2015 — 1 September: Tuesday — rabbits!

I am a Man on a Mission1 this morning. In no particular priority sequence I need:

The twin mysteries of the disappearing scouring pads and the ditto saucers were easily solved simply by asking P's g/f where she'd put them before they left yesterday.


... is not really my "thing" as I happen to prefer the way the ghost in my particular machine yammers away incessantly. Or, at least, I'm very comfortable with it. Besides, I'm self-deluded enough to think it's generally far more interesting than the real world. So, while I wouldn't say this to those of my chums who are more taken by the concept, I nod in smiling agreement as I read it:

... This is not surprising, since mindfulness represents a form of junk-therapy — the functional equivalent of junk food.
There is also Tiddy Rowan's more hardcore Colour Yourself Calm: A Mindfulness Colouring Book. This publication is explicitly sold as a 'mindful colouring book for adults'. It exhorts punters to 'relax, meditate and banish stress' and advises us to 'release unconscious knowledge and calm thought through painting and colouring'. The blurb for the book hits all the right buttons of therapy culture...

Frank Furedi in Spiked

I've also noticed, and been puzzled by, the (to me) bizarre popularity of colouring books for adults. But, hey, what do I know? I used to colour in graph paper2 squares. (I particularly enjoyed the ones with logarithmic axes, but that could just be me.)

Missions all accomplished...

... with just time to make and enjoy my first cuppa from a cafetiere re-purposed for tea before it's time to do something about lunch. The (glass and stainless steel, £8 from "George" in Asda) cafetiere works brilliantly, straining out the tea leaves perfectly. Before making this second trip (which also somehow just happened to yield a DVD) I'd already tried Matalan (unsuccessfully) for a tea pot, and B&Q successfully for a new light switch.

Having chickened out — discretion being the better part of Valerie, as it were — and for once removed the upstairs lighting circuit fuse before setting to work, there's now a completely new "plain ceiling pull switch" firmly screwed to the ceiling of the bathroom neatly covering the unpainted bit left by the new-when-we-bought-the-house switch. It does its "pull, light on / pull, light off" job though I shan't be taking it apart to try to work out how for another 34 years (I hope).

Next up, Thunderbird. Following the path:

Edit ==> 
Preferences ==>  
Display ==>  
Formatting tab ==> 
Fonts & Colours ==> 
Advanced ==> 
Fonts & Encodings ==> 
Character Encodings

seems to have allowed me to specify UTF-8 both coming and going, as it were. One of the settings was already UTF-8, but not the other. How could I possibly have failed to find that, I wonder?

I knew very little...

... about the Amish before seeing Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis exchanging soulful looks in the film "Witness" three decades ago. This tickled me:

My family isn't Amish, but we're probably the closest thing — we hail from nearly three hundred years of colonial American Mennonite stock: cussed true believers who moved from Germany to flourish in the free-thinking heart of William Penn's settlement in the New World. Like the Amish, Mennonites are Anabaptists — adult-baptizing practitioners of an ardent brand of European Protestant pietism that often overlapped with Old World peasant political uprisings, but served in the American setting as a forcing bed for the Amish separatist quest for purity and the Mennonite traditions of pacifism and communal self-help.

in Baffler

Better not to get those Mennonites mixed up with Ammonites — the marine invertebrates that pre-date all our generally pestilential human religions (not to mention humans) by the odd 200,000,000 years or so. I find it harder to disapprove of "pacifism and communal self-help" than I do of the more modern practice of blowing up cultural relics in Syria.

It took me several minutes...

... to find the BBC web page listing the "Music played" for the "Late Junction" programme I'm currently enjoying — a vocoder themed 'special'. (Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" being a typical example of the genre.) The episode went out on 13th March 2014, so the BBC long ago took it offline.3 However, you can defur this particular feline another way. If (like me) you downloaded it via get_iplayer when you had the chance to, its filename includes the magic "PID" code, and that gives Mrs Google all the hint she needs to unearth the corresponding "Music played" page, which is still available on the BBC's web site.

Should you by now be wondering about anything other than my sanity, I was just curious about a deeply weird vocoder treatment given to a version of "Green Tambourine" by Mary Schneider.

Mission #4 has just arrived

My (free) replacement Android Tablet PC is here. With a less scary battery, I trust.

nVIDIA SHIELD Android Tablet PC

I should be able to manage that, I think. [Pause] If I've read the runes correctly, the Tablet is now updating itself to Android 5.1.1 after having scooped up all my backed-up Apps and what have you. Google emailed me as soon as they noticed the thing logging in, which is security goodness. Now, if only I can remember how to stop the screen dimming after 10 seconds or so...

I've had an evening bite to eat, and just scanned the artwork of the DVD I picked up for a fiver in Asda half a day ago:

Funny kind of love, DVD

It might, of course, be utter tripe. One lives in hope. [Pause] Pah! Guess which pair of visitors polished off my ice-cream (though failed to find the other carton)? The Tablet is updated, and has been re-introduced to my NAS boxes. It already knows all about the 64GB microSD card. VLC is happy. Oh, and it's just burped at me about (I assume) incoming email. I'd somehow managed to silence it before without wanting to.



1  Technically, I will be when (or if) I get a round tuit. Several missions, in fact, and therefore a need for several round tuits. That could delay things.
2  I was charmed, many years ago, when I first read that Frank ("therblig") Gilbreth had brought home a large sheet of graph paper, 1,000 squares per axis, to show his (cheaper by the) dozen children exactly what a million 'things' actually looked like. If you coloured in one square per second I worked out you could get through 31.536 sheets in a year but being a naïve youngster I neglected to allow time off for sleep, of course. I also failed to allow for leap years. Or the cost of crayons.
3  Whatever happened to their grandiose plans to open up their vast archives permanently to the licence-fee-paying public? Just askin'.