Saturday, May 23, 2009

I finished reading:

"The Jungle" written by Upton Sinclair. 412 Pages.

This was a very good book which I really enjoyed. Some of the conditions described at the turn of the century was awful. A lot of things have improved, but, unfortunately some things haven't such as continuous strive for greed not worrying about who or what is in the way. One quote from the book I really liked was, talking of Socialism "It was the new religion of humanity - or you might say it was the fulfillment of the old religion, since it implied bit the literal application of all the teachings of Christ."

This is book 25 of the year for a total of 7854 pages at 314 per book.


Friday, May 22, 2009

I listened to:

"The Best of Elgar". I do not normally listen to these "compilation" CD's. However, it was given to me by a very good friend, Pauline, who I haven't seen for a long time and now lives in Great Malvern where Elgar lived. This CD has the following works on it - "Pomp and Circumstance March in D major, Op.39, No.1", "Nimrod from Enigma Variations, Op.36", "Introduction and Allegro, Op.47", "Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - Adagio", "Salut d'amour, Op.12", "Symphony No.1 in A flat major, Op.55 - Andante nobilmente e semplice", "Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op.20 - Larghetto and Allegretto", "Violin Concerto in B minor, Op.61 - Andante", "Pomp and Circumstance March in G major, Op.39, No.4" and "Cockaigne Overture (In London Town), Op.40"

"String Quartet in C minor, Op.18 No.4", "String Quartet in F major, Op. 135" and "String Quartet in F minor, Op.95 'Quartetto serioso" all composed by Ludwig van Beethoven performed by The Pavel Haas Quartet. This CD came with the BBC Music Magazine.

"Symphony No.2 in B flat major, Op.52 'Lobgesang'" composed by Felix Mandelssohn performed by Veronique Gens (soprano), Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo soprano), Robert Tear (tenor) and The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales conducted by Richard Hickox.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

I finished reading:

"The Good Earth" written by Pearl S. Buck. 360 Pages.

"The Stranger" written by Albert Camus. 123 Pages.

"Death of Salesman" written by Arthur Miller. 152 Pages.

Doing a cross country trip has some benefits. Reading!! Being back in California always seems surreal. By that I mean being back there it seems amazing and unreal that we actually lived there.

These books were 22, 23 and 24 of the year for a total of 7442 pages averaging 310 pages per book.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I finished reading:

"Hoover's FBI" written by William W. Turner. 310 Pages


Monday, May 11, 2009

I listened to:

"Il Tabarro" composed by Giacomo Puccini. It was performed by The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra et al and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.

This CD came with the BBC Music Magazine to which I subscribe.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

The next cat we fostered was Silky. She was a return from a home. I can't remember the reason why. She came in August 13th 2006. Fortunately she was adopted out again very quickly, three weeks later. For a return from home the sooner they get re-adopted the better as it is easier for them to adjust. I wish people could see the affect on their cats when they return them, or abandon them from the home where they were safe. Our first cat, Jubilee was a return that was so freaked out we took her home.


Friday, May 08, 2009

I finished reading:

"Alistair MacLean's Nightwatch" written by Alastair MacNeil. 315 Pages.

This book was conceived by MacLean but he died before he wrote it so MacNeil actually wrote the book.

The 20th book of the year for 6497 pages at an average of 325 pages.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

We are starting a new blog for Snowflake Animal Rescue. We are going to use it announce new cats, events and other things we are doing. Check it out.

The search for a new Church that we and Mike and Yvonne, the other couple in our small group started out at the beginning of the year is over. We are very happy to have settled on a small, modern non-denominational Church called Connections. Why? Apart from feeling that this is where we are meant to be, we like the Pastor who is genuine and a good teacher. Also, the Church is more concerned with living the Christian life as a reflection of Christ in everyday life and not worried about ritual and religion.

I am excited about this new page of my Christian life. It's been a rough few weeks, especially at work where I am at the point of totally hating my job. I know this is harsh under the current climate, but, that's how I feel. Having said that I believe that my faith needs to be active there as well, so having a few, challenging Church will help this and everything else and I have faith that God will give me peace in whatever I do.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I finished reading:

"The Last Temptation" written by Val McDermid. 481 Pages

This is the 19th book of the year for 6182 pages at an average of 325 pages.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

The League One season for Hartlepool United with them finishing in 19th place out of 24 surviving relegation by two places and one point. Over all a disappointing Season after a good start. There big highlights were beating two Premier League Teams. One, West Brom, in the League Cup and the other Stoke City in the FA moving us to the fourth round for only the second time.

Hopefully for next year they can strengthen the squad and move forward.

Christmas Present

It's Christmas time again
And all around the world
Life goes on
Rich and poor in various ways
Let's look and see shall we?

There's snow on the ground,
Dark and cold
No sign of life Nothing to cheer....
Wait! there's movement
A pile of cardboard boxes.
A head sticks out,
A child, blue with cold
All alone, waiting for the day
To try and beg for a bite to eat
Hoping to survive and make one more day.

Across the street a light is on.
Through the window we can see
A family gathered around
Eating their feast,
Plenty to eat and plenty to drink.
They're finished now.
Time for the gifts so expensive and fine
The remaining of the food left to waste.

Across the street the boy cries
From hunger and pain
The sun is up next day
He never did see Christmas morn.

Sounds like a tale from the past?
We've read it all before.
I wish I could say it is,
But, it is today
London, New York or Africa
It's all the same
As when Dickens wrote his story
Of Ebeneezer Scrouge and poor Tiny Tim.

September 1996 - North Acton, London, England


Saturday, May 02, 2009

It's taken me almost a week to post this, but, I felt after the message at Church on Sunday I needed to add a few comments. I will not go into the whole sermon, but, just focus on a key point that is so often over looked and contrary to todays modern, right wing Christianity.

The subject was Mercy. God's mercy and how that should affect us. Taking that a step further is how should Christians treat those who disagree? The answer is simply with the same mercy God gives us. Obviously, we are imperfect in our lives, but, our hearts and efforts should be in this. One good example we saw this year was the election. How much hate and vitriol did we hear from the so called Religious right against Obama? A real good example. Jesus teaches that we can disagree, we can be angry but we have to love, show forgiveness, mercy, tolerance and not to judge any single individual. We do not condone the actions and there is, like I said, nothing wrong with disagreeing and trying to show a different point of view, but, it needs to be done in a positive not hateful way.

That's my poor attempt at commenting on this small aspect. The Pastor has a blog with the key points on the sermon that can be found here.