Thursday, 28 July 2011

I was going to Injune in June, no July

But that got thwarted too. (Injune is a town in central Queensland, north of Roma).

A bit quiet on the western front...

To escape the chill of winter, put on some music. But keep your ears open, especially to sounds outside your taste or room - such as the music in nature.

Leonard Cohen - Bird On A Wire (Tony Palmer, 2010) is a revelation of Cohen’s popularity in the 1970s. Rated as one of the better music documentaries, the music is good and the film an insightful portrait of the artist as a young man. In the final concert Cohen suffered a meltdown but returned to the stage to sing ‘So Long, Marianne’ in a performance which reduced everyone to tears. A great film. 40 years on, Cohen’s still out there touring.

Dolly Parton The Fairest Of Them All Includes 'Down From Dover'

Jodee Messina Unmistakable Love

Losin' Lately Gambler is Corb Lund's sixth album. Backed by his band, “The Hurtin' Albertans,” this album marks another step in the Canadian's career: an introduction to a wider audience.  In “A game in town like this.” He sings "Cuttin' back your losses is just another way to win". The best way to win is not to lose. And if you don't gamble, you don't lose - you win. Well, as 'the crickets' say: just keep learning the game.

Feast of Wire is the fourth studio album by indie-rock band Calexico.

Old American Songs performed by Opera Australia soprano Taryn Fiebig and tenor Juan Jackson, showcases a variety of composers, including Stephen Foster, Aaron Copland, Kurt Weill and others.

Shrek Forever After: Music from the Motion Picture. Soundtrack to the fourth and final film of the Shrek movie franchise.

The Crickets and their Buddies. A 2004 album that features original members of the band with a little help from their friends. Great songs and great singing. That'll Be The Day (with Rodney Crowell) Someone Someone (with Eric Clapton)  EveryDay (with J. D. Souther)  Heartbeat (with Nanci Griffith)  Learning The Game (with Albert Lee)  Well...All Right (with Waylon Jennings)  Oh Boy! (with John Prine). 

Earth and Sun and Moon is an album by Midnight Oil that was released in 1993
This is one of Midnight Oil's best with songs and themes about the environment, native peoples, and other social causes.

Retrospective. Natalie Merchant post-'10,000 maniacs'. Some great music, with performers such as Billy Bragg, REM, and The Chieftains.

Alison Krauss. Forget about it. With an impressive list of personnel.

Bette Midler. Beaches.

Alex Ross. Listen to this. 

Robert Shelton. No direction home. Updated edition.

JUST KIDS. Patti Smith remembers hanging out with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Kristofferson and meeting Ginsberg and Dylan and other stars and poets of her day, and feeling “an inexplicable sense of kinship with these people.” She has now well and truly joined and transcended some of their ranks, fame and more. In dreams...

Rolling Stone features Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu a musician from Elcho Island in the Northern Territory. Apparently Gurrumul kept playing the Dr Hook classic "Cover of the Rolling Stone" throughout the photo shoot. I bet he bought five (at least) copies for his mother. Good on you Gurru.

Uncut. Features the Allman brothers, and Paul Simon in another.

Mojo. Examines the works of Neil young.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

June reading guide (for July)

If you're going to Injune in July.

Alex Ross. Listen to this. A book on music. Not the pop kind. Alex Ross is a music critic who can write about Mozart and Radiohead in the same breath. In his essays here he writes on classical music in China, Schubert, Sonic Youth, Verdi, Bob Dylan, Brahms, Bjork, etc.

Robert Shelton. No direction home. Updated edition. Published to coincide with Dylan's 70th birthday last May. Robert Shelton was a friend, champion, and critic of Bob Dylan. 20 years in the writing, this book, first published in 1986, was hailed as the definitive biography of Dylan. This is the only book, of more than a thousand, that has Dylan’s cooperation.

Simon Schama. The American future is American history from a different perspective. British-born Schama has spent time in the United States teaching at Harvard and Columbia. But his is still an outsider’s view, hence more detached and more objective.

Fred Pearce. Confessions of an eco sinner. Pearce confesses that his globe-trotting (including visits to brothels in Manila – check your thoughts) is not good for his carbon footprint. He should be forgiven for that though because – I agree with him - you don’t lighten your carbon footprint by sitting at home, reading his book. But after reading it, you may find yourself either more enlightened or more cynical like Pearce did, finding and questioning more accepted ethical truths. The book won the 2008 IVCA Clarion Award for Literature.

Scott Atran. Talking to the enemy. Atran attempts to answer the question, “Why do people believe in a cause, and why do some die and kill for it?”  He argues that the answer is that people don’t simply kill and die for a cause. They kill and die for each other. Atran, an anthropologist who studies, empathizes with, and analyses human behaviours, sets his book against the backdrop of human evolution and throughout the history of humanity.

Kinky Friedman. Meanwhile back at the ranch. Light entertainment. Shnay. 

Philip Roth. Nemesis. Life in the time of a polio epidemic.

Nelson DeMille. Night fall. A fiction about the 1996 TWA flight 800 plane crash being filmed on a supposed to be sex home-video. It climaxes (or anticlimaxes) with 9/11.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Rail Trail Fun Run 2011

Lowood-Fernvale Rail Trail Fun Run, Sunday 10 July 2011.
The annual rail trail fun run has become a major event. Last Sunday 10th July was the ninth running of the rail trail. The run went from Lowood to Fernvale this year. Much of the rail trail near Lowood is alongside the road to Fernvale right next to the Brisbane river. The rail trail is open for horse riding, cycling, walking and running. The gravel trail is compacted and maintained for the purpose. Cars are not allowed.
Back in January this year during the floods (January 2011 Floods), virtually all the rail trail went underwater. Keef, a fellow coolrunner, posted photos of the river:

from last year, before the floods...
Photo by Keef - July 2010
And from today, 6 months on from the floods in January.
Photo by Keef - July 2011.
Lowood and Fernvale are in the Somerset region in southeast Queensland, within 45-90 minutes from Brisbane.  Many lakes and towns of this valley of lakes are visible from the air on the flight line to Chinchilla. One cannot miss the sprawling Lake Wivenhoe and the rivers and creeks winding towards it from all directions. This lake/dam and other lakes/dams are great places for recreational activities such as fishing and water sports.

Prior to European settlement, the landscape and resources of the Fernvale-Lowood district were used and protected by the indigenous Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul peoples. Much of the sustainable balance between land and humans is owed to the stewardship by the traditional owners. This Aboriginal principle of land management is hopefully practised in present times.
Photo from Google earth.
Heading westerly, past the towns of Esk and Toogoolawah, the rolling hills and state forests come into view, followed by the green forests and Blackbutt hills of the great dividing range.
I have traipsed these parts before, sometimes for work, other times for recreation. In recent times, I worked in Fernvale, Tarampa, Toogoolawah and Blackbutt (yearning for home) in the South Burnett just on the northwest of somerset. And whenever I get the chance, I would drive past Wivenhoe dam and zigzag west-to-east up the D’Aguilar national park to Mt Glorious and then Mt Nebo or down to Samford valley.
Aside from the lakes, somerset region boasts of vineyards national parks, and country homesteads, that offer something different to city lifestyles. A feature of this area is the rail trails joining many small country towns. These rail trails provide a unique thrill and travelling experience which road travel does not.

Photo from BCC flood map Arc GIS
The rail trail is a remnant of the original railway line that used to transport stock and farm and timber products to markets in Brisbane. The railway line ceased in 1989 and the corridor is now a recreational trail. The 8km section between Lowood and Fernvale is just a short segment of the 148km Brisbane valley rail trail (the longest in Australia) set for completion in 2012.
A bright and not too cold (but cold enough) winter morning greeted runners arriving in the Lowood high school. Earlier I had driven to Fernvale where the race finishes, and caught a bus here to Lowood, venue for the race start.

The landmark of the high school building looked familiar to me. It reminded me that I did run last year’s run rail trail fun run 2010.

I reconnoitered around to the oval at the back of the stadium where some beautiful gum trees offered shade and protection. 

 The crowd slowly grew in number as buses kept bringing more and more runners every few minutes. 

I believe the total topped 900 this year which is again a new record.
We started off at about 0900h. From the school oval we raced across 300m of the grassed athletic grounds, where our running balance was tested by grooves criss-crossing the turf. I almost rolled an ankle once or twice. We then got on 200m or so of bitumen before we hit the rail trail. From the trail we get great views of the Brisbane river on our left hand side as we ran east to Fernvale.
Photo from Nearmap.
We ran the rail trail for about 2.5kms along the base of the Lowood hills. And for 15 long minutes I was literally eating the dust stirred and churned up by the many runners ahead of me. I was thinking if only i can turn the tables on these hare-like humans. Suddenly the dust wasn’t there. I looked up and around thinking a miracle occurred and that I had got to the front of the race.  We had deviated from the dusty gravel of the trail and had got back on the tar of old fernvale road. The dust may have dissipated but now the hard slog had come. This stretch of testing bitumen is about 3kms. I was surprised by the change in the route, perhaps caused by repairs to flood-damaged sections of the rail trail. The bitumen was starting to heat up in the mid-morning and a slight but lengthy incline started to take toll on the legs.
We rejoined the dirt trail for the final 2km of the race. I dutifully laboured the hard yards, in my place at the tail end of the run rubber band, in the final quarter of the race all the way to the finish.

Soon as I crossed the line I went straight down to the ground in a dizzy fit. A few seconds later I was breathing again, and managed to feel delight at finishing. 

Keef sidled up and I shook his hand. He hardly raised a sweat. He started from the back of the pack with his lovely wife, but quickly made it to the front end within the first kilometre. Keef kindly paced me for a bit, before I told him to go for it. He did and showed some of the young guns how it’s done.

The rail trail run is a family affair. There is a shorter 3km race part of the fun run. And at the finish line, kids have various fun and games activities to participate in.

Rail Trail Fun Run 2011 results.
MEN 8.3 KM.
1 GLEN YARHAM 0:25:10 M19-39  
2 JAY TWIST 0:26:22 M19-39  
3 CLAY DAWSON 0:27:27 M19-39  
4 MARK KENNY 0:28:15 M13-18
5 HAYDEN WILKINSON 0:31:29 M13-18
6 CONNOR MCNAMARA 0:32:17 M13-18  
7 TONY SHAW 0:32:56 M19-39  
8 MATTHEW CALLAGHAN 0:33:09 M19-39
9 JAKE OLDHAM 0:33:14 M13-18
10 ANDY JEFFERY 0:33:20,M40-59
11 MARKUS FOREST 0:33:37 M40-59  
12 GERARD DALY 0:33:39 M40-59  
13 JOHN MORRISEY 0:33:44 M40-59  
14 BRAD SEMPLE 0:34:06 M19-39  
15 JOHN BAGULEY 0:34:11 M40-59
16 ALAN CHURCHILL 0:34:23 M60+  

1 CLARE GERAGHTY 0:29:36 F19-39    
2 EMILY DONKER 0:30:59 F19-39  
3 MELISSA WATSON 0:33:42 F19-39  
4 ANGELA CLARKE 0:34:33 F40-59    
5 MADELINE MCGUIRE 0:34:51 F13-18    
6 KYM JAENKE 0:35:33 F19-39    
7 JULIE BELZ 0:35:44 F19-39    
8 TRISH WEBSTER 0:35:45 F19-39
9 LAURA DALY 0:36:24 F13-18
11 TYRA EVANS 0:37:11 F19-39    
12 CHRISTINE GILLIONS 0:37:56 F40-59  
13 LETECIA GRADY 0:38:11 F19-39
 14 SONYA SULLIVAN 0:38:20 F19-39   
15 LYNDELL BRUNNER 0:38:23 F40-59    
16 GEORGINA GREER 0:38:32 F19-39    
17 PAULETTE OLDHAM 0:39:11 F40-59    
18 JESS BILYJ 0:39:19 F13-18    
19 KATIE SWORDS 0:39:49 F19-39
20 SUSAN TOMES 0:39:50 F19-39    
21 LUCY MILES 0:40:06 F60+    

1 JACK HEALY 0:10:52 M13-18  
2 RHYS RODGERS 0:11:12 M13-18  
3 NATHAN HOWARD 0:11:51 M19-39  
5 BLAKE LISTER 0:12:14 MU12  
6 DANIEL MACLURCAN 0:12:21 M13-18  
7 SCOTT MARTIN 0:12:28 M19-39  
8 QUIN BROZIC 0:12:44 M13-18  
9 TEGAN HALEY 0:12:56 F13-18  
10 JACK MILLAR 0:12:58 M13-18  
11 JACK APEL 0:13:07 MU12  
12 ETHEN BAMBRICK 0:13:10 MU12  
13 DYLAN WOODS 0:13:37 MU12  
14 DANIEL HUGHES 0:13:40 M13-18  
15 ZALI BRUNNER 0:13:41 FU12  
16 BEN PETERS 0:13:44 MU12  
17 ANNIE MCGUIRE 0:13:50 FU12  
18 CHRISTIAN BAILEY 0:14:03 M13-18  
19 TONI IVANOVIC 0:14:08 F19-39  
20 JAIME GIBBONS 0:14:22 M13-18  
21 FARRAH BROZIC 0:14:23 FU12  
22 SAM TYE 0:14:34 MU12  
23 CARLY JACOBSEN 0:14:36 F13-18  
24 SHAYNE JACOBSEN 0:14:39 M40-59  
25 SEBASTIAN KEANE 0:14:53 MU12  

Saturday, 9 July 2011

running4research in roma street

Running4research 10km fun run, Roma Street, Sunday 26 June 2011.
I've been to the town of Roma in the western/darling downs of Queensland, but the Roma Street fun run is in the big smoke of Brisbane town.

The picturesque Roma Street parklands is set next to the railway transit centre just off the CBD. It is the world's largest subtropical garden in a city centre.  The primary attraction of the parklands is its inherent recreational amenity. And recognising this, the annual running4research fun runs have been held here every year since 200?. To mark the 10th year of Roma Street parklands, I dragged my lazybones out of bed last Sunday morning to take part in the 10km fun run.
The park is very well designed to cater for all types of users and for all kinds of occasions.  It is popular with families and tourists.

Even ibises like congregating at the lake precinct.

One side of the racing area at the central precinct is flanked by a wall of sound, from a waterfall feature.

Another side is lined with trees and bounded by apartment buildings farther out.

Tents were erected on the grass for various promotional stalls, but a jumping castle for kids is the most popular spot.
From sunrise, runners started trickling in for the race start at 8:00 am.

A couple of coffee stalls were making brisk business in the early morning chill.

Some years ago I watched friends with the Bibak-Queensland dance troupe, perform some traditional Filipino dances here as part of Queensland’s multicultural festival. The performances comprised Igorot dances to the sound of music played from gongs. Some of the dances have been posted in youtube.
Bibak Igorot dance

We gathered around for some pre-race instructions, then we started off.

In recent years they have built apartment buildings next to the parklands. Busways, ramps, tunnels and other road works have also been constructed around the park. But rather than diminish, the apartments and infrastructure indeed complement and enhance the value of the parklands. This place has become a popular centre for various social and cultural activities and is one of Brisbane’s premier inner city green developments. I saw Paul Kelly for the first time here at the parklands.

From the parklands the fun run intersected roads bridges and railways. The route passed under College road and a couple of Brisbane Grammar schools footbridges on either side of the Normanby busway station. It paralleled the south side of railways to the ekka grounds before overpassing the rails and the inner city bypass opposite some tennis grounds in a park off Gregory Terrace in Spring Hill. The course then ran up and down alongside the ICB for some way before zigzagging back up the overpass from the golf course in victoria park in Herston.
The course comprised two loops of these winding and sharply turning pathways and bikeways, underpasses and footbridges.
It felt great to run alongside people of all walks of life aiming to keep fit and healthy by racing walking jogging running strolling pushing babyprams etc. Lacing up the running shoes and just taking part in the 2011 Running4Research fun run, aids the work of the Brisbane Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) for sick kids.
I finished in under 56 minutes. Here's me at the scene of the crime of slow time. 
The kids had their turn after the 10km and 5 km.
Even superheroes took part in the fun run. Somehow they look a little bit out of shape.
Everyone had a good fun run.
That's a 5km loop. Now to some r&r. yep running4research.
I wonder how the research is going? I wish they could help me run faster.
The results of the 2011 running4research fun run races:
10km men
1.       Nicholas-Hull-00:32:51
2.       Mat-Hopper-00:34:33
3.       Brayden-Tucker-00:35:18
4.       Ron-Peters-00:36:00
5.       Geoff-Heydon-00:36:01
6.       Seung gil-Hong-00:36:41
7.       Alan-Money-00:36:47
8.       David-Sangster-00:36:57
9.       Todd-Scott-00:37:45
10.   Robbie-Mullins-00:37:49

10km women
1.       Clare-Geraghty-00:36:27
2.       Jeanne-Marle-00:39:09
3.       Sharon-Ryder-00:39:59
4.       Sharyn-Madders-00:40:26
5.       Stephanie-Holt-00:40:43
6.       Jo-Sherman-00:41:14
7.       Katheryn-Jackson-00:43:23
8.       Michelle-Mewing-00:43:48
9.       Elle-Brookes-00:43:49
10.   Laura-Ware-00:44:21
11.   Pip-Brook-00:44:22
5km males
  1. Luke-Farrell-00:19:25
  2. Angus-Gibson-00:20:06
  3. Andrew-Dey-00:20:29
  4. Wyatt-Westmoreland-00:20:37
  5. Samuel-Morrison-00:20:58
  6. Richard-Bonner-00:21:26
  7. Go-Ishigame-00:21:37
  8. Steven-Bartley-00:21:49
5km females
  1. Emily-Bevan-00:21:29
  2. Bonnie-Atherton-00:21:50
  3. Curtney-Dutton-00:22:10
  4. Brittany-Dutton-00:22:48
  5. Holly-Grice-00:22:48
  6. Dolorey-Murray-00:22:48
  7. Shadae-Stavely-00:24:16
  8. Tiana-Stavely-00:24:23
  9. Lara-Sample-00:25:48
1.5km kids
  1. Emma-Gawne-00:08:19
  2. Ethan-Frizzell-00:08:33
  3. Oliver-Sweetman-00:08:39
  4. Jessica-Mikitis-00:08:45
  5. Michael-Mikitis-00:08:46
  6. Jamie-Grant-00:09:00
  7. Phoebe-Mccaw-00:09:04
  8. Mia-Cornwall-00:09:11
  9. Roy-Merilaid-00:09:16
  10. Rylee-Danvers-smith-00:09:19
  11. Lachlan-Savage-00:09:51