2009 — 24 June: Wednesday

Apparently it's going to be quite warm again today. I'm pretty sure tonight's photo of Christa and Peter is from Christmas 1987, mere months after the Big Visit from the NZ Mob. Indoor fireworks were the "in" thing that year:

Christa and Peter, Christmas 1987

Christa and I made determined efforts to keep toy guns out of the house. So the young fella started building his own out of "Lego" parts. There's an example on the table in the foreground. Kids, heh?

Alongside "Speed" I've also very much enjoyed reading "New Moon" — the second novel of the "Twilight" trilogy — this evening. It's been too long since I last made room for blocks of escapist fantasy in my life. G'night.

Another three minutes...

... of my life gone forever while this sometimes rather brain-dead operating system sulks as I once again force it to reset the default colour scheme and desktop appearance I was met by this morning back to what I actually prefer and want. Why does it do this? Oh well, it's 09:04 and I have a fresh cuppa. I stayed up quite late reading the third novel "Eclipse" but decided to save some of it for later. Meanwhile I have a date with a bakery — I can foresee the future at least as well as Alice.

Eye eye... dept.

I mentioned the desire on the part of my Islamic neighbour to get me to read the Koran in the original. He maintains that's the only way to cure me of my desperate delusional state regarding (for example) my childlike belief in Darwinian evolution. (And him an NHS doctor, too — it's somewhat perturbing.) One of his difficulties, he admits, is his problem with accepting how the eye could possibly have evolved. Perhaps I can persuade him to read Nick Lane's book? Source and snippet:

By boldly tackling some of these apparently irreducible complexities, Lane might be accused of having presented the biblical creationists and their fellow-travellers, the proponents of "intelligent design", with 10 handy arguments against Darwinian evolution. But that would be wilfully to misunderstand1 how science works.

The first eyes — on fossil evidence so far — saw the light in the Cambrian explosion 540 million years ago, but there is more than one way of making an eye. Trilobites developed lenses of calcite; shrimps, scallops and lobsters use crystals of guanine; mammals exploit crystallins. The photoreceptor common to all sighted things, however, is based on the visual pigment rhodopsin, and evolved just once.

Tim Radford, reviewing Nick Lane's Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

I wonder how well Limusaurus inextricabilis could point at what it saw?

When I were a lad...

... this news would have been as unimaginable as, well, I can't imagine! I imagine it's time to raise my blood sugar level. And now, it seems, I have to pay more attention to the difference between "Display until", "Sell by", "Best before", and "Use by". Hysteria about listeria, heh? The nose is not a good enough diagnostic, alas. (Mind you, the pollen-afflicted nose is a non-starter in any case.) Thank you, Woman's Hour.

I have a hunch this isn't a joke. I also find myself agreeing with sentiments expressed here. Definitely grumpy!

I find it hard to articulate exactly why I love so much of Stravinsky's music — my parents certainly didn't encourage me to play it at realistic levels — but I'm currently and deliciously immersed in The Ebony Concerto played by Woody Herman, while smiling at the cover of the new "Private Eye".


Freshly evolved, no doubt.


I suspect the effect of the carefully-chosen healthy lunch (sausage and salad) has just been more than somewhat offset by the huge iced Chelsea bun (the kind with a cherry clinging to the peak) that defeated me at Hilliers a short while ago. Still, at least I've now had a chance to practise with the "manual" gear selection and am more confident about forcing the selection of appropriately lower gears for one or two of my habitual hills hereabouts. Thank you, Peter.

And, having found the plums I bought yesterday to be both hard and sour, I've retrieved from somewhere in my head the technique Christa used to turn them into a mushily-palatable treat. Slice them into quarters, bang them in a dish for 150 seconds or so in the microwave, and then a tiny sprinkling of sugar on top. Leave to cool and then keep in the fridge ready for my teatime "pud". Delicious. (Though I admit they will only stay uneaten for a few more hours in this form, rather than lasting me for several days at one or two a day.) It's 16:28, still sunny, with a pleasant breeze and not too much pollen getting up my nose. Nice! But where's Christa got to, I wonder? Ho hum.


There's much food for thought here — and I do particularly like the term "quacklash". Quite a little brouhaha, it seems. More here. And here. Good heavens. Time (21:15) for my next infusion of tea. I'm approaching the end of the third novel, and enjoying the palpable nonsense ridiculously much.



1  Erm. But isn't that exactly how ID works?