Dec 31, 2008

Death to all ???

I find it difficult to comment on this. As I am not sure which kind of 'Juice' he dislikes so much. This picture says a great deal about the American education system, or maybe the Mullah only taught him how to spell death.
Photo taken at a protest in Manhatten

What Israel is doing is nothing to do with peace but its own selfish security concerns

I post this from the blog of the lovable folks at "Simply Jewish"

"In London the mainstream media have been warned to avoid the subject in phone-in's to avoid escalating tensions, but that is unrealistic.  What Israel has done again, is look at its own security concerns and forget that of other nations like ours.

4000 known active Islamic terrorists operate in the UK, what more of an excuse do they need now to carry out a heinous act on people who are not from Israel?"  The full piece can be found at The London Daily News

Dec 29, 2008

Military Official escapes from Iran

This story can't possibly be true, the lovable President of Iran gave his Christmas message on Channel 4. I am sure they would not give a torturer space on their Channel!!
"According to Tabnak’s( Tabnak is one of the most credible news agencies in Iran. Turkish sources, Colonel Arian escaped because he was against the torturing of Iranian opposition figures inside Iran. To raise awareness, he subsequently started communicating with international human right agencies via email. This raised the suspicion of Iran’s intelligence agency, which installed hidden spy cameras in his office. Arian’s life was also threatened, and as a result of this he decided to escape to Turkey with his family."

Dec 24, 2008

Mary Meets Elizabeth

Here is a link to a rather remarkable painting of Mary meeting Elizabeth. I think it picks up beautifully the 'she went with 'haste' in the biblical story

The Church of the Holy Punch

How these Christians love each other...A really sad piece of video, these people should be ashamed of themselves

Dec 7, 2008

Advent Hope

I came upon these words this week whilst doing my Advent reading and the they touched my heart

There is a God whose light shines in every darkness
There is a God who hears every lament
There is a God who transforms even the deepest grief
Therefore you have hope:
You shall sing again, but with a different tune
You shall dance again, but with a different step
You shall laugh again, but with a different breath
Not yet, but one day,
For there is a God who heals your wound with the gentlest hand.

Dec 2, 2008

Scrooge is Alive in Aberdeen

"Due to cuts there are no wisemen this year, we apologise for any inconvenience". says Aberdeen Council

“It is a sad state of affairs when the council can’t even provide a decent Christmas for the people of Aberdeen.”

The main events for the Winter Festival, including a carol concert, Christmas lights switch-on and Hogmanay street party – are still due to take place.

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “No decisions have yet been taken on the Winter Festival. A report on this year's events will be considered on Tuesday by the resources management committee, whose members will make decisions.”
It appears to be a spokesman(surely spokesperson0 you have to be an idiot who celebrates a "winterfestival" whatever that that is

Nov 30, 2008

The Sinister Side: Titian’s Diana and Actaeon

I found this very interesting the idea that the left side is some howevil or bad..

During the Renaissance, a woman’s left side was regarded as her most beautiful side. Not only was this the ‘heart’ side, and thus the side of feeling, but it was also less used (by right-handers) and so likely to be less worn or marked. In one of his love lyrics the poet Tasso called it “the soft side”, while the Venetian courtesan and poet Veronica Franco, in a verse letter to her favourite lover, says that her own beauty will be dedicated to making him happy, and she will make him taste the delights of love, “when he is close to her left side”. Titian gives us an extraordinary uninterrupted profile view of the whole of Diana’s left side and raised left arm, and there is no doubt that this is the best view: the goddess’ right leg, which is being rubbed down by one of the nymphs, is crude and ungainly in comparison to the elegantly turned left leg. It is also less brightly lit.

Nov 27, 2008


The pic is of Holy Trinity one of the monasteries I visited in 2007
Meaning ‘suspended in air’ the name Meteora soon came to encompass the entire rock community of 24 monasteries. There were no steps and the main access to the monasteries was by means of a net that was hitched over a hook and hoisted up by rope and a hand cranked windlass to winch towers overhanging the chasm. Monks descended in the nets or on retractable wooden ladders up to 40m long to the fertile valleys below to grow grapes, corn and potatoes. Each community developed its own resources and by the end of the 14th century, the Grand Meteoron emerged as the dominant community. Its wealth included landed estates, flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle. Today though there are only six monasteries surviving visitors can reach them without risking life or limb as long a they do not mind a long climb.

Nov 26, 2008

Another Catherine, Catherine of Alexandria

25. November is the feast day of: Catherine of Alexandria (d. ca. 305, supposedly).  The virgin martyr C.'s historicity is very poorly attested.  Here is a English-language site on the monastery dedicated to her on the Sinai peninsula in Egypt (whither her body is said to have been miraculously transported and where her veneration is unmentioned in any of the surviving late antique pilgrim accounts):
A virgin and martyr whose feast is celebrated in the Latin Church and in the various Oriental churches on 25 November, and who for almost six centuries was the object of a very popular devotion.
Below is from the catholic online encyclopedia
Of noble birth and learned in the sciences, when only eighteen years old, Catherine presented herself to the Emperor Maximinus who was violently persecuting the Christians, upbraided him for his cruelty and endeavoured to prove how iniquitous was the worship of false gods. Astounded at the young girl's audacity, but incompetent to vie with her in point of learning the tyrant detained her in his palace and summoned numerous scholars whom he commanded to use all their skill in specious reasoning that thereby Catherine might be led to apostatize. But she emerged from the debate victorious. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death. Furious at being baffled, Maximinus had Catherine scourged and then imprisoned. Meanwhile the empress, eager to see so extraordinary a young woman, went with Porphyry, the head of the troops, to visit her in her dungeon, when they in turn yielded to Catherine's exhortations, believed, were baptized, and immediately won the martyr's crown. Soon afterwards the saint, who far from forsaking her Faith, effected so many conversions, was condemned to die on the wheel, but, at her touch, this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed. The emperor, enraged beyond control, then had her beheaded and angels carried her body to Mount Sinai where later a church and monastery were built in her honour.

Nov 24, 2008

What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable.

This is really very American, but I thought it was very funny. Some of this could be applied to the UK

Nov 23, 2008

Induction & Installation at Exeter Cathedral

Today I have been to the Induction and Installation of our local Rector as a Canon(Prebendary) of Exeter Cathedral. This is considered an honour in the Church of England. The service was conducted within the normal Cathedral Evensong Service. The worship supported by the Cathedral Choir was inspiring, but below is a quote from the service sheet about what the Canons got up to before entering the Cathedral.


¶ At 2. 45p the College of Canons, vested in copes, and the Commissioner for Oaths proceed from the Canons' Vestry to gather in the Chapter House.

¶ The bells shall be tolled meanwhile in the accustomed manner.

.    ¶ The Dean, acting as President of the College of Canons, then nominates the Installers of the new Prebendaries.

¶ At 2.50pm the Clerks to be collated and installed, habited in cassock and surplice, are conducted from the Chapel of St John the Baptist to the Chapter House.

¶ The Clerks shall make the customary Declaration of Assent, the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and the Oath of Canonical Obedience to the Bishop of Exeter. Having signed the declarations and Oaths, they are then vested in a cope.

¶ The Dean shall then say:

Will the Virger ascertain if there are any contumacious persons without?

¶ The Virger, having drawn back the wicket and looked without, shall say All is well without, Mr Dean.

¶ Then the Dean shall say:

Let the Great Doors be opened.

¶ At 2.57 pm the members of the Cathedral body shall leave the Chapter House and proceed to enter the Cathedral by Bishop Brewer's Door and go to their places in the Quire.

This procession was led by the Virger carrying the "Dog Whippers Stick", by the way this is the correct way to spell 'Virger'

Contumacious (kon-too-may-shuhs) is an adjective that means rebellious, disobedient, obstinately resistant to authority, stubbornly perverse, insubordinate, and rebellious

Nov 22, 2008

St. Cecilia of Rome

Here's a view of her supposed resting place
 Cecilia of Rome   C. is a poorly documented but much celebrated martyr of the Via Appia, absent from the _Depositio Martyrum_ of the Chronographer of 354 but attested liturgically from the sixth century
onward, when her legend was already in existence in some form.  This
makes her a virgin betrothed to a pagan husband, Valerian, who
preserved her virginity and who, after his conversion to Christianity,
actively proselytized along with C. and suffered martyrdom along with
her.  The story, which includes among its _personae_ pope St. Urban I and the martyrs Tiburtius and Maximus, is a typical late antique confection uniting various catacomb worthies in a single narrative.

A resting place in a part of the Catacomb of Callistus first used
towards the end of the second century was believed in the early Middle
Ages to have been C.'s.  It was rediscovered by de Rossi in the
nineteenth century.  

ISTP - The Mechanics

Apparently this is me! according to Typealyzer

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned
to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges
that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for
themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.
The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and
highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their
work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in
driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Nov 21, 2008

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast, celebrating an event not mentioned in the Bible but present in the infancy gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, is thought to be probably of Syrian origin. In the Greek church it is first documented from the eleventh century; by the later twelfth century it was important enough in Constantinople that the law courts did not sit during it. The feast spread to the Latin West in the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. After some vicissitudes earlier in the sixteenth century it was definitively included in the Roman Calendar by Sixtus V in 1585.

Nov 19, 2008

Smoking Doctor

I use Scoutle a widget for finding other blogs. I thought it was supposed to find like minded blogs, but all I appear to get is atheists and nutters. Possibly this says something about my blog. Here is one that came up on my 'Scoutle'. I can't work out whether he is genuine or not. If he is a real 'doctor'. My fervent prayer is 'please Lord don't let him treat me' Here is a link to the 'Smoking Doc'

Ninth Bishop of Texas - is a Gonk!!!

I could not resist this photograph of the ninth bishop of Texas! His name is Andy Doyle this is the photo he uses on his blog. Unless it is a spoof blog.

Nov 12, 2008

Jedi Squirrels

I am sure this is making the rounds on the internet. I found it on Stumble, and don't know where it came from but it is brilliant!!

Nov 9, 2008

Martin the Charitable.

Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru of a Spanish father and an African mother in 1579. As a boy he studied medicine which later as a member of the Dominican Order he put to good use in helping the poor. He was so noted for his kindness and gentleness with the sick and needy that he was called "Martin the Charitable." He led a humble and disciplined life, having great devotion both to Christ Crucified and the Blessed Sacrament. He found great strength in meditating and contemplating these great mysteries. Martin died in 1639, and was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962.

This is my kind of Saint, mind you he does look familiar!!

Nov 8, 2008

Woman arrested for killing virtual reality husband

From CNN A lovely story...
A 43-year-old Japanese woman whose sudden divorce in a virtual game world made her so angry that she killed her online husband's digital persona has been arrested on suspicion of hacking, police said Thursday.
Online environments such as "Second Life" -- where users control avatars -- have emerged in recent years.

Online environments such as "Second Life" -- where users control avatars -- have emerged in recent years.

The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged, but if convicted could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

My Shrapnel Life as a "Poor, Sad, Heroic, Victim of Terror"®

I came across this interesting Blog 'My Shrapnel'Here in her own words a description of who she is"

Message from the Bombing Victim Muppet
I am, of course, neither sad, nor heroic nor particularly victimized. What I am is an "ordinary Joe" who was seriously injured six years ago in a suicide bombing while waiting for a bus at the Machane Yehuda open air market in Jerusalem.

Gila 'a nice Jewish girl' worth a read.

Hugh O'Flaherty - 'the Vatican Pimpernel'

Now, 40 years after his death, the Israeli Government is planning to award its highest honour on the Irish priest to whom the only memorials to date are the film, the Scarlet and the Black, starring Gregory Peck and a grove of trees in Killarney National Park. The Israelis are planting another tree in his honour at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Authority also plans to confer the title, “Righteous Among Nations” on Monsignor O’Flaherty, who is the first Irishman to receive this honour, in appreciation of having saved the lives of thousands of Rome’s Jews from the Holocaust.
There is now a book about him by Brian Fleming, 'The Vatican Pimpernel the wartime exploits of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
In Killarney National Park where a grove of Italian trees, planted in 1994, is the only memorial in Ireland to the Monsignor. Beside the trees is a brass plaque which reads, “To honour Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty (1898 - 1963). In Rome during World War II, he heroically served the cause of humanity.”

To mark the planting of the trees, Brendan Kennelly wrote a poem:

Hugh O’Flaherty’s Trees
There is a tree called freedom and it grows
Somewhere in the hearts of men,
Rain falls, ice freezes, wind blows,
The tree shivers, steadies itself again,
Steadies itself like Hugh O’Flaherty’s hand,
Guiding trapped and hunted people, day and night,
To what all hearts love and understand,
The tree of freedom upright in the light.

Mediterranean Palm, Italian Cypress, Holm Oak, Stone Pine;
A peaceful grove in honour of that man,
Commemorates all who struggle to be free.
The hurried world is a slave of time,
Wise men are victims of their shrewdest plans.

Oct 30, 2008

World's largest Hummus

From the Hummus Blog, yes there really is one
Over a 1000 tones of hummus were eaten last week, during Israelis Independance Day (”Yom Haatzmaut”). 400kg (881 pounds) of which in a Jerusalem event, out of a single Guiness-Record size plate.

It was last year when the American Sabra hummus manufacturer set the first Guinness Record for eating hummus in a New-York event. They served their hummus in a plate with a diameter of 3.5 meter (3.8 yards).

Last week a new the record was set in Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem: Hummus Tzabar, an Israeli hummus manufacturer, served some 400kg (881 pounds) of hummus in a 4 meter (4.35 yard) plate. This incredible hummus feast was documented of course, to verify the Guinness Record commitee it really happened. Here’s one of the pictures:

Oct 29, 2008

My Oh My Beautiful

I don't understand the words, but it is lovely

Glitter payout sparks outrage

From Yahoo music news.
"Shamed pop star Gary Glitter is to receive a GBP100,000 pay cheque from computer giant Hewlett Packard after bosses chose to use his song Do You Wanna Touch Me in a new TV advertising campaign.

The singer, real name Paul Gadd, was recently released from a prison in Vietnam, where he served nearly three years for sexually assaulting two girls aged nine and 11.

He has since been deported back to his native Britain - but is in line to receive the cash sum from Hewlett Packard chiefs over the use of the 1972 track to promote a new touch-screen model.

The adverts actually feature the 1982 cover by Joan Jett, but Glitter is set to get the money in royalties.

However, the deal has angered child protection organisations in the US.

A spokesperson for Child says, "It shows a distinct lack of sensitivity." "
I won't be buying my next printer from HP that's for sure...

Oct 26, 2008

Blessing to Purify Beer in which a mouse or weasel has drowned

"Benedictio potus si mus aut mustella mergitur intus.
Benedic, Domine, hunc potum, et haec vasa sicut benedixisti sex ydrias
lapideas capientes metretas binas vel ternas, et vinum factum de aqua
in Chana Galileae, sic benedicere digneris cervisam istam, ut sint sani
et inmaculati omnes qui ex eo bibituri sunt, per invocationem nominis
tui, Domine, qui regnas in saecula."

"Bless, O Lord, this drink, and this vessel, as you blessed the six waterpots
of stone, containing two or three measures apiece, and made wine from water
in Cana of Galilee, thus by blessing you will vouchsafe this beer, that they
may all be healthy and immaculate who drink of it, by the invocation of your
name, O Lord, who reigneth for ever and ever."
It is a pity that to Mihai Stanescu, 32, a Romanian man did not know this Blessing. As he ended up in an emergency hospital with food poisoning after finding a dead mouse in his bottle of beer.He said: “I simply opened the bottle and took a few gulps. The tastewas very strange and when I looked closer I noticed the mouse floating in my beer.”The man alerted local consumer protection officials who have launched an investigation.Chief trading standards inspector Mihai Miclaus said: “We will check the whole batch of beer to see if there are other such cases. Then we’ll contact the producer and see who is responsible for this.”

Oct 25, 2008


Great fun, whether you agree or not. Making fun of politicians is always the way.

Oct 23, 2008

The Sadness of Atheism

I am using a widget? on my blog called Scoutle. It is supposed to find me like minded bloggers, but all i seem to be being linked with are pro-atheist blogs. Having looked at these blogs they strike me as being rather sad. They are promoting their belief or no belief that there is no such thing as a god. That life is essentially meaningless apart from the meaning we can give it ourselves. But as there is no meaning or purpose in life apart from the meaning or purpose I give it myself. No purpose or meaning is more valid than any other. So I ask myself why are these atheists so angry because people belive something. As it does not matter what one believes in the long or the short run. We all cease to exist, the world will cease to exist, everything will cease to exist. It will be as if we had never been as there is nothing to notice our coming or going. One statement in the bible is true for the atheist at least 'vanity all is vanity'

Oct 18, 2008

BBC boss says Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity

The Director General says we should treat Islam more sensitively than other religions. This was reported in the Telegraph. In the feed back section of the paper as far as I could see not one person agreed with him. I know that often the mad the bad and the down right weird contribute to these discussions, but not one person agreed with him!!!

Oct 16, 2008

Only in America!!

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed the lawsuit last year seeking a permanent injunction against God who he said made terrorist threats against him and his Omaha constituents.

Additionally, he said God inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorisation of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants".But Senator Chambers, a law school graduate, thinks he's found a hole in the judge's ruling.

He said: "The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgement is a recognition of God's omniscience.

"Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit."

Senator Chambers, who has served a record 38 years in the Nebraska Legislature, has 30 days to decide whether to appeal.
This idiot  has a political position, there are people in Nebraska who voted for him...???

Mireille Mathieu sings La marseillaise

Absolutely fabulous song and singing. Pity Le Crapauds can't fight

Oct 15, 2008

Run Off to Meet Jesus A little prayer by NT Wright

I am reminded that there is no such thing as a 'little prayer'

“Run off to meet Jesus.
Tell him the problem.
Ask him why he didn’t come sooner,
why he allowed that
awful thing to happen.
And then be prepared for a surprise….
Jesus will meet your problem
with some new part of God’s future that can and will burst
into your present time, into the mess and grief,
with new possibilities.”

- N.T. Wright,

1066 and All That

I was looking on my library shelves and found a copy of "1066 and All That" published in 1930 it is still a very amusing book. Below is a Test paper from the first Chapter

    UP TO THE END OF 1066

    1.Which do you consider were the more
    alike, Caesar or Pompey, or vice versa ? (Be brief).

    2. Discuss, in latin or gothic (but
    not both), whether the Northumbrian Bishops were more schismatical
    than the Cumbrian Abbots. (Be bright.)

3. Which came first, A.D. or B.C. ? (Be careful.)

4. Has it never occurred to you that the Romans counted backwards ? (Be honest.)

5. How angry would you be if it was suggested

(1) That the Xth Chap. of the

Consolations of Boethius was an interpolated palimpsest?

(2) That an eisteddfod was an agricultural implement ?

6. How would you have attempted to deal

1. The Venomous Bead ?

  1. A Mabinogion or Wapentake ? (Be

7. What would have happened if (a) Boadicea had been the daughter of Edward the Confessor ? (b) Canute had succeeded in sitting on the waves ? Does it matter ?

8. Have you the faintest recollection

(I) Ethelbreth

  1. Athelthral ?

    3.Thruthelthrolth ?

Oct 13, 2008

How to get your head on a UK Stamp

This is the 'Lady' who cut her son out of her will for marrying a short sighted woman outraged at the damage to her bloodline. "Are these puny faced gaunt, blotchy, ill-balanced, feeble, ungainly, withered children the young of an Imperial Race. Her Planned parent Society was designed to remove ' the diseased and the racially negligent......the feebleminded......and inferior infants. I wonder what she would have made of the recent Para- Olympics. Not surprisingly she admire Hitler and sent him poems.

Oct 10, 2008

Are Beatles Fans Morons?

After seeing a picture of Paul McCartney in some Liverpool McDonalds the super star was clearly upset a spokesperson for Sir Paul, a vegetarian, said it was “ridiculous and insulting” of the company to use the images.
“What sort of morons do McDonald’s think Beatles fans are?” Geoff Baker, who called for a boycott of the company, said.
I suppose Beatle fans are just normal 'Morons' not necessarily veggie morons.
The final word from PETA

“We hope anyone who sees his picture on the wall will be reminded that he’s a vegetarian and skip the Big Mac for a veggie burger.” YUK!!!!

Oct 4, 2008

Sympathy for the Prince of Darkness

The Prince of Darkness, as he is termed in the Dailies has returned from his exile in Europe, he has escaped from "I spend my life thinking about whether I am going to get an aisle seat on airplanes so I can get out faster, and go to the loo without trampling on anybody," he said "I'm always thinking about what bags I can get on without having to check them in, and whether I've got enough liquid for the flight. This is what my life has come to," he said."(from Ambrose Bierce's Blog). The Prince has returned from this to save the country, sadly he did not ride into his new office on a red or a pale horse. The creepiest piece on the news this morning were the pictures his staff who had been lined up to clap him as he arrived. I wonder if those who failed to clap for the stipulated time had their names taken.

Oct 1, 2008

Ricky Gervais IS FAT!

Simon Pegg takes a swipe at Gervais star of the Office here in the UK "If you go to Los Angeles,
you can get sucked into [losing weight]. I've seen people go there and
suddenly become rake thin because there is a slight pressure to be
thin. I've also seen a lot of fat people there. "He's one of the fat people in LA, yes." Please note Simon Ricky is FAT in the UK also.

A different view of the trees

I was thinking of what Chesterton said."It is the opposite of what we think. The trees from time to time, to wave their branches and create the wind!" I find this idea most appealing..

Merton's lovely lines from his poem — The Storm at Night:
The mind fights homeward to the beach,
Works loose, half dead from the huge seas,
And lets its poor mute mask be lifted to the light;
So sleep can leak away and leave
The water-dazzled eyes to wake and wonder.
For morning works a miracle of sun and silence,
And light drowns in the trees.

Wind and light how often are these words used in poetry to convey, not only beauty but also fear ,blinding light' or 'howling wing', 'gently breeze' or 'dappled light'.

The Story Of San Michele by Axel Munthe

Axel Munthe devoted his retirement to looking after animals. In his book - The Story of San Michele - he has, near the end of his life a dream. In his dream he has died and is come to Judgement. After hearing much evidence of Munthe's life of debauchery, St Peter is about to condemn him to Hell, when the singing of birds and the barking of dogs is heard. S. Francis, in his ragged brown habit appears, surrounded by a flock of birds and a pack of dogs. `You may be right in all you say about this man,' Francis says, `but he loved animals!' St Peter is instantly disarmed. With a weary gesture he motions Munthe to take the
gate to Heaven. 'Always the same when they have loved animals,' he says, `this pale Umbrian appears with his flock of birds and his pack
of dogs and............well, what can I do?

The 13th Apostle and more

This is an ongoing post, I took out a book from the Library last night 'The 13th Apostle' it is a 'New York Times Bestseller' so I assume this is a good thing. I t is about some lost scrolls and people who want to destroy them for some reason. It made me think how many books are there in circulation with this theme. Obviously 'The Da Vinci Code' , another by Sam Bourne 'The Last Testament' , I am sure there are others which when I find them I will list here.

Sep 30, 2008

John McCain is he still alive?

I watched a film by Kurosawa in which the Emperor died and a double took his place it is said John McCain has been trying to look younger on the campaign trail by using a make-up artist named Tiffany who works on “American Idol.” True story, yeah. Tiffany says, “Making John McCain look younger is easy, but what is really hard is making Paula Abdul look sober." This may be true or has John McCain a double is he even still alive? Look at some of his photographs and make up your own mind

Sep 29, 2008

From 'POOR BLOGGER'(with apologies) "Hymn to St Michael on this his day from the Carmina Gadelica"

Thou Michael the victorious,
May I travel under thy shield,
Thou Michael of the white steed,
Of the bright and shining steel,
O, Conqueror of the dragon,
Be thou at my back,
Thou ranger of the heavens,
King's warrior, demon's bane.

O Michael the victorious,
My pride and my guide,
O Michael the victorious,
The pride of mine eye.

I travel this an all days,
With Michael as my guide,
On the hill or in the meadow,
Always at his side;
Though I should cross the ocean
The whole of the world
No harm can ever befall me
'Neath the shelter of thy shield;

O Michael the victorious,
Jewel of my heart,
O Michael the victorious,
God's shepherd thou art.

Be the Sacred Three of Glory
At peace with me,
With my wife and with my children,
With flocks and my land.
With the crops growing in the field
Or ripe in the sheaf,
On the machair, on the moor,
In cole, in heap, or stack.

To the Sacred Three of Glory,
Belong everything,
And to Their servant, Michael,
The victorious.

Redding Loaves and Fishes Food Bank - Poverty

I came across this video, it shows the two Americas. Sadly it only had 286 views when I viewed it, when a funny dog can get thousands says plenty about our world.

Sep 22, 2008

Labour Boost for Palin

I spotted a report in a blog by someone called Andrew Sparrow on how Hazel Blears( my brother is a bus driver) had attacked the Republican candidate Sarah Palin. I assume her comments were approved by this Sparrow chappy as he gave a rather glowing report on the fact that she had called the politics of Palin 'horrendous'. My only thought on this was any endorsement by a member of the labour party at the present time can only be a positive thing.
"Gordon Brown irritated the John McCain campaign recently with the
publication of an article that was interpreted as an endorsement of
Barack Obama." I am sure if Barack reads the opinion polls he will not be happy either.

Sep 20, 2008

Episcopal Church Imploding

Here in the UK the goings on in the Episcopal Church appear rather strange. The battles over property would not happen here in the England. The last thing most Bishops would want is to be saddled with an ancient Church. I realise that there is value in church property in the USA that the authorities can sell.
A church that deposes its bishops for sticking to Scripture surely is in a very sad state. See Pittsburgh website 

Anglican Leaders Voice Support for Bishop Duncan — The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
Also offering support was Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East. "It is with great joy that I welcome you alongside the ranks of St. Athanasius who, as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed and exiled from his see. St. Athanasius did not waver and stood firm. History proved that his stance for orthodoxy was not in vain. I trust it will do the same for you! So please count it as honor my brother."

A Child's Prayer

I came across a blog by a Father Stephen Freeman, in one of his posts there was a delightful prayer by one of his sons. He apparently had a statue of St Michael in his bedroom.

"Dear St. Michael, guard my room.

Don’t let anything eat me or kill me.

Kill it with your sword. Kill it with your sword. Amen."

On the face of it a simple prayer.

Sep 19, 2008

TODAY Talk like a Pirate Day

Today apparently is Talk like a Pirate Day. Very weird but fun if you want to join in go to the
The Poopdeck.

Sep 18, 2008

The Pope's Toilet - El bano del Papa

A film about a lavatory set up in Uruguay for the Pope's Visit in 1988. This is fiction, but in a Midlothian eco-friendly house which used re cycled items is the real Pope's Toilet when John Paul II visited Scotland.

Sep 17, 2008

A Good Night Out

Last night Val and I were take out for a meal by our youngest daughter Caroline. We went to a small village pub called 'The Boot' in a Bedfordshire Village Langford. When we went in to the restaurant. I thought the bar man was familiar, it turned out he had starred in a restaurant reality show on TV. The food was very good with quite a good choice, I hade wild mushrooms on toast for a starter, followed by the days special Lamb Pie, very tasty. Finally the the pudding I chose was absolutely delicious Ginger sponge, baked pear with Lavender Ice cream. An excellent evening in a pleasant atmosphere. 

Sep 16, 2008

Reading Motorway Stop - Coffee stop

Last Sunday we stopped at the Reading motorway stop for a caffein fix as we journeyed on to Bedfordshire. Ritazza Coffee sounded good. Big mistake, I think the cup of coffee were were served wa one of the vilest brews I had tasted in a long time. Recently we had thought there had been a big improvement in motorway coffee which in the past has been notoriously bad, but were clearly proved wrong. Has we waited for our £2.05 cup of coffee we watch a blue bottle crawl amongst the uncovered cakes on the coffee bar. When we mentioned this to the girl serving who to be fair did not seem to have much English just smiled and vagualy waved her hand at the offending fly. The thermos flask will be accompanying us on our next motorway journey.

Sep 12, 2008

Is Mr Obama Confused?

Is Barack confused about who he really is? Here in the UK one of Tony Blair's advisers said 'we don't do god', when asked about Tony's faith. Possibly Mr Obama needs to take this advise or at least decide which religion he is

Aug 7, 2008

RHS Rosemoor

We visited the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Rosemoor, This is well worth a visit. Below is a small snip from a video I made whilst there....

Jul 20, 2008

Christian Couple Arrested, Tortured and Threatened Islam the Religion of Peace?

On June 3, a newly converted Christian couple in Iran was arrested by
police for holding Bible studies with Muslims in their home, and
attending a house church. According to Compass Direct News, "Makan Arya
and Tina Rad were seized from their home in east Tehran after one of
Makan's relatives informed security police of the couple's Christian
activities. Their 4-year-old daughter was left behind, ill and
unattended. The couple was taken to an unknown jail where they were
severely beaten and interrogated for four days." Compass reported,
"Makan was accused of 'activities against national security' and Tina
of 'activities against the holy religion of Islam.' The authorities
threatened to take their daughter away to a religious institution and
warned they could be imprisoned on charges of apostasy or fabricated
drug charges if they didn't stop their Christian work." The report
added that eventually the couple was pressured into signing a statement
claiming they had not changed their religion from Islam and promising
that they would stay away from their house church and other Christians.
"After a court hearing, Makan was freed on bail charges of US $19,634
and Tina upon payment of US $29,451. The couple returned home to find
that the window of their shop had been smashed by local Muslims. On
June 23, Makan received a letter threatening him with continued attacks
if he did not put up evidence of his Islamic faith on the front of his
shop, to which he responded by hanging pictures of Muslim leaders on
his window," Compass added. Ask God to strengthen the hearts of these
believers to proclaim His Name without hesitation or fear. Pray for
healing, especially for Tina who currently cannot walk as a result of
her mistreatment in detention. Isaiah 40:29-31

Jul 19, 2008

Modesty is the citadel of beauty. Demades

I came across this in the "God's Politics" blog, they forgot to mention his humility!

"Melvin Bray
is a devoted husband, committed father, learner, teacher, writer,
storyteller, lover of people, connoisseur of creativity, seeker of
justice, purveyor of sustainability, and believer in possibilities. As
founder of Kid Cultivators, he lives, loves, works, and dreams with friendMelvin Brays in Atlanta, Georgia."
I have read is blog and he is not half as bad as he sounds above.

The True Spirit of the Olympics - Pastor Sentenced to Re-education Through Labour

Pastor Sentenced to Re-education Through Labour

On July 4, Pastor Zhang Zhongxin was sentenced to two years re-education through labor in Jining city in Shangdong province. According to China Aid Association (CAA), "Shandong Re-education-Through-Labor Management Committee issued a written decision sentencing Zhang Zhongxin to two years re-education through labor. Authorities accused him [Zhongxin] of cult participation in the ‘whole scope of the church' organized ‘Sunday school training courses, preaching the gospel to the northwest, Tibet and other places for missionaries and pioneers sermons.'" CAA added that in 2005, Zhongxin established The Rainbow Missions Fellowship and Timothy Bible Training School in Jining city, Shandong province, where Christian leaders are trained. Zhongxin has appealed his sentence.

Sanctus: Breaking News: ++Rowan's Movie Deal

Sanctus: Breaking News: ++Rowan's Movie Deal

This is very cruel.

A Book for Lambeth

All the bishops at the Lambeth conference have been given a book to read "The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality". There are some really interesting instructions in the book on how to engage with other people. It strikes me that if bishops need these instructions what hope is there for the rest of us plebs.So are you now sitting comfortably we will begin....

To listen as actively as I can:

• I do not participate in side conversations.

• I never interrupt the person who is speaking.

• I turn off all electronic equipment (cell phones, computers, pagers, BlackBerries, etc.) and put them away.

• I show my interest in the speaker through my posture and facial expressions.

• I keep my expression and posture interested, engaged and calm, even
when I very strongly agree – or disagree – with the speaker.

• When it is my turn to speak, I first demonstrate how I have listened
to others by paraphrasing what they have said. I do this using my own
words and ask 'Have I understood you correctly?' when I have finished
my paraphrase.

• I avoid making statements that suggest or assert that I completely understand what another is saying.

• If anyone in the group behaves in ways that block or impede
listening, I support the group facilitator as they ask for these
behaviours to stop.

This means that as an active or deep listener in a dialogue we will be
receptive, encouraging, and reflective. We will strive for
understanding of others in the group and take responsibility for our
own behaviours and thoughts during the dialogue. Let us look at these
behaviours in more detail.

To be a receptive listener:

• I adopt a comfortable and open posture and facial expression.

• I avoid crossing my arms.

• I avoid judgemental or confrontational body language – pointing fingers, shaking fingers, pursing lips or scowling.

• If culturally appropriate I look at the speaker and make eye contact if the speaker looks at me.

• I avoid closing my eyes and I do not fall asleep.

As an encouraging listener I will help draw the speaker
out. This is a particularly helpful and pastoral approach with those
who are shy, reticent, or unaccustomed to being given the opportunity
to speak in this type of process. To be an encouraging listener:

• I sit forward, leaning slightly towards the speaker.

• I keep an open facial expression, occasionally smile or nod my head.
This way I can affirm that a person is contributing without necessarily
affirming what the person is saying.

• I ask for more information. I can ask a speaker if they could say more about what they are thinking to help me understand.

• I thank the previous speaker before I begin to speak.

Jul 18, 2008

Long Robes and Long Prayers

[Jesus] taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk
around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows' houses and for the sake ofappearance say long prayers

- Mark 12:38-40

The Death Bed

I have just finished watching the final 'Numbers'
in series 3.for those who don't know 'Numbers'
is the thinking persons FBI series.
The two main character are Charlie Epps and his
brother Don.
Charlie is super brainy and helps his brother who
appears to be in charge of the FBI.
In this last episode a former agent is dying of poisoning,
but before he dies he leaves behind a list of
double agents. After solving the case
the brothers and their father talk about
the dead agent and the father quotes part
of a poem. I was intrigued as I half recognised it.
Here it<b> "Deathbed"</b> by Siegfied Sasson.
The last two verses were the ones quoted...

The Deathbed

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water—calm, sliding green above the weir.
Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird- voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer; drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.

Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.

He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leapt like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who'd stepped toward him, paused and stared.

Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He's young; he hated War; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?

But death replied: 'I choose him.' So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.

Jun 29, 2008

Christian the Lion, worth watching

Watch this
Even my hard heart is touched!!

The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God

A favourite from the past, it looks like is should have been written by Kipling, though it was composed by J Milton Hayer

There's a one-eyed yellow idol
To the north of Kathmandu;
There's a little marble cross below the town;
And a brokenhearted woman
Tends the grave of 'Mad' Carew,
While the yellow god for ever gazes down.

He was known as 'Mad Carew
By the subs at Kathmandu,
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell,
But, for all his foolish pranks,
He was worshipped in the ranks,
And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along
With the passion of the strong,
And that she returned his love was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty-one,
And arrangements were begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present
She would like from 'Mad' Carew;
They met next day as he dismissed a squad:
And jestingly she made pretence
That nothing else would do ...
But the green eye of the little yellow god.

On the night before the dance
'Mad' Carew seemed in a trance,
And they chaffed him
As they pulled at their cigars,
But for once he failed to smile,
And he sat alone awhile,
Then went out into the night.. beneath the stars.
He returned, before the dawn,
With his shirt and tunic torn,
And a gash across his temples... dripping red.
He was patched up right away,
And he slept all through the day
While the Colonel's daughter
Watched beside his bed.

He woke at last and asked her
If she'd send his tunic through.
She brought it and he thanked her with a nod.
He bade her search the pocket,
Saying, 'That's from "Mad" Carew,'
And she found ... the little green eye of the god.

She upbraided poor Carew,
In the way that women do,
Although her eyes were strangely hot and wet,
But she would not take the stone,
And Carew was left alone
With the jewel that he'd chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height
On that still and tropic night,
She thought of him ... and hastened to his room.
As she crossed the barrack square
She could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro' the gloom.

His door was open wide,
With silver moonlight shining through;
The place was wet and slippery where she trod;
An ugly knife lay buried
In the heart of 'Mad' Carew ...
'Twas the vengeance of the little yellow god.

There's a one-eyed yellow idol
To the north of Kathmandu;
There's a little marble cross below the town;
And a brokenhearted woman
Tends the grave of 'Mad' Carew,
While the yellow god for ever gazes down.

Jun 27, 2008

Tescos give Whittingstall the Bird

Tesco's shareholders gave Hugh the bird as they defeated his motion to stop them using 'cruel' farming methods in order to keep prices down.
Hugh claimed that the way they were looking after their chickens was cruel, they denied this
"He told reporters that Tesco, which urged shareholders to vote against the resolution, had attempted to scare consumers by claiming improved welfare standards could add £1 to the cost of a standard supermarket chicken.

Conceding that his resolution would be defeated, the TV cook said he would be delighted if the resolution won the backing of around 10% of Tesco shareholders.

Tesco was failing to meet its own stated welfare standards for chickens, Fearnley-Whittingstall said, and had also left campaigners with a bill for £87,000 for distributing their special resolution. "This is now a special resolution that requires 75% of the vote to succeed and that doesn't seem very democratic"
There was no comment from the chickens!!!

Jun 19, 2008

Interesting discussion in Syrianewswire

Syrian Women

Syrian women - leading the Arab world (from Restless in Dubai).

Syria's Vice President Najjah Al Attar is the first women in the Arab world to reach such a high position.

The head of the judicial system, the Republic's General Prosecutor is a woman.

In 1979, Syria had the first female minister in the whole region.

14% of the Syrian parliament are women - that's the highest in the region, other Arab states have an average of just 3.4%.

of girls pass the basic education and 51% of the university graduates
are females - equal to the European average, and well above the
international average.

Syria has 170 women judges, 250 female assistant judges.

Jun 18, 2008

At My Death - A Welsh Poem on Death

When I die, O, bury me
Within the free young wild wood;
Little birches, o'er me bent,
Lamenting as my child would!
Let my surplice-shroud be spun
Of sparkling summer clover;
While the great and stately treen
Their rich rood-screen hang over!
For my bier-cloth blossomed may
Outlay on eight green willows!
Sea-gulls white to bear my pall
Take flight from all the billows.
Summer's cloister be my church
Of soft leaf-searching whispers,
From whose mossed bench the nightingale
To all the vale chants vespers!
Mellow-toned, the brake amid,
My organ hid be cuckoo!
Paters, seemly hours and psalm
Bird voices calm re-echo!
Mystic masses, sweet addresses,
Blackbird, be thou offering;
Till God His Bard to Paradise
Uplift from sighs and suffering.

Jun 1, 2008

Aussie's Cut and Run The Australian Government backs away from Terrorism

"Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was swept into office in November largely on the promise that he would bring home the country's 550 combat troops by the middle of 2008.

Rudd has said the Iraq deployment has made Australia more of a target for terrorism."
Let's hope this works, and the Aussies can make new friends, as they come marching home and leave their allies to clear up the mess.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) - heroes song.

May 26, 2008


It's the Law 4-105. Pronunciation of state name.

Whereas, confusion of practice has arisen in the pronunciation of the name of our state and it is deemed important that the true pronunciation should be determined for use in oral official proceedings. And, whereas, the matter has been thoroughly investigated by the State Historical Society and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock, which have agreed upon the correct pronunciation as derived from history, and the early usage of the American immigrants.

Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final "s" silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of "a" in "man" and the sounding of the terminal "s" is an innovation to be discouraged.

May 25, 2008

We return to 'The Apprentice'

The Story of some truly nasty people
Yet again this week Uriah Heep, known as Michael in the show survives. It is the beautiful Raefe, who always reminded me of Sebastian in 'Brideshead' that gets the bullet from the inscrutable Alan(sorry Sir Alan).

Drive you Family and friends MADDD!!!!

Here is a website, that has no useful purpose at except to drive those who listen insane.
Sound up, click the buttons and enjoy.Click Here
Wait for Advert for game to disappear
Behold the Ganesh Drum Kit

This is Hilarious

Italian Spiderman Trailer
I must share this as it is so funny, I believe there are a whole series of these videos available. Though this is the only one I have seen so far.

May 17, 2008

"The Apprentice" or the progress of some truly nasty People

I have been watching the BBC programme 'The Apprentice' the idea is the 'best' apprentice gets a job with Alan Sugar, sorry 'Sir Alan'. I must admit the programme has a kind of fatal fascination. It does remind me of the TV series 'Men Behaving Badly' except we have women as well, equality rules. These people are set against each other to perform various 'business tasks' They are split into teams and are supposed to work together. We then watch them trying to assassinate each other. There are some truly awful people on this show one of them being a 'nice Jewish boy' called Michael. He was so Jewish he did not know what a 'kosher chicken' was and before going into the boardroom to face the evil Sir Alan crossed himself. In the last show he survived by grovelling and pleading in a Smarm, smarm, excuse my sweaty palm way reminiscent of Dickens and Uriah Heep. Sir Alan who acts normally like Ming the Merciless, melted before this abject grovelling performance. And as in all god serials we ask ourselves will he survive next week.

Jan 14, 2008

Not Men and Not Wise

I came across this, it is not recent, but I thought it was amusing...

Wise men haven't got a prayer

February 11, 2004

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The Three Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus may not have been particularly wise and might have been women, the Anglican Church has ruled.

A committee revising short prayers, or "collects", for the church's latest prayer book, Common Worship, said the term "magi" was a transliteration of the name of Persian court officials, and the possibility they were female could not be dismissed.

The General Synod approved the new prayers on Monday at the opening of its week-long meeting in London but some members privately complained that the church was becoming obsessed with politically correct language.

One said: "They are so eager to avoid upsetting the feminists that they will drop anything they think could be deemed offensive."

Yesterday the synod debated a motion to replace references to chairmen with "chair". A spokesman conceded it was anxious to avoid sexist language but said the ruling on the magi was consistent with the biblical texts.

The committee was responding to pleas to replace "magi" with "wise men" in one of the collects on the grounds that the term would be more easily recognised.

In the King James Bible, Matthew 2:1 reads: "There came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, where is he who is born King of the Jews?"

The committee, chaired by the Bishop of Sheffield, Jack Nicholls, said recent scholarship suggested Matthew "deliberately used an exotic word to emphasise the visitors' exotic nature". It added: "To translate the term into something more universally understood is to miss the point being made."

Although the Persians were unlikely to have been women, the possibility could not be excluded. So the committee had retained magi "on the grounds that the visitors were not necessarily wise and not necessarily men".

The Telegraph, London