January 10thI spend part of my day checking out some of the new images at Petra (Jordan).... some very cool shots of The Treasury (Khazneh) and Al Deir Temple.... what a wonderful part of the world. How can you not be romanced by that scene where Indianna Jones rides his horse down the river bed canyon and there is the treasury cut into the cliff-face. Love it. If Cuba is too hard maybe Jordan is calling instead. Such an amazing planet why wouldn't people travel and explore such beauty and history.
January 11thThe Queensland floods have done my brain in, I can't fathom the size of this flooding, like several European countries joined together..well that gives you an idea. 75% of Queensland is now declared disaster area. Thank God for Anna Bligh, I thought she was incredibly focused and cool headed, yet such compassion. PM Julia Gillard did the right thing stepping back and letting Bligh speak and take control of her state. So many PM's have ego's the size of Texas and would want to override it and try and take charge- obviously Julia had confidence in Bligh and they seemed pretty focused. The Australian spirit will get QLD through this, I can't imagine how heart wrenching it is having your home swept away in a flood..all that's left was a concrete slab where it use to sit.
Emails are coming in fast, people asking how to donate worldwide, I've sent out the Red Cross link to thousands. I guess we will create some fundraiser as the fans are asking for it-it takes up whole days but in the end I know that feeling that we've done something positive so I guess I'll commit to that in a few days.. I figure the majority to Australian Red Cross and a percentage to Queensland RSPCA?
I guess the RSPCA is out, their centre at Fairfield was damaged- thankfully all animals were removed first and sent to foster homes. There is the Animal Welfare League (I think AWL are also looking after some of the RSPCA's strays) so maybe AWL will get some dollars raised. I'll send the RSPCA my own private donation to help rebuild but AWL probably need the money now to feed the animals they have, so they are a priority. RSPCA even had a peacock that was fostered out. Mark wanted it....I wonder whatever happened to the wild peacocks that were hanging around the general store when we first arrived at Kalorama?
January 12thPeople keep asking me how the floods happened. (I think this is how it is created) .The sea surface temperatures around Australia have increased dramatically with record warm areas. Large pools of warm water in areas like the Coral sea. The warmer water builds up and wind from the pacific strengthens and pushes warm surface water onto the coast. It's basically the La Nina effect. I think that's right. Plus Queensland has had a lot of rain recently so the earth was already at saturation point and if it doesn't suck up water it has to go elsewhere.
I email and call friends in Queensland, the final two-Wendy and Paul check in so I am relieved. I can be a worry wart sometimes even though I knew in my head they were safe. I keep checking the internet where a lot of other friends live and for some reason they all seem to be on higher ground- so that is a relief too.
January 13thI start receiving emails from about 4000 Queensland music lovers who tell me stories and send photos, just happy they are all safe. The news footage is mind blowing, it rips my heart apart when you see these incredibly strong Australian men and women crying- sheer exhaustion. But you see so many Aussies just helping each other, total strangers. I love the photo of the Victorian man who jumped in the swollen waters to rescue a kangaroo, the police went off at him threatening to fine him etc- I get their side but fuck them he is a hero in my book-saving one of our national symbols. Can you imagine how many of us would of volunteered to pay his fine if they even dared.
January 14thMelbourne's humidity is around 98% today, making it one of the most tropical places on earth at the moment. Our place is quite nice but the inner city friends say it's revolting. To make it more extreme it is raining, and every so often it buckets down. I wonder what this is doing to the rivers in the west of our state, especially with some parts of Victoria starting to flood. Many areas have never had major flooding before, which kind of destroys the theory's of those who say climate change doesn't exist... and flooding 'always' happens. I'm also chuckling wondering how that idiot Tony Abbott plans to build dams on flood plains. Good grief...what is wrong with that man- he is so desperate he tries to grab political points where ever he can with no thought to how tacky it is. If you really want to help Tony go and grab a shovel and clear some mud from peoples homes or help them evacuate.
I bought some new boxer shorts today- they are made in Australia with the Aussie flag on them, thought they'd be good to wear on Australia Day (Jan 26th) to BBQs etc. Warwick reminded me to make sure I wore my pants as well.... hmm maybe not my legs are a bit tanned these days, more skin on Australia Day I say.
We get a call in the evening and Tania drops by for a visit, a bit stressy but Ailsa Craig will work her charms and add some calmness. It's funny most of our friends who arrive are stressed and leave in a calm state. I make her a healthy salad and we play Monopoly-yes The Rolling Stones one. It's one all between Marky and myself as I win and thrash them both. I was nice at the start but decided to go all out near the end- my albums all had triple platinum record awards on them and both Mark and Tania kept landing on them-excellent. A fun night, wave goodbye by midnight.
January 15thI decide to work in the office the whole weekend on fundraising for the Queensland floods. It means some very very long hours but when I'm finished I know I've done my bit. Thankfully there are people who have big hearts the size of Texas, that always amazes me. The generousity of some always overshadows the stingy ones who can't be bothered to donate a buck or two. But I never really hassle people, prefer to leave it to them if it's worth doing. The kindness of some people is exceptional.
I'm working late on the computer and an email comes in from a friend who knew the Sherbet boys and they tell me that Harvey James from Sherbet died tonight. Lung cancer- he always was a big smoker, and instantly i think of Skyhooks Red Symons and how much he smoked... smoking just isn't worth the end result, a horrible way to die. Despite Sherbet being pretty average song wise, Harvey was a decent guitarist. I know the Caravan Club had a benefit show for him a month or so back, probably the last time he played I guess. RIP Harvey James.
January 16thOh typical Victorian humour. A man and a women decided to float down the swollen Yarra River on two inflatable sex toys today! The womans toy popped at the Pound Bend Tunnel and she was stuck cllnging to a tree. The Police have now put out a warning that inflatable sex toys are not good flotation devices. Don't you love Australians! I wonder if they were male and female sex toys....and what did she try to grab hold of in her desperate effort to stay afloat! The mind boggles. I'm sure people think I'm making this up- I'm honestly not.
The Gympie golf course are angry because someone carved a giant penis shape into one of the greens. I'm sorry we are chuckling at the office (and no we had nothing to do with it) but you know golf sucks! I know old people enjoy it I should be kind..... just always annoys me that so much land is used for private areas that would make great parks but instead old men (and woman) wearing ridiculous clothes hitting balls around with sticks making it all exclusive. Maybe it was really a penis crop circle?
I'm tired today, worked the whole night through, watch the sun come up going to be a pretty nice day outside. The flooding is hitting more and more Victorian towns now, Queenslanders meanwhile are amazing and they all start the huge clean up. Some towns are still closed as the Police and army are recovering bodies . Some have turned up 80km away from where people went missing, they think some may never be found- horrible not being able to bury someone.
We get another call that Steve Prestwich- drummer from Cold Chisel just died as well- from a brain tumour (while he was being operated on). So another musician gone, not a good weekend for the music industry either.
January 17thHE WILL HAVE HIS WAY- The Songs of Tim & Neil Finn, climbs up one spot on the National chart, so #21 this week... I figure we will hit platinum by February if it keeps ticking over. Keep getting emails from people who have just gotten into the Finns music because of releases like this- which is weird after all this time but I guess great for their back catalogue.
I hear from Neil and I'm hoping he will have a release month for the Pajama Party cd soon (well in a few weeks we should know WHEN...approx). They've finished the recording part of the record... I've made some (not so) subtle hints to send me a copy. I loved the stuff that they played me previously. Can't wait, I'm excited about this release.
We are watching DEADWOOD on Blu ray, the packaging is truly wonderful & such a great show, it deserved several more seasons then what it got. We have Dark Skies arriving on Blu ray soon too, it was a X-Files type show from 1996-97, I think it had about 20 episodes so not many. Eric Close & Megan Ward were the main stars. rather good looking actors... can't wait to watch it again...and yes thank you Marky you do make my dreams come true.
January 18thUp nice and early and back to the office. I've decided this Friday 21st of January would be our last day before mailing a cheque off to Red Cross and the animal group. I figure they need the money sooner then later... so really this week focusing on that as the cut off time. . I have a few hours sleep and up and at it. I keep getting reports from areas, and it's incredible how gigantic the mounds of rubbish are, the Queensland government seem to be onto it. I guess in some really bizarre way it will set off some huge consumer sales records, while so many people buy new 'stuff' for their houses..hell even rebuilding houses- it's probably some strange twist of good from bad as far as work and sale of goods goes. Which is weird but a reality....
I take an hour off in the afternoon to work in my garden, just chopping away some blackberries that are growing so fast after all the rain and sun. The 3 chickens walk along next to me like some loyal golden retrievers and Miss Banshee climbs up into the limb of a small gum tree and watched me with a cheshire (cat) smile. I have my NANO in my pocket so endless music. I'm loving this device so wonderfully small and sounds ok-it will never replace my CD's as far as sound quality but for yard work etc it's perfect.
Tania calls and their house now has solar power ( I get way too excited for them). They actually have 2 more panels then we do (at their boxing day BBQ I bet I'm on the roof trying to 'borrow' two- hmm four panels would be perfect).
People keep asking me what our HD camera is that we use, I always seem to reply "A panasonic, the same one that all the porn companies use"... people really do have the wrong idea about me and yes it is my own fault. But it is TRUE most porn companies do use the same model as ours. Does Mark have some side job that I don't know about?
January 19thI didn't sleep very well last night, it seemed to be unnaturally cold... struggled out of bed at 7.00 to put Miss Banshee outside.. it was like sleep walking, she growled, I growled back, put her collar on, opened the door and released the beastie to the wilds. Stumbled back to bed. Woke what seemed minutes later and waved at mark and went to the office. Tania drops in so we all head to Mt Evelyn for some breakfast.
I win $24.00 on lotto so i donate that to the Queensland flood fundraiser, it's the 3rd and final lot that I am giving, all charitied out. I think all the flood images have etched into my brain. We had a lot of people from overseas who have been kind and very generous, so inspiring.
Australia Post have out done themselves in being useless, all the post offices around here have ran out of CD mailers, we've had 50 on back order for a month now. I've pretty much bought up any stray stock from 6 differnet post offices and none have been able to restock- hopeless.
A cross dressing police man was busted off duty in Sydney. He was wearing a black ladies G-string (I'm assuming they mean the G string was black and it wasn't some poor Negro woman's clothing he stole?), bra and 6 inch high heels ...but it was because he was committing some offensive act that got him busted. At least the report pointed out the gold bracelets matched the necklaces that he was wearing so he did indeed have a good eye for teaming items together. His uniform and gun etc were on the back seat, so did he change into his sexy little number or was he wearing it under his uniform? I imagine him chasing criminals in those lovely 6 inch heels , sassy!
I see parts of Victoria are still flooding. The levee started to breach at Kerang this morning, fairly certain most residents left before this happened, it's a small community of about 400. It was touching to see farmer Wayne rescuing his sheep in a boat. The water continues to flood town after town, some levees have held thankfully...but the water is surging towards the NSW border. Where are the National Party when all this is going down, so much for being the farmers friend.
January 20thI tried to order Benny some Sons Of Anarchy bits and pieces as a late birthday present, but the FIX website has been hopeless and wouldn't let me change my country from USA to Australia so I've given up on that for the day.
I see Oprah's special edition on Australia has been shown in America, apparently Australian tourism has been flooded with requests for information, I can imagine some of those amazing Aussie images being very tempting for Americans stuck in the snow and slush.
We take an hour off from the office today and keep working on the yard. It's only 2 acres but sometimes it feels like 2000. Mark is great we work well together. I hear from a friend in Queensland where it has started raining again. A few big storms, which I'm sure is a pain for the cleaning up.
I still haven't heard back from Seymour about doing this interview, neil just puts so much time in around the fan side, maybe Nicks just having time away from the band? Who knows.... slack old tart! *GRIN*. I did hear from Tim's wife Marie. Tim Finn is currently mixing his new album so that's rolling alone- he has a new official facebook page too (some video footage will be up soon from the recording session). You can check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/TimFinnOfficial
January 21stI put banshee outside and later the B&W cat is attacking her, so i'm awoken with cat screeches. I rush out and let her back in-she was very happy to come back inside and really didn't want to leave the bed. Randy old B&W tom cat. So I'm a bit worn today.
In the afternoon I write out our cheques for the Qld floods and also the Animal Welfare League. It's great to be able to do this, a huge thank you to the many with big hearts who donated- no matter if it was $2, it all will help.
The Leader free paper penned a story from the estate agency, that the mansion we love so much has 'almost' sold. Which is sad, and we were unrealistic (who will we stalk now?). I'm amazed it hasn't gone sooner, but it's over $3 million.
I see The Pentagon has cut back on it's funding for the never ending wars in Iraq & Afghanistan- only $117 BILLION this year, almost 25% less. Imagine what $117 billion could do for health, schooling and infrastructure in America. As Greg from Skyhooks once wrote in his song "Cars, Bars & Girls"- "People waste their money just fighting wars"! So much for George Bush's "Mission Accomplished" -what was the mission?- to sucker the American people? $117 BILLION hell that's a lot of money.
and speaking of billions- I see that Apples Steve Jobs has taken some time off again which probably means he is sick. Each time he does this Apple shares drop by 5-10%. Last may Apple overtook Microsoft by market value. Apple $310 BILLION to Microsoft $245 BILLION. I guess Bill Gates comment on Jobs in 1997 "He knows he can't win" is looking a bit less real. I'm sure Gates has 5 times as much money himself but Apple have done really well eh? I kept telling people to buy shares in Apple.
January 22ndWe stayed up late last night, OK I made Mark stay up late, you know the feeling some Friday nights you just want to push the envelope and go to bed at 2.00 or 3.00. We don't do early nights at the best of times but I don't want to be one of those old people who go to sleep at 8.30. But we do pay for it next day, thankfully Viewpoints coffee just added some energy. The owner Dot gave me an invite to her art show at Monash University- at Project Gallery D1 on 16th February. So feeling a bit honoured and will attend.
I see Cuba has suspended all mail service to America... just weird. We've almost given up trying to get to Cuba- means we can't even post ourselves their in a big box!!!
Our mate Warwick drops in and grabs some art, we are off to their place on Australia Day for the traditional BBQ. Which is only a few days away, it only seems like people have gone back to work from Christmas break. I have some sexy new Australian flag boxer shorts for the occasion. The sun is out so I work in the garden for most of the day, and get my daily dose of vitamin D.
Hmm late night for us, our 2nd in a row, can Marky stand it- walking frames will be next old man *GRIN*.
January 23rdI've been really enjoying "Blood Sweat & Beers" Murray Englehearts book- my cousin David gave it to me for christmas. It's all part of the Oz rock culture and damn tough-hard playing rock. Love the Rose tattoo stuff and also the many flashbacks to the wonderful Bondi Lifesaver where we used to hang out (illegally) in our teenage years. It has made me crave to have "Snow Queen" on my iPod- I just found out it's a bonus track on Rose Tattoo's "Rock N Roll Outlaw" cd.... so will have to buy that one.
I head to the office and write out the cheques, one to Red Cross Australia and a second to Animal Welfare League, so these will be mailed off on Monday morning. It's been a good thing doing this so big thank you to the people who made it happen. Lets hope the rest of 2011 isn't as crazy and mother nature is in a better mood.
Suns out so we are off for a surf. Such great beach weather here.
Smile life is good.