Monday, April 26, 2010

Porkchop Update

Just to let everyone know, I'm still on the treadmill. I've thankfully avoided taking any before pictures and can only simulate potential after pictures of my incredible (attempt) to lose weight and gain muscles. Imagine a 'before' as Homer Simpson and the 'after' as any of your favourite underwear models (male, of course). Ok, maybe not underwear, that's even too gross for me to imagine.

So far, in spite of being out of the running for a week due to a gout attack, I've been able to lose about 3 kilos (that's 10 lbs to us Yanks) in 5 ~ 6 weeks. I really have had a much harder time starting however the last few workouts have gone longer and as an example of my walk along the beach yesterday, 3 - 4 clicks each way into town and back was really nothing. Ok, ok...maybe there was a pub in the middle of that walk, but it really was like nothing. It's too bad Daylight Savings Time has gone as after work, it was a perfect time to walk off the stress of the day and feel like I had accomplished something.

It really has been hard getting started and feeling somewhat better after a workout than before. I realized that maybe it has something to do with the intervening 30 years between regular visits to the gym. I guess I can't expect quick and easy miracles after that length of time away from the weights. Maybe someday soon, I'll run again. I really enjoyed that in the good old days, and funny thing is that I still dream about it. I wonder if I look like a sleeping dog while I do have those dreams.

Ok, enough of this self indulgence, I'll try to get you more good pictures and stories of the Underbelly of Oz soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Great BCF Weekend

The weekend before last, I was invited by Mark (and I hope Kath, as well) to spend the weekend with them while they were testing out Mark’s new tent trailer at Lake Conjola. This was the weekend after Easter and in the middle of a two week holiday all the schools have after the 4 day Easter weekend the rest of the country enjoys.

Lake Conjola is about a 2 hour drive south from where I live and really, the South Coast as it’s known is a very pretty area with beach after beach, scalloped out of the shore. Supposedly, the finest and whitest sand in the world is close by at Bateman’s Bay. I’m sure that’s advertising, but based on what was found near Lake Conjola, I think it’s pretty close to being true.

I’m joking about it being a BCF weekend however there is a chain of stores called that which stands for Boating, Camping and Fishing. Of course, you have to stop at a BWS (Beer, Wine and Spirits) as well prior to going camping or really, doing anything else. There also have Big W stores here, but I don’t know what that means.

Mark’s tent trailer is great, folding out into 2 rooms that total about 20’x 20’. The room that includes the trailer itself has a real, queen sized mattress resting on the lid of the trailer and that room has a floor and can be secured when away. The second outer room doesn’t have a floor but does have sides if you wish and is a great, shaded place to cook and relax. The trailer itself is very rugged, almost looking like it was made from the bed of a 4 x 4 Jeep pick up. It is made for going in the Outback for extended periods of time and after Mark bought his, I have noticed that they’re very popular here.

I showed up early Saturday morning and we immediately hopped in kayaks and went around a small portion of the lake. It was hot and sunny and of course I didn’t think about packing any sunscreen as it IS fall here. Needless to say, I have some interesting sunburn lines including moob shadows. Kind of reminds me of a Cat Stevens’ song.

After a huge lunch (where every meat group was represented) with their friends Marty and Pauline and kids, we headed to the beach for some surf fishing. We caught Brim and Whiting and only left after the sun went down. I caught 1 Brim and 2 Whiting which Marty cleaned and threw into his freezer, never to be seen again. I did hear they were delicious. I’m glad they went into the mix of meals as there was a lot of wonderful food being prepared and eaten ravenously.

I don’t think running into Marty and Pauline was part of their original plan but more of the typical wonderful coincidences that happens when the population isn’t all that big. There were about 4 couples that Mark and Kath knew at the campground who all happened to be there for the holidays. It really is like living in a small town in so many ways here in Australia.

The next day was spent with more time on the beach watching Mark surf. I was able to get out to a sandy bar, closer to the action and it looked like he had a great time. I was glad he was out on his board again. I think he was envious of Marty hitting the surf at 6:00 that morning. We ran into each on the way and of course discussed the wave action for the morning.

I went back to camp and watched the ‘girls’ fish who were having great luck until the ‘boys’ showed up. I left after lunch and just had that warm glow that follows after having such a great time. Well, maybe the sunburned body contributed. I think my gums got a little burnt as I was smiling quite a bit at all the fun we were having.

The above pictures are of some of the fun including the wild kangaroos. While I took pictures of the small ones, there were several very large ones, one of which attacked the garbage at our camper and wasn’t about to give it up. He was as tall as Mark and we both tried to get him to leave without rearing up and eviscerating us which they can do in a flash with their feet. Imagine a buck on steroids as they can be very dangerous. Mark, armed with a heavy frying pan was able to thwart the big guy and we had to recount the victory late into the evening with Marty and Pauline’s camp. I think the re-telling took several coldies.