Another Great Escape

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Landover Baptist Church : Unsaved NOT welcome

It took me a good while to figure out that this was a spoof site. Anyway, Landover Baptist, has some cracking stuff but be warned, it's not for the easily offended Christians. This site takes a big swipe at American Evangelical Christians, and the whole "Jesus Junk" culture. If you can see through the satire, it raises some important issues; the amount of money that is being generated by the christian merchandise industry; the way that some Americans see America as being especially blessed by God (therefore justifying foreign policy...); the conditions some churchs have on membership, etc . To be honest, it made me laugh loads too, and that's one of the reasons why I'm posting about it.

I'm not sure who wrote it - it's very difficult to find any information about the authors. I'm not even sure whether the authors are Christians, but they seem to highlight areas for concern - slightly irreverantly.

It's really well put together and updated regularily but I don't think I'll be buying a WWJD thong though, not yet anyway.

Things to make your life easier: Snippy

I can't take credit for this one, my Dad gave me the heads up. Snippy is an ace little programme that allows you to do great things with little hassle.

I dunno about Mac users but for those that use Windoze and the "print screen" facitilty a lot it can get really annoying to copy, paste & fart about with the image before you can use it. This is where Snippy comes in. This utility allows you to select the bits of an image you want, either as a rectangle or a free hand squiggle thing.



Thanks Dad!

...It's free too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

StumbleUpon!



I didn't realise that I had an addictive personality until I downloaded and installed StumbleUpon.

For those of you that aren't in the know. StumbleUpon is a widget-like extension to firefox that allows users to stumble upon websites at the click of a (very addictive) button. The websites that appear are based on preferences that you choose when you register. With each website that you stumble upon, you can then rate the site (dead easy - a thumbs up or a thumbs down) which then refines your preferences even more.

Be warned, it is very, very easy to keep on clicking and while away 2 or 3 hours before you know it.

Baby Reviews: Kiddicare.com



As regular readers will know we're expecting our first child and we've steadily collected baby things for the last few months. We've tried out lots of different online places to buy all that baby stuff from.

We came across Kiddicare whilst searching for nappies. We ended up getting a rocking chair from there. We were so impressed with their service - we ordered it on Sunday night and it arrived first thing on Tuesday. They emailed and offered to SMS us when it was dispatched. It arrived when they said it would. What more can you ask?

If you need, literally, anything for a baby then Kiddicare is for you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Smile...it's Monday



Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jehovah's Weird Witnesses

Another Sunday, another knock on the door at about 1 in the afternoon. We'd ignored it for the past couple of times because we weren't showered etc (I know, bit slack), but today I leapt for the backdoor to see who had been knocking the door. As soon as I opened it I was greeted by a smart looking guy. In the past I've been quite abrupt with JW's and Mormons because when it comes down to it we're never going to agree.

We started talking - it began with him asking me a question about why I thought there was suffering in the world. Here we go, I thought. My mind went into overdrive trying to think about all those things I had been taught about these "cults". I listened and then he asked me why I thought. This went on for a while. Memories are great - because all of a sudden things started to come out of my mouth. It was ace, I could remember all kinds of stuff that I'd read or been taught.

Like I said, the whole conversation lasted about an hour. Thinking back on what we talked about he backed off from some of my points and questions completely and relied a lot on "the bible says..." quoting and misquoting the Bible. The more we talked the more he went back to his version of the bible. Anyway, off he went, and then I got on the web.

I didn't realise how weird and cultish the JW's are. Their whole argument disapates because their version of the bible, which they rely soley on, is flawed. They have constructed a whole culture of exclusivism, that rejects and exile anyone that disagrees or leaves their group. They've predicted the end times numerous times and we're still here. Jesus even had an invisible second coming - hmm!

The interesting thing was that it seems that anything not produced or sanctioned by the Watch Tower or their local kingdom hall is seen as of the devil. He asked what type of christian I am, I replied that I wasn't a particular type but related to the emerging church movement. I offered to show him some info but he said his church had a CD-Rom with things on that he could look at. It wasn't until I got on the web that I found out that any material given to them by an "unbeliever" is tainted by the devil. They have their own information service that deals with outsiders like me.

The more I looked in to their beliefs and how the movement was set up and it's very dodgy dealings the more I realised how good they are at brainwashing people. An organisation that disapproves of it's members seeking unbiased info to check something out smacks of a totalitarian regime or something. There are numerous websites by people who have left the movement - many people got peeved that the 2nd coming didn;t happen in 1975, that they left. Some state mental abuse, and an insistance that they cut off all ties with non JW people. They even adjust dates of historical events to fit in with their predictions

I only wish I had more info to my fingertips when he knocked the door. If there is a next time I'll have my laptop at the ready. It's all too easy to answer the door and then slam it in their face when you find out who they are. Dialogue is good, but as I found today, unless you have facts and questions ready it's pointless because you won't change their point of view. The more you delve into movements past, look at how they think about non-believers and how they treat their members, the more you see that they're dangerous. The guy was nice, he's just misguided. Next time I'll be ready....

For more info check these out

Freeminds

Cult information



cult awareness

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fly Guy

Have you ever wanted to fly....



Click here

Friday, September 15, 2006

A marathon of a day!


Relief, then exhaustion, quickly followed by a desire to get out of Dodge as fast as possible was the order of the day.

I have three "troubled" (I could think of a whole load of other adjectives) kids in my class who repeatedly make my and the other kids lives, hell. Without going into too much information, it's their final year at the school and with me, having taught them for a year already I knew that this year would build on their previous "successes". Their parents are useless, two kids are from split families and the other's are nutters (certified). The parents don't interact with school, there is no backup whatsoever when problems arise. I find it so hard to keep my patience and my cool, when dealing with them. They share a brain cell (they left it at home today), they have the personality traits of Bart Simpson, the foul mouth of Cartman off Southpark and no sense of what is right and wrong.

I had survived the morning pretty much unscathed, but by the afternoon they were simmering. We'd got cool things planned and the kids were ready to get stuck into things. The 3 idiots raised their weasal-like faces, and their voices. It's hard to explain what they do without it sounding trivial but it's like some Army Psychological Warfare stuff, like white noise. It's constant, irritating and effectively disruptive. Anything could spark it off, a noise, a word, a picture, anything. They seek to disrupt each other and the class by being divs.

I'd gone throught the discipline procedure; I done the ignoring thing, the praising them up thing, the praising up the person next to them thing, the warning .... Enough was enough, they had to go. Ultimately, that's all I can do, they had a time out with the Head and came back after about 20 minutes. They know that our hands are tied and their parents don't give a damn about us or their kids.

This doesn't happen every day - in fact it doesn't happen every lesson. But when it does it really grinds me down. It took all of patience and "professionalism" to keep a lid on my rumbling anger and frustration with these future chavs. If only these kids could switch off their attitude for 50% of the time they'd learn so much. Ultimately, I know that they can't help it, that their parents have made them what they are. But it still doesn't excuse their behaviour. I feel as if I'm hitting my head against a wall.

So, only two weeks back, and they're already doing my head in. The prospects don't look good. Watch this space.

OK GO How cool?!

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11: Five Years On

It's a bit of a cliche but I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when terrorists brought down planes in America. Since then the world has been a different place.

The reasons why grown men would be willing to kill to make a point totally invalidated any request to listen to their demands. The turmoil created by these people and their backers (they never seem to blow themselves up do they?) have literally rocked the world. Wars are being waged, (rightly or wrongly), people are dying, homes, countries demolished , etc, etc. It seems that no where is safe and no where has been left untouched by what has happened.

I remember listening to the reports on the radio pretty much as it happened on my way home from work. After the initial shock, an anger took over. My knee jerk response would have been to obliterate those responsible, preferably publicly and with upmost violence. Thankfully my finger will never be on the Nuke launch button nor will I ever have the command of armed forces. After the anger subsided I just wanted to know why.

I don't think we'll ever reconcile with people who are willing to blow themselves to pieces. Their demands are unrealistic and will never (I hope) come to fruition. Any extremism is wrong, it harms people and damages the "normal" people whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. Our lives, at least in the short term, will never be the same because of people all over the world who are willing to die and kill for their cause. It's the ultimate show of commitment but one that is flawed. You can't debate, discuss, negotiate when you're dead. It shows that they don't value human life, that their tunnel vision is going to be their failing. As they kill and cause havoc most sane people will relegate them to the sidelines.

There is a time to kill and I think that the worlds response to this form of terrorism is by in large the correct one. I don't condone the killing of innocent people on either side but I think we need to combat terrorism in the only way possible (at this moment) and that is physically. There needs to be a Physical response to prevent more attacks and deaths.

Here lies the quandary of me as a Christian. Jesus condoned killing but if we turned the other cheek, we'd have an Islamic Republic of Great Britain or something along those lines in the foreseeable future, in the same form as the Taliban in Afghanistan. That, I believe, is the extremists goal.

Like I've posted before, those people that we rely on for our safety at home and abroad have my upmost respect. They have laid down their lives in protection of what we value; free speech, freedom to worship, freedom of movement, equal opportunities (not perfect yet), etc. There lies the difference.

5 years on the world is a very different place with the prospect of it getting worse before it gets better. I hope that people realize that suicide attacks aren't the way forward. I want our unborn child to be safe.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

X-Factor: So bad it's good

Some of these auditions are so cringeworthy - here's a sample:

Top Gear: Carbage

I found Top Gear's site and came across their Carbage section. There's some classics here, maybe they could inpsire you to pimp up your ride.




Saturday, September 02, 2006

End of the summer

There isn't a clearer sign that the summer is drawing very quickly to an end than the wind battering the trees and the rain chucking it down.

This time, more specifically this weekend, of the year is a tad depressing. I know we've had 6 weeks off, watched way too much TV, stayed up late, got up when we wanted to, just did what we wanted to do but the prospect of going back to school on Monday sends shivers down my spine.

I start my 6th year of teaching this september. Five classes of kids have been taught by me - the kids in my first class will be coming up to 16 now and doing their GCSE's. Each start of a new year doesn't get any easier. I suppose it's just getting back into the swing of things, or knowing what you've got to do in order to get to the next summer holidays.

Don't get me wrong I love my job, but having spent 6 weeks kid and work free, it's hard to get back into getting up early and actually earning my money.

This is also the last summer that "we" will be two - in a few weeks "we" will be three. Along with this responsibility comes extra worry and stress. Ranging from, will we be able to cope, to what happens if this or that happens...

This year will be different - I start with a new set of kids to educate, I'll enter my 6th year of teaching (with a some important future job decisions to make) and I'll be a Dad.

Friday, September 01, 2006

From the desk of...

Another day, another load of spam, this time from Samir...

From the desk
of barrister
Samir Saad amin

l apologize if the contents in this mail are contrary your
moral ethics, which l feel may be of great disturbance to
your personal life, but please treat with absolute secrecy
and personal.
Please read very carefully and am wating
for your urgent respon about this proposal,
hello my name is Samir from egypt
am presently on political assylum now.
l got your email contact from my research on the
net because am presently looking for honest person
who can help my client to invest his fund in Real Estate
Investment and commercial properties.
I will be very intresting to start a new life in your country
with your assistance and co-operation on this issue concerning
my client fund.
So please if your in good position to help me, please send me an
email at this email address ( samir_9@o2.pl )
indicating your desire to help me invest this fund in your country
and beyond. l urgently wating for your reply by end of the day,
I hope to me you very soon.

Best Regards & God Bless

Barrister

Samir Saad Amin


It's the God Bless that seals it for me!