2010 — 7 June: Monday

Had a nice phone chat with Peter a few minutes ago. It seems1 to have been hot in London :-)

The two sisters-in-law

Having majored somewhat on hardware yesterday, I thought I'd emphasise the software2 side today. I expect Lis (my NZ sister-in-law for the last — count 'em! — 38 years) has an opinion on exactly when this was taken. As for me, what do I know? Heck, I don't even remember Christa's having owned a green pullover. But I can tell you there's a decorative Japanese cherry tree out there now that wasn't around when I took this photo (assuming I was actually the one who took it).

Christa and Lis catching up on family photos

Early start coming up. The plumber will be here at 09:00. Cripes. G'night.

What time do you call this?

Yes, I know it's a bit early (07:51!) but it's going to be a bit busy round here today...

What's that banging? Just the old boiler being persuaded to exit the premises. The gas is off, the 142nd carton is in storage, it's 09:59, Brian's had his first cuppa, and breakfast is (as it were) ingoing. [Pause] 11:14 (not just the title of an excellent movie) and there are lots of foam beads escaping from the cavity where the flue was (and will be again). When we had the cavity insulation installed during our first chilly winter here it was so cold [-12C] on the day that the water-based adhesive that's supposed to coagulate the little devils obviously froze before it could get its sticky act together.

Gracious me, this piece by Peter Singer is an incredibly depressing article. As are some of the comments it's attracted so far. People are strange. I also wonder how and why one sets about becoming a professor of Bioethics. I've skimmed (but perhaps mercifully forgotten) his 2001 book "Writings on an ethical life". And now that nice young man who's in charge of us says we're spending more on interest3 "servicing" the National Debt that we're spending on schools. Where's the ethical point in that, I wonder?

I suspect I've been an ARM fan longer than young Mr Shuttleworth. Time (13:02) for a spot of lunch, methinks. Man cannot live by apple alone.

Has anybody seen my old boiler?

I could have sworn it was there just this morning :-)

Aha. There it is!

(Click the pic.)

Having helped me manoeuvre the plasma screen on to its new (mobile) home, Brian decided to call it a day for the day a few minutes ago. The radiator at the front of the living room (behind the plasma screen) also showed signs of leakage, of some vintage. Moral: change your system more often than once every 29 years, I guess. Tomorrow morning I take delivery, into the garage, of all the new pipework, new radiators, and new boiler at some (any) point after 07:30 — lucky me, heh? This is exhausting, but oddly exhilarating at the same time.

Meanwhile (a sea of troubles, and all that) I got a call from one of dear Mama's regular "Age Concern" visitors wanting details of her GP. I hadn't the heart to say that dM has outlived her GP, but that is, in fact, exactly what's happened. Still, I'm sure the village of Wombourne has managed to dig up another one by now. I can do without the extra hassle just at the moment, I must say. It's 16:58 and I need a break!

Another Brian may pop by shortly with a couple of my USB memory sticks. Perhaps this time he'll remember to pick up the two books I've picked out for him?


He did. A 1938 edition of the Admiralty's Wireless Telegraphy manual that had belonged to my Dad, and an anthology relating to the sort of detective fiction that he enjoys.

I've been having an unfeasibly enjoyable time with great music on the re-connected hi-fi (the loss of the subwoofer seems to make little or no difference to "ordinary" music) while using the mini-Dyson and moving a small subset of favourite books into a new location. All will be revealed in due course, but now it's time (23:07) for another cuppa. As I remarked to Brian (the plumber) I don't remember agreeing to house quite so many spiders. And they don't even seem to eat the bane of my life — anopheles.4



1  It also seems — according to his g/f — that they left behind not only a pair of whisks but also a sharp little kitchen knife. I'd been wondering (vaguely) where that had appeared from, though I remain loyal to my little "Kitchen Devil".
2  Technically, I suppose I should use Rudy Rucker's term: "wetware".
3  Actually, I thought the guvmint had simply printed all this money we owe. So somebody somewhere is still getting rich. A banker, probably.
4  Recall that, on the 8th May 1973, the President of Sierra Leone created the Order of the Mosquito to honour the insect that prevented Europeans from settling there. It was to be used to reward acts of military or civil gallantry.