Saturday, September 29, 2007

This communuty and political activist website and ad campaign will be a feature of the Federal Election we are about to have here in Oz!! It's a great take on political adverts we are used to here and has fun with the climate change issue!!

Rugby World Cup Update

It'll seem like 'after the fact' now but the one comment I meant to make in my pre Cup blog was if the Wallabies win one thing we will have seen for that to be possible will be the making of Matt Dunning!! The signs are good so far!! He stacked on muscle and bulk in the off season [didn't we all] and with a minor injury thrown in he took 4 or 5 Super 14 games to get going with the new frame before pace was regained... it almost seemed like the wrong move until he hit his straps in the Bledisloe... keep watching him unless we get more ifiot refrees who've never stuck their head in a scrum misinterpreting our dominance!!

'Bernie' Larkham... will he play again and will we miss him if he doesn't.... yes he will!! If he doesn't we will only miss him in hindsight if a drop goal, half gap, opportunity for a slight of hand slicing run or a ball on the chest of a straight runner gets missed, dropped or stuffed up in some way... Barnes was not my pick for the squad but I think his success so far is built on not trying to do 'too much himself' which might have been an issue with Kurtley Beale.

We had better not drop any ball against England and we 'should' dispatch them in a strong display that stamps our mark on the tournament!! Watch for the Wallabies to finally start getting the offloads going rather than the arm wrestle of recycling ball through supposedly quick rucks. We take the opposition flanker out of the contest, run Elsom and Palu wide of the centre field and have George Smith charging around behind [right behind] them.

Geez I wish Tonga had belted England this morning and fingers crossed we don't get any injuries against the physical defence of the Canucks tonight!!

And finally, we hope those Kiwis keep having easy games until France/South Africa have the chance to knock them out....

PS Note to Lote Tiquiri!!
Stop telling us all how you're about to cut loose and play the game of your life and actually do it!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dixie Chicks "Not Ready To Make Nice"

Colleague Lindesay mentioned this song on Tuesday and I had just been listening to it on the way to our 2 Day Staff Meeting on Monday in the car!!

Of course the song is inspired by the variety of reactions the group got to Natalie's comment on stage in London that she was ashamed the President of the United States "came from Texas"

There is a DVD out about the reactions, fallout and results after the post 9/11 comments!! By and large great parts of the US and its listeners tuned out big time!! People carpeted them, banned them from venues and radio etc etc!! BUT not everyone....

Now also comes the doco "Shut Up and Sing" about their experiences and the support or critique they received themselves and how the comments could have fractured the group but in fact it galvanised them!!

"Not Ready To Make Nice"

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and i'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and i kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

New Bicycle

While I continue to enjoy my swimming [almost every day I can] this winter has proved tricky with so many coughs and viruses so I have gone crazy and updated my bicycle for those days the pool isn't an option!!
I bought a Giant Cypress from Hadleys... local cycling legends!! And got a rack for the car so as to take the girls bikes to the local Cycleways as well... Fernleigh Track, Warners Bay Foreshore and best of all around the Newcastle Harbour and beaches!!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Unreliable Idea # 32 CAMP ACTIVITIES brainstormed

I hastily asked colleagues to help jog my creative memory and suggest some activities which could well be used at an all age Camp where young people had little or no introduction to 'church' or discipleship outside a High Scholl aged Youth Group.

Here's what we came up with in a hurry:

1. MySPACE page on A4 paper…. Have a look at myspace and see what questions they are answering and set up an A4 sheet with some of those questions, opportunity to draw pics they’d post if they could and then use that in the big group and smaller groups to share… tape the pages to the wall at the end so they can read each others more fully and leaders and other campers can read about them and see the names in big letters!!
2. PHOTO LANGUAGE… either the Catholic Education Office series, St Lukes Innovative Resources or make your own in B&w or colour. Circulate around pics on the floor or wall and engage in choosing pictures to represent answers to a given question, or how people are feeling/reacting to the input or do some creative writing in response to a chosen picture/s.
3. BEACH BALL get to know you Just like Group Books pre made inflatables, buy a cheap beach ball and CD ROM marking pen. ADD questions, story prompts and ice breakers by writing on the ball. Toss it around and on ‘stop’ ask people to share a response to the prompt near one thumb or the other!
4. BIG GROUP GAME Have the groups build a track out of toilet rolls and masking tape, tables and chairs....a ball is fed into the tubes and allowed to roll freely down the track... the idea is to create the most intricate track to create the longest run time of the ball

Take cardboard boxes and have the groups set up "houses".
Have a series of "rounds"
  1. - round 1- build a house to fit 1 person in
    - round 2- build a garage to fit a cardboard car in
    - round 3- build a garden
    - round 4- interior decorate (paint and wall paper etc.)
    - round 5 a devastating storm destroys the houses (kids swap houses and on the word, take the opportunity to smash the houses)
    Each round is judged and points awarded
    We used this to open the opportunity to talk about the wise and foolish men and their houses...
    not only that, it was a great opportunity to allow leaders to gain relationships during the building of the houses.
Groups have used junk sculptures or recycling bottles, newspapers etc with tape and textas or paint to invite young people to construct a model of a world lived according to the values of God [with some biblical passages to help them think about that… they design it and build it in small groups and then present to each other
Song by Ben Harper
Play the song with lyrics in hand and give the groups a sheet of stories where Jesus is meeting those he did in Luke for example….
ASK young people to listen, then read then draw their picture and/or write descriptive words around the picture and then discuss… its really important to affirm all sharing… while discussing any weird views!!
The LUMP Nooma DVD affirms God’s love for all of us. Other film scenes depicting helpful imagery are ‘the opening of ‘Love Actually’ and the love discussion and song in ‘Moulin Rouge.’
The activity where young people STAND ON THE LINE and you ask questions and if they think it’s true they stay on the line or false they move off.

The variation would be the SPECTRUM LINE where you move from one end to the other depending on your view on the question or issue. Issues like war, bullying, fashion and current affairs might get them moving!! Encouraging people to voice ‘where they stand’ in a less confronting way.

STORYTELLING by having people write or tell stories in relation to prompt questions or stories. LIFE MAPS and other identifiable ways of talking about perceived GOD moments in life might open up a great conversation and be a real gift to the Camp in terms of setting the sharing standard as high and affirming.

What about MATCHING BIBLICAL STORYLINES WITH MOVIES, 30 SECOND TV ADVERT WRITING OR making STORIES into MOVIES… i.e. how would we shoot this story?

MOVIE maybe watch a movie early on and lead into discussion where it’s easy to take off from the film, Like “Pursuit of Happyness”


Find someone who…

Is younger

than you


‘The OC’

Has been on


You would

go out with

Doesn’t like




Loves black

jelly beans

Is the same

height as


Can tell a


Has the

same sized

hands as


Is wearing



Has seen

the movie









Is wearing

odd socks

Can’t swim

Has been in

a fist fight

Is studying

at Uni


signed any

squares for

anyone else

Can name

[4] Sharon



Wears the

same sized

shirt as you

Has no



Has been



Can do a


Change and update these squares… given a time limit the group circulate and ask each other if they fit the bill and sign if they do… bingo equals a line or diagonal of signatures and then second prize is most squares in the time limit….


in case your group needs them [from an old Easter Camp Guide]

1. Name Game

Ask each person to think of a word, which says something about them and starts with the same letter as

they’re first name eg. tennis tony, laughing leanna, stumpy simon

Choose someone in the circle to say their word & name, then the next person clockwise repeats that plus

their own, next person says the first two & their own and so on… last person does all the words/names…

pick someone else to do them all… IT’S a great way to learn and remember…

2. Memorable Share around the group about memorable scars or illnesses

3. Test Your Skills in the Speed Trap

In pairs or a three, each point the index finger on one hand and hold out a flat palm on the other… place

your finger on the open flat palm of the other person/s

When the Leader says ‘go’ try to grab the other person’s finger in your hand without them grabbing your

finger… try again!

4. Name Bop

With someone it in the middle holding a pillow… say your name and someone else’s around the circle and

then they say theirs and someone else’s attempting to do so before being hit on the head with the pillow. Be

hit and you become it.

5. Knots

If everyone is suitably dressed and equally abled… invite your group members to stand, reach out with both

arms, close eyes and hold onto two other hands. Open your eyes and try to untangle without letting go


6. J File

J File is the regular weekly history and discography of a band on Radio Triple J. It’s about gathering answers

to background questions from another punter. A blank sheet for each person to research the background of

another punter and can be used to introduce the other person to the group

7. Scary Sharing

Share: memorable scar; worst throwing up experience; best disease; biggest accident

8. Ball Talking [ball not supplied]

Whoever has the ball determines who is speaking and this can be used in various other activities. Good for

groups that tend to be noisy or talk over each other!!

9. Small Group Name

Brainstorm and choose a name/identity for your Small Group.

If you have a number of suggestions…. Use a process of encouraging members to vote for UP TO half the

number plus one until one suggestion is a clear winner [might take several rounds]. This voting method

produces the name MOST group members can live with…

Get to Know You Questions:

There are thousands of questions you could come up with and use. The trick is to deepen your sharing over

the weekend at the pace of the group.

Ø Favourite: food; colour; TV; movie; music; holiday spot; school subject; hat etc

Ø One wish you’d make…

Ø Favourite Day of the week and regular schedule

Ø Best room in your house

Ø Peanut Butter… smooth or crunchy

Ø Six dinner guests [currently alive or dead] you’d invite

Ø Time you were most embarrassed

Ø Two bands you’d book for your birthday

Ø Something you’d print on a t-shirt front

Ø Who would play you in a movie about you

Ø What makes you happy

Ø What’s one thing you wish you could do

Ø Who would you like to sit next to on a flight to London

Ø Favourite saying of yours

Ø Nickname of yours or best one you’ve heard and why

Ø Hollywood Name: First Pets Name/Name of first street you lived in

Ø What makes you mad, bad, sad, glad

Ø Most interesting thing about you

A comprehensive activity called 'The Bomb' focused on 'gifts' wa salso sent in and passed along!!

Thanks to all those who had time to help the group out. I sent them the ideas and they will work with some of those this weekend with their Speaker and Leaders!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


REACH OUT has always been at the forfront of online resources helping young people and youth workers be resourced for dealing with life pressures and issues around suicide. They have had travelling roadshows, interactive internet content, storysharing etc!!

Now come REACH OUT CENTRAL an online game for 15-25's that helps deal with all the stuff life throws at us and more!! It's free to load up and get involved in at

Read or hear more about it here via the ABC

Kenny Trailer

Story Collection # 03 "Kenny"

I guess Channel TEN were attempting to stall 'The Chasers War on Everything' ratings boost by putting this great little Aussie movie on a Wednesday night this week!! It's a story because as well as the great story in the film it's matched by the story of getting it to the screen in the first place.

First of all... lets put some punters straight... "Kenny" is a fictitious character who started life as a home movie project following Shane Jacobson in a truck and exploring links with his event management work and these interesting characters they encountered from "Splashdown" toilet hire company!!

They had a meeting with the owner of Splashdown who wanted to fund a feature film despite Clay and Shane's reticence... a call came through from the Manager of Ameri-can wondering if the boss would be attending that years national Convention in the US... suddenly the lights went on and 'bang' you've got a whole film!! They followed 'Kenny' and the rest is history.

The irony was not lost on Shane that one year he is event managing Splashdown, TV networks and the caterers at the Australian Film Industry Awards [AFI's] and 12 months later he is onstage accepting a BEST ACTOR gong!!

The boys were familiar to movie buffs through one or two Tropfest short film finalist efforts and are sure to go on and produce more than the one hit wonder that is 'Kenny'.

The great humour of the film is that Kenny is happy in his work, confused that people are so judgemental and has this understated way of using every 'poo' pun going with a straight face!!

There are also a couple of scenes which serve to define the challenge facing the church in secular aussie culture trying to share 'good news' !!

Kenny's son asks about his dad's beliefs in God and it emerges his ex-wife has suggested he'll be 'going to hell' because he doesn't believe in God! Kenny begs to differ but suggests "If God introduces himself to Kenny personally, he'll give God his full attention.... but until then.....?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Story Collection # 02 "Fragile" Sting

Just after I first heard about the worship idea of using a fold out world map and inviting people to light a tealight and place it on the map in a place needing prayer I heard Sting telling the story of his then recent album launch. Fanclub members had been invited to Italy for a webcast and backyard concert previewing the new songs!!

While people travelled the events of September 11 2001 took place in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania!! Shocked, the band had to decide what to do.... they decided musicians should play but they chose a rendition of Sting's 'Fragile', shut down the webcast aspect and played on for those gathered.

I used to tell the story as I introduced the activity and while exploring Youtube and playing catch up with a list of potential footage I came across the original webcast footage!!

Remarkable with yesterday the 6th anniversary of those events!!

Story Collection # 01Wollondilly White Waratahs

There are some stories gathered on the Pumphouse weblog BUT in light of some recent work I've been developing I am going to start a deliberate collection of some stories!!

Honour of being the first of those goes to the Wollondilly White Waratahs who have been adopted this rugby season by the Daily Telegraph newspaper when it became apparent that this women's team were being soundly belted each week in the Illawarra competition BUT kept coming back for more and hoped for the day when things might be better!!

Even the NSW Waratahs sent Al Kanaar and friends along to training to give the coach a hand and the girls a few drills and tips!!

The girls are typical of rugby folklore... where its more about participating than the scoreline and you play on in the hope and knowledge that things will get better!!

I believe scores of over 100 - nil have been recorded... THEN it happened... last Saturday the White Waratahs scored a 3 point penalty goal and justifiably went berserk!!

The girls have vowed to come back next season and keep on working hard!! Its what rugby is all about!! Go well!!

Sydney APEC

We had some fun in Sydney last week with the APEC summit and the name famous 2.8m fence!!
Whatever you make of the 'usual suspects' and their protests, the Chaser fake motorcade and the 'dryzabones' national raincoats.... it was an amazing week whent eh city turned ghost town in response to the post 9/11 security measures!!

From my vantage point the behaviour of Police in the last hour of the protest in Sydney was a disgrace!! Thye had targeted organisers, were ready for the worst and when it didn't eventuate they precipitated a confrontation!! They launched into a crowd and singled out people they had under surveillance for weeks [including one at a Hyde Park Cafe] and others 'crossing the road, on the pretext that people were attempting to take an alt route which was originally denied permission.

It reminded me of my own Year 12 'muck up' where a Yr 12 v Yr 10 friut fight early in the year caused a stern warning and helped us decide to skip the normal destruction at year end and plan three days of touch footy, bbqs and parties....

Teachers who lived locally were really annoyed with us when they were rostered all night to sleep outside in cars and then regularly patrol our School to prevent damage....

Where were you? they asked.... either in Newcastle at the geography teachers house or at home asleep were the 2 responses!! No eggs or flour bombs at Assembly.... just a morning of touch footy, a bbq and some cold beverages ahead of our Prezo Dinner!!

They couldn't believe it...
I think the NSW Police were the same.... hang on, they can't just disperse.... better get amongst them!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rugby World Cup 2007

OK I've left it as long as possible before taking a pumphouse detour for seven weeks!!
The Wallabies will open their campaign this weekend to BRING BACK BILL [The William Webb Ellis Trophy] in France and Wales!! Cricket, football, netball whatever... it doesn't get any better than the Rugby World Cup. It's a relatively new competition since its beginning in Australia/New Zealand in 1987 and its invention happens to coincide with a golden era in Australian Rugby!!

We lost a killer Semi Final to France in 1987 with eventual champs New Zealand
We won the 1991 World Cup in the UK with Nick Farr Jones as captain
We imploded in South Africa in 1995
We won again in the UK in 1999 with John Eales 'Nobody' as captain

Given our poor lead up form very few gave us a chance in 2003 and despite my prediction we'd beat NZ in the semi's I was surprised how well we went in the cold and slippery Final. Down by a last gasp field goal in extra time. It was like a champion team saying to England "OK you've been the best performed team for 2 years but if you want the Cup you'll have to prize it from our dead fingers!!"

I love that the All Blacks only have one Cup to our two and would love that to be 3-1!! Though in truth they are always deserved favourites.

Wallabies to win

Surprises... South Africa, France, Ireland, NZ maybe having peaked early...
BUT you need focus and an ounce of luck to win it!!

I would not have picked Berrick Barnes and one or two other players in the squad but I guess we'll see.

Australian heroes will be:
Stirling Mortlock
Rocky Elsom
David Lyons

I am avoiding comment about George Gregan.
Maybe another day...

What wins World Cups? Defence
Why would I suggest we can win despite patchy form in 2007?

I believe we ran dead in the Super 14 because of key injuries BUT also because the Wallabies were in heavy base fitness training instead of tapered weekly processes. Similarly in the early trials we experimented BUT in the Tri Nations what changed to give us success was not our attack BUT our defence... it went up several cogs... so lets hope that continues!!

Plenty of time for more...

This weekend:

8/9 5am France v Argentina
9.45pm NZ v Italy
11.45pm Australia v Japan
9/9 2am Eng v USA
10pm Wales v Canada
midnight Sth Africa v Samoa
10/9 2am Scotland v Portugal
4am Ireland v Namibia


Not a Bad Read!!

Here's a couple of books worth a look from

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Miss Sarajevo

Miss Sarajevo
Is there a time for keeping your distance
A time to turn your eyes away
Is there a time for keeping your head down
For getting on with your day

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for cutting hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colours
Different names you find it hard to spell

Is there a time for first communion
A time for east 17
Is there a time to turn to mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen

Here she comes
Beauty plays the clown
Here she comes
Surreal in her crown

Dici che il fiume
Trova la via al mare
E come il fiume
Giungerai a me
Oltre I confini
E le terre assetate
Dici che come fiume
Come fiume...
Lamore giunger
E non so pi pregare
E nellamore non so pi sperare
E quellamore non so pi aspettare

( its said that a river
Finds the way to the sea
And like the river
You shall come to me
Beyond the borders
And the thirsty lands
You say that as a river
Like a river...
Love shall come
And Im not able to pray anymore
And I cannot hope in love anymore
And I cannot wait for love anymore)

Is there a time for tying ribbons
A time for christmas trees
Is there a time for laying tables
And the night is set to freeze

And on Pav's website following his death a terrific quote!!

Farewell Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti died today and we've been hearing those 'magnificent pipes' all day on the radio!! It's hard to be excited that you had his name in your 2007 Dead Pool entry BUT so be it!!

While Opera is not my normal territory this bloke was a 'one off' who had a significant connection with Australia as he credited Dame Joan Sutherland as being the one who 'taught him how to breathe' while here in the mid 60s!!

People annoyed by U2 would be upset if I didn't mention his collaboration on 'Miss Sarajevo' which Bono actually has a crack at himself nowadays... owning up to inheriting his 'pipes' from his old man!!


The song is a haunting soundtrack to any footage of the gunplay and people scurrying from building to building that is so often a feature of any news story about that conflict!!

During the ZOO TV Tour when Bono took on the Mephisto character he would mischievously phone someone each night while channel flicking on the giant screens on stage. One night he phoned a person in Sarajevo who ended up asking what 'he' was going to do about their plight... that after he hung up, unless something changed they would probably end up dead... it was a remarkable and uncomfortable media moment!!