March, 2011

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New Project – Runner

Well This one I have put off for what feels like forever. As most of you would remember I ran the 10km at Gold Coast Marathon Festival last year as one of my big goals. Well I bought the lovely photos that went with it, kept the race number and the medal and wanted to put them up framed as a good momento of that life changing goal of mine.

Every time I looked in the cupboard at the medal and the race bib, I reminded myself “yeah ill do that this weekend” then something came up, i got lazy, or just plain forgot to do it. Well I finally pulled my finger out about 6 weeks ago and bought a frame to put it in, along with some glass for it. Then procrastination took over again and it sat and did nothing for about another 2 weeks till I remembered to get the cardboard. Dad cut out the backing wood for it out of some old scrap masonite we had lying around. Again it sat as procrastination took over till this morning where I had some free time and thought, I should really just get this done and dusted and put together so I can get it all up on the wall and done.

So I spent the 30 minutes or so it took to get it all together, with my dad’s help thanks to his old work ways coming out wanting to take over to make sure its all perfect, in getting it all mounted and ready to get secured by the frame store (they use some special pin things that they said they would put in for free for me).

Total Cost: $30
Estimated Cost at store: $85!

From Projects

Book Review: Magnificent Desolation

Well this one did not take long at all, that is mainly because I flew to Canberra last weekend, so had plenty of time sitting on flights etc to catch up on my reading.

Magnificent Desolation

Well This book is called Magnificent Desolation. The title does not really explain much about the book. Written by Buzz Aldrin. Yep, the guy who was 2nd to walk on the moon. It is about his life essentially. Not just about the Moon either, more about his life after the fact. The Ups and downs that come with it. Before reading this, I never really had heard much about Buzz’s life after his moon walk. It was certainly an eye opener.

It shows a life of Depression, Alcoholism and an amazing touching story. How can you think someone that has walked on the moon would be depressed, Hell I know I wouldn’t be, but I can see some of the facets of what brought it on in some of the things I have been through lately. A massively large “where to now” problem, thankfully I had support to help me through that after all of my changes, I am just thankful for that, but if I didn’t I guess it could of gone similar to what I just read.

The book is also a good account into the Future of the Space industry and how we need to look forward to the future and not focus so much on how much things cost now!

I do recommend it as a read, was a fantastic story!

Book Review – The Fabric of the Cosmos

OK so this was a book I alluded to at the end of the last book. It was something I really wanted to start reading, by the middle of it, i wanted to just give up. For day after day my brain felt like it was melting, in the end I just wanted to keep going to say I had finished reading it!

Fabric of the Cosmos

The book, The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene is a book dedicated to understanding what makes life tic. It looks at what is essentially Particle Physics, String Theory and Quantum Mechanics. I was hoping to get a better understanding of all of these when I first started the book, but my brain just could not comprehend some of these things (heaven forbid I tried to understand this stuff back in high school I would of failed miserably).

It is written really well with a good amount of dumbing down at some points with lots of examples given using every day objects (the Simpsons popped up a lot, along with Star Wars Characters a few times). It goes in good depth a lot of the time regarding some of the more complicated points however warning is given in advance if you want to skip the more complicated parts.

I think i learnt a little bit out of this, especially to do with String Theory (the theory that all molecules in the universe is actually made up of tiny tiny tiny vibrating strings). I just hope it sticks.

Not a bad book, and for $10 as part of the Popular Penguins range, a bargain as well.

2 Wheeler!

Well i alluded to this in my last post but the last 6 weeks or so I have been learning to ride a bike. But the whole aim was to learn to fully ride a bike. Part of that process means if I am going to learn I am going to need something to learn on, I can’t keep relying on someone else to provide me with a bike to practice on or do my lessons. So with this in mind I did a bit of research, took lots of advice from professionals and from friends and I pulled the plug.

I bought a bike!!! Yep thats right a 2 wheeled, human powered mode of transportation. Now this may not sound as like exciting news but considering this is my first EVER bike and im almost 30 years old, its a big deal to me. Unlike most people I never had a bike as a child. I was never taught to ride as a child and never given a bike by my parents, so I never learnt to appreciate what its like to have that ability to get places quickly and easily unless i was walking.

But I am really excited at the process of learning to ride. The more I learn the more confident I get and the better I feel. I dunno if I am gonna be hitting mountain trails or anything yet, but at the moment my little goal is 2 things:
1. Do a River Ride around the city (i think its like 40km or so)
2. Ride a Bike overseas while on my holiday
It sounds kinda silly but the most daunting part of this is making sure I am confident enough to not want to die when I get on the bike. At the moment I have a habit of focusing on things while I am riding, like this morning, was trying to thread a bit of a path between a rubbish bin and a pole. So i was doing as instructed, focus on where I want to go, don’t focus on what I want to avoid. So i was looking at the gap, looked at the bin, looked at the gap, looked at the bin, o that bins getting awfully close, clang! Handle bars hit the bin lid. WOOPS!

But enough about me learning to ride, what about the bike. Well I followed some advice from my trainer and other people and looked into a mountain bike. But not a full on moutain bike. Matt & the boys at Avanti Plus Fortitude Valley really looked after me. They really knew what to recommend to me for someone who is looking for a decent first bike. They gave me two options.
Avanti Agressor 1
Avanti Agressor 2
Both are Hardtail Mountain bikes. So that just means they only have Front Shocks rather than both Front and Rear. So good for both general riding but then if I do decide to go off road (which eventually i do want to learn and try it out cause it seems like fun).

I looked at both bikes, not much different between the two, with the Agressor 2 having the better parts (both have the same frame). So thats what I went with. In the long run the bike will do me better. Rather than spending less now and then having to go for that bike in the future, it is more logical (damn my logical focused brain) to buy it now. So i bought the bike and now I just need to get some roof racks for the car, cause my car is a bit small and the bike takes up 2/3 of the car when in it. So once I have that I will be all kitted out for the moment (will eventually need to get some lights for it if i ride in the dark etc but for the moment, i don’t really need them as I wont be riding in the dark).

So if anyone wants to go for a nice easy ride sometime, let me know, im still learning remember!

Thrills Thrills & More Thrills

So as you know i have been wanting to work on some of my fears this year and conquer little things before I go off travelling this year. Lots of little adventures rather than one big one like Kokoda. Most people know I have been learning to ride a bike but I will leave that for another post another day. Lets go over one of the other things I have been working on. Getting over my fear of Rollercoasters. I have always had the fear, but my size just gave me an easier excuse, one that meant i didn’t have to admit I had a fear.

The thought of putting myself into the rollercoaster, where I was at risk of dying (or so my mind told me) was just over powering. But because the harnesses wouldn’t fit me, I didnt have to worry about it. But now that there is the new sized mal, I don’t have that excuse anymore. I can fit in the harness, so now I either admit I have a fear of something so silly, or I work through it. I won’t say that I will ever be not afraid of them, but hell, I will be able to go on them without turning into a heaping mess.

I think this last weekend has done some good that way. With a group of friends heading up from interstate wanting to hit the theme parks for a weekend, and my friend Daniella visiting from Germany it was a perfect chance to work on this fear. So i told my friends, do not give me an excuse to not go on a ride. I can’t say no to any ride (although I should of said no to the lethal weapon cause my head still hurts). So saturday rolled around, we hit movieworld and first up was Batwing Spaceshot. Like a reverse Giant Drop. You get shot up and then fall back down again. It was ok, line was mega short (we were on pretty much straight away). I was nervous as you would expect, but I sucked it up. Getting shot up was ok, it was those few seconds of weightlessness as you come back down again that freaked me out! They seemed to last for ever!!

Next up, Superman the Escape. A traditional rollercoaster (no loops thank god). Pretty fast from when you see it, but the line was huge (pretty much an hour wait). But I tell you what, the speed didnt affect me much. It was the drops. God damn they were high and they were STEEP! looking down at that hill just scared the crap out of me!

After that we did Lethal Weapon. This is the one that freaked me out the most. It has loops, and thats one thing I have never really liked. Going upside down has always freaked me out. So my friends dragged me on it. They failed to warn me that I was going to be thrown about inside the seat like a pin ball with my head banging side to side constantly. Hurt like a sun of a bitch! Scooby Doo coaster was the last of the big ones that I had to combat and it was so much fun, loved every minute of it.

Then after night out on the town on the Coast saturday night and finding out that I am a Cadbury now (2 drinks and i was fucked!). Daniella & I went to Seaworld on sunday. She had told me she wanted to swim with dolphins while she was over here and since they offer it at Seaworld, I thought, why the hell not. So I did it to! Amazing experience, words can’t describe how much fun it is. Then we had a good chance to check out all the stuff at Seaworld before spending an afternoon over riding the Jet Rescue Coaster 4 times in a Row. Love that rollercoaster. So much fun. Its fast and it flicks you side to side, curve after curve, awesome!

So all in all, it was an awesome weekend. I loved it! Definately put a good dint in that fear. I don’t think i will ever be able to get rid of that fear, but it sure wont control me now thats for sure.

Theme Park Weekend