2008 — 31 Mar: Monday

Well, it's 01:10 and I've just finished scanning the last of the pieces of DVD cover artwork that start with the letter "A". I'm also due over in Winchester in eight hours for a little taxi run to Eastleigh airport, so I guess it's time to turn in. Yesterday's mud is, largely, a thing of the past, thank goodness. Back later.


It's now 08:23 and the brekkie is on its way down. No rain, seems reasonably quiet. Radio chaps wittering on inanely. Somewhat bruised on the side of the battered ol' bod that impacted in said mud incident but nothing broken, and the gravel grazes on the palm of my hand show no sign of infection. Time to check the traffic map and then fire up the horseless carriage.


While I was out picking up my freshly-laundered and pressed trousers (thanks, Bryan!), whisking MikeP (and his initially forgotten sun hat) down to the airport and then catching up on a variety of the never-ending domesticals shopping (including a rare victory in the continuing attempt to get Sainsbury's well-fired loaves) those nice blokes from Citylink attempted delivery of my KVM switch, failed, and now await my telephonic instruction... So now, I suppose, I get to find out exactly where their depot is down on the way1 to Fareham. There is simply no peace and quiet for the recently-retired widower and new driver, is there? For future reference, the red "X" marks the location:

CityLink depot

Well, that's as may be, but there's certainly time for a cuppa and a bite of "lemonses" before I once again assail2 the highways and byeways. The trembling fingertips tell me all I need to know about my current blood sugar level.

There's no quote like an old quote... dept.

I last used this one yesterday afternoon (while browsing through a large collection of LaserDiscs that are now looking for a new home), but it's nice to see it in print too:

It would be ungenerous to deny how much Lean owed to Coward (and we are all indebted to him for his infamous remark, after the première of "Lawrence," that if Peter O'Toole had been any prettier the film would have been called "Florence of Arabia").

Anthony Lane writing "Master and Commander" in the New Yorker

Stranger things happen at sea... dept.

A book that made an indelible impression on me, many years ago, was The 'Caine' mutiny by Herman Wouk. Big Bro bought it in 1964, but it migrated onto my shelves (somehow) and remains there today. A fictional typhoon (described rather more thrillingly than the one in Joseph Conrad's book, in my opinion) is the culmination of the plot of Wouk's excellent novel:

Caine mutiny

There's a clipping in this battered copy from The Guardian "Weatherwatch" feature of 30th June 1996. In it, Paul Simons describes the typhoon in the eastern half of the Philippines Sea in December 1944 that inflicted one of the worst losses to the US Pacific Fleet during the whole of World War II. And here's an amazing piece of writing by cultural historian and critic Griel Marcus telling the story he's been able to piece together of the loss of his own father (along with nearly 800 other men) in that same dreadful storm. Some people find weather forecasts boring, of course, but it was precisely a failure of forecasting that permitted the acquittal of Admiral William F Halsey "without negligence" though he was held responsible for this disaster.

It's 14:32 and trying to rain, on and off. Lunch (a sweet'n'sour pork balls in batter and fresh sliced pineapple concoction of my design — with experimental chaos defrosting in the microwave and conventional heating in the oven combined) has been scoffed, a fresh cuppa sits at my side, so I now have time to report two new additions to the DVD library (both watched recently, and heartily endorsed, should you happen across this page Mr Brack):

BBC Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright has just told a large portion of the UK population that some part of the plotline of Eastenders constitutes news. I rest my case! Time (16:38) for another of those supposedly authentic (eighth grade through college) student bloopers...

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

Unknown US students (allegedly)

An occasional aside to Christa

Spring is definitely springing, my love. Both your pear tree and the decorative Japanese cherry tree are blossoming. Daffodils and tulips likewise. Watch this space for photos. I suppose I'd better get out there and do something about the one small remaining patch of grass, too. Rather you than me, love, but you don't seem to be around to do it any more! Any tears will either reflect that sad fact, or the pollen; who can say? Right now, it's time for the open road (though I expect it's going to be busy — I shall have to hope for the "open" bit). Yes, I've had a drink and a quick snack, stop worrying about me!

At least it's going to stay lighter for longer... I don't suppose you know how to adjust the clock in the new car, do you? No, nor do I! Though I must have managed to set it to GMT last October. <Sigh> By the way, that "worry wart" I developed on my finger is (or seems to be) finally getting mopped up by my immune system. I guess that's a good sign.

Good gracious!

I didn't realise I'd become the first search result on Google:

George Cogar and the C4

There's a tiny snippet about George Cogar here. My ability to program his desktop machine earned me quite a lot of freelance income back in the 1970s.

I'm back

And in one piece, though I now know what a big mistake it is to try to retrieve an errant apple from the floor while driving along. I will suppress the details in case my erstwhile instructor is reading! Time (19:43) to reheat the crockpot portion from yesterday. Whiteley was closed by the time I got there, of course, but I did get my parcel, though I have yet to open it. Too much nice Sibelius violin coming from Japan at this moment.



1  I shall combine that with a side trip to the Whiteley "village" factory outlet to see if I can't find myself a lighter outdoor walking jacket. Yesterday's little tumble showed up disadvantages to my current anorak, believe me.
2  Having assailed the Citylink automated voicemail system, it seems "my" parcel won't be available for collection before 19:00 this evening. It's presumably having a nice long ride around Hampshire for the day.