Thursday, December 29, 2005

12 steps

Many years ago, I became interested in the 12 steps followed by recovering alcoholics. I saw similarities with my religious beliefs - some of the ideas seemed to correspond. It's a strange experience to be reading Leo Booth's "When God Becomes a Drug", as he adapts the 12 steps to fit the situation of a religious addict. The argument becomes circular, because admitting that I am powerless to cope with my addiction sounds so much like acknowledging my sin, and that I cannot by myself drag myself out of it. I come again to the sense that Father Leo's understanding of people, and their problems, is exemplary, but his theology isn't too strong. He doesn't seem to be aware of how he is echoing the very pronouncements of the religious 'addicts' he is putting in the wrong. In a sense, he is right - I guess that at least one of the people who significantly influenced my religious development (or lack of it) was probably an addict - most likely someone who had replaced his alcoholism with something else. But was God still working?

It is hard to discern the rightness or otherwise of religiously motivated behaviour. There are so many issues, of authority, of belief, of commitment. It would be nice to be able to stand back - but where can I stand? If I remove myself entirely, then I have to become an atheist.

As it happened ...

... I quite liked the plastic Peter, and he came with a rather nice unfolding backdrop, complete with a unicorn to sit on. And we enjoyed "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Son is watching a video of a cartoon version, rather older. Then we go to Musselburgh, to shop!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas, or Xmas

I'm sure that it was CS Lewis who argued that there were two festivals - Christmas (literally, Christ Mass), and Xmas. I think that he would have identified Xmas with the orgy of buying which tends to happen hereabouts at this time of year. I'm just trying to work out just what he would have thought of plastic representations of his characters being included in Happy Meals.

Radio 3 be thanked - JS Bach also seems to have had a 'high' view of Christmas.

And congratulations to our youth worker, who this morning tried to fashion a sermon out of references to the presents received by congregational children - I think that our influence was fairly positive - a Baby Born, and a Power Rangers Dino Thunder morpher. Not so warm feelings towards Channel 4, who in Christmas Eve broadcast "A Christmas Carol", but then announced that on Christmas Day they were going to ask "Where was God" when the tsunami struck. What I don't understand is how, in the States, it can be decided that God wasn't responsible for biodiversity, but, somehow, he is to be blamed for the tsunami.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Next year

Some time ago, I signed up on a website for people making pledges (I forget what it was called). Somebody was challenging a certain number of people to read through the New Testament. I have done this once already (in 1976 - 1977, using the J B Phillips translation). I was willing to do it again, to encourage the person who had proposed the idea. But not enough people signed up, so the pledge was off.

Our rector wants us to read through the whole bible (Old and New Testaments) in 2006. He wants us to use Hodder's NIV Bible in One Year. But, at this moment, I don't know when the books will arrive. It may be on the 1st January. We shall be visiting my mother for New Year, so shall not be in church to collect the book. I have emailed Hodder to ask them to send me a list of the first few readings, so that I can get started, but as yet they haven't replied.

On the other hand, Tyndale's One Year Bible appears to be well supported on the web, and is available in eReader format. So, I intend to go with this.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Marks and Spencer

We're going to do our pre-Christmas food shop in Marks and Spencer. It may be busy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


There are different kinds of traveller. There are those who travel in groups, companionable; and there are those who travel alone. Perhaps, as the year's turning approaches, I need to acknowledge that I belong in the latter category. Maybe it has to do with the way that I relate to people - always trying to help, not good at accepting help - in a group I always seem to be the loser.

Well, say something, then

Don't know if I'm all that excited about flock. It feels a lot like FireFox, with a few extras - like this blog editor - which is nice. Wish it had a 'source' view, though.

To-day is my last working day before Christmas. The children finish school to-day, so I get to take Thursday and Friday off (wife will take two days off in January under a similar pretext). So I really, really want to finish off smoothly. No crises, please.


I'm using Flock to post this entry.

Monday, December 19, 2005

200th post

I wish that I could quote verbatim what somebody wrote in Woman Alive (I may do in a future posting). Roughly, it was that perhaps one's eternal future doesn't depend entirely upon whether or not one has signed up at the back of an evangelistic booklet. Turning it upon its head, perhaps it isn't entirely fair for the authors of books exhorting one to evangelise everyone in earshot to suggest that if we don't, these people are destined for a Christless eternity. Maybe God is able to exercise some common sense.

What led me to a similar viewpoint was the following observation. The most vociferous proponents of aggressive evangelisation - what happens when someone close to them dies. Do they say "tough, my dad's gone to Hell". No, strangely, God speaks to them, to say that somehow, their dad (or son) is going to be OK. My father died, about 8 years ago. He was a churchgoer, but not a believer. According to what I've been taught, he is lost. Yet, he had integrity; I would even say goodness. I have had no special word from God to say that he's OK. Instead, I am going to revise my view of the world, and throw out what I was taught, and say that "yes, he is OK". And many, many more are going to be OK. Not because they've been persuaded to sign up to an evangelical manifesto. But, dare I say, because God loves them. As they are.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

One Year Bible

Son has a temperature. So, to continue from a previous entry - The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley - the CCLASP Christmas Party will be attended (from this family) by just wife and daughter. Indeed, father and son will miss church (quite glad not to have to cross the picket line again). No update, then, on the rector's plan to get members of the congregation to read through the bible in a year - following Hodder's Bible in a Year, rather than Tyndale's One Year Bible, unfortunately. I say, unfortunately, because there are more additional resources for the latter, such as versions for the Palm. I must admit to mixed feelings about the project - to read through the whole bible in one year, one has to devour too much (in my opinion) in each day - a recipe for spritiual indigestion. So it's difficult to find the 100% enthusiasm required.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Going nowhere

And this is what they want to bring back! Posted by Picasa

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie, no more

A mouse, probably a fieldmouse, or possibly a vole, had the temerity to nibble some chocolates which wife had stashed in the garage; a trap was duly set last night, and by this morning had claimed its victim.

A word, by the way, on chronology: the entry previous to this one belongs properly earlier in the sequence - the immediate response to a difficult time getting the children to bed.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Trying to get the children to sleep - tonight's order (son's story, SnapShots, daughter's story) wasn't a success. Suggest next time start with SnapShots.

Foam swords

Are better than real ones ... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Was wanting to document our staff Christmas lunch, but all of the photographs are of other people (because I took them). So here's a picture of the decoration atop one of my computers. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No advertising

So Nick Robinson at the BBC has a weblog. But with a reference in the text to "the kind of software employed by millions of weblogs around the world", it would have been courteous surely to have placed a "powered by" link somewhere. But I had to download the RSS .xml file to find that it had been generated by TypePad (not surprisingly).

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Having to decide ...

... which blog/s to update. This one seems perpetually on the back-burner.

Our heating seems to be OK. Thinking that I should write a letter to Scottish Gas to say how much we appreciate the work of their engineers. A setback yesterday morning, when the radiators were still cold-ish - turning the heating off and on brought them to life.

Christmas shopping this evening ...

Friday, November 25, 2005

A cold night

My turn to be at home when the engineer calls; he's replacing a part, which is, I reckon, good news - hopefully the problem will be fixed.

When I looked at the TV yesterday evening, it was a news item about how this was the busiest day of the year for British Gas. Just a wee bit annoyed when the engineer said to a lady whose boiler had broken down - "if you have it regularly serviced, then this won't happen". I can tell you that our boiler is regularly serviced, by Scottish Gas.

Fair enough, though. But why is it that more boilers break down when the weather is coldest?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Still a ragamuffin

It isn't easy to keep journeying on.

It's natural, isn't it, to experience, to some extent, ups and downs. I'm not really talking about mood swings, more just being honest. Life may be a steady climb, but the way that we feel about life seems to have a rhythm of its own. And, when blogging enters the picture, then I have to say that the urge is strongest when feelings are at their lowest. Which is a shame, because anyone reading the blog will think - this person's always down. Not necessarily - perhaps this person blogs when he's down - and just gets on with life when he's up.

Feeling a bit powerless just now because for the second time this week, my wife has had to call Transco because she smells gas, and then she has had to call Scottish Gas to do something about it (it seems that there is a problem with our boiler). Unfortunately, for this to happen once is (sort of) acceptable. Something went wrong, it got fixed, life goes on. But second time around, there is a question - something went wrong, it didn't get fixed, how do we know it will get fixed this time?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Monday, August 01, 2005

Still angry, I'm afraid

Thought that I'd try SureFish's daily readings for a week (depending on the availability of time), starting with

Monday, July 25, 2005

Looking back

The word 'positive' has figured significantly in my reflections on Thursday's funeral. I was told, as I waited to go in, that the note in the newspaper had said 'no mourning', and began to feel conspicuous in my black tie. The only person who cried was a 6-year-old granddaughter. I think that the feeling was that the person who had died had lived a good life, her final illness had been mercifully brief, and the purpose of the funeral was to say a simple farewell. The service was taken by her most recent minister, who spoke well. It was attended by two other ministers, which I think says something about her genuine support for the church, also that of her husband, who died about two years ago.

Words become inadequate. I apologise if anyone is reading this who knows the people. I tend to use this blog to think aloud, and am not really able to apply the sort of care to what I write which I would like to. There is a rawness to this blog, which means that maybe I shouldn't be putting it somewhere it can be read, except that the whole point is that I am trying to make some of my thinking public.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Always, but to-day, especially so. Life seems to have taken a downward turn. The Inland Revenue replied to my yearly update regarding Tax Credits that we owe them £700. Horribly mean, especially when they don't tell you how they calculate the result. And last night, a friend phoned to say that a mutual friend had died, and the funeral is this afternoon.

As it happens, the place where the funeral is taking place is not far from where I work, so I'm planning to go. I hate funerals.

I'm listening to the slow movement from Bruckner's 3rd Symphony.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Graffiti - history

I liked Graffiti, as it was implemented on the Palm III and the HandSpring Visor. Each letter had a distinctive shape, loosely based on its paper form. With practice, entering text using Graffiti became fast and reliable. But with PalmOS 5 came Graffiti 2. The letter shapes approximate more closely to how they would be written (in lower case). But on the Tungsten E, the process is unreliable. It seems to work better on my Zire 31, which uses a later version of PalmOS, so maybe the software needed to be fine-tuned.

In an effort to find a way to communicate with my Tungsten E, I installed TealScript, which is a third-party character inputter (for want of a more elegant description). It works better than Graffiti 2, but not, in my opinion, as well as Graffiti. Possibly the problem is with the Tungsten hardware, which seems to desire a firmer hand than I would like to give it.

We do have something I can use, with which, I suppose, I should be content.


I was beginning to think that AvantBlog wasn\'t going to let me log back in. I was reading recently about people who use their Palm-based PDAs (or smartphones) to create blog entries of 1500 words or more. How do they do it?

Anyway - Graffiti - Palms came with it - it was, I reckon, the killer app, because it meant that you could interact with a small device without a keyboard. But it had to be learnt.

To be continued ...

Eye of the storm

Trying to stay calm - detachment.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


What was supposed to be distinctive about this blog? I would write the entries on my handheld computer - in those days a Handspring Visor - hence the blog\'s title. The Visor has been replaced - I now, mainly, use a palmOne Tungsten E - it has a colour screen, a rechargeable battery, and more modern software. On the whole, though, it isn\'t necessarily better, and I have found myself occasionally sneaking back to my old faithful. Increasingly, though, the older device has had difficulty talking to newer computers (synchronising), and yesterday I decided to retire it.

Perhaps in a subsequent entry I can discuss the mysteries of Graffiti 1 & 2, and TealScript.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Retiring the Visor

The eponymous Visor will have to be retired. Sad (and annoying,
because Graffiti 1 on aged hardware is still, by a significant
margin, the most efficient, and reliable way to enter text
on a Palm-based handheld. But TealScript is better than
Graffiti 2 on my Tungsten E). But the Visor no longer synchronises

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I am not good at communicating. In many ways, I am afraid to communicate. I have learned that the easiest way to lose friends is to say what you think, which happens not to be what they think. So, I resort to saying what I think in a blog (some of the time). It doesn't matter if you disagree with me, because I didn't count you among my friends in the first place (except that at least one of you I do count as a friend, and I apologise if what I have written seems unkind). My point is that here I will try to say what I mean - if you can handle this, then please stay.


Thinking of something to write.

Are we there yet?

This entry is being composed on my HandSpring Visor (thanks to AvantBlog). And I can\'t think of anything to write!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Home alone

The family are on holiday - I\'m left behind. A bit sad.

Friday, July 08, 2005

This is exciting

But, sadly, all there is to-day to blog about is reaction to yesterday\'s bombing of London. And how tired I am.

Deeply impressed

But how to edit? Via the forms manager!



It works!

Amazingly. But what happens if I want to write more than one entry between synchronising?


Maybe this is the way forward. Blogging, and then synchronising

(almost) nobody reads this

So, with apologies, what I write here may not be terribly interesting.

Can't get away from yesterday's events in London. Grief, anger, despair.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Probably a hogweed

Garden 050611 001
Originally uploaded by Glaswegian.
I tried to uproot this plant, but it was too strong. I've cut it down.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Just screaming

Where nobody can hear me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Proxy blog

Originally uploaded by Glaswegian.
This is just a staging post, I'm afraid.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Building a PC
0f course, we don't really build the PC - we reinstall the operating system. A watched kettle never boils, they say.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Make Poverty History
Child-friendly? Safe?

Monday, May 16, 2005


Through - too much detail ...

Worse than depression



Hard to get away from it ...


Splutter ...


Or rather, daymare.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Just checking in
- from mo:Blog

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Carberry - through a glass darkly ... Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Admin rights

Possibly a complex issue - but not, I believe, being approached fairly.

Suppose I try to be a bit fairer, and try to work without my normal account having admin rights. Out of the question on my main machine, but theoretically possibly on number two. So, built the machine; logged in - and I'm not an admin. The advice is to set the local administrator password so that people can install programs (etc?). But I don't have sufficient rights to set the admin password. End of experiment.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Using TealScript
It's 3 o'clock in the afternoon; I'm trying to use TealScript to compose an entry. It's slow(ish), but less prone than Graffiti 2 to produce gibberish. I could find myself liking it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A day on the desk

Blogging my work - how do I do it? On two levels - the technical (which, of course, doesn't appear here) - and the personal (which would be out of place in a technical journal).

It's 09:51 on a Tuesday morning. Tuesdays, I'm on the desk (a helpdesk - providing answers (!) to computing questions) all day. It's a hard slog, but it gets it over with.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by Glaswegian.
A lovely aeroplane - fearsome at the same time ...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A long haul

Just spent two days solid on the help desk ...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Dragging myself away

I've worked steadily through to-day - trying mostly to tidy up - so that when another push comes, I'm ready. I know that I haven't 'done' much - but I think that I have - really.

Getting organised

Although improving the organisation doesn't show an obvious return in terms of people 'done', it has to be done, and makes me feel better.

Checking in

Spent the morning rebuilding my PC. Profile problems may have really been PC problems.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Trying to count the disasters

Hannah caught Matthew's hand in the shower door. I am tired, and angry, and I have to be up at 5:45 to-morrow morning. I am trying to make a habit of talking to God every evening before I go to bed, but I am too tired, and angry, to pray.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by Glaswegian.
Taking time off from mowing the lawn to let the world see how pretty is our garden ...

Friday, April 01, 2005


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Just for the record

I suspect that Google Gulp ( is an April Fool.

Let's start blogging again

Quick and simple - brief thoughts.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It's been a while

Why am I angry? Because Helen chose this morning's team meeting to launch a criticism of us all over the time it took to resolve a certain user's problem.

What is the answer? Seriously?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Home computering

Fitted a new (PCI) graphics card; it doesn't seem to have made any difference to Micro Flight, but Trainz seems to have improved. There may be a problem with the Open GL drivers - which could explain the lack of success with Micro Flight.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Ultrasoft Money

Doing an upgrade - running a file called 'pomo42' - deciding which modules to install - memory space is tight on the Zire 31 - but deselecting the Reports module doesn't uninstall it - now I've deleted it from the Zire 31, but left it in the Tungsten E.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Peter Principle
Surely documented elsewhere; how I long for the kind of job which allows you to achieve competency, and just get on with it. I suppose that every job has its challenges.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


She told Lesley that she needed some help. She wanted me to call round after work on Friday.

Then it was decided that we would call round as a family to-day, so I came straight home on Friday. Now, she doesn't want us to come to-day; it has to be to-morrow.

We are not willing to put this visit off again. Should we?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Division of labour

If I am to achieve adequate throughput in my job of talking to the team leaders, I cannot also be the person who is responsible for making sure that the Active Directory is ready for the machines to be built into it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Meeting the Biology COs

Was - to share information; is to be - to tell them how it's going to be.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Big Move

Our current approach is confusing something which is desirable (the move to the Managed Desktop) with something which is unavoidable (the move away from Bio-Srv0).

Monday, January 03, 2005

Micro Flight Log 002

How exactly do you (effectively) reduce the number of terrain vertices?

Micro Flight Log 001

Tried to improve performance - currently running at less than 15 fps - reduced terrain vertices/? to less than 1000 - it didn't seem to make any difference to performance - increased them back to what they were / max - didn't seem to improve the view, particularly.

How important is the Managed Desktop?

In a world of the tsunami, war in Iraq, poverty, AIDS, does it matter whether people have a managed desktop?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

We need a Big Bang because ...
... services are shared - large, distributed groups of people (everbody?) need/s to move at once.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Work has not delivered - security, satisfaction, sense of achievement; am I being ungrateful?