2008 — 8 September: Monday

Just time for tonight's picture of Christa, from March 2007. It shows her in her little "potting area" between the two trees. I shall have to do something about trimming the blighters fairly soon now.

Christa in her potting area, March 2007


The red eye special?

Well, it's somewhat recovered overnight, but still very uncomfortable. Most odd. As were the readings on BBC Radio 4 about greed and boom/bust cycles. The story of King Midas is a salutary one. Time for some breakfast. Nice to hear Alison Krauss on Woman's Hour though.

Now here's a robust opinion:

For academics on the political left, the last eight years represent the sleep of reason producing the monsters of our time: suburban McMansions, gas-guzzling Hummers, pop evangelicalism, the triple-bacon cheeseburger, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?, creation science, waterboarding, environmental apocalypse, Miley Cyrus, and the Iraq War — all presided over by that twice-elected, self-satisfied, inarticulate avatar of American incuriosity and hubris: he who shall not be named.

Thomas H Benton (William Pannapacker) in The Chronicle

Wonder who that could be, then? In his second column he goes on to say "professors are seen as peevish bureaucrats from whom students need to extract high grades on the road to a career in which problems with writing and critical analysis will somehow not matter". Nicely put, sir!

Right! Time to prepare for a trot in the fresh air.

It's a fair cop, guv... dept.

Just (16:30ish) back from a very pleasant walk around Alresford. I have just received — and paid, via quite a friendly automated phone system — my first-ever parking ticket! <Sigh> I do hope my companion in crime gets his residential parking permit renewed before I use it again! But, my fault for failing to notice it had expired. And the damage (£50) is reduced to £25 providing I cough up within 14 days. Almost a bargain.

I've also got my first-ever car tax disc renewal notice, too. Bang goes another £120! Meanwhile (car salespeople being blissfully unperturbed by death) Christa has just been sent a cheque for £250 towards the cost of her next new Toyota Aygo... "Only existing, loyal customers like you will receive these cheques..."

Our next trot will be a mushroom hunt on Wednesday in the New Forest. Another personal first for me, at least.

Fluoridate! Fluoridate!

It seems the local Daleks, having tried "a number of ways to change people's behaviour in the past," are now going to place a toxin in my water supply, so I shall have to stop using fluoridated tooth paste. Dental fluorosis would be just one more thing to worry about, I guess, if I were 55 years younger.

Way down on the Swannee river... dept.

As I've mentioned before, there's a saying in IBM about getting all your ducks in a row. Does this count?

Getting your birds aligned

Mike took the picture.

Handy things, neighbours... dept.

Much as I enjoy the evening radio double act that is Radcliffe and Maconie, I enjoyed even more catching up on the "Film programme" podcast that featured a too long neglected masterpiece (Nic Roeg's Eureka from 1983) which meant I was able to hear the terribly tentative knock on the front door by my neighbour wishing to shine a bright light in my eye to reassure himself that I'm on the mend. I'd earlier consulted him over our garden fence while he was cutting his lawn. (He and his wife are both doctors, though neither is a GP.) My diagnostic options are bacterial, viral, or allergic. Other far less likely causes are not worth worrying about. He personally always heads for a pharmacist for some over the counter antibiotic drops, but the trouble is very likely self-limiting. If it's still not on the (further) mend tomorrow, that's where I shall be heading, I guess.

I have to say, at 20:35, it's now horribly nearly dark outside. Even the sunniest optimist must concede that Summer is no longer acumen in.