My dog Monty had to leave us today. After a few weeks of treatment for degenerative disc disease. This is where there is calcification and fluid build up around the discs in his spine. Today he lost complete movement and control on both of his back legs. Treatments have been unsuccessful and the next option was full back surgery on the three locations along his spine. The chances of this being successful were low and with his poor response to the general aesthetic when the x-ray was done we decided it was better to let him go quietly.
So today ends over 10 years of our time together.
Monty as he just a year ago.
As he was on my lap watching TV with me.
As a puppy with a full coat, easy to see why we fell in love with him.
Between 6:30 and 9:00pm last night we had some very savage storms that included nearly 40mm of rain and winds up to 30km/h. All in all we got off pretty well, no broken trees, roof tiles gone and no garden furniture in the neighbours yard. The Garage/Shed leaked but it always does.
However just before bed I went to put my shoes in my wardrobe to discover the floor was wet. Further inspection showed that the entire contents of my wardrobe was wet. All my hanging clothes, all my shoes, all my jumpers and hats. So our dining room looks like a walk-in wardrobe now and we are trying to dry things out. This morning I checked the roof and gutter near that wall and pulled out two handfuls of leaf litter, not much but must have been enough to stop the flow during the heavy downpour.
This year has flown by, both work and home life have been amazingly busy.
Milestones have come and gone this year:
- I am now 45
- my daughter turns 20 in a week
- my son turned 14
- in December I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary
- one full year as a public servant has come and gone
- the computer system upgrade I have been working on for 2 years has gone live
There are however many things I have not done this year (mostly due to time constraints due to the last item above) that I am planning to do next year. First and foremost would be a real holiday, you know all the family go somewhere and do something., Tasmania seems like a likely spot.
Firstly an apology to all for not updating this blog in a long time.
I have been spending a lot of time on the Electric Motorcycle Blog so this site has been neglected. My new job and my electric bike has been taking a lot of my time and so my photography and other projects have been put on the back burner. Dani has also been sick for the last few months, finally the doctors figured it out and took out her gall bladder. Dani is now recovering but everything looks good.
At work we are doing a major refresh and redesign of a system that will save approx $350,000 a month! This is why I got into this job to make a difference by doing sensible architecture and doing it right.
So I am home today not feeling too well and it is all my own fault. On Saturday while getting stuff ready to go to the recycling center I bumped my head. Doesn’t sound to bad does it. Well I bumped my head on the latch of the garage door, you know that sharp angular piece of metal that hangs just a little lower than the rest of the door.
So there I am sitting on the ground with a small amount of blood saying very nasty things. Dani helped me inside and I placed an ice pack on the spot for about an hour. I had only grazed the skin no real wound, just one heck of a bruise. Later that day I felt fine but Sunday I had an extremely bad headache and doing anything just made it worse.
Monday morning I felt fine and went to work. Monday afternoon another large headache and home early, same on Tuesday. I saw the doctor yesterday and although nothing major is wrong, no bleeding, no clots and no breaks she gave me the rest of the week off to relax at home. Apparently even with mild concussion I may be getting headaches for a couple of weeks… wonderful.
Ok with the new job and new project, I have not been updating this blog as much as I would like.
So here are a few updates. Man I must be getting old. My daughter starts University this year (she is doing a teaching degree) and my son starts High School. Dani is still working school hours which is good and I am in the middle of one of the largest projects I have ever done.
With all the natural disasters all around Australia I am feeling lucky and privileged not to be directly impacted. However family have been located in the disaster areas and all have come through fine.
I started my new job about two weeks ago and so far it is, well exactly like my old job. For the last 4 years or so I have been working on the Australian and Border Protection account for IBM. This has been challenging and at time frustrating, for the last 2 years of this time the team size dropped from 6 or 7 down to one (me). With it the impact I was able to have decreases as I was more involved in the mundane day to day work. At the same time the Australian Federal government started to implement recommendations from the Gershon Review. The review recommended many changes in the way IT spend was controlled within government agencies. This provided the agencies with challenges and opportunities for controlling spending.
As a person external to the agency I noticed my influence was decreasing and the knowledge and skill I had acquired over my 20 years in the industry was not being utilized. At the same time the agencies were advertising high level Architecture and Design positions that had the influence within the organization to make a significant difference.
So I am now a Technical Executive in Customs and Border Protection, working in a new team of 11 to refresh and rehost one of the most significant software assets the agency has and only 12 months to do it.
Wish me luck!
After 13 years with my current employer I am moving on. I have the opportunity to join a new team within one of our Federal Government Departments and make a significant difference to the computing systems and software development methodologies.
So far this year has flown by, quantity of work and pressures to deliver on time has not given me much time to do much other than work and live. I have started work on an electric bike but effort has been limited to about 4 – 8 hours a week.
Dani is currently up in Queensland organising her fathers funeral with her sister and brothers. Life has been more than full for both of us this year. I am glad to have Dani with me though it all. I hope I have given her the same support.
In the next week or two I should have some major news. Stay tuned.
Ok so for the last couple of months I have been run down and feeling a little overwhelmed. After a little prompting from my wife I made a doctors appt. My doctor sent me off to get a series of blood test. One week later I had the results.
So my cholesterol is fine, my thyroid is fine, actually it all came back good.. except for one measure my vitamin D level was low very low, near the “significant deficiency” level.
So I am taking 1000mg of vitamin D every day, hoping to feel better soon.
Ok so I get out from in front of the computer on the weekends I have decided to start a little project, ok maybe not so little. I am going to convert a Suzuki RG250 motorcycle into an electric bike for commuting.
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My son left a note for Santa last night. He didn’t tell us he was going to do it and he was very hi-tech about it. On his bedside table he left his DS running with the chat program up. The message “Hi Santa” written large on the screen. What was I to do, ignore it? write a response?
So I left a short “Hi xxxx, I am glad you have been good.”
He was so happy this morning, even before the gifts.
Ok this year time has flown so fast. Seems like it was only a couple of months ago I was with the in-laws for Christmas. Now we are planning to have my family over this year. Three brothers, their partners and kids, my Mum and Dad and my wife and kids. It will be a full house, a very full house. They are all coming down from Queensland, with this being the start of my parents “Grey Nomad” experience.
So my parents and my eldest brother will be down in their respective caravans, my middle brother will be staying near our place in a cabin and hopefully my little brother will be down for a few days staying at our place or in a cabin. My little brother is overcoming a bought of cancer and the subsequent treatment, he is doing really well and will have the results of his latest checkup just before Christmas.
I have had a lot of things happen over the last few weeks but will put them up in other posts soon.
On October the 4th Canberra hosted an Electric Vehicle festival on the grounds of old parliament house. At the show was a complete range of Electric and Electric assist vehicles (hybrid). Two old Detroit Electric cars at one extreme and a Tesla Roadster at the other. Along with the large companies showing off their almost electric Hybrid cars (actually not at all electric, they still get all their energy from petrol) there was a great collection of home conversion cars. I met, in person some people and cars that I had researched on the internet.
Really has got me thinking… it would not be that hard to pull together the gear for an electric bike. Of course I might have to learn how to, weld, cut metal and design stuff… also a shed full of tools might help, don’t have many of them.
Anyway it was fun and inspirational, here are a few links to get you going..
Hope this inspires you.