Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Movie Review

This summer, I have watched: Shadow Wariors 2, Time Traveler's Wife, Avatar 3D, Sherlock Holmes

Shadow Wariors 2

I didn't see the first Shadow Wariors movie till after, but this was a separate story anyway.  But it did have a feel that there was no start or finish - a Shadow Wariors 3?  They did a poor job at introducing the characters and did not explain how they got from the first to the second movie.  The story line was incredibly simple, stupidly straightforward, and everything seem to just fall in place and happen.  But the fight scenes are entertaining, filled with special effects, but prob not worth paying to see.

Time Traveler's Wife

I can't believe I didn't know this movie was a chick flick (the title should have given it away - the wife part).  The Time Traveler hooked me and the plot seemed interesting enough, as I'm very intrigued with time travel.  This one rates as a slightly above average chick flick, the time travel aspects do make it interesting.  There are no major holes with the storyline caused by the time traveling which is usually present with these movies, and the story was entertaining enough.

Avatar 3D

I had no idea coming into the movie what it was about aside from seeing a poster of a blue man that reminded me of Nightcrawler from X-Men, and having heard it was very good in 3D.  Indeed the 3D was done exceptionally, unlike Superman 3D, nearly the entire movie was 3D and I hope more movies will do this in the future.  Unfortunately, the movie was essentially a Sci-Fi Pocahontas.  To sum up the movie, the Trailer (which I saw later) really does give away the entire movie, the humans (white Europeans) come to Pandora (America) and want to cut down some trees.  The Aliens (Native Indians) object to this citing nature tree-hugger stuff.  A guy meets an Alien girl (Pocahontas).  They fall in love, the humans (Europeans) attack, and theres a battle at the end.  No singing though, but like all disney movies, this has a happy ending.  Although it was an entertaining movie, I though this could have been much more action packed like the Aliens movies, and less of a disney movie.

Sherlock Holmes

This was great.  I haven't seen any other Movie or TV renditions of Sherlock Holmes aside from the cartoons, but this movie really did capture what Sherlock Holmes is about.  An enigmatically smart detective who can hold his own in a fight, takes on Lord Blackwood, a practitioner of the dark arts seeking to take over the world.  They set themselves up for a greater sequal by not having Holmes face Moriaty in the first movie.  The only downside was the casting of Rachel McAdams as the female lead, I find her incredibly anoying - see her other movies; The Hot Chick, NoteBook, Time Traveler's Wife.  But the performance of Robert Downy Jr and Jude Law is incredible, and this is by far the best movie of the summer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Turn your webcam into a Security Camera!

I finally got round to setting up my own security camera.  Basically its a webcam pointing outside, that takes pictures when the motion sensor goes off.  It stores the pictures and sends me an email.

Here's what you'll need

A Webcam
A computer
Webcam software (I used this one http://www.yawcam.com/)




Point the webcam at where-ever you want it to pick up.  The computer will need some hard drive space to store pictures (if you want it to store pictures)  Using the software above, you can configure it to store pictures with the date and time as the filename.  You can get it to take pictures at set intervals, or just when the motion sensor goes off.  You can even set a scheduler for these.  One point to note is, you should add the program to the computer's start up, and leave the computer running almost 24-7.  Alternatively you can switch it on every morning or just when you need it.

I set mine to be take photos when the motion sensor goes off, and scheduled the motion sensor to activate every day from 9am to 6pm.  I also set up the motion sensor to store and email me photos when it goes off.  You can use GMail's SMTP to send stuff to yourself or a friend.

Other configurations you can set up, is LIVE streaming.  I don't have this set up as it uses too much bandwidth.  But for those that don't mind you can set it up to host LIVE capture Online, so you can view whats on the cam from anywhere on the Internet.

Finally I recomend getting a sign that warns people that there is a security camera - you can make your own too!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

GMail Drive - use your GMail as storage space

I found a site for a GMail Drive Shell Extension, which allows you to use your 6GB+ storage space from GMail as an FTP storage, accessible through the Windows Shell.  Yes its quite old, I used to use one with FF but the windows shell is much easier to access.



Download it here.

Merry Christmas!

Its actually boxing day now... but Merry Christmas anyway!

Thanks to all those that follow this blog and I hope you find (at least some of it) interesting to read.

Follow me to see what 2010 brings...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Random Pictures from HK Trip





Pinapple Rice



Noah's Ark from the front




Christmas Deco at Langham Place, Mong Kok




Dedicated Smoker's Room at Incheon Airport, Korea





Bibimbop (before mixing) on Korean Air



After Mixing!




Mango Sago!



Hustle Bustle in Mong Kok




Dog on a skateboard




Christmas Tree at Tsim Tsa Tsui




Rice Burgers from Moss Burger




Re-Release of the 97 Penny Hardaways!! These were my first ever basketball shoes.  Also one of my favourite NBA players






Giving tips to Tiger Woods - "See that woman, thats not your wife!"



My man Mohammad Ali

 

The King lives!




MJ




Teresa Teng




Opening of the 2009 Asia Games



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hong Kong Trip 2009



I just got back from Hong Kong yesterday and am incredibly jet-lagged.  Having flown Korean Air, the flight left HK at midnight and arrived in Seoul, before finally getting back to NZ.  Although my sleep patterns are way off, Korean Air has been the best airline I've flown (having flown just Air New Zealand and Air Brunei).  The food was fantastic!  Bibimbop for mains and the service was great, unlike other airlines, they were actually keen to give out food.



Anyway, in Hong Kong we did plenty of shopping, visiting most of the major shopping areas, eating as much street food as possible, and visited a few trourists sites like The Peak, and Noah's Ark, and even got to see the opening of the Asia Games.





The above pictures are; view of Hong Kong from Tsim Tsa Tui, Eddy and Eddie at the Wax Meseum, Snoopy Land entrance, Portugese Egg Tarts from Macao.

What I miss most about Hong Kong will be family and food.  Sure the shopping is great, but there is only so much you can buy, and there's only so much someone needs.  The food is available anytime anywhere.  Its great that shops are open so late and there is food every few blocks.  But my extended family is what is most important in Hong Kong.  I had the privilidge of attending my cousin Shirley's wedding.  Seeing my grandparents (gong gong and por por) in such great health.  Seeing my cousin's Kevin and Vivian reach the next level of education. 


 

The pictures above are; Inside the Grand Canal Shoppes, The Venetian Hotel, Macao, 1:1 replica of Noah's Ark, Kathy and me with my cousin Regina at a bar in Lan Kwai Fong, at my cousins wedding, Shirley and Edmund (same name!) the two lil ones are my cousin's children - Shirley has two older siblings and they each have 2 children each and just a few months apart!

For anyone going to Hong Kong and want to go shopping, I would recommend Mong Kok; Langham Place and Argyle Center for Girls, and there are plenty of shops on the streets.  For the guys there are two Computer shopping malls, one cellphone shopping mall, and "Sports shoe street".  Other shopping malls include Harbour City in Tsim Tsa Tiu - a gigantualan shopping mall actually made up of three shopping malls stretching 3 kms.  Festival Walk - Kowlon Tong, CityGate - Near the Airport, something like Dress Mart.

For those looking for food, MongKok offers the best range of street food like siu mai, skewers, and smelly tofu.

Some of the best sights to visit; Noah's Ark - the world's only 1:1 scale model with a great exhibition inside, the Hong Kong Laser show that starts every night at 8pm which can be viewed anywhere on the harbourfront, check out the business district in Central, theres The Peak for a great view of the city scape, Wax Museum.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Packing for HK

Hey everyone, I'm going to Hong Kong in just 2 days! Flying this Saturday morning, on Korean Air, and thus through South Korea. 2 hour stop over on the way there, and 12 hours on the way back.

I'm looking forward to exploring the big city, the shopping malls, and seeing all the sights. Theres the Peak, Wax Museum, Noah's Ark, the Giant Buddha, Disney Land/Ocean Park, the Space Museum, and much more.

There's also my cousin's wedding. Why are there so many weddings this year and next?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Visual Studio Post Build Event to Copy DLLs into one Directory

*Updated 30th March 2010*

Basically I have this problem: I have a big solution with several projects.  Each  project builds into a dll which gets placed in its Bin directory at the project level.  All the necesary dlls are also included in the bin directory.  However, I want to be able to colllect all dlls for the solution into one folder for me to easily deploy onto the live server.

Put this into the Post Build Event in each of your projects:

xcopy /y $(ProjectDir)$(OutDir)$(TargetFileName) $(SolutionDir)GAC\

This will take the all output files from the current project and copy it to the solution root and into the folder called GAC.  Doing this to each of the projects will give you the collection of dlls in that GAC folder.

If you want to only do this on Release Build add:


if $(ConfigurationName) == Release xcopy ...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Break in

Just yesterday my house was broken into.  From talking with my neighbors, the break in occurred sometime between 9am and 12 noon.  Now fortunately nothing was taken as we have decent security; an alarm and many deadlocks on the doors.  What happened was the guy went round the side and broke into my window by prying it open with a crowbar.  The entire window frame has come apart, but the glass was still intact, probably as to not make too much noise.  The window leads into my flat and the guy is extremely quick and efficient, not disturbing much on my desk.  The alarm would have went off and he was able to locate both the siren and then control panel ripping both off.  Unfortunately for him the alarm is hooked up upstairs and so it still went off.  Unable to turn off the alarm, or open the door to get back out, he climbed out the window without taking anything and very little (aside from the alarm) seems touched.

I had a few coins lying around, and my laptop which would have been easy to take, but not worth much (5 year old laptops wouldn't sell for much) and my computer and monitor would have been fairly large and difficult to rush off with (since he couldn't get out the door).  He must have saw my big cheap CRT TV and thought that there was nothing here valuable enough to steal (which is true).  The most valuable (in terms of cost) would have been my computer and monitor costing me some $1500 but probably wouldn't sell for nearly that.  The guy was probably hoping to get into the main house upstairs which was locked, and hoping to find some gold and jewelry.

Some advice and things:

  • Get Deadlocks for your doors - ones that NEED a key to open from both inside and out
  • Have at least 2 locks on your main door
  • Have locks on all windows - or at least the ones you can get to
  • Lock your doors and windows when you go out - and check them!
  • Install an Alarm - and set it when you go out!
  • Install security cameras - webcams or even fake security cameras
  • Timers which turn on your radio/TV/lights and irregular intervals - especially for holidays
  • Store all jewelery in Safety deposit boxes
  • Record all serial numbers of electronics and gadgets -if for nothing else; Insurance
  • Finally, talk to your neighbours, let them know what time the break in happened and get your whole neighbourhood aware
  • Burglars often burgle during the day, sometimes in the evening when the lights are out
  • Burglars like places where people can't easily see what they are doing
  • If you do get stuff stolen, serial numbers can help track them down, or do some research yourself to look for the stuff

Monday, November 16, 2009

Matt 25:34-40

34"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, (AE)inherit the kingdom prepared for you (AF)from the foundation of the world.

35'For (AG)I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; (AH)I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

36(AI)naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you (AJ)visited Me; (AK)I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

38'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

39'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

40"(AL)The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, (AM)to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Zealand are going to South Africa!!

One shot at glory... and we got it!


The Marsdens

Come check out what some of my friends living at the Marsden flat have been doing; living out life on a flat

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jesus for the Homeless - website

I finally finished setting up the website (blog) at http://jesusfth.blogspot.com

Running Diary: 4.5km in 25min

Its nearing the end of November, and I need to push myself to run 15km before the end of the month!

Where is the best place to purchase weights?

K-Mart! Surprisingly, they sell them at roughly $2.20/kg while most other places sell them at $3-$4 per kg.

By weights I mean plates for your dumbells and barbells.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jesus for the Homeless

A few friends I know have started up some Christian work, giving out food and drink to the homeless in the city.  They meet up every Thursday night 8-30 onwards, and walk around meeting homeless people and building relationships with them.  I went out with them tonight (just got home) and unfortunately I was unable to talk to anyone but am definitely committing myself to this line of work.  Its very similar to the Salvation Army thing I did last night, but not on the same night and not conflicting.  More info on this coming soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Salvation Army Soup Night

I went along to the city to join the Salvation Army in giving out Soup and Milo to the homeless.  What an experience!  There are a lot of people out there who are in dire need of basic human needs; food, clothes, shelter.  And it breaks God's heart to see them out there.  I pray that it breaks mine too, and breaks the hearts of others so that we may help them and love them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LOL @ Mail2Blogger

You can (and I have a while back) set up Mail2Blogger, which allows you to send an email to a particular address, and it will send into your blogspot blog.

I'm laughing at the google search for "Mail2Blogger" which comes up with a lot of "Testing Mail2Blogger" posts which people have posted on their blogs.  Clearly Google promotes their Blogspot blog content

Running Diary: 4.5km in 25min

Monday, November 9, 2009

NBA Preview: Lakers

Key addition: Ron Artest
Key loss: Trevor Ariza

Since we are already into the season, I am kind of cheating when I say that this team is going to top the league.  Not that thats a surprise!  Fresh of a championship after a great season, Kobe has had plenty of rest, unlike the past summers where he has been playing for Team USA.  As we can see already with Bynum and Gasol out, Kobe has adapted his play and elevated the rest of the team.  When their team gets back healthy, they are going to be rolling on all cylinders until the playoffs.

The Artest Ariza swap is probably in Houstons favour looking in hindsight.  Artest was considered a better more rounded player, both offensively and defensively.  But Ariza is young and has a much greater upside, that could have helped the Lakers in the future.  But when you have Kobe just pasted his prime, its probably a safe bet to get someone like Artest and get you that next Championship ring.

The biggest problem for this team I see is complacency, and off-court drama.  But with the loss to the Celtics not too long ago, I don't think Bryant or Artest will let that happen.  Lakers win 65+

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NBA Preview: Orlando Magic

Key additions: Vince Carter, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson
Key losses: Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu

Fresh after a finals appearance, the Magic wasted no time in acquiring some help.  VC will provide them with a go-to guy at the end of games which they have been lacking for years.  They lose Turkoglu, who was an important part of their team last year causing mismatches to many opposing teams.  They also lose promising young talent in Courtney Lee, however, the addition of Ryan Anderson has more than offset that loss.  Time will tell whether VC can remain healthy and inspired, whether Nelson make it back to his pre-injury All-Star form, whether Howard can take that next step in becoming a franchise superstar.

I think the Magic are greatly improved over last year on paper, but they are going to need time to find team chemistry.  Its going to take focus to build their form.  But come playoff time, this is a deep and talented team.
I think these guys are going to win 60+ wins and go deep into the playoffs, with their main challengers being Celtics in the East and Lakers in the West.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twitter and Blogger Integration

I signed up for twitterfeed which allows you to integrate twitter and blogger.  So when I post to Blogger, I post to Twitter too :)

Running Diary: [Remuera to New Market and back] in [aprox 1 hour]

I started running, was going to run around my block for about 8km but decided (due to a conversation with Jono) to run to Remuera shops, but when I got there, I kept going to New Market!

Edit: its about 8km I'm guessing as it took just under 1 hour

Sunday, November 1, 2009

God the Father's Letter to You

If God wrote a letter to you, would you read it?  What would it say?  Would it be an instructional letter or a letter of encouragement?  Have you ever wondered what was the reason or purpose you were created for?

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

With Halloween just passing us by, it is the first time I have actually considered the issue.  Chuck Missler says "For a Christian to celebrate Halloween is like a Holocaust survivor celebrating Hitler's Birthday".

Halloween comes from the ancient Celts in Britain, but a similar day exists for many other cultures around the world.  This particular day gets its name from "All Hallow's Eve", being one day before All-Saints day.  Strangely enough it was not common for Halloween to be practiced world wide until the 20th century.

Now, the problem with Halloween is its association with evil spirits and satanic practices.  It is not uncommon for people to try to contact "lost spirits".  I heard some strange stuff about Christians who pray for the salvation of the dead.  On one hand, we can say that its just a bit of harmless fun for the children.  But even if you don't believe in the supernatural stuff, it can be very dangerous to be ignorant or accustomed to Halloween and think of it as completely harmless.  By trivializing Halloween, we let down our defense and open the door to allow evil to creep into our lives.  I have heard a few stories of people starting off playing with ouija boards, asking "people who know more about this stuff" and getting drawn into a cult whereby they get impregnated and sacrifice the fetus of the aborted child by fire - in New Zealand.  Witchcraft is not something to take lightly, all occult "religions" claim that they lead you to the light.  An ex-satanist claims that the "light" these religions lead to, is in fact Satan or Lucifer, the Angel of Light.  As described in the Bible, Satan is the deceiver who originally tricked Adam and Eve into disobeying God, and continues to this day to deceive all mankind.  He does this by pretending to be the truth and the light.  There is also much to be said about people with supernatural abilities, brought on by demons etc, but thats for you to do your own study on.

In conclusion, we ought not to trivialize these practices which popular culture adheres to.  Easter for example comes from the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, hence the rabbit and the eggs being symbols of fertility.  Its one thing to think of these as fun harmless things for kids to do, or a big marketing scam by corporations.  But we ought not to take part but rather the opposite, to actively oppose it when it is brought up, and lovingly suggest the alternative.  Selling your soul to the devil is only fun in the movies.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why Does Desiring God Offer Everything Online for Free?

Desiring God

1. It reduces friction
2. The gospel is free
3. We exist first to serve, not be served

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Idea for Countries to encourage young people

This is just a crazy idea I had while running, and thinking about places like Singapore which make it compulsary to serve in the Military.  This isn't something I recomend for NZ as much as it my idea for my ideal country, to help build up young people and strengthen a nation.

When someone turns 18, they have the choice to join the Military and serve for 3-5 years, or go to University to attain a degree.  When you finish university, if you have not served in the Military, you must serve at least 2 years.  In the military, you serve in a role suited for your skills and abilities.  Not everyone is suited to be a soldier, and for those people, roles as technitians, engineers, scientists, medical personnel, pretty much every profession out in the civil world, but in the context of the military or government sector.  You would receive military discipline, physical training, and real-world experience applying your skills to real life scenarios.  Even an opportunity to travel the world.  Of course, you get paid a good salary for your service, and after your service is over, you join the rest of the world, you can go get a degree (or another) or pursue a carreer.

The purpose is to equip people to be more well-rounded - not just to be all brains or all brawn.  To keep people out of a career on the benfit.  To assert discipline and nationalism and reduce career criminals.  Crazy?  Yep.  Welcome to the mind of an idealist.

Running Diary: 9.6km in 64min

huray for my longest run in one go!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Christians go to Church: My thoughts on Baptism and Church Membership

Do only Christians attend church? No.  Many people attend church who don't believe in God, many people who think they are Christians attend church, yet they are not Christians, for it is not Church attendance that makes one a christian.  And there are many Christians who don't attend church, for they chose not to, although it is arguable whether such christians are christians at all!

So how do you become a Christian?  It is to be "born again", to believe that Jesus died for your sins, to repent and be baptised.  Its not whether you say you are, its whether you truely believe, and only God knows.  Its interesting that in the bible, we see every believer is baptized, in almost every instance, its "repent and be baptised".  There was no delay or wait, no infant baptisms, no "baptism classes".  And straight after that, they were part of the church.  Repentance and accepting Jesus and baptism were often spoken of as one thing.  So baptism was a way of visibly identifying that you were joining into the church or the "body of christ", hence the term Church Member as in members of the body (like hands and feet).

And then theres the distinction between your local church, the one that meets every sunday in that church building, to that of the universal church, the one encompasing all believers.  Why are there so many different churches, denominations?  Do they believe in different things? do you need to find the one that matches your own beliefs?  Some churches have people jumping around and waving their arms, some have lots of old people that stand stiff and still... is there a proper way to attend church and worship God?

I believe there are absolutely no requirements to Church membership, there shouldn't be.  Church leadership and eldership is another matter however.  But you cannot have exams, and degree requirements for Church membership, because one ought to become a member as soon as they are baptized, which is as soon as they repent and believe and recieve Jesus.  They become part of the universal church which encompases all Christians, and they ought to be member of their local church.  Come as you are, but don't stay as you are.  Its up to the other Church members, and the Holy Spirit, to model and change that young baby Christian to be more like Jesus, the perfect man.  And in time, supernaturaly, we may come close to believing all the right things about God.  All our human divisions are created out of sin and intollerance, we must learn to agree to disagree.  We cannot kick people out because we don't agree with them (this is usually us thinking we are right) and we ought not to leave and start our own group.  We trust that in the end, God knows our hearts, and our deeds, and most importantly the strength of our relationship with Him.  And His Love, Justice, and Mercy will be revealed to all; within the church and outside.

Running Diary: 6.2km in 38min

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Blog: Road Tripy

Hi everyone, I've set up a new blog to help plan my upcoming trip to the South Island.  Firstly, head over to Road Tripy and have a look at the plan.  Although if you go too early, there may not be much there.

If you are keen to come, leave a comment (here or there) and I'll sign you up.  Feel free to leave comments as to where you want to go, and what you want to do.

The general plan is to fly to the South Island and drive all around.

My original plan was to get a one way ticket and fly to Invercargill. Then starting from the Bluff, drive all the way back to Picton, ferry over to Wellington, then back to Auckland.

Plan B, is to fly to Christchurch, drive south down to Invercargill, then back up to Picton, then down to Christchurch where we fly off back to Aucks.

Basketball Prodigies

A great compilation, following 3 straight from high school NBA players.

Monday, October 19, 2009

IBM: a Brief history of Intelligence

Running Diary: 4.8km in 29min

Windows Time Estimation

http://xkcd.com/

You may need to be a geek to understand these.

Estimation

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cans Film Festival 09

Every year, Salvation Army and Watties (and I'm sure the participating cinemas play a big part) hold a film event whereby you get to watch a movie for the cost of can of food.  This will cost $1-$3 with 100% going towards the cause!  All food gies into the sallies christmas food bank.

http://www.watties.co.nz/html/whats_new/cans_film_festival2009.asp

Sure they are all family movies, and some fairly old.  But its still a cheap night out, and your helping those in need.  Even if you don't want to watch any of the movies, you can donate some canned food.

So if you want to go, check out the schedule, or hit me an email, as I'm keen for any of the movies.


Edmund

Running Diary: 4.8km in 29min

Today I bought an American Football! aka Gridiron. $30 from Stirling Sports

How to throw a football



Wide Reciever routes

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Running Diary: 5.4km in 35min

Havn't run in a while - I blame the inconsistent weather! and havn't blogged in a bit... maybe later today ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Running Diary: 3.6km in 20min

a bit slow this morning!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

About: Toast

Ever wondered why we drink to a "Toast"?  I heard this on Radio Rhima the other day...

Aparently it all started back in the ancient times when people would poison unwanted opponents through their wine.  People would invite people over for dinner, and offer them a drink.  To not drink would be incredibly rude.  Thus it became custom for the Host to drink the first drink from the bottle, signalling it was clean and safe.

In Rome, it became custom to add a peice of burnt bread into the wine, apparently to remove the flavour or smells from bad wine.  The burnt charcoal was "tostus" in Latin from which we derive our english word "Toast", meaning "roasted".

By the middle ages, it became even more popular and spread throughout europe where it became known that drinking a "toast" was the same as drinking a glass of wine with toast.  This has now evidently evolved to be the same as drinking.

Running Diary: 3.4km in 19min

Could only do a short run, as I was hungry! and haven't been able to run as much as I wanted due to rain this week...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Running Diary: 6km in 38min

Here's something new: Running Diary!

Every time I finish a run, I'm going to post a blog entry with the above title, along with the distance and time.  Its to keep me accountable and to track my progress.  It may be an empty post with a title, or some random ramblings about running.

At the beggining of the year, I committed to run the upcoming half marathon.  I trained up for Round the Bays and completed it on target (8.5km in 47min).  But then soon after that, winter came and I fell back.  Before long, the half-marathon deadline passed and I didn't think I was fit enough to run it.  So I am starting my training for next years half-marathon now!

My goal is to be able to run 10km by the end of Oct, 15km by the end of Jan, and 20km by the end of the summer.  Of course I intend to run Round the Bays again, hopefully beating my previous time, and I may be trying out the 100km Oxfam walk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

About: Salvation Army

Just a few excerpts taken from Wikipedia, to inform anyone interested as to what the Salvation Army is. I currently attend their Church services out in Howick. I already consider myself a regular member, but probably need to sign some proper documents to make it official.

The Salvation Army's stated objectives are:

The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines—which are professed, believed and taught by the Army and, pursuant there to, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.


The Salvation Army was founded in London's East End in 1865 by one-time Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine. Originally, Booth named the organization the East London Christian Mission, but in 1878 Booth reorganized it along military lines when his son Bramwell objected to being called a "volunteer" and stated that he was a "regular" or nothing. The name then became The Salvation Army.[3]


When William Booth became known as the General, Catherine was known as the "Mother of The Salvation Army". William preached to the poor, and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support for their work. She also acted as a religious minister, which was unusual at the time; the Foundation Deed of the Christian Mission, stated that women had the same rights to preach as men. William Booth described the organization's approach: "The three ‘S's’ best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the 'down and outs': first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation."[4]


The Salvation Army's main converts were at first alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and other "undesirables" unwelcomed into polite Christian society, which helped prompt the Booths to start their own church.[5] The Booths did not include the use of sacraments (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army's form of worship, believing that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself.[6] Other beliefs are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol (Holy Communion is not practiced), smoking, taking illegal drugs, and gambling.[7] Its soldiers wear a uniform tailored to the country they work in; the uniform can be white, grey, navy, fawn and are even styled like a sari in some areas. Any member of the public is welcome to attend their meetings.

Do you watch TVNZ OnDemand?

TVNZ allows you to watch streamming TV, you get to watch some of the latest TV shows 12hours after they air on actual TV.  Check it out here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Firefox plugins: Download from YouTube

These two pluggins are really awesome! See for yourself...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Piper's Christian Resource Library

One of my favourite and most respected bible teachers/pastor is John Piper.

And I have located his site Desiring God, a resource center where you can download in PDF all of his books, listen to his sermons, pod casts and many other great resources, all for free! This just goes to further increase my respect for him, as it shows he's not just trying to make money out of his books, he is actually giving them away, my idea of the ideal Christian author!

His main philosphy is “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

I highly recomend reading some of his material, or listening to his sermons. Great stuff!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Qwikir BrainDump

My company has released Qwikir BrainDump! Its still not open for public sign up but it is being used by several clients, and we use it as a way to interact with our clients. We have also been using it internally for some time. I have a private one too!

What is Qwikir BrainDump? Its a Knowledge-Networking platform. Its knowledge management meets social networking allowing for collaboration in a fun and free-flowing way.

What can you use it for? Anything where you want to share knowledge with other people. I have my own Old School BrainDump to share all things old school! I posted some old 80s cartoons up there for now, but feel free to contribute more stuff. Simply email the address: oldschool@braindump.co.nz and its in. Drop me a line and I can register you as a user.

Give it a go and tell me what you think of it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pricing

I found a very interesting article online about how clients rip you off for your products and services. It talks about how clients often get you to provide them with something but yet only pay you for a small fraction of the price its worth. Below is a video illustrating how ridiculous they are and the article gives you tips on how to avoid it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers

An article I found here... http://www.digitalsurvivors.com/archives/000455.php

January 10, 2002

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don't have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year.

Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don't bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: Get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.

Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor's house that he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can't happen very often.

Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I've given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jesus, Basketball and Me

A few weeks ago I made a presentation to my home group with the above title. I asked the question what does Jesus haveto do with basketball?

To cut it short, I suggested that Jesus is Lord over all areas of our lives; including our jobs, hobbies and interests. What that means is, God created all good things, He created them for His glory, and we are to enjoy them best when we "experience" them the right way.

I believe God ultimately created basketball, and that it was created to showcase our God given talents and skills. Its both a skill game and a tactics game. So a Christian basketball player is not an oxymoron in the same way a Christian prostitute, or Christian theif would be.

Another question I proposed was; what kind of player would Jesus be like if He played basketball? Aside from being able to shoot miracle shots, what I really mean is what kind of attitude and personality would he bring onto the court.

One person who really personifies the Christian Sportsman is David Robinson:



"I can run. I can jump. I can block shots. I can dunk. But I can't take pride in that. I'm successful because God gave me the ability."

"What I need to do is have a great positive attitude and a great work ethic. Those two things validate me. Yes, it's important that I have good numbers, and I'm well-respected as a player. But I think it's more important that I'm respected as a man."

Let me propose this idea. Basketball is best enjoyed when we play it for the glory of God, honouring other players as real human beings, and respecting the game as it is created by God Himself. And let this also apply to everything else we do too.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moving Out!

Downstairs to be precise. We have an independent flat downstairs which we have rented out forever, and the latest tenants have recently moved out. This gave me an opportunity to finally move into my own place for some independent living.

I negotiated a cheaper rent, and moved some furniture down. At the point of writing, I have moved most of the large items, such as the bed, tv, couches, computer. But still need to fill up the bathroom and kitchen areas.

I've been looking around for cheap fridges, preferably one with a freezer too.

And I'm looking forward to when I can invite you all for a flat party!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Life of an Engineer

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whats the latest?

Last weekend I was able to again cook Thai Curry, this time using Panaeng Curry Paste together with my tried and true recipie.


The result was a success, although this curry was very spicey. I added less pumpkin, as the pumpkin tends to soak up the curry. Will try again with yellow, and red curries :)

I came accross an incredible Psalm as I read my bible this evening; Psalm 139: v1-4
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquanted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold O Lord, you know it altogether.

It carries on v13-14
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my sould knows it very well.

And finishes in v23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Meditate on that!

In other news, a funny sighting in New Market!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crazy Crash

Most of you who know where I live will also know that the intersection right outside my house is one of the most dangerous in Auckland. Its also funny that down the road, is another of the most dangerous in Auckland.

Anyway, having lived here for so long, I have seen and heard some pretty big crashes and near misses, but none as big as this.


The police arrived within 5 minutes of the crash from all 3 directions! at the same time!


Despite being a very asian van, the driver was not "asian" in the chinese sense. So I couldn't just blame it on asian drivers