31 December 2007

2007: A Year of New Challenges

It's time to farewell 2007. Each year seems to go by quicker and quicker! At least I can say it's been a good year and can only hope 2008 will bring similar memories, fun and all that.

I suppose the biggest change, and therefore providing a challenge this year was my new job. I remember at the end of '06 writing about how interesting my two contract roles at UWS were, and now I'm working for them full-time and have farewelled Consortium (my previous employer) after nearly 5 years of work. My new job has been diverse, constantly changing and fun. I hope this doesn't wear off but it's interesting work with a great group of people!

I managed to go on two 'big' trips this year including the family excursion to Australia's island state Tasmania in January, and the big international trip to China in October with Eleonor. Both interesting adventures opening my eyes to new parts of the world. The travel bug continues to strike as I look forward to more travelling in 2008!

Musically, I've recently regained my interest in playing guitar, to the point where I bought myself one earlier in the month and have been rocking out heavy tunes with massive distortion ever since. I attended three concerts this year (slightly less than last year's four!), Roger Waters from Pink Floyd was amazing and Evanescence blew us away in February, while Linkin Park were absolutely fantastic in October. I've now seen all my favourite bands perform live except Limp Bizkit and Rammstein.

My interests continued in much the same 'plane' as 2006 this year. My automotive interests continued on and the Cougar still goes strong. She now wears a set of 19's giving her a much updated look and she took out the award for 'Best Cougar' at the 2007 All Ford Day. Even better than that, she represents the month of November in the 2008 Cougar Calendar put together by the NECO Forum. In racing, Dad and I took to the race track at Eastern Creek to do battle in V8 Race cars, while in the V8 Supercars, my hero team 'Team Vodafone' missed out on the championship win (again!) by 2 points... But, we did win Bathurst.

In aviation, I started my pilot training, and have unfortunately come to a stop due to lack of funds and recent bad weather. I hope to pick this up in '08 and get to my first solo and go beyond. I continued to visit Sydney Airport for spotting adventures, and finally saw the Singapore Airlines A380 up close and personal this morning! (Particularly after missing it when I was at Singapore a few months ago!) My diecast collection is about to hit the 200 mark (this time last year it was at 80!), and I'm now looking to build some sort of diorama so I can display my crazy hobby!

As always, I look towards the new year. '07 brought a lot of surprises and challenges, I hope '08 will be just as interesting and another year that I'll be able to look back on with great memories. I have hopes, dreams and goals all set so we'll see how it all goes, and I'll try to make sure it's all captured here!

Again, thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoyed your 2007 as well, Happy New Year Everyone!

See you in 2008.


30 December 2007

Getting Away

With Christmas and the Holiday season here, Mum decided we should get away and take some time off. The fact that this happened whilst sandwiched in between two of her shifts at work is slightly ironic, but not unlike our mother.

So the four of us drove up to the north coast near Bulahdelah and the Myall Lakes. We stayed in a quaint little villa for two nights and just relaxed. We were attracted to events like bike riding, kayaking and archery, but none of us did any of those things! We did however indulge in a BBQ master chef 'presentation' where we were adequately and generously fed and provided with beer for the amazing price of just $5.00!

We explored the region a bit and saw many beaches which the north coast provides in abundance. We all got some sort of tan before coming back home.

Much like we began the year with our trip to Tasmania, it was a good way to end 2007 with a family trip up the coast.

13 December 2007

The Need for Speed

14 months after finding out I won the major prize in Performance Ford Magazine's subscription giveaway (http://theworldofdaniel.blogspot.com/2006/09/im-winner.html) I finally took to the race track to battle against Dad in our V8 Race Experiences at Eastern Creek Raceway.

Me, about to get into my racecar
The experience was definitely worthwhile, and I'm glad the guys there made more of it than just driving a car around the track and then you go home.

We were firstly given a lesson as a group on the do's and don'ts on the track, particularly at the corners. We then suited up in our race suits, and had our photos taken by one of their cars, a Ford of course so Dad and I were happy... many Holden supporters cringing at the thought of posing with 'the enemy' in the same photo!

From there we queued up and awaited our chariots of fire. The line was longer for the Ford brigade, but it gave us a chance to chat with the other lucky guys about to strap themselves into these V8 monsters and go for it on the track. Dad would end up driving #6, a Rentco branded Falcon, and I would get #21, the CSA Wheels Falcon... and the battle began.

Off I go...

The laps went quickly, and apparently I overtook Dad at one point, but when you're so caught up in the moment, you can't process everything else that's going on around you. To his credit, my instructor was quite laid back and prompting me to go better, I felt I had more in it, but the laps were up, and so was my car's fuel!

In any case, a worthwhile experience that I would have paid the money for! All the better it was free... I feel the need to go one better next time though...