Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I'm finally making a move out of Sydney, something I haven't done for a couple months, which is a new record for me! This Friday is the Soundwave Festival in Melbourne that I bought tickets for back in October. I had expected to be working in Hobart and therefore Melbourne was the closest, but now that I'm in Sydney I'll be taking a flight there. It's a good excuse to get away for the weekend, however, and a few days in Melbourne should be pretty A OK, as is the awesome line up of Soundwave, which includes System of a Down, Bush, CKY, Slipknot, Unwritten Law, and others. Expect a post on Sunday.

I should report on the weight gain goal I set two months ago: I can't exactly saw due to the fact that some fatass at the gym broke the scale two weeks ago, but at the time of it's death I was weighing in at 163 lbs, so I'm going to confidently assume I'm now 165!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The New Journey

The journey to Alaska is finalized:

May 9th Sydney to Honolulu

May 23rd Honolulu to Anchorage

The reality of this has set in, and it's less than three months away! I am so eager to change the scenery from the beach to mountains, something I haven't been around in over a year. Quite a long stretch for this guy, I can't remember a time, if ever, that I've been away from mountains for over a year. They truly are my home.

I'm also long overdue for some time in the wild. I really haven't had any of that in my time in Australia, and I think a couple weeks in the solitude of the snow capped mountains of Alaska will do the soul good. I'm hoping to make it to Whitehorse, where I have some friends, and then back through British Columbia towards home. I'd like to do a through-hike on the way back; right now I'm feeling ambitious and looking at the Jasper North Boundary Trail...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Changing of the Guard

Over the past two weeks five of my room mates have left and been replaced. The apartment now consists of two Brazilian girls, two Brazilian men, one Nigerian guy (who I share the room with), a Polish guy, and Moi. The Brazilians so far seem pretty reserved, spending most of their time in their rooms. I'm hoping this is a phase that ends soon, for it's creating a much less social and therefore less fun environment.

Work is still chugging along. Last week had a civic holiday so I had a day off without pay, but managed to make up for most of it this week with four hours of overtime. I've been filling my head listening to audio books, a privilege my no-brainer job affords me. I've been hitting the gym hard (not really much else to do since it's been raining so damn much), and am up to 160 lbs after a month. The goal is getting closer!

I've been in back and forth contact with TasRail for the past week, discussing the Engineer position further. They obviously recognize my skills, because they seem to want me in their locomotives no matter the cost. They offered to keep pursuing the visa, which I agreed to as long as they understood I might not take it if the visa is approved. Being fine with this, further light was shed on just how long the process is really going to take (delay is no surprise to me anymore): October. They are hoping the position will be added to the skills shortage list in July, a requirement of getting me a visa, then the visa application will be lodged and should take three months to be approved. This further delay might actually work in my benefit, as the job still holds a lucrative salary and might be worth my while to take after a break back in N. America. And the fact that they would pay for the flight to Australia helps too. Alas, I am not holding my breath though, maybe in July it will turn out to be December.