yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Nearly a fortnight ago we got an email saying that the Grad work room (where I've been working in August since the library's shut) was to be locked the whole of September for `computer updates'. We were told to email the sender if we had problems with this. I did so, pointing out that the library was shut until the 2nd September and so could the work at least be delayed until Monday 5th. I got a response which said she'd passed this on to the computer officer and she thought it would be ok.

Anyway today, I mailed the computer officer (because I was fed up of the printer's attention light flashing, just because it's within 700 pages of the cartridge dying). She responded saying she'd seen the message and figured that it would last at least until she shut the room down on the first. I thought I'd query this and more generally why it was that computer updates in a room with 2 PWF machines and 4 big desks was causing the whole room to be locked for a month. This was her reply:

It's not just the PWFs that need working on, it's the doors. I have to *manually* remove each of about 250 graduate students, one by one. And then add back next year's list, also one by one. Not a fun prospect... And just in case you're thinking this, I can't just leave people who will be here next year on the list, a) because I don't know who they are and b) because I *also* have to revamp the system so that the groups are correct and that people are only allowed into the bits they need to go into (not just grads, but staff and faculty members, as well). It's easier to do that all in one go than to try to move people from one group to the other - especially when we're talking about ca. 320 accounts. Anyway, it's going to take me at least a week if I can get a week free all at once to do it (doubtful). Plus, I still have a bunch of holiday that needs taking before term starts (which may not be a good reason, but it's a fact and I have to take it into consideration) :)

Is it me or does a security system which requires that for updating (which will happen annually) really stupid?
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Well, my bicycle basket completely died today. I'd left it on, but unusable since Saturday but more bits broke today such that the main part of the basket was not connected to the bit which slots into the support so it was only attached by the tie which stopped it being stolen! This meant is swung randomly so I had to remove it. Cycling without it was weird! The front of the bike neither looked nor felt right. It's a bit like new glasses,* you might not notice the frames but you do if they are in a different place. Ditto, I didn't realise how peripherally aware of the basket I was. It was also a useful confirmation that might lights are working because some of the light struck the basket.

Secondly, I was amused by the statement
He was famous for his town-planning activities
in Lewis Thorpe's translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain. The Latin is:
Exin gloriosus edificator urbium existens
so it's not that free a translation but somehow it just sounded a really weird achievement whereas in the Latin (as in the Welsh versions) it doesn't.**

Thirdly, cross-referencing in LaTeX. This is simple if you want a reference to the section etc, or page or even to a theorem*** but I want to refer to the value of a counter I've created and I can't work out how. In comparing the Latin original and 4 Welsh versions of Geoffrey, I have drawn up a table**** with a line being a chunk (each one containing an example of the thing I'm comparing). I've managed to create a counter to number these lines, but how do I use that as a reference? Anyone tried something similar?

*Which I got a few weeks ago, although no-one noticed

**I'm not that interested in the Latin but one particular of the Welsh versions, but seeing what the Latin's doing is useful at times to see whether the Welsh is being influenced by Latin.

*** No, IANAM but adapting the theorem enviroment and syntax was the easiest way to get automatical numbering for my linguistic examples.

****Sidewaystable is a very useful thing!


Feb. 18th, 2005 09:45 pm
yrieithydd: (Cross)
That was fun. As I mentioned, a friend was organising a service of Vespers as the Anglo-Saxons might have known it. She asked me to be thurifer which I was glad to do.So I turned up around 4pm this evening by which time the choir (of 4) had nearly finished their rehearsal. Chris* came out and gave me and the acolyte who'd arrived a sheet of instructions and told me that as I'd only have the thurible for a bit that I could MC the rest of the time. I didn't find the instruction too bad, but the acolyte was rather scared by them. She commented that she'd be to a Catholic school but it was all rather informal. I had to show her how to genuflect.*** Chris went through the order with Jessica and then we had a quick run through of how it was going to go. Thsi was interesting as the layout of the Chapel made life difficult. Having the choir in the middle and a large pavement in front of the altar and only one way out makes for some interesting arrangements. The other acolyte arrived just after we started. Then practicalities -- such as bases for the acolytes candles, lighting the thurible, robes (cassocks for the choir, highly authentic cassock albs for the celebrant and servers) -- had to be started. We were a few minutes late going in in the end.

It was fun. I realised I had power as we got to where we were going to genuflect and I gave the signal! I was also giving the congregation the lead on standing and bowing (for the Gloria Patri). I had to give quite clear directions to the acolytes who got a bit lost at places. But they did basically a good job especially given how little rehearsal they'd had. I at least had serving experience behind me and had learnt to serve in service where I knew what was happening. Actually, it has to be said Solemn Evensong was a good basis for it. I took a bit long going out and getting the thurible during the hymn and so only got back at the Amen. By the time I'd worked out what the acolytes were to do next they'd missed it, so I sent them up to get their candles for the mag and then realised the instructions actually said that they put the candles down then. But I made them stand nearish the altar, although I could have done with getting them to turn in while the altar was censed. I also censed the congregation from a slightly random position. It was awkward though having gone down to do the choir so I did the congregation from the choir side of the where most of the congregation were (and missed those sat west of the choir).

I couldn't pay that much attention to the words because I was too worried about the next bit, but I managed to follow most of the homily (about St Agatha). We had the A-word at one point, which led to discussion afterwards and we decided it was okay as it was a feast day. It was also commented that as there was no sacrament reserved we shouldn't have been genuflecting (a thought which had crossed my mind earlier), but of course, there would have been had it been authentic (which was Helen's line) and Chris and I commented that there were traditions where one genuflects to the altar. Indeed one of the choir (who I think was a Schola Cantorum person) commented that she'd always thought it was to the altar.

We also had fun getting rid of the lit coals afterwards as Trinity don't use incense often and so aren't quite set up for it. There was some rather acrid smoke at this point. It really needs a good clean out and foil used in future or something.

I'm never quite sure about historical re-enactment of worship, but I think this worked. It was about worship even if I was struggling (but that's a side effect of serving what ever period it is) and I was struck by how little it had changed really. I mean I knew Cramner had used Vespers (and compline) in the creation of Evensong, but this was going back another 500 years or more.

I was also amazed that I wasn't scared by realising I had power, but was confident I could cope and at least appear I knew what was going on. I'd told the servers that one of the tricks of good serving was looking like you meant it!

*Former member of Fitz choir who runs Schola Cantorum** and is now doing an MPhil on Anglo-Saxon liturgical music.
**The Fisher House Latin choir
*** or at least which knee.
yrieithydd: (Cross)
Helen Foxhall Forbes (a fellow ASNC) is organsing a service of Vespers as the Anglo-Saxons might have celebrated it. It is happening tomorrow evening (Feb 18th) at 5pm in Trinity College Chapel. She might still be looking for women for the choir.

[sorry for the cross-post with christian_cambs but I have a feeling that some of my friends list are not on it]
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Mmmm, Ceilidhs and foul colds* are a really, really bad combination!

Work proceeds slowly (only doing afternoons the last two days hasn't helped). I've ended up being respondent to Geraldine's presentation next week as the nearest person to her, no matter I have done Irish seriously since my MPhil and Irish lit since my undergrad days! I also have just under 5 weeks to prepare my presentation. It's weird, I've been trying to organise my stuff and work out where I've got too over the last few days so I've been re-reading stuff I wrote this time last year. On one level, I haven't got much further but if you compare what I've written I have actually made quite a lot of progress it's just spiralling rather than linear so I'm doing much the same stuff but I understand it far better.

*Yes, I was getting over my cold and even the cough had nearly gone on Tuesday. However, I woke on Wednesday morning with a sore throat and bunged nose and have felt pretty bad ever since. I've got more cough medicine now.
I've just discovered that my supervisor wrote a book 22 years before he was born!

I just decided to check the catalogue system to see if they had finally managed to Yr Hen Iaith* as something reminded me of it. For some reason I decided to search on author. I thus found that on Newton (for the Faculties and Departments A-E) there are three entries for Paul Russell:
Russell, Paul
Russell, Paul 1956-
Russell, Paul 1956 Feb. 23-.

the first two with three entries each and the second with two. Looking at them each in turn, I discovered that one of the entries for Russell, Paul was `Oriental Flowering Cherries' published in 1934! This amused me greatly. I knew that there were inconsistencies in the author records on Newton, but ... .

(and as for the book classification that the Fac Library uses: I've been trying to puzzle out what some of the distinctions are, particular between E156 and E157 both of which are Welsh literature, but it's not that one's poetry and the other prose or one is earlier than the other. This has been bugging me for a while and so I've noticed that it isn't consistent; there is one volume in a series which is E156 when all the others are E157. There are also duplicate copies of the same book under different class marks (Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch has recently appeared under E153 (manuscripts basically) but has for a long time had two copies in E157Mab (i.e. one of the Welsh lit marks, classified under `Mabinogion' -- the collection of tales which it contains). I suspect some of this is caused by not having an ASNC librarian as such!)

*A book edited by my supervisor which contains an article relevant to one part of my work; Paul had given my a photocopy of the relevant parts of the article, but I'd had to extrapolate approximate page numbers.



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