Showing posts from December, 2016

You can't win

For decades, Americans were worried that the Russians were going to turn the US into a glass-topped parking lot.
Now they're anxious that Don wants to make friends with them.


Because "they've always been our enemy".

Wow. Too many westerns I reckon.

You know, black hat/white hat and all that.

Live large

When I ordered my "daily habits" diary, I had the choice of this garish pink version with a cheesy slogan on the front or a plain black one with "2017" on the front.

The black one was the obvious choice.

So I chose the pink one.


Because I like to break habits.

Because I was afraid of the pink one and I don't like being ruled by fear.

Because it will just be a whole lot easier to find amongst my stuff :)

Live large.

Two things Jim Rohn said

1. "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret - tons."

2. "Success is nothing more than a few simple habits practised daily."

The longer I live, the wiser these become.

Robert Pirsig needs to write a sequel:

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle RIDING".
Who cares about the maintenance?

Well, we do, but you know what I mean.

I can see already that good motorcycling is a meditation.

Complete present-mindedness.

A wandering mind on a motorbike is going to be a recipe for disaster.

The maiden ride and still in one piece!

Thanks to the watchful eye of ex-Metropolitan Police (London) brother-in-law and the quiet internal roads of Perry Lakes where you can take your time without pressure.

Something I really appreciated though is that brother-in-law didn't let me be too cautious. That can be as problematic as being too confident.

In short: I LOVE THIS!

It's literally like being a kid again.

Only with brains this time :)

If you want to spend your own money protesting,

go for it. But please don't spend mine.

Here, let me help you with that

Australian academics study beer prices at the cricket while the residents of Aleppo cower in fear, their city reduced to dust and ashes around them. Sometimes - a lot of the time - the world looks a very sad place. But it's always been that way. And always will be. Our job is to do what we can to show kindness to those right next to us. That is our sphere of influence and we need to use it.

How you know your country is rich

When your Gross Domestic Product reaches a certain level?

Or the average wage?

Or the average net worth?


When your academics are paid to study beer prices at the cricket.

The good and bad of being a middle-aged motorbike learner

The Bad

You're slower to catch on.

The Good

You're not afraid to pull up mid-lesson, turn the bike off and say to the instructor:

"Sorry mate, you're going too fast. I just need to ride around the carpark for a while and get used to sitting on this damn thing before I start worrying about indicator on, glance in mirror, look over shoulder, feather the clutch..."

Fortunately my instructor is a top bloke and didn't mind at all.

"Good on you," he said, "the student must always set the pace. You just looked very comfortable so I presumed you were ready to move on."

"Nah," I said, "that comfortable look is a complete sham, perfected over many years of being a manager where it's important to look like you know what you're doing even though you haven't got a clue."

He smiled. He got it.

It's a boy thing

I keep finding reasons to go into the garage.

Oh look, that's a lovely bike!

: )

Motorcycling is too dangerous

You're nuts.
You're having a mid-life crisis.

Yeah, whatever.

The day I saw Harley Lady, I knew I wasn't going back.

Even though I'd never ridden a bike in my life, I knew I was going to.

So I went and got my L's.

Then I booked some lessons and after two I was hooked.

So then I went and bought this pretend Harley: a little Suzuki 250 Intruder.

Looks like a Harley, sounds like a Harley but doesn't go like a Harley.

Thank goodness.

The real thing would probably have me under a bus.

At the moment.

Get proficient on this little guy and who knows ;)

Big Ag

Australia is set to become the food bowl of Asia.
We're going to take advantage of the good soils and reliable water supplies in our north and turn it into an agricultural powerhouse.

It will essentially be private enterprise that makes it happen but the government will support it with cheap loans from a pool of $15 billion set aside for the purpose.

All this will be administered by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, set up in July this year in Cairns.

Exciting stuff.

But let's not depend on it like we did with mining. Even though this is going to essentially double our agricultural output, it still needs to be just one card in our pack if we're to have a truly resilient economy.

Drummers rejoice! Your salvation is nigh!

And it takes the form of these wonderful things.
Like a lot of drummers, I have tinnitus.

Ear plugs aren't the answer because they make everything sound tinny and take all the nuance out.

These latest noise-cancelling headphones from Bose solve all that. I can still hear everything I'm doing, just not as loud.

And because I'm not subconsciously concerned about the damage the noise is doing, I'm much more relaxed. And more relaxed playing = better playing.

Lesson: it's really important to keep up with technology. Things are changing all the time, often opening up new opportunities to enhance your creativity / improve your quality of life.

The elephant in the room

Dementia is a bear.
It's really hard to get your head around it.

Someone said to me yesterday that people under forty today will probably never experience it.


How to Visit Someone With Dementia And Stay Sane

Turn up.

Make it up.

Give it up*.

That's it. Nothing else to say. Or do.

Trust me on this.

*ie until next visit

Iron fist in a velvet glove

"We are ready to cooperate but willing to confront."
Admiral Harris, Commander US Pacific Command, in his address about the rights of nations to navigate international waters in the Asia Pacific.

Not a bad motto for life really.

No hiding

I bought this diary* because it has the most important thing:
A daily habits section.

You write in your essential daily habits and tick them off in the adjacent circles.

You can then flick through the diary quickly and see where the ticks are / aren't.

No more hiding.

*from Pulp Addiction - Aussie company, great prices, great service.

The common language

As we all gradually relax after the election, we start to sense the possibilities.
The possibilities that a hardcore, business-oriented deal maker in the Big House offers.

A deal maker who doesn't care if you're black, white or brindle, communist, capitalist or racist.

Who doesn't care what your previous allegiances were, only what you're prepared to do NOW.

And this is the beauty of business. It crosses boundaries.

Interesting and, dare I say it, exciting(?) times ahead.

You gotta look

Don always says you have to be prepared to walk away.
He's right. It's the only way you get the good deals.

The reason we don't do it is because we're scared the deal won't come our way again.

But as they say, the "deal of a lifetime" comes around about once a week.

If you're looking.

And there's the catch.

We usually want stuff to land in our lap.


As Gary Player says, "the harder I work, the luckier I get."

By the time we learn, it's too late

That's the perennial problem, isn't it?
We finally figure it all out and the train bumps into the stoppers at the terminus.

I'm not sure what we can do about that save listening to others we trust….ie learn from them without having to go the whole journey ourselves.

But that's fraught too. Because sometimes we're just different and the solution for others simply isn't the right solution for us.

Always pondered with this one and still am.

Maybe I'm over-thinking it. Maybe the journey is the learning.


Ed Sheeran

I didn't like Ed Sheeran. 
I mean, really didn't like him.

Not him personally of course - I've never met him and know nothing about him - but as an artist I mean.

Then, sitting at home, working away all day with the radio on a station that played "Thinking Out Loud" incessantly, I had to finally admit it:

The man is a genius.

If you never listen to anything else by him, listen to him sing just one word.

Yes, one word.

It's the "now" at 1:19 in this video. (click a bit before that to get the lead in)

Forgive me Ed.

U da man.

Tip: turn the ridiculous picture off and just listen. I think it's vids like this that irritated me so much about him in the first place. Just sing Ed. Please.

The power of words

Sometimes I read something that just blows me away and makes me realise how much I (we) self-censor when we create. 
We continually limit ourselves to what we think people will (a) accept and (b) understand*.

The latest piece that brought this home to me was this spectacular paragraph.

I love it when this happens. It opens my own floodgates and for a while everything just pours out.

Over time however, the gates start slowly closing again under the pressures of conformity and fear. Until the next time I stumble across something like this or read anything by Jeanette Winterson.

The power of words never fails to astonish me. They're just black marks on paper but they can change the world.

*People are better at reading between the lines than we think. We don't need to spell it all out.

You can't go back, only forward

Don has apparently appointed a Big Oil sympathiser as the head of his EPA.
Dracula in charge of the blood bank kind of thing.

I was reflecting on that and started to realise that when Don said "let's make America great again" he actually had in mind the great America of the past, not a future version.

A great America that is really an old America will fail miserably in a new world.

Bike lesson / life lesson

I had my first motorbike lesson yesterday.
Lots of stuff covered, but the big one?


So then I came home and played my drums and did the same thing. I looked out at the wall instead of at my hands (or the drums). Immediate difference. I was looser, better.

It's all about TRUST. Trust that we have the wherewithal already in us. Our bodies are amazing creations of incredible complexity. They're designed to operate beautifully on autopilot much of the time. When we override this and try to do things manually, we get average results at best. We are much better than we think! We just have to trust ourselves.

Kids do this naturally of course. You'll know what I mean if you've ever gone to the ski slopes with a six year old and been completely humiliated(!)

Learning to ride a motorcycle is going to be good for me. I'm going to learn trust and humility and a bunch of other things. And I'm also going to learn that "fun" is a perfectly good r…

One for the fridge

After my encounter with Harley Lady I went out and got my L plates and booked some lessons.
I soon realised however that Harley Lady's bike is not for beginners, so I've set my sights on one of these Suzukis. They're affordable (half the price of a Harley), approved for beginners (the system is tightly controlled now which is a good thing) yet they still look and feel like a "real" bike. Now to convince the bank managerwife...

PS…this photo came from Zombie Drive Moto. If you're interested in this sort of thing, check it out. Fabulous resource.

PPS… I went and checked out this bike at Rick Gill Motorcyles. After a bit of a chat, Rick said "Let me warn you, you will get addicted to this". Sounds good to me :)

I'm not sure why everyone is stunned by this

It makes perfect sense to me.
You achieve your goal, you look to the next thing.

Life is short.

Each of us is a sovereign person

We get to choose. 
Don has infuriated China by picking up the phone and calling the President of Taiwan*.

Clearly, he believes kowtowing is for cattle thieves.

*China considers Taiwan theirs and refuses to recognise the Taiwanese government. Until now, the US has gone along.

Imagine a city with more bikes than cars

Then go to Copenhagen and see it.

They even have separate traffic lights for bikes.


Businessmen in suits.

Fancy ladies in their finery.

Even dorky, middle-aged tourists who have to be talked into it and then can't get enough of it :)

PS….yes, businesswomen in suits and fancy men in finery too!