Bah. Stupid editing system…

Guess who accidentally deleted his post congratulating his wife on her birthday?

Yep, that’d be me.

Blast.

Oh well. She’s still just as beautiful, intelligent, sexy, witty, compassionate and captivating as ever, though, so I still win! Go me!!!

And now, thanks to the brilliance of Annalisa, here’s the original text. Thank God somebody’s brain is working. It certainly ain’t mine, folks…

If you can read this…

Then by some miracle the site’s actually up. It’s been a bit like my memory of late; slow, unresponsive, and missing important family deadlines. One deadline I’m not missing, however, is to formally note the birthday of the most beautiful, caring, compassionate, hardworking, intelligent, thoughtful, downright sexy women I’ve ever met. And no, I won’t introduce you with a view to dating. She’s mine, all mine. Happy birthday Di.

History never repeats…

I tell myself, before I go to sleep. Except that, well, it does. Today’s a prime example. But first, a quick trip back nearly twenty years ago…

The year is 1988; I’m a third year student at Lakehouse High in East London (the school’s no longer there, and wasn’t even by the time I finished my GCSE), and I’m at the local pool with some friends of mine — specifically one Jason Ibbotson. Jason’s a bit of a lad, to put it mildly, and my ever-dimming memory tells me he was the son of a milkman, not that that’s terribly relevant. Just some backstory, if you will.

Anyway, it’s the pool fun night, which means lots of stupid inflatable things in the pool and general horseplay. This, I discover, is particularly important for London kids, as a surprising number of them can’t in fact swim. It seems odd coming from Australia – I’d been in the UK for less than six months — where practically every newborn bub is thrown headfirst into the dam with bricks stapled to their ankles * — but if you can at least build a little water confidence, you’re halfway to not drowning.

Anyway, Jason and I have been playing silly buggers, as one does at that age, and he does a particularly large bomb into the pool. I follow up fairly briefly afterwards, not really thinking about where he is in the water…

The end result is that I jump, with pretty impressive force for a fourteen year old, straight into his elbow. Hard object meets mouth in a rather painful display of physics. Put two teeth right through my lip, creating a whole lot of spilled blood and a rather impressive hole. I’m lucky — if such a thing can be called lucky — that I don’t lose the teeth involved. The pool staff do their due diligence ** and send me home, at which point I have to face my parents, who aren’t entirely sure that I’m telling them the truth. In one of those so-stupid-only-I-could-do-it moments, it takes me about half an hour to realise that I could just write out what happened, rather than trying to croak it out through some incredibly bruised, battered and swollen bloody lips.

Three very painful days follow where I can’t eat properly, or even talk. Twenty years later, and there’s still a little lump in my mouth where I bit through.

That brings us nicely back to the modern day setting, and a park at the very bottom of Hornsby Heights. It’s a church picnic, around 1pm, and we’re just winding down. Zoe’s been impressing the adults by trying to play boules with them with the aid of a large rubber PlaySchool ball, and James is playing happily on the slides and climbing equipment. I’m watching Zoe charm the other boules players, and Di’s managing multiple kids on the climbing and sliding equipment.

And then James gets overconfident, slips and falls. Hard object meets mouth in a rather painful display of physics. History, it seems, does indeed repeat itself.

(Before I get inundated with panicky relatives, James has done a less “impressive” job of it than I did all those years ago, and aside from the blood and the screaming, he’s largely settled, although we’ll be keeping an eye on him for the rest of the day. And I haven’t spoken to Jason in many a year…)

*This is true. You can look it up if you don’t believe me.
**That is, they make sure I’m not dead.

Something different

Something different in the publishing sphere, that is. I’ve just had a blurb published in the St Lukes Hornsby Heights church bulletin, which is about as far away from consumer IT journalism as one can get. Now, with the exception of my wife, I’d be guessing that most of my meagre readership doesn’t in fact recieve this august journal, but not to fear: I’ll repeat it in its entirety here. Bonus points to anyone besides my wife who can name everyone involved. You may use tracing paper if it helps.

Concidence or plan?

From an external perspective, life can seem to be full of little coincidences.

There’s this Minister I know called Denis. His children use maths software, the marketing for which is done by a good friend of mine — we even dated rather disastrously while we were both in High School, but that’s another story. She used to go on beach mission with a guy who I also know — mainly because that guy’s brother was best man at my wedding. Their sister got married a few years ago to another guy who was at Moore College… at the same time as this Minister I know called Denis. His children use maths software…

These kinds of links and loops might seem coincidental, and perhaps it could be seen that way, if it weren’t for a bigger link between all of these people, some of whom don’t know each other at all. Everyone in the chain is a Christian. As Christians we know that these seemingly coincidental links are are in no way coincidental and that the support we offer each other is merely a minor reflection of our spiritual connection to God through Jesus:

Romans 12:5 “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

Being a Christian isn’t just about a solitary journey; not only can we support each other in our individual spiritual journeys, but also build up larger loops of people, and even the most insignificant parts of witnessing ministry can have long-term effects.

Wacky web stats moment…

As an ex-Web editor — and frequent contributor to various commercial Web sites — I’m probably more interested in Web stats than the average person. But even I can’t work out why the 11th most popular search term on the site so far this month has been — and I swear I’m not making this up:

“bunny door knobs say happy mothers day mum is resting sorry”

What the heck is that about? Answers please on the back of a $5 note to the usual address…

In this life, you’re on your own…

I’ve been a busy lad; more articles published, this time at the ever-popular CNET.com.au:

LaCie Slim DVD±RW with LightScribe, Design by F.A. Porsche: “A quick gander at the F.A. Porsche design site reveals that they consider themselves “Engineers of Purism” — whatever that means…”

Sony Ericsson V600i: “The v600i is a good jumping in point for 3G telephony, although there are flashier models out there…”

In the dull world of necessary updates, I’ve also polished up my resume page, which includes my contact details. For some reason, people weren’t spotting it — or working out what it was.

It means forever, and that’s a mighty long time…

More online sightings of the words “Alex” and “Kidman”, with nary a “Nicole” in sight.

CNET.com.au pops up again with a review of the Acer AL1951: “Acer’s AL1951 offers a decent option for gaming junkies and those wanting a large LCD display in a small frame….”

And on a completely different note, 3DAvenue.com has my review up of the Xbox 360 version of Madden 2006. Now, I have an interesting history with this series; I still have fond memories of playing Madden ’92 excessively way back in the day — heck, I’ve still got the original offending cartridge upstairs. My review of this modern day incarnation also contains perhaps the most dodgy joke I’ve ever attempted in a review… you have been warned.

The Quarterback is TOAST…

I finally got a glimpse of the latest issue of the Home Entertainment Buyer’s Guide, and indeed, my feature on Digital TV legislation is in there, albeit without a byline. The solution’s simple, though: Go out, buy a copy and scribble my name in the margin. You know it makes sense.

In the web world, CNET.com.au has another of my reviews live:

Seagate USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive: “Seagate’s USB 2.0 drive is portable in the same sense that a paperback novel is portable…”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, lurks something that should make my many and varied parents proud. It’s been years since I did any formal French (GSCE Grade B, if memory serves), but that hasn’t stopped me having several articles published in the lingua francais. I probably shouldn’t also note that apparently I’m also playing American Football for a team called, improbably, The Spongers*, but there y’go.

*Yeah, I know. It’s not actually me. Blame Google’s vanity search.

If the baby doesn’t come in 90 minutes, then the pizza is free…

Ulp.

Yesterday was a blur of panic and quick dressing routines, along with pain, blue goo and some wildly erratic driving.

But perhaps I’m not being clear, and there’s just the slight possibility that some of my relatives are busy picking themselves up off the floor (or diving for the scotch bottle), so I’d better clarify. But first, a word from one of our commentators:

“They should make a reality show about your family. I have never heard of one family suffering so much…”

Well, if the cheque has enough zeroes in it, I’m game. Something has to pay for the mortgage.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, about five(ish), Di leant down to help the kids pack away some books, when she was struck by a sudden and quite agonising pain in the abdomen. Oh boy. We’ve been here before. She lay down for a little while to see if it would pass, and I put the kids into the bath. The pain remained (and she was going a funny gray colour), so in the space of about ten minutes I:

  • Sloppily dressed the kids
  • Called some friends to look after the kids, with whoever answered the phone first being the “winner”. (Thanks Liz!)
  • Bundled everyone into the car
  • Drove erratically to hospital (without crashing into anything)
  • Dropped the kids off with Liz
  • Back to the hospital for scanning, contraction checks and the inevitable blue goo that they use for the heartbeat monitors

After about half an hour’s checking, there’s no contractions, just pain. They keep her hooked up to monitors just to be on the safe side, but it transpires based on the checks that it’s not a contraction based pain — the best guess is that she’s strained a ligament in her back crouching down. So after about ninety minutes in hospital, we’re back out the door again. It’s a new record for us, and we seem to be speeding up. If we maintain this trend, and continue returning about every two weeks, by the time the baby’s actually due to be born, we’ll need a drive through window.

So for the rest of the week, it’ll be heavy rest for Di, and hopefully less stress for me. Unless, of course, that reality TV show deal comes to fruition…

Things with fins and wings and legs, they lay eggs

Me, I write articles. Such as in the latest issue of the Home Entertainment Buyer’s Guide, which (so I’m told) has my feature on the future of Digital TV in Australia in it. Go out, buy copies; there’s a golden ticket in every 50,000th issue that gets you a free dinner with Peter Blasina! *

*This contest is entirely fictional. No Golden Ticket exists, and no free dinners will be handed out. But it’d be a great promotion if it did.

Random thoughts…

* I had a very, very odd dream last night. For some reason — it seemed to make sense at the time, but I’ve forgotten the rationalisation — I was managing a tag team taking on WCW Tag Team Champions The Amazing French Canadians. My team was, inexplicably, made up from early Playstation 3D characters Gex The Gecko and Croc. Like I said, weird. What’s even odder is that my team was just being continually cracked in the head with folding chairs, and I didn’t even seem to care. The lesson here is clear: I should lay off the Guatemalan Insanity Chillies before going to bed.

* The acid-based removal of grout from tiles (as mentioned previously) went very well, but predictably I did suffer an injury. Stupidly, it was cutting my finger open. While I was opening the packaging on… wait for it… my safety goggles. Guess the goggles wanted to stay safer for that bit longer, and my own comfort be damned. Actually, it’s quite annoying, as the slice (although minor) is on the tip of my right ring finger, and it’s messing up my typing.

* James turned two yesterday. I would have noted this, had my site not gone down. Likewise, I would have noted my mother and sister’s birthdays in the more recent past, except for the fact that I’m an idiot, and I forgot. Sorry.

* Keeping on the James topic, as if by magic (or perhaps maleficient design), a switch entitled “terrible twos” has gone on in his brain. Interesting times are bound to ensue.

* How many people can say that they’ve sat behind the Communications Minister while she bops along in her seat to a Google-centric (and deliberately cheesy) version of “Ain’t no mountain high enough?” Not many, that’s who…

* Now, back to staring at the wall…