Les Fils de Shamgar

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

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cute Overload

Some very funny images here.

Man's world

Men of a certain age find that their world is glorified by little creatures who seem like small miracles who possess an unusual capacity for pushing all sorts of rubbish down life's agenda.
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Muji listening to her first podcast

I took this shot on Saturday. Not a very good photo but wanted to share this moment with you boys. On saturday morning I finally had some free time to play with my new Mac. In the process I downloaded and listened to my first ever podcast (Mark Kermode's weekly film review). Yesterday evening it was my turn to be at the service so I downloaded a John Piper sermon for Mrs King to listen to at home. Looking forwrd to many more days of mp3 delights to come!

Some late night ramblings.

At risk of being boring I need to get some thoughts off of my chest. Feel free to comment but I won't be hurt if you don't. The spirit of this baby is that we are spontaneous, oui? 1. Cracked Nano One of the speakers I bought ironically fell onto my nano and smashed it. I await Apple's decision to repair it or not. I felt strangely numb to it all to the astonishment of the class I was teaching at the time. Funny though, it brings me back to the value of a shuffle. I am using Mrs Tata's and it is a brilliant piece of kit. A lego brick that sings with indestructibility. Sing on little friend. 2. Gospel events. Things have really been hotting up at church at the moment. I hope that the Doc can testify to this one because tonight had a substantial feel to it as a Muslim convert to Christ (from Pakistan) spoke to a crowded upper room in a pub. Speak Doc. Speak. 3. The most stressful week ever: last week. I almost cried at prayer brunch yesterday morning when someone asked me what I was cooking for Mrs Tata that evening. Funny, it was only a lasagne - are they really that upsetting? Isn't it funny how a serious day off can change your whole perspective? Sometimes plate-spinning is the most depressing thing ever. 4. EN ideas. I have about a week to go before something is due in and haven't really got any decent ideas. Has anyone got any itches they need scratching in cartoon form? I thought of doing something on the cartoon thing - maybe something a bit self-referential or something? I also thought about the big bank robbery and using it as a picture of how Christ has stolen us from the devils vaults...? Thoughts are welcome. 5. Being a man. I thought of this really fun photo thing for everyone to contribute to: images of how being a man is reflected in your world. My first example is something thoroughly strange... I love to bring order to the chaos of the kitchen sink. I take photos occasionally because I am so proud of how I bring the mess into a tidily stacked pile ready for a swift washing up routine... I told you it was weird. 6. Cloud Atlas. If I don't say anything about this now I will never say anything about it. Mainly for Bane's sake, I wanted to say how good some of the novel 'Cloud Atlas' is. I read it on holiday a few days ago and really wanted to do a decent review but no time as usual. Here goes for Banes sake who is really in tune with the ideas here - there are 5 or so stories that jump into the future and then return in a pyramid style structure (starting and ending with an 18th century ship diary). The later stories jump into the experience of stem-cell clones who gain freedom from their breeding/social patterns. These parts of the book are fascinating. There is also a reincarnation theme running throughout which is okay but not amazing if you know about the gospel. Very interesting and I thought of PB when I was reading it. The first part (50 pages or so) is very slow and dense language. Watch out. 7. Good night and good luck. Just when CGI ruled the world, Clooney pulls out a very old-school piece of filmmaking which does the best stuff - good acting, gripping story, resonant ideas (is the TV just a box of lights or should it be made to occasionally hold back the rot?) and just a thrilling time throughout with a deceptively simple set up. Well done George. Capote is grim but excellent in a journalism kind of way. 8. House. Continues to be the only thing that redeems Channel 5 from those awful porno-years in the late nineties. What a great series. Great I tell you. I like Hugh Laurie. 9. Good night and good riddance.

Friday, February 24, 2006

For those of us Mac users...

There is a brilliant widget page just released here... http://www.google.com/macwidgets/ I am using the posting one right now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Google fun.

Google pages (currently down because of massive demand) is a free 100meg website diy site. Could be brilliant for you newbies to publishing...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Forgiveness story.

I can't take too long on this one because I have been doing too many hours in the last two days, but I attended an African party with my church on saturday evening and had two life changing stories from a couple of chaps who are doing International development-type degrees here at Sussex Uni. The first was a chap from Rwanda who was the only 1 out of 100 family members to be alive after the 94 massacre. He just happened to be in a friends house when the hostilities broke and was hidden in the place for approx 100 days. Another amazing thought is that he was being kept by a member of the opposing tribe. He really had no idea if the friend would turn him in or not. Terrifying. The other is life changing and totally amazing. A guy from Sierra Leone (this is a short version - I will be interviewing him soon and then you can download it for yourself) was caught and tortured by rebels while working for World Vision in a remote place. After a day or so, he was walked out to a remote spot to be executed by one of the masked gunmen, who then turned out to be an ex-student from years ago when the sentenced man was a teacher. The man had bought the then-impoverished student some desperately needed trousers and shoes when he'd stopped coming to school one week. This kindness was now saving a naked beaten man about to be executed. He was given a secret escape and the man/boy shot his AK47 into the air. It continues... Later when the hostilities had finished and these rebels were being reintegrated into normal society they attended a lecture by 'a big boss' who was going to help them with some advice on rebuilding their now ripped up country. It turned out to be the man and he ended up secretly confronting them with forgiveness and exhortations to move on and rebuild the country by becoming responsible men. The ex-student was then funded by him to go back to school and he ended up establishing an important radio station and working for peace. The details are good but I don't have time. Even so, 'wow'.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Look at these little bad boys!

Just a few weeks back we had this teacher who recommended we get some 'decent' speakers in our classrooms for music purposes and having a decent set up. He had the Hardon Karman (or whatever they're called) woffer stick things. He said that it would set you back about £100+. I then looked round and found some lovely little babies for about £60 in John Lewis. And then I found these! Our pastor got some for church the other night and they ROCK! Only £25. I just got a set for my department. Tomorrow my classroom is going to be rocking out.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Luke 16 (again)

So anyway, maybe I been posting too much but I got no feedback on Luke 16. I got some help from the boys on the mp3 downloads and chatted it over with JC Ryle and Cuba Gooding. Here is a weird link of my frames I put together on a powerpoint thingie during it. It is quite hard to understand I think, but might be useful.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

South Skank Show...

This looks well worth setting the video for. Do I hear an agreement from the Doctor? I know you is on call man. Unlucky for folks living in America. The South Bank Show 11:10pm - 12:10am ITV1 Meridian Manga Mania Melvyn Bragg travels to Japan to investigate the country's obsession with Manga, the world's richest graphic arts culture. A whopping 40 percent of everything published in Japan is Manga, and its presence is now being felt around the world. Hollywood seeks inspiration from the art form while in the UK it is increasingly seen as British cool and features in advertising, pop videos and feature films.

Welcome to the age of iPod.

Welcome to the age of the iPod Unpainted. Please excuse using a separate posting for it, but I had so much to say that it warranted the space. For a reasonable price you can get some big speakers (don't bother with iPod-specialised ones, just get something with a mini-jack adaptor which is much more useful with other devices that don't have the iPod connector) or a lead that will connect it to your stereo and avoid the whole 'private space' scenario that comes with these things. I also STRONGLY suggest you get the 'Newer Tech In-Car FM Transmitter + Car Charger' which charges your ipod in your car lighter and transmits it to you car stereo so you can listen to it as your car stereo. I travel 1 hour 30 at least most days and this is big blessing. I also use some smallish speakers in my classroom everyday with my 2 gig nano. I use it to play interviews, have music for entering and exiting and occasional work sessions where it is appropriate. The other thing that you should do is get into podcasting. On itunes you can go to the podcasting menu bit and subscribe for free (yes it's all free) to various things. The BBC stuff is mainly all excellent. 'In Our Time' is a blast for when you are hoovering round the house and I listen to Mark Kermodes film reviews every week. Then of course you can get yourself a TON of helpful scripture things. I love cycling along the sea front and listening to stuff. On the ipod range here are my thoughts (indian accent: 'and having owned about 5 of them now - yes I sold them on for a decent price - I should have some thoughts worth listening to'): photo/30/60 gig ipod - a meaty 'everything in one place' system. Not great for running or heavy bouncing about. It is also quite vulnerable so a case of some kind is a good idea. Excellently it can be used to project powerpoint-style displays and video using an AV cable. This might have some educational value for me in the future - the 60 gig is the equivalent of carrying a massive video collection round. As an educational tool this could be amazing. nano - 1,2 and 4 gig - lovely flash-based option (meaning - it isn't a harddrive that can skip or crash when searching for songs). I went for this above a shuffle because using it in class meant needing to see what I was playing on the interviews. Fragile without a rubber case (thanks Mrs Tata) and robust with it. The photo option is a waste of time because the pictures are so small. shuffle 512meg/1gig - you can have one of these very cheap and they are indestructible! Also have the advantage of not losing everything if you get it lost/stolen. In terms of personal music playing history they are like the walkman days where you just skip to the next track and change the tape/cd periodically via itunes on your machine. The philosophy is different and - if you are into it - is about as good as it gets. iPod Mini - 6 gig - these aren't being sold officially anymore and have an older style screen display which might offend some design types (the newer ipods use a colour screen with the lovely myriad font...) but you can get these quite cheap second hand because freaks like me got rid of our ages ago when the latest thing came out. These babies are still massively popular and do a great job. Please excuse me sounding a bit 'keen' but I have been in this for a while and really try to use it thoroughly and not just as a gadget. I like to think that I am trying to get the most from the technology otherwise what's the point?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Watch Piper

go to DELVE > WATCH LOIUS (Piper on the first section of Phillipians) Blessings brothers. The Frog

Useful mp3 download links

Apologies for a totally strange looking post. The 'thing' went weird... Manic to do some online scouring for 'shrewd manager' help, I dug out a few online download locations that might interest you chaps. It may even push you nearer getting an mp3 player to listen to them...

  • • John Piper and his mates do some good stuff here.
  • • All souls bring a ton of stuff from here.
  • • St Helens are here with some freebies (although curiously they aren't as useful on the freebie front as the rest...).
  • • Sydney Anglicans have a lot of juice to squeeze baby...
  • • Christians in the media are making it happen.
  • • More anglicans in australia with this bunch...
  • • Did I say Aussies?
• • And lastly this page was linked via one of the above... you tell me if it is pure heresy. Any other online resources you geeks wanna say? P.S. You can now get a 512meg ipod shuffle for about 40 quid and it's a great little baby. It's basically a lego brick with a chip inside - virtually indestructible and works really well with these things. Tiny little sucker too. Heres to edifying cyber-culture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The art of sushi eating

During my travels in Japan I learnt much about this fascinating country. However, even I did not know all the gems contained in this very funny video on how to eat sushi. This video was incredibly popular when released on Google video and then it got deleted, but I have tracked down a link for you guys. Hope you enjoy it! (By the way my next post will not be anything to do with Japan, and will be far more deep and thought-provoking...honest!)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dr Slow

I think it's about time I made my first post. I can see there have been rumblings among les fils as to whether I actually exist or am in fact tata's alter ego. No, I am real- just been so busy rushing through space and time this week I didn't make a posting. Anyway, so that I don't get another cyber-wedgie from tata, here's a picture of me at the Barbican this week, banging a large drum. As you can see, I'm wearing my best thong. Actually...its' not me, but Kodo, an amazing Japanese drumming troupe. They rise at 5am to do a 100 mile jog and then spend 32 hours a day hitting drums very hard. The end product is amazing. Not too sure about the thongs though- tata could give you one heck of a cyber-wedgie.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pre-holiday post.

I am off for a few days. Crawling man... I am crawling. Anyways, I just found this while I was doing some last minute surfing. Haven't read it all but it drew me in. It's the cartoonist equivalent of that game where people complete the next line of the story. Even if you don't read it, the art differences are interesting. Bye bye school hello Norfolk.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Shrewd posting.

So what is the Shrewd manager all about? I know you boys have done some thinking on this. I have always found the implied praise of Jesus intriguing. I can see some fairly simple implications for believers: get busy using what you've got before your time is up in this job... but what about speaking evangelistically in a pub in two weeks time? That doesn't seem as straight forward. And I have been doing my homework - it's not a lazy bit of outline-cribbing gone 'cyber'.


If this is doused in humour I don't really understand how. It feels fairly real to me. Should I be worried? On the other hand I had a good chat with some colleagues after work yesterday while waiting for a long evening event to begin and one of them said something which is both sobering and useful as a point for discussion. She spoke about IT etiquette at home. Her fiance occasionally lapsed into emailing people and appearing 'damn more interested in what is going on in the little screen than being with me'. I think I am probably very guilty of this crime, and although there are always balancing factors I think that there is something important here. I recently felt a similar thing being done to me (ironically - about time too I guess). We were watching repeats on TV as a relaxing evening thing and then she was doing something online. I felt that the TV wasn't as good without a sense of sharing it together. The distracted feeling was quite annoying and I said as much. Is this how I am most of the time? Do girls not feel it as much? Have I wrongly made some naive assumption that as long as you are there in the room that is enough? I think it is for reasons like this that the PSP or Video iPod are not great things most of the time. Err, rambling over. Half term begins later today and I reached the finishing on my knee caps.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Huffheims

35 unpainted returns man. King - looks like your post is a whopper that seems to scared off everyone. My guess is that Toon is readying his epistolic pistols but where is Frog? Where is Bane? And what happened to The Doctor...? If that guy doesn't post soon I am gonna look like a total dunce.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Freedom and Protest

We have seen a lot on the news about freedom of speech and Islamic reactions to a cartoon strip. What are your thoughts on this whole issue boys? How far can frredom of speech be taken? I have the feeling that this is one of those areas where the basis of moral authority (or lack of!) is exposed i.e. in a society that increasingly casts aside the notion of an objective morality, on what basis can people be prevented from exercising their free will to say or do "what is right in their own eyes"? (Judges). And how far should Christians go with protesting when offended? As many of you will know the Jerry Springer opera is now playing at the Birmingham Hipodrome. We have written to one of the trustees to complain but sometimes I wonder what's the point? Should we just get on with preaching the gospel or is it important to engage in society in this way? At the end of the day we are not striving for society to conform to a Christian ethic rather we are longing to see people transformed by the living God. Is holding a placard outside a Theatre going to make any difference to peoples souls? Or is it more Biblical/effective to channel our offence and dismay into prayer and gospel proclamation? Everyone has opinions but what are the Biblical principles here?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tataboule appeared in City of God!

I didn't realise Tata appeared in City of God until his recent posting. What is that on your lip tata? Another thing I've just discovered - you can now upload images to the blog directly through blogger.com. If you log into blogger.com and go to create a new posting there is a little image icon. Click on this icon and away you go! That's how I just posted this image from my work laptop (I don't have "Hello" installed on this laptop).

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Welcome to The Doctor

After much deliberation I welcome an ex-Nav, ex-Cornerstoner, ex-Japanese, ex-Timelord.

Kings New Mac

It's new baby!

Lovely animated video

This is very good. To me. To you?

Motown Remixed

So far I am only up to the 'want you back' mix, but man this is LOVELY. Frog may be utterly sparse in his postings, but he sure does put some good stuff together.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mowtown Tunes

For those of you who like their music streaming and soulful try www.motownremixed.com/main.html. For you young'ns mixtape.nitrocorpz.com. Boogie down & I'm sure I've seen a photo of Tata looking like that >>

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dangers of the Mac

Whilst opening an application that helps revise Greek vocabulary, I made the fatal discovery that the new Mac actually has a game on it. Nanosaur II. You are a pteradactyl armed with high tec weapons flying over a 3D alien planet trying to rescue dinosaur eggs and blowing stuff up. Needless to say, late night and repetitive strain injury have resulted.