2010 — 14 July: Wednesday

As I drift gently along Life's Highway1 in what could be called my post-Industrial phase of Life's great adventure, I rarely go in for much planning. But, for once, it seems I now know where I'll be and even what I'll be eating (though not yet who's paying). Yes: it's the return of Big Brother, who (being a consummate, nay obsessive, planner) will arrive "late this coming sunday afternoon". I shall have to lecture him, for the nth time, on the conventional treatment of a proper noun.

As for today — well, it's only 07:59 but the first cuppa is long a thing of the past. I plan to have some breakfast, and to visit Audio T2 at about three seconds after they open at 10:00 to bring a little music back into my unusually silent world. I also plan to visit Soton to see if the next Word magazine and CD is ready for my eager consumption. As Calvin and Hobbes famously remarked: "The days are just packed!"

I'd better plan to get dressed, too.

A decision! Or maybe two

Easier made than executed, mind you. I am going to relocate the biggest, newest desk and my main PC systems from my study upstairs to the back half of the living room downstairs. I guess it's called a living room for a reason. This, in turn, (and after I've replaced the carpet there) will permit me to turn the study into (basically) a book warehouse. It's the only way I can possibly accommodate the contents of those 178 storage cartons looming over in the storage warehouse. (Len kindly pointed out it's a mere 30 trips to bring them all back in my little Yaris — there goes another stone or so of excess adipose material.)

I now have two desks surplus to requirements (and two more already in bits and pieces from Peter's student days). But what shall I do with the now empty (hot water tankless) airing cupboard? (I'd had thoughts of popping a server in there.) Then there's the newly-carpetted space under the stairs. And (for that matter) where should I park the quite new chest of drawers3 that was in that space, neatly blocking access to the shelves behind on which I recently discovered what is (so far) the final cache of Christa's shoes? Which reminds me: maybe it's about time to empty her three wardrobes, too? (Though what am I going to do with three empty wardrobes? I've never been exactly a fashionista.)

Then there's the loft... is there no end to this madness?

That's quite enough pondering. Time (08:54) for some breakfast.

R.I.P. Harvey Pekar

It's time people I like stopped dying on me, dammit. (Source.)

Having initially pickened...

... the thlot eventually4 collapsed down into the sad but undeniable fact that my frightfully expensive speaker cable (£160, if I remember rightly), had not actually been soldered to the bayonets (or even tinned, from the look of it) in all cases before the sleeving had been put over it. Of course, it never occurred to me that this would be the culprit as it seemed so simple and solid. The (Chord) company has already described itself as "mortified" and is going to make me up a fresh pair free of charge, of even higher quality, (twice the price, that is), and of a much more convenient length, ship them to Audio T, and then hang one of their employees by the thumbs. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Meanwhile, Mr Audio T has kindly lent me a stop-gap set of leads, and music once again fills the air hereabouts. Oh, and I had a chance to examine young John's new iPad while I was waiting for the leads, so that's another remarkably tasty-looking toy to agonise over. Now then, it's 12:04 already. What's next, Mrs Landingham?

Ask, and ye shall be...

... answered. I've just spoken to dear Mama's Social Worker, who's been updating me on the logistics of getting her from hospital back into her little nest, tomorrow morning, and the régime of care visits that will then occur for a few weeks while she's basically being assessed to decide whether or not she really can continue to avoid residential care. (Personally, I don't think she can. I suspect Big Bro will agree when he sees her in a week or so.)

It all helps keep boredom at bay, doesn't it? :-)

A spot of lunch, Mr M?

As I munch my lunch (it's 13:51) and marvel at the dexterity tinkling from the harpsichord lunchtime concert, it belatedly occurs to me that, instead of using such a venerable favourite Spoonerism as a pickening thlot, I could have gone (given that I was feeling both Moody and Blue at the time) with something more like "In search of the disconnected Chord". It also occurs to me that, much as I'm sure salad is healthy and good for me, I don't actually like it very much. There's just no pleasing some people, is there?

Finished with the car...

... for today, at least. It's now 17:28 and Soton has duly been relieved of The Word and Radio Times, plus a little 3.5mm minijack to twin phono socket that will come in very handy for hooking up PC sound from the back of the living room to the front where the hi-fi lives. I've also been into Peter Green to say how impressed I've been with all the carpet and vinyl fitting so far, and to pay the deposit for the next two rooms: my study (which will have vinyl) and Peter's room (which will have carpet matching the landing and what was Christa's study). This is an expensive business. I have until the end of August to get these two rooms fully-cleared. The study will be easier than Peter's room.

While in town I also wandered through Mr Never Knowingly Undersold to look at some of their storage shelves and furniture. Again, not cheap. I might also consider Ikea, though the delivery horror story here is pretty off-putting. In fact, I may well return to Peter Green.

Antal Dorati's 1984 Decca recording of Stravinsky's "Firebird" with the Detroit Symphony is lowering my blood pressure as I type. Sample rate converted to 192 KHz on the NAD CD player; sounds glorious. All I need now is another cuppa.

Music while I (don't) work

Given what Julien Temple's "Requiem for Detroit?" film showed us back in March, I can't help wondering what situation that orchestra is now in, a mere quarter of a century later.

Speaking of the odd 25 years or so... Next up: the beautiful 1997 remastered version of the 1959 recording of the Gil Evans arrangement of "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis. I bought my first CD of this in Dallas, Texas, of all places in July 1984. CDs were pretty rare over there at that time, having launched later than in Japan (1982) and Europe (1983). Mind you, the choice in the UK wasn't too exciting at the time, unless you were really keen on James Last (lots of people are, as it happens). The range available in Germany was rather better (closer to the Polydor pressing plant, perhaps?)

Crikey. Better do something about an evening meal. It's 18:47 already. I have a hot date with the last of the current batch of crockpottery. The beauty of which is that it takes all of three minutes or so to prepare. That's my kind of cooking.

Sound decisions

I've been playing the new Rotel amplifier all evening in between cups of tea (it's now 21:57) and have just updated my notes here. I shall defer struggling downstairs with the large desk until another day. Probably tomorrow, in fact. I suspect it dismantles as I recall mantling it, and didn't use any glue :-)

Fascinating! I love the idea of medicos reading Binky Brown :-)



1  Which could use some fairly major pothole repairs, in my opinion.
2  If you seek to know why, go back just a few hours.
3  Currently empty, but quite useful for holding CDs.
4  After three trips to Audio T and having Mr Audio T briefly here at home with another box for use as a pre-amp (since, naturally, the finger of suspicion was slowly moving along the signal chain — but in exactly the wrong direction!) trying to persuade a right hand channel out of my new Rotel power amp (unsuccessfully) having proved, back in his shop, that the thing did actually work in stereo.