Friday, 29 July 2016

You know people need to come off drugs

When they post comments about how reading a book is surreal, because the reader is staring at markings on slices of tree while hallucinating vividly.



Thursday, 28 July 2016

One door shuts, another opens.

So today I finished one of my part-time jobs. The company was developing a screening system based on data generated by a university group that *looked* absolutely solid - strikingly so, which should have been it's own warning - yet which could not be reproduced by either us or them when it came to trials of typical patients.

It happens.

I'm really sad things didn't work out: we refined the technique a lot over the course of the project while learning loads, invented some really useful hardware and should - if everything had worked out - have had a system that would make a lot of lives a bit better and save the health service millions each year. The nature of development from academic data is hit and miss, and this one was a miss.

Tomorrow is my last paid day, but "there's no need to come in" and both the lab and office are clear & sorted.

Next Thursday I start a new job doing the kind of work I've been doing most of my life. I *hope* that I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, especially on such a short time of employment. It will be a challenge that I'm quite looking forward to, but with a slight sense of wondering whether it will become a large wave that towers over me instead of one I end up riding.

Monday, 25 July 2016

How is it they're jumping for joy?

Worship and praise are a curious experience.

So often the worship leader seems so full of joy, praise, exhuberance, happy gratitude. I wonder sometimes if I'm deficient as a Christian in some ways, that I don't overflow with 'joy inexpressible' to all around me. Am I a miserable git, sinful (OK, got me there) faithless and ungrateful?

Not really, but I can't seem to do the happy-overflow thing.

Sometimes it can drive guilt or feeling down, sometimes I can even accept it's who I am and that to be otherwise wouldn't be real. Occasionally I can feel a bit like it too, but that's somewhat unusual. Generally I try not to base life on feelings, but some things are intended to be outward expressions of feelings within, and those I'm not happy to fake so much.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Why did you just stop?

A post from Fernando about Bill Cunningham made me think about the desire to retire.

Bill C loved what he did, continuing to work into his 80s, when most would have retired 20 years or more before. I too love many of the things that I do, but there are times when the stress - the friction points - make me really wish I could just go fill shelves in Tesco.

I wonder if it's possible to find a way to live where the friction is dealt with, freeing us to just get on with what we're good at? This is really rhetorical, but it's also an 'I wish'.

p.s if anyone hears of any jobs going where I can cycle round a major city taking photos, then writing about them, please let me know. :-)

I should agopolise

The spelling on this blog, primarily due to typos, has been terrible recently.

Reading through posts from the last few weeks, I was somewhat horrified at the mistakes, especially as a spelling and grammar nazi. It is entirely my own fault, of course, however Firefox/blogger spill chucker does some odd things, failing to spot the switched spelling in the title, yet picking up on nazi.

So.... sorry.

We change.

There's a slightly uncomfy irony that, as one who wanted to reform the church for so many years, I now want a church where life and practice are familiar. And most of all, where I feel I can trust what's going on.

This is probably just a passing phase.

It's also true to say that I'm not the man I was - much more experienced, much more knowledge - though I still make the same dumb mistakes. More knowledge and experience aren't necessarily either good, useful or helpful things however, compared to faith and trust. And even fresh starts often prove not to be that either, of course, because we always bring ourselves.

More crypticism than a 'mummy' movie. ;-)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Recovering, which is good.

Last week I ended up with a nasty throat, which gave me a voice that would do justice to Wandring Star, plus a general head cold. However for the last couple of weeks my body has just been very very grumpy, aching in various places and not being at all happy. Likewise emotions have been generally dark, miserable and downward.

Hopefully that was all part of the same thing, and will now lift completely.

I'm giving running a break too. The swelling on one knee seems reduced and yesterday I managed to crouch a coupole of times, though it was very uncomfy standing up again afterwards. Not being able to get down without pain may be the price required for continuing to run.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Since you been gone.


I'm told one should never start a sentence with the word 'so', but frankly, breaking conventions harmlessly is fun sometimes. ;-)

Playing bass does odd things to the way you look at music. So why does nearly every recent-ish worship song make me want to play the main riff for Since You Been Gone, at least from the basic chord structure? I picked up the chords for Matt Redman's Sing And Shout this morning, and although it's not written *quite* like that, it *feels* like it's written just like that. There was a bunch of about 10 songs that I worked through last night, and underlying most of the songs was this feeling that riff was coiled and waiting, ready to spring out at any time.

My fingers are also callousing up nicely from their soft girliness at the beginning of the week. 2 hours thrashinga round on acoustic guitar on Tuesday followed by more than an hour of bass last night (and 20min this morning) and I've already developed callouses on my fingertips. I've 3 basses to choose from, with the fretless 5 string having lovely smooth tapewound strings that are kind to the fingers,but requiring more accuracy in fretting than I'm capable of right now. I've got a Jazz copy that's got a skinny neck and smoother strings, but it's a bitt too smooth and rounded, and can sound a bit thuddy. Harshest to play of all is the precision copy, with a big fat maple neck and really abrasive strings (like running your fingertip over a rats tail file) but it's got a wonderfull growly tone from the musicman style bridge pickup, and sounds just so much better than the others.

So P type it is then.

Delusions of adequacy - I just watched a Janek Gwizdala teaching video on youtube. Hah ha. Hah hah hah. Nope, not even close yet. :-)

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Seems it's a time of change.

So this week I seem to have joined an acoustic gospel blues band, which is interesting considering my antipathy to acoustic instruments. Sat in with the guys (and gal) in The Bell at Adderbury on Tuesday night, bought a slide on Wednesday and will be shortly trying to learn the set in time for next weeks gig at Shipston. Should be  'interesting' (I may also try to sneak in a home made 'micro' valve amp for solos once I know the guys a little more). They talked about Sister Rosetta Tharpe as one of their sources, but I'm not sure they're ready for anyone turning up with a white SG yet.

Sunday I'm playing at the celebration in Oxford, but this time probably bass rather than electric. I think I know around half the songs in the set, so that's going to be interesting too - there's going to be lots of concentrating on getting the notes right from the chords, since I can't hear where bass is pitched as easily as I can guitar.

Change is here to stay.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

I Am Legend

And there's been more than one of me.

It's a little grotesque (OK, actually rather a lot grotesque) but I also find this funny.

I'm amazed at the grace of God sometimes

And maybe sometimes I'm not aware of it, so I'm not amazed.

However. A couple of weeks back by lab-based job was coming to an end, simply because the claims made by a university for a particular technique didn't stand up to scrutiny - there was no diagnostic value in the process.

Another company here had a job going, and after no effort on my part at this point in time, I've been offered the position. There's some history with them in the past, and I've offered plenty of free advice & guidance, but nevertheless, this is still quite unexpected.

And I'm grateful.