Saturday, May 31, 2008

Healesville Sanctuary 74th Birthday.

Yesterday (May 30th) was the 74th anniversary of the opening of the Healesville (Australian native animal) Sanctuary. Now, I don’t know how many people turned up there yesterday but when it opened in 1934, just six children and three adults turned up for the opening. Now of course it gets around 350,000 visitors a year from all around the world.

Now I haven’t done the exact maths, but that is over 900 a day on average, which is quite an improvement on that first day’s humble beginnings, isn’t it? Which just goes to show what can happen when you give things ago and are prepared to work on it for the long haul isn’t it.

Now the Healesville sanctuary is famous for its work with The Platypus, but it was also the first place to breed Lyrebirds in Captivity too, so it fulfills an important role in our society.

Maybe even you can too, if you are prepared to start something new, even if from humble beginnings, but also with a noble goal in mind.

So what about it? Is there something that you know you can do and maybe even should do, but are afraid to take that first step or may even have taken that first step but have been discouraged by the initial poor reception? Well stick at it.

The Healesville Sanctuary is successful now but it hasn’t always been so, and it has often had to struggle just to survive particularly in its early years. But it has and now it flourishes, all because it persevered in its aims and goal. Perhaps you too can replicate its success if you too give it ago and hang on in there during the tough “teething” days? Who knows? What say you?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Charles Kingsford Smith.

If a young fellow came up to you with a partially amputated foot from a war injury and said he suffered from Panic attacks and a fear of the sea, what career would you suggest he take up? How a bout being a long –distance Pilot across the world’s ocean’s in a flimsy plane, in the then fledgling Industry?

Today (30th of May, 2008) the world celebrates the 80th anniversary of the above young man’s historic first flight of anyone ever across the pacific from America to Australia. Flying in the Southern Cross, Charles Kingsford Smith (Or Smithie, as he was popularly known henceforth,) and his crew, flew from California to Brisbane (via Hawaii and Fiji,) in just 8 days.

He later went on to make or break many other flying records. Not bad for a guy with who suffered from panic attacks and had a fear of the sea, is it?

It just shows what one can do if one sets their mind to it and has the wherewithal to just go out there and do what they believe in doesn’t it?

What about you? What do you believe in and what handicaps or fears do you have to overcome, to do all that you can do, and to be all that you can /should be? Remember, you will never know, if you don’t have a go! So what is there now that you know that you should have a go at now? Over to you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Going Full on Green!

Unless you have been living on Mars lately, you will be fully aware that quite recently there has been a rise in Environmental issues and the need to go “Green”. Someone from our Second-Born’s church decided to have a party with a “Green” theme, and so our second -born decided to get into the spirit of it and go “Green’’.

As he did not have much green in his wardrobe, he went out and bought some green clothes and some green Hair dye/spray to dye his hair and finished it off with Green make up grease-paint all over his face and arms, and then went to the party.

The first thing he noticed was that while there were quite a few there, very few had really gotten into the theme of the party but had gone as they normally would. The second thing that he noticed was that most people took a second look at him wondering who this “Dork” was.

And the third thing he noticed was the comments that he got from his friends, along the lines of, “You would have been the last person I would of thought of who would do that”.

All of which made me ask 3 questions myself.

  1. How committed are we to the things we do or are asked to do? Do we get into the whole spirit of the thing like our second –born, or do we just make a token involvement and commitment? In other words, we turn up but otherwise take little practical involvement more than we have to!
  2. Are we sometimes prepared to look like a “Dork” for a brief time to get into the spirit of things? Or are we too constantly worried about what impression we are making, to make a valuable contribution?
  3. Just how well do we really know people? Do we really know what they are like? Or do we just have a superficial knowledge of them and their real character.
So in closing, how well do you “know “ the people around you, and they you: and how much of a “Dork” are you prepared to be, if the occasion arises? What say you?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Orchid by another name?

When you hear the word Orchid, what picture does in conjure up in your imagination?

Does it conjure up visions of beauty, mystery, intrigue, wealth, exotic scenery or other fascinating possibilities, apart from difficult to get to flower again?

If you had have asked me what I thought of when I heard the word Orchid before watching a repeat of a “Midsummer’s Murder Mystery” recently, I would have answered somewhere along the above lines. But not any more! Now I can’t get the word “Testicles” out of my ‘mental picture” when I hear the word orchid.

According to this font of knowledge and wisdom on all things Orchids, it appears that the Greek* word for Orchids means Testicles, because that is what the Orchid tubers, (bulbish section) looked like to the original discoverers/namers.

So now, when I think of Orchids, I have another picture in my mind. But is that right? Just because I now know that something had its beginnings in some form that many may find, even mildly, off-putting, offensive or degrading, does that really lesson the quality or beauty of the object in hand. After all, a famous poet once said, “A Rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” **

So I believe, that what holds true for a rose should also hold true for an orchid and even for people and other things too, don’t you? Yet how often are we guilty of looking down on people or things of dubious backgrounds, without seeing their current beauty or wealth or wisdom?

Again what about you? Is their something or someone today, that you should be re-evaluating, based on their current worth and not their ancient and remote past, or “name history? “ Over to you.


*[I checked online with American Heritage Dictionary and they say this: “from Greek orkhis, testicle, orchid (from the shape of its tubers).]
** I looked it up also, and it was Shakespeare and apparently what he really said was, “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” From Romeo and Juliet. Act Two, Scene Two.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Doctor’s Escape Room!

This is one of those pieces of news that make you shudder and wonder, "Wherein the world is this world heading to?” And what next?

In the Herald Sun on May 25th, it reported a small article about Doctor’s patients becoming so increasingly violent these days, that some GPs have asked architects to design a national safety standard for surgeries, with escape routes and “distress” rooms.

As frightening as this sounds, it also appears not to be an isolated occurrence but a regular occurrence for many GPs. So much so that a new design has already been prepared and due to be released next month, both for the safety of doctors and patients with multiple exit points, for both doctors and patients.

While I shudder at the need to go to this extreme, I applaud the action being taken to protect both Doctors and patients. It just makes me wonder who else in this modern age is now vulnerable where they once weren’t and what we need to do to take precautionary action to protect them, and others; and maybe even ourselves?

What about you and me today and our work places around us? Have we become a bit blasé and even careless about our safety measures and need to tighten them up now before it becomes too late? What say you? Have a look around your living and working environments and look at ways that you can improve both your safety and protection and the safety and protection of those around you before and not after the event.

So again while I shudder that the world has come to this, I applaud the Doctors for taking this risk seriously and urge you to do the same at your home and work place. Your friend Walter.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Once a Tiger, always a Tiger. (John Northey)

Although not as keen a follower of the Richmond Football club as I was back in the later 60’s, I still keep an eye on them and their progress. (Which of late hasn’t been that much although they did win their last game this week!)

Anyway, although not a great "footie tragic" I like to read about "my Tiges” if I see something in the Newspaper, especially like last Sunday when it was on one of the players of “my era” of the late 60’s. It was a long article on one, John “Swoopy” Northey, who after playing one hundred games for Richmond and becoming a legend of his era, went on to coach 300 Games at 4 of the top clubs, including the Tigers.

Now at 65 he is coaching a country-side at Ballarat. He says that he had no idea of continuing as a coach, as he thought his days as a coach were behind him, but was persuaded to do so again in 2005 for Ballarat.

In his interview John mentioned a couple of players who, when he took over were full timers in the Reserves but now are champions of the club, because of the training that they put in. John went onto say, “ Until people put the work in, they don’t often realize the ability they have.”

What about you? It doesn’t matter if you are a young footballer or an “old timer” coach, you too can be successful, if you are prepared to give it one more go and put in the preparation work, the training, the practice and the old boring grind, that is often all that is required to take you to the next level!

Unfortunately most of us want the glory and the success, but we are just not prepared (or willing) to put in the extra work and effort required to go from being a full-time second stringer, to a full-time stalwart of the team.

Sometimes we use our age as an excuse to just not try, saying that we are past that stage, but in fact we are not but need the motivation to continue on.

What is there that you need to put in the extra miles of training and preparation the will take your from fulltime mediocrity, to fulltime success? Over to you for comment, but maybe you need to go back to what you started and see it through to the end by giving it your all?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Do I know!

I find sermon Preparation, not one of the easiest parts of my Job. Sure, sometimes if I come across an interesting text, a sermon will virtually pop out and almost write itself, But usually and especially when preaching through a book in the Bible, it is rarely that easy to get a good message from it without constantly repeating oneself.

Well at least that is how I find things and thus and I prefer to have a lot of preparation time on each sermon before hand, and even while I am preparing for the next Sunday, I like to have at least the bones of the week after’s sermon down on paper too, if not the one after as well!

Lately I have been preaching through the Book of Isaiah and doing pretty well up to the end of chapter twelve. But then when looking for the main point of the following text, I found that the main point of the whole next 9 chapters was basically the same. (All Other Help Than God will fail, so who will you put your trust in?”) And so as to avoid repeating basically the same message for the next 9 weeks, only with a different text/passage each week, I ran the nine chapters together. Of course this made it a little longer than normal and in my mind a little bit disorganized. And so I agonised over it for quite some time and as we had a surprise guest speaker on Mother’s Day, I had an extra week to agonise over it.

Then just before I delivered it last week, at our Friday Cell group where we are also looking at Isaiah, but not at the same speed, one of the people there, mentioned that they were struggling with an overload of Isaiah and not looking forward to spending the next year on Isaiah.

Well I didn’t say anything then but thought to myself, if they feel that way now, how will they feel after my long message on Sunday.

Now with a small congregation, it is rare to get much feedback, so it is often hard to tell how well a message has gone, and this mob are not large on comments. So I was somewhat surprised after the message to have two people comment and comment positively. Especially as one was this person who mentioned previously that they were struggling with Isaiah.

So here was a message that although it was the best I could do with it, I wasn’t entirely happy with and yet others were! Go figure, hey?

So the message I got from this was, don’t worry about your own feelings toward what you do. Just make sure it is the best that you can do under your circumstances, and leave the rest up to God and your audience. Besides, there have also been times when I have preached what I thought was a brilliant message, only to receive blank stares and no acknowledgment of such.

So again don’t judge by your own feelings, but just do the best you can with everything you do in life and let others be the judge. For if you are anything like me, you would make a lousy judge too! At least where your own work is concerned!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Still Swimming!

I told you earlier, that early this year, (Mid Jan), nearly 6 months after my then Physiotherapist suggested it, I finally started swimming one morning a week, due entirely from bumping into a former employer of mine who lives nearby and who swims between 20 – 30 laps 3 days a week at 6AM.

So due to his encouragement and the fact that he picks me up each Friday morning, I started swimming, after probably a 40 year break and even then probably only capable of just doing 20–25 metres at a push. So it has been a real struggle to get up, get in the pool, and get going, let alone actually making it to the end of the 50-metre pool.

Lately, thanks to some advice from my son (Just try and swim a little further each day, even if it is only a half a metre further, at least it is a little further, and eventually you will get there.”) That; and a change in my swimming style helped immensely and now I have been able to swim the length of the pool 8 times without stopping and after a short break do 6 more. So now I am getting keener on swimming than I was originally and starting to look forward to going each week. (Although currently I have had a two-week break because of an ear infection.)

The thing that really surprises me about my swimming, is that I am still doing it 5 months down the track. Had you asked me when I began, how long I would last, I would have said about one month. In fact that was all I mentally committed myself to. I originally refused to buy a ten-entry pass, at a much cheaper rate than a “Daily” entry, as I didn’t think I would last ten weeks. Well I did, and recently I bought a ten-entry pass, and so now I am committed to another 8 weeks (as soon as my ear cleans up) and actually quite looking forward to seeing just how many laps of the pool I will eventually be able to do in the same time as my mate does his. I have no intention or desire to match or even beat him. My only aim is to try and achieve the best that I, myself and me, can do.

What about you? Is there something that you are currently doing, maybe even something you have been coerced into doing against your own initial desires, yet something that know that you know is good for you and that you will personally benefit from it? Well, hang on in there and be encouraged and inspired by others, but only commit and do that which you can do. Don’t try and match or beat others, just do your best and achieve your best, even if it is no good for anyone else but you. What say you?

Still Swimming!

I told you earlier, that early this year, (Mid Jan), nearly 6 months after my then Physiotherapist suggested it, I finally started swimming one morning a week, due entirely from bumping into a former employer of mine who lives nearby and who swims between 20 – 30 laps 3 days a week at 6AM.

So due to his encouragement and the fact that he picks me up each Friday morning, I started swimming, after probably a 40 year break and even then probably only capable of just doing 20–25 metres at a push. So it has been a real struggle to get up, get in the pool, and get going, let alone actually making it to the end of the 50-metre pool.

Lately, thanks to some advice from my son (Just try and swim a little further each day, even if it is only a half a metre further, at least it is a little further, and eventually you will get there.”) That; and a change in my swimming style helped immensely and now I have been able to swim the length of the pool 8 times without stopping and after a short break do 6 more. So now I am getting keener on swimming than I was originally and starting to look forward to going each week. (Although currently I have had a two-week break because of an ear infection.)

The thing that really surprises me about my swimming, is that I am still doing it 5 months down the track. Had you asked me when I began, how long I would last, I would have said about one month. In fact that was all I mentally committed myself to. I originally refused to buy a ten-entry pass, at a much cheaper rate than a “Daily” entry, as I didn’t think I would last ten weeks. Well I did, and recently I bought a ten-entry pass, and so now I am committed to another 8 weeks (as soon as my ear cleans up) and actually quite looking forward to seeing just how many laps of the pool I will eventually be able to do in the same time as my mate does his. I have no intention or desire to match or even beat him. My only aim is to try and achieve the best that I, myself and me, can do.

What about you? Is there something that you are currently doing, maybe even something you have been coerced into doing against your own initial desires, yet something that know that you know is good for you and that you will personally benefit from it? Well, hang on in there and be encouraged and inspired by others, but only commit and do that which you can do. Don’t try and match or beat others, just do your best and achieve your best, even if it is no good for anyone else but you. What say you?

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Swimming Style: Not Pretty, But It Gets Me There!

As mentioned earlier, I took up swimming reluctantly nearly 6 months after my then Physiotherapist suggested it, and that I couldn’t even swim one length of the pool without stopping, until I heeded my son’s advice of, “Just try and swim a little further each day, even if it is only a half a metre further, at least it is a little further, and eventually you will get there.”

So that is what I started to do and initially with not a great deal more success because I kept running out of breath. That is till one day I changed my swimming style.

I was trying to better my previous record mark and quickly running out of breath and so just to make that extra bit of distance, I changed from my swimming stroke to a dog paddle stroke, just to get past the 37 metre mark.

Then I found something amazing happening. I was actually getting closer and closer to the 50 metre mark with out being out of breath and much to my surprise I actually made the full 50 metres, when all I was initially hoping for, was about 40 metres that time.

So I immediately changed my swimming stroke to something between the dog paddle and a sidestroke, and I immediately was able to do the 50 metres without being too puffed and ready to try more.

So the next week I again tried out my new ungainly style with the intention of trying to manage two lengths of the pool with out stopping. As I approached the finish of the second lap I decided to try and push for three and when I neared that, I decided to try for four. Eventually I had to stop but only after I had made 8 lengths of the pool with out stopping. Still along way short of my mate’s 30 laps in the same time though! None the less I made a vast improvement on my previous efforts by changing my style and keeping at it.

What about you? Is there something that you have been trying to do, but seem to have reached a plateau with it, and you need to either give up or change your style. Well if I may be so bolds as to suggest that you try changing your style first before you give it away? Maybe, just maybe, you may have to give it away, but don’t do so until you have tried all other avenues first. And don’t worry if your style or method is not pretty or attracts some derision and laughter! (Like mine) As long as it is effective and works for you, should be what is important and not how pretty you look doing it. What say you?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Swimming Further Thanks To My Son’s Advise!

I told you earlier in the Year that nearly 6 months after my then Physiotherapist suggested it, I finally started swimming one morning a week thanks to the encouragement of a former employer of mine who lives nearby and goes 3 times a week.

I also told you that I couldn’t even swim 50 metres without stopping somewhere around the half way mark of each lap of the Pool. After a while I could make 35 metres but that was it, and no further. At that point my son who was going for his basic Scuba Diving Certificate in preparation of a future holiday up QLD way, and who couldn’t then swim much better than me, gave me some wise advice.

And that was? “ Just try and swim a little further each day, even if it is only a half a metre further, at least it is a little further, and eventually you will get there.” So that is what I started to do and guess what it worked - eventually.

More in a later blog, but for now, I would just like to make two points.

  1. Always be open to advice from all sources; even from those sources that you are normally the one expected to give advice to, not receive it from. So always evaluate the advice and not be too concerned of the actual source. If it is good advice accept it, even if you do have to modify it to your own style and abilities.
  2. Never give up or think you have done your all, but always aim for that next half metre in all that you do, until you have achieved your goal. And then modify your goals so that you are always striving to improve yourself.

If you are out of work and struggling for a job, take the best that is on offer to you, (No matter how lousy) and work your way up and along to a better one, and a better one, etc, until you reach the ideal job for you.

Which by the way may be totally different to what is ideal for everyone else. But no matter, seek and strive for that which is right for you. Happy swimming, eh, I mean striving! Walter

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Airy, Fairy & Scary.

Received an e-mail today which was a 60 question quiz aimed at getting to know your e-mail buddies a little better. One of the questions was, “ How many people will you forward this onto?”

My answer was, “ About half a dozen as most will be too busy to read it, let alone do it.”

As I thought about that later, I was reminded of something a visiting speaker told us, as budding missionaries. He entitled his subject: “The airy, the fairy and the scary.” Hence my title above. It is a while since I heard this so, if you read this Rob and I have misinterpreted you, please don’t condemn me too much!

Anyway his basic thesis was that even when you are doing important work, you still need to lighten up and relax from time to time and therefore your reading activities should take in material from the three above groups.

Thus while most of your reading input will be in the realm of information intake, the Airy, you should still have room for some reading material of the entertaining/imaginative or Fairy side, as well as having some material that will stir your emotions as well, like the Scary.

I will leave it to you to decide what you would call, Airy or Fairy or Scary, but do vary your input of materials to balance and lighten up your life a little.

And if you do wish to lighten up a little and reveal a little about yourself, I will attach the Getting to know you quiz at the bottom. Chow for now: Walter


Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your Friends. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!
1.What time did you get up this morning?
2. Diamonds or pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
4. What is your favourite TV show?

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?

6. What is your star sign?

7. What food do you dislike?
8. What is your favourite CD at moment?

9. What kind of car do you drive?

10. Favourite sandwich?

11. What characteristic do you despise?
12. Favourite item of clothing?

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
14. Favourite brand of clothing?

15. Where would you retire?

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?

17. Favourite sport to watch?
18. Furthest place you are sending this?

19. Person you expect to send it back first?
21. When is your birthday?

22. Are you a morning person or a night person?

23. What is your shoe size?
24. Pets?

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
26. What did you want to be when you were little?
27. How are you today?

29. What is your favourite flower?
30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
32. What is your full name?

33. What are you listening to right now?

34. What was the last thing you ate?

35. Do you wish on stars?
36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

37. How is the weather right now?
38. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

39. Favorite soft drink?

40. Favorite restaurant?

41. Hair color Natural?
42. What was your favorite toy as a child?
43. Summer or winter?

44. Hugs or kisses?
45. Chocolate or Vanilla?
46. Coffee or tea?

47. Do you want your friends to email you back?

48. When was the last time you cried?

49. What is under your bed?

50. What did you do last night?

51. What are you afraid of?

52. Salty or sweet?

53. How many keys on your key ring?

54. How many years at your current job?
55. Favourite day of the week?

56. How many towns have you lived in?

57. Do you make friends easily?

58. How many people will you send this too?

59. How many will respond?
60.Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Water my plants please?

Recently received an e-mail going around with the message saying, ”I am going away for a month, water my plants please?”

When you open the picture you see a European type open courtyard within a 2 story Building complex and every wall had pot plants on it about a metre or so apart, from the ground to the ceiling line of the second floor. There must be over 200 of them and of course the question for someone living in drought-ravaged Australia is of course, how on earth do they water them?

I suspect that part of the answer must lie in the country that they are in and that they must get a sufficient enough rainfall most of the time. The second answer lies in the type of plants used. Apart from the windowsill, (Which is very reachable) and had carnations in it, and the Ground area that has a few more delicate type pot plants on it, all the rest are geraniums. Geranium s of different types and colours, but Geraniums nonetheless and thus a hardy and convenient plant to use for that application, where regular hand watering would be impractical if not completely impossible.

This home gardener, by only selecting her/his plants and suiting them to the local climatic conditions, is able to do what many others couldn’t. And that is to have a pretty garden of sorts, even with no normal garden space, thus making practical use, as well as prettifying, an otherwise wasted and ugly spot.

What about us? Are there some places in our lives, some blank walls that we can use in an imaginative and creative way to brighten up our lives and the community too?

Now I realize that not everyone is as fond of geraniums as I am, but there are other hardy type plants available if you too wished to try this “Garden” on your wall. But I am not just talking about pot plants here, as I am sure you realise.

I think the principal behind this, is also equally possible for us in other areas of our lives where there are figurative, if not literal “blank walls” that we can innovatively use to create a nicer environment. What say you?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ear Ache priorities

I woke up the other day with an ear infection and although it is being treated medically, it remains and I haven’t been feeling as well or as productive as usual with in this past week and so some things have had to go, even if only temporarily.

One of them was this blog site. I still had plenty of ideas for blogs but couldn’t concentrate enough to get them down, as well as do my other things, and as family and work come first, something had to go. For me it was the blogs, but what about you? What is your most important priority in life right now and what can you lay aside, even if only temporarily, if time or physical constraints dictate?

Hopefully you won’t have to do that, but I think it a great idea every now and again to evaluate what you are doing and how important/necessary it is, and what you have to give up to do it? What say you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ten Ways To Go Out In Cricket.

According to some information I just received there are ten ways a cricketer can be dismissed in Cricket.

They are:

1) Bowled.
2) Caught.
3) Leg before wicket.
4) Stumped.
5) Run out.
6) Hit wicket.
7) Handled the ball.
8) Hit the ball twice.
9) Obstructing the field.
10) Timed out.
Further to this, there is one more way of being removed from the game but not officially dismissed. This is called “retired hurt”, when an injured batsman may retire and does not come back to bat again.

Technically the above may be interesting to some experts and Purists of the game but to my mind there is only one thing that matters in all this and is more important than the above ten ways.

Yes, the only thing that matters is not how you get out, but that you try not to get out at all, if at all possible. How you failed is only incidental and a matter for statisticians. Staying in the game and succeeding, even if actual runs on the board are slow to come by, is much more important that how you got out.

What about you? What is true in cricket is also true in life too! Do you worry more about how you get struck out in life, rather than concentrating on not getting out at all. Some things may be fine for statisticians and the like but for most of us, staying in the Game and not worrying about which way you went out is what should be more important, unless of course you keep getting out the same way all the time. Then that is a problem, but I still don’t think anyone should be trying to make sure that they have been dismissed at least once in all ten possible ways, do you? No! Stay in the game as long as you possibly can. Try all the ways you can find to stay legally in the game and don’t worry about how you are dismissed, just do all you can to delay that situation that yo can. What say you?


For those actually interested here are the official ways to go out in Cricket.

Caught — When a fielder catches the ball before it bounces and after the batsman has struck it with the bat or it has come into contact with the batsman's glove while it is in contact with the bat handle. The bowler and catcher are both credited with the dismissal. (Law 32)
Bowled — When a delivered ball hits the stumps at the batsman's end, and dislodges one or both of the bails. This happens regardless of whether the batsman has edged the ball onto the stumps or not. The bowler is credited with the dismissal. (Law 30)
Leg before wicket (lbw) — When a delivered ball strikes the batsman's leg, pad or body, and the umpire judges that the ball would otherwise have struck the stumps. The laws of cricket stipulate certain exceptions. For instance, a delivery pitching outside the line of leg stump should not result in an lbw dismissal, while a delivery hitting the batsman outside the line of the off stump should result in an lbw dismissal only if the batsman makes no attempt to play the ball with the bat. The bowler is credited with the dismissal.
Run out — When a fielder, bowler or wicket-keeper removes one or both of the bails with the ball by hitting the stumps whilst a batsman is still running between the two ends. The ball can either hit the stumps directly or the fielder's hand with the ball inside it can be used to dislodge the bails. Such a dismissal is not officially credited to any player, although the identities of the fielder or fielders involved are often noted in brackets on the scorecard.
Stumped — When the batsman leaves his crease in playing a delivery, voluntarily or involuntarily, but the ball goes to the wicket-keeper who uses it to remove one or both of the bails through hitting the bail(s) or the wicket before the batsman has remade his ground. The bowler and wicket-keeper are both credited. This generally requires the keeper to be standing within arm's length of the wicket, which is done mainly to spin bowling. (Law 39)
Hit wicket — When the batsman knocks the stumps with either the body or the bat, causing one or both of the bails to be dislodged, either in playing a shot or in taking off for the first run. The bowler is credited with the dismissal. (Law 35)
Handled the ball — When the batsman deliberately handles the ball without the permission of the fielding team. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 33)
Hit the ball twice — When the batsman deliberately strikes the ball a second time, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 34)
Obstructing the field — When a batsman deliberately hinders a fielder attempting to field the ball. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 37)
Timed out — When a new batsman takes more than three minutes to take his position in the field to replace a dismissed batsman. (If the delay is protracted, the umpires may decide that the batting side has forfeited the match). This rule prevents the batting team using up time to unfair advantage. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 31
(A batsman may leave the field without being dismissed. If injured or taken ill the batsman may temporarily retire, and be replaced by the next batsman. This is recorded as retired hurt or retired ill. The retiring batsman is not out, and may resume the innings later. An unimpaired batsman may retire, and this is treated as being dismissed retired out; no player is credited with the dismissal.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Paul McDermott.

Paul McDermott is well known on Australian TV as a live wire host of such shows as Good News Week, Strictly Dancing and The Sideshow. Before that he came to public awareness as part of “the Doug Anthony All Stars” on the music scene.

Anyway just recently he has gone behind the camera and directed an animated film starring Pia Miranda and Hugo Weaving based on a Children’s book (The Girl who Swallowed Bees) also written by him.

Many people have been surprised by this change of direction and considered it so not like him at all. However, Paul who graduated from Art school, considers this to be so him and the other, (the public performance persona,) just so not him in his inner being.

The artwork and directing etc is what really moves him and the other is what paid the bills and in essence actually initially at least, sidetracked him from what he really wanted to do. But now this then distraction, is actually now allowing him the real freedom, finances and opportunity to again do what he really wants to do.

What about you? Have you, over the years allowed yourself to be sidetracked from what you wanted to do by something that paid the bills, but are now in a position to change that. If you want to that is? What say you now? Is what y0ou are currently doing, “So you!” or “so not you!” in your inner being? And what can you do about it now? Over to you for your say.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sincerity/Without Wax.

I thought I would start of today with a question instead of finishing with one like I normally do. So, are you without wax in all that you do in your whole life? Well are you?

I read in a recent email a story about the word “Sincerity” and how it came into being.
The word sincere comes from a Latin word meaning "without wax". In the original Greek it means, "sun-tested". In Biblical times, merchants sold very fine porcelain that was greatly valued and therefore expensive. Sometimes when it was fired in the kiln, tiny cracks would appear. Dishonest merchants would smear pearly-white wax over these cracks, which would pass for unblemished porcelain - unless it was held up to the light of the sun. Honest merchants marked their wares sine cera - "without wax". That's a picture of genuine sincerity. No sham, no hypocrisy, no hidden cracks to be covered over.”

So, how would your life stand up to scrutiny under bright sunlight? Would you pass the sine cera test of no wax? Or do you try and keep to the darkness and half-lights in order to keep the glossed over cracks in your life from being revealed to prospective friends and acquaintance until after they have bought “your package”?

Apart from following Christ completely, the only advice I can offer you is to do your best always and then the heat of the Kiln will not create any cracks in you and no sunlight in the world will be able to reveal what is not there in the first place. So live your life in all sincerity and without wax.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Real Horse Power

Read a story recently of an Ambulance in America on the way to Hospital in a hurry with a very sick lady in it when it slipped into a ditch on an icy road. No problem as a Big four wheel drive immediately pulled up and hooked on the front and just sat there spinning his wheels as he too was unable to get a grip on the ice.

Then something almost unimaginable happened. An Amish man in his two-horse buggy pulled up, hitched his cart to the Ambulance and swiftly preceded to lead the Ambulance out of the ditch and back onto the road. Something the bigger more powerful 4X4 was unable to do. Why? How?

Well apparently the Amish man explained that his horses had been fitted with specially sharpened shoes that would allow them to grip on the icy roads. Now while I am not a mechanic or mechanically minded, I suspect that chains on a 2 wheel drive would probably also allowed a normal car to pull that Ambulance out over the 4X4 with his conventional tyres.

My point here is not to emphasize horses over mechanical or 2 wheels over 4, simply to point out having the biggest and best equipment available to you is not much help if it is not set up for specific conditions.

Under most conditions that 4 x4 would have been the one for the job, but on that occasion its tyres let it down. What about you are your tyres letting you down too? Most people use all round tyres all the year round, as they rarely need anything else under their normal usage. Others use dry weather tyre for summer and we weather tyres for winter conditions, and even other tyres for sandy travelling. Using the right tyres under the right conditions is a wise thing but using the wrong tyres for specific and sustained wrong usage is both foolish and potentially quite dangerous.

Again what about you as you travel through your life journey? Are you using the right tyres under the right conditions or is it time for you to change tyres right now and get your traction back and start heading back in the direction you wish to travel? What say you?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Soweto Gospel Choir

Soweto Gospel Choir 8/5/2008

Having Lived in South Africa for some years we are quite used to their love of Gospel Choirs over there. In fact it seems that almost every large church has its own large choir and they even have their own competitions and such that they compete in as well as performing at various churches and other functions. So gospel Choirs have a long and colourful history in South Africa.

One Choir currently touring the world and making it big time is the Soweto Gospel Choir, (currently back in Australia). Unlike most other choirs the SGC only has a very short history and only came into existence to help out a small group of Australian Music entrepreneurs back in 2002.

It appears this group of businessmen had booked a Welsh Choir to tour Australia and had already booked and paid deposits on 23 venues when the Welsh welshed on their agreement.

At that point one of the partners remembered his visit to South Africa 7 months earlier trying to book another musical to tour Oz, and how he had met the Choir Director from the Holy Jerusalem church (which was so small it operated out of his garage. Very common for many churches to start that way over there.) And remembered how good they had been and so a desperate plan was launched, and the Australian guy rang the South African guy and asked him to put a choir together to tour both Australia and New Zealand within 3 months.

A crazy thing to do, but within a month the South African Choir leader had auditioned and chosen 32 singers (from a variety of Churches) to be known as the Soweto Gospel Choir. Before the choir had even their first rehearsal, tickets had gone on sale in Australia and in the second month, an Album of songs was recorded to go on sale with the tour. And the final month later, they were on a plane to Australia and performed sell out shows at the Sydney Opera House and went on to world success and are now adored by people from Celine Dion, to Red Hot Chili Peppers and of course Nelson Mandela.

Now it is easy to see a lot of reasons why this tour should not have worked, but it did out of a mix of desperation, determination and commitment. So the Soweto Gospel Choir was born unexpectedly and even prematurely but because of care and commitment, it has not only survived but thrived and flourishes still. Is there something in your life that you would like to do but don’t quite have the commitment for, to even try and bring it into being. The Soweto Choir had a lot against it just in getting formed from 32 strangers in a few months for a long tour to a country not accustomed at all to South African Gospel singers.

Yes there was a lot running against it but it worked and still works because people both believed in it and were committed to seeing it succeed, even if some of the commitment was more desperation than total belief.

No one then expected this to grow like it did, just to plug as best they could a gaping hole, and yet it did succeed. Why because they tried and committed themselves to it.

What about you? Is there something you need to both commit to and try? Well is there?

****Just in case you are thinking that “Soweto” is a typical South African name (and wondering what it means). It isn’t! It is actually a compaction of three English words that describe its location south west of Johannesburg or as it used to be known before it was compressed, “South West Township”.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blue Nose Transfer!

Was at an event recently to help set up and after that but before the event itself, some of us sent out for hot drinks. Some had coffee of different sorts and others like me, Hot Chocolate. Later just as the event was about to start and I was to stand before a small group of people to speak, someone asked what was wrong with my nose? Now at that point I was unaware of anything being wrong with my nose but apparently the tip of it had turned blue, as I soon found out. Anyhow after retiring to the Men’s room to analyse the situation further, I found that it was not some new contagious disease but in fact that it would wash off and was not a disease of any kind. At that stage I thought it must have been a transfer of fading paint from a large blue sign that I had had my face against earlier putting it out on display, however by that time the guy who had discovered it had moved on and found another sufferer. One who had been nowhere near the sign at all. But he like me had just been drinking his hot drink, only his was a long black Coffee as opposed to my Hot Chocolate. However, so as to distinguish between the drinks, the person at the shop had written on each lid in blue texta such symbolisms as H/C & L/BC, etc, which I am sure you have guessed by now, subsequently rubbed off (unnoticed by us,) on to our noses when we were drinking.

How often does this happen in our lives, hey? Unintentional and accidental transfer? In this case it wasn’t a real problem, or permanently damaging, but often that is not the case is it? Sometimes paint, grease or even mud, can permanently stain a certain piece of clothing can’t it? And usually the most expensive piece we own too, Hey?

But even worse than physical things being stained or clothes ruined can be the non-physical things, like bad attitudes, bad habits, bad language, you can even name a few other things here too if you like. Sometimes even though we just don’t plan to pick theses things up intentionally, we often do unintentionally, don’t we and often before we know about it, it is almost too late to do much about it, isn’t it? Yes, we can always, if we choose stop these things, but often the damage to our reputation is already done and it is difficult to change that, and even sometimes to live with that, is it not?

I have no real advice to offer on how to get out of a situation like that, other that to suggest you try, and then keep trying no matter how difficult it gets.

No I have no real helpful advice to get you out of those situations so can only suggest that you try your best to avoid those situations and even those people if necessary and take measure to remove all stains and marks while they are small and in future avoid similar pitfalls. That’s my say what say you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Persistence pays Positively!

Recently received the following e-mail (with names changed) from some friends working in the jungle of a foreign land: “We think that Benito is one of the “characters” of our area. She is a solidly built 5 year old who lives about 50 metres from our house. Not infrequently we hear her voice calling us to come to the window and buy some tomatoes or beans that she is holding up for us to see. “Pey! Pey! Ne nyenrong ea tomatoö? Ere? Ere? Ne nyenrong? Ere?” (Pey! Pey! Do you want some tomatoes? Do you? Do you? Do you want some? Do you?) It’s a little annoying for Pey, sometimes if she is in the process of trying to send emails or if she is giving her child instructions for his school work. But until Benito gets the attention she requires, the hounding continues. And that’s not to say that it ceases if Pey responds with a, “Sorry, not today!” Benito sometimes won’t take no for an answer. “Nyenrong, ere? Ere?” (Do you want some? Do you? Do you?) To be fair, sometimes her unwavering persistence is due to the fact that her ears are frequently filled with pus and she can’t hear the response that Pey is making. But on other occasions she is out to make a sale. Unperturbed by an initial rejection, she sometimes reappears at the window a couple of hours later calling out, “Pey! Pey! Tomatoö, nyenrong? Ere? Ere? … nyenrong, ere?” If she fails to make the sale on this second occasion then the same tomatoes may reappear at the window on the following day, or even on the one after that!”

Although Benito may be a bit of a pain at times for our friends, one can’t help but admire her persistence and even wish for a bit more of her persistence for oneself at times. Well, at least I can’t!

What about you? Do you have this persistence in your life? Not to the point of being a nuisance and a pain to others, but to the point of at least seeing through to the end those things that you have embarked upon? Or do you give up at the first hurdle? Persistence may not always pay but it is a good habit to cultivate at times isn’t it? What say you?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Knowledge has Changed, But Has Your Habits?

There are many things today that used to be quite common but have either been banned or strongly discouraged on health and Mental grounds as more knowledge about their side effects or long term effects.

Many of our current banned drugs like opium, (previously used in some cough medications) ecstasy, (for couples with relationship problems) and Heroin (used for patients with cancer), used to be legal and used for medical reasons, but of course are no longer so.

Would it shock you if I were to tell you that if you were born before 1953, then your mother could have used Heroin? Particularly In the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne who used it regularly for women in childbirth, right up to it’s Banning in 1953.

Now these are just some of the more notable things that were once commonly used but as our knowledge of the side effects and there misuse has grown, we have changed our usage of them for safer things. Some other things we are still working through that process with, like, Smoking and drinking strong alcohol to excess. Both of which are currently coming under more and more scrutiny for those very reasons aren’t they? Maybe one day they will be like some other Drugs and habits of the past to be rejected from normal usage on health grounds.

But moving away from the drugs for the moment, what about some other “normal” things in your life today?

When it comes to the drugs mentioned above, none of them were harmful when used for the right purpose and in the right proportions. Most drugs have essentially not changed, but our use and abuse of them has altered, hasn’t it? And the same can be said about many other things including many of the foods we eat.

If we eat a well balanced and varied diet along with reasonable exercise, we will largely have no major problems, but if we “Pig out" Constantly on one or two types of food only, we will end up either starving ourselves to death or becoming so obese that people will have to dismantle parts of the walls just to get you out of your house to the hospital, as has happened recently.

So this is just a simple word of encouragement to you to eat and live healthily and happily by using everything for the proper purpose and in the proper way and not to do anything to excess, but to do all things in moderation. What say you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

What Does Rand Mean To You?

Received an e-mail from our last Born recently saying our son would not be up that night as he was going away for the weekend to Rand. At first I thought it was a misprint or spelling mistake and so I emailed him the following e-mail: “So where are you going this weekend? Your sister said, Rand! Where's that, except in the pockets of most South Africans?”

To which I received the following reply: “Yep going up to a friends family farm, same one I went to last November. It’s the one up near Wagga Wagga. About 15min drive from the place that had the big slide down the hill. Funny you should mention the South African comparison – that’s the only way I remember the towns name.”
Because we have both lived in South Africa for some time and became quite familiar with their monetary currency, whenever we hear the word Rand, we immediately think of South African Money and not a place name in rural New South Wales, Australia. Which is actual also quite interesting because although a long time ago, we also lived in Wagga Wagga for over 12 months too, but don’t remember that place even if it is within spitting distance so to speak of Wagga.

How about you? Are their some words or images that take you to another place in time and not to the place intended? Again what does the word Rand mean to you .The currency of South Africa, A small country town in rural New South Wales Australia, something completely different again or nothing at all? What say you?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Things God won’t ask.

Recently received an e-mail that I have slightly altered/shortened and added my comments to at the bottom, which, seeing it is Sunday, I thought I would share with you. Many people say, ‘When I get to heaven I am going to ask God “such and such”’. But have you ever wondered what God might ask you instead? Well here are a few things He won’t ask you.

· God won’t ask what kind of car you drove. He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transport.

· God won’t ask the square footage of your house. He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into it.

· God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet. He’ll ask how many you helped clothe.

· God won’t ask what your highest salary was. He’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.

· God won’t ask what your job title was. He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

· God won’t ask how many friends you had. He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

· God won’t ask in what neighbourhood you lived. He’ll ask how you treated your neighbours.

· God won’t ask about the colour of your skin. He’ll ask about the content of your character.

· God won’t ask why it took you so long to seek salvation. He’ll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven and not to the gates of Hell.

Yes it is only us who are interested in owning the biggest and best of everything. God is only interested in how we use these things for the benefit of others and not for ourselves. How are you using what you have now, whether you think God gave them to you or not?

Are you using the things you have for the benefit of all around you or for just your own selfish needs? Who are you able to help with the things you have, without any real effort? I ask myself this as a person who often drives around with only myself in the car. Yes I know it is not safe to pick up hitchhikers willy-nilly, but how many friends and neighbours do you know that you can occasionally offer lifts to without really going out of your way. That is the secret here. How many people can you currently help by sharing your current possessions with out any real effort or going to extremes? Over to you for comment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Strange English Names stand out!

In some recent blogs I referred to Merle Haggard and how people automatically referred to him as a her, because it is not your usual boys name is it? I also mentioned Marion Morrison, whom I’m sure you all know by now changed his name to John Wayne. So yes even in the not to distant past there have been a number of people with unusual names among us, hasn’t there? And we often jump to conclusion when we hear a name without a face, don’t we?

This will only become even worse as more and more people come here from overseas with "English" names, but names the English, or Australians at least, would never dream of giving their Kids. Names like Gladstone, Bodie (Named after a character's surname on a British TV Cop show!), Headman, Precious, Baby, etc. All "English " names I heard in during our time South Africa.
Of course if that is not bad enough, we then have all the different spellings for what were old familiar English/Australian names but are now spelt different to make them stand out. How about you and your children?
What do you do to stand out? Do you need a funny or unique name to make people notice you? Or do they notice you because of your unique character and deeds?

For what would you most like to be remembered for? Your “Unique” name or your Unique character and life? Over to you for comment and application.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Unique Perspective.

Man: How old is your father?

Boy: As old as me.
Man: How can that be?
Boy: He became a father only when I was born.

How do you like that for an answer Hey? It may not have been the answer expected but it is also a correct answer is it not? The boy was looking at it from one perspective, his own, and the man another.

What about you? Do you see the world differently from those around you and then find fault with them, rather than respecting, if not fully accepting their unique perspective in life. Again would it really hurt you to sometimes look at things from someone else’s perspective now and again? Well what say you? Walter

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Was Old Is New Again.

In an earlier blog called, “ An Apple A Day,” I mentioned that according to the Medical authorities apples are making a come back as a boon to many of our health problems, with one such report saying, “The Apple Report, a review of scientific research published over the past 10 years has found apples are one of the only foods to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers – two of the biggest causes of death in Australia*.”

It also reported that on average “Australians eat an apple a week but if everyone ate just one more serve of fruit or vegetables every day, more than a $150 million a year would be saved on healthcare costs for cardiovascular disease alone.”

Since then I have received reminders of a couple of other old things making a comeback at the moment in regard to our health and lifestyle.

One wrote: “my Mom used to always say chicken noodle soup is what makes a bug go away... and now they have proof lol. It’s something in the broth, they still don't know what (at least that I know of), that has certain properties that help fight off bugs. Mom knows all, she has to! It’s what Moms do.”

Another wrote, “One would have to agree that everything new is not always as new as it first appears. One other thing that they are touting is that exercise is good for you. Our predecessors already knew this and most of them lived to a good age without the need to rely on lots of medicines to do it. Seriously though we all are guilty of a lack of exercise and it is amazing how good you feel if you are able to do a bit. As we get older we have to moderate what we’re doing to an extent but there are ways and means. The important thing is MODERATION, and if you keep that in mind lots of things make a lot more sense.”

Now these are just a couple of old things now being re-evaluated and appreciated from a scientific angle.

So what is there that was once a regular part of your life that has long since dropped out of your life that you need to re-find and re-apply in your life? Once everyone had pets, then they were found to be disease carriers and discouraged, and now we are again being encouraged to have pets again for their companionship and help in getting exercise and also in building up our disease resistance. According to last night’s TV News, Medical experts now claim that all children should have dogs to play with to build up their immunity to Germs. Recently there has been this push to isolate Kids from all germs but now they are finding that the more children are exposed to minor germs and at a younger age, the better their resistance is later ion childhood to most diseases and particularly one form of Leukaemia. Forgive me for being old and cynical here, but I’m sure I heard that before somewhere? Oh year about 50 years ago from My Mum!

So once again we find that what was once common and accepted and then dismissed by moderninity, is now making a sensible come back!

So again, what is there that was once a part of your life that you should again be making a part of your life again. More Fruit in your diet? (Need to work on that one myself!) More Chicken soup? (Personally I will pass on that one for Pearl Barley Soup thanks!) More Exercise? More ---------? Well I have said enough: Now you can fill out the blanks ----.