2009 — 17 November: Tuesday

Come with me back to the rickety back door of the "conservatory" of our rented flat (in Old Windsor) in 1975:

Christa, 1975

It cost us a stonking £52/month (not that we had a rent book). Still, it enabled us to save towards the deposit on the "real" house we bought the following April. Those were the days, heh?


Can you believe?

It's 09:25, and I've already let my all-important first cuppa go cold. The sun's blazing away. Where does this sloth come from, I wonder. Procrastination, and all that. Actually I've been pondering the pros and cons of further bookshelves, whether they should be floorstanding or wall-attached, and where exactly I might put them. I've also been glaring at the mildly alarming crack up quite high on one wall of what was Christa's study. Then there's the question of what do I do with the two identical metal-and-glass hi-fi stands that are now surplus to requirements having simplified the stack down.

Compare and contrast... 13th July 2008 on the left (with [count 'em — nine1] pieces of kit on just one of these two stands...) and today's derangement on the right captured a few minutes ago (it's now 10:31) with the entire system, as it were:

Kit stands

I would have put this picture up earlier (see "procrastination" above) but I had to break off to deal with the consequence of being so absorbed in a task that, having raised the second cuppa to my lips, I neglected to open them. That's a fresh shirt straight under the cold tap and now swirling around in the washing machine. What a dork! I have just gained further insight into Christa's occasional flashes of mild irritation with me :-)

I live in hope of a lunch or afternoon tea expotition, though my playmate is already out and about somewhere (probably, given the feisty nature of one of his cats, the vet). Meanwhile there's a late breakfast to slurp and some minor shopping to do. The sun is still (11:08) doing its sunny thing. Shame to waste it stuck up inside the loft again.

Memo to self: beware the dopey wasps feasting on the last few grapes. Live and let live.


My server logs (an inexhaustible source of wonderment, wry amusement, and bemusement) suggest someone is once again probing (quite intelligently but in vain, of course) for my PHP system. I refer him (or her) to "Virtual: Case 4".

Deeply unimpressive, even if I am funemployed.

Best spam yet

While I was out shopping, Mr Postie has once again broken through my venetian blinds. And those kindly wizards at, wait for it, molehole.org technical support (erm, that would be me) have written to me (as have their colleagues in, wait for it, molehole.org customer support [who, nonetheless, sign themselves as technical support] (erm, still me) offering, in both cases, to restore my mailbox ("in regards to an unusual activity") by my extracting and running the utility that they have both been kind enough to attach as a zip file. Isn't that sweet? B**tards.

And, when I return from a very infrequent trip to Asda ("one minute in Asda is like an hour in any other shop", to misquote 10 cc) on the offchance that they have a Blu-ray bargain or two (no such luck), my alter-ego in technical support has managed to send me a third email regarding the deactivation of my mailbox. Not that I'd be able to see it if my mailbox was deactivated, of course. Could that be a fatal flaw in their scam? And not one, but two, phone calls from dear Mama. This has to be a record. I'm predicting a meeting at Christmas.

Lunch has been lunched; the next adventure (failing a third phone call) is a cup of tea out somewhere in the now slightly cloudier but still dry and amazingly mild countryside.


My prompt response has rescued the polo shirt from a lifetime sporting a large tea-stain. So I can relax and enjoy this piece, in which interesting parallels are drawn with a 1990 book written by the bloke who later wrote about footnotes. Except that it's now time to go fire up the tea wagon.


... it's 20:52. The tidying up and sorting in prep for throwing out is proceeding fitfully. But it is proceeding. I just keep getting distracted. As my friend Val in Stockholm put it in her most recent email: "Culling the books. Oooh, you have my sympathy on that one. I try from time to time, pick out half a dozen for disposal, change my mind and put them all back, then go do something else to recover from the trauma". See? It's not just me.



1  For the record, and working down from the top, we have the original Humax hi-def satellite receiver (now used purely for receiving NPR satellite radio), the Joytech 4xRGB SCART switchbox, the non-hdmi Pioneer Freeview PVR I bought at the back end of 2006, the Echostar digital satellite that went "bang" at the start of this year, the Panasonic Freeview PVR that's now basically used as the downstairs DAB radio, the Sony Freeview box that's now used upstairs as a DAB radio, the Sony minidisc recorder that's still in use downstairs, the Denon cassette deck (ditto), and the massive Yamaha A/V amplifier that also unkindly went "bang" at the start of this year.