Friday, 22 December 2006

Merry Christmas

To all of you who read my blog.

Have a very Merry Christmas, remember it's the manger that lead to the cross, and that's the reason we celebrate.

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
- Phillipians 2:6-11

Enjoy the time however you spend it, and rememmber those less fortunate than us during this time.

God Bless

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Has Kelly Convinced People he's the Champ??

Here's an article on today - it sums up my feeling on this whole saga pretty well.

Fans robbed of classic decider

We were all robbed of a classic final-round heavyweight title decider the moment Rick Kelly hit Craig Lowndes on the second lap.

Kelly also blew the chance to finally prove he is a better driver than Lowndes.

Kelly raced with his brain more than his heart this season and he went into the final round leading because he had been remarkably consistent despite not winning a round.

Lowndes had some shocking results, but he always raced hard and took four round wins.

Kelly has always said he was driving conservatively because the points system rewarded consistency, and he said he could have gone faster if he had needed to take more risks.

The final race at Phillip Island gave him the chance to prove he really
could outpace Lowndes.

Within the rules, the stewards made the right decision to give Kelly a drive-through penalty and uphold that decision yesterday.

But Kelly's move, deliberate or not, had wider implications.

It gave him his first title.

But he will have to prove next season that he is the true champion.

Comment by James Stanford
December 12, 2006

Rick Kelly's a real nice bloke, I've chatted with him a couple of times, and helped him out at Bathurst last year when he was feeling really crook. However he'd got to be the most controversial driver in the series. In 2005 he had that tangle with Jason Bright at Indy and was branded a dangerous driver, he was also involved in the Marcus Ambros 'break testing' at Indy and made a lot of media hype with his comments. Throughout his career he's either made mistakes, or comments at times when he really needed to not have, and it's given him a name for being the controversial guy. It's a shame his championship win has got that tag now too.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Protest Dismissed

Rick Kelly is the 2006 V8 Supercar Champ after the Stewards dismissed Triple 8 Racings appeal this afternoon (Story Here).

Now I'm not a sore loser, but I do feel Craig Lowndes has been hard done by... here are some reasons why the championship's end has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth...

  • Mark Skaife's blocking in Race 1, which at one point drove Lowndes off the track and almost allowed Kelly to pass numerous times. (Skaife was shown a caution flag for bad sportsmanship.)
  • Garth Tander's slowing and blocking strategy in Race 2. In Race 1 Tander had a much faster car, and suddenly with Lowndes behind him and Kelly a fair gap back Tander's car was doing 2 seconds or more a lap slower - he was given a caution flag and eventually black flagged for intentionally blocking.
  • Race 3 - Todd Kelly (Rick's brother) had been the fastest car all weekend, he was visiblly faster than Lowndes in Races 1 and 2, but suddenly in Race 3 Lowndes seemed stuck right behind him for the first 3 laps, sandwiched between Todd and Rick Kelly.
  • Being caught in between the Kelly brothers Lowndes was spun by Rick, I don't feel it was intentional, but it was careless and cost the championship and the chance of a decent race to the finish.

The simple fact is that if the other Holden drivers had have raced their own race and not played gang up on Lowndes the incident in Race 3 would not have happened, and we'd probably have a different champion today (Lowndes car had more race pace than Kelly's).

It's made the whole 2006 season feel a bit wasted to me, if Kelly had of won the championship in a fair fight I would be dissapointed but not complaining. However I just feel that Kelly's win isn't 100% honest (and maybe not because of his actions but his team mate's), and because of that not rightfully earnt.

I call FOUL!

Yesterday marked the Grand Final for the v8 Supercars this year. Craig Lowndes came into the round 7 points behind Championship leader (and Holden driver) Rick Kelly. After the first race on Saturday Lowndes had brought that gap to 3 points.

I didn't watch the races on TV, but was following on the net all day, and the second race was hotly contested with Lowndes closing those 3 points, making the final race starting with Rick and Craig on level championship points.

It all turned to crap on lap 3 of the final race with Rick clipping the back of Lowndes' car and spinning into Rick's brother Todd - and into the path of fellow Ford driver Will Davison. Rick Kelly inherited the race lead as Lowndes' car was left to struggle back to the pits and crawl around the track for the remainder of the race.

The AVESCO officials looked at the incident and issed Kelly a 'drive through penalty' for causing the 'racing incident', however with the damage to Craig's car Rick was still able to finish considerably higher than him and take the championship for Holden by 37 points.

Ford, Triple 8 Racing and Craig Lowndes have lodged a protest with CAMS which is being played out at the stewards board right now. However I don't see them changing the results of the championship.

I can't see Rick Kelly doing the 'dirty driving' he's been claimed to have, I think the knock he gave Lowndes was not intentional. It was most probably a nervousness and determination to pass Lowndes which caused a mistake, it's just a shame it means his Championship victory will always be looked apon as unfairly won.

The thing I thought was really foul from the whole weekend was the actions of some other Holden drivers. Mark Skaife in the first race, and Garth Tander in the second. Both used their cars to slow Lowndes down to give Rick a chance to catch up - I think that is dirty! Both drivers were shown an unsportsmanship flag, and eventually the marshals disqualified Tander for continuing to block. If either of these drivers had been fair, maybe Lowndes would not have been in the vulnerable position in race 3. Holden have not won the championship for 3 years and wanted it bad - however to play blocker and crasher is just so wrong I feel that the champion was more taken from Lowndes, than won by Kelly.

Let's wait and see what the stewards hearing decides.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

To Cairns and Back.

Where have you been today?

Me?? I've been to Cairns. I tell you what it's a long way for a one day trip. I flew up at 9:30am and got home about 9pm.

I went to install a new computer and IP phone into the Cairns RACQ branch, a relatively easy job, which was lucky because I didn't have too much time to do it.

Ended up being a nice day, sat next to a Karate expert on the flight up, heading to Tokoyo for more training then to Pakastan to start a new Karate business there. On the way home I chatted with a couple from Minnesota who were living in Australia and just returning to Brisbane from a round the country sight seeing trip.

Had lunch on the esplanade and saw a bit of the town centre.

Here are some photos I snapped out of the plane window on the way up, I thought they were pretty cool. I love flying, just because it gives me an awesome view of God's amazing creation.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

What Superhero Are You??

Yep, I think I'm happy with who I came out as. Spidey is probably my favourite hero from that list. Now if the Phantom was there, that's who I'd really be!!!

Am glad Wonderwoman is at the bottom, a little worried about how high Supergirl is though...

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

  • You are intelligent, witty,
    a bit geeky and have great
    power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Poverty's place in God's plan.

Some thoughts from my morning Bible reading.

Luke 12:22-31 “Do Not Worry”

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
You may have noticed the MakePovertyHistory band at the top of my blog. I have been a close supporter of this cause for about 6 months, following the ‘movement’ receiving emails and consciously trying to find ways in my life where I can impact the effects of poverty on people in Australia and the rest of the world (particularly Africa). I even wear the white armband to raise awareness for the cause.

As I was reading Luke 12 this morning, I couldn’t help but think of all the poor people in the world, all the people who are devastated by famine, war, drought and poverty. I wondered where all that fits into God’s plan of ‘do not worry’?

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
God will provide these things??? Yet there are millions dieing of starvation, dieing from exposure, where does that fit into this passage from the mouth of Jesus?? I feel these people have no choice but to worry... they are dieing from lack of food and shelter!

I’m glad I didn’t stop reading there, because the next paragraph had my answers.

Luke 12:32-34

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus is talking to us! To those who believe in him, those who have so much stuff, and DO worry about where we’re gonna get our next materialistic fix! God does not want poverty to exist in this world. However I believe it is through all of us in the West not listening to Jesus, and worrying about all that stuff which is causing the poverty in the rest of the world.

Imagine if we did not worry, but sold our ‘stuff’ and gave that money to repair Africa, South America, Asia and parts of Europe! Poverty would be History! And quite quickly too!!!

I know I fail so badly in this, even while I was living in Africa I failed! Wanting a generator for power, hot water for my showers, an Internet connection in my house, even a mobile phone!! I lived much simpler than here in Australia, yet I still hung on to certain worries which may have hindered me from reaching more people.

God has no place for poverty in his plan, it is our selfishness and sin which stops God's plan from fulling coming to fruition. It's our sin which causes poverty.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Month in Review ~ November

That felt like a quick one! Seems only days ago I decided to do the whole 'month in review' thing.
November started off with an amazement at the talents of a 12 year old boy on the drums (here) and that really set a path for the rest of my month. I have drummed a lot in church and at WHY?, but also actually done some practice at home. I think just this month I've become a better drummer - I know my passion for it has definitely been re-ignited!

Church has displayed some challenges this month - stretching me, making me really think about what I believe and how I interact with my church, and everyone else. From prosperity, to appologetics. I've struggled with general views and people steriotypical attitudes, but through it all it's allowed me to lock in what and why I believe - and to burn away some of the chaff that had attached itself to my faith.

I spent a lot of money on my car, fixing gearbox leaks and other stuff - having my sterio repaired. It all happened about the same time my phone died and I was spending time fixing many computers for friends and family.

December brings round Christmas, looking forward to that - and then January is some much needed holidays - now all I need to do is make it that far!!!

Go Karting-Crashing-Crazy Bungy Insanity!

Last Thursday I was invited to a go karting/Christmas breakup for customers of Avaya (for those who don't know Avaya is a phone/VOIP/Call Centre software and hardware company - RACQ's phone system is pretty well completely Avaya).

I think the best aspect of the invite was I got a half day off work to travel up to the Big Kart track at Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast. We arrived and had a 20 minute warm up, and I must say I was totally unimpressed with the karts! The fact I could drive around the whole track without lifting my foot off the gas took the whole 'driving' aspect from racing, so if you're kart was faster you'd win, because there are no braking areas and cornering speeds are all the same.

However after the warm up we were told that if anyone wanted ago on the Bungy Bullet that it was available to us as well. So I took up the chance to be shot 50m into the air at 400km/h with the force of 4Gs in about 1 second! What an experience! The initial launch was fantastic, the resulting bungy bouncing up and down was a bit of fun, but became a litte sickening after about a minute - I was glad to get my feet back on the ground eventually.

We then had dinner, and headed back down to the track for heats to qualify for the Avaya Krazy Kart Chapmionship. I won my heat, I had a decent kart and got a great jump at the start of the race, so I made it into the main race. I scored a semi-decent kart for the race, but there were 3 karts much faster than mine. Lucky for me one of them driven by a good mate got caught up in an incident on the first lap so I was in third for most of the race.

It was infuriating watching the 2 guys ahead of me slowly pulling away, and seeing Ryan coming up behind me getting closer every lap. Eventually Ryan caught me, and as we were coming down the straight I knew he'd pass me and I'd miss out on getting trophy, however that lap we were given the 'one lap to go' signal and I swore I wouldn't let him pass me for that lap.

What ensued was a fierce battle with lots of bumping and scraping, until the last 2 corners where Ryan pulled along side of me, however cause he was on the outside of the track I drove into the last 2 corners pushing him really wide. Without me knowing, coming onto the main straight Ryan reached out, grabbed my kart and tried to pull me back out of the way - in doing so he locked his front wheel between my front and rear. Not able to pass me because he was locked in, he tried to move over, me seeing this pushed him right up against the tyre wall so he had no room to free himself. We then raced down the straight locked together - Ryan took out about 4 tyre stacks - and I got 3rd place by about 15cm!!! There was much laughter and good spirits between us, and the rest of the RACQ team after that one. But I'm glad I got that 3rd place trophy - it was hard fought for.

We were then given the chance to just go back out on the track and do laps - which we did non stop for over an hour! They may not have been the best karts, but we sure did get a good go on them - 3 RACQ guys, including myself got the 3 fastest karts in that session and just had a lot of fun racing each other.

There was however an incident once we tried drifting the whole track - a mate, Brian, was drifting in front of me, and he spun - without any room to get out of the way I slammed straight into the side of his kart. Because I was braking, and bracing on the wheel I hurt my ankle, and shoulder... and Brian was holding his leg, and looked in a lot of pain. As we coasted down a straight I was sure I'd broken his leg (the force had brocken the front bar off my kart) - but he kept driving, and seemed ok eventually.

Friday at work we were chatting about it and Brian had some decent bruises on his leg, he was lucky I think. Friday, Saturday and today I've been pretty sore - my lower back hurts as well, so I've been feeling a bit worse for wear, and sorry for myself.

But even so - it was a great night of fun!
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