Saturday, 29 June 2013

Day 205: Harmony and team work...another rehearsal

Day 205 (29 Jan) Saturday. Play day. Bass clarinets are responsible for the morning tea today, I should be up early to make some muffins...however...

Saturday reading, at 6.12am
Rather than do that, at 6.12am, I've opted to read one of the books I bought yesterday. It is a fictional account of North Korea. Where possible, I try to encourage students to read novels or watch films as entrees into the regions we learn about during the week. This one is a Pulitzer Prize-winning story and I've read some interesting reviews. Seems like it might be a good one to recommend. 

What's cooking, at 6.12pm
Up and at it though to get to clarinet rehearsal at 10.00am as well as pick up some morning tea on the way. I notice throughout the suburbs of my electorate (that would be Griffith, electorate of the now incumbent prime minister), that the main challenger, Bill Glasson, has volunteers and corflutes on every major corner. Visibility is certainly high. It seems the political contests in my residential electorate (Griffith) and my work electorates (Fairfax and Fisher) are going to provide a psephy with much to investigate over the next few weeks, or months, depending on when the election will now be called. The prime minister has indicated it will no longer be on 14 September. 

I hope not.
It is pretty well straight home after rehearsal to read the papers and do some more reading (and just a little blogging). I've not shopped for a while so at 6.12pm it's a matter of making up something from nothing for tonight's dinner, as I'm explaining to mum on the phone just as the ingredients are coming together. After that, it's back to some reading and perhaps an early tonight. Tomorrow is a trip to work in the morning to fix grades and then an afternoon watching The Maleny Singers perform Die Fledermaus. There's some pretty strong ties between the Singers and the St Lucia Orchestra...harmony and team work and a small (musical) world. 

It's something the polity can learn from...I'm hoping the title of the book I bought yesterday isn't entirely so, but the last few days...well...let's see. Late mail on polling has PM Kevin Rudd ahead as preferred PM now over Tony Abbott...there is so much we need to learn about polls and their worth. Politics is not a popularity contest. 

I've been listening to Elgar on the radio but I believe the Wallabies might have won tonight...I guess that's Kevin Rudd's magic too. 

Day 204: In town, in Council

Day 204 (28 Jun) Friday. No drive today but an all day meeting at the state council of my Union is due to convene this morning for eight hours. That requires stamina. 

Oats, at 6.12am
Breakfast at 6.12am. We've moved to porridge at this time of year and yes, I'm old school...cooked on the stove, traditional rolled oats not the new-fangled minute oats...they're smaller and don't seem to taste the same. These are the breakfast issues...

The meeting is held at Taringa. That's two bus trips over, a train and a bus trip home. Given the National Council's resolution in Canberra just last week to campaign against the Labor Party cuts to higher education, naturally the events of the past couple of days are high on the agenda today. 

The only way is up, Myer Centre,
at 6.12pm
It's a long day, much is discussed. I'm also informed during the day by our IT people that the marking software has no issues with their 'value inputting'...yes, well...

On my way home through the city there is some time to browse in my favourite bookshop which I haven't done for a while. It gives me time to pause and reflect...and think about the writing I have to do and resources I can buy to read in preparation for next semester's could be my last teaching semester for a while, but there is always much to read...

It's home read, to think, to reflect on the week. I get in touch with my friend in Japan about my forthcoming trip, that is something to look forward to indeed. 

Day 203: Towards a better workplace

Day 203 (27 Jun) Thursday. The day after. I'm still feeling a little numb from the events of the last twelve hours. I truly despair at the state of our polity: the decent and civil has given way to the harsh and vindictive. It is carrying through to workplaces generally. Today, I resolve to do something about it. 

The new day, at 6.12am
As this day dawns, I guess so many are consumed by a range of thoughts and views. Hopes revived, hopes dashed. As in football, so in politics, so in life...etc. There is much to think about in looking at the colour of the sky at 6.12am. 

> ~~~ <
The Courier Mail, the local Brisbane News Limited newspaper, spruiks parochialism. I'm not  sure that's the sort of triumphalism I endorse, as much as I love my football, much less my politics. 

At work, a number of issues have been troubling me of late in my role as a union representative. Perhaps it is the last 24 hours but something in me resolves to take up some matters directly with our vice chancellor...a ten minute meeting, but perhaps the most important ten minutes I will spend today. Decency and civility, starts with us. What's to come of it? It was the right thing to do. 

The figures, at 6.12pm
Today I should be finishing off the data input for marks, but just at the last hurdle, one of the columns will not accept my 'values'...good grief, what a metaphor for the last 24 hours. Of course, I am here working rather late but the people who control the system have long gone. Dammit, that means trying to sort it long distance tomorrow...I know that won't happen. 

There's just something a little disingenuous about Mr Rudd's humility today. 

There must be blogging over at psephy's ~ologies.

Day 202: It's on!

Day 202 (26 Jun) Wednesday. Well. Well, well, well. What a day. Just when one thought the most anxiety-inducing time today was going to be tonight's football match...

Coffee pot, at 6.12am
Started ordinarily enough. Early start as usual, coffee at 6.12am. The plan is to get to work and input all the marks to the new-fangled software that makes somebody's life easier...just not mine. I'd like to be away early enough to listen to the State of Origin, Game 2, from Lang Park this evening. Important one for Queensland to level the series but we know they will. 

Ekka decisions made
In the twitter background though, the Rudd forces are assembling. The anticipated challenge looks like it is on...though surely not today? I'm also finalising the Ekka pics, just a sneak preview of three of the four. 

Always tricky to keep to the main game when matters political start to take off. In the short time this morning that I was in a moderation meeting, the momentum, or #Ruddmentum as one cheeky cartoonist had termed it, was gaining ground.

It began with the existence of a petition (or not) to call a meeting of caucus and subsequent challenge to the leadership. A petition simply requires one third of signatures. I am, at this stage, a bit disappointed that our politics has come to this. The last week of the 43rd Parliament, an election looming anyway in September, it just seems petty and of course troubling from a teaching perspective. This is really poll-drived, ego-driven stuff. It is not defining a civil polity at all. 

Movement at the station,
at 6.12pm
There is a declaration that a leadership ballot will be held at 7.00pm. Blast. That's just an hour or so before kick-off. At 6.12pm, I am multi-media-tasking...twitter, radio, ABCNews24, the day's work is not finished and there is a football match to be played. Even my mum is calling my office a few times to express her dismay.

The kick-off is delayed. The nation awaits. In the end, it is a noted shift by so-called 'kingmaker' (I have other words in mind) Bill 'Machiavelli' Shorten that delivers the leadership to Kevin Rudd, 57-45. It is a bloodied end to the prime ministership of our first female prime minister...there is much to analyse over the next few days. 

Oh, Queensland won. 26-6, on 26/6, here on my 6.12 blog. It was a numbers day.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Day 201: Knit one, purl one...we're all knitters today

Day 201 (25 Jun) Tuesday. It's rather cold this morning. When I get up, it's more marking ahead. I should drive up the highway...but there is sun on the verandah. The verandah wins. 

The day begins, at 6.12pm
The decision also means watching the sunrise from the usual weekend position, there's actually some really soft palette oranges and blue hues in the dawn sky that the camera doesn't quite capture at 6.12am. 
The PM's knitting here,
somewhere, ABC Foyer, 2012

But today news, or twitter, just goes quite odd vis-a-vis the Prime Minister. Seems there is a Women's Weekly spread including the PM knitting. Now, we know she's a knitter (she knitted a part of 612's Kelly Higgins-Devine's scarf last year after all-->>) but this has all the hallmarks of a bit of a staged photo. The discourse that has arisen is unfortunate. I think there is nothing wrong with the PM showing this side; but the mainstream media has not taken to it kindly, nor have her detractors, and I guess now is not the time to try some media strategy of this type. 

A bit of #612bluesky
marking time
Pressure remains on Kevin Rudd to challenge, if he wants the job, although he insists on being drafted...wrong strategy too.  And late breaking news was that he was headed to China to speak at a conference...challenge off, for now. These two really do need the advantage of years of experience behind them as parliamentarians, not the mere 15 years or so since they entered parliament...their naivety is showing, and it is also derailing our polity. I feel a psephy's~ology post coming on. 

Too much focus, at 6.12pm
As a break from the marking, I've headed to the shops to purchase card for the Ekka photos. With everything else going on, I've really been subliminally worried that the mat board and foam mount for the Ekka entries are just a whisker over the mandatory 4mm, about 4.2mm. It's a bit of a bus ride, a bit of fresh air. Ah, the things that occupy our's just a hobby after all. 

Back to the marking. 

Day 200: My goodness, 200 days of this?

Day 200 (24 Jun) Monday. Day 200... I just have to take that on for a moment. It's a milestone I didn't expect to reach. Bit like the time I approached my 5000th felt rather odd. Now, I'm approaching tweet number 30,000 and that seems rather odd too. 

Supermoon setting, at 6.12am
I wasn't really thinking about that at 6.12am but rather trying to capture the moon setting since we had all made such a fuss of its rising 13 hours earlier. The clouds were in the way again as I looked to the west but still it made for an effective colouring of the clouds, quite different from the sun and its colours. 

I opted to spend the day at home marking, the chore is almost complete. Once the marks are in, it is then to course outlines and semester two preparation. It's too nice a day to not spend some time on the verandah marking as well...this is a luxury I don't have at my office. The sun at one point seemed to forget we were in winter and the patterns naturally attracted the photographer's eye. 
Marking distraction

The leadership issue continues apace. It is becoming so distracting that even I am beginning to tire of it and finally of Mr Rudd's petulance. Enough already. This is no longer about the leadership of the country but spite and revenge...the Labor Party is in a bit of a mess of their own making and I don't think there will be a neat exit point. 

Meanwhile, over in Tokyo, the city gubernatorial election has resulted in something of a landslide for the LDP though only one in three people have turned out to vote. Much can be read into that, just as much can be read into the landslide interpretation. It augurs a major victory for the LDP next month, and interesting ramifications. 

Office or home, always work,
at 6.12pm
(it seems)
Monday night is of course rehearsal night and since I missed it last Monday night. I'm just reading over a light dinner prior to heading out.  In the end, I'm not actually required for the first hour, I'm not playing in the pieces we're rehearsing. Twitter helps the time wonder I can get to 200 days and almost 30,000 tweets. Not much happens at all really. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Day 199: The Great Gatsby and the supermoon

Day 199 (23 Jun) Sunday. Aha, early start today, to catch the 10.00AM session of the movie The Great Gatsby. Why? Because we can I suppose.

There is quite a bit of interest in Gatsby. It's directed by Baz Lurhmann; it is filmed in Manly, Sydney (St Patrick's...the 'gothic' building on the cliff face I grew up with, looking at it from a distance). We also did Gatsby at school, for English one year. Watching the film today, I'm not sure how or why it would be set as a junior high school text. I've downloaded the novel to read it again tonight...

Morning light, at 6.12am
So I'm up at 6.12am, taken again by the light and lines in the backyard. I'm trying to decide whether or not to do the washing...will there be time...or leave it until I get home. We've passed winter solstice too, so this is about as dark in the morning as it will get. 

The movie was, well, Luhrmannesque, quite lush, quite sumptuous. I think it captured the sense of the era rather nicely. It even retained elements of the earlier version of the movie I remember from school, most particularly, the billboard with the optometrist's glasses. St Patrick's probably never quite saw parties of that type either. 

I should head straight home to continue marking; I have a plan to go out this afternoon to catch the 'supermoon' at Manly, Brisbane. But, easily distracted, I've gone off in search of a possum-proof herbarium... Yesterday during our meanderings, mum and I came across a decorative parrot cage which, if it had a larger door, might have been gave me an idea! It maybe a largish cage could be the answer--the only question is will it be aesthetic, or practical? On first view today, it can't be both. But there is an idea there...

Manly, at 6.12pm
There is talk tonight of a 'supermoon', due to rise in Brisbane at 4.56pm. I've decided to head out to Manly (Brisbane) with the cameras to see what I can capture. As I noted a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to take some black and white film again and although moon shots are rather difficult to take, I thought I might as well give it a go. 

Turns out, there was quite a lot of cloud on the horizon and in the sky proper so it was sometime after moonrise before the moonlight started its dance with clouds. I've still got a lot of work to do when it comes to getting the moonlight light, right. 

At 6.12pm, I was about to pack it in on Manly esplanade and head home. Something interesting about that dark street look. It's a fish and chip kinda night...

Julia Gillard remains prime minister. 

Just a few indulgent pics of Manly, moonrise, 4.50 to 6.01pm. Clouds make great photographic subjects. 


Day 198: The GC has its moments

The Gold Coast (Miami), at midday
Day 198 (22 Jun) Saturday. No musical commitments today so that gives me a chance to head down the Gold Coast to visit my mum. We're going house viewing, as we do from time to time. 

Bit of sleep in, bit of a read to start the day around 6.12am. Quite good to be getting out of town since all the Lions (Rugby Union) fans have descended upon Brisbane for a test tonight against the Wallabies. Lots of people in red jumpers around. 

Reading, at 6.12am
The news, at 6.12pm
The house we're looking at today is down near my old high school where I was a few weeks ago. Quite nice, but naturally I was distracted by the beach. Always enjoy spending the day wandering around the place with mum...browsed through a few shops and had lunch at our favourite Mexican restaurant at the other end of the Coast. Back to mum's for afternoon tea and I was just about to leave at 6.12pm when the news was on. 

The rest of Saturday night was spent marking and listening to a performance of Dame Edna with the Sydney Symphony...Carnival of the Animals and Juanita the Lobster...goodness. 

I believe the visiting football team won. Julia Gillard remains prime minister. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Day 197: A chill colder than Canberra

Vale, with apologies, Mr Jeffrey Smart
Day 197 (21 Jun) Friday. It doesn't get colder than this. Nor wetter. It's just been a wet drizzly day and I have hardly moved from my table all day. I don't think Canberra earlier this week was as cold. A different cold perhaps.

Reading, at 6.12am
Today is wet outside and so early on I decide that I can stay home and work rather than drive up the Coast to do just what I would be doing here at the kitchen table, once I've had breakfast. It has taken eating breakfast to realise that would be the best course of action so at 6.12am, I've been up for a while and catching up on some reading. 

So the day has passed getting colder and colder, I've been marking and catching up on some writing. At times I've done some reading. During the day, I have counted up to 20 lorikeets huddling on the eaves of the verandah. 

Huddling loris, much of the day
Throughout the day, I've been listening to the has hit that odd cycle where the main news is the news that people don't really want to hear about the Gillard/Rudd leadership issues and yet we keep hearing about it. It is now to the point that even commentators begin commentary by saying this is not what we want to talk about but we will talk about it...are this is going around in circles.

I'z been here,
much of the day, at 6.12pm
Look Ms Gillard, Mr Rudd. Please. Ms Gillard is our Prime Minister for now. There is but one week of parliament left before the election, should it happen on 14 September. Mr Rudd, you are my local member but I am really very tired of this behaviour. I can not countenance voting for you should this matter continue to push really serious issues to the periphery. Enough, please. 

During the day too, we have learnt of the passing of Jeffrey Smart, artist, aged 91. Back on Day 179 of this blog, I did a bit of a photographic tribute to him. He was one artist whose work inspired me very early on. A bit sad, but then, 91...

Meanwhile, at 6.12pm, as I mentioned, I have hardly moved all day, except to get cups of coffee and a cup of soup at lunchtime. 

The chill in the air can make you do that...

Day 196: (+ Alpha) Live in #studio420

Day 196 (20 Jun) Thursday evening in the studio.

Just another plus alpha post. So much fun was had by all looking on as Rebecca presented her show: Jamie Callister, the grandson of Cyril Percy Callister, the man who invented Vegemite, #EattheWeek including Professor Roly Sussex, Kat Feeney, and Alice Gorman, Jenny Woodward, David Curnow, Daniel Viles, Spencer Howson and live was a fun two hours, hope the pics convey some of that fun...

with David Curnow

Eating the week

Jenny Woodward

Up close(r)

Lachie gives us the rundown


Jamie Callister


Daniel Viles and Spencer's 'ding'


About Breakfast...

Hmm, what does it look like from this side?

Day 196: Marking time (we've been here before)

Day 196 (20 Jun) Thursday. I toss up about heading up the highway to do what I could do perfectly well at home...marking. 

I decide to save petrol and the environment. Good decision. An 'incident' on the Bruce Highway further north means that I would have been stranded for about fifteen exam papers' worth of time. At 6.12am, I've been working away on some of the papers. 

Papers, at 6.12am
I also consider my 'work pile' of reading and writing that has been building over the semester. This is a little (growing) corner of my room where I have been putting books that need reviewing, considering for next semester's classes, contribute to the myriad articles in half draft form. There's my 'break' before me...

The raw materials
The other reason I prefer to work at home today is an appointment in at studio 420 at the ABC this evening where Rebecca Levingston will be doing her show in front of a 'live' audience, and a bunch of the dedicated #612tweepster brigade and a few others. I'm pleased to be getting along because I missed the last one through work and will miss the next one because I'll be in Tokyo...for the ... ELECTION! I'm quite excited. 

I head in to town about 5.30 and meet up with a few people. We are allowed into the studio at about 6.30pm so of course, I just happened to find myself in the foyer of the ABC building at 6.12.01pm...where else. 

In at the ABC, at 6.12.01pm
A great night was enjoyed by all. People in the audience, people on stage; Rebecca and her producer Lachlan McIntosh do a marvellous job, along with a host of others with whom we are familiar...Anne, Halina, Gary. Spencer pops in too and I get to meet Shelley's daughters. Many marvellous tweepsters turn up and a few new ones too. So much fun was had by all that it warrants a 'plus alpha' page, coming up in the next post. 

Home...but the marking hasn't done itself in my absence. Darnit, that can mean only one thing tomorrow. I'll be marking time, again. 

Day 195: Catch-up and cut out

Day 195 (19 Jun) Wednesday. Two day away from the office means a return to base. I would have stayed on last night but for the need to get back to the airport to collect my delayed luggage. 

Lunch, at 6.12am
At 6.12am, I am preparing lunch for work and getting ready to head out the door. Fruit. I've not eaten enough fruit these last few days. This looks like lunch. 
Work, at 6.12pm

At work, there is much to do besides my marking and catch up. A number of staff and students need to see me about various issues and I have a supplementary exam to supervise. I file some grades for one of our subjects with a colleague and basically just seem to spend all my time in the office. 

That's where I was at 6.12pm. Multitasking. On the phone, reading emails, checking the news for the latest on the 'leadership' confection...a colleague and I opt for dinner at the local's been that sort of day. 

Didn't make the cut
While I was away, my Ekka competition label exciting! There seems to have been a bit of a mix-up since there is just one, not four. A bit of an email exchange over the last day or so seems to have clarified things. Just when I thought I had to whittle the six to four to ONE, it seems we are back to entering four. That means decisions must be made in order to sort out the labels...the two that didn't make the cut? That would be these two to our left...the four that did? Well, we'll keep you posted...

Day 194: Fog, all day

Day 194 (18 Jun) Tuesday. It doesn't happen often but when it does...

I'm double-booked. I have the debate here in Canberra and a university council meeting this evening, at Sippy Downs. I need to be at both. Following an early morning caucus which runs a bit late, I head out to the airport catch my flight to Brisbane via Sydney, in order to get to Sippy Downs in time for the 5pm start...that's if everything goes to schedule. 

A darkly start, at 6.12am
Of course it doesn't. I get to the airport which is fogged in. No flights have landed which means all outbound flights will be late...but how late? Nobody is really sure. So I now sit at the airport, annoyed I am missing a key debate and will probably now be late for the Sippy Downs meeting, it is a real 'rock and a hard place' moment. Sigh.

The flight to Sydney eventually takes off and I am running to the gate in Sydney and being paged for the very first time. Too late for my baggage to make the transfer so I have to arrange to collect it from Brisbane Airport on my return home. The traffic northwards is in major delay, I make it to Sippy Downs by 5.30 but the meeting finishes at 6.15 rather than its usual 7pm. A text informs me that the vote in Canberra didn't go the way I would have voted either, luckily there wasn't just one vote in it. I reflect on the irony had my vote been "the" one...the balance of power indeed. 

Meeting. at 6.12pm
What a fog of a day.