Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Random Miscellany, pt 3

Friday, August 16th, 2013

1) I have finally added to my career tally of goals for St Barnabas’ Football Club, which for about 2 years remained at 2. It now sits at 3. The long gap is mainly because I’ve been playing on the backline, due to a lack of good/experienced/willing defenders. Last Saturday, however, I played about a third of a game for the first grade team at striker (this is where I was playing a fair bit in that first year at Barneys FC). There were a few half chances, but the one I got in was perfect and not wasted. Miles managed to dribble the ball to inside the 18, push a pass at a nice spot in front of me, about 4 or 5 yards from the right post, the goalie played the percentages and lunged at the near post, but I had pushed the ball for the far post, and watched as it went by and into the back of the net. A beautiful moment, followed by high fives, backpatting, and a hug-and-lift from behind.

2) I have stopped watching Australian news on TV, and have reduced web news consumption to only The Conversation. This is because I’m finding the endless stream of election waffle (to put it politely) unbearable. I’ll have more to say on my views on the election later.

3) I have, however, not stopped watching international news. SBS from 3-5:30 is all English language news – France 24, AlJazeera English, DW Journal in English, and then PBS Newshour. I feel like I’m more in touch with actually important news.

4) Anyone else noticed a quiet entry into the News 24 Sunday schedule? Faithlines, yet another ABC religion show hosted by Geraldine Doogue, has been on for a few weeks now. The format appears to be: 10-15 mins interview with some religious figure, followed by 15-20 mins of discussion panel. Last Sunday, Rob Forsyth was on the panel, who, along with the other panel member, were taking Spong to task about a recent book of his on John’s gospel (the interviewee and the subject of the interview). It doesn’t seem to be of a uniformly high quality, but it does show promise of actually picking up relevant issues and discussing them (as in, I’m saying it might be good because it’s not like Compass). Thoughts?

Random Miscellany, pt 17 + 7i

Monday, August 5th, 2013

1) So, we’ve got an election, a week earlier than previously scheduled. I’m going to be sick of all the political talk fairly soon, especially now that ABC News 24 will probably be wall-to-wall politics. I’m already sick of Tony Abbott’s voice, Scott Morrison’s voice, and a few others as well.

2) I am somewhat indifferently neutral about Peter Capaldi being announced as the next Doctor. Good for him, but I’ll wait to see how he plays out next season.

3) Carlton does not have a realistic chance of making the 8 now that they’re two wins behind Port on the ladder. Despite the mathematical possibilities, it is extremely unlikely that the teams that make up the 8 will change. It will only be a matter of order. The upset losses by the Hawks and Cats have improved the Swans’ chances of not only staying in the top 4 but getting a home final. I’m excited about this part of September.

4) I don’t think Australia will win back the Ashes in England. Not sure about the chances down here but the odds are slightly better. By then, the squad will probably be more accustomed to each other, and so forth. I’m hoping that they can at least boost their morale by continuing to bat with some proficiency (and luck with the DRS. Seriously, you might as well toss a coin. If the standards of conclusiveness exhibited with the DRS were employed elsewhere, it’d probably be a heck of a lot easier to convince people to change religions.)

Random sporting commentary

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

1) Ashton Agar is definitely inline for some sponsorship money. Also, Ed Cowan will probably not make it to the end of the series unless someone gets injured.

2) This year’s Tour is definitely more interesting than last years. Last year, it was Team Sky destroying the opposition in time trials. This year, Sky doesn’t have Michael Rogers, who transferred to Saxo-Tinkoff, and has now dropped 2 riders, and everyone is playing the ‘spite’ game. In particular, Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff have a lot to gain if their climbers can ride Sky off the road in the next few stages, which range from medium climbs to multiple massive climbs. Also, the recently renamed Belkin team have snuck in under the radar, and I expect they too will join in on the ‘anti-Sky’ action.

3) The AFL season progresses much as before. The top 5 deserve to be up there, but it will be a matter of musical chairs as to the final ladder positions come September. Richmond are playing well enough to deserve to play finals, and Collingwood also. However, the eighth spot will be hotly contested.

4) Barneys FC is entering the tenuous uni winter holiday period, when many people disappear back to the regional centres where they came from, leaving those of us left with, let us say, a lot more game time. At least we’re doing better than last year – firsts are top of the table, reserves are playing much better as a team due to a more consistent line-up.

Random comments on Australian politics

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

1) I cringe every time I see Scott Morrison, opposition spokesman on immigration, come up on TV. He strikes me as an intransigent, belligerent fool, and is probably the number 1 reason I will not be persuaded to vote liberal in the next federal election. There are many places on the interwebs that will tell you why they are foolish and incompassionate on this, so I’ll let google earn its worth.

2) I also cringe, but slightly less so, when I see Greg Hunt, opposition spokesman on environment, though up until recently he’d not been anywhere near in the spotlight. The liberal position on climate change post Malcolm Turnbull’s time as leader is somewhat counter to the, what is it, 97% consensus figure in the scientific community?

3) The liberal party seems intent on bringing Australia back to what was perceived to be golden years under Howard, as though all the policy settings in that era will again bring prosperity and all-round awesomeness. This is stupid and will not work, for the simple reason of time and change.

4) Gillard really did get the short end of the stick. What really hurt her was a seeming inability to communicate well with the Australian public. Key example – “The Real Julia”, lol. The government tried – really tried – to get the message that they got stuff done, that they achieved significant things, but Julia had just failed to really connect with a broad enough section of the populous. She had some really competent people working on her team, Nicola Roxon springs to mind easily – remember plain packaging on tobacco? Unfortunately, many of these are forgotten as attention was focused elsewhere.

5) I’ll take this opportunity to point back to my party game of talking political idiocy, see top right in the links column.

Random Miscellany, pt -9/16

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

1) With SMH mostly behind a paywall now, I’ve now deleted it from all my bookmarks. Unfortunately, this also comes as I make my transition out of the Google Reader universe, so I need to be a bit more pro-active on my other news sources (Global Mail, The Conversation [recommended], Slashdot). Fortunately, ABC has updated their Android app.

2) It’s Tour season, and already, the realistic Australian expectations have been met – Simon Gerrans of GreenEDGE winning a stage, and then the team winning the time trial, putting Gerro in the yellow jersey. After tonight, the peloton moves into the Pyrenees, so there’ll be some GC shakeup there and I doubt Simon will keep after that. We will then see who’s really come out to party at the TdF. The Tour has also helped me re-regulate my body clock – for unknown reasons I’ve been waking up far too early, but the late nights mean that I now get up at a more normal time.

3) The late night sport season combined with school holidays means I’m laying off the books for a little bit – I doubt concentration will be my strong suit right now.

4) Egypt has gone berserk again, only this time it’s more like Thailand, only, replace the monarchy with the army. And the mobs don’t appear to have colour-coded. Sigh.

Random Miscellany, pt 1/9865

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

1) This Open2Study things seems way to easy. Each course appears to release approximately 1 hour or so of video material, each broken into sections, with a ‘pop quiz’ after each, which is just 1 multiple choice (or T/F) question, followed by an ‘assessment’ which is 5 multiple choice questions, which you have 3 attempts at. To get a ‘I finished this’ certificate, you need only pass 3 of these ‘assessments’. As I said, too easy.

2) My fitness level is now quantified. My resting heart rate is under 70, about 65-ish, which I totally was not expecting from walking 3.5 hrs a week carrying about 5kgs at a time. Given that I actually have not been out just for a run for ages makes me surprised that my cardiovascular fitness appears to have done so well. Most of my exercise has been strength-related (I usually do push-ups, crunches, lunges, etc. between reading), so I have no idea how it dropped from about 80. I should probably check my blood pressure too while I’m at it.

3) Swans FTW. There’s been enough weeks to give an assessment on the AFL ladder at the moment. Melbourne, GWS, and the Bulldogs are where we thought they’d be. St Kilda is officially in a rebuilding phase. Vossy really hasn’t done enough at Brisbane. Nth Melbourne are the new Richmond. Gold Coast have improved significantly and can at least be counted as a mid-level team that should hopefully be trying to push into the bottom of the 8 next year. Collingwood has been relegated to middle tier. Richmond, Port, and Carlton will be having a fight to see who makes it to September and who gets an early holiday. The Crows have been disappointing. West Coast are quietly sneaking back into form after some early losses. Sydney require some more consistency, which will probably come once Kurt Tippett can join the field. Freo seem to now have the ascendancy in the west. Essendon – still got the drug cloud over them, but definitely a good team. Hawthorn and Geelong are once again the top teams, and would want to convert that into a trophy at the end of the year.

Random Miscellany, pt -7610

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

1) It’s been a few rounds into the soccer season. I was concerned that my fitness wasn’t going to be great. However, it seems that playing cricket and carrying several kilos worth of catalogues have maintained some level of fitness, and even made my shoulders stronger. I no longer feel like my shoulders are slumping from weakness when I get tired.

2) Over at Ministry of Game, I’m now playing Battletech, meaning that after many years, I now get to virtually go around in a big robot, blowing up other big robots. Ohhhh yeahhhhh.

3) As some of you know, I’ve moved over from churching in Croydon, and gone to Kogarah, mainly because of distance. I’m not too perturbed by the ‘worship elements’, but then, that’s just the reasonably unflappable guy that I am. They even had a surprise visit from an African pastor last week, which was cool. Reminded me of Alfred, sigh.

4) Shute Shield rugby on ABC > all other televised sport. A large part of this equation is due to 0 appearances of that Waterhouse fella or that blonde from TAB. A significant part is also that the commentary isn’t annoying, which some of the ch 7 AFL commentary can be.

Random Miscellany, pt 46

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

1) Charley Bear: the difference between Kara and Diane.

2) Basketball: injuring ankles since 2008 (but not mine. Soccer does that.)

3) Love: in immeasurable amounts, and very long distances.

4) Apple: keeping people connected over aforementioned distances

5) Chess: the most popular game ever

6) Children: ever increasing

7) Singleness: room by myself FTW

8) Scripture: keeping us in line, picking us up, driving us on.

Random Miscellany, pt -2e+7i

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

1) So, my cricket team, the St James Croydon Tungstens, have won the NSWCCU B Grade Grand Final. The team has previously won titles, but only this time have I been there and been on the team to experience the win. To put the enjoyment level I am experiencing about this in context:
- we got smashed in our first game, which exposed just how underplayed and in need of immediate remedial cricket work most of us were.
- we had a good first half of season, but a scratchy second half
- we scraped through into the finals because the rain-affected washout of the last round prevented the team only two points below us an attempt at beating us
- we were 4th, meaning we had to play 3 finals – the elimination final, preliminary final, and then grand final (imagine the modern AFL and NRL finals systems, but only with 4 teams)
- we were struggling at times to get enough players in for the finals
- there were some tense moments in the run chases for each of the finals games
So basically, what I’m trying to say is, on paper, at many times this season, we didn’t deserve to win. But we did. And now, I finally get an official baggy cap.

2) In other random news, still looking. But I’m not bored, as the previous posts regarding my reading adventures may indicate.

3) In a few weeks, the soccer season starts, so I’m going to have to get my running fitness back

Random Miscellany, pt. 35

Monday, January 28th, 2013

1) It’s been a while. Sorry. I haven’t really been updating much about myself. Mainly because the update is that not much has happened. Apply, wait, sometimes talk to someone, wait, etc.

2) As mentioned a few posts before I did a guest preaching spot, for Doug at ND, which you can hear here. Offer is generally open for preaching fill-ins in the Sydney area.

3) On preaching, I’m getting better at the no-notes approach, and so I’ll probably stick to it forever. I think I felt it when I went to the car, and actually felt really ok not bringing any material, my only Bible being logos on my phone.

4) Men’s tennis is generally more enjoyable to watch than women’s.

5) T20 just doesn’t do it for me.