Saturday, February 28, 2004

Bumbling Oaf?

My daughter is into LOTR in a big way. We recently acquired the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring. We are watching it, again, as I write after having had lunch.

One of the things that seems to happen as you watch a film many times is that you begin to focus in on aspects of the film you didn't notice before. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am forming the impression that Gandalf is a bit of a bumbling oaf! On various occasions he seems indecisive and weak. This is contrary to the impression I gained from having read the book some 20 years ago.

His initial exchange with Saruman just before he reveals his alliegance to Sauron shows how he fails to appreciate the gravity of the situation. Then later, when trying to cross over the mountains and a debate arises as to the best way to go, Gandalf says, 'Let the ring-bearer decide'. Strikes me as a man who doesn't know what he is doing!

What do you think?

Friday, February 27, 2004

Bush Unmasked

I can't remember where I found this. It's a bit cheeky but a) clever b) amusing.



Here's a mildly diverting site: Logo Graveyard.

(Thanks to Look At This... )

Car Grumps

Strange last couple of days on the car front. Yesterday morning at 7:30am, Susan came in saying, “I can’t open the car door”. She drives a Micra. It was freezing cold. “Can I take your car?”

“Yes”, I grumpily grunted. I would miss the heated front seats of the Rover. (“Ooo! Warm botties!”, says Kate.)

So off she went, only for me to find out, when I had to take Kate down to school, that Susan had taken both sets of keys for the Micra.

So we walked to school, late, grumpy.

Then this morning Susan found the Micra’s battery was flat. “Can I take your car?” This was now sounding familiar. Grump.

As I was to find later, while madly wrestling with one of the frozen doors the day before Susan had managed to open it partially so that the internal light was left on for the following 24 hours.

This was bad enough. When the RAC bloke arrived, he asked me to start the engine. “Ha!”, I thought, “My moment of self-justification”. With a swish of the head and a flick of the wrist I turned the key.

No self-justification. The car started like a dream. Apology required and offered. Sloped back into the house and grumped.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Rapid Response

I've got some friends travelling to Belarus this week. One of them mentioned that Russia had cut off gas supplies to Belarus for non-payment of bills. The story is here.

Note the time of this report. A full 29 minutes later the BBC reports that Belarus and Russia have signed a deal!

The options I can think of for this amazing turn around are:
1) The first article was late - thanks BBC!
2) It got cold very quickly so thet had to sort something out QUICK!
3) The Belarussians heard that my friends were coming - worth pulling out the stops for. (Not surprising given that most people try and leave Belarus!)

Which do you think it was?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Humbling lesson #345655

I'm in Wales at the moment, at ETCW for my residential period. At one of the lectures today Dr Davies asked me, "What is conversion?"

I mumbled some answer.

"That'll be the XXXXXXX heresy then", said Dr D. (XXXXXXX = a name I can't remember!)

Oops. Very sobering.

Lesson? Note well: studying lots doesn't stop you spouting rubbish by the binful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Britney in church...

The Daily Mail has reported that Britney Spears has been attending a church with her parents. I wish her well, but we have seen celebrities finding religion before, only to come to nothing. Call me a cynic...

Derby makes the News!!

... for one of its,, multi-story car parks..

Monday, February 16, 2004

Here's a silly...

... website. Thanks to GreenFairy.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Who am I?

"What a mystery is this, that Christianity should have done so little good in the world!
Can any account of this be given? Can any reasons be assigned for it?"
You are John Wesley!

When things don't sit well with you, you make a big production and argue your way through everything.
You complain a lot, but, at least you are a thinker and not afraid to show it. You are also pretty
liked by people, and pretty methodological about your life and goals. You know where you're going.
Some people find you irritating, so watch out for people leaving you out of things they do.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Well, who would have thought it? Slightly worrying...

Friday, February 13, 2004

Show off

I'm putting this entry in here to show Katie how a blog works.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


This caught my eye: Football 'needs wage cap'. At first I thought, "You mean like those funny little ones with the gold piping which starts at the rim and goes up to top, meeting with a little button on top? You know, like the ones we used to wear at primary school when I were a lad?"

No. More silly nonsense from those football lovers, the Government. As you may have guessed I have no sympathy with this interventionist line of thinking. The best way to reform football is to let a few clubs go bust. Then everyone will see that sentimentalists must not be allowed to run football.

Instead we have a bunch of people who 'love' football, who think that their 'love' legitimates all kinds of excess and foolishness, leading to clubs that spend beyond their means, not least on wages. When it happens, do we get common-sense? No! We get this silly envy of the big clubs and their financial muscle: 'If they can spend lots of money, why can't we? IT'S NOT FAIR!'. Sounds like a bunch kids.

I say let clubs go bust. That'll give rest the heeby-geebies and then maybe we'll get some common sense.

There. Got that off my chest.

Surprised by the Tip

Been pretty busy the last couple of days. Took the opportunity of an inter-semester break to clear out the attic of 15 years of accumulated junk. Having spent a couple of afternoons transporting large boxes and other sundry items down rickety ladders out into the garden I then attempted to load them into our little Nissan Micra. Then off to the tip.

The last time I went to the Raynesway tip was about a year ago. It was complete chaos. Even at midday, which is pretty quiet, the queue of cars was backed out on to the dual carriageway causing major snarl-ups. Once joining the queue I had to wait longer than Saddam could deploy his WMD, allegedly. Having loaded the car myself I knew that I was carrying a strategic load – no mere tactical maneuver this. Having got the car to the ramp to unload, I was attended by a red-faced man, clearly the worse for drink. (He and his mates spent most of their time in a little tin ‘office’ doing, well, you know, seeing to their complexion with various appropriate liquids.) He manfully staggered about helping emptying my car-load into the large skip. He managed to do so without falling in himself.

This year I expected the same. Yet it was like a dream. Quietly sailing down Raynesway, rolling gently into the waste area to be greeted by a newly built concrete ramp with marked parking bays that allowed me to back up the car close to the appropriate skip. Then I got out to find three young lads already pulling the hatchback open to unload for me. No sign of red faces – just professionalism. It wasn’t busy because it was all too clean and efficient. All done in no time at all! Good on you Derby City Council!