Friday, 16 October 2015

Home

For a few weeks. A carefully crafted catalog of some significance is here forth fermenting.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Choppers and Diggers

I left New Zealand on Monday for Europe. I took a moment to admire the results of gardenmageddon.



People, if you wish to increase the satisfaction of gardening immensely. I highly recommend using a digger at any faintly remote opportunity. Not only does it allow you to remain seated whilst accomplishing greatness. You will also look cool.


I have exposed the frailties of jumping hemispheres many a time. What made this trip special was my rather presidential arrival to my new job. I arrived in France at about 1pm. In the past year it has become normal for a driver to be waiting for me. Sometimes with a name board. This time I had a rather smart chap waiting in the air bridge.

Instead of being whisked into a car I was escorted to the helipad. My boat you see had already started heading to Palma. Not to worry I would catch it up with the Helipilot. I have not spent much time in Helicopters but I did my best not to drool. The pilot gleefully informed me we only had a quarter of a tank of fuel and would have to be pretty smart to catch them up.



We had a bearing to follow but about 15 minutes into our trip we got a low fuel warning. I hadn't really been looking that closely for the boat. 





We had one false positive. The pilot then started asking me if I had seen anything. Relying on someone with jetlag for anything important especially a helicopter miles out to sea with low fuel is probably not a wise decision.



Thankfully we found our target. We landed safely. I felt a bit ridiculous carrying my suitcase across the pad with all of my new crew in fire gear. Thankfully I am well accustomed at feeling ridiculous.

Choppers and Diggers aye. Who would have thought?

Friday, 24 July 2015

Mission Kontrol

Have I complained at length on how frustrating I find recording mixes? Let me complain a bit longer. Before I came home I was asked to play at a solstice party. I agreed and was put on at 5:30am. Playing outdoors at 5:30am presents some challenges. I thought I could surmount them with a genre which isn't really appreciated in New Zealand or outside.

Techno.

Techno is what I cut my ears on a long time ago but as I was to discover it is quite a challenge to keep interesting and after the owner of the property asked when I was finishing and the next DJ unplugged my mixer I kind of knew my time was up.

Because my mixer was unplugged I did not get to record a mix.

What follows is a mix after I have upended the tea table many times.

I am still not happy with it but there comes a point when you must right the tea table and move on.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something. I now have four hour long mixes in the public domain. 996 hours to go.

This mix does have a few different styles and it only really hits what I could call techno towards the end. If you listen closely you can hear robots flirting with each other. There is also some nice space ship docking music. There is also some heavy machinery which is about to have some planned maintenance. I have included some nice vocals for my Mum. There is also a devilish sample towards the end for my darker reader.

It is the longest mix I have made and there are some decidedly human elements in there. But as my Wife rightly said. DJ's practice making mistakes so people know there is a human mixing. #truestory.

I hope you enjoy it.



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

*Click*

Sometimes things just click. Sometimes if you have time to admire the things clicking you start to notice other things clicking. Soon you have a clickcacophony.

I left my previous work a couple of Fridays ago. It was 35 degrees I was in Portofino. Summer had well and truly kicked in. Georgio my driver busied himself weaving and apologizing for his snaking drive to Genova.


Portofino is astounding. It was quite a nice *click* which let me disembark there. My flight to Palma wasn't till the following morning but I had engineered a train ride and some time to reflect before I started my new job.

Many words have been written about the Riviera. Many of them by me. In 2009 my train rides were often savoured but always had the tinge of unemployment. It was a nice click-clack along the tracks. I even listened to some of the same music I did 6 years ago on those very tracks.



In Nice I found a hotel and settled in for the expectant sleep one has when you need to be awake at 4am to catch a flight to a new job. My flight to Palma went by way of Zurich. It is always nice to visit other countries albeit briefly. My experience of Switzerland is as follows. Air Switzerland gives you very nice chocolate. Swiss of course.




Everyone in Switzerland has nice watches, of course. But thats enough Switzerland (all I can write truth be told)

From Zurich I flew to Palma and a new beginning.

My new Rotation partner David was not at the airport to collect me. He had sent his wingman who was a helicopter pilot. Pilots make the best wingmen as I was to learn. David was getting a medical done. Over the next week things continued to *click*.

Firstly if you hadn't gathered being an ETO is a sometimes very lonely proposition. You quite literally are a one man gang. There is no one else on board who can do your tasks. No one else can step up to do your job. This presents its own challenges and this is why it is so nice to work closely with another ETO when the opportunity presents itself.

David is from Seattle and unashamedly a geek. His geek force field was very strong. As I shadowed him I admired some of his quirks which mirrored my own. Firstly he had gone at great lengths to have an app for us to use to track our jobs and tasks. This app was maniacally clever. It gave us full visibility on our many projects. It also gave us a grace pass to use our phones when ever we felt like it.

Speaking of our phones when the WWDC dropped David had installed the iOS beta the next morning. Not to be outdone I soon followed and we were soon wallowing in the short battery life, crashes and *features* a beta provides. Bleeding edge geeks there especially when we were now app enabled.

One of the nicest surprises ever was waiting on board me. A brand new Macbook Pro. This was very timely. My current Macbook "Big Mac" has started to develop dementia and sometimes does not take kindly to be woken up from sleeping.

Other nice things. Well just two weeks ago I was bemoaning snack cupboards and how stupid they are. If you didn't know most Yachts have never ending supplies of sugar/salt/msg and they usually live in cupboards. Unlimited poison. The silly thing is we like to present a united healthy front to guests when we are not hungover and dying from Sugar. My new boat doesn't have a snack cupboard. We don't have alcohol on board either.

The Engineers have a workshop that is fitted with a gym, coffee machine, fridge, smoothy facilities and  P.A. for music. The boat was very excited I know how to lay down tracks. Another click in my books. We have a Zen Chief Engineer who loves to meditate and probably levitates in his cabin when he is alone.

The boat has an Australian flag and a lot of Australian crew. This is a particularly welcome click. Begrudgingly I admit Australians are quite similar to New Zealanders. This all becomes more real when you start to serve under British nationals. In theory this sounds OK in practice my milage has varied. Power seems to do strange things to brain chemistry.

I did leave the boat to enjoy one of the most welcome changes. Palma. David had befriended a bar so we went to visit it with the Helicopter pilot. When I said befriended a bar he had really befriended a bar lady. His charming lack of Spanish, her lack of English and mutual glad eyes was a nice thing to witness. I gladly informed him on an app to improve his Spanish. Duolingo.

Palma being Palma

The rest of the week went as to plan. It actually improved.

On my last day I was listening to an NRL game. The kiwi carpenter said he missed watching the league. I said I would remedy that very quickly. Matter of factly he said. "Oh the Captain used to play NRL. He used to play for *redacted* he also played super league for *redacted*.

How cool is that!

I left Palma feeling very happy. Ecstatic.

What could make it better? Well it was world Gin day of course!

My relationship with Gin has been an at times a potent one but it was very nice to savour a large glass or two of Gin Spanish style.




My trip home was to be as expected. Long. I arrived in NZ bedraggled but there was still a couple of surprises. I got to meet a very long Kiwi in between terminals. Steven Adams. He is very tall and very polite. He didn't even ask for an autograph.

Previously I have had problems with the last leg home. This time no issues to report. Another click. I even got to record some buzzy trippy footage in the Plane.





Home! Well there is no place like it. A very happy Wife welcomed me. A very happy dog greeted me. I swear she just sat in front of the fire grinning at me for an hour. The dog. The Wife grins at me for days.

*Click*









Friday, 17 April 2015

Crew member Bio Sam

In times gone past I would write crew Bios. Usually these were people I had worked closely with. This one is a little different in that we never actually worked closely together. But working as you will learn is only half the picture. Talking widely, sometimes loudly on a large variety of topics is another great way to learn what is inside someones head.

Sam appeared on board last year about this time. He was a very green deckhand and had been on board for two months when I started. Knowing quite a lot about being a green deckhand we were soon confiding and his night watch hours lined up quite nicely with my ETO standby hours.

Sam is a sun kissed 'strayan. His relaxed demeanour was sometimes mistook for tardiness. I realised quickly Sam was just a creature of energy. In fact it was not long after Sam started talking about good energy and how to harness it. Knowing quite a lot about harnessing energy especially for talking this was a good match.

Sam was the perceptive crew member who after my return from a very special two month navel gazing exploration of the universe succinctly remarked. "So you have got weirder Dan" this was poetry. I was soon filling Sams head with the wildest and zaniest theories I could find. He never said enough was enough. He always smiled and soaked it all in. A conduit for the incredible.

Over the Christmas period an ill fated Steward ordered a lot of very good crew red wine. The Dan and Sam sessions quickly became the stuff of boat legend.  At a predetermined time we would dim the lights to one side of the Crew mess. A mandala visualisation would be beamed onto the television, music synchronised and red wine would be liberally used in a way to enhance the senses. Sometimes the conversations lurched into very theoretical mythological counter history. Many a time crew members wandered in to be repelled by the good energy field busily charging the conversation. The red wine strangely evaporated. The great red wine drought of 2015 is also the stuff of boat legend.

Sam made this quite cool video. If there was ever a way to create a million more wannabe deck hands this is it.





Sam was wise beyond his years in his own way. Before he left us to do a van tour of Europe,
He told me of grand plans to do a charity bicycle ride of New Zealand. I hope some of you get to meet Sam and feel a bit of that "good energy" it's something the world needs a whole lot more of.

Sam I miss you mate and you know this. Take care and keep that GoPro rolling. Keep a bit of red wine handy. It will probably last twice as long now.







Thursday, 9 April 2015

The End

And so ends two months of tension. Poorly I am afraid. Some part of my past haunts me. I fear I will have no future in politics unless it is a revolution. Too much colour back there, it blinds those who look for it.

With age one starts to notice the grand procession of time. Cycles upon cycles. Why just a year ago to this very week I went through the same heartbreak with another career fork. Everything sounding so positive until that last twist of the knife.

Still, this very place which has been on hiatus can start again. This very place which may have caused contention.

Foolish? Probably. But it makes a good read.

Footnote

I have reinstated all 500 plus posts of this glorious blog. For interests sake I checked the date last year when a job application went strange. The date??? The 8th of April.

Forgive me if I stay in bed next year on the 8th of April. It is surely the devils day.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Going offline

Hello,

Something has happened the last few days which has necessitated taking my blog offline.

Something Very Important.

I am not sure when my blog will be back online it might be reborn as something different.

Maybe paper?

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed this place. If you are subscribed you will get any future updates.