Still Waiting


The Waiting Man

Something's Always About To Happen

Still Waiting

An Introduction

Welcome friends & strangers.

To find out what's been happening lately ~ read on below. To find out more about the author, click on User Info at the top of the page. To see what happens when I use pictures instead of a few thousand words click here to look through my photo gallery, or here to see my Flickr page(s). If I'm vain enough to put a photo on my front page, you can see a larger version of it by clicking on the image. Anything in blue coloured text is usually a link to something else, or something more. Click on it... you may (or may not) be surprised.

Feel free to leave comments &/or criticisms about all you see & read, by clicking on Leave A Comment at the bottom of each entry. If you're not a LiveJournal member, your comments come up as anonymous, so please put your name at the end of your contribution, unless you'd rather remain unknown & take pleasure in picturing me wracking my brain to figure out who said what & why.

Thanks for stopping by... Y'all come back now, y'hear?!

Still Waiting

Moving On

A phone call from an acquaintance this evening, wondering how I, & the rest of the Family, are going since Father's death last month...

I told her that Long-Suffering Partner & I were doing fine, that we were shouldering up to the practicalities of life, which waits for no one, but that my Mother & Sister were having a harder time of it. Which is essentially the truth. I've lost relatives before now &, without wishing to sound callous or morbid, had wondered how I would react when it was one of my parents. Turns out, much the same, really - focussing on the things that needed doing, the others in the Family who needed solace, strength & support & just getting on with adjusting to a Father-shaped hole in my life which would need time to fill itself in

Which isn't to say that I felt nothing. I had some time alone on the day Father died & let whatever was there wash over me as 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' played him out of my life & into my memories

But there were eulogies to write, e-mails to send, phone calls, forms to sign, arrangements to be made, meetings to attend... & my job, which can't do without me for any appreciable length of time judging by the amount of calls & messages I get on my day(s) off, was no less insistent than ever. In the face of all that, grief just has to settle for a slow-trickle release - a little every day in some small measure, triggered by a thought, a memory, an association, or piece of music. I'm not denying it, just not letting it run the whole show...

The next big test for us as a Family, is when we'll have to pack up Father's life - clothes, his 'office' desk, his workshop, automobilia, tools & whatever else. That will be an interesting day

Dark Times

Unprepared For The Inevitable

When words are not enough... & they seldom are

Unfinished Business

My Father will never finish this carving... He passed today, after an accident at home that he never woke up, nor recovered from, despite the best efforts of the Ambulance crew, the Emergency staff, three neurosurgeons & countless wonderful nurses

Wallace Brandis 1940 - 2015

The Dying Of The Light

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas


Down With The New Technology


I joined Instagram a couple of months ago, much to the surprise & sarcasm of a few people, who seemed to think that nobody over the age of 26 would know what it was. Most of my feed is photography-related (National Geographic, EarthPix, the Instagram home page), with a few friends & the odd interest (Taylor Swift??!!??) thrown in for variety

As well as the homepage for my NRL team, the Manly Sea Eagles, where they usually post things like team-members out & about in the community, suporting various causes & smiling for the cameras while doing so, video snippets of pre-game warm-ups & photos of match highlights. So far, so Marketing

Now, there's been a bit of media frenzy over the future of our halfback Daly Cherry-Evans (DCE) these last months, as he's been the subject of a bidding war between my club & another. And first, he went with them, but the NRL rules say he had until a certain date to change his mind, Which he did, after a counter-offer was finalised by our Club. So far, so Marketable. And all within the rules as they stood

To celebrate retaining their marquee player, the Manly Sea-Eagles posted to Instagram, a special offer on merchandise, with various percentages off various items you can wear, wave, or stick to things.Of course, they used an image of DCE to promote this

So, okay, he chased the money a bit... But wouldn't we all? The 'career' of an NRL player is 15 years tops, usually all over by the age of 35, by which time you're usually hobbling around on 4 knee-reconstructions, a chronic back or neck injury, 4 broken noses, a shoulder that won't stay located & god-only-knows how many concussions. What to do with all that after you 'retire' at 35, before you've even hit what used to be accepted as middle-age? After all, the Footy Show still has most of the same presenters it had on its debut 20 years ago & the same goes for the ex-players promoting Lowes clothing lines. And the best journalists in Rugby League are usually those who never played the game, so can be relied upon to string together a coherent article

With one exception

Phil Gould is an ex-player & coach & a well-respected voice in the game, even if he does run the Penrith Panthers Club these days, but nobody's perfect. His article on the media & fan frenzy over DCE pretty much nailed the issue for me, with facts, analysis & without bias, personal criticism or praise. Which is a rare thing indeed in the world of football in general... & Rugby League is no exception

So, back to Instagram... One of the first posts regarding their merchandise sale that the Club posted, attracted a barrage of comments - mostly directed at DCE & his lack of loyalty & supposed greed in daring to secure a larger salary for what is guaranteed to be a truncated 'career'. Never mind that it helped him to stay at the Club he got his start with & wants to finish with - One of these comments labelled him a 'grub' with a few other adjectives thrown in

And so, I posted my first ever Instagram comment, recommending that the person who'd labelled DCE thusly, should read Phil Gould's article before jumping to conclusions. That's all. No name-calling, no denigration, no abuse, just an opportunity to expand one's viewpoint

His response? "Im not gonna read that article champ. He has his opinion & I have mine. Good luck with that staple remover of yours" (A reference to one of the photos on my Instagram page)

So far, not so bad really. No real invective or abuse, just a little denigration & the fact that I HATE being called 'champ'. Certainly not as bad as the other response I got, which simply said "Asskisser" (Surely in Australia, one can expect to be called an arse-kisser... not the lazy USA-spelled equivalent??!!) And, at least he'd taken the time to view my photos before crafting a response. All good for my page's stats at the very least

I think it's really just the proud declaration of ignorance over information that gets me. The fact that he's much happier taking a knee-jerk reactionary stance against something he really knows nothing about, than taking the opportunity & time to better understand an issue he clearly has feelings about & cares enough to make them public... then, when someone offers him a different view, he dismisses it with a variation on 'If you're not with me, you're against me'

So what, I hear you say... it's only football. Except it's really not

You don't have to look much deeper to find that this same attitude applies to far more important things than which player goes where. Liberal vs Labor in both State & Federal politics for example. With not much ideologically separating the two parties these days, it's the old, outdated 'Toffs against Workers' that still holds alarming sway in grassroots debates arguments about how our country is administered. The taking in of refugees? They're only here to steal our jobs - something that wasn't true in the 1950s when the Europeans arrived, nor the 1970s when the Vietnamese arrived, nor this millennium, when the persecuted & dispossessed members of the wrong minority strand of Islam flee here for their lives. You know the real reason you never see an 'Aussie' sweeping streets or cleaning toilets? We're too good for that shit... we'd rather go surfing on the Dole

And if the surf's no good, we'd rather listen to old white men on the radio, re-inforcing those outdated stereotypes with no evidence, just the brute force of their personalities, wilfully ignorant convictions & a mute button if anyone dares to disagree with them on-air

Do we see any parallels here? Once upon a time, it was only a few voices preaching such malarkey & we could hope & pray that the masses weren't all taking it in by the spoonful. But they were. They are. And the advent of social media means that now everyone can make their opinion heard, even in the smallest way... but with so many outlets, there are so many of them

And, apparently, you're a f@#$ing stupid w@#$er f@$$ot if you disagree with them. Because it's so much easier to abuse people using 2 thumbs, than it is to open a book, a newspaper, or a mind...


Broken English


Please... I'm begging you PLEASE

If you're ever in my company, kindly avoid the following expressions, as a punch in the mouth often offends...*

"Cray-cray" What on Earth?? It's not even an abbreviation. Just say 'crazy' before you drive me completely & utterly there

"Tay-Tay" when referring to Taylor Swift. For crying out loud, she's not a 5 year-old (unlike some of her fans), so please can we address the woman by her proper name??!!

However, for some reason, I have no problem with her being referred to as 'T-Swizzle'... though given my next gripe, I possibly should, for cultural reasons...

"Dropped" - as in "Tay-Tay's new video dropped at the Billboard Awards last night & it was cray-cray" I don't even know where to start, but let's try 'debuted', 'screened', 'played', 'was released/shown/broadcast'. 'Dropped' in this context, comes from hip-hop & it's just embarrassing when music journalists use it to appear relevant & street-credible

* - But I'm sure any right-minded Magistrate would let me off with a warning...

Still Waiting

Seaforth Sunset

Sunset in Seaforth

On my way to a client's home in Seaforth last night

I was meant to be delivering product samples, but this distracted me...

Unlike the view tonight, while I was trying to get home in a hurry from the city...


Stick Man

Posted here because... well, because it's my Journal & I wanted to... But also because I really like the way this photo turned out, given the circumstances of its taking - poor lighting, no flash used & trying to not disturb the subject, who was obviously concentrating on something else. But with a little PhotoShop jimcrackery... mostly playing around with exposure levels, adding some more black, re-doing the lighting with filters & removing extraneous cables, microphones & stands, then using a 3D effect filter to 'pop' the photo a bit

I still call myself a musician primarily, despite having to work full-time in an utterly unrelated field to keep food on the table, but photography is what I'm increasingly spending my spare time on... Where that leaves my guitars, other than dusty, is an interesting question

Still Waiting

If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old

And you're too old at 33, apparently

Or, at least according to this article, that's the age at which you stop listening to new music - & presumably start yelling at those darned kids to turn that infernal racket down!!

It's been 15 years since I was 33. Now, let's see if I can name some 'new' music I've listened to, & indeed bought proper CDs of with real money, in those intervening years...

Mumford & Sons, Kate Miller-Heidke, Megan Washington, Calexico, Decoder Ring, True Live, Richard Thompson (I know, but I was late to the party!!), Jake Shimabukuro, Brad Paisley, EmmyLou Harris (late to that party too!!), BifTek, John Mayer, Karma County, Lorde, Nitin Sawhney, How To Destroy Angels, Barry Adamson, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Black Sabbath (very nearly too late to that party!!!), Melody Gardot, Crimson Jazz Trio, Trey Gunn, Glenn Gould (definitely too late for him...), Jess Chalker, Emilie Simon, Kimbra & Franz Liszt & YoYo Ma for the Classically-minded

And yes, there are probably more, but I don't really feel like scouring the music collection for further proof - I figure the point is disproved enough... at least in my case

Take that, you pigeon-holing bastards!!!



So... it's the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC campaign - a defining, tragic time in Australia's history

And what's the most-read story on the website??

When the shops will be open on ANZAC Day

I don't have the words to express how sick this makes me... I only have a bucket

Still Waiting

Home... Home Again

I like to be here, when I can

My weekend has finally arrived, after a pretty busy &, at times, interminable working week

Weirdos, Wackos, Written Warnings, Weddings... & probably other things that start with 'W' that I'm too tired to think of right now... I've had them all. But now, there's a scotch on the computer desk, a takeaway curry in the kitchen & the latest Pink Floyd album on the sound-system. When the Floyd are stratospherically cruising in 6/8 time, there can't be too much wrong with the world


Debtor's Prison

Just A Little Vent

Being made redundant once - blame the economy
Being made redundant twice - blame your employer's lack of adjustment to the new economic reality
Losing a 3rd job in a calendar year? Well, it's time to look at the common factor in all 3 cases...

Not that I've lost the job yet, but it's looking likely. Sales figures that started with a bang at the beginning of the year, have dwindled to insignificance, &, while others figures aren't that great either, questions are being asked, long looks are being given & official 'warnings' are mooted. As if I need an official warning to tell me that things aren't going well. What am I supposed to say to that? "Hey, thanks for the heads-up!!"

So it's been back to the job website shuffle these last couple of weeks, at least pre-empting any official return to them, looking at different fields, or at least related fields, as it would seem my sales career is over. As Kinky Friedman put it 'When the horse dies... get off'

I don't think I've lost the underlying enthusiasm for the sales process itself, but I certainly haven't been enjoying it for the last few years & the money is not what it once was, so you start to wonder why you've given up all those weekends when you could have been seeing friends, or doing all the things that 'normal' people do, instead of inwardly pleading with the disenfranchised, disinterested & diffident to part with their money so I can pay the bills

I can just about remember what it was like working Monday to Friday... I think I want that again

Dark Times

Terry Pratchett

And so, we return to normal 'round here - I turn up when someone I admire has died

Goodbye Terry & thank you for all the wonderful stories, jokes, puns & one-liners

My personal favourite was when he came to Sydney &, not so much gave as 'hosted' a reading of his work at the Concert Hall in the Opera House. His Reader, impressed by the architecture of the place, turned to Terry & said "I know you disapprove of the word, but this place is awesome"

Terry replied "I've told you before - if it doesn't involve God & hosts of angels descending from the Heavens, then it's just 'good'"

I already liked & greatly admired him & his work, but from that moment on, I loved him...

Debtor's Prison

9th February 2015

Before & Behind

First photo with the new phone - the Sony Xperia 3, after my old phone gave up its ghost... & SIM card

I've decided I'm not really in love with the new job. It reminds me of the last time I worked for a large, national corporation - too many chiefs, not enough indians, the indians are badly paid &, as a result, are all eager to climb over each other to become a chief. So I've started looking at the job e-mails & sites again - got a rejection e-mail from a recruiter today for a postion with an international audio company... damn... but maybe I've been out of that particular field for a bit too long & am out of date. There have been a lot of developments in the audio-visual world in the last eight years or so

"But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise they're giving none away... away... away"

Still Waiting

1st February 2015

Who wrote this stuff??!!

Neil Gaiman did...!!

We went to see him last night, as part of the Sydney writers Festival. He read extracts from his latest book & performed pieces with the criminally under-rated string quartet Fourplay

A wonderful writer, a captivating reader & he even sings... kind of...

Don't Mess With...

31 January 2015

The insomnia post...

How much the insomnia is down to the recent radical downsizing of my alcohol consumption is up for debate against the overactive & unstoppable train of thought regarding an incident at work today that rankled, then annoyed, then infuriated, then... kept me awake. Probably

Not to go into too much detail, let's just say double standards are always annoying, especially when they're presented & perpetuated by a Superior whose age is less than half of mine.

The next station the train of thought rolls into is one first added to the route about a week ago, following a conversation with Long-Suffering Partner, itself prompted by my failure to act or speak up when some total stranger had pushed their way past/over/through us on the street. I realised that the problem with working in Sales my whole life means that I'm incapable of being assertively honest to 99% of people when they do things that annoy me. As a salesperson, you're expected to treat the client as untouchable - no matter how unpleasant they are to deal with & any rudeness or 'bad' behaviour just has to be tolerated because we want to get their money. Trouble is... when you've been doing that for long enough, you start to treat everyone that way... all the time. So the guy who pushes in front of you in the queue, or the pram-pusher who bruises your shins, or even just the belligerent idiot who shouts "Whaddayoulookinat?!?", they don't get the response they richly deserve - you just smile politely & assure them there's no problem, when there really, really is & you're silently screaming inside that they should go & verb their adjective noun right adjectivally now!!

Which brings me back to the incident at work today too... It's quite the achievement to shut down tens of thousands of years worth of evolved male aggression & render me no more threatening than a basset hound

Long-Suffering Partner likes to joke that she's responsible for most of the grey hairs I've sprouted, but I think it's more likely down to simple stress - the feeling you get when the mind overrides the body's desire to kick the living shit out of some truckbit who thoroughly deserves it

I wonder if I'm too old to take up kick-boxing... target shooting... archery??

Still Waiting

January 29 2015

Must stop myself falling out of the habit of posting frequently...

Settling into the new company, though the weekly salary goes up & down at a rate that would be amusing if we weren't in such dire need of a steady (& preferably substantial) income at the moment. We're being billed to death & sundry little expenses are getting their kicks in as well. So belts are being tightened, little luxuries are backburnered & home-cooking skills are dusted off & developed

And today, my mobile phone finally coughed its last & dies, taking the SIM card with it apparently, as I've been unable to transfer any of my contacts information over to the new phone this evening. So an e-mail has gone out to those for whom I have an e-mail address, to call, SMS, or write back with their telephone details... I wonder which of them will take the opportunity to break orbit & drift away??

No new music yet, but the camera still clicks:-

Bull II

Still Waiting

New Year, No Where

Morning All,

A busy end to the old year & a busier start to the new one. The new job seems to be finally kicking into gear, meaning I've been getting home absolutely ragged... & then, between Christmas & New Year, it was time to take this guy for a walk/splash/frisbee-fest

Yes, Pirate was staying with us while his owners headed south for the Season. Love that dog. I really do, but wow - we both sank into the sofas on the day he returned home & didn't move for hours

Other job opportunities thought dead & buried before taking up this new one, have come back to life in the New Year (surely Easter is the time for that?). One is still appealing, one is... not so much, but I may jump through the hoops for the practice at least

Still Waiting

Wait... What??!

Just re-watching Blazing Saddles tonight, for the first time in ages... & for the first time on Blu-Ray & in an accompanying doco, learned that Madeline Kahn died in 1999


She was so funny

Still Waiting

For Joe...

For those who've wondered what A Little Help From My Friends is really about...

Still Waiting

Goodbye Joe

Joe Cocker - R.I.P.

Cancer takes another one... & we all thought it would have been liver cirrhosis or alcohol poisoning.

Never got to see him perform, I bought tickets for my parents the last time he was in Australia in 2011 & they had a blast. Ah well...

The Choir Invisible just got a little raspier


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