Friday, December 31, 2004
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Desperate. Stuck. We need to find a way forward and upward. We need to be honest.
(1) There is no way that 1000 Biology PCs can be moved to the Managed Desktop by Easter.
(2) I haven't a present for Uncle Eddie, or for Granny.
(3) Attending the Men's Prayer Breakfast would mean not walking to the shops to buy bread, or cooking breakfast for myself and the kids.
(4) I can't afford to buy a decent portable CD player.
That'll do for now.
What is 'the meaning of Christmas'? Is it that we have just turned a corner - the winter solstice? The longest night of the year has passed - but only careful measurement will reveal this truth.
Or are we remembering the birth of a baby boy - an apparently insignificant event, but which would prove to have been the hinge of history?
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
More than one way to maintain a blog. There is much to be said for updating regularly. But why not have one blog which relies on opportunity? It only gets updated when something interesting is happening, and the regular blog is inaccessible. Or nothing is happening, and writing the blog defeats boredom.
Waiting for a PC to build. Too much to do to-day, but this is the priority. Trying not to become too stressed.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Eventually, I reached the barrier guarding the entrance to the short-stay car park. I pressed the button for a ticket, and was greeted with "out of fanfold tickets". There are moments in life when a threshold has been crossed - this was one of them. Eventually I found someone looking vaguely official, and told him of my predicament (shared by the lady driver of the car behind, of course). I went back to the car, and saw that the machine had another button marked "call for assistance". So I did - "intercom engaged". I tried again, and someone answered. "The machine is out of tickets," I cried. "Just drive through," was the answer. "There's a barrier in the way," I bellowed, politely. The barrier lifted, and I drove through.
We were not yet 'out of the wood'. As the lady driver and I realised, we would have difficulty leaving the car park, without a time-stamped ticket. We found a burly, uniformed man who was arguing with a couple who had evidently been caught out by the '£20 for every subsequent hour' rule. He told us to head for the station reception (we would recognise the place because of the goldfish), where our problem would be sorted out. Sure enough, a kind gentleman gave us what I would from then on refer to as 'get out of jail free' tickets. These were simple exit tickets - no need to pay. I discovered later on that this was standard procedure for the situation I was initially facing - if the train I was meeting was late, I could find my way to this office, and claim an exit ticket, which would avoid the £20 surcharge. Perhaps Network Rail should have considered printing this information somewhere that people could read it?
At 18:41, the advertised expected time of arrival of my family's train, I was standing opposite the platform where the arrivals board assured me that it would arrive. A train arrived. The passenegers alighted. My family were not among them. As I fumbled for my mobile phone to call my wife to ask her where (the hell) she was, the phone rang. She told me that they were stuck somewhere south of Kirkcaldy. "But your train has just arrived," I puzzled. Back to the station reception, who told me that her train was indeed stuck north of Inverkeithing, and that the train which I had seen arriving must have been a different train.
My wife and children are travelling from Perth. Their train was due to arrive in Edinburgh at 18:14. I was planning to meet them, arriving in the car at Waverley Station at around 17:50. Traffic on the way had been light. I had to give myself time to work out which platform the train would arrive on. I discovered that Network Rail were going to charge me 50p for half an hour, or £2 for an hour. Subsequent hours would cost £20 (not a misprint).
It turned out that the train was expected at 18:41. I calculated that there was a definite possibility that if I waited in the station to meet my wife and children, it would cost me £22. Network Rail, it seems, fines its customers for the late arrival of trains.
I did the only thing I could in the circumstances. I went back to the car, drove out the station, paying 50p, and found a parking place in a side street.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
This course is all about creating MSIs, and I have access to two computers. One of them I am using as a base machine, the other for doing the packaging.
Trying to be clever, I've told Wise Installer to store the project on a network share, but this causes it to take longer to compile.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Friday, October 08, 2004
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
Friday, October 01, 2004
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Never mind. I don't suppose that it would have been a particularly happy title. But to-day, let's build upon what was endured yesterday. If I'm angry, be glad that others, including Martyn Joseph, are angry also. And if I'm sad, let me try to help those who are sad.
Monday, September 27, 2004
I am at work to-day, because I have to be. The week-end wasn't restful, it was stressful. I was tired on Friday night. I was even more tired on Sunday night. Life is a steady eating into resources which I simply cannot spare. People want, they don't want to give.
I love Lesley, and I'm sorry that we haven't been able to make her birthday special. A cake sounds like an idea. I need to make this a quiet lunch hour.
But this is where we have to get serious. I'm not blogging for fun. I'm trying to sort myself out. And here is where I expect to be the most honest.
Next year, I shall turn fifty. It's about time that I tried to resolve some of the questions which have tripped me up just about every day since I was twenty (and younger). Like - who invented Monday mornings? I started work at 09:15 this morning. It is now approaching 11:45 (two and a half hours later), and I still (being honest) have achieved nothing. I've pootled around - maybe, yes, if I started now, it would still take me two and a half hours to reach the point where I could seriously start to diminish the height of the 'to-do mountain'. I seem to have circled around the blogging tools, and arrived back with w.bloggar. Which is fine. And, if a title really does appear, then I shall be over the moon, and truly grateful.
But, I've been in some bad places too. Websites which, in current parlance, are not 'worksafe'. Why do I go there? Let's not go there again.
And turn back to what I should be doing. Working. Supporting users (note - 'supporting users', not 'rolling out the managed desktop', or 'rolling out eDiary', or whatever). But what users want my support? And what is the right way to give it to them?
Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Sadly, this may be the last entry with BlogJet. My 30 days' trial is nearly 'up', and unless I decide to buy, I shall have to let this piece of software go. Maybe I'm being silly. For some reason, I don't particularly like the toolbar icons. And I've spent quite enough money this month already.
I believe in God. I have no good reason to complain. Yet my continual song is "I want to commit suicide." I don't suppose that I mean it, but why does it surface so frequently? Do I find the frustrations, difficulties, and challenges of ordinary life simply too much to cope with? Do I not think that living is worthwhile? Is there something in particular causing me to be unhappy?
A sad entry, I'm afraid.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Maybe. Somewhere to write down my lowest thoughts - an end-of-day diary, but not in comfort, with a mug of cocoa, and bed inviting, but about to drive home, then cope with two lively youngsters (though one isn't feeling well to-day).
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
What is the point of having a blog if, when your feelings are black, you can't express them. So, here we are - a Tuesday afternoon, and already I'm worn out. How am I going to get through Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, let alone Saturday and Sunday?
Life is hard. Is anybody having fun?
Monday, August 23, 2004
Sunday, August 22, 2004
I've managed to pull a few weeds, and in a few minutes we can return to the church to collect Lesley and Hannah, so maybe this is what we have to do this year.
Friday, August 20, 2004
I've used w.bloggar, and I'm happily using mo:Blog from my PDA, so do I need to try BlogJet? I like the fact that BlogJet lets me assign a title to each blog entry (as does mo:Blog). In w.bloggar, I can make the initial phrase bold, but I prefer having a consistent 'way of doing things'.
But the icons on the toolbar of BlogJet are too pretty.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
I learnt a new word to-day. Brennan Manning describes Jesus' turning of water into wine at Cana as thaumaturgic. Is it fair to suggest that a simpler word to use would have been magic? Possibly too simple. A website which I have found (but not explored) says that there are two kinds of magic - thaumaturgic and theurgic. I guess that the former relates to the personal power of the magician, while the latter taps into the latent power of the universe? And maybe Brennan Manning was trying to emphasise that Jesus did the miracle himself, not by any other means.
Which brings me to the point. I am reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. A recent visit to Whitby was the trigger - in particular a clever stunt pulled by English Heritage whereby they had actors wandering about Whitby Abbey pretending to be famous characters from the past. 'Bram Stoker' gave a creditable account of how he came to write Dracula, and included some of the story itself, so, of course, here am I trying to find out more. And a scary story it is. Very, very frightening. But do we not need to be reminded, in our modern, sceptical era, of an extra dimension, which we may call magic, or the supernatural?
So Jesus practised good magic. Is it heretical to put it like that? He did miracles. We do not need to be afraid of bad magic because God's magic is good, and more powerful. CS Lewis talks of magic. Not easy.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Just over an hour to go until we leave. Until then, there is a sense of being nowhere - we have, in our hearts, already left Moorlands - we are not yet on the road - and we are still a long way from home. I have just moved from the dark vestibule to a bench from which I can see the sea. The procession of boats taking people out to sea has begun. The speedboat, the mini Endeavour, the Esk Belle, the old lifeboat, and a green and white craft whose name I have forgotten. There is a haze softening the edges. It is still cool - even enough of a breeze to allow the seagulls to ride along the cliff top.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Whitby to Sandsend - along the beach - the tide being out. Searching for treasure - pebbles smoothed by the sea, shells, seaweed. Heavy going for the youngest member of the party.
How do we know God? Telling a young person that we should speak to Jesus, but where is he?
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Friday, July 30, 2004
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Comments are enabled (but only for other bloggers). I'm tired; really too tired to work, but 9-5 is 9-5. Heard on the radio this morning that most people would welcome shorter hours (i.e. work fewer hours, not make an hour last just 50 minutes). Who wouldn't? Sometimes, when the flow is there, it might be good to work on into the evening, but only if one knew that the time would be released on another occasion. I'm rambling.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
So. This blog is called 'Visor Thoughts', but the Visor is likely to be retiring within a month. But let's stick with the name. If this blog survives for 20 years, then some people may get confused. What devices existed 20 years ago, which we remember only by name?
I want to say something profound, but I can't.
One life or two? Trying to manage my life using two handhelds is using one too many. But how to move forward? One way would be to retire the HandSpring (aww...), and to re-configure the Tungsten to synchronise with my home computer. Maybe the diary should live on ChaosHost instead of QuickSilver.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Monday, July 19, 2004
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Nobody reads this, anyway. But in the early 21st century, here on record is the experience of one man - darkness and silence. But remember the psalmist (42:5 Msg) Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God- soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Friday, June 25, 2004
My daily bible reading (courtesy of Scripture Union) is taking me through the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. It could be argued that the major player who dominates the action is not Peter but the Holy Spirit. To me it is inescapable that the presence of the Holy Spirit can be felt. Nobody has to argue that every believer receives the Holy Spirit. Rather, people remark that the Holy Spirit has been poured out, because they see something happening. This is in contrast to our day to day religious experience, where, basically, nothing happens.
Several weeks ago, I caught a cold. I'm still coughing, with a sore throat. Typically, I catch a cold, argue for a few days with God - why doesn't he heal me? - but it goes, and I carry on. This one hasn't gone (or, if it has, it's left a legacy). I'm still suffering. Not much, of course. You'll think that I'm whingeing. I'm not. It's OK. It's just that day after day I'm reminded that nowadays God does not heal. At least, not in the spectacular way in which he healed in the time of the Gospels, and in the time of the Acts of the Apostles.
Maybe I've got stuck in some unhealthy patterns of behaviour. I simply do not have a regular opportunity to pray in a traditional manner. I've tried alternatives, such as transcribing my prayers on to a handheld computer. But this highlights the situation - communication with God seems to be happening in one direction. Possibly, writing my prayers down has misrepresented reality. Perhaps, when I pray, quietly, alone, uninterrupted, God speaks to me as I pray. I hear him, without hearing an actual voice. I sense his presence.
But what can I do?
Monday, June 21, 2004
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Read in the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 8, starting at verse 15, and through to verse 17. Philip had evangelised a town in Samaria. The people (many) had become Christians. But they hadn't received the Holy Spirit. Only when Peter and John arrived were these people given the Holy Spirit.
Let me say this again - black and white. Some people became Christians. Some days later, they received the Holy Spirit. It is possible to be a Christian, and not to have received the Holy Spirit.
I simply daren't apply this to myself, but the inference is clear.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
I just don't think that I measure up. We all know the parable
of the talents (if you don't, you can read it in Matthew's
gospel, starting at chapter 25, verse 14). I identify with
the servant who buried the money he was looking after, afraid
that he might lose it.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Apostles, there is an episode where, in quick succession,
a husband and wife die, having tried to pretend that they
were donating the entire proceeds of a sale of land to the
group when, in fact, they were keeping some of the money
for themselves. Not sure if, to our eyes, the punishment
(if that's what it was) fits the crime.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Monday, May 31, 2004
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Of course, the two viewpoints may be alternate sides of the same coin. But in practice they can underly fierce debate.
But there is one thing, at least, that they have in common (perhaps unknowingly). The Iona Community (with which I believe the minister in the Gorbals is strongly associated) has a rule (or, at least, when I knew them, had a rule). For half an hour each day, each member should spend time quietly with his or her Lord. And Scripture Union (who probably belong towards the opposite end of this particular spectrum) promote the idea that to enjoy a healthy spiritual life, a Christian should spend around half an hour each day, reading his or her bible, to get to know his or her Lord better.
I see the weakness of the evangelical point of view. There can be greater emphasis on what you believe than in whom you believe. And I can see why the evangelical point of view tends to be media-unfriendly. But I have to say, from personal experience, that nothing beats a daily read of the bible to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Take note, Edinburgh City Council. You say that you want people to leave their cars at home, that you want to reduce congestion. But you do not make transport services available. I see on maps a place called Ratho Station, but if I search the rail network, it claims to be 'not found'. If you want people to leave their cars at home, then put pressure on the rail operators to stop where it would help.
Or, if you are particularly mean, just tax drivers for driving into the city.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Monday, May 10, 2004
Friday, May 07, 2004
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Thinking allowed. People talk (argue) about inerrancy. What do they mean? It seems to me that those who take seriously the whole (Christian) bible (the old and new testaments) claim that the bible is inerrant, while those who disagree with some aspect of what it teaches say that it isn't. The problem for me is that while I am uncomfortable with trying to argue that any piece of writing is inerrant, I am generally more in sympathy with those who say that the bible is than with those who say that it isn't.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Mixed feelings. Angry, because it appears to be a tax imposed by Edinburgh City Council on people who live outside the city. They're claiming that their primary concern is to reduce congestion, but in that case why are the residents of Currie and Balerno exempt? We do have to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but it has to be done fairly.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Monday, April 26, 2004
Friday, April 23, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Realising that one of the most significant emotions affecting my working life (my whole life, in fact) is insecurity. It's not just job insecurity. I do worry that my job isn't secure. But more than that, I worry that if I lost my job, I simply wouldn't be able to cope.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Sunday, April 11, 2004
Let's give things some thought. Why are people still opposed to Jesus? Why would they rather believe some scientist who pretends to be able to explain that Jesus really didn't rise from the dead, than a bishop of the Anglican church who argues that he did?
It's Easter Sunday. I am an ordinary human being. I have never seen anyone rise from the dead, nor, honestly, do I expect to. But I reckon that Jesus did rise from the dead. This is the bottom line. (Sorry about the cliche - what I am trying to say is that here is something which cannot be avoided.) Either you live your life, based on the assumption that he didin't rise from the dead, or you take it as gospel that he did. If you think that he did, but that it is somehow irrelevant, you're wrong. If someone rose from the dead, then it matters.
Why should I go? It'll be good music, and interesting. It's something to do with the church, which I should support. And I should especially support the event when it coincides with my own interests.
Why shouldn't I go? Well, it's a Sunday evening. I've got work to-morrow. It would mean leaving Lesley on her own with Hannah and Matthew.
Decision: I would like to go, but I can't.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
There are some who say that achieving internal purity just isn't worth the effort. But what's the alternative? To be forever vulnerable? Never to know when you're going to fall and somebody's going to accuse you, or make capital? Or to 'come out', and make it public? Would those who despise purity be just as quick to despise the lack of it?
Monday, April 05, 2004
Friday, April 02, 2004
Monday, March 15, 2004
It doesn't seem to be designed to be an offline blogging tool.