2007 — Day 90 - Foobar rocks

Trust me, you haven't lived until you've heard The Idiot Bastard Son by Frank Zappa, but performed by the "Ensemble Ambrosius". What a way to start the day. I've been weaning myself off Microsoft's Media Player (yes, despite its pretty new Version 11 skin) and am currently using Foobar 2000. The algorithm it uses to play my (nearly 20,000) MP3s randomly shuffled has been turning up some very long-buried items. I find myself asking "What on earth is that?" quite frequently. Of course, the next question is occasionally: "And why on earth did I buy it?" but you can't win 'em all, can you?

This just in

It's too late to do much about it right now, of course (just after midnight), but Junior has just admitted the possibility of a problem booting from the CD/DVD drive on the "spare" machine he handed back to me on Sunday. So, if I can persuade the case to open without a can opener, maybe I can try attaching the drive to a different channel on the controller? Stranger things have been known to work.

Meanwhile, let's not forget I picked up a copy of the Griff Rhys Jones autobiography Semi-Detached for the entirely reasonable sum of £3-93 in Asda this (well, yesterday now) evening. He's two years younger than me, dammit!

And how come the Complete Simpsons Season 9 is £3 cheaper there than from Play? (Just asking.) Not to mention the new Terry Gilliam...

Thank you, Mr Parcelforce

Big Bro's toy has arrived, and is sitting enticingly in the living room. Whether he'll be able to hand-carry it through Customs and get his VAT refund is another matter, however. And Lynne Truss (in BBC Radio 4's With great pleasure) has just chosen my favorite HG Wells story "The truth about Pyecraft", preceded (I believe — I was in a linguistic dispute with She who must be adored regarding one of her patent translations at the time) by an extract from one of Betty MacDonald's autobiographies. And followed by a Joni Mitchell song — good grief!

Farewell, Molly Ivins

Dammit. When she declared of a congressman, "If his I.Q. slips any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day," many readers [of the Dallas Times Herald] were appalled, and several advertisers boycotted the paper. In her defence, her editors rented billboards that read: "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" This was the title of her first book; I bought it in Florida in November 1992 while on a holiday paid for (well, 50% subsidised!) by IBM.

Texas politicians aren't crooks: it's just that they tend to have an overdeveloped sense of the extenuatin' circumstance. As they say around the Legislature, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in office.

Mary Tyler (Molly) Ivins, 1944 - 2007

1 February 2007