All Excess…

Firstly before you go down this rabbit hole we’ll give you one of those disclaimers that the physicians should have given you if they already haven’t. Reader discretion is advised this blog contains arguments for and against a topic that will no doubt cause fights in households around the nation between couples. With that said it’s on to this weeks blog…

After a week in hiatus we are back baby, bigger than ever, the team took some time out to unwind, sit back relax and let the good times belly flop in the shallow end of the piss filled kiddie pool. But now we are once again feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some of the more taboo topics of the year. We decided to listen into the heated debates raging around the water coolers of the nation and take a crack at once and for all settling them with some clear and concise answers from Wikipedia.

Just kidding we’ll try our best to get some solid, factual answers and if all else fails we’ll post a link or two from google allowing you to make up your own damn minds. So with that being said the team decided they’d launch right in this week and tackle one of the most heated debates to the face the nation, no the world and possibly the entire universe. Folding versus scrunching, which one is better for your bum and the economy? Well actually they decided that could be a topic for another day and this week we’d tackle whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate that is the question!

It’s a question that many parents ask themselves each year, whether you are expecting your first or it’s time to give little Sarah or Johnny another sibling. Do you take the plunge into the unknown and get your kid the jab? What’s in the jab? And how have vaccines changed in the last 20 years? Well the team will do their utmost best to give you the answers from both sides of the story. The facts can speak for themselves and as always you, the public can decide whether or not vaccination is good or whether it is the evil brainchild of the big pharmaceuticals that conspiracy theorists make it out to be. We will try to be unbiased in our approach however we can’t make any promises.

Ok so like any good debate it needs to start with a single question and we can only guess the question that is asked the majority of the time would be whether to vaccinate or not? So where to start, well the first place to start is with yourself. Were you vaccinated? Did you turn out ok? Aside from the little things you do that annoy your husband or wife, those are traits and we don’t believe they’ve created a vaccine against them as of yet. Although Netflix is a strong candidate. So what are the benefits if any of being vaccinated?

According to the Australian Governments Department of Health website the single greatest benefit of vaccines is that it works with the body’s immune system to become stronger allowing you to fight bacteria and viruses quicker. Ok so that seems like a no brainer, why wouldn’t you want to get vaccinated after hearing that? Some of the other benefits of immunisation are that you protect and pass on a natural immunity to newborns and make it easier to control diseases in the community. Those are the main benefits so why are the anti-vaxxers so against creating immunity against diseases that the human body has struggled to fight for centuries.

Vaccination has eradicated smallpox and is well on the way to wiping the polio virus off the map throughout the world. Other diseases such as measles are also on the eradication map with vaccinations now preventing over 60% of deaths from the disease. Vaccines have brought a total of seven diseases under some degree of control. Smallpox (Eradicated), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Whooping Cough, Polio and Measles. These facts and figures came from the UNICEF website after a quick google search on ‘what diseases have been eradicated through vaccination’. You wanted facts and we’ve given you a small dose of what’s to come. Pun intended!

Vaccination has been heralded as one of mankind’s greatest inventions. The ability to help the body develop an immunity and stave off infections has become invaluable. Through vaccination the world has managed to protect people of all ages against diseases that would have previously decimated the population. With all the good that vaccines do, why are there so many people now turning against vaccinations in general. The anti-vaccine movement and it’s followers known as anti-vaxxers are heavily opposed to vaccinations and believe to have linked vaccines to increases in autism around the world as well as SIDs, paralysation, decreased brain function and worst case scenario death. According to medical journals this has now been debunked along with a lot of other theories that have been put forward.

We promised we’d give you both sides of the coin, so to the other side of the coin we go, to look at things from the anti-vaxxer point of view. All parents whether they are for or against vaccination only want the best of their children. So it is understandable when you begin to hear and read the anti-vaxxers side of the story as to why they are not in favour of vaccination. There are hundreds of stories of children who have had either passed away or had adverse reactions after being vaccinated.

So what are the concerns or arguments that the anti-vaccination movement brings to the table? The arguments against vaccination have changed very little over time. Many of the arguments focus on a growing distrust in medical science advancing the notion that vaccines are unavoidably dangerous because a nebulous of toxins are being introduced into the body via vaccination. Through our research we did find that small amounts of aluminium is present in vaccinations acting as an Adjuvant (Adjuvants help strengthen the immune system’s response to the antigens in vaccines. In some cases this means fewer needles are needed for a child to be fully protected against a disease.) however the amount per vaccination is less than a baby would receive through breastfeeding in a period of 6 months.

There is also the argument that children are purposely ‘Poisoned’ through vaccines because it benefits the bottom line of Big Pharmaceuticals and the physicians they work with. Other arguments stem from the claim that vaccines overwhelm the immune system and that natural immunity is better than immunity introduced by vaccines. The list goes on for arguments against vaccination. Several papers have been written linking vaccination to autism and as previously stated worst case death.

So to vaccinate or not to vaccinate that is the question, but it is a question that should only be answered by you and your significant other. Before making your decision you should ask as many questions as you can, research as much as you can so you are as informed as possible to make your decision. We are living in a world where we have information available to us at the push of a button. Vaccination is one of the most researched medicines around the globe, more and more studies are done each year on the ongoing effects and the effects of current vaccinations.

From the team at A Mind of Its Own, whatever your decision we salute you and support you but remember it’s your choice and your choice alone. Until next week we hope we’ve cracked the lid on another topic that causes waves.

Here Comes the Boom…

It’s another week of doubles as we attempt to make up for your lack of exciting reads in the past week due to being led around the country by our ties like a greyhound ready to chase that bunny around the track. In this instance the track like greyhound racing could be related to the business arena in which the bunny would be the client and we the dog are the dollar signs for the big corporate who see the cash flowing as we cross the line first in a mad sprint to secure new or existing business.

As we sat back in the airport, no not in the lounge that would cost the company further money they aren’t willing to spend to ensure the people bring in the big bucks would be comfortable while they waited for yet another flight in what had already been a long week a recurring thought popped into our head. You aren’t valued, you are just another body to them who is replaceable. Whilst right about now most of you are starting to think oh great another person who is going to write a woe is me peice and fill the airwaves and internet with their sob story about how they are undervalued in the workplace.

Well a part of you would be right but that’s not necessarily where we are going with this blog. What we wanted to explore was the change in culture and when did it all change from employees being valued to being just another number that helps the company continue to bring in the money, money, money. Small businesses whilst yes being small still manage to value their employees, recognising and rewarding them for doing a good job or when they go above and beyond to ensure the success of the company and yet looking at the mid to large-scale organisation there is no shortage of disenchanted people slaving away day in day out.

We spend over ninety percent of our lives working. We work to ensure we have food, shelter and are able to support our families. There are those that do it tough slaving away in blue-collar jobs while the white-collar workers continue to live comfortable lifestyles and often get richer all the while the poorer get poorer. So spending ninety percent of our lives at work, most people want to do something that they are passionate about and inspired to do, day in day out. But what happens when that passion and inspiration is overshadowed by corporate greed and the management’s own concerns for themselves and not the worker bees doing all the work to ensure the company continues to tick over?.

What happens is you have a workforce who very much feel like the work they do isn’t valued. You could be a top performer bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for a company and yet your input, value and knowledge are always overlooked when it comes to decision-making. Your level within the organisation isn’t one of influence and yet you treat everyone as an equal despite their role within the organisation. Everyone has something to add from the people who clean the workspace to guy sitting at the top but if you don’t value each individual for the skills, knowledge and experience they bring, before you know it they will start to feel like they aren’t valued or appreciated.

Just hearing the words ‘thank you’ or ‘great job’ can often make someone’s day but unfortunately in today’s workplace it often gets overlooked by management whose only concern is to report up that they are doing a great job watching over you all the while offering little to no support when it is needed the most. As long as their million dollar bonus comes in then there is no issues for them. So this is where it leaves the team at A Mind of It’s Own begin to question whether we have become a society of self-absorbed arseholes? Sorry for the swearing but their seems to be a common thread that shit flows downhill and we have little to no concern for those below us on the totem pole.

Here’s where all the positive people pop up and start saying if you don’t like it change it, unfortunately your average joe’s influence over what doesn’t and doesn’t happen in the organisation they work for is limited to the sphere of influence they have around them. Yes they can go and look for another role but their in line another conundrum in the fact the glass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side either. Most of the time what they want isn’t something that will cost the company money and therefore eating into their profit margin.

If you were to ask most people though what they wanted out of their job, what would give them career satisfaction most of them would say the following. Most people want to feel valued for the work they do, they want to be respected, every now and they’d like to be recognised and perhaps rewarded for the work they put in. Give them opportunities and a career path with the tools to help get them there and you are doing more than a lot of managers and bosses are already doing. Continue to support and develop them and what you’ll get is loyalty and support from that person. They’ll pass it on to the next person in the chain and that knock on effect will see your company thrive.

At some point in the last Thirty years we have transitioned from being connected with our staff to almost treating them like just another number on the balance sheet. Perhaps technology is to blame, perhaps it’s globalisation but at some point we have started to lose touch with humanity and what its like to be a human being and treat everyone equally. Woman across the globe are slowly and I say slowly being given the opportunities they deserve in the workplace, equal rights again are slowly drifting in but we still often lack the basics when it come to treating everyone equal and like human beings.

To all people managers out there no matter what level you are within an organisation take heed of the following for your sake and that of your staff. EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO ADD and EVERYONE LIKES TO FEEL VALUED. Stop treating your staff like dollar signs and go back to treating them like the people they are, valuable employees who have something to add to your organisation. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Men and Women around the world in workforces are there because they choose to be that doesn’t mean they should be treated without respect. A little empathy goes a long way in life.

From the team at A Mind of Its Own, we hope that you’ve found some value in this blog. Remember you need to be happy in your job and you should always feel valued. If you are doing a great job and it feels like your contribution is always overlooked there is something wrong. Work should never be something you despise and hate going to. It should be a place you are inspired to go to and driven to succeed in, after all you spend the majority of your life doing it so happiness should be a key condition of all those in the workforce. Until next week, we hope work is fun this week and feel free to flick the link to your boss…

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

An open letter to the politicians of Australia, well we’d like to send you one but politics just isn’t our scene as our readers will tell you. We’ve been there tried that and unfortunately we just didn’t get the tee-shirt besides the fact that it would be foul-smelling and stained with tears of our Aussie battlers far and wide. So without further ado we welcome you to this week episode of Australia’s premier blog about life, love and all things real. Ok, ok so this weeks blog is more about searching for love and the things that people will go through to find it.

As this writer sat down last week with his wife to relax after a hard days work in the office ensuring the executives all get there bonuses off the back of the worker drones. The TV was set to channel 10 perhaps the Project was on or something else. We probably had our head buried in a book or were taping out an installment of this blog. Any who reality tv made its way onto the television before us.

So it’s not a new addition to their line up however it is the first time this writer has actually sat through a whole episode and in this case more than one episode. And it is all thanks to one man, one man who has cemented his place in Australia’s sporting history. Perhaps not through his sporting prowess, but certainly through is Aussie Larrikin, down to earth, salt of the earth, surfer boy ways.

Hailing from Australia’s undisputed home of esky lid riding or bodyboarding for those in the biz, that’s business folks. Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, who was clearly a private school kid seeing as it seems to be a sport for the toffees and only only private school kids seem to play it these days was a former Wallaby, Western Force and according to the Internets sole authoritarian website Wikipedia which is a source of truth for so many high school kids assignments, he also played for the Coca Cola Red Sparks in the Japanese league. For those of you overseas or who just aren’t into sports they are all Rugby Union teams.

Just quickly it’s the game where big men pile on top of each other or get into these things called scrums that look like they are sticking the heads up each others backsides looking for god knows what. They certainly aren’t going to find the god particle up there.

Enter the Bachelor all 99kgs and 189cm of the man affectionately known around the world as the Honey Badger. Not your typical choice for channel 10s premier reality show in which the contestants go looking for love in all the wrong places or in this case women. After last season of the Bachelorette where we saw Gold Coasts Sophie Monk the undisputed queen of the bogans looking for love it should have been no surprise that the boy from Port Macquarie is on our screens.

If you have no idea who the Badge is, you needn’t look too far. Turn on the idiot box and wait for one of those Tradie underwear advertisements to come on. The bloke with the moustache and curly hair with is ears taped back, chiseled like a Greek god who is spouting Aussie phrases. Funnily enough its it’s his use of these colloquialisms and his often brutally honest jokester approach that has made him a hit In a world where athletes with big personalities seem to be repressed.

The Honey Badgers use of colloquialisms to describe situations and or feelings whether they be his own or those of one of the female contestants vying for his love and affection makes the viewing of the Bachelor all the more worthwhile. If you don’t find yourself laughing at his Larkin self you’ll certainly find yourself laughing at the cringe worthy women who are somewhat slowly helping to undo all the great work women have done around the world for women’s rights.

Don’t get us wrong these women are being treated by the Badge with the utmost respect but respect for each other seems to be lacking. Often just moral decency for fellow human being seems to disappear but what can we the public expect when you pit affection starved women against one another for the love of a honey badger. At a mind of its it’s own we can only hope he can tell the difference between a honey pot and a honey trap as a lot of these women seem to be on the show for one reason and one reason only. FAME…

Watching on you see the girls who are there for themselves and have found an opportunity to put themselves in the limelight and then there are the crazy ok there is one who is almost bordering on stalkerish behaviour. The rest are there to see what happens and no doubt looking for love themselves. It wouldn’t make good viewing if there wasn’t drama but “Holy Tamora” as the Badge would say some of these women are busier backstabbing each other than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad.

The team at A Mind of Its Own are as nervous as a bag of cats at a greyhound meet for the Badge in his crusade for love. We can only hope this Aussie Legend find the right woman and crosses the line for a bit of meat. That’s short for Meat Pie aka a try another one of Badges colloquialisms used frequently in his interviews from his football days.

Gone are the days where you have to work hard to find your significant other. Courting no longer exists and chivalry is whilst not quite dead is often on the couch where you made it sleep. With technology we have become lazy in our quest for love. Online dating, online matchmaking, hook up apps and even complex algorithms that will supposedly spit out your perfect match within minutes of your application. So with all this available at your fingertips and the risk of being catfished by a big balding, sweaty guy in a foreign country why would you go on a reality show searching for the one?

It’s a question that will no doubt be put to the Badge as he continues his hunt for the honey of his life. In the meantime like us you should sit back, relax and enjoy the laughs with the man as he attempts to whittle down 30 girls to just the one. We could have saved him the hassle and got him together with Sophie they’d make a great pair and both of them are rather funny.

So from A Mind of Its Own if you are looking for love these are the places you are likely not to find it. Firstly tinder is not a place to go looking for love, secondly bars and clubs and thirdly reality tv shows. There are plenty of fish in the sea just dive in and start fishing. We are all scared of rejection but what’s more powerful fear of rejection or fear of ending up alone?

Don’t be the captain that goes down with the ship, take a risk or two, knock a few people out of the lifeboat…

Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope…

Like discovering a new planet or species of animal, all discoveries require research, so for this week’s episode the team at A Mind of Its Own pulled on their gym shorts donned their singlets that barely cover the bulging beer bellies and laced up our best pairs of dunlop volleys in order to head out and get some much needed exercise. Like a bunch of clowns we jumped into the Tarago and headed off into the Sun, towards the surf and sand, the glitz and glamour of Australia’s home of the cashed up bogan. Welcome to Ipswich!!! Just kidding we are back again on the gold coast looking like a 70’s NBA team with way too much skin showing for middle aged white males.

First of all if you are searching for a McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks what you may have noticed is there is pretty much one on every major street corner. What you might have also noticed is gym’s have become the health junkies fast food franchise. We’d do the maths and give you the average amount of gyms per suburb but it’s just passed whiskey o’clock and our brains only seem to work between the hours of 9 to 5 without the aid of alcohol to drive our cognitive patterns. If it’s after 5pm our filter packs up for the day, our sense of humour comes home to increase the hilarity and our caution to the wind disappears altogether like last nights vindaloo down the dunny in the wee hours of the morning.

Like Roxanne putting on her red light, the gyms are lit up for all to see. There bright advertising invites you to come inside and transform from flab to fab. The reception is generally manned by a beautiful person to show you exactly what can happen if you too come in and spend time sitting in other people’s sweat after they forget to wipe down the machines. As we watched the hard earned pineapples leave our wallet and fly across the counter into the male models chiselled hands, a row of pearly whites flashed a knowing look our way. We began to wonder what drives people to come to these testosterone filled, bloated ego dens. We half expected to walk into the changerooms and transport into an American football locker room with blokes flicking each other with towels and the coach handing out steroid injections.

We’d entered the belly of the beast, there was no turning back now. We needed to soldier on and stop making excuses as our team of unwilling beer guzzlers was lead up stairs to the gym floor. With our tails between our legs we’d have just as soon as run back down the stairs and all the way to the safety of the NSW border then be in this hell. We’d entered a land never seen before… Everywhere we looked, we saw people with no necks and ladies with bigger guns than some of the Australian Navy’s warships. Mirrors adorned the walls with people staring at themselves as they ensure there form was correct. Form you ask? So did we after we questioned how vain all these people were.

Have you ever wondered why a lot of people just refuse to go to the gym these days? Well at a mind of its own we think we’ve found the answer. Enter any gym around Australia… First of all if we got you there you’ve no doubt noticed all the mirrors, what else have you noticed? It’s the dudes with tattoo sleeves bulging muscles, skinning legs and no necks right? Or the older ladies with bolt ons, makeup that looks like its been applied with there tradie husbands trowel and the orange glow of their skin? Or is it the looks you keep getting everytime you go to use a machine that one of the roided up egos has been alternating between when he or she is not staring at themselves in the mirror wondering how they’ll go this saturday night trying to pick up. And some of these people could quite literally pick up other people and throw them around a room in a fit of aggressive passion.

Like crotchety old men we are pushed towards a bench and told to lift some weights. The term “Do you even lift” gets thrown around a little too much and the muscle men in front of the mirror laugh and shake their heads as we strain to get the bar and the meager 5kgs on either end moving in a repetitive nature that the trainer is happy with. By now he is starting to lose his patience with our un-coordinated lack of ability to do anything that resembles bench press. Finally though he wins through and like true professionals we find the exercise for us.

Who knew bicep curls and drinking were so closely related. As we lifted heavier and heavier pretending we were lifting stiens of Germany’s heaviest, sweetest ales to our mouths. The hour session continues to drag out as we move from station to station still perplexed by how serious people are taking their workouts. There are guys throwing around weights channelling their inner Arnie, young ladies who have almost done an hour of nothing but squats as they work their glutes into a Kim Kardashian frenzy for the perfect bum.

Triangles flex in front of the mirrors forgetting leg day for the 100th session in a row. There skinny little legs starting to bow at the strain of carrying around there large muscled upper bodies. The serious gym goers grunt out a session, sweating as they push themselves harder and harder through each exercise while the plastics do just enough to keep there figure and slight tone while trying to wear as little as possible to attract looks from all around. The trainers laugh at their own jokes and talk about their weekends while pushing clients to breaking point. Creepy guys watch on as girls try to work out in peace, no wonder a lot of women go to Fernwood. And then there are the other guys. The ones who just want to maintain their fitness and do it without losing their dignity.

Finally done it’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, in this case it literally has, all those weighted lunges can’t be good for your knees, back and any other part of your body. That deep burn you keep hearing about isn’t so deep as you feel it begin to radiate through your entire body like an oil slick spreading from a crashed tanker. Walking out feeling like we’d been run over by Optimus Prime and the entire Autobots entourage. The pain pain was only going to get worse as we soon discovered. Two days later… enter DOM no not a bloke named Dom who we had a disagreement with whilst at the gym sitting in his sweat but delayed onset muscles soreness or DOMS. It’s the pits and we are starting to see why people hate the gym.

Ok so the gym might not be for everyone, or more importantly gyms on the Gold Coast might not be for everyone. If you like looking at yourself in the mirror, have ridiculous tattoos, drive a car like your part of the fast n furious crew, have no neck and think you are super good looking then the gold coast gym scene is definitely for you. If you want to go and work out without having to deal with all this we suggest you do during the day before lunch or after lunch before work finishes. Or you could always just install your own home gym and be done with the machine hogs.

As we sneak away from yet another session in the gym where our arms and legs are burning and our egos are feeling a little shattered. We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment of a mind of its own, no roid rage was endured or encounter in the making of this blog. We hope we haven’t offended any gym frequenters in our take on Gold Coast gyms. If we have you’ll get over it before the next set is done. For another week it’s over and out and from the team at A Mind of Its Own, you do you champ.

The Dog Days are Over…

Sorry just let me stop chewing on my bone for a second and let my paws dance across the keyboard once again in what will be the second post of my illustrious career with A Mind of Its Own. And what a career it’s been so far! I’ve been undercover on the Gold Coast in order for us to write ‘Our lawyer made us change the name of this song’ and given you an expose on my life as a Border Collie in ‘Every dog has its day’ and I am now following it up with the aptly titled The Dog Days are Over…

That’s right it’s me again the pup with the power to melt your minds. Call me Socks the wonder dog. Boy or Buddy which has been thrown around way to much lately making me start to question whether my name is Socks or Buddy. Where do I begin? It’s been a troubling couple of weeks in which my family keep reminding me that sleep doesn’t come easy and my dreams are somewhat troubled. The man of the house or human as I prefer to call him as I still have plans on taking the mantle from him, is questioning whether he should take me to see the psychiatrist or not. His google search history is interesting enough when he’s not googling “Can dogs get PTSD?”. So to once again give you an insight into my life the Googling started last weekend after an event on the local beach. It wasn’t the first time an incident had occurred along this pristine part of coastline but this one really shook me up.

Let me paint the picture for you! There I was minding my own business cruising down the beach as i do whenever the humans let me free from the leash they are so fond of keeping me on while we are out of the house. I was chomping away at the waves and chasing the stick that somehow kept flying through the air behind me. I said hi to a few of my people and stopped off for a couple of games of chase. All in all I was having a really nice morning with my humans on one of my favourite beaches. Being in a playful mood I thought I’d leave them a nice present to clean up knowing they had once again forgotten to bring along poo bags and would be forced to shamefully bury it or scoop it up with their coffee cups.

As i watched my humans stoop over in shame and begin to dig a hole in which to bury my doings deep within the earth, a wicked grin stretching across my face I notice a good looking Maltese heading my way further down the beach. She was a little older but still an attractive girl. Readying myself I got down on all fours and waited for her to come closer and closer to see if there was any interest in this young pup. Her owners seemed like a nice couple, they looked well travelled and like people who had made the most of their lives to date. No doubt they had a few grandchildren and possibly even great grandchildren. But that’s got nothing to do with the story whatsoever.

So there I am waiting to see if she’ll let me sniff her butt when out of nowhere I hear and feel the thump, thump, thump of sand behind me. Glancing over my shoulder I see a blur heading straight for me like a bullet from a gun. Like the bus company that transports people around Australia and with the same amount of force, a young greyhound slammed into me. Sorry for the swearing but if humans could understand the varying pitches of my bark what they would have got is “Oh fuck!”. I immediately went to into flight or fight mode. Little good it did me as I rolled on my back trying to play dead. Wanting to take flight I freaked out at this rather rough attempt to play and cried out for my humans to help me!

I’m all for rough housing and god knows my brother Banjo cops it from me when we catch up but this was next level. My eyes darted around for his humans, nowhere to be seen. As he flipped me around and continued his frenzied attempts to play, I scurried off to use my humans as a shield. In his moment of delight pinning me to the ground, my new unwanted friend saw my potential girlfriend approaching. All of a sudden the weight pinning me against the cool sand was gone. I was on my feet again, forcing air back into my lungs as quick as I could.

A bark of warning escaped my mouth as I watched it all unfold before me in slow motion. My tormentor had now become hers as he chased her closer and closer towards the waters edge. Looking on in fright I watched as she backed further and further into the water. Waves crashed down around her at times looking like they were swallowing her whole. Humans ran in from all directions. I saw my human crash through the waves thinking he was David Hasselhoff coming to the rescue of some big boob blonde on Baywatch.

Getting a hold of the Greyhound in what became a wrestle, he held on tight like a bull rider in a rodeo as the Greyhound continued his attempts to play with the petrified Maltese. A group of onlookers had now gathered at the shoreline as the poor old lady waded into the knee high water and pulled my frightened, soaked, friend to safety and hugged her in great relief that she was ok. Scared but ok. Ambling down the beach like he had all the time in the world came a little angry man who despite my human’s attempts to be nice and de-escalate the situation was quite rude and asked and I quote “Does no one on this beach have a fucking brain?” again sorry for the swearing but it was a direct quote and couldn’t be avoided.

Much to the shock of everyone now standing around the arrogant, angry, little man didn’t apologise to the elderly couple or anyone else who’s dogs had been terrorised by his playful Greyhound that should have been on a leash as he couldn’t be controlled through simple voice or whistle commands. Storming off back down the beach I let another little bark fly at his back, that I won’t translate for you as I shouldn’t know that language at my age. I ran over and licked my human to make sure he was ok. Still horrified by my first encounter with an over zealous potential friend I sat there accepting pats and giving my humans the occasional lick to let them know they were loved.

I still see the fear in her eyes as she ran attempted to get away from the Greyhound, my fear paralysing me and my dreams haunted by big dogs chasing me. I yelp out little barks in my sleep that are no longer cute and more concerning to my human who is obsessed with finding a solution to all problems on Google. I think they’ve brainwashed him that they can do anything almost like Elon Musk has convinced himself that he’s not an arrogant dreamer who thinks he’s better than everyone else.

So humans be warned! If you fall into either category below I suggest you stay off my beach! If you are an angry human that doesn’t understand why people are getting upset when your dog is over playful and rough with other dogs and thereby terrorising them or a runner who gets angry when we (Dogs) chase after you pretty please stay away from the part of the beach where we are allowed to roam free without a leash to do our own thing! You humans have a whole coastline where you can do your thing. We dogs are given a tiny bit of space on the beach where we can be off the leash to run and play with each other.

We don’t set out to cause harm or annoy you, we are simply just living up to being man or woman’s best friend. Wanting to be around you and play is what we do. We are your constant, most loyal companions so please look after us. So from me I’ll say thanks to all the responsible humans who look after us. Enjoy your week and be kind to the beach and your four legged friends. From the team at a mind of its own, go with peace and thanks for reading yet another installment of the best blog on the Northern Beaches!

We Don’t Go In There…

This week we thought we’d start out a little different, rather than our usual hello and long-winded interlude to another episode of A Mind of Its Own, we thought maybe we’d just get straight into it and fire away at the subject that has weighed most heavily on our minds and wallets for the week. Then again if we did that this paragraph would become redundant and you’ve have to hear the writing staff drone on incessantly about how they weren’t given the opportunity to introduce their writing and this weeks stellar topic.

Continuing on with our travel theme we decided to actually take to the skies in an attempt to give our readers a more in-depth look at modern-day travel. In doing so we opened our wallets and let the moths take flight grudgingly. The Amex was swiped, our bags were packed and we took to the closest airport to board a flight bound for the City of Churches. Before we could that though we had to endure a rather hands pat down, explosive wanding and the worst part of all, the part that really got our goat and almost saw the Incredible Hulk make an appearance in the middle of the Gold Coast airport. Well we’ll get to that shortly for now we need to take a breath, relax and let you join us on our journey.

Around the world no matter what continent you are on, or where you may call home. The moment you step foot into the terminal its like you are entering mini city that allow for us to fly from A to B in less time than it would take to drive. A little like the towns that highways haven’t quite bypassed as of yet. Like any city, they have their own economy, their own vibe and most of all their own inhabitants. We are talking about the people who call these places work, not just the pilots and flight crews but the ground staff right through to the ladies and gentleman that man the information desks, shops and kiosks around the airport. Think of them like Santa’s elves if Santa was a multibillion dollar industry oh wait that’s a topic for another day.

Does that include the people trying to get you hooked on wine as you walk from gate to gate you ask? Yes it most certainly does, we call them the naughty elves and they are unfortunately apart of the airport community but really no different to the airport bars. They just soften you up with free samples first before they get you to open your wallet in order to pay for the monthly subscription of wine you’ve drunkenly been talked into before you walk past all their little storefront friends who lure you in for a look while you waste time before your flight boards. The more shops you walk into the more the suggestive the devil on your shoulder becomes reminding you of all the things you forgot to pack or might need on your journey. All the advertising doesn’t help either as it subconsciously erodes away the commonsense walls in your mind.

It’s no wonder that a trip to the airport often starts with a trip to the bank to take out a loan. Mostly for the time spent at the airport on either end of the trip no matter how short or long. So why is it that food and items are so expensive at an airport compared to heading down to your local Coles or Woolies and loading up the trolley?. After our arrival yesterday we were shocked and almost fell off our stool as the barman put down an eagerly awaited cold amber ale in front of us an promptly demanded payment to the sum of $12.50. Now before you ask it wasn’t a pint, it wasn’t a craft beer or an international beer. It was a bloody Great Northern and we found it very un-Australian to be paying an arm and a leg for a beer. Whilst paying that amount for any beer that is of a standard size is still ludicrous most people would be ok with paying it for a craft beer or a beer they may not have tried before maybe.

An Australian Beer at an Australian airport at those prices has us scratching our heads and wondering whether we need to start investing in airport shares in order for the dividends to fund a beer or two while we are there. Now it would be ok if the excessive pricing was kept to just alcoholic beverages however we soon discovered that price hiking expanded across any and everything. Head into the newsagent type store, books take a $3 to $4 dollar increase. Lollies increased by a dollar or two. The surf shops have everything at the recommended retail price not a dollar less. Even heading over to Hungry Jacks for a Whopper will cost you an additional $3 dollars more than it would if you were to head through drive on your way to the airport.

So what makes retailers increases their prices to the maximum chargeable amounts in the market. Some would argue the cost of rent is higher at an airport and others would argue that it’s the cost of staff and the weird hours airports keep. But the plain and simple argument we will make at A Mind of Its Own is simple. Costs of goods at airports are what they are due to supply and demand. They have a product, you want the product and it’s not like you can simply leave to go get it somewhere else unless you are hours early for you flight which lets face it most people are not unless they have nowhere else to go.

What are your alternatives you ask? Either plan ahead or take out small loan if you plan on spending more than an hour while you wait for a flight ensuring you fed and well hydrated. Perhaps stopping off at a shopping centre on the way might be your best bet to cover all your bases and ensure you save yourself a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to the bank before the creditors are on your case about repayments. Or you could just choose to drive if you’re heading interstate and have the time. God knows taxiing on the runway at Kingsford Smith Airport feels like you are driving down to Cronulla in order to get a big enough run up for takeoff.

Whatever your preferred method of travel, the one thing we have learnt this week is that airports are expensive places where supply and demand reigns supreme. If you are thinking about taking a trip, do yourself a favour and plan ahead. Like everything, money makes the world go round and the aviation industry is a multi billion dollar beast that sees you coming from a mile off, not just because the planes are big and rather noisy. So for another week we bid you farewell and hope you have a pleasant week. Please remain seated until the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt and when opening the overhead lockers, please take caution has luggage may have moved during the flight Thank you for choosing to Fly A Mind of Its Own.

P.S Keep your eyes peeled for another sneak peek chapter of Fire for Effect coming your way…

20 Dollar Nose Bleed…

Well, well, well we meet again my old friends. It’s a new week and the chance for you to once again bask in the brilliant stylings of a Mind of Its Own. This week we threw out to our fans and just like the writers at this here blog none of their suggestions were remotely serious. Expect perhaps this writers wife who wanted a piece all about herself. Instead I’m proposing she lends us one of her blogs and we’ll post it on our amazing platform? Or she can come and write a silly piece for us.

As for the other suggestions our view is simply this. We agree you shouldn’t have to pay for cheese on a kebab particularly after 1am. Fatboy Slim is the best DJ ever! Purple cucumbers or eggplant as its better known is the tastiest vegetable and public figures! Perhaps we’ll leave that to the Healing Well Co to cover. It seems like a topic they are quite passionate about it. But in public figures defence, they are figures and the are a part of the public. So I guess in some ways we are all public figures???.

So despite all the amazing suggestions we decided to go with something that crashed into us like a stereotypical Asian driver. For a country surrounded by the sea we don’t often take the time to look at beaches as anything more than a place for us to get bronzed bodies, hang ten and cool off especially in summer. Have you ever taken the time to stop and think about how you feel after you’ve taken a dip in the salty seas or are behind the wheel on your way home after a day at the beach?. So the question we thought we’d try to answer this week was whether the ocean actually has healing abilities or is it just a placebo effect?

From a scientific standpoint or medical opinion we’ve been told by (Google, Wikipedia and various other reliable sources) the internet that the ocean can we a double-edged sword when it comes to dunking yourself with open wounds. Whilst the sea is rich in mineral salts such as iodine and sodium therefore making it a natural antiseptic you do run the risk of picking up a bacterial infections. That being said we have discovered that there are similarities between seawater and human plasma the only difference being humans have one extra molecule of iron and seawater has an extra molecule of magnesium other than that it is a staggering 98% identical.

Besides being somewhat good at helping to heal wounds are there other qualities this readily abundant source of magic has? And why do we not listen to our ancestors and naturopaths who have been spruiking the oceans qualities for years like that guy in the cheap suit out the front of a Goldmark or Prouds at sale time? The Egyptians (ancient) not the modern-day guys and girls, the Greeks again ancient, the Romans all recommended the use of sea water in hot baths as a way of healing the mind, body and soul for centuries.

In fact according to several sources it was Hippocrates who first used the word Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ meaning sea). What is that you ask? Thalassotherapy is a therapeutic use of the seawater, its climate, and marine products like algae, seaweed, and alluvial mud used in the healing of the body. So if it’s good enough for some of the great philosophers of the ancient world why do we not utilise its great gifts more often. Approximately 70% of the earth is covered by oceans/water around 60% of the human body is make up of water coincidence? We here at a mind of its own tend to think not.

We picked out 4 key areas in which being in the ocean or around the ocean can improve your overall well-being. With that being said once you read through this there is a bigger picture to look at and once again we urge you all to look after our oceans and its inhabitants. There is no point A Mind of Its Own telling you about all these great properties if all we continue to do is pollute it and damage it for the generations to come. As is often said around the office… Do the right thing! Be a man! Or woman!

The Oceans Effects on our Immune System…

Seawater or the ocean as we prefer to call it contains vital elements, vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, amino acids and living microorganisms that can produce antibiotic and antibacterial effects to help promote a healthy immune system. Relating back to our earlier comment about plasma and seawater sharing similar properties, components of seawater, are easily absorbed and utilised by the human body while swimming. If you want to take up smoking we recommend sea mist as it is filled with negatively charged ions, or molecules that attach to your lungs which also boosts your immune system. According to several naturopathic doctors in addition to being good for your lungs swimming in the ocean opens pores in the skin allowing greater absorption of sea minerals and the expulsion of disease-causing toxins from the body.

Blood flow or Circulation for those more focused on the medial side…

Swimming in the ocean reportedly may help facilitate the circulation of blood in the human body, surprisingly we didn’t find anything about it helping out our four-legged friends. Now for those playing along at home your circulatory system which is made up of the heart, capillaries, arteries and veins in case you didn’t know. Carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart around your body, then returns blood to your heart again. The main purpose of thalassotherapy, or seawater therapy if you prefer to make it easy, is to increase blood circulation. Swimming or bathing in warm seawater has been proven to improve circulation by restoring essential minerals depleted by stress, a poor diet and environmental poisons.

Why pay for all those expensive body scrubs and cleansers when you can by Sea Salt at the supermarket …

Magnesium in seawater may help to hydrate and improve the appearance of your skin. According to a study in the February 2005 edition of the “International Journal of Dermatology,” bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution helps promote skin moisture. People with atopic dry skin, or dryness on the skin’s surface, submerged one forearm for 15 minutes in a bath solution containing 5 percent Dead Sea salt and the other forearm in regular tap water. Researchers discovered that the salt solution improved skin hydration and significantly reduced skin inflammation symptoms such as redness and roughness when compared to tap water. Observed skin benefits were attributed to the high magnesium content of the Dead Sea salt. So why not just go for a swim everyday if you can. If you can’t buy up the dead sea!. I’m not sure table salt will work the same but we did a little research and Epsom salts or Himalayan rock salts are the next best thing to Dead Sea salt.

The Mind and body overall…

As we previously stated the ocean has been used by many for generations to improve overall health and well-being. Swimming in the ocean activates the body’s healing mechanisms to fight conditions such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and inflammatory diseases, as well as common aches and pains. Magnesium-rich seawater purportedly can also relax your muscles, reduce stress and help induce sleep. Magnesium is known depress nerves to relieve nervous irritability for an increased sense of calmness. So more on our mental state you ask? Oceans can bring a mental shift in the way we perceive our lives, teaching us about calmness, depth, intensity, harmony and open-mindedness.

Even walking on the bare foot on the sand is said to neutralise the impact of free radicals in our bodies as sand contains minerals required by humans on a daily basis. So perhaps those trips to the beach you keep putting of as you don’t want sand in the car or the kids are too much of a hassle to pack up in the car to get there should become a thing of the past. The ocean is amazing in more ways than one. The fact that this powerful beast has a soft sensitive side to it shows the symbiosis of nature.

Here at A Mind of Its Own we are sold that the Ocean is more than just a place for sports, tanning and source of food. The more time we spend on the shores and the seas surrounding this great land the more we are convinced that the ocean can heal anything alongside other methods and practices. So to answer the question of actual curing abilities or placebo effect? You be the judge, take the time and head to the beach. Until next time we’ll leave you with a little quote from our dear friend Plato. “The sea cures all ailments of man.” – Plato.

Every Dog Has its Day…

Rrrrrr, ruooof, woof! Ah crap that’s right you clowns that are supposedly intelligent don’t speak dog. Like the title of this week’s blog, it’s my day so listen up human overlords! Welcome to another week of A Mind of its Own, I’ll be your host for this journey into, well into me! You may call me socks like the two humans i live with or you can call me Boy like every other human with a male dog does. My time around the team so far has been great although the boss is of the opinion that I’ll go and get his slippers and fetch him a beer at some point in time. Fat chance of that, skinny bastard wouldn’t get of his arse and fetch me a treat if I barked at him.

As the newest addition to the team here at A Mind of Its Own, the boss thought it only fitting that i introduce myself and tell you all a little about me for future reference. It was part of my employment contract I get one blog and mention from time to time. They also needed someone to spell check and ensure the boss is using correct grammar throughout his work. I mean seriously if I can do it and English is my second language that clown should be able to.

Where to start, Let’s see… I am or was I should say an orphan, I don’t know who my folks were, all I know is that I am part border collie part something else. Some would call me a mongrel but they’d want to be careful with what they say. I am at that age where I might just wee on you or start chewing at your ankles if I don’t like you. I’m black and white in colour with massive paws. You know what they say about big paws right?

So I came into this world around 12 weeks ago and it already confuses the hell out of me. Like the fact that one of your human years is 15 of mine. I mean what the hell I’ll be a teenager in 8 months time. That doesn’t give me a lot of opportunity to pretend I don’t know what’s going on and wreak some havoc around the house. I was adopted by a couple of humans who live on the coast, they seem quite adamant that I will enjoy the ocean! If it gets me out of having a bath I’m all for the salty swims and chasing seagulls up and down the sand.

There also seems to be a lot more rules for me than there are for the humans. I don’t mind it, but I do find it a little hypocritical that I can’t lick my patch where my balls used to be yet my boss and the human I live with can scratch there’s whenever they like. There’s also the dinner table rule despite my numerous attempts to join the humans for dinner they are adamant that I eat out of a bowl on the floor. I don’t think they understand just how intelligent I am. I mean I speak 2 languages and they struggle to speak one properly with there shortening or words and abbreviations. Just lazy if you ask this pooch.

I can hear the humans in the next room discussing ‘Conehead’ that’s me for the week I’ve just had some surgery and feeling a little out of sorts. I plan on napping, eating and doing little else this week. I may watch a little Doctor Phil, that guy seems to be able to sort out everyone’s problems. Whatever happened to Jerry Springer? The guy in the white coat stuck a bucket on my head so I can’t lick myself but what the hell, it doesn’t really stop me, I just can’t lick my bits. I think the boss has a different idea of what I will be doing this week, looks like I’ll be getting used to rides in what they call a car. Lazy humans, can’t walk anywhere, they have to go in this steel beast to conserve their legs.

The folks I live with are pretty good, I’ve seen worse living conditions in CIA black sites despite the fact they make me sleep in the laundry. They’ve given me a bed and blanket, Lots of toys to play with. I get fed twice a day and they take me out of my cell once a night to ensure I don’t spray the walls and mark my territory. Do they think I enjoy shitting myself like a newborn or geriatric? I do not so my toilet breaks are quite welcome and they don’t seem to mind that I roll around on the grass a little before heading back to my cell for the night. They have however fitted me out with a collar instead of an orange jumpsuit like the humans in prison wear. I must say it’s much more flattering but then they attach a lead to it and parade me around like I’m part of Australia’s next top model.

The lady of the house is great she just wants to cuddle me all the time, which I don’t mind but she talks to me like I’m a baby which I am finding infuriating but I just look at her and smile. To which she squeezes me tighter and I roll over for a belly rub. Ah it’s like milking a cow with these humans. Yeah I use my cuteness to my advantage like a woman does her good looks to manipulate a situation wouldn’t everyone if they could. Most dogs can, except those little pugs, I don’t mean to speak ill of my fellow canine but really when your face looks like a screwed up butt hole you’ve got issues. There must be a lot of humans that like butt holes though as they seem to popular with the youth of today.

The man of the house, for the time being till I get a little bigger, thinks he’s hilarious, he’s already trying to rock the dad body without kids and has a plethora of dad jokes ready to go at the drop of a hat. Some of them are ok but most are cringe worthy and will be wasted on his little humans when they come along. He’s a bit of a geek but alright plays some game that involves my two favourite things to chase stick and ball so I’ll no doubt be digging my teeth into both of these at some point in the future.

All in all my time so far both as part of the team at A Mind of Its Own and living with my new family has been pretty good. They treat me well and I take advantage of the fact I am cute whenever I can to get what I want. I’m settling in well to my new surroundings and I don’t think I’ll need to complain to the U.N about my treatment, it terms of jails it’s quite humane. They don’t torture me and they give me 2 square meals a day. I get plenty of exercise and whilst I don’t have any balls if I had a purse I’d have my new owners in there. I’ve got him by the short and curly’s, he will literally do anything I want with one look. If he won;’t crumble it’s only a matter of time before the house of cards that is the lady of the house gives in and once again I’m top dog getting what I want.

Life is pretty easy when you are me! I make a few mistakes here and there but other that I tend to just sleep, eat, wee and poo a lot. If i am not doing that I’m chasing ankles and ensuring the humans are on their toes, literally… I’ve tried to trip the boss a few times to see if he’s paying attention. If he won’t pay attention to his poor spelling and grammar he can bloody well pay attention to his surroundings.

So that’s me Sock’s part Human, part dog but mostly happy to be part of a cool family, ah I hope they don’t read this they’ll get big heads again! So until next time the boss turns over the lead to me for another expose into the life of a dog, thanks for listening and remember, your four-legged friends also have A Mind of their Own… Now time to go and bark at some birds while I wait for my dinner to be served. I wonder what it’ll be tonight? Mince with veggies or mince with veggies. I see what she cooks him and get a little jealous his food looks amazing compared to the same thing I’m fed every night.

I Feel Naked Without My Cell…

What a week, the world is buzzing, some things happened, A Mind of Its Own added to its staff. Although we are still trying to work out what role he will play in the organisation other than mascot. Perhaps he can start out in the mail room and work his way up. All I know is he’s getting paid more than me. I know how expensive those premium dog biscuits are I see the transaction on my credit card statement when the other half returns to the office.

So we promised you not one, but two posts this week and we joked about throwing in some steak knives and no seriously we are giving you steak knives. We are however sticking to our promise and delivering a second post. Which will come first you ask? We’ll we have no idea it just depends on how quickly they are edited and what the topics are. Hold on to your hats, grab your gin and tonic and settle in for another adventure with the team as we take you on another journey through this wonderful world.

Saturday night in Australia, something that happens every week, Saturday comes after Friday it’s a no brainer and we are pretty sure it’s on some Gregorian calendar not sure who invented it and nor do we have the time and energy to research it for you. If you are interested just type something into google search folks or ask Siri. Back to the blog, it was your typical Saturday night in Aus, the footy was on with all the various codes splashed across free to air and pay tv respectfully. Social media was once again buzzing and we were busy tapping away at a keyboard while sipping on a glass of Pappy Van Winkle. Oh wait that was just a dream we don’t have disposable incomes here to waste on a bottle of whiskey that is double some people’s salary each month.

While we watched the Swans finally get the chocolates on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground after only managing to string together one or two home game wins so far this season. We promised we’d provide statistics if they were available. Back to the point of this blog. While I did the somewhat manly thing for a change and watched the football, millions of women and men, I know there were plenty of blokes watching their dreams disappear across the pond in London, we received several Facebook Messenger messages regarding the fading dreams.

With millions of viewers tuned in, both men and women watched their dreams disappear with the utterance of just two words. For the ladies that watched on in awe it was the realisation that the dark prince, no wait that was Dracula, that the bad boy of British Royal Family had finally been wrangled and was now a married man. The men saw there dreams of marrying a strong, gorgeous lawyer who knows how to keep a secret and stands up for man disappear in an instant. It’s at this moment that we all remind ourselves that even rangas need love.

So with the latest royal wedding in full flight over on channel nine, our team were way too engrossed in the football to even know what was going on. A quick check of social media told us all we needed to know. Rachel Zane married the ginger royal party boy in a large ceremony that wasn’t at Buckingham palace but at some grand church where a bloke spoke for apparently way too long as he gave his gospel style sermon to the Royals. A lot of Aussies got caught up in wedding fever and hosted dinner parties. Let’s be honest folks it was an excuse to have a piss up but that’s ok in our book.

We’ve just been told that the lovely looking lady marrying Prince Party Fanta Pants is not Rachel Zane and she is certainly not a lawyer. Apparently like millions of men across the globe I’ve been living in dreamland and she’s an actress not a lawyer. This young ladies real name is Meghan Markle and oooweee is she remarkable. Que the roll of eyes and bad dad joke abuse from my wife but hey it had to be said and I’m sure I’m not the only writer to find solace in a dad joke about her last name.

So on to the ceremony… Based on the photos on instagram it was a star wars themed wedding? Prince Party Fanta Pants was wearing his best Imperial officers uniform flanked by his loyal storm troopers and Commanding Officer the other brother that no one remembers because he was too well behaved. Dumbo got an invite? Oh no that’s Prince Charles sorry old chap those ears are getting saggy and bigger with age. The imperial officers uniforms look sharp and before we know it Princess Leia is walking down the aisle escorted by Big Ears himself, it’s at this point I start scanning the crowd looking for Noddy and the rest of the gang. Maybe they’re shy but I’m sure they are there.

It looks like hollywood has come to the party, the cast of suits are there too taking up the back, back rows as are the rest of the star wars cast including Chewie, sorry again our mistake it was just Camilla. None of this actually happened at all, if it had, it would have been the wedding of the year and worth actually watching if it did. Instead there was a wardrobe change at some point and they exited the church looking very dapper. Gone was Meghan’s flour sack princess Leia dress now replaced by a lovely white grown. Prince Fanta Pants has also lost his Imperial officers uniform and has found himself a James Bond tuxedo and is looking sharp.

They jump into a vintage car and drive off to live happily every after, after they throw a big party and Lizzy has a few too many glasses of bubbly before begging the DJ to play the Macarena. That actually happened the car, I mean not Lizzy busting our to the Macarena or doing the worm across the dance floor. It was an amazing prototype Jaguar E-Type roadster, we knew it was an open top car but had to do a little research in order to share with you the exact make and model. What amazed us the most about this vintage Jag was that it had been retrofitted with an electric engine and was as quiet as a mouse, not that you would have been able to hear it over the roar of the crowd as Prince Fanta Pants and the newly appointed Duchess of Sussex left the church and headed off to the reception.

There were plenty of key moments throughout the ceremony from watching one of Macaulay Culkin’s kids hold Miss Markle’s’ dress train as she walked down the aisle. The resemblance to the young actor from the hit Home Alone movies was uncanny. To the BBC taking a swipe at Donald Trump. Most of the Royals were there and at the end of the day there was love in the air. The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Fanta Pants were loving throughout the entire ceremony as they held hands and whispered sweet nothings to each other and then there was the kiss the world had been waiting for. The one that would shatter the hopes and dreams of men and women around the world.

Megan (Rachel to most of us men) was now off the market and Harry (Prince Fanta Party Pants also to us blokes) was also spoken for. So as people shed a tear the world over for something that would only ever of happened in their dreams. The Royal Brat come good had finally met the woman of his dreams. Here at A Mind of Its Own we can only look on in awe that we were able to write this piece without watching one snippet of the Royal Love Fest. Instagram pretty much wrote this for us. So from all of us here at A Mind of Its Own we wish Prince Fanta Pants and the Duchess all the happiness in the world and truly do hope they live happily ever after because who doesn’t love a good story about a Prince finding his Princess on the set of a tv show. So until next week we’ve hope you’ve enjoyed the Royal Wedding addition of a Mind of Its own as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it for you. Oh and Lizzy if you are reading this we are sorry about calling Harry, Prince Fanta Pants.

Of all the gin joints in the world…

Another day, another dollar, well for this writer another dollar in the coffers of the multimillion dollar company I work for while I take home my meager salary that barely covers my wife and I for a month. The money men at the top take home there five figure salaries and world continues to spin but I digress the aim of A Mind of its own is not to be a platform for this writer to voice his woe is me moments but to make the readers aware of what’s going on in the world.

So where do we start you ask yourself and on what great topic will the team be enlightening us with this week? Well that’s a great question as we struggled for days on end to come up with a topic that will touch the hearts and minds of our readers. Then it came to us like a smelly fart on the wind. Well it was more a suggestion from this writers old man. In order to write this weeks blog I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone, well maybe not step out so much as step up and own my often geeky ways.

With much trepidation I jumped in the rental KIA carnival of death with my old man and headed off to the Gold Coast to gather some much needed content for this weeks piece. Now ladies and gentleman, I used to think I was a bit of geek, the cool kind who plays video games, reads comics and watches all the movie adaptations yet still likes sports and manly things like beer, guns and boobs. But as I learnt last weekend I am far from a geek let alone remotely geeky in today’s modern society.

So let me paint the picture of the land that I had just walked into. Everywhere my eyes looked they took in a world unknown to them. Men, Women and Children dressed up as tv, movie, comic book, video game, manga, wrestling, you name a character someone was no doubt dressed up as it. As I ventured deeper and deeper into the den of what i had by now dubbed the festival of freaks and geeks, i felt my IQ growing and a sudden love for dungeon and dragons. Maybe it was all the colourful costumes or perhaps it was seeing grown men living out the lives of their idols and heroes but I actually felt smarter.

The growing world of cosplay was all around me and here I was the odd one out for several reasons. Firstly no one had told me it was a dress up party and here I was in baggy pants and a tee shirt. Secondly I was wearing deodorant and wasn’t smelling like a high school gym after year 8 physical education class unlike many of my fellow event goers and thirdly which was probably the most surprising, my old man knew more people than I did. That had never happened to me before and we were in my Knick of the woods not his. Was my Dad more popular than then me?

We weren’t even through the main doors and yet my education had already began. Like a hyper colour explosion pop culture and its faithful surrounded me. There were some amazing costumes and some not so amazing. People had gathered from galaxies far, far away well as far as I’m concerned Logan and Ipswich often produce people from other planets. Yes Pauline I’m referring to you and I know you don’t like it.

I had peeled back the curtain and dared to sneak a look into a world of unknown. Like the first time your mates take you to a club of sin, I was filled with excitement and trepidation. What if I someone recognises me? What if my Dad posts we are here on Facebook? Dammit too late for that one, we haven’t even been here for two minutes and he’s checked us in. The Dalek is out of the Tardis on that one.So with no further risks of embarrassment I dove deeper and deeper into the throngs of fanboys and girls.

There were rows upon rows of fanfare and paraphernalia mixed in with some C and B grade celebrities with 100s of people lining up to grab a photo and autograph that’ll be worth something amongst these people in years to come. Let’s be honest they were more like D grade celebrities, I’d never heard of half these people let alone watched the shows they were from. I strolled past some authors and artist trying to hawk their wares. Listed in on a talk or two about fight scenes in video games and movies. And more than likely starred for way too long at some of the people squeezing through the throng of people gathered.

Now deep in the dungeon I found myself standing in front of what looked like a third world armoury bazaar shop in some third world country. Gleaming fake swords, mock guns and hammers made of foam hung from the ceiling of the store. If I was preparing for a fake zombie apocalypse this where I would come to arm myself to the teeth. I passed several other medieval fake blacksmiths and even an armoured heaven. The guys sitting there didn’t look very heavenly nor did the look like they had much to sell to masses. They did however look like they were decked out for a serious round of laser tag.

Forty minutes later I was done, my eyes hurt from gawking, my jaw from letting it hit the floor and my feet from having to dance around people to keep moving down the aisles. I was left with more questions than when I started, an expensive signed comic print and desperate need for air that hadn’t been contaminated by body odour. I was also starting to think of a career in marketing as ranges of pop cultured themed deodorants swam through my mind.

So what did I learn this week? Supanova, Comic-Con and many other pop culture conventions bring out people from all walks of life. The people that used to be referred to as the freaks and geeks now seem to be the norm and teenagers haven’t discovered the wonders of deodorant. Cosplay has hit Australia in a big way and is here to stay and my dad will always know people at these events than I ever will.

My first adventure to the dark side has left me wondering and wanting to ask more. What I can safely say is that everyone needs to at least go and check out a pop culture convention once in there lives. There is something for everyone and it was more than a little surprising. So for another week it’s over and out. We dare you to go where no man or woman has gone before…