Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trying to get my profile working... FAT chance

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you know when you make a big mistake... cutting your dreads? ...worst decision ever...
Don't get too excited (yes mum, this is directed at you... and you grampa) they are not gone completely but I did make the mistake of getting Rach to cut them for me- in fairness Rach did a pretty good job, it was just a bad idea in the first place -and now I look, as Rach puts it, cute.
Not cute in "that Hansel's so hot right now!" kinda way but more in a "awwww... look at the 5 year old!" kind of way...
Everyone else seems to like it and I think that it will be ok in a couple of weeks but at the minute it's still quite um, different... Don't expect any photo's...
Am seriously considering cutting them completely as a fundraiser for Greece...
Depression sets in... as if the Socceroo's losing wasn't enough...
Thusday 2moro!! A ray of light in my now gloomy existence, Dan has agreed to make it a "staff retreat day" so we can all go to Matty boys birthday celebration at Thorpe Park!! (big theme park)
Can't Wait!! And then... off to Switzerland on Friday morning!!
Gloomy existence is about to be enlightened :D
See you on the dark side...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Way of the Weekend: Episode 3


7am- Wake up 3 hours ahead of time for the second day in a row despite not getting home from hospital until 2.30 in the morning. What exactly is going on here?! Go back to sleep for the required 3 hours after brief moment of insanity where I consider going to church with Ian who has been hassling me about getting some healing for my knee since Tuesday.
11am- Wake up after the apparent 4 hours my body required, take my time getting out of bed. Get on the Tornado and suss out the accuracy of rumors of a gathering at Heather's between lunch and church, gossip is unusually accurate, consider going before remembering I was coerced into doing the talk at Mosaic (Youth Church) this Sunday night and that I haven't written the talk yet due to a day trip and a visit to the nice people at the hospital.
1pm- Emerge from spiritual trance which I entered in procrastination, um, I mean preparation for my talk to go eat lunch. Sunday Dinner!! I love Barbara's cooking, almost every Sunday we get a roast for lunch and it is amazing!!
2.30- Re-enter spiritual trance after eating lunch and doing the dishes.
4pm- Start getting worried that I won't be able to watch the football because of needing to finish talk.
4.30- Worry increases slightly.
4.50- Worry has upgraded to a panic!!
5pm- Leave talk one third finished and go watch the first 5 mins of the football. Australia vs. Brazil. Aussie Aussie Aussie!!!
5.10- Pry myself away from the football after the uh, planned 10mins and a quick discussion with James about the wisdom of changing my topic to procrastination or values based decisions and winging it. Make a values based decision and return to my work.
6pm- Leave talk now 3 quaters finished to watch the start of the second half. Return in the knowledge that we are playing well and have the slimmest chance of a draw which is what I was hoping for.
6.20- Get called back out because Brazil have scored, 1-nil... it's a respectable loss to the reigning world champs.
6.30- Have a sudden brain waive and remember that as Mosaic starts at 6.30 and my ride is not going to get there until closer to 7 and as I am the speaker and no one there knows that I am actually coming they might be getting a little bit worried at this point. Call a panic'd Jill, update her on the situation, reassure her I will be there just as soon as the match has finished (no need to stress her with the detils of my preparation) before going back to my room and finishing the talk.
6.35- Get a call back from Sonja who asks if I would (read: informs me that I will) be ready when Jill comes to get me instead of waiting for Mim. For the sake of world peace, noise pollution and the intact-ness of my ass; I agree to this "suggestion". I watch the rest of the match. Some bloke called Fred scores for Brazil off a flukey rebound. 2-nil. The score's not that important really, I mean, it's all about sportsmanship and representing your country and having fun right? ...bloody Fred...
6.45- Jill arrives to pick me up. "Don't worry, it's ok, just avoid Sonja" she tells me. As it turns out they rearranged the order of the service so that not only would I be there in time but that I would have some time to settle and for them to pray for me... nice to know your loved... bit embarrassing to let them down...
7pm- Jill pulls a bunch of leaders out of the service to pray for me.
7.15-Start talking, begin with the story of dislocating my knee and Mim "fixing" it, everyone kills themselves laughing and I deliver the line "so tonight I'm going to talk about laughing at other peoples misfortunes" more laughter, clapping etc, do my talk which takes far less time than anticipated and come to a surprised end what I hope was 10mins later.
8pm- Soccer!! (we actually started before 8 but it was at about 8 that the match really started to get going) I played a great game on an injured knee -Ian said I was playing better injured than I had fit- and made good use of my head (did remember later that the head injury card they gave me at the hospital told me to avoid 4 things; large meals, well lunch wasn't that large, I mean, I could have eaten more... physical exersion, football... but it was my come back game!! knocks to the head of any sort, look- I scored 3 great goals with my head and one of them was the winner and I'm fine so just drop it. And alcohol, that rule I did stick to but I don't drink normally so I'm not sure it counts...
10pm- Get a call from Trueman who wants to go to Wendover woods. Why not? Wendover here we come!!
10.30- Get to Wendover woods with Truem's and Megan and wait for Heather and Andy to show up. The woods are closed to cars at nite so we parked at the golf club down the road who happened to have left 2 golf buggies out. Curious by nature I inspected them and started pretending to drive one by putting my foot on the accellerator... and that's when the trouble started.
As I pushed the accellerator down the hand brake clicked off automatically and the buggy started rolling backwards down the hill it just happened to be parked on!! I slammed on the brake and stopped the buggy performing a quick search for the hand brake... can't find one. Try releasing the brake, resume rolling, place foot back on brake. Try pulling accellerator pedal back as far as it will go, release brake, roll, brake again. Hmmmmmmm... "Trueman?" response... "TRUEMAN?!" Trueman... Uh-Oh...
After sitting there like a lemon for about a minute I realise there are destructions on the dashboard... "TRUEMAN!?!" ...damnit!! Take a quick look round to make sure no one can see me and start reading destructions. Get to the second last in a series of very random instructions and miraculously it informs me that I need to flick the forward/reverse switch into neutral. Quick search of the dashboard reveals switch, flick switch to what I assume is neutral, take foot off brake..... buggy stays exactly where it is!! (whew)
Run off to find Trueman and kick his ass for dissapearing on me!!
10.45- Andy and Heather rock up. Andy and I climb through a garden on a hill and jump the fence at the top to get to Trueman and Megan, Heather walks back up the hill and comes back on the road, encounter the fabled stinging nettles for the first time during the climb; I still have a scab on my foot a week later. No, really.
11pm- On our walk up to the woods Truem's, Andy and I pull ahead and fade into the darkness before the girls notice what we're doing and then slip off the road. 5mins later 2 very nervous girls walk past our hiding spot calling out abuse and pleas for compassion and maturity... AS IF!!
11.10- Stalk stealthily up the side of the road towards the clearing the girls have chosen to sit in the middle of presumably so we can't scare them... realise two things; 1st- we picked a very bad spot to do this as there is no cover what-so-ever on either side of the road and no way to go through the bushes without announcing our presence more effectively than a brass band. 2nd- that's not going to matter because the girls couldn't see or hear a truck if it had happened to go through that clearing.
11.20- have managed to sneak a good 150metres up the road without yet being seen and am now sitting 5metres away from the other 4 (Andy and Truem's have already "reconnected with the girls) Heather is sitting facing away from me and Truem's and Andy have cleverly put themselves on the other side facing me so that the girls are looking at them, Megan does seem to be wise to their trick though and is keeping vigilant. I walk out of the bushes with Megan looking straight at me, unfortunately for Heather she freezes and only gets off a warning half a second before I scream and grab her causing another rather noisy period of screaming followed by abuse directed at any males in the vicinity.
11.30- Reach the woods and listen to several of Andy's brilliant ghost stories (which he has the amazing ability to make up on the spot) Have a bit of a chat, scare the girls again, more ghost stories, scare girls, chat, walk, ghost stories, scare girls. 2hours later we decide that it's time to go home and sleep. Walk down the massive hill to the golf club -serious;y consider the possibility on the way that we have taken the wrong path as none of us can believe how much longer it seemed to take to leave than it did to get up there.
1.30- Get back to golf club, say goodbye and head home to bed after a great but very long and tiring day...


About to go busking in Oxford with Mim.
First knock out round of the World Cup starts this weekend. Church has been rearranged for the England match. There's a good chance Mim and I will go to a screen in Germany on our way back from Switzerland next weekend and watch a match.
Did I mention I'm going to Switzerland and Germany next weekend?
Started reading The Heavenly Man. The story of an underground church leader in China. It's amazing so far and I'm only 5 chapters in!
Movie for this weekend: Fight Club.
I have been trying to make time to watch it for about a month now. Tonight could be the night...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Thursday

It's 10 to 12 and I just finished watching the second half of the match (if you don't know what match I'm talking about you have issues. No offence, I'm just saying... ;D) Australia drew to go through to round two!!! (Say it 5 times as fast as you can) I was unable to watch the match as I had an important pre-booked meeting for Mosaic, the youth church where I somehow managed to blag my way onto the leadership team, which was really good but sitting in my mind distracting me through some of it was the match and the fact that I wasn't watching it! At the end of the meeting we turned on the TV to see the result, Mim and I decided the tension was too much to take, and AUSTRALIA DREW WITH CROATIA!!
OI!! OI!! OI!!

When I got home I decided I would watch the second half of the match which had been taped for me rather than waiting for the replay of the game starting at 11.45 (meaning I wouldn't get to sleep till 2... meaning I wouldn't be at work 2moro... meaning I would have my ass handed to me... I made the values based decision) My highlight of the match, believe this or not, was a courageous save made by the Croatian Keeper
Pletikosa. There was a cross in to the goal line which Kewell and another Aussie (might have been Viduka) were waiting for and they both went for it as did Pletikosa who caught the ball and Kewells boot on his chest (no malice involved in this, I'd have been ashamed if Kewell had not gone for it but going for it meant the likelyhood of fouling the keeper) and they all went down in a heap right on the line!! Pletikosa managed to hold the ball and actually keep it from crossing the line!! The guts and strength involved were phenomenal and then the players all got up and hugged before moving off, no arguments, just great football and amazing sportsmanship: That's what I like to see!!

*I am also aware that that moment may have been a crushing one for me had Australia lost rather than a highlight.

There was no small amount of drama through the game, Australia were denied a blatant penalty in the last minutes when a Croatian player handballed a cross away from an Australian header and another Croatian player managed to earn himself a record 3 yellow cards before being sent off!! Thankfully it all ended well and now we are through to play Italy in the final 16...
Bring It ON!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Dad turned 45 today!! That's twice my age and then some...
Love ya Dad!!
I celebrated Dad's birthday by taking a day off and going into Oxford with some friends, visiting The Eagle and the Child which is the pub where the Inklings used to meet. Was very cool to finally get there (third attempt to find the place) and have a sit and a meal -they do an awesome beer batter fish and chips with no grease!! After that we checked out a book shop or two and then I bought myself an England t-shirt (retro kind of football top)... all in celebration of Dad's 45th... I quite enjoyed your birthday Dad ;D

*The Inklings is the name of the group of friends including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein that used to meet each week to have a drink and a chat about stuff and the books they were working on.
**Stay tuned for episode 3 of the way of the weekend!! (I'm halfway there, just so much stuff happened!!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Way of the Weekend: Episode 2

7am- Wake up without the aid of my 5 alarms at least an hour ahead of schedule; what's that about?! Resolve to be responsible and go back to sleep until 9 so that the risk of me killing someone in a grumpy rage on the day trip is greatly decreased.
8.45- Am woken again by James who wants to know if I called Maria last night to check what time our ride was. I assured James that I had done no such thing and went back to sleep.
9am- Woken again by James who tells me Maria is coming at 9.45 giving me another half hour to sleep after I eject James from my room once again.
9.40- Crawl out of bed and into my last remaining clean set of clothes, have been vaguely considering doing a load of washing since Thursday.
9.45 Maria arrives and we head off for Long Crendon going via Crendon, Thame, Haddenham, Thame and Crendon. (Don't even ask)
10.30- Day Trip begins!! Briefly consider interrupting Paddy's welcoming everybody with a barrage of water balloons from the second story window they chose to sit beneath but decide that this may undermine the process of the day specifically in the area's of trust and role modelling.
11am- Join in with wide games, testing my recovering knee out with a bit of a jog which breaks into a run at different points. Discover that whilst my ability to run has returned my steering and brakes are now quite slow as I crash into a group of young people all about half my size.
12noon- Eat an early lunch so that myself and the other activity leaders can get to our stations ahead of the groups and sort out any unforseen problems which are almost certain to occur.
1pm- Rotations begin and I introduce my first group of young people to the wonders of Extreme Lawn Bowls!!
1.10- Teenagers discover two things; 1. We lied and there is nothing extreme about lawn bowls, and 2. It's actually a really awesome game anyway, they just needed someone to sucker them into playing it before they'd have a go.
3.45- Rotations finally end and I am able to leave the bowling green to go and find my water bottle which I wisely brought on the day but then foolishly miss-placed before spending the better part of 4 hours in the sun. (note to my mother; I drank 4 lots of this 2litre bottle on the day so stop worrying... trust me there is plenty for you to worry about in a minute)
4.30- Notice several "behavioural issues" around the place and begin to deal with them. One kid decided that he no longer wanted to join in with his group or the activities and sat on the side of the pitch making a very good attempt at being a brick wall as I reasoned, questioned, cajoled and argued with him for 20mins before informing him that he had 2 choices: join in or go home. He then tries playing the victim so that I will be distracted from enforcing my ultimatum, 5mins later I inform him that by failing to choose; he has chosen and get Dr Mim to call his mother.
4.35- Kid storms off from the day, possibly planning to walk the 2 miles home? If so then his argument that he was too tired to join in just fell through...
4.40- Kid storms back onto the rec and after a confusing moment where 3 different leaders attempted to deal with the situation at the same time in different ways. Mim cuts in and takes him and a couple of others home ending the potential drama.
5.30- Rush off to set up technical equipment and prepare slideshow for the evening program. (If you want to have problems with anything just make sure you require technical stuff at some point; guaranteed to stuff you)
5.45- Kids come into the hall for evening program, still finishing slideshow.
5.50- Band starts playing, finish slideshow crouching on the floor in front of the stage!
6pm- Sneak out to take two panadol for a headache.
7pm- Evening program ends a good 20mins ahead of schedule, Paddy starts playing a game involving a parachute, a soccer ball and lots of yelling to fill in time.
7.10- Achieve high status in the game by stopping the ball several times with my head! Several people begin to copy me.
7.15- 6ft3in bloke next to me joins in with the copying of my skill, however I make the unfortunate mistake of not noticing this and place my cheek in between the top of his head and the ball.
7.20- Start noticing movement, sound, Paddy talking to me and a good deal of pain again. Would rather go back to not noticing these things.
7.45- Sit through debrief with a cracking headache, someone throws out Andy headbutting me as a highlight, I chip in "yeah, that was my favorite bit too, eh" Make several other random comments that I can't remember.
8pm- Debrief ends and with as people depart I start to notice how much my head actually hurts.
8.30- Take two Asprin outside the chip shop in Crendon.
8.45- Direct Shark and Zebra to Lucy's house for the party after the day trip.
8.47- Maria pulls off the road so I can get out and vomit on the way home. Throw up at least a bottle of water before reaching lunch, take a moment to praise God I did not eat the Chilli Concarn that was for dinner.
9pm- Get home and discover a large BBQ in progress, let Barbara know about my concussion and that seeing as I am not allowed to sleep for a few hours I will go to Lucy's party and chill there. Go inside. Have Shower.
9.20- Get out of shower and am confronted by an army of concerned women at the BBQ (don't worry, I got dressed first) who have been on the fone to various people, offer to drive me in to hospital, give me copious amounts of advice I don't really remember and finally consent to my going to the party, once I have eaten and taken some Ibuprofen (was about to take 2 when a little alarm bell went off in my head and I checked the packet to discover that the maximum dosage per day is 3 and only take 1), as long as I have someone "monitoring" me and ready to take me to hospital should I deteriorate.
9.30- Having fulfilled all requirements of the hard won bargain Mim picks me up and I promise Barbara I will kick James out at 11 on my way out the door.
9.40- Arrive at party and take in Mim's "home made fondu" (read: the box of chocolate mice he left in his car all day and that melted in the sun) Taste "fondu" with Lucy and Heather, decide it's not fit for human consumption so we cut some fruit for the others to dip in it.
9.45- "Fondu" somehow becomes a massive hit with a constant gathering of takers, much akin to the feeding of Piglets by a Sow. Lucy and Heather almost faint in disbelief that noone throws up.
11.30- Good party starts to reach the limits of our energy levels after running around all day and we begin debating when I am allowed to go to sleep. After consulting several books, people and animals we stupidly call the NHS hotline to check with them.
12am- After half an hour on the fone to the NHS answering a series of bizarre and unrelated questions, mostly about monkfish in little asia, the operator covers her arse by telling me I should go to the hospital and see a doctor "to be sure" (read: "so I can't be sued")
12.20- Debate the logic, wisdom and point of going to the hospital for 20mins before Mim picks up his keys and says "come on, let's go"
12.30- Arrive at hospital, am begining to recognise the nurse behind reception, register and am told it will probably be a two hour wait to see a doctor.
1.30- Mim gets bored of magazines and goes to the car for his guitar which he plays in the waiting room fro an hour until the nurse comes and tells us that there has just been a major trauma come in and the doctor will be delayed indefinitely. As my headache has faded and we are both falling asleep Mim and I decide to high tail it out of there. The nurse gives me a Head Injury advice card to take with me.
2.45- Get home. Go to bed. Fall asleep.

Two trips to the hospital in a week... Karma owes me BIG time right now!!

World Cup update: England drew with Sweden 2 all in a great game to finish top of their group in the initial round of the tournament. Unlike Englands last two games which were dull and pointless affairs that somehow resulted in wins, tonights game was fantastic!! Sadly for England and even more sadly for Michael Owen he injured himself in the first few minutes and had to be stretchered off. Heart-breaking stuff! Owens a great player and I really felt for him with the knee, the slow motion replay looked really bloody painful!!
England looked dangerous and were playing beautifully in the first half, they had so many shots on goal and were playing all over Sweden. In the 42nd minute(I think) Joe Cole caught a cleared ball on his chest and then struck it before it hit the ground to the accompanyment of the comentators "Joe Cole! Why not?" and then everyone watched in amazement as this ball off the side of his foot curled beautifully from outside the penalty area into the top corner of the goal!!
After the half time break it was a different story though. The Swede's, who had not looked in the same league as England, stepped up the game and were playing dangerously winning corner after corner to some sloppy defensive work when the inevitable goal came for Allback who put a nice header in off a corner to bring the game back to a draw. Mim and I were enjoying the interesting twist in the game but the Poms were a bit more tense about the whole thing.
The Poms managed to score another great goal set up by Joe Cole off the head of Gerrard and it was looking like an amazing victory when the Swedes managed to score again and England failed to answer with the game ending in a dissapointing draw. Strange, it was an incredibly exciting game to watch and a greta atmosphere but in the end it just felt dissapointing... Went to the pub after with some friends and some strangers, was fun.

Stay tuned for Episode 3 of the Weekend, entitled "How to do a talk so you are never asked to again"

Monday, June 19, 2006

Way of the Weekend: Episode 1

Here's a quick rundown of the weekend. [note: I use the word quick rather loosely]

Friday Night
6pm- Finish cafe in Wheatley and rush back to Francis' place to watch the secong half of Ivory Coast vs. Netherlands. The Dutch knock the Africans out of the world cup. (earlier in the so called Group of Death Argentina also ended world cup dreams for Serbia this time round with a stunning 6-nil win)
7ish- Head across the road to the bus stop, halfway across am nearly run over by Maria who is in Wheatley for some bizarre reason that she didn't really explain. Stop to chat for a minute until it becomes clear that she is not going to offer me a lift back to haddenham and so I ditch her for the bus.
8ish- Have dinner and exchange banter with James who has a talent for finding something pointless to argue about and sucking you into the conversation. End up bartering with him for the use of his pirate eye patch on the day trip in return for the use of my kilt.
9pm- Decide that maybe I should start to look at my talk for church on Sunday. Having made that decision I spend the rest of the night on MSN talking to people.
12am- Can't sleep, not good the night before a day trip.
1am- Still can't sleep, starting to doubt whether I will be awake for the day trip.
1.30- Drifts slowly into peaceful slumber.

Have decided to break this post in 3...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Fathers Day!!

Happy Fathers Day Dad!!

I realise it's not actually Fathers Day in Australia but I am never actually gona remember when that is so I think you are doing pretty well really. Hope you enjoyed it despite watching the Socceroo's go down, and that the others gave you presents like they are meant to. (I sent you a card but I don't know when it will arrive, it's very cool!)
It is also very close to your birthday allowing me to tie the two together thus forgetting neither one!! It's a Zac-proof plan... even I can't stuff it up... trust me; I tried.

Love you Dad!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday... the happy day!!

Welcome to Thursday. This week in the Posse House...

Which is your favorite finger and Why? Special thanks to Dr. Mim(Tim) for his very mature response. [Mine is my left thumb because it has one of my favorite scars on it although I don't know how I got it]

"People without Goals work for people who have them"
"It's a damn small mind that can only think of one way to spell a word"

Found this site that I think is responsible for a lot of the funny emails I recieve, it's called and has some great stuff (it also has some things that you don't really want to see) but on the great list is this fight between a Mongoose and a Cobra!! I loved reading stories about Mongoose(s) when I was a kid- still a kid just bigger now - and so this was pretty cool to find. There is some kind of disclaimer about "no animals were hurt in what was purely a demonstration of how a Mongoose defends itself" Total crap. There is blatantly some kind of awesome club in India with too much time, money, a Mongoose, a Cobra and no fear what-so-ever of animal rights groups on their hands... I salute them! (Also: check out the deer hunting gun on that page)

If anyone is a big fan of the Pope, is down the line with their theology or just likes crazy stuff like me check out the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club.
Their catch phrase is: "Putting the Smackdown on Herecy since 1981"

I love hearing kids perspective on the world, these kids were asked about marriage...
Finding the right one...
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.- Alan, age 10
Single or Married? It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.- Anita, age 9 heard her, few more like this one and that pesky feminist movement will be no more than a splattered bug on the windscreen of history.
How would things be different if people didn't get married? There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?- Kelvin, age 8

Damnit! Why did I put so many sections in this post?! It is an "in" joke to say "Questions? Quips? Quotes? Quirks? Query's? Quandry's?" whenever we debrief anything at work... stupidly I decided to use it and then spent the last several hours trying to fill it all. I have a friend Jo who does a weekly email similar in style very well but I may need to work out the kinks. Diploma day was good as usual, England beat Trinidad and Tobago today in another generally uninspiring soccer match. Sven finally played Rooney who didn't do much other than sweat his shirt into a seethrough state in the 30mins he was on the ground, skilled as he is reputed to be I cannot bring myself to like him as a player... I did have some fun this arvo occaisionally cheering for Trinidad and watching the reactions of the English crowd, one kid went on a witch hunt trying to figure out who the traitor was, Beautiful!! The knee is still swollen and a bit sore though I'm getting more mobility and strength, the limp comes and goes depending on how long I've been in the one spot but hopefully this points to a speedier recovery than the last one... I'm praying anyway...

The Jam
These are the lyrics to one of my favourite songs: If I Am by Nine Days

So you're standin on the ledge - It looks like you might fall - Its so far down - Or maybe you were - thinkin about jumpin - Now you could have it all - If you learned a little patience - For though - I cannot fly - I'm not content to crawl - So give me a little credit - Have in me a little faith - I wanna be with you forever - If tomorrow's not too late - But its always too late when you got nothin - So you say - You should never let the sun set on tomorrow - Before the sun rises today

If I am - Another waste of everything you dreamed of - I will let you down - If I am - Only here to watch you as you suffer - I will let you down

So you're walkin on the edge - And you wait your turn to fall - But you're so far gone - That you don't see the hands upheld to catch you - And you could find the fault - In the heart that you've been handed - For though you cannot fly - You're not content to crawl - And its always too late when you got nothin - So you say - But we should never let the sun set on tomorrow - Before the sun rises

If I am - Another waste of everything you hoped for - I will let you down - If I am - Only here to watch you as you suffer - I will let you down

So you're standin on the ledge - It looks like you might fall

If I am - Another waste of everything you dreamed of - I will let you down - If I am - Only here to watch you as you suffer - I will let you down

The answers we find - Are never what we had in mind - So we make it up as we go along - You don't talk of dreams - When i won't mention tomorrow - And we won't make those promises that we can't keep

I will never leave you - I will not let you down - I will never leave you - I will not let you down

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

there goes the sun...

So Long Sweet Summer... it had literally only just begun and now I'm done...

Caught up in the excitement of the world cup and the extreme rareity of sunshine and the phenomenon we like to call heat (note: I am measuring this by English standards because last nite as it was cooling off I heard several Pom's remark "it's just too hot!") Now, to be fair, England has 8 months of winter and 4 months of what could generously be described as summer so it actually was pretty warm in comparrison to the rest of the year. Anyway! Back to the point, the Pom's have been outside playing "football" (soccer) every day for the last week and it's been brilliant!!
I've been in two absolutely amazing games over the weekend which were so much fun it almost makes up for the 8 month winter!! But it was all about to come crashing down in a heart breaking end last night. After we'd been playing for about an hour tragedy struck, the ball was put across to a guy in front of me playing for the other team, I stepped forward and robbed him of the ball with some fancy footwork but instead of clearing it I kept up the footwork whilst looking for an open man on my team and remained unfortunately close to the bloke I'd just robbed of possesion. And as he attempted to steal the ball back he put in a sweeping kick around the outside of my body hitting my leg and causing us to twist as we both went down in a heap... as we fell I felt a huge wave of pain as my knee cap drelocated itself to the side of my leg.
This has happened once before during a game of Aussie rules so I knew what was going on straight away but this time round was far more painful than the first. Tim came running in obviously realising that I'd done myself an injury but as I was wearing long pants he missdiagnosed it as cramp and said typically "it's ok, I know what to do!" (note: if anyone ever hears Tim say this again knock him unconscious before he can do any damage) and grabbed my leg, straightened it, put my foot over his shoulder and hugged my knee into his chest. Having been falsely reassured by Tim's previous statement and the knowledge that he is qualified as a personal trainer I blindly trusted he knew what he was doing although during the minute he spent stretching out my "cramp" the pain seemed only to intensify.
Realising that this wasn't working (the reasonably clear indicator being my continued shouts of pain increasing in volume rather than subsiding) Tim gritted his teeth, got a firmer hold of my knee, and tried harder -how exactly he didn't realise my knee cap was in the wrong spot I'm not sure- A sudden gestalt hit me as I realised exactly what Tim was trying to do and that it was not going to help if we tried it till Christmas.
I informed him, in a quiet and calm roar, that my knee was disloacted and if he would kindly put my leg down gently I would see to fixing it. The scattered laughter of the onlookers cut off abruptly to be replaced with horrified gasps as I rolled up my pants to reveal my Picasso'd leg.
In a moment of madness I stupidly considered hammering at my leg Bommer Thompson style to put things right but another wave of pain informed me this was not a wise choice and so I intstructed Tim to "have a go" and this time he rather wisely levered my knee cap upwards so that it was free to slide back into place (he later informed me that he had a facinating time feeling my knee cap from underneath and has since taken to calling himself Doctor Tim, something I cured him of by retelling the story making special note of his "help") and I enjoyed the few moments of comparative relief as shock numbed my leg to feeling... this blissful state lasted not long enough...
Tim again showed his awareness of sporting injuries and how to treat them by calling out "All right, Game On!" Picking up on the process of the laughs he recieved back for the spectators he passed the comment off as a joke but later confessed he had thought I would be ok to get up and keep going now it was fixed.
We finished off the evening by spending 3 hours in Stoke Mandeville Hospital and watching the world cup high-lights with my African doctor Tomi.
(If anybody happens to go to Stoke Madeville hospital anytime soon and happens to require a wheel chair; don't get sucked into paying a pound for one near the door, have someone help you hobble up the hall to the reception desk and then limp your way over to a seat and a nurse will probably take pity on you and ask you if you'd like a wheelchair -free!- graciously accept this offer and bite back any cutting comments about the ludicrousity of charging for wheel chairs and parking in the emergency ward)

In other news the Socceroo's beat Japan 3-1 in the World Cup!! I watched the game in a pub across the road from work. It was a good game although I was fairly tense throughout as we trailed 1-nil for most of the game. In the last 10mins Australia scored 3 goals!! They played well throughout but I'm worried by the way that our strikers would carry the ball to the edge of Japans box and then play these weak girly balls forward which Japan turned aside easily and though I kept reasonably calm for the duration a few exasperated cries of "Have a crack boys!" escaped my frustrated body in the second half as we went forward for the 57th time only to surrender the ball on the edge of the box!! To my great relief they began to listen to my advice in the last 10mins of the game... Cahill plugged 2 great shots through the defence and then Aloisi made a great run through the japanese defence to slip a final goal past the keeper placing Australia on the top of the ladder for GROUP F on goal difference... at least until we play Brazil on Sunday...

Thursday 2moro!! Love Thursday!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Update (don't read if you haven't seen the game and still plan to)

England 1 - Paraguay 0 (half time)
England scored a great goal 3mins into the match from a free kick; Beckham unloaded a huge curling ball from the left wing about 5metres back from the box which connected with the head of a Paraguay defender on its way to an own goal. The keeper got a finger to it but was never going to stop it, the only real debate will be whether or not the goal is attributed to Beckham or the defender. My personal opinion is that the own goal should stand but the defender is probably more than happy for Beckham to claim it. Other bits of drama so far in the game include the goal keeper for Paraguay injuring himself 6mins in and having to come off- poor bloke was in tears, I hope he'll get a chance to play again in this world cup -and a controvertial ref from Mexico who has given a yellow card to a brilliant piece of defence from Gerrard which was blatantly legal and then ignored a foul that was a definite yellow card offence against Beckham as well as refusing to allow the English physio on the pitch to attend to an injured player and not allowing players to have water on the pitch despite it being 30degrees. He's a little to impressed with himself for my liking so far but my opinions not going to have much of an impact there... lets hope someone in FIFA shares it.

Carlos Gamarra; the unfortunate Paraguay defender who has the dubious honour of having scored Englands first World Cup goal for 2006

Happy Thirsday

Thursday is proving itself once more to be the focal point of the week in the Posse House. It has recently become the Diploma day for myself and the girls (rachel+maria) previously we had had two half days in which to focus on our diploma's, ie. doing assignments, putting together information for our portfolio's and comppetencies, catching up on much needed sleep and journalling frantically so that we had at least one entry each before we headed into PIT (proffesional integration tutorial) to talk about the week and the work and whatever else came to mind... but we found (unsuprisingly) that we were easily distracted and often spent much of our time doing general work or catching up on emails and friends back in Oz... (if dan happens to be reading this that er, last bit was the girls, nothing to do with me) So it is a huge relief that we now have a whole day to work on emails, friends and sleep, uh... i mean assignments and diploma stuff... (hi dan)

Anyway, Thursday, focal point also plays host to Comm. Tea -once weekly dinner with people from work and some friends- and reasonably often; some good TV shows (v. rare on english TV) It is 1 week since I got back to the UK, about 3 weeks since I have felt well rested and not tired, 5 weeks since I left for Oz and 7 weeks since I stupidly told Ian I would do one of the talks at Mosaic (Youth Church) for him... and as usual I am ahead of schedule in my preparations, which is to say that I have actually remembered I promised to do something, now I just have to remember when I promised to do it and work out how to get out of it...

Yesterday Mim(Simeons nickname for Tim- i love it!) and I set a record for longest supervisors meeting ever, which we ceverly disguised as a game of basketball on one of the most glorious summer day I have seen in England, followed by dinner and a loooooong game of soccer up at Long Crendon. It was good to get a game but it was also incredibly frustrating playing on grass (now that it's summer and stays light till 10!! that's right; 10!!) without studs, made more frustrating by the opposing side who did have studs and did this infuriating little dance on around the ball until we fell over and then they cruised around us into the clear path to the goal!! It was one of the hardest games I have ever played, Mim also had a tough game but went hard and payed dearly for it; he's managed to stretch something that he didnt notice at the time but woke up this morning with a really sore back. I was enjoying teasing him about his whinging until I realised that he was actually hurt (although I don't feel bad at all because I know he would have done pretty much the same thing to me if I was whinging) and I showed him some stretches for it but the only thing that will do anything for it really is time... that or a physio but they're kind of expensive.

I visited the Ken Duncan Website this week and borrowed some of the previews of his photo's. I love the wide panaramic shots that he takes, you get a whole sky line and it seems more like you would see it rather than the square images you get with digital camera's. The humungous advantage of digital camera's being that you can take an inumerable amount of shots and just delete the ones you don't like. But to really get into the quality photography (see above) you pretty much have to go film. Speaking of digital camera's the "new" Fuji (just had an interesting spelling error typing Fuji then) is going well and Danbo has leant me a Teleconversion lens that makes my camera look like a beast, not sure if does anything else but it looks wickid!! And to my dismay I have discovered that the photo's the Fuji takes (I will have to think of a name for it soon, we name everything, yesterday we named Danbo's new car the Surging Sevanna either the Surge or Sev for short) take up about 4 times the amount of memory space on my laptop as the old camera. This would not be a huge issue, especially as it implies the quality of the photo's is heaps better, except that the Tornado (my laptop, see, I told you we name everything) is very possibly the slowest laptop still functioning in the northern hemisphere. I have seen one or two in the Po -southern hemisphere- that were slower but it's a rare thing. So the addition of increased size photo's is double edged and it has taken me 3 days to write this post so far, hence why I am posting Happy Thursday on Saturday afternoon right before Englands World Cup match which I need to run off and watch now but I shall be back with a half time update!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Singapore part 2

As promised; the continuing tales from Singapore Airport

The Case of the Coy Koi

One of Singapore airports best features is its gardens and ponds which are really nice places to go and sit in a jet lagged stupor in between your flights to more important places. On arrival I set out in search of the Koi Pond I visited last time to try my hand at spear fishing and then smuggling (coz I figured singapores not likely to have harsh judicial penalties for anything like that so I'm fairly safe plus I always wanted a giant goldfish) and on top of that there was, as I recall, a really nice coffee shop with internet access right next to it. However, upon arrival at the pond (via terminal 1 twice and terminal 2 thrice and an hour or so trying to figure out where the hell anything was) I discovered THERE WERE NO BLOODY FISH IN THE POND!! that or they were all hiding under the deck, a quick dip would have revealed this but as I had newly begun my career as master thief and smuggler extraordinare I felt it wiser to keep a low profile (this would later prove to be a VERY good move) And so instead I set off in search of the other Koi pond and found that it was remarkably close by. Once I had arrived there I found myself in competition with a small Asian girl who clearly had the same idea as me and was cleverly disguising her attempts to capture a Koi(giant gold fish if i failed to mention exactly what they are) by pretending to pose for a photograph. Seeing straight through this feeble illusion I immediately took advantage of the situation and pushed her into the pond and used the ensuing chaos as cover while I snagged my own giant gold fish (who I have named Neemo) whilst the authorities were busy dragging off my unworthy competition for interrogation.

The Great Sky Train Race
As every bloke knows- any piece of data that could ever possibly be taken as a challenge or turned into a competition, should be. And so, when I saw this sign:

That told me it took 10 minutes to walk 500 metres the challenge was on!! (I did take the oddly named sky train out of interest and discovered, among other things, that it mostly ran under ground) Seeing as it doesn't take me 10 minmutes to drive the 15 or so kilometres between the Po and Cressy there was a snow balls chance in hell that I was gona lose this challenge. So I set my stop watch, glanced quickly at the clock so that I would have two references to double check off, and set off at a brisk walk -I wasnt worried but there's no need to push your luck either eh- and headed onto the travellator (this I did not consider cheating as I'm sure the estimated time took into account the use of the travelator) passing several people and making good time. I had discovered previously that for the sake of speed the best way to negotiate the gap between travelators is to tip your trolley back just before you hit the bump and then get one last push off the moving side walk leaning forward over the top of your trolley and using it as a kart of sorts to glide across the 4 metre gap (this prevents you feeling the disheartening loss of speed as you step off the travelator and is considered by most experts in the matter to be more fun) as I got off the third of the travellators, excuting a sneaky overtake of an entire family in the gap, I found myself suddenly stuck behind a small Japanese family- that is to say there were about 7 of them but they were all rather short -and to my dismay the width of the travellator had suddenly halved making over taking nigh on impossible!! Not to be beaten by this turn of fortune I readied myself to make a sudden push and either gather the Japanese family on top of my trolley or crush them beneath me as I passed. Just as I was about to execute this move my spider sense tingled and I looked about in search of the danger. Going the opposite direction on the travellator were 3 Singapore soldiers carrying machine guns!! Quickly revising my plan of attack I dropped my head and coughed in case they were searching for the missing Koi and kept a decidedly lower profile through the rest of the race. Deciding in my infinite mercy to spare the Japanese family (who I have decided to call the Yatsu-ami family from the Yoshi clan) I rode out the rest of the race at a slower pace but even then on arriving at the other Sky Train "station" the trip only took me 6 minutes, although that result was based on the airport clocks as I discovered my stopwatch ceases to function automatically when you close my fone so I was probably closer to 4 minutes... 5 at most...

There were two other minor incidents during my time in Singapore that should be noted; firstly I left my jumper with my trolley when I went upstairs to the roof top garden to get some "fresh" air. When I returned 10 minutes later I noticed it and did a nervous and thorough check to make sure it had not picked up anything that did not belong to me and that could help my neck find its way into a noose (while I proudly bear the nickname "Trouble" this was not the sort I was looking for) having found nothing amiss with my jumper I breathed a sigh of relief and moved on. Secondly, after spending a good 5 hours in the airport I headed for my boarding gate to depart but en route I was stopped by three airport police people (the one questioning me was a woman, hence the unusual P/Cness) and there was a tense moment as she looked over my passport and boarding pass without explanation of why I had been stopped. She then asked me how old I was, cutting in before I could answer with "27, right?" fortunately I was thinking clearly and managed to recall the fact that I was/am 19 and corrected her. I like to think (now that I am safely far the hell away from Singapore) that she was trying to trick me, probably in search of a famous Koi smuggler who must be at least 27 based on his skill and reputation, and that I outsmarted her with the plain and simple truth... yeah... I know... I'm good.

That's it for now!! Stay tuned for the next exciting episode...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Contractual Obligations

During my recent visit to the Great South Land I suffered that ageing affliction that we are all cursed with; the Birthday. This year was the 19th time I had endured the effects of the Birthday although, fortunately, this time I managed to avoid 300 people singing me happy birthday at the same time -whew- although I recieve a text message via email (don't ask and no, I'm not making it up) that was a recording of someone singing happy birthday to me. Perhaps a sign of my health deteriorating in my old age I caught a nasty cold a few days prior and the lingering tail end of said cold is still hanging on for dear life as my body vehemently seeks to expel it by any means possible ie. sneezing, coughing, drooling, farting, and I have also been to the toilet about 5 times today clear proof that either a- I am destined to suffer from a weak bladder in later life or b- Drinking 8 cups of water a day is in actual fact BAD for you and as there is a drought on we should conserve water at EVERY opportunity. But the really annoying part of said affliction is that the more times it strikes you in the course of your life the more unwanted responsibilities seem to be thrust upon you. Last year it was voting, then there were the series of letters reminding me that I still had yet to register to vote and threatening fines and whatever else should I fail to do so before the next election (needless to say I remain unregistered as a voter and if the Australian Government should choose to waste their time tracking me down they will find their country void of my presence thwarting their efforts to force me to conform to the social norm MWA-HA-HA!! Then there's this whole adult business- what the hell's that about anyway?! And I'm not even gonna mention taxation... This year is no. 19; the last year of the age of the teen. I'm definitely not looking forward to 20 and the expectaions that will appear as I depart freedom forever.

However 19 was looking like a quiet "breather" year to recover from the shock of enforced adulthood during the previous affliction and all seemed well until GP (Grampa Peter) noticed my lack of fresh obligations and decided that my load was too light and that he'd do me a favour and fix that little problem. As is customary; during the day of affliction friends and family members give the afflicted (in this case me) gifts to ease and distract from the pain and to encourage them to hold on to their annually decreasing quality of life. GP gave me a new camera!! (my old one had recently ceased to function and so I was in want -note: need is often missused when really the situation calls for the term want- of a new one but lacked the necessary funds to rectify this problem) It's a Fuji!(feel free to insert jingle from the adds and sing that line to yourself several times) and really very good, I'm still trying to work out exactly how I'll get a photo of it onto the blog. But, this is where the afore mentioned responsibility came into play. GP cunningly gave me the camera as a conditional gift and the condition was this: that Zachariah Holt (thats me) will post a new entry on his noteworthy blog (the Posse House) at a minimum of once weekly, futhermore, Zachariah shall be required to suply proof of his activities in the form of photographic evidence on said blog by means of his new Fuji camera. The consequences of failure to meet these obligations were left hanging but I have a reasonable suspicion they are not of futher benefit to myself... probably more bloody responsibility at this rate...

"And so it came to pass that Zachariah pulled up his figurative blogging socks and sat in front of a computer several extra hours each week in order to fulfill his new contractual obligations. It should also be mentioned at this point that previously the family of Zachariah had contacted the Fearless Leader (Zac's boss) to ascertain his continued existence after 3 weeks without contact, it would appear they got wise to the unsuccesful nature of that attempt to keep tabs on their son" -from the Posse House Prophecies, vol.3 year 2762