Freedom Fighters Wanted…Must Have Exact Fare

July 2006.

Jaipur, India.

Train Station.

Ticket window #769.

Jaipur Train Station

Lyn went up to the window with instructions to purchase 2 tickets:

  • 1 x Foreign Tourist (Her)
  • 1 x Freedom Fighter (Me. Sure. Why not? I fight for freedom!)

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

If a person is prepared to fight for freedom, is it absolutely necessary to insist that they provide the exact fare? I mean really, can’t you cut a brother some slack…I’m trying to fight for freedom here!

The Marvellous City!

Twelve months ago I was travelling. I found myself in Rio de Janeiro – “The Marvellous City”.

View from Sugarloaf Mountain, looking back towards Copacabana

And marvellous it was.

Alone in a city of 12 million people.

My knowledge of the local language (Brazilian Portuguese) limited to “obrigado” and “de nada”.

From a 1 room apartment on Rua Nossa Senhora, about 100m from Copacabana Beach (thanks Airbnb), I had the perfect base from which to explore the sights.

  • Cristo Redentor (aka Christ the Redeemer)
  • Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Avenida Atlantica, promenading with the locals as the strip is closed to traffic on Sunday mornings – walkers, joggers, cyclists, rollerblades, dogs, even children driving electric toy cars
  • the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema
  • magnificent steakhouses – like Churrascaria Palace (
  • ‘Kilo’ restaurants, where your plate is weighed and you pay by the gram
'Kilo' restaurant chain
‘Kilo’ restaurant chain
Weigh that guy's food
Weigh that guy’s food

My friend Malcolm from Melbourne Yoga ( previously lived in Rio for a number of years. He put me in touch with some friends from his time there (okay, so I wasn’t completely ‘alone’).

This meant multiple visits to Blyss Yoga in Ipanema for a local yoga experience.

Blyss Yoga

I can’t wait until the next time I get to visit Rio. Perhaps in time for the 2016 Olympic Games?

Let Sleeping Giants Lie

“Put the smartphone down and come out with your hands up….

…your life is waiting for you.”

Funky Town

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint


There is nothing like a hike on a perfect fall day with your Best Guy to make you smile. Really smile. Like with all your teeth sparkling.

Yesterday we took a ride to Sleeping Giant State Park, in Hamden, Connecticut, for a lovely walk in the woods. I hadn’t hiked The Giant in years. Years. I was excited. Many, many, moons ago my friends and I would hike it every chance we got. In high school. On breaks from college. Even thru that ‘After College What The Hell Am I Doing With My Life’ transition period.

We hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.

And perched our cameras on rocks, hit the self timer button and scrambled back in a panic trying to get the perfect shot in the nick of time. Inevitably the picture would get taken 100 times- until we ran out of film. We’d always get…

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Teach A Man To Fish


A few years ago I was working for a multinational company, heading up one of their local practice divisions. I was approached by one of the other practice heads asking if I had some resource to help him with a temporary staffing shortfall. More specifically, they were short processing staff to raise monthly client invoices. The staff member primarily responsible for this function had recently departed and had not yet been replaced. There was a lack of processing expertise amongst the remaining staff to pick up the short-term slack.

Being a helpful, sharing, caring sort of team player, I was only too happy to help out. At the time I had an employee on my team who:

  1. Was an expert with the company’s processing system;
  2. Loved to help others any opportunity she had; and
  3. Had some spare capacity.

Perfect! Right?

Not so fast.

What was being asked was if I could ‘loan’ this resource to do some processing of invoices. Going a step further, I suggested that she would have sufficient time to be able to up-skill the existing staff, so that they would be able handle some of their own processing whilst their manager searched for a permanent solution. After all, teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime.

The response to my proposal: “Thanks. Leave it with me. I’ll get back to you.”

Naturally, that never happened.

The other manager was fearful that if his existing staff were provided with the skills and knowledge to be able process invoices, senior management would reject his business case to replace the recently departed processing assistant and elect instead to save the personnel costs by spreading the workload over the remaining employees. (Note – this concern was NOT unreasonable.)

So, how was the situation resolved?

Rather than accept the offer of assistance, the manager reduced his division’s estimated income for the subsequent month to $0, on the basis that there was no resource available to process invoices. Further, it was indicated that this situation would continue until approval was received to hire a replacement processing assistant.

Approval was duly granted. A replacement was hired. Problem solved.

And, importantly, nobody else had to learn to fish for themselves!

So with that in mind, here are some variations on the theme:

The Philosopher:


The Entrepreneur:

TAMTF Entrepreneur

The Politician:


The Sociopath:

TAMTF Murderer

The Pessimist:

TAMTF Pessimist

The Pessimist (2):

TAMTF Pessimist 2

The Reality:

TAMTF Reality

My Favourite:

TAMTF Swanson

Chile or….Bust!

Running In The Desert

This is the week that Thomas and I (LongBuddyRun) were to be tackling the Atacama Crossing in Chile.

Instead, we remain in Melbourne….and I am housebound, foot elevated, struggling to walk.

What happened?

In a word…injuries. Collectively:

  • 1 x PCL strain
  • 1 x viral tonsillitis
  • 1 x hip/back strain – limited to 20 minutes walking at a time for several weeks
  • 1 x severe ankle sprain

We recently (and reluctantly) made the decision to postpone our 4deserts adventure. This was done at some expense (the entry fee is non-refundable), but we didn’t want to head over there to merely survive the event. We want the experience to be positive…not just hard.

The Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert, Chile

I am still formulating a plan for another adventure before Xmas, ankle permitting. If things fall into place I will share the details here.

WHAT IS SKYRUNNING? ask Emelie Forsberg

What an amazing woman…wish I could run like her. - Photography, Writing, Talk Ultra Podcast


Emelie Forsberg talks with CNN and explains what Skyrunning is to her….





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Who Is The Real Teacher?

The following was originally posted by Martin Armstrong.


Geniuses typically clash with their teachers because teachers do not encourage original thought as several studies have shown. Teachers want kids who obey and follow orders. Winston Churchill was terrible in school yet without him Hitler would have died in a retirement home. Albert Einstein’s teacher famously decreed he would amount to nothing. Here is what Gandhi had to put up with:

When Mahatma Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely and always displayed animosity towards him.

Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him as he expected, there were always “arguments” and confrontations.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor said,”Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat.”

Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, “You do not worry professor. I’ll fly away,” and he went and sat at another table.

Mr. Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions.

Mr. Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question:

“Mr Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?”

Without hesitating, Gandhi responded,

“The one with the money, of course.”

Mr. Peters, smiling sarcastically said,

“I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom.”

Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded,

“Each one takes what he doesn’t have.”

Mr. Peters, by this time was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi’s exam sheet the word “idiot” and gave it to Gandhi.

Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk, trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.

A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, “Mr. Peters, you autographed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade.”


2014 Darwin Awards


Here is an installment of the Darwin Awards, as published on Snowplow Forums.

(For those who are unfamiliar, the Darwin Awards “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it.”)

Nominee No. 1: [San Jose Mercury News]:

An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend’s windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

Nominee No. 2: [Kalamazoo Gazette]:

James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, MI, was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a “farm-type truck.” Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath, so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns’ clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns “wrapped in the drive shaft.”

Nominee No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record]:

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson .38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

Nominee No. 4: [UPI, Toronto]:

Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building’s windows to visiting law students. Hoy had previously conducted demonstrations of window strength, according to police reports. Peter Lawson, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was “one of the best and brightest” members of the 200-man association.

Nominee No. 5: [News of the Weird]:

Michael Anderson Godwin had spent several years awaiting South Carolina’s electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. While sitting on a metal toilet in his cell, attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

Nominee No. 6: [The Indianapolis Star]:

A Dunkirk, Indiana, man, using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzleloader, was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff’s investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents’ rural Dunkirk home at about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a .54 caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

Nominee No. 7: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario]:

A man cleaning a birdfeeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. “Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair when the accident occurred,” said Inspector Darcy Honer of the Peel Regional Police. “It appears that the chair moved, and he went over the balcony,” Honer said.

Finally, THE WINNER IS!… [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]:

Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch [Arkansas] on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County Deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, were returning to Des Arc after a frog-catching trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole’s pickup truck headlights malfunctioned.

The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded toward the White River Bridge.

After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply right, exited the pavement, and struck a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended.

Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released. “Thank God we weren’t on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off, or we might be dead,” stated Wallis.

“I’ve been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can’t believe that those two would admit how this accident happened,” said Snyder.

Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award official rules, it can be argued that Poole did in fact effectively remove himself from the gene pool.

Is this what the gene pool looks like?

What Could Go Wrong