2007 — 11 May: no more House room?

With Christa's pending surgery I find myself unconvinced that the Hugh Laurie vehicle "House" is fully appropriate viewing, let alone something that will help me sleep any better. There was a time when I used to devour medical books (not to mention all those fascinating Reader's Digest articles [usually] by JD Ratcliff with titles like "I am John's knee" — or worse) but, just lately, I've been made too well aware of the things that can go wrong with what her surgeon described (perfectly seriously) as "the dustbin with a hosepipe casually tangled up in it".

Perhaps I'll change my mind if the sun ever re-appears.

What can you say about chocolate covered manhole covers?

About as much as you can say about a water butt delivered at 2 a.m. by lads from a lorry en route back to their depot in Leeds. It was deposited across the front bit of "garden" and then distributed almost to our neighbour's by the odd bit of wind, and is now minus the tap at the bottom that stops collected water from leaking out. It, too, will need a fair amount of floor-grovelling contortion to fix, being well over a metre deep. However, I was woken this morning not by this curious delivery but by Mr Amazon's gentle tapping while She was already out beyond aural range in the back garden seeing to this latest toy. (I'm the one who has to saw a hole in the gutter's down pipe to plumb it in, of course. That will be a personal first.)

Here comes the sun

I used to own1 a 1967 novel by JT McIntosh — "Time for a change". While I admit the use of the (then terribly futuristic) data70 font and the attractive semi-nudes on the cover played a small part in my buying decision...


...they played little part in the plot which, as I remember, concerned visitors from the future. Their clothing, however, was "intelligent" and capable of changing colour, protecting the wearer, and so on. Today's Guardian reports on Juan Hinestroza, a chemical engineer at Cornell University, who is briefing the US military on his ideas for clothing incorporating nanotechnology for much the same purpose. Albeit at around $10,000 per square yard. (I wonder how many nano-particles there are to the square yard.) Is there nothing new under the sun?

While Mrs Google was helping to show me an image of that long-discarded paperback by the way, one of the interesting byways took me to these reminiscences of early influential SF reading, and reading habits: Paul Barnett (aka John Grant). More here.

Cat on a hot tin roof... department

That Amazon delivery (of a wodge of Truman Capote material) reminded me of another Southern writer, hence the heading. And the photo-opportunity drawn to my attention by She who must be adored a couple of minutes ago proves irresistible:

Casper 1

Casper 2

Say hello to Casper!

Seeing the (Silver)light... department

Junior, in the course of a telephone enquiry into the state of his mother's health, admitted that he likes the look of what he's seen so far of that Microsoft Silverlight gubbins.2 Perhaps, one day, he'll explain it all to his tired old Dad? In other family news, one of my favorite3 cousins (the lawyer in Brum) is getting hitched to her fellow hockey player. We're accordingly off to our first "civil partnership" ceremony, and looking forward to it immensely. The couple in question have been an "item" for many years, and we love them both dearly.

Shops etc?

Amazon and HMV yielded:

Day 189  


1  I too cull my shelves occasionally, Geoff!
2  I installed the Beta, and then played the hi-def introductory movie... (25MB for 1 minute 36 seconds!) Technically, I'm neither wiser nor better-informed, but it did show some very modern-looking 3D user interfaces — somewhat akin to those in Minority Report but without carving wooden spheres!
3  I like all my cousins, though there are some I have not seen in the proverbial coon's age. (Are you still there, Jayne?)