Who is searching for ears?!

A man's ear.

Each week I get an e-mail with a list of the most common searches on a few of my websites. Here (or should I say ‘ere) is one that confused me:

There were 8 searches for the week ending 01/06/07 for Taking the Episcopalian.

Here are the top phrases searched:

– 4 for “giant ears”
– 2 for “ears”
– 1 for “boys ears”
– 1 for “large ears”

Who is searching for ears?! I’m listening…

Fixing Java in Firefox and IE7

Close-up of coffee beans

Yesterday we were visited at work by someone from Nedstat, a company that specializes in Web statistics. But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about this: why my browsers were falling down whenever I ran Java applications; a problem I’ve had for over five months now.

Because whenever the Nedstat rep. tried to run a Java-related online application in Firefox it wouldn’t work as expected.

Him: Hmmm… it’s not supposed to do that.
Me: Is it Java, by any chance?
Him: Yes, why?
Me: I’m having trouble with Java and my browsers just now.

It’s a guaranteed way to scupper software reps’ demonstrations though, if that’s your thing: make sure your browsers don’t work properly. (Not to be recommended.)

At the university we have a staff expenses online form which runs within a browsers and uses Java and an Oracle JInitiator plugin to run. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what these mean, it just means that you need X to run Y.)

Only, whenever I tried to run the application in either Firefox or Internet Explorer 7 the browsers would crash. With Firefox I was getting the following error message:

Firefox.exe Application Error
The instruction at “0x600d1f60” referenced memory at “0x00000054”. The memory could not be “read”.

Click on OK to terminate the program.
Click on Cancel to debug the program.

Which means … something doesn’t work properly. Probably.

It worked fine in Opera though, which made me wonder if this was more to do with the browser configurations rather than a strictly Java-related problem. So last night I stayed on after 5pm to sort it out.

Having uninstalled all the Java Runtime Environment-related applications, rebooted and installed the latest JRE I turned my attention to the browsers and disabled all my Firefox add-ins (formerly known as extensions).

And do you know what? That fixed it. There was obviously an add-in that was interfering with the functionality of Java. But which one?

  • Re-enable the next add-in on the list
  • Restart Firefox
  • Test with online expense form
  • Repeat

It turned out that two Firefox add-ins were to blame: IE Tab and JSView.

Similarly, with IE7 I’d been playing around with Add-ons shortly after I’d upgraded to it from IE6. Obviously something was impeding the functionality of Java within the browser so I clicked the Reset button (found in Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab) which returned everything to a default, untampered state.

Click…

Test…

… and relax.

Mr Philip Z. Graham, M.A. (St Andrews)

Philip Graham
The one and only Philip Z. Graham on Market Street, St Andrews.

In the last 30 days there have been three searches for “Philip Graham” on my blog. I know this because I have the Search Meter WordPress plugin activated on my blog. Who am I to deny my readers from what they are wanting?

Phil is a friend of mine from my school days in Selkirk. We also spent the same four years in St Andrews, while I studied Divinity he was across the road studying Mediaeval History. Phil then stayed on in St Andrews for a few years making picture frames before jetting off to Japan to teach English, where he’s been ever since.

Until last year I’d only seen him, I think, once since we graduated. That once was in a pub in Hawick where Phil revealed that he had obtained the qualifications to be able to perform western-style weddings (by which I mean western European rather than Wild West cowboys) in Japan. I won’t go into the details about how he acquired these qualifications, suffice to say that I seem to recall that it involved a BBQ. (Phil please correct me if I’m wrong!)

So there I was on Monday 18 December sitting at my desk working on a presentation for the following day when all of a sudden, like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn (but not dressed like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn) Phil appeared at the window. He’d been visiting a friend in the library and knew that I was working in the (no sniggers please) Butts Wynd area.

It was really great to see him again. We went to Macgregors for coffee/hot chocolate and chatted about the last ten years, about his time in St Andrews and Japan, and mine in stipendiary ministry and out.

And then we said goodbye. No! Not like that! We just shook hands. And that’s when I took the photo on my Nokia mobile phone.

I like my friends.

Preaching in St Andrews

Gate to St Mary's College, St Andrews

On most days during term between 1989 and 1993 I walked through these gates (pictured above) into St Mary’s College in St Andrews. Each day I did I walked past a small noticeboard that gave details of the next service in the University chapel and advertised the name of the preacher.

I always assumed that these preachers were all important and distinguished scholars, big names on the international theological preaching circuit.

It would appear not: look who’s down to preach this coming Sunday (21 January):

University Chapel notice

If you can’t read it, the sign says:

Sunday 21st January 2007

11 am University Chapel
St Salvator’s Chapel

Preacher: Rev Gareth Saunders
Assistant Information Architect & Web Manager

‘One Body’

I was given the Revised Common Lectionary passages in early December and had to provide a sermon title before the end of term … before I’d actually written my sermon.

I chose to preach on 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a and I’m hoping that “One Body” is vague enough to cover what I’ll eventually preach on (once my sermon has been written) without the only “one body” being mine in the pulpit.

I’m sure it’ll be fine, but if you would please pray for me this week as I read the passage again and again, and read around it, that I’ll be inspired to find the right thing to say for this University congregation.