Photo I have wanted for ages!

20130416-074119.jpg I have been wanting to capture this image for a year or more. I drive, run or cycle past this point each day to get to work. When the condidtions are just right you get the best fog early in the mornings. This morning it all happened so here it is the image I have wanted to capture. The most amazing thing is the background just beyond the powerlines is a slag heap. Beauty can be found everywhere, if you are willing to wait.

It’s amazing where a bike can go!

Amazing. Just Amazing.

Originally posted on Cycling Geelong:

Maria on the bike which helped her be the first cyclist ever to reach the South Pole from the edge of the Antarctic continent.

Welsh Adventurer Maria Leijerstam, 35, pedalled 500 miles across the icy wilderness of Antarctica to win her gruelling record attempt after four years of training.

She managed it in just ten days – 12 days ahead of schedule despite “vicious conditions” across the frozen continent.

Her three-wheel bicycle and daring route gave her the edge over her two male competitors from America and Spain.

Read about her adventures on SBS news or The Express.

Yes more proof that, with the right gear and determination, a girl on a bike can go almost anywhere!

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The World’s 8 Most Grueling Endurance Events

8 amazing races.

Originally posted on Sykose Extreme Sports News:

Race Across America

No matter what the sport, top athletes are always looking to push themselves to their limits. This drive has led to the creation of competitive events that test human physical limits. In this slideshow, explore some of the most grueling endurance contests on Earth.

We begin with a race across an entire continent — The Race Across America, a 3,000-mile bike race from the Pacific coast of the United States to the Atlantic. Participants may race solo or in teams of two-, four- or eight-person members alternating turns riding.

All participants have 12 days to finish the race. Solo riders can expect to sleep as little as 90 minutes per day and spend more than 20 hours each day on their bikes. Hallucinations from sleep-deprivation are a serious enough concern that support crews monitor the riders.


Runners in the Marathon des Sables, which…

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An Uneasy Feeling in My Gut: Project 26 Weeks 3 & 4.

I have an uneasy feeling in my gut. (Here my wife would get in and say MAYBE I have eaten too many glutamates. Yes I may have eaten too many tomatoes with corn which has resulted in massive stomach cramps). But that is not the feeling I am talking about. It is more what do I do with the spare shelf space. It is kind of like money in the wallet burning a hole in your pocket. I just need to spend it. Well, I have this need to fill the shelf space I now have.

IMG_1588Up to this point in the cleaning out, I have not had to deal with void space. Especially in the cupboard. When cleaning up the kitchen and the shed, I did not end up with empty space. I ended up with a more usable area. Both in the shed and kitchen all the drawers are still full the shelves covered. What to do about the empty space? How do I get over the fact that space is available? My head says don’t fill it, enjoy it; but my gut feels uneasy with the space. An adjustment period is needed.

The challenge now is to figure out how to deal with having space to put things without just filling them because I can’t handle having the space. Must be time for a mental shift. I have now figured out how to prevent money burning a hole in my pocket, but how about space. Maybe this is why I have been spending so much time looking at the Tiny House Movement.

Any ideas on how to deal with empty shelf space, other than just fill it?

Goals: What is the true cost of my coffee?

I have been reading a bit lately. Book titles include but not limited to

  • Your Money or Your Life
  • You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)
  • Last Child in the Woods
  • Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way We Make Things
  • Why We Do What We Do
  • Green Metropolis
  • Early Retirement Extreme
  • Why We Run
  • The Lure of Long Distances
  • How to Survive Without A Salary
  • The Sponsorship Seekers Toolkit
  • Blog Inc
  • Problogger
  • Goals – How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than YO Ever Thought Possible
  • Achieve Anything in Just One Year
  • Possum Living
  • Finding Freedom in a Unfree World
  • Life-Span Human Development
  • Growth Maturation and Physical Activity
  • Qualitative Analysis of Human Movement
  • No Impact Man

IMG_1578These are not all the books I have been reading in the last month. But the list above is getting more of my time than most. I am not always a cover to cover reader but a lot of them listed have been read cover to cover.

If you know these titles a general theme arises. Green, Self-help, Running, Physical Movement, Age and Finance. Not the usual finance but the philosophy of finance to be more specific. Green; my conclusion of living green is if you really want to go green, it is about consuming less. Over all these books are all for me about learning how I can get even more out of life.

My reading has lead to self-talk; I started to ask myself a few simple questions What does my coffee really cost? How long do I have to work to afford each cup of coffee. If I were to break down my year into the time I exchange with my employer for money. How long does it take in minutes, hours, weeks to pay for a java habit? I know that to pay the mortgage takes about 26 weeks of work per year at my current pay rate.

The answer is not simple well at least not to me. I drink quite a bit of coffee. As I have said in my about me coffee is my last vice. I no longer drink alcohol, I was never much of a drinker I had a drink once or twice a week. But then a few years ago my liver decided to stop working correctly and I was told to stop any consumption of alcohol. I am also Vegetarian and in the last year I have stopped eating chocolate (after figuring out that I was having bad reactions to amines). On the good side of not eating chocolate, I no longer suffer huge unexplained headaches.

I currently drink around 3-5 coffees a day. These are made on my home Breville 800 espresso maker. I rarely purchase coffee out call me a coffee snob but few make a coffee just the way I like it. I also have issue handing over $4-5 for a cup of coffee I can make at home for a lot less and it tastes better at home.

So the maths for what it cost me for a cup of coffee: That is really yet to come.

Coffee machine: Well I did not really purchase the machine directly. We used points from our Credit Card reward system to purchase the machine. I have spent around $220 in repairs to keep it going. But the machine makes a great cup of coffee. I am not sure of the exact cost of running the machine power wise but I will work that out as part of this process/project. I am also not sure of the cost per cup. I use beans that my wife purchases online, they taste great are award winning and come right to your door. Milk well I have expensive tastes when it comes to milk. I drink Scenic Rim 4Real Milk in my coffee. It is pasteurised but not homogenised. It is more expensive than milk from the local supermarket but it tastes so much better.

So my coffee habit cost quite a bit. But what I wonder is how much money I need to earn to pay for the habit and if I know the true cost would I still drink coffee. So lets say I still want to drink coffee because lets face it I enjoy it A LOT.

Could you have a passive income that would pay for say your coffee habit? How much money would need to be invested to earn sufficient passive income?

What if I no longer wanted to actively pay for coffee? That is I no longer want to swap time (my energy) in exchange for wage, that I then spend on a drink. How much money would I need to have invested to earn a passive income that would actually cover my habit of drinking coffee? Currently I have no idea but I am going to do my best to figure it out and bring you the results.

The question I ask myself is can I do more with less stuff and achieve more of what I want, time with family, coaching, running, time with friends. Am I willing to look at all that I currently do and question it’s worth to me? Its worth to my family?

My question to you is have you ever given much thought to how much time (mental and physical) you exchange for having, storing, consuming and enjoying all the things in your life? Is it really providing you what you want are your dreams and goals being achieved?

A cup full

Simple great idea for true recycling.

Originally posted on AdventureCrow:

Being a new member of this thing called society has been quite the change. I moved into a new place and started to realize why little I had. I didn’t want to go out and buy more cups so I have started making them out of recycled cans. What do you think? I want to make a hemp version next.


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Getting more done by having less – Project 26 week 2

It is true I have more freedom by reducing the stuff I own (or that owns me). I have managed to get so much more completed in the last week. Lots of little projects that had been put on the back burner due to it being to hard to access the work space of tools easily. This is the sort of result I was hoping for I just did not expect the results to be so good so fast. Many be it is the 80/20 rule. Get ride of 20% of your crap and find you have 80% more freedom?

It is now week 2 and time to go through the kitchen. Being a group area it will be a little more difficult than going through bike stuff that was just mine and few others in the family were worried about getting rid of extra bike bits. In the kitchen I use very few things most of the time. Those things I use 99% of the time and cover the rest of the family 80% of the time are.

  1. Coffee Machine (Coffee for my wife and I, Hot Chocolate for the kids)
  2. Fry Pan – single most used appliance in the kitchen
  3. BBQ – Yes even though I am vego I use a BBQ all the time (I love the smokey flavour) Best part I got the BBQ for free as a x demo model from a store.
  4. Glass lid pot
  5. French oven (large cast iron pot) Roast veges so yum
  6. Knife bread, Knife large carving (Good quality knifes last a life time)
  7. Stand mixer (Yes I love to bake cakes, biscuits all gluten-free)

My wife has a few things that she loves and uses all the time. I use them too but sounds better if I say she likes these ones more. Make me feel a little less of a hoarder.

  1. Rice cooker
  2. Toasted sandwich maker
  3. Food processor

WP_20131104_001When you empty the kitchen out completely you get a pile like this!

Well if I don’t get rid of a thing at least kitchen cupboards will get a complete fresh clean out. Out came the baking soda, lemons and elbow grease. 48 hours later bit by bit the kitchen has been cleaned from floor to ceiling. It looks and feels great to have a spotless kitchen. Of course 30 minutes later it was all over. Kids never let clean last long :)

WP_20131210_001This pile of pots and pans are in great condition and will be donated to the local charity. It looks like such a small pile compared to the one going back into the kitchen. The difference is huge however. We can access all the stuff in each cupboard. We also use to have stuff on top of the fridge and pantry cupboard but they are now clear. Hopefully not to collect more.

I learn a very valuable lesson this week:

Battery taht needed to be recycledIf it comes in the front door eventually it has to leave. The initial expense of an item is, well expensive. What I did not know is it can be just as if not more expensive to get rid of an item when it is considered rubbish. Fees range from $8 and $1230 yes that is One Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty Dollars to use that facilities at the local recycling centre. My box of goods cost just $8. A note to myself be careful what you buy; at some stage it will have to be recycled and that could end up being more expensive than the initial purchase price. The true cost of goods is not the initial price at the store.

Bushwalking Sled – Testing is proving sucessful

_Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_{E019D336-696D-43D5-A99B-B39120DC54C5}_Local_PlatformData_Images_PhotoChooser-6c90c4be-7aa7-48ac-8695-98b9fd3c5d65_jpg_Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_{E019D336-696D-43D5-A99B-B39120DC54C5}_Local_PlatformData_Images_PhotoChooser-dc4b2f3a-5e94-4c59-bba8-2680c1a3e565_jpg _Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_{E019D336-696D-43D5-A99B-B39120DC54C5}_Local_PlatformData_Images_PhotoChooser-3055f761-3869-44d6-a638-e9eebb4d12fd_jpg _Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_{E019D336-696D-43D5-A99B-B39120DC54C5}_Local_PlatformData_Images_PhotoChooser-e56f12bf-fed6-406f-8b8d-3449fc603390_jpgIt is now school holidays for my eldest. I have been designing handles for the running pram so that it can turn in to a hauling system. With the assistance of a bending tool I have fashened out some hauling handles. To day the three kids and I headed out into the backyard to test the handles and see what further modifications will be needed to tackle some serious trails.

  • Over all the handles work great. I will working on the following imporvements now

Designing a hauling harness.

Wrap the handles with a little cork tape to increase the comfort.

Make a standing board for the back of the pram so that the kids can just stand at the back for short rides when they just need a little rest. The system is balanced better when they try standing on the back.

Over all the kids loved it and want to go back out tomorrow. It will be great to take the kids on more of my adventures into the bush.