The thoughts, stories and advice of Bill Riddell.

Baffle Them With Bullshit

October 12th, 2009 Posted in goals, personal, writing | No Comments »

The rise of bullshit. It’s everywhere.

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” – Harry S. Truman

Or as my old teacher said – “If you cant dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit.”

In interviews politicians and the like dance around a question for hours with bullshit and bravado, like a bullfighter taunting and teasing the interviewer. Never standing directly in the way of the question, waving their red cape around in a flurry and simply stepping out of the way when necessary.

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The Fog of Writing

September 18th, 2009 Posted in personal, writing | No Comments »

You may have heard about ‘the fog of war’ – where mistakes occur due to confusion, incompetence and enemy tactics. Perhaps the battlefield is too big and you are overwhelmed, or it may be you are unaware of what you may face.

I’m discovering more and more that there is also a fog of writing, where you get in too deep, too immersed in your own writing and things begin to loose meaning, direction – even all sense.

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Trust Yourself – The Importance of Self Reliance

August 24th, 2009 Posted in advice, illness, personal | 5 Comments »

What do you do when the world around you is getting hostile? When the people you loved and the people society tells you to trust, have turned against you? When even your beloved parents say that you are wrong?

Do you believe them? Do you give up your way of thinking?

What if they all believed you were lying about an illness that was crippling your life and your body? What if everyone believed you were making up all those symptoms that had ruined your life?

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The Wisdom of James Dean

August 16th, 2009 Posted in advice | 5 Comments »


“Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you will die tomorrow.” – James Dean

dean1

Inspiration for me often comes from a number of odd sources. A former world champion motorcycle racer taught me some of the most important life lessons I have ever head and probably saved my life in the process. I also picked up some great advice from paparazzi king Darryn Lyons’ autobiography.

Today I want to share some of the wisdom I have absorbed from long since departed actor James Dean. His actions spoke as loud as the words he made famous on and off the screen. The rising movie stars life may have been tragically cut short in motoring crash but he achieved more in his brief 24 years than most do in a full lifetime. Fortunately for us he left behind a legacy of great work and wisdom to inspire all of us.

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Rocking & Writing – The Backdoor to Success

August 12th, 2009 Posted in advice, personal, writing | 4 Comments »
Red Door, Grand Forks, N.D. by tuey
Red Door by tuey

I’ve always looked for the more unconventional, less traveled path to get what I want. Very few people look beyond plan A; as a result, the conventional path often becomes overpopulated and hard to find your way through.

Today I’m going to share some interesting lessons from the music and book industries on the merits of finding your own way to success, rather than following the horde.

Rocking to the Top

Listening to the radio the other day I heard an upcoming Australian pop singer talking about how she got her ‘job’, a record deal with a major label, and how other aspiring singers and bands struggle to get noticed.

They face a lot of crowded channels to get a record deals. The official channels are clogged and so are the unofficial ones. For every muso you hear of who gets a deal based on their myspace page there are hundreds of thousands of others with no luck.

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Tropic of Cancer – Book Review

August 6th, 2009 Posted in advice, writing | 1 Comment »

I had been encouraged to read Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer by quite a few people over the last year or two. It sounded, good so I succumbed and ordered the book. The novel sat for several months in my anti-library until it called out to me a few weeks ago.

At first Tropic of Cancer failed to live up to the hype. Expectations about a book far too frequently lead to disappointment, and I nearly tossed the thing aside 90 pages in.

Foul language and debauchery aside, the book can be dull. Miller’s writing, to me, is not conversational; its stream of conscious and I could feel my interest waxing and waning like the moon. At times it is frantic and erratic, Miller is scanning the world and options before him. But then he finds a focus, the mind quietens and becomes more lucid. Life unfolds and so to does some semblance of a story.

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Le Tour de Armchair Cushion – Part 2

July 30th, 2009 Posted in personal, writing | 4 Comments »

A Spectator Spends 4 Days Chasing Down Lance Armstrong from the Discomfort of his Own Bedroom and Stationary Bike by Bill Riddell

Here is the final part of my Tour de Armchair Cushion diary, where I try to keep up with Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France.

Instead of just spectating I am using the cushion from my usual sports going armchair to pad my butt from the rigours of pursuing Lance on my stationary exercise bike; watching him and the 170 riders hurtle through the French countryside.

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Le Tour de Armchair Cushion – Part 1

July 28th, 2009 Posted in personal, writing | 1 Comment »

A Spectator Spends 4 Days Chasing Down Lance Armstrong from the Discomfort of his Own Bedroom and Stationary Bike by Bill Riddell

scarlatti2004

scarlatti2004

Over the past few years I have slowly been building a keen interest in the Tour de France, the worlds most famous cycle race. It was started just over 100 years ago in order to increase the circulation of L’Auto, a sports newspaper (now L’Equipe). It worked, the inaugural 1903 race more than doubled circulation.

The race has continued, pausing only for the two world wars. L’Equipe still covers the tour passionately while its parent company, the Amaury Group (EPA), manages the event.

This time last year I was on a health kick and rode along on some stages, shedding weight as I went after spending the previous year’s amassing an impressive collection of body fat. Since Christmas last year I had largely fallen off the bike, pardon the pun, as my weight slowly crept up and my fitness slowly declined.

It was time for action, an Armstrong style comeback.

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Money Matters Part 2 – Investing Saves You Credit or Something Like That

July 23rd, 2009 Posted in advice | 2 Comments »

It’s time for part two of some of my theories, thoughts and personal rules regarding all things money. You can track down part 1, right here.

Take or leave my advice, it’s up to you. I’m not rich – I don’t even have an above average income. I am however a great saver (though I do have incredibly low overheads – mostly by design) with some quite healthy lifetime financial habits.

In this, my final missive on the things money related, I will cover the basics of personal finance that so many people ignore at their own peril – saving, investing and using credit and loans correctlly.

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Fast Facts About Me

July 18th, 2009 Posted in illness, personal | No Comments »

After my last case of sharing and caring, I thought I would pass on some more bite sized nuggets of information about me that you really could do without.

My kidneys are messed up. One is far too big and in totally the wrong place, the other is far too small though in the correct position. They are the perfect metaphor, like me they are quite strange but still seem to work just fine.

I was diagnosed with benign intracranial hypertension – or something like that. It’s more fun to say than it is to explain, that’s a job for another day. I really wish it had a better acronym, BIH is kind of lame – not like AIDS, SIDS or even SARS. Fortunately my own acronym initials, BAR, are much more exciting – they have their own code and also serve alcohol.

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