A New Year

>> Wednesday, January 16, 2013

17 days into the new year, and I've decided to visit this abandoned hovel of mine, my little piece of land (rented of course) on this vast expanse of the world wide web.

My last post was over a year and a half ago... and a lot has happened. Nothing that new/drastic, but still, a lot non-the-less.

I did another contract with Princess Cruises, this time on the Star Princess, in Alaska again... As my luck would have it, the Star had not been back to Alaska in 4 years, and of course I was assigned to it on its return voyage. What I did not expect was that it would be replacing the Sapphire (my first ship), and thus doing the exact same itinerary it was doing last season. So I got to see all the same places on exactly the same days as my last contract... At least I knew where all the good places to eat were this time round...

On the plus side, I met someone amazing... she's amazingly strong willed, determined, beautiful, talented, loveable... perfect. She made the contract all the more bearable, and I won't mind doing a few more contracts with Princess if she doesn't mind tagging along with me...

Anyway, we're scheduled to go back to Sapphire (Alaska again...), so we're mentally preparing ourselves for that.

I don't know how much use it is now to keep this blog running, I'm seriously considering starting a new one fresh and proper this time, with perhaps a better focus on my creative pursuits - maybe just keep this one for personal crap.

Entered the World Nomads photographer competition - first time I've submitted photographs of mine that I've seriosuly had to think about when selecting, check out my entry here.

I'll just finish this post with a link to some awesome videos shot with macro lenses - seriously check it out and get inspired! -> http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/macro-videography-photography/


So much for maintaining this blog...

>> Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have failed yet again to keep this blog up to date... I am so glad I didn't try to start a new one dedicated to my cruise ship adventures.. that would have been just plain embarrassing!

Anyway, since my last post, most of the drama has died away, and I believe I have settled into ship life.. for now. I have to admit that Alaska has become really stale right now, especially considering that we're doing the same 7 day run every week. But, in 3 weeks that will all end and we'll be headed down south to warmer waters - Mexico and Hawaii, I cannot wait!

The Sapphire Docked at Victoria, BC, Canada
How long have a been onboard now? Looking at the voyage numbers, I started with the Sapphire on May 25, which was voyage H123. We are now on voyage H137. I joined on this exact day, same port (Juneau) 3 months ago. So this makes it exactly 14 weeks. 14 doesn't seem much, and it has flown by really fast, but it still feels so LONG at the same time. Absolute weirdness.

(btw.. loving the new scribe feature for posting.. so intuitive now!)

Anyway, I have not forgotten my promised series of posts on the 'pursuit of sanity'.. which I still reckon to be an interesting title if I say so myself, and there is ALOT to say - just getting round to putting it on 'paper' twill be the challenge.

One of the toughest things to adjust to is not having the people you could so easily talk to about things around to just.. talk. Though there may be 1100 other crew members on board, and you do bond easily and quickly since so many just come and go in the blink of an eye, they are still not the people you can so easily trust with the most important things close to your heart and soul.

And I have to say this sounds strange coming from me, who doesn't talk much about personal matters to anyone, not even those I have called my best friends since.. I can't remember. But there are a select few who I have confided in, especially from the past year, that I truly miss. I certainly hope that this distance between us is only temporary, and the shared confidence in each other has not, and will not, fade.

Enough of that talk now - it's whale watching time! Will attempt to upload photos here too now for all to see, not just the book of faces.



Greetings from the Far North + Obstacles to the Pursuit of Sanity Aboard the Sapphire Princess

>> Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hey... whoever still reads this.

So I am now in beautiful ALASKA!

I have been here nearly a month now, and it has been crazy hectic, but still damn enjoyable so far.

For those who don't know (presuming anyone even reads this), I am working aboard the cruise ship Sapphire Princess as a Videographer.

When I left, I was a mixed bag of emotions. It hadn't struck me until just a few hours before my flight out what it all really means. 6 months, away from home, away from those I know, and those I (for the most part) love.

And now?

I reckon my mind is too overloaded at the moment to process everything. They said the first month would be a total mind fuck, and it has been. But I don't think most first contracts have that much drama packed into the first month alone. I don't feel like unloading all the details of the drama at the present moment (partially due to some perhaps misguided concerns of mine regarding the discussion of work issues and trade secrets in a public forum...), so I guess I may save that for another time, whenever that may be.

So what shall I talk about? My first impressions of Ship Life I guess.

The pursuit of sanity seems to be a strong force amongst the staff aboard this vessel, and I dare to say aboard any seafaring vessel. But one is faced by numerous obstacles in this pursuit, obstacles that seem trifling to most land lubbers and sea babies at first glace, but will soon grow, over time, into towering cliffs.

I have just decided that my blogging topics for the next month shall be on these obstacles. I know I should focus on the excitement and all, but at the moment, this is the best my cluttered mind can come up with, and it shall be my set writing tasks for this blog. I will intersperse all the gloom with some bright splashes of excitement every now and then of course, but then, that is presuming the discussion of these 'Obstacles to the Pursuit of Sanity Aboard the Sapphire Princess' will all be gloom and doom. We have yet to see, so we shall now delve into any assumptions right now.

Obstacle One: The Sense of Time prt 1
The first thing that struck me after a few days/nights on board, is that your surroundings in the crew area look exactly the same, no matter the time of day. Just outside the heavy wooden aqua coloured door of your cabin (the appropriate abbreviation of cabinet), is a network of musty corridors with green patterned carpets, cheap wood paneled walls, and muted fluorescent lights. Leading out from the cabin areas is the two toned sterility of the crew stairwell - solid blue floors countered by overpowering white washed walls, bulkheads and hand rails. And it all that stays like that, 24 / 7.

They only hint you may get is that faint hum of human activity, that ethereal pulse of life which one can only accurately detect through the development of an extra sense - a sense that one hopes will develop over time into an accurate gauge of the time aboard a ship without the aid of a watch or the need to look out a port hole. It is a gift I have not yet attained.

I am not sure how much this will affect me, but it was the first thing I noticed that I thought might affect me. Not sure how much, or if, but what I look forward to is being able to channel that feeling of being detached from 'natural' time into any stories regarding traveling in confined spaces, particularly deep space.

Well, thats all from me for now - I must get back to the ship if I am to maintain the schedule I have developed for myself. You may notice this is only part 1 of time - I put that in there in the chance that the extra, but currently undeveloped, things I want to say about the Sense of Time may grow into some worthy parcels of words to publish.

Bye for now,



>> Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of the outcomes of my Honours Project, finally finished!

Unable to upload properly onto youtube due to the music infringements... will see if there can be an alternative.



Their Words Over Ours - the Networks vs the People

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yes yes, this blog has been literally dead for ages, but I suddenly have the urge to put my 2 cents worth out here on the interweb.

this David & Goliath image may become apparent by the end of this post...
if not.. then I have failed miserably with this post, and would have done better to 
just shutup and go to sleep

Just finished watching The Yes Men Fix the World, which is an interesting doco about The Yes Men (elaborate hoaxers with good intentions) taking on the forces of the free market. Here's a trailer if you're interested.

Their first hoax (I switched over to SBS randomly so missed the first part) involved Dow Chemicals and the  Bhopal Disaster of 1984. Dow Chemicals is the parent company of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the largely unknown catastrophe which saw a pesticide factory leaking dangerous gases and chemicals into the surrounding areas and causing catastrophic damage to the local populace - an immediate death toll of over 3000, and over 120,000 requiring lifelong care.
The hoax saw Andy Bichlbaum posing as a spokesperson for Dow Chemicals (named Jude Finisterra) and going onto BBC news to announce that Dow Chemicals was accepting full responsibility for the disaster and were offering to pay off all settlements to the people of Bhopal, worth upwards of $12 billion. Needless to say, this caused a tremendous stir in the news, and even resulted in the Dow Chemical share prices to drop $2 billion in 23 minutes.

After the announcement was revealed to be a hoax, Andy was invited back to BBC channel 4 for an interview. The pompous sounding interviewer (whose name/image I cannot locate presently) asked if he had considered the feelings of the people of Bhopal, some of who, as he claimed, had broken down in tears upon hearing it was a hoax - how did he feel about giving them false hopes and dashing it away cruelly? Andy responded that this hoax was comparatively less distressing than the damage done by Dow Chemicals, but this isn't the point of my post.
The Yes Men followed up this claim in their documentary by travelling to Bhopal and assessing the people's reactions themselves. It was overall positive, and nothing like what the BBC interviewed had claimed.

Admittedly, the negativity could have been edited out of their own documentary, but what struck me was that I was curious as to where the interviewer had gotten his sources from. Not to say that it wasn't a valid question to pose, since two wrongs do not make a right. When a similar hoax was done later on to the rebuilding contractors of New Orleans, the same question of false hopes was raised again, but one of the residents interviewed basically said it didn't matter if it was a hoax, because it finally brought this situation to the attention of the media, and they were now able to show people what was really going on.

It struck me again as to where these reporters were getting their sources. Yes a few may be disgruntled, but I feel that these guys were out looking for confrontation no matter what, because that is what sells. And it struck me that, these networks, really don't give accurate reports on the feelings of the people, unless it  serves their own purposes. Who are they reporting for? It never really seems they do report for us, and it really feels like they are putting words into our (collected) mouths.

And here it goes, back to RMIT Media Course 101 on social media. And it isn't like I haven't had these thoughts before - I was just reminded of it by this entertaining doco, and at the time, it really got me on edge to think that those TV News executives and reporters have the audacity to presume they speak for the people, when in fact they speak for.. I was tempted to say where the money bag is biggest, but that would be too presumptuous of me.

And I guess this is why I was suddenly given the urge to blog - because at the present moment, it is the only way I am able to get MY words, from MY mouth (or brain rather), out THERE, to... whoever may be reading... which I highly doubt are many... if any. But it still gives me a sense of power over my own thoughts and feelings.. not that I never had... or have I? (rambling again.. must move on!)

But I really HATE the idea of having some suit sitting behind a desk telling others how I am feeling. Argh!! The tenacity of some people! And hate isn't too strong a word in this situation.

Thank you Christian Bale for lending your face to my anger 

Anyway, that is my rant for the night/morning.

On to lighter topics, THOR is coming out in Melbourne this Thursday and I can't wait! Wasn't into comics when I was a kid so have never had any real knowledge at all about the heroes of that interesting world. But with the announcement of the The Avengers movie, I am totally psyched about it!
Geek alert! Bazinga!


Delayed photos: China Trip day 1 - Perth

>> Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hotel room - that's my new-ish Deuter backpack on the left that I got from Malaysia. Genuine, and paid for just half of what it costs here in Oz. Sis with obligatory Asian peace sign pose on the right.

Significant historical figure... was a drag?

Nice medieval looking street - ok medieval is not the word I'm looking for, but this reminded me so much of Munich, Germany.

An interesting way of tackling some public transport etiquette issues... there were a few nursery rhymes used, including Jack and Jill, but I didn't have time to snap them... it was such a rush! A rush I tell you! A rush!!

Your customary/obligatory Chinatown entrance gate - you'll be hard put NOT to find one in any city around the world.

I dunno, this amused me. So I snapped it.
It still amuses me.

Your obligatory modern street art funded by the local council.

Authentic Chinese Chick!?

Authentic Chinese Dude!?

This one's a much more authentic pose.

Authentic Chi! (Chee is my dad's name.. ;) )

Bubbles bubbles everywhere!

Yours truly attempting an artsy shot

Noogie the Gumnut baby!!

Local Space ship.

Local clock tower.

Look! It's a Monkey with a pint!

Go Perth for going green! And Gassy! (lame I know, but I just had to!)

The ultimate 3D experience! (Avatar pre-JamesCameron
I know what I wrote in the bracket makes NO sense at all... 

Classic-meets-modern Church

I wish these styles of posters would make a comeback - they're awsome!

White froth on brown liquid in a cup = $3.50 spent to make one feel culturally and socially sophisticated.

It's an upside-down Dome. Get it!
..... shutup

The circus was in town! We were the freak show, these guys were for the kids


I dunno what I was thinking getting them to pose like that.. as if they didn't look touristy enough already

Oooh.. low angle perspective shot to emphasise the architecture... artwank douche ;)

A failed attempt at getting a nice shot of Perth's night lights... 

Stayed tuned for more photos later!


Barbie Video Girl vs Canon 7D

Friend shared this on facebook.

Quite funny. I'm amazed at how 'toys' have developed over the years, and this camera embedded into a Barbie Doll? A Curious Classic I think.

This reminds me of discussions I often have with my friend Changas regarding what latest camera technology is the best, etc - it can even be applied to technology of any kind. In the end, it doesn't matter how great the technology is, it's how you use it. They are, after all, just tools.

But even though I know this, I find myself diving headlong into research about the latest gear and what I should invest in... but I just give up after a while because it's just way too much sometimes. And it's turned out well so far. At least, my wallet is happy.

Anyway, thought I'd also drop in this post that next week I'll be shooting my first wedding video with a few of my friends. It's almost a test run of how we can/will work and whether or not we want to pursue it further and create a production company to do this stuff. Time will tell.

I wish to apologise also for the long silence on this space. I tend to do this a lot - I just can't get into the habit of habitual blogging. Note to self: must be more disciplined, and harsher on myself!

Also thought I might as well upload some photos from my China trip from a few weeks back in my next post. The first batch is from the first day which we spent in Perth. Enjoy!

Anyways, will keep you posted (at least.. try.. ) on the rest.


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