2012 — 6 July: Friday

Had I not watched right to the end of one of the extras of one of last night's films1 I would have missed an unusual disclaimer:

Some of the names have been changed to protect the guilty

Yes; I finally found the round tuit needed to watch "The Bank Job", which I'd bought on Blu-ray last October. Jolly good little caper movie, based on the 1971 safety deposit box bank vault robbery at the Baker Street, London, branch of Lloyds bank. Good to see Duncan Campbell from the Grauniad popping up. Script by the creators of "The Likely Lads".

Right. Bed beckons. G'night.

Unlikely as it sounds...

... Mr BBC has just promised a month's worth of rain today on many parts of this green and peasant gland. Crikey. Hadn't realised it was midsummer. What a good job global climate change is so regularly being dismissed in some of the more rabid quarters as a possibility, heh?

It will never...

... happen, Polly, but thank you for the fantasy images:


Meanwhile, if you don't do a course on how to enter the new BBC building in Salford, you can't get a "red" lanyard and thus gain entrance. Not even if you're Prof Brian Cox.

A Higgs boson walks into a church.
Priest: "Oy, you! Get out! You're barred."
Higgs boson: "Without me, you can't have mass!"

Tea, vicar?

Singed? By Microsoft??

Not going to happen, surely? "The Fedora Project, meanwhile, has also got on board with Microsoft. It's sticking with GRUB2 but its boot-loader key will be singed by Microsoft under a service from Verisign". (Link.)

Having helped...

... recently persuade a chum of the virtues of a larger, flatter, digital TV — and noting that his Onkyo is now behaving itself — I moved on to my campaign to cure his lingering vinyl2 fetish. Mustering what I thought were unassailable unvirtues...

Start by considering the 60dB max S/N ratio (on a good day). Then there's the tracking arm distortion, phase distortion, cross-channel interference, pre-and post-echo from a combination of analogue tape print-through and careless disc cutting. Let's not forget rumble, wow and flutter, RIAA 'equalisation' to correct for a combination of the non-linearity of the recording chain, and the non-linearity of your auditory processing system.

Date: 6 July 2012

... you can probably imagine my dismay at his laconic response, namely: "A vinyl enthusiast would call that charm, or character."

As opposed, I suppose, to quantum strangeness. My lunch is now (13:30) officially overdue. [Pause] And if I don't hit the road soon, I now risk the closure of the Figg Tea Shoppe. Then where would I go? [Pause] We've tentatively arranged one of our local road walks tomorrow, subject (of course) to the weather. Then Big Bro is scheduled to show up some time on Sunday morning.

How will I contain my excitement? Well, I could start by making myself an evening meal, I guess.

Two weeks before...

... I started life anew, not as a trainer of performing elephants, but as a trainee instructional writer in the UK computer industry, I noted the following item:

Governor of the Bank of England, Gordon Richardson, speaks depressingly of the vast balance of payments deficit and forecasts years of economic austerity for us "perhaps until 1984". His remarks coincide with the pound's fall against the US dollar to its lowest level yet.

Date: 15 January 1974

"Fringe" is...

... barking mad3 — or am I missing something? I've now seen the pilot, and will try the next episode, but my threshold setting for tolerance of what one of my IBM colleagues used to call "AABS" (the first two letters stand for "All American") grows ever less in these benighted times. Meanwhile, outside the rain raineth quite steadily. It's 22:20 and most unsummerly. [Pause] And now it's already tomorrow. G'night.



1  Not that I'm a completeist nerd of any sort, you understand.
2  The playable kind. I have no argument with his diving suit.
3  I don't know whether I should be concerned that — given its high score on IMDB — some of its viewers are doubtless accepting this slick pseudo-science as a presentation of reality rather than the paranoid fantasy conspiracy rubbish that it actually is. I can't help being reminded of that lovely scene in the late Donald E Westlake's first "Dortmunder" comedy thriller... he and his crew, dressed in wet-suits and skin divers' masks, and carrying tommy guns, have turned up in the garden of an insane asylum, conveyed there by a stolen miniature steam train (for perfectly logical reasons) and a lady doctor angrily berates them for damaging the reality concepts she has been trying to instil in the inmates.