Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ministry joys and Linux Legacy

Yesterday afternoon in beautiful sunny weather, I caught the bus into town, took photos of the Central Square construction site, then walked down the Taff Embankment to the Bay Wetland Area. There was a couple of Coots with some young chicks swimming on one of the ponds.
I also got glimpses of what I think was another pair of chicks hiding in a reed bed, but they seemed different from the Coot chicks, as their heads were red/orange. Were they moorhen offspring, I wonder? I've seen both kinds of bird down there in the past. With most things ready for our Rhine cruise journey and a sermon prepared, I watched a couple of episodes of NCIS season 13 which I've not seen before. One was about an agent suffering from the theft of his identity multiple times. Quite timely really, given the on-going global ransomware crisis.

I celebrated the Solemn Mass at St German's this morning as usual. Priest in charge designate Fr Phelim O'Hare came with his wife Annette and two sons to meet people and sit in the congregation. We're still waiting for an induction date, however. It now looks certain that it will take place while I'm out in Malaga, Although I won't be at St German's for the final few Sundays of the interregnum, I will take much pleasure in seeing photos of the event, content to have worked myself out of a job at St German's, for a second time in five years.

After the service, the church filled again with a congregation double the numbers for the Mass, there for the baptism of Michelle and her baby daughter Millie. For me it was a great pleasure to complete something which started last year when I officiated at Andy Michelle's wedding in St German's. Out of curiosity, I checked the baptism register, and discovered, much to my surprise, that over past five years of locum duties at St German's, I have performed 23 baptisms, double the number I did in the eight years of my last job as Vicar of St John's City Parish Church.

By the time I got home, after attending the Christening party in the church hall, Clare had already left for a final rehearsal for the afternoon Community Choir Concert at the Fountain Steiner School, but she'd left lunch for me. Once I'd eaten, I sat down to do my daily Duo Lingo Spanish drill, and when I reached the end of it, I nodded off, waking up only just in time to drive to the school for the start of the concert. The programme was an unusual mix of mediaeval secular and sacred music, technically a challenge for the singers. I've been listening to Clare rehearse for weeks, but only hearing everything sung in performance made sense of what I'd been listening to at home, as some of the pieces involved part singing which was dissonant to modern ears. It was an ear opening success, for the audience and for the singers.

After supper, a quiet evening without telly, making sure computers were all up to date, trying to find some files of photographs I'd digitized for my sister three years ago, which she said she couldn't find. It took me a while to locate them, as they weren't in any of my archives. Then I remembered that I'd done the original job on my previous desktop PC, which I left in its usual position on the floor to the left of my desk, rather than decommission and dispose of it. Once re-connected to peripherals, it powered up into Linux Mint perfectly, and within a couple of minutes I'd found the files and copied them to a backup drive. Later, I discovered that I had already uploaded the missing photos to the web, as well as putting them on June's PC hard drive. They weren't missing. Finding them in either place was her problem. Just as well I had an evening with nothing better to do.

When I next have an idle moment, I'll to a timed comparison of booting the machine to a functioning desktop using the now defunct original Windows Vista operating system and Linux Mint. Vista was less dependent on internet connectivity and than its successors, except for anti-virus updating. Mint works just as well with or without internet. When connected and ready to update, it does so unobtrusively and without interfering with one's workflow. So much better than Windows, once you've learned it and made the switch. Time I switched a couple of my machines over permanently to Linux, and retain Windows only where necessary for working with outsiders.

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