2013 — 20 February: Wednesday

I've been reminded1 by Zen (my ISP) that I will face a "fee" of £85 plus VAT if I am out this Friday when a BT engineer comes a-knockin' on their behalf to fiddle with my broadband. Not that they can specify the precise time of arrival (of course). I shall have to clear a working space around the main phone socketry up in Peter's room. That room is currently jammed with overflow from their little money pit in London whose habitability is (I very much hope) exponentially approaching normal as walls and floors are repaired and replaced.

Meanwhile, I shall repair to my kitchen and replace the tummy void by some breakfast.

Giving it the (Max) Boot... again

I first mentioned this chap a while back when his depressing piece on global arms spending caught my eye. He's back with a long, thoughtful, essay on the evolution of warfare. For once, it strikes me as invidious to select a snippet — the whole ghastly story (well worth reading) is here.

I need more tea.

We're all going to die!

Shades of Philip Latham's 1949 SF story "The Xi Effect"...

Doom awaits

I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, my sore-throat-induced venerable 1985 bus-stop musings on the discrepancies between the rate of our evolution and that of our tiny friends we attempt to slaughter by means of antibiotics are now confirmed by recent research:

Strictly speaking, according to the textbook definition of evolution as a change in gene frequencies in a population, many of the most rapidly evolving species, hence those with the most recent changes, are not primates but pathogens, the disease-causing organisms like viruses and bacteria. Because of their rapid generation times, viruses can produce offspring in short order, which means that viral gene frequencies can become altered in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same thing in a population of humans, zebras, or any other vertebrate.

Marlene Zuk in Chronicle Review

With perfect timing — as I'm listening to Bill Frisell's wonderful 8-minute version of "I heard it through the grapevine" in fact — and in what strikes me as a near-perfect demonstration of the tendency of the perversity of the Universe to suggest it's infinite, a care-home nurse has just called to update me on dear Mama's chest infection. She will be started on antibiotics today.

It certainly feels...

... jolly cold out there at the moment. Having replaced the bandage on my heel, and selected my "softest" shoes — I'm not repeating the mistake of trying to drive in my unheeled flip-flops — I nipped briefly out about 30 minutes ago to pay in Uncle ERNIE's welcome little cheque. Walking is still sufficiently unpleasant that, instead of having a gentle mooch around the discount Blu-ray shelves of Asda, I simply came straight back home. Brrr. Time for a nice hot cuppa and a bite of lunch, methinks. It's already 13:17 after all.

I've also set in motion the steps to update Uncle ERNIE on the current status, and address, of dear Mama as my Post Office redirection of snailmail from her former address runs out quite soon. So that's another verified copy of the Power of Attorney form that I need to sort out and send off. Deep joy.

About the only news item to put a smile on my face this evening is the wonderful phrase used by a Judge when discharging a jury that in his opinion showed a "fundamental deficit in understanding". Robust criticism, indeed. I wonder, however, if they might have been slightly too thick2 to get the message? The jury had asked if one of them could come to a verdict based on reasons that were not presented in court or supported by the evidence... that would surely make things much easier? (Link.)

For my evening entertainment...

... recently, I've been re-acquainting myself with the quirkily wonderful "Dead Like Me". It's as hard to believe this is now a decade old as it is to realise that I've been listening to the music of various groups featuring the now-late Kevin Ayers for over four decades.


But then, if we were designed to understand Time, I suppose I would by now. Whatever "now" means :-)



1  Unnecessarily, as it happens.
2  I was left scarred by the inanity and stupidity on open display at almost all points of the one trial in which I sat as a juror in the mid-1980s.