Archive for the ‘ Other Stuff ’ Category

30daysofbiking Day 21 Cottage Point Inn

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Biking has to take a back seat this weekend (or I could get a tandem?) as it’s time to celebrate my better half’s birthday. (NB I did get in a morning ride first!)

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Sydney Design Festival: Bike Rack As Art

The Sydney Design festival runs from July 31 to August 15 covering a range of events all across town. Over the next few days I’ll be poring over the programme and picking out the events that are bike-related, or just plain fun. For more info see sydneydesign.com.au or follow @syddes.

Not so much an event, more of a competition. As part of the design festival Sydney’s powerhouse museum is calling for novel ideas and designs for bike racks, which will be produced and installed on bike networks along the Parramatta, Georges and Nepean rivers. I think this is a brilliant idea – something similar was run in New York, and the range of storage and locking devices on display at the London Cycle show last year was astounding. The competition should be a great way to add something artistic and cycle-friendly to Sydney’s street furniture. I’ve got (read: stolen from the links above) a few ideas and might even get around to entering myself…

Register your interest for the competition at powerhousemuseum.com/bikeracks and get designing!

The Only Election Coverage Worth Watching

Last week Australians had the pleasure of being bombarded by the leaders’ television debate. I still find it hard to believe that they can call it a debate, since a debate usually requires that those involved take contrary and opposing positions. Gillard at least should be recognised for her services to humanity: if Abbott had his way then the airwaves would be polluted by two more of these dreary affairs. For standing up and saying ‘No’, I salute you Julia. If either of them manages to express another clear stance in the next four weeks, I’ll be very surprised.

From here to polling day, I officially give up on “real news”. There’s no point trying to get any meaningful information from the candidates or from the press who diligently report their platitudinous nonsense – I swear I will give my vote to the first candidate running on a platform of moving sideways, believing in an unfair go, and being against families. Instead, I will turn to the only thing that can possibly justify western democracy – comedy and satire.

The Chaser team is back with their 4th election series, although I’m not sure if they’ll be able to get enough material out of the battle of political blancmanges that this is shaping up to be. On the other hand, I have high hopes for Gruen Nation – an election version of Wil Anderson’s comedy panel show delving into the world of advertising The Gruen Transfer (if you haven’t seen it, that description will sound bizarre, but trust me, it works). In an era where politicians are media-managed and focus-grouped to within an inch of their lives, an advertiser’s deconstruction of the election campaign may be the most insightful analysis available.

Gruen Nation is on ABC1 9pm, followed by The Chaser’s Yes We Canberra at 9.45pm every Wednesday up to the election. Wil Anderson is also performing his show Wilful Misconduct at the Comedy Store, Fox Studios Moore Park, August 5-15.

Where Are The Politicians Of Yesteryear?

Keating! at BelvoirWhat a joy, coming home to an election. This time round it’s a battle of two novices (neither Gillard nor Abbott have led their parties to a contest), who have a gift for speaking a lot but not saying anything: Gillard’s “moving forward” just needs the Kang/Kodos’ addendum of “and forever twirling, twirling towards freedom!” while Abbott has been honest enough to tell everyone that we shouldn’t trust a word he says, perhaps making this the election Joseph Heller would have scripted.

The pages of newsprint and hours of coverage devoted to two parties who are saying next to nothing and presenting no positive vision for the country, well it makes me yearn for the good ol’ days of recalcitrant scumbags, no children in poverty, and huge bushy eyebrows. Clearly I’m not the only one. The Hawke biopic got a huge buzz and was well watched (not by me though – imagining Bob and Blanche at it is something I can live without). But if you want some real entertainment, and want to remember when our politicians had character, instead of being caricatures, catch Keating! (the musical we had to have) on ABC2 tonight. I’ve seen it live thrice, and it’s sad to think that now Howard is gone from parliament, it will probably never be staged again… nevertheless I’m still dreaming of that light on the hill.

Back In Sydney & Back In The Saddle

After a few years in the European wilderness (you don’t get much wilder than London), I find myself returning to my hometown of Sydney. Having been away, I thought the ‘re-pat’ experience might be a bit strange, but in a way, it is a bit like riding a bike. One that’s been sitting in the garage for a long while – you remember what to do, but it’s not quite as comfortable as it used to be.

Coming back, I’ve decided to maintain the ‘get out and do something’ philosophy that I developed in London (replacing my original ‘what’s on tv?’ philosophy). So this will be a collection of musings on what seems to have changed in Sydney, what’s happening around town that looks like fun, and to stretch the metaphor, my growing obsession with all things two-wheeled (surprisingly paralleled by the growth of cycling infrastructure in Sydney).

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