2009 — 24 July: Friday

So let's first have another revisited picture of Christa back in the early days of our Old Windsor house...

Christa in Old Windsor, 1976? 1977?

How very quickly a busy week can whizz by. Still, why not enjoy the ride? My chum Henry says he'll replace the faulty Edge box from his own stock if he doesn't hear from the importer within the next day or so. That would be good. Meanwhile (of course) I've been tweaking and adjusting the video from the Oppo Blu-ray player to within a smidgin of perfection for both Blu-rays and DVDs. It's a hobby.

This is an interesting piece on the so-called theory of mind. Somehow it seems quite appropriate after the evening's entertainment, which was a double bill. I followed "Lucky Number Slevin" with the Coen Brothers' "Burn after reading", and he said he enjoyed both. This is cool, too.

It's just midnight, but I'm calling it a day for tonight. John's driving up to London later, but will return on Sunday with one or two daughters in tow. Plans are afoot for their feeding, I gather. Possibly in Hamble. My poor credit card. And I may yet go with him up to one or two aviation-related destinations later during next week.

I didn't see this much of him when we both lived with our parents! G'night.

Bonner appetite

Come on! What's not to like about slime moulds? Fascinating things.

Can we, however, understand why the slug is so perfect in orienting to heat, but comes to a strange solution for turning around? I would conjecture that, as the spore cells will all be derived from the end that functions as the head, when it comes to turning around, the head cells have everything to lose if they simply instruct the tail to take over control. By contrast, it is in the best interests of all cells in the slug to make sure the spores disperse, so here they can all agree to reach for the skies.

Laurence D Hurst, reviewing John Bonner's book in The TLS

It's 08:22, I've just been given a cuppa and a couple of biscuits, but it may yet prove to be raining too much to allow the top coat of paint on to the window frame, alas. What a nuisance. Mind you, the sun's now just started to shine.

Strange things happen in libel cases

Not that I was still thinking about slime moulds, of course. Interesting story:

But even in defeat today, [Richard] Desmond didn't flinch, and issued an extraordinary statement that almost suggested he thought he had won... Two of the female jurors were even given a kiss by the moustachioed biographer. Not even Jeffrey Archer did this, muttered one Fleet Street veteran.

Helen Pidd in The Guardian

Speedo Gonzales

Good grief! When did swimsuit technology get controversial? And I gather we're not just talking about Speedo padding, should you recall the amusing cafeteria dialogue from Twilight:

Angela: I guess we'll just run another editorial on... Teen Drinking...
Isabella: You know, you could always go for... eating disorders? Speedo padding on the swim team.
Angela: Actually, that's a good one...
Jessica: Kirk right?
Angela: [in unison] Kirk.
Jessica: That's exactly what I thought.
Angela: We're talking "Olympic Sized".
Jessica: There's no way - he's so skinny, it doesn't make sense.
Angela: Totally.


I've always had a soft spot for hovercraft, since having the Dinky Toy of this chap:


Thanks for the tip, John S. We may just pop down there.

Woolly, huh? Baa!

Excellent. Thanks, Ian. There are some truly dreadful puns in the comments, of course.

No, I don't think so...

Christa and I did a lot of laughing together over the years. She it was who warned me she'd be very sad if I stopped laughing and smiling after she'd gone. Today's piece of inappropriate marketing crap from what was her bank for 34 years gave me a genuine laugh, and I can hear her snorts of derision too. Click the pic to see why:

My bank gets it so very wrong

It must have taken easily one minute to "review my account", with its five direct debits, one standing order, and an occasional manual topup transfer from my real bank. Did they not notice it has no regular payment going in? After all, they'd already moved me to a lesser "product" on those same grounds of near account inactivity. Some review.

Mind you, it was this same shower who'd cocked up my bridging loan back in 1981, misunderstanding the agreement with IBM and taking it to mean that IBM would clear it after three months (whereas I was [of course] the one on the hook for that). When they "reviewed" that situation a few weeks later they told me they now had changed their minds and couldn't lend me the money on those terms. Too bad they'd already done so, and it had already been spent! It's only money. The blind application of a bureaucratic process — nothing can quite compare to that, can it?

Koestler rides again

Today's other snail mail was a lot more enjoyable. It's a CD and DVD of the excellent music from Twilight...


As for Koestler... well, the last few films I've watched with Big Bro included A Knight's Tale, In Bruges, Burn after reading, and Twilight. One chap common to all these is Carter Burwell, whom I'd not previously been conscious of, though I now see he's worked closely with the Coen brothers, and on several other very good films.

It's 14:29 and the household is now back to one temporarily as Bro drives up to RAF Hendon followed by a rendezvous with a daughter or two, so I can play this nice CD just as loudly as I wish. On Sunday, though, there will be four mouths to feed for a while.

How on earth do you suppose a little blue car managed to demolish part of the brickwork by the flowershop in the Fryern Arcade? Extraordinary. (The BBC got there!)

Another one gone: farewell John Ryan.

I have two rivals ...

... out in the garden, who seemingly share my affection for Christa's roses. I do hope they're not giant aphids, because I really wouldn't like to meet the ants needed to herd them. Crikey. A pair of Bug Eyed Monsters, right under my nose. Had I not been outside dissuading a cat from, erm, cat-crapping, I never would have seen them. Click for larger versions.

Aphid #1


Aphid #2


It's 20:27 and I bet my latest cuppa is well-stewed by now.