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.

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.
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: (Default)

Cut for pics )


Since then I've been doing a lot of studying for my training qualifications, watching the Boxing Day Test (which was an outstanding back and forth affair that was finely balanced and could have gone either way until very late) visiting the beach, and having very little personal contact.  That's suiting me fine this time.  There is no feeling of isolation, in part because I have plenty on the horizon.
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.

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.
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: (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.

Update

Oct. 10th, 2011 11:42 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
Another review post.

Investing: There seems to be more confidence in the market now, and some of the stocks that people were shorting are now on their way back up.  I like to imagine that the people who were pushing the price of my shares down are now scrambling to close their positions and losing money.  Aurora, Billabong and ERA are gaining momentum, and I've got orders out to pick up more as I think they seem to have turned a corner with plenty of buyers waiting in the wings.  Service Stream looks like it has been oversold and I picked up more today now that there is finally support, and I got more Eureka last week.  It seems drastically undervalued.

Gym: I managed a workout on Friday that involved 25 calories of rowing, 25 marine pushups, 25 pullups, and 25 burpees repeated 6 times.  It took me 52 minutes and I had a real thousand yard stare going from the burpees.

Pushups/Gloom: I've also been doing large numbers of pushups on a regular basis so I can get freakishly good at them.  The idea of taking some time next year and doing Pushups Across America to raise money for charity is gaining steam.  I think I may have found a charity that might be suitable for this project of mine.  It's called To Write Love On Her Arms and it is a group that tries to fight depression by setting up intervention programs and funding crisis hotlines.  Apparently they are quite switched on, and they have contacts and chapters all over who may be able to help me out too.  It's early on and I would have to do a lot of investigating, but it might be especially appropriate for me.  Pushups, and working out generally is a great help for me when I get the gloom.

Church: To Write Love On Her Arms is a vaguely Christian charity.  It chooses not to identify itself that way because a lot of people find the term alienating (I can well understand that) and they have discontinued links with some questionable Christian groups some time ago, but the founder is personally religious as I am.  It has been a long time since I felt particularly religious (or even spiritual) and in the year to date I've only been to church for services twice, and even that is contingent on counting my attendance on Easter Sunday at an airport chapel for fifteen minutes before my flight in Orlando.  I really haven't felt like it.

On Sunday I got up early and drove up to Young because Renaissance Priest's daughter was being baptised.  It all went very well, the sermon given by a priest I know in Canberra was excellent and was all about a very difficult passage (those are so often the best), and given the circumstances and the atmosphere, I was glad to be there.  It was the first Eucharist I've had since Ash Wednesday.  I'm not going to be a regular at church all of a sudden, but it was good to be back.

Rugby: On Saturday I donned a Wales jersey and watched the Wales/Ireland match in an Irish pub.  There was me and one other red shirt in a sea of green, but luckily rugby is the kind of game where you can do that without getting glassed.  In fact, if I could have faked a Welsh accent I could have had half a dozen drinks bought for me after Wales won.  If I had been wearing England gear I doubt I would have been as well received.  People really don't like England.  I think it's excessive.

Friends: I wound up meeting a couple of guys at the pub, one of whom is an old friend of Helga (small world) and had a couple of drinks with them.  I've not been much for going out for drinks for quite a while, but I felt up to it this weekend.  It was as though I had a lot of mental energy and could stand going out after the Wallabies/Springboks match (or maybe I was just in a very good mood given the result.)  I've not been out for drinks with the guys for a long time.  I've not even had "the guys" for a long time.  That's not to say these guys are the guys, but for part of the weekend they were.  We wound up out at a bar in the city that had an overabundance of fake tan and ridiculous hair on excessively muscular wankers, and the "I want to be a reality tv contestant" women to match.  Normally that atmosphere would have sent me into an aspie tailspin, but for some reason I had a good time.  I really can't account for it.
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: (Mr Strong)
I seem to get tired on the weekends.

I sold a third of my stake in KKT on Friday.  It was the first sale I've made in some time.  I intend to hold the rest of it but I wanted to realise the gain (it has doubled in three months) and have some more cash on hand as I expect volatility to continue.  There may be some other sales next week and with the dividend payments that will be coming in over the next few weeks I should have enough cash on hand to remain flexible and to be able to take advantage of any opportunities that crop up over the next little while.  VMG also issued a supplementary prospectus and I will be getting one option for every two shares I hold and will have two years to exercise them.  More opportunity.

I took Friday off gym wise and watched some DVDs that Coffee Snob loaned me.  A British series about being a political advisor, that reminds me of things that I didn't like about being a political advisor.  I spoke to a couple of agencies and will be getting a bit more active in looking for work.  There are quite a few options I will be looking at.  I know that it's a good idea to "recharge" as some of my friends have said, but having time off doesn't seem to be doing that.  I still feel detached, so part of me thinks I might as well feel detached and get paid.  I've not been to therapy for a while and I don't feel like I've missed it.  I like my psychologist, but I'm not sure what the therapy is meant to be doing.

YW: Tiretiretiretiretiretiretiretiretire! I went to town on the big tractor tire.

5 rounds - 6 tire flips across the room, 20 tire pushups, 6 tire flips back, 10 sledgehammers left and right.
5 rounds - flip to one corner, 10 tire jumps, flip to next corner, 10 tire pushups, flip to next corner, 10 tire situps, flip to next corner, 5 sledgehammers left/right
10 rounds - drag tire 10m, 5 burpees.  (Oh man dragging a heavy tire is HARD!)

Then a long sweat in the sauna.

TW: Legs - Squat practice up to 120kg with a towel wrapped around the bar.  I'm getting more used to this.  Max weight leg presses, max weight openers, max weight closers, overhead squats (I succeeded at 40kg this time) calf extensions.  Then another long sweat.

Last night I was at a birthday BBQ where I was a hero for bringing haloumi.  I watched a very disappointing Wallabies outfit lose to Ireland and decided that I have had enough of Channel Nine.  I am boycotting them until the end of the World Cup.  They delayed their broadcast of the game to show the NRL playoffs, refusing to show the Wallabies on another channel.  Then when they did show it, they interrupted the game with ads every ten minutes or so.  (Something you can't do with a live broadcast.)  They padded a two hour broadcast up by half an hour at least.  Channel Nine, you are out.  This evening I went to the pub to watch the close of Wales v Samoa and enjoyed Canada v France.  It was a much better game to watch, and I did ten pushups for every point the Canucks scored, so it was a better workout than the Wallabies game.

We have Roxy's family dog in the backyard, and I just came back in from playing with Smock.  We had a real battle of wits going on.

Also, we have upgraded the internet to get ten times the data for a pittance more.  Much better.
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.


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