Category: rambling

‘Spanish Chicken’

1kg Chicken thighs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 peppers
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Squeeze of lemon juice

Long time, no blog[2]…

It seems like a long time since I rambled about inane trivia. Midsummers Day 2009 has gone already, and the nights are starting to draw in.

It’s been so long, that my mobile contract had expired and my trusty W910i was up for replacement. Fortunately, I didn’t have to give much thought to its replacement as the HTC Magic had just been released, and it looked like the perfect geek phone to me. For those of you who still have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s the second phone to be released with Google Android as its operating system.

My contract was modified slightly to accommodate unlimited internet access, which also meant a lot more free minutes and texts, and I can see why. Without constant and unlimited internet access, the features of this phone would be quite noticeably curtailed! When you first switch it on, it asks for your Google account details and then proceeds to sync with your Google contacts, calendar and Gmail. From then on, when you make any modifications to any of the above, either through the web, or via the phone, the two are almost always in sync.

Is it a good phone? Let’s just say that, I’m still very happy with it and I’m still downloading apps for it. The only phone I’ve come across which could possibly be better would be Apple’s iPhone, but even then, it’s a close call thing. The user interface of the Magic is very straightforward, making very good use of the touch screen. I’m still not over the novelty of being able to access my email, Gmail, and calendar wherever I am. The ability to download lots of apps, both from Google and from third-parties is brilliant compared to the paltry offerings available to the W910i. (I guess the hardware difference might contribute somewhat to that – The Magic is pretty much a computer in your palm!)

It’s been quite cool to watch Wimbledon live using beebplayer, whilst sitting in Kwik-Fit waiting for them to recharge the aircon in the car, or see the fuel usage per week with Mileage. Its GPS and Andnav2 have been quite handy when I’m in the middle of nowhere and the old paper map doesn’t seem to make much sense. The GPS and Sportypal also comes into its own as a way to record my walks and calculate how far I’ve walked and see how many calories I’ve burned. Occassionally I’ve gone to a church service without a paper bible, and used CadreBible. The most used app is probably twidroid, which allows me to Twitter from almost anywhere I care to be!

Which brings me full circle… I guess the reason I haven’t blogged much on the inane front is that Twitter allows me to do that and restricts me to only inflicting 140 characters of banality on you!

Now, what shall I do with my old phone?

Grace, from first to last

Q. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?

A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.

Q. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?

A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.

Q. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?

A. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.

(Questions XXXIII, XXXVI and XXXV of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)

Long long ago…

I tried upgrading my blog a while ago, and  I kind of borked it!

However, I just tried upgrading the software and it’s all working again. Yay!

The hiatus has meant I’m now out of the habit of blogging, and it probably also means that anyone who read this blog has probably wandered off due to lack of activity.

I’m wondering whether it’s worth continuing, or if blogging really has had its day, and the ubiquitous social networking sites are where all the action’s at…

I’ll ponder the merits of blogging in my head and let you (whoever you are!) know my conclusions.

What you don’t have, you don’t miss

It would seem that, when I look around at my friends, everyone around me has a laptop. Their reasoning for having one varies from it being their main/only computer, to something which is more convenient than a desktop, through to no reasoning at all. My mum recently acquired one, and I said I’d set it up. A quick download of Xubuntu, Gutsy Gibbon, (it’s an old laptop!) and it was up and running. Web surfing is accomplished by Firefox, dial-up access and wireless networking worked out of the box. Whilst it is in my possession, I figured I might as well use it, so Pidgin, Xnest and Gnomesword/ESV were installed which enable me to chat on MSN/GTalk/ICQ, open XDMCP sessions on my Fedora 8 box and read the bible all from the comfort of my bed. (Where I am now :))

Eventually I’ll return the laptop to my mum so she can use it to check her email and browse the web. The question I’m left with now is; Do I get a laptop? Sure, it’s nice for blogging from bed, or instant messaging in front of the telly, but do I really need one? It would be useful when I’m on holiday to copy photos onto so my camera doesn’t get clogged up, to watch DVDs, to make blog posts and email, but do I really need it?

I’m not sure I need it, but it’s sure nice. We’ll see I guess…

Long time, no blog…

To those who regularly read this blog, I do apologise for the lack of original ramblings of late! (I get the feeling I may be apologising to no one!) This is partly due to the madness of the Christmas season, and an inability to decline requests for help. Needless to say, even though Christmas is a long distant memory, January was busy!

Over the past months or so I have learnt a few new things which are possibly worth sharing.

I read somewhere that if your blog is mostly your own ramblings, rather than links to other people’s, you probably need a dose of humility. Fortunately, keeps me on the humble side!

Buying fruit loose is generally cheaper than buying prepacked. Case in point – I was in Sainsbury’s last week and saw a bag of 5 apples, ready packed, going for £1.99. I saw the same kind of apples being sold for £1.39/kg loose. I thought I’d try something, so picked out 5 apples, put them in a bag and went to the checkout. They came to £0.90(!) Over a pound cheaper than the prepacked! As an added bonus, they’re also a lot fresher – crisper and tastier! (Although I guess the latter is a little subjective and might be coloured by my feeling of self-satisfaction!)

Finally, the Sony Ericsson w910i rocks! A few weeks ago, I’d contacted my mobile operator with the intention of changing my tariff to something which would suit my needs better. I’d succeeded in increasing the number of free minutes and texts, whilst paying the same monthly rate, and the operator mentioned I was eligible for a free upgrade of my phone as well. Initially I was offered the Motorola K1 KRZR, but after a week of sending texts to the wrong people, finding the keypad irritating and generally being frustrated by the unresponsiveness of the software, I sent it back and was sent the w910i. Needless to say, because my previous phone was also an SE, I got on with the interface without hitch, the hardware is much higher build quality and it’s a whole lot more responsive than the Motorola! The fact it has a beautiful screen and plays mp3s is an added bonus!

I’m sure my face wasn’t designed for this!

One of those evenings where I was, rather painfully, reminded that I wear contacts for playing football for a reason! After I got the ball in the face a couple of times, I was glad I wasn’t perching a pair of glass lenses on my nose!

It’s really cold as well. (Almost completely unrelated, but it was!!!)

Evangelical vs Evangelistic

As I  watch the TV, when I talk with others, I find it irksome when words are misused. One of my pet peeves is the misuse of the words evangelical and evangelistic.

From context, you can usually guess which of the two a person meant to say, yet it would be nice if they used the right one in the first place instead of relying on error correction in the listener!

For the record, an evangelical is a Christian who holds to a particular theology, with a strong emphasis on the Bible as the word of God and the gospel (the ‘evangel’) of Jesus Christ contained therein. Something like the basis of faith from the Evangelical Alliance is fairly representative.

Whereas an evangelist is a Christian who seeks to tell the gospel (the ‘evangel’ to all. So they both have similar roots word, but are different in meaning.

With this in mind, it’s possible to be an evangelical and not an evangelist (although it shouldn’t happen!), or an evangelist but not an evangelical. Ideally, an evangelical should also be an evangelist.

In the beginning was the Word

I appear to be waving my church history flag again…

There was a (surprisingly) good documentary on Channel Four on Bank Holiday
Monday evening called The Bible Revolution about the origins of the first translations of the Bible into English. Not only does it speak about the Bible translations in a very vivid and accurate way, it shows how these actions shaped English language and thought.

If you didn’t see it, C4 has it on their web site for download.

Go to:

Sign up, and then look for the documentary called “The Bible Revolution”.

Be warned, it’s huge – about 750MB, so only really a reasonable
proposition if you have a broadband connection. Worth seeing though.

Sexual orientation

Is it me, or have I missed something here? All of a sudden (or maybe not, depending on how perceptive I am), it would appear that homosexuality is no longer considered to be a lifestyle choice, but a state of being. In other words, it would seem to be accepted that people, rather than choosing how to express their sexuality, are either born homosexual or not .

Did I miss the great scientific articles detailing this? Do the people I know, who have had homosexual relationships in the past, but are now happily married (heterosexual monogamy), denying their very being? (And I’m not talking about teenagers with hormones all over the place, but those in middle age.)

I understand why the laws on sexual and racial discrimination are in place – you are born a certain gender, and of a certain ethnicity. Even then, a hostel may legally discriminate on gender, allowing only females to stay, or a bus might be designated for females only. We understand that there are differences between the genders, as well as similarities. Why should those who have chosen a particular lifestyle be given greater rights than those who are born a certain gender? If the Sexual Orientation Regulations come into force, a hostel would not be allowed to refuse a homosexual couple a double bed, even if it offers two single beds instead.

Surely, before we even consider passing legislation on sexual orientation discrimination, we should determine whether sexual orientation is more than just a lifestyle choice?

Walking, walking walking

Went rambling along the North Downs, starting at Silent Pool, through Shere, down to Albury and back to where we started. It’s been a while since we’d been rambling, and today was perfect. The scenery was magnificent, with leaves in varying stages of colour, bathed in warm Autumnal sunshine, with clear blue skies to boot. The walk was a good length and I came home with a good clean air change in my lungs.

The evening was spent with the usual suspects in Battersea Park to view fireworks and other traditional events commemorating the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. Unlike last year, the evening was dry, cold and clear – perfect. 🙂

A good day.