The PayPal Song (Where Nessie Is Real)

Ahhh, it might not be manly, but this song makes me giggle. You’ll know which parts.

It’s less than a week until I’m off to San Francisco to Innovate09 (the PayPal devcon), and this song appeared in my brain yesterday and finished up tonight.


I had a completely different song to begin with. But this just flowed. And was funny. Heh heh. Wiping the Matrix 2 and 3 from history. Gold.

A Man Who Walked The Mountains

Grandpa and Grandma Of mortal folk, only my Dad influenced me more as a young man than my Grandpa.

Grandpa was a big man. In stature, but also in presence. He was commanding, even as he grew older. The only time I remember him different was at his deathbed.

Grandpa was a soldier. He fought as a Captain in the Royal British Army, his command being with the Gurkha’s in Burma.

Grandpa was one of the most humble men I’ve ever known. Like my Dad. Sure, on the outside they might have been different. But both men meekly walk(ed) under the mighty hand of God, seeking out His glory rather than their own.

Grandpa was awarded an MBE for his actions in the war. He never received it. He was a member of the British army, but he was born and bred here in Australia. After he returned with Grandma and Mum the MBE didn’t find him.

Grandpa and MumBefore and after his time in the military Grandpa worked in China as a Missionary. It was in China that he met Grandma. It was in China that my Mum was born.

Mum has written a blog called “My China Mystery”. It’s her telling of Grandpa and Grandma’s story from the many letters, photos and memories throughout her life.

I cannot read it without a deep emotion welling up in my heart.

Here is history that should be treasured. Here is a story of courage, of humility, of love both romantic and eternal.

Read the prologue, and you will see a child’s experience of a father who went to war and came back changed. It hurts my heart to read this passage. That a child would know these things at such an early age. That Grandpa was a man broken by the war and (I would surmise) the seeming failure of Christian witness in China. Grandpa, Grandma and Mum had to flee China in 1949.

My Grandpa sent me a letter many years ago. I was at the beginning of University, and had begun “preaching on the lawns”. It was an intense time of passion and facing the fear of rebuke and mockery.

His letter told me of how he had stood on soapboxes in Melbourne, preaching the Word of God. It was a handwritten letter that I kept close for many years. Reading it was a window into the world of my Grandpa.

Grandpa was a man. But he was my Grandpa.

I miss him now, and look forward to singing the praise of the King together with him in the fullness of time.

My Mum was invited to Buckingham Palace to posthumously receive Grandpa’s MBE. Mum invited me, as well as Dad and my next Sis,  along. So come mid-November I’ll be sitting in the presence of the Queen of England, thinking about Grandpa who’s no longer broken, but sanctified fully and in the presence of the King of all Creation.

Sadness. But joy entwines it, and brings us through.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Super-Powered Geek

In preparation for recording the PayPal Song I’m writing :), I decided to record Super-Powered Geek.

This was a song I wrote for Barcamp Sydney 2009. It’s on YouTube already, but this is my “home” edition.

Small Disciplines Of A Tubby Man

Into The Map Joey! Yesterday I girded my loins and decided to walk a bit of the way home. I surprised myself by walking over halfway (Don’t forget I had a knee ligament thingy reconstruction a few weeks back). I didn’t push it, cause I’ve been informed by the excellent folk who hook me up to ancient and mad-scientist-looking electrical discharge machines that if you push too hard it swells and swelling is bad for healing.

So. I took the bus. Knee was fine, not much swelling. Icepacked it, but didn’t feel overly sore.

Today I thought I’d try again, but didn’t even think about stopping. Just that I was walking home. 5 kms. Not much by any standard, except that of a tubby man coming off reconstructive surgery (love how that sounds).

Did it, reading a Harry Dresden book on my iPhone, without much trouble at all. The legs are a little muscular-sore, but that’s to be expected (and looked forward to by me I might add, finally, some indication of physical exercise, ha).

So the point of this post is three-fold.

  1. Perhaps it’s the whisper of summer in the air, but I feel motivated to start getting content on the blog regularly in preparation for the upcoming trips.
  2. Little. By. Little. Sometimes my frustration at being unable to exercise leaks out. But it’s far better to be slowly getting better with the future hope of exercise than to be broken without the possibility again.
  3. I do love a good yarn. Or at least a yarn I’m telling :)

And For My Next Trick, San Francisco!

Keen Lookouts! Phew. We (the Beautiful One, Barbarian Kid Hordes, and me) returned last night from four days in the beautiful town of Eden.

Apart from going on an amazing Whale-Watching ocean tour thingy, the main event was the Clarion Aussie Devcon 2009. I’ll be putting up my thoughts on Clarion Folk (along with some mini interviews I did on the iPhone).

Now is the next step in my winter of crazy non-discontent!

This time two weeks from now I’ll be on a plane to San Francisco!

“You lie.” I hear you say. But no, it’s true.

PayPal Australia (Jonathan is Captain Awesome) are sending Steve and myself across as representatives from the Australian PayPal Development community.

This. Is. Going. To. Be. HUGE!

  1. I’ve never been overseas. And here I was thinking the Queen visit was going to be my maiden voyage from the sunburnt country.
  2. The idea that PayPal would find enough in me, in what I do, to send me that-a-way.
  3. The possibilities inherent in going to the States, to the first ever PayPal Devcon (Innovate), to meeting stupid amounts of other developers.
  4. Being able to bring along my guitar (and a PayPal song, awww yeah).

It’s fair to say that this has been / will be so far the biggest, most momentous year of my vocational life.

Not One But Two Schnitzels!

We arrived in Eden around 6.30pm last night, and after unpacking went up to the restaurant which is in the same building as the conference room.

Yup, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.

The Clarion Aussie Devcon 2009 is currently underway. The Training days finished up yesterday (Thursday), and this morning a lot of us went on a Whale Watching trip out around the bays. Mmmmm, whale blubber.

This afternoon the Conference starts in proper. We’ve got a massive weekend chocka-clock full (see Schedule here).

I’ve already heard a lot of great things about Clarion 7 and .NET. It seems like there’s the possibility of Clarion 7.1 being released to Conference members by the end of the weekend (possibility, not certainty).

Last night at dinner Bob Foreman convinced me of the importance of the mindset. I’m going to fire back into Clarion 7 with fervour.

I hope to post some more throughout the weekend. I’ll be trying to get some “Mini” interviews done on the iPhone.

I’m not sure about the future of Clarion Folk, but at least for this weekend it’ll be getting some content :)

PayPal Continues To Make The Right Moves

Not long back a decent-sized envelope arrived in the mail.

Contained within were lots of paper, including a Certificate to signify I was now a certified PayPal developer.

Paypal Certificates Excite Me Much?

Sure, I look very handsome next to the Certificate. And sure, I do google myself regularly.

And alternatively “sure”, any company can send out pieces of paper.

What is quite obvious (and the below is an example) is this:

PayPal is rushing forward into battle, hearts beating to a far better and more awesome drum, wielding more than plastic swords and papier-mâché battle axes.


Last night I was invited to a very trendy place down within the ultra-chic surroundings of Darling Harbour.

Not only did I get to meet up with Scott again after the Sydney Dev Day; Not only did I meet new folk; Not only was there the company of the most handsome and friendly Australia PayPal faces (Jonathan and Spiro, you know who I’m talking about), but:

  • osama I got to sit next to and go all “I’ve got this utterly unique earth-shattering idea that of course is awesome” to This Guy. Osama is the freaking Vice President of All-Things-Awesome at PayPal. He’s so cool that he pretended to like my many and varied stories about what I digested that morning and why the world would be a better place if desktop systems came back in vogue (ahem).
  • naveed I got to swap manly football stories with This Guy. Naveed hasn’t been at PayPal long, but you wouldn’t know it. He’s one switched-on dude, and puts you at ease the moment you start talking. Also, he likes rugby. Jonathan AND Naveed. If I worked for PayPal that would be 3, count em, 3 people who were rugby nuts. Nice.

It’s quite clear that the unveiling of the new Development Environment at Innovate09 is a BIG DEAL.

Innovate 2009!

It’s also quite clear that what the PayPal guys will be unveiling is an even BIGGER DEAL. All of the PayPal folk tonight were excited to talk about what is coming up, even though they couldn’t tell us everything.

Nothing was let slip, except that it will be HUGE.

A lot of what they are doing is out there now, in beta. Developers have already started making some fantastic stuff, like TwitPay, and it’s just (or not even) the beginning!

What’s exciting about hanging out with the PayPal crowd that I’ve met is that their enthusiasm is infectious. It’s real, and your own imaginative synapses start to fire.

So, I’d like to pass on some THANKYOUS:

  • Thankyou Jonathan, for the invitation, the organising, the time spent away from your burgeoning family :), and for being real good people.
  • Osama and Naveed for finding energy after such an exhaustive couple of weeks, for asking us what we think should be the future, and for not showing any disappointment at the fact that only half a dozen folk turned up.
  • And Spiro, for being ultra-cool AND ultra-geek. Leading the way man.