Life after work and the trips of a lifetime

"We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start." - Anonymous

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo! What a ride!..attributed in this form to either Maxine Cartoon or anon

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last post here

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go......

I'm leaving, on a jetplane,

Don't know when I'll be back again

John Denver

I'm blogging  on http://onasaddleineurope.blogspot.com/   from now on

check it out

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Surfing the WWW

Found on Google Earth... these are all from very near where my apartment is. .. maybe I will have to take the really good camera after all



    and ooooh dear..my driving and parking skills are going to be tested again....




    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Countdown!

    6 busy days ahead and now it's time to do all the things I've been putting off, in some instances for a very long time, although there's always someone or something getting  in the way/demanding attention!




    Saturday:
    • Training on Steels Creek road in the morning  to test out my TT bike with the  deep dish rear wheel instead of the disc. It's usable for both RR and TT and (hopefully) less likely to get damaged  in transit, so is a smart move if it goes ok.
    Sunday:
    • I'm in for a group session of torture at DISC . Despite winning $40 last time there  I've opted not to race the Boulie TT..health and proximity to departure date decided that for me.
    Monday:
    • drag Alex to Medicare to reclaim medical bills..his injury, my money!
    • then spend 3 hours at Melbourne uni being a research subject.....topic is arthritis and brain function(???!)..more on this when I know more!  I'm one of the "without arthritis" subjects and have to answer such questions as are you right or left footed, which leg would you normally step up onto a chair with etc etc..
    Tuesday: 
    • both Pippi and I get  groomed..she gets a sedative before her grooming session...I don't! 
    • last session on road bike..ergo or road, depending on the weather
    Wednesday: 
    • motor pacing session at DISC..warm up to race pace then  (8 laps on, 2 off x 4)x3, die.
    • recovery is - lunch with a friend who's just returned from Italy, 
    • then take the bike bag containing my  TT bike  etc to Jetta to be freighted to Italy with the all up cost for 15 kgs (their minimum) being  about $220 it is much cheaper than paying excess luggage and a lot less hassle at airports. The downside  is that once it arrives in Florence I have to pick it up within 3 days or I get stung with extra costs. Florence is about a 2.5 hour drive from Urbania.
     Thursday:
    • am - Italian class
    • pm - fly out..my plane leaves in the evening and with the required 3 hour check in time  I'll clash with rush hour on the Tullamarine freeway if I attempt to get there on the dot, so I'll arrive early and either check my stuff in if allowed or put it in the left luggage for a while. 
    Along side all these major tasks I need to:
    • put up all the pictures on the walls right through the entire house.  I've been ignoring this task for months.
    •  buy enough of the RIGHT kind of cat food to last the 2 months I'm away..fussy cats.
    • continue downloading audio books from the library onto iTunes and from there to my iPod
    • pack..of course
    • monitor a certain ash cloud

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Life is complicated....computers, health, training and ash clouds..updates

    • SRM in downward spiral mode: see previous post and note in pix above...NO power mentioned at all..just a gap where it should be...?????... it's now in the post on its way to UK to be evaluated and hopefully mended since a new one costs more than I want to even think about.
    • Sick: see previous post but from yesterday the viral cloud lifted and once again I am remembering how being well and also rested feels.
    • Ash cloud: see previous post and damn it, it's come back.  It took 10 days to circle the earth, so with any luck I should be ok for a 30/6 departure, also I'm flying Emirates and they didn't cancel at all.  I'm not sure if that's a good or bad/scarey thing.


    • Training...I've been doing very little while I've been sick but today I'm back churning up the km's behind the motorbike
    the above images courtesy of Lynzart .I plan to buy some of this image in the form of  postcards from her via Zazzle  so I don't feel too bad at borrowing her image.

    • The latest issues to be dealt with before I leave:  my new digital TV has a "black spot" of non functioning  ??cellls and my new laptop has a dodgy  interface so when you pull out the cord for either external speakers or a headphone the internal speakers don't function any more.  Both came from the same shop...Harvey Norman and I' can't find the receipts.  Today's task is to see if they have enough details on their computer to get past that small problem.  I don't expect to win.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Sick and other stuff

    Sick
     3 days after having a long discussion about getting the 'flu jab with a cycling colleague ( who also happens to be an infection control nurse), I get sick!  My side of the discussion was that since I rarely get sick (ha!..now that WAS tempting fate) I never bothered to have the injection ... I left work with 3,000 sick leave hours available to me, so  I "rested my case".  Now I have a sore throat (right side only) and a runny nose..... not the 'flu by any stretch of the imagination but that discussion has certainly come back to haunt me!



    Italy
    The school in Urbania has finally come back with accommodation information but I'm not happy.  After booking and paying ages and ages ago and requesting an independent (not sharing a kitchen and/or bathroom) apartment, I've been told that while I can have my request for the final 3 weeks, for the first week I'm required to share.  The school here has done my booking, so I left instructions..there's no way I'm sharing...I've been there and done that while a student and don't plan on re-visiting that style of accommodation again...not while I'm solo.  Luckily I've got a car, so I'm not limited by lack of transport.

    A new class member yesterday has just returned from 2 weeks in the same school and while she sang praises of the school, her tale of their apartment's  TV and kettle not working did not actually inspire confidence!  Such glitches might be bearable for a short trip but not for the 4 weeks I'm going to be "in residence"!

     While writing this I'm reminded of the place we stayed in the Pyrenees last year where we were rather too close to the church, which struck the hours 24/7 not once but TWICE every hour...just in case you missed it the first time.

    eBay
    eBay works just fine when both the buyer and the seller mesh well, but the guy who bought my Corima 4 spoke set and also the Zentis front wheel reneged on the deal totally.  Shame that.  I'll just have to put them back up for sale when I get back.  I wonder what penalty, if any,  eBay imposes on buyers who fail to honour their side of the deal.  I recall hearing of 2 people who were banned after it was discovered they bidded the price up for their own stuff..not sure if it was true or not. Getting the postage costs correct has been an interesting exercise..initially we underestimated how much it would be but latterly we've been overestimating. ah well... time and effort etc.

    Garmin
    this is working well except that comparing it to the PCVI readout can't happen since it seems to be reading extremely high..either that or I've suddenly strengthened up beyond  belief!

    Parking fine
    of all the penalties one can fall foul of, the parking fine has to be the most boring waste of money.  The grey ghosts around the  Italian school on Cardigan Street in Carlton must be collecting a mint...10 minutes over the 2 hr limit yesterday and I got a $60 fine.  Ouch.

    While looking for an appropriate image to put here I found this which raised a smile


    Global Financial Woes
    As a new non-earner I'm making sure I get the best out of my $$$$ and so  I will be REALLY annoyed if the exchange rate, which has recently and finally  been so favourable to Aussies suddenly goes belly up.

    Less than 2 weeks to go. Woo hoo!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Back on track...pun intended

    The past few weeks my SRM power control..the cyclo computer part of the whole deal, has been giving me grief.  Firstly my computer would occasionally not recognise it and finally over the long weekend, it wouldn't recognise it at all.

    Panicked calls ensued, firstly to Kinetic in ACT for a new cable cos that's what seemed to be the culprit but  just a bit later I realised  there was no sign whatsoever on the display of the word "Power" or a number or even a "- "to say it was there...nothing, nix,, just a blank  ie it had gone belly up totally. 


    So the cable got cancelled  and the next call was to the SRM guys  in NZ.  They were clearly baffled..should I send it over to them ? hmmm..whatever was wrong was not something they'd dealt with before..this was going to take time.  So, what with their probably long turn around and my holiday looming, slow realisation came to me that  this was not the way to go.  What to do?? I've trained using power metrics for so long now I'm not sure I can mange without.  Sudden thought....phew!   use the Garmin 705 of course.  It can read power if set up correctly.

    When I get to UK my coach, who's also the SRM guru there, will take a good look and see what gives.  Actually I'll probably post it to her from Italy.....that way if it's really dead at least there'll be time to get a new one.  Odd though cos it still takes a charge and is still reading the rest of the data, so what gives?   I doubt its a battery issue and maybe not a cable issue after all. Having  just checked out  the price I'm sorta  hoping +++ it's not dead!

    So today was a motorpacing day indoors at DISC and  it was freezing..colder there than in the outer suburbs.  I spent yesterday sorting out the track bike..putting it together and adding the Garmin, but I made 2 teeny tiny mistakes..the first being that I totally forgot that the Garmin wouldn't be able to access a satellite at DISC and therefore I would need a speed sensor..DOH! So lots of effort during the hour I was there but apparently I was only going at maybe 6 or perhaps 12 kph.....all behind a bike going over 40kph!

    I take 2 rear wheels with me to track training 1 with a 16T cog on, 1 with a 14T cog ..this allows me to change gears very quickly..after warming up on an easy gear, I just  change to the second wheel and away we go...and this is where the second teeny tiny mistake came in... this morning I forgot to check the tyre pressure in the second wheel and I guess I needed to, 'cos as I was cruising around on the blue line and when on the bend  it slid from beneath me causing me to show my expertise and bike handling skill. Sadly no-one was watching and therefore my incredible manoeuvre went unnoticed and I have no-one but myself to tell the world how skilled I am!.

    More at DISC next week, when I will have a speed sensor attached and fully pumped up wheels!

    More on the husband with # hip saga..he's not growing bone very well and the surgeon is not very happy.  1 more month on crutches (not that he does) and then a CT scan...sounds to me  as though if all is not good by then a joint replacement is on the cards.