2013 — 16 March: Saturday

Why is it1 when the weather forecast suggests 'lousy' it's lousy and when it suggests 'fine' it tends more often to the lousy? Or perhaps these are the premature April showers. The most I'm getting from the hallway barometer, of course, is veränderlich. Well, it would say that, wouldn't it? Nor do I have the comfort of "House of Cards" to fall back on as I gorged on the final three episodes yesterday.

Generally speaking, I can resist everything except temptation. And tea. Plus this, which seems to be an attempt to get people to try the digital-only insomniacs' sidekick channel that seems bent on recycling the Light Programme and Home Service comedy and drama material of the unlamented 1950s and 1960s. Good luck with that.

Is that what's...

... meant by "damning with faint praise"? Source and snippet:

Furthermore, in an admittedly long (perhaps even too long) book, the reader has no trouble following the author's line of thought; indeed, the Baedeker Dworkin offers in the first chapter more than enables the patient reader to follow the orderly pattern of his intricate argumentation. And while his insistence on tying all loose ends together in accordance with his grand design might come across as an almost dogmatic commitment to a single idea — some might call it stubborn single-mindedness — the result is an undeniably brilliant, challenging, and often quite convincing philosophical treatise.

David Heyd in Azure

My emphases.

The infographic...

... (and when did pictures or charts become infographics?) here that purports to show how a book is born made me smile more than once. [Pause] And it was an ex-Cheers screenwriter called Rob Long who asked: "Who among us has not gazed at a painting of Jackson Pollock's and thought 'What a piece of crap'?"

I was unaware...

... of this useful Radio Downloader 'assistant' for scooping up BBC iPlayer radio shows as MP3s and also (though I've yet to try it) BBC podcasts. It seems to work well, and I found it most helpful. Yes, there are a couple of graphics glitches, but by simply scrolling down the page it's easy enough to bypass them...

Radio downloader

Furthermore, my guru tells me (sheepishly?) it managed to download some files that his preferred "get_iplayer" command line magic spell failed to retrieve.

I do sometimes wonder how the BBC manages to find — and then let — so many micro-cephalic provincial bigots vomit their poisonous prejudices over the airwaves during the phone-in programmes I so assiduously avoid (except in the three or four minutes prior to something I actually want to hear).

Good heavens!

As I listen to a three-hour MP3 of the "Bob Harris Sunday" show at 128Kbps (169MB) including, at 73 minutes in, some live music from 'The Willows', I've been pottering around down here, tidying up somewhat, and stumbling across a reminder to "go paperless" for news and such stuff from the IBM Pensions mob. Guess what I've just discovered? Unless the UK guvmint is telling me porkie pies then, in a mere 42 months from now — assuming I haven't shuffled off the mortal coil2 and joined the Choir Invisible by then — my so-called State Pension should start paying me a quite handy £5,587-40 (before tax, no doubt) per year.

The rain is pouring down outside. Time for an evening meal, methinks. Whispering Bob has just reminded us that next week is the 'official' 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", which I originally had on vinyl (didn't everybody?) and played to Christa in the Old Windsor vicarage early in our 'acquaintance'. I didn't buy it on CD until September 1984.

It was my 121st CD :-)

I've just tried the "iPlayer" network capability of my Freeview HD box for the first time since having upgraded the speed of my broadband and, technically, there's nowt wrong with the quality of the signal. But (having tried two separate 'Horizon' episodes on asteroids and on creativity inside the brain) I just can't bring myself to watch the tripe. It depressingly manages the paradox of being simultaneously frenetic (lots of silly irrelevant music, visuals and visual gimmicks) and glacially-paced (in terms of meaningful information delivery).

I think that's it for tonight. It's 23:50 and I'm tired.



1  Purely rhetorical question.
2  My ideas of what exactly a "mortal coil" is have changed over the years. But I've so far resisted the temptation to investigate.