2008 — 9 May: Friday

Again, just time for this placeholder. Drooping fast; busy day, and quite a long one. Just gone midnight. Still have a batch of Australian slides to see; Cathy was falling asleep so off I toddled, getting only slightly misplaced by missing the correct turn at the same roundabout that has previously fooled me in the fog. That's another six extra miles.

Curses (at 00:57). I almost got very excited for a moment. The XP SP3 has at least coaxed the Gateway PC into the dim realisation that it does indeed (still) have some audio hardware on its motherboard, but nonetheless failed to (re-)install it properly despite downloading several likely-looking DLLs. Add to that: Glenda Jackson is 72; Alan Bennett is 74. Billy Joel is 59. Bl***y Hellfire! Bed beckons, and it's been raining, too. But it's still very warm up here.

What a difference a (half) day makes... dept.

Slothful slumbering shattered by Mr Postie at 09:20 or so. The weather, she 'as, 'ow you say?, altered. Cloud cover is competently complete though there's obviously something quite bright up there somewhere. Humidity will presumably soar, taking pollen count with it. It's times and climes like this that make me hanker for the sort of hermetically-sealed bubbles I worked in for so many years.

Today's attempts to keep the UK economy out of a tailspin:

asleep from Amazon

I can see at a glance...

... one glaring difference between my XP Home system ten hours ago and my ('scuse the expression) XP "Pro" system after two consecutive attempts mere minutes ago:


I feel more than faintly patronised by this message, whose suggested solution — try again — seems to be Microsoft's answer to, well, anything really. I shouldn't have to "try" their beastly software. Let alone try again. It should ('scuse the expression) work first time, surely?

Titter ye not

Thanks for the link, Nick:

Great tits

A steady diet of caterpillars — de gustibus non est disputandum. 'Spose I'd better start thinking about lunch! It's already 12:05, though I have no idea how that happened. The water supply, by the way, seems to be fine. One might say, almost poetic metre, but one wouldn't.

I enjoyed this, for what it's (Chats)worth. Whereas this reminded me of all the things I hate about that extremely popular and well-written news organ. This has some nice asides, too. For example:

Bertrand Russell, who was Mill's godson and engaged in public causes, is remembered these days more for his political activism and hyperactive sex life1 than for the three volumes he wrote with Alfred North Whitehead, Principia Mathematica.

Alan Wolfe in The Chronicle Review

Diet of (non)worms

Well, the remaining three pork and bramley apple sausages do look a bit like fat worms, I suppose. They are now slowly cooling towards edibility. (I pan-fried the first batch, and have grilled this second batch to perform a controlled culinary experiment.) I shall also don the pith helmet and head out on the supplies trail after this — rather late, it's somehow become 14:00 — lunch. The battles with XP SP3 continue on t'other machine. I've downloaded and burned the ISO file, but then (having paled somewhat at the rapidly increasing volume of tales of woe on their news forum) I held back from using this. Instead, I gave the Update site another chance by installing its latest ActiveX control before giving it a fourth SP3 installation attempt. Which has just failed.

I'm told patience is a virtue. Time for that sausage sandwich before contemplating my next manoeuvre... Grilling makes more mess than frying but the taste of these porkers (the pack says they2 are born and weaned outdoors, then housed in light, airy barns with deep straw and fed on a balanced cereal diet) was essentially invariant. Still, it's fuel of a sort. Food for thought is my perusal of the "WindowsUpdate.log" which reveals a consistent set of transient download errors that allow three attempts before permanently giving up. I give up!

Now where's that pith helmet?

Are you pining for pork?... dept.

I wonder if a porcupine is a distant cousin of my lunch. Anyhowsoever, when a chap's been battling bits of Microsoft for longer than is strictly sensible, it does a chap's morale good when another chap serendipitously invites him at short notice for a meal and offers a choice of viewing in an air-conditioned home cinema. I'm taking along the freshly-delivered Who rockumentary (see above) and an appetite unsullied by tonight's intended crockpot (though, I admit, I was just on the point of going downstairs to set its constituent parts into a higher state of thermal agitation even than my current one).

Still, at least I've given my CSS file a small lick of fresh paint. Bet nobody notices!



1  Anyone who can take 62 pages or so to prove that "1 + 1 = 2" deserves a hyperactive sex life by way of compensation, don't you think?
2  The pigs, that is. Not the fat-filled stuffed offal tubes.