Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Drinking Games

There's a discussion over on Paul Windsor's blog on the alcy-whole question - not the usual tired rhetoric - consumed my blogging energy today so its the best you'll do if you wanted to know what I think about anything!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Daddy Daycare

So yesterday I was Daddy Daycare while Kristen worked as a music teacher at a primary school. It makes for an interesting day:

> The day starts early - no not with the pitter patter of little feet, but rather the pitter patter of little fingers as I make an early start to clearing emails and organising a few tasks that won't wait...

> My son and heir rises in a very good mood. He feasts on banana and toast with jam with the ever present cry for "juice" issuing from his lips. Fortunately he still thinks water is juice so his diet remains free of sugar cravings!

> The morning ritual includes Clifford and Blue's Clues which he watches from 8.20am. I sneak on to the laptop which promptly crashes the moment I try to save my work! As Blues Clues ends Daddy working on the laptop is no longer a possibility: first he starts tracing the letters on the whiteboard I'm working from saying "wri..." Smart kid - so smart he wipes half of the info off! Then he decides its time for a break so he grabs my hand and hauls me into the play area. How can I resist?

> The play activity of choice this morning is a big blue balloon. You can throw it, kick it, bounce it off the roof. No end of options. Rhys loves balloons.

> Then its time to get dressed. I have decided this is my opening to clean the upstairs bathroom. So clothes and bedroom play are interspersed with the activities of bathroom cleaning. The plan is a great success.

> Surprisingly, he asks for a mid morning "nack". He enjoys the apple which keeps him happy until he's decided he's had enough - cue: apple pieces start hitting the floor. He is released from the high chair but only to the task of picking up the apple. This is an aversion therapy which he hates. In fact, he throws the apple in tantrum so its off to timeout in his bedroom. When I return he is in the process of putting himself to bed, so I cut him slack on the grounds of tiredness and he has an early nap (after we read a Pooh Bear book).

> The child sleeps! Time for work.

> Rhys wakes up around 1.30 - its time for lunch - yoghurt and marmite sandwiches. Rhys is often spoiled with circle, triangle and square sandwiches by his daddy, but not today, he has the downstairs bathroom in his sights! So Rhys munches happily while I clean the bathroom. He manages to smear most of his face with yoghurt, but I have learned not to give him the sandwiches till after the yoghurt otherwise he dips them into the pottle...

> Its a reasonable day outside so we go to the park via Blockbuster. Rhys does very well climbing the ladder on the slide and thinks the swings are great fun. He has such a good memory of the only other time we have been to this park and how his mama sat on the swing next to him - he points to the swing and says, "mama?" Then realising she is not there he says, "Daddeee". So I join him on the swings and he giggles like a maniac. We also practise kicking a ball which he is improving at each time. We climb a few other things and try a roundabout spinning thing together. Its fun.

> Then its home via Bunnings to get a watering can. We get home just as mama is returning from school. He's a bit surprised to see her hanging out the car window!

> Strangely Rys catches onto the watering can with virtually no prompting. Rhys often helps Daddy give the plants "juice" using the hose. So when Mama suggests he help give the plants juice, he picks up the empty watering can and starts pouring on the plants! Don't know where that came from. But as I said "smart kid".

> With Mama home Daddy Daycare does a little more work either side of cooking dinner and then heads off to a meeting. Its been a fun day!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Proud to Be a Kiwi

What a weekend of sport! The All Blacks thump the French. The Kiwi League team smashes the Pomes! The combined scores of both opposition teams fails to exceed 10...thats a thrashing for the northern hemisphere. Thats without mentioned England's loss to Argentina...oops I just mentioned it...while I am mentioning it - thats Argentina AWAY - they play at least 50% better at home - this truly is a woeful English team.

Remember the Kiwi league team nearly beat Aussie after a disappointing start to the Tri Nations - but now they have comprehensively outplayed the Pomes twice. We can only pray the Aussies wake up and beat the Pomes next week (I know that doesn't feel right to me either) so that we get the final against the Aussies - which we will win.

The AB's seems head and shoulders above the rest of the world right now. Not that I overrate a bumbling French team whose lineout play and defence were lowert han club level. Even so, you'd have to say the AB's still have a lot of improvement in them - this was not a vintage performance from them even though it was a crushing victory. The scrum was destructive and the scrambling defence superb. But the first up defence was tested by the French at times - Luke McAlister probably played himself out of a first pick place at second five for the World Cup. The lineout was adequate but flattered by an awful French lineout. On attack there were some issues with fluency - again it was the counterattack and individual brilliance which opened the French up. So I won't get too carried away with this performance but nor will I jump on the "AB's are peaking too early" bandwagon. They will need to be even better to take the world cup next year.

The selectors are threatening to pick their first XV next week for the second test against the French - here's my effort:


Reserves: Weepu, Nonu, Muliaina, Tialata, Oliver, Williams, Masoe

Williams is very unlucky - he is playing very well - I just like Robinson's hardness and reliability at lineout time. McAlister is also very unlucky not to get a bench spot. But with Mauger able to shift into 1stV and no other fullback on the field you've got to give Mils a run. In a straight swap with Nonu, the big man gets the nod as a genuine impact player - especially against northern hemisphere teams who just can't handle the psychological and actual impact of a player like Nonu.

Bring it on!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who is Ted Haggard?

Faced with the very public fall of one of the US Church's most well-known leaders, many New Zealanders are like, "Who?" Anyways, for those who are interested in understanding what has happened here are some sources you might follow up:

Ted Haggard - Background Story

Ted Haggard's Confession

Gayle Haggard's Response

Thoughts From Gordon MacDonald

Oh, and the answer to the question in the title? A quote from Haggard's letter:

"There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life...The public person I was wasn’t a lie; it was just incomplete. When I stopped communicating about my problems, the darkness increased and finally dominated me. As a result, I did things that were contrary to everything I believe."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Labour

So Labour is going to deliberately court a section of the Christian vote...perhaps I'm perhaps about it! But anyway, despite some rather odd comments in the article, it seems like the left is slowly getting itself organised to respond to the sometimes orchestrated politicisation of the Christian right. With that in mind I thought I would assist the Labour party by completing a partial segmentation of this unexploited market:

  • The new Labour Christians will be quite different from some Christians on the issue of killing people. Instead of being pro war and pro death penalty with a homicidal commitment to being anti abortion, the new Labour Christians will be anti killing people;
  • They will drink only fair trade coffee (usually freshly roasted by some trendy local coffee roaster) but not if its from Esquires (low quality coffee like the exploitation of coffee bean growers all over the world, leaves a bad taste in the mouth);
  • They will have a commitment to the environment and might even vote green if it weren't for the dope-smoking fine print;
  • They might read Brian McLaren, Robb Bell, Doug Pagitt et al but probably won't be Tim La Haye or Frank Peretti fans;
  • They will support the welfare state as a concept where it seeks to ameliorate the effects of social inequity, but will want to see some long term efforts to reduce the cycle of poverty;
  • They probably won't attend Destiny Church;
  • They will give to Tear Fund but probably not World Vision;
  • They will happily overlook Helen Clark's commitment to a radical policy of social re engineering, because thats still the price of voting Labour;
  • They will likely be refugees from pentecostalism, although not exclusively;
  • They will love Bono...

Alright so its not exhaustive but its a start. Have I missed any key attributes that should be immediately communicated to the Labour PR spin doctors?