skyhooks posters- flyers to our website TOUR ARCHIVES. www.skyhooks-music.com
They just add so much to the area, I love seeing tour posters, mostly from an arty side- the sixties & seventies ones were always the best.
April 23rdTake a drive to Forest Hill to pick up some stock and pay some bills. For some reason Westpac have done something odd to my Mastercard, debit card, where it refuses to show up on their bank screens. I think the lady thought I was some super bad guy ripping the bank off. I charmed her eventually, and managed to get some print out off their ATM- so the bank had to apologize- it was all pretty strange. I felt like saying, 'well it is my money, not the bank's'.... I stayed calm, but I know whty so many people want to lurch themselves across the counter. The guy before me had some screaming match with them, so i was a total joy, all things considered.
We are home and I decide it's time to burn off the pile of tree limbs and leaves . It's a big pile so I separate them , just to be on the safe side. There is no wind, it's over cast and I have water sprayers and metal rakes etc. I even put my hand in the pile to make sure it's a bit wet. So I light one small end , all is fine, I'm keeping it a small fire and controlled. Suddenly a huge wind hit Ailsa Craig, it last for about 30 seconds but that was enough. The small fire totally exploded, like it had a can of petrol thrown over it, the flames went from 'roast my marsh mallow to 'welcome to hell'!!!. They jumped onto the second pile, that's how big that were and that went up- almost an explosion. To make it worse it became so high so quickly a tree caught on fire. Now our trees are about 4 stories high. I decided I couldn't deal with this alone, I was absolutely terrified and bellowed for Mark- praying he hears me.
I put massive amounts of water onto this but it didn't do anything. The back of my shirt was burning, my hands had burns and all I could do was watch the flames crawl slowly up towards the canopy. "Fuck I'm going to burn down Kalorama" I'm thinking MARKKKKKK. He hears me and runs to get more water. I start up our CFA backpacks and try to contain it on the tree. I'm out of breath my heart has left it's cavity and is somewhere in my throat. I smell burning hair and embers have burnt my neck. This sucks. Mark is throwing everything at the fire, including the water can itself at one stage- if it wasn't serious I would of wet myself laughing. We can't reach the tree fire, even with the hose. I remember we still have 2 super soakers left from the fire evacs. I bolt inside and they are 3/4 full. Banshee looks at me with that 'what have you done strange human' look..... I ignore her. I'm so close to calling the fire brigade.
I throw Mark a super soaker- we look like we are auditioning for Ghost Busters 2009 ! We pump and aim..they work so well perfect targeting. We fill them 40 times (I count)... eventually the tree is smoldering and we stopped the flames reaching the gum canopy- full of eucalytus oil -which just bursts into flames. I keep targeting the tree while Mark puts on his back pack and soaks the burning grass.
The massive two piles of debris have totally gone such was the strength of this fire. Our faces got zapped by radiant heat, even the end of the hose melted from it. I lean against Mark totally worn and we both say sorry for bellowing at each other. I am so relieved, after all the fire bullshit of the past few months -this was the final insanity. I tell Mark if a fire hits the Ranges next Summer we are not fighting it, we will Evac. If it's embers sure but a fire close by no way. It's just controlling this outbreak today and seeing how the water only worked 50/50 and hey that was ONE tree only. We live in a National Park so hundreds of thousands of trees. I truly understand why the firestorms of Black Saturday proved impossible to fight for those who tried. I keep checking the tree through out the night, as the wind picked up and I kept worrying there might be one small spark I overlooked that could burst into another massive flame. There wasn't all ok, I think we were lucky.
It was just amazing how the smallest gust of wind could create such chaos. Once more I have respect for fire, and a bit of a fear. It's a healthy compromise...today could of been much worst- head trip.
April 24thIn the next few days Icelanders finish their voting in their national election. I'm hoping Johanna Sigurdardottir gets in. The people seem to trust her, a rare thing for a politician . It also means she will become the worlds first openly Lesbian prime minister- so that's pretty cool.
It's overcast and the first day of a week of rain, we so badly need this. It looks like the only period that won't have rain is during the dawn service and the noon march for Anzac day. I'm totally against war, but I do support the diggers (especially) they come from a different time, and they are so happy seeing young people supporting them. So many give so much up especially those early generations. The Australian National War Memorial at Villers- Bretonneux was packed again this year. A lot of people are making the pilgrimage to France on Anzac Day instead of Gallipoli.
I wrap Cecelia and Davids wedding present as we'll be away for their big day so need to mail that off. It's so padded an elephant could walk on it and it will be ok. I'm starting to think Mark and myself avoid weddings at any cost, we kind of do- it just seems to become such a day of extremes, the best weddings are the smaller ones away from churches and all the baloney... Sis tells me they are drowning in orders for wedding dresses to be cleaned and boxed, she has hundreds of them come in every month.
Our friend calls by who is looking after the house for us, show her the new security codes and the numerous alarms that alert our security company-the police. All that's missing are land mines!
April 25thIt's grey and cold outside but the rain in the morning held off. The Australian flag flies proudly over the small stone war memorial at Kalorama. It's opposite the Verandah and I comment to Nelly. Pete & Nick how great it is to see the flag fluttering away- we all wish it was up 365 days a year, but you'd know some moron would steal it or set fire to it. The Verandah is packed, but they've saved me my little table and the coffee was nice this morning.
I'm home and work around the yard, I decide the huge drain near the property needs the massive bark and leaf build up removed, seeing the council are slacko's and still haven't done it- with a week of rain this baby will be full so off I go shovel and rake and clear the thing. I'm stopped every 5 minutes by tourists wanting to know where the look out is- their GPS has gone haywire (it's all the witchcraft up here I tell one...!!!) I play happy hills person and direct them all. By the end of the day I have blisters on my hands from shoveling and the odd cut...and buckets load of good karma by helping lost tourists.
It's going to be a wild Sunday, some snow is expected in the higher parts of the ranges, it's not even Winter yet, I think we just ignored Autumn this year and moved straight into the coldness. We watch the first Xmen movie on Blu-Ray. The Blu Ray 3 Xmen box set is out overseas so Mark grabbed a copy. It's now nice to see that Blu Ray has lifted it's game and nearly all of the Blu ray releases are high quality and work! Seems like the bad old days when they were competing against HD have gone, but you'd expect they would improve, after all they are the only high definition disc on the block. I love the Xmen movies and I need to go put our fire hose on a few female friends of ours who are having 'Hugh Attacks' over that chest of his!
Banshee sleeps in Marks room tonight, I am free of the cat for the night, wonder if I still will get woken up early?
April 26thI'm reminding everyone that our office and Email is closed from May 3rd till 24th- so for 3 weeks. So please don't panic if you don't hear from us till we return. All mail and orders etc are being kept in a locked bag at our post office box so super safe, no one can access them. Will be nice to have some time alone with my best friend.
It rained most of the night, I sleep so well when it rains, even storms. There is a knock on my door around 7.00, Banshee won't let Mark put her collar on, so I stumble out of the the bed and she lets me put it on without the hissing and growling.
I Email Reg Mombassa back that we will go along and see his Victoria arts show, be nice to catch up with him and wife Martina again, I'm intrigued to see what new art pieces he has created. Always fun.
Head off to The Verandah and have some pancakes for breakfast, regular crowd wander in, the new weekend cook is fast. Home before Bec arrives, think she is after some of Marks homemade sausage rolls but he had to make them yesterday, so I'm sure she will not be happy- they are the highlight of our friends visit.
I check the Net and it looks like Joanna did get in as Icelands new PM, the old administration fell and the social democrats are expected to win an extra 35 seats. Good to see.
That's it from the mountain.....
Make every day count!