Monday, April 27, 2009

Playing for your country

A few memories from the journey I've been on a small part of.

Months ago train with Ryan and Nath in preperation for playing against NZ, doing these torturous drills called malcoms. Sprint, pushup, sprint, pushup, repeat. Watching the two guys push each other harder and harder as I tried to make the jelly that once was my muscles work to go at about half the pace, Ryan was slightly ahead and dropped and did a pushup when all he had to do was turn. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen but they both found it hilarious. I was too busy trying not to collapse.

Game two for the mens, two kids about ten sat behind us. Nath comes on and gets a touch and they exclaim " that's Nathan Jones, he's an awesome player, I love Nathan Jones". For the most laid back guy I know, who wouldn't say boo to anyone, to have fans in such a low profile sport was just a great feeling. I tried talking Ryano up to them in his game, but they were keen on Benny Moylan, the red headed gun, sorry Pol.

Watching my best mate play with the same skill and drive at an international level, that he does when I play with him on a Wednesday. The step up in standard didn't seem to bother you mate.

Watching Nath execute a move we ran through with him at the end of the last few training sessions and recognizing the play after the first step.

I understand, having trained for a bit with these guys what they have to do to get there and I'm pretty proud to have played a very, very small part in their preperation and I was glad I was there to watch them win an international series. You blokes are legends.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Monday, April 20, 2009

A little bit excited

I'm a little bit excited. For the last twelve months or so I've been training with a couple of boys who this weekend are slipping on the green and gold and representing Australia.

In that time I have gained a little insight and a shitload of respect for what they have to do to make it at that level. I have played with them in pretty good teams, but I have never played rep, and I know why, now.

I've seen my best mate go through rehabing his shoulder, doing endless strengthening exercises while I sat there and drank beer. I've become mates with a few other boys I think, just from doing lots of up and backs and twelve minute runs.

So this weekend I'll be sitting in the stands at WIN stadium, Wollongong, cheering on the boys and blogging, drinking beer and thinking about all those up and backs, the pitter patter drills, the bloody malcom drills that almost killed me, but mostly I'll be thinking about how much more Ryan and Nathan worked than I did.

Stay tuned to Lantanaland for a bit of commentary, I'll even take the voice recorder down for some audio!

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lily Allen - Underrated, or have I gone soft.

Been listening to the new Lily Allen record, thanks to one of my mates from the Alley days who swings me a few tunes to get my fix like the iTunes junky I am.

Normally this would get ripped into the library and sit there unlistened, because on the surface it's bubble gum electro pop, with a dash of country here and a shake of big band there. Not bad enough to change radio stations if I listened to radio and it was catchy, if a little, I don't know, the same as a million other chick artists.

A mate of mine dropped in who likes his disposable pop and asked me if I'd listened to the lyrics of the new single. Not really, I replied, it's just hum along music innit?

Well fuck me, talk about a knife in a velvet glove, this chick is sharp. It reminds me of Ugly Duckling sending up the whole gangsta hip hop image, but with pop. The writing is funny, self deprecating and very cutting, the fact that it is put to bubblegum music makes it even sharper. It's like finding a underlying philosophical discussion about gun control in a book of explody goodness by some Australian author. Matthew Reilly? No that's not his name, who is it I'm thinking of....

Anyway this is a first for me, I love this album and it's something they'd play on Nova, am I getting soft?

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 a holiday destination.

When we leave Lantanaland it is like a big living animal, all these little bits need feeding and putting away and I like to feel that the land likes having someone around. So one of The Wife mates from work has come down for a few times now and I just love it.

I love the fact that Louisa and Steves kids are getting a taste of the country, getting to know the animals and their habits and taste their food. We are never here, so the kids would see Lantanaland, I hope, as their holiday house, their little slice of paradise that they get to go and visit.

JB talked in his Blunty today about how kids are being denied the joy of the old fashioned backyard and one of the things I really enjoyed as a kid was the few times we got to go and visit a farm and camp or stay. The Wife told me the younger son was very into the animals, he was in charge of feeding and was going down and talking to the ducks. We also returned to a great letter and some hand painted Easter eggs.

Next time that they want to come babysit Lantanaland I'll talk to Louisa and see if they want to do more with the animals, maybe by then I'll have a cow and I could teach the boys to milk!

The postscript to this story - last time they stayed my house pump failed and they had a night with no water, so I'm glad they came back and had an incident free visit.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hippys on trains

Despite the accusations of my inner city urban friends, I try not to be a hippy. I mean I have to drive a thousand Km a week for work, but I turn that to my advantage, I can usually find a supplier of something or another, whether it's chooks or bee hive parts that I drive past on my travels. Saves postage.

If I did work a to and from job, I'd try and catch a train. Lucky I don't then because if I had to rely on QLD rail, I'd soon be out of a job and I'd have to sell Lantanaland.

The Wife tried catching the train to work for a while. She works at the biggest hospital in QLD and we are ten minutes from a station that runs an express train to the city. Yet she had to sit on the floor on the six AM train and it took longer and was more expensive than driving her little Toyota through Brisbane peak hour and walking.

That's if the train comes of course. I follow the local radio station on twitter and the first few hours of the day are clogged with announcements on late, delayed or cancelled trains. I mean it's nice that all the gutters on the Gateway Motorway are gold plated, but perhaps the starving transport dog could have been thrown a bone. More trains? A few circle routes here and there? Trains that actually run?

The inner, buried hippy in me rejoices when I hear mates in Europe tell me they haven't been in a car in six months, but Brisbane, that just wouldn't happen.

If I had to catch a train to work, my inner hippy would soon be headbutted by my inner bogan, keen to get into a car and get to work on time.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Friday, April 3, 2009

Small Things part II

I've bought a few more guinea fowl, keets this time not eggs. They'll be living inside for a week or two, and I'll be making sure that they are as safe as they can be, short of taking a few suggestions on board and contracting HAVOCK to build me a fully operational, laser guided, anti snake and fox missile defence shield.

We've had buckets of rain in Lantanaland, 170mm since Wednesday, so it's been sugar cane mulch in with the ducks, who are finally back on the lay, duck egg pasta for dinner tomorrow night, oh yes.

Another one of this small jobs that needed doing, but is still part of my grand ideas for lantanaland, was the mulberry tree. I wanted to give it a nice umbrella shape over the duck pen. It's been big enough for ages, but again, what’s the rush.

However I'm pretty happy with the result. Once it grows a bit more it'll have lovely shade and free fruit for the ducks. Of course the tree gets watered with the dregs of the ducks water, which is why it's growing like i've been feeding it steroids.

I'm allowing myself a new project this weekend though, learning all I can about clay and straw mix to coat the mesh of the chook run to provide some more shade and cover for when they are confined to the snake proof run. If it works i'm thinking that the rebuild of the big chook house will end up being a organic earth pod instead of the typical box that I usually build.

So really, no small jobs this weekend.

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Small Things

I love the big creative things for Lantanaland, I get fired up, get up with the roosters and charge off, full of ideas. However these small jobs, they just damn well accumulate.

Take my snake problem. I really needed to make a small snake proof pen to keep them safe while I totally redesign the main house and pen. All I want to do is pour my energy into that redesign, but I refuse to hatch or buy more Chooks until I know they're safe. So I bit the bullet last weekend and built a snake and fox proof fortress. Admitedly it looks like a roboticic six foot long catipiller crapped out a coccoon.

( while writing this I thought of a sweet idea to solve a design flaw and make it look better. If you've done any rendering or sculpture can you drop me a line on ?)

Where was I?

Oh yeah I have heaps of these jobs and if I don't just get them done I am going to have to write something and put it on the fridge. Something I fear and loath.

A job list.

Lantanaland from the iPhone