2010 — 22 May: Saturday

It's fair to say that I don't always see exactly eye-to-eye with my friend Brian's taste1 in films. Nonetheless, on the strength of his recommendation a mere seven months ago, (and, as Ian just reminded me in an overnight email, also his one-line endorsement of Brian's taste on this particular occasion) I'd bought Das Leben der Anderen aka "The lives of others". Step two occurred while I was supping tea with Roger and Eileen a few hours ago. After my ritual teasing about their lack of a large flat screen TV, Roger bemoaned the lack of stuff worth watching, but mentioned how much he'd enjoyed — you guessed it — "The lives of others".

So step three, get home, decant the crockpot, finish the dishes and the laundry then plonk the still as-yet-unwatched DVD into the Oppo. What an amazing film! Simply stunning. The fact that the lead female rôle was named "Christa" didn't even influence me :-) She would have found it just as fascinating and completely gripping as I did.

And if I had a well-organised house I might even be able to lay my hands on my copy of Anna Funder's 2003 Granta book, "Stasiland", to compare stories, though I suspect that's now already been decanted off to the self-storage place for the next month or two. I need a better system! Heck, I need a system.

About time (00:52) for a final cuppa and then I'm off to bed. G'night.

Continuing filmic...

... and organisationally-oriented when I woke up this morning, it wasn't with the blues, but with thoughts of that film still running through my head. And thoughts about shifting the plasma screen from my home-made glass shelf2 onto the custom-built, castor-equipped, metal and glass shelf unit the hi-fi currently sits on, but which we actually bought to hold the earlier plasma screen. This unit, which wasn't cheap, would also far more neatly accommodate the centre dialogue speaker.

But (I hear you thinking) where, then, would I put all the hi-fi? Simple.

I was mentioning Christa's filing proclivities to R&E yesterday and it set me thinking: if I've accessed precisely zero of her vast (quasi-Stasi) array of household bits of paper in two and a half years, just maybe they can migrate off that very tasty shelf that I coveted from Day 1 either into boxes in the loft or, better, the green bin via the paper shredder?

But first, a cuppa, loads of sunshine, one and a half battles with one of those "difficult" Su Doku, and already we're on to side two of "Sounds of the 60s". At this rate, it will soon be time for breakfast. Do I dare to eat a plum, Mr Eliot?

Back in the real world...

... there are plenty more books to be packed away. <Sigh> It's 10:55 and getting rather warm up here.


As with Arthur Dent's discovery, how's this for commonsense?

Preventing Banks Creating Money
Our first step then is to prevent banks from creating money each time they issue a loan. This step is actually remarkably simple — we just set a 'universal rule' that banks can only credit (put money into) an account if they simultaneously debit (take money out of) another account by the same amount. As is explained in this guide, this prevents money being created (or destroyed) within the banking system.

The (proposed) Bank of England Act

What's to explain? That's actually how I thought it was supposed to work in the first place. Of course, with the greater financial sophistication induced in me by retirement, and being able to look around now that my nose has been raised from the grindstone, I realise the process actually consists of lots of smoke, mirrors, and unsteadily spinning plates. Plus lots of over-paid, shouty, greedy, boozed and coked-up spivs all over the planet buying and selling money itself using cyberspatial trickery rather than lumps of anything more tangible. Rather them than me, though the guvmint regularly feels able to tap my meagre resources to prop this bizarre system3 up.

I reckon...

... if I shift another load of cartons today, I will have earned a cold shower. I also reckon if I pack and shift all eight remaining cartons today I will need a cold shower! Why is this sort of task reserved for the hottest days so far? It's 16:17 and I'm coming, as it were, to the boil. Mad dogs and Englishmen... [Pause] Cartons shifted: 34 so far. Shower: showered (sorry about that, Boris4). And I'm listening to Richard Coyle (so hilarious in "Coupling") who is now appearing in a filmed version of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal as "Moist Von Lipwig".

Nearly time for the next food, except for the total lack of hunger. It's too hot.



1  Shards of evidence here and here, not to mention all the way back here!
2  In truth, the screen sits on a black velvet covered glass sheet that, in turn, sits on a series of glass bricks. It could do with being easier to move around (castors fix that) and being higher up (the original shelf fixes that).
3  And NPR is just telling me that US domestic credit card solicitations are 80% up this year. They need the "customers" because of credit card industry reforms that are set to remove $10,000,000,000 in reduced penalty fees and interest rates. (The best explanation I ever heard of the fraud that is the credit card industry was in a memorable episode of Boston Legal, by the way. All the best education is delivered subversively/subliminally.)
4  Our long-standing name for, basically, anything with eight hairy legs and a propensity to scare the bejasus out of me by scuttling across the living room carpet at random intervals. (Recall my visual therapy to save Peter from this wimpy behaviour?)