February 2023 – Check up before the wreck up

Across the month I blogged, I wrote, I lifted and got injured. I also finally took myself to the doctors when my asthma went a little stir crazy and on top of that I started wondering about big Volvos.. Welcome to February 2023!

Green lights across the board

Let’s start with one of the big positives of February 2023 – people are reading my stuff. And if you’re one of these great people (if you’re reading this and you’re not me then yes, you certainly do tick that box) then thank you for being awesome.
According to the daily stats while my fellow Aussies are leading the charge in numbers taking a look at this page (which works well considering it’s a .com.au effort) I’m loving the fact that I’m getting to parts of the US, Netherlands, Canada, UK, Russia and even South Korea. It was a noticeable increase in visitors this month and while not groundbreaking (ie It’s not matching Twitter popularity yet..) I do appreciate each and everyone of you.
(It’s taken roughly 3 months to get to this stage so if you’re blogging yourself and getting disappointed in your numbers, just keep going. Sometimes it just takes time)
As I appreciate whoever in the US bought three of my books this month, especially after it was dead quiet last month. I may never meet you one on one, you might never find your way here but bless your Cyberpunk loving socks and thanks for kicking in a few bucks to my house building/next car purchase/retirement fund.
And if you want to read what the fuss is all about, what I’ve written can be found right here.

(All up this month I’ve added about 10k worth of blogging bits and pieces, but only 5k words on my latest book. While I’ve crossed the 50% book word count total, it’s still slow progress and I really need to pick up the pace during March.)

February 2023 Blog earnings: 20 cents

February 2023 Book earnings: $5.28

But not all news in February 2023 can be good news however..

It’s not an injury cloud, however…

Sigh. They can’t all be perfect exercise sessions can they? On one barbell day this month I decided to keep adding more weight each set until I was past my own body weight (73kg). Which would have been okay had I not decided to do a whole heap of sets to get there. While I got the 80kg off the ground without too much trouble, I effectively drained myself of any and all energy for the next three days. I was tired, sluggish and cranky no matter how much I ate to try and get some energy back – and flat mood Al is really no fun at all.
The next dumbbell day didn’t go to plan either as after it something went ‘twang’ in my shoulder and there’s still a slight twinge there a few days later when I lift anything or turn my neck. They weren’t particularly heavy dumbbells either but obviously enough for my shoulder muscles to protest and that was that.
So there’s been a few extra days of recovery in between sessions just to get things in order again and I’m not moving onto the next day (which will be kettle bells) until I’m confident that things won’t hurt again. Listen to your body kids, it’ll give you plenty of signs when you need to take a breath.
(Although with a rent inspection next week complete with original house owners, I have been keeping fit ripping out weeds with mad abandon and wielding my new garden slaying weapon, so I’m still working out…kinda.)

During the shortened month, only 8 exercise sessions out the back. Still, extra recovery days included – I’m still well on track for my fitness challenge this year.

February 2023 Current score 25.52% towards the yearly target (80k fitocracy points) with 10 months to go!

To add to that injury cloud that isn’t actually an injury cloud..

My asthma has been going haywire again. Last year an asthma storm ripped me a new one and sent me packing to the emergency room down the road. A few hours later I was fully across blast therapy with a new puffer and spacer ready to go.

February 2023 Picture from https://spikeybits.com/2017/10/expert-xenos-fighters-savlar-chem-dogs-lore.html
I fully expect this is how I look gasping through my spacer at 1am

This year it’s fired up big time again and I’ve had everything from coughing fits to laboured breathing, right down to wheezing that would have my perfectly cast for something undead on anything Lord of Rings related. You know something isn’t working well when you’re having to use your puffer daily, just to get by even with a preventer on board.
Don’t kid yourself, when it gets to this point it’s not going to magically right the boat all of a sudden.

And so reluctant as I am to go to doctors (it’s a guy thing I guess), I did go to the docs and explained my situation and current misery this situation was providing, while waiting for elective surgery to remove polyps in my nose that have completely blocked my sense of smell. And have me reaching for the tissues constantly. And make me sneeze like a out of control turbo when alcohol is involved because why should I enjoy my mead without my sinuses exploding?
I’m now on steroids to help combat the possible infection in my lungs, trialling a new preventer and if that fails, I have a script backup for something else to have a crack at in a months time.
To my fellow asthmatics, I salute thee because you know the occasional hardships at times but please see your doctor if you need to, especially if you’re reaching for an inhaler more often then a couple of times a week or even if it’s just for a new idea on how to prevent your quality of life.

Savings continues to grow, debt shrinks slowly

Although in the week leading up to this post, both went a touch backwards. I got a reminder on why I need to continue to fund my cash accounts, because even though they come with a paltry interest rate they don’t go backwards on the odd occasion like other investments. Spaceship, Raiz, Superhero, BT all dropped a shade as investments are known to do, Plenti continued to grow though and my ING accounts just stayed stable.
Credit card wise I found myself using it for the first time all year due to a trip to Melbourne for my son Jackson’s medical appointment and buying the grass trimmer to get a jump on getting the house ready for inspection but anything I’ve spent there will be paid off come payday in a couple of days time.
For the first time in a loooong time (actually come to think of it, this has never happened) I built up enough leeway to reduce my credit card limit by $500. There’s still enough space on it for emergencies god forbid but $500 less to worry about if I hit the limit.
As more gets paid more, I’ll continue to drop that limit down to which will help big time with any possible loans and a future mortgage.
(Also the letter from the bank to confirm my new reduced limit was great to read, usually I just gloss over anything and everything they send me via the post. Here’s to more across the year!)

February 2023: With everything going on, I’m still $2400 better off so far this year and that feels awesome.

Is a Volvo a go?

More of a post for my car blog Drive Another Day but I’d love your thoughts on this one – the Slowbaru is still hanging about but the next possible car purchase I’m entertaining at this stage is a Volvo, especially along the lines of the luxury tank that is an XC70.

Now budget and savings, book sales and blog revenue combined added to whatever price I get for the Slowbaru in its current condition will definitely not stretch to new model money. But with a bit of luck it might just cover this model out of 2007, possibly the 6 cylinder over the turbo. Yes I know it’ll be the biggest thing I’ve owned car wise (although hilariously I wish I had my old Rx7 to park next to it to see the sheer height distance between the pair) and it’s got the turning circle of a diesel train, but these things hold a certain appeal for me – comfy, cruisy, plenty of space in the back, shades of my old wagon really.

So do you own one/have owned one? Did you have any major issues or can suggest things I need to look out for? I know they’re big on timing belts, pcv valves and transmission flushes so one that’s had that attention is a good start but I’d love to hear your thoughts/history or even mechanical nightmares if that’s happened too.

Hit me with it, warts and all. Is this a good move or should I hang out for a somehow both affordable and low mileage Lexus Rx350 if such a thing still exists?

And finally in other news..

A big shout out to Facebook group ‘Eavier Metal, which has nothing to with metal music. Instead it features some of the greatest miniature painters the world over…and then there’s me, still trying to work out which end of a brush to use and building up my paint range ever so slowly.
Although as much of a hack as I am, I am picking up plenty of hints and tips which has inspired me to work on my very first diorama, mostly 3d printed and painted randomly across the month.

February 2023

Rubbish camera skills aside (using a bung camera on my Samsung doesn’t help) I’m thoroughly enjoying this and over time will add more levels to this piece and a hell of a lot more zombies. Because I feel that the super buff warrior monk would make short work of this lone undead in no time flat, so I better get 3d printing some more.

Right, that’s February 2023 all sewn up and in the bag. Onto March now!

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