Tuesday, May 31, 2011

riding pre dawn

For most of my life I've been an early riser.
Even back when I was about 10 years old I'd wake up at 6:00am and take off on my bike. I remember being bored and totally impatient as I waited sometimes for hours outside one friends house looking for signs of life... waiting for someone to wake up and come outside...
When I was a teen I helped friends with their paper rounds and really got a kick out of riding around the suburbs while it was still dark and most people were barely stirring in their beds!

When I left school and got a job, I bought a motorbike and found I needed a lot more money than the supermarket was paying so I got a second job cleaning at a local University.... 4:30am start!
Some time after that I hit the jackpot and got a job as a Postal delivery officer where I thought I had it made! 5:30am start and go home as soon as the mail is delivered! I loved it! There's so many stories I'd love to tell about that job but I've been sworn to secrecy! (I'm serious!) Somewhere along the way the Postal service went through what you might call a cultural change, the milk and honey ran out and one day I found myself in a field of thorns... 'Time to hit the road!'

I left that job and went back to school... learned to type and use the dreaded computer (Like I've written before), stupid machine! The next thing I know 10 years have passed and I've been working in an office, staying up late every night sleeping in... till 7:00am! Sleep deprived and forgetting how much I missed the dawn!

So now that I've nearly kicked that habit I've been waking early again and re-uniting with the bliss of 5:00am quiet streets, cool breeze and the scent of freedom! Sendiri saja!

On Sunday Saturday morning I was woken up at 4:30am, I wretched the Shogun Katana out from a tangle of vines, put some air in the tires and went for a quick spin down the bicycle path to Palmerston. Still too early to turn back I decided to head for Chanel Island when I discovered the new boat ramp and jetty at the Elizabeth River Bridge. I crossed the bridge then decided to turn back and gaze at the stars from the jetty. I've heard the planets are forming some kind of alignment, I don't know which ones I was looking at but there were about three clustered around a crystal clear crescent moon just before dawn. The rail bridge was alive with micro bats serenading each other in the dusky light. It was beautiful. I got home sometime around 7:00am just as everyone was waking up.

just before dawn
(Drawn impression -human admiring the moment when the night is met by the dawn)
(I forgot my camera!)

This morning there was far less moonlight for riding so I went for a shorter ride earlier in the morning. An early morning mission to collect Rosellas from a the scrub just a few kms from home. Unfortunately there appeared  to be no plants... strange because every other year there have been masses of them. Maybe Parks and Wildlife rangers sprayed them all? I'll have to go back in the daylight to check. Anyway there is only two days before the New Moon which meant the moon was waxing and only a thin sliver of light and to the right I think Venus? I don't know, I'll have to look it up. I came home without the loot I intended, but feeling the energy and lust for life entering my body!

This afternoon I surged home on my early 80s Mixte ladies bike and left a couple of licrad up speedsters to chew on my dust! I don't know if they were racing me but they must have felt pretty weak being thrashed by a fella riding a 30 year old ladies bike in the sitting up position. Arrgh!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is obsolete?

Eliminating what I don't need, despite the waste!
Way back in 1999 we bought our first computer. A Compaq Presario It was very exciting. I can't remember why we bought it, there was something about spreadsheets, word documents but mainly I think I thought it would be cool, and I could veg out and play video games. We wanted something that would retain it's usefulness for years to come. We were both working so could afford a decent machine and they weren't as cheep as they are now. It was a big investment and we fell for the hype that we just had to have one... I think back then we also bought a big TV too!

Looking back I can't believe how much we paid for our machine, but we were assured that this model would outlast most others in the market. Unlike the cheaper ones it had a DVD ROM (No burner... nobody had those!), and 2 USB ports which was also uncommon, but may prove to be handy in 'The Future' and a ZIP drive which was the mass storage hardware of the future. There was a whopping 15 Gig of space on the hard drive and it had 250 mb of RAM.

I have to say that the computer did actually change my life. At the time we got it I hadn't had any experience with typing. I used two fingers and looked at the keyboard, only staring at the screen to proof what I'd written! I was slow.
I was working as a Postie and had plenty of free time but I spent most of it playing games! Somewhere along the way I got up the nerve to leave my secure job and actually went back to school... At TAFE I learned to type and somehow found myself writing essays, reports and stuff like that. (Believe me it's not what I thought I'd be doing so long after having dropped out of school) The skills I learned using that computer enabled me to get office jobs. When I was a kid that was a big deal! I had dropped out of Tech, and never thought I'd work in an 'Office!'. I didn't really want to but that's not the point. (actually one teacher informed me that I would be unemployable)

(Now here I am dreaming about making earth bricks in a remote community...! anyway back to the computer story)

The old computer served us well for about 7 years, in that time we upgraded it with by installing more RAM, shoving in a new Hard Drive and installing a CD burner. After 7 years though it had become obsolete. It just couldn't be upgraded enough to run the programs we wanted to use, we were going to have to get a new one. This is when I realized just how wasteful we can be. PC's were designed to work like a kit. You play around with the components and build them up as you go. I thought many of the parts were meant to be interchangeable and so I expected that, I'd be able to pull out the motherboard and reinstall a new one into the box. After all it's just a box with ventilation, a power supply, and the necessary gaps and spaces for all the peripheral stuff you plug in. Well as you would guess that isn't how things work. There's a manufacturing principal called 'Planned Obsolescence' which pretty much guarantees that when they produce a new product the manufacturers make damn sure that it won't just fit into the space where your old one used to sit! A new product has to occupy it's very own space in the market and everything old must be thrown away! People must have the latest stuff! 

In the end we bought a whole new computer, even though most of the parts from the old one would have continued to work for at least a few more years! I have held onto the old machine for the past 4 years or so since we got the new one but now I've decided to get rid of it! It is such a shame. the box is still in perfect condition and it will likely end up in the land fill, not even used for scrap metal... 

I have been struggling to make sense of this sort of thing for a long time but have only now decided that it's OK that it makes no sense. Don't bother trying to understand why it's like that... it just is. Put it down to yet another crazy things people do, marvel at the colossal waste, but don't worry...  

It will all be obsolete some day. Rather than worry about it I think I'll sit under a tree and learn to tie knots in a rope. Its bound to come in handy some day, you never know when your ocky straps might snap... ;)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just burst the bubble!

Not sure where to start this post but today I determined that I would write something.

To begin with the dry season is here! Yes.... The mood is shifting as that feeling like Spring fever takes over and the body and soul bristle with anxious energy and anticipation of moving into an exciting season.

lighten up!

A combination of the change of seasons, a series of profound coincidences (I can't elaborate it would ruin the whole experience!) and a desperate desire to shift gear and direction have allowed me to Burst a Bubble that I had been shrouded in for several YEARS!
Various domestic responsibilities coupled with my insatiable desire to explore, wander and drift had caused me to spend too many evenings living vicariously via the virtual world of the Internet!
I've discovered a lot of great stuff in here and found ways to take part and even contribute. There is so much information, entertainments and distractions but ultimately it's not a real life! Actually I think the 'net' result has only been to piss my wife off and make me crave a real life even more... not to mention the amount of sleep I've lost!

Now since I'm writing in this internet blog it's obvious that I am not giving it away completely! But I have decided to quit browsing and drop all superfluous subscriptions. I have explored the social networking gig and found it extremely unsatisfying... Just like mainstream media these things appear only to create status anxiety and take up valuable time that could be spent far more creatively!
Did you know that when you shut down your Facebook account the spying little creep of a thing presents you with a list of your closest friends who will miss you when you're gone! Ha! Not Bloody Likely! Actually if you want to know how many 'friends' you have shut down your Facebook and see who calls you to see what's up.... (If the phone doesn't ring, don't worry it just means that you are free to follow your dreams without the hindrance of unnecessary cometary)

Now that the dry is here we are spending heaps more time outside. I've fallen back into my old habit of going to bed before midnight and rising before dawn! The mornings have been awesome! We've managed to go on some great little rides around Casuarina Coastal reserve with the kids. Parks, playgrounds and even blowing bubbles in the back yard!

fun for all

orbs of light
(bubbles! Try it it's FUN!)

Cycling in the dry is much the wetter more humid months!I arrive at work dry and fresh and there are heaps more bikes on the road but the head winds tend to make the trip home a bit slower. I'm not complaining! Even though the Long Bike needs a major overhaul I can't bear not riding it to work every day so will postpone the fix up for another month!

Like I said in the previous post I have dragged a rusty old project from the tangle of vines in the back yard. The poles and U-bolts I pulled from our old trampoline have sufficed as a temporary fix until I find the right size tubing that I can bolt to the frame. I'd love to have the time, space and gear to fix it right up but I will be getting rid of it as soon as it's presentable!

4 wheeled cruising
(Four wheeled mobile)

Maybe I'll post here again but if not... Don't worry I'm probably actually living my Tao!