May each moment

Well here’s a strange thing. Met up with Heleni with her daughter at the local shops (she’s doing that FOB thing of checking out all the FOBs while trying not to be noticed as a FOB?)

She asked for the lyrics of one of those songs we did back in the day, and here we are. She wanted it SMSd on the phone, which is all nice and dandy but I ain’t gonna re-type the thing if it’s already typed up.

And, I ain’t reformatting it on the phone to get the Guitar chords lined up (it’s hard enough getting it done on the web. Anyhoo, she never got back with an email or other online presence, so if anyone sees a strange Tongan lady tell her the words are here.

Our Prayer

Andrae Crouche (?)

C
May each moment, of each hour
                    C7
of each day of your life,
     F                          C
be a picture of love to all the world

And in Jesus, may grow, May you trust him,
                    Am
May you know of his Love,
                      G
And his love may know you.

Chorus

         C
And when soon he shall come
       F
may we all join as one
       C           Am
In the joy that we share
       G                 C
In his glory this is our prayer.

May your father, become real
In your life may you feel
The beauty of love to all the world
And where ever you may go
Tell the people, let them know
that his coming, is so very near.

For many years I thought the song was written by Andrae Crouche, but now with the Internet the only reference I can find for it is through the Heritage Singers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCYK6zG3mKs 

Edit: The song seems to be referenced/titled as “Our Prayer”

Our youth first came across the song as a translation by one of the mum’s of another youth group (kainga and all that.)

‘Ofa ke Hoko

(w) Ngangatu Fifita

C
‘Ofa ke hoko, ‘a e taimi
                C7
Kotoa ‘e tau mo’ui,
     F                     C
Ko e ‘ata, ‘oe ‘ofa ki mamani.

Ke ‘ia Sisu, Falala ki ai
                Am
‘I he tui kia teia
              G
Tene toe foki mai.

Tau:
C
‘Oka ne ka fotu mai
       F
Ke tau fakataha ai
      C        Am
‘I he fiefia ‘anga
     G                      C
Hono naunau, ko ‘emau lotu ia.

Humm 1st verse, while one voice reads
Sione 3:16

Her kids had a band where this became one of the favoured items they would play and pass along to the youth that followed them.

There’s a few other songs that we caught the Tongan version of before we knew there was a palangi version.

Follow the ‘sound’ on Youtube and see if you can capture the Tongan version along the way.

Customer Service and Phone Calls

Like most companies you come across, we have beautiful posters espousing our “core” values. These “core” values were derived at secret meetings which required secrete hand shakes for entry and various ceremonies such as:

  • convoluted names for coffee-beans smashed into hot water and milk.
  • marketing designed, marketing 3-way tested, focus group named things once known as crackers with cheese
  • hidden bunkers used to syphon the energies of the universe into the attendees, before they could vomit o their own self-assurances

Image courtesy of David Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.netOf course, everyone has the core value of “Customer” something or other. You know, how we all love those troublesome ‘others’ called customers, and how our genes have been scientifically altered such that our every waking moment is infused with the desire to pleasure our customers. Like broken start-ups around the world, we are also infused to not care whether we make any money out of this operation, we just love our customers.

Meanwhile, as the scientists continue to fine tune their adjustments to our psyche, phone calls go unanswered whilst we’re busy browsing the Internet.

There was a company I once worked at, where the CEO would pick up a ringing phone, deal with the issue and afterwards calmly scream at you if you were anywhere near hearing the ringing phone and didn’t do something about it. We didn’t have a customer service “core” value. He (yes it was a real he, not a metaphorical) just expected that we set up the phones so people can get in touch with us, and if the phone is ringing you bloody well answer it, he didn’t care if you had to walk across the bleeding office to get to it.

In our “core” value Customer oriented company, it’s the marketing/sales team that are most guilty of letting their phones ring. If they can’t get through, they can’t complain, and they can always call back if they really want to get through. There’s something being said here:

The team tasked with communications to, from our customers don’t pick up phones from any but their own. Even if the ringing phone is the desk beside them.

Which sign are you reading? The colourful one on the wall, or the colourful ones at their desks?

Aquatic Center alight, spare a thought for the loss

Yesterday (Sunday) was scorcher in Sydney and we were at the mall (shopping) when our youngest daughter started whining, and complaining she was hot and we needed to go to the swimming pool so she can cool off (their favourite being the Sydney Aquatic Center at Homebush Olympic Park.) We had enough things to do that day so we stayed at the mall and then came back home.

It wasn’t until late in the night, after finally putting the kids to bed that we discovered there was a massive fire at the said Aquatic Center’s parking lot destroying 30+(?) cars and putting up to 5,000 in the center out into the heat as well as the disorientation of real and present danger. Disorientation accentuated with the uncertainty of whether they can get back to their vehicles, and more difficulty for those trying to figure out how to get home with their kids in tow, and the extreme heat of the day.

Fortunately, there were no notices of deaths but there is significant property loss and we feel for those who were directed effected.

It was an awesome display of powers of nature beyond our human control (of course I fear that the fire was human sourced, whether intended or thrown away trash (smoko or glass.) The day was very hot, and the cars themselves and their glass magnifying sunlight on the dry leaves/grass etc. may have initiated the furnace. We’re glad we missed the pool this time.

Strangely, the events are a juxtaposition with our Sunday Service on Philippians 3 and Paul highlighting that God’s salvation doesn’t come from our own power, greatness, good guy. It’s totally depended on someone else’s grace.

Echo Point and the 3 Sisters

To tide us over and allow a more relaxing, enjoyable trip to the Blue Mountains, we booked 2 x Double Rooms at the Echo Point Inn. The joint is classified as a 3 star and … it didn’t disappoint. Yes, the décor is working class, a little rough, just like us and more than adequate for a warm cozy night’s sleep.

Location is awesome.

The Inn/motel is a very short walk from the Echo Point lookout where we got to take some great photos of the 3 sisters. The kids have already booked us in to come back so we can do the walk to the 3 sisters.

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There’s outdoor space at the motel for relaxing if you just wanted to do something close.

Facilities are good

The motel has seen better days, but for us the major items were, connected rooms, clean linen, clean place, and working ‘stuff’

The carpeting is industrial, wears well and one of the rooms looked like it had been recently recarpetted. The furniture is weary but solid and sheened. Clean, that goes a long way in our books. Good enough to recommend coming back.

The TVs worked, no cable, but enough channels we had something for the kids to watch and wind down from the day’s hiking. Of course, it was also a great excuse for getting up early, get some breakfast out of the way to watch more TV..

Missing bits?

With 6 bodies in 2 rooms, we’re bound to be short a few things, so if you’ve got our numbers a few things we had to supply.

  • Additional wash cloths
  • Cereal bowls

Service ?

The two trips to the counter was a good experience with the two different attendants both very pleasant and willing to give us local knowledge to help us enjoy our stay.

We arrived a little later than expected, no worries, and let me show you where your rooms are. If you need anything the desk is open till 8:00pm, please call.

After check-out, we wanted to walk down to the look-out, no worries leave it parked out there, how ever long you need.

Wentworth Falls

Our first family trip to the Blue Mountains began at the Visitor Information Centre at Glenbrook. Strange how that co-incided with hunger and food flowed from the van onto the table (must be an Islander thing.) We wandered around at the Visitor Centre, playing catch at the park then taking a directed walk to see the ‘little country church’ Uniting Church Glenbrook.

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The day’s magic broke through at the unplanned stop of Wentworth Falls.

We’d never been there, and although we’ve done some decent walks with the kids at the Homebush Centenary Park, we had no expectations of what this journey would be like.

Meandering down the drive we found a tight squeeze for parking and then spent the next five minutes trying to find where we pay for parking (you know, like most everywhere else we go these days.) No, we didn’t find the parking meter vending machine and eventually left the combi hoping we don’t come back to a nice fine.

Lookout

Jenson’s Lookout gave a beautiful view of the mountains, but it didn’t seem like there was much else. We mess around for a little while then decide that OK we’ll walk to the next thing (lookout point)

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The waterfall sure looks tiny from here

We get to the next lookout point, and wonder of wonders, we get to see a view of … the Blue Mountains. Wow, not. We’re enjoying each other’s company when we decide to get off the main track and follow one of 20 minute track going down.

We pass a few people coming up and the track is pretty straight forward and we find another lookout. Wow!! Another view of Blue Mountains, but this one looks more daring/dangerous being ‘hidden’ away and having been forced to ‘trek’ over uneven paths, rocks to get here. The danger is more implicit with regular 2” pipes as handrails instead of the nice secure security fencing at the earlier look out points. In truth, this look out point requires a certain level of maturity, common sense. You can feel that you need to watch the kids because some stupid playing can send someone to their death.

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Hey, the waterfall is a lot easier to see from this angle

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nice view guys, but that ride to the valley floor looks very close?

Sione Halasika dives under the hand rails digging into the rock ledge so he can peak through the water/vent hole.

The waterfall looks gorgeous from here. Actually looks like a post card picture at this point. Water cascades down the side of the mountain and various points it just looks like spray and somewhere below it pools together.

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Things are getting exciting.

We walk back up the track, and the kids are still hyped so at the next junction we take the track less travelled (there’s signs up so hopefully someone knows where these tracks go.)

Now, this track is more daring (and the kids don’t really care much) you wind through a path with no safety railings and ledges with a 10 meter drop down the side. Each of us grab one of the younger ones and do the odd dance down a track built for one trying not to fall over a ledge, whilst trying not to walk over the kids.

You’d think we can trust the older two to be a little more mature? Stop!!! don’t run too far ahead. Actually, don’t run at all.

We walk under a lot of hanging rock, dripping things. I think that was part of the attraction of this route. Some of the track is re-enforced with wood pailings. Wow, never knew that was a good idea (a lot more stable than that earth stuff.) The place is kinda neanderthal. Which we’re told later, is about right.

Another cross-track, hmmm back up and out or down to that Waterfall spot we saw from that danger zone, up somewhere. There’s a lot of nature here to enjoy, but the kids are just enjoying the whole experience (i.e. it’s great to walk outside) and we’re not spending much time looking at anything in particular, just brushing through the bush as easily as possible.

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Hold this boy. He’s going to fall over.

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In a cave, on a ledge, multipurpose

These kids are crazy, we walk down and ‘Ofa decides she’s joined the crazy kids and they climb down to the beginnings of the waterfall (now why do I think that slipping in the water isn’t a good idea?) They all sample the cold water, and want to trudge across it. Noooo!!!!!

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Don’t worry about that, you’all come down and in the water.

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Woohoo, we’re at the beginnings of the waterfall!!!

We make it to the “main” waterfall spot, and with a sigh I notice a nice big fence to catch idiots (oops the adventurous) who must wade in the water. Of course, all of our party have to ‘wade in the water.’ And the water is bloody freezing. How often do we get to walk on a waterfall? Exciting times.

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Postcard moments.

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All  I have to say … it’s cold in here.

We spend a little time and get to talk with some of the other adventurers young and old. It’s time to make the trek up and we realise that to every down hike, there’s a seriously horrible up hike.

Things are going fine until Miss Jnr decides she has to complain about being hungry, stomach problems, toe problems, ear infection problems. Mum expounds on the beauty and virtues of everything around us, the fresh air, beautiful flowering plants, the path, the we’re almost there.

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Sesi – I’m going this way. Stop, we have to get up to get out!

No good.

We survived and made it back to the top, and magically all the aches and pains disappeared and we were rushing around looking down again at where we’d been.

Wentworth Falls? It was a magical afternoon, and definitely booked for future school holidays. We were sold on the shopping up here, but we’ll have to look at that another day.

That Easy Install Button on your Wifi? Turn it OFF

WPS or QSS – WiFI Protected Setup is broken by design.

Summary:

Turn it OFF

More Information:

New Wifi access points/routers come with a really neat/advertised feature telling you that they can make it easy for mortals to install and configure. They can get you connected easily, quickly and connected to the Internet.

Easy comes, easy goes.

The feature, variously labelled WPS – Wifi Protected Setup, or something telling you that it makes your life easier, is insecure. Leaving it on, or using it without understanding it’s short-comings, is leaving your connection potentially open for misuse by others.

A major security flaw was revealed in December 2011 that affects wireless routers with the WPS feature, which most recent models have and enable by default. The flaw allows a remote attacker to recover the WPS PIN and, with it, the network’s WPA/WPA2 pre-shared key in a few hours.[4] Users have been urged to turn off the WPS feature,[5] although this may not be possible on some router models.[6]

Steve Gibson from http://www.grc.com provides a run through in his podcast Security Now 337: WPS: A Troubled Protocol and in the show notes