Guest Writer: Olivia

Today I invited my wife to be a guest poster. Over to you, Olivia!

Hey guys - this is Olivia speaking. I am the wife of the handsomest man on
earth. No, not Matthew McConaughey, but Thomas Williams.

Being an at home mum, lovingly supported by Thomas, is full of love, laughter, yelling and time outs. It gets very frustrating and I long to jump up and down sometimes (often), but knowing that TJ would get in trouble if he did it and that restrains me!!

Today I want to write about TJ's mispronunciations:

Whipper Snipper - nipper bopper
McDonalds - Macdondalds
Lawn Mower - lawn mowermow
Helicopter - helichopper
clothes horse - washing machine line
Guitar - 'tar (he "pings" his 'tar)
Grandma and Grandpa - gramma gramma
Grandpa and Grandma - grampa grampa
Maya Marijke - Maya Rayka (Marijke is actually pronounced Mar-ray-ka)

His best "quotable quote" to date is:

We were talking about the nuts we liked, and I said I like Brazil nuts,
Thomas said he like peanuts as long as they weren't salted, and TJ pipes up
with "I like Doughnuts!".

I love it!!!!

TJ will get a toy for Maya and then say to her, "Say thank-you Maya", and then put on a high pitched little voice (with the facial expressions to match) and reply to himself "Thankyou TJ". Afterwards, he'll excitedly jump up and say to Mummy or Daddy "Maya said thankyou!"

Little Maya is also growing up very fast. She is already 6 and 3/4 months, and loves to throw herself back in your arms to make you swing her through the air before you pick her up. And she has the most infectious giggle!! She is already very cheeky, and I am looking forward to when she is moving (I know, I'm nuts!). I think she and TJ are going to have a blast!!


Looptracks is an interactive music creator (I guess) which is kind of fun, especially if you like loop-type music. Kind of gives the feel of being a DJ!

(Via someone?)

Finance Lessons for 10-year-olds

In fourth grade I wish I'd learnt this (via Jon Galloway):

I just heard about a cool idea a local 4th grade teacher is using to teach kids a lesson most folks don't learn until after college.

Here are the rules:
Each week, you get a salary of funny money (I think it can vary depending on grades and behavior, but the details aren't important). There are cheap, flashy toys you can buy with your funny money.

Catch number one: You must pay rent on your desk. The rent turns out to be a significant amount of the funny money.

Catch number two: You can save up and buy your desk. This takes several weeks of saving. After you've bought your desk, you no longer pay rent, so you've got more money each week.

Catch number three (my favorite): After you've bought your desk, you can buy another student's desk. They must pay you rent (unless they save up and buy the desk).

What's funny is that the same thing happens every year - the boys blow all their money on the flashy toys, while the girls all save up and buy their desks. Then the girls buy the boys' desks. Then the girls buy all the best goodies. The boys get outraged at having to pay rent to a girl, and that the girls have all the money.

I occasionally win at Monopoly, but this version sounds better!

Google Searches That Ended Up At My Blog

More Google laughs, this time looking at my referrers (the web site that a visitor was on before they came to my site) that were Google searches. The following searches have been done in Google (I'm not making any of them up) in June, and the searcher has thought my blog might just have the answers and so come to a page on my site:

screensaver sweet home alabama
bruce shark nemo picture
daniel morcombe
christian blog template
christian blogger templates
webshots shrek
sumo kids
bridge christian blog
"grand canyon monitor" review
christians contacts in Australia 2004
"life transformation groups" critique
pictures of newborn bulldogs
king fied email contacts 2004
email contacts of companies PRIMA 2004
email contacts of williams in 2004
2004 email contacts of god
ghandi's seven deadly social sins
tim williams programming melbourne
"my hair long" let grow beard
names of christian films in south africa that are not in the cinemas but show in churches
Korah in comic books
baby behaviours to develop for christian parents
webbrowser in maya secret labs
I'm Gonna Worship the King

Some of them make sense. "Daniel Morcombe" searches happened a lot in May and June. But I can't explain half of these searches, or why my blog would be showing up. There's bound to be some disappointed people surfing the web if they tried to find answers here!

Some comments: the names of christian films in south africa that are not in the cinemas but show in churches search has got to be one of the longest searches I've ever seen. And 2004 email contacts of god? My favorite is "my hair long" let grow beard because that's how I feel sometimes...

Mucking Around With Google

Tonight Olivia and I were mucking around with Google, trying to find any other Olivia Williams's on the web. It took a search that looked like:

before we could find any web pages that were not about the little-known actress Olivia Williams!

That above search says "find pages with the words olivia williams in them (not necessarily next to each other), without the words: movie, film, celebrity, cinema, movies or postman". Why "postman"? She was in the supposedly awful Kevin Costner film "The Postman" (taking out that word alone saved a lot of time).

However, searching for the words "Maya Marijke Williams" (with the quotes) returns one hit - mine. "Thomas Williams" (without the quotes) has gone up to 7 million pages (from 5 million when I last looked 6 months ago).

Well I thought it was fun!

Moral Dilemma

Rob Chartier posted a good moral dilemma today:

You are driving down the road on a wild, stormy night, when you pass a bus stop and see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?

I love questions like these and the discussions that go along with it.

Personally, I would pick up the old lady (especially if she looks like she's about to die), probably out of a sense of duty. Other supporting reasons for this are that you can't tell a perfect partner on looks alone, and the old friend would surely understand. Besides, it's just a bus they're waiting for in some stormy weather, it's not like they'll perish in a tidal wave or anything!

Job Predictor

Via Tim Samoff comes the Job Predictor - enter your name, and it will spit out your ideal job.

Amazingly the site didn't correctly pick my ideal job - my full name produced:

Thomas Samuel Williams, Your ideal job is a .

I'm already doing that job (a speck, a dot, a point) and I'm sure there's a better occupation. This, however, was the best variation:

T. S. Williams, Your ideal job is a Top Gun Pilot.

Wow! Better than a Human Shield!

A Trip To The City

TJ has been reminding me for a week to blog about our trip to the city, and I keep forgetting. Silly Daddy! So without further ado, here's our story:

Two Saturdays ago we drove to Kooyong station (6 stops from Flinders Street - enough to enjoy the ride, not too long as to get frustrated for not being 'there' yet) and then caught the train to Melbourne Central for a mornings' shopping at the Queen Victoria Market. We did lots of walking and pushing the pram onto and off trams, but I seem to remember we only bought a Collingwood scarf for our troubles! Olivia had packed a lunch that we ate at the Spencer Street end of Southbank, and then we were off to our afternoon adventure - the "Polly Woodside".

The Polly Woodside is a 19th-century ship permanently berthed right near Southbank. We kept our plans a surprise from TJ but as we got closer to the Yarra he noticed the fast boats and the little boats, and eventually saw the "big" boat, which is where we were heading. We all had a good time although the pram couldn't get onto the ship, so Olivia and I took turns to explore with TJ and sit with a sleeping Maya. We rang the ship's bell, walked around inside the hull and checked out the captain's quarters.

At $11 per adult I reckon we got our money's worth. We were there for about an hour and a half, and aside from the Polly Woodside itself there was a museum with a history of the docks and a look at what conditions would have been like at the turn of the (last) century. I had naively expected the Polly Woodside to be a beautiful wooden ship and I was a little disappointed to find she was an ex-coal boat, but being able to go inside the huge body and get into every corner of the ship was exciting anyway.

Mummy, Maya, TJ, thanks for a great day in the city!

Translation to lesser-known dialects

If you've ever wanted to translate your website to poetry, try "Rob's Amazing Poem Generator" for educated, polished prose. Conversely, to get a phrase into Jive (like B. A. Baraccus from the A-Team), try the "The Jive Server".

Both of these via Abraham Mathew - thanks Abraham!

As an example, here's this post in Jive:

If you've eva' wanted t' translate yo' website t' poetry, try "Rob's Amazin' Poem Generata'" 4 educated, polished prose. Converse-like, t' git some phrase into Jive (down low, likes B. Some. Baraccus from da Some-Taim), try da "Da Jive Serva'".

Bot' o' dese-he'ah via Abraham Mathew - thanks Abraham! No diggety.


Pictures are Worth 1000 Words

Rob Caron links to Worth1000, a site which runs Photoshop contests (Photoshop is a top-of-the-range digital image editor). The site sets a topic or theme and anyone can enter their original (edited) photos, which look very, very realistic.

My favorite photo gallery so far is Unsung Vending Machines 2.

New Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman

Just a reminder for those who have fast connections, the 2nd "Adventures of Sienfeld & Superman" is up at Enjoy.

Blogs Banned In Korea

My brother Simon writes about Blogs Banned in Korea which I read about on GetReligion two weeks ago.

A reader who wrote in to GetReligion says "...In an effort to keep video and images of Kim Seon-il's beheading from entering the country, the government has shut down numerous websites including livejournal, blogspot, and typepad..."

A news article at USAToday mentions (in relation to the killing of Kim Seon-il):

The government also banned domestic Internet portals from showing footage of Kim's beheading and warned it would shut down those that don't comply.

I have also heard this happened in India, where the government restricted some Yahoo sites that were seen to be Pakistan-friendly. What would we do if it happened in Oz? Has anyone experienced this before?

Wife-Carrying Contest

Sounds like a great competition? Bill Evjen blogs about Finland's Wife-Carrying Contest. Here's the best bit: the winner gets his wife's weight in beer!


I don't know about you, but every so often it seems like I need to lose some weight. Maybe I lost track of what I was eating, maybe I changed my lifestyle and cut out some exercise, maybe I got a bit older; for whatever reason, now I need to trim back a bit.

I've heard that if you diet, you'll usually put the weight back on in 2 years. Sadly this has held true for me. I also occasionally get depressed that I feel like my weight swings from low to high - usually what counters this is that by doing nothing, I seem to either stay at the same weight or gain weight.

Anyway, it's time to diet. Olivia is favouring the "FastTrack" diet, we've done the "Liver Cleansing Diet" in the past and I've also done Weight Watchers. Today I saw a good post at KC Lemson's blog on "The science of weight loss " which had some good basics for me to remember, and also some links to scientific information on dieting.

Less "Computing" and More...

Last month I started a computing-focused blog over at DotNetJunkies to leave room on this blog for just me, without having to write down technical-type stuff.

So I feel that my blog title is a little misleading, especially for people looking for the "Christian Computing" magazine that I've heard of before. I need to change what?

Here's what I wrote in one of my first posts in November 2003:

What is Christian Computing? Why did I title my blog this way?

I see it as my current vocation (computing), done in a way that's honouring to Christ. I'd call my
blog 'Christian Living', but that's what I'm doing anyway. My blog is going to be focussed a little
more on computing than if it was a complete diary of my life.

That means doing my job with integrity. Not lying. Working for my boss as if I was working for God
himself. Not stealing. Giving my time in my job cheerfully.

This is still the case. Time for a new title.

In my life, there's been heartache and pain; I don't know, if I can face it again

Can't stop now, I've mucked up the words and have to blog what I had in mind. I was feeling kind of reflective and thinking that there's lots of people in life that come and go. Like, the team-mate from a basketball team that you played with for 3 years, that sort of stopped playing, or the Uni friend, or even a cousin, or a workmate that you got along with really well and then you changed jobs.

I've got lots of ex-acquaintances like that. I mean, I know there's no easy way around a gradual parting of ways. It's not like you can go up to a potential no-more-see guy or girl and say "In case I don't see you again, ever, I'd just like to say..." If I did that, my friend(s) would run cowering.

Even in the 4 short years since Olivia and I got married, friends have dropped off our friends list, and there's some people I'm never likely to see again. So, to those people, I'd like to take this opportunity to write the things I never got to say, because there never was really a time:

Aidy R, you were always much cooler than me. Nice playing ball with you.

Richard, the Doc, I think of you as the "other" best man at my wedding. Thanks for your support.

Danny, thanks for never putting up a front for me. You taught me a lot.

Yvonne, Chad, Travis, thanks for being Uni friends. I'm sorry I had a lot of stuff on and never got to know you better.

Ted, I was drawn to your leadership style and personality from the start. Thanks for backing it up by being a downright good guy as well.

Tommy, I hope you and the family are going well, thanks for the hours of ball.

Brett, ditto, one of the bast basketballers ever?

Rob, thanks for the time you were willing to spend with me.

Still Apprenticing

Weeks on, and I'm still watching "The Apprentice", on at our house every week at 9:30 Monday nights. Heidi just got the flick.

I wonder how much editing is done after the show is filmed, before they are screened? I wonder if, knowing who is going to be cut, the editors go back to make certain people look worse or to focus in on the tension? I also wonder if Donald watches the video or just waits till the boardroom?

I have to laugh every time the apprentices are called "the Donalds". I mean, how much apprenticing is Donald doing anyway?

I wonder if there's a similar show for parents?

Nearly My Birthday

I'm nearly 31. What should I know by now? What advice should I be able to give to young up-and-comers? What advice should I be looking for from "old timers"? (That is, those older than me...sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone!)

Church Online

Jonny Baker posts about virtual worship which looks like getting together in a visual and virtual way, and talking/praying/partying/whatever. A screenshot:
virtual prayer room
I personnally find virtual church appealing, but I guess when I first read about it I thought of my past experiences with "chat rooms" and was put off. The ability to get together with people from all over the world and listen, talk, or interact sounds great.

Oh yeah, and the organiser said he put his 11-year-old daughter on dishes duty because she was dancing (virtually) in the middle of the meeting. Cool.

Credit Card Stats from the US

Brian posts about "Credit Woes" (US information). Here's one of the interestinmg credit tidbits that's pretty disturbing in his excerpt (which is originally from the Motley Fool):

On average, we carry eight credit cards per person and have a balance of $8,400 in credit card debt.

Scary. Having just got one credit card, I'm already worried! And:

The Commerce Department reports that our personal savings rate is a wafer-thin 1.8%.

I know I'm personally bad at saving, so the above statistic doesn't surprise!

Finding Nemo

A while back I wrote about our video collection. My favorite "kids" video is by far "Finding Nemo". I reckon "Toy Story 2" is the best written kid's movie we've got - it's fast-paced, has memorable characters, pitches jokes at levels children can understand, and is exciting - but Nemo has a better story and a great message (in addition to the things I mentioned from Toy Story, except the story's more complicated and a bit slower). I think TJ's favorite is Toy Story 2. Depends what day you catch him on.

I really like the father/son interaction in Nemo (hey, I'm a daddy after all) and I get tears in my eyes towards the end where Dory is pleading with Nemo's dad Marlin to not leave, and where Nemo is found (sorry if that spoilt it for anyone). I laugh at the jokes. I'm amazed at the visuals. The voices are fantastic (Bruce the shark stands out here).

And one of the key things I mentioned above, is I reckon the humour and indeed the whole story is aimed at kids. I don't know how TJ and Maya think, and I'm surprised that TJ enjoys "The Simpsons" even though we never let him watch it, but I like that they're not being exposed to the type of inuendo and double-meanings I see in lots of other kids movies (I hated "The Grinch", and while I enjoy "Shrek", it does have a lot of inuendo). Well done Pixar for a good kids movie, for kids.


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright Thomas & Olivia Williams 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009