Work / Life

The Toyota Service Difference – Free Coffee!

So with my work I’ve got a Toyota Rav4 (2018) model that I drive within the region. This vehicle, I’m also responsible for ensuring it’s taken in for a service at the dealer when it’s due (Every 6 months). Which, after going to a few times, I’ve come to enjoy it and wish I could bring the vehicle in for a service even more regularly! Maybe every 3 months as you can get a barista made Coffee and Arnott’s Biscuits! How awesome is that.

It’s made me consider purchasing a Toyota as our next family vehicle.

Getting my free coffee and biscuits while getting the work car serviced.

Work / Life

The May50k

I am running to leave MS behind! Please support my goal to reach $500 by donating here.

Support my challenge to leave MS behind!

I’m taking part in The May 50K. I will be running 100km throughout May and leaving my limits behind to raise funds for life-changing research into multiple sclerosis! 

There are over 25,600 Australians living with MS and I need your help to leave MS where it belongs, behind us. 

And research is the key to changing the future of MS, so I’ve accepted The May 50K challenge to change lives.

Please make a donation to support my challenge.

Thank you so much!

Work / Life

Cruising through April

Well, it’s been about a month since my last update here. There hasn’t been many huge things happening the last month – Most of the major things that have happened, happened in the last weeks of March. Just before Australia went into a lock down of sorts.

Being in Queensland, which is a state that so far hasn’t been affected too badly from Covid-19. Whereas our New South Wales counterparts, also the state that hosts perhaps Australia’s busiest Airport – Sydney International Airport has been affected worse. To date there’s more than three thousand cases in NSW.

As I’m writing here tonight, it’s the long weekend, it’s about 8pm on Sunday. I’m watching Lego Masters – which is a great Australian show with Lego Masters that build all sorts of wonderful creations. Watch the show over at 9Now.

Technical Changes the Last Month

The last month I’ve mostly been focusing on my Virtual Private Server that’s been successfully running this website along with several others. What I’ve got setup is a Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) server that’s ran by a company in Brisbane known as BinaryLane.

I came across Binary Lane after researching and looking for an Australian ran Virtual Private Server infrastructure company. Too my surprise, I came across them and their prices were very reasonable and in many cases much simpler to understand than that of Amazon AWS in Sydney or even Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean wasn’t going to cut it for me with the closest servers for them I could find being based in NYC with a 300ms ping time! My server in Brisbane has ping rates of about 24ms!

Church Online – So, Church Online has been running quite well for the church I’m apart of. We’ve been pre-recording each week’s service. Than I have been pushing it up with OBS Studio on a LiveStream using to go to YouTube and Facebook Live. We’ve also been utilising the Church Online platform from Life.Church. From stats, we likely reach about 40-60% of our congregation.

Church Member Voting – This month we’re having our belated membership meeting. Which, I was able to pull together and online voting system to allow votes to be completed anonymously. The system I found at Code Canyon is called Pro Polls. It’s built with CodeIgniter and Bootstrap so I found it relatively easy to customise and use for the purpose a Church Membership voting platform.

Upon installation of it onto my church’s hosting the system ran well but I made some customisations that have hopefully simplified the system.

I’ve worked a bit with CodeIgniter over the years and I find it quite an easy Mode-View-Controller system to work with.

General Work / Life

Getting into the swing of 2020

I’m three weeks into work for the new year and it’s going steady so far. I’ve been enjoying my rides into work, despite the terribly hot and stormy weather. Though, I’m very grateful for the rain Townsville has been receiving this past week.

So, a few things have been happening, I’ve serviced my bicycles and have a project that’ll keep me relatively busy most of the first half of 2020.

In the last month, I’ve enjoyed tinkering on the bicycles at home. I’ve successfully learned and subsequently flushed my Trek 6000’s hydraulic brake fluid and replaced the brake pads. This was fun to do as to date, I had put it off probably at least a year too long. Honestly my brakes were fully functional until January when there was no engaging of the front brake. I think, if I was to service my bicycle again, and complete a brake flush, I would be able to get it done in under half-hour.

So, this project that’s going on is we’re getting a shed at home. It’s been well needed with the current shed being a 3x3m lawn looker and it’s looking a bit worse for wear, like it may fall-over in the next cyclone.

It took me about two-months to research the shed companies in and around Townsville. As you can expect Shed quotes can vary in price by several hundred to several thousand. The build quality can also vary tremendously.

Work / Life

January Commute Challenge

Hi friends, last month I successfully completed the Strava Rapha #Festive500 Challenge which involves riding 500km during the 8-days between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. It came right down the line for me with a little bit of scarring and a fall on one of my rides, but I made it through. Since completing this challenge, I had a well earned break of about 5-days before commencing the January Commute Challenege.

I’m actually quite looking forward to this January Commute Challenge. My usual job involves having a vehicle that I usually am able to garage at home. Though, in this instance, I wont be able to do that, I’ll need to cycle in about 13.5km to work. This commute usually takes about half-hour and it’s my ideal distance for commuting – By that, I means it’s worth extra effort of kitting up in lyrca and packing the cloths and towel for work.

In an early post, I’ve commented on the benefit it is in having a workplace that provides bicycle, washroom and shower facilities for those commutes in the hotter months. If it wasn’t for these facilities, I wouldn’t be cycling.

So, anyway, I’m two days into the challenge, the challenge itself is only one commute a week, but it looks like it’ll end up being at least 3-5 commutes a week (About 27km a day).

Well, that’s all for now folks, I hoped you’ve had a great end to 2019 and whatever you’re planning in 2020 can come into being.

Another random though, I’m also feeling really blessed that my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have not surfaced for probably over 2.5 years now! Praise God.

Work / Life

The Daily Commute

Since commencing work in the city, I’ve started riding to work! I’ve been enjoying the ease of being able to squeeze in physical activity both before and after work. So, on average I’ve been riding about 4 out of every five days. I seem quicker on my commute home than my commute into the city.

Work has secure facilities for securing my Trek bicycle – As it’s stored within a locked building with swipe card access to the garage. I also have swipe card access to a washroom and locker – so, it’s easy enough to have a shower and freshen up.

Though, I’m fearing I’m in for a rude awakening as the weather starts to heat up into Summer. Townsville’s always been a beautiful place to ride a bicycle during the cooler-winter months!

Did I mention I’ve been riding my commute on my my mountain bike as I enjoy the extra effort over the road bike.

The ride into the city is great from Kirwan and the Townsville City Council and Main Roads has done a good job at ensuring there are clearly marked bicycle lanes along most of Townsville’s major roads – Some of which I ride on for my commute.

If you’re a local, hopefully I see you out on the road at some point. Find out where I’m riding by checking in and following my Strava Athlete profile.

My commute’s Stats:

Distance: 13.7km
Average Time: 27-30 minutes inbound to the city and 25-27 minutes outbound.

Work / Life

Uni is Over

It’s been a pretty full on last month. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been studying and I’ve pretty much finished all my assessments. Well, now I can say, I’ve finished all my study, I’m just eagerly awaiting the results! Hopefully I’m able to obtain D or a HD for my current enrolled course.

Aside from University, I’ve had a pretty busy week!

Around the home I installed some security solutions to ensure I have evidence should anything ever happen around the house – Being that Townsville is always portrayed as crime ‘capital’ of sorts. So, I’ve implemented a few solutions, so, I feel that the house is well protected now.

Presently, life feels like it is in between things. For instance, I’ve got a few things going, I’m awaiting too hear if I’ve finished my GradDipIT. Additionally, I’m investigating opportunities with a possible change in my work. So, that’s probably why I don’t actually have much to share, as, I currently don’t know many things about what is going on. All I know is, I will know what I need to know within the next month.

Update – In writing this email, it just so happens I have received an email to confirm my RPL application has been received by CQ University’s Marilyn Wells who is in-charge of Post Graduate Programmes – So perhaps, I will hear something in the next week or two!

Work / Life

Settling In

So, we’ve been at the new house for just over a week now. Already, it’s starting to look like our home.

Sophie has set the kitchen up and the linen closets, and we are finally getting onto the smaller things that go in all the extra storage areas, you know like; board games and serving items such as jugs for entertaining family and friends.

Well, I’ve been busy to, I’ve installed some clothes lines under the balcony, so clothes can dry even when it’s raining.

I’ve also put my Gerni and Ozito Wet & Dry Vacuum to good use! I found that in using a Gerni to hose down the patio and the Ozito Vacuum after the patio has dried up gives the patio a really great clean.

Though, the main obstacle was cleaning up the shed, that was a sight! I didn’t get any before photos but there was about a 1-2cm layer of dirt throughout the shed with a Rat skeleton underneath one of the storage shelves. There was also a few old mildew-destroyed kitchen cabinets – So, it wasn’t very pleasant.

After getting the Gerni and Vacuum into it though, I was able to make it a bit tidier and ready for use.

The cleaned our garden lock-up
The cleaned our garden lock-up
Work / Life

First move in 16 Years

In my last post I mentioned that Sophie and I have been looking at a house – Well, it’s come through, and I can confirm we have a house to call home as of the 18th of April 2019!

Might, I add that this move is my first in 16 years. As, after Sophie and I got married we lived in my parent’s place. So, it’s been a while, I had some things to consolidate while other items I have been able to move with. Though, I will add, it is great to get rid of old things especially if they haven’t been used or are not useful.

The last 5-6 weeks have really been surprising and filled with many things. I feel that I have been productive in addition to my University studies and have been able to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle with regular trips to the gym and walks of a morning or afternoon. I will likely commence studying again from Friday.

Things that I’ve experienced moving:

  • Renting a rent-a-truck and moving with the help of family and friends.
  • Loosing an item and not being able to find it for days after almost unpacking all the boxes – It turns out what I was looking for I had placed into an office Bin I had used to collect random objects left behind at our last residence.
  • Sleeping in a spare room because the master bedroom was awaiting new furniture to be delivered.
  • Replacing and performing the roles of a junior locksmith, i.e. replacing pre-keyed locks in doors and windows.
This is a picture of the truck similar to the one I drove – I drove a Mitsubishi Canter (Fuso) Truck (3T).

Right now, it is the eve of my birthday so I better get to bed so I can fall asleep as a 25 year-old for the last time.

Work / Life

How my University Study has been helped by my MS

Hi all, so it’s been a while, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was in the USA for about 4 weeks – On what I would say is a trip of a lifetime!

So, as the title of this post might suggest, I’ve just finished another term of University at Central Queensland University. I’m studying a Graduate Diploma of Information Technology and I’m due to finish in about June, 2019. I started in about October of 2018.

So, far I have thoroughly enjoyed my studies; and I’m amazed at what you can achieve when you put your mind to it! I tell you, it’s not easy sometimes when working full-time, being married and trying to live a healthy lifestyle at the same time. But, it could be worse, I could have children, but not just yet.

Though, I must say, one thing I can thank my MS for – which is virtually not even there at the moment is how it has assisted me in my university study.

I can use a computer for my examinations.

I can study my subjects every five weeks for three hours while receiving my treatment!

You see, I’ve found ever since I had my initial lapse, my ability to write with my right hand clearly has never quite returned!

Which is something I miss, because I used to write very well, as I studied journalism and used to write many notes during an interview.

So, I suppose that’s a benefit being able to complete exams electronically, but perhaps one day I will find I can write well with my hands again for extended periods of time. A bonus with examinations on a computer is I can usually finish my examinations quickly, comfortably and quite often I’m in a room by myself, with just my exam supervisor.

The other benefit I’ve found to studying is, instead of just sitting in a hospital bed, sometimes, feeling sad about the three hours going by and not being able to do others things. You see, I’ve since learned, I can actually spend time studying. Which is what I recommend to anyone that is studying and is in and out of hospital.

So, that’s just a few of the thoughts I have for you – If you would like to comment on your experiences below please do!

Another term of university Finished! One more to go.