Toys, Travels and Table dancing

12:00pm 24th May 2007

So it's been an eventful last couple of weeks. I've been unable to really throw myself at the CouchSurfing project due to the many work tasks I have. Sorry about that guys!

So I was up in Sydney the other day, catching up with friends, family and some business colleagues. I was talking to one of my fellow TeleChoice franchisees, and without divulging any confidential information, I can say that I was quite distressed by the things he shared with me. You know who you are, if you need anything at all, consider me available, you know how to contact me.

Other than that though, it was a rather enjoyable trip. I stayed at Lamrock Lodge. It looks good on the web site, but it was the most roach infested dodgy excuse for a lodge I've ever stayed at. When I arrived there, I was greeted with a bunch of 40-something men sitting at the entrance smoking enormous amounts of pot. The guy at the front desk was a scary looking bald guy with an eastern European accent. Had it not been 9pm and had I not been exhausted, I would have packed my stuff back into the rental car and hightailed it out of there.

While visiting a friend who works in one of the shopping centers, I was passed by those card hander outerers who hand out those promo cards. I just took a few and stuffed them into my pocket without looking, where they stayed until I got home. My Mum, when cleaning my jeans, took them out and left them on my bedside table. Only when I saw them there did I realize they were promo cards for the Mardi Gras organizers' table dancing event. Great. Now my Mum thinks I was in Sydney availing myself of the extensive smut on offer in Sydney.

When I got back, I decided to start getting gear together for my upcoming trip to Thailand for the next phase in my career as a SCUBA dive instructor. I am going to be there for about 2 weeks, which should be enough for me to do the Emergency First Response course as well as the Divemaster course. Making it to divemaster would be great! To make this more fun, I've bought myself some new toys. A Fuji E900 along with a heavy duty Ikelite underwater housing rated to 60m depth, as well as a Princeton Tec Miniwave LED dive light. The dive light is amazing, it's a pistol grip light that takes 4 C-cell batteries. It's very compact, yet the beam it throws out is amazing. I also have 2 Underwater Kinetics Q40 eLED lights as backups.

So I think that covers my travails for the last few weeks for those of you who have been interested in what's going on in the world of the Big Bad Naz. Ok, I'm really not a big guy, and I'm not that bad either. I know I've become the most neglectful friend ever, and I ask you all to forgive me. That's assuming you even remember who I am and bother reading this any more! Until next time my dearest of dear people, take care out there and bye for now!

Back in the saddle

6:07am 4th February 2007

OK so it's the first day of the TeleChoice conference. By the way, I'm back from overseas. I'm up north in Port Douglas, QLD for the TeleChoice national conference. But first, I shall tell you about my first salvage on a dive. On the second last day in Thailand I went for a dive at Koh Rin. 45 minutes into the second dive, I found a dive mask on the coral bed. Yes, my very first salvage was a dive mask. Under international maritime law, anything found at sea is the property of the finder. So, with the backing of under international law and a cry of "finders keepers", I am now the proud owner of a second, cheap, bright blue dive mask.

A day after that, I left Thailand for home on a JetStar flight. Please, people, whatever you do, do not fly JetStar for international flights or even long domestic ones. The seats were vinyl bus style seats and the other passengers were smelly hippies who talked loudly about how fantastic it is that you can buy Xanax and Valium over the counter in Thailand.

Anyway, I'm back home now. Well not really, I'm in Port Douglas, and I will be here until Thursday. We just arrived and I've unpacked and now like the true geek that I am I've come online to check my mail send a few of my own and write this blog entry. It's 5pm here, we have free time until 7:30pm when there's a dinner or something somewhere. I'm not sure what I'm going to do until then, but I'll probably just wander around the lush grounds and enjoy the scenery. I don't have my camera with me, but it will arrive tomorrow night hopefully. So, nice to be home people, and I hope to see you all soon!

Cease and desist your conniving!

3:14pm 24th December 2006

There comes a point in every young man's life when he passes into manhood. When that time has come, he will be able to face the trials of life as a grown man instead of as a boy. That time has come for me. I have just, for the very first time in my life, been sued. Well not really, but I've received a take down letter for TMS. That's right folks, those of you who have been following my work for the last few years will know that TMS is the (non-AJAX!) web based application that I (and now 20 other franchisees with me) use to manage my business in the absence of any reasonably efficient system from our franchisor.

I can't disclose many details here, but I just wanted to share this momentous occasion with you all, so you can bask in the joy that I feel now that I can finally say that I am no longer chaste, for I have dealt with a lawyer. Well that's not even true, the letter I received wasn't even drafted by a proper lawyer, just the paper-pushing clerk that handles the company conveyancing, but it's a start. The letter was signed off as being from "Corporate Counsel" so she's at least an aspiring blood sucker. Things should get more interesting if they ever do hire a real lawyer, though. I'll keep you all posted.

So things here should be quite exciting over the coming months, I am in the process of adding an RSS feed so you can all more easily stay up to date with the happenings over here. Just so you all know, I am still in South Africa, it looks like I'll be here for another week or so at which point I will be heading over to Thailand for a few weeks to get another unit or two of scuba training under my belt as well as some serious dive hours. I want to make instructor by the end of 2007, but we'll see how things go. In the meantime let me wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful and prosperous 2007! Love you all lots, Naz out.

Coups, cancellations and rearrangements

9:47am 7th November 2006
OK well the TeleChoice national annual conference has been cancelled, it was going to be held in Fiji, but there is some polotical unrest there at the moment, the military is demanding President Qarase's resignation and Qarase is trying to get the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, sacked. Predictably, they don't seem to be able to agree on either of these. Furthermore, Bainimarama has referred to violence resulting from Qarase's actions.

If that wasn't reason enough, Australia has been accused of interfering with Fijian sovereignty and illegally smuggling weapons into the country to support the government, which runs us afoul of the military. So even were the conference going ahead, I would not want to join a 200 strong group of Austrlian businessmen in Fiji right now.

So instead of going to Fiji, I think I'll be joining my cousins on a trip to Brazil. I've never been, and I hear the beaches are amazing. There's good diving off the coast apparently, with the opportunity to observe some larger pelagic fish such as sharks, large rays and game fish. Woot! I'll be sure to keep you all posted with pics and stories. Watch this space!

South African adventures

5:20pm 3rd November 2006

Well it's been an eventful stay so far. My cousin's wife, her brother and sister in law are currently in court, accused of murder charges. For those of you who are not familiar with this, Google can help, look for "Kadwa murder trial mayfair" and you should get some information returned. I've been to the court a few times, and I must say the trial is quite an interesting, if disturbing, one.

I haven't had much time to meet up with everyone here yet, but I'm getting around to it. If you're from here and you're reading this and I haven't spoken to you please don't think I'm ignoring you. It's just that I just don't have time for you because you're not important enough.

Yes, I've been eating lots of Wonder Why pizzas, lots of biltong and drinking lots of Creme Soda. I'm going to try to bring some cans of Creme Soda back, hopefully a box full of soda cans won't cause customs to think I'm smuggling something in. I remember last time I brought some in they made me open 3 cans up at random, and after testing them I had to drink them all. Damn fools.

I haven't managed to get time to go to Cape Town, I was hoping to go down there to do some scuba diving with great white sharks, obviously in a cage. Oh well, maybe next time. Borge, the state manager for TeleChoice, is here as well, he's from Cape Town, but I didn't get to catch up with him over here either, more's the pity. Well that's it for now. Hopefully when I write again I'll have more interesting things than murder trials to write about. Until then, bye for now.

Highpointless!

9:03am 1st September 2005

Well its gone. Highpoint is a thing of the past. This morning I handed the keys to the new owner, gathered my particulars and left. It's like a weight is finally off my shoulders now that I no longer have the huge workload that Highpoint imposed. No more answering dumb questions about the latest Nokia to 15 year olds who I know are not going to buy it. No more putting up with complaints about Optus' unnecessarily complex bills (which I still don't understand after 5 years in the industry mind you), no more having to put up with harassment about uniform and connections and selling Optus' ridiculously overpriced broadband products. Hi Borge & Steve! Love you guys!

It's been quite a journey, ups, downs and lots and lots of work. I remember doing months of 7 day work weeks at a time. Getting up at 7am so you can leave on time. Getting home at 10pm after late night shopping on Thursday and Friday. When you barely have time to do the basic chores at home and your idea of bathing is putting on deodorant while your car is stuck in traffic. No, I'll not miss Highpoint at all. I'm sure the new owner will get more reward out of it than I was.

So, those of you who are feeling neglected by me, all you have to do now is call me and I'll be free to party with you as much as you want. Go on, call me. Right now. Try it. I bet if you call me I'll be sitting in the sun reading some trashy novel at the beach. Either that or I got carried away with my newfound freedom and decided to run around in the streets wearing nothing but a pair of moccassins, and the police arrested me for indecent exposure. So if you call and I don't answer you know what happened. This is Naz, now Highpointless, signing off.