Monthly Archives: July 2006

money, money, money

I love the fact that I can pop up to Nottingham for a day for less than a fiver. Today I went up to see Oscar, Richard and Sammy. I saw Oscar on monday when I went up to help WBBC’s new youth leader move into his house (exciting stuff!), but I haven’t seen Richard and Sammy for quite a long time, so it was really good to catch up and generally chill out with them.

I’m also quite excited about the fact that I have a semi-permanent job on fridays now and for the rest of the summer. It’s not quite the full time work I was hoping for, but it will be plenty for me to be able to enjoy myself, and have a little extra to do some decorating with Joe. I’m also off to some posh hotel place on Sunday afternoon to be a “kitchen porter”, which is a posh way of saying I’ll be washing dishes for a few hours. The likelihood is that I’ll be able to get more one of jobs like that too, so things are looking up employment wise praise God!

At this rate sadly I won’t be able to save up enough for a new keyboard though, although I have a few other ideas about earning myself a little extra, which just need a little effort and motivation to get started. More on that later, if there ever is a later with regard to this…

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Nemesis

A bunch of us went to Alton Towers a few weeks ago, and Adam took this video on Nemesis:

Yeah, OK, I might have played with it a little bit. I’ve been learning how to use some cool video editing software with a view to doing some slightly more interesting things, and this is the first thing I’ve really made.

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More on the Weather

I posted about the break in the weather on saturday, and on Sunday morning when I was in Church God kept on prodding me gently about it. I was going to go up to the front (scary eh?) and share the picture I had with everyone during the worship at the start of the service, but as it happened there were like, 5 other pictures brought that morning and I just felt that what God had for me didn’t quite fit with everything else, so I held onto it instead.

This morning I was reading the start of Ezra, where the king of Cyrus is stirred up by God and lets the Israelites go home to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Not only does he let them go freely after they’re been exiled for a number of year, he also asks that everyone around them hand over loads of gold and silver and livestock and anything else of value to help the Israelites to rebuild.

I don’t know about you, but if I had been in exile for my whole life, I would have jumped at the chance to go home regardless of the conditions. But to be allowed to go home freely, and be given vast amounts of money and resources to begin rebuilding with. Well it was just phenomenal, and the Israelites must have been over the moon about it all!

So what does this have to do with the weather breaking? Well thats simple! God was basically reminding me that the weather had absolutely nothing to do with me, and any attempts I made at changing the climate were pretty futile at best. I had my windows open all day every day, and I can assure you that if I owned a fan or a dehumidifier they would have been on all day as well! I hopped in the shower on regular occasions to relieve myself from the stickiness, and I drank lots and lots of squash all to make myself feel cooler. But of course it was all a little futile, the only real action I could take towards the weather changing was to wait for God to change it, which he did on Saturday.

Similarly the Israelites could try and make Cyrus (and all the other places they were exiled too) feel like home, they might even have managed the occasionaly visit to Jerusalem. But at the end of the day, the only solution to their exile was God intervening.

I’ve been getting quite worked up recently about my lack of money and employment, and I’ve been trying quite hard to find myself a job. At the end of the day though, it’s up to God where and when (and even if) I work this summer, and whilst that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop looking, it does mean I need to stop worrying! It isn’t up to me to change the weather, I just have to wait for it to happen and embrace it when it finally does.

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Musically inclined

I had a little play around with a rather neat tool today. It’s called last.fm, and it basically sends what music you’re listening to to the last.fm website, where the information is stored and made available to the general public. It’s pretty neat, as you can look up who has been listening to what and there are weekly, monthly and even yearly charts of what people have been listening to.

There’s also a rather neat feature which allows you to do this:

This makes me smile so much that I will be running last.fm on my computer forevermore!

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Even the Weather Breaks…

The heat was opressive, you could taste the moisture in the air. This kind of heat is not the dry heat of a beautiful summers day, it is the kind of heat that carries a great weight with it. The heat presses in on you, overbearing, agressive, it is inescapable. With the heat comes the humidity, the beads of sweat cover your body but have nowhere to escape to. The heat clings to you like ivy, creeping over your whole body, your sweat becomes sticky and the only place you can find some brief respite is the shower, but this doesn’t last, you cannot stay clean in this heat.

Then the rainclouds came, dark and ominous. The humidity increases, but the heat begins to creep away. The night falls prematurely as the thick billowing rainclouds blot out the sun. There is an electrifying tension in the air, you can feel the storm coming but everything is calm and still.

Then suddenly the clouds break open and spill their load. The sky cracks with thunder, and the moisture which was suspended so precariously in the air has tumbled over the edge and plummeted to the ground. Flashes of lightning appear in the distance and the heavy drops of rain cascade through the trees. You step outside and allow the fresh droplets of cool water wash away the sweat, saturating your clothing. You laugh and shake your head wildly, spraying water all around you.

Then, as suddenly as the rain came, it went away. Now the heat has returned, but it is not as it was before. There is no stickiness now, no moisture in the air. Everything feels fresh and new, washed clean. This is the dry heat of a beautiful summers day, this is the kind of heat which demands that you be outside.

So go outside, and thoroughly enjoy the beautiful summer weather!

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On my plate

So I decided that being healthy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I cooked this for myself tonight:


(click to enlarge)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest at IMDb.com

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much when I went to see DMC, I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews and the general opinion is that it’s not as good as the first one. Thats an opinion which I echo wholeheartedly, The Curse of the Black Pearl was a masterful piece filled with tense action, wonderful comic relief from Johnny Depp and an excellent plot. They even did a really good job of the CGI on the Black Pearls undead crew.

The same cannot be said of DMC. The action is farcical at best, with very little tension. There’s nothing about the action sequences that had me on the edge of my seat, and whilst some of the swordplay is quite fun, it’s nowhere near as good as in CorBP. There is one particular sequence which will stick in my memory for a while purely because of how ridiculous it was, three of the main characters end up fighting on a water wheel which is rolling through a jungle, they fight on top, inside and around the edge of the wheel for a very long time. The fight is vaguely interesting, but it drags on far too long and is far too silly to be exciting.

As for Johnny Depp, the star of the show in CotBP, well he really wasn’t. He had his wonderful drunken swagger throughout, and played his character wonderfully well as he did before, however the script was poor at best. There were very few throwaway lines for the viewer to giggle at, nothing quotable at any point in the movie, and the humour element which was the saving grace of CotBP just wasn’t there. As I mentioned before, the fight scenes were somewhat silly, but where the script should have been amusing it was cringe worthy, and where it should have been silly it was just plain poor.

There were of course some good points as well, the best of which by far was Bill Nighy’s portrayal of Davy Jones. His character was fully animated, so he only provided the voice, but it was put together extremely well and was by far the best CGI character I’ve seen in a movie with real actors. On top of that the Kraken made an excellent monster, which (unlike the crew of Davy Jones ship) was genuinely frightening.

All in all, it was enjoyable to watch, but had very little substance to it, and none of the flare of the first. Of course, it was written as the second part of a trilogy, and as such it ends half way through the story. I am quite looking forward to seeing the third installment purely to see where they take the plot, and who else they will introduce in the third film. There are a lot of threads beyond the main plot which are hinted at or started in DMC, but not fully explained, and I am intrigued as to where they will go.

So is it worth watching? In my opinion no, not on it’s own. However if the third installment is anywhere near as good as the first, Dead Man’s Chest will work well as part of a trilogy.

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Mr. Irvine

Sadly David is leaving me today for bigger and better places. I’ve had the honour and joy of putting David up for a couple of weeks between the end of term and the start of his exciting mission trip, and it’s been excellent fun.

We have had many chats about all sorts of things. We’ve played some games. We’ve baked some cakes. We’ve eaten lots of food! And we’ve generally had lots of fun.

Last week I was expecting that to be the end of my house company for the summer, but it turns out Nathan is staying in Leicester until the end of the month to work on his dissertation. He’s staying so that he can have access to the library, and my job for the next few weeks will be to make sure he’s actually using the library and not being a lazy bum!

I’m rather glad that I will have some company for a few weeks longer, although I have to admit I was quite looking forward to having the house to myself, and me and Joe can’t get on with the decorating and general household stuff until Nathan has moved out which is a bit of a shame. No matter though, we’ll still have two months of summer to work at it, which is plenty of time.

So on this day, as Mr. Irvine leaves Leicester for the summer, I offer him this prayer: “May you thoroughly enjoy your time in Singapore, whilst being streched to your limits and ever learning from the situations you will be put in. May you grow in strength and maturity, and may you bring back all that you gain and use it wisely in this place that you already know.”

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Another mystery solved!

So I posted a couple of days ago about a ring I found. Well you wouldn’t believe who it belonged to… Hedge!

This may not sound all that amazing, until I tell you that the reason I was cleaning the house was because Hedge and family were coming to stay. Hedge graduated on wednesday, and her parents and sister came to lovely Leicester and stayed at my house. In all likelihood I won’t see Hedge again for a long time, although she may well pop back to Leicester at some point during the year, so if I hadn’t found her ring this week, I doubt she would have gotten it back ever.

Isn’t life just wonderful sometimes!

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Messy room

I took a few pictures of my room last night because it was in such a mess, and today I had a play around with flickr, which is really quite cool. Check out the results (click the photo, duh!):

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