Friday, April 28, 2006

The miracle of sight

My glasses broke after many years of faithful service, and although I am not as blind as a bat, they most certainly help. The patch-job made them very uncomfortable to wear, and I have always wanted contact lenses, but never had an opportunity to really make it worthwhile.

But now I had just such an opportunity. After almost an hour fitting the right eye, and one minute for the left eye, I walked out the store with them, and I could see! Without my glasses. It was, and remains, a magnificent experience. As I said to the optician: "You gave me sight. Thank you."

As I walked back to the office, all I could think about was how it must feel for someone completely blind one moment, then healed by the power of God, to be able to see. How can you explain that overflowing joy to someone else? It is difficult. But God knows.

The last time I felt this way was when my left leg was shortened to be of equal length to my right leg, in a powerful miracle of God, captured on video. I still want to post it on one day. Makes great viewing.

God is truly all-powerful, and nothing is impossible for Him. As He said: "I am".

Current Excel workbook name and sheet name on everything you print

Here is a nifty trick that my boss developed a few years ago, and is now coming in very handy for me:

Input the following formula into a cell: "=CONCATENATE(TEXT(NOW(),"dd mmmm yyyy"), ", ", CELL("filename"))" without the outer quotation marks. This displays the current date, file name and path in the cell.

"=RIGHT(CELL("filename",A1),(LEN(CELL("filename",A1))-SEARCH("]",CELL("filename",A1))))" without the outer quotation marks. This reads the file name, looks for the "]" character, and displays the text to the right of it - which happens to be the sheet name.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Breaking the dry spell

It has been thirteen years since I played bass guitar on stage, live. Until tonight, that is. So how did I do? I did ok. Made a few mistakes, but overall had a great time with Team 2. I have always enjoyed playing with Bernie, the drummer. We have a good rhythm thing happening, the way it should be between a drummer and a bass guitarist.

I had fun. I am still not on a roster, but I agree that I probably should not be at this stage. It is difficult when you travel a lot.

Next time I will have the overall foldback volume softer. Did I mention that I had fun?

One more thing: After such a long time, praying before we went on stage, feeling the tangible presence of the Lord with us. It was great. And I missed that the last thirteen years.

I was looking for the Grace Community Church website in Newcastle, South Africa where I last served as part of a worship team. But all I could find was a reference to the church by Shiloh Church International in Durban. The pastors Ron and Lindi Masters were worship leaders at Grace Community Church at the time, and apart from playing there, I also joined them as bass guitarist in a band called Straight Ahead. It was in this outfit that we ministered in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Don't bother Googling for it, as you will find countless bands with the same name, but not our old one.

On another front, my darling wife this morning produced her first service, on her own. I am very proud of her.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Piano in the morning

I am sitting on my balcony, listening to my neighbour practicing her piano playing. Perth is fully overcast at this stage, bottoms at about 4000ft. Light breeze, it is actually a perfect day for flying. We might actually head down to the river by bicycle shortly, before it starts to rain.

I have been using my Line6 Bass Pod XT Live extensively since I purchased it, and I have finally found a perfect set of sounds that compliments my boutique bass guitar. If I get some time later today I would like to set up three user channels accordingly, using the 360 Amp, some chorus and delay added, and lastly a quarter note echo added as well.

Still have to figure out the Wah effect, and set the volume pedal up according to my liking. But I am oh so happy with the purchase.

Other news is that my wife is starting a business, and thus I am in the process of purchasing a car for her to use. I the previous town I owned three cars, and it was a conscious decision when moving to Perth to have only one car. And I must say that I have fully enjoyed using public transport the last almost four years. Sometimes inconvenient, but most of the time not.

A Cessna 182 just flew overhead. One day, I will do it again.

Anyway, back to the car. I wanted to purchase a Daihatsu Charade, and have been contemplating it for almost two years now. But could never justify it. And of course, Toyota Australia no longer import Daihatsus. You can not find a second hand one, of course, as nobody are selling them.
So I settled for the next best thing, a new Holden Barina sedan. I owned one in South Africa, and it is a very practical vehicle. Good fuel consumption, does not drive or feel like a small car, and overall good value for money. Google image search is wonderful. After finding the Corsa I owned in South Africa, I had a look for my Opel Kadett 200tS. What a machine. I had it for seven years, and never experienced any overheating or gearbox failures as the above link mentions. I still have the original magazine from the picture.

And now that you are all back up to speed with my life, it is time for me to go and practice my music.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kezia Video and Vivaldi

For all you music buffs out there:

The first video is by Kezia, featuring herself, self-made video on her MAC, so if you represent Sony Records or the like, please take the time to listen to the song.

The second video features patrick Rondat playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons on his axe.

Both are awesome.

Lebanese Dance Queen

A nearly forgotten art. From my dancing days many moons ago I remember clearly that this is hard work. You need stamina that us men can only dream about.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Drums and Bass - the next step

So I did it. I presumed that no one will buy me a Line6 Bass Pod Xt Live for my birthday, so I bought it for myself. But I was in a good mood, so I also bought a Platinum Gray Tama Swingstar fusion drum kit.

It has been a while since I played drums, but my daughter really enjoys the new addition to our music room. She has natural rhythm, and I will ensure that she has opportunities to develop her gifts, opportunities that I did not have. But enough about that.

How do my new instruments sound? I have yet to find out. So it is time to stop writing, reorganise my study, and set up the new gear for use.

Back at home

Well, after a month of travelling, I am back in Perth at last. Business-wise the trip went very well, and I also enjoyed a few highlights. The best must be having had the opportunity the play golf at an altitude of 10 000 ft, and two days later to ascend a mountain partially, to an altitude of 15 000 ft. Glad I did not have to climb it, because I climbed about 40 meters' worth of stairs, and I was out of breath after only a few meters' worth of steps.

Here are three photos that show what I experienced: