luckycanuck: (madmen)
I've been delaying this post for a while because I've gotten a bit suspicious of such things, but on Monday I am going back to work.

I've been offered a job in the bureau of statistics until the end of the financial year.  It pays a bit more than my last full time job in Parliament and has considerably better hours.  I'll be doing research and writing a report, which I am perfectly qualified to do, just as I would have been perfectly qualified for the dozens of jobs that I applied for over the past several months but didn't get for a variety of asinine reasons.  Now I am sorted until the end of June and then it will be the new financial year when all the departments will have new budgets and funding and the market should be better.  On top of that, they will no longer be able to fob me off with lame excuses about not having public service experience.

I signed up to the ABS temporary employment register and they called me, told me a little about the job, then the next day they said they would offer me the job formally via e-mail.  That e-mail was a little delayed itself, and I was a bit suspicious that this would end up like one of the many jobs that looked so promising only to wind up as nothing but a lesson designed to undermine my sense of self worth.  What makes it sweeter still, is the fact that I got this job on my own.  No agencies were involved.  I still feel that they have done little to find me work and I am not convinced that any of them really give a damn if I ever work again, so as much as I've learned not to take these things personally, I still say screw 'em.  I'll talk to them again in the new year.

I'm still doing trivia and fitness training (I had a session this evening in the backyard with a totally new client base) and while neither of those will make me a living, I suspect that when asked what I do I will still say I'm a fitness trainer.

Finally, the new job is totally flexible.  I'm not being depended on, I'm not depending on a whole host of others, and I will be able to go to Manchester with the Convicts and for a bit of a holiday at the end of May without causing any problems.

So the work situation isn't really thrilling, but at the moment it couldn't be better.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
As Bakerypenguin pointed out, I am now having normal reactions.  When things are good, I am able to feel good.

Trivia is going well.  I hope to get more people out and establish myself as a good place for trivia, and I think that will happen once people catch on.  At the moment the first two nights have been won by the owner of the bar and some of his friends. I wondered briefly if he just wants to have his own trivia night where he and his friends can carry on all they like.

I am currently in Adelaide, in the office of the Minister for Sport.  He will be joining me tomorrow as I have another go at doing 12 hours of pushups.  His office has been helpful with the media and I've done three interviews already, and more live interviews on radio have been lined up for tomorrow.  The Lord Mayor's office has allocated a place for me in Rundle Mall and the whole town seems pretty supportive.  I'm actually going to be sleeping on the minister's sofa tonight, and he send his ministerial car to pick me up from the airport and to take me around town.

Work? Nothing has changed really. Plenty of leads but no actual work.  It may be difficult to get something before the end of the financial year in the public service, but I've also applied for a full time permanent job doing research for a public affairs firm.  No response yet, but it sounds like a good prospect and I took care to put together a good application.  It would be a very different job to most of the others I've looked at.  It would not be a contract, and it would not come with the public service culture.

For now, my job is trading, trivia, and occasionally doing training sessions.  That's fine for me.  I'm getting used to the three "T"s.  Not sure what the prognosis is long term.

I traded some shares in VMG for some options in VMG which will give me a lot more exposure to the potential upside if the price goes up.  I also piled some money into capital raisings for AKK and ALK, and I am willing to cash in some of my stocks if the situation suits.  I've also been picking up DTE on the drops with an eye to unloading it on rebounds.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
I've been feeling rather odd recently, like I've not felt for quite a while.

There is a distinct possibility, and I want to be absolutely clear that this is not in any way a sure thing, that I might, possibly, in some way, be... happy.

Is that the right word?  Is that a word at all?

Let me go back a bit.

Read more... )

Things have been going quite well recently, and I know that I can't always count on that being the case.  Circumstance won't always be my friend, and I think the gloom is still around and may return in force in the future, but for now it doesn't matter.  The trick will be figuring out how to ensure that remains the case.

Wet weekend

Mar. 7th, 2012 01:16 pm
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
There has been plenty of rain. Parts of Sydney and Canberra flooded, my burns are being cancelled, and it was a wet day for the Mardi Gras parade, though it dried up by the time we got going as we were near the end.

I spent a fair amount of the parade shirtless, and a girl I met described me as being "body arrogant" in part because I was doing pushups during the parade and continued to do so after she sat on my back, and because I demonstrated wife carrying techniques.  (She was part Estonian and I had to demonstrate the Estonian Carry.)  She also used the same term to refer to her.  There are currently pictures of me tagged on Facebook that I am thinking of untagging.  I was in a really good mood that night, and my actions suited that, but I am not sure if I want hundreds of people seeing them.  Then again, once a few hours pass, comment tends to die off so there is probably not much more interest to be had.

There was also a birthday for Italian Sushi where I dozed off on Sunday night, and a sense that I may have been making my relationship with another friend all about me.  In my recent state I have been more self-involved than I would normally be, and the asperger's often means I miss cues from other people or simply forget to ask how they are when I have my own things going on.  Nobody is upset, but the people I let into my circle are important to me and I want them to be aware of it.  I just don't always know how.

My plan was to stay in Sydney all week as I have another engagement on Saturday, but I got a message on Monday offering me trivia gigs on Wednesday and Thursday, so I drove back.  Tonight I am going to Queanbeyan, having spent the morning working out my sound equipment and reading through the quiz to work out any problems that may crop up.

I've also got an interview with another agency, though to be honest, I am becoming pretty jaded with the whole thing.  I don't expect to work in the public service this financial year.  I am, however, going to apply for a private sector job doing media work for a charity.  It would be a permanent job which is different from most of the work I've been looking for, but I think it's worthwhile to look at something else.
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: (Default)
I've been unemployed for quite some time.

In a way I'm not.  My resume says I work as a freelance consultant which takes in political consulting and personal training, but that is a bit of camouflage to explain the fact that I am taking some time off.  I've not actually worked in politics for over six months.

At first I needed some time away from everything given that I was on the cusp of regular panic attacks at work, but since October I have been of the opinion that while I'm not "better" I might as well be employed.

There have been plenty of public service jobs out there that I could do in my sleep, but after repeated inquiries and interviews, there have been no results.  It's generally a matter of "your background is too partisan" or "you don't have any public service experience" or more recently "you don't have a security clearance."  This has been bothering me more and more, and at the gym earlier this week I think I figured out why.

When I get rejected from a job, I hear the public service say "Begone Luckycanuck!  You aren't good enough to work here!"  This offends my sense of dignity.

I've recently increased the intensity with which I've been looking for work, and as one agency informed me earlier this week, I'm doing everything I should be doing.  Still, nothing.  That sense of frustration is building up to the point that I find it difficult to imagine that anyone anyone in the public service will hire me to any job under any circumstances.  I know other people who have very similar background to me and who have been looking for far less time with far greater success.  The fact that I hear the same thing again and again and again without anyone who deals with HR in this town being able to explain why makes me feel like there is some kind of elaborate and ridiculous conspiracy preventing anyone called Luckycanuck from being employed in the APS.  (One HR type told me about a guy who was a CEO in the private sector and who gave up trying to work in the APS after five years of his experience being rejected as unsuitable.)

In the meantime, I will continue giving training sessions and I will have a regular trivia night to host starting next month.

Lucky for me I have my investments which have been doing exceptionally well in February.  I'm getting better at selling and keeping myself cashed up in the current climate which means money on hand for living expenses and to take advantage of buying opportunities.  Still, it does require a mental shift to not have a regular income that I have not finished making.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I picked up something to wear to the gym on my way back to Canberra.



It's a 20kg weight vest and I've used it a couple of times.  I have full range of motion and can work it into virtually any workout.  I think it will be a regular fixture now.  And I got $10 off the quoted price, which was lower than expected anyway.

On the same day I led my first training session for a group of former colleagues at Parliament.  It came very naturally to me.  There was rain, but everyone stuck it out until it became too slippery.  Everyone enjoyed it, and they will be back with others who have expressed an interest.  There may be training during the non sitting weeks and in the mornings too.  So that's good news.

This was, in a manner of speaking, the first "work" I have done in a while.  I've been keeping busy, but leading that session was the first time I've done paid work since I left Parliament.

Recently the market has done very well for me.  VMG is now being appreciated by the market, I managed to sell SNL for a profit, AKK has been very active and there is a strong possibility that it will see a lot of upside soon, and BBG got a takeover offer and put to rest a lot of fears people had about it on the day after I bought more of it, which resulted in a 50% rise in one day.

Some people have suggested that I should trade for a living.  I can't.  Things have been very good now, I don't have the expenses that a lot of other people have, and if things go well I could stand to have a lot of flexibility, but that doesn't mean this is what I do.  Things could collapse again, and even if they don't I still don't expect a sense of purpose from the market.

I haven't, however, had much frustration with slow responses from the public service.  I applied to the temporary employment register of about half a dozen departments.  Not hearing anything back from anyone hasn't fazed me.

Everything is fine, I guess, but there is still a looming sense of numbness.

There was also a disturbing dream.  I dreamed I was attending my first bushfire, and it came close to a property which we decided to defend.  It turns out that the property owner was involved in producing illegal drugs, and when we approached his stash to set up a defensive line, he came out with a gun and shot at us and nicked me slightly.  We retreated to the far side of the truck and he followed, and when he came around the corner I swung at him with an axe and dropped him.  Later on I was charged with assault and the rural fire service cut me loose.  I woke up with no inclination to help people in need. 

The other day I saw a guy pushing a car in the city, trying to build up enough speed for his friend to get it started.  I rushed in and joined in and quickly we had them on their way.  But that wasn't really for him.  I did that for me.

Down and up

Feb. 9th, 2012 12:41 am
luckycanuck: (madmen)
There have been a number of jobs that have passed by recently, and I have gotten a no on all of them.  The problem?  I don't have a security clearance.  Not secret.  Not protected.  Not even baseline.  And because of that, nobody is willing to consider me.  It's like this is an extension of the whole "you need to have public service experience" mentality that I came across in other positions.  This is just another way to say it.  They won't look at me without a security clearance, and I there is no way to get a security clearance unless I am employed in the public service.

This has meant me having annoyed conversations with a couple of agencies.  It's kind of hard to react to this in a way that doesn't conclude that there is some kind of ridiculous and elaborate conspiracy against me.  One job said I didn't have enough experience (which is not even close to being true) and that I should look at roles at a lower level.  Another job, at that same lower level, said I was too experienced and too qualified and that I would get bored.  It seems I am in a zone of unemployability, and have been for several months.  Moreover, I have been reliably informed that any job I apply for now may not end up with a result for several more months.  Apparently there have been delays of six months to fill a three month job.

This is not that big of a problem in a financial sense, or not as much as it would have been this time last week.  The market has done very well (for me) this week.  Wednesday was the best day in the history of the stock market, as my gains at the close were slightly higher than my gains on Monday.  VMG is the main cause.  It jumped at long last and there is suddenly lots of interest in it.  My options have nearly tripled in value in a month.  With the money from selling SNL for a profit arriving in my account today, I am cashed up with plenty of flexibility.

Part of me looks at the job front and the investing front and thinks "why am I bothering with the public service culture that seems to have it in for me.  F*ck the public service.  Just f*ck 'em."  I've got a rugby trip coming up at the end of May, and I have no reason to believe I will work a single day in the kind of jobs I have been applying for between now and then.  When one of my agencies rang me asking if I was interested in a position, my response was "is there any point?"  Maybe I will just continue to be drastically underemployed with my training and trivia and and some freelance work (which, to be perfectly frank, has not existed at all.)

The thing is, things won't always be like this.  I can't depend on always getting things right in the market and things could change o the work front.  My agencies are stunned that it has taken so long, though one of them, the one that forgot about me entirely for months, seems to have been stunned into forgetting I exist again.  The person whom I had somewhat harsh words for a month ago and who was very good at getting back to me right away, even saying hello in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago, still has not responded to an e-mail I send last week.

So maybe I've had enough of the public f*cking service.  I think I may rethink what I am looking for if this is how they are going to treat me.

Off to Sydney in the morning, to start of a few days of lots of travelling back and forth.

Improvement

Feb. 4th, 2012 11:29 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I was in Parliament this past week, and CoS mentioned that one of the departments that interviewed me for a job contacted him for a reference and that they were quite keen to hire me.  Unfortunately, they were hit with a hiring freeze.  That's good news, because it smashes the sense of pointlessness I had after being knocked back from other public service jobs for ridiculous reasons.  I had an interview on Friday and now I am registered with another agency who impressed me with the degree of interest they took in me.

I've also put the word out to a number of old work colleagues, and there is growing interest in the idea of me training people at my old office.  I've got new business cards for Molon Labe Fitness and I may be having my first session the week after next.

There is also another looming job prospect that I had never considered before.  It wouldn't be a full time job and it wouldn't be a career, but it would be right up my alley.  It would be hosting trivia.  I don't know why this never struck me before.  I could have been doing this for months.  There will be a tryout on Tuesday where I will be reading questions 11-15 at a local trivia night, and once I am approved, there will be opportunities to fill in here and there.

The market has had some good news recently.  It's been down this week overall, but for me it has been up.  VMG is finally back up to it's capital raising level and the options I picked up are up too with probably plenty more to go.  AUT finally stopped it's recent decline and buyers are coming back in.  SNL, which I have been quite happy with as it has been very steady, jumped enough for my sell order to be taken up.  It's a great stock and I have another order in to buy some of it back if it falls again, but it is a very thinly traded stock and I was uneasy having as much as I had locked up in a stock that sometimes goes a week or two without a single trade.

I'm getting closer to qualifying as a fire fighter.  This week we played with fire extinguishers and practiced emergency burnover procedures.

My parents came down to Canberra and a couple of dinners were had, but aside from that and a tour of Parliament I didn't see them.  I'll be going up to Sydney on Thursday before they leave on Saturday.  I have no idea what to get my nieces for (delayed) Christmas.  Apparently they are both in a girly phase.  There's virtually nothing I know about girly girls aged 8 and 6.

Overall, it's been a good week.  Still a bit numb though.

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: (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 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 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.

Update

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.

Family

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.

Training

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."

Career

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!

Convicts

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.
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 Happy)
This afternoon Ginger Harpist (whom I picked up from the airport after her trip to France yesterday) said she was impressed at how proactive I was being.

It has certainly been one of those weeks.

I enrolled to get a qualification in personal training, I made a trip to Bunnings and bought the elements of homemade workout equipment.  Some pvc pipe became a slosh pipe, which, when filled with water isn't heavy, but is extraordinarily tough to keep steady.
Home gym pics )
Today I visited Bridgestone and they are delivering a tractor tire right to my backyard tomorrow.  I have got plenty of things to do with all this.  I also bought an interval timer this morning, for the first time ever making a purchase on eBay.

YW: 5 slosh pipe squat and press, slosh pipe walk around the backyard, 10 Bulgarian sandbag around the world, drag both tires and sandbag back and forth across the yard - 10 rounds - 21:31.

TW: Overhead slosh pipe walk 20m, 10 sandbag around the world, 20 sandbag weighted pushups, 10 sandbag flip up and squat, 20 walking lunges w sandbag - 5 rounds - 14:45.  Also slosh pipe practice.  Bicep curls, deadlifts, squats,100 shoulder presses.

My arms are buzzing.  That is the best adjective I can think of.  There is a lot of improving grip strength and a lot of work put on to the little stabilising muscles you never knew you had.

I made an appointment with the bank to talk about my banking needs now that I am setting up an ABN and doing some freelance work.  Now I have to get an ABN and maybe register a business name or two.  I've thought about one name for the political consulting and one for the training.

There was finally a response from the mental health policy job I interviewed for.  Again, they didn't go with me, and again it was because they felt my experience was too political.  That annoyed me.  I have been perfectly professional in the past, and have on many occasions written briefs and speeches that I did not agree with.  I told them so in both interviews, but they still thought I didn't have enough experience in an apolitical environment.  There is not a single public service job in which that excuse could be applied, so I am annoyed at the thought that it may well be applied again.  I'm going to speak to some other agencies and reconnect with others who already know me.

Aside from that, it has been a good week.

Oh yes, and here is the poster for the next Rugger Bugger show.
GLADIATOR! )
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.

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