2013 — 15 October: Tuesday

I noted en passant1 that my BBC licence fee (which I generally have no qualms about paying) helped finance a World Service radio programme asking (and, maybe, even answering) the question: "Should non-Muslims be allowed to use the name Allah when talking about God?"

A dismayingly large fraction of the human portion of this planet seems to be lurching ever deeper into some weird forms of irrationality with its doctrinal thrashing around. Though only Allah knows why :-)

My intended...

... lunch partner today, who's been hunting down book cover art for his ebooks, sent me an image that was the "winner of the weekly Trinquétte drawing challenge thingy" — no, I don't know what that is, either. I was particularly impressed by the pigtail holes in her space helmet:

Trinquette drawing challenge

You can definitely have too much of a Good Thing. (Proof.)

For only the...

... second time in my life, so far, I fielded a call on my mobile while wandering the aisles of Waitrose. The previous call which I remember struck me as pretty surreal at the time was to discuss the health insurance payments for Christa's initial blast of chemo in July 2007. Today's — on much newer technology — was from my latest bank to 'discuss' my options now that they've reduced the interest rate they pay (from pittance to mini-pittance) on what I like to think optimistically is my "new car" savings fund.

Then, when I got back to Technology Towers, I was immediately faced with the annual car insurance2 renewal. Equally surreal in some ways. My "No claims" discount has now climbed to nine years. I note that with the usual bemusement as I first drove six years ago to the day. I'm in no current danger of forgetting that day as it was when Christa went back into hospital for the last time. I'd decided on the taxi ride back from the hospital that if I didn't get into the new car sitting on my drive on that afternoon, I might well never do so. So I did. That was nearly 40,000 miles ago.

Having ingested...

... a tasty game pie at the Fisher's Pond (first choice Indian restaurant being closed today for some festival) followed by a wicked chocolate eclair and chat, I'm now gently ruminating on some further necessary tidying up and sorting out before Big Bro descends on me next Monday. Procrastination being one of my favourite things, I "decided" not to schlep into town to my bank for what's left of a fine, sunny afternoon. After all, what are the chances of coming out of a bank happier than on entry?

So I settled for dismantling and squishing flat eight or nine Post Office cardboard cartons that had spent the last decade or so being hefted up into and back down from the loft with lots of CDs in them. All the CDs (apart from any that slipped unspotted in between the rafters to bury themselves in the fibre-glass insulation) are now housed in CaseLogic folders down here, and the artwork3 is packaged away somewhere (largely under the stairs I think/hope). The silly plastic jewel cases are landfill somewhere else for the next several million years. So I half-decided the cartons could go. Needless to say, it then struck me that they might yet come in handy for something, so they're currently leaning against the (unused) dining room table in the (unused) dining room.

Well, I say "unused". Given what's currently on the dining table, and what's currently cluttering up the floorspace in its vicinity, "unusable" would be more accurate. Lord of domestic chaos, that's me. [Pause] My green recycling bin is jolly nearly half-full now, just with a couple of Dell monitor boxes. That will do for now. Bro will have nearly enough room to swing a cat. What more could he possibly want? I spoil my sibling.


I'll never be a proper completeist. Having a fondness for modern minimalism, I felt sure (confident, even) that I'd find a copy of Steve Reich's "The Desert Music" tucked away in my little collection of tunes. Turns out, although I do have 46 tracks of his music salted away, the only version I have of this particular piece (which is being played live on BBC Radio 3 while I write these words) is on my "Reich: remixed" CD, which doesn't quite count.

Hah! My confidence was not misplaced, after all. I can only index the digital (MP3) files I have on BlackBeast. I've not yet cracked the problem of indexing the various high-quality cassette recordings I made in earlier times. For example, on 8 November 1986 I recorded (almost certainly from a borrowed CD) a 1985 recording, all five movements, of "The Desert Music". Allah alone knows when I last played this particular cassette, which has been gently gathering dust and the occasional cobweb on the wall in the front corner of my living room since then...



1  On the index of radio feeds before I snaffled last night's "Jazz on 3" (with the Gary Burton quartet playing a concert in New York).
2  On reading the "small print" before my usual "file and forget" action, I note — with yet further bemusement — that the current value of my beloved little blue flivver is, erm, £12,000 which is, of course, just about what I remember we paid for it. Well, Christa paid for it; it was her final birthday present to me.
3  Still, alas, only partially scanned. See above re procrastination.