Your personal timeline, a place to aggregate photos, blog posts, tweets and key events in your life.
Created by gavinknight on May 25, 2008
Last updated: 10/17/10 at 03:25 AM
I'm very happy with my iPad 3G which I bought recently. I'm also very happy with my iPhone 3GS which I bought last summer and don't feel compelled to upgrade to an iPhone 4.
I will post a review of my experiences with both soon, including a contrast with my prior business phone the Blackberry Bold.
In the meantime, Black & White has a very good but succinct response from a NZ perspective to common questions about the iPad and iPhone. If you're interested I suggest you read the whole article, but here is the summary:
Prices in NZ are fair for iPhone 4 and iPad. Both are great devices, but only buy one if you want to. Buy them in NZ, and use them on [Telecom] XT.
It is my policy to only accept Facebook 'friend' requests from people I know personally. This policy is not meant to cause offense, or disengage me from the online world.
Recently I have noticed I am increasingly being asked to 'friend' someone on Facebook who I don't know personally. My usual practice with these requests (when the person appears genuine) is to respond back with a private message through Facebook asking whether or not we have actually met. Given how active I am on other public forms (e.g. this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn) some seem surprised to find out that I reserve Facebook for connecting with people I know personally. I had such a conversation earlier today.
One of the key reasons for this policy is that (for their personal safety) we have always required our (now teenage) kids to only 'friend' people online that they know and would count as a friend in the physical world (family also counts!). To demonstrate to them the importance of this policy I follow the same policy for my own Facebook, and insist on being connected as 'friends' with them. From time to time we are allowed to check each other's 'friends' lists against this policy - and we do so. My kids are surprised at how many people their Dad knows!
The other reason is that I also like that I can keep at least one online forum (currently Facebook) more private. I am publicly active on enough public online forums as it is!
What is your policy?
Please note that I am well aware that privacy concerns with Facebook are increasing and that the policy described above could therefore be a bit of a mirage. However, until there is an alternative online forum where we can find most of the people we know then the reality is that Facebook will continue to perform this role in our lives.
Joel and I went to Makara this afternoon - walked up the hills, played in the rock pools, fished, etc.
One of our favourite haunts.
Ending up staying past sundown.
This is why.
Newlands College under 55kg haka
Newlands College under 55kg haka pre-game before playing Hutt Valley High School on the Newlands #2 field (some under 65kg team boys joined in too)
some very cool photos from Eyjafjallajokull
I like Nicholas Bates' writing - it is brief, yet eloquent and regularly provokes me to think and act differently.
For example, consider this as my interpretation of his post on Work Life Balance:
discuss and agree with your partner what 'work/life balance' is
switch off more
create zones of peace: physical and/or time
be 'here' now
realise you cannot do everything, so prioritise
accept you will never have enough time, so make choices
Please refer to Nicholas' blog article for a slightly longer discussion of each point.
I wrote last week on my interest in, and the beginnings of my trialling of, Google Wave.
A commenter on that article pointed to one of the many document sharing sites out there as an alternative. This prompted me to think deeper on why Google Wave has me so intrigued, when there are plenty of collaboration services which I could implement in a way that would meet my needs.
My initial thoughts were - with my subsequent thoughts in italics:
I'm looking for something to collaborate on docs (ie edit too) not just share them - the commenter pointed to a sharing site;
Wave is from Google and therefore much more likely to become more pervasive if it succeeds - as a consultant working with an ever changing array of multiple customers and partnering organisations I collect too many systems, UserIDs and passwords as it is, if Google Wave takes off and removes a need for a lot of them (I don't expect it to replace all of them) that would simplify my life and hopefully enable me to deliver value to my customers quicker - rather than being distracted as I often am now by having to learn yet another system with yet another pair of UserID and password credentials;
because it is designed ground up as an open protocol - very soon other providers will be able to provide Wave servers, and waves will federate among them so it won't be a closed system like too many of the current alternates - as well as the points made in 2 this one is particularly relevant to my work as a consultant working with an ever changing array of multiple customers and partnering organisations - I don't always get to choose which systems I have to work with as my customers, and sometimes my partner organisations, often choose the tools to be used for a particular project - Google Wave offers the potential of using a system that might become as common as email, without the frustrations of email (which are why we are all looking for new options anyway!).
My business partner now has a Google Wave account and I will blog my real world experience of using Google Wave in the context of running our consulting company.
Eric has written a post describing how he uses the standard Outlook task 'status' field to supplement the Netcentrics GTD Outlook add-in. In his case he uses it for what I call "subsequent actions" (he sets the status to 'not started') which only become active (a "next action") once a prior "next action" (he sets the status to "In Progress") has been done.
I use a slightly different technique, which I have described in a comment on his post, and here:
I achieve a similar result using Due dates. In my workflow subsequent actions will usually occur on a day in the future once the predecessor next action has occurred. I have a filtered copy of the standard Actions by Project view which has an additional filter on it for actions due on or before today. An implication is I have to due date all my tasks or those with a blank due date are also filtered out, as well as subsequent actions. If when the due date comes around and the ‘next action’ is not yet done, but the ’subsequent’ action appears on my list as now due, this prompts me to either do the ‘next action’ (remembering that I should have already!) or reassess when the subsequent action is due.
The same technique also works as a tickler. For future tasks/reminders I want to be ‘tickled’ about I simply create a task with the relevant due date. On that date it appears on my filtered view as it is now ‘due’.
How are you using the Netcentrics GTD Outlook add-in, and standard Outlook functionality, to manage GTD for you?
I have been a Wellington rugby supporter for all of my more than 40 years, and it's never been easy, but tonight was humiliating. Until late in the second half it looked like Wellington wouldn't even score a point.
It was a game which promised to be one of the great Shield games. Maybe even like the classic game between Canterbury and Auckland in the 1980s. I took my kids along in anticipation of seeing one of the biggest games of their lives. However, it was not to be. Wellington didn't fire a shot for most of the game, and when they did it was far far too late.
Well done Canterbury. I hope you respect the Ranfurly Shield better than my team did. You should, because you always do.
I have returned to the Tumeke! Top 100 New Zealand political and news blogs with a #100 ranking in April.
Today I am very happy with Evernote!
They have now also made the Evernote Blackberry application available for direct download. This sidesteps Blackberry's App World which is only available in the US, Canada and the UK - ie not to me in New Zealand - hence my disappointment yesterday.
I have just downloaded it direct to my Blackberry Bold, will test during the day and post my thoughts tonight.
Hat Tip: Sean via Twitter
My journey with Outlook and GTD continues, and is settling into a nice routine at the level I have currently achieved.
I am sleeping much better, and heading into work each day with a clearer view of what it might contain!
I astounded a client project meeting the other day when the client side Project Manager said he had hundreds of unprocessed emails. He went on to speculate in front of the full project team that I must be in a similar position as a service provider PM. I took great delight in stating I clear my email inbox each day! and therefore always have a clear view of all the actions I need to take.
I have reverted to using my Filofax as my primary note taking tool for meetings, etc. I bought one day per page sheets and use those for my notes each day, which I transfer into Outlook daily. Side bar - I got 75% off from my stationer simply by pointing out at the checkout that the year is nearly half gone!
However, my frustrations with further tuning GTD to my workflow and tools continue:
I still haven't got my GTD definitions right (for me), particularly Projects v Actions v Contexts;
I still can't meaningfully view my tasks outside of my primary copy of Outlook (on my main laptop) which is an issue for a mobile worker like me who isn't always sitting in the same place in front of the same PC;
I am still wading my way through my accumulated physical inboxes to extract all the projects and actions buried in them.
image courtesy nerd merit badges
09:03 RT @hotdogsladies: "What's up?" "Not bad." An exchange I hear several times a month that makes me wonder where exactly humans are headed. # 11:39 RT @markdbennett VirtualBox great & lets me have the best of both Mac & Windows! @myen # 11:43 RT @rowansimpson: Was there an earthquake this morning or was it just a close clap of thunder? #wellington >> there's nothing on @NZquake # 16:14 @mrstibby jvl ;) # 16:14 @mrstibby or near # 16:16 RT @Te_Ara few people died while tramping until the 1960s. Since then the fatality rate has risen consistently tr.im/tramping >> why? # 16:17 RT @wcl_library: extend your loan for 1 week online (charges and conditions apply) bit.ly/Khkj0 (@myen) # 16:22 @NatashaUtting i don't think you have to 'approve'' followers if your twitter is public, they're just notifications, which you can turn off # 16:25 @NatashaUtting so I suggest you change your profile to public & then you simply ignore the twammers ~ your tweets are public in style anyway # 19:53 @NatashaUtting but there # 19:53 @NatashaUtting but there's no hassle to you if they follow you, then can only spam you if you follow them # 19:54 @Te_Ara so are there stats on tramping deaths as a proportion of number of people tramping? is the increase per capita of trampers as big # 22:17 there's an interesting discussion on @che_tibby's blog about best suburbs for families in WLG ~ I'm arguing for Northern suburbs! #fb # 22:19 @NZGreens @socialtoo has a function to auto-follow those who follow you ~ incl if you flick em a couple $s they'll catch up those you missed # 22:19 RT @TryForOthers: "Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the center of the city." - Oscar Wilde #rugby >> heh # 22:23 @che_tibby ironically Jill & I are starting to dream of the day we're childless & can give apartment living a spin! ~ kids grow up so quick! # 22:29 pay yourself first, in 'time' (via @collabguy) is.gd/xaOj >> great idea, if I can overcome lifetime of not being a morning guy #fb # 22:36 heh, "The front bench of the Labour Party is like a political rest home where members go to see out their twilight years" is.gd/xaVb # 22:44 about to read an actual magazine end to end (Time) ~ first time in years I've not done my current affairs reading online! #this daily collation of my Twitter updates has been posted here automatically by LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing
17:47 @jnswanson mmmm donuts # 18:04 @sootycat6 oh yeah # 18:09 yet another tough week to pick in Super 14 Virtual Rugby ~ I only got 21 points (again) but still moved up 5,025 places to 17,785th #fb # 18:10 @SAJchurch thx # 18:25 mmmm. Feijoas. again. mmmm. #fb # 22:14 RT @dpfdpf: TV3 Poll has Nats 56% Lab 30% and Pref Pm Key 51% Clark 12% and Goff 9% #this daily collation of my Twitter updates has been posted here automatically by LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing
This morning I reverted to my normal ANZAC practice and attended the dawn parade at the Cenotaph next to Parliament in central Wellington. Last year I missed it and my friend Mark, who was with me this morning as he is most years, was in Gallipoli for the commemorations there. One day I hope to go too.As usual there were thousands at the Cenotaph, no doubt in part because it was a stunning clear morning. The service was the usual dignified memorial to those who served in various theatres of war and conflict. Particularly those who died, but also those who were injured or traumatised and also those who kept the country running back home.Mid-morning my son Joel and I, with other members of our church, marched in our local Johnsonville community ANZAC parade. The march ended at the RSA club where a service was held on the forecourt. I'd have to say I was astounded. There were over a thousand people there, with strong representation of all sectors of our local community. The photo to the top left is part of the crowd arriving at the RSA at the end of the march.The service itself was in some ways better than the earlier dawn parade. I actually thought it was better in terms of raw quality of the speaking, singing and remembering. But that is not the only way in which it was better. This was a community celebration, and in all senses our community was together this morning.Today has very much echoed the words I wrote last yearApril 25 is ANZAC Day here in New Zealand (and Australia). The date commemorates the attempt to capture Gallippoli in 1915 during WWI, but over the years the day has evolved into a remembrance of all Kiwis (and Aussies) who have gone to war - any war. It is, in a very real sense, the day on which we feel most united as a nation.Each year ANZAC Day gives me pause to think of those in my extended family who served in the various wars of the last century. In particular I think of my Poppa; my Mum's father. He served in the Pacific during WWII. He never talked much of war, and by the time I was old enough to want to ask, he was too ill. He passed away 27 years ago.In no way did either of this morning's services celebrate or glorify war itself, and neither is that the point in my writing about today. War is horrific, and often wrong. I long to live in a world where international disputes can be settled without going into armed conflict.However, we should remember, and thank God for, those who did (and do) serve.They shall grow not old,As we that are left grow old,Age shall not weary them,Nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun,And in the morning,We will remember them.Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)We do remember them!
18:41 RT @KiwiblogDPF: KB: Blogging and Journalism tinyurl.com/dmzyqd >> very good, especially the youtube clip is.gd/koHV # 19:59 just had great fun watching Yes! Minister clips on BBC Youtube channel is.gd/tCjL #fb # 20:45 @johnkeypm good to see you on twitter, but please make it more personal rather than just links to speeches #this daily collation of my Twitter updates has been posted here automatically by LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing
10:28 bit.ly seems to have been broken for some time ~ I can never get to sites by following bit.ly shortened URLs ~ I get "page load error" #this daily collation of my Twitter updates has been posted here automatically by LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing
09:21 @caffeine_addict twitterfeed is working for me # 09:24 @caffeine_addict I run my Blogger RSS feed thru Yahoo Pipes to filter out 'my daily tweets' blog posts ~ don't want them on @GavinKnightBlog # 09:26 @caffeine_addict of course, it might work better if your blog posts had titles, rather than just body text ;) # 11:58 RT @shroedernz: 4 Reasons Why You Should GTD bit.ly/18ry1Q #GTD #eProductivity #fb # 11:59 @caffeine_addict i'm on blogger too so don't see why it wouldn't work for you too # 12:21 @caffeine_addict happy to talk you through 'how' over a coffee some time, maybe after the school hols? # 12:22 @shroedernz @SamMcGuire why you guys talking about bras? # 12:51 @caffeine_addict sure, after the school hols # 13:18 off to my 'favourite' weekly project team meeting ~ but hopefully less than a month to go for my role on this project :) # 15:22 about to explain to client's vendor why they missed out this time but still have a shot at a different project I'm leading for same client # 15:26 3rd cafe meeting today # 19:22 trialling seesmic desktop preview ~ not impressed at moment ~ clumsy screen layout which doesn't make efficient use of screenspace :( # 19:28 seesmic desktop looks slightly better in a window rather than maximised # 19:36 reinstalling tv etc media software seems to have brought back freeview tv on my office pc ~ very frustrating it disappeared though #fb # 20:06 2 things that would make me like seesmic desktop 1) let me widen column 2) let me use smaller font = would mean I could see more tweets # 22:00 @che_tibby enjoy #this daily collation of my Twitter updates has been posted here automatically by LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing
this is an aggregation of my my Twitter updates from yesterday which I have posted here automatically using LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing: 09:45 RT @ambermacarthur: Someone should create a Twitter-like site with the question - What am I not doing? - as a to-do list for the masses! # 09:49 off to church for start of our easter series "the passion" sajchurch.com/?p=666 # 10:10 twitpic.com/2jnxn - Hosannah! # 10:28 twitpic.com/2jp1c - What would you give up for Lent? # 10:31 Lent is preparation # 10:41 Luke 4 ~ tinyurl.com/cdc54x # 10:52 full of the Holy Spirit ~ it is written ~ walk with God daily # 10:53 maybe Lent should be daily # 13:00 @collabguy good to hear of week 1 ~ hope Sunday is restorative & sets you up for week 2 # 13:02 not sure I'll live tweet church again ~ certainly not sitting next to Jill ~ she doesn't get my bible is on my phone! - thought I was TXTg! # 13:11 twitpic.com/2jyig - Joel's first rugby game of 2009 season ~ pre season v Avalon ~ he's playing left wing today #fb # 16:58 @juhasaarinen @dpfdpf wlg too # 17:40 rotary phones are gone, why not phone books? via @pogue on ny times is.gd/oXs5 >> agree, in nz 018 is everyone's # # 17:59 9vahmmm ~ micro hotel rooms ~ great idea, or just too cheap &nasty? (via @pogue) is.gd/ptMC # 18:01 all caught up on my online reading, now to spend more time setting up the Bunker is.gd/ptNn # 21:08 had a better week in virtual rugby & climbed 14k places #fb # 21:35 @che_tibby thinking of you ... & yours #
this is an aggregation of my my Twitter updates from yesterday which I have posted here automatically using LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing: 09:59 @ericmack tweetdeck already has a setting to 'hide previously loaded tweets (after restart)' ~ not quite the same as "unread" ~ but close # 09:59 @evernote why have you stopped development (& support?) of the IMAP interface? #EvernotePodcast # 10:00 @shroedernz when I was on that leadership meetings only took 1-2 hours ;) # 10:02 RT @wcl_library: Morena Wellingtonians, hope you have a nice Friday : ) Don't forget you can get an eco-bulb each time you borrow an ite ... # 10:02 RT @Wellington_NZ: Beautiful shot of light on Wellington harbour this morning - twitpic.com/2gxzt # 10:07 my paraphrase of @gtdguy via @GTDCoachKelly: #GTD is a systematic approach, not a system (or particular tool) # 10:16 @_MandM_ uh ~ UN & Eu are different orgs ~ albeit both infested with political correctness # 10:21 @_MandM_ although, in a way i think the political correctness mob are right on this one # 10:21 @_MandM_ why should a woman's title denote here status when a man's doesn't? # 10:22 @_MandM_ i very very very rarely refer to my wife as mrs knight, to me she's "jill" ... that said i very rarely use mr for myself too ;) # 10:22 RT @NZNationalParty: Via Beehive: Govt congratulates Helen Clark on top UN role twurl.nl/b6mosg # 10:24 @bernardchickey agree, paul henry went way too far, it wasn't even relevant to the story # 12:27 @_MandM_ no, she's certainly not miss # 12:30 @_MandM_ apart from also denoting 'not married' ~ "Miss" sounds like a girl, not a woman # 12:41 is finally going to get decent tv reception on all tvs at home ~ doesn't bother me so much ~ but family near mutinies sometimes #fb # 22:31 trying out skimmer to bring together my friend feeds across twitter, facebook, etc #
this is an aggregation of my my Twitter updates from yesterday which I have posted here automatically using LoudTwitter so that my blog contains a copy of all my online writing:16:10 RT @newzeal: Safe travels for those going home today. Keep following us for post #newzeal news and updates # 16:23 trying out Loudtwitter to copy my tweets to my blog each day following suggestion from @jackyan # 17:39 @jackyan I'm trying the email to blogger option which should be most fail safe as least technical! ~ first one due 1am tomorrow # 17:42 RT @Whaleoil thinks Stuff's new site is an EPIC FAIL considering their "blogs" don't have RSS # 20:51 catching up on boston legal ~ denny crane! #fb # 21:51 @SamMcGuire @shroedernz I think that e-sword has a mobile-windows version. # 22:01 @gimarshall @SamMcGuire @shroedernz www.biblegateway.com/mobile worked well for me this morning (but needs net connectivity on your phone) # 22:02 @gimarshall @SamMcGuire @shroedernz and it seems to be pretty bandwidth efficient so not going to rack up a huge mobile data bill # 22:25 @gimarshall thanks will check it out (on my blackberry) # 22:42 trialling www.olivetree.com mobile bible & christian ebooks on my blackberry (via @gimarshall) # 22:47 trialling www.olivetree.com mobile bible & christian ebooks on my blackberry (via @gimarshall) #fb #
Tomorrow ~ Mon-23-Feb ~ is NZ Internet Blackout day so I will not be posting any new content.David Farrar has helpful instructions on how to #blackout your blog.
proof there are Kingfish in Wellington Harbour ~ near Ngauranga anyway!
proof there are Kingfish in Wellington Harbour ~ near Ngauranga anyway!
fishing near Kaiwharawhara at dusk on New Years Day
I must be getting old! my daughter Andrea is learning to drive!
a year in 40 seconds via Leo Laporte
Now this is smart.A cafe is using their revolving door to provide power."So, while the coffee powers the customers, the customers are powering the coffee shop."Makes you wonder how much potential power we just let go to waste!
Eye of the Fish reports on a plan to put a giant hook at the bottom of Ngaurange Gorge as a play on the Maori story that the North Island is a fish caught by Maui and Wellington harbour is the fish's mouth - although, as Eye points out:Traditionally that fish-hook was off the east cape in Hawkes Bay, but hey, myths are always flexible.I like it!
The pools draw happens tomorrow morning NZ time, but they have already released the banded seedings for the 2011 Rugby World Cup which are based on IRD world rankings at the end of November.World rugby is in a parlous state when not one northern hemisphere side is good enough to earn a top four spot for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. We need rugby to be more competive to be interesting. However, this is not surprising given the miserable play by the 'home nations' sides against the All Blacks this past month - none of them could score a try, and so don't deserve a top four spot anyway. Good on Wales though, who beat Australia over the weekend and therefore climbed one spot in the rankings.Only Munster, a club side playing without most of their top players, managed to play real rugby, and actually score a try against the All Blacks.The draw is due to take place in London at 4am Tuesday NZT.Bands for the 2011 World Cup drawBand 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, ArgentinaBand 2: Wales, England, France, IrelandBand 3: Scotland, Fiji, Italy, TongaTeams in each band will be drawn randomly into one of the four pools. The final two positions in each pool will be allocated to the eight qualifying places still available for RWC 2011.The banding of these eight teams is as follows:Band 4: Americas 1, Europe 1, Europe 2, Oceania 1Band 5: Africa 1, Americas 2, Asia 1, Play Off place
welcome back Goodnight Kiwi!
my son Joel in a reflective mood next to the Hutt River with its juncture with the Akatarawa River on the right of the photo
last night I was a driver for our church youth group who went out to Makara Beach for the evening, I've never seen it so calm
hat tip Miramar Mike
hat tip Miramar Mike
Jim Donovan has some good advice on how the project team should be drawn from the best people in the organisation, and on how to lead and generate effective business change generally. His advice is given as '10 rules' (emphasis mine): 1. The project team should be drawn from the best people in the organisation, the ones who will drive the new way, and will likely hold leadership roles in it. Don’t staff projects with your third-rate cast-offs. Don’t rely on contractors for roles that should be held by business experts.2. The naval officer on site in the dockyard overseeing the construction of a new ship is the officer who will be its first captain. The best person to lead a change project is the person who will run the new process afterwards. Failing that, get someone even more qualified and powerful, not less, to be your change agent. Sitting on a governance committee is not enough.3. The change leader and the change team must have been indoctrinated into the new way of thinking, and be passionate, effective advocates as well as good at their jobs.4. Don’t treat change as an IT project, even if largely based around new IT systems. It’s a business project. The best businesses train their business managers in smart project management, process design and change management. These are not IT skills, they are business skills. Having said that, good business-savvy IT people can make great business change people if you also follow rules 1, 2 and 3.5. Be ambitious but realistic about what you can achieve with the money, time, resources and ownership support you have available to you. Despite knowing this, I too have sometimes fooled myself or been pressured into going ahead on over-ambitious projects without adequate resources, with predictable results. Heroism, hope and luck are not reliable ingredients for success.6. Give the change leader the power to decide, as far as possible, and have fast access to higher decision-makers when necessary. There is no value-add and much cost from constantly briefing and waiting on uninvolved decision-makers.7. Like any major change proposal, nothing will happen unless you dedicate resources (people, time, money) to make the change happen. Expecting people to design and implement a major change while doing their day jobs rarely works, especially when their core process is broken. Put your best operational people onto the change project; here’s where you can usefully deploy contractors - to fill in for them in the operational teams.8. Avoid highly structured project management methodologies. I recommend a much more agile, lo-tech approach. Don’t try to specify everything before you start. Have a high level “architectural” concept to guide you, but get going!9. Keep the alligators at bay, but focus on the swamp draining. Don’t worry about dealing with the current stream of problems - that’s the job of the operational teams. Put in place some holding plan, but concentrate your best resources on creating the new model that will work. Get it working, put all new customers, and new transactions onto it, transfer all customers without problems onto it, and then, last, not first, deal with the problem backlog.10. Notwithstanding rule 9, try to deliver value quickly, in chunks, rather than going for the big bang. Incremental success builds support.11. Bonus rule: communicate, communicate, communicate; up, down, across, inward, outward.This is great advice Jim, which lines up with my experience as a project manager bringing about business change, often enabled by IT.
Tui are thriving in Wellington.When I was a kid it was quite rare to see native birds in Wellington, but now they're everywhere - particularly Tui!
If you haven't already please make sure your sponsor someone for Movember. If you don't have someone to sponsor, then sponsor Cameron. I have.
My NZ political and news blog ranking has reduced further from #91 to #95 during October.This is unsurprising given that I didn't write much in September and October while settling into self-employment, but the rest of the NZ blogosphere was going crazy with the then pending election.Thanks to Tim Selwyn of Tumeke! for all the hard work he puts in collating and analysing the data behind these rankings.Madeleine at MandM has further analysed this month's rankings and produced her ranking of NZ Christian bloggers, where I have slipped from 6th to 7th. Thanks for your work too Madeleine.
Joel's new Brown Tree Frogs
Added: November 18, 2008
Joel's new Brown Tree Frogs
Joel's new Brown Tree Frogs
Pets & Animals
Joel's new Brown Tree Frogs
Joel's new Brown Tree Frogs
Pets & Animals
Wow. Munster 16. All blacks 10.Half time. Great game of rugby. Munster's try simple rugby beauty. Why don't northern international sides play like this?
A great prayer, courtesy Michael Hyatt who credits it to Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (1782–1867):O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely upon thy holy will. In every hour of the day reveal thy will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that thy will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by thee. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day and all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray thou thyself in me. Amen.
11 November is my birthday, and like every other year I have been able to spend time today with my family celebrating. But ever since I heard as a young boy that there is a minute's silence on my birthday I have also recognised that it is also Armistice Day, and that increasingly means a lot more to me than just my living for another year.So many young men in former generations didn't get to live past their teenage years, or enjoy love and marriage, or have their lives unbelievably enriched by fatherhood, or discover their purpose and live it out through a career and community service - all of which, and much more, have been my privelege. Rather their lives were cut way too short by the futility of war.Today was a day of back to back client meetings, so I wasn't able to attend events at the War Memorial, but did drop by for a moment of quiet reflection on the way home this evening. Joel joined me and I was able to explain why were doing it.Like others, I mark this memorable 90th anniversay of the ending of WWI, by quoting In Flanders Field:In Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses row on row,That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fields.by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army
I have deleted the side bar and Policies page references to Labour's repugnant Electoral Finance Act now that the election is over, so it no longer applies to blogs like this one because I understand the regulated period has completed, and is soon to be repealed anyway (hopefully!).
the hope implicit in the election of Barack Obamasource unknown (received by email)
interestingly Ecclesiastes 10:2 saysThe heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.(for humourous purposes only, not a theological stance!)
Looking at the preliminary results for yesterday's New Zealand election it is my sincere hope that we have seen the end of what I have previously called "the ridiculous of 'the' christian vote" (that link is to my post last week which generated a vigorous debate from some who support the of 'the' christian vote).Of the three 'christian' parties only the Kiwi Party gathered more than 10,000 votes which only equates to approximately 0.5% - very far from the 5% required under MMP to actually get into parliament.Collectively the three 'christian' parties only gathered 1.22%.Both the Legalise Cannabis and the Bill & Ben parties gathered more votes than the other two 'christian' parties.Legalising cannabis is hardly mainstream thought in New Zealand, yet they gathered more votes than parties who tried to monopolise the 'christian' label. Quite obviously against the wishes of the 10%-50% of New Zealanders who as christian (10% = rule of thumb figure for Sunday church attendance each Sunday, and more than 50% of kiwis continue to self-identify as christian in our five yearly census despite the secularisation of NZ).I welcome discussion on this post, but ask that the discussion focus on the reality of how christians actually do vote and engage in politics in New Zealand - not some theoretical, and in my opinion marginal, construct of how christians should vote, or of the conscience vote issues which seem to motivate those who form and support 'christian' parties. Also, please first read last week's post and its comments before commenting on this post so that we can advance the debate rather than simply repeat it.
Yesterday John Key was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand, and today starts the process of formalising his coalition and support arrangements so as to govern our country for the next three years.My congratulations to John and the National team, and also to ACT and UnitedFuture with whom he will govern.It is my sincere hope he can include the Maori Party in some form of support arrangement. The future of Maori is too closely aligned to the success of our nation for their main political voice - the Maori Party - to be sidelined.Likewise, I hope he can form sort of agreement on environment policy with the Green Party. Human impact on the environment is too high, and is producing unsustainable outcomes. National has a well formed view of how this can be addressed but it would be refreshing to bring the Green Party into making this happen. It would also demonstrate that the left wing do not have a monopoly on the environment.Winston Peters was remarkably gracious in conceding defeat last night. His career promised so much, but he couldn't handle the discipline of playing in a team and had to go off and create his own petty dynasty, known as NZ First. It is NZ's loss that he never rose to the heights he could have, but rather leaves politics with the stench of corruption and hypocrisy swirling around him. We saw sniffs of his potential in his performance as Foreign Minister these past three years, which only served to illustrate what could have been.Helen Clark has strode like a colossus across our political landscape for a long time now. I never doubted her ability, and always respected her leadership in bringing together and holding together the fractious left for so long. But like Peters she too is standing aside without having fulfilled her destiny. If she had stayed true to her social democrat I would have respected her much more even though I disagreed with many of her policies. But her legacy is that of stealing the 2005 election with our money, legislating to make that theft legal, to legitimise it for this election, and to shut down her opposition. It is to her eternal shame she formed a partnership with Winston Peters, and then stuck by him when it was clear he was at least a hypocrite, and quite probably NZ's first truly corrupt politician.Of National's first 100 days plan the thing I look forward to most is the repeal of the Electoral Finance Act which was Labour's blight on our democracy. To see it go will be a great day for New Zealand - the of democracy as embedded in our constitution are too important to have been the play thing of the governing party. Yesterday stands testament to the power of democracy in that the people of New Zealand were able to side step its 'chilling effect' on our democracy and throw out its authors anyway.My prayer is that National keeps its eyes on the vulnerable when dealing with the chaos Labour that has left behind, that has only been made worse by the international economic crisis. While I agree with most of the policy changes made by the 1984-1990 Labour government, and with the continuation of that policy direction under National in the early 1990s, it was all done with too much haste, and with too little regard for the vulnerable who ended up paying too much of the price paid to enjoy the fruit since enjoyed.I will now focus the political stream of this blog to holding John Key true to his promise last night to 'represent all New Zealanders' as our Prime Minister.