Wednesday, November 30, 2005


National Novel Writing Month - Winner
Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner

I have absolutely stormed it in this year.
After a paltry 30 odd thousand words last year this year I typed over 85,000. Yeah!

Now my fingers need a reat.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Drugs and Punishment

With the pending execution of an Australian in Singapore (by hanging) for attempting to import heroin numerous debates have risen here.
Debates on capital punishment, drugs in society - legalisation or prohibition and drug driving.
The local paper the Courier Mail has a blog being managed by some of the journalists on this subject.
Interesting reading - particularly the comments from the public.

Vital Interest : Drugs and Punishment

Sunday, November 27, 2005


My first attempt at photographing lightning.
Exposure 15 seconds and Aperture 2.7.


LAN Grand Final



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My cooking at the end of a big day

Got up at 7:30am
straight onto computer to help an overseas client with website.
9:30am left for client i was supposed to meet with at 9am
worked til 1pm and went for lunch for half hour.
worked til 6:38
drove home
said hi to family for 8 minutes while getting changed
drove to squash
7:30pm played squash for 1 1/2 hrs
drove to mailbox
collected google adsense cheque yippee!
drove back to client
worked till 11pm
drove home
11:20 started cooking
11:44 sat down to eat and blog this

Now I love my wifes cooking but when I cook its usually a lot different.
Heres what I made tonight.

two thin pork steaks that I cut into strips - seared in hot oil (sesame and olive)

then I threw in
fresh vegetables and fruit
capsicum (red pepper) sliced
celery diced
pineapple diced
mushrooms whole buttons
chili chopped

dried herbs and spices
ground ginger


served on a bed of toast and grated cheese


Now I have to do a couple hours work before I hit the sack ready for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I grew up being taught that dispensationalism was the systematic theological approcah to the Bible that was correct. I was never taught any alternative, or the (somewhat short) history of the system itself.

As an adult I was given the opportunity to learn to think about systemtatic theology using a Biblical hermenutic. That is using the Bible itself to analyse the Bible, and not some man made construct that was overlaid on the Bible. You see dispensationalism was actually invented (dreamed up) by a woman named Mary McDonald in 1830 and then further systemised by Chafer and others.

It is possible once you have this artificial construct in place to force the Bible and the understanding of prophetic parts of the Bible into this construct. You see when you already know what the answer is interpreting the Bible becomes fairly simple. Any apparent difficulties become fairly easily answered away by the literal vs figurative answer. That is if it doesn't fit literally then interpret it figuratively.

Now for 20 odd or more years various theologians have challenged the dispensationalist system that largely is taught at the Dallas Theological Seminary. Various students, even of the seminary themselves, have questioned in writing the tents of the system and sought academic and learned theological answers to their questions.
None have been forthcoming and the very books on which it is based themselves have been out of print for close to 20 years now.

Here is a challenge written in a book by Gary North called Rapture Fever.

Gentlemen, your institution has not produced a systematic
theology since your founder, Lewis Sperry Chafer, wrote his in
1948. Even so, he failed to answer O. T Allis’ book, Prophecy
and the Church
(1945). You refused to keep Chafer in print after
1988. Your continuing silence is the symbol of your dilemma.
So is the inability of each generation to produce a detailed
systematic theology which answers, your many critics.
It is time for you as a faculty to produce a systematic theology.
It is my opinion that there is insufficient agreement at
Dallas Seminary for such a project to be completed. So, I now
offer you this challenge. You are required to sign a statement
of faith annually. The faculty needs to pay two or three members
to write an 800-page defense of that statement. Make it
clear to your students, the seminary’s donors, and the Board of
Trustees that this statement of faith can be defended in a scholarly,
biblical manner This will make it clear to pastors and
laymen that somebody, somewhere is able to defend the dispensational
system. As you know, I don’t think anyone is.
I predict that you will not accept this challenge because you
dare not do it. You are not agreed on what dispensationalism
teaches. If you become specific, you will blow up the seminary.
If you remain silent, you will forfeit whatever leadership you
retain in the dispensational community. So, you can no longer
afford to remain silent, yet you dare not become specific.
And so I leave it at this: there is no longer anyone who will
go into print with a comprehensive dispensational systematic
theology. The reason is simple: the dispensational system is so
flawed that its defenders are embarrassed by it. It is time for its
mute defenders to quit pretending otherwise.
Intellectual talent is scarce in evangelical Protestantism. We
need theologians who are willing to commit all their intellectual
gifts to the defense of the faith. If you cannot in good conscience
and with all your strength commit to dispensationalism,
it is time to adopt another position – one you can commit to.

The full book Rapture Fever is available as a free download

Good News

I rang the specialist yesterday and my blood test results are good.

At the beginning of October my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) was <0.05 (undetectable) which means that the pituitary gland is not sending any instruction to the thyroid to create thyroxin. This is good. However my thyroxin measured as Free T3 and Free T4 was way over it what they shoud be, 22.3 and 58 respectively. They should be around 10 and 20. So the thyroid is not switching off its production (the throttle is jammed) and the dosage of the medication I was on was not controlling it. When we discovered this he doubled my medication, Carbimazole, to 30mg a day. This is supposed to inhibit the thyroid's production of thyroxin.

The blood tests from the beginning of November show that the T3 & T4 counts have come back down to 11 and 21 respectively. Almost normal again. However my medication will stay increased until the next test at the beginning of December where he will look at reducing it to 20mg a day. I suspect he will once again strongly urge me to get the thyroid irradiated.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My Day - or pink padded cell please

By Mad Tim

So far I have today (since I rose from my bed at 9am):

Maybe I should look at getting a job delivering junk mail! - At least then I would get paid!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Messy Mangers

Jude sent me a great website column about being messy.

I totally relate to the intent to be tidy - a place for everything and everything in its place.

Mike Bellah says "My problem is I have too many oxen. I read too many books to have a clean office. We have too many children to keep an immaculate house. My work, friends, and family are all too important to me to maintain an uncluttered schedule.

That's why the Bible verse is so encouraging. It says, in effect, that messy mangers are OK, even necessary. If a farmer wants an uncluttered barn, the solution is easy enough. Just don't keep any oxen (or trucks, or tractors)."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Australia is in the world cup - first time in 31 years

What a tense couple of days.
The whole country has been building up to tonight - and what a release of tension when it finally came.

Talk about doing it the hard way though.

First of all we went down 1-0 in the away game in Urugauy - and visions of last time came to mind when we lost there to lose all chances of qualifying.

We knew that if they scored here that we would really be behind the eight ball with away goals counting for two home goals.

The game started fairly nervously with both sides feeling each other out but you could see that there was no rhythm being generated. The huge number of free kicks (I think over 54 for the entire game) in the first 15-20 minutes really stilted the game play. Suddenyl thoug the referee seemed to forget he had a whistle and play started to flow freely with some good forays on both sides and then suddenly there was a yellow card. Popovic had his hand in an attackers face as he tried to go round him. It was a bit soft but fair enough. Strangely Popovic didn't look at all worried as shortly after he was substituted for Kewell. In hindsight one wonders if the whole thing was orchestrated.

Now I will admit to being a critic of Kewell in the past. I thought he was a ball hog and a cry baby, too ready to look for penalties and not tough enough to play the game at this level. Certainly the last few years at an Australian Internation level he didnt appear to meld with the team. Now either he has changed or the team has grown up a bit. I think that the skill levels are more even. He certainly is a very skilful player, but Viduka, Cahill and Emerton are right there with him. Bruschiano was also spectacular.

Anyway within about 2 minutes of Kewell coming on there was a run down the left wing. Kewell backheeled and then darted away inside in line with the top of the 18 yard box. A brilliant pass back to Kewell saw him able to take a shot only for a collective groan as he mis-cued and the ball sliced away across the front of the goal straight to Bruschiano who smacked it in. The groans were replaced with ecstatic yells and we leaped off the couch in delight as the fans and the team went wild with excitement.

The game had to settle down and Australia needed to be very careful. Now they were level but a careless defence mistake could see Uruguay in front and Australia needing two goals to level and 3 to win. Fortunately after half time Uruguay all but lay down and went to sleep. I am sure the boys in green and gold didn't think that but on the TV they looked tired and dispirited. There were a few flashes of energy expecially after a subsititution and a couple of near misses at the end of the second half. 1-0 and the extra time was needed. 30 minutes later we went to a penalty shoot out.

Kewell went first and made no mistake with his shot low and left. The first Uruguyan came out and went to the right but Schwarzer defended brilliant diving left and stopping the goal. For the second time we leapt of the seat yelling excitedly. Next two goals for both teams went in. Viduka stepped to the ball and hestitated before going left so wide that he missed altogether. I am sure that it would have been saved if he hadn't as the keeper had already dived full length that way anyway. Now all the pressure was back on Schwarzer. The anticipation was intense. The striker came in and struck hard and right about 1.5 metres above the ground. Schwarzer antipated well but dived too low. Almost too late he somehow managed to drag his right arm up and twist so that he found the ball with his glove even though it was above him. Again we leapt from the seat and cheered til we were hoarse. Now Aloisi stepped to the ball for Australia. All he had to do was score - and score he did - we had won and the place erupted!

Aloisi ripped off his shirt and sprinted for the sideline - his team mates followed but didn't catch him til the half way line where there was a mass stack! Josh in the lounge room had whipped his shirt off and was spinning it around and around. I don't know what Kamran was doing because I was screaming with delight and laughing at Josh.

What an awesome game - 120 minutes of an awesome display of football. I saw a few tactical errors fron the players, but I would have to say that it was the best technical and skilful game I have ever seen the Australian team play. We have risen to world cup level and are ready to play with the big boys! Having big name players, Kewell, Viduka, Emerton and the like is all very well but if they don't meld into a team filled with players of lesser talent and help the whole team achieve then they are next to useless. I think Kewell has been like that for Australia before - too good and the team didn't meld with him in it. Now they seem to have risen up a level as a team. Credit must go to Guus Hiddink the new coach for this. He has done a great job.

Now to see how they prepare for and perform in the World Cup proper.Can't wait!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Troubled youth

I have been working fairly closely for a long time with a young lad with Aspergers Syndrome including some mentoring for a few months. Recently he has made some massive improvements and it is very heartening to see him grow and blossom into a man.
He is 18 and a half and the last 12 months have been very hard for him. He has managed to shrug off the mantle of a child and is trying to learn what it is to be a man; responsibility for his own actions and the financial result of the same is a hard but necessary lesson.
He called me this week with a legal problem in a panic. I was able to give him the tools to deal with the situation, and on Friday got an excited call from him as he explained how he had resolved it, will not face legal action and will not have to pay anywhere as much as he expected. I expect he will also be more responsible in the future. He is also a LOT more confident in his own abilities to deal with scary situations now.

This week also another couple who are our friends who have a 16 year old wilful (eldest) son (Wow that rings some memory bells!!!) have experienced some massive issues including physical violence towards his mother. This has not been a surprise as it has been building for some time. I have offered some time with the lad who respects me and I hope I may have some opportunities to fid out what's in his head and where the rage and anger are coming from.
Gary Chapman in the Five Love Languages for Kids talks about adolescent anger and learning to deal with it. It is not something that should be repressed because that just makes it bubble up and over without control, but rather the anger needs to be managed and the child needs to learn emotional maturity and control over the anger. This takes time, but the better they learn it the less likely they will resort to physical violence as an adult as a way of coping.

My wife (who has a new website!) sent me these wise thoughts.

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone.
--Columbian Proverb

I do beseech you to direct your efforts more to preparing youth for the path and less to preparing the path for the youth.
--Ben Lindsey

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Here is a cool photos I took of a cockatoo on a power line with a storm cloud in the background. It was on full zoom so I am happy with the result.
I have cropped it to this size.
Click the image for a larger version.

Mum and Dad have gone

Yup - on the plane yesterday. It was fantastic having them over for as long as they were here. Dad and I built a cubby house together which was a lot of fun as well as being great for the kids.
I need to do a few things to finish it but its able to be played in and the kids love it.

The kids loved playing with the grandparents and we also recorded onto DVD a large number of their digital video tapes from theuir 3 month overseas trip last year to Brazil, Paraguay, England, Norway, Ukraine and Africa.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Why is it so hard

Why do I find it so hard to write in here? It's not like I have writers block. It's not that I don't want to - I just kind of forget. I have so many websites I write on now that remembering to write in my own shouldn't be hard - but for some reason...

So - I actually didnt have anything to say.

By the way though I have still kept the weight off though my sports/excercise has dropped down to Basketball Thursday nights and Squash Wednesday nights. I am also cycling a bit. In fact I might go for one shortly - Its been raining thoguh so I don't want to go up the hill and get all muddy - Not because I don't like getting muddy, but because I simply can't be bothered having to clean the bike. Mud means pulling apart the goosneck and headset and cleaning and regreasing the bearings, pulling apart the dereailleurs and clening and oiling and reassembling them. Too much effort. I will just stick to the road!
I went for a blood test on Friday. I will ring the specialist tomorrow for the results. I fear that the increased medication is still not controlling my thyroid and I will have to be irradiated. (Take radioactive Iodine to kill my thyroid gland). I am reluctant to do this.