2015 — 22 August: Saturday

I was using Kodi to browse for, and listen to, a few of the (many) NPR program streams (all of which seem currently content to be playing cool jazz in the wee small hours of that vast continent). I've reverted to my more normal Saturday morning radio diet of Brian Matthew with his seemingly-endless "Sounds of the 60s".

Given the cultural imperialism of that great nation across the pond I was a little surprised at just how difficult it makes it to find the one NPR stream I would actually choose to listen to — their 24x7 equivalent of the BBC World Service, aka "NPR Worldwide". And further given the perversity of the Universe, that's naturally the one stream Kodi cannot seem to find. However, I'm not quite ready to re-activate Flash on my PC just to hear it via the kindliness of the American Forces Network.

I've been pondering a possible...

... change to my long-established philosophy of simply buying DVDs and BDs. Given the finite space available here in Technology Towers, there is merit to a shift more in the direction of streaming and less in the direction of continued accumulating. I've thus started another "filtration attempt" to cull1 my DVD collection of stuff I'm unlikely ever to want to re-watch. Oddly, this is psychologically easier to do than to make a similar assessment of my over-laden book shelves.

"Space. The final frontier" :-)

I got derailed...

... when I reached "Game of Thrones, Season #4", largely because there's no physical artwork for it filed away in my infallible system of plastic folders. "Hang on!" thinks I. "I know damn' well I bought the thing"... confirming this (possibly) rash assertion by finding an entry for it in my — you should pardon the phrase — infallible database system. Yep. there it is, £35 on 22nd February this year. There are the Blu-rays, too, in folder pockets T183 to T187. So where the heck is the artwork?

My (ongoing) search for that2 is why I can now be found systematically shredding every last piece of dear Mama's paperwork as part of my effort to clean up the chaos on the floor here in the more PC-oriented end of the living room. Further derailment will occur while I let the shredder cool down a bit and make another cuppa for the shredder operator.

And read what Dilbert's creator says about the way Donald Trump's immigration "negotiation" might play out. And gloomily contemplate a veiled threat in the latest snailmail reminder from my solicitor that I've yet to finish finalising my new will. And assemble and eat a suddenly-vital late lunch. Monday's lunch, meanwhile, has now been set for the "Bear & Ragged Staff". Report to follow.

My Chrome broke!

I was just using the latest refreshed build of Google's Chrome browser (on the spurious grounds that it might play more nicely with Google Maps). It froze, leaving in its non-moving wake some unkillable remnants from other workspaces on a thoroughly fragmented screen. Is that more a Mint thing or a Chrome thing, do you suppose? Ending the Chrome process tidied everything up neatly.

Christa's shredder broke, too!

I had merely taken it apart to clear out a wodge of compacted paper dating back, I rather suspect, to approx. the date Christa first used the thing. Big mistake. The operation was a success, as they say, but the patient died.

In search of a new shredder

Well, if I hadn't first swung by B&Q (no luck) then tried Homebase (when did they close down?) and finally Asda (success and [for a mere £29-97] the Powershred H6-C) followed by a whimsical decision to drive on out to the "Bear & Ragged Staff" to assess the lay of the land, the facilities, the menu, and the parking, then had a soda (no charge, so I dropped a £1 coin in the 'Lifeboat' tin), then decided on the way home — because the 30mph limit on most of the route made driving quiet enough to try the radio...

... I would have missed Claire Martin's "Jazz Line-Up" and the delicious jazz version by violinist Adam Baldych and the Helge Lien Trio of Massive Attack's very nearly perfect "Teardrop" from their very nearly perfect "Mezzanine" album. Baldych taking Elisabeth Fraser's vocal part.

To regard all software...

... as perverse is wise, but to attempt to discriminate among the various degrees of iniquity is both foolish and discourteous. So I shan't even ask why right-clicking on the Dropbox icon and choosing "Open my Dropbox folder" currently invokes a VLC session. If this is what's meant by "integrated with the Caja file manager" I'm baffled. But the folder remains available at /home/david so I'm not too bothered.



1  I stopped last night at "Dragonslayer" having by then managed to extract 48 titles for disposal. ("Dragonslayer" is a Disney production whose USP was that it featured remnants of the soundtrack music by Alex North originally intended for Kubrick's use in "2001: a space odyssey". All I will say is (a) Kubrick made the right choices, and (b) the film's merits are not such that I will keep it just for its music soundtrack. As I noted having watched it in December 2013, it had a certain fascination to it, though mostly along the lines of "how much worse can it get?"
2  I deduce it's somewhere in the vicinity since I did manage to find PNG images of it (which meant they would been made using the scanner I'd briefly borrowed from Mrs Brian and tried out under Linux Mint 17.1 as a proof of concept). And I would have done that in the wake of my Win8.1 has left the building "incident" a week before the GoT#4 BD box set showed up. A small series of mini-crises — the demise of a series of Linux builds, an SSD, and even a 98-year-old mother whose estate I had to sort out — somehow ganged up on me and caused me to overlook the process I infallibly follow for turning scans of video artwork into digital records for viewing from my PC. Bite me.