Who’s pointing?

In a world looking earnestly, and not, for guidance, we fail as Christians when we need guidance from non-Christians on how to follow Christ.

When the secular media are taking you to task for not acting Christian enough, it’s got to be bad.

All this sounds so familiar. Back in 1988, I covered the fall of Jimmy Swaggart and flew to his World Faith Center in Baton Rouge to listen to his tear-filled speech. He was going to take time off, he said, and work within his denomination’s rules that an erring pastor must take two years off. No exceptions. But three months later, he was back in the pulpit. And things for him went from bad to worse.

Mark Driscoll redux: Believe it or not, this Daily Beast feature is best of the lot — GetReligion

Can it be that the confusion we force on this world leads the world to find substitutes?


But can it be church without religion? Seattle Atheists member Brandon Hendrickson thinks so.

Maybe church is too much about religion (the trappings of the instutitions) instead of the relationship between God and you?

MSpeak–understanding structure

Reflections on Management Speak ala Mini Me.

If management can understand the fundamental structure of a problem (e.g. water pressure through pipes is low) then obviously there is an easy solution and they need to know why the rest of us don’t understand and address the problem:

We are either

  • Lazy
  • Incompetent, or
  • a combination of both

This premise obviously ignores the probability that the details have been ‘watered’ down, dumbed down, so that management might grasp part of the situation.

NSA has nothing on the Australian Government

With all the brooo haha about Edwin Snowden’s revelations about the secret war by the NSA against American Citizens, the rest of the world and whether this is ethical, legal, in good taste and un American, one would think that the secret spying on your own citizens is something only Americans and the harsh regimes could think of doing.

My local council spies on me for my own good, and the Australian Government gladly legislates for all sorts of information to be used by the good operations of government so that my tax payer dollars are well spent.

Big Brothers Watching

It’s official, our local government say’s that they do get the meta data from my phone records. Who I call, how long I’m on the phone and all that stuff that can be used against me, or to protect me.

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If you want to enable mass surveillance on your citizens, don’t do it like the yanks. Just do as the Australian Government. Tell everyone you’re doing it, and have been doing it, and if they don’t like it, go … fish.

chuwi iuee android 7” tablets

Going through some minor burn in tests to see how well these little wonders hold out. So far, mostly positive.image

Quad Core Android 7” tablets for approximately AUD$80 each (delivered) and they’re quite good. Last night was spent just updating the apps on it, and configuring English settings etc.

A few games seemed to be ‘freezing,’ ‘crashing’ (Angry Birds, Dragons World) so there wasn’t much else to do but try running some of the Performance Analysis tools AnTuTu Benchmark, StabilityTest v2.7 and they seemed to report some good findings.

Continue running the update, update, to make sure we’ve got all the latest software installed.

‘Ofa recently got a Kindle Fire HD and I really enjoy the form factor and what a cheap ‘companion’ device this thing can be. Of course, ‘Ofa ain’t relinguishing her Kindle (she didn’t have much use for her original Kindle, so go figure that one out) so the rest of us have to do with trawling through http://www.aliexpress.com to see what Yahoo et. al. can provide for us from mainland China.

We’ve got here the CHUWI V17HD 1280×600 Android 4.4.

AnTuTu say’s we’re doing good, at a much lower price point. We have some magical number #16876


The Aliexpress sale page shows playing movies, and I can attest that watching a movie on this thing looks really slick.

The BenchTest pushes the Four Cores without any heating issues with the unit and that little guy/sprite hangs around while we whirl around him/her to show that the graphics capabilities aren’t so bad.


And the main reason that I was stopped on the page (other than the sale at the time?)


Android 4.4.2 Woohooo. I just love the AOSP mail client for this thing. And now it’s connected to Gmail and ActiveSync back to the Office MS Exchange Server.

Tonight was the first hands on test with the kids grabbing one each (1 had to make do with a Samsung GS4.) The kids were ‘in the cone of silence’ for 30 minutes. If you asked them to do something, their hands and feet would move but their heads were magically locked to the little screens.

It’s doing good for me for what it’s intended, a tote device for doing some ‘stuff’ with occassional/relaxed connections to the Internet, reading mail, watching a video. On that premise, this device is looking real good.

Fakalahi vahenga, workers compensation

It finally dawned on me that there is a complete industry here in Australia that also has generations of implementation in Tonga called “Fakalahi Vahenga.” Every now and then you see some of the guys pop out early to watch a game at the pub or down at the local TAB (betting establishment) and to further the generalisation the girls come in a ‘little late’ after a shopping spree.

In this regime of workplace reform, Fakalahi Vahenga is an accepted mechanism to compensate for injuries, problems encountered at work to assist the injured worker return to work at some functional capacity. In Australia, this includes the company or insurer trying to get the correct medical assistance the worker requires, such as seeing the See Eye, Hear Ear, Smell Nose doctors.

Fakalahi Vahenga is one of those accepted practises to help injured workers get back to work, or stay in work, depending on your understanding of the injury. This practise is well established in institutions, and proselytised by politicians etc. I think the only non-practising people are mum’s?

For Tonga, sometimes the emotional abuse of the work environment becomes increasingly difficult to compensate for which leads to longer and longer stress leaves. Because we’re very cognisant, enthusiastic about our workplaces, we turn up for work and just break out that ‘stress’ leave into elongated lunch breaks, or early home time or late entry time, a mix of the above or all of the above.

Uike Lotu is one of those national weeks of Fakalahi Vahenga where the majority of us just take it even if we’re not even attending the “Uike Lotu.” The more pious amongst us will take a day leave during the Uike Lotu, or just fakalahi vahenga and turn up for the clock in and take the elongated stress relief, go to an early lunch and extend that to taking an early Uike Lotu leave.

Kids, spaghetti, symptoms and better practises

Here’s one for all the parents out there?

We had (have) this scenario at work where the simplest analogy for my non-technical friends was an analogy to solving your kids thirst and love for spaghetti. And that’s a messy story.

One of our software development team has a product that has been on a client’s system for the past 2 years and in one of the recent updates (about 3 months after a ‘feature’ update) the product starts getting this error:

WMI Service not responding.

The development team swear blind that they’ve done enough investigations, and the problem is fixed by rewriting their piece of code that touched the “WMI Service.” Of course, they can’t replicate the bug in their development environment, or the Quality Assurance environment. But, they can guarantee the error will go away by not using the above mentioned service.

We’re told to be in partnership with our people, and a summary of our investigations highlights a few interesting facts:

We have no clue why this error occurs, but we can get rid of the error.

The parallel to our child analogy above is, …

My kids all grew up loving spaghetti when they were introduced to solid food. As any parent, aunt/uncle will know: Kids and spaghetti are a recipe for ‘MESS’. Notice the capital letters there.

There are plenty of solutions on the market that budding new parents are urged to try. They have baby bibs made of hard plastic with a ‘catch’ tray that is easier to wipe/clean and can catch some of the ‘refuse’ before it reaches the floor. I’ve even seen promotions for floor plastic sheets, that new parents can spread on the floor to ‘catch’ the debry.

What are we solving above? Nothing really, because none of those products really work for inventive/scheming new spaghetti eaters. Your treating the side effects of the illness. It’s a messy business or you wouldn’t be dealing with kids in the first place, accept it and move on. The above ‘solutions’ are just helping you avoid dealing with the real issue:

Your kid is a messy eater.

Fortunately, most kids grow out of their messy spaghetti problem and elevate to messy bedrooms, messy schoolwork, etc. But that’s a different release.

Back to our team’s problem.

Solving the “WMI Service Not responding,” by ignoring it is cleaning up the after-effects and not the cause of the problem. The development team already know the problem only occurs when the server’s CPU utilisation is maxed out at 100%. They don’t test for this in the development machines or in the test team’s machines.

No, suggesting to install more debugging tools on the server (Visual Studio) isn’t helpful, nothing more will run on the machine and the few people/services already running are struggling.

No, scheduling a server restart every night is not a solution. It resolves your symptoms, temporarily, but it doesn’t solve your problem.

Unfortunately, programs don’t independently grow up and shed bugs like old skin. Programs tend to hold on to atrophied body parts until they get the proverbial code-stink. Code stink gets worse with age, a minor bug can readily become the foundation for a lot of problems.

Find out why you have these symptoms, why is the application using up 100% CPU utilisation. Fix the problem, not the symptoms that’s a better way forward.

New Time Table Promises the Skies

Things look really promising, and colourful with our new Public Transport. The Government has gone all out for a new facelift, those commando dressed dudes are now dressed in smart casuals, and they seem to have more women instead of the gymn rejects?

The Promise?:

Transport for NSW New train timetables start Sunday 20 October

The biggest timetable change in a generation.

On Sunday 20 October a new train timetable will come into effect, changing both service times and frequency of both the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink services. More than 1,000 extra services will be added to the timetable every week.

On Sunday 20 October a new train timetable will come into effect, changing both service times and frequency of both the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink services.

  • More than 1,000 extra train services every week
  • Over 600 additional express services every week

Hopefully someone out there benefits from those additional (isn’t 1,000 such a nice clean number?) train services. Looking at the getting to work train, my time slot is later than now. Looking at coming home (more important to me) I’ve lost the train I used to catch.

Bummer, may the next generation will get a better deal.

Looking forward to a HOT day

Various forecasts between 36 and 39 degrees foreshadows a HOT day in Sydney today.

Strangely, walking out this morning isn’t the 20 degrees forecast, but something much cooler. Put a jacket/jumper on for the morning commute. The house is still hot from soaking up yesterday/last-night’s heat so the body’s a little confused.

The bus should haven’t been running for the past couple of hours, but you get on and there’s no hope with the air conditioner because it is sauna class hot.

Coping with the commute is easier today listening to FLOSS Weekly and ZoneMinder.

Kiama 7s, book it on your calendar

The Kiama 7s is a feast of running Rugby on the beautiful coastal fields at the Kiama Showgrounds. This year two teams of Tonga youngsters travelled to compete as the Ha’ateiho Spartans and Tupou College Old Boys. With precision, pace, position and passion the boys won over new fans with the Spartans grabbing 3rd spot in front of the TC Old Boys taking out 4th after a tight Plate final.

New to the tournament, the “Old-Boys” began with the 2nd game of the day against the much fancied Randwick B team. While their opportunities took out pressed uniforms (footy jerseys) the boys were thrown their blue guernseys from the gym bag.

Already jittery from only a couple of days training in Tonga and a light run since arriving 2 days earlier, it wasn’t helping to look over to find the competition sheltered with a good fan base, strapping girls, physios. Geez they even had physio tables, medical staff and a tent. Meanwhile, our proxy nurse (mum pressed into service) had to run to the local chemist to see if we can buy some tape.


The opposition, on paper and in real life, looked very scarey, are we crazy for coming? They are built as bricks, seemed quick on their feet and oozed confidence. The 4:00 am breakfast didn’t seem to be sitting so well right about then. Those ads of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter having Wheat Bix for Breakfast better have some truth in it.

We hunt down a tap to fill our water bottles, and seem to be the only team with such a need. We wonder where everyone else fills their bottles?

Breathing deep, the boys step onto the field to limber up the only way we know: grab the footy, run up and down the field bumping into each other here and there. Pace, Precision, Passion (we’re still working on the Position.)

The Kiama 7s tournament format for 2012 separates 48 registered teams into 16 groups of 3 except for the seeded teams, Manly A and Spartans (only 2 teams in their group.) The winners in each group joins the “Round of 16” playing for the Cup (1st and 2nd in the tournament) and Plate (3rd and 4th in the tournament) whilst the 2nd placed teams play-off for the bowl.

Teams must win their two group matches to qualify for competing for the Cup. The Old Boys were grouped against Randwick B and Molong? (Magpies) Justifiably, the Spartans only had 1 country team (Newcastle & Hunter) to play in their Group and started towards midday.


Group B – Game 2 8:42 am Chittick Oval vs Randwick B

Score: 14 – 0 : Try Scorers: Siaosi ‘Osamu, Mano Loto’aahea

Eventually, the jitters just had to give way to getting on with the game and at 8:42 the boys took the stage against Randwick’s “B” team. Things didn’t start off too well, at all with a sad sequence of errors putting immense pressure on nerves. The kick off wasn’t taken and allowed to go out near our line, mis-timing on the line-out throw in and the boys are scrambling in defence for the majority of the 1st half with little respite.


On the sidelines, this was heart wrenching stuff, we didn’t come all the way to Australia, then drive to Kiama to go home early. We’re all here to take the Cup home.

The Boys kept their nerves, with-stood a mountain of attack, and grabbed a small opportunity in the 1st half to go into the second leading 7-0. Confidence seemed to be seeping into the team and the scrambling defence didn’t seem to be under the same pressure in the 2nd half with the boys running in another try to more comfortably finish the game ahead.

Time to breath easier, return to our dressing room (the shade in he car park) and debrief.

Group B Game 15 11:18 Chittick Oval vs Molong Magpies

Score: We won on the field, Molong won everywhere else.

The Molong Magpies are a true Rugby Club, and there’s more to be said about that. The boys ran in 8 tries to finish top of their pool and guaranteed we were in the run for the Cup.


The Molong boys were quick to come up after the game to congratulate our boys, and invite us to drinks. The drinking had started earlier than the games, and continued well into the night.


There’s a longer break before the next match so the boys rest a little before heading off to the adjoining park for stretches before their next game. The beauty of the environment is mostly lost in keeping a tight focus on the knock-out competition that is now the “Round of 16”

Round of 16 – 1:06 Chittick Oval vs Warringah

Score: 12 – 10 : Try scorers Tevita Halaifonua, Mano Loto’aahea

Warringah is a strong Sydney Club and they had the unfortunate misadventure of being knocked out of the 2011 tournament by Tonga’s team the Spartans. They had good cause to give no quarter.


Warringah’s aggression is a definite a step up from even the tough match against the Randwick B team. Playing a tight smart game of 7s they pushed the boys to the end.

Precision. The game came down to the final minutes with Warringah on top 10 to 5 and just before the whistle Mano takes the ball on half-way and makes a clean break and the chase is on as he touches down just before the whistle blows.

An appeal is made that either the try is disqualified, or the conversion is not allowed. The referee allows the conversion attempt, success, and after consultation with the scorers tent, the game is awarded to our boys.

A sigh of relief, we live for another match.

It’s lunch, even though we’re sick of our box of oranges, we dig into it again. Friends of the team bring some lunch, but there’s 15 of us if you include the coaches, so there’s not much to go around.

Quarterfinals – 3:06 pm Chittick Oval vs Penrith A

Score: 10 ~ 7 : Try scorers Simana Halaifonua, ‘Ata’ata Langilangi


We were worried about the Penrith A team, as both their teams had strong Pacific members. Both teams put on ferocious defence that had the ball spinning from side to side on the field with few results on the score line.

Penrith has a great attacking combination and the boys were scrambling back and forth. The tight game against Gordon and it’s lessons on the importance of attacking defence in 7s is significant in their standing firm and pushing forward in defence to take the win.

Semi-finals – 4:38 pm Chittick Oval vs Kiama

Score: 7 ~ 28

Kiama put together a wonderful team for this year’s series and they were impressive with capital Ps. Precision, Pace, and Position were augmented with immense Power and Grace. It would have been wonderful to watch the game, except that it was our team that was getting pummelled around the field.


Precision. In defence, Kiama held out the boys for the 1st half and closed gaps in defence faster than seen any other time during the tournament. Tackles were rarely taken alone, most being gang tackles by immensely athletic players. Our players began making mistakes in attack due to the tight precision of Kiama’s defensive pattern which further increased the pressure on our defence.

In attack Kiama were not only relentless but used Precision and Pace to push our defence backwards, while launching ferocious pace that often left our defence pedestrian. Kiama passing us by wasn’t random luck, they are a great team.

The Kiama boys showed an awesome set of Rugby lessons we hope to dish out ourselves one day.


Having come into the tournament as 2011 finalists, the Spartans team had a match against Newcastle & Hunter as a warm up into the final round of 16. The information here is sparse, find more information at the Ha’ateiho Spartans facebook page.

Group M Game 19 12:06 Showground Oval

The game was a try fest, being at the other ground we only heard the summaries broadcast on the grounds and the Spartans were clearly going for a half-century.

Round of 16 2:06 Chittick Oval vs Norths


The Spartans went in as favourites, and deservedly so, they played a flowing and aggressive style of Rugby that the crowd enjoyed and was a mirror of success for them.

Norths were not easy push overs, and the result was unresolved until the end.

Quarterfinals 3:40 pm Chittick Oval vs Manly B

The defining nature of the Spartans win over a very good Manly B side was their commitment to defence.


There were some memorable moments during the game, especially when the Spartans had a slim lead and a breakaway that should have resulted in a try, resulted in a try on the 10 metre line. Which the referee eventually called a knock on.

It is a credit to the aggressive defence that kept the Spartans on top of the game, as again it came to the wire.

Semi-finals 4:55 pm vs Parramatta

Sorry, I missed it.

Plate finals – 6:15 pm Chittick Oval

Spartans 17 vs Tupou College Old Boys 12


The consolation price goes to Tupou College Ex-Students who fought hard to take the lead until a wonderful try by Spartans in the dieing moments of the finals secured a win for Spartans.


Congratulations to the Spartan team for taking home the Kiama 7s Plate prize.

We’ll meet again in 2013, hopefully in the finals of the Queenbyean 7s and then here again.

Collection of my photos available on facebook