Monday, 30 August 2010

10,000 Steps

Once again work is participating in a 10,000 steps challenge. We're walking (or doing equivalent other activities) our way from Werrington to Wee Waa. The aim is to complete the challenge by averaging 10,000 steps per day, per team member. My team is hovering on the edges of the top ten after a good weekend, but I expect we'll fall back slowly through the week. Weekends are when we do well - hopping on our bikes, going shopping, cleaning house, and chasing after kids.

The key isn't to win. Sure, winning would be nice, but the important objective is to get ourselves moving, so that we regularly do 10,000 steps per day. If you're doing ~10,000 steps a day, you're considered to have an active lifestyle - 5,000 is considered sedentary. 12,500 is considered highly active. I can't speak for the other participants, but I have found that if I don't go for a lunchtime walk (3,500 - 4,500 steps), my steps don't get above sedentary. In fact, they barely move off "pushing up daisies". Even with my lunchtime walk I have do other activities to get above the 10,000 target. No wonder my pants have been getting tight again! 

A (my) typical office lifestyle is hopeless for fitness - the longest walk I take is to go to the loo - all of of 168 steps as a round trip. So I get fatter, get depressed, do less and eat more because I'm unhappy, get fatter [repeat until new pants required].

The challenge helps me get motivated, and gives me a goal to achieve, and team mates who I don't want to disappoint. As a big plus, I lose a little weight, get happier, eat a little less, exercise more, lose weight [repeat until I think I can relax, get fatter, get depressed, buy new pants]

Hopefully this time I won't stop at the "well, I've lost a little weight" stage!

The scales shock I received on the weekend might help - I thought it was safe to get on the scales again because I could see that I'd lost a little weight. Instead, I was horrified! I really don't want to know what I was weighing a month ago. You'll be able to tell if I succeed, because I'll update. If I fail... we'll never talk about this again.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Elections 2010

National Broadband Network - we need one

...and I don't mean something with a minimum of 12 mbps, "but probably more, as long as it's a low use time of day". I mean something modern, something that will work, something that promises speeds of 100 mbps to all users, regardless of the time of day. OK, speeds will probably be slightly less, but you can bet they will still be much better than the cheap solution, for far more people.

For all the faults that the Labor goverment has displayed, this is one thing they've done that's good. Really, really good. Sure it's not cheap, but it provides a solid communications framework *nationwide*.  I believe the Liberal Party's promise to can the NBN is short sighted in the extreme, and it's very disappointing that they see stopping the project as a priority. I can't vote for anybody that would do that.

Then again, I can't vote for anybody that promises to introduce a mandatory censorship program under the cry  of "won't somebody think of the children" (as long as it's not parents taking responsibility). Censorship of this nature is the start of a long, slippery slope, and could easily lead to restrictions on the free flow of information similar to those in the most abhorrent regimes. Sure, this government's intentions may be good, and the intentions of the next governement may be good, but future governments? Who knows? Not to mention that the proposed filter won't even achieve it's stated aim of preventing chilld pornography, and its proponents know this. The Liberals have promised to scrap the filter and reintroduce locally installed software such as Net Nanny - pushing some responsibility back to parents - and I agree with this policy.

If I vote for the Greens, I'll get a party that is against the filter and for the NBN, but they will never win my marginal seat, although they could hold the balance of power in the Senate - in my opinion, an improvement over the god-botherers in that position at the moment.

In the end, it appears that it's how I preference my vote that will count most towards the makeup of our next government, so you can be sure I'll vote below the line. I recommend that you do as well. That way, my preferences will go exactly where I send them, not as dictated by any party deals. shows how your vote will be preferenced if you vote above the line. You might be surprised where your preferences will go if you do. Check it out.

I'll now return you to your regular program...