IMPORTANT: The following journal is intended for the use and viewing of approved persons only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this work is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word ‘absquatulation’ has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the creation of this journal and a minimum of Microsoft software was used. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards.

Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 9 June 2006 (Day View)

09.06.2006Friday 9 June – POD, Bank Problems & The Zen of Equipment Failure

Clint and I drove to uni, where I did some printing at POD.
I got a call from Intech. We had a chat about my skills in various areas, weaknesses, where I saw myself heading, what I was interested in, and the wage I was after.
I logged into Citibank’s online banking, only to find that two of my accounts were gone, along with the money in them. I tried phoning Citibank, only to find a recorded message saying I was unable to call the number. A call to Engin confirmed that this was Engin’s problem, not Citibank’s. Apparently all 13– numbers in Queensland were not connecting. I managed to find a direct dial number for Citibank, and after half an hour on the phone, managed to get most of my accounts and all my money added back. I still have one account missing, which they’re apparently investigating, and I have to call back later to find out what the deal is. This brings me to the Zen of Equipment Failure, but first, some top-deck chocolate.
I trimmed back the front garden, as it is now growing out of its beds.
Clint has been attempting to justify his bushwalking habit by calling it the “Zen of physical maintenance”, and claiming he admires it for its brutal simplicity—an escape from the complexity of the modern information society.
  I, as is my nature, feel compelled to disagree. Bushwalking as an escape from the technical complexity of modern life? Not for Clint. After he’s finished fighting his GPS—which scrolls down but not up—and selecting the right datum to use from the baffling array of very similar, but slightly incompatible choices, he then has to work out which of the 18 ropes on his particularly-multi-purpose US Army Poncho he should pull on to achieve the desired result. He will then stop to correct a shoe malfunction, while discussing timing limitations in the mobile phone network.
  I, on the other hand, am mastering the Zen of equipment failure. By taking along guaranteed to fail equipment, purchased for the cheapest possible price, I am not only freeing myself from the artificial shackles of debt-driven economic dependency, I am also saving enough money for the milkshake I’ll fantasize about for the whole walk, and achieving something really worthwhile. It’s a hollow achievement, overcoming with the best of the best, or even suitably equipped—but try taking a ten-dollar self-deflating mattress in a split-open twenty-dollar pack, to lay on your three-dollar tarp under your two-dollar-fifty plastic-bag poncho—you’ll be thanking the dozen shoelaces you bought for two dollars, as you tie your six-dollar thongs back onto what’s left of your pack. Ancient sadhus may have lain upon beds of nails, or shivered alone in lofty Himalayan caves in their quest for enlightenment—I simply blow up my inflatable mattress at regular intervals throughout the night.
  And next, I plan to start walking at night. Everyone else walks in the day, properly equipped—where’s the challenge in that?
Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:09 PM
  The bikkhu of bushwalking. Such deliberate omissions, as opposed to our poverty-enforced omissions, have precedence in the mountaineering field: climbing without ropes and the ultralight mob. Both of whom you've said are silly.
  I think the idea is novel if nothing else, and while I'm not searching for a path to any single truth a multi-day walk under such conditions make for some interesting Zen. Actually, how about this as a proposal: the long-awaited night walk series using only $3 Everready torches?
  Bloody Hare Krishna wannabe Zen lunatics and their $70 torches!
Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:17 PM
  I also have an old $20 pack that smells like bananas, if you want to rid yourself of that brand new Cerro Torre :P
Comment by Ned – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:22 PM
  Without light, you can’t see. I very much like my new, and rather expensive, torch—though I do admire your head-torch’s ability to randomly turn off and not on again.
  I also quite like my new pack—I’ve already done the exploding twenty-dollar pack thing, I’m a fast learner, I don’t need to do it again. Besides, I need something large and reliable to put all my other unreliable junk in.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 12:58 AM
  I think you're both silly. And arguing about it on the open interweb is just likely to make you seem like the interweb types. I shouldn't need to remind you about people that talk about what they're going to post on their journals when they get home.
  As for the rest of the description about doing it below a non-existant budget, its not quite so impressive when you think that you're just being a student, like every other student, and these are the stories you'll be telling people that you start with the line "When I was younger..."
  For fairness sake I'll post a comment on Clints too.
Comment by sef – Saturday 10 June 2006, 9:25 AM
  God forbid someone puts something on the Internet other than "today was horrible, here's a poem". I fail to see how posting something original, previously unmentioned to anyone, places me in the 'interweb' category. It certainly doesn't place me in my own, and I'd figured myself to be one of the lone cynics there. Ned could have perhaps rang me to discuss his opinion on it - but, after all, the medium is interactive and cheap.
  If any discussion at all over the Internet is inherently 'interweb', not only do you indirectly legitimise the genuine wrongs of the content provider, but in making such a condascending statement in the same media context you set yourself up as sort of postmodern clown.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 10:50 AM
  I never claimed to be anything even half that good.
  I think the 'interweb' is a lot bigger than you think, definitely including all of us.
Comment by Mum – Monday 12 June 2006, 12:31 AM
  Yes. Well. All sounds very nice and interrlectural. You go down the road sideways heading towards a bridge. Oh Zen. You try driving these roads after 18 inches of rain overnight. Very Zen.
  It is not that it is a heavy problem. We would not live here otherwise, it is just that there is a measure of flippancy about some Zen angst which makes me laugh. Geez. This is a paradise up here and the world doesnt know it. There is really something about going down the road sideways, with one's heart in the mouth, and one's teeth on edge and many unholy swear words emanating, and the bridge railings coming up FAST and......well, Zen is another way of saying AMEN. Keeps you on your toes. This is the best place in Australia and I dont want anybody to know it. Yeah, okay. biased.

Add your comments

You may leave a short comment, not longer than 800 characters.

Be Amused

Printed on 100% recycled electrons
W3C CSS 2.0