I wrote this after the last Nationals comp Amy and I went to. This site was subsequently hacked and destroyed (thanks to WordPress vulnerabilities I’ve since learned about).
The post was well received, so I’ve dug through the Way Back machine and recovered it:
We recently had an exciting week of bowling in Canberra (this was back in June 2019), where every single one of the Rockets did themselves proud. And over the course of the week, it occurred to me that my daughter has learned more than how to clean up a spare when she needs to. There are valuable life lessons learned from tenpin bowling:
Your first frame is not the game. A gutter ball with the first throw doesn’t mean a poor score. And a strike with the first ball doesn’t mean a good score. Never assume you know how something will end before it’s finished.
In conjunction with the first point, the only ball that counts is the one in your hands. Not the one you just threw, not the next game and not the next tournament. Don’t get ahead of yourself. And don’t beat yourself up about what has happened in the past. Roll with it. (See what I did there?)
Think before you do. Once you’ve let go of the ball, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change its path. Take the extra time to make a plan. It’s a good investment.
You will meet people of all shapes, sizes and disabilities when you bowl. You’re no better or worse than any of them.
Wait your turn. It’s not just tournament rules, it’s a good thing to do. And when the bowler beside you encroaches, let them. Step back and let them go. Pick your battles. There is absolutely no benefit in pushing something that doesn’t help anyone.
And finally, a seven-ten split is almost impossible for even the best bowler. Pick a pin.
It takes me roughly a year to churn out one of my intricately plotted and carefully crafted pile of (roughly 80,000) words. [author aside: If you all actually bought my books, I’d be able to quit the job that pays the mortgage and feeds the bellys and I’d have more time to write. I’d be able to churn out possibly even two a year. Just sayin’.]
We are all donating our time, brilliant intellect and unparalleled creativity *cough cough* to raise as much money as possible in support of The Kids’ Cancer Project. It is an independent national charity supporting childhood cancer research. Since 1993, thanks to strong community support, the charity has contributed tens of millions of dollars to scientific research projects to help children with many types of cancer. Right now, the charity is funding 35 medical research projects across 22 institutes Australia-wide.
All completed stories will be included in the Online Library which is shared with hospitals around Australia for families and children undergoing treatment.
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It’s that wonderful time of year when people get shivved in your local electronics store while in pursuit of the last PS5, drive-bys resolve parking disputes and the staff at the lay-by department have shotguns strapped under the counter, one hand never more than a hair’s-breadth away from the trigger.
It’s getting tense.
I try (really, I really try) to lift my tolerance levels this time of year. I, personally, have nothing new causing angst. (The usual family reasons are evergreen — no additional focus at this time of year.) So there’s no point in letting others drive me to pour petrol into a shopping cart loaded with wrapping paper and toss a lit flare into it.
I don’t know if the dude who cut me off and “stole” (I didn’t really own it in the first place) my parking spot is just a dick, or if he just lost his job and has two young children expecting Santa to dump a bag full of gifts under their $15 plastic Christmas tree.
I don’t know if the woman who used her grocery cart to push an older woman out of the way so she could grab the last bag of crushed walnuts was a sociopath, of if that’s the last ingredient she needs for the dessert she always makes for her now ailing mother, and this is the fifth grocery store she’s been to today. I mean, there has definitely been an inexplicable run on crushed walnuts.
I just don’t know.
So I’m giving a lot of people a lot of benefit of the doubt. I’m allowing three times expected travel time to get places. I’ve lowered my expectations of human decency down to the level of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson or Paula Hanson.
The tests are designed so the average score is 100. Sixty-eight percent of the people taking the test fall into the range of plus or minus 15% of the mean, or between 85 and 115.
So I have to assume there is a significant skew downward to results lately because a large percentage of people are “protesting” against a free vaccine which most certainly will prevent you from going to a hospital in the unlikely event that you contract the disease.
They are ingesting deworming medicine meant for livestock, medicine which will actually make them very sick and which they have to pay money for, instead of getting a free vaccine.
They are, when in position of power, making it ILLEGAL for establishments like schools or bars or stadiums to insist on masks, and to restrict attendance to only those who have been vaccinated.
I have to assume it’s stupidity. I really have to assume that there isn’t malice colouring their decision making. Because the stupidity is depressing me enough. I don’t think I could handle the malice angle.
Now if I’m totally honest, when my employer told us all to go home last March (2020, of course), I didn’t mind one bit. We are a bit of an insular family, anyway. I got rid of my hour long commute, could barbecue some snags at lunch and got an extra hour sleep at night.
The only negative was the lack of commute on the way home. For real. That hour allowed me to decompress and leave work at work. And I didn’t need an hour to do that. Twenty minutes, max.
This time, though. It can go fuck itself.
Life was essentially back to normal and I was enjoying going back to the office. A new office (new job).
Now the COVID induced lockdown is really grinding my gears. I don’t know what’s different this time, but it can’t be over soon enough.
We’re getting vaccinated and survived (I’ve had my first AZ, my daughter has had both jabs, and within week my son and wife will also be fully vaxed) and I’m hoping, really fucking hoping, that there will be a staged lifting of restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.
Because I’ve had more than enough of this.
And so have you.
Wear masks, get vaccinated and let’s get this horseshit over with.