Boring, Family, Memoirs, Memories, Music, Uncategorized

TV Memories

Over the years I have watched a lot of TV. Some might even say too much (okay, most people would say too much!) From my earliest memories, I can remember TV shows that I watched, that I perhaps should not have watched at such a young age. Often, it’s just the intro sequence, or even the theme music, rather than the storyline or characters.

I can remember the intro to “The Equaliser”, from when I was perhaps five years old. The intro and theme song for “Prisoner” (The Australian drama) from around the same era. And I would not be a child of the 80s without knowing the intro and song for “A Country Practice”, “Hey Hey its Saturday” or “Hey Dad”, or someone who lived through the 90s without knowing the theme song for “Acropolis Now” or “Blue Heelers”.

Sometimes, these shows bring with them fond memories of watching them each week with loved ones.

Recently, I saw an old show on Netflix that I had forgotten all about. That show was “Highway to Heaven” with Michael Landon playing a  probationary angel, doing good deeds on earth to earn his wings. It’s a rather silly show when watching it now, although it brought back so many memories. The opening titles showing Michael Landon walking down a lonely road, heading toward his next good deed. The theme song, which is a typical 1980s orchestral theme song, with a lone trumpet carrying the melody and strings to fill out the song.

Watching the first episode of the show brought memories back from the mid 1980s, of me sitting with my grandmother, watching this show every weekend. My grandmother moved the show, at the time, I tolerated it. I did not really understand it, as I was perhaps only five.

Hearing the theme song again, I felt as though my grandmother was sitting right next to me, and I was five again. We were watching the show together, except this time, I appreciated it and understood it. Even though my grandmother has passed away, a simple TV show can sometimes make me feel like she is there, right next to me, watching it with me like years gone by.

I find it strange, albeit rather comforting, that something as simple as a few bars of a TV theme song, (something that was probably written in a rush with lots of input from the TV executive etc) can invoke such vivid memories of such a specific event in a person’s life. We often don’t realise the little details that bury themselves in our minds, such as TV theme songs, that we somehow associate with a time in our own lives.

Some people believe that TV can rot a person’s brain, but I think that some TV (certainly not all of it!) can enrich one’s life. Specifically the older sitcoms, dramas and similar. They teach us of moral dilemmas, life lessons, love, loss, heartache, happiness, diversity and many other things. But often, they create a platform for people in the real world to come together, to interact or even just to sit next to each other without saying a single word.

Boring, Family, Memoirs, Memories, Uncategorized

School Days

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing some work for my old primary school. It’s a rather bizarre experience to go back to one’s primary school, walk the halls and experience those same halls as an adult. The building that once seemed so huge is now so cramped and small. The furniture that once accommodated me as a kid now makes me feel like a giant, towering over tiny chairs and tables that could not possibly serve any purpose to me anymore.

For many people, revisiting their primary school would not even register on their radar. For me, it has brought back many memories, many or even most have not been happy memories.

When I was in primary school, I didn’t have many friends, I did not play team sports, I did not socialise much outside of school, and almost never slept over at friends houses. I generally kept to myself in the school yard, or occasionally played with kids in younger classes than my own, ensuring a level of anonymity, as apart from recess and lunch, I would not see those kids in a classroom or outside school. I loathed to be called on in class, rarely answered questions unless pressured or forced to by the teacher, and did not actively engage with class activities more than the bare minimum. As a result of my distancing from the others in my class, I was rarely invited over to play or to stay the night, never attended activities outside of school such as discos, parties, movies etc. I certainly never had friends come over to our house, much less sleep over.

I even went as far as acting out in class to avoid having to participate. I couldn’t be a part of a class activity if I was sitting outside the principal’s office. It was all very logical and strategic in my mind at the time.

You see, at home, life was not so great. My father was verbally, emotionally, and on occasion, physically abusive. I feared him, and I feared his judgement of any friends I considered socialising with.

At the time, I did not realise what was happening, or even that it was not a normal environment. I was a kid, what would I know? I did know not to upset or go against him. The old saying ‘Don’t poke the sleeping bear’ definitely had relevance.

Looking back, I threw out so many warning signs, almost like a subtle call for help. Only one teacher took notice. These days there would be intervention almost immediately, but back then, not so much. The one teacher who noticed was my only male teacher in Primary School. I remember it well. I had been my usual silent and distant self in class, participating a little then retracting. He had thrown a few looks in my direction through the morning class, and when the lunch bell sounded he dismissed us, but kept me back. He asked me if I was ok. I answered yes. I lied. He pointed out that I had not been involved in the class as much as usual (which was still barely at all) and asked again if I was okay. I was silent for a few moments, trying to think of a convincing lie. I burst into tears. Uncontrollable tears. I tried telling him some pathetic story in between sobs, but I knew that he was not buying it, so I stopped talking. He said that he was always there if I needed to talk, but did not push things. This was the first adult outside of my family that had ever spoken to me as if I was more than just a kid. He was treating me as an adult, allowing me to decide when to approach him and talk. He was also the ONLY teacher throughout my early school life that had ever offered any sign of help.

Every other teacher throughout my primary education had punished me, sent me to the principal’s office, suspended me or even expelled me. None had asked me if I was ok.

Although I lied, and he didn’t push, and I never actively went to him to explain, or ask him for help, that moment was a catalyst for change. It was the moment I realised that everything was NOT okay. It was the moment I realised that life at home was not the normal home life that most or all of my classmates were experiencing.

Looking over my old school photos, I feel a level of sadness. Not that I miss those days, quite the opposite. What I do feel is regret. Regret that I missed out on so many opportunities for friendships, parties, sleep-overs and happiness. I have recently started to try to connect with some people from my school days, but many still see me as the recluse weirdo that acted out and caused trouble. I don’t blame them, I would probably be thinking the same if the tables were turned. I guess no one really knows someone’s story until it is told.

That kid that does not attend a disco or a party might not have been invited, or has poor social skills because they have never been to one before.

That kid that doesn’t play or participate in team sport might fear getting changed in the locker room and exposing bruises.

That strange kid in the playground could be lacking in social skills because they are pushing people away, avoiding confrontation and friendship to mask trouble at home.

That kid that doesn’t want to share their lunch might be struggling with an eating disorder, or has a severe allergy.

Everyone has a story, and a person is no more or no less a person for keeping it to themselves, or for sharing it in their own time.

I wish that kids at school were taught this, as it might actually help a classmate, a friend or even that ‘weird kid’ in the school yard. Kids don’t just act out for no reason. There is always an underlying reason, but sometimes it takes hard work to get to the root cause.

Other times it just takes a caring person to ask “Are you OK?”

Boring, Meme

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Boring, Memories, Rant


Over the years, I have formed many friendships. Some have been long-lasting friendships, whilst some have faded away over time.

Some have been formed as a result of meeting someone through an existing friend at a party or something similar, where others have been around for so long, that no one can remember where it all started, or even why it has continued, other than the fact that it has just always been that way.

The whole concept of friendships can be viewed as either one of life’s necessities, or as a strange, almost alien concept, depending on your outlook.

Personally, I consider friendships as a major part of life.
Without friendships, a person cannot grow. A person cannot develop. A Person cannot build networks, learn new things or operate as a part of the greater community.

I see a friendship as a sort of relationship. When you think about it, to build a good friendship you both have things in common, you both have a similar sense of humour, and both of you develop a close bond, that is usually unbreakable, and will only grow stronger over time.

Some friendships are more like a stable relationship, in which they do not need constant attention and maintenance, picking up where they left off after months or even years apart. Others are more like an insecure, clingy and needy relationship; needing constant work, attention, phone-calls, or frequent catch-ups to keep them current and visible. Of course, there are also the workplace friendship, where you see certain people every day for eight hours, and before you know it, you have become friends.

In the past few weeks, a few of my work friends have left the office. Some have left for some well-earned rest & relaxation, with the intention of returning in the new year. Others have left for a sea-change; a change in scenery and even industries.

It can seem rather insignificant when someone from a workplace goes away on a holiday for a few weeks, however when the person or persons who are leaving the workplace are simply so vibrant, cheerful and entertaining, it is almost like the workplace has lost a part of it. The workplace definitely seems quieter, and a little emptier without them, however knowing that this is only a temporary situation is a comfort.

Other friendships can sometimes end in less-friendly terms, and also more abruptly. When these friendships end, it can sometimes feel like a relationship ending. One is left with questions like “why did it end?” or “I wish that things were back to the way they were”.

Over time, friendships are forgotten, whilst others remain in happy memories; a reminder of experiences shared and times gone by. These times will never change, as they have already happened, and have been shared with the ones we cared about at the time. The only thing that can change is the relationships with the people in the memories. People can come and go in one’s lifetime, but the memories remain.

The lost friendships are never without purpose, as from these, we learn life-lessons. We learn of tolerance, communication and even emotional maturity; simply by feeling the pain of rejection; which help with future friendships and their successes.

Knowing how something has failed is the first step to repairing it, and not allowing it to fail again. Without this knowledge, one could be completely clueless of the best way to address the situation, and therefore, the same mistakes could plague all future friendships. Knowing how things work, and indeed, how they have failed, is the only way to understand how to better ones self, and improve on other future friendships and relationships.

Friendships can be strong like rock, or fragile like glass, but all need the same level of care and devotion, or else they will all crumble and fail. Treating a friendship or a relationship with respect is the only way to nurture it, let it grow, and eventually, blossom into a life-long example of what two people can achieve between themselves.


Boring, Feb Photo, Meme, Rant

Feb Photo 28 – Money

Feb Photo 28 – Money

Money is a great thing. If you have it.

For some people, living from paycheck to paycheck is a way of life. Many of these people don’t even care; they are just happy to be living in the moment. However some are struggling. Some people go without, simply because they cannot afford something that many people take for granted. Perhaps they go without a meal, or a night out with a loved one. Perhaps they go without a bed for the night, choosing to sleep on the streets, just so that they can have a meal for themselves, or perhaps a child.

There are people out there who, for one reason or another, enjoy flashing their money around, acting like they are bigger than they really are. These people, often do not have very high self-confidence, although they act as if they do. Often, these people will be seen at bars and clubs, buying drinks for many beautiful women, trying to see which ones will perhaps bother to speak with him, or perhaps even sleep with him. It is a sign of insecurity; trying to buy affection, approval and love, in exchange for money or gifts.

Money in itself has lost all value that it once carried. For example, money used to be made from precious metals, usually stamped with the likeness of the Leader of the City or Country, or the royal coat of arms. This is because only the royal family of the area would have money, often gifted to the noblemen of the areas for deeds done. Earlier still, currency would consist of precious stones; gems and other shiny objects.

Later, money became pieces of paper. They would consist of either words, stating that the bearer of this piece of paper was owed $100.00 worth of gold for example, and the holder could trade this paper with someone (usually a bank) for gold. After a while, specifically in the USA, the gold reserves were full, yet the people claimed they needed more money. The government decided to do away with “paper Vs. gold reserves” and simply printed more paper money, effectively devaluing all currency of America. The American money is now simply a piece of paper, stating its worth of X dollars. All of their paper currency is the same size, same colour and to a blind person, has no obvious differences from each other. Completely worthless, in my opinion, and literally, not worth the paper it is printed on!

Australian money, however, holds value. Although I still have no idea how a small piece of plastic can be worth $100, at least our gold reserves match with the physical money printed.

Out money is different sizes for different denominations, brightly coloured, has many security features, from micro-printing, clear windows, watermarks, magnetic strips and a few others. It is amongst the hardest in the world to counterfeit, The level or printing on these notes are amazing… looking under a macro lens, it is fairly easy to see how hard these would be to counterfeit, and have them still look legitimate. One more thing about our money, and I feel that this is best of all; its waterproof! I can go swimming or snorkelling with cash in my pocket, and still spend it when I get out of the water. I wouldn’t want to do that with a bank card, and certainly not with paper money.

As Australia is a country surrounded by water, full of people who love the ocean, swimming at the local pool, creek, river, or any other body of clean water that is located inland, I find it fitting that we have waterproof money.

Earlier in Australia’s history, around the early 1966, Australia first switched to decimal currency. This was a huge step for us, moving away from Pounds, Shillings, Pence and all of that, and into an age that was divisible by 10. One of the first changes to be made after the conversion however, was to our 50 cent coin. Originally it was round, as you can see in the picture below, and also made of 80% silver and 20% copper. The Mint decided firstly, to change the metal composition, as the value of Silver had changed dramatically, causing the coin to be more valuable in melted form than on its face value. It was changed to a tin/lead composite and value for money was restored, as well as a change of shape to a 12-sided dodecagon design, due to some vision impaired people complaining that it was too hard to differentiate between a 20 cent and a 50 cent piece.

The photos I have attached to this post are as follows:

Above is a photo, showing an example of the microprinting on a $20 note. The words “TWENTY DOLLARS” are repeated in the background, and are almost illegible by the naked eye.
A closeup of a ‘ONE CROWN’ coin from 1937, a semi-rare coin to commemorate the assention of King George VIII, worth 5 shillings, and made from 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
A cluster of round 1966 50 cent coins that I have in my possession.

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Boring, Feb Photo, Memories, Our World, Personal, Rant, Work

Feb Photo 26 – Night

Feb Photo 26 – Night

To some people, night-time is a time best experienced inside, rugged up in front of the heater or open fire, and definitely not to venture outside for photos. However, I see night-time as an amazing time to go and get photos, or simply to be outside and observing. Once night has fallen, it can be a completely different world out there. Lights, atmosphere, the lack of office workers. Amazing things happen after nightfall.

I see a few people out each evening, watching the sunset at the beach or from another good vantage point, only to leave as soon as the sun has gone below the horizon; night-time has almost set in, so they feel they need to be indoors. So many beautiful natural experiences are missed even in the first hour of the evening.

People go about their daily business, working for “the man”, and doing all of the things that people do during the day. Pay the bills, dress in a suit for work, crunching numbers, pushing papers, shopping, banking etc. At night, however, these things take a back seat, and people tend to let their hair down and relax a bit. People enjoy the evenings more, as its generally when they can see their loved ones, their friends and simply be themselves.

As some people enjoy simply being at home on the couch, staying warm, or in the case of Summer, eating ice-cream like a crazy ice-cream-eating person, others enjoy getting out, socialising, going to a bar, a restaurant, or even simply a walk with a friend.

To some, night-time is a cold, boring time, consisting of fog, cold toes and silence, to others it means lights, people, excitement, action and even glamour.

Some cities tend not to quiet down or even sleep until the small hours of the morning, only to start-up again a mere three hours later for the next days business. Melbourne only has a few hours of sleep in the CBD core, and even then, there are some restless corners that operate throughout the night, however NYC is renowned as “The City That Never Sleeps”. I can vouch for this, from my time there.

In New York, we could have a hot meal cooked in a restaurant at 1am, McDonald’s at 4am, One night I couldn’t sleep, I left the hotel on my own, walked to Times Square (only one block away) and bought a Slurpee at 7-11, and watched a live concert. at 3am. with other people all around me. I really liked that aspect of New York; the ability to do whatever, whenever, and not seem ‘weird’. If I wanted to walk the streets at 3am, I was not considered ‘strange’ or ‘threatening’, and not only that, the city would put on a concert for people just like myself.

This nightlife activity does not only exist in the human species, of course. There are many nocturnal animals that live most of their waking lives under the cover of night. Australia has its Possums, friendly to anyone bearing food, but will potentially eat your finger if you tease them… I prefer the insect world. 90% of the small critters in our neck of the woods are nocturnal. So much happens at night, and most people do not even realise it.

Recently, we had a Garden Orb-Weaving Spider (Eriophora biapicata) that set up home near our front door. It wasn’t hurting anyone, it’s web didn’t block the way, so I allowed it to stay there; observing and photographing it on a few separate occasions. During the day, she was usually found curled up, sleeping, but seeming almost dead. Nothing would move her from her little nook in the eaves of the house. At night, however, she would be hard at work, repairing the web from the day’s assault, caused by small insects, moths, mosquitos, and even the occasional bee. Every night, hard at work, working the night-shift of the arachnid world. This is when I would photograph her, getting incredibly close, as you can see in the photos. I was perhaps only 1-2cm from her, and yet she remained still, allowing me to photograph her underbody.

I tend to get more work done during the evening, and well into the night. My design work is often completed post-midnight, as are my sketches, paintings, writing, photography, web design and music recordings. It is the hour when there are no disturbances. My phone is usually silent, no one is knocking on my door to sell me cheap electricity, there is nothing on TV, and there is no outside disturbances from traffic, people, or even birds. The world sleeps, so a few people stand guard, and usually get things done.

Night time is my productive time.

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