Tag Archives: indoor soccer

Bad sports

It’s Australian Open time (which you should know – unless you’ve been living under a rock). I like tennis – and I’m hoping that A-Rod does me proud this year.

I like that tennis players are really gentlemanly (or ladylike) and do the little courtesy wave thing they do when they hit the let cord during the point.

But I don’t get why they feel the need to. If I was a tennis player (which I’m not) I would practice hitting the ball into the let cord with enough topspin that it would trickle over every time. It seems like an awesome strategy.

Also, while I’m on the subject of cool sporting strategies – if I was a Rugby League coach I would tell my team to kick field goals at every opportunity. It works for Rugby Union. You really only need to get to about the forty metre line each set and blast the ball through the posts. Then you get the ball back.

When playing pool with friends I like to wait until they get onto the eight ball, wait for it to be behind the D that you break from, and then sink the white ball. You can’t hit backwards from the D and a foul shot on black is an automatic loss.

When I play indoor soccer I like to defend. I like to stand just inside the person running towards me so that they move towards the side netting – and then I like to step into them so that they run into the net. We played our last game of mixed indoor in Townsville (possibly forever) tonight. I have a bruise.

Have you got any dirty tricks for winning at sport? Share them in the comments.

Just Cause

Activism is a funny thing. There are plenty of worthy causes out there to choose from – and I suspect they’re something people hold to with vehement passion. One such activist once told me that the dying pandas were of more inherent value than the child I sponsor – it takes a particular type of person to be that misdirected. I met a guy in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane who argued passionately that the Australian dollar should be valued based on our gold stocks (this system), I signed his petition so I could read the “free” newspaper he was handing out describing the system – and he rang me about a year later seeking my support – a request I duly turned down. Joe has many causes he believes are worth fighting for – mostly the legacy of George W Bush.

In the last few weeks “pirate” anti-whaling ships have been hassling a sanctioned whale (cuisine) research vessel. I’m not anti-whaling – I think if you can manage to bring in a massive fish you deserve to be able to eat it as is your right in the food chain. During the initial stages of the piracy the Sea Shepherd organisation’s leader President Paul Watson said he’d be prepared to “die for these whales if need be.” And he tried – his pirate ships repeatedly rammed the first Japanese whaling tanker – the Kaiko Maru causing the ship to put out a distress signal and cutting short its valuable “scientific” mission. What made Mr Watson wake up one day and decide to save the whales? Did he read Moby Dick at a particularly influential time in his life? Did he have a bad experience giving a past flame some perfume? What is it that makes people take on a cause with such do or die enthusiasm. Maybe he saw this video…

There is something refreshing about the idealism of these sometimes misguided activists. But really there are just so many causes out there to fight for – the whales, a trial for Australian terrorist David Hicks (ala Dick Smith), climate change, the future of the Liberal Party… there are things that need saving on every corner. How do you split such worthy causes? Is it just a matter of finding a subject that makes your blood boil? Or makes your heart sing? Some time ago Phil and myself offered our services as mercenary protesters (I actually suspect the term “freelance” writing is derived from such a concept). I’m looking to go one better – suggest a topic and I’ll get active for an appropriately proportional amount of my time.

There are some people out there who have chosen to take on the cause of scamming the Nigerian scammers – a story in today’s SMH caught my attention – you can read about it here, or just watch the video below…

I’m not at work today – Robyn had a nasty fall on the indoor soccer field last night and I’m helping her with the first part of the rehabilitation process having sat through a few hours with my intoxicated indigenous friends in the casualty ward of the local hospital. That’s the last time I let her play soccer – she’s thrilled that her swollen ankle now looks just like one of my cankles.

Season’s Greetings…

Summer, Autumn and Winter say hi. Spring is going through a rough stage of cantankerous adolescence and refuses to contribute to this letter. That joke was bad enough to stay in.

The Christmas letter is traditionally a soul destroying exercise. Be it an update on the illnesses of a particularly insufferable suffering hypochondriac relative. Or the celebratory tones of conceited parents pompously proclaiming their darling scion’s achievements while adopting a sufficiently Australian air of “self deprecation” with regards to their own personal achievements for the purposes of humour – or to somehow make their ravings more palatable to the average apathetic reader… I have no such qualms. I’m good – and you all know it. So here’s a graphic retelling of my year to date – referring where possible to events not recorded in the archives of this blog.

With a degree of symmetry and some synergy – my year ended where it began – in Townsville. Well, technically I wasn’t in Townsville until the 20th of January when I made the trek North in pursuit of work experience. Those who know the back story realise I had other motives when making the trip north. The less said about that chapter of this year the better – but this story like all classic Disney tales has a happy ending. Spending three weeks in the newsrooms of Townsville’s finest broadcast media outlets (WIN and 4TO take a bow) was enough to give me a taste for life in the tropics (the employment opportunities in Brisbane for underperforming journalism graduates also had me searching for jobs in a more regional millieu – I like the word millieu and will therefore use it…).

Upon my return to Brisbane I bid a fond farewell to my abode in Lorimer Terrace – the Lorimer House of Fun dissolved (some would say that the fun truly left when the original fellow occupants entered wedlock, parental domiciles and fled the country due to “visa” complications only to return at a later date and resume occupancy – but what would those naysayers know). I returned to my parent’s place of residence in ensuing weeks as I secured employment in the North and said my fond farewells to life in the state’s capital.

This brings us to March and my relocation to Townsville had immediate ramifications for the city with the significant change in air pressure caused by my arrival resulting in the onslaught wraught by Tropical Cyclone Larry. Sometime this year I realised the professional value of a good anecdote – and my “baptism by cyclone” – where I was truly “thrown in the deep end” and kept my “head above water” became a favourite tale at networking functions.

In June I adopted a small stingray named Max who had an inherrent distrust of khaki – he was released when he failed to come to terms with my love for footlong chicken fillet subs (on parmesan oregano with thousand island dressing, barbeque sauce and a smattering of sweet chilli – add salad “to taste” for the perfect Subway experience).

In July I was subpoened to appear at the trial of Saddam Hussein – my evidence was eventually striken/struck/smote from the records as my complete ignorance of the Iraqi judicial process was revealed. Some suggested this occured when I tried to offer Saddam’s body guard wheat for weapons – an action completely against national protocol. The subtle change in nuance was lost on me.

August saw a lengthy debate on the correct spelling of the word ‘ey’ when used as punctuation – and the different inflections/variations required when using ey in a variety of sentences. A valuable learning experience for all those relocating to regional Queensland. And in real life my stunning record of 22.75 years of being romantically unattached (at least mutually) came to an end.

In September I virtually climbed Mount Everest – In summ(it)ing up… I stopped to rescue several others who were struggling with backpacks loaded with spam and other novelty kitchen equipment provided on loan by an Australian snowboarding champion.

October and November were notable only for the discovery of the “cat poo coffee” and my attempt to radioactively assassinate several ex-employees of the Kremlin. I’ve always stood by my belief that sushi is bad for your health.

In December I conducted extensive experiments into the effects of Christmas chocolate, steak and alcohol on the waistline/weightline. I hypothesised that there would only be a moderate effect and was wrong to the tune of about 5000 grams. Which leads me to my decision to take up a gym membership today. On the first business day of the new year. Just in time for the “new year’s resolution specials.”

For a more serious summary of my year continue reading the following paragraphs…

The Townsville adventure continues with my enjoyment and satisfaction with the decision to move north still trending upward on the great graph of life. Work is challenging, satisfying (at least for the stomach), and gives me free reign to play with words and write puns. Basically it’s my ideal job. The home front is also enjoyable – the change/holiday dichotomy/equilibrium/paradox holds true. Having fled the chaos of a house full of 5 (including me) argumentative males (including me) I find much relief in my new domestically blissful house of just 3 (including me) not so argumentative males. Church is also good – moving from a large, established church with working programs and teaching in place across age groups to a growing church in a state of constant flux due to the incredible population turnover that seems to be heading in the right strategic direction with a strong focus on bible teaching has been a mixed blessing. I’m enjoying the highs and lows that come from being part of the early stages of something dynamic while sharing the frustrations of having sporadic attendance dependent on uni timetables and the population change associated with hosting Australia’s largest military barracks. On the personal front, Robyn has been a joy to me – and I take back any criticism I ever levelled at mushy headed boyfriends in my past. I do miss my family, friends and life in Brisbane (particularly the soccer team – my regular weekly indoor fix is a poor substitute for the joy of romping around the grassy fields of Brisbane’s Baptist League) – but have enjoyed meeting a host of new people in Townsville (and reaquainting myself with the particularly outstandingly robust Mr Canavan who always feels like partying).

QED

,

And now for some real news…

Here’s an update on some actual things that are going on in my life in Townsville…

Work – work is great. The people I work with are fun. My role is interesting and challenging. I get cool perks (reef fishing trips, a regular pay cheque, and stuff like that). You can read my press releases here.

Home – home is good. Tim is fun. He’s about to go to PNG for a month though so Dave will have to provide me with all my home based entertainment. Are you up to that Dave? Bring on the pranks I say.

Church – Church continues to be great also. My grade 12 boys – Dave and Isaac – are a pleasure to spend time with. Even if they’re wimpy and nerdy (I hope you’re reading this boys). Dave is Donna’s little brother, that creates a whole lot of issues as I’m sure you can imagine. Donna is a rarity in that both my Townsville and Brisbane readers know her. I should write about those sorts of people more often. I had a funny experience where I saw old photos of Laura Kennedy in a church photo album the other day… and I was talking to one of Kendra and Geir’s school friends the other day… that was an interesting conversation. I’m writing a series of studies on 1 Peter for our young adults bible study group. That’s been good fun. When I get some sort of web hosting space I’ll upload them and some other stuff I’ve been writing. I’m not sure why anyone would actually want to read them, but just in case… I led the singing again last week. I have never ever claimed to be able to sing – except for a little while in Maclean before my voice broke. I’m aware that most of the time I can hold a tune – but I think that’s largely due to the amount of practice I do in my car. I’m one of those freaks you see singing at traffic lights.

Soccer – Our mixed indoor team is on fire at the moment – the new season started a couple of weeks ago and we’re currently undefeated. The girls we get to play for us are better than most guys on the other teams (particularly our American import, Kasie, who’s better than all the guys on our team). We won 10 or 11 – 2 last night. I lost count. It’s good fun, but I miss the MPC outdoor team.

I think that’s all the important areas of my life covered – except the girls part that Serge asked me to talk about – but I’m not sure that’s the kind of thing it’s wise to be posting on the Internet – or anywhere for that matter.

I’m heading down to Brisbane for Maddie’s coming of age celebrations this weekend- that’s right my second littlest sister is becomming an adult on the 9th of June. I arrive on Thursday night – start booking times in my busy social calendar now.