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Saturday, August 27, 2005


Holt Press
The Dockers lost and are out of the finals, as expected.

The Eagles also lost and are looking slightly shaky, not so expected.

We ended up going to see Tripod tonight and came away disappointed. They are talented and sometimes hilarious but in the end we were over-whelmed by their crudeness and profanity. When they were good they were great and when they were bad they were awful. Ironically we enjoyed the support act, The Bedroom Philosopher, better! It's a shame, not just coz of the money it cost but that they damaged their reputation and went down a road they didn't have to go, they can be funny, witty and thoroughly entertaining without resorting to rubbish, and smut. There were plenty of people who loved it but sadly not us. The night was also spoiled by some insistent and unfunny hecklers under the influence of alcohol and their own misguided sense of self-importance. I loved Tripod when they were on Triple J. I'll stick to the CD from now on.

100 Things About Me

I’ve borrowed this idea from Dad, who borrowed it from someone else who…

100 Things about me

  1. I’m 44 years old, a tale end baby-boomer/early Gen Xer

  2. I’m a middle child, (in order I have an older brother, older sister, younger brother, younger sister)

  3. Both my parents have been divorced twice

  4. I went to 2 primary schools and 5 high schools

  5. I’ve lived in Victoria, WA, Queensland and England

  6. I love football and am passionate in my support for Geelong

  7. I discovered English soccer when I was 11 and developed a life-long love for Tottenham Hotspur

  8. I dreamed of seeing Spurs win the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium and my dream came true in 1982

  9. I am 6’2”, the tallest in my family

  10. I have 4 children, 3 boys and a girl

  11. I’ve been married for 19 years, to Carolyn

  12. I have a pierced ear. I did it myself when I was 17, with a block of ice and a needle

  13. I became a volunteer camp leader with the YMCA while I was still at school, the first step on the road to my career in youthwork and now school chaplaincy

  14. I drive a Toyota Corolla but the best car I ever owned was a 1983 Nissan Pulsar

  15. My first car was a 1964 Wolsley 24/80 which we paid $100 for

  16. I worked at a cinema in Melbourne as an usher and saw Breaker Morant about 50 times and can quote large chunks of the dialogue. The last line is “Shoot straight you bastards, don’t make a mess of it”.

  17. I wanted to be a journalist when I left school but gave up when the first couple of doors closed on me. I sometimes regret not pursuing it further

  18. I saw Geelong lose the 1980 and 1981 Preliminary finals to Collingwood at Waverley. It was a terrible experience both times

  19. I went to the 1980 VFL Grand Final with Gary Davies and saw the Tigers thrash Collingwood, always a joyful occurrence

  20. I have a goal to write a book (I am not actively pursuing this goal but I hope…)

  21. I have a Kodak LS753 digital camera which I love and with which I take 100’s of pictures

  22. When I was a kid we lived at Moolap in Victoria, quite close to a drive-in and we played there all the time. I climbed up inside the screen one day and got swooped by an owl. Another time we got busted trying to drive the old ute they used for cleaning up the rubbish.

  23. My mate Anthony and I got busted one night at an R movie and he gave his name as Phillip Morris. The bloke looked at him in disbelief and said “What are you, a cigarette?”

  24. I loved climbing things, trees, towers, buildings etc. I once got busted climbing a tower above a building in the Hay Street mall with my mate Tom

  25. When I was a kid I got lost at the You Yangs (a small mountain range) on a company family picnic and unable to find my family started walking home to Geelong, about 15 miles away. A family from the picnic found me on the road and returned me to Mum and Dad

  26. When I was about 9 I ran across a road on the way to school, straight into the side of a car, and broke my leg

  27. 4 days after getting it out of plaster I fell off a bike at Nan & Pa’s place and broke it again

  28. I could go almost as fast on my crutches as I could run normally

  29. We spent many school holidays at my Nan’s place in Nathalia in northern Victoria and spent hours everday playing with our cousins, the Gallaghers

  30. We once dug a fort with a connecting tunnel behind their shed. I would be horrified if my kids did that now!

  31. When we played cowboys and Indians we younger kids would make all sorts of sound effects with our guns but my eldest cousin John would be completely cool, sneak up on you and quietly say “bang”

  32. My cousin Geoff taught us a great game called Releaso

  33. Another cousin on the other side of the family once set fire to a train

  34. I got into trouble at school once for lighting a fire in a desk during class

  35. I got chased and belted by a teacher at John Forrest HS after taking his glasses case cause he refused to return my confiscated tennis ball

  36. The first footy team I played for was called the Toughies and every week we would play the same team, called the Terribles. We were about 6 at the time

  37. I got my picture in the paper one day having my hand compared with Bill Ryan, a Geelong player who had taken 20 odd marks in a game the previous week

  38. I love pizza, ice cream, lasagne and chocolate

  39. I detest Brussel sprouts and don’t like olives or sun dried tomatoes

  40. As a kid I hated cauliflower and cabbage. I still don’t like cauliflower but have learnt to like cabbage if it’s cooked right, ie. Not boiled to death and turned into seaweed

  41. I have never had a cup of tea or coffee in my life

  42. The last time I drank milk, was the second day of prep at school, I was 5, it came in little bottles and we all had to drink it before recess. After I threw up the teacher said I didn’t have to drink it any more

  43. One night when I was a teenager I took a bottle of water out of the fridge and had a big drink only to discover I’d picked up a bottle of milk by mistake. It was just as bad as I’d always remembered it to be

  44. I did drink a small amount of milk as part of a game of challenges and dares we played as a family one night last year. It hasn’t gotten any better

  45. The first LP I bought was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Beatles are still my favourite band.

  46. I got really into Graham Parker and the Rumour in my teens and had many arguments with my mate Graham about who was better, Graham Parker or Status Quo

  47. Graham and I played pool for hours at his place in Year 12, he was slightly better than I was

  48. I once bragged that I could beat my mate Nick at chess 10 games in a row. I won the first 5 but in the 6th made a fatal error and though I fought for over an hour to save the game he eventually beat me. I don’t think we’ve ever played chess again

  49. My Dad and I learnt to play chess at the same time. He usually won but one night I beat him in 5 moves. He spent about an hour analysing the game working out how he could have stopped me

  50. I once pranged my brother’s dragster at the safety road cycle park in Geelong and thought I was dead! A bloke at a garage straightened the forks and I was able to ride it home, much relieved

  51. Another time I rode his bike down the hill in Newtown only to realise it had no brakes. Rather than fly out on to Aberdeen St and get killed I deliberately crashed into a vacant block of land and went flying into an apple tree

  52. I love nearly all sports except “The Nonsense” (Coodabeen champions name for basketball)

  53. I play football volleyball and squash at the moment and am intensely competitive

  54. I once drove a bus load of kids from Perth to Sydney to go the Blackstump Festival and we had 6 flat tyres on the trip

  55. I have hitch-hiked across Australia about 10 times

  56. I have hitch-hiked around America twice

  57. I ran with the bulls at San Fermin in Pamplona

  58. I got arrested in Madrid for not wearing a shirt on a train

  59. I went to the 1982 World Cup Soccer Final in Spain, Italy beat Germany 3-1. In a crowd of 90,000 people I ended up standing next to bloke from Fremantle

  60. I have a mole on the side of my head which has been getting bigger for several years and if my hair keeps receding will emerge and frighten animals and small children

  61. I have smoked marijuana twice in my life and found it had no discernible affect on me

  62. I have never smoked a cigarette and consider smoking to be one of the supreme acts of stupidity available to man

  63. I have been drunk many times

  64. I was drunk in London after a night at the pub with some mates and in an effort to run and catch a train hit myself in the chin with my thumbnail, making myself bleed and producing an embarrassing scab. Needless to say my mates laughed

  65. The first time I went skinny dipping was at Cable Beach in Broome while on a school bus trip, there were 4 of us, two guys 2 girls

  66. Skinny dipping became a regular event for the next year or so, at Swanbourne and elsewhere

  67. I lived in a town called Rosewood when I was 13 and myself and two other kids, Glen Haley and Ian Robinson started a tennis club which grew to have about 40 kids in it and played twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays

  68. I have a fascination for snakes

  69. I have caught a few red-back spiders and kept them in jars, putting other insects in with them to see what happens. I released one red back on top of an ants nest. It beat the first 2 before being overwhelmed by weight of numbers

  70. I worked on a summer camp in New York state for 8 weeks in 1983 and 1984 and had a fantastic time

  71. I have two friends who can speak fake foreign langauages, Malcolm and Alex. At the start of one RYLA seminar I introduced Alex as a Russian exchange student and translated his “Russian” into English before we both cracked up

  72. I’ve led or directed approx 100 camps in my life, for the YMCA, Fusion, Rotary, Scripture Union, churches and schools. Needless to say I love camps. (I’m running another one that starts tomorrow)

  73. I claim at least part responsibility for launching the AFL career of Digby Morrell

  74. I love having a study

  75. I love computers and love blogging

  76. I have brown hair, brown eyes, a fairly big nose and size 13 feet

  77. I am not mechanically minded. It once took me three attempts to successfully close a train carriage door while saying goodbye to my girlfriend in London. As the train pulled out the bloke in the carriage with her said, “he’s very technically minded your boyfriend!”

  78. I love playing Trivial Pursuit

  79. I also love Scrabble

  80. I love games in general and always play to win

  81. I bought a board game called Wembley in a 2nd hand shop for $6 and it’s an absolute classic game

  82. I have a huge collection of toys, games, puzzles and novelty items in my office and have over 40 mobiles, planes and flying machines hanging from the ceiling

  83. I hate the West Coast Eagles, even more than I hate Collingwood. (Yes there is psychological scarring there)

  84. I can’t sing or draw but find some artistic outlet in screen printing and doodling

  85. I’ve read the whole Bible twice and some parts of it many times over

  86. I became a Christian in 1985 which came as a big surprise to me and an even bigger one to the people who knew me

  87. Carolyn and I got engaged 3 weeks after we started going out

  88. I ran away from home as a teenager and slept the night in a cave at the beach over the road from where we lived

  89. My Dad lives in Queensland which is too far away

  90. My younger sister lives in Victoria which is also too far away

  91. My older sister lives in South Australia and although it’s closer, it’s still too far away

  92. One of my best mates in the world is Paul Frederickson who comes from San Diego and that is beyond too far away. We met in Cairns in 1980, he was the best lumper at CSR

  93. I have been through over 30 states in America but never been to Uluru and only went to Tasmania for the first time this year

  94. I went to Carine High School in year 11 & 12 and went back to work there as chaplain 14 years later. I worked there for 11 years before moving to Busselton in 2004

  95. I love swap meets, garage sales, auctions, 2nd hand shops and bargain hunting generally. I love to haggle

  96. The most spectacular place I’ve ever seen is the Grand Canyon, the most amazing place is Mt Rushmore

  97. I have many many weaknesses which cause considerable pain and heartache at times, to me and to others, especially my family

  98. I am not good at resolving conflicts or arguments

  99. I am not good with money

  100. I once wrestled a Grizzly Bear to win a $100 bet

NB. One of these statements is not true.

Friday, August 26, 2005

That Friday Night Feeling

Is there a better time than Friday night? Work is over for another week, you've had leftovers or takeaways for tea, the noisy kids are in bed, the rest have gone out with friends, the dishes are done and the footy's on TV. You've got two days to yourself to do what you want, or not do a thing, the house is relaxed and the world is a good place to be. And this Friday night there's cricket as well as footy on the telly. The Aussies have just taken a wicket to break a big partnership but the poms are in a very strong position and the Ashes are looking more and more like changing hands.
As I said last night, we've got a busy few days ahead but right now I'm just enjoying that Friday night feeling.

Phat Phriday went pretty well today without being spectacular. Sure we made kids feed one another cheezels with their toes, yes we waxed a couple of year 12 boy's leg and back, and it's true we played sticky licky with two kids licking smeared Nutella off either side of a piece of clear perspex, but with no flying fish or other animal props it was a comparitively quiet affair.

After lunch I ran a couple of team building sessions with some rowdy year 8's. I didn't really have the energy for it but I made a promise so I had to go. The kids were a bit feral but it wasn't too bad and the incentive of some chocolate bars as a reward was sufficient to keep most of them focussed and reasonably well behaved. I even got to talk to the second group about values at the end and the benefits of honesty, respect, listening to people and not bullying. If some grain of truth permeated their Friday afternoon attention spans it will have been worth the effort.

I went to footy training tonight. Having played our last game of the season on the weekend training at this time of the year could be construed as superflous. I asked the coach if this was the start of pre-season training. He laughed. We didn't train long, the swarms of mozzies had begun to circle and swoop menacingly and there was as much waving and slapping to repel them as there was kicking and handballing. Of course Hoodie Mozzie and I took the opportunity to remind all the Eagles fans about the highlights and details of last weekend's thrashing at the hands of the Cats.

Busy busy busy

Life is getting busy again. Phat Phriday is on tomorrow lunchtime, more mess and mayhem I expect. We’re aiming to get Phat Phriday onto The Guinness Book of records TV show, doing something bizarre that no-one else has ever done, so we’re getting the kids to come up with some creative record breaking ideas.
Then I’ve got 2 year 8 classes to run some team building and values activities in, period 5-6 Friday afternoon, not exactly prime time for student focus and application! Hopefully they’ll have some fun and work together a bit.
Demelza and Greg are coming down from Perth for the weekend, Demelza is going to help me run the Year 10 Leadership Camp which starts Sunday and goes to Tuesday. There are 20 kids going and 4 staff. Lots of fun and games interspersed with a bit of work. As soon as that finishes I’m heading up to Perth for the Breakfast Club with Broadie Hugh and Phil who flies back to Afghanistan the following night. I’ll stay in Perth overnight and try and arrange a meeting with some chaplains to discuss the latest developments at Youthcare. Add in Paul and Jordan’s last soccer games for the season on Saturday morning, the last round of the home and away season in the AFL, and maybe a visit to Phil and Julie and the kids at Margaret River on Saturday arvo, before heading out with Demelza and Greg on Saturday night. We have a choice between 2 quiz nights or going to see Tripod at the Geopgraphe Bayview Resort. I missed them last time they were here so I’d love to go, but I did promise to go to Laurie’s quiz night at the yacht club, even though he’s not going himself!
On the upside, Greg is going to fit a couple of new powerpoints while he's here and once Paul has worked on the kitchen cupboards, by the end of next week, our dishwasher should be operational!
I'm doing Greg and Demelza's wedding ceremony next year so we'll spend a bit of time discussing the service, vows, program etc.
After that intensive 6 day period things should quieten down for a little while!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A good night at volleyball

I really enjoyed volleyball tonight. No prizes for guessing that we won! It was a strange game. We won a tight first set then got creamed in the second cause we couldn’t return their serve effectively and they got out to a 12 point lead.
We regrouped in the third and won 24-19 (time ran out before we finished but we got the win) I had a good game, hit some spikes for winners, served well including the last 4 points to seal the win, made some saves, even got a few blocks on the net and generally didn’t make any mistakes. Not trying to brag, it just felt good to put it all together for once. Reg reckoned it was the best game I’ve played. It secured third place on the ladder with one round to go before the finals and that’s good cause it means not having to play the top team in the first round of the finals.
The icing on the cake was that I got up a decent sweat which doesn’t happen very often at volleyball. I’ve given in to the chocolate cravings a few times recently so I need to keep the exercise regime going to avoid blowing out again. I was 92kg last time I stood on the scales, down about 12 kilos from my highest weight.
(I'm keen to see how this post looks once I publish it, I wrote it with "Word for Blogger" which you can download from blogger and have on your MS Word tool bar. I'm hoping it retains the fonts and formatting you can use on Word.)

Carolyn is home and healthy.

Holt Press
Good news, Carolyn is home again after her hospital visit and the reports are all pretty positive. They're running a test on one cyst they removed but don't expect it to be a problem.She's a little sore and tender but should be ok in a couple of days. The kids survived the ordeal and I managed to keep the household running without too much drama.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Squash take 2

Holt Press
Forgot to mention my squash game on Monday night. I played the same bloke as last week. You may remeber that I beat him 3-0 in about 15 minutes the previous week (while I was reserving for another team). Did I go in over confident? Did he go in fired up and looking for revenge or at the very least to redeem himself? I don't know but before I knew it he'd won the first set and just to rub it in went on to win the 2nd as well! What's going on? No more margin for error, no more Mr Nice Guy (as if!) I set about fighting my way back into the match. Took the third set. He began to tire, resting against the wall between some points. I started mixing my shots up more effectively, playing the walls, making him run. I took the 4th. All square, into the decider. Got 4 points up and started to feel confident. He equalised, started to feel nervous. 5-4 to me. serve, hand out, serve, hand out, 5-5, come on Marcus, he can hardly stay on his feet, finish him off, 6-5 to him! Marcus, get it together, he's older than you, he's fatter than you, you beat him in 15 minutes last week, this will be the biggest form reversal in decades if you don't pull your finger out, 6-6, whew! 7-6 to the good guy (that's me) hard serve, he missed it, 8-6, finish him off, show no mercy, serve, down the line, a winner, 9-6, 5th set to Holt, 3-2 comeback win, pride restored, appropriate sweat level achieved, phew!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Test link 2 revisited

Holt Press
Let's try that again!
Rachel (& Michael's) blog address

Test link 3

Holt Press
My favourite site. http://www.afl.com.au

Perth trip

I went to Perth today to drop Carolyn off at the hospital for her operation, a laporoscopy to investigate some cysts. Probably nothing serious but the Dr wants to be sure. So does Carolyn of course. The op is tomorrow afternoon and all being well she'll be home Thursday or Friday. Jordan came too so he could see the specialist about his tonsils. The Dr has decided his tonsils time is up so they're coming out on Oct 28. With any luck that may also trigger a bit of a growth spurt, a side effect Jordan would welcome with open arms. While in Perth we got him some new shoes at Harbourtown and indulged his passion for coffee at Gloria Jeans.

Just had time to drop my fringe benefit stuff off at Youthcare before heading home. YC was a sombre place following the sudden dismissal of Chris the office administrator who's been there for more than 20 years. I'm saddened by this turn of events, Chris was always very helpful and supportive of me and worked very hard in sometimes difficult circumstances. I don't know the full story but I'm sorry to see her go.

Got back to Busso just in time to give my monthly report at the Busso Youthcare meeting at Cornerstone.

Sole domestic responsibility lies with me for the next few days, hope the kids survive.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Making Hay

Really enjoyed coming to work this morning in my Geelong top and scarf, relished every groan and grimace they evoked from all the West Coast fans. Just making hay while the sun is shining! They'll have plenty to crow about by the end of the season, pun intended.

I booked my ticket to Melbourne today. I'm going over for a Rock & Water train the trainer course in October, and as luck would have it I arrive in Melbourne the day before the Grand Final! And, what do you know, my brother-in-law is an MCC member and can probably get me a ticket to the game! Shame the Cats aren't likely to be in it, but you never know! In between those 2 events I'll visit a few family, I've never met any of my sister Shannon's 4 kids, she's lived in country Victoria for a long time and hasn't been back to WA since she was a teenager so I hope to see them, as well as my aunt and uncle in Leongatha, then hopefully over to Tasmania again to catch up with Zac and a few other people at the Fusion Conference. Add in some more reconnaisance for the school trip to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games next year and it should be a productive and enjoyable time.

I'm off top Perth in the morning with Carolyn and Jordan, he has a specialist's appointment for his throat, recurring tonsillitis and pain which keep him away from school too much. Carolyn is having an operation, nothing too serious, more exploratory and preventative we hope.
She'll be home in a couple of days.

Life is getting busy again, I've got the Year 10 Leadership Camp starting on Sunday for three days then straight up to Perth for a meeting of the Breakfast Club. Phil is home from Afghanistan for a couple of weeks so I'm grabbing the opportunity to catch up while he's here. We've been meeting for about 12 years but with him overseas and me in Busso we don't get together quite so often, thus the extra trip to Perth next week. Broadie and Hugh are the other members of the Breakfast Club, it will be great to see them all.

I've got squash this evening, what will happen tonight I wonder?

Quiz Night result

Looks like we made over $3000 at the Big Busso Quiz Night, pretty good result. Will be aiming higher next year.

Some sensitive new age cowboys, easily the best dressed team at the Big Busso Quiz Night. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Musical baby food at Phat Phriday, not pleasant but certainly better than the Happy Meal contest to follow! Posted by Picasa

One Happy Meal, to takeaway Posted by Picasa

Your meal is coming sir. Posted by Picasa

Check out the kid behind! That's how most of us felt! Posted by Picasa

Would you like fries with that, oh, that's right, the fries are included! Posted by Picasa

Own goal with a difference!

The under 8's Saturday morning soccer game was typically beset with challenges, ie. only 6 of our team showed up, the other 2 somehow failed to get the message that our rearranged fixture was on this weekend and we didn't have a bye. Never mind, the kids played and did very well considering being outnumbered by 25%. Paul scored a good goal from a tight angle, but the goal of the day provided the "highlight" of the match for all the watching parents.
Paul took a goal kick and passed it to Morgan who trapped the ball and headed toward goal. Our goal! He dribbled, dodged past Paul who was looking at him in a very strange way, then shot low and wide of our non-plussed goalie Emily to score the best and easily the most deliberate own goal in the history of soccer in the south-west! Only after the goal had been scored did he realise what he'd done. To their great credit the rest of the team were very gentle in their response and took it with a mixture of amusement and surprise. Morgan turned a slight shade of pink and the parents fell about laughing on the sideline. The ref looked confused but had no option but to pay the goal.We lost 4-1.

Holt Press

Holt Press
Testing out links
Dad's blog www.holtieshouse.blogspot.com

The Quiz Night and the Footy, yeah baby!

The Big Busso Quiz Night was a big success. Round about 200 people came, the gym was crowded, the ideas all seemed to work including wild cards, challenges and phone a friend, lots of fun was had and we raised quite a bit of money. Not sure exactly how much yet until it's all counted but certainly over $2000 and I'm hoping closer to $3000.
Mum and Walter came over to give me a hand and Mum ended up being the scorer which was a big task but she managed admirably. Walter was on sausage sizzle duty before giving Mum a hand. Lots of people said how much they enjoyed it, despite my insistence on reminding them at regular intervals about the result of the football today. I took along my entire collection of Geelong shirts and changed into a new one after every couple of rounds, as well as my Cats scarf and Ablett cap. I enjoyed making hay while the sun was shining! The only blemish on a very good night was the constant harrassment from my mate Stu who rang my mobile phone 12 times during the quiz night! He thought it was a great joke, Carolyn's comment was "Boys!", with obligatory raised eyebrows!

I won't go on about the footy, like I did tonight!, suffice to say that rapt as I was in the Cats big win I was still nervous until late in the final quarter when our 12 goal lead was safe and the Eagles literally didn't have time to kick the goals they needed to win! Years of following Geelong have taught me not to even consider the possibility of chickens let alone start counting them! And with much of the psychological scarring coming at the hands of the Eagles it is always a tough game to get through.
Then, to make a great footy weekend evn better, the Dockers won a thriller in fairybook style against St Kilda on Friday night, it was a dead-set classic with Justin Longmuir marking then kicking the winning goal after the siren, fantastic!

Going without food for 40 hours does strange things to you. This is the School Captain, displaying his obvious leadership skills. Posted by Picasa

Not sure what's going on here, maybe preparing for a community festival with some circus skills ? Or perhaps Zac's afternoon rest was interrupted by a plummeting alien with a really bad haircut and he just got his hands up in time? Posted by Picasa

Here's proof that Zac really is in England. Shame about the cyclone fence! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 19, 2005

One day to go, I'm excited!

Holt Press
BBQN Day minus 1. The Big Busso Quiz Night is on tomorrow night and I've just spent the last couple of hours moving tables, setting up chairs, arranging the stage etc. Thankfully I had some kids to help me and the gym looks good. Just go to hope we get a big crowd now, I'd love to have under-catered! I've set it up for 250 but we can fit stacks more in so no great drama if we get more.
Gotta go and pick up the last few prizes now before going to footy training.
Hope the Dockers win tonight but doubt they will, just as I doubt the Cats can beat West Coast tomorrow but here's hoping for a miracle, like 40 days and nights of rain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Footy in the wet

Holt Press
I've just got back from our footy game after school. The boys played Bunbury Cathedral Grammar in dreadful conditions, driving rain, mud and cold weather, but it was a fantastic game which ended in a draw, 1:1 -7 apiece. Grammar took a mark in the forward pocket with 20 seconds to go and I thought we'd lost but the kid short passed, they dropped the mark and time was up, a draw. Very exciting. They came off dripping and bedraggled, their boots like lead, their footy jumpers wringing wet. Most of them are playing in the junior winter carnival in Bunbury tomorrow so we need to get the jumpers washed and dried by then. The girls footy team were playing on the ground next to ours and went down by 4 points. They had a lot of fun, especially after the game when a few of them started a mud fight! I managed to stay pretty dry which was a bonus.

Humour test no joke

Holt Press
Sorry about the way the blog looks at the moment, it's not funny but I'm blaming the Humour Test which has squeezed the sidebar to the bottom of the page. I reduced the graphic but the text is still taking up too much space and I can't adjust it. If it continues I'll delete the offending post.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

News from Zac Ryan and Paul

Holt Press
Got an email from Zac this morning, he sounds happy and having a good time. He got a bit frustrated going through immigration when he arrived but eventually was allowed in. He wants to set up internet banking, he should have thought of that before he left!! He's going to Liverpool some time this week.

I got an email from Ryan in London, first time in ages. He'll be home later this year so a game or two of golf is on the cards. I've known him since he was about 13 and for years encouraged him to travel. Finally he took my advice and has been overseas for 3-4 years now, living it up in London, lucky boy.

Also heard from my great mate Paul in San Diego and got some pics of him and Vicki with their grandkids Millie and Logan, very cute. I met Paul in Cairns in 1980 while hitch-hiking round Australia and we've each visited the other a few times. Not sure when I'll see him next but I'm hanging out for the day.

Another Squash incident

Holt Press
Why can't squash just be normal? I rang to say I'd be late last night cause I had a couple of meetings to go to but when I got there the bloke I was supposed to play dismissed me and said he was going home! I managed to get him to play but he complained about not having been told and whinged after the game too, mind you that could have been because I beat him 3-0 in about 15 minutes.

The Humour Test explained, sort of

Holt Press
I found the Humour test while surfing some blogs and found the results surprisingly accurate. I had to do a bit of editing of the post cause the first time I put it up the code distorted the rest of my blog. Looks better now.

Flickr Badge

Holt Press
Just in case you don't know this, my Dad tipped me off about it a while ago, if you click on the pictures on the Flickr badge it will take you to my collection of photos at Flickr, there's about 200 so far and they're bigger and easier to see. Let me know if you don't find yourself and I'll add you in!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Blessed from above

Holt Press
Think I'm gonna have to learn me something about HTML code!
There's some cool things around to put on my blog, just not sure how to do it!

Got a great gift in the mail this morning, very useful and very welcome and will ease some pressures considerably. Thanks :)

The kids and their banner at the 40 Hour Famine Sleepover. Note the improvised H (for Hour) and F (for Famine) at the top! Posted by Picasa

Don't mention the football!

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I don't want to talk about the football, OK! I'd like to lay those demons to rest, got the point? (puns intended!)

Let's talk soccer instead, Paul's team had a resounding 10-0 win on Saturday morning and Paulie scored 2 goals, 3 by his count but he's claiming the shot which deflected off the defender for an own goal. I had to remind them to be humble and not get over-excited or rub it in. The games are always fun and friendly at this age and the kids all form a circle and put their arms around one another's shoulders for the three cheers at the end of the game.
As we were driving to the game Paul looked out the window and commented in all seriousness, "Looks like rain, we better score our goals in the first half so we secure our win before it gets wet"!
There's only a couple of weeks left of the season which is a shame cause Paulie really looks forward to soccer every week and Carolyn & I enjoy the games. The group of parents who come are great and we have a good laugh and catch-up each week.

As I write the poms are getting further and further in front and on top in the third test. Now I have a dilemma, do I want them to win the Ashes? It may not matter what I think of course, if they keep going like this they'll not only win them, they'll deserve them. The 4th test promises to be a real crunch game. Another "dilemma" is how do I feel about Shane Warne's success, 600 wickets and big scores, just missing his first test century. I don't like him, I think he's a man of very low character, but at the same time is a brilliant cricketer and an Australian. hmmm! Into the too hard basket!

I spent last night camped in the school gym with 45 kids on a 40 Hour Famine Sleepover. They were fantastic, I didn't have to deal with a single discipline problem or contentious image the whole time, they cooperated with instructions, played games and made their own fun, slept when told it was time for lights out, cleaned up all the gear and mess without argument and got along with everyone without a hint of conflict, bullying or strife. All this on top of going without food for 40 hours and raising nearly $2000 between them for World Vision. When we add on the money raised by the other 100 kids who didn't come to the sleepover we hope to beat last year's total (just under $4000) and maintain our title as the state's highest money raising country school. Most of the success of all this is due to the efforts of one student named Natasha who has a real vision and passion for World Vision, and a bunch of other community oriented projects and causes, she is a very special kid.
I did have one moral dilemma to deal with. We set up the projector and PA to show some movies before bed time and one of them was "Anchorman", a satire/comedy on 70's TV news. It was funny in places but I became more and more uncomfortable the further it went due to the repeated sexual references and sexual inuendo. I know many kids have seen it and more but there is a difference between what they watch or are allowed to see by their parents and what I "show" them as school chaplain. There were alot of young kids, year 8 & 9's, mostly girls and the film was becoming more risque by the minute. In the end I wasn't happy to be associated with the film and I stopped it, explaining to the kids that I wasn't comfortable with showing the movie. There were a few groans and comments but again to the credit of the group there was no real complaint and they accepted my decision with good grace. I felt much better once I acted on my conscience.

The only other hassle was being awoken at 6.15 by a kid telling me he had to leave to go to Dunsborough. Not happy Jan! I got up to let him out and re-lock the doors but I'd have been much happier if he'd just gone, and left me a note!! To compound the situation once I got back into bed a frog started croaking, then stopped, then started again, then stopped and then I realised it was someone's mobile phone going off! I kid you not, the ring tone was the sound of a frog croaking! Who could possibly be ringing them at 6.30 in the morning?! Further investigation later in the morning revealed that it was a kid's alarm (on their phone) going off! Why I ask? Why you ask? I don't know I reply! When that finally stopped a couple of girls started talking and their voices carried right through the gym! I went to investigate and tell them to be quiet but I couldn't find them in the dark. They must have seen me though because they did quieten down. Finally I got back to sleep and had another couple of hours before waking up to the sounds of volleyballs, basketballs, badminton, guitars and a CD player!
We finished the famine with a feast for lunch prepared and provided by parents and photos for the local paper. I'll post a group pic taken with a banner they painted while they were there which we've now hung high on the gym wall, it looks great.
All in all a great event for a great cause. Well done kids

After going home for a shower Carolyn Paul & I drove up to Bunbury for a beach mission meeting which despite going for over 3 hours was very prductive and enjoyable which has a lot to do with working together on something we really believe in with a group of people we really like.
A chicken Caesar salad at Hungry Jacks for tea then home in time to watch a new show we quite like called "House" about an unorthodox doctor who doesn't like seeing patients!

It's been a good weekend, so long as no-one mentions the football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Another footy let down

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How predictable disappointing was the Western Derby. The Dockers were dreadful and the Eagles were awesome. Much as I dislike them there's no denying or escaping the fact they've been the best team in the league all season and I can't see anyone stopping them winning the premiership. They'll have two home finals setting up the easiest possible path straaight into the Grand Final. Adelaide and St Kilda are looking good and 1-2 other teams are ok on their day, but West Coast are the clear favourites. As for Fremantle, their misfortune will open doors for others, like Geelong. Of course, Geelong play West Coast next week don't they!!! Freo havegot to play StKilda next week and then go to Adelaide to play Port in the last round, they need to win both and I doubt they'll win either, tonight was critical for them and they blew it.

I went up to Cornerstone school this morning to do some PR for my Year 10 Leadership Camp. I've invited their year 10's to come on the camp as a way to make connections with Busso High. Cornerstone only goes up to year 10 at this stage so a lot of the kids come to the high school to do year 11 & 12. I managed to make them laugh a few times with a few games, hopefully they'll get motivated and come along to the camp. I've had 5-6 kids at school bring in their forms already so I'm optimistic that we'll get enough kids and the camp will go well.

I had two meetings at lunchtime, one to brief the 45 kids coming on the 40 Hour Famine sleepover in the gym tomorrow night and let them know that there would actually be sleep happening at the sleep-over. There's just 1 other teacher and I supervising it so they had better behave! The one good thing about 40 Hour Famine events is you don't have to worry about catering! Did you know that kids in America only do the 30 Hour Famine? How poor is that?!!
The second meeting was with some of the Christian kids and church kids at school to do some planning and thinking about Phat Phriday which starts again next week and runs for three weeks. The kids are into it so we're really trying to get them involved and taking roles in helping set up, run and pack up the program each week. I got 6 pizzas for lunch which possibly helped to motivate them a bit! There's some top kids in the group and we want them to own Phat Phriday and see it is an opportunity to reach out to their friends.
We're gonna try and come up with an idea that might get us in the Guiness Book of Records! Don't know what sort of record but expect it to be bizarre!

I've just finished reading the latest Harry Potter book. As with the last one the storyline and imagery are getting darker and more sinister. Considering the bulk of readers are kids it is interesting and sometimes disturbing that the subject matter is all about magic, spells, hexes, curses, revenge, hatred, murder and death. They are well written and entertaining for sure, but they are also "dark" and kids seem "under their spell" at times, reading and re-reading them many times.

I've got a busy weekend ahead, Paul's soccer game at 9.00, a volleyball umpiring course from 11-5 then the sleepover till lunchtime Sunday followed by an Augusta team meeting in Bunbury Sunday arvo. I'll be glad when Monday comes and I can look forward to work, two meetings in the evening and my squash game!!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Western Derby

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Battle of the losers tomorrow, Geelong have lost their last three but will be favourites against Melbourne who've lost their last 6!! As Mark Thompson said after last week's game, "One of us has gotta have a win!"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Importance of Winning!

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The Importance of Winning Episode 6. It was a big night at the Geographe Leisure Centre when Flat Whites (us) took on the top team and previously undefeated "Wobbla". Dave and Brian were away so Shane and Wade filled in, they can both play but weren't used to us as a team so the first set was pretty ordinary, lots of mistakes and confusion, we lost 25-20. The all important 2nd set saw us improve considerably but it was just scrambly hard fought volleyball. One of their blokes could really hit and our blockers were erratic (that's being kind!), but our rabbiting and pick ups improved as the game went on. The refs were indecisive at times which added to the tension, not that there was any ill-feeling across the net, it was played in good spirit. I chased one shot from the back of the court, stuck out a foot and booted it back over the net and we won the point. (Before you ask or comment, that's now legal in volleyball) The score got to 24-24, set point with Chris serving out the last 2 points to take it to 1 set all.
In the past we've often dropped off after getting into a good position but tonight we actually kept going and held a 5-10 point lead throughout the final set to take the game. It was more a relief than a triumph at the end but the smart money is on a Flat Whites V Wobbla Grand Final in 5 weeks time so it was a good psychological bonus to get a win against them, especially as they hadn't lost a game all season. I was happy with my game, not without it's mistakes but still pretty consistent.

At lunch time today we had a staff V students soccer game against the junior country week team which was a good laugh. The teachers won 2-1 but the real fun was the sledging and banter between the staff and with the kids.
Everyone agreed we should do that sort of stuff more often. Gaultie said later there'd been no incidents or trouble the rest of the day and the same thing happens when Phat Phriday's on. Sounds simple I know but if the kids are occupied and have fun stuff to do they're less likely to get into mischief.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

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Stop worrying everyone, the jacket has been found, I repeat the jacket has been found.
Birchy came through for me, he's a good man.

Lost: 1 Gortex Rain Coat

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I've just returned to school after our footy game at Margaret River this afternoon. We lost by 11 points but it was a good game and the team really played well in the second half to catch up. The only real disappointment was realising I'd left my raincoat behind. I couldn't turn around and go back because several of our boys needed to get back to Busso for training with the East Perth development squad by 4.30. Not having the numbers of anyone in M.R. to pick it up for me I rang my good mate Birchy, in Perth, and got him on the job. He tried MR High School who denied there was even a game on today!! and wouldn't go and look for it, thanks for your help guys! Undeterred Birchy tried to ring Youthcare to get the MR chaplain's number but they'd all gone home and left the answering machine in charge. But it takes more than that to thwart Birchy who then rang Margaret River Shire and convinced one of their workers to go and have a look for it. I haven't heard anything more yet but being a shire worker it could take a while. It's a lot of trouble for a raincoat you might say, but it is a Gortex jacket which I first got when I did the Wilderness Intervention Programs at Carine about 10 years ago and it's the top of the wazza when it comes to rain coats. It cost $330 back then, on sale, so I don't particularly want to replace it. And it keeps me dry so I don't want to lose it. Let's hope Mr Moore from MR shire can locate it for me! Gortex by the way is the same material they make space suits out of apparently, or so somebody told me!
Talking of space suits it was good to see the space shuttle make it back to earth safely this morning. As Dave Hughes said on the Glass House, "You'd think they'd have fixed that problem with the heat shield tiles after the Columbia disaster, it's not rocket science you know!"

TV Tip: If you haven't already caught on to "We Can Be Heroes- the Australian of the Year" make sure you tune in at 9.00 tonight on ABC, it's very funny, nice warped Aussie humour. I think that time is right but check your TV guide, it's on after spicks and specks which is also quite entertaining.

Zac rang last night to confirm his safe arrival. He had a bit of trouble getting through customs, they kept asking him the same questions repeatedly, but he stayed calm and eventually was allowed through.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Zac with Nan (Jacqui) and Mum (Carolyn) farewelling us at the back of Hungry Jacks in Bunbury on Saturday. You may think the hat looks odd but it does cover the dreadlocks! A girl in a shop said to him when she saw the hat, "You're not from Busselton are you" (as a statement not a query)! Posted by Picasa

Paul's soccer team after their 2-0 win on Saturday. Paul is holding Flat Stanley, a project sent by Paul and Vicki's grandkids in America. The expressions suggest this is a version of the Cornerstone Haka! Posted by Picasa

First day in England

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The Dreadlock Boy has landed, or I presume he has, not having heard anything to the contrary. My first 2 hours in England were very memorable*, I wonder how it's gone for Zac? He was being picked up from Heathrow by one of the Fusion team and England being a small place he should be in Oxford by now. The time will be 9.00am. I told him about jetlag but it's easier to understand from experience than theory. I'm praying any potential terrorists give him a wide berth. The soccer season starts over there this weekend which would have been a big deal to me but won't interest Zac much. I'll keep you posted with whatever news trickles out.

Today's been a day of admin, completing excursion forms etc in preparation for some upcoming football games and my Year 10 Leadership Camp. I coached the footy team at lunchtime, our first game is tomorrow afternoon against Margaret River who usually beat us, it would be nice to turn the tables.

I'm half way through the new Harry Potter book. Jordan was very unhappy with the ending so I'm preparing myself for something unpleasant. Two days after it came out a yr 12 kid blurted out over the school pa that such and such dies in the book, greatly disappointing the many kids who hadn't read or finished it yet. Thankfully I didn't hear what he said, so if you know, don't go telling me.

*Why was it so memorable you ask?
I had had a life-long ambition to see my favourite soccer team, Tottenham Hotspur or Spurs win the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London. They won it in 1981 (see previous post, my life year by year, part 3) and when they made the final again the following year I decided it was time to go and try and live out my dream. I sold all I owned, a car and a caravan, and bought a one way ticket to London. My pen-pal Tania and her family picked me up at the airport at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning, (the same time Zac arrived today) and on the way home Tania's Dad Derek took us to White Hart Lane, Spurs home ground. There was a policeman on duty outside the gate and Derek told him about the "mad young Aussie Spurs fan" who'd just arrived and asked if we could go inside the ground for a look. He said yes and took us in and out onto the "hallowed turf" which was pretty cool.
Then the copper asked me,

"Have you come over for the Cup Final?"


"Have you got a ticket yet?

"Not yet" I replied

Then to everyone's astonishment he pulled something out of his pocket and said,
"Well, I've been looking for a worthy cause, here you go" and handed me a winning ballot card in the club's cup final ticket draw.

I'd been in England for 2 hours and had a ticket to the Cup Final! It was surreal and amazing.
Tania's mouth dropped open and she said "people have tried their whole lives and not gotten one of those!"
I agreed it was amazing but I did say to her "Yeah but I did come half way round the world to get it!"
Spurs played Queens Park Rangers in the final (they had been my second favourite team as a kid cause they play in blue and white hoops, the same as Geelong) and ironically the game ended in a draw. I got a ticket to the replay by lining up with thousands of other people at Wembley the next morning and this time Spurs won it 1-0, not a great game but certainly a great experience and one of my dreams fulfilled. A little more drama ensued when we returned to North London to celebrate outside White Hart Lane. There was a huge crowd singing and dancing and at one stage I felt a tugging on the back of my jeans. When I reached down I discovered that someone had tried to pick my pocket and had slashed my jeans with a knife, cutting up several pages of my passport in the process! (Why I took my passport to the Cup Final I do not know!) Thankfully they didn't get away with it. My passport caused raised eyebrows whenever I presented it at immigration desks thereafter!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Zac is flying to London, as we speak

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Zac is in the air. His plane took off 35 minutes ago and he's off on his big adventure, half his luck! I lived in London for a couple of years and loved every minute of it, it's such an interesting city, so much history, so much to see and do. Zac won't actually get much time in London as he'll be based in Oxford and probably kept pretty busy with the Fusion stuff he'll be working on, but I hope he'll have a chance for a bit of a look around. Oxford is only about an hour out of London so it's not far. I've given him the contact details for one of my oldest friends, Tania who lives there. We've been pen pals for about 30 years, sharing a passion for Tottenham Hotspur, and I stayed with Tania and her family the first time I went to England. My parents, family and friends were unconvinced about my ability/maturity to make it when I first started travelling, one of my mates reckoned I'd be home within a couple of months, but I loved it and spent 2 and a half years away from home with trips to Europe and America in between. I hope travel will be a fantastic adventure and experience for Zac too. I grew up heaps in my time overseas and I'm sure it will be good for him. He had a really good time while he was back here and it was obvious to Carolyn and I that the course in Tasmania had been helpful for him. Fusion must think so too to have invested the time and money to send him to England. Before he left I encouraged him to work hard and make the most of this cool opportunity and to respect the faith Fusion have placed in him. I'm looking forward to hearing from him.

I eagerly checked my AFL Dream Team results this morning and was very disappointed to discover I'd been beaten in the elimination final against some team called Grimace, rats! I missed the finals in the Chaplain's League and the Busso League too, not very impressive! And to cap it all off, despite my optimism about the footy tipping this weekend I ended up only sharing first (and second) prize with Ben Pates who tipped the same margin as me! Oh well, $18 is ok, not as good as $24 but better than nothing!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hooray for the poms

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I got 8/8 and was 1 point off the margin in the footy tipping this weekend. Sadly I'm bunkered down in the bottom half of the ladder for the season but with a little luck I'll at least pick up the weekly prize and cover my outlay to be in the comp. Not as good as last year but a pleasant prospect none-the-less.

Call me un-Australian, accuse me of treachery (Paul did), confiscate my thongs and wattle, but I really wanted the poms to win the cricket tonight. The second test was a beauty and the Ashes are actually interesting for the first time in years. I think it was very sporting of Glen McGrath to stand on that cricket ball in the warm up and have to withdraw from the game. England played well throughout and deserved to win the game even though they looked for all the world like they were going to blow it when Warne Lee and Kasprowicz's rear-guard tail end stand got Australia to within 3 runs of victory. It was tempting not to switch again and barrack for the Aussies in light of that heroism, but good on the poms for pulling off a dramatic victory. Not sure yet whether I want them to actually win the Ashes, but I'm not at all unhappy about them winning the 2nd test.

I took the team bus down to Margaret River this arvo for the final superrules footy game of the season and we notched up a close victory in a good spirited game. I committed one clanger which led directly to a MR goal and wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, but other than that indiscretion I probably had my best game for the season. I still can't get up enough speed to get to all the contests but when I actually do I do OK. My knee and finger both held up which is good news. The ladies at Margaret River put on a great spread of food after the game and the bus ride home was a raucous, alcohol-fuelled affair. There is carnival up in Perth on the 20th which I'd love to play in but I'm busy that night running the quiz night. (Have I mentioned the BIG BUSSO QUIZ NIGHT? Tables of 8, $10 a ticket, great fun and prizes to be had?)

Yesterday was busy as predicted but it all went well. Paul's soccer game in Dunsborough was a beauty resulting in a 2-0 win. Isaac scored a great breakaway goal in a move that almost perfectly imitated the exact instruction I gave to him at half time, oh the joys of coaching, and Paul scored the second, an absolute ripper from a really tight angle. Georgia was wonderful in goal, diving at kid's feet to grab the ball, and all the kids played well.

We dropped Zac off in Bunbury and Mum took him up to Perth. We spoke to him tonight and he's happy having seen a number of his friends already. By this time tomorrow he'll be in the air enroute to London via Singapore. Wow!

Jordan and Sophie are home from the trip to Perth for Adrenalin and are both more sick than when they left, surprise surprise. Despite my insistence I doubt either of them will make it to school tomorrow!!

Paul was invited back to Isaac's after the soccer and had a lovely time, as did Carolyn and I in the absence of all four of our children. We also did Jordan's junk mail round for him and both enjoyed walking around the neighbourhood. Carolyn came home inspired to get a new letterbox! Some friend's son Jeremy recently went on a 10 day surfing trip to Indonesia on funds raised solely by delivering junk mail! I may have ethical and environmental objections but if Jordy makes plenty of money I'll be very happy for him, he's wanted a job for the last 3 years but there's not a lot of employment opportunities for 11 year olds.

And of course to ice the weekend nicely, the West Coast Eagles lost to the Western Bulldogs.
Who let the dogs out? Woof Woof!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Zac and his dreadlocks. They are in the developmental stage but they look pretty good. Those mutton chop sideburns are a bit of a worry! I took him shopping for some clothes this arvo, we got a couple of bargains, a shirt and jacket from Target with a further 30% off the already discounted prices, and some boxers, Betty Bargain Hunter strikes again! Posted by Picasa

My publicity campaign for the Big Busso Quiz Night is going well with our picture appearing on the front page of one of the local papers this week. Not sure why they cropped it so tight but it was good they printed it and put us in such a prominent position. I'm hoping that people will connect it with the sign at the front of the school and that will prompt them to want to come. Funding for chaplaincy is always tight and we really need a big crowd to make the night a success and raise plenty of money. (Get your table together and come along, it will be heaps of fun!) Posted by Picasa

Becoming numb to the pain

Another weekend, another Geelong loss, you get that!
At least the Cats weren't as bad as last week in losing to St Kilda but they are in need of a dramatic turnaround in form with just three games to go before the finals. Another three injuries tonight leave us further decimated!

It's Zac's last night with us before he leaves for England. I wanted to take everyone out for dinner but money is tight so we settled for soup and leftovers at home and went to McDonalds for sundaes as a treat. When we got there we bumped into Chris and Tony Hawkes and their kids David and Thomas. David and Jordan have been best friends since kindy and still visit and stay over once or twice a year so it was good to see them.

Jordan and Sophie are supposed to be going to Perth with Synoptic Youth tomorrow to go to the big Youth Alive event "Adrenalin" but they are both unwell so will have to wait till the morning to see if they pass the fitness test. I don't want them to miss out but nor do I want them to go away when they're sick.

Mum (and Walter ?) are picking up Zac tomorrow lunchtime to take him up to Perth and see him off at the airport. Mum is a very proud grandmother and is very excited for Zac on the eve of his big adventure. She's been overseas a couple of times in her 60's and is all for the grandkids travelling and seeing the world. Zac is staying with Rosie and Trevor in Perth for the weekend and hoping to catch up with a few friends from church and school before he departs.

Zac is still packing, he takes a while to get things done sometimes! I've told him to put out everything he thinks he needs and then pack only half of it but I'm not sure whether he'll manage it. It will be one of many lessons and learning opportunities for him over the next 6 weeks. I don't think anything bad will happen to him but there are no guarantees any more and London is a target. In his absence I pray he'll be kept safe and be protected by his Father in heaven.

Tomorrow is going to be busy, Paulie has soccer in Dunsborough at 9.00, the bus for Adrenalin leaves at 11.00 and we need to get Zac to Bunbury by 12.30 to rendevouz with Mum. If all goes to plan it will just be us and Paul for the weekend.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I love winning

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I love winning! You'll have to decide for yourself whether that's a good thing or not but I have to admit I get a real buzz out of winning. I'm referring mostly to sports and games. I'm very competitive and never play anything without trying my best to win. So I had an especially satisfying night tonight because we played two games of volleyball and won them both! In the first game we beat Al Christie's team "The Roids" 2-1 and in the second game we beat the other school based team "Long Blacks" 3-0. They were good close competitive games and we had to fight really hard to win which made them all the more satisfying. For once our game was not filled with errors, everyone was consistent and focussed and we got the results we were after. The finals are only about 6 weeks away and we're in a battle for 3rd or 4th spot on the ladder at the moment so every win is "gold"!
Monday night's squash game was written up in the paper this week with a few cryptic comments which might be understood by people who were there. I'm glad to say that the conflict was resolved and apologies offered and accepted, this is too small a town to have enemies in.

7 kids came in today with their money to buy Darlow Show CD's which is pretty impressive. Scott and Kalem were pretty rapt when I told them about it.
Scott has a blog on blogspot but he's pretty irregular with his posts, the last one was in May. You can link to it from his webpage.

I'm pretty unhappy with Telstra, and Westnet, and all the other internet service providers who advertise broadband then once you sign up tell you it's not available coz they don't have enough ports at the local exchange. When Telstra is fully privatised I'm sure the services to country regions is going to get worse not better so I hope the govt. do something about shoring it up and enforcing provision of improved services and resources to rural areas. Meanwhile we'll carry on with dial-up and all the outages, unscheduled disconnections and crawling speed connections and downloads !!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Darlow Show today at Busselton High School. There were big crowds for every session, especially once word spread and kids wanted to see what was happening. The kids playing didge was a real highlight.

The Darlow Show's FLUTE

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It's been a good day. I had Scott Darlow and his drummer Callum in the school all day doing performances and seminars. I'd heard he was good and I wasn't disappointed. Some people just have the right mix of music and talk, humour and serious stuff, rapport with kids, and a powerful message to share. I wish Scott had been like that... in fact he was like that, very entertaining but also engaging. He had kids come up and play didgeridoo during one of their songs and it really went off. They played some originals off their 2nd CD "Underground" as well as a few covers including an especially effective and moving rendition of Solid Rock the old Goanna song which has become an Australian anthem. "They felt the sting, white man white law white guns". Scott, despite appearances is an Aboriginal, whose grandmother was one of the stolen generation and whose Dad died an alcoholic, giving him a rich history of stories and life experience to draw on in talking to kids. I say despite appearances because he is very fair skinned, causing a few people to question his Aboriginality. His reply made sense, being Aboriginal is like being pregnant, you are or you aren't and there's no such thing as being half of either. The vibe around the school abouit the shows was really positive with lots of kids coming back to see it more than once and staff commenting very favourably. Many kids enquired about buying the CD.
If you want to know more about Scott, his music and his mission go to thedarlowshow.com
or to make bookings email him on info@ followed by the web address. (I'm writing these addresses in a non standard way because when I posted this to blogger the addresses wouldn't come through, I don't know why. I tried the link icon but it didn't seem to work!)
He mentioned he has a site on myspace.com/thedarlowshow (I think that's right!) that kids could check out as well.
As well as being a talented muso and gifted speaker Scott is a good bloke cause he barracks for Geelong and the first words he taught his daughter were "Go Cats" "Ablett" and "Geelong Rule". I"ve found a soul brother. My youngest son's name is "Paul Levi Ablett Holt".
Scott spoke a lot about EMPATHY as the foundation for any real change and progress toward reconciliation and racial harmony in this country and challenged the kids to take on the attributes of his key word, FLUTE- Forgiveness, Love, Understanding, Tolerance & Empathy. His message was that if we all just work at being 10% more forgiving, loving, understanding, tolerant and empathic we'll really have an impact. He followed up with his song "History Makers". It feels good to have been responsible for making something good happen and helping to bring a powerful and important message to kids about reconciliation and Australian history and culture. The genuine applause and positive comments of kids encourage me to think it was well worth it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Trouble at Squash

Holt Press
I try to stay out of trouble, I really do, but sometimes trouble seeks me out and hunts me down! I went to play squash last night and as part of my duty was scoring in a game before mine. This is not as simple as it sounds, two people are on duty for each game, one recording and relaying the score and the other making judgements regarding "Let" calls, stroke decisions and high and low balls. It got a bit confusing last night and the young guy with me and I crossed roles a couple of times, got confused and made a couple of mistakes. That wouldn't have been any big deal except for one spectator/waiting player taking exception to our calls and accusing me of intimidating the ref by over-riding his calls. I wasn't and I didn't, it just got confusing at times and then we got a bit flustered leading to more mistakes. This in turn led to the other bloke having a further go at me. I asserted myself and told him to be quiet and stay out of it and not interfere with what we were (trying) to do. Whoops, wrong move! Next thing you know he's muscling up to me looking for all the world like he's going to take a swing at me! I told him not to be ridiculous and a couple of guys intervened to lead him away and defuse the situation. I tried to concentrate on the scoring job but have to admit I was no longer totally focussed on the task! My game was coming up and guess who I was fixtured to play? That's right! Fireworks awaited!! But there was some good news. A few minutes later my antagonist came up to me, stuck out his hand and apologised, and said, "Sorry about that, I'm bi-polar and sometimes I lose it!" !!! That would have been handy information! Anyway, the heat was gone and everyone relaxed.
In due course we took our place on court. He dominated the first set from the T killing me with drop shots. My team mate gave me some coaching tips in the break and although he won the 2nd set it was a lot more competitive than the first. After the break he made a big mistake by telling me he was still recovering from pneumonia!!! I'd noticed he was slowing down, that explained it! I went for broke with power serving and won the 3rd and 4th sets easily to tie the game up. (Competitive instinct V Compassion!!)
The 5th set was another see-sawing affair with the lead changing several times. I saved a match point when after missing a volley return off his lobbed serve I managed to turn around in time to smash it into the back wall hard enough for it to drop off the front wall for a winner. Two lets followed, one of which came from him hitting me with the ball, before I finally hit a winner and took the match 3-2!!!!
A night of high drama excitement and exertion at Busselton Squash Club!!