Thursday, September 10, 2015

Looking back a year and a half

I Was just looking over my failed 2014 photo a day series, and it made me realise what a crazy year last year was! It seems like so long ago, and I'm not sure why, but it was probably one of the bleakest years of my life. For some reason I never felt settled in Adelaide. At the time I just figured that was the way life was. 9-5 job, paying the bills so you can make it to the next day.

But that aside, the year was jam packed. We travelled to Seattle and Montana before we left Vancouver, using honeymoon money to get a first class sleeper train across america and an amazing hotel in Whitefish ski resort. We holidayed in 5 star Hyatt accom in Hong Kong, also courtesy of honeymoon money :-) We then finally returned to Adelaide after more than 3 years in Canada. Not long after returning my dad underwent major surgery which unsettled the whole family significantly.

Following this we settled into the daily grind for a good 8 months. Working and house hunting. This period sucked! I was training hard, really as a means to escape from the shitty monotony of everyday life. I started racing road bikes which was fun, but that quickly moved back to triathlon. I also trained for Adelaide Marathon but sustained an injury about 4 weeks out so had to skip the race.

I signed up for Iron Man Melbourne in July, and Kate signed up not long after. We then trained for Murray Man as an intermediate long distance triathlon en route to Iron Man. My first big run after my marathon training injury was 20kms at Murray Man. It went really well. I think Murray Man was completed in about 4hrs 36mins. It was amazing-one of the best events I've done!

We bought a house in November, then went on a week long road trip in Western Australia. We returned on Xmas eve, and hosted the family Christmas on Christmas Day! Yep we keep busy.

On Boxing Day we adopted a dog, totally unaware of the events that would happen in June of 2015.

The next 3 months was hard Iron Man training. It was fun, and such an experience training with my wife. Life was starting to get a bit more fun. We had a house and training was great.

Iron Man weekend was early in March. We stayed for a long weekend with the parents! This was one of the most amazing things I've ever done! We returned on a high, so motivated to do more and more Iron Man events.

My training obsession continued, now almost worse than before Iron Man. As I didn't have an event to look forward to I just filled that purpose or lack there of with more training. Two days after Iron Man I was training again, starting with 4kms in Unley pool. Two weekends later I competed in the silver sands long distance multi sport festival. On the sat was a 10km run and a 2 km swim. On the sun was an Olympic distance tri. I did all the events! Yep, injury here we come right.

Training continued, probably 10 hrs per week at least. Life continued on it's dull path. The house was nice; Kate and I were "loving it", and our dog was awesome, but I just continued sinking deeper and deeper into nothingness. On paper everything was perfect, but it really didn't feel that way.

I started training for long distance trail runs, and I was commonly running 3 half marathons a week, possible a few before work and then one long trail run on the weekend. I raced the green belt half marathon and set a PB. 1:24.

I continued running and riding and swimming...lots! It is now a few months after Iron Man and still no break. I started helping with training some Adelaide Running Crew sessions...and then the injury finally happened.

I am now, 14 weeks later, finally able to run pain free. This injury was a blessing. It snapped me out of my obsessive cycle, almost. I still swam a bit, but cycling and running was totally off for a good 8 weeks. All I could maintain was some careful core work, and a bit of light stretching and yoga. I couldn't kick in the pool, so I did full sessions with the pull bouy.

At this point I got pretty bleak. I couldn't really see where to go next...then out of the blue an opportunity arose. Jobs presented themselves in Wellington. 4 weeks later we were on the plane to Wellington!

It is now 8 weeks later. I just went home for my sisters wedding, and immediately when my sis and mum saw me they noticed I was the happiest they've seen me in years. And I am! Time is flying by, we are so busy learning new things and exploring our new home. Work is amazing and so inspiring! I am challenged all the time and am loving every moment of it!

The move was hard, but it's the best thing we've ever done. I didn't realise how much I needed to leave Adelaide until I actually did it! I guess what I'm saying is, life is too short to think that you have to put up with the daily grind just cos you have a mortgage and a dog! 

Life tells us we have to do these responsible things in order to be "successful"; but man, these so called life goals made me freaking unhappy! If you're hating it, go out and make something cool happen. Do something that re-inspires you to live again; something that makes hobbies fun; something that makes getting up each day exciting. I forgot what that was like for a year, to be truly happy. I now realise that the life I was living was not a prerequisite of growing up, of being "successful". 

Falling into a monotonous life of bills and pay slips doesn't really sound inspiring to anyone...I hope; it is just too often that we think it is the right thing to do, but maybe it isn't? Maybe it is often for lack of anything else better to do, or lack of motivation to go and do something amazing! But remember, you only live once, it may as we'll be fun!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ngaio, Our New Home

We are finally settling into our new home! We rented in Ngaio, out in the 'burbs, somewhere that we could house our dog:-)

Our place is nice, it has an amazing view over a beautiful housed valley, with a backdrop of some amazing mountains, in which are some amazing trails to run on!

It really is so beautiful here. Within a 10 minute run we can be on the most amazing trails I've ever run on, with beautiful streams and forests to entertain while running or walking the dog.

We have some great neighbours and it is relatively easy for us to get to work. I drive sometimes, and other times I ride, when weather permits. It is a tiny commute for Kate to work at the moment which is nice. We have also ended up halfway between Welly City Centre and Lower Hutt. This is great as Lower Hutt has nice markets and food shops, whereas if you lived in the city you are stuck with supermarkets and higher food prices.

Work is amazing. It is so inspiring to be working somewhere challenging and with such amazing people. I am learning so much and can't believe it's already been 3 weeks of work. The next year is going to pass quickly!

Anyways, that's enough, but I'll finish with some pics from some recent walks around Ngaio. Enjoy!

Kandallah Park

Kandallah Park

Escape Artist

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Never thought I'd get one...
Iron Man Tat

Random daily dribble....

So it is WET today. I had to drop Clooney to doggie day care and got so soaked doing so. When I dropped Clooney off there were two beautiful dalmations that he seemed to get along with really well! I hope he has a good day. He must like it cos he just zonks out afterwards.

I was up at 6 today so thought I'd do a bit of a run. It is coming along well. There is still some pain, but there is now pretty much no lingering pain within a few hours of the run. Each session it seems that I'm able to run a bit further. Today I sustained maybe 20mins with a few little walks. So I'm feeling good.

Day 4 at Weta today. Man it's fun working somewhere like Weta. It is just inspiring to work with such a talented team. There is a boat load to learn, I feel a bit like a sponge at the moment, soaking up all this new knowledge. Needless to say my brain is feeling fried each day :-)

The public transport here is pretty good, and as I catch the bus either side of rush hour it's pretty quick.

Other news-we bought a car! It has only done 65000km and looks in freaking schmick condition. It is a Mitsi Colt, 2005. Dual airbags, tiny 1.5lt engine. She runs on the smell of an oily rag, as my dad would say.

And I think the final news i I finally manned up and got my Iron Man tattoo. I'm super stoked with it. It looks exactly like I wanted :-) getting it is a reminder of the amazing time that kate and i had leading up to and doing Melbourne Iron Man and it isnspires me to keep up the exercise :-)

Till next time :-)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Commute Time....Blog Time

Well I have finally started at Weta. I'm on the bus for day 2. The plan was to ride, however 140kmph wind gusts made me think the ride may be a bit unsafe :-/

This presents a good opportunity to post some updates. We've been busy for the last two weeks. It's been fun and stressful, but once again, Kate and I have proven our ability to team up and work together in stressful situations.

We found a house in the suburb Ngaio. A little away from Weta, but it splits the difference between our works and has a rad yard for Clooney. We bought a nice little fuel efficient car :-)

Food here is amazing and we've been having brunch out with friends often. There are so many cafes and it seems that all coffee is great. There is good vegetarian cusine which is awesome.

The bike riding here is a lot of fun. I've been on some of the most beautiful rides I've ever done and they are all so accessible from Wellington. Our new house will have amazing rides and trail runs straight out of the front door.

I have started running a bit, and slowly but surely it's getting better. Hopefully a month away from some longer runs, maybe even in Adelaide for my sisters wedding.

Commute over...tbc

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Custom MPxCommand

Wow this API stuff is really cool. As I'm picking it up it is like learning a language. I'm getting more fluent and understanding the power of it more and more. So I have written a few dependencyNodes now, so I thought I'd make a custom MPxCommand.

I built a command that searches the dependencyGraph for a given node type. You specify the node type to search for and the direction to search in. YOu then call it just as though it is another maya command. So rad as this can now be built into my code as if it were just part of maya.

So my command is: findConnectedNodeType. You call it like:

node = cmds.findConnectedNodeType('blendColors','up')

The return value is either False or the found node name. The command looks through the upstream dependencyGraph until the first instance of that node is found. It then stops the iteration and returns the node name.

Cool stuff I learnt.

To return from a MPxCommand you must use the public function of MPxCommand setResult.

self.setResult(return value goes here)

This comes at the end of the doIt() function.

Enumerators are also making a bit more sense now that I am using them more. For example I had to use MItDependencyGraph. You can specify the direction to search, up or down stream. The help docs show this for the direction.

MItDependencyGraph     (     MObject &      rootNode,
        MPlug &      rootPlug,
        MIteratorType &      infoObject,
        Direction      direction = kDownstream,
        Traversal      traversal = kDepthFirst,
        Level      level = kNodeLevel,
        MStatus *      ReturnStatus = NULL

and this:

enum Direction
Direction within the DG relative to root Node or Plug.
kDownstream  From source to destination.
kUpstream  From destination to source.
A bit cryptic at first if you arent familiar with how to read this. So To insert this correctly into the MItDependencyGraph class call you need to do this.


So because this enumerator is a child of the class MItDependencyGraph , it must be specified in context of this class hierarchy. (OpenMaya.MItDependencyGraph). You can then set any number of the enum options that the help displays, in this case kDownstream or kUpstream and the class call will know to look for that enum if you set it (you don't have to specify anything and maya will use the default)

Ok. Hope that is a bit clearer than mud. Till next time.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Thats what lifes about....

I just met a guy, he's a barrista at a cafe at the start of willis st. He rode 5000km accross Canada. I asked if he was a cyclist? His answer was 'no, it was a drunken idea and i went through with it'. He rode Montreal to Vancouver. What an amazing trip that would have been.
If that's not living life, i dont know what is.