Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hi all,

It's been over a year sinc
e my last Cairns Capers post. One reason is that I've been really busy with Uni and work. My latest get rich quick scheme is iPhone Apps but like all get rich quick schemes it's a lot of hard work for little reward.

The other reason I haven't sent an update is because nothing quirky has happened to me that was worthy of a Cairns Caper, that is until today.

Some of you may know that I've moved out to the
Rainforest. I now live in Cairns Rainforest Estate in Kamerunga right on the edge of a National Park. It's a beautiful place to live, provided you can handle the bugs.

I've recently got into the habit of heading down to the creek to have a swi
m. I go almost every day. Today was no exception. The creek is literally 100m from my house. The best swimming hole is a further 100m stumble along the rocky path. As a local resident I feel a certain entitlement to the swimming hole and it annoys me no end that as things heat up it gets more and more crowded. There's almost always 2 or 3 people either swimming or sun bathing near the pool. Today was no exception.

As I was staggering along the path I noticed two people in the distance near my favourite spot. One was clearly a guy as he was sporting a beard and wearing boardshorts. The other I wasn't too sure of but I could see they were topless. As I drew nearer I realised that this second person was also bottomless. I had stumbled across a skanky old feral hippy woman and her scruffy bearded boyfriend sharing a joint at my local swimming hole.

At this point I suddenly realised I was in a minor etiquette dilema. Now do I back out as gracefully as I can, which would be difficult given that I've already staggered 50 metres across rocks so far, or is it more polite to continue to my destination, thus making the scraggely old hippie woman think that I didn't find her naked body repulsive (which by the way I did).

My other thought was, why should I back away. I have just as much right to swim here as them. There's many a time when I would have liked the swimming hole to myself. Instead I've had to put up with bogan VB drinking air conditioner repairmen on their lunch break, and skinny old bald men in red meat hangers bathing on the rocks.

So why should I back away and afterall what would happen to the world if you could reserve a place just by getting naked. Who knows where it would end? People stripping off at the local pool? Naked long haired freaks queueing up for Metallica tickets? Naked people on planes taking the extra legroom in the emergency isle? Well I say NO! So I took a stand and I kept on walking, but with my head down trying to avoid looking at them as much as possible. I was also rushing a little which is probably why I slipped off the rocks and splashed into the creek just next to them.

Once I was there I sat my thongs on a rock and swam into the pool and around the corner. A nice safe distance away and out of sight.

So I guess my question is, Did I do the right thing? Who was in the wrong? Do naked old hippy chicks have the right sit upright naked on a rock without people disturbing their peace? Do local internet nerds looking for a swim have the right to swim without being affronted by naked old hippy women?

Something for everyone to ponder no doubt.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This just in... Cairns Capers not as funny as Edenhope Chronicles.

At a recent wedding I was told Edenhope Chronicles were a lot better because nothing much was going on. I think I'm just a happier more well rounded person these days. Which is unfortunate for my comedy career.

Over a month ago now I went to Canberra to do an Aboriginal Cultural Awareness workshop. I thought about telling them my old joke about how in Werrimull "we shot them all years ago". I've always been worried that the joke could be taken the wrong way. There's a very fine line between being satirical and witty and between offensive and racist so I erred on the side of caution.

By the end of the awareness training I'd become more aware of some of the things we've put the aboriginal population through, and also gained a better understanding of their traditional culture and way of life. I've since then helped Gerry with his website Aboriginal Art. But the biggest thing I took away from the workshop was a self-righteous and smug attitude. I was therefore required to attend the Aussie Anglo Cultural Awareness Worksop at the Labor Club for retraining.

Moving ahead to late July I headed to Albury for Adam and Cherie's wedding. I spent the first night in a quaint little town called Burrumbuttock. You may not be familiar with Burrumbuttock but I can tell you it's exactly how you would image a place called Burrumbuttock to be. Adam and I just popped in to the local pub for a quick one. It turns out that the manager of the pub is Adam's long lost cousin. He was out with the boys but we chatted to his wife for hours. She was happy for the chance to chat so she innundated us with free beers, it would have been impolite to turn them down. After many hours of deep and meaninful conversations ranging from politics to whether her husband was a latent homo-sexual, her husband arrived back with his mate. It was then I realised I could play darts and argue politics at the same time. But neither of them well.
The wedding was really great, their kids were really cute and everyone was really happy. So again unfortunately there's nothing funny I can say about it. You can check out the wedding on youtube here's part 1 of 3.

After the wedding I spent 2 days in Sydney with my old mate Andrew. No we're attached at the hip I'd organised this before I knew I was going to Canberra. I recently turned 34 and Andrew is 36. Andrew has a new toy called a dopod. It's a PDA computer, mobile phone, GPS the lot. He showed me the best button on it, the "record your own fart" button. Here's how it works;
  1. Press a button on the side

  2. Hold the device between your legs

  3. Fart

  4. Release the button

It was great. After a big night out drinking beer and eating Pizza I managed to record 10 farts. Andrew managed 15. But he only beat me because he had the device while we were watching Transformers. I think we need a rematch.

It was at about fart number 8 when I cast my mind back to my childhood. I wondered if this is what my mum had hoped I would be doing at the age of 34. So I only told my Dad about it, he seemed impressed.

Now I haven't played poker for about 6 months. I gave it away after the failed attempt to win into the Aussie Millions. But since it was a bit of a boys night out in Sydney the suggestion was made to go the casino. There was a $300 tournament on and I was keen to play, so I thought I'd buy Andrew's approval by saying I'll give him 5% of the winnings. Little did I know I would win $12,000 and have to pay him $600. I also won entry into a million dollar tournament in December. The $6,500 ticket is non-transferable so wish me luck. This is actually a happy story so again not funny. But you can think of it as an investment in the future as no doubt I will have a hilariously tragic ending to tell in December.

I shared the flight back to Cairns with Michael who was keen to see some of the sites. So I took him on the obligatory tour. Again I had a good time so there's no comedic instances to speak of.

Only a few days to go and I'll be heading to Africa (via a few places). I've decided it requires a new blog so you can find out about my adventures in the African Advocate. Hopefully I find myself in various awkward and humorous situations.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Well it's been a long time since the last update so I thought I'd give you all the lowdown.

I've still been seeing a lot of Nguyen (Nhu) but I'm also hanging out with her new friend Trang. My other Vietnamese friend who visited me in London is called Trang Nguyen, but that's just a co-incidence. Honest!!

Trang has only just moved to Cairns so Nguyen and I have been helping her settle in. Two weeks ago I drove Nguyen, Trang and another friend all around Cairns going from garage sale to garage sale. You might think I'm crazy filling my car with chatty Vietnamese women. But the Spring Rolls I got afterwards made it all worth while.

I finished the exams for my IT course last week. I don't the know the results yet but I think I did OK. Thanks to those who gave me comments about my

I also did a map of my travels for the other subject. Trang asked, "What is the point of it?" I didn't really have an answer. Nguyen suggested it was so I could big note myself about all the places I've been. Of course she was right. Trang and Nguyen are like two peas in a pod. :-)

I've been keeping busy since my exams doing lots of annoying little jobs. I'm setting up a personal superannuation fund for my business. So when it all goes tits up I can flee to Majorca to escape my creditors. I wonder if Skase's old place is for sale.

I'm also doing some charity work. I've designed the website for the greenies. I still need to add a payment page to it, but I'm not quite sure how I'll do it yet. I also signed up for the Indigenous Community Volunteers and they recently found a job for me. I'm going to build a website for the Baddagun Aboriginal Corporation so they can sell some art work. At this stage some of you are probably thinking "What have you done with the real Travis?" Well I guess I'm still trying to find him.

Obviously they can't let me loose on a small Aboriginal community without teaching me how to behave. So next week they are flying me to Canberra for an Indigenous Cultural Workshop. I arrive on Wednesday the 27th of June and leave on Monday the 2nd of July. So it would be great to catch up with any of you still in Canberra.

Another strange thing that happened to me was that I became famous in Indonesia. I saw an item on dateline on SBS about a comedy show called Republik Mimpi (Republic of Dreams) in Indonesia. It makes fun of their politicians. The bits I saw were pretty funny and I thought it was great for their democracy etc. So I sent a "suck up" email to them saying how I liked the show etc. Now I'm getting all these emails from random Indonesian people. I found out that they read the email, email address and all, on the show.

The other thing I'm doing is planning for my trip to Africa. I've attached the plan I made partly to brag about all the places I'm going but also to say if you want to join me on any part of the trip let me know. I know you can't read it but if you click on it you can.

Next month I'll be heading to Albury for my friends Adam and Cherie's wedding. No doubt it will be worthy of another blog.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My Celebrity Look-alikes

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's been nearly a month since my last Cairns Capers and it's only now that enough has happened to warrant another one.

I've come to the realisation that as a sociopathic athiest who's only friends in Cairns are buddists and shintoists Easter means very little to me. Working from home I don't even have the holiday to look forward to. I haven't bought or received a single egg and I had chili con carne for lunch. The only thing Easter means is that it's harder to buy a bottle of vodka. Luckily I bought one yesterday and I still have several movies on DVD that I haven't seen yet, so my Easter weekend won't be a total waste.

I've been quite busy at Uni. I am now a part time student of IT. I'm doing Portable Programming and Multimedia. One subject is hard and challenging the other is fun and easy. My Multimedia project, as you would probably suspect, is going to be all about me. I'd rather do something I can stick on my website than a pretend project about fishing in Cairns. Hopefully I'll be able to make a little program you can stick on the web that is interactive and will have animation as well as video of my old stand up routine. I'm also looking to put in a psuedo Artificial Intelligence component.

How people find time to work and study or study full time I'm buggered if I know.

I've also been tutoring Nhu in her Statistics subject for her Accounting course. Apparently I have been very helpful and she has been very appreciative. Who would have thought my stats degree would be of any benefit. Though it has taken over 10 years to finally pay off.

The big news in Cairns was the seige. No doubt you haven't heard of it. A crazed gunman walked into a politician's office (while the politician himself was off at a meeting in Port Douglas) and held his secretary hostage for 3 hours. He obviously hadn't done his homework. I hadn't been into town for a while but I just happened to wander in that day to buy an icecream as all the drama was unfolding. I was one of the (as I heard the police say on the radio) dickheads endangering himself to try and get a photo. So here it is. If you click on it and get the bigger picture you can see a guy in a police outfit and a local cameraman. Maybe there's a career for me as a Paparazzi.

Many of the streets in central Cairns were blocked off so I couldn't get to the icecream shop. But I managed to amuse myself for at least an 2 hours watching a solitary short policewoman trying to stop dozens of German Backpackers, Japanese English language students, Aussie bogans and various other tourists arriving from all directions from crossing the road. When it was all over I got a 2 scoop boysenberry and cookies and cream cone.

The next big drama was the Tsunami scare. The locals up here in Cairns get a mild Tsunami warning and they go to water. I think if the Tsunami tele-movie hadn't been on TV only last week people wouldn't have worried so much. But as it was they all jumped in their cars and drove up the mountain to the tourist village of Kuranda. I'd heard on the local news that Kuranda was suffering from a slow tourist season, then the very next week there's a Tsunami scare and the place is packed. Coincidence..?

The first I heard of the Tsunami was when Nhu woke me up with a phone call at about 9:15am. By that time I thought well there's only half an hour until it gets here, might as well put on a load of washing. After my flat is on the second floor and I'm a few streets back from the coast.

So if there's no tsunami, tornado, terrorist bombing or bubonic plague here in Cairns you might not hear from me for another month. Hope you're all doing well and having a great Easter weekend.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Middleweek visit of February 2007 - What a waste of time!

Some of you may remember Andrew Middleweek from our previous adventures in New Zealand. If you thought we had a horrible time in New Zealand it was nothing compared to what Cairns had in store for us.

Last Wednesday the 31st of Jan I went to pick Andrew up from the airport. I was faced with two options. Go and park in the carpark and wait to pick him up, or be a tightass and hang out in the drop-off/pick-up area. I'd been the carpark several times already and I knew there was a minimum carpark fee of $5 for 3 hours. I also knew I had no change on me. So I tried the second option.

Anyway to tell a long story short I got a $25 fine. The lesson here folks is don't trust friendly old guys in yellow coats, and always bring someone with you to the airport to mind the car. Little did we know at that point that a $25 fine was going to be the highlight of Andrew's visit. That night Nhu, Andrew and I went out for dinner and a few drinks. It was raining, my sandals got muddy. At 5am the next morning I took Nhu to the airport. No fines this time as I simply had to drop her off. The helpful old guy in the yellow coat was no doubt sound asleep.

There's a little known fact about Andrew Middleweek. Many of his closest friends are not even aware. The fact is he has the ability to affect the weather. But never in a positive way, he only brings, clouds, rain, thunderstorms and in some cases cyclones. Here's what happened when Andrew headed to the north of Australia about 11 months ago>> "Burketown Debacle" That's right Andrew Middleweek managed to single handedly bring on Cyclone Larry!

Now here's what Cairns looked like 2 days before he arrived. There were a few clouds but basically it was so nice I felt compelled to take a photo out of the window of my car. Keep that in mind as you read on about our adventures over the following week.

In the afternoon of the 1st of February there was a break in the rain just long enough for us to take a drive to Kuranda. I thought it would be good to take a look at a full flowing Barron Falls.

That night as the rain continued to pour down we decided to buy a bottle of vodka and watch some DVDs.

The next day, despite the continuing rain and cloudy conditions, Andrew insisted on going fishing for Barramundi. There was a great Barramundi Farm he knew of, it was about 100kms away, he didn't know the name or the number but he was sure he could find it. Well you'd be surprised to learn, given his direction skills, that we did find it. You'd probably be less surprised to learn that it had been closed to the public since Cyclone Larry.

It was a Friday night but given the bad weather we didn't go out. So that night as the rain continued to pour down we decided to buy a bottle of vodka and watch some DVDs.

The following day I don't think we did much. But that night as the rain continued to pour down we decided to buy a bottle of vodka and watch some DVDs.

Determined not to let the weather beat us, and continuing to look for some kind of hightlight for the trip we headed to Behana Gorge. It's a lot less popular than Mossman Gorge, possibly because you need to walk about 10kms in pouring rain to get to it.

That night as the rain continued to pour down we decided to buy a bottle of vodka and watch some DVDs. When we got bored of that I busted out my old set of lego. I think our choice of models sums us up quite well. I built a house and Andrew built a set of balls and a penis. It was at this time he reminded me that he is now 35 years old.

By now Cyclone Nelson had formed in the gulf. I don't know much about the weather up here but I think that's why there was lots of rain. The biggest problem with the rain was flooding just south of Innisfail. This meant the trucks couldn't get through. The local Coles Supermarket made me feel like I was in Russia.

We decided to go out and see if we could see some of the flooding. We heard Innisfail was isolated again so we decided the best bet was to head south. On the way we stopped at a small roadhouse where a one armed man sold us some suspicious tasting sweets. He told us that the flooding was about 50kms south of Innisfail, too far for us, but that Bramston beach nearby had magestic views. I think he must be still laughing at us.

It was then on to Josephine falls. We documented it then moved on!

So to sum up the trip we spent most of the time indoors.

We watched the following;
  • Extras Season 2
  • Battlestar Galactica Season 3 Episodes 1-12
  • 2.5 seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Assassination of a President
  • The first 3 episodes of Millenium
  • Hostel
  • Napolean Dynamite
  • About 5mins of Smokey and the Bandit

We drank the following;

  • 4 bottles of Vodka
  • 1 bottle of Bacardi
  • 1 slab of beer

I managed to gain 3kgs.

Here's Middleweek's thoughts on the whole Cairns Project:

  • Yates promised me Cairns would be fun
  • But we had rain, cyclones and no sun
  • Thank fuck for Smirnoff
  • Watching TV like sloths
  • Talking shit while breathing farts into our lungs

It's now two days after Andrew has left. As further evidence of Andrew's weather Sharman skills here's a photo I took today.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 29, 2007

We start this edition of Cairns Capers with a trip to Melbourne. I met up with my friends who I worked with in London, Lisa, Jon and Jon's wife Liri.

I arrived in Melbourne on the Thursday afternoon. With Jon at a wedding and Lisa at work I decided what a great opportunity to head to the Casino and try and win a $1,000,000 dollars at the Aussie Millions poker tournament. As you would expect if I'd won anything you probably would have heard from me by now. However it was a learning experience, albeit an expensive one.

However it wasn't all bad news. I did manage to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Here's me getting refused a photo opportunity with Mark Philippoussis and the chick who played the hot foreign exchange student in "American Pie". I'd put her real name here, but I don't know it and I'm sure you don't either. But I spoke to the "Poo"!!!

Another perk of losing wads of cash in a poker tournament is you get invited to the after party. So a week later I dragged poor Adam Thomas along to have a drink with all the dodgey old poker playing dudes. We had several free drinks but that wasn't enough to keep us there. Even the Rhonda Birchmore tribute band was surprisingly disappointing. For those of you outside Australia and never had the opportunity to see Rhonda Birchmore belt out a few tunes each week on our classic variety show "Hey Hey it's Saturday" you'll have to trust me that this is a very amusing reference.

On the first day of the Australian open Jon, Liri and I headed to the tennis. I think we all agreed it was a nice experience and well worth it. However if we went back I think we'd do things a bit differently. We made the mistake of entering the tennis courts and watching tennis. We saw Croatian Mario Ancic beat Go Soeda in three sets. But the real action was just outside where the Serbians beat the Croatians 3 knuckle dusters and a switchblade to none. However we did get to see the flares being lit as we entered the grounds which was perhaps the highlight of the day.

I'm now back in Cairns and I've been spending some more time with Nguyen. I've discovered a few things about Nguyen, her name is actually Nhu, she makes a great spring roll, and she's not likely to break up with her boyfriend any time soon. Since she's heading to Viet Nam on Friday, and her boyfriend will be joining her, I think it's probably best we go on a break for a while. But just so you know she's real, here's a picture of her.

Tomorrow my friend Andrew Middleweek will be arriving. He's here for a week and no doubt we'll be having some whacky and zany adventures, just like we did in New Zealand. It's the wet season here and thunderstorms are predicted every day. But I have a back up plan, it involves a case of beer, Smokey and the Bandit 1 & 2 and the words "smokey" and "bandit". I'll let you join the dots.