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.


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

Chez Canuck

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


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


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


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


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

Afterwards I wound up staying at a friend's place near the city rather than trek back to Collaroy, and wound up staying there all of Sunday and for part of Monday before picking up Minou.  Very little was accomplished, and that was good.
luckycanuck: (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.
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: (Default)
It has been an active few days.

Plenty of workouts, including one where I surprised myself by cleaning more than my bodyweight.  I failed at my first attempt but made the second and felt very proud of myself.  I've also had lots of fun with the tire at Deakin (which belongs to a trainer who has no objections to me using it if he's not around.)
Pics )

So I've had plenty of physical fun.  I took Coffee Snob through a workout I devised for her, and she said to me "you make me work harder than I want to, but I have to work out harder than I want to."  Praise indeed.

I also went to a harp concert featuring Ginger Harpist.

Pics )

Because I'm all cultured like that.  She learned me a few things about the harp the next day.

I had a job interview that went very well.  It would be doing media work in the Department of Health and it would be one step removed from the Minister's office.  There was a little bit of concern about my partisan past, but I'm professional enough to be able to put my personal feelings about the Minister aside (I don't like her at all) and do the job.  It would be a three month job, possibly longer, and it sounds quite interesting.  Oh yes, and the first question they asked was about wife carrying, which I mention on my resume.

I've also traded a bit.  Generally I keep an eye on the market for the first half hour and the last ten minutes or so in addition to checking in periodically during the day, rather than watching like a hawk all the time. I can still pay attention without letting it get in the way of everything else.

I'm up in Sydney now, but I forgot to bring appropriate clothes for looking for work so I may have to pick something up before heading into the city today talk to a couple of agencies.  I've also got a funeral to go to.  The team doctor for the Convicts and partner of one of our players died and it would be good to go.

Last night I had a beer with an ex-girlfriend.  With Jem, things were often tumultuous.  I really loved her and I still do (though I didn't say it this time.)  I hadn't seen her in quite a while but we had a good chat.  I told her about me being depressed, and her reaction was "isn't is great?"  I may have been told at some point, but somehow it never struck me that she had been struggling with depression since before we met.  That might explain some of the difficulty we had, especially when you add in the stresses and aspieness that I brought to the table.  What we had was wonderful at times, but it was also exhausting at times.  Part of me that still remembers the good things between up still wishes we could have it back, but we can't.

Tonight I'm having a beer with another ex-girlfriend.  It's lucky for me that I get along with exes.  The only one about which I have any negative memories is Ma Cherie Zoologiste (and I'm not sure she was actually a girlfriend.)

So the last few days have been pretty good actually, given that I've kept myself busy.
luckycanuck: (Default)

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

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

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

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

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

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

luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

I watched the Wallabies play today and was pleased with their overall performance though I did enjoy making fun of James O'Connor for looking like the love child of Ellen Degeneres and Justin Beiber.

Judge for yourself.

Also he is hawking vitamins, saying "the last thing I need is to get sick."  No James, the last thing you need is to get in fights with your teammates.  The second last thing you need is to fail to turn up to team functions.  The third last thing you need is to run out of hair product.  Getting sick would come next.

I went off to the gym and had a good workout now that I had gotten some sleep.

TW: AMRAP 30 minutes - 10 deadlifts, 8 dips, 6 cleans, 4 floor wipers, 200m row. - 9 rounds exactly.  Those cleans were tough.

I came home hoping to watch the Wales v South Africa match.  It wasn't on live.  Fine.  Annoying, but fine.  I check to see when it will be shown.  If I have to stay up until 2am to watch, I'll do it.  Except it won't be on at 2am either.  In fact, it won't be on Channel Nine at all.  They are only showing matches that Australia is in, and the later stages of the tournament, but not most games in the preliminaries.  I won't get to see any of Canada's games or heaps of other interesting matchups unless I go and live in the pub for the next month.

It seems that Nine, which owns a large slice of the pay network showing all the games live, bought the broadcast rights and is now not showing most games or is showing them at delayed hours at best while it screens reruns of Friends or CSI or Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders.  Your only option is to subscribe to their pay channel.

Last year SBS showed every match of the soccer world cup.  It had never occurred to me that they wouldn't show all the games at some point, even if they were delayed.

James Packer, you are ruining the world cup.  I hope you and all your Channel Nine execs gets your hands caught in a meat grinder.

In better news, Ginger Harpist moved in.  I even helped when a friend delivered her harp.  I had an extended chat with her as she cooked dinner and she is very nice.  It turns out that Holly Valance is her first cousin.  Odd.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
1) The neighbours are doing some landscaping, and they are using some kind of fertiliser that smells, for some reason, like beef jerky.  You can't go outside without smelling it right away.

2) Channel Nine.  They have the free to air broadcasting rights for the Rugby World Cup.  Right now on their main channel they are showing the Rugby League finals, which is fair enough, but on their other two channels they are showing a rerun of CSI and a movie I've never heard of.  They will show the England-Argentina match, but not for a couple more hours, so I will have to cloister myself from Facebook and stay up late (or go out to a pub with pay tv) if I want to watch the first really key match of the tournament.  DAMN YOU CHANNEL NINE!!!  How many people rally want to watch a CSI rerun RIGHT NOW compared to the number of rugby fans and England supporters and detractors who want to see the freaking game?

I was at a party VERY late last night.  I packed everything up and left for Canberra from the party just before 7am.  I napped twice along the way and made it back fine.  I've dozed for a lot of today and I'm trying to stay up until a normal going to bed time.  It's like having jet lag.  Still, Friday night was good enough to justify this feeling.

Helga moved out yesterday and was gone before I got back.  Not to worry, I will see her tomorrow when she picks up some remaining stuff.  Also Ginger Harpist will arrive fully harped tomorrow morning.  One friend is leaving but I have a good feeling that another may be coming in.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
I was out late on Saturday night and had a bit of a lie in on Sunday, though I did stock up on supplies for my week in the Collaroy Castle and went to the gym.  I was really looking forward to playing with the ginormogantuan tractor tire they have at one of the gyms here.  I had a whole thing planned and was all set to go when I turned up and found the tire was gone.  I've not been to the Mona Vale gym for a while and asked one of the employees when it had gone.  She said she saw it there just a few days ago.

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

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

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

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

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


luckycanuck: (Default)

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