Felicity Marie Munzer

Felicity's First Nap
Originally uploaded by Munzerr
Just yesterday my sister Helen gave birth to her second child, Felicity. She is my ninth niece (no nephews yet!). 

Felicity already has a big sister, Cara, who will be two next month and lots of cousins who are all looking forward to meet her. I plan to be popping by York between Christmas and the New Year to meet the latest addition in my extended family.

"Wake up number 9, your time starts now" [more photos]

The Energy Drink Epidemic

The December 2008 issues of the Ensign and the New Era, both include articles about the dangers and risks that come from energy drinks

In his article "The Energy Drink Epidemic", Dr. Thomas J. Boud, MD writes
In recent years there has been an explosion of energy drinks with high levels of caffeine—a drug with greater risks than many realize.
In addition to the risks, he does explain that
from a medical point of view there are certain appropriate uses for caffeine. For example, doctors will sometimes prescribe caffeine for use in neonatal care. In addition, used in moderation, caffeine may not pose significant health risks.
What surprised me was the reported levels of caffeine in some of these drinks.
Not all caffeinated drinks are created equal; the quantity of caffeine varies greatly from product to product. To put this into perspective, consider that most cola soft drinks have from 22 to 55 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, compared to a common cup of tea that varies from 26 to 47 mg. Coffee may have from 57 mg for a cup of instant to 180 mg for a cup of brewed. By comparison, energy drinks may have from 80 to 500 mg of caffeine in one can.
In the second article "Energy Drinks: The Lift That Lets You Down" published in the New Era, a magazine aimed at a youth audience,  Russell Wilcox writes:
Energy drinks are powerful, easily available, and well marketed. Companies boast record sales that increase dramatically every year. There is no doubt the drinks pack a punch, but is it a punch that picks you up or knocks you down? In the long run, the drinks can have a negative effect both physically and spiritually.
I'm glad that I've never been attracted to these types of drinks. I know friends who turn to them to get them through a long night finishing a project or to help keep them awake on the drive home. For me the risks outweigh any perceived benefits, real or not. In short "energy drinks" aren't for me.

CIPFA Exams Results: June 2008

It's that time again - my results for the CIPFA exams I took in June were published today.




Accounting for Decision Making (ADM)



Financial & Performance Reporting (FPR)



The pass mark is 50 and so I have come up short again - very very very frustrating.

These exams were both resits of ones I took in December when my marks at that time were 47 and 49 respectively. So looking at just the marks I seem to have slipped back, but I felt confident after taking them, I felt that I had performed better at the June sitting than in December!

Once CIPFA publish the examiners' report and model answer for the papers, I will be going through them and evaluating my answers. Another help will be reviewing the marking sheets, which I have requested, so that I can specifically see which parts of each question I scored/dropped marks on. I will probably also make a request for "script feedback" on both papers. CIPFA will then provide my with a report for each of my exam scripts outlining my strengths and weaknesses. The report will also make suggestions for improving future performance. Hopefully from all these sources I will gain an insight into how I can make the extra improvement needed to pass.

Later today I will be meeting with my managers to talk what help they can provide etc. what I will do next with regards my studies. It may be that we look into arranging some one-on-one tuition. Somebody else has suggested that I go on the course for an exam I will take in the future, but that I can't take until I pass these, so at least I will feel like I'm making progress. Another thing I will need to consider is how did sitting both exams on the same day contribute to my results? This will be the same arrangement in December - both on Tuesday 2nd, so I need to think if it will be better to focus on taking and passing one exam before resitting the other.

The EoM gets a wiki makeover

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, first published in 1992, was made available on-line last year, in the form of searchable PDF files. Now it has now be published using MediaWiki the software developed by the makers of Wikipedia. Unlike most wikis, the content is not editable, but it is now fully word searchable, meaning phase II of the project announced in the Church News has been completed.

If asked, my family will tell you that I loved reading dictionaries and encyclopedias in my youth. I still do know - I don't think many days pass without me checking something on Wikipedia (despite it's flaws). I ordered a copy of the encyclopedia when it was first published and eagerly read it from cover to cover. Now I intend to use the new site to rediscover the well written articles anew. I am also interested in seeing the outcome of phase III, when the articles and references will be updated and supplied with links to on-line resources .

Matt & Hannah: Married

Last week on Saturday June 7, my youngest brother Matthew was married to his sweetheart Hannah. It was a wonderful occasion, the weather was really nice and everyone who came seemed to enjoy themselves. As Hannah has only recently joined the Church they will need to wait a year before going to the Temple to be sealed together forever.

In addition to the wedding it was also good for another reason, as my sisters who live away from Bournemouth came, with their families, and stayed for almost a week. It was nice to be with them, spend time with them and catch up on what is happening with them and their children, who are all growing up so quickly.

What Easter Means to Me - The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ

Spring is here, nature is busting into life. The days are getting longer and there is a feeling of hope for the future in everybody. Spring is the season of Easter.

To me Easter is a time to celebrate the life we see all around us by remembering one Man's death - the culmination of His Life's Mission - an atoning sacrifice that conquered death for us all. That Man was no less than the Son of God, The Lord Jesus Christ and it is through His Atonement that He made it possible for us all to Live again (and that is only half the story). He also invites us to Come Unto Him and be made clean so that we can become like Him and dwell with Our Heavenly Father.

A new web site has been produced that helps us learn about His Life and Teachings - JesusChrist.lds.org.

"The site features articles, video clips, artwork, an interactive music page and other sections all focused on the life and ministry of Christ."
I think it has been put together in a such a way that is both respectful to the subject matter and appealing to those seeking the truth, who feel comfortable with new media.

The video embedded below features Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talking about this new resource JesusChrist.lds.org.

My Exam Results - December 2007

My results for the CIPFA exams I took in December were published today.

Accounting for Decision Making (ADM)47Fail
Finance & Performance Reporting (FPR)49Fail
The pass mark is 50, so to have come so close to passing both is very very frustrating!

I have requested a copy of the exam marking sheets for the two exams and depending on what they show, I will consider requesting an Administrative Check, which may result in the mark being amended. Whatever the outcome I'm not giving up. I will resit both exams in June if needed.

I have now sat the FPR exam four times! My marks have been 33, 45, 28 and now 49 - I can't believe that I've just missed the pass mark.

In the ADM examiner's report he comes right out and says that collectively it was the worst ever performance with only 48% passing and the average mark dropping below 50 for the first time. This he says is in complete contrast to the previous sitting in June when 73% of candidates passed. It's of little comfort to know that most people who took the exam also failed.

Roll on June.