March 7thI'm stoked we finally have a great plumber- and he calls if he is running late, he's been doing this for 2 decades and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. We leave him for an hour to have some breakfast and we get back just when he has finished the job. Good trades people are hard to find, we have our excellent electrician Jason across the road and now our rockin' plumber Andy. Ailsa Craig is feeling grand.
A cheque is mailed off to Red Cross to help with their earthquake appeal. I'm happy that no bodies were found in the fallen church- they expected up to 12 people could be under the giant fallen spire but thankfully none. That's a small mercy I guess. I'm waiting for NZ bands to unite for an Earthquake benefit - I guess we'll have more news next month when it's all confirmed if it happens- I'd imagine many NZ musicians will rally to the cause.
March 8thI'm running late, and somehow make up time and arrive at Dr Chiro on the dot and straight in for my session. I don't have to tell Warrick about my arm and shoulder he picks it and some acupuncture needles are added to the right areas while I bliss out on my iPod. 3/4 of the way through I turn it off and just enjoy the sounds from outside. Such a healer is Warrick- so now I have a great electrician, plumber and chiro guy.
We watch Apocalypse Now on Blu Ray- seems so long ago. I'd forgotten what a damn good looking man Martin Sheen was when he played Captain Willard. He was aged 36 but handsome. The Blu ray has a great interview with Sheen and Coppola filmed last year. Martin, those crystal blue eyes, and great to see him laughing. I can imagine that the recent Charlie Sheen rubbish must rip at his heart as a parent. Charlie seems to get more bizarre every day. I wonder if he is envious of his amazing dad- Apocalypse Now and brilliance like the West Wing. I've always moaned about the fact that "Kramer V Kramer" beat "Apocalypse Now" as Best Picture at the 52nd Academy Awards (April 1980). Martin Sheen wasn't even nominated as Best Actor which is total bullshit- The Academy got it really wrong (again)...Mark just screamed out "How lame, no balls".....! The oracle is right again.
March 9thThis is "Bill week" where I seem to have a load of bills to pay from gas to phone to foxtel- there goes the last of my wage. Thankfully my pay from the gorgeous Bic Runga is due so I put in my invoice for that. She has been working with Kody (NZ artist) and are playing a free gig at Albert Park (NZ)- in Auckland this Sunday 13th for Bfm Summer Series. I know Kody worked on Bic's new material for her album so she must of enjoyed herself to pair up again.
We take an hour off to mow the lawns today, while there is some sun before the rains start. The screw comes out of the ride on mowers seat so every time I head down a hill the seat takes me for a ride! I have to say the place looks great when all the lawns are done and it has that magical feeling about it.
I hear from Rosemaree, happy for her, be glad when she gets a place she can call her own. I don't envy her getting a bank loan, feel blessed that our job has meant we don't have one any more- it's a delight when banks offer home loans and I can smile and say 'no'.
I see unemployment stayed the same at just below 5 %, inflation is low here still, I'm sure most Australians take it all for granted-clean air clean water- it's not a bad place to live.
PM Gillard gives quite a passionate speech at U.S. Congress. She did incredibly well and numerous standing ovations. I'm so relieved Tony Abbott with his bad toupee wasn't up there embarrassing himself- with some luck that dickhead will never be PM of Australia. We received a lot of emails from Americans who watched it- which was a bit mind blowing. She seems to be doing ok on the International political stage.
March 10thA grey old day at Kalorama. I am going to visit our neighbours across the road and I spot a car parked near our back gate. A man and a woman are watching me, too old to be groupies (is one ever to old to be a groupie?). As I walk by they ask who owns the remarkable house. I fess up and the guy (Bob) tells me he used to live their in the 1950s. I chat for awhile just to make sure they are not going to rob us (hey it is 2011)... and ask if they would like to check out the house. They are so excited, I was happy to do so. I think it must be mind blowing 60 years later seeing the place where you grew up. He tells me how the main entrance road never existed, just a 'grassy walk track to the park". I show him the remains of an old gate and that was the exit to the walk track. The height of the trees were probably the thing that blew his mind, when they lived here they could see down to the Silvan dam and the park.
They didn't bring a camera so I take some photos of them on the verandah and said I'd email them the shots. Where our office is, was a giant wood heater 60 years ago and nothing more. They leave and I'm happy to of done this, history is so important and it's a human thing to re connect. It could end up being the most exciting thing on their holiday from Queensland - and I'm sure it brought back lots of memories for him as a kid- and great for us knowing the history of the place from someone still alive.
I tried to find my old favourite Converse All-Star-black suede Mens 9 on Ebay but have given up. I'm fairly sure they dont make them any more- annoying as they are a really comfortable shoe. I think neil used to wear them quite a bit onstage too. I should ask Sharon to raid his wardrobe for any spare pairs.
We notice that Charlie Sheen said today " I'm really starting to lose my mind". God do you think so!!!! I'll think about that while I wave a machete on my roof at Kalorama with Margo the porn star dancing next to me!!!!! Good grief, losing I say lost! At least it's great entertainment for many- isn't that what it's about in 2011. All a bit sad, the press are pricks for encouraging it, he'll end up dead at this rate.
I spend a huge part of the afternoon boxing up Split Enz "Rootin Tootin Luton" cds- our special 2 cd set. I love it when people get this from us as I know what a buzz it will be when they play it, such a cool double for peoples music collection. Our last box now, about 1/4 to go and then it's gone forever. Such a magical period for Split Enz , possibly my favourite Enz period now. The Judd crap really wrecked it for many of us around Mental Notes (sadly), it's also the main reason why Mental Notes stopped selling- the brakes were slammed on that one by the public. You can tell by the royalty sheet, mental Notes was clicking over units and now down to a dozen or so. But Luton has stood the test of time and having a 2 cd set is extra cool. I know after the final copies sell we'll get those emails that start with "I know I've probably missed out but.....". It happens every time.
March 11thThe Animal Welfare League of Qld send us a thank you letter for the donation to help them during the flood crisis. They do good work, and during such times it's good to think of the animals as well as people. Imagine what it's like for some of them, safe happy homes and then floods destroying all of that, the animals wouldn't know what is happening- we always have great sympathy for them here at the office. Thanks to the many who supported this.
I hear from the guys at Shedrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, they just took in a new baby orphan elephant yesterday- called Kainuk. Found in the South Turkana Reserve, she was next to her mum who had just died (probably from the drought not poachers). One of the tribesmen found her, not from the horrible Pokot tribe who live nearby and are poachers- so she was lucky. Apparently she stresses when alone in the pen with her keeper so they are letting another orphan stay with her. Kainuk is the 18th member of the orphan elephant tribe- we wish her well and know Kalama will look after her (and probably steal her food like she does).
Good grief Tony Abbott now comes out and says he believes in Climate Change and mans input -talk about a flip flop for votes- the guys a clown, someone kick his arse for us.
An 8.9 earthquake hit Japan today, and a massive Tsunami. The images are horrifying and mind blowing- you just can't stop watch it. I'm relieved my Mum and Sis are not in Japan , well not for a few weeks. The Tsunami was ferocious- you just know so many people will be killed. To make it worse it looks like there might be some trouble with the Japanese Nuclear Reactors at Fukushima. The only thing that gave me a small smile was the news reader, so unsure about saying FUK on air he actually stopped after he said FUCK U Shima- this is a news reader you'd think they would of at least practiced the name! I spend the day thinking about people we know or deal with in Japan and hope they are all ok. Our thoughts are with you.
March 12thWake up early and watch the ABC 24 hr news channel- Japan earthquake footage is mind blowing and horrible those poor people life shouldn't be that cruel. The fukushima reactors are now having problems. So much for Nuclear being safe, tell that to the 240,000 people evacuated or the few nuclear workers that are missing.
A photo arrives from Kenya of Kalama , after her daily mud bath- she is so funny spends the days chasing wart hogs. Some lions killed a buffalo last night near the compound so they have been eating that and making lion noises which is apparently freaking out all the elephant orphans. They are driving the keepers insane because they won't settle down. Add to that a rogue Hyena that has moved into a wart hog burrow... such is the life of an elephant in Kenya. Kalama is a survivor, will have to venture back in a few years to see how she has grown, sometimes photos are not enough.
The weather turns at 4.00 and heavy showers hit the Dandenong ranges, it buckets down outside, nice cool rainy weather.
March 13thWe saw a little bit of Chris Lilleys (creator of We Can Be Heroes) new show ANGRY BOYS - he plays multiple characters, one a Japanese wife and mother of three- Jen Okazaki- an ambitious tyrant who pushes her son to becoming a skateboard champion . It's coming up on ABC 1 - I know mid February Chris and crew were down at Torquay filming some of Angry Boys- which is a location he has used before for Summer Heights High.
Time to buy shares in Optimox- watch their Iodoral Pills sell out in the USA over the next week from the Japanese radiation fears. I checked on the net after writing this and already Internet sales have Sold Out signs everywhere. People really do start to panic don't they? The Japanese seem calm compared to the rest of the planet.
March 14thThe latest Nielsen Poll here has some interesting polling numbers. As far as preferred PM, for Labor the public prefer Rudd to Julia Gillard, as far as Opposition leader they prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Tony Abbott. I'd love to see Turnbull return and Abbott be demoted- that would be fun.
It's a public holiday so we head to Ranges for lunch. It's almost full but we score a table near the window. Food is very slow and coffee even slower. So many people , Melbourne always comes to the mountains when they have days off- some greenery some decent coffee-Olinda is making some serious money today all it's cute little shops are full of touristo's!
Several thank you emails arrive around our charity donations. It seems like there are never ending disasters lately. It does my head in, but it's still good to help in some small way.
March 15thDr Chiro today and his office is packed. I guess that is a good sign that word of mouth says he is good at what he does. I leave my iPod at home today and get distracted by the lone black jellybean in the jar. I consider eating it but wonder if it's really old and stale. I love black jelly beans. Black is beautiful.
Work visa stuff arrives from the UK for Neil so i send it onto New Zealand, unless it was meant for me (opps?).
I find a rather cool little house for Rosemaree, no idea if it's in her price range as I think it has just come on the market, but it would suit all her needs, the garden is ok, needs a little work but a decent size at least. The problem in Australia with houses is that they go so fast, it wouldn't surprise me if this one goes within a week. I was driving through the hills today and 3 homes on the market from last week all had SOLD stickers on them- I think families escape up here to give their kids some room to play, clean air and water less crime must make it tempting.
Our old friend Leanne called today- great to chat and chat we did for an hour and half! She lived with us at the Osborne street Sth Yarra house- Neil and Sharon's old place. Overall nice days, ok she almost set fire to the kitchen with her eyebrow wax which we do chuckle over now. Will be good when she visits soon. We hope Gina Patterson will get in contact with us next- it would be fun to see Gina too.
March 16thI email Mark Hart to see if he has finished his Q&A from the Crowdies fans for the Ghost Cars book- maybe he's still in NZ?
It's now snowing over parts of Japans worst hit disaster areas. The queue for gasoline now stretched for nearly 2 kilometres in some areas. I had an email from some journalists and they said it took them 4 hours just to get a can of gasoline. For those who complain about supermarket lines of 4 or 5 people think about that next time.
A friend went looking for some of the diary books today, so I sent her to Greville Book store on Greville street. Imagine my horror when I found out that the beautiful Greville Street Book store has now gone and is replaced by a sunglasses store (I think)..... thats so sad. They had so many cool books and I was always appreciative that Jurate the owner stocked all of our rocket pocket books - not to mention that brilliant night, that seems so long ago when we had the WINGS OFF FLIES book launch and of course the sweet old Uncle Paul Hester played a solo live set before the speeches etc. I hate it when good book stores go, I wonder how long Book Soup in LA will last with so many books now on download (urgh).
The radioactive plume from the Japanese reactor leaks could hit southern california as early as this weekend. The jet stream carries it across, but radiation levels will dilute as it travels, so health risks should be minor if not nothing at all. Hopefully nothing at all. The Chinook helicopters dropped water on the No. 4 reactor today in the hope that helps. I guess the next few days will tell.
March 17thGreat to hear that Pink and George got married the other day at the Finns beach house. We wish them well, and loads of happiness.
We were watching the Twilight Zone, the first series from 1959 on Blu Ray last night and a guy turns off most of the lights at a Bus station and says " If their not in use, turn off the juice"! See even in 1959 people were saving power- what a cool expression. There's a T-shirt logo eh!
I speak to Ron Strachan- Shirl of Skyhooks dad, had to ask them a question about something- always fun to talk to them, they seem to be eternal.
March 18thI get some nice emails around Liam Finns Texas shows and SXSW... his level of crazy onstage has grown! You go lad! Nice to hear.
I also get an email from Isabelle in France which is great, finally she has bought a wonderful Apple mac and can email Australia (yey). The world is her oyster. It's probably the first time she has had to read the diary so Isabelle- enjoy! I just remembered that in May this year it will be about 15 years since the diary started. Isn't that amazing, 15 years ago this started and you haven't been able to shut me up since.
A new poll in the USA shows 53% of Americans support gay marriage. It keeps climbing each year. 3 other similar polls showed large jumps in support. Republicans oppose gay marriage by a ratio of two to one and creepy old evangelical white protestants oppose it three to one... they are thankfully a dying race of homophobes so time will march on and over the top of them. We had a lot of emails from people attending the Gay marriage support rally at the steps of the state library Melbourne on March 26th (1pm). Oddly enough nearly all that we know who are attending are straight-which is great. Lots of our friends are going, taking the hour off work to support this important rally. It's great when your friends show they have a social conscious.
March 19thI watch president Obama talking about not sending any ground troops to Libya. Which means expect an air-strike soon, tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at various targets I'd say. Gaddafi wont surrender that whip hand, taking it out on any civilians that speak out. He is capable of incredibly evil stuff, atrocities while he holds power. Expect submarines like the USS Providence to pop up near the coast as it has been in the Mediterranean for a week or so now-so I'd say this has been coming for awhile. I guess there is concern that this is yet again another Muslim country that will probably be fired upon, and I'm sure America and allies already have their hands full with the failed invasion of Iraq and the continual war in Afghanistan. Still if Gaddafi wont back down or give it up what do you do, let him continue to kill people. It's a scary old world.
A dead body was found up here at Olinda Creek Road, in the Dandenongs. A bushwalker found it, the forensic teams are up here checking out the area.
I hear from my Mum and Sis, they have now officially cancelled out heading to Japan, which we expected and just sensible, so they are off to Singapore for a week instead. The toll of missing and dead in Japan has passed the 18,000 mark, which is just horrible. A lot of people are now leaving Tokyo and heading to Osaka. South is the go. Hoarding has now started as food runs out- there is serious fear. Quite a few people who have emailed us from Japan think their government is not telling them everything just to keep them calm but that now seems to be working the other way. If the reactors go pear shape japan will consider burying them under sand and concrete.
March 20thI'm off to the dentist next week, for a bit of a clean and I think I'll get him to check out a tooth. When my reminder notice arrive suddenly one of my teeth ached- maybe it is all in my head, actually it's not. I guess it's good timing, I have a good dentist and I don't fear them like I used to. The Gryphon is getting on in years so healthy teeth (to bite people with) and talons are important!
We've had several amazing sunny days here, it's just like the Summer that we never had. Sadly the day starts off with news that the U.S. , British and French have launched air strikes on Libya. Missile assaults on 20 coastal targets. 112 Tomahawk missiles fired. That's a lot of bang for your buck. I guess they were taking out Libya's SA-5, surface to air missiles. They usually take about 12 hours to assess how it all went. So it's all happening, once again I wonder how many innocent people will die while the big boys play war. Gaddafi wouldn't hesitate to use human shields I'm sure. So it moves from a civil war to some other new level. A rather depressing note to finish the diary with, maybe a bright light for some of the people of Libya though. Sometimes freedom has to be fought for I guess, I just feel sad for those caught in the cross fire.
Solar Rules Nuclear sucks.