Mornin’

Don’t think I’ve updated this in the AM much, ever. Fascinating.

Had a nice weekend, got to Lloyd and Kerry’s wedding which was very enjoyable. Tip of the hat to them. The weather held out long enough to let all the action occur without any real interruptions, so that was a bonus.

Speaking of weekends, I’m kind of bummed that it wasn’t another long one. I’ve kind of had three in a row and I believe it’s a lifestyle I can get right behind. It’s a shame there aren’t many real options to work 12 hours/day for 3 days/week because that’s another thing I can get right behind. Finding something worthwhile to do with the extra 4 days off is another challenge but it’s not a bad one to have, is it?

Clocks rolled back an hour this week and it has immediately begun feeling dark at 6pm again. A shame. It feels better commuting in the daylight. Driving home from work at night has a trace of depression in it, I think. Even when one’s home, when it gets dark earlier it makes time itself seem to pass faster until all of a sudden it’s after midnight and bam, you’re probably going to be late for work. “Probably” is inaccurate, actually.

We’ve booked accommodation in Thailand for after our wedding. I’d reveal the location but I don’t want any of you groupies making a surprise appearance. Marika will give it away anyway. 3 nights in Thailand is 90% cheaper than 9 nights in Tallinn. I know that’s not actually comparative… fuck it. Still hurts. I suppose the place in Tallinn did offer to pick us up and drop us back off at the airport in a limousine. For 25 euro each way. Not so VIP now, are we?

Oh, look at the time. I’m late.

What!?

Yes, two updates within a week.

I can’t even remember the last time I did that. Was it even this decade? Ah, yes, it was. Just. It shouldn’t count either but I guess with my irregular publishing schedule we’ll have to count anything that occurs: It’s too hot and Leaving.

You may be wondering why this blitz of posting? I’m not sure. I guess I kind of exposed the existence of this silly thing the other day to a wider audience (hello) so I feel obliged. I used to make posts regularly when I created this blog (although it was originally a LiveJournal). I can’t remember if it was because I wanted a lot of attention or because I had an audience, or a combination of both. Leaving this page static is just a waste anyway, so I suppose it’s time to pull my finger out.

Speaking of LiveJournal, I actually miss the “mood descriptor”. To be honest though I think I usually used “drunk”. That probably makes sense, since writing is easier after a few drops. Right? I think I heard that somewhere. Works for me at least.

Today is the last day of this fucking soup diet. I am currently heating up brown rice for breakfast. With nothing else. Now that’s how you bring in Easter, folks! I think I’m going to stay up and at the stroke of midnight have some whisky to relax/celebrate/cry into for this past week. I have lost like 3 kilos as of yesterday. I’ll weigh myself later today to see how big a loser I truly am. Undoubtedly I’ll gain it back in a few days from actually eating palatable stuff, but oh well.

So, wedding plans! Hotel booked. Alcohol quandary. How much is enough but how much is too much? We don’t want the place to run dry but we don’t want to have too many leftovers either. I suppose we could just donate them to  fortunate family and friends. Budget starting to look intimidating but we’re adding all the big items so that’s normal. Never mind. May as well enjoy it for all the effort it’ll take!

I really want to go and do something or hang out with people but I’m afraid I won’t be able to do anything enjoyable because of this stupid fucking diet. Fuck you, you ruined my week and my weekend. Might pike it if I get an offer today.

Fucking tomatoes

I have a low tolerance for them at the best of times. Sure, they’re fine as a base for sauce, or diced up on bruschetta or something light like that. 7 days of tomato soup is just a joke, though. Actually, it might be the green capsicum that is making me nauseous. I’m not big on capsicum chunks, like I’m not big on tomato chunks.

Yep. I’m on that kick start diet again. It’s easier than doing P90x, at least. I think. Apart from the boring food. Today was 3 bananas day… and soup.

Not sure how much weight I’ll lose but it can’t hurt. I lost about 10kg last year through exercise, but then gained 5 back along with a distinct loss of muscle in the months after I relapsed into my old habits of basically being inactive and imbibing beer. Thankfully, I’ve been eating relatively well. It’s the lack of balance that catches up to me. Doesn’t liposuction remove fat cells so they don’t grow back? Someone told me that once and I’d like to believe it. A pipe dream.

Now to the important part: No cat yet. Wedding this year. In Estonia. Politics came into play but we have been navigating through it without too much drama. I should probably make a wedding website or something. Too bad I killed my hosting a few years ago. I might just get another one for the sake of it. I like pissing money away on servers and hosting that I barely use. It makes me feel like I’m doing something clever. Maybe one day someone will even notice it.

I guess I don’t promote any of this crap enough. I’m a bit of a negative nancy/quasi privacy nut when it comes to exposing my online life. Not just my online life, actually, but that makes sense to me.

Bonus gossip: I think I actually want 2 cats.

Tomorrow is Thursday but it’s figuratively Friday on the work day calendar. The actual Friday is still on Friday, but it’s Good Friday. So that’s good. The following Tuesday will be Monday but at least Friday will only feel like we’re up to Thursday. I have to start work early tomorrow to cover for absent staff. I should probably go to bed now so that I don’t feel quite so upset for waking up before my natural rhythm. After this, methinks.

It’s actually unusual for me to go to bed the night before the following day. Typically I won’t retire until after midnight. More bad habits? I think I just don’t like “giving up” on the day and want to pretend I’m squeezing the most out of it, even if that means I just end up playing games or watching TV. Wow, this is inspiring.

I’m making a conscious effort (finally) to improve my un-mastery of eesti keeles (and English, evidently). I’m four fourteenths (or was it five?) through my latest instruction book. I can still read the language quite comfortably, at least at the beginner or intermediate level. Conversationally I can’t process the words fast enough to speak, although I can usually follow the context and just nod along.

I could really go for a taco right now. Tacos and whisky.

On the move

Greetings. I’m 30.

Now that the hard part is over, let me tell you where I am: on a bus. A bus pretending to be a train.

That’s right! Trackwork. Originally some good folks and myself were heading to Paddington for a celebratory lawn bowls event. Judging by this weather though it will have to be postponed.

Let’s see. Quick updates. I’m still employed, own a fancy pen, a sexy juicer, new t-shirts and… I have a  fiancee! I guess getting older isn’t so bad after all.

Yep. Marika and I got engaged last year whilst on holidays in Queensland. I pulled out a not-overly-romantic-but-at-least-in-character proposal on a Noosa balcony and she said yes. I credit the warm weather for the assist.

Our challenges now are twofold: pick a country to hold our wedding in; get a pet cat. I’m not sure which task will involve more politics.

Melting

I feel like my face is melting. I suppose that’s because it is, kind of.

Peeling would be a better description.

Last weekend Marika and I went whale watching. This was a successful and fun endeavour, although we did fail in our preparation to avoid UV rays. Marika only scored a Rudolph-esque nose whereas I look like I’ve been boiled.

To celebrate our experience, we picked up my mother and hit up far north Sydney to visit my other alma mater for its annual  fair. We got there just in time to realise we’d missed out on purchasing all the good cakes, so instead wandered around admiring all the new buildings and facilities that I never got to use. The only thing I ended up purchasing was a round of drinks at the pub on the adjacent block. That was satisfactory.

I haven’t done any real exercise since very early in July. I haven’t ballooned out but I have shrivelled up. Marika’s been keen to get back into it with me, and I share the sentiment. We just lack the drive to restart the lifestyle. At least the shopping has been healthy.

It’s just coincidental, but the exercise stopped around the same time Matt moved out. The last I heard, he’d headed up to Brisbane for a few weeks. His in-laws came around to pick up some of his stuff, including “that” couch. At least it was easier to get it out of the flat than in it. This time we had better technique. I invited him to Marika’s birthday but didn’t hear back. We went anyway.

In fact, it was the birthday that led to the whale watching.

We just came full circle! I’ll end on that perfect note.

Kicking back in the wet

It’s been raining all week and will continue to rain for the next few days. There’s nothing really to do except sit inside all weekend and do nothing, apart from eat, drink, watch TV and strain my eyes via a PC monitor.

To be fair, that’s an accurate description of most of my weekends, irrelevant of the weather. Usually though it’s a choice. When it rains your hand is mostly forced.

Regarding eye strain, I now have two sets of glasses. One for work and one for home. According to the optometrist, my vision is first rate but my eyes focus too hard when I’m looking at screens. This has literally caused me headaches for months. Wearing the spectacles seems to be making a difference. Thank you, Specsavers.

Really not that much more going on. It’s been a bit of a grind week by week with no real excitement, I’m afraid.

I’ll think about it some more and see if I can make an inspirational update.

Learning the process

Greetings.

I’m currently on a training course for work. It’s for the ITIL framework. No, I don’t expect any of you to understand or care what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s interesting and it means I don’t have to go into my work office all week!

Marika and I went to the Future Music Festival last weekend. It was decent but felt too short and getting there and back was a total nightmare. In the end it was still worth it as we fit to see Die Antwoord again and even New Order, who naturally played Blue Monday! Yay.

I’ve been doing P90x, the workout regime, for the past 5 weeks. I’m not even halfway through it yet but I’m seeing and feeling the benefits. I just wish I could do proper pullups. Actually I just wish I had a place to simply attempt to do them. Our flat is the least accommodating exercise centre.

I bought a Scanpan grill pan and some other cookware last night just before bed. Regular price was about $1200 but I’m getting it all for about $300. Thanks, online shopping.

My Tintin collectors book arrived yesterday, too. Haven’t opened it yet but looking forward to it. The original two comics that I haven’t read are in this volume. Very exciting.

Time to go back to class.

Slayed the dragon, bought a beast

The St George accounts are all cancelled. I even BPAYed the $0.99 that snuck on as the last transaction thanks to the Android Market. I haven’t gotten to the stage where I dramatically cut up my remaining credit cards yet. I’m actually a little worried that now I’ll be removing so many cards from my wallet that the sleeves may be too loose to hold the remaining cards. They already tend to slip out frequently so I guess I’ll just have pad it with fat wads of cash.

So, yep. It’s been about ten years but St George is gone.

Now that our finances are more consolidated, I decided to finally purchase a new PC (ha!). I’ve been creating quotes and reading up on various parts for the past month or two and ultimately got to the point where I just wanted to bite the bullet. It’s a gaming rig and I had to buy basically every single component as new, besides my mouse. That means things like Windows 7, a keyboard, a 24″ screen and a tasteful black tower case. It’s too bad the front fans have bright white LEDs built into them but at least it’s under the desk so I don’t notice. It runs almost silently, even when I’m cranking everything in high detail. Mad PC gamer bonars.

What will happen to my old laptop? It has served me well over the past two years as a good composite machine. I had to rely on it as a desktop replacement and as such it’s a bit bigger, heavier, hotter and noisy than what most people tend to go for these days. I’m considering converting it into a media PC and connecting it to our TV. Since it’s on wifi there’ll be nothing but a power cable and HDMI cable to get it working. I’m a bit concerned that it will run hot, but I think if it’s mostly just downloading/streaming/replaying/decompressing it shouldn’t be too bad. Maybe a few spikes here and there, but whatever. I should probably clean it out first though and get it feeling crisp again. 2 years of dicking around with any home PC tends to lead to a lot of bloat.

In a decisive Sunday afternoon administrative move, I’m backing up my iPod to the new machine. There’s a lot of songs on there and whilst they’re well formatted and tagged (I’m a tight arse when it comes to naming conventions and file management) I don’t think I play that many of them. I’ve had this one for about 4.5 years, since my last one was lost/stolen from the bar under the hostel. Thanks, Dave,  by the way. It’s got a lot of tracks on there that I used to play to set the “mood” in the hostel. To great applause, mind you. I’ve lost track of the amount of compliments I used to receive from my DJing, even just during the day. Probably about 4 people.

Since I hate using iTunes and have purchased all of my songs through different online vendors and formats, I can’t just sync it and pretend it’ll magically work. Manual management it is, then! To be honest it’s a lot faster and I anyway can’t stand Apple software. Fuck off, indeed.

Anyway, I think that having a backup of all these bad boys can’t hurt and it might lead me on another music binge. I definitely need some fresh material even though I haven’t been listening to much music lately. I suppose the only times I have been putting anything on is for things I’ve already heard/know. That’s not adventurous enough, is it?

That damn dragon

My phone call just got cut off whilst I was trying to cancel my credit cards. Not all of my credit cards, just the ones with St George. I was about to be put through to the credit card department of wizardry when all of a sudden the muzak went silent. It’d taken so long to get to that point that I didn’t have the personal fortitude to start again.

It might be easier just to do it in person. On the weekend. God.

To make things more irritating, a new 99c payment went onto one of the cards. I’ll have to work out a way to pay that off as well, first. I think they can send a cheque for the remaining balance but odds are they’ll charge me $10 for the luxury. This all could have been averted if they let me close the credit card accounts last weekend. That was when I had my transaction accounts shut down but apparently the wankers in credit accounts only work during business hours, leaving half the job done.

Enough of that.

Happy new year.

Ok, now that’s done.

Oh, and merry Christmas.

We’ve got a new car. It’s a 2011 Hyundai but we’ve called it Das Auto. Club Korea is growing bigger at work. There’s almost a fleet of us. It’s a nice shiny, silver manual and it needs a service. A service and a clean.

I want to buy a new PC. My laptop isn’t cutting it any more when it comes to my exquisite gaming taste. Basically I’m sick of having to run everything on shitty graphical settings. Life is hard, I know, but it shouldn’t be this hard. I actually tried to raise a quote with one company just before Christmas but they never got back to me. I think I’ll try one more time. It’s the shortlisting of parts when you build your own computer that puts me off. I really don’t want to have to think about what I want, but I know I need to.

I’m still walking to work. At least once a week at the moment. The weather’s been pretty kind lately so I haven’t turned up soaked in either sweat or rain for a while. I’m sure my co-workers appreciate this more than I do.

Last night I had a night on the couch with Marika. We drank wine and listened to various kinds of music. It was good fun, but I woke up with a headache. I could really expand on the whole sequence of events but I just can’t be bothered right now.

Thanks for your attention.

Impulses

Hi there.

I just signed up for a new Telstra mobile plan, for the low-low price of $74/month.

Why? I don’t know. I just sort of kept clicking buttons. Now I have no idea how I’m even going to receive the damn handset they’re sending out, since I probably won’t be home and the post office is only open 9-5. Since my work hours are 9-5:30 (lately 9-7) this could be a problem if they want photo ID.

Well, I guess these problems come up when you act on impulse. Obviously I had an urge to update this blog, as well.

Let’s see.

I got my tax return back and so did Marika. Hopefully I’ll be in the system for next year so I won’t need to fartarse around. In the end something must have been updated, somewhere, because I managed to get it done online. Hoorah!

Winter is gone. Summer is coming. It’s like the opposite of Game of Thrones. Marika’s loving it while all the sensible types are complaining about the heat. I’ve got an extra special reason, as I am currently walking to and from work every day. I believe it’s approximately an 8km round trip. That’s right, no more car.

Well, the car will probably come as an impulse buy in the next month or two as well. For now, I’m trying to get a touch of exercise. Starting in summer with business attire isn’t the best way to start a good habit, though.

I bought some new runners, I think my old Nikes might have been from the 90s. I don’t even remember their age, but they’ve been donated to a charity/laugh bin in the shoe store where I bought their replacements. Matt took me down there for a look. It may be the first time I’ve actually bought shoes with an assistant giving me advice. Running up and down the street to see how they feel wasn’t a particularly flattering moment of the purchasing process, unfortunately.

So, with all this walking and new shoes (I wear the runners on my walk and swap into business shoes in the office. Cool, right?) you’d think I might even be losing some weight. Well, if you didn’t, I sure did. It doesn’t seem to be working. I’ve narrowed it down to mostly my rigorous beer consumption. All those liquid sandwiches are holding me back. It’s a shame to cut back, as they taste so sweet after a long day and a long walk in 30 degree heat. Back to gin and wine, then.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Yes, we went back to Eesti and caught up with whoever was still left in the country. The time went quickly but it was pleasant to say hi to all the folks. I made a trip down to Riga to see John which ended up on par with most of our other sessions. This time, though, we had live ammunition. I won.

It’s been about a month since we got back. Now Piia’s coming. Tomorrow. This is exciting news, for Marika especially.

I expect there will be more updates about that very soon. On her blog, at least.