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Today was a long day. But not as long as it could have been. I got to church an hour late. Damn daylight saving. I'm not sure if anyone in my house remembered, I sure didn't.

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Howie and I went to Sal's 21st tonight. It was tops fun. Lovely people all round. The theme was 1920s/All that Jazz, so I went the 20s mo. It was real sleazy. Check out the evolution.

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Seventies Porn Star Mo.jpg

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Too Hairy

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This is the hairiest I have ever been in my life. In about an hour almost all my face will be clean shaven. Stay tuned for the mo, for tonight only!

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It's three weeks before our exam and our lecturer told us today "Just remember that there's always value in cramming." If studying now is called cramming I'd hate to think when he thought we should have started real study.

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I walked in to teach scripture today and the kids saw my beard and said "Ooo gross". Then a kid put up his hand and said "If I get bored of this can I join Jewish scripture?"

It's nice to feel loved.

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Tom's Beginner's Guide to U2

Well I did this for B, and because I'm excited. I'll stay up way too late writing this, but I'm having fun.

So here's the list.

1. Out of Control

U2's first single. You can't really make a guide without their first single. Probably not their best work, but certainly gives us a few pointers about where they might be heading.

2. New Year's Day

Off their third album War, this song has something to do with Poland and war I think. I've forgotten, but it's good. War was the first U2 album I owned, it was on cassette when I was 6. This song stuck with me.

3. Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live at Red Rocks)

Such an important song for U2. They copped a lot of flack about this song at the time. People thought it was a call to arms for the IRA but it was a call to peace which is why at the beginning of this version Bono tells the crowd "This is not a rebel song". I always like the bit at the end of the song when we're called to "claim the victory Jesus won". It gives me goose bumps.

4. Bad

I've heard that when it was released this song had the longest list of "tion"s (ie dislocation, separation, condemnation) in a song ever. I doubt that's true now, what with all them rappers and all, but it's an interesting thought.

I like the song, it's not one of my faves but I thought it was a good song to show the transitioning between their early years sounds and their middle years stuff. They had a new producer this album (Brian Eno) who started them in a different, vibier direction.

5. With or Without You

This is track 3 on The Joshua Tree arguably U2's greatest album. It was certainly the album that made them huge. The first 4 tracks of this album sound like a fanboy's dream playlist. It is a massive anthem filled album.

I'm not quite sure what this song is about but I think it has something to do with living trying to live a life of love, a Christ-like life. You can't live with Christ, it's too hard, but you cannot live without him. It's a good dichotomy between what's received and what's desired.

6. Bullet the Blue Sky

Someone once said The Edge's guitar in this song is the angriest guitar in rock history. It certainly a song filled with barely suppressed rage. It was written as a protest against the USA's foreign policy in Latin America, where it fed the civil wars and propped up despots to meet it's own agendas.

7. Running to Stand Still

This is the first song so far that wasn't released as a single. It's a song looking through the eyes of a drug addict. It's a painfully beautiful song.

8. All I Want is You

The album this is off, Rattle and Hum, has been viewed as a bit of a let down after The Joshua Tree. It was an attempt to find the roots of Rock 'n' Roll. I think it's good. But I think U2's all good. This song is one of their most spectacular love songs. It really just turns you to mush.

9. The Fly

The first single off Achtung Baby (my favourite album, damn solid!), Bono described this song as "the sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree." It showed a radical departure from classic U2, a time when they embraced irony, parodied themselves and the rock star life. This song is cool and I'm sure it has a message about consumerism or mass media or something in there too. I've never sat down and tried to work it out.

10. Love is Blindness (Live)

I dig this song. It makes you ache.

11. Mofo

From Pop this song shows U2 at their most non-rock, in their electronic, experimental stage. It's probably not the best song on the album but it is a good one to show where Pop was at. Pop is a damn fine album, not great, but it certainly has the foundations of greatness. So much potential. U2 say if they had an extra 3 months in the studio this album would have achieved what they were aiming for. You can just see the juicy goodness elusively floating under the surface. It's an album full of questions and doubt, but still clinging to hope by the barest of threads.

12. Walk On

Classic U2 are back. From All That You Can't Leave Behind, this is U2 at their simple song writing best. This song is wonderful. It was this album that made me fall in love with U2. It's very special.

13. All Because of You

A rocking, stomping, tribute to grace. Yeah baby!

14. Where the Streets Have No Name (Live from Boston)

Probably U2's most famous anthem, this song soars. It's the first song off The Joshua Tree and has gone on great guns from there. It's a staple song at U2 gigs. When it's played live it sends shivers up my spine, and I've only ever seen it on DVD or heard it on CD. It's wonderful. Bono has said whenever they play this song live, whatever their show has been like before it, you can always feel the Spirit enter the place. This song encapsulates why U2 are so great.

You can get the iMix here. If the link doesn't work search for "Tom's Beginner's Guide to U2".

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How Fun is iTunes?

Hooray for Aussie iTunes. I just downloaded 13 U2 tracks that I don't own. And made a cd. So fun.

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Rather Interesting

I went to Hornsby today to wander around and I got a message from Howie telling me Hornsby Mall was blocked off because of a bomb scare so I immediately headed across. There was lots of Police tape about and the cops had blocked off the Western end of the mall up to the St George Bank. It was pretty cool. I maneuvered my way to a good stop and stood and watched hoping to see something interesting.

The mall was had three cop cars, an ambulance, and a fire engine, plus plenty of people in yellow vest looking rather bored. It looked like the bomb threat had been to Hungry Jacks. I wanted to see a bomb squad (which I doubted I'd see seeing as I doubted there was any bomb) or at least some sniffer dogs. But I saw just a guy wearing white Police cover-alls and carrying a black box. Shame.

I heard some kids talking in the mall. One of them was saying in his most authoritative voice "I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bomb, considering the way John Howard has been acting lately." It took me back to the days when I would put on grave authoritative voices to pronouce my wishful desires for destruction in the guise of good analysis (Think:"The bush fires probably will come our way rapidly considering the contours of our valley and the wind speed"). These days, while always hoping for a bit of good old fashioned excitement, have seen only dullness result that I don't get my hopes up. Plus there's the other part of me that knows that watching a bombing probably is a rather horrific event.

A woman came up to me while I was standing in the mall to ask what was going on. When I told her, she said "Who would want to bomb Hungry Jacks? The should have gone for McDonald's".

In the end the mall was given the all clear and I got to be one of the first people into the re-opened mall. It was quite an honour.

After that I hopped on a train and went to a Make Poverty History Stand Gathering (or whatever one would call it). A bunch of young concerned citizens gathered at Darling Harbour to stand for 8 minutes of silence, one minute for every Millennium Development Goal. The event started at 5:30pm (or was advertised for then) and ended at 7:15, which was rather longer than the 8 minutes I was expecting (how long can 8 minutes take?). There were lots of speeches, and I got told many times that 30,000 kids die every day of preventable causes. Which is not a nice thing to hear, but I've heard that so many times this year I think I tune out a bit.

Actually what did occur to me is that about 10 years ago we did a thing at church where we were talking about 40,000 children who died every day of preventable causes. So if the number is now 30,000 that's a good thing. That's a 25% decrease in 10 years. I hope that's true, because it means the next 66% (I think that's what the MDG is) is achievable. Hooray!

Anyway once we'd got many speeches out of the way, we managed to stand still for 8 minutes in silence. I was worried about how I'd cope, but it turned out fine. I really enjoyed it. Silence does make a loud noise. More people took the time to look at us when there was nothing at all being said, than when we were talking.

After my continued efforts to end world poverty Jo and I went to dosas with David. It was a small gathering, but fun. I ate a lot and now my hands small of Indian.

On the way home David and I had a long wait for our train at Strathfield so we went to the pub. A quick beer in a seedy tavern. The pub reminded me of church camps with crappy, vomit coloured carpet, a dodgy pool table, mismatching furniture, and a book case in the corner with old Jack Higgins books and at least one copy of The Cross and the Switchblade, this is the camp not the pub. But the pub had that feel. How fun. I love seedy.

In Wollongong last week I found some toilets that looked seedy on the outside but was disappointed to find that they were pretty clean. My spirits perked up a bit when I discovered that all the cubicle doors had been removed, I guess to prevent shooting up.

On the train on the way home David and I talked about Microsoft PowerPoint, IQ scores and politics. How fascinating for anyone listening.

Now I am home.

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I'm getting sick of my beard. It feels too fuzzy.

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The Good Chaplin

This is the the story of a Muslim Army Chaplin who was put in Guantanamo Bay just for being suspected of being a terrorist. It's pretty horrible.

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If I were to disappear...

I've been reading stuff on all these new anti-terror laws, they look fun. ASIO and the Federal Police can jail people for "preventative" measures. So if they think you may be about to commit a terrorist offence, they can jail you. You don't have to be guilty, you just have to seem like you could be about to become guilty. And a court doesn't decide that, the police do. Plus they can bring you in for questioning and you don't have to even seem like a terrorist. You may just know a terrorist, or someone who seems like one. Or just know something about someone who seemed like a terrorist. And if they brought you in for questioning, you have no right to a lawyer and you aren't allowed to tell anyone you're there. If you tell anyone you can go to jail for it. Plus if the people you tell tell anyone they can go to jail too. That's getting jailed for telling someone that someone you knew got questioned by police because they may have know someone who may be about to be a terrorist or may know something that about some terrorism that may happen.

All this questioning can be done without the courts being involved. It's only when they get around to actually charging you with talking about talking to them, that the courts get involved.

Effectively this means that people can just disappear. The police can bring you in for questioning, or preventative detention and no-one will know you're there. They can just keep renewing their warrants to have you there and you don't have to turn up again. And if you do turn up you can't tell anyone where you've been.

So let me just say, if I do disappear, it may not be something as simple as a drowning or a late night walk in the bush that goes horribly wrong. I may not have run away. It may be that I am in police custody being questioned about things that I may or may not know about or I may or may not be about to commit.

And if I turn up and you ask me "Where have you been?" and I don't tell you, then I was probably detained by police.

The laws also state that people can be put under house arrest, given tracking devices, not allowed to attend meetings, and told who they can't talk to. This is almost the same as the banning orders the South African Government put on anyone they didn't like during apartheid.

But I don't have anything to worry about at the moment, I'm white and I'm not Muslim. How could I be a terrorist?

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VHS Triumph

Just as we were leaving Video Ezy tonight we saw a bargain bin with a few old ex-rental VHS tapes for sale for $2 each. We had a look through the tapes and as David described them "They were the dregs of the dregs" (or something to that degree). I found one tape called Death Before Dishonor, it had a cheap holographic picture of a soldier in the desert pointing his pistol. Arm goes up, arm goes down, arm goes up, arm goes down... It was pretty dodgy. So I said to David "If I had $2 on me I'd buy that". He called my bluff and lent me $2. As I bought it I said to the guy at the counter "I just had to own this piece of cinematic history" He just grunted at me.

Now I own some stupid movie from 1987 which someone on IMDb said was a "feature length enlistment infomercial". Woohoo! I can't wait to watch it.

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Control Room

David and I watched Control Room tonight, a documentary about the Arab news network Al Jazeera and it's reporting on the Iraqi war.

It was a good film. I've heard it set out to put a human face on a channel that most people don't understand and only really know as the channel that plays Osama bin Laden's home videos. It did it's job well. The people who work there are intelligent and concerned for their people and for their role as journalists.

One of my favourite people in the film was Capt. Josh Rushing who was the Marine in charge of talking to Al Jazeera during the war. I was expecting him to all propaganda and silly lies, but he was smart, thoughtful and willing to learn. He would listen to the Al Jazeera people and give good answers to their questions. He talked at one stage how he was more disgusted when he saw pictures of American casualties than Iraqi casualties. And when he realised what he'd done, how he'd reacted, he was extremly upset. He said "It makes me hate war, but it doesn't make me believe that we're in a world that can live without war yet." I think I want to join his fan club.

Iraq is such a strange place. It's sad, but I pray that it goes well, that it finds peace and real independence.

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I'm going to bed now. This is real early.

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I started watching season 5 of The West Wing tonight. It's good but not as good as the last four. There's no Aaron Sorkin and it feels like it's missing a limb. Plus the lighting seems to have gotten worse. But I shouldn't complain.

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Truly Momentous Occasion

Last night when we got home Howie and I had the privlege of watching live on TV the new prince of Denmark making his first public appearance. He was walked down a corridor in Mary's (our Mary's) arms, he was taken outside, then strapped into the back of the car. Frederick drove the car away. As Channel Seven's reporter described it, it was "amazing".

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I watched Cinderella Man today. It was a fine, fine, movie. I got real tense in all the fights, especially the big one at the end. Usually I can pick the ending, but I couldn't on this one because it's a true story. Although it ended how you would expect a Hollywood movie to end, at least I wasn't too sure.

Russ and Renee did good and the main family was really sweet. The parents were so devoted to their kids and each other, it made my heart warm. It was a heartwarming boxing movie with lots of punching. I like that.

10/17/2005 10:08:00 pm

He was a Day Tripper

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I had a lovely day today.

I woke up early, had a shower, did my hair (well, flattened my hair), and did my best to look spic, span and incredibly sane ready for my psychological examination for Big Sister Big Brother (For those who are wondering BSBB is a mentoring program for dis-advantaged young people who need mentors). Mum offered to give me a lift into the City so we dropped Hannah at school then sat in rainy day traffic for an hour. Happily I was only about 5 minutes late.

At the YWCA (who run BSBB) I was shown into a shoe-box sized conference room and given my test. It was like doing those Maths and Science Competitions in school. I had a book full of statements and I had to circle my answer on an answer sheet. It was all multiple choice so I guess I have about a 1-in-4 chance of being insane. All the statements had to be answered with either:

F - False, never true
ST - Slightly True
MT - Mostly True
VT - Very True

They seemed to ask a lot of questions about whether I get nervous, if I take drugs, if I'm physically ill and if I often think about killing myself (I guess it's not a good example to have your mentor nervous, high, vomiting or killing themselves while you're out on an esteem building outing to the Zoo.) The questions were things like:
I have trouble controlling my anger - F
I think I have a lot to offer the world - ST
People tell my I have a drug problem - F
I think there are people inside my brain stealing my thoughts - GOGODY (Get out! Get Out Damn You!)
I would make a good stand-up comedian (Don't ask me what that had to do with anything but the very thought of it made me nervous, which probably meant I should have changed my answers to some of the earlier questions)

My favourite questions came up every 40 questions. For some reason on 40, 80, 120, 160 etc they just asked bizarre questions;
40 - My Favourite poet is Ryzard Extamper (I don't remember his actual name)
80 - I sometimes get ads in the mail I don't want
120 - My favourite sport to watch on TV is High Jump
160 - Most people would rather win than lose
200 - My favourite hobbies are Stamp Collecting and Archery

I can't remember the rest, but they were bizarre questions. And I'm not making them up. Anyway, they were fun. The whole test was fun. I was disappointed I couldn't have more interesting answers to the questions though.

After the test I decided to go for a train trip. I had a few hours to kill in the City before I met Jem. Usually when I'm in the city I sleep in the park, but because it was rainy, and I was tired, I decided to find somewhere dry I could sleep, read my book, and listen to music, so I caught a train. I went to Wollongong. It was a lovely trip. I slept and read. So relaxing.

I wandered around the Gong for a bit when I got there, ate lunch, then caught the train back again, sleeping and reading. I think I will do that kind of thing more often. Perhaps next time I will go further.

When I got back I had beer with Jem. That was good too. She's fun, Jem.

Tonight I came home and watch a movie on Foxtel with Mum.

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Weekend Round-up

The Motor Show was fun. Lots of big, expensive cars. And I wanted to own lots of them. Especially the Holdens. I think perhaps it may have been a place which encouraged coveting. Although no-one really seems to care too much about that commandment these days.

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Howie gets excited about an F1

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I wanted to touch these tires because they looked cool, but I was too scared

Fully sic bass, bro!

Last night I went to hear Lauren sing 60s and 70s music. She was good. And it was fun. There was lots of fun, boppy songs.

Afterward Matt, Beck and I went to the pub in Belrose for a drink. I was expecting it to have lots of Saturday night drinkers in there but there were only about 8 other patrons. It was rather sad. I guess Belrose isn't the place to hang on a Saturday night. We only had time for one drink before we were kicked out so they could close up. So sad.

Today I was tired. But my drama group decided that they wanted to do a sitcom for the concert. I'm looking forward to writing that.

We, the youth group, went to the retirement village today and had lots of fun. I laughed a lot with the residents. They were most fun.

Tomorrow I have a psychological examination for the YWCA Big Sister Big Brother program. I think that will be fun. I'm hoping they tell me I'm crazy.

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Because I got Tagged

1. If money were no object, what would you be doing with your life?

Well, I'm going to take that not to mean that I have unlimited money, but that I have none at all. Because if money is "no object" then that would mean that it doesn't physically exist right?

So I'd probably be a subsistence farmer. I'd specialise in growing carrots, tomato, lettuces and soybeans (for when my sisters come around to visit), but I'd make sure I had a few goats and stuff so that I could make cheese for my Greek salads and swap them at the market when I went bartering. I probably wouldn't have a gambling problem.

Of course, if money were "no object" it could just mean that money would be purely conceptual, and only ever numbers in computers, never cash. So I'd never use an ATM and I'd only ever shop at places that had EFTPOS or Visa. In that case I'd probably do a lot of online shopping. I may have a business on eBay doing something, just because, well that's what people do.

2. Money is just that - an object, so why aren't you doing it?

Because I like the smell of cash, I'm not a very good farmer, online shopping is too cumbersome for things like grocery shopping and I've never seen anything on eBay that I've wanted to buy.

3. What's better: horses or cows?

Horses. Because who ever saw a Cowboy riding a Cow? And what did the Man from Snowy River ride down the mountain? Not a cow. And what do Aragon, Legolas and Gandalf ride? And the U2 song is not called Who's Going to Ride your Wild Cows.

4. What do you think the secret to happiness is?

A cold 600mL Coke, a good DVD, and a McCain's Chicken Parmigiana on a Friday night. Of course it's only a short amount of happiness, but it would have been boring if I just said "Jesus" or "Drugs".

5. When was the last time you had a dream that you either remember well or did not want to awake from? Can you share a bit?

Well I often remember dreams. I dreamt last night that I was on a Church camp and we went canoeing in blow up rafts. It wasn't a very interesting dream. I also dreamt that I shaved off my beard and I got upset because I forgot to take a photo of it for the blog.

6. When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An Engineer like my Dad because my Dad drove diggers and wore a hard hat. He didn't really drive diggers but he did wear a hard had. I'd still like to drive diggers and wear a hard hat.

7. Complete this statement: Love is......

Love Is (2005) - A film/dance production.

Using their unique blend of dance, shaky video and poor sound, Breakthru' Artz tell the engaging and wildly original story of a boy, a girl, and some other guy (complete with cheesy speech and sappy music). This is teen angst in all its glory. It's hip, it's fun, and it's a celebration of many of the wonderful ways in which creative Christians try and sneak the Gospel in on unsuspecting viewers. A must see!


8. Can you tell a good story?

I'll tell you one about the dreamtime...

9. Can you remember your last daydream? What was it about?

It was three questions ago and it involved driving diggers and wearing a hard hat. Before that I think it was getting married, moving to Newtown, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast and getting the paper in the morning from my 2-square metres of concrete front yard wearing a white bathrobe.

10. If you were to thank someone today, who would you thank?

I'm sure I'll thank lots of people today. I thank everyone, for everything. My thanks comes cheap therefore probably doesn't mean much.

Thanks folks.

Who's tagged next? Sam

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Last night when I was looking after Hannah she decided to try and wash her hair using laundry liquid. She just opened the bottle and poured it on her head. It was a bit of effort to get it all out so I'm hoping now that her hair's whites are whiter and her colours are brighter!

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I went over to Ryan and Libby's place tonight. After small group I jumped in my car and drove over to Newtown. I hung out in their little flat then we walked up to King St to the Dendy and watched Howl's Moving Castle. The cinemas have lots of winding corridors and red walls. It's a bit like Alice in Wonderland. The film was lots of fun. I think the guy who directed it, Hayao Miyazaki, is way cool.

After the film, at about 11:40pm we went to a little cafe where we ate fruit and yoghurt and drank chai. Then I drove home.

I had lots of fun. I can see why people are falling in love with Newtown. It has pubs, cinemas, cafes, live music venues and a theatre, all on the one street and all open till late. There are always people around too. Plus get off the main street and there's heaps of narrow alleys, little parks and terrace houses. How fun. I reckon I'd like to live there. I approve of Newtown residents.

I got tomato sauce stuck in my beard tonight too. I felt like a had a real beard then.

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Tomorrow I'm going to the Motor Show. How fun!

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The Disappointing Return

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We're back. Click here for Podcast 4.

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The good thing about books is that they're never "down for maintenance". They just sit there on the shelf for whenever you need them.

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Last night I watched Serpico because I saw that it was on Foxtel. I'd been wanting to see it for a while. Years and years. It's directed by Sidney Lumet who is one of my favourite directors.

The film was about a cop who refused to take bribes when corruption was rife in the Police. He then went on to be instrumental in establishing means to get rid of huge amounts of corruption in the force. Throughout the whole film his integrity was tested and he suffered because of the choices he made through the actions of those who were on the take and because of his own frustration at trying to fight a corrupt system. I liked seeing a character who wasn't a goodie goodie, he just believed in his cause and doing the right thing. It inspired me to have integrity and to do what is right.

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Dad and I cut down some trees this afternoon. It was fun. I got to climb ladders, saw trees and repair the Foxtel cable that we pulled down. We should be drinking beer and watching footy now. Except I'm writing a Bible study.

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Tonight The Idea of North came to our church to perform. It was fun. They're damn good. Good performers, fantastic singers, nice people. I was impressed. Our little church blessed with the best a cappella group in the country.

I invited one of them to join our youth group but I don't think she was interested. She was probably too old, but we can bend the rules for people who sing good.

I also spent a lot of today organising the mail out for youth ministry this term. I kinda enjoy dull, administrative jobs. As long as you have music, or people to talk to, or best yet, both, it's pretty good. I think I could cope with having more mail outs. I think I like the containedness. There's a lot less of the messiness of humans and their relationships. Just paper, folding, envelopes and a good cd with a lot of your attention. That's a pretty good way to earn a quid or two.

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Face Conversation

I'm continually having conversations about my facial hair. People come up to me and say "Tom, you're growing a beard." And this generally gets one of three responses:

1. "I can't help it, it just comes out"
2. "Yes, I've been working hard."
3. "I just forgot to shave this morning."

Now I don't really mind people talking about it, but it's not a subject that has much variance. Sometimes people want to talk about the technicalities of my beard, which isn't always the most stimulating conversation either. "Yes, you're right my moustache doesn't really connect up properly."

Other times people tell me "You're starting to look like Jesus."

To which I reply "Bless you my child."

It's not always exciting conversation but I'm usually polite.

Kemp said to me today "You're very hairy Tom"

I said "Shut up"

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I haven't blogged much lately. I feel like not much that is all that remarkable has happened.

I went out to dinner last night with some of the people from Love Is. They were mostly dancers but dancers are pretty friendly. We went to Wockbar in Manly. Ben and I invented a new game where you cross your legs with each persons foot positioned in front of the other's opposite leg. Then you hit your knee and try and kick the other person's leg with your amazing reflexes. It's not exactly a high pain game, but I think it has potential.

I watched U2 on Conan O'Brian last night. It was a special U2 only show. I'm not a big fan of Conan and the show confirmed it for me. Although he did better than I've seen him ever do before. He managed to spend most of the show not talking about himself which is what he normally does in interviews. Probably the worst thing was not the show but the editing of the show. Foxtel seemed to have a bit of a hack at it which was very sad. We missed the end of Vertigo and cut straight to an ad. I was rather sad.

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I’m not broke but you can see the cracks - U2

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Miyagi Wisdom

"Never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance." - Mr Miyagi, The Next Karate Kid

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I fell asleep in Hyde Park today. I slept on the grass and woke up when the wind blew cold. Sleeping in parks is good. At least when you have a bed you can go to.

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I went to a Soul Night at a local church tonight. It was at an old church building that has recently had a church planted in it. It had an impressive set up. The sound guy showed me through their collection. It was very nice. Lots of radio mics, nice amps, good security system. Sweet.

When I arrived at the church it was full. People were overflowing from it. There were chairs set up outside the church in the carpark, so I decided to take one of them and listen on the outside speakers that had been set up. It was a nice night for it.

I decided to join in the worship. At first it was a little strange standing next to a mainroad, singing to a band a couldn't see, surrounded by kids playing footy, toddlers trying to run on to the road and passers by giving us funny looks. But as I stood there, it was good, because I realised it's a place where we should be worshipping more. Standing outside I could see the sky, I could see God's creation and I couldn't see the band (who are also God's creations but we won't go into that). Standing outside and singing "We must go" and "Fill us up and send us out" at least meant that I was one step closer to fulfilling that. I felt kind of stupid because there were only two of us singing outside, but it felt good too. Perhaps it felt like worship should feel more often. More uncomfortable and more costly.

Of course singing in a church carpark isn't that hard, but it's a growing experience. Maybe I'll start singing in shopping centres too. Alone.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let you go!

But probably I won't. I doubt it'd do wonders for the Gospel.

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Sometimes the world makes me angry.

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With My Sister

I hung out with Jo today. It was fun. We had lunch together and talked about fashion and funnies, and then went to a movie.

We went and saw Little Fish which was really good. It was fantastically written. The characters were great. Cate's character was especially inspiring and Noni Hazelhurt's mother was lovely. Noni acted well too. It wasn't a particularly happy movie, but it sure did well.


We went and visited Grandpa and Valentina after the film and that was nice too. They're good fun.

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I'm back from Black Stump and rather buggered. I was up till 4:30am this morning. Yahoo!

I didn't get hugely excited about Stump this year. Not because I don't like it, but I think because I take it more for granted now. It's like Christmas, it feels like it's always going to be there. It's better than Christmas though because it's longer, it's more fun, there's more music and you don't have to eat turkey.

Breakthru' Artz performed well. They're a talented bunch, especially them dancers.

Love Is went well. The DVD stuffed up at the beginning. It wouldn't play the first scene. I spent the whole pre-show time trying to make it work. In the end we just had to start the show and hope and pray that it came good. So the show started. The DVD stuffed up. I franticly pressed the buttons and prayed, I hear the dancers all prayed too, and the DVD worked for the first time that night.

I didn't mind that the show didn't have the preach at the end. It would have been out of context at Stump. It was strange sitting there, getting to the end of the show and telling myself I had to remain seated. I still feel like the show was made up of 3 parts but it was good to see that it worked standing alone. Yay team.

The other Breakthru' Artz show was good. I didn't do much with that. But I sat at the back and watched and it was a positive experience. I liked all the colours.

The rest of Stump was special. I didn't get to see many things. I went to a Youth Ministry Masterclass which was good. There were three youth ministers, one with the biggest youth group in Australia (literally), one with a medium sized group, and one who had been working with a group of about 12 or so. It was good to hear their stories and see what their core desires were like. It was affirming and challenging.

Paul Colman was fun and the Comedy Debate made me chortle and chuckle.

When I was walking through the village on Friday night a young girl walked up to me and said "Excuse me, would you give me a hug?" All these questions of what was allowed and not allowed and what Child Protections Guidelines say jumped to mind. And then I decided that the world needs more friendly hugs and there was little risk of anyone getting hurt, so I hugged her, and kept going.

It was one of those things that seems much more likely to happen when you get a bunch of Christians together because everyone loses their shyness because they know that everyone will be nice to them. Or at least should be.

We didn't do the commando course this year.

I showered everyday.

Hugh Evans did a really good talk this morning to send us out. I was impressed. He made me want to save the world. Or at least do my bit.

The Outback Hippies were fantastic as usual. They rocked and I sang, jumped and danced with the my traditional Stump crew for the whole 2 hours. The ground was really dry and it was so dusty in the tent I couldn't breath properly and had a sneezing fit in the last song. But it was lots of fun.

The weather was beautiful.

I liked the people I was camping with. They were good value.

I continue to appreciate God and his goodness to me.

The End