Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dude cleaning the A/C

Our air conditioner is in need of a bit of maintenance after a torrid hot-season, battling it's way through 40-odd degree heat.

So we got some fellas to come around and clean them.

This is what they have constructed to clean said air conditioner:

An elaborate contraption, it included an old pigs trough, some leftover street signs, a high-pressure cleaner, a tarp and a bit of hose.

Not to be outdone, however, were the window cleaners at my work today 25 floors up, swiping and sponging their way while balancing frightfully unharnessed on the 1ft wide ledge.

The strange thing is, I'm kind of getting used to it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's cookin?

Clare and I have finally got a night together at home and are having a beef and vegie casserole for dinner, with a side of couscous and corn. And some French plonk to wash it down! Bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

From the BTS

Clare and I are off to a friend's place tonight for a wine and cheese night.

With June just on the cusp of the rainy season, clouds start to mass around the city and create some terrific sunsets and dusk lighting.

Below is a pic of the sun peeking through a few buildings in our neighbouhood this was taken from the platform of our local Skytrain station.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

She works hard for the money, honey

One of my co-workers, Nonglak, was today translating a very dry legal document from Thai to English to be eventually developed into English language web and brochure copy. So I sent her this to cheer her up…

Classic 80's styles!!

Hawaii anyone?

Jack Johnson's latest music video really makes me miss the beach...maybe an Asian surfari might be on the cards this Christmas? Might be a tough one to convince Clare...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Clare's new name

Clare now shares her new name with a bit of a fruitcake Californian author.  From wikipedia:

Clare Bell (born 1952) is an author in the U.S. best known for her Ratha series of young adult fantasy novels about prehistoric big cats.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memories of rugby league

As many of you know, I’m a massive rugby union fan. However, rugby league was my first love, born from it many of my first, best and formative childhood memories.

Like Benny Elias with mud and blood pouring from his face onto his NSW Blues jersey, while Paul Sironen and Paul Harragon (NSW) belted, and got belted by, Marty Bella and Trevor Gillmeister (QLD). Definitely formative.

Or the 8am Queanbeyan Sunday morning winter kick-offs as an U/8 North Canberra Bear - ground frozen, hands numb and a confusion as to how to best avoid juvenile hypothermia.

Or big Mal Meninga – arm bandaged up, screaming down the middle of Canberra’s Bruce Stadium like a turbo-charged tank, with blokes like Laurie Daley, Gary Belcher, Ken Nagas and other Raiders stars in tow…all the while sucking down hot dogs with Dad on the hill.

With Game 1 of the 2010 State of Origin coming up this Wednesday, I was reminded this morning of how 20 years ago Mum used to only let me watch the first half, as it finished well past my bedtime. With Mum a 9hr flight away, and a time difference now favourable to my Bangkok bedtime, I can’t wait to watch the whole game after work with my mates here in Bangers.

Here’s a little taste of the previous 25 years of State of Origin hits…(Ray ‘Rabs’ Warren’s commentary has to be as good as the hits!).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pass the mic

So what does the Thai military do when on duty dealing with a civil disturbance in downtown Silom?

Block off a lane and bust out a few karaoke hits of course!!!

(Note the laptop resting just below the speakers)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hummus peace promise?

If only the red shirt protesters and Thai government could take a leaf, or in this case, a chick pea out of Israel and Lebanon's pot - vying against each other in trying to create a gigantic pot of Gaeng Kiew Wan Gai.

This article from the UK's Telegraph Online describes Lebanon's war on hummus, with 300 Leb chefs creating 10-tonnes of the dip to crush an earlier record held by their Israeli counterparts.

Not only is that a lot of chick peas, tahini and olive oil, but by god, that's a lot of flatulence...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just squeezing in...

<--- The latest weather forecast, 9 days out from the wedding...just managing dry weather! Let's hope it remains...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wedding wildlife

Yes, that is a goat on the side of the headland near where Clare and I will be married in 3 weeks time!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What a good wifey (in waiting)

Check out what Clare has prepared for dinner tonight! Beef and vegie stew!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

What I do (2)

Whilst I didn't work on this award-winning campaign, this is a really great example of the kinds of ideas that my compatriots in the industry dream up whilst reclining in a fluro bean bag and tucking into their 4th coffee of the day.

  • Cultural relevance? Tick.
  • Development of emotional connection between customer and product? Tick.
  • Memorable tagline? Tick.
  • Clear brand-campaign link? Tick.
  • Easy campaign admin (distribution etc)? Tick.
  • Simple, digestible idea? Tick.
  • Strong partner? Tick.
  • Practical customer engagement? Tick.
  • Ability for campaign to be broadened into other media channels? Tick.
  • Measurable? Tick.
I reckon their figure of $11 million of free publicity is a bit short though...I would have thought they could have gotten a lot more out of the campaign, however they may have been limited somewhat by budget. Be also good to know what the sales figures were, as well as the invaluable brand recognition and residual goodwill.

By the way, this YouTube clip is doing nothing for my quest to limit my pre-wedding chocolate intake...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Which way wool it go?

Interesting article here from today's SMH online about the current state of Australia's wool and sheepmeat industry.

The tonic, minus the gin

This is just what we needed.

We checked into Iudia last night and were welcomed with a breathtaking view over the Chao Phraya from our residence - Wat Phuttaisawan, the 14th century former digs of King Ramathibodi I, founder of Ayutthaya.

Fronting the Ayutthaya World Heritage Park, Wat Phutthaisawan was cast in a wonderful glow last night. Separated by a mere 100m of water, I felt quite humbled as I looked toward the 'old' world from our chic surrounds.

I was reading only the other day about Robert the Bruce, the great Scottish King, who would have been a regal contemporary of King Ramathibodi. Around about the same time big Bob was smashing the English, Ramathibodi was establishing the structural ingredients of Siamese government. (It's sometimes useful to try to put Asian history into a European context - I often find it hard to find a conceptual anchor.)

Right now, it's dawn and I'm overlooking the Wat Phutthaisawan again, this time cast in a more natural light, listening to the melodious combination of morning birdsong, Islamic call to prayer and monks chanting - a really special opportunity.

There's also a bloke up river in a small boat who's just cast his nets for this morning - made me think of being out in the tinnie with Dad at first light.

This place rocks.

And there's not a Cosmopolitan Bride magazine anywhere in sight.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Something for the Man Room

Every man needs a Man Room.

I'm slowly converting our spare bedroom into a shrine of all things man - my rugby balls, jerseys and tour kit; trophies of adventures conquered; golf clubs; and now, my new bike, a Trek 4300 Disc.

Clare's loving it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Set to chill in Ayutthaya

With the invitations posted on Monday and a whole heap of stuff locked in for the wedding, Clare and I are heading away for a well-earned romantic long weekend away to Ayutthaya this Friday night.

We’re going there to chill out Thai-Falang style - read, cycle, relax, get massaged, drink coffee…generally distance ourselves from anything resembling a wedding budget or crazy printing ladies named ‘Prawn’.

Clare’s organized for us to stay in some pimping hi-so-hippie hotel called Iudia…the design elements look really cool and I’m very much looking forward to finding out more about their ‘in-house cultural programs to acquaint guests with the secrets of Buddhist meditation, Siamese history, antiques, yoga and traditional Siamese music’.

Where on earth does Clare find these places!

Ayutthaya is a terrifically spectacular old-day city, spotted with 14th-century temples and a relaxed riverside atmosphere. Clare and I were there last year around the same time, and absolutely loved riding around the different Wats and back streets. More on Ayutthaya later.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Loving Rugby 10's

I'm out at the Bangkok rugby 10's - unfortunately I still can't play at the moment, but it's great to see my mates get amongst it! Clare's having a great day with the girls as well!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Suburban sunset soccer

A bunch of young fellas kick the soccer ball around in front of National Stadium as the day wanes...

What I do

“So, what do you do for a crust?”

It’s a tough question for me to answer because I work in such a varied and undefined profession.

When I say I work in “communications”, people think I work as a technical engineer for Telstra or True.

When I say I work in “public relations, mainly for a bank”, people think I’m in some customer service role at their local branch.

When I say I work “for an agency”, people think I’m either a male hooker or am about to subject them to some intelligence-gathering waterboarding exercise.

It can be utterly confusing to the average punter, without a 10-minute, thirst-quenching explanation…

If they show some interest, I usually tell them I write plans (and sometimes administer parts) for pretty much anything that involves my client’s ‘brain’, ‘voice’ and ‘face’.

I tell them my job is to figure out the best way for my client to chat to customers en masse, the government, the business community or anyone other group that may be affected by, or affect, my client’s business decisions.

I give advice on what my client needs to say (or not say) in general, who specifically they need to say it to (including the decision makers and influencers) and the best method(s)/medium(s) to reach and persuade that person/group.

I also tell them my job tends to have many political considerations, in that it’s important to take into account and act on the views of my client’s many business/industry partners - be they an industry association, sponsorship recipient, charity or a key opinion leader.

Then I might explain that ‘conversations’ can happen via the media (and the many iterations of), the client’s website, online channels, via advertising, the annual report, special announcements, an employee incentive program, speaking engagements etc.

They usually latch onto the media. Media is probably the least sophisticated element of the profession, however the most easily understood. Regardless, I would talk about how a column like this one I write on behalf of my client is a good example of how we help position them as a leader in Asian and Thai business. Circulated throughout a number of other regional national daily newspapers and online news sites the column is a small tactic built into an overall plan. We might also suggest meetings with key Chinese government officials, trade seminars for SME businesspeople or awards submissions and interviews with international industry media.

By the time we're finished, both conversation and beverage tends to be pretty dry...

If only I could be a doctor, policeman or fireman!