2014 — 2 October: Thursday

Being a creature of habit1 I tend to perform a quick anti-viral scan before kicking BlackBeast into more general computing life. Gives me time to put away the previous evening's dishes (assuming I remembered to do them, of course). Being a creature of habit, I generally do. Then there's the ritual of the making of that all-important first cuppa without which not much else can be relied on to occur.


... unanticipated need to run a database repair utility was definitely not on the list of usual things to be done. However, all seems well. I've been doing for my videos precisely what I've been putting off doing for my books (for the four years or so since they were heaved out and back into the house in those 178 storage cartons of unblessed memory for the Great Central Heating and Plumbing upheaval of 2010). Namely, a systematic and comprehensive physical "stock check". This includes making sure they are where they should be (or trying to pinpoint where they are), making sure there's an artwork scan corresponding to each title (trickier for those that were burned off-air, or from LaserDiscs whose 12" sleeves uncomfortably exceeded the capacity of my flatbed scanners of more ancient eras), and making sure the data entered into (or generated by) the DVD Profiler database ties everything neatly up in a, erm, tidy digital BLOB.

Which is (roughly) where that database repair utility came in, in the immediate wake of my first-ever failure to restart said database when I resumed "work"2 towards the end of (titles beginning with) the letter "B" yesterday evening. Approximately 10% of the way through this particular task, in other words. And just over halfway through my delighted re-watching of "The Beiderbecke Affair". I'm nothing if not a multi-tasking maestro. Or was that a butterfly mind?


... our guvmint, its eye firmly on the ball, has just noticed that many of our doctors are coming up to retirement age — one might think this occurs quite regularly — and has somehow ordered up 5,000 new ones to avert dire consequences. Why not just declare illness to be illegal? Much simpler. And cheaper.

The combination...

... of high barometric pressure and bright sunshine tempted me out for a while, but I'm back in good time for Mr Postie and I'm sure a fresh cuppa will set me to rights soon enough.

Brian May...

... yes, that Brian May, is amiably chattering away to Radcliffe & Maconie about his stereo photography on BBC 6Music. It makes a pleasant change from the Massenet opera over on BBC Radio 3, and is something I also took a keen interest in (focused enthusiasms, remember?) for a year or two in the late 1960s.

The advantage of having eyes that are rather far apart is improved depth perception (though that's somewhat wasted on a chap with myopia, of course). The disadvantage is that, when you buy an expensive stereo adapter for your Pentax S1A SLR in the mid-1970s for taking synchronised stereo pairs on 35mm film, the damn' viewer (also from Pentax) for viewing the resulting pairs of images on slides doesn't have any adjustability, and is therefore useless to a chap whose eyes are rather far apart. As are almost all makes of binocular I've so far tried, but that's another story. (Useful link.)

I'm in a mild...

... state of shock: I've just discovered that not only was it John Schlesinger who directed the TV version of "Cold Comfort Farm" (one of my Dad's favourite novels) but that Malcolm Bradbury did the adaptation of the original Stella Gibbons novel. Blimey.



1  More than one, actually. And not all of them bad, either.
2  While I long ago got used to the idea that I can be mildly obsessive, I do do plenty of other things in the gaps between doing the things that I do :-)