Tim as footy goal umpire

I need to admit that today was a big day for me not just because of Dane and Karl's first footy games, but also because I was able for the first time to don the white coat of a footy goal umpire and wave the flags to signal successful scores as the ball was kicked between the goal posts.  I write this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but you have to know the tradition of the goal umpire's gestures to appreciate the art of signaling a score.  See the videos below of a real footy goal umpire and of me today for a comparison of technique.  I seem to have failed to acheive all of the style points today, but I do have a good sense of the rules and will continue to work on my form if asked to do it again.

When a goal is scored by kicking the ball between the two inner goal posts, the goal umpire affirms it by pointing both hands out from the waist and then after attracting the attention of the goal umpire at the opposite end of the oval, both umpires grab their two flags and wave them over their heads in sync.  If the ball misses the centre but passes inside the outer posts for a behind, only one hand is pointed out from the hip, and the umpires only wave one flag over their heads (as I'm doing with one flag in the photo at right).  In the video of me at bottom, you won't see me point since the goal was scored at the other end of the oval.

Here's the video comparison of me and the real AFL deal:



Peter found this humourous video - an add for the AFL about how instrincally linked Australia's history is to Aussie rules football. The ad was produced for the 150th anniversary which was celebrated during our first year in Australia in 2008.

Karl has been chosen to participate in the...


"WAFC Year 8 & 9 Schoolboys' Lightning Carnival Shield"


3 years ago, every term in that phrase other than the "8 & 9" was unfamiliar to us - at least in the way the local Aussies use them.  So, have a think over the next days about what Karl might be involved in, and I'll post the actual meaning of the phrase in a few days.

Whilst out on our oval watching Dane's schoolboys footy team, I took this panoramic photo of the east side of the Living Waters campus.  On the left is our new Vlahov Centre with it's theatre stage and gym.  We just opened it a couple of months ago.  It was a $2.5 million gift from the Australian government as part of the global financial crisis stimulus plan.  In the centre of the photo is our science building and to the right is the senior school.  The students on the outdoor courts are playing "netball" - a very popular game in Australia, especially for girls.

Gym panorama


The new gym has been named after Dr. Len Vlahov who is recognised as the main driver in the group of people that worked to create Living Waters Lutheran College.  He had been a gifted athlete who competed internationally as a discus thrower and at the highest level of basketball in Western Australia.  He was also a musician and a lecturer in education at the University of Western Australia.  As he battled cancer, he continued to lay the groundwork for the college before passing away just days after the school's first year opening day in February 1997.  Len's wife, Eva, and son, Andrew, were on hand for the opening of the gym.  Son Andrew is a one of the best known Western Australian athletes as he played Olympic basketball for Australia in the 1990's and was the long-time captain of Perth's professional basketball team.

The Vlahov Centre also provides the college with a new theatrical stage that will be very adequate for our senior school dramas and other public performances.

Dane kicks footyAs we move further into winter, Dane and Karl's footy seasons continue on.  Both teams have had their fair share of struggles, but Karl and Dane are both playing quite strongly for their sides and receiving recognition from their coaches.  Dane and Karl both play on teams for the local Warnbro Football Club - the Swans or "Swannies".  Dane is also playing for the school team which has its games against other school on Friday afternoons during school.

Click for more footy photos in the galleries


Peter's photo with his prom date was published in the Perth newspaper, The West Australian, this week.  You can view the slideshow of Living Waters students here - Peter and Kirsty are in the second photo.  Three of his good mates are in the first photo.

"Prom" is the American term for what they more often refer to here as the "formal" or "ball".

Looking again at Peter's prom photos, I was reminded of how much he has grown up since leaving Minnesota.  Compare the photo of us at the Minneapolis airport when we left in 2008 and then his formal photo with me now in 2011.  I must have been standing on a tuft of grace in the formal photo since he definitely is taller than me (5'10").  My "gray" is just bad lighting I think.

Peter in 2008 Peter in 2011
April 2008 March 2011



So, did you Americans have a think about this phrase from my post a few days ago?


"WAFC Year 8 & 9 Schoolboys' Lightning Carnival Shield"


Karl playing footyWhat is it that Karl is keen to participate in?  Let's break it down one bit at a time.

"WAFC" = West Australian Football Commission, the body that oversees all AFL footy competitions in our state

"Year" = In the States, you would write "Grade 8 & 9", but levels in school in Australia are "Years"

"Schoolboys" = too obvious probably, but in the US I don't remember referring to boys in school as schoolboys; they rarely use "alumni" in Australia, but former students are called "Old Boys"

"Lightning" = a shortened form of a competition or tournament, for example, fewer or shorter periods might be played

"Carnival" = a gathering to participate in a sporting event either intra-school our inter-school, like our school's traditional Swimming Carnival, Cross Country Carnival and Athletics Carnival (track & field)

"Shield" = a recurring competition, the award for winning which is often a shield-shaped varnished piece of wood on which each winner's name is placed


So, what's Karl doing? He's been invited to play on our school's Aussie Rules Football team that will be competing with other schools.  They will have a lightning carnival on 28 June that will be a full day away from school.  Karl's team will play several shortened games of footy against each of the other schools.  This will set up the pairings for when the competition recommences for a grand final day of games in September.

Rainbow lorikeet in a flame tree in FremantleLanette's been watching these beautifully coloured birds in an Erythrina "flame" tree near her workplace in Fremantle.  She eventually took a camera to work and captured these photos to share.  According to a news article at Science Network Western Australia, these rainbow lorikeets are pests not native to Perth.  They were accidentally released from the University of Western Australia in the 1960s.  In the same article, Maxinne Sclanders describes how these noisy birds are a big problem:

"The WA public has reported a number of problems caused by lorikeets in Perth including noise, damage to many backyard fruit crops, fouling of outdoor areas and vehicles with droppings, and competition with other species," Ms Sclanders said.

"The large flock that roosts at Perth Airport may also pose a bird-strike risk to aircraft."

Environmentally, their aggressive protection of feeding and nesting sites excludes native species and potentially increases the risks of spreading into wild and captive parrot populations diseases such as Psittacine beak and feather disease.

These rainbow lorikeets look a bit like the 28's (ringneck parrots) that we often have in our yard.

See more photos of the rainbow lorikeets in the photo gallery here

(I wanted Lanette to write this post, but she's not so into blogging.)

From time to time in my role as pastoral assistant I get asked by our pastor to fill in for him do what we what call "lay leading" a service at our church.  In all of Western Australia (an area the size of more than a 1/3 of the US), we only have about 10 full-time English-speaking Lutheran pastors and 17 congregations, so it's not so simple to find a real pastor to fill in.  Hence, it's considered acceptable to have a lay member of the church lead a service and deliver a message under the supervision of the pastor.  Across Australia this is quite common due to a significant shortage of Lutheran pastors.

I can't say I truly enjoy lay leading, but I don't say "No" when asked because I know it's needed and I know I'm able to do it, and the congregation appreciates it. God provides what's needed.  My most recent lay led service was on the 10th of July.  I prepared my own message based on the readings of the day including Isaiah 55:10-11. (read on below)


{rokbox title=|Play "Message: The Efficacy of the Word"| size=|250 15|}podcasts/Efficacy_of_the_Word_sermon-Tim_20110710.mp3{/rokbox}. Click on that previous link and then be patient for the audio to buffer.  While waiting, you can click here to open the accompanying slides in another window.  If you have troubles with the audio player, download the audio file directly.


I'm on to lay lead again on the 21st of August.  Time will be short for preparation this time so I'll probably be using a prepared sermon from The Lutheran Church in Australia's excellent website with weekly resources for supporting lay leaders in planning their services.

FYI: We post our church sermons as podcasts every week at http://rmlp.podomatic.com in case you'd like to hear a real pastor preach.

Since February I've been training (with a few stops and starts) for the Perth "City to Surf" marathon which I'll be running this next Sunday (28th).  No guarantees that I'll finish the 42 km (26 miles) course as I've been hampered by a bum lower left leg that manages to get me through the long training runs but doesn't recover so quickly.  My goal is to finish in a very, very modest 5 hours.

This has got to be the best place in the world to train for a marathon.  The race is on the last weekend of winter, so we've had the moderate temps for these last months of training (tops in the 60s and even 70s with lows in the 40s).  1,000 feet from our house we've got a beach path that offers about 19 km of distracting ocean views from one point of Warnbro Sound to the other and up to the next point - scenic Point Peron.  I can't imagine how different my training would be if it was colder or hotter, or if I had to run city streets with stops and traffic at every intersection.

I snapped a few photos with my mobile yesterday while on a bike ride (I'm done running for the last week before the marathon) to show various views from the running path.  See the slideshow below or view the album here.

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City to SurfOn the last weekend in August, Lanette, Peter and I finished what we started training for months ago for the Perth City to Surf races.  I completed the 42km marathon (5 hrs 23 min), Peter completed his half marathon (2 hrs 10 minutes) and Lanette finished her 12km walk.

At the half-way mark, I was exactly on my pace of 7 minutes per km (5 hour pace), but had to grapple with strong calf cramps throughout the final 24 km.  I finished strong though.  Disappointed that I didn't feel the experience of "hitting the wall" (must have been running to slow!).  Recovery was swift and uneventful.  By the end of the week I was playing a pickup basketball game, softball playoff game (5 for 6 hitting) and went bowling.

More photos of me running at http://www.supersportimages.com/products/showbib.php?xs=818&s1=623.

KarlFor the second year in a row, Karl has raced over in South Australia at the Australian International Pedal Prix Race, earning a "top gun" spot on his team again.  Karl's team of 12 alternated to keep their "breakaWAy" bike out on the track for 24 hours.  For the final 90 minutes, the 4 best performing riders from the team ("top guns") are chosen to ride out the remaining chase to the finish.  Karl has been training for this since March.

I went along for the 3rd year as a chaperone, pit crew member and to manage all of our communications while being 1,600km away from home, including our website and live video broadcasts (me on the left in photo below).  I think we posted around 350 photos and did about 7 hours of live video broadcasting.  You can view the site at http://lwlcpedalprix.com.

Karl will be returning by bus tomorrow evening.  I rode the 36 hour one-way bus ride to Adelaide last week and flew home right after the race.



Karl at Pedal PrixI've posted photos of Karl and me at the 2011 Australian International Pedal Prix race in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

View the photo gallery here (login required).