Saturday, February 23, 2008

Inspiring Leaders

I have been following the Presidential Primaries in the US closely, along with a number of my friends, perhaps the first time we have ever taken an interest in the Primaries, let alone the election of a US president.

The appearence of one man on the political stage has done this. Barack Obama. The success his campaign has had over the last year or more not only speaks for the strength of Obama, but about that America wants and even what the rest of the world want, judging by the interest in him from all over the world.

Obama is an inspiring leader, and much has been said about the power of actions over words, but I think where ideas and words lead, actions will follow.

Another person who I find greatly inspiring is Larry Lessig, and he has indicated his support for Obama in true Lessig style. This is the only campaign meterial Obama will ever need. Simply brilliant.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Got 'em! Yes!

Finally, after 3 weeks of waiting we got our UK visas back. It took a bit longer than expected and was a bit of a drama. Mine got delivered to Newington, and my dad was there to pick it up. Chami's was to be delivered to the apartment at Waterloo.. so we found out that it was on the courier truck (via the tracking website) I rushed back to the apartment and waited and waited.

I even missed out on Friday drinks with the guys at work, but finally got Chami's visa too!

Also heard on the same day from Jem and Yui saying that some mail had arrived for us. So looks like our bank accounts are also ready to go! Yay! Things are finally getting sorted.

We fly out in less than 4 weeks!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Raggamuffin, Sydney 2008

Went to the Raggamuffin gig last night with Chami and a bunch of her friends. The lineup was announced a while ago (Katchafire, Arrested Development, Maxi Priest, The Wailers and UB40), so we rushed out and got a bunch of tickets, even if they were quite pricey - AU$119 each.

The gig was starting at 6pm and was supposed to go for 6 hours (which it did). We got there a bit after 6, so only caught the last few songs by Katchafire. It's a shame coz the last time I saw them live they were pretty darn good.

Anyways, the Horden slowly filled up (lots of Maoris, as expected). A bit after Katchafire, Arrested Development got on stage. They were pretty darn good. The lead singer had re-joined the group and they really pumped up the crowd. A couple of their hits from ye olde days really got people going.

After another break Maxi Priest eventually got on stage. I'll say flat out that I wasn't impressed. He was more interested in the "ladies screaming" than performing. You could feel the energy of the crowd going down. He also got his son and another rapper on stage, they just pranced around and did a whole lot of pelvic thrusts, but didn't really do much else.

Next up was The Wailers. Really, not sure why these guys are even called The Wailers. Of course the real power behind the original Wailers were Peter Tosh and Bob, the group now is just a Wailers cover band. The lead singer was an annoying twat who was constantly asking the crowd to "make more noise". Perhaps he was oblivious to the fact that the lack of noise was due to their performance.

Finally came the act everyone was there to see. Ali (the lead singer) had said that this will be his last tour before leaving UB40, so it was quite special. The crowd was really into it and their energy was great. Any of the UB40 classics really got the Horden going, specially Kingston Town, which they did for their encore. It was absolutely awesome.

All in all I was pretty happy. Biggest complaint was having to stand up for 7 or 8 hours all up.. legs were killing by the end of it. Hopefully the organisers will clean up the bill a bit later, shorter more focused performances (say over 4 hours) would have been better, IMHO.