2014 — 5 January: Sunday

I knew it had been a smart idea to ask my local snake1 charmer to play a nice tune over the basket of images embedded in Christa's email. It's quite literally not every day I find a previously-unpublished photo of the dear girl — I took this one on 9th May 2004 on her Minolta and the perisher promptly emailed it to everybody except me (of course):

Christa, in (much) sunnier times — 9 May 2004

Thanks, Brian! I do wonder, though. Would she still smile like that if she could see the garden's state nearly a decade later? Not only has Christa gone; so, too, have the two trees, the grass, the bird-table, the fish, the pond, and Sylvester. (Though his pole is still firmly embedded in a lump of concrete and isn't going anywhere in a hurry.)

The curtain...

... is coming down on "Tales of the City". I've enjoyed every book so far. (Link.)

This morning's ...

... breakfast sugar rush has just been delivered by the toast and its covering of fancy Seville orange marmalade I received from my son and heir for Xmas. Neither their web site nor their product labels have been fully spell-checked. The web site manages "articial" while the label offers "ingrediants". Either way, 57% sugar is rather more than the 40% I have now long been in the habit of buying since first discovering the "reduced sugar" option in Waitrose. And, indeed, empty jars of the stuff regularly form the vast bulk of my monthly crates of glass bottles etc. that I remember to put out for recycling about twice a year.

I've decided...

... to refresh my Blu-ray technology and, in anticipation, have just refreshed my A/V system diagram. I've already seen proof (at Gecko) that Marvell's Qdeo video processing technology in the new range of Oppo players does at least as good a job as the more venerable DVDO upscaling chipset I first started using back in 2006.

With luck, and a following wind, I should be able to pick up the new toy tomorrow. And, since it has two separate hdmi inputs, I've also been able to dispense with my little 5-port hdmi switch — reducing the remote control total into the bargain. At least, that's the plan, and how I interpret this section of the user manual:

2x hdmi inputs

Right! I've ripped the stack apart, dusted everything, tidied up all the self-tangled cables, put it (mostly) back together again, and left one complete shelf free for the incoming Oppo. I'm getting quite good at this. Time for some of that sleep stuff.



1  Python, should you be curious.