luckycanuck: (Default)
My new job has been a bit of an adjustment.

Early on I found myself in a lot of meetings and being involved in a lot of discussions in which I was WAY out of my depth.  I didn't understand what people were talking about or the projects they were working on.  It took me a while to figure out what my job actually was.  Now, though there is still plenty of me being lost when hearing about things outside of my project, I am not bothered as much.  I know well enough what I am meant to be doing (coming up with reasons why the eCensus is a good idea).  When discussions go beyond that, I've decided that I can afford not to allocate mental bandwidth to trying to keep up.

At the same time, however, I am aware that my current work may potentially set me up for additional work in the new financial year, so I am getting a bit more involved in the workplace.

I am also doing very well on the flex time front.  I am actually able to leave early today rather than staying on to pack on the hours.  That's good, because I leave for England on Wednesday and could use some time to rest.

Tonight, however, I have trivia again.  I was a bit concerned and frustrated by the lack of crowds in the early days, but over the last two weeks there has been an explosion of interest.  On both nights there were over 30 people attending, and there are definite regulars now in attendance.  So it looks like I will continue to have my side gig through the winter and beyond.

My training side gig is also going ok.  I had one cancellation that kind of pissed me off (lame excuses, and turning up one week with promises to pay the next week, but then announcing a schedule change that will preclude further attendance.)  Last week I felt a bit like cancelling, but two regulars turned up and though I had to change the workout plan entirely, they both stuck to it and enjoyed it.  I also found out that both of them probably wouldn't get any exercise if it were not for my sessions, so I felt a lot better about that.
luckycanuck: (Kokoda tractor)
I am steadily building up large amount of flex time that will enable me to go to the Bingham Cup.  I usually get to work around 7am and leave when I feel it's time to go (or in time to make other appointments like trivia or training.)  To some degree I wonder if I am actually all that productive, but I don't dwell on that question too much.

Flights are booked.  I am going on frequent flyer points, and will have 12 hours in Shanghai on the way back which will allow me to add one more country to the list of places I have been (provided that I do pushups there.)  I've also arranged a place to stay when I arrive.  I'll be staying in the east end (far from Ealing where I lived while I was there) at a place I found on AirBnb.  It's a site where people advertise rooms in their homes.  I'll be staying with a local family with a room to myself in a fairly central location for a lot less than I would pay otherwise.

Also the vicar I worked for back in 2004 has offered to put me up for a couple nights which may be very suitable after the tournament when I do my pushups.  I'm still planning on doing it, though the charity I chose and e-mail nearly two weeks ago hasn't responded even though I contacted them again a few days ago through every e-mail I could find on their site.  So today I contacted another one, which looks even better, and might not give the the runaround.

I may have picked up a few more training clients at a party last night.  It's going pretty well with a few blips here and there, in part because I am not letting it be a big deal to me.

I did get an odd feeling when starting my Anzac Day workout.  It may have been because I had been up since 4am, but I got a couple minutes in and I realised that I just didn't feel like working out.  It was an odd feeling.  I was doing things that I normally like, but that day I just felt like quitting.  The next day I was back to doing intense workouts involving burpees and kettlebell swings, and today I did a workout named for a marine officer killed in action five years ago today.

Oh yes, and I am now a fully qualified bush firefighter.  I attended a hazard reduction burn yesterday and demonstrated I can handle drip torches, rake hoes, and I can put out fires.  I wish I had brought may camera, because at one point there was a bush with red berries that were such a brilliant red against the black ash beneath them.
luckycanuck: (madmen)
I've been delaying this post for a while because I've gotten a bit suspicious of such things, but on Monday I am going back to work.

I've been offered a job in the bureau of statistics until the end of the financial year.  It pays a bit more than my last full time job in Parliament and has considerably better hours.  I'll be doing research and writing a report, which I am perfectly qualified to do, just as I would have been perfectly qualified for the dozens of jobs that I applied for over the past several months but didn't get for a variety of asinine reasons.  Now I am sorted until the end of June and then it will be the new financial year when all the departments will have new budgets and funding and the market should be better.  On top of that, they will no longer be able to fob me off with lame excuses about not having public service experience.

I signed up to the ABS temporary employment register and they called me, told me a little about the job, then the next day they said they would offer me the job formally via e-mail.  That e-mail was a little delayed itself, and I was a bit suspicious that this would end up like one of the many jobs that looked so promising only to wind up as nothing but a lesson designed to undermine my sense of self worth.  What makes it sweeter still, is the fact that I got this job on my own.  No agencies were involved.  I still feel that they have done little to find me work and I am not convinced that any of them really give a damn if I ever work again, so as much as I've learned not to take these things personally, I still say screw 'em.  I'll talk to them again in the new year.

I'm still doing trivia and fitness training (I had a session this evening in the backyard with a totally new client base) and while neither of those will make me a living, I suspect that when asked what I do I will still say I'm a fitness trainer.

Finally, the new job is totally flexible.  I'm not being depended on, I'm not depending on a whole host of others, and I will be able to go to Manchester with the Convicts and for a bit of a holiday at the end of May without causing any problems.

So the work situation isn't really thrilling, but at the moment it couldn't be better.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
I've been feeling rather odd recently, like I've not felt for quite a while.

There is a distinct possibility, and I want to be absolutely clear that this is not in any way a sure thing, that I might, possibly, in some way, be... happy.

Is that the right word?  Is that a word at all?

Let me go back a bit.

Read more... )

Things have been going quite well recently, and I know that I can't always count on that being the case.  Circumstance won't always be my friend, and I think the gloom is still around and may return in force in the future, but for now it doesn't matter.  The trick will be figuring out how to ensure that remains the case.

luckycanuck: (Default)
So here goes with Dreamwidth.  Lets see how it work.

My Monday training session went well.  I introduced five girls to Tabata, and one of them nearly spewed.  Nearly I said.  All of them will be back.

I am getting into training, and I feel like I am doing better at it than I did at politics.  Still, there is this sense in my head that it's not a real job.  I've been struggling with unloading old assumptions about how my life would turn out on a professional and a personal level.  It's slow going.  I spent so many years working to a script that it's hard to walk away from it.  I feel like the disconnect between the script and reality is stoking the gloom, and it's not easy to just ignore the assumptions that were present for so long.

Last night there was a function at Parliament for a former employer who is leaving, and I felt in my element again.  I like being there and felt like I could do a job in that area again.  Of course, last winter I was having panic attacks at work.

In the meantime the public service "conspiracy" against hiring me continues.  Fine.  I managed to sell some options in VMG today for a 40% profit in two weeks (and the ones I held on to are still going up) so I am still sufficiently cashed up to live and to take advantage of potential bargains like AKK.  I am also planning a possible exit from BBG if another takeover offer comes around, which is looking like a distinct possibility.  I'm getting better at selling.  Not having a regular salary will do that.

I'm making an effort not to take over the common areas of the house.  I think it has been imposing on the others who live here and I don't want to do that.  I think a better environment currently exists.

Finally, I will have a regular weekly trivia night at the Charlie Black Bar in Manuka starting on 19 March.  It looks like a pretty upmarket venue, and it looks like I may have a lot of friends around for my first night.

luckycanuck: (Default)
I picked up something to wear to the gym on my way back to Canberra.



It's a 20kg weight vest and I've used it a couple of times.  I have full range of motion and can work it into virtually any workout.  I think it will be a regular fixture now.  And I got $10 off the quoted price, which was lower than expected anyway.

On the same day I led my first training session for a group of former colleagues at Parliament.  It came very naturally to me.  There was rain, but everyone stuck it out until it became too slippery.  Everyone enjoyed it, and they will be back with others who have expressed an interest.  There may be training during the non sitting weeks and in the mornings too.  So that's good news.

This was, in a manner of speaking, the first "work" I have done in a while.  I've been keeping busy, but leading that session was the first time I've done paid work since I left Parliament.

Recently the market has done very well for me.  VMG is now being appreciated by the market, I managed to sell SNL for a profit, AKK has been very active and there is a strong possibility that it will see a lot of upside soon, and BBG got a takeover offer and put to rest a lot of fears people had about it on the day after I bought more of it, which resulted in a 50% rise in one day.

Some people have suggested that I should trade for a living.  I can't.  Things have been very good now, I don't have the expenses that a lot of other people have, and if things go well I could stand to have a lot of flexibility, but that doesn't mean this is what I do.  Things could collapse again, and even if they don't I still don't expect a sense of purpose from the market.

I haven't, however, had much frustration with slow responses from the public service.  I applied to the temporary employment register of about half a dozen departments.  Not hearing anything back from anyone hasn't fazed me.

Everything is fine, I guess, but there is still a looming sense of numbness.

There was also a disturbing dream.  I dreamed I was attending my first bushfire, and it came close to a property which we decided to defend.  It turns out that the property owner was involved in producing illegal drugs, and when we approached his stash to set up a defensive line, he came out with a gun and shot at us and nicked me slightly.  We retreated to the far side of the truck and he followed, and when he came around the corner I swung at him with an axe and dropped him.  Later on I was charged with assault and the rural fire service cut me loose.  I woke up with no inclination to help people in need. 

The other day I saw a guy pushing a car in the city, trying to build up enough speed for his friend to get it started.  I rushed in and joined in and quickly we had them on their way.  But that wasn't really for him.  I did that for me.

Improvement

Feb. 4th, 2012 11:29 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I was in Parliament this past week, and CoS mentioned that one of the departments that interviewed me for a job contacted him for a reference and that they were quite keen to hire me.  Unfortunately, they were hit with a hiring freeze.  That's good news, because it smashes the sense of pointlessness I had after being knocked back from other public service jobs for ridiculous reasons.  I had an interview on Friday and now I am registered with another agency who impressed me with the degree of interest they took in me.

I've also put the word out to a number of old work colleagues, and there is growing interest in the idea of me training people at my old office.  I've got new business cards for Molon Labe Fitness and I may be having my first session the week after next.

There is also another looming job prospect that I had never considered before.  It wouldn't be a full time job and it wouldn't be a career, but it would be right up my alley.  It would be hosting trivia.  I don't know why this never struck me before.  I could have been doing this for months.  There will be a tryout on Tuesday where I will be reading questions 11-15 at a local trivia night, and once I am approved, there will be opportunities to fill in here and there.

The market has had some good news recently.  It's been down this week overall, but for me it has been up.  VMG is finally back up to it's capital raising level and the options I picked up are up too with probably plenty more to go.  AUT finally stopped it's recent decline and buyers are coming back in.  SNL, which I have been quite happy with as it has been very steady, jumped enough for my sell order to be taken up.  It's a great stock and I have another order in to buy some of it back if it falls again, but it is a very thinly traded stock and I was uneasy having as much as I had locked up in a stock that sometimes goes a week or two without a single trade.

I'm getting closer to qualifying as a fire fighter.  This week we played with fire extinguishers and practiced emergency burnover procedures.

My parents came down to Canberra and a couple of dinners were had, but aside from that and a tour of Parliament I didn't see them.  I'll be going up to Sydney on Thursday before they leave on Saturday.  I have no idea what to get my nieces for (delayed) Christmas.  Apparently they are both in a girly phase.  There's virtually nothing I know about girly girls aged 8 and 6.

Overall, it's been a good week.  Still a bit numb though.
luckycanuck: (Default)
Results of my Cert III practical work have come through, and I now have ticked all the boxes to be deemed "competent."  Now I'm into my Cert IV text on advanced aerobic conditioning.

I'm not certain if Roxy is still here or if she has moved away already.  She always kept to herself, but I've not seen or heard from her at all in days.  The soon to be new housemate is Chloe.  (Not her real name, but I accidentally called her that on a number of occasions so that's her name here.)  She and Surveyor are out right now celebrating EmPrime's birthday which was on Australia Day.  I think the new household dynamic is going to be a happy one.  I gave Surveyor and Chloe a lift into the city for the festivities and we all had drinks on Australia Day.

I've been doing some heavy lifting this past week, and I've been getting into Tumblr for the first time.  Molon Labe Fitness now has a Tumblr account where photos and WODs will go.  Recently I posted this little thing I put together.

Keep Calm and Click Here )

And it has been reblogged over 400 times.  Today I put this design on a t-shirt, along with a Molon Labe t-shirt, and one that reads "Whatever doesn't kill me... had better start running."

I've also been improving Otani.  I tried filing some hand holds, but I now find it more effective to use a hand saw and occasionally a drill I brought back from Collaroy.

I've also developed what could be called a bit of a workout crush.  I came across a girl in America whose Tumblr account and blog have made an impression on me.  Part of the appeal lies in the fact that I think she is very nice to look at, but far beyond that, she impresses me.  Here is a girl who isn't afraid to lift.  I think that is worthy of heaps of respect.  Gym girls impress me.  "Gym babes", not so much.

There is another American girl with a blog whom I have taken note of recently.  DC Dana is friends with a political contact of mine, she seems to have a sense of perspective about politics, and we both seem to be going through similar career and personal frustrations right now.  Again, since discovering the blog, I've read it regularly and looked back through some old posts.  I seem to have taken a liking to American girls.

On that note, there was an American girl in Sydney whom I met during my New Year's festivities.  Klydemestra is doing a PhD in film.  We got along quite well when we met, and last Sunday, we had dinner again.  I didn't strike me that what we were doing might be construed as a date until I was halfway through my barramundi.  I'm still not sure if it was a date, though I will be seeing her again.  You might think it would be awkward to have that ambiguity, but I don't feel it.

Finally, there is still contact with another girl whom I met/hooked up with on New Year's Eve.  There was mutual crushing between MadEllen and I, and there still is.  She lives in Brisbane, so my habit of being interested in girls who live far away remains.  It's kind of nice at the moment to be able to take an interest but not have to do anything about it.  I'm still very much not in a relationshippy kind of place right now.

My first fire was supposed to be last Wednesday, but the controlled burn was cancelled to avoid upsetting the red breasted finch.  (One of the fireys pointed out "it's a bloody bird. It can bloody fly away."

My parents come down this week for a couple of days.

Reunion

Jan. 21st, 2012 11:14 am
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm in Collaroy, with my parents for the first time since last April.  Mum's maid of honour and her husband are also around and I've not seen them for the better part of twenty years.

There is always a shock when this happens, because suddenly the Collaroy Castle which I am accustomed to having to myself is much MUCH smaller.  I'm also keenly aware of the fact that I understand my parents (particularly my mum) less and less.  I'm noticing how she seems incapable of doing something without announcing it, that the traditional maternal fussiness is still there, and that she has very little knowledge of what is going on with me.  None of this results in hostility or even awkwardness, but it is still there.  I've not lived in the same jurisdiction as my parents for eight and a half years and it shows.

We did have a chat about the gloom yesterday, which is an issue of some concern to her.  She wanted to make sure I'm not drifting in the direction of suicide (I'm not and she knows I'm not) and I suspect there will be more chats while they are here.  I was kind of hoping to be able to explain what's going on with me, but I can't seem to do it.  It's like it's back to the old drill of things being wrong when nothing is wrong.

In better news, I finished all my work for the Cert III and handed it in on Thursday.  The training manager at my gym signed off on a number of workout sessions that I was meant to observe.  In fact, I just entered workouts that I had done in the past and that was deemed to be good enough.  I did do a flexibility session with Helga (who is leaving Canberra to move in with her boyfriend) and an aerobic session with Coffee Snob to get used to designing programs for people and they were both happy with what I did.  Now I am going to start on my Cert IV.

There have been a number of good workouts recently, including a new concept that involves working out with a deck of cards.  Each suit represents an exercise, and the value on each card represents the number of reps.  Then you just "hit the deck" and go through either the whole deck or go for a set period of time.  Very random, a good challenge, and heaps of fun.

Also, on the Collaroy Castle front, I am getting a stronger feeling that much of the pressure for selling the place is coming from my aunt in Sweden who resents the place and the work required to maintain it.  It struck me yesterday that if she died, there would be far less pressure to sell.  Noticing this made me feel a bit macabre, but maybe that's what I'm like these days.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I did my Cert III exam and got 97% (though that's less impressive when it was an open book test and I was looking things up regularly.)  Some of the questions were ambiguous and confusing, but it's behind me now.

Now it's the practical element.  The due date is technically next Friday but it has been extended to mid February.  I'm still going to try to get it done in time to go to Sydney to visit my parents who arrive next week.  Things have been delayed by one of my trainer friends getting an injury and having to cancel some observation opportunities, but the manager of the gym is going to try to arrange a few things for next week.

There have been quite a few solid workouts this week, and I now have more motivation to keep up with future workouts.  I have started a Twitter feed for my soon to be freelance training business (it still sounds odd to say that) and a Facebook page too.  I'm going with Molon Labe Fitness as a name.  It's a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and Persians (and to the movie 300.)  In some ways it has become a personal motto of mine (though not because I'm a die hard supporter of gun rights as someone once assumed.)  Also, I think it sounds sufficiently badass and fits my approach to training.  Soon I will have business cards.



There is more news from JAQ.  The last I heard there is a chance that the cancer has metastacised to her liver, she has a 50% chance at survival, she is unemployed and is appealing to friends to help with her medical bills (though after trying twice my donation can't be processed.)  And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) she has seemed very upbeat and focused.  There is a sense of purpose in her life that is unfamiliar to me.  Her purpose is simply to survive.  There seems to be a wonderful simplicity to it.  I suspect the numbness I feel in my gloom is not quite as present in her life.

As I said before, this is the first time I have had to contemplate someone close to me dying, and that person happens to be one of the bravest people I know.  She is a fighter, and the "FUCK CANCER" t-shirt she is wearing on the front page of her cancer blog is a testament to that.

That cancer is going to wish it had never metastacised.

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: (Default)
I don't do resolutions for the same reasons that a lot of you don't do resolutions.  But I accept that this is a time where many take stock of the year that has passed and look forward at the year to come.

Most years I have been able to look back and say that things were getting better.  I'm not sure if I can say this about 2011.  I wonder if this is the first year in as long as I can recall where I didn't feel like things were better.  The gloom began almost exactly one year ago and was the most notable feature of the year.  I accept that it's something that has to be dealt with so it may as well be out in the open rather than tucked away.  I suspect it had been there for a long time.  This was the year I realised it, which is technically a step forward.  It just doesn't really feel like it.

Things have been pretty good overall.  I put some my BOW profit into DTE which cllimbed about 15% the following day, there have been wonderful waves at the beach and I have been going two or three times per day, I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a party meeting some new people I think I will get along with and seeing some others I hadn't seen for a while, and I've been doing some solid workouts.

YW: Run to Dee Why, AMRAP 15 minuntes - 15 pullups, 10 burpees, 5 overhead squats - 7 rounds, run home with 10 pushups per minutes.

TW: Establishing my 1RM on a variety of lifts using the sub-maximal method I learned while studying for my training certification. Bench - 117kg, dead lift - 150kg, shoulder press - 75kg, squat - 142kg, lat pulldowns - 160kg, kettlebell swings - 52kg. I may try these again to see if I come up with similar results.  I'll also try them with others.

I'm hoping to get the first part of the two Certifications done by 20 January.  I have the formal exam, the practical training (which means getting someone to sign off on the fact that I can do the things in the manual), and a first aid certification to get.  It should be fine.

My parents arrive on the 18th.  It will be good to see them.  They're not coming alone (they never do it seems) but the people coming with them this time should be of the non stabulent variety.

Back to Canberra tomorrow.

P.S. My birthday is exactly nine months from today.  This means that according to The Great Sperm Race which I chanced across on SBS this evening, 35 years ago today, out of a quarter of a billion, I was the fastest in the most extreme race that exists.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I have my own fire gear now, including heavy boots, gloves, flash hood, and all the other accoutrements.  I wore them to training on Wednesday and put them to use.
Cut for pics and video )
TW: In firefighting gear - Fired up AMRAP - 20 minutes. 10 pullups, 10 situps - 5 rounds as a finisher.  Fewer disapproving looks this time.

Up to Sydney in the morning for the weekend to visit friends and family.

Then next week to Melbourne.  I booked tickets today, so I am committed to doing Black Dog Pushups in Melbourne.  The plan is 10 pushups every minute for 12 hours.  It will give me plenty of recovery time, plenty of time to talk to people, and plenty of time for the media to cover the event.  I started tweeting my plans to Melbourne sporting clubs and athletes tonight.  In the morning I'll see what has come of that.  I hope some of them will join me.  That would make for good publicity.

Fired Up

Nov. 25th, 2011 11:27 pm
luckycanuck: (Default)
I had my first day of Rural Fire Brigade training on Wednesday and came home with temporary firefighting gear that will do until I can get properly fitted gear.



There was also a presentation on grass fires and tactics that go with fighting them.  Keep one foot in the black we were told, so if there is a sudden change in wind direction you won't get caught between a fast moving grass fire and unburnt fuel.  Also, wear your gear.  All of your gear, all of the time.  There was a video recounting the story of an Oklahoma firey who went too fast towards a fire, trying to get on top of it before it could spread.  He wasn't wearing all his gear and he got into a bad position by trapping himself on the fire side of a barbed wire fence between the flank of the fire and heaps of dry grass.  When the wind changed, he was caught between the fire and the fence, and without his gear he was burned badly enough that he died the next day.

So yesterday I did a workout whilst wearing my gear, including my helmet.

YW: Row 400m, run 400m, 20 kettlebell swings, 2 flights of stairs farmers walk w 15 kg in each hand, 10 burpees - 5 rounds.  I call it "Fired Up."  I got some funny and occasionally disapproving looks from people, but then I thought "would you rather I DIDN'T do this?"

My studies are going fine, and I'm most of the way through the Cert III textbook.  This part of my qualification shouldn't take long.

NBS, after languishing for ages, has now gotten a sort of takeover offer.  They aren't proposing to buy up the company's stock.  They want to buy all the assets and then a dividend can be paid to shareholders.  With this, I'm out.  I've been trying to get out, but with the stock price jumping 25% today I will be able to get more for my shares than I would have if I hadn't cancelled an order five minutes before the market opened this morning.  I don't trust management not to screw up the sale or to pay the shareholders the proceeds.  I would trust them to burn up the cash on themselves, however.  Luckily, I have held the shares long enough to vote against the directors up for election and their pay increases.

VMG now has options on the market, and in addition to the ones I was granted, I bought more.  An announcement of the terms of sale of a subsidiary is imminent, and it should mean a large cash infusion for the company.  This should be reflected in an increased share price, and a magnified increase in option price given the lower price compared to the shares.  I'll sell these after that announcement comes through or when the share price recovers and circumstances are advantageous.

Off to an ordination tomorrow for Renaissance Priest.  Also Ginger Harpist is leaving.  I don't like the atmosphere around her now that her guy is living here, but they move out tomorrow and the kettle will remain plugged in.  Our household BBQ is going ahead, technically, but only Roxy and Esky have people coming.  With the ordination in Goulburn and another party that a number of friends are already committed to, I thought I would have a better time elsewhere.  There will be another party, perhaps on Australia Day like earlier this year, in the new year once the new arrivals are settled.

I did some media preparation for Black Dog Pushups in Canberra, which will likely be done next week provided I am fit.  I won't do as many as in Sydney, but I will still do a lot.  I will be contacting local TV, radio, and newspapers ahead of time, and Tweeting the day before to a number of politicians and sports teams in the hopes of getting it to go viral.  I also received my Black Dog Pushups business cards (and consulting business cards, but BDP is more interesting in the short term.)

I was also asked at a former work function on Wednesday night if I would be interested in offering group training sessions during sitting weeks in the morning or in the evening.  These former colleagues, passing the hat around, could be my first clients.

There are now four jobs that I am being put forward for.  I rang the agency that set me up with the two "you're too political" job interviews and mentioned how much this bothered me.  In a round about way, I asked if there was any point in looking for any public service jobs.  I probably will (this is Canberra) but my estimation of the institution is low right now.

Also, running is fun.  Running in the rain is more fun.  Running in the rain when you cannot possibly get any more wet is awesome fun.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I went by my old job yesterday.  They were having a training day and my demographic work was mentioned, and I got the chance to tell everyone who asked what I was doing now that I was working for Luckycanuck Consulting.  (Not the real name.)  I designed and ordered some business cards too, and it looks like there will be some upcoming work over the next couple of months.  I also attended the Christmas party they staged with a UN theme.

My frustration at the two public service jobs I was knocked back from has grown.  I can't think about it without getting stewed up about how asinine their rationale was.  The second interview I had was for nine jobs, and they told me they were impressed by my experience and that I could handle the job.  Then they came back and said my experience was too political.  I aced the interview and there was nothing I could have done to get the job.  I think that new jobs in the public service are going to peter out soon on account of hitting the December/January quiet season, so I am going to speak to agencies tomorrow to suss out what is happening and what chance there is of work.

In the meantime, I am studying.  I got about halfway through my Cert III textbook since starting in on it today.  It looks good so far, and I hope to get my qualification early in the new year, depending on how the internship goes.  I'm not sure what that will be like.

I will also have the fire brigade to keep me busy.  I was approved back in September but they didn't notify me until just last week.  I have my first day of training tomorrow and should be coming home with gear.

We have found people to replace Esky and Ginger Harpist.  With two people leaving, we will have two friends who already get along moving in.  We narrowly preferred them over a couple who we thought might bring a different atmosphere, whereas we got the sense that the new arrivals would be more likely to recreate the atmosphere of Helga and Alleluia.

In the meantime Ginger Harpist is still here until this weekend along with her boyfriend.  I find I am more than a little annoyed that I went in to bat for her to get her in the house in the first place, convincing the others that she would be fine, and now she is leaving, in part because she doesn't have the house to herself with me at home.  Maybe it's best that she leaves, but I do kind of resent the fact that she seems to have turned so suddenly.  She didn't mind me being around the house when I picked her up from the airport.

Additionally, I've not warmed to her guy at all.  I feel like he is in my space.  This morning I put the kettle on, and five minutes later it was still cold because he had unplugged it to plug in his coffee grinder because he is a precious and unique snowflake who can't possibly face the day without a precisely ground coffee.  Also, he is about the most effeminate straight guy I've ever met.  This is all probably to do with my annoyance at having my space cut down and my routine infringed rather than any actual problem with the guy.  At any rate, it will be over soon.

My recovery from the pushups is pretty much done.  I'll hit the gym hard tomorrow now that a minor strain on my right side under the shoulder seems to be healing up.  I also plan to continue Black Dog Pushups with visits to other cities and greater media preparation.  I've now made business cards for this project which should arrive with my consulting cards.  I've also started telling prospective clients that I will be offering training on a freelance basis.

Update

Nov. 16th, 2011 02:50 pm
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
It's been a few days and a lot has happened.

Chez Canuck

Is going to have more changes.  Esky was already leaving, but now Ginger Harpist is going too.  Apparently she isn't happy with the space she has for teaching and practicing, especially as I am at home more than she expected.  We will find new people and the advertising has already begun.  It is a bit of a drag though, and for a moment I probably took it a bit personally.

Family

My cousin arrived this morning from Sweden via Thailand on the way to New Zealand with her husband and two kids.  They are quite easy to get along with and I am enjoying having them here at the moment.

Training

My course materials arrived and I while haven't started working through them I do plan to get stuck in pretty quick and go about getting my qualification soon.  Minou was over on Monday and had a look through them (probably more than I did) and is supremely confident of my abilities to go through the material without being held back "by slow people."

Career

It is soon going to be the slow time for recruitment, and having been rejected for two jobs on a pretty bad premise, I am considering the prospect that I may struggle to find work through December and January.  Damn Department of Health!

Convicts

The strip show went very well, and everyone seemed pretty impressed.  We didn't start off with much on so there wasn't really much to take off.Cut for slightly NSFW pics )
Speaking of which, I'll put my Black Dog Pushup information in a separate post as it is pretty noteworthy in itself.

Afterwards I wound up staying at a friend's place near the city rather than trek back to Collaroy, and wound up staying there all of Sunday and for part of Monday before picking up Minou.  Very little was accomplished, and that was good.
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.

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