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: (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: (Default)

It rained all day yesterday and for most of today too, so my walk to and from the gym left me cold and wet.

YW: "Brad"  Named for an American airman who died in January in Afghanistan.  100m row, 10 pullups, 100m row, 10 pushup burpees - 10 rounds.  Time: 27:10.

This morning I was up to see a doctor to get cleared to join the rural fire service, and despite them being half an hour behind schedule I got out in time to make it to my appointment to the psychologist.  Today dealt with the ACT techniques that were sent to me on a CD.  They seemed to aim at letting go of unpleasant feelings and observing them as if you were a curious scientist rather than obsessing on them.  Some of the exercises seemed to try to get you almost in a dissociative state (though that's not the right word.)  I wasn't sure if this was the right approach for me and I've not cracked how to "observe" negative feelings yet.  But the lesson of today was when confronted with those negative thoughts, to do what you can to get rid of them, and when you are powerless to do anything, then you practice mindfulness and you "get present" rather than dwelling on them.  I've done some things about my negative thoughts in leaving my job, but I will be faced (and sometimes I am still faced) with negative thoughts that I can't do anything about, and I will have to find ways to deal with the sense of detachment from the world and from people, and the sense I have of not fitting anywhere, which can't always be dealt with in the same concrete way.

TW: AMRAP 20 minutes - Run 400m, 10 ring pushups, 10 clean and press left, 10 clean and press right, 10 chest contractions - 5 rounds + 200m.

Afterwards I popped into the old office (I'm getting used to saying "the old office" and "my old job") and packed up the rest of my things.  W was there and it was nice to be able to say goodbye formally.  It has also been odd hearing question time and not having to listen.  Man question time is annoying.

I also got my "getting fired" money today.  It was more than I thought it would be, by a considerable amount.  I was going to have enough to fund me for a while, and this is just more, which will mean more to invest.  Some of my recent investments have gone down (ALK) and IMF and ASZ which I sold recently have recovered, which doesn't bother me, although I wish I hadn't sold out my ASZ stock given that I only sold because I forgot to cancel an order.  Perhaps this would be a time to practice mindfulness if I felt obsessed by it.

luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready to go

Jul. 8th, 2011 05:02 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm off to Sydney in a bit.  There will be a party tonight and then two games with the Convicts tomorrow, then probably a nice recovery swim on Sunday morning.

I'm also planning to do my taxes (or part of them) this weekend.  The ATO is pretty easy to work with and I suspect that by claiming some of the costs associated with my overseas trip last year I should be able to get a decent refund.

Coffee Snob asked if I wanted to come for a drive just after lunch as she was going into the city.  It's interesting to get out of the building.  I remarked that I always assume that everyone works and everyone looks and lives substantially like I do.  One look around the Canberra Centre early on a Friday afternoon disproved that.  CS and I will be having a dinner on Monday, and she is quite a good cook in my experience.

I've now told nearly everyone I want to tell about my leaving.  Half of the Shadow Cabinet know,  Almost all of the party know, and some former colleagues who have also left now know too.  Plenty of people want to keep in touch and I think I will make more than the standard token effort to do so.  I suspect I will be back to politics one day, and going back during sitting weeks to visit and attend functions and play touch rugby in the mornings will remind people that I'm still around.  I've arranged an interview with another agency for Monday afternoon.

The stock market was solidly up today.  I have a good feeling about a number of my stocks that have lagged recently such as ARX and NBS and PVE, though I have prepared myself for VMG to drop like a stone when it comes out of its trading halt.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I wrote our standard words on live animal exports today in anticipation of a flood of letters and e-mails we will be getting on the subject after some disturbing footage of Australian cattle being slaughtered in Indonesia hit the news yesterday.

I also got a call from an agency that posted a job recently.  This particular job would mean a pay cut which I am not all that keen on, but they have a number of public affairs jobs and want to talk to me further about my background and the opportunities they have.  Good news.

The odd things I've done recently?

Today, though I didn't do a whole lot of what could be called work, but I didn't do nothing.  I spent a substantial portion of the day reading about 19th century American Presidential elections.  Because I'm a political nerd even when I'm wasting time.

And I just recalled that last weekend I went to a bank machine and withdrew $60 and then went into the supermarket to pick up a couple of things.  When I got to the checkout, there was no $60 there.  I checked all my pockets and couldn't find it.  My best guess was that I was distracted for a second and left it in the machine.  Someone in Dee Why is $60 richer.  After a few minutes of confusion and frustration, the conclusion I took away from this was that I'm lucky that losing $60 like that is an anecdote rather than a crisis.  Part of me feels like I'm being austere until I feel I've saved $60 I would have otherwise spent.
luckycanuck: (Default)

My career malaise seems to have made friends with the career malaise of others.

Helga came home last night and immediately asked if I could make a cup of tea (with a laugh that this is one of my core duties in the house.)  She has been having frustrations with the culture at her workplace that I won't go into.  There was the sense that working where she is is running down her impression of the kind of work she is capable of doing.  I feel the same way.  Everyone I talk to seems to think I am more qualified than I think I am.  Over the last two months, I have more and more been feeling as though I will eventually be unmasked as a huge fraud who isn't good at anything and who is monumentally lazy.  This also dulls my inclination to look for other work, because lets be frank, what else can I possibly do.

This afternoon [ profile] bakerypenguin posted about her own career frustrations.  Again, there was a lot of overlap with the frustrations that Helga and I are experiencing.  Everyone seems to be consumed with the sense that we have no actual skills and are thus disinclined to reach any higher.

Today there was a lecture from W (not nasty, and I probably should have known it was coming) about the importance of responding to everyone who contacts us, even if we have responded on the same issue earlier.  Additionally, one of our other advisors is leaving and his position has been advertised.  I've already done a few parts of his job and I suspect that I could do it, but I'm not going to apply.  It would mean more money and probably more clarity in terms of my role, but I don't want his job.  I am not really interested in learning the intricacies of his portfolio and the frustrations (again with those bloody awful letters) that led to him walking aroud in a black mood for most of December.  Not even if it meant a 40-50% pay rise.  (Part of me also thinks there would be less space for me to hide from work, and I think I hav ebeen hiding given the amount of actual productive work I can point to over the last two months.

Of course, not all of my friends are in despair over their work situations.  A girl (MYC) whom I knew in high school and came across (I think on Facebook) has really been living the dream.  In fact, she has devoted a whole blog to the subject.  She's now living in New York and producing a play and both she and a number of people around her are doing what they love and pursuing their dreams.

The problem for me, is that I'm not sure if I have one.  I don't think I have dreams anymore.

I have in the past.  I've been fascinated by politics form a young age.  At 5 I told my mum that I wanted to be Prime Minister.  At 16 I was actively trying to make it happen.  I decided against that specific career path but stayed in the field, working in politics on three continents.  This used to be my dream, and given the fascination some of my friends still have for politics, it still is for them.  But I just can't be bothered.  I'm tired of the voters, of reading the papers, of managing relationships with legions of people I don't really like, of hearing people's opinions, of the media.

But I also have absolutely no idea what else I might like to do.  Some people remain in toxic careers that make them miserable because they are chasing what some marketing wanker is telling them they want. I'm not staying in this job because I am locked into an expensive life. I've got no debt, no obligations, no major expenses keeping me living in fear, but I've also got no idea what else I might like to do. At the moment, every option looks negative. That's not just career wise.  It has now spread into most aspects of my life. Staying in my current job, taking another one, changing careers entirely, starting a business, staying single, getting involved, buying a house, having kids, staying in Australia, moving back to Canada or America or anywhere else, all I see is negatives.  So I wind up staying put and collecting my pay every two weeks.

Unlike one of MYC's friends, I can't go off and become a photographer, because I suck at photography (also I don't epecially like it.)  I can, however, keep my head down and slog away at this job, which pays not a princely salary but more than I need to live on and allows me to keep throwing money on the pile.  At the moment I feel like I can be annoyed, or I can be annoyed and get paid.

Ok.  Now the good news.

I've contacted a counselling service contracted by work.  I have my first appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  I reckon because work played a large part in getting me all angsty, I can let them get me started on the turn around.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I went down to Bondi yesterday to help out Mitzi with my awesome digging skills.  This, of course, enabled me to sing a bit of Sixteen Tons (though I suspect we didn't actually dig that much dirt.)

After our work we went to the beach and had some very nice sushi within view of the sea.  I was reminded of what some eastern suburbs stereotypes look like.  There were a lot of people with expensive cars and clothes and sunglasses and shoes and haircuts and plastic surgery sitting around looking fashionable and rich.  Some day I may have a lot of money, but I can pretty much guarantee that I will never have an interest in being as visibly affluent as some of these guys.

While I was in the city I decided to see if anyone else was around.  I wound up popping over to visit a friend for a coffee, which turned into dinner, which turned into me staying in Potts Point for the night and shopping in the morning, though nothing was bought.  I couldn't find anything I liked.

Good news, my legs feel almost good as new again.  No more soreness in the muscles and only a little ache in my left ankle.
luckycanuck: (Default)

The election program finished today, and was quite good, as it involved a meeting with a polling company and one of the Tea Party organisations.  I did miss a meeting with a media watchdog group (that apparently thinks Obama was not born in America... ohhhhhhh "the Birthers") to have lunch with an old colleague who now works in the Australian Embassy.  Updating an old friend on what's been happening in Canberra was WAY more fun than listening to a wierdo conspiracy theorist.

I left Washington DC on a train that was delayed.  I sat next to a Senate staffer who was off to New York and who took photos of me doing pushups on train platforms in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in Penn Station in Manhattan.

Tipping seems to be on a whole new level in New York.  I tipped the huge guy who was flagging down cabs at the Penn Station taxi rank.  I tipped the driver.  I tipped the doorman who carried one of my bags in from the curb.  (Though I would have preferred that he hadn't, he already had the bag in hand.)  By the time I was going to tip the guy who escorted me up (I insisted on carrying my own bags, but he operated the elevator) I had nothing smaller than a $10 note.  By this point I was beyond being smooth and just told him "Sorry, I've only got a $10."  I'll have to tip him later on.

My first meal in New York was at Gray's Papaya, where two hot dogs and a cup of papaya juice set me back less than $5.  They don't call it the recession buster for nothing.

I was two sips into my first beer in New York when a girl from Brooklyn began chatting with me and said I had to take her number so she could show me around and make arrangements for her friends to show me to a floor of the Empire State Building higher than tourists are able to go.  She said she worked at the bar and but she didn't work behind the bar, and added that if I kept chatting to her I would know what she meant.  It took another fifteen minutes of chatting before she insisted I had to sleep with a girl in New York to have a real New York experience.  It turns out that's what she does for a living (or that's what she said she does for a living.)  The whole thing seemed very unlikely.

Tomorrow I'll be off around town.  Hooray!

luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)

It's election night and I'm in Washington DC having been out to dinner and an election night party.  I'll get into the details later, but for now, I am a bit depressed.  It's nothing to do with the results.  It's just a matter of not feeling interesting.  I felt that as an Australian in town and given my personal backstory, I should have been a fascinating figure at tonights function, but that didn't seem to come across.  By midnight there was nobody new to talk to.  I met a few people, and then realised that it was probably time to go when it started to seem as though there was nobody new interested in talking to me.  I felt a bit like a creepy guy who skulks around in the shadows waiting for someone to take an interest in him and had a long walk back to the hotel rather than going to another function where my colleagues had gone.

Also I'm tired and a lecture at dinner on how horrible my party is didn't help.  I think I may be done with dinners where I subsidise my colleagues who order expensive drinks and then we all split the bill.

luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)

Yesterday I went in the rain to Butter, a dive bar where I wasn't quite sure if it was a real dive or an ironic dive.  At any rate, it was fun, and not nearly as hipstery as I thought it might be.  They had a popcorn machine in the bar and had a menu that featured all sorts of comfort food, including deep fried twinkies.  (Note: Under no circumstances should anyone eat a deep fried twinkie.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  They just make a particularly horrific wrong.)

It has rained all day, which would have been fine except that the intense wind made umbrellas useless.  It meant that my desire to head to Fisherman's Wharf for pushup photos after a eucharist at Grace Cathedral had to be delayed.  I just didn't fancy getting more soaked than I had to, especially when I can do a run there first thing in the morning.  I did, however, make it to the Cable Car Museum, on account of having an aspie style interest in trains.

We have a schedule for our time in the bay area.  I've also met more of the others on our trip, and we were given pre paid visa cards with our per diem allowances loaded on to them.  Tomorrow we visit the organisers of our program and later go out to Oakland to meet the local electoral commission to talk about voting procedures and technologies (I don't know what's so hard about paper) and then to talk to the local paper about blogs and their impact on the election, then to visit a Senator (but not the one in a tight race at the moment.)  We should be all done in time to have the evening off.

That means I can get a workout in.

TW: 10 rounds - 10 incline press, 10 clean and press.  10 rounds - 10 dips, 10 bicep curls.  There is heaps of cardio equipment in the hotel gym but not much in the way of weights.

Also, I am getting a bit better at tipping.  Tipping at the bar was easy.  The price of drinks seems to be designed to make it easy.  No confusing amounts of change.  If I get two dollars back I can just leave one on the bar.  I also managed to tip the porter who brought my bags up after I dropped them off in storage.  I wasn't sure how much to tip for two bags, so I gave him $3 all folded up.  Later on I found out $2 per bag is the norm, but I reckon not tipping at all or tipping a huge amount would be noticed and remembered.  Under tipping by a small amount will probably slip under the radar.  I did, however, managed to slip him the folded up bills in a handshake after thinking through how to do it.  It is a bit of a pain having to have lots of small bills around (and feeling like I need to buy something I don't need just to break a $20.)  This is what I don't like about it.  It's not the money (I actually felt kind of like Mr Smooth when I successfully pulled of the handshake tip move this afternoon) but it does complicate transactions, especially if you're not accustomed to thinking in these terms.  And you have to be prepared for tipping and have singles at the ready rather than getting caught having to rifle through your wallet.

Tonight [ profile] bakerypenguin and I had crepes for dinner at Ti Couz, also a recommendation of [ profile] minxyminou.  Man they were good.  I've never had much in the way of savoury crepes but ham and tomato goes very well, and the coffee ice cream, chocolate, and whipped cream dessert which I had to drink the dregs of because I hate to waste things was wonderfully good, though I may not sleep any time soon.

luckycanuck: (Default)
I spent a good portion of today visiting Independent MPs and having to be nice to people.  It wasn't so bad.  I didn't have to do it for too long in any one place and people were generally pleasant.  Also, I didn't really have to convince them to support us.  I just had to tell them in a professional tone what we were planning.  It's much easier when you know you will almost certainly lose but that it doesn't really matter if you do.

I also visited some of the new crop of Liberal MPs and their staffs and gave them a hand with some of the demographic analysis that I do.  Some of them didn't really seem to get it, but most seemed to be switched on enough for it to be useful.  One of them gave off a bit of a creepy vibe and I came away with the feeling that I had just visited a used car lot.  Another one, the youngest MP in Parliament, seemed to be pretty solid.  It struck me that at the age of 20, if he were to go on a Parliamentary delegation to America, he couldn't drink.  He is a Member of Parliament, but he's not old enough to drink overseas.

I had a look at some of the candidates in California and Florida and prepared some background notes.  (OK, I copied and pasted from wikipedia.)  There are some very interesting races with some interesting candidates.  An e-mail was sent aroud today asking us not to blog or tweet or post on Facebook about the conversations we have in America.  It's fair enough I suppose.  We want people to be frank and knowing whatever they say in private is likely to be broadcast online will compromise our ability to have free and open conversations.  Still, I suspect this doesn't mean I can't talk about the people I meet in broad terms.

I may be staying in my current desk after January when our new adviser starts.  Apparently CoS knows who it is but is keeping quiet on the matter because this person's current employer doesn't know.  While I'm away we will have a temp around (not in my job) who is the son of a fairly notable journalist, and who is legally blind.

I filed my taxes late last night, and I reckon I should be getting about $300 back.  The ATO is one of the most helpful bureaucracies I have ever encountered.  Also it looks like I might get my $168 visa fee that I mistakenly paid back from the American Embassy.  Hooray for money!

I have had this song stuck in my head for the past few days.  Now you can have it stuck in your heads too.

1, 2, 3, FOUR, 5, 6, 7, 8, NINE, 10, 11, 12.  Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.  TWELVE!!!

Yes, I learned to count from a psychadelic pinball machine.


Jun. 29th, 2010 11:19 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I took the money I got from the old Chez Canuck yesterday and gave some of it to the music foundation at St Paul's Manuka.  It's the church where I was confirmed and it has been supportive at times when I needed it.  I've not been there recently (I seem to get a bit stabby when I do on account of some rather petty reasons) but even though I don't go as often, I want the community to be there for when I or others need it.  The importance they give to music (Renaissance Priest is married to the musical director) is also something I think it worth supporting.  It is important to me that there is a church that takes my kind of music seriously.

I made another donation towards an appeal for the upkeep of St James King Street in Sydney, another church that has always had it's doors open to me and has been supportive at times when I was considering the clergy and at times of both joy and grief.  I reckon that if I want it to be open to people like me or to others who want a place to stop into from time to time, I really should support it.

The reason that I made these donations today rather than next week, is because tomorrow is the last day of the financial year, and I can claim these donations as a tax deduction.  It's not entirely selfless I guess.  Did I have to see an upside for me before making a contribution?  Well, that's probably part of it.

The market was a bit mixed for me today.  Nexbis jumped nicely (and apparently the directors have been buying up shares on their own) but other stocks like Po Valley Energy, ARC, Runge, and Chemgenex fell, probably in part due to people unloading losing stocks to offset gains elsewhere before the tax year ends.  Perhaps later this week or next they will turn around.

TW: Legs - 200 leg presses, 200 openers, 200 closers (the weight is pretty low on these), 100 lateral jumps, 200 calf extensions.  I may have tired legs again.  My arms certainly remember yesterday's workout.

We came a disappointing third in trivia tonight.  But I did manage to get a maths question at a speed that surprised the others.  The number is under 1000, the digits in the number add up to 12, and it is divisible by 5, 6, and 7.  One of my trivia friends (and a former housemate from a while back) has just bought a house near my current abode with his girlfriend.  Still no interest in property myself.
luckycanuck: (Default)
Nexbis, which plunged earlier in the week is back above where is started.  I nearly got in at 7.6 cents but revised my bid down to 7.2.  Now it's at 11 cents.  I've now got a bid in at 7.7 cents in case there is more panic selling, but I did find myself regretting what could be a lost opportunity.  Stop thinking about it.  Don't dwell on the last trade.

It turns out that my financial acumen (or my perceived financial acumen) has impressed Coffee Snob who described me as her inspiration to be better with her finances.  This is after I convinced her and some of my other colleagues to train for and run the half marathon last month.  This is a new experience, being seen as an inspiration.

Oh, and it looks like I'm moving house this weekend.  The new Chez Canuck is just a few days away.

TW: Appetiser: 20 marine pushups and 20 bicep curls - 5 rounds.  Main Course: 50 pullups, 10 handstand pushups and 10 medicine ball throws against the high wall - 5 rounds, 50 pullups.  Dessert: 10 dumbell swings and 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  I was getting a bit of a spewy feeling during some of the medicine ball throws and the burpees, and the dessert course took me a long time, but I got it done.
luckycanuck: (Default)

It looks like my Bill may be more controversial than I thought.  I'll be meeting with my opposite number in the Government on Thursday to flesh out a few things, and I'm not sure how W will feel about a 25% increase in an excise tax that is linked ot inflation already.  This may be one of those occasions where it's not my job to have opinions.  I can be professional about this, and whatever view the W and the shadow cabinet takes on this it will be my job to support it.  It would be good professional experience to have carriage of a controversial Bill.  (It would also mean a LOT more work.)

The market took another hit today, which would normally be bad news  but I bought into Runge (a mining service company) which fell 6% today and Jindalee Resources which was stable but which will be paying out a very substantial dividend soon.  I also put bids in for more Nexbis and for Straits Resources but they were not taken up, at least not yet.

Yes I did have this song in my head today.  I'm not sure where I heard it.  Actually, I think being a billionaire would be a pain.  It's way more money than I could possibly spend (even with help.) and I fear it would take over my life.  But for years and years I've saved up, partly because in my mind I imagine that if I had just a bit more cash in the bank I would be a bit more secure.  There comes a time, however, when it's just throwing more on the pile.  I've not reached that point, and I hope I will recognise it if it does come.

Just 30?  Damn!  Now I have something to train for.  Tonight it's a prison workout at home.
luckycanuck: (Default)
It's gone from being a good day to being a good week.

The market has recovered, almost to the point where I was two weeks ago.  And the attention being paid to the class action lawsuit against the banks is focussing a lot of attention on IMF, whose stock price is up again.

I had a briefing on some legislation and then wrote a shadow cabinet brief on a Bill relating to airport parking.  Not especially exciting (though I think a lot of people will take the opportunity to have a free populist kick at the price of airport parking.  Quite recently Sydney apparently had the most expensive airport parking anywhere in the world.)  It was approved with only minimal changes.  So on an issue I knew nothing about that involved legal points about which I have no training, I pulled together a brief in one day.

Everyone who works in Parliament got a pay rise today, and I got more of a pay rise (in percentage terms) than most.

Around 5pm, I got a call from the NRMA.  It was about the job I applied for on Monday.  They wanted to have a bit of a chat about the work I do now and about the position they have vacant.  Then they offered me a phone interview next Tuesday.  It would be more money than my new wage (they thought it would be less) and a move back to Sydney which is fine, but it would also mean leaving my current position just a few months before an election.  We could win which would mean I would be working for the Deputy Prime Minister, but even if we lose it puts them in an awkward position and can compromise my prospects for coming back.  If nothing else, I do have a sense of loyalty and I don't want to leave them in the lurch.  Generally there are a lot more moves after an election rather than before, and for good reason.

But that is putting the cart before the horse.  I've not yet had a first interview let alone been offered a position, so I will face those questions when the time comes.  In the meantime, it is a huge boost for me.  I feel as though I am being sought after, and I feel that I have real value in the job market, which is something I had forgotten in recent months.  In just a short time after starting to look, I am getting results.  So even if I don't wind up with this job, I am far more confident that I can find another than I was even a few hours ago.

I think next week I will hit the gym hard.  I am feeling bulletproof.
luckycanuck: (madmen)
Today's first stop was to swing by the home of bakerypenguin to pick up Molly the dog who is ecstatically happy to see me after spending the night alone outside after BP was called away unexpectedly.  The second stop was to drop Molly off at granny's house having fought of her frequent attempts to migrate over into my lap.

Work was reasonable today.  I am going to Mackay on Thursday to train up a local campaign on my demographic work.  There was a bit of busy work but overall things got done.

Yesterday the market dropped enough for the price of a brain testing and analysis company whose revenues have grown throughout the financial crisis and I picked up some shares.  I now have pretty much my entire net worth invested in the market.  There is very little spare cash around.  Lucky I don't have much in the way of expenses before I am next paid.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

Bad timing.  My first game with the Convicts is this weekend.  We are playing Maccabi, the all Jewish team in our final trial match.  (Clearly they aren't especially orthodox or they wouldn't be playing on Shabbat.)  I chose not to have a big workout yesterday, though I did a total of 500 pushups whilst watching Family Guy last night.

Unfortunately, the national wife carrying championship is on the same day and I can't do both.  If only they were on different weekends I could have done both, and just maybe I could have become a national champion of wife carrying in Australia just as I was in Canada in 2002.  One day I must go to Finland to compete in the world championships.

No matter.  My car is currently being serviced and I've finally gotten the code to unlock the radio so I won't be stuck singing to myself all the way to Sydney.

A major buyer has increased its stake in Chemgenex, which is reassuring for me and makes me think I should hold onto it.  Clearly people with more resources and expertise than I've got believe their drug will be approved and have put a fair chunk of money on it.

I did some looking around and the cost of the leukemia treatment they are aiming to offer in America is expected to be around $30,000 per year.  I don't have any problem with them making money through treating the sick.  I know that if they do so it will preserve lives, it will be good news for me, and it will stand to give me a bit of financial security.  It is a reminder, however, that I could be facing the same kind of costs if I was hit by similar circumstances.  That probably explains why I invest in the first place.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I was at work early for touch rugby, in which I apparently ran some good lines and scored four tries, at least two of which were nearly identical.  Add to that a shadow minister asking me about my training regime and it was a good for the ego start to the day.

I wrote a few reports today and plan to continue doing so.  It's been a good week so far, and things have been pretty orderly though between televisions and chattering colleagues and ringing phones it was a whelming (i.e. not quite overwhelming) cacophony at times.

TW: 10 thrusters, 20 bosu situps, 20 pushups.  Five rounds.  Then for dessert, 10 pullups, 10 dips.  Five rounds.  Then for coffee, 50 shoulder presses done one arm at a time, 50 chest presses done one arm at a time.  I tried starting off with jumping rope as prescribed in a Crossfit workout, but failed.  I managed about 27 before first having to stop due to getting out of sync with my jumps, but then kept stumbling after one or two.  It was going to take forever to get to 100, and I probably would have gotten a severe case of stabulence before that.

Pizza was had tonight on a base that the good cashier at Coles gave me for free because it wouldn't scan.  Oh yeah!  I was already high on endorphins and then got the high of feeling like I got a deal.  Case in point for me being a bit cheap.
luckycanuck: (Default)
Tuesday I spent heaps to have a small piece of metal implanted in my gums. Today I spent less of a heap to get my car serviced. I've never had a flash car, but it's sensible and reliable (except for the time last month when it stalled in the heat.) When I picked it up this afternoon though I could feel the difference. No rumbly noise from the muffler. I noticed it steered more easily. (I hadn't noticed a problem but I noticed when it improved.)

So it's been a big spending week. Luckily today my investments went up after dropping for a couple of weeks. On paper at least. I've still got my eyes open for new opportunities.

Oh, and I took a bus in Canberra for the first time ever this morning to get to work after dropping off the car. This is a very car centric city.


luckycanuck: (Default)

June 2012

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