Thursday 31 July 2008

This is what SuSE looks like - about 650kb


That image is a waste of bandwidth now.

Still running SuSE 11 though, and like it a little.

When I have a cold I just don't sleep.

But I do get an extra 6 or 7 hours.

I'm not one to decalre that anything is the ultimate this or that, but after all the fuss, it's just possible SUSE 11.0 could be the first Linux build that works adequately in terms of looks etc.

I've just installed (MUCH faster than Mandriva 8.0) and it was very simple, very intuitive. he workspace is crisp and clean, fonts automatically seem sharp (if a little odd to my windows eyes) and although there's been a couple of issues (like it couldn't update or connect to certain repositories) some things (like firefox 3) work OK.

The Plasma desktop looks really quite sharp. I hope it's more stable than the 'live' CD I ran on a laptop earlier.

So here it is, 2.40 something and my first SUSE 11.0 post.

Ah - I keep seeing little flickery artifacts appearing - thought it was my imagination at first.

Wonder if this OS will turn out to be broken like every other Linux install? I hope not - looks good so far.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Went home sick this afternoon

Head hurts, nose dripping, short of breath, aches.

Manflu? Nah, just a cold.

Edited to save feelings - second thoughts aren't always bad.


Crappy Crappy Crappy.

Summer colds

Sniffing at 30 second intervals.

Sore throat

Cotton-wool head

Crappy Crappy Crappy


Started last night. No wonder last nights bible study seemed so vague and messy to me - wish I'd just read straight off the sheet instead of doing it 'live'. Almost.

D'you ever wish?

The 'pearl of great price' analogy hadn't been presented to you.

Someone on another forum is selling a Godin xtSA - it's a great price, since he's in the US (everything is nearly half price in America) and has many features I've sought for a long time in an electric guitar: ebony fingerboard, decent construction, acoustic pickup and even synth control through a 13 pin output.

So I'm wondering about selling a couple to make way (alright, the analogy breaks down - I won't sell EVERYTHING). I don't think this is simple GAS this time, but there are a few hurdles to overcome before it's a done deal - not least discussion with the present owner.

I'm pursuing one of my favourite wastes of time.

Having read a few reviews, I've downloaded SUSE 11.0 and plan an install shortly. SUSE uses KDE 4 as the desktop environment, and from all I've seen, should look really clean.

The curious side of me saw a link to 'most annoying bugs' (guess LINUX has plenty of ordinary ones too) and had to follow it up. I love the description Several laptops panic when closing the lid. (Bug #378917). . Well, wouldn't you?

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Still a process of change

One 'interesting' aspect of my personality is that I see things in black and white. I also tend to handle the world by what I 'know' to be right and true, which means that sometimes I will avoid dealing with certain people. This is not to be nasty, and in some ways the opposite, since it prevents me expressing my true feelings.

A couple of weeks back I really felt I was given a passage of the bible for one of a pair of lesbians that have been around the 'other church'. Not a rebuke, but instead a blessing.

Cue internal battle.

Over a period of a couple of days God has eventually got it through to me that He is concerned for them where they are, and it wasn't up to me to decide who I would and would not deliver to.

To some of you this is probably "eh? what's the problem?" but for others, you might understand that this is quite a big mountain to climb, and one I've not fully scaled yet.

Just catching up on a few more things.

I didn't really mention it (although it was alluded to in the last post) that we had a barbie on Saturday night. Great time - about 30 people from the village and Upper heyford (and a couple from Holland). However just as we finished showing people round the house etc and were getting ready to sit in the cool outside and talk (about 10.30) everyone went home!

It's been steamy-hot here. We measured 29.3'C in the office yesterday afternoon. Thank goodness for the aircon in the lab: around 22'C and drier too. Last night there was a bit of thunder (PC went down - autosave IS a Godsend) and then rain. Everything was cool first thing, but the temperature is rising rapidly.

There's something odd here. In this building there is an un-secured wireless link. Reception comes and goes, so I suspect the access point is toward the other end of the building. I have seen transfer speeds were hitting 400K per second! Who leaves an open high speed link laying around?

Monday 28 July 2008

Funny how things go.

Not 10 days ago I had a decent rant about the ‘other church’.

I should know better.

This Sunday I experienced the full force of reversal. The ‘other church’ was well-ordered, as it usually is, but with a message that was literally inspired ‘spur of the moment’ and a time of praying and opportunity to share words for people. It was a good time, and one that we enjoyed participating in, bar one song*. Made me feel a little ashamed and a little inadequate (yes, I have delusions of adequacy sometimes).

Conversely the community church felt like mildly organised chaos this week. Well, it wasn’t that bad, but the meeting had a somewhat muddly feel to it, as when people are feeling their way through, willing and open to get there but not quite sure where they’re going**. I don’t mind this kind of thing, but it really didn’t work for my mother or her (older) friend who found it confusing and nonsensical as they couldn’t hear or understand what was happening***. To cap it off, I ‘borrowed’ one of our friends in the ‘other church’ to play keyboard (she has a real gift in worship) and she carried things forward when I wasn’t really doing so****. There again, she is from Zimbabwe, so she was much less affected by the 30’C+ temperatures in the room.

So there y’go. Balance redressed.

* Neither Chris nor I can cope with the song ‘Blessed Be’ these days. It was a key part of our lives in the time when Sarah died, and it now produces a Pavlovian reaction in both of us. I can play it because of the concentration guitar requires, but I can’t sing it.

**I know it worked well for some people.

***My mother and her friend left part way through – they couldn’t hear properly and her friend became distressed by various things because of her unfamiliarity with them.

**** I awoke with migraine-like symptoms on Sunday morning with sharp headache and visual disturbances. It certainly wasn’t a hangover as I’d had 3 stubby bottles of beer between 7.30 and 11.00pm. My knees were also suffering from standing up so much, and lethargy was in full and awesome flow in my body. And boy, what a hot sweaty afternoon it turned into, sucking out any energy I might have had.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Terry Virgo on Mark Driscoll

You can read it here.

Ever since all the fuss a year or 2 back about his comments over women in leadership, something resonated in me as being *right* about what he said. I have no doubt the man has flaws, but the endorsement Terry gives confirms my initial impression - and Terry is a man whose judgment I DO trust.

One thing which confused me enormously was that he leads a church with the same name as that of Rob Bell, with whom I don't feel especially happy. I wondered if they co-pastored, but apparently not. 30 seconds of googling turned up this post. His comments on Bell and Maclaren give me more confidence.

I think that for the first time in a long time I've found someone whose books I want to read in the expectation of finding good things instead of bad.

Friday 18 July 2008

Norwegian would?

I have just received an answer from someone at the Norwegian Radiological Protection Authority replying to a question.

Their name is Tonje Sekse

Say it quickly.

What I... want? need?

I am learning more about our 'new' employer.

My faith is that I'm to stay here in this job, but quite frankly, sometimes it feels like it would be a relief to be made redundant. What was Randall's post - give us what we need, not what we want.

We've had a holiday already, and I feel more in need of a holiday now than when we went away. Having a bad night does not help ones outlook in the morning.

Thursday 17 July 2008

Intensely frustrated!

We've just come back from 'our other church'.

The Holy Spirit was at work this evening in a way that both Chris and I (and some of the others, judging by how they were on their knees) could feel really strongly. We almost felt ready to burst with it at times. Yet everything was just ordered, boxed, and done as if God wasn't calling us to pray and intercede.

I just want to push away the curtains of polite Englishness and push through into the presence of God. There is a future path ahead for us with these people and I hope we can walk it carefully enough that no-one is put off through it. Including us!

Post edited because although I stand by everything I said, sometimes our 'truth' isn't always helpful for everyone.

Dreams. Who'd have 'em?

Me, if they come from where I think this one did.

I think I see where this may be going, and it's going to be a little scary. And it depends very much on how this is received in certain quarters too, but I think I see certain things fitting together now. It's going to be a busy old time if I'm right and I've heard clearly.

Just hope I'm hearing right and not making this up out of my head.

That last post has started me thinking

... which may be a bad thing.

I wonder what Jesus would say to him?

I wonder if it would be something like this?



What would James say?

I've been thinking about this somewhat, and I'm not sure that those who lead are eligible for a spiritual 'get out of jail free' card.

Early morning thoughts

On Randalls blog there was a comment from Susan that I'd like to partly quote here.

Before becoming an Anglican I had no idea that there were so many “born again” Christians in the denomination because I had been told there weren’t. While we do not tend to use that particular phrase in reference to submission to Christ, I am grateful that we have so many evangelicals in our midst.

I wonder if the reason the Anglican church does not officially recognise being born again is because of Henry VIII's stance against the reformation. He gained the title of 'defender of the faith' by writing against Martin Luther and the theology of justification by faith, on which the concept of being born again was restored to the church. Somehow I suspect this is rather too great a simplification of the situation, but I still wonder if there's some basis in history......

Wednesday 16 July 2008

An odd day here.

Odd as in unusual.

All my staff are out.

One is enjoying Lanzarote.

One is attending his grandfather's funeral.

One is off sick.

So I'm running the lab on my ownsome.

It's kind of nice. All the issues facing me, the need to write procedures, deal with customers, organise peoples projects, review data, all the stuff I forget that will come round to bite me on the bottom. All these things that press in have been swept away in a river of samples that need testing.

It's nice to have a lab day sometimes. To determine to do nothing else and just see how much can be hammered through in a single day.

I'm a little slower than I was 10, or even 5, years ago.

10 years ago I would work on sheer adrenaline and anger. The amount of work that can be processed when driven by focussed anger is astonishing, but it doesn't make for good working relationships. Nor does it help one sleep at night or be nice to people when you get home.

But it has been productive. It's nice to know the old man can wave pipettes effectively if he needs to.

I really appreciate the guys that work for me, though, even if sometimes I wish I was just a plate-jockey, back in the lab running assays all day without having to plan any further than how to fit an impossible amount of work into the next few hours. 'Appy daze' and a colleague would say.

This is my afternoon coffee break post.

Sunday 13 July 2008

A prayer request

Harmony Central is like a big, somewhat rude and highly unruly family.

People share all sorts of things on there: women they'd like to 'meet', guitars they own or wish they did, tips and information on equipment, sound clips and sometimes personal abuse.

They also share their needs and tragedies.

There's a member that I've seen around at various times who's just shared what has to be one of the greatest personal tragedies imaginable - his 20 year old daughter was recently killed and they have buried her a couple of days ago.

We've talked a little through the site messaging service. His name on line is Axeslinger.

Please pray for him and his family, at what is the hardest time he'll ever have to face.

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Just got back from circuit training.

We've just started a new regimen (boot camp) and I'm now waiting for dinner to be ready and the visual disturbances from a really hard session to settle down.

Burn out?

Not me.

I've watched various friends over the years do it. Not many, but enough that it bothers me.

One thing I've noticed about them, that they seem to have in common, is that it's not the pressure of what they're doing that flattens they - they usually have grace to carry what they are doing. Instead it's their families.

Nothing hits me harder than when things are bad at home. It takes all my strength and life away.

I'm thinking of a couple of people specifically, but it would be interesting to know if this is a common thing among those that do get flattened while ploughing a long, deep furrow.

Sometimes we may underestimate how important it is to look after our families.

James 1 v12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

In order to persevere it make take more care and planning than just determination and faith.

Monday 7 July 2008

A little coffee-break blogging

I don't seem to be getting the time to blog like normal right now. It's a case of priorities - at least partially anyway. By the time I've caught up with everyone and read what's happening on a couple of forums it's bed time.

Ah, bed time.

Things are changing a bit there.

For a while now I've been increasingly struggling to stay up later, and when I have then the following day has just been an uphill struggle. This weekend, for the first time in weeks I stayed up 'till 12+ 3 nights in a row, and although I'm not too bad today, I'll really need my bed by 10.30 tonight.

What's changed most is this extra hour praying in the morning, and it's change on several levels. I don't know quite the right way to talk about it because i don't want to make me look 'good' as such, but on the other hand it's been too good not to mention at all in case someone else wants to try.

Basically, I'm getting up at 5.30am every day, spending an hour praying, then going back upstairs to get ready as normal. I'll normally start off with a scripture, partly as inspiration, partly as guidance for where the praying should start from. As I go out to find the bible quite often I'll 'feel' God give me a chapter. Last week it was primarily about refuge and our response to times of trouble, and it was all very specific. This morning it was psalm 51 - all about repentance and being forgiven, which I'm happy to go with. The whole point of doing this - from my perspective anyway - is to see the power of God at work more, and it's not unusual to need to clean up so that we can be used. After that I'll usually focus on God, maybe worship a bit, give thanks, turn over situations, ask for help, pray through the various groups of people I care about.

Normally I'll end up praying in the spirit, anywhere between 5 and 25 min, depending on what's going off inside. Saturday and Sunday (not this morning) I also found myself on my knees (NOT normal at all for me) for the last 20-25 min.

It's making a difference inside - one of the things I've been asking to happen for along time. I'm getting a different perspective on things, feeling less drawn toward unhelpful things, being more aware of God moving, hearing a bit less fuzzily. Having said that, I have the distinct sensation sometimes that God is talking to me but I'm just not hearing it. It's curious that I feel a need to pause, to listen, but my 'ears' don't seem to have un-stoppered enough to actually hear the words yet. I had a distinct time of that yesterday leading worship, where I'd read a number of things out and was aware that there was a conclusion to be given, yet couldn't actually find the words for it. So we paused for a few moments, then just went on.

I am getting to pray for a lot more people than I have in ages. It's also made me more determined to press in where I'm not comfortable, in obedience despite not necessarily wishing to do certain things. All this is good changes.

So if you're feeling inclined to try it... don't hold back. After the first week your body will adjust to the early rise and it's much less of a struggle. And it might change your life too.

Sunday 6 July 2008

Can you sing a song too much?

You certainly can.

'Everyone needs compassion' has become worse for us than 'shine Jesus shine' ever did. We must have sung this at almost every church gathering for the last 2 months, and neither Chris nor I wish to sing it again for quite some time. There are certain lines (and especially certain parts on the CD version) that have really begun to grate. I think I might re-do the words 'everyone needs a break sometime'

And while we're grumbling about songs, 'Above all' is one I'd prefer not to sing.



It has a clever, if quite annoying, hook line. The real issue is plain old wrong theology. Jesus went to the cross out of obedience. He was not forgotten and trampled like a rose, but instead was deliberately crucified in an attempt to destroy Him and all He stood for.

I'm not interested in having my emotions tweaked with clever sounding but false words.