Les Fils de Shamgar

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

Friday, June 30, 2006

Throat warfare and Johnny Cash

Yes boys.....I'm back...after 5 days of bed-ridden fever, muscle pains and a throat that feels like you are injesting a razor blade every time you swallow. This was no child-tonsillitus not even man-tonsillitus but the SAS of Tonsillitus! After two days and nights of nothing but water and paracetemol, the reinforcements arrived in the form of Penecillin. I hope you'll forgive any spelling errors and extreme description because boys....it flippin hurt! I'm not milking it when I say that I was genuinely wiped out for 4 days, with no appetite and no strength - the best I could muster was the occasional DVD viewing which I thought was rather honourable. Managed to watch the original Star Wars Trilogy back-2-back. The dark side of the force was certainly strong with those little throat viruses but they got their butts kicked in the end! This evening is the first time I have started feeling almost normal again. One comment from my GP that I must share as it really made me smile......when I asked him whether not having eaten for several days would hinder my recovery he said "I don't think we in the west have anything to worry about on that front - we have plenty of reseverves". Cheeky blighter! I think he included himself in that so that's ok. Another film I managed to squeeze in during my recovery was Walk the Line (biopic of Johnny Cash). Having not had much interest in the film I was hooked on the characters in the first few minutes! Some great performances from the two leads (Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon) who not only acted their pants off but also sang all their own stuff. A faciniating perspective on one mans struggle with family, fame, failure and faith (sorry for the translit). It did follow typical Hollywood with the spiritual side of things kept ambiguous enough to avoid upsetting the post-modern mindset but having said that, I did feel that there was a real sense of grace that came through in the film. One thing that particularly struck me from the story was how, as a result of living in a fallen world, our sense of guilt is so often mucked up - we can go through life feeling guilty/crippled by stuff that is "not our fault" but at the same time indifferent and hardened to personal sin. Another interesting point in the film is where Cash wants to perform live in a max security prison - the record label execs say "come on cash, your audience now are Christians, they're not interested in you going into prison to sing in front of murderers and rapists to try and make them feel better" - to which Cash retorts "well then they aint Chrstian". You were made to feel sympathy for Cash seeking to reach out and help those who are societies rejects but it would have had more force had he been going to share the gospel rather than sing songs about shooting his wife and ending up in prison! (to which the prisoners are clapping their hands and stomping their feet with big smiles - but maybe as a result of that concert they went on to listen to his "gospel songs" and heard about grace?). Have any of you guys seen this movie? Have you read any reliable biographies? Do you think Cash was born-again?

Death by Nano

I found this guide to killing someone with an iPod Nano (written by an ex-marine) while surfing this morning:

- - - -

1. Break it in half with your hands (very easy to do) and use the glass viewing screen's broken edge as a razorblade to slice the jugular when they are looking the other way.

2. Take off one sock (a dress or tube sock; pantyhose will work in a pinch), place the Nano in the sock, swing it around as fast as you can (being careful to not hit yourself), and whack the intended target right on the temple.

3. Take the reflective shiny part and catch the sun's ray and shine it in a vehicle driver's eyes, or if you are at a rock concert and the lead singer is prancing around on a center stage that protrudes into the audience like a phallus, you can use the same technique.

4. The cord on the earbud headphones can be used to strangle someone. A knee in the back can give extra leverage.

5. Dig a pit about 5 feet deep, then take about 15 3-foot-long stakes 2 inches in diameter and sharpen one end to a fine point, like a very sharp pencil. Jam the sticks at least a foot into the ground, with the sharp ends pointing up. Cover the hole with pine boughs, grass, and leaves. Treat the Nano like a slice of cheese pizza in a deep, hot oven and place it gently in the middle.

6. Carefully unstaple a tea bag and pour the contents on a plate. Break into the lithium-ion battery pack and saturate the tea with the battery's poison, then dry the tea in the sun (or with a hair dryer if you are in a hurry). Put tea back in tea bag and bend the staple back to its original position. Put the tea bag back where you got it.

7. Download to the Nano "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters. Tell someone you will give him or her your Nano if they listen to that song a hundred times in a row.

8. Hide the Nano in a bowl of lutefisk, then take it to the annual Norsefest Lutefisk Eating Competition in Madison, Minnesota.

Have a positive, grace-filled day. PS This post is dedicated to the now seemingly disappearing other members of the blog: Bane? King? Doc?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flight: gorgeous cartoon work

This is so great. This is the standard.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Final Yellow

Thanks for comments boys. Time and pressure means I am going with the one below. I changed it a bit but not too much. Epilogue is good.

Monday, June 26, 2006

3 Yellow Cards

I changed a handful of things and now I am not so sure.

  • I think that they are able to do it in colour, but that opens up a whole can of coloured worms.
  • I tried to alter the end joke and now I'm not sure if it's any good.
  • The epilogue is usually a verse, but I went for a statement - although I don't think it's short and pithy enough.
  • I am tired man.

Fabulous and Free

By way of an oblique response to King's recent post appealing for devotional thoughts, please find attached a link to free Tim Keller sermons on the Redeemer Presbyterian Church website. There are about 24 free samples on there: grab them while you can. I can't speak too highly of this guy. His preaching hits the spot every time. I listened to the ones on Social Compassion and Church Planting this week - if others fancied listening to them too, I'm sure we would profit from a discussion.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Three Yellow Cards: next EN strip

I guess that you probably heard about the only english referee in the world cup giving three yellow cards in the Australia/Croatia match the other day... (hey, if I heard about it, you should). I have drafted a very very rough outline for the next EN strip and wondered if any early reactions were forthcoming. It has some unclear bits due to being very speedily sketched out. Anything you say is useful. Update: I went away and honed it into this second version which is simpler and probably better.

Ways to slow down.

I think that this one is from the guardian. A colleague recommended it a few weeks ago and I have edited it into a text only version to scroll down. The colleague said 'I must read this every day'. Even though there are a few things that seem a bit questionable it sounds a large 'meekness' note to get on better with life. Postscript Clearly, it is too small to read so I uploaded a readable version here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Singapore slinging

问候从新加坡 It's a odd little place; 4.3 million people, 1° off the equator, humid as anything (and rainy) and the whole place is like an elongated trip to Bluewater (but not as terrifying!). The Mall on the left is Sim Lim Square - and is 6 floor of technology stores and a mixture of grumpy and helpful salesmen, all out to rip off an unwary westerner. Off to deeper parts of East Asia tomorrow.

Film in production

Behold the star which Santa saw in the East went before them

Freddie and the Dreamers

No, it wasn't Buddy Holly getting married, it was Freddie of the Dreamers, even got the same tie.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Is this Buddy Holly getting married?

Who IS this beautiful woman? How can she be getting wed to a man who wears 1960s glasses? She looks such a tender flower as well. Some men have all the luck.

Clapton eat your heart out

Monday, June 19, 2006

Will someone please put some pants on...!

We will be forever in Tataboule's debt for opening our eyes to the wonders of cuteoverload.com. And there's more!.....So sleeepies

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Worthing Beach

It's one of my favourite places.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Devotional sharing please

What has moved your heart recently lads? What is good in the faith zone? Please share.. There are empty hearts here longing to get a few sips from the full timers. All I have is navigator memory verses. Unpainted: seriously, if you are back then get yourself the latest firefox browser where you can do a decent posting plus images.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Has Modern Art Lost Its Head?

I'm back.

I'll be gone ...

... for a few weeks 18th -5th July. Singapore first, then East Asia. I'm out there with my boss. It's mainly fact finding and looking for ideas to publicise the work next year. Could you pray for me (and Mrs Frog) while I'm away. Comments include a special guest appearance from Mrs Frog! Cheers, T Frog.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Come to me little Muji

Elijah has started crawling! It is very exciting but also very tiring. Within a few minutes of his first crawl he managed to find his way to a plug socket and wrap a power cable around his neck! The cats remain suitably cautious. As you can see Muji is not sure she likes this new development.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hulk Blog

Strangely interesting.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Finito Laundry Cat

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Laundry Cat

Okay, so I know I've been posting like a well, postman... but I got inspired earlier at the laundrette. The colours are just blocked in and very early stage. WIll post it as it develops. The cat is saying hello to her mummy.

Speed camera revisited.

Okay, so I had a couple of free minutes to do a correction based on your harsh comments earlier in the week (when King says "It's not one of your best.." I have to go and sit down for a few minutes.). I think it works better this time. And: went down the beach with some friends earlier (For mac users: I just discovered that if you use the latest version of the firefox web browser rather than safari, it allows for all sorts of text and image formatting which you don't get with the former).

Cropping in iPhoto

I have been taking a much more 'who gives a stuff' view of digital photos and been slicing up them babies to emphasise/improve their quality. It is shocking how good you can make things by simply cropping it into something more restricted. Actually I think that taking such a drastic step makes the image better because you are demonstrating the risky attitude of losing something. I don't know if that made sense, but ditching blurred/less good ones and cropping the better babies is a good thing I think. Oh yeah, and while we're at it on cropping - this human version made me laugh out loud.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Some people say they shaved a gorilla...


The Dysfunctional Toon Family enjoying a day out. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

RE text book.

I feel sort of pleased, sort of weird. This is my first book that I have illustrated. I have done a booklet and a few one offs but this is a sustained 20+ image thing and therefore new territory. The book is a termly affair and is directed at any teachers in middle/junior or high school who teach Christianity. This one has a particularly global feel to it. It has a very good author actually. I have uploaded a web gallery of the submitted finals (there may be some changes but I don't think it matters a great deal here). The production of the images meant that I had to add to the ideas in the text and not simply decorate them. It turned out that there are a couple of simple decoration-style ones, but mainly it is more interpretative, so don't freak when you have to try and guess what the page was going on about... One of the tensions in the planning stages was that I wanted to put lots of text into it - you know expositions of sorts. The editor kept sending me back to reduce it to images. Frustrating and good experience. And now I intend to have a couple of days half term holiday... PS Frog: I still want to get in the door at your place with this sort of stuff...

This was done 10 years ago at the Chessington Community College by a Scandinavian student who didn't find my sermon too inspiring obviously. He was called "Mort" For some strange reason that sketch made me think of the North Korean president....[Old King]