Look, you don't know me and I don't know you. You might have come in here from my latest (or even a really ancient) review from JayIsGames. You might have finally found that long-elusive copy of the Furry Men of the North's I Like Looking At Naked Men on the Hype Machine. Maybe you're a bored Kingdom of Loathing veteran with nothing better to do than flick idly through fellow /vet's profiles. Maybe I've left a helpful comment on your blog, or a flippant one-liner on your forum.
Nearly 20 years ago now, Henry Rollins described the LA riots as "The Shit Is On Fire Show". Well, this year The Shit Is On Fire Show is playing a sold out season in my state.
New York Times - Death Toll in Australian Fires Climbs to 131
Guardian - Australia bushfires death toll may reach 200
Al Jazeera - Australia PM: Fires are mass murder
Le Monde - L'Australie accablée par des incendies meurtriers
You get the idea. I and my loved ones are fine, but as I read the internets I keep calling home (in the Yarra Valley) every hour on the hour and reminding my parents about how they've always dreamed of buying a yacht and living on St Kilda pier. NOW WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD TIME, GUYS.
Not everyone has been so fortunate, and the death toll is so massive that everyone knows someone who's lost everything - widowed, orphaned and/or holed up in a burlap sack in one of the Red Cross camps across the state. I'm not gonna pull your dick any more - you know what I'm building up to here.
Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal 2009
Salvation Army Victorian Bushfire Appeal (for Australians - outside Australia, go here)
Bendigo Bank Bushfire Appeal
Do a little shopping (Coles donation day, Friday 13th February)
If you're one of these people who've gone sane and don't have a credit card, the National Australia Bank has an account you can transfer funds into.
National Australia Bank
NAB account: BSB 082001 Account #: 860046797
Let's face it, if you're reading this blog you were only going to go and blow $20 on the latest shitty time-management clone or Pitchfork-endorsed whiners, so go buy yourself some good karma instead.
EDIT: Commenter Alex from the British Red Cross notes that "Visitors from the UK can also donate through the British Red Cross at www.redcross.org.uk/bushfires."
OTHER EDIT: If you're able to volunteer your time and skills, call 1300 366 356 or register at http://www.govolunteer.com.au/volunteer/events.htm. People with medical skills are certainly welcome to volunteer, but people are also sought to distribute donated goods at the relief centres, provide catering and other support to volunteer firefighters, and clean up after the fires have been doused. Know that volunteer organisations may take a while to get back to you - we have been inundated with potential volunteers, and need to match offers of help with areas of need.
ANOTHER EDIT: The Victorian RSPCA has some requests. They have enough people to billet pets, but they currently need blankets, temporary fencing and those 'green' bags that supermarkets sell.
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Monday, February 09, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I don't really like sport. In fact, I'm not much into any physical activity that doesn't involve lifting weights 12 ounces at a time, or bench-pressing some late-20s hottie with my inner thighs. I don't like sports people, seeing them as much more like Wayne Carey than John Landy. Thankfully, I've been surrounded by people who are genuinely interested in fitness and health, rather than in being into sport because they're utter sheep, which has been invaluable in my motivation and learning.
So motivating myself to get regular exercise has been quite challenging, and much more related to 'push' factors (not wanting to be fat anymore, not wanting to get sick every six weeks, not wanting to be depressed... see how they're all negative?) than 'pull' factors (such as being healthy, which takes quite a while, or even being better looking, which takes frickin' ages). Like just about everyone who's lost a lot of weight, my progress is starting to level off - I'm still losing weight, but not at the comparatively rapid pace I enjoyed when I started. I'm getting bored with my workouts, bored with the music I play (need more Hype Machine!) and am generally treading water.
To break it up, I'm trying to introduce some external, quantitative motivations - I'd like to set objective benchmarks for myself (I'm probably never going to think I look any good, so I'm better off setting a totally objective goal like "I can run 4km in less than 30 minutes"). One is to participate in a fun run where I actually run - in previous efforts I've walked the distance and not bothered with timing. And the other day I rather spontaneously decided to do the One Hundred Pushups challenge. The fact that they conveniently have a pushups logger appeals to my not-so-inner nerd (if you'd like to check my progress, you can search for user baker1). The best thing about it is that it shows a clear numerical progress, which is simple and easy to observe - not necessarily the case with weight loss, where you may confront the I'm-smaller-but-haven't-lost-weight-WTF phenomenon. Given that I'm starting at the lowest possible level - the exhaustion test led to, wait for it, THREE (3) whole pushups ('man' style, from the toes, and done on the floor rather than from the side of my coffee table where I usually do it) - the only way is up, baby! Even if I don't make it to one hundred in six weeks (in fact, I think that's pretty unlikely), to try and fail is still beneficial. Wish me