30 January 2009

Just Because....

Today has been quiet, and this has been one of the best advertising campaigns recently. Real good fun.

Are You a Geek?

This is a good fun quiz, the guys over at the What Mobile site have updated a quiz first ran back in 2004, to test if you are a geek.

I don't recall what my score was back then, but this time round I scored 26 points:
25-34 points
A highly evolved techie, you are totally at home with technology and use a wide variety of gadgets in your everyday life.

So, I am comfortable with technology but am officially *not* a Geek!

The quiz can be found here

27 January 2009

A Day Out

It becomes a bit much when attending a training course can be considered a day out, but the training course I went on today was just a little bit different.

I work in a high st shop for one of the mobile networks, and today an event was organised in London to pick up info on one of the latest Nokia mobile phones, the Nokia 5800.

Now, it needs to be said, I am a bit of a mobile phone geek, so much so I have another blog that talks mainly about a certain type of mobile phone, the Nokia Nseries range. The Nokia 5800 is very similar to the Nseries handsets, it uses the same operating system, and has a really good range of features. The 5800 is the first consumer focused touch screen device.

The training course was held in London, and when I arrived at the hotel location I had to sign a disclaimer for the days 'activities'. I absolved the organisers from any liability for any injury I suffered, and the list was horrendous! Sliding down mud banks, getting run over, medical fees, all sorts. The responsibility for any mishap was mine and mine alone! I very nearly refused to sign, I have no time for such fooling around, I thought. But, curiosity got me, that and the fact I had to do the course or go back to work in the shop!

As it turns out it was one of the best training courses I've ever participated in. Normally with a new phone we get trainers who will highlight the main features of the phone, we then get some hands on time with the product, and that's it. Fine for me, being a geek, but a bit samey after a while. The disclaimer thing promised this would be a bit different, and it was. We were all split into pairs, and given one of the new phones. After a brief session that highlighted the main points, we were sent out around London with the phone and a list of objectives that had to be completed within two hours! At each of the locations we had to perform a task with the phone, either taking a picture and editing it, then sending it back to the base, or saving it as wallpaper, recording video clips, and navigating around town with the built in GPS facility. Pretty basic stuff really.

What really made the day was the tasks! These included a session in the boxing ring throwing some punches, being locked in a room at minus 10 for a minute, rowing 500 metres in two minutes on a rowing machine in a gym, driving a golf ball on a virtual reality golf course and dancing! It was an excellent day, really good fun, and I know I shall sleep well tonight. I'm pooped!

One of the first tasks we completed was the dancing. I didn't volunteer, my partner decided for me that I would dance whilst he 'DJ'd' using the music player on the phone. I don't think I did too good, but even so I got nominated for best dance!! (Probably in sympathy I think!) Back at the base when prizes were handed out I had to stand up in front of the whole room and recreate my slick moves for everyones amusement! But it was good fun, and the girl I danced with was very nice and a good sport.

The golf driving range was also good; I've never played golf before but managed a shot of 187 yards. My colleague was less successful, on one swing he completely missed the ball and hit the floor with the club. Thing is, he hit it so hard the ball actually fell off the tee and rolled a little across the floor, and the machine measured his drive at 4 inches! Very funny.

Overall the whole event was great fun, and I'd certainly do it again. I'm glad my curiosity got the better of me!

19 January 2009


When I was a kid, I was a real telly addict. I could tell you what program was on, what day, time and channel (not as impressive as it may sound - there were only three channels when I was growing up!)

In the last few years, I've watched a lot less TV, but it is always on, if only for the light it gives and background noise. Last year, for Lent, one of my Lenten penances was to give up TV. By the end of Lent, I had lost all interest in TV. So, over the last year, my TV viewing has been sporadic, what I tend to watch mostly is sport. I decided last week to go the whole hog, and cancel my TV subscription. All that is left is the free to view channels.

I'm seriously thinking now of selling my TV set, so I won't even be watching the free channels anymore. Anything I must see, can be watched online via the download services; for the EWTN programs I like, I can view from their website.

Although my viewing habits have reduced a lot, not actually having the TV to watch is going to be hard to get used to. It's very quiet, and the corner where the TV stands appears dark.

edit: It's annoying that at this moment my stereo unit has decided to play up, my speakers are not working! No radio now either!

11 January 2009

Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

I've been spending a lot of time recently looking into various translations of Scripture. Even among what are known as Catholic Bibles some verses are translated very differently. Alongside a solid translation of the Bible, a must is a good Scripture commentary. It seems though, that it is harder to find a good Catholic Scripture commentary than it is to find a reliable Bible translation!

I discovered earlier of a new set of Bible commentaries that are being prepared, a Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. From their site:
The CATHOLIC COMMENTARY ON SACRED SCRIPTURE combines outstanding biblical scholarship with lively faith to help Catholics, especially those in pastoral ministry, interpret Scripture and apply it to Christian life today. In seventeen volumes, the series offers readable, informative commentary on each book of the New Testament. The CCSS responds to the desire of Catholics to study the Bible in depth and in a way that integrates Scripture with Catholic doctrine, worship, and daily life.

Central to the commentary’s approach are the theological principles taught by Vatican II for interpreting Scripture “in accord with the same Spirit by which it was written”—that is, interpreting Scripture in its canonical context and in the light of Catholic tradition and the analogy of faith (Dei Verbum, 12). The CCSS helps readers grasp the meaning of texts both in their historical and literary context and in their relationship to Catholic doctrine and life in the present.

Currently available is the Gospel of Mark and First and Second Timothy, Titus. Further volumes to come are:

* The Gospel of Matthew by Edward Sri and Curtis Mitch
* The Gospel of Luke by Timothy Gray
* The Gospel of John by Francis Martin and William M. Wright IV
* The Acts of the Apostles by William Kurz, SJ
* Romans by Scott Hahn
* First Corinthians by George T. Montague, SM
* Second Corinthians by Thomas D. Stegman, SJ
* Galatians by Ronald D. Witherup, SS
* Ephesians by Peter S. Williamson
* Philippians, Colossians, Philemon by Dennis Hamm, SJ
* Hebrews by Scott Hahn and Mary Healy
* First and Second Peter, Jude by Daniel Keating
* Revelation by Peter S. Williamson

This promises to be a valuable study resource, and a good addition to my study guides.

06 January 2009

La Befana

La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!

The Italian tradition of La Befana is based on a popular legend. When the Magi were looking for the baby Jesus they stopped at the house of an old woman, to ask for directions. The woman was well known for her excellent hospitality and took pride in her home. The Magi stayed over for the night, and the next day as they took their leave they asked the woman to accompany them on their search for the infant Jesus. However, she declined, saying that she had too much to do keeping her home tidy.

After the Magi left, the woman had a strange feeling that she had made a huge mistake, and rushed after them, but without success. She was unable to find them, and to this day continues her search on the night of the 5th every year. In her search, she will leave gifts for all the good young children she meets, however all the bad children get just a lump of coal!

It's a nice treat for the children, and it is funny to see their faces when they get coal! (After all, almost all children have been naughty at some point during the year!) But of course, there is often a nice treat for them too, as they have their moments of good behaviour also.