2007 — 5 Apr: HP sauce

Thank you, Brian! I've just used the Windows System Restore tool (as you suggested) for the first time ever to roll my errant XP system PC back to its state two days ago and miraculously I can print again. (To give them their due, the HP support service responded promptly, but their menu of emailed suggestions included nothing I hadn't already tried, and did not include the simple suggestion to rollback the two recent updates rather than patching the first with the second.)

Of course, I now have an irritating little yellow shield with an "!" in it inviting me to re-apply the "fix" that will break my system but I think I can live with that. So my Windows PC system is vulnerable to some unclearly specified attack vector — what's new?

Dripping, to go with the HP sauce

We were taking it in turns last night to empty the drip tray collecting the unwanted output from Junior's radiator. I took the first "watch"1 and can therefore report that a) it gets very quiet here at 3 in the morning, b) the new gas fire works a treat (though I do wonder whether the sleepiness I felt at times was a result of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning — I seem to remember that a low intensity blue flame meant less complete combustion, and it gets too hot [and I'm too poor/mean] if left on Warp 10), and c) I have just reached Lizzie's rejection of Darcy's proposal in the 1995 BBC TV production. Listening to this on headphones reveals an incredible attention to detail on the sound stage. It really is an excellent piece of work.

The offending radiator has also been expunged from the system:

Small leak

And if you need a bigger view.

"Wally" Simpson rules

BBC Radio 4 gives this overlooked antisocial surrealist comedy dramatist (NF Simpson) a welcome review. (One-way pendulum, A resounding tinkle, etc.) One of the luminaries interviewed — the ever-reliable Ned Sherrin — sounded worryingly breathless, which may explain his absence2 in recent weeks from the Saturday evening Loose Ends chat show. Get well soon, Ned!

Loved this opening to a review of a book titled OFFAL & ORDURE — Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England, 1600-1770:

This book inhabits a grubby and squalid world, truffling out details that are vivid, colourful and sometimes downright nauseous. It's a veritable feast of filth and foulness, and I loved every minute of it. The chapter titles tell you immediately what to expect: "Itchy", "Mouldy", "Noisy", "Grotty", "Dirty". They sound like a South West Trains service. It's not the benighted line to Yeovil Junction you're on, however, but a journey back into the past: specifically, the past of an England where people still drank ale instead of tea for breakfast, defecated in the streets as if it were the right of every freeborn Englishman to do so, and hadn't yet dreamt of Methodism, Temperance, or the Lord's Day Observance Society. In other words, the emphatically pre-Victorian England of "Beef and Liberty" in all its grimy, rumbustious, unapologetic vigour.

Christopher Hart, writing in the Literary Review about Emily Cockayne's book

IBM pension rules

The terribly nice folk who disburse these things are giving me a payrise. Minor league, but (as dear ol' Dad used to say): Every little helps! The accompanying info leaflet warns me that the April payment will be four days late because of the Easter holiday. I wonder if current UK salary payments in IBM are being similarly held up? I doubt it, somehow. Good job I won another £50 from my mate ERNIE, isn't it?! No doubt hedonic adaptation will eventually set in, but I still get a kick at the moment from logging onto a government web site that basically says "Hello, David... have some tax free cash."

Day 153  


1  I have high hopes that the plumber will be able to stop this nonsense, if only by removing the radiator completely for the time being. But why do I sense a replacement heating system in my near future?
2  Yep. My chum Peter (whom I would never have had pegged as a Daily Mail reader in a million years) sent me a link to the story. Poor Ned has paralysed vocal cords following a virus. Nasty.