September 03, 2008 | Graham

Travails in the US

I’m currently at a convention in Hawaii – life is hard for some. Apart from running OLO I also manage (at arms length) a Civic video store, and once every two years am obliged, at huge personal discomfort 😉 to go to a conference, normally held anywhere but Australia. So both the bloggers at Ambit Gambit are overseas and looking at the US elections, and drawing different conclusions.
My first observations however aren’t about US politics – I’ll leave that until next post – but rather the appalling level of service that seems to characterise Qantas. We arrived here several hours later than we should have because the plane we were booked on had engine problems. As a result we were put on another plane which was so old you could still smell the mothballs on it!
It was so old, in fact, that the movie showed on a screen up front on a bulk-head rather than on individual screens on the back of the seat in front – a cardinal sin when ferrying a couple of hundred video store owners and employees.
All of which makes me wonder how long Qantas can continue to run profitably and when it will have to invest more in the business. You can keep cutting your operation to the bone, but eventually there is a cost. It’s a bit like Australia really – we did the cost cutting and gained a lot of traction, but we weren’t reinvesting the proceeds in the capital works necessary to sustain that. All Australian governments are at fault – the Pacific Highway is a mess, for example, as much as state highways.
Now we’re coasting on the minerals boom, and might just get lucky as it looks like staying strong for a generation.
Talking about coasting, I’ve just come in from surfing on Hawaii’s famous Waikiki beach. I’ve never used a Malibu board before, but my thruster would be useless in these long slow swells. To catch the waves you have to start paddling early and sustain it until you are well and truly on the wave. But then the thing just takes off with this distinctive zisssss sound as it zips through the water, and then you get a long lazy ride on a wave that’s not much more than knee high.
Until you run out of steam. Then you have to do the hard work of paddling back out to the swell. I think there’s a message there.
Image of Duke Kahanamoku at Waikiki Beach Hawaii
This is a photo of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku which stands at Waikiki Beach. He’s credited with being Hawaii’s best ever athlete and from my general knowledge was responsible for making board riding popular in Australia when he came here early last century. You can read more about him, and see a better photo of the statue here.
You can see what I mean about the size of the waves by looking in the background!

Posted by Graham at 7:17 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: General

1 Comment

  1. Ive heard that Australia has the best beaches in the world…and that most of the Hawaiian sand is trucked in from the Land of Oz. Enjoy your holiday.

    Comment by Suzi — September 5, 2008 @ 6:31 am

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