2014 — 12 March: Wednesday

Wednesdays are generally not improved1 by a date with Dr Fang to kick off the day. This morning is the second of three extended sessions in further pursuit of crowning the troublesome (for troublesome, read "costly") tooth that necessitated my trip to Portsmouth for an expensive re-excavation of an elderly root canal. Such an intelligent design.

Apart from that...

... and some extensive combing, yesterday evening, carefully through a surprisingly large array of accumulated Amazon MP3 files (in search, as it were, of the lost chord) all seems well. The data dispersal exercise across a comparatively pint-sized set of SSDs versus the single 3TB whopper they have displaced is certainly helping to keep my mind alert. Though another little mystery has literally sprung up: for the last two days, after each re-boot BlackBeast now opens a blank TextPad edit session for me. The rise of the robots, perhaps. Isn't that sweet?

"Does that quaver...?" Take 2

Yesterday's little note of troubles (in the pseudo-scientific world of voice stress analysis as an unreliable means of detecting lies) was also a matter I'd touched on five years ago. I love the idea of scientific truth coming under attack from lawyers rather than other scientists. Mind you, that reminds me of the German scientists Hitler lined up in earlier times to refute Einstein's "Jewish" science. (Einstein supposedly remarked it would have needed only one to be right.)

Well, I survived my next...

... 70 minutes in the dental chair, only to be summoned back again just as I walked in the door. Fred had forgotten to remove the cord he'd tied around the top of the root to push the gum back a little while he took another set of impressions and now, of course, there was yet another temporary crown glued in place. I was becoming aware of some pressure building up as the numbness wore off, so it's a good job he's a thorough note-taker.

Dishonesty in local...

... authority procurement contracts? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked, to learn that cash-stuffed brown envelopes are still a feature of British life. The Audit Commission has published its latest findings. Buried on page 33, you'll see:

Procurement fraud

A 0.2% detection rate sounds, well, erm, piss-poor actually. Just think how cross we might be if we'd only detected 0.2% of fraudulent expenses claims made by our wonderful Members of Parliament... Oh, wait, until a massive data leak we didn't detect any such claims.

I was being...

... a little slow on catching up with incoming entertainment this week. Mr Postie popped round early with a box of goodies just for me on Monday and I haven't finished revealing the full extent of my video addiction. Here's the next little trio of titles:

DVDs #4 to #6

More to come, but lunch is now taking priority.

I've no doubt...

... many people recall the flashy 1968 film "Bullitt" — if for no other reason than its iconic San Francisco car chase (mercilessly spoofed by Peter Bogdanovich four years later in "What's Up, Doc?"). For my money, the film Peter Yates went on to make five years later, and which I caught in St Albans in 1973, is far superior:

Eddie Coyle

It gives a new meaning to the word "friends". And Criterion have (I hope) done this release proud.

One of my...

... online banks has just sent me its house price report for February (why they think I'm interested, gawd only knows). They also offer me the chance to win a Nexus 7 by telling them what I think of their dramatic decision to re-colour and re-locate the "Login" button on their "new" website. Ho-hum. Still, the factoid I take away is that "house prices in the capital" (London, that is) "are almost double the level prevailing in the rest of the UK (£345,186 versus £174,444 in Q4 on our measure)". Guess where Junior chooses to live?

I'm forced to conclude that my Google Mail userid pays no heed to the punctuation mark it contains. Either that, or the University of Houston, Mitsubishi Motors, and Liberty Mutual are all singularly badly-informed as to my "alumni" status, let alone the country I live in, was educated in, worked in, was driven around in, and insured in. I'm familiar with the problem of multiple people with my name, but only one of them is really me, guys.



1  In truth, I doubt any day is :-)