Latest stories

Birthday farewell

This blog, with its weird name, has been running for a couple of years. I wanted to move away from the obsessiveness of another blog, Big Decade. which preoccupied me for five years from my 60th birthday. Now, on my 67th birthday, after what they euphemistically label a “health scare,” I need to complete the ten years of that decade. So I won’t post here any more (at least until…

Taking a break

Off to Western Australia, a trip in two parts. The first is a couple of days birding in Perth and through southwest Western Australia. Wikipedia lists 18 birds that are endemic to this region, although the picture can get murky, with different sources providing different numbers. At the tail end of winter, how many of the 18 will we see? I won’t hazard a guess but hope to catch sight of…

The o’clock that works

I jotted in my journal this morning: “My concentration levels this morning were superb. I can do this!” The last six days have been of this ilk. The reason? Rising at 5 AM. Such an early morning can feel rough at first but I sleep better and the day goes blink, blink, blink, each segment fit for purpose.

The sky is blue

After my brother had a health scare (a quadruple bypass) a few weeks ago, I went back to a referral, tossed aside, for a CT-CA scan, one that gives a “calcium score,” a measure of how much calcification of arteries I might have. A week and a half ago, the resultant calcium score of 591 (“moderate risk” is 101-400) sent me scrambling to obtain a triaged appointment with an…

Labor not talent

There are plenty of ra-ra-ra motivational gurus around but the only one I listen to is Steven Pressfield, a consummate novelist but also author of seven “how to write: craft and motivation” books. His latest, which I’ve just begun reading, is Put Your Ass (Where Your Heart Wants to Be), and it is exactly what it sounds like … and genuinely stimulating. Pressfield also has…

The inspiration of Costa-Gavras

One of my favorite movie reviewers, Eddie from Jordan and Eddie, has reached back to 1969 to review the then-incendiary film Z. Well, I saw it! I could have only been fourteen and I don’t recall which cinema or who I went with, but I do remember the visceral, righteous anger I felt at the covered-up death of a left-wing activist. That fiery rage has beat in my heart ever since.

A new page

Today a CT-CA heart scan gave me a calcium score of 591, at 70% of the risk spectrum for a heart attack (I’m as yet unsure of prospective timing in that judgement). I’m reeling but am forewarned early. Whatever happens now does indeed represent turning over a new leaf (another cliche). Tomorrow: begin confronting the news.

Ex hiker

I still call myself a bushwalker or hiker, but it seems that is no longer true. For a number of years, centered around my 60th birthday, I was walk-fit, with calloused feet and endurance to hike all day. Today I did a club walk of 13 kilometers with around 400 meters of ascent, and struggled all the way. Now I’m exhausted. What happened? Easy answer: I ceased regular hiking because…

Trek into the future

A plan is a plan is a plan. This one screeches to an end in ten months.

I feel like I’m driving down a snowbound road without chains on my tires. I can only really view the slush in front of me. Shangri-La, way down the way, is there, I know it, but no one can yet glimpse it.

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