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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mother and calf Southern Right Whales off the coast at Augusta today

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Close Encounters of the Whale Kind

You can see from this pic just how close we came to the whales today. The boat is not allowed to approach within 150 metres so at that point the skipper cut the engines and drifted, but as he said, the whales don't know the rules and if they choose to break them it's ok! It was fantastic to get so close to such awesome animals. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Author making my contribution to medical science.

Last night I hooked myself up to a device to monitor my breathing for signs of sleep apnoea (sp?). Sport Boy got a shock when he came in to our room this morning to find tubes coming out of my nose. He proceeded to go and tell Jordan that "Dad had to go to hospital last night cause he was having difficulty breathing and he's hooked up to tubes!" As you can see he's becoming a cheeky monkey!! Posted by Picasa

Off and running in the Cornerstone Cross Country

Sport Boy in the middle of the pack at the start of the race. Jacob, on the far right, won, Isaac with the red hair came second. Posted by Picasa

Heading out on the first leg, a picture of concentration

Sophie told me that he was really excited about being in the cross country when he told her about it "because we get to go outside the school boundaries"!!!! Posted by Picasa

Sport Boy giving it everything in the sprint to the finish line at the cross country

This effort got him up into 4th place. No questioning his determination!
He told me he won a prize in today's field events, he got a wooden spoon for coming last in the long jump! He was pretty proud of it! Posted by Picasa

The Busselton Health Study

Holt Press
I spent three hours this morning making my humble contribution to The Busselton Health Study, one of the longest running health studies in the world, initiated in Busselton in 1966. Check out the link for more info.
I had a blood test, allergy test and numerous respiratory tests which became quite arduous. I had to fast from midnight and by the time I was finished at 11.30 I was pretty hungry.
There was a comprehensive questionaire to complete and various other administrative tasks, permissions, waivers etc.
I will receive some of the results in about a month.
Tonight I am sleeping with a sleep apnyia testing device to see whether I stop breathing during the night.

Sport Boy has been excited for days about running in the cross country and today was the day. He had predicted he would come 5th, based on having raced against the other kids before and knowing their relative speeds, so he was particularly pleased with himself when he came 4th, overtaking a kid called Zac with a sprint finish.
Pictures tomorrow.

This afternoon I was a guest speaker in a year 11 class talking about loss and grief, a very pertinent subject at the moment in light of the weekend's events.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Death on the highway

Holt Press
It was a terrible weekend on West Australian roads with 5 young people being killed in car crashes. Sadly, one of the young men killed was from Busselton. I didn't know him, it's 5 years since he attended the high school, but I do know his younger sister and I spent some time with her today as she talked about her feelings and sadness at her brother's death. This afternoon I visited her family and talked for a while with her mum and dad who are understandably struggling.
Road deaths are devastating for so many people, family, friends and those who knew the deceased, but in many cases they are self-inflicted or brought on by extreme risk taking behaviour, with speed and alcohol being major contributing factors in so many fatalities.

It has me thinking about trying to do something pro-active to get young people in Busselton thinking about their behaviour, their choices and the risks they take. We all know they have an invincible attitude, but the reality is more and more young people are dying or being seriously hurt in avoidable road crashes. I need to do some thinking and talking to other people who may be able to contribute in some way but I hope to get some sort of event or program organised to try and address this deadly serious issue. I also want to mobilise school chaplains to make a statement and work together on some preventative strategies, we are well placed to have access to and be able to influence a huge number of young people throughout Western Australia.
Not sure what shape it will take but I feel the need to do something.

Monday, August 28, 2006

# ?

My latest painting, as mentioned last night. The lighting is not great but in real life the gold frame really complements the painting which features metallic gold and copper colours.
I bought the frame from WA Salvage! It had a print in it which I took out. That makes it sound simple, it wasn't, but in the end the result is pleasing.
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Weekend Snapshots

Holt Press
SportBoy scored twice as Cornerstone U/9's won 5-0 in their penultimate game of the season.

Geelong played lethargic football until half time and fell 38 points behind before staging a heroic comeback to get in front, surrendered the lead, then drew level before failing to win when the last dramatic act of the game, a rushed point that would have won the game was disallowed because the final siren sounded as the ball was in flight! thus finally, mathematically, philosophically and tragically putting an official end to their chances of making the finals! It was poetically fitting that our season should end in such a dramatic and disappointing fashion!
On a more serious note, Geelong defender Tom Lonergan was taken to hospital after being injured while courageously backing into a pack attempting to mark the ball. Today he had to have a kidney removed!!!! Sort of puts the criticism of Josh Hunt from a couple of weeks ago into perspective!!

I went to a quiz night at the yacht club last night. It was too hard. The winning table only scored 46 out of 80, just over 50%. My table finished on 40. Despite the difficulty it was a pleasant and civilised affair, unlike some of the rowdy and obnoxious quiz nights I've been to in the last 12 months. Sadly I didn't come home with a single prize.

Church went well this morning. Sophie was there and her hair was curly. It is naturally curly but she spends ages each day straightening it with some hot iron forceps type instrument. It looks really nice curly, and her friends agree, but she doesn't!! The contraryness of youth!

I spent from 1-4 on roster at the gallery, see next post, and sold my first painting! You bewdy!

Came home and watched the second half of the footy which despite the hype all week about being the biggest western derby ever was a one-sided thrashing, but in a good way, with Freo belting West Coast and lifting themselves to third on the ladder with their 8th consecutive victory. They are definitely the form team of the AFL, especially with Adelaide having lost 5 of their last 6 games. Go Dockers.

I completed another painting tonight and then for the first time framed it, in a proper frame, and the result is spectacular. I was really happy with the picture but it's amazing how much better it looks finished and framed properly. No doubt it will attract a higher price too! (I'll post a picture of it tomorrow)

Acting on what turned out to be dubious information, Carolyn and I went star-gazing tonight, or rather moon-gazing. She had heard that Mars would be visible and very close to the moon between 10-12 tonight. I like stuff like that so we went out to have a look. Huh! No moon to be seen anywhere let alone Mars! Nothing! Upon further investigation it turns out that her source wasn't the usual oracle, ABC radio (or Reader's Digest) but some lady from church!!!
Nothing to see here people, move along! Nice night for a drive!

The Heir has been in Greece for a week on a short term mission trip with Fusion, running festivals in a number of cities. This week he'll get to tour Ephesus, Athens and Corinth, retracing the steps of paul the Apostle. Lucky boy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sold!

I sold my first painting today at the Art Geo Gallery! Yeehaa! The sale was made all the sweeter by the fact that I was on duty at the time, my first day on the roster! Having passed up the opportunity to watch the footy (the western derby, Go Dockers) to take my turn on the volunteer roster I was delighted when a couple came in to look around and the young woman took a liking to this piece, "Crossroads". I didn't do a sell job, I was just sitting at the desk painting but she obviously liked it and kept praising it and me which made me feel a little strange! She paints as well and when she showed me a couple of pictures of her work I was very impressed, which made the fact that she wanted to buy one of my pictures all the more surprising. It was the only sale we made all day! It was priced at $110, out of which I have to pay the gallery a commission of 15 or 20%, I can't remember which.
So, my fledgling art career has taken it's first tentative steps. (I have sold one other painting, to my Dad, which was cool but I'm not sure it counts as a genuine sale or an act of charity by a loving parent!! Not to say that he doesn't like it, he does, but this one was sold to a stranger!)
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Freo, Way to Go, Hit 'em Real Hard Send 'em Down Bleow

Oh Yeah!!

Go
The
Dockers !!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sport Boy and Isaac celebrating a goal in Cornerstone's 5-0 win this morning.

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Sport Boy celebrates after scoring our first goal

He scored two today and played really well, especially setting up opportunities with his passing and team play. One of the parents said after the game it was the best team work he'd seen from the team all season. Posted by Picasa

Isaac

Isaac was our best player today, he worked harder than anyone else , constantly running, chasing, tackling, passing, he was a human dynamo! Posted by Picasa

Jacob

Jacob joined the team part way through the season after his family moved from Kalgoorlie. His cousin Ben A plays for us too. Jacob does a great job in midfield and has scored a number of goals, he combines really well with Sport Boy. Posted by Picasa

Ben C

Ben C is nicknamed the General for his command of the defense, he has fantastic awareness and reads the game really well, which combined with his speed and determination make him ideally suited to the task. He is also cool under pressure and able to play his way out of trouble. He's intense and very competitive and even when given the chance to play up forward prefers to stay back and marshall the defense. Posted by Picasa

Samuel the Karate Kid Soccer Player

Samuel had a great game, scoring three goals, a couple from long range. His family have moved to Bunbury but he still comes to play on Saturdays. I'd love him to continue on next season but the travel and time are probably too big an obstacle. I reckon if we could keep the same nucleus of the team together for a few seasons they would win the league. (In Rooball even though results are recorded there is no league winner.) Posted by Picasa

Phat Phriday Action at lunchtime

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5 Way Inner Tube Tug of War

This is an idea I pinched from YFC's Flatbed games and it worked a treat. We tied 5 old bicycle tubes together, the kids got in them then tried to be the first to tag their team members hands at the edge of the circle. The kids loved it although it's fair to say we did churn up the grass (dirt) that has been struggling to survive the weekly Phat Phriday onslaught. Posted by Picasa

Dog & Bone

Retro games have been a big hit at Phat Phriday lately though of course we like to give them a PP twist which is why when we played that old schoolyard favourite Dog and Bone today, we used real bones, fresh from the butchers! The kids were undeterred, I've never seen such determined tenacity as kids scrambled and fought for bones to win points for their team.
Some AFL clubs could take a lesson from their in and under approach! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

3 phone calls

Holt Press
Phone call 1 this afternoon was from a lady who wanted to know if I could talk to a young woman she knew who is suicidal. The young woman has been through some very difficult stuff in her life by the sound of it and is struggling to cope. I spoke briefly to her on the phone this afternoon and will probably meet up with her tomorrow.
If you're inclined pray for her, and for me!

Phone call 2 tonight was from an old friend and work colleague Russell who has the good fortune to live in Geelong but the apalling taste to be a Collingwood fan. He and his family are coming to WA in January and we are teeing up a time when we can get together. It will probably be while we are down at Augusta for beach mission.

Phone call 3 also tonight was from a guy called Phil who I don't know butwho was given my name by a mutual friend on the basis that I might be available and a suitable person to be the speaker at a camp he is running for a group of year 7 students from the school he works at, in Busselton in September. I'm available and said I'd be happy to help out. Only time will tell if I'm suitable!

I started my first painting for a few weeks tonight, there's been a hiatus but I'm back! I've bought a few frames recently so I need some paintings to put in them!

Sports Update:
Sport Boy came third in the cross country trials at school today which makes him a reserve for the inter-school comp. He's desperate to go and is hoping the school will enter a third competitor. He must have tried his heart out because his leg was really hurting him when he went to bed tonight. (Someone had fallen on it before the race "right on the muscle Dad"!)

Tottenham made up for the disappointing result on Saturday by beating Sheffield United 2-0 last night.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What do you do when you need to go to the toilet at the shopping centre in Bunbury?

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You look for a public toilet of course, a pretty simple task surely.

Maybe not!

Prepare yourself for the great public toilet mystery challenge.

ps. I hope you've got a strong bladder!

Good, you found the door and through you went...


But this looks more like a corridor than a toilet, guess it must be through that door at the end. (Hope you're not busting.) Posted by Picasa

Not quite what you were expecting, but don't give up, the fun's just starting


What's this? A foyer. Another doorway. Another toilet sign, must be just in here.
How's the bladder? Posted by Picasa

Turning Green?


Hmmm, not quite there yet though the sign seems to suggest you're heading in the right direction, hold on... Posted by Picasa

Really need to go, gotta find the dunny!


Turn the corner. No it's not that door, sorry. Posted by Picasa

Don't worry, it can't be far now, can it?......


Just head up these stairs and don't be put off by the lovely green walls Posted by Picasa


Take a left turn down a green corridor Posted by Picasa