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Plans for 2009

I hope you all had a merry xmas and a great new year. Did you do anything special or interesting for xmas?

I travelled to Adelaide, catching up with my own family and Deidre’s. It was good. It involved lots of driving, though, but oddly, that was also good.

When I’ve driven in the recent past, I’ve usually ended up with stiff and sore shoulders, where they held the tension while driving. I really don’t know what was different, but I had none of that this time around. And if you knew my shoulders, you’d be as surprised as me…

I can only imagine that I was a lot more relaxed than I have been in the past, holding less tension inside of me. I think that had a lot to do with it.

So I drove 3,200km (2,000 miles) over about 7 days, going from Canberra to Adelaide and then back again, and then to Sydney and then back again. And every day I drove, I felt fine.

My enjoyment with driving has made me start thinking about something.

Last year, I decided I want to go to China in 2009 for 2-3 weeks. But now I’ve got a new decision. I want to drive around Australia. That’s right – AROUND Australia. That means around the edge of the continent, with maybe a few trips inland. For example, I’ll need to go see Uluru (Ayers Rock, near Alice Springs) in the centre of the country. This would require a trip south from Darwin, and then back halfway back up again, before continuing on east to Queensland.

Traveling around Australia is something I’ve always wanted to do. So I’m going to do it.

It will be a nice long drive for my car, that’s for sure.

Speaking of my car, that’s something else I want to do in 2009 – I want to modify it.

Ford XR6 Turbos are just made to ‘mod’ (modify). Everyone that loves their car does it, either by improving the performance, or the appearance, or both. I intend doing both.

My car currently looks like this (click on the image to expand the size):


I want it to look like this, but in the same blue as it currently is:


I’ve found out that it’s relatively cheap to do. A new bonnet with airscoop and new front bar, including installation, will cost about AU$1,700. So I’ve set myself a savings goal with a gift for myself at the end of it. Save $11,700 and then when I do that, spend $1,700 on the car.

The mods I’ll be doing to improve performance will include a larger air intake for the turbo (the same air intake used on a Ford F6 Typhoon), as well as what’s called an ‘edit’ on the engine computer, which will modify its inner workings to create better performance. Unfortunately, it also voids the engine warranty, so I’m still in two minds about that… I might not get it done, and might just end up doing small things here and there that won’t affect the warranty. We’ll just have to see…

So those are my biggest plans for 2009.

The rest of my plans include doing a great job at work and securing my future as an IT manager, working on a number of personal issues I have relating to passive aggression, and taking my mum around Sydney.

It’s where she’s wanted to go all her life, so over xmas I told her that I’ll take her on a tour of Sydney, showing her all the historical places that she’s always wanted to see. I’ll probably do that during our Autumn (March – May), when it’s a nice temperature, not too hot or cold.

I’m thinking of going around Australia in August, the last month of Australia’s winter. This is because most of the journey will be out in the harsh, arid landscapes where it gets really hot… doing it in winter would be much better than closer to summer.

I have a big smile on my face. This is going to be a big year.

I think that literally driving around the coast of Australia is far too long a journey… What’s more likely to happen is that I’ll plan a number of locations I want to see, all around Australia, and just drive to each one of them, with the occasional deviation here and there.

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