2010 — 23 September: Thursday

Don't you just hate it when you're listening to the last few minutes of one of your favourite radio programmes1 and the reliably excellent presenter (in this case, Fiona Talkington) just drops into her chat the news that she had a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008? I believe I may have mentioned from time to time the fact that I loathe the disease. Such a fine piece of intelligent design. (Interesting argument here.)

Carpe diem.

One of my sillier neighbours...

... just got an object lesson in more suitable speeds for a little housing estate a few minutes ago as his/her Mini had to adapt (very quickly) to my calming presence in front of him/her as I took the Yaris out for a little non-spin as part of the process of leaving more room on my drive should Mr Toyota arrive on his own and leave his car as hostage. Meanwhile, let's draw a veil over the failed experiment of the roll-up keyboard. Handy toy but worse (if that's possible) than the chiclet keys of the unlamented IBM PCJr. Still, only £2-95 to write off.

It's raining, grey, and looks (at 08:45) well set for the day so it leaves me with just my lunch date to look forward to and even that could be awkward — depends if I can adjust the timing of Mr Toyota's return trip. Grrr.

I'm no fan...

... of our infantile obsession with nuclear weaponry. Well said, Shirley!

"Mr Fox, have you noticed that the American people did elect a new president and that Mr Bush is no longer the president of the United States?" she said to applause. "President Obama is doing everything in his power to move multilateral disarmament forward — that ratification hangs by a thread. Would it not be ludicrous if the UK moved in the direction of like-for-like replacement to last for the next 40 years, locking our children and grandchildren into the position?"

Nicholas Watt, quoting Baroness Williams in The Guardian

No more toys for the boys on that scale, if you please. As usual, underground cartoonist Ron Cobb got there years ago:


Young Melvyn's just had his brain taken out and pummelled. Jolly good fun. Come on, Mr Toyota. Get a move on. [Pause] Remember how all the initial "Seldon crises" described in Asimov's Foundation were solved by doing nothing until only one course of action remained? Well, my potential lunch clash has worked out as poor Len has an upset tum, so I'm free to remain here, staring through the gloom at the very heavy rain and (at 10:16) starting to wonder if Mr Toyota, too, has a similar upset.

Wonder if I'll see my car again! It's just been driven away at 10:50 and an ugly van2 festooned with adverts has been parked in front of (I hope) an absent neighbour for the duration of this vehicular swap.


And the rain has eased off.


The Yaris is on its way back having passed with flying colours. More importantly, the time on the clock is now accurate. And best of all, I got a discount on both the MOT and the 30K service by way of further apology for the glitch on the appointment date and they've thrown in a free car care kit, which may just be a hint that I should exercise my cute little sucking machine more often — or at all, I guess. It's 14:59 and I shall celebrate with a cuppa shortly.

Last time it was this clean was the day it was delivered! A mere 1,077 days ago :-)

Looking back...

... I see I made my whimsical decision to re-watch "The West Wing" some seven weeks ago. Funnily enough, since that decision I've felt not the slightest need to watch any broadcast TV at all, and indeed have again given up buying the "Radio Times". This evening I've just completed the saga, and if there's a finer political drama on TV I've yet to see it. It was interesting, too, to notice how many little details I picked up this time. (But then I seem to get something new out of Jane Austen's work every time I revisit that, too.) Odd.

Also (mildly) interesting to see that I bawled my eyes out from time to time — that certainly never happened first time through. Christa's death has clearly changed my emotional "calibration" — permanently, I suspect. Probably a Good Thing, though a truly horrible way to achieve it. Ho hum. Time for an evening meal before I starve.

And, though I may not have been watching broadcast TV, I was pleased to find my Humax PVR had accumulated several episodes of "Big Bang Theory" for me. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Interesting "name that movie" test here.



1  "Late Junction" on BBC Radio 3, of course.
2  Actually, I phoned to congratulate them — after all, they're still looking after our little gorilla family in the kiddies' TV and waiting area of their showroom.