Archive | April, 2011

The Smart State

19 Apr

So it’s been almost 6 months now that we’ve lived in Queensland… The smart state.

Personally I think telling everyone how smart you are (on your number plate slogans) just goes to prove how smart you’re not!

Although, to be honest I haven’t really had all that many bogan encounters since moving here – certainly nothing since living in Tassie! The thing that strikes me about Brisbane and the Gold Coast is the new-ness. It’s difficult to believe that anything was even here 20-30 years ago.

And the problem I see with developing a city now instead of 30 years ago is, well – you know what ‘new’ means…. yep: concrete!

Concrete! Destroying architectural diversity – without style! Actually the multitudes of concrete-box chain-stores isn’t the only problem… the misconception that housing estates are a good idea is even worse. Don’t get me wrong, housing estates are popular and obviously provide some people with a great lifestyle (if you want to spend your life inside watching your giant flat screen, playing video games and err.. not sure what else estate dwellers get up to). What these estate residents don’t realise is that the money they paid for their houses has gone straight into the pockets of the property developers. That’s the whole point.

It’s not about lifestyle, it’s about money.

Developers buy old farming/bush land and fit in as many houses as possible. They do it because more houses means more $$ not so that all the houses can have features like ‘small, easy care yards’ as they would lead you to believe. Houses are constructed quickly and cheaply with little or no concern for orientation (for natural light, heating/cooling, solar), use of sustainable/local materials, energy consumption or longevity. Just whack em up, sell em off, make money. Oh, and your house doesn’t come with a warranty either.

The other issue with the housing estates that are popping up all over Qld is that more often than not, they are orientated around roads and make it essential that you drive everywhere. They may feature a bike track around an artificial pond however they don’t recognise cycling as a valid mode of transport and therefore haven’t made space on the roads for both cars and bikes. And estates often revolve around one large shopping hub with a massive carpark making it even more attractive to drive there. And what do we find at the shops? You guessed it – concrete, air-conditioned shopping centres filled with woolworths and subways. This is the design of the future – whether we like it or not.

A woman that Bob works with was writing a letter of complaint to her local council because they were installing a walking track out the front of her house, you know, like… a footpath. In fact the people in her street were all opposed to the plans because they didn’t want people walking past their house. ?! So we cram everybody into estates together and what does it do? It makes them more anti-social! How can this be?

Housing estates make money not communities. They are popping up all over the place as there is still so much undeveloped land in Qld. I’m surprised I’m coping as well as I am here considering that the gold coast may as well be one giant housing estate. I sort of like the gold coast though. In all it’s grossness there’s a real honesty about it. It’s not trying to be anything else. It is what it is.

You may pass a billboard for love & rockets (a strip club and brothel in Brisbane) on the motorway in one direction and pass one for a competition to win a boob job in the other direction but there’s something about that openness that I appreciate. I feel the same way about movie world/dream world etc. I used to despise everything about them but now I’ve accepted that they are what they are and it’s ok with me. I even get a kick out of watching people getting dropped off the tower of terror or launching through the loop at wet’n’wild as I drive past.

And… the beach! It’s not for everyone but it’s certainly for me. One thing that I love about Queensland is that people are active and healthy, they enjoy getting out and about. This is something I really missed in Tasmania. Of course the weather has everything to do with this. The weather here is truly magnificent. People move to the mountain for the weather. It’s cooler than Brisbane (too cool for me – I prefer the heat of the coast) and as a result everyone here complains if it’s over 25 degrees – worse than Tasmanians! Send them all to Adelaide for summer to see what real heat feels like. It’s been so long since I’ve had a scorcher that was so hot I couldn’t sleep. I sort of miss it…

But all in all Qld is cool. We’re in a great spot. Not far to Bris. Lots of options for healthy/organic/vegan food and groceries. A rainforest in my backyard! I can’t complain at all really. Life is great in the smart state 🙂

Dusty talking to birds

9 Apr

Dusty talking to birds

Deserted

9 Apr

Ok so this is another music video post… sorry.

The other night, Steve, Bob and I were playing You Tube requests (as we commonly do without a tv) and Bob suggested a clip by Metallica. While it was playing we chatted about how there must be so many music videos that are set in the desert. We then made it our mission to find as many as we could!

Here’s our list of 25 vids that are set in the desert for more than half of the song. Don’t get us wrong – we may not LIKE these songs or videos… our job was merely to find them in our memory bank. I’ve added the person that thought of each one just for a laugh  and I’ve linked to the vids just incase you want to watch allsorts of crap songs!… and a few good ones.

Bob: Metallica – I Disappear

Naomi: Bon Jovi – Blaze of Glory

Naomi: Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There

Naomi: Smashing Pumpkins – Today

Steve: Seether – Broken

Steve: Jim Steinman – Rock n Roll Dreams Come Through

Naomi: The Cardigans – My Favourite Game

Bob: Shania Twain – That Don’t Impress Me Much

Bob: Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Give It Away Now

Steve: Buck 65 – Wicked and Weird

Naomi: Soundgarden – Jesus Christ Pose

Bob: Tupac – California Love

Bob: Linkin Park – In The End

Naomi: Pink – Funhouse

Bob: Ignite – Bleeding

Bob: Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby

Steve: Shakira – Whenever, Wherever

Bob: Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People

Bob: U2 – Vertigo

Bob: Pendulum – The Island Pt 1

Bob: Michael Jackson – Black Or White (This one sort of doesn’t count)

Bob: Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Scar Tissue

Steve: Dario G – Sunchyme

Steve: Backstreet Boys – Incomplete

Steve: REM – Man On The Moon

There was much debate about whether November Rain qualified but it didn’t seem to make the cut. I’m sure there are many others that we’ve forgotten. Even coming up with 25 was hard work! Can you think of any more?

Steve and I also came up with another list of gems but I’ll save these for another day.