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This morning I awoke in Lismore at Ella’s sister’s flat (a house on stilts to protect itself from flooding) remember that indeed it was my birthday and yep I had turned 30!


Do I feel older? Not really age is never been a marker for me. Growth has. Mental learning, change, and life has.

What marked this as a beautiful day was perhaps the start and perhaps the rest of the day spent reflecting and enjoying what’s around me. Perhaps that’s just a lesson for me in the future to take things slow and really enjoy what I’ve got, what comes to me, and what is around.

Sylvie (Ella’s sister) was hanging around in the kitchen preparing somethings. Soon she asked me to come out on the balcony where she had put out a big fruit platter, some tea, and had fried some fruit. It brought a huge smile on my face only to get bigger when she started playing “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder (a song written for Malcolm X). Apparently, this is a Millard tradition (the song — perhaps the fruit too??). It was a really special way to ring in the morning and got my day started nice. I thought it was really quite flattering that this womyn who only knew me through Ella made all this effort to make me feel special. Something that I will take with myself and give to others.

Now perhaps Sylvie thinks this was nothing but it is. When you see the goodness in people you just want to replicate that with others, and also hug them for being so amazing. Creativity, love, making people feel special, and caring for others is important. That’s something that I’ve grown to learn over the years and definitely lacked in knowledge when I was younger. It’s tragic but true. But I can only march forward with what knowledge exists inside me now and grow from there.

So now I’m off to find a beautiful cafe to have lunch and then head to this deserted train bridge to read a good book (“Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”) or perhaps write in my journal who knows.

[Update: Now I’ve had an amazing vegan burger — yess progressive in this cool little artsy town — and the womyn at the restaurant offered me a birthday cake and coffee. Damn sugga does this get any better… tonight I’m off to a folk festival in the bush…don’t ask me why I’m near the computer..but if you care it’s cause I’m applying to volunteer at an amazing festival]

Thanks for all the love. Love you guys,


PS – Mom and Dad the phone call on my cell was a super nice thing to do as well. Especially, considering the cost and all!

MoiWho would have thought I would have fallen in love with this city. I suppose a lot has to do with it’s small town feeling (small communities), the people, the environment, how easy it is to get into the bush so quickly, and did I mention the people? I’ve been lucky to really get involved with some amazing people in the community and last Friday was my final bye-bye dinner filled with some high emotions, good memories, and plenty of beautiful people. Adious Ella, Amy, Hannah, Maurice, Kaitlin, JP, Becs, Jen, Aline, Andrew, Gavin, Dylan, Fuji, Tash, & any other crew I left out.

My aunt has been a huge rock the entire time I spent here off and on. Always giving me love, food, and a place to sleep when I needed it. And my cousin Andrew has been a rad friend to have around, watch movies with, chat, and ride in the rain with.

Thanks to the Hershler (sorry Laen if I messed your name up) I was able to yet again do a “Last Will and Testiment” and it was received with some good laughs, smiles, and tears (held back by me of course). I probably should have taken some pictures along the way but I was more in the moment and enjoying each and everyone as much as I could.


I think among a bunch of my friends (some of which I’ll see at SoS or perhaps back in Canada) the hardest to let go will be Ella. Oh yes some of you have heard about her. The beautiful womyn that I met here in the last month and have been chillin with. She’s got a beautiful mind, spirit, and heart that one. But then when we started hanging out we both knew that this was going to happen. Funny how that actually doesn’t make the situation any easier. Nor does it leaving all your established friends either?

You’re probably wondering why I actually like such a huge city? Mmm you never feel like your in it. The amount of activisty / community things going on is huge and I just happened to find a group that I really fit with. Plus the music, lifestyle, culture, and all the rest is bumpin.

So with all that in mind Sydney, friends, community, and Ella I say … “Catch you around..I’ll be back..or you’ll be in my land soon enough.” Here’s shedding a tear for you.



A new form of environmental activism is developing in Sydney.

The Guerilla Energy Efficiency Gang is on a mission to swap the environmentally inefficient incandescent light bulbs with the greener fluorescent version.

On any given night, a group of energy guerillas gather to install energy efficient measures outside the home, without permission.

The founder of the Guerilla Energy Efficiency Gang is 23-year-old university student, Maurice Wells.

Mr Wells spends his days studying photovoltaics and solar energy engineering, but his nights are spent scouring the streets of Sydney searching for inefficient bulbs to replace.

He says guerilla energy efficiency as a form of environmental activism is a growing underground movement in Sydney.

“We had a look on Google to see if anyone else had done it, and sure enough someone in the United States had done something similar,” he said.

“We’ve seen since a video clip of people going in to other people’s homes and changing bulbs. That has sparked a bit of ‘copycat crime’ in Australia.”

“But what we have seen is that more and more people we know are really keen to start doing it, and everyone seems to think it’s a great idea and an exciting and empowering thing to do.”

The guerillas have spent the last six months targeting car parks, housing complexes, motels, public toilets and restaurants.

The group believes that the enormous potential of energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gases and save money tends to be ignored by politicians, industry, business, residents and even activists.

Energy guerilla Scarlett Wilcock is a 21-year-old law student.

She says important environmental issues including climate change and alternative energy are not being effectively presented to younger people.

“We always hear about it in the newspapers and we do a lot of forums and public communication about climate change, but sometimes it doesn’t really feel enough just to change the light bulb in your bedroom,” she said.

“So I think this is a really great way to feel a bit more empowered about changing stuff on a larger but still a grassroots scale.”

Mr Wells says people buy inefficient light bulbs because they are slightly cheaper, but they end up costing hundreds of extra dollars in energy bills.

“In a lot of cases they’re not using the old bulbs for any particular reason, so you just change them and they probably can’t even tell,” he said.

The guerilla’s recently targeted an inner Sydney car park near the eastern distributor.

By changing almost 20 incandescent light bulbs on one street, Mr Wells says almost $600 will be saved in energy bills.

But the group is realistic about what it can achieve.

“There are millions of inefficient light bulbs installed all over Sydney, and it would be impossible to change them all,” he said.

“But the sites I’d really like to target are away from big development places, where the benefits flow through to another part of the community, say public housing or libraries and commissions,” he said.

“Places where they’d really appreciate the savings.”

– Original article here

So before I left SMART Technologies ages ago I had a friend who worked there ask me a lot of questions about being a vegan. He was really receptive and polite in his questions and honestly wanted to know ways in which I obtained protein (a big fear for meat eaters is that people can’t survive on a plant based diet cause you don’t get meat for your body to survive — read: not entirely true)

For Chuck and his family they decided to become vegetarians for a month because of several contributing factors.

“First, if we’re tired and hungry at the end of the day the recipes that come most easily to mind are some kind of meat-and-two-veg thing. Not the healthiest…[and their] oldest son (just turned seven) is a sensitive kid and also a picky eater. He [doesn’t] like the idea of killing animals for food — so much so that he was willing ot experiment with all kinds of different veg cuisine if it meant he didn’t have to eat meat.”

Throughout this experiment the family tried out different veggie cuisine options finding things that the entire family enjoyed. Chuck commented that it wasn’t difficult for his family to find sources of nutrition and protein to eat healthy.

“I think “how will you get your protein?” is about as common and annoying a question for vegetarians as “how will you socialize them?” is for homeschoolers. Short answer: go look at the biggest, most heavily-muscled silverback gorilla in your local zoo –he’s vegan. End of question.”

[My note: As a vegan this is probably the most frustrating question I get too..or the crude jokes about me needing more meat, etc. on my plate.]

It’s an interesting note on our culture that most people do believe that our only protein food sources can be obtained from meat based diets. We have to be careful not to cut out vegetables from our diets as they are the source of anti-oxidants, little cancer fighting weapons, vitamins, and so much more goodness.

After Chuck’s one month trial they decided to find more ethical sources of meat suppliers as a means of bridging the gap between being vegetarians and meat-eaters (dubbed by Chuck as “flexitarian”).

“We don’t eat a lot of meat any more (I can’t remember the last time I bought steak or pork chops) and honestly can’t handle large quantities at one sitting after a month as vegetarians. And even before our experiment, we had started sourcing our meat from ethical sources, particularly one place at Crossroads Market owned by an older German lady and her husband.”

Another really nice approach from this is that Chuck is actually buying his food local! YEAH TO LOCAL! This means that he is also reducing his carbon imprint on food shipping/processing/etc. He is supporting local economies and farmers (the little guys), and ensures that the animals are happy (dubbed “happy meat” by Chuck).

Now you are probably wondering why a vegan would be writing about all this. Well I’ve never been one to be a snotty vegan (meaning that I frown upon others eating meat). I see it more as a challenge to educate others about many issues.

  • Buying local food (not supporting factory farms) = healthier animals, less food miles, supporting smaller farmers
  • Buying organic (healthier and again happier animals) = better for the environment
  • Environmental impacts of the food we eat – it takes 10x more resources (water, energy, etc) to make 1 lb of beef than it does 1 lb of wheat.
  • Vegetarian Meals are goodness = They can be tasty and they make you feel fresh!

So eating vegetarian even just once a week is going to have a huge impact on the environment versus not eating vegetarian at all. Why would I want to critisize people who are doing something to make change like Chuck is clearly showing. Revolutions, change, growth, and movements never happened when people ostracised others for their choices. When we can all embrace each other and work together towards something more sustainable, ethical, and loving as a community that’s when we are going to see things change.PROPS TO YOU CHUCK FOR TAKING THAT RISK MAN! Thanks for sharing bro!

The Bakery[Sorry for all those checking out my website I’ve been a bit of sleeping giant on the net. More or less just been super busy and not wanting to sit in front of a computer. But I love to write so I’m back for good]

On Thursday night I figured I’d better check out the massive collective of funkified band members of The Bakery. They are an amazing group of 11 members that play all kinds of crazy funk music. Okay yes this is a plug for them but seriously folks if you are livingin Sydney you’d be stupid not to check them out. And you’d be even more stupid not to shake your ass to this music. The last time I had the pleasure of checking them out was at Peat’s Ridge Music festival where they had just formed a little while earlier. They have fully pulled their sound together and not only are they great to listen to but fuckin amazing to watch (dancin on the stage is only but one of their rad additions to the performance).

On that note there was a great political band that played afterwards that I have to admit was pretty great too. The Locals are quite a political band spinning out amazing rhyming lyrics about politics, consumption, war, and what we are doing to our environment all backed by an amazing set of riffs and beats. I was really impressed with the message and it was nice to be at a venue where someone was speaking the truth about a lot of crazy shit in the world (and yet kinda making a joke about it — read: it was fun to listen to but made you think at the same time). Do it up boys.

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May 2007

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