Movember 2014 is over and it was really successful.
Unlike the bad 80’s porn Mo that I sported in 2013, this years attempt to grow in a set of Chopper Reed handlebars (see my artist impression) will get chocked up as a success, at least in my mind anyway!
Additionally, I managed to push through the $1000 barrier for the charity fundraising element and completed the month at a whopping $1100 – a massive thank you needs to go out to everyone that donated!
Below is the evolution or movolution of my Mo, including it going pink for the last work day of the month to help solicit the last few donations that clearly got me over the line.
Now I just need to work out what style of Mo I’m going to sport next year, sorry Claire!
Today I enjoyed one of my 34th birthday presents from Claire, hot laps in a V8 Supercar!
Performance Driving Centre are located on the Gold Coast at Norwell, which is on the eastern side of the M1 behind Ormeau. In addition to offering V8 Supercar experiences in both Ford and Holden vehicles, they also provide driver training in four different classes, karting, track days for you to drive your own car and corporate/business events!
When I arrived, like most events of this nature you sign your life away in a waiver. I was then led into another room to get into a race suit and find a helmet by V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen.
I was really fortunate as there weren’t that many other people there, so as soon as I was dressed I walked out of the building and met my driver whose hands I was going to be placing my life in at over 200kph – Steve ‘Robbo’ Robinson who races V8 Utes.
Two minutes later I was pouring myself into a Ford V8 Supercar and getting buckled up by Steve Owen. The cars start their life as a road going vehicle and are upgraded into race cars with roll cages, bracing, V8 Supercar aero kits, wheels, tyres, brakes and suspension. The engine delivers over 400HP at the wheels and it’s driven through a normal H-pattern gear box. I didn’t ask Robbo if the gearbox was a Holinger or not (they come in H-pattern or sequential) but they use an H-pattern because as a customer you can book packages where you get to drive these beasts and a H-pattern is practical in that sense.
Before I knew it the engine fired up and we were away, roaring into the first turn and breaking hard. Initially I was expecting that it’d take Robbo an entire lap around the track to really start laying into it but before we got through the out lap, he was pounding through the corners are full noise.
The lateral forces are incredible, the fastest turn at the back of the track the car feels like it is on the edge of its grip but despite tearing over the top of the ripple strips – it stays the course and you get fired out the other side.
Probably the most impressive part of it though is the acceleration and breaking. As you come through the slower corner, the time it takes to shift through two gears at full RPM and then stomp on the break coming into the next corner is amazing, then its back on full throttle as soon as the vehicle hits the apex.
It was an amazing experience, I had a massive smile on my face the entire time we were in the car – I just couldn’t believe how fast it was. It makes the speed sensation of pushing a go-kart to the edge through fast turns seems so slow by comparison (despite you being 2″ off the ground in a kart).
I’ve now got an entirely new appreciation for what a V8 Supercar driver goes through at a race track like Bathurst, as the real cars put out about 250HP more and are 400Kg lighter as well. This now makes all of the editorial that I’ve read over the years by journalists make so much more sense when they say they are a brutal assault on your senses and the power, handling and breaking just don’t let up – ever!
Movember is a great cause to raise awareness for men’s health issues, whether it is physical or mental health – it doesn’t matter – the point is to raise the profile of men’s health issues so they can be dealt with in a caring and compassionate way.
I participated in Movember last year for the first time and it was a scary endevour as I wasn’t sure how I’d go having never attempted to grow a mustache before. I’ve now learned that I can’t grow a luxurious mustache like some blokes and by the end of the month it looked like I’d been pulled off the set of a bad 80’s porn film! That might not have been so bad though, I think people generally felt bad for me and as a result, I managed to raise $805 over the month – which I think is pretty bloody awesome.
My last attempt I tried to grow a pretty tradition mustache, you know – the hairy top lip. This year in an attempt to look ever so slightly less ridiculous, I’m going to see if I can carve out a moderately respectable set of handle bars. I know right now I’ll be no Chopper Reed but it is worth a shot!
Below is my artists impression of what I might hope to look like if I channel enough energy and think positive thoughts about my mustache:
Raising money for Movember helps my Mo grow, honest! My MoSpace page is up and running already, so you can donate to my worthy cause right now – don’t wait – get your wallet and flick me $50 – it is for a great cause!
Claire, Hugo and Evie woke me up in the morning first thing to open some presents:
Diablo 3 for my computer
A few fresh pairs of sport socks
Armani Black Code perfume
George & Jude gave me $50 which I’ll add to my Dick Smith Christmas voucher
Ordinarily we’d have McDonalds for breakfast on my birthday, however this morning we delayed that and instead rolled with a standard breakfast instead.
Initially we’d planned to go ten pin bowling at the AMF at the Logon Hyperdome, however as timing would have it – not many family were able to join us so we postponed that for another day when more people can attend as its a lot more fun I think.
We still ventured up to the Hogs Breathe at the Logan Hyperdome for lunch and I munched through a delicious steak sandwich and added an egg for good measure. Andrew rode his motorbike up from Ipswich for lunch and the afternoon which was great.
When we returned back to Upper Coomera after lunch, Andrew and I visited the new Rippit radio controlled hobby shop in Helensvale. I’m really impressed with what the Rippit guys have done since opening their store, there are always people in the shop and they’ve now opened an indoor race track as well.
Later that afternoon Sterle, Lorraine and Jean came over for a cup of coffee and also sporting cream puffs. We enjoyed those and a freshly made chocolate cake that was decorated with a ring of M&M’s around the outside per the request of Hugo and Evie.
As a surprise Lorraine offered to babysit Hugo and Evie, so Claire and I could go to the movies and see the latest installment of The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. I really enjoyed the movie, the special efforts for Smaug the dragon were absolutely fantastic, I think I could watch that whole section of the movie again just for that alone!
Thank you to everyone that called, SMS’d and messaged me on Google+ or facebook for my birthday as well. I received a swag of them through Google+ this time, many from people I’ve helped through the SEO Questions community – which was really nice.
After over nine years with Mantra Group, today I resigned from my current position of Ecommerce Analyst and I accepted a new job offer at Wotif Group to head up their search engine optimisation team.
First impressions of Wotif Group are excellent, their recruitment process is very organised. First off the bat was a phone interview which was relatively brief and took about 10 minutes to cover off some basic requirement type questions. For both in person interviews, I received an email from their human resources department in a clearly structured format outlining address, dates, times, interview panel members and instructions once I arrived at the office all ahead of time.
The two interviews I had were great, first was a technical based interview which lasted for about 90 minutes and went very well – I could have kept discussing search engine marketing with Joe for another hour. Second interview with the executive general manager of the department was about 75 minutes in duration and also went very well, easy interview format that felt more like a two way discussion than a one way flood of questions.
I love that the Wotif Group office has LCD screens throughout the office with real-time key performance indicators about how the company is performing today, this week, this month and so forth. While a subtle thing, it indicates that they are measurement based which I think is critical in today’s ultra competitive online environment and that they want everyone in the business to be ever mindful of what they can do to help meet the companies goals.
Exciting times ahead, can’t wait to get started on 6th January 2014!