Free Pancake Lunch, on Shrove Tuesday

I had a great date today for lunch, thanks to my quick-thinking wife and local Christian radio station LightFM - a free lunch at Pancakes by the Bay in Frankston!

Olivia had won a competition yesterday. I think the competition went something like "Would you like a free lunch in Frankston?", and Olivia won by quickly ringing in and answering "Yes" :-)

We got to meet radio presenters Luke Holt, Leroy Brown and Chandelle Nugent, and we were welcomed at the door by Susie, also a LightFM employee. I wasn't too embarassed during conversation to say I didn't always listen to LightFM (which is true), only to have Luke Holt reply "neither do I".

In addition to the great (free!) meal of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, and time out with my wife, we also knew some of the other competition winners...small world! And, to top it all off, there were a couple of guys from a group called A440 (not sure about the exact spelling) who got up and sang a song acapella, with awesome harmonising. Well done guys!

I can be honest at this point and say that I'm not the greatest fan of LightFM, but then I don't listen to radio at all so I can't point to another station that is better. I really do appreciate that LightFM is a "safe" option when there's little kids listening. I guess I find breakfast shows on some other stations offensive, not because of the humour, but because of the innuendo - I don't need my 5-year-old and 3-year-old listening to and saying that kind of stuff.

Thank you Olivia, and thank you LightFM!

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Geni

Geni is an online family tree "visualisation" site that I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks (originally via Ajaxian): http://www.geni.com/

I say it's a "visualisation" site because trees are displayed in a web page using Flash, and you can resize, move and drag the display around in any way you like (although it's a bit slow now, but they're still in beta). It's easy to add people and then go in and enter additional information like birth date, birth location, birth order, etc. You can also invite people, who then have access to the work you've done and can build on it.

It's this collaborative feature that I find most compelling: I entered my immediate family (Olivia and the kids, Mum and Dad) and uploaded some photos, all of which took about 1/2 an hour. I invited Mum who added 25 more relatives; she invited Dad who added another 40 or so; and now my family tree is up to 74 members (with another 40 or so in related families)!

In addition to the "tree" view, there's a more familiar "list" view which also helpfully adds the relation to the list:


I don't like that there's no facility to export the results. I don't plan on giving the site all my details, and I wonder if there's a paid service in the works. I don't like it that when you enter someone's e-mail address, Geni sends them an e-mail automatically inviting them.

However, I'm impressed with this site because it was easy to add people, easy to share the task of adding, and I found both the "tree" and "list" views easy and intuitive. Well done Geni!

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Frankston Library Blog

My local library, Frankston Library, has a "Frankston Library Service" blog which looks interesting at flsblog.blogspot.com. There's a couple of posts on how music and books, DVDs and magazines are rated, changes to library services, recommendations, and more.

A funny thing happened when I subscribed to the feed - summaries come through with a command at the bottom saying "Submit to Netscape". I wonder what happens if I don't bow down to the Netscape browser? Must be for the "Microsoft" in all of us...

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Reciprocal Linking

Stephen at neurotribe.net is doing it, Dan at signposts.org is doing it, which is all prompting me to do it to: update my reciprocal links.

If you link to or read my blog and have a site of your own that you want me to link to, please let me know via the comments so I can link to you too.

Thanks!

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TJ's First Day Of School

TJ started school today, February 1st 2007. Isn't he handsome?

Olivia got the day started right with a big feed of pancakes. TJ's Grandma came around to share in the excitement. And there were a few small teardrops at the school itself as our big boy started Prep, and Olivia, Maya, Heath and I piled into the car to leave him to get on with his first day.

TJ has been excited about school starting for months now. And the anticipation was rewarded with, by his account, a fantastic start to his Prep year. When I asked him tonight how his first day had gone, he said "Great", but immediately amended that to "Magnificent" (a word I hadn't heard him use before...he's already learnt something!)

I asked him if he'd made many new friends and he said he'd "get to that tomorrow". There are 5 or 6 kids from his kindergarten in Prep (although only 3 in his class), and that's who he played with today. The very first thing he reported to Olivia was about getting all the boys together to go and find his kinder friend Astrid in the playground.

All in all a momentous day for our eldest son and his parents! I was prepared to get all emotional (which would be unlike me), but seeing TJ take the whole thing in his stride and act like it was perfectly normal helped me cope :-)

And in the past, I'd thought Prep kids to be quite little, but I just can't stop thinking about how big our son is!

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Why do you blog?

Rodney links to a quick survey on "Why do you blog?" at:

http://www.whydoyoublog.com/

The survey is short, there's the potential for prizes, and privacy is being respected. Sounds good!

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Comet McNaught

It will be possible for another week or so to see Comet McNaught (Wikipedia entry) in the southern hemisphere. Wilson has some instructions, and if you can't see it for yourself, there's photos at Flickr and Astronomy Picture of the Day. I won't reproduce any of the photos here, but they're worth checking out (my little digital camera wouldn't be able to capture it well enough anyway).

Olivia & I were able to spot it last week thanks to Olivia's dad Ted, helped along by a cloud-obscured moon and being 2 hours out of Melbourne away from city lights. Since then, it's been overcast here in Melbourne so I haven't been able to show new school-kid TJ (pity).

The comet is really amazing. I remember getting up in the middle of the night back in the mid-eighties to see Hailey's Comet - fortunately, Comet McNaught is a little more accessible (and spectacular!)

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