2014 — 28 October: Tuesday

I rather like these (temporarily) brighter mornings1 though there's an autumnal feel to the air. Time to top up dear Mama's account ahead of the next care-home invoice. I wonder if she realises it's 350 years since the establishing of the Royal Marines? I certainly didn't know that. Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham, if I heard correctly.



The recent making-available (in mid-2014) of Sontag's entire digital life to researchers visiting UCLA Library Special Collections presents a new, quite literal window onto this double bind. Scholars and curious Sontagolytes can now check out a laptop that reproduces the basic folder structure of Sontag's computers (a Power Mac G4, an iBook) from the 1990s and early 2000s. That laptop makes visible all of her digital files and presents the entirety of her email correspondence, thus making extraordinarily open and available the digital life of this most private of American public intellectuals.

Jeremy Schmidt and Jacquelyn Ardam in LARB

Amazing what a pair of doctoral candidates can find to write about these days...

As I approach...

... the half-way point of my mammoth video "stock-taking" exercise I hafta say I'm getting heartily sick of seeing the low-value phrases "Collector's Edition", "Special Collector's Edition", and "One of the Best Films of the Year" splattered liberally across so much of the DVD cover artwork. I did a faintly depressing "back of the envelope" calculation, too. I've just filed away DVD #100 into CaseLogic folder #21, which means 5,380 physical discs. Allowing 90 minutes per DVD that's 336 days of round-the-clock viewing. At a more realistic viewing rate, it will keep me going until I'm over 70. Longer, if I keep re-watching stuff like last night's "Presumed Innocent", of course!

It's a jolly good job I've turned my back on broadcast TV. Needless to say, I've been turning up a few items that didn't make it into my "database", or didn't make it from there on to DVD Profiler, or whose artwork didn't get scanned in the first place, or that have simply evaporated.

Still, the good news is I'm also approaching my next tea break :-)

Having been...

... inspired — for obvious reasons — by 'Composer of the Week' to revisit what Wikipedia had to say about Stanley Kubrick, and from there wandered to the link about Jon Ronson's documentary "Kubrick's Boxes", and from there to an IMDB message board that casually mentioned its inclusion on the 25th anniversary 2x Blu-ray edition of "Full Metal Jacket" available from the US (of course) it's now on its way over. And having been re-energised by a bite of lunch, I'd better nip out on the supplies trail before every last trace of fresh food hereabouts has vanished.


I can take only so much radio discussion of horrific abuse within some of the UK's clannish communities before having to beat a retreat to the safer ground of music. I swear, I will never understand some people.

I realise...

... I'm by no stretch a financial sophisticate, but when my bank emails me to ask "Why not explore investments further?" and two short paragraphs later remembers to warn me "Please note that the value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the money originally invested" why should I bother to pay any further attention? They do offer a quote I'd not previously heard from Keynes (that, they carefully assert, he may or may not have said):

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

The trick, if you please, is to ensure that what keeps you solvent isn't dependent on what happens in the market. Well, I never.



1  Though I can't say the quality of the radio news is any brighter. A Met Office even superer super computer for their HQ in Exeter (when did they move there?) next year and increasing thefts of rare specimens from display gardens. (Related [and rather fascinating] link.)