Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Looks like a good season............

I am going skiing at the end of next week.

Now those of you who pay attention to such things will know that last year was a bit of a disappointment in terms of snow, there was not very much of it and nothing on the lower slopes.

This years is hopefully going to be different - they have snow right down to valley level. See here or here or here or here.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Plethora of Facebook Walls

On Facebook one of the things you can do is use customised applications.

Some of these are handy as they allow you to link into other things like Yahoo 360, Flickr, LinkedIn or My Flight Memory.

One of the annoying things is there is a number of replacement walls (super wall, fuwall etc) that people keep sending me messages on requesting an install on. I don't want multiple walls on my facebook profile. If you want to leave a message just use the default wall!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

All aboard for free travel in Coventry

People turning 60 in Coventry will be able to apply for their free travel pass on their doorstep thanks to a revolutionary new application service being launched in the city on 03 December.

West Midlands public transport developer, Centro-WMPTA has teamed up with Coventry City Council to launch a new Check & Send facility across the city to make it easier for people to apply.

In a UK first, the service will be available on board the Coventry Direct Express bus, a one stop shop that travels into the heart of the city’s communities to give residents help and advice on a wide range of services.

People approaching their 60th birthday can hop on the bus or visit one of the council's one-stop shops to apply for their free travel pass. This gives them free use of buses, trains and trams in the West Midlands, and, from 01 April 2008, local buses across England too.

Trained advisors will help people fill out their forms and check they are correct, helping to ease the worry of making mistakes and delaying the application.

Their form will be sent back to Centro-WMPTA free of charge where it will be processed. A new pass will land on their door mat within four weeks of them applying.

Public transport information and advice, including personalised journey plans, timetables and details of ticket ranges will also be available.

Coventry’s two main Post Offices will stop producing travel passes on the 01 January 2008, when Check & Send will completely take over.

Cllr Andrew Williams (Con, Bablake), lead member for Coventry for Centro-WMPTA said: "Free travel passes often provide a lifeline to senior citizens by making it easier for them to access healthcare and shops, and visit family and friends."

"By moving the application service to Check & Send centres, applying for one of these key passes has never been more straightforward. It gives people a much wider choice of where to apply, taking the service into the heart of communities together with the help and travel advice they need."

Cllr Heather Johnson (Con, Woodlands), Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member responsible for customer services said,

"Our one-stop shops are about making it easier for people to use the services they want and need, close to home. Joining forces with Centro-WMPTA will help us improve the range of services available and help make a difference to local people."

An added benefit to Check & Send is that all photos will be electronically scanned. This means if people lose their pass they can simply call Centro-WMPTA and have a replacement sent straight to their home, instead of them having to go through the process of getting new photos and reapplying.

The Coventry Direct Express bus will take Check & Send to nine different locations every week - Radford, Holbrook, Holyhead Road, Hillfields, Quinton Park, Wyken, Willenhall, Courthouse Green and Canley.

The service will also be available at one-stop shops in Tile Hill Library, Bell Green Library and the Barley Lea, and the Coventry Direct outlet in Stoke Aldermoor.

People can go to a Check & Send centre a month before they turn 60 to ensure they have their pass in time for their birthday.

Importantly, people who become 60 in January 2008 will need to apply for their pass during December if they want to travel for free from their birthday. People whose 60th birthday is during December should still apply at the Post Office.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

HM Revenue and Customs data loss

So HM Revenue and Customs have lost a data disc containing a list of all Child Benefit claimants that they sent by post to the National Audit Office via unrecorded post.

Beyond the obvious question of why it was not sent via recorded delivery several questions spring to mind.

Firstly since the NAO requested that bank account details be removed from the data before sending and HMRC didn't want to spend money on doing this, (See here) you have ask what is going on in their IT department. It would not have been hard to do something like DELETE sortcode, accno FROM exportedtable; would it?

Secondly why were they sending an extract on disc anyway? Could the data not have been transferred electronically down a secured link? Or even better, could a secure link not have been set up with an appropriately secured view to allow the NAO to access the data direct from the HMRC server?

Perhaps I should offer them some consultancy.

It seems to me that there is complete lack of process procedure in place. Paul Gray, the civil servant in charge has resigned - are any of the politicians in charge of the department going to do the same?

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

ESTJ

Interestingly every time I have done one of these tests it comes out the same.

You Are An ESTJ

The Guardian

You're a natural leader and quick, logical decision maker.
Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to acheive them.
You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities.
Your high energy level means you are great at getting things done!

In love, you tend to bring stability to relationships.
You feel comfortable being in charge, and you enjoy being a provider.

At work, you take charge. You thrive in structured environments and don't mind enforcing the rules.
You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

How you see yourself: Realistic, stable, and pragmatic

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Rigid, bound to rules, and a bad listener

Friday, 26 October 2007

Website Launch - Accommodation Coventry

A website I have developed for a customer has gone live today.

It is for advertising rental property in Coventry. For those techies among you it was developed in php with all the back end data held in MySql. It has an web based admin interface so my client can update the pages and database without knowing anything about websites or databases.

Take a look at http://www.accommodationcoventry.com/

Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Feast of St Michael and All Angels (transferred)

Those of you in the ecclesiastical know will realise that it is currently Michaelmas.

As such, at Coventry Cathedral being offically The Cathedral and Parish Church of Saint Michael, Coventry we celebrated the patronal festival. and I were serving. Canon Adrian Daffern celebrated the Mass and not only did it in his normal excellent style, but also sung the the Eucharistic prayer. Wonderful. The Cathedral should do this more. Fr Adrian even agreed with me that we should have had some smoke.

After High Mass (or the Cathedral Eucharist as it is officially called) we went to Whitefriars for lunch and a few beers.

Following this we moved on to Mary Mags where and I were Acolytes for the joint Churches Together in Earlsdon and Chapelfields joint service. It was excellently done (which is something that can not be said normally for ecumenical endeavours.) I think out new Parish Priest, Canon David Robinson is beginning to sort things out. Hooray. We even had asperging after the renewall of Baptismal Vows.

So we may have had a unsuitable appointment as Archdeacon, but at least even in this Diocese some things are done well.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

New Archdeacon of Coventry

The new Archdeacon of Coventry has been announced

It is to be The Revd Canon Ian Watson.

Now this has always been an evangelical diocese, but in recent years we have seen a lack of balance of churchmanship in appointments - witness the appointment of Fr John Irvine as Dean of Coventry where he has been shoving Alpha down everyones throat at the Cathedral ever since. (and many other things I will not go on about here!)

I always suspected that when our previous Archdeacon (who was Catholic) they would replace him with an evangelical.

So was I right? I have never heard of Fr Ian before his appointment so I thought I would look him up.

He is currently Chairman of the Intercontinental Church Society - an evangelical mission agency.
He studied at Wycliffe.

Oh well no surprise there for this diocese. We can only live in hope that this will be balanced by our new Bishop being Catholic when My Lord Colin Coventry retires at the end of this year.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Almost right....

OK I thought I would try one of these quiz things.

It is almost right I am a Catholic, just not a Roman Catholic

I'm not quite sure how it calculates scores and things. Also I don't think there is enough types of descriptions.

Anyway here are my results :-


You scored as Roman Catholic, You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic

75%

Neo orthodox

68%

Modern Liberal

39%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

36%

Emergent/Postmodern

36%

Classical Liberal

29%

Reformed Evangelical

14%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

11%

Fundamentalist

4%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Coventry Hospital Car Parking

The Coventry Evening Telegraph are reporting that following a meeting with Coventry's Labour MPs that the widely opposed Parking Fees will not come into affect.

What I want to know is whether the Labour Government is giving any more money to the hospital to stop the funding crisis that caused the Hospital Trust to prospose implementinting the fees anyway. Or perhaps they want to take the credit for solving the problem (General Election in the offing perhaps?) and leave their colleague Labour City Councillor Phil Townshend, the chairman of the hospital trust, to be their fall guy?

I do hope Messrs Cunningham, Robinson and Ainsworth are going to accept responsibility for the fact that they as Labour MPs hold responsibility for the ridiculous situation in the first place.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

New Bus Shelters in the North East of Coventry

Bus users in the North East of Coventry are to get new state-of-the-art stopping facilities as part of a series of bus route improvements.

Councillors on Conservative controlled regional transport body Centro-WMPTA have approved £35,000 of funding to install seven new bus shelters and six new stop poles in the Woodway Park and Potters Green area of the city.

It means that even if this summer’s wet weather is a sign of things to come, bus passengers don’t need to have dampened spirits as they will be able to wait for the bus in comfort, protected from the weather, when the new shelters are put in.

The upgraded facilities are part of the Potters Green - Woodway Lane Showcase Spur, which will also include highways improvements by Coventry City Council.

These will provide easy access kerbs to make boarding the bus easier, and junction improvements including road widening and new traffic signals at the crossroads of Woodway Lane and Ansty Road.

The Showcase Spur will also link up the two key PrimeLines routes on Henley Road and Ansty Road – all part of a much wider project to provide improvements to bus facilities throughout Coventry.

The new shelters will be able to house Real Time Information displays telling passengers exactly how many minutes until their next bus will arrive. These will be installed when all the Coventry PrimeLines shelters are in place.

Cllr Andrew Williams, Lead Member for Coventry on Centro-WMPTA and a Conservative Councillor in Coventry said, “As a bus user myself I know that the quality of bus shelters and stops is very important to passengers and in Centro-WMPTA’s campaign to make public transport more attractive in a bid to help cut congestion.

The upgrades to the Potters Green – Woodway Lane Showcase Spur will provide a more comfortable wait with better information and access to bus services for local residents and visitors to the area.”

Centro-WMPTA predicts that the shelters will start being installed in December, with a completion date of spring next year

Monday, 16 July 2007

Second Wedding Anniversary.

Today is the second anniversary of and I being married.

We took the train over to Hopfgarten and went up Hohe Salve. It is very hot here but at least it gets cooler as you go up the mountain.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Bishop of Rome is a Roman Catholic! No surprise there then.

The recent comments by the Bishop of Rome about how only RCism is the true church seems to have kicked up some debate on Ship of Fools.

I don't see what the fuss is about as this has always been the Church of Rome's attitude to Protestants. It is wrong and a shame of course but nothing new.

Of course since I am an Anglican and not a Protestant you might want to know why I am commenting on it, but of course Rome denies the validity of our orders with the 19th century document Apostolicae Curae. (The reposonse to which is the document Saepius Officio from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York)

There are those who claim the the RCs are the closest denomination to us are we should look for reunification with them, who will no doubt be disappointed with this news. Those who would prefer corporate reunion with Protestant denominations will no doubt use this to further those aims (such as unification with the Methodists)

In reality of course as a Reformed Catholic denomination, our closest denomination is the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, with whom, unsurprisingly as they are a Reformed Catholic denomination too, we are in full communion/have full intercommunion.

The interesting thing of that fact is that until the Old Catholics started ordaining women Rome considered their orders "Valid but Illicit" (I have no idea what their view is now.)

Now since Old Catholic bishops take part in the ordination of Anglican bishops (and vice versa) and we have a fully interchangeable ordained ministry between the two of us. Even if Apostolicae Curae was valid (which of course it is not) Apostolic succession would have returned. Since Apostolicae Curae is wrong and therefore the Anglican Communion has always has valid order this is irrelevant in real life, but could be an interesting theoretical debate.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Vacancy in the See of Coventry

The Lord Bishop of Coventry has announced he is retiring at the end of the year.

In The Church Times this week there is a advert requesting people to suggest names. I am going to suggest :-

The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke
The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury
The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Harry Potter - Latest Book

I notice that Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows comes out on the 21st July.

I remember when the last book came out the of my and 's wedding and I remember the queues of people outside the bookshops and a certain bridesmaid reading it at any chance she had during the day!

I note that at the time of writing Amazon have it for half price - £8.99 instead of £17.99. See here

Monday, 9 July 2007

C++

Have not posted for a while.

I am very busy programming in C++ an application for a customer.

I like C++

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Austria

Currently enjoying a bit of hill walking in Austria.

Weather has been (until today) good. Though we had a bit of a problem getting here due to plane with a faulty fuel pump. See 's blog for more details.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Bournemouth

I have just spend 2 nights in Bournemouth at the CIPFA annual conference.

I have to say that attending a conference with a bunch of accountants was not as boring as some people might think! There were actually some quite good speakers.


Friday, 1 June 2007

In the interests on Ecunemism................

.......... I present a new first verse to On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry

On Jordan's bank the Baptists cry
If I were Baptist, so would I
They do not drink, they have no fun
I'm glad that I'm an Anglican!

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Freezer

The new freezer arrived today.

Those of you who read 's blog will now that Comet refused to deliver our Fridge Freezer because they "were not allowed to carry it up the stairs."

I cancelled the order with them and will never order anything from Comet again and advise other people to boycott them as well.

I ordered a new Freezer from Currys and they had it up the stairs and the old one out in less than five minutes.

I think this says a lot about the service level at Comet - I think their delivery drivers could not be bothered to carry the freezer up two flights of stairs so made up some excuse.

I trust you will all bear this in mind next time any of you who read this journal should you need to replace any electrical goods.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Western Companies Helping Opression

Apparently Yahoo is now being sued (in the USA) for helping the Chinese Government to jail a man.

See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/19/yahoo_china_sued/

Yahoo say that they must comply with local laws. So thats OK to stop free speech, they were just obeying orders.

The so called "Peoples" Republic of China may be pretending to move to a western capatlist system, but it is still an autocratic communist dictatorship at heart.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Maunday Thursday and Good Friday at Coventry Cathedral

Evening of Maunday Thursday and I served at the Footwashing, Mass of the Institution of the Lords Supper and Stripping of Altars. It all went pretty well though I am sure number are down on 10 years ago when I first started attending.

On Friday i went to the Liturgy of Good Friday and they had the full Trissagon and Reproaches which they have not done for a number of years

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Chrism Mass at Coventry Cathedral

Was serving at the Chrism Mass at Coventry Cathedral this morining. It went fairly reasonably.

It is the first time I have done it for a number of years and unfortunatly there have been some retograde changes. It used to be done at the High Altar, but they use a "coffee table" (nave altar) instead.

The clergy all used to wear Alb (or at least a surplice) and stole but now they just wear street clothes - and some of them did not wear their dog collars.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Fr Jeffrey John and Penal Substituionary Atonement

The Dean of St Albans, The Very Rev'd Jeffrey John has been criticised by the Bishop of Durham over a radio broadcast where he criticised Penal Substituionary Atonement (PSA). There is a discussion thread on Ship of Fools.

I think it is right during Holy Week when our thoughts turn to the Cross that Fr Jeffrey is raising these points and asking us to consider them.

I don't see what the problem is. PSA is not a defining Christian belief sespite the fact that many people believe it to be so.

My major problem with PSA is that it leaves you with a bloodthirsty Father who requires the spilling of blood for justice to be served. That is not in line with the image of a loving God.

So what was the the purpose of the Passion of Our Lord? It was of course so that we might all have eternal life - but that does not necessarily imply PSA. Christ defeated death upon the cross so that we might all live. I find that this (Christus Victor rather than PSA) is a much clearer logical explanation of that what and where by of the death of Christ and implies more grace than legalism. Of course we can never be fully aware or fully understand all the implications of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Lord as the events themselves are so awesome.

The freezer is apparently very broken and is beyo...

The freezer is apparently very broken and is beyond repair.

A new freezer is on order. It was not as much as I was thinking it would cost either.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.

I was thurifer at the Cathedral.

The Sub-dean was acting as deacon, and I had to teach him before the service what to do with the thurible to cense the book of gospels. He seemed to enjoy it and would like to be celebrant at a Mass when incense is used.

Service went well except for the Precentor putting on so much incense before the gradual and them pressing it down to compact it that he starved the charcoal of Oxygen putting it out. I had to spend the sermon cleaning the fusued together charcoal/incense mix out and relighting it. And he was at Staggers too.

Unfortunatly they were using the abomination unto the Lord known as a nave altar, though the Precentor did agree afterwards that it was a bit cramped and we should the used the High Altar. I did suggest next year it should be not only at the High Altar but celebrated Eastward facing too, but he told me not to push it!!!!!

The Dean was there too and for some reason wore a scarf rather than a stole. He also didn't speak to all to me even though I was virtually standing next to him after the service. Maybe having had a lighted thurible in my hand makes me too Catholic and unsaved or something!

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Snow

It is snowing here. It is a complete waste as there are no mountains to ski on!

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Yesterday

Yesterday was the feast of Charles Stuart, King and Martyr. At Low Mass as Mary Mags I am pleased to say it was properly observed with red vestments and set readings and collect from CCP. I am also pleased to report that the Celebrant, who has in the past refused to wear a Chasuble, not only wore a Chasuble but a Maniple too. We are obviously getting him trained. Now if only he would wear *black* clerical shirts rather than the blue striped one he had on! (Mind you I have seen him wear pink striped clericla shirts so I guess we must be thankfull for small mercies!)

After church we all went to the Nursery Tavern and I ended up translating the instruction on how to descale their coffee machine as they only had instructions in German!

is preaching for the first time this coming Sunday at the 10:00am Sung Mass at Mary Mags. Wish her luck!

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Back

Well got back from Austria last Monday.

Spent the rest of the week catching up with things including Full Council on Tuesday night and Scrutiny Board 1 on Wednesday.

Been busy working on a website too.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Snow!

It is snowing today.

and I went up the mountain early. At the top of Steinbergkogel it was a blizzard.

We only spent a couple of hours on the slopes as visibility was poor and a lot of lifts were closing because of storms.