21 November 2008

Merry Old England.

In Janurary 2010 one of my great Aunt's is turning 80. It looks like that quite a few of my relations are going to be heading over there to celebrate. My Grandad, an Aunt and Uncle, a Cousin, maybe another Cousin with her children, my Mum. I've been thinking of going as well and making it a UK/Europe trip as well.

Points for:

- Thankyou in person for all the presents that said Aunt sent that I never got around to thank her for.
- There is a LOT of family over there that I have never met.
- Easy to see Europe if I'm already going to England.

Points against:

- Expensive, especially if the dollar remains low against the pound.
- Need to save a lot of money to make trip worth while. Compounded by above.
- Need lots of leave.

Havn't made up my mind but if I do it would mean saving from now until Nov/Dec 2009. No holidays until then either.

One thing that would work out quite well is that I've got Long Service with the NT Government due in March 2010, so I could possibly use that along with my Recreation Leave to make a good go of it.

I might even get a friend who runs a cafe in town to teach me how to be a barrista so I could maybe work every now and then to top up spending money while I'm over there.

I was looking at my leave entitlements and if I get approval to carry everything over to 2010 (instead of having to use 30 rec days by end of 2009), I could go from 01 Jan to somewhere around the middle of August 2010. That's 7.5 months at full pay. Could probably stretch that out to 9 or so months if I took the Long Service leave at half pay. Of course that would be conditional with approval from workplace. But it's a very tempting idea no?
- Grover

19 November 2008

Praying Mantis Roaring Tiger

Since Sifu declared his intention to make me a disciple when his teacher comes out to Australia next year, Sifu has started teaching me a style of Mantis. I think a little bit of it is because Sifu Wong is very experienced with a number of Mantis styles and Sifu Wong is almost certianly going to be teaching some mantis stuff during his visit.

I think the style of Mantis that I am learning is Chi Hsing Tang Lang or 7-star Preying Mantis. I only know a couple of movments as Sifu only started teaching me on Tuesday. Sifu said that he chose to teach me this style because he thinks it suits my tempermanent and body style (which is interesting because I am carrying at least 15kg of extra weight from when I was a fit young whipper snapper of 19). I also think he preferres to have people doing different things at any one time.

For example, Tuedays class had people doing Chen style Taiji Quan, Ba Ji and Preying Mantis. Some of us were just starting, some of us have many years of experience with other disciplines. It does seem to give the impression that each persons journey is just that; A individual journey helped by Sifu. About the only drawback it that you get a limited time with Sifu to help you as he goes around the class.

When I compare it to my Tae Kwon Do experience, it seems to make more sense. Looking back on TKD, every student was on the same journey to the same destination. People may have started at different times but on the whole it was the same journey for everybody.

When Sifu was sounding me out about becomming a disciple, he first asked me where I thought I might like to head towards in respect to my martial arts. I think he was considering me but wasn't sure until I responded that I might like to go towards something a little more harder and taking training more seriously (I was/am studying Yang style tai chi at that point). So I think that Sifu has thought about that and looked about what he knows and wants to pass on and said: "Here, this style would be a good place for you to start with." and started teaching me this particular style.

That won't be all that he will teach me. He's not going to say: "No, I will only teach you this style and nothing else". He has said that if a style isn't working for you he will teach me something else that does. He did say that he will probably teach us as much as he can in the one style first before moving on to another.

I'm very fortunate to be studying under someone who has so many styles squirreled under their belt. Then you add weapons to that and I only count myself lucky to have Sifu here in the same Town as I am.

When you consider Sifu is from Alaska it is pretty extraordinary. I'll have to get him to tell me the story of how he and his family came to live in Darwin. I'm sure it's a good one.

- Grover.

08 November 2008

Movember: Week 1

Hi All.

This year I am participating in Movember. In which you grow a mo for the month and get sponsorship and then have a party at the end. It's in support of men's cancer and depression, so it's all for a good cause.

If anyone wants to donate towards it, you can go here.

I don't think I'll keep it after the month is up though. It makes me look a lot older than what I am...

Behold the beast that is me:

- Grover

06 November 2008

It's a new car!!

After a long period of procrastination (over a year in fact), I finally got my self a new car.

It's a 2007 VW Golf GT.

Metalic Blue
1.4 TSI Engine
6 speed sequential gear box.
5 door

It's very sweet. Great ride. Handles extremely well. It was a demonstration model in the car yard. It's only done 7000 kms, and for that they knocked $8500 off the price.

I've had it for 2 days and I've already done nearly 200kms in the thing.

I like it because it sort of goes under the radar a bit. It's not like the Impreza or a Mini which stand out like dogs balls. But when you look closely the styling makes it look a lot bigger than what it actually is (especially it's very nice rear).

Plus having that TSI engine can make it a lot of fun if you want it to. If not, just put it in drive and treat it like a nomal auto.

I'm very impressed so far with it.

Will post some pics when I'm more organised (ha! I hear you say).