Tuesday, December 4, 2007

gabe's engaged

we found out today that my brother in-law gabe johannes got engaged yesterday. something to do with him cooking her dinner and a fire place, thats all i know. she said yes.

the tall bloke in the back and emily in the front

Monday, December 3, 2007

beard, goatee or mustache

i can't decide if i like facial hair or not...but it's sure fun trying

beard?? maybe more like unshaven for a few days

goatee, i had this for a few hours before buying a pack of razors @ and shaving it down to a mustache

mustache, like my uncle bill and robin...i had this for a few minutes before shaving it off

today i'm trying this 'friendly mutton chops', not sure what i think of this but i'm only a shave away from being normal again

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

wedding video

a 'short' wedding video...beats the other 2 hour play by play one

Monday, November 26, 2007


yeah, yeah, yeah. i know, i know...another trip to new york, photos of the same things for everyone to look @...again. but i don't really care, so sit back, relax and i'll type on.

i've heard before of this service called the china town bus, a bus that goes from washington dc's china town to new york city's china town for $20 oneway....

$20 x 2 = $40 x 2 = $80 for both holly and i, a deal really hard to beat.

we bought last minute tickets on friday to ride up and back on the bus the following day, they have buses running all day long back and forth plus a bunch of companies do it so there is no shortage. we got up early saturday morning to drive into dc to catch our 7:30 bus, this went well however an eager chinese girl was trying to woo us onto her bus with her bus company.

the thing thats great about riding up on a bus other than the deal on the price is that you're not having to worry about petrol, tolls or parking when you get there. holly and i spent our ride up watching 'grey's anatomy' on holly's ipod, a quick nap and we were there before we knew it. we pre-arranged our drop off point to be @ penn station so we'd be close to time square to catch an afternoon show. however the problem we had was alot of shows weren't running because of a stage hand strike which made it hard to find a broadway show that we'd want to spend the money on. we decided on an off-broadway show called 'the perfect crime' which worked in well with our budget as did the slice of pizza we ate before the show, it was in a smaller theatre but still just as good. the theatre wasn't full so the attendant said we could all move up, so we did, in fact we sat in the front row which made the show all the more interesting.

after the show we made our way downtown to china town where we shopped and looked around and found holly a knock off brand name purse, i ended up buying gloves and a woollen hat because it was cold. we perused up to little italy where we had dinner at a restaurant there (it was nice to get out of the cold and warm up for a little while). after dinner and a connoli from a stand on the street (apparently the best in the world) we still had time so we went back up to time square now dark to see the lights.

the subway back to china town to catch our bus home was interesting as i didn't want to make eye contact with the 4 guys singing 'in the jungle'
for tips on our ride or the guy who proclaimed to us all how he didn't have a place to sleep last night and needed $22 for a room for the night. he stopped at my seat cause i had my nose stuck in a map of the subway, he asked if i needed help cause he knew everything about the trains. i said no and then no again when he asked for money saying 'i only have australian dollars'. that settled that as he walked off, it's not that i couldn't have put coins in his empty starbuck cup but i really didn't think he was legitimate.

the bus ride home which was due to leave @ 11pm left @ 10:20pm? and i don't why. anywayz avoiding another lady trying to get us to take her bus back to dc, we got on this time not nearly half full. this meant we got a row to ourselves to sleep. we arrived back sometiome around 2:30am and were back in our bed @ 4am...slept til 12:30 :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

yamaha cp 70b

this may not mean a whole lot to the 3 people that read this but i'd like to write about it non the less.

once upon a time i played this piano 'thing' at a church, this piano literally had me @ hello. it was a piano with real strings and real hammers but it was also able to be folded up into 2 portable road cases and transported.

this would give the piano player who loved the feel of a real piano a similar action of a real piano with the added ability to take it with them on the road. this instrument has pickups under each string and output jacks so you can plug it in to your PA system for amplification. the making of this portable grand ceased in the mid 80's so it's hard to find, when you do find one you're kinda @ the mercy of the seller to set the price cause you know it may be a long time before you see one of these for sale again.

since playing that one at that church many years ago i've kept on looking for them 4 sale but the rare times i've seen them i have never been in a position to buy. i saw one being sold on-line right around the time i was buying my house and thought it'd be nice to buy it but it didn't seem like a wise decision at the time. however i kept the information and rang this guy last week...as it turns out he hadn't sold it and a few days later i went and bought it.

it's hard to explain exactly what it is so i'll let the pictures which aren't of my piano but the same model speak for themselves. the piano itself is part of the road case, i was amazed @ how it all disassembled, quite amazing. if you want to read more click on the link to your right (yamaha cp70b).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

eighty five, feelin' alive

nanna mac my last living grandparent who is 85 came to visit us this last week. in all her years she has never left australia which made this trip a big deal for her and those who know her 'positive' outlook on life. if you were to ask me if she was the get busy living person or the get busy dying person, i'd say she's the one getting busy dying, and that's just who she is. and who am i to say which one she should be, i'm not the one who is 85.

i should mention that my uncle bill and auntie ruth are the reason this trip is happening, because of their initiative and persistence they somehow convinced nanna to travel around the world with them.

from adelaide to brisbane to la and chicago followed by florida to see my brother matt and then to me here in dc. i was impressed to see her on the other side of the world seeing she is mostly dependent on a walking frame and mobility is a problem. i picked her up and to my surprise because of my wrong turn out of regan national airport we took our first tour of dc earlier than i'd planned. she was somewhat impressed with holly's and my new house but the stairs did create a bit of a challenge but with a a little help from her friends we got her up to the middle level where we spent thursday evening hanging out together.

friday we went back into dc for our now official tour. if nanna was to hate her walking frame then she would really hate being pushed around all day by me in a wheel chair. i could see us doing it no other way, if we were to cover the ground we wanted to then we needed to put her on wheels. we saw the FDR memorial to the lincoln memorial/korean/vietnam, on to the white house nanna refusing to have her photo taken @ each land mark. we circled the george washington monument as we had been indirectly all day and finally made it back to the car before our 3 hour park ran out.

saturday we pretty much did the opposite of the day previous, instead of heading towards the city we headed into the country. we drove skyline drive down in shenandoah national park, this of course worked out well as she didn't have to get out of the car to see the view. plus we saved $15 on admission because of nanna's disability pass, she was happy that she was able to help out saying "at least i'm good for something".

sunday we went to church which nanna later said that was her favorite part of her visit to dc. after church we were in the car eating pizza on our way to mt. vernon, the home of george washington. we had the joy of pushing her around again as it would of been to much for her to walk. we were restricted in getting up to the 2nd level in the mansion in the wheel chair although it wasn't big deal not taking nanna up there. on his farm like property we saw his house, his gardens and his grave.

monday we did some minor shopping as they were flying out later that night. we went to dinner @ craker barrel the old southern style restaurant which was fun. nanna insisted on paying however i beat her to the register and took care of the bill.

nanna mentioned several times on the trip "this is the perfect end to the perfect day" as we'd sit around playing scrabble and eating something nice sipping coffee. it was sad to see them go, a little piece of adelaide came to visit, then like most things had to leave again. i'm proud of her for having the courage to do this trip. well done nanna.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


trunk of treat is an event my church puts on for our community halloween night. this was a new concept to me because in aus no one cares about or even acknowledges october 31st especially a church...what's up with that?
here in the USA the community at least where we live is all about halloween in the sense of dressing up and going door to door asking for candy. i've witnessed and have been proud to be apart of our annual trunk or treat event for the past 4 years now, with our church taking something that is viewed as an "evil" day in many peoples minds and turning it around to have people come onto our property for 2 hours october 31st evening. last year we had over 5000 people come and partake in this event, everyone receiving a bag of goodies with information on the church, service times, up coming events i.e. christmas eve etc.

how amazing to have this amount of people come each year to your church who receive literature of God and his salvation plan who may never any other time step foot on church property. people argue with us about doing this event but i'd rather be involved in something boarder line acceptable in the christian community and see 5000 + people coming to our door step than to be the one who sits @ home with their arms folded grunting about how evil this church is, who is making the impact for Jesus Christ? i'd rather stand before Jesus having been active for his kingdom than to be pulling down what other's are doing. a little less thinking about me and how it makes me feel and alot more thinking about them and their need for a saviour.

get out there, be relevant to the culture you're living in and meet the people where they're @.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


it finally happened, the day arrive and we bought our first house, the house we've been waiting, praying and watching since we started looking at homes.

September 28th: i arose before the alarm went off (rare) and started moving round the apartment trying to occupy myself and to hopefully compress the excitement of buying a house in a few hours time. the apartment needed to be ready to move later that arvo so i worked my way around the kitchen empting the dishwasher. holly woke up...or did i wake her up?? and we went about our regular routine of dropping anna off at school and then drove to the vicinity of where the attorneys office was in tysons corner. being in the area avoiding the traffic we were there early so we went to a nearby silver diner and had a sit down breakfast.

the time came to move on to our appointment where we had ken our realtor, the sellers realtor and the attorney at this big desk to sign papers stating if we don't pay they're coming after us. that went well and they went back and forth talking about whatever they talk about, finally i said "so do we own the house"? the attorney said, "O'yes it yours now" which was all i wanted to hear.

we had a bunch of people come that afternoon and from church to help us move and in 2 trips we were moved. done and done.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


last saturday holly and i attended awakening fest @ bull run park about 3 plus some miles from our apartment, this is a 10 hour long festival put on every year. we really had no desire to go in the weeks prior to the event cause it's aimed at younger kids and youth groups, however our realtor ken mckeehan kept asking if we were going or not. his invested interest is his son toby (toby mac) from former band dc talk being the main act at the end of the evening.

i was in charge of picking up the tickets @ 10:30 the morning of for all who had purchased them from our church. the other reason i went to get the tickets was somehow michael became friends with toby mac's drummer (whom i'd met before) and he wanted to get off the grounds for a little while. i met up with him while i was standing in the line waiting for my tickets, he said "don't worry about standing in line, come with me", he took me behind the ticket stand, told them who he was and bamo, i got the tickets. the highlight of driving brian around was not having lunch with him or driving him past my apartment to pickup holly but the fact that he sat in my $500 paint faded dodge neon as i drove him to michaels office (my car only stalled twice), fun times.

holly and i bought lawn chairs and went around 3pm and just sat out listening to the music and just enjoying the awesome weather. more and more people joined up with us till we had a decent size group on our piece of real estate.

@ 6:45 my instruction from ken was to meet him at the right hand side of the stage and he'd take a selected few back to meet toby. we stood @ the side of the stage and ken brought us back. virginia is toby home town so there was family wanting to see him but me and holly and a few friends from church got to hangout with him before he went on. this is the second time i've met him and he remembered who i was for whatever thats worth, nice normal bloke, and the show was awesome.

Friday, September 7, 2007


both holly and i found out thursday that our contract had been accepted. we knew that we most likely had the house because we had agreed verbally on it, but until you get the contract in your hands there is a chance it might not workout. anywayz, it did workout and so we're excited about settling and moving in on the 28th of septermber.

Friday, August 17, 2007

trucks, cars and buses

in the state of virgina by law you have to get a safety inspection every 12 months, this puts you back about $16 and can be done at practically every other petrol station. my experience with this has never been a pleasant one, seeing i drive an older car ('95) than most other people in this area. my first year having an inspection cost me $90 extra dollars; the second, $260 something to pass as i needed to put in 2 new whole headlight fixtures (and that was the discounted price cause i did it myself). my last inspection i passed no worries cause i foresaw the need for new tires and i got those replaced before the inspector told me i needed to. additionally, since having the car for 3 years i have avoided replacing my frayed seatbelt, by strategically placing the buckle over the frayed portion of the belt so they never see it (shame on them for not putting on their seatbelt when they get in and drive my car into their garage).

now i am married and i have 2 old cars to get through inspection ('93 Sonoma) which makes me feel sick knowing some garage is about to get more money outta me for things that really aren't "too bad". the month of august marks the month that holly's truck (ute) needs to pass safety inspection, so i took the drive thursday knowing a few things were wrong but nothing too bad...right. i was informed by mr. inspector that our reverse lights would flash on when the vehicle was put in 'R' but wouldn't stay on...hmm, "how much sir" i asked "hey victor how much to fix this reverse light thing" he yells across to a guy with his head under another car", "$60 and i can't do it today". needless to say i said i'd bring the truck back later this month after i'd taken a look at it myself, perhaps i could fix it with some duct tape or something. feeling down i pulled the truck into a garage where we've recently spent a small fortune fixing both our cars to get them working again and i know this guy might respect that and give us a discount...might.

i told about the few minor things wrong with the car and he said he would fix it up for me and even take it to a garage and get it through inspection for me for a total of $50, wow what a nice guy, so we left the car with him.

9:37 Friday morning the phone rings, half asleep i let it ring out and listen to the message. yep, it was the mechanic asking me to call him back, i did. "ahh yes you have a broken muffler, i can get the reverse lights to pass but they're going to notice that and fail it, we need to fix it". "ok, can you tell me how much?" "yes we can do it here for $250 plus the original $50 to get it through inspection". knowing i couldn't fix it myself and having had the muffler done on my car last year i knew the price was about the same, "ahh crap, sure go ahead and take care of it for me", "ok, it be ready by 1" he said in his broken english.

the truth is God is in control and we've been blessed to have our old cars run as long as they have, we've been blessed to be able to do some of the work ourselves to relieve some of the cost. and even though it seems we broke the bank in car repairs in the last 3 months we were blessed to find $200 in an envelope for us labeled " hope this helps with the cars" no name.

God is good even though sometimes it's hard to see it.

house sweet home

this is our new house. all going to plan we'll close on september 28, which is nice seeing we have to be out of our apartment on the 30th. we had the home inspected and according to fred our trustworthy inspector everything is in great working order except for our doorbell which apparently is a $2 fix.

being from australia and away from my family i put together a video to show them our new house, this way it helps to bridge the 10,000 mile gap.