Sunday, April 29, 2007

Then It Was The Yellow Skateboard...

5 years after my yellow BMX bike, on my 14th birthday my parents bought for me a skateboard.

Keeping in tradition with the theme of "yellow" they bought a yellow skateboard (I suppose they thought yellow was the only thing my colourblind eyes could see... bar black and white! Or maybe the fact that I love lemon cheesecake?? I dunno).

But anyhoo, I was once again the top dog in the hood - skateboarding up and down the place (mainly down, considering every time I tried to do a tricky curb-ride manoeuvre I'd end up on my ass!).

It wasn't long before the kids on the street set a hill riding challenge:
"See if you can travel all the way to the bottom of the hill without stopping," said Fletch.

Sounded easy... but it sure was as scarey as hell!

See, at least with my yellow BMX bike I could use what was commonly known as "the brakes" (even though they weren't commonly used!) with my yellow skateboard THERE WERE NO BRAKES!

But, being one to never let a physical challenge pass me by I decided to see if I could do it.

This time though I decided to start from the bend (not the very very top of the hill - as turning on the skateboard proved to be quite difficult at high speeds - I hadn't quite learned the lean yet).

So, starting up at the top of the bend I placed one foot on the board and pushed off down the hill with the other.

Initially getting my balance proved to be a little tricky (was that my legs shaking??), but once my feet settled I began roaring down the hill.

It wasn't until I had hit the spot I came off several years ago (I wonder if the blood was still there?) that I finally began to realise something...

Err, dude, how are you going to stop?

I hadn't really thought about that... and yet I lived on a cul-de-sac street! All I wanted to do was prove that I could make it down the hill standing up on my skateboard... and I sure was proving that NOW, but would I be able to survive to tell the tale??

Well I think I'm going to have to just jump off... I think that's the only option I've got left.

I continued to travel at a break-neck speed and the super-duper new fangle-dangle NASA patented and installed ball-bearings on this skateboard were clearly working well (maybe too well)...

Okay, that sounds good dude, but, uh... where exactly will we be disembarking?

My eyes began darting around at the bottom of the street, I only had moments left...

Okay, there's a lamp post, and... there's a lamp post... and...

I couldn't focus on anything but the lamp post... heck, I had barely learnt how to turn on the board anyway and this was exactly what I was roaring towards!

...THERE'S A LAMP POST!

By the time the skateboard had slammed into the curb at the bottom of the street I was already travelling through the air like Superman.

I ended up flying by the lamp post by a whisker and screamed head on into the prickle bush immediately behind it.

Ouch!

It proved to be my first and last acupunctural session and I was lucky to come out fairly unscathed - just a few scratches, prickles in odd places, and a few bruises.

Now you'd think the yellow theme would continue through to the next 5 years seeing my parents purchase a new flash yellow car on my 19th birthday, right?

Well, no... this never happened.

I guess they saw a trend emerging in my younger years and didn't want it to continue!

Drats.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Yellow BMX Bike

On my 9th birthday I was given the bestest gift any 9-year old boy could ever get: a yellow BMX bike. I was the envy of all kids on my street.

But what made the yellow BMX bike really unique was its yellow tyres.

Dude, they were awesome. Every skid mark I left around the house was... yellow! I was like Zorro - leaving my mark everywhere, and as we had dark brown bricks around the house my mark was clearly seen.

Unfortunately my parents didn't enjoy such artistic talent and threatened to "tan my backside" should I ever leave one more yellow mark around the house again.

That killed that fun.

But all was not lost.

I was blessed with living on a street that had a small hill - if I couldn't do any skid marks at home, I could do it on the street... so I did.

Initially I started with just small skids which began attracting all the kids in the neighbourhood and their bikes... eventually it turned into a competition.

"Let's see who can create the longest skid mark," said one kid.

And so the challenge was set.

My friend Xavier when first, he belted his bike as much as he could and by the time his skid had finished he had a left a mark of about 2 feet in length.

Fletcher went next and... barely even created a skid. Poor Fletch - he was the kid who could never quite get it all together but who tried nonetheless.

My brother soon followed and came up a little short with a 1.5 foot skiddie. Chris was next and similarly left a 2.5 foot skid like Xav. Soon it was Joel's turn and his 2.5 foot skid left everyone at a three-way tie.

I had to try and find a way to break the 2.5 foot barrier.

Hmm, what to do, what to do, I thought, I know! I'll start from the very top of the hill!

Everyone was having troubles reaching the 3 foot mark and I knew how I could be done... I'd start from the very top of the street. It was a dangerous move considering that there was a slight bend where for about a second or two you couldn't see whether there were any cars coming the other way!

So to alleviate my concern I stationed my friends at certain spots to signal me should a car be coming the other way.

"This is crazy," voiced one kid.

"He's not?" said another.

Trekking up to the top of the hill, I looked down at my inevitable victory. I didn't want to wait, so I threw up my left arm signalling my intention to go. Everyone checked for cars and once I got the all clear I jumped on and belted away.

Okay, this is it.

Pushing my bike down the hill I knew I had to gather a good solid speed, but I also knew that it couldn't go too fast as I had to navigate myself around the bend.

I was in good control.

Having now hit the bend I weaved my way around it like a real pro.

Man, I'm really flying!

On the last section I sped just that little bit extra before slamming on the brakes.

Initially everything was going great...

1 foot...

1.5 feet...

2 feet...

2.5 feet...

3 feet...

3.5 feet...

And then it happened - I got the speed wobbles. I thought that due to the speed I was going at maybe this wobble was a sign that I was breaking the sound barrier or something! But next thing I knew I was flung from my bike on to the remainder of the road.

The single yellow trail I had left on the hill soon followed with a couple of red ones.

The cheering turned to gasps.

I painfully stood up surveyed my bloodied hands and knees looked at my bent bike and then looked at the skid mark.

"Are you alright?" asked Joel the first to arrive at "the scene".

"Yeah, yeah," I winced eyeballing the skid mark.

Others soon arrived and everyone was concerned about my fall, but I was concerned more about how long my skid mark was.

I was patched up by mum (who wanted to take me to hospital, but I refused) and as soon as I could went back outside to survey how long the skid mark was: just a tad under 4 feet.

The yellow mark remainded for several weeks, until the first rain, other kids tried to match it, but none could ever do it - especially with the wobbly bit at the end.

:o)

That was my first recollection of ever falling off my bike... and as has been seen in here it certainly wasn't the last!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Should Be A Security Guard

SETTING: Coles supermarket, standing in the express lane... which makes me wonder whether it really is express considering the line is out the door! After waiting in line for about 10 minutes I'm finally next...

TWO CHICS approach.

CHIC #1: Can I just get through.

ME: [steps back slowly to allow chics to pass through] I'll have to inspect your bags to make sure you're not stealing stuff.

Both chics pass by and smile as they pass deliberately avoiding eye contact.

ME: [noticing that they aren't stopping] Okay strip search then!

Both chics laugh as they exit store.

Yeah I know their game... thieves.

I think I missed my calling as a security guard.

;op

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Have A Nice Trip?

Okay, I'm going to be frank and let you all there's some images at the end of this message that may disturb some people - there's a photo of me (which is disturbing enough!), but with some nasty scratches. So if you're a little squeamish you might want to skip this post.

What happened??

Well I decided to go for a ride yesterday - it was beautiful weather and I just couldn't stay indoors. I trekked out and began my 30km Burns Beach for the umpteenth time.

The ride started quite well, there were many people out and about and even some chiccies on their bikes too! Hello!

It wasn't until I hit the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour that sweat began to drip onto my sunglasses and impaired some of my vision.

Okay, stop here and wipe your face and sunnies, I thought to myself, Nah, do it after this hill.

A slight hill was approaching and I gathered some momentum that would help propel me up it, so I powered up the hill.

After reaching the top of the hill my sunglasses now had more sweat pouring from my brow.

Okay, stop here and wipe your sunnies.

A car was now behind me and as the road was narrow it slowed down giving me way.

Oop, better speed up then.

So I sped up and went in front of the car that was behind me. But now I was on a slight decline and my sunnies were now making it very difficult to see.

Okay we'll definitely stop at the next park bench.

With my right hand I quickly pulled them off and decided to wrap them around my neck, but then as I was doing this I turned around a slight bend and saw something bound towards me: a big black dog off it's lead!

My left hand was still gripping the handle bars and when I saw the dog I started to brake... but I was going waaay too fast so my left hand gripped the brakes tighter a little too tight and the next minute I found myself flying through the air over the handle bars toward the big black dog.

When I eventually stopped the dog barked for joy - "Do that again!" it bounced.

"Mate are you alright?" followed the owner of the dog wide-eyed at my acrobatic display.

I gingerly picked myself up the bitumen path and immediately my palms began to bleed.

The dog owner came over and asked again, "Mate are you okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine," I smiled but pain was coming from everywhere: my knees were bleeding, and my elbows soon joined in too.

"Would you like me to pour some of your water on your hands?" he asked.

"Yeah that'd be great," I said opening my bloodied hands out.

He poured some water on them and more pain shot through my arms.

"Thanks," I said rubbing my hands together.

"Are you okay?" he asked again.

"Yeah," I nodded smiling again, it used to happen to me all the time when I was a kid on my yellow BMX bike!

I went and picked up my bike and the guy again asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, thanks."

Dude I'm fine!

Was there something that I wasn't seeing?

The dog owner moved on and I went to a nearby bench with my bike. I was going to have to clean up. The nearest bench was at the top of a small hill so I left the bike at the bottom of the hill and sat down on the bench. It was then that I started to feel a little light-headed. I took my helmet off and placed it on the bench.

Next minute I know I'm on the floor!

How the heck did I end up on the floor?

I gingerly picked myself up and sat back on the bench. But things were now starting to get a little weird: my pupils were dilating! It was as if an atomic bomb was slowly detinating itself in front of me. Everything was going white!!

What is going on??

I then started breathing heavily and after slouching on the bench next minute I know I'm telling myself to get up!?

Get up?

Why get up? Get up from what? And why don't I feel any pain anymore??

GET UP!

I awoke again but this time had a mouthful of sand!!

What the heck??

I looked back down the hill and saw some quickly scatter into the bushes... who was that? Whoever it was I think they were going for my bike, so I walked back down the hill and took my bike up to the bench I was sitting on.

That bump must have been quite a knock!

Down the other side of the hill was a small beach, so I decided to go and clean up in the water.

The cool salty water was actually quite refreshing, and it allowed me to clean up my now bloodstained t-shirt. To try and stem the blood from my elbows and knees I decided to use my socks! I thought that if I was going to have to ride back I didn't want people freaking out over someone riding with blood all over themselves! Heck, my elbows, knees, hands and face were enough to scare anyone away anyway!

I cleaned up for about an hour before I got back on my bike and took the painful 10km ride back home (thankfully the fall didn't happen another 5km further - at the furtherest point from home).

It wasn't until I eventually arrived back home that I saw how bad things really looked...

(Stuff getting cleaned up and bandaged... just take photos! Crazy.)




Taking the shower and getting cleaned up was hell, but watching "The Passion" on TV put all my pain in check - my grazes didn't seem that bad really.

Unfortunately doing simple tasks has proven to be quite difficult with both palms grazed. Heck, even walking is painful enough... and typing all this has been done with one hand (and thank God for touchpad mice)!

It'll be interesting tomorrow at the Easter family lunch when everyone sees the damage. I've got to think of something bad like... "I was hit by a car" or "I got into a fight with the Easter bunny... if you think I look bad you should've seen the bunny!"

Anyway, if anyone asks next week if I had a good Easter holiday I'll just tell them I had quite a trip!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spartan Women

Saw the flick 300 tonight and I must say my Y-chromosome was satiated, but then again Braveheart is one of my favourite movies and 300 is of the same genre.

I actually remember our history teacher in high school talking about the "Battle of Thermopylae", which the movie 300 is about (Hollywood style), and how these Spartan men were up against insurmountable odds with the Persian army.

What I remembered most about the story recited by our history teacher was when the Persian army taunted the Spartans by telling them that the sheer quantity of arrows hurled at them were going to hide the sun. The Spartans responded something to the effect of, "So much the better, we fight in the shade."

Wow, I thought, what blokes!

The teacher then told us that the Spartans put up a gallant effort even though they were defeated, in fact, Xerxes was so impressed by their effort that he didn't go and ransack their village.

After seeing the movie I think Xerxes was more scared than paying honour to the dead: he was probably scared of facing the Spartan women!

(I especially liked that comment the Spartan king's wife made to the Persian messenger when the Persian messenger felt insulted that he was being talked to by a woman - her quip at his disgust, "...only Spartan women give birth to real men!" Nice. I wonder if there's any Spartan women left?) ;o)

Millions Of Mobiles

A couple of months ago I got a call from my mobile phone carrier (Optus) saying that because I was a loyal customer they were crediting me $5.00 every month.

"Thanks for that."

And that was that.

Since then I've been barraged with a flood of Optus sales people asking if they could be my carrier for the land line - each time I've used the excuse, "I'm sorry, I don't own the land line." (which is true - it's in my sister's name, but we still halve the costs)

But one thing I've noticed with my last bill is that I could potentially make a profit out of Optus!

See, with my $5.00 credit I have a $4.95 flat monthly rental charge, plus then the mobile phone call charges. If I never use my phone during the month I could make a profit of 5c every month!!

That got me thinking: if I had 100 million mobile phones with Optus, and being the loyal customer that I am, I get my $5.00 in credits for each phone, I could make a gazillion dollars per month!

Now all I've got to do is dust off the carrier pigeon to communicate to everyone.

;op

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Cryptic Vivid Dream?

I don't often remember my dreams - I know I have them, but by the time I'm fully awake I've more or less forgotten it.

Except when I awoke this morning... I remembered pretty much everything about the dream I had that night.

So what was it about?

It started in what I thought was my house, or at least I knew in my dream for it to be my house, but it wasn't my house that I'm currently living in now (dreams can be soooo complicated when trying to explain them, huh?).

Anyway, a chic I had once known at university came over. I remember sitting on a large bed when she delivered me this strange blue envelope that contained three different letters: one red, one white and one brown map.

I read the white letter which had emblazoned on the top of the page "Level 1" it also had some rectangular decorations on the top that looked like bows, or chocolate bars, or something weird like that. And as I read the letter I understood the letter to be from the university chic (I can't remember her name - we only met a few times and I'll explain our short history later) and it was about how she would like for us to take our relationship to the next level!

I wasn't particularly happy about it so I got up off of my bed and made my way to the toilet to think it over.

(When I was young I used to always freak out about going to the toilet in my dreams because I knew I'd wake up in the morning swimming in my own... ah, pee... and I could remember mum always going nuts at how I shouldn't drink 10 glasses of water before going to bed. Thankfully that all stopped when I hit puberty... which was last year! ROFL)

Yep, so anyway, there I was on the toilet looking out through this huge glass window wondering... "Why on earth do I have a toilet in this large friggin room where all my neighbours can see me doing my... ah, business!?"

Next thing I know I'm reading the brown map and travelling to this chic's favourite destination in the whole wide world: Carnavorn! Now for those who are West Aussies you'll probably have a good chuckle over that, but for those that aren't allow me to quickly explain that Carnavorn doesn't have much. It's a small country town some 16-18 hours drive north of Perth and is only notorious for it's banana plantations and that's about it.

So, as we travelled together up north, we stopped off at this strange place I had never seen before and I wandered alone into the bush. She followed me and eventually found me in this weird looking parking lot. She was silent when she found me, but I had a feeling she wanted an answer to her letter, so I just kept walking.

Next thing I know I'm at a party where I know some of the people, but not all (kinda reminds me of Karina's house warming party).

And that was it. Next thing I know it's 6:30am and my alarm's buzzing.

I can probably understand the whole dream being about the whole Karina scenario, as I know Karina wanted to travel to the Yemen (and that didn't thrill me at all - Carnavorn = Yemen?), but I wonder why the university chic starred in it??

See, the university chic in this dream I had met in a computing class in my first year. We sat next to each other on the first day and chatted about the course, then on the next week we sat apart but still waved each other a hello. The third time we met she sat next to me and after class we went and talked some more.

During our conversation she began talking about God or some other spiritual things, and I began talking about the bible with her. It was after about 10 minutes of me speaking about it that I paused to see her reaction, and she said,
"Ryan, I'll believe whatever you want me to me believe."

I think I blushed and quickly changed topic before we eventually left to go to our other classes. That ended up being the last I ever saw of her - she never returned to computing class again.

So I found it weird that... 1) I remembered this chic, and (2) that she's in my dreams starring as Karina?

Weird.

I just hope that I don't have any more strange dreams like this - I don't mind them if I can't recall them though!