2013 — 1 March: Friday — rabbits!

And it's St. David's day.1 Start the day as you'd like it to continue is my retirement motto. So first, read Carol's overnight email of 'ketchup'. Then sup gently at the initial cuppa, listen to the double horn concerto, and think about mundane matters such as clothes and breakfast. Not too hard, though, as it's only 06:28 so I'm somewhat ahead of the curve so far.

I note the "probably not quite as bad as the other lot" gang have managed to retain the parliamentary seat in Eastleigh even without my vote — I was moved over to the Winchester mob to help ensure the true blue nature of that fine city. Pah! That nice Mr Farage's party managed to come second (with 28%!) and the Tories third. Not exactly cheerful news for the boy Dave, is it?

I hadn't seen this nice quote before from Theodore Roosevelt:

The conscienceless stock speculator who acquires wealth by swindling his fellows, by debauching judges and corrupting legislatures, and who ends his days with the reputation of being among the richest men in America, exerts over the minds of the rising generation an influence worse than that of the average murderer or bandit, because his career is even more dazzling in its success, and even more dangerous in its effects upon the community.

Date: pre-1919!

Some more here.


How's this for "an absolutely regular trochaic monometric couplet"?

Had 'em.

And it's not by Ogden Nash, surprisingly. Some more here including an amazing haiku from Seamus Heaney.

Death, taxes and spoilers...

... are, according to this young lady, the new trio of life's terrible guarantees. Source and further snippet:

The true joy of House of Cards lies not in the pedigree of the crew and cast — Spacey's co-star is Princess Buttercup herself, Robin Wright — which is of course, desirable and welcome. No, it is its instant availability, crucially at the same time as it is being aired in America that makes this drama super-glossy and revolutionary. Fans of popular culture are almost always acolytes of the School of Instant Gratification, and those of us based in these British Isles having become used to occupying the position of the ugly stepchild: almost always several months (sometimes years) behind on the best (and in the interests of fairness, worst — hello, FlashForward) of American television-programming, if we receive it at all.

Bim Adewunmi in New Statesman

I was very pleased to see that Michael Dobbs and Andrew Davis were both involved in this glossy reworking of a favourite TV series. And it's started well, though I'm not going to binge on it. Well, not before breakfast, certainly :-)

I live family life vicariously...

... but to the full. Here's a shot of niece #2 (aka Squadron Leader Rachel) taking the back seat of a two-seater Spitfire down in Whenuapai for a 485Sq reunion (like that means anything to me, Big Bro!):

Spitfire and Rachel

Mocking the Affleck-ted?

There's a fascinating deconstruction of the newest Hollywood 'take' on the Iranian hostage affair. Source and tiny snippet:

... a lie repeated in public space often enough becomes truth through a process of lazy entertainment osmosis. Most of the people who have seen, and will now see, Argo are too young to remember what was going on back in the mid to late 1970s. Most viewers, too, know little to nothing about the history of Iran or U.S.-Iranian relations — why should they? — and so they have no basis against which to protect themselves from weapons-of-misinformation-dumps (WMD). Most important, we exaggerate the capacity of most people to distinguish between fact and representations of fact, because being able to do so is very context specific.

Adam Garfinkle in American Interest

Well worth the read. And I shall be asking Brian what he made of the film as I know he's planning to see it tonight. [Pause] Back from a supplies run and a swift pre-lunch mooch around the discount video shelves of Asda, but returned empty-handed. I did spot, but didn't bother to browse, a new magazine aimed at my precise demographic: Windows 8 for Seniors. Better that than "Dummies", I guess.

I had no idea...

... until mere moments ago, that the Robert K Merton I mentioned in passing here for having written "On the shoulders of giants" (an entire book seeking to pin down the origin of Isaac Newton's famous remark) was the father of the Robert C Merton who shared a Nobel prize for, but whose name is omitted from, the (Fisher) Black—(Myron) Scholes equation as his work basically confirmed and expanded on theirs. My profound ignorance is profoundly depressing sometimes. (Source.)

I sometimes...

... wonder why I bother. I made the mistake of pointing out (to a representative of the financial institution with whom I am intending to further entangle myself) that one of their printouts of my address presented the "Chandler's Ford" part thus:

Chandler'S Ford

Today I've received two separate snailmails from them (part of the incoming paper blizzard apparently necessary for said impending entanglement). The one from Head Office gets it right (and gives me both initials in my name). The one from the local branch omits my middle initial and fails spectacularly at that troublesome apostrophe:

Chandler's Ford

Ironic, as they're asking me to bring proof of my address to our next meeting :-)

Speaking of Corporate stupidity, did you know that once IE10 has been fed a home page URL, it's extremely difficult to get it to change2 its micro-cephalic mind to accommodate the same one on a different network after you've been fiddled with by Mr BT? Resetting everything to defaults doesn't work. Where's my ax? [Pause] And now that I'm getting a handful of daily text messages from the financial people it seems to have provoked my mobile's operator to get in on the act and start bombarding me with stupid ads and offers.

Why on earth does it feel so much like a Monday? I know perfectly well it's a Friday, and I had the tea and biccies with Roger & Eileen to prove it :-)

So far today, two people have independently told me they hate my niece #2 without even ever having met her. But, honestly, come on...

Spitfire and Rachel, 2

Who but a mad person would want to fly in such a soulless, rusty, old, scrap-metal bucket?!?

Noisy, too, I bet :-)



1  Whatever that signifies.
2  Make that "extremely difficult to find where to get it to change its 'mind'..." Job done.