Well, technically was back to work last week (Thurs/Frid) – but today is the kick-off of a big project, was just some “planning” & “start-up” last week. Hadn’t done much “work-wise” on the break – didn’t even switch on my laptop – lucky, as I’d left my power pack/cable on my desk in the office ! (motivation was a bit low re: SharePoint, etc – but “that’s OK, you’re on holiday” the wife said)
Anyway – has felt like life is back to full swing again – Christmas + New Year seems like a month ago already ! Just grabbing a quick coffee + blogging – to get the brain going….
Was a great break – lots of time with friends & family – boys been playing lots with cousins – and 1st birthday for little Jasmine last weekend. Her nickname is “Jazzie” – and she sometimes gets “Jazz-ma-google”. Cameron has now extended that to be “Jazz-ma-google.com.au”. (he he)
Having spent such a long time off work (well – 2 weeks felt long, which is a good sign), the hardest part is leaving behind family & kids. Was some tears from Cameron when he realised that Dad was off to work – my little shadow has no-one to shadow.
We’d done so much together – including setting up the tent, and having a camp out in the backyard – some trips to Bunnings, work in the garden, and bouncing together on the trampoline – and lots of cutting/sticking from car magazines. Playing on the Wii as well – with Guitar Hero, Excite Truck (“truck race !”) and Mario Kart.
Liam is great too – he’s more and more active every day – and now walking everywhere – and into everything. He has a bit of a temper though (already ?!) and has a mini tantrum when there’s things he can’t do – or told “get down” from the couch, or when busted trying to climb onto the kitchen bench (!). He’ll walk over and hug my leg, and look up with arms out wanting me to pick him up, and then cuddles into me, with his arms around my head – very snuggly little boy.
Cameron & Liam are best of mates, so great to see the “brothers” aspect of the family – I had a sister, so both our lads have something I never had – a brother !
Cameron (for some reason) has given Liam a crazy nickname – Tonga Bongo. Why ? Only the gods know that one – but very funny. Cameron says it as “Tong-GA Bong-GO” in a sorta sing-song way. Liam just laughs.
Cameron races about the house, zooming everywhere in his “V8”, and is very careful to NOT knock over Liam who is just toddling about. In true ‘”race” tradition, Cameron is now calling Liam the “pace car” – ha ha. And, he’s very encouraging of his little brother – always saying “well done Liam !”
We have a new sandpit, and they were both making sandcastles and digging and pouring sand on the weekend – and onto the trampoline also – Cameron was again making sure not to bounce too hard or too high, and knock over “wittle wiam”.
Time will tell (soon enough) if there will be ANOTHER brother on the way – or if the lads will have a little sister (hopefully find out in a week or so).
Having some time off was great to get a few odd jobs & projects started for the new year – have been getting ready to install the water tank, and had help from brother-in-law to set-up the footings for the spa. The laundry sliding door was sticking & jamming – and finally decided it was officially annoying me – some WD-40 fixed that up after removing/cleaning the door rollers. Have fitted a new towel rail in the bathroom – and was mowing lawns & cleaning out the garage on the weekend – and some more digging.
On a sad note – I also attended a funeral – for an ex-GF’s father. He was a great man, taken by cancer – but a legacy remembered by his 8 kids, and 19 grandkids ! He was involved in bringing mobile phone technology to Australia – a 35 year career with Telstra, and big in the community and church/parish – was standing room only at the funeral – a real ‘celebration’ of his life. Great to see some old friends – some of them are “only see at wedding and funerals” folk – will have to make sure to stay in touch a bit more.
Back to the home front – have been airing out my mountain bike – with Cameron only too keen to go for a “bike ride”. Where we live is near the EastLink freeway, with an underpass and path that leads over to Jells Park. A lap around the lake, and home via FTG Rd – and along the side of EastLink takes about 1/2 hour or so – and have been meeting up with a mate who has just bought a new bike (Giant “Rock”).
I even went out on my own one morning, before Cameron & the family were awake – not many people about at 8am, was very crisp/cool outside, and a peaceful start to the day.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new mountain bike too – a little obsessively lately actually – I’d bought my old Giant mountain bike in 1993 – and took it to Cairns with me (as luggage on the plane). It was my only mode of transport for a while – and even rode home from the bottle shop one night with a slab of beer balanced on the handlebars (sorry – a CARTON of beer).
I was massively into Mountain Biking in Cairns – the “world cup” was held just North of town, and lots of the major teams were there. A friend and I were the “bike compound” check-in and check-out volunteers – so we got to look at (and try !) some awesome Cannondale’s and GT’s. And it was the first big showing from a local youngster called “Cadel Evans” – people saying “this guy is gonna be big” – and yep, coming 2nd in the Tour De France (2008) is probably considered “big”. Click here to read more on Wikipedia.
A few weeks after the world cup, my housemate and I went back out to the circuit, and tried out the “downhill” run – I got thrown off when coming down a big drop-off, slid along the gravel – and had grazes and scrapes from knee to armpit (*OUCH*) – and pretzel’d my front wheel (well, I said I’d “buckled” it – but the bike shop dude said “that’s a pretzel !”)
That was over 10 years ago – early 1995 – and life has changed a lot – house, wife, kids, etc (ie. “busy”). My bike has only had a handful of rides per YEAR recently – was a bit dusty/cob-web’ed – but I’ve been bitten by the bug again.
Need to check out the “TrailMix” centre out at Lysterfield, where they spent $3m in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. And – have just eBay’ed a bike computer, which will display speed and distance – and my plan is to get up to 100 km a week.
Although – might be either (1) new mountain bike or (2) PDC in November.
Just need to get some more projects underway – and earn a few bonus $$ – maybe I can afford to do BOTH !
Last item of note – have installed Windows 7 Beta 1 (on the weekend) – and loving it immediately – lots of comments & thoughts, some blog post/s to follow.