2013 — 30 August: Friday

A great many years ago1 I was lent one of those fashionably "New Age" (or do I mean "Post-Modern"?) bits of nonsense — a cassette tape called "The Primary Relationship" — by a well-intentioned IBM colleague who'd probably heard me sounding off about dear Mama once too often for his taste. Come to think of it, several years later another IBM colleague lent me her copy of a book called "Toxic Parents". I can only hope my tales and anecdotes of generational woe weren't too boring around the morning coffee or afternoon tea tables.

Still, say what you will about mater and pater, they certainly failed to inculcate in me what's laughingly called the "Protestant Work Ethic"... and I managed to develop a secular equivalent that has served me well for more than five decades.

What made me think of that? Could be the fact that it's already after 10:40 and I'm still unrepentantly unbreakfasted, let alone dressed to face the outside world. Yet radio programmes are safely snaffled, cover artwork scanned for a chum, email comments and invitations noted and responded to, and a completely vital utility (WinSCP) updated. The only cyberspatial thing as yet undone is my usual cursory examination of various "news" feeds to see (for example) what kind of militaristic adventure (if any) the boy Dave now feels entitled / empowered / mandated to embark my country on this morning.

He clearly embodies a work ethic, though I can't help feeling my more (shall we say?) placid approach might (in general) damage fewer people more often.


I'm not sure why...

... but lunch followed by a pleasant afternoon chatting with my chum Len always seems to end up somehow with me spending money. In this case, the shocking sum of £4-57 has been flung into Google's bottomless coffers in exchange for the pukka Android release of the Invelos DVD Profiler app for my not-quite-smart-enough-to-receive-enough-mobile-signal-at-home "smartphone". It's already installed itself, registered itself, and is now beavering away downloading my DVD and BD collection database from the online version held on an Invelos server. Not, I suppose, the commonest use of a "nqsetremsah" phone, but it will certainly do for me.

After all, if I can't make and receive calls with it at home, the least I can do is put it to work in other ways. [Pause] I shall grab a bite and a cuppa while it's grabbing many millions of bytes.

I was, and...

... in all (forgive the pun) probability will forever now remain, ignorant of the maths needed to 'explicate' the Borel-Kolmogorov paradox. Happily, that doesn't stop me being tickled pink to learn that aliens landing randomly on a perfectly spherical Earth would as a result of said explication tend to land nearer the equator than either pole. As for the idea that Soviet newspapers were (maybe still are?) less informative than poetry. Well, isn't that always likely to be the case? (Link.)

Sooner or later...

... it was, after all, an event just waiting patiently to happen:

Pushing the limits

It was Bertrand Russell who said — admittedly, in a slightly more serious context — "You may reasonably expect a man to walk a tightrope safely for ten minutes; it would be unreasonable to do so without accident for two hundred years". Quite so. And at least I didn't blast through my monthly broadband data cap until I'd completed all the downloading2 of my DVD/BD data into the phone. In fact I was peacefully browsing a web page on the Android Tablet when, on following a hypertext link, I was rudely redirected to the ISP's "red" warning Stop sign. And had to pay the on-the-spot fine before being allowed to proceed with a cyberspatial caution.

Oh, the shame. I was 0.116GB over my 20GB limit. I blame that blasted Wagner Tannhauser Prom download... and I didn't even want it :-)

Having mentioned...

... that excellent film 2001: a Space Odyssey just two days ago, here's part of its DVD Profiler entry as viewed on the smartphone:

2001 database entry on the smartphone app

Far too much fun.



1  Although, admittedly, within the lifetime of my son and heir :-)
2  Of course, I could have switched on the phone's mobile data services and eaten (as it were) from the 2GB monthly limit of the contract. But that would have meant walking out of the house and standing like some mad person on a street corner at the top of the local hill for the 90 minutes or so it took to grab all the data.