2013 — 18 July: Thursday

Task one1 has already been accomplished: reassure Big Bro that my conscience is deliciously unperturbed by the sight of his small pile of stamp albums still sitting gathering dust on the living room floor. (Actually, that wasn't quite "task one" this morning, but there's no point upsetting elderly relatives, is there?)


More important was to download last night's "Late Junction", make a cuppa, decide on tomorrow's lunch venue, assess the need for foody supplies, half-listen to "news" items about the Level 3 heatwave alert and the "small army" of enhanced inspectors who will now be descending on UK hospitals for the next two years, and cogitate (as ever) on the ineffable whichness of the why.2 While switching around (anywhere but BBC Radio 3 while some ghastly soprano warbles / destroys a Beatles song).

Today's version...

... of that old Huw Wheldon joke:

Excuse me. Are you a pole vaulter?
No, I'm a German. But how do you know my name is Walter?

Time for a broken fast, methinks. [Pause] I may have over-achieved on the insulation of my little house. My porch thermometer (not yet afflicted by the direct sunlight) denies it's any hotter than 23C whereas the reading on my atomic super-duper precision clock — the one that, when dropped on a 1.5TB hard drive, happily trashes it — is already swearing it's 26.5C within four feet of where I'm sitting. The fridge is refilled and the lovely air-conditioned, pollen-filtering, car is back on its nest.

With "Late Junction" now playing...

... I suppose I could sneeze over a stamp or two. When he first got me to agree to simply store this parcel for him, he neglected to mention3 any of the photographing, scanning, or cataloguing sub-tasks. I'm going to need a cuppa first, of course.

I've always been...

... horribly shy, but had never previously bothered to ponder the evolutionary usefulness of this hereditary trait. However, I'm sure this...


... isn't quite the whole 'reason'. It's an interesting essay.

Long-term planning at IBM?


IBM results

Did I say 26.5C? Hah! Try 27.9C now, now being 12:44. Gasp. A mere 0.9C warmer than the front porch, in fact. You can have too much of a Good Thing.

I'm (almost) sure...

... I agonise unnecessarily about the torrid thermal conditions inside BlackBeast's case, but (just in, erm, case) I've tweaked upward the speed of the main cooling fan, and turned up the volume of the radio to compensate. It's about 8C warmer inside BlackBeast than ambient, which is fair enough.

Meanwhile, after sitting on my Blu-ray order (Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts") for several months, Amazon UK has just given up, cancelled it, removed it from the web site, and told me all this "with Warmest Regards". Why they couldn't also point me at the same time to the same title still readily available from their little US operation I hesitate to speculate. Though it could just be simple stupidity. It's not as if that's in short supply.


... is off my "to visit anytime soon" list:

Illinois, the last of the 50 states to ban concealed carry, ended its holdout this month after a Second Amendment court challenge. In an alarming turnabout, the Legislature enacted a law that sets no limit on the number of guns or ammunition anyone with a permit can carry. It also allows patrons to tote their weapons to restaurants where liquor sales make up no more than 50 percent of the establishment's gross revenue (such are the nuances of supposedly safety-minded lawmakers).

Op Ed in NYT

See above, re simple stupidity. And that's without even doing more than skim the amazing US guvmint "guide" on developing "High Quality Emergency Operations Plans" for Houses of Worship...



1  Of today's unsorted, random list of indefinite length and wildly-varying priority.
2  One of today's "Whys?" was why the hell did some b*****d call my landline for precisely one 'ring' at 05:24? I must recultivate my habit of unplugging the upstairs phone overnight...
3  Funny, that. He's not usually so forgetful. Cunning little chap.