Monday, December 27, 2010

"Fine" weather

My first outdoor photo with my iPhone, capturing the weather which the BOM site reported as "fine" just before I left the house. Good test of my renewed walking resolve though :) Since resting hasn't gotten me very far during 2011, I'm planning to commit as hard as I can to my limited exercise regime from here on. Hopefully it's the right approach...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


While I haven't been in bed, I've been watching some DVDs, of course :)

First, "Around the World in 80 Days" reminded me of the awesomeness of Jackie Chan, with a little bonus Arnie cameo. So many different accents in this one!

Then "The Jerk" (which I haven't seen since high school) pointed out why I love Steve Martin movies too. While not as good as "The Man With Two Brains" (what is?) it stands up really well for a movie over 30 years old.

Shopgirl and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus are next on the list of movies, as I keenly await Futurama S5, set to arrive in the mail early in the new year, and near the end of another enjoyable season of Mad About You (S5).

So far...

Well, I've been fighting off some kind of cold/flu/virus the past few days, which is hitting me in instalments. Yesterday hit me with the worst pain I've had in ages, with nerves over my whole body burning, simply from me daring to go for a walk. Luckily spending lots of time in bed has started to improve things, and given me an excuse (since I want to look for positives) to spend more time exploring my iPad. Last night I was able to watch a doco and an ep of The Goodies via ABC iView from the comfort of my bed! And I'm lying down as I write this :)

Today I also got my iPhone 4 and it's all set up and ready to act as my all-in one device - phone, mp3 player and camera. My hope is I'll both take more photos and possibly explore a little more, in the search of something to share with my unlimited social network access. If I can only get my health back to a sufficient level, 2011 could be a far more outgoing year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hellz yeah!

For the first time in my work and school life, I managed to make it through an entire year without a single sick day! One of the few benefits of unrelenting CFS has been my much-vaunted immunity from the everyday viruses floating around (particularly in an office environment). I now have 23 days to rest and relax before embarking on a challenging 2011 work program.

What will I do with all that time? Well, for a start, I'll be playing with my brand new toy, delivered just as I got home today, and the very device I'm composing this post on - a shiny iPad. Pretty impressed with it so far. It's partner iPhone should arrive before the year ends, and I'll have my first new phone in 8 years, full of camera/music player/lots-more-included-calls goodness :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Out of Canberra

After 3 years with no travel, I finally managed to escape the confines of the ACT with a short trip to Malua Bay. I was able to totally relax, didn't think about work once, and had many serves of fish and chips :) Here's a little sample of the mini-holiday in pictures (full photoset here):


Out of Canberra





I was pretty disappointed to return to my humdrum normal existence yesterday, even knowing I have 5 days more off work. Could retirement to the South Coast come even earlier than planned? Not sure I can wait 8 years...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Begin again

So after 3 weeks of no exercise and stupid amounts of bedrest, I've started the slow process of rebuilding my strength and fitness again (a multi-annual event anyway, so I should be used to it!). Basically I'll be easing my way back into some walking, working hard to not give in to my impatience by jumping quickly to my full hour-long walk, no matter how much I want to see the slightly farther flung parts of my neighbourhood again.

I've at least managed to wind back from 15+ hours a day in bed to a more tolerable 11.

My hope is that I can sustain some 15 minute walks most days for the next few weeks without sparking another relapse, which'll then allow me to bump up the duration of the walks. I did want to at least regain a little leg strength before spending a few days down the coast next week, and before a hectic work November tests my energy, so fingers crossed for a successful week.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A new identity

If I no longer have the energy to be an overachiever, what am I? While I've (at least temporarily) found a certain I've-been-much-sicker-in-the-past-so-I'm-not-going-to-let-my-current-health-frustration-depress-me-too-much attitude, the reality is that I'm not going to be able to spend more than 20 hours a week working anytime soon, if ever again. That hard limit means that I can either be a generalist (made ineffective and underproductive by enforced multitasking) or a specialist (something which would require more passion and focus than I've achieved for ages).

Even if I can make that decision, and successfully create the right role, I'm never again going to be what work calls a "high potential" individual. I'm not going to move up the ranks of management. I'm not going to be on the critical path for any major projects. I'm not going to have a large team of people to guide the development of.

Right now I'm getting by, adding value where I can, occasionally feeling that I'm needed. But are those 20 hours spent in the office helping me to a more meaningful life, or simply sucking up the little energy I do have, preventing me from actioning more important things?

Just one of the issues I ponder in my many hours of mandatory rest!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

No more dessert

That'll teach me to be optimistic :( Foolish, naive past-self!

Sadly, very little of my hope turned into anything over the past few years and now, at best, all I can hope is that little won't be rolled back during whatever term a minority government of either flavour maintains.

But wait, what am I depressed about, Tony is offering us "stable, predictable and competent government"! Apparently too much to ask for innovative, sustainable, compassionate leadership... Maybe the Greens' increased presence in the Senate will rub off on the right-wing fearmongers?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oz songstresses

Brought to you by the letter S apparently...

I intentionally don't analyse the music I listen to, in order to spare myself one more thing I overthink, but I'd still like to occasionally write about it, since it forms a constant backdrop to my daily life. So here's a little something:

It probably started back in 2003, when I saw Amiel performing Obsession (I Love You) on (the sadly short-lived) Micallef Tonight. I really, really liked it, despite (or maybe because of) it having nothing in common with my punk/rap/rock mainstays. I bought Amiel's album, listened to it plenty, but didn't really go any further down the new path.

Then in 2008, Lenka released her first solo album and Kate Miller-Heidke released Curiouser, and the floodgates opened. Those two albums formed the gateway to Bertie Blackman, Elana Stone, Sarah Blasko and (with her debut album release last month) Megan Washington.

Sarah Blasko was probably the hardest for me to get into, because of the spare instrumentation in her earlier work, meaning it has to be listened to rather than just overheard. I ended up going backwards from As Day Follows Night, which allowed me to ease out of listening-to-singles-in-one-ear mode to absorbed-into-the-world-of-the-music mode.

Sometimes the strong emotional response which these artists can invoke is a bit too draining for me, other times it's energising, but either way it reassures me that I still have feelings :) Plus there's plenty of humour in their work too, which is a key factor in almost everything I enjoy.

And that's how my 180 track "Oz Songstresses" playlist was born!


As expected, writing positive things in my last post has lead to feeling pretty ordinary. Of course I'm not really that superstitious and I expect it has more to do with bad weather getting in the way of my walking schedule, and a drop in firefighting duties at work, giving me some time to do bigger picture stuff (which lacks the drive and urgency). I've started meditating again after letting my routine slip, and am hopeful that will help my mood stay at least a little upbeat through this latest health lull.

One thing that my body has still permitted me is plenty of reading. Admittedly plenty of lightweight stuff with the Roswell High series and Angel spin-off books, but still more active than glazed viewing of TV. And I'm now on to the meatier Children of Dune (3rd in a series of 6) and Stonehenge: Where Atlantis Died (which is my lunchtime read).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



While I'm here, I've avoided being too positive about a return to significant walking over the past month. After an 8 month relapse into CFS, I've finally been able to act out my enthusiasm for the longer walks surrounding my house, which I'd missed terribly while physically incapable of reaching them in the 30 minutes max I could sporadically manage.

Spend spend spend

The thought that more than 2 people would actually read these blog posts has clearly been freaking me out, leading to total cessation of writing. So I broke the auto-link setting on my Facebook profile to basically ensure almost total anonymity... and I'm back!

Last Wednesday I bought a replacement for my aged computer, which was really struggling to deal with my wish to both listen to music and read email at the same time, let alone do some digital sketching. While it took 5 solid hours of trial and error to get iTunes and my iPod to recognise my music and each other, it's now running very smoothly, and I've fought past the inevitable buyer's remorse that $4700 of tech entails.

I suppose it's exactly because I'm such a spendthrift in general that I can both afford to use that kind of cash on something (which I will definitely use a lot) and also feel somewhat ashamed that I spent any money at all. Really my brain just refuses not to overthink anything!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Well, I've successfully established a solid drawing routine again, after only sporadic efforts since last May. Around 25 hours in the past 10 days. Some of the results make an appearance on Flickr, but the rest are just steps along the way to better skillz. And all I had to do to make the time was impose a no-DVDs-before-noon rule on myself :)

Why such a rule? I just worked out that I've watched about 400 hours of DVDs across the past 4 months (27 TV seasons and 33 movies). If I actually had energy to do anything with that time other than watch DVDs, I'd feel like I was wasting my life away!

Annoyingly, my CFS continues to rebel against any attempts at physical activity. Even 15 minute walks are wrecking me right now, so I'm not even treading water fitness-wise (treading water being much too strenuous anyway...). Hopefully the stress-free environment of my April off will give me a chance to get some strength back.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Nice knowing you all, I'll see you in a month or so...