Saturday, January 31, 2009

My eyes!

And yours too - probably after going to link - a Hello Kitty tram (yes it's pink you have been warned).


A contemporary opera, via Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Teaser - 27 Jan

Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
In the world of the novel, when all this has been said, everything is still to play for. And the attempt to approach human affairs as if they belonged to the world of evidence and determined outcome is bound to end in violence-ideological violence to the understanding of what humanity is, literal violence toward those who will not be convinced
A book about novels rather than a novel..Rowan Williams - DostoevskyLanguage, Faith and Fiction and inevitably it is taking some concentrated reading!! Andrew Brown says:
Rowan Williams, like Christ, renounces these powers; but when an Archbishop renounces powers he does not abolish them, he hands them to his enemies. Like Christ in the parable, Rowan's response to the Grand Inquisitors of the world is to kiss them on their bloodless lips and then slip out into darkness and obscurity through the door they have held open for him. When Christ kisses him, the inquisitor is touched in his heart but his beliefs and his actions do not change. Fresh heretics will burn when morning comes.
. Guardian review (also by Brown) is here:
There were times when I wondered whether I was struggling through the worst prose ever written by a poet. Sometimes the thought disintegrates entirely, like a jellyfish dropped in a jacuzzi
You may get a sense of that in the above! But there's lots that is worth reading.


Thanks to the mandriva expert list is this link to a WH Smith's e-book page. I quote:
Reading aloud: not allowed
Oh the delights of DRM....
You are allowed to read this posting aloud!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I picked up a copy of Pauline Stainer's 'The Lady and the Hare' before Christmas and am enjoying it!
They fall outwards
as if from the calyx of a flower
each smaller than a falcon's claw
their target a gravel circle
in the Byzantine barley

They fall like the hushed flame
where once the sun's disk
was ploughed from the furrow
coupling, uncoupling
above the drop-zone.

A Guardian review of this work is here
Also ona poetry theme, Manchester Theological Society has a meeting on RS Thomas this Thursday. Alas, I have two other meetings that night and I'm going to miss it!

Edgy religion

I laughed - too much - at this....

Mutterings - 25 Jan

And from Unconscious mutterings this week:
  1. Unwanted :: lost property
  2. You’d better :: behave
  3. Woman :: Man
  4. Weighed :: in the balance
  5. Upright :: moral
  6. I feel :: pretty
  7. Ill :: recover
  8. It’s like :: parable
  9. Poor man :: cherry stone
  10. Great :: expectations

Friday, January 23, 2009


Wats the wurld coming to:
Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist.
Obama's Use of Complete Sentences.... Grammar Rulez! Gov Palin says:
Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also
.. via Wounded Bird

Invisible but amongst us

On Wednesday, a trip to Silk Screen to see Nick Broomfield's Ghosts, a tale of the events leading up to the death of 23 Chinese in the sands of Morecambe Bay. A fascinating, depressing study with many insights, I was interested in the various power hierarchies that were working there - even among the victims.
Here's the trailer:

Looks like the website of the fund for the victims - as they received no help from the British Government - is down. I found it an interesting conjunction as the night before on the BBC news there'd been the story of a British lorry driver, Chris Mason, deported from Canada after being injured - we were told that the British government was much better - clearly not always.
I'd recommend the film, a great performance from Ai Qin Lin (a non-actor!!). a review is here as well as more on the issues. I was born on the Lancashire coast - so the film rang many bells and the exposure of modern day slavery just below the surface of our so civilised society will haunt you!
I've just been reminded by opinionated old fart of Langston Hughes I, too, sing America- his context is Obama - where it is very powerful, but there are echoes here too!
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.
wonderfully set by Bernstein in Songfest.


In other news:
Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet dog.
What I miss by not reading the Mail - I just hope the dog wasn't Blair.


Overheard - well it was hard not to! - in Sainsbury's this week (paraphrasing slightly)
I'm thirty years old. She (pointing) asked me for proof of age. I want her sacked!
I did wonder about sidling up to him and asking to double check which employee it was, so I could take some alcohol through, in the hope of being asked for age verification!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things have changed

.. at last Keep them to it! and may we support them in that

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mutter 18th Jan

Unconscious mutterings gives me:
  1. Arrival :: aeroplane
  2. Vomit :: aeroplane
  3. Fit :: tailor
  4. Stutter :: frustration
  5. Lifestream :: river
  6. Tread :: tyre
  7. Desire :: love
  8. Freezing :: winter
  9. Permit :: allow
  10. Crinkle :: crisps

Friday, January 16, 2009

Youth Club Thames Cruise 1977

Further to the reunion plans, I've been uploading some ancient photos - not all mine! The collection is here

Cross site javascript

.. and it appears to be scary stuff! - do stay awake at the back.
Looks as if only having a single tab open in a browser when you're accessing on line banking is recommended - and close the browser afterwards before moving to another site!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facebook bug?

As a result of a discussion elsewhere, I googled someone and discovered a facebook page of someone with that name - wasn't them unless its a very old picture! Logged out of facebook - from my home page (on that site). When I next login the first page it shows me is this:

as you see, I appear to be one of their friends! I'm sure there's the makings of a security hole here... not to mention the way logging in produces an unexpected page! Also clicking on one of those friends (apart from me) produces another friend list - for someone else - which also includes me! shades of Zelig?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Thanks to David Keen and the Typealyzer I now now that this weblog is....

ESTP - The Doers

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
Too many problem solving posts recently!

Meanwhile in the White House


Tuesday Teaser 13th Jan

Well it was Tuesday when I was reading it!

Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

'"This Old Testament prophet gets cut off short in drought" - five letters' he queried aloud, oblivious to who was speaking. He was on unfamiliar territory with the Bible - American Indians were his thing.
From Salley Vickers 'Mr Golightly's Holiday - only just started it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Film at 11

Channel 4 is showing Blazing Saddles tonight - I think that's around 8 days too early!

He says, I say..

This week's word associations from Unconscious Mutterings are:
  1. Resolution :: New Year
  2. Break :: Holiday; Ankle
  3. Tied :: Up
  4. Suffering :: pain
  5. Instead :: different
  6. Slash :: fiction
  7. Divorce :: divide
  8. Cough :: benylin
  9. Happy :: clappy
  10. Sniffle :: 'flu

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some things they don't teach you!

A cat and a weather forecaster!, hat tip to Niles. Two cat videos in two days...

SPAM and things

The latest incoherent spam I have received had this curious sentence:
Wash name Natalya
After some thought I decided this must be 'Screen name Natalya' as I decided that screen and wash seemed to go nicely together. Beth has pointed out that 'baptismal name' might be a better original! So much for my lateral thinking.
We seem to be fighting a 'poor reputation' at work from senderbase - we're not on any DNSBL listings - and they are not very responsive about clearing their hair-trigger listing of us. In the meantime folk who use their software bounce our messages.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Why you don't take cats to the dentist

via b3ta
I just hope they didn't use the brush afterwards.
It's rather repetitive - if you get bored after a minute you might as well pause it - there's nothing else to see!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Macclesfield Youth Club reunion

We're in the midst of organising a reunion of the St Michael's/St Andrew's (aka All Saints) Youth club which met in the tin tab and St Andrew's back in the 1960's/70's/80's.
If you were part of it then and wish to be there for the reunion - no date decided yet (it is very preliminary!!) you'll be very welcome (but probably this year in the warm weather - if we have any).
If you wish to help organise it - that will be even better!
I've created a web page for details of those who will be coming - with as many or few contact details as you like. This is on my home computer (apologies if you've tried this link in the past 24 hours - to 14th Jan and it failed, we've been having router problems! It should now work!!)and is password protected for confidentiality and avoid spammers stealing details! If you want to contact me the electronic details are here and if you are likely to be genuine, I'll send you the login details!
No doubt this posting is extremely sketchy and also it will be updated. If you know of others who are interested, point them to this posting initially rather than the contact web page.
With a bit of encouragement I might even set up a facebook group!

Concert for Wind Machines!

.. and a few other instruments! Last night as promised back here we went to see Bychkov, London Voices and the National Youth Orchestra perform at the Bridgewater Hall. Somewhat of an indulgent evening (especially for me!).
It started with Peter Wiegold's Bow Wave - inspired by the Berio Sinfonia - parts for celtic harp and accordion, megaphones and a somewhat unconventional arrangement of performers. In enjoyed the interaction between the solo violin and the accordion, the feeling of a great ocean liner was certainly conjoured up - I think there were (a la Berio) some quotes - at least the frequent brass motif was a distorted form of something I know - but I haven't yet remembered what! Plenty of challenge of the performers. (Maybe I should mention the wind machine!)
Then to the Berio, I've never seen this live before - and we were about 4 rows from the front and got a splendid view of London Voices. I really entered into the pain of second movement something I'd not registered before with the soprano keening in memory of Luther King who was the inspiration for this movement. The third movement with its commentary on a movement from Mahler 2 was fun as ever but I still need more listening to grasp the final movement. There's a picture of the front of Bychkov's copy of the score here with doodles by Berio!
(I don't think the Berio has a part for wind machine but it does have 4 harps)
And then to the whipped cream - Strauss's Alpine Symphony, grossly over indulgent but such fun. Just when I was thinking the coda was outstaying its welcome comes that lovely final thought on muted violins. Another piece with a downward scale as the theme which lingers in the mind.(Wind machine here too and 5 harps and more brass than you can shake a baton at!)

Preview of the Birmingham concert of the same works is here, and here's a Guardian review of that concert (nearly as sketchy as mine!

Got to the station to discover that trains had been replaced by buses from Stockport so we had a rather long evening!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Window into the mind

And this week's words from Unconscious Mutterings are:
  1. Confirmation :: Bishop
  2. Verse :: Bible
  3. Authorize :: Version
  4. Blog :: Here
  5. Thirty :: too long ago
  6. Heir :: son
  7. What are you doing? :: blogging
  8. Complaint :: illness
  9. Leave :: holiday
  10. Tune :: melody

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Upgrading Mandriva

Over the past three days I'm upgraded two machines to Mandriva 2009. I did this using the urpmi command line method.
The first machine was running Mandriva 2007.1 so I expected this might be a bit complicated, but it went a lot more smoothly than I thought. I needed to invoke the commend a couple of times once I'd worked around various problems - usually by manually removing problematic packages which I didn't really use (mostly -devel ones). I made sure to add --noclean to the command so that the upgrade packages weren't removed and a few hours later - with little supervision - I was booting 2009.1
The other machine had Mandriva 2008.1 - I wanted to test out the 2007.1 installation first as the second machine is the mail/sshd/web server and so I thought this would be a lot smoother. I initially copied all the rpm's from the first machine (left because of --noclean) into /var/cache/urpmi/rpms to the second so that a lot of extra downloading was avoided.
Unfortunately I encountered a number of issues:
  • The KDE3 files (the upgrade initially takes you to a kde3 installation) were put in /opt and my /opt just wasn't big enough - post installation all but 33M of the 0.5 gig partition is used mostly by /opt/kde3 - make sure it's big enough for you or make /opt/kde3 a soft link to somewhere larger!
  • Then on reboot, I got errors about the file system not being recognised(!), /etc/fstab looks rather different and is a bit intimidating if you've just been dumped out of the boot process and the partitions it's complaining about fail to fsck (file system check). Eventually I commented out the lines and rebooted. Tried various options to get the partition to mount - then with a bit of help from alt.os.linux.mandriva I got the pointer that 2009 uses the libata kernel module which only allows 15 partitions, I have 20 partitions (some of which were for other Linux distros. I then rebooted with a live Knoppix cd, created a /dev/sda3 primary partition and copied most of the stuff inaccessible to Mandriva over into it. Rebooted and now Mandriva has most of my data again!
    I wonder why diskdrake can't report what the problem is when you try to mount /dev/sda16 rather than claiming it needs formatting(!)
  • I initially couldn't get any sound with amarok 2 - I'm running blackbox rather than kde/gnome and to get sound I'm going to have to start pulseaudio in my startup file
But I'm now happily running the upgraded installation!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cheshire news

Health advisory - you'd be well advised to steer clear of Congleton
Robert (57) (Macclesfield)

Real wealth

Rowan's New Year message:

Blog summary for 2008

Via Some disagree with Mom For this meme, you take the first sentence of the first post of each month and line 'em up. 460+ postings last year here!
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.(well actually it is the Trondheim Akkordion Ensemble) Polka'in though the Widor toccata..On this page - a really secure password - see the fun on this at The Daily WTF's So You hacked our site. I was grandstanding with these dirty old men (sorry that's illustrious benefactors) twice this week, you'll just have to google or wait for the full album to appear to find out what they are ogling! On the way back from La Cantina - a tapas bar in Macclesfield, meant to take a photo of the sunset coming off the train but was too rushed - so this will have to do! Thanks to the onionring for this wonderful garble! The Craven Herald's report on the Scargill closure. Off save scargill comes this video taken on the penultimate day. Over the holiday - over a month ago now - I read three books which appear to be fascinated by holes in the ground. ..dear boy. Going to a Birthday party this evening (not mine!) with the lifeboat band. Cheating (already!) slightly, as I took this picture yesterday morning.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

RIP and Thank you

Helen Suzman's death has been reported. The great lonely voice of white opposition to apartheid.