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2003 (old posts, page 7)

The world at 14000ft

It happened so fast. Today we took a trip a little out of town (still at Byron Bay) to Sky Dive Byron Bay. After getting all strapped up and ready to go, I hopped into a tiny plane with another girl and two cameramen and we were on our way. The climb took a little while - beautifully clear sky and great views of the bay being replaced with just a few thin clouds just before 14000ft. Jumping from a moving plane at altitude is the biggest rush you can imagine - the rushing wind, the freedom of movement and the unbelivable view are all a factor, but the fact that you're simply hurtling towards the ground without restraint is simply crazy. And then, 10000 feet and 70 seconds later, the parachute deploys and everything is tranquil.When's the next flight?

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Nimbin

The trip to Nimbin was a lot of fun. The party bus for Jim's Alternative Tour (complete with full sound system and pumping melodies) took us out to what has to be one of the strangest little towns in the world. A couple of pots of Chai later, we headed on out to a massive botanical garden 'Hippy Heaven' planted some thirty years ago by a guy from New York, wanting to escape things in the States. I think he'd manage to escape too far. A final stop at the 100m Minyon Falls set the scene for the ride home and the day came to a close.Looks like the weather's going to be good today, which is handy; I'm going to go in a plane this afternoon.

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Byron Bay

Yesterday turned out to be a lot of fun despite our not really doing anything. The plan unfolded in Starbucks; we met up with a guy called Alex who Lauren met in NZ and proceeded to take in the sights, sounds and several schmiddies of Hahn Premium from a rooftop bar in The Rocks. As night fell, we moved on and ended up in a rather upscale bar called Establishment, brutally underdressed for the occassion. They gave out free mini lamb pies though, so everything was OK.There is, however, questionable wisdom in drinking before embarking on a 13 hour bus ride. The euphoria of the upcoming journey was soon displaced by the inevitable feeling of 'afterwards' which, assisted by the unforgiving seats, lasted for much of the rest of the journey. We lazed on the beach at Byron Bay for most of the day, so overall overnight bus journies probably get the thumbs up.A day trip to Nimbin tomorrow, on to Fraser Island at the weekend and then three days on a boat sailing around the Whitsundays. Lots of fun still to come.

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Sydney

Yesterday was a blur. From the bus station, we picked up our bus tickets and booked space on the 2145 to Byron Bay this evening. It gets in at some point tomorrow morning, I'm yet to see whether the overnight bus is the solution to doing more stuff in less time.After getting some DayTripper passes, we decided to use Sydney's land transport system to the full. A trip to Kings Cross, lunch in a backpackers haunt called Krave, then on to Bondi Junction and the beach which had some decent surf despite the time of year. Back onto the bus up to Circular Quay, a ferry out to Manly, a ten minute dash through the town to see Manly Beach on the other side, back on the (same) ferry and off to the show. Which was fantastic. As the final night, with the conductor who will be the resident next year for the Sydney Symphony, it was a great performance to see. The reputation of the Sydney Opera House is well deserved.No plans for today, but I'm sure all the best adventures start that way..

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Sydney

There's something truly amazing about world travel - I can leave Seattle one afternoon and arrive in Sydney the next morning. That's cool.Sydney seems like a fun place, there's plenty to see and do. Yesterday we saw the sights: the Sydney Opera House, crossing the Harbour Bridge and dining and drinking in Darling Harbour. Just booked last minute tickets for tonights performance of Beethoven Triumphant in the Concert Hall at the Opera House, so that should be great.Writing this from an internet cafe on the way to the bus station. Plans are to get an overnight to Byron Bay on Tuesday but nothing's fixed yet. Still got to visit Bondi Beach, Manly and Kings Cross while here in Sydney, so that's the order of the day.Photos to follow.

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Time for a trip

I had the pleasure of making my first sale of shares yesterday, a process which through it's simplicity is plainly confusing. It all seems a bit artifical doing it over the web, I'd far rather bark 'sell, sell, sell' over the phone to someone; maybe you to pay for that service, I'm not sure.All this in preparation for a little jaunt to the southern hemisphere - I'm leaving Seattle Friday to arrive in Sydney, Australia on Sunday morning to meet up with Lauren on her worldwide trip. We'll make our way up to Cairns over just two weeks, a marathon perhaps, but a fun journey I'm sure.

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Salmon Days

I can't go without mentioning Kris Leija, the unfortunate guy who saved four children from a burning building, only to be tossed into jail. A Salmon Day, if ever I heard one.I wonder if heroic acts work as credit against your debt to society.

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Journals

This isn't a weblog, I'm just not good/disciplined/free enough to record and link to relevant web content (brainmunchies is the closest to that). This is a journal. The distinction is purely artifical, but after finishing Fahrenheit 451 I'm feeling scared we'll forget everything if it's not written down. In truth, it would probably work the other way around - too much information that the importance of certain things gets lost. Embedded reporting fuelled the warnography craze for a while and now it's the Scott Peterson trial that the most important event of the moment. The irony is there - on the one hand I could complain about only ever getting a single point of view (that of the reporter), on the other I perceive the subject matter to be far more important than it really is (several vocal points of view, none of which necessarily agree).

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Dirty bomb in Seattle?

Seattle is preparing for the biggest civil disaster drill ever conducted in the world. South of downtown, by the freeway, they're gradually building a disaster scene as it would appear following a dirty bomb detonation for a drill next month, all courtesy of the federal government. Ahead of time it seems like a great idea, but if the exercise doesn't go well, is that a good or a bad thing?Despite the chatter of the possibility since 9/11, it doesn't especially weigh on my mind. I honestly don't believe the likelihood has increased, merely the perception. In any case, if I'm lucky, I'll be in Redmond, if I'm not, there's not a huge amount I can do. Shit happens. Of late, more people have died from suffocation in their chemical-weapon-proof rooms than through the attack they fear, the world continues to turn and maybe ignorance really is the best policy.