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Going on (or off) Safari May 29, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Technology.
Tags: , , , ,

SafariSafari. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s Apple’s web browser, available for Mac or Windows. I’ve never used it on Windows so couldn’t possibly comment on it in a Windows environment. But on a Mac, it’s way cool and fast with it.

Until, that is, it comes to pdfs. If it’s a piffling small pdf it’s fine, no problem. But if it’s a big one, it struggles… and when Safari struggles with a pdf, it doesn’t let you get on with anything else. It seems Apple’s programmers have been unable to find a way for Safari to load a pdf in the background whilst you continue browsing in another tab or a new window: instead all the browser’s resources go into loading the pdf and you, the end user, are locked out. You can either wait… and wait… and carry on waiting… and hope that maybe, eventually, the pdf will load; or you can force quit Safari and conclude that maybe the pdf wasn’t important anyway.

So I’ve come up with my own Safari plug-in idea: the Safari PDF Warning:

Safari PDF WarningAs you can see, it introduces a new way of handling error messages: straight talking. The buttons — well, I’m kinda hoping that the ‘Cancel’ and ‘Press on regardless’  buttons are self-explanatory. The ‘Bugger’ button is multifunctional: it fires off a debug message to Apple’s Software Development Team, opens the page in Firefox, attempts to open it in Safari and launches the Force Quit dialogue box to make it easy for you to kill Safari when you eventually give up.

Unfortunately it’s only an idea rather than an actual plug-in. I’m living in hope that come the final version of Safari 4 — presently in Beta — Apple will have fixed the problem and my plug-in won’t be needed…

iBible: You know you want one! May 23, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Frivolity, Technology.

Found this via Brian Wurzell: nice one, Brian! Wild or what?

Follow Brian on twitter: @brianwurzell

Life: It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world May 9, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in News.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Title borrowed from MadPriest: thanks, mate! If you’ve not met MadPriest, you really ought to head on over there sometime; but preferably when you’ve finished here, not right now.

Two items of news broke yesterday:

1. The Charity Commissioners have, at last, taken action against the Brewer brothers and appointed an interim manager for the St Stephen the Great Trust: Brewers Skewered as Charity Commission Takes Action – Part 1

2. The new Bishop of Kensington formally announced that he was pulling the plug on Deanery Licensed Ministry as an option for ordination training in the area: Bishop Announces End of DLM Programme

The first made me want to whoop for joy: this is something that I and a group of others have been fighting for, praying for, for over two years. Mark and Phil Brewer are a pair of crooks who have been screwing over the former SPCK Bookshops in the supposed name of ‘Orthodox Mission’ ever since the SPCK board made the mistake of handing them over to them back in 2006. At last an outside agency is taking action!! If you’re new to the story, start here

The second, putting it rather less bluntly than my gut reaction, made me feel — let’s just say, a tad angry. The details of how I felt are unbecoming (oh, the joys of self-moderation!). If you happen to read this, my Lord Bishop, I do hope that you’ll take time to reflect upon the impact your approach to this matter is having, not merely upon us but more importantly upon the students currently training for Deanery Licensed Ministry, upon their families and the churches that have supported them in pursuing this calling.

Ironically, this too is something that has been part of my life for over two years, ever since Sue’s appointment as Director of Deanery Licensed Ministry. But ever since Bishop Michael, the former Bishop of Kensington, left the area to become a Residentiary Canon at St Paul’s — less than a year after Sue’s appointment — we’ve more or less known that it would come to this. But there’s a world of difference between standing on a railway line waiting for an approaching train and finally being hit by that train.

At first, there’s nothing coming: the railway line is as safe a place as anywhere else in the world; then you feel vibrations in the tracks, hear a noise in the distance; the train comes into sight over the horizon, a tiny speck in the distance; you’re aware of the danger, you want to move but somehow you can’t: your feet are stuck. Then it’s upon you, and it’s all over…

Except it isn’t. Sue and I are now in limbo. We’ve been in limbo for a while, but now it’s official. Where do we go from here?

As they say, watch this space; and please pray with us, for justice for the former SPCK bookshop workers, for those working in the remaining shops, and for wisdom for Sue, myself and all others affected by the demise of Deanery Licensed Ministry.

As I said, it’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world. Now, you can go visit MadPriest.

Here, in between May 6, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Theological Reflection.

This morning, my prayers fell apart.

In some ways, that’s not unusual: my prayer life is a little ragged at best. Often, as I’m walking along, attempting to pray, my mind wanders off in all sorts of strange directions. Sometimes I manage to grab hold of it and turn those wandering thoughts back to God and say to him (or her, but in my mind God is usually male so I’ll stick with ‘him’ for now), here’s what’s bothering me just now, and those odds & ends become part of my prayers.

But this morning, I came to a bit of a standstill. I opened my prayer book and read through the opening lines for ‘Prayer During the Day: Easter Season’:

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

“But what about now?” I thought. That’s fine, that you’re up there when I’m on a high, on the top of the world, looking down and around at the vastness of the universe. That’s fine that you’re there when I’m down, when I’m in the pits and all I can see is hills too steep and walls too high to climb and there’s no one else to turn to anyway. 

That’s fine.

But where are you now? Here, in between. Where are you now, when I’m here, on the side of the hill, when I’m like the soldiers in the ‘Grand Old Duke of York‘ and I’m neither up nor down?

Where are you now, in the hum-drum ordinariness of today, when the sun isn’t shining but the rain isn’t falling and there’s no rainbow promising that you won’t do it again — if you even did it in the first place?

Where are you now, my God? Here, in between, my imaginary friend…

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