Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'd make this edition a tribute to Peter Brock but how can I compete with both Channel 7 AND Channel 9?

I finished last time with a huge dilemna I was grappling with. Do I buy a 42" plasma TV or not. Well I resolved that problem by buying one. Where did I get the money for it you may wonder? Well don't worry it's all in hand. They have 12 months interest free at Myers.

Since I spoke to you last the English geezer I was hanging out with, left. As you would expect we had a big night out on his last
day in Cairns. With all the usual shenanigans. As I was about to go home we run into some Italian guys he knew. They told me I looked familiar. After a while it dawned on them. I looked like Er Patata. They insisted on getting a photo with me.

Now my Italian is a bit sketchy but I was fairly sure patata in Italian means potato. "Are you calling me Mr Potato head?" I said. No they replied Er Patata is a famous Italian comedian. Having found a photo of him I think I'd rather be Mr Potato Head.

I guess he's the one on the left.

The next weekend I went to the Cairns Amateur race day with my cousin and her friends. It seems my cousin is one of the cool kids. Her friend is the face of "Patio World" here in Cairns and her friends sister is also a model. So you'd think maybe I'd struggle to fit in and relate with these people. But as you can see they were only too happy to have the Travmeister hanging around. My cousin is on the left, Miss Patio World's sister is in the middle. Apparently she dated Fitzy before he was on Big Brother. She said he was a bad root.

In my spare time I've added some random rants to my "comedy" website. One such rant is about people who claim that the book is better than the movie. Rob Reilly and I years ago worked out what's really going on. It's just their way of saying I'm more intellectual than you. I read books. But why would you? You can watch the movie in only 1 hour and 40 mins plus commercials. Surely the book can't ALWAYS be better. Anyway who has time to read books?

With my spare time I'm continuing with the Japanese class. I've just finished my 10 week course. I'm also tutoring Japanese and Korean students on how to speak English. By tutoring what I mean to say is I make small talk for an hour. I'd forgotten how much I hate small talk. When did you come to Australia? Have you seen any sights in Cairns, blah, blah blah.

I thought I'd turn the conversation to things I find interesting, like violent Japanese movies. I was asking one young guy if he likes Battle Royale. For those of you who don't know it's a Japanese movie where a bunch of school kids are stuck on an Island and they are forced to fight to the death. He said he prefered Battle Royale Noruburu. My ears pricked up, a sequel that I hadn't heard of?, some kind of spin off manga cartoon perhaps? "Sorry could you repeat that?" I asked. "Battle Royale Noruburu", he said as he clasped his hands together then unfolded them in an outward motion. It was then I realised what he was saying. Battle Royale Novel. Or fully translated to English "the book was better than the movie."

Another of my rants is about Global Warming. I went and saw An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. I'd recommend you all go and see it because even if you think you know all the issues, he puts it all together in a very easy to understand and clear message, backed up with scientific evidence. You can find more about it at

I also saw a documentary about electric cars that shows you can convert an old car to an electric car and it will go fast enough to break the speed limit and can travel about 100 miles. That's plenty for city driving. I thought wouldn't it be cool to get an old Ford Falcon like the one they used in the Mad Max movies and convert it to Electric. Just think of the symbolism.

After a little research I realised I was completely incapable of taking on such a task. Since I don't have any mechanical, or auto electrical skills. I once tried to install my own alarm system in a car and stuffed it up so bad I had to sell it and hope they didn't notice the dangling wires.

As well as the Japanese classes and tutoring I'm still finding time to go to the gym. My personal trainer (remember he is like Lleyton Hewitt) was very excited the other day. He had me going so fast on the bike that I had to rush into the toilet and throw up. He said that's great. A personal trainer has really done a good job if he's pushed you so hard you've thrown up. I asked if he'd be this excited if I threw up ON HIM. He wasn't sure how to take that.

Cairns has been a hive of activity too with the Cairns festival just coming to a close. Most of it went by me without me noticing. But I did make it down to the duck races. Apparently you pay for a numbered duck, they stick thousands of these ducks in a pool, then blow on them with a leaf blower. The first duck to the end wins $5,000. I don't know what number it was that won but I think it was yellow.

Today I realised it was time to get some shopping done. I was just about at the cheaper supermarket, it's a bit further out of town, when I thought why not do some sightseeing. Half an hour later I'm up a mountain looking at this. I guess that's my way of saying why don't you come up and visit me? :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

You've probably heard by now that the poor old Crocodile Hunter is no more. A Swedish guy I've been hanging out with saw him in person on the streets of Cairns at about 8am. By 11am he was dead. It was totally out of the blue and of course everyone is completely shocked. It really makes you reflect on life. I mean, if the Crocodile Hunter can go, it could be any one of us next.

In the last capers I mentioned I was all keen to get out and do some touristy things around Cairns. Well luckily I haven't booked anything yet as I may have to rethink my "Swimming with the Stingrays" adventure tour.

Apart from the touristy things, which I haven't really done yet, I've been working on my business. I have broadband back now so it's all systems go. I even have my own business card in an attempt to impress the chicks. So far it's 0 from 5 but I haven't been totally discouraged. The real one has my phone number on it but I thought it best not to have it online. You never know what sleazy weirdos are lurking around on the internet.

I've also been going to the gym everyday. Knowing that I have the willpower of a spatula I thought it best to get a personal trainer. I see him every Friday. He's a young lad (about 20) and he's up with his fitness lingo. "That's it buddy, bust it out", "Give us another 5 reps", "Feel it burning, yeah, learn to love the pain". It's like working out with Lleyton Hewitt.

Every Tuesday I study Japanese. I'm learning a lot. They also have a language exchange where you help a Japanese person with their English and they help you with your Japanese. I learn a lot more in language exchange.

So far I've learnt Shumi wa nan desu ka?
"What are your hobbies?" and Himanatara osake o nomimasen ka? "Would you like a drink?"

Who knows maybe I'll find some use for these phrases.

At my Japanese school they also have Japanese people studying English. I start in 2 weeks time as a tutor. They want me for 3 hours every weekday starting at 2pm. I'm not sure how I'll go getting up that early.

The rest of my time is spent playing online poker. I know it's not good for me and I swore I'd never gamble again. But I'm actually getting quite good at it, with some consistant wins. Who knows maybe some day soon I'll break even. Here's some proof that it's going OK. My nickname of course is Chickenhouse.

My only problem at the moment is one that my old housemate Bal struggled with for several years. "Should I buy myself a Plasma screen TV?" Things are going OK financially but I could wait a bit longer until they are better. On the other hand they have all these interest free deals and I really want one. If I buy a house in a few months time it would be good to already have the essentials to go in it. I'll have to check with Bal and see what he decided. I think he went with a projector in the end.