Friday, April 22, 2005

Technical support is closed

I've been talking to my mother by phone about her email and stuff. It's tough, describing windows and buttons in words, but doing technical support is one of the perils of being a techie.

But now I'm about to stop for the night... If you're reading this, "Hi Mum!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

It seems there is a new Pope. Benedict XVI, he'll be called.

"Presumably it's not going to be Cardinal Ratzinger," I said at the start of the process.
"The head of the Inquisition!"
I got that one wrong. Just as well I'm not a pundit ;-)

He seems a bit of a hardliner who, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the new name for the Inquisition), silenced dissenting theologians. It will be interesting to see how he deals with challenges from those who question traditional (if peripheral) dogmas like priestly celibacy, the ban on birth control, the exclusively male priesthood, or papal infallibility, as well as more clearly moral issues like abortion.

I wonder if he'll want to comment on issues like the "christianisation" of Europe and the proposed constitution, or on the admission to the EU of its first moslem country, Turkey, or on globalisation, or the War On Terror.

Finally, I'm wondering how Northern Ireland's political and religious figures (Ian Paisley, for instance) will react to the head of the Inquisition running the Catholic church. It has become fashionable to apologise for the past - will there be calls for apologies for the crimes of the Inquisition?

There's no Door!

Even as I speak, my front door is being replaced. The joyriders damaged the frame on Good Friday while they were bashing the glass with their rock, so I need a whole new frame. Right now I'm working from home (OK, technically I seem to be taking a short break) while the repairs happen.

It may be sunny out there, but with no front door the house is freezing! A nice hot mug of coffee, perhaps? And maybe some more layers of winter clothes...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Out with the old

Rhapsody in metallic mustard

This is the courtesy car, but I don't have it any more. My car has been fixed, and is back on the road. They even sprayed it with that new car smell spray that garages have!

Apparently a true blogger would feel compelled to mention a "w00t" now, whatever one of those is ;-)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Up to the North Coast


Amazing shapes

At the Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway is down there somewhere

You have to go - it's in the rules!

Monday, April 11, 2005

New toys, or not

I got a new toy today :) I am now the proud owner of a shiny new wireless router. I'm typing this on a cabled connection into the back of it... I really must configure the wireless link soon!

I nearly ended up with a 1G memory card for my camera as well, but when it came to the checkout they wanted £17 for delivery to Northern Ireland. For something that could be posted for less than 50p, I think that's a bit excessive - so no memory card for me, and no money for the website. There's not a lot of point in moaning here, so I moaned to them as well. Maybe they'll reply... hey, it could happen!

Is it just laziness that makes companies think it's somehow OK to charge crazy money to deliver here?

But I've an early start, so I need to sleep. I'll only be able to get so much sleep during tomorrow's meetings, after all!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Are they colour blind at Renault?

After a few days of will we - won't we write off the car, the repairers decided to fix it. That's bad, because I don't get to use my special insurance against getting ripped off by the insurance company to claim the whole purchase price of the car. But it's good, because I can get a courtesy car and be mobile right away. Or so I thought...

Apparently they didn't have any cars. It must be accident and theft season or something out there, but all their cars were being used. I rang them back the next day, and the story wasn't much better. But wait...

"Can you drive an automatic?"
"Well we do have a car then"

Good, I thought. Maybe I'll get a nice one.

I managed to scrounge a lift to the garage (thanks, Phu!) and collected my car. Let me say right away that it's great to be mobile again. And the folks at the garage were wonderfully helpful and efficient. But it's an interesting car - I didn't know you could get automatics that small. And a couple of scrapes and a radio that doesn't quite work are a small price to pay for being mobile - I wouldn't have wanted to wait for another day or two while they tidied everything up.

Driving an automatic again is odd - I keep stamping on the floor where the clutch should be, and reaching for the gears as I pull out of junctions. It's going to be an interesting week...

So if you see a small and slightly battered-looking Clio in the next week or so, with writing on the side, and a body colour that can best be described as metallic mustard (are they colour blind at Renault?) look out -- it's likely to be me!

And if the wipers come on as I approach a junction, I'm probably about to turn. You have been warned.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Think of the Children

Support the IETF initiative on morality in internet standards!

Far superior to the previous flawed proposal for a warning evil bit.