Dancing barefoot…

Besides being the title of a book by Will Wheaton, its what I’ve been doing every now and again this week.  All this was possible because of the ultra-cool playstation game by Konami called “Dancing Stage Euromix“, its the PSX version of the arcade game that you often see kids “dancing” on at gaming arcades.

Its actually a whole lot of fun, and teaches you from the basic steps to relatively “advanced” steps.  If you have a sense of humour, and especially if you have friends with senses of humour, you can have lots of fun with this.  I think the best that I’ve done is a medium to slow paced dance with a “4 foot” difficulty rating.

The only negatives about the PSX version are the graphics, and the amount of songs… On the PS2 version you get double the songs, and naturally (coz its a newer console)  you get better graphics.  So if anyone feels the urge to buy me a PS2, feel free.  Or if you’re feeling especially generous and want to go all the way, and X-Box would be greatly appreciated. πŸ™‚

I recently saw an X-Box version of the dancing game which looks really cool, and of course I just love the X-Box – once you’ve seen the graphics on that baby, you won’t want to play a PSX game ever again.

Home Cell

This weeks cell

Home Cell (Bible study) this week was very different, by design.  I had 3 topics to talk on, but after Sunday’s service (Check out Charlie’s comments) I felt it would be better to spend some time praying and chatting about life stuff.

Since next week is our first “Open House” week for the cell, I thought it would be good to get everyone up to speed as to what its all about and to try and mobilise everyone to do something and not just sit at home alone.  We got some good suggestions as to what we could do, but it seemed like “house warming” was the most popular (since 4 of us are moving house, its a great reason to get friends to come around for supper)

Gizelle was keen to organise going to visit a hospital, but with the organisation and effort involved in arranging that, I thought we should leave it for a later stage.  That will be VERY stretching for people in the home cell, so I’m kinda keen to let people settle a bit in the new cell before they’re moved right out of their “comfort zones”. (And I think maybe I’m also a unsure of how it would work, and if it would work)

I just realised that I said cell was “different by design”, but I didn’t say too much about how.  Firstly we had no worship (this has got to be a first for most of the people there).  Secondly, we had no “teaching”.  Instead we chatted about what we’d be doing next week for the “Open House”, and a few other things.  We did a “highs and lows” session. (Everyone mentioned their High and Low points of the past week)  It was actually quite interesting to learn how everyone thinks – what affects them and how.

That sparket LOTS of talk about the fast, Starla’s message, various things on peace, humility, and “why we worry about all these little things like ‘jobs’ and other stressors, instead of focussing on God and His plan for us”.  I was impressed with the knowledge that our group has… lots of questions and problems were answered, people were encouraged, and I think we were all a little more vulnerable than we normally are.

We ended with an awesome testimony of a kid (Grant) who was VERY ill (for some reason the name of the disease slips my mind right now… I think it was a form of cancer), who had basically not had the strength to walk/talk/eat for a month (or two?).  Keri asked us to pray for him at our last homecell 2 weeks ago, and we did. 

Last week he got up, was walking around, talking and eating… aparently his mom was blown away to see some of his personality come back.  He aparently still has a way to go coz he needs to recover enough for them to treat some other issues, but he’s improved from just a few percent (like 1 or 2%), to almost 60% of where he needs to be.  So that was awesome!  Its amazing what just a little prayer to our almighty God can do. πŸ™‚

We ended off with some prayer for the “open house” next week, and for the Elders (who were away getting guidance, strategy, etc for the next season) as well as some other prayer requests that people brought.  It was very cool.


Life/Wedding Update

Ok, so its 16 days to go before I get married… and boy is there a lot happening.

Generally I only have weekends to do stuff on, and I have a lot to do.  Like moving house (this weekend), booking a tux/suite to rent for the wedding, buying a bed (as wonderful as mine is, it will be a little crowded after the 13th of March :)), sorting out our marriage contract, as well as all the little things I’ll need to do to stock up and prepare the townhouse.

Unfortunately, every weekend from here till the 13th is full.  This weekend is the move, next Saturday morning we’ll be at Cell Leaders training (until after shops are closed), and then its the wedding.  Next week is kinda ok, I’m only busy on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night.  The following week I’m busy from Monday evening through to Friday evening.

So I guess I’m gonna have to take time off work to get some of the things done. Fortunately the nice lawyer person we’re using for the marriage contract is prepared to see us after hours(for a small fee).

Moving is going to be interesting, there are 4 people in my homecell who are moving on that weekend.  Linda’s basically already moved everything there, Mitch has arranged someone to transport his stuff, and Matt and I are going to help eachother (with the help of some friends, we hope)…  So if you’re doing nothing on Saturday and you feel like lending a hand with carrying stuff, just let me know.  We’re planning to have a braai/supper afterwards with all the helpers.

On Sunday we’re having our final pre-marriage counselling session… its a really bad date for it coz I will probably still be moving stuff from my old home to my new one.  But I can’t wait to move!  Not that staying with Sean and Francois has been bad, but it will be great to be living near where all our social stuff happens, and closer to Christie. 

I think the two weeks of living by myself will be good for me. (Not that I’ll have much time by myself, mind you, I’ll be at work during the days, and busy almost every evening.  But its the thought that counts. πŸ™‚



I just saw “Gabe’s note” on Stuart’s blog.  And if ever there was a reason to LMAO (Laugh My Ass Off), this was it. πŸ™‚


Cooking with Google!

Check this out!  Its a page where you enter some ingredients that are in your fridge and Google will give you recipies that you can cook using those ingredients.  While you’re there, check out some of the other Google Hacks.


Why Kingons would make bad developers…

Check this out “Klingon Software Quality Assurance

.Net Stuff

New Microsoft EMEA development site (with a cool competition)

Microsoft EMEA have a new site – CodeZone, which links to

If you go there, check out the Magazine and order a sample.  You could win a Motorola MPx 200. (A windows based smart phone)

Check out the picture on the right, its a MPx 200. (BTW: It might disappear later because I’ve linked directly to their site, so if they move the file, my link will die.)


Corny programming humour

What does a microsoft programmer take out on his boat?

A fishing .Net.

(modified a bit by me – the original is here)



Here are some cool links I found:


Cool SQL code, with an international flaire

In a previous blog, I mentioned that a friend in the UK had a problem with getting some SQL code to do what he wanted.  Over MSN, he sent me a script to build the 3 tables involved, an “ERD” type diagram, and a description of the problem.

It went like this… He had 3 tables: Events, Users and Bookings.

Events has an EventID, and Name
Users has a UserID, a Name, and a Gender (bit field – 0 = female, 1=male)
Bookings has an EventID, and a UserID

He needed to be able to, in one statement, get a count of how many males, and how many females were attending all of the events.  He’d tried to use “Group By” and “Having” to get the right information, but the solution I gave him was as follows:

SUM(CASE Users.Gender WHEN 0 THEN 0 WHEN 1 THEN 1 END) AS ‘NumMales’,
SUM(CASE Users.Gender WHEN 0 THEN 1 WHEN 1 THEN 0 END) AS ‘NumFemales’
FROM Bookings
LEFT JOIN Users ON Bookings.UserID = Users.UserID
INNER JOIN Events ON Bookings.EventID = Events.EventID
GROUP BY Events.EventID

The basic idea is as follows. Join all the tables, group by the event id, and then aggregate the fields we need to add.  The twist is to select the “Gender” column twice, so we can use one to count males and the other to count females.  Now if we just “SUM” each of the columns, it will show us how many men are in attendance in both columns… so we need to do a sneaky swap around on the Gender column that’s totalling the number of females so that females are represented by 1, and males by 0… that way when we do a “SUM” of each column, we will get to correct values.  Thank’s to the “CASE” statement we can do this easily. 

I know that I didn’t have to use the CASE statement for the count of the number of males, but I either had to do a CASE, a CAST or a CONVERT because BIT fields can’t be summed. So I just stuck with a CASE.  It was a “random” choice, had nothing to do with performance, and was mainly done because I just it simply involved me doing a copy and paste from the line below.

Anyway, the point of this – remember the useful CASE statement in SQL.  Its not often spoken about and probably not often used, but its very useful indeed.  If you have another way of solving this, let me know… πŸ™‚