Sunday, July 31, 2011

What are you?

Was the slightly misphrased question I was asked today ( the actual question was meant to be what have you been called as?).

The best answer I could think to respond to that was " I'm complicated".

It's been a bit of a bizare weekend. We had to take Owen to the vet's yesterday for his latest round of injections. Now it wasn't the vet that tends to be the problem, it's when he travels in the car he tends to go bezerk. I couldn't decide what ended up more covered in hair. The back seat or Grumpy!

He was okay in the vets mind you ( Owen not grumpy :-) until at one point he decided he wanted to get down from the table and we discovered that the table wasn't bolted to the floor, so we both had to try and grab the table, pull it upright and keep one unhappy dog firmly on it. Mind you considering what she had decided she needed to check I can kind of understand why he didn't want to be on that table any longer!

I was then down to go and do the cleaning at the chapel along with he rest of the YSA although as it turned out I was the only YSA to turn up. In fact I was the only person to turn up full stop. Although I did discover later that the two other members who were assigned to do the cleaning turned up in the afternoon instead.

c'est la vie I guess :-)

Anyway, it's Monday tomorrow, a start of a new month and a fresh week of opportunities ahead.

I guess we'll soon see if their exciting ones or boring one.

Later folks!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monkey Business

Quncy ( not the MD :-)

The goldfish and the alien

Challenge 1#

I remembered that my nephew had asked me to draw him Spongbob one time and my attempt looked kind of like a box with a couple of dots on it! Fortunatly I think my second attempt has worked a lot better :-)

The garden here at geektower

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You will rue this day. Well go on! Start rueing

So what do you wanna do tonight brain?

Increasing your talents

I've been recently looking for inspiration and for a new focus, because as well regular readers know if I don't have something to focus my energies on I tend to get very bored, very quickly.

Whilst cleaning out my room in preparation for upcoming redecoration ( I'm getting more and more convinced it's a tardis as there's no way a room that size could possibly hold this much stuff) I found a long forgotten set of drawing pencils .

Now I used to be fairly good at drawing ( and I've been sketching a little lately to entertain some of my nieces and nephews) but I've neglected this for a loonng time.

So I've decided that as your supposed to work on talents that this will be my new focus, to improve my drawing skills.

I'm starting simply right now as I'm limited myself to attempting to copy existing drawings (mainly cartoon characters at this point) and I'll expand as I go

so without further ado here are the first drawings from my brand new sketch pad. And in case you were wondering these are all free hand, no tracing at all.

I'll be posting more as I go along and if anyone has any suggestions of cartoon characters they want me to try let me know. I'll give it a try!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are they that out of ideas?

I was somewhat surprised to see a new advert hit the tv recently as it seems to show that maybe the top advertising minds of the country are finally running out of ideas.

Now the advert is for a toothpaste. Now I'm sure you're all now immediately thinking of all of the stereotypical ideas of advertising toothpastes. I.e insanely nice looking people, looking insanely together at stupid o clock in the morning whilst they gaze into mirrors with a somewhat unhealthy obessively long look at their teeth.

Well not this advert, they had basically ripped off the entire ending sequence for the movie love actually. But then again saying ripped off actually makes it sound like their trying to disguise the fact.

They have recreated the entire sequence in the airport.

However this is on a tv budget not a movie budget so it's not actually shot in a airport. In short in a studio with a very bad and cheap set. And not the kind of set which is so cheap and bad it's actually good.

And lets not forget the "actors" in the advert who look like they are supposed to be doubles for the actors in the movie. However of course lets not forget the tv budget as rather then hire actors who are actual doubles they only vaguely resemble the actors from the film. And by vaguely I think that the cloest one of them looks like is that she had long brown hair as well.

But it did make me wonder if this is the start of a trend. Are other companies going to start ripping off movies to advertise products or tv programs?

Will you see a double of Bruce willis jumping through a window to advertise staybright windows? Will a actress who barely resembles sandra bullock guide a coach down a street wrecking cars whilst somebody rues the day they didn't go to compare the market? Or will a elderly gentleman call in the cowbody builders program as the builders he hired left a massive whole in his new death star which makes it vulnerable to attack?

who knows?

Why you always need to check the instructions

( this is too funny not to relate)

Yesterday at work one of the girls was looking really tired, the sort of tired where your eyes are barely open and all you can see is thin "strip" of the persons eyes.

One of the other girls noticed this and offered her a "baroca" ( I don't know if that is spelt right) tablet saying it had vitamins and things in that would give her a real boost.

The first girl promptly puts the tablet in her mouth and in what seemed like under a second her eyes had changed from barely open to being fully open and saucer like. All that was missing was the steam coming out of her ears.

It was at this point the other goirl turned round and somewhat belately added
" By the way you need to disolve that in water"

suffice to say the first girl was not looked tired for the rest of her shift. She probably wasn't tired for the rest of the day! or the night :-)

The talk ( i gave last sunday in case anyone is interested)

Good morning Brothers and Sisters. I have been asked to speak to you today about the topic of tithing.

At work I have recently moved teams and found myself sitting near to a colleague who cottoned on pretty quickly that I was a church member when I turned down the offer of a tea or coffee on one of the regular drinks run’s during the day. “ Oh you’re one of thooossseee.” He said as he realised. However he has found the church to be a fascinating subject and will quite often ask me questions regarding the church in the odd spare moments between the general crazyness of life in customer service.
He was especially intrigued when I mentioned to him that I would be giving a talk today. When he asked the subject and I told him his response was of someone who wasn’t quite sure if I was pulling his leg or not

“ wait after tax, national insurance, student loan and pension you choose to do what with your money?!!” close quote

He pondered for a moment when I assured him that I wasn’t winding him up before coming back with his next question
“ So, is this what you guys started to do as it’s cheaper than keeping a second wife?”

No prizes for guessing the course of the next discussion.

For such an important principle how you pay tithing is actually very simple It’s a tenth of your increase, In fact this is actually in the definition of the word itself. A tenth. For those outside of our church it seems to be a common misunderstanding that the principle of Tithing is a something “new” . That is not in the case as even in Old Testament times, people tithed as it was part of the Law of
Moses and the prophet Malachi recorded the following words in Malachi 3.10

“ Bring ye all the tithes in the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts. If I will open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time”. Or in other words, when God’s people demonstrate their faithfulness by paying tithing, God responds by pouring out his spiritual blessings.

Tithing is often the most difficult day to day commandment to obey, requiring real spiritual and financial discipline to develop the habit and stay consistent. Many general authorities counsel that the best time for children to learn about Tithing is when they are young

Elder Dalin H Oaks related the following story about how he taught one of his children about Tithing in the may 1994 Ensign,

Parents are always looking for better ways to teach, and the results of their efforts are sometimes unexpected. Attempting to teach tithing to our young son, I explained the principle of a tenth and how it would apply to the eggs gathered in a chicken farm and the young calves or horses born in a breeding herd. When I finished what I was sure was a clear explanation, I wanted to test whether our seven-year-old had understood. I asked him to imagine that he was a farmer with a harvest of eggs and young animals. I supplied the figures and then asked our little boy what he would give to the bishop as tithing. He thought deeply for a moment and then said, “I would give him a very old horse.”

Of course these days we donate our tithing in the form of money as opposed, to animals or crops. A fact I’m sure the Ward clerk can appreciate.

Tithing has a special purpose as a preparatory law. In the early days of the Church, the saints were commanded to live the higher law of consecration- a law received by covenant. When this covenant was not kept great trials came upon the church. This law of consecration was then withdrawn and it’s in place on July 8, 1838 the law of tithing was revealed to the church. In D &C section 119: 3-4 it reads.

“And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
“… Those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever

Close quote.

Paying a full and honest tithe is also one of the commandments that qualify us by our faith to enter the temple. It was just over three months after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith during the construction of the Nauvoo Temple, that Brigham Young wrote on behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles “ Enter Steadily and regularly upon a strict observance of the law of tithing: Then come up to the house of the Lord and be taught in his ways and walk in his paths”

It’s easy to forget however that it’s not just ourselves who benefit from being able to enter the Temple, it’s our ancestors as well as we are able to receive the saving ordinances of the temple on their behalf. President John Taylor once said “ A Man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptised for his dead... If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his Friends”

From a temporal standpoint despite its simple and unchanging nature, giving a tenth of your increase can be very challenging. For many families it can be the biggest single outgoing of the month after mortgage payments. I have found it best summed up by Elder Robert D Hales when he stated “Tithing is a test of faith with eternal blessings”

No prophet in our dispensation has been more fervent in preaching the law of tithing then Heber J Grant. He frequently called upon the Church members to pay a full and honest tithe and made firm promises to those who did. In 1929 he said
““I appeal to the Latter-day Saints to be honest with the Lord and I promise them that peace, prosperity and financial success will attend those who are honest with our Heavenly Father. … When we set our hearts upon the things of this world and fail to be strictly honest with the Lord we do not grow in the light and power and strength of the gospel as we otherwise would do”

It is certainly no coincidence that he gave this statement in the very same month that the great depression started. During this stressful time many bishops noted that the members who paid their tithing were able to support their families better than those who did not. If saints during such a trying time can find the means to pay their tithing surely we can now as well. Indeed a common phrase I have heard among church members is not that “I can’t afford to pay tithing” but rather “ I can’t afford not to pay tithing”.

This statement always reminds of one fast Sunday when at the end of church I saw a member come charging back into the building with a great sense of urgency. I wondered if there was something wrong with the building? Was somebody ill? Had he lost one of the kids? I asked what was wrong

“I haven’t paid my tithing” he called back towards me as he disappeared off up the corridor.

As I have been preparing this talk I have found myself being able to explain more in depth to my friend about tithing, although some concepts he has found just a little odd. For example he asked just how big the plate was we passed around in our meetings as he had in his mind the stereotypical view of church donations. I explained that we pay tithing privately. He then asked the next question of what is tithing used for?

Well that is an easy question to answer as see one of the most obvious blessings of tithing every Sunday. In fact we’re sitting in it. Tithing is used for the construction and upkeep of Temples, Chapels, welfare efforts, educational and the missionary programs. Some people can find the seemingly plain nature of our chapels strange when compared to some churches, with their stained glass windows with the engraved names of the people who donated them, carved pulpits of rare abd expensive woods and the most sought after pews named after which ever family has donated the most to the church fund. I don’t, I tend to find the buildings beautiful in their simplicity and it reminds me of a quote by Elder Robert D hales where he states that “ By Contrast, in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, all who pay a full tithe are equally acknowledge and bless by the Lord, without special public honours and rewards. His law of revenue is truly an equitable one”

One of my favourite stories regarding tithing was related by President Joseph F.Smith regarding his widowed mother in the April 1900 conference.
“My mother was a widow, with a large family to provide for. One spring when we opened our potato pits she had her boys get a load of the best potatoes, and she took them to the tithing office; potatoes were scarce that season. I was a little boy at the time, and drove the team. When we drove up to the steps of the tithing office, ready to unload the potatoes, one of the clerks came out and said to my mother, ‘Widow Smith, it’s a shame that you should have to pay tithing.’ … He chided my mother for paying her tithing, called her anything but wise or prudent; and said there were others who were strong and able to work that were supported from the tithing office. My mother turned upon him and said: ‘William, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing, I should expect the Lord to withhold His blessings from me. I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it. By keeping this and other laws, I expect to prosper and to be able to provide for my family’

When I had finished my second conversation with my friend I felt that I had managed to convey about the true importance of Tithing. His next statement demonstrated to me that I had done nothing of the sort
“So you’re only reason to pay tithing is to make sure you get new stuff and these blessings then?”

Brothers and sisters should we be only paying our tithing only so we can receive blessings? Yes it is great that Heavenly Father will pour blessings upon us if we are true and pay our tithing but should this be our sole motivation?

We should pay our tithing with love and gratitude as we are counselled. We should pay with Love for Heavenly Father, love for the church gratitude for all the blessings already bestowed upon us and those which are continuing to be bestowed, and we should also pay as a declaration that possessions and the accumulation of world wealth are not the uppermost goals of our existence.

Sure we may desire an Aston Martin but are we truly grateful for the vehicle that gets us to church every week?

My challenge to you for this week brothers and sisters is to have a quiet moment where you can contemplate and find 100 reasons why you are grateful to Heavenly Father and for the law of Tithing. It might sound like a lot of reasons but once you get going you’ll certainly find yourself soaring past the hundred mark with ease.

For example before you eat a meal do you just bless the food by rote or do you truly give thanks for all the systems in place which brought the food to your table? I’m thinking of the farmers, the financial systems to provide the capital, the distribution network, providers and maintainers of vehicles, roads etc etc.

If you look at many other areas of your life you will begin to see many other “hidden” blessings which have been provided for you. Just think about electricity and water supplies for example.

Can you not see Heavenly Fathers hand in all this?

So when you give your tithing please don’t regard it as a necessary chore but rather give it with a joyous and grateful heart for all the blessings Heavenly Father has bestowed on us already and will continue to provide to us.

Just think on this. To pay tithing is a blessing in itself.

And if all else fails just remember it’s only money and at the end of day money can be summed up by that age-old question that is often asked at funerals “ How much of his money did he leave?” “why all of it”

I’ll admit that I have not always found paying my Tithing to be easy. But despite this I do have a testimony of the blessings that come from paying tithing and that what you get back is far more then the ten percent that you give.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's all so the total opposite of really busy

There's a old tradition that you shouldn't say macbeth in the theatre. Well in our office the word you can't say is "quiet" or as we refer to it as " The q Word" as woe betide you if you utter the whole word as much crazyness and lamentation is sure to follow.

I.e it tends to get busy :-)

Despite us all knowing this, there were more then a few times today when we wanted to utter the Q word as it wasn't very busy at all. Or as one person put it

" Somethings wrong, I haven't been shouted at once today"

Still at least it proved a nice change from the usual mid week slump!

The redecorating of my room has slowed down slightly this week ( as I've got to write a talk for Sunday eekk!!! or rather EEEKKK!!!) plus my curtain rail decided suddenly to fall down for no particular reason whatsoever.

It also chose to do that in the middle of the night which scared the heck out of me!

But still no worse then Saturday morning when I managed to scare myself by waking up and totally forgetting it was Saturday so I started to rush around like a lunatic convinced I was late for work.

all I can say to that is D'oh!


Later folks

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Consistent consitency

I seem to have developed a annoying new habit when it comes to my monthly 1-2-1s with my manager, as although I'm having no problem in hitting my Kpi's in the slightist ( I'm average almost 14% above the minimum) I keep doing little slip up's here and there which are made even more annoying by the fact I'm not being consistent in the slightest and was feeling so frustrated after todays feedback session I really felt like banging my head up and down on the table!

Oh well. If that's the worse thing that happens this week I don't suppose I'll have a lot to complain about.

But then again you know me, I'm sure I'll find something. :-)

Later folks

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Has anyone not had their phone hacked?

I know the whole thing with journalists hacking peoples phones was all very bad and naughty, etc, etc ,etc but it's just seeming now that in every news broadcast there is now another celebrity coming out of the woodwork to claim that there phones been hacked and isn't it awful, blah, blah, blah.

It would actually be more of a news story right now for a celebrity to come out and say that their phone hasn't been hacked!

We have started this weekend as well on the long overdue/ really really needed redecoration of my bedroom. I've aready got more then half of my room spread around the house in a multitude of boxes as we started to strip the walls of wallpaper, which even with a steamer doo-hickey proved to be surprisingly difficult. So difficult at one point I started to becoem convinced it's been stuck down with superglue rather then wallpaper paste.

Still more then half of the walls are stripped now leaving the bare wood. Just the other half to go.

Anyway, it's Monday tomorrow which means it's a fresh week of new opportunities to find and overcomes. Although it this job the opportunities tend to find you :-)

Later Folks

I've heard of walk on water but bike on water??

I saw this picture today and thought I was too good nt to share. This is a picture of a 16 year old lad snapped crossing a 75ft deep lake on his bike as a stunt to raise money for victims of the 2009 floods.

He' s adamament it wasn't photoshopped but how did he do it??

Friday, July 15, 2011

Franchise wars 5: Star Wars vs Constable

Out with the old

I found out today that this years national YSA conference is going to the be last one.

Big deal! I hear you cry! We already knew it was your last one.

Well by last one I don't mean last one as in my last one, even though it is. I mean it will be the last one as in forever. It's finished, ended, game over man! etc, etc. They will be switching to multi-stake conventions instead as of next year.

Now I'll admit that although as I'm passing that "milestone" of age this august by next August whatever their doing won't matter as I won't be going, it's quite sad to know that something that has been such a mainstay of the YSA scene for so long is going to be vanishing as it were.

Still I suppose in a roundabout way it will make this years conference that so much more special.

The only thing which would have made it perfect was if it was still at Manchester but you can't have everything I suppose :-)

Later folks

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Any suggestions for a caption?

One man and his dog.......

Went to watch judge judy :-)

Happy Birthday Owen!

He's now three. Or at least three in the sense that it's been three years since we got him from the kennels ( and he's still as mad as ever!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When 2d becomes 3d

It's been a bit of a weird weekend as I've seen two people off that I'm freinds with on that " how did we use to communicate with each other before this thing was invented?" facebook that I quite literally have not seen in years despite talking with them on facebook.

And it's weird, A to see the person again and B that they've turned from this 2d presence on your screen into this real lift 3 living talking person. .... if that makes any sense? because the said person is actually a 3d person but you've got used to them not....

and now I'm probably making even less sense but c'est la vie I guess.

I'm also right now really, really fighting the urge to do any searching online regarding the 1st episode of the new series of torchwood. It's really frustrating having to wait almost a week later then the USA and it was our program to start with!

Still I have the feeling that I probably won't get much sympathy from USA viewers of Doctor who.


Later folks

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Not much on? Yeah right...

A lot of people commonly ask why we don't have sky TV. Grumpys usual response is that there's not usually much on the 20 odd free view channels why would we want a hundred with nothing on?

Well we're not having this problem right now as there's too much on! As for reason best know to the great mysterious powers behind TV scheduling currently on a Thursday we now have the the killing, cowbody builders and the big bang theory all on at the same time! Even with E4 plus one it still doesn't help.

And next week it's going to be even worse as Torchwood and the drama Single handed will also be on at the same time.

Seriously how the heck are all the programmes we want to watch on at exactly the same time. Maybe one or two I can understand, but next week it will be five program's, that's right FIVE!!!!!! on at exactly the same time.

Were they unable to find gaps in the schedules on other nights as all the soap opera's, reality TV and endless repeats of CSI and NCIS got in the way???

So not joking about the endless repeats of NCI btw as it's the only reason I've never considered getting the series on DVD there's no point.


Later folks

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It's all down hill from here

Well here we are in July, which means we've passed the mid point of the year, so it's all downhil l from here to the end of the year with the nights drawing in, the temperature getting colder, etc, etc, etc.

Also if the weather is anything to go by we might well have reached the end of summer right now :-)

And if this all wasn't fun enough I've just had a reminder through the post of that yes I really am getting that old as it's time to renew my driving license. Even though it's valid until I'm 70 ( there's a scary thought) you have to renew the photo part of your license every ten years. Which means I once again have to give the government even more money on top of the usual tax, VAT on petrol etc to gain the pleasure of being able to use the roads where I can get to work, in order to earn even more money to give back to the government.

Before anybody asks I know I'm acting a little crabby right now but I'm in one of those kind of moods. Which isn't kind of helped by knowing that my next long break isn't for another month and a half thanks to the holiday diary at work being totally and utterly 100% full!

Weird moment of the day was finding a interview in a magazine that featured the head of the department of my old job as in the accompanying photo he no longer has a beard. He kind of looked like his evil twin brother. Which was in itself weird as anyone whose ever watched any form of sci-fi ever knows that's it's always the one wth the goatee beard whose is the evil twin. So does that mean he was actually the evil twin and in a massively unforeseen plot twist for once it's the good twin who has done away with the evil twin and replaced him????

Wait... that's too confusing for this time of day. My Head now hurts.


Later folks

Sunset over geektown

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Not quite the bird house guests we had in mind

Most people when they put up bird houses get Birds. We've ended up with a group of squattors instead.

and in case you can't tell from the picture by squatters we mean a wasps nest!

What? Do I have something in my teeth?