luckycanuck: (Default)
So here goes with Dreamwidth.  Lets see how it work.

My Monday training session went well.  I introduced five girls to Tabata, and one of them nearly spewed.  Nearly I said.  All of them will be back.

I am getting into training, and I feel like I am doing better at it than I did at politics.  Still, there is this sense in my head that it's not a real job.  I've been struggling with unloading old assumptions about how my life would turn out on a professional and a personal level.  It's slow going.  I spent so many years working to a script that it's hard to walk away from it.  I feel like the disconnect between the script and reality is stoking the gloom, and it's not easy to just ignore the assumptions that were present for so long.

Last night there was a function at Parliament for a former employer who is leaving, and I felt in my element again.  I like being there and felt like I could do a job in that area again.  Of course, last winter I was having panic attacks at work.

In the meantime the public service "conspiracy" against hiring me continues.  Fine.  I managed to sell some options in VMG today for a 40% profit in two weeks (and the ones I held on to are still going up) so I am still sufficiently cashed up to live and to take advantage of potential bargains like AKK.  I am also planning a possible exit from BBG if another takeover offer comes around, which is looking like a distinct possibility.  I'm getting better at selling.  Not having a regular salary will do that.

I'm making an effort not to take over the common areas of the house.  I think it has been imposing on the others who live here and I don't want to do that.  I think a better environment currently exists.

Finally, I will have a regular weekly trivia night at the Charlie Black Bar in Manuka starting on 19 March.  It looks like a pretty upmarket venue, and it looks like I may have a lot of friends around for my first night.

luckycanuck: (madmen)
Investing talk. )
We now have EmPrime in Chez Canuck and Esky is off in Melbourne before moving to Switzerland to have a crack at the next Olympics.  Today I found out that there will be more turbnover, as Roxy is leaving to do a PhD in Melbourne.  Also her boyfriend lives there and it would make sense for them to live in the same city.  In February I will be the only original resident of Chez Canuck.

There have been a couple of high profile deaths recently that I want to call attention to.

First, Vaclav Havel.  This was a tragedy.  He was someone I admired, what with his sincerity, perspective, and humanity.

So here are some of my preferred quotes of his.

Click for Vaclac Havel quotes )Also, today Kim Jong-Il died.  Clearly it's been a bad year for tyrants.  Mubarak, gone. Gaddafi, gone. Kim Jong-Il, gone.  I know there is always the chance of instability and chaos in a power vaccum in these situations, but what's so great about stability anyway?  Eventually, the tyrants must fall unless you want them to be in power indefinitely.    I don't know what will happen in North Korea now that the Dear Leader is dead, but the kind of "stability" that Kim represented with his blackmail and threats was not a good thing.  Good riddance to him.  Good riddance to them all.

I have an interview tomorrow arranged through an agency that had frustrated me, but who have lifted their game.  Other larger agencies have lost my trust, but this one seems pretty responsive, and the problems I've had with previous interviews they had arranged are not really their problems, but problems with the public service.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
My two hours of pushups went quite well yesterday.  There was a slight twinge on my right elbow until I got to about 800 but then it was smooth sailing.

A lot of people passed by but most were going somewhere so there wasn't a lot in terms of people stopping to chat or donate.  Some of the donors like the guy killing time waiting for a bus and the homeless guy with the broken nose drinking a beer donated more than some of the suits who passed by.

I made it to 2,000 without fanfare and without any hiccups and added another 100 before a friend turned up to take photos.

Click for pics. )

In total, I did 2,442 pushups.  Last night I felt no soreness but plenty of tiredness.  This morning the soreness hit me, but it's not bad enough to keep me from working out again soon.

Now I have plans for my next pushup challenge.  Anyone with ideas (yesterday morning [ profile] bakerypenguin had some suggestions) can feel free to leave them in the comments.

We have visitors and their dog staying for the weekend.  I pulled a bunch of burrs out of his fur yesterday, only for him to roll around and re-burr himself in less than five minutes.  We've also got a new housemate, and some new furnishings.  The atmosphere in Chez Canuck seems to be improving.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
I'm doing Black Dog Pushups again tomorrow.  This time it will be a target of 2,000 in two hours at lunch time in Garema Place, and there should be some pretty good exposure.  I rejigged the media release and sent it to local TV, radio, and the Canberra Times, who are sending a journalist and a photographer to cover the story.  I've also been hyping BDP on Twitter and today I was retweeted by two rugby league players, an ABC journo, a comedian, a judge on Australia's Next Top Model, and an Olympic swimmer, which means hundreds of thousands of people have been told about my project.  After a good retweet, for an hour there was a surge in people following me.  At times it was on the cusp of going viral.

I had a session with my psychologist yesterday and it was the first time there was more positive than negative talk.  Plenty of talk about BDP.  Excepting some frustration with Coffee Snob and work and one of the agencies, it was all good stuff.  And to improve things further, while I was in session the frustrating agency rang and set things in motion to resolve my frustration over being knocked back from the DoHA job.  Later, Coffee Snob dropped the Spartan Death Race advocacy, so I'm running out of things to complain about.

I was advised to think in terms of "and" rather than "but".  Instead of saying, I have x, y, and z but I don't have a real job, I can say I have x, y, and z and I would also like a real job.  I've also started thinking that I've been living with the gloom for a long time.  Far longer than this year when I really started to notice it.  I've long felt aimless and like I don't quite fit.  It's only recently that this started to wear enough on me to make things break down.  It could be that the gloom has been with me a long time and will remain with me for a long time, and it just needs to be managed.  Much like the Asperger's perhaps.

Gym, fire, possums, markets and more behind the cut. )
luckycanuck: (Default)
I went by my old job yesterday.  They were having a training day and my demographic work was mentioned, and I got the chance to tell everyone who asked what I was doing now that I was working for Luckycanuck Consulting.  (Not the real name.)  I designed and ordered some business cards too, and it looks like there will be some upcoming work over the next couple of months.  I also attended the Christmas party they staged with a UN theme.

My frustration at the two public service jobs I was knocked back from has grown.  I can't think about it without getting stewed up about how asinine their rationale was.  The second interview I had was for nine jobs, and they told me they were impressed by my experience and that I could handle the job.  Then they came back and said my experience was too political.  I aced the interview and there was nothing I could have done to get the job.  I think that new jobs in the public service are going to peter out soon on account of hitting the December/January quiet season, so I am going to speak to agencies tomorrow to suss out what is happening and what chance there is of work.

In the meantime, I am studying.  I got about halfway through my Cert III textbook since starting in on it today.  It looks good so far, and I hope to get my qualification early in the new year, depending on how the internship goes.  I'm not sure what that will be like.

I will also have the fire brigade to keep me busy.  I was approved back in September but they didn't notify me until just last week.  I have my first day of training tomorrow and should be coming home with gear.

We have found people to replace Esky and Ginger Harpist.  With two people leaving, we will have two friends who already get along moving in.  We narrowly preferred them over a couple who we thought might bring a different atmosphere, whereas we got the sense that the new arrivals would be more likely to recreate the atmosphere of Helga and Alleluia.

In the meantime Ginger Harpist is still here until this weekend along with her boyfriend.  I find I am more than a little annoyed that I went in to bat for her to get her in the house in the first place, convincing the others that she would be fine, and now she is leaving, in part because she doesn't have the house to herself with me at home.  Maybe it's best that she leaves, but I do kind of resent the fact that she seems to have turned so suddenly.  She didn't mind me being around the house when I picked her up from the airport.

Additionally, I've not warmed to her guy at all.  I feel like he is in my space.  This morning I put the kettle on, and five minutes later it was still cold because he had unplugged it to plug in his coffee grinder because he is a precious and unique snowflake who can't possibly face the day without a precisely ground coffee.  Also, he is about the most effeminate straight guy I've ever met.  This is all probably to do with my annoyance at having my space cut down and my routine infringed rather than any actual problem with the guy.  At any rate, it will be over soon.

My recovery from the pushups is pretty much done.  I'll hit the gym hard tomorrow now that a minor strain on my right side under the shoulder seems to be healing up.  I also plan to continue Black Dog Pushups with visits to other cities and greater media preparation.  I've now made business cards for this project which should arrive with my consulting cards.  I've also started telling prospective clients that I will be offering training on a freelance basis.


Nov. 16th, 2011 02:50 pm
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
It's been a few days and a lot has happened.

Chez Canuck

Is going to have more changes.  Esky was already leaving, but now Ginger Harpist is going too.  Apparently she isn't happy with the space she has for teaching and practicing, especially as I am at home more than she expected.  We will find new people and the advertising has already begun.  It is a bit of a drag though, and for a moment I probably took it a bit personally.


My cousin arrived this morning from Sweden via Thailand on the way to New Zealand with her husband and two kids.  They are quite easy to get along with and I am enjoying having them here at the moment.


My course materials arrived and I while haven't started working through them I do plan to get stuck in pretty quick and go about getting my qualification soon.  Minou was over on Monday and had a look through them (probably more than I did) and is supremely confident of my abilities to go through the material without being held back "by slow people."


It is soon going to be the slow time for recruitment, and having been rejected for two jobs on a pretty bad premise, I am considering the prospect that I may struggle to find work through December and January.  Damn Department of Health!


The strip show went very well, and everyone seemed pretty impressed.  We didn't start off with much on so there wasn't really much to take off.Cut for slightly NSFW pics )
Speaking of which, I'll put my Black Dog Pushup information in a separate post as it is pretty noteworthy in itself.

Afterwards I wound up staying at a friend's place near the city rather than trek back to Collaroy, and wound up staying there all of Sunday and for part of Monday before picking up Minou.  Very little was accomplished, and that was good.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I voted to fire two directors of BOW and two of NBS today, and soon I will vote to fire two directors in CCV.  In some instances I felt the company was being mismanaged, in some I thought they were being shady, and sometimes there was a combination of the two.  Sometimes they have been poor at getting back to me when I have contacted them, unlike VMG where I got a call from the CEO the following day.  So I have no qualms voting to send them out the door, and also voting against their remuneration proposals.

Things have been looking a lot more positive.  I seem to have gotten into EKA and SSM at the perfect time as both are chugging along nicely into recovery territory, though I wish I had stayed away from ARX.  I participated fully in the ERA capital raising and I will wait and see what the fallout is.  I was rather annoyed at CommSec because they were taking their time moving my money around, but it managed to get through just in time.  Still, I have registered my dissatisfaction with them again, and told them that it's only the fact that leaving would be a hassle that has stopped me from moving already.

I've contacted a couple more agencies and I have updated my CV to reflect my new status.

I also had a huge workout, my last before my trip to Sydney.

TW: 40-30-20-10 sledgehammers, elevated tire pushups, tire jumps, tire slams (the 4WD tire not the bulldozer tire) - 5 rounds.  Then I thought up a variety of ways to use the smaller tires to do all sorts of things (a lot of core work with twists and turns), clean and throws, dynamic pushups, slams.  I also thought up some ways to improve Otani.  If I can make some holes through the wall of the tire it would be easier to grip.  Something ton consider.

Then after I was able to head back inside (I was shirtless and didn't fancy walking through a harp lesson like that) I ran to the gym, using my interval timer to do pushups every minute.  At the gym I also did 50 chest contractions and 50 clean and press.

My idea of doing Black Dog Pushups has been approved by the Black Dog Institute, and I will be meeting with them tomorrow after picking up Minou.

Chez Canuck has been fine, but there has been a slightly odd feeling in the air.  We have done very little together recently and some of the old atmosphere seems to have been lost.  Nothing hostile or negative, just more aloof.  There is a bit of what seems like passive agressive behaviour though.  The other day I was testing my interval timer to make sure I knew how to use it, and Roxy was in the next room cooking dinner.  About the beeps it made, she said "I hope it doesn't annoy anyone at the gym."  Which felt a bit like it was her giving her opinion.

Also our next house party is not really a house party, more of a BBQ with friends with no dress up theme.  I wanted a dress up theme.

It's fine, it's just an adjustment.  Soon we will advertise for a new housemate.  Here's hoping.

Black Dog

Nov. 8th, 2011 10:45 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
No, I'm not feeling like the proverbial black dog is stalking me.  I'm actually feeling pretty good.

But I am working on a new plan.  My plan is to do 3,000 pushups during the three hours of a Channel 7 Sunrise broadcast in Martin Place right in front of the studio.

I've found a charity that would suit this purpose.  It's called the Black Dog Institute and they do more than raise awareness of depression. They provide clinical support and conduct research too.  They also recently staged Exercise Your Mood week promoting exercise as a way of fighting depression.

I think they would also be better at getting a foot in the door with the network people better than I would as they are a respected organisation rather than some random weirdo who does pushups in public.

Tomorrow I will make some calls and see what I can arrange.  I'll be up in Sydney next week and it could be a great opportunity.  Pushups and exercise in general have always been a lifeline of sorts for me, and I think there could be a lot of interest in this.  I could do some good and have a sense of purpose again.

I'll keep you posted.

Today my interval timer arrived and I put it to use immediately with a tabata workout at the gym.

TW: Tabata sandbag squats (163), tabata rowing (65 calories), tabata sandbag around the worlds (75), tabata SDHP 32kg (84), tabata pullups (93), tabata hr pushups (114).

Also, there will me more change in Chez Canuck.  Esky is leaving.  She couldn't bear to go without winter, and will be moving to Europe in December as soon as she finishes work.  Also, her boyfriend is there.
luckycanuck: (Default)

Last week I was totally alone in Collaroy, but now I have company at home.  Ginger Harpist is based at home and has been with me during the last couple of days.  It's not bad having company, and we have been getting to know each other a bit.

Tonight we had pizza and a DVD night just like nothing had changed.  The transition has meant very little fuss.

The market plunged on Monday and I was down too but not terribly bothered.  AUT has continued to fall even as it posts impressive results.  It's frustrating but I am happy to hold.  Selling and getting back in would risk missing out on the gains I think are realistic.  NBS, however, has been going down and continues to fail to impress.  I have a number of sell orders out but the only one I really want to be carried out is NBS.  I plan to hold on to a bit of it in case things improve and it rebounds, but the market seems to be tired of the tales being told by management and I would not be at all surprised if it fell further even from its low base.

YW: As the market fell and I walked away from it: Squat practice. (I've always struggled with squats and I need to improve my level of comfort with them and my form.) Then 10 kettlebell swings and max pullups for the rest of one minute until 100 pullups are done - 8:47.  Then 10,9...1 70kg bench press, bag ups, ring pushups - 15:05.  There are a lot of gym bros there during the day.  They are annoying as ever.

TW: I FOUND A TIRE!!!  At the gym in Deakin there is a tractor tire that I was happy to flip across the room and back, and then I hit it repeatedly with a sledgehammer as a warm up.  The women's only section was right next to the big open space with the tire.  I think they have the women's only section to ensure women have a non-intimidating environment to work out in.  And right outside was a guy who hasn't shaved in a few days, flipping a tire and wielding a sledgehammer.  RAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Then it was 5 minutes maximum 40kg cleans - 68. 4 minutes maximum 40kg shoulder press - 72. Then 3 minutes maximum burpees - 49. Then 2 minutes maximum 20kg overhead squat - 42.  (I was going to do 40kg as prescribed, but I was really uncomfortable with the exercise and had never done it before.  I will need to practice this too so I can scale the weight back up.) Then 1 minute maximum hand release pushups - 44.  It was a good idea and one I will try again.  I did 6 minutes of 20kg farmers walk as a finisher - 700m.

luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
I was out late on Saturday night and had a bit of a lie in on Sunday, though I did stock up on supplies for my week in the Collaroy Castle and went to the gym.  I was really looking forward to playing with the ginormogantuan tractor tire they have at one of the gyms here.  I had a whole thing planned and was all set to go when I turned up and found the tire was gone.  I've not been to the Mona Vale gym for a while and asked one of the employees when it had gone.  She said she saw it there just a few days ago.

I tried to put together a new workout but the rings there weren't spaced at a point where I could do dips or ring pushups.  I had been looking forward to tire work so much that when that went I was unable to put anything else together.  It was in a moment of aspie stress that I wrote in my workout book where I record my workouts "F*CK IT! No tire. What the hell happened to the tire?"  I did some heavy farmers walk with 32kg in each hand and some power cleans, and later did 100 marine pushups in the sauna where it was 96 degrees (over 200F).

TW: 500 hand release pushups for time. 23:38.  Now I can feel the fatigue.

I spent the day at home, only going outside briefly to get something out of the car.  Tomorrow I think I will go out more, possibly for a swim.

We have found a new housemate, who will be known as Ginger Harpist, because that is an apt description.  She is the one who plays the harp professionally and also gives lessons.  The fact that she will be teaching lessons from home and rehearsing long hours is an issue, but it need not be a problem if we all approach the whole thing as reasonable people (and we are all reasonable people.)  I had the best feeling about her and I think she will fit into the culture of Chez Canuck better than anyone else we saw.

Today the market dropped a lot, but I didn't lose much.  SNL went ex-dividend, and all orders were scrapped so I took the opportunity to put in a sell order at 74.5 cents for some of my holding and a buy order at 51 cents.  I spent part of the morning bidding the buy price up with someone else before they left.  As it is, I currently have the highest buy price at 56 cents and the lowest sell price.  This means that if anyone wants to buy or sell SNL right now, they will have to do so at my price.  I am setting the market.  It's not a hevaily traded stock (no trades were made on it today) but for the time being, and until a normal market returns from all the orders being purged, anyone who wants to sell will have to sell to me at my price and anyone who wants to buy will have to pay a premium to get my stocks.  This window will close I am sure, but at the moment I really am defining the market in this stock.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

We are getting closer to finding someone to replace Helga.

The harpist who came by on Monday and locked me out of the house came back this morning and made a good impression on Esky and Roxy.  There was concern about harp lessons imposing on others in the house (as they would be in the front room and Esky felt uncomfortable about waling through them) and about harp rehearsing keeping people from sleeping at their preferred times.  Again, Esky was concerned about that.  I think we can work around this provided that people are reasonable, and it seems as though everyone is.  Another potential housemate came yesterday and was also fine, although she wouild be bringing a bird, which may also mean noise issues.  I hope we get this sorted soon.

I think we have now got internet that works reasonably well.  Apparently we could get an electrician in to deal with some of the wiring issues, but it is fast enough to do what we need it to do now so this may be the end of it.  Hooray for accomplishment.

I'm up to Sydney shortly.  I meant to go up a few days ago but housemate searching took precedence.  I am quite keen on getting this right.  We have passed over a lot of people who just don't seem suitable.  Many were international students (which isn't necessarily a problem but some gave me little confidence that they would fit well into the house) or seemed clueless or had Facebook profiles that made them look unsuitable and douchbaggy.  (Facebook can be good for screening.)  A number of the potentials who have come by are apparently looking for new places to live after breaking up with exes.  I've made sure that anyone in this situation wouldn't be likely to have a crazy ex who might turn up at 3am to set the house on fire.

ThW: AMRAP 20 minutes - 1 set of arm smashers, 20 marine pushups - 8 rounds + 10 front raises + 4 side raises.

YW: 10,9,...1 - 70kg bench press, burpee pullups (which was hard going) - 15:06.  Then AMRAP 20 minutes - 10 bag get ups, 10 35kg bicep curls, row 400m - 5 rounds + bag ups + curls + row 45m.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

There was a recovery on the market today, at least there was for me.  ARX jumped, and the sell sides of KKT and PVE are virtually non existant so the chance of a surge is there.  ALK is looking better every day, and BOW may be getting a better offer than the lowball one. CCV was going to be a worry today, now that Government legislation is threatening a major part of their business (payday loans) and a partial takeover has been abandoned because of the risk associated with the regulatory changes.  It did drop about 20% from an already low base, but went no further and recovered almost all that was lost by the end of the day.  There is also a very strong buy side and a lot of interest in the stock.  I am still down on it, but I was very pleased that it held up as well as it did.

I noticed something today.  I've noticed it before, but when it comes to the trading, making a profit is good, but the feeling I get from holding my nerve is better.  There has been no panic selling through the recent volatility, and today a lot of things went well because of that.  I also contacted VMG again to inquire further about their recent capital raising and got some swift and useful answers, and this afternoon spoke to a former colleague about the proposed changes to payday lending that may impact CCV and the approach the opposition would take towards them.  I felt like I was accomplishing something.

Tomorrow I will cut the lawn.  Hooray!  Also I badgered the internet people into sending someone tomorrow rather than next week.  Hooray again!

YW: I started with a deadlift centric circuit, but wound up getting a twinge in my upper back and didn't want to push it.  It hasn't come back.  The rest of the workout involved a lot of leg work including lots of leg presses up to 202.5kg and bench jump burpees (just what they sound like) and a 1km farmer's walk on the treadmill with 10kg in each hand.  I like doing that and will do it again.

I must remind myself to be careful of what I say to myself when working out.  The woman on the treadmill next to me wasn't offended when I said through heavy breaths in a gutteral tone "come on baby."  I mean I was saying it to myself and she understood that, but not everyone would.

TW: At home, using Esky's ski machine in the garage.  AMRAP 20 minutes - ski 10 calories, 10 burpees - 13 rounds + skiing + 4 burpees.

Everyone will be home tomorrow and we should have Helga's room filled by the end of the day.  I've spent a fair amount of time chatting with Helga this week.  We are the closest in the house and I will miss her when she's gone.  She said she was more worried about how I would take it than anyone else in the house.  We will be fine, and we will remain friends I'm sure.

luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
This morning a prospective housemate came by and when I led her out into the backyard she closed the door behind her and we were locked out.  She felt bad but the whole episode was no problem.  We had a good chat and she seems like she would be a good fit for Chez Canuck.  She plays the harp for a living which is certainly interesting, though she would be giving lessons in the front room and practicing for a couple of hours every night.  Roxy seems fine with that, but Esky sounded a bit more reluctant.  We will try to get her back on Thursday so she can meet the others and possibly put any concerns to rest.  In the meantime we are getting plenty of other inquiries of varying quality.

After the house tour (during which she didn't get to see the lounge room and the kitchen except through the windows) and a chat she rode her bike alongside me as I walked barefoot to Dickson to pick up a key from the real estate agent.  Going places barefoot is something I had never seen much before I came to Australia.  I spend a lot of time barefoot in Collaroy where the beach makes it more common and acceptable.  Here I wondered if I looked like one of the public housing tenants that frequent the Dickson shops.

TW: Pushups.  Lots and lots of pushups.  To be specific, 1,000 pushups for time.  My time?  25:23.

The market was up today.  CCV is in a trading halt while we wait for news, ALK seems to be turning around and is developing a lot of positive buzz, ERA has been steadily rising from recent lows, and best of all, BOW is now trading above the recent takeover offer, which means the buyer will have to come up with a higher offer (and indicates that a lot of people think another offer is out there.)  I was happy that a profit was on the cards even with a lowball offer, but now it looks like more is on the cards.  This week, I suspect I will be watching the market less intensely.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)

I got some bad news on Friday evening. The new housemate we had arranged bailed on us to take a place closer to the city, so we are looking again. Over the course of the weekend I think I have managed to arrange someone else who will come by tomorrow morning.

The party conference was on this weekend, and on Friday I stopped by to pick up some things I had left at party HQ and also popped in to the drinks function that kicked off the weekend. It was good to see some people again knowing that I was there entirely by choice. At the drinks and at the dinner on Saturday night (where the food was excellent and plentiful in four courses comprising prosciutto salad, grilled snapper, lamb and ratatouille, and white chocolate pannacotta) plenty of people asked me what I was up to and I mentioned being unemployed and my stocks and possibly going overseas next year given that there is a Government I can work in in Canada and an election in America that could provide some valuable experience.  I was told I looked more relaxed than I've looked in quite a while.

I've got sore muscles from some intense workouts over the last three days.

FW: Rowing challenge - 1:34.2 the fastest time of the day.  Then "Cindy" - AMRAP 20 minutes - 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats - 28 rounds + pullups + pushups.YW: Legstravaganza.  10 130kg leg press, 10 burpees - 5 rounds - 8:30.  20 openers, 20 closers - 5 rounds - 4:11.  10 80kg deadlifts, 10 bench jumps (with plenty of dizzy feeling after each set of deadlifts) - 5 rounds - 6:54.  1km farmers walk w 10kg in each hand - 9:42.  It was about five minutes before my hands felt normal again.

I've had a lot of the music on my laptop on this weekend.  A lot of it is music from Canada from the 90s, and the artist I've probably got the most of in my library is Matthew Good.  The lyrics often tend to be quite cryptic.  Have a listen.

Click here for Canadian Content )
luckycanuck: (Default)

I've not been posting at all for a week or more, so here is the news.


The internet has been very slow at our place and I've been relying on my portable wireless network that gets awful reception at Chez Canuck.  Two groups of tradies have been here on three days in the past week and now things are working much better.  Hooray!  You can do wonderful things when you don't have to be at work every day.  With one more visit tomorrow we should be up to normal speeds.

Chez Canuck

Helga is leaving.  It's sad.  I was closer to her than anyone else in the house.  She's just moving to a new suburb and we will see her again but this will have a greater impact on me than losing Alleluia.  We have managed to find someone to take her room though.  I put an ad up and within 15 minutes we had a response.  Miss Lara (named for Lara from Dr Zhivago) came by later that evening and we decided on her (after seeing a friend of Esky who woud up taking a place down the street from us.)

The Gym

I've had some pretty good workouts.  Today involved doing a total of 173 pullups.  Tuesday involved participating in a 500m rowing challenge being staged this week and having the second fastest time of the day by two seconds and being asked if I was a firefighter while playing with sandbags. Sunday involved a "heavy day" with heavy weights and low reps.  I managed to bench press more than I ever have and deadlift more than I ever have.  (120kg and 150kg respectively.)

The Fireys

I have officially applied to join the ACT Rural Fire Service.  If I am approved (and I will be) I will become a member within two or three weeks.


With my "getting fired" money in my account, I have been picking opportunities in the market.  I invested in EKA which is quite similar to AUT in pumping oil in Texas.  I also sank some money into Billabong which fell 25% in one day despite announcing a profit, an increase in sales, and a dividend.  It fell further but seems to have stabilised.  A hoped for quick rebound leading to a sell the next day didn't materialise, but I am standing by to sell if things look right now that the stock seems to be recovering.  I put more money into CCV after they announced a record profit but didn't surge.  They are going to be partially taken over at a premium shortly and I wanted more of that action.  But today it dropped through the floor half an hour before an announcement was made that new proposed government policies might impact their business.  There may have been insider trading at work.  At any rate, I put more in at a discount, but if I had known what others may have known I may have hesitate earlier in the week.  BOW also got a takeover offer which will mean I will almost certainly make a quick profit one way or another.  The share price may have been manipulated down to enable a cheaper offer to be made, but the lowball offer may bring out other buyers and bid the price up.  I will make a profit on this one, but the prospect of a larger profit is there.

General stuff

I'm getting used to this.  This has become my job for the moment and "working" from home has been good.  I made everyone dinner on Monday and have been standing in the front room in the sun feeling happy.

Still feeling detached though, and the gloom is still around.  Therapy hasn't provided answers yet and I'm not sure if I believe or understand the mindfulness techniques, though I do get along well with my psychologist.

luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

I put some margin loan money into a coal seam gas operator that has been tipped for strong growth and that is being accumulated and so is also rumoured to be a takeover target.  BOW has slipped back a bit so I got a bit more today while it's cheap.  ERA and my favoured AUT have slipped back a bit with the selling that gripped the market yesterday but I will hold on to them both.  I did think about moving AUT into other operators in the same oil fields with smaller market caps, but it come with lower risk and it is currently providing a lot of the security for my margin loan so I think I will keep it as it is.

I did apply for an increase in my credit limit while I am still in full time employment, and they gave it seemingly without a second thought.  Maybe I should have applied for more?  No.  I've got enough to enable me to capitalise on opportunities when they arise.

Ok enough dull stuff.

Alleluia's leaving day is getting closer.  She has been packing a lot and her removalists will come and cart her stuff away on Friday.  That means we need to replace some things, so the rest of us went out yesterday and picked up some sofas.  There was some aspie stress as we drove around trying to find the place and I was advised to turn far too late, but I did manage to carry both sofas into the house single handedly, which made me feel much better.  Then we rejigged the lounge room to fit everything and it's actually much better now I think.  We had our last household chocolate and wine evening before the changing of the guard.

Late last night after setting up the TV to replace the one Alleluia is taking with her, I came across the Facebook status of someone I know from the election campaign last year.  It read: Australia is holding a Census next week. Don't leave the “religion” section blank. Be sure to at least mark Christian (or your own faith). 1 million Muslims will mark their box. 10,000,000 Australians will leave it blank then wonder why Christmas carols are being banned in schools as well as Easter hat parades! It's not about religion, it's about keeping our way of life.

That pissed me off.  The relationship between Islam and the west is a perfectly legitimate subject for criticism.  There are legitimate issues related to the clash of civilisations if you want to call it that, but this is pure fiction and it adds nothing of value or intelligence to the debate.  It's the kind of pandering that stirs up people I am really sick of hearing from, and I wouldn't be surprised if we got correspondence on this subject as a result of this.

For my part, I posted this as my status in response: Luckycanuck thinks people should answer the religion question on the census honestly. Answer all the questions honestly. But 10 million people leaving the religion question blank? You really think roughly half the population is going to leave that question blank and that this will pave the way for a mosque on every street? There are reasonable things related to Islam in the west that can and should be debated. You don't need to make stuff up or repost things that are alarmist or inaccurate.

This morning I dropped off the trailer we used to cart the sofas, and then spent over an hour on a commute that would normally take about 15 minutes.  Apparently a body was found outside a block of flats along the way, so the police shut down all three lanes of a major traffic artery for the whole of peak hour traffic.  The body wasn't found on the road.  There wasn't a crash.  There was just a body outside of a building next to the road.  So the whole road gets shut down.  I almost feel like calling the police to complain, but that wouldn't accomplish anything.  Bad traffic brings out the worst in people at times.  As I took a detour on a side street, I saw one guy bypass about twenty cars and then pull into the intersection and drive on the wrong side of the road.  As he sped away I actually shouted him that if I ever found him I was going to stab him right in the throat.

On a happier note, I give you the cat video to end all cat videos.

luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

"It used to be cool" night went very well.

I decided on Saturday morning that I would go as Officer John McClane from the Die Hard series.  There are very few characters that I could come as that have very short hair, but this one worked.  One theory that Die Hard was still cool and therefore my outfit was inappropriate was advanced, but I decided that it was still a valid idea because Die Hard was such a huge series that was so full of iconic action movie cliches that it can be mocked for its excesses even as it enjoys a mantle of retro coolness.  Plenty of things fall into similar categories.

I managed to get a workout in on Saturday afternoon.

YW: AMRAP 12 minutes - 5 80kg deadlifts, 15 hand release pushups (12 rounds +5 +3).  Finisher - 2 minutes for max situps (75), 2 minutes max 30kg tricep extentions (81), 2 minutes mac 30kg bicep curls (73).

I was really sore especially from all the pushups, but later on during the party I was called upon by MadAlex to do pushups as her way of explaining my inclination to spontaneously do pushups.  I did 50 in one set as they counted off, and later did some pushups on the sofa over the people who were sitting on it.  I don't know whose idea that was, but I was always going to take up that challenge.
Cut for pics )

People didn't stay as late as our last party, there weren't as many people (last time Roxy invited almost her whole program and this time she only invited about half of them.  By about 2:30am I was in bed.  I made it up the next morning with no hangover at all (Alleluia spent a lot of time over the toilet regretting the amount of alcohol she had consumed the night before.  I was absolutely exhausted though, and have not set foot off of the property all day.  I've also taken a couple of my prescription muscle relaxants and have been quite drowsy.  My neckstill has a stubborn crick and I've got a lot of soreness in the chest and core.

So today was spent mopping floors and loaning my car to Roxy as I was not going to be driving anywhere.  Chez Canuck is clean again.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)

It was my night to cook on Wednesday, and my Korean beef was a big hit.  Everyone loved it, and I rather enjoyed being able to cook for my friends and make the tea and bring in the chocolate and do the washing up.  I'm not very domesticated, but I like being able to do this.

Helga has been coming to me for a lot of advice recently.  She wants to put some of her savings to better use and thought given my background with investing might mean I had some ideas for her.  She doesn't have my risk tolerance or my willingness to research, so I advised her that some conservative managed funds would probably suit her best.  As for me, I'm trying to decide what if anything to sell to get some cash together to participate in the VMG capital raising.

She has also joined a local gym, and had some workout questions.  I gave her some ideas including AMRAP and tabata workouts.  I would kind of like to take an active role in helping her workout, like prescribing workouts and demonstrating exercises.

I'm pretty much back to normal with my own workouts after my neck problems.

YW: 50-40-30-20-10 bench jumps, run 400m before each round.  Very leg oriented.
TW: Run to the gym with 10 pushups every minute, 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 L pullups, kettlebell swings - time: 11:22.  This was hard, especially when starting each set of pullups.  Then run home with pushups.

Tomorrow we have our "used to be cool" party.  The ABBA idea is out.  So I'm considering other possibilities.  Chez Canuck will be a crowded but happy place this weekend.

luckycanuck: (half marathon)
Things are quiet at work and are likely to remain so for the rest of my time.  There has been some talk with the party director about me doing some of my demographic work on a freelance basis which I would like.

I finally got back into doing proper workouts yesterday.  Naturally I am limiting myself to some degree as I don't want to aggravate my neck, but there are plenty of things I can do that don't cause me any problems.  Legs, core, running, these things don't bother me at all.

YW: Run 600m, 5 rounds (10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 squats), run 600m, 4 rounds, run 600m, 3 rounds.  Today it's good too feel sore muscles (sore in a good way) again.

I spent a whole lot of money this afternoon in the space of half an hour at the dentist.  I like my dentist.  If there are any dental imperfections, he doesn't assume them to be a personal insult to him, which is something my dentist in Canada used to do.  Anything less than perfect wasn't enough for him.  If I had a cavity, I had gotten a cavity out of spite.

The housewarming/farewell for Chez Canuck is on this weekend.  (We've been there since December so it's more of a farewell for Alleluia before she goes to Cambodia.)  Our theme is "it used to be cool."  I was going to be going as one of the members of ABBA but we may not be able to get a full four so I may have to think of something else.  Anyone who is going to be in Canberra is welcome to come by.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

Alleluia is leaving, which means we are replacing her with a new housemate.  We put out an ad and got a lot of response and two people came to view the place yesterday.

We were happy with both but we wound up settling on the older (and quieter) of the two.  And get this, she has been to the Olympics twice.  The freakin' OLYMPICS!!!

I mean she didn't win, but still.  OLYMPICS!!!!!!

She's taking up a teaching job in a suburb not far from Chez Canuck and she seems like she will fit nicely into the house.  The prospective nickname is "Esky" because it sounds not to far off from her real name and because it has been something like a dozen years since she has had a summer.  Really.  Every Australian summer she has been off in the northern hemisphere

This, of course, means that I will almost certainly no longer be the sportiest/fittest person in the house, and I am without question not the best cross country skier.  But I think this story is cool enough that I don't mind losing that mantle.  Anyway, I bet I'm still the best at wife carrying.

I had dinner with Coffee Snob last night.  There is also a room to be filled in her place and because she was home alone she wanted someone to be there when unfamiliar men came to the house.  So in exchange for looking all intimidating, I got this.

Ecuadorian chicken stew, avocado, rice, and refried plantains.  It's good having friends who can cook.

I'm currently trying to pick up some more shares in JRL which I feel are grossly undervalued, and I think I will approve and participate in the capital raising for VMG.  I may get rid of it after a while.  Clearly I've held on too long, and I hope I can use this as a learning experience.  I have also applied for a margin loan.  I've never dealt with margin trading and I don't plan to go too far into it.  I've applied for the smallest credit limit available, but it does present the opportunity to increase some of my holdings like CCV and AUT and to get into new ones like NAB that offer stable and long term growth.  This would not be the place for something risky, and I have no intention of getting leveraged up to the hilt.  Still this stands to be the largest debt I've ever taken on.

I will be getting my unused annual leave paid out when I go and I will likely have another job to go into, but I will have to keep more cash around than I otherwise would given what will become my new working situation.

I also tried to sign into Google+ and was told to come back later.  Not encouraging.  The big new social media platform being run by the biggest kind on the block and they can't handle the capacity.


luckycanuck: (Default)

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