The film ‘The Nativity Story‘ is coming to cinemas in the UK from the 8th of December. I do not know whether it is any good, though this image would suggest to me that work is still needed on the costumes if they are going for an authentic look.
I watched a short trailer clip which did not really give much information. The background music suggests a sentimentalised version of the story, but you’d have to watch the film to tell. I do not think there was background music at the actual nativity apart from possibly that provided by angels etc.
There is also a Nativity resources website with art and clips and things you can use at your church or school. I would encourage everyone to go and read through the preprepared sermons. You can be sure that your minister / vicar will use one of them for a Christmas sermon, so if you look at the sermons you will be able to give them a knowing wink as you shake their hand on the way out.
Special message for ministers / vicars: Why not use one of the preprepared sermons for a Christmas sermon? It is very unlikely that anyone will find you out and give you a knowing wink as they shake your hand on the way out.
Posted by Dave at 4:14 pm on November 21, 2006 and filed under Spirituality, TV.
A number of bloggers have been dismayed to find that a white supremacist site site containing untruths shows up very highly (No 2 for me) when one does a Google Search for ‘Martin Luther King’. The site in question is martinlutherking dot org which I’m not going to link to and I’d ask you not to do so either.
Various bloggers, such as Robert Scoble have joined this campaign to boost genuine sites about Martin Luther King. The technique being used here is ‘Google bombing’ whereby a lot of links from different websites improve the search rankings of a particular website (explanation). ‘Google bombing’ is seen by some as morally questionable, and rightly so, but in this case it could well be the lesser of two evils.
I’m not just going to link blindly to the same links as everybody else, but these are some Martin Luther King Jr links I found worthwhile:
Update: If you do a search for “Hate site distorts King’s dream” you’ll find an article relating to the man behind the martinlutherking dot org name written way back in 2000. Again, I’m not linking there as the zdnet site contains a direct link, and links count as votes in the eyes of search engines.
I’ve given this post the ‘asterisk of special importance’. In an age where Google has largely replaced libraries as a source of information a huge number of young people must click on that site when researching homework and projects and the like. Hopefully most will be able to understand the motives of the website, but I fear a lot won’t.
Posted by Dave at 1:14 pm on November 21, 2006 and filed under Blogging, Links: bloggers.
Suspicious Looking Device
The only function of the Suspicious Looking device is to appear as suspicious as possible
There is a video of it looking suspicious.
I found this via the Cartoonist.
Posted by Dave at 11:51 am on November 21, 2006 and filed under Art, Technical.
I’ve posted this one on We Blog Cartoons with some code allowing you to post it on your blog for free.
Posted by Dave at 11:17 am on November 20, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, New Weblogcartoons cartoons.
A well-thumbed 1990s example of cartoondom from the ‘sale’ basket. I’m shortly to remove cartoons like this from Wibsite.com, but I said that six months ago.
Apologies for a lack of new material today. We have been very busy building flat packed furniture with varied success (Do you say ‘flat packed’ or ‘flat pack’? I’m not sure. And what about hyphens? Flat-pack. Flat-packed. Hmmm.). Our progress has been as follows:
- One flat packed item is still flat and packed because the flat packed furniture company omitted to include one tiny felt whathaveyou without which the item of furniture is inoperable.
- The second flat packed item is just about built, but is in pieces around the house as the space it needs to occupy is taken up by the item it will replace. I have not been able to remove this item from its place as all alternative storage locations are taken by pieces of the more-or-less completed flat-packed furniture item.
It is a complex world in which we live.
Posted by Dave at 11:04 pm on November 19, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life.
I have a degree in Transport so I am qualified to give this advice.
- Have some signs from the main A3 explaining where the Park and Ride is. There are no signs from the A3 explaining where the Park and Ride which makes it difficult to know where it is if you are approaching from the A3.
- Have some signs from other roads that explain where the Park and Ride is. There are only a few poorly situated signs on other roads explaining where the Park and Ride which makes it difficult to know where it is if you are approaching from other roads.
- At the Park and Ride have a sign explaining where people should park. At the University Park and Ride there is no information about the Park and Ride anywhere except the single sign at the entrance to the University. The car parks say Pay and Display, but does that apply to Park and Ride people and is this even the car park for Park and Ride anyway? The result is that people do not know where to park.
- At the Park and Ride have a sign explaining where people should ride. There is no information about where to get a bus at the Park and Ride. The result is that those people who have managed to park do not know where to ride.
My advice to people going to Guildford. Go by train if you can. If not make sure you have a leaflet before you go. If you do not have a leaflet your visit is likely to be filled with misery.
I have sent this report to Guildford Council for their perusal.
Update: Well, I tried to contact them. The website feedback form gives an error.
Posted by Dave at 11:05 am on November 18, 2006 and filed under Transport.
These are my rough drawings for yesterday’s cartoon showing how Rowan Williams has evolved from an ape-like creature.
I have always believed that it is fun to show your workings. See for example ‘Various losses‘ or ‘Lost property and the five-elbowed‘. The truth is that I really am not a caricaturist and make no claims to be. Drawing caricatures like my friend Steve Hearn (who lives down the road) is something that I’d love to be able to do, but up until now I haven’t put in the time to practice, do more practicing and then do more practicing which is what it takes.
OK, I am frightfully busy today as I have got a number of projects I am behind on. I do plan to do one other short blog post, but if you see me doing anything else on the internet today tell me not to.
Update: Ruth Gledhill has kindly drawn attention to this picture as well as yesterdays. My reputation as a respected artist within the community is now in tatters.
Posted by Dave at 9:01 am on November 17, 2006 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cartooning, Cartoons.
The great thing about having blog like this is that if you have nothing intelligent to say you can draw something nonsensical without causing a frown in the office of some client or editor somewhere. I had to come up with something though because Maggi told me to. Today’s Anglican story is a bit of a non-story really, hence the bit of a non-cartoon. Lots of people woke up this morning to the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury might have doubts over women priests and that he might be reconsidering the issue. It turned out that it was all a bit of a kerfuffle over nothing as these links explain. Don’t read all of them though – it’ll take you for ever.
Posted by Dave at 6:30 pm on November 16, 2006 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cartoons.
If you’ve surfed in looking to find a church I’d recommend A Church Near You which allows you to look at churches on maps and things. This is assuming you are looking for an Anglican church (other denominations are available). Oh, and I think it is only for England. I love looking at the deaneries on maps to see which churches have added their information – take this random sample, the Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery. Unfortunately the information provided can be a bit patchy – if you go to an Anglican Church in England why not add the info for your church?
One of the other church directory sites is Find a Church (here) which in my opinion isn’t anywhere near as good for lots of reasons. I attempted to update our church information as I am now the church webperson (currently without a website). I received this letter:
I thought the final paragraph rather remarkable:
The original vision for the directory was to provide enough in a consise overview so that anyone looking for a church can get a good feel for churches in their area. Because we cover our costs by charging £18 per year, it’s your choice whether you want your church to be seen as welcoming of newcomers.
Good heavens. No pressure then.
We chose to be unwelcoming.
Questions for study groups:
1) How easily can people find your church on the internet?
2) It costs £18 to be seen as welcoming. What would be the best ways to spend £18 on welcoming people?
3) People in the Bible were often welcoming, or not. What does this teach us about things and, to a lesser extent, the internet?
[My previous post on both these websites is here: Find your local parish church]
Posted by Dave at 10:45 am on November 16, 2006 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters.
Some information for people who might be considering buying my book, the Dave Walker Guide to the Church, as a Christmas present. All the information about the best places to buy the book is still on this page (the one you get when you click the book cover photo to the left), but this is the latest news:
- The publishers Canterbury Press do free postage on orders over £50. Ideal for those who want to give a copy to all the vicars they know.
- Christian bookshops: a lot of SPCKs have it, but not all, so phone and check if making a special journey. They do have it online, as do St Andrew’s bookshops. Wesley Owen will be stocking it soon I am assured.
- Waterstones online had a very good offer on the book, though they have now put the price up again.
- Waterstones in Eastbourne have the book prominently displayed according to my spies, as does the Piccadilly branch. This may have changed by now of course. Unfortunately none of the other Waterstones shops that I have been to in the last month seem to have an actual physical copy on the shelves. As with any bookshop quoting ISBN number 185311779X should mean they can order it.
- If you can get it via a local independent or Christian bookshop please do. One example: Presence, 19-21 The Parade, High Street, Watford WD17 1LQ, (01923 237633) are stocking it. You can go there for coffeee and free WiFi too. Thanks Paul!
- The Church Times bookshop do a 10% discount, but you do pay postage.
- Then there is Amazon: UK / USA
Thanks to everyone who has bought the book so far and to those who have said kind things.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Dave at 11:21 am on November 15, 2006 and filed under Books, CartoonChurch progress.
I am thinking of retitling this blog ‘Dave’s Daily Problem’. Once again thank you for the advice on working from home. I hope to respond to a number of the comments and e-mails sent on the subject.
Today’s subject for debate and consternation: computer updates.
Every blessed bit of software on the computer needs updating continually. Boxes pop up on an ongoing basis and various whathaveyous must be downloaded, installed, initialised (whatever that means), reconfigurated and rediscombobulated.
In some cases one gets to know that to agree to the update means it will redownload the whole programme and do so the same the next day and the next day and so on for ever. Zonealarm: I’m looking at you.
Other programmes new require a restart every time they download their updates, which is every time the computer is switched on. Literally. AVG Antivirus – are your ears burning? (Yes, I understand that it is good that antivirus programmes update daily – it is the continual demand for restarts that are frustrating.)
Other programme makers devise a version 2.0 that is so big and clunky it makes the computer crash continually whilst leaving out very basic functions that version 1.0 had meaning that every operation needs a lot more clicks than before. SmartFTP – this one has your name on it. (Anyone got a recommendation for a replacement ftp programme by the way?)
Most of the programmes that trouble me are free ones and so you are all entirely entitled to tell me not to use them if I don’t like them. But perhaps by writing this some maker of software somewhere will heed my message: Please try to keep updates to a minimum (especially after 11pm) as they are making us all a bit unhappy. Thank you.
Posted by Dave at 10:25 am on November 15, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Slightly grumpy, Technical.
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has submitted cartoon ideas. I will be printing them all off later and making notes on them and hopefully some drawings will result. Seriously, it makes a big difference, so thank you.
Today’s subject: working from home. Excuse the old cartoon (post with larger version), but it seemed to fit.
I find working from home difficult. People tell me how wonderful it must be not to have to commute, but I find that sitting in the house on my own all day every day not seeing or talking to a human being is not as idyllic as it first appears. I am not intending to sound as if I am complaining in a complaining sort of way though, as I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be doing what I am doing.
Going out to different places (such as the Wetherspoons day centre for cartoonists and the elderly) helps a bit but not that much. The amount of human interaction in these day centres is minimal.
I am currently on the lookout for somewhere to go and work, but so far have not found anywhere. It needs to be in south east Essex or even possibly London. I do not have a huge amount of money to spend on such a thing, but I do have some. The thing I do have is the ability to draw pictures and make websites and I would be very happy to help out any individual or organisation willing to give me a small corner of a table to do drawings on.
Questions for study groups:
1) Do you work from home? If not do you wish that you could?
2) If you work from home how do you stay sane?
3) People in the Bible often worked from home, or didn’t. What does this teach us about things, or not? Discuss.
Posted by Dave at 10:23 am on November 14, 2006 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning, Essex Life, Starting a Business.