As any good programmer knows, that’s how it always starts. Yes I am a nerd, shut up. At the insistence of my good friend David, the time has finally come for me to start my blog! Seriously though, I have been thinking of starting one for ages, but my old lazy self has kicked in and I never got around to it.
With this blog, I don’t really care if other people read it. It will be for me. It will be my stream of consciousness. It will detail what I am interested in, what I am thinking about, maybe just some random photo I took. Maybe only my family and friends will be interested. Maybe no one will. Probably the latter. But that’s ok.
So I guess I better introduce myself formally. G’day, my name is Ben, and I have a problem. Whoops, wrong meeting. Might leave the comedy to my good mate Daryl, his blog (westley.net.au) will be much more light hearted than mine.
For some reason I am finding this introduction harder than what I thought, so ill just start listing things that are a part of my life.
Firstly, I have a beautiful and amazing wife, Chereen. She is my one true friend in this world, and everything to me. She makes me laugh, and I love spending time with her, but she also lets me out of the house to pursue many of my other interests. One day soon we will have an awesome son or daughter, or two (fingers crossed for a son!).
Probably the next thing down on the list would my studies. I graduated back in 2007 from the University of Adelaide with a double Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Physics. I really loved that time in my life. I love finding out new things – why things work the way they do. I currently work at DSTO as an electronic engineer working with sonar. I really like it, though sometimes I struggle with day to day stuff, as everyone does at their job. I am still studying – currently for a Master of Sciences (Defence Signal and Information Processing) which basically means processing data from sonar and radar systems. I am entering the final year this year, with my thesis, so if this blog stops sometime during the year, that will most probably be the reason. Or maybe that is a reason to keep this going.
One of the big loves of my life is sports. Always has been. Even though I am not the most athletically gifted or talented, I just love the competition. I pride myself on having a pretty good knowledge on just about every sport, which was most definitely spurned by my parents and brothers, who all love their sport too. Probably the only sport I was ever close to being “good” at was tennis, with my twin brother Matthew and I regularly travelling around the state when we were younger to different tournaments. We almost got to the level where we were playing national level tournaments, but didn’t quite get there. Our interest waned when we reached 12/13 or so. I kind of regret that now. I doubt I would have ever been a professional tennis player or anything, but I know I would be playing at a much higher level than I do now. Which would have been nice. Probably would have kept me fitter too. Once again I am finding myself trying to write a novel, so I think ill write a separate article about sports in a little bit.
My other current obsession is Poker. I absolutely love the game, and it drives me competitively more than any other pursuit, maybe on a par with golf which I am just discovering my love for. Poker is a very mental game, very mathematical, and very competitive, with a hint (or maybe two hints) of gamble, so I feel it suits my personality traits perfectly. Or maybe it has shaped my personality over the past few years, who knows.
I have been lucky enough and good enough to be able to renovate our house, bankroll our impending European holiday in August, and go on several poker trips to Melbourne for the last 3 years now, all from poker. I once had dreams of playing professionally, and I think I have the skill required to play full time if I wanted to, but it would just never work in practice – family, mortgages and all of those other lovely things get in the way. My goal is to be able to afford an overseas holiday every year from poker winnings, although we have only gone on one trip to Malaysia and Singapore (mostly because of Chereen winning a competition) in those three years, we could have gone on more, so I am very happy with how it is going. I probably put in more hours to poker than anything else in my life at the moment, which is something I am not entirely comfortable with – the competition aspect is rewarding but really its not something you can hang your hat on and tell all and sundry. So I have tried recently to diversify my interests somewhat.
Recently I was thinking, and something I realised was that I don’t have many artistic pursuits. I have never really played a musical instrument before, I don’t really read books, and I definitely can’t draw or paint or dance. I quite like cooking, especially curries where I have to grind up the spices from scratch etc, but I am not sure whether that really counts. One thing that did change recently was we bought a new camera, a Canon 650D, our first digital SLR camera, and after seeing some of the first photos I took and how great the quality was, it really sparked an interest in me. It is also quite technical, and I had absolutely no concept of what any of the jargon meant, which was unusual for me, as I like to think I have a relatively wide general knowledge base. But I knew absolutely nothing about photography. So recently I have been trying to learn about it, and I am really excited to learn more. From time to time on this blog I will post different photos I have taken. I might even write some articles about what I have learned. Maybe.
That is probably enough for this first article. I hope this pang of interest in blog writing doesn’t fall by the wayside. It may well do. See how we go.