Friday, 24 April 2009

Licensed to drive

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you, a new fully licensed driver on the streets of NSW.

Three and a bit years later...

No more having to drive around with a target "P" next to my number plate.

I can now drive at the normal speed limit and not have to see everybody whizz past me.

I can now drive rental cars.

I now have up to 12 demerit points to gain, as opposed to only four!

I am fully licensed to drive.

Ah, another rite of passage...

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Resources 4 the retrenched

So, the "R" word has finally been mentioned.

Australia is already in, or fast hurtling towards recession.

Kel over at xfacta was unfortunately retrenched last year thanks to the decline.

But in true survivor style, she not only moved on, she started a blog to help anyone else who has suffered the same fate.

She says it better than me:
When I was retrenched at Christmas time, I was amazed at how much information I needed to find and make decisions about in a very short space of time. This blog will attempt to gather information, resources, support, in one spot. A referral portal I s'pose.

It's still in early days, but I'm already collating a bunch of information to add over the next few months - and hope it will become a much referred to online resource.

Particularly relevant if you are in Australia.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Jet capelet

Finally, after what felt like eternity (reality = three months), the Jet capelet is done and finished!

It wasn't actually a really hard knit. The only skills you need are knit, purl, minimal cable knowledge and making decreases.

The decreases are actually what made knitting this so fun. The more you knitted, the less stitches you had to do per row. Which helped since I was pretty much over it towards the end.

I ran out of the bluey/purple yarn deliberately added a white trim to give the capelet some form of texture and to make it look less boring

Bought the cute little star button at the markets at Caloundra. Thought it matched the capelet perfectly!

And off it goes...

Pattern here.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

unChristian book review

Hypocritical, anti-homosexual and judgemental. That is how Christians are described in the book UnChristian, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.

Kinnaman is a professional Christian researcher whose company embarked on an extensive three year research to find out just what people think about Christians and Christianity in America. The result, as detailed in UnChristian, is not a pretty one.

Not only are Christians perceived to be hypocritical, anti-homosexual and judgemental, many also believe that we have a hidden agenda of wanting to convert them when we befriend them. We are seen as irrelevant and lacking authenticity and sincerity.

“So many Christians are caught up in the Christian sub-culture and are completely closed off from the world. We got to church on Wednesdays, Sundays and sometimes on Saturdays. We attend small group on Tuesday night and serve on the Sunday school advisory board, the financial committee, and the welcoming committee. We go to barbeques with our Christian friends and plan group outings. We are closed off from the world. Even if we wanted to reach out to nonChristians, we don’t have time and we don’t know how. The only way we know how to reach out is to invite people to join in our Christian social circle.” (Page 130).

The data in UnChristian may be based in America, and Americans may relate more to the content than others, but the core material is still highly relevant. UnChristian is a book that every Christian should read. For those who shy away from statistics, UnChristian is not simply a book that provides data. Kinnaman analyses the information and gives Christians strategies on how to solve the problems in a Biblical, Christ-centred way.

It is a book that provides the harsh reality and makes no attempt to gloss things over. And yet it provides a saving grace, bringing the readers back to the Bible and revealing how Jesus would have solved the problems. Also included are success stories and thoughts from those who have managed to connect with the community around them in a convincing and helpful way.

“In our efforts to point out sin, we often fail to do anything for the people who are affected by sin. Think of it this way. The perception is that Christians are known more for talking about these issues than doing anything about them. Based on our survey, a majority of outsiders say Christians are quick to find fault with others.” (Page 184).

UnChristian is not simply a wake-up call to Christians, it spurs you into action. The heart of its message is about grace – remembering the grace we received from God, and extending it to others unreservedly.

Official website.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

World's most ethical companies

Struggling to find out what companies to support for their ethical behaviour?

Look no further than the Ethisphere Institute's list of the world's most ethical companies.

I thought it was interesting that Nike is actually on the list, but according to Reuters, it is because they have "demonstrated a will to correct past mistakes".

It's a pretty handy list to be aware of, particularly when you're trying not to support unethical behaviour and sweatshop labour.

Pity it doesn't have a full comprehensive list of all the businesses, but how can that be possible?

And Westpac bank is the only Australian company on the list.

Although, those wanting to find out more about which Australian clothing companies to support can look here.

Complete listing of companies.

Related news article.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Seven facts

Over Easter, I was tagged by Kel over at the X Facta, so here are seven facts about me, whether you want to know or not.

1. I am an introvert - I may be in public relations, I may have studied communication and I may not have a problem with public speaking and holding leadership positions, but I would rather be surrounded only by a select number of people at any one time. Noise, crowds and having to deal with people tire me.

2. There is probably a Martha Stewart bubbling inside me - I love anything to do with crafts. I like making things. I adore the creative process and the fact that whatever I've created is unique and probably not quite perfect. Eventually, I want to buy a sewing machine and perhaps, start a business. Perhaps.

3. I loathe cooking - I only like the crafty "I make stuff" side of Martha. I can cook and I haven't made a non-palatable dish yet, but I would rather leave the cooking to others who enjoy it.

4. If I lived in the 70s, I would be a hippie - I recycle, I like visiting op-shops, I feed food scraps to chickens and I try to minimise my impact on the environment as much as I can. I love flowing dresses, natural beauty products and remedies and dream of owning a VW beetle.

5. I can be very pedantic - Certain things have to be done in a certain way. The house must be tidy. My car needs to be clean. Perhaps that's why I like knitting so much. I am learning, especially when I have a boyfriend whose spirit is the complete opposite of pedantic, but I still have a long way to go.

6. I communicate with God through writing - Praying in the conventional sense usually sends me to sleep or starts my mind wandering. When I write, I start to calm, my thoughts start to make sense, and most of the time, God communicates back.

7. I dream to live in a new country every two years - It has never eventuated and probably never will, but I love the idea of moving to a new country with a completely different culture every two years.

And going with the rules of the meme, I now pick seven bloggers to share seven things themselves:

Kristin @ Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Free Speech
Kenneth @ Kenneth Birch
Her highness @ Everyone is a queen
Faith @ Faith Toh
Shimona @ Happiness is a choice

...and that's it. I don't have that many friends who blog it seems.

Here's what you do:
  1. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.
  5. Let your tagger know you've completed the meme.
then sit back and enjoy the linky love :)

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Nothing much to say besides the fact that I'm going on holidays from this afternoon and won't be back at work till Tuesday.

Am looking forward to a break.

Oh, and I'll leave you with a revisit of an old post to bring in Easter.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Maya's maner

This was completed ages ago but I didn't want to post about it until I had given it to her.

Well, that has since happened.

Unfortunately, it doesn't fit her.

Because I knitted with bamboo yarn, it isn't as stretchy as say, wool. But there was no way I was going to be knitting with wool since she lives in Singapore and giving my friend a heat stroke is not on my list of things to do.

Still love the bead-button though.

I made one for myself awhile ago as well.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Hit them where it hurts

Not too long ago, I watched a documentary about the increase in piracy in Somalia.

They did some interviews with the pirates and the story that emerged was this:

The pirates came from a village that used to survive on the fishing trade. However, overfishing from other countries near or on their waters caused the fish supply to dry up.

The livelihood of would-be pirates therefore became non-existent and they appealed to the international community for help. Naturally, no help came. Just more fishing boats.

So would-be pirates became real pirates. Most recently hijacking two boats, and already making off few million dollars.

That's when the international community stood up and listened. The boats the pirates have been hijacking belong, after all, to these countries that will sell the goods and resources in the boats for way more than a few million dollars.

And that's when the stories of the pirates are told.

No one listens when a small village in Somalia is dying of poverty and starvation.

But when you hit them where it hurts, people start to pay attention.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Crazy people don't think that they're crazy.

We (sane people) don't think we're crazy.

Does this mean we're actually crazy?

Friday, 3 April 2009

How NOT to manage a mailing list

So, for the last few months or so, I have been receiving email updates/requests etc., from a lady that:

a) I do not know
b) I have never heard of
c) I have no idea how she obtained my email address

Anyway, after receiving yet another irrelevant email this morning, I decided that it was time to request to be unsubscribed from a mailing list that I didn't even know existed.

Within a few minutes, the lady replies, copying someone that I know of but don't even work with in the email, saying
Dear Melody

I would like you to reconsider your request....I was the one who put Adventist on the list for involvement re the Olympics...great things have come from that.

The email below is to find people for sports ministry to become chaplains.

Would you please supply the best contact for your denomination to alert you all re the great opportunities re sports ministry. Australians love our sports and its a very relvenat way to fulfil the GREAT COMMISSION...over to you. Many thanks.

A few questions:

a) Why did you feel the need to copy someone else in the email, who has nothing to do with anything?
b) Can't you respect my decision to unsubscribe from something I don't want to be on?
c) I run mailing lists too. If someone unsubscribes, I don't hound them and try to make them feel guilty about unsubscribing.

So, I suppose I'm forced to remain on your mailing list. But that doesn't mean I will read any emails that you send me.

Now, has that achieved anything?

This incident just made me think about our dealings with people about other things. One of the major things that we need to do is to truly respect their decision to choose what they want to do.

We can give them advice, we can give them our opinions, but we really cannot force our thoughts and actions on them.

The only thing we'll achieve is a sour relationship.

No wonder non-Christians think we're pushy about the Gospel. We can't seem to take no for an answer.

It's true that we shouldn't just give up, particularly when it comes to someone's salvation. But perhaps forcing them into a corner where they have no choice is not the way to go?
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