Sunday, July 8, 2007

Our Orange House (Sung to the Josh Pyke's "House in the Middle")

When I was a kid I grew up in an orange house, not a cream or a white or a brick, but an orange painted house and I broke my arm on a two foot fence when I tried to break my fall and I fell out of the pool and I got a black eye and was able to wear an eye-patch to school but got in trouble in my grade four class for speaking out of turn about pirates but when I walked home I fought with a kid from another school and ripped his shirt and his parents came to my door and told me I was in a lot of trouble and I said I'm not, no I'm not.

Once near the railway track there was a decapitated cat's head and we looked at it every day as we went to school and we were told about some bikers who once took a bite out of a live cat once but we didn't believe it cause it didn't sound right, but the new girl in town was ten years old and she told us all about sex and hung around the boys at the end of the street who rode their bikes at the bmx track and told us that she was promiscuous and she hung around us in the caravan that was in the backyard of our orange house, it was an orange house that the taxis always knew about.

And my best freind stood on a nail in a piece of wood and hardly even cried but made me run for help but his parents laughed when they saw my panic and took him to the doctors for a tetanus shot, and my other friend who had a commodore 64 ran with me as we were chased by two men at night and he got a brain tumour and was allowed to keep a bed pan by his bed so he didn't have to walk all the way to the toilet in the middle of the night which he thought was cool but he sadly didn't live for long and his house smelt like mouse cage and the laundry sat in piles and our families loved the Catholic church where my brother's hair caught on fire as the alterboy behind him stood too close with the candle.

I dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta you could never really see the top from the bottom i dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta i dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta i dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta i dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta i dont pay enough attention to the good things but i gotta now

Thursday, June 21, 2007

8 Random facts about me

I know more about Batman than practically anything else. I prefer DC characters to Marvel, although I do keep up with most mainstream comic continuities. My favourite read lately is the Marvel Zombie series... especially the crossovers with Ash (Evil Dead) from the Army of the Dead. I'm a geek, and am not entirely proud of it.

I still listen to some contemporary Christian music. Although I find a lot of lyrics puke-worthy, I still like Newsboys, Jars of Clay and DC Talk. God help me.

Sometimes when I listen to people talk I count the syllables in their sentences and try to add words that will round the number off to the nearest ten. When I was younger I would scratch the skin just above my knee in unison with the count. I still find that spot a nice place to itch.

I don't have any trophies, I've never won anything due to skill or knowledge. I have no skills. I don't play any sport. I'm quite uncordinated. These eight random facts about me aren't painting an attractive picture.

I'm hopelessly addicted to the Internet: blogging, youtubing, forums, e-mail, downloading comic books, chatting, cyber-flirting, photosharing, website building... actually the only vice I haven't become addicted to is gaming. That'll come.

I love horror movies. I love it when I'm so lost in a movie that I actually care about what happens to the characters to the point where I'm really nervous. I mourn inwardly when they die, and hope they survive. I hate horror movies that have the main character survive only to die at the last second or early in the sequel. That sucks.

I hate magicians, I hate not knowing how a trick is done. It annoys me no end when these guys have me actually questioning reality. I wish they could at least say, "Don't worry folks, there's a trick to it, we're not supernaturally endowed".

I have a fear of toads. The thought of these creatures completely repulse me. I hate them passionately and wish they didn't exist. I think I would rather staple my thumb to the desk than have to touch. I would rather read Leviticus than to go near one. At the house I'm sitting there is a large lifelike concrete statue of a toad (why?); I tried touching it and felt like I was going to vomit.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Surname: Bainbridge

This is an English locational name from the place so called in the parish of Aysgarth in North Yorkshire, which stands on the River Bain. The derivation of the river name is from the Old Norse word "beinn" and the Old English pre 7th Century "brycg", meaning "bridge". There is some doubt about the exact meaning of "beinn", it is usually taken to mean "straight", but also in a transferred sense, can mean "handy" or "direct", and thence "helpful". The sense would easily apply to a convenient bridge across a river, of course. Locational names were often given to those people who left their original place of residence in this instances by the direct bridge across the river, and went to live or work in another village or town. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matilda de Baynbrigg. which was dated 1301, Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tinnitus - The freaking sound of silence

Tinnitus is a huge part of my life and the bane of my exisitance. The drama queen in me needs a bane I suppose. I'd have rathered something else though. Check out the following video to see exactly how I've been living for the last 4 years. I've habituated it mostly but it's always there. It reminds me I'm alive and that's what I let it do.

I decided to make a whole other blog dedicated to the topic for those ships in the night that pass and need to hear how others have gotten themselves through the hard times. I'm really happy to have been for you at that dark time Barb. Millions of blogs out there girl. Makes me wonder about time and chance.

Find the "Sounds like Tinnitus" Blog here

It's got videos, and links, and poems, and feeds to the latest information in Tinnitus research. I'll journal my tinnitus stuff in there from now on. It's for those who share in the ailment and want a place to vent and the like.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gone camping

Theresa Ck Damn - Click for pics

You know what I like about camping? Everything 'pops' up. You squeeze everything into the boot and when you arrive everything folds out or is pumped up (like in that episode of the Goodies). It's like a live action pop up book. Tent, boat, beds, tables, chairs - pop! I really am easily amused.

We found a decent camping spot about 80 minutes from Moranbah. It's called Theresa Creek dam and it's not far from a little town called Clermont - a town not big enough for franchise fast food shops like Red Rooster, but it does have two IGAs. The camping ground is by a nicely sized dam stocked with Golden Perch, Jewfish, Saratoga and Silver Perch... I'll have to suit up and do some fishing next time. No really. Maybe. It's a catch and release system, which is good for me because I prefer the quick and easy fish and chips (Red Rooster have fish now... seems they serve any white meat... except rooster... oh, I forgot... poor Clermont, sorry, none for you).

The campsites are free for shire residents and has plenty of toilets and hot showers. It's really dry out here, so the campfire wood is really dry and burns quick. We spent all night poking things into the fire to see what happened to them. My coke can disappeared in seconds! That's hot.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Peter Bainbridges

Have you ever Googled yourself to see who else shares your name? There's a certain kinship with people who share the same name... it has a ring to it that only they can understand. Sort of like finding people with the same birthdate. I decided to seek out these 'kin' of mine and contact them, if possible. I'm feeling like the bastard child of them all, because I seem to be finding a lot of talented and amazing people - all I can do is type. I'll blog any responses I get. Perhaps I can at least rub in the fact that I got a peterbainbridge gmail account before they did.

This blog may serve as another vain attempt to pander to my ego and my bizarre love to say my name 'Danny Crane' style (ala Boston Legal), but this is my Saturday night and this is how I choose to spend it. By the way, I'm watching 'Little House on the Praire' with the kids (don't cry for me)... and I'm deep and down with a flu. I just hope this page isn't used by some weird serial killer with a vendetta against Peter Bainbridges.

Peter Bainbridge is a self taught artist, born in 1964, he began painting wildlife in 1994 and lives in the UK. Peter has a whole mess of hair that I often dreamt of growing. I was inspired by Iva Davies to grow my hair long, but it always turned out to be a pathetic mullet that for a short time was long enough to put into a small pony tail. He looks a little like Meatloaf in this photo, but ruggedly handsome like all Peter Bainbridges should be.

Peter Bainbridge is a well established photographer with an impressive website. It looks like he beat me to getting the domain on the name at He's got an excellent gallery that's well worth looking at. Some artistic b&w body parts with interesting contours.

Peter Bainbridge - Senior Sustainable Development Officer at Penwith District Council. Sounds boring but I'm sure he rocks at parties.

Peter Bainbridge - Baptist minister (umm... so not me): Among those who might be considered the pioneer band of Baptist ministers in Kentucky, Dr. Peter Bainbridge was distinguished for grace, pathos, and solemnity. He spoke much more impressively than he wrote (This guy is the opposite of me!). He was charmingly colloquial and in the pulpit he was peculiarly grave, smooth, and attractive (Some of those terms I might use to describe myself, but not many others would).

An optometrist, an auctioneer, a yachting champion, a business man (who does business?), and lots of others who probably deserve a mention for having such handsome names, but I'm getting pretty bored with this subject now. Dad's original name was Mapleston so I almost feel like a fraud now seeing the blood isn't actually within the name. Hang on, I'll google Peter Mapleson... hmm... just a few dozen websites of a guy who blows glass and plastic. Peter Mapleston blows... says it all.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

An interview with me - 50 questions

1. Name one thing you could not live without?
It's a tie: Stilnox sleeping tablets and broadband Internet.

2. Name something you'd love to never see again.
A toad... or a heart attack inducing car mechanic's bill.

3. What color is your bathroom rug?
Fifty questions and this one takes up 2 percent of them? meh... burgundy

4. Did you ever wear braces?
Yep, best money anyone ever spent on me. Thanks mum... I used to have teeth like Elton John or Madonna. Actuallly come to think of it, those guys are rich and talented. Thanks a lot mum!

5. Extrovert or introverted?
In front of a crowd or my classroom or online I'm an extrovert, but in real life I'm finding myself more introverted as it continues. Wait... is this question about bellybuttons?

6. What do you make of all this Anna Nicole Smith saga?
She had a manly sort of face, but interesting mammory glands.

7. What's the population of the city you live in?
Around about 10 000 plus me.

8. Have you told a lie today?
Probably. Umm, no! (that's a lie).

9. Name something you're good at doing.
Ranting online about crap

10. Now, something you do badly?
I'd need a whole other list to reply to this. Let's just start with, 'catching a ball'.

11. Who do you share your secrets with?
That'd be Troy. Plus there are too many people who do know too much about this and that... vague I know - sorry, the answer to that is a secret in itself.

12. Who's your best friend?
I had someone I called my best friend in High School, but they died. I don't like calling people best friends anymore. Wife is obligatory although true, I suppose. It's also true to say though, that there are others who know various aspects of myself better than she does. Hey, simple question... what can I say? I'm complex.

13. Do you lie about your age?
Just started doing that lately. I'm going to be 35 for a lonnnnng time.

14. Confrontation or avoidance?
Ohhhhhh mannnn.... anyone who knows me at all knows the answer to that one. Confrontations give me the flu.

15. What's the last film you watched?
'About a Boy' on TV, and 'Little Miss Sunshine' on DVD, and 'Apocalypto' at the Cinema. Loved all three. Next movie will be '300', probably - looks funtastic.

16. What about books?
'Andy Kaufman Revealed!: Best friend Bob Zmuda tells all', and 'On Blondes: From aphrodite to Madonna, why blondes have more fun', by Joanna Pitman. I always read two or three books at the same time.

17. Do you enjoy eating sushi?
I've never tasted anything so disgusting. Like licorice, coffee, beer and smoking, I just don't get the fascination.

18. Name a place you long to visit.
Any island that has great reefs and ample sea life. I would like to see the pyramids, but if I die before then, I'm not fussed.

19. Now tell me somewhere you would refuse to go?
Central Australia... who wants to go further away from the coast?

20. Do you believe in life after death?
Nah, I think the clue is in the word 'death'.

21. Do you talk to God?
I used to but got fed up with being ignored. You can only go so far with a one sided conversation before you realise you're talking to yourself. See the other blog.

22. Any regrets?
Yes. And that's another list I would need to make that I seriously don't want to.

23. If you could be anyone else in the world for just one day, who would you pick?
Jim Carrey

24. Who would you never want to be?
That poor ugly kid I used to sit next to in high school.

25. Why wouldn't you want to be that person?
I'm vain and would probably slit my wrist if I couldn't afford the rhinoplastery on my nose.

26. Tell me something that makes you uncomfortable.
The thought of losing my job... or losing my teeth... the hair's ok.

27. Now, something you are completely comfortable doing?
Being lazy.

28. Do you have a favorite childhood memory?
Camping on the beach at Fraser Island.

29. Worst one?
Listening to the old man screaming... or imagining him screaming when I ran away after accidently throwing a canoe through his windshield. I still have that canoe.

30.Think of a song that describes how you feel at this point in your life.
Pete Murray - opportunity

So it goes another lonely day. Your savin time but your miles away - Your fly was drownin in some bitter tea - For seeing lost opportunity - Find your mirror go and look inside - And see the talent you always hide - Don't go kid yourself well not today - Satisfaction's not too far away - Hold on now your exits here - It's waiting just for you - Don't pause too long It's fading now - It's ending all too soon - you'll see.

31. What was the last social function you attended?
Teacher work party. Too many teachers...

32. Is your life what you thought it would be at this point?
Mostly... halfway through it now. It's not too bad but I'm not sure I'll ever own a freaking house.

33. You can change one thing about your life right now.
Pass, thanks. A decent car would be good though.

34. Is there anyone who knows everything about you? All of your secrets?
We sorta had this question. There's a girl I talk to online that I trust with stuff. She swaps too... we could crucify each other if we needed to. knowledge is power eh gal?

35. Is there anyone that you trust completely?
A few girls.. not guys.. they're too male... I'm a male and I know not to trust us. Ahh, except Troy, but China is far enough off to feel safe. We'll shake hands one day pal.

36. How did you find your way to your profession?
A blonde girl named Ainslie convinced me it was the way to go. This is all your fault girl!

37. Do you believe in life long monogamy?
Monogomy? Is that like monopoly?

38. What's your favorite food?
Curry, green curry, red curry... heck I'll take any colour. KFC floats my boat too.

39. Favorite alcoholic beverage?
New Smirnoff Cola

40. If you could talk to anyone in the world, who would it be?
Michael Leunig... philosopher, cartoonist, poet. That's his work at the header and footer of this blog. Ohhh and Bill Watterson of 'Calvin and Hobbes' ... ohhh and - Jesse Jane.. she's such a talented actress.

41. What would you say to that person?
Thanks for the great moments? All of you...

42. What was the first concert you went to?
Elton John with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

43. The last?
That's so sad I can't even bring myself to say it. It was probably a Christian band or something.

44. Are you a gadget guru?
I love having a reasonably up to date laptop and desktop PC. I hate my phone for being one year old. I need an Playstation 3 and I love fiddling with my blogs. I love the widgets.

45. What is the ring tone on your cell phone?
Madonna's 'Hung up'

46. Tell me 3 things you are afraid of.
Toads, car problems, and a particular teacher.

47. Give me the names of your 3 favorite television programs.
Prison Break, Curb your enthusiasm, Letterman.

48. What do you think is worse: having your heart broken by the one you love or breaking the heart of the one you love?
The latter.

49. Name a behavior of other people that you don't understand.

50. What is something about you that you think others would not understand.

Monday, March 19, 2007

You are here. Well, I am, you're not. Wish you were here... not. Here's the damn blog

Moranbah.... you are here!

...Click the pic pictures of the house and the entrance to Moranbah. Callum is pointing at a big black spot on the map, but it's not all that bad - Really! So far I've only noticed a few really hot days out here. Seems comparable to the coast, in my opinion. I like the weather here. Actually, this morning it was fresh and cold and we've hardly needed to use the aircondtioners... plus, it's been raining regularly.

I woke up feeling sick, but I'm not a sicky-from-work kinda guy. I suffer from guilt-stress I think; probably from all those churchy years. I want to save my sickies for when I'm really sick, because they'll be coming, sure as Simpsons repeats. Anyway, I woke up today and the car wouldn't start, and the bike tyre was flat... it wasn't yesterday. Ahh, yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. I had to use the scooter to get to school, which was sorta cool. But one word of advice... don't try loading up a scooter with a 24 pack of Pepsi-Max. I went to Coles last night and I tried to stand on top of the Pepsi to ride it home. After the second crash it got messy. The blokey miners in this town don't seem to take this sort of crap, by the looks on some faces. I don't care... stupid is as stupid does.

Jasmine and Callum rode home from school alone and got lost on the way. She fell off her bike and came home crying and being a wuss. Sorry Jas, but if you fall off your bike ya gotta get back on again. I got in trouble for sending my wife off to the car electrician on foot and carrying a heavy battery. Life's a bitch but what are ya gonna do eh? Sorry Kess, you should use the scooter next time.

One of Jasmin's first words were 'Wally'. She got it from repeatedly wanting to replay Wallace and Grommit. I wonder if it was an omen? Her father would once become the biggest wally of them all. We shouldn't have dismissed the warning so flippantly.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Zealand: Full of Zeal but hardly new

New Zealand Holiday2005

(Click the pic for the full gallery) This is an old post from July 2005

New Zealand is green, really green, and there are lots of hills and sheep. Each hill seemed meticulously planned and sculptured. I wanted to run up each one - Julie Andrews style -, but that’s just me, I'm told - they don't care for that crap in New Zealand. Sheep are sprinkled on every hill like so much dandruff and there are cows everywhere (Yeah, I hate it when people say ‘like so much…’ too). Even in the middle of Auckland I saw cows. Man, that and the Warehouse (post Silly Solly) bargain stores! The people have the strangest accent in the world and they don’t seem to realize it. When quickly is pronounce quuckly you know something needs to be adjusted. It’s impossible to even spell the word quuckly. A ‘q’ and two ‘u’s? Can’t be done… it’s just wrong.

New Zealand television seems to be obsessed with cows and Coronation Street. There are only 3 main channels but I seemed to find enough to keep me interested late at night. Big Brother is three weeks behind and is shown weekdays at 12..? Gee, why bother… why Big Bother… perhaps these Kiwis are smarter then they seem. New Zealand comedy is actually pretty funny and I’m not sure why it is that I’m surprised by that. They are a sarcastic lot and as far as life is concerned, they seem to get the joke. I like that about them because not many nations are onto that. Take South Africa for example. They are sort of like a bizarro New Zealand, they have a funny accent but are totally not in on the joke (do you know what I mean? is it just me? Why are South Africans so pompous?)

The coastline around Auckland is just beautiful and rugged and every bay comes free with at least one island. One particular Island – Goat Island off Leigh - was so dreamlike to me that I had to come back with snorkeling gear so that I could swim out to it and touch it. Looking is not enough sometimes. If I wanted to look I would have hired the video. I am the biggest wimp when it comes to cold water but I just didn’t care. It was freezing, but after a while I became so numb that it didn’t matter. I got to the island and explored some caves. Cool. Definitely a highlight… especially the extraordinarily friendly fish that followed me around and the waterfall that fell into the crystal clear turquoise waters there. The friendliness of the fish was only just surpassed by that of the people (syrupy, but true).

Even after admonishing them for continuing to speak the way they do they still fed me and asked me if there was anything they could do about the weather. It’s either raining or it’s briefly pausing between showers. It’s an amazing place. It really is. The weather is cold so God provides hot springs and sulphuric steaming mudpools. The public toilets are ten years ahead of the rest of the world with swooshing automatic doors, push button toilet paper, light sensitive soap/water/air dispensers and many of the stainless steel walls had drilled holes in them so that you could see into the cubicle next to you. Ummm… actually that was a bit strange but I didn’t question their customs.

Apparently there are no cockroaches in New Zealand. I saw one though out in the backyard and told my hosts about it. They didn't believe me... as they were vebalising their disbelief, the very same looking cockroach crawled along their couch. Did I bring them over?

The house I stayed in had it’s share of ghost stories and we were not disappointed. One night as we went to sleep, we heard someone walk passed the room and use the toilet and we gave it no thought. Why would we? The next morning we found out that no one went to the toilet. Our hosts who slept in the room at the end of the hall have their own ensuite and don’t use the one adjacent to our room. This made for some interesting questions concerning the afterlife and the loo.When I look back on my holiday in New Zealand I remember the impossible greenness of it all, I remember the naturally heated thermal stream I soaked in, hidden and away from the tourist traps, and I remember being held up in customs for trying to bring home two air propelled plastic bb guns. Damn, I miss those guns.

Movie Moments

Hundreds of movies are made per year (not counting porn or Bollywood) and I have hardly the time to keep up with the new ones seeing as my money and time are limited... plus there's too much quality of tv (do not debate me on this!). I wonder why I even spend so much time trying to burn and collect old movies. I haven't got time to watch them again! But there are puh-lenty of great movie moments that I'ld like to revisit. Perhaps I should do a collection of movie moments - sort of like a music collection.

You know how you put all the best mp3s on one CD. Most albums only have about 3 or 4 decent songs on them and many movies only have a few decent scenes. This would be my compilations of movie moments (and yes, I know that the lead up and build up is important but let's just focus on the moments for the moment.

Excluding horror movies... 'cause that's a whole other post:

  • The final Crane kick in the Karate Kid
  • The scene where the Captain joins in with his kids in a verse of Eidlevies (sound of Music)
  • When William Wallace dies while yelling FREEDOM
  • When the boy is reunited with his mother (Life is Beautiful)
  • Indiana Jones simply shoots the sword wielding bad guy
  • Obi Wan screams, "You were meant to be the chosen one"
  • Robocop blows away the bad guy and is asked his name - "Murphy"
  • Bill Murray trying to kill himself in Groundhog Day
  • The T-rex attacks the tour car in Jurassic Park
  • Ramis and Murray's banter in the recruiting office - Stripes
  • "I'm innocent!" "I don't care!" - The Fugitive
  • Street fight - Superman 2
  • Evil Dead 3 - Ash suits up and roars the chainsaw
  • Clock tower - Spiderman 2
  • Axel at strip show - Beverly Hills Cop
  • Forklift suit verses Alien queen - Aliens
  • Any scene in Sin City
  • The sword duel in The Princess Bride
  • The town meeting in Footloose
Very tempting to list mostly the final moments of a movie... those moments that lift your heart before the credits roll.

eg. When the essay is read out in The Breakfast Club or Dundee walks over the crowd's heads to get his girl...

The Breakfast Club - One of my favorite scenes is when John Bender is lecturing the rest on how belonging to a school club is rediculous and Brian timidly announces that he's in the physics club. When Bender asks him what it is that they do in the physics club, Brian replies "We study physics...and properties of physics."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Underwater, no one hears you think

Swimming is boring.

I'm progressively getting better in the pool and I'm currently doing over half a kilometre without stopping. I wish there were waterproof mp3 players available for lap swimmers; there probably are. You're locked into looking at a black line at the bottom of the pool and thinking over your own thoughts. I've thought all of my thoughts before, so it can be pretty boring going through them again.

I'm often thinking about what to blog and I get heaps of ideas. By the time I get to the PC I realise that the ideas were pretty crap and that my readers and future self will bore themselves to tears reading them. This is dedicated to all the blogs I could have written but thankfully didn't.

Thoughts I have while swimming laps in the pool:
  • I wonder if people think my webbed swimming gloves are weird?
  • I miss talking to people who actually know me.
  • I think Daredevil: The director's cut was vastly superior and probably my favourite superhero movie.
  • I'm so glad teachers have some respect for Croc shoes out here.
  • Pepsi Max tastes so much better than Diet Coke. I don't understand how anyone could think otherwise. Zero Coke sucks also. The new Smirnoff and Coke = fantastic.
  • Reading Christians vs Religion websites is like reading geeks argue over which spaceship is faster - The Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise? I'm sure the Millenium Falcon was vastly superior to the 999 Falcon.
  • Swimming laps would be much easier on the neck if I used a snorkel. Is it okay to use a snorkel? Are there some things you simply shouldn't do?
  • I'm getting broadband next week. The first thing I'm gonna do is download all the episodes of 'The Extra'. That's the first thing I'll admit to downloading anyway.
  • I should blog more but if no one comments soon I'm gonna feel very unloved!! Nah, that sounds a bit needy. Who needs comments... comments are for attention seekers. I'm a tough loner.
  • It's been seven weeks since I've seen the edge of this country.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

From Maroochydore to Moranbah

I was born, bred and buttered on the Sunshine Coast all my life - 35 years - and it was time to leave. I knew that becoming a teacher would someday mean I would have to leave town but I suppressed the inevitables and bit the bullet. I hoped I'd get lucky and end up in a small well equipped town with cheap teaching accommodation. It turns out, I eventually did get lucky on that front.

Leaving the coast felt like being expelled from Eden, and six hours into the twelve hour drive I choked on the idea that I'd been cast out into the Australian outback because of poor life planning or inadequacy. I expected to see cherubims with flaming swords behind me. I've played my cards and I've made mistakes, but here is where we are and it's much better than I expected.

As we drove closer to Moranbah we drove under the darkest skies I'd ever seen. If I was superstitious it would have felt ominous, except that rain clouds in this area are a hopeful sight. It rained for about four days non stop because of a cyclone off the coast. The heaviest longest rain I have seen in a long time and very unusual for the area. The town is usually dry and brown but for the time being everything is as green as New Zealand on St. Patricks day.

The first thing you notice when you enter Moranbah is the wide streets and lack of traffic lights. Not a traffic light in sight and no roundabouts either. I'm sure this is a land my father dares to daydream about. I've never seen anyone despise the ruby hued illuminations as intensely as he does.

On exploration of the town, there's something else that struck me as unusual... something not quite right... Unchained bikes at public bike racks! Nobody locks their bikes up! At the schools, the public pools, the town centre - it's open slather for would be cyclist cleptomaniacs. Bring a truck up here and pillage should you be that way inclined, they're ripe for the picking.

It's a great town. The library is modern, cool, and very well stocked. The Video Ezy caters for all the spendthrift mining men and has a selection of DVDs I've never even seen equalled in major cities. The public swimming pool is very inexpensive to join and has a large 25m heated pool along with a kiddies pool and a 50m sparklying blue respite from the sun. I swim nearly every day and am more wet more often than I was on the Sunshine Coast.

There's 'more-in-bah' with a Red Rooster, a KFC, a Dominos, a nice cinema with recent releases, a decently sized Coles and an indecently sized Target. The town square is being refurbished and should look great in a few weeks. Everything is an easy bike ride from home and no one drives fast. If I was a sportsmen I'd be a happy man, but I'm not so I don't care... alienating as that might be for me, it's nice to know I've options should I become a team player.

I miss my friends, I miss my party pals and I miss my bud - heaps. 1200 kms doesn't feel too far anymore and the net 2.0 keeps us together on some new age level. Friends are rare and they're hard to make and they're hard to keep, especially when you're an alien in a strangish land.

In short, it is a great town and we've settled in; the people seem nice and my internet connection works fine. Broadbanding it before too long and will blog about the house and school soon.