We saw a Penguin today, and named it Bridget.


Long time no update… 

So I guess I’d better try and get back into the swing of things.

Well, it finally happened. Doulos is officially ending. In just under 3 weeks time.

Surprised? Well, I wasn’t. We’d known that many issues were coming to light during the drydock, and it turned out the issues were more than were worth trying to sort out, for an increasingly short possible length of time.

You can read more about it on if you hadn’t already heard…

It’s been public for about a month now, I guess… and so my girlfriend and I will be leaving Doulos in exactly 2 weeks.

We’ll be going to work with OMNIvision for a few months, hoping to get a clearer notion as to whether we should go back there for a few years longer, later next year.

Right now, I’m pretty tired. I’m officially not AV any more, but working in training department, but still with many AV commitments, and jobs. I’ve not been able to hand over some of the last bits to my friend and replacement, as too many bits were caught up in the whole drydock thing, which didn’t really end solidly, so stuff just dragged out.

I’m getting bits of my new jobs kind of messed up to – down to forgetting to organize someone to lead music this morning at the “Tuesday Morning Devotions”.

I’m horribly behind with email, blog, newletters, packing and preparing to leave here soon, I’m behind on days-off, I have large projects I don’t even know where to start on, and so on.

I’m writing this at 5am, after having stayed up all night working with the videographer on finishing an “End of Doulos” presentation video which is needed later today. I was mainly doing audio engineering / cleaning up work. We still need one shot, and so a couple of guys are heading out at in half an hour to go shoot it – us sailing Doulos into Vivo City in Singapore for the final time. Then it’ll be rendering all day until getting shown this evening.

I also need to rig up an amplifier for some speakers in the bookshop this morning, and then I’m going out off the ship with the other Training Department people for the day.

It’s busy.


More Before and After pics 

Here you go, Carlien.





With nowt but vacuum cleaner and soft paintbrush (of course not stolen from [Liezel][7], who’s doing much more interesting things this dry-dock), this has got to be one of the most satisfying and easy jobs on the ship.



Non-AV post 

So, dry dock continues.

I’m not hugely productive, alas.

I just can’t seem to build up momentum to get a whole lot done in a day. I suspect a large part of it may be how horribly messy AV is right now. I’ll spend as much time as I need tomorrow in cleaning up.

So, other stuff.

[A List Apart][1] is a really cool website. I’ve done enough web design to find the articles very interesting, and was just reading some of the ones about typography. I think I need to work on my blog to make it a little more beautiful to read.

It’s unfortunate, I spend just enough time on the web and doing designy things to not be comfortable using the default layouts and all that, and want to make my own, but not enough to actually be able to do it very well. So the titles & dates, on this blog, for instance.

I modified the design last year while on furlough, and, having not spent enough time to really get my brain all the way around EMs and ENs, alignment, leading and everything, used something of a hack (I think) to get the date and title of each post a little closer together.

It looks OK to me, currently. However, if I forget to put a title, then it shifts up the date do that it overlaps some of the blog text.

Not good.

So, the answer, of course, is to insert a non-breaking-space into the title block.

But blogger won’t let me do that! So, instead, I’ll just have to keep on remembering to put in titles.

I’ll be thinking a lot about vertical rhythm of text layout, and possibly make some changes to size and stuff later. I like learning these things as it helps fill in gaps in my head.

I sometimes wish for a fuller education. But given that I’m interested in EVERYTHING, it could take a while. Someone suggested I take a Liberal Arts degree or something like that. But then that doesn’t really cover physics, electronic engineering , accoustics, psycology, software design, or that. It might help my spelling, I guess.

If I get a chance (which means, a bunch of years in a stable job with enough free time), then I may try and do something like that by corrospondence. But otherwise, I have wikipedia, a list apart, google, and the other tools of the 2009 home-educator’s mind…




I found out that some of our panels were modified by someone in the past to do … interesting things.

Home built new video-patch panel. Waaay more sensible, understandable, and usable.



AV updates, mid drydock. 


I think it looks a little better. Still messy, but at least understandable. Pretty much everything is plugged in now, and from preliminary tests, we appear to have somewhat better clarity in EVERYTHING, and some of the video signals are visibly higher signal-to-noise with much less interference.
We bought two new audio patch panels too, Behringer ones. Strangely, Behringer also seem to do unbalanced patch panels. Fortunately, the shop had both, and I noticed. What on earth would anyone want unbalanced patch panels for?!

[][2] I also had to butcher the two panels which we were replacing to get enough parts to fix a third panel which was very glitchy. Here are some of the internals which are slightly broken.

You can see a bit of corrosion on the top contact – even with jackplug cleaners and everything, the equipment is just plain old.

Today, hopefully, I can do the full system tests (need to borrow a oscilliscope and reference signal generators…), and then get the whole thing boxed up and leave it until the end of drydock. Then I can work on more fun projects. Videos, song composition, etc.

That’s all for now, I’ll post more shorter posts later, with more pictures.



Life carries on… 

So. Short post.

We’re in KK, Malaysia. Beautiful place.

A whole bunch of people left, and a whole bunch of new ‘uns joined.

The crazy Swedish dude left my AV team and headed home, after two years on board, and now I’ve got a new American the team. It’s fun training him, although kind of strange. I’ve taught AV stuff to so many people now. It’s hard to remember what I’ve taught to whom. I’ve got a basic Doulos AV curriculum, finally, but it’s difficult to get it all together. Theres so many little bits of randomness.

So now the team is one Korean, one Brit, one American, and one confused-not-quite-sure-ean(me).

Amongst the new recruits is one of my friends from the UK, which is very cool. She seems to be enjoying the ship so far, and is working in the “Accomedation” team, cleaning the inside of the ship, doing the laundry, running the bookshop cafe, etc.

Anyway. So. This was intended to be a short post, and mostly informational…


It’s my girlfriend’s birthday tomorrow. The whole present-buying-birthday-celebration-rituals-cultures-thing terrifies me. Like, I dunno. Something about my INFP/TCK nature, I guess. I want everything I do to be meaningful, and genuine. Especially with those who are really dear to me. That’s the INFP side… But also, I feel like so many things (such as buying presents on birthdays, putting up signs, cards, etc) are very superficial, and just a crass part of some culture.

I want to buy presents that are really real – not just bought “because” of the birthday. Yet I don’t know if buying presents *for* the birthday, like, “doing the birthday thing” is also a way of being real, within a culture?

I don’t totally relate personally to any culture, really, and find almost all cultures have things which offend me, and which I don’t fit into.

Also, on the other hand, more practically, I know that there is an element I also probably ought to have of simply “Daniel, just grow up, accept the fact that you’re not all that great at buying presents, so get over it, stop making all these stupid theoretical excuses and work harder than everyone else to actually do it well, and on time. Stop being so lazy.”


Oh dear. 


Modern Christianity. 

We’re not sure of the difference between baseless optimism and faith.


Blinded by love? 

Just a random thought.

I was walking past a sign today, I don’t remember what the whole sign was about, but it contained the phrase “love makes you blind”.

Does it?

It’s a weird concept. I know what it means, but isn’t it kind of antithetical to what we would want to believe?

We say love (in it’s purest form) is the highest of virtues, biblically, it’s one of our main goals, God uses “love” to describe himself, Paul waxes lyrical about it, and almost every page of the scriptures are saturated in it. Songs have been written from the beginning of time about it.

Surely love does the opposite of blinding. It’s only in love that we are actually able to see. Without love, we are blind.

If what we call “Love” causes us to no longer see (flaws, problems, sins, etc), then is it really love? Or infatuation, idolatry?