2016 — 31 January: Sunday

Following a cheery-voiced forecaster1 come mildly-alarming tales of "folk all day" on my main day-to-day BBC music channel. But I can relax. This is the one day of the week when it's only my subsidiary channel. Phew!

That way lies (potential) madness

Watching with keen interest — and hearing about the sometimes-frustrating progress of my chum's new PC build (a stonking great water-cooled monster) — my current thoughts have been turning slightly away from taking his DIY approach to my own next2 PC. I still think it would make a very pleasant change (for once!) to plan and implement a smooth migration of computing régime rather than waiting to be driven into a frantic replacement frenzy in the wake of the next (inevitable) system failure that forces my hand. (And I also still largely agree with the philosophy of "gearhead" Matthew Crawford, too.)

Nonetheless, reading the latest edition of the "PC Building" guide was very interesting. So I ended up spending quite some time yesterday configuring and pricing a number of different systems and playing through a set of varied "What if I did such and such...?" options and scenarios. The upshot is (as is quite often the case) I am leaning towards the conclusion that, as Belloc puts it:

It is the duty of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan!

Thanks to the recent demise of dear Mama, I am at least wealthy enough to be able to do something relatively interesting in the PC line even after renewing the wheeled tin box that I drive around in :-)

For by no means...

... the first time, I have stumbled across a well-written blog that is now living a zombie afterlife. Pity.

Some of us foreign teachers here are pledged to a guerrilla war against this intellectual hardening-of-the-arteries; we wage a constant campaign of subtle subversion. One of my favourite tactics is to introduce rare, technical words which students are never likely to grasp the true meaning of — "This is a good word to use about your local food."

"What do you think of the duck's oesophagus in brine?"
"I think it is emetic!"

"Froog" in Froogville

The suggested cure for "the curse of the three adjectives".


I bought Hans Jenny's 1967 book (it cost me a whopping £11+ in August 1974, but fled the shelves on one of the more recent culls a decade or more ago).

I was (somewhat) reminded of it while watching a very attractive 4K video from those Slo-Mo guys. I, too, used to do things like dropping coloured inks into water, not to mention my brief flirtation with chromatography (involving washing up liquid, fibre-tip pens, and strips of blotting paper). Differential rates of diffusion, and all that — dear Mama thoroughly disapproved of that interest. I gather it was felt to pose a threat to some of the all-important furnishings. She wasn't much keener on my DIY copper-plating period, either. As for the electrolysis of the bath water...

While reworking...

... my A/V system diagram to reflect last Wednesday's Chromecast, I decided against re-introducing my 5xHDMI switch...


... because the Oppo Blu-ray player is a perfectly competent signal switcher in its own right. Unlike me.

What sane person...

... would ever actively seek to become top dog of our present noisome pack of politicians?

Tax deals

Just askin'.



1  "Wintry showers", "Cold".
2  I currently have (when it behaves itself) a perfectly satisfactory, silent, fast, capacious Linux system that so far has managed not only to do just about everything I've asked of it, but sometimes even to delight me in the process. I repeat: when it behaves itself — though I really mean "when its owner doesn't do anything too stupid".