2008 — 19 Mar: Wednesday — happy birthday, son!
It's 01:01 or so. The end of another longish day. I've just watched Lie with me, made in 2005. It's one of numerous DVDs that showed up during Christa's final illness, and that therefore ended up (as it were) on the back burner. I think she would have found it interesting; I did. For once, the director's commentary sounds likely to add to, rather than detract from, the whole thing.
I also spent some time fruitlessly trying to get the HP Laserjet "recognised" (for want of a better verb) by the iMac. Turns out there are some printers that are simply not supported by Windows printer sharing in a way that the iMac can handle. I'm now investigating "cups" and Gimp-Print (if memory serves). Trouble is, the printer is not actually network attached (ie with its own IP address) but is attached via USB to my Gateway PC.
Investigations will continue when I've had my night's sleep.
It's 09:26, the sun is blazing down behind the study curtain. "Greensleeves" (in rather a sophisticated variant) is playing on Radio 3 and it's time to nip down to put the kettle on, surely? Dreams are funny things. I woke from one in which, although Christa was dead, my father wasn't. Yet I was living here, and walking with him down to what used to be Hampshire Hi-Fi to inspect and buy something for him (I know not what). It was just after one in the morning (in the dream) and the sky was bright blue. The shop was open for business. Very strange. Even stranger is the fact that this is the first dream I can actually recall of recent months. Need that tea!
Our son, by the way, is 28 today. How is that even possible, Christa?
Investigations will continue when I've had my breakfast. Sadly, there's a lovely obituary of Arthur C Clarke to be read first in today's NY Times.
I've mentioned before the opinions of Professor David Barash. Here he is in fine form:
One of the most startling discoveries of the last 15 years has been the extent of sexual infidelity (scientists call it "extra-pair copulations" or EPCs) among animals long thought to be monogamous.1 It's clear that social monogamy — physical association and child rearing between a male and a female — and sexual monogamy are very different things. The former is common; the latter is rare.
A story is told in New Zealand about the early 19th century visit of an Episcopal bishop to an isolated Maori village. As everyone was about to retire after an evening of high-spirited feasting and dancing, the village headman — wanting to show sincere hospitality to his honored guest — called out, "A woman for the bishop." Seeing a scowl of disapproval on the prelate's face, the host roared even louder, "Two women for the bishop!"
Three of those CDs have just (11:10) shown up. The David Bowie one (remastered in 1999) shows me I was correct in my original assessment of the quality of the early CD releases. I must admit I had no idea Cameo started way back in 1974. I shall save the new Loudon Wainwright III until I've conducted a little geography experiment for use later this evening.
In later news... dept.
Christa would, I hope, approve of my slowly improving multi-tasking skills. Having unloaded the car, I popped a Waitrose2 microwave meal on ("in" might be more appropriate, I guess) before even putting the car back in ("on" is not more appropriate, I guess) its nest. I figured I'd better fill up with a few calories before the evening's adventures — I'd been down to Southampton to check out the best route to, and the parking in the vicinity of, the Mayflower theatre. From there I toddled over to Shed City and spent more than an hour in Border's — I firmly believe no time in a bookshop is actually ever wasted:
- The year of magical thinking by Joan Didion
— the extended essay she wrote in the year following the sudden death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. I confess I thought quite hard before buying this, but she's a writer of great clarity and precision and her thoughts on grief will be interesting to compare with mine
- Things a computer scientist rarely talks about by Donald E Knuth
— I had no idea Knuth was a man of religious faith. There's more about this book here including a promise to pay his "usual" $2-56 to the first person reporting "anything that remains technically, historically, typographically, or politically incorrect" (That's a pretty broad church!)
- One is fun! by Delia Smith
— this is from 1985 so I'm guessing it's not the one recently lambasted (there's a dreadful pun buried in there, he added sheepishly) by the manageress in Waterstone's in Eastleigh
- Computer Shopper for May
— an impressive array of software on the DVD and news of the final Service Pack (SP3) for XP (due real soon now, as usual)
In even later news... dept.
It's 23:46 and I'm recently back from a most enjoyable first-night performance of Zorro at the Mayflower, marred only by a) Mike's car's exhaust falling mostly off en route and b) the parking ticket we, among others, collected in the multi-storey by not reading to the bottom of the small print to spot that there's now a £2 charge per visit even after 6:00 pm — great show, though.