James Ogley

My Blog

01 Jul 2007, 21:44: The big day

Yes, today was the ordination and it's fair to say that the Cathedral put on a good show. I think anyone who knows me knows that I don't go in for all the catholic malarky but the service all went off as it was supposed to and I'm now a deacon in the Church of England and licensed to the parish of Bursledon.

All in all the day was quite good until I discovered that I lost my wallet at some point over the last 24 hours so I'm in the process of cancelling bank cards...

Evidence of the ordination is below.


30 Jun 2007, 17:25: Big day tomorrow
So the big final clock is ticking and in under 17 hours the service starts. The weasther stinks here at the moment so I can't see the post-service photos being taken outside. I'm going to get an early night tonight because it's an early start tomorrow.

I think I've survived anyway and I've had time to both pray and watch (so far) all but the final three episodes of season seven. I'm just looking forward to getting the service done and the move out of the way so I can get on with the job.

Have kept in communication with members of the Naughty Table and Tea Club as well as phoning Amanda a lot so the latest entry in my list of how to survive the retreat is:

  • Keep your mobile phone on. Getting a text from a colleague on another retreat will brighten the afternoon and calling your spouse (or, if you're single, close family members) will get you through.
The best thing about tomorrow is going to be that I get to see Amanda and Callum again because I miss them terribly.
Watching "Internal Displacement" from season seven of The West Wing on a break in the afternoon and the wonk baiting line just issued forth from Josh's lips.

Had my interview with Bishop Michael this morning and thankfully he's still going to ordain me on Sunday. On Monday, the removal company are now not only going to pack our stuff but also move it all to Bursledon. Very cool apart from the fact that I've arranged a night in the Cadland for that night before driving down on the Tuesday. So, the Monday night will see me sleeping on a lilo in a sleeping bag.

That's right, I made it to the end of day two. The biggest thing today was that at Evening Prayer today it was the turn of the deacons-to-be to lead the service (the retreat is for both those to be made deacon and those to be made presbyter [priest]). There's a few of us from the New Wine style and so we decided that we would add a bit of balance to the more traditional style of worship that there's been so far. It ended up falling to me (as the guy with the guitar and more worship resources than you can shake a well-greased stick at) to lead worship during the service. It went pretty well and I think it helped those of us for whom that is our natural position while also opening horizons for those for whom that's not to where they would naturally gravitate. Also today I arranged for a Sky engineer to come out only a couple of days after we move into the house in Bursledon to install a dish there. We're going out for a curry tomorrow night - rar!

And now, some more tips for surviving the retreat:

  • Don't allow yourself to get hung up on the aspects of churchmanship that those around you may display that you yourself may feel profoundly uncomfortable with. I did at first (almost screamed when the bishop used the word altar at the rehearsal) but it's simply not worth it. Moreover, it'll get between you and making the most of the retreat.
  • Be sure to remember everything you need and/or want to have with you. I remembered my robes. Just. On the downside, I forgot the small crate of Hobgoblin ale I'd bought to bring with me. It's the little things that make the difference.
First day of ordination retreat and I'm glad I survived. So I thought I'd start putting some thoughts down on how to get through this thing. I expect this list will grow over the course of the retreat. First of all though, I need to recount the day itself.

Drove down very early this morning with a car full of musical instruments which I deposited at the vicarage. Then I headed the bishop's house for lunch followed by the rehearsal at the cathedral. Right after the rehearsal it was straight down to the retreat and I just got back to my room (23.15 in case I don't remember to preserve timestamps on these posts).

Okay, so how to survive the retreat:

  • Pray that you have a good bunch on retreat with you. I honestly don't think I could have done any better unless I was with the Naughty Table or the Tea Club from college. The people around you will always make a huge difference in any context, especially this.
  • Take a book. Not something published by Kingsway, not something on the subject of theology, something totally unimproving. This is the same rule as for selection conference. Then I took a Pratchett book, this time The Book of Dave by Will Self.
  • Take other forms of entertainment. I have with me season seven of The West Wing on DVD and my DAB radio. If you have an iPod or other digital audio player, take it.
  • Go to the pub. Just go. That's where I just returned from. Go to the pub. In case that wasn't clear: Go To The Pub.
  • Then, once you've made sure you'll stay sane, pray and make the most of the space the retreat affords you.
27 Jun 2007, 07:14: Just to clarify

As of 0730 (+0100) today I expect to be offline until late Sunday. Please do not expect emails to be read, never mind responded to. I expect that all mailing lists will effectively be transferred to /dev/null upon my return so if you have a query that you want me to read, please send it to me directly and be patient.

I don't know why I thought of this today but about a month ago I was walking home and as I turned into my street I spotted a bunch of chavs walking about fifty yards ahead of me with their canine companions. I heard one of their number call out to his pet, "Oi, Quaver!" I couldn't help but think "I bet he doesn't have other dogs named Minim and Crotchet."

I bought myself a little present, a Pure PocketDAB 1500 which is just brilliant. It means I can now listen to 6music when I'm out and about or listen to Five Live without being subject to the vagaries of AM reception.

I go on pre-ordination retreat tomorrow and I suspect there may not be internet access so this may well be my last post until after the service on Sunday.

22 Jun 2007, 18:20: Friday

My ordination stole arrived from Emma today and it looks fantastic, I'm utterly thrilled with it. I'm not putting a photo here so that it can remain a surprise for people coming to the ordination (I promise to post tickets over the weekend).

I also ordered a book from Amazon to read during the pre-ordination retreat, The Book of Dave by Will Self and bought myself a new pair of shoes for the service.

So, I'm just about ready. Final duty up here on Monday night (I'm helping with a training night at St Luke's for the new evening service), hair appointment on Tuesday and on Wednesday I head down for the retreat.

21 Jun 2007, 22:11: Endings


  • Had supervision with John over breakfast
  • Made amendments to dissertation based on that supervision
  • Chatted briefly with Christina to check some facts
  • Got the actual title of the dissertation signed off
  • Had lunch with Amanda and Callum
  • Submitted final version of the dissertation
  • Cleared out my college room
  • Emotional farewells with Karen and Rachel as we all departed college today
That's it, 33 months doesn't seem enough preparation for what starts in six days time with my retreat.

Oh, and I'm still involved with the production of college's Learning and Teaching Strategy (as is Rachel).

So, maybe it's not really an ending but really a point to pause for reflection.

20 Jun 2007, 22:20: Wednesday catch-up

  • Commissioning Service and the associated social activities were great - so good to have the rest of the Naughty Table there supporting Rachel and me as we were sent out.
  • Down in Watford on Sunday. Went to the morning service at SSW and saw loads of people which was superb. They made the mistake of giving me the microphone half-way through the service to share where we're going to. I almost preached [:)]
  • After the service we had lunch and then afternoon tea with Carole and Andrew. Just lovely to see them. Delivered a bunch of ordination tickets too while we were there. Must put the rest in the post...
  • Monday until today I've been working on my dissertation and I submitted the first complete draft to my supervisor today. It's due on Friday and I'm hoping to have it done and in tomorrow so I can go to the Nottingham Open tennis on Friday.

16 Jun 2007, 08:14: Commissioning

Today's the Commissioning Service at college where those of us who are leaving are prayed for and commissioned for the next phase of our lives in ministry and mission.

Yesterday I submitted MM310 and MM320. MM310 was the first module of the year and had been waiting for a tidy-up for quite some time. MM320 was my final module of the year and I surprised some very clever people by having written it all (including doing all my reading) within four days while also attending the leavers' course. That all means that, with the exception of my dissertation which I need to finish by Friday, I managed to complete and submit all my work by the deadline. Rar!

16 Jun 2007, 08:14: IT in Retail

We had Liz over for dinner last night which was lovely. It meant that in the afternoon I went to Sainsbury's to buy ingredients for cooking. The weather yesterday afternoon was foul, torrential rain and a heavy thunder storm. The storm caused a brief power-cut (under a second long) at Sainsbury's which in turn caused all the tills to reboot. They took an inordinate amount of time to come back up. Some thoughts:

  • If your sales depends on electronic points of sale such as these, put them all on UPSs.
  • Upgrade the hardware so that they boot more quickly. The Windows 2000 (eugh!) boot screen took an age to clear as did the .bat script that ran at login. The EPOS software itself started very quickly when it was launched but the machines had caused a delay before that point.
  • Don't use Windows, just don't.

12 Jun 2007, 09:08: 11-Up

It's not often I blog solely about poker but I just had to this morning. Overnight, Phil Helmuth won his eleventh World Series Of Poker bracelet. He won Event 15 of this year's WSOP, the $1,500 no-limit Hold'em event.

Now, the challenge is for number twelve to be in something other than Hold'em...

11 Jun 2007, 13:06: The final push

Yes, five days until the deadline. This actually won't be the final push but it sure feels like it at college at the moment. Started MM320 (Hermeneutics) this morning and should hit 400 words before lunch. That may not sound like much but I always start essays slowly and then hit my stride around 500-600 words. The next 1700-2000 words or so normally flow and just leave me to tidy-up at the end and wrap it up.

Haven't really commented on what's been going on the world in a while, so a brief pause from the essay to do just that. The G8 leaders met last week and announced $60bn to relieve suffering from Aids in Africa. A joke. Of that $60bn, only $3bn is actually new and they're behind already on the 2005 commitment. Read more.

An interesting piece in the Independent's Information supplement on Saturday (doesn't appear to be online as well) about one of the hostages at Guantanamo Bay. Not that remarkable except that the reason he is there is that he is an al-Jazeera journalist who was snatched while on assignment in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He tells of the life of torture endured by the people held in America's Gulag. I note that this morning, Colin Powell has called for Guantanamo's immediate closure.

On a less heavy note, was interested to read the account of the World Series Of Poker's 7-Card Stud final table. Greg Raymer and Barry Greenstein from Team Poker Stars both made this table that went through the night. A remarkable table to observe no doubt and I hope that the ESPN coverage reflects that.

10 Jun 2007, 07:51: Magnetism

I just wandered through the kitchen to get myself a coffee and I noticed the door of the fridge as I put the milk back in it. We have those magnetic letters on the fridge which we use to spell various things from time to time[1]. A few weeks ago, while we were down in Bursledon, the people who are going to be our tenants from this summer came to look around the house to check it over and all that. They had rearranged the letters on the fridge to spell "NICE HOUSE". Isn't that sweet?

And the coffee is Cafe Direct Kilimanjaro - yummy!

[1] How cool are these Periodic Table magnets from my Think Geek wishlist?

09 Jun 2007, 18:25: Saturday

  • Today was the Focus Leavers' Retreat which Amanda was at (and she took CJ with her) so I had the day to myself.
  • Tried mowing the lawn but it's a little bit of control. Add to that the fact the grass was all heavily laden with pollen just waiting to be released and my double-dose of antihistamine this morning didn't stand a chance. We do at least now have a path to the shed but I think I may have to borrow a strimmer.
  • Had a haircut and then tried to go buy some new shoes for my ordination. Failed miserably in Beeston and didn't have the right change for a bus into Nottingham (how dumb is it to require the correct change?). Going to have to go into the city at some point though because the pair I'd wear otherwise have worn through the soles.
  • The libpurple, pidgin and finch packages in GNOME:Community now match up with the packages in GNOME:UNSTABLE (which in turn were based on my packages in G:C) so that the meanwhile and mono plugins are now subpackages of libpurple. While I was at it I created a new package, gconf2-rpm-macros, which provides the new macros that will be in 10.3 on older products in G:C. Packagers can read more details here.
  • Tomorrow's our last Sunday at St Luke's. It's also the final Sunday in the current service pattern so it's going to be quite a day.

08 Jun 2007, 11:15: Progress

  • Submitted the first draft of the first chapter of my dissertation for supervision. Also submitted the final version of my Hebrew assignment. Aiming to arrange a title for my Hermeneutics assignment today. Deadline for all my work is a week today and I also have a couple of things that need tidying up before submission. Going to need a week's extension on the dissertation I think.
  • Support for Pidgin has now been added to Gimmie. openSUSE packages are in GNOME:Community.

04 Jun 2007, 17:26: Quiet? Pah!

  • Leavers' Quiet Day today. I'm not a fan of quiet days at the best of times and when I have a dissertation to be getting on with, even less so. Thankfully I was able to write just over 700 words over lunch so that made it a bit better.
  • Uploaded more photos of Callum taken on my phone. Learning that the phone's camera is great in optimal light and when totally still, a bit dodgy otherwise.

03 Jun 2007, 22:16: Sunday

  • Last week I got my purple and green stoles from Michelle and Amanda was good enough to take a couple of photos. I've used one of these to create myself a new hackergotchi which appears below. I've changed the Planet SUSE config to use this.
  • Good Sunday. Church in the morning, some housework this afternoon and then, after we put CJ to bed, pizza and champagne for supper. Watched Two Cathedrals and got misty eyed during Brothers in Arms as always. Then watched the penultimate episode of 24 Day 6 (the final episode is recording right now).

My new hackergotchi

02 Jun 2007, 10:18: Musings

I had another Facebook email overnight (no link for reasons that will become apparent). Over the last few months a number of my friends (real friends, people I actually know, this isn't spam) have "added me as a friend on Facebook". This I find fascinating as I don't use Facebook, I never have used Facebook, I am not registered with Facebook, I have no desire to be registered with it (because, obviously, I really need another online pursuit to consume my time, don't I? I only just got the Slashdot monkey off my back!). So, how is it possible for people to "add me as a friend"? Shouldn't Facebook say

Hang on, that person isn't registered. You can't add him but you can invite him to join
Getting invitations from these people would make a lot more sense. I'd still ignore them but it would make more sense.

It's been the Half-Term Reading Week this past week and I've been working on my dissertation. Didn't make as much progress as I'd hoped but it could have been worse. Leavers' Course starts on Monday with a Quiet Day then, over the next two weeks, I'll learn about doing funerals, weddings, baptisms, clergy tax, the ordination service itself and lots, lots more.

Alerted HantsLUG to my imminent arrival in their neck of the woods. Not sure how often I'll actually make it to meetings but it's good to make the contacts. I'm going to get myself added to their planet too - so that's one more thing for me to read.

Have decided not to cable-up the house in Bursledon for data - that's just so last century. The wired portion of the LAN will all exist in my study. Amanda's going to have an office upstairs so I'm going to have to get a wi-fi adaptor for weasel. Obviously it needs to work with Linux and preferably with Free drivers. If I have to resort to proprietary drivers or ndiswrapper that'll be a bit of a pain. Also, ideally I'd like it to be USB because in the midst of moving house I don't want to have to bother opening up a system unit. The hunt begins...

27 May 2007, 08:45: Sunday morning

  • Pidgin 2.0.1 packages are now in GNOME:Community for 10.1, 10.2 and Factory (i586 - some issues with x86_64 on the Build Service at the moment it seems). Also, Stanislav has merged in the old Gaim patches that Martin Szulecki kindly ported for us on the GNOME:UNSTABLE packages. He's also split out some plugins into subpackages. This is a really smart idea and I'll be merging his changes to the GNOME:Community packages so that they match what ultimately ends up in Factory.
  • Leading worship and co-leading the service at St Luke's this morning. It'll be the last thing I do on a Sunday before we leave for Bursledon.

25 May 2007, 18:55: Curacy

After a phone call with Bishop Paul (Southampton) I can now announce that we found a curacy. On July 1st in Winchester Cathedral at 10am I will be ordained Deacon and take up the post of Curate in the parish of Bursledon at the churches of St Leonard and St Paul.

We're both really looking forward to this especially as, after so many false starts, we've found the absolute ideal place and not had to settle for somewhere that we're not going to suit.

25 May 2007, 14:31: The end is in sight

Had the final lectures of the main body of the course this morning. That is to say that in terms of teaching I've now completed my degree (although I still have work to complete and hand in). After next week's reading week the leavers' course starts. This runs for two weeks and concludes with the Commissioning Service.

Pending a phone call this evening, some exciting news should appear here.

23 May 2007, 23:43: Devastation

[AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool]

A fluke opening goal and a general inability to finish from the Liverpool strikers (not surprising - story of the last two seasons).

Just like in Istanbul two years ago - yes, I'll admit it - the best team lost. Very proud of the lads tonight but bemused by Rafa bringing on Arbeloa rather than an attacking option (Bellamy?) near the death.

Phoned Five Live for 606 tonight but, unlike 728 days ago, they didn't call me back.

Off to bed.

20 May 2007, 18:21: The days to come...

  • Visiting a possible curacy tomorrow and Tuesday, very excited about this one.
  • Possible tenants for our house are having a look round tomorrow. Thanks to JdC for opening the house to them for us.
  • Champions' League final on Wednesday night - I'll be in the same pub as for the Istanbul final. All being well, I'll be celebrating again and, who know, maybe on 606 again [:)].

15 May 2007, 22:09: Update

Wow, a couple of days pass and ...

  • The parish we visited last week wasn't the right place, so the search continues.
  • Submitted first draft of my Hebrew assessment yesterday.
  • We went out for a chinese last night with Mike which was a fantastic evening. Many thanks to Ellie and Jeremy for babysitting CJ.
  • Seriously hoping more Labour MPs get behind John McDonnell.
  • Pete makes a very good point about missing kids. Madeleine McCann is not the only missing girl in or connected with the UK at the moment.
  • So, the latest victims of the UK government's racist anti-Muslim policies have been released without charge. This government continues to harass people based on their religion and ethnic background and it sickens me. Just because someone had a connection with someone who committed a crime[1] does not make that person a criminal. Unless they're a Muslim of course it would seem. This is the sort of behaviour one expects of a terrorist state such as the USA or Israel and I'm ashamed that the government of my country continues to have policies of this sort.
[1]... and that the 7/7 bombers knew the full-scale of what they were committing has never been proven.

12 May 2007, 10:05: Photos

  • A few months ago I bought a new phone, a Sony Ericsson K610i, and it's useful for me for a few reasons:
    • It's 3G and occasionally I need to access t'Internet when I'm out and about.
    • It's got a half-decent 2-megapixel camera in it and I like to snap to record my days from time to time.
    • It appears as a USB mass storage device which makes it very easy to use with my Linux-based laptop.
  • Using this phone I've (of course) been taking photos of Callum and today I uploaded them all to the gallery.
  • Yesterday my fellowship group at college went to the Cheesecake Shop and things got very odd. Photos of this are also in the gallery.
  • I've also shot a couple of short videos of Callum:

11 May 2007, 08:25: Good riddance

Didn't have time to post yesterday in response to Blair's announcement that he will finally step down on 27 June. So, here it is:

Goodbye you spinning, untrustworthy, lying, self-absorbed, celebrity and power-obsessed man and take your corrupt, anti-muslim, anti-working class, pro-American, anti-student, secretive, undemocratic, immoral agenda with you.

Just be thankful that you were able to resign when you should have been impeached for lying to the nation and to parliament to justify the decision you had already made to invade a sovereign nation, namely Iraq, illegally and unjustly. You have shown scant regard for the rule of law by eroding the burden of proof and allowing house-arrest in the cases of people who have never even been charged with offences, much less convicted. Your successes will forever be overshadowed by the dark side of your agenda.

Even on the day that you announced the news the whole nation should be glad to hear, your disgraceful regime sought again to 'bury bad news' about another of your plans to curtail the rights and freedoms of the people of this nation, that you so sickeningly called the greatest nation on earth. Does this sound familiar?

The Independent sum up Blair's legacy better than anyone with another of their fantastic front pages:

[Blair's Legacy]

08 May 2007, 14:44: Bank Holiday weekend

  • Phone-call Sunday lunchtime from my bank's anti-fraud department asking about a transaction to a U.S. internet firm. Suffice to say I hadn't made the transaction. Transaction cancelled, card cancelled and cut up, new card in post.
  • Visit yesterday from Neil, Emma and Lauren. First time we'd seen them since Lauren's dedication - she's really grown. Great to catch up. Emma's designing and making my ordination stole, looking forward to seeing it.

06 May 2007, 08:42: Simple Software Install

Wow Ben, this demo rocks out - what a great idea. It sort of reminds of click-n-run or whatever Linspire's thing was called bu, y'know, good.

Quite honoured that you've used my Pidgin package as part of the demo too.

Keep up all posted on how it progresses, I can't really test it since I don't use 10.2 and don't have the time to replicate it for Factory.

05 May 2007, 17:32: Spring cleaning

Yes, it's that time of the year when the house gets a bit of a blitz. It's not been rendered completely spotless of course because we intend to be moving out in a couple of months and the whole place will be being cleaned and redecorated to make it ready for the tenants we will (hopefully) be getting through college.

Going to look at another parish tomorrow. As before I'm not saying where it is at this stage but I'll certainly be posting our progress.

Mmmmm, lots of Ps...

Pidgin 2.0.0 final is now available from GNOME:Community. Anyone with that repository setup in Smart or YaST (or zypper or opensuse-updater or whatever the hell other package management tools we have these days) will get it as an automatic upgrade to Gaim the next time you upgrade.

Broxtowe results are in (that's our borough here in Nottingham) and the Lib Dems gained three seats on the council. Not enough to make them the largest party unfortunately but they moved from third to second. Tragically and sadly, the BNP won one seat. Thankfully the member of that racist and evil outfit shouldn't be able to have any real effect but it's a very sad state of affairs.

Voting problems in Scotland possibly resulting in as many as 100,000 lost votes north of the border. Hopefully the Electoral Commission will carry out a full review of what happened. If this had happened in an African nation there would be calls for the election to be declared void on the grounds of not being free and fair. See also Black Box Voting.

03 May 2007, 07:02: Casting my ballot

I'm off to vote on my way to college.

If you're one of the 39 million people in the UK entitled to vote today, don't forget to do so. It's your voice, use it.

01 May 2007, 22:35: On the way to Athens

Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (Agg: 1-1)
Liverpool go through 4-1 on penalties.

I think we're going to do it again, it's felt like fate in the same way that 2005 did for a couple of rounds now. Major props to Reina for the saves, Gerrard for marshaling the troops, Agger for putting us in the shootout, Kuyt for finishing it and for scoring a goal that seemed on the replay to be onside even though it was disallowed and to the Kop for being the 12th man over the 120 minutes.

Athens here we come...

Pidgin (the replacement for Gaim) and Gimmie (the all-new GNOME Panel replacement) are now in GNOME:Community.

Pidgin provides the following packages (all with a -devel package): pidgin, the GTK+ instant messaging client; finch, the text console instant messaging client; libpurple, the library used by pidgin and finch. It's available for all versions from 10.1 upwards (possibly right back to 9.3 - waiting to see if it builds okay. If it doesn't I'm not investing any time in it though).

Gimmie has been in my home repository for a while but it was time to move it to G:C. This continues to be available for all distro versions from 10.0 upwards. I'll be working on a patch to make it support Pidgin instead of Gaim soon.

28 Apr 2007, 17:28: Free Alan Johnston

Alan Johnston banner

BBC correspondent, Alan Johnston, was abducted in Gaza on 12 March 2007. Follow the above link and sign the petition calling for his release. The people of Gaza need people who, like Alan, are prepared to tell their story to the world. Journalists must be able to work without fear if they are to be able to be impartial and do their job. Alan Johnston must be freed.

28 Apr 2007, 16:52: Stuff James Ogley is doing

I've decided to post this entry in the style of Michael Meeks.

  • Up early, played with babe while A had lie-in. Shower then into town for lunch. Lunch at Nero then home.
  • Finished the actual words of my placement report, it just needs to be made a bit more pretty and I should get it in Monday morning. Also will submit my statement of financial position then for at such time as I get a curacy sorted.
  • Some discussion on opensuse-gnome about 2.19 this week. It developed a side-discussion on the way Factory is built.
  • Realised I last redesigned this site back when I was getting ready to come to college. May think about a new design for when I leave college. If I have time.

25 Apr 2007, 14:14: DSL Down

My DSL went down yesterday evening at around 17:30 UK time (that's 16:30 GMT). One implication of this is that, since my mail server is on that line, all mail for my various domains are currently queueing on the secondary server.

If you need to get hold of, you can email my gmail.com address which is my forename followed by a dot and then my surname. That should be clear enough. Of course, I can only access that if I'm online and that means when I'm not at home at the moment.

Hopefully the issue should be sorted soon though.

Update: Sorted now.

20 Apr 2007, 17:12: Planet SUSE

The new logo has prompted a few emails enquiring why the site is called Planet SUSE and not planetSUSE or Planet openSUSE or Planet SUSE Enterprise or Planet Wandering Minstrels (okay, not the last one).

So, to clarify. The reason it's two words is because as well as being part of the SUSE community, it's also part of the Planet Universe. The standard nomenclature for sites using the Planet code is Planet X. In this case X==SUSE.

For further clarification, the reason it's Planet SUSE not openSUSE or whatever is that it covers both openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise people. There are far more people whose work affects both than that only affects one or the other and ultimately, we're part of the same big, happy, lizard-shaped family and we need to get along.

So there it is. Planet SUSE, over three years old and the name is now made clear.

18 Apr 2007, 10:37: Work progress

Yesterday I handed in MM316 and reached just over 3000 words on my Placement Report, which I'm continuing with today. I'm now at the stage where I get to do some real theology with it, my favourite part of the report.

Interestingly, a poll of the laptop users in the college reading room right now would reveal OS market shares of OSX: 50%; Linux: 25%, XP: 25%. Windows is dieing folks, put it out of its and our misery.

18 Apr 2007, 08:07: New Planet SUSE logo

I had had enough of looking at my rather amateurish logo for Planet SUSE, so I asked Jakub if he could come up with a replacement and he's produced a stormer. It's up to his usual high standards and I think it looks fantastic.

Check out the difference:

[Old Planet SUSE logo]
My old logo
[New Planet SUSE logo]
Jakub's new logo

16 Apr 2007, 17:24: Common Worship

I love Common Worship. Now, I know speaking positively about a liturgical product is going to come as something of a shock to regular readers so I had better explain.

What I don't love is a straight down-the-line, by-the-numbers, right off the page Common Worship communion service. Communion's not that big a deal for me anyway and doing it word for word as it's found on the page just kills it stone dead as far as I'm concerned.

What I do love is the resource that the whole Common Worship family provides. By that I mean the basic service texts, Daily Prayer, and New Patterns for Worship.

I was leading the 11.15 service at church yesterday. It was a service of the word but I like to use a few vaguely familiar bits of liturgy. The standard collect for yesterday, Second Sunday of Easter, is deadly. Common Worship alternative collects to the rescue with a much better option. Then it was New Patterns with a quality Kyrie confession (that's "Lord have mercy") and Absolution for the time of year and theme of service.

So, all in all, hooray for Common Worship for helping me put together a familiar yet fresh semi-liturgical service for my family at St Luke's.

14 Apr 2007, 09:25: Saturday morning

Catch up from the last few days:

  • Watched Liverpool-PSV on Wednesday night. Watched the first half at the Charlton Arms and then moved to the Chequers Inn for the second half because of the total lack of atmosphere at the Charlton. 1-0 is "job done" but the Liverpool side (admittedly with some key players rested) were quite poor on the whole. At full-time I walked down into Beeston and went to the Commercial Inn where I ran into Skye from college. All in all a very enjoyable night.
  • Been working on my Placement Report for college. It's pretty slow going but I reckon it'll be done by the end of the vacation.
  • I've had to remove Karl from Planet SUSE as the Atom feed for his Blogger blog was messing around again.
  • It's pollen season again and doesn't my nose just know it?

10 Apr 2007, 23:13: Spooky!

Went to the Cadland tonight and found that one of their guest ales at the moment is 'The Rev James'. What a lot of people may not know is that, assuming I do get ordained, I'll be the Revd James not the Revd Ogley. A photo of the pump badge is below. Spooky after what I posted earlier.

Amanda and Callum are down with her parents this week. House feels really strange without them.

[The Rev James]

10 Apr 2007, 18:27: Employable?

Well, apart from Sunday's Easter greeting, I've been rather quiet for the last week or so. The reason for this is that it's been a week of reflection on our part.

Last Tuesday, we went to a parish that we were in communication with regarding a curacy (it would be inappropriate for me to name the parish). This was our second visit to this parish, the first so far that we'd visited more than once. Suffice to say we were very enthusiastic about the prospect of ministering in that place.

The day seemed to go very well and we met the whole staff team over the course of the time we spent there. The following evening, the incumbent of the parish called with the results of their discussion. The decision was that they didn't want to go forward with us. The reasons are not important for a public record but I think the incumbent behaved entirely correctly and appropriately in the situation.

Now, over the course of this year, I have joked at college about being the least employable ordinand in the country as the vast majority of my colleagues at college were fixed up with title posts to serve.

The question we found ourselves asking last week was whether we will actually find something. We have been reassured by those in the know that it is not unusual for people to still be looking for a post now and for those people to then be sorted in the end.

We are trusting that the, frankly unexpected, decision by this parish not to continue in communication with us regarding the curacy represents God moving 'in a mysterious way' because the pairing of us and that context was the wrong one. We are also trusting that the right place will come up. I hope that the right place involves ordained ministry. However, if it does not, so be it.

08 Apr 2007, 07:51: Easter Morning

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

[Ref] Copyright The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2000-2006

31 Mar 2007, 20:34: Saturday

  • The first fine Saturday that's coincided with a green bin collection week so I got out into the garden this morning to give the lawn its first mow of the Spring.
  • Inspired by that and the [relatively] recent upgrade of swamprat to openSUSE 10.2, I imported by giblib and camE into the Build Service (home repo).
  • Resurrected the webcam, pointing at the newly mown garden.
  • New season of Doctor Who started this evening. The new companion, Martha Jones, was fantastic and I think she'll work out great. There was a good pace to the episode with everything happening at a nice high tempo until the last few minutes. If you missed it tonight, catch tomorrow's repeat on BBC Three.

29 Mar 2007, 14:04: Back to normality

Well, laptop is back and repaired, I've done online updates on both Linux and t'other OS and now I'm ready to get back to normality.

Having it back has also meant I've finally been able to upload some more photos of Callum.

Easter vacation to do list (unordered):

  • Dig into Gimmie packages for 10.3
  • Finish Hebrew text study
  • Placement report
  • Chaplaincy essay

28 Mar 2007, 08:11: Wednesday
Well, it's now the first week of the vacation. The repair on my laptop was completed but it then failed its QA test and so went back to the engineer yesterday - news today I hope.

Hebrew proposal was accepted and, to that end, spent yesterday and Monday translating Psalm 139: 17-22 ready to do a text study on it.

All vestments have now been delivered apart from my stoles which are a different matter as they have to be custom designed, painted, embroidered etc. So, I now have a couple of clerical shirts (just nasty poly-cotton ones that were part of a package - going to get some nicer cotton ones for if I were ever to wear one), cassock, surplice, cassock alb and a black preaching scarf. I also have a handy 'slot-in' clerical collar insert for normal-collared shirts. It's made of fabric rather than plastic so it's washable, flexible and looks more at home in a shirt collar. I'll probably keep that in the glove box of the car in case I need it. Might possibly get a second one to keep in my laptop bag for when I'm out and about on foot.

The number of openSUSE-related mails that are stacking up in the absence of my laptop is growing, hope I have it back soon.

15 Mar 2007, 13:48: Boyd
15 Mar 2007, 10:24: Soon and very soon...
Shouldn't be too much longer without my laptop. Spoke to Asus's repair partner company this morning and they're just waiting on a new keyboard from Asus. Other than the keyboard it was the mainboard and CPU that need replacing. Hopefully, they'll put a Core Duo in instead of the Core Solo it had before by mistake [;)]

Submitted my first draft of MM364 late yesterday afternoon. I'm pretty sure it's utter pants but at least I can get some feedback on it. Submitted my proposal for my Hebrew assignment this morning.

Still haven't tried on the clerical shirts that were delivered. That said, since I don't have a curacy to go to yet, it's hardly urgent...

13 Mar 2007, 12:02: Catch-up
  • Bit of a rough weekend - we've all had a cold which, for Callum especially - being his first one - has been annoying. I had to pull out of an Alpha away-day I was supposed to be helping with as a result.
  • Should be able to get the status of my laptop by the end of the week, hoping for positive news - apart from anything else, using the Less Free OS at college is driving me nuts, even with portable version of Firefox, Gaim, PuTTY and AbiWord.
  • On that note, MM364 is just about at 1000 words.
08 Mar 2007, 10:49: Thursday
Laptop was collected yesterday, hoping that it can repaired without losing any data - will be really miffed if I lose anything.

Clerical shirts from Hayes & Finch were delivered yesterday - how scary is that? I haven't even dared take them out of their packaging to try them on - that would make the whole malarky far too real.

06 Mar 2007, 12:13: It never stops...
...not even for a dead laptop.

Two things that match that description so far today:

  • Work of the college variety. Started my MM364 (Developing Preaching) assignment this morning. Slow start but then, I always start slow.
  • Work of the openSUSE variety. Seems JP's message had some effect - double figures of people in the channel this morning. Added JP to list of ops since, especially with the lappie issue, I'm not on the channel 24/7.
06 Mar 2007, 07:35: Morning
Phoned Asus yesterday and the laptop is now registered with them as needing repair and it's packaged up (in the original packaging - not like me to have kept it) ready to go back. Have to phone today to arrange a collection time. Pick-up and return warranties are good.

In the meantime, thanks to Portable Apps, I have Firefox, PuTTY, Gaim and AbiWord on my key drive so using the Windoze machines in the college library to work will be slightly less unbearable.

04 Mar 2007, 22:37: Another one bites the dust...
Another laptop that is!

Yes, that's right, my Asus laptop appears to have died on me. I was on my way to bed last night, stopped in the study to check my email before hitting the hay and it had locked up hard. I checked the hard drive wasn't being accessed and held the power button to power it off.

Now it won't power back on properly. I press the power button and it powers up but the hard drive access light goes on solid and the fan seems to go to full speed. It doesn't even seem to complete the POST. The really annoying (and embarrassing) tihng is that I didn't have a backup of $HOME so I've potentially lost all my documents, emails etc from, well, ever.

Thankfully, unlike when the last laptop (the infamous "Beast") died on me, this one is still under warranty so tomorrow afternoon - when I get back from the college quiet day - I'll be on the blower to Asus support. It's covered by a pick-up and return warranty in the event of it having to go back in. I'm hoping that the fact that it doesn't even complete the POST (not even displaying anything on screen) means it's not the drive itself but maybe the IDE controller that's at fault.

01 Mar 2007, 22:08: Gimmie/Planet SUSE news

Gimmie 0.2.4 is out and my patch to support openSUSE has been merged in - thanks Alex. It's going to be moved to GNOME:Community real soon and hopefully we'll get it into Factory in time to be shipped in [at least the FTP tree of] 10.3, with an XSession that will allow people to use GNOME with Gimmie instead of the traditional panel.

New people on Planet SUSE:

27 Feb 2007, 09:10: Pete madness continued...

Further information about last night's Pete-related fun.

The reason I was looking for Googlewhacks was that Amanda and I were watching Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure on TV.

Now, just before the two Petes discovered that they both knew me, the Barman at the pub had asked how the whole Pete Collective thing had got started. Pete Bellamy then started telling him about Dave Gorman and his Googlewhacking exploits, while I was watching it!

It's things like this that make you realise how Dave Gorman ends up in San Diego talking to an 81 year old creationist.

Sitting in the living room looking for Googlewhacks (thanks entirely to Dave Gorman) when my mobile phone rang. I picked it up and the caller ID reported that it was a certain Mr Pete Bellamy. Now, Pete's a mate but he doesn't call me often, so intrigued I flipped it open ...

Me: Mr Bellamy!
Pete: Mr Ogley
The conversation continued and I discovered that I had just come up in a conversation he was engaged in. Not that surprising you might think, given that we were members of the same church in Watford and have roughly the same circle of friends in that part of the world.

Not that surprising until it turns out that Pete is not with people from church. He's not even in Watford. Oh no, he's in London at a meeting of the Pete Collective. The meeting in question is happening at the Jerusalem Tavern and he's talking to another Pete who, it turns out also knows me.

Pete's odd, but not so odd as to ask total strangers who happen to share his forename if they know random people he knows so how did he and this other Pete discover their mutual acquaintance? Well, Pete B mentioned Soul Survivor and the other Pete started racking his brain as to where he's heard that term before. Then it dawned on him. Someone who had previously worked at the same company as him had a connection there and so, Pete Prior asked Pete Bellamy if he knew me and the answer, of course, was yes.

I want to know what the odds of this are? It's pretty mad and a huge coincidence to say the least. It's also brought a smile to my face.

[Pete photo]
Pete is on the left (and another Pete is on the right)

26 Feb 2007, 10:51: Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie...

Newly landed in my home repo, packages of Gimmie, the rethought panel for GNOME by Alex. Don't worry if you find yourself torn between the glorious beauty that is Gimmie and the rock-solid stability of the existing GNOME panel though as you can use it as a panel applet.

Packages for i586 and x86_64 are available for 10.2 and Factory already and are building for 10.1 at the moment. 10.0 and 9.3 may follow if it'll build on them.a

23 Feb 2007, 11:26: Kulow v2.0

Congrats to Stephan on his new project. Great screenshot although the interface is still clearly in development.

I worked on a similar project over the last year or so and we came out of beta and released last month. Expect to spend August and September doing a lot of bug fixing.

20 Feb 2007, 22:27: Main Menu

Thanks to Stephan, Miguel and Marco for recent posts about the GNOME Main Menu. Thanks in particular to Marco for his mockups of essentially what I said last month should happen with the menu. I think I'd want to add a couple more comments:

  • The menu takes too long to appear the first time you click it. On my notebook (Core Solo CPU, 512M RAM) it takes about a second from my click to the menu appearing - it should be basically instantaneous.
  • It occasionally starts consuming lots and lots of memory as does the application-browser although the a-b issue would be knocked on the head were Marco's mockups to be implemented.

19 Feb 2007, 18:04: We the undersigned ...

... petition the Prime Minister to Stand charged at the International Criminal Court with War Crimes commited in the illegal war on Iraq. (sic)

Sign it.

10 Feb 2007, 16:23: Best spam Subject ever...

A mail with this Subject header avoided SpamAssassin this morning. It made me laugh out loud.

Anchovie Crisis (sic)
Any ideas as to what crisis could be?

W00t! Welcome back to Planet SUSE, Robert! The users of Blogger/BlogSpot/Blogorama/Whatever else they call themselves are now syndicated correctly.

09 Feb 2007, 16:48: Planet SUSE work continues

Well, having made some design tweaks to Planet SUSE, I've now done some back-end tidying. Specifically, I upgraded to Planet 2.0 so that Blogger Atom feeds now work correctly again. I also removed some dead blogs. They're just commented out so that I can easily restore them if they become live again. What it means is that you can now be sure that if a blog is listed on Planet SUSE, it's live (even if it's not updated very often).

08 Feb 2007, 22:34: Thursday

So much to talk about today. Firstly, the snow. Or rather, the lack thereof. Nottingham seems to have got off relatively lightly in terms of snowfall. In spite of that, I was still astounded by the general inability of the driving population of this country to remember how to drive in snow from one winter to the next.

Next up is the statement Abu Bakr, one of the men arrested in the Birmingham 'beheading plot'[1] that the UK is a police state for Muslims. It's hard to see how that statement is anything but accurate. It seems that the police now have carte blanche to harass Muslims and arrest them without good reason. What seems like racial and religious profiling has real potential, in my view, to lead to an even more worrying scenario: the harassment and unnecessary arrests of those who speak out against the racist policies of the Blairite government.

Linked to this is yesterday's visit to the Houses of Parliament by Shilpa Shetty. This cynical move by Blair and that exemplar of good government, Keith Vaz was a desperate attempt to hide the fact that the mother of a serviceman killed in the illegal, racist war in Iraq was denied an audience with the PM[2] while giving Blair a chance to appear to stand against racism. The irony of this is painful more than it is amusing.

[1] See also comments by Roger.
[2] Sorry, I couldn't find a link to this story, but it was all over the radio yesterday.

Joe announced the release of Beagle 0.2.16 earlier today. A very hefty load of bug fixes and well worth an upgrade I fancy.

What he didn't announce (silly Joe) is that we now have a dedicated Beagle repository on the Build Service. At the moment there are channels for [open]SUSE 10.1, 10.2 and Factory but in the future, other distros (including non-SUSE ones) will probably be added.

Hopefully it could be a one-stop-shop for Beagle packages in the long term and a real resource to the community (as is the case generally with the BS).

06 Feb 2007, 11:37: BBC Radio on Banshee (4)

Banshee now supports user-defined stations correctly and so you can add the BBC feeds without the fear that they may get nuked by refreshing from the Banshee server. You can either add them manually one-by-one or download a full BBC radio playlist. One amendment to make this work with the new version: Save the bbc.xspf file to ~/.gnome2/banshee/plugins/stations/user and you should be good to go.

06 Feb 2007, 11:30: PEBCAK

Many thanks again to Roger Light for helping me trace the source of my problem with li on Planet SUSE. Turned out it was a classic PEBCAK scenario and I feel really dumb now. Serves as a reminder that I need to do a serious tidy up on PS at some point. Thankfully it works as intended now.

05 Feb 2007, 22:22: Monday

Bishops' Inspectors are in college this week so I have to be cheerful and nice for five whole days. I don't know how I'm going to manage it.

Thanks to Roger Light for getting in touch regarding my CSS query. Perhaps I should post the code I'm using:

li {
list-style-image: url('/icon-10x10.png');
I'm pretty sure this should work. Any thoughts as to why it doesn't gratefully received.

Callum: Colic [:(] New photos [:)]

03 Feb 2007, 21:24: Saturday

Made some minor design changes to Planet SUSE that I'd been planning for a while this afternoon. Links to the feeds of blogs that are syndicated are now indicated by [FEED]. To match, I've used [*] next to each link in the links section. I'd intended to use that same icon as the bullets where there are unordered lists (ul) but couldn't work out why. If anyone can drop me a line with a hint as to the CSS-Fu required, I'd be very grateful.

Had the misfortune to catch the tail-end of When Will I Be Famous on BBC1 this evening. The viewing public voted a woman dancing with a dog as the winner which goes to prove that however little taste you think the public has, they manage to demonstrate that they have even less.

02 Feb 2007, 15:09: suse.co.uk

Good to hear that suse.co.uk has been reclaimed by Novell. I have very happy memories of that domain, of being the primary tech contact for it and of the special feeling of first getting an @suse.co.uk email address when I joined the company.

Of course, the domain ought to point at UK-specific information on the Novell site, such as UK contact information.

01 Feb 2007, 20:04: home.rubberturnip.org.uk

home.rubberturnip.org.uk is currently unavailable because I'm doing an OS upgrade on it, if you send any mail to Amanda or me in the meantime it will be queued but we may not respond as quickly as you may like.

Update: Upgrade finished, normal service should now be resumed.

31 Jan 2007, 18:17: Wednesday

Pretty functional day really but useful things:

  • Registered Callum's birth so the government can start monitoring him now. Paranoid? Me? Why would you say that...?
  • Finally got around to getting an electrician out to sort our oven. One new element later and (hopefully) it's fixed.
  • More investigation on bug #216129.
  • Did some checking of the Student Association constitution to make sure that the version in the files is what was voted on last year.
Roger has launched a new site, Nightmare World, which aims to place current world events, including the so-called "war on terror", in a wider context. Roger's great at cutting through the crap issued by governments and those who benefit from their actions and at sifting news sources to determine what's worth referring to.

He also has a mean collection of aluminium foil hats which I should borrow sometime. [:)]

I am absolutely livid that British Airways today ran flights as normal just hours after averting strike action by the T&G; Union.

The vast majority of customers due to be on today's flights had cancelled because of the possible action and the reopened seats were not advertised early enough for a full allocation to be sold.

So what, if not passengers, were BA flying around the world - dumping carbon emissions into the atmosphere - today?

In the words of Simon Calder, Travel Editor at the Independent, fresh air. That's right. Today BA have been polluting the air in order to move some of it around the planet.

Things I am not livid about:

  • Lord Levy arrested in connection with cash-for-honours
    The net continues to tighten on this corrupt and shameful government.
  • West Ham 1-2 Liverpool
    And the Reds go marching on on on... Look out Chelsea, we're breathing down your necks.
  • Windows Vista is launched
    I'm not upset by this because I seriously believe that this is the iteration of Windows that will finally drive people away from it due to the high cost of upgrading (not just the software but the hardware needed to run it) and the increasingly evil (could Microsoft really get any more evil?) control it will exercise over the way you live your life and use your computer and your documents.

30 Jan 2007, 22:11: BBC Radio on Banshee (3)

For entirely understandable reasons of format support, Aaron has removed the BBC feeds from radio.banshee-project.org.

Therefore, I've restored my version and I refer you to my previous post on the subject for instructions.

28 Jan 2007, 15:03: gnome-power-manager on Factory

gnome-power-manager is yet to be built with the correct prefix in Factory and, as such, is lacking some functionality currently. Anyone using Factory who wants that functionality (such as responding to lid closing etc) can grab a working package from my home repo.

It's only built for Factory and as soon as the distro version is rebuilt, I'll remove it.

28 Jan 2007, 10:29: BBC Radio on Banshee (2)

Okay, Aaron's added the BBC streams to the Banshee site so to access them all you have to do now is refresh your station list.

As a result the version I was hosting has been removed.

Aaron's currently working on a UI for adding your own stations and most UK stations have an online stream. Some even offer it in high-quality Ogg Vorbis format. For a fairly comprehensive list, click here.

The latest Banshee packages from the build service include the new internet radio plugin. Now, at the moment it officially only supports stations that can be accessed from the Banshee project radio website by Banshee itself. Not good enough for me as I only listen to BBC stations. So, here's the skinny on how to get yourself access to all the national/international stations the BBC has to offer. First, download bbc.xspf. Next, save it to ~/.gnome2/banshee/plugins/stations. Finally, restart Banshee. You should now have a new section under Radio entitled BBC Radio. Select the station you want and away you go.

Caveats: They're all in Windows Media format so you need to be able to play that (openSUSE users, use the gstreamer010* packages from PackMan). The FiveLive stream is the international version, not the UK version. That means that programming that is UK-only (such as FA Premier League commentaries) are not included. The UK version appears to only be available in Real format at the moment and (possibly because I'm not using Helix Banshee) I couldn't get Real streams to work. If it turns out I just couldn't find the right link and I track down a WM stream for the UK FiveLive stream, I'll update bbc.xspf.

Update: bbc.xspf now includes both UK and International feeds of FiveLive

Obligatory screenshot:
[Screenshot thumbnail]

26 Jan 2007, 15:30: GNOME:Community on Factory

This is for the attention of all people who are maintaining packages in GNOME:Community. Packages that still have their %sysconfdir set to /etc/opt/gnome are broken in Factory. You need to specify it correctly using %if %suse_version ... If the %prefix is also set to /opt/gnome it needs to be set correctly. There's a whole bunch of other changes. For full details, read this mail from Stanislav on the packaging list from three weeks ago.

25 Jan 2007, 18:26: College Visitors

Callum made his first visit to college, as did Teresa who's studying through the Extension Studies programme.

Suffice to say he was a huge hit with all who saw him. People couldn't quite believe he's my son given how cute he is [:)]

Thinking it might be time to revisit the tomboy-plugins sub-package which was discussed nearly a year ago now. I'll then submit a bug suggesting that the tomboy package in GNOME:* be changed to match whatever is decided (and thus, Factory too).

25 Jan 2007, 09:28: But the GIMP's asleep

It most certainly is not, development continues apace toward version 2.4 of everyone's favourite image editor. 2.3.14 is now out, and it's available from GNOME:Community (package name gimp-unstable).

I will get around to building abiword-unstable soon but the way the source is distributed has changed for 2.5 so I need to do some work on the spec file. It will probably make the packaging of AbiWord a lot saner though.

24 Jan 2007, 22:15: Catch-up

Haven't blogged for a couple of days so what's going on? Well, Teresa's staying with us for a couple of weeks to help us get settled with Callum for which we are profoundly grateful. Also, my mum and Dorothy came over to visit today.

Had a good meeting with Stephen Travis yesterday about my dissertation and some other supervised assignments.

When I got back yesterday, Amanda was feeling up to going out for a little walk with Callum which is an important step in terms of getting over the surgery I think.

Someone referred to this short guide on one of the lists for how to install the newly released Flash Player 9.0 (final version) on openSUSE. Please do not follow the instructions it gives as this could result in your browser seeing two versions of the Flash plugin. In addition, don't download the RPM that Adobe provide as it installs to the wrong location. Someone reported that it worked for them but what I suspect happened is that it left the openSUSE supplied flash-player package in place and they were seeing the old version (the Adobe supplied package is, unhelpfully, called flash-plugin).

So, what should you do? Well, there's an updated flash-player package available in the Mozilla Build Service repo. You can either add the repo to YaST or Smart and update or download the package and install manually.

[My post on the opensuse list with some more details]

21 Jan 2007, 15:37: Sunday

  • New photos of Callum in the gallery. I managed to reset the number of views for each picture while uploading - whoops!
  • tomboy and gaim-unstable in GNOME:Community have been updated to the latest versions.
  • Bug #232507 has been assigned to me. As I say in comment #7, I have no recollection of packaging muine for G:C. Ah well, I'll attend to it when I have time.

19 Jan 2007, 23:55: Home!

Amanda and Callum have come home. It's really exciting to get the little fella back where he belongs.

Now, let's just hope he sleeps through the night...

Update: Of course I don't actually expect him to, but I'm all for wishful thinking...

17 Jan 2007, 15:20: Wednesday

Things I have done today that I had never done before:

  • Bought baby clothes
  • Changed a nappy
  • Dressed a baby
I also was annoyed by an idiotic car park (originally typed carp ark) attendant. That's not unusual though.

Pete and Teresa came up to meet their grandson today which is why I'm at home blogging right now. I'll be going back in later. The good news is that I may have Amanda and Callum home by the weekend apparently.

17 Jan 2007, 00:17: It's a boy

That's right, I'm now the proud father of a beautiful baby boy. I'll recount the day as best I can remember and then reflect on it, but first the skinny...

Callum Jacob Ogley, born 12:42, 16/1/2007 GMT by Caesarean Section. Weighed in at 7lb 9oz. Mother and baby both doing well.
Many, many thanks for all who have been praying for us and it's good to know I have at least one vote for college children's rep now(!).

Arrived at the hospital bright and early (ok, early) but the section was delayed because the previous victim patient took a lot longer than was anticipated. The section itself was incredible especially for someone like me who's significantly phobic of hospitals and then we had a son. A little boy. I prayed the Aaronic/Priestly blessing and the Trinitarian blessing for him when he was given to me.

What is remarkable about it all is how unremarkable it is. Babies are born every minute of every day of every year to no great trump or comment and yet this is the most incredible thing that we have ever done. How does this go uncommented on in this world or is it, perhaps, that it is the magnificent mundanities that make human life the glorious thing that it is?

A photo of Callum:

16 Jan 2007, 06:13: Today

Well, today's the big day...

15 Jan 2007, 21:46: Monday

Amanda's birthday today so I delivered her presents to the hospital (and then brought them all back once she'd opened them). We had the midwife talk us though what'll happen tomorrow, suffice to say we're quite excited.

So, the six men accused of the 21 July 2005 bombing attempts in London appeared in court today. If they're guilty I sincerely hope they are found to be so by the jury. That being said, Five Live reported that one of the pieces of 'evidence' of their guilt presented to the court was that some of them had been under police surveillance before the event. That, I have to point out, is not evidence of guilt. Plenty of people over the years have been the subject of police interest and surveillance for no better reason than they matched the current 'boogeyman' profile. I've talked about this before. I am saddened that the police service in which my father served and my brother now serves is used by this repressive government regime.

13 Jan 2007, 23:05: More adventures

Many thanks to those who emailed me about my KDE queries. Briefly in response to those mails:

I know I could move the lock/logout applet, but that's not the same as swapping the order of the buttons within it.

Thanks for pointing out how I could have changed the mouse behaviour, glad to hear that the control centre (or is it just that bit of it?) is being overhauled for KDE4.

13 Jan 2007, 11:13: Adventures in KDE

Well, after yesterday's Factory update, GNOME is once again usable (although some things are still broken - basically it seems that anything that's not yet moved prefix may not respect settings because of the associated move in GConf schema location) so I'm back where I feel comfortable. There were somethings I preferred about KDE and some I didn't, so my reflections on using KDE are:

  • Some things are counter-intuitive. Take the logout/lock applet for example. I don't know why, but it just seems logical that logout should be on the right and lock on the left but it's the other way around.
  • I wanted to make Firefox my default browser but I had to resort to Google to find out how (Control Centre; KDE Component; Component Chooser as opposed to Control Centre; Preferred Applications in GNOME).
  • I liked the discreet mail download meter in KMail much more than Evolution's huge pop-up window.
  • The new SUSE 'K' menu rocks a lot more than the new GNOME Main Menu and it just works better for the following reasons:
    • Search in the beagle field at the top of the menu and the search results are embedded in the menu. This just makes a lot more sense than then waiting for the search window to open. If you want a separate window, you can still go to Kerry (or the beagle-search icon in GNOME) to achieve that.
    • The Applications section of the menu actually works and is navigable and sane. This is quite unlike to hopeless and awful GNOME Application Browser.
    • You can easily switch between the new style menu and the classic KDE Menu. This, again, is quite unlike the GNOME version
  • Finally: I hate single-click and I couldn't find a way to switch to double-click.

12 Jan 2007, 21:49: The GIMP in Ugly Betty
Watching the second episode of Ugly Betty and in the sequence where they're retouching the photo shoot, it's the GIMP that's being used. Problem is that I'm pretty sure it's doing things that it just couldn't do. Ah well, all exposure is good, right?
Watched my first NHL match tonight, New Jersey Devils v St Louis Blues. Was amused while watching that one of the commentators was called John Kelly and one of the players was called David Hale! At least none of them were called Christina Baxter [:)].

Now, I have to say that after one game, I'm sort of with John Hoynes, fictional Vice-President of the USA. The 'action' seemed completely disconnected to the scoring and goals would just come from nowhere. At least by the end of the game I'd worked out what a powerplay is.

Seems that all GNOME packages in Factory have been updated, let's hope it looks a little more healthy after my smart upgrade finishes.

11 Jan 2007, 23:32: Out of kilter
Today's been one of those days when everything's been slightly out. I started the day by managing to turn off the alarm clock rather than put it on 'snooze'. The result of this was that I got up a good couple of hours later than I'd planned and missed Morning Prayer at college. I also missed most of the time I'd set apart to do some Hebrew work this morning, although I survived the lecture time this afternoon.

Visited Amanda this evening after chapel, she's still doing okay although she is quite bored being in hospital just for observation. I then popped in at the Cadland.

10 Jan 2007, 21:52: Imminent Arrival
Amanda's in QMC for observation now. I'm getting in to see her at least once a day and other people are visiting which is great.

The reason she's in is that the baby's going to be coming by Caesarean Section Tuesday of next week - the 16th January.

10 Jan 2007, 21:49: Taking an opportunity
So, since GNOME is currently broken in Factory, I've decided to try out KDE since it's several years since I last used it. To that end...
smart install kde*
I've also started changing the packages in GNOME:Community that I maintain to use /usr for the prefix on Factory, will do the same for my home repo next.
10 Jan 2007, 14:28: Factory/GNOME warning
If, like me, you're a user of openSUSE Factory then you know you're basically using it at your own risk anyway. This is an added warning. The work from GNOME:UNSTABLE is now going into Factory and, at the moment, things are quite broken. I'm using FVWM2 at the moment and trying to avoid GTK+ apps. Doing a command-line smart update suggests there are further updates now which may make it more usable. I hope so.

Read why this is being done.

Update: While I was typing that, the smart update finished and there were no new packages from Factory yet. I knew I should have put my Factory image in a virtual machine, but I just like living on the edge...

Over the last few days, the US has launched air strikes against Somalia, supposedly targeting al-Qaeda leaders. This unilateral action by the dangerous Bush regime demonstrates that the sovereignty of any state[1] can be compromised by the marauding forces of 'democracy'.

In other news, Tony Blair yesterday said 'the manner of the execution of Saddam was completely wrong'. Let's ignore the fact that he waited so long after the event to comment for a moment[2] consider what he said. Mr Blair, it was not the manner of the execution that was completely wrong, but the fact of it. Taking a life is always wrong and just because Saddam committed state-sanctioned murder does not mean that he should be the victim of the same. Blair and his government are totally morally bankrupt and the fact that they refuse to condemn the taking of a man's life by the state is further demonstration, if it were needed, of that fact.

[1] The fact that Somalia is a seriously failing state without an effective government for the last 30 years shouldn't affect this.
[2] Presumably, either he thought that his ministers could get him out this duty in spite of the fact that it was him who got us into the mess and so he must comment or he was hoping that Bush might tell him what to say.

02 Jan 2007, 23:34: Losing power

When we turn our oven on, it starts to heat up (as one would expect) and when it hits about 50oC, it trips all the power in the house.

This is a complete pain because, not only does it plunge us into darkness, it of course uncleanly powers off my servers if I've neglected to shut them down beforehand.

Time to call an electrician. Oh, and probably purchase a UPS too.

01 Jan 2007, 15:25: New Year packages

To wish people who use my package repositories a happy new year, the following packages are new in my home repo (and may well move to GNOME:Community soon):

  • galeon - that's right, the classic GNOME web browser is back and you can get it while it's hot, hot, hot!
  • banshee-itunes-plugin - does what it says on the tin: enables you to purchase music from iTunes within Banshee
Have fun!

01 Jan 2007, 15:22: 2007 [2]

So, what do I think will happen outside of my house this year?

Firstly, the biggie: Iraq. Saddam Hussein has been executed in what Sir Menzies Campbell described as looking like victor's justice and this isn't going to help the situation there at all. Bush seems to think it's an important step forward and he's right. The problem is that it's a step forward into increased bloodshed and further sectarian violence. The recording of Muqtada Al-Sadr's name being chanted as Saddam was hanged doesn't help that either. Expect to hear a lot more talk about partitioning and a timetable for occupying forces to withdraw released by the summer.

Next up: Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one major government department announced it was switching to Linux on the desktop this year. openSUSE 10.3 will come out and be fantastic, building on the success of 10.2.

Finally: Football. My predictions for the top three in the Premiership this season:

  1. Man Utd
  2. Chelsea
  3. Liverpool
Fourth will be any one of Arsenal, Spurs and Bolton. Portsmouth will probably get a UEFA Cup spot but I don't think they have the staying power to challenge foe the Champions' League.

Oh yes, none of these are based on anything more than my own guess-work (well, the Iraq prediction owes a lot to the coverage of the situation by the BBC and Independent).

01 Jan 2007, 12:15: 2007

New Year party at college last night - a lot of fun, including Disney Trivial Pursuit after a few beers - odd.

So, what does this new year hold? Well a few thoughts ...

For us, we will become parents this month for the first time. There will be a new, very small, addition to the family. Small, as I said, but larger than the hamster it's fair to say. Then, in the summer, June or July to be accurate, we'll be moving house. At the moment we don't know where too but we're trusting God that He's got a place for us to go to do my curacy.

Thoughts for the wider world later - can you cope with the excitement?