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As Lyndon Johnson Used to Say . . .

Published on November 15, 2006, by in Australia, Fujitsu.

When LBJ was a Senator from Texas and famous for getting his way against strong opposition from fellow congressmen and government bureaucrats, he was asked to explain his negotiating secrets. He said to the questioning newspaper reporter: “Son, it’s really simple. You grab ’em firmly by the balls. Their hearts and minds will follow.” It turns out that what charms reluctant politicians works just as well on corporations . . . case in point, Fujitsu.

 
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Walking Through Fairy Bower

Published on October 16, 2006, by in Australia, Manly, Preparations.

This morning I did two hours of walking at best speed. Had to stop a few times to ease the thigh-burn. The rain let up as I began but the wind blew so hard off the ocean that at one point the steady breeze across the mouth of the water bottle I was drinking from produced a perfect “A”. Fairy Bower is an upscale community that hugs the top of a steep cliff that juts eastward out to sea, directly south of Manly Beach.

 
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Your Fly is Open

Published on October 8, 2006, by in Australia, Manly, Mark Twain.

Today – and almost any day – is “fly day” in Manly. Spring or Summer brings swarms of flies that would carry off small dogs were they not well tethered. They drive pedestrians to mad semaphoric wavings. The phrase “bloody flies” is the local equivalent of the American reference to inappropriate maternal affection.

 
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Let’s Call This a Training Session for India

Published on October 2, 2006, by in Australia, India, Preparations.

Travel confounds your assumptions and habits. Where I am now, in Australia, exit signs are green. Cars drive on the left side of the road and pedestrians generally follow the same sinister path.

 
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Manly Jazz Festival – Day 03

Published on October 1, 2006, by in Australia, Manly.

After the cold wind that drove out the audience for yesterday’s last set, this morning’s calm warmth is welcome. But spring in Australia is as full of shiny promises in the morning that become afternoon disappointments. It’s not quite 6am. The same sun that is setting for the west coast of South America is now offering itself to the eastern edge of Oz as sunrise. The plaza before the main stage is empty and expectant. The street that parallels the beach is deserted. The guest house I’m now living in it just around the corner in that photo. There’s more

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Manly Jazz Festival – Day 02

Published on September 30, 2006, by in Australia, Manly.

This afternoon, the John Harkins Trio were the backup for Delilah, an American singer. A huge crowd stayed seated and standees filled all the space in the plaza during the entire show despite the bitterly cold wind that came in off the ocean.

 
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Manly Jazz Festival – Day 01

Published on September 29, 2006, by in Australia, Manly.

The 29th Manly Jazz festival opened today. Despite a great deal of anxiety about the incomplete condition of the Corso reconstruction, everyone seemed satisfied. My son, John Harkins, was the afternoon’s attraction on the Main Stage overlooking Manly’s mile and one-half long beach. I’ve never heard John play with such fire. His runs were awesome and his improvisations full of joy and excitement. I’m sure the crowd’s response added to his enthusiasm.  (Click on the “read more” links for photos)

 
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Turning and Turning . . .

Published on September 26, 2006, by in Australia, Manly.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; W. B. Yeats, poem As usual, I’m clueless about what, if anything can be done to salvage the relationship with “E.” She’s totally withdrawn. I’m in the spare bedroom (says she can’t sleep with me in the same bed). Won’t talk (“nothing to talk about”). Goes off on her own for hours (“I need to be alone.”).

 
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The US$3,000 Paperweight

Published on September 20, 2006, by in Australia, Fujitsu.

The Fujitsu Lifebook P7120 laptop computer is out of service and the situation is not good. Only a few months ago I paid $2,000 for it and invested roughly $1,000 more in software and memory upgrade. Now its only dependable function is to keep loose papers from blowing away in a breeze.

 
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First Day – Manly and Sydney

Published on September 16, 2006, by in Australia, Manly.

My first day back visiting beloved Australia started just after dawn in Manly with a brisk walk north along the beach, from the Gazebo near the Corso, about a mile to Queenscliff and back. If the Gazebo looks familiar to Americans, it was the centerpiece in a television commercial for Old Navy clothes, shown frequently across the US in August Prime Time. Teenage dancers were romping around the Gazebo, showing off the Old Navy fashions.

 
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Who’s Got the Lowest Price?

The Emperor Franz Joseph famously complained that Mozart’s music has “too many notes.” My version of that, probably as lazy and ill-informed as his, says there are too many choices online for buying air tickets.

 
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ants . . .

Published on August 10, 2006, by in Australia, India, Preparations.

. . . in my pants. Sand in my shoes. Wander in my lust. It’s been an entire year (August 2005) since I lived out of my suitcase and I’m getting horny for it’s intimate embrace. Of course, thanks to the war criminals in the White House, our economy – and more specifically – the value of the US Dollar as international currency, has declined near to that of toilet paper. When you persist in an illegal war that costs billions per month – and hide its fiscal consequences by failing to either raise taxes or sell war bonds to

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Do You Sprangle?

Published on August 9, 2006, by in Australia, India, Preparations.

Sprangle – (definition: “going in all directions“) That’s what I’m doing. No, this is not about my uncontrolled waistline, nor does it refer to my expansive ego. It’s about travel – travel in many directions, local and far – and in many modes, formal and informal. BTW – speaking of “all directions” that’s not a rug in this photo, just a lousy haircut. On Sep 14th, 2006 I’ll be off again on another pilgrimage from Jersey City, NJ USA to Manly Beach, NSW, Australia. In addition to the 4 weeks in Oz, I’ll finish up that trip with my usual sprangle

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