Saturday, July 20, 2013

Song of the Week #FF

It's raining, it's cold and it's grey this morning in Canberra - that's fairly unusual. It's also a bit of a shock as we have spent the last week in tropical Cairns where it was warm and sunny.

For those reading from outside Australia, Cairns is in Far North Queensland beside the Great Barrier Reef. Now this isn't going to be a travelogue but let me just make a few observations:
  • The Great Barrier Reef involves boats. If you get seasick then consider the quickest way to an island rather than a day on a boat and floating pontoon. It doesn't matter what anyone tells you, people are going to vomit. The Reef is spectacular, beautiful and amazing but if you're spending 7 hrs on the water feeling queasy it detracts from the experience. Happily, Alison, Zoë and Angus were all OK on the pontoon and had a ball. We stopped in very rough seas to look at a whale on the way home - pretty neat to see it flip its tail (from quite a distance).
  • There are tons of great places to eat in Cairns. Filipino was my favourite - a real treat.
  • Crocodiles are very, very scary. Get close to one.
  • Too many gorgeous young people smoke. Filthy.
  • Far North Queensland is always abbreviated to "FNQ". Sounds like someone's swearing to me!
  • Cairns is a great holiday for adults and / or kids - there's plenty for everyone to do.
  • A week away from Facebook and Twitter is almost as good as a cleansing diet - ha ha!
Whilst up north we took a train ride to Kuranda. It's a train track that opened in 1891 that travels through dense rainforest. We don't have trains in Canberra so it was pretty cool to be on one. What made me prick up my ears was the music playing quietly in the background; someone had put together an inspired playlist of songs all about trains and travel. You could only hear them when the train stopped to look at the surrounds but it was cool nonetheless.

Rod Stewart - Downtown Train -

The Pogues - Navigator -

I would've played Bob Dylan's song, "Slow Train Coming", but I guess Mr. Zimmerman and his record company are scouring YouTube removing all evidence of his body of work.

Big news in our house this morning is that Zoë passed her final driving assessment even after getting home from holidays at 2:30am (thank you very much Virgin airlines for nothing). She can actually go and get her license in a few days when she turns 17. Time flies.

Weddings, Parties, Anything - Wide Open Road -

Here's one that DJ KelC introduce me to...

Broken Social Scene - Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl -

You may have noticed that this is episode number FF. FF is 255 expressed as a hexadecimal number. I'm very much far removed from being any good with numbers and I remember the pain of any number of teachers at school trying to teach me how binary numbers worked - I never got it. Fast forward to 1994 and my Army computer training at the School of Signals. They took a group of individuals, some of who'd left school at 15, and taught us that kind of stuff in about 5 minutes. I always tell my students that if we could do it then so can they. Anyway, binary and hexadecimal numbers are important for any number of reasons but for me they just seem elegant and pretty damned nifty. Remember there are 10 types of people who understand the binary system; those that do and those that don't. If you need a quick lesson then pop over and see me sometime - you'll be amazed how easy it is.

Lene Lovich - Lucky Number -

In downtown Cairns yesterday there was a busker playing his way through the entire Back In Black album from AC/DC. For one guy with a guitar he was doing a pretty good job. Often the problem with such a popular and probably overplayed LP is that I rarely play it. No doubt it's a while since I got the vinyl out and played it from start to finish. I'll find time to do that this weekend!

AC/DC - Shake A Leg -

I've been reading a very strange book. It was recommended to me a while ago and it has taken me a while to manage to get into it. "White Noise" is by American author Don DeLillo and was published in 1985. On purpose I have avoided any reviews or commentary about it. I'm really struggling to be able to describe what it's all about but it's definitely worth a read. In my opinion it's a bit like a commentary on our modern world told in much the same way that Arlo Guthrie told us about Vietnam in "Alice's Restaurant". "White Noise" is almost like listening in to three or four family conversations at once and having to pick out the important bits. I'll probably read a review now and find that I've got it all wrong. I suppose that's why I am not an English teacher! With all that's going on in America, especially in Detroit, it's not a bad time to read this. Thanks Helen!

Living Colour - Which Way To America? -

Zoë made a remark the other day that I'm going to direct to our major political parties who are continuing to turn refugees into political footballs. "Take your head out of your arse, it's not a hat". That says it all to me. As an immigrant I'm left wondering about what it means to live in our "lucky country".

The Pogues - Thousands Are Sailing -

Steve Earle - City of Immigrants -

Redgum - Killing Floor (If You Don't Fight You Lose) -

DJ Rob

--   Rob  Not sent from my iPhone  Blog:  Twitter: @robwoozle

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