Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kenneth Lowe

First - about the previous post: I generally have neither time nor sympathy for poetry (quality rap music excepted of course). For instance, I do not think much of William Shakespeare. Why high school english teachers like him so much is beyond me? It seems a bit ridiculous. Plays are intended to be watched not read - we have plenty of books. Why does that change for Shakes and only Shakes? I suppose that many years ago - somebody simply realized that making me struggle to figure out what Shakes is trying to say provides a good opportunity to 'evaluate' me. I personally prefer to read about a complex issue stated as simply as possible rather than a simple story all twisted up with excess words and riddles. Always, always, content before form please. Plus, Shakes mostly kills all of the good guys!? I feel that all fiction should end happy. The evening news is tragedy enough for me. Will's comedies are somewhat entertaining and I appreciate that his word-play is quite clever (once it is explained to me) but jokes should not have to be explained. It's like watching 'Les Boys' on a bus full of French-Canadian volleyballers - I can see them all laughing but I can't join them because - like Shakes - the jokes are not in my language! So, my point is: I generally dislike poetry. That being said, when I stumbled on that Kipling number (on youtube of all places), it somehow managed to hit a real soft-spot for me. Who knew :)

Enough. The rain is falling something-awful in Brisbane right now. It began a few days ago just as my father-in-law was getting onto a plane back to Canada. But Ken had a sunny (and busy) two-week holiday with us. Fraser Island, Some-Big’ol-Inland National Park, Noosa Heads, Sydney, and naturally a thorough walk-about in good’ol Brizzy. We sent him home exhausted and minus a few pounds I think (although we did our best to feed him). He bought and brought a lil’video camera for the trip and managed to record six-full-minidisks of holiday fun.

Here are some pics: First, here is Ken braving a random Aussie plant.

And here is on sandy Fraser Island.

And here with Kate underneath the shark tank in Sydney Aquarium:

And here the happy pair is feeding parrots at a lunch stop up in the hills somewhere.

Ken is a World War II buff – with a particular interest in naval adventures. As you might imagine, Australia has some cool war boats. Here is Ken in Sydney standing on the ‘action-deck’ of retired destroyer.
After a look at both the Brisbane and Sydney maritime museums, he was most impressed by a climb down into the guts of a fairly modern diesel submarine parked in Sydney harbour. It was quite the machine – a lot of ‘stuff’ in there – but far too cramped for comfort. Here's Kate inthe engine room. The boat is powered by a huge battery which is recharged (in just 30 minutes once daily) using these massive diesel engines. It carries a crew of 68 sailors cramped into essentially one long hallway. I asked one of the 'submarine experts' if it wouldn't be more logical to build a boat with a smaller crew - say 7 - for example... thereby risking fewer lives. He gave me a few good arguments.

That's all I've got for today. We really enjoyed Mr. Lowe's visit. Kate and I were treated to some stories about his youth that really should be written down! Awesome stuff. Incidentally, when Ken landed, he told us we would not be able to make him swim in ‘shark water’ but when given the chance he jumped in as care-free as I expected. It’s different when you’re here… and you see with your own eyes that people are not being eaten.

By the way - Kate is fast becoming a very talented photographer. How about this for a g’mornin picture by the lil' cutie.

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