Bottom of the Ocean…

What starts with W, Win, walk, wife, wall, wish there are literally thousands of words that start with W in the English language. Wanker yep that’s one of them but not the word we were searching for and yes there are a lot of them in the world. We are sure you’ve called people one before but no the W we are searching for is the W Hotel. That’s right ladies and gentleman this weeks A Mind of Its is Own is coming to you live well not so live as you are reading this but at least we can say it was written from the 28th floor of the W Hotel in Brisbane. What a place! The team minus the paw patrol who have brought you so many good reads decided that it was time to live the high life.

Ok it was the bosses wedding anniversary and he decided to stop being a tight arse and pull his wallet out to treat the wife and the rest of the schmucks in the office as long as they wrote something on tour. So we sit here tapping out a piece sipping on beer he made us buy from the bottle shop instead of paying for drinks from the minibar. So he may have pulled his wallet out but he didn’t pull it out all the way and sort out the juice that lubricates the amazing minds that bring you a piece writing that is often boarding on Pulitzer Prize winning or at least a Nobel laureate. Well at least in the minds of the people who write them for you, our loyal, amazing fans.

What this week you’re wondering to yourself? Well have we got a piece for you! Sitting with our founder, editor and chief writer and big cheese we started brainstorming ideas for A Mind of Its Own and where it could go next. Podcasts have been on the books for a while now with the team and as we head into the festive season we’ve decided it’s about time we put last years Christmas presents to use and got to work on the first installment of a podcast that will no doubt have you rolling around the floor laughing as we tackle some of the hardest topics around the world.

Forget the experts because well let’s be frank no one listens to them anymore anyways so we decided to get the average joe off the street to give us the real deal. There are a million bloggers out there who have no certifications, degree and or knowledge and yet we listen to them on Facebook, instagram, twitter, MySpace. Ok maybe not MySpace but all the other current social media platforms that men and women give us advice, guidance and their views for free without having to go to university.We thought why not jump on the bandwagon and utilise these self-proclaimed experts on our latest platform for you the people.

Our only problem now is what topic do we start with, well for that went to leading topic expert for online talks. That’s it folks we sought some advice from the one, the only Ted. Famous for his talks we must admit when we first heard about them we were hoping it was the lovable bear character created by Seth MacFarlane. The same man responsible for American Dad and Family Guy the animated tv series that like South Park pushes the boundaries. You can immediately see our disappointment when the team found out that Ted Talks were about important topics, that intellectuals actually want to hear about.

It wasn’t long before our disappointment faded and the entrepreneurial side got the better of us as the ideals began to form. Yep like the Chinese we saw an opportunity to rip off someone who had made something from nothing and earn ourselves some street cred with those pesky students who only listen to professors or skinny bikini models drinking green juice on instagram. Then there’s the YouTube crowd who also need taming before they run wild with there crazy ideas on the internet, spreading them across the world.The team decided it was our social responsibility to ensure that you get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Come January 1 be prepared to have your ears assaulted. In a good way, it’ll be nothing like listening to death metal in a padded cell before being waterboarded. Safe to say there will be no torture techniques thanks to our friends in the CIA who we hope never read any of our posts as we’ve shared a lot of classified information over the year. Area 51 is real, the Illuminati run the world, the Rockafeller’s blocked a lot of renewable energy, there already is a cure for cancer sitting on a shelf somewhere at one of the major pharmaceutical companies. By no means are we conspiracy theorists but there is certainly a lot of shade being thrown by some of these organisations.

With literally thousands of topics to cover including 3D printing, how many 3D printing experts are there in the world? Apparently enough that nine different experts have made ted talks on it and its applications in the ever-changing world we live in. Other topics ranged from Technology including science fiction applications in the real world through to war and the application of the Higgs boson theory in battlefield planning. The last one wasn’t a real topic however we’ve just submitted it to Ted to see if he’ll bite at the idea. We could certainly see someone like Patrick Stewart or Neil deGrasse Tyson talking their way through the applications of theoretical physics on the battlefield.

Grab a voice like Morgan Freeman, so god like and soothing and it would be the most peaceful talk about potential killing application you have ever heard. Come to mention it James Earl Jones would be another great voice to listen to voice any Ted talk topic. Instead of those great voices our listeners will get Trent from Punchbowl or Mick the Kiwi from the Goldie who’s been in Australia for over 10 years and still sounds like he’s only just hopped the ditch and landed at Coolangatta for a new life amongst the plastic people or the southern Queensland.

No matter what the topic you can be assured of one thing when you listen to our yet to be titled talks powered by A Mind of its Own… What you ask? What will you be assured of? That you are getting the topics that matter most to you our readers and soon to be listeners. Like our blogs if you ask we will deliver and we’ll make sure that it’s fun and enjoyable whilst being always informative. You might laugh, you might cry, you might even switch it off and ask yourself why? But it will be the continued quality that you have come to expect from the team. We’ll still hit you up with a written piece every week but you can expect your ears to be bashed every second week by a plethora of different topics.

Until then continue to enjoy our writing and as always if there is something you want the team to tackle hit us up in the comments section and we’ll give you a shout out as we write our take on your topic. Until next time, be nice to your parents and opinions are like arseholes… Everyone has one… Unless you are one of thousands of people born each year without one.

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…

Teaser… Fire for Effect

Folks it’s been awhile since we shared a spoiler of the upcoming novel, Fire for Effect with our good friends at A Mind of Its Own. So we thought we’d give you a small piece of a chapter to wet your whistle in anticipation of what’s to come later this year. Without further delay, happy reading we hope you enjoy this chapter from the team and I.

Chapter Thirty Two

It all happened in slow motion, both doors splintered in an explosive blast as a vollies of machine gun fire criss crossed them, stitching the walls. The concussive force threw Pairs across the room into the bathtub. Mac was knocked from his perch on the window sill landing hard on his back, spare magazines and the ballistic plate dig into his back as the wind was knocked out of him. At the front of the hotel Skye and the OGA driver had not fared any better. The driver had taken a round to his shoulder and lay rolling in pain, his hands stained red as he attempted to stem the blood flowing from the wound. Skye sat slumped against the wall of the motel, shards of glass and wood dotted her arms, a large gash had opened up just below her hairline where a piece of brick had splintered off and struck her. With her ears ringing and the world around her swimming she was on the verge of blacking out.

Further windows exploded in a hail of glass and bullets as two figures stepped from the room their weapons up and leading. Firing from the hip they stitched the driver once more in the leg. The 5.56 rounds tore flesh from bone leaving a growing pool beneath the driver. Searching for targets they walked towards the government issued vehicle continuing to spray indiscriminate bursts of fire into their surroundings. Standing in front of the Chevrolet, the female target unleashed a long burst into the radiator, with round after round from the two squad automatic weapons or SAWs as they were better known.

Fatima and Yuri climbed into their car spraying further rounds towards the hotel in an effort to keep the heads down of anyone that wanted to pop up for a look or try to stop them. Yuri floored the accelerator, wheels squealed as they tore out of the car park onto the highway almost causing an accident as an oncoming vehicle had slam on the break to avoid a collision. They sped east flying past motorists well in excess of the speed limit. They’d woken up as the Chevrolet entered the motel car park. Yuri had watched the woman leave the car and run into the office before returning to the car. He caught sight of the weapon on her hip and watched as she pulled on body armour.

Fatima had silently loaded the two SAWs while Yuri attached breaching charges to the doors in preparation for their visitors. Yuri had study American law enforcement and knew the Canadian’s often learnt their tactics and techniques from their neighbours to the south. He knew they would try to catch them in a crossfire. With the bathroom and front doors now wired they interlocked their fire with Yuri facing his SAW towards the bathroom door and Fatima facing hers towards the front door of the hotel room.

Yuri heard the pop of the bathroom window and the nearly silent pad of feet as they touched the bathtubs surface. He’d signalled Fatima as he held the clacker for the charges in his hand his other griped the machine gun as he tucked it into his shoulder. He counted down from ten. As he got to six a knock on the room door sounded. Without a thought he squeezed the clacker detonating the charges. The sound reverberated around the little room as the doors exploded outwards. They both squeezed their triggers sending round after round down range in short succession.

The 5.56 rounds tore through walls filling the air with cordite as they grabbed their bags shouldering their weapons and tactically retreating towards the now missing front entry. Yuri was the first through the entry firing off from the hip wildly as he stepped through the threshold. Fatima followed in similar fashion turning her weapon on the black SUV hosing it down before concentrating her rounds on the engine block. She then shredded the tyres front to back. An American in a black suit lay clutching his shoulder, his legs were bleeding from fresh bullet wounds. He would bleed out before help arrived.

They tore out of the motel car park nearly sideswiped a family on their way home from a night out. Yuri righted the car and continued to tear past vehicles on the highway. They had planned for this, Yuri had known the American’s would eventually track them down he just didn’t think it would be this soon. They relaxed the more miles they put between themselves and the motel.

Mac coughed up dust as he rolled on to his side, the concussive force that had flung Pairs across the room had also forced him from his perch on the window sill. His back ached and his hearing rang as he forced himself up on to an elbow. It was a struggle to stand. Mac’s world spun around him. Forcing himself to stand he found his pistol laying several meters away and holstered as he transitioned to his long gun. He staggered his way to the front of the motel. The scene before him was one of pure destruction. Flames licked at the door frame to room number twelve. Beside the door Skye sat cradling her head, blood dripped through her fingers onto the pavement beneath her.

Agent Mayes lay metres from the front door a pool of blood growing around him. Mac looked at Skye then back at Mayes. He’d need attention before Skye did. Forgetting his own pains he moved quickly to the man’s side. He was in a lot of pain and losing a lot of blood. Mac took out two tourniquets and applied them above the man’s knees to stem the flow of blood. Next he removed gauze from a small medical kit at the middle of his back. He used clotting agent on the bullet wounds then covered them with gauze before wrapping them tight with bandages. The man was going into shock and required urgent attention.

With Agent Mayes now taken care of Mac made had time to check on Skye. Her wounds were superficial and he went about patching her up as best he could with the little supplies left in his trauma kit. The whole time he worked on Skye his thoughts were of Pairs. He really needed to check on his buddy, Pairs had taken the brunt of the explosion in the small bathroom. Hurrying he finished bandaging Skye’s head. Mac’s hearing was starting to return. Blaring sirens grew closer and closer by the minute only getting louder and making his head hurt.

Mac stepped cautiously into the room searching for trips wires or sensors that may be linked to further explosive devices. The air was thick with dust and cordite as he moved slowly across the room surveying the scene. The far wall looked like it belonged in downtown Fallujah than a motel room in Canada. Bullet holes riddled the wall forcing Mac to steady himself for what he might see as he moved closer and closer to towards the bathroom. He took a deep breath stealing himself as he kicked the remainder of the door from the frame. Splintered wood and broken tiles littered the floor, water gushed from an exposed pipe that had taken a round. The air was thick with the smell of chemical explosives, smoke still hung in the air obscuring some of his view. Pairs was in the bath laying on his side, blood streaked the side of his face creating rivers of blood where it flowed quickly enough through the dust now settled.

It was hard to see if he was breathing from where Mac stood. He couldn’t bring himself to move further into the room. He’d already lost too many friends and no this Operation. Two of his team were currently lying in hospital beds somewhere in Europe and now Pairs was laying probably dead before him. There was a sense of responsibility despite all soldiers knowing they were putting themselves in harms way every time they went down range. These boys were being paid quite well but that was irrelevant to Mac. They were his team, his responsibility and more importantly he’d come to see them as friends, as people he could trust.

Groans emanated from the bath forcing Mac to move quickly across the room. As he reached the bathtub, a thumbs up flashed beneath a pile of rubble. The thumbs owner slowly rolled on to his back, he blinked a couple of times before a croaky voice louder than it needed to be asked what had happened using some colourful language in between the core question. Mac helped Pairs climb slowly out of the bath that had protected him. He had plenty of scraps and cuts but didn’t look like he’d sustained any life threatening injuries. Just to be sure Mac wanted to check him over once they were outside.

Help is on the way…

Previously on A Mind of Its Own… Colonel Mustard was killed in the library with a candlestick, who did it? Stay tuned for another fine Murder, Mystery episode of Cluedo. We told you that it had a Mind of Its Own and this week is another double dose for the fans. Yes that’s right you are getting two for the price of one without the free set of steak knives as we dive headfirst into yet another hot topic sweeping the land down under. We’ve come home to focus on a hot spot in the media, in an attempt to try to get to the bottom of it.

What could be so important that we’ve abandoned our Trump bashing campaign for the week and headed back to the beautiful coastline and seaside towns of northern New South Wales? Stay tuned as we delve into the mystery that is perplexing the nation and had our rapt attention as A Current Affair blasted out from the television set last night. We know, we know and can hear all you real Journalists right now, ACA are a bunch of has been, wannabe hacks who don’t actually report real news. We partly agree with you as they don’t really show both sides of the story in most cases.

However sitting back last night sipping an over priced whiskey our attention was drawn to the story flashing across the screen before us. When you think of major news, people normally think of murder, drugs, controversy and anything that is basically going sell. Yes sex sells but sex scandals sell even more, throw in some drugs and you’ve almost got a Pulitzer prize-winning piece. What was moving across the plasma screen before us had none of these exciting topics that would sell papers or magazines in fact it’s often a topic ignored by the masses.

Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand we often take the approach to environmental issues of, If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. It’s safe to say that the blood pressure went up, our face flushed red, hair stood on end and veins started popping as we watched our fellow Australians whine about something that is not only good for our nation, our environment and ensuring a future for the generations to come. What was it you asked?, it was something so simple, so common and so down right stupid we question what was more infuriating? The people arguing and whining about it or the fact that we were getting annoyed with them.

Plastic bloody bags! They are destroying the environment one trips to the shops at a time. So when Woolworth’s and Coles decide to do the right thing and Ban the bag what happens? We start crying about it, like little kids watching the lion king for the first time and Mustafa’s just died. To make matters worse we then take our frustration out on the poor staff just doing their jobs. What’s the anger all about? The fact that you now have to pay 15 cents or a couple of bucks for a bag you can use over and over again? or the fact that we are a lazy forgetful nation who like to whine about things for the sake of it?

For those of you who have an issue with the banning of the plastic bag as you rely on them so heavily to line your bin or take your kitty litter out. There are such things as biodegradable bags which are much nicer on our environment. Take a trip down to any river, storm water drain, beach or creek and it won’t take you long to find either something plastic or a plastic bag left behind by some inconsiderate person who has no regard for anyone else but themselves in their pursuit of fun. We can guarantee they’ll be the first person whining when their children can’t go to the beach or swim in the river due to some environmental issue.

Across the world tones upon tones of plastic waste is floating through our waterways, poisoning our aquatic species and killing mammals as they become trapped or a piece is lodged in their airways. For those of you willing to look you can see it daily on social media. Pictures of whales, seals, dolphins, fish and even penguins to name a few dying from our plastic products that have not been disposed of properly or are left to break down releasing toxic chemicals into our waterways. That doesn’t include the millions of land dwelling fauna who ingest plastic each year by accident.

We said the other day we wouldn’t preach, teach or push our opinions too heavily upon our readers but banning of the plastic bag by the major supermarket retailers is a step in the right direction. Where possible we provide you with the reason and why so below we have collated some additional information on why this is such a big step in the right direction not just for Australia but the entire world. Whilst it might inconvenience some people in the short-term in the long run it might stop our house of cards from crashing down so soon.

Plastic bags tend to disrupt the environment in a serious way. They get into soil and slowly release toxic chemicals. They eventually break down into the soil, with the unfortunate result being that animals eat them and often choke and die. In our waterways they breakdown creating microplastic fibres that are ingested by marine life. A lot marine life that you the reader then buy at the local fish monger. Like the fish we then ingest the fibres and so the vicious cycle continues.

Being a big fan of infographic pictures we’ve included the one below to give you an understanding of just how much waste we produce and then dump in our environment each year.

While we are not experts by any means it is pretty self-explanatory what will happen to our environment if we don’t start reducing our production of single use plastic and or plastic bags in general. In an effort to ensure there is a future for everyone A Mind of Its Own is fully onboard with banning the bag and supports the major retailers in pushing this movement. So to all those that are complaining their shopping is now made harder, take five and think about the alternative if we don’t make the push that even though it’s a little late in happening is still a positive step in the right direction.

Ban the bag! Stop complaining Australia! We are building for a future where we have an environment that our children can play in without fear of toxic poisoning. Until next week join the revolution and get yourself some reusable bags for your next trip to the supermarket. A special hats off to Coles and Woolies for leading the way now it’s up to the other major retailers to follow suit and start reducing plastic packaging in general. Save the whales harpoon some plastic!!!

The link below is a good overview of the damage plastic does to our environment.

https://greenerideal.com/news/environment/0613-how-do-plastic-bags-affect-our-environment/

Starships and Apocalypse…

Well, well, well… Another week down and we are powering into the second half of the year. What a year it has been so far! A Mind of its Own has worked hard over the past 6 months to bring you some quality pieces to take your mind off the working week allowing you to enter into a world of numerous possibilities. We’ve given you our take on a lot of topics but this week we thought we’d enter a world that quite honestly seems like a place for private school kids and fish n chip shop owners.

Politics or politicians is certainly something we never thought we’d find ourselves writing about and it certainly isn’t on the approved list of topics that adorns the office wall. So why politics this time you ask? That’s a damn fine question and one which we will answer in the following paragraphs to come but before we do that we need to take you on a journey to a galaxy far, far away. Ok maybe we don’t and we might need to check with Disney if we can use that line before they sue us for copyright infringement.

There is one man that has said some of the dumbest things you will ever hear in your life. Hated by the intellectuals and adored by the those who lets say aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and think insest is ok. We’ve asked the question and we know our readers are certainly asking the same question. How on earth did this mexican hating, balding, red faced, douchebag make his way to the white house? It does lead to even bigger questions about America even allowing him into the big gig. Yes we know there options weren’t great Hillary or Donald but come on Yanks really Trump? The same guy that wants to build a wall to keep out the mexicans?.

So by now you are asking yourselves how on earth we ended up down this rabbit hole and started on our anti-trump campaign. Well let’s rewind to three days ago and if you watch the news it was the most exciting thing Trump has done or said in his time in office. For those of you that prefer to get your news through social media or like to be updated in other ways we’ll spell it out for you. There are currently five branches of the U.S Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines). Well our wig wearing buddy announced he wanted the Pentagon to create a sixth branch.

Yes you heard it here probably not first but what Trump announced would have certainly got a lot of geeks super excited and putting there stereotypical wussiness aside and running down to the closest enlistment office to join the one, the only U.S Space Force. Space Force it sounds like something from a 1960’s science fiction film where the earth is attacked by flying saucers and giant aliens from outer space. We honestly wouldn’t have believed it ourselves if it hadn’t been televised on every news station around the globe. He’s buddies Putin and Kim Jong Un were having heart attacks as they looked at their own military forces and their plans to ward off the impending alien attacks.

This comes on the back of the US leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council, it got us wondering whether they were already preparing to build black sites on the moon and Mars in order to interrogate aliens for all their secrets? Oh wait didn’t they already do that at Roswell and then area 51? Hmm are we heading down the conspiracy theory path, no we aren’t but we thought we’d throw that in for a little twist in the plot and to get the readers thinking about all the silly things the US have done throughout the years in their pursuit to police the world and become the dominant power.

Back to the orange faced toupe for a moment this is the same guy that doesn’t believe in climate change but wants to build a wall in space to keep the aliens out? We don’t know that he wants to build a wall for sure but we do know that he wants to build a death star and ensure the US dominance in space incase Russia or China decide to join forces with the aliens and attack the states. We’re not sure why they wouldn’t just attack them on earth but hey a lot of us have always dreamt of joining the Space Force and fighting outside of our atmosphere.

Next thing we know Trump will be spruiking the light and dark side of the force and sending troops off to learn the ways of the force from an old little green man who is full of philosophical one liners. All the while his mate Kim Jong Un will be dressing up as Darth Vader so the two of them can have light saber fights instead of saber rattling on an international scene. What we are questioning though is this the start of a new space race? Who will get to Mars first? Who will build the first space wall and who will have the first space plane?

One thing Trump’s announcement has done is send the defence industry into a spin as they plan and develop weapons for future tenders that will no doubt come out from the Pentagon over the coming years. Will we finally see some lasers and star fighters? We can only hope! As for Donald Visionary or lunatic? It’s a fine line and one we know that he’ll continue to walk while his time in the white house but for now Space Force onya Trump you’ve just made every five year old boys come true! Who didn’t want to fight aliens in a far off land at some point in their childhood!

Well that’s a wrap! Another week down another blog that has taken on a mind of its own. We hope many of you have relived your childhood dreams or at least had a good giggle at our slight insight to the wonderful world that is Mr Trump and his great idea to create SPACE FORCE. We are still laughing at the name surely the military will come up with a better name for this fighting force in outer space. Until next week Peace out and hopefully we won’t need Space Force to save the day.

Just sing like everybody else…

It’s that time of the week again ladies and gentleman, the time where we ask you to take some time, wind down, take some time out of your day, some time to sit back relax and most of all open up a A Mind of Its Own. Read along as we embark on yet another adventure into the wonderful world around us. This week we decided not to venture into the wilderness of unknown mass social gatherings in which we were overwhelmed by the smell of youth and their lack of care over personal hygiene.

I’d love to say we avoided gatherings of youth and poor choices in personal hygiene but alas we did not. In fact compared to where we ended up this weekend our adventures into the world of cosplay and pop culture masses were much more hygienic and less potent on the old nostrils. By now you’re thinking where on Earth did they end up and what did they end up doing? Well the west is about an hour West of the iconic Byron Bay in the little well-known town of Nimbin.

As we drove into town the mental image I had in my head of Bob Marley looking white folk was shattered. Driving through the main street was enough to have me start winding up the windows and locking the doors let alone get out of the vehicle. So we did just that like all good journalist chasing a story in war zone. Ok Nimbin isn’t quite downtown Fallujah. The team and I left the safety and comfort of our vehicle. I must say I was surprised that upon exiting the car that I didn’t receive a contact high from all the Ganja burning being smoked by locals but I honestly could not smell any pot. Yep Nimbin that’s two strikes, you disappointed me once again.

Walking along the main street of Nimbin, ironically Cullen street, surely no relation to any stoner relatives I may or may not have from yesteryear, a couple of things started to occur to me. Firstly everything I had heard about Nimbin was proving to be utterly false and secondly there was probably more ice addicts roaming the streets then the lovable, happy-go-lucky pot smokers. What was going on? It was like watching an episode of Sydney Weekender with Mike Whitney walking around a place that no one would ever want to go.

Midway down the main street it finally hit me that somewhat pungent yet sweet smell (Queue questions from parents and family members on how I know what it smells like. That’s a story for another day but I grew up in Canberra remember where there are 3 things biggest industries are… Weed, Fireworks and the biggest porn trade in Australia, thanks pollies you guys are hypocritically great!)

The highlight of our little walk down the main street proved to be the fire pit next to the pop up medical dispensary that had some scantily clad youths who like, the fire looked a little baked. Ok so there were some stoners still about and they did not disappoint at they swayed to the non-existent mellow tunes playing. One gentleman rapped his way through a crowd of people clearly still feeling the effects of whatever it was that he had decided was good for his system that morning.

Back to that hygiene issue, if we thought pop culture conventions were smelly Nimbin was taking it to a whole new level. I was starting to wonder if plumbing had made its way to into the town. The smell of BO was so overpowering in some parts it overpowered the smell of reefer in the air. Again I was on the hunt for some air freshener or hemp based deodorant, hell I would have been happy to sponsor the whole town as long as they took a shower in a can and regularly used it.

So besides Bob Marley what was it that I was expecting to see in Nimbin? Oh yeah that’s right pot I was expecting to see some Marijuana somewhere or at least a hash cookie or two, heck in a pot brownie would have made my day. The closest we came was the hemp store selling anything you could almost think of made from yep you guessed it hemp. I was tempted by the floppy hemp hats however the idea of this little excursion that just so happened to be by accident was to get an insight to the hinterlands iconic happy town of Nimbin.

The more I think about the more I think I expected Nimbin to be a fun, happy little town, well it was looking quite run down and there were more than one or two people who looked a little sketchy and like they’d be quite happy to mug me for my cash or lack thereof in my wallet.

So no hats were purchased, not cookies, brownies or any other foods containing the sticky icky but we did do a lot of people watching. Feeling unsafe and constantly checking our pockets for personal items Nimbin had made its way onto the list of places we wouldn’t be coming back to anytime soon. We would miss the signs stating how weed was the people’s drug of choice while the government preferred alcohol and tobacco. Yeah we giggled a little at the politically charged billboard.

Here i was thinking this was a haven for people to live an alternative lifestyle, a place where the police turned a blind eye to the use of illegal narcotics. Maybe in the main street but get 10-15 kilometers out-of-town either side and Nimbin was hemmed in by Random Breath Testing (RBT) and drug testing. Smart play by the popo but word was starting to get around town about their shady tactics on a Monday.

After grabbing a coffee and running to back to the car as fast as our feet could carry us, the car was barely in gear before the wheels were spinning and we were racing out of there. Note to any would be bank robbers looking for a getaway car, the Mitsubishi mirage is not the car for you! Whilst it handles the corners quite well it does not have the zip of many other small cars available on the market.

The conversation in the car as we wound our way towards freedom, fresh air and a much-needed warm shower (Pretty sure I kept smelling my own armpits to ensure it wasn’t me that had smelt) turned to the legalisation of narcotics and whether legalising certain substances would stop people turning to ice, meth and heroin or whether it would create further issues for our law enforcement professionals. Legalisation of Marijuana for medical purposes we can see a point to, there is science to back up the claims particularly when coupled with cancer treatments and the like.

Legalisation of other drugs we aren’t so sure on, it may stop a lot of organised crime but it would also cause headaches for law enforcement and medical staff having to pump stomachs of those who overindulged or become heavily addicted. The only upside would be the quality of substance once being controlled and administered through federal pharmacies.

Whichever side you fall on in that debate is ok, people are entitled to their opinions and here at A Mind of Its Own, we hold no judgement. All we can say is there are pros and cons for both sides of the argument and if you’re reading along at home all we can suggest is don’t do them, you never know what’s in them or where they have come from. Not that you asked for our opinion.

So until next week we wish you a safe week, be cool, stay in school and don’t do drugs. If you have to, don’t do them in Nimbin and always make sure you are around friends who will look after you. Be safe folks!

Where the Wild things are…

It’s that time of week again! That time you put your worries aside, put your feet up, grab your laptop or tablet and a bottle or glass of your favourite poison (Our’s is Whiskey in case any of our readers were thinking of gifts) before settling back in your favourite chair and reading through this week’s installment of A Mind of its Own. This week we’ve come home wrapped our hands around a cold frothy or two and explored our own backyard in order to write this wonderful piece.

Australia, home to some of the worlds most unique flora and fauna. It has one of the world’s most eclectic collection of animals known to man. As Australian’s we are pretty proud of our often odd and unique fauna so much so that our coat of arms, our money and even some of our sporting teams mascots and tv characters are based on the wonderful creatures that walk, swim and fly this fine land. So what does the most majestic of Australian birds and the most requested tattoo of Schoolies 2017 have in common besides being a great idea for this weeks blog?

Glad you asked! Besides being the drunken regret of many teenagers who now have this majestic bird branded on their bodies (remember kids, tattoos are for life! Unless you get them lasered off, i hear it’s painful though). The two have very little in common other than looking quite silly but if you’re going to be branded with something I suppose it’s better being a bird than a swastika or other ridiculous idea for a tattoo.

The 2017, Bird of the Year became from behind, beating out the Cassowary, Willy Wag Tail and a couple of other birds no one really gives a toss about to claim the title. The People had spoken and made their choice. The Australian White Ibis (Garbagius Birdius) or Bin Chicken as it is more commonly known has taken the crown and been named Australian Bird of the Year for twenty seventeen. We have been unable to get a comment as to whether they’ll be flapping up to the feeding trough and defending their title this year.

With it’s recent bout of fame and taking a beloved place in today’s society as it scabs through bins and eats out of the gutters. This walking, flying, squawking trash disposal can be found anywhere there is human waste. Parks, garbage tips and loading docks are some of their favoured territories as they spread their wings in the search of new delicacies left over by their human overloads.

This rubbish raptor has become the inland seagull of Australia. Keen to steal your hot chips, harass your small children and make an absolute pest of themselves they’ve maneuvered their way into the hearts and minds of today’s youth. If we are honest they aren’t the most attractive bird with their hooked beaks, scaly black long legs and white feathers they remind me of every Collingwood supporter I’ve ever met. Maybe it’s the black and white or maybe it’s just the lack of teeth and charisma. But either way this Rubbish Turkey has made a name and place for itself in today’s pop culture.

It did get us wondering why someone hadn’t capitalised and created a stick figure Ibis to join your family on the back window of your car. What is it about these birds that has Australia so enamoured with them? Is it there carefree no fucks given attitude as they pick at our scraps in the streets? Or there battler spirit that has them eating out of bins as degradation to their natural environments has forced them to adapt and overcome.

Like the Marines of the skies these birds have adapted and overcome. Once wading in shallow water and eating crustaceans they now find themselves perched on the lids of bins and like the homeless of the skies ready to go dumpster diving for their next meal. These birds now find themselves in amongst the concrete jungles fighting the homeless for scraps outside fast food joints.

This once revered bird in times gone by has managed to earn itself a bad bird title, developing a reputation for being disgusting, destructive, noisy and often dirty. With their inability to keep their feathers a clean crisp white this rubbish warrior has taken it upon itself to find new homes and a new source of food. There are many names for this modern-day survivor but it will forever be known as the Bin Chicken. What it’s rise to fame doesn’t tells us is this bird is one of only a few who has managed to adapt and overcome the destruction of it’s natural, native habit to continue surviving.

Next time you see one of these majestic birds pecking at your lawn or local sporting ground, eating out of the gutter or bin or chasing people for their hot chips just remember we turned them into the Bin Chicken we love and often fear today. As we expanded into their habitats and took over the waterways they relied on for feeding.

So to the Bin Chicken, Trash Chooks, Trash Turkey, Rubbish Raptor, Winged Rubbish Bin, Flying Trash Disposal, Dumpster Diver, we here at A Mind of its Own salute you! A true battler and a true Aussie icon that has managed to adapt and continue its existence despite the continued threat to your natural habitat. If you can’t beat em join em they say and that’s what you’ve done, traded water for rubbish.

While we joke and jest at this bird with a bad reputation and strange habit for eating rubbish, there is an important message to be taken from this weeks post. What you do has an impact, for every action there is a reaction and whilst we didn’t exactly cause the Dumpster Diver that is the Bin Chicken our ancestors certainly did and what we do in this life will have an impact on what our children and their children will see or in some cases not be able to see as it no longer exists. Do the right thing….

Over and out for another week, we hope you’ve found this blog insightful and educational. Till next week enjoy the journey.

Set Phasers to Stun…

Born in the driver’s seat of a Toyota Prius stuck in the usual Monday to Friday chaos that is the M1 motorway on my way up to the plastic beach scene that is the Gold Coast, this week’s instalment of A Mind of its Own was born out of pure hilarity thanks to the young man driving in front of me who clearly thought he was hot stuff in his fluro workwear and cheap petrol station sunnies.

So much can be said about the youth of today, so much so that I won’t even get started but this morning I saw a bumper sticker that pretty much pulled all of my thoughts about the youth of today, to front of mind and made me want to fashion a knife out of the McDonald’s straw on the floor to stab myself in the eyes so I didn’t have to read the downright stupidity plastered all over the P platers car stopped in front of me at the lights.

Clearly trying to make up for his lack of ability to lure in a suitable mate, the primate sitting in his Ute, window down, it was raining mind you, mullet flowing gloriously down the back of his neck and a tattoo sleeve that no artist would be proud to say was there work. Had more stickers plastered over the tailgate of his 1998 Holden Commodore than a children’s sticker book. Safe to say if you had a kid you wouldn’t not want them to understand the vulgarity of half the things stuck to the chipping paint job of the young tradesman’s vehicle.

So despite his distinguished appearance and classy manners as he turned spitting all over the car next to him, this charmer was clearly a hit with the ladies. Some of the best and no doubt classiest pick up lines in this kids vocabulary had to of come from his choice of cheap bumper stickers. With classics like ‘No Fat chicks, my ride will drag” to “Fat chicks, shoot em don’t root em” I started to wonder what this classy member of our societies parents were like and whether he had an ounce of ability to say something to woman that wasn’t sexiest, chauvinistic or bigoted.

Here at A Mind of its Own we try not to judge people on their appearance or choice of bumper stickers however the kid wasn’t doing himself any favours. From vulgar statements through to stickers of women in compromising positions with no clothes on and the creme de la creme of stickers plastered on his back window ‘No Root, No ride’ I’d be questioning any parents judgement letting their daughter step into this pillar of societies vehicle. I mean if he had one of those stick families sure I might think twice but there wasn’t even stick figures trying to procreate. If the MeToo campaign wanted a poster child of what young men should not be like this kids car wasn’t doing him any favours.

Watching him release the clutch, put his foot to the floor and grind through his gears while he sped off, I started to think about bumper stickers and what possesses people to plaster them on their precious vehicles. Thankfully not everyone’s choice’s are vulgar or disturbing but I still question whether they are a waste of money. Stick families, baby on board, my other car, these stickers aren’t handed out or found as freebies in magazines so what possesses people to fork out their hard-earned cash to ensure the people behind them receive a benign message they may, or may not remember five minutes down the road.

That being said the man or woman who came up with the idea to place a sticker on the back of a motor vehicle and saw the opportunity to milk the masses for a couple of bucks here or there was an absolute genius! Writing that I do feel that perhaps we also aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed if we aren’t seeing its a waste of money. I’d love to say it’s just the P platers but I know many an adult who has bought a sticker to draw attention to their automobile over the years.

Yes we know you just got a BMW it has its own badges to tell me what it is you don’t need to go and get the performance works sticker on the back so it looks like you’ve gone for the upgrade. Oh you have a baby on board? Why are you doing 120 in an 80 zone than love? Stickers, stickers, stickers and more contradictions than the King James Version of the bible. My favourite is the advertisement that a child goes to a private school I NEVER would have guessed by the type of vehicle you are driving and you never see those on a Ute they are usually emblazoned on the back of BMW, Audi, Volvo, Land Rovers or other high-end motor vehicles.

The choices are outstanding and every petrol station from here to Timbuktu stocks them. The Yanks love them, the Europeans all have them and us Aussies well if we are from the country you can bet we’ll at least have an R.M Williams sticker somewhere on the car as well as one advertising their local pub and no doubt something degrading towards women or people who are attracted to the other sex. Either way it’s all very redneck once our country folk get involved. The options when it comes to picking what to adorn your vehicle with are endless.

So bumper stickers, big waste of time and money? We’ll leave it for the public to decide one thing we have worked out though if you are trying to make a good impression make sure your bumper stickers and stick family aren’t involved in lude, rude or crude behaviour, there is a time and place for that and plastered all over your car isn’t going to help you. Like a chapter of how to win friends and influence people we’ll give you this advice for free. Life is like a box of chocolates and no one like the Turkish delights no matter how much they tell you they do.

Over and out till next week’s insightful chapter of A Mind of its own…

Slowdance on the inside…

Welcome to another installment of A Mind of its Own. This week we thought we’d throw on the whites head down the oval via a trip to the painting isle at Bunnings and rough up a few cricket balls before rolling the arm over to send down a barrage of half volleys, laughs and insights about the world around us.

It’s been the second biggest thing to hit the news in recent weeks only to be surpassed by the shambles of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony that left us wondering how long it would be, before the woman responsible for Arsegate would be releasing a book titled My Crack, the story of the games unhidden shame.

Three men, one piece of sandpaper, a roughed up cricket ball and the scandal of the nation. Not since the infamous John Hopoate Incident in 2001 has a nation’s sporting world been rocked so heavily. There’s been the odd breach of the NRL’s salary cap (A new year another team) or the new round of AFL naked selfies but nothing that has brought a great sporting nation like ours to a halt like this has since John reached up and fingered several of his opponents anus’s.

As I sit in the office dual screens in front of me researching cricket’s current events it occurs to me that we need to just relax. What? I am relaxed you think to yourself and who is this guy to tell me to relax? I’m not talking about you the reader sitting there sipping your latte on a Wednesday morning while scrolling through our blog on the latest and greatest tablet or smartphone. I’m talking about society in general.

We place our heroes on pedestals like infallible gods only to become extremely enraged and upset with them when they make a mistake. Sports men and women seem to cop it just as much as anyone else. The only good thing to come out of the recent cricketing scandal is Bunnings profit margin for the first quarter of the year. In the last month alone sales of sandpaper have gone through the roof and the average age of customers has lowered by 20 odd years. But no on a serious note, why do we feel these people, yes they are people like you and me whether they be athletes, celebrities, the kid who walks your dog or your mum and dad aren’t capable of making monumental mistakes?

Have we become that much of a politically correct society that anything deemed questionable should come with a warning label stating you will be judged and looked down on for all eternity should you proceed. We all love social media but has anyone here read George Orwell’s classic 1984? Well yeah it’s happening people, no matter what you do, where you are, big brother is always watching. Except in our case big brother just happens to be every man and his dog with a smartphone.

I feel for parents these days, it must be tough, your child can be an absolute arsehole and you can’t even give them a little smack to bring them into line without the fear of being branded with the child abuse tag, whilst they continue to runaround terrorising the neighbourhood. Anyways bringing things back on track…

In the case of our cricketers it just so happened to be a curious cameraman trying to confirm whether rumours of Cameron Bancroft’s nickname Donkey were true or not. I’m still questioning why he lingered so long on Cam’s crotch and apparently so is his wife. So our captain does the right thing and falls on the sword, he takes his VC along with him and the perpetrator of the whole event just so happens to get less time in exile than both of them.

Maybe it just that we (Society) thought our cricketers, not all just our Australian team were above such acts. We are Australia we don’t need to cheat, we have some of the best players in the world. I mean we know our league boys like to pee into their own mouths and defecate in pot plants or pretend to have sex with dogs and cause a downright ruckuss. While our AFL boys just like the marching powder a little too much and try swimming across the Swan river in an attempt to escape the police and the union guys well they are just private school pest who haven’t grown up. But our cricketers no they are saints, they are the good boys of aussie sport, they don’t have guys who try to set records for the most amount of beers drank on a flight between Australia and England or drug test that come back positive for banned substances. No they are the darlings of Australian sport…

No they are not, if you’ve read some of the books published by former cricketing greats they were just as bad as everyone else. They had fun, they were successful and we loved them for it. The difference being back then we loved a jokester and we enjoyed the on and off field antics of our sportsmen. Nowadays they need to be setting a good example for the kids who sit glued to their ipads or phones from the time they come out of the womb. As they are so impressionable. Put down the bloody technology, go outside and use your damn imagination to come up with something to do.

The facts of the matter are that scandals, like gossip around the water cooler at lunchtime spreads like wildfire. For those in media it also helps to sell news. We make a mountain out of a molehill because it sells papers or in this case sandpaper. Nobody’s infallible, we all make mistakes, we all do things that can be deemed questionable, the difference is we are not in spotlight for the entirety of our professional lives like our athletes. Most people learn from their mistakes and take the second chances they are given with both hands. In the case of some of the Rugby League players they are quite slow at learning that a second chance is a gift don’t be stupid. One concussion too many could be blamed but then again do we really think they are the smartest people?.

As for our three cricketers in exile on the Northern Beaches of NSW in their million dollar plus mansions. They now have plenty of time to lay on the beach counting their cash, while they think about what they have done. I for one wouldn’t mind being put in that naughty corner. Only time will tell whether it has been a valuable lesson for these three lads and whether the Australian community wish to bring them in from the wilderness. One thing is for sure we won’t be winning a lot of games over the next 12 months and Cricket Australia will have every sandpaper company knocking on their door with offers of endorsements.

Australia is no stranger to a sporting scandal from fingers up bums to salary cap cheats to sleeping with your teammates wife. It’s safe to say that when it comes to sport it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. At some point the elation, excitement and thrill that comes from winning could drive you to do something stupid just to get that rush, that feeling one more time. As Australian’s we might feel we often dominate on the field but we are all susceptible to one thing. Being human and being human we will all make mistakes at some point in our lives..

I must have been sleeping for a lot of the last few years, sport has eradicated the larrikins, hollywood has outed the perverted and the politicians just keep racking up the frequent flyer points on the way to see there lovers and somewhere along the way the Emily seabomb became a term of endearment amongst friends or a joke by the northern territory tourism office to bring in unsuspecting travellers to the crocodile infested waters of Darwin.

So to all those aspiring athletes out there, don’t do anything stupid around anyone with a phone, camera or any piece of technology and if you need to put yourself on a social media ban in case you are inclined to say something, or do something that may upset someone because we all know someone will get offend in our modern PC Society. Actually if i was a professional athlete my advice would be unless you are competing just stay at home and become a hermit. People can’t even go to the shops in their ugg boots anymore without someone scoffing and judging them or getting upset at the sheep that was slaughtered for your feet to be comfortable warm.

In some ways living in a politically correct society is inspiring and refreshing. The LGBT and I am sure I am missing some letters in their community can now legally marry. Campaigns like MeeToo are empowering women to speak out about sexually harassment and assualt, R U Ok empowers all of us who are struggling to speak and yet we all feel we need to judge and look down on not only those in the spotlight but those around us who do something wrong. We don’t even try to understand why or let them explain we just come down on them like a ton of bricks.

Until next time, be good, be nice and try to be a little less judgemental of our overpaid athletes 😉 Thanks for reading, The team at A Mind of its Own…