fodder for the masses

Friday, October 28, 2005

From Orkut to Ma.gnolia

social networking
It's a term that is almost impossible to utter in connection with me, the acknowledged super people hater, avoider of parties, gatherings of any amount of people, known to continue past an address with more than two cars outside.

But a social butterfly I seem to have become - electronically at least.

Spurning MSN as being rather too “over susbscribed”, I found Orkut, finally, after someone was good enough to invite me, but Orkut is overrun by Portuguese speaking subscribers in nearly every community. The language problems aside, there seems to be a dearth of recent content, almost as if there was a month delay on postings. Still we belong, therefore we are.

Then came Ryze - a more business orientated social experiment, and one not without problems. Seems to be some full crazies in there wanting to “network”, with obvious ill intent. Scratch Ryze.

Ning - something new, something with potential. No, seems we have run into something similar - like a rebranded - something.

Now we discover, through the efforts of other, more observant surfers, the newest, so new it doesn't yet exist - Ma.gnolia, which, naturally we signed up for straight away - no hesitation in this social networking dynamo.

What is Ma.gnolia? We don't seem to know, all that is told is that it should launch mid December and it should be new, fresh, exciting.. add more superlatives in here as you see fit.

If all else fails I guess I can hone my social skills on craigslist - at least we know how broad minded the place is, and expect it now.

Bagged and tagged under:

Summer storms

Getting better every day
Spring, late spring.
Summer storms are already here. Every afternoon. I love them, building up all day, hanging there to the South getting darker, higher, wider, eventually making it to our area where it proceeds to produce a spectacular lightning display, vast flashes of energy across the sky.

Dealing to the memories
Summer storms bring up all sorts of memories - must be a memory sort of week, what with reminiscing about the young Christine, that was her name, below, previously.

The sheer weight of humidity and the end of day nature spectacular combine to bring to mind more tropical assignations. Points North of here - Townsville, Cairns, all come back when the humidity does. Seems that the most intense times of my life took place in tropical environments.

Offshore as well, Philippines, Thailand, all afflicted with the same humidity. All containing memories of madness, passion, a combination of both, all laid on a background of savage afternoon storms, torrential rain, ceiling fans and heat.

The South China Sea has hosted many of these magical times, La Union on Luzon being the primary destination, would still be if I hadn't got old and stupid and settled.

The disadvantages of summer: sweet memories.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Memory trips

I used to have this lady who would turn up at the house - only if my house mate was out - and stand there in her gym gear, spandex and Reeboks, looking good.

Would stand there for half an hour, wouldn't sit down, wouldn't move too far away from the door, just stand there. We would have an awkward semi conversation, I would try not to move too much, not startle her, standing there looking vulnerable, looking like she wanted to say something, or maybe waiting for me to say something.

I knew her from work - I had a normal job there for a short time. Italian descent. Big brown eyes, haunted, beautiful mane of hair, I swear she was made to order for me.

She was engaged to a bloke. Seemed to be an OK sort of guy, but I still think she was wasted on him.

They got married and she stopped the whistle stop visits, probably concentrating on getting the married thing right and operating a newsagent (paper shop) they purchased.

I always wondered what she expected out of those visits.

I still think of her - like now, today.

Next time I'm over that way I'm going to yellowarrow the old house - photograph it, and upload the thing, save the memory, save the history.

Bagged and tagged under:

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Post Secret - the book

He made it. Frank Warren, artist, visionary, and the man behind Postsecret, has finally got a book together containing 100's of postcards containing secrets not seen on his site.

For those of you who have been under a large rock for the last year or so Post Secret is the place where you get to post a secret, anonymously, that you have never told anyone before, to an audience which includes the entire planet.

It's been a brilliant idea, and now it just gets better with the publication of his book.

Go here - PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives to pre order it from Amazon. Looks to me like it's coming out in earnest next month.

The ultimate coffee table book, comprised entirely of people's secrets, written down on a postcard and sent in.

You will be amazed at what secrets people have. You will see things there that you have done, thought, fantasized about, and there is someone else mentioning exactly the same thing. You are not alone.

It's not too late to participate - all you need to do is go to the site and get the instructions on how to send in your secret.

Do it.

Trust me - you can do it.

Got no secrets?

Yes you have.

I know you have, and you know you have.

Consider the cathartic effect posting one of your secrets off to PostSecret would have.

Bagged and tagged under:

Monday, October 17, 2005

Yellow Arrows begin appearance

Finally. We manage to get some arrows up on - an example of just how slow I can be getting things done.

Just happened to be over at the park, along with a visit to the kite shop right across the road, and decided to tag and photograph them as some place I am always seeing.

Witness here the kite shop - the arrow since removed by some knuckle dragger intent on finding out what it was all about. People never cease to amaze me. Any normal citizen would be interested in the idea, perhaps even check out the directions so clearly printed on the thing, but no, they have to remove the thing altogether. Might try a new one, higher location, out of the reach of human hands, all the better to last, at least, until someone manages a ladder to get to the thing.

And here, yet another effort - naturally I appear in it. These are some of the advantages of being me - self promotion features heavily. This one will probably have been removed by the same mentality as the shop one.

Now it's time to move on to some of the more interesting sights in and around Brisbane. It's a city that bears investigation, a city with a history well worth checking, and we should manage to bring some viewers to the delights of the place.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, here, from the global site an explanation:
Participants place arrows to draw attention to different locations and objects - a favorite view of the city, an odd fire re hydrant, the local bar. By sending a text-message (SMS) from a mobile phone to the Yellow Arrow number beginning with the arrows unique code, Yellow Arrow authors essentially save a thought on the spot where they place their sticker. Messages range from short poetic fragments to personal stories to game-like prompts to action. When another person encounters the Yellow Arrow, he or she sends its code to the Yellow Arrow number and immediately receives the message of that arrow on their mobile phone.
Now, are you any wiser? Are you interested in documenting the interesting parts of your world for a viewing public? If so, get to the yellowarrow site and order in some arrows.

You ever actually manage to get anything done with them, drop us a line with the locations and we'll have a look at them.

rain arrives, reality sinks in

One good thing to come out of the holidays
Was an extra location for the buggy.

Raby Bay. The Southern bayside community. Perfect for owners of large vessels to moor right at their back door. Perfect for anyone looking for a sea breeze - including an aging, possibly portly, buggy driver in search of good wind.

This new park is considerably closer than the original, and is right on the bay - a glorious location as long as they don't decide to enforce the “all vehicles” ban that appears on the sign.

Managed to get a few good runs there, enough to get wildy sunburnt this early in summer, enough to nearly have my arms pulled off by the bad attitude kite that had decided to take control of the situation.

And then it gets even better
It gets way better with the inclusion, in the kite collection, of a 6m JoJo RM, a race kite that I hope will manage to take me to more power, higher speed, and probably more body damage than ever before.

A donation by BrisKites, the kite store with everything an aspiring speed freak could want. Apparently for services rendered. I think I'm getting the better end of the deal.

until it rains
The excitement generated by the kite, so much I can almost taste it, unusual for someone who has a set of emotions so narrow people think I am actually dead, is at fever pitch. Never had my hands on one of these things before. Jason (Briskites) seems to think it is some sort of luff monster, but all I see is a respectable looking power trip just looking for a buggy to pull.

Excitement that is until it begins raining. Raining for the first time in a least three months, probably a lot longer given the fact we are deep into water restrictions and it isn't even summer yet.

Lucky it occurs over the weekend, a time I work, a time I keep away from people. One full day of full on rain. One full day of sometimes rain. Today just an overcast, threatening type of happening.

Rains enough to keep me out of the buggy, and, naturally, unable to launch the new monster kite. I'm packed, the car is packed, we're ready to go. Any wind will do.

I'm supposed to be happy with the rain. Forever practical Yvonne is hugely chuffed by it. It means the garden will do whatever it was designed to do. The lawn will grow. The dust will settle.

I would have gladly breathed a few more tons of dust just to be able to get the JoJo in the air.

Tomorrow is looking good.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Holidays end..

Reality hits - hard
Two weeks holiday - over. Gone. Been there done that.

Two weeks without any kids. Not even Yvonnes'. Hers went to stay with their Dad, the others got tossed to various carers.

Sleeping in. Days don't start until about 11.00am. Finish whenever.

Scouting locations for Sperry TopSiders, for a camera, for a webcam, for a new printer, even managed a new Motorola - RAZR V3 - fancied the thing since it came out, now I have it. Managed to take a few photos of my nostrils while getting the hang of the thing.

Checked out all the new stores, plazas, boutiques, all the same, all desperate for business even if they give attitude.

The coffee supplies needed replenishing. Required a trip to the best place in town - Merlo, there to take up the offer of free coffee while they do your grind, and a quick tour of their humidor, the home of the mighty cigar. Naturally left with one, now looking for to help me out with it.

Checking out a few new locations, finding one particularly appealing down on the bayside. Managed a few visits there “just to make sure”. Small problem with pedestrian path winding through it, but evasive action is always good. Expect to get thrown off there by the local council within an hour of declaring it the new spot. It happens.

Didn't travel too far. Had intended to go South to see the Nimbin people, but time dried up rather quickly.

First day back
The boring part. Spent installing software to drive the various goodies we accumulated. Nothing goes easily, no one really expects it to do they? The camera, the webcam, the phone, the mouse, and anything else that appeared. Place looks like a electronics store. Wires everywhere. Most things work, the ones that don't will respond to manual force I'm sure. We are truly a product of the 21st century now. Sad really considering I prefer a life outdoors.

Orkut madness
The offer (previous post) is about to be suspended. We got so much traffic I was spending holiday mornings sending out invitations before we could leave for adventures.

I figure we have done our duty by everyone, and it's time to give the poor old gmail a rest.

Of itself - what is it with all the Portuguese? I was stunned to find some of the communities I wanted to get at were not available in English. Seems to me that I have two choices, learn Portuguese, or look harder for more English communities.

So, the holidays ended.