2013 — 27 April: Saturday

I am bemused1 not only by some of the radio news items but also by what constitutes news these days. It's back to music for dear Mama's little boy. No wonder I'm so ill-informed.

My non-Spanish Bank...

... continues to give me no reason to regret my decision to switch to them. Even the fact that Mr Fancy Keyboard charged my credit card a week before they actually had the thing in stock doesn't faze me since I'm in the middle of an interest-free introductory period according to my latest online statement. I'm cool with that.

I'm less cool with the spelling of "faze" as I suspect it's an Americanism, but neither "phaze" nor "phase" looks 'right'. I don't believe I've ever had cause to use it before. Like I said: ill-informed.

It amused me...

... to revisit a few short notes I made on three instances of what you might call massive failure to recognise my genius on the part of Great Corporations. (Link.)

Retrieving the breakfast ejected unusually violently from my toaster was much less amusing.

Speaking of "retrieving"...

... I mentioned that I'd not yet confirmed the precise identity of the Canaletto print on the dinner placemat that was the single thing I wanted from the contents of dear Mama's house when we moved her into her care-home. I have now. It's Venice: The Entrance to the Grand Canal. This better-quality scan...

Canaletto, take 2

... is from my overlooked 1967 Folio Society edition of "Canaletto" that I retrieved from the Oxfam bookshop in Soton for a mere £4-99 in August 2005 but only rediscovered earlier today while retrieving my yellowing copy of my IBM CICS/CMS brochure to scan. It's taken me nearly eight years to make this connection. Some genius, huh? I still love the perspective.

Lunch being...

... now a pleasant repast of the recent past I can resume whatever it was I was doing beforehand. Moving files around and uncovering unripped CDs, mostly. Six identified so far, all of which have had their artwork scanned before being shovelled into a CaseLogic folder. All listened to, too, but why not ripped? Now that's the more interesting question.

Catching up on the ripping...

... yields the following slightly curious melange of titles (so far):

It's been an afternoon of mixed sunshine and hail showers. Meanwhile, Boeing's chief engineer, whose team of chaps with spanners and chewing gum have put in 200,000 engineer hours fixing the problem, and having identified "over 80" potential failure factors for his little spot of battery bother, has just been sound-bitten by the BBC asserting that even if they haven't nailed everything the 'Dreamliner' remains perfectly safe... Won't catch me up in one, I assure you.

What puzzles me more is how come Ethiopia is the second country after Japan to buy them and somehow managed to afford ten of the things?

I read, and enjoyed...

... Barbara Barnett's unoffical guide to "House, M.D." Chasing Zebras nearly two years ago. Meanwhile, fictional quack Gregory House gets everywhere. The "FindZebra" search engine has been named for him (in a sense). It carries a health warning, too.

I listened, grimly...

... fascinated, to Collar the Lot! in which, with laudable clarity, Tom Conti examined the often very shameful story of Italian internment in Britain during World War II. It's not, as it happens, my first exposure to this sordid saga. In February 1989 I managed to find Peter and Leni Gillman's book of exactly the same title which had first been published in 1980.

Collar the Lot!

There's some neat irony at work, on occasion, as these sort of stories emerge into the sunshine after many years of official secrecy. Back in October 1979, Thatcher's guvmint was keen to publish a Bill for the "Protection of Official2 Information" to replace Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act. A month later, when Professor Sir Anthony Blunt, Adviser for the Queen's Pictures, was (finally) revealed to have been for many years a spy for the USSR so much further nasty-smelling merde was uncovered (that clearly would have stayed hidden had the new Bill already been law), that it was very effectively killed off. Just as well, because the Gillmans' excellent book would necessarily have been a lot shorter, otherwise.



1  As usual.
2  A code phrase which generally translates as "Protection of Officials and Ministers".