Darling Harbour Fireworks

australia-day-fireworks-awardToday the 26th January 2009, Australia Day we attended the Darling Harbour 21st Celebrations Fireworks which starts at 8:50pm and runs 10 minutes.  Before that we had a dinner at Baia Restaurant along Cockle Bay offering good views of the fireworks.  Our table was inside a little bit so we had to walk over to the balcony, without obstructing other diners.  It was a little wet, but easily tolerated.

The event could almost have been a disaster.  I had the table booked for 11 people and I hoped to drum up business during the Harbour Ferrython between 10:00am and 2:00pm.  We then hit a few favourite bars around the Opera House and The Rocks.  For a while I could see nobody was interested in the stupid firework/restaurant booking.  But by 3:00 with the assistance of my friends, I made a quick count and had 11 exactly.  Then one group went to the Eco bar in the toaster and four peeps decided the atmosphere was nicer.  Then it rained.  The rest of us headed to Darling Harbour, but Barbara felt a little queezy with heat exhaustion from two days prior.  It was just a little far to walk in the rain, so we went on a very crowded Ferry.   We were 20 minutes late and could have lost our reservation except John and Sarah were there early, so there was six, and we gave the other table away at no forfeit because we were nice to the manager.  We saw the spectacular fireworks under a dripping balcony.

Another Meetup group were there as well, who I had drinks with afterwards.  Their table although in a good spot for fireworks was under a gap in the awnings, so it was a bit wet.  So then we went home to start a new year of work.

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SketchCrawl 21 Sydney

Here are the four sketches I made on 10th January 2009 from Bradfield Park, Kirribilii, Sydney.

Sydney Opera HouseBradfield Park shoreline

After lunch we went to Luna Park which is on the opposite side of the Harbour Bridge but on the same side of the harbour.

ferris wheelclowns1

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Would someone please remove the Catheter

Patient in hospital bedA few weeks ago, I had cause to visit a hospital after I experienced Chest Pain, after a short walk.  I drove myself to hospital and checked into Emergency.  The Triage Nurse discovered both my Pulse Rate and Blood Pressure were elevated.  So they placed me on a gurney in Emergency and indeed confirmed I was at risk, though not dramatically.  I was feeling a little anxious, hard to breathe and heavy headed but this was more to do with what was racing through my mind than anything physical.  They inserted a catheter which supplied a steady stream of glucose.  As well they took some blood samples and gave me an ECG.  Then they left me to own devices worries.

After a while the doctor returned with positive results, but I should stay the night for observation.  The night sister, after several hours noted that I didn’t have a pillow, which probably explained a little discomfort.  Not that I was able to sleep as I couldn’t calm myself.

The morning shift was abuzz with excitement and there was a drunk and chatty teenager who had admitted himself after a binge.  I had no less than four doctors visit me due to a discrepancy between what I was telling them and the initial doctor report.  But that is explained by my earlier anxiety.  It was decided I do a cardio-stress test, so I was admitted into a ward (finally) and asked to pace the corridor as I had then been bed-ridden for 10 hours.  Then I did the treadmill with ECG monitoring test.  This worked briliantly as expected and I was checked out.  But WHEN is someone going to remove the Catheter.  Luckily this was removed after some prompting and I was outta there.

The thing is, I was booked into have a ECG, Catscan and Cardio Test with radioactive dye a few weeks later, so I had to go through the whole rigmarole again (twice) but with no catheter this time.  My heart showed a little “weakness” but well within normal operational parameters (unless I wanted to climb in Nepal).

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The American Drive for World Domination

WikipediaWorld Wide Oil Domination?  Who would want that.  American Republics that’s who, specifically W  Why was it necessary to apparently demolish four buildings in NYC and blow a hole (not big enough to fit an airliner through) in the largest building on Earth – The Pentagon, just to prove a point.  Through various conspiracy sites and YouTube footage, there is indisputable evidence that the W.T.C towers collapsed by a sequence of charges. Even two buildings previously evacuated imploded hours after the initial two collapses.  Experts say they came down as a result of debris from WTC1 and 2, but there was no outward debris, just implosion.  For irrefutable evidence (or a very well mastered conspiracy) see Serendipity.  And as if 2,800 lives was not enough, what about the 4,000 American troops and 80,000 Iraqi civilians in 6 years of unnecessary fighting.

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Ground Zero World Trade Centre

world-trade-centre-and-brooklyn-bridgeAuthor unknown

Two years ago, I watched the World Trade Centre attacks and their aftermath on TV, live as they happened. Earlier this year I visited “Ground Zero” …  “The Pit”, as the site is called by native New Yorkers.

I’d been in New York for four days …  each day trying to convince myself that I didn’t really need to see the 9/11 site …  but I finally admitted to myself that it was something I just had to do.

I thought I was tough enough to handle it emotionally …  a good enough Buddhist to handle it spiritually …  but that turned out to be vanity and wishful thinking.

When I stepped out of the subway and looked across the street to where the WTC towers once stood, the terrible reality of 9/11/2001 hit me like a tidal wave, and the wall of tranquillity with which I’d carefully surrounded myself collapsed in a heap around my ankles.  Fortunately I had a friend to lean on, or I would have turned and walked away.  I couldn’t have handled it alone.

We psyched ourselves up and set off across the icy street.  My heart grew heavier with each step.  The voices of a multitude of lost spirits grew louder with each step.  I felt much colder at the edge of The Pit than I had on the other side of the road.

Not much to look at through the viewing windows.  A huge hole in the ground.  Trucks and heavy earthmoving equipment …  mostly still and silent.  A few men in hard hats and bright orange safety vests.  A few uniformed security guards.

Most of the rubble had been cleared away.  It didn’t really look like a mass grave.  More like just another big city construction site.  Almost normal.

Some withered flowers.  A few cards.  Burned-out candles.  A couple of ribbons.  A small basket with an offering to some Hindu deity.  Rosary beads.  Photos of the pre-9/11 towers in a glass case on the wall…  reflections of the way things used to be.

Street vendors selling 9/11 memorabilia and trinkets.  I bought a laser-etched plastic cube with a 3D image of the WTC towers from a crippled black guy wearing Vietnam Vet ID.  He picked up on my vibes and said “Don’t be sad, my brother.  Be angry.  It ain’t over yet.” He was right.  A month later, the USA attacked Iraq.  It’s still not over.

Around us, tourists were happily snapping photos and taking videos.  Smile for the camera.

I didn’t smile… I cried.  My friend cried too.

We stood huddled together quietly in the lightly falling snow…  trying to come to terms with where we were…  trying not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the massacre which had taken place on that very spot eighteen months earlier.

Even though it was an unnerving experience, I don’t regret going to see the 9/11 site…  but unless I can learn how to reach out to at least one of the tormented spirits who remain trapped in that terrible place, I don’t want to see it again in this lifetime.

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Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit a success

Kevin RuddAn interim report has been posted on suggestions thrashed out on butcher paper during the 2020 Summit at Parliament House on 19th-20th April at 2020 Summit Interim ReportSenator Andrew Bartlett had some interesting Impressions of the 2020 Summit outcomes.  The Australian Labor Party website has the rundown of panelists.

The Prime Minister has the remainder of the year to propose any changes to parliament.  I’m sure we will see a better future for all Australians.  Some ideas might be thrown out, but an open discussion usually leads to a 50/50 compromise.

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Big Brother 2008 starts 28th April

big-brother-logoWell, at last I can stop hunting around for entertainment, because from 28th April 28th, Big Brother 08 will all start over for a further 3 months at the Dreamworld studio. There will be 14 contestants from week 1 and 4 more a week later, but no further intruders.  Rules will be relaxed, there will be less fines which were getting ridiculous in previous years.  The age group will be more varied and no Barbie and Ken blond models.  Four contestants will be picked by user vote.

Karl Sandilands and Jackie-O will be the new hosts in lieu of Gretal Kileen, who decided it was time to move on.  There will be no Uplate show with Mike Goldman, an unpopular decision, though Friday Night Live with Bree, Mike and Fitzy will be back.  A new talkfest will be on Tuesday night to discuss goings on in the house.

Already the first housemate has been elected, Terri a 52 year old highly motivated personality which would tend to indicate the show is more based on the United Kingdom format.  The VIP subscription is already in place unlike last years debacle of opening it on day one and the website crashed and took a week before on-call vision streaming became available.  The only glitch this year was existing users needed to update their profile at Channel 10’s website, but they didn’t actually tell anyone, so hundreds of people were into the Forums to see what the scuttle-bug was to sign in. 

Anyway it should be fun fun fun.  No doubt, I’ll keep you updated.  I THINK SO

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