2009 — 27 February: Friday

I got back from my cultural expotition just before midnight. Fascinating? Yes. Aïda? No, not exactly. Dillie Keane and friends, still going strong. I'd driven out to Gill and Chris in Hurstbourne Priors so we could all three then drive back down to grab a bite to eat and do battle with Winchester's parking and one-way system. Then back up the A34, into the Yaris, and back home under a starry sky. Nice road at that time of night.

So to tonight's picture of Christa — this time in our kitchen in Old Windsor:

Christa in the Old Windsor kitchen, also 30 years ago

G'night... at 00:56 or so.

What (not on earth) is that...

... bright thing up in the sky, at 09:01 or so?

This chap can't be talking about me, can he? I fit the age group he's lambasting, but little else, it seems to me:

They're the ones who burned through tonnes of pot and then launched a War on Drugs when they grew bored with it; they drove mighty-bowelled Mustangs and Thunderbirds in their youth, and only started worrying about the environment when they no longer needed a capacious backseat to fornicate in...

Colby Cosh in The National Post

Comment would be superfluous. Instead, now that I've grasped one of those rare round tuits, let's catch up on the incoming watchables of recent days:


Two years ago (to the day) I see I'd remarked on a remarkably unprescient economic prediction. My, how very much both my world and the world has changed since then. But is there honey still for tea? Yes, until all the bees die out.

Now and Venn

A small subset of my friends (a couple of those with the patience and inclination to sit and watch some video test discs played on a Blu-ray device, an HD DVD device, and an upscaling DVD device) spent much of the afternoon with me, putting the new screen through some of its paces. The consensus was that it's a pretty good device, though some of the vagaries of the hdcp protocol have their rough and extremely irritating edges. I had to reboot the Onkyo A/V amp three times to re-sync with the chosen player (not behaviour likely to endear it to Joe Public, let alone me). Although I'd hooked the DVDO scaler back into the system (by the simple expedient of stealing the DVD-D lead from the Linux PC) it actually didn't seem to do a better job than the circuitry in the screen, and did interfere with the frame rate that I'd specified. Likewise, the upscaling DVD player was on a par with the screen, too. The HD signals from the BBC satellite channel were best viewed set to 1080i, and (wouldn't you know?) the teletext signals buried at the top of terrestrial digital TV broadcasts were clearly visible in "dot by dot" mode1 right along the top left hand of the picture.

Blu-ray (and HD DVD, for that matter) looked very good in 1080p 24 frame mode (neatly avoiding any 3:2 video pulldown, and tripling the refresh rate to 72 Hz). I think it's safe to predict that "2001: a space odyssey"2 will be among the first of my high-definition purchases. I'm not completely happy that some aspects of the picture cannot be tweaked when the video signal (including colour, brightness, and contrast) is delivered via hdmi but we all thought the screen had been set up very well in the factory.

It's 19:45, the inner man is happy, there's some pleasing polyphony on BBC Radio 3, and I have a hot date with a steaming cuppa downstairs.



1  What we used to call "all points addressable" in the world of digital graphics printers.
2  For the first time since watching it in the Leicester Square Odeon I was able to read the small print in the instructions on the use of the zero gravity toilet!