25 November 2009

Catch up

I am a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and take the photos for our races in Canberra and Sydney. It was a big finish to the season with three weekends of events in a row. Here are my galleries:

Sri Chinmoy Centennial Park 21.1km, 7km, 4km

Sri Chinmoy Triple Triathlon


Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim


Loving my Canon 2.8 70-200 L series lense. The only problem with owning such a great lense is everything else is rubbish in comparison. So I have to buy another one. Soonish - when I have the money.

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At the moment I am watching The Mentalist, Community and Modern Family. I know The Mentalist is trite, but I can't help it. I wish Australian TV would make genius comedy like the other shows.

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What an entertaining week in Federal politics and Annabel Crabb has just started writing for the ABC. The YouTwitFace phenomenon means that an astounding quantum of vituperative minutiae concerning internal party machinations makes it all the way to the final story. I am the sure the press must have always heard this stuff, but not considered reporting it in the past. The opportunity for schadenfreude could be said to be abundant.

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I am reading a Terry Pratchett book at the moment. It is not overly different from the 16 other works by him that I have read in the last three months. This means it is very entertaining. By now I have decided what I like. I prefer the stories based around Ankh-Morpork that include Commander Vimes, can tolerate the wizards, but don't get excited about Granny Weatherwax.

I am also reading Imperial Life in the Emerald City, but only one chapter a day. It is kind of a sequel to Catch-22.

Talking of books. I was wandering through a bookshop and saw a book I liked. It cost $49.95. I went home and ordered it from The Book Depository for $16.04 with free postage. True, the Book Depository was doing an extra 10% discount at the time and the more expensive version was found in a speciality bookshop, but the price differential is not entirely atypical.

I have no idea how the book trade works and why the government didn't take up the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and reform the market. I do know that if I can wait two weeks for a book, I will usually buy it online. In general, I can't see the point in paying more than 10-20 % above the cheapest online price for the atmospherics of a bookshop. I know some will decry this view. I still think we need bookshops, because there is nothing like hunting and discovering if you are in the mood. Again, perhaps I won't know what I want until I see it and actually hold it in my hands. Then I can go home and order it online.

My other recent book purchase was The Red Book of Carl Jung. It is a big book, like if you climbed the giant's beanstalk, you would see it on his coffee table. I sort of bought it just for the pictures - seriously trippy as they are. I have started reading the translation too and confirm it is an endearing exploration of consciousness. The language is foreign, the idiom is arcane, but the concepts are not. It is universal.

Here are some pictures from it below and you can download a pdf preview here. Amazing.






Need I add that Amazon was happy to deliver it literally to my hands for half the cost of buying it in Australia, online or otherwise.

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My friend in Adelaide just received a motorbike as a present from his father-in-law. It is a 1982 Suzuki 850 classic touring bike in mint condition. It is therefore old enough to ride in the Bay to Birdwood Rally (Adelaide thing). It was procured in a pawn shop for a remarkably low price. Why? The paint job. Apparently the fuel tank has a mural of a skeleton holding a light saber on in it. In fact, a skeleton wearing a pirate shirt and a top hat holding a light saber. As if that was not awesome enough, the front mud guard has a Transylvanian castle on it. This sounds incomparably awesome to me and I don't even ride a motorbike. It is amazing that it was so cheap. Some people have no taste. I want pictures.

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