2013 — 20 June: Thursday

For reasons that need not detain us1 I was digging gently through an email archive this morning on behalf of a chap in British Columbia. Although (predictably enough — like that popular U2 song) "I still haven't found what I was looking for", I did find this lovely exchange between Peter and Christa which made me smile:

Dear Son,
What a rotten day it is... it was too wet to go in the garden to throw the ball over the wall - it's extremely rare that I don't do this. The same with the bin - I haven't pulled it in yet - too wet! And because I hadn't slept well, I tried to keep awake during the day by eating bits of chocolate - again something I haven't done for weeks... But I must say, the garden is coming on really nicely - you'll notice the difference... I'm very pleased.
Dad is watching a Northern Exposure, after we watched an Arena Programme about Evelyn Waugh. He had had it on tape but then something happened to the tape, so he recorded again. And I found it very interesting too. Then at 10.00, we have some other programme to watch... The History Man, again a programme that we had watched way back, this one in Old Windsor!
Of course I just write a line, simply because I like to write to you. I'm sorry about you being upset of course. And I cannot help. I suppose you'll get over it whatever it is. It can be quite rotten sometimes. Quite rotten.2
I shall work a bit more, and then shall join dad. I hope it's going to brighten up again although the rain is sooo good for the garden and anyway. xxx your mum

Peter's reply
I am currently pissed off for two reasons:
* The shop I was doing a website for decided they didn't want me to do it any more. I don't have any written agreement, so getting paid is proving problematic. I'm handling it, with help from people learned about such matters.
* The situation at work. Again, I'm handling it, and have made a firm decision that if matters aren't fixed by the week after next, I shall start to look for another job.
That's it, in a nutshell. There's also the hassle of dealing with getting an insurance quote for some dickhead parking in the side of my car (the dented side) while I was shopping - they want to handle it privately, which I'm prepared to do. Again, it's in hand.

Date: 17 May 2006

Meanwhile, Digiguide (who will persist in emailing me from time to time about the next week or so of scheduled TV programmes they seem to think I would enjoy) today highlight "The Man with the 10-Stone Testicles" — is it any surprise I've long since given up on broadcast TV in this weird world?

I rarely bother...

... myself by worrying about what goes on in the Benighted Kingdom's benighted Upper Legislative chamber. But I was tickled, when reading (in the current "Private Eye") a summary of a recent two-day House of Lords debate on gay marriage, to spot the following snippet:

Lord James

Almost as good as the time I noted that an Earl, (of Amar? Memory fades) who listed "pigeon kicking" among his recreations, managed to fall to his death from the 5th floor of his Knightsbridge flat. Or that wonderfully telling Q&A exchange with the Countess of Marr in May 1994:

Q: What constitutes a freshly-dipped sheep?
A: A sheep is regarded as being freshly-dipped for the short
   period which follows immediately after dipping, when the
   sheep is still wet from the dip bath.

"Fingers on the pulse"... that's what I like to see.

Things that tick me off...

... include the need to remove not one, but two, ticks from yesterday's walk from my thigh before I nip out for some supplies. They had just begun to itch, but (as far as I can tell) are now fully removed. I'm also not impressed by the idiots still at large and in a position to demand the suppression of the names of the allegedly criminally negligent (or worse) in reports made 'public' — generally only following usually tardy and reluctant investigations of failings in various dank corners of this green and peasant gland of ours. (Example.)

My archive searching...

... eventually yielded what I was after: the email for one of George Cogar's children. The chap who'd contacted me from B.C. wants to offer his services to the Cogar family by providing a high-resolution image survey of the likely flight path and, perhaps, even the crash site, of the flight on which Cogar disappeared.

He tells me "The sensors in the aircraft take 230 megapixel images every 3 seconds, geo-referenced to less than 5 cm, in other words, any anomaly it finds can be positioned on the earth to within 5 cm of its actual location. The system software can be set to look for specific colors, shapes, damaged vegetation, reflectivity and a number of other parameters." They do this searching and image capture on their way to existing contract sites, so as he says it's just computer time and an interesting diversion from the mapping that is their main business... sounds to me like a very worthwhile "give back" to the community.

It's been a while...

... since I last watched this quirky film from Robert Altman.

Brewster McCloud DVD

To my (mild) annoyance, I notice I'd stuck a couple of Tex Avery cartoons on the space still left on the DVD+R copy I made from my original LaserDisc (that I'm now replacing with this 'commercial' DVD-R). Unless I keep the disc, or redub them, they will be off to the vast bit-bucket in the sky.

Thanks for the...

... pointer to this sage advice, Roger...

Kindle Fire review

... but no matter how refreshing it is to see such honesty, can we be sure the Project Gutenberg webmaster is completely unbiased? :-)

And Brian: if you come back from the Computer Museum without an Alan Turing edition Monopoly set... shame on you! What's the point of having a huge IBM pension if you don't allow it to trickle down?

(Takes cover, rapidly.)

"Bother!" said Pooh

I've just broken a domestic talisman: the little kitchen waste container. I didn't particularly care for it, looking (as it did) all too like a chamberpot — and I could reliably make Christa giggle by saying so. But that's not the point — she'd found this "bargain" in a local junk shop and wouldn't part with it... and now it's some future archaeologist's puzzling shards of pottery.

I suspect I shall miss it.



1  Well, not until I've made some breakfast, at least, on this warmly-humid morning.
2  She wrote this masterpiece of understatement less than a month before a CT scan finally confirmed the need for more radical surgery in the ongoing process of trying to prolong her time here with us. Poor girl.