2007 — 6 September: "pay" day today

It's 8:40 and our little household is gradually bestirring. I must say, we don't like this week's crossword compiler much, if at all. Meanwhile downunder in far off New Zealandland, Big Bro (aka Grand Pops) has just sent us a "snap" of his second grand daughter:

Number #2 niece (Rachel) and her newly-incremented family

Young Maddison Elisabeth Susan (as we now know her name to be) joined us on 31 August. Well done Rachel and Harley. Be nice to your younger sister, Mikayla!

Next item?

Time to saddle up Shank's Pony (non-Express) for some exercise, as I have to pay the paper bill and pick up a spot of cow juice. Be seeing you, as Number Six was wont to say. Back again. Hah! Wouldn't you know it? Bureaucracy has further intruded. Neither the pharmacy nor the surgery will dispose of used syringes.1 But there is a form that can be filled in (I did it) and faxed to the local council2 and a nice chap with special gloves (or whatever) will one day come a'knocking.

Those Hitchens boys, heh?

Peter Hitchens has a negative review of brother Christopher's God is not great in that wonderful paper, the Daily Mail. Richard Dawkins has this to say in his review of this (and other) reviews:

The substance of his complaint seems to be that Christopher is as confident in his disbelief as any fundamentalist is confident in his belief. The answer to the familiar accusation of atheist fundamentalism is plain enough. The onus is not on the atheist to demonstrate the non-existence of the invisible unicorn in the room, and we cannot be accused of undue confidence in our disbelief.

Richard Dawkins writing in the TLS

There's been a comment added to this review, by the way: "There is a tie breaker: The Book of Mormon. Maligned in this essay, it actually is complex, profound, and, most importantly... literally true." Now there's a confident opinion if ever I saw one.

Grinding slowly... department

Back in the dim distant (I honestly lack the energy to work out when,3 but I presume it was before we got Christa's diagnosis) I signed one of the "Number 10 (Downing Street)" e-petitions seeking to force the BBC to make its iPlayer available on more than just the Windows platform. Today, I got an email from #10 pointing me to this response. Good! Mind you, it's a bit further down my priority list just now.



1  Come to that, the pharmacy won't even take back a used medicine bottle. They simply throw them away.
2  The surgery did it, though I wonder if they realise that our address is actually Eastleigh whereas theirs is Test Valley?
3  When following the logical place to file this response, I naturally immediately found the date of my original "signature"; it was on 27th February this year. Just a week or so after I'd bought the iMac — makes sense, I suppose.