Sunday, May 28, 2006

Littlest Update

We had quite an adventure on Friday, with our littlest going into hospital for a wee operation. I think it was more traumatic for mum, but we all survived, and it all passed off peacefully.

Anyway, she was supposed to rest for 24 hours, she probably managed 2.4 hours, so I suppose that's something. Her hearing seems to be a lot better, although she has some habits that will take some time to shake, like watching lips, and I also think she has a habit of not listening (you know, what your teachers always told you - there was nothing wrong with the hearing, its the listening that's at fault).

We are able to see an improvement, and that's good. She is also completely unscathed by the whole ordeal - she seems to think of it more as an adventure. The nurses thought the anesthetic had had a funny affect on her, they said she was very talkative; we managed to reassure them this was perfectly normal.

Thanks to all for all the concern and your support.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Thank You

So, to the producers of Lost I say "Thank You."

At last we get a few answers. More questions are opened up, enough for an intriguing Season 3.

Caution: Look away now..

Finally, we get to see Desmond, how he got to the island, to the hatch and how he began to push the button. We got to see Kelvin, his predecessor, and hear his story.

Finally we see the countdown go to zero, and see the real consequences.

Finally Michael has to own up to what he did.

Finally we discover that there is a way off the island, bearing 325 degrees.

We get to see that Henry is an important person. We see that the camp is fake, and it seems the others live elsewhere

We have the promise that Jack, Kate and Sawyer will be taken to wherever the others actually live. We find out that Mr Friendly's name is Tom, and that the survivors shouldn't really be told that.

We already suspected that the island was somehow invisible to the rest of the world, more confirmation this episode. Except for the EMP.

What of Mr Eko, Locke and Desmond? Where do the others live? What do they want with the 3 hostages? What was the light/sound? The one footed, four toed statue? Where did Sayid end up? What was with that bird?

In Season 3 I think we will find out more about "the others." Maybe there will be a search for the island resulting from the EMP detection. I loved that scene switch to polar conditions, that was fantastic, and a nice ending to the episode too. After the poor ending in season 1, I think I may actually be tuning in on October 4th, when 3x01 airs...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Little ears

It's (apparently) a traumatic time for our household, as our littlest goes into hospital for an operation tomorrow. I say apparently because it hasn't really worried me much, I've never been all that convinced that worrying has much influence over these situations.

Hopefully all will go well, and we'll have a fixed little one soon.

If any of you happen to know the Creator, and are on personal terms, we would appreciate if you could have a word....

24 Season 5

I have to say I was really enjoying and badly addicted to 24, season 5 until 3 episodes before the end.

At the end of 5x21 there was another one of those "it nearly finished, but not quite," and to be honest I had just about had enough twists. I just wanted it to be over.

SWMBO however thought it was fantastic right to the very end, which was incidently a departure from the normal 24 ending....

Anyhoo I'm just about to watch the last 2 episodes of Lost season 2 - all we can do is hope that its a departure from the Season 1 "worst season ending ever."

Monday, May 15, 2006

New TV

So we finally got our new TV, which I had ordered as a result of birthdays passing, and its great.

The problem with it is that its too good. TiVo with composite out is no good, and my amp doesn't do RGB, or composite to component conversion.

I had already ordered a component lead for the XBOX, and it works great. I had read on the TiVo community forum that it was possible to modify settings in one of the output FPGAs to change the output from RGB + composite to component. It requires a setting to be applied on startup, and more interestingly a lead to be created.

I found a good article on it, got the iron out and managed to make up the lead as described. I plugged it in, and voila - it worked first time.

I did however spend an evening trying to get the colours correct, but thats another story.

My amp does switch component, 2x component in to 1 output, so I set about changing the settings to make it work like before. I have to say, that amp is the most difficult thing I have ever had to set up, input -> output mapping is really annoying. The thing that gets me most is the lack of buttons - they use the same buttons for a variety of things, meaning you have to be careful with the order you press the buttons. Why don't they just put ethernet, and a simple web server? Even a serial connection.....

Anyway, got it all sorted in the end, and its a great job - both sources are set up audio and video through the amp. I am content.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Getting elder

The past week or two has been an odd time for me. At least two of those "once in a lifetime" events have occurred.

Firstly there was my Birthday, I'm getting older. I know they come every year, but it was a biggie, you know, an age that ends in a '0' - the reader may speculate as to the preceding digit(s). I don't really get that bothered about these things, but everyone seems to think that birthdays are exciting, especially ones that are multiples of 10, the arbitrary base of our numbering system. I'll only be this age once.

Secondly, and perhaps most peculiarly, I'm getting elder, or more accurately I'm in the process of becoming an elder. The fellowship to which I belong has recently decided that three new elders should be appointed, and so the process began. I was notified last week that I had been selected along with another person to be one of two new elders. This did not come as a complete shock as I had been pre-warned of the likelihood of this happening, but it was still a surprise, and a concern.

Many people seem to think that eldership is something that you earn, but that is just a dangerous misconception. Others recognise that it isn't earned, but still see it as a "promotion" in the church. Most people I talked to after the meeting of our Church on Sunday congratulated me, which I was a little troubled by, because I didn't do anything worthy of congratulations, although I suspect their motivation was innocent, and they were just trying to communicate their support as I take on this role.

I see the position as elder not as a promotion, or elevated status, but as a responsibility. A huge
responsibility. I feel truly unworthy of this responsibility. It is also a great opportunity, or probably will present me with many opportunities to influence the direction of the church, and also individuals, and I think that is one of the biggest responsibilities.

I have thought extensively, prayed and talked to friends about this and I believe this is where the Lord wants me to be, although it is well outside my comfort zone, so I have offered my acceptance. This is what faith is for.

There are a few formalities to get through yet, so it is possible that this rollercoaster ride will
crash, but that is in the hands of God.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A busy evening

Today I had arranged to meet a guy at lunchtime to pick up a cachecard for my TiVo. So part of the afternoon was spent reading about the steps to install that, in preparation for a busy evening.

Arrived home, and wolfed tea down, and then off to pick up SWMBO's new car. Over to Richard Patterson Motors again, where it was parked, waiting, ready to make its first trip to a new home.

When we arrived home it was time to get the kids to bed, and then start pulling apart the TiVo. Thankfully I'm not exactly what you'd call an "early adoptor," so hardware and software tends to be out years before I get round to trying it (the TiVo I bought was in the last available commercial sale of TiVos in the UK (cost £99)). Turbonet, Airnet and now cachecard have all been out for a long time, which means there are some great tutorials out there on how to install them. I used one from Steve Conrad

I had to unlock my TiVo drive again, and about 20 minutes installed the drivers. Simple. Then the playing began. The tut I followed enabled FTP and Telnet access, so I could immediately transfer files etc, and log in. A few settings to make the environment a little friendlier (like the installation of the 'ls' command), and then the real fun could begin.

Once I got the TiVo operational again, and was happy that it didn't need any more surgery, I replaced the cover and let SWMBO fix on eastenders, while I worked away at it remotely.

Being Tuesday it meant a fresh ep of 24 was available, so obviously I had to take a break to see that (5x20)

After that I continued to play with TiVoWeb and some of the great modules available for that. I finished up at 2am having played around with endpad for a while.....