Olympic Medals Presentation

With hindsight I've realised that using each Olympics as a milestone at which I ignore the success and heartbreak of athletes and instead reflect only about my own life in a long block of prose has been misguided narcissism. Why have I been waffling on about my own achievements randomly, and not instead ranking them and awarding medals to myself?

It's been four years since Rio. I mean, technically five but covid has that effect on things. A lot has changed.

Gold


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As with every other Olympics since 1996, Tokyo finds me with a new employer, a new salary and a new set of responsibilities. I strongly believe I am now good at my job (I've only written a single Dale since London). I still only use the phrase "IT Professional" ironically, even though I'm now TOGAF Certified.
In 2020 I nearly got flown to San Francisco to present to a conference about my leadership over the successful agile delivery of an integration uplift project (at the time it wasn't really agile or delivered).
I also was promoted to the point where I managed other people, and that really exposed me to new perspectives that I’ve learned a lot from - primarily that I should focus on technology and I shouldn't manage people. Hence my new job...

I've equalled the world record for love and having a dog for the longest amount of time between Olympics. I went on an amazing four week trip to the Pacific Northwest and hiked through nature that's hopefully still kicking a few Olympics from now. We moved house, switched cars. That's been like shedding a skin - all new extremities, but unchanged at the core.

Silver


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I have not traditionally published a novel, but I did write to completion two more of them - Shady Slopes, and Cold Case. However, I did achieve my dream of being published in a professional science fiction market, as well as selling numerous short stories both in Australia and internationally. And was featured in a best works of 2018 thanks to my dumb flash fiction about a witch’s magic mirror which crashes after a windows update.
I spent nearly every work day lunch break writing between 2016 and 2019, and then I gave up. I almost gave up... Let's see what happens by next Olympics.

Bronze


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My health and fitness has not reached its potential during an inconsistent performance in my mid-thirties. Chronic hamstring tendinopathy had me down for so much up the past years that at one point in 2019 I would almost have been justified in releasing this Olympic recap in line with the Paralympic Games in September.
I did make a triumphant return to low-grade social basketball, hit a couple of corner 3s and then suffered another soft tissue injury that would cost me a year of pain, surgery and rehab.
Despite that, I was very healthy. I walked 10,000 steps most days. I worked on my mobility, strength and physiology enough to mute my hamstring pain to a mostly ignorable caress. I set a new personal best with a back squat of 103kg, and a deadlift of nowhere near that much. I did not set a bench press PB but I did a push-up again. I was a vegan for a few minutes and I ate a lot of salad. I lost 5kg for the fun of it and had visible abs, and then I drank a lot of craft beers and gained 5kg for the fun of that too.
I have so far successfully avoided covid.

Participation Trophy


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(Including a summary of 2016’s Olympic Resolutions.)
There were more weddings (but less weddings).
I rewrote my website with a new framework, but I didn’t build it API first. Maybe next Olympics.
I bought my first shares on the stock market. I haven’t sold any yet.
I rode a bike for the first time this millennium.
I survived the Trump era.
I did make a new friend!
I signed up for not one, but two credit cards with awesome rewards programs. I currently have hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer points with both Qantas and Virgin, and nowhere to fly to.

DNQ


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Be more spontaneous.

My goals for next olympics.
There’s less than three years until the Paris Olympics, so I’m not sure how much I can really achieve. But that will also be the month before I turn forty, and knowing my history with procrastination and success I suspect another 750 words will be possible in August 2024.

I’d like to be vaccinated. I want one foot into a retirement plan that covers finances, climate change, and something to keep me occupied for the rest of my life. I’d appreciate both feet on foreign soil again, even better would be to do that as the entourage of a certain wifey athlete. I want a house that isn’t cold in winter. I’d like to go camping.


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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?


When Life Gives You The Delta Variant Of Lemons

Last weekend our family tradition of a Sunday morning walk along the river to the North Adelaide Bakery for a cream puff was cancelled due to the latest Coronavirus saga to hit Adelaide. As well as the shit weather, and injuries.

This was depressing, but we didn't cry or break things or punch a horse. We adapted.
On Friday we ordered some cream, eggs, butter, and dark chocolate melts which arrived yesterday.
Last night I attempted my first batch of Choux Pastry (boil the water a touch longer next time, and remove the dough from the saucepan before the butter starts to separate).

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This morning, with sun shining, and after a walk into our backyard, we kept our tradition alive another week.
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The Scenic Route

Brown river grass on a hill on a winter's day in the Murraylands.

Murraylands.


Recently I've been working on balancing life's boring todo list jobs and tasks with more adventurous goals and objectives - something I may go into more detail on in a future journal entry.

Today's planned adventure was a road trip with Vanessa and Nash. Destination: up the freeway to Mannum Falls. (After the traditional mini cream puff and coffee.)

A golden retriever staring thoughtfully at a river.

Nash enjoying the scenery and wondering why she works every day.


After the walk I chose to take the scenic route back to Adelaide. Perhaps Google Maps is also finding the balance between doing its job and having fun, because some of the backstreets off Norton Summit Road it directed me down were a tad steep and narrow for the algorithmic saving of a minute. You could call these the scenic routes of the scenic route. I was partially tense, but mostly enamoured by the lush and overgrown hills and forests, and have no regrets for how that drive turned out.

I have no photos to share of that part of the journey, for sad but obvious reasons.

After arriving home and eating some of the BBQ Pumpkin soup I invented yesterday I walked to the supermarket to get some things for dinner. I also took the scenic route, enjoying the boring as fuck streets I have walked around a million times since COVID19, but that are still much better than walking along the edge of an expressway.

I also did some weeding, shaved, and bought new discounted Woolworths gift cards. Finally, I endeavoured further to repair the kitchen cabinets. I could probably pay a handyperson a small fee and they'd fix those hinges in less than fifteen minutes. Alas even when it comes to chores I am apparently taking the scenic route...


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From the Chaff

Sometimes on winter Sundays (or public holiday Monday equivalents) the sun goes down and I feel a sense of melancholy that another week of my life is over and now it's cold.

But if I then have a hot shower and dress in warm clothing, I feel a bit better.

The weekend, like the rye and linseed sourdough loaf I bought Saturday morning, lasted three days.

Nash attended all the parts worth remembering.

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On Saturday morning we walked to Plant 4 at Bowden for coffee and a visit to the local bakery where said loaf was purchased.

Sunday Morning was our traditional family walk from the Weir to the North Adelaide Bakery for mini cream puff and coffee.

Sunday evening was spent catching up with Vanessa's family and Kelpie, eating Afghan food and answering trivial pursuit questions.

Monday was friends, NBA playoffs, double beef burgers and my first game of 500 for the decade.

As the night crept in and work emails started drafting themselves in my head, it's easy to see why I'll miss these days.

Sunbody That I Used To Know

There's a point sometime in April...

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Usually around 8am one chilly morning...
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That the Sun becomes your friend again.
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Get In The Car

Nash in the back of the car at the beach looking very happy about it.

Winter ain't here yet.

I Made My Own Liquid Fertiliser

Last year I experienced an order of operations error when I buried Dynamic Lifter under some plants before I learnt that Dynamic Lifter is basically ground up dead chickens and poo.

Nash was definitely aware of the ingredients.

I didn't want to make that mistake again this year, and have to deal with another week of dog turds the colour of black holes. Nor did I want to waste three-quarters of a bag of Dynamic Lifter. So, I got an old pillow case, put two handfuls of Dynamic Lifter in it and tied a knot, put the pillowcase in a bucket and filled it with water. One week later I had liquid Dynamic Lifter and a pillow case I'll probably only ever use for guests. I mixed the bucket 1:3 with water in a watering can and I'll find out in a few weeks how much my plants liked that.

This year, Nash is very sad that the bird of paradise plants smell exactly like the buried treats of last autumn, but only taste like celery.

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