Sunday, October 31, 2004

Having fun with the family

I have had a real busy weekend.
After the power of work I got through last night wasn't enough to finish the job I was working on I knew more work was needed today. So I planned out the day to fit as much in as possible.
Off to church we went and that was followed by helping a lady in our home group with some computer woes. Ending up being fairly simple but her daughter was at her wits end trying to get her assignment due tomorrow printed. As they were in the middle of moving house we took them to lunch as well.
I then put in 4 hours at home on the job, and my wife took a photo of me working. As you can see I use a dual monitor display. It makes life so much easier. Sometimes I wish there were three displays. I guess the other computer you can just see the monitor of on my other desk is for that!

I then took a break and we headed out for a drive. The goal was to find some jacaranda trees to photograph while they are in their awesome display of purple flowers but we really left it too late in the day. I got some great shots in terms of the angles etc but the lighting is all wrong so I'm not going to publish most of them. I will however post one of the closeups of the flowers on the photo archive. I took the photos where there were 4 trees together. the sweet smell of the nectar from all the flowers was amazing. Heres the best shot I got that shows the absolute mass of flowers.

Then we played in the park for a bit and Jude got some funny photos.

Heading home we had a quick bite then it was back to work for me. I have just finished and done the invoice and emailed the client so now its time to update my 4 main blogs and the photo archive and then I need to start on my novel!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Urban Space

I have created the blog for my novel.
Titled Urban Space it is to be an attempt at an average of 1,667 words a day for the 30 days of November 2004.
Feel free to make comments as I write and if you like it tell others too.

Holy Spirit teaching

Today I taught a part of the module in our Church's adult learning courses - Be Strong.
Todays topic was the Holy Spirit and I did the first part on His names, personality and attributes.
For those who are interested you can download the notes (48Kb) and the powerpoint presentation (183Kb).

Pats Birthday 40th Party

I went to Pat's Birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Pat plays soccer with me for Parklife and we have worked together in the past.
I have put together a web page of all the great photos from the night.
Check it out and say "Happy Birthday" to Pat please in the comments at the bottom of the page.
PS. Pat is an Irishman!

Friday, October 29, 2004

NaNoWriMo, Photo Friday and Soccer

Official NaNoWriMo 2004 Participant

Today I signed up for the NaNoWriMo Challenge - to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. WOW!
I have created a new blog (yes another one!) for this novel. Writing starts 1 Jan.

Photo Friday
challenge this week was Still Life. I used a photo I took of an Avocado for this.

Parklife soccer semi final was tonight. We lost 5-3 after a valiant effort to an arguably better team. I scored two of our goals and the 3rd was an own goal.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Deadlines Smeadlines

I'd rather be goofing off.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fun Summer Days

Will someone please tell the weatherman that its still officially Spring. Not Summer. Spring.
We have been 'enjoying' scorching hot days, high humidty and sweaty nights.
Currently at midnight its 26 degrees C and 83% humidity.
Its been great for riding the CBR1100, though I must admit to not wearing the protective jacket during the day as its too sweaty to turn up to clients in.

Its also been great for the kids - we got the paddling pool out already and they are enjoying that.

There is LOTS happening. I still got a lot of work on, I am doing some work with the church financial procedural changes, am learning a lot of stuff in relation to business blogging, my three new hints and tips blogs (Excel, Blog and Tech) are already getting quite a bit of attention and its fascinating researching the articles for them. There is so much happening on the bleeding edge of internet technology right now, podcasting, community content management systems, and other stuff that will at the end of the day flow down to the average consumer as useable technology.
I am also enjoying taking up basketball again. I haven't played for 10 years. 12 years ago I was playing at A grade level - which is one level below state. Now I am playing 'geriatrics' for the over 35's. It is awesome busting some of my old moves and making them stick. I have earned some reapect already and that is quite funny cos as a youngster I had to work really hard to get it in basketball. Now I pull off a couple of hot lookaway passes or a fancy drive to the hoop or a tough rebound and they think I'm great. Yes my head is swelled!

Now if only I had an airconditioner in my office. In the meantime for the next 5 months I will work dressed only in a pair of shorts, and with a fan running almost non stop. Cold drinks a necessity.

How do you handle summer heat?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Home group and Church

Last night we had the home group over for a meal and general fellowship. We discussed the next little while direction and think it will revolve around a 3 fortnightly cycle.
2 fortnightly mondays will be a study and the 3rd will be a shared meal.
We are not sure what we will study. We have some existing material that we haven't completed, but perhaps more useful would be taking some particular passages and studying them. I am thinking of maybe using Ephesians.
This weekend I am teaching part of a Bible Study class for church on the Holy Spirit. My topic is Who is the Holy Spirit?
I may paste some of my notes here later.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Gold Coast Indy

Of course this weekend was Gold Coast Indy weekend. So it was a crazy night in Surfers Paradise last night. I took the CBR1100XX as I knew it would be a lot easier to get into Surfers with and also easier to park.
Official Gold Coast Indy Web Site
Miss Indy Featured on The Juice by Ken Lord

4 Man Bob

Last night I was priviledged to be a guest of 4 Man Bob in the Oz vs NZ Punk Ska Battle. The four bands lining up were:
For New Zealand
4 Man Bob
Foamy Ed
and for Australia
Dr Octopus

4 great bands - each with their own unique sounds.

I took over 200 photos, some of which will appear on here and the photo archive in the next few days.

Thanks Rattus for having me!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Myers Briggs Jung Test

I just took my first one! Yeah i never bothered before because I have a melancholic personality and already knew that.
I am a
ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Friday, October 22, 2004


Today was a day of achievements
I caught up on my email, reading and writing blogs, some work, accounting for the week, cleaned out 3 fish tanks (with only 1 minor flood) rode the CBR1100XX into soccer where we won soundly, played with the kids, took some great photos of the sunset, made the wife happy, got a new leather office chair from Viking, popped a great mono on the bike in the carpark at soccer (showoff), scored a hattrick at soccer, umm cant think of anything else. Thats enough. Oh yes and organised a day out at the beach tomorrow with Dan and Pris and their kids.
What about you - what did you achieve today? Focus on the great things and the niggly worries and annoyances fade away. I'd love to hear from ya.

Real Live Preacher

I got a book in the mail today
It was Gordon even signed it for me. Thanks mate.
I will do a reveiw once I finish it.

Blog Explosion Traffic

I have had heaps of hits from Blog Explosion surfers. In my last post I asked them to say gidday. Here are some who did. I have checked them out and found some useful stuff. I guess this is the power of a viral marketing concept like Blog Explosion. However it only works if the connection is made and the name is left. I endeavour to say hi to the poeple I surf past with Blog Explosion. If you came here random surfing, please use your 30 seconds to leave your blog url in the comments so I can visit you.

Visitors who have said hi.
Genuine A real neat bloke.
A tale of 2 WAHM's 2 Work at home mothers with lots of interesting stuff including a parenting e-zine, blog tech tips and more.
Modern Princess Dry humour and wit. Amy's trying to get pregnant also.
Pesky Apostrophe Make up your own mind about this bloke!
Uncle Henry Blog A blog dedicated to reviewing Mobile, Alabama's most popular radio talk show, The Uncle Henry Show.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Hi - if you are surfing through from Blog Explosion - please leave a quick comment with your url and I can come visit you.
cheers and thanks for coming!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New Phone Motorola MPx200

I got my new smartphone today. Its a Motorola MPx200. It comes with Microsoft Windows CE Smartphone 2002 software, synchonises with my Outlook, and theoretically MSN messenger as well, though I haven't got that working yet.

Altogether it is a well put together software package mostly intuitive and easy to operate. It really showed up my old Siemens ME45 in terms of its ease of use when it came time to transfer contacts from one to the other.

The actual hardware is solid and sexy. It is a nice weight in the hand, opens and closes with a satisfying snick (magnets) and this even works with the pretty cool leather case on. It is a fixed clamshell; that is there is no rotation, just open and shut.
The screen is large and easy to read. The controls are not too small for my fat fingers and the 5 school girls in the train who were wagging school thought it was a cool phone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Lots of things to do

Busy as a bee. Life can sometimes be real complicated.
Right now I am feeling like the cursed juggler trying to balance family life, spouse interaction, business requirements, church committments and just some personal space.
For the last 8 months I have pretty much worked non stop. I have had the odd weekend off and most days have been 14-18 hour days. In that I try and fit a minimum of 2 hours for family interaction. There have also been the odd whole day of family time. It is getting to the time of the year when my business activities and committments usually wind back. Last year we had a 5 month summer break with little to do. So far this year it doesn't look like slowing at all. While this is good for income, it is hard for time management. I am also not looking forwrd to working through the summer in this un airconditioned office! Maybe I move inside to the airconditioning and turn the office into a rumpus and TV room.
Introspective blog post I know. However its therapeutic to self analyse and contemplate things. John Strain is good at that - its his job so he ought to be!
I guess also I am thankful to my family that they are so supportive and work with me. Because most of my work is done from the hours of 9PM to about 2-3AM it leaves some time free during the day (when not seeing clients or dealing with normal daily office work) to play with them. It has been great to head off to the park lately and catch guppies. It is kind of relaxing to stand knee deep in a muddy pond feeling the slimy mud squish between your toes, and know that if a client rings I can answer the mobile and have a conversation and know they are stuck in some boring office! For those who read this - gidday from the pond! I'll get your programming completed tonight while you are asleep!
Well that's enough analysing. Back to work. Right now I am adding my blog posts to Excel Tips, Tech Tips and Blog Tips. Feel free to check them out and subscribe either by email or XML to these sites. Then its on with some client preparation for tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rossi wins Moto GP Championship

Valentino Rossi is the greatest!
He won today at Phillip Island here in Australia sealing his 6th World Championship including his 125cc and 250cc ones. The lad is only 25!
Here are some links to news and photos.
Cinzano Grandprix
Seven News

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Pats Party

Tonight was Pat's 40th Birthday party.
After the party I zipped around the city for a bit with some other bikers. FUN!
I also took a heap of photos at the party (to be posted soon on the Parklife blog) and also some night shots of the city - most of which didn't come out well. I am still experimenting with low light conditions and settings.
I also got to meet another blogger, Timothy J from Brisvegas Bloggers.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday News

Working backwards from now.
Photo Friday Challenge posted.
Soccer played - and lost though I scored a goal.
Watched Saving Private Ryan for the first time. I think it was certainly far more gruesome than the Passion, but it appeared extremely realistic (not that I was there). A very moving film.
Did some work.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Church Stuff

I been real busy lately with church activities. I haven't been blogging about them because they have been kind of sensitive.
I have been on a board committee (as a church member representative) looking at some constitutional change issues. Sounds dry and boring? Far from it. We have got some doozies to manage. The main issue is the financial structure of the church. We are recommending some fairly extensive changes to the way the church manages its finances, does its accounting and reporting and the accountability structure.
As a consequence I have been also providing some consulting to the church in my professional capacity (gratis). So its no longer a secret as such.
I have also been nominated for a position on the board. I had my interview with the review team last night.
I must confess I'm a little nervous.
If they recommend me to the board then the board must ratify their decision and then it must go to the members in the next AGM (end of November) where it must get up in a 75% vote.
I am learning patience and to trust God!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Blog Explosion

Well I've done it - I added an account for blog explosion and discovered I already had my old site linked there!
Want to increase your blog traffic?

Leukemia Research

I have a friend whose daughter has Leukemia. I also participated in the shave for a cure earlier this year.
So when I came across this post from Hamo I wanted to repost it here. I also checked to see it's not a hoax. Official Website and PDF File

Dear Sir/Madam, My name is Chris Parsons,
I am 10 years old and I am writing to you because my sister Katy and I desperately need your help.

Last year our really cool friend, Sinéad Murdoch died. (Pic on left) She was only 12 years old and she died because she had leukaemia. Sinéad was so brave and never gave up even though life was really hard for her. She really should not have had to die. On August 16 it was be a year since Sinéad passed away. She was really special to me and I still miss her a lot, she should not be forgotten. Sinéad died because there is not a cure for leukaemia, she suffered so much and her family have to live the rest of their lives without her.

Last October I raised over $15,000 by shaving my head but I realise that is not enough and so we want to raise even more money. Without any money for research they can't find a cure or even how to make all the treatment less horrible for others like Sinéad. Maybe you know someone who is sick or has passed away from cancer and then you will know that it is really hard.

I have written to every school in WA to ask if their pupils can wear something yellow to school on 29 October 2004 and give a gold coin donation, (yellow was one of Sinéad's favourite colours). I really would like it to be called 'Remember Sinéad Day' although I realise that there are many other children who suffer or die each year from cancer and we need to remember them all. It should be a day when children can remember their friends and others not as lucky as themselves, and the kids who still have cancer will see how much we care.

Lots of people have said I should ask all of WA to remember Sinead, not just schools, so I am! I really need your help because I can't do this on my own, my trouble is to let everyone know about it. Could you ask all your friends if they would like to join in. They can take it to their work and just need to wear something yellow, or they could do something else on the 29 October and give a gold coin donation. Please help me to raise this money because I can't do it on my own. If we work together we could get over $100,000 - that would be fantastic and one day maybe other kids won't have to die like Sinéad.

You can take any donations or money raised into any branch of the Commonwealth Bank on or after Remember Sinéad Day or send a cheque to The Children's Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation at PO Box 1118, West Perth WA 6872.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Chris with shaved head

Kindest regards
Christopher Parsons

Donations to:

Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc)
PO Box 1118, West Perth 6872

Leukemia Foundation Australia

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Riding the CBR1100

Today was great. The sun was shining and the breeze was pleasant. I took the CBR1100 for a spin (mainly because the wife left me at home without the car) but within 100 metres from leaving the house I was happy. The crisp sound of winding the 4 cylinders up through 10,000 revs in first gear (touching just over 110 kms/hr) before clicking into second with a satisfying snick and then the awesome enging braking as I back off and slow down for the corner and the end of the street.
Today was about cornering. I focussed on getting the bike lower to the ground - of shifting my body over - of watching how far from the ground the mirrors were and just trying to be smooth about the transfer of weight and power. The bike felt awesome - it was a live thing in my hands, pliant yet savage. I hit speeds that I can't type in here in short bursts in traffic that just make the cars behind you disappear in seconds. I idled in traffic smoothly and easily, I zigzagged through cars on the highway, I wheelstanded over speed bumps and I had a blast!
Can you tell I just love riding my bike. I think I will take her for another spin tomorrow!

Photo Friday 2 by 4 Challenge

This weeks Photo Friday Challenge was 2 by 4. That is go two units away from your house turn right and go 4 and take pictures of what you find there.
Due to the fact we live in a small culdesac in a semi rural area and don't have blocks as such I went two units (houses) down the street, turned right and then went 4 units (houses) along.
Here are the photos I took there.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Birthday Photos and Story

I have created a separate page for the story of my birthday and the photos.
It was the bestest day ever!

Fighting off the flu

The rest of the family has had it - I am NOT going to succumb.
Watcht this space...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Home from the LAN

And yes I am home and no I am not going to do my birthday story now and yes I will do it later!
Saves asking me...

Broswer Wars Part Deux

If you still use Internet Explorer - can you tell me if you have any trouble with this site.

Can you also please comment with the reason why you still use IE. I would be interested to know.
Heres my guesses as to why people haven't changed.
1 Don't realise how insecure IE is.
2 Don't know how to change.
3 Didn't know they could change.
4 Other.

If you have a different category feel free to add it in the comments.
And all you Mac OS people can stop gloating now... [grin]

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Browser Wars

Just an interesting side note.
I have a new site meter for the new domain and these new blogs, Personal and Excel Tips.

I notice that now internet explorer use is the lowest I have ever seen it. Currently standing at 65% and Firefox is a massive 20%.
We have been using Firefox almost exclusively since February.
People are obviously finally waking up to the inherent security risks associated with using internet explorer and are switching. Hooray!

Thank You

A big thank you to Judith for making my day wonderful yesterday.
I am at a LAN all day today so will post the pictures and story of the big day tomorrow.
Thank you to all my girls for coming with me and having fun yesterday.
Thanks to Mum and Dad for ringing me from NZ to say Happy Birthday.
Thanks to Krystal, Angie, Ann, Doug, Cathy and John for thir kind comments. Always much appreciated.

Friday, October 08, 2004

My Birthday Today

I had the most awesome day ever.
Right now its not over so I am going to go and do some more fun stuff with the wife and get back and tell you about it later. Well the rest of the day anyway!
Bye [grin].

Great Lunch Recipe - Tuna and noodles

I went to the fridge at lunch time and there was a bowl of tuna there - I thought "that would go nice with pasta and mayo". However there was no pasta left (the wife was actually out doing the restocking). I found some 2 minute noodles and cooked them up while reheating some left over garlic bread from pizza last night. Then I tossed the tuna and the noodles and grated cheese together with mayo in a bowl and whacked it in the oven next to the garlic bread for 5 mins. YUM

The Wedding Dress Guy

From the more insane parts of the web comes this amazing web site - however it is a particularly good example of how to use your unique appeal to make money by blogging!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Church Financial Review, Sick Kids and Web Development

Wow. The last few days have been flat out. In between sick kids nd working for clients I have also completed the full software installation of 1 PC, transferred settings from 3 PCS, Jude got a new one and her settings and email etc were migrated from her old one. Miranda got Jude's old one and her settings and email etc were migrated from her old one and Jadeen needed a user account and email and msn etc set up on Miranda's old PC which is now hers. I bought a new desk for Jadeen, and we have set their PCS up in the school room now. I have also upgraded my PC to Office 2003 (so far successfully). I have started a mailout list for the Excel Tips Blog for those who can't use XML subscriptions. There is also a lot more to do to that site and I need to continue the development on the other new sites.
I also spent time working on the Church Financial Review that I am involved in, subbed for Jude in looking after kids, published and mailed out Jono's Monthly newsletter and had a half hour nap on the couch!

Now its nose back to the grindstone. Its good to be busy though. I was saying to a friend last night that I don't think I could ever do 'nothing'. What about you?

Surfing the Web

Always a delight.
There is just sooo much stuff to find out there.

Here is a link to Richard Seaman's site. He is a fellow kiwi a few years older than me. His site includes some amazing photos of birds, scenery, military aircraft and places he's been. Awesome photos and most of them are set up to wallpaper size!
Go and have a look. I promise you even if you don't find anything you want as wallpaper you'll be amazed by the New Zealand scenery. I have been to many of the places shown here.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Today was an awesome day of achievement. Being the last Sunday of the school holidays our church didn't have Sunday School and so we stayed at home and had Sunday School at home.
We looked at the missionary voyage of Paul briefly, and then looked at emails from my sister who is a missionary in Paraguay, my brother Jono who is a missionary in Ukraine and some of our other missionary friends also in Ukraine who have kids roughly the same age as our girls. We then built missionary boats (like Paul used) out of the top of egg cartons. These were painted by the girls, then I helped them affix the mast (toilet paper roll) and sail (triangle of stiff paper). The boats were tested at bath time and successfully negotiated the rough waters. I think Erin's boat was sunk and salvaged and Miranda feared damage and so didn't launch hers at all. I will post some pictures tomorrow.
I also completed a LARGE amount of web development to get the pages you see here up and running, including the Excel tips Blog. This week I plan to get two or three more blogs up and running.
Finally I posted a gorgeous picture of a crocus (I think) on our photo archive.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Welcome to the all new Spy Journal.
This particular blog is my personal dairy where I record my own musings and family info.
All my archived stuff from the last year is still held at my old site.
Check out the whole new site by going to the main index page