2008 — 6 July: Sunday

This time it's the BBC4 meta war film slurping from the hard drive to a DVD; so, once again, midnight has crept up on me (and, indeed, surprised me) before I know it. Time for tonight's picture. It's from 1984 (I deduce), when Peter's oldest cousin Florian came over for a week or so and Big Bro also popped up from NZ while dear Mama was holidaying with us. Hectic time either just before or just after I was over in Texas and Florida for a couple of weeks, too, on account of a certain CICS Primer:

Christa, Peter, Florian, Bro and dear Mama in 1984

Notice, of course, which one of these relatives is actually smiling warmly? G'night at 00:27 to the sound of rain dashing against the skylight, under which my iPod stubbornly refuses to resync with my iMac for its latest feast of podcasts. Industrial strength software? I don't think so...

I have a kindly invite to a meal later today — thank you, Cathy! Good job I've done nearly all my domestic tasks today. I may even be able to find a clean shirt (not ironed, note, but laundered!)

An impressively...

... grade "A" grey day. Overnight rain continuing into the morning so far (09:53) suggests it will be a good day for jousting with a database or three, transcribing a DVD or three, and refraining from scratching the itchy insect nibble on my right elbow. I also appear (nearly) to be at the end of the slide collection (although this is a house in which things regularly turn up, miles [as it were] from where they should have been, so one never quite knows). In the meantime, I've found yet more prints, so I also foresee a return to the Epson flatbed. It's a hobby (chap needs a hobby) and something that Christa always wanted me to do in any case. I'm just sorry that she's no longer around to see the results.

She would certainly have giggled mightily at this blast from a Mouncely past. I did when I scanned it in late last night:

Spring 1965

I wonder which of my erudite readers will care to have a stab at pinpointing the location (time or space) of these fine specimens? As a clue, it was on the way home from Portofino! I spotted the photo-opportunity (though I doubt that's what they were called back then) and persuaded dear Mama to do the shutter clicking.

The rain has stopped and, at 13:27, it feels like (past)time for a spot of lunch. And to check up on the progress of the second DVD transcription for that matter. (The trouble with wanting to fit more than an hour on a disc is that it seems to preclude high-speed copying on the kit downstairs. And I have no way to get the recordings off the Panasonic PVR to whizz them through one of my PCs up here in the study. Still, what with being a retired chap with time on my hands, it doesn't actually matter if these things run in real time, does it? Festina lente, David.)

Barking indeed

I believe I may already have mentioned my theory that the world either is, or has become, barking mad?

The reason why public figures such as Clinton and Tony Blair can command huge sums for "personal appearances" is not that people are eager to hear their wisdom. That is available on the web for free. The reason is that people pay to be in the presence. JPMorgan, the bank, has blown £1m on a Blair "consultancy" that appears to involve no more than having him to lunch. That is the price of live.

Simon Jenkins in The Times

Pass me the airline "gastric discomfort" bag, somebody.

The Times is not my usual reading, by the way, though I did very much enjoy the five volumes I (still) have (somewhere1) of collected "fourth leaders" between 1949 and 1956. These were uncharacteristically light-hearted pieces. I seem to have stumbled across the somewhat dumbed-down online version here. Bless you, Mr Murdoch.

Times 4th leader essays, 1949 to 1956

Blue sky

For the last hour or so, and fluffy white clouds, too. But they are moving along at a fair pace. And Christa's barometer in the hallway is on a downward spiral, too. Crikey, the Freak Zone is just starting. Time, heh? Better ask the wizard where that clean shirt is.

I see the fantastic Julianne Moore is in "Savage Grace" (which was the title of a 1985 book about the Baekelands — I tagged it in my database as "Incest & murder in a nasty wealthy dynasty"). They were the family that gave the world Bakelite, oddly.

Safely back...

... after a nice evening of chatting over food. Thanks, Cathy. Don't be a duffer when sailing, will you? I would have got there more speedily had I not got entangled with the Clapton concertgoers in and around Broadlands. Still, at least I've now done my first official three-point turn for real, and was only about 10 minutes late. Turns out I was not the only one new to the idea of an aprium.

Christa's barometer has stopped on the "c" of "Veränderlich" or 768 mmHg.2 This bodes quite well for tomorrow.



1  Whatever internal wizard controls my subconscious memory indexing system, it took nearly an hour (running as a detached background process, of course) to pop into my head (or wherever) the shelf on which I'd find those five volumes and there they were. (In the dining room, as it happens.)
2  While checking (as usual) in Herbert Klein's Science of measurement (which had permanently migrated onto one of Christa's technical book shelves) out fell the clipping I'd placed in it of the review in New Scientist back in February 1990. That begins: "For once, the eye-dilating price of a paperback may be justified... It is an endlessly entertaining description of how techniques were developed to measure everything in the Universe... For instance in the early days of lasers, their power was estimated in gillettes, derived from how many stacked razor blades a beam could burn through." Logical, Mr Spock!