Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toyota Caramba!

We all know NZ has different names for car models - notably Subaru (Sue-BAA-roo) Legacy for what we call Liberty...
But I'm always amazed and delighted by the myriad and marvelous 'grey import' names on the CHCH streets- here's a list from a couple of days casual note taking - in the order seen:

Toyota Platz
Mazda Windom
Mitsubishi Legnum
Toyota Caldina (I since my first one here in Sydney)
Mazda Atenza
Toyota (&, later, Subaru) Carib
Miitsubishi Cedia
Toyota Spacio
Toyota Altezza
Mitsubishi Emeraude
Toyota Granvia
Toyota Curren
Nissan Cefiro
Toyota Trueno
Nissan Mistral
??? Sylphy
Toyota Estima
Toyota Logo
Toyota Corsa
Toyota Orthia
Toyota Ipsum (Hi Jeff!)
Nissan Wingroad
Nissan Presea
Toyota Emina
Toyota Lumiere
Toyota Efini
Nissan Avenir
Toyota Cynos
Toyota Elucio
Toyota Qualis
Nissan Excimo
Toyota Marino

Well, it amused me anyway...
I know, I know - I go to NZ for a world-class bike trail ride and the first thing I blog about is silly car names - what can I say? I'm superficial...

Friday, November 13, 2009

My point of view on pedestrians

Bonanzacam is back! This time with the dirt - I don't have to say much 'cos the camera does most of the talking.
Still a little shakey as I'm holding camera with one hand while steering with the other. (Also why I wasn't going terribly fast)
Points to note. In case you can't see at this size - ALL the traffic lights I'm going through are bright green!
Does that stop our wandering flocks of foot-travellers? Nuh uh!
Pedestrians - their own worst enemy.

Vicarious Gnarlyness

Experiencing things for yourself is often the 'only way' but sometimes...
Well, sometimes I'm glad there are dedicated nutters out there who perform feats at outrageous risk to life and limb and then record their experience from their point of view.
It could be those hardy souls who dive under Arctic ice, paraglide cm from cliffs or these two mountain biker brothers, Dan and Gee Atherton, who go for a breath-taking plunge through back alleys of the Dona Marta slum in Brazil.
I get the self-same view they did from the warmth, comfort and safety of my computer/lounge chair.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I did it tough

Every day as part of my job I read and relate the biographies of our, and other, seminar speakers. Almost without exception, they are "I had to pull myself up by the bootstraps" stories - and they ALL believe this is what makes them so different.
Here's a quick selection - starting with the King - Anthony Robbins... (the longer the story, the better - ie: the more outrageous)

Anthony Robbins was born in a leap year, February 29, 1960 and raised in a low-income suburb of Los Angeles before being kicked out of his house at the age of seventeen for being "too intense." Distracted by his early success Tony soon lost his direction in life. Struggling to pay his bills, overweight and alone, he decided it was time for action, and made a personal commitment to change his life forever. (Yadda yadda - we know how that goes...)

Jamie McIntyre – 21st Century Academy:

“Here I went from sleeping on a mate’s couch, $150,000 in personal debt, no job, no income, no assets, not even $20 left in my wallet, virtually bankrupt, to becoming a self-made millionaire in a little under four years, and creating an extraordinary quality of life for myself and others.”

Dymphna Boholt – Author of Confessions of a Real Estate Millionaire
In 1994, Dymphna found herself 'starting over' after a divorce left her with very little money, pregnant and a toddler to support on her own. Keen to move away from the constraints of being a solo mum who was working full time, she decided to try her hand at real estate investment.

Stephen Pierce – Unleash Your Marketing Genius etc: (a doozy)

“Not too long ago, I was probably far worse than you are right now. It seemed as though I was voted by life to be the one least likely to succeed... at anything! Running the mean streets of Washington, D.C., I quickly exhausted the patience of every major institution that tried to help get me on the right track.

"Heck, even the high school I attended felt I was a lost cause, and decided it was in the best interest of the other students and staff if I just disappeared during my tenth grade year.

"You would naturally think that a few swift kicks up the side of the head like that would have gotten my attention... But it wasn't until I eventually got shot in the leg, declared bankruptcy several times, and finally went homeless that I decided – enough was enough.

"I still carry the bullet in my leg to show for it. (The hospital turned me away because I had no health insurance!)

"That was yesterday.

"Today, because of that decision... My family and I run a huge number of highly successful offline and online businesses that generate millions of dollars each and every year ... and that's not even mentioning the countless numbers of people we've taught how to emulate our success at our sold-out workshops across the USA and around the world.”

Matt Morris - The Unemployed Millionaire

At just eighteen years old, Matt Morris entered into his first entrepreneurial venture. At twenty, he dropped out of college to pursue business full-time. At twenty-one, he was homeless, $30,000 in debt, living out of his beat up Honda Civic and bathing in gas station bathrooms. It was then that he made a life-changing decision to re-invent himself and his career. (Yawn)

Bill Bartmann is the ultimate underdog/survivor/achiever, overcoming personal circumstances and tragedy to rise to the top enterprise in America. Homeless at age 14, a member of a street gang and a high-school dropout - Bill took control of his life by taking the GED exam and putting himself through college and law school.

Carly Crutchfield started life a little differently and the result is most definitely not the norm. After leaving school at the age of 12 she got straight into the workforce, after many jobs (cleaner, waitress and receptionist amongst them) she started to get an itch that there must be more to living than the 9-5 routine. She found a book at her father’s house, read it cover to cover and was introduced to the world of property.

Dr John Tickell

As a student, John Tickell worked hard to pay his own way through Medical School, driving delivery trucks and diving for golf balls in the river by the local public course and playing guitar and singing in Clubs.

Jay Kubassek - “CEO – CarbonCopyPro”:

"I was broke, burned out, frustrated, and at the end of my rope. Do you know what a "dog run" is? That's what my life was.

"I was on a leash that let me leave the house at 7 every morning, go as far as work, and return home tired and exhausted. A life of "getting by". Making just enough to pay my bills to meet the basic needs of existence.

"I was working 50-60 hours a week and was close to burnout. My weekends were spent dreading Monday... And I was doing this all for a meager $50- $70k a year! That works out to around $21 bucks an hour." (Boo hoo)

(But I've saved my favourite for last...)

Joseph McClendon III – one of several claiming to be "Tony Robbins’ Head Trainer":

Just before his 19th birthday, Joseph McClendon III was homeless and hungry, possessing nothing but the clothes on his back and just enough gas money to ride his 1937 Harley Davidson motorcycle to see his mother in Ridgecrest, California.

“I was close to suicidal on the way home from visiting her,” recalls Joseph. “She asked me if I was doing okay, and I lied to her. The only thing that kept me from running head on into somebody with my motorcycle was the fact I thought that I would hurt them, but I considered it.”

Thinking that things couldn’t get any worse, a retread from a truck in front of him blew out and flew into him, forcing Joseph to take a tumble into the desert. Scarred and in pain, he pushed his bike the remaining 10 miles back to his cardboard shack in Lancaster. Like a protagonist in a hard-luck movie moment, he was soon soaked in pouring rain.

Yelling and screaming to no one in particular, Joseph swore that everything was going to be different. The one true defining moment of his life occurred the next morning on his 19th birthday. He pushed the bike to a local garage and begged the mechanic to fix it in return for cleaning the shop. The mechanic said no, but Joseph was persistent.

Finally, the mechanic agreed to fix the bike, gave Joseph some clothes, and made what would be an unusual request even in that situation. The mechanic would not start working on the bike until Joseph read a book, that day, cover to cover. It was Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’.

So... inspired?

Almost makes you want to chuck it all in and live life on the skids for a while so you have a chance of making it in this world...

UPDATE: [They just keep coming...]

Andy Harrington - "One of the leading authorities in the UK on the psychology of success"

"At Age 27 I Was Flat Broke, Lonely, And Heavily Addicted To Class 'A' DrugsI had no compelling future and my life was slowly going nowhere.But one day I had a MASSIVE wake-up call. I took a look at the no-hopers I'd been hanging out with and realised the horrifying truth...I had become one of them!"In that moment, something shifted inside of me. I got angry and furious that I'd sank to such a low. I vowed to immediately do something about it."The first thing I did was cut ALL contact with this peer group. I knew deep down I needed to get around successful people so I could find out what they were doing differently, and then do the same.It became a new addiction to replace the old disempowering one!I read every self-development book I could get his hands on to feed my mind with positivity. But funnily enough, it was just one simple statement that changed my life... 'If you want to be rich, copy a rich bloke' "

Tom Hua - "Internet Marketing Pioneer"

Tom immigrated to Australia with only $300 Australia dollars. After sleeping on newspapers in a tiny apartment for months, he stumbled across Internet marketing and quickly grasped its secrets to become one of the first self-made Internet millionaires.

John Lee - Wealth Dragons

John has not always had life easy. He came from very humble beginnings where he used to wash dishes 10 hours a day in his parents' Chinese takeaway in Manchester. It was only when he sold his car to fund his property education where his life took a turn.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bridge to Nowhere 3

To be fair - this is going nowhere at the moment because of all the work being done in the Centrepoint building. Still - it's a dirty big bridge, smack-dab in the middle of Sydney's primo shopping mall. 
(And isn't the whole chaotic will-they-ever-fill-in-that-bloody-great-hole & stop-with-the-jackhammers-already Pitt mall experience at the moment, just - well - the pits?)

Show us your girly bits

Who isn't an admirer of the female form, eh? (I'm not talking about the commercial side of catering to obsessive admiration - the primary drive, it seems, behind every new medium we invent.) 
No, I refer to bona fide 'artistic' appreciation. What always struck me, though, about that expression in sculptureland - probably as long as there has been sculpture, too, I imagine - is the rampant reductionism of 'femininity'. 
The fallback for female nude sculpture is so often to limit the anatomy depicted to the area between the neck down to the mid-thigh. 
And numerous works on display now around the full circuit of the foyer in the Australia Square building conform to this approach. (Exhibited by the Sculptors Society)
They are nice bits of women and all, but it just seems a bit of a samey shorthand cop-out after a while. 
See what I mean...?

This last one, rather cheekily, is titled "Playthings".
Incidentally - you should see what what they're asking for these things - THOUSANDS of dollars!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bonanzacam on Ice!

At Canterbury Ice Rink on Saturday with B1 - fun!

Bonanzacam Beta

A test run of handlebar-mounted Bonanzacam - as you can see - a few stability issues to iron out before turning the lens on THE ISSUES

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hall of the Mountain King

The day we moved into the new offices - 14 floors above the Hungry Mile - spectacular sunsets!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm going to miss Chinatown - Continued

I'm sure I'll find new diversions and favourite food haunts but these are some the spots that I'm sure are unique to this neighbourhood:

The best dang Vietnamese rolls around...

The centre of the Chinatown food universe...

The Gateway to Paddys...

Emperor's Puffs, gooey bliss - 4 for a dollar...

And Comic Kingdom - way too much time wasted here...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm going to miss Chinatown

On show in the window of Mamak Malaysian Roti & Satay - This guy (and another next to him) does this all day, every day. They're consummate artists - performing with the same unconscious grace you have when tying a shoelace.

I think he got a bit camera shy, though, and tore a wee hole in this one. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wes Anderson Festival promo

Unfortunately not one we can make it to

Wes Anderson Trailer from Alex Cornell on Vimeo.

It's always Fairweather

Chuffed over to the AGNSW this lunch break - beautiful day - the sun catching the Archibald fountain and the Gymea lilies as I skirted Hyde Park.
Didn't have an agenda but the wall of Ian Fairweather works caught my eye in a way that they  hadn't before. 
I guess, like provenance in an antique, a back story affects your appreciation.
Leonie had recorded an ABC doco about this Scot born painter who I'd never heard of previously. Turns out he was a true painting obsessive. And eccentric plus. 
So, I stopped and really took them in - and was rewarded. Get a small taste here but go and see them for yourself. And if you can learn a little about him before you go - so much the better.
Also worth a unrushed look is the "Printmaking in the age of Romanticism" - many super-natural visions of master printmakers working with the likes of Turner. 

Paying the Ultimate Price in Ultimo

Cycle paths are great. Even those shared with pedestrians - in over 40 years of darting 'round 'em I haven't hit one yet. (That doesn't stop a lot of them recoiling like they think today's the day)
But there's one moment when cycle paths turn into something bad - when they join cars.

Every other day I see hotshots (usually easily recognisable - not just by the skinny-tyred street machines or clinging colours but also by their dinky backpacks) zooming down off the Anzac Bridge on the circular flyover that goes down into Ultimo. 

Speed is all so they shoot straight onto the road with nary a glance in the direction of where a car has a very real chance of appearing. 

Every other day I also see cars come swiftly up the same stretch of Quarry Master Drive. 

Sooner or later grim coincidence must occur. I know from my own personal and painful experience that it can.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vertically Challenged - Hard to Top

That structure looming in the background of 'Bridge to Nowhere 2' is the MLC Centre - man, has that got a view from the top!

I always have a small back pack, so I easily pulled off the old "Hi, I'm a tourist over from NZ" routine (laying the accent on thuck...)

Went up to the Bank of America on the 64th floor, figured Yanks'd be soft for the story - true, as it happened - that I was last up there 30 years ago with an American backpacker (OK  - he was Canadian, close enough) - and would love to see how the view has changed...

Sure! "Shir!" Would you like to go into our boardroom to take some pictures? Indeed I would... wow! Pity the light was a bit flat but, never-the-less - Like I say - hard to top...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bridge to Nowhere 2

This is just getting silly - hovering over Castlereigh St is another bridge that goes... nowhere!

Actually you can get in at one end (through the Sheraton) but the other end is the dead kind - I'm seeing party venue (why are the lights on?)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Operation Tikka

I was given a recipe for Chicken Tikka but Leichhardt, it turned out, was not the place to find requisite ingredients like Tikka masala...
So - heard about an outlet in Surry Hills - Googlemapped it & set off
It's on Crown St down almost to Cleveland St
Crown is so full of funky shops and cafes I almost wished I was walking -

(I did stop to poke my nose in here - a groovy boutique on a corner with a red Vespa and sign pointing to Brett Whiteley's studio - cool)

- but I'd need hours to do Crown St justice and, besides, I was on a mission

Moments later I was at the destination - "Shalimar Movies and Spices" - one step inside and my nose told me this was the place...

You don't see this much on the Anzac Bridge


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vertically Challenged

I admit it - I can't just walk 'round the city without seeing what I can do that's - I dunno - more than just walkin' 'round the city...
One, probably childish, thing I do is look at a building and wonder how high up it I can go and what the view would be like... it's my 'vertical challenge'

(without resorting to this guy's method)
These days, there's loads of tiresome foyer security and other nonsense so it's not all plain sailing (not like the time a friend & I went to the top floor of Australia Square and played frisbee - THAT was a long time ago...)
Generally the rules are pretty much the same as getting into a nightclub - look as though you belong there and you're in!
I usually eyeball the directory for tenants on the top couple of floors and head up - if quizzed on arrival just say "I'm looking for blah blah" - for an interview is a good excuse...
8 times out of 10, though, you're not challenged
7 of those 8 times, however, you face a featureless hall with no view - waste 

Not this time - straight up to 21st floor of HSBC - (A 'college'... they expect strangers) 

Walk right in (pick up a brochure and look engrossed) walk over to window - bada bing! Hey, I can see my house from here!

This establishment even had a help-yourself cafe - free coffee and bikkies - and look at the view from their tables!
Well, I told you it was childish but what did you do at lunch today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's going on here?

Walking along a familiar route up Pitt St when I realised that this totally funky Deco building was... A] Boarded up &
B] Lit up

What's going on?

"The Metropolitan Water, Sewerage & Drainage Board" - right in the middle of town - obviously a big deal once (and, look - flowers)

It's a beaut, classic design... with its terra cotta cladding - and check out those reliefs (above the big doors)

The sign on the heavy iron doors said 'Can't get in here? Go to to Bathurst St entry"

However - at Bathurst St the entry was - and clearly had been for some time - unmanned

As was 'Customer Service'

So, let's Google...

Media release: "22 May 2009 Sydney Water now at home in Parramatta"


"1,400 staff had relocated to the Parramatta office from Sydney Water's former head office in Bathurst Street, Sydney"


"Sydney Water's Bathurst Street site sold for $140 million. The Parramatta site cost around $15 million in 2003. Brookfield Multiplex owns the new building, and Sydney Water rents office space. A 2005 study estimated it would cost $58 million to renovate the Bathurst Street building, which was built in the 1960's."

Well, well - but who's in there now?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Breathtaking Bridge

Why breathtaking? Well, for a start it was a bloody strong headwind this morning - on top of a long uphill... (still faster than the traffic, though)

But frankly it's made worthwhile when I see this kind of view every morning
The sun blinking on t'harbour, the hazy outline of the coathanger & all that
Actually I don't usually notice all these bars - they're generally a barely visible blur as I whiz by
This point is about exactly halfway to work btw

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Passport to Paddington

It's a relatively handy bike trip to Paddo from Chinatown (admittedly uphill all the way)

My main reason this time was to snap this graffiti - but I missed its previous glory (it was a lot less sinister) - it had evolved... but I guess that's the nature of temporary street art

For the Syd Barrett trainspotters: the piece was seen here ("Arnold Layne, had a strange hobby...")

And on same building 'round the corner, this work - v. competent (it's a cool vinyl record shop for DJ's)

Then up on to Crown St to pick up some Maltese pastizzi for lunch (20 yummy fillings to choose)

Then slogged up hill to Australian Centre of Photography - which was closed 'cos it was Monday
Oh well, this renovation job next door was interesting  

Before heading back, strolled past recently opened Paddington Reserve (site of old reservoir) Town Hall in bkgd for reference

It's actually a fascinating site - looks positively archaeological, check out these pillars etc
From there it was very fast, all downhill trip on the Oxford St express back to work! 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

QVB Rendezvous

All you regular readers of the trouserbonanza twitter will know that I wonder how most people get anywhere at the pace they walk 'round the CBD
This is my regular walking speed (with the soundtrack that's usually playing in head) and I never feel like I have much time to languish at my destination.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lunch at the Chair

This is what it's all about - 10 (Well, less than 15 after buying sushi) minutes from the office (by bike) and I'm sitting here taking it in
(I already put this on twitvid but, you know, they're complaining about 'meltdown' or something from all the views it's getting - and besides it's more 'Bike Bloggy')

After chilling at the Chair for a spell I footled to AGNSW to see their new Cezanne acquisition - 'Bords de la Marne'
'Genius' apparently so I gave it some time - and, you know, the more I looked the more I saw - cool...

Then before leaving I also snuck a peak at the way-too-small Sydney Long 'focus' exhibition - at least his lovely 'Pan' pic was featured, nice and low - first time I've really noticed the reeds in the foreground - nobody does sinuous plant growth like Sydney

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dental as anything

Passed the same neighbourhood as yesterday and was reminded of this stylish medical facility in view of those 'funky apartments'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Gander at Gaffa

Lunchtime jaunts lately have been a pied - will be back on bike soon
Today strolled to Gaffa, one of Sydney's network of artist-run galleries
It's pretty much right where you pop out of the end of the Central Station pedestrian tunnel here:

And, as you can see, right next door to Ding Dong Dang {"oh, THERE..."} - Gaffa is in the middle floor - upstairs is for lease btw

Currently showing is "Transgression a new series of works in glass by Sydney based artist Kate Baker."
Like this? That'll be $3200, thanks

And check out this FUNKY apartment block just around the corner - deliciously seedy (& you'll notice the dealer is 'in')

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Evolution of BottleMart Man

Companies just can't leave 'em alone - the 'personalities' that are the champions of their brand. Think Coco the Monkey - he was once a little devil-may-care primate with a certain Caribbean style sense who enjoyed a bowl of crunchy chocolate milkshake... and then someone decided he had to move with the times and be hip - and so he started a series of transmogrifications that attempted to present him as being 'cool' to each new fleeting phase of kids culture - and any vestige of his original personality faded away...

Anyway here's another case of blandifying seen on our streets - The BottleMart Man

I think this is the first incarnation - he's a bottle/man - crude but fair enough

This, I think, is where is someone gave him some zing - he's elevated beyond a 'living bottle', he's got character now - a rare development for the better in my view - he's got his 'at your service' bow tie and some gusto - I like him

Ah but then it's almost as if someone else said 'Oh no. he's got too MUCH character now - make him more MIXFM'  and behold - a regular schmo in an open shirt - yawn

In the grand scheme of things it's not a great loss to society per se - but he represents a trend that saddens me a little every time I witness it

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I chicken out

Yeah - I'll have the 70 and my friend'll have the 71, thanks... (Click to enlarge)

(Actually I had the chicken)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bridge to Nowhere

Have a guess where this bridge in the centre of town goes? That's right - Nowhere!
There's no way in at either end - there are just walls (I've looked (I was curious))
It's just an empty tube floating above downtown Pitt St watching the world go by below
Make a cool apartment...

bonanza bike wharf excursion

A typical trouserbonanza lunch break...

The [t]rusty steed - seen here leaning against the Splendid Sandwich bar near the Observatory - where I procured a scrummy toasted ham n' avo focaccia 

Then past the boarded-up [?] Palisade pub

...down this funky path

giggle at squashed car

...and had lunch here before a quick squiz at the MCA