Saturday 29 November 2003

Hails of trout - (GSOH part 2)

Well, not really, but that's how we often refer to the weather.

Managed to get a ride in this morning. Around 8.00am the temperature was mild (about 14'C) enough for shorts, and although it was overcast, it was dry. As I was packing the car at around 8.40 there was a real edge to the wind that had not been there earlier, so on went the longs. As I left it started drizzling, and by the time I got to Wendover there was real rain.

Well, not being made of sugar we did go out, but blummin' 'eck, was it cold! After the first mile we were soaked, and had to fight our way though layers of mud and leaves. At this time of year pedalling is really hard work, and it felt like we were constantly climbing, all apart from the steep downhills, where we're mostly sliding ;-) And then one of the party got separated, requiring about 20mins search before we heard they were safe.

After nearly 2 hours we got back to the car park wet and cold. And y'know what? On the way home the rain stopped. This afternoon the clouds broke and the sun shone. God's sense of humour part 2?

Friday 28 November 2003

God has a sense of humour

I'd almost finished a long rant about being shallow and not wanting human wisdom when I decided to check a couple of spellings. Cue quick google search - done - close window. The original window. With my rant on it.

Well, I've got it out of my system now, no-one has been offended and we can move on.

Human wisdom - D'oh.

Thursday 27 November 2003

Don't you love weather?

After all the rain comes the sun. And the ice.

Not a big deal for the Canukes, but over here it's a bit special for it to be 11.15 am and still frosty outside.

I really like the winter, but after all the rain my car locks were so frozen I could barely get the key in. Then came the "pulling at the door" routine to try to get inside. Much hilarity and frozen fingers later, we all got away.

Only to return. Sarah had decided that she didn't need a coat this morning, a thin blouse and sweater (complete with bare midrif) being quite enough. What made me twig was that she was sat in the car shivering and pulling the sleeves over her hands, because she was cold. It's amazing how a discussion on the necessity of a coat will provide more than enough warmth, so that there is no need to return home. Really. At all. Now. Daaaddddd.

Click. Stump, stump, stump, stump. Bang. Rummage, rummage. Bang. Stump, stump, stump, stump. Bang. Mutter, mutter, mutter.

And off we went again ;-)

I last saw her at the bus stop, clutching her bags in one hand and her coat in the other. *sigh*. I'll keep praying for for my kids.

Wednesday 26 November 2003

Well the rain came down

And the floods came up.

Mustn't complain - we had a superb summer. But it's been raining most of the time for the last couple of weeks, and I'm already fed up with it. Maybe it's time I moved countries? ;-)

Still, it's good for the countryside.

Tuesday 25 November 2003

Much better now.

Most of the w/e was a right off, courtesy of the cold finally getting the better of me. Seriously lousy on Saturday (the late night probably didn't help) but had difficulty keeping warm enough in the evening. Sunday again felt rotten (despite >8 hours in the sack) and had to guide worship on Sunday evening. To my amazement, I gather it was actually OK. What was that about God working in our weakness?

After the meeting Barrie (senior elder) prayed for and annointed me, and hey, by Monday I'm virtually fine. Fantastic. Straight back into the world of work again then. God's timing definitely has a sense of humour ;-)

Tuesday is here, and I'm definitely mended. Just tired again from a late night drawing up schedules and emailing people.

Now, when can I fit another ride in?

Friday 21 November 2003

Friday night is time to relax.

I've spent the evening ringing round talking to the other members of the worship team, explaining the way ahead for the next few months. Got agreement - great. Even better, Jeremy (a great keyboard player, though not in his own eyes) has agreed to come out of retirement.

I've also managed to fix the dead PCs, so a sense of achievement there.

Collected Sarah from her boyfriend's place in Shipton.

Everyone else is in bed, so it's time to relax. This week has been really hard - I've not been well, and there's a lot of pressure to manufacture a lot of stock before some CE regulations come into force in 2 weeks time. No work tomorrow, so a slightly late night + lay-in is OK.

Go hunt in the fridge for a cider (I'm not a huge beer fan, although it definitely has it's place). The cupboard is bare - Sarah is to blame I expect. I do have a bottle of Hefeweiss beer - German wheat beer - in there. Pop the cap, and although it tastes OK, it doesn't quite hit the spot. Now I know I'm a philistine, but I add a shot of lime to it. As expected, this makes a small amount of froth flow from the neck. Anyway, when it's calmed I take a good hard swig to mix the lime in: next minute beer is being forced out faster than I can take it, as it foams strongly out of the neck.

Hmmmm. not quite what was intended.

Cheers anyway.

Back up again!

Sometimes people design things really well, even if they then hide it!

Wednesday night 2 PCs here got fried by a power surge. Well I grabbed a derelict base unit from work tonight on the way out and stripped out the psu. Pulled my base unit out at home and plugged in the new psu - bingo, everything OK. So out of curiosity I dismantled the old psu looking for burnt patches - none visible. Checked the internal fuse - closed circuit, fine. I found a connector that was off at an angle but that was all. Then I had a 'what if' moment and reconnected it. Hey presto it re-starts.

Great thinks I, must be that dodgy connector.

So upstairs to BW's PC, out with old psu, in with new and again, everything works. Now both base units are in the same cases, so not being averse to experimentation repeat as before, and hey presto again. Great - cos the old psu is better than the new one.

Then it dawned on me - these have an anti-surge cut out built in, but the cut out remained on as long as they stayed connected to the mains. Since the power cut was short there wasn't enough time for them to re-set, and they remained tripped. Now bearing in mind that I built both these, you'd hope that there would have been some instructions somewhere to let the user know? Can't complain, cos they were dead cheap, but even so.


Fry up last night at the Ertls

While we were enjoying dinner our lights suddenly went very bright, then off, then on/bright then off then on normal again.

Cue 2 dead PC base units :-(

So if anyone has emailed me at home, I'm sorry but it'll may take a little while to get things working again. I know where I can salvage one ATX power supply, but if the mobo has fried then it'll be a couple of working days before I can replace it. Ben's PC is dead too, although we were planning to do an upgrade for Christmas anyway, so that can be accelerated. Living in the country, power cuts are just a routine part of life, but in 10 years I've never needed a surge protector (had modem get fried in a storm PC-off, but that's a bit different). Now, how do I justify replacing the graphics card too? here I come.

Thursday 20 November 2003

Knackered again.

Did circuit training last night without really wanting to - I've been feeling really ropey recently. Do I ache today? Do I, heck. If I get much fitter I won't make it out of bed in the mornings.

Just finished lunch. Our logistics person has brought me a rather late delivery. It's in a large box filled with foam 'quavers', then inside a second box wadded out with brown paper.

Just spilled foam quavers across the floor getting box 2 out.

Must cut through this parcel tape. Gimme somthing sharp!

Oh what the heck, I'll just use the edge of a ruler.

But now I've just got inside. Finally I have it! My own can of dust-pro de-duster.

There's an image on the side of the can. It shows a youth holding the nozzle in their mouth with the can floating in mid air, and is circled in red with a red line across it. I'm sure it's all very serious, but it actually looks just plain funny. It must be very sad to want to inhale something that advertises in large print on the container that it doesn't contain anything interesting at all.

Tuesday 18 November 2003

Sniff sniff.

Seem to have acquired a cold - yuk! Really want to be sat at home with a book doing nothing. Instead running QC on the last production run, setting up assays on this week's test service samples and treating the antibody for tomorrow's plate coating.

At least it isn't too bad - I'm just a bit sniffy and stupid. Still it does explain the aches and pains, when I didn't think Saturday's crash was bad enough for that.

Sniff sniff.

Seem to have acquired a cold - yuk! Really want to be sat at home with a book doing nothing. Instead running QC on the last production run, setting up assays on this week's test service samples and treating the antibody for tomorrow's plate coating.

At least it isn't too bad - I'm just a bit sniffy and stupid. Still it does explain the aches and pains, when I didn't think Saturday's crash was bad enough for that.

Monday 17 November 2003

Another crappy day in paradise :-)

Back to work.

It's raining and my feet are wet from a lunchtime walk.

I'm chasing quotes for bits of lab equipment, and despite repeated calls the suppliers aren't getting back to me.

Good weekend though.

I remember seeing a cartoon comparing the young and the old through their week. The old start all fresh, gradually getting more haggard toward the weekend. The young start all haggard, gradually building up energy for a weekend that wears them out by Monday morning.

I seem to be in the latter category ;-)

Managed a great ride on Saturday. It was warm enough for shorts again, despite the weather forecast. We did the ride from the Lions at Bledlow, up and across the ridgeway (which I cleaned easily) through the woods to the 'stairway to hospital' (a steep and slippery stair run). 2 of the other riders stacked here, but yours truly rode it in fine style. The climb up Chinnor hill was long, but there is always a great sense of achievement when you get to the top. However pride comes before a fall, and chasing Beckers through the woods, I'd nearly caught him when my front wheel caught a leaf filled ditch instead. One brief 'Batman' moment later and I now have a sore thumb and shoulder and an Ibuprofen habit.

Next time, Mike, next time.

Took Boy Wonder and Dan (from the church) riding yesterday morning at Rowney Warren. Dan did really well until he 'pringled' his front wheel leaping a log. At least he got up laughing.

Friday 14 November 2003

I've been busy.

And next week will be the same.

My article about building MTB lights made the front of Bikemagic though. Only trouble is I didn't even know until I started getting comments a day or so later.

Time for bed I think.

Hope the wedding goes well for Linea tomorrow.

Monday 10 November 2003

Interesting time yesterday

We had a celebration in Oxford at the King's centre (where all the churches that are part of OCC get together). James Jordon from the Airport Church in Toronto was talking about 'the Father's heart'. His message was very much a mixed bag, with some really excellent stuff about the love of God, and some flaky stuff about Adam's IQ and how compared to the love of the Father, it didn't matter whether we had good or bad fathers.

The essence of the message was spot on, but I wish people (especially 'eminent' people) would be a little more careful when they stand on a platform.

Chris went in the evening as well (I stayed to make sure the kids went to bed at a decent hour). Again she was touched, but came back wondering whether either she'd missed something fundamental all her life, or he she hadn't quite caught the true meaning of his message. Or he was just plain wrong about certain aspects.


Saturday 8 November 2003

A visit and some thoughts

I visited my mother today. It’s only 2 hours drive, but there are times that it seems like a huge distance, and a major task to get there.

It was really great to see her again. She's got Myasthenia Gravis, which is a nasty auto-immune disease that causes the neuro-muscular junction of nerves to degenerate. The effect is increasing weakness and breathlessness. Treatment to slow the disease is possible, but there's no cure. As a result of the drugs she takes her immune system is quite compromised, and she's very susceptible to infection. We had to leave Sarah behind because of her cold, which was a shame, but it did mean Chris and I got a couple of hours talking time on the way down.

Anyway, she’s just moved churches for a variety of practical reasons to do with age and frailty. The church she felt God join her to is an Anglican congregation – something she struggled with as a lifetime evangelical. Actually she’s been impressed and surprised - they appear to be a non-traditional group, enjoying free worship, trying to reach out to people around them and preaching a need for personal belief in Jesus and repentance. They even practice believer’s baptism. :-)

As part of our conversation we discussed what it means to be evangelical (weird phrase – not being what it sounds like it should mean). The conclusion was that evangelicals place an emphasis on Christians knowing God for themselves, non-evangelicals having a more general belief that having the appropriate behaviour patterns and reciting the correct words is what God wants, the personal aspect being unimportant.

Maybe this isn’t really the true distinguishing sign, but I’m starting to think that it’s the reality of the situation. More and more I seem to hear people ‘discussing’ the meaning of the word of God, as if it were a subject for intellectual interpretation. It’s an easy trap to fall in, as I’ve found. But I quite seriously wonder if this is what’s at the root of the stagnation of so many of God’s moves throughout the years. Focussing on what we know, rather than what God’s saying and doing next. I wonder if this the cause of the resurgence in ‘traditional’ forms of worship. And also the increasingly clear polarisation between a ‘liberal’ church and one which values God’s feelings, whether Anglican or otherwise.

It’s very hard to have a good relationship with one you love if you keep offending or hurting them.

Thursday 6 November 2003

Another photcollection in the fotopic gallery.

Nothing large or exciting, but some images from a visit to Leamington, including the baths. Here. You might be interested. Or not.

Wednesday 5 November 2003

I'm on the front page of Bikemagic!

Although you'd never know it ;-)

We had a great ride on Saturday - hardwork but through beautiful autumn countryside. 'Pev' spotted this scene and submitted the image. BM liked it so much they used it on the 'cover'.

BTW I'm the one furthest left.

Yet again.

Rebuilt Boy Wonder's PC. New cooling fan to stop it crashing, plus new HDD (faster and more space for games). What a lovely way to spend your evening :-/

For all you XP users, remember those heady days when the OS was under 200Mb? And it doesn't try to call ghostbusters after installing either.

Tuesday 4 November 2003

So they finally did it.

And made the first openly homosexual bishop in the US. I guess the liberal side was never going to let it go until it had 'proved' to it was 'right'.

It makes me sad that people can apparently disregard bits of scripture if they don't happen to suit their point of view. There's nothing new in this, but this one does strike at the very fundamentals of what most Christians would call 'clean living.

It isn't the homosexuality, curiously enough, but the sexuality. If a man lived out of wedlock with a woman, would he be considered suitable for such a position?

If our beliefs cannot take us above our wants and needs (I want to look at pictures of naked women on the internet - why shouldn't I) then what is the point of them?

Monday 3 November 2003

There's an interesting thread going on BM

that is serious, for once. And not just about bikes either. The link is here.

Talking about halloween and 'spoilsports'. I pointed them toward Linea's blog for her perspective on it too, just to help balance things.

So, we can ALL blame the Americans for spoiling it ;-)

Sunday 2 November 2003

A novel experience.

I've done some shed clearing, in between bouts of rain. Now there's room for bikes AND people. Which is nice. There's some images in the gallery too, although they don't look anywhere near impressive enough.

Is there a spiritual message in here too, I wonder?