Not Kicking, Not Screaming.

I turned 30 today. Whether or not I would make it this long was not always clear, which makes me particularly thankful.

Most people come into this world kicking and screaming. This is the natural way of things, and is generally considered a good sign for the health of a child. I, (being someone who is more inclined to go my own way) did not. I came into this world silent, slightly blue, and not breathing.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the metrics associated with childbirth, there is a test called the APGAR Score, which is a measurement of the overall health of a newborn. The test gives a 0, 1 or 2 ranking for Appearance (skin color), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace (reflex irritability), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration, with the combined score totalling a maximum of 10. Scores 7 and above are considered normal, 4 to 6 is fairly low, and 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low.

I got a 2. . .

. . . which is un-surprisingly considered a bad start.

Combined with this critically low score, I also had an odd variety of physical defects, the most notable being a webbed neck, webbed fingers, swollen and bulbous feet (called lymphedema, which is caused by a failure of the lymphatic system), and ribs that were concaved on my right side.

Since the webbed fingers combined with lymphedema is common in children with metal retardation, the doctor also advised my parents that I was retarded. (my mother still maintains, in what she feels are her more amusing moments, that this aspect of the diagnosis seemed to have been correct).

Through what I can only assume was careful medical monitoring, mixed with a significant quantity of good luck, my health improved, and my mental retardation never seems to have kicked in.

Though I didn’t come into this world kicking and screaming, I have intuitively known that I should make up for that negligence later in life, and have made it a point to kick and scream every step of the way since then. I have been raised in such a way that I am disinclined to sit back and watch others do things, but am instead compelled to throw myself headfirst into any and all endeavours that take even my passing fancy. (My younger brother is just the same in this regard)

If I wanted to play basketball as a child, it wasn’t enough to be in a single team, rather I would join every team possible, and play as much as 8 games a week, training, and watching instructional dvd’s, and even reading books on basketball the rest of the time (Andrew Gaze is still a superstar as far as I’m concerned.)

If my brother and I wanted to do something, then by God my parents would make sure we were given the chance! When we went through a rock climbing phase, my parents drove us back and forth to the Climbing Centre in Penrith almost every night of the week, and enrolled us in rock climbing clubs and courses the rest of the time. I had made it through the tough start, and now it was time to try, and do, and learn, and be, and experience, everything that there was in this world!

Being a magician, an actor, a candle maker, a window cleaner, a businessman, a stockbroker, a geologist, a kickboxer, a wrestler, a website designer, a poker player. . . I wanted to throw myself into everything, no holds barred, all-in every hand, kicking and screaming with pure excitement the entire time.

And I was lucky enough to have parents that encouraged me, and that made me believe that I COULD do all these things, and that I SHOULD do all this things and that I WOULD do all these things.

I’ve been living life like that for 30 years, and now I’m having a go at being an author, no holds barred, all-in every hand, kicking and screaming with pure excitement the entire time.

Should be interesting to see how that works out 🙂


Woke up this morning, and made $50 before even starting my poker session! As I’ve mentioned before, most of my time online is spent on 888 Poker these days, along with playing some of the tournaments on PartyPoker. So I logged in today, and 888 was advertising the “NUTS!” promotion, where they will give you a 20% instant cash bonus to whatever you deposit, up to a bonus of $50. I always keep a fair bit of cash on each of the poker sites anyway, but if they want to give me $50 just for depositing more, then that’s certainly fine with me! So I deposited $250, got my instant $50, and then went about my business! Easy money! Will probably be cashing a moderate chunk out early next week anyway, so it should work out well.

I had a pretty reasonable 5 hour session today, and finished up about $850, plus the $50 bonus, so a $900 day over all. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of these short sessions, as I can stay fresh and focused, as well as having the rest of the day free for other stuff (like writing and exercise and such). I’ve generally been starting my sessions at about 11ish, and registering tournaments until about 2pm, then just finishing them all off by about 4ish. Pretty cool. This sort of routine makes it easy when I do a late night cash game session too, since I can have a bit of a sleep in without it affecting my regular schedule (I played a live poker game until 2am last night for example).

Rest of the evening will probably be spent getting some work done on the ol’ book. It sounds nerdy (and it is!), but I’ve been enjoying writing a book much more than I anticipated. Never new I had even the slightest hint of a creative side. . . except perhaps for my selection of hair colour. My mum’s second book came out a couple of weeks ago, and is getting really good sales online, so perhaps some small amount of her creativity has washed off on me. Will see when it’s finished 🙂

In other news, my main man Matt Moate is raising money to help people with cancer, though Dry July, where you go without alcohol for the entire month of July. A a good bloke, and a great cause. Check him out: Matt Moate Dry July Fundraiser

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