2016 — 30 January: Saturday

A more leisurely approach to the morning1 and at least one further cuppa before the day is much older, methinks. Lately, I've been straying off the Brian Matthew "Sounds of the Sixties" Saturday pop and am currently back on what, until the start of this year, was called "CD Review". It's now dropped the "CD". Fair enough; that music format is nearly 33 years old, and I have a depleted bank account to prove it. Even BBC Radio 3 admits it's no longer 'novel'.

I bought my first Charles Koechlin CD on Thursday, picking (obviously) one with a performance of his tone poem Les Bandar-log on it...

Charles Koechlin CD

... but otherwise choosing more or less at random, and benefitting from the Amazon AutoRip slightly ahead of today's scheduled postal delivery. Intriguing music, entirely new to me.

Having discovered...

... the joys — if that's what they are — of the BBC's (subset, it seems) of stuff I find interesting, delivered on the SHIELD Tablet PC via the iPlayer App I actually watched a brief segment of Kermode (in non-ranty mode) saying Good Things about "99 rooms", "The Big Short", "The Assassin", and "Room". One or more may yet end up alongside "Carol" and "The Lady in the Van" (the only current contents2 of my input hopper). I still have plenty of stuff to wade through, never fear.

"Trust me, I'm a US guvmint scientist!"

Marshall Islands

Radiation. The gift that goes on giving.

Blimey! I had no idea...

... Kenneth Anger was still with us:

The purpose of Anger's ALAC show is in part to shift $300 bomber jackets with "Lucifer" emblazoned across the back, a replica of one worn by Leslie Huggins in his classic Lucifer Rising. It's also to introduce the art fair perusers to the work of two women, Rosaleen Miriam "Roie" Norton, an Australian pantheist known as The Witch of Kings Cross and the better-known Marjorie Cameron, a flame-haired woman once married to Jet Propulsion Lab scientist Jack Parsons whose occultist LA-based group The Gnostic Mass at the Church of Thelema briefly included Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard in its congregation.

Edward Helmore in Grauniad

"Better-known" by whom, I have to wonder? But I like the subtle nominative determinism.

A chap can scrape by...

... with the dinky little hand-held Dyson sucker only for so long (say three years, tops). There comes the dread day when the unusual angle of the incoming sunlight reveals the need to haul out and deploy its mains-powered larger sibling to nuke the stuff more effectively. What's worse, of course, is that when you have exhausted yourself by sucking up the low-hanging fruit (as it were) from the more obvious haunts it only then shows up the richer, more deeply-ingrained (embedded?) geologic layers of the damn' stuff.

I note that...

... almost exactly 30 years ago, I was moaning in an email to Carol about yet another tedious committee book review3 of one of my draft CICS manuals:

It's just that it all takes so long. For example, I've now to reword the tiny section on tasks and transactions (which I condensed from the Primer by one paragraph) because the assembled minds of the CICS release manager, the Pubs manager, the PA chap, the Test chap, and the hanger-on (no! not me — I'm the writer!) were unable between themselves to convince one another that they all understood the two terms.

I have fantasies of putting into the book phrases out of AA Milne like "no-one, my dear, could call me a fussy man, but since not even the CICS release manager can tell you the difference between 'task' and 'transaction', why worry?"

Date: 12 February 1986



1  Plus my latest crockpot gastronomic extravaganza to be sliced, diced, and thermally tortured in good time for my evening input.
2  Not quite true. There's also a (now) four-days-overdue copy of a book "The Hunt for Vulcan: How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet and Deciphered the Universe" wending its way here, too. Allegedly.
3  As I've said elsewhere, outsiders would have a hard time contemplating the baroque complexity of the review process that the CICS GI manual underwent at the time. Product development felt that whatever new bit of function they had worked on deserved "top billing" no matter how arcane, or deeply-buried, it was. The writer was leaned on (sometimes over coffee, sometimes in a review meeting) by people lobbying for this "product placement".