Thursday, January 31, 2008


Interesting sensation in an unheated train this morning amidst the hail and thunder, listening initially on my mp3 player to Lucy Winkett's talk 'Our sound is our wound' to find the next track was John Adams The Wound Dresser (the player is a bit cheap - still good but doesn't come with a lot of control over the play order)
I onward go, I stop,
With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds,
I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable,
One turns to me his appealing eyes—poor boy! I never knew you,
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that would save you.

For me, it's a work that's very reminiscent of Britten's Owen Wingrave, not sure whether that's a consequence of both work's meditation on the consequences of war?


According to Peter Phillips:
Phillip Jensen ... says music like the Allegri 'Miserere' represents "the gaudy baubles of sacramentalism", and "an alternative gospel that we must never get tired of opposing".

via Mad Priest, well there goes any thought of my moving to Sydney. Can't find an original for that quote though..

RIP - Madeleine Milhaud

Obituary in the Independent - born Paris 22 March 1902; married (1925) Darius Milhaud ; died Paris 17 January 2008. A good long innings - active in the artistic world of Paris during the First World War..I was thinking it was only a few days after Evelyn Barbarolli (nee Rothwell)'s death but I see it took all of a fortnight for the sad news to come from 'Aix'

Oh and I'm currently learning Scaramouche

:-) Don't think it will be as good as that though!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brunswick Hill

Brunswick Hill
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Starting back again on the work photos, now that daylight is beginning to reappear

Monday, January 28, 2008


.. in my inbox this morning

Sunday, January 27, 2008 provide for her funeral provide for her funeral
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
..her greatest pleasure was to think and talk of it!
Unfortunately the moral for the reader is a bit unfocussed(!), I've just been to try to take a more recent photo of that bit but there are some large pieces of masonry on it...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Creating stories

As just mentioned - we've been at a parish weekend - not very far away, really within walking distance! where the speaker Ann Morisey (can't find a good web link) was talking - amongst many other things - about community involvement giving the opportunity for us to let others tell their stories and also to allow them to create stories of their own. 'Hey you'll never guess what I spent the weekend doing' which gets told and the momentum carries on.
I could have listened to her all day, she was born in Bootle - only a few miles along the coast from my own birthplace, so maybe the accent had something to do with it! But her combination of earthed stories and piercing insight gave me a lot to think about. `We often mistake doing jobs in church for discipleship' - echoes of my Richard Rohr quote about cheap religion? Risk taking 'could we - should we' or shall we just carry on as normal!?
The seeing of the face of the other.

She's speaking at tomorrow's service and we bought her two books which will - no doubt - be further food for thought!

Gnashing of teeth

Have been at a parish weekend away (of which more in a mo') where the speaker talked about listening to a Professor of dental ethics - the occasion was a deanery synod on homelessness and then I get back to find that Storyteller's world has spotted a wonderful misprint in a Church Times headline

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spot the mango jokes

Just up the road from here a lorry load of mango chutney came unstuck, if I'd have been paying attention on Tuesday I would have spotted it from the train. Try not to groan too much at that piece on the link!


Was looking for an email to contact an old friend - and found this
well worth staying to the end! Hat tip to revtc
More films of Ilana Yahav here
(another more than one post a day month!!)

vexim (waves clove of garlic)

We run vexim at work with spamassassin to handle the email. Yesterday I realised - not before time(!) that at smtp time, exim scores incoming email using spamassassin, if it
  • scores more than 12, it gets rejected straight away, and a copy of the email is retained

  • score more than 9, it gets a temp rejection - waiting to see if the other end attempts to redeliver, and a copy of the email is retained

  • otherwise it gets handed over to [v]exim which does things like distribution lists and vacation messages and also (depending on the user) decides to deliver the email depending on the spam score - if it doesn't deliver, no copy is retained.

So the borderline spam disappears into a black hole (ditch_spam), whereas the really spammy stuff is carefully kept!? Is this what is really meant to happen? So I spent a fun few hours yesterday going back though the email logs as far as they went, looking for possible non-spam that had been ditched and warning the non-recipients!
I've now modified the exim configuration along these lines to set up a separate transport for the borderline spam stuff(apologies for the wiki spam at the top of that link!)
Some time since I had an IT posting...


Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli playing the Bach/Busoni Toccata and Fugue in D min in 1949

when I say Bach/Busoni I probably mean ANO/Busoni, the folks in rmcr think this is defintitely Michelangeli despite little more than his hands being visible - the pianism is wonderful. I'd like to know what's in the first 11 minutes of that tape. Wonderful 1940's Italian cinema too...reminds me of Rossellini or is that just because it is Italian and black and white?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Black and white

And tonight's film - this time at SilkScreen was 'Good Night and Good Luck' on McCarthyism, but also on the devaluation of truth and of television that we see today by those wishing to manipulate. A bit too much though was required after some hard watching and thinking over last night's Kite Runner!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 be good again..

Just back from cinemac, from the showing of Khaled Hosseini's the kite runner. A blog review of the book is here.
I read the book last October, when in Spain, finished it on the last evening in the bar before dinner, put the book down on the floor next to the meal table, not noticing that the floor had suffered from that day's torrential rain - hence the book didn't come back with us and I can't refer to it now!
It may have been an 8pm showing on a cold wet evening in January but the - far from a multiplex style of comfort - cinema was pretty well filled - I see they've decided to show it next week as well.
A beautifully observed film - inevitablly it ditches bits of the plot - I was sad at the almost total loss of Hassan's father and no blood on the kite strings. The film drew you into the life and colour of Afghan society and plumbed the emotional depths of the book as Amir struggles for discover his need for redemption. I felt the return of Assef was somewhat softpedalled in the film and therefore - to me - removed a lot of the nature of that large clunking plot device from the film.
Go and see it!

Friday, January 18, 2008

From a spam

In olden days you could have told this email was a fake just from this extract
Abbey National Plc in its financial policy to ensure effective banking system of it's customers, is hereby anouncing it's Annual account review.

but, alas, it's difficult to be certain these days. Surely there's one missing apostrophe?!


Huckabee and the tiger

Two videos

Firstly revenge! hat tip to Eine Kleine Nichtmusik
and then a AIDS awareness video via Geoff Coupe

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gerard Große

One of the nice things about Jardín de los Sueños that we visited on a walking tour of Almeria last year was that - apart from being quiet and isolated, not a TV in sight! - was that it had a library. I spent a few happy hours in there, the owner of the property is German and so there was a certain bias in language. I spent most of an afternoon working my way though a book of black and white photographs by Gerard Große -at least his was the name on the spine of the book. I noted down the author's name while we were there but have only now got around to seeing what I could find out. Of course I've now completely forgotten the title of the book!
My guess is that he was from the GDR and the photographs seemed to be from the 1950's or early 60's of German industrial and rustic life, but at the moment google is not being helpful - maybe the book was too nicely produced to be GDR, anyone like to offer me any pointers for further research?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cheap religion

As part of a contemplative prayer group we meet monthly to discuss how it goes for us and are working our way though Richard Rohr's 'Everything belongs'. On Sunday we reached the final chapter (excluding the conclusion) and I was struck by this passage:
Cheap religion teaches us how to live successfully in a sick system. Sometimes therapy teaches us how to live successfully in a sick system. Sometimes therapy teaches us how to accommodate ourselves to a world based on power, prestige, and possessions. That’s why many people need more and more therapy or addictive religion as they “adjust” to a sicker and sicker environment. If we do not question the underlying lies, we can psychologize and theologize forever. As a general rule, we need more and more of what doesn’t work. If it worked, we wouldn’t need to keep increasing the fix.
echoes of Noel Coward's
Extraordinary how potent cheap music is
from 'Private Lives', I wonder, as well as Bonhoeffer on Cheap Grace? Plenty to reflect on as I think towards speaking on Sunday.

Fish and chips in Littondale

A never to be forgotten moment - this was how to run a leaving do, with an impromptu fish and chip supper, miles from anywhere, in a biting wind half way up LittonDale. Paddy, Jean, Helen (of the leaving do) and Tim. You can just see (I think!) Kilnsey Crag between Jean and Helen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Initals RC

If only Robert Duncan's final name began with a C... I'm just (re-)reading Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum and am currently around chapter 80 where Eco describes a Templar plot to gain power and find the Umbilicus of the world which involves getting the Sun's rays to strike foucault's pendulum if it is swung in the correct time/place - currently hypothesised to be Jerusalem in June. Gafcon happens to be meeting in Jerusalem in June (a sort of preempting of Lambeth). I nearly fell out of bed when I got to these chapters last night - let conspiracy theories reign!
Unfortunately Gafcon is down to finish before the critical date of the 24th (though I suppose those who aren't invited to Lambeth might stay on) and I can't think of any of the Gafcon gang with the initials RC (also important - Rosa Crucians, Rick of Casablanca, Cardinal Richelieu backwards...)

How to lose your car

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I suppose there ought to be a pointer to this picture on the blog. Car started making a knocking noise, overheated and... I was too busy recording the event to remember the stuff that wasn't in the boot and hence I lost a few things as well as creating a culinary delight in a most scenic Leicestershire(?) village (this was way back in 1981..)

Misleading surveys dept

Jim Wallis writes
..For example, the exit polls in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary have asked departing Republican voters if they are "evangelicals," but they don't ask the same question of exiting Democrats—therefore assuming there aren't any evangelicals voting for Democrats, an assumption that is demonstrably not true. The leading Democrats in the race—Obama, Clinton, and Edwards—speak explicitly and articulately as Christians and their campaigns have reached out as much to faith communities as the Republicans have.

The media experts on religion then go on to explain to us that evangelicals care mostly or only about abortion and gay marriage, and not about other issues.
the lazy way to produce the results you want!

Friday, January 11, 2008

knitting the blog

Today's xkcd
seems to fit well with this entry I wrote last night.
(Later) I see that slashdot is covering this cartoon with news that the last two options now have considerably more hits!

Polish zapper

The Register reports (claims to be from the Telegraph but no link given):
A Polish teenager allegedly turned the tram system in the city of Lodz into his own personal train set, triggering chaos and derailing four vehicles in the process. Twelve people were injured in one of the incidents.

The 14-year-old modified a TV remote control so that it could be used to change track points, The Telegraph reports. Local police said the youngster trespassed in tram depots to gather information needed to build the device. The teenager told police that he modified track setting for a prank.

"He studied the trams and the tracks for a long time and then built a device that looked like a TV remote control and used it to manoeuvre the trams and the tracks," said Miroslaw Micor, a spokesman for Lodz police.


I try to avoid new year resolutions..
Your New Year's Resolutions

1) Get a pet bunny

2) Eat more whipped cream

3) Travel to Argentina

4) Study finger painting

5) Get in shape with Dance Dance Revolution

..bunny with whipped creammmm.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Recently had an update for wireshark download. The changelog says:
A number of vulnerabilities in the Wireshark program were found that
could cause crashes, excessive looping, or arbitrary code execution.
What is excessive looping? I see the wireshark website - in their release notes - refers both to infinite loops and excessive looping.

That jumper

That jumper
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
A garment I designed and knitted back in 1981 - unfortunately I've lost the pattern and I'm not taking commissions! Well not until my retirement. I'm still not wholly convinced by the back which was that brown and white check.


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
None of these cats were ours, I just happened to be passing with a camera
Picture taken in Headingley, Leeds back in 1981.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Two departures

These pieces I read in the last 24 hours seem to belong together
Assez vu. La vision s'est rencontrée à tous les airs.
Assez eu. Rumeurs des villes, le soir, et au soleil, et toujours.
Assez connu. Les arrêts de la vie. — Ô Rumeurs et Visions!
Départ dans l'affection et le bruit neufs!
- Rimbaud with a translation here
And this from Baldwin's Go tell it on the mountain
The sun had come full awake. It was waking the streets, and houses, and crying at the windows. It fell over Elisha like a golden robe, and struck John's forehead, where Elisha had kissed him, like a seal ineffaceable for ever.
A wonderful book in its Biblical imagery and a struggle for spiritual identity.
Wikipedia says
Baldwin makes several references to the Holy Bible in Go Tell it on the Mountain
- several?!?! - the book is drenched in Biblical imagery! Various reviews claim a not so hidden gay subtext - for example Douglas Field in the Guardian but I enjoyed it as a depiction of black Pentecostalism, the struggle against poverty and difficult moral choices. Read as an interesting contrast to our book club of last month - To Kill a Mockingbird with its interesting black church scene.

Perdita on the piano

Perdita on the piano
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Wide eyed innocence - and some decorations in danger - taken back in the 1980's...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

animoto video

and this is a full length one from animoto, it takes rather longer to process but I would guess that Sunday early evening is not a good time to try. I am also having problems downloading it! (or emailing a link..) not sure whether this is the linux particular problem or just a problem with this user(!)

animoto test

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I suppose I ought to heed this call...

Dave Walker has created an Anglican Bloggers facebook group
cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

But who's the hooker?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Paragraphs of God flannel..

Akinola has responded to Darwani with a letter that tells him, after several paragraphs of God flannel, to shut up and do what he is told..
and more spot on stuff from Andrew Brown here

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cats in the coalhole

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Perdita and Jessica having a first look at snow though the coalhole they used as a catflap - there was a plank to the cellar floor - in the house we occupied in William St, Leeds in the mid-80's. Jessica - on the right - always had that slightly goggling look of disbelief...

Sunset over the University

.. or rather through the University! Taken from my desk (I was waiting for a compilation to finish - honest!)

GAFCON (sic)

Almost too painful too watch as it unravels even further

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year 2008

Another opportunity for the traditional All Saints' New year Walk up Shutlingsloe. I seem to have spelt it differently in January 2006. The path was not quite as busy as on that occasion!
Other photos from the walk tagged here on flickr.

Oh hassocks!

Post of the week's post of the year though I advise a trip to the first link to view the joint winner!

Books and routers

Since I acquired a new router I've been unable to administer - or post to my wordpress book blog, the blog lives on my home machine and is set up to use the full address when administering and, I assume, the router doesn't like http traffic leaving and then returning to it. So while I try to work out how to solve this - I may try administering it from work, I'll post book related stuff on another blogspot location.