Our camping adventures have continued and we went away for 2 weeks camping starting in Eden, NSW. This was our first trip with the new Jayco outside of Victoria. Now that all 3 kids are riding their bikes without training wheels as we were packing and planning our trip I had bought a bike rack so that we could bring the kids bikes with us.  I had trialled the bike rack and 1 bike together with the camper trailer, but with the weight of 3 bikes plus the trailer I was not comfortable with the weight on the tow ball so to the dismay and disappointment from the kids I left the bikes at home. After a six hour drive through some pretty heavy rain, we arrived at our campsite in Eden. As I was checking in I was talking to the park owner and he mentioned that he had bikes that the kids could use if they wanted to at no charge. I told him how thankful I was and of my story about not being able to bring the bikes. This really made mine and the kids day and to the park owner it may not have seemed like a big deal, but because of this our 2 week trip started out on the right foot.
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Following on from our trip to Torquay and feeling pretty good about my surfing potential, I packed the surfboard into the camper trailer as well. Where we are staying in Eden we are right across from Asling’s Beach which has plenty of surf but from what I have seen so far is that the swell is way too much for my level of skill. That and the fact I have not seen one person surfing here and the numerous ‘dangerous rips’ signs posted everywhere leads me to believe that I will keep the surfboard packed away until our next destination on this trip. The beach does make for great photos though, here is what I woke up to this morning before Mel and the kids were up and a photo of the kids and I going for a swim in the afternoon.
We did spend some time looking around in Ben Boyd National Park as well and the kids got let their inner adventurers out which was good to see. All it took was the right walking stick and they were off and flying.  The kids are enjoying the holiday and I can only hope it gives them a sense of discovery and curiousity that they take with them through out their lives.

This weekend just past was a long weekend here in Victoria. We took the chance to take our Jayco Camper Trailer on its 3rd trip and went to Torquay for 5 days. We weren’t exactly roughing it as the park had a lot amenities and was almost in town but it did back onto the surf beach which was good for the both the kids and me too.

We went camping with a few other families who all had kids around the same age as us. Our kids knew a few of the the others and a few were new to them as well, but they all got along really well and I think between the lot of them they managed to organise the biggest game of playground tag I have seen.

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This time we brought the kids bikes with us as well which we have learnt is a much needed item from a kids perspective around a campground. We also borrowed some friends wetsuits for the kids and they had a great time at the surf beach. While the girls were a little hesitant getting into the waves on their boogie board, Joshua was right out there showing them how it is done. After a few days the girls got much more into the swing of things and on the last day were catching waves in on their boogie boards as well. For me I brought the old surf board with us and my wetsuit, which I was not sure I would stil fit in. Luck was on my side and I could still get into my wetsuit and had a surf for the first time in about 8 years. The waves were pretty small and choppy most of the time, but it was enough of a challenge for me as I tried to find my legs again. I think I lucked out and did catch a few waves on the first two days, but I am pretty sure I spent more time falling than I did actually standing on the board.

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Even though it is starting to get into the cooler months here, I am looking forward to another round of camping near a surf beach. Now that I know my wetsuit still fits I know I can go out and pretend like I know what I am doing in the surf. The only thing Mel and I need to do is finish before our next trip is our discussion on whether you need a beach towel and a regular towel for each person or just one towel person!

One of the bucket list items that Mel and I have is to travel Australia in a Camper Trailer. There has been a lot of debate about at what age we should do this, when does it make sense from a lifestyle perspective, what about school, what about work, etc…. the list of questions and reasons not to do it are long. To do this type of trip no matter what format and with 3 kids I think takes a good degree of planning and work to  make it succesful.

Only a few months ago we took the first steps in realising this bucket list item and we bought a 2nd hand Jayco Camper Trailer. It is small but versatile enough that it will suit both short and long trips. After New Years in Melbourne, we had the chance to take our 2nd trip with the Jayco by packing up the family and heading to Buchan Falls in North East Victoria for 5 days.

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Five days of camping at the Buchan Caves was great for the kids and for Mel and I. We were able to see if we are getting any better at setting the Camper Trailer up and fine tune some of the things we need to do to make a longer trip successful. For the kids, they had a great time – they got plenty of exercise, there was no TV, limited iPad use and lots of animals and exploring. The caves were pretty interesting, we gave Marissa and Grace a a camera to take their own photos and I think they came close to filling an 8 MB memory card. There was also a pool which was filled with fresh natural spring water that runs from the caves – the water was cold but refreshing and everyone except Mel got in the water.

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The scenery was beatiful, we took a day trip to Mckillop’s Bridge and went for a swim in the Snowy River. The drive there was as much part of the fun as the destination was as we had to climb and descend down a narrow ungraded dirt road.

 

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This trip has absolutely reinvigorated us to make that trip around Australia, the benefits I think far outweigh any perceived negatives and I think it will only enhance the kids learning experience about the world they live in.

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I have been blogging/writing online for the past 5 years. Five years on from my first post and when I look back I would never have thought that I would create so much content or that blogging would introduce me to so many new people and ideas.

title_pageWhen I started blogging in 2008 my initial focus was work related as I wanted to give people a window into what working at Oracle could be. I quickly found that I was writing more and more about information that would help people in their job search in general.

For me, writing regularly has been a great creative output for me to take some of the thoughts that have been in my head and put them onto paper. I hope that in some small way some of my thoughts may have helped someone, somewhere.

I have recently compiled my corporate related blog posts from 2008 into an eBook that I have just published online via Leanpub.com. The book is called: Random Thoughts From a Corporate Recruiter

 

This is not a self help book or a book showing tips and tricks on how to find a job or how to hire great people. It really is as the title suggests – random thoughts from a  Corporate Recruiter on either Recruitment, Job Searching or Social Media (for job searching).

 

One of the main reasons I wanted to create this book is for my own personal use. Looking back at all the posts I have written, I wanted to find a way to not lose those thoughts in time that I have had. I hope some of these posts are relevant, useful or entertaining for you as well. I would love to hear your feedback.

 

As a side note the great thing about publishing on Leanpub.com is that you can buy the book within a price range. Unlike Amazon where there is a set price for a book at Leanpub a reader can pay a range of prices that they feel is fair for the book they buy which I think works well.

Anyway I hope you like the book. Happy Reading.

I have to admit, I am a bit of a tech geek, I love my gadgets and when I think of how some of them have changed how I work, where I work, how I gather information, track data, etc… we really have seen technology go in leaps and bounds in the consumer market.

When I saw the initial introduction of Google Glasses I was intrigued and excited at the possibility of what this may mean with how we interact with technology. One of the big things that really grabs my interest with this is to see if these glasses can help Augmented Reality take the next leap in its penetration into the market. So in concept Google Glasses seemed really exciting.

I say seemed because earlier this week I saw this video by Con Agra Foods. Besides the horribly scripted lines the voice actors had to read, this video really made me feel that maybe Google Glasses could potentially be really underwhelming.

In the video we see two friends go about their day to get ready for a party at the end of the night. They add items to their grocery list through out their day, measure how far they walked this week (see my last blog post – you tend to know if you sat on the couch all week or actually did any exercise) and voice texted each other as well as check the news, etc…

One of the main examples that made this video make me think how underwhelming Google Glasses has the potential to be was the “map my grocery list” comment at the approximately 1:40 mark of the video. Really – map my grocery list?? I am sorry but who is that time poor or grocery shopping challenged that they do not know to find the frozen peas in the freezer section of the grocery store? When has grocery shopping become such a complicated task to achieve that I need a map on where to find the milk?

Maybe someone thinks this is the best thing since sliced bread (if only I had Glasses and this amazing App so I could find sliced bread) but this seems to me like people trying to peddle apps we don’t need or make our lives seem so busy or us seem to be have zero life skills that we need an app to measure how to think.

I hope Google Glasses becomes something really innovative. I think the potential really is there to do some great things sadly I don’t think this video demonstrated much of that at all.

 

 

I wrote a blog post about 3.5 years ago titled Nike+ iPod Why Didn’t I Buy You Earlier

I have been running for about six or seven years and while I go through ups and downs of motivation that I think happens to everyone, I try to average about three to four runs a week. When I first started using Nike+ and measuring my runs, it was really great to be able to look back on my runs and measure my performance either over time or over a specific period.

Since that post I don’t think I have used Nike+ for maybe two or two and half years. What, why would I not keep track of my exercise so I can see if I am doing all the things I am supposed to or not or imporving or running faster/longer, etc…

Even though I am not tracking how far/long my runs are, I think a runner tends to know if they have had a good run or not. When you finish a run you know if you have really put in a good performance without having to verify it by distance or time. I think I have started taking a more wholistic view to running the past few years. So even though I am not measuring my distance – I know roughly if I am running 5 kms or 10 kms and I still have the motivation to keep improving my performance.

For me running serves a couple of purposes. The first is to keep some degree of healthiness. I work from home full time so I have made a conscious effort to make sure I get out and keep moving to stay healthy in some shape or form (maybe a better description is to avoid from becoming unhealthy). The second reason is I find running is a good time for me to tune out to the world and focus my thoughts internally. Life can be quite hectic with 3 kids and working full time and all the other pressures of a normal day. I find when I go for a run my mind tends to wander and I often come up with some of my most creative ideas to problems I am trying to solve. I am a believer in the saying that your best ideas don’t necessarily happen sitting a desk.

I run for the enjoyment of it and all the benefits I get both physically and mentally, I am just not sure I need an application to tell me if I have had a good run or not.So Nike+ it was great having you on my runs for a period of time but I am glad to say that my love for running probably has only become stronger since we have gone seperate ways.

 As the new year begins in India for many students, Oracle India is currently looking for bright, energetic students who are interested in becoming Oracle Campus Ambassadors. We have a dedicated team of Campus Recruiters who are regularly on site at selected Engineering Colleges in India – we need your help to spread the Oracle message within the Student Community. This is a great chance to work with one of the global leaders in the IT space and get some exposure to Oracle that many people do not get the chance to experience

We are specifically looking for Campus Ambassadors at these colleges: 

 IIT Kanpur IIT Delhi  IIT  Madras  IIT Kharagpur
 IIT Kharagpur  IIT Bombay  IIT Guwahati  IT-BHU
 BITS Pilani  BITS Goa  IISc Bangalore

 Do you want to find out more? Have a read of the Infographic we have created below that will talk a little about what an ‘Oracle Ambassador’ actually will do. If you are interested in this fantastic opportunity and meet the eligibility criteria send us your resume at campusrelations_in@oracle.com

We are excited for another great school and we are looking forward to sharing that experience with you.

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