What’s new

Today I attended Richard’s funeral. I had only known him for a few months; however, he volunteered in June to become Treasurer of our Deanery here in Southwark. We don’t have a lot of expenditures, but we haven’t had a functioning Treasurer for a couple of years. So we were delighted when Richard volunteered. He was only 31, but was a registered financial adviser as well as being a busy volunteer at the Cathedral, which was his parish.

He warned us that he was undergoing treatment for cancer of the testicles, which was dealt with through surgery, but which also needed chemotherapy. However, he expected to come out of the chemo OK and regai his strength and life.As I mentioned in a previous post, he had a massive stroke in reaction to his last bout of chemotherapy. He died a week and a half ago on Sunday without regaining consciousness. We were all shocked and sad. The funeral was good (as such events go)–the Cathedral was about 3/4 full, which is pretty good for a regular person’s funeral. He was much loved, had many friends and a large family. He had married only in January of this year, too. Such a waste of a wonderful life.

So George Bush is in trouble yet again. Not only is his brain about to be indicted (oops, I meant Karl Rove), but his nominee for the Supreme Court has withdrawn her name in the face of a barrage of criticism from both sides. I think this will be quite a bizarre time. If he nominates a diehard conservative, he may have some trouble in the Senate. If he nominates a middle-of-the-road person, he’ll have some trouble with his conservative power base. How sad for him. I’m crying. Can’t you tell?

Charles Clarke seems to be having some trouble with the Terrorism Bill 2005. Good for him. Half-baked ideas make bad law. As many people have observed, no law against terrorism or terrorists is going to stop 100% of the terrorists. Thus, every time there is a problem, the government will cut down on our civil liberties in order to try to stop the next attack. We will end up in a police state. While my friend Samantha was killed on 7/7, and I take buses and the Tube regularly, I would rather have civil liberties than absolute safety; there are civil liberties but there is no such thing as absolute safety and the Government is wrongheaded to try to say that there is or might be. We are led by a bunch of dunderheads. I hope that I can still say that publicly without being charged with some offense under the Terrorism Act.

Almost November. That’s a bad month for me. My birthday’s in November. Both my parents died in November. The best teacher I ever had died in November, as well as a very kind priest from my childhood. I often get bronchitis in November. Thank God it’s only 30 days long. I don’t know whether I can take any more of it.

I’ve finally gotten possession of the domain “luti.org”. You may or may not know that the founder of Integrity, Dr. Louie Crew (another one of my heroes), also founded an email discussion list called Luti, after one of his many writing personae, Quean Lutibelle. The domain was registered by a former owner, but at the time the former owner became “former”, I was not savvy enough to figure out how to deal with domain name registrars, so I didn’t bother. However, I finally figured out how to do it, and am now the proud owner of chrishansen.org.uk and christianphansen.com, as well as luti.org. I am hoping that the transfer of registrars from the US to the UK will happen soon; I want them all under one roof. Then, I’ll transfer my website to christianphansen.com (making it better in the meantime, I hope) and make a webpage to encourage people to join Luti. I may even put some list management software on the server and take the hosting back from Yahoo!, which is not terribly good at hosting nowadays, in many respects.

Had lunch with my chum Steve yesterday. Looks like there is a good chance that I’ll have a permanent job in March 2006. Not that I’m looking, mind you–even the recruiters have stopped calling!!! But, he’s working with an exciting product (a tool to assist software testing) and an exciting company. It’s German, however; I may have to learn some…oh well, I hope one can teach an old dog new tricks.

Another chum, Mike, is arriving here for a weekend jaunt from Chicago. Nice to see him again; we haven’t seen him for almost three years. He’s bringing gifts (although not Greek): Irish Spring soap, lots of chunky peanut butter for HWMBO, three copies of a picture I retouched of my parents’ wedding. Two will go to Marblehead as gifts for my sister and brother. I’ll keep the third. He’s also bringing some 8-1/2 x 11 picture paper so that I can print that size myself in the future. Remember, we’re benighted here and only have A4 size paper. HWMBO is taking tomorrow off, bless him, as he’s been working his socks off at the shop. We’ll be picking Mike up then going to the Tate and God only knows where else.

Half the results of the ISEB courses taken at Searchspace have come in: all four reporting so far have passed, most with very good marks. I’m quite chuffed: it’s a tribute to the good staff Searchspace have recruited for their testing department. Steve’s wife Anne, the head honcho of Electromind, the consultancy that I work with and for, also passed with flying colours. She isn’t even a software tester or programmer. Well done, Anne! I wonder how many of the people in Wiltshire I taught the previous week passed. I may or may not find out. It’s too soon for last week’s crop.

Enough for this entry!

One Response to “What’s new”

  1. vasilatos says:

    31 is so rough. But you have such a nicely organized Deanery. We are so small, and I am so terrible about even attendance. It’s calming to read your description. And encouraging.

    Sounds like Richard left in a good context, if he had to leave. Still sorry to hear.