Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday post

Hi everyone,

Drafting this on the tram. Sorry if there‘s typoes. Tonight was the new firm‘s end of financial year function, so I‘m forcing myself to sober up pre skyping. I didn‘t intend to kick on tonight, but I figured I should take any opportunity to forge a rapport within the new firm.

It‘s been a productive day. Only two or three files worked on, but with signficant progress on two of them, which is a good thing.

The E.O.F.Y. drinks were good - not feeling like some stupid orangutang in a suit. Sweet God, why did I make myself stay at my first job so long? Why did I believe as an article of faith that I deserved to feel like that, like a highly skilled chimpanzee in a Van Heusen suit?

* * * * *

It was a GREAT skype with Joni and the girls! Lord but they‘re two smart little munchkins. So loving and sisterly. I‘m dead proud of them!

Ok - it‘s late and it‘s bedtime.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Horizontal posting

Hi everyone,

Horizontal blogging again tonight. Sorry.

Today the real work began, of ploughing into files and beginning to formulate strategies and advice. Still feeling pretty good about it!

At lunch I went to the old workplace to pick up my stuff, and it was nice to see some of the folks there. Really good.

After work I set up my office with my things, books, statutes, etc. I put up the photos of the girls, and a couple of their drawings, and that made me happy - a little voice saying “THAT‘s why you‘re doing this (pictures below).

Dinner was the last of last night‘s smothered hamburgers. I got an email after dinner advising that a newspaper in Pa is willing to publish one of my historical pieces, so I‘m pretty stoked about that!!! And now blogging and bed.

Have a good day everyone! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

And late

Hi everyone,

Posting late and from my phone. I‘d love to say this is ‘cause I was late at the office, but actually it‘s because I stayed up late to watch Zombieland on TV. The day was, in any event, quiet. Figuring out and diarizing next critical dates on files.

Best news is Joni had a job with the parish!!! Details to follow, but God willing it‘s a better use of her talents than the last job. V happy for her!

Ok, bedtime.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Hi everyone,

How've your day's been?  I've had my second day at work, and it's been good.  I've pretty much completed the induction process, and also had a meeting with the partner who'll be my other manager.  I think we'll get along just fine.  Oddly, I kind of feel, for the first time in my career, like I'm being treated as an adult.  I know that sounds weird, coming from a 34 year old husband and father of two, but there you have it.  That Garth Brooks song, "Much too Young (to feel this damn old)" in my case usually felt like it applied essentially in reverse.

The morning got off to a good start when I got this in the mail from the recruiter who hooked me up with this job -

along with a phone call inviting me for a lunch later on.  The parts of the morning I didn't spend in training were spent wading through a file and forming a few views on it, and this pretty much also covered my afternoon.  I spent part of lunch editing a historical piece for one of the newspapers I've submitted a column to; God willing the editor's interest will be sustained - the edits have been made at his suggestion.  And the piece I drafted on camp Security has c caught the interest of a newspaper in Pa, so I'm hopeful there too.

Incidentally, this is the view from my office window (as of lunchtime today) -

I left the office about 6pm and came back here.  I stuck to my promise to go for a run and went as far as St Mary's and back.  I made some extra pasta to have with the remains of last night's fettucine (carb heavy, I know, but I didn't have the patience to prepare the vegetables for smothered hamburgers!).  And now, blogging and bed.  Hope all your days are going along well too.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The First Day!

Hi everyone,

Well, I've had my first day at the new job.  It's been pretty good!

I don't recall if I said, but the new firm is in the Rialto, one of Melbourne's iconic skyscrapers.  I think that for a long time it was the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, and I recall that when we were kids and Mum or Dad were passing through Melbourne and we drove underneath it, it was always with a sense of occasion that we'd be craning our neck to see to the top.  When I was a bit older and going to high school in Rosebud, it was one of the giant buildings we could see the dark blue silhouette of, all the way across Port Phillip Bay.  And the first full day Joni spent in Melbourne, we went to the top of the Rialto, to the observation deck, and gazed at the view and had beer and potato wedges with sour cream.

And now I'm working in it.

The building itself is less impressive inside than I was expecting,  Each floor is a good deal smaller than my last workplace, not as well it, and it's hard to escape a sense of clutter.  That said, my office is bigger than my last office, and has floor to ceiling windows that look out over the Yarra River so that I can see the Casino and Flinders Street Station, and to my old (other) high school in South Yarra, and all the way out to beyond the city limits.

The people are nice, but seem terribly businesslike and driven, although I feel like I can fit in well with that.  My new boss seems like a combination of my two old bosses - friendly, but very very professional.  I think this is a combination that will suit me just fine.  Most of the office processes and computer systems are the same, so induction is going smoothly.  I've taken over a suite of files from someone else, and I spent a decent whack of the day getting into the most pressing one.  Feeling pretty good about it all.  Like I've been saying: this isn't a forever job, but it does feel like this is my moment to shine.

I worked till about 5:45pm and came back here.  On the tram back I drafted up a short (about 600 words) essay about the Camp Security archaeological site in Pennsylvania that I'll see if anyone's interested in.  When I got back here I was tossing up between going for a run or watching Big Bang Theory.  I figured that as my knees had gotten too sore to run on the last time I ran every day or every second day, I'd leave it for tomorrow.  I'm genuinely unsure if this represents prudence or rationalization!

I made up tuna fettucine for dinner.  Now blogging and in a minute, bed.  Tired but feeling good for tomorrow.  Don't want to get into the endless late nights unless I have to though.  Bugger that for a joke.  I'd sooner spend my off hours working on my history credentials.  Let's see if I can sustain it.

Ok, bedtime.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Balance of Sunday

Hi everyone,

It‘s been a pleasant balance of Sunday. After the last post I went and found a coffee shop where I had a coffee and a hot chocolate and spent some pleasant, peaceful time doing the crossword. Picture below.

I got to 6pm Mass at St Francis‘ on Lonsdale Street. Where St Patrick‘s is solemn and awe-inspiring, St Francis‘ is warm and welcoming, and there‘s always a good turnout, e ening for the Sunday evening service, and so it was, you could say, a reassuring service. Apart from that even with the coffee I was drowsing badly during the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Then, back here, watched a bit of Big Bang Theory and had dinner. Now in bed, and going to get a good night‘s sleep prior to starting the new job tomorrow. Wish me luck!

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Stomping Grounds

Hi everyone,

Here I am, back at my old web-access stomping grounds: a certain internet cafe on La Trobe Street.  I've come into the CBD on Sunday afternoon to get a haircut before starting the new job tomorrow.  So, I'm here to attend to a few things on the web and after that I think I'll enjoy my last little bit of Sunday afternoon by finding somewhere to get a coffee or a hot chocolate and have a look at the paper maybe.

It's been a big couple of days.  Sorry I've been AWOL so much - I'll be a better blogger this week!

Friday was my last day at the current job.  I had two court appearances in the morning, and then handed over about 15 files to one of my colleagues.  Four of us went out for Chinese dumplings at this place near work for lunch, which was just great - and delicious!  I packed up my office, prepared a few bits of other paperwork that were outstanding, handed in my training documents and dictaphone and turned in my security pass, and generally went through the "winding it up" processes.  The section put out some cakes and chips for a sendoff for me at about 4:30pm.  That was really nice - P, one of the partners, had gone around and asked for some of the funnier stories about me and recounted them, and I was able to say thanks to everyone for the great time I've had with the firm.

This continued into the after work drinks.  P, as he was leaving them, made a point of saying I shouldn't spend my life in the law.  While it's good for now, his thinking is that it's not the best use I could be making of my life.  Everyone was really nice - a lot of people who usually don't go to Friday drinks said they'd made a point of beng there for me, which I was blown away by.  Two of them - mothers with young children, had actually decided to blow one of their rare evening's off for me!  If that's not friendship, I dunno what is!  After drinks at work, we continued on to a bar near work, and then on to karaoke at a private venue where there was a booking for, in essence, a separate room with a karaoke setup for our party, which was about 12-14 people.  This included two members of the bar who I deal with quite a bit.  I have to say, you really see a different side of people when they relax.  One of the barristers, who always struck me as quite reserved and cooly intellectual, is not someone who I'd have predicted would - halfway through the evening - be belting out Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the name of..."!  It was a great evening and I think everyone had a barrel of fun.  When I got back to the casa I spent some time sending little thank you emails to everyone who attended.  Honestly, I just never would have thought of myself as the sort of person who anyone would go to that much trouble over - so it feels pretty good!

Saturday I kept fairly quiet.  It was an absolutely frigid day outside - I'm not sure it got about 11 degrees all day.  So I kept inside, drank a lot of tea, and went though a bunch of primary source materials for one of my pieces of research.  At about 4pm I went and got groceries and when I came back I went out for a run to St Marys and back.  Because of being sick last week and my knees aching I hadn;t been for a few days, and i was stoked to find I was able to get back into a rhythm pretty quick.  Although I do need to freshen up my running playlist.  Any suggestions?

In the evening I made dinner.  When I went to the supermarket, I'd decided to experiment with some new vegetables, and so instead of my usual celery and capsicums, I bought some turnips and swedes as well as carrots.  Now, I knew nothing about turnips apart from that growing them was popularlised by William Townsend in the early modern period as a means of re-nitrogenising soil instead of relying solely on crop rotation for that purpose.  I knew even less about swedes.  So, I had no idea if these things were akin to a potato, or an artichoke, or an onion or what!  On discovering that they were kind of like a squash, I decided to smother them with some hamburgers.  It worked out brilliantly - they soaked up a huge amount of flavour from the sauce, and I'm so looking forward to left-overs tonight!

Joni and I tried to skype this evening, but something was wrong with the connection and we couldn;t get through.  Sadly we couldn't tee up another time for today as the girls were to have a day-long playdate and sleepover with their aunty and uncle, so the next skype window is Friday night.  Still, the girls will be spoiled rotten on the playdate today, so that's OK.

Today has been business-like.  I did a load of laundry and ironed two weeks worth of shirts and watched some of a DVD of The West, and then came down to the CBD.  Which brings me to now.

I'm still looking forward to starting the new job, altough with a few nerves.  I gues that's natural.  Like I said in a recent post, my instincts are just telling me that this is my time to shine.  I don't want to do it forever, but I surely do want to do it well, and I think this is the time.

I expect I'll post a bit more later tonight.

See you then.

P.S. - I got an email last night from the Midwest Literary Magazine advising that they'd accepted a couple of my poems for publication.  If that's not a ood omen I don't know what is!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

And one to go.

Hi everyone,

One more day at my current job to go. I have a court appearance in the morning, two more files to prepare for handover, and then it‘s just a case of 86ing my personal emails off the system, sorting out what papers I keep and what I throw away, and I‘m done.

Not sure how I feel about all this. On one hand, it‘s been a really nice workplace, with nicest and sweetest people in the world, even if the job itself did a couple of times push me close to a breakdown (and, realistically, towards the end of 2011, left me struggling to cope). I guess you‘d say it‘s been a rich package of experiences, and I‘m surely a different man to what I was when I went in. I‘ve learned a lot, a lot.

I am looking forward to the new job. Even though I don‘t want to be a lawyer for the term of my natural life, I would like to finish as a success, rather than crash out ingloriously. My instincts tell me that with all I‘ve learned in the current job, I‘ll be able to hit the ground running. It really feels like this is my time to shine.

Overall I‘m feeling good about this. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Enforced Idleness

Hi everyone,

Another catch up post, I‘m afraid.  Sorry I‘ve been a bit patchy lately; the reason will become clear.

Monday was an annoying day - a stress claim I‘d geared up for in a big way, and where I had a major employer involved which there would have been long term benefits to impressing. Anyway, it was a real damp squib. The worker had no interest in negotiating, and then apparently told his solicitors of new relevant lay witnesses, prompting them to seek an adjournment. I was livid and instructed counsel to oppose the adjournment, failing which I wanted the worker‘s solicitor to give sworn evidence as what instructions he‘d sought and when. I would have been more forgiving if this firm didn‘t do this on a regular basis. In the end I was placated with an order for our costs thrown away.

By Monday afternoon I could feel a cold coming on and tried to get an early night. Epic fail. Could I sleep? No. Could I play with my phone, watch TV, listen to the radio, and eventually drive to the 7-11 to get Strepsils? Yes, I could.

Tuesday morning I felt a lot worse. Hideously congested and couldn‘t walk 10 feet without a bout of coughing.  I did something I‘ve only ever done once before in my working life and rang in sick. The trouble was, being sick presented me with my least favourite type of day - enforced idleness. Really, there‘s only so much “Dilbert on DVD“ you can watch and after a while the room just feels stuffy and icky. So I went for a walk and some fresh air a couple of times. My eyes felt awful so I really didn‘t have it in me to read. The only plus was being here at the right time to catch “Letters & Numbers“ on SBS and “Time Team“ on ABC (am I a nerd or what???).

I tried for an early night, but it was still pretty broken sleep. Still, I woke up feeling vastly better and headed jn to work. More prepping files for handover, and a lunchtime group meeting.  Not an exciting day, but it‘s Dad‘s 71st birthday, so I called him to congratulate him. He‘s doing well, and he was really pleased to get the latest update on Rachel (she went to see a doctor on Tuesday and did very well - she‘s surely a trooper!). Very proud of my little munchkin!!

Sadly, the sharehouse is getting a bit empty. Toby (the guy with the Korean pop music obsession) left at the weekend. Kym (a 50 year old site manager from Noosa) and his daughter left this morning. And Sophie from NSW leaves tomorrow. Sophie‘s the one I give lifts from work to now and again. I worry about her. She has real issues with depression, and she‘s basically having to move home to NSW after being unable to get work in Melbourne or pay her rent. She‘s a nice girl, but a bit messed up. I hope she‘ll be OK.

I‘m really touched, for my own part, by how things are at work. One of my colleagues has organized a send off for me, and it seems like folks will really miss me! I‘m not going to lie: that means a lot.

Ok, I guess that‘s the blog caught up.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Long silence

Hi everyone,

Sorry it‘s been a while since I last posted. A bunch of nights where I was just too tired to write a post, I‘m afraid. In short recap, on Thursday evening some of the crew from work and I went out for Korean BBQ for dinner. Pictures below - really good!

Friday was another busy day. Late -running drinks and early bedtime.

Saturday I declared a no work day and spent it settling a paper I‘ve been writing, and also spent a couple of hours helping one of the housemates look for a job. Dinner was communal pizza night at the sharehouse. Skyped with Joni and girls in the evening which was awesome

Today I did some laundry, finished editing the aforesaid paper, went to the office for a bit and had a late dinner.

And now, sleep time. Case to run tomorrow. Can scarcely believe this is my last week at this job - just doesn‘t seem real.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

One tired lawyer

Hi everyone,

Shortish post tonight. Multiple hearings over multiple days equals one tired lawyer, so I‘m getting an early night.

Two matters were listed for hearing this morning (well, one was listed and the other was part heard), so I was juggling two barristers, two insurers, two employers, and somewhat inconsistent sets of advice. Anyway, one didn‘t settle and the other kept running, which gives you some idea why I had my hands full. Still, it all came together in the end.

Left work at a bit after 7pm. Back and knees a bit sore today so I swapped tonight‘s run for 30 minutes of stretching while watching Big Bang Theory. The fun thing about stretching is that you can drink wine shile you‘re doing it :).

Dinner of pea and ham soup and some frozen vegetables. Did some more work on a research paper tonight, and now earlyish bed (thank God!).

See you tomorrow

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Eyes propped open with matchsticks

Hi everyone,

It‘s been a good day. This might be a short entry though ... tired ...

I was in court most of the day. One application to fix for legal argument (denied), and a substantive hearing which is running and looks promising.

I didn‘t work late - only enough to set up for tomorrow (another hearing) and tie off a few loose ends. Back to the Casa by 8pm. Went for a run which was much needed, although it was cold out even for me - my leg joints were markedly painful.

When I came to make dinner, one of my housemates was looking a bit low - she‘s looking for a job and is low on money and running out of places to move to when her lease runs out. Anyway, I offered to make her dinner which she was happy about, so I warmed up some if last week‘s pea and ham soup I‘d frozen (freezing it had really brought the flavours together) and smothered some hamburgers. I dialled back the chilli a bit which really helped - it let all the other tastes come through. And the housemate genuinely seemed to enjoy it too!

Ok, i guess that‘s it. Time for much needed sleep.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Back in the City

Hi everyone,

Posting this from my phone; apologies if it‘s shorter than it should be.

It‘s been a good day, with more in it than yesterday. In the morning Dad and I headed over to the leased property at Mt Martha to check on the cattle there.  A large tree branch had come down across a fence, and one of the steers was loose and had to be got back in. It was gratifying to know I can still handle cattle. I‘m not sure about the Mt Martha property. Dad thinks it‘s great, but to me it seems to be constantly waterlogged and to have irredeemable fences, although slightly above average grass.  Some pictures are below.

By the time we got back to the home place Fran and Michael had arrived, so it was good to see them. Lunch, then Dad, Michael and I headed back to Mt Martha to repair the damaged section of fence.  When we got back Michael and I cut up a load of wood (he cut, I stacked). By the time all that was done, the day was almost out. Dinner was roast lamb (heavenly!). Some TV with the tribe, and then I got on the road.  I was back in town by about 11pm, ironed some shirts and had a cleanup and now, turning in.

So there you have it: my Queens Birthday weekend. It‘s been great to see everyone again. Too bad we couldn‘t skype (I tried Joni whenever I was online), but at least Friday evening isn‘t too far away.

Oh yes, and one of the cousins was in the Queen‘s Birthday Honours list! C.
is a world war two veteran who was awarded the OAM for services to military veterans. It‘s surely very well deserved!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Hi everyone,

It's been a quiet but very social Sunday.

The day got away to a good start: I woke about 7am and decided to go for a run.  I wasn't sure how far I'd go - I had a vague notion of going as far as the war memorial in town and back, which is about 5 miles.  It was a great morning to be running, with the air cold and the road quiet, and the pine smoke of people's household fires in the air and a pink-orange sun coming up over the bay.  Really nice!  It was a more challenging run I should say - even though the distance itself was no great challenge, this is much more undulating than I usually run on.  I must say, something I've noticed with running is that you get a whole new feel for topography.  Country that seems flat when you're walking or driving, you suddenly realise, has a whole lot of up- and down-ward slopes you don't usually notice!  It was, as I say though, a great morning run and I felt terrific when I got back.  Even being caught in a shower of rain just made me feel alive.  And there was also a slightly postmodern feel to it too: running through my picture perfect home town - now utterly devoted to the trendy weekender (what else can you say about a place where the takeaway is now called the "Downwards Dog Pizza Place"?) - but with Smashing Pumpkins' hymn to urban decay, "1979", playing on the iPod.  I'm sure I'm meant to draw a lesson from that, but I'm not sure what it is.

This, by the way, is the war memorial in my town -

There's been so much rain here lately that Dad was deeply reluctant to do anything involving machinery for fear of churning the place into mud, so a large whack of the day was spent indoors.  Daryl - a good friend of ours who used to live around here - came over and had a cup of tea and a long and pleasant yarn.  After lunch, Jennie and JP came down as well and it was great to catch up with them too - they're both doing well and it's a joy to see them.  Adn through the afternoon, a couple of the older cousins also came over to catch up (more coffee, more afternoon tea), so I'm surely feeling well caught up with the tribe.  Although, the combined effects of a cold outside and a warm house had JP drowsing off on the sofa!

Dinner was lamb forequarter, potatoes, carrots and beans, and delicious chocolate puddings made by Jennie - she and JP stayed for dinner before heading back for the city.  A little TV with Mum and Dad before turning in, whence I'm typing this email.  Parents are good, although Mum seems - how can I put this? - inventively negative.  It's as if everything was a slight complaint, about police, or the local council, or a story on the news, or an ad on TV.  Not whiny, but more shrewdly discontented, as if a wet blanket were soaked, not with water but with vodka and lemon juice.  Probably just a mood, I know, but I do worry about her and Dad a bit.  They're not young, and I worry about them not being happy.  I think Dad always seems to look forward to each new day, but I'm not sure what Mum looks forward to.  Hmm.

OK, I guess that's it for tonight.  Hope all's well with you guys too.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

From sitting up in bed

Hi everyone.

Well, here I am, typing this on my laptop at my parents' place.  I'm down here for the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

Today was a little quiet.  I did a few things at the Casa in the morning, and went to the office to draft a letter of advice in a matter.  I'd have left it till next week, except I need to be able to send it off by midday Tuesday, and I'm expecting that I'll probably be stuck in Court for a big whack of Tuesday. Anyway, I got it done by about 4:30 and then called here to say I was on my way.  I was thinking about going for a run at St Kilda on the way, but Mum had mentioned that she and Dad would hold off on dinner till I got here, so I decided to go straight through, apart from stopping at Mentone to get some groceries Mum had wanted.

Things here are good.  Mum and Dad both look healthy, and Mum seems much more her old self, with her usual edge.  I find that oddly relieving!  Dad'd been all over creation in the last week or so with the cattle, and it seems there will be fencing tomorrow.  Well, I need the exercise!

We weren't able to skype last night as Joni had to work a half day, so we'll see what can be done to find another time this weekend - all should be well.

OK, that's it.  Well, apart from being able to boast about something - getting an invite at work from some of my colleagues.  Nothing fancy - just "hey, let's all go and get a big feed of Korean barbeque next Thursday".  But I like just feeling like "one of the folks".  It always feels a little strange, but in a good way.

OK, that really is it.  Bedtime.  A proper night's sleep out here, where the only sound is a car occasionally going by and the odd fox barking, is just what the doctor ordered.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Quick morning update

Hi everyone,

Short update as my tram rolls down Bourke Street.

First item of business this morning will be a letter of advice and a rather pressing brief to get out the door.

This weekend is the Queens Birthday long weekend, so I‘ll head out of town to the parents‘ place - most likely I‘ll drive down tomorrow; traffic out of Melbourne the Friday before a long weekend is insanity.  Probably I‘ll stop for a run on the Tan or St Kilda Esplanade on the way. Or maybe not: my knees are starting to protest about all this exercise.

Hoping to set up a skype date with Joni and the girls for this evening. Can‘t wait to see them!

Ok, my stop. Time to brew up the coffee and get some work done!

Few words, but good architecture

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday - it inadvertently became a late night at the office and when I got back here, all I wanted to do was sleep.

Today was a little odd: I had one court appearance in the morning, and spent the rest of the day trying to draft a letter of advice and kept getting interrupted. I was having a little trouble keeping my head in the game and so I spent lunch hour in the Supreme Court library doing some research. The library itself is beautiful late Victorian architecture - I took a few pictures which are at the end of this post.

In the evening we had the firm‘s trivia challenge, which was a lot if fun, and when I got back here late in tge evening I went for another run to St Mary‘s and back in the chilly air. It felt good, and gave me a much needed charge of energy. Really blows away the cobwebs.

Bed now. Desperately need to get this advice out tomorrow. Wish me luck!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Horizontal update

Hi everyone,

It‘s been another good day.  Well, it started off a bit rocky, with me oversleeping and being 30 minutes late for work, but after that it got itself together.

The morning was busy, with a lot of procedural stuff. Lunch was supplied at a seminar the firm put on. And a chunk if the afternoon went in a meeting with an employer whose matter is on next week.

I left the office about 8pm and came back to the Casa. Went for a run (4 miles in 39 minutes) in the cool evening air. This included a truly bizarre moment where a guy asked me for change as I jogged past and when I shook my head, he actually broke into a run beside me and maintained his sales pitch for about 400 metres. I swear, if I‘d had change in me, he‘d have had it. He earned it!

At 11pm I did an interview by phone with a lawyer in the US who has a leadership role with a certain public policy organization for use in a short article I‘m scoping out. Most informative and helpful. I‘m pleased with myself over that: usually I‘d have chickened out and given up. But now, I just got on with it and it worked great.  What is this solid thing behind my ribcage? Is it perchance a backbone?!?

And now, bedtime (viz, put this phone down and sleep).

Hope it‘s a good day for you too.

See you tomorrow 

Monday, 4 June 2012

Like, wow!

Hi everyone,

I had my game face on this morning, and boy-o-boy did it pay for me.  I'm tired as hell and about to crash, so this will be a somewhat shorter post than it ought to be.  But by way of dot points -
  • Four mentions in the Magistrates Court this morning.
  • A County Court hearing where I had multiple balls in the air at once (government authority, employer, solicitors and counsel representing another employer, and the solicitor and counsel for the plaintiff, and of course our own barrister), failed to drop any of them and steered us to a favourable resolution.  I could never have done that before.  The negotiations took from 10am to 4pm, and I was completely knackered by the end of them.  As in, no longer had the intellectual energy to prepare the settlement letters which will need to be my first job tomorrow.
  • I came back to the Casa early (well, by 6:30pm) and even though it was raining, I kept my Juneathon vow and went for a run to St Mary's and back.  Running in inclement weather is better than I thought it would be - you're automatically cooled down and as your legs and lungs start to protest, the rain is the least of your concerns.  The weather was only a factor when I turned around for the Casa-ward leg and found myself battling a stiff headwind.  Hot shower as soon as I got back though.
  • I got an email today saying that one of my articles comparing a certain area of American and Australian law had been accepted for publication in a US law journal!  I was absolutely stoked, and emailed Joni straight away with one word: "OMG!".  I am seriously pumped about that!!!

So there you have it, my day in dot points.

OK, bedtime.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A very random balance of Sunday

Hi everyone,

I'm starting this post waiting for the tram. I'll probably finish it this evening before I turn in. It's about 7:30pm and I'm on my way back to the Casa.  I'll stop at a pokies venue on the way back and break a $20 note into dollar coins so I can do some laundry tonight.

It wasn't the most productive office Sunday on record.  I cranked out the advice I needed to do, although it surely isn't Hemingway. I'll whip it into shape with fresh eyes tomorrow.

* * * * *

I just got off the tram and got the aforesaid change.  This was the pokies venue, by the way -

I'm not going to lie: I barely understand the appeal of gambling, and truly don't understand the appeal of pokies. They just seem like sad, sterile places where people go to haemohorrage cash.  Going to a pokies venue strikes me as about as attractive as a romantic evening with these guys -

With the exception that Pinhead at least would probably be quite an interesting conversationalist when he wasn't ripping off your face with hooks and chains.

A propos of nothing, but there's a new advertisement up at my tram stop -

I don't know how I feel about it. On one hand, if you want people to book flights on your airline to warmer climes, it makes sense to remind them about the said warmer climes. On the other hand, when you're freezing your appendages off in Melbourne in winter, an ad like that does seem like AirAsia is kind of rubbing your nose in it.

A propos of still less, I'm going to try an experiment this week, and swear off my usual lunch-hour reading. Usually while I'm having my sandwiches, I'll read the op-eds and letters in the Age, and also see if there's any interesting arguments on the ABC's op-ed page. It occurred to me that these two sources are the two most concentrated sources of negativity in my life (viz, bitter sounding, vitriolic folks who seen to have been having the same arguments with the world at large for years).  I wonder what happens if I stop giving them access to my little brain.  I don't think it could be bad at the least.

* * * * * 

So I'm back at the Casa.  The landlord is doing an inspection tomorrow, so I've given my room a zealous cleanup and it looks quite good.  I might even experiment with the decor, to the extent that I can, since I've just signed another 6 month lease.  I've washed some shirts, and ironed a clean one for tomorrow.  My legs were still a bit stiff from yesterday's run, so in keeping with Juneathon I decided to substitute a run with half an hour of stretching and callisthenics.  I certainly feel better for it and should be good to go for a run tomorrow.

And so I guess that's it for today.  I took care of the bills and rent and so on at the office, and signed my contract for the new place (I'll send it back tomorrow).  So, the administrative stuff is in order.

OK, bed time.  Matter in the County Court tomorrow which may be intriguing to handle.

See you tomorrow

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sunday update

Hi everyone,

Quick update while I‘m sitting in the tram on the way to the office this cloudy Sunday. Sasly, I have a couple of advices I need to crank out this afternoon.

The plan is to do this till about 6-7, then to come back to the Casa and gave dinner, do some laundry and go for a short run (if I can stetch my legs back into life - they‘re a bit stiff after yesterday).

Oh, and the tram just got delayed by a protest march (poor quality photo below). They were carrying Syrian flags, but I‘m pretty sure the protestors were outnumbered by the accompanying police.

What‘s in for your Sundays?

Eye of the Wombat

Martin: So I decided to get into training and went for a run this morning. Every time I slowed down he pulled up beside me with a megaphone and shouted "Eye of the wombat!"
Simon: "Eye of the wombat"?
Nudge: I didn't think he was quite ready for "Eye of the tiger".

                                                                                                      - "Hey Dad" (c. 1993)

So I've thoroughly enjoyed not being at the office today. I kicked off Juneathon with a run from here to St Marys and back, which made a round trip of 6.6 kilometers in 40.26 minutes. Not such a bad start, I think, and I've felt great all day since.  In case you're interested, my route is pretty much this.

I had a GREAT skype with Joni and the girls last night, although it always leaves me missing them even more. I know you can't have love without pain when you're apart, but Goddammit it's hard sometimes.

After the run today I went and got the week's groceries. I wanted to buy more fresh food for the week rather than everything out of packets and tins. Which is why I'm typing the initial draft of this as I cook a pea and ham soup using a shitload of dried peas and two hambones I bought for bugger all at the supermarket as well as celery, bell pepper and onion.

I worked on a few things this afternoon, and I'll clean up my room tonight (how old am I again? It feels like I just went from being 34 to being 13)

[insert a gap to finish aforesaid soup, have dinner and come back up and type an email to Joni and now finish this post with iTunes radio playing K95 country from Richmond, Virginia]

The soup came out like a charm, smooth and full of flavour and with a delicious smoky taste from the ham hocks.  Mmm, mmmm!  I dare say even Joni - who is an awesome cook - would have been impressed.   I even managed not to commit my usual sin of overseasoning such that everything just comes out tasting of cayenne pepper.

OK, I'm tired indeed.  Bedtime.

See you tomorrow!