Thursday, 31 January 2008

Bloggy Giveaways

Shannon of Rocks In My Dryer and Bloggy Giveaways is having another Bloggy Giveaway carnival. There is a lot of fantastic stuff going. Things like an Insignia® Pilot 4GB Video MP3 Player. And Home Organization Books. And lots of jewelery, books, craft stuff, and books. Can you tell which ones I've been entering? There are CURRENTLY more than 850 entries, with at least another 2 days to go!

There is just one problem with this giveaway. Because there are mostly people in the US who are on the net, and many of them have limited budgets, they've limited where their shipping goes to. Which means that us poor Aussies have to sort through 850+ entries to get all excited about the item being given away only to realise that it is open only to those in the USA. And let's face it, only I have enough time to do crazy things like that.

So here is my solution! I'm having a giveaway too! I'm giving away 3 Shirley Temple DVDs. Our Little Girl, The Little Princess, and I'll Be Seeing You. (The links are all to videos but I am giving DVDs).

You can enter if you fit into one of two categories:

1. You live in Australia. Now, I'm really fuzzy on geography, and as a result I'm thinking that Malaysia and Singapore are in fact part of Australia. So Caro, Yi Mei and Yi Peng, you guys can enter! You don't need to have a blog if you fit in this category.

2. You live anywhere BUT you had a giveaway on your own blog that was open to International folks. Like me. Recipocity. Please leave a link to your blog - the giveaway page - so that all of us here can enter into your own competition.

To enter, leave a comment, your blog details if applicable, your email (etc) if not. Winnie, do not post anonymously. That goes for you too Beau. Leave your names!

That's it. On Sunday evening My Time I will be drawing this. I'll use a random number generator.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Clear Out

I'm going to move soon. As such, I'm getting rid of some of my stuff. Does anyone want an ironing board or a printer, or a desk?

Email me or leave a comment. I'm not going to deliever, I don't drive.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Testimony of Sorts

So, as pretty much all of you know, I had pneumonia in November last year, and had probably had it for about a month ahead of my stay in hospital. And as most of you would know, I haven't been getting better in terms of energy levels. Oh, I'm not coughing up my lungs any more, but my energy is still not there. I can't get up early, or stay up late (let alone both at once) and generally I get a lot less done when I am awake. I'm simply not functioning the way I did before I had pneumonia. I was vaguely concerned, because the doctor said that I should get back to my old energy levels within three weeks. But I chalked it up to doctors being lying liars who lie (I've had way too many bad experiences with doctors), and as there wasn't really all that much I could do about it, I decided that it wasn't worth worrying about.

This has actually been very good for me. You see, I'm a Backster. Backsters are from my motehr's side of the family, and we are characterised by a few different things. First, we can make something out of nothing. We can feed pretty much any amount of people on any budget you want. Oh, the food won't necessarily taste any good, but it'll be nutritious enough. Second, we tend to draw the men and then have lots of children. I'd prefer to just draw one who wants to marry me, but the kids'd be great. Finally, we're strong, independant women. Five generations of feminists, usually a generation ahead of the movement. (Good news for all you non-feminists out there - I want to be a SAHW/SAHM, so that's where we'll probably be in 30 years.) I can carry washing machines up steps BY MYSELF. I can do anything.

Except at the moment. At the moment, I can't do all that much. In fact, when I was helping Rebecca in with the books for the bookstore, Joab took the box of books off of me because I looked tired. (I thought I'd covered all that up with make-up.) And as it was, the box was the only one Rebecca would let me carry - it was little and light. And everyone keeps on trying to feed me (which I like) and generally take care of me. I have to accept help from others, and more to the point, I have to continuously through my burdens on God. If I don't I simply can't make it.

Well, I've found out why I haven't been getting better. I have lung damage, probably from having pneumonia for so long without treatment. The damage may be permament. I'll have to go back for tests to see the extent of the damage (it effects my breathing out) but the tests will be just that, tests. My doctor stated that they were "just to see the extent of the damage".

I guess I get to throw my burdens on God for a little longer.

More Quick Reviews

Sons From Afar. Quite good. Very well written, but a little PC for me. I often find Cynthia Voigt to be so, so I wasn't displeased.

Life and Death in Shanghai was FANTASTIC. I don't know why I had it in my fiction section, it's an autobiography. It's the story of a woman who was imprisioned during the Cultural Revolution.

The Rendezvous and other stories was also wonderful. I forgot how much I love Daphne du Maurier. For those of you who haven't read anything by her before, you need to do so. Start off with Rebecca.

Mozart and His Operas was boring. It was pretty much all over my head, as I'm not musically very advanced. It won a whole lot of awards, so I was expecting it to be more a layman's version. It wasn't.

The Watercress Girl was good. HE Bates writes better short stories than he does novels. This collection was all written from the point of view of children, so I really enjoyed it.

Rocannon's World. I forgot why I don't like Ursula le Guin. I remember now. It's because she can't write.

Peer Gynt was weird. Very, very weird. But once you get over the weirdness, then it was good.

The Young Einstein
was boring.

That's it. But I should have more blogging today and tomorrow, as I'm expecting to have some time off. Yay for time off!


In which I am a cradle snatcher once again

So, after Adam and Allan proposed, they then suggested Daniel. I've had this suggestion before from more than one person, mainly because he's Christian (Catholic) and he wants to get married and have lots of children. Which is a major factor in his favour.

I replied that Daniel wasn't crazy enough.

"Oh, that sound's like a challenge," he replied.

Then Adam brought up the religion issue.

Daniel and I looked at each other, and he said "Sola Scriptura," to which I replied "Prima Scriptura". For those of you who can't follow our Latin, that's him saying "Protestant," and me replying "Catholic".

Jaani then got us to pose looking lovingly into each other's eyes. Which I wanted to be able to post here, but he still hasn't emailed me his photos, so you'll all just have to imagine it.

We looked at the photo, and Daniel said, "Oh, that's efinitely coming out at my 21st."
Me: "You're not yet 21? I feel like such a cradle snatcher!"

Thursday, 24 January 2008


Crystal is currently giving away a $100(US) Vision Forum certificate.

What would I buy?
- Virtuous Daughters Collection (DVD, Book, and CD)
- Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
- The True Story of Noah's Ark (blogged about here)
- Be Fruitful and Multiply
- The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (DVD)
- The Book of Psalms for Singing
- Raising Maidens of Virtue
- The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision (2 CDs)

It comes to $127.20, but they're all in my cart at the moment, waiting for me to buy them. I'm also tempted by their Heather Harp, which is $325, but it isn't in my budget at the moment, even with a $100 gift voucher. Come on, who hasn't wanted to play the harp. And all comments about me having a piano and two guitars that I never play are strictly not allowed! :P

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Book Reviews

I really enjoyed Loving God With All Your Mind. It wasn't as good as Beautiful In God's Eyes or A Woman's Walk With God, but it was pretty good.

Bambi's Children was also excellent. It's by the original author, and his bambi is no disney-fied deer. If you like animal stories, then you will love it.

Praying God's Will For Your Life was a bit of a disappointment. It was well written, but not what I was expecting. If I had read it a year or more ago it would have been excellent.

The Warrior Queens was very interesting. All about different women leaders in war. Not all of them are imitable, but some of them are, rather surprisingly. It was all tied together with the story of Boudicca/Boadicea, which if you don't know then I'm going to have to never speak to you ever, ever again.

How Literature Works was okay. Not brilliant, but okay.

was awful.

That's it for now!

Question: Do these count as proposals?

This is the first of a series on Steph's wedding. This story take place pretty much towards the end of the evening. There is another story that comes right after it, but I can't blog that because Jaani hasn't yet given me an essential photo.

So, as a few of you know, I've had a few marriage proposals in my time. Unfortunately, they've all been from kids under the age of eight. (Mikey is one of them.) Anyway, Steph had just thrown the bouquet, and I didn't get it. More than that, I didn't even really go for it.

Adam said: "I'm surprised you didn't get the bouquet. I was expecting you to kill to get it."
Me: "Yeah, well, I don't even have a guy."
Adam: "That's because your standards are too high."
Me: "Are not. I only have 5 critera." (tall, Christian, employed or prospects of being so, mature, and MUST WANT CHILDREN)
Adam: "Yeah, that's too many." He pauses, then says, "You could marry me."
Me: "You're not Christian."
Adam: "I'll convert."
Me: "You're too short."
Adam: "I'm your height."
Me: "Exactly."
Allan: "You could marry me. I was brought up in a fundamentalist Christian church."
Me: "But you don't actually believe."
Allan: "So?"

To be continued when Jaani emails me a few photos...

Monday, 14 January 2008

Two Reviews

I hope to be blogging about Steph's wedding tomorrow - when I'm slightly less tired and can tell the stories in a more amusing manner. Plus I'm waiting for a few photos (tell Jaani to hurry up and send us all his - thanks to Claire and Winnie who are organised and have already done so). But be assured, I have funny stories.

So, two quick reviews. I've managed, in addition to being a bridesmaid, going to church and working 9 hours (plus 5 hours of travel time) to read two more of my books from the 888 challenge.

The Web of Time was awful. I'm not even going to look for a link to it.

Me And My Shadows was very interesting. It's by Lorna Luft, who is Judy Garland's daughter. It's about her mother's addictions, her sister's (Liza Minelli) and the author's own. If you like stories of such things, then you'll like this. I'm glad I read it, but I'm not going to keep the book. I'm going to bookmooch it.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Book Reviews

Arms and the Man was Shaw at his not quite best (for who could go past Pygmalion - My Fair Lady to all you illiterates :) ) but it WAS good. If you liked My Fair Lady then you'll probably like this.

A Profile of Christian Maturity was also good. I particularly like commentaries, and this was a good one.

Likewise, I loved A Woman's Walk With God and Beautiful In God's Eyes. They are half commentary and half Christian Living. A Woman's Walk With God is on Galations 5:22-23 (The Fruits of the Spirit) and Beautiful in God's Eyes is on Proverbs 31:10-end. (Both of these are amongst the passages that I'm memorising, which was unplanned for on my part, but definitely nice). I've started the third book (my edition is a three in one) which is Loving God With All Your Mind, and I'm very much enjoying it.

The End of the Affair was also enjoyable. I listened to it as an audiobook, and that made it a lot easier, as I'm hugely busy at the moment preparing to be a bridesmaid.

The Brontes was interesting - not quite literary criticism and not quite biography. I'm not sure that I liked it. It seemed a little shallow in both areas. Of course, the Brontes are fascinating, so the subject matter made up for the way in which it was handled.

That's it, but there should be some more reviews in just a few days!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Cafe Greco

Yesterday after church I went out to see some of my old school friends, including Hoang, who I haven't seen for ages, as he's studying music in America. I've never even met his girlfriend, and they've been going out for 2+ years. She's been to Australia a few times to meet his parents etc, and every time I've missed her. So I managed to get to Cafe Greco to see everyone. True, I got there an hour late, but I did get there.

But we forgot that Cafe Greco sucks.

Oh, I don't mean the food. The food is fantastic. The cakes (which, let's face it, is practically all I eat) are amazing. No one can finish them - including me! We usually share them between us. As Steph wasn't able to make it (and Steph loves her chocolate just as much as I do) all of the cakes had to remain unfinished.

So why does Cafe Greco suck? I'll tell you. The service is APALLING. Every time we've been there, every one that we've been to, we get ingnored, it takes FOREVER to get our food, and they waiters are rude too.

Allan has declared that we're never going there again.

He may be right.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Book Reviews

Well, I've been doing a little reading recently. I'm more or less on track to read all of my 57 books by the end of January. Of course, it's difficult to tell for sure so early in the month, but as I'm reading about two most days, that's about right.

So, which books have I read so far, and what do I recommend?
Queen Zixi of Ix: completely awesome. It's by the author of The Wizard of Oz. Now, as most of you who have talked to me about this author, you will know that this guy had... issues. But I can absolutely unreservedly recommend this book for anyone that likes kids books. It had a great story, was funny, and was beautifully written. And no issues!

Family Driven Faith: I liked this a lot. It was very informative.

The True Story of Noah's Ark. I actually learnt a lot from this book, although it is a picture story book. Ark doesn't mean boat - it means box. Which explains something I always wondered about, which was why the Ark of the convenant was clearly not a boat. Apparently it was so stable that it could turn up to 90 degrees in any direction and still right itself. God really knows how to build boats! I didn't buy the book (as it was I spent more than $65 on books that day - hey, it was a sale) but I do plan on getting it at a later date.

These were probably the best of the books that I've read so far. I've also read Imperium, which was okay, and The Twelve Days of Christmas, which was beautifully illustrated. I also read the Glen Eira 2003 short story book, which was NOT very good. Two or three of the stories were good. The rest were not.

So, that's the books for the moment!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Not EXACTLY Reading...

You all think I've been madly reading my 57 books, don't you. Ha!

Well, I did read 2 of them yesterday. And as I had dress fittings, you'd think that was because I was busy.

Well, that isn't strictly true. For example, I watched more than 5 hours of documentaries yesterday on my computer. What documentaries?

Answers in Genesis documentaries.

Here's my favourite quote:
"Higher criticism of the Bible was basically a bunch of people who didn't believe the Bible in the first place telling us it wasn't true." ( from The Intelligent Design Movement: How Intelligent Is It?)

Thursday, 3 January 2008

888 Challenge

So, I'm hoping to do the 888 book challenge. Basically, I want to read 8 books from 8 categories, with 8 overlaps, for a total of 56 books. But, I see you all saying, "Sam, you read more than 56 books a year". Well, I'm planning to read these all by the end of Janurary. I'll post how I did at the end of Janurary.

Children's Books:
1. Queen Zixi of Ix
2. The True Story of Noah's Ark (to buy)
3. The House In Cornwall
4. The Web of Time
5. Bambi's Children
6. The twelve days of Christmas
7. Sons From Afar
8. Billy Budd

1. The Custom of the Country
2. John Thomas and Lady Jane
3. Uncle Tom's Cabin
4. The Buccaneers
5. The Aeneid
6. Cosmicomics
7. Billy Budd
8. Shirley

1. Mozart and His Operas
2. Foxe's Book of Martyrs
3. Caesar
4. The Young Einstein: The Advent of Reality
5. Galileo's Daughter
6. King Charles II
7. The Brontes
8. The Warrior Queens

Christian Books:
1. Praying God's Will For You Life
2. Foxe's Book of Martyrs
3. A Profule of Christian Maturity (book of Philippians)
4. A Woman's Walk With God
5. Beautiful in God's Eyes
6. Loving God With All Your Mind
7. Family Driven Faith (to buy)
8. The True Story of Noah's Ark (to buy)

Short Story and Poetry Collections:
1. 2003 Glen Eira Literary Awards
2. Death of a Huntsman
3. Death in Venice and other stories
4. The Rendezvous and other stories
5. The Watercress Girl
6. The Princess and other stories
7. The Rattle Bag
8. The Poems of W.H.Davies

Maths and Science:
1. Saxon Math Algebra 1/2
2. The Young Einstein: The Advent of Reality
3. The Essential Parent's Guide to Primary Maths
4. Galileo's Daughter
5. The Double Helix
6. Insect Ways
7. God Created the Intergers
8. Prolegomena

General Fiction:
1. Imperium
2. The Bronze Horseman
3. The God of Small Things
4. Rocannon's World
5. The Miracle at St Bruno's
6. Travels With My Aunt
7. Life and Death in Shanghai
8. The Flight From the Enchanter

1. The Brontes
2. Memoirs of a Country Childhood
3. How Literature Works
4. Arms and the Man
5. Peer Gynt
6. Dancing on my Grave
7. Me and My Shadows
8. Prolegomena

I only have 7 crossovers, so I suppose that for me it is the 887 challenge.

Question: can anyone work out what books are the 7 crossovers?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

On Good and Bad Christian Books

So, yesterday, after getting home (a little pinker than when I left Rebecca's - back to normal now) I did a little reading. I read two books and then a short story. And then I started to work out what I wanted to read next. I noticed that I had a response to another book. I hadn't read it yet (altough I've had it for more than a year) because I didn't have the book that it was a response TO. But, looking at my books, I DID have the 'continuation' of it.

The book I didn't have was called Honest to God, and it was neither honest nor to God. I felt ill reading the response (called For Christ's Sake). For Christ's Sake was good, but even reading the quotations of Honest to God really made me feel ill. As the writer of FCS said, it would be bad enough if anyone wrote this book, but the guy who wrote it was a bishop in the Anglican church. That makes the book even worse. If I'm going to read something by Dawkins, I know that it's going to be an anti-God book. He's Dawkins, after all. But a bishop is supposed to be an actual believer in God.

But I looked at the second book I had by John AT Robinson, Exploration into God. After all, it's possible he was misrepresented. It does happen. So I opened it up and took a look in the contents. The last chapter was entitled: Beyond the God of Theism. There was also a chapter entitled "The Journey Inwards" and another was "An Exercise in Re-Centering". Seems that For Christ's Sake was spot on. So I'm getting rid of them both. For Christ's Sake is, as I said, a good response, but I don't want anthing to do with Honest to God.

Well, all that talk about Richard Dawkins reminded me that in his recent book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Francis Collins calls some Intelligent Design scientists the "rebellious love child" of some guy and Richard Dawkins. The rest of the book wasn't too good, but it was worth it for that comment alone.

So, onto the good book. And boy, is it good! I'm reading A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm by W. Phillip Keller It's FANTASTIC. You all need to read it. He was a shepherd, and he goes through this famous Psalm line by line explaining what that line actually means in terms of shepherding, and he then relates it to God's relationship with us. For example, did you know that there are 4 different conditions that a sheep needs to have met before it will "lie down" anywhere. A good shepherd will do all he can to make sure these conditions are met so that the sheep in his flock can rest. And we have the BEST shepherd. So read it. It's fantastic!