Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Thursday is the 1st of November, so the annual National Novel Writing Month will commence. This began in 1999 with 21 participants, and last year had grown to over 70,000 entries. This year I signed up.

The idea is simple, but very difficult to achieve - write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Thiry days. 1667 words per day. The idea is not to write a Pulizter or Nobel Prize winning entry, but to get the words on paper. They can be as dreadful as you can imagine, but if you reach the word limit by midnight on November 30, then you are a winner.

I have no idea if I'll make it, mostly as I have a first line and final line in mind but seem to be missing the other 49,990 words in the middle. That, plus three kids, a full-time job and an exam on the 13th, could well conspire to cause me to fall well short.

I'll keep you all posted.

Monday, 29 October 2007


Today is a good day. It's the first day in the last two weeks that I've been able to ride the bike without feeling like my knee was on fire. It's a good thing (in a way) that I don't have a sports bike as there would have been no way that I'd been able to bend my knee far enough to get my foot onto the pegs of a bike like that.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Sunday Domesticity

The weather was nice and my knee was feeling reasonably good, so it was time for a burst of residential domesticity - and to get the lawnmower out. I'd been meaning to do the lawns two weeks ago, but that was when I busted my leg/knee, so it has been out of the question until now.

The whippersnipper fired up pretty quickly, so got the front yard tidied up around the edges pretty quickly. The mower, however, was a different proposition. It's fiddly to start at the best of times, but as it hadn't been started in around 4-6 months I knew that it would be a battle. I think it ended up only taking about 10 minutes of pulling on the starter cord, but that was still a pain. Good for the lat muscles though!

So I rip around the front yard, filling the green waste bin completely before it was done. While that was going the family and some of the kids' friends from over the back fence tidied up the back yard so I wouldn't be running over toys, pegs, rocks, etc. We moved the trampoline so I could mow under that first. Now this is a 12 foot round trampoline with a 8 foot mesh wall around it, so it wasn't quite as easy as that all sounds. But we got that done, then gave the back yard a dose of weed 'n' feed.

Of course, later that day it stormed. Nice watering job, but the weed 'n' feed is supposed to be left for a few days before watering/rain, so we might have to do that again.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Iliotibial Band

This runs down the outside of your thigh, from hip to knee. And it's the muscle I've torn. The physio was very impressed, as he's not seen or heard of a similar injury before. Perhaps he should write a paper and that way we can both get famous. Maybe even rich and famous. One can hope.

At least the ultrasound showed that there was no other ligament damage. So I've got a few more exercises to do, including swimming, in order to strengthen it up again. I'm looking at a few more weeks on the sidelines of cricket, at least until the knee swelling goes away along with the very extensive bruising.

According to this paper tears of the iliotibial band are rare, usually occurring with multiple knee ligament injuries. So I was rather lucky.

Thursday, 18 October 2007


Well, the leg bends a bit more than it did Sunday, and some of the knee swelling has abated. To balance this it is now a lovely purple/blue/black colour from my ankle to mid-thigh. I've got some photos, I'll upload them to flickr at some point.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Sigh, supervisors.

Supervisor. "Here, check to see if they are using program xyz!"
I check. Can't find evidence of a transfer of xyz, nor are we using xyz.
Supervisor "hey, are they using program abc?"
Me: "Hmm, but you said xyz."
Supervisor "check abc, that's what I meant!"
Me: "Sigh, ok".

Programs xyz and abc are totally different, of course...

At least abc turned out to be the correct program to check, but still.

Leg updates

Saw the physio last night. The good news is that I haven't done any major knee damage. I have, however, strained an upper hamstring and outer knee ligament. My leg is rather black/purple/green from just above mid-thigh to lower calf. So I'm out of sport for about three weeks.

If you are all really lucky I'll take a photo or two later and upload them somewhere.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Cricket is a dangerous sport

Saturday saw the first day of the new cricket season here. I get there a bit early as the plan was to do a bit of fielding practice before the game as we'd done none at all in the last month or so of training. A few catches, bit of ground fielding, then we lose the toss and Hillgrove choose to bat.

Things are going pretty well until just before the final drinks break. I run to my left from mid off (left hander batting) to try to catch a ball lobbed just back past the bowler. I jump up and the ball hits my fingertips and goes back over my head. I turn to try to catch the rebound, miss, and land on the ground.

I gather the ball and prone I throw it back to the bowler. It's at this point that my right knee starts sending little signals back up my leg to the brain saying "Hmm, I don't think you did that right, boyo". I flex it a bit and get up and notice that it has already swelled appreciably. Oh-oh.

I stay on for another over but can barely bend my leg. I hobble off and check it out. The knee has swollen to twice the normal size and the outer quad muscle from the knee to half way up my thigh is in much the same condition. Oh-oh x2.

I get home somehow at stumps (good thing I can kick-start my bike left-footed) and spend the next hour at home with bags of frozen veges on the knee.

Sigh, time to call the physio first thing Monday morning. Bugger. Hopefully it's just a really nasty soft tissue injury and not some ligament damage.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


The assignment is in, and well before midnight. I'm not terribly sure how good it is, but since it has zero reference to any of our readings so far I'm confident that we are all in the same boat.

Now to get back to serious panicking regarding November 13...

Monday, 8 October 2007

The Great Race

No, not the Tony Curtis movie, but the Bathurst 1000, held yesterday. There's always plenty of drama, and this time it started on the warmup lap when one car blew an engine near the top of the mountain. Then, with 20mins to go it started raining, which meant everyone was confused as whether or not to stay on slicks or come in for wet tires. In the end most stayed out on slicks which made for some interesting 150+km/h power slides near concrete walls.

In the end Lowndes/Wincup won in a Ford. In fact the first three cars home were all Fords, so there was much cheering!

Now, normally I wouldn't get to watch much of the race, as 8 hours of cars going around and around would drive the rest of the family batty. However, they were all up in Inverell for the weekend, so I had the house to myself! So I got to sit and enjoy it all!

Or I would have, if I hadn't been reading a 378 transcript of a 12 hour police interview with Mohamed Haneef in preparation for an assignment that is due Tuesday. Oh well, at least I got to slouch around in a robe all day while reading, taking notes and quietly cheering for Ford.