Sunday, June 05, 2011


Testing testing 1-2-3.

Monday, November 01, 2010


The Duff can't seem to sleep tonight. It always happens when he has something on the next day and he tries to go to bed early.

Almost immediately he knows he's screwed. His mind's eye wanders right back to the laptop and the programme he left playing in the background screams at him in acute clarity. It is almost hi def but in pounding sound waves.

He gives up and picks up his phone. The latest toy. Still paying for it. Heh. He surfs around, checking out the latest scores, checks what his so-called friends are up to, while at the back of his mind he knows what each and every real friend of his is doing.

He thinks then that it would be kind of fun to find something to do. Something to let loose any residual energy he has left from the paltry trials and tribulations of the day. And he remembers that he has this special place where he used to "frequent". A wall where he could shout and wail and come back months later to read the spittle on the paint, or relisten to the fading echoes of an earlier, younger and inescapable naive whimper.

And scream at said wall through new medium too. The novelty may actually last perhaps a tad bit longer. In that respect he has it similarly to don draper. The newness of things. A freshness to proceedings. An unboringness.

The sad truth that is. A relentless and never-ending pursuit of the unmundane. Forever doomed. The perpetual beta indeed.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Unending Blur-icity

So it was finally the Duff's turn at the controls of the real aircraft. After many hours of practice in the simulators, it was his chance to fly some sectors on the old but still powerful Learjet 45. Sure some things were wonky like the airconditioning and anti-ice, but the engines buckled in and pushed everyone into their seats at the appropriate times. The Duff found himself enjoying the speed, the clouds and the idle banter with the instructor beside him, sharing war stories of life on the line.

The downside was the preparation required going into every flight. He had to wake up at 3.30, set off for the school at 4.30, and prepare the flight plans, fuel, weight and balances, weather and all by 6.00. It was a massive undertaking that took some practice but the flight the next day was much smoother. He also had to prepare and familiarise himself with the routes, approaches and aerodromes along the way. Quite a bit for a lazy bugger like him.

Therefore, it meant late nights prior to the flights, many short naps and practically non-existent deep sleeps in the wee hours of the morning. The stupor he was in caused him to hit his head twice in two days on the edges found on the ceiling of the cabin. Massive bumps that hurt to the touch reminded him of his clumsy childhood and each time he rubbed his scalp, he smiled to himself like a silly old fool.

What was to happen on the subsequent evening took the cake though. He had fallen asleep after a quick snack of instant noodles after the second flight, all the weariness of the preceding days bearing down upon him like an avalanche of sledgehammers. When he awoke, he first saw the faint light peering through his garage room door. He panicked at first, and grabbed for his mobile phone to check the time. The first impression was that it was dawn. He had a simulator session the next morning at 6 as well. "Damn!" He said to himself, when he saw that it was already 6.07. He slept through the night! The fatigue was getting to him. The sense of dread and a rush of adrenaline washed over him as the dashed for his uniform. "Double Damn!" The uniform wasn't ironed yet, and he grabbed the old uniform he had just worn on the second flight, stinking of hours-old perspiration. He guessed that it would fit his own body odour as he hadn't bathed since the flight anyways. The sounds in the kitchen must be made by his buddy. Got to hurry now! His hair was still immaculately in place, held in by the industrial strength hair wax that is the Duff's staple. At least that was one thing going for him.

In the midst of buttoning his shirt, afixing his wings and zipping up his trousers, he stops suddenly as awareness and a greater sense of calm broke through the clouds. "Triple Damn! It was 6pm, not 6am!" Phew. Another crisis averted, albeit one created wholly in his head. He had thought he was done for, as his career was one hellbent on punctuality amongst many other qualities. Missing a session would be the death knell.

He laughed, deep and loud. Those 2 bumps must have caused some short circuits in his head. He emerged from the garage, hoping the sounds of his scampering around hadn't been noticed by his housemates. A quick peek out proved that to be the case, and his recovers nicely to visit the bathroom and helped out in the kitchen to make DINNER.

Such is life. Ups and Downs and All Arounds. One really has to laugh at oneself sometimes.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


The New Year.

A certain nice ring to it, isn't there? 2010. Rolls off the tongue, glides into the ears, skims off your skin and tears into your consciousness. It smells of spring, of fresh starts and new cycles. So much to work towards, so much to begin on, so many lists to come up with and to the plans to finish them. So many open doors, so much promise.

The Duff had always enjoyed the start of new years. Some were held with dread that soon passed once familiar faces were once again reacquainted with in class. Some were otherwise eagerly anticipated as the year would usually contain some special dates, and half written chapters that would be closed with the surest certainty of the next sunrise.

The coming year though is one of those that lay ahead with an echoing emptiness waiting to once again be filled by memories filtered through his experience. Tabula Rasa. Once again, targets and lists. Once again, a breaking down of limitations, and fulfillments of various endeavours. Surely a dead end to some, unavoidably dangling threads would be left, but these are NOT to stop him from beginning them, lest the wallet threatens to disavow his freedom and quiet desires.

He is still in Brisbane. Maroochydore to be exact. An hour's worth of driving from Brisbane proper. A quiet hamlet, full of retirees and ignorant Aussies (always shouting japanese at him while driving by). Friendly and helpful ones too, to be fair (invited to x'mas party, but politely declined). Beautiful beaches (gold coast, surfer's paradise, noosa, mooloolaba and mudjimba), sea turtles (he saw one at night at the beach, awesome!), birds (they are everywhere), lizards (them too!), foxes (he saw one crossing a highway late at night) and frogs (after a storm, they were abundantly squashed on many a road). Theme parks (Dreamworld, Sea World, Movieworld, Wet n' Wild) and thrill rides (Lethal Weapon, Superman, Giant Drop, etc.), dolphins (always deviously smiling) and penguins (still wearing a tux in the hot weather). Bikinis (he likes) and bodyboards (he so wanted to buy), tanned curves (he likey more!) and washboards (he envies). Business jets (flying one) and summer holiday-makers (surrounded by them), tough simulator instructors (love/hate relationships) and dusty garages (living out of one). Heat waves and thunderstorms (every other day), 3D movie (AVATAR kicks ass!!!) and cooking (helping out whenever he can).

And that's his life these past 2 months. He can't wait to get back home, to once again start another chapter. To fill it with the pitfalls and perils, the trials and tribulations, the triumphs and the achievements that only hard living can bring.

Own it. Do it. Follow your bliss. Ain't that The Truth?

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Have you ever felt the weight of all your failures bearing down upon you? The Duff thinks it feels like a boxer who'd been knocked down upon the canvas, and while the referee is busy ogling the Fixer's wife, the opponent takes a step closer and kicks the loser in the balls.

And twists his foot.

Its true. The Duff had another one of those days, where the shit hit the fan at a diarrhetic ballet of equal consistency. The pile up was unsightly and his stress rose with it in a direct, voluminous ratio. Moments of sanity and laughter punctuated by more issues that had to be handled, managed, solved, and worst of all, put off for a later date.

And he doesn't have much time left on his favourite island in the world. He's leaving in a week's time, once again for that other island down under, where the water in the bowl spins in an unsightly direction and has a knack of producing surprisingly gorgeous people with amazing liver function.

All the crap did give him more impetus to work his ass off in the gym. It also galvanised his resolve to shoot the shit outta all the zombies. Nothing like a double tap to the head from distance. Bloody zombies. What would we do without them?

He wishes he has been able to throw his boomerang though (nope, no euphemisms here. Literally a boomerang. And yes, it does return). He hasn't had any practice in a long time. Somehow he felt that throwing a stick would help calm him down, or at least act as an avenue to vent.

He'll find more violent hobbies in the future. He has it all planned out. After the next 3 months down under, he'd return to begin the rest of his life. And oh, what an act it will be.

Project Phoenix to continue, in spite of the shit.Perhaps he should take up boxing after all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1875)

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my SOUL.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Full Slate

The Duff is once again in a funk. He'd been staying on the path for the last 2 months, gently treading on the straight and clear, bathed in the euphoria of accomplishments that boosted his ego and self worth to a level he hadn't experienced in many a season.

He'd finally escaped from sleepytown. He misses the flying, but not the stagnant, putrid feeling of imprisonment. His return was almost akin to the proverbial hero's welcome. His parents, recently retired, were an instant source of comfort, satisfaction and anchor. Finally, something tangible to focus upon, for his efforts to be geared towards. The want to provide a stellar lifestyle for them is a major reminder to push himself.

An intense study course back at work occupied the first month. Constant meet ups with old friends were enjoyable, although the feeling of being so far behind them started being a point of contention in his soul. More than ever, the desire to excel is reignited to phosphorescence.

Now on the cusp of the next stage of his training, an intense review of his path is sorely required. Being told by the company that he isn't cut out for the job was a major bummer and buzzkill. Should that dull his drive, or push him to work harder? He found the wind taken out of his solar sails, feeling an animosity to the company which he was just starting to build some loyalty towards.

It was however, a great reminder of his initial decision to walk down this path. A simple plan to gain more ammo. He realised that what he was doing all along was steering away from the path, or rather, walking parallel to the original plan. He was letting vital skills he had attained atrophy.

Therefore, he has initiated Project Phoenix. A return to THE PLAN. It will be a shock and awe tactic, a multi-pronged return to the perpetual beta, to the way of the Truth.