Monday, October 31, 2005


On Friday night we alpha tested Samurai, an RPG that Nic and Stack made up, which is loosely based on feudal Japan. It was very good, considering that it was the alpha test.
If anyone wants to test it out, Nic's posted the rules here, in the RPG section of the new Reality is Overrated Forum.

Updated rules
Updated setting
Martial arts

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the dog on the tuckerbox

the dog on the tuckerbox
Originally uploaded by little pieces....

Security Parking

Yesterday when we got to Batmania, we spent at least half and hour trying to find somewhere to park. We eventually parked at Security Parking, on the same block as the Museum of Victoria. $10 all day. This is the (rather amusing) ticket:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Off to Batmania

Just found out tonight that I'm going to Batmania tomorrow and not Thursday, so I can't go to Nic's Faustoberfest. Me and John are going to the Immigration Museum (historically immigration's been very important in our country, particularly Batmania), having lunch at Urban Seed, and going to the Forge Postcards event.
More about it all tomorrow night probably.


Been reading Colossians. My mentor Michael's been reading it too, and reckons one of the main things he's found from reading it this time around is that the Christ needs to be at the centre of our spirituality (2:6-20). Michael reckons that two things that can distract Christians from the Christ are obsession with rules:

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.
(Colossians 2:20-22)
and obsessive pursuit of spiritual experiences:
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.
(Colossians 2:18)
He thinks it's these things that usually stuff us Christians up.


My blog is worth $11,855.34.
How much is your blog worth?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sin City #2 A Dame to Kill For

Read Sin City #2 A Dame to Kill For at the library yesterday. Sin City is a series of urban noir-style comics, which have recently been adapted into a film. I decided I wanted to look at the comics before seeing the film.
Darren's posted a discussion paper on the film here at Digital Orthodoxy.
Really impressed by the drawing style, but the plot didn't interest me very much. Seemed like just a generic femme fatale story. Dunno, maybe some of the others are better.

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Amusing bits from Acts

Been reading Acts. I find these bits amusing:

Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.
(Acts 20:9)
(Don't worry he gets resurrected.)
'You are out of your mind, Paul!' he shouted. 'Your great learning is driving you insane.'
Acts 26:24

Friday, October 21, 2005


SwarmSketch is a game where many users get to contibute one line each to a drawing, and vote on how visible other contributors lines should be. There is a new picture each week. Today's topic is 'bird flu'.

'Interesting thought that I had last night...'

Adam's done a post on Jesus and Superman here.

Enmity and friendship

'An enemy is a friend waiting to be made; that's the only hope for this conflict-ridden world.' - Desmond Tutu

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Big cats

Tonight at the writers group we talked a bit about Australia's big cats. We also talked a bit about the possibility of diprotodonts in Western Australia, but they haven't been in the tabloid.

This bloke ^ from Noble Park (where I lived longer than anywhere else) reckons he shot a big cat near Sale. This article says it might have actually been a really really big feral cat.


Yesterday at the butcher in Bridge Mall they were selling 'ribbits'. Dunno what that means. Frog noises? Rabbits from New Zealand?

Theology and culture

An old(er) post by Fernando from his Desk:

...the most common response is either naive acceptance, or reactionary rejection of culture. By contrast, we should approach our culture open both to find what is good and reject that which is not, on the basis of familiarity with Christ and with the practice of faith...
Read the whole post here. Also check out Matt Stone's post about Daniel and how we measure missional success.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My friends at Centrelink

Yesterday Centrelink cut my allowence again. I became extremely angrified at this yesterday morning when I went to my bank account and found it empty. Luckily I found $2 on the footpath, and was thus able to get to uni and also to deangrify myself significantly.
Went in there today and they said it was because I hadn't gotten my parents to fill in a form which I was never sent in the first place, because they think I still live at my old address, even though I told them I'd moved at the start of the year and filled the form you're supposed to fill out when you move. So because they ahve no record, they reckon I just didn't notify them.
Exactly the same thing happened last year. Centrelink is really good, but it is also quite crap.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Night on the Tiles

Last night we (Reality Writers) had a gig (Night on the Tiles) at Grainery Lane and made lots of money, so it looks we are going to publish an anthology of stuff we've written this year.
It turned out that the MC we got for the gig was the brother of a girl I went out with in year 12.
I read bits from my ¿novel?, Prochorus. Some of us also did a radio-play style reading of Hendo's Nerd Diaries #9, because he refused to read anything.
After the readings, 23rd of Elvis (their guitarist is from Snog) played and this guy threw an armchair at them.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Eve's Memory

Interesting review at The Program. Eve's Memory part of a trilogy of plays by Duncan Graham, based on stories from Genesis. It's about an Adam and Eve who believe themselves to be the last people on Earth. Read the whole review here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

'I’ve lost it…'

Lexi's written a good post about the mystery and beauty of faith:

Sometimes I wish I were a witch, or a wiccan like my sister so I’d have lovely stories of mystery and beauty of nature - sacred rituals in the small clearing of the wood - describing the underside of a sparrow’s wing - believing in the earth, her cycles, the seasons and the winds.
Read the whole post here.

A way that people may possibly be getting ripped off and getting less stuff than they think they are getting

I've just been reading Anthony's Scrambled #3 ($2.50 at Rediscovery, Sturt St, Ballarat) about his pen leaking on the plane, because of the lower air pressure.
Then a couple of pages later Anthony says something about dipping his pen in Coke on the plane to Vancouver.
Then I thought, People are probably getting less stuff than they think they are! Because of the low air pressure, the Coke (or any other beverage) would be less compressed and if the Coke had been served on the ground! Aaaaargggh!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Rebbe Last Supper

Originally uploaded by

A World of Entertainment

Originally uploaded by

Another place we visited on our city walk last week was Crown Casino. Unfortunately they wouldn't let us in, because they reckoned Erin wasn't old enough, and she didn't have ID on her. So we stood in the foyer and read this piece of scripture:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.'
(Mark 12:41-44)
So it looks like Jesus reckons it's awesome that this woman is putting all her money in. But when we look at this scripture, we don't often look at the bit that comes before:
As he taught, Jesus said, 'Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.'
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.'
(Mark 12:38-44)
Jesus definitely doesn't undervalue the poor widow's offering. He says that she put in more than anyone else.
But it seems like he's also saying that the religious leaders are getting rich off the offerings of people like this poor widow. It should really be the other way around. The rich religious leaders' money should've been used to help the poor people.

It seemed like there was something similar going on at Crown. The Victorian state government is dependent on gambling, and most of the people being 'entertained' at crown are spending a lot more than they can easily afford. So, like the rich religious leaders, they're taking money from people who can't afford it, people they should be helping.

I also thought about the last time I'd been to Crown. It'd been for a dinner/meeting at Santé, with other leaders of a Christian organisation, which is part of one of Australia's larger church denomonations. I remember I hadn't eaten in quite a while, but still, did the money that paid for my rather expensive dinner come from the people it should have been going to help? Had they been promised that if they gave the church more than they could afford (perhaps based on the story of the poor widow) God would bless them by making them rich?

More about Crown:
'The four Myths of Crown Casino' - Tim Costello, John Mark Ministries
'High stakes down under' - Mark Brolly, The Tablet

Friday, October 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by Zimbo.

To you, O Lord, I cry. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flames have burned all the trees of the field. Even the wild animals cry to you because the watercourses are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
( Joel 1:19-20)
This reminds me that we are in fact fortunate when 'crap' stuff happens, because it means we turn to God. Truly, the poor, the weeping, et cetera are blessed, because it's easier for them to find God.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Northern Lights

(a.k.a. The Golden Compass)

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
(Genesis 3:19)
Just finished reading Northern Lights a couple of hours ago. It's set in a parallel universe that has a lot in common with ours. In this world the Christian church is still very powerful, and it doesn't seem like there has been a Reformation.
The book is largely concerned with the discovery of elementary particles called Dust, which are attracted to people. The church believes Dust is the cause of original sin and, ironically, is conduting cruel experiments on children to try and work out how Dust (and sin) might be destroyed.

Apparently some Christian groups have been upset by this book and the rest of the trilogy. I think it's still pretty under the radar though. There'll probably be more of a fuss when the film comes out.
It seems to me more that Philip Pullman's bothered by the church's stumblings into dogmatism and hypocracy than by the Christ himself. I'll see what I think once I've finished the trilogy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

People making animal noises

Seb is playing a CD of people making animal noises. It including the old-time favorite 'Midget Animal Growling' and the one hit wonder 'Small Animal Crying out in Distress'.
He says he's looking for sound effects for the production the second year theatre students are doing next week.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Landowners and tenants in Batmania

Jesus said to his audience,

'Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
'The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.
'But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, "This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance." So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
'Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?'
'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,' they replied, 'and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.'
Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the Scriptures:
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes"
'Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.'
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
(Matthew 21:33-46)
(This story is in Luke and Mark's gospels as well.)

Normally when this story is explained, it's said that the landowner is God, the rebellious tenants are the Jewish people, and the people who get to take over the Jews' old jobs are the Christians. (There's a more indepth explanation of this interpretation here.)

One thing they do at Urban Seed is take groups on walks around the city to look at different social issues, and to compare stuff in the city with stuff in the scriptures. Last Monday, Marcus took us on one of these walks.

One of the places we went to was the statue of John Batman. John Batman claimed to be the founder of Melbourne (although he wanted it to be called Batmania). Batmania claimed to have made an agreement with the Wurundjeri people, to rent their land from them. Although he didn't agree to pay them very much, the government refused to recognise this agreement, because the colony had been founded on the premise that the whole continent was uninhabited. So John Pascoe Fawkner was recognised as the official founder of Melbourne, and there is a statue of him just near Batman's.

Marcus reckoned there was something similar going on in Jesus' story. He reckoned the landowner in the story was probably a real landowner, not a symbolic one. Apparently, the Pharisees and chief priests owned a lot of land. They used to rent their land out to the people who lived and worked on on it. However, according to Jewish law (Leviticus 25), all land was supposed to be redistributed to its traditional owners every Jubilee (fifty years). But as far as we know this law was never followed.

However, Jesus doesn't actaully say who symbolises who in the story.

In this article (title's way to long), Herman C. Waetjen presents another idea about what Jesus was trying to do. He notices that Jesus starts off the story a lot like Isaiah's Song of the Vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
(Isaiah 5:1-2)
It's tradionally understood that this piece of scripture is talking about God. Waetjen reckons that Jesus started it off like that to trick the chief priests and Pharisees. If the Pharisees interpreted the landowner as being God, then that would make them the rebellious tenants. So perhaps Jesus was trying to trick them into looking at the situation from the point of view of the people they were oppressing?

What do you reckon?

Expression of extreme botherment

If I knew how much botherment going to university while living off Centrelink would cause, I don't think I would have bothered.
Last year I moved into the student residence at Gillies Street. At about Easter, Centrelink cut back my allowence so I had about $10 a week left after rent. So I decided to eat stuff and keep going to classes and I got behind in rent.
This year I've been gradually paying it off, but there's still a lot to pay off.
Anyway, since the start of this semester I've been trying to get enrolled in two off-campus classes so that I can finish my diploma, but everyone kept sending me to someone else. Today it looked like I was finally going to get enrolled. But they won't let me because because of my debt, even though I've been paying it off.
And the Commonwealth Bank keeps taking my money, even though I'm a student! So if you know a bank that doesn't do things like that please tell me, because I am in the right mind to change my account if they don't sort it out!

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