Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ideology and Faith

Spotted this review by Stephen Bates in yesterday's Guardian of a number of books on religion the US and politics.
Ideology is a lot easier because you don't have to know or search for anything. You already know the answer to everything. It's not penetrable by facts.
Faith as an exploration doesn't seem to get on the map, just easy certainties. Ideology: You get an ology: yo're a scientist
Or from Randall Balmer an evangelical
I went to Sunday school nearly every week of my childhood ... but I must have been absent the day they told us that the followers of Jesus were obliged to secure even greater economic advantages for the affluent, to deny those Jesus called 'the least of these' a living wage and to despoil the environment by sacrificing it on the altar of free enterprise. I missed the lesson telling me that I should turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.
An evangelical though I doubt if he's a republican!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Basket of the week

... well last week. Was serving at a quick checkout and someone appeared with six packets of large mushrooms (2 or so per packet) and nine packets of beef tomatoes. She claimed they were for work.. I tried not to mention that it was a 10 items or fewer checkout,


Semolina shower over Great Yarmouth. Spotted this tale in today's paper, no doubt it is everywhere else!
The streets of Great Yarmouth were paved with semolina this week when more than two tonnes of the grain billowed out of a silo and scattered over the Norfolk town.
Report doesn't specify which day this week it happened so maybe it's very old news - it would appear it happened on Thursday morning - CBBC(!) was the only one I found that gave a date -err the Guardian gives a date but in the quote from the guy from Pasta Foods (company tag from the website - where reality exceeds expectation!!), The Great Yarmouth Mercury has some coverage - oops!

Why Baghdad Will Keep Burning


"While negotiating in Hanoi a few days before Saigon fell, U.S. Army Colonel Harry Summers, Jr. [...], said to a North Vietnamese colonel, 'You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield.' The Vietnamese colonel replied, 'That may be so, but it is also irrelevant.'"

our impasse is just a formula for more deaths in Iraq, a formula guaranteed to keep Baghdad burning.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Changing Attitude Chester

As I'm attempting to advertise this elsewhere, I'll also give it a plug here..

The Changing Attitude Chester group are running a day conference
with speakers Kenneth Leech and Jean Mayland

Does the Church limit God's Love?

Principles & practice and Changing Attitudes - Workshops & Discussion

Saturday 11th November 10am - 4pm at Chester Cathedral

Drinks provided, bring your own lunch.
To book for the day, send cheque (payable to Changing Attitude, Chester) for £7 (£4 concessions) together with your details to: Irene Pendleton, 55 Carlton Close, Parkgate, NESTON, CH64 6RB.

For information: e-mail imp<insert obvious symbol> (or me!)

Posters available at the Chester Group's website

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Before they go..

visit on Sunday to Crosby to see the Gormley statues -also a visit to the Formby red squirrels. Old stamping grounds for me as back in the early 60's I went to school in Crosby. Inevitably the beach was very busy and unusually for the West Lancashire coast, the tide was in. Hadn't been to see the statues before but I was determined to get there before they get uprooted.

More pictures to come - but at the moment I can find neither the camera USB cable nor the memory card reader!

I see the last post was number 256 - a long way to 512..

Friday, October 20, 2006

News from the building site..

At the moment we are surrounded by works in progress - for the last 24 hours drains have been cleared - the lorry was there all night - and it is still going on. Yesterday was the start of the areas move from black bin bag rubbish collection to householders sorting their rubbish for recycling, so just at the point where the bin lorry appeared to collect the paper and cardboard - for the first time - the drains people blocked the reoad with their works so the stuff couldn't be (easily) collected.
Then we have the Jordangate/Hibel Road works until Christmas, 50 yards the other way - with luck my webcam may have some pictures of this though you'll have to imagine the pneumatic drills! Unfortunately the cam can't cope with bright lights during the day - I've tried attaching dark 35mm film to the lens but haven't got it to work well yet - so when it is too bright it gets trained on here so you're likely to see me (or not!). Week after next we have the windows being replaced (needed as you can see from the window frame in the picture.

Shut Smutty Books

..with apologies to Tom Lehrer - from Anna Russell to Lehrer! via where I was looking after searching for a James Barr obit(!) comes this blog entry on Hot Library Smut - I liked the St Gallen picture with the shadowy people but, alas, I've not been in any of the pictured libraries. The book is reviewed here - with an introduction by Umberto Eco!

.. as long as you sing it...

Anna Russell has died.
From her summary of Wagner's ring:
Gutrune is 'the only woman that Siegfried's ever come across who wasn't his aunt. I'm not making this up, you know!'

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chocolate Teapot Dept

Haven't had a bare link for some time so here is one - thanks to Whiskers...

Sheep and goats

Didn't notice this on Sunday but the second google ad for the Iona Benedicite amused me.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


A few weeks ago I attended a funeral where we had a version of the benedicite that included these words
O ye puffins that brighten the clifftops,
Bless ye the Lord,
O ye curlews and lapwings
O ye dunlins that wheel together over the waves,
Bless ye the Lord.
and so on

O ye orchids that gem the grassy slops,
O ye golden flags that deck the waters edge with glory,
Bless ye the Lord.
O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord,
Praise him and magnify his name for ever

The deceased was a keen bird watcher - I thought I'd find more details on this via google but not a thing...anyone know the authorship? - ah Google groups has it Iona - as I might have guessed - and by E.D.Sedding - I see we missed out some of the more localised references.

And then that same evening - from Ecclestone's Gather the Fragments - this is currently out of print and the first google english hit is - boggle! - came a poem of Charlotte Mew - Moorland Night -also on birds but far darker
This is the end of all the roads
Over the grass there is the night dew
And the wind that drives up from the sea along the moorland roads;
I hear a curlew start out from the heath
But fly off calling though the dusk,
The wild, long, rippling call.
The Thing is found and I am quiet with the earth.

One parsnip?

Two separate people appeared with one parsnip in their baskets yesterday at the checkout - with no other vegetables that obviously went with it. So what do you do with one parsnip?

Vanity searches rule!

Looks like just the first of these isn't me, was also amused by this HTTP id, found by use of googles codesearch

Thursday, October 12, 2006

BATS Blog is back!

At long last I worked around my MySQL issues and the BATS Blog works, now I just need to get it up to date and keep it up to date!