Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
.. going to bed!


Here's something still for a reflection on the past year:

The Cantilena from the Poulenc flute sonata played by the composer and Jean-Pierre Rampal (for whom it was written). David Isitt, who died earlier this year, introduced it to me, he heard Poulenc perform. I'm not sure if he heard this piece under Poulenc's accompaniment but he played it well.

Preparing for the New Year

I found this prayer in a recipe book(!) - a book with hand copied out, by me, recipes with this among them:
A Winter Solstice Prayer
God of all creation,
of bare forest and low northern skies,
of paths unknown and never to be taken,
of bramble, sparrow and damp, dark earth.
We thank you for loss, for the breaking of the dimming year,
We thank you for light, even in its seeming midwinter failing,
We thank you for life, for its hope and resistance,
Like a seed dying and living.

Rachel Mann

It was on a sheet with a draft rota for December/January 2008 so I guess I must have used it last winter. I hope it fuels you too for 2010.
(A further note - I've just found the prayer in Nicola Slee and Rosie Mills' Doing December Differently - I guess that's where i copied it from!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tim Hart of Steeleye Span died on Christmas eve. This video is from the Anniversary tour.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 29 Dec

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 and author 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!
"Your son's a fine guitar player," Father Jack said.
"That's the racket I hear upstairs?" Teddy asked, but Jamie wasn't in the mood to be teased.
Maile Meloy's novel 'Liars and Saints' about faith, failure, sanctity and secrets within an American Catholic family. It's our book group (BATS) current book and, at the moment, I'm rather enjoying it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Is there reality at the other end of an email?

Back in February I wrote a piece which quoted a couple of blogs on the subjects of Afghanistan and Iran as a follow up to some reading and a viewing of Persepolis. I have an interest in both contemporary 'classical' music and mathematics so I was interested to see a blog about an Iranian composer/mathematician Keyvan Yahya. A couple of days ago that entry acquired an anonymous comment which suggested that Keyvan Yahya was not all he seemed, I went to the Wikipedia article which I had quoted and discovered that the mention of Keyvan Yahya had been removed around the same time as the comment was posted probably by someone from Iran. I initially gave the comment a rather dusty answer - my first guess was that the commenter (and possibly wikipedia editor, if they were one and the same) were likely to have Iranian government connections and they were trying, effectively, to un-person someone who might be deemed to be too Western influenced. However, doing some web searching just came up with rather similar biographical details, I also found that the Satrap Philharmonic Orchestra which Keyvan Yahya claimed to have founded had had its wikipedia page removed (the same day) with a note suggesting that it (the orchestra) might not exist.
I emailed the owner of On an Overgrown Path who blogs as 'Pliable' and he was similarly mystified. He's contacted the composer Jeff Harrington whose work was meant to have been performed who has had no feedback on the performance. Mike Roberts, a Canadian composer was also promised a performance by Keyvan Yahya, I'm still trying to find out whether anything has happened there.

I realise contacts betwwen Iran and the outside world due to the political situation have been a little problematic in the last few months but the situation is far from clear.

There's been a blog entry More questions than Answers at 'On an Overgrown Path' supplying more musical background than I can supply - I'd recommend a read there on foreign contacts who may not deliver what they promise! The Keyvan Yahya material comes about half way down that item. So if anyone knows of documented performances or mathematical papers by Keyvan Yahya, I'd be very interested!

(amarok's random play came up with the Parsi/English Sorabji's The Perfumed Garden - whilst I was composing this post, now there's an interesting coincidence!)


I'd missed this 18 gigapixel panorama of Prague from the TV tower
there were competitions running where if you spot the desired small feature (or rather 30 of them!) you won a prize. Wonderfully zoomable with incredible detail even down to cracks in the pedestrian crossings indentations in kerbs and contact telephone numbers on the sides of cars.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A late arrival

I tweeted about this at the end of November and meant to add a weblog entry but got distracted with the way things were in real life then.
Here are the muppets doing Bohemian Rhapsody - watch to the end!

Mutterings - 27 Dec

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Classified :: Directory
  2. Praised :: Lauded
  3. Censored :: banned
  4. 2010 :: good question
  5. Lamp :: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  6. Alternate :: Entries ( the name of that blog)
  7. Script :: bash (oh dear this is getting dreadfully geeky)
  8. Handsome :: is as handsome does
  9. Eager :: beaver
  10. Meeting :: point

Friday, December 25, 2009

Musica Callada

I was given the score of Mompou's Musica Callada for Christmas. Spare transparent music about which Stephen Hough blogged recently. Spiritual, minimalism before minimalism. Here's book 1 no 1

Especially for those walking with or remembering dogs on a Boxing day walk tomorrow.
I must try recording some of these myself, but maybe this week is a little early!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve - clouded and dingy

"Yet it would make those carolling angels weep
To think how Incarnate Love
Means such trivial joys to us children of unbelief?"
No. It's a miracle great enough
If through centuries, clouded and dingy, this Day can keep
Expectation alive.

from Cecil Day-Lewis Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Terragen 2.1 is out. Extra features and speedups. Here's an appropriate seasonal image I rendered this morning with the new version (and using Linux and Wine) - as opposed to what one might want to do with Mistletoe and the other substance!

This image took about an hour, I did a similar one with fewer layers yesterday and than took 3 hours!? Maybe it was the restart or the changes I'd done up to then?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A reading meta-challenge!

I've not done a reading challenge for a bit - I tried one in the summer but it rather ran into the sand. So with a New Year approaching and finding something that appealed on Joy's blog so Lesley at A Life in Books comes a challenge to read a number of books about reading during the year 2010, so books about books. It is fairly flexible and there are 3 levels:
  • Bookworm (read three books)
  • Litlover (read six books)
  • Bibliomaniac (read twelve books)
Not sure what I'll read yet (or how many) but I will tag relevant posts with the 'challenge' and 'Bibliophilic' tags. Schlink's the Reader is all I can think of at the moment (and I've read it but would enjoy a re-read!) but the subject area appeals...
If it appeals to you, head over there and sign up!
(only a few more posts to beat last years record - for me - number of blog entries...excuse me while I witter!)
(Feb 2010 - fixed the link to Lesley's original post! - am about to get around to this!)

Teaser Tuesday - 22 Dec

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 and author 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!
During the night, sympathisers hung a banner from one of the buildings at the University of Tehran. It showed Jamileh as a strong goddess with a rifle slung over her shoulder.
My reading is still a little patchy what with my daily commute having stopped so I'm still in Kader Abdolah's My Father's Notebook (keep on trying to type Netbook here!) - I quoted from it last week nearly complete, I thought it was an interesting read - not least for the Iranian history.

Monday, December 21, 2009

He's seen you

He's seen you
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Squirrel on the bird table with an admiring cat below. We had to intervene to lower the danger of shredded squirrel on the lawn. No doubt he'll be back for more food today!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mutterings - 20 Dec

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Interest :: Keen
  2. Chase :: Hunting (and then there's Bishop)
  3. Itch :: Scratch
  4. Soothe :: Drink
  5. Lamp :: Candle
  6. Tutor :: Form
  7. Nicole :: Papa!
  8. Sloth :: 3 toed
  9. Burn :: log
  10. Bug :: bed (microphone)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Pine

Trees have been witness
to my life, have been emblem.
I've wept my griefs
into the high darkness
of their arms, cheek against
a cone's rough open scales.
The seeds that took
in my year, 1950,
have grown a foot a year.
My eye walks out
along a branch shining
in rain, and looks back
from a long way away.
In the twilight,
night's shadow means sleep,
and no one wants to.
We all want to stay out
playing kick-the-can,
wild for another half hour
with some new kids.

Again from Chase Twichell's The Snow Watcher as we wait for this evening's snow - which has just arrived. Not quite mine - I was born in 1951.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday kitty

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


And again, on a wintry morning, from Parker Palmer's book on vocation - Let your Life Speak:
Winter has an even greater gift to give. It comes when the sky is clear, the sun is brilliant, the trees are bare, and the first snow is yet to come. It is the gift of utter clarity. In winter, one can walk into woods that had been opaque with summer growth only a few months earlier and see the trees clearly, singly and together, and see the ground they had been rooted in. ... Until we walk boldly into the fears we most want to avoid, those fears will dominate our lives. But when we walk directly into them - protected from frostbite by the warm garb of friendship or inner discipline or spiritual guidance - we can learn what they have to teach us. Then we discover once again that the cycle of the seasons is trustworthy and life-giving, even in the most dismaying season of all.
May we all see clearly in this most demanding of all seasons.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Round robin

For friends who don't follow my feed on or twitter or other social media.. our Christmas newsletter is on the home webserver as a pdf - I guess most of it has appeared on this weblog at some time or another but it's nice to draw together the main events of the year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The fruit of his own labour?

From an article by Anna Masera in today's Guardian:

In an interview with La Stampa, the president of the Democratic party – known for her deep personal animosity for Berlusconi, especially since he said on public television that she was "more good-looking than intelligent" – couldn't withhold a thought that crosses the minds of many Italians who dislike Berlusconi: violence should be condemned, but the premier is not a victim, he is responsible for the creation of a violent climate.
Berlusconi has fostered a culture of aggression, confrontation and fear and alas for him, he has fallen victim to it.

Teaser Tuesday - 15 Dec

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 and author 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!
He knew that his father needed to write about the things he didn't understand or wasn't able to explain in sign language. Inacessible, incomprehensible, intangible things that suddenly struck him and caused him to stare helplessly, or to stand transfixed, or to sit down and ponder.
I don't think that's too much of a teaser, it is from Kader Abdolah's My Father's Notebook the story of growing up in Iran and the politics of that country.


I'm currently working on the Moment Musical No 2 - David Fray played it yesterday on the Radio 3 lunchtime concert (available via iplayer for a few more days) and here's a video of him playing it at Verbier.

There were things I liked very much about this but some of the mannerisms and gazing into the distance I could do without - I suppose it is difficult not to pick up these things when creating an platform identity - probably go for the iplayer version unless, like me, the fingers are worth close study.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas has come early!

Part one of a new Simon's cat!


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Lunchtimes at home can be exciting. This squirrel appeared to want to be around the trellis and the tree as it went away (with a cat - Sid - in hot pursuit) and then returned. In the shot you see it walked along the trellis towards Hecate, the cat with her back towards us. When it wasn't taunting the cat it was arguing with a blackbird also in the tree. The cats were just enjoying the prospect of either type of lunch though both the 'victims' appear to have now escaped.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Church St

Church St
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Sparked by this item on James Rosenthal and Nick Sagovsky being denied admittance to Yarl's Wood:
Without Right of Abode
Her Majesty's Prison, Haslar, Gosport, UK

Refugees from tyranny
plead for asylum.
Prison closes around them
while they wait.
Language is a useless tool:
no one understands.

Outside the wire
encircling winds worsen.
Gales rock the hillside,
seas advance. Around the world
top statemen double-talk,
confuse and threaten.

Christmas gains admission
without visa and tinsel.
The dispossessed share common ground.
Ancient chants and modern prayers
harmonise in a Babel-mix of tongues.

Hope lights the chapel for an hour,
passed hand-to-hand.

Edna Eglinton (from Doing December Differently)

For some reason, today's Dilbert rings bells.

Mutterings - 13 Dec

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Up :: Buggered
  2. Scram! :: Shoo!
  3. Smell :: Awful
  4. Belong :: Everything (Richard Rohr book)
  5. Doug :: Chaplin (blogger)
  6. Collar :: Dog
  7. Squirrel :: Red (away)
  8. Chinese :: lantern
  9. Tracker :: dog
  10. Apartment :: flat

Saturday, December 12, 2009


More from Parker Palmer's book on vocation - Let your Life Speak:
Vocation does not come from a voice "out there" calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice "in here", calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God
And while in thoughtful mood, here is Stephen Hough on Advent and Mompou:
We are dealing here with the most intense contemplation – even a metaphysical depiction of reality: the accidents have disappeared and we are left only with the substance. It is as if the person watching the fountain or hearing the bell is being evoked, his or her soul at rest in harmony with the vibration, or purified in the cleansing water.
writing about the composer's 'The Fountain and the Bell’ contrasting it with Liszt or Ravel. I need to be a lot more reflective when playing Mompou..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another leaving do

.. and Russ
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I was at the Rain Bar with TNEI friends this evening before wherever I go next. See here for the rest of the set. (Much Later)During the course of the evening it emerged that our colleagues had been told that Gary and I left 'because our contracts forced us to' - a complete pack of lies!

El Orfanato

A trip last night to the Silk Screen in Macclesfield to see Juan Antonio Bayona's El Orfanato (The Orphanage). A Spanish gothic horror which draws one into a world where children are simultaneously innocent and unknown. I found myself thinking of James' Turn of the Screw. There was a lot of involuntary audience participation last night! Wonderfully acted by Belén Rueda in the main role. Here's the trailer - in Spanish, I'm afraid I couldn't find a version with sub-titles and I really didn't want the dubbed version!


Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
from Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking. I'm in the midst of reading Parker Palmer's book on vocation - Let your Life Speak (if anyone reading this has my copy - I'd like it back - or at least to know where it is - I've just borrowed someone else's). He writes this:
Vocation does not come from wilfullness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about - or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 8 Dec

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 and author 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!
After the frivolity of last week's 'boating for beginners' extract, here is something very dark:
However our first impressions of the Germans were most reassuring. The officers were billeted in private houses, even in the homes of Jews.
Elie Wiesel's Night, the horrifying story of Wiesel's being robbed of his teenage years, his family and his faith in Auschwitz.
This is my third read of this deeply uncomfortable book, I wasn't aware when I started reading it yesterday that tomorrow, (according to Wikipedia which cites this Hungarian article - no I don't speak the language!) Wiesel returns to Hungary for the first time since 1944.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ink Stone

Another Advent Sunday, another poem and again from Chase Twichell's The Snow Watcher -

It's a green river stone,
without adornment
except for a single
twig of pine
in an empty pool.

I like to scramble up the hill
in the summer dusk,
sit on a long stone left by the ice,
and watch the sky go dark
in a puddle of yesterday's rain.

Samantha - driving lessons

I've not put one of these on the weblog for a few years - I apologise for those who left then are are now thinking it is safe to come back!

Doudi brilliantly takes off teenage girls, I have a dvd of the series somewhere I must dig out. This is good preparation for the relentless chirpiness of Happy-Go-Lucky on C4 this evening.

Mutterings - 6 Dec

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Hotter :: Hans (opera singer)
  2. Negotiator :: ACAS (rang them this week)
  3. Crimson :: King (pop group long ago)
  4. Loses :: big time
  5. Tide :: Time
  6. Alan :: Marshall (my father)
  7. Fool :: April
  8. Pink :: Panther
  9. Palm :: Tree
  10. Lipstick :: Lesbian

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A dark and non-globally warmed night

The Slate has announced the results of a Write like Sarah Palin competition there's some wonderful (? ed) examples there. Here's part of Anne Sensenbrenner's winning entry:
One night after a long day of campaigning, when the haters had made my spirits reach a nadir, I looked into Todd's eyes, which were as blue as the stripes on Old Glory, and too representing truth and loyalty, and he looked back at me with a twinkle of determination which I hadn't seen since I told him my goal of having another baby in my fifties and naming it Tron, then did I know for sure
(etc), but go and read them all. Thanks to Chris Ambidge for the pointer.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Canciónes y Danzas No 6

I'm currently learning the Mompou Canciónes y Danzas No 6 so here are three rather different versions!
Firstly, and slowest, Eulalia Palomero Saber

and then there's Paolo Spagnolo - embedding isn't allowed I'm afraid, and finally here's Konstantin Bogino:
unfortunately not including the Danza.

There's been a coup!

Or maybe not.. but searching though my spam bucket, I've just found this gem:
Based on our investigation department, we wish to warn you against some Miscreants, Hoodlums and Touts who go about scamming innocent people by claiming to be who they are not and thereby tarnishing the image of this wonderful country. I am Lt General Peter Smith (Rtd), National Security Adviser to the new Prime Minister of Great Britain.
inevitably it continues as the normal Nigerian scam.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


'Können Sie was lernen' - from the Brecht/Weill Threpenny Opera.
Try to ignore the crunch around 20 seconds in.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Local(?) job opportunity sought

Following on from this post, I'm afraid I have to report that I received the termination letter today. I just need to decide what to do with it... So I'm now definitely in the job market again, and here's another cv link.
But I probably don't want this local opportunity:
A BRITISH couple struggling to afford their dream wedding have appeared in porn films in order to finance the venture.
L*** B****, 34, and T**** B*****, 36, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, have already earned more than $2000 from three X-rated movies.
Names *'ed out as I'm sure they've already had quite enough publicity. Hat tip to the Mad Priest, I advise a trip there for the cartoon!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Space for Hope

Rowan Williams and particularly Patricia Sawo on World AIDS day.

Dark morning

December morning
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Taken yesterday, on my last early morning walk down to the station for some time - at least I guess so. I may well though head down there when it is just getting light and the mornings, like this one, are cold and clear.

Teaser Tuesday - 1 Dec

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 and author 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!
As far as Mrs Munde could see, her daughter had no ambition and no faith. It had never occurred to her that Gloria had chosen to be nothing in order to avoid being her mother's something. Only by remaining in a vacuum-sealed diving bell could Gloria hope to avoid the storm at sea that was Mrs Munde.
Jeanette Winterson having far too much fun with the story of Noah and Genesis in 'boating for beginners' (a re-read here but I've not read it for quite a few years).
The woffle on the back says: 'If you find Monty Python The Life of Brain amusing, then this is your comic book of revelations' But go and read the link I've provided to what JW says about it on her website.
Yes I know it is three sentences, do you think I could miss out sentence three?

Monday, November 30, 2009

To everything there is a season

My annual rail season ticket expired today

clearly there was something I didn't know when I bought it twelve months ago, but I probably won't be renewing it - at least not yet! (I hope I've removed all the personal stuff from this image!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


For advent, here's Chase Twichell's poem Decade:
I had only one prayer, but it spread
like lilies, a single flower duplicating
itself over and over until it was rampant.

uncountable. At ten I lay dreaming
in its crushed green blades.

How did I come by it, strange notion
that the hard stems of rage could be broken,
that the lilies were made of words,

my words? Each one I picked
laid a wish to rest. I mean killed it.

The difference between prayer
and a wish is that a wish knows it will be
a failure even as it sets out,

whereas a prayer is still innocent.
Wishing wants prayer to find that out.
from her wonderful collection The Snow Watcher.

Mutterings - 29 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. MacGyver :: google (when you're not American)
  2. Garter :: Order (of the)
  3. Wedge :: Issue
  4. Inches :: Death (by)
  5. Code :: review
  6. Water :: life
  7. Running :: water
  8. Curly :: hair
  9. Turkey :: lunch (yes I'm cooking turkey breasts later today)
  10. Stupor :: drunk

Friday, November 27, 2009

Once more..

I was tempted to wait until the fifth anniversary of this early post on my weblog, but time is, I think, of the essence. Redundancy threatens again and so:
Anyone want an exceedingly young looking 58 year old with 19 years of C++ experience, several years Python, lots of CAD ability, numerical analysis skills... cv has been updated, that's in pdf format!
Email address is in the cv or in the weblog personal details.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Better late than never

How did I miss the Bulwer-Lytton results - which were announced back in June? Maybe it was when I was wandering across the Alps in search of the mythical flower of nearly extinct tribe of the Ngurr although it could have been a river. I was very taken by this one:
The first time I saw her she took my breath away with her long blonde hair that flowed over her shoulders like cheese sauce on a bed of nachos, making my stomach grumble as she stepped into the room, her red knit dress locking in curves better than a Ferrari at a Grand Prix.
Harol Hoffman-Meisner
Greensboro, NC
Apologies to those readers who saw all these long ago!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

108 steps

108 steps
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Ascending the 108 steps in Macclesfield on a winter evening - magical!

Marking an anniversary

I see that today is the 5th anniversary of the first significant blog entry on the weblog. I'd blogged before then on my home machine but those well be a bit broken now. I need to look through that older stuff for anything that needs(!?) preserving. But reading that initial month is, for me, interesting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 24 Nov

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 and author 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!
They were beginning to relax in the knowledge that the worst was over when the bus turned a corner and the driver let out a shriek. Around this bend nature had turned on its head.
from Danny Scheinmann's Random Acts of Heroic Love. This month's BATS (book group) book, I'm still early on in the book, I'm not sure so far as to whether I'd recommend it, maybe because I've heard other's reports!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Following my twittering about Tell Me a Korean pop song - in a traditional Korean instrument version, you should probably have the fun of the James Bond theme in a Japanese version by the Surf Champlers. Available on a Rough Guide CD.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For those half-remembered quotes

William Shakespeare

A ukulele! An ukulele! My kingdom for an ukulele!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

That one is a bit easy though.

English as she is spoke

Hadn't seen this book for years. The internet being what it is, there was bound to be a copy somewhere:
My most dear philosopher, I am induce to pray you to wake give to the M. abbot of Espagnac the panegyrist charge of saint Lowis for the next year. If you can it you shall do a good action, which I shall be too much obliged to you.
Just canny on marvelling at the above link.
Babelfish for the Victorians - hat tip to Kay

Waiting for it..

The Dr Who Christmas Special!

Mutterings - 22 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Marathon :: Runner
  2. Debt :: mountain
  3. Turn :: again Whittington
  4. Image :: reality (Debussy's Images lurking in the background)
  5. Sofa :: So Good
  6. Envelope :: pushing the
  7. Cart :: horse
  8. Process :: Python (computer language)
  9. Question :: Time
  10. Rumor :: Mill

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elisabeth Söderström

Elisabeth Söderström, who died yesterday, here sings the Song to the moon from Dvořák's Rusalka

If Beverly Sills rather gushing introduction puts you off, the music starts around 50 seconds in.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Type links with care!

Following a colleague's mis-type I've found - two letters swapped from blogspot! Whois gives the contact as
Investment Ventures, Inc., Global
Ave Ramon Arias
Panama City, - -
somewhat different from google, but http:// rmstar. blogsopt .com - lot's of space so you can't click on it! - looks very similar to this weblog, apart from various bits of javascript. I've checked a couple of other weblogs and they seem to be mirrored there too - they're not quite up to date so it not linking back to blogspot. What's really scary is that the top frame - if you're logged in to blogspot with your user id etc looks identical. I wouldn't go to any blogsopt site unless you turn off javascript and preferably not using Windows!
Unless I'm being paranoid..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 17 Nov

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 and author 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!
Em told her story of how she'd come to town, and how the town had almost beaten her. The Aunt replied with hers, and how the town was better than a friend.
from Jim Crace's Arcadia - I've previously read (and enjoyed) Pesthouse and Quarantine by the same author,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mutterings - 15 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Grace :: Abounding (followed closely by Alias)
  2. Shower :: Rain
  3. Alice :: in Wonderland (or Restaurant)
  4. Purple :: Colo[u]r (and Bishops! - and Joy, after seeing her dressed in purple this morning at church!)
  5. Apartment :: Complex
  6. 3 :: phone (or Trinity)
  7. Car :: outside
  8. Pregnant :: expectant
  9. Counselor :: support
  10. Discretion :: better part of valour

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Shipley Mill

Shipley Mill
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Another trip down to my mother's in Sussex, train and hiring a car from Gatwick seems to be the best course for me at the moment. Another trip out to the Squire and Horse at Bury and on the way back a trip in a break in the rain to see(again) the John Ireland grave at Shipley - and in the distance the mill. Last time I blogged about Shipley the entry was entitled 'Many Waters' after the John Ireland anthem, that title would be suitable for today too! I see there's a photo of the grave on that entry but, I think, with a ropier camera, I may upload todays picture to flickr..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

L'heure d'été

Just back from Olivier Assayas' L'heure d'été:

Tinged with a very French sentimentality with heart-breaking moments an interesting study of what use is art if it isn't experienced and part of everyday life. I even enjoyed the seeming vandalism of the film by the young people in the last scenes. I loved it but I think I was one of the few at the screening - or maybe I sat in the wrong part of the theatre?

Cat eating fail

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Looking towards the cold season

.. and Advent
Advent is lack. Emptiness. The time before. It is a compound of dark and cold, mourning and desire. It is bereavement, yearning, bafflement. It is interrogation, silence; it is a hand pressed to the chest.
from Paula's House of Toast but go and look at the link for the stunning pictures and then stop.

Wine still works!

Following my mandriva upgrading - I keep on being impressed by the speed - maybe I should have been appalled by the slowness of 2009.1 (and I think 2009). I was just checking, last night that wine - unfortunately not the drink, it's a Linux application which enables those apps which, alas, aren't ported to linux to run in this environment - in some cases they run as fast as they do in native windows. So here is a terragen render, runs pretty much as in windows and this image took around 10 minutes to produce which, I'd say, was impressive.

Teaser Tuesday - 10 Nov

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 and author 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!
My previous brief glance from the high window hadn't prepared me for instant intoxication. Lashed into the black soil were several species of rose-bush and tree: soaring loose-limbed ramblers bowed under white ruffs that deepened through blush to rhodamine at the edges; raspberry-pink damasks, bushy and sleek-leaved; antique chiffon cultivars with tight pale eyes whose scent must have once caressed the skin of the Medicis; a fibrillar mass trussed in feathery foliage that spread from rhubarb red to buffed pewter and bedded itself down among the gilt wands of gigantic nettles in a perfumed, jewelled haze.
A 'Secret Garden' moment, I'm still in the midst of last week's book - Lowry's The Bellini Madonna and as last week's extract was a bit spare this is a bit(!) more luxuriant!!
I almost imagine a Douanier Rousseau jungle or something Ballardish is about to emerge!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dark satire

Tax, bed and bedding from Bruno Madern's Satyicon, written in the last year of his life a wonderful piece of black comedy and musical pastiche.

Five parts of this are on youtube there's also a video of two minutes from a staging of the piece, not very moral but one has to admire the chutzpah.

Upgrading to mandriva 2010

I spent a bit of time this weekend upgrading two machines from Mandriva 2009.1 to 2010. Just a few comments and pointers which might be helpful to others.
I started with a machine which is a little lacking in memory (just 256meg), I initially tried an upgrade from DVD but that crashed before getting to the 'do you want to upgrade' question, I assume this was because of the lack of memory. As I wasn't certain whether it was a DVD problem, I mounted the original downloaded ISO image and put the 4gig of rpm files into /var/cache/urpmi/rpms just to avoid having to download them all again. I then attempted to follow the procedure outlined here though I used the command
urpmi --wget --no-verify-rpm --auto-select -v --allow-force that page is a little confusing as to which options to use. This stopped after only upgrading a few packages and I found I had to do a urpmi kernel and then a repeat of the first urpmi --wget --no-verify-rpm --auto-select -v --allow-force to get the upgrade to really start. It went pretty smoothly considering the low power of the machine, I just had to confirm that certain packages really should be upgraded (maybe I should have used the --force option but it's good to know what is being forced!). Upgrade finished, that machine runs kde4 if a little slowly. With fluxbox as a window manager it is very responsive!
Then onto the mailserver (and my main home machine), the upgrade DVD booted without problems and I just set the upgrade going, went to bed, found it had finished next morning and completed the upgrade with a reboot - very, very straightforward. The only two issues so far have been:
  • the loss of the nvidia driver - post upgrade it was using the nv driver which is a little slow for 3D/crack-attack/googleearth, I'd forgotten how to re-install this - go to 'configure your computer' view the hardware, select graphic card and 'configure' and the appropriate (non-open) driver will be downloaded and installed.
  • The other problem has been with sound and amarok, I also like to use fluxbox on this machine, but sound wouldn't work until I logged in with KDE4 as the environment, amarok now works in fluxbox but the sound is choppy (which it isn't with the KDE4 environment. I've turned off pulseaudio but presumably there's something within the kde environment which I need to start manually in fluxbox, but, so far, I've not found it!

Here's the inevitable screen shot of the desktop

Oh, and another thing, mandriva doesn't appear to have an rpm for MyPasswordSafe which I've used for quite a few years to keep all my passwords including the one for kwallet (kde's password system which some applications insist on using), I have a copy of MyPasswordSafe in /usr/local/bin which runs fine in fluxbox but falls over with kde4 which is a bit of a problem!! The code off the app website won't build on this system claiming that ui file is too old (pre KDE 3.3) - but the latest version of Ubuntu has a working MyPasswordSafe in its repository, maybe I need to find Ubuntu's source for this?
Oops, forgot to add the summary that 2010 is, in my experience, far more responsive than 2009.1 everything just feels faster (and that's even if I'm running with KDE!)

Drinks to avoid

From the Telegraph ..maybe apart from Cynar where I disagree but I've not tasted the complete set!
Liebfraumlich... possesses the rare capacity to dissolve a mouthful of pasta without the inconvenience of chewing

Interesting censoring of the Cynar comment though (making it close to incomprehensible)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Indulgence

Hallyday and Clémence, get out the chocolates!

this youtube version, which looks to be of the same session, has Clémence completely excised?

Mutterings - 8 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Alarm :: fire (and despondency)
  2. Guest :: list
  3. Worm :: tablet (and William Blake mediated via Britten)
  4. Puppies :: Kittens (and puppies at a Devon farm long ago)
  5. Honor :: Roll (American!)
  6. No! :: Yes!
  7. Stomach :: Cramps
  8. Counter :: blast
  9. Waffles :: Luxembourg
  10. Plates :: spinning

Saturday, November 07, 2009

November on the way to work

November on way to work
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
A week's holiday beckons - mostly pottering around at home, but I shall miss the early morning and watching dawn over the hiills as I walk down to the station.

Shuffle play!

I was browsing though classical cds at Magpie Music this morning - it's a bit of a mix with prices all over the place 3.99/4.99 for BBC Music Magazine cd's, £4.99 for second hand sampler cds(!) but I spotted a boxed set of Bruno Walter conducts - 10cds for £5.99 - second hand again, I though this would be worth a purchase and listen so I did. I inspected the cds contents more closely on the way home - having before just checked the list on the outside of the box and found this:

Try to ignore the horrid format with the artist name repeated for each track (though that does give a clue if you look carefully) and focus on the content. Yes Mozart's Jupiter Symphony with 7 tracks - it's a classical symphony, it has 4 movements. I wondered whether they'd split the movements but if the total time was right that was unlikely. Putting it in the player revealed an interesting cd. Track 1 is the first movement of the Mozart K466 D Minor piano Concerto (presumably in the recording played and conducted by Walter), track 2 and 3 are the Jupiter symphony, then we have an interlude with the slow movement of the concerto, then another movement of the symphony, the finale of the concerto and the finale of the symphony!!
I suppose if you buy a set produced by Ibiza Entertainment you may expect surprises. The front of the box labels it as Centurion Classics, at the moment googling on those suppliers fails to reveal any other comments on this 'interesting' cd.

I've had (Jan 2014) an email from someone claiming to speak on behalf of Magpie Music asking that I remove the link to their site - apparently they're having issues with some blogspot domains and I guess they have a script running through the domain looking for links to their site. As you can easily find their website by plugging their name into a search engine, I've removed the link.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Responding to Global Poverty

A few weeks back I mentioned that St Michael's Macclesfield were doing a series on How Should We Then Live, the talks, so far(in mp3 form), are up on Graham Turner's website together with the presentations,. I've heard the Mike Woolcock on 'Responding to Global Poverty' and it is strongly recommended (by me anyway!).

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 3 Nov

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 and author 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!
Which part of the house had I come to? I searched for the top of the chestnut under which we had sat that morning, but couldn't see it
From Elizabeth Lowry's The Bellini Madonna - 'convergence of high art and the low skulduggery' when I picked this book up in the library I wasn't aware it was going to be a conjunction of Ireland and Italy again - as with the Last Train from Liguria which I read a few weeks ago.

Church History from Scratch

.. in four minutes

Well worth a watch, I do find some of the sound track hard to get my ears around - but maybe that's age..
Hat tip to OCICBW

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The silence which judges

As Colin Coward reports on the Changing attitude weblog, a Ugandan bill is in the process of working its way through their legislature which would not only bring in the death penalty for homosexuals it would also make it a crime for friends/ family of homosexuals not to report it to the authorities. In an attempt to build a broad coalition against this wicked legislation letters were written by Changing Attitude to the leadership teams of Fulcrum, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Church Society over a week ago, so far only Fulcrum have made a response the other organisations seem to be unable even to offer the courtesy of an acknowledgement.
Pressure needs exerting on the so far silent Church authorities to pour some light on this loathsome bill which goes directly agains a Lambeth resolution which many of those groups were all in favour.
On a lower leadership level, there's a facebook group to coordinate and share ideas.

I, troublemaker

Following a Guardian report of police spotter cards, comes this helpful website for forging your own:

Mutterings - 1 November

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Hairbrush :: comb
  2. Sneak :: Gollum (and school)
  3. Hole :: Gollum (in one)
  4. Horror :: fright
  5. Standard :: firework
  6. Mailbox :: attachment
  7. Attachment :: load (on server) - I wasn't looking down on the previous line - honest!
  8. Type :: Font
  9. Nails :: Hard as
  10. Storage :: Facility

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Manchester goes Karmic

Watch the netbook!
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I was at the Manchester Ubuntu Karmic release party last night at the Pitcher and piano. Not as focussed as the Jaunty do earlier in the year. A good get together though! I'd upgraded my work laptop earlier in the day - just so it was ready for the evening, went slowly but smoothly - the only issues I have is I seem to be constrained to use kdm as a login manager - before the upgrade I was using gdm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
doesn't seem to do it. I shall have to try fiddling around in /etc/X11. (Later - ah this is gdm,it just looks rather different and at the monent has no, well not many, options on configuration).
Before the upgrade I was using firefox 3.5 which wasn't the 'official' version, post upgrade, 3.5 is official but the browser has my bookmarks/saved tabs and passwords from 3.0 and the ones from before are nowhere to be seen! A colleague has expereinced issues with an identical ASUS laptop and the nividia driver for the G9650M GT graphics card. It seemed to be ok for me but once I started something kde related, I too, got graphical artifacts (junk!) all over the screen. Known bug with the latest nvidia driver and that card (happens on both Linux and Windows) and they don't appear to be in a hurry to fix it. I shall try keeping away from kde and see what happens! My other photo from the evening is here.

Something seasonal

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
or is that seasoned?

The Return

At the Silk Screen on Wednesday we saw Zvyagintsev's 'The Return' a tale of the arrival, out of the blue, of a husband and father after 12 years absence. You never find out why he was away and the story follows a trip as he takes his sons to the sea in Northern Siberia. Lots of things are unexplained and the viewer ends up almost as puzzled as the teenage children. The Observer review is here, one review commented on the resemblance to Alfonso Cuarón's Y tu mamá también - a long secretive road trip to a beach -I picked up on that but, for me, the larger similarity was to Io non ho paura (and here's that film's wikipedia page), its fascination with nature, great skyscapes especially clouds and the wind in the trees, not to mention children on an edge of adult events they just didn't understand. I was put off by one of the committee's quick summary, a week before the showing, the reality was very worth while! Here's the trailer:

The delights of place holders

For Ala. man, XXXXXXX marks spot for ticket-magnet
Scottie Roberson bought a vanity plate with seven X's to pay homage to his racer nickname. But that causes a bit of a snafu when parking patrols put the plate into the system. Officials usually put seven X's in place of the number for cars without license plates.

Roberson said the mix-up has led him to get as many as 10 tickets in a day.

Never put valid id's as temporary markers!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 27 Oct

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 and author 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!
My mother's words hang like too-ripe fruit, and when they fall on the floor and burst, she shudders into motion. 'Kate,' she says, hurrying towards my sister, her arms already outstretched.
from our current book group book Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper, I'm afraid I'm getting to the stage of being annoyed by, what seems to me as, relentless emotional manipulation and some pretty cliched stock phrases. We'll see whether I (or she) work our way out of it! There are though interesting questions posed about designer babies, organ donation and the American health care system.
To start with, I thought I wouldn't enjoy it as it was described to me as a 'chick-lit' book, I don't have any problem with that here the questions are elsewhere!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Navarra Quartet concert in Bollington

We went to the Bollington Arts Centre last night for a concert by the Navarra Quartet. Unfortunately, due to illness, they were unable to programme the Beethoven Op 18 No 6 and instead played the Haydn Op 33 No 6. Following that there was the challenge of the Thomas Ades Arcadiana, a work I'd not heard before, a piece in seven movements with lots of echoes of other composers. Hard listening for a first time, parts which were of rapt beauty and others which came over as somewhat weird! I'm going to try it via the Calder Quartet recording (that's an EMusic link) before I come to a conclusion. This site - Third Angle - has music from some of the movements. The second part consisted of another work with seven interconnected movements (the Ades has seven - not the 6 claimed in the Third Angle link) the Beethoven Op 131 C# minor late quartet. I think I heard this live back in the 1980's when a quartet whose name I've forgotten(!) did a complete Beethoven quartet cycle in Leeds. After the Ades what came over for me was the sheer weirdness of this work too, the scherzo with its disconnected phrases - on cd you don't realise how split up between the instruments are the phrases. Music hanging over the abyss . They (the Navarra) are performing early next year at the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society

Coward on Cowards

Colin Coward's reaction to the Forward in Faith hypocricy of yesterday
I want to be a member of a church that is honest and truthful, open and loving, and properly faithful to Jesus Christ and all of God’s children, and I will now work and campaign with even greater resolve for a church in which women’s ministry is valued at all levels and LGBT who live with the highest commitment to love and fidelity can also live openly and truthfully. To hell with the Forward in Faith closet!
But go and read the original!

Mutterings - 25 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Redskins :: Potatoes
  2. Show :: Reveal
  3. Smoker :: Eugh
  4. Bad movie :: time wasted
  5. Play :: curtain
  6. Jaguar :: car
  7. Click :: mouse
  8. Production :: environment
  9. Sand :: -y Shaw
  10. Foreign :: lands

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The last movement of the Prokofiev 7th piano sonata in a rather different arrangement

if it's as difficult on marimbas as it is on the piano...
Thanks to 'Rugby' on for finding this!
The performing group is funcussion

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meanwhile in St Peter's Square

Maybe the next dual press conference will have the translation?

Much too funny - and do keep watching for the last 30 seconds!
(via the MadPriest - surely you don't need a link?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Unfortunately, our trip to Luzern in the Summer didn't give us time to see the Kunstmuseum's exhibition on the theme of Silence - there's just about a month left if you find yourself in the area! The exhibition closes on 22nd November.

That Roman Offer

Nick Baines blogs powerfully on the subject:
The church exists for the sake of the world – not for the sake of the purity of the church.
I write as someone who, at times, has seriously considered the Roman option - though not for the reasons which many are now considering! (there, I bet that shocked some readers!)

Christian Values

Hat tip to Richard Smedley

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - 20 Oct

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 and author 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!
'Sanders! Come back, Doctor!' The brittle echoes of Radek's voice, like a faint cry in an underground grotto, reached Sanders, but he stumbled on along the road, following the intricate patterns that revolved and expanded over his head like jewelled mandalas.
J G Ballard The Crystal World - a re-read for me!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three tabbies on a trellis

3 cats on a trellis
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
With the middle one trying to escape. Our two are the bookends - but that isn't our garden - nor that of the middle one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Walking up Shutlingsloe

And here's a picture of part of yesterday's reunion walking up Shutlingsloe - I've put an album of the pictures I took on flickr and here's a link!

Limits to growth

This talk from Rowan Williams this week
We have slowly begun to suspect that we have allowed ourselves to become addicted to fantasies about prosperity and growth, dreams of wealth without risk and profit without cost. A good deal of the talk and activity around the financial collapse has the marks of what Alastair McIntosh calls "displacement activity" – it fails to see where the roots of the problem lie; in our amnesia about the human calling.
And a morning service on actions we take to respond to climate change have let to much musing today. Elizaphanian however, thinks that this is all a bit late, we're facing a situation of damage limitation rather than solution.
Meanwhile the American Family Association is trying to persuade its followers not to bother their pretty little heads about it - streaming a film on the issue tonight, no doubt climate change is all a liberal conspiracy - their attitude borders on the criminal.

Mutterings - 18 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Werewolf :: Owwwwwwwwww!
  2. Jim :: but not as we know it?
  3. 2x4 :: 8
  4. Unruly :: mob
  5. Component :: class
  6. Prolific :: writer
  7. Wrestler :: Jacob
  8. Huh? :: Ummmm
  9. Dolls :: house
  10. Super! :: Wonderful!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The reunion

The reunion
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
The reunion has happened and we're back from the evening meal! Here we are in front of St Michael's - more photos to follow!
(Do I need to identify these people? though the flickr picture has the names as annotations). Maybe we should have repeated the photo once Pete Hobson arrived - or should I paste him in from another of the pictures?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Allocation failure!

Sometime ago, I blogged that I was going to attempt the True Harbour Take a Chance reading challenge (I see the challenge is actually based at Find Your Next Book Here). Well, the challenge expires at the end of November and so far it is still only the one part of challenge completed. This week I returned to the items and looked at number 2:
Random Word. Go to this random word generator and generate a random word. Find a book with this word in the title. Read the book and write about it.

My word is 'allocation' and I think it will be a challenge(!), I've drawn a blank on anything readable at the library. If anyone can think of a book with the word 'allocation' in the title which isn't on some abstruse area of economics I'd be very grateful. I suppose there might be some - not too mind-numbing books on computing (IP address allocation?) - wake up at the back! - or mathematics? All suggestions very gratefully received (email or by commenting)!!
Otherwise I shall hastily move on to challenge three.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Back from a trip to see Caramel at the Silk Screen in Macc:

A wonderfully observed film, nothing much happens but wonderful images, the play of characters and some pretty raw emotion make this a film to be seen! It portrays the lives of five women working in a beauty salon in Beirut being asked some thought provoking questions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


According to the BBC
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has described himself as the most persecuted person "in the entire history of the world".
I think that's probably beyond parody, maybe he should compare notes with those Italians which he appears to regard as untermensch and who he as been persecuting - and who can't afford expensive lawyers. He should proably have a word with Miriana then this pampered buffoon might understand the meaning of the word persecution.
Nice to see his legal immunity being removed though.

Teaser Tuesday - 13 Oct

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 and author 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!
But Lufkin? Safari suit? The old man was definitely up to something fishy, the first lady had thought, checking his beige-coloured, polyester safari suit for any missing buttons.
Mohammed Hanif's 'A case of Exploding Mangoes' the tale of the last days of General Zia.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trip down memory lane

This blog post was recovered from an blog entry I made around 5 years ago and as it is no longer accessible (the blog resided on my home machine) , let me give this boasting a little fresh life by putting it here. I had been looking for my earliest presence on usenet using googlegroups to search google's archive(which then had a far better search facility than now!) I wrote that:

That I can find is this from 1990, but I'm sure I was posting earlier. Complete with double .signature - sigh!

OK, here's a slightly earlier one - again asking about usenet software!

Ah, I needed to search for rather than the other way around and pushes it back to May 89 though I'm sure I posted to uk.* before that but google groups seems light on those - no posts from uk.followup at all!

I doubt if I would be able to find them starting from scratch now, note in the earliest posting the reversed email addresses as well as the uucp delivery! Over 20 years ago now.
On searching around for my postings I did find this message of a very convoluted approach to system recovery . I still remember that afternoon though as someone affected by the events rather than directly involved. I thought the
rm -rf *
was part of a script which was run from the wrong place but maybe the script was set to echo the commands it ran?

Mutterings - 11 October

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. My treat :: chocolate (dark)
  2. Bell ::tower (also Iris Murdoch's book..)
  3. Five :: Famous
  4. You’re crazy :: mad
  5. Disgust :: eugh
  6. Tempest :: Caliban
  7. Bummer :: whoops (I was also looking at a copy of Jerome's 3 men on a Bummel in the local Oxfam yesterday)
  8. Brim :: full
  9. Hose :: pipe
  10. Lollipop :: lady

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Somone is Bach'ing up the wrong tree

The following image is from the wikipedia panel of amarok when I've just been listening to some Hans Werner Henze - for whom there is a perfectly good wikipedia page (follow that link!)

I'm not sure whose fault this is, whether wikipedia is seeing a request from amarok and trying to find a band and failing or if the responsibility is at amarok's end. It illustrates the sort of hole you get in when you assume that everyone fits a particular template - listening to bands who play songs. We are all individuals(!) who may think differently to the writer of a particular piece of software - and when the assumptions of the writers of two pieces of software don't mesh then you get screen shots like this.

A week to go!

A week to go to the St Michael's/ St Andrew's/All Saints' reunion next Saturday and here's a picture with those who I think are coming highlighted.

(click on the picture for a larger version) My list currently looks like - I'm not putting full names just for a bit of security!
  • Mary H (W)
  • Robert Marshall (that's me)
  • Ann D (S)
  • Andrew R
  • Paul and Lynne S (not pictured)
  • Peter H (not pictured)
  • Paul C-K (not pictured)
  • Richard M (not pictured)
  • David A
  • Helen and Roger G
  • Graham F (not pictured)
  • Frank and Helen H? (not pictured)
  • Janet W (D)
  • Gordon H
  • Karen G(?) (not pictured)
  • Dave H?
  • Brian and Chris G (not pictured)
  • Mike, Ann and Jeremy S(?)(just J pictured)
  • Jonathan and Sylvia W
  • Mark S
  • Richard Lomas? (on picture but a late addition to the list)
  • Heather A?

If you think you're coming and want to be added to this list, please let me know (or if you've been recognized in error in the picture!), but if you just want to appear and surprise us, then between 12 and 3pm at St Michael's would be a good time to appear before we head off on a walk (tailorable for those of different fitnesses!) and then a meal.