I am not a goal setter. Well, not normally. I tend not to be motivated by targets. It's the process that is compelling - the act of working through a challenge, and learning something about the world, or myself, that i find interesting. With that said, a well chosen goal can be a catalyst for focus, and focus is sorely lacking from my gym sessions. So in an attempt to add some drive into the game, I have set the following "flexible" workout goals for the next 12 months: deadlift 160kg, squat 120kg, bench 100kg, and run 5km in under 21 minutes, all whilst maintaining a body weight under 70kg. On paper, these aspirations seem achievable. I am currently 69kg, deadlifted 145kg last week, and my significantly younger self once ran 5km in 20 minutes. But what do they say - past success is no guarantee of future results. Life happens, and so does ageing. Plateaus are real. And even small gains against the inevitable advance of entropy are hard. But, isn't that the point? I'll report back in 12 months.
Dinner at Akiba with friends. Hooked into the Luxe "feed me" menu.
Went to see Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in concert at the Canberra Theatre. Part of the Carnage Tour. Unlike so many artists with enduring careers, these two have not faded into mediocrity. Anything but. Two incredibly creative souls at the top of their game.
Drove away in our new Volkswagen Golf R Line today. Ordered almost 18 months ago, but delayed due to Covid. It's packing some tech compared to our previous 2013 model Golf.
Watched The Velvet Queen at the cinema again tonight. Just as good second time around.
Morning coffee at Bean Roasted in Kiama before embarking on the coastal walk to Gerringong. Quick burger at Gerringong Cafe and Takeway for lunch, then back to the cottage for an afternoon with a book, sun, and solitude.
Nineteenth wedding anniversary lunch at Raku. Thoroughly enjoyed the Hao San tasting menu.
Fortunate to receive a free ticket to see Professor Brian Cox perform his Horizons show at the Royal Theatre. A whirlwind tour through general relativity, black holes, Hawking radiation, Penrose diagrams, and quantum entanglement. A key question - is space and time emergent?
A relaxing evening spent at Hale Spa. Sauna, plunge pool, and a Sodashi vanilla body bliss scrub massage, followed by tea and biscuits. Hit the spot.
Family wedding in Parkes (home of the dish - where i did work experience back in the early 90s). Ceremony at the new multipurpose centre at Cooke Park. Reception at the Parkes Services Club. Bunkered in for the night at Henry Parkes Motor Inn.
Checked out the Viewfinder Exhibition at the National Library of Australia this afternoon. A really interesting and diverse collection of photos documenting the evolution of the nation since 1970.
Received the thyroid pathology results and the news is good - cancer free.
Discharged from the National Capital Private Hospital this morning after left hemithyroidectomy surgery with Associate Professor Ardalan Ebrahimi. The procedure went well. Will need to wait for the pathology results to determine if the follicular neoplasm in the removed lobe of the thyroid is a carcenoma.
An ultrasound revealed a lump in the left lobe of my thyroid.
Coates Pinot Noir 2021 is a fine drop.
Visited my home town of Narrandera over the weekend. Located at the junction of the Newell and Sturt highways on the Murrumbidgee River, it is the proud host of the annual TREE-mendous festival, and custodian of the largest playable guitar in the southern hemisphere. It also sports a 150 year old fig tree, a koala reserve, and around 3,500 aging humans.
Settled on our latest investment property today.
An epic banquet at the Bamiyan Afghan Restuarant in Braddon.
A few deliberate steps I take to keep healthy:
- 15,000 steps daily. At least 20,000 per day on the weekend.
- Morning sunshine. Need lux for sleep regulation.
- Regularly move about (aim for once per hour).
- Regularly stand at my desk.
- 8 hours sleep per night. Wake at the same time each day.
- 4 cups of green tea per day.
- 2 coffees per day.
- Eat oily fish 3 times a week (e.g. salmon, sardines).
- Eat rolled oats 3 times a week.
- Eat 20g of raw mixed nuts per day.
- Eat 100g natural greek yoghurt per day.
- Eat 8g of dark chocolate (95% cocoa) per day.
- Eat a good amount of fruit, salad, and vegetables, daily.
- Eat red meat no more than twice per week.
- Limit alcohol intake. Haven't had a wine in over 7 weeks.
- 10ml fish oil daily.
- 5ml flax seed oil daily.
- 1000mg vitamin C daily.
- 3000 IU vitamin D3 daily.
- 45min weights session 6 days a week.
- 5km run once a week.
- Sauna twice per week (30min at 65 celsius).
Smart choices offer no guarantee of a long or issue-free life, but it's worth trying to stack the odds in your favour.
Had a coffee at Two Blind Mice in Curtin this morning. The place had a good vibe. And they serve wood fired pizza. Shall return.
I am a member of a gym that recently installed a two person Jacuzzi Sanctuary full spectrum infrared sauna. I have clocked up three 30 minute sessions in the past three days, and am loving it. The temperature tops out at around 67 degrees celsius, which is a decent margin below the 80 - 90 celsius of a traditional sauna, but it does the job nicely.
Finally. After too many weekends spent bouncing between open homes we managed to secure a new investment property. Bidding was via the Realtair platform (an online auction, where all bids were visible). We preferred this over the "best and final offer" approach adopted by other realtors. In the current market, where properties are advertised at prices well below the expected sale point, it's hard to guarantee a successful bid under the best and final system without the risk of making an unnecessarily elevated offer. No such risk with an auction.
Discovered this native utility for capturing web browser traffic from Google Chrome: chrome://net-export, which also works in Microsoft Edge. Logs can be reviewed using NetLog Viewer.
Got the flu vaccination.
Made an offer on an investment property: 110/7 Irving Street, Phillip. Update: Didn't get it.
Drove via Lake Bumbunga on our way to Adelaide. Stopped at the Central Market for coffee at Grind Roast Masters and lunch at Simply Sarj. Caught a 4pm flight with Virgin on a Boeing 737-800 back to Canberra.
Took a morning walk through the Spring Gully Conservation Park. Followed up with a top notch coffee at Cafe 1871 in Clare. Lunch was at the Sevenhill Hotel beer garden. The center piece of the afternoon was a hot stone massage at The Beautique salon. Another afternoon run along the back roads of Mintaro. Spent the evening in a hot spa.
Walked to Martindale Hall from Mintaro. Opted for a self-guided tour of the fully adorned Georgian-style residence (built in 1880). A midday coffee at the Little Red Grape Bakery. Then a matched wine and canape tasting flight at Pauletts Winery. Followed up with a 45 minute run through the country back roads of Mintaro. Dinner at Indii of Clare - the punjabi butter chicken and saag paneer were something to behold.
A final walk along the cliffs of Willow Waters Gorge, before checking out of the eco tent, and heading into Hawker for breakfast at Flinders Food Co, where once again I got lost in the wonder of the crispy cauliflower salad. Drove south through the Clare Valley to Mintaro, where we will spend three nights at Redwood Studio. A quiet night spent soaking in the spa.
Rose early and drove to Rawnsley Park Station. Walked to Clem's Corner Lookout. Then took a 45 minute scenic flight with Chinta Air in a single engine Cessna over the Flinders Ranges. Started along Chace Range, then over Wilpena Pound, following Hycen Range over Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge, north to Parachilna Gorge, returning back over Wilpena Pound. Ate a packed lunch, and then completed the stunning four hour climb up Rawnsley's Bluff. Back to the eco tent, where we sat, happy and tired, staring intently at the campfire.
Morning coffee from the deck of the eco tent, listening to the busy wildlife, and watching as the rising sun coloured the cliffs of the surrounding peaks. Drove into Hawker for breakfast at Flinders Food Co. The crispy cauliflower salad is ridiculous. Drove to Wilpena Pound and hiked to Wangara Lookout in the misty rain. Tried to follow up with a walk though Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge, but the rain morphed the unsealed road into a mire of red clay that made the journey impossible (at least for our modest Corolla). Turned around and retreated to the eco tent.
Stopped at Barista Sista in Tanunda for a coffee as we left the Barossa. Drove through Jamestown where we ate lunch at Ek-Wi-Tee. Then onto our next stop - Flinders Bush Retreats - where we will stay for three nights in an isolated off-grid eco tent nestled in the Willow Waters Gorge. Enjoyed porterhouse and salad for dinner by the firepit, and stared in silent awe into the star-filled sky.
A morning walk followed by a coffee tasting paddle at Bean Addiction Coffee in Nuriootpa. Then a paired wine + chocolate tasting at Elderton Wines. Next up was the "feed me" lunch menu at First Drop Wines. Took a drive to Maggie Beer's Farm where we helped ourselves to some quince straight from the tree, before returning to our accommodation via Seppeltsfield. Finished up with a late afternoon walk (mostly to feel better about the generous food intake).
Started the day with a walk through the Altona CSR Landcare Reserve. Followed up with a top-notch coffee at Darling's Food With Passion Cafe in Tanunda. Hired bikes from the Information Center and road north to Nuriootpa where we had toasted baguettes for lunch at Linke's Bakehouse & Pantry. Also bought the Five Ingredient Vegan cookbook from the Cargo Collective located next door. Then onward through the wind and light rain to Angaston, where we discovered that almost everything is closed on a Tuesday. Rode back to Tanunda to drop off the bikes. Then returned to our accommodation to hunker in for the evening.
Drove to Penneshaw in the morning. Had coffee at the Fat Beagle before boarding the SeaLink ferry to the South Australian mainland. A short drive to Mypogna for lunch at the Valley of Yore. Continued on to Hahndorf, where we strolled the streets, admiring the old German architecture. Shared the chef's selection of gourmet wurst at the German Arms Hotel. Then on to The Stables guesthouse at Rowland Flat in the Barossa Valley, where we will stay for the next few nights.
Started the day with a guided tour of the sea lions at Seal Bay. Drove to Kingscote and had a coffee from Cuppa Joey at the town market. A chicken pizza at Cafe Scrumptious for lunch (possibly the greatest of all time), followed by gin tasting at Kangaroo Island Spirits (still don't understand the appeal). Afternoon show at the Raptor Domain, where I swooned over the eastern barn owl, and held a majestic wedge-tailed eagle. Pre-evening stroll along the Vivonne Bay Jetty. Home to sleep off the post-pizza blues.
After grabbing a coffee from the Vivonne Bay General Store, drove west along South Coast Road to Flinders Chase National Park. Walked out to Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. Enjoyed a two hour nature tour with Jim from Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Pandan chicken for dinner.
Picked up a Camry Hybrid hire car from Sixt and drove south along the B23 to Cape Jervis. Stopped for the perfect coffee at Valley of Yore in Myponga. Caught the SeaLink ferry to Kangaroo Island. Lunch was at Milli Mae's Pantry in Penneshaw. Then onward to the quaint Honeyeaters' Hideaway at Vivonne Bay.
Explored McLaren Vale with Steve from Cellar Door Tours. Visited Coates Wines, Hugo Wines, Richard Hamilton Wines (lunch break), Samson Tall Wines, and Graham Stevens Wines. A spectacular day. Closed out the evening with dinner at Star of Siam.
Road the tram from Victoria Square to Glenlg. Saw the beach. Flat, wide and empty. Picked up a shirt and beanie at the Bronze Snake. Followed by coffee at Zest Cafe. Lunch was at Luigi's Delicatessen. An unforgettable experience. A food-drunk stroll through Rundle Mall before returning to the Hilton to work off the lamb ragu at the gym. Closed the day with complimentary drinks and dinner at the hotel bar.
According to this article in the New York Times, almost 2,000 people experiencing homelessness died in Los Angeles County last year. A growing proportion were in their 50's and 60's, and 83% were men. Additional detail is available via Homeless Deaths Counts, and via this report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Arrived in Adelaide. A comfortable flight from Canberra on an Embraer 190. Staying at the Hilton. The power failed just prior to checkin, so we stowed our bags, and enjoyed a casual stroll around the city. A quick bite to eat at Sun Mi's Sushi at the Central Markets, followed by a complimentary sangiovese at the hotel (the lights are back on), before heading out to dinner at udaberri on Leigh Street.
A gradual return of strength after testing positive to COVID two weeks ago. Hit a max deadlift of 140kg and 2 x 8 @ 80kg squats at the gym. Still feeling wonky though. Just can't seem to shake it.
According to this study from the Correctional Leaders Association, 1,555 people have been in solitary confinement in the United States for 6 years or more; 1,124 in Texas alone.