2010 — 12 April: Monday

A meal and two films, and suddenly it's 02:19 and time for another batch of sleep. Films were "Born in '68" and "Jumper" (which turned out not to be based on anything by Alfred Bester). The French film seemed to me to have a lot more going for it than Mr Liman's tosh.


Why am I not surprised? dept.

It won't be possible to read this for free for much longer... Harry Shearer's "Le Show" (on NPR) is reporting the story in the "Times of London" (as he calls it) about, shall we say, crass dishonesty in the upper reaches of the US White House. Source and snippet:

Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration's approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees — children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said — never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.

Tim Reid in the Times

Land of the Free, heh? One wonders where these liars might end up. (Bizarre hints here by Paul Johnson.)

R.I.P. Guy Kewney

The Register's piece on him also led me gently up nostalgia alley here. PCW's original editor David Tebbutt had asked me if I wanted to contribute any ideas and/or articles to the then-new magazine. I was literally too busy with ICL-related and hi-fi freelance work (not to mention trying to make a "go" of my first [and only!] management job) at the time to do so. Odd how things work out. Then came IBM, of course.

I totally agree with the comments here about Sophie (once Roger) Wilson and the ARM, too. And there's lots more lovely stuff here.

A quick burst...

... of supplies shopping (and my second rescan within a week in Waitrose) made more tolerable by one of the most stunningly poised and graceful young lady shoppers I've yet seen (well, young from my perspective), a few words of greeting as I met Roger and Eileen going in, as I was going out, and it's time (13:25) to grill me those manly sausages for a bite of lunch. I have an unexpected evening invitation to a meal and some audio/video kit inspection so I've also picked up a fruity little treat for my host/ess. I've also been asked to bring with me something to showcase the system without highlighting its inadequacies :-)

Meanwhile Martha is trying to pin down the Lord of (business) darkness. A hopeless task. I wouldn't waste my breath. Indeed, I would be uneasy to share the same breathing space. Never explain, never apologise, never admit mistakes. That's the way to make progress.

Sniff... oops, they're done! Scuse I.

Lord Acton's dictum

This is an interesting unsigned piece on power, hypocrisy and corruption. Source and snippet:

They argue, therefore, that people with power that they think is justified break rules not only because they can get away with it, but also because they feel at some intuitive level that they are entitled to take what they want. This sense of entitlement is crucial to understanding why people misbehave in high office. In its absence, abuses will be less likely. The word "privilege" translates as "private law". If Dr Lammers and Dr Galinsky are right, the sense which some powerful people seem to have that different rules apply to them is not just a convenient smoke screen. They genuinely believe it.

The Economist

Well, they would think that, wouldn't they? And I learned a new word: hypercrisy.

Weeds 'Rn't Us

Nearly two years ago, I published a colourful snapshot of what could be found lurking in Christa's garden. Here's today's update, concentrating on just one delightful pair enjoying the sun (and, possibly, leakage from the kitchen sink):

Daffodils, Spring 2010

And here's a thirsty little lady, too:


Christa somehow made the garden amazingly low-maintenance in her final year of working on it, for which I thank her. Incredible woman.