Saturday, February 26, 2005

Blogger Meetup Details

I managed to get the blogs of most of the bloggers who were there last night. I managed to chat to all these poeple - was very good to meet a completely different circle of people.
The organiser Mark writes for Troppo Armadillo
Stephen (nekotime) owns this website (currently under redevelopment but published anyway for the day it is once again live!
Shemuel managed to come down from Toowoomba especially! Well done Shem.
Julie is a glam chick!
Melanie and Niall took photos - here's me and Julie - hint Julie is the one with her mouth open!
I also met Ben who was leaving just as I got there.
And of course Senator Andrew Bartlett.

Home again and blogger meetup

I am home after my latest trip and nearly completely well from the flu.
Equally exciting was the fascinating meeting I had tonight at a bloggers meetup.
I was late due to the plane arival time and went straight from the airport to the cafe where the meetup occurred. There were 12 or 13 people there. I will get all the names and blogs sorted for you later - I just wanted to say this bit before I go to bed.
After some initial confusion about the actual identity of one of the bloggers I was introduced to Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Queensland Democrat Senator. A legitimate blogger, whose blog I will provide tomorrow, he proved to be a charming and very easy to speak to man. Reluctantly describing himself as center of the left, though he voiced concern over the preconceived perceptions that political labels provide, he then proceeded to answer a volley of questions I fired at him covering journalism and the media, business and government, meeting his constituents and more.
After he and some others left, I then debated at length with a litigation lawyer and his teacher-in-training partner regarding the pros and cons of corporal punishment of children. We agreed that violence against children was always unacceptable and agreed to disagree regarding punishment involving spanking. Me for, her against.
After some more general chat and light hearted banter involving movie impersonations I headed home.
All the bloggers links to come tomorrow.
Nite :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Update on 400 Christian Tsunami Survivors

Well it appears that maybe this story about 400 christians surviving the tsunami because they went to the mountain to celebrate Christmas is true after all.

Pastor Bill Hekman has confirmed the story and so has another Indonesian pastor.
Forum discussing the story and the tsunami disaster.

Away and better but limited net access

Thanks for the well wishes. I am feeling much better. I am travelling away with limited net access. The motel doesn't let me dial into my isp and doesn't have broadband access as it is in the outback.
Will be back in 3 days...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Flu

I've had a flue the last 5 days.
It sucks.
On the back end now.

That wasn't meant to be a poem.
It just happened.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Troppo Bloggo and accident compensation

Local brisvegas bloggers are meeting up!
The organiser Mark writes for Troppo Armadillo. Recently Ken Parish, the founder of that collaberative blog, posted an interesting article concerning accident compensation. I wasn't overly excited til I saw the bit about the New Zealand scheme, the ACC. Haveing witnessed first hand the rorting of that system and also benefited numerous times from its payment scheme (and my multiple injuries!) I felt compelled to comment.

Heres my comment in case you can't be bothered visiting Mark. I would recommend it though - he sounds like an interesting bloke and I am looking forward to meeting him.

I am not related to John Miller, the author of the document discussing the origins and workings of the ACC in NZ. I am however a kiwi who has both benefitted and suffered from the ACC system. I am also aware of the large number of "ripoffs" that occur from the system, though the recent moves to limit the payouts have reduced that somewhat. However the weekly payment scheme is still being rorted heavily. The reason for the ACC's lack of full funding and its current carriage of liability from previous years is that it all but bankrupted itself. Hopefully the annuity type program now will allow the capital fund reserves the ability to generate the income needed to meet ongoing payment committments.
The missing information in this discussion so far is the inherent unfairness of the system.
Sure anybody is covered and the cases of non payment (like ollier mentioned above) dont exist, but likewise swain would never have received his abnormally huge payout either.
no the unfairness is the forced opt in. The concept of insurance from its earliest days was the gathering of like minded people financially to cover risk. Lloyds was established on this basis. All insurance around the world works this way. You choose to join and your premium is the cost of joining as an assesment of the additioanl risk you bring to the pool.
With ACC there is no choice. You are forced to pay (its deducted from your wages at source, or if you are an employer levied from you additional to the wage deduction).
The arguments for and against go like this:
If you are a careful manager of risk then you are unfairly 'taxed' or levied for an insurance you didnt need and may not have chosen to take given the choice.
if perchance you are the victim of crime, misfortune or pure accident then you are covered - fortunately though you did not prepare for that.
If however - and this is the one that bites - you are plain stupid, careless, accident prone or a worthy recipient of a darwin award, then you are covered for no additional cost even though you bring a greater risk to the pool. (there is no premium increase for continued multiple claims.) You may not even contribute (being a welfare recipient for example - i'm not picking on them so don't argue this point) but are still covered once again where you may have not chosen or been able to financially afford to do so.
Would be interested in further comments.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Mentoring Aspergers

The hardest part about the mentoring I am doing with the lad with Aspergers isn't him, its his parents!
J is easy to work with - he is committed to breaking the negativity mentatility and poverty cycle his parents are trapped in and seem reluctant to leave. The depression cycles he goes into are largely related to his desire to please them, even though they mess with his head. I am assisting him to break the ties and grow up into being a man on his own. He has to learn to stand on his own two feet in the world and the idea that his 'disability' will stop him doing that has to go. He knows that but constantly being told he will never get anywhere in life at home doesn't help.
I hope I am doing the right thing, but my experience with others I have mentored tells me I am. I have some great feedback recently from a couple I helped break some extremely negative and destructive family ties. At the time it was very emotional. A year on they thanked me for helping them leave that part of their life and making their married life together separate from those negative relationships. Their problems haven't gone away - but they have certainly reduced.
Some examples of the negative and destructive stuff that I have had to help them deal with includes:
- backstabbing between family members - nice to your face and cutting behimd your back
- default on loans
- money loaned used on gambling addiction
- illegal employment of family members (under the table - and abuse of offer to help and non payment for services rendered)
- physical threats and actual violence toward other family members
- abusive language
- chain smoking around small children (grandchildren)
- derogatory remarks concerning their attempts to better themselves

The attitudes and approach to life that allows these things to not only occur, but to not even be questiond as not normal, indicate lives lived without a plan, with little or no moral values, no self control and no relationship or financial skills.
To be able to help a young couple with two small children who want to break this poverty and mentality trap is awesome. To see them achieve relationship and financial goals has been rewarding.
I look forward to doing the same with my Aspergers lad.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Aliens and Evolution

A talkback show tonight in the US is featuring an Australian Scientist Gary Bates and interviewing him about his new book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection.

Visit to hear the interview and talkback then you will need to click on ‘Affiliates’ and select one of the US states. Then select one of the affiliated radio stations.

Note: Not all of the affiliates provide free streaming.
Here are two that do: (WLAP-AM Kentucky) (WABC-AM New York)

Gary’s interview will be on air at the following times, Friday 18 February:
USA - Ohio - Cincinnati = 2am to 5am
Canada - Toronto = 2am to 5am
Australia - Brisbane = 5pm to 8pm
Australia - Eastern Summer Time = 6pm to 9pm
UK - Manchester = 7am to 10am
South Africa - Cape Town = 9am to 12 noon
New Zealand - Auckland = 8pm to 11pm

Cool New Web Sites

Check out these latest web sites I have created. is the web site for my sisters youth group. She is the youth pastor. is the new site for my brother Jono. It is still undergoing development but is starting to look good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Clean your screen for free

Click here to clean your screen for free.
Thanks to Christian Cantrell.

Tsunami Urban Myths are surfacing already

Today I received an "apparently true" amazing story of survival from the Tsunami. It is circulated by email and purports to come from Pastor Bill Hekman from Calvary Life Fellowship in Indonesia. While he is the pastor he did not write the email and the story is not true. Snopes have written an expose of this. It is always a good thing to check out the apparently true stores sent to you by email before forwarding them on. I use Google and then search major online news sources as well as Snopes and some other urban myth expose sites.
I have copied the story below below.
News from the Tsunami

We know that 80% of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh was destroyed by the Tsunami waves and 80% of the people also died. This is one of the Towns that was hit the hardest.

But there is a fantastic testimony from Meulaboh. In that town there are about 400 Christians. They wanted to celebrate Christmas on December 25th but were not allowed to do so by the Muslims of Meulaboh. They were told if they wanted to celebrate Christmas then they Needed to go outside the city of Meulabohon and celebrate Christmas.

Because the Christians desired to celebrate Christmas the 400 Believers left the city on December 25th and after they celebrated Christmas they stayed overnight.
As we all know the morning of December 26 there was the earthquake followed by the Tsunami waves destroying most of the city of Meulabohand thousands were killed. The 400 believers were camped in the mountains surrounding the town and were all saved from destruction.

Now the Muslims of Meulaboh are saying that the God of the Christians was punished us for forbidding the Christians from celebrating Christmas in the city.
Others are questioning why so many Muslims died while not even one of the Christians had perished. Had the Christians insisted on their rights to celebrate Christmas in the city, they would have all died. But because they humbled themselves and followed the advice of the Muslims they all were spared destruction and can now testify of God's marvelous protection.

This is a testimony of the grace of God and the fact that as Believers we have no rights in the world. Our right is to come before God And commit our lives to Him. Our right is kneeling down before the Lord almighty and committing our ways to Him. He is our Father and is Very capable to care for His children.
Praise the Name of the Lord.

Bill Hekman

Pastor Calvary Life Fellowship in Indonesia.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Accidents and Art

Tonight I cut my left hand - first two fingers. The first finger I cut almost to the bone and have severed a bunch of nerves. I think it will be ok. Nurse Judith tended to me very nicely.

The second finger was not very bad.
Then I did some wood burning.
I managed to burn my finger on the wood burner and then as I made a cup of peach mango tea I splashed some boiling water on my bare foot. Accidents come in 3 they say. I'm glad I got them all out of the way in about 2 hours!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Home again and Christ's 2nd last tempataiton

Sleeping it off...
I will post pics later
In the meantime here's a funny one for ya

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Family Reunion

What a great day! 70 odd rellies (out of 101 descendants) turned up and mum and dad's place for a shindig.
We played table tennis, cricket, volleyball and soccer. 5 generations were represented.
I met up with my 3 cousins, lots of second cousins and other assorted rellies some of whom I had never met before. I took 130 photos and I think I will make a web site up soon for the pics.
All in all a fun day.

In New Zealand

Flying visit to New Zealand for a family reunion. More stories and pics coming later.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


I hate them.
I get all stressed - and then when the perceived fear doesn't materialise and I realise I did a good job and the client is happy I feel all better. I shall be glad when this week is over!
I have got simultaneous deadlines for three projects.
One finished Monday night.
Second I finished tonight (I finished meeting with the client at 1AM) but it really doesn't finish til Monday night and now I have extra stuff to do to complete it!. The third is due the 21st but I am trying to finish it early or it will get sucked into the next project and I will be back where I an now.

Basketball tomorrow night will be a great stress reliever.
I am starting to bust some good moves - surprises everybody - me included when they come off. Last week I did some big step layups from well outside the paint and came inside the guard then jinked in mid air and feinted the shot over the defence and then pulled it back and threw it up under his arm and it rolled in off the glass - did it twice so it wasn't a fluke! I think he will be marking me harder this week!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Riding with the girls

I took Jadeen and Miranda for their first long rides on the Warrior (in fact any motorbike) the other day. Previously I had taken Miranda to church once. Saturday we went to the beach after I came home from a client. Jadeen rode down with me - she loved it and hung onto me the whole way really well!
Miranda rode home with me.
Some idiot tried to drag me off at a set of lights in his old beat up commodore - as if I was going to do that with my precious daughter on the back! I raced him to the speed limit (actually that was going about normal speed anyway) and then let him go charging off.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Erin the future model

These photos were too gorgeous not to post!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

brain spinning

sometimes my vrain spins from
the overload of information
choices of activities to do
priorities to set
people to please
kids to control
work to complete
emails to write

sometimes i say things i dont mean when im stressed...

this is an apology of sorts...

To clarify the funny saying

The funny saying is "Dad Alert".
It is used whenever she spots me coming and in an air raid warning type of voice two or three times in quick succession!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dad Alert

Miranda's latest funny saying!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Unemployed women in Germany forced into prostitution by government

I am glad I am not an unemployed woman in Gernamy. New regulations there now can force women into prostitution or result in them losing their unemployment benefits if they refuse.
Lets pray Australia never makes such a stupid rule and that Germany considers the error of its ways and changes.

Picnic at the Dam

On Sunday we went to the dam for a picnic with Mark and Miriam and their two girls Holly and Georgia.
It was very hot but after a while a nice breeze came up off the dam and it was a bit cooler. We went for a slide down the steep grass hill. Mark reckons he is going to make a toboggan for the next time we come!
We even found some 'monkeys' and a magpie up a tree.