Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Almeria pictures

Some pictures taken by some people doing the same inntravel walk on the same week as us are here. I like the fact that we both took pictures of the same plant emerging from the rocks in the huge scree on the way down to San Pedro.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fountains of smtp

Following on from this, I've had a sudden need to go up to Newcastle (upon T) tomorrow as there's a mailbot loose somewhere on the network spewing spam everywhere and my job is to find and exterminate it! I hope it isn't reading this... as it has caused our email server to be blacklisted thus stopping outgoing mail from leaving the server - the server inspects the email discovers it's from a blacklisted site - itself! - and won't proceed further!

I am NOT young, cute and furry!

.. with adorable eyes - well not all of those! I've no idea what even makes google images think that might be so. Do I have grounds for a defamation action? Looking at the google analytics stats there are some disappointed web searchers - unless they scroll down a bit.
See the first hit in the above link - at least as of today and I suppose this posting might keep it there a bit longer ;-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Independent on the Cabo de Gata walk

From someone else who did a rather similar walk to us
San José from the cliffs looks like a time-share prospectus pasted upon the surface of Mars; the ranks of white houses, resplendent marina and palm-lined promenade are incongruous in this kiln of sun-scorched hills. Where the track ought to be is a descent over rocky outcrops between the new villas. Mostly deserted, their owners' provenance is uncertain, though some do have garden gnomes.

Beach-level, San José is a northern European's Spanish fantasy come true. It looks fresh; the original fishing village - official population still 175 - is somewhere under the cement. It has, we admit, a certain unreal charm - a sanitised south where you might safely bring children - but whatever is it doing in a desert natural park? At a promenade café, people stare at our backpacks as if we are aliens.

I knew there was a reason why I bought and read the first volume of JG Ballard's collected short stories on this trip, all those bleached and deserted villas! Though we didn't go into San José at all....but we didn't see any illegal immigrants

Bambi gunned down(old news!)

Via Andrew Brown, my attention has been drawn to this obituary in the Independent of Sammy Duddy:
Sammy Duddy was a colourful Belfast character who combined membership of one of the city's most lethal paramilitary groups with a career as "Samantha", a highly suggestive drag act.
On one occasion, Duddy's home was attacked with a pipe bomb, while on another shots were fired into it. While he was uninjured, his pet chihuahua, Bambi, was hit by gunfire and died.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fountains of Home

Slightly unexpectedly I'm working from home today. We had a new central heating boiler installed this week (Tuesday). Last night I turned on the (dual fuel) cooker for the first time since and was greeted with a fountain of water emerging from the gas jet! Workmen appearing to unscramble the pipes later today...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

John Cage

I spent some time at the Jardín de los Sueños reading John Cage's Silence - last read it in the (19!)60's, I bought it on a (the) trip to the US in 2000 but hadn't yet got around to the re-read. It seemed in retrospect a rather appropriate book to read there, sitting in their Zen's an animation - beware if you don't like flashing things...

Almeria album

The album is now up (discussion about the state of the webserver snipped)

.. home webserver as usual. I thought the JAlbum Nature skin might be nice though I'm wondering if it is too flowery.
I have some more pictures I want to comment on but thought I'd get the intensive stuff done!

Monday, October 22, 2007

New anti-crime measure

Absolutely loony disguise yourself as a drinks dispenser - found on the ship of fools forum

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Helpless laughter

pinched via Niles

Blood Wedding

We paid a visit to Cortijo el Fraile, the scene of the tragic events that inspired Lorca's Blood Wedding. Here are two photos, one of the farm, and the other of the chapel which is part of the farm.

Couldn't get inside so the picture was taken though a hole in the door...
A very isolated spot, one can understand the isolation that led to the events of the horrific tale.

Lawrence of Arabia a plastic mac. The beach at Monsul has apparently been used as a setting for Lawrence of Arabia

When we passed by - hastily - on Friday, I don't think there were many film crews around (not even the fashion shoot that was using our hotel)

unfortunately there was no ice around (from the ISIRTA 8th series)

From the Garden of Dreams to a Fistful of Dollars

We stayed at these two places this last week, the first in Rodalquilar - Jardín de los Sueños - the Garden of Dreams

Then in San Jose, at a hotel which was in part of A Fistful of Dollars (I hope I have the right one! - it is see this site)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spanish kittens!

We've been away on an Inntravel arranged walking tour to Almeria

This photo was taken at the ever so slightly hippyish San Pedro
More photos and accounts will no doubt follow but this evening I have a talk for tomorrow's service bearing down on me! For some reason (well a few reasons) the last verse of the Old Testament reading attacts
The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip

(Genesis 32:3-31) or should that be hip-py?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Windows on the cathedral

A quick shot of Newcastle cathedral through the windows of our new offices: taken on a day visit to sort out some computer issues! The local staff now get the bells rather than police sirens to accompany their work.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Eccentric cartography

Some wonderfully strange maps. I rather like this one, I was set there by jeev.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Someone is getting confused

and it is probably me! Here is the weather forecast for Almeria off the Le Monde Website, and here is another weather forecast for Almeria off the Le Monde website. About 5C between the two forecasts every day, the hotter one has constant storms and the cooler one no storms - maybe it is the other end of the province?

Spiritual experiences

Via the Ship of Fools forum comes this quote from Ned Sherrin's obituary in the Telegraph

He believed in God, but "avoided" spiritual experiences by regular attendance at church, turning up before the Communion, but after the Peace. He remained unconcerned about the Bible's strictures on homosexuality, noting that the Good Book also forbids the eating of shellfish and pork. He was an energetic campaigner for Aids charities.

Not sure whether it was the time he arrived or his church attendance that was there to avoid spiritual experience. Well worth reading the rest of the obit - that was the penultimate paragraph. The Guardian one is quite fun too, inevitably they have different stories...

This web page has been tangoed!

Well it suppose it's pretty, I was looking for Sarah Walker's 'Shakespeare's kingdom' with Mervyn Horder's wonderful tango version of Under the Greenwood Tree and could only get at this page using the google cache. I suppose I need a screenshot in case it is a firefox/stylesheet issue:

Weekend press

On an Overgrown Path has this quote from the Guardian letters page:
I asked Roger Wright, head of Radio 3, a few years ago why the BBC didn't broadcast more new music. We get too many complaining letters was his reply

Then there's Rowan Williams on the right wing American loonies:
When people talk about further destabilisation of the region - and you read some American political advisers speaking of action against Syria and Iran - I can only say that I regard that as criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly
should make his next meeting with Nazir-Ali fun!

Arighi Bianchi

I've fallen a bit behind with my 'on the way to work pictures' so here are two firstly Arighi Bianchi covered in scaffolding - if you pass through Macc by train you'll see the shop - rather conspicuous from the railway.
and then yesterday felt like the first really autumny day
-looking over the local carpark(!) towards the hills.

Harvest supper

To St Michael's last night for their harvest supper and barn dance (interrupted by a quick trip out for a piano lesson). Barn dance done by the lifeboat band - with considerable panache (IMHO) - recommended. Sorry about the blurry picture! Had to make a swift exit shortly after this as a young lad had managed to pour orange juice all over the seat of the chair I was sitting on (at least I hope it was that!) and I didn't notice until too late!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Icons? What icons?

Following an open invite from A Blogspate, here's a screenshot:

don't think I've done a screenshot before on this blog. This is Mandriva 2007 and blackbox - I don't like stuff cluttering up the desktop - as you see!
The instructions say -
A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture by:

[1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).

[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

[4] Or use screen capture from The Gimp

For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

.. and (later) look at the uptime on this machine - at the bottom of the gkrellm monitor

Monday, October 01, 2007

BATS protection league

I've blogged here occasionally on our book group BATS for which the main blog is here - though it needs a bit of dusting off. Due to Cheshire wanting to save money it looks as if we - and a fair number of other book groups are going to have to do things rather differently and I've just set up a blog to publicise things and see if we can get things going as to a way forward. If you live in Cheshire and are affected by this please visit and comment on the entry on the new blog!