Movie – Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man tells the story of Hank (Paul Dano) – a man stranded on a desert island, who has given up hope of living, and Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) – a dead body. But it’s not a horror film. It’s oddly dramatic and funny; goes to some strange and dark places, but manages to keep a sense of wonder about life. It’s crass, a lot of the humour is around flatulence and other traditional male body humour, but not in the vein of more mainstream comedy movies.

Thanks to Dendy for the free ticket as part of a twitter competition.

reflections on fundraising

I’ve been live-tweeting the #bbcon conference in Sydney today (and tomorrow). I spent this evening working on my weekly newsletter though, so I haven’t had a chance to summarise everything I’ve learned.

This excerpt from text expander will give you some insight into the note-taking I was doing in one session:

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If you’re here because you’re trying to figure out who is tweeting, get in touch via twitter.

Movie – Star Trek Beyond

Movie – Star Trek Beyond (pronounced as per the Madness song)

I really wanted to like this one, but there wasn’t too much there. Plenty of visual spectacle, and some laughs, some character interaction, but there were too many scenes where my response was to think “I know who is going to win this conflict: what’s going to happen after that?” rather than be swept along in what was happening.

One for the completists only.

Stan – The Bridge

Stan: The Bridge

I’ve watched two seasons of Bron/Broen, a 10-episodes-per-season Danish/Swedish police procedural where the overall story runs for the whole season, and the crimes take place on a spectacular scale. It’s a story (in the European style) of murder and betrayal, complex relationships and some fascinating characters. The subtitles were working so well that I started to believe I could understand Swedish and Danish.

turning 40

Ten years ago, I carved out a Saturday and invited whoever wanted to turn up to an all-day cafe crawl. For the transition from 39 to 40, life is a little differently structured. We had a couple of family events the weekend before my birthday, lunch with my coworkers on the day, an ice cream cake with Kel and the kids on the birthday evening, then a shorter (5 cafes – Haven, Devon, Artificer, Edition and Gumption, 8 coffees – filter, espresso, espresso, filter, espresso and filter, piccolo, iced pour-over) cafe crawl on the Saturday following my birthday.


Then we had a larger party at inflatable world for my friends with bouncing-castle-aged friends, in order of how long since I’d seen them. When I was first thinking about it, it seemed like a very odd thing to do for a 40th birthday party – aren’t we supposed to be grown-ups by now? Does everyone in my life feel comfortable coming to a place whose core business is school-aged birthday parties?

But talking to a friend, and thinking about what it would look like to celebrate with friends with younger kids, it sounded like a good idea. We filled the remaining spaces with a few people I see more regularly, but for the most part it was about seeing people with whom I have a long shared history. Looking back at a keepsake I had from my 21st, it was amazing to see how many people from my 21st are still in my life in some way.

inflatable world

Then last night we had a small dinner gathering in a cafe for a bunch of friends I’ve known for a very long time. Despite all that celebrating, there was still not enough space to invite everyone I wanted to catch up with, but for the most part people have been understanding of the constraints.

In this current season of life, where family is more time consuming and I am, again, adjusting to a relatively new job, even though I’m not currently studying, the luxury of spending hours talking to people with no specific agenda is not lost on me.

Looking at the various notes and cards from people, it’s great to have so many well-wishes. I’ve been challenged to spend more time engaging with people beyond the superficial, to try and make a lasting difference in their lives – it seems like this was happening more when I was in my early 20’s than more recently.

It’s only taken a little while to come to terms with forty as an age. I thought I’d made my peace with it not being “old” (whatever that means), but then a typo saw me have to contemplate turning 49, and suddenly I realise there’s more work to be done on that front.

Thanks to all my friends, whether you even knew any of this was happening or not: I appreciate your friendship and encouragement, and look forward to many more years together, if God grants me such years.

why you should buy this photocopier

Recently I watched this TED talk about charity, and how to measure effectiveness of what’s being done in the not-for-profit space.

There are some great ideas contained there. There’s a commonly held notion that the percentage of donation income that covers overhead the single number that you need to read, to know which charity is good or bad. The lower the number, the better the charity. 

But there’s more to a charity than just the overhead number. Only when the size of the charity reaches a certain point can a full-scale national advertising campaign become viable. If you just put fliers up at the local laundromat, you can raise a small amount of money, but if you want to grow beyond a small size, there’s a lot of extra money that needs to be invested in overhead.

Donors always want to put their money towards the most tangible efforts of a charity. No-one wants to spend the money on the salary of the person who looks after the head office, or the equipment they need to keep the charity ticking over.


I found it a convincing argument. Enough to chip in to buy this photocopier. Convinced? You should chip in too.