Jan 23rd – News of the Day – Thoughts

A day of news. Here’s 10.

1) National’s Education Package. I’m excited by this. It’s a good initiative. It’ll be very difficult for the Opposition to oppose. I did like Cunliffe’s “We’ll do the same… +1. So we’re better”.

2) Mandela’s statue. When I die and you all decide to erect an enormous bronze casting of me, I’d be honoured to have a small bunny hidden in my ear. It appeals to my humour.

3) Kim Dotcom’s ‘Good Times’. Some things should not exist. I did like this review. It made me laugh.

4) Further on Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party. I am concerned that so many professionals continue to buy into this guys patently obvious Reality Distortion Field.  Still, it’s their call I suppose.

5) Len Brown. *giggles*

6) The Black Caps. Just… wow. Fantastic results against India so far. Great to watch.

7) Economic Optimism. 2014 is sending the signals of being a great year for NZ in terms of our economy. I am very pleased to see this after a few years of doing it frugal.

8) The Tui ‘Catch a Million’ promotion. Brilliant. Well done those people!

9) The Australian Open. Go Federer. I’d love to see him go all the way.

10) Someone actually spent time researching Texting and Walking to learn that it was a bad idea??

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Grumpy

I’m a bit grumpy.

I had a good holiday. One in which I was able to relax and recharge. I had a great time with my kids.

Then I got back to Auckland and life.

I received a note from the property manager of my apartment letting me know that my owners/landlords want to sell. This sucks. I’ve been here over four years and absolutely love living here. It has been a sanctuary during my years of growth.

I don’t like change all that much. I’ve spent the last two years organising and working to get my life in a state of steady. This is now uncertain. For the next few months I’ll have to keep my place on an Open Home footing. Starting with getting it photo-ready this week. I’ve sold homes before. I don’t like the invasive nature of this process.

The best outcome for me is that it’s bought by investors that would love to have a reliable, clean, tidy, no pets, no cigarettes guy in place. Otherwise I’ll need to find a new place to live suitable for me and for my kids when they’re with me.

So…

I’m grumpy.

Resolutions vs Goals

I’ve been thinking about what I want to achieve this year. But also what defines a New Years Resolution as opposed to setting personal goals.

I think, for me, a Resolution is more about resolving to effect change in aspects of one’s life whereas a Goal is a specified, achievable, tangible thing that you aspire to do.

As I really don’t feel the need to change aspects of my life, despite the fact I probably should consume less wine, I think for 2014, I’ll set goals. Here’s my thinking, category by category, in no particular order of priority.

Technology:

I’d like to update my trusty iPad. I still have a version 1 model. It has served me well but it’s time.

I’d also like to acquire a decent DSLR camera because I do take photos, and I am getting frustrated with not being able to capture what I’m seeing.

I’d also quite like to obtain a new iMac or MacPro – I want to get back into writing/recording music and a decent spec’d machine will help.

Personal Development:

I definitely want to get off my backside and learn Japanese. I’ve made a broad start in 2013 but it fell by the wayside when time constraints bit. I have the materials needed, I just need to book regular conversational classes.

Study? Not sure. The idea is there, but the reality is that it takes time that I can’t commit to just yet. This requires more research on my part.

It is time I played bass in public again. It’s been years. Easy goal: get my calluses back and head up to the Portland Public House on ‘jam night’.

Reading: one book at least per week. Can be Fiction or non-Fiction. Achievable.

Exercise/Sports:

I need to re-establish my gym regimen. I did quite well for 9 months of 2013 then got distracted by life. I shall set a goal of 3 weight sessions each week, and then add cardio – whether it’s bike or a walk 2x each week. This is of course achievable.

My sporting nemesis is Snowboarding. I have intent to learn – and have had for nearly 5 years. My snowboard and clothing mock me.

Travel:

This is a biggie. I love to travel and haven’t for two years. So, in 2014 I want to travel to 5 overseas destinations. On my list of possibles is Cambodia, Thailand, Cuba, Australia (of course), Pacific Islands (take your pick). I also need to get back to the UK for family reasons, possibly Germany and I’d love to get back to the USA.

I’m sure there are more goals to set. I’m not thinking about house purchasing. I may update my vehicle, but it’s not costing me much to run at present so I may as well hold on to it for now. I’m still processing my Business goals. It should be an interesting year.

What are your goals?

January Camping

I’m back from spending a week in the Coromandel – the Top 10 campground in Coromandel Town, to be exact – with my kids.

This is something I’ve instituted over the last few Summers to ensure that I get to stay close and engaged with them (divorce can push/keep Dads away, you know). And it’s become something that all three of us really look forward to.

Packing

I’ve acquired all the camping stuff that one needs (Kathmandu really does have a direct line in to my bank account with their range of quality camping and outdoors equipment) so it’s become quite easy to pack, load and head off on adventures.

This campsite had a pool (the last two sites we’ve stayed at didn’t) which meant that for 3-4 hours each day, my kids pretty much disappeared (under my watchful parental eye – kids around water etc), got wet and made friends. That has been one of the best things about this year: both my kids have learned to take a risk, talk to a stranger, and find a friend. It’s great to see the development.

We discovered all the local ice-cream vendors. We drove North to explore beaches and bays. We discovered the Gold Stamper Battery.

Stamper

Actually, this was pretty cool. It’s a functional rock crusher that enables the process of gold extraction to take place. The guy, Ashley, was incredibly knowledgeable and very entertaining. I probably enjoyed the tour a bit more than the kids did, but we got to go panning for gold in the creek nearby which made up for it (as far as the kids were concerned). We’d have been successful too, if it wasn’t for the attention span of a certain 8 year old…

panning

We visited The Waterworks on the 309 Road. If you have kids, this is highly recommended. It’s really quirky. Lots of interactive water-driven engineering. Things that move. Things that squirt. Flying Bikes!

Water

FlyingBike

There’s a decent waterhole to swim in, BBQ’s to hire, and a cafe on site. We spent about 3 hours there, and could have stayed longer. It was amusing for me to see Miss 8 decide that she wanted to jump in to the waterhole. A 10 minute preparation process all up. Master 11 was too cold, and was feeling pressured to perform. So he didn’t.

Jumper

It was a toss-up between The Waterworks and the Driving Creek Railway. We chose well I think.

pig

On the way to The Waterworks we stopped off to have a chat with ‘Stu with the pigs’. This is one seriously odd man. He has a herd of 65 pigs that roam. He used to have more but people keep stealing them. (Pignapping)? My daughter wanted to know why his lips were green. I really wish I could have answered that question. I want to say zinc sunblock… I’m just not sure I can.

On another day we drove to Whangapoua Beach for the kids to play in the surf with their boogie boards. It was partially successful. From there to Whitianga to play a round of Minigolf and then back to Coromandel Town via the 309 Road.

Camping for me is a chance to decompress and think. It’s a chance for me to bond further with my kids and hopefully instil some values. I definitely want to develop their independence and sense of adventure. Each year I get to see how much they’ve grown in confidence (swimming, human interaction etc.).

I sometimes question myself as to whether I’m a good father. I try to be.

Last night I received this message from my boy: “Thanks for taking us camping. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Especially the chill out And do whatever part. THANKS!!”.

It puts everything in perspective.