Bogan 21st

We celebrated one of my nephews’ 21st birthday this weekend with a Bogan themed party. I Was a cashed up Bogan with a hi-vis shirt and AC-DC singlet underneath. Suzanne was my pregnant wife complete with cripmed hair and a packet of fags under her neon yellow bra strap.

 

Kids, five years apart

These two shots were take five years apart on top of the whaling boat at Whale World in Albany. I didn’t realise that the first image was such low resolution. Five years later, my phone has 10x the resolution.

I am become Dropsy, destroyer of technology

I don’t know what it is. I’ve dropped two expensive pieces of kit this year. First, my new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone about a month after I bought it. It’s got a crack in the screen in one corner. Luckily it is still usable and doesn’t bother me all that much day to day.

But this week I also dropped Jett’s ASUS TF202 Transformer tablet. I honestly don’t know how it happened. I was cleaning up in the family room, picking up this and that and somehow lost traction when I picked up the tablet. Gravity took care of the rest. I almost caught it, but it dropped right on the corner.

I felt like such and idiot. I’ve always impressed on the kids how expensive these are, and to treat them delicately. But here comes dad and practically throws it on the ground.

Jett insists, rightly I guess, on a replacement. The good thing is he wants a smaller Nexus 7 rather than a 10-inch tablet. And because the 2013 N7 just came out, the first gen are being dumped  on ebay for about 40% of the new price, even New In Box.

Breaking Bad: The best TV in the last 5 years

I picked up on Breaking Bad from some workmates during the third season. They told me it started well and remained strong through the second season which is almost rare nowadays. So I decided to give it a go.

Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, who’s had the rough end of the pineapple for most of his life: clearly a brilliant chemist, he was a co-founder of a company but left for personal reasons only to see it grow into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He is relegated to teaching high school chemistry to uninterested, disrespectful uninterested students, and takes a second job cleaning cars at the local car wash to supplement his income. He’s married, and has a teenage son with Cerebral Palsy. He’s just turned 50, and has found out his wife is pregnant. And that he has inoperable terminal lung cancer.

Knowing he will soon die, he must find a way to ensure their financial security after he is gone.

Watching a news report on a drug bust, he is impressed by the amount of money confiscated by the authorities. He accompanies his DEA brother-in-law on a drug bust and sees a former student, dropout Jesse Pinkman, fleeing the scene. Later he looks up Jesse using the school records and forms a partnership. “You know the business, and I know the chemistry”.

The series explores the changes overcoming Walter as he deals with his own mortality. As the series progresses, he becomes darker and more sinister but at every turn he is only doing what he thinks is best to provide for his family. Pride, at losing out on selling his share of the company he founded for $5000, is also telling and changes how he views his new successes.

HeisenbergIndeed, he changes his whole persona and appearance taking on the Mr Hyde of “Heisenberg” to his own Dr Jekyll of mild mannered Walter. After his cancer goes into remission he becomes an unstoppable force, feeding an insatiable need to succeed and build an empire.

Breaking Bad is full of strong characters and memorable dialog. We’re half way through the last season with the last episodes coming in August. These two videos are a great summary of the show and should be enough to convince you to pick it up if you haven’t already.

 

On Nomophobia

I learned a new concept last week. It came about as we were lounging about my brother-in-laws pool on Christmas night. He’s got this great little bungalow out the back of his yard with a built in barbecue, fridge, television and stereo and with an adjoining pool. We were chowing down on King Prawn kebabs and the like while the kiddies swam in the pool to cool off from the heat wave we were experiencing. Christmas in Australia isn’t so much about “Dashing through the snow” as it is about “Dashing across the hot sand at the beach” in 35-40 Celcius.

I noticed, however, that Jett was struggling down at the deep end of the pool. He was paddling like mad, out of arms reach of the edge. Despite all the swimming lessons we have invested in, our kids are still not competent swimmers. We met eyes, and his look told me that he was going down and probably not coming up again. Everything else seemed to disappear from view, and my ears could hear no sound. The only thought in my mind, and perhaps in both our minds, was to make sure that Jett could take another breath.

I do remember one thought: should I jump in feet first or should I dive? I don’t know how I arrived at my decision but I do remember being very conscious of that question. I did a flying leap off a three step runup that would have made Bob Beamon proud, took another step and gently lifted Jett onto my shoulders and over to the edge of the pool.

After we sorted Jett out, I wanted to check the time. Being a modern guy, I don’t have a watch but prefer to read the time off my mobile phone. It was then that I realised that I’d jumped into the pool with my trusty HTC Desire Z phone in my pocket. I took it out and I kid you not, it was like the poor thing was shivering and moaning in pain. The water had shorted out the vibration mechanism as well as the speakers, and it was emitting a shrill death cry as it shook.

HTC Desire Z

Alas poor Desire Z

Which leads me to the title of this article: Nomophobia is defined as the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”. Yes, I later discovered that there’s actually a word for how I was feeling. I wasn’t scared so much as having an immediate anxiety of not having a tool which is pretty central to my day to day life. Everything I have is on that phone, or rather was. Under any other circumstance if I’d lost or wrecked my phone I’d be cursing like a mother fucker, but I just smiled at myself because I much preferred this outcome to the possible alternative.

The good news is that I now have a reason to go shopping, and also since everything in my online life is synced with Google (Gmail, Contacts, Drive, Play Books, Music etc) I haven’t actually lost anything. I’ll just turn my new phone on, log in, sync up and be on my way like nothing happened, which is exactly how Jett must want things too.

On motivation

We went running around the block this evening, in an effort to get some fitness happening. I think we even surprised ourselves in even attempting this. We didn’t quite make it around the whole block but it was an achievement nonetheless.

Suzanne made the mistake of saying “Don’t let me stop until we get at least up to that corner up there. You need to motivate me”. So of course I launched into my Gunnery Seargent Hartman impersonation:

It put a smile on more than a couple faces as they saw us running by.