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Week 45: Mike Enjoys Canberra Day Weekend

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 12 March 2001 - This week included Canberra Day long weekend. Canberra Day celebrates the creation of the national capital and occurred on Monday. On Friday, Mike went to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a very good martial arts film. Some in the theatre laughed at some scenes because they were so implausible but were never intended to be humourous. Within the context of the myth that the film created, it made perfect sense for people to be running up walls. It was well worth seeing.

On Saturday morning, Mike's under-12's had their first playoff game. If they won, they'd go straight through to the final in two weeks. They played pretty well and came up with some clutch plays to beat the opposition but there were some tense moments early before Ainslie scored some runs. After that game, Mike went over to watch the Under 14's play. They lost in a very tight game.

Sunday was senior day as Ainslie took on the Indians for the final game of the regular season. The B-grade didn't play there best game and Ainslie gave up a bunch of early runs. They made a comeback but it was too little, too late. Going into the game, Ainslie thought they were in the playoffs no matter what. Later in the day, however, it came to light that they might not be. In the end, they had won on about the third tie-breaker. The A-grade was in without any dramas win or lose in their game. Grant, the Ainslie coach, took the opportunity to test his bench towards the end of the game. They lost but it gave him a chance to evaluate players for the three game playoff series the following week. Mike caught a couple innings, including one of Cameron Hardy. He pitched so fast and had a bit of trouble with his control that Mike had a tough time keeping the ball from getting to the backstop. Mostly it was Mike's fault and Cam gave Mike an earfull after the inning. They patched things up later. After the game, Mike was given tickets to see a concert at the opening of the National Museum of Australia. To celebrate, they had a concert in the evening featuring Killing Heidi and Midnight Oil. Mike had gotten tickets from Greg Kent, Mike's teammate and a higher up in the Canberra fire brigade. Mike went by himself and waited for an hour while a comedian tried to placate the crowd. She wasn't too successful and finally just left the stage. Just after Killing Heidi started playing, a thunderstorm rolled through completely soaking everyone there. It finally ended once their set was done. After the stage was reconfigured, Midnight Oil took the stage. The lead singer is a very tall bald man that dances very artistically. They put on a great show and played all their hits. It was great to see such a political Aussie band in Australia. Mike was able to better understand the motivations for their music. Even though he'd gotten soaked to the bone, it was a great night.

The following day was Canberra Day and one of the centrepieces of the day was a big show celebrating the Centenary of Federation. It took place in the evening on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. There were a lot more people there than at the show the previous night. At this celebration, there was a big stage with video screens on either side. They celebrated each decade of the Australian country with video clips highlighting major events and a live (usually music) performance. While Mike wasn't familiar with many of the performers, others seemed nostalgic at the Aussie musicians. Mike did know of the 90's musicians, Madison Avenue. It ended with fireworks and again, Mike went home happy but with a great knowledge of the events that shaped Australia.

Here ends Mike's forty fifth week in Australia.

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