Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Why is it that when you specify "no sugar", you always get sugar? I suppose the most sensible thing to do is never to mention sugar, lest the idea form in a tea-lady's head that you would like some.

Vile, vile, vile.


I don't even understand why - I mean, I like sugar, and I like tea, but the combination repulses me. Kinda like mango and salt I guess.
The trip to the van with Neil and Nicholas was not an unmitigated success. Mutual snoring left at least two tired bunnies. Thing is both Jill and I needed to be away from the house to have a breather. We came back last night (monday) rather than this morning; so better sleepwas had by all.

Trouble is Jill rembers having her watch, the nice one bought as a Christmas present on Sunday mornign, but it was not on her wrist at the end of Sunday. Of course we are retracing steps; but I am not confident od it turning up.


Monday, 28 March 2005

[A]s a certain teacher of this world has said: "No one dances when sober unless he is mad."
- St. Ambrose. Concerning Virgins. Book III.
I wonder who said it first?
Neminem saltare sobrius, nisi forte insanit.
Ah, Cicero.

Sunday, 27 March 2005

Lord, open our lips.
And we shall praise your name.

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein;
for he has founded it upon the seas,
and established it upon the rivers.

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false,
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD,
and vindication from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory!

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Haven't blogged in along time. Lost passwords and little time.
But Jill has a new job subject to references; should be a formality, She is still very tired and not a little demoralised, as the work situation is so dire. She will finish sometime around 23rd March and we do not know when she will start at St. Peters Chertsey. She has a full week off in early April and will work 2 on calls a week to avoid having to be in the lab during the daytime when the job is most pressured. (She automatically gets a day off after an on call. My guess is that she will work Sunday night and Wednesday night She plans to start at St.Peters with a clear week between Frimley Park and St. Peters, she may need more.
Church life much healthier now. It is hard work for the right reasons now.
Today is Easter Day. The LORD is risen. Otherwise I am probably wasting my time and should go off and do something else!

Off to the van till Tuesday morning after post service dinner. The weather forecast for Tuesday morning is not good. So I think I would rather come back late on Monday. Jill would rather stay until Tuesday

Saturday, 26 March 2005

Been learning the Greek alphabet properly, and now to write it. This is a good thing, as I should be able to write out my own declensions and so forth wihout trying to find a font and enough time on James' computer. Huzzah!

While I'm here, I guess I could practise it again:

alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lamda, mu, nu (I think I may well be spelling these all wrong by now, but I can definitely pronounce them), xi, omicron, pi, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi, psi, omega.

You might have to take my word for it that I can write them.

Friday, 25 March 2005

I didn't have the best Saturday last weekend, everything started to go wrong. A clock stopped for no apparent reason and has since been going all week. The glass spontaneously cracked in a clock waiting to go, and assorted other not-my-fault problems occured. Unsurprisingly having started the day feeling down, I did some therapeutic crying in the washroom. David kindly allowed me to go home once I had composed myself. Dad suggested that this might be to do letting out some of the disapointment and hurt from my university farce and later IT dead-end career attempt. Somewhat reassuring.

The rest of the week has been quite reasonable, although I may start paying my rent in cash to prevent their delay in paying in my rent check from mucking up my budget.

I ended up working longer than the usual half-day on Thursday, in order that David wasn't alone in the shop since, two of his staff were off and the other one was attending a funeral in the early afternoon. Still it means I can finish two and a half hours earlier one day if I so choose.

I'm in Camberley for this weekend, enjoying the time with my parents and enduring (sorry enjoying) Nicholas's company.

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Emma's landed an interview at Sale Grammar School after Easter. I reckon she's doing something right - after sending off four applications, she's had interviews at three schools. Her school broke up for Easter today, so hopefully she'll get a well deserved rest from her PGCE course. She's got a ton of work to do over the two week break (well, two and a bit - it includes Good Friday) but is hoping to get it out of the way in the first week.

We'll be heading up to Kendal
to see Mum & Dad at the caravan and maybe a bit of youth hostelling while we're there.

I think I'm getting sufficiently involved with my studies: I'm starting to view holidays as an interference with mathematics, rather than a break from it. Scary, eh?

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Well, fancy that:

First General Grant
Third General Grant

I believe in God
Christian doctrine
Mental prayer
Reading of Sacred Scripture
I was having a really crap day, but, on the plus side someone just opined that I have a "Christian attitude" towards the people who call us (they're not exactly customers...).


Tuesday, 22 March 2005

As I've not blogged for a while, I should probably update on the state of my PhD. Feel free to study this text in detail if you're having trouble sleeping, if you're a masochist, or if (bizarrely) you're genuinely interested.

I'm in my final year, so probably need to think about starting to write up my thesis. I get paid for three years, but don't have to hand it in at the end of that period - I can take up to four years - but that's probably not a great idea. I still need to eat!

I managed to get a couple of calculations that I've been working on finished. I would write down the results, but I don't know how to import .pdf files (just need a line or so - let me know if I can do it!). The techniques used seem likely to generalise and I'm confident about churning out similar results in the near future. The good news is that a pattern seems to be emerging, so hopefully I can prove a general result - which would be ideal for a nice thesis - the tough part will be proving it.
This tickled me: In response to America's new willingness to try diplomacy & financial aid to encourage Iran to halt their nuclear weapons programme, Iran is offering to send George Bush truckloads of pistachio nuts if he will dismantle America's huge nuclear arsenal.

Iran is now my favourite country.
Are you up to the challenge of local democracy?

Sunday, 20 March 2005

Some Psalms (and a canticle) that I might try and write music for.

5th Sunday of Easter
6th Sunday of Easter
Ascension - God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Ps. 46
7th Sunday of Easter - I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living. Ps. 26
The Most Holy Trinity - To you glory and praise for evermore. Dan. 3:52-56
Corpus Christi - O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! Ps. 147
9th Sunday of the year
(n.b. St. Justin, Martyr)
10th Sunday of the year - I will show God's salvation to the upright. Ps. 49
11th Sunday of the year - We are his people: the sheep of his flock. Ps. 99
12th Sunday of the year
13th Sunday of the year
Ss.Peter and Paul
14th Sunday of the year - I will bless your name for ever, O God my King. Ps. 144

Thursday, 17 March 2005

More fun with American clocks, sigh

I had a clock returned on Monday, apparently the striking mechanism was jamming the time part. Solving these problem required dismantling the clock to shorten one of the springs. An unenviable position because American clocks don't normally have anything to hold the very tightly wound mainsprings while your dismantling. Trevor found a couple of C-shaped bits of wire that were supposed to solve this issue. Only one of them did its job properly, thankfully I didn't get injured thanks to holding it in a death grip with thick work gloves.

I started on another American clock a little later in the week, this is a fine example of why clocks should be regulary serviced. The pivots were deeply scored and at least four of the hole are so worn that they move well out of proper alignment. On the other side it's a unusual movement, there's much more brass in the plates than is usual for an American and it will strike the half hours by means of a passing strike, very odd.
Good word of the day:
Word of the Day for Wednesday March 17, 2005

cabal \kuh-BAHL; kuh-BAL\, noun:
1. A secret, conspiratorial association of plotters or
intriguers whose purpose is usually to bring about an overturn
especially in public affairs.
2. The schemes or plots of such an association.

intransitive verb:
To form a cabal; to conspire; to intrigue; to plot.


Cabal derives from Medieval Latin cabala, a transliteration of
Hebrew qabbalah, "received," hence "traditional, lore," from
qabal, "to receive." The evolution in sense is: "(secret)
tradition, secret, secret plots or intrigues, secret meeting,
secret meeters, a group of plotters or intriguers."
And qabbalah is what that Madonna woman was getting up to - gnosticism by a different name I suppose.

In other news, someone seems to have replaced my trousers with sheets of lint.
Bordering on ageism or We think we're cool, but we're not

So Fr. Paul intimates that the Catenians, a group of Catholic businessmen, considerably older than yow, who come to the chaplaincy once a year for a mass and a quiz, come because they want to be exposed to more exciting liturgy than they get in their "parishes" (if I could, I'd replicate his tone of voice). Proceeds to pick the sort of songs we sing all the time. And then Kris suggests that the entrance song might be a bit much for them.

"Hmm", I think.

Presently have my "Hmm" vindicated by the loudest rendition of Be Still I have heard for some time. Naturally they have a tolerable knowledge of the other two songs as well.

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Just so's I know where to find it. Last election, the Evangelical Alliance put out a handy pack as well.

Friday, 11 March 2005



Falling asleep.

Got a load of claim forms to fill in - been doing it since about 10:00. Most of them don't provide a pay reference, so you have to look it up yourself, write it in, then check it's actually right, and not for their wife or something stupid like that, then assign it an arbitrary code based on what hourly rate of pay it is and whether or not they're in the pension scheme. And some idiot writes all over a bit that's obviously meant to be left blank every single bloody month, and divers other silly things are done by other people.

The chocolates don't work, they just make things worse.

Still, nearly done, and I feel a little better for moaning about it.

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Win two tickets for the all-day event ‘Galaxy of Stars’, a Dr Who and Star Wars convention, on 16 April at the Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare. Details at http://www.agalaxyofstars.co.uk/

Look in INsider 50 (March 11), the electronic newsletter that goes out to all staff each week. Correct answers to the two questions will go into a hat and the lucky winner will get both the tickets. Closing date 1 April 2005.
Just send the answers to these 2 questions:
* Who originally played The Master in Dr Who?
* At which theatre and in which month and year, was Star Wars screened for a test audience?
Correct answers will go into a hat. The lucky winner gets both tickets. Closing date 1 April
I could perhaps have got the first one without the internet, had I given it some time - lots of time. Never mind eh?

Thursday, 3 March 2005

It was really nice to see Mum and Dad again on Thursday, even though they were both tired. The meal with them and Mark was most enjoyable.

David's been off on holiday since Saturday and seems to have picked up some nasty disease so he's been off ill. Becasue of this there have been a few minor delays. For example an Oil-and-Setup job that needs dismantling to get a mainspring hooked on again is waiting for David to call the customer who "know exactly what the problem is" *sigh*. Before anyone asked why don't I call the customer, Norman insists that David must do that part.

So far I've had a most enjoyable birthday. Mum called, if only to pass the phone to Dad as she was leaving for work. I called Nan myself, having seen the weather reports from Kent, I was a little worried about her, but as usual she's fine. The only slight downside was that Mark was in Swansea, visiting Nicholas when I asked if he'd fancy a meal out this evening. Curse my faulty memory.