Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sometimes the things you would think are the easiest...

...are actually the hardest.

Tuesday morning - 0420 Check in bags at the Qantas counter (1+1/2 hrs earlier than needed), sit and chill - reading at the departure gate.

Fly to sydney; Thankfully I DON'T need to collect my bags (would have been a nightmare)

Transfer airport terminals.

Check-in, painless

Customs, easy

security check...

empty the carry-on (desktop/laptop/SLR+2 lenses/p+s camera/kindle/toothpaste/shoes/belt... oh no – forget to empty the water bottle... thankfully I can keep my place in line while tipping the contents into a water fountain.

Re-pack the carry-on.

Calmly walk to the gate. There's a one hour wait.

idly look at souveniers, and decide that my old akubra knock-off has run it's course (it's smelly, slightly too small, and the head-band is uncomfortable.)

Buy a new thin-kangaroo-leather hat which is ultra comfy and fairly cheap ($50 instead of $180 for an akubra)

Fly to Vancouver – not much sleep, lots of turbulance

“score: a hockey musical” (think the Canadian equivilent of Bran Nue Dae - but with hockey... and much, much worse – off-key and flat singing in a musical with olivia newton john!?! – really?... c'mon!)
“william shakespeares romeo + juliet” (american title) in 4:3 – it holds up really well.
Glenn Owen Dodds (yay) a short film I recorded around 2 yrs ago in QLD...

More turbulance (breakfast serving suspended when it gets REALLY rough)

Land at 0735 Tuesday 29th March in Vancouver (or, 1 hour after I left Brisbane?!?)

Wait in line at customs for a while – then breeze through on the work visa (yay)

collect the rental car (off-site, bus-ride) and drive to the Grouse Inn for my one week's temporary accommodation.

Meet potential room-mate at 1300

skip lunch and investigate phone plans for the iphone.

Can't get a phone plan without an address (obviously)

therefore, first piece of the puzzle is to find a place to live.

look at some cars

more enquiries re: rooms and cars, then dinner and sleep at 2200

more investigation re: car purchase – make the decision to head down to Victoria (vancouver island) on thursday for a look 'round = ferry-ride (1+1/2 hrs each way), and some public transport...

another room-mate interview – this time it's in a more remote location but much cheaper and in nicer condition.

Agonise over the choice...

lunch, consult a friend who's at one of the ski resorts (they're in the same time-zone, yay)

coffee, pondering... flip a coin and go with the newer room option (v.close to mountain trails, and hiking stuff, plus it's a nice place)

call first potential room-mate to give the “bad” news

try to sign up for a phone plan (now that I have an address)

After waiting for 2+hrs (in 2 different stores), turns out I can't get a plan unless I have a photographic ID from the canadian Govt.

No worries; I need to get a local Drivers License if spending more than 90 days driving in B.C. Something I was going to do anyway.

Rush to the license department before closing time to swap licenses. (need to surrender my QLD license)

Problems start now....

Last year I was concerned that my QLD license might expire while overseas – so I made the “smart” decision to renew it, and put 5 yrs on it's validity...


1 - By surrendering my QLD license - I lose out on the payment for those extra years. no biggie, but it's $50 I'll never get back.

2 - My current QLD license (the one I renewed last year) only shows validity from when it was renewed (not from when I started driving) – the local BC license dept needs PROOF that I've been on an open license for longer than 2 yrs... or... I could sit the learner knowledge tests in canada and become a learner driver, then sit the driving exam, to become provisional license holder again (not an option I'm afraid)

3 - Call Qld dept Transport: To release my Traffic history information, I need to prove I'm me by:
-making a photo-copy of both sides of my current license, and having this notorised by the local equivilent of a Justice of the Peace
-print-out and fill-out the release of information forms from the transport dept website.
-mail both the signed license photocopy, and the forms, along with a bank cheque for $18.65AUD to the dept of transport...or fax above documents. If:
-someone in Australia can go in person to pay $18.65AUD via cash/direct debit/creditcard into my dept transport Account – because I'm not allowed to transefer/direct-debit/credit-card (even as the accout holder, or from my australian accounts!!!)
If all this checks out, then
-the qld department transport will email me the forms (which aparently the BC dept won't accept) or mail me the document, but not fax it - because they've had issues in the past, faxing documents to canada – which annoyingly enough is what the BC dept wants)

confused yet... because I'm just a little over it right now.

Can't own a vehicle or get a phone plan without a local license, can't get a local license without dicking around with multiple forms and payments from the other side of the world...

at least I've got somewhere to live...


New Hat

Departing Brisbane

flight AC034 from Sydney

loading up

detail of engine

Parking lot at the vancouver airport waiting for the shuttle to pick up my rental car


- My sister called on an unrelated matter and offered to put some funds in my QLD transport account.

- Car dealer from my proposed car-search on vancouver island tomorrow, called to re-confirm, and when presented the above problems, went on a little search of his own. He found out that i'm ok to buy and transfer registration on my australian passport and QLD drivers license.

I'll still need the local License in 85 days time, and since it's useful for the phone plans, I may as well get it all done before looking for work....

Monday, March 28, 2011



I'm moving there today...

this is not a joke; I've shipped some sound gear - packed my life, and am heading to the airport for a 0635 flight from Brisbane.

of course due to some time-zone/date-line shenanigans I land one hour later in Vancouver.

Australian Phone has an outgoing announcement, and I won't be checking messages, so please don't leave any...

Canadian Cell Phone (+1) 604 727 9690 is active, and ready to take your calls.

email/skype/facebook all stay the same, so for the moment please use these to contact me.

expect photos pretty regularly, as I'm taking various image-making devices, and will try to share as much as I can.

I'm still available for long-form jobs in Australia, depending on budget and length. Best way to find out is to contact me.

sadly I didn't get to sell the forester before departing, so it's still for sale; if you know of anyone looking for an awesome wagon in the $15,000 range - check it out on carpoint com au, and get them to email me.

thanks for being my home for over 30 yrs Australia; I'll see you again. (work visa expires in January 2012 - so probably around then)


Thursday, March 10, 2011


...or die!

about a month ago - a friend asked if I'd like to head to the beach. We ended up heading over to north stradbroke island (just off the coast of brisbane)

once every summer - I head to the beach, and forget to look after myself - skin-wise...

as a consequence of this sunscreen neglect - I ended up burning pretty badly, and peeling over the next few weeks.

photos. (but not of the peeling skin - that'd just be gross...)

'dead-mans' beach and one of the lifesaving flags that you swim between

kids at the point, body-boarding on the back-wash (waves that form after hitting the rocks?)


Mark - exiting the surfing area

people heading to one of the breaks...

...then waiting for a wave

walking down to look off the cliffs

looking back at the inlet

danger! danger!

seriously - danger!

mark readying to jump (off an entirely safer and smaller set of rocks than the danger signs - those things are there for a reason)


Turtle hanging out in the waters of the inlet

what else have I been up to?

- still bridge-climbing (although I've handed in my notice) - I recently exceeded 150+ climbs

- recorded a TVC yesterday

I bought a new lens - a 50mm F1.4 with internal focus

which has amazingly shallow depth of filed

what's next

- Selling my Car (which fills me with sadness) - anyone want a well-loved MY03 Forester XS with really low Kms and new tyres/suspension/clutch?

- Buying a cheap car to leave in Australia

- figuring out just what I need to take to canada (in 18days!)

see ya