What a welcome

What’s the best welcome you’ve ever received?

The photo in this post shows the most remarkable welcome I was ever given. It was taken in India back in 2003 when a close friend and I were there as guests of the Bible Society.

It was our first visit to India and I’d just finished cycling from Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal , to Delhi. The ride was part of a ‘rally’ for Peace, Prosperity and Harmony in India. I was the only Australian cyclist among a team of Indian riders.

I knew that I was a ‘guest of honour’ of sorts but I didn’t realise the full impact of that until we arrived at India Gate in Delhi to see hundreds of school children waving flags and banners as well as holding up messages of welcome.

The welcome certainly wasn’t just for me or our team. It was the Bible Society’s 50th Anniversary of working in the north of India and so there were many church officials and even the Chief Minister of Delhi there as part of the celebrations.

As we cycled towards the assembled crowd I started noticing a few signs with my name on them. They read “Welcome Mr Rodney Olsen to Peace, Prosperity and Harmony for our Nation.” You can click on the photo to see a larger view of the sign.

Being so far from home and having just completed a rather amazing ride I must say that the event took my breath away.

I was interviewed by local media and greeted by all the officials. It was surreal.

What’s the most amazing welcome you’ve ever received? Maybe you felt nervous the first time you met your partner’s family only to find you were welcomed with open arms. Have you ever been given a welcome you didn’t expect?

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Vanessa Hudgens' Naked Apology

Disney’s High School Musical brand and one of its major stars, 18 year old Vanessa Hudgens, have suffered a major blow with nude photos of Vanessa appearing all over the internet.

It seems that Hudgens took the photos herself for ‘private use’ but they’ve ended up all over the world.

Unfortunately she is now learning that there are many things that once done, cannot be undone. The damage to her very wholesome reputation amongst her mainly pre-teen fans is immense. She seems to have realised that she made some foolish choices and has apologised but the photos are out there now and there is now no real way to contain the damage.

She has released a statement which says,

“I want to apologise to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me.

I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends.”

I hope that she is able to move on from this but I also hope that she can use this instance as a warning not to follow the path of so many other teen stars whose behaviour has spun out of control. Stardom so young seems to be a very difficult thing to handle and there aren’t too many examples of the young and famous who have coped well with the money and adoration that flows from a world obsessed with fame.

My 11 year old daughter is a big High School Musical fan and I’ve just had to discuss the whole incident with her. I know that the news will continue to spread and that she will hear it sooner or later so I wanted to discuss with her before it became playground gossip.

It seems that we often hear of famous people who have compromising photos or videos leaked to the wider world.

I have a hint for all the young stars, starlets and wannabees. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of naked photos or videos of you appearing online, don’t take photos or videos of yourself while naked. Also, don’t allow others to take photos or video of you while naked. Not that difficult I would have thought.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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… and that's why regular excersize is best

After a lot of false starts I finally got out for a Saturday morning bike ride.

Over the past several weeks a number of things have prevented me from going on my regular Saturday morning ride with a group of friends. There have been a couple of very wet days, I was working one Saturday morning and last week I was recovering from Radiothon which finished the night before.

It was a wet morning but rain wasn’t really falling too heavily or frequently so I decided to bite the bullet and see if anyone else was silly enough to brave the elements.

I was the first one to the meeting spot. I got there a few minutes early and kept hoping that a few others would show up.

Just before 7:00, our appointed meeting time, one other rider rolled up. We waited a while for any late comers but in the end it was just the two of us.

We headed off and took a slightly shorter route than we normally would. It’s always easier in a larger bunch because the riders in front do more work than those behind. Swapping leaders around through the ride shares the work but when there’s only two of you it’s a little tougher.

It was a great ride and we met up with a few of the other guys at the coffee shop afterwards. They’d driven there and were all dry and warm. The long black coffee and muffin made the effort all the more worthwhile.

Towards the end of the ride I started to run out of energy. My legs started cramping a little too. I guess that’s just a little reminder form me not to miss so many Saturdays in a row. I’ve still been riding to and from work every day but it’s not quite the same as a brisk 50 km ride. I’ll have to make sure I’m out again next Saturday and perhaps even sneak in some extra kilometres this week on the way to work.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Edition Six just a few days away

Just a quick reminder that the sixth edition of Thumbs Up! is on its way.

Submissions close at midnight Sunday, Western Australian time. (It may be sooner than you think.)

You can find the Thumbs Up! criteria and code for the badges here. Remember that the easiest way to participate is to fill in the Thumbs Up! Blog Carnival submission form. Once you’ve entered the permalink URL of your post, the form fills in most of the details for you.

By the way, if you use Stumble Upon and you’d like to see more participants for Thumbs Up!, why not go to the original Thumbs Up! post and click on the Stumble Upon button or click here and write a quick review about the idea of Thumbs Up!

I’m looking forward to posting the sixth edition on Monday morning.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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This is not a rental car …

… this is privately owned.

I first watched True Stories back in the mid eighties when it was released. Hard to believe that it’s over twenty years old.

It’s a very odd movie.

David Byrne of the band Talking Heads put it together and described it as a multi-purpose movie. I suppose that’s one way to say that it’s impossible to describe.

Pauline bought me the DVD of True Stories for my birthday back in July and we finally got around to sitting down to watch it together last night.

I think I appreciated it a lot more this time around and can’t wait to watch it again. I’m looking forward to watching the performance of the Talking Heads song Wild Wild Life again with the stereo turned up to eleven. The kids were in bed when we were watching last night so I couldn’t crank it up as loud as I would have liked.

It’s so random.

The following description from Wikipedia explains the movie reasonably well but I think only those who have seen it will ever truly understand.

The film features Byrne as an unnamed, cowboy-hat-wearing stranger who visits the fictional Texas town of Virgil, where he observes the citizens as they prepare for the Celebration of Special-ness, sponsored by the Varicorp Corporation.

Among the unique individuals the stranger meets is Louis Fyne, played by John Goodman – a Country-Western-singing clean room technician at a local computer manufacturing plant who is unlucky in love. He also encounters: town leader Earl Culver (played by performance artist Spalding Gray), who never speaks directly to his wife; Miss Rollings (Swoosie Kurtz), who never leaves her bed; Mr. Tucker (Pops Staples of The Staple Singers), a voodoo practitioner who Louis hires to
help him find love; a conspiracy theorist preacher (John Ingle); Ramon (played
by musician Tito Larriva), who claims telepathic powers; and a character billed
only as “The Lying Woman” (Jo Harvey Allen), who recounts fantastic episodes
from her history to anyone present. Renowned Latin music legend Esteban “Steve”
Jordan and his conjunto perform a song in the film as well.

If you’re looking for a slightly strange evening, grab yourself a copy of True Stories …. and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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