Monday, 28 February 2011

After a week back on Sabayon

I'm glad I went back. Screen fonts are the best in the *nix business, everything (right now) is working smoothly and crisply and the audio is much better than with PCLOS & associated codecs & drivers.

Hopefully it'll remain stable and reliable.....

I heard an interesting comment yesterday

We heard Terry Virgo speak yesterday when we were down in London. One of his asides, talking about grace, was that when we describe someone having fallen from grace we usually mean that they've sinned. He described instead that a fall from grace was failing to rely on God, and instead doing all the right things in your own strength - following the rules rather than the Spirit.

An interesting perspective.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Christian Manifesto

is the title of a book by Francis Shaeffer that I've almost started reading.


Well, I've just finished the introduction by O.R.Johnson, who was then the director of the Nationwide Festival of Light. He describes the gradual moral corruption of the laws of the United Kingdom by humanists and socialists who gradually have obscenity laws, censorship for performing arts, laws governing medicine, divorce and sexual practice all reformed to enable a complete removal of moral restraint. He also describes the burgeoning media and entertainment industries as promoting immorality in order to capture the attention and finances of an affluent youth. At the same time it became socially acceptable to do many things that would have once been publicly shameful, and names were changed (promiscuity, adultery and fornication became sleeping around, swinging and pre-marital sex) to ease the change in moral perception. In social interaction good manners were deprecated, while humour became cruel and cutting and people's private lives were exposed 'in the public interest'.

What was so striking is that while reading some of this stuff I was challenged because my own view point was quite liberal in relation to some of what he was describing. Should we imprison people because they want to enjoy perverted sex in private/should all theatre and cinema scripts still be subject to censorship?

One of the biggest problems with freedom is that having it is all very good as long as no-one actually wants to exercise it. Some of these laws *sounded* to me as oppressive as some aspects Sharia law - not unreasonable since they both had their origins in religious suppression of immorality. My family also has a long enough memory to remember British law as immoral enough to imprison people for preaching outside of the Church of England too.

Yet without question, morals in western society truly have gone to hell in a hangbasket. I guess the real issue is that as a faith, Christianity has tried to deal with human sinfulness and morality just like old-testament Jews. Draconian rules have been created, punishment meted out by the state to those who broke them and all supported by a religious priesthood with control that went right to the top.The west is truly in a crappy place, and getting more faecal all the time, and more rules couldn't possibly change hearts that want to do wicked things anyway.

Recognising my own weakness, how much I look forward to life in the Spirit instead of death under a set of laws that neither my parents, nor leaders, nor I can possibly hope to obey fully. Britain under the rules was not the good, kind, loving and wholesome place that some rose-tinted reviewing might project it as, but removing the restraint certainly hasn't made it any better.

At the end of the day I'm not looking for more moral or just laws - I'm looking for people that will live live of love and purity regardless (and maybe in spite) of the laws around them.

Sleep tonight is a mutually exclusive experience

That is to say, when I was (briefly) asleep my snoring kept Chris awake.

Apparently I was snoring to wake the dead, snorted so hugely that I woke myself up and she then made the most of the opportunity to access the land of nod while I was quiet.

Y'know, for a slim and lovely woman she can make a heck of a din too!

So I've migrated downstairs to the settee. However tonight in my enthusiasm to take cold medication I accidentally too the 'Max strength flu relief' jobbies. The ones with a caffeine payload that helps stimulate you for work.

Thus I have a couple of free hours now, with a slightly dim-witted head and a desire to change to OS on our downstairs computer back to Sabayon. I've somehow never managed to get DVD playback to be fully satisfactory under PCLOS, and although it's playing discs OK now, the audio is always a little out of sync.

Another thing:

Melx - you're following the blog. I don't know how long you've been doing it, but great to see you, feller. I came across yours the other day, just after Phil gave Mark a 3 month ban on HC. Let me tell you, you've made me want to start building pedals now!

Right, time to start backing up files, then find a DVD. I may post more from the Macbook later.

Finally got it installed, but there's no sound at all! That's tonight's fix.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Chris is making dinner right now.

I've been home sick this afternoon, with areally nasty cold. Yesterday was manic - well the whole week has been *feeling* manic, even when I've been sat around in meetings.

But I just have a sense of enormous gratitude that she'll get out in that kitchen, make dinner for me when all I've done is sit around, sleep a little and cough till it hurts.

Colds do odd things to me, and I don't really understand why they affect sleep and emotions as they do. There is a biochemical mechanism at work, through elevated temperature, interferon metabolism etc but I find they profoundly affect how I feel. Monday & Tuesday I was working away doing the 'job that pays the bills' and just felt a complete desperation to get away: resign and leave. Tuesday particularly it was necessary to take myself repeatedly by the psychological collar and give a good shake - to tell myself to get back in that lab, to continue the process I'd started and then later on, to salvage whatever could be saved to generate data for the project (and it was worth saving too).

Yesterday by contrast I was back in my 'own' lab, happy, briskly busy, productive and toward the end of the day, aware that I was gradually succumbing.

Some people may wonder what I'm doing (or have forgotten). I've made cell lines that secrete specific antibodies that recognise part of a natural hormone. The idea is to create a test to measure the hormone that people will use for research, possibly even as a diagnostic aid later, though that's fairly unlikely. The process was started in March/April 2010 when I selected which bits of protein the antibodies should react with, and will hopefully be more-or-less completed before the end of the summer when I'll have a test kit available for sale. At the moment I'm purifying antibody from cell culture fluid that was used to support the growth of antibody producing cells, and that's generally been working well.

The next stage will be to chemically couple the antibodies to certain markers and coat them onto plastic surfaces - then I can find out which ones may work and which may not. Some have done really well, and given surprisingly high yields - I hope they have high affinity, specificity, low non-specific binding and come from cells that grow well. Not too much to ask. ;-)

So anyway, I'm really grateful to have a wife who lets me rest while preparing dinner. At the end of the day, in so many ways, having dinner is what it's all about.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

I'm more or less

.......taking a break from blogging, reading others blogs and commenting generally.

Feeling really pooped, work is busy, I've not been sleeping well and just don't have the heart to write or photograph much right now. I'm OK, but just 'elsewhere'.

So thanks to everyone who read up to now. Leave me attached to your RSS feed and in a while I may be back.