2008 — 25 May: Sunday

Junior showed up safe and sound, thank goodness, at about 11 pm last night. This is just a placeholder. But there's always room for a picture of Christa:

Christa in Guernsey, Spring 1979

The world is...

... our slightly moist oyster. Wonder what we'll get up to today? I'm predicting aloft in the loft among other destinations. Nearly time (10:12) for a wake-up call, methinks. I'll drink my cuppa first, though. I was scouting around (as one does) for any signs of CD re-issues of a 1970s folk-rock band ("Hunter Muskett") — the track John Blair from their "45" album has long been a favourite of mine. I stumbled on an interesting list of music web sites here. Much good browsing awaits.

A-ha! Signs of returning consciousness and a splashing shower (at 10:50 or so). Time for brekkie.

Cartons aloft

Hah! it turns out (not too surprisingly, given the extent to which the loft was another of Christa's domains) that it's a bit upsetting to be up there. Still, the last five cartons of re-ripped CDs are now back up there and I've fetched down a thick box labelled "Photos Negatives" for a few trips down happier memory lanes. 12:41 already — ought to be thinking about some lunch too, I guess. Junior says he's happy to be relaxing and writing some code that isn't "sh1t" for a change. He's taking the week off but will be going in to help out with a point release of their software in a couple of days.

Cartoons ahoy

This is so uncool, on so many levels:

Chinese web censorship story

This, too, is wrong on so many levels... injured by the wrong type of bomb and you lose out? Madness! Let alone this! Why are we still producing this ghastly, insane, crap? What useful thing can we do with 140 Trident nuclear missiles?

But when you read this, you hafta smile (thank goodness):

He sleeps in pyjamas, paints his walls yellow and over a year drinks 540 glasses of alcohol and has sex with his wife 117 times, as well as having erotic dreams 15 times a month.

She wears nighties to bed, likes baking, orchids and piling cuddly toys on the back of the sofa. She also has sex with her husband 117 times a year, consumes a total of 229 alcoholic beverages and dreams about sex five times a month. Together they have one child and shop at discount supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl, three of which are located just five minutes away from their house.

Kate Connolly in The Observer

The original story is here with what I'd describe to Christa as Teutonic thoroughness and attention to detail. I can hear her response, too: "Good God!"

Offspring has sprung

Indeed, by now (21:15) he's probably back1 in his Battersea flat, trying to remember how to put his office desk back together. (Indeed he is, according to a reassuring email.) My word, the house (and his room) are very much emptier right now. Still, it was lovely to see him for a while. He decided to watch Minority Report again, so I left him to my devices while I retreated upstairs to scan my way through that box of "Photos Negatives".

I must say, the BBC weather forecast so far today has been spectacularly inaccurate — it would have been a jolly good day for a walk. Still, the dark clouds now gathering have prompted me to wander round shutting windows. Time to sink a cuppa, start the washing machine, and maybe even launder the dwindling locks still attached to the scalp. Also need to find out when I can take a redundant 20" CRT monitor to the local recycling centre. It still works fine, but what's left of Family Mounce has gone, as it were, completely flatscreen. And to think how long I tolerated a £550 13" 50 Hz multisync VGA-ish monitor with my Acorn A440 RISC machine a mere 19 years ago...

Were I not retired, I probably wouldn't have had time to find this, let alone read it. Here's a snippet:

[Richard] Sennett2 describes how the craft of doctors and nurses is spoilt by NHS managers and their punishing targets. Teachers bleat endlessly that government guidelines are taking all the joy out of teaching. The other day an RAC man changed my tyre, which he accomplished in about three minutes, and spent the next 10 jabbing data into a hand held computer. He told me that this new bureaucracy had destroyed his pleasure in the job - a complaint echoed by most workers in most jobs. The meetings, the second guessing, the pointless duplication, the politics, we all moan. Just let us do the damned job.

Maybe the best way of dealing with pointlessness at work is not to worry too much about it. An acquaintance in advertising tells me how one day he and his colleagues were agonizing over a tiny nuance in a script for a radio commercial. Suddenly he had a jolt of realisation: this was utterly pointless. Since then he has made his peace with the meaninglessness of what he does, and enjoys the job rather more as a result.

Lucy Kellaway in "The best way to find meaning at work? Don't look for it"

Belgian understatement... dept

"The plane is very seriously damaged." You don't say!

Hancock to Control...

The laundering machine is doing its thing. It's about time (23:16) for another cuppa, and I've just spotted the fact that David Gilmour's recent concert is being repeated on BBC4 at midnight. Excellent. The bod has been bathed, and the bits of scalp cover likewise. And there's excellent music on BBC 6Music to take me, as they say, "up to the hour".



1  I'm rapidly catching him up in mileage in our respective Toyotas, by the way. Since he took over the Aygo last October he only seems to have done a few hundred miles. I've done over 7,000 in the same time.
2  Linux, for Sennett, is the work of a community of craftsmen "who embody some of the elements first celebrated in the (Homeric) Hymn to Hephaestus". (Source.)