5/31/2009 11:56:00 pm

Release

Posted by Tom French |

I got to preach again on Friday. It was my first time preaching at the new church. I was at a youth church event, which, because it was youth church, meant there was less light more noise and a game or two, but otherwise church.

It was good to be preaching again. It was my first time doing a full talk with no notes. I'd written a full manuscript, but I decided after I ran through it that it was too long. So I went notes free to see if it would speed me up. It didn't. Oh well.

Otherwise being notes free was good. I feel like it was a step forward in being able to speak more naturally and connect with the group. I felt like it was a step back in my ability to get things right. I stumbled over my words more and nothing seemed as polished. But still I liked being pushed like that.

Anyway, it was recorded so I'll stick it up at some stage I reckon, just in case you're interested.

5/31/2009 02:45:00 pm

Wedged

Posted by Tom French |

I just burnt my wedges. I've been cooking wedges for over 10 years and I still stuff them up. You think I'd be an expert by now.

5/28/2009 01:20:00 am

Library Nerd

Posted by Tom French |

Seeing as I'm regularly in the study room at the library these day and I've spent 5-6 hours there everyday this week, I'm starting to get to know the place and the people.

During the middle of the day there are usually Asian people reading books or the paper, and one or two mentally ill people looking like they're reading something. None of them stay that long.

There's one man in the corner doing his taxes. He's running a bit late.

At around 2:30pm the students start arriving. The year 12-ers wear their jerseys. The private school kids look stressed and study hard. The public school kids visit each other at their desks and don't seem to do any work all.

If the student is any younger than year ten then they're probably Asian and a girl.

When I look at the students I find that I can't picture them writing any of the comments left on the desks. They all look too well behaved to tell Sarah about the size of her bust, or inform fellow studiers that Asquith Girls have various diseases. But you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Though whoever wrote "I'm so horny" could be one the regulars.

There's a tall skinny man who wears a green button up shirt, tucked into brown pants, and brown boots with elastic on the sides who comes in every day. He is balding and has a little moe and a little bit of chin hair. He isn't married or he doesn't wearing his wedding ring. Maybe he comes to the library to pick up.

He works on a laptop and he'll ask someone to move if there are no spare desks with a power point nearby. When he has secured his desk he spends 5 minutes wiping it down. He then methodically and carefully plugs everything in and sets it up just right. Finally he sits up very straight and types.

After a few hours he eats a banana.

People often sleep at their desk.

People with laptops work around the edge of the room. The people with pen and paper sit in the middle. The locations of power points have created a micro, geographic, socio-economic divide.

I like to sit by the window so I can look out onto the reference section. It also means no one can sit next to me.

There is always one person every few hours who answers their phone then says, rather loudly, "Nahh, I'm in the library."

5/25/2009 06:44:00 pm

Big Fish Day

Posted by Tom French |

Today I spent the day in the library working through a commentary on Jonah. I'm speaking on a camp in July and I'm going to speak my way through Jonah with them. I'm also speaking at my church's Youth Group on Friday night, so I'm gonna do Jonah there too.

Anyway I had a really good day. Jonah is a darn good book. Full of nice ironies, great images and interesting characters. I'm having fun. And this particular commentary isn't too dry or too smart for me (except for the Hebrew words which I just skip over), so I'm having fun.

Underemployment is great!

5/25/2009 10:53:00 am

Eminem

Posted by Tom French |

I woke up to Eminem coming through my window this morning. I couldn't work out who would be listening to Eminem loudly on a Sunday morning. Sunday mornings seem incongruous with the majority of Eminem's fan base.

Then I realised it was the builders next door and it's Monday morning.

It all made sense.

5/24/2009 12:26:00 am

No Televangelist for Me

Posted by Tom French |

My shifts at work got cancelled this weekend. That means there will be no Televangelist Number 2 for me. This is a sadness.

The upside is that tonight I got to hang out with my church buddies, and I like them.

5/22/2009 09:52:00 pm

It's a New Video

Posted by Tom French |

This is one of the videos we made at Soul Survivor. This was on the fourth day. I think it's the best one we did. The fact that you're not at Soul Survivor and you probably don't know the worship leader, it loses a lot of it's impact. But still I'm happy with it. For four hours work, I think it's alright.

5/21/2009 11:40:00 am

Derailed

Posted by Tom French |

I hadn't heard anything about my prospective job with Sydney's Largest Supplier of Trains for a while, so I sent them an email yesterday. Turns out that they had emailed me and it had disappeared, probably during the time when my email address stopped working.

The outcome was I didn't get the job. Not because I didn't pass all the selection criteria, they just didn't have enough spaces in the training centre. So they've recommended I be put on an eligibility list. It seems that should they need more people, they'll create the list, and if they create the list I'll be on it. How it is that the list of people to go on the list is not just the list, I don't know. But all up, I'm not too disappointed. I probably wouldn't have been able to take the job anyway because of my upcoming overseas jaunts. This way, if they do create the list, put me on it, then offer me the job, I'll probably be finished with my North American tour, so I might be able to take the job.

In other news Centrelink gave me a book to fill out so I can apply for jobs. 10 a fortnight. I have applied for one so far. There I have a similar problem in that any job I apply for will have to be willing to wait 6 weeks for me to start. I doubt anyone will want to do that. But I'll apply because that's what Centrelink want.

5/18/2009 10:42:00 pm

Smashed It

Posted by Tom French |

I got back my two Greek assessments tonight. Turns out in my final exam I only need to get 28% to pass the course. I don't want to tempt providence but passing a subject hasn't looked this good for me in years.

5/17/2009 11:34:00 pm

Televangelist Number One

Posted by Tom French |

I think I'm obligated as part of my job not to have any opinion on the acts I see while working. I do have personal opinions, and I want to share. But so I don't defame anyone or and get my work or myself into trouble I'm not going mention in this post who was the attraction where I ushered for the previous two days, but for the sake of easy reading we'll call this particular person Freddy.

Freddy is a televangelist with a dazzling white costume, a noisy healing ministry, a big diamond ring and a private jet. He frequently turns up on TV early in the morning and pushes people over.

I was particularly excited to work the Freddy shift because I love anything religious. I'm a religious fanatic.

My shifts started early afternoon and were due to finish at 11pm. There were the longest shifts I've ever had, and I'm thankful to God for them. I needed them to pay my rent. I did however feel a little bad that while the faithful, sick and disadvantaged were being fleeced out of their disability payments I was earning $20 an hour.

Seeing as the "crusade" was staffed mainly by Freddy's staffers and volunteers, our job as venue staff was just to stand around, tell people where the toilets were and direct people to the exits in the event of a fire (a real fire, not "HOLY SPIRIT FIRE!"). The rest of the time we just directed people to Freddy's Ambassadors (volunteers).

The first four hours of both shifts were pretty similar. We opened the doors around 3pm and the show didn't start till 7pm. So we just stood there. The staff would visit each other and mutter about how much they disliked Freddy.

I found this difficult. Seeing as I'm a Christian, and I believe in the Holy Spirit, healing, miracles and all the rest, I didn't want to just join in the cynicism and rudeness. On the other hand, I didn't want to be giving people the impression that I endorse Freddy and his antics. I'm not sure how well I did. I did have a chat with one usher who is studying physics at Uni. I told him I was at Bible College. He asked me what I thought of the act, and I said that for him it'd be the equivalent of going to a dodgy physics conference. So at least he knew where I stood.

I went into the whole experience with preconceived ideas about Freddy. I didn't want them. I wanted at least to be open to the possibility that Freddy might be legit. I prayed at the start that God would help me to be discerning rather than cynical.

It's hard to know if he answered my prayer because there wasn't much not to be cynical about.

When the "crusade" opened the very first thing they did was ask people for money, to become one of Freddy's partners for $30 a month, like Freddy's a starving African. Last night they asked people to buy Freddy medallions or something like that. They spent a lot of time plugging their books and DVD store. And both nights they gave an absurd lecture on why it is good to give. "Give and see what God wants you to receive!" But I've already written about that.

The first time we saw Freddy was about 20 minutes in when he came out from the middle of the back of the stage, through an entrance no-one else used, wearing a white suit and looking dazzling.

On Friday night he turned up right in the middle of "How Great Thou Art". Last night he came during a different hymn and one the other ushers turned to me and said "He missed his song."

The choir sang well. Freddy led the singing once he arrived on stage. The problem is that Freddy can't sing very well. I don't think that's his spiritual gift. Everyone sang for about an hour.

On the Friday night Freddy gave an evangelistic talk that was almost spot on. He said one thing which could have been read the wrong way, but other than that it was fine. When he was talking about Jesus becoming sin for us he said "Jesus became like Satan". Which I don't think is right but I know what he was getting at.

At this point in the sermon a man stood up and shouted at him "That's a lie Pastor Freddy! You're a liar!"

To which Freddy responded "Please be quiet Sir! I am a talking now. You're not listening to me. If you don't be quiet I'm going have to ask you to leave my auditorium."

At this point Freddy's two big, black security guards escorted the man out of the building.

Once Freddy was done with his sermon and he did his altar call, that's when things went dodgy. He said something like "If you're still struggling with sin, with sins you had before you became a Christian, then something has gone wrong with your salvation. You need to come and give your life to Jesus properly."

There are so many things wrong with that. That made me angry.

Seeing as there were a lot of Christians there who still struggle with sin, there were a lot of people who went forward to be properly saved and iron out that glitch in their salvation.

The following night Freddy did a talk about the blood of the Covenant that managed to be so convoluted and confusing that I had trouble following it. I have no idea how the people in the audience who don't have 8 years of Bible College, 7 years of church ministry, and the better part of a Theology degree behind them went. I'm pretty sure they all just clapped when they were told to "Give God a hand" and said "Praise the Lord" when Freddy said "Can somebody say 'Praise the Lord!'"

But apart from the fact that the whole sermon was a shamble of half-baked, theological confusion, I could easily see that much of what he was saying was heresy. Or at the very least, totally unsubstantiated mystical, biblical musings. Like when he told us that Jesus didn't get any of Mary's blood in his umbilical cord when he was in the womb otherwise he would have come under the curse of original sin.

Still, the sermons were nothing compared to what was the come.

After Freddy's preaching, he felt the Holy Spirit come on him to do an anointing and heal people. This meant everyone was launched into 20 minutes of singing a two word song like "Glory, Glory, King of Glory" or "Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit". I don't know much about manipulation and hypnotism, but I figure singing the same short phrase over and over, to stirring music, through multiple key changes, when you're tired after sitting through 3 and half hours of crazy religious fluff, is going to leave you pretty vulnerable to all sorts of suggestions and handling.

During the singing Freddy's pastors head out into the audience to pray for the sick and wrench people out of wheelchairs to make them try and walk.

Eventually Freddy gets people to put their hand on the part of their body they want healed, and then he prays for them. If they're healed then the are told to run down the front as quickly as possible. Down the front they're met by a pastor who vets them for public appearance.

While Freddy is praying for the them he's saying things like "Someone to my left just had their cancer healed. Someone to my right just had AIDS cured. Someone just had their asthma taken away." He only ever said things that couldn't be verified on the night. People only had to feel healed and that was good enough.

The people who felt healed were allowed on stage where an announcer on either side of the stage would trumpet their story at Freddy, while he pushed the people over in the Spirit. He would push someone over, then get the pastor/minders, to pick them up again, so he could push them over again. For the people who had been "healed" of back issues this did rather worry me.

Most of the people who got up had issues like cancer, back problems, injuries which all manifested in a healing where they said "I had pain and now I don't." Now they could be healed, but they could also just be running on emotion, adrenaline, manipulation and hypnotic suggestion. There was nothing verifiable about any one of them. One guy had a heart problem, he saw a bright light, and he knew he was healed.

There was one guy who had lost 85% of his hearing and he said it all came back. Which is probably a bit harder to fake on the night for the guy. But then again, the speakers are pretty loud, you don't need much hearing to hear them.

There was another man who was "healed" of the pain in his legs from suffering polio as a child. He threw off his leg brace when he got onto stage. I thought it was rather telling that as he walked off stage one of the Pastors chased him to give him his leg brace back. There's faith!

I know I sound totally cynical. To be honest, I think there is a high chance there were real healings there. But if there were they were because of people's faith in Jesus. Jesus heals despite people like Freddy and their manipulation.

Mostly I think it's just people who desperately want to be healed and are able to convince themselves they feel healed, and so they come down to tell Freddy he's healed them.

Last night, before and following the healing bonanza, Freddy went on a Holy Spirit slaying extravaganza. He slew all of the pastors on the stage multiple times. They fell all over each other, like some strange WWE wrestling match where a bunch of guys were losing to no one. The pastors fell over and jumped up at every command of Freddy. Every movement was over exaggerated. It looked like some piece of slapstick kid's theatre. And it was funny. Except that it was all a performance to deceive the faithful who just came to receive from Jesus.

At one stage Freddy got ready to slay the choir. He told them all to stand up and hold hands because "the power of the Holy Spirit was about to fall upon them". I turned to the usher standing next to me and said "Watch this, he's about to knock the whole choir over."

To which he replied "About f-ing time, they've been singing all night."

Sure enough Freddy shouted "TOUCH!" and waved a power hand at the choir and they fell over.

I think this gave Freddy the guts to try and anoint the whole crowd. He told the crowd the Holy Spirit wanted to touch them, and he got them to stand. He said the Holy Spirit would count to three. The music built to a crescendo, he counted to three and most people didn't fall over they just moaned. It was perhaps the most satisfying moment of the night.

Freddy then called all the young people down the front, so there were a couple of thousand of them packed right up to the stage. Then he told them the Holy Spirit was going fall on them. This worried me because they were so closely packed, someone was sure to get crushed. But I wasn't really in a position to stop it.

Freddy called down the Holy Spirit fire yelled "TOUCH!" at the young people and they all fell over. It looked pretty cool.

And then, just like that, the show was over. I opened the doors and let them all leave.

Sure enough, when I went down the front last night, when the auditorium was empty of "congregation", there were two girls down the front getting attended to by First Aid. One of them had busted her ankle. The other one, I'm told, got a cracked rib or sternum. She got carted off in an ambulance.

And that kinda sums up he Freddy experience. It's all show and extravaganza, but in the end it just leaves people hurt.

What I saw these last two nights was offensive and I was offended (take note community). This man comes to town preaching Jesus and promising healing and just takes people's money, manipulates them and leaves them with the same old illnesses and feeling like they don't have enough faith.

If Jesus were to pay a visit I can't help but think he'd take a whip to Freddy's ministry, do some real healings and let people keep their money.

As for me, I can't wait for next week. I've got a whole new Televangelist to look forward to. Sweet.



This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets...are like jackals among ruins... Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, "The LORD declares," when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, "The LORD declares," though I have not spoken?" - Ezekiel 3:3-4,6-7

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. - 2 Peter 2:1-3

5/17/2009 01:58:00 am

100 Fold

Posted by Tom French |

Seeing as I've been hanging out with a Televangelist this weekend, I've been thinking about the whole "biblical promise" that if you sow into God's kingdom you'll reap one hundred fold.

Tonight I was told if I give $1 the Bible promises that I will get $100 back within a year.

Now I know I'm not supposed to let my experience dictate my theology, but seeing as that isn't my theology, I'm going let my experience validate my anti-theology.

Let's say I gave 10% of everything I earnt in the 05-06 financial year to God. If I earnt $40,000, I gave away $4000. That would mean in the 06-07 financial year I should get back from God $400,000. Then if I gave away 10% of that ($40,000) I should get back $4,000,000.

Now those weren't the numbers of my earnings or my tithing. But I can say that I haven't got back financially anywhere near the money that I was promised tonight. I haven't even reaped 10 fold. I want my money back!

I know this probably isn't an original idea, but you would think that were the 100 fold promise true:
a) Christians would cotton on pretty fast that this was the world's best get-rich-quick scheme
b) Christians would throw the world's economy into crisis. Inflation in Christian countries would sky rocket, Christians would be stuck wheeling around wheelbarrows full of their harvest reapings and non-Christians would be converting and giving away money just to keep up. It would be great for evangelism, but pretty much terrible for everything else.


I also got told tonight that "God is going to take riches from the sinners and give them to me". That's what he did with Abraham, that's what he did with Jacob, that's what he did with Moses, that's what he did with Solomon, so obviously, that's what he's going to do with me. Who is logically next in the Biblical succession of great people if not me?

So sucked in sinners, I'm getting your wealth. Not that I need it. I got a miraculous $4,000,000 last year.

5/14/2009 08:16:00 pm

The More Golden Rule

Posted by Tom French |

"The best way to determine what our attitude to other people should be is to determine what God's attitude to them is. The principle is even better than the golden rule. It is safe to treat other as we would like them to treat us, but it is safer still to treat them as God does. The former is a ready-made guide based on our fallen self-centredness, while the latter is a standard based on God's perfection." - John Stott commenting on Romans 14:3

5/14/2009 11:31:00 am

Hard Knock Life

Posted by Tom French |

"We already have so many rules: we can't drink on these days, we can't go to these places, now we can't have group sex." - Anonymous NRL player

From here.

5/13/2009 05:27:00 pm

Victory in Defeat

Posted by Tom French |

So I went to Centrelink yesterday to sign up for New Start (unemployment benefits). That was depressing. I felt rather like I was giving up. Underemployment had got the better of me (though I haven't got any money yet). The woman at the desk put me on the phone and they booked me in to see the Employment Agency today.

I didn't really want to go. I was expecting to have to have a meeting with someone who would ask me why I don't just to youth ministry or youth work. They wouldn't understand the purpose of not working in my field of expertise. And they'd tell me my resume was crap. And I'd have to go to Job Search training.

I went to the meeting today and filled out a form. The receptionist took the form and told me that they were being shut down by the Government in 6 weeks so I don't have to worry for at least 6 weeks. Then she showed me how to use the JobSearch computer and I was done. That was the whole appointment. It was good. I think I signed up at just the right time.

5/13/2009 12:39:00 am

God Bless the USA

Posted by Tom French |

I'm now almost fully booked for my impending Guatemala-US trip. The Visa Waiver site has told me I have a waived visa. It's most exciting. I leave in less than a month. Off to Guatemala to eat Pollo Campero and to see my sister marry some guy. And then off to the USA to eat everything (especially stuff that comes in a can) and live the American dream.

We'll be going to Washington, Ocean City, New York then LA. It'll be sweet. We have amazing things planned like Medieval Times (inspired by Dicker's Mum) and walking on the third best board walk in the USA. Oh yeah.

I'm totally excited. Pretty much our planning has been, if it's in a movie, we'll go. So Grand Central Station, The White House, Hollywood, Times Square. We may even go to Disneyland! How can one country have so much goodness? Plus we're catching Grayhound buses for two legs of the trip. Sweet. I hope they're old and melancholic 70s music plays from the sky when we get on the bus. That'd be the most awesome.

I can't wait.

Oh did I mention I get to go to my Sister's wedding too. I should mention that.

5/12/2009 04:49:00 pm

Praise the Lord

Posted by Tom French |

I just got shifts for work. 2 Televangelists in 1 week. I'm really excited.

5/10/2009 11:59:00 am

Why Procrastination Makes the Task More Satisfying

Posted by Tom French |

Leaves.jpg

5/09/2009 12:39:00 pm

Talking to the Brother-in-Law

Posted by Tom French |

I just had this conversation on Google talk with my soon-to-be brother-in-law in Guatemala. I think we'll be friends.

I hope he doesn't mind me posting this. I didn't ask permission.

Jo: hey vics is here and says hi
Tom: I'm guessing Vic is Victor. Do we pronounce that Bic? Hi Bvic!
Victor: I'm don Victor For you jejeje
Tom: I think you'll find it's HaHaHa.
Victor: no its spanish laughing
Tom: I'm in Australia. I can't understand Spanish laughing.
Jo: you need to learn to communicate with your future brother in law...
Tom: I have leant Spanish.
Jo: oh really???
Tom: Victor: Tenga cuidado o me ponche la cara tan dura que se cae. (In English "Be careful or I will punch your face so hard it falls off)
Oh yeah. Google strikes again!
Victor: Tom ponche its the drink tah i made a christmast time so u are so sweet???
Tom: Hold on.
Tenga cuidado o me golpeó la cara con mi puño tan duro que se cae. (In English "Be careful or I will hit your face with my fist so hard it falls off)
Victor: u are a little bit more rude than the ponche in this moment
Tom: I'm just telling you why you should respect me Don Bictor.
Victor: so im a little scared but really im a nightmare
Tom: You're a nightmare! I'm worse than a nightmare! I'm a nightmare with a jet pack and samurai sword!
Victor: o i have more color than you im brown like a hard brownie the most hard brownie that you have ever seen
and no not the poo tipe of brownie
so you need to respect me
your Brownie man
are you scared???
Tom: You win, Brownie Boy.
I can never be hard like a hard brownie.

5/09/2009 12:30:00 pm

Sarky

Posted by Tom French |

One of my Facebook friends became a fan of "Sarcasm".

I can't tell if they really are a fan or not. It's hurting my brain.

5/09/2009 12:50:00 am

Kicking It

Posted by Tom French |

I got my first set of patrons kicked out at work tonight and it was an entirely satisfying experience.

During the concert, there was a guy dancing in the aisle which, while I totally understand the urge to dance in the aisle, you're not allowed to do. So I asked him to dance in his seat. He moved a little so I went back to my post. By the time I was back at my spot he was back dancing in the aisle. So after a little while of waiting to see if he'd move I went back to ask him to move again. By this stage another guy had joined him.

I asked them to move. They kept dancing. I asked again, and they turned around and danced and sang loudly, in a rude manner, in my face (!). I said in the end "You need to move or it'll be security who come back." They didn't move, they kept dancing and singing in my face. So I turned around and left. I could see lots of people laughing at my ineffectualness. But I knew they'd answer for their mis-dance-deeds. I have powerful friends.

I went in search of security but they had all been seemingly raptured. When I came back to my spot the disobedient dancers had moved. When I finally found some security, the guys were back, so I went and asked the two security guards to go have a chat to them. They guys refused to stop dancing in the aisle even for the security guards, so they were manhandled, out of the building, and they danced the whole way.

I was impressed by their non-violent dance protest to our disapproval their disobedient dance practices. But I was more impressed seeing them get kicked out. I did love feeling vindicated. It felt good.

5/06/2009 11:13:00 am

Something to Sniff at

Posted by Tom French |

I noticed today that my shower gel is made by Sara Lee.

They should make shower gel that smells like banana cake. I'd totally use it and then sniff myself all day. I reckon that'd give a sense of completeness to my life.

I smell awesome.jpg

5/04/2009 11:41:00 am

Reunioning

Posted by Tom French |

I went to a reunion last night for the camp I went on last September. They got me to speak.

I came prepared with a camp specific talk, catered right to the group who we went on camp with. I had decided that since I have the time, I'd write a talk specific for the occasion. I had never been to a reunion before with a talk, but I was happy to oblige. I had also never been to a reunion on a Sunday night before, but I could cope with that too.

When I arrived at the church where the reunion was on Liam (whom I love), informed me that this reunion was a reunion within a regular church service. The church we were at was willing to let a bunch of people they didn't know take over their church service and reminisce about "the good times". How odd, but kind and hospitable too.

The problem that this posed for me was that the service had a congregation of people whose ages ranged from mid-twenties to mid-fifties. I had a talk pitched at teenagers. I didn't think the middle aged people would be so moved by my application about getting drunk at parties and hooking up with randoms.

So I did what I could quickly and tried to think up some new application for the older folk and did my best. I also took out the illustration about the man the smelt like poo.

I did my best but I'm not sure the application for the people over the age of 17 was the strongest point of the talk. Still I enjoyed the reunion, and it felt good to be preaching again.

5/04/2009 11:28:00 am

Gong

Posted by Tom French |

I went to Wollongong from Friday to Saturday arvo with Howie. While we were there we saw a Chinese takeaway shop called "Koon Hong". That was a highlight.

I had been on an adventure to college to hand in my assessment on Friday. I went to Burwood for some over priced sushi and got a serendipitous kick up the bum from Jem, which was fun.

I met Howie at the Central Station and we trained it all the way down to Wollongong. We managed to maintain a conversation the whole time, so were off to a pretty good start.

We booked into our four-star accommodation, right in the heart for Wollongong, just down the road from the station and next door to Adult World. It was such a happening place that the whole time were were there I only saw three other guests, and reception was only manned twice, once when we checked in and once when we checked out.

The room was typical hotel fair. The beds were comfy, but the air con was just an air vent full of false expectations and disappointment. It promised to heat the room right up to 32ºC, but all it did was blow cold air. I was most saddened that summer could not be returned to the Rydges Superior Suite.

The View.jpg

Howie with out spectacular view

Howie had to go to his work pretty soon after we arrived, so I set about working on my talk for Sunday night. I sat on the bed reading commentaries. If anything, locking yourself in a hotel room is a good way to do sermon prep.

At some stage Jess popped over to have a drink with me and get her Brothers and Sisters DVD back, which was good fun. We had a drink in the Sports Bar downstairs. This happening venue had three other patrons the whole time we were there, and they left pretty quickly. When Jess and I left, the bartender left too; a true sign of confidence in a big Friday night.

Post beer it was time for some sizzling ribs. I had seen them advertised on a sign only partially obscured by an air conditioning vent, above the pizza place just down the road from Adult World.

When I went to get the ribs, I realised they were totally out of my non-budget budget. But seeing as I had convinced myself that I was going to have ribs I threw caution to the wind (which seems to be the theme of my life at the moment) and got them anyway.

They turned out to be huge. I ate them all and was left feeling quite well satisfied and only half ripped off.

Ribs.jpg

The Massive Ribs. For size comparison, that's a 1.25L bottle of Coke in the photo.

Eventually Howie returned, I kept reading books and he trashed the hotel room.

Room Trash.jpg

Howie's a rock star.

Later we settled down to watch some TV on the the internet (I know...insane!), then went to bed.

In the morning we woke up late, and were greeted by the sound of bagpipes.

May Day was happening and it was only a day late.

Bagpipes.jpg

Pipers at the break of Dawn-ish

I was impressed that there were at least 50 people in the Illawarra area who cared enough about issues of import to march. It was unclear what the march was about really, but there was one group who wanted to "Save Aussie Jobs". I'm not exactly sure from who or what but if Aussie jobs are threatened I think they should be saved! Someone save them dammit!

Perhaps my favourite marchers were the people from the Dental Health Action Group who managed to muster up enough people who cared about teeth to hold their sign...and that was about it.

Dental People.jpg

This is why I love miscellaneous protests

After the excitement of watching an orderly mob venting at society with bagpipes (always a good offensive weapon in the fight against capitalism and bad dental care), we went off in search of breakfast. We ate in a depressing food court (which we love) and then went home.

It was a lovely holiday, which I certainly felt like I needed after all the stress of doing pretty much whatever I want all day everyday. Life is good.

5/04/2009 10:39:00 am

Take that you Scurvy Dogs!

Posted by Tom French |

This is cool. Some Somali pirates tried to take over a French frigate.

They didn't win.

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