April 2, 2018

Nepal Day 14-15 Home

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 9:49 pm
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Good news! Today I got a refund of about 1000 Nepalese rupee, around 12 AUD for some of the activities I didn’t do at Chitwan. Downside was it was a token only, not nearly enough for what I missed, and they were useless outside of Nepal, so I had to spend it before I left.
I selected a book, the quickest book selection I have ever done, Nepal 1953, a story about what happened behind the scenes when the assault on Mt Everest was made. It was really interesting and clearly portrayed how much of a team effort it really was, even though Hillary and Tenzing were the only ones who made it to the top, and the only ones who are really known or remembered. It also described a lot of the gear the team used, some of which I saw when I visited Darjeeling last year and saw the himalayan mountain institute.

Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley

After the rush to spend the last of my local currency, which I succeeded in doing, I just got back in time to check out and catch the car to the airport.
Kathmandu airport is like most other smaller airports. People everywhere, long queues, gate waiting areas that aren’t really big enough any more. While I wad at the airport I saw a could who were on my tour. They’d gone to pokhara after the tour, instead of chitwan and had chosen to fly instead of catch the bus. They had spent the entire day they were meant to fly out sitting at the airport waiting for their flight to leave, which never happened. Suddenly a 14hr bus ride didn’t seem so bad because at least I’d made it without a days delay – it was only about a 6hr delay!
From Nepal to Delhi, Delhi to Dubai on jet airways, an Indian airliner. The Indians and probably Nepalese are on their phones, speaking as loudly as they can, right until the moment the plane starts lifting off and resuming as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac. If there’s ever a reason why they should never allow in flight calls, there’s enough right there. Rude, obnoxious, irritating, very annoying and making the first time traveller next to me very nervous!
At dubai, I had to change terminals via a bus, change gates via a train and could finally check in for my qantas flight home and ask for my bag to be diverted (changing airlines). Because that took so long, I was very doubtful it would make it, but if any airport could do it, it would be Dubai.

Arriving Dubai

Arriving Dubai

On boarding the A380 I walked right past my seat row as I figured there’d be no way I could be in seats that nice. I just kept heading towards the back. Slightly embarrassing when I had to walk back past everyone to get back to my row!
So my section of the plane was maybe 20% full, meaning I had 3 seats to stretch out on. How good is that! Everyone’s dream on a long haul flight is to have enough room to stretch out, sleep and just spread out generally without having to fight for the arm rests or step over people to go for a walk or toilet break.
Strangely they left the lights off for 80% of the Australian time daytime flight, so I didnt get a lot of my book read. But I caught up on other stuff, so it was all good. Oddly they only served one snack and one meal for the entire 13hr flight. That one meal was really good though and worth waiting for! Melt in your mouth beef stew with mashed potato just like your mother or grandmother used to make! They did have a steady stream of snacks flowing though – chips, cheese, biscuits, bananas…

It could have been a good sunrise...

It could have been a good sunrise…

Got in to Melbourne 25 mins early, but no bag, (no surprise there, it took til Tuesday to arrive, I got home Saturday) and through customs. And just like that my 5 week Ugandan/Nepalese adventure that took my across the world to two different continents was all over. Til next time.


April 1, 2018

The Interruption

Most of us have been there. We’re focused on a task or a goal and what we’re doing and tuned everything else out. We know what has to be done, what we need to do and the steps to take to get to the end destination and achieve the task or goal. Maybe we’re enjoying the journey as we go, but we never move our eyes too far away from the end goal. When we’re in that zone, any interruption causes us irritation, is annoying (or can get us angry) and is generally fairly unwelcome. As soon as we can, we get back to what we were trying to do.

But what happens when that interruption is bigger than a mere distraction and has life changing consequences. How do you react then?

Let’s pick up the story of Simon, a Cyrenian, who was in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus crucifixion.

Mark 15:21 “Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.” (Also found in Luke 23:26 and Matt 27:32). For more background to the environment in Jerusalem at the time, take a read of Luke 23:13-47. It was a place of unrest and upheaval, with civil riots, hostility and unhappy mobs. Being around the time of the Jewish Passover, there were many people visiting the town, swelling the population. There were those stirring up hostility toward the Jews, and of course there were also those trying to go quietly about their business and stay out of trouble. It’s in that melting pot of cultures and differences that we find Simon and his two sons.

At this point, we don’t know a lot about Simon. We know that he was a father to Alexander and Rufus, was from the Cyrene area and was visiting Jerusalem. Cyrene was a Jewish area, around 900miles, or 1450km west from Jerusalem. It took over a month of walking to get there.

It was a coastal town, so there’s a good chance he’d heard about Jesus or the works of Jesus, perhaps even thinking he’d find out more about him by going to Jerusalem, but arriving in Jerusalem, he wouldn’t have expected the uprising that he found. It was also on every Jew’s bucket list to visit Jerusalem to participate in Passover. It’s a pilgrimage and is a big deal, perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity for those a long way from Jerusalem such as Simon. Simon was focused on getting to Jerusalem and participating in the Passover. That was his goal.

Simon is innocently walking along, minding his own business, when he finds himself in a situation that has become immortalized for all time and retold millions of times. As he’s walking along the crowded streets of Jerusalem, trying desperately to keep his sons by his side, he hears a commotion going on not far from him. Perhaps he is curious as to what is going on, for no doubt he would have realised there was something different happening here as opposed to other parts of the streets. He is curious, but not wanting to get involved. He hesitatingly draws closer, moving slowly through the crowd. Being from another area, the accents could be hard to pick up – that’s if he even understands exactly what they’re saying. Perhaps he needs a moment or two to work it out, as you often do when you hear different languages or accents being spoken. As he’s drawn closer to the commotion, Jesus stumbles and the mob crowding around the spectacle hastily back away and retreat. As Jesus stumbles, the Roman soldiers look around and find Simon, who, in the confusion, doesn’t move quick enough and finds himself closer to the front than he would have liked. Then being an outsider, the crowd pushes him even closer to the front, placing him as a barrier between themselves and the Roman soldiers in a selfish act of self preservation by the crowd.

The Roman soldiers reach for Simon, who makes a lame attempt at protesting his innocence – lame because he knows what happens to those the Romans aren’t happy with, regardless of their innocence or guilt. The Romans treat him roughly, and push him toward Jesus and the cross lying on the ground. Whatever he was carrying has now been stripped from him and possibly even trampled underfoot or distributed by the remainder of the mob. His two sons are quite possibly nearby, but extremely frightened, wondering what will become of their father.

Simon now finds himself almost doubled over by the weight of the heavy wooden cross, taking one step after another, wondering how he found himself in this position. At first Simon’s reaction would have been one of reluctance – he definitely wasn’t a willing participant in this story. Fear of man would have kicked in – what are these people going to do to me? They are angry. Will the soldiers kill me or will they let me go to be finished off by the mob? And he may have been wondering – if this is Jesus, why is He being crucified? What has happened, what was going on? Confusion would have reigned supreme in Simon’s mind.

Simon, an innocent bystander, is now playing a crucial role in the crucifixion of Jesus. What is running through his head? He was focused on getting to the Passover festival. Even the abnormal crowds had got him slightly annoyed as they delayed his journey. Now he was going in completely the opposite direction and further away from his destination. Simon was also now covered in the blood of Jesus that was covering the cross. It dawned on him that he was now unclean and unable to participate in the Passover. This interruption was not only a major detour, but now it had derailed his entire purpose for coming to Jerusalem. He had come all this way, only to come so close, but yet to be so far away from participating in his lifelong ambition.

As time went on and Simon completed what the Roman soldiers had forced him to do, what would Simon have been thinking? As he watched Jesus crucified, did he realise he was playing a crucial role in something much bigger than he could ever have imagined? Did those feelings of disappointment and anger give way to awe, excitement and reverence at being involved and having a unique first hand account of the crucifixion of Jesus?

After the initial shock, we know Simon’s reaction. He went on to become a Christian and live a life filled with faith and love. He was most likely well known among the Roman church because of the way he was referred to in the three gospels. Alexander and Rufus, his two sons who were bystanders to the scene, both became leaders in the early church.

The story of the cross will disrupt our lives. How will you react? With annoyance, reluctance and fear of man? Or excitement, reverence and awe? Will you allow the interruption to take your life on a new course, like Simon did, or will you shrug it off and keep doing what you’ve always done?

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life.

March 31, 2018

Nepal day 13 – to Kathmandu

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 9:24 pm
Tags: , , ,


Left Chitwan today after a quick look around the wetland areas of the Maruni Safari resort I was staying at, hoping that I would see some animals, birds, anything… nope the nearest I got was to hear the birds and I think a red wild dog as it ran off. The sun began to poke through the trees which was good. Oh well, I’m sure that chitwan really is an animal spotters paradise I just didn’t experience that. Or perhaps I’m spoilt from all the African safaris I’ve done.

Sunrise at Maruni Lodge, Chitwan

Sunrise at Maruni Lodge, Chitwan

As soon as I got to the bus at 7.30, we were on the way. Thankfully passed the roadworks reasonably early so we wouldn’t be spending 6hrs on the side of the road. Closer to kathmandu we stopped at the highway break point which offered some great views of the surrounding area. As we continued and entered the kathmandu valley, the traffic began to slow and build up and you could often look back down the hill to see the winding road snaking up the hill, choked with traffic, predominantly the colourful trucks. There were nice clear skies around Kathmandu, indicating that it probably rained fairly heavily overnight. It was great to see the city from above bathed in sunlight.

Looking over the Kathmandu Valley

Looking over the Kathmandu Valley

Strangely, many of the Nepalese hold on in the bus, gripping the handle in front of them as tightly as possible. Ok the road is bad, narrow, bumpy and dangerous in parts, but I didn’t think it was that bad… I noticed though that they seated all the foreigners on the side away from the road’s edge – I suspect that was intentional, as my ticket had a seat on the other side.
Around 3.30 the bus pulls up. The driver’s helper yells something in Nepalese and very slowly most people start getting off. Apart from the Nepalese, the rest of us have no idea where we are, because it’s certainly not back at the tourist bus stop where you’re meant to finish. Anyway, this was clearly the end of the road for this bus, and having no idea where I was, I took the easy way out and grabbed a taxi back to the hotel. At least the bus journey was much quicker this time, a respectable 8hrs for 158km instead of 14hrs. That’s an average of nearly 20kmh an hour instead of 11!!

Hand built retaining wall, roadworks, near Chitwan

Hand built retaining wall, roadworks, near Chitwan

Tonight was pizza at the restaurant next door to the Kathmandu Guest House, overlooking the hustle and bustle of a Thamel street, and pretty much my final Nepalese meal, as tomorrow I was departing.

A maze of wire, Thamel, Kathmandu

A maze of wire, Thamel, Kathmandu

March 28, 2018

Nepal day 12 – Chitwan

Today was my only day in the Chitwan area because I got there so late yesterday.
Early in the morning, not sure if it was early enough though, I left on a canoe trip. The traditional wooden canoe seemed a little unstable, but they wouldn’t put you in it if it was going to capsize or tip, so I sat back and enjoyed the ride. The canoes are propelled by a punt – think of the images of Venice with a guy standing in the back, leaning heavily on his long pole, perfectly balanced, moving the boat swiftly, yet gently and silently through the shallow water that bubbled over the rocks. I didn’t need to do anything except sit back and take photos. There wasn’t much around – very few birds, no crocs, no animals. So I have a few photos of the bank, trees and birds in the distance. I did see a stork of some kind which was pretty cool.

A bird of some kind

A bird of some kind

From there we walked through the national park, although it may actually have been the buffer zone. Before we headed off I got instructions on what to do if we came across a sloth bear, tiger, elephant or rhino. I highly doubted we would see or get close enough to any of those, if there was any danger, we wouldn’t be there.

There was a couple of spotted deer, not a couple of herds, or a couple of dozen, just a couple of single deer in different places.
The vegetation was different though. It changed as we went along from taller trees and ferns and an almost tropical feel to open plains filed with elephant grass and some swampy marsh area. It was in this area, away in the distance, we saw something that looked like a pale looking rock. That was a rhino. Our guides decided we would go and have a closer look.

There was no danger here!

There was no danger here!

Surprisingly it didn’t move and we were able to get reasonably close – maybe 60m, nothing like how close we were to the lion in Uganda though. One of the guides headed away a bit further round and climbed a tree. The one remaining with me motioned to the tree and said if he comes closer, get in the tree. The rhino took a couple of steps, then began a little run (3 or 4 steps), so the guide tells me to get in the tree. So I find myself in a tree avoiding a rhino. It sounds good. That’s the truth. But really, there was no danger from the rhino, it still wasn’t that close and was probably an over reaction by the guide. On the other hand though, it did give me a much better view of him so I do have some better shots. I saw a peacock and asked if it was wild. He said they only had wild animals around here. (In Australia peacocks aren’t native, but they are in Nepal.) Otherwise, that was about the extent of the animals on the morning walk.

A stream crossing

A stream crossing

The afternoon was a jeep safari, 10 of us in a jeep, many jeeps, all following the same path. We stopped for a few spotted deer – in Uganda there’s so many deer (cob) you don’t even bother stopping for them. I think Africa has ruined me for any other animal safaris now.
We saw a few peacocks, large rocks aka rhinos away in the distance and a few monkeys. We stopped at the Gharial crocodile rehab and breeding farm, it was interesting seeing the different types of crocodiles.

Growing tall

Growing tall

On the way back we climbed a very rickety tower to get a closer look at a rhino away in the distance. It was getting closer to dusk, so was probably heading to the water. Slowly it started coming towards us. Too slowly and the guide told us we didn’t have time to wait for it. Maybe there’s a time when you have to be out of the park perhaps is the best option I can think of. The road through the national park was like our dirt roads in the bush, and the later we were the faster we got, which means the rougher the ride was.

The rickety lookout tower

The rickety lookout tower

By the time we got back to cross the river by canoe I think we were all glad it was over. The sunset again was a brilliant orange against the dusty backdrop of the national park.
I had another traditional Nepalese meal tonight before heading to a Tharu cultural dance. The Tharu are the local people of the area, the best dance was probably the one where someone was dressed as a peacock, imitating the peacock, or where the girl came out with a long full skirt and was able to get the skirt flowing like a wave as she made herself dizzy.

Sunset scenes, Chitwan National Park

Sunset scenes, Chitwan National Park

March 25, 2018

Nepal day 11 – To Chitwan

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 7:35 pm
Tags: , , ,


Early start today, down at the bus stop at 5.30am. Bus left about then, off to a good start with the first road we tried to get down closed with road works.
Otherwise, we seemed to be making reasonable time, we travelled the first part of the road a couple of times in our tour, and it took ages.

Our comfy tourist bus with very patchy wifi (still cool to have wifi on a bus though!)

Our comfy tourist bus with very patchy wifi (still cool to have wifi on a bus though!)

For some reason we stopped for more than half an hour for breakfast at Malekhu. I say for some reason, because the road closes for 6hrs, so it’s in everyone’s interest to go as quick as you can to get past there before that.
There were some little market stalls on the side of the road here which were quite colourful in their displays of fruit and vegetables. They normally know how to present things in attractive ways at these market stalls, but I’m not sure whether that translates into sales.

The Makekhu roadside market

The Makekhu roadside market

One crazy thing you can’t get used to is the banging on the bus when the driver is reversing, usually to park at a roadside stop. You know you’re close to the edge on these hilly roads and a sudden thump on the side of the bus from the driver’s helper does not fill you with confidence that the bus is not about to topple over the edge.
On the roads on Nepal there are plenty of trucks, which are all brightly painted, with horns that play a pretty tune matching the paint. In addition, they drive like cowboys, you really don’t want to be sitting in the front seat watching the traffic!
Went past the tented camp we stayed in during our rafting trip and directly opposite on the bend was a truck with it’s front wheel hanging over the edge of the cliff. We did ask our rafting guide whether it had happened and he said he had seen a vehicle go over a few times.

Opposite our rafting camp the other day

Opposite our rafting camp the other day

In many places the road is only really one and a half lanes, 2 lanes push it out to being right on the edge and there’s not a whole lot of safety barriers. There’s also a decent (50-70m) drop to the river or ground below along most parts of the road. But at least it’s asphalt in most places.
The trip up to that point had been reasonable, with reasonable distance covered at a half decent pace.
Then around 11.50 we pulled up at Mugling. The bus parked. Most got off. I had no idea why, there wasn’t much english spoken. I asked a local who spoke a bit of English how long we were here for. Til 4pm. Oh no! The road closure my tour leader warned me about. We missed it by an hour and 50mins. So we were going nowhere for 4hrs. I talked to the locals a bit, then found some Germans who were heading the same way and talked to them for a while. Watched some locals cooking some roti just there on the streets, they had quite a good process happening.

Making roti

Making roti

It was a long, long, long 4hrs, but then we still had to get there. The next section of the road was even worse. It was wider, but maybe under deconstruction is possibly an accurate way of describing it. It was white dirt, steep drops, landslides, oh well it was an adventure. On the plus side, through the dust, the bright red sun glowed as it slowly sunk signalling the end of the day was near.
I suspected we were getting close as nearly everybody had gotten off. When i was the the last one left I wondered if I had been forgotten. It’s a little disconcerting being the only person on a bus late at night, with the driver/helper basically not speaking your language. The last lady who got off around 7pm said there was still another 25 mins to go.
Not long after that, I hear an "Excuse me, come with me, change buses" – there’s nothing around, we’re seemingly in the middle of nowhere and the bus is stopping… They were getting me to change buses. I didn’t move till I saw the other bus, then I had to run and catch it, I think they wanted me to do the Nepalese running trick to board the bus. That’s where the bus doesn’t actually stop, it just slows down, and they run and jump on it. It was a bit hard in the dark with all my stuff, so it did actually have to stop. I must admit I was pretty relieved to see the Germans on the bus! We eventually arrived, around 7.30pm at the bus station. That’s a 14hr journey for 158km or an average of about 11km an hour.

The road hugs the side of these hills

The road hugs the side of these hills

When I got to the bus station, I was meant to be picked up by the resort – Maruni Sanctuary Lodge. They weren’t there. Some random guy, who knows, maybe an angel, offered to take me by motorbike to the resort, for no payment. So with no other options, I accepted. I don’t normally get on motorbikes with random strangers at night in unknown places, but sometimes you do those things and you can normally sense whether things are ok.
He was a good driver, I got there and he even took the time to find somebody around the resort so that I could check in to my room.

They’d gone to pick me up around 12, left when I wasn’t there and not bothered after that. Anybody with any local knowledge would have known 12 was wishful pie in the sky thinking – certainly every other accommodation place in town did. When they asked me who had brought me there, I didn’t know his name, but rather he’d given me a general direction of where he lived and then taken off down the road that way. The staff looked at me puzzled – they said nobody lives down that way, he couldn’t have gone that way, the road goes nowhere. It really could have been an angel.

I think most people staying at this resort actually fly into this area. Ironically, I had some friends who were meant to be flying this way today, but on catching up with them later on, no flights actually left today, so if I had’ve flown, I wouldn’t have got there today at all.

The fried apple and banana

The fried apple and banana

Had some fried apple and banana for tea, and despite the fact it looked like it was fried to within an inch of its life, it actually tasted ok. The chicken though was not so fortunate and was very over done.

The weather at Chitwan is very different to Kathmandu and other areas of Nepal. It is more tropical and humid being the lowlands area of the nation.

March 12, 2018

The Chrome Plated Yabbie

Filed under: Idle Ramblings — pearsey @ 8:12 pm

The other day I was challenged to write a short story about a random topic. The topic given was ‘the chrome plated yabbie’, which just happens to be a song from the 60’s, by Wild Cherries. You can check it out here. At the time, neither of us knew it was a song.

Meanwhile, the random story I had to write is below, it could be any length, with any story line, there were no rules in this challenge! It’s not refined, not edited, not polished up. It is as is.

In an era when times were much simpler, a carefree young boy ran happily down the dirt road. He stumbled over something and just managed to hold on to all his stuff. As he did, he paused to look at what had almost tripped him up. Amongst the loose rubble on the road was a slightly bigger greyish coloured item that looked like a stone. It looked interesting, so he picked it up, shoved it in his pocket and kept running down the road.
He soon met up with his mates – they had a certain place next to the big lake that they would meet. Because they were still short, the tall reeds blowing in the breeze obscured them from the road and they had a relatively private area to call their own. Not that it mattered much anyway, nobody came through their little backwater town and especially not to this part of the lake.

The boys knew the routine now. They could do it with their eyes closed they’d done it so often. They grabbed some water in the bucket and quickly checked the nets while Andy, the youngest, kept watch. He was ready to act as a decoy if needed. What they were doing wasn’t wrong, but old Mrs Bucket just didn’t like them being near the lake – and she was a regular walker along this road and had a temper shorter than a chinamans whistle. One day she had caught them feeding the ducks, so she had run after them as mad as a cat where she was yelling and screaming and flapping her arms like a crow and scared them off. Another time she took to them with a broom, it was all they could do to escape. Once they’d been caught and marched home by their ear to their parents. And of course maybe once or twice the boys had not helped the situation by filling her letterbox with rocks and her freshly delivered milk with water, and “helped” by pruning her prized rose bushes. They boys still didn’t understand what was wrong with the cutting the roses off at the base, she’d asked for them to be pruned right back! But those were definitely isolated incidents!

A large shout from Tom caught everyone’s attention. “I’m going to need help over here” he yelled. Everyone dropped what they were doing and raced toward him. What greeted them was an amazing sight. The net was literally overflowing with yabbies. They were hanging off each other as they tried to get into the net. Together they pulled the net in and filled their buckets. But the yabbies didn’t stop there. They started crawling out of the lake, up the bank and heading toward Andy. It was like an attack of the yabbies!

By now the boys had abandoned their buckets and had taken off at a run back toward the town. But all the time, the yabbies kept following them. Andy spotted Mrs Bucket up ahead, but there was nothing they could do. She started yelling, but the boys brushed her aside, knocking her over. Even as she went down, she kept yelling at them, waving her broom in anger at them. But the yabbies showed no mercy, and started marching right over her! The boys briefly paused to enjoy the sight of Mrs Bucket being over run by yabbies. She had yabbies everywhere – hanging off her face and hair, they had crawled up her and were tugging at her clothes. They’d never heard her yell so much, or seen her so angry. The boys kept running – what were they to do to get rid of the yabbies? And now a very angry Mrs Bucket as well, who had done her best to regain her composure, but was running along rather worse for the experience and with yabbies still hanging off her!

Tom yelled at Andy – head to the factory over there. They knew that yabbies were best killed by being thrown into a pot of boiling water. And the factory over there was perfect. It had massive vats of sulfuric acid used in chrome plating.

As the boys headed in that direction, the towns people came out to hear what all the commotion was about. Everybody was astounded at the stream of yabbies and quickly realised what the boys were trying to do and cleared a path to the factory. They raced in, jumped over the vat and the yabbies, who couldn’t jump, piled into the vat of acid. Plumes of steam came up as the yabbies flowed in to the vat. Bubbles of acid flipped the odd yabbie in the air and the noise of the bubbling vat started to drown everything out.
Then a strange thing happened that even stopped Mrs Bucket in her tracks. The vat started to heave and buckle. Everyone ran.
The vat started smoking and began to explode like a volcano. After the smoke and sizzling sound disappeared, everyone’s eyes widened as right there before their eyes stood a giant chrome plated yabbie.
The townsfolk stood and looked in disbelief. How… why… what…who could explain it? Nobody had any answers.

So they took the chrome plate yabbie and stood him in a prominent position on the shores of the lake. People came from miles around to hear the story of the yabbies and to see the giant chrome plated yabbie. The town was a thriving metropolis again. Everyone cheered Andy and the boys. And as for Mrs Bucket – she never bothered the boys again.

Andy pulled the rock from his pocket and turned it over in his hand. There was something about this rock. It was enchanting, mysterious, different and since picking it up, his life hadn’t been the same. What was it about the rock?

March 2, 2018

Modifying SharePoint Forms without SharePoint Designer

Years ago I was searching for a way to put some text at the top of a default form on a SharePoint 2007 list without using SharePoint Designer. I eventually stumbled upon a post from Dhirendra Yadav and it has been a go-to post over the years, especially as we’re still running SharePoint 2007 for about 90% of our intranet.

The simple little trick appends a parameter to the end of the NewForm (or EditForm) url and then allows you to modify the form without using SharePoint designer.

Grab the url of the form you wish to modify, then simply append this to the url:


So you have something like: http://yoursite/Lists/yourlist/NewForm.aspx?PageView=Shared&ToolPaneView=2

You can check out the full post here but I wanted to put that command line somewhere because each time I visit his site to grab the link, I’m afraid it may have disappeared!

The great thing is, it still works in SharePoint online in O365 and although you can easily modify the default forms using the toolbar menu item for the list, I’m not sure if there’s an easy, no designer way, to modify non default forms. Anyway, no need to worry with this little shortcut!

Thanks Dhirendra!

February 20, 2018

Nepal day 10 – Kathmandu

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

So today was a bit of a lazy day, a chance to tidy up a few things, some last minute shopping before I headed to Chitwan and a last chance to look around the Thamel area in central Kathmandu.
Seeing as I didn’t do a whole lot, here’s some interesting facts and observations from my time so far in Nepal and comparing it to Uganda where I’ve just been.

Today they arrested an ISIS guy at the Kathmandu airport. Then they had a leopard on the runway, further delaying flights, including the scenic mountain flights which some of our group were doing. Couldn’t find a leopard in Uganda in the national parks, but apparently there are leopards in Nepal – at the airport of all places!

Difference between Nepal and Uganda
Kathmandu v Kampala
White dust v red dust
Fallen down buildings v unfinished buildings
Loud music at times v extremely loud music much of the time
Hassled all the time instead of mainly at traffic lights
Other religions v mainly Christian
Less crime v more crime
Not constantly looking over your shoulder in Nepal like Uganda, or even other Asian cities for that matter
There does seem to be less evidence of corruption in Nepal than Uganda
Less motorbikes v more in Uganda. Many of the motorbikes here actually have a leg guard at the front of the bike, which of course is often used to carry things.
Bigger hills/mountains in Nepal
Nepal geared a lot more toward tourism
Elderly people – especially men. In Uganda 50% of the population is under 15 and you just don’t see many elderly at all.

Same Pepsi signs advertising restaurants
Poor to terrible roads
Traffic congestion in the cities, especially the capital
Rogue cowboy truck drivers
Same poor standard of workmanship on buildings
Vehicles in poor condition
Weird things: there were plenty, but I still don’t know why the wardrobe door handles are different heights!
People are friendly in both places, although there seems to be a lot less of a hidden agenda with the Nepalese.

Annoying things

The bell ringing around hindu and buddhist temples. Especially around Bhaktapur in the morning, the historical area. They started at 4.00ish in the morning and basically kept going every few seconds until we left. Of course I tried to get a video of it and there was silence for minutes.
The truck and bus horns on the major highways. It wasn’t just a horn. It played a fancy tune. Every corner, when the driver gets bored, if a car crossed their path 100m in front of them – well they didn’t really need a reason, let’s be honest.
The menu prices that didn’t include 10% service charge and 13% VAT. You never really knew exactly what you were paying till the bill came.

There was one point earlier in the trip when we were buying an ice cream. There were some kids hanging around the shop asking for ice cream. A painful, whiny voice "I want ice cream" coupled with a sorrowful, despairing look while they almost tug on you – yep, so do I and that’s why I’m here. They didn’t look particularly well fed, were pretty dirty but they had their routine which must have had some success. I didn’t see them actually be successful in getting anybody to buy them ice cream, but around the corner is a bin where many ice cream containers (think the equivalent of our little dixie tub ice creams) were thrown. The kids were pulling them out and licking them. It was actually quite horrible to watch, but put in perspective, this is ice cream. It’s not like it’s an essential requirement to actually live. If it was something more essential like water, perhaps you could understand, but it was almost like an addiction to them. For the record, it would be pointless grabbing my container to lick out, there’s never much left!
There’s not as many beggars around nepal as other places – especially india. They do exist though and the same rules apply – don’t give them anything, it encourages them, doesn’t help long term and rewards them for not working.
If you’re after a good works project you can start here, but let’s be honest: we’ll always have the poor with us and whatever we do there’ll still be those who don’t want to work or help themselves.

The good thing is that there are a lot more shops that have fixed prices or signs that say we’re happy for you to come in and look around without being hassled.
We did go to a shop today that helped deaf and blind people. They got them making different woven goods which were actually quite reasonably priced. You don’t mind paying a little more when you know it’s helping people and making a difference in people’s lives.
Met up with a few of the remaining group for tea at the momo hut. Momo is almost a national dish, we would more likely know them as dumplings. They were a little ordinary at this place I thought.

February 18, 2018

Nepal day 9 Rafting – day 2

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 8:03 pm
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At the campsite they are in the middle of putting up some permanent buildings. We were talking to the man doing the building and he was from a different area and got paid I think about 1500 rupee (~$15aud) per day with meals and a place to sleep included (I think, from memory that’s what it was) which is pretty decent and had been working for about 8 days and expected to be finished in about 4. The concrete bench in what will be the kitchen looks like it will be a little dodgy once the supports come out, but I guess that’s how they do things. Slowly they are improving the campsite which will make it a really good facility when it’s completed.

The kitchen bench at the camp

The kitchen bench at the camp

It was actually quite cool that morning because it had rained overnight. I wasn’t really looking forward to getting dunked in water if we fell out of the raft. But it soon warmed up and we were under way on day 2 of our rafting. As we went down, we noticed that the other boat was not getting anywhere near as wet as us. Our rafting guide, Dil, the same as yesterday, said with a grin: We’re taking the tiger line, they take the chicken line. I’m glad he was happy to take us on the tiger lines through the rapids – these were still pretty tame rapids, grade 2 or 3 only. There was one rapid called danger, which after the rain last night was now a little higher and rated a 4+. Because it was an included activity in our intrepid trip, rather than something we did optionally, we weren’t allowed to go over it, so we had to clamber over the rocks and go around it. Normally the rafting boats would have just gone through it.
Otherwise, mostly we just ambled along the river and spent more time chatting than having any need to actually paddle through rapids. We had a race with the other boat, of course our boat won!
Back in 2015, I had some friends who were actually in Nepal about to do the rafting when the earthquake struck. I asked our guide where he was when it struck – on the beach at the start going through the safety briefing with a group of rafters. None of them realised the extent of the earthquake or damage caused by it at that point in time, so he offered the option of not going ahead or continuing on. I think he said most continued but as they went down they could tell something big and unusual had happened, especially with the river being different to normal, a lot more turbulent and muddy.
I know my friends said the drive back to kathmandu took a long time after the quake – it took us 6hrs due to traffic (maybe 50-60km), I could only imagine how bad it was directly after the earthquake. The road is ordinary at the best of times, but more on that in a couple of days.
So we wandered/drifted down the river, going through a few rapids and enjoying the scenery from a different angle. We got wet enough as we attacked the rapids rather than drift round the edges like the chicken line boat, so it was still pretty good, but the rapids were often a fair distance apart.

Our make shift change rooms

Our make shift change rooms

Suspended high above the river, as well as suspension bridges, are a series of cables with a cart which they use to pull stuff from side to side. Often they will move rocks from one side to the other, sometimes other goods and sometimes people.
Lunch was on the river bank, our change room was two rafts leant against each other and our shade was a raft held up by paddles. After lunch we headed back to kathmandu, the long drive back giving us time to reflect on our trip, for all of us the last real day of the tour, for some of us, the last full day in nepal.

One of the many colourful trucks on the road to Kathmandu

One of the many colourful trucks on the road to Kathmandu

The drive back was slow, but uneventful, which is what you want.
That evening was our last group dinner, we went to a restaurant next to the guesthouse and recapped some of our highlights of the last few

February 17, 2018

In Christ – above reproach

Col 1.21-22 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.

We are reconciled to Christ. No more darkness, no more distance. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are reconciled to Him. No matter what we’ve done, it’s just a small step back and we are reconciled!!! We’re now blameless and above reproach in God’s sight.
Reproach – the expression of disapproval or disappointment.
In God’s sight, once we are reconciled to Christ, He is not disappointed in us, nor does He disapprove of us, or express that disapproval.
Think on that. In God’s sight, above reproach when we walk with Him.

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