2014 — 6 June: Friday

So that's it? No more "Weeds"1 so I shall happily turn my attention to Jenji Kohan's next project: "Orange is the new black". By the way, John Oliver's recent excellent item on Net Neutrality made a case for one of the cable companies having actually throttled bandwidth to restrict access to "Orange" last year while contract negotiations were taking place. Nice.

The FCC website has had some difficulty handling all the invited trolling, too. Capitalism red in tooth and claw.

Unwicked Uncle ERNIE...

... yesterday told me he would spare me another £25 this month. Today, he suggests I 'invest' another £10,000 with him, preferably before the end of June so as not to miss his August prize draw. This seems a rather unequal relationship to me.

As I discovered...

... precisely four years ago, there's a world of irritation lurking behind my apparent inability to take a satisfactorily exposed shot of a stack of almost exclusively dull black metal boxes:

AV kit

  1. One (of many) frogs still scattered around the house
  2. The AudioLab 8000AP multi-channel pre-amplifier
  3. The Oppo BDP-103EU Blu-ray (& network files) player
  4. The Sony MDS-JE770 minidisc recorder
  5. The NAD C-565BEE CD player
  6. The IceCrypt S1500c hi-def satellite receiver (tuned to NPR worldwide)
  7. The Denon DRM-555 cassette tape deck

The item count has almost halved in the last four years. Out of shot is the Humax Foxsat hi-def Freesat PVR (generally tuned to BBC Radio 3 or to 6Music). BlackBeast and the two Synology NAS boxes (capable of holding 7TB of A/V media files) are quietly at the other end of the living room, and the Rotel power amplifier is beneath the 60" Kuro plasma screen. Simplicity rules.

It seems...

... I am no more of an Epicurean than this chap. Source and snippet:

On this matter of a (literal) deadline, Santayana thought that, no matter one's age, it is perhaps best to assume that one will live another decade. Yet, in his middle 80s, when his physician suggested he lose weight, Santayana noted that the man evidently wanted him in perfect health in time for his death.

Joseph Epstein in Commentary

An excellent essay.

Less excellent is...

... the unwelcome return of the migraine precursor visual fireworks. It made seeing the screen for my lunchtime Sudoku a varying treat as I broke off from my A/V system dusting and minor relocation to grab an overdue bite. I've been using one of Christa's little portable FM radios for music "while I work". The heavy-duty horns battling through its dinky speaker from a Hay Festival concert are not any more welcome than my zigzags. I first had these little horrors 30 years ago...

Just been medically reassured today: no, I almost certainly don't have the inoperable and terminal brain tumour I half expected them to find (or, at least, I don't think so) — just boring old migraine. If I still have it after my Easter two weeks off then they'll dig a bit deeper...

(Last two mornings I noticed areas were missing from my normal field of vision, and I also had the most spectacular coloured pulsating zigzags you could ever wish to see this side of a tab of LSD. Two ladies working on my neck muscles last night did wonders, although the morning lie-in I had today before toddling off to the doctor at 9.45 this a.m. probably accounts for 99% of the improvement.)

Date: 23 March 1984 in an email to Carol

It's probably just as well I didn't nip down to the seaside today.



1  An excellent and intelligent comedy / drama / soap opera.