Fatter, balder and happier: goodbye 2014 and hello 2015!

2014 is coming to a close and whilst I have put on some kilograms and lost more hair, I have to say that I am happier than I am ever been.
 I am bless with wonderful family and friends whilst also having a roof over my head and a job that I love. Really I can not ask for anything more than that!
 This time last year I set myself a number of goals (I refuse to call them resolutions) and whilst I did not make them all 2014 has been a great year in which I have made positive steps. I refuse, therefore, to be disappointed about the year it has been.
 I am not going to set any goals for 2015 save for one: I am going to start and end every day happy. I know I am going to have good and bad days and the bad days are going to effect my happiness but I am going to work hard on turning the bad days into good ones by the end.
 Bring on 2015!
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:The Esplanade,Maroochydore,Australia

2014: Top 5 Posts

2014 is drawing to a close. As the year closes, I have had time to reflect and consider the year that it has been. It would be fair to say that I have finished the year feeling my content than I have ever been in my life.

Of course, writing on this blog is a big part of that. Starting on Boxing Day and ending on New Years Eve I will be re-blogging the top 5 posts on this blog this year as well as re-posting them on social media.

Keep an eye out and, as always, feedback is welcome.

State of Origin 2014, Game 2: 5 talking points

Well it has finally happened: New South Wales have won an Origin series.  For the first time in the smart phone / twitter error the Origin shield is staying south. For the first time in their living memory my nephews, all proud Queenslanders, have smelt the bitter aroma of defeat.

It might not have been the best game of rugby league I have seen but boy it was a pulsating contest.  Here are my 5 talking points from Game 2:

1. Congratulations to New South Wales

It is simple: when you lose you must congratulate your opponent.  So congratulations to New South Wales on winning the 2014 Origin series.  I am not an advocate of getting the “dirts” about losing contests like this and simply put, the better side won.

2. Time to lift the “one punch” ban

The NRL CEO, amongst much fan fare, announced 12 months ago a ban on all punches with an immediate sin binning the result for infractions.  Can anyone cogently argue that the silliness of that edict did not deleteriously effect the contest last night? The game was screaming out for a fight in the early contests and, to me, a stoush in the first 10 minutes would have reduced the niggle that pervaded the first half.  The message to the NRL must be: lift the ban, let the boys sort things early doors and let the game go on.

3. Time to remark Dave Taylor’s card: NEVER TO BE SELECTED AGAIN

Many on social media and in the actual media have been advocated for the selection of Dave Taylor for Queensland this series.  Simply put: he is not up to State of Origin standard.  Yet again last night he put out a performance in a maroon jumper exemplified by missed tackles and horrid offloads.  He is a liability and must not be selected again.  Enough said.

4. Refereeing: it is not an excuse but it was woeful

Can any fair-minded New South Wales fan argue that the refereeing in this game was fair? I know I am not a regular watcher in the NRL but in what context has there ever not been a penalty for Hayne’s strip on Thaiday as he was about score? I concede it wasn’t a try but surely the ball had to return to Queensland?  And then, to add insult to injury, the ball richoceting off Woods’ chest and out of play with 5 minutes to go being determined to be a penalty to New South Wales is just incongruous with the laws of the game.  There is all this technology in the game and yet a decision as simple as that was just plain WRONG.  Hayne and Cummins should go the way of Dave Taylor and have their cards marked: “never again”.

5. Gallen and Bird: I am glad they play for New South Wales

Are their two more distasteful players to watch then Gallen and Bird. Every tackle they make includes a fore arm to the head of the tackled player on the ground.  Every time they are penalised they scream at the referee. Any bit of niggle or incitement between the players is not their fault.  If these two blokes are supposed to exemplify the best of New South Wales rugby league I am happy for them to play in a blue jersey.  There are ways to win and ways to lose and the way that Gallen and Bird win, albeit successful this time out, is hardly a way to win.

So that is that: series over.  New South Wales can proudly claim to have won 1 series in a row.  Bring on the 2015 series!

2014 begins: No resolutions just aspirational targets

Another year has passed and with the end of 2013 I am sure has come the realisation that most, if not all, of the New Years resolutions made 365 days ago have not been achieved. I have declined this year to declare resolutions this year: rather I have set myself a series of aspirational targets which I am confident are not only achievable but measurably so.

Here are my aspirational targets for 2014:

1. I will run a half marathon this year (see my new site run211.com to follow my progress with this challenge).

2. I will be a positive influence in my place of work.

3. I will save more money.

4. I will see my parents more regularly and will call my sister at least once a week.

5. I will reconnect with at least one long lost friend who has left my left through no fault of their own.

6. I will give more to charity and will dedicate a number of hours per month to charitable endeavours.

All of these targets are measurable and achievable and will be a guide to the way I conduct myself in the coming year.

Bring on 2014!