2014 — 31 October: Friday

It would be hard to argue1 that Ms Hynde isn't a wise and wonderful woman. She certainly goes down well with the first cuppa as I ruefully contemplate the flight from sleep that I'm currently engaged in. This too shall pass, no doubt. Odd to think that I never used to get up this early when I was a wage slave. Perhaps my subconscious is thinking I've forgotten that I'm just about to begin my next annual chapter in the wake of Christa's death. Which is still an odd thought, to me, at least.


... are the subject of an engaging New Yorker essay. Source and snippet:

Fielding's older brother, the novelist Henry Fielding, had already, in "Joseph Andrews" (1742), explained "those little Spaces between our Chapters" as "an Inn or Resting-Place, where he may stop and take a Glass, or any other Refreshment, as it pleases him." Chapter titles, Fielding proceeded to explain, were like the inscriptions over the doors of those inns, advertising the accommodations within...
Already in the eighteen-forties, the metaphor was a common one. To "close that chapter of my life" with regret, to excitedly "start a new chapter": these are at once experiences of reading and experiences of living. They are ways in which our lives, in fact, take on the shape of a novel.

Nicholas Dames in New Yorker

But is a life non-fiction?

Amusing to see...

... a "Firefly"-based comment from a reader gently putting down an interesting analysis of James Burnham's legacy:

The difference between State Socialism and Oligarchical Collectivism is... meaningless, to the poor clod on the bottom.
The Masters of realpolitik are ever with us, suggesting the ordinary fools who go and vote should shut up and obey those who have their best intentions at heart. Or, merely obey whoever has won the power struggle.
In this, I find the instigator of my favorite cancelled-too-soon TV series to be most prescient. In Firefly, Joss Whedon (damned Liburul that he is) projected a future human society ruled by a combination of the oligarchs of China and the USA. With beneficial results. For the winners. He seemed to think it was not a really good thing.
Unlike Mister Burnham.

David Naas, commenting on Daniel McCarthy in American Conservative

Pale Moon rising

I've decided to take the Pale Moon web browser out for another little test spin to see if it will displace Firefox in my affections this time around. Looks good so far. There's a useful profile migration tool and a 64-bit version. Neither seems fazed by the miniscule set of add-ins I use. [Pause] It is certainly much faster when using the web interface to my two Synology NAS boxes — these put up a Linux window inside the browser, and are very sluggish when doing so under Firefox. Not so under Pale Moon. Almost shockingly fast, in fact.

Further displacement...

... activity. Brian may deliver a final batch of bayonet-to-Edison screw bulb holders this morning. If so, I foresee another trip to IKEA for LED bulbs to displace the last of my flickery old compact fluorescents and further cut my lighting bill. My recent annual statement (2,897 kWh) tells me I'm already 30% down on electricity consumption year-on-year. After that, I shall just have to start eating more carrots.

Ain't that the truth?

From a Grauniad sketch by Michael White on MPs' favourite legislation, the law of unintended consequences:

If we can't control heroin use in prison, how can we do so outside, asked Tory squillionaire and 
ex-hippie Zac Goldsmith. But most MPs, including former drugs liberal David Cameron, stayed away. 
He has an election to win: he needs the Daily Mail.

Somebody has to.


... partially successful. Brian having popped round with the bulb holders I nipped down (after a bite to eat) to Soton, where I managed to negotiate the hell-on-Earth that is the IKEA store layout and pick up six LED bulbs. I made my escape within 30 minutes (just), £60 lighter.2 I then spent the next 15 minutes in the large Boots in Shed City chatting to a nice young lady in a "Misfits" (or perhaps it was an "Orange is the New Black") jumpsuit only for her to discover that (a) they had no flouride gel in stock though it was on their computer system, and (b) it requires a prescription (which in my case, I 'ave not got). I would say I'll just have to grit my teeth, were that not the cause of problem in the first place.

The best single adjective to describe drivers leaving Soton on a Friday afternoon, by the way, is "impatient".



1  On the basis of the lyrics to the first track ("Perfect Lover") on the album Fidelity!
2  I opted for 13-watt bulbs this time, as each is equivalent in brightness to a 100-watt incandescent. Until now, the various LED bulbs dotted around Technology Towers have all been 10-watt, but here and there (living room, kitchen, stairs) I decided I wanted to scatter just a few more photons around. I now still have one CFL out in the garage, and one on the front porch. They can stay as they are, since they are only infrequently used. I also have three CFLs up in the loft — which reminds me: I really should finish wiring up the other lamps I was putting up there in late 2007. Procrastination triumphs again.