2010 — 29 June: Tuesday

Well, this should be the day I get my new cooker delivered (and the old one taken away and shot before it puts too many would-be buyers off next door!) And only another week or so before I get the new carpet for the hall, landing, stairs, and "library". It's 00:17 and I'm thinking of calling it a day, as it were. I'm drooping fast.


What, you may well...

... ask, is he doing up and about so early? (It's a mere 07:16 or so.) Well, Mrs Never Knowingly Undersold did warn me that the cooker could show up at any time after 07:00 so I thought I should be ready just in case. Now, about that cuppa...

Glory be, it's even raining and has cooled down nicely. Time for a stimulating pre-brekkie read about mystery cards. Source and snippet:

The other main problem with intelligent design is that the identity of the designer need bear no relation at all to the God of traditional monotheism. The "designing agency" can be a committee of gods, for example. The designer can be a natural being or beings, such as an evolved super-mind or super-civilization existing in a previous universe, or in another section of our universe, which made our universe using super-technology. The designer can also be some sort of superdupercomputer simulating this universe.

Stephen Law in his blog

But obviously not running Windows. It's 08:15 and the only cooker in sight is the old ("New World") one still parked by my front door. At least the rain has cleaned it a bit.

Bang! You're dead

One hesitates to comment on our cousins' propensity for liking, owning, and using guns, but people without guns have a hard time shooting anyone, surely?


Since capturing and editing the graphic, the total has moved on to 33. Gotta love that Supreme Court decision. (Source.)

"One hates to pick a fight with the NRA. Members of Congress especially hate this. For one thing, the NRA has gobs of money. It is vocal. It has a reputation for going after representatives who do not vote its way. Also, its members have guns." (Source.)

What's cooking?

Just (09:37) had a "courtesy" call1 from the John Lewis delivery folk, who should be with me in about 30 minutes. Excellent. [Pause] Well, it's now (09:59) standing in the kitchen in all its packed glory. As it's a gas device, they won't even unpack it, whereas had it been electric they would have. No biggie. And I've just waved goodbye to the faithful Conquest New World. 34 years of faithful therms... [Pause] Chum to the rescue with the all-important fresh sealing compound. I've also had to take a gentle hammer to one of Christa's kitchen hanging storage systems to knock it an inch or so sideways to ensure the glass cover that protects the hob (hobs?) can open far enough not to trigger the gas cut-off.

Well, the kitchen needs a thorough overhaul, one way or another. Lighting would be good, for starters. It's 12:50 and all is up and running though, alas, not in time for me to salvage the unopened pack of bacon. What a waste. Time for a bite to eat, then I'm off to the tip with the latest wodge of packaging. What a waste, indeed.

Rather later

Busy chap, me. It's now 18:53 — after the trip to the tip and a tad of supplies shopping I took my main co-pilot out for a cuppa at Brambridge (sweltering hot). Then a deliciously tepid shower with all this new plumbing behaving impeccably. So far, I've studiously avoided studying the cooker's manual beyond setting the clock, but I did clean the "Join our service club" sticky label residue off one of the glass doors with a turps substitute and an amazing amount of elbow grease before it became baked on. I need to run everything at maximum burn for 15 minutes to remove any manufacturing residues and I can tell you I ain't doing that in this heat! (There's a warning note that says not to use the thing for room heating, so that's my justification.)

So I'm sitting quietly, gigantic iPod bopping away with Daniel Lanois, re-scanning a few of the more troublesome DVD covers before consigning the whole lot (so far, 13 A4 folders stuffed with clear plastic pockets) up into the newly-spacious loft to liberate a few more cubic inches of lebensraum down here in the living room. Although I once again crashed the iMac when I plugged in a spare network cable, the cause turned out to be far more prosaic: the Bulgin mains lead was barely inserted. It's just possible I may have been maligning the thing when it was actually all my own (un)doing. Pah!

Diana Athill

The lady I last mentioned here is on the "box" chatting to Alan Yentob in just over half an hour, so that's my date for tonight methinks.



1  Checking I'm in, obviously, for some dynamic route planning purposes. Good idea.