A few random jottings on recent events.
Dad is doing very well in his recovery, so much so that Vicki has come home after a couple of weeks of caring duties. There are more procedures to come but everything is progressing very well at the moment. Even more encouraging is the strong prospect that he will make the move from Queensland back to Victoria on the basis that he is a long way away from the family and our support during his new health concerns.
I encouraged Vicki to come home on Friday rather than Saturday so she could come to the footy with me on Friday night. Sadly, the Cats proceeded to lose to North Melbourne. This follows the defeat to Adelaide a couple of weeks ago. They are not quite so imposing and invincible as they used to be (or we would like) but they will play finals and are still a serious contender for the premiership.
Paula & Bruce, a couple of happy Tigers fans, at Subiaco on my recent trip to Perth
It has been a challenging few days on the buses. I've been spat at (thank goodness for the safety door protecting the driver), abused by an irate passenger, threatened with physical violence, and had to clean up vomit left by an intoxicated passenger on the night bus! Then tonight there was a fight at the bus stop right next to the bus with one bloke repeatedly threatening and then assaulting another. I closed the doors and called 000.
In February I initiated a weight loss competition at work, calling it The Biggest Winner. 6 of us entered, each putting up $50 in a winner takes all contest. I also persuaded the company to add to the prize money, which they did with an extra $100 to the winner, $50 for second and $25 for third.
The competition concluded at the end of July and I'm pleased to announce that I won! And that I have lost 15kg in the process, or nearly 13% of my starting weight. I am down to 100kg and well on the way to reaching my target weight of 95kg.Interestingly three of us lost significant amounts of weight, another lost a little bit and the remaining two put on weight! The money is a welcome bonus but the real prize is losing weight. My strategy was to modify what I ate, largely but not completely cutting out the rubbish I used to eat, and exercising for about an hour every day, mostly by riding an exercise bike (in front of the TV!). While I was in Queensland with Dad I joined a gym on a short term deal and went nearly every day, helped by the fact it was accessible 24/7 so I could go at night, and the machines had TV screens! Not wanting to create the impression I'm addicted to television, the reality is that I get bored easily and exercising without some other form of stimulation/distraction is very difficult for me.
After a lull of several months, following the sale of the last of the lucrative footy cards, I have started listing things to sell on ebay again and have had a few pleasant surprises and good results. Most surprising has been a couple of the old bus stop signs I salvaged after a major replacement program a couple of years ago. I have sold quite a few in the past and the prices had dropped significantly so I stopped listing them to let the market improve. Sure enough the first one sold for $49 and one I have currently listed is already up to $86!!
For those who followed the story of the old Coles footy cards (in a nutshell, I bought a shoebox full of footy cards and a box of old Footy Records for $50) and discovered that one pack of cards in particular were quite old, quite rare and very much in demand. The final tally of sales for about 60 cards came to $2100!! with a John Coleman card going for over $300 being the highlight. I'm in the process of now selling various other cards and Records and continuing to reap the benefits of my original $50 investment.
My favourite daughter had a nasty mishap a few weeks ago while taking photos of my nephew's kids at the beach, falling over some rocks and breaking both bones in her wrist! A night in hospital and an operation to insert a plate followed. She is recovering slowly. One good thing was that it was her left arm so she is still able to do most things including drive my automatic car!
Sport Boy has been a bit crook recently and has a cold/flu/bad throat at the moment. This follows but is not connected to a recent confirmation that he has Celiac's disease and is completely allergic to gluten. Hopefully with dietary modifications we can keep it under control, and his overall health will improve. When he's not sick he is surfing! To the point where he is trying to convince us to let him go to an alternative school next year that focuses on surfing and helping kids pursue careers in the surfing and related industries! We haven't committed ourselves but are considering it, having been to an interview with the school and found out a bit more about it. (It's not as dodgy as my first thoughts feared!!)
When I'm not working on a Saturday I umpire local junior football games which has some minor health/fitness benefit and some moderate financial benefit! The range of characters I share umpiring duties with varies!! Give someone a whistle and a uniform and you never know what sort of meglomania you will unleash!! That's an exaggeration but I did have a few problems with my fellow umpire this week who was young (inexperienced) officious(zealous) technical (pernicity to the point of annoying) and who had little feel for the game (Paid unnecessay free kicks/50 m penalties etc). He also had the special talent of being able to point out my mistakes while ignoring or excusing his own! eg. When I pointed out to him at half time that he had failed to blow the whistle for two marks during the quarter he tried to convince me that because both players had immediately played on he didn't need to blow his whistle to pay the marks!! But, the worst incident occurred when we disagreed on the payment of a technical free kick at a centre bounce and because I over-ruled him he walked off the ground and told me I could umpire the rest of the game on my own!! Basically an "I'm taking my whistle and going home tantrum"!! I managed to convince him at half time that he should come back on and finish the game but then watched as he umpired so poorly that at the end of the game one of the team managers informed me that they were going to lodge a formal complaint against him for biased umpiring!! I'm pleased/relieved to report that they had no complaints against me or my umpiring!! I got a phone call this evening from the umpiring coach asking for my opinion and observations on what happened. Further to my umpiring career I have been asked to be an umpire's advocate at the Tribunal next season and went along last week to observe the Tribunal and find out what's involved in advocacy.
A couple of weeks ago Broady brought his boys, Tom and Ned to Melbourne for the weekend and we caught up at the footy, Richmond v Freo at the MCG. As always it was great to see him, and the boys had a great time.