Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I have had the last two days off. I do enjoy days off, especially after working all day Saturday and Sunday and an extra 12 to 15 hours during the week. At the moment I am trying to busy myself as much as possible, so quitting smoking will become much easier. The way I see it, the more I have to do, the easier it will be to quit smoking, as most of my addiction is related to boredom. So, if I can remedy my boredom, it seems logical that I can quit smoking too. Today I arose at about 10:30, chilled with a cup of coffee and the paper for a bit, before venturing down the street to buy a pair of trackpants. With this done, I went for a ride around the lake and then came home, chilled again before riding my bike out to the swimming pool for a half hour dip. I only did just over thirty laps, which is pretty crap as I was planning on doing around 50. But I came home and washed and vacuumed the car like mum asked and then had noodle box for dinner. So I really didn't pack that much into my day, tomorrow I will see if I can do more.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I really feel that I have too much time on my hands. The past week has been great sunny weather and most of it I have spent sitting around the house smoking and listening to music. I only went to the gym once this week. The only cardio exercise I have done is about 40 minutes of bike riding today. On the plus side I did some reading this afternoon. I was reading a John Grisham book called the Chamber. It is funny how, since the reduction, I am finding it far easier to read. Anyway, today I read the paper, went for that ride, did some reading, bought my brother some lunch, went down the street with him while he bought some hair products. Nothing exciting. I really need to pack more into my week days, do more things. I have no time for anything over the weekend because I work about fifteen hours. It is during the week, where I only work three to six hour shifts at night that I have the days free to do whatever the hell I want. That might be my goal for next week, to achieve some more things. I am thinking, however, of resuming my Information Technology course at TAFE or possibly university. I have been perusing through some maths textbooks to see if I can get up to scratch in maths before tackling something like a Computer Science course at RMIT or maybe just Ballarat University. I go to work tonight, probably only for three hours in about an hour, so I better head off.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Well, it has been a long time since I last posted so I thought another one might be in order. Since last posting I have gained my driver's license and am currently driving around in my Mum's car. But that won't be for long. Pretty soon I will be driving my own car which I hope to buy over the next month or so. There are a number of cars I am interested in. Several are worth a mention. For starters there is a car down at a yard in Ballarat which is a Toyota Camry Vienta. It is a V6 and runs on gas, so it would be pretty economical to drive. It would also have a little extra power for some longer trips I plan to take, while having the fuel economy of a four cylinder engine. As it is a Toyota Camry, it would be very reliable and have good fuel economy regardless. It has plenty of space but about half the bootspace is taken up by the gas tank. It also does not look all that cool and the colour is burgundy. But it looks good enough and would be a very good asset. The other car I am considering buying is another Toyota Camry, this one a 1998 model. The other one is 1996. This one looks much better, but is four cylinder instead of 6. This car would be bought privately as it is owned by the brother of a person who my Mum works with. It has more features than the earlier model, like a CD player - which incidentally does not select tracks but plays it right through - but has done more kilometers - 175 versus 150. I am might even buy a Mazda 323. These are small cars, four cylinders, but the model I find good looking is much older, around 1993. Anyway, tomorrow I plan to test drive the Vienta. Hopefully my brother will come at the same time so as to get a second opinon. I will test drive the other Camry next week and if all goes to plan I may even take one of them. If I am still not satisfied I will keep looking, but I don't see myself going down to Melbourne to buy a car. It would be far too much hassle when it comes time to arrange a test drive and mechanical inspection.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Failed, first time

Well, unfortunately, I failed my driving test. It was a pretty bad performance all round I thought, but she told me I would have passed had I not used a driveway on the three point turn. It is all booked in though again in three weeks and this time I will certainly be very disappointed if I fail. It is actually very easy, I'm just hoping I don't do any immediate failures. In the meantime I am getting some driving lessons so I know absolutely everything I need to know. I only had about one or two. We will have to focus on slow maneouvers, like the parallel park, three point turn and the reverse park.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Phase one of getting on the road solo completed

Well I passed the hazard perception test well today, so now I only need to focus on the practical driving test. I feel I am reasonably well prepared but by no means 100 percent confident. I will probably fail, but my aim is to go in there relaxed and to use my driving instincts. Who knows, perhaps this time tomorrow I could be on a P2 license and a whole new world will open up. Alternatively, I will fail and have to sit it again in another six weeks or so. But I don't think that will bother me too much. At least then I can get some more practice with a driving instructor (I only really had one lesson) and will know what to expect on the test. As soon as I get my license I will start looking for cars. I have my eyes on either a Toyota Camry CSI or maybe a Toyota Corolla. It won't be one of the European cars which look great but cost a fortune to run. Still, my car must look reasonably cool, but also be cheap on petrol and maintenance costs. The colour will be important, I will not settle for anything that is not either dark blue, black or dark green. So, if all goes well, I should be driving around solo in my very own car by my birthday at the end of March at the latest.

I have been watching and reading some interesting things in the news lately. One of the stories which I just watched on Sky News was about the Greek tennis fans that were arrested at the Australian Open for unruly behaviour. The police officers used capsicum spray to subdue some of them, and they claim a 12 year old girl was also affected by the spray, even though the police officers deny this. I thought the use of capsicum spray on these people was a bit heavy-handed. One of the female officers, who was not directly threatened from what I could see, sprayed it in one guy's face and then ran. It seemed as though they were indulging in their power a bit by using the spray. If they had of called in more police officers, they could have arrested these guys far easier. But then, that can be expensive and a drain on resources. I basically think the use of capsicum spray in this incident was morally borderline. Another interesting story is that of the 16 year old kid who threw a party and somewhere around 500 people turned up and caused a riot on the street. He really is quite a funny kid. I respect his refusal to take of his sunglasses, even though he was being asked, quite sternly by one TV journalist to remove them. She was clearly out of line probably felt quite condescending towards him because of his youth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A full day, for a change

I had a pretty full day today, which is not normal. Usually I arise around noon, probably because I am going to bed so damn late. But I was up around 8:30 today cancelling a last minute driving lesson before my test and also my hazard perception test which was meant to be today. Everything went smoothly and I was able to go down to the tennis with my brother. We saw one big name, Lleyton Hewett. We also saw that guy who does the impressions of tennis stars, but I have forgotten his name. He did an impression of Marie Sharapova on request. My brother and I were ducking in and out of the stadium every now and then to have a smoko and to buy food and escape the heat. We finished the day at a pub on the corner of Flinders and Swanston and had a beer. Overall it was really good, my first tennis match ever live. I am even thinking of taking up the sport, or at least some sport to get fit and lose the pot gut. I have been toying with the idea of taking up football, but I might not be strong enough to play that sport. I could train during the day at least, because I have those hours off. There is always the possibility of joining a swim team, but I think I might need to get some lesson to improve my stroke.

Anyway, I am cutting back on my cigarette consumption. I had four tonight after I bought the pack at about 7:30 and it is now 11:30, which means I had about one per hour. That is far better than usual at least. Tomorrow, I think I might try to improve on that and have only one every two or three hours. I just need to find something to occupy myself with and I will be fine. Most of the difficulty I have when it comes to smoking is my sheer boredom during the day when I am not working. If I can find a way to fill time constructively I will be fine. There is a lot to do tomorrow, so I should be ok, hopefully. Smoking for me is an addiction borne, not out of physical necessity but because I am always so damn bored. If I can conquer my boredom, I should be able to cut back successfully and eventually quit.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The difficulty in quitting smoking

I have tried many times unsuccessfully to quit smoking. Everytime I finish a pack I tell myself that I am going to quit. I never eventuates though. I usually am back up at the service station or milk bar the next day or within a few hours. The longest I have gone without a cigarette since I started some 19 months ago or so, was six days. I am ashamedly a pack a day smoker and have been for most of hte 19 months I have smoked. I was talking to a lifelong smoker tonight, who has smoked for well over forty years, and he told me that 19 months is absolutely nothing. I am not so sure. Last winter was a very sick one for me. I came down with my first fever since about 14 years of age. It was a really bad case where my fever was hovering below forty. I was coughing far more and had far more colds than in any previous year. It is without a doubt a direct result of the damage I have done to my immune system through smoking. I even had the odd smoke during this time, even though it felt extremely harsh on my throat. I just don't feel at the moment that I have any will-power. I was never a very conscientious student, in high school, university and later a TAFE where I did a course, or at least the first half of a course in IT. I have never really been able to resist temptation when it comes to food or able to pull myself together completely in times of psychological hardship. These are things I am learning to do now though. Self-control, will-power - it is something I need to learn pretty fast and I feel I have already made some inroads.