2009 — 18 December: Friday

That's a mighty icy breeze blowin' out there tonight. Brrr. Methinks I'll be keeping the central heating on all night again. And trying not to grind my teeth, too, of course! It's 00:20 and there's some lovely gentle jazz piano (Bugge Wesseltoft: It's Snowing On My Piano, In Duce [sic] Jubilo) on "Late Junction", but I'm getting sleepy. G'night.

It may not be...

... deep and crisp and even, but there's about half an inch of the white stuff scattered here and there, and a few cat paw-prints in evidence. It's -2C but no longer windy as of 08:24. I've tuned in to BBC Radio 2 (briefly) to hear bits of Terry Wogan's final breakfast show, but it's not my usual listening.

Actually, now I look more closely, there is some wind up there, from the north (assuming that bit of sun down on the horizon is east of me). It's pushing the edge of the clouds along at a fair pace. Red sky in the morning, and all that. Cuppa time.


Christa and I agonised more than somewhat over the years about what was 'best' for our son's education. We eventually opted for the state system, partly on the perhaps-flawed argument that, if he was bright enough he'd flourish despite it — with as much help from both of us that we could manage, of course. Indeed, Christa remained at home until Peter started at secondary school, to help provide the environment we agreed1 children need. We also agreed that education is a bit too important to be left up to teachers.

I know your education can cast a very long shadow, not least because Christa's most common recurring 'nightmare' was a dream in which she faced exams insufficiently prepared. Given her double degrees and fierce intelligence I found this quite extraordinary. So I found the article by Rebecca Willis (and the comments it attracted) very interesting, when it was reprinted in the Torygraph last month. (More here.)

It's 10:07 and has started snowing again. Deep joy. I'm supposed to be going out this evening, dammit.

Dead aircraft

This is for Big Bro, in lieu of some stamps!

Seems to me, the first rule of successful phishing is to target realistically. Splattering a random set of "[insert name here] Bank declared bankrupt, click here to save your money" emails at me from "United Bankers Association" is counter productive.

I missed this back in March 2006. Another chance to miss it comes along on BBC4 tonight. Sounds like a riot. (It's already over two years since I picked up that excellent 22-CD set for £22.)



I loved Martin Campbell's 1985 BBC TV thriller Edge of Darkness with its amazing script by the late Troy Kennedy Martin, atmospheric music, and performances by Bob Peck and Joe Don Baker. And I quite enjoyed the re-make of Casino Royale also directed by Campbell. But why did he remake EoD and why did he relocate it to America? (Trailer if you dare.)

I've just (15:32) agreed with Mike that I'll be cowering at home this evening instead of breaking bread (well, chicken) with him. In browsing around some weather forecast web sites to arrive at this conclusion, I've just met my first arthritis index. Apparently, it's an exclusive feature of this site (which the Guardian uses, it seems).

Aaaargh! (2)

I was browsing the VirtualBox user documentation (a chap needs a hobby) and something about it began to nag gently at me. How, I wondered, did they get those subtly-rounded corners on their green "Note" boxes? Well, they've used a CSS3 property (border-radius) about which (it's fair to say) I was blissfully ignorant, but support for it is not yet universal...

     padding: 1px 5px 1px;
     border: 1px solid #84c43b;
     -moz-border-radius: 0.3em;
     background: #d7e9a7;

The rascals. I hope we're not moving back into a world of web pages "optimised" for a specific web browser. Right! Time for a few more calories. Man cannot live on chewing gum alone. Good grief, it's 18:06 already.



1  By then we'd looked half-heartedly at, and been appalled by, prospectuses for several renowned public schools. The robust discipline and Christian-military ethic often running as a sub-text had no appeal. We also had our own educational experiences to draw on; me in the state system in St Albans after an initial burst at a fee-paying direct grant grammar school in Cheadle Hulme; Christa at a local 'gymnasium' that was mostly male.