2009 — 20 September: Sunday

Need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for Junior's arrival later today. Trouble is, I'm enjoying my music collection too much. I've also been trying to resurrect the iPod. I don't recall wiping all the music tracks off it, but somebody or something did. All the podcasts are intact, however, but I fear for its battery.

My picture of Christa is just two years old. I took it on 19th September 2007. She remained resolutely cheerful, so I just had to try to do the same. I can't say it was easy:

Christa in September 2007


Hindsight says...

... it would have been a good day to walk yesterday. No matter; I'm retired, you know. Leaving aside my cuppa (which is too hot to drink), about the only thing on my mind at the moment is the faint (but disproportionately annoying) trace of mains hum1 from the last component to have gone back into the A/V system yesterday. Not the iMac, but the AMC pre-amp control unit I'm using just as an audio router. In days of yore, of course, such hum could be the bane of a system, and often laid at the door of a phono pre-pre-amp stage or one of the nearly inevitable earth loops. I may just have to trim back the number2 of items I feed up into the study.

It's "cloudy bright" out there, and everyone on my little estate still seems to be abed. (Either that, or long departed, of course.) Off with the jim-jams! It's 08:57 and well past time to get civilised.

If I gave a toss...

... I suppose I'd worry about the contents of this excellent article, and the equally excellent comments it's been attracting. As it happens, I have no wish to fiddle with children, and no great sympathy for those who do. I find it ridiculous to believe, however, that legislation is necessary to vet 11.3 million of my fellow subjects (we're not citizens in this benighted monarchy, remember) on the grounds that they're all potential "violinists". Besides, the overwhelming majority of abuse occurs within the family, and I don't believe for one minute that that particular stone is going to be turned over.

Lunch? Already?

I guess so. It's somehow become 12:56 without me even looking. The audio side of the system is reworked. The AMC expunged. The cheap Maplin box back in favour. Even the iPod is now behaving itself after a system reset (though quite why its custom Apple cradle reports itself as a low-speed USB 1.1 device is beyond peculiar). I await the return of the Prodigal, bearing the gift of a free evening meal somewhere, and wonder whether I should starve myself to make the most of this bounty.

Better put on a clean shirt too. ("Harold, where's me shirt?")

It's good to be a...

... laid-back, easy-going, non-Type-A sort of chap (even if that was probably anathema to IBM for the quarter of a century they put up with me). So, having just fielded an apologetic "Hi, Dad, erm, we're nearly ready to set off, sorry about that" call about 40 minutes ago (and about five minutes before the originally-established arrival time) I can now kick back (upstairs) and listen to the CD player grooving to the USB stick with the theme tune to Northern Exposure playing without having had to make a single extra wiring adjustment.

It seems my second footnote is not quite operative. It should say "three birds", not two. You see, I'd already taken the digital output from the Audiolab pre-amp out to the minidisc recorder on, as it were, general principles (since it's the only digital recording device I have, and Nature abhors an unused I/O port). So all I have to do to enjoy output from the CD player is set the minidisc recorder to record what's coming into it through its optical digital input — no blank disc needed — and Robert is your father's brother.

I refuse to quibble about the infinitesimally small delay between the directly played CD source downstairs and the signal that is first being converted back to analogue in the MD recorder before it's fed upstairs. After all, if the system had no flaw it would (in some warped eyes) be a blasphemy.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

As envisaged by Joss Whedon, and dropped through my venetian blind delivery system last Thursday while I was gallivanting about in the fresh air alongside the river Itchen:


The way I see it, the chap who came up with Buffy, Firefly, and Serenity (not a word about Angel) is worth a punt. Three episodes in and it's getting Quite Interesting.


It's 21:11, dark, a starry night, and my son and his lady companion have just set off back for "the Smoke" having first wined and dined me at the "Boozy Rouge" — a restaurant Christa and I were once invited to attend but somehow ducked out of back in the days of wage slavery. Very nice too. What's next, Mrs Landingham? Well, no dishes; how about a cuppa? Good idea.



1  The hum isn't even manifesting itself on any of the signals. It's from the transformer inside the actual box and is still present when it's in "standby". Most annoying.
2  I think the irreducible minimum would be the NPR satellite feed, the MP3s from the iMac, the UK digital radio feed, and the cassettes. My tape deck is already daisy-chained through the minidisc, so that's two birds with one stone. My cheap and cheerful little Maplin switch box has four inputs (the AMC has eight). But it occurs to me I can easily live without the CD routed upstairs, methinks.