2007 — 3 Apr: Plasma gas fire ahoy!

The living room gets its second "plasma screen" today, all going to plan. But I'll need help if I have to shift all the hifi a tad to the right to make installation and operating room available. Plus, technically, he's a day late (if you're guided by the Flanders & Swann song). It turns out the plasma fire must be installed in conjunction with 100 cm2 of purpose provided ventilation1 and it's more than his Corgi certificate is worth to rely on us leaving the window open (or, more bizarrely, to re-use the existing flue that goes straight through the outside wall behind the existing fire into what passes for fresh air here in the shadow of the busy motorway). I would also post a picture of the "before" variant, but it's too ugly. I can see I need to do a spot of polishing, too:

New gas fire

Contrasting with the uproar in our living room today, was the only slightly lesser upheaval we must have caused our neighbours last night by calling round for a meal2 when they'd forgotten having issued the invitation. I should have foreseen the powerful mnemonic erasure effect of that Laphroaig last week, perhaps. But at least they're still talking to us. Last night we were gently destroying our neurons with Amaretto. I had no idea that this Italian mixture of absolute alcohol, burnt sugar, and seventeen selected herbs and fruits soaked in apricot kernel oil has been around, as it were, since 1525. Maybe I should take up the sherious (hic) study of alcohol?

Is there a "Shrink" in the house?

I'm amused by the thought that a lady researching a DPhil on the decline of political activism in Western Europe at Nuffield College, Oxford University, takes time out (as it were) to write an article for Spiked on the suggestion that some of the staff at that Pitt Rivers museum (that I've still yet to visit) are "feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the 'shrunken heads' exhibit", which may therefore undergo a review and possibly be made more "respectful".

Personally, I'd regard any sustained decline in the prevalence of head-severing and head-shrinking as pretty clear signs of lessened activism, political or otherwise.

Cat and Canary

The re-remake was extraordinarily bad, despite the presence of Wilfred Hyde-White and Honor Blackman. It's been expunged from the PVR hard drive. And all traces of recent relative incursions are also now gone. But there can be no catching up on last night's interview with Lord Reith until the A/V stack is (yet again) re-plumbed. And it's not the sort of re-plumbing the present plumber is equipped to tackle. I can't even have my NPR satellite station feed upstairs.

Day 151  


1  Big sighs all round are, alas, not sufficient. Nor is a sharp intake of breath. I asked.
2  He'd not even had his naff Neff fixed.