Just a final (?) post here to announce that I've shifted this (and the associated “small pieces” blog) to a new (self-hosted) Wordpress home that can be found at http://small-pieces.com
It has become one of the most successful charitable memes, certainly more successful than anticipated. In fact, it could be argued that the whole thing started by accident, but however it started, it currently defines “viral”, to the extent that is has attracted criticism for its success. It is, of course, the #IceBucketChallenge, and of course the inevitable has happened, and I've been tagged (thanks to my perhaps-not-favourite nephew, Ivan :) ).
I'll admit most instances of this sort of exercise would usually pass me by without reaction, beyond perhaps a detached amusement. And even now I'm uncomfortable joining in the more frivolous side of the challenge … MND/ALS is still a bit close to the bone at my place.
It's been twenty years since my late father-in-law was diagnosed, and too short a time between then and its inevitable end. Since then there hasn't been a day he hasn't been missed, no event at which we haven't wished for his presence. His absence is made bittersweet by the genetic evidence he's left with some of his descendants, particularly his daughter, grand-daughters and the great-grand-daughter he never met … all infected with the same mischief and mayhem, the same joy in life.
So while the Ice Bucket Challenge may be “too successful” I'm not upset about it … and I'm happy to take the graceful exit of donating rather than drenching!
Just like last time, and with as little justification now as then :) , here are my voting intentions for the upcoming Australian Federal election.
Other issues:Internet censorship seems to be out of favour this time around so isn't an obvious problem … until the next time of course.Both major parties seem to be in a contest for “most stupid” on the subjects of the economy and refugees.Both are obsessed with a useless and dangerous desire for a federal surplus, sacrificing growth and/or employment for something they can't control anyway. Government spending should be enough to ensure that aggregate demand in the economy is at a level that provides full, or near-full employment (anything less is a waste of our resources, and comes with immense social costs). In the absence of private sector spending (our current state), and our normal situation of trade deficit (i.e. we're spending more in someone else's economy than they're spending in ours), recession and unemployment are inevitable if the Government stops spending as well. In an economy characterised by a fiat currency with a monopoly supplier and a floating exchange rate, “surplus/deficit” is just a measure at a point in time of the level of demand support the Government is providing. The government funds deficit spending by creating deposits in bank accounts, and if there is a surplus the money ceases to exist - a deficit leaves no future debt obligation as a burden on our children, and a surplus isn't “banked” to allow future spending.As for refugees - I'm not proud to be a citizen of a country that has reneged on its human obligation to deal kindly with people needing our help. Both sides of politics here seem to think we have a refugee problem (the total numbers coming here are small by comparison to other Western nations), and are in a race to see who can appear “strongest” in dealing with it. All they have achieved is to make us look mean and small, and increase the costs (both financial and human) of processing asylum seekers.
Only a couple more sleeps, and we're on … I'm a little surprised that I'm excited at the thought of flogging my body like this :)
Today's ride was a relatively easy 50km down to the beach and back - Tour Down Under certainly has dragged a lot of cyclists out of the woodwork; they're all over the place. The interesting parts were coming through the city at morning peak time (weaving around a dozen buses in Grote Street) and riding through the Britannia roundabout (Adelaide folk will know that one).
There'll be one more ride tomorrow, probably a short one just to keep the muscles a bit loose, and then day after tomorrow it's BUPA time - which will mean getting up about 5am to be at Kersbrook for the safety briefing before we take off. The day looks like it'll be reasonably cool; current forecast is for about 25C and southerly winds (which will help on the stretch between Birdwood and Angaston). Given that tomorrow (Thursday) is forecast to be 38C, it could have been a lot worse!
Next update will probably be the aftermath of the ride - hopefully it's all good news then!
At time of writing, I'm just a few dollars short of my fundraising target - it would be nice to get there, so if you want to help out , it's all on the Cancer Council page!
Well, it's January now, and we're less than four weeks away from the BUPA Challenge. Christmas is done, with remarkably little damage to the fitness! As promised, I've started throwing in a few more hills (I'm starting to know Lower North East Rd too well) culminating in yesterday's first trip up to Mt Lofty summit:
Going UP was some of the slowest riding I've done, but I was happy to get to the lookout without doing too much damage. Coming down, of course, was a little different … I may have chewed through a couple of brake pads slowing down from 65kph in a few spots :)
Next week here in Adelaide has a lot of 40°-plus weather; hopefully it passes before the 25th.
Time's running out for the training; it's also running out for the fundraising: so don't be afraid to help out on the Cancer Council page!