Blogathon Archives

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Blogathon Over

24 January, 2005 12:13 AM

Thanks to the many generous readers from this blog who were very supportive on Thursday during my Blogathon. After the 24 hours it looks like we raised just under $1000 USD which was almost double last year. I'm looking forward to passing the money donated onto Oak Tree Foundation for their Tsunami Appeal in the next week or so. I've also enjoyed a couple of days since it all finished early in the morning on Friday without too much blogging!

Blogathon - 24 hours of Blogging for the children of the Tsunami

19 January, 2005 4:39 PM

This is just a short note to let readers of this blog know about our efforts to make a difference in the lives of children impacted by the Tsunami. We've all seen the footage and images of those waves of destruction and have heard the many appeals for donations. We have been impacted by what we've seen and heard and want to do what we can to make a difference.

As a result - Darren Rowse, the owner and editor of this blog, will be conducting a special 24 hour Blogathon appeal to raise money for the cause. By Blogathon we simply mean that he will be writing one post every 15 minutes on this site for 24 hours. We would ask that you drop by the site and consider making a donation to the cause via credit card through the button you'll see there in the right hand menu. All money raised through donations and sponsorships (you can buy an ad or text link) on that site or any other site in our network over the 24 hours will be donated to a local charity - the Oak Tree Foundation. The blogathon will start at 3am on Thursday (20th Jan 05) - Melbourne Australia time.

Please consider taking a moment to consider a donation today. In the mean time there will be a short break in blogging on this site whilst the appeal takes place. We'll be back with all the normal news and reviews here shortly.

I'm taking Questions....

14 January, 2005 10:37 PM

Just a reminder that next Thursday I'm blogging for 24 hours in my annual blogathon to raise money for victims of the Tsunami.

Last year the main reason I got through the 112 posts that I completed was that I had a whole heap of reader questions to answer. People asked about LivingRoom, about life in Australia, about my personal life or story, about my experience as a blogger etc.

I'm taking questions again here in comments below. You can ask anything and I'll do my best to answer anything unless it goes against one of the boundaries that I set myself in my blogging - pretty much anything will go.

I'm also taking your suggested links, articles, blogs, sites that I can blog about during the 24 hours - if you have any funny, interesting, insightful or bizarre links for me feel free to leave them below.

Otherwise - tune into my blogathon blog on Thursday for all the fun and shenanigans. I'll try to limit the toilet humor this year to under 4% of the posts - unless of course I get desperate because you don't help me out with some links below!

PS: I'm still looking for a sponsor/s for the site I'm open to offers on text links, banner links editorial space. Will sell virtually any space on the site in return for your donations to the cause - let me know if you're interested.

Blogathon 2005: Blogging for Victims of the Tsunami

10 January, 2005 4:11 PM

I believe that Blogging can make a difference not only to those doing the blogging but the wider community. This is your chance to join me in such a project.

On Thursday 20 January I will be blogging for 24 hours straight with at least one post every 15 minutes to raise money for victims of the Tsunami. I'll be doing all the blogging on the day over at this blogathon site and would like to invite you to be a part of the project.

You can support the project in a number of ways - either by a direct donation, sponsoring the site (I'll leave your ads up forever!), by helping promote the project or by helping me out with content or proof reading.

I'm particularly seeking some marketing savy bloggers to help get the word out through the blogosphere about the project as the more who hear about it and visit the site the more we'll be able to raise through donation or via sponsorship.

I'd also love someone with some design skills to design me a little button to promote the blogathon that I can give to other bloggers to put on their sites. Doesn't have to be anything too amazing - if it could just say something like 'Tsunami Blogathon' or something similar. Any takers?

I'm attempting to make the project as transparent and accountable as possible so that 100% of all money raised goes through to our chosen charity who are doing some great work in the Tsunami affected areas.

Please don't hesitate to contact me as soon as possible if you have any ideas or would like to lend a hand to the project.

Blogathon 2005

29 December, 2004 11:11 AM

Last January I decided to raise a little money for a cause that I was passionate about by doing a 24 hour Blogathon. I started the process at 3.52am on 21 January and ended at 3.51am on 22 January.

We ended up raising $540US to go towards buying Filipino families 'pedicabs' to give them a way of earning an ongoing income for their family. We reached our goal of buying two pedicabs and I'm happy to report that the first two families have received and are paying off their pedicabs (the project we donated to loans money to families to set themselves up in business which they pay back over 12 months - the money is then used to repeat the process every year with a new family).

Anyway - this year I've decided to do the blogathon again at a similar time to last year (mid January). I'm yet to settle on an actual date but have decided to that the money raised this time around will go to a charity who is working in countries affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami.

I'll write more about it as it gets closer but thought I'd let people know in advance. As with last time I'd love to get your involvement in as many ways as possible. You can obviously help by making a donation on the day - but other ways of helping out would include:

- ask me a question/s in comments below for me to answer on the day (last time I posted 112 or so posts over the 24 hours - it is hard to come up with topics for them all)
- spread the word about the event to try to get people to the project (I'll be running it on a purpose built blog this year)
- keep my company on the day and proof read my postings (last year a number of other bloggers read through a lot of my posts and pointed out some of the bigger mistakes that I made in my sleep deprived state)

If you'd like to be involved just let me know in comments below or shoot me an email.

Underbloggers: U - Z

2 July, 2004 12:41 PM

Here are the nominated Underbloggers starting with letters U to Z

Wow - what a response we've had to the Celebrating the Underblogger 2004 project. For those of you who don't know about it yet, last night I invited blog readers and owners to nominate quality blogs that deserved more attention than they get. 12 hours later over 260 blog have already been nominated - eclipsing last year's 100 Underbloggers. This was largely due to one big link up and the ensuing generous links from many other bloggers. Thanks to all who have nominated and linked up so far - it is not too late to participate - nominate your favorite under bloggers here.

(If you are an underblogger you might be interested in these Blog Tips)

Due to the large response I will be breaking down the nominated Underbloggers into alphabetical sections - here are Underbloggers starting with the letters U to Z.

Undercaffeinated | Underneath the Dogwood | Unlearning College | The Unmentionables | Uptown Girl | Venezuela News and Views | The View from the Foothills | View from the Pew | Vindication | Voice of a Veteran | Waistdog | Walter In Denver | Warblogging | War Liberal | Watersea's Ocean Bloggie | Where the Dolphins Play | where the hell was i | whichwayup.org | Whomping Willow | Who Tends the Fires | Why Are We Back In Iraq? | Wolves | Write Lightning | A Welsh View | WildfireJo | Winning Arguement | wired article | Words for My Enjoyment | The World According to Nick | The World Around You | The World Wide Rant | X-entertainment | X-Republic | XX | You Bitch | Yumatech | zealous.org | Zenpundit | Zone:38 | Zero Intelligence.Net | Zuky

See the Complete Collection of Underbloggers: A - C | D - H | I - L | M - Q | R - T | U - Z

The key now is to do some surfing of some of these quality blogs. This project is useless unless we check out some of these bloggers and link up to them ourselves. Lets help some of these underbloggers to get the attention they deserve.

All care has been given to getting above details correct, however due to large numbers of bloggers nominated I have not been able to quality control links yet and have relied on the code submitted by nominators. I'm doing my best to get it right but feel free to email me with corrections.

The Aftermath

22 January, 2004 9:50 PM

Just logged on to find that Nester, my friend from Manila who heads up International Needs there dropped by the blog today. The IN staff in Melbourne must have let him know what I was doing. Nester left this message in comments.

'Thanks Darren. We have just done our review and evaluation on the development of pedicab project and we found out that there is an increase of 200% income in each family who owned a pedicab thru this project. 8 families were already benefited on this. Nestor'

Did you hear that? - I wish I had that stat when I started. The provision of a pedicab to a family increases their earning capacity by 200%! And a new family benefits every year from a one off gift. I'm excited that with just a bit of effort we've had a significant impact.

Please forgive me for not posting today - I think I needed a break. I slept in til 1pm this afternoon and have been feeling pretty dodgy today, but will be fine after another sleep tonight.

Thanks again for your support yesterday. It was quite an interesting day. I 'met' some new blog readers for the first time - quite a few people popped by for a chat on messenger which was great.

All up I ended posting 112 time (I left one out of the count previously). Those posts had a total of 17895 words (how many would I need for a book? I drank almost 2 liters of diet coke, 1 family sized block of chocolate and numerous coffees.

The easiest part was the first 8 hours - the hardest was the last 5. I didn't mind sitting at the computer all day - physically it was fine - the hard part was the concentration it too to be constantly thinking of things to write and of getting my html and formatting correct (thanks to my proof readers who kept me up to date with my numerous mistakes).

There have been a couple more donations since I finished - I don't have the total at hand yet but we are still short of a second pedicab. I will post an updated figure soon. Donations can still be made via the Paypal buttons on this page.

I'm out all day tomorrow at the Australian Open Tennis (watch for me on TV) - but blogging will resume with some normalcy over the weekend.

Peace.

Last Posting

22 January, 2004 3:51 AM

Blogathon - Entry 111 - Last Post

Well the time has come for sleep as 3.50am approaches.

Thankyou to all who have participated in the last 24 hours in a huge variety of ways. To those who have contributed financially — I appreciate your generosity greatly.

Thanks to V for her patience and understanding during the last day.

Thanks also to those who have emailed, commented and chatted to me off and on throughout the day on messenger. Your encouragement has kept me going.

Thanks to those who provided me with questions to blog about and sent me links to post — without you I'd have only got through 12 hours.

Thanks to Rachel who provided me with the 'Blogathon' button.

Lastly to those who have linked to me during and leading up to the past 24 hour hours. I appreciate your efforts to get readers over here.

The donation tally is currently at $375US. So we've raised enough for one and a half pedicabs. If you'd like to help us get it up to two pedicabs there is still time to donate using the following button.

I will leave it open to donate for the next day or two before sending the money off to International Needs.

Thanks for the huge effort friends. Its been fun.
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How Rich Are You?

22 January, 2004 3:32 AM

Blogathon - Entry 110

It is pretty easy to feel sorry for yourself about your financial position in the world we live in. The bills pile up, the boss doesn't give you that raise and you can't update your latest gadget. Honestly sometimes money gets me down.

Can I suggest you head over to the blogathon.gif

Quiet Times

22 January, 2004 3:25 AM

Blogathon - Entry 109

Andy asks — 'Quiet times is something I think every Christian struggles with at some stage, but keeping close to God is one of the most important part of being a Christian...

When do you make the time? What do you do? How long for? How do you keep it fresh? What if any materials do you use? Where do you get them from? How do you keep yourself disciplined? Do you ever have lapse's?

I always struggled with having quiet times, that was until I decided to stop having them. Let me explain...

I know I've just said the unthinkable for many Christians but I just found that after years of guilt building up after committing to have them and then failing to do so was too much. I got to a point where I realised that a relationship with Jesus was so much more than setting aside a few minutes to spend with him a day. So I stopped having them.

Having said that — I do pray and I do read Scripture. In fact I do it most days in some form or another. I try to mix things up. I don't respond to routine too well. Rather some days I pray while I go for a walk. Other days I write my prayers or even write out Scripture. Sometimes I try to memorise verses.

I find some of the ancient methods of prayer helpful but also like to find and design new ways also.

I also like to read books from time to time. Not just to get information but to pray through them. I reflect upon them as I read.

From time to time I set aside half a day or even a full day to go meditate. The beach is good for this.

I don't have the magical answer as to how to bring it alive. Having said all of the above I find that there are periods where it all seems to 'click' and come together — yet there are other times when I struggle to connect at all.

I'm interested in others experiences — what have you found helpful?

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Scientists Look for the Physics Behind a Miracle

22 January, 2004 3:24 AM

Blogathon Entry 108

Here's an interesting article on a Scientist who tries to explain the parting of the Red Sea using Physics.

'The study, published in the Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences and reported upon today in The Moscow Times, concluded that a reef running to the north side of the Red Sea could have been the "dry land" upon which the Jews crossed the sea, provided that a 30-meter-per-second wind blew across the sea all night. The cessation of the wind would then lead to the drowning of the pursuing Egyptian forces, trapped on the reef as the waters returned, as recorded in the Bible.' Source

How do I Spell....

22 January, 2004 3:11 AM

Blogathon - Entry 107

Check out the Comments (1)

Christian Womens Wrestling

22 January, 2004 3:02 AM

Blogathon - Entry 106

Very amusing site - blogathon.gif

Mad Cap Disease

22 January, 2004 2:52 AM

Blogathon - Entry 105

I can't remember where I found this link - but its quite amusing.

10 Commandments of Coffee Making

22 January, 2004 2:46 AM

Blogathon - Entry 104

Scrabble

22 January, 2004 2:38 AM

Blogathon - Entry 103

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble� Score is: 16.
What is your score? Get it here.
Comments (1)

Catapult Watch

22 January, 2004 2:28 AM

catapult1.jpgBlogathon - Entry 102

Introducing the

I wonder if you're allowed to wear one of these on planes or would it get picked up at airport security?

I bet high school kids everywhere are driving their teachers crazy with this one! I wish I'd had one when I was 13.

Air Sickness Bag Collection

22 January, 2004 2:23 AM

Blogathon - Entry 101

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Comments (1)

99, 100!

22 January, 2004 2:21 AM

Blogathon - Entry 100

Wow - 100 posts in 22.5 hours.

I feel like we've covered so many topics - I could write a book if any of it made some sense.

So which one go the most attention? Wad or Fold - Over or Under of course, as if anything else could compete!

1.5 hours to go. It is time for a posting frenzy!

Ask Pud Anything

22 January, 2004 2:09 AM

Blogathon - Entry 98

Got a question that you need answered but don't know where to find one?

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Comments Down

22 January, 2004 1:50 AM

Blogathon - Entry 97

It seems comments may have gone down. Not sure how that happens on MT - might be a temporary thing. Will try to rectify it in the morning. Til then - contact me through email or msn messenger.

update - I just fixed the problem, it was my spam filter.

Don't forget the reason for this blogathon - would love to raise a bit more money for the pedicab project in Manila. You can give through the above paypal link.

Comments (3)

Background Check

22 January, 2004 1:44 AM

Blogathon - Entry 96

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Australian Alpha

22 January, 2004 1:33 AM

Blogathon - Entry 95

The Journey is suggesting that Steve Irwin, Dame Edna or Rolf Harris should present the Australian version of Alpha course.

I'd like to see them share the responsibility. Maybe Eddie Macquire could join in too - he's in everything else.

Sorry overseas friends - this may not relate so well. Some of those might not be known.

Late Night Television

22 January, 2004 1:21 AM

Blogathon - Entry 94

Is late night television the same all over the world? Its very bad here.

Consumption Manifesto

22 January, 2004 1:18 AM

Blogathon - Entry 93

Written before the Christmas rush Consumption Manifesto is a fascinating article about 'How to streamline your life and still enjoy the heck out of it '. I wish I'd seen it earlier. Here is the intro:

Consumption is one of life's great pleasures. Buying things we crave, traveling to beautiful places, eating delectable food, owning every Stevie Wonder album: icing on the cake of life. But too often the effects of our blissful consumption make for a sad story. Giant cars exhaling dangerous exhaust, hog farms pumping out noxious pollutants, toxic trash heaps nudging into poor neighborhoods -- none of this if there weren't something to sell.

But there's no need to swap pleasure for guilt. With thoughtfulness and commitment, consumption can be a force for good. Too long have we consumers played the part of a blushing bride overwhelmed by business suitors. It's time for the bride to assert herself. We've got the dowry; we have the purchasing power. We can require our suitors to comply with our vision of environmental stewardship -- or we can close the door behind them on their way out. Through buying what we need, produced the way we want, we can create the world we'd like to live in.

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George Bush Conspiracy Generator

22 January, 2004 1:10 AM

Blogathon - Entry 92

The Comments (1)

Emerging Church - Small Groups

22 January, 2004 12:51 AM

Blogathon - Entry 91

Diddle asks — 'What are the difference(s) between an Emerging Church, and a well-run small group? I'm currently half way through a short course on small groups, and we're learning that small groups are basically like a mini-church: worship, pastoral care, discipleship, etc etc.... Just interested in your thoughts!'

Great question mate. In many ways I would say that a small group can be a church. There is a lot of overlap. A lot of it depends upon the attitude of the group and the church.

At Living Room each member sees what we do as their Church. They are committed to it and it is their primary place of gathering for worship, teaching, prayer etc with other Christians.

Most small groups I've been a part of see the small group as an extra or as something they go to but 'real church' happens on the Sunday morning or night. If you don't go on Sunday its often seen as not going to church even if you are a dynamic part of the smaller group.

Not sure if I've answered that very clearly — these serious questions are probably not best answered when you've been writing for hours on end! J

Anyone else got anything to add to the difference between an Emerging Church and a well run small group?
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Biggest Flower in the World

22 January, 2004 12:38 AM

Blogathon - Entry 90

Ever wondered what the world's biggest flower is? Ok, neither have I. But when I saw the link I was.

It can have a diameter up to one meter and can weigh up to 10 kilograms. That's some flower!

Check it out at blogathon.gif

Free Sim City

22 January, 2004 12:20 AM

Blogathon - Entry 89

Play Sim City Classic Online for Free

Source

Digital Cameras help Improve your Skills

22 January, 2004 12:16 AM

Blogathon - Entry 88 - Joint post with Why digital cameras = better photographers, argues that Digital photography is not only a cheaper option, but also one that improves the skills of those that use them.

'Digital cameras don't only eliminate the cost and hassle of film processing, they should help do away with bad holiday snaps and see us all become better photographers.'

It goes on to give 5 ways this is the case:
1. SHOOT AT WILL
2. EXPERIMENT
3. FORGET FILM
4. COMPOSE FROM A DISTANCE
5. PHOTO-EDITING SOFTWARE

Source

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Bloggies Nominations Announced

22 January, 2004 12:05 AM

Blogathon - Entry 87

The usual suspects seem to appear in this years nominations of the Bloggies. There are some quality blogs listed of course - but I didn't really find anything too new there I'm afraid. Only one of the blogs I nominated made the cut.

Who is your blog of the year?

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Helvetica vs Arial

21 January, 2004 11:51 PM

Blogathon - Entry 86

How is your eye for fonts? Do you have a discerning eye that is up for the challenge of picking which is which?

Head over to blogathon.gif

1000th post

21 January, 2004 11:38 PM

Blogathon - Entry 85

This is my 1000th post since starting this blog in November 2002. Thats about 2.5 posts per day - although today has obviously skewed those results with almost 10% of the total being posted in 24 hours.

In the time there have been 4203 Comments have been left (although I lost quite a few comments off earlier posts in the change to MT). I might have to have a prize for the 5000th comment posted when we get there.

Anyway - on with the job at hand - celebration over.

Anyone out there want to make a donation to the pedicab project? Its been a couple of hours or more since the last donation - we seem to have hit the wall a tad at one and a half pedicabs. Please consider.

Digital IQ

21 January, 2004 11:33 PM

Blogathon Entry 84

Blogging 101 - Tutorials

21 January, 2004 11:23 PM

Blogathon Entry 83

Blogging 101 is a great introduction to blogs and blogging. It covers a great deal of information including:

- history of blogging
- parts - the anatomy of a blog
- read/write - reasons to read and write blogs
- find - how to find blogs
- create - how to make a blog
- readings - books on blogging

More Blog Tips

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Livingroom and Growth

21 January, 2004 11:15 PM

Blogathon Entry 82

Tanya asks - 'Your "church" sounds like a great idea, I'm wondering how you reach out to others and if your church works well with small groups? Do you have a limit on numbers (cos wouldn't that go against the evangelistic approach?) and if you have lots of small groups going how are they organized? Or is that the beauty of it, that it isn't an organized structure?'

Ok some of this is covered in previous answers. But here are a few extra comments.

How do we reach out? I guess we've been challenged as a group to think about evangelism as being centered around relationships. We don't have major events or rallies or anything formal — but rather focus on encouraging one another to work on our relationships and friendships. We also don't see evangelism as something that individuals do in isolation but rather it is something that our community does, as a result we are trying to be more involved in each others lives so we know one anothers friends and forming friendships with them also. A lot of our activities happen around 'normal' routines or rhythms of life. So we have parties, meals, picnics, see movies etc.

We don't have a limit on numbers however we are pretty committed to being small. How does that work? Well I suspect that when we get larger we will start another 'livingroom' type group. Rather than grow by adding members into one unit I'd like to see us multiplying but growing and starting new ones. There would be times where all groups would meet together, but primarily church would happen in the smaller groups.

As far as structure goes — we try to have a balance to letting it be organic enough to evolve and grow naturally in whatever direction God might want to take us — but with enough structure to keep us accountable to our core values. This is a challenge but we're doing ok so far.

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Internet Fads

21 January, 2004 11:02 PM

Blogathon Entry 81

See this guy's blogathon.gif

DIY Coffins

21 January, 2004 10:51 PM

Blogathon Entry 80

Comments (1)

Livingroom Beginnings - Part 3

21 January, 2004 10:41 PM

Blogathon Entry 79

Rich asks: 'I am intrigued to know the history of Living Room. What was the inspiration to start it? How did you make preparations to start it? What kind of financial base did it take, leadership support, etc? What kind of resources were useful in establishing it? What kind of relationships did you call upon to start it? Finally, do you find yourself engaged in much alt worship as part of Living Room?'

There is some overlap in those questions - check out my 2 previous posts for a lot of the answers. Part 1 and Part 2

Here are some further thoughts.

Financially I was given a generous grant from our denomination to help start Living Room. Basically it funds me at a half time rate over 2 years which has been most helpful. It ends at the end of 2004 so we have some important decisions to make.

Leadership support comes from a number of places - I meet with other local ministers from my denomination on a fortnightly basis for sharing, prayer and support. I also meet with a denomination person every couple of months and submit quarterly reports. I am also very involved with an Emerging/Missional Church network which gives me great support.

Resources - I'm not the biggest book reader in the world so the most helpful things were really people. I talked lots to others doing similar things. I'm lucky that here in Melbourne there are a lot of people experimenting with new forms of church. Also the blog has been incredibly helpful in gathering ideas and connecting with others. The course Ignition was really helpful in our initial formation and gave us a good missional language to base a lot of what we do upon.

Alt Worship - Whilst I understand the concept behind Alt Worship pretty well I always find it hard to define what worship is 'Alt' and what is not. I would answer yes to your question - but suspect that others may not see it as such. We are always trying new things. Yet because we are very small we don't do big installation worship things or use lots of projections etc. A lot of our worship is more around contemplation, meditation etc. It is generally pretty creative and 'different' to what most churches would do — but I'm not sure it fits into the some of what the bigger 'Alt Worship' groups do.

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Straight White Blogging Men

21 January, 2004 10:23 PM

Blogathon Entry 78

Check out this interesting post which has some interesting discussion going on under it.

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Purpose Driven Life

21 January, 2004 10:09 PM

Blogathon Entry 77

Martin asks - 'Do you have any thoughts on Rick Warren's �The Purpose Driven Life�? I've seen several somewhat derogatory comments about it from Christian bloggers — even from some of the �conservative� Christian bloggers. Sure, it's formulaic, but I personally found it an inspiring book, and am planning to use it for my new Bible study group, which starts soon. Do you know anyone who's used it?'

Good question - not one I can answer from personal experience as I have not read the book. However I do know a number of people who have read and used it in groups. A family member swears by it and uses it a lot with people.

Here are some of my thoughts - keep in mind my lack of sleep.

I'm not a big one for formulas - my personality is not that structures - but I'm not opposed to them for others. I guess my test is if it is a life giving holistic approach to faith.

I worry when books tell people to focus only on one thing and side track them on only one part of Christ's call. I also get a little concerned with books that are of the naval gazing variety.

Lastly I get concerned with books that present 'the answer'. Ie if you follow this method you will have an amazing faith. I believe God made us each to relate to him differently from one another, we each have our own styles and personalities and I'm a big believer in these coming out naturally in our journey with God.

From what I have heard about Purpose Driven Life from people I trust - it doesn't ring any of the above bells. However I don't know that for myself.

I'm open to it, but probably will not rush out and buy it.

What did you like most about it Martin? What have others thought of it?

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Snowflakes

21 January, 2004 9:53 PM

Blogathon Entry 76
Did you ever make snowflakes as a child by folding up paper and chopping little bits out of it?

Now you can do it online!

Here is My Snowflake

Thanks Cam for the link.

The Bible - Concise Version

21 January, 2004 9:43 PM

Blogathon Entry 75

Ever wished the bible was shorter? Well someone has come up with a Comments (1)

Tall Skinny Livingroom

21 January, 2004 9:24 PM

Blogathon Entry 74

Here is how mine looks like combined with Tall Skinny Kiwi - I think it looks better with my content — but don't tell him! :-)

Update: It isn't working right now with that combination of sites because mine is too big after 75 entries in one day. Try it tomorrow and it should work better.

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Where is Everyone?

21 January, 2004 9:06 PM

Blogathon Entry 73

I think America is asleep - Australia has gone home from work and Europe are only just waking up. No one seems to be on the site. I'm alone...going crazy....and there is still 7 hours to go!!!

Ok, this calls for drastic measures - except I have no idea what they might be. Any suggestions on drastic measures?

Ok - got to pull myself together, get back on track.

Political Blogging

21 January, 2004 8:59 PM

Blogathon Entry 72

Have you noticed an increase in political blogging lately? Or is it just me? With the US elections still 10 months away I have already noticed a considerable increase in blogging about it. To be fair I've also noticed an increase in media coverage in other forms also.

I suspect that we'll see this increase incredibly in the lead up to November and wonder what implications it might have on the blogosphere as a whole.

- I suspect that one implication will be that it brings an influx of new bloggers onto the scene which will bring some new blood into the blogosphere.

What implications do you see? Will it 'take over' and dominate other blogging conversations or will the blogosphere self regulate in a sense to keep balance?

Please don't hear me as saying that I'm against blogging about the election - it is obviously an important issue that will impact the whole world and therefore should be discussed - however I wonder if it has potential to get out of control and crowd out other important issues that could do with some of our attention.

Perhaps part of my concern arises out of not completely understanding the US political system. The process is quite different. For example our leader is determined purely by who is the leader of the party that wins majority in the Federal Election. There is no separate election. Also our election campaigns do not stretch out for such long periods of time - it can all be over in a matter of weeks.

Interested in others thoughts.

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What is Getting me Through?

21 January, 2004 8:46 PM

Blogathon Entry 71

There is one thing that got me through this past hour

Humanimals

21 January, 2004 8:28 PM

humananimal.jpgBlogathon Entry 70

Presurfer (who has been most generous with his links of late) has just linked up to this very funny photoshop competition that gets people to combine animals and humans

I'm Breaking up with Oprah

21 January, 2004 8:16 PM

Blogathon - Entry 69

I'm sure the we are running against each other in the upcoming presidential election.

Dear Oprah,

Writing this letter is the hardest thing I'll ever have to do. By now, you might have noticed that I don't like you very much. Life's funny that way. Don't feel responsible. I just always liked Dr Phil more. Besides, my history of bed wetting prevents me from committing to a serious relationship and you deserve better.

You deserve someone who appreciates all of your special qualities, especially the cute way you leave your toenail clippings on the couch. Even though we're no longer together, we'll always have our memories. I'll never forget the time you came to my place and ate all my fruit roll ups.

They say that time heals all wounds, and I hope that soon, you will be able to speak coherently to a person of the opposite gender. When this time comes, I hope you will be old, gray, and wrinkly.

Later,
Darren

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2/3 Update

21 January, 2004 8:05 PM

Blogathon - Entry 68

16 hours down - just 8 to go. These could be the longest blogging hours of my life!

The donations tally is moving up still - we are now well on the way to securing the purchase of a second pedicab with the total now at $367US. We need another $173 to be able to get the second one and another $443US to get a third one.

Anyone up for the challenge?

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D's Tuna Risotto

21 January, 2004 7:51 PM

Blogathon - Entry 67

Speaking of food - Comments (1)

V's Pasta

21 January, 2004 7:34 PM

Blogathon - Entry 66

V just made us a beautiful pasta dinner.

It was Ricotta, Zucchini, Chili, Garlic, Lemon Pasta with Parmesan Cheese. Superb!

Only problem after a dish like that is that now I want to curl up and sleep it off.

8.5 hours to go.


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Aussie Dirt Track Late Model Racing - Grunt!

21 January, 2004 7:14 PM

Blogathon - Entry 65

Paul wirtes - 'While perhaps I might be in a minority to be so interested, how about something about Aussie dirt track late model racing. I've heard it is gaining in popularity, and somehow, an Aussie site found my Steeler Dirt Freak site and linked to it, which I thought was was pretty cool. Anyways, there's something I'd like to hear about.'

Ok - I know nothing on this topic, but I'm going to learn.

Here's what I've found!

First some history:

'Late Model Sedan racing in Australia commenced with the formation of Late Model Racing Australia (Inc) in the 1997-1998 season.

Based in West Australia, the new Late Model division adopted identical car specifications to the popular�United Dirt Track Racing Association (UDTRA) series in the USA.

The benefits of this quickly became obvious, with fully imported cars being able to compete without modifications to suit local (Australian) rulings.

2000-2001 and 2001-2002 saw the division consolidate even further with a large number of top West Aussie sedan drivers switching over to the blossoming Late Model class,�and several East Coast racers also constructing/purchasing cars.

In a short period of time Late Models have entrenched themselves as a firm fan favourite on the WA scene, and are now expanding to the East Coast..'

Head over to OZ LATE MODEL: Australia's Number 1 Dirt Late Model Website. Its packed with all kinds of information for Aussie late model fans.

The Race Calendar was just updated yesterday - yep, its all up to date, with the next meet in Brisbane on the 31st of this month! Be there!

The Action Gallery has some pretty amazing photos in it.


Want to know more?

Also check out Shanon Babb Racing and Racing Around America and for more of the scene in the US.

Feel free to add more Paul - thats all I could find in my 15 minute deadline on dial up access!

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Meeting V

21 January, 2004 6:55 PM

Blogathon - Entry 64

V, the love of my life is home! Wooohooo!

A number of people including blogger_idol-1.gif

Hypothetically Speaking about Money

21 January, 2004 6:38 PM

Blogathon Entry 63

Susan asks 'If you had 10 million dollars how would you like to spend it'.

I'd give it all to the blogathon of course!

Well a fair bit of it anyway. I'm not sure I see the point of having that much money I guess. There comes a point when enough surely has to be enough. I know it is easy to say that from the safety of not having that kind of money, but I'd like to think that I wouldn't spend most of it on myself.

There are a few things I'd love to buy....

— I'd probably update this computer (especially after the pounding I'm giving it today), we'd probably trade in our little car for something that will one day hopefully accommodate a family.

One thing that I always dream of doing is being able to buy a building here in this local area that we could use to do community activities. A true 'Livingroom if you like. I'd like to be able to run educational programs, skills based development programs, book clubs and also to have a space for artist studios and galleries, free internet access (of course) and perhaps even a caf�/community area. We'd probably also run other activities such as storytelling nights, alt worship experiences etc there also — something of a spirituality centre.It would also be great to be able to offer affordable accommodation to people in need.

Around here that type of place would probably take up a good million or two of the ten you've just given me Susan. The rest would probably end up in others hands I suspect - although I'd probably better get something for V too!

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Blog Counting

21 January, 2004 6:27 PM

Blogathon - Entry 62

mapping the blogosphere.

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Gallery Worship

21 January, 2004 6:04 PM

Blogathon - Entry 61

Last night for Livingroom we went to a gallery opening together. One of our members and her boyfriend were exhibiting a piece of art each in a combined show.

It was really interesting to see the crowd. We live in a fairly artistic part of the city so there are a lot of galleries around. I've often dreamed of running one or at least putting on a show from time to time with the Livingroom for the wider community.

The show last night was one where artists were each asked to submit a piece of work no bigger than 50cm square. So everything was quite small and there were a lot of pieces on show.

As I walked around and looked at the show I really felt it was a somewhat spiritual moment. The creativity and beauty of the art, the community feel between the crowd that was there and the themes that came out in many of the pieces of justice, love and freedom.

I felt really connected to God in the midst of it all. I'd love to explore the possibility of running a similar show at some point. Sounds like the kind of thing Steve would be into - I might have to have a chat to the man if he's not out drinking coffee again (btw - he's changed blog address and its looking good).

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Numb to my excess

21 January, 2004 5:46 PM

paseywoman.jpgBlogathon - Entry 60

Have been thinking about wealth today. I have a few dollars jingling around in my pocket. Actually it is $3.10. I didn't even notice that they were there until I looked - and wouldn't have noticed if they had disappeared. I am numb to my money - to my excess.

Yet I when I close my eyes and imagine this $3.10 in the hands this mother (pictured above - click to enlarge) that I met in Pasey City Slum - Manila I get a completely different picture. I suspect that if I was to give it to her she would know exactly what it was worth and would keep track of exactly where it is.

She would know the difference between having it and not.

She would not be numb to it.

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80s Photo Essay

21 January, 2004 5:24 PM

Blogathon - Entry 59

I really like this last minute entry to Blogger Idol. Its a photo essay on the 80s. I was hoping we'd get some of these - hopefully there are more to come in weeks ahead.

Blog Evolution

21 January, 2004 5:18 PM

Blogathon - Entry 58

Martin asks - 'Did you have a lot of plans for your website when you got going? If so, has the site developed in accordwith those plans, or has it gone off in unexpected directions of its own(as happened to me)?

Yes - totally - in many ways. Here is how...

I started out very naively thinking that the 'Livingroom blog' (which was then hosted at blogspot) would be just something that would be read by my family, close friends and those participating in the Livingroom community. I wanted to keep a record of our journey of starting up.

I guess the record keeping has happened - mainly in the Livingroom Category but its developed into something that is so much more.

After only a few days of writing I found that people were reading what I wrote - and they were not my family or friends, but complete strangers living on the other side of the world. The strange thing was that they were just like me in many ways. Initially the people who came here were others experimenting with new forms of church. We began to swap ideas, debate key issues and support one another in our dreaming and exploring.

Then the war in Iraq happened and the whole blogosphere changed. Things became quite political and wider debate began to open up including here at Livingroom. I guess that is when I made a decision to open up the topics talked about here beyond the 'Emerging Church' and onto 'Life'.

Since the war I have purposely stayed clear of most political comment. This is largely due to the fact that I found myself becoming increasingly negative and cynical in my interaction with other bloggers. Blogging went from being a life giving experience to one that was more about point scoring. I made a decision to at around this time to make the 'Livingroom blog' an environment more focused upon making connections, building up fellow bloggers and learning from one another. It has not always stayed like this, from time to time I get sucked back into the political stuff, but I guess I've put more and more of my energies into thinking of ways of making connections with and between others.

That is why I undertake projects like underbloggers, blog tips, blogger idol and even the blogathon. I've found these projects incredibly worthwhile, enabling me to make some great friends all around the world. I find that people generally reach out to you if you first reach out to them. Sure I do honestly get a kick out of seeing traffic go up when I do post something that people link up to, but bigger than that is the kick I get out of meeting a new blogger or introducing bloggers to each other that become good buddies.

The last change of direction is the exploration of blogging as a way to support my work with the Livingroom Community financially. I really enjoy blogging as a hobby and made a decision a few months ago to see if I could extend it beyond the realm of hobby and take it a step towards a micro business. Initially this was through putting ads on this site (which I'm in the process of phasing out) and more recently through the starting of Visually Speaking - Digital Photography Blog. It is my hope to build that blog (and another that I am planning) up to a point where they can sustain me financially at one day per week.

It is my intention for this blog not too be highly commercial. I want it to remain as a place of community primarily.

Hope that answered your question Martin - I'm not sure I expressed it as clearly as I'd have liked to.

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Woodfire Blogging

21 January, 2004 5:03 PM

Blogathon - Entry 57

Woodfire Hot tubs

'It's a 165 pound plastic tub. You fill it with a garden hose or pail, put firewood in the bin attached to the tub by two steel pipes, light it up, wait a while, and enjoy a 100-degree soak with natural eddies.'

I wonder if I could get one of these installed on our balcony and then i could blog from there! On second thoughts I think I'd be worried that it might turn into 'Blogger Soup' if I stayed there too long.

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Little Hopping Kangaroos

21 January, 2004 4:48 PM

Blogathon - Entry 56

Want to know what gets Australian Politicians excited? blogger_idol-1.gif

Livingroomsberg??

21 January, 2004 4:27 PM

Blogathon - Entry 55

Well they've finally mapped the blogisphere over at Tim Blair has his own sea, Where is Raed and blogger_idol-1.gif

Calling all Baldies

21 January, 2004 4:09 PM

Blogathon - Entry 54

Gentlemen are you getting a little thin on top? Finding hairs on your pillow in the morning that used to be attached to your head? More hair in your comb than on your scalp? This is the page for you (or should I say us). blogger_idol-1.gif

Halfway - Update

21 January, 2004 3:51 PM

Blogathon - Entry 53

Well we've made the halfway point friends. Whilst the first 8 hours pretty much flew by the last four have been a little slower. I'm looking for my third wind (or is it my fourth). I've just had a banana and diet coke for a bit of a pep up.

I've been quite overwhelmed by the amount of support I've had from people via email, comments and on msn messenger - thank you to everyone for saying hi and for your encouragement. Also your ideas for topics have been great - I think I almost have enough to get me across the line....but feel free to keep giving them cause I will use them over the coming weeks.

In terms of how much we've raised - here is the update:

The tally is at $268.00US!

Wow - we are just $2 away from being able to buy our first pedicab. Well done! Lets keep the ball rolling! :-)

Deep Breath.....oxygen to the head.....

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Sermon on the Mount Resources

21 January, 2004 3:28 PM

Blogathon - Entry 52

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Shantaram

21 January, 2004 3:12 PM

shantaram_brit_cover.jpgBlogathon - Entry 51

I'm currently reading the most excellent book - Shantram - by Gregory David Roberts.

It is an amazing autobiography of a Melbourne man who has led the most amazing life. It tracks his life from his life as an intellectual and student in Melbourne - through time in maximum security prison after falling into heroine addiction and becoming an armed robber - escaping prison and eventually finding his way to India and Afghanistan. The majority of the book is set in Bombay where he forms the most amazing friendships and has the most incredible experiences.

It is a book of twists and turns as Roberts lives in Bombay slums where he sets up health clinics, associates with Indian Crime Bosses and lives with fighters struggling against the Russians in Afghanistan.

I won't spoil it except to say that I haven't been able to put it down and am hanging out to get the sequel which I've heard he is currently working on.

If this book doesn't win awards I'll be very surprised. It is a long read (936 pages) but it is well worth the effort. You'll be inspired, amazed, gripped, intrigued and moved by this amazing story.

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Grow Grow Grow

21 January, 2004 2:47 PM

Blogathon - Entry 50

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Dejavu - Internet History

21 January, 2004 2:33 PM

Blogathon - Entry 49

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GasBgon

21 January, 2004 2:17 PM

Blogathon - Entry 48

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FujiFilm Commits to Film as Kodak Witdraws

21 January, 2004 2:00 PM

Blogathon - Entry 47 - Joint post with Digital Photography Blog

Last week Kodak began what some say signals the beginning of the end of their commitment to Traditional Film Photography by stopping production of APS Cameras. Since that announcement there have been many article predicting the continued fall of film and rise of digital.

As a result it is with some surprise that today I read that Fujifilm have just renewed their committment to film.

'Fujifilm is defying current trends in the photography industry by announcing significant investment in film camera technology in 2004, and by adding a raft of new models to its compact film camera range - both APS and 35mm.

Despite pressure on the conventional camera market, and with some manufacturers consolidating their R&D functions or exiting the market altogether, Fujifilm affirms that certain product categories are, in fact, exhibiting steady demand, with products such as 35mm zoom compacts, entry-level, easy-to-use fun cameras - and certain APS models such as the Fujifilm Q1 - showing notable resilience. On top of this, single use cameras are demonstrating remarkable growth, with sales increasing by almost 30% year on year in the UK. Consequently, Fujifilm is continuing to support the industry with the introduction of both film and digital products, with developments in film, compact cameras and single use cameras projected throughout 2004 and beyond.'

Starting a Blog with Moveable Type - Tutorial

21 January, 2004 1:44 PM

Blogathon - Entry 46

Starting a Blog with Moveable Type is a great set of tips on starting an MT blog. Actually a lot of it is helpful for all types of blogs - not just MT. Check it out - it covers the following topics so far.

- Pick Your Software
- Archive Paths
- Syndicate
- Categorize
- Get Your Name Out
- Be Polite
- Be Yourself
- Get Help

More Blog Tips

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Starting a Blog with Moveable Type - Tutorial

21 January, 2004 1:44 PM

Blogathon - Entry 46

Starting a Blog with Moveable Type is a great set of tips on starting an MT blog. Actually a lot of it is helpful for all types of blogs - not just MT. Check it out - it covers the following topics so far.

- Pick Your Software
- Archive Paths
- Syndicate
- Categorize
- Get Your Name Out
- Be Polite
- Be Yourself
- Get Help

More Blog Tips

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What is the Buzz Online?

21 January, 2004 1:28 PM

Blogathon - Entry 45

Britney Spears has been in the top most searched phrases on Yahoo for 676 days in a row. Today continues to find her at Number 1

She is followed by other long term entries like 'Kazaa', 'Playstation 2',

Scary - So that is what people are doing all day online!

Here is how the presidential race would end up if it was decided on Yahoo Searches today (maybe thats how they should decide it!) - Source

1. Howard Dean�
2. John Edwards�
3. Wesley Clark�
4. John Kerry�
5. George W. Bush�
6. Al Sharpton�
7. Dennis Kucinich�
8. Joe Lieberman�
9. Richard Gephardt

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Dogs Jokes

21 January, 2004 1:15 PM

Blogathon - Entry 44

After the last post there were many complaint from cats who wanted me to spend even time on dogs....

So here goes....

10 Lessons we can learn from Dogs

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

If Dogs could write


16. Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."
15. Fire hydrant icon is very frustrating.
14. Involuntary tail wagging is dead giveaway they're browsing www . pethouse.com instead of working.
13. Keep bruising noses trying to catch that MPEG Frisbee.
12. Not at all fooled by Chuckwagon Screen Saver.
11. Still trying to come up with an "emoticon" that signifies tail-wagging.
10. Oh, but they WILL... with the introduction of the Microsoft Opposable Thumb.
9. Three words: Carpal Paw Syndrome.
8. 'Cause dogs ain't GEEKS! Now, cats, on the other hand...
7. Barking in next cube keeps activating YOUR voice recognition software.
6. SmellU-SmellMe still in beta test.
5. SIT and STAY were hard enough, GREP and AWK are out of the question!
4. Saliva-coated mouse gets mighty difficult to maneuver.
3. Annoyed by lack of newsgroup, alt.pictures.master's.leg.
2. Butt-sniffing more direct and less deceiving than online chat rooms.

and the Number 1 Reason Dogs Do Not Use Computers...

1. TrO{gO DsA[M,bN HyAqR4tDc TgrOo TgYPmE WeIjTyH P;AzWqS,.*
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What goes on in a Cats head?

21 January, 2004 1:03 PM

Blogathon - Entry 43
Top 10 things a man thinks about

Does your cat own you?

Rules to cats who run houses

Rules of Etiquette for Inexperienced Cats

16 signs that your cat is plotting world domination

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Livingroom Beginnings - Part 2

21 January, 2004 12:45 PM

Felix asks 'How did you start Living Room? Was there already a small core group, or did you go scouting for talent? Practically, how did you get things going?'

There is some overlap on this question to the one Michelle also asked so I won't fully answer it. See the answer to hers for more info.

Here are some additional comments:

In practical terms we started by me spreading the word about the ideas I had of the Living Room. I was interested in gathering local people so I talked to some local ministers, friends and family. Word spread via word of mouth and I soon had a number of people approach me. I met with each for coffee and chats and shared the vision (which was pretty muddy at first). Some were interested others weren't.

We called everyone together early last year had a BBQ. It was like blind speed dating as none of them knew each other at all. Here are my reflections on that first night. Over the next few weeks we got to know each other more and began to .

That was some of the initial things we did. Since then word of mouth is the biggest way of people hearing about us. We haven't promoted ourselves yet in any formal way. My fear in doing so is that we become the latest 'fad' and get overwhelmed by Christian tourists. We are small and rather fragile and an influx of Christians could knock us over.

Hope that answers the question Felix. Happy to answer more!

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Technorati Developments

21 January, 2004 12:29 PM

Blogathon - Entry 41

Bene just gave us the heads up that the excellent blogger tool Technorati is Beta Testing a new version. Their older version has been giving them headaches for a while now.

Technorati is a great tool that keeps you up to date with who is linking to your posts and also what is happening in the wider blogosphere. (ie what news articles are being linked to - what blog entries are being linked to etc). Glad to see it back up and running - and looking mighty fast.

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Mobile Blogging

21 January, 2004 12:24 PM

Blogathon - Entry 40

IMG_1710.JPGI was getting a little cooped up in the study so I decided to take this blogathon thing of ours on the road - its out to our balcony (click for larger view).

Its quite pleasant out here at the moment, although a little hard to see the screen as its quite bright. It is supposed to get pretty warm this afternoon so I may not last long out here. Nice change of scenery though. Can you see our little Christmas on the left of the pic. Hope it doesnt grow too much or we won't get it back inside. This is one of those balconies where you access it through the window - no door. Its kind of like how Joey gets into Dawson's room in Dawsons Creek...not that I watch it...I've heard that ....

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1/3 and counting

21 January, 2004 12:07 PM

Blogathon - Entry 39

We've been going for 8 hours now - one third down, two thirds to go.

The time has gone remarkably quickly. 15 minute deadlines definitely put the pressure on - but I'm happy to announce we're ahead of the schedule to post 100 times in the 24 hours. Hopefully this will mean the graveyard shift tonight won't be quite so hard. I'm actually not feeling too bad, although I may be loosing feeling in the region around my eyes. Hopefully that coffee will kick in soon.

Also energizing is are the donations that have continued to come in. We are now approaching the $270US we need for the first pedicab. We're currently sitting at just under $225. Thanks again.

Luke is the Wind Beneath my Wings

21 January, 2004 11:53 AM

Blogathon - Entry 38

Luke just came over - and he brought with him some essential supplies. A coffee and a BLT from my favourite local cafe - The Tin Pot Cafe.

Coffee never tasted so good. I needed that. Thanks mate, you're a life saver!

Blogger Idol - Week 1 - D's Honorable Mentions

21 January, 2004 11:27 AM

Blogathon - Entry 37

I've been asked a number of times now for my top 5 Blogger Idols for week 1. By no means is this a definitive or official list. These are just the entries that captured my attention this week in no particular order.

Hamo's interpretation was definitely unique - as was Quality Control's

Downtown Chick's was one of the most comprehensive posts.

Matt's story was a very powerful one which I'm sure many will relate to.

Lanie's also was a very honest post about a tough period of her life.

Just a Girl in the World took a slightly more intellectual approach than some.

Luke's was cool - he must have spent a while on it - very amusing.

Stuffwars reminds me of my brother and sister's 80s (a bit younger than me).

LoobyLu's almost made me wet my pants from laughter - very amusing

Moodstruck was good - nice to meet a new blogger (to me).

They are the ones that spring to this slightly otherwise occupied mind at this moment in time. Check out the full 70 or so posts for yourself and post your own top 5...or so.

By the way Ande is looking for a few other people to join him on a panel of judges for the competition to get a more balanced view on results. Have a chat to him if this interests you.

Travelling

21 January, 2004 11:10 AM

Blogathon - Entry 36

Comments (2)

Places to Visit in Australia

21 January, 2004 10:53 AM

Neely asks - 'Hi Darren! I plan on traveling down to Australia in the next few years. Do you have suggestions for great tourist spots I need to check out?'

Well let me say up front that I think Australia is an amazing country to visit or live in. I love it. There is so much variety of landscape, culture and people. To tour the country properly you will need months if not a year! It is very big. For example for me (I live in the South East) to drive to Perth on the Western coast (where hamo lives) is 3456km. Further still is Port Headland (in the North West) at over 5060km away! So if you want to see it all you'll need a lot of time, a good four wheel drive and a well mapped out itinery.

Having said that there is plenty to see and do in a short time also. Here are my Top 5 highlights and suggestions.

1. Melbourne - my city has been voted the most livable city in the world and is a great place to live and visit. I wrote this post on a Virtual tour of Melbourne a while back which will give you a taste.

2. The Great Ocean Road — This road runs along the coast to the west of Melbourne. It is some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen with breathtaking rock formations — wonderful beaches — great surfing — waterfalls — little beach towns and great fishing.

3. The Red Centre — The most spiritual place I've ever been to. Wide open spaces — desert — deafening silences — expansive skies — surprising oasis's and rock formations — sunrises and sunsets to die for — wildflowers — the most amazing views of the southern hemispheres views of the galaxies at night. There are some long drives involved in this type of touring — but some of the sites are amazing. Check out Uluru (Ayres Rock), Kings Canyon, The Olgas, Alice Springs, Cooper Peedy and Oodnadata track just to name a few places worth checking out.

4. Sydney — I enjoy visiting Sydney. I'm not supposed to say that as a Melbournian as we have a bit of a rivalry going but it is a great city to visit. I'm not sure I could live there — it's a big city with loads of traffic and hustle and bustle. The Harbour is beautiful as are the bridge, some of the parks, galleries and of course the Opera House. It is only an hours flight from Melbourne or a 9 hour drive north.

5. Tasmania — Tassie as we affectionately call it is an hours flight south of Melbourne over the Bass Straight. You can catch a ferry over there (takes a day or a night) which can be fun or boring — depending on what mood you are in. Tassie is the little island that sits off the south east corner of Australia (no...not New Zealand). Tasmania has some beautiful countryside — mountains, beaches and a lot of history. It has a real heritage feel about it with a lot of tourist attractions dedicated to our convict past (it is where we sent the worst ones!). It's a very peaceful state — quaint in many ways — but also a great place to go for adventure with plenty of hiking, surfing and camping.

Well there is my Top 5. There are many more places you should check out — The Barossa Valley in South Australia (wine region), far North Queensland (tropical north), Darwin (far northern coast), The Great Barrier Reef (stunning) and if you're really brave go to our Eastern Islands which I've heard are not too bad either.

If you've visited or live in Australia leave your own top places to visit!

Donations Update II

21 January, 2004 10:45 AM

Blogathon - Entry 34

I've hit the wall. Bring on the second wind! Someone!

Donations have continued to come in over the last hour or so. Thank you again to those who have contributed both financially and also in other practical ways.

We've got to a total of $150US now. Over half way to our first pedicab. Thanks again - lets keep the momentum going - or I'll post more pictures of me at 3.50 this morning!

Which Historical Lunatic are You?

21 January, 2004 10:34 AM

Blogathon - Entry 33


Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Thanks Bene for the link

Pedicabs Explained

21 January, 2004 10:20 AM

paseyBlogathon - Entry 32

Late in 2002 I travelled with a group of young adults to the Philippines to visit the International Needs workers there. The following is part of my journal entry from the first day.

'We then went to Pasey City (pictured left) - which has the honor of being the most densley populated square km on earth. Over 3 million people live in this small area.

Obviously it is terribly cramped - the conditions are incredibly basic and the need of the situation is overwhelming. The people seem to live quite happily despite their circumstances which would cause outrage in my own country. For up to 20 people to live in a tin room smaller than my bedroom at home is not unusual. People have to sleep in shifts in some cases because there is not enough room.

There are children everywhere - most don't seem to go to school but instead wander the streets during the day looking for scraps to recycle, begging or playing in the gutters.

We visited a school of 170 children being run by IN. the kids there were sponsored by people in Australia, NZ and the US - the difference in them was remarkable. They had hope. Other children looked through the gate but there is little hope for many of them to receive even a basic education.

pedicab.jpgIN run a project here to help families find a way of breaking the cycle of poverty that they are in. It is called the pedicab project. They hire/purchase the pedicabs (its like a rickshaw - pictured left - click to enlarge) to families who pay it back out of their earnings over 12 months. At the end of this time they own it outright and have an ongoing capacity to earn enough money to live on. The initial money then goes to doing the same thing with another family the next year. The cycle continues so that after 10 years 10 families have been empowered to feed, clothe educate themselves.

This is one of the best things I've seen in community development. Today I rode in one of the pedicabs and met a number of drivers. They were very excited and proud of their cabs. I'd like to go home and get people involved in helping this project. The $400 ($400AU=$270US) for the cab is so little when i think about the impact it has. For us it is just a few days work - but for these people it is the difference between feeding their children for life and not.

All proceeds from this Blogathon go towards the purchase of Pedicabs - please consider a what you might contribute.

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Religious Tattoos R Us

21 January, 2004 10:08 AM

Religious Tattoos will be able to supply you with all your religious tattoo needs. They have an essay on the bible's stance on tattoos, galleries of heaps of photos of tats in sections like Jesus, Crosses, Chalice, Mary, Foreign Tongues etc

What is your favourite? Do you have a religious tattoo? what is it of?

If you are interested in Religious Tattoos you might also be interested in some of the following religious tattoo galleries:
- Religious Tattoos and Designs - A variety of reglious/symbolic tattoo designs
- Religious Tattoos - a gallery of religious tats
- Religious Tattoos Picture Page - another tattoo gallery with many religious tattoo pictures
- Temporary Religious Tattoos - Just a couple of temporary tattoos
- Tattoo Store - Religious Tattoos - Part of a much larger site dedicated to tattoos.

Also check out some of the following articles on the subject of religious tattoos:
- Tattoos as evangelical chic. - examines the popularity of religious tattoo symbols with evangelical youth as expressions of their faith.
- Tattoos No Longer Taboo? - from Christianity Today
- Tattoos Good or Bad? - A discussion on the topic

Also there are a lot of great books on the topic of tattoos - check out some of these:
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Psychoanalyse Yourself

21 January, 2004 9:54 AM

Blogathon - Entry 30

Comments (2)

Blogger Idol - Another Update

21 January, 2004 9:29 AM

Blogathon - Entry 29

There are now 70 entries for this weeks Blogger idol. I'm quite overwhelmed by the response. For those who don't know what it is - quite simply it is like the shows American Idol, Australian Idol etc - where participants each get a chance to write a blog entry on a particular theme each week. Then everyone gets to choose their favourites. Basically its an easy way to showcase your blog, not have to come up with a topic to write about (which can be half the battle) and to meet some new bloggers.

If you'd like to join the fray leave a comment here saying 'email me' and I'll add you to the list of over 100 bloggers receiving weekly emails announcing the themes.

Check out the list of this weeks Blogger Idols here.

Whistling Language

21 January, 2004 9:15 AM

Blogathon - Entry 28

Did you see this article on CNN a while back about the Whistling Language?

Like his father and grandfather before him, Cabello, 50, knows "Silbo Gomero," a language that's whistled, not spoken, and can be heard more than two miles away.Now, educators are working hard to save it from extinction by making school children study it up to age 14.'

Cool — I wonder where I can sign up for a class!

By the Way - can anyone else whistle while they also hum at the same time? I can. If I could only do it in harmonies I could record an album.

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How do you know if you're called to Missions?

21 January, 2004 8:55 AM

Blogathon - Entry 27

Blake at State Dog posts this stimulating post on the above question which I think is one worth grappling with.

My opinion is...

that we are all called to the life of a missionary. When I take a look at the teaching of Jesus I don't see any way around it. Having said this there are some people who obviously hear a more directed or targeted call to specific people groups, geographic areas etc. I know of a number of people who felt very clearly that they were to go and do very specific things. It was like God had dotted all their i's and crossed all their t's - very detailed callings.

Others have felt more of a general sense of calling. A passion for 'people'....anyone they meet. Often they have a gift of evangelism and opportunities open up wherever they go.

For others Missions is a real struggle - something that they constantly feel challenged about yet struggle to know how to respond to. Often there is a lot of guilt, fear and sense of failure associated with it.

I don't think mission is for some people and not others - however I think we each need to respond to the call in our own way. I guess the key is to be listening and to have a discerning heart. Talk about it with others, be open to mission in the place where we find ourselves rather than only in deepest darkest Congo.

Sorry this is so rushed. Hopefully others might pick this up further and flesh it out. Looking forward to others thoughts and opinions.

Toilet Humor - Bathroom Survey

21 January, 2004 8:44 AM

Blogathon - Entry 26

While I'm on the topic of toilet humor (I'll stop soon) it reminds me of Bathroom life. It has some of the best bathroom humor you'll ever find.

My favourite link on the site is the Comments (1)

Shower Time

21 January, 2004 8:28 AM

Blogathon - Entry 25

I've always wanted to be one of those bloggers that posted about the inane everyday moments of life. Well today is the day. I'm going to have a shower.

Don't worry, I'm not taking the digital camera.

Spam Poetry

21 January, 2004 8:25 AM

Blogathon - Entry 24

Also in the Age this morning is an article on Spam Poetry. Hmmm...I can think of a couple of poems I wouldn't mind sending to some of the spammers who leave comments on this blog from time to time.

Ok - lets have a competition - who can write the best spam poem in comments below? I'm not sure what the prize will be...but I'll think of one.

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Wad or Fold - Over or Under?

21 January, 2004 8:18 AM

IMG_1707.JPGBlogathon - Entry 23

Comments (10)

How to Write Better Blogs

21 January, 2004 8:07 AM

Dennis A. Mahoney writes a great article entitled How to Write Better that picks up a number of things that he believes bloggers need to be encouraged to do. It focuses mainly on writing. His headings are...

This post has been moved to Pro Blogger - How to Write Better Blogs.

Warning: This picture may cause distress

21 January, 2004 7:59 AM

IMG_1701.JPGBlogathon - Entry 21

V is up now - so I could go get my digicam cable from the bedroom. Here is what I looked like at 3.50am this morning. Click for larger view - if you dare.

Give so that I may shave.

Donations Update

21 January, 2004 7:47 AM

As the sun rises higher into the sky over Melbourne we've broken the $100US barrier with our first donation of the day! Of course we had been given a number of generous donations in the days proceeding but now that some more has rolled in I'm feeling very excited about the potential.

I won't be naming donators by name, you know who you are, but I want to thank you for your generous contributions already. We can do it - our first pedicab is in sight - just $170US to go.

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Anti Aging Beer

21 January, 2004 7:38 AM

Blogathon - Entry 20

What would you say if I told you there was a beer that would not only taste good but that would also make you look younger? Announcing the worlds first Anti Aging Beer.

Anti-ageing beer was presented to the world at a German agricultural fair this week - a drink which the brewer says will bring body and soul into harmony.

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Livingroom Beginnings - Part 1

21 January, 2004 7:17 AM

Blogathon - Entry 19

Michelle asks
How did you know you were meant to go start a house-church? Was it an order from Above (God) or above (your church authorities)? How did you make the decision to say yes and what did you do to prepare? What did family & friends think of the idea and your involvement? How did you actually get going on the project?

Big questions Michelle, I'll try to answer them briefly.

In short I felt 'called' to start it. When I was a youth pastor at an old church 10 years ago someone was praying for me and they felt God say that I would plant a church. I had never heard of the idea before and didn't give it a second thought.

A few years ago I left that job and toured around Australia managing a Christian Rock band. The year was a great one and a hard one. I came home quite disillusioned with the state of the church in Australia. So many churches seemed so impossible for young people or 'alternative' type people to relate to. For example in one town after a week of working in High Schools we had 30 kids make decisions to commit to relationships with Jesus. But when we took them to the local church they were told to take their hats off, sit quietly, and sing hymns. We heard only weeks later that none of those kids had continued with their faith and that many of them were even further away from God than when they started. That church was more of a hindrance than a help. Very sad.

I came home from that year quite disillusioned with church and unable to find one where I was able to express some of my concerns and find answers. So I began to mee with two friends once every few weeks for dinner. Those dinner conversations became my experience of church. We ate, drank wine, shared our discoveries of God and prayed. I slowly realized that this was more like church than I'd previously experienced.

Also at this time I met some people who were into training people for church planting and mission. The cool thing was that they were not interested in planting 'normal' churches or clones of what most churches already look like, but they were interested in planting churches that non church goers might find God in. To cut a long story short I did a year long internship with this group and gradually felt more and more excited about the possibility of starting a church in the area I love — the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Ideas began to come and I began to share them with others. We applied for a grant from our denomination to help us get started — they said yes. I asked a few people to join, some said yes others said no. We began to meet and now here we are. The Living Room was born last March.

My wife V and our families have been very supportive. My family have been very involved in church life for generations so they are very open to it. Our friends have also been supportive. I'm sure some of them wonder what it is we are actually doing. I actually find our friends who don't have much experience of church are more open to it than some of our Christian friends.

Hope that answers the questions ok Michelle, feel free to ask more. It is good for me to think through and reflect upon. I'll expand more later on as others have asked similar questions.

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Caffine

21 January, 2004 7:05 AM

Blogathon - Entry 18Don't you love that first hit of caffeine in the morning? Coffee is my one indulgence in life. Ok, its not the only one, but it is a favorite. I generally need to have a coffee before 10.30am or I'll get a headache (yes I know that means I'm an addict). I guess the equivalent of 10.30am when you get up at 3.50am is 7.00am...which it now is. Please excuse me for a moment while I go fix myself some coffee and muesli.

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Microsoft vs Mike Rowe

21 January, 2004 6:57 AM

Blogathon - Entry 17

Microsoft didn't see the funny side of things when 17 year old Mike Rowe registered the domain name mikerowesoft.com for his web design business.

'Mike, a self-described computer geek, registered the name in August. In November, he received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers, Smart & Biggar, informing him he was committing copyright infringement....

He wrote back, saying he'd put a lot of time and effort into his business and asked to be compensated if he was to give up his name.

Microsoft's lawyers wrote back offering him $10 US.'

Mike is gearing up to defend his site in court and is asking for contributions to his defense fun. He might do ok too because yesterday his site had 250,00 visitors! Source

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Rate Election Contenders on Issues that Concern you

21 January, 2004 6:45 AM

Blogathon - Entry 16

And in Other News from the Vatican

21 January, 2004 6:30 AM

Blogathon - Entry 15

Did the Pope approve of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion'?

'There's no doubt the Pope did view Mel Gibson's film, but the question is did he endorse it by saying: "It is as it was"?

Pope John Paul II's secretary has denied widespread news reports that the Pope personally endorsed Mel Gibson's unreleased film The Passion of the Christ, the Catholic News Service has reported.'

It doesn't really worry me one way or the other - I can't wait to see it.

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Support the Blogathon

21 January, 2004 6:25 AM

Blogathon - Entry 14

In this blog to raise money for International Needs - Pedicab Project (more info here) - there are a number of ways you can offer support.

Financially - the overall goal of this 24 hour effort is to raise money for the Manilla Pedi-cab project of International Needs. You can donate to this life changing work by credit card or paypal account by clicking on the following link.

Donation via cheque is possible but please note there are considerable costs in exchanging cheques in other currencies to Australian Dollars and unfortunately it may not be worthwhile. Please email for more info on sending cheques.

Please note that in the days following the completion of the blogathon I will scan a copy of the receipt from IN and post it on the site to show everything is above board.

Other support

Spread the Word - You can also support this project by spreading the world about it either by word of mouth, by linking to it on your own blog or by emailing friends links to this site.

Suggest Topics - give me something to blog about. 24 hours is a long time and I'll need your help to find things to write about. Send me an email or leave a comment of topics you'd like to hear me write about. I want to write at least 100 posts in the next day and I need your help!

Keep me Company - Shoot me an email (see contact link above), leave a comment or talk to me on MSN Messenger (my id is daziii@hotmail.com - note this is not an active email address) during the next 24 hours. I can't guarantee I'll have heaps of time to chat, but will appreciate your company.

Pray for IN and its work - If you're the praying type I'm sure the workers at IN Australian and Philippines would greatly appreciate your support in this way.

Thanks to those who have supported me already financially and practically — I appreciate your help!

Making News

21 January, 2004 6:09 AM

Blogathon - Entry 13

No time to go down the street and get the paper today - so I'll catch up on the news online. Lets see what the headlines are this morning in the Melbourne paper - The Age

Making headlines today (and yesterday) is the news of the death of David Hookes and ex Australian Test Cricketer who tragically died on Monday after an altercation with a hotel security door person at a Melbourne hotel.

Also getting a lot of coverage in the past 24 hours is John Howard (our Prime Minister) who made the comment yesterday that State Government funded public schools are too politically correct and values-neutral. He described them as divisive, insulting and "absolute nonsense". Check out the article here. Of course teachers, principles, parents and students are protesting. My opinion is that perhaps similar comments could be made about his Government which at times seems to have taken a 'valueless' approach to issues such as welcoming asylum seekers and giving apologies to our indigenous people groups (end of rant).

Of course Melbourne paper headlines wouldn't be right without sports - The Age this morning proclaims local tennis here Mark Philippoussis - The Scud the winner in last nights Australian Open Round 1 match.

The Birds are Up

21 January, 2004 5:53 AM

Blogathon - Entry 12

Let me describe my scene for you. I had hoped to bring you some digital pictures, but I can't seem to find the cable to connect my digicam to my laptop (I think its in my bedroom and I don't want to wake V up).

I'm sitting in my little study. My desk is pretty out of control at the moment, its got some trays full of paper work, a photo album, some notebooks and miscellaneous gadgetry.

Directly in front of me is a window. Outside I can see that suburb of North Fitzroy - where we live - is slowly coming alive. Its still pretty dark, but lights are coming on in a couple of houses and a few cars are beginning to drive by.

Also its getting a little lighter and the birds are starting to sing. I'm no longer the only one awake.

Today in Melbourne we're expecting a top of 29�C - quite warm but not unbearable by any means.

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3D Digital Photography Kit

21 January, 2004 5:46 AM

Blogathon - Entry 11

Please forgive me but today I'll be doing some joint posts here at Livingroom with my other Digital Photography Blog (ie they will appear in both blogs for the next 24 hours). This is the first of these.

Mission3-D have just released their 3-D photography kit .

'To create a 3-D image with the kit, you have to position the camera so it captures the same image twice, with the first shot mimicking what your left eye sees and the second shot mimicking what your right eye sees. Figuring this out on your own would be next to impossible, so the kit's 3-D adapter attachment does it for you.'

As the article says - it looks fun, but a bit gimmicky.

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Thanks for dropping by

21 January, 2004 5:37 AM

Blogathon - Entry 10

I'd just like to say thanks for those who've been dropping by already this morning to say hi. Especially Jimmy who has kept me up with a couple of blunders that i've made (like forgetting to close off italics and forgetting to hit publish on entry 4). It could be one of those days I suspect!

Also a huge thank you to Mar for leaving 5 comments in two minutes on my blog advertising everything from prescription drugs to having a date with his sister. Thanks mate but we'll pass. Unless of course you want to make a donation to the Blogathon!?

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On Melbourne

21 January, 2004 5:23 AM

Blogathon - Entry 9

Susan wants to know 'Something unique about Melbourne.

First let me refer you back to a virtual tour of Melbourne that I wrote up a few months back. It has pictures, web-cams, information etc.

What else can I add - here goes.

I have an American friend who was out here last year and the thing that struck her about Melbourne was how green it was. We have many parks scattered throughout our city and its suburbs. Many of the major attractions are situated in or near parks. I'd never really noticed until she pointed it out - but looking at the map she is right. We have many parks.

The other thing that Melbournians pride themselves on is being the sporting capital of Australia. We have some pretty major events here and some great stadiums. At the moment the Australian Open (Tennis) is on - I'm going Friday. Coming up in March we have the Grand Prix, later in the year we host the AFL (aussie football) final, the Melbourne Cup (horse racing) etc.

I guess it doesn't make us completely unique - many other cities love their parks and sport, but it is what comes to mind this morning at 5.20am. Gee....1.5hours down already! blogger_idol-1.gif

More Accessible Blogs

21 January, 2004 5:11 AM

30 Days to a More Accessible Blog is a great series of posts that really will help bloggers make their blogs more accessible to those that may not be able to use many of our blogs. I'll let the author of the series explain (from his introduction to the series)...

This blog tips on accessible blogs has been relocated to Pro Blogger - More Accessible Blogs.

The British on Prayer

21 January, 2004 5:02 AM

Blogathon - Entry 7

blogger_idol-1.gifShip of Fools reports that

73 per cent of British people pray while driving - yet only 60 per cent of British people believe in any kind of God.

What is going on there?

Either someone can't add up - British traffic is enough to turn an athiest to God or 13% of people pray to someone other than God.

My Childhood Hangouts

21 January, 2004 4:56 AM

Blogathon - Entry 6

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How long do you blog?

21 January, 2004 4:40 AM

Blogathon - Entry 5

Susan asks 'How long do you spend on blogging everyday?'

Interesting question — one I'd love to see someone do a survey on at some point in the wider blogosphere.

Maybe we could start a mini survey here - answer it in comments... In the mean time here is my answer:

I aim to post something on my blog daily. Some days I will only spend 10 — 15 minutes on it (if that), other days I might work on a longer piece that takes a bit of research and shaping and write for an hour. Many days I will come back to my blog a number of times — depending on what I'm thinking about or what else I have on my schedule.

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The Questions Begin

21 January, 2004 4:37 AM

Blogathon - Entry 4

A while back I had an Open Mike encouraging people to ask me some questions to give me topics for this Blogathon. Some great ones came in which I will endeavor to answer over the next day. Some of them are deep - others are well...shall we say...not.

If you have one you'd like me to tackle - deep or...not - please leave a comment on any entry. I can't give you any guarantees - but we'll see.

Now which one will I answer first. Let me see.

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Introducing International Needs

21 January, 2004 4:22 AM

Blogathon - Entry 3

International Needs is an aid and development Agency that is at work in many countries around the world. Their website is still under development but you can check it out here. Here are a few excerpts from it to have you an idea of ow they operate.

We are committed to:-
� Aid and development work through effective inter-national partnerships, managed by national people in their own lands;
� Justice for all;
� Strengthening the world's poor and oppressed through projects to liberate and empower people;
� Building sustainability of projects; and
� Long-term social transformation through relief and development projects which do more than address immediate relief of needs.

PROJECTS:
The following are some of our projects which have received funding from the Australian Government through AusAID.
� Micro-Credit and Modular Training projects among the released Trokosi slave girls in Ghana;
� Shoe and sandal making factory in The Philippines;
� The Makonge Health Clinic in Uganda; and
� Montessori Teaching Training in Sri Lanka.

I've two weeks in the Phillipines with IN and was impressed by the way in which they go about their work. They are committed to empowering local people to find life — whatever that may mean in their circumstances. They do not send 'experts' from outside the countries they work in to fix the problems they find but instead empower national people to lead from within their own contexts.

I observed the Shoe and Sandal making factory mentioned above and was impressed by the wide range of people who were impacted by it. Participants not only ended up with an income but the skills and networks to go on and continue to sustain themselves long beyond the life of the factory itself.

If you'd like to give to support the work of IN please consider supporting the blogathon.
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I couldn't sleep

21 January, 2004 4:08 AM

Blogathon - Entry 2

Good morning friends.....or did I already say that. Hmmm.

I'd forgotten there was such a thing as 3.50am. I thought 3.50 was something that just belonged in the afternoon.

Yes I know I said I would start at 5.00am - but you see I just had a bad sleep. I'm not sure if it was knowing that my alarm was going to go off soon, or if it was the sushi I had for dinner last night or if it was the bad dream I just had about having to run for President of America against Oprah. Maybe it was some combination of all three - but I couldn't sleep - so I thought I'd get up and start blogging which will mean i can stop at 3.52am tomorrow and get an extra hours sleep at the tail end of this thing.

Is anyone out there?
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Blogathon - Entry 1

21 January, 2004 3:52 AM

Good morning and welcome to my 2004 Blogathon. It is 3.52am in Melbourne - my name is Darren Rowse and I shall be your host for the next 24 hours. My goal is to blog for all that time, posting at at least a rate of one post per 15 minutes. I won't guarantee that this will be 'pretty' blogging. 96 deadlines in the next 24 hours I'll be scrambling for topics, grammar, spelling and sensibilities. So please bare with me.

Why am I doing this?

As most of you will know I'm not doing this for fun (although I hope it will be) — I'm doing it to raise money for a very worthwhile cause — 'Philippines Pedicab Project' — I'll blog more about this project later on but basically the money given during the next 24 hours and beyond is going towards providing families in a slum in Manilla with a way of making an income for the rest of their lives. It will play a huge part in breaking the poverty cycle in a very empowering and ongoing way. Until I blog later on about this project you can find out more information here.

Make a donation - If you would like to make a difference today and have a few spare dollars I'd like to ask you to consider making a contribution to this worthwhile cause. You can do so via credit card or paypal account by clicking on the following button.

You can also send a cheque but please note that there are considerable costs in getting non Australian dollars cheques cashed so it may not be worth it. Email me for more info on cheques.

Our first target is $270(US) which will be enough for one pedicab — I'd like to think that we can easily reach that figure and extend well beyond it to purchase at least one more.

Thanks to those who have already donated — the tally is currently at just under $85US which puts us well on the way.

I'm not interested in stretching people beyond their financial means on this, so please don't feel pressured — if you'd like to support in other ways can I encourage you to let others know about this project that might be in a position to lend a hand. You might do this by linking to this page on your own blog or emailing a friend (see the link to do so easily below).

The other way you can be involved is to keep me company today — shoot me an email, leave a comment, suggest a topic for me to blog about or say hi on MSN messenger (daziii@hotmail.com is my msn ID — it is NOT my email address) — whatever you like. I may not have heaps of time to email or chat all the time — but I will appreciate knowing someone is there.

I hereby declare the 2004 blogathon open.

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Blogathon Topics

19 January, 2004 4:17 PM

At this time in two days time I will have been blogging for almost 12 hours straight on my 2004 Blogathon. I am scared yet excited. I can't wait to see if we can raise enough to change some families lives in the slums of Manilla - yet I'm scared I'm going to hit the wall on the day! What if I can't come up with enough material.

I'm thinking of aiming to post something every 15 minutes. Thats just under 100 posts. I have no idea if I can handle that rate or not. Maybe I need some help - does anyone have any cool ideas for topics? I've had quite a few questions submitted already - but if you have more I'd be happy to answer them on the day. What do you want me to write about? I mean you are the poor readers that are going to have to wade through it all, it might as well be on something that interests you! Ideas?

By the way we've already raised around $85US to go towards the pedicab project. Thanks to those who have generously given. Please consider contributing if you are in a financial position to do so. Thanks.

Blogathon Progress

16 January, 2004 9:18 AM

I've been warming up my typing fingers, mentally preparing by doing 4 hour meditations, scouring newspapers and the internet for potential inspiration and getting extra sleep in preparation for next Wednesday's blogathon.

I'm excited, scared, daunted and feeling challenged all at once.

There have already been donations. Thank you so much to those who have generously given without me even starting. The tally so far is up to $76.01 (US) which is over a quarter of a pedicab! Your generosity is inspiring. Bring on Wednesday.

Blogathon is Coming

13 January, 2004 11:39 AM

Just to give you all notice that next Wednesday (Aussie time) I'll be holding my long awaited and much talked about (by me) Blogathon. With the breakdown of my computer it has been delayed - but now nothing will hold me back.

So get ready - I'll be blogging for 24 hours in a row from around 5.00am next Wednesday in the hope of raising enough money for pedicabs for families in need in a Manilla slum in the Philippines.

A pedicab (like a rickshaw) has the ability to provide a family with enough income to break the poverty cycle. Families entering the pedicab program are leased the pedicab over 12 months. At the end of that time they have paid of the total cost and own the pedicab outright. The money they have paid then buys another pedicab for another family to lease. Therefore a one off donation of $400 doesn't just help one family once, but will continue to have impact every year indefinitely. I have seen the program in action and it works. It not only provides an immediate way to put food on the table but empowers a family by giving them skills and means to break the cycle that they find themselves in.

The cost of a pedicab is just $400AU (which is currently $310US). It is my hope that we can raise enough for at least one, if not three or four! Money will be given through International Needs who work with the poor and plant churches throughout the Philippines and other countries.

I am asking for sponsors to donate - so please consider giving. Thanks to those that already have. Donations can be made through the following paypal link. I will post a scanned copy of receipts here on the blog to IN to prove that it is all legitimate.

I understand not everyone is in a position to give financially - please do not feel pressured to do so if this is you. You might like to consider supporting the blogathon in other ways - perhaps by spreading the word in the lead up to next Wednesday and encouraging others to participate - or asking me a question that you'd like me to answer during the day (I'll be looking for topics to blog about!).

Thanks for your support. Looking forward to Wednesday - I think.

Blogathon is Coming

13 January, 2004 11:39 AM

Just to give you all notice that next Wednesday (Aussie time) I'll be holding my long awaited and much talked about (by me) Blogathon. With the breakdown of my computer it has been delayed - but now nothing will hold me back.

So get ready - I'll be blogging for 24 hours in a row from around 5.00am next Wednesday in the hope of raising enough money for pedicabs for families in need in a Manilla slum in the Philippines.

A pedicab (like a rickshaw) has the ability to provide a family with enough income to break the poverty cycle. Families entering the pedicab program are leased the pedicab over 12 months. At the end of that time they have paid of the total cost and own the pedicab outright. The money they have paid then buys another pedicab for another family to lease. Therefore a one off donation of $400 doesn't just help one family once, but will continue to have impact every year indefinitely. I have seen the program in action and it works. It not only provides an immediate way to put food on the table but empowers a family by giving them skills and means to break the cycle that they find themselves in.

The cost of a pedicab is just $400AU (which is currently $310US). It is my hope that we can raise enough for at least one, if not three or four! Money will be given through International Needs who work with the poor and plant churches throughout the Philippines and other countries.

I am asking for sponsors to donate - so please consider giving. Thanks to those that already have. Donations can be made through the following paypal link. I will post a scanned copy of receipts here on the blog to IN to prove that it is all legitimate.

I understand not everyone is in a position to give financially - please do not feel pressured to do so if this is you. You might like to consider supporting the blogathon in other ways - perhaps by spreading the word in the lead up to next Wednesday and encouraging others to participate - or asking me a question that you'd like me to answer during the day (I'll be looking for topics to blog about!).

Thanks for your support. Looking forward to Wednesday - I think.

Open Mike - Ask Your Questions Here

25 November, 2003 3:34 PM

In my upcoming blogathon I'm going to need to have some topics to blog about. One thing I'm keen to do is share a little more of who I am. The past couple of months have seen a bit of an influx of new readers to this blog I realize that newcomers don't know me as well as some of the 'old timers'.

So to borrow an idea from Rachel I thought I'd have an 'open mike' question time.

I'm feeling brave today. Feel free to ask me anything that you'd like to know. I won't promise to answer them all, but will answer as many as I can in the 24 hour blogathon next month. Ask about anything at all, from questions about life in Australia, to Living Room, to personal stuff, to blogging questions. I'll give anything a go.

Blogathon is a Go

24 November, 2003 1:55 PM

I've decided to go ahead with the Blogathon idea outlined below.

Thank you for those who have indicated they will support it. I appreciate your encouragement. Hopefully it will be a fun day and that we'll be able to raise enough money to change the lives of a number of Filipino families.

I am currently setting up a PayPal account and will then identify a 24 hour period to carry it out. I'll keep updating my progress here.

Blogathon for a BlogDay

23 November, 2003 3:48 PM

I've been thinking about how to celebrate my first year of blogging.

I have decided to have a 24 hour blogathon here to raise money for a charity. Would people be willing to sponsor me? The charity I'd like to donate money to is International Needs (IN) who work with the poor in many third world countries. I'd specifically like to give money to a project in Manilla Philippines to provide poverty stricken families with the means to earn an income.

I want to raise at least $400 (Australian - which is about $270US) which is needed as seed money to buy a 'pedicab' (its like a rickshaw). The pedicab is then given to a family for one year. Over that period the family uses the pedicab to earn income (usually a reasonable income) - they make payments to IN for the pedicab and over the year are able to pay it off completely. At the end of the year they own the asset outright and have an asset which they can use to earn income on an ongoing basis. This is usually enough to break the poverty cycle for this family.

IN then takes the initial seed money ($400AU) and does the same thing with another family. Each year the money funds another family.

I like the model because it gives people a way to work their way out of their circumstances in a very empowering way. I've met some of these families. I know this works.

Anyway - this is what I want to do - I will blog for 24 hours non stop (heaven help us) if readers will sponsor me.

I'll open a paypal account and post a mailing address. I'll get a running tally of donations, and keep you posted on the response from IN.

What do you think? Up for it? I'm after some idea if this is worth doing or not - feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email if you I should go ahead with it.

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