Friday, 9 August 2013

Day 236: Crumpets and honey

Lecture prep, at 6.12pm
Day 236 (30 Jul) Tuesday. At it early again, I have a meeting at 10am, Academic Board. That means refining my comments and queries and preparing for possible discussion points.  I'm usually on a hiding to nothing at these meetings, there are too many non-academics and one sometimes senses academic board is not about the academics but about efficient running of the administrative processes. 

Oh well, not for very much longer...

Working breakfast, at 6.12am
In the middle of the day, I have another meeting with some colleagues to arrange activities for Bluestocking Week celebrations coming up in mid-August. We have some plans...

More teaching, more meetings and preparation for lectures tomorrow. It's another late departure and a coffee and (something) at Caboolture. These are long days, ongoing, 'creature of habit' is becoming the motif...

Day 235: Bargain(ing), just not what you're probably thinking

Day 235 (29 Jul) Monday. Bargaining starts today...our regular tete-a-tete with management over striking an agreement on working conditions for we go again. 

It is, therefore, up and at it early so that I can be prepared as the early chess moves are made across the board. This is the third or fourth round I've been directly involved in since arriving at USC. So many depend on us getting this right. Society's increasing resistance to unions however makes it hard going at times. Still it must be done. 

Breakfast, at 6.12am
I have to juggle the opening parries with classes as well so while I teach, colleagues get to have a break of sorts before round two begins. How is it going to pan out this time?...too early to say, but one remains optimistic, as best one can. 

I also have to return to band rehearsal tonight, having missed it last week since I was traversing the globe. Is that really just a week ago, seems so long ago. On rehearsal nights, I like to try and get away around 4.00pm in order to get to rehearsal on time. However, at 6.12pm, I'd only made it halfway, with a short pitstop at Caboolture service station. Appropriate really since quite a few tweepsters know  stop here at all hours on my way home from work for whatever coffee bargain is on. 
In the dark, at 6.12pm

One thing about being in a community orchestra is that most people also work so are reasonably understanding when I get there, just a little late...

Some days orchestra is just one of those things that you think, can I really do this? But then, you get there, and you know it was all worthwhile...

Day 234: A 'southern' sunset

The south-eastern clouds catch the north-western sunset

Day 234 (28 Jul) Sunday. There is much washing to do, first chance all week. Summer and winter all on the one clothesline. 

It is still a little dark at 6.12am as I peek over the book I'm continuing to read. Then it's up to do the washing...and more washing. 

Reading, again, at 6.12am
I spend quite a bit of time catching up on the blog too...the trouble with a daily blog is that you get just a few days behind and it becomes a bit of a perpetual catch up. Anyway, it is a good way to look back and reflect on the ten days away, a little time to think about what I might write up research-wise on the politics blog. A plan to perhaps go and see a movie fell a bit by the wayside as I just spent the day in catch-up/rest mode. 
Working away, at 6.12pm

The sunset in the evening offered some stunning colours and reflection on the clouds to the southeast of my place...and certainly worth a shot. 

The rest of the day was writing and preparing classes for the week. At 6.12pm, still, seemingly, at the computer working away, sorting and filing photos. I'm sure I've done a lot more than it seems...but that just the way the days roll around here sometimes. 

Day 233: Play day...

Day 233 (27 Jul) Saturday. No rest, straight back into it. Clarinets, play, of those Saturdays. 

I have, as usual, started Saturday in the usual way. At 6.12am, found myself awake and reading a book about Julia Gillard's 'stalking'. Says much about our media, our polity. 

Reading, at 6.12am
Clarinet rehearsal thereafter. A stand-in conductor today, one who announces to the group that I was one of his Japanese tutors in 1991...ah, the passage of time, like sands through the hourglass...etc. 

Waiting at the lights,
at 6.12pm
Rehearsal over and it's back into the city to see one of the QTC 'off-stage' productions over at the Bille Brown Studio. The play is a production of 1001 Nights with ZenZenZo, a terrific, Japanese-influenced drama group that has been around Brisbane for many years now. It's a little long, and at points begins to turn a little to self-parody, but overall, quite good. On the way to the studio, I've walked past many marvellous potential photo subjects...but a colleague has been on the phone the whole time so I missed capturing the little blue fairy wren in the industrial yard...bummer. 

Home again and then on to the next engagement, James Morrison and Julian Bliss playing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra...superb. Dinner before: well, accidentally and unintentionally, Japanese...just can't get away from it really. 

Tomorrow there shall be much work to make up for all this play...

Day 232: A quiet day

 Day 232 (26 Jul) Friday. The past fortnight has caught up with me. I don't have to work on campus today. At 6.12am, true to this blog, I've just picked up the camera, switched off the alarm, and here I am. I've barely moved...

612, what else matters, at 6.12am
But up and at it shortly, to work on a number of work-related matters and start to blog the Japan trip. I've much material from the trip to sort and digest over the next few days and still have to 'unpack' properly. 

Work, at 6.12pm
By the time the evening comes along I'm finishing off some work before 'pizza night'. I see that a most interesting sounding film, which includes Yamamoto Taro, the recently elected Councillor, is finding it hard to get screen time in Japan. It is a story about what happens to a family and a township following a major nuclear power plant disaster...I guess it is still a little too close to home for some. 

Sugar hit
I've also recovered one of my favourite snacks I've brought back from Japan, karinto, pure sugar hit really, but now in five exciting flavours. Heck, why not. 

Day 231: Coffee, tea, security...

Day 231 (25 Jul) Thursday. And it doesn't take long to get back to old habits. At 6.12am, it's making that coffee that will power me up the Coast to work. Actually, not really. I like my coffee but it doesn't make a difference whether I have it or not. No headaches, no withdrawals, no not being able to sleep if I drink it after 3pm. Nothing really. Just habit. A good friend is swaying me to the tea habit...shh.

Coffee on the way,
at 6.12am
Although the election is yet to be called, my local member, the prime minister, is letter-boxing his constituents to remind us of his good deeds.

Still in week one, there are no tutes but my other course today, the one on International Security. It's always interesting, so much happens on a week-to-week basis. 

Back in the office at 6.12pm, having just finished the lecture, there's a whole other hour, at least, of work to do now making the material available on the 'learning management system' quaintly called 'Blackboard'; updating materials; reviewing upcoming assessment. 

We are still trying to work out how these modern tasks can be realistically considered part of our workload while chipping away at the core of our work which is research. I have quite a bit backing up from over the years and my trips to Japan. Some have said perhaps I shouldn't be blogging...hmm, tough call. 

Lecture done, at 6.12pm
Anyway, we remain on election-watch here, counting down the days...counting down the ways...

Day 230: The full moon and #theBruce

The full moon, #theBruce,
and me
Day 230 (24 Jul) Wednesday. No rest, no recovery. It's jump straight back in. This morning's 6.12am pic just has to be one of the sunrise out the back of course, just for its colour and light. 

Dawn, at 6.12am
Photographers often talk about the 'special' light here in the Australian sky. It's noticeable this morning. 

Day three of week one and one is still adjusting to the new timetable. Classes four days a week with late-ish finishes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Today, as the first full day back on campus there is much catching up to do and preparations to make. 

Tomorrow's lecture today,
at 6.12pm
In two of my courses, it is just lectures this week, tutes start next week. At 6.12pm, therefore, I'm back in the office reviewing the first lecture for tomorrow's class. By the time I leave, it's just me, the full moon and the car park lights as I hit #theBruce, as it has come to be known. 

Coffee at Caboolture and home to turn around and do it all again tomorrow...

Day 229: Land : delay : work: home

Day 229 (23 Jul) Tuesday. Have spent the night in the air, working a bit since classes started yesterday and I head straight up the highway to class when I land in Brisbane. 

I feel bad for airlines that I don't take advantage of all the whizz-bang technology available at our fingertips on flights these days. I have to say I really appreciate the time to read, and no more so on the longer international flights. I like the mobile phone-free environment and I'm not a fan of its imminent introduction to planes. I've read through until about 1.30am on this flight, I guess that's 2.30am home time. 

Approaching home,
at 6.12am (no filter)
At 6.12am, we're approaching Sydney though it's still a bit dark outside. The fellow next to me has flat-out slept all trip, not eating anything. He's also insisted on all shutters down, but they're up now as we approach my old home town.

So the international flight arrives on time, immigration is OK, the wait for the domestic flight is ahead. Coffee, catch up with my mum via phone, breakfast TV on the screens around the place. 

Back in the office,
at 6.12pm
Boarding the plane for the last leg home to Brisbane, all those Japanese students on my overnight flight are on this flight too, on their way to homestays in Hervey Bay I learn because...we are left sitting in the plane, on the tarmac for almost an hour as we await the engineers' final clearance over a replacement English conversation in the meantime for all the students and their adult minders. 

Eventually, we take off, I get to Bris and hit the highway for work. At 6.12pm, no prizes for guessing what I'm doing. The hurley-burley of the last ten days is done and we're 'back at work'. The blog will resume its ordinary humdrum life...

...until the next trip. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Lotus Pond, Ueno: A project 365 plus alpha

Lotus pond, Ueno

My last day in Tokyo was spent mostly around the lotus pond at Ueno. Both Jinko and I were in serious danger of losing all sense of time as we took photos of the lotus flowers in various stages of bloom (and a few other things besides). 

Tokyo dayz 2: A miscellany


At the end of some days, as I went through the disk, I sometimes surprised myself with what was there. This is just a series of unrelated, unthemed pics that found their way into the lens over ten days. (The extra election-related pics will appear over at Psephy's~ologies.)