2008 — 9 Feb: Saturday, and predicted mild

Time is 00:05 and dishes are drying while I put away the latest batch of laundry. I have yet to find any clothing that actually requires me to plug in the iron. Oh, the long-forgotten joy of being a slob, heh?! Yawn. More later, as it were.

Google has turned up a Crockpot 101 course for me — excellent!

After our day down in Lepe country park last April, Big Bro and daughter #1 had to set off back to London... As the trio posed by John's hire car, I captured one of Christa's more quizzical expressions...

Just before the Dynamic Duo left

... that's quite a severe haircut she was sporting. (Every now and again over the years she'd pay up for a "proper" cut rather than subject herself to my tender mercies.) In her last few years, she went with one of my preferred variants which we'd established when I paid for her to get a "real" cut one time while we were on a day trip1 to Bristol on 30th March 2001. She had been dubious about moving to such a short cut, but was delighted when she realised how much younger it made her look.

Oh well, at 01:07 I'm declaring Friday officially over for this week. See ya!

Sunny? Again??

Yep. It's 09:45 and the sun is blazing across the back garden. I have a little Javascript project to occupy myself with, so all I'll say for now is "Watch this space". Besides, I'd better get dressed and stuff some brekkie inside me first. Business before pleasure, as usual.

The government was under pressure last night to help people struggling to pay their mortgages...

Larry Elliott, in the Guardian

Where was the government when I was struggling2 to pay my mortgage?!

I'm now struggling to stuff the brekkie — the second Oatibix (to finish off the pack) was definitely not a smart idea. Its milk absorption characteristics match those of what, until I went a-Googling for the correct spelling, I had thought was a Sierpinski Sponge but which is, it seems Karl Menger's Sponge. (I love the offhand way that the builder of this insane 66,048 business card variation asserts "I devised a decomposition of the overall structure into simple units that almost anyone can learn to make, which can then be assembled into the whole." [My emphasis.])

Brief Encounter... dept.

Although I'm (obviously) not one of the Ladies-who-lunch locally, I was actually on my way back from a light lamb lunch3 and doing my pay-for-the-things-I've-scanned trick in Waitrose when Glyn Lewis shook me warmly by the hand. The Lab's one-time financial controller lost his first wife ten years ago, so we were able to exchange some very helpful advice and information during our brief chat. Thanks, Glyn!

Today's new acronym... dept.

SYM or single young male. Young fellas, that is, (between 18 and 34) who apparently "hang out in a playground of drinking, hooking up, playing Halo 3, and, in many cases, underachieving". When Felix Dennis launched his Maxim magazine in the USA it "asked the SYM what he wanted and learned that he didn't want to grow up..."

Whatever else you might say about Playboy or Esquire, they tried to project the image of a cultured and au courant fellow; as Hefner famously — and from today's cultural vantage point, risibly — wrote in an early Playboy, his ideal reader enjoyed "inviting a female acquaintance in for a quiet discussion of Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex."

Kay S Hymowitz, in the City Journal

Is it actually possible (was it ever?) to have such a quiet discussion, I wonder. John Leland's review of "The new bedside Playboy" in the New York Times suggested that "Men who make a habit of inviting female acquaintances in to talk Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz and sex will have a lot of free nights for reading Playboy magazine. Empires have been built on lesser principles."

Farewell din-dins

My friend Cathy is heading off for the Antipodes next week for an extended trekking adventure. She's been having problems with a newly-acquired dinky little hard drive for her Mac laptop. I've therefore carefully chosen my "Bon Voyage" card and will deliver it, along with a takeaway Chinese (meal) later this evening:

Computers are rubbish

I hope cartoonist "Bev" will forgive this use of her excellent image. I have deliberately reduced its resolution to discourage further theft. The text reads:

"I went on a computer course.
 I ordered a man on e-bay.
 He wasn't delivered.


Computers are rubbish."



1  I know the date, because (as is quite usual) I can remember the books I bought there (while she was having her hair done, in this case), and I have the date of purchase logged in my database. Like Gene Wilder's blue comfort blanket in The Producers it's only a minor obsession — I can deal with it if I have to!
2  To save a whole 0.5% interest back in 1981, we initially tried to keep our mortgage below the critical £20,000 limit imposed by what was then the Abbey National Building Society — we blasted through that limit when we added to the original loan by paying our neighbour (and world-class bricklayer) Dick to turn the back half of our double-length garage into a dining room for us, and got the first garden shed at the side of the house in which to relocate the clutter that had been in said back half. There is, I'm sure, a household variation of Parkinson's Law in play here.
3  Had it been any older, the lamb's death certificate would have said "old age: natural causes", I suspect.