Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thanks Kim! Thanks Wayne

Hi Kim,

thanks so much for dropping by and leaving me the Four Corners link! Andrea and I have just finished watching the broadband footage and I can't begin to tell you how helpful this has been. To the extent that the methamphetamine market here in Vancouver is even more "mature" (as the local police put it), than Sydney, then certainly people are in for some tough decisions back home. What a great episode! The gonzo journalist following Mikey and his pals is one fearless chap that's for sure...for the rest of you with a decent broadband hook up I highly recommend checking this special out at:


two of my colleagues are about to leave for a conference in Sydney so I'm sure they will be fascinated by this footage - they don't mention this part of Darlinghurst in the lonely planet that's for damn sure.

Thanks too to Baby Wayne - I hope he kicks a bagful on the weekend. The roos are looking all right this season. They're in a bit better shape than the lions I daresay.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Just Outside the Frontdoor Guv'nor!

DSC00769, originally uploaded by cameronduff.

Has been a typically chaotic week here in Vancouver...snowstorms Thursday morning (I remember spring rains in Brisbane - here we get spring snow!!). We woke up to find snow on the ground and flurries sweeping in through the trees. Very pretty! Yet come Saturday the sun emerged and so Andrea and I were able to finally get out for a nice long walk around the lost lagoon in Stanley park. I won't subject you to all the pix I took of the spring blooms in the park. Suffice to say I've caught Ray's habit of photographing every pretty park scene I see - I love it! Andrea has yet to be convinced. Anyway, some pretty shots of Vancouver in the springtime - snow, sunshine and blooms!

Snow in the morning - sunshine after lunch

DSC00761, originally uploaded by cameronduff.

Vancouver blossoms

DSC00766, originally uploaded by cameronduff.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Meth Madness!!

Hello Friends!

Has been some time between drinks yet the occasion of St Patrick's day surely merits hearty libations and tales tell and true...apologies to my long suffering family for subjecting you to the same tired cricketing remarks for so long on the blog. Work has been mental of late. Happily I have been put in charge of the region's methamphetamine strategy and although I am enjoying the challenge immensely this work is very much more difficult than anything I've had to handle at work thus far and so I have been forced to learn quickly, adapt on my feet and generally bullshit my way through long periods of relative ineptitude! Ahh I knew those years of study would one day pay off ... consider the following phrase 'ahh yes looking forward we anticipate the completion of our strategic operational review prior to end of fiscal when we plan to action our strategies in an integrated and coordinated fashion with the support of key partners". Meanwhile, stroke chin, maintain good eye contact...exude a quiet air of knowing confidence...

See what this all means is that we are developing a plan which we one day intend to implement; the trick is to say it all fast enough so anyone who may have been foolish enough to be paying attention gets lost after the first unbearable clause and then loses track of the detail in all the grammatical tom-foolery! Hey presto! Minds drift, eyes glaze over whilst mercifully, bureacratic types overlook the fact that close to 6 million dollars has changed hands without us actually commiting to do anything concrete with it! It was like Imelda Marcos at Harrods! Zeros flying around the room like nobody's business. My head was spinning and then my boss pulled me aside at the close of the meeting and said "right that's your job to spend it - just make sure you have a strategy for the Ministry by Friday".

Well suffice to say I promptly booked a helicopter for the flight back to Vancouver with cigars and cognac to pass an interminably trying trip. Considered having myself plated in gold yet it seemed a little premature given that such costs had yet to be included in our key deliverables. Oh well I have a strategy to work on...maybe at a stretch I can settle for those 20k bowers and wilkins loud speakers I saw in London last year...maybe I could book the helicopter again and pop over on the weekend to test drive them!

I told you these tales would be tall yet true! Ok the 6 mill and the helicopter flight really happened though the rest is more of a confabulation - I think that's what Freud called wish fulfillment or maybe that was more to do with the cigar bit. Hmmm.

Anyway, I've been paying close attention to some master deal makers these last couple of weeks and of course my role has been to sit at the back of the room say something vaguely intellegent when my boss gives me that "this is what I brought you here for" look and then shut up again. Apparently I'm the only one who doesn't have a schedule that requires two people to manage it so I get the job of leading the meth strategy. Fun...my colleagues have begun suggesting discrete psychiatrists for the seemingly inevitable nervous breakdown.. I think they are joking!

Well at least I can tell people what I actually do at work now! For a long time people thought I was that lucky Australian who got to hire research assistants to do his work for him and then sit around all day reading and telling people how hard it all is to solve drug problems. Yeh right like we needed another PhD to tell us that!

But now I have a meth strategy!

Just don't use it kids! Be good, stay in school, listen to your Mum, behave. Learn how to play an instrument.

It's a work in progress...ideas?



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Footy's Back!!!

OK no more pseudo erudite ruminations on the state of the modern Australian Labor Party involving comparisons with the Australian cricket team in the 1980s! My weekend slandering of the record of captain grumpy Alan Border was irresponsible and historically inaccurate to boot. Speaking of boots (nuff nuff!) the change of seasons surely deserves a shift in my sporting analogies. As you can see, the damn ALP isn't even there at the contest! Where's Mal Michael coming over the top with the big fist to the boundary! God and Howard putting one through from a set shot right in front! What's the world coming to...nightmare scenario friends! Now we've seen it all. At least the Lions beast is back up and running giving the hapless bombers a pasting on the goldie over the weekend. Footy's back! Hooray! Forget politics...first bounce if you don't mind Mr Umpire and carn the lions!