luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
Going to work every day is something I have adjusted to.  There is a lot to learn including a very frustrating operating system that I don't see the point of but that everyone else in my training session seemed to like, so I felt a little pang of "what's wrong with me that I keep thinking this system is silly and pointless."

I am getting to the office VERY early every day.  Yesterday I was there at 6:45, before my pass would even allow me into the building.  Parking is provided, but there are only 200 spaces and 1,500 staff.  I wonder if it is a ply to get people to turn up to work early.  I'm happy to do it and get a parking spot and have some space to myself for a while (I still don't like having to be social on demand) and build up flex time.  To be able to take my trip to England London I have worked out that I will need to build up 11 days of work out of 40 working days.  It can be done, but it will mean about two hours extra every day and maybe a couple of weekends.

Flights to England are booked.  I'll be visiting friends, playing in the gay rugby world cup, and doing pushups.  I'm flying on points so I'm only paying for the taxes, and I apparently get a 12 hour stopover in Shanghai on the way back so there will be another mini-visit added in.

Black Dog Pushups has a sign.



I reckon it will help with collecting cash donations and dispelling confusion.

Brisbane is probably going to go ahead too.  The council wants me to have $10 million in public liability insurance before I do a single pushup, but apparently my charity has that covered.  Otherwise, it would probably be too much hassle.

I've been doing more training sessions at  home, and I've discovered the fun of doing gymnastic strength work through some friends at the gym.  Just holding static positions is tougher than it looks.

It's 6:30am! I'm going to be late for work!

luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I came up to Sydney on Thursday, and had a couple of days with my parents before taking them to the airport on Saturday morning.  Mum and I went shopping and she suggested that for Christmas I bring the girls to the Sydney Koala Park when they come out to visit in July.  Done.  I was going to struggle to come up with anything.  We also had a chat about depression, which she got to see up close on Friday night as we had dinner with the guy who looks after the administrative aspect of the Collaroy Castle and his girlfriend.  Me at dinner with four people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s instead of at the gym where I had planned to be.  With all the frustration and alienation I was pretty shut down and fatigued all night, and almost struggled for breath like I did at work last winter at one point.  When we got home she asked if I was ok, and I said "this is what depression is like."  I don't think she understood until then, and I suspect she probably still doesn't.  She's trying though.

On Saturday I took Minou back to her place on my way to Canberra and stopped in to visit Dora in her post Mr Burns phase.  Back in Canberra at the party I was there to attend, Nerva Chu helped me shave my head.  I know I normally have very short hair, but on Saturday night I shaved it all off in solidarity with JAQ who has lost all her hair during chemotherapy.

Click for lots of pics )


Tomorrow I head back to Canberra so I can lead a training session at Parliament, and on the way I plan to stop to pick up a 20kg weight vest and to visit Minou again.

Reunion

Jan. 21st, 2012 11:14 am
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm in Collaroy, with my parents for the first time since last April.  Mum's maid of honour and her husband are also around and I've not seen them for the better part of twenty years.

There is always a shock when this happens, because suddenly the Collaroy Castle which I am accustomed to having to myself is much MUCH smaller.  I'm also keenly aware of the fact that I understand my parents (particularly my mum) less and less.  I'm noticing how she seems incapable of doing something without announcing it, that the traditional maternal fussiness is still there, and that she has very little knowledge of what is going on with me.  None of this results in hostility or even awkwardness, but it is still there.  I've not lived in the same jurisdiction as my parents for eight and a half years and it shows.

We did have a chat about the gloom yesterday, which is an issue of some concern to her.  She wanted to make sure I'm not drifting in the direction of suicide (I'm not and she knows I'm not) and I suspect there will be more chats while they are here.  I was kind of hoping to be able to explain what's going on with me, but I can't seem to do it.  It's like it's back to the old drill of things being wrong when nothing is wrong.

In better news, I finished all my work for the Cert III and handed it in on Thursday.  The training manager at my gym signed off on a number of workout sessions that I was meant to observe.  In fact, I just entered workouts that I had done in the past and that was deemed to be good enough.  I did do a flexibility session with Helga (who is leaving Canberra to move in with her boyfriend) and an aerobic session with Coffee Snob to get used to designing programs for people and they were both happy with what I did.  Now I am going to start on my Cert IV.

There have been a number of good workouts recently, including a new concept that involves working out with a deck of cards.  Each suit represents an exercise, and the value on each card represents the number of reps.  Then you just "hit the deck" and go through either the whole deck or go for a set period of time.  Very random, a good challenge, and heaps of fun.

Also, on the Collaroy Castle front, I am getting a stronger feeling that much of the pressure for selling the place is coming from my aunt in Sweden who resents the place and the work required to maintain it.  It struck me yesterday that if she died, there would be far less pressure to sell.  Noticing this made me feel a bit macabre, but maybe that's what I'm like these days.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I did my Cert III exam and got 97% (though that's less impressive when it was an open book test and I was looking things up regularly.)  Some of the questions were ambiguous and confusing, but it's behind me now.

Now it's the practical element.  The due date is technically next Friday but it has been extended to mid February.  I'm still going to try to get it done in time to go to Sydney to visit my parents who arrive next week.  Things have been delayed by one of my trainer friends getting an injury and having to cancel some observation opportunities, but the manager of the gym is going to try to arrange a few things for next week.

There have been quite a few solid workouts this week, and I now have more motivation to keep up with future workouts.  I have started a Twitter feed for my soon to be freelance training business (it still sounds odd to say that) and a Facebook page too.  I'm going with Molon Labe Fitness as a name.  It's a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and Persians (and to the movie 300.)  In some ways it has become a personal motto of mine (though not because I'm a die hard supporter of gun rights as someone once assumed.)  Also, I think it sounds sufficiently badass and fits my approach to training.  Soon I will have business cards.



There is more news from JAQ.  The last I heard there is a chance that the cancer has metastacised to her liver, she has a 50% chance at survival, she is unemployed and is appealing to friends to help with her medical bills (though after trying twice my donation can't be processed.)  And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) she has seemed very upbeat and focused.  There is a sense of purpose in her life that is unfamiliar to me.  Her purpose is simply to survive.  There seems to be a wonderful simplicity to it.  I suspect the numbness I feel in my gloom is not quite as present in her life.

As I said before, this is the first time I have had to contemplate someone close to me dying, and that person happens to be one of the bravest people I know.  She is a fighter, and the "FUCK CANCER" t-shirt she is wearing on the front page of her cancer blog is a testament to that.

That cancer is going to wish it had never metastacised.

New skills

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:02 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I registered for a first aid course through Royal Life Saving and did the online course and exam in one night.  I managed to get 100% on the exam, which is the minimum passing grade.  So now if anyone wants to have a heart attack or drown or get bitten by a funnel web spider, come to my place.  Next step is to practice bandaging and slings and to go to the practical session so I can show off the mad CPR skills I have picked up with the help of my rather creepy looking CPR mannequin.

Over the weekend I made some further progress on the practical section of my Cert III, attending a Body Attack class and a Body Balance class and got the instructors to sign off on my attendance/observance.  Body Attack was REALLY not my thing.  A lot of jumping around and confusing moves and blaring music that meant the only thing I could hear from the instructor was her saying "WOO" every few seconds.  Still, it's done and I won't have to do it again.  Body Balance was better.  I've been to it before of my own volition and it does have aspects that I like, but there are still annoyances.  I've tried to be fair to it but to really take to it there would have to be changes.  Less music, more focus on physical challenges, no more of the breathing stuff at the end, and most of all, no more annoying/affirming/pretentious yoga jargon.  The guy told us to "open up like a mango."  I have no idea what he meant.  If you tell me what to do with my body, I will do my best to do it.  If you speak in euphemisms and ask me to "gather my energy from the floor" I am going to want to punch someone.

Arrangements are being made to observe a number of sessions with a trainer at my gym.  In the meantime I am doing more heavy weights that gave me a pretty good tired today, and for the first time I actually kept track of my heart rate in the hopes of maintaining it in a target of 70-80% of the maximum.  I'll have to do this for credit later on and this strategy may come in handy in the future, so I reckon I might as well get used to it.  For my own purposes, however, I would rather just run.  I've also been doing tire and rope circuits and random mini-workouts at home.  This may be a time of getting in much better shape if things keep going this way.

A call came in today from the agency that forgot about me. They have marketed me to a couple of clients with jobs going.  More importantly, they are taking me seriously.

And in sad (or maybe it's not sad) news, JAQ has apparently been diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.  I have friends for whom the death of friends and family is a regular issue.  It's very foreign to me.  This is the first time for a long time I have had to contemplate the prospect that someone close to me might die.  Apparently she is going to wear the Convicts t-shirt I gave her to chemo to absorb some Convict strength.  So far she seems to be taking an aggressive stance, vowing to kick cancer in its cancerous balls or something similar.

There's not been much change on the gloom front.  It did strike me recently that once upon a time I was reluctant to accept the prospect that I might have depression.  Now I hope I have it.  If I am actually clinically depressed, then that explains a lot of things.  If I'm not, then I would have to face up to the possibility that I am just a horrible/petty/unpleasant person.

The thought that I had some time ago about not being suitable for relationships has come back.  It's certainly not self pity this time, and it's not quite like the time a while back when I felt as though I had nothing to offer, it's just a fact.  I have no business being involved with anyone right now.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I don't do resolutions for the same reasons that a lot of you don't do resolutions.  But I accept that this is a time where many take stock of the year that has passed and look forward at the year to come.

Most years I have been able to look back and say that things were getting better.  I'm not sure if I can say this about 2011.  I wonder if this is the first year in as long as I can recall where I didn't feel like things were better.  The gloom began almost exactly one year ago and was the most notable feature of the year.  I accept that it's something that has to be dealt with so it may as well be out in the open rather than tucked away.  I suspect it had been there for a long time.  This was the year I realised it, which is technically a step forward.  It just doesn't really feel like it.

Things have been pretty good overall.  I put some my BOW profit into DTE which cllimbed about 15% the following day, there have been wonderful waves at the beach and I have been going two or three times per day, I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a party meeting some new people I think I will get along with and seeing some others I hadn't seen for a while, and I've been doing some solid workouts.

YW: Run to Dee Why, AMRAP 15 minuntes - 15 pullups, 10 burpees, 5 overhead squats - 7 rounds, run home with 10 pushups per minutes.

TW: Establishing my 1RM on a variety of lifts using the sub-maximal method I learned while studying for my training certification. Bench - 117kg, dead lift - 150kg, shoulder press - 75kg, squat - 142kg, lat pulldowns - 160kg, kettlebell swings - 52kg. I may try these again to see if I come up with similar results.  I'll also try them with others.

I'm hoping to get the first part of the two Certifications done by 20 January.  I have the formal exam, the practical training (which means getting someone to sign off on the fact that I can do the things in the manual), and a first aid certification to get.  It should be fine.

My parents arrive on the 18th.  It will be good to see them.  They're not coming alone (they never do it seems) but the people coming with them this time should be of the non stabulent variety.

Back to Canberra tomorrow.

P.S. My birthday is exactly nine months from today.  This means that according to The Great Sperm Race which I chanced across on SBS this evening, 35 years ago today, out of a quarter of a billion, I was the fastest in the most extreme race that exists.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I've been at the Collaroy Castle for the past few days with my cousin and cousin in law and their two kids.

Click fo Collaroy News )

In other news, Black Dog Pushups - Melbourne is going ahead.  On Friday I will have company as an AFL player who is renowned for his ability to do pushups comes along accompanied by a photographer from a local paper.  I am nearly at 100 Twitter followers, and have been retweeted and followed by athletes including Wallabies, politicians, journalists, actors, a famous Catholic priest, and plenty of ordinary people who share my concerns.

My Twitter account was suspended over the weekend on account of me sending unsolicited tweets, so I will have to be careful about doing that in the future.  Luckily there are now quite a few people following me who have a pretty strong list of followers themselves and they can help with the promotion.

I had a firefighting gear workout yesterday, and kept my goggles down this time.

YW: Row 400m, 15 kettlebell swings, 10 pullups, 15 30kg thrusters, 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  I got a bit dizzy just before the last round and took my helmet off but still managed to finish in 31 minutes.  I got some funny looks, but mostly encouraging looks (and one photograph from a trainer who was passing by.)

Back to Canberra shortly.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I have my own fire gear now, including heavy boots, gloves, flash hood, and all the other accoutrements.  I wore them to training on Wednesday and put them to use.
Cut for pics and video )
TW: In firefighting gear - Fired up AMRAP - 20 minutes. 10 pullups, 10 situps - 5 rounds as a finisher.  Fewer disapproving looks this time.

Up to Sydney in the morning for the weekend to visit friends and family.

Then next week to Melbourne.  I booked tickets today, so I am committed to doing Black Dog Pushups in Melbourne.  The plan is 10 pushups every minute for 12 hours.  It will give me plenty of recovery time, plenty of time to talk to people, and plenty of time for the media to cover the event.  I started tweeting my plans to Melbourne sporting clubs and athletes tonight.  In the morning I'll see what has come of that.  I hope some of them will join me.  That would make for good publicity.

Coming Down

Dec. 6th, 2011 12:34 am
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
Is what happened on Saturday night.

I was at a get together in an atmosphere that I would normally enjoy, and it started off fine but in short order I found myself feeling out of sorts and tired.  I suspect a substantial part of it was coming down from the high of accomplishment surrounding my recent pushup challenge.

For much of Sunday I was wistful and indecisive.  It didn't help that we had visitors around taking up common areas.  I was happy to have them there, but I did feel kind of hemmed in.  By the end of the day I was dressed to run to the gym, but I couldn't actually make the decision to go.  I just found myself pacing around.  Eventually I did go and got a concentrated 10 cal row, 10 pullup, 10 situp AMRAP workout done in 15 minutes.  Then I ran home.

Getting exercise helped, as it always does.  I was struck by the thought that I can't exercise constantly.  I can do pushups and feel like a champion and hear how inspiring I am, but then that goes away and nothing inside me has changed.  I still have to face the same problems.  The sense of not fitting anywhere and having no purpose returns every time.  Maybe that is just going to keep happening and I need to learn how to deal with it.

Today I got my proper fire gear including boots, so I can return the second hand stuff they loaned me (after doing one more in gear workout.)  I also did some shopping and came away with two near identical pairs of shoes as part of a buy one get one free deal.  Also after some inexplicable falls on a very good day last week, today was a good day on the market.  ERA and CCV surged over 10% and may go further.

Tomorrow we will have a house dinner now that Surveyor (named for her occupation) has moved in and is getting settled.  There is some new furniture in the house too.

TW: Around the block with Bulgarian sandbag, 8 tire flips, 50 slegehammers - 3 rounds. 29:45.
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. )

Fired Up

Nov. 25th, 2011 11:27 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I had my first day of Rural Fire Brigade training on Wednesday and came home with temporary firefighting gear that will do until I can get properly fitted gear.



There was also a presentation on grass fires and tactics that go with fighting them.  Keep one foot in the black we were told, so if there is a sudden change in wind direction you won't get caught between a fast moving grass fire and unburnt fuel.  Also, wear your gear.  All of your gear, all of the time.  There was a video recounting the story of an Oklahoma firey who went too fast towards a fire, trying to get on top of it before it could spread.  He wasn't wearing all his gear and he got into a bad position by trapping himself on the fire side of a barbed wire fence between the flank of the fire and heaps of dry grass.  When the wind changed, he was caught between the fire and the fence, and without his gear he was burned badly enough that he died the next day.

So yesterday I did a workout whilst wearing my gear, including my helmet.

YW: Row 400m, run 400m, 20 kettlebell swings, 2 flights of stairs farmers walk w 15 kg in each hand, 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  I call it "Fired Up."  I got some funny and occasionally disapproving looks from people, but then I thought "would you rather I DIDN'T do this?"

My studies are going fine, and I'm most of the way through the Cert III textbook.  This part of my qualification shouldn't take long.

NBS, after languishing for ages, has now gotten a sort of takeover offer.  They aren't proposing to buy up the company's stock.  They want to buy all the assets and then a dividend can be paid to shareholders.  With this, I'm out.  I've been trying to get out, but with the stock price jumping 25% today I will be able to get more for my shares than I would have if I hadn't cancelled an order five minutes before the market opened this morning.  I don't trust management not to screw up the sale or to pay the shareholders the proceeds.  I would trust them to burn up the cash on themselves, however.  Luckily, I have held the shares long enough to vote against the directors up for election and their pay increases.

VMG now has options on the market, and in addition to the ones I was granted, I bought more.  An announcement of the terms of sale of a subsidiary is imminent, and it should mean a large cash infusion for the company.  This should be reflected in an increased share price, and a magnified increase in option price given the lower price compared to the shares.  I'll sell these after that announcement comes through or when the share price recovers and circumstances are advantageous.

Off to an ordination tomorrow for Renaissance Priest.  Also Ginger Harpist is leaving.  I don't like the atmosphere around her now that her guy is living here, but they move out tomorrow and the kettle will remain plugged in.  Our household BBQ is going ahead, technically, but only Roxy and Esky have people coming.  With the ordination in Goulburn and another party that a number of friends are already committed to, I thought I would have a better time elsewhere.  There will be another party, perhaps on Australia Day like earlier this year, in the new year once the new arrivals are settled.

I did some media preparation for Black Dog Pushups in Canberra, which will likely be done next week provided I am fit.  I won't do as many as in Sydney, but I will still do a lot.  I will be contacting local TV, radio, and newspapers ahead of time, and Tweeting the day before to a number of politicians and sports teams in the hopes of getting it to go viral.  I also received my Black Dog Pushups business cards (and consulting business cards, but BDP is more interesting in the short term.)

I was also asked at a former work function on Wednesday night if I would be interested in offering group training sessions during sitting weeks in the morning or in the evening.  These former colleagues, passing the hat around, could be my first clients.

There are now four jobs that I am being put forward for.  I rang the agency that set me up with the two "you're too political" job interviews and mentioned how much this bothered me.  In a round about way, I asked if there was any point in looking for any public service jobs.  I probably will (this is Canberra) but my estimation of the institution is low right now.

Also, running is fun.  Running in the rain is more fun.  Running in the rain when you cannot possibly get any more wet is awesome fun.
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)
My tire arrived.

It needed some cleaning and it still needs some more, but that didn't stop me from having my inaugural workout with it on Saturday morning.

SatW: 5 rounds - 4 tire flips, 20 tire jumps, 4 tire flips, 50 sledgehammers - 20:08

It's a heavier tire (I can't quite figure out how much it actually weighs) than the one at the gym and flipping it isn't easy, especially given the shape.  There is very little clearance underneath it and it's not easy to get a grip on it.  Getting work gloves might help with getting my fingers between the rubber and the ground.

Still, it's a great workout tool.



When I start training people I may have to help them with flips.

Later I had a further leg workout at the gym with a focus on maintaining excellent form (having my feet wider really helped with overhear squats and thrusters), and had another solid workout on Sunday focusing on arms and back which I did slowly after a run to and from the gym.

TW: 3 rounds - Run around the block with the sandbag, 10 jumps in then out of Otani, 20 slosh pipe lunges, 20 slosh pipe squats - 29:13

So I've had some good workouts and am continuing to get new ideas.

I visited the motherf*cking bank like the motherf*cking adult and decided not to open a business bank account as I don't think it will be necessary just now.  I did wind up with an ABN (which was easier to get than I expected) and didn't register for GST because the potential benefits in claiming input credits are fairly minor and it would increase my costs.  I also set up an e-mail for my business and am updating my CV to reflect the fact that I am now consulting (even though I've not actually done any concrete work yet.)

My VMG stock is back trading again and is lower than I thought it would be but I will hold on to it.  AUT has rebounded nicely but ERA has dropped on account of a capital raising.  I'm taking a bit from my margin loan top participate in it.  It's a risky strategy but I am not emotionally committed to it.  It is just currently trading at a higher price than the capital raising price and I might as well get in rather than allow my holding to be diluted.  I'm trying to get out of NBS at a reasonable price.

I also plan to vote against the board of BOW, NBS, and CCV at my first opportunity.  I am not happy with how these companies are being run and in these cases I have no qualms about trying to fire my employees and voting against the remuneration they have set for themselves.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I've had big workout days yesterday and today.

YW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 20-1 pullups, half as many clean squat press - 30:31.

TW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 10 hr pushups, 10 situps, 10 hr pushups, 10 medicine ball slams - 11:34.

The running made things really tough.  I'm quite tired and tonight I will sleep heavily.

I have taken a step.  It's pretty big I guess.

I have enrolled at the Fitness Institute of Australia to do Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness, which will qualify me to become a personal trainer.  I'll be studying online which means I can go entirely at my own pace which will mean I will probably finish ahead of schedule.  I can also claim it against my taxes, whether or not I have an ABN set up already.  Action has been taken.

When I get back to Canberra I plan to investigate getting some homemade gym equipment, and I may start spreading the word that I am taking sessions.  Naturally I won't charge as much to start off with as I will when I am qualified, and I don't plan to work for someone else.  I plan to be a freelancer.

Mcat and I had another long Skype session.  We always seem to have a lot to talk about.  I met her a year ago and never would have expected to get as close to someone I met so randomly as I have gotten to her.

In other news, the Convicts are staging a gladiator themed fundraising strip show, and for the first time ever, I will be on stage.  I can't get to the first rehearsals later this week, but I will be able to make it to the rehearsals the day before the show and the day of the show.  I guess I won't be doing anything overly complicated, but the strip shows are usually pretty simple anyway.  For the first time I am able to rehearse and I won't risk being compromised at work, so it should be a go.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I watched the rugby with [livejournal.com profile] bakerypenguin and her family.  It was a low scoring game and it could have gone either way, but in the end I was happy to see the All Blacks win at last.  They were a bit shaky on the night and looked like they might choke again, but they did enough to hold on for an 8-7 victory.  The title went to the team that was the best in the tournament.

The whole thing was overshadowed by the haka controversy.

This is what happened.


It was a great moment of rugby history, but the IRB has now fined Les Bleus for encroaching on the haka.  They stepped over the centre line and that breaks the rules put in place to prevent teams from showing disrespect to the haka,

The thing is, there was no disrespect in this.  The ABs weren't offended, but all the same the fine has been levied.  I like the haka.  I think they should continue to do it, but if one side is going to do a tribal war dance, I see no reason why there should be regulations in place dictating what the other team can and can't do.  The IRB shouldn't force the opposition to keep their distance, they shouldn't force them to stand still and watch, and they shouldn't institute rules to protect the pre-match rituals of any team.  If you are going to say to the opposition "you must stand still and watch the haka without moving or coming to close or turning around, you are not far off from just playing one national anthem or saying that it is culturally insensitive to score tries against New Zealand.  Besides, it is unnecessary.  The haka is part of rugby and I don't think it needs protecting as though it was a wee delicate bloom.

I have had a lot of good workout days recently.

TW: 10 tire flips, 20 sledgehammers - 10 rounds. Max pullups, 10 20kg db pushups, 10 burpees - until 150 pullups done. (5 rounds)

YW: Legstravaganza. Leg presses, overhead weighted lunges, burpees, 28kg kb swings. 100 openers in as few sets as possible - 3. 5 80kg deadlifts, 10 bench jumps - 10 rounds.

MonW: 1 minute pushups, 1 minute situps for 30 minutes - 908 pushups, 409 situps.

It has been a while since I've missed a day.

I have been put forward for two jobs in the Department of Communications and I'm still waiting to hear back from the health job from last week.

I also had a meeting with a business advisor and took home plenty of things to read to help me decide if I want to set up a business.  The party hq types have reaffirmed that they are interested in my doing some freelance work for them including a lecture for their training day next month.

Today I went back to visit my psychologist.  It was good to get back actually, and at the end I came away with a better idea of what all of this is meant to be doing.  She pointed out that my recently improved mood is likely related to the fact that I am living more in line with my values.  I highlighted a few of them as homework, and having purpose, challenge, adventure, uniqueness, intimacy, trust, and physicality helped.  Her advice was to continue moving in the direction of these values, and when I feel myself drifting into gloom, to take some small action consistent with them.  SHe also advised me to notice when distractions keep me from living with my values, and to take note of how I feel when this happens.  This is the whole "notice and name" part of ACT and the idea of being mindful of what sets me off and what soothes me is key.  It's about being aware of when I am doing well and when I'm not, and when I get the gloom, to do something to restore my values if I can.  If I can't, then it's notice/name/accept.

The issue of anti-depressants also came up and she agreed with me that in my current state anti-depressants may not be the right thing right now.  Her advice, keep going with mindfulness about how I feel and maintaining my values, and in a few months, if I can continue doing that and I still feel gloomy, then re-consider the chemical option.

Progress

Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:18 am
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I heard about the Department of Health job I interviewed for.  They eliminated a number of candidates early on but that group didn't include me.  Then later I heard that they had gone with someone else.

The good news is that this morning I had another interview for a different job (actually several jobs) in the same Department working on mental health.I turned up six minutes late and was a bit concerned, until I found out that the interviewer had double booked and wound up being 40 minutes late.  It was just the two of us in the interview rather than four interviewers like there was last time.  It went quite well, and my agency rang later in the day to ask if it was ok for them to pass on the contact details of my references if asked.  I reckon there is a very strong chance here, and this job would be for 9-12 months so it would take me all the way past going to the Bingham Cup with the Convicts next year, and into doing Pushups Across America.  I apprised them of my situation including the rural fire service and they seemed fine.

Speaking of the fire service, I have still gotten no indication that I have been approved.  It has been over two months since I applied and all they had to do was do a criminal background check.  I don't think it should be taking this long.  I've called plenty of times but nothing seems to move things along.  We are into fire season, they are being called out to things, and I have still not gotten any training or even simple approval.

I have a meeting on Monday with a business advisor to try and work out if it is worthwhile for me to start up a business (basically as a sole trader) as a way of organising freelance work in a few areas.

A trainer at my gym told me of a good place to get a qualification in personal training and I will probably be pursuing that in the near future too.

TW: Practice clean squat press 40kg and front squats.  Front squats make the back of my head hurt for some reason, and regular squats are awkward on my neck.  I must get better with these.  AMRAP 15 minutes - 10 cal row, 10 kb swings. 11 rounds + row. Tire - 5 rounds of 4 corners. 12:06.

YW: "Elizabeth" - 21-15-9 60kg cleans, ring dips - 7:25.  Officially it is meant to include squat cleans, but I wasn't comfortable with those which is why I practiced them today.  Then 2 minutes max pullups (52) 20kg db shoulder press (47).

On Wednesday I have an appointment with my psychologist again.  Will see how this goes.

So there has been progress on a few things.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I wound up going to a Q&A session featuring six American political types from both parties on Wednesday night.  It was kind of like networking, though not exactly, but ti did make me feel busy and important again.  It was one of the rare occasions over the last couple of months when I have worn a suit.  Some of them liked my pushup ideas and said to get in touch with them regarding election experience opportunities next year.

TW: 10 rounds - 20 situps, 5 100kg deadlifts. 10 rounds - row 200m, 10 situps.  I also did 10 handstand pushups, for which I had to ask for help with balance.  The pushups themselves were fine, but I do need help with balance and I will keep practicing them.

The market seems to be ok but there is still the chance for major falls if people get spooked again.  I am mostly in, but I am looking to get out of a few stocks like Nexbis which has long frustrated me and has not responded to my requests for further information like VDM Group did.  I'm considering tipping a bit more into their capital raising now that it has been extended and sweetened with one option for every two stocks held after the raising.  There is another capital raising for ERA that I will likely participate in.  I usually like capital raisings.  Some people complain about diluting the stock, but that only happens if you don't participate.

The house has been pretty quiet with people away.  It's just been Roxy and I for the last couple weeks, but now Esky is back.  Ginger Harpist is still in France, but I am getting photos from Facebook.

I'm feeling a bit better, having been busy.  The gloom isn't quite as intense as it was during recent lows.  I plan to go back to therapy next week.

Off to Sydney tomorrow for the weekend.  I have successfully learned Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau in Welsh and I am all set to sing on Saturday.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)
No I didn't just doze off and collapse on the keyboard in writing the title of this post.

These words are the emotive climax of the Welsh National Anthem.

I will be supporting Wales against France this weekend because I liked the way Wales played against Ireland, and also because I have some Welsh ancestors.  But I don't want to just claim Welshness for the day based on that.  I would rather actually show some appreciation for it, and learning to sing in an obscure and difficult language will do just that.  So I am going to apply my skills at learning little bits of language to learning to sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.

Just FYI, here are the lyrics in Cymraeg.

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.

Gwlad! Gwlad! Pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.


And here they are translated into English.

The land of my fathers is dear unto me,
Old land where the minstrels are honoured and free:
Its warring defenders, so gallant and brave,
For freedom their life's blood they gave

Home! Home! True I am to my home!
While seas secure, this land so pure,
O may our old language endure.


It is rousing stuff, especially when belted out by tens of thousands of rugby fans.  Of course, this is not to downplay the French National Anthem, which is pretty stirring too.

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons


Or in English

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
The bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts
To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water the furrows
of our fields

It's about the most violent national anthem I can think of.  On Saturday I will sing both.

I've always liked national anthems.

I had dinner last night with a friend who works for the US State Department on the Australia desk and who is visiting Canberra right now.  She though Pushups Across America was a great idea.

YW: 100 24kg kettlebell swings, 100 pullups, max hand release pushups for remainder of 30 minutes.  Total, 376 HRPU.  Finisher, 25-20-15-10-5 row calories, bicep curls.

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