Mum’s garden bench got stolen!

Gareth and Jane sitting on a garden bench
Happier days for the garden bench. Here is can be seen supporting Gareth and Jane.

I meant to blog about this the other day: Mum’s garden ‘bench’ was stolen the other night! Her garden bench was actually simply a plank of treated wood bolted to two stole pedestals (see photograph above). So technically a ‘garden plank’, but it was comfy and useful and it was used as a garden bench.

Whoever stole it obviously entered the garden under the cover of darkness and unbolted the plank and nicked off with it. Who would do such a thing?! And why?!

Please pray for Mum, it’s left her feeling quite vulnerable, as you might imagine. Also that she gets her phone sorted — for some reason Caller Display (Caller ID) and Call Waiting have dropped off her phone account, and she does like to see who is calling before she answers it; it also gives her piece of mind.

Monastery ceiling

Chapel ceiling
Painted orthodox church ceiling – Tismana Monastery, Romania. Photo from Stock.xchng

A few people (including my Mum) have asked where we got the photograph that appears on the front cover of this month’s Inspires magazine, the magazine of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).

The Revd Kelvin Holdsworth — one of the few other blogging priests in the SEC — deserves the credit, as he found the image on the stock.xchng free stock photo website. (A wonderful resource.)

The photograph is of a painted orthodox church ceiling at Tismana Monastery in Romania. It is royalty free and carries no restrictions.

The photograph, that is. I suspect that the monastery requires a little more discipline from its users.

Which … are you?

Which Website are you?

You are amazon.com You are the first person people go to when they need something.  People have confidence in you.  You like free shipping.
Which Website are You?

Funnily enough, I like and have confidence in Amazon UK too! Although my internet store of the moment is Broadband Buyer who managed to ship an order of mine in under an hour of my submitting it. Of course it’s now up to Initial City Link to deliver it before Jesus arrives on Sunday.

Which OS are you?

You are Windows XP.  Under your bright and cheerful exterior is a strong and stable personality.  You have a tendency to do more than what is asked or even desired.
Which OS are You?

Slightly disappointed that I didn’t get something a little geekier coughs and stable coughs like Symbian OS or even Linux, but hey! Windows XP is ok. At least I didn’t get Windows Me.

Which file extension are you?

You are .jpg You are very colorful.  Sometimes you forget things, or distort the truth.  You like working with pictures more than words.
Which File Extension are You?

Of course, whoever put those tests together didn’t realise the important difference between JPG and GIF files.

Which Nigerian spammer are You?

You are LAWRENCE OBI. You are Bank Manager of Zenith Bank Lagos, Nigeria. You will share with me 30% of the $26.5 million that BARRY KELLY who died with a WILL left in your bank.  You put the money in two trunks and want me to claim the money.
Which Nigerian spammer are You?

I hate spam! Actually, I used to use this plugin for Microsoft Outlook until Microsoft vastly improved their own anti-spam filter. Outlook 2003 is superb.

Slipstreaming Service Pack 2 into Windows XP

Windows XP Service Pack 2
Find out what version of Windows XP you are running: Win+R then type winver and OK.

This afternoon I did something I’ve been meaning to do for ages: I ‘slipstreamed’ Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) into my Windows XP Professional installation CD.

‘Slipstreaming’ is something that Microsoft introduced with Windows 2000 that allows you to integrate the latest service packs and fixes into the main installation files. So now, the next time I want to reinstall Windows from scratch, rather than having to install Windows XP Professional SP1 first and then SP2 on top of it, overwriting a number of already-installed files and taking another 20 minutes, I just have to install using my new bootable slipstreamed CD of XP SP2.

All I needed to do this was:

  • A genuine Windows XP CD-ROM
    obviously!!
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2
    either as the download from the XP SP2 website, or from the CD-ROM that was bundled with alot of PC magazines when it was first released.
  • ISO Buster
    to extract the boot image file from the XP CD-ROM
  • CD burner software, such as Nero Burning ROM
    to create the new, bootable installation CD-ROM

Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows has an excellent, step-by-step guide to Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), which I followed. The whole process took me 10 minutes at most.

Next, I’ll see if I can do the same for my brother’s copy of Windows XP Home. I’m getting the hang of this PC lark!