Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A night at the Brekkie Creek...

A final catch up at the Brekkie Creek! From left to right - Supriya, Joe, Lyle & Kevin - the "old" team leader crew at DHL Express Brisbane. Supriya remains, Joe is moving to Ireland, Lyle is doing teacher training and Kev has moved into sales. Good memories from 10 years at DHL Brisbane and a few last drinks, so a good night was had by all. The pics are all here. Now just to pack up the last of my stuff...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Pink Floyd Experience

Rick and I went to see The Pink Floyd Experience at the QPAC concert hall last night. Absolutely awesome tribute show, with (obviously) years of practice in recreating the Pink Floyd sound and vision. Well worth seeing (and hearing). They did a full version of "The Wall", building up the wall throughout the show, and breaking it down at the end. Plenty of theatrics as well as superb music. It was amusing to see some older members of the crowd getting up and leaving as the show built to a finale. Sometimes I have no idea why people buy tickets to shows which are obviously not suited to their tastes... Mmm...
I'm nearly ready to leave Australia for the cold & darkness of Ireland, with a quick stop in Portsmouth, England on the way to look at buying a car. I'm just packing my 2nd Jumbo Box now, to be sent with DHL of course! Clare has returned from San Antonio, Texas, which was rather like Brisbane, to an icy/murky November in Dundalk and Northern Ireland... Now you can start to understand why there are so many pubs in Ireland and so many households have Sky TV... When daylight starts to go under 8 hours a day... They're sure not out having BBQ's, but at least they have plenty of water!
The Ashes has started today and is showing on all the tv's in my call centre. I would rather watch grass grow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Clare in San Antonio, Texas...

Clare is in San Antonio, Texas this week with her boss Peter from Ireland, adding to the Clare & Joe World Tour, which has taken in Wellington, Dublin, Belfast, Poland, London, Orlando & Los Angeles over recent months! More cities & dates to be added soon! ...
I'm in Texas. Ye Ha! I've finally got the internet on in the hotel room. I was having problems as you have to use your own name as a password and the hotel computer kept rejecting me. So they gave me another name - Winkler! My trip started on Friday night, and on my way to Crumlin (Belfast), I got stopped by the police at Newry and asked where I was going and why. Every car in and out was being stopped. Belfast cars were allowed on. Peter said they were looking for someone in particular as it would normally just be a road block and re-direction signs. The B&Q store in Newry seemed to be intact and not in flames when I went past! (see note) Belfast (MI5) airport was a breeze compared to Dublin but no special clearance zone with Americans in the basement. So at Newark we had to get our bags and clear customs and check in again. Stress and a half. We were both quite buggered and it was warm in Newark. Peter got detained for a bit to discuss why he still had his green slip in his passport from his last USA trip!
Newark is a completely new airport since I was last there. Owned by Westfield actually. All food groups and lots of other shopping. I went to a mall in San Antonio this afternoon, and frankly the Westfield at Newark was better! Not one supermarket, book store, music store, etc. at this mall, but Macys, Saks, bath shops ie. body shops with artificial colouring & flavouring, and kids shops like I've never seen. I bought nothing. And of course you can’t walk across the 6 lane highway to the mall across the road. I tried. At least its warm. And no RAIN. Actually they are in long term drought. All parts of the USA had flood rain this week except here.
Funny kind of place but still it’s a big American city with shopping malls and a wide range of ethnic food available - loads of Tex Mex and BBQ shops. Not BBQ as in Bunnings but as in meat that has been Texas BBQ’ed - not like an Aussie BBQ. Traditionally buried in a pit and cooked for 12 hrs on coals but does not taste or look anything like a hangi. So much better! I did tourist stuff yesterday and went to The Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, the historic "artist village" (all stuff made in Nicaragua, etc.) and I went to the art museum for a photo show. Walked for miles, caught buses with locals for 85 cents, talked to homeless black folk, etc. and ate Tex Mex for lunch. I stuck to some meal based on corn chips, avocado, salsa & sour cream (of course). And a margarita (of course). But alas no plastic cocktail cups yet.
That's it for now. I'm presenting a 15 min session on Wednesday. Lots of networking happening!
(note) - B&Q is a British hardware superstore chain (much like Bunnings) which has been targeted by firebugs in Northern Ireland recently. Nobody has been caught yet. So you're always on the lookout when you drive past B&Q!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ever feel like this before your morning coffee?

OK, before I start, this post is pretty much unrelated to Dundalk, or to the travels of Clare or Joe, it is however related to Joe's madness on Halloween, and how this has translated to his call centre, causing his staff to cover their desks in cobwebs or come to work in costumes covered in blood, hugging a giant inflatable pumpkin. That just about covers it. Meanwhile, Clare spent Halloween in cold Dundalk, while fireworks went off in the background, but alas no kids knocking on the door seeking candy, as Tain Court is a high security impenetrable fortress with no access for trick or treaters. So that's how Halloween went down for 2006. Of course, there was always 2005 in Edinburgh, where a fine cool evening was spent on one of the "least ever spooky" underground tours, in what is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Great Britain. But I did bring back a nice gravestone! So please enjoy all of these photos taken at DHL Brisbane.
Chills & Thrills for another year... :) Joe.