Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hazy memories of a night to remember,

NICTA had it's end of year Christmas bash yesterday afternoon. While the food was good, the party itself was nothing to write home about (yet here I am, writing about it). Most people left soon after the formalities, in most cases, back to the office - quite disappointing really. Not to stand by and see our much anticipated Christmas party cut short, Phil and I decided to kick on, thus beginning an 8 hour, 2 man pub crawl of inner north Canberra.

I have never seen time fly by so fast. The Christmas party ended at about 3pm, and I swear, in the blink of an eye, it was 11pm. It was my concern about getting work done the day after that ultimately brought proceedings to a close (and the call of last drinks at the Wig'n'Pen). T'was a night to remember, though unfortunately, a night largely forgotten as I nurse myself through the after effects this morning.

Interestingly, it was not just my head that hurt this morning. One memory of my previous night's escapades came flooding back in an instant as I sat up in bed, only to be forced to lie back down by a sudden throbbing pain in the upper part of my backside. It took only a moment for the memories of my rather bumpy bike ride home to come to the fore. Given my intoxicated state, I wisely chose to stay off the roads as I rode home from the pub, instead opting for the bike paths. The problem with bike paths is that they are quite dark, and while I do have a light, it would be fair to say that in my blissfully and drunkenly unaware state, I wasn't exactly paying full attention to the threat of any potential impedance on the track ahead. It is therefore no surprise, as I came racing down a hill towards an intersection, trying to make the green light, that I made the unfortunate mistake of assuming the transition from the bike path to the road I was crossing included a ramp allowing me to simply roll onto the road. In truth, there was a ramp, but it was about 3 metres to the left of where I thought it was, and so rather than the smooth road crossing I was hoping for, I experienced a rather abrupt drop in altitude as my bike rolled (rather fast), over the gutter.

This may not sound that bad, but taken unawares, a gutter drop can really do some damage, particularly when your body's momentum moves forward as the bike drops, and your arse bounces off the nice cushy bit at the back of the seat, and lands on the narrow, and significantly less cushy bit at the front. My entire body shuddered as I found myself quite literally wedged by my own bike seat. Ironically, while my alcohol consumption was clearly to blame, it was also what saved me from the harsh reality of just how painful this was. In the murky haze of this morning's hangover, as I sit in my chair with a slight forward lean, and with a cushion, I am all too aware of the pain now, and have more than enough evidence to remind me of what was clearly a night to remember .... I think.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A special time .. with a special guy

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hume Hwy alert - Canberra driver and terrified cat

Just sent Aff, and the cat, off on their merry way to Melbourne. If anyone sees a white Lancer with Victorian plates and a terriffied cat catepolting down the Hume towards Melbourne (at 70km/hr), give the driver a wave (and plenty of space). If anyone sees a car of the same description heading towards Sydney, let me know.

So now I am left to my own devices for a week, before I myself make the journey down south next Saturday. With some pretty serious deadlines and milestones to achieve in the next three months, I decided I really can not afford any more time off than the minimal Christmas break. Of course, with a couple of Christmas parties looming, including the much anticipated NICTA party next Wednesday (another drunk geeks alert is likely to be issued for residents of the inner north of Canberra), Christmas shopping, and my annual Christmas grooming (haircut, and maybe a shave), it will be a difficult week for work productivity, but a necessary one I'm afraid.

BTW - Melburnian's - any NYE plans that may allow two outer-towners to crash ? We're not entirely sure whether we will be in Melbourne for NYE (although it's looking more and more like we will be), but if we are, we'd love to know what people are doing (email me if you'd prefer not to post a world-wide advertisement).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sick of being sick

For about the third time in the last 6 months, I am sick with the Flu.

My story of woe so far:

Saturday morning- I started the day early - 6.30am to be precise, and with my health in tact. By 9am I was working up a sweat in the garden, digging holes aimlessly (an activity that seems to make me feel a little more manly). Despite starting to feel a little run down by mid afernoon, Aff and I decided to head off to the coast for a night of camping. Much like the drive from Canberra to Batemans Bay, this was when things started to go down hill. By Saturday night, my head was all over the shop with mild fever symptoms setting in, and the obligatory cough that undoubtedly startled a few unsuspecting possums (not to mention campers). After a sleepless night, I was unable to drive home on the Sunday, instead relinquishing the responsibility to Aff while sat quietly and motionless in the passengers seat. I was quite keen to get home and lie on the couch.

Monday morning- after initially feeling ok, I soon started feeling worse as I trudged myseld to uni for the final performance of my teams' High school outreach show. Being team leader, and the only person with a car, it was pretty important that I made it, so staying home was not really an option. Thankfully, I survived the performance, although this did not come without consequences. I spent the rest of the day lying in a daze on the couch at home, watching some crappy info-mercial about zit cream (and perhaps most alarmingly, finding it interesting).

And now Tuesday- I am home again, although things have improved considerably. While I am still coughing and sneezing with impressive frequency, and volume, I am pleased to say that my temperature has come down, and I am at least able to do work at home. Being less than two weeks until Christmas, I am pretty anxious to get a fair bit of work done, which I must admit, has been largely ignored these last few weeks (such is the way of the PhD student).

It is a little alarming when I consider how many times I have been sick this year, although perhaps not entirely a mystery. Much like bushfires are often described as nature's way of restoring balance to an ecosystem, perhaps the flu is nature's way of doing the same for me. It does make sense, because I do have a history of getting quite ill when times are tough. The most notable case in point being in 1998, while doing my honours year at Melb Uni, when after 3 months of getting no more than about 3 or 4 hours sleep a night, I was forced to withdraw for 6 months after being diagnosed with glandular fever. Not much fun, I can tell you, although the Panadeine Forte tablets weren't so bad.

So yes, perhaps it's time I start taking things a little easier. For some known and some unknown reasons, this is a little easier said than done for me, but clearly necessary.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Victoria on fire

.. And I don't mean we're going well in the cricket. The state is quite literally on fire. In Canberra this morning, I noticed a light haze. Could be from something else, but given the light southerly breeze (I base this judgment on the head wind I had to endure as I rode in this morning), and the location of Victoria's largest fires in the Alpine areas to the east of the state, I think it is entirely plausible that this haze has something to do with the fires down south.

The predictions for the weekend are strikingly bad for Victoria, and it pains me to think that some of Victoria's most beautiful Alpine regions are likely to go up in smoke this weekend. For anyone who hasn't seen exactly what the experts are predicting, check out this flash presentation from The Age. Scary stuff, particularly if these fires come together. You know things are bad when fire fighters start talking about the coast line being the ultimate limit to these fires. We're talking about almost an entire piece of the Victorian tourism puzzle being burnt out, not to mention a few major towns under severe threat.

Good luck to all the fire fighters, and those with homes at risk. Lets hope the weather isn't as severe as predicted.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seven on the trot

It is somewhat ironic that wedding planning was probably the main reason Aff and I both forgot our seven year anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Yes, seven years and two weeks ago, Aff and I decided our share house living arrangements weren't nearly complicated enough, choosing instead to throw the proverbial hand grenade into the mix by becoming a couple. It was a pretty big decision for two good friends, and housemates, to get together, though I don't remember there being too much parliamentary debate on the issue at the time. And here we are now, seven years and two weeks later.

Neither of us seem particularly phased about missing the date this year. Ordinarily, we use this as our annual excuse to pull out the credit card, and undo a year's worth of saving - always a good way to start the festive season. This year, however, no such pomp and ceremony.

Like I said, we both seem comfortable with this. With all our exciting plans for next year, it's very much a case of "eye on the prize" at the moment. This morning, however, I found myself giving this some extra thought. Is it just me, or does seven years seem an awful lot more than six years ? Seven always seems to hold extra significance for the human mind. We have seven days in a week, seven deadly sins .. ... Seven players in a netball team.... Ok, so maybe there aren't that many examples, but for what ever reason, the jump to seven does seem more significant than that from five to six ?

In any case, I decided this morning that seven years should be marked in some way, and should not simply fall victim to planning for future endeavors. This mentality has a nasty way of becoming habitual, and goes against the most fundamental doctrine I live by - living in the now (with an eye on the future of course).

So Aff, get the good frock on! It's Hungry Jacks on the Lake this weekend baby!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rudd wins

There it is again .. the sound of a collective sigh of relief.

Now let's get on with it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

About Ruddy time!

Not sure if anyone else noticed it today. The sound of a collective sigh of relief as Labor supporters like myself heard news of Rudd and Gillard's intention to challenge for the party leadership. Quite frankly, this should have happened two years ago. I have always believed that Rudd is Labors best chance at winning the next election, and notwithstanding a big upset next week when the party votes, I will be most relieved to see the best man for the job, finally in the job.

My question, assuming Rudd wins, is what will become of big bad bomber Beazley ? My intuition tells me nothing. What happens to a twice ex-leader of a major party ? Beazley clearly isn't willing to just give up the leadership, hence the need for a vote, so Beazley certainly still has the fire in the belly. Having said this, perhaps it's the sniff of prime ministership that keeps the big guy going. If Beazley loses next week, it won't just be the leadership that he will be waving goodbye to, but one would have to think, any chance of being prime minister, which must be hard to cop after so many years spent aspiring for this very position.

Sorry Kim. Your time was and should have been in 2001 .. but unfortunately it wasn't. The electorate needs new faces to believe in, not old faces carrying all the baggage of the past. Bring on Rudd, and lets get Howard the hell out!