2010 — 4 December: Saturday

I'd hate to think I was in a rut1 but, once again, I'm starting my Saturday with Brian Matthew and his Sounds of the 60s show on BBC Radio 2. I note many of his listeners are "of an age" with a constant stream of 60th birthday greetings. My turn next! <Sigh>

Snow going?

Quite a lot of the horrid stuff has vanished, and it's somewhat misty. However, a few minutes ago I was watching a mother and daughter tottering along to a music lesson at my neighbour's on what is obviously still a very hazardous road surface so I shall be staying firmly put for a while yet. It's 08:26 and a cuppa is close at hand.

When in doubt, shoot the messenger (it seems). Or warn off impressionable young minds:

The State Department's WikiLeaks censorship has even been extended to university students. An email to students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs says: "The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. [The State Department] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government."

Democracy Now

Home of the Free, etc etc. You're either with us or against us. My guvmint right or wrong. Loyalty oaths next?

A couple of these jokes from around the world were amusing. Time for breakfast.

There's a hint of...

... brightness up in the sky behind one part of the clouds. A sun, perhaps? And my front porch thermometer is suggesting it's a balmy +2C. It's 11:07 and seems very quiet hereabouts. Apart from PlanetRock, of course.

Barclaycard is trying to suggest that black is white with respect to the silly "contactless" card technology and a £15 no-PIN payment. (Source.)

Afternoon trivium #1

Why was track #2 ("Aldebaran" — a giant star with a tiny mention in my favourite SF short story "Minor Ingredient" by Eric Frank Russell) on Enya's début album "Enya"2 dedicated to Ridley Scott?

The only connection I could think of, offhand, was a snippet of dialogue in Blade Runner. In fact (or should that be FAQt?) "The dedication is believed to be the result of Roma Ryan, Enya's lyricist, being a big fan of 'Blade Runner'." So I wasn't too far out. There is some seriously arcane stuff lurking out there in cyberspace! (Source.)

It's now (14:56) a cool +3C on my front porch. Still far too much ice around, though.

Afternoon trivium #2

Many years ago, I had a vinyl copy of a 1971 album called Zero Time by "Tonto's Expanding Head Band". Last time I looked for a CD re-issue I declined to pay the outrageous price being demanded (currently still £70 on Amazon UK, for example). I've just scanned the artwork for Steve Hillage's "Motivation Radio" which — I'm assured by Wikipedia — was produced and engineered by one Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band...


... except that it should be "TONTO's..." as I now learn TONTO was a large, hand-built polyphonic synthesiser aka The Original New Timbral Orchestra. Cool! (Source.)

Even better... the excellent Mr Cecil sells a remastered CD for $30 direct from his studio. Everything comes to he who waits, as Dad used to say. It's 16:38 and, having just performed the curtain and blinds rituals for the evening, I shall make a celebratory cuppa while trying the jazz on BBC Radio 3.

Another one going

This isn't pleasing news.

But excellent guests on the "Loose Ends" show to listen to as my evening meal digests: Jacob Bronowski's daughter (Lisa Jardine — that was news to me), John Waters with his new book, and Tim Minchin. Very interesting.

Having finished moving...

... both the little Linux web server and the Gateway XP (email) machine to improve their ventilation and further reduce noise levels down here I note it's now been 217 days since I last rebooted the server. Not bad. I did this while listening again to part 1 of "I, Claudius" — a nice piece of radio drama with rather better "pictures" than the BBC TV variant from 1975 :-)

Time for my next cuppa. [Pause] G'night, at 23:36.



1  Lest I become one of Robert Ardrey's obsolete fish keeping its "laggard appointments". (Link.)
2  Slightly confusingly re-issued in 1992 as "The Celts" six years after the TV series.