Wedding Day

There is a lot of things I don’t want to live through again. Starting high school, my driving test and the first day of my first job. These moments created a lot of anxiety for me as I have always been a nervous person. But yesterday is a day I could live over and over again.

I married my number one, my friend and lover.

Surrounded by friends and family, I never felt more comfortable in my life. The support from all that were there gave me so much strength and I finally believe I have become the person I was born to be.

I have looked for happiness in my life for a long time, I looked in my work and I looked in my location. But, only now do I realise that the person who stood next to me yesterday is the person that has made me happy this entire time.

I don’t need to look into the distance anymore, I just look to the person standing next to me, my wife. 

I want to be the best husband I can be, and like my father before me, a great dad one day.

~Brad

Coincidence

Ever wonder if you’re on the right path? Do you believe that you have a choice, or do you believe in fate?

For me, I think things happen for a reason. People meet for a reason. The universe is very powerful and you may or may not be aware of its power.

I find that when you make a big decision or do something out of the ordinary and you start to see coincidences, you are on the right path. Things are all tied together, things are intertwined.

We are all made of the same matter, so any energy from one piece of matter has to be the same as other matter. This is how we can feel things. This is how some people can see things.

Personally, I can’t see things. I can’t see people that have left us behind. But I can feel things, I can sense things.

Now, is this intuition, is this life experience, is this life so structured and designed I can see what is coming? Can I predict the likely thing that will happen next?

Coincidences to me, are markers. They are ways the universe show you that you are on your correct path. Why else would they appear? Why are they connected to us in this way. Why do they reveal themselves to us? Do we subconsciously search for them?

Next time you see a coincidence, work backwards from that moment. Ask yourself how did you get to that coincidence. Why did you notice it, when others may pass you by?

Ask yourself, have people experienced the same coincidence at the exact same time?

Now, you may think to yourself what a load of shit. But, this is my life and my brain and my interpretation of the world around us. I believe in science, so I have made enough observations and analysed the data in my own brain. Maybe there is something more, something above our level of understanding to explain such feelings and emotions.

Chemicals in my brain, create these thoughts. They create these thoughts of gods and love, anger and passion. Its very hard to control something you don’t fully understand, the human brain is one of those mysteries.

If someone created us then they actually created the very fabric of what we call the universe. They can’t be part of this fabric to create it, so I guess its the same question over and over, what came first the creator or the creation?

 

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction

Charles was a lover of the great outdoors. He had organized to go up to the lake this summer, hang with his buddies. Fishing, beers and playing some guitar. Dream while looking at the stars, dream while the endorphins are high.

It was about a 2 hour trip to the lake. Ben, his old buddy from high school was driving his pick up. Charles had brought his hand held radios to talk some shit over, to pass the time. Ben had to detour and pick-up John from Hedgetown Station, conveniently on the way.

John had travelled from the big city. He working some white collar job there, left our town a few years back. He was in need of a trip to the lake. They all were.

Charles continued on to set-up camp. Ben was now out of range on the radio, so it was a lonely drive up the windy road to the lake.

Nice four man tent, for one man. Plenty of room for that fresh mountain air. Plenty of room if by some chance, a very very rare chance some ladies were to walk past a camp site at the lake. You never know.

Lake Solett was a hit with the young people lately. Some reports of Northern Lights a few months back due to some increase in Solar activity. Was a lovely place, but this time of year there was a blazing sun ahead and clear black skies at night.

Charles had set-up camp by the time John & Ben arrived. Beers were on ice and he was setting up fishing lines. I think it was about 6:30pm when they heard a splash.

“You hear that?” asked Charles. Ben and John quickly turned to find some ripples in the lake and some steam. Bubbles appeared on the surface, the smell of burning rubber filled the air.

“Probably a flying fish” Ben joked, smiling while grabbing a cold beer.

The smell quickly faded and the ripples faded. It was nothing. It was nothing to them.

The guys spent the first half of the evening drinking cold beers and cooking some BBQ. They laughed, they almost cried from the chuckles that filed the air. They hadn’t laughed like this for a while. The lake was quiet tonight, except for a few friends that wanted to kick back and relax.

Charles felt something on his neck. It wasn’t a bug. It was a hair. It stood straight up, and then a god awful sound appeared.

The sound of 100 trains, full steam. The brightness of 100 stars appearing behind them from the lake. It’s brilliance reflected in the water, the power made bubbles and ripples bigger than before. The sound and light was so powerful they couldn’t help but look. what was it. What was this light? this sound?

Charles, blinked.

The lake was gone.

Ben & John were gone.

The headlights where the last thing he saw that night on the way to the lake. The headlights, were the bright light we speak about for him, as he fell asleep at the wheel that night.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quantum Leap

Oh Boy!

In 2009, the leap back arrived. This was the 20th Anniversary of the hit TV show Quantum Leap and the Leap Back 2009 was a convention held in Los Angeles in March. I am a huge fan of the show so my I decided to make an 11 week holiday out of it with my girlfriend of the time.

This story, isn’t about the 11 week holiday. Its about the convention itself and the people we met and the fun times we had.

The convention was in Hollywood at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, just near Universal Studios.

Before the trip, I was on the message board, speaking with people that were also going to the convention. People were coming from all over the world, it kind of felt like I was going on another Contiki Tour! I can’t remember exactly how the next part of this story started, but I was in contact with the Master Of Ceremonies of the convention, Mr Marc B. Lee. He had decided to run a bowling event/tour the day before the convention.

The plan was to go out for the day, drive around to a few tourist spots and see the sites and then head to Lucky strikes Lanes near the Kodak Theater for some bowling.

We had two cars I remember, and we went to Santa Monica beach as a first stop. Walked the pier and enjoyed the sites. We also went through some mountainous areas seeing some great views of LA and other surrounding areas. We also headed up to the Griffith Observatory, made famous by James Dean and admired a brilliant view of Los Angeles and its surrounding ‘cities’.

I recall seeing a few famous movie star houses and I swear I saw Vin Diesel driving a car, but no one believed me.

After a drive throughout LA it was time to hit the bowling. Marc had organised some games and a good friend of his was meeting us. This good friend was Lee Arenberg, he is an actor famous for being in Seinfeld and as my mum constantly reminded me, the pirate ‘Pintel’ in Pirates of the Caribbean. We hung out playing ten pin bowling, had a couple of beers and just soaked up the atmosphere. He had also organized another guest Ed Wasser, from Babylon 5.

Marc had organized this as a unofficial event, and what a nice gesture for the Master of Ceremonies to take us around and show us a good time. I will never forget the hospitality he showed us that day. We had a great time and when it was time for Lee Arenberg to leave, I released I had promised my mum I would get his autograph. I don’t love asking people for there autograph, considering he had just come to do some bowling and hang out.

I asked anyway, and he was happy to oblige. So, mother got her autograph she asked for 🙂

Marc still has a website live, showing the event which you can see here –

https://themarcbleebowlingadventure.shutterfly.com/

The Leap Back Convention site still exists as well –

http://www.leapback2009.com/

The convention was great, we met a lot of different actors from various TV shows and movies. We met Scott Bakula and the creator Donald P Bellisario and had a great time. I haven’t watched Quantum Leap for sometime actually, so it might be time to dust off the old DVD’s!

 

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Satch Files

My trip to the United States was full of surprises. After the feeling of being alone had passed and I met some people on the Contiki tour I was ready to have the time of my life.

Before I left Australia, I had looked up a few musicians that I would like to see. Low and behold, Joe Satriani was playing about two blocks away from my Contiki Hotel.

Joe has been one of my biggest idols since I started playing guitar, introduced to me by a old work colleague named Dean. Talk about destiny, Joe was playing the week my tour started and I was just down the road.

Now, another first…I was going by myself. Never been to a concert by myself before. The location was City National Grove of Anaheim on Katella Avenue. It was a sit down affair with a meal and drinks. I was seated on a table with a bunch of other people. I had a couple of drinks and made conversation. There was another guy on the table, his name was Tye from memory. He was also by himself, I believe a friend of his didn’t make it.

I think either before the show started or half way through I was talking to him about the Joe Satriani Message Board and how I had entered a competition to win backstage passes. He then turns to me and says, “Oh yeah, I won that. I have a spare ticket if you want it”.

My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I going to my favourite guitarist concert I was now going back stage to meet him!

The show, itself was amazing. I think your really need to be a musician, especially a guitarist to fully appreciate Joe’s instrumentals. He is a famous guitar teacher for Kirk Hammett of Metallica and also has taught many other professional guitarists. He also incorporates into his music Pitch axis theory and is a master at the legato technique, one of my personal favourites.

He had just released a new album as well, so he played a lot of new music from the album ‘Strange Beautiful Music’.

At the end of the concert, it was time to head back stage. There was posters and t shirts to buy. I ended up getting a poster and when Joe walked in I got to say a quick hello, tell him ‘Great Show’ and got a photo and an autograph.

Unfortunately, I have lost that photo. It was sent to me by Tye by email and I have never found it. I did have it on a Contiki website I made once which I won a free Contiki tour, but I can’t find that website any more either. I am sure there is a CD someone in a box with this photo, I look forward to one day finding it.

The only proof I have is a signed poster and ticket from Joe. It is my pride and joy and reminds me of both the trip and how lucky i was to be in the right place at the right time.

I did a search sometime ago and still on the message board is my review of the show. It reads as follows –

OpHeSiS
(Bradley Ordner)
Tue Nov 26 ’02
The Grove of Anaheim
Anaheim, CA, US
Rank: 10 Posted:
Thu Nov 28 ’02
9:29 am
Hey…that was my first Joe gig!!!! I was blown away. I came all the way from Melbourne Australia to see him and I wasn’t disappointed. His new songs sounded really good and i loved all the old songs…crushing day, cool #9 etc.

I was lucky enough to get an aftershow pass from a awesome dude I met there….joe signed my ticket and poster…thanks joe! thanks tye!

Can’t wait to see you in concert again!

Bradley Ordner

I have seen him again, in Brisbane with Steve Vai. My lovely Kerrie surprised me with some tickets.

I hope I do one day find that photo of Joe and I.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

NDW

When I was 18 and I had finished high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was actually kind of bored.

I wanted to learn something new. I had always wanted to play guitar. I started to teach myself. I did a few lessons and then started to write my own songs. I played everyday.

I don’t play everyday now, but every now and then I jump on my guitar and play some tunes. I miss playing in a band. I miss the energy.

I used to go to the rehearsal rooms with my brother and my cousin. My cousin would play drums and my brother and I would play guitar.

We would mostly play Metallica or System of a Down. I always wanted to cover Everclear but my cousin wasn’t a fan. We had some good jams and my love of playing really kicked off from there.

I started going over to another cousins place every Wednesday for a jam. James had played guitar for many years. We would jam and write songs and have a few beers or bourbons.

One day, he had came across a friend of his sisters who played drums. We met him and organized to go over and have a jam. His name was Tom and he was from the UK. We went over and had a jam, it was awesome. I hadn’t jammed with a drummer for some time and it was an instant click.

We were rocking out, making up riffs trying to remember some covers and just having a good time. It was the beginning of Next Day Waiting.

We advertised for a few singers and got a few in. My cousin James had an old friend from primary school, Daniel. we got him in to play bass. But we were still down a singer. James had asked another friend, Cail but he was already in another band.

We continued to jam and got a singer in, but didn’t really work out. I was given the task of letting him go. I did it by text, wasn’t proud of myself. Why did we let him go? Cail was keen to jump on-board, I don’t think his other project was working out. It worked out well as Cail & Daniel had been writing songs themselves in an acoustic arrangement.

We were jamming at Bayswater Drum Power, our usual stomping ground. Cail turned up and we had a jam.

I remember the room changing, the sound getting sharper. The smiles were getting bigger. Cail said to us, “I could hear the drums starting to be hit a little harder, the guitars and bass a little tighter”.

We had found our final member. Being in a band is a lot about the connection, the unspoken connection between band members. Its the same as friendship. Its the same as a relationship. It was also the very reason why we eventually went our separate ways.

Our first gig I recall was in Boronia at my cousins birthday party. We were to play originals, which is very rare. Usually when you play at a party you play covers. We got up and played and it was the start of something good. We went on to play a cousins birthday party, mixing covers and originals.

We started to gig everywhere we could as we wrote new songs. we entered our first battle of the bands.

This was the most nervous I ever was I think. I couldn’t tune my guitar properly before the show, I had some shitting piece of crap and we couldn’t use our own equipment. I had to try and make sense of a Marshall Stack I had never used before.

The crowd, was fantastic. We had people with signs made up with ‘NDW’, family and friends all came to watch. I think we played every song at almost double speed, and I don’t really recall what it sounds like. It all happened so fast.

At the end of the night, they announced our band the winner. I couldn’t believe it.

One of the judges was from a local band, he was starting a record label and he gave us his card. We never did follow up, but that’s another story.

We were able to start playing at the local FTG pub and we were paid to play our originals. Once again, so rare to be paid.

We even got on Russ Kellets show on channel 31. We went down to jam for him at one of his jam nights and he loved it. The gigs were plentiful, some a little wobbly, some real tight.

We continued to write songs and recorded an EP. It happened very fast and for winning the Battle of the Bands, that got us the time to record and also play at the Croydon festival. We were signing autographs and giving away sweatbands, it was kind of crazy.

The band finished as quickly as it begun though. Our last gig was at Sidney Myer Music Bowl at the Thank God its Over festival. Karnivool and Grinspoon played and we were on the MySpace stage. Myspace, you remember that?

We did record our album, it’s a little out of time, its a little raw. We didn’t record it to a click track, we just played live. That’s how we wanted to play, that’s how we enjoyed to play.

We always said when we got up on stage, we would just go crazy, because when you watch a live band having fun, you can’t help but get involved and have  fun as well. Its about the performance, the tenacity & the connection you create with your audience.

Some of the ex members have gone off into other bands. Next Day Waiting only exists online now. But there it will stay for hopefully as long as the internet does.

Myself, I continue to play. In my own time writing instrumentals and just enjoying the guitar in general.

I do miss the band though, I miss the feelings and the unspoken bond. The ability to look at each other and know where the song is going and the feeling of wow, we are playing this, we have created this. There is no other song on earth like it. That is the true blessing of a band, the creation, the release and ability to make something new.

I miss it.

I leave you with this, our most famous song. It should have been on the radio, it could have been our big hit. We were either 5 years too late or early, I don’t know.

Its about war, its about humanity. Maybe, its about the band members and us going our separate ways? Its what ever you want it to be, that’s the best part of music, you will make your own connection.

 

Rock on.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Up

I been doing the same role for almost 9 years. Its a support role, so helping people and fixing problems.

I like it because I like to solve problems, I like to troubleshoot. I like to come across something that has never been seen before, discover and gather data and then try and resolve the issue.

I used to work as a Network Engineer for an integrator. That role was more projects and deploying networks. I left that role to go back to support because I wasn’t really ready to design networks and be a consultant. I don’t know much about business to be honest and that is a major driver in network design. You need to take business requirements and turn them into technical solutions.

I was in a support role and we had an integrator come in and he was doing some voice work for us. We got to chatting and I told him my history of working in projects and going back to support. He said to me, I can’t believe you would go back to support! At the time though I was happy.

So, its been nearly 9 years. I have done on call for about 7 years of that. On call isn’t my favourite thing to be honest. I feel like I have done my on call now. I feel like its time to move on. I feel like its time to step up.

About 7 months ago, I was in a hole. The kind of hole that you grow a moustache for in November. I wasn’t motivated and my career goals I had forgotten. I wasn’t in a good spot. This was also the second time I was here.

You get to a stage when you have exhausted all though processes, you have analysed everything and there is nowhere to go. That is when you need to go and seek help.

I did…

It was a tough road, as it always is and I am still on that road. But now, I have my motivation back. My goals are energized, I sit here trying to work out how I can achieve them. What can I do right now to realise my career goals.

I’m hungry god damn it. I want to work again. I want to learn again. I want to push myself again.

I want to complete my goals and I want to be the person I was destined to become.

I’m not just going to step up…no.

I am going to stand up and never sit down again.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

Stargazing

All my life I have loved looking at the stars, to me it is the endless possibility and expansion of space that captures my imagination. I remember being in primary school and looking at space books, my favourite shot was of the constellation Pleiades.

This constellation, its shape and colours, visible from earth even in the bright cites and only created from our position in the universe never ceases to amaze me. As you may know, I try and see any great meteor showers and when ever I get out of the city, I make the effort to look up and marvel at the sky on a clear night.

The best place I have seen the stars is probably Hawaii, although I did go to one of the greatest places to see the stars at Bryce Canyon in Utah but was unfortunately impacted by weather.

Kerrie & I were on the Big Island staying at Hilo. I had read that on the top of Mauna Kea at 13,800 ft there was free stargazing with telescopes provided by the Visitor Centre. The top of these mountains in Hawaii are home to some of the most powerful land based telescopes. The clear air, height above the clouds and position give us a great chance to look deep into the universe. Unfortunately, you can’t get to this telescopes without a 4wd, and entry is not permitted to the general public I believe.

One night before sunset, a storm came in and we decided to make our way to Mauna Kea. We drove our red delicious Jeep through the clouds, making our way up another dormant volcano on the beautiful Hawaiian islands. Arriving at the Visitors Centre, we watched some informative videos about the observatories and then made our way up a nice little walk to watch the sunset.

The clouds lingered below our feet, we were on top of the world. The sun, slowly started to dip, its light bent across the atmosphere, producing colours across the sky.

We returned to the visitors centre and they had started to prepare some telescopes for free viewing.

As the sun disappeared, the suns from other solar systems within our galaxy started to slowly appear. The air was fresh, the stars light that took so long to reach us started to brighten and we started to see our atmosphere, that blue by day turned transparent at night and reveal the universe to us.

Now, we saw Saturn once in Brisbane at a free telescope stall at the Greek Festival but when we saw Saturn from this height, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I could see the rings and the moons. It was so clear and just hung in the viewfinder like a tiny little Christmas ornament.

The employees of the Visitor centre used a laser pointer to show us various planets, galaxies and double stars above our heads, the expanse of the universe was from horizon to horizon, we had a full 360 degree view of the night sky. Unfortunately, our eyes were constantly not able to adapt to the darkness, as people were coming and going and the headlights of cars would reset our eyes. Usually its best to be in darkness for 30 mins for your eyes to fully adjust.

It was an amazing moment though, I felt like I could almost touch these burning balls of gas and planets above us. But I don’t think this will be my greatest view of the night sky. I plan to one day visit the Northern Territory to fully witness from what I hear is some amazing views of the night sky.

My love of stargazing continues to this day, and I have also been lucky enough to view a few comets with the last one visible to the naked eye being the great comet of 2007, Comet McNaught. I still have video footage of this comet, captured from our backyard right after sunset.

I wished I had studied the stars more and made it a career. Its important that what ever you do, you are passionate about it and the unknown questions of the universe continue to haunt me as they do everyone else.

As a keen stargazer, I hope one of the last things I do see before leaving this precious earth is Halley’s comet.

This comet is next due on the 28th of July 2061.

I will be 80 years old.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maui

Kerrie & I hired a mustang, as you do when visiting Maui. It sounded like a cop car on the hit TV show Cops. Every time we took off I would happily ‘boot it’.

We started most of our day trips from our hotel in Lahaina , taking the coastal road with the impressive Mount Haleakalā as our backdrop. One thing I do remember, that volcano was huge and it wasn’t like any ordinary mountain. It gradually rose from the ground up, it wasn’t steep it looked like you could easily walk it, hardly any gradient.

It’s summit lives above the clouds, its mars like terrain looks alien with deep dark red colours and plants that only exist at this height, sprouted from volcanic soil.

The air is thin, at 10,000 ft. I distinctly remember having shortness of breath for the first 30 mins we were up there. Now, I did say the mountain looked like your could easily walk it, but once you get closer, the road to the summit is very very steep. So steep, that coming down you would be lucky not to burn your brakes out, so drop to a lower gear as much as you can.

One of the most exciting, terrifying and stupid things we did was the Road to Hana. This road is popular with tourists, it winds its way around the ocean, with tropical rainforests and waterfalls. In a lot of places, it only has room for one car as well. Oncoming traffic, is a challenge to say the least, Kerrie wasn’t a fan of the Monster Truck size Ute’s coming our way.

We made our way through the impressive drive to Hana after various stops and 2000 photographs of us and stopped at the beach for a nice pre-packed lunch. Pre-packed as in we went to a supermarket and tried to find the healthiest thing we could. I recall my sandwich had Mayonnaise, so I only had half a sandwich.

Now, usually tourists will turn around and head back home, but we decided to push on. We pushed on so much we found ourselves going from bitumen to dirt. We then found ourselves pretty lonely, no other cars and the rainforest slowly turned to rocky cliffs and no barriers. The ocean continued to hug the edge of the island as we drove but a few metres from certain death.

I might mention that it wasn’t until after this drive did we find out you are not allowed to take hire cars on this road. I guess the rattling of the suspension should have alerted that to us earlier. The car was filthy, but the views were too good to turn around. What the hell, i thought. We are on a holiday we are on an adventure and we are seeing things not many people had the chance to see!

We continued on.

We passed small little local swimming spots, crevices in the mountain that flood water would rage through and even a little church right on the ocean. We found ourselves behind Mount Haleakalā, places where ancient lava would have flowed to extended the island itself.

Now, as we made our way back to a proper road, yes the suspension was still rattling and yes the car looked like it went off road, but it was worth it.

We had a few more days at Maui to let the suspension work itself out and the rain wash the evidence away, which it did.

We left the car at the airport before heading to the Big Island, I assume the Mustang is still going strong, and so are we.

~Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demons.

Hello old friend.

Its been over 8 years since I discovered you. Since then you have haunted me, but today you haunt me no more.

The only way past you, is through you. Maybe I had some assistance, but it is a first step. Maybe the challenge has only begun, but that’s ok, I am ready.

You can’t hold me back anymore, you can’t hurt me anymore.

The only way to get rid of the fear, is to face the fear.

I know you will linger around, I know you will follow me wherever I go, but I got the upper hand now.

You have no power, you have no voice.

Today, is the day I progress.

Today, the demon is no more.

~Brad.