Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aaaarrrggghhh!! Allergies

I made it to today the 29th before I had another allergy reaction!! So I reckon my allergies are real but seem to be made worse by the inhaler and in the last week I've deliberately eaten salicylate laden foods so the next strategy is to ease back on those and see if I can fly under that radar!! Damn... I was beginning to think I had it sorted [while not convinced]!! Oh well!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Organising Worship for this Sunday

OK so there's an obvious song for this Sunday exploring a vision of a world lived according to the values of God where all see grace, inclusion, acceptance etc... and this clip is one of the best at showing the mood of the track... BUT I probably can't go there or I'll just be subject to stereotyping and undo good work in recent months... so I'll just have to put it here... instead...
It'll get a run if it survives thinking of other ways to start my section of things!!

Powderfinger Tix Sorted

So, despite the typical presale hiccups today I've sorted our Powderfinger tix for their farewell tour in September/October here in Oz!! There was a time I thought 'The Finger' might have been able to partly fill the gap left in my live music recreation time by the end of 'The Oils' BUT they always toured medium sized venues which sold out too fast and were too infrequent to 'fill the shoes'!! Despite 500 CDs there aren't a lot of bands where I genuinely have ALL their CDs but Bernard and the boys make the cut!!
Great Aussie music, about stuff that matters, with guts!! Looking forward to Sydney Ent Centre in September with good friends!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Best Advert I've Seen for a While

Here's an advert that makes me laugh every time I see it!!

Foxtel IQ and Ellie

My Ellie [who's 5] has a great memory for incidentals, comments, stories etc.... something like her dad's memory for Monty Python, useless trivia, sporting facts etc...
The other day Ellie wanted to tell me a story and I had been watching the rugby on TV... so she went and grabbed her hairband and portable radio. She put the radio down, turned it on and proceeded to dance... having seen the Foxtel IQ advert maybe once or twice!! Of course O don't have IQ [the little beggar!!] I laughed a lot!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

'Sunrise' can't take trick with Justin Bieber!!

First they were denied permission to host their normal outdoor performance in Martin Place, so they hired the Overseas Passenger Terminal, for the promo visit of canadian teen pop sensation, Justin Bieber!!
Then teenagers [mostly girls] turned up and slept overnight until rumours spread about 2am that he'd arrived early causing a crowd crush...
Police called off the concert, unable to control the crowd, they had to put linked arm protection in place as the crowds moved towards Channel Seven's Martin Place Studios where Bieber eventually did one number live indoors on the TV program!!
St John's ambulance officers were treating kids for crush injury, dehyrdation and hyperventilating at the meer sight of the young star!!
Good one 'Sunrise'!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Row M Seat 30 "Kick Ass" Review

Really this resource explains it all BUT while some will ask 'why are you reviewing this film?' the reality is that beyond it's humour, entertainment and comic book violence it's going to be seen by lots of young people [MA15+] and so it's one of those interesting films you should know about and which will achieve a certain cult status and yield at least one more episode...

U2 free zone about to break open!!

Apart from one video player, regular readers [both of you] will know 'Pumphouse' has been largely a U2 free zone until firm announcements about the 360 degree tour bringing 'the claw' to Australia!!
No announcements about Horizons remixes, 36o DVDs from the Rose Bowl [June], awards, DVDs, films at Tribeca etc.... not even canvassing of the U2 tax moves in the wake of changes to the Irish tax system for the creative arts...
Well, don't cancel your overseas holiday BUT use pencil in your diary in November and maybe early December 2010!! It does seem a short timeline so that's it until the official news!! It seems it might be dependent on shipping costs

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Row M Seat 30 "The Book of Eli" Review

Download this review as a jpeg ahead of its availability as a pdf on the Youth Unit website

Thursday, April 22, 2010

'Bluesfest' Easter

There's been a bit of a delay in my blogging about Easter as I became very ill while I was away BUT otherwise what a brilliant Festival!!
The idea began some 3 years ago after the frustration of a 2 day conference encouraging new forms of missional church and some of the ego driven 'nutbars' I encountered at a 2 day Brian McLaren event. I decided not to attend anymore talkfests about mission but to be engaged in it instead. As a Consultant this exacerbated the issue because you spend plenty of time trying to convince, cajole and encourage others to adapt and change accordingly without necessarily being grounded in your own action!!
I am a huge fan of a quality Easter Camp but when our suggestion of a Sydney metro based intentionally multi-cultural camp was not taken up by those networks an opportunity arose to think differently about inviting a group of young adults to try an experiment.
For that age group you'd have to do an enormous amount of work to create an event... why not go to one that's already created and form temporary community in that space. If only a few sign up, it's still on because it'll still draw a crowd and it can be research for future.
I chose 'Bluesfest' because of the quality of the event and the bill where they stretch the definition for mainstage to draw a young and diverse crowd alongside longtime blues fans...

Check out the artist list and pics and fallout here but it's hard to top:
Crowded House
The Fray
The Break
John Butler Trio
The Flood
Jessica Mauboy
Kev Carmody
[3] tapings of Rockwiz
Buena Vista Social Club
Jack Johnson
Jen Cloher
and many more

Bands don't start until midday giving plenty of spare time for what I suggested as a basic approach to group discussion like a. reflecting on what day of Easter it was and b. what does that mean here and what is 'good news' for people in this context?
I prepared a reflection each day including a song [some by feature artists] a painting and a brief reflection on a reading for that day.
I was too unwell to participate in these conversations but Jeri and Naomi were given mp3 players to listen to each song and spent a few afternoons in the beer garden talking about the material.
The no alcohol, no noise rules in the camping ground were rules honoured by their breaking but the 2am and 4am karaoke serenades were made worse by my feeling unwell.
The girls made good friends with our neighbours and there was a great vibe in the Festival ground itself. We were 200m from the entrance so also the thump of the music went until 12.30am.
There was such a richness to the music on offer across 5 or 6 different venues and the food vendors, bar and markets were all top notch. I found the experience of a number of acts to be quite transcendent in really low key ways and the Easter weekend was on peoples minds even if a little dismissively.
My own 'Easter' moment came when I had almost forgotten Kev Carmody was playing and he did his Kev and friends set focused around the 'Cannot Buy My Soul' tribute album. I had been to hospital emergency, was on antibiotics and was energy-less but as Kev spoke about the bloke upstairs and actually sang 'Cannot Buy My Soul' and there were tears... I hadn't gone looking for overt references, they were there all weekend in subtle and obvious ways in the values laden music of so many bands and the effervesence of the crowds!!

More soon... but essentially... huge potential!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Allergic Reactions

OK so it's been 10 days since my 'allergy' reactions have come up... that's when I stopped using my seretide inhaler but I have steadily eaten foods on the moderate salicylates list since and so far so good... I think if I go another week and have included some tomato paste, salads etc then I'll know it was fluticasone and not foods!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Salicylate Intolerance

While I'm here and writing I need a vehicle to vent my frustration about my supposed food intolerance...
In 2001 I began having reactions wher my lip, face, feet or hands would swell from a gathering of fluid and become very itchy, later my tongue also swelled every so often and usually I'd be woken up just as the reactions kicked in... they seemed delayed if related to food and were a bit confusing.
Then ensued specialist and dietician tests, suspected but never quite confirmed salicylate intolerance. It's a naturally occuring food chemical [a kind of insecticide against bacteria] and is high in fruit and veggies, sauces, herbs, cured products, beer etc... leaving some potatoes and other veggies, pears, golden delicious apples, fresh meats etc as staple diet.
My 'challenges' weren't conclusive but possibly confirmed this and no matter what I did I always struggled to go failsafe so whever a reaction ha[pened there was always something in my diary that could be linked...
One type of antibiotics seemed to make it worse... but not others. It was linked to tiredness and stress and fitted the timing but it's always been a struggle for someone not fussy about food with a few exceptions.
When I was on steroids to blunt the reactions, consequently tore both kneecap tendons playing rugby and then spent 7 weeks in hospital I had a period after that where the allergies disappeared. I wasn't complaining but could never quite figure why... they seemed to come back in small doses months later and then this year they're back with a vengeance!! At Easter though I was unwell and virtualy ate potato chips and bread and water for four days but still had major reactions... worst ever in some ways... blaming IV antiobiotics...
There was however another possibility... my seretide inhaler propellent... fluticasone!! While resting and seeking answers to try to summon the energy to recover I came across a few articles naming exactly my reactions as confusingly being caused by seretide the inhaler... I had wondered this before but hadn't been in a place to test it...
It does match with the time of being on prednisone because I didn't need my inhalers and this was the period of supposed absence of the allergy, whereas recently attempting to get on top of my asthma I reinstated the inhaler and it roughly fits the return of the reactions...
It's early days but I can contrast Easter on failsafe food with reactions galore and since then introducing wrong foods [in small quantity so far] while not using seretide and blow me down if I haven't had a week of no reactions including [3] days of definitely risky foods... it's not conclusive but I guess I'll keep plugging away with moderate salicylate foods and no inhaler. I have a chance to catch my doctor next week and I'll be seeking an alternative puffer and asking him when I started seretide in his records... I'm betting on 2000/1 but we'll see...
It's too early yet to relax but with adrenaline as the reaction treatment... early on a puffer and more recently through self drawn up injections... there was a long period of not even needing to have them with me as opposed to the last few weeks of needing them in my bag, not just the car or desk...
The other thing is that I've often had a throat bug and bad reactions together... I suspect it's been the increased inhaler because of throat stress bringing on the reactions!!
Either way this has cost me the end of my footy career due to weakened knees and it being too risky to play even Golden Oldies now so I didn't finish on my own terms... this has just been a sad end to something I've always enjoyed... had to end sometime, but I wanted to choose and I'd have given anything for one more trot on to No2 Sportsground to wave farewell and walk off on my terms!! Albeit at the end of a Fourth Grade season!!

Rugby Season well and truly on us

To the bemusement of those who follow my blog for work purposes I again divert into other opinions and interests... namely RUGBY UNION!!
Todays SMH carries a story of the ACT Brumbies coaches advising Wallaby coach Robbie Deans that if he's looking for a ball playing number 8 who can link phase play and be all over the field then they shouldn't look past a recall for Stephen Hoiles!!
I am writing about it because I agree... Hoiles is a player suited to the slightly changed rules this year and thriving in the era after the mistakes of every player being told to bulk up and add muscle mass to their frame... the same stupidity that saw Kurtley Beale busting it in the gym at the expense of his mobility and finesse.
You could argue that a power forward with a direct game like Hodgson or even Leroy Houston might be a great fill in for Wycliff Palu [ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the knee] but Hoiles offers a more complete game now proven against the bigger packs with the more even contest at the breakdown... we'll see when the squad is announced on May 27 or a week later if a few make the Super 14 final.
As a postscript I notice the Oz 9 network will cover free to air Rugby Union from next year [though they keep talking Bledisloe, meaning that lesser matches will be left to Foxtel alone I suspect] next comes the expanded Super 15 and Four Nations with Argentina soon!!
As for me I must get down to the Wanderers No2 Sportsground this first 5 weeks of the season before the ground is ripped up and redeveloped into a commercial centre, rectangular field with new grandstand etc... amazing plans!! If the lower grade coaches are hapy I plan to turn up ocassionally and give a hand this year now both my girls are at school and not yet in team sports themselves!!

Salt [Factory] Change of Plan

Hey all, following our meeting last month and then the busy-ness of Easter and me being unwell over Easter and for the week that followed there hasn't been enough time to lock in the details for the planned Fundraiser Dinner next week... so I know people got a flyer and will have been approaching friends BUT WE NEED TO POSTPONE ONCE MORE... not good for our group, but best in the situation!!

The group plan was to step back from our public ventures and consolidate as a core group about who/what we want to do... I think this is a good move, I just had hoped to be able to pull this one event together having secured a 'yes' from the venue... but the Easter [and annual Synod meeting of the UCA] punched a hole in the plans!!

Apologies to those who've lined up your mates to join us... in the next day or so I will advertise an alternative venue for our 'catch up' where I want to suggest we have a reflection/discussion time about the future... AND maybe attempt to pilot a creative 'creed writing activity... Jono bring your camera!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Waratahs a genuine contender

Although the Waratahs lost 20-13 to the Crusaders in Christchurch it makes them serious contenders!! They will as ever have to fix up their mistake rate... too many penalties this time but too many turnovers generally!!
I look forward to the upcoming game v the Brumbies at Homebush to check their claims!!

Friday, April 09, 2010

"Powderfinger" Calls It Quits

Sad but understandable and predictable news today from one of our finest bands "Powderfinger" who will bow out with a huge national tour in September/October 2010!!

Looks like it's time to call in all options for getting some tix... I didn't think they'd work as a replacement for my transcendent experiences with 'The Oils'!!

Typical of this class act they'll tour regional centres and no doubt enjoy the fact they've 'sung all they have to sing' following the work on their recent album!! I stiil hope I sometime get the chance to rib Bernard Fanning about his lyric in "All of the Dreamers"... 'when you come down to the barrio... to get a feel for the peoples scenario' magic!! poetry!!