New skills

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:02 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I registered for a first aid course through Royal Life Saving and did the online course and exam in one night.  I managed to get 100% on the exam, which is the minimum passing grade.  So now if anyone wants to have a heart attack or drown or get bitten by a funnel web spider, come to my place.  Next step is to practice bandaging and slings and to go to the practical session so I can show off the mad CPR skills I have picked up with the help of my rather creepy looking CPR mannequin.

Over the weekend I made some further progress on the practical section of my Cert III, attending a Body Attack class and a Body Balance class and got the instructors to sign off on my attendance/observance.  Body Attack was REALLY not my thing.  A lot of jumping around and confusing moves and blaring music that meant the only thing I could hear from the instructor was her saying "WOO" every few seconds.  Still, it's done and I won't have to do it again.  Body Balance was better.  I've been to it before of my own volition and it does have aspects that I like, but there are still annoyances.  I've tried to be fair to it but to really take to it there would have to be changes.  Less music, more focus on physical challenges, no more of the breathing stuff at the end, and most of all, no more annoying/affirming/pretentious yoga jargon.  The guy told us to "open up like a mango."  I have no idea what he meant.  If you tell me what to do with my body, I will do my best to do it.  If you speak in euphemisms and ask me to "gather my energy from the floor" I am going to want to punch someone.

Arrangements are being made to observe a number of sessions with a trainer at my gym.  In the meantime I am doing more heavy weights that gave me a pretty good tired today, and for the first time I actually kept track of my heart rate in the hopes of maintaining it in a target of 70-80% of the maximum.  I'll have to do this for credit later on and this strategy may come in handy in the future, so I reckon I might as well get used to it.  For my own purposes, however, I would rather just run.  I've also been doing tire and rope circuits and random mini-workouts at home.  This may be a time of getting in much better shape if things keep going this way.

A call came in today from the agency that forgot about me. They have marketed me to a couple of clients with jobs going.  More importantly, they are taking me seriously.

And in sad (or maybe it's not sad) news, JAQ has apparently been diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.  I have friends for whom the death of friends and family is a regular issue.  It's very foreign to me.  This is the first time for a long time I have had to contemplate the prospect that someone close to me might die.  Apparently she is going to wear the Convicts t-shirt I gave her to chemo to absorb some Convict strength.  So far she seems to be taking an aggressive stance, vowing to kick cancer in its cancerous balls or something similar.

There's not been much change on the gloom front.  It did strike me recently that once upon a time I was reluctant to accept the prospect that I might have depression.  Now I hope I have it.  If I am actually clinically depressed, then that explains a lot of things.  If I'm not, then I would have to face up to the possibility that I am just a horrible/petty/unpleasant person.

The thought that I had some time ago about not being suitable for relationships has come back.  It's certainly not self pity this time, and it's not quite like the time a while back when I felt as though I had nothing to offer, it's just a fact.  I have no business being involved with anyone right now.
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: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

I put some margin loan money into a coal seam gas operator that has been tipped for strong growth and that is being accumulated and so is also rumoured to be a takeover target.  BOW has slipped back a bit so I got a bit more today while it's cheap.  ERA and my favoured AUT have slipped back a bit with the selling that gripped the market yesterday but I will hold on to them both.  I did think about moving AUT into other operators in the same oil fields with smaller market caps, but it come with lower risk and it is currently providing a lot of the security for my margin loan so I think I will keep it as it is.

I did apply for an increase in my credit limit while I am still in full time employment, and they gave it seemingly without a second thought.  Maybe I should have applied for more?  No.  I've got enough to enable me to capitalise on opportunities when they arise.

Ok enough dull stuff.

Alleluia's leaving day is getting closer.  She has been packing a lot and her removalists will come and cart her stuff away on Friday.  That means we need to replace some things, so the rest of us went out yesterday and picked up some sofas.  There was some aspie stress as we drove around trying to find the place and I was advised to turn far too late, but I did manage to carry both sofas into the house single handedly, which made me feel much better.  Then we rejigged the lounge room to fit everything and it's actually much better now I think.  We had our last household chocolate and wine evening before the changing of the guard.

Late last night after setting up the TV to replace the one Alleluia is taking with her, I came across the Facebook status of someone I know from the election campaign last year.  It read: Australia is holding a Census next week. Don't leave the “religion” section blank. Be sure to at least mark Christian (or your own faith). 1 million Muslims will mark their box. 10,000,000 Australians will leave it blank then wonder why Christmas carols are being banned in schools as well as Easter hat parades! It's not about religion, it's about keeping our way of life.

That pissed me off.  The relationship between Islam and the west is a perfectly legitimate subject for criticism.  There are legitimate issues related to the clash of civilisations if you want to call it that, but this is pure fiction and it adds nothing of value or intelligence to the debate.  It's the kind of pandering that stirs up people I am really sick of hearing from, and I wouldn't be surprised if we got correspondence on this subject as a result of this.

For my part, I posted this as my status in response: Luckycanuck thinks people should answer the religion question on the census honestly. Answer all the questions honestly. But 10 million people leaving the religion question blank? You really think roughly half the population is going to leave that question blank and that this will pave the way for a mosque on every street? There are reasonable things related to Islam in the west that can and should be debated. You don't need to make stuff up or repost things that are alarmist or inaccurate.

This morning I dropped off the trailer we used to cart the sofas, and then spent over an hour on a commute that would normally take about 15 minutes.  Apparently a body was found outside a block of flats along the way, so the police shut down all three lanes of a major traffic artery for the whole of peak hour traffic.  The body wasn't found on the road.  There wasn't a crash.  There was just a body outside of a building next to the road.  So the whole road gets shut down.  I almost feel like calling the police to complain, but that wouldn't accomplish anything.  Bad traffic brings out the worst in people at times.  As I took a detour on a side street, I saw one guy bypass about twenty cars and then pull into the intersection and drive on the wrong side of the road.  As he sped away I actually shouted him that if I ever found him I was going to stab him right in the throat.

On a happier note, I give you the cat video to end all cat videos.

luckycanuck: (Default)

Today has been the worst day yet of this current downward trajectory.

Yesterday was frustrating given the letters sent in to me.  I have now come to compare them to being shouted at by people on the street.  Nothing is accomplished in sending them, nothing is accomplished in responding to them, and most of them are badly thought out and badly put together.  In short, this part of my work (and there isn't much else) basically reduces to me responding to people's uninformed ad-hoc reckons.

I went home last night without going to the gym.  I didn't feel like it and State of Origin was on anyway.  I did do some core work at home and Helga and I had a chat over oranges.  She's been quite helpful through this period.

This morning I drive into work and sat in my car for a couple minutes in the car park before deciding to move.  I was all wistful and frustrated and struggling to make decisions, even as simple as getting out of the car.  This weekend I was thinking about going to Sydney, but I can't decide whether or not to do that either.  Every option seems negative.  If you were to ask me what I wanted for lunch, I probably couldn't tell you.  Even simple decisions are suddenly onerous.

Around mid morning I was called upon to go with W to a meeting he was attending.  That meant walking with him to and from the meeting which was profoundly uncomfortable, especially when he expressed his desire to respond to more of the correspondence sent to us rather than referring it to others.  To be honest, if you send him an e-mail or a letter and it comes across my desk, I will probably find some excuse not to respond.  I can't say the pressure of overwork is getting to me, because... what overwork?

The meeting itself was as pointless as my attending it.  After I got back to the office, I found myself sinking further into discomfort.  The division bells rang with alarming regularity.  The phone went off again and again.  The guy I share an office with during sitting weeks was talking on the phone in whispers which makes me think he was talking about me (he wasn't.)  I got up and walked outside with a vacant look on my face and rang Minou.

It was at that point that the simple act of breathing became difficult.  It's not as though I was choking to death, but I was sufficiently uncomfortable that breathing in and out was a hassle.

I'm considerably better now.  I had a coffee with one friend and a further chat with another, and I will make it through today.  (More than one person has suggested going home early given that I am now feeling physically strained and have nothing vital to do, but I don't think I am able to leave.  Such is the difficulty I have in making even obvious decisions.)  Tomorrow will be much easier with no Parliament sitting, and then there are two more weeks before the winter break.  I think I can do that.

After that, I think I need to speed up my departure, even if I don't have something else to land in.  This is not good.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

Frustration seems to have caught up with me.

Yesterday there was a work lunch that involved us going down to the Canberra Yacht Club.  I don't especially like the yact club as I think the food is overpriced for what it is.  Looking around, I also foud myself annoyed by what looked like a bunch of smug grey haired people who dine in yacht clubs on Friday afternoons.  I was also annoyed by the fact that I was sat next to a co-worker who snorts when he laughs and who smelled like nicotine.  I was also annoyed by having to make conversation with a guy who used to work for W before my time and who I've seen before, but who means nothing at all to me.  I had nothing to add to conversations about home renovations or about taking the kids to see a show in Sydney on the weekend or about the footy tipping competition.  As soon as I sat down I decided I would rather have stayed at the office alone (but that would have been noticed by everyone else.)  I said very little, and I left as soon as I could.

At one point I looked out on the lake and two guys were on the lake in a canoe.  I would much rather have been doing what they were doing.  I had also read an article about the training of Navy SEALs.  I was awestruck by the Hell Week training, and sitting at lunch I would much rather have been in the early stages of hypothermia doing pushups on a beach in California than sitting in a warm dining room.  (And that's not hyperbole, that is literally true.)

Back at work, I waded through heaps of letters that had accumulated during my time away and they finally got to me.  I loathed the people who sent us timewasting letters expounding half baked ideas written by hand in difficult to decipher script and even those that were legitimate.  We even got a letter from an organisation concerned about the curriculum in schools.  This was an organisation with letterhead and with staff, and their letter began with the salutation "Dear Member of Parliament".  Attention groups trying to get the attention of politicians!  If you are going to send a letter to a politician, you might want to actually write down their name.  I am considering sending them a letter in return in an unmarked envelope and on ordinary non-letterhead paper saying "Dear Organisation, Thank you for your letter or e-mail or fax.  I value the contributions and insights of your organisation on the issues you raised, whatever they were.  I can assure you that I either agree entirely with your views, I agree with some of them, or I think you are a bunch crackpots who should be locked up until you are no longer a danger to society.  Sincerely, Random Member of Parliament to whom you wrote.  P.S. I would be happy to meet with representatives of your organisation if you can figure out which one of the 150 Members of Parliament I am."

I made it to the gym after work, with a sense of rage bubbling away beneath the surface.  On the walk to the gym I found myself having somewhat violent fantasies about taking on gangs of street thugs who dared to harass me, and sending them running before humiliating their leader by taking his shoes and shirt and pants and forcing him to walk home barefoot and clad only in his underpants.  Anyone who approached me was likely to get yelled at.

I managed the heaviest workout I've taken on since getting back from holiday.

YW: 30 80kg deadlifts, 30 pullups, run 800m - 3 rounds.

It took me just over half an hour.  I would have liked to have done it faster, but that is a lot to deadlift and pull and I found myself getting dizzy and gasping for breath more than once.  This workout really smacked me around, but luckily not a single person spoke to me the whole time.

The thing is, I didn't really feel less frustrated.  I got home and tried to set up the new modem I picked up to hopefully allow our house to get our wireless started again but could barely accomplish anything on accout of being so bent out of shape.  [ profile] bakerypenguin wound up coming over to help and diagnosed the problems we had (which are the problem of our provider rather than us) and I spent most of the time thinking "I'm not well.  Something is wrong."

Helga and Alleluia and Roxy came home and we all watched Paris Je T'aime and I felt a bit better knowing there was nothing I could do, but I still went to bed all frustrated.

Today I'm feeling a bit better despite waking up at 4am due to it being the coldest night I can recall so far this year.  There will be another major workout which will probably smack me aroud some more, some shopping, and I suspect a lot of barricading myself into solitude.  Maybe I will do something nice for dinner tonight.

I don't think I'm supposed to feel like this.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
Rejoice (and cease preparing molotov cocktails to throw at Air Canada HQ) for the bag that was lost has been found.

I ended up making it back to Calgary after a sprint across the terminal to get on a flight that had space for me.  If I didn't have a business class ticket, I probably would have been spending the night.  The problem is that my bag didn't make it.  I guess making an odd connection threw their system into disarray, because when I arrived in Calgary my bag didn't come out at the baggage claim.  I suppose it must have been on another flight, possibly the one that was cancelled.  Nobody at the airline could tell me where my bag was and I contemplated the prospect that it might not arrive in time for me to leave for Ottawa on Thursday.

Well now the bag has turned up in Calgary and delivery was initiated at 2:03pm.  The bag should be arriving tonight sometime.  That's good, because every pair of underpants I own are either in that bag, in Australia, or on me, except for a pair that I found in my old room that haven't been worn for about ten years until today.

Still, it makes me feel stabby to have things so up in the air and out of my control.  I am sure that everything was perfectly routine, but all the same, with nobody able to tell me anything, I wasn't especially confident that anyone at the airline had the slightest idea where my bag could be.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

A few months ago on the morning after the last election, I hit the wall with frustration when asked to stay in the field for another week and wound up putting a hole in the wall.

Today I received a letter sent to my work address from the local campaign saying they hold me responsible for the damage and the cost of repairing it.

I'm not paying.

Whether or not I am morally or legally liable, I am not paying $214.50 to the campaign that I worked on every day for a month in a town far from home where I didn't know anyone outside of work.  I am not paying a campaign that got a month of days and nights out of my life at no cost whatsoever to them.

I'm not paying.
luckycanuck: (Default)
My friend Lectio commented on my recent sense of detachment by mentioning the possibility that I am depressed.  I hadn't considered it at all, but I wonder if there might be something to it.

I've been feeling irritable and unmotivated for around a month and a half, not all the time but in more environments than I normally do.  In that time I have accomplished very little at work (without anyone noticing) and have loathed anyone coming into my space there, I have been disinterested in contact with anyone who doesn't already know and understand me, I haven't been out much, and I've frequently felt like everyday is just another day of nothing happening.  None of this necessarily translates into actual depression, but it's not going away and I can't think of any way to make it go away.  I'm not having problems sleeping, I've not been using drugs or alcohol to get through the days, I'm getting exercise like I normally do, I'm certainly not on the brink of self harm, and I haven't spent a whole day in bed during this period.  Still, there is this nagging sense that I may as well not be here.

On top of that, every option for my future seems to be cloaked in negatives.  Staying at my current job means more of the same.  Getting a new job means a whole slate of new people to piss me off.  Cutting myself off from new people means I can't expand my circle of friends, but being socially active means potentially exhausting mental work.  The sort of things that people my age generally get into, marriages, families, mortgages, are huge obligations that I feel as though I can't handle, especially when I am getting frustrated by a life that is objectively pretty soft.

And that leads to feelings of guilt.  Who am I to be depressed.  I've got a job that pays me more than I need, I have got friends who care about me, I'm healthy, I've really got very little to complain about and I can't rationalise why I am in such a bad mood all the time.  I haven't told my parents, mostly because I can't explain it.  (On another note, I feel more and more detached from my family.  I'll be happy to have them on my support crew for my run, but overall I have very little interest in them being here.  Again, there is a reason I have chosen to live on a different continent from them.)

I've got some friends who have experience with actual long term depression, and I don't think that is what is happening to me.  At the same time, I can't just say it's a passing phase, because it's not passing.

My parents flew in on Friday and I spent the weekend in Collaroy but to be honest, I think I would rather have been in Canberra on my own.  They are travelling this time with a guy who grew up with my mum.  He's 50, but has the mind of an 8 year old on accout of being deprived of oxygen at birth.  He's not doing anything bad, but I find him annoying to the point where all of my answers are monosyllabic and I can't make eye contact.  I suspect that my current state of mind might be making this worse.  I wonder if they will ever travel to Australia on their own without bringing someone who makes me want to avoid them.

There is a state election coming up in March, and I hope I will be staying in Canberra and periodically working on the campaign across the border in Queanbeyan.  If I get sent off to Tamworth or Dubbo or Port Macquarie I think I will be dangerously close to snapping and doing something stupid.

I am now resting in preparation of my run.  My support crew is taking shape but some people who have expressed interest in helping are not committing.  I know I can be alone for parts of the run, but it would be nice to have people for the tough hours.  Also, I'm hoping to get photos of every hour and someone will have to be on hand to take them.

Off to trivia now.  I'm not sure how this will turn out.


Jan. 28th, 2011 04:10 pm
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I've been feeling detached from work recently.  Basically, it's my job to take an interest in what people think.  The problem is, I don't care.  Whatever your problem or idea or opinion, if you write into us, I will resent you for disturbing my day.  Of course this always applied to the timewasters, but I've come to feel the same way about the members of the public who contact us with a good reason.

It seems that my sense of detachment is now spreading.  The conversations held by friends or work colleagues on subjects like wine or the housing market or $500 sunglasses worn by people who don't run because if they did they might break a sweat are of markedly less interest.  Tennis is taking over the sports coverage.  We had an Australia Day BBQ with a bunch of people over, few of whom I could be bothered spending time with.  I almost told a guy at the gym to f*ck off yesterday when he commented on my form whilst doing pullups.  My parents arrived this morning from Canada, and though I'm going up this afternoon to visit them, it's almost as though I can't be asked.  The thought of doing something that inconveniences me in the slightest is repellent.

There is the prospect that I am becoming bitter about life in general.  There is also the prospect that I am just in a profoundly selfish mode right now.  I've really got very little to complain about.  I have a good job that pays me more than I need to live on, I'm healthy, I have things that interest me.  But the list of things that I can be counted on to take an interest in seems to be shrinking.  Going to the gym is generally fine because I can focus on my work and shut out everything else with sweat and endorphins.  Being at home is fine because I like the people I live with.  Being around people I already know and who know me is fine because they understand what I'm like.  There is, however, a growing sense of annoyance at other people, even if they're not doing anything wrong.

Part of it is probably compassion fatigue.  If I hear one more appeal to make a donation to the people in Queensland who have lost property in the recent floods I think I might just go there with a garden hose and try to recreate the catastrophe.  I am tired of hearing about other people's problems and of being expected to do something to fix them.

But my default reaction to a lot of things seem to be becoming "I dont care".  Changing jobs to something that doesn't require me to interact with insane and annoying people won't be enough if the sense of malaise goes deeper.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)

DBYW: 5 burpees at the top of the minute, then box jumps for the rest of the minute until 100 jumps are done.

YW: 150 kettlebell swings, 150 clean and press, 50 pullups.  Minor discomfort on the back whilst doing pushups.

I came across an odd story yesterday about a chain of gyms in America called Planet Fitness.

I accept that gyms can be intimidating for some people, and the way some gym guys carry on is way over the top.  This guy who was kicked out of the gym for grunting may have been one of those gym guys.  But banning grunting?  Really?  Apparently they have also banned deadlifts and the wearing of tank tops.  Their focus is on allowing people to workout in a atmosphere that is free of judgement, but as far as I can tell, that means they will judge the hell out of you if you do anything that is actually taxing.  I can imagine how they might react to me doing a crossfit workout or the rowing challenge I took on last month.  I suspect they would view the fact that I broke a sweat or was breathing heavily or, God forbid, that I pushed myself to the point where I had to grunt as evidence that I was a violent and antisocial maniac.

Yesterday was my first day in the gym in 2011, and the treadmills and ellipticals were packed solid.  I also nearly hit a guy with a kettlebell because he walked right in front of me while I was doing my swings.  I also took it upon myself to correct a woman who was doing deadlifts without using her legs at all, with the rationale that it's better to get hurt feelings than a hurt back.  Luckily my gym and the woman in question doesn't consider that to be intimidation.
luckycanuck: (Default)

Rowing continues.  Nearly 10km yesterday and over 12km today.  I'll make 200km by Friday easily and apparently this will entitle me to a 200km Holiday Challenge pin.  Oh yes.  I WILL have that pin.

I have found myself getting annoyed at some people I encounter during my rowing.  Yesterday there was a guy who was maybe 20 who sat down at the machine next to me, changed the resistance level down to three (yes, three, not ten like I do and even the old arthritic blind guy does) and rowed for less than a minute before getting back up and letting the handlebar retract all the way up to the machine rather than replacing it in its catch and leaving the gym.  Prick.  Today there were two gym babes (the girls who do their hair and makeup before a workout) who set the resistance very low and went at a pace slow enough that it wouldn't impair their ability to gossip through their workout.  I was right between them for the duration of their pathetic 500m row and was subjected to the full gossip experience as they chattered back and forth over my head.

It's the longest day of the year.  I wonder why it can't be like this all the time.  Long sunny days and mean good moods.

I never really liked the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Even as a young child something didn't sit right with me.  This is why.  Apparently Santa is a fascist dictator.

A news story broke today sparked by a girl who has claimed she was sexually involved with some AFL players and is not satisfied with the way the league treated her complaints.  Now she has posted a naked photo of an AFL player on Facebook.  This player was not one of the ones named in her complaint as far as I've heard.  He just plays in the same league as other players who were.  Some of the reaction was centred on how the naked player has behaved badly and is now having to defend his actions.

This reaction bothered me, to the extent that I actually commented on the linked article.

I'm happy for footy players who act as though the rules don't apply to them get their comeuppance, but as far as I can tell, the player who is now defending himself deserves no comeuppance.  He's not a rapist or a sexual predator, he's just a guy who likes to sleep naked and whose friend once snapped a photo of him just afer he got out of bed.  This may be odd, but so what?  It's nothing he should have to defend in public, and his bedroom habits are really nobody's business.  I kind of wish he had said so.

If nothing else, I feel as though anyone who wants to criticise sportsmen for acting like asshats has plenty of better things on which to base their criticisms.

luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)

A few work issues aside, today I was more or less consumed by a desire to get justice from Qantas and American Airlines for the frequent flyer points and status credits they have refused to give me.

I just sent the following e-mail to American Airlines explaining the situaiton in what I think is calm and measured language.


Click to see Luckycanuck get diplomatic )

I think I struck the right note.

Additionally, I suspect that I am not likely to earn 300 status credits to put me into the Gold level with Qantas by the end of February given that some work travel has been delayed until after that time.  Flying to Mildura this weekend for the Victorian election would give me some, but not enough, and I would find myself taking flights I didn't need to take and gratuitously spending money just to chase something that is nice but not a necessity.

Luckily, sometimes Qantas offers double status credits in the late stages of the frequent flyer year to people who look like they might come up short in an effort to convince them to fly.  If I am offered this, it's a whole new ball game.

Listen Qantas, I'm not willing to chase Gold status in itself.  It was always stupid to take flights I wouldn't otherwise take and it's just taken a little while to remind myself of this fact.  But I do fly a lot and I will continue to fly a lot, so if you are willing to give me a hand, I am willing to take it.

Of course, if you're not, or if you want to continue to shaft me over my missing frequent flyer points in America or the ones you refused to grant me last year when I flew to Papua New Guinea, then you can get stuffed.

Oh I can be stubborn when I feel like I've been wronged.

The Cricket has started again with Peter Siddle taking a hat trick on his birthday in the first Ashes Test against the Poms at the Gabba.  (Extra points to anyone who understands what that sentence means.)

We're off to dinner courtesy of W and his wife for Christmas in a little bit.

luckycanuck: (Default)
There is a new guy temporarily in our office, and his presence is annoying me.  It's nothing that he's done, he's just there and in being there he has changed the equilibrium to which I had become accustomed.  I am happy with the way things are, but now they have changed slightly.  Here endeth the pettiness.

Ok, the pettiness will now continue.  I foud out today that I probably won't get any frequent flyer points or status credits for two flights I took in America.  I chose to fly from Newark to Calgary via Dallas on American Airlines solely to get the status credits on Qantas which is partners with American.  No points had shown up in my account, so I rang Qantas to find out why.  It turns out that the ticket was in a fare class that doesn't award points.  I took those flights specifically to get the points, deciding against more direct flights with other airlines.  Moreover, there was no indication amongst the airline jargon in the terms and conditions that indicated that I would not get points, and the woman at check in specifically told me I would get points when I checked in.  This does bother me.  I read about a woman who had been knocked back by an airline and mentioned her annoyance on Twitter which brought almost immediate results.  I mentioned this on Twitter and got no response so far and on Facebook where some friends have sympathised, but I suspect I won't be able to turn this my way.

I am currently 300 points short of Gold status with Qantas, and I can get this if I travel with work enough between now and the end of February.  Whether that happens or not will determine my status for the next year.  It's petty, but I would like to graduate to the Gold level.

We had a work Christmas parry tonight as it was the last night when all the politicians will be aroud before the break.  The theme was "Hollywood", and I came as the Terminator again, complete with a business card from Governor Schwarzenegger and a plastic replica gun that I managed to get past security.  (Plastic guns don't set off metal detectors or show up on x-ray scans.)
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: (Default)

The election is over, and it looks as though Candidate won.  It is not yet clear who has won nationally though.  Some electorates are still too close to call, but at any rate, neither major party has a majority.  A group of what will probably be four independents and one Green will have to decide who to support.  There may also be another election before too long.

I am back in Canberra, having averted being stuck in Mackay.  They need someone experienced to observe the counting of votes and apparently I was the first name they thought of and I was informed that I would probably need to stay for another week.

That made me sad.  Then it made me angry.  I was tired, I had been far from home for a long time, I had been in an angry environment and had been feeling aspie stress, I was down to my last pair of clean underpants, I was about to get on a plane in three hours, and then I was told I was expected to stay for several more days.

There was a stress cry, and then a distinct snapping over the assumption that I have no life and can be expected to go anywhere at anytime to do anything.  I stomped on some cans, picked up a chair and slammed it into the ground, and finally picked up the nearest object (which was a long tube of stiff and thick cardboard) and used it to hit the wall.  It made a pretty big hole.

Click here for a photo of the result Luckycanuck's wrath. )

It's good to be home at Chez Canuck again (where soome household improvements had been made), and it's good to be going to (normal) work again (even though a huge pile of corro has appeared.)  How the results of the election will play out will be a subject of note over the next couple of weeks.

luckycanuck: (Default)

The election will be over in less than 48 hours.

I've been better with the office stabulence.  The geriatric hens haven't been on my nerves as much, and they seem to be in a better mood.

Read more about the great battle between Luckycanuck and Thuggy McThuggington... )
luckycanuck: (Default)
Is how long it took to come off the election high and feel like I don't want to be here.

The campaign itself is going fine. Our guy is rated by the bookies as the favourite, paying out at $1.50 against $2.42 for Labor, and although there were some nerves this week, overall it feels like I'm not working at an impossible task. On top of that, I do like the central people on the campaign. Still, I've got over three weeks and it seems like forever.

I will be spending over a month in a town that is fine, but that is not my home. There are a bunch of circles of friends that I am cut off from. I am currently living in a room that is not mine (although soon I will have a room to myself again.) I can't really go anywhere of my own accord. Also I'm working in a room without windows or natural light.

Would it be different if I was in HQ? Possibly. I counted, and it turns out that in five years in Australia, this is my 11th election. For every single one, I was in the field. I am ready to do something other than hanging around local party members in just one electorate for the duration. I was told that this time I would be in HQ, but that hasn't panned out. I know that HQ is a bit of a sweatshop, but after the last federal election I remember colleagues talking about the fun they had, and I wanted a part of it. (I wonder if hearing about the hijinks of HQ this time will make me want to stab someone.)

At the end of my last campaign I literally collapsed on the night before the election out of some fatigue and a lot more frustration. I think I may be hitting the wall with this.

I don't hate my job. Overall I like working in politics. But I may be starting to hate this aspect of it, and there are still over three weeks to go.
luckycanuck: (Maccabi)

You make the call. )

Oh yeah.  Luckycanuck is sexier than Rodney So'oialo.
luckycanuck: (Default)
One of my stocks made the news today.  The evening news carried a story about a class action lawsuit against a number of banks over a variety of their fees including those on bounced cheques and overdrafts.  The lawsuit is being funded by litigation funder IMF, which is partly owned (a very small part) by me.  So if anyone has every payed penalty fees to an Australian bank, you can visit or call 1300 473 373.  IMF and I will take a cut, so it's win win unless you are a bank.

There was a run today with a work colleague in form Perth for the week at a pace I was comfortable with.  No slowing down and no walking

Political stuff behind the cut... )



luckycanuck: (Default)

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