Les Fils de Shamgar

Swinging the Ox Goad in Birmingham, Southgate, Chessington, Sevenoaks, Boston and Brighton.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bird Flu Final

Thanks to the Frog who gets a special 'mention' in the top left corner for his input. Parrot joke gets back in but the bubble stays where it is sucker...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bird Flu EN strip.

Yeah okay I thought of an idea. The trouble is that it is a bit wordy and it's not always my strong point. Here is a very rough draft before I launch into careful drawing efforts. Any comments on whether it reads okay? Do you get it? UPDATED Here is the more or less 'final' version. Any comments are still helpful and I will make changes before mailing it on Monday night. Thanks geezers.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spaceships and aliens

The epic tale of adventure beyond our world continues with episode 6 just published on the "Poyntz of Interest" site.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A better Blog?

"No matter what your audience size, you ought to write as if your readership consisted of paid subscribers whose subscriptions were perpetually about to expire. There’s no need to pander. Compel them to re–subscribe."

...and other useful stuff.

Bird Flu: a gospel application in there somewhere?

I am drawing near the time for putting something out for EN again and I thought that the Bird Flu (or 'avian pandemic' as it is called) is a suitable thing to use. My initial thoughts are along the fairly typical lines of contamination, and how to prevent an outbreak of sin in ones own life... and then discovering that we spread it all the time due to being sin-factories. Any reflections from you guys? It is a good illustration to cultivate because I think that many people will at some point probably have to make a decision about whether to take it seriously or not. Here is a link for Unpainted who will probably say something like "What's Bird Flu?" or (judging by his romantic engagements as a young twenty year old) "What are Birds?"

John Chapter 4: Samaritan and Official's Son

I have the pleasure of preparing for two weeks of preaching this week on the two topics above. Rather than burden anyone with my current ideas, I thought I'd put out the request for any comments on either story (literally anything at all can be said). And now, some further comments. 1. Unpainted: itunes is the audio player software behind the ipod revolution that can be found at the apple website. It has single-handedly transformed illegal downloading into a 'second option' by making purchasable tracks easy. 2. When you import songs into itunes you can include pictures of album artwork - either originating with the song itself or from some other location. I have downloaded several talks from all-souls.org and done my own handywork. Below are my images for John Chapman, Roger Carswell and Tico Rice. Ho ho.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Beautiful birdses!

Boys, I have been trying to get a copy of this photo for weeks and finally I have it! It was taken by a good friend from Brum about a year ago on a boat trip (Tataboule will know who I mean when I say 'The Bear'). Anyway, I LOVE this image so I hope you like it.

Breaking the Blog-fast with All Souls Downloads News!

Chaps. I am very excited to be directed by a friend to the all souls lanham place website. You may already know, but you can download 3000 mp3 sermons for free (limited to registration and a 20 per month limit). This is a tremendous resource, and also a really well constructed site. Yip! Here is the link.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Serenity Revisited

Dear Boys, Further to tata's review of Serenity. Pauline and I went to watch it and enjoyed it greatly. And then ..... just before going on holiday for a week (returned today) we bought the Firefly DVD set and have watched eight episodes in the last few days and enjoyed them even more than the film. They were on special offer at Virgin Megastores for under £18. It's the first time I've seen my wife laugh out loud at a sci-fi series. We watched on the laptop but with mega-earphones that made us jump when the sound got big. Great fun. A must buy. A cross between Gun Fight at the OK Corale and Star Trek Gone to Seed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

God Bloggers

From today's Guardian.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Conviction and Passion

I recently watched a film called The Motorcycle Diaries and highly reccommend it if you haven't seen it. It tells the story of a road trip across South America by a couple of Argentinians. What makes the film particularly interesting is that it is based on the diaries of Che Guevara and gives an insight into what contributed to his passion for socialism and "justice for the poor". I was so struck by the film that I got hold of a book on his life and discovered the extent of his convictions - that he fought courageously (some say recklessly) alongside Fidel Castro in a guerilla war that took control of Cuba - with the aim of establishing a "socialist utopia". Not satisfied with that he went on to spend a year trying to do the same in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and then in the jungles of Bolivia. These last two episodes were complete failures because there was not the popular desire to support and follow his lead as there had been in Cuba. When he was eventually cornered and captured the CIA gave the order to execute him. He gave his life - perhaps recklessly - for what he passionately believed in. The film of his early road trip does seem to paint the picture of a rather saintly figure of self-sacrifice. I'm sure he was no saint but just seeing what drove him has made me think again that poltics and international affairs are much more grey and morally ambiguous than the media sometimes portrays - particularly with respect to the part that Western countries play in the world. It has also challenged me at a time when I feel a real dryness in my Christian life and a lack of passion for Christ and the gospel. I am seeking prayerfully (and weakly) to get back to a more consistent use of the means of grace (Bible reading and prayer have been patchy for some months) and would value your prayer brothers. I'm at a time in life where my sense of inadequecy and reliance on God has been brought into sharp focus as I long to be a more godly husband and now father. If you have any thoughts or advice on what other means could be useful to stir myself up and rekindle a passion for God then please post your comments.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bryson: 'History of Nearly Everything'

Has anyone read this? Apart from some annoying assumptions about living in a closed universe, I really like how he humanises the scientific process. To see that a. the universe is massive and b. that we really are a few ants poking about for information - sometimes getting good info because of big brains and good circumstances - detracts not at all from my theistic worldview. Any thoughts?

Saturday, October 08, 2005


In a very quiet week for blogging I submit this one. I went to the cinema after a week of mentalism (- a birthday on a 15 hour working day? yes please! and that was for starters... actually some generous gifts and the quick sale of my iPod Shuffle meant that I bought an iPod Nano - a black 2 gig model. Really really really really great....). I went out with the vague intention of doing something straight after school while I was still in a state of personal stress-motivated shock and see something decent. I had seen some vague comments here and there about a Russian Sci-fi blockbuster that Tarantino had been rating. I therefore ended up paying blindly to see Serenity. This was both good and bad. Bad because it wasn't Russian - it wasn't the film I had intended on seeing at all - and I spent about £6 on it, and waited a hour in borders for it (oh, did I say waited? I meant slept heavily in my long coat listening to a Joni Mitchell album on my new black 2gig iPod Nano which is really really really great...). Good because it was such an enjoyable film. It isn't a classic but it strangely reminded me of the way I enjoyed the first star wars film in 1976 - an original, self-published feel to something. Lots of humour and some really spooky and interesting bits. It feels like a really good bit of TV and well worth the cash. Just right - even if it wasn't a total classic. Oh, and the reviews I have been reading about the russian sci-fi film (called 'Nightwatch') say it's a bit rubbish generally. Bane especially would really like it. The rest wiill certainly.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Incitement to Religious Hatred

I know it's a tall order gents, but can you have a look at this and comment before I mail it in on Monday night? Any comments are welcomed as usual.