Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Harbhajan Singh Appeal

Cricket caught Indian Cricket Board and Harbajan bowled International Cricket Council for a Duck
Referee Mike Proctor joins Steve Bucknor and Darryl Haire on the injured list!!

Yes what happens on the field should stay there BUT Singh is a serial offender!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

RIP Heath Ledger "Forever Young"

Along with the expected sadness that a young, successful, talented and well know person has died I am always reminded that on the same day people all over the world lose their lives in accidents, drug related incidents, war and hunger! Heath Ledger is hardly your typical celebrity and is certainly not simply 'famous for being famous'... he has always been a talented actor.
His accidental death has made huge waves in the media and I myself was casually watching brekkie TV when the news broke! It raises lots of important things for discussion. The media, fame, relationships, depression and medication, wealth and happiness!! There's also a valuable chance to discuss mortality, life, and what authentic relationships and communication are about amongst young people and within families. Films like 'The Chumscrubber' and songs like Youth Group's "Forever Young" provide mainstream resources for youth ministry in evoking stories about communication and taking time or lyrics reflecting on loss, passing, and the image of stuck in time as forever young.
We will never get to see Heath Ledger in films as a forty year old actor... some will not see their kids get off P plates or survive drugs and alcohol... others will stop hearing kids stories, questions and fears and they'll just drift off the radar... what are the tools and skills needed to prevent this? what are the building blocks of relating to kids ahead of this? What do young people themselves have to say about their own lives?

Forever Young
Let's dance in style let's dance for a while,
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies,
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst,
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

Let us die on let us live forever,
Don't have the power but we never say never,
Sitting in the sandpit life is a short trip,
Music's for the sad man

Can you imagine when this race is run,
Turning up our faces into the sun,
Praising our leaders getting in tune,
Music's played by the mad man

Forever young, I want to be forever young,
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever forever,
Forever young, I want to be forever young,
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, forever

Some are like water Some are like the heat,
Some are melodies Some are the beat,
Sooner or later they'll all be gone,
Why don't they stay on?

It's hard to get without a cause,
I don't want to perish like a fading voice,
Youth is like diamonds in the sun,
And diamonds are forever,
So many adventures couldn't happened today,
So many songs that we forgot to play,
So many dreams swimming out in the blue,
Let them come true

Forever young I want to be forever young,
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, forever.....

Triple J Hottest 100 2007

The tradition continued yesterday of Triple J counting down the Hottest 100 songs as voted by the public [Triple J listeners and more]with over 700,000 votes and apparently only 13 votes separating tracks 1 & 2!! I caught a little of the delayed telecast from the live radio in Sydney's Domain on ABC2 TV digital channel [set top boxes or Foxtel]

This was the Top 25
1 Muse “Knights of Cydonia”
2 Silverchair “Straight Lines”

3 Kings Of Leon “On Call”

4 John Butler Trio “Better Than”

5 Faker “This Heart Attack”
6 Foo Fighters “The Pretender”
7 Daft Punk “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (live)”

8 Cold War Kids “Hang Me Up To Dry”

9 Soko “I'll Kill Her”

10 Panics, The “Don't Fight It”

11 Bluejuice “Vitriol”

12 Wombats, The “Let's Dance To Joy Division”

13 Kaiser Chiefs “Ruby”

14 Muscles “Ice Cream”

15 Powderfinger “Lost And Running”

16 Gyroscope “Snakeskin”

17 M.I.A “Paper Planes”

18 Presets, The “My People”

19 Architecture In Helsinki “Heart It Races”

20 Kanye “West Stronger”

21 Chemical Brothers “The Salmon Dance”

22 John Butler Trio “Used To Get High”

23 White Stripes “Icky Thump”
24 Bloc Party “Hunting For Witches”
25 Urthboy “We Get Around”
Catch the rest of the list or pre order your CD on the Triple J website

The list reminded me how long it is since I listened to the J's consistently and how diverse the audience tastes are and hopefully that the hip hop, beats and grooves don't really dominate our national youth audience tastes!! Looks like its been a while since I sat and watched RAGE at length too... note to self... you're getting old!!

Survival Day 2008

I snapped this photo from Anzac Pde Kensington yesterday after my visit to the UNSW T_Visionarium [more on that later] but it seemed a fitting part of the Harbour based festivities for our national day and in the lead up to the new Federal Government's commitment to say "sorry" in the first week of the new parliament!! News was the plans were given the once over by the team of Malcolm Fraser and Lowitja O'Donohue ahead of the event!
I believe the very 'soul' of this country needs us to say 'sorry' in ways that any 'but I'm not responsible why am I saying sorry' kind of way simply cannot grasp. It is like the sorry we say at a funeral where it still isn't the right word but is an attempt to say not that we understand but that we wish it hadn't happened and we want the person to know we care!!
It's a word which means despite not quite knowing whether its the right word or not we do know it will mean something to the hearer and in fact they've told us that 'loud and clear'! It's also more than clouds in the sky and at some point will cost this nation money, resources, choices or determination... and perhaps it's time that it did!
If we are genuinely to find the intersection between "our passions, wellbeing and vocation AND God's burning desire for the world"... then surely a cultural ache at the heart of our culture/s and identity is an obvious place to start!
In the way indigenous creativity symbolically flavoured the Sydney Olympic festivities then we would experience that for real in our way of life and living.
Where globalisation is the current great wave of paradigm shift in this country we can hopefully make great strides in our own backyard along the way!!

Instead of Yothu Yindi, Warumpi Band or the Oils, today its reminding me of Kev Carmody and his song [covered by many people] currently in the Triple J Hottest 100 by the Herd!!

He was born in Asia Minor
A colonized Jewish man
His father the village carpenter
Worked wood in his occupied land
He was apprenticed to his father's trade
His country paid it's dues
To the colonial Roman conquerors
He was a working-class Jew

Though conceived three months out of wedlock
The stigma never stuck
He began a three year public life
But he never made a buck
Because he spoke out against injustice
Saw that capitalism bled the poor
He attacked self-righteous hypocrites
And he condemned the lawyers' law

But they've commercialised his birthday now
The very people he defied
And they've sanctified their system
And claim he's on their side!
But if he appeared tomorrow
He'd still pay the highest cost
Being a 'radical agitator'
They'd still nail him to a cross

You see
He'd stand with the down trodden masses
Identify with the weak and oppressed
He'd condemn the hypocrites in church pews
And the affluent, arrogant West
He'd oppose Stalinist totalitarianism
The exploitation of millions by one
And 'peace' through mutual terror
And diplomacy from the barrel of a gun

He'd fight with Joe Hill and Waleca
Mandala and Friere
Try to free the third world's millions
From hunger and despair
He'd stand with the peasants
At the pock-marked walls
They'd haul him in on bail
He'd condemn all forms of apartheid
And he'd rot in their stinking jails.

He'd denounce all dictatorships
And Mammon's greed
And the exploitation of others for gain
He'd oppose the nuclear madness
And the waging of wars in his name
He'd mix with prostitutes and sinners
Challenge all to cast the first stone
A compassionate agitator
One of the greatest the world has known

He'd condemn all corrupt law and order
Tear man made hierarchies down
He'd see status and titles as dominance
And the politics of greed he'd hound
He'd fight against
The leagues of the Ku Klux Klan
And the radical, racist right
One of the greatest humanitarian socialists
Was comrade,
Jesus Christ.

Listen to it here from the album "Cannot Buy My Soul"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Australia Day

Australia and Christian faith!! Reflections for a Synchro Blog!!
It's long been my theory that not only are we struggling in this country, culture/s and context because of the massive shifts in the 1960s/70s giving rise to what is over exposed as the notion of the post modern era BUT in fact the way the Christian faith has been expressed since European settlement has an 'acidic' relationship with Australian culture/s.
In other words we are [and have for a long time been] up against it when it comes to explaining, living and sharing our faith and spirit in such a harsh, egalitarian, sun soaked, beer loving, authoritarian suspecting place... and the thing is our people have not always gotten that wrong...
So it is that we find ourselves attempting by and large to play catch up in being the people of God in the emerging culture/s. How will we reframe what is good news? how can we add liturgy, movement and celebration to life in rich and relevant relationship to our world and our local community? I could go on... but I've left my posting until late so I'll offer some thoughts on what I've experienced and feel I know or have hunches about:

1. We are still invited to join 'God's mission in the world' and don't always seem to remember
2. Relationships, relationships, relationships
Real friendship, regard or empathy
3. There is no divide between the sacred and the secular as God's creation.
We must access and be spoken to by the creative arts in our worship and lives.
4. Stories are powerful things!
And every person has a story worth hearing/telling
They define who we are, form communities, inform our living etc etc
5. Reconciliation is needed to heal this nations 'soul'
6. A middle class institutional church will not survive
7. Young adults must take responsibility for their own faith.
The rediscovery of spiritual disciplines is no accident
8. Leadership must be by gifts, vision and inspiration in 'giving people a go'
Seniority and having 'earned it' alone are the road to irrelevance
9. Indigenous worship efforts should be resourced, supported.
If they annoy people then they just might be doing something right.
10. If this is just a list of words and not actions then there's nothing new here!!

I've learnt all these things from rugby players, a homeless visitor and hundreds of young people I've met through my vocation as a Youth Worker. What keeps me awake at night is my sense of call to one day step out and attempt to build the kind of bridges with those I 'live near and with' to attempt to start a new faith community... until then I do my best to reinvent alongside other strugglers, to do innovative and creative things and to put together worship that speaks into and out of the everyday!!
Although I'm struggling to get positive responses one of my current projects is called 'Meaningful Soles' and is based on Paul Hobbs 'Holy Ground' where I have invited people [well known and not so] from all over the world and the country to contribute a pair of their shoes and to write an A4 page of their story and relate this through the shoes. It's meant to be an expression of their values, spirituality or faith and is not exclusively Christian in the list of invitees!!
The idea is to use these in 'spaces' set up for young people to encounter the space and the stories and to reflect, worship, engage with... whatever flows from the space and time spent!! I have shoes from Aussie cricketer Matthew Hayden, a few mates and lots of 'no thanks' or no response BUT I am going to keep trying. Paul Hobbs took 2 years so I'm only half way!!

OK so now I'm wandering and know I'll need to expand on my ten points etc in future posts because they're just words without stories to explain!! Happy Australia/Survival Day!!

Christianity In Australia synchroblog which a number of Australian Christians are participating in to celebrate Australia Day. For more on Christianity in Australia see:

Matt Stone at Journeys In Between
Andrew Hamilton at Backyard Missionary
Ben Thurley at Ben's Blog
Rodney Olsen at
Geoff Pengilly at The Healing Project
Andy Porteous at Not Yet Finished
Paul Robotham at A Christian's Blog
Chris Summerfield at A Churchless Faith
Christina Aitken at Sojourn
Heather at A Deconstructed Christian
Geoff Matheson at Amateur Theology
Deborah Taggart at The Bright Side

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Back to the City NEWCASTLE

"Back to the City" is a series of temporary urban art interventions taking over the city of Newcastle from today into February. Sixteen teams of artists, architects and landscape architects have developed site specific displays by utilising the mix of their disciplines and being challenged to represent the rebuilding and revitalising of the cityscape and harbour.
I have spotted a few of the spaces and hope to ride around some time in the next few days to check them all out!!
They are something like the original idea I had for an Advent/Christmas themed set up which was worked on and expanded and modified to the achievable by the Smartartz mob [see flickr images in the right margin] who rightly focused on an alternative approach to gifts and consumerism through 'fairtrade'.
There's so much potential for this kind of project to bring themes and stories from the Christian faith story and tradition without providing answers, well trodden images and impressions.

Stay tuned for pictures BUT the whole project is explained HERE.
Check out some more pics in the flickr box [right margin]!!

Girls Day Out with Dad

It was one of those rare days where the girls were happy to spend time with Dad while Mum went shopping!! I didn't even have to label it MYSTERY DAY!!
Lucy and Ellie are very much 'mum's girls' and despite my keenness to spend time they are often skeptical about a 'day out' UNTIL I was listening to Andrew Fuller on the ABC talking about ways divorced Dad's can keep connection with their kids. He spoke about a 'Mystery Day' where you take them to do a day of stuff YOU love to do... and they'll never forget it!
I adapted this to my needs for a half day here and there and chose activities the GIRLS love to do. We have been to the play centre and lunch, Stockton Ferry, the Lolly Shop, a drive around the Hunter after last years minor flooding etc etc.
The girls love the mystery angle and we even made it out the other afternoon in the cool breeze with the promise of a Stockton Ferry ride and a trip to the Park. Unfortunately it rained while we were out and got too cold so we settled for watching some ocean going yachts at the harbour finish line as they downed spinnaker and headed for a lager or two.
Yesterday didn't require the mystery tag! I must have been on holidays enough to endear myself [6 weeks] so we headed out to 'Smartypants' in Darby St, lunch at Chaddies, and running after my two remote control trucks on some neighbourhood netball courts!! Sorry there weren't more photos but I was busy 'being there' let alone snapping the occasion!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

i Cinema T Visionarium

This Friday I plan to visit and will report back on the University of NSW iCinema T Visionarium. Its an interactive 360 degree tv environment in which 300 brief clips and images amongst 20,000 collected by the designers to give you choice in viewing and an experience of related images and themes depending on what you've chosen as the main viewing.
Use the handheld pointer to select a window and it enlarges, activating the audio stream. Press buttons to alter the values of seven criteria (eg. motion, communication) and the "screens" will reshuffle as the software displays the most relevant clip, surrounding it with examples of similarly classified footage. And in the same way a good thesaurus offers antonyms as well as synonyms, the other side of the room will show clips "opposite" to your criteria.
The UNSW details the system here and the iCinema guide with details of the opening hours for Sydney Festival patrons is here.
I'm interested in how the ideas could be applied with about 0.01% of the budget and equipment but look forward to whatever the experience brings. I found some similar sounding entries on youtube but am yet to view any... more after the actual visit!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unreliable Idea # 35 Istockphoto animations

Istockphoto is a database of digital images available for sale where you purchase credits and search the HUGE collection. Craig M first alerted us to their free weekly images but I noticed for the first time this week that they are now collecting web and powerpoint option animations or video loops!! Brilliant!

Best Five Movies of the Year

Over at Urban Stone Jono has taken Ray's challenge and named five TOP movies for 2007!! It's taken me a while to recall five quality films from 2007 and until yesterday to catch up with one of them which rocketed straight to pole position in my list. I've already posted my worst list here!

The only reason I can complete this list is because during 2007 while staying in Sydney for work I pushed myself to see some films rather than just keeping on working in the evenings and this helped me maintain a healthy imagination, a collection of stories or thoughts and kept me sane!!

1."Reign Over Me" Adam Sandler Don Cheadle Liv Tyler
Those who dislike Adam Sandler's infantile humour and usual fodder will have missed those key moments in films like 'The Wedding Singer', 'Click' and '50 First Dates' where he shows the full potential of his acting ability. This human story of friendship has you laughing then crying then laughing as two former college roommates help each other get their lives headed in a better direction.

2. "Bourne Ultimatum" Matt Damon
I'd looked forward to this trilogy from first hearing about it because of a link to two friends Barb and Tone who were obsessed with the original books in a Harry Potteresque kind of way as each was written and released and we knew they'd be good stories no matter how modified!!
For mine this third instalment is the best of the three and the NYPD camera work is a stunning way to present the frenetic pursuit and fight scenes!!

3. "Diehard 4.0"
Yep, gotta love a Bruce Willis flick where he brings down a helicopter by piloting a driver-less car up a car park ramp and into the chopper!! Corny, all the lines and yet a good storyline and a funny Kevin Smith cameo thrown in. The action scenes are the biggie in this film!!

4. "Spiderman 3" Tobey Maguire
Again the best of the three films despite yawning credibility and script gaps [good scripts make good films] They do get Peter Parker right in that cornball way but please.... EMO?
And Sandman was underplayed and simplified BUT I still enjoyed it...

5. "Transformers"
I saw this film on DVD 2 weeks after its cinema release and although I was unwell all weekend it certainly kept me entertained between episodes of the entire two series of the UK series "The Office"!! I was too old to have Transformers when I was a kid [way too old]!! But as I've recently been getting into my PSP the film was reminiscent of a number of games and the young stars had fun with their roles rather than take it all too seriously!!

Honourable Mentions:
"Final Winter"
Inspired by teams like Newtown and the end of local footy as we knew it with the professional era of National Rugby League!!
"Death at a Funeral"
Quirky funny and just ludicrous enough!!
"Amazing Grace"
Wilberforce and those who helped him bring an end to slavery in Britain 200 years ago!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Story: ODI Cricket 1st January 1996

In conversation at my neice Olivia's birthday party the other day I was reminded my other sporting love besides Rugby Union has always been cricket! I played on Saturday mornings in late Primary School and persevered through more than one season without ever being asked to bowl. In the school team I had to challenge another player in a one on one net session to get a game [a formative belting of my self esteem from an early eage]. Deep in the box of childhood mementos however is a trophy and pennant from those early days.
I took the game up again in Year 10 through friendships with the local Metford Baptist Church team and then founded a Uniting Church team myself with a bunch of peers and keen mentors. During this time my school mates and I also enjoyed some success in the Maitland Mercury Twighlight Seven-a-side Comp on the old Mt Pleasant St wickets behind the hospital. This was a challenge with keeper and six fielders, two overs each and retiring at 30 when batting!! Many a ball was dispatched into the potato farm across the road.
Later on it was a wider network of mates in the Upper Room XI [another story], one season in Normanhurst [Sydney], Hamilton Station Hotel XI and Newcastle City Fifths... until my knees finally gave up!

There are lost of fond memories and frustrations:
i. Playing three short for Maitland Uniting we almost pulled it off defending 130 with the opposition 7 or 8 down for 80 and my own figures of 7-30
ii. 98 no high score [although we were ahead by about 15 runs in the end] hitting sixes to left, right and then over the head of long on while seeing the ball like a footy
iii. Chasing ten runs per over for the last 17 overs against Greenleaf we actually kept pace until in the last 2 overs the opposition had to resort to legside line to prevent us from winning.... I think we fell 12 runs short in the end. Loved seeing schoolboy and future senior rep bowler John Allinson completely lose the plot as the innings unfolded
iv. "The Blob' Steve Power's many huge innings and especially one where various players lectured him at Shortland about settling in and having a look at the bowling. Steve nodded and went out to hit the first ball of the game for six into a neighbourhood swimming pool at the house where a bikers bbq lunch had just started
v. I reckon I had a shot at 8 or 9 'hat tricks' [3 wickets in 3 balls] but never got one
vi. The left handed opening bowler surnamed 'Darcy' who I never scored runs against... sliding deliveries that cut back and bowled me or I snicked for few runs almost every time including a return to the Maitland comp some ten years on and finding him still there plugging away
vii. Avoiding an outright defeat at Tomago promoted to open after making a fist of the first innings. Scored 1 run in 90 mins but didn't get out
viii. Bowling to my Year 9 Science teacher for 40 mins where he couldn't get off strike and finally in frustration skied a catch for caught and bowled... he was unimpressed
ix. Falling about a boundary short in a Final against arch rivals at Waratah Oval next to the drain... just couldn't get onto that one more six...
ix. The many many hours of fun and the part timer ring ins who made us laugh and made sure we had a game every week

The memories come flooding back!!

BUT I actually started this post to talk about one of my best cricketing memories which is Michael Bevan's SCG innings on January 1 1996...

We sought out and found 'scalped' tickets outside the ground with supposed 'obscured views' on the hill and found ourselves in brilliant position [although it rained a bit in the middle of the day]. I had been coming to the cricket for years [including driving to see half a game one year because I was bored at work] and for some reason didn't have a plan that year but was in Sydney for other reasons.
At one point chasing 173 against the West Indies, Australia were 6-38 and Michael Bevan cemented his reputation as 'the finisher' by timing his areas, shots, risks and tempo perfectly to score a remarkable win at 9 down including a well struck single from Glen McGrath in the final over... its the one and only time I was glad to be among the 'great unwashed' in the hill area as that atmosphere was up there with Cathy Freeman's 400m Olympic win and Kefu's last gasp try to send John Eales out a winner at Homebush in a rugby test.

The following 3 mins plus was exactly what the previous 90 mins with as much at stake at any point... Michael Bevan is one of those players who changed how the game was played!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"JUNO" rated M

A valuable, quirky, dry humoured and good film you should see is "Juno"!! This Fox Searchlight production has rave reviews from indie film festivals and certainly suits my sense of humour and idea of what films should be discussed by adolescents in groups with willing mentors!!
Darren W will probably beat me to a discussion guide once back from holidays but I'll look into that in 3 weeks... when I will have seen the film and not just the publicity myself!!
I'll save the whole "Cody Diablo" weblog/author story behind the film until then...

"John Rambo"

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of the earlier Rambo films! Don't get me wrong, they are complete escapist rubbish [violent, ridiculous, laughable, etc etc] and most of the time its about moving between being impressed by the stunts, laughing out loud at the simplistic 'everything' and just being flabbergasted by the juxtaposition to Vietnam [the treatment of veterans/the existence of lost POWs], Afghanistan and now Burma!!!!!!!!

I have read very little about Stallone's latest and final instalment in the Rambo series... but the use of the Prayer of St Francis next to blood curdling vigilante action for the cause of everything that's right, decent and caring.... come on!! Quintessential RAMBO!!

"Batman The Dark Knight"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Holidays and Bar Beach, Newcastle

When I decided to take up to eight weeks off this year and have a really good break it was tempting to book a trip or at least a chunk of time somewhere for a change of scene! In the end I knew I just needed to stop and there'd be plenty to do and plenty of fun to be had in Newcastle and anywhere within a one or two day trip!! The fun has included:

Doing Christmas Cards
Catching Up with family over Christmas
Decking Oil on the Cubby
Study and Filing Clean Up
Digital Photos and Movies sorted, burnt to discs etc
Garage Clean Up
Garden weeding
Equipment repairs
Bike rides or Pool Laps
Quotes for some Picture framed memorabilia

Just the Essay, 'clothes spring clean', bike rack, and a few odd jobs to go...

A number of friends asked 'were we going away?' which is nice because they were interested but again the more I thought about it the more it seemed like my own lounge, fridge, tv and newsagent would be the way to go!!
I have also caught up on all those pesky jobs that you never seem to have time for and better still this means nobody asks a question when it is time to enjoy a half day or so of the real cricket!! The next week or two sees the pace quicken as we will enjoy:

Openair Cinema in Sydney "Bourne Ultimatum"
Some of the family will see Martin Craft at the Speigeltent
Two days in Sydney doing stuff with the girls [Homebush Pool, Hyde Park, Wildlife World]

But for now I'll settle for industrial and provincial old Newcastle and making afternoon sandcastles, chips and scallops and watching the girls venture way too far into the water in their street clothes at Bar Beach pictured above!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Everything Must Change From Now On"

This is a pre-emptive post about my second attempt to write a song for communal singing where what it says inspires or challenges my spirituality and sense of mission and allows me to enter into worship just disturbed enough to be open to being transformed to be more like what I'm joining in singing. There are some magic tunes out there and some aweful dross!!
I feel very vulnerable opening myself up to the same criticism [especially because if something can be said in three words I'll take eleven]. Whether in the end others find this song meaningful or worthwhile is another matter BUT maybe someone will be able to take and use it in their setting.

For mp3, lyrics and tune of my first effort "Stories of Hope" go to and follow the prompts!!
It's story is here in an earlier post!

This second song comes out of the framing story of my faith journey in recent years and is an attempt to find words that will help me talk about this in coming months!! I see God as calling us to join God's mission in the world and to become builder of communities and a world revolving the way God intended it to be. The biggest example of this comes from examining the life, teaching and example of Jesus to see how we might be called to respond. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, to bring the God colours and flavours into our world, to share in authentic relationships and to work at showing the love of God to others!!
In this framework I see Jesus as the ultimate HOPE and someone who shows us the reliability all God's claims!! Jesus stands in solidarity with us as someone who has experienced human life, has stood up for the truth and gave his life for that truth!!

Encountering this story, person, relationship and reality leads me to agree with Brian McLaren's latest book that "Everything Must Change From Now On" Not out of guilt but love, not because we must but because we can!

There's more to the story but that will come when the tune is written and the lyrics finalised [and I'll give credit and explain all that when it comes together]
but here's the next to last draft..... it's a work in progress

"Everything Must Change From Now On"
We are God's people on a journey
As we converge here now
One voice uniting us in action
As the grace and love of Christ bring on the changes we hope to see

We can be God's people called to live another way
Healing hurts and growing hopes, God's mission for our lives
Don't you hear the call, the message God is sending
Everything must change from now on

We work at building from God's values
And seek to understand
There's a lot of freedom
To create a world where character is the measure that we need x 2

We can be God's people called to live another way
Healing hurts and growing hopes, God's mission for our lives
Don't you hear the call, the message God is sending
Everything must change from now on x 2

And hope begins when justice gets a chance
So don't complain if nothing ever stays the same

We can be God's people called to live another way
Healing hurts and growing hopes, God's mission for our lives
Don't you hear the call, the message God is sending
Everything must change from now on x 3

The Joshua Tree 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe remastered Limited Edition

My copy of the above arrived from today after protracted waiting and e-conversations where after all that Universal Music have clearly dropped the ball and not bothered to release a PAL version [or in very limited numbers] and so my NTSC version luckily works fine in the home DVD and we'll see with the laptop!!

It's a great celebration of this seminal album and the DVD of a Joshua Tree concert in Paris is remarkable!! I look forward to using it all well in the coming years!!

Now EzyDVD and I will enter into a conversation about how Chaos and JB HiFi were charging Only 2/3 of their asking price for the NTSC import and I would expect the same reduction... we'll see!!

Cricket Debacle thanks to ICC Jellybacks

OS readers may be aware that the national sport in Australia is CRICKET currently played at the elite level in 20 overs per team [20Twenty] 50 overs per team [One Day Internationals] and Test Matches [played over 5 consecutive days]!!

This last week our current Test Match series against India degenerated into farce as the onfield events caused ridiculous comment, poor journalism, a threatened end of the tour by India and a stream of stupid responses, media angles and great footage of the Indians playing beach volleyball at Bondi after they were supposed to be in Canberra for their next tour match!!

So what happened?
1. India were the latest team coming to challenge the world champions
2. Some negativity existed after:
i. Andrew Symonds was racially taunted by crowds in India months ago in one day games
ii. Harbhajan Singh was noted as having a few things to say
iii. The Aussies reacted negatively to India's spirited celebration of their World 20Twenty win
3. Pre match meetings saw an agreement to 'take a players word' about close call catches
4. Umpires had recently come under fire as technology highlights an number of errors
5. India lost the first Test in Melbourne badly
6. A dig by Harbhajan about Aussie captain Ricky Ponting drew more media attention as he has claimed Pontings wicket a few times now
7. This did seem to provoke the Aussie skipper and his batting form suffered
8. Australia do play 'hard cricket' and are very competitive
9. The Umpires made a number of 'howler' mistakes in the Sydney Test
10. Harbhajan was the subject of a complaint to the Umpires by Ricky Ponting for an alledged racist slur and at game end received a 3 Test suspension from the match Referee Mike Proctor
10. The Aussies hung on conservatively with a good lead on Day 5 and declared pretty safe from a loss only to miraculously take a string of Indian wickets and win the match with about 8 minutes to spare
11. The Indians are upset as one journalist was 'put in his place' after questioning Pontings second innings catch claim when clearly he sportingly said "I didn't catch it" to one in the first innings
12. Then the cowardly ICC sacks umpire Steve Bucknor for the next match to so called 'take some of the heat and tension out of the situation etc etc

I read back over this post and thought about editing all this down because you've stopped reading if this is all news to you anyhow!! BUT here's my take:

A. Both teams had moments of superb competitiveness in response to the tough match
B. Both teams also stepped over the line
C. The Aussies celebration was appropriate for a 16 Test run of wins and depictions of an unwillingness or lack of awareness for shaking hands at the end is blatant sensationailsm... handshakes did happen
D. Harbharjan knew how Symonds regarded the "monkey" taunt despite it being a playful term in India and as such is culpable
E. Tit for tat people seem to be arguing reverse logic to condemn Brad Hogg
F. I believe the ICC has lost all credibility for treating Steve Bucknor the same way they left Daryl Haire and Ross Emerson hanging over the Murali* 'throwing' incidents'. n.b that asterix should always appear next to Murali's name because when he bowls the 'other one' delivery known as the Doosra he claerly throws the ball and rules were changed to make it legal. But that's for another day. Yes the Umps were not at their best but this is typical beaurocracy gone mad. It's not the first time Mike Proctor [the Match Referee] has been strung out either!!
G. I love how the same newspaper with journo's criticising the aussies and dissecting the incidents with former great sportspeople from all walks of life were happy enough to sell the celebratory moment photo as their way of promoting their photo selling service!! [Inside page in small print in the 9 January Daily Telegraph
H. Peter Roebuck you're an idiot!! You've clearly lost the plot in your one man campaign to redress a perceived imbalance of perspective on the part of the west when it comes to cricket, the sub continenent and power relationships. Sorry, but the petulent threat to suspend or cancel the tour are evidence of the immaturity of the Indian team in the face of tough examination!!

OK... I've vented my spleen... that'll do for now!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bill Gates Keynote Alluding to Last Day at Microsoft

Bill Gates steps back from his day to day Microsoft job to devote full time attention to his charitable foundation and to mark this in July he invited a few friends to help make a video for his keynote at the annual trade show [The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas]!!
It's over 8 mins long.

Friday, January 04, 2008

George W Gets in on the Act


I have previously posted about this film but as ever the U2 promo machine is clicking into gear with cutting edge methodology!!

Hopefully U23D is coming to an IMAX near you by the end of January BUT if its anything like the PAL version of the Super Deluxe 20th Anniversary edition of 'The Joshua Tree' then don't hold your breathe... then again it'll get here some time after the Sundance Film Festival I suppose!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dead Pool 2008

If you are easily offended then look away now!!

Inspired a few summers ago by a dreadful days cricket at the SCG v South Africa I have just submitted my entry into Dead Pool 2008!!
Some readers will be horrified at a competition to list 15 well known people worldwide that you predict/hope/fear might die in the next 12 months and in so doing hope to win the pool. We contribute $5 each and this years rules have been altered to spice up the competition!!

Points are awarded on a '100- the age of the deceased' basis... meaning that young and accidental or sudden illness deaths are worth a lot more points!!

Suffice to say that means not just looking up IMDb's oldest actor list or TMZ gossip website but actually choosing a few potential and youthful candidates. The competition should run to the wire as well as a youngster meeting their demise could 'snooker' someone with 3 or 4 correct octogenarians!!

I have modified my list to accommodate a few roughies and as such risk losing out where if nobody young kicks off there will be value in some of those age-ing movie stars!!

At the risk of giving hints to competitors yet to submit their lists [deadline is end of Day 5 of the Sydney Cricket Ground Test Australia v India which started today!!] here is my 2008 list!!

1. Lindesay Lohan: too stupid to do the job properly I reckon
2. Nelson Mandela: this would be very sad but Nelson has been unwell
3. Billy Graham: getting on and lost his partner
4. Steve Fossett: yet to be declared legally dead
5. Derryn Hinch: mystery recovery?
6. Juan Antonio Samaranch: recently unwell
7. Edmund Hilary: the age-ing mountaineer
8. Ariel Sharon: kept on a machine while a peace deal is possible
9. Nathan Ablett: sad case of hoping not
10. Fidel Castro: who really knows?
11. Ronnie Biggs: unwell in prison hospital
12. Mischa Barton: again too silly to pull it off?
13. Phyllis Diller: how old?
14. Farah Fawcett: not at all well
15. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: 19, going back to Oxford but major points

I know, I know you're horrified and so was Adam Spencer [Sleek Geek and ABC Radio DJ] that first year along the row from us at the cricket!! See an earlier post!!
So no room for Dick Cheney, Les Paul, Van Johnson, Kirk Douglas, Amy Whinehouse or a few others who made my shortlist!!
I keep track through the year by having signed up for an e-thing called the 'celebrity death beeper' and I get an email letting me know who has kicked off. Oh yeah and in 2007 I had Pavarotti and Stan Zemanek but lost out when I forgot about Saddam's cousin and a second prisoner who were all executed as well!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Australian Enigmatic Test Cricket XI

I have way too much time on my hands and so I am also working on my 'enigmatic XI.' That is, the Aussie Test cricket side I would select that fits the description of most contradictory, inexplicable or mysterious. This can pertain to their selection, performance, personality or media persona!! Warney almost makes both teams!

Aussie Enigmatic Test XI

1. Graeme Wood for his 'running between wickets'
2. Graham Yallop although thrust into adversity it's still amazing he lasted
3. Kim Hughes [c] was unfairly treated by the ACB over the Chappell pick n choose tours
4. Dirk Wellham second innings century on debut then sunk without trace
5. David Hookes never quite nailed it, but would undermine the skipper beautifully in this XI
6. Shane Watson ????
7. Wayne Phillips solid performer but being given the gloves?
8. Ray Bright turned the ball less than O'Keefe... really an economical slow medium pacer
9. Scott Muller... can't bowl, can't catch, can't throw according to Warney!!
10. Sam Trimble... bowled a box full of nervous wides and disappeared out the players gate
11. Bruce Reid... injury prone stick figure legend

12th man would be Kerry O'Keefe by his own admission an average leggie
I couldn't find room for Slater, O'Donnell, Lehman, Law or Martyn but David Hookes squeeks in where I know someone will remind me of the glaring absentee I just can't think of right now!!

Oh and Greg Matthews would be the coach!!