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November 2005
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December 2005

merry christmas and have a happy new year

Another year has come and it's almost over but the shouting.  I've spent the last 3 weeks since I updated the blog, working hard and avoiding to much xmas cheer.  My hopes for a quiet time leading up to the holidays was twarthed when I ended up working on a project that had been delayed for the last two months.  So now the rush was on to get it done by xmas.  The job was finally finished after a week of late nights and missed meals.  Not even the day before the holidays was as smooth as what I imagined it would be.  Any plans I made to get some minor tasks finished were met with conflicts on other sections office parties and inter office holiday skwables.  I'm the type to steer clear and take the moral high ground but even then it's painful to watch people complain when they should be coming together during this time.

Well as you can tell from some of the news devoted to Australia world wide, there has been some problems on the beaches around Sydney.  From the start I'll tell you I'm not an expert on the situation.  I could barely tell what time of the day it's been the last few weeks.  But I do remember seeing reports on the news that gangs were roaming areas targeting Australians.  In the preceding weeks to follow police were moved into normally quiet beach areas to keep the peace.  The racial groups around Sydney have called for peace from the young assailants.  The communities have been impacted by the lack of business and are saying the violatile disturbances have been the cause of people not wanting to come to the beach front towns. 

I still owe a call to my friends in Cronulla to see how they have faired over the last few weeks.

My second xmas away from home and it's another hot one.  Temps have risen here in Sydney to 32'C / 91'F with a humidity of 78%.   I spent Xmas Eve rounding up some turkey, pumpkin cous cous, and stuff for homemade brownies.  I'll get together with a couple friends from work for a quiet holiday lunch tomorrow and some afternoon viewing of the xmas classics. 

Ok, I know I promised photos of New Zealand.  If you've been looking for them I apologize.  When I get free time, I'm usually fitting time in to edit the photos and prepare them for the website.  Hopefully, I get the first batch up this weekend.

Speaking of time off, not only do I have Monday off for Xmas, but we get Boxing day off on Tuesday.  Boxing day is celebrated in Canada, Britian, New Zealand and Australia.  I'm not positive of it's origins but I've been told a couple reasons of it's start.
One: Tradesmen received gifts for their good service all year.
Two:  The Lords and Ladies gave their servants gift boxes on the 26th of Dec
Three:  Priests would open the alms chests and distribute the contents to the poor and needy.

It's also become known for a busy day of sport.  I know here in Australia, cricket has test match between Aussies and South Africa. Also popular, rugby and football will be having their Boxing day games.

Finally, for my family back in the states.  Love you all and miss you much.  I'll call you soon and don't let anyone spill their milk on the table.  That's my job.  And I did finally find a mic, so my brother can IM me the next time he sees me on.  Cheers and Happy Festivus!!!  First the Airing of Grievances, then it's time for the feats of strength!

first 1/2 marathon

After constant lunch hour runs and long weekend jogging treks around Sydney, I headed to a place called The Entrance north of Sydney, for a 1/2 marathon race. I felt pretty comfortable with my pace and did enough stretching and warming up.  The course was fantastic with views of a lakeside shoreline, while running through 13 miles of parks and bike paths.  My boss and coworker joined me for the early morning start.  I felt great at the half way mark and even coming back was no problem.  Visions of beating a 2 hour time played through my head until I felt my right knee start to burn.  After the 14km mark, around 6km to go, I was limited to short strides and could barely get my legs to cooperate.  But with my boss at my side, I wasn't gonna start walking now.  I kept up the best pace I could and cross the finish line after the longest 6km I ever did.  Time 2hrs18min.  Not great by regular runner times of under 2hrs, but I was proud to finish for my first time out.

Afterwards, we had lunch back in Sydney and I got to meet one of Aussie's regular Ironman Triathlon veterans,  Steven Firth.  It was great to visit with him and get feedback on what he did to train for them.  He even brought the Ironman trophy he received for finishing in 2003 in Hawaii.  The pennacle in Ironman contest locations.

So now I'm recooperating at home and enjoying tall cold drinks while thinking about where the next race is I can run..