2014 — 4 September: Thursday

This morning's surreal quote1 from the BBC:

Many of the migrants in Calais believe the UK will be
a more welcoming place if they can get there.

I was also brain-whacked...

... by the novel idea — not one of those I recall from Roger von Oech's 1983 book "A whack on the side of the head" on lateral thinking — that crime victims should be solving their own cases. I dare hardly go looking for the 'Daily Mail' response to that idea. Decriminalisation by default, it seems.

I'm dismayed...

... to learn that Jenny Diski is now facing inoperable cancer even as she produces the first beautifully-insightful (and humorous) instalment of a memoir. She nails the feelings I still clearly remember with her usual precision. Source and snippet:

I am appalled at the thought, suddenly, that someone at some point is going to tell me I am on a journey. I try but I can't think of a single aspect of having cancer, start to finish, that isn't an act in a pantomime in which my participation is guaranteed however I believe I choose to play each scene. I have been given this role. (There, see? Instant victim.) I have no choice but to perform and to be embarrassed to death. I wish you long life.

Jenny Diski in LRB

The leaflets I browsed while hanging around ("hurry up and wait") for Christa's various consultations and treatments2 often mentioned this "journey". While they clarified various aspects of the horrible process (of course) — something for which my inquiring mind was weirdly grateful — I regret to say none of them exuded much by way of tangible comfort. How could they? You don't get that from leaflets. For comfort you need your friends and relatives knocking around to take the edges off whenever possible. And morphine.

Life, illness, pain and death are all simply what they are. Nothing more.

I was amused...

... by a piece from Dominic Connor a while back that quoted Steve Ballmer and his criticism of Connor's "obsession with perfect code" back in the OS/2 days. Now I'm immensely tickled to see Raymond Chen's blog offering memories of Ballmer's input to the BSOD. My Acorn RISC PCs didn't ever offer up a BSOD, of course, so I was barely aware of this curious phenomenon at the time.

Taking my non-existent...

... 3D Tetris skills out for a stroll, I thought it time to open a new front in my war against the few CFLs still left in the house, and replace the next two candidates (books warehouse and reading room main lights) by IKEA3 LED bulbs. Finding them took up nearly 30 minutes of my life, not to mention my final pair of bayonet-to-Edison screw adapters. I feel, therefore, that I have earned my (late) lunch this afternoon. But where is it? I suppose I'd better make it myself. Again. As usual.

And then eat it, while watching how ludicrously easy it is to crash the Win8.1 Pro desktop. Again. As usual.

Figuring to beat...

... the hordes of shopping mothers pausing in Waitrose en route to picking up their unable-to-walk kiddywinks, I've just nipped out — nearly knocking over Mr Postie in the process, as he was just stuffing stuff into my letterbox as I opened the door — to infuse Mother Hubbard's cupboard with a fresh layer of fruity (and other) goodness. Good job it's nearly pension day. Right; all done. It's become quite warm out there, or is that just me dashing around working up a light glow? Definitely time for my much-delayed next cuppa.


... I saw this, I'd thought, quite confidently, I was well on my way to being a "Parker" completeist nearly 40 years ago. Not by some way, it turns out.



1  Anon, on the web site.
2  All palliative, not curative, alas.
3  Carefully following the signs to "Lighting" that ensured I was first walked past every other sodding buying opportunity extant.