2007 — 15 May: re-tired? Pah!

I was that busy yesterday I didn't even report on the little influx of bits'n'bobs thumping onto the Monday door mat, or being carried home from Asda, or Richer Sounds. The haul included my first-ever Region 4 DVD1 (even though it came to me via a supplier in New Jersey) so that will be an interesting test of my Pioneer player's supposedly multi-regional personality:

Today's rich haul of infotainment

Mr Paul Wolfowitz has just been found (after a month of investigation by 27 world bank officials!) to have violated staff rules and his own 53-page book of expected conduct by arranging a pay raise for his girlfriend. What a surprise. Deputy attorney general Paul McNulty is stepping down. What a surprise. Thank you, NPR. Who's the next "Paul" to go, I wonder?

More locally, my Guardian entertainingly informs me (and reminds me, instantly, of some of the debates during my time as an IBM "mole") that the Pentagon is introducing new rules for the so-called milbloggers requiring soldier-publishers to submit blog entries to supervising officers before posting them. That is as stupid as the suggestion that my mole reports could ever have survived management (what shall we call it?) intervention.

I got out of the office just in time. You can now be fitted with a £1,000 treadmill under your desk (unless this is a spoof, the British Journal of Sports Medicine should have the details, though I searched fruitlessly). If I were in Glasgow tonight I could catch Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Knutsford will not be used as the location for the next TV version of Cranford (because it's too modern). And while Mr Blair is going round hailing progress in UK education it seems Mr Brown is going to find out why 150,000 school-leavers (each year!) cannot count. Good job we'll be able to use Krishnan Ganesh's Indian internet tutors ("TutorVista"), 24/7, for less than £50 per month.

Here's a nice one. The American Association for Nude Recreation is less worried by falling membership than by the rising average age of its wrinkled members. It seems public nudity has been seen as morally corrupt. (What a good job we're all born wearing birthday suits, heh? And in "God's image", too. Now there's a corrupting thought.) Good to know, too, that my inertia is leading to high gas prices. Not me, buster! I've switched. And if none of this raises a smile, try Steve Bell's excellent cartoon on Mr Brown's housing policy.

Ubuntu Studio, heh?

According to the latest newsletter, Ubuntu Studio is an unofficial derivative of Ubuntu which is heavily geared to multimedia manipulation: video editing, audio production, image manipulation and more. Have to investigate this!

Something (new in the garden)3 this way comes

We spotted what we now know is an Australian red "bottle brush" plant in a garden as we were en route to the Co-op for our post-lunch leg stretch. We didn't know that was what it was until I'd knocked on the door and asked its keeper, of course. He kindly gave us the label off it so we can search more effectively. Callistemon citrinus 'splendens' here we come!

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this beautiful August 2006 picture by Zsolt Dudás that I found on Wikipedia:

Bottle brush plant

A new name for it... department

"The boy in the box" (Daphne du Maurier's own private term for her bisexuality). Isn't BBC Radio 4 amazing?

And, finally...

Nearly a month ago, and because I'd so much enjoyed Marc Foster's Stranger than Fiction, I bought Finding Neverland. We finally got the necessary round tuit and, what can I say? See it!

Day 193  


1  Technically true; I do have a number of Region (2+4) DVDs, but no other "pure" Region 4. Come to think of it, I also have a single Region 3 title stashed away somewhere in the Case Logic folders. Perhaps I should set that as a quiz question? (Mike P isn't allowed to enter!)
2  Technically — having just typed the word cover — I find myself wondering what the precise term is for all these pieces of DVD artwork (that I file separately in a series of folders) — far too much information!
3  ie, "Wicked".
By the pricking of my (green, doubtless) thumbs, something wicked this way comes! (Macbeth, if you were still wondering.)