Two members of the Breakfast Club, Phil on the left who works in Afghanistan and has a blog called www.sparrowpress.blogspot.com and Andrew (Broadie) on the right who is currently in China with his family for a couple of weeks visiting friends who work there. One of them is a Dockers fan and the other knows nothing about football either.
Countdown to Augusta
Friday, April 29, 2005
ANZAC Day prayer
Jesus said "Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends".
On ANZAC Day we remember the thousands of men and women who have died serving their country, protecting the freedom that we enjoy as a privilege in Australia.
God, thank you for the many people throughout our history who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in wars.
Thank you for those who have been willing to defend the freedom we have and to stand against tyranny evil and injustice around the world.
We pray for comfort for the families and friends of all those who have died fighting for Australia, may their names and their deeds never be forgotten.
And may we who remain honour their memory by upholding the same principles for which they gave their lives.
God, please give wisdom to our leaders, may they do all they can to create and maintain peace.
Thank you God for the gift of life and for your love mercy and grace.
Thank you that you also paid the highest price in giving your son Jesus as a sacrifice for us all.
Back with a bang
I'm happy to report that we won our volleyball game tonight, 3 sets to 0. I'm keen to get into an A Grade team, that's where the real action is.
This morning we held an ANZAC Day service at school and I was really impressed and moved by the whole thing, the kids were great, the band played well, the trumpeter who played the last post and revellie did a brilliant job and even the bloke who spoke from the RSL was excellent. I had the task of praying at the end of the service. I'll post the prayer next time I'm here. I'm impressed with how much significance and respect is paid to ANZAC Day and our veterans, it seems to be increasing each year, with more kids and young people honouring the contribution and memory of so many men and women who have died and served in wars.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Manna from heaven
Don't you just love unexpected good news?
I asked the registrar to explain the account statements I'd been receiving each month as i didn't know what they referred to. To my great surprise and delight I discovered that one of them was a chaplain's expenses account and it contains a generous amount of funds as directed by the principal. Further good feelings followed at the news that their use is at my discretion! That memory card I've been wanting is first on my list! But, with power comes responsibility and I have had to resist the urge to think, "spend, spend, spend!" that usually accompanies the presence of money in my account/wallet/hands.
Some people just seem to know how to make money, my talent with money is at the other end of the spectrum! My challenge is to not just spend it coz I've got it, but to weigh up what is really needed and is useful for my work, as opposed to toys gadgets and status symbols...hang on, in my job, they're both the same!!
As winter approaches, I think some sort of heater might be appropriate!
Another piece of good news today was the successful renegotiation of dates for this year's Cool School Race Camp with major stakeholder Carine SHS and principal Paul Ganderton. Juggling school calendars with all the competing interests and commitments is a tricky task but we've done it. For those who are interested the camp will run from Nov 30 to Dec 2.
Finally, news of another convert to blogging, welcome to the blogging community Phil Sparrow, my friend who along with his wife and kids lives and works in Afghanistan. It's a tough place to live and it's not always easy or pleasant reading, but it doesn't do us any harm to check out how other people live/survive/die.
His blog address is http://www.sparrowpress.blogspot.com/
One final piece of good news, the volleyball season starts tomorrow night, you bewdy!
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Anne's house overlooking Frenchman's Bay at Albany. Sadly her husband Terry died about a year after they moved here. On the bright side he spent his final year in a beautiful spot surrounded by family and friends. We spent a night with Anne and look forward to going back again and doing a bit more looking around albany and the Stirling Ranges, truly lovely places.
The things you find on a day at the beach! We went for a drive to Willyabrup and Canal Rocks with Bruce and Jane last weekend and found some very interesting things! We feel blessed to live in such close proximity to so many beautiful and spectacular places. What used to be a camping holiday is now an afternoon drive. There is much more to find and explore, like the beauty of Meelup Beach and the galleries around Yallingup. With just 2 days to go before school restarts we'll try and take another opportunity to get out and enjoy it tomorrow when we go cutting and collecting firewood with Stu and the robinsons. Winter has started to peak around the corner of Autumn, we had lots of rain on Thursday and Carolyn has already had the first fire of the season. With that in mind we went and bought a heater for the new house last week, and taking advantage of a 48 month interest free deal from Hardly Normal we also bought a dishwasher! Are we on the downhill slifde to decadence or merely stepping into the 21st century and using our limited time and energy more effectively? You can have your own opinion but i'm looking forward to having a machine take on one of the most onerous and constant of daily domestic duties!
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Yes, the Cats won in Adelaide. What a game, what a great win, Go Cats!! Alright, yes it should have been a free kick to Tredrea with 10 seconds left and he would have been kicking for goal after the siren to win the game, but the umpy didn't pay it and that's all that matters!!!! Scarlett had a dirty night, Tredrea beat him easily, but he kept battling and in the end Geelong had a little bit of luck and broke the travelling hoodoo. Go Cats
Friday, April 22, 2005
Commonwealth Games ticket orders close tonight
The ticket window for Melbourne 2006 closes tonight, now it's time to sit back and wait to see what we get in the ballot. With a bit of help from Dad, Vicki, Kevin and Steve we've ordered enough tickets to potentially get everyone into the swimming at the games.
The airfares have all been booked and paid for. Two schools in Melbourne are keen to host our group. It's all looking good.
I'm going to Melbourne in a couple of weeks for a footy/family weekend, including a visit to Zac in Tasmania, and will be doing some reconnaisance in Melbourne with the host school(s), checking out travel times and details, looking at games venues etc, it should be quite a productive visit.
Let's hope the cats top it off with a win over the saints at Docklands.
I'm in Perth at the moment having been to a chaplain's PD day today. They're always good, it's great to catch up with my mates in chaplaincy, and the main presenter today was very interesting, discussing Loss and Grief in relation to working with young people.
Tomorrow I'm off to the footy with Stu to see the Dockers play the Blues. Let's hope Freo put up a better show than last week or Chris Connolly will be in trouble, contract or no contract!!
Tough task in Adelaide
Friday night football and the Cats are playing the premiers in Adelaide, not a very promising prospect considering our dismal away form. Can the Cats break the losing sequence which stands at 13 interstate games without a win? Sadly I doubt it. Ironically, the game is just about over but we're waiting for the tv replay to start at 8.30. We being Kevin Bourke and I, another diehard Geelong fan.
C'mon Cats, don't let us down again!
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Just got home from a quick trip to Albany and Bridgetown with the family.
3 memorable quotes from the trip:
Jordan, when told he needs a haircut coz it's hanging in his eyes:
"No way, then I wouldn't be the sexy beast that I am"
Unknown roadhouse worker (female) as I was entering the shop, to someone unseen:
"Answer the phone, ya dickhead"
Paul, to Cody, who was having trouble seeing the large fibreglass whale at WhaleWorld, partially obscured by a shed:
"Don't worry about it, it just looks like a big fish"
Monday, April 18, 2005
The Come Back
Friday April 15, mark it in your diary, that was the day of the big comeback. After more than 18 years of retirement, I pulled on the footy boots for my comeback game on Friday night. I lined up at full back for the Busselton Magpies v the Leschenault Crabs in my first game of Superrules footy, (vets, over 35's that is). While I didn't trouble the statistician overly, nor did I disgrace myself in my three quarters of hard running footy. These are my observations from the big night.
1. There is something decidedly distasteful about playing for a team called the Magpies and wearing a black and white striped jumper, It may take quite a while not to feel nauseous just pulling on the jumper before each game.
2. Footy looks a lot easier on the telly than it is in real life
3. I used up most of my petrol tickets getting to the ball, leaving very little in the tank with which to bend down and pick it up.
4. Bending down and picking it up looms as a challenge regardless of how far I've run to get to the ball.
5. Don't believe the advertising about Superrules being a more gentle version of our great game, it was plenty physical!
6. Disregard also the nonsense about the score not being kept and winning not mattering, we went down by three points and everyone knew it.
7. Even blokes with beer guts can surprise you with their speed over 5 metres!
8. It remained a social and enjoyable occasion with both teams gathering for a drink in the change rooms after the game and also in the clubrooms later.
9. Even at the mature age of 43 there is something just a little off-putting about being in the showers with half a dozen naked men!
10. I'll be back for more, it was fun despite feeling stuffed by the end, and I avoided injury, a major bonus!
Carn the Magpies, cough cough splutter gag retch, that's gonna be the hardest part for sure!!
Friday, April 15, 2005
A Tale of Two sheds
I've had 2 shed experiences this week, one good one bad.
On Tuesday I gave a bloke a hand to clear stuff out of his shed. His marriage broke down a couple of years ago, his business went bust and now the house has to be sold. Sadly, his wife has a violence restrining order against him and the relationship is acrimonious to say the least. The shed was full of junk, including 8 car doors, and a selection of motors, heads, diffs, axles and exhausts, to go along with the four car bodies in the back yard. It was a big job which reflected sadly on a relationship gone bad and people who at one time committed their lives to one another now tearing each other apart. It was a great shed, huge, lots of storage, fridge, pool table, dart board, music and more, but it was a only sad echo of better days. Anger bitterness and hatred had brought it crumbling down from the inside.
The second shed was my own, out in our back yard in Busselton. As it's school break time I have a fair bit of free time and I needed to unload all the gear from Rypen which was still in the back of the van. I decided to do the job properly and clear all our stuff out of the shed, throw out some rubbish, re-pack a few boxes and get the place tidied up and organized. The shed has two boats in it, belonging to the landlords, so there's not an abundance of room, but most of our stuff is in storage at Ruth and Antony's place so it's just the stuff I use regularly, the bikes, the mower, the footballs, my screen printing gear etc. It took a couple of hours but it was worth the effort, it looks heaps better and there's a stack more room. There's something very therapeutic about tidying up the shed, and something very purging about throwing stuff out and deciding you don't need so much stuff in your life any way.
I am firmly resolved that when we move into our new place in a couple of months, we're not taking all our stuff with us. Operation Liberation will proceed in three stages: Stage 1. Garage Sale. Stage 2. Op shops. Stage 3. The Dump.
It's not all virtuous I'm afraid, necessity is the co-author of this undertaking, the new house has just one small shed!
Fatty better than Eddie any day
Here's a tip for all you non-insomniacs, The NRL Footy Show is way better than the Eddie Everywhere and Sleazy Sam show. Don't get me wrong, I love AFL and have very little affection for Rugby League, but the (AFL) Footy Show is an abomination on the Football canvas, a blight on the good name of footy. Newman's patronising, sanctimonious, arrogant clap trap, not to mention his smut and sleaziness make me nauseous. McGuire is his usual "I'm right on everything and I own football" smarm and is he the only person in the world who can't recognise the hypocrisy of presidenting and commentating on games, and not just Collingwood games either? Almost Footy Legends is the one remaining shining light in the whole show, with the occasional witty remark from Trevor the only other thing of value.
Have you worked out that I'm over it?
Meanwhile Fatty Vautin and his crew do a much better job of sending themselves and their game up, without the arrogance or crudity. Yes they push the envelope at times, but in a much funnier way, with great characters and natural personalities. So, if you haven't had the pleasure and you're willing to stay up late, or set the video, do the comparison for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Melbourne 2006 update
Friday was the deadline for signing up for the Commonwealth Games trip and I'm delighted to report that 10 people paid their $1113 each to secure games tickets and airfares, the trip is well and truly on. The mystifying part is that they are all girls! The one boy who was going to go got cold feet and pulled out, as one of my mates said, "What's wrong with that boy?" I spent an hour on the phone trying to book two tickets to Melbourne for Jordan and Paul using my credit card reward points, only to be told it couldn't be done for another month! The woman who handled the call must have been moved by my disappointment/frustration because she rang back 10 minutes later to tell me that her supervisor had approved the booking. Unfortunately I was in the throes of a giggling fit when she rang and it took about 4 minutes before I could stop laughing long enough to answer the phone properly! I blame Stu and Rod who were in my office at the time causing much hilarity and egging me on in my convulsions with promptings emenating from my alien voice warping megaphone!! Stu's dry comment after I hung up was "How unprofessional!" triggering a new burst of convulsions!
So 14 of us will be haeding to Melbourne next year for the Commonwealth Games, you bewdy!
PS if you like a laugh check out my Dad's blog(Yeah I know!) holtieshouse.blogspot.com.au I'm not vouching for the quality or suitability of his material but I've had a couple of chuckles.
The pain of passion! Cats go down again!
The Cats lost badly on Friday night, a lousy way to start a weekend. Inaccuracy and a serious injury to James Bartel (Wally Foreman please note, there is no s on the end of bartel, and there's only one of him, you do work for the ABC and we expect better) hurt us but in the end Melbourne were just a lot better. I had a lousy round all up, only getting 2 tips out od 8!! Freo let me down, Carlton capitulated (which is no bad thing usually except in this case they did it to Collingwood) Port Adelaide clearly have a premiership hangover, The Bulldogs first up win was just a fluke, Brisbane would have buried Sydney when they were winning premierships, and St Kilda like Geelong let all the pre-season hype go to their heads.
Michael, hope you enjoyed the Swans finish, never hurts to see Brisbane lose, especially at home.
There's always next week to look forward to, Geelong v Essendon on Saturday night, Go Cats!
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Sorry about the repetition Sorry about the repetition
I thought my last post disappeared into cyberspace when my server disconnected me, but surprise surprise, it landed on my blog after all. Editing the glitch was not an easy task but I finally navigated to the right place by the scientific method of trial and error and sheer luck. Which raised another moral question for me, should I rewrite the sentance in my "19 Years" post which was not what I meant to say and was not an accurate reflection of reality, but was probably less likely to bother or offend? In the end I softened it, my idea of a compromise.
Good news, the Commonwealth Games trip is a goer, I'm meeting with parents and students tonight.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
I've been home a couple of days following my annual excursion to Perth to direct RYPEN, a camp run by Rotary in which they sponsor teenagers from around WA to come on a weekend camp at Araluen in Roleystone. This was my 11th year of directing the camp and I'm happy to report it went very well. I had a team of 12 young adults running the camp with me and 62 kids, 3 of whom I brought with me from Busselton. We play lots of games including the highly popular Men in Black. As the name suggests it's based on the movie with the leaders playing the roles of the Men in Black and the campers cast in the roles of the aliens and given the task of escaping from the campsite by gathering a collection of escape kit items (money, food, weapon, papers etc) whilst avoiding capture by the MIB who are of course suitably armed with the most impressive and intimidating water pistol weaponry money can buy. The aliens are issued ID cards and instructed to hold a shot glass of jelly in their mouths which of course they spit out in a simulated explosion upon being shot by the MIB. Hitting a Man In Black with said jelly is a bonus.
All this is good fun but by far the high point of cool in the game is at the start when the MIB enter the room and perform the opening dance sequence as seen in the video of the song. OK, we don't do the whole sequence, but we do dance the first 40-50 seconds, resplendant in black suit and tie and dark sunnies. Once the kids get over the shock of seeing 13 "un-co" post-teens performing a dodgy rendition of Will Smith's moves and appreciate the effort and rehearsal that has obviously gone into it they usually clap, after they've stopped laughing of course.
I sometimes tell the team we should call Rypen "Dress-up camp" because on Saturday morning we all head into Armadale and change into costumes and disguises in an attempt to remain incognito and undiscovered by the kids who are searching for the "Armadale Fugitives". While most of the team, dressed as tramps, workmen, gothics, punks, businessmen and pregnant mothers are fairly easy to spot mingling with the Saturday morning shoppers, the real challenge for the campers is proving their identity by singing the line of a popular song to them and awaiting the leader's singing of the next line. This year they had to sing, loudly, "Whooo Black Betty Bam ba Lam". The most fun is looking back at them blankly and trying to bluff them that you are not who they think you are. I asked a passing cleaner to "get these kids to stop following me" and continued walking, I'm not sure who was more surprised, the kids at my blatant ploy or the cleaber confronted by a large middle-aged man in a long black bogan wig and beanie requesting her to take on the role of a security guard by someone who was clearly the more likely "problem" to be dealt with!
There is a lot of other stuff at Rypen, workshops, social justice forums, art and creativity activities, sport, food, friends and free time.
The best thing about Rypen though is the team, a mixed bunch of young people who meet for a couple of months before camp to plan and prepare a very full and high quality program. Considering they are all volunteers their commitment and work load is amazing, but they love it and are always keen to come back.
There was a significant difference this year for me. I deliberately took a step back from a lot of the up front stuff I normally do and delegated heaps of stuff to the team. It was actually easier to do than I thought it would be and I enjoyed taking on the role of "coach", supporting and advising the team from the sidelines as they took on major responsibilities. The team also enjoyed the opportunity to step up and take on new challenges, and not surprisingly they did a great job.
The end of Rypen doesn't come when the kids go home on Sunday afternoon. The team kicks on for the debrief, pizza at a nearby team member's place, evaluations and a detailed review of the program and the team's performance. The final act of Rypen is the affirmation time where we give one another feedback to affirm the job done and the personal qualities and character of each of the team. It is always a special and significant time and a great way to finish off all the work and effort not just from the weekend but the preceding months.
Directing the camp now that I live in Busselton is a bit more of a challenge, but it's such a positive experience I hope to keep going for some time yet. At the very least I want to be there in two years time when Jordan gets the chance to go on the camp. Zac went a couple of years ago and it is a real buzz to have my kids involved on something to do with my work. A lot of the time my work is with other people's kids so it's great when they get be part of what I do.