Cobwebs For Al? (Round 1, 2011 – Waratahs vs Rebels)

Thanks to a glorious meeting of Xbox and Foxtel, I’m now able to watch the rugby from the comfort of the lounge. Rock on!

What can you say about the first round of games that won’t be washed away over the next few weeks? Well, I guess it’s all opinion and comment, so .. Here’s my two cents into the fray.

The Rebels performed the way you would expect (but not hope) a new team to. They were ill-formed and mis-type-cast, kind of like the bug-ridden code I write.

It would have been interesting to know how Greg Somerville’s thoughts were proceeding over the course of the game. Probably something like:

Greg Somerville’s Thoughts In Real-Time Game Time

(00:40)     Feeling good. Still got it.

(5:34)     Phew. Bit harder than I remember.

(16:12)     Young punks. I’ll teach em.

(36:48)     Boy do I miss playing with Richie and the boys.

(49:20)     Wasn’t this Cipriani fellow supposed to be good?

(65:43)     Morty’s blowing as hard as me. Nice.

(74:23)     At least I’m getting paid a filthy amount.

(80:03)     I’m too old for this .. game.

** True story.

Quite a few of the opinions I’ve read talk about The Waugh-horse and how well he played. It’s true, he did. Orc Commander on the Battlefield.

The two blokes in the piggies who impressed me were Ben Mowen and Kane Douglas. You could see the "go-forward". They made impact when they hit the line.

Barnes was okay, Mitchell and Beale pursued excellence and Damien Fitzpatrick made a wonderful George-Smith-Style steal 77 minutes into the game.

The "almost the whole team" maul try was pretty cool to watch. I bet it was a cauldron of ferocity in there.

Sam Cordingly made some strange mistakes. I watched a bit of the Toulon / Biarritz game, and watching Michalak was like watching Cordingly. Just wierd.

Speaking of wierd, when you come off the field you have a bloke there holding out a water and a gatorade. Since when did hard rugby blokes need the pampering .. oh wait. Money. As Mr Crabs would say .. "Money money money money money!" Changes things. It just seemed so out of place. Here we have the greatest sport in the world, in the universe (except if there is some form of space-rugby), where we pit brawn and brain together in battle .. And when you come off the field you are asked politely by a waiter-type-bloke if you’d like a spot of tea.

A few years back I remember propping against a Barraba prop who was fairly reeking of intoxicating liquidity, who apparently came out of the bush to play rugby. He was beering it up and half-time. A real man’s man. Not really. Also, not sure where that story is going, but ..

I guess none of it matters.

Whether you play with half a tank of beer or get the choice of placebo-replenishing vitamin drinks, what matters is the game.

So take your gatorades and your waters and the bloke that hands them out .. And win! Play hard. Not Brett Sheehan "punch a bloke in the face once per half" Hard, but "John Eales / Richie McCaw / Martin Johnson – win a crap-load of silverware" Hard.

Stu’s Rating:

5 / 10


** 5 / 10 is a game where, although there was great play, it wasn’t a great game. In Stu Ratings, 5 is good. Very watchable. 6 has a couple of fist-pumps. 7 is Ashley-Cooper swan-diving. 8 is our scrum dominating. 9 is Beale falcon-ing, kicking, chasing and catching. 10 is George Smith winning the world cup with a chip-kick, regather and pass to Latho for his tenth leg-pumping, gut-busting try of the tournament.

"The Questioning Ones" – My First Blog (From 2002!)

Check it! Discovered a link to the Way Back Archives (which log just about everything) which hold my very first blog. It was a hack of php and html, mashed together from tutorials found on the web. Not pretty.

It had a problem with quotes and backslashes, the editor was a "Title" field and a "Body" field. But hey, it was a blog!

The archive doesn’t hold most of the images, or the background color. But here ’tis:

The Questioning Ones

All of these posts have been added to, so you can take a gander at the Archives if you like, or go to "the questioning ones" tag.

Writing A Story Online In Real-Time

Brandon Sanderson, author of many fine books, wrote Warbreaker in a rather unusual fashion.

He wrote it on his blog, in real-time, going through the entire process (writing, annotating, editing) with amazing transparency.

It was a really cool thing to do, especially given that at that time he was quite a successful author. He was under the Tor banner, and was a rising star. Not an easy thing to convince people about the wisdom of I imagine. But he did.

I’m not even an unknown author. But, this still inspires me. I’ve had a story rumbling in the back of my mind for a while. A number of chapters have been written, and the Synopsis is weakly fleshed out. I think I’m going to give it a crack.

Perhaps the reason why Brandon Sanderson could do it was that he was successful. That’s okay. Have never been one to not attempt something for fear of failure. You just have to read back over this blog to see all the crazy ideas I’ve had and tried .. and failed :)

But anyway.

Just have to work out how it will work, practically, in terms of the blog mechanics.

The story is about a girl who lives in a world where Magic is the Dark Father and the Dark Father is Magic. It’s a story that isn’t quite right, where those telling the story are scattered not just across the world, but across time. Also, it has zombies. Sort of.

The God of the Testaments is a God of MERCY

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3

Today we heard a wonderful sermon. We’re starting a new series on the Covenants God gives in the Bible.

This week we looked at the Covenant given to Abraham (Genesis 12, 15, 17 and 22). It was a sermon packed full of wisdom, bits of truth, woven together.

One that struck me was of God’s MERCY.

The God who is revealed in the Old Testament is often seen first and foremost as a God of RIGHTEOUS FURY AND ANGER BURNED OUT AGAINST HIS ENEMIES.

Continue reading “The God of the Testaments is a God of MERCY”

Do Christian Parents Seek God’s Wisdom? – A Thought On Decision-Making

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:13-15

What does it mean, as parents who love the Lord Jesus, to seek out God’s Wisdom in parenting?

Granted, I don’t have a definitive answer. All I have is what I read in the Bible, what I have experienced myself, and what I’ve seen from other Parents (including my own).

First, there are a couple of ground-rules.

* In my experience, wisdom is not about having to get everything right exactly always forever. You are not going to agree with everyone, or please everyone.

Mums who breast-feed will have people who disagree with them. Mums who bottle-feed will be told they are wrong. Dads who teach their sons how to play contact sport will have people worried. Dads who decide to leave sport out of their sons lives will be accused and belittled. Mums who do not go to “back to work” will be socially neglected, and Mums who do work after having babies will find themselves under fire. Dads who strive for obedience in their children will be told they are wrong to do so. And Dads who are afraid of becoming what they were brought up with will have mutterings about the state of their children.

Continue reading “Do Christian Parents Seek God’s Wisdom? – A Thought On Decision-Making”

Late Night Coding and Burn Notice

Michael Westen always lays it out clearly in the voiceover. That’s one of the best things about the show, but it happens mostly underneath the layer of story-telling.

That is, we know Michael is going to tell us something. He’s going to give us a hint of what is coming. Usually just before it does, and sometimes revealing a larger plan. And every now and again, he gives us a choice piece of wisdom after the plan hasn’t gone according to .. plan.

I don’t do a lot of late-night coding at the moment.

But here I am, working away, getting distracted as the tiredness weighs down the eyes and the mind.

The problem is I don’t lay it out clear. Sure, there’s an end goal in sight (“Create an Invoicing module”), but from there on it’s react. React. React.

And when you get tired, that leads to mistakes.

What my brain needs, when late at night coding, is a Michael Westen voice-overing the way ahead.

That would be cool.

Kings and Stormlight, A New Epic Has Landed!

“The Way Of Kings” is the first book by Brandon Sanderson in his epic series, “The Stormlight Archive”.

By his own admission, this is the series that has been moving around his brain for many, many years now. Brings hope to any nerd who spent their saturdays writing out characters and places and scenes where Drizzt, errr, “Blogdan” fought off twenty evil creatures at once.

Sanderson fits somewhere in between GRRM, JVJones and RJ. Those are the three Epic Fantasy authors that are closest to my heart.

He doesn’t always split his chapters per character. There are a couple of chapters with a number of points-of-view in them. And there are a couple of povs that you only hear from once, some of them for obvious reasons.

There are scenes in this book MADE for Visual Story-Telling.


Kaladin running up the Bridge (4), leaping from the top, drawing magic from little stones entwined in the dreadlocked hair of those he faced.

Suits of armor that grant superhuman strength and agility. Massive swords which are linked to the wielder, and take ten seconds to summon.

A warrior in white, an Assassin really, who is a weapon with or without his Shardblade. Moreso without, casting magic that causes gravity to be upturned and great stones to be flung through the air.

End Spoilers

This is a fantastic book. The start to a truly great series. And with Sanderson’s obvious skill in time-management, which so few Epic Fantasy authors seem to have, it would seem that we might be able to get ten books in ten years, or close enough.

Brandon Sanderson, hats off to you! Champion effort.