Monday, 13 September 2010

Procrastination

I've taken better pictures than these, but I'm quite proud of this pair nonetheless. Today was my day off, the time when I rest and recuperate and get myself all charged up for the week ahead; which is not a bad choice of words, for this week I have to deliver a charge and today was the only clear space in my timetable in which to write it.

Pistols have charges. So do courts and batteries and schoolteachers and the Light Brigade. So do bishops. We have to give a long and interminable speech at the beginning of synod, it's all part of the tradition, you know, and these valiant attacks on insomnia are known as charges. Because it has to be printed out I had to write a full script, something I haven't done since I talked on the radio in 1992, and the time before that must have been one of the sermons I preached before Bob Lowe got on my case in about 1982. For me, scripting a sermon is like scripting a conversation; as I labour over the keyboard there is a little voice deep in the inner recesses of my inner recesses which whispers, speaks, shouts then screams that this is not the way it should be done. But I did it. Or most of it. In the bits of the day when I should have been writing the rest I procrastinated.

Procrastination is revelatory in terms of the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory. J personalities procrastinate by not starting things. P personalities proacrastinate by not finishing, and today I found a hundred excuses not to finish.... well.... two, anyway. My newly built study now has books on the shelf, but they (of course) need sorting. And more importantly, the wireless  internet  took the scenic route on the journey from the kitchen wall, where the router lives, to the new space under my old desk where my computer skulks, and although it no doubt enjoyed itself, the signal was all tuckered out when it got to my place. Of the two issues, the internet was the one to which my procrastination genes bonded. I looked on ebay (ipad, another room) and found a brand of parabolic dish antenna which might solve the problem - a good hour wasted there - but they were expensive and the post is slow, and who knows if it would live up to its hype when it got here? Then it occured to me that any hemispherical metal object should act as a dish antenna, and so I held my usb wifi  thingummy in front of the the family colander and got an immediate jump in reception. So, it was off to The Warehouse to buy a shiny new colander ($9.95), and another happy couple of hours fitting it to a wall in the garage, drilling a hole between the study and the garage, running an extension lead from the computer and dangling the usb thingummy in various positions in front of the holey object.  It worked! Woohoo! Speed jumped from 11 Mbps to 108 Mbps. Signal strength went from 12% to 68%. I was chuffed and immediately used my new found connectedness to google and see if anyone else had come up with this idea. They had. Of course they had. In their thousands. There is a whole subculture of using kitchen utensils as wifi aerials. They're called woktennas or wokfi or wifry. Well I never! There was another happy half hour reading all about this, and looking at the ingenious pictures of aerials made from chip scoops, pringles tins, soup ladles and sieves. And I found another wonderful timewaster.

Somebody had invented a thing called the Windsurfer signal booster, which is really just another little parabolic aerial. Basically, you download a pattern, print it on card, cut the thing out, glue tinfoil on the back surface, and  fit it on the antennae of your wireless router. It took less than half an hour go to whoa to make two, put 'em on and boost the signal up to 80% and speed to 121.5 Mbps. Fantastic! Another boost in the figures, but of course, the increase was practicably unnoticeable. And then, oh happy day, it was time to cook dinner.

The charge is 3/4 written. Only a quarter to go, and I have the whole evening, unless I find some other atractive diversion, such as writing a blog post.

14 comments:

Peter Carrell said...

May I encourage you? Good. I will!
In recent years I have heard charges from three different bishops. One could be forgiven for thinking in one case that a couple of hours was both minimum and mandatory (ok, maybe it was only 90 minutes). Then another one broke the mold and I realised that the charge can be shorter rather than longer. A third bishop has shown me that the charge can be quite short indeed, 15 minutes or so.

My encouragement is that as I have travelled south the charges have gotten shorter. You are souther than I am, so you can be even shorter :)

VenDr said...

The heaters we need to ward off the cold down here makes the rooms stuffy. It takes a shorter time to induce sleep.

Richard said...

Perhaps this procrastination is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, and your Bishop's Charge is to be about the future of church as colander, or as simple and local ways of reconnecting ourselves with God!

VenDr said...

Of course! Richard, thank you. That is exactly what I was struggling with in my charge. That is exactly what the strategic plan is about- the one I have been wrestling with for months.

Only trouble is: now I have to rewrite the charge and threes no time left. Or is this too the work of the Spirit?

Richard said...

Sorry about that...simple and effective ways to increase the signal reception strength of people from 12% to 68%? I suspect that many in our churches operate at the lower end of receptivity to God - who is broadcasting at 110%!

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to be a procrastinator if we allow God to work in and through exactly who we are!
My encouragement is to take note of that "little voice deep in the inner recesses of our inner recesses" - in my experience it is where the still small voice of God can be heard!
Kelvin, i have recently met a small but similar challenge and I think it takes great belief in the truth and energy - the integrity- of whatever you are speaking about, to offer a view in a nutshell, with hope, - to say very very little. Good luck ...

Roscoe Mishmack said...

You take as long as you need, Boss. I haven't been bored listening to you yet and neither, I think, have most people. And don't be afraid to depart from the script if the Spirit moves you.

Yrs presumptuously,
Roscoe

Joanne said...

I love your ingenuity - that's the kind of kiwi spirit the church needs to survive and grow - it made me have a good laugh which was welcome. Have you ever watched under cover boss-i think it has great potential to see how the church is really at work and great parallels to the Son of God coming amongst us - happy charge writing.

daharja said...

There's nothing wrong with procrastination. I did a major in it (minor in Tavernology).

But seriously, now I've found a new use for that old colander sitting in the shed :-)

ElizH said...

Following on from what Richard said, maybe it is a metaphor for looking outside of what we know (ie the church) and beyond for the presence of God and where the Church should be?

Anonymous said...

I'm appalled to think you couldn't do this with No. 8 wire.
I have some great thoughts on procrastination which I'll post tomorrow.
peace and joy!

VenDr said...

So what do you think the extension lead from the computer is made of? Admittedly the insulation is chewing gum and the usb plug is balsa, cigarette packet lining and string, but it's pretty much #8 all the way.

Anonymous said...

You have restored my faith in kiwi manhood. No. 8 is great for fuses as well.
I'll send you my sermon 'The sin of procrastination and apathy' tomorrow, if I can be bothered.

peace & joy!

VenDr said...

No 8 in fuses is dangerous! I Would only ever use it if there are no nails handy.