luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

Bingham Cup – Day 1

We got to the grounds with plenty of time to warm up and get strapped. My strapping mostly consisted of two pieces of cardboard rolled up and covered in strapping tape that were than taped to my thighs so I could be more easily lifted in the lineout. I chose to write a personal message on mine.

For those of you not conversant in Greek, that translates as “bring it on” , as said by the 300 Spartans to the Persians before the Battle of Thermopylae.

We watched the firsts smash Seattle before gearing up for our first match against a combined Atlanta/Philadelphia team.

I had been on edge all day, and stampeded into the game with vigour. We kicked off, and 30 seconds in I produced the first big hit of the tournament for my team, hurling my opposite number to the ground for the loss of a few metres. The Convicts on the sideline cheered. I had arrived at the start of the tournament, but as our coach told us “we haven’t arrived yet.”

We settled into an aggressive game, I managed a nice run that ended five metres short of the try line, and on the next phase a teammate crossed over, but waited too long to place the ball down and was hit in such a way that he hurt his knee. His tournament was over.

We put in four tries, and only gave up one, which was my only frustration with the match. Had I reacted a split second earlier, I could have gotten under the ball and stopped their scrum half from grounding it.

Our next game, after ice baths and lunch, was against Los Angeles. It was a tough match and it was played mostly in our half. We gave up one try in the first half in a bruising spectacle.

Late in the first half I had been in a series of intense plays and found myself exhausted. At a stoppage in play I took my time getting up, and while stepping away, I went back down. The physios came on and had a look at me, and took me off. By the time I was off, I was fine, though the spectacle of me being helped off the pitch made it look like I was in worse shape than I was. The ref would not allow me back on.

This bothered me. I wanted to get back on to help my team, but that was not going to happen. What bothered me most of all was knowing that I could have stayed in the game. The consensus was that I had fainted and that for my own good and for the team I was better off on the sideline, but I don’t think that was the case. I think I went down when I could have stayed on my feet. I was exhausted and wanted to buy a few seconds, but in looking all wobbly for a second and taking a knee, I had taken myself out. Nobody held anything against me, but my conclusion was that I had quit.

We lost 12-0, and I felt as though I had failed. I went home in a bad mood. The result almost certainly wouldn’t have been any different had I stayed in, but I couldn’t let it go. I left the ground that day as a quitter.

luckycanuck: (Default)
I watched the rugby with [ profile] bakerypenguin and her family.  It was a low scoring game and it could have gone either way, but in the end I was happy to see the All Blacks win at last.  They were a bit shaky on the night and looked like they might choke again, but they did enough to hold on for an 8-7 victory.  The title went to the team that was the best in the tournament.

The whole thing was overshadowed by the haka controversy.

This is what happened.

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

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

I have had a lot of good workout days recently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The issue of anti-depressants also came up and she agreed with me that in my current state anti-depressants may not be the right thing right now.  Her advice, keep going with mindfulness about how I feel and maintaining my values, and in a few months, if I can continue doing that and I still feel gloomy, then re-consider the chemical option.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I had my second experience with roller derby yesterday and it was quite something.  My friend Bikerchick was competing in the curtain raiser to the grand final, which wound up being a tremendously compelling match (or bout as they are called.)  I was highly impressed with the athleticism of many of the players, and compared it to professional wrestling, except not the least bit fake.  The similarity derives from the theatricality of the sport.  It was a lot of fishnets and violence based puns, and it's a sport I now appreciate much more now that I understand the rules better.  I'm sure I will see it again.

I wound up at the after party with a number of the players including Bikerchick whose attempts to get me to arm wrestle one of her teammates fell flat.  I did enjoy being in the background keeping mostly to myself, though often this is mistaken for not enjoying the festivities.  I was fine until a group of people wound up heading to one of Canberra's gay bars (or possibly the only one.)

I've been in more than my share of gay bars with the Convicts, and I am fine in the environment.  This, however was not my environment.  It was loud and crowded and by this point in the evening I had not a lot of bandwidth left, but the problem started before I even went inside.  When I am out with the Convicts, I am amongst friends, and I am in places I know.  This was not the case last night.  I may as well have been on the dark side of the moon I felt so out of my element.  I felt I had no business being there like I do with the Convicts, and I was nervous even as we walked there.  I would have thought I was fine with gay bars, but maybe I'm not.  Maybe I'm just ok with Convict bars, or maybe I'm just not ok with night clubs generally unless I have a good reason.  Whatever the explanation, I quickly went into aspie stress mode, was unable to look anyone in the eye, had to sit down, and wound up being led to a spot where I could do so.  I was right next to the dance floor in a loud and crowded room, and apparently I was sitting on broken glass but was too close having a panic attack to notice.  I didn't last long, and Bikerchick led me outside where I was slowly able to come down from my near freakout.

We wound up having a nice chat about my aspie tendencies and her own struggles, and I dozed off on her sofa while watching True Blood.  I awoke to her cat headbutting me repeatedly in an effort to get fed.

Today was a quieter day, though I did get to the gym and did an arm and chest oriented workout.

TW: 5 rounds - 10 bench press, 10 hanging pullups.  Then 10 rounds - 15 HR pullups, 15 bicep curls.

Yesterday was more tire fun and a go at Fran (3:12).  I'm getting better at thrusters but it will probably be a long road since anythign squat related is an awkward movement for me.

Tonight I dined with Bakerypenguin and family and then watched the rugby world cup final while wearing black.  It wasn't the most satisfying match and it ended with a close 8-7 result for the All Blacks.  They were the best team in the tournament and I am glad for them given what has happened to the country recently, but all the same they seemed to be trying to lose it at times.


Oct. 15th, 2011 02:05 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
There is a monthly event in Sydney that I like to attend.  I won't go into details here as it's a bit personal, but the idea is that you e-mail your interest and get yourself on the door list.  I contacted the organisers about two weeks ago, but unfortunately the guest list had filled up fast and I was out of luck.  That was a bit of a let down, but not much.

I found out on Wednesday, however, that a friend of mine had a friend of hers cancel, so a spot had opened up.  She made arrangements to get me on the list in place of her friend and I drove up to Sydney Friday morning happy to be taking part again.

It wasn't until about three hours before the even that I got the bad news.  There were already overbooked and so the space was just cancelled.  Having already driven to Sydney, I was out of luck.

I felt quite down about this, but I wound up spending part of the evening with my friends before they went, and wound up dozing off on the sofa before seeing them early in the morning when they got home.

Combine this with the fact that Minxyminou took me out for a birthday steak that was the best steak I can ever recall eating, and it has actually been a pretty good weekend overall.

Now I'm off to the gym (I was asked if I Crossfit during a shortened workout yesterday) and then to meet up with some of the Convicts for the Cymru v France match.

Also, I like the Haka, but I found this article to be quite good.  I accept that the Haka is part of the game, but if you are going to do a war dance just before kick off, I don't think you should get to dictate what the other side has to do while you do it.  Additionally, as one researcher points out, "offence starting being taken by the Kiwis for all manners of perceived slights and indiscretions not long after commercial interests became entwined with the All Blacks. It isn't, apparently, demeaning to use the sacred war dance in extensive advertising campaigns."

luckycanuck: (Maccabi)
No I didn't just doze off and collapse on the keyboard in writing the title of this post.

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

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

Just FYI, here are the lyrics in Cymraeg.

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

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

And here they are translated into English.

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

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

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

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

Or in English

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

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

I've always liked national anthems.

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

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


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: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
Right now, Australia and the USA are playing a preliminary match in the rugby world cup.  I am at home instead of watching it at the pub.

Also, I am in a really strange mood.

I turned up just before kickoff, ordered a beer, and found myself an uncrowded spot in a nearly empty pub to watch.  My intended workout for they day was to do ten pushups for every point the Wallabies scored.  I've done it plenty of times.  Last Sunday I did the same thing while watching Canada v France in a pub and there were no objections.

But as I finished my second set of post try pushups, I was told that nobody was allowed to be on the floor and that pushups in the pub were out of the question on accout of health and safety regulations.

F*cking health and safety regulations!  I wasn't in anyone's way, I wasn't doing pushups on shards of broken glass, I wasn't hurting anyone, I was just patronising their pub and watching the rugby in my own way and they decided they would rather I left than stay for the rest of the game and most likely for dinner.  Damn you Surf Rock Hotel!!!  Damn you I say!  If you thought I was going to hang around for the atmosphere you are wrong.  I was there to watch the rugby and do pushups, and if you take either of those away from me I have no reason to stay.

So I finished my beer in one gulp and walked out, making sure they knew why I was leaving.  I marched home with a scowl on my face.  My plans had been interrupted and I was fuming.  I had been looking forward to the rugby and my pushups all day and now I couldn't enjoy either.

Now I'm home, and with my original plan dashed I am all aspie stressed and struggling to think of something else to do.  I feel paralysed with frustration.

MCat and I had another long Skype chat this afternoon and I told her that I felt broken, that I had no idea how to fix myself, and that I had virtually no inclination to do so.

I'm not well.
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: (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: (Maccabi)
I was up late last night after the drive up from Sydney and a visit with some friends at a party, and then up early this morning to head down to Woollahra to play with the Convicts.

The first half was a bit choppy thought I made plenty of tackles and a couple of nice runs.  In the second half the back really seemed to click and we ran in plenty of tries, winning by a score of 31-12.  It may be my last game of the season as I won't be up for next week's game.

My longest run took me about 15 metres further down the field and involved fending off one tackler before another got a half hold of me and another came in to finish the job.  In the process of getting hit I got crunched a bit and heard a clicking sound in my neck.  The stiffness had come back a bit and while I felt good enough to go back in the physio said I should probably stay out for the rest of the game, which was probably the right decision.  He is pretty sure it wasn't a concussion as I've had no memory loss or unconsciousness or dizziness or nausea or any of the calling cards but he didn't want to take the risk.  I've been tired (but that's reasonable on account of being up late and up early.)  I have a while to spend at Collaroy which will be good, but I'll be fending for myself.  I'm not going with the old wives tale of staying up all night if there's a risk of concussion.  If I had to be woken up every hour, they wouldn't have let me come home to the Collaroy Castle alone.

The return of neck soreness will annoy me if it stop me from going to the gym though.  The Mona Vale gym has a huge tire I've been keen to flip.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)
It was a pretty good weekend, but when I got home I really felt like I was crashing.

I made it to rugby early and was really switched on by kickoff.  As I waited on the sidelines I picked up a ball that was at my feet and repeatedly bashed it against my forehead.  My war face was on and a supporter shouted at me to "get angry."   We were playing a team we came up against a few weeks ago and lost a close fought game while being frequently penalised and having a total of three guys sin binned.

This time I was put on in the second half to replace a guy who was exhausted from hitting rucks and making tackles.  Two minutes later he had to come back on as one of the other back rowers hurt his ankle.  The scores were level at 10 when they got the ball out of a ruck and passed it back to their fly half who wound up for a kick.  I was quick enough off the mark to get there just in time to block it with my face.  It bounced forward and I was in hot pursuit.  One of our backs got to it first but wasn't able to pick it up so he kicked it forward to chase it over the try line.  Unfortunately he put just a little too much on it.  With a really lucky bounce or with a few more metres of in goal we would have had a try.

They wound up deep in our end but we managed to get the ball back and one ruck turned into a bit of a shoving match before my opposite number punched one of our guys from behind and got a yellow card.  He was lucky it wasn't a red.  With twelve minutes left they wouljd be a man down for all but the last two minutes.

We kicked it deep, won the resulting lineout, and held on to the ball for several phases.  It was a real team effort.  Everyone had a hand in keeping the play alive.  There were plenty of offloads including one that came to me to run forward about three or four more metres before  getting tackled and getting a knee in the face and a mouthful of dirt.  On the next phase we got nearly to the line and with one more push, by the time I got to my feet we were over.

Then we managed to hold off a late charge and kept them pinned back in their own half.  Final score, Convicts 17 Brothers 10.  We sang the Convicts Victory Song louder than I have ever heard.  THOOOOOOOOOOOSE MAAAAAAAAAAAGNIFICENT MENT FROM THE CONVICTS ARE HERE!

I wasn't going to come to Sydney next weekend as I have plans on Saturday, but now that we are into the next round and after the high of Saturday I will have to see how I can rearrange things.

Then I got cleaned up enough to pick up Minxyminou who was coming up to stay at the Collaroy Castle, a place with which she is very enamoured.  We went out to a Mexican place in the next suburb that she was quite keen to try.  The portions weren't huge but the quality was excellent.

I made lots of tea and put together a pretty good breakfast in the morning and the two of us went down to the beach, though only I went in.  Minou looked very odd standing on the beach dressed all in black with a bikini clad girl getting a tan on one side of her and a guy setting up his surfboard on her other side.  Very unsurfie.

It was a great weekend in a lot of ways, but by the time I got back home I was really coming down.  There was a lot to come down from.

I guess I will have a few things to talk about when I go back to the psychologist tomorrow morning.  I've not actually been properly sad for a long time (if you don't count last night's gloom), and I've had a lot ot be happy about, but my feelings of being detached are still as strong as ever.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

I drove up to Sydney on Friday and had two matches with the Convicts arranged for the following day.

The first was against Mosman, and it was a back and forth affair which we led 19-17 until they were awarded a penalty right in front of the posts and kicked it.  We wound up losing by a single point.

I felt fine for the whole match but a few minutes afterwards my neck stiffened up.  I put some ice on it and drove to the second match where I warmed up and was about to be sent in my a coach who didn't realise how stiff my neck was.  That match ended in a 19-19 draw.

I went back to Collaroy exhausted from what felt like 36 hours of activity with very little rest, and a sore neck which I treated with ibuprofen  and later with a gin and toinc.

Around 5am I woke up with the pain in my neck intensified.  It was hard to move at all in any way, but I did manage to get up after an effort that took about fifteen minutes.  Doing anything with my head aside from keeping it perfectly still and upright was a struggle.  I considered my options and thought about heading down to the car and going to hospital but given the effort and discomfort associated with just getting out of be that seemed like a bad idea.  I didn't feel I was in a bad enough way to call for an ambulance so I went back to bed and got back to a shallow level of sleep.

After the sun came up I took the advice of [ profile] bakerypenguin  and went to a local doctor, who suggested I go to hospital where an x-ray might be in order to rule out a broken neck like her brother sustained playing rugby.  After a bit of a wait during which they put a neck brace on me as a standard precaution, they concluded without an x-ray that there was "no clinically significant fracture' and therefore no reason to subject me to a dose of radiation.  They did send me away with a medical certificate to get me out of work (which I didn't need) and a prescription for codeine and diazapam (which I did need, and which made me real tired.)

I am the fifth member of the Luckycanuck family to have been a patient of Mona Vale Hospital.  My dad left with a broken hip, my mum left with a broken nose and eye socket, and both my Australian grandparents died there.  So I left in better health than anyone in the history of the Luckycanuck family.

The plan of driving back to Canberra on Sunday afternoon was not on the cards, and I wound up sleeping until after noon on Monday.  I read a bit, researched a stock, and didn't set foot outside of the Collaroy Castle once.

By Tuesday I had recovered enough to be able to go off the drugs which enabled me to make the drive to Canberra while giving [ profile] savesomesilence  a lift and playing with the dogs for a bit.  Dora was latching onto me for protection from a geriatric three legged cat.

Today was a quiet day at work.  There will be a lot of these coming up.  I rescheduled my appointment with the agency that I had to cancel on Monday, and came home to the weekly dinner.  There will be another dinner elsewhere tomorrow.  I hope to make it into the gym in the morning if I can find something that puts no strain on my neck.

luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

I told most of the politicians I was leaving yesterday afternoon and over steak in the evening.  One fringe benefit of this job is that there is these kind of perks, in the case wagyu steaks donated by the Beef Council (or some similarly named group) on account of our side doing a lot to help them out during the recent live export controversy.  I am more aware of these fringe benefits now.  I even managed to write some letters today.

I managed a short workout last night.  It lasted just 10 minutes but it took on a dynamic I've not frequently experienced.

YW: 5 60kg cleans, 5 burpees, 5 60kg cleans, 5 burpees - every two minutes for ten minutes.

It wasn't a lot of reps, it wasn't a huge amount of weight, and it didn't take long, but the combination was tougher than I thought.

I also came across this article today as sent to me by Coffee Snob.  The cause of getting women to workout for real rather than float around on the elliptical machine without breaking a sweat and "toning" with low weights has been of interest to me recently.  Katie lifted.  Katie got strong.  Katie still looks like a woman.

This morning I played touch rugby.  NSW won State of Origin Touch Rugby 10-7 and I managed a couple of explosive runs that ended up in tries (and another where all I had to do was catch the ball and put it down.)  I am now expecting to be called up to play for the Blues next year as they lost to Queensland for the sixth straight time.  Sometimes they are switched on, but so often they just make lazy or embarassing mistakes.

My ankle was fine (untaped this time) and it should be fine this weekend with the Convicts.

No dinner this week.  But we will be back on next week I hope.  This is the first time we've missed a week.

luckycanuck: (Maccabi)
Today there is a lot of soreness all over.

I went for a recovery swim yesterday morning in very calm seas which was quite nice.  My streak of monthly ocean swims remains unbroken.

I also got some good (well, not so bad) news about the Collaroy Castle.  I was speaking with my parents and got my frustration about the eventual sale of the family home out.  I don't need to go into why I have been annoyed with the prospect here, but now my parents know.  They still plan to sell.  Not now, and not for a couple of years.  The good news is that my parents plan to downsize and trade the house which needs a lot of upkeep for a unit with the proceeds of the sale.  At least this way there is still a family home, it's just not THE family home on the same patch of dirt that my great grandfather bought in 1916 for fifty pounds.  Also the sense that I will be more isolated is considerably reduced.

Sunday's rugby saw most of the same guys turn up.  My ankle held up nicely through the whole weekend with the help of strapping tape.

Click for plenty of action pics. )

In the end the final score was a 13-5 loss, though subtract the fraudulent try and it would have been 6-5.

I had dinner with Minou and a play with the dogs on the way home.  "Lesbianese" food as I called it was very nomulent.

I wound up getting back home at 11pm to an empty house.  Today is my day to cook, and I don't think anyone is going to be around.  That's a shame, as I was kind of looking forward to doing my part.  Maybe we will delay to later in the week.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

I drove up first thing this morning and made it in plenty of time for the game.

I was assigned to jump in the line out, and with my legs strapped I did pretty well, especially as I am lighter than the guy the lifters were accustomed to listing.  I did pretty well in the lineout, and managed to smack the ball down to our side about ten metres away from the try line against their throw.  I then got into the ruck when one of our guys went into contact, and with the ball quickly recycled another Convict found a gap and we managed a try.  I felt suitably pleased to have made a contribution.

We gave up a LOT of penalties in the first half.  I gave up a couple.  In one instance I stole the ball from a guy I tackled before he hit the ground, and then got pinged for having my hands in the ruck.  Another time I picked up the ball out of the ruck five metres out and jumped through a gap, was tackled, but then found myself on the ground with nobody on me.  Concluding that I wasn't "tackled and held" I made one more surge and got the ball over the line before being pinged again.

The final score: Convicts 21 Merrylands 7.  And we sang our victory song.

For those of you who don't know it...

Thooooooooooose maaaaaaaaaaaagnificent men from the Convicts are here.
Playing their rugby and drinking their beer.
During the game they win all of the rucks.
And after the game they get all of the f*cks.
Ruck! Ruck! Maul! Maul!
Jumping in lineouts and winning the ball.
They are really good men.
Those magnificent men,
Those magnificent men,
Those magnificent men, from the Convicts are here!

My ankle held up well and it was good to be back with the Convicts.  I'll be back at it again tomorrow.  Apparently we have a good chance to win the championship if we can get a few more wins.

Later I had dinner at Bar Italia in Leichhardt.  There wasn't even a gun taped to the toilet.  They must have given that job to Fredo.
luckycanuck: (Default)
Rugby last weekend was short lived.  I was fine during the warm up provided that there was no contact and I didn't have to change direction.  Because those things rarely happen in rugby.  They wanted me to start at Number 8 but I said I would probably be better off on the bench.  They did put me on mid way through the second half and in my first ruck my ankle got knocked (not turned or twisted but just bumped) and I foud myself limping to follow the play.  I did get thrown the ball and suddenly felt no pain as I ran it forward into contact.  Getting up, however, I felt all sore again and realised that I was going to have little impact on the game like that in addition to needlessly risking myself.  We were up by three tries late in the game anyway and an injury could have put me out for the season if it went wrong.  I did, however, enjoy the fact that I am one game closer to making 100 appearances for the Convicts.

I drove a teammate with a broken hand (that I may have broken in the first ruck where I knocked my ankle) to hospital before going on to the next game.  Both our teams wound up winning in solid displays, and I told some of my teammates that I was looking for work, possibly in Sydney.

It was nice to have a whole day in Canberra for the end of the weekend and I spent a fair amount of it at the gym in a pretty intense workout.

SunW: The Filthy Fifties: 50 shoulder press, 50 kettlebell swings, 50 calorie row, 50 bicep curls, 50 dynamic pushups, 50 toes to bar, 50 bench jumps, 50 pullups, 50 dips, 50 burpees.

I was reminded during the workout that I like girls.  Also, I am always impressed by girls who lift.  I think not enough of them do. One of my fellow patrons and I had a conversation about borrowing Crossfit workout principles into creating our own taxing and brutal workouts.

On Monday I picked up Coffee Snob from the airport which made me late for work, and also picked out a fabric and a design for my next new suit.  Apparently they are going to narrow the lapels by about half an inch because that is the fashion now.  Fine.  I wouldn't have known but I'm happy to go along with that.  Shopping for suits is much easier when this is all I have to do.  The tailor remembered me and was pleased that I had given him referrals.

Then it was another full on day at the gym, but not before I prevented a woman from disrobing in the mens changing room.  Somehow a woman got almost to the point of taking her shirt off before I asked "are you sure you're in the right place?"

YW: 5 rounds of: Row 400m, 30 seconds L-hang (which was VERY hard), 30 kettlebell swings.  Then I practiced my form on squats a bit, then did 50 burpees (I have decided to do 50 burpees in every workout in the hopes of improving at them) and 10 heavy bag getups.

When I got home dinner was on.  This is becoming a regular Monday evening thing it would seem.  Roxy had made a very nice stirfry and we all ate together.  I think I would be quite happy if we continued doing so.  I contributed som chocolate I had around and I also made the tea and did a bunch of dishes while they watched Masterchef.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

Well, I've crossed a line.

I can now officially say I've done nude modelling.

At the end of May the Convicts are doing another Rugger Bugger strip show to raise funds for our next tour, and I will be in the promotional photo on the poster.

Myself and five other guys from the team got all bronzed up and made to look like statues with muscle shadows drawn in and gold sparkly stuff covering us.  I made a point of looking away from the camera to ensure I had some level of plausible deniability.

My initial instinct was not to do it, but I do like supporting the team and I do like have unusual stories to tell, so I thought it would be ok so long as I took some minor precautions.  Of course, even if I didn't there probably wouldn't be much in the way of fallout, but all the same I thought it would be best not to let the camera get a full view of my face.

Before that I finally did pushups in front of the Opera House (this has now become my thing.)  Afterwards I went to visit Minou at her temporary pad in the city.  I wanted to get cleaned up as I was still largely covered in bronzer and looked vaguely like I was suffering from liver failure or something.  I also finally got to meet Butters, who was not as big as I had imagined but who was nerdier than I had imagined.  He and I went to see the Waratahs play and we had a couple of drinks (well, he had more than I did!)

I fly back to Sydney to finish this little road trip this afternoon and I think next weekend I will stay home.  The cold is almost gone, but I found out that MCat has now come down with an upper respiratory infection, probably contracted during my visit.  Luckily the game this weekend was cancelled on account of the ground being too wet to play on so I didn't have to find myself in the awkward position of deciding whether to play or not.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)

Last year when I was out with my fellow Australians to observe the American elections, we went out on the Saturday before Halloween and in the process I met MCat who was dressed up as Lady Gaga.  We spoke for a little while and became Facebook friends.

For the past few days, I stayed with MCat and her cats (who reluctantly got used to me.)

I suppose in theory it's an odd thing to do for both of us.  She opened her home to a guy from overseas (and had to reassure skeptical friends that she would be ok) and it was a long way for me to go, though given that I was in America anyway, Orlando isn't all that hard to get to.

We had gotten to know each other pretty well though, in fact better than most people I interact with on a daily basis.  She knew about my frailties and quirks and accepted them all.  For both of us it just felt right.

So when my bags were delayed (again) coming in from Washington, I didn't mind much even though it meant waiting around the airport a bit because my bags came in on the next flight right at the same time as MCat finished her class and came by to pick me up.

On Thursday little aside from resting was done.  I've been fighting a cold since last week (probably punishment for lack of sleep in New York) and medicated myself to a point where I felt much more human.  (Though I think I passed some of my symptoms on to MCat.)

On Friday she hauled me across the state to her native Tampa (which is, I was assured, much better than Orlando) and we went to Sand Key so that I could swim in another body of water, this time the extraordinarily warm Gulf of Mexico and do pushups on the shore.  An onlooker asked if we were visiting on our honeymoon, and we said no, but for some reason I was inspired to spin a bit of a tale.  I told the guy I was a rugby player when he asked what I did.  Now technically that's true.  I am a rugby player.  I never said I played rugby for a living, I just let him conclude that.  He said he was going to look out for me when he watched ESPN.  I told him I played for the Sydney Convicts, and I'm pretty sure he forgot the name of the team by the time he left.

People in the south are really very friendly.

On Saturday we went to the other coast and visited Kennedy Space Centre, which was expensive, but worth it.  A space shuttle was on the platform in preparation for launch and we got a pretty good view.  We also met with an active space shuttle astronaut and, of course, I did pushups with her.  I'm not a full on science nerd, but I do have some tendencies in that area and the opportunity to get that close to space was too good to pass up.  The whole production was quite impressive and was aimed at promoting the idea of space travel amongst people who might lobby their Senators and Congressmen to increase NASA's funding.  I know there are a lot of demands on taxpayer funds and the US Government is going deeper and deeper in debt everyda, and I couldn't actually explain in simple terms what NASA is doing with all those expensive missions, but it was hard to come away from the place without wanting to send a man to Mars.

This morning MCat took me to the airport and saw me off.  (I made it through security in time to catch most of Easter Sunday Mass.)  Now is an odd part of the holiday.  I am currently in LAX on an 11 hour stopover (luckily I have a guest pass to the Qantas Club which was accepted which is good because as much as I like adventure, I think I've had enough of it for now and I would rather have some quiet time.)

The problem with quiet time is that sometimes it gives me time to stew, and stewing at the moment would likely be on the subject of feeling alone now that I am leaving all my American friends behind.

But you know, this has been a pretty good trip and I have had some very good friends to share it with.  From starting my holiday visiting JAQ in San Francisco to visiting my family, to getting in touch with some old friends in Ottawa and Washington, to getting in touch with newer friends in New York, to meeting blog friends in Baltimore, to ending my trip with MCat, I have been fairly well surrounded by people who know me and care what happens to me.

There were a few lonely and teary moments on the flight in to LA, but they are behind me now.

I am, indeed, a Luckycanuck.


luckycanuck: (Default)

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