2008 — 3 January: where's all that promised (Thursday) snow?

One should, I gather, only ever go to sea with either one chronometer, or with three. Christa's alarm clock said a shocking 10:20 and mine said a virtuous 10:19 as I slowly surfaced to what I'd hoped might be a nice, white, dusting. Nope. The only white dusting took the form of all but one of the snailmails1 on the mat today. Yet further overnight advice on fabric cleaning, too, thanks! And the virtues of WD40 for glue residue.

One who knows has also suggested I consider the iPod as a news podcast carrier. If I continue to eschew a daily paper (and I never dreamed I would be able to last this long without my Guardian but nothing seems to have broken yet) I may well take this up. I already found, when I first got the iMac, how trivially easy it was to capture podcasts.2 My correspondent in this case made an occasional habit of walking the necessary 50 minutes to get his daily printed fix, but was then less able to persuade himself that he still had the time needed to read the paper having burned the calories in fetching it.

What else?

Send for niece #2 (the RNZAF helicopter pilot). My diagonal neighbour at #2 is in trouble with both his son and grandson having lost a radio-controlled chopper from his local radar screen. A note through the door requests me to conduct a search and (presumably miniature) rescue operation to "drop what's left of it at #2". Since Peter in the bungalow directly opposite received one of these notes a day or so earlier, it seems the search net is now being cast somewhat wider!

And in later news?

Gimme a break. I haven't made any brekkie yet. OK, now it's later (16:08) and I'm back from my first ever monthly MQ pub lunch (at the Otter) and my second ever adventure in a multi-storey car park (if the Swan Centre fits that description). Turns out there's also an easy camaraderie among frustrated car park ticket machine3 users; I assume the lady on this occasion felt unthreatened by me as I was fishing with frozen fingers for small change for her out of Christa's tiny pink leather coin purse. Not very macho,4 I suppose, but that's the sort of chap I am. Take it or leave it!

Green shoots, just maybe... department

In earlier, happier, times I was an inveterate book buyer. I now note that I need a new category in my books database (well, "need" may be stretching things a bit) for two of today's acquisitions:

It's midnight. How come I'm not sleepy?



1  Yet further shreddable credit card cheques. A re-issued car insurance certificate with a promise of that small but worthwhile rebate for getting my Pass Plus "clearance". And some tedious stuff about IBM's (pension fund) member nominated directors (which only serves to remind me, of course, that I need to change my "next of kin" from Christa to Peter!) I would say "Perish the thought" but that's a little too black even for me at the mo.
2  Less trivial is acquiring the time to listen to them. Podcasts v reading. Unless you use software to speed up the audio, it's around four times slower than the average reading speed, and as I've now come to understand while learning to drive, speed isn't everything!
3  Yesterday, now that I think of it, I paid by debit card to dodge the queues and never even got asked for a PIN (not that there was a keypad available). Can Southampton City Council be trusted, do you think?
4  But what do I have left to prove? Whom do I still need to impress? I was a good husband. Still do my best to be a good father. Have occasional chances to be a good uncle. Am (but I presume only in dear Mama's opinion) a lousy son. Do a passable imitation as a brother and brother-in-law. Ditto as a cousin. And, I very much hope, as a friend and would-be human being!