Saturday, 30 June 2007

OK Marc

This one's for you: the Rabbit room. Randall will have a bunch of images to show you later.

Off to London today. I understand there's a gay pride march or somesuch. Guess we should just disappear in the crowds then. ;-)

Thursday, 28 June 2007

The eagle has landed.

Or is that Beagle? I forget.

Looking relatively relaxed and a little tanned, they made it from Glasgow to Somerton in one piece.

In about 3 hours

We *should* collect a couple of people from Banbury station.

Chris just told me that she took a call to say they were on their way.

I've a feeling that the best laid plans of rodents and humans might be scuppered a tad by the British summer time. What is it with Canadians and weather? Johanna came across to fog and miserable dampness, now we have some of the wettest weather for quite a long time.

Guess punting in Oxford may be off tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Wednesday already.

We have someone off, so I'm standing in for them this and next week. On top of that we have a couple of teenagers from schools in Oxford here on work experience - good kids, quick and bright, but a little 'extra' at the wrong time. Next week we have a new recruit, so that's MORE stuff to do.

But it's forward progress (or at least keeping the straw I breath through above the surface) so hey ho.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Is it possible?

To care to much?


I miss my daughter.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Stupid but funny.

Chris and I were listening to a radio program on the way to visit her mum and paint some tiles in my mum's flat. The radio DJ was reading (presumably from a book) tips on kissing someone new.

They started off suggesting one should begin with gentle pecks on the lips - nothing too threatening. They went on to suggest that once both parties were comfortable then you should introduce your tongue......

"At this point in our relationship I'd really like you to meet Timothy. He's a little shy and not often seen, but working behind the scenes he's quite strong and when confident can be a really smooth operator."

The mind boggles a little.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

I seem to process this way

So I'm going to post a bit and see if it helps.

Dying is a funny business for those around the person involved. Chris's mum
has almost certainly now got a bunch of secondaries from her original breast cancer. I commented to Chris a year ago that she had lost a surprising amount of weight, and how that was often a sign of returning cancer. But we negotiated it between us to interpret her thinness as better diet etc etc. Now I find myself arguing that we should wait for the return of the blood tests before we're certain it's cancer or not - wearing my 'scientists hat' and not jumpin gto (obvious) conclusions.

It's having a quite negative impact on us both. Chris was much less affected by her fathers death, probably because it was so close to Sarah's, but also because there was less of a natural bond between them and he'd had a full life. But her mum is in a lot of pain (much more than I realised) and it's horrible you see someone you love suffering like that. So Chris suffers and that affects me too. I can't step back, but I need to be aware of what's happening emotionally and things to be done so that I can try to make sure things don't get on top of us.

There's too much been going on, and that's not helped - rather feels like we're having a bit of a 'forge' experience (being heated up, then belted with a large hammer). I hope we can hold together rather than fall apart.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Feel like a kid.

For some reason I experienced an intense desire to get back into radio-controlled flying this week. I used to fly quite regularly, eventually designing and building my own planes. However I'd really like to try electric flight, as the idea that I can just turn up at a field, switch on and chuck the thing without worrying about fuel, glow heaters, starter motors etc seems great. There's been a revolution in 'park fliers' too, with planes small and light (and slow) enough to be flown in a public park, yet still having decent run times being available.

I guess a part of the problem is that I can buy something that will kind of 'fly' with a hint of control very cheaply. However when it gets damaged it will be ready for the bin completely, rather than being able to salvage radio, motor etc. And I'd like something that flies better than that too - remember pulling my first loop, and how good it felt to have that much control. So 'much wants more' as we used to say.

This rather appeals.

But this is probably a better match to my rusty flying skills (or lack).

I have a suspicion that, having acquired an aeroplane, I'd take it out, do a few circuits, maybe some bumps, possibly a loop or 2 (depending on the degree of control) and then feel I'd just ticked a box. There's also an essence of 'big boys toys' that makes me wonder why a grown man would play with toy aeroplanes.

BTW the spell checker in Firefox doesn't recognise the word 'aeroplane' and want to substitute 'Hydroplane' instead. What were they on?

I'm still around

Busy week at work, busy week with church, Chris's mum isn't well (possible recurrence of her cancer from 3 years ago). I don't know where this is leading us, but I hope we can help her carry through whatever the cause of her issues are.

We're just trying to get on with things right now.

Monday, 18 June 2007

I seem to be absent from here a lot again.

No bad reason especially, other than a distinct desire NOT to talk about 'what I ate for breakfast yesterday' etc.

I started writing a post last week about post-emergent church, if you've read my strapline above and wondered what I meant. It has now become 4 sides of A4 in an 11 point font, and is some way from being completed - not a practical post then. If I can find the will to finish and re-edit to remove the bloggish phraseology at the beginning then I may post it for download for those that are interested.

Having now worked much if this stuff out of my system, I probably COULD produce a concise summary. However it might be a little too blunt for most readers - we'll see.

Work calls shortly.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

From the inbox today.

The email was entitled “Something for the weekend?” and was advertising the services of a mobile hair dresser – basically a chair + accessories built into the back of a tall commercial van.

That’s fine, but the title is hilarious. “Something for the weekend?” is code for “would you like to buy some condoms in case you pull?” and is the traditional phrase used when a young male leaves the hair dresser on a Friday night or Saturday morning. It seems our ‘marketing person’ identified this phrase with hair dressers in the context of “no thanks, short back and sides only please” without further insight.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Ever get the feeling

that God was showing you something?

I've seen something, and it won't go away - it's disturbing me. Could be all kinds of reasons, but this just sticks out for me - it's like the tip of an iceberg, the head of a spot. It's left me feeling disquiet and slightly queasy.

I don't know what's under the surface - probably nothing and this is silliness and chasing after shadows.

We'll see.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Especially for Randall and Lauralea

So that you wouldn't feel homesick, we've done a little kitchen renovation too. Not quite on Linea's scale of course, but then we always were modest folks.

The old sink had been there a long time.

It had got pretty nasty. So nasty, I don't want to post a pic after I took it out (didn't look SO bad in situ). It's probably the least hassle I've had fitting a sink: just too 2 rounds of enlarging the hole with a jigsaw (keeping the original worktops) and one session of burning through the side of a carcass with the metal cutting disc on an angle grinder. The taps and waste just went straight in with apparently no leaks. DIY plumbing supplies have come a long way in the 25 years I've fitted kitchens.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

I may give up cycling on health grounds.


This morning, for the first time in years, a coach had a good try at squashing me on the way to work. A quick hop onto the pavement prevented that, but it was an ‘interesting’ moment.

However that’s not the reason.

For the last year or so I’ve been getting increasing pains in various parts of my body – hips, knees, feet, elbows, shoulders, back and neck. I can’t kneel down without pain and sometimes putting socks on requires a ‘lunge’ approach to try to get the thing over my toes so it can be pulled up without bending so far. I was like thi, to a lesser degree about 4 years ago, while I was still cycling hard (although just once or twice a week) but a combination of circuit training and time seemed to make it go away.

Now I’m doing circuits pretty regularly, but all the pain is there and not leaving. Last night Chris noticed that when laying on a mat for some floor exercises I couldn’t lay my head down on the floor at a normal angle, but instead my spine and shoulders forced my chin up and my head round and back. It’s a little like having a pillow under my shoulders and neck, with no support for my head.

As a teenager, especially at 14, 15 and 16 I did a lot of cycling, many hours a week, and it clearly affected my posture, giving me rounded shoulders and a stoop. I had back pain between the ages of 16 and 19 and had exercises for it, which presumably were effective since I’ve not really suffered back pain much since! I’m now quite seriously wondering if riding twice a day is actually causing weakening/damage, even though I’m only doing it for short periods (at maximum effort!).

Wonder how I’d get on running to work? Now that would be hard going!

Monday, 4 June 2007

Today I did something quite difficult.

I interviewed someone for a job.

Pah, easy.

She reminded me of my daughter.

Similar hair, somewhat similar walk, somewhat similar face shape.

Enough similar that when she first walked up to the building I did a cartoon-style double take, complete with head whipping back round.

I can, and shall, judge her on her own merits. If she gets a job with us, I already know her personality is quite different, and I WILL see the person and not the looks.

Difficult day. Emotions going TWANG like I don't need.

Tomorrow I'll try to get in for 8.00 to make up for the work I couldn't do today.

Did you ever have a comment stand out in a blog?

many of us (not myself - i didn't go through youth group but i fear i contributed to this as a youth pastor) were brought up through the faith by youth programs that, in an effort to bring in kids, gave the impression that following Jesus is all about pizza parties and lock ins and slick multimedia presentations. when these kids grow up and are expected to join the larger congregation they feel there is no place for them and that church just doesn't "fit" them anymore.

A comment by Mike on Smulospace.

Regardless of the comparison with the post below, how can we not try to bring our kids and teens up in gritty reality? I thank God I never went through that kind of processed youth group, with all its entertainment and its ways of making time pass without too much fuss. To me, it seems kids need reality, not pizza, although fellowship - real fellowship - is good with them too.

I hate seeing church teens sat along the side, watching. I hate it when they don't participate, but I don't like it if they aren't there either, with no chance to receive good things.

Something I don't understand: God broke in on me when I was 16. I became effectively an adult there and then. I went to adult housegroups, discussed adult theology (very inadequately) encouraged adults, disagreed with adults, prayed with adults. And I was 16 - 17. Why are so many of our 16 - 17 year olds children, doing dumb, childish things? I'm wondering if we don't need slick, funny, entertaining material so much as a good equivalent of an alarm clock in the earhole?

Damn cool. Damn it to hell.

Live the gritty reality

It's what we're doing here, courtesy of the drilling involved fitting an air con unit in the lab.

Brick dust on every surface, across the entire length of lab. :(

I had scheduled this morning as a kit packing (and second interview) time.

The second interview was OK anyway. Tomorrow we have our last candidate (of 3) through, and we have to chose which 2 join us.

Oh, and we're also having a complete new telephone and computer system installed. This Friday.

It'll be like a new company, except for the work.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Looks like we should have some company soon.

And we're rather looking forward to them coming.

Dan, Kita, Livi - hope you're around the w/e of the 30th June.

Just had a funny thought - wonder if that's the w/e Dan and Kita fly to Munich to meet someone?

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Tonight I stayed up to finish rewiring a guitar.

I've put some 70's Gibson pickups in the Heritage and completely replaced the (really scruff) original pots and wiring.

Chris went to bed early as she's had the tummy bug that's been going round. It's pretty nasty, and she nearly passed out this morning.

That's pretty much it. Night everyone.