Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Weekly Photo Assignment

Well to finish off a quick session of blogging, here is my assignment photograph for the week.

The assignment was "Rivers" and I was able to find a little creek that ran out into the ocean at Caloundra. As the moon rose it gave a really nice position to get a uniquely Australian River scene.


Larry Norman Passes Away

Just read on Rodney's blog that Larry Norman has passed away at age 60.

The Father of Christian Rock was someone I enjoyed listening to, though never owned any of his albums. A few of his songs have made it onto compilation CDs I've owned, and I've always loved "Why Should the Devil have all the Good Music?" let alone the amazing DC Talk version of his song "I Wish We'd All Be Ready".

Reading on his website he dictated one last message to his brother to post to all his friends around the world.
I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet againSomewhere beyond the sky.I pray that you will stay with God

Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


Thank God for such a wonderful life, which brough Him so much glory.

Blood Diamond

I finally saw Blood Diamond yesterday. What a powerful movie. To see the situation in Sierra Leone in the 1999 wars depicted on screen was something that moved me a lot. While I lived in The Gambia I lived with a Sierra Leonian family who had fled the war torn country many years before. Steven and Helen had left their homeland and been lucky enough to go abroad and study. I also lived a little while with Helen's brother Henry who had been in the city when Sierra Leone blew up - he made it out with only his life (I don't know if he lost family because he would only mention certain things about that time).

Henry was emotionally messed up, and you can understand it after the things he went through to flee on foot the country he had grown up in.

So seeing these scenarios recreated on film really impacted me. I'd heard real life stories, and seen the lives effected by the stuff I was watching in a movie. Ironically the main African actor looked a fair bit like Henry as well.

Also seeing the side of White Africans and British people using this terrible time to try and gain wealth really disgusted me. I think this also had more of an impact because I've witnessed first hand that sort of behaviour in The Gambia.

Child Soldiers, though none in The Gambia, have always been a real soft spot on my heart. To exploit the pure nature of a child and turn him into a killer seems to me to be the most terrible thing anyone could ever ever do.

Blood Diamond rekindled a passion I have for Africa - it disturbed me greatly, and left me in tears at the end when Samuel finds his son in a RUF camp, and the son doesn't even recognise his own father.

The movie does have a very Hollywood ending though, with the family totally reunited and living in the UK. It's a shame that for millions of others this was not the case.

Monday, 25 February 2008


Ashley Cooper passed away in Adelaide over night.

Please be in prayer for his family at such a terrible time.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Adelaide Motorsports Issues

You've probably seen it on the news, these accidents get a lot of media attention these days.

Ashleigh Cooper crashed his Holden Commodore in yesterdays Fujitsu Development Series race in Adelaide.

I heard from Garry Coleman last night, things don't look to bright. Ashleigh had extensive swelling on his brain and doctors could not relieve it. This morning it's been reported he is on life support, with his wife flying in from NSW and his parents already by his bed side.

Be in prayer for Ashleigh, and his recovery (a certain miracle is he does) and for his family. Also pray for Garry and all the other track chaplains at Adelaide today as they continue to minister to officials and team members who will be affected by this accident.

Channel 7 actually telecast a segment today where all the V8 Supercar drivers and teams lined pit straight while Garry Coleman came out and prayed for Ashleigh. Praise God for the work of chaplains amongst this close knit community.

Also watching the telecast this morning there was another big crash in the V8 Utes race. Three drivers are in hospital under observation, they are all conscious and aware at this time.

Garry and his team will also be speaking with these men and their teams and families as well. Motorsports Chaplains really are a integral part of the racing community these days.

Time Off

Half way through my 2 weeks holidays and I'm having a great time.

I spent Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday in Hervey Bay with my grandparents. It was a good time, not always relaxing up there, but I know Grandpa enjoyed going for a drive and having time to chat with me, so it was worth it just for that. I even scored some of Grandma's winnings from a very short pokies session (we gave her 15 minutes to go and play, and she made $20 haha).

Wednesday I tripped back down to Caloundra, and though the weatherman had said all beaches would be closed, Dicky Beach had flags up and I enjoyed a swim. I found a beaut little place for the night at Moffet Beach and enjoyed a Thai dinner.

Thursday was breaky at my favourite Sunshine Coast cafe in Moffet Beach and then off to Kings Beach for a swim. Big surf, but conditions meant you just couldn't get out to body surf. So I just enjoyed the salt water and sunshine.

Friday was a quiet day back home, and yesterday I headed into Brissie to catch up with a friend and enjoyed a night out with people from City North playing Table Tennis and spending some good time in prayer.

All I can say is bring on another week of rest and relaxation!

Monday, 18 February 2008

This Week's Photography Assignment

Another week has gone by, and the current assignment is "Straight From the Camera".

So the idea here is to do no post processing, but use the camera to capture a brillient shot, and then simply post it up. No colour changing, lightening or darkening. Just raw camera footage.

My shot is actually from the same shoot as last weeks assignment, the sunrise at Burleigh last week gave me so many shots, and I love this one for the lighting of the sky, and just the peacefullness that the boardwalk and water gives.


Sweet sweet holidays

2 weeks!

For 2 weeks the worries of the IT department are not mine. That is a very sweet thing. Over the past months I think work has really been weighing heavily on me, we've had so much change; new structure, new people, new managers, new roles and responsibilities... I think I was just getting overwhelmed by the volume of it all.

Hopefully these next two weeks will give me a chance to just sit back and let that all flow by for a while, and just be me again.

I've got some good books to read, "Come Thirsty" by Max Lucado, a book on Islamic warefare by Pat Sookdheo and my continuing journey through "The Lord of The Rings".

I'm heading to Hervey Bay today, to visit my grandparents, that should provide some time laying on their patio and soaking into those books, plus hopefully a bit of photography around the surrounding cane fields and coast line. Then on my way back I may call in and see some old friends in Gympie, and then maybe a night or two at Caloundra so I can get some body surfing in.

Next week is less planned, but I hope to catch up with some friends I've neglected over this busy work time, and maybe head to the Gold Coast for a night or two for more surfing.

If you're free and want to catch up, drop me a line!


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Weekly Photo Assignment

Topic - 'Seasons'

This week over on the DPS forum, the assignment for the week is to take a photo that emulates the season you're currently in. Most of the shots are of snow and cold things.

My shot is another reason I love living in Australia! We don't see weather like that usually, and this time of year is warm while the rest of the world freezes.

5am at Burliegh Heads on the Gold Coast. The essence of summer... the bright overload from the rising sun and a guy about to jump off the rocks for a surf! I've got a bit more of a collection from that morning, but am yet to get them processed and on flickr.


Also wait for some photos from the Whitehill Young Adults camp, and the Brisbane International Motorshow... I've been doing a lot, just without the time to blog it all.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Wet Weather Take 2

Well last night wasn't too bad - the weather was wet, and there was some minor flooding.

However the radar at the moment looks as though we'll be pushing the flood warnings a little higher this evening.

The Plunger Is Back

Reading through 5 Senses' latest newsletter and they have a great article on plunger coffee. I'm a regular plunger user at work - it's the best way for me to get real good coffee during my work day without setting up an expresso machine on my desk (though always an option :-P).

So here's a bit of the article - the last coffee I purchased from 5 Senses was that Batch #004113 blend, simply the best plunger coffee I've had.

Folks, it’s time to delve into the recesses of the kitchen cupboards. Push past the long forgotten bread maker, the pasta machine that you used once before relegating to the back of the cupboard and dust off the trusty plunger that served you so well before it was replaced by the shiny espresso machine...

...Just about any coffee can be enjoyed through a plunger but it’s the livelier coffees that seem to shine the brightest. Think a fine Kenyan AA, a Colombian, lemon juicy Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or one of the greatest all rounders ever (apologies to Andrew Symonds!), our very own direct trade P.N.G. Or … if a blend’s more you style, we’ve combined a few classics to create
Batch number #004113 especially for the plunger.

Here’s what you need;

  • Grinder (no blade grinders);
  • Plunger (squeaky clean — try our Incasa Stainless Steel Plungers if you are plungerless);
  • Electric kettle;
  • Timer (oven or microwave will do nicely); and
  • Quality water.
The Preamble — Take the time to prepare your coffee with a relaxed frame of mind. Allow yourself ten minutes to get it right and show respect for the people who grew your coffee and the people who roasted it for you. Most importantly, make it an enjoyable routine that rewards you with a quality coffee that you can sit and savour.

  1. Flick on a kettleful of good quality water while you prepare to grind the coffee beans. It will need to be quite a bit coarser than your espresso setting. Enjoy the aroma but don’t dilly dally. The quicker you get your coffee brewing the more flavour you capture in the plunger instead of allowing the gas to escape into the atmosphere.
  2. When the kettle has boiled, throw some water into the plunger to pre warm the glass. Cold glass will suck all the warmth out of the brewing water. This also allows the water to cool to just below boiling point. A maximum of 45 seconds off the boil is what we recommend.
  3. Pour out the water in the plunger, give it a quick wipe dry then add a heaped tablespoon per cup of coffee required. (This is a rough guide; you may need more or less depending upon personal preference.) Pour the water in immediately with a bit of vigour. Use the stream of water to mix the coffee and thoroughly wet the grounds. You should notice a nice bloom if you are using fresh coffee. This indicates some carbon dioxide is still present and will look like a creamy mousse like substance. If you don’t have a nice bloom your coffee is a bit long in the tooth and you need to get on the net and order some fresh stuff from the good people at Five Senses!
  4. Give it a quick stir to ensure the grounds are wet, pop your plunger top on, and lower it enough to submerge the bloom and bring the coffee into contact with the water. Hit the timer and wait for 4 minutes. If you have some hot water remaining you can use this to pre-warm your cups as the clock counts down …
  5. Bing! Immediately depress the plunger all the way. A little finesse may be required here. Nice and steady will ensure a clean bench top! Pour the coffee into the cup. Any coffee left in the plunger and still in contact with the grounds will continue to extract flavour and will get increasingly bitter. Pour any leftover into a thermos pot for later use.
  6. Drink the coffee as you like but give it a go black or just ease up on the milk and sugar a little to let the coffee shine through. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  7. Relax in your favourite chair and really TASTE the coffee. Roll it around in your mouth and allow it to coat every taste bud you have. Ponder the flavours and mouth feel, see if you can pick out anything from the flavour library in your head. See how the coffee evolves as it cools and new flavours start to emerge.

So there you go - I'm not quite that studious in my coffee making exercise, but I can attest to the quality starting to wain if left after that magical 4 minute mark. Sometimes I make a coffee and get caught up with some work - 10 minutes later I plunge, and pay the price for not putting my coffee before my work.

Oh and here are some photos of the amazing fresh 5 Senses coffee at work in my plunger...



Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wet Weather

I was woken early this morning by heavy rain falling on our roof - I think it was about 2 hours before I usually get up.

I rolled over and dozed until my alarm went off. Mum had just checked the rain gauge when I got up and we'd had 76mm in those 2 hours.

That's a lot of rain!

My trip to work was horrendous – the highways had flooded in different areas and traffic was at a crawling pace the whole way.

I’m just about to leave for the day and head home, and this is the current BOM radar image.

Looks like more rain to come.

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