2013 — 27 January: Sunday

I just had time to finish watching "The Ledge"1 last night before my house guests arrived. In fact, I was on the point of starting the 20-minute documentary extra, so that will now have to keep for a bit. And my friend Ian came up trumps with his translation of the Russian language search string, too — it turned out they were just looking for one of the book titles I list elsewhere on 'molehole' though them knowing I have it isn't going to do them much good until I decide to start a lucrative new career2 as a second-hand bookseller. (I jest.)

The young people have both now retired, so I shall call it a day too, having received strict instructions on the earliest I can consider waking them. Since they propose to take me out for lunch before their departure back to the Smoke I'm not arguing. G'night.

Happy birthday, Big Bro! You poor ol' chap.

There's still...

... nearly an hour to go before I'm allowed to wake the undynamic duo. They're missing all the glorious sunshine. From the audio evidence "Good morning! Would you like a top-up of your tea?" one of them is now back online. Not yet my son, naturally.

Freud would have had a Samsung Galaxy, running the latest version of Android, of course. On the other hand, I see Jung as more of an IOS guy. Otto Rank? Surface.

Raymond Larrett, commenting in Atlantic

What tablet would Moses have chosen, I wonder? [Pause] How's this for a wonderfully macabre graphic for a sunny Sunday morning?


Baby Boomers falling off the twig, heh? Still, who reads anything these days?

Mocking the (gun)-afflicted...

Hard to disagree:

[King] assured gun owners that no one wanted to take away their hunting rifles, shotguns or pistols, as long as they held no more than 10 rounds. "If you can't kill a home invader (or your wife, up in the middle of the night to get a snack from the fridge) with ten shots, you need to go back to the local shooting range."

Rory Carroll quoting Stephen King in Grauniad

Afternoon adventures...

... so far include a nice (free)3 lunch out, followed (on my part) by an unscheduled quick dash over to Winchester hospital to pick Roger up and take him home while Eileen is kept in at least overnight "for observation". Meanwhile the young people have gone off to spend some money in our local Temples of Commerce in Soton. I must say, too, that I had no idea one's crusty tea-stained kitchen sink could be restored to quite such a close match to its original state and colour. Let alone the taps up in the bathroom.

Evening adventures...

... mostly consisted of the predicted assessment of the JVC video projector Mike has on loan. It proved, yet again, the truth of that adage about "garbage in, garbage out" as it has shown itself to be a very unforgiving piece of kit. Fed a good input from a Blu-ray or well-mastered DVD, all is well. Otherwise, was, erm, otherwise. We ended up re-watching — for the umpteenth time — the video montage at the end of the very first Joe Kane "Video Essentials" test DVD.

I, for one, have painful memories of using the earlier LaserDisc variant of this useful programme for nearly 17 hours on one horrid occasion as I sought to undo the damage I had done to the convergence of the three colour tubes of my venerable 50" Pioneer rear-projection TV some six months after I'd bought it, when I finally took off the front panel to expose about 17 mutually interacting 'pots' with which one could tinker electronically (not physically) with the alignment of each 'gun'. Big mistake. Big, big, major big mistake. As I was to lament to Carol at the time:

I've just had the worst, most frustrating, entirely-my-own-fault weekend of my whole life (or, to be fair, my whole life since living with a large projection TV whose colour convergence was not quite perfect!). I couldn't begin to convey the rage and horror involved without potential cardiac arrest. But the double damned device kept me up until 4.20 on Sunday morning and fully occupied throughout what remained of yesterday after 5 hours sleep. I was not a happy David.

A lunchtime visit back to the beast with a chap [Mike, of course] who's been through the nightmare of colour convergence several times has already done wonders, however, and his prediction is that I need only spend another couple of hours to repair most of the entirely self-inflicted damage... Grrr.

Date: 19 April 1993

So what was so difficult? The basic technique is perfectly simple, after all. Display a white cross-hatch signal. Turn down the red and blue signals and, using only the green gun, correct any geometry flaws to display a perfect green cross-hatch. Add back in the red gun, and correct any geometry flaws to obtain a perfect yellow cross-hatch. Add back in the blue gun, and correct any geometry flaws to bring back the original — but now corrected — white cross-hatch.

Nothing to it. A child of 12 (Peter, at the time) could have done it. Unless, that is, you start from a green cross-hatch that is (because some idiot named Mounce has already tweaked it) now already displaying a corrected cross-hatch pattern that (although you don't know it when you embark on the process) is already beyond the maximum adjustment range of either (or both) the red and blue adjustment 'pots'... All of which, recall, are mutually interacting.



1  Last Saturday's acquisition. A well-made, well-paced, well-argued piece that won't (for precisely those reasons) endear itself to some fairly major sections of humanity.
2  Which, if I read yesterday's delivery of the IBM Pension Plan summary funding statement correctly (IBM has now agreed to top up the fund by £63,000,000 per year for ten years to eliminate the current shortfall) could well be any time soon.
3  By far my favourite kind.