Monday, 31 January 2005

Hello, I'm back, or at least I plan on being... just did a very brief update on my blog... will try and make it regular but probably not an every day thing anymore. Kinda in a dilemma of too much stuff I want to do to miss out on it by blogging about it... I have the same thing with taking photos on nights out, don't want to disrupt the natural flow of the evening by forcing people (or them doing it themselves) to pose and thus break it up... guess I'm just not destined to be a photo person...
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Thursday, 27 January 2005

A more frustrating start to the week, with the dreaded cuckoo clocks taking centre stage.

Monday was OK, I managed to get the cuckoo clock in beat (even tick-tock so it will keep going properly). The quality of the mass-produced tat is appalling and my personal recomendation is if you must buy a cuckoo clock, only buy a high-quality one.

Tuesday started badly, David had forgotten that neither Trevor or Norman were coming in and so myself, and the other two staff members were standing out in the cold wind for the best part of a hour. Once we finally got in Trevor called to say that I needed to do a little more work on the cuckoo clock which he had mostly finished off Monday evening. I did the adjustment but then the cuckoo clock started to malfunction again. By 11:30 my temper was beginning to fray, so I moved onto other work.

Wednesday was OK, Two of my E-bay items had sold, but I discovered that the newly-fitted smoke detector was too sensitive, and was triggered by me grilling a beefburger to the point of starting to cook. The only way to shut it off was to unplug it. I think I may need to unplug it whenever I'm cooking, and reconnect it whenever I'm sure the thing won't go off!

Today seemed OK, but for some reason I felt rather frustrated. My repainted clock hands from yesterday had come out well and it was a half day.

One bit of rather good news for me is that now that I have a proper residents account, I can actually use the Internet and download stuff to a CD, but as was recently discovered keeping my anti-virus software up to date is quite and good idea.
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Thursday, 20 January 2005

A interesting start to the week, I finally got the go-ahead to assemble a mechanical to quartz conversion, and with some help from Trevor was able to get it done to my satisfaction.
I started to work on an American clock of the standard this-was-never-designed-to-be-serviced. I was quite happy to discover that I was able to bush the most awkward holes with a little creative thinking. FYI; Bushing is restoring the worn-out holes in the clock plate so that the gears spin freely again.
Matt, my co-worker was feeling a little ill this week and went home early on Monday to Wednesday, while I missed the company, It was nice to have the workshop to myself for a change.
The next job I did was a part-job to replace the lines for silencing the strike and chime hammers, hampered by the fact that I couldn't remove the clock from the case because the die-cast heads of the mounting screws had disintegrated.

I put a few Playstation games and Strategy Guide up for sale on E-bay, I hope I'll get a nice amount towards a hopefully forthcoming PC upgrade.
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Thursday, 13 January 2005

Finally had my long overdue resident's review, I spend most of the time talking and as usual rather surprised the staff member with my far-traveled history.

Afterwards I used the new cooking stuff for the first time and made a batch of raspberry flapjacks, although I think I overcooked them since they were a bit dry. Oh well, not bad for my first baking attempt with a cheap plug in oven.

I had a bit of a breakthrough at work, some of my platform-regulated clocks had been consistently gaining despite attempts adjust them. It was suggested that I use a spring one size smaller to power the time train (no jokes, that's the actual term) and it seems to be working. However another clock I started on recently had a spring in the chime train that was under two-thirds of the size it should have been, despite that the clock seems to be a reasonable shape.
My colleague Matt has set a new bushing record for the shop of 35 bushes, that's almost every one in the plates and both ends of every spring barrel. I'm just glad I didn't get that one!

It's nice to be back in Exeter, you can't beat spending time with my family but it's nice to be home again.
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Saturday, 8 January 2005

Mark has another think.

Popped over to Lisa's blog to leave a message to the effect that I'd had a stab at answering her question, but Keir had already said:
Well, it's a question of opinion, not a dogma of faith. Theologians are still open on that question, and more importantly, so are the Catholic Bishops.
I've never met Keir, but I have no particular reason to distrust him that I can think of, so I thought "If it's still an open question then 'why did my church use a bidding prayer that talked about Mary's labour pains?!'", back at the start again.

So now I have a different answer. I still think that it's reasonable to assume that Mary suffered from labour pains, but, being informed that I have no particular reason to the defend the notion (should perhaps check it out - no offence to Keir), am equally happy to suppose that she didn't. Now as to the bidding prayer...

I didn't really think up this idea so much as apprehend it rather rapidly from a cursory google search; mightn't your prayer have been allegorical? I mean that, by looking about some of the language used about Mary the Mother of the Church, it's a pretty easy transition to make to see Mary's "labour pains" in your prayer actually as the afore-mentioned sword which Simeon prophesied, piercing her soul at Jesus' passion as she [articipates in the borth of the Church.

On the other hand, if it's new-fangled literalism on your church's part, perhaps you should kick nudge up a fuss.
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Wednesday, 5 January 2005

The Blessed Virgin Mary and labour pains

Mark does a religious post again.

Lisa says:
Perhaps someone clever could help me with this one[.] I thought that in Genesis, God gave Eve labour pains as a punishment for original sin... If Mary was born without original sin, then, she wouldn't have labour pains... So, why did my church use a bidding prayer that talked about Mary's labour pains?!
If I seem to be saying that I'm clever, it's the fault of Lisa's phrasing.

By the same token, Simeon could not have prophesied that "a sword [would] pierce [her] own soul too", neither could Jesus have made expiation for our sins, they not being his to expiate. But I don't think we really have a paradox on our hands.

I expect you're fairly reconciled to the notion
that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
The injustice of life is a long-standing truism anyway. Unless Mary was specifically protected by God, she obviously will have suffered under illness and the like. And - I just browsed my CCC to double-check this part - though sin is a personal act, it does damage beyond the person; to God most obviously, but to mankind in general, thus Mary. On the other hand, it doesn't do to get too used to the idea:
The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel."
Still, we know that Jesus himself was tested just as other men are, and took our sins on himself, and this was surely a necessity in the plan of salvation. It would be very surprising therefore, if the Virgin Mary, the most blessed creature of God, but still a creature should somehow become more "aloof" from sin than God himself.
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
And similarly, the works of God are shown in the life of Mary who, though sinless by the grace of God, suffered as the whole of creation does, but remains obedient to our Lord.

Howzat? You wouldn't believe how long that took me to write - my computer kept crashing.
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