2014 — 30 October: Thursday

I've managed to puzzle my subconscious1 — a neat trick — and am, of course, dog-tired this morning. No matter. On with the show. Let's see. Birthday greetings sent? Check. Breakfast? Not yet. Cuppa? You have to ask? Check. It's looking extremely autumnal out there, but at least I now know where the local roadworks hold-up is to be avoided, having stumbled across it in my haste yesterday, and I have another lunch date.

Recall that Romanian dietary advice:

Breakfast you should eat alone. Lunch, you should share with a friend. Dinner, give to your enemy.

Michael Pollan in The NYT

Who knew...

... our guvmint was exercising "mindless rhetoric" in its anti-drugs policy? For the last 40 years? Well said, Norman Baker.

Drugs policy

Actually, anyone with more than a few brain cells left to rub together, surely? That was certainly the impression I got when chatting to my interesting interrogator (with his computerised clipboard) from the Home Office a while back. As I remarked, if some of the questions were any guide, my fellow citizens got up to some fairly odd2 behaviour. Quite fascinating, and more than a little eye-watering.

The BBC, in...

... its ineffable way (or is that "wisdom"?) has just decided to make downloading its radio programmes a little bit trickier, by removing program feed searching and index numbers. I have thus had to change my magic spell from:

get_iplayer --type=radio --mode=best --get "Late Junction"


get_iplayer --type=radio --pid=xyz

At first glance, one might say "But that's easier, surely?" Well, up to a point, Lord Copper.

The all-important programme identifier (xyz) can only be found by first identifying the URL of the desired programme on its iPlayer download web page, in which it is contained. Still, the end result is exactly the same: an MP4 audio-only file of gorgeous quality of the programme for me to listen to where and when I choose, rather than being constrained to listen to it during the (admittedly now 30-day) window of streaming opportunity. Plus, I have to rename the downloaded file to be something other than "BBC_iPlayer_Feeds_-_(pid number)..." to have a faint chance of telling what it contains without firing up one of my audio players.

Since I pay my licence fee (but watch no broadcast TV) I feel entirely justified in continuing to feed my addiction to Radio 3's superb "Late Junction" music and Jazz shows.

And before any idiot...

... claims "downloading is killing music" here are the two Chrissie Hynde non-Pretenders and three Pretenders CDs I ordered as a result of hearing her chatting last Sunday on BBC 6Music. (The other two Pretenders CDs of the pack of five are already in my collection, but "the price was right".)

Chrissie Hynde CDs

Pretenders CDs

Bite me.

My Oppo Blu-ray player...

... now boasts the latest level of official firmware (though, in this case, the release notes assert there's no difference between that and the Beta code I loaded a few weeks ago). Still, it gave me a chance to dig out the smallest capacity USB stick I could find, and reload the configuration data after performing the Factory Reset it was supposed to demand but evidently forgot to.



1  It woke me four times during the night, doubtless wondering why I wasn't grinding my teeth for it :-)
2  A lot of it involving drugs and/or the anus. I lead such a sheltered life.