Archive for the ‘Online’ Category


Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Another year on the planet, another cake but there’s a twist this year.

In previous years, She Who Must Be Obeyed has been the architect and builder of many a fine birthday cake for each member of the family.  However, this year, my birthday cake was created and decorated by my eight year old daughter.  The photo above shows the end result; the iCake™ is a fine representation of an Apple iBook – with innovative iDigestive™ mouse – detailed right down to the digital clock in the upper right corner and the Apple space image screen saver.

I love my family and am thankful everyday for the blessings and joy I know through them

The Barnyard Wall

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

This morning, I listened to an interesting Connection Point podcast on the subject of choice.  In the podcast, Reuben Munn refers to the following modern parable by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and suggests that it might be an accurate expression of how many of us live out our lives.

A certain flock of geese lived together in a barnyard with high walls around it.  Because the corn was good and the barnyard was secure, these geese would never take a risk. One day a philosopher goose came among them. He was a very good philosopher and every week they listened quietly and attentively to his learned discourses. ‘My fellow travellers on the way of life,’ he would say, ‘can  you seriously imagine that this barnyard, with great high walls around it, is all there is to existence?

‘I tell you, there is another and a greater world outside, a world of which we are only dimly aware. Our forefathers knew of this outside world. For did they not stretch their wings and fly across the trackless wastes of desert and ocean, of green valley and wooded hill? But alas, here we remain in this barnyard, our wings folded and tucked into our sides, as we are content to puddle in the mud, never lifting our eyes to the heavens which should be our home.

The geese thought this was very fine lecturing. ‘How poetical,’ they thought. ‘How profoundly existential. What a flawless summary of the mystery of existence.’ Often the philosopher spoke of the advantages of flight, calling on the geese to be what they were. After all, they had wings, he pointed out. What were wings for, but to fly with? Often he reflected on the beauty and the wonder of life outside the barnyard, and the freedom of the skies.

And every week the geese were uplifted, inspired, moved by the philosopher’s message. They hung on his every word. They devoted hours, weeks, months to a thoroughgoing analysis and critical evaluation of his doctrines. They produced learned treatises on the ethical and spiritual implications of flight. All this they did. But one thing they never did. They did not fly! For the corn was good, and the barnyard was secure!

An English translation as quoted by Athol Gill, The Fringes Of Freedom: Following Jesus, Living Together, Working For Justice.(Lancer, Homebush West, NSW) pp. 30f.

While Reuben speaks to a predominantly Christian audience in his sermon, I think there is plenty of food for thought in the parable for everyone.  Reuben encourages and challenges us on whether we desire to escape the barnyard and experience the freedom of the skies or instead are simply content to live the life of  ‘practical atheists’ or ‘Sunday morning Christians’.  Regardless of our philosophical or faith position, this parable invites us to question whether we have settled for the known, the predictable and the safe in our lives or are we daring to scale the wall to explore the mysterious.

For Christians, the parable perhaps prompts us to examine whether we are just passively speaking to our faith (quite literally paying lip service), rather than actively living the life and modeling the behaviour witnessed in scripture.   Just yesterday, I made observations and criticised behaviours in others that I later came to see as hypocritical, in light of my own similar behaviour a few days earlier. 

It would seem I have some way to go before I clear that barnyard wall.

Reuben Munn is the pastor of Shore Community Christian Church, a ‘come as you are’ church in Albany, on Auckland’s North Shore in New Zealand.

$1.88m Beckham match ‘wrong event, wrong time’

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Click for full story

Dear Auditor General, those of us who coughed up to watch Edgar Davids run rings around an almost static Beckham would like a refund.  While we’re on the subject, how come Davids was playing for an Oceania XI All-Star team despite the fact he is not from Oceania and has never played for a club or national team in Oceania?

Automated prayer fulfilment

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Printer queue with 'Amen' document names

The Praying Printer

If this morning’s print queue screen is anything to go by, it would seem that my department’s print station is now connected to a higher network and accepting prayer requests via Microsoft Word documents.


Wednesday, January 13th, 2010


“This is gonna be fun! We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning… I’m making waffles!” – Eddie Murphy as Donkey in ‘Shrek’

My lovely wife gave me a surprise gift a while back – a waffle iron.  She managed to pick one up with some points on a store loyalty card.  It is a gift filled with love because she didn’t want a waffle iron, firmly believing that, just like almost every other waffle iron on the planet, it will soon be gathering dust in a cupboard.  I maintained otherwise and, though only time will tell who is right, it has had regular outings and even been used and a sandwich toaster.

I mention all this because waffles played a small but symbolic part in our emigration.  On our first morning as home-less, job-less and school-less emigrants, we stepped out into the bright sunlight of a Hollywood morning.  Along with Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, Los Angeles was a stopover on our way to New Zealand (mentioned briefly in this post) and, on the recommendation of LA blogger Sean Bonner, we stayed at the trendy Farmer’s Daughter in Fairfax Village.  Across the street, as we discovered that first morning of our adventure, lay the Farmer’s Market and there we had the kind of breakfasts that we had only ever seen in movies.  Bacon, eggs, pancakes, juice, toast, waffles – we ordered large and reveled in the strange dislocation of being between lives, eating breakfast in the world capital of make-believe.

That meal is a fond memory for me and the kids – a snapshot from our transition from inner city Londoners to rural township New Zealanders.  It’s my hope that sharing Saturday morning waffles & maple syrup with the kids will become another tradition and memory to treasure.

L.A. breakfast

Breakfast in Los Angeles

Chelsea's Thoughts

Friday, November 13th, 2009

What is friendship? When we are in kindergarten, our friends are those who have the cool crayons that they are willing to share. Friends are easily made and there is no conflict, no fights and no racism. Love beats all things when you are young […] Tiffs are inevitable, but the saddest thing is when a friendship falls to pieces over the smallest wee thing. In kindergarten, fights would be resolved with a hug and a kiss, and then we would all play on the playground for hours like nothing had happened.

The lovely little passage above resonates with me – the simplicity of our early friendships, the fiery fury of the playground breakups and unconditional love of the before home-time makeups.  It brought to mind the following passage from Robert Fulghum’s lovely book ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten‘.

Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday school. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder.

Isn’t it great then that the first passage was written by Chelsea, a young aspiring writer here in New Zealand, in the second post to her new blog, Chelsea’s Thoughts.  I must confess a smidgen of bias here, for Chelsea is a close friend of my daughter – and, bless her, cites my blog as an inspiration to write!  Never the less, I think the world needs more enthusiastic young writers like Chelsea – writers that have a great spark and a lovely turn of phrase, so add her to your blogroll, read her posts and comment with encouraging words.

YWAM New Zealand Ship Tour

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I had the great pleasure to meet KB and the team from Create Emerge and YWAM Wollongong last night, when they gave a presentation on the YWAM New Zealand Ship Tour.

“The Ship From October to December, 2009, the ‘Pacific Link’ ship will be a hub, traveling to 8 different port towns/cities in New Zealand. It will spend about a week in each port, with a variety of events planned around it… school group tours, on-board presentations, and city-wide youth events. In the three to four weeks before the ship docks, there will be teams serving in the community, and presenting a missions call in Christian high schools, churches, youth groups, and young adults groups”

KB kindly handed me a copy of Engage, a missions mobilisation resource package by the Create Emerge and Create International teams.  It contains two DVDs packed with video, slide shows and PDFs that profile the work of those on outreach or in the mission field.  To get a taste of the quality and depth of the contents, check out Voices From The Frontlines.

If you can make it, I can thoroughly recommend hooking up with these folk or the ship on what is it’s valedictory tour before taking on a new role.

That's my King!

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Twenty-five years after the original sermon was delivered, this is one of many videos out there based on S. M. Lockridge‘s six and a half minute description of Jesus Christ.  First saw this a few weeks back and was reminded of it again this evening by my daughter.

R.I.P. GeoCities

Monday, October 26th, 2009


I discovered that Yahoo’s GeoCities is being shut down today – and with it a few of my fledgling attempts at blogs.  I clicked over there to find that only the index page of my first serious attempt remains, with broken links to my hand drawn graphics and 404 pages for the rest.


Back in the day, I used to blog a lot about food which I still do occasionally (see blog roll top right).  I was also a bit of a PDA geek and wrote a fair amount about Palms, Psions and iPaqs, which led me to writing a few pieces for the much-missed Happy Palm website, where I met my good friends Chuck, Jason and Roger.  I’m not an overly nostalgic person but I’ll miss those first stumbling steps and over-use of all those things we used to think essential in a web site like scrolling marqees and flashing text – a look captured brilliantly by the marvellous xkcd today.  I’ll close with the footer from my old site.



Sunday, October 25th, 2009

A while back, we spent a fun evening working as models for the lovely photographer/artist Jennifer Mason.  She came to our house with her partner and had us pose in a tableau-like manner for a variety of pretend situations.  One of these resulted in the shot below – the everyday story of a proud Dad snapping the favoured daughter with her medals while the bored/jealous sisters look on.

Proud © Jennifer Mason

This morning, we received a message from Jennifer:

Good news, I entered ‘Proud’ in the Waiheke Art Award.  Last night it opened.  And I won the Zini Douglas Merit Award, The Elizabeth Grierson Merit Award and I sold the work within 1/2 an hour of the show opening.

It is peculiar to think that a picture of us has been purchased by someone and may very well end up hanging in their house for other to look at.