Richard Bott has pasted an amusing story of his student days at seminary. I was telling a friend about this and he sent me this. It dates from his time of (near compulsory) country service for young teachers in New South Wales.

When I was at Gundagai (1967) I went to both the Presbyterian church
and on
occasion the Anglican (better sermons). I'd been up early one Sunday
and gone for a walk. Anglican minister was outside gardening in his
boots, shorts and singlet. It became obvious to everyone who knelt at
communion rail that the dirty boots and shorts were still being worn
barely hidden by the robes. Almost looked as though the service was an
interruption of the gardening.



the passing of an Australian legend
Slim Dusty, the country music singer died this morning after a long battle with cancer. To many people here, he epitomised outback Australia, choosing the name "dusty" because of our outback dust. He was a prolific writer and performer and was working on his 106th album in fifty years when he died. He had won the golden Guitar at the Tamworth Country Music Festival many times.

One of his best known songs was The pub with no beer, a disaster in most places here! You can hear this here.



nominative determinism?
Column 8 in the Sydney Morning Herald has been giving examples of this lately. My son found this wonderful example and couldn't resist using his mobile to take a picture



On the net, as in any other field, a little politeness goes a long way. From time to time, bloggers post on net etiquette. As in blogs, so in email.

A short time ago, I received an email from someone at church about an administrative matter. I had given them an email address I am particularly careful about. It isn't spread around for all and sundry to use. I was dismayed and somewhat peeved to find that this email had gone to at least a dozen others. The sender had used only CC not BCC in sending it. None of these others had any reason to know my address, nor I theirs, for that matter.

I left the matter a few days to cool down, then spoke to the sender in private. Both he and his wife were totally bemused by my reaction. Yes, they knew about BCC. They knew how to set up a folder to send to all included in it. They just didn't think it was necessary to do it.

I talked to them about spam. They both hated it. Then I spoke of Christian spam and they wondered what I meant. I explained about all those forwards of sloppy sentimentality, cute poems and dubious stories. I mentioned the urban myths sent on by those who accept them as true because "they saw it on the net." I talked about the numerous virus hoaxes which I have received, which have never been checked out at somewhere like Symantec before forwarding. They can be dangerous if instructions are followed. What about the so-called Christian chain letters complete with promised blessings and curses. I've never yet sent one of these on. And petitions, the basis of which are never verified. These people thought all these were lovely.

I did receive an apology emailed to me several days later. They had considered what I had to say. They still believed that I was making a mountain out of a molehill, but in deference to my feelings they would hide my address next time. I've done what I can do, but it looks as if that courtesy may not be extended to all on their lists.


A truly horrible crime here yesterday. On Sunday evening, a woman was tied up and raped by her husband from whom she was separated. Yesterday morning, she asked her elderly father to mind her two young children, 4 and 20 months while she made a statement to police. She went with police to the station and when they drove her home, her father was lying on the ground stabbed to death. Her husband had already stabbed one of the children and was attempting to kill the other. Police shot him but he had stabbed himself and died, as did the second child.

The woman was said to be distraught, understandably. Police are also receiving counselling. It appears they felt that had they been there just slightly earlier, this dreadful tragedy may have been averted.



ex-ter-min-ate, ex-ter-min-ate
To celebrate the fortieth birthday of the BBC's Dr Who series, the ABC is screening all the episodes, right from the very first. Weeknights at 6:00pm. I was never fanatic about watching, but always enjoyed it, particularly the Doctor played by Tom Baker. I'll be watching.

One of my sons has a Dr Who pinball machine, usually set for free play. When he lived near me, my name regularly occurred in the high scores, much to the amusement of his mates. Now he lives further away and I rarely play it. Too often the Daleks catch the Doctor, unless I am very careful. Great fun and a really good way to release all sorts of tension.


festival of the winds
Every year in September, this is celebrated at Bondi Beach. (bond-eye) Yesterday was the day and the winds turned up in force. Strong winds from Saturday turned into veritable gales yesterday and caused havoc to those flying kites on the beach and in the park.

As a family we were having a picnic at a local park to celebrate my eldest son's birthday. We decided on the park because it has such good facilities for the little ones. I went down early to ensure we had a table. However what was windy at my place was a gale at the more exposed park. We packed up and retreated to my place where we had charcoal chicken, rolls and salad, our original picnic fare. Took the children back to the park to run off some excess energy. The 14 month old toddler could hardly stand in the wind.