Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old computers

Until about 4 years ago I used to have a PERQ in the attic and eventually I threw it out - I'd had help to get it up there but to get it down I disassembled it with loving care, disk drive weighed a ton - and took it to the tip.. and now I see this -$1500 spit! Used to make a noise like a small ocean least I suppose there's now room in the attic!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Winter Classics again

A few comments on The Turn of the Screw and Where Angels Fear to Tread both now finished. Nothing profound from me but both books enjoyed - if you can say that with the James! Need to get on with the book group book 'Island Magic' before the next meeting on 5th, then I can start to think about the Dostoyevsky!


Beth finished a piece of lace she's been working on for a few years, at the weekend. Present for some friends who had a partnership ceremony back in 2005...but it was still appreciated. Another photo in the album here but I hope there are a few more to come of it in situ.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Breaking the glass

Preached at thehospital this morning and quoted some Chase Twichell from her poem Makeshifts
Nothing has a name it can't
slip out of. The waterfall is solid ice
by late November; the white pines
vanish under snow that's
blue in the morning, pink in the dusk.
thinking about dealing with change. The title of this posting is related to one of her oft quoted poems also from the same collection - Snow Watcher - that I picked up by chance in Saratoga Springs when I was there for work - the full version being:
Poetry's not window-cleaning
It breaks the glass

I see that she runs a publishing house for poets - I've signed up to their emailed newsletter.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Flying pebbles!

I'm not sure whether this was a bug in terragen or a deliberate effect upon my part but those ribbons could look nice with a bit more work.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Increased traffic..

Noticed increased traffic here - did a web search - and so welcome to those who have arrived here as a result of Mad Priest's kind mention.
To stop you all dropping off I shall try not to blog too much about the preparation I'm doing for the python course I'm helping to teach next month. I shall hope for even more traffic as after speaking to Terry at a funeral on Monday, he promised that some friends would be making a blockbuster out of this set of postings.
I have an overdue posting or two on my Winter classics pile - having now started Tim Binding's Island Madness - the BATS book of the month (I spent some time - before I started this thinking there was a Bernstein connection - but that's Island Magic... Trouble in Tahiti), I also have two DVD's on the go (attention span of a gnat at the moment) - Mediterraneo (the Italian version looks a lot more complete but my language isn't up to it)and Lord of the Flies - this was an X certificate film when first released and it is now PG... but the original licensing decision was ludicrous - and I suddenly realised that all three are to do with small island communities in times of war.
If you want to know how I know there's increased traffic here - shhhh - but it has something to do with my difficulties in uploading pictures here and my consequent workaround

Monday, January 22, 2007

Uploading images with blogger

If you are having this problem (bX-68tbuv) then using the advice here is what fixed it for me - it was failing after pressing the upload button.

Remembering The Life of Brian

Not the film, but a funeral this morning which went a long way to conveying the essence of the man. It went from the choir of Chester Cathedral singing 'Be Thou my Vision' to 'Do you hear the People Sing' from Les Miserables (a/the? song of Sale Sharks Rugby Club). We went via Colleen Hitchcock's Ascension and Jerusalem (shades of the rugby pitch again). We sang 'Be Still, for the presence of the Lord..' which we sang 14 years ago at Brian's wife Pat's funeral. Much laughter and sadness with many stories of the man, his roguish ease, his dependability, his punctuality (sometimes arriving at rugby matches hours or even days beforehand) and the witness of the many people from widely different spheres who came to celebrate his life. I last saw him when I sat next to him at a Silk Screen showing of Kandahar - 'not a barrel of laughs' was, I think, his summary but laughter was never far from from his lips.
I did the above poster 2 years ago when he got us well lost on a Thursday evening walk, but yes, Brian, you were wanted. And we missed him there today for his presence was what united us.
PS More photos of Brian are among my album of the 2005 All Saints' Walks - the last that he organised.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shotgun wedding in Cana?

From Madpriest and a Video from CANA:
The Nigerian Anglican Church fully intends to attack every denomination in North America. Any church congregation that sees itself as "bible based" that feels its denomination is not "bible based" will be encouraged to leave their denomination and join the Nigerian church, preferably along with their wealth and property.

You have been warned (sorry to remove the shouting from the original blog entry!). Though this intent from Nigeria has always IMHO been pretty clear.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Church Rota delights

For the first time for months I'm not slaving over a hot checkout on Saturday afternoon and am instead having an enjoyable(?) few hours trying to get the Church rotas for February/March planned. This includes all the rotas - the leaders/preachers has already been done - but I then have to fit readers/prayers/sidepersons/tea makers etc. so that they all don't clash (too much!) It then gets put on the web. I use LaTeX to format it but am considering moving to if only because it makes pasting things around a little easier. I see that my latest version of comes with a LaTeX export tool so I could still get a good final copy. At the moment I'm still hesitating mainly because I do things in a rush and a migration will take a little longer.
With an interregnum coming next month there are inevitably people who were on the rota who are no longer doing it, thus making things just that bit more tricky. Musing on whether things need specifying more completely with no-one around to pull things together Sunday by Sunday or to be a little freer and easier.
I've also taken temporary charge of the parish blog - Rod - who is leaving - did offer to cybersquat on the account but we said it wasn't necessary - but there's not been a lot of action there recently. For ease I've moved it into being administered by the same google email as this one and I now see that the about section has a picture of me rather than one of the church(!) - anyone know if you can get different photos there? If I'd known I'd have grabbed myself another gmail account - which I suppose is still a solution toghether with giving this account posting rights.

Last night's menu

Yesterday, I decided that we'd have baked apple and custard for pudding and only after returning home did I read the review of Thursday's Television in the Guardian. I didn't read it before, nor did I watch the reviewed programme (The Truth About Food: How to Be Sexy)- honest! To quote the review:
And guess what aroma gives the Brits the raging horn? Apple cake and custard. There's something quite comforting about that.
Now - no doubt - I shall have some checkout operator blogging about the p*rv*rt who bought cooking apples and custard powder (well I didn't quite but you know what I mean) and nothing else! Also on the food theme, thanks to comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html for these two - Chocolate Covered SQL - I do read the Daily WTF but hadn't for a few days..and there's this cake, apparently the cake decorators didn't understand Italian, as if that excuses anything, more to the point the company's emailer didn't understand Microsoft HTML extensions - but shouldn't it have treated them as comments?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter Classics Challenge Update

Now finished the J K Jerome (Three Men in a Boat) and the Henry James (Turn of the Screw) - reflections to follow on the second - now for Where Angels fear to Tread! Two down three to go!

Va, Vis Et Deviens

Went to see 'Va, Vis Et Deviens' (the English translation is 'Live and Become' which rather misses out one of those verbs!) last night at the local Silk Screen cinema. The web reviews claim 149 minutes in length though our version appeared to be only about 135 minutes - it felt long but an emotionally absorbing film. Sometimes it felt a little manipulative but a strongly political film as it covers the evacuation of the Jews from Ethiopia to Israel back in the 1980's reflected in the experience of one boy - who is not a Jew - but pretends to be one in order to escape. It covers most of the history of the Middle East between then and now. The end felt like an - oops we've run out of time moment - and was far too convenient but that shouldn't denigrate from the journey travelled. Washington Post review is here.
I loved the contrasting exegetics on the colour of Adam! The white Jew went for the surface text the red-skin(!) Jew reached the heart.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Another terragen 2

experimenting with lighting. The constraints of the wine problems in running the app - I'm needing to do lots of shading and unshading the windows to force a redraw - mean that I'm still messing around in the shallows though.
Still blogger won't let me upload images....! Click image to see a larger version.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A bit late for the Christmas season!

.. at least as far as my finding this blog entry. A delicious version of the Chrismas story told in French Cheeses not very sound though! Reminded me of the Daudet Three Low Masses story.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

While Mr McGregor was away..

link borrowed from Mad Priest - not safe for work!- in case you couldn't guess from the preview...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Just been slashdotted..

there goes user security - if they can do that what could an unscrupulous owner of one of these do!?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winter Classics

I'm about to participate in the 2007 Winter Classics Challenge to read five classics during January and February. I'm somewhat busy so I've cheated slightly by choosing some based upon length (or rather lack of length)! They are:
  • J K Jerome Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) - I've read this before but it is the BATS' (the book group I participate in) classic read this month
  • E M Forster Where Angels Fear to Tread - I may have read this before.
  • Henry James The Turn of the Screw - is this cheating? being rather of a short story!
  • Hermann Hesse Steppenwolf
  • Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment - I last read this many years ago when a teenager and the BBC had a series on the great Russian novel.
They get gradually longer! Blogging on the books is likely to happen on my BATS weblog but I'll try to post pointers here as well. The Jerome book group discussion is tomorrow night so I need to finish it...

.. and another candidate

.. though in this case I was the purchaser. These were both things that I needed (so this is not a fix!) and on my way out last night I bought a fresh chicken and a smoke alarm - I did consider stuffing one inside the other! The chicken is currently in the oven and - when I find time - the smoke alarm will replace the defunct one.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Basket of the week

... and a few hours after this post I found someone I know slightly from one of the Team Churches at my checkout with a fresh chicken and a spanner set (thanks Neil but I don't think he reads here) - a good first try - any better offers?

Friday, January 05, 2007

An announcement

Due to various factors - including wanting some time for things other than work - I have (regretfully) resigned from Macclesfield Sainsbury's and my last day will be 13th January.
So I have one more week's scope for 'Basket of the week' - if you wish to produce a basket for me consisting of razor blades and sprouts or a bottle of wine and a tin of cat food (or something more bizarre) you don't have much time left!
Friday and Saturday afternoon's are probably the best time for self promotion!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A posthumous knighthood for Saddam?

well see Andrew Brown!

All must .. come to dust

The Alan Ecclestone daybook (Gather the Fragments) that I've been reading in the evenings had this as its reading for 30th Dec:
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Shakespeare Cymberline
Appropriate for the end of the year and doubly so in view of the events in Iraq that morning.
The last night we settled down to watch Candide on BBC4 from Le Ch√Ętelet - a production that has recently been in the news due to La Scala having cold feet over it.
It may have something to do with this scene -
but may not! - a scene with a public hanging was the one that had strong echoes of Iraq for us.
Some Flickr photos are here but don't include the Klu Klux Klan and the hanging.

PostScript - from operachic I see that La Scala may be reviewing its decision!

Christmas day on the motorway

.. or rather at the Banbury service station off the M40 these things are probably 10 a penny but still amusement at someone else's bug. Bit blurry I know but taken quickly using the mobile phone. Surely there's some way of preventing this appearing and just restarting the application...