Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Weekend Highlights

  • Friday night thrills at the footy as Geelong beat Fremantle by a point and te Holt Press family breathe a huge collective sigh of relief as they nurse their lost voices.
  • Stayed at the Collins' in Lesmurdie and left a gift hanging on the wall.
  • Breakfast in South Perth.
  • Shopping at Harbourtown (Sport Boy got two new pairs of shoes, Mrs Holt Press got her winter wardrobe) and IKEA where I exchanged a damaged frame.
  • Visited Kevin and Kerry, old friends and BIG Cats fans.
  • Mrs HP visited another old friend Dawn.
  • Dinner at Han's Cafe in Leederville.
  • Breakfast Club, all members present and an excellent, reflective and emotional night.
  • Stayed the night at Hugh's in Inglewood and enjoyed his humour and hospitality.
  • Mrs HP and FD went to church with Toni.
  • SB and I went to the swap meet at the Galleria.
  • Picked up the girls and headed for home after a great weekend.

aka fashion Boy competition

I've just returned home from "beating up on the old ladies at scrabble club" as the family describe it. The good news is that there was an inadvertant breakthrough in the Holt Press technology department tonight. The new computers are both wireless enabled but both have been refusing to connect or load web pages, until tonight, when I removed a cable from the back of the router, and voila, both computers loaded up!! Why? I don't know! But I'm not complaining! I'm now free to blog from anywhere in the house. just as well because Favourite Daughter and Fashion Boy have taken over the study. On the subject of Fashion Boy, he has requested a change of name on my blog. He claims to hate "Fashion Boy", despite it's aptness, a point he also deies. I present exhibit A: At Harbourtown on the weekend he went looking for shoes. But not just any shoes. No. They had to be Converse shoes. And not even just Converse, they ad to be from the expensive end of the range! Not surprisingly he did not get Converse shoes. In his defense I will confirm that when I found a pair of FILA shoes not dissimilar to Converse, and that they were two pairs for $40, and that I was getting a pair fr Sport Boy, he agreed to accept them! Further, tonight he stated that he was going to wear them to the school ball next Saturday night! Now, while I think Fashion Boy is a very approriate name, I have no deliberate intention or desire to annoy one of my offspring, so I'm launching an on-line competition right here on my blog. Can you come up with a suitable new blog name for my 2nd son/3rd child?
Entries via comment.
NB. The blog owner is under no obligation to use any of the suggested names, though I will certainly give due consideration to any decent suggestions.

I wanted to blog more extensively about the weekend before it becomes a fading memory, but mindful of a discussion with Michael, of Barrandgirl fame, about keeping m posts briefer, I will just do it in point form. With that in mind, I'll give one of the new features of Blogger a go and sart a new post. So, unless you're particularly perceptive, or obedient, you've probably read that post first. Never mind. So long as you're reading I'm happy, the order is up to you.

Tomorrow I'm driving a group of kids to Perth for an art excursion which means an early start.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Weekend

We had a GREAT weekend in Perth which I don't have time to blog about now, except to say that the football was fantastic on Friday night, a heart-stopping thriller with the Cats getting up to win by 1 point after being 39 points down in the 2nd quarter and still 25 points behind at 3/4 time. My voice has still not recovered.
And, we had a great time with The Breakfast Club on Saturday night in Leederville.

I'll catch up on details tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Technology Upgrade

Today should be a day of celebration in the world of Holt Press Technology. After months of thinking about it and scanning ads, brochures, offers etc, I finally bit the bullet and bought not one but two new computers today!! A desktop and a laptop. Both NEC, both heavily discounted, both way more powerful than the existing Holt Press PC which has served faithfully if not always impressively these last 4 years. Quad core processor, 4gb RAM and 500 GB HD ought to make the computing experience far more pleasureable for the various Holt Press computer users. Wireless internet, TV tuner, good quality graphics card, Vista and lots of other specs that sound impressive to boot.
So, why do I say "should" be a day of celebration?
Because, computers being what they are, ornery little characters, the set up process has not been smooth nor particularly successful.
Yes I eventually connected to the net via the router.
No I can't open any web pages!
Yes I tried to load Trend Micro protection.
No it wouldn't finish the installation because it claimed Windows Mail was running.
It wasn't but no amount of coaxing or searching through help options managed to solve the problem, so at this point I'm relying on the McAfee it came with to keep it safe.
Not that it's at much risk seeing as it refuses to allow me onto the web!
I'm sure there'll be solutions to these teething troubles.
There has to be.

I haven't tried any more with the laptop than turning it on yet but the duo core processor and 200GB HD should keep me happy!

The whole operation required a complete rearrangement of the Holt Press office and the addition of another desk, to accommodate the old computer, which I will keep. Even though it's old and slow and feisty, it still has some useful capacities, such as blogging! I've had to use it for this post. It will still work for the kid's games, and my scrabble! and should lead to a little less conflict between the HP kids when more than one of them wants to use a computer.

In case you're wondering, no I haven't won lotto, I just took advantage of a 45 month interest free deal from Hardly Normals, and the heavily discounted prices I mentioned, a combined $1500 off the original prices.

First thing tomorrow we're off to Perth to go to the footy, the ANZAC Day game between Geelong and Fremantle. Carn the Cats.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scenes from the Retreat

Joe, one of the Area Chaplains, seeing the funny side of being barricaded in his room by some of the mischievous young chaplains at the retreat!
The painting I did while at Katanning.
The Group Photo. Many many new faces, and lots of names I don't know. I'm one of the OLD timers now and the new generation are taking over! Most of my closest friends in chaplaincy have left now. I have to make connections with the new crew or I'll become a dinosaur!
On the road between Boyup Brook and Kojonup. I stopped for a breather cause I was getting drowsy and while I was there I collected a pile of very cool bark! The shapes textures and colours were fantastic. I'm not sure what I'll do with them now but they were too good to resist!
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Scenes from IKEA

Sport Boy trying on some Swedish Headwear!
Ron, who we shared a table with for lunch and who I recognised as a face from the past. We'd had connections through youthwork and the YMCA nearly 20 years ago.
Vanessa, a friend from our days at the church in Joondalup. I hadn't seen her for about 4 years.
Caroline, a colleague from Carine.
The girl on the checkout whose hair Sport Boy really liked and who allowed me to take a picture of it.

As we walked out the door we also bumped into a teacher from Busso.
Footnote. Mrs Holt Press and I went to the movies tonight to see Juno and the same teacher, Ray, was there with his wife.

The Missing Collins Picture

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Collins'

I'm having trouble with this post. There is supposed to be a picture of the Collins' sitting here, but as you can see, there's not!!!

Grant and Gillian and their three kids came round for dinner tonight. They're down from Perth for a week's holiday so I invited them over for a BBQ. The weather has been wet and cold, with intermittent spells of warmth and sunshine! so it wasn't ideal BBQ weather, and with the patio still crowded with the stuff that will one day end up in the shed, or a garage sale, we retreated indoors to eat. The boys were full of energy and exuberance, while the baby laughed, and cried, and laughed again. I cuddled her for a while which may have had something to do with it. The boys were settled in front of the e-babysitter watching Surf's Up while the adults chatted in the front room and talked about the merits and benefits of seachanges and vasectomies.

Grant used to be a chaplain but now works for a church in youth ministry and says it's going well. The timing of their visit was fortuitous, they're in town till Saturday, while we're going up to Perth on Friday for the footy, Fremantle V Geelong so we've arranged to stay at their place on Friday night in their absence. In exchange I gave Grant the key so he can come and watch the footy here on Friday night!

NB Sorry if the size of this picture slowed the downloading of the blog, the Gimp and Picasa were not cooperating tonight so I couldn't use the scaled version!

What picture!!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I did a day shift in the cab today, covering for the boss who's gone to Melbourne for the ANZAC Day footy at the G. It was fairly quiet, the Granny brigade on the doctors and groceries runs.
It was a beautiful day, right up until I finished and Bircht dropped in for a visit; then it started raining and got cold and grey. He was impressed with the shed, and gave me some tips on pouring the concrete; a job I'd hoped to get done this week but am not feeling confident about.

I also ran into Phil Smoker in town. I convinced him to join the fantasy footy league this season but he's feeling a bit out of his depth with it. Hopefully the mid-season draft will help him acclimatize.
Cam rang today to confirm that he had thrashed me by 70 points, and busted through the 300 point barrier courtesy of Buddy Franklin and the Fevolution, not to mention Jimmy Bartel's 10 tackles! Just as well the Cats are on top of the ladder so I don't have to pay to much attention to FF!
Collo is in town too, he and the family are coming round for a BBQ tomorrow night, I hope the weather is kinder.

Mrs Holt Press and Favourite Daughter drove to Bunbury for a Fusion meeting tonight, only to find it had been cancelled and they hadn't been told! Not impressed!

Sport Boy's friend Ben is staying over tonight so he's happy to have company.

I've spent the evening painting but I've got another taxi shift tomorrow so its time for bed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Picnic Plans Dampened but not Extinguished

With all 4 Holt Press offspring home at the one time this afternoon, and Fashion Boy about to leave for a week at Morawa, I gathered them all up and took them into town for an ice cream picnic. We sat at a table in a nice park, opened the ice cream tub and started to dig in, and then the rain started! Big wet heavy rain, not conducive to picnics, so we scampered for cover at St Marys church over the road. There were no seats so we sat on the pavement underneath their awning, and enjoyed ice cream and laughter in equal measure.

We then deposited FB on the bus for Perth. He's staying with Greg and Demelza tonight then taking the 7.15 Geraldton bus to Morawa in the morning, a lazy 6 hour trip! He's gone to stay with a friend who he met at the State Youth Parliament last year.
There are clear echoes of my adolescence here. I met my dear friend Sally at a camp while we were at school, me in Perth and her in Moora, and I used to go and stay with her on weekends occasionally at her family's farm at Coomberdale, as well as meeting up with her in Midland on those Saturday mornings when she came down for dental appointments.

With FB on the bus and The Heir off to work, Sport Boy and I went to the movies to see Nim's Island, an enjoyable Robinson Crusoe style film. I did nod off for a brief time in the middle of it but SB woke me up in time to see the catapulting fish and lizard scene.

Mrs Holt Press arrived home from Northam at about 9.30 having had a good time at her course.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

News in Brief

The Cats won their 5th straight game, a 42 point victory over Sydney, although it was much closer than that for most of the game.

I've just finished a long, and profitable, shift in the taxi.

Mrs Holt-Press is away on a weekend course at Northam, Favourite Daughter is on a camp at Margaret River and The Heir has a friend down from Perth and they've gone somewhere for the night.

That left Fashion and Sport Boys to look after one another tonight, and eat the pizzas I delivered for them!

Sleep is next on the agenda.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

End of Retreat

The retreat concluded at lunchtime. It took a while to pack the car, I have a tendency to distribute belongings and equipment all over the place when I'm on camp, sort of like marking my territory, so I had to retrieve footballs, board games, Capella magazines, paints and glue guns, clothes etc from various points throughout Kobeelya. I gave Rowena a lift home to Busselton so had her bags to fit in as well, and finally, my latest painting, completed at the retreat. I hoped I might not need to bring it home because someone might have bought it but despite many positive comments, no-one was willing to part with the readies to make it theirs!
It did inspire several people to consider taking up painting for themselves though! The next retreat shapes as an artist's gathering!

I was glad of Rowena's company on the way home as it enabled me to swap driving duties when I got tired between Bridgetown and Nannup.

There was just time for a quick hello with the kids and getting my footy tips in before starting tonight's cab shift.
I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Katanning Retreat

Welcome to Katanning, in the Great Southern district of WA. I'm here for the chaplain's retreat being held at Kobeelya, which is the large old building pictured in the centre of the banner above.

I was late getting here, after my meeting yesterday morning, and packing, and dealing with domestic duties, and picking up last minute things from work, but I got here just in time for the first session. The theme for the retreat is REST so we are being encouraged to do just that, and there's plenty of free time in the program to allow it.

I've been painting for the last couple of hours so decided hitch a lift into town to take a break, and blog! I haven't got wheels at present because both mufflers on my car have passed their use-by-date and the noise my car makes is starting to attract the wrong sort of attention. I found a place in Katanning that fixes exhausts and they were able to get the necessary parts shipped down from Perth over night. Hopefully some time late this afternoon my quieter car will be ready for pick-up.

Last night there was of course the traditional game of Trivial Pursuit played. Andrew, Nathan, Steve and Brent took on Rowena, Nicole, Ben and I, and lost! They made much of me "chastising" them for being long-winded and obtuse when accepting answers, and seemed sure that I would blog about them. I don't want to disappoint them, so I have.
There followed an amusing discussion in which various chaplains and Youthcare employees were cast as characters from The Lord of the Rings. Andrew Nathan and Brent were the casting agents and they saw fit to give me the roll of Tom Bombadil!!
Before going to bed a couple of the girls barricaded the Area Chaplains in their room with tables chairs and assorted furniture. This escalated further throughout the morning until at lunch time there was a "request from the management" not to move the furniture which was met with laughter and taunts all round!!

I was awoken this morning by the loud blaring of a television. Thinking it was 7am and that the morning option was for prayer and communion I was a bit annoyed and confused so went and requested they turn the tv down. They were happy to oblige but did look at me a little strangely as I headed back to bed.
The reason for this became apparent shortly after when the announcement was made that the first session was starting and it dawned on me that it was actually 9.30!!
The tv watchers had all been up, had breakfast and returned to the lounge, it was me who was in the wrong place, or time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sport Boy and the Gambles

Trevor and Rosie's kids have grown since we lived in Perth!!! Chris used to be a little flea, now he towers over SB, and Maddy, who is a year younger than him is also taller than him. Nathan's hair has a life of its own, and his mate Branson had to put up with my stirring about the Grand Final, the price he paid for wearing a Port Adelaide shirt.
At least Rosie hasn't changed.
Sport Boy and I had a great time while we were away. Today we went to the new IKEA store and kept running into people we knew, photos to follow.
By then it was clear that I wasn't going to get back to Busso in time for my 4 o'clock meeting so I rang and re-scheduled it then we headed down to Fremantle to look around a few galleries and cool shops.
He then slept all the way home except for the 20 minutes we stopped at Bunbury so he could have Hungry Jacks for tea! I had noodles.
Home tonight. Katanning tomorrow.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It was half way through the morning before I suddenly remembered the most important thing I had to do today was buy tickets for the ANZAC Day footy game, Fremantle V Geelong!
I headed for Subiaco Oval only to find that the ticket office wasn't open there! I needed a computer. Thankfully Subi library was close by and had a terminal free. It took several attempts, forgotten password retrievals and time expirations but finally I got what I wanted, 6 tickets to the footy for April 25. Not sure about Fashion Boy but the rest of the family are going.

After that I cruised around a few art shops, buying paint, brushes and canvasses. A quick detour to the Peters factory outlet then on to Joondalup and Trevor and Rosie's. Sport Boy had a great day, swimming and playing with the tribe of kids who hang out with T & R's 4 kids.

We're staying here the night before heading home tomorrow.

After swapping all the news over dinner I went to the movies to see "The Black Balloon", an Australian movie I'd heard a lot about. It didn't disappoint, although at times it was excruciating to watch. Here's a link for a review.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Marcus the Baptist

The baptism went well. We met at the same place as Phil and Julie had their wedding vow recommittment a couple of months ago, on the bank of the Swan River at Matilda Bay.
Being my first baptism I was a little uncertain of the exact protocol but nobody drowned and Phil was pleased with it so all is good.

Sport Boy came up to Perth with me and I dropped him off with our old friends Trevor and Rosie who were water skiing with their kids near the Raffles. He's staying at their place for the night and I'll pick him up tomorrow.

Its been a beautiful, and enjoyable day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Catching Up

I don't normally have such big gaps between posts (Thurs to Sat) but the computer has been playing up a bit, not allowing me to connect to the net etc. Funnily enough, these problems occurred after my big clean-up of the hard drive! I'm beginning to suspect that somewhere in amongst all that junk I deleted there might have been a couple of little nuggets that I should have kept!! Everything is still in the trash can so theoretically I could reinstall any important bits, but for one small problem: which ones the critical ones may have been remains a complete mystery to me, as is the fact that now, at 4.00am, after my taxi shift, it has decided to cooperate. Has it healed itself? Is it taking pity on a poor blogger with withdrawal symptons? Has the tooth fairy dropped in and done a little magic?
I have no idea, but seeing as it is currently working, I'm making hay.

Both Fri and Sat night's shifts were pretty slow although things picked up a bit later tonight. The local footy season started tonight with Busselton beating South Bunbury so there were a few fares from the footy club.

In more important football news, the Cats continued their winning ways, going to 4-0 with a 7 goal win over St Kilda. The Saints played well early and lead at quarter time but it was all Geelong after that.

Mrs Holt-Press and I went for a long walk on the beach this afternoon, it was a beautiful day in Busselton, warm, sunny, still, the sky was blue, the ocean was picturesque, it was truly lovely.

Once I get up in the morning I'm heading up to Perth. One of my best mates, Phil, has asked me to baptise him. He and his family are heading back to Afghanistan to work in a bit over a week's time and he's keen to get squared away with God before he goes, or something like that!
I'll stay up in Perth for the night and probably come home Monday. With the school holidays having started I don't have to be back in the office for 2 weeks, yeehaa!!

I'm going on a chaplains retreat at Katanning from Wed-Fri which I'm really looking forward to.
Mrs H-P will be at a training course in Northam for the weekend.
After that we may go to Esperance for a few days to visit our friend Chris. Now is a good time, she's a West Coast Tragic and seeing as they got thrashed today and are looking very ordinary I'll enjoy discussing the finer points of football with her!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stepping Out

This afternoon I spoke at the Shire Council meeting regarding school chaplaincy, as part of a delegation from Youthcare. The local council has contributed funds to Youthcare for the last couple of years and today was a PR exercise in letting them know what they get for their money and endeavouring to convince them to keep supporting chaplaincy. There are a number of supporters on the council, including the president, Wes Hartley, who is also the local Uniting Church Minister.

There was good news and bad news at work. The bad news is that Country Week is looking less and less likely to happen this year due to the industrial dispute between the teacher's union and the govt. As Country Week is one of the major events on the school calendar it will be a considerable loss if it doesn't go ahead. It has significant impact on me because I am the Country Week manager.

The good news is that after a 3 week wait, I finally got a new phone today following my misadventure in the swimming pool at Alex's birthday. The insurance company authorised a replacement so I raced down to the phone shop to pick it up!

I got adventurous tonight! The computer has been slowing down a lot because of over crowding. The 80 GB hard drive is "full", as is the 100GB external hard drive!! The joys of music, photos and teenagers all co-existing. My adventurousness involved deleting stuff off the hard drive!
Some stuff I was very cofident to dump, other stuff less so. The computer, sensing my uncertainty would occasionally pop up a helpful suggestion like: "Hey Dummy, if you delete this your computer programs might not work any more!! Are you SURE you want to delete this?"
I chickened out at that point, but in the main it was happy to let me consign things to the trash can. I figure I'll leave them there for a few days just in case something critical stops working, say for instance my blog!!
I did manage to retrieve about 5GB so at least numerically I'm happy!

Open question to my readers, surfers and drop-ins from cyberspace:
Can you safely delete stuff in the TEMP folder?
There's about a Gig and a half's worth of stuff in there, hundreds of tiny little files, which I suspect can be safely disposed of, but, I'm just not quite sure....
Leave me a comment if you can shed some light on the subject.

Only 2 more days before the April school holiday break, bring it on!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I would have been in bed by now but...

I fight a continual losing battle to get to bed earlier. Even though I get tired during the day, and sometimes snooze in my lounge chair for a while, invariably the later it gets the more awake and alive I become!
Then, even when I make an effort, sometimes unexpected things happen that waylay me.
For instance, as I went in to turn the music off in the boy's room (and found Fashion Boy still reading at 10 to 12!) Favourite Daughter called out, "Dad" from her room.
"Can you explain this for me?"
Suddenly, 45 minutes had passed as we discussed various questions concerning the Bible.
I'm not complaining, those are the sort of precious conversations I treasure, but they don't help me get to bed!

I had the Covenant Players at school today, they're an international Christian Drama Company. It went really well, despite the negative things the kids were told before the session by one of the teachers who has a real objection to anything Christian. They came in with a pronounced prejudice but were soon engaged and enjoying the presentation and asking lots of questions. Funny how people can have an open mind about everything except Christianity!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tibet Protest

I had to laugh tonight when I watched the news. Pro-Tibet protesters were demonstrating in Paris as the Olympic torch relay went past. There have been various disruptions to the torch relay already but I take my hat off to the Parisian who fired a fire extinguisher at it!

I sent off a petition to the Chinese ambassador to Australia today, calling on China to dialogue with Tibet and the Dalai Lama and to protect human rights. Hopefully the Chinese will start to take some notice of the collective voice of protesters around the world. They promised the IOC that improving human rights would be one of the things they would do if they were awarded the olympics, but it appears that they have clamped down even further. I was pleased to hear the IOC President Jacques Rogge come out today and call on China to do the right thing in Tibet. Ironically, while governments cowtow to China because of their economic power, the olympics don't have to hold their tongue or be "diplomatic", they've got something China desperately wants and are probably more likely to listen to if they fear the IOC may humiliate them or threaten to take the games off them. (I know that won't happen but the fear of it would be a powerful motivator.)
I'm also impressed with the prime ministers and presidents of a few countries who are planning to boycott the opening ceremony. These sorts of actions have the potential to force China to recognise the voices of protest and respond, the world spotlight is increasingly on Beijing and they can't afford to alienate the rest of the world.

Historical Note: I'm not above a bit of civil disobedience myself. One of my earliest forays was heckling US President Ronald Reagan at a campaign rally in San Diego in 1984.
In the 90's right wing ratbag Pauline Hanson gained a strong following in Australia with her xenophobic ranting and simplistic redneck hysteria. I went to one of her rallies in Perth at Challenge Stadium. There were lots of protesters outside but I decided to buy a ticket and go in, figuring I had a more legitimate right to protest if I listened to what she had to say first. I listened for about half an hour before I started heckling. That action came as a shock to both her and the crowd who were very strongly pro-Hanson, and made me the centre of attention for the security guards who tried to make me leave because I kept calling out. I refused to go, on the grounds that it was a free country, with freedom of speech, and that I'd paid my money and had a right to be there! They weren't happy but they didn't throw me out! And I didn't stop heckling!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Cats do just enough

Saturday night church sure makes Sunday mornings much more relaxed. I took the trailer load to the tip then Sport Boy and I went down to the Nade to watch the footy on Foxtel.
The Cats won but it was a long way short of the massacre everyone expected, in fact Melbourne kicked the first three goals of the game to totally deflate the crowd after the unveiling of the premiership flag.
Things improved after that but Geelong never really clicked into gear today, just did enough to win.
The good news though is that they are on top of the ladder. Hopefully they can stay there all season.

Tom Hawkins, aka Tomahawk, kicked 5 goals and took a couple of great marks. He's starting to show some of the signs that accompanied the hype when he was drafted.

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon trying to level the shed in preparation for the concrete floor. I had to raise the bricks up that it is sitting on, a strategy to keep it dry when it rains because it sits at the foot of a small slope in the garden. I managed to use my car jack to lift it up, then raised the level of sand before repositioning the bricks. I bought a level from Bunnings this arvo (a bargain at $4.95!) and managed to get it pretty close to level on all four sides!!
Another load of sand to lift the floor and stabilise the bricks and it should be just about ready. After I manufacture some sort of form work for the concrete that is!!
With the weather getting wetter and colder I'm really keen to get the job finished and get everything put away, and get our patio and carport back!!

Mum rang this evening, they've been away over east for a month and not having a very good time of it, with conflict with part of the family, Vicki's serious health problems, and Walter himself getting sick and needing to go to hospital in Mt Gambier.
I think they'll be glad to get home.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Recycle Cycle

Normally when I get home from driving the cab I take about an hour to unwind before I go to bed, usually blogging and playing a game of Scrabble. Then comes a decent 6-7 hours of sleep before I get up at lunchtime.
Not today.
This morning was the chaplaincy fete in town and my fate was to deliver a trailer full of "stuff" (junk) for the white elephant stall. It wasn't our stuff, we inherited it from a previous fete run by the music dept. They couldn't sell it, so in their benevolent wisdom, donated it to us! So that we wouldn't be able to sell it either.
The fete started at 8, so with just over 2 hours sleep I dragged my sorry looking self down town to deliver the junk.
Fast forward 10 hours, I've had a few more hours sleep and finished my shift at the art gallery this arvo and have just been down to pick up the trailer.......and the junk, unsold!
However, I'm not going to perpetuate this cycle of economic silliness.
I've left the trailer attached to the car and tomorrow I will deliver it to where it should have gone in the first place, the tip!!
The price you pay for working for a charitable/fund-raising dependant organisation!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Revolving Rooms

There's been a revolution in the Holt Press household. The equation of 4 offspring into 3 rooms requires that 2 of them share a room. Since favourite Daughter moved back home she has been sharing a room with Sport Boy; they are 9 years apart and get along very well, but I know that FD would prefer to have her own room. Fashion Boy on the other hand has a larger room but not much money. I invited FD and FB to consider a business proposition wherein FB sub-lets his room to FD and shares a room with SB. FD gets more privacy, FB gets more money, everyone's happy. While all this was being negotiated The Heir volunteered to take the smallest room, therefore TH will move into SB's old room, FD will move into TH's old room and FB will stay in his room but share with SB.
Beds and furniture were moved and the new arrangement has begun for a one month trial.
But, just a few hours into the trial period, SB is feeling unsettled because his sleep was disturbed and he came out saying "I don't want to switch rooms"! FB likes to play music all of the time and not all of his music is to the rest of the family's taste. I told him that part of the deal is no music once SB is in bed. Ever responsive FB still had his music on, compromising only in playing stuff that wasn't heavy. Hmmm!
We'll monitor the trial and see how things go!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Controversy for the Chaplain

I had a phone call today from an Ed Dept investigator concerning an incident that happened in 2003, asking for my recollections. It concerned a complaint from a parent. When I checked my diary I couldn't find any trace of it. Then I realised he'd given me the wrong date and it actually occurred in 2004. My recollections are vague (sign of age!) and my notes are scant but he is coming to interview me on Friday. (The complaint is not against me or to do with anything I did, but I saw the student in question at the time and the parent is still pursuing it even though it was very minor and she took the kid out of the school shortly after.) We've talked at PD days about the possibility of investigations and how we should handle them. I've only been involved in one previous one following an incident at a camp I ran. They're not fun, dealing as they do with people who have been hurt or offended in some way. Hopefully my participation will be useful and beneficial and a satisfactory outcome will be achieved.

It was a day for controversial issues as I'm also dealing with a dispute concerning a Christian Drama Group I have coming to the school next week. It was all approved by the relevant authorities but a staff member has raised objections on the grounds that it is a secular school, and therefore, in their opinion, there is no place for any religious input at all.
Funny how people can have all sorts of views and beliefs, and be applauded for them eg. the Dalai Lama, except if they're Christian!! Then the opponents start making a fuss.
I'm not naive, there are appropriate guidelines and sensible restrictions on what groups can do in schools for good reason, but the blanket approach, that only secular groups, presentations, speakers etc are acceptable is just as biased and prejudiced as Christians are accused of being if they talk about faith in Jesus Christ.
Education is about providing a range of information and views on a wide variety of topics. So long as students are informed what basis a particular idea is coming from they are free then to evaluate it and make their own choices.
The Education dept, and the state and federal governments all support a Christian presence in schools via chaplaincy and religious education, but some people want to deny the right to teach about God or express any ideas about faith.
I suspect there is a personal issue behind this particular objection, there usually is.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April Fools Day

No post today.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cold Wet and Wintery in Busselton

Daylight saving finishing seems to have triggered a change in the weather, no sooner had summer time ended than the weather turned ugly! Its been a miserable day in Busso, although of course, rain is always welcome, sort of!

Things must be getting better personally, I managed to go to the Volleyball AGM tonight and not get into any arguments or stir up any controversy, and, most amazingly, managed to get something changed (an increase in umpire's payments) with strong support from the members!!
Considering the controversy and ill-feeling generated at last year's AGM this is a significant achievement!
I did end up with more work to do as a result of the meeting; on top of my umpiring co-ordinator job I'll take on some of the publicity and newspaper stories, as well as help further develop the website.
Just what the doctor ordered, more work!!
Its not that bad really!

I've just finished watching Wayne Carey's interview with Andrew Denton on Enough Rope and found it fascinating. He is a troubled man but appeared genuinely remorseful and took responsibility for his actions (those he could remember). The impact of heavy drinking and latterly, cocaine use, have been significant. Carey was a giant on the football field but like many others has struggled to find place and meaning in retirement. I don't condone his many indiscretions but I do hope he will find some sense of peace and well-being- physically, mentally and spiritually- as he confronts his demons.