Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The American Way

I love this country. When you are here and you have money you can have anything you want. It is the country where you can customise absolutely everything down to your perfect requirement. There are downsides to that, especially if you have trouble making choices that are in your long-term best interest.

I say that from my very limited experience of America and from the challenge I have when it comes to managing my weight. It seems that this fantastic country can give me the types of food that I find absolutely delicious. There are fried cheese Cheddar sticks and big bags of beef jerky. A rack of pork ribs in the supermarket is $14 for a 2 kilo slab of great ribs.

I am not very good at making choices that are in my best interests long-term. I'm pretty sure that if I lived in America then I would be 150kg. On this trip perhaps I can exercise some control. I can reject the idea but every meal needs to be and major event or that every single time I consume something that it needs to be the biggest and most luxurious tastefest ever.

As I take the back roads from my cheap hotel I feel pretty comfortable here, and I love this country. I just need to find a way to avoid that weight trap. That would be an achievement.

UPDATE: Achievement FAIL. On the night I wrote this, I left my bedside table looking like this. No - I didn't have friends over. I am my own worst enemy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sometimes you make the bad cut

Come autumn it's time to clean up the garden a little.

It's a good time and it extends all the way through until mid winter. At the end of this time the garden is very very tidy ready for the new growth of spring.

This tidying up involves quite a fair amount of pruning.

Often I am pruning trees that still have fruit on them such as this mandarin. You can see that I had to cut out diseased and infested growth. The Citrus leafminer and black aphids have gone crazy in the late summer growing season and the best thing to do is just take them off.

And here is my metaphor.

Often, in life when I prune sometimes I take things out that I wish I had kept. So as you can see in tidying up my Mandarin for next season I have made a bad cut and sacrificed one of the fruit that was sitting on the tree.

I wish I hadn't done that. Such is life. But sometimes when I make a mistake you I need to plough on. Spilt milk. Sometimes I lose friends in the same way as I lost that mandarin. That's always a sad thing for me. Sometimes it's only a close call - let off with a warning.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Roll away the stone


A good Easter to my Orthodox friends who have the same story as my other Christian friends and family - it seems to be just a matter of dates.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dreams of being back in an old job

My greatest fear
Had a dream a few weeks ago that I was back in an old job working for Cryovac - talking to local food businesses and selling them their extended shelf life packaging requirements. That was one of the best jobs I ever had.

But it was different in my dream. I sucked at the job. I didn't turn up on time to any meetings, I didn't follow up any the things I said I would, and everybody just groaned to have to deal with me. I don't really think it was like that when I was there for real.

My greatest hope
I had a dream last night where I was coming off of an injury and due to restart work in a marketing and research business that I had worked for very briefly in 2012. A bunch of hacks that surprise me with their survival. This is not Square Holes- they're great.

The bunch of hacks - the manager was a not very good (call him Peter), mindless work, and the clients were not very nice. And the manager thought I was hopeless. In real life, Peter had sacked me - which saved me finding a solution of how to get out. 

In the dream, the dynamic soon became very clear. Peter hated me, however his clients loved me. The project leader was immediately talking to me about the job and waving Peter away.

The dream wound up with me saying something like "Well, Peter doesn't want to work with me but you do. That sounds like a problem that you have to deal with. I really want to work with you as well. I suppose I just leave that situation with you".

And then I woke up.

Two dreams - one that demonstrated my greatest fears and the other that demonstrated my greatest hope. I am pleased to report that (aside from an ill-fated foray in 2015) my real life situations are far closer to the second.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd

I have done many things that I'm not proud of. I feel I have done fewer and fewer of those as I get older. And I hope that one day I may do enough good things to outweigh the harm that I've done.

In the early years perhaps we have the excuse of being easily led or forced to survive. But at some point a person needs to ask themselves the question "do I want to be a good person or not?"

An old lecturer who became a boss and a friend died the other week. Sure, we had our ups and downs but at the time of my reckoning I hope the verdict will be the same as mine of him. A good man. This is a work in progress.

As I consider the ball tampering cricket disgrace I am reminded of the brilliant scene late in Pulp Fiction, where Ringo and Yolanda have held up a breakfast Diner. They found they picked the wrong target. In some ways I am driven by the same urge for redemption as Jules Winfield - but I'm way, way less cool.

Sure, I am always doing things that other people don't like (and that's often more about them than me) but in the big picture - "I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd"

Because there was this..

And then this..

Friday, March 23, 2018

If you're not happy with where you are being slotted then reinvent yourself

Quite often the limitations that we have are ones that we have allowed other people to foist upon us.

If we aren't happy being slotted as a production line worker, a barista, a librarian, or "an easy option if all else fails" then we should move ourselves to a space where those descriptions don't apply.

Sure, that means leaving the comfort of the familiar and it involves risk, but "if it's to be then it's up to me". And when the people who have risen to the top of their little ladder realise that you are simply not playing in their domain then you receive the quiet satisfaction of simply having moved on.

If "the best revenge is living well" then watching the past recede in the rear vision mirror must be one of life's simple pleasures.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Memories of a job I didn't take

I remember when I had a friend that asked me to become involved in a research project with state government.

I went and priest up the project and it's got quite a bit noisy. I could smell vested interests coming from any direction I care to choose.

It was at this coffee shop at my friend asked me to come out and have a chat. And she told me that I must avoid taking the job because it would be a disaster for me.

I had sort of worked that one out, and was looking to find a way to extract myself from the job without causing her pain. So it all worked out pretty darn well.