2011 — 19 January: Wednesday

Correctly judging it would be too cold1 to get up early and go dashing around, my subconscious let me sleep until a nasty man in a white van beeped irritatingly at one of his colleagues, another nasty man in a white van (both bearing the name "Aspect"). They have one of their "decontamination unit" trailers parked on my neighbour's drive and are doing whatever it is they do as they set about drying out and cleaning up after his "release of H2O incident" several weeks ago.

Jack Frost...

... seems to have lost his artistic ability. The ice thickly coating the car wasn't at all like flowers, but just like a fridge in need of defrosting, in fact. (That reminds me...)

It's 10:09 and time for breakfast and a second cuppa, methinks.

Taking the tablets

So far, the only sensible choices appear to be between the Apple iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Motorola Xoom and the Blackberry Playbook. Mind you, Acer has a quad-core model coming out, too. Now, if only I had a need for one of these delectable playthings. Still can't think of one. Meanwhile Mr Postie has dropped off a pleasing, but melancholy, double CD...


The final annual compilation of so-called "world" music by the late Charlie Gillett.

I've just heard the neatest summary yet of the latest clump of JK Rowling to reach the screen: "Harry on camping". (I gather a lot of the action is "in tents" rather than "intense".)

Time to dig out...

... another pack of choc and whizz out to see dear Mama. It's 13:52 and still sunny. A bit warmer, too.

The conversational Perpetuum mobile that is my mother runs its now familar (yet ever-exhausting) course for the two hours of my visit before I make my excuses and leave. Dropped in on Mrs Brian on my way home to drop off "Dogtooth" to a (possibly) more receptive (and certainly more congenial) audience and to sneak a peek at her new Android phone to see for myself exactly how usable such a tiny device is for its myriad nefarious non-phone purposes.

I conclude I would prefer a tablet as portability is not my main criterion.2

It's 16:52 and the light in the sky is rapidly diminishing. Time for a cuppa and to do the curtains and blinds round for the evening.

Getting later again

Somewhat like yesterday, I've started, tried, and given up on another two films this evening. I was particularly disappointed by "Molly" as it relentlessly degraded into an inferior variant of that wonderful Daniel Keyes story Flowers for Algernon. Another podcast or two, therefore. (The problem with overdosing on Kermode and Mayo is the way my cheeks ache from an almost continual smile. The problem listening to Claudia W and her BBC Radio 2 Arts show is the way her guests have to fight to get a word in edgeways from time to time.)

It's 21:55 and -2C out there. Brrr.

Thinking back

"They" don't make films like Don't Look Now any more. I saw it and "The Wicker Man" as a double bill in the Windsor cinema one evening early in 1974 shortly before meeting Christa. I remember walking somewhat uneasily back to my bed'n'breakfast that night.

Sociable robots?

Scary, sad, or both? It might help if I knew what an ethnographer did. (Link.) By the way, I note David Levy's somewhat related book (reviewed here and subsequently bought here) is dedicated to a chap mentioned by Ms Turkle. Small world!



1  Still -2C at 09:45 despite brilliant sunshine on the back of the house.
2  Not that I've really sat down and tried to establish any criteria yet. Though I'd certainly like to have that nifty Shazam music identification app that my son demonstrated on his Google phone.