This episode is coming to you from the Gold Coast. I'm here for work. For my overseas audience, the Gold Coast is on the east coast of Australia in Queensland. It's a famous tourist attraction. You could spend time in worse places even if most of the day is in a conference room.
I flew in on Wednesday. There's nothing quite like sleeping the whole way on the plane to avoid the annoying person sitting next to you. Headphones, not even plugged in, are also a fantastic deterrent if you can't handle a conversation with someone you've never met!
There's a line in a Redgum song about flying to the Gold Coast where John Schumann talks about touching down in Coolangatta with a Walkman pinned to his side playing Midnight Oil surf hits. I saw surfers when I was out running this afternoon. Scary waves surrounded by rocks. I'll stick to triathlon.
When I got to the hotel I noticed that there was a lap pool available. With time to myself the afternoon prior to the conference I was pleased to be able to get a few laps in. No-one told me that the pool wasn't heated - or not heated very well. I swam a race in Victoria a few years ago where the water temperature was about 13 degrees. This pool wasn't much warmer. After 1500m I had to get out. I couldn't see straight and my brain was going fuzzy. A hot bath never felt so good!
I'm here at a conference about Employment Law. And so far it has been pretty good. I won't bore you all with a thousand details but I did find the session on social media and employees pretty interesting. Just remember, whatever you put on Facebook (and the like) is in the public domain - so don't go slagging off your employer or workmates. The conference ties in well with my work (well duh!) but also with the university study I've just started. I'll report back later about the trials and tribulations of doing this online.
During the week I posted a couple of tunes on my blog. I've been telling anyone who will listen about the very cool band Vintage Trouble. I found a video of them doing a cover of this next tune from Tina Turner. It was so cool that I tracked down Tina's album from 1975 (Acid Queen). Interesting. The whole first side (remember it was an LP) is dreadful. But the B side is fabulously funky. Here's a tune that oozes groove, disco and fun. What a shame that Ike turned out to be such a loser.
There's Pay TV (cable for you US folks) in the hotel. Something that we don't have at home. Mostly there is nothing worth watching except the music channel. Here are two very different songs that I took note of. The first one is an old favourite and the second I know nothing at all about except that the lyrics are just fab.
The big political news in Australia is the Carbon Tax. Personally I agree with the concept but that's not what I want to talk about. The government has decided that we'll have it - fair enough, get on with it. But now we have a $12 million advertising campaign from them and then a whole lot of anti campaigning from a range of people. What a waste of money. I learned a really good lesson from a former colleague (hi Alex!) and that was to fight the battles you can win. The Carbon Tax will happen. So, happy or not, why not put all that money into something more useful.
Le Tour de France rolls on and just gets more and more exciting. This year I've had quite a number of friends on the ground there to get reports from as well. Yes, I'm dead jealous. The closest I think I'll be getting to France is teasing Zoe about baguettes when she is speaking French with Angus. Whatever happens we'll be yelling for Cadel and hoping that a clean rider wins. Remember what Mr Garrison says, "drugs are bad okay!"
The last song this week comes from a band we've heard from before. I like them and this song resonated for a few reasons this week. Del Amitri, from Scotland, have songs that sound simple at first but with a couple of listens there is suddenly so much going on in the mix.
Next week I'll be back at work and back in cold Canberra. And Alison will be in Hong Kong. I wonder if she'll buy me a present?