March 30th, 2008
|02:20 pm - Earth Hour|
You have to wonder about some peoples response to Earth Hour. We turned our power off at the said time and thought we'd have a wander up the street. But low and behold Kangaroo Point, which has a fantastic vista of the Brisbane CBD, was jammed packed with people and cars. So what I think had happened was this: most of the people at Kangaroo Point for Earth Hour had probably turned off their house lights and appliances to reduce their carbon emissions for a single night then jumped into their cars and drove to the cliffs to see the 15% of inner city buildings that weren't lit up unbeknown to the fact that their driving there probably released more carbon than if they had stayed at home with the lights burning. What also got me was the cordoned off red-carpet area for VIPs that was being supplied with power from diesel generators. Is it me or does this go against everything that Earth Hour is supposed to be about, i.e.a reduction in carbon emissions? Earlier in the day I joked with Babalon_93 that knowing Brisbane-folk, they'd have a mega fire work display including fly overs with F1-11's complete with afterburners. Ends up I wasn't too far wrong...
April 17th, 2007
|01:13 pm - Brisbane ROCKS|
Me, today. Just walked outside to meet babylon93 for lunch and who should walk past me? The chief from Battlestar Galactica, who is in town for Supernova. Was very excited and went to have lunch. Then walking back to work past the beer garden next door (yes, I work next too, and across the road from a couple of pubs) and there he was having lunch. Babylon93 made me assure her that I wouldn't stalk him or steal his used cutlery or anything like that! But maybe I'll go down for a post lunch beer with the chief and talk about unionism within the cylon fleet (those centurions should strike until they get better working conditions!).
Current Mood: excited
March 18th, 2007
|09:43 pm - Mr Baseball|
Last night was my last function as president of my baseball club. What a humbing evening it was. Firstly, I was made the club's first life member for the service I have given the club over the past four years. Secondly, they have named a perpetual award in my honour. Thirdly, they have had a bat made and inscribed for me which is on its way from the US. I then won my teams batting award (beware...baseball stats following: I ended up with a season average of 0.553 and an on-base average of 0.638 with 17 stolen bases), was awarded a Silver Slugger award (since I had 21 hits for 38 at bats) and also won my team's best and fairest award count. Then at the end of the function I was given a standing ovation from all who were present(ie. about 40 members and partners). I'm going to miss this club and the guys who make up the members but it's nice to know that my services to the club will not be forgotten.
Current Mood: touched
February 24th, 2007
|12:11 pm - I come from Brisbane and I'm quite plain|
That legendary Brisbane author Nick Earls once signed a book for me saying, “Brisbane misses you and we’re counting the days until you return”. Now the count is even less as I am on the brink of accepting a Snr Ecologist position with GHD (some multinational corporation that I’m signing my soul over to for a few years). Hence babalon_93, baby_babalon, Percy_dog and I are giving up the sandgroper existence and moving back east and setting up digs in Brisneyland. It’s been a long tour around Australia for little P_E but now is the time to head back to the red and white streets of Brisbane. We should be packed up an out of here by early April. Exciting times ahead...
Current Mood: excited
September 22nd, 2006
|10:36 am - Cool Babies|
Can't wait for the lullaby version of Pixies album to come out!
June 19th, 2006
A colleague of mine here at Greening sent around these pics of an Aboriginal dance group from Broome dancing in front of Stonehenge. Amazing pics...
May 8th, 2006
|09:20 am - Grant McLennan|
On Saturday 6th May, legendary Australian singer songwriter Grant W McLennan died in his sleep at his home in Brisbane.
McLennan was one of Australia’s greatest songwriters who created an outstanding musical legacy as a founder member of The Go-Betweens and as a solo artist. He was enjoying enormous acclaim for the band’s most recent album Oceans Apart, which has received five star reviews around the world and won a prestigious ARIA award.
McLennan was born in Rockhampton, Queensland on 12th February 1958. While attending university in Brisbane he met fellow student Robert Forster and together they formed The Go-Betweens. After releasing a string of singles the band recorded their debut album, Send Me A Lullaby, in 1981. The Go-Betweens recorded a series of exceptional albums that achieved widespread critical acclaim and were fundamental in bringing Australian music to a global audience. He was an unparalleled lyricist and a prolific and meticulous composer. His auto-biographical masterpiece ‘Cattle and Cane’ was recently voted by the Australian Performing Rights Association as one of the ten greatest Australian songs of all time.
In 1989 The Go-Betweens took a ten year sabbatical and McLennan recorded four powerful solo albums including the vivacious debut Watershed and the epic Horsebreaker Star as well as forming satellite groups like Jack Frost with Steve Kilbey of The Church and The Far Out Corporation with Ian Haug of Powderfinger.
When Robert Forster and Grant McLennan reformed The Go-Betweens in 2000, the band was greeted with adulation by a new generation of musicians like Belle and Sebastian, for whom their songs had been an inspirational teenage soundtrack. The three albums the band subsequently released were universally acknowledged as containing some of McLennan’s greatest compositions.
McLennan was a passionate supporter of the arts, extremely well-read and maintained a keen interest in all contemporary music, cinema and visual art. He was an exceptionally charming and polite man who endeared himself to everyone who met him and was one of the rare individuals worthy of the epithet ‘larger than life’.
His singular contribution to music and his commitment to his craft simply cannot be overstated. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his mother, sister, brother, girlfriend Emma, bandmates Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson and lifetime musical colleague and friend Robert Forster.
Bernard MacMahon, Lo-Max Records, 6th May 2006"
Grant McLennan was a modest yet profound musician who will be sorely missed. I first saw the Go-Betweens perform at the first ever Livid Festival in 1988 on a stormy Brisbane afternoon at the Uni of Queensland grounds. Where Robbie Forster was the extravagant and outrageously ostentatious front man lapping up the applause, Grant tended to be the quiet achiever, maybe even looking quite embarrassed or uncomfortable with the accolade. I saw them again a few months later, playing at the student bar at Griffith Uni on their 16 Lovers Lane tour. Again, a drunken night filled with the awesome sounds of the Go-Bs. I was sold as a fan and subsequently devastated when Grant and Robert dissolved the band. During the next 10 years or so, I managed to see both perform as solo artists and in various incarnations. One of the memorable Grant gigs was a few days after Morrissey cruised through town. The stage was decorated with flowers and Grant quipped that Morrissey fans must have been in attendance and then proceeded into a most memorable night playing sounds off his Watershed album. Both Grant and Robert moved back to Brisbane in the years post-Bjelke-Petersen when Brisbane bloomed in the bright sunshine after the years of stormy ultra-conservatism. I remembered bumping into Robert at a primary school fete and ended up looking through second hand records with him. Then the day came when Grant and Robert finally had a show together. It wasn't billed as a Go-Bs show but instead was headlined as Robert Forster and Grant McLennan (of The Go-Betweens). It was a very cool evening at the Tivoli Theathre. Robert was resplendent in a canary yellow suit. Grant was wearing a t-shirt and jeans and by now trademark cap covering his thinning hair. The audience was stacked with Go-Between fans hoping and praying for a glimpse of their former glory. And the boys didn't disappoint. And again, after every song Robert strode forward to receive the rapturous applause in his extravagant way, with Grant stepping backwards and enjoyed watching Robert lapping up the glory. I remember reading in some long forgotten magazine that Grant was integral in naming their albums and quipped that the reason a double-ell appeared in the majority of the titles was a suspicion that because Thriller was such a huge album for Michael Jackson, that they hoped for the same sort of fame (and if you're not familiar with the Go-B's early albums, here they are: Send me a Lullaby, Libery Belle and the Black Diamond Express, Tallulah, Spring Hill Fair). The dynamism between Forster and McLennan was reflected in their compositions; Grant's songs tended toward introspection and self-discovery (Dusty in Here, Cattle and Cane, Bye Bye Pride) while Robert's were extravagant and borderline whimsical (ie. Lee Remick, Draining the Pool for You). The last time I saw the Go-Bs was at the Perth Festival in early 2003. I was horribly lonely and homesick for Queensland and went along and watched the Go-B's by myself. Sitting there drinking a beer listening to the reformed Go-B's was a melancholic affair and I teared up when they played Cattle and Cane, a song which is quintessentially North Queensland and one which you can't fully appreciate until you lived surround by "fields of cattle and fields of cane". It was one of my favorite traveling tunes when I did field work during my time residing in NQ and although I knew the song well before leaving Brisbane, it was driving the roads of NQ where it really struck home (so far from home). Every so often a pairing of musicians results in a truly unique song writing duo. Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Morrissey and Marr, and Forster and McLennan. The music world and the Brisbane scene has lost one of it's favorite and at some times underrated sons. RIP Grant, my rock and roll friend...
Current Mood: sad
Current Music: Anything by the Go-Betweens
April 19th, 2006
|07:00 pm - A horrible no-good day|
And it was a day to bring me back down into reality. First, me, this morning, reversing out of the driveway when the gate blows onto the side of my (new) work car thereby ripping off the side mirror, denting the side panel and bending the gate. Okay, gate I can fix (and did) but now I have to front up to work and hand over a broken car. Harrumph...
Second, phone interview. Sounded incoherent and like I couldn't string two words together. Went off on irrelevant tangents and generally squirmed for the 40 minutes I was on the phone. If they even consider offering me the position, I would be totally flummoxed. Oh well...
Then, about to leave work when I receive an email from the editor of an international journal stating that the manuscript I had submitted to them for peer review was unanimously rejected and that even with major revision, this particular journal wouldn't consider looking at it again. They suggested attacking the manuscript and sending it to another journal. This is of concern as this is the 2nd time this manuscript has been rejected and revised. It is also describing the central tenet of my PhD and which all subsequent chapters are dependent on. It just summed my day up really...
But then came home and held the adorable baby_babalon for loads of smiles for me. Makes everything else just seem so irrelevant...
April 18th, 2006
|04:56 pm - Eeekk!|
I just found out that I am scheduled for a phone interview tomorrow for an international consultancy firm for a plant ecologist position based in Brisbane. I sent my CV into them last week on a whim and it appears to have been well received. I have an extraordinary ability of scoring job interviews from applications. In fact I think I am batting 1000 in my success rate. And I apparently interview very well so usually end up with the job offer (doesn't mean that I accept the offer though). I am a serial applicant. I used to apply for jobs for the practice, you know, keep your CV and response to selection criteria up to date. But then I get offered a job that I didn't really want or need. I had to stop applying for jobs because it was getting beyond a joke.
Anyway, in a conundrum about this one (if they do indeed offer me the position). You see, it would mean packing up the family and moving over east. Babalon_93 would also feel a bit torn as she has established a beautiful network of friends with babies over here (and you know who you are) but also has a desire to live in Brisneyland. And if this firm does pay for us relocating, then I'd have to sign on for at least three years. I would also feel a bit guilty about leaving Greening after only being here for five or so months (and they have been very good to me). Part of me also feels that moving back to my home town would be a step backward, not career wise but development wise. You see, when I left Brisbane all those years ago, it was great as it felt like my old town was stagnating and was slowly drowning me. I felt trapped in myself and in the Brisbane life I had established. But I digress. Babalon_93 and I would be more accessible to both of our families; mine in Brisbane and hers in Melbourne, and I suppose that is a good thing especially now having baby_babalon along for the ride. Hmmmm... lots of decisions... that is if they even offer me the position at the pay rate I have indicated! Oh well... I'll keep you all posted...
UPDATE: Well didn't get the job. Their reasoning was that when they described what the position entailed, I came across sounding less than enthusiastic. Hmmm... maybe I was just pissed off that they were 15 minutes late in calling me!
April 17th, 2006
|12:36 pm - Lost|
No, this isn't an entry about one of the best series on commericial TV. This is about me never being lost again. That's right! I scored on Ebay this weekend! I managed to win a Garmin GPS for the insane price of $56.00! Some of you may be wondering why this is so exciting. Well, the fact of the matter is that being an ecologist/botanist, I am regularly in the field collecting specimens or mapping distributions. My work unit doesn't have their own GPS so I am pretty excited to get my own. This means that when ever babalon_93, baby_babalon and I are out in the wilds in sw WA and I want to collect some purty plant or record some purty birdie, I can whip out my GPS and record the location with just a few button presses. That all said, I just hope Aust Post don't lose it or anything... which would be funny because the GPS would know where it was but nobody else...
Current Location: Love HQ WA
Current Mood: excited
Current Music: Theme from a Summer Place