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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Testing transparency

I'm hoping blogspot keeps these PNG files transparent:

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Blogging - well I use Facebook!

I see it's been nearly a year since my last post here.  I live on Facebook now, and write reams over there.

Best to pop over and see my profile

Thursday, 23 May 2013

How do I love thee, Tony Abbott?

 Tony Abbott, how do I like thee?

If you were walking down the other side of the street, Tony, and I was on the other, I *WOULD* cross. Walking across the street I would be seeing exactly what I had on me I could throw at you.

If we went to the pictures, Tony, I'd choose to see "Jaws". I'd imagine you as Robert Shaw, sliding down into the mouth of the shark after it had crashed on to the rear deck.

If we had a meal, I'd take you to the greasiest Italian restaurant in Glebe, where a few cockroaches amongst the tortellini shells and lax hygiene standards would ensure you got salmonella poisoning the next day.

And at your funeral, I WOULD go, of course. I wonder how long it would be before I was ejected after interjecting every 30 seconds. I've never seen anyone asked to leave a funeral before. This might be interesting.

Ah, Tony? If only we could have same-sex marriage (although we know that's not going to happen under your watch). Then we could join in holy matrimony and adopt and raise a kid. Who would probably obtain a machine gun at age 12 (under your policies) and shoot us both down in a howling rage of trouble and confusion.

Tony, how I love thee. NOT!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

How to say NO

We all have demands on our time. Frequently these demands are made by our friends who want us to do no end of unpaid work for them.  It's up to you whether you comply or not, and obviously you will need to say "yes" where circumstances dictate.

However, what if you REALLY don't want to comply and say "no"?  It's all right to say "no", but usually very difficult.  Here are some possible techniques you can use to avoid saying "yes".

Do not say "yes" immediately.  It's often a lot easier to say "no" tomorrow, while saying "let me think about it" today.  This way you'll have had a chance to really consider the ramifications of what's involved, and it reduces the impact of an immediate "no".  A lot of women who are proposed to use this technique.  It also makes it a hell of a lot easier to say "no".

Suggest that the requested favour is not within your ability or area of expertise.  "How could I possibly do X? I have never done that sort of thing before".

Suggest that someone else might be far better at what you've been asked to do than you.

Say that the requested activities are "not something you do".

Set a constraint on your being available.  You might suggest that you can only help on a Wednesday afternoon between 1 and 3, it's the only time you've got.  Of course you might know exactly when the least convenient time for the requester is, and suggest then.

Only half say "yes".  The request might involve a few things.  Suggest maybe you can do one of them only.  The requester may then try to get someone who can do the entire task, and if not, you're only committing to part of the task.

Make it clear there are general constraints on what you are able to do.  This might mean if a friend is in need of emotional support, make it clear to them that you're not their mother and can do certain things, but not others.

Be honest with the requester.  You might be able to do the task, but given your limited time, you would not be able to do a good job.  Say as much.

Have a look at what is going on in your life and if the request doesn't fit in, you must not be afraid of saying "no".  One concept is that of saying "no" to the task, but "yes" to the person.  Something along the lines of "I really believe in the cause you are championing ("yes" to the person) but I simply won't be able to do X ("no" to the task).

It's perfectly all right to say "no".  In fact it is often necessary for your own health and well-being.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Peter Keith Nicolas

This one was painful, but needs to go up, too

Peter Keith Nicolas

20 June 1964  to  4 September 2012

“9 triple-0 9 2”.  The Nicolas home phone number.  Everyone knew the number “9 000 92”.  I normally used it to call Pete when I was in High school and in the many years after we left.  The Nicolas family arrived in Budgewoi, just slightly too late for a 909- number.  My own family’s number wasn’t too much before them at 909-623 – we went for years without a phone, in fact.  Anyway, in late 1977 they ran out of 909 numbers and started giving out 900 numbers, and the Nicolases got the 92nd one.

Hands up if you know the number 900092?

Writing this eulogy has been hard.  When I started writing these notes on Sunday, I’d think of an event we shared, write it down on a little square of paper, and then shed many a tear over that incident.  It was a week since he went to hospital – five days after he died - and it was still so difficult to look back.  It’s so sad to think there won’t be any more capers we can get up to together now, or any projects we can share.

I first got to know Peter when he enrolled at Gorokan High, starting in Year 8, 1978.  Pete was the new kid, starting in year 8, rather than year 7 when all the rest of us started at Gorokan.  Yep, Pete spent his first High School year at Bankstown Boys’ High – a bit of a different picture to Budgewoi in 1978, but he soon made up for his missed first year.

We had a lot in common – he was good at his schoolwork (always in the top class, of course).  He was a musician – he learnt the violin and piano accordion in Primary School.  He liked to read and was into technology.  But I wasn’t blessed with Pete’s other talents.  His sporting prowess was impressive and extensive.  He played Rugby League and Hockey for Gorokan High School, plus represented them at athletics, in the 400m, 200m, long jump and triple jump.

I remember one day, waiting after a PE class. We had changed back into our school uniforms and Pete saw Mrs Cynthia Moore, PE Mistress to get a letter introducing him to the local hockey club and to testify as to his hockey prowess.  She said something like “tell them who signed the letter was Cynthia Moore, who represented the state in Women’s hockey for many years, so I know what I’m talking about, etc, etc.”.  Pete went on to become a formidable goalkeeper at local club level for the Northlakes Hockey Club at Norah Head.

One year Pete went to qualify for the long jump and triple jump.  One of his jumps was enormous, but he was not so straight, and landed right on the edge of the sand pit, hitting the hard surface to the side of it with his leg.  Pete went on to compete in other events later that day - I think he ran some races or similar.  It was a few days later when returned to school having seen a doctor who told him he had broken his leg – it had to have been from the from the long jump pit!  It turned out that Pete had completed that day of athletics on a broken leg.

Pete’s music skills were always put to good use.  Early in Pete’s High School career, at one school assembly, Pete played “Zorba the Greek” on his piano accordion in the school hall, much to the amazement of the staff and students alike.  The accordion resonated through the hall and had a grandiose effect.  Apparently he had a few mechanical problems with the instrument, but otherwise everything went well and we were impressed by his talents.  I don’t think he did anything like it again – his public performance skills were transferred to the keyboards instead of the piano accordion.

I remember my early days with Pete when I used to live at Budgewoi, too.  We started a rock band in High School named “Full Stop” – someone said we should have made it “Full Stop and the punctuation marks”.  Pete played keyboards, Clive Proud played rhythm guitar, and Chris Coble played bass.  I can remember carting my drum kit from my house in Budgewoi, through a public laneway and over to Pete’s house.  At Pete’s house there was an organ which was FAR too heavy to carry over to my place, or anyone else’s for that matter.  But carrying a drum kit about a kilometre wasn’t too big a problem.  What this meant was coming over to the Nicolases’ house which was large, had lots of facilities and might even lead to breakfast the next morning.

And Pete’s house had not just Weet-bix and Cornflakes, no.  They had Coco Pops, and Nutri-Grain as well!  You know, Nutri-Grain, the ones that look like cricket bats with holes in them.  I’m sure when Mrs Nicolas did her weekly shopping trip she would have been amazed to learn how much cereal her boys; Paul and Peter seemed to get through in a week.  But breakfasts were provided for quite a large number of people over the years, all at Pete’s place.

At school, Pete was always a leader.  He was six months older than most of us, for a start.  Owing to a mix-up in enrolling, Pete ended up serving eighteen months in kindergarten, so he always seemed to have this extra experience lacking in his mates.  He was often one to go first at things.  And we all looked up to him as a result.

With his Greek Adonis looks, Pete was certainly the subject of a few girls’ crushes at Gorokan High.  Certainly a lot more than one Gorokan High old girl has mentioned this to me; and I’m sure a lot more besides exist who haven’t mentioned this to me as well.

There are plenty of good memories from school I can look back on.  I remember when we reached year 11, Sport wasn’t compulsory any more.  Pete and I used to go up with Mark Williams, to his place in Westbrook Avenue and play Canasta with Val Pickett; Mark’s Mum.  We sometimes used to do this during lunch, and miss the period either side of it to do it (as long as it wasn’t Maths with Mr Britten).  Pete had learnt many card and board games at home from his family.  As you can see, these social skills were put to good use later, cutting lessons and skiving off from sport.

Pete was the guy in our school group who also got his Driver’s Licence first and that first car.  How many of us can remember the number plate of Pete’s first Dato – the Datsun 1200 station waggon – the numbers were 623 and the letters were “G” “A” “Y”.  That car had an amazing history, and it used to transport half a dozen students who lived in Budgewoi home every afternoon from Gorokan High to the sounds of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.  Pete’s stereo was the loudest part of the car – if he had a hole in his exhaust it wouldn’t have mattered – you wouldn’t have heard it over the heavy metal playing anyway.

That car had an amazing history; it was just as familiar making night-time trips up to the Watagans, as it was in Sylvester’s carpark at Charmhaven.  When GHS did the Dracula Spectacula in 1981, I can remember loading up the Yamaha organ from my home and taking it into school to use in the musical.  It slid into the back of the 1200 no worries at all.  Yep, despite being a small car, it was quite roomy inside.

Once went I went bush-bashing at Buff Point I did a clutch plate in my HG Holden Station Waggon.  I knew if I left the car there overnight it would have been set on by youngsters with nothing to do and it would be a little less driveable the next day.  We already lost an unregistered Datsun 1000 there a few weeks before after we had to leave it overnight when it broke down.  Next morning when we went back it had been destroyed – every window smashed, all the panels kicked in, all the spark plugs broken off in the block, and as a final insult, the bonnet had been ripped back, the air cleaner removed, and a huge lump of mud thrown down the throat of the carbie.  I could see this happening to my car, so I got Pete to tow me back to his place.  The poor little Dato was just able to do it, towing a car twice its weight.  But it paid the price as due to all the clutch-riding Pete had to do, we had to replace the clutch in the 1200 a few days later.  But at that point we were getting good at it, with all the practice!

One of the biggest duties the little Dato fulfilled became known as the “Newspaper Incident”.  Not many people have heard the full story of this, but here we go.  The Year 12 in front of us had a muck-up day in 1981.  They didn’t really do much, but one of the results was a few pieces of newspaper (pieces, NOT pages) scattered around the schoolyard.  We thought it was a pretty piss-poor effort for a muck-up day and us Year 11s would show them how to do it properly.  Pete, myself and a few others who shall remain nameless, had seen that the lock on a window in the three adjoining social science rooms at the end of the block had been damaged, and if you climbed up a she-oak outside the window you could gain access to these rooms.  (I’ve been back recently and that she-oak and a few others like it have all been removed, strangely enough).

So in the early hours of a Sunday morning we set out in Toukley, gathered up bundles of Sunday Papers from the various newsagents, and made it to the school.  We gained entry to the classrooms and started to work scrunching up the paper and filling the rooms with a sea of newspapers.  We got a bit concerned at one point with the fire risk, so we brought out the fire extinguishers in each room and made sure they worked.

It took us hours.  We were there for so long, but after a while we had all three classrooms filled to desk-height with scrunched up newspaper.  I can remember Pete “swimming” through it toward the end as a sort of victory lap.  I would have loved to have seen the look on the face of the cleaner who opened that room on the Monday morning!  It would have been amazing.  We brought the newspapers in in a little Dato 1200, but the school had to call for a light truck to cart them back out.

And all hell broke loose, as the Tuesday was to be the first H.S.C. English
Examination.  In fact the first HSC exam the school had ever held, and it was to be in these three rooms!  Terry Franklin, the acting Principal (Miss Foley was on Long Service Leave) was furious that someone would do this in order to sabotage the examinations.  We really had no idea about the dates of the exams (ignorant year 11s didn’t care when the year above them had their HSC).  It was just a fluke.  And the fact that the exams didn’t start till Tuesday sort of saved us – although that was a total fluke as well.

Anyway, we proved beyond a doubt that if there was a paperchase involved, we were more than up to the task with our little sea of newsprint filling rooms up to nearly waist-height.  If we had more guys rolling up newspaper pages, we could have filled the room head-height, no worries.  Sunday papers DO go that far in those days, but while it started off with five guys doing the job, we lost a couple after an hour or so, and I’m pretty sure it was just three of us doing the newspaper rolling for about four hours until the sun came up.

It’s probably true to admit, that although High School was just six years of our lives (just five, with me and Pete), we crammed more shenanigans into that time than any other period since.

In the early 80s, Pete started to do a science degree at Newcastle Uni, the first year we started, 1983, was an adventurous year, with the trip TO the uni probably more important to us than what we did in the uni.  We failed horribly in first year, so we struck up again to do it in 1984 – Pete, myself and Ian Johnson moved into a house in Mayfield West at that time, and so started the Newcastle segment.

A few years later, Johnno and I went on to our Kempsey days, and Pete followed along, this time in his Nissan Sunny – 1400cc station waggon again.  Come 1987 we were back home again, and after a round of minor computers (the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 type) Pete got an amazing device called an Amiga computer.  Again, Pete was the first to buy one of these machines, and we played many a day on “Alternate Reality” where Pete had the map of an entire medium-sized medieval village mapped out on A4 sheets taped together and entirely covering one part of his bedroom wall.  Other uses for the machines became apparent – I got an Amiga for Christmas 1987 (an early gift, it was, too) and started to play around as well.

By 1990 Pete and I were both running Bulletin Board Systems – Inquestor BBS in Newcastle was mine, and running the same software – OzMetro, TrapDoor, TrapToss and Plutonic  on a little A500, was Pete’s Budgie BBS.  We processed a LOT of mail messages through those systems.  Pete went all political and became Zone Mail Co-Ordinator for the GlobalNet message distribution network, and we distributed mail in mail networks Fidonet, Coastlink, AmigaNet and GlobalNet just to name a few.  Pete used to carry a few more networks than me, in fact.

In 1996, Pete surprised us all by offering to take on the role of Josef Hulz in a play I was directing at the time, called “Other Times”.  This play was the middle play in the “Summer of the Seventeenth Doll” series.  I was living at Toukley at the time and Pete was visiting.  Pete had been helping me out a bit with the administration of the play, and we had just addressed envelopes for, stuffed and mailed off the publicity mailout for Wyong Drama Group’s next show, “Other Times”.  I mentioned to Pete that we were having problems finding someone to play the role of the spurned male friend of Nancy, who gets rejected in favour of the main character Barney.  He was Austrian, and because he was resident in Australia during the war, he gets sent to an internment camp for many years.  He tries to renew his friendship with Nancy, and we see that there was a lot of genuineness there, but Nancy goes off with Barney instead.

Pete played the role with such skill and attention to detail.  He had learnt all his lines miles before anyone else in the play had, and was often able to help with prompting.  I wasn’t expecting to be in the play (just directing), but as things panned out, I had to step in and play the role of Barney with just two weeks notice.  It was an absolute joy to work with Pete in the play – his dedication was fantastic and he shocked us all with his many talents.  I can remember his Mum Sylvia coming forth and saying we never knew how you got Peter to do the acting role, but well done for getting him to step out of his shell and play a character on stage.

If anyone’s interested, there is a DVD available with the Wyong Drama Group Production of “Other Times” showing Pete in his role as Josef Hulz.  I should be able to get you a copy if you give me your mailing address and are patient.

Pete later stepped out of his shell by playing keyboards for Blue Max, and other groups  (Need more here).

I’m not sure how to end this piece, but maybe if I let you know how the end was for me, then this will let the story come to an end naturally.  About 8 weeks ago now I phoned Pete up, out of the blue, to see how he was going.  I hadn’t made contact for a few months previous.  He answered the phone in a pained voice, and he couldn’t keep the conversation up.  He was so exhausted, and tired that he couldn’t string an entire sentence together.  I didn’t think too much of it and didn’t phone back for probably a month, and when I did, I was in hospital, just killing time while on the ward.  He sounded worse and was totally zapped of energy.  I rang Paul with my concerns, but he assured me that Pete did NOT want to go to hospital, despite the offer being on the table at any time.

Pete steadfastly avoided going to hospital, as you may well know, he absolutely hated them, and anything else to do with the modern Western Medical System..  Fortunately after three weeks they let me out, and a few days later (Thursday 30 August) I went up to see Pete.  He was stuck in his chair, very weak and had to get my help to move himself back up in the chair after he had slipped down.  I came back on the Saturday night (1 September) and he seemed a bit better.  He was able to talk for longer periods, but he was still dreadfully weak – he said to me that he’d just run out of energy.

On Sunday morning Paul phoned me to say Pete had called him up and said he had to go to hospital.  They phoned an ambulance and Pete walked into the back of the vehicle which took him to Wyong Hospital.  After a lot of tests, scans and interviews Pete went into the High Dependency Unit (a little like Intensive Care only each patient is one-on-one to a nurse in the ICU, whereas in the HDU it can be two-on-one).

I came in to see him on Sunday afternoon, but was told he was still sleeping and too tired to see anyone else (other than his brother Paul).  On the Monday I phoned, and they said he had just been put on a ventilator, and he wouldn’t be able to talk to me anyway.

On Tuesday I just went up, and at 3pm they said they’d like to take Pete off the ventilator and se if he could still breathe.  He may not, or he may go on for weeks.  There was a 4-inch mass on his lungs, and a litre of fluid around his heart, so it was pretty bad – we should get all the family members together for the extubation.

By 6 O’clock everyone had arrived – Paul, Megan, Talia, Sara, Korrine, Lauren and myself and he was taken off the ventilator.  He kept breathing by himself, but never did resume consciousness.  As the hours went by, Megan and the girls went to get food, leaving me and Paul there.  I waited a while longer and ended up going home at about 9 O’clock.

After I’d gotten home and settled in a bit, my mobile phone rang.  It was Paul, and I knew what it was before hitting the answer button.  Alas he had gone, about half an hour after I left, at 9:30.  He just ended up breathing more and more slowly, and finally stopped.  It was really peaceful.  Pete had finally completely run out of energy, and started a big long Astral Travel.

We’ll all miss you so much, Peter Nicolas.

I think we should all give him a final applause, not just for his role as Josef Hulz back in 1996, but for his entire life.  Indeed let’s make it a standing ovation.

Peter Keith Nicolas  (1964-2012)

Crap Parkers

I seem to be forgetting this communication tool I have.  So here are some posts well worth the read.

Firstly, last week I saw the "Newcastle crap parkers" Facebook page.  Here is the Link.

I wanted to submit this photo

of a classic example in Mann Street.  So I submitted it and was told they wouldn't use it because it was not in Newcastle.  So within a few days I started the Facebook Page Central Coast Crap Parkers and Drivers. The link is actually type-able - use   Those initials stand for 'Central Coast Crap Parkers and Drivers'.

Strange thing was I noticed a picture at Wadalba on the Newcastle site, so grabbed it to use on my page
It was clearly mis-filed on the Newcastle site.  But of course this is where I am accused of stealing a photo from their site...  Wow, smacky my wristy.

This morning the events are best described by cut and pasting the sequence of private messages on facebook.  I hope this makes you smile a bit.  And scowl on my behalf.

I am amazed at the self-righteous, holier-than-thou awww, who cares...


Newcastle crap parkers
Hi Peter, Please do not keep posting your page on my page. I have advertised it once and that is more than any other link I will post. I do not want to be associated with it for many reasons. Although I have allowed you to use my idea for your page, your rules and your stuff is yours. I just had to delete a rant you had identifying a person. Please only comment on parks as a personal comment and not in regards to your page. As you are not from Newcastle I think it would be nice if you concentrate spreading your page where you live

Newcastle crap parkers
Also my other admins just informed me they have had to delete multiple comments from you. I will not tolerate anyone stirring up or causing problems and will no longer tolerate links on my page. Please see this as your warning.

Peter Deane
Good afternoon Newcastle crap parkers. I am immediately at a loss because I do not even know who you are, so while you can call me Peter, I do not know your name. Therefore for the purposes of this message sequence I will call you Adolf.

So, Adolf, firstly I would like you to step back and revise your decision. It represents an impediment to freedom of speech, denies me natural justice and is plain outright rude.

Vague accusations like "have had to delete a number of posts from you" and "a rant I had identifying a person" do absolutely nothing to show me (a) what those comments actually were and (b) the reason for their deletion.

If you delete a post, Adolf, then obviously it has infringed some unwritten policy you have. Surely your interests are then served by letting the poster know that the post has been deleted, the reason why it has been deleted, and guidance for future posts. This might actually work to educate the user, and then to at least reduce, or maybe even completely prevent future "infractions" of your unwritten policy.

So, Adolf, in future, rather than just deleting a post, how about you actually take the few minutes to cut and paste the post into a PM to the users, say "Here's what you've posted", we don't allow that sort of thing on the page because of blah blah, and then warn the user to comply with the page's posting policy.

However, in my case, the VERY FIRST TIME I'm aware of making comments on the page you disagree with has gotten to this stage now where you're on the verge of banning me from the page.

Well, Adolf, that's your fault more so than mine. This is the very first time I'm being told I've infringed your unwritten policy about posts. Where does that leave me? Pissed off, that's where. Rather than being educated about what I've done wrong, feeling contrite about it, and not doing that action in the future, I'm now of the opinion that you're an opponent of free speech. And THAT is really starting to make my blood boil, Adolf.

You should have just posted my shot of that car in Mann Street., It was YOU who said, you wouldn't post it. Had that not happened I wouldn't have had any desire to setup a page with content that doesn't overlap yours. Also, your posting of a photo of a car at Wadlaba exemplifies that your rule of only having cars from Newcastle is a joke. If you don't know where "wadalba" is then if you don't have the ability to go onto bing or google and actually find out, then you're not worth a pinch of salt as a page administrator.

When I go out busking and I see another busker in the street, I am actually stoked. It's not competition. When there are two buskers in the street, I always make more money than if I'm out on my own. It's because other people's awareness of the busking is heightened and therefore everyone else looks a little more closely.

An analagous situation applies to these pages. They have a similar purpose, don't infringe on geographic areas and won't be duplicating content. They really should co-operate. It'll be in everyone's interests. Perhaps my page will attract likes for your page because I'd definitely be pointing out your page frequently in passing. There would be a synergy involved.

Also it's a bit similar to heaving bricks over your next door neighbour's fence. Now this co-operation is transferred to conflict. I take this as a compliment, Adolf, because it confirms the fact that you are feeling threatened by my page which is a week old today, and has 31 users. As opposed to your several thousand users. The mouse that roared. Thanks.

Well, your feelings are justified. There's no way I want the Central Coast page to merely be a sequence of cars parking outside the lines in parking areas. I aim to actually educate users, subtly at first by sequences such as this which will clearly demonstrate WHY you shouldn't park like that.

I also want to add more than just the photos because you need a variety of content for the users, and what better way by doing that than to plant firestarters and allowing active comment. Through that method you aim to bring people together - a meeting of minds. If you keep posting a sequence of badly parked cars, and nothing else, then you're going to drive a wedge between the people who are supportive of these photos, and those who think we shouldn't be doing this sort of thing at all.

And, Adolf, what you're going to find is your users will get bored. Okay, new users will come on and be active throughout their novelty stages, but unless there's some reason for them to keep coming back, this interest will be temporary.

I'm really sorry you have taken this attitude. It exemplifies a thorough lack of understanding as to how a successful Facebook Page works. It shows a violation of the basic right to freedom of speech, and Adolf, it completely denies me natural justice.

I know full well I have completely wasted the last twenty minutes putting these points together, as I know your course of action now will probably be to go off in a huff and ban me from the page. Let me tell you this: if that is your attitude, Adolf, it will be to your detriment. I can contribute a lot. I have knowledge of the subject due to being professionally involved in it for eleven years, plus I am more than conversant with motor vehicle law and laws of publications. But if you piss me off, well, I'm not overly concerned as that's your loss, Adolf, not mine.

Again, I thank you for providing me with some excellent content for my page which will really stir things up. There's no such thing as bad publicity. I am quite surprised at your attitude. I can only take it you have limited experience promoting FB activity, and maybe in a few years' time you'll revise your attitude. But like most stubborn people, Adolf, it generally doesn't work by someone warning you about what will happen, but when those warnings actually come true.

And let me tell you this: when they do come true, I'll DEFINITELY be the first person saying "I told you so". and then I will go off feeling vindicated.

I await your reply with eagerness, but I reckon you reaction is going to be very predictable. Have a nice day.

Newcastle crap parkers
Enjoy my idea! I hope it brings your happiness

Peter Deane
Right, so NOT addressing any of the issues, eh? Guess, what, Adolf - that was how I predicted you'd react. Feel free to maintain your self-delusion. Feel free to keep stifling free speech, keep on denying people natural justice. NOT a good idea and definitely not a good look.

Ah well. So be it.

Peter Deane

YOUR idea?

Crap Parker
Community · 140 likes

Clothing · 4 likes

Crap åppå Park - en slags humorfestival
Community · 476 likes

Newcastle crap parkers
Community · 3,152 likes

Bradford's Crap Parking
Community · 92 likes

Crap Parking jobs do my head in Snap and shame these shit drivers
Community · 8 likes

playing "crap were did i park my car"
Games/Toys · 265 likes

You park like crap!
Community · 75 likes

And that's just on the first page of the search screen

Peter Deane
Must say, well done on the number of Likes, though

Newcastle crap parkers
You expected and I think really wanted this reply and here it is. Your banned from my page  It is unnecessary to stoop to name calling. This is my page and as you are viewing my page I don't have to give you any reasons or second chances. Today you spammed my wall with your page and made a rant about a lady named Karyn Downie directing people to have a look at her post. My rules which I don't have to post are no spam, no identifying information, no severe swearing, no bull shit. You had spammed my wall and identified a lady named Karyn. Now after I emailed you letting you know my upset I was told by my two other admins that they had also had to remove links and comments made by you that was posted to shit stir. Your a guest on my page and I allow you to look at it and view it, this is not your right - it is a privilege. I do not give people second chances nor do my admins we simply ban them without offering a reason and I have thousands of likes and over 5000+ views a day so don't have the need to worry about a few shit stirrers. I have let you use my idea and have seen your posts and comments on your page and due to the nature of the comments you make I can not and do not want to be associated with it. This is my choice. Now I am not sure what makes you think you have the right to call me hitler for giving you a warning but it is enough to push me over the edge. This is why I am banning you from my page  I am also writing a letter to my fans to make sure they are well aware that your page has nothing to do with my beliefs nor is it associated in any way other than you have copied my idea. Enjoy your page and next time, don't be such an ass hole seriously! I don't owe you anything nor does the rest of the world just remember that.

Newcastle crap parkers
You have 30 likes and are using my idea so you are no competition to me as in 'pages' so you can get off your high horse your not even in the same league as this page. When people send me a picture and say it is just outside of Newcastle I post it, if enough of my people complain I remove it. This is my idea and my page so I think as my numbers show and the 5 newspaper articles and 3 radio station interviews I am doing a great job of admin'ing my own page/idea pmsl

Newcastle crap parkers
I can't be mad at you though, you obviously believe you have a vast experience in FB marketing and although it's not working for you and spamming my page is your main marketing technique I'm really not worried by your comments. If you were a normal person, not an asshole then this could have been resolved a lot easier. Anyway you have wasted enough of my time.

Newcastle crap parkers
CCCP 31 likes and not growing Newcastle Crap Parkers 3154 simple maths mate

Peter Deane
"I have thousands of likes and over 5000+ views a day so don't have the need to worry about a few shit stirrers"

Ipso facto you argue against your own point.

THANK YOU so much for revealing your true colours, Adolf, and thank you for the publicity that I am going to get out of this.

Still not even prepared to tell me who you are... Gutless wonder.

Still not prepared to take issue with any of the half-dozen valid points I made in my argument.

Still falsely making vague accusations about ?SPAM? ????? You don't know what Spam is, Adolf.

And HIGH HORSE??? The horse would be in your own backyard had you not shut the gate AFTER it had bolted...

Bad move. Who was the guy who said "keep your friends close, your enemies closer"? Don Corleone in "The Godfather"??

And stop demonstrating your insecurity by saying your penis is longer than mine. It only reconfirms what I am thinking. IE that it is growing out of the top of your head.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Trying my luck in the big city

On Tuesday I went down to Sydney to arrange my Sydney City Council busking permit.  I had also applied for another permit over the weekend online with the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, and it arrived in the mail on Tuesday.

So, come Wednesday, off I went on a train to the big smoke.  I started playing on the train.  The commuters were absolutely stoked to have live music in the train carriage, and I got a few applauses after songs. When I got to Woy Woy I listened carefully to the announcement "Next stop is Hornsby, etc".  I know that voice!  So I got on the phone "Glen, are you on a southbound V-series, just out of Woy Woy?"  It was my good mate Glen Duffey who I met at First Budgewoi Cub Pack in 1975, and then later went to High School with him (1977-1980).

I was in carriage 3, so couldn't get back to see him, as the doorway between cars 4 & 5 is locked.  So I told him I'd walk along the platform at Hornsby and get down to the back.  So I kept playing until about Asquith, then slipped down from Car 3 to Car 6 on the platform, and made my way to the back of the train.  Not an easy task getting through the doors between the carriages with a guitar and bag.  And I'm really glad I decided against taking my drum throne to sit on, as it was too heavy.  I put it in the bag before leaving, and then immediately took it out again, as it was just too heavy (weighs 6kg according to its box).

So I chatted with Glen for the rest of the trip as he jumped out at various stations, blowing his whistle and then making announcements.  I did the swapover at Central from the country to the city platforms, got myself down to Circular Quay and looked down from the station.  I couldn't see a single busker out, so I had ideas I'd do all right.  I started at about 4pm near the Toaster on the walkway to the Opera House.  Magic spot, and there was a park bench nearby so I sat on that and played the Rodgers & Hammerstein book (about 9 songs I think) and got the grand total of 90c.  This spot is known as Busking Pitch #2, Circular Quay.

So I thought I'd move, and went down to Busking Pitch #5, which is between wharves 4 & 5, and in the picture above.  I had to stand there, and it wasn't so bad.  I've always sat to busk before, so standing meant I had to learn a few techniques, such as not falling over backwards, but it gives the opportunity to really get into a song by doing a few steps, a la the Shadows.  Come 6 O'clock I needed a rest, and it was incredibly humid and I was sweating profusely (as usual).  So I got myself a junior whopper and a drink and sat in the air-conditioned area at Hungry Jack's on the Quay.  I stayed there nearly an hour while I dried out.

I thought I'd try a different spot when getting back out again, so I moved up to Busking Pitch #8, where there was a convenient park bench I was able to take over.  This is right at the Rocks corner of the Circular Quay wharves.

The picture is from the bench, the Museum of Contemporary Art is on the right of the picture out of shot, and behind the park is George Street.  I was encouraged as I got some coins in the chorus of the very first song, but alas, still really bad.

In total I got $25.85 for nearly four hours playing plus an hour forty minutes on the train each way, so in effect 7 hours to get less than $4 an hour.  Gee, it was like driving a taxi on a Monday or Tuesday night, and I gave that up over twenty years ago.

On the train on the way back, I was sitting in the 3-seat spot at the end of the carriage opposite a young guy.  He got out at Strathfield and I was sitting there looking at the guitar... Looking, looking...  Out it came and I started playing again.  After about 20 minutes a 20-something Asian girl stood up and said "Can you turn that down, please?".  I was playing an acoustic guitar, really quietly without a plectrum, so the answer was not really, no.  I shot back with "Can you move to a quiet carriage, please?" and kept playing all the way from Strathfield to Woy Woy.  As I was singing "My Favourite Things" from the "Sound of Music", I could hear this voice echoing through the carriage.  Weird acoustics?  Nah, the guy in the seat opposite had joined in.  I reckon I had more fun on the train trips down and back than the busking session, and as I got out at Gosford, one guy said if he'd had money he would have given it to me.  It made the trip back absolutely fantastic, I was in the Woy Woy tunnel before knowing it - it's normally a really boring trip from Berowra, over the Hawkesbury and through Wondabyne at night.  But the time just flew, and with one exception, I think the guys in the carriage were quite chuffed.  How often does someone start singing and playing guitar when you're on a train?

I went to Terrigal last night (Friday) and got the third highest takings ever (second to Australia Day and New Years Eve), $33.65 an hour.  Plus I can drive there from home in 20 minutes and take the seat without much hassle.  It might be a while before I get down to Sydney again.  Terrigal is treating me extremely well, so I really need to keep supporting Terrigal.  Plus the words of encouragement from passers-by are magic.

Why so bad?  Definitely the day.  The fact there were no other buskers out points to that.  Maybe the time? From 4pm onwards a lot of people are racing for their ferries - you often see a dozen people bolting for a wharf just as a ferry is about to pull out.  Maybe the spot?  There are hundreds of other spots I could go - maybe Martin Place or Pitt Street would be better?  Going to Sydney is a hell of a risk, Terrigal is more certain for me at the moment.  I'll give it a go later - I have a doctor's appointment in Chatswood on Friday - I'm thinking of heading down after that, maybe.  It's hard work busking in Sydney, so it's going to have to be really good to make it worth my while.  Who knows.  Any comments with suggestions, PLEASE leave them on the blog.  You can do it anonymously or under an assumed name if you like.