Saturday, 28 August 2010

Just when you thought it was a goon night...

Tonight we had a lovely evening at Metis. Fantastic food, great deserts, fantastic cocktails and expensive wine, well hey this is Bali, not their fault. As I said a great night.

We had just said goodnight to our friends and were making our way back to the motorbike when I noticed my helmet wasn't there.

I made some noise to rustle up some Sampat, thats local for security guys, and we all had a search of the area. Not a biggie, a helmet like the one I lost costs around fifty bucks. I wasn't going to make too big of a deal about it. That is until this guy, not in security outfit but with radio makes his way over to me, he glares at mr and speaks, well it was more like a snarl. Words spill out in which he tells me it's my fault. I should have locked the helmet away, I should have made sure it wasn't able to be stolen. In seconds it went from hero night to zero night. This guy really pissed me off! Have you been to Metis? This is a compound where you are screened at entering, this is one of Bali's best restaurants, right now there are 8 security standing around me. This guy was aggressive, his people skills sucked, he was right up there in my face. I was livid.

I demanded to see the manager. We stormed back to the restaurant I was shown to some guy still in uniform. I started to explain what had happened. A bule, a foreigner, approached rapidly, I was loud. I was upset. Not good for a restaurant to have someone like that in the entrance. What to do with a scene in the entrance of the restaurant? Take it outside. They were in damage control, the polite Frenchman asked the specifics while urging me to move towards the door. I met him halfway by lowering my tone. My beef wasn't about the loss of the helmet, it was about being treated as guilty by their, what seemed to me "head" of security. Funnily enough the Frenchman lowered his gaze, looked about and then he conceded that he had no control over them, that they needed to use externals to look after their security and there was no recompense, but what stuck me as odd, they were not allowed to comment on performance! Now what is that all about? I wanted an apology from this arrogant dude and the manager, well he couldn't deliver it to me. Money for replacement, from the restaurants point of view that was no problem. I should have said that the helmet was worth more. But that's not me.

I was unable to get my ounce of flesh. I took what little was on offer, I took the money, finally, after multiple refusals as I knew I had hit a stump. They gave me, what I now can sit and work out to be 5% of our bill. Not even worthy of a voucher is it?

Both the manager and I could not bring this prick to pay so we both sought the low road. Sometimes in Bali there is no justice. My only Hope is that karma will prevail and strike.

In respect to this I tell you friends just do not leave your helmet on your bike at Metis for the moment.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Rules and regs...

I have a friend and his daughter coming to stay and I have to go away. Now like all good homes I have a couple of idiosyncracies that people should know about so I wrote him a list. I thought it worthy of a blog post...

My home - The quirks and works.
Where to begin? Safety I suppose is a very good place. Power is the dodgiest thing here so lets forge into that. It’s 240 volts, though this isn’t always the case and can fluctuate a lot. If you have sensitive items, don’t use them without a power conditioner. They are expensive so no spares, I only have them for my appliances. Laptop power supplies are not super sensitive. In fact they are a great power conditioner and regardless of the input voltage should only deliver 12 volts to the computer. Having said that, I issue no guarantee or warranty. You stay and play on your own cogency.
My landlord, guru, smiley fella and otherwise all round tight bottom, reference to spending not sexuality, in his infinite wisdom and frugality, decided he only needed to run two wires throughout the house, not three thereby immediately saving 30% on his wiring bill. At this point I should probably qualify this as just my speculation but after 3 years, you could say I have a feel for it. So metal objects, like the cases to computers, my aluminium laptop, the aluminium keyboard, hard drives and even the case of my iPhone, when plugged into the mains tend to deliver a small buzz, which although not entirely unpleasant, are a little disheartening. Best to avoid these by not grounding yourself. Mats and chairs are good!
Should there be a black out, we haven’t had one in a while, you will find tea candles under the sink, left hand side and there is a rechargeable torch on charge in the lounge room. I tend to just go out if the power drops out early evening. Don’t forget if the power is off here it is probably out across the whole suburb. So you cant go local. If the neighbours are still lit up then it might be just a breaker. Check them in the kitchen. If that is all good go out the kitchen door, left and left again towards the laundry area, just after the water heater is the Mains. There is a breaker in there for the entire supply. I find Echo beach is good,!
I leave a couple of lights on downstairs at night, usually just the one set, switch is the right one of the set of three beside the lounge door. I also leave the lights on to the Garage and the outside wall. The switch for this is located outside the kitchen on the right when you head to the garage.
Lastly on the power, there isn’t enough of it! The island doesn’t have enough and neither do I. My poorly allocation of only 4400 watts isn’t enough to even run the George Foreman Grill & BBQ so don’t think you can run 3 aircons, lights, TV’s and have a hot shower at the same time, because you cant! Two aircons only at any given time or otherwise the kitchen will pop.
My computers are off. You have to understand that these are how I make my living and I have to protect that, so when I am not here they are off and password protected. Sorry about that!
The Internet is on and the wireless, anomac is the name of the network, is easy enough to get onto. Famous last words. I do not offer tech support while out of Indonesia, and while in the country you will be billed at RP250,000 per ten minute block. The password is (do you think I would put that here???) case sensitive. And before you ask, it’s a zero not an O. While it isn’t as fast as Oz it is a very reasonable connection and unlimited downloads. Knock yourself out. Up on Jalan Kerobokan is Global Extreme. About 1.3km from here. They have a very good connection as well as computers that you can hire, if you didn’t bring your own.
The lounge Audio Visual System has a number of offerings. DVD, Wii and on the DVD player in the lounge is a little box hooked up to a red hard drive. It is a media player and storage. The smallest remote operates it. It’s got some old movies, surfing movies, TV series etc.. some real gems here. The big silver remote operates the amp. For DVD set to DVD/VCR, for Media Player and Wii it should be on TV/Sat setting. I am referring to the line of buttons just under the LCD screen on that silver remote. The volume control is the only other thing you need to worry about on this one. Watch out it can go very loud! The black remote runs the TV. The main button on this is the little one above the Green MENU one called SOURCE. This switches from the three different input devices I have hooked up. Do not use this volume control; I have it set to zero. Don’t fiddle! DVD, well it’s a bloody DVD player. If you cannot use this then you are all out of luck.
We have about 1000 DVD’s floating around. Please use them carefully but put them back where you found then so that my kids and I can have the pleasure to lose them another day.
Chucky and Sputnik are my kids. Especially while my boys are not here in Bali. Pat them all you like, they love it and will fight each other for your affection. Do not lay a heavy hand on them!! Just as you do not hit a child you do not hit my dogs. I definitely do not like that. They bark. I just tell them to shut up. Live with it. It’s part of having dogs. So it is part and parcel of staying here. That said I want them to bark and more should someone come over the wall at night. There are plenty of thieves in Bali and lets not become victims. Sputnik is allowed out into the street during the day. Chucky is not, he would end up as kebabs in twenty minutes. Made will take Chucky for a walk each day. You can too. On a leash please. Both the dogs are very affectionate, they do like to jump up on people, even little people, forewarned is forearmed. Be aware of it and it will not be an issue.
Lastly look after Komang and Made and they will look after you. They are our Balinese family. They have been with us for nearly 4 years. They love to have a chat. They both laugh very freely. They will want to know where you have been and where you are going. You’re on holidays; slow down, take the time to tell them. It is not being nosey it is the way that Balinese are. They are trying to know your place in the universe. It is very sweet. Perhaps you ask them where they have been, where they are going and how their spouses and children are. Scratch the surface and be very surprised by what you find.
Have an ace time here. Yeah the chooks are loud as are my dogs, the neighbours are inquisitive and the next door neighbours are building. But all in all it is a great place. A place I feel at ease 24/7. I hope you do too.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The lengths some go to to advertise a product.

Ok I get it. I understand that these guys would want to drink something after what they do, but what they do is pretty out there. To launch V Isokinetic Colenso BBDO, Auckland created an extreme urban sport called Pomparkour. Pomparkour has elements of Parkour, Free Running, Pompier, and ‘Hakenleitersteigen’, a European event started by fireman who climb building faces with ladders at speed. Those that practice Pomparkour (Loonies) use a ladder specially designed and constructed with a large hook at one end. This allows them to grip rails, windows and ledges as they traverse and scale high buildings through the city. Thank god I have the cheat sheets, because there is nowhere in the ad that you see this. It's mad. Love it. You guys rock!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Don't try this at home kid

This is an amazing video of what is fast becoming a lost art. These guys are true craftsmen.
Inspirational. You guys rock!!

UP THERE from Jon on Vimeo.
I wrote this documentary along with my friends Malcolm and Christine, as part of The Ritual Project sponsored by Stella Artois (more at So proud to help these painters tell their story.

Concept: Mother NY; Production Co: Mekanism; Director/DP/Editor: Malcolm Murray; Music by The Album Leaf; Painters: Colossal Media/Sky High Murals/Bob Middleton; Presented by Stella Artois

Friday, 19 March 2010


"You feel today sir?" I look around accepting the proffered towel. The words bounce around in my heat dazed head. Who said them? Where did they come from? What do they mean?

I blink to try and arrange my thoughts, I hope this action at least buys me some time. The lights are on but nobody is at home just yet, the aircon in the foyer assaults me like a tsunami would if i stood before it along the shore. Without moving a hair on my head it's bashing the last bit of life out of me. The same life force that got me back here.

I have been on remote the past half an hour. My mind had shut down, overheated. My body was left out along the pavement somewhere. Somehow, something took control and through the maze of wrong side driving, bizarre traffic rules and the furnace that is day time in Siem Reap I got back to my hotel, my oasis.

I had been perched on the back of a small motorbike, my knees were up around my ears, thank goodness they can still go that far. This cool damp towel feels good on the back on my neck. What was it the girl had said? It didn't sound right, or did it. I rubbed the cool damp towel along the length of one arm and back down the other.

"Yes" It crocked out. Immediately I hated the way that sounded. Was it a question she asked or a statement? I wasn't sure. I rubbed my neck again with the towel using it to bide more time while life seeped back in through the cracks. I was aware of the staff looking at me there in the hotels entrance. The door men, the concierge, the receptionist, the two musicians across the expanse of the foyer who played music by rote and let their eyes dance around the foyer for amusement and especially the girl with the silver tray full of the cool damp towel. I didn't care, nothing mattered anymore I was back and I was just wallowing in the cool hotel foyer.

"Yes" I repeated, though this time with timbre and direction, "I feel everything today, thanks for asking"  I hand back the towel. I glance around the expanse of the foyer, I look at the girl with the silver tray of hand towels, I smile and move deeper into the hotel.

Cambodia is outside and I, for the moment, am safe in here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Adding fuel to the fire.

So I am sitting here working away when the phone rings. Jakarta number I can tell by the 021 prefix. Low and behold it is a friendly person from AirAsia. After some pleasantries where, lets call her Anita, establishes my credentials I am informed that someone in KL has used my credit card details to book a ticket on tomorrows flight from KL to China twenty minutes ago. Was it me? Why are I laughing she asked. I gathered my composure and told her a funny thing happened in front of me at home, what else could I say?

I told her that I had not booked any flights today, although I had tried several times yesterday though. If she only knew!

She told me I had to ring the call centre and tell them that I hadn't purchased the ticket. I love the fact that I was talking to a woman in AirAisia and then I had to ring AirAsia. So I did. Then the girl I was speaking to, again that incredibly bad telephone line because they are trying to use Internet telephony in a country that has incredibly bad internet services. Argh! The irony really came home when the call centre girl put me on hold to talk to the Accounts girl, couldn't they have done this without me? I had already told the Accounts girl it wasn't me who booked anything. The call centre girl told me I should cancel my credit card because someone had all my details. I thanked her for that pertinent info and signed off.

Now is it me or is it slightly suspicious that the only time I have used my credit card in the past week was yesterday when I was trying to book a ticket on AirAsia and then today it's used to buy a ticket on their site. I want to know how come this other person was actually able to book, given my wasted hours yesterday. Lucky bugger.

The sad thing here is that my credit card is cancelled and I am now not able to book the tickets to Perth for my mom's birthday unless I get someone else to whack it on their credit card. Not happy!!

Just in finishing I rang my bank in Australia to cancel my card and I was put through to their call centre, in the Philippines, I surmise from the girls accent. Internet telephony, though reasonable quality. She told me that was the only transaction that they had used my card for... go figure.

Here are a couple of images I thought I should share...


Monday, 1 March 2010

Knock, knock? Oh that's my head against the wall! Afternoon,
I do not seem to be having much luck with your website. It use to be fantastic, never had an issue but this time, whew. Just wont work. Let me say here first that I have been a fan. Flown with you guys many times; to Siem Reap, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, KL, and a couple of weeks ago Perth. All good. You get what you pay for. I like it. The booking process has been mostly painless but then you go and unveil this "New & Improved" (your words,) website. Between you and me. I think that the site could have done with some Beta testing on the Mac platform.
FYI. I am using Mac OS 10.5.8 Firefox 3.5.8 and also Safari 4.0.4. As you can see, all up to date!

On the 27th Feb at around 4pm local time I tried to book a flight from Bali to Perth return for myself and my two kids. I went through all the different fields, chose meals, purchased the expensive seats in the front, Go insurance? Yeah why not. The works! It takes awhile getting all the info together and at last I entered in all my credit card details and hit submit... The processing image comes up. I am told not to hit the back button. I have e-purchased enough to know what to do. I sit and wait... ERROR!

Not what I was expecting, but no worries I can deal with that, it happens. The biggie here is that the error message told me NOT to rebook as I might end up with two bookings. eg two charges on my credit card. It told me to go to Check N Change. Which I did. However once the page finished loading I couldn't for the life of me navigate to check my booking. Seems that the buttons didn't load. I looked at the HTML Source and the code is there it's just not showing. I tried the same URL in Safari. Wouldn't load in there either. After some looking at this code and trial and error I found the link to the Booking Status Enquiry page clicked it and... that page doesn't load it's graphics either. So I am trying to see if I have been charged already and i have no way of doing it...

I fill out a contact form just like this one, enter in the Case No. as I have done here, all my other details and wrote a succinct run of events so as to help the programmers isolate the issues hit submit and went back to my life thinking that someone would get back to me Monday with an idea of what is going on.

Monday morning and I really do need to book these tickets. My two sons and I have to attend my moms 90th Birthday. This is the biggie. The whole family, I am one of 7 kids and we all have our own children, are all flying to Perth for it. I can not afford to miss it.

So even though i haven't heard from your company I bite the bullet and book online again today. I enter my details, I enter my two sons details, I choose seats, food, insurance and then all my credit card details again. I hit send and... ERROR. 12:40pm.

Hmm ok, I will ring customer service in Indonesia. I ring and its a real bad line. I have to go outside onto the upstairs balcony but I realize it's not with me. It is the internet telephony. We take ten minutes to go through my name by Phonetic Alphabet and my credit card number and we find there has been no charges against it today. Great. Or so I thought.Would I mind trying the internet booking again, sure I said.

We hang up and I go through the motions again. First the details of the 3 flying, the passport numbers, the expiry dates, the food, the seats, the insurance and then the credit card details. I hit submit, you know where this is going don't you? ERROR, 12:59pm.

I phone again and if I thought the first line was bad this one is a doozy. She keeps telling me she cant understand me. I put on a headset as i am using a mobile. Again we go through the phonetic alphabet that is my name. Again we go through the 16 digits of my credit card and again she confirms that no charge has been made against it. Would I care to try again to book it online? I am a sucker for punishment and say sure.

So off I go. I input the names, the passport numbers, the food requests, the seat requests, which are slowly diminishing as the ones I have chosen the last two times are no longer available!! I enter the credit card details, hover above the submit button and actually cross my fingers before depressing it. A dialogue box tells me it might take a minute or two and to not hit the back button. I remain well away from the keyboard as I have all day. I wait and pray... ERROR 1:20pm.

I phone for a third time and get a double header. My first male for the day and a reasonably good line. I explain to Alex, it doesn't sound all that Indonesian but that is how he identified himself when I asked. I explained all that had happened. He checked the card and no there was no recent activity. He offered to do the booking over the phone so we went through all the details verbally. Now I thought this was a long winded process online, but on the phone, this took ages. We get to the end and he says the price. It is over US$300 more than the online. He tells me that he can only do the Standard price not the discounted price. I had been suffering under the delusion that the price was the price with AirAsia. Apparently that is not the case. I ask him what I should do in this conundrum. He told me to book again after 3pm. That the problem would be fixed by then. I assumed that i am not the only one who is effected this way so thought fine I can do that.

At 4pm this afternoon I tried once more. Yes I gave it that extra hour. Sometimes that is the all important hour. Details entered thrice, food, insurance and the seating chosen, the seats that I had been reserving in my previous bookings had reappeared as being vacant again, I was buoyed by this information. I entered the rest of my details for me and my credit card. Once again crossed my fingers and hit submit.

I really shouldn't be so trusting should I. That's right I got ERROR once again, 4:06pm.

So now I am here filling out this contact email again. The Case Number above is the most recent one. I hope that someone will actually contact me. You know, actually let me know that the problem is being looked into.

I tried to see how I might book online using my smart phone. I clicked on The How To Book button on your front page. The link that opened was "Oops! The Page has taken flight" So when I say I am not having much luck with your website you can see it is an understatement.

I have posted the screen shots of the errors, the Manage My Booking page without navigation buttons and the Booking Status Enquiry page on Picasa Web Albums for you to view. Here is the URL

FYI I have also added this to my blog as a post. I thought some people out there might want to read it as well.

Please let me know.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Touchy feely. With the sound thrown in free.

I have been interested in this band out of Bandung for a while. I have brought a couple of their albums, oops I think I meant to say all (read both) of them! They are easy to find up here in the jungle. If I had to say who they remind me of it's a bit of a toughy. Lovely haunting girls vocals, sort of a Bjork (Had to throw that in given the band name) meets New order type of keyboard with a Durutti column production and most of lyrics in Bahasa Indonesia. When listening to vocals that you don't understand they become another layer of instrumental. Risa's voice is quite angelic. As I said interesting stuff.

Sad to hear that the two girls, Dina keyboards and Risa vocals, that started the band have ended it, artist differences apparently. Risa has left and taken a lot of the magic that is Homogenic with her. I do understand when two people want to grow in difference directions, We grow apart. Still doesn't mean we have to like it.

Thought I would post a link to a video of theirs as they don't get a huge amount of western exposure and I thing they rock.

Lets see what they come back as... Oh 1207 views now. Lets see how much traffic I can send their way.

Friday, 29 January 2010

One mans left overs is another mans jewels...

SLAB from CIRCULATE on Vimeo.

Just spotted this chunk of "left over" footage on Drift. As they said and I quote
"That’s why I was particularly stoked to get an update from Matt this week with a couple of “leftover” (yeah right!) clips in it. In the first one, two of the best, most stylish Aussie rippers (by our humble assessment) out there, Josh Kerr and Asher Pacey, find shelter at a below sea-level slab. You can tell these guys really only feel at home with a nice thick roof over their heads. Good music+tube time=us chomping at the bit to see this one."
I agree. I will be checking out Way of the Ocean as soon as I can.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Laugh.... I almost wet myself.

I missed the Golden Globes but I just caught this video or Ricky Gervais in his opening. And I pissed myself, not literally, though almost. He has great comedic timing.
His material is exceptional and he is not above some self deprecation. Actually they are the best bits!

Now I wish I had of watched the lot. Thank god for the internet

Love ya work.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

What's in a name?

I have been playing around with a Beta version of an image based web group called the Cargo Collective. It's a whole lot of designers, photographers, artists and other visually interested people. Good fun. Clean too mum!
Well the free ride is over, we can't expect them to do this for love forever, and it has migrated from Beta to the pay version. I have been enjoying making images that have nothing to do with events, logos and such forth, so took the lovely discount offered to us Beta users and have subscribed for a year.

Had this URL, parked for the past 6 months or so. Bit of an impulse buy. So I thought I should use it for my art, images, visual ramblings and the fact i love surfing images, old mags, movies and what have yous. Why did I buy it I hear you ask, well if you didn't you will. I brought it when working on the interior of a friends surf store here in Bali. He needed a new name for the retail end of his business and I thought it was a great name and just grabbed it when I was on Godaddy seeing what was and wasn't available. He wasn't totally chuffed with it as he liked the name but wanted to go for all numerals, 426foot wasn't available and so he ended up going with He is not as slack as me and has the whole site up. Check it out.

So mine is now alive. And the beast needs to be fed. I will add to it daily, weekly or monthly. You will have to follow it to know. If you have been liking what has spilled from my mouth onto these virtual pages over the past 4 years, then let it be known that I still tend to write a few words, probably too many, about life's little inspirations and irritations.

Hope you like my visuals.