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: (Mr Strong)
I've had big workout days yesterday and today.

YW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 20-1 pullups, half as many clean squat press - 30:31.

TW: Run to and from the gym about 12km. 10 hr pushups, 10 situps, 10 hr pushups, 10 medicine ball slams - 11:34.

The running made things really tough.  I'm quite tired and tonight I will sleep heavily.

I have taken a step.  It's pretty big I guess.

I have enrolled at the Fitness Institute of Australia to do Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness, which will qualify me to become a personal trainer.  I'll be studying online which means I can go entirely at my own pace which will mean I will probably finish ahead of schedule.  I can also claim it against my taxes, whether or not I have an ABN set up already.  Action has been taken.

When I get back to Canberra I plan to investigate getting some homemade gym equipment, and I may start spreading the word that I am taking sessions.  Naturally I won't charge as much to start off with as I will when I am qualified, and I don't plan to work for someone else.  I plan to be a freelancer.

Mcat and I had another long Skype session.  We always seem to have a lot to talk about.  I met her a year ago and never would have expected to get as close to someone I met so randomly as I have gotten to her.

In other news, the Convicts are staging a gladiator themed fundraising strip show, and for the first time ever, I will be on stage.  I can't get to the first rehearsals later this week, but I will be able to make it to the rehearsals the day before the show and the day of the show.  I guess I won't be doing anything overly complicated, but the strip shows are usually pretty simple anyway.  For the first time I am able to rehearse and I won't risk being compromised at work, so it should be a go.
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
I've been quite tired this week.  In general I'm in bed at midnight and up at about 8am.  Bacon and eggs have been had periodically (which I've rarely had recently had because it always seems like too big a production for breakfast.)

I've had some pretty good workouts.  Yesterday was leg centric with high bench jumps, heavy farmers walk, leg presses and deadlifts along with running to and from the gym.  Today was running to the gym and rowing and biceps followed by chest contractions and marine pushups and the run home.  There have been daytime trips to the beach too.

But I've still felt quite tired.  And I've got a cold.  And I feel isolated.  Except for minor interactions while shopping, I've had very little human contact since Saturday night.  I'll head back to The Berra on Saturday.  I like Collaroy, but I wonder if staying at the Castle is not good for me in long doses.  I can do being alone but these past few days I feel like nothing has happened and nothing has been accomplished.  I felt exhausted the last time I was here too.

I've been watching the markets closely and I am on the cusp of selling a few stocks, but nothing has changed hands this week.  BOW is still waiting for developments or advice from the board on the proposed takeover or an offer from another suitor, ALK is looking good, and I am wishing I had gotten out of NBS which has frustrated me for a long time.  There will quite likely be a few sales going through soon and I should hopefully have a lot of cash as a result to pounce on bargains if there are more falls.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

It turns out I've got the whole house to myself this weekend.  And it turns out that I am exploiting that.

Last night I happened by JB Hifi and picked up some DVDs as they had a sale on.  My attempts at manification of our DVD collection in this case consisted of bringing home Godfather III (I've heard it's not that good but I've already got the first two), Inglorious Basterds, and Fight Club in addition to Office Space which is an appropriate film (in some ways) for me at the moment.  Last night I was up late with the heat on in only one room watching films with the sound up and eating more than I should have.

Today I watched a bit more, and interspersed that with stepping out onto the back deck to play some back deck cricket on my own.  Smashing a ball into an area where I knew I wouldn't lose it or break anything was very satifying.  I made some good shots.  Some square cuts, some flicks off the legs, and plenty of drives down the ground.  Of course I never really got good at cricket, but this afternoon I got to imagine myself as Don Bradman.

I also watched Fight Club again, and it seems to be a good time to do so.  Halfway through, it stirred me up sufficiently to make me want to put on a singlet and rugby shorts and run down to the gym in the cold of a Canberra winter.  I found myself quoting lines from the show during the run, but I don't think anyone heard me saying "I'm a space monkey ready to be shot into space" or saw me hitting my head as I ran.  A Fight Club style haircut is on the cards tonight.

My time at the gym was spent sampling out plenty of exercises to see how they made my neck feel.  It's still a bit stiff and it does limit being able to do some things at higher weight or high reps, but even riskier things like kettlebell swings, full pullups from a dead hang, and half clean and press with a bar were fine (at least in small doses.)  I've been really keen to get back to the gym.  A few days off are always tough to take.

It's been a dehumanised day, but I'm in a good mood when it comes to people.  On my run, fueled perhaps by endorphins at last, I decided while looking around that this is a good day to be alive, and I enjoyed talking harmlessly to the eye candy at the gym.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I promised a write up of the Warrior Dash.  Well here it is.

Click for pics of Warrior Training )
luckycanuck: (Default)
I had a weekend in Sydney that involved:

The Warrior Dash.  A full write up with pics will be up soon.  I made it through and am a bit fatigued today but it looks like I'm all better from the 12 hour run.  Which means I'm back to doing weights.  HOO-RAH!

Some very good waves at the beach.  It's not so much the size of the waves, but the shape.  If they break the right way (like yesterday) they are so easy to catch.

A final visit to my parents before they leave.  Mum made crepes, which she always does when I'm around.  She knows I like them, but she thinks I like them more than I actually do.  It's one of the things she likes doing for me so I'm happy to leave it at that.

Lunch and a nice chat with [ profile] minxyminou now that she's back.

The pleasant surprise that we now have season two of True Blood at home.

A wireless connection at home, though we haven't actually set it up properly yet.  I don't really know how to do these things.

This article which sums up one of my key frustration with politics, namely, that people have unreasonable expectations of politicians.  They are expected to know about everything, to have an opinion on everything, and to care about everything.  If they don't, or if they do something that a vocal minority finds offensive, they catch hell as people go ballistic.  The media has really aroused my ire this past week over their expectation that Tony Abbott had something to answer for in his "sh*t happens" remark (as if he was actually dismissing the death of a soldier while talking to survivors from that soldier's unit) and their criticism of Julia Gillard for expressing either too much or too little or too contrived levels of emotion over the recent natural disasters.  Both are non stories that underline the over inflated sense of entitlement that far too many people have regarding politicians.

As an aside, Mark Riley's wikipedia page has been vandalised and is currently closed.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

That's how many steps I reckon I took in my 12 hour race, provided that I averaged 1 metre per step.

Cut for action photos )

The donations to beyondblue have picked up a lot recently.  So far they total $860 with more still pledged to come in.  I even managed to collect a few donations on the night from passers by or people on my support crew.

Now I just have to hope I recover from this in time to make a showing at the Warrior Dash on Saturday.  Why oh why do they have to be so close together?
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
There will be another post including all the details and photos, but I finished my 12 hour run.  I was one of 6 to finish the whole 12 hours, and in the process I completed 85.02km.  (53 miles)

I am now a barely walking ball of soreness.


Feb. 4th, 2011 03:22 pm
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
In just over 24 hours I will start my 12 hour run.

I've got pretty much everyhting arranged.  My roster is set up with only three hours of gaps from 10-midnight and from 1-2am.  I've assembled Weetbix, biscuits, lollies, chocolate peanuts, crackers, and drinks totalling over 15,000 calories which is a lot more than I will need, but it's good to have plenty of everything.  My parents just arrived in Canberra and will be on hand for the start and the finish.

I've been getting plenty of rest and I've started loading up on carbs and drinking plenty of water.  Tonight I'll try to get to bed early and I will spend plenty of tomorrow resting up for the start at 7pm.

I've got some things to pick up.  I can't seem to find my running undershorts so a new pair of them is due, and I will need strapping tape for my ankles.  I've also got to decide what I will wear.  I'll have some beyondblue wristbands to wear but they didn't have t-shirts so I will probably find something blue to wear.  I'll also have spare socks and runing clothes and something to wear after the race.  I hope it doesn't rain because I haven't got an umbrella big enough to cover all the gear.

I've wanted to do some heavy workouts this week but I have had to restrain myself.  I'm really keen to get at it and throw myself into something physical.

I'm starting to get the feeling of anticipation.  Not nervousness, but a sense of being switched on.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

I went out for a run this morning, intending to stop at the gym on my way to Manly for a total of about 28km.  It was hot enough and the sun was very strong, so I decided that risking sunburn and heatstroke in 30+ degrees (90F) wasn't a good idea.  I had a decent workout and filled up my water bottles for the run home, going the long way around via the plateau for a total of about 15km.  I felt quite exhausted by the end and I still feel worn out now.

Afterwards I had a swim at the beach.  The tide was very low but there were a few good sized waves, some of which could be bodysurfed.  It was wonderfully warm.  Like getting into a big salty bath.

While I was at the gym, I saw a very unsettling tattoo.  Now I know many people (like minxyminou) are big fans of tattoos, and have advised me on what would look good on me if I was ever to get one.  I can honestly say that with the tattoo I saw on a guy at the gym, I wouldn't have needed any advice that it was a horrible tattoo.

Guess what it was.  Go on, guess.  I'll wait.

Want to know what it was?  It wasn't just embarassing like someone who has no appreciation of asian culture getting a Chinese tattoo that they think means "peace" but actually means "my mother is a diseased whore."  It also wasn't merely self-congratulatory or egomaniacal or lame song lyrics.

Click here for the answer )
If only I could have come up with something devastatingly clever when he asked if I was done with some weights.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
Yesterday I was up at 3:30am and was out the door at 4:00am.

I ran/walked through Ainslie, past the War Memorial, past the airport, then all the way up Majura Rd going behind Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura before going the long way up to Gungahlin and making my first stop after 25km at the home of Coffee Snob who plied me with tea and some cakes and a banana. Man I was hungry.

Then I ran back home, which was another 8km. After putting some laundry on and refilling my water bottle, I decided I wasn't done yet and ran down to the gym for a bit of a workout involving kettlebells and pushups and pullups.

I decided once more that I wasn't done yet, so I ran down to the lake and along the path to the spot where the 12 hour race will be based to check out the facilities. There is a toilet block and a public BBQ with a tap with running water.

Then I finally decided it was time to make my way home. I happened to come across a runner who lives on my street while I was on Commonwealth Avenue and we ran back to Downer together, and it was good to have someone with me to ensure I ran the whole way back instead of walking. By the time I got home, I had covered a total 50km, and about 90% of it was done while running. At the end, I still felt as though I could keep running.

I ran a marathon at the age of 17 two weeks after finishing high school, but have never done that distance since. Today I did, and then I did more. I have never gone 50km in one day, and though it wasn't all done in one session (I hadn't planned on going that far and I can't carry enough supplies with me and still be able to run rather than walking) I felt it was the best training day for the 12 hour run I have had. There were no problems with my ankles or knees or feet and my legs felt pretty good the whole way.

There will be more runs, but this is the last really long run I think. Your body really does get used to doing long runs, and now I would rather ensure I am entirely recovered before the race.

In the process I reckon I burned enough energy to be the equivalent of nearly two days of eating, and I have been doing a lot of that since.
luckycanuck: (Default)

See if you can guess which of these stories is which.

1) I have had to change rooms in our office.

2) The stock market as it relates to me.

3) My nice watch (a confirmation gift from an ex-girlfriend) has moved a total of 25 minutes since Monday.

4) An old rugby teammate will probably be joining me in the 12 hour race.

Go ahead and lock in your answers.  I'll read this while I wait.

Done?  Good.

1) I have had to change rooms in our office... relatively indifferent news.  It sounds like the kind of change that would disturb things in my life, but it's fine.  I no longer have a window, but I do have a room entirely to myself when Parliament isn't sitting.  I've also gotten rid of a number of things that were just taking up space.

2) The stock market as it relates to me... good news.  Overall the market is down so far in 2011, but everyday seems to bring good news for me as ARX, VMG, Cash Converters, and especially AUT have jumped considerably.  Even PVE has shown signs of life after being in the doldrums for a long time.  Still no hurry to sell though.

3) The watch... bad news.  I reckon I'll probably need to get a new battery.  I really like this watch and it has personal significance as it was bought by someone who knew I wouldn't have bought such a watch for myself.  Tonight I will probably have it looked at on the way home.  (I do wish shops in Australia were open later like they are in North America.)

4) Company on the 12 hour race... bad news that's not really so bad.  At first it bothered me because I felt as though it made my own determination to endure such a hardship less significant.  I know it shouldn't bother me and that it's petty, but I was all set to go with this and be all cool and unique, only for someone to come in and undermine my cool uniquitude.  Today I was walking/running to work and he passed by on his bike and we chatted a bit, and it doesn't bother me so much.  In the end it might be nice to have someone I know out there with me on the night.

My back feels a bit better, but time will tell how it holds up.  In the meantime I am still limited in what I can do (nothing that involves pressing while seated or lying down and pushups are tough.)  Here's hoping that things clear up and I can get back to my full suite of exercises soon.  The foam roller things that my physio recommended to me will be a regular fixture of workouts over the next couple of weeks.  I was at the gym last night later than normal which meant I avoided the resolutionaries who seem to come in and take over the place right after work.  Lucky for me that at all times of the day, nobody else seems to want to play with kettlebells.  Mmmmmmmmm.  Kettlebells.

Tomorrow I'm off for a long walk very early in the morning which will take me to isolated places where I can sing nice and loud without disturbing anyone.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

My preparations for the 12 hour race are continuing.  I covered 40km on Saturday, about 10km on Sunday, and 16 on Monday by walking to and from work which I will likely to again tomorrow.  I am also trying to get used to running and walking in intervals of 5 to 1.

The first two donations have come in, one from the step mother of an ex-girlfriend and one from the first girl who was ever described as my girlfriend (not by me, but by a mutual friend of ours.)  Others are also promising to donate a small sum for every km I complete.  There is plenty of impetus for me to do well.

It also looks as though a support crew is starting to take shape.  Between parents and collegues and friends from a few sources including one who is coming down from Sydney for the weekend, I still hope to be able to put together a team of people that will enable me to go the whole distance without being alone.  I suspect I will need moral support especially towards the later stages when I go further than I have ever gone and possibly get close to my own personal edge.

It seems as though my recovery from Saturday's long walk to visit [ profile] bakerypenguin has been pretty quick.  I felt almost good as new yesterday, and today the slight ache across the front of my left ankle was gone.  I still think I will consult a physio about that particular ache, as it has happened twice in the same place now.  Also, the twinge in my back is still stubbornly hanging around.  I wouldn't normall bother with a physio, but when things don't get better on their own, it's time to call in a professional.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
Well, I've committed to it now.

I am doing the Canberra 12 Hour FatAss.

On Saturday 5 February, I will start running at 7:00pm and I will try to continue moving for 12 hours straight.

I have set up a fundraising page to benefit beyondblue: the national depression initiative and the step mother of an ex-girlfriend has already donated $50, so as far as I'm concerned I can't back out now.

If you are interested in supporting this cause, you can make a donation here.  Donations over $2 are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers.

Also, 12 hours is a long time, and I will need support during the race.  If you are interested in helping me out (especially in the really lonely overnight periods) please let me know.  My parents are planning on coming down as they will be in the country in February, but they probably can't do the whole 12 hours.  Otherwise, if you just want to see me finish, turn up at the National Carillon car park on Wendouree Drive a bit before 7:00am on 6 February.
luckycanuck: (half marathon)
I didn't get up as early as I had planned, and stayed in to watch the first session of the Boxing Day test.

I did, however, decide to go for a long walk during the day rather than first thing in the morning.  It was 1:30 in the afternoon when I set out for Palm Beach, as far north as you can go on the northern beaches and about 20km from the Collaroy Castle.  I had filled up the 3L camel pack that I took to PNG last year and took along another smaller bottle.  I made it to Palm Beach in just over 3 hours and had about a two minute swim amongst the Boxing Day visitors.  Then I got going for the return trip.

During the return trip I started to feel a lot more fatigue.  I hadn't eaten all that much and I had consumed nothing but water so my energy was low.  I picked up a couple bottles of powerade which went down very well but all the same I found myself struggling.  I made it home having gone about 40km in six hours.  I ran a marathon when I was 17 and this is the furthest I've gone in one go since then.  It was also a reminder of how difficult it is to cover that kind of distance.  Now my legs are tired, my right calf was close to cramping up towards the end, and my right ankle has a dull ache.  I'll see how I pull up tomorrow, but I may not be able to walk to Bondi on Tuesday to meet Mitzi as I had planned.

I underestimated the stresses that a 12 hour race would cause.  I was originally hoping to do 100km, but I suspect I won't be able to handle that.  80km may be more realistic, but then again, just finishing the full time would probably be enough of an accomplishment.  Doing what I did today and then doing it again could be more than i can handle given the time I have to prepare.  Of course, I wouldn't have anything to carry with me and I would have been better prepared in terms of having eaten better and having more appropriate drinks, but there's not a lot I can do about stopping my legs from locking up after covering 50km or more.

I'll have to decide before I set up a site to take donations.  Once I do that, I'll be committed.
luckycanuck: (Default)

My rowing is continuing nicely.

YW: 1 minute, 2 minutes... 10 minutes then five minutes to cool down, for an hour in total rowing time.  Distance: 15.5km.

I'm now at nearly 119km after this morning's row.

I think I have decided to do a 12 hour run on the first Friday in February.  My parents will be in Australia and can act as part of my support crew.  I'm not sure how to train or what my goal distance should be.  I think it will be just to keep going for the full 12 hours.  Additionally, I think I will use the opportunity to raise funds for beyondblue, a depression and anxiety charity in Australia now that they seem happy with me doing this.

Also, Dad and I will both be in Australia for the Warrior Dash which is held at the same place as the recent Mud Run.  I think he would be interested in joining me.  He normally runs marathons but he does seem to be interested in unique sporting pursuits.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree I guess.

My friend from the Israeli Embassy came to Parliament for lunch and brought Coffee Snob and I Israeil wine.

I locked my keys in the car and didn't worry aobut it until about 4:00pm.

I spent the first two hours of the work day at my desk in my gym gear.  I had no meetings and nobody to impress, so it was rugby shorts and singlet (tank top for the Americans) until I felt like putting a suit on.

Is it possible to make Julian Assange any creepier?  Yes.  It.  Is.  Hey ladies, he's single!

Tonight we celebrate Christmas at Chez Canuck.  Pizza is on the menu and we are going ot exchange gifts.  I got a sudoku calendar for Helga who I have seen on many occasions doing sudokus from the newspaper, a set of ramekins for Alleluia who mentioned that she needed ramekins, and a bonsai tree for Roxy.  Also I got an enormous Toblerone for the house.  It comes up to my waist.

That is all.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)


Cut for a few dirty pics )


Off to view two places today and to apply for at least one, then to see two more places as a fall back position in case we don’t all find a place together.

No bad news all weekend.  Hooray again!


Nov. 29th, 2010 10:39 pm
luckycanuck: (half marathon)

The result of the Victorian election in which the Labor party has been turned out and a conservative Coalition elected will have ramifications in my workplace.  Basically, there will probably be a lot of turnover in the next six months.

The new Government will need people to come on as staff, and I expect that a number of jobs will be filled by people currently working in the Federal Parliament.  So a number of people who would be happy to live in Melbourne will get their wish.  My office mate is likely to be one of them.

This also means that a lot of new jobs will open up as people leave their current positions.  The fact that NSW is almost certainly going to see my side of politics elected in March will also add to the exodus and the level of turnover.  It is possible that a new or higher paying or more responsible and concrete job with clearer responsibilities will come my way over the next six months.

Two physical challenges came my way today.

1) The Holiday Rowing Challenge. This entails rowing 200km between American Thanksgiving last Thursday and Christmas Eve.  A personal trainer whom I met on my first night in San Francisco suggested this to me, and naturally I took it up.  It would mean an average of between 6 and 7km per day, but since I missed a few days I will have to step it up if I want to make it to 200km.

2) The Canberra Fat Ass.  This is set for the first weekend in February.  It starts at 7pm Friday and finishes at 7am Saturday.  12 consecutive hours of running.  I had considered running a similar race in Sydney in January, but I think it would be easier to pull together a support team in Canberra.  I still haven't decided if I will do this, and if I do I will need to find the best way to train.  I wouldn't run for 12 hours straight.  A good portion of it would be walked.  I do need to decide soon if I will do this or not, because I will need to start preparing, and I will need to gather a support crew together.  So anyone who is near Canberra might be getting a call!

YW: Pullups, 24kg KB swings, sit ups, lateral jump burpees - 2 per round then 4, 6, 8 and so on for 12 minutes - into round of 14, all but last ten burpees.  100 leg presses.  Then a long sauna.

TW: Rowing challenge.  Today was my first long distance row.  I wanted to just row for a prolonger period of time without breaking up the work.  I managed my goal of 10km in just under 42 minutes.  Drinking water was tough as I rowed with one had while drinking with the other, and my left hand got a bit sore and I had a tough time opening and closing it for about half an hour.  We will see how I feel tomorrow.  Also, I burned 636 calories in the process.
luckycanuck: (Default)

Today was mostly spent with Democrats.  We visited the local party headquarters and a lot of things were the same as in Australia.  Plenty of mess and plenty of half eaten snacks lying around.  They did have a lot of organisational tools that are a lot more sophisticated than what we have though.  They are able to take all the political information they have on voters and run that right into a map that prints off, ready to be doorknocked or called and then easily be fed back into the program.  Without registration information like they have here, I am stuck working with demographics and can't go house to house as precisely as they can.  But I did leave my card with a couple people who may have some ideas to exchange.

We had some time off in the middle of the day so I went to the hotel gym and managed an improvised workout.

TW: 10 heavy shoulder press, 10 heavy dumbell chest press on a stability ball, 10 heavy bicep curls - 10 rounds.  50 clean and press done from the knees rather than standing which meant no using the legs.  3 laps of pushup lake - 22:43

Complimentary hotel drinks were had before dinner, which was tapas and sangria based.  Then we went off to an election eve Democrat rally.  We had tickets to the VIP area on account of being Members of the Australian Parliament (we chose not to correct them.)

We all went.  Whether or not we agreed with everything that was said at each rally and each event, we all went and applauded at appropriate times.  One of my Labor friends was in the front row of a Republican rally and had to applaud along with the candidate's promise to wind back "Obamacare" which I am pretty sure he didn't agree with.

All the local and statewide candidates spoke and I got to hear the eccentric and vitriolic local Congressman who is very good at speaking to the rusted on Democrat faithful (which is more important here than in Australia) but who I suspect will still probably lose.  He was entertaining if nothing else.

The highlight was seeing former President Bill Clinton come out to support the party candidates for Senator and Governor.  He is a very impressive speaker.  He had a strong "get out the vote" message for the crowd and amused them all with his criticism of the tea party, claiming that he should be their poster boy.

After he spoke he came down and with his security detail close by (with some in the crowd including two right behind me just before he got to my area.)  He shook a few hands, including that of George McGovern, who ran for President unsuccessfully in 1972.

It was great to have McGovern there at the age of 88.  Whether or not I ever would have voted for the guy, I was impressed that he was still coming out to events.  I got his autograph.

I was close enough to Bill to shake his hand and say "Good to meet you Mr President."  There were plenty of jokes along the lines of "but you don't know where that hand has been" as we walked back to the hotel.

Unfortunately, the vigilance of the Secret Service prevented me from even attempting to do any pushups.


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June 2012

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