Friday, 25 February 2005


I really liked this.

Through Randall.

What's the opposite of women's lib?

Randall has caused some consternation over at his site, even collecting a 'christian' troll in the comments. It seems the women want to pull us down the their level in one particular area. Being the generous, big-hearted side of the species that we are, effort has been put in to allow them to instead rise up and stand alongside us.

A WORD OF WARNING. The language used on this site is normal everyday language, and will probably cause offense to Christians that haven't ventured outside their cultural ghetto for the last 30 years.

Thursday, 24 February 2005

The Perfect Pastor


A recent survey compiled all the qualities that people expect from the perfect pastor:

~ Preaches exactly 12 minutes.

~ Frequently condemns sin but never upsets anyone.

~ Works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also a janitor.

~ Makes $60 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $80 a week to the poor.

~ 28 years of age and has been preaching for 30 years.

~ Wonderfully gentle and good-looking.

~ A burning desire to work with teenagers, but is always with the senior citizens.

~ Makes 15 daily calls to church families, visits shut-ins and the hospitalized, evangelizes the unchurched, and is always in the office when needed.

From CMF coffeeshop.

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

Self image.

I'm usually good with self image, seeing myself more-or-less as I am, with just a little flattery and self deception.

On Saturday I went to a friend's 40th birthday party. While there, I met her sister for the first time. Now the wife of our recently-ex 'pastor' was already talking to her, and since Mary is a very good friend in her own right I insinuated myself into the conversation through my familiarity with her.

Now Mary is a good looking woman, but she is in her early-mid 60s. After she'd wandered off the lady engaged in conversation asked if we were married.

There's about 20 years between us :-?

Now I starting to wonder (and feel - actually I've been feeling it for a long time) that I'm getting old. Girls now feel able to relax and talk to me, which is nice but sends all the wrong messages. People even begun to defer to me and show respect.

Most of my normal male drives are intact, if a little diminished (thank goodness) and I'm still reasonably fit and slim. I STILL want to play guitar outrageously loud and in an antisocial manner. Nuts - I almost dress like a teenager most of the time I'm not at work. Must be that darned bald head, grey hair and wrinkles round the eyes. That and the fact that I'm polite and moderately considerate, I guess.

If I was a nonnie I think I'd have a sports car and a dolly bird by now.

Monday, 21 February 2005

It's trying

to snow here.

I hope that makes all my Canadian friends feel better.


Oh, BTW Ben was skiing in Austria last week. He didn't break anything, which is good, and also had a good time, which is also good.

Talking of building amps

This is it on the inside:

And this is it on the outside (the silver thing on top of the combo):

Plays sweetly, like I hoped it would. I've a couple of things that need to be done, like add power and standby indicator lamps, and a pentode/triode switch for reduced power. I'd also like to add a second channel for Fender type tones - this is much Marshall Territory. Despite the apparently huge transformers on top it's actually quite low output at only 7 watts into 8ohms. Mind you, they are LOUD watts. Through the Laney cab it's sitting on I can get enough volume to make my ears ring from that 10" speaker.

Clean tones are very sweet indeed - it's the first amp I've ever owned where I didn't automatically want a reverb or compressor to fill out the tones. Some of the drive tones are fantastic too, but I need to relocate some of the wires inside because of electromagnetic interference between them causing unpleasant harmonics. Next I need to build a cab to put the thing in. Can't decide at the moment whether to go for the budget/light weight option of 2 X 8" speakers or to save up for a top-end 12"er. I know the ultimate tone would be a Celestion blue alnico speaker, but they're around £140 upward. If I do a trip to the US again soon I may try for an Eminence 'Red Fang' - around £135 over here, but $99 from some US sources i.e. less than half that price.

I'll try to create some clips on Thursday or Friday night. Check out the 'Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner' for sound clips later.

Sorry for the lack of postage

Life is being full - both good and bad things.

Too much work - I've been (literally) running between tasks for the last week.

Busy outside work - built my first guitar amp last weekend, and it's good.

Maybe more this week - we'll see. I'm out tonight with a worship team get together, then shopping to the small hours, Tuesday is housegroup, Wednesday is circuit training.

Oh, Thursday I have an evening off.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Battle today

.....with someone I'd rather not have a big row with.

We use rented space in another lab for our cell culture work. When this lab was first set up we were the very original tenants, and something of a 'flagship' user for them. Now we're being messed around, having facilities changed, all kinds of hassles. We need stability and we need to use the right kinds of equipment, and this is primarily the areas that are being fiddled with.

The person doing the fiddling is both a longstanding friend and a Christian.

My *desire* is to go and shout (I'm VERY angry about it - lots of stuff has been done behind my back). My requirement is that we all get on well, and that the facility remains available a little longer.

This is not cool.

Friday, 11 February 2005

Just found this through Harmony Central.

What some of the car forums are saying right now...

Bentley Forums
- I used the ash tray today. How do I replace it?

Camaro/Firebird Forums
- My girl slept with my brother and my wife. How can I kill 'em? btw,
I have a record and I ain't going back.

Mustang forums
-Some punk kid in a Civic tried to race me.

Monte Carlo forums
-Why do I keep getting pulled over, it ain't stolen yo.

Civic forums
-Some punk kid in a Mustang tried to race me.

VW Bug forum
- The Save the Earth concert was a success (pics)

Yugo Forum
- When's the last time yours ran?

Lamborghini forum
- Wind noise around 210MPH

Miata forums
- Some redneck jackass in a Chevy Tahoe just ran over my car (pics)

Chevy Tahoe forum
-Miata stuck in my undercarriage. How do I safely remove it? (pics)

Pontiac Fiero forum
- Just bought a new flame retardant suit (pics)

BMW 7-series forum
- Where to get service on my Rolex?

Cadillac forum
- Problems parallel parking at bingo.

Chevy Suburban Forum
- Is the price of gas going down anytime soon?

Buick Forum
- Is Medicare or Medicaid right for me?

Delorean forum
- Just got back from the future and blew a head gasket. Please help. I'm
from 1985.

Crown Victoria forum
- How come people never pass me on the highway?

Honda Accord forum
- Mom is giving me the car. Looking for some cheap, used 18 inch rims.

Toyota Echo forum
- Do our cars use AAA or AA's?

Ferrari forums
- Need suggestions about a business trip to Colombia. Want to get in
and out fast.

Porsche forums
- Tire just went flat. Is it best to trade or sell the car myself?

Saturn forums
- Roman candle landed on my fender. Melted and need to replace.

Jaguar forum
- Is the carbon fiber dash kit group-buy still on?

Mercedes forum
- My wife and her stink hole lawyer are trying to ruin me in divorce
court. How do I get them both killed and not get in trouble with my medical

Mini forum
- Just flipped the Cooper after seeing The Italian Job. Suing the movie
company. (pics)

Dodge Viper forum
- I frightened myself on the way home from work yesterday. How to get pee
stains out of the leather?

McLaren F1 forum
-Some punk kid in a F16 tried to race me.

Dodge Minivan forum
- Where's the best place to post the soccer schedule so I don't forget
where I'm supposed to be?

Hummer forum
- Had a fender bender today. 24 hurt, 10 killed. Do I have to get the
black touch-up paint from the dealer? He's 25 miles away. That's $35
in gas.

Fiat forum
-Hello? Am I the only member?

Subaru WRX forum
- I hate cops. Got ticketed for drifting in the Walmart parking lot.

Chevy pickup forum
- How do I git the dried tobacco juice stains off the side of mah

Vette Forums
-Why did I pay $50k for something with a Cavalier steering wheel?

Ford 2.3 forums
-Help! Replaced everything, still doesn't start

Of weddings royal

A little quote from Harmony Central

From the Episcopal Church's "Tracts for Our Lives"

"Here in the United States the part of the Anglican Communion known as the Episcopal Church has solved the marriage of divorced persons by having the Bishop grant permission for divorced persons to marry. This arrangement permits people to participate in serial marriages while former spouses are still living. As a result of this policy, now permitted by changes in the marriage canons of the Episcopal Church, serial marriages are common among the laity, and many priests and bishops have multiple wives. When the Rt. Rev. James Pike, Bishop of California, died, he had the distinction of being the first bishop in the 1900+ year history of the Church to have three of his wives present at his requiem. More recently the former Bishop of Iowa, the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, was tried in the Church for ordaining men who practiced Sodomy, in violation of Church Canons. He should have been tried for Adultery, because he had three wives, all living. However, he could not be tried for Adultery because the Episcopal Church had already changed the historic marriage canons and it was now permissible to have three or more wives.

If the canons of the Episcopal Church had been in place in England, King Henry VIII could have had all of his wives without having to make himself Head of the Church, and without beheading two of his wives. King Edward VIII could have married "Wally" and have had a long and enjoyable reign, and Prince Charles could marry Camilla and several other attendants at court and still hope one day to be crowned King.

There are many clergy and laity in the Episcopal Church, who do not believe in the serial marriages and divorces which have become a part of modern culture and of the Church in the United States. They believe in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ regarding marriage, preserved for us in the written Word of God, the writings of the Church Fathers, and the liturgy of the Church."

Tuesday, 8 February 2005

Never leave a good conundrum alone.

Randall recently posted this thread about someone he heard and was impressed by. My immediate reaction was "if he's so hot, why's he wearing a dog collar".

Erm, not the most tactful.

Sometimes I'm honest without fore-thought.

For me, the whole 'man of the cloth' thing is about pretence and control, rather than about righteousness or Godly living. I really don't feel happy about this area, and am instinctively suspicious of those that wear such things. Some of it is because I see this as part of the desire for men to control other men, part of it the desire for humans to replace God. I doubt many wearers feel this consciously, but I see this as all wrapped up in a tradition that was man's attempted usurpation of God in the church that dates back to the heresy of creating a clergy and a laity.

In new testament times this was the antithesis of those who lead and were faithful. Paul and Barnabus rushed into the crowds when pagan priests came to sacrifice to them. Their cry? "We are only men like yourselves". In a slightly different context, Paul calls Peter a hypocrite for refusing to be associated with 'ordinary' believers, instead holding back to appear somehow different. With some proper digging I believe I could find more scriptures to support this view without adjusting their original meaning or context.

While the dog collar may be accepted by society as the mark of someone who fits a particular religious pigeon hole, to me it's the mark of compromise with the world.

Saturday, 5 February 2005

New photos

Fotopic has just come up with a java FTP tool, and this has been enough incentive to finish what I started last year.

There are now several hundred new images in my fotopic galleries.

There is a portrait section, some pics of us riding, flora and fauna from the alps, a day visit to Turin: all kinds of things.

Hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, 1 February 2005



Jay Fullmer, 38, yesterday became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony.

"It was weird," Fullmer said. "I was in London and like, talking to this guy and it was raining and he pulled a face and said, 'Great weather eh?' and I thought - 'Wait a minute, no way is it great weather'". Fullmer then realised that the other man's "mistake" was in fact deliberate.

Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged 8 and 3, plans to use irony himself in future. "I'm, like, using it all the time" he said. "Last weekend I was grilling steaks and I burned them and I said 'Hey, great weather'."

Evangelicals and their behaviour

Link to The Heresy here.

Apparently in practice they are no different from anyone else.

So is Salvation pie in the sky when we die?

One of the things that I HATE about me, is that some sins I enjoy. I don't beat my wife, don't get roaring drunk, abuse the kids or have affairs. But I KNOW there are things that I do, or want to do that I know are sin. A few months back I gave in briefly to something I thought was dealt with, and found myself crying out to God "where's the power in salvation? Why am I not changed? Why do I want to do these things?".

My experience is that salvation is a joint process. I have to want to be changed and have to put on the clean clothes of new behaviour to acquire the benefits of salvation. If I beat my wife then I have to wear the clothes of love, respect and protction toward her. If I surf net porn then I need to look for ways to sanctify my use of the internet - to bring God into the web with me, rather than surfing 'in secret' where we hope he doesn't see. If I have a problem with alcohol then I need either wear abstention or clothe myself with moderation. This all needs to be done in faith, asking Jesus to make real in our lives the actions that we are performing.

Sometimes God just steps in sovereignly and changes us in our habits. I believe that when this happens it's usually because those habits are not part of us, and are 'acquired'. But the thing that reflect our characters - usually excesses or deficits - these are the things that require putting on the clean clothes of salvation to see our characters redeemed. I've no data for this last paragraph - only experience.

I suspect a significant part of Christians not seeing change is because they aren't taught to look for or search for it. For a long time people have been taught "Jesus takes our sins away" without the necessary accompanyment "take up your cross and follow me". The sacrifice may not even know what the altar look like.