2007 — Day 82 - it snowed, they tell me

But it had all gone before I felt any need to look at it. I used to love snow as a child, of course. The prospect of enormously extended travel time to and from school with correspondingly less time in lessons. Glorious! Now it's just cold and (occasionally) inconvenient.

BBC Radio 4 is just about to examine "pre-verbal" memories — "In my pram, I remember". Now how are they articulated, do you suppose? Fascinating, what goes on inside our heads. According to husky-voiced Mariella Frostrup: "Scientists and academics maintain these are impossible," so it's just as well they can't see inside my head.

The first PIN of Spring

Poor old A&L; they've just sent me a new PIN for the card with which I could unlock the riches of my Easy Saver account if only I could find it (and if only they didn't charge an arm and a leg for each withdrawal) and if only it contained riches. Now all I need is a replacement card to replace the replacement card that She who must be adored will not 100% admit to having mis-placed (securely, no doubt).

I have long been a fan of one Cecil Adams, revered custodian of that fountain of knowledge The Straight Dope — initially a weekly column in the Chicago Reader. Following a link (as I am wont to do) from the "A&L" that isn't the Alliance & Leicester, I fell upon a Wall Street Journal "Opinion" piece by one Kay S. Hymowitz deploring the recent trend to over-exposure of the "waxed nether-regions" of young female celebrities (naming no names). The piece goes on to suggest the writer Daphne Merkin as a perfect example of "the dangers of giving the public17 Too Much Information". But mention of Ms Merkin reminded me of one of Cecil's classic columns which, in turn, sheds a little more light than usual on the leisure time activities of some IBMers in (I presume) the early 1990s:

The topic of merkins came up a while ago in a mailing list of word fans on the IBM internal network, and a participant told of going to a bar that offered prizes to amateur nude dancers. There were a lot of rules; some made sense (no touching the customers), some didn't (pubic hair required). A woman in the party considered going up, but she shaved herself; however, the management provided merkins. She said they looked like little mustaches. The whole scene was a little too weird for her, so she decided not to dance.

Philip Cohen, White Plains, New York

If only it had been IBM management providing the merkins, that would have been just perfect! Contemplation of the expense claim alone...

What other wonders has Mr Postie wrought?

He also brought notification of a new tax code, which has twitched, but in the wrong direction. I guess I really must get the "round tuit" needed to write to Ms Taxperson despite having been cheerily assured that "You needn't do anything, sir."

Linux baby steps

Tottering along. Today's startup noted "raid array is not clean" so it started a background reconstruction. Then it managed to get going with two drives and "activated swap" (which, of course, I rather thought it did not have, so maybe the reconstruction recovered that missing 6GB that would have been more than enough space). It checked both the root file system and other file systems (what other file systems, I ponder) but wasn't keen on letting me start Apache so I gave up in disgust for a bit. Time for soup and a roll. Brrr! It's cold! (Not the soup, I hasten to add!)

24 January 2007  


17  Or perhaps that should be "pubic"?