2016 — 13 June: Monday

Relative silence this morning, by contrast with yesterday, is only going to last until the return of the roof and brick gang to resume their work. If 'twere done, 'twere best be done quickly.

And I have a gentleman caller1 due this morning.

I run...

... Google's "News and Weather" app on the Android SHIELD Tablet PC. I'm wondering why, though. Its weather never seems to match what the weather here actually does, and its algorithm for choosing which "news" items to present gives results ranging from the merely bizarre to the truly surreal. But now the BBC Radio 3 bulletin has just revealed, without comment, the disconnect between reality, what goes on in Trump's brain, and the words that reportedly come out of his mouth.

My oven lacks the weeping asterisk symbol mentioned in this essay. How will I cope? I must admit, I've never found it easy to divine the intended meaning behind some of these "universal" icons.

Nor the "truth"...

... contained within the pages of numerous biographies and autobiographies. Perfect conclusion here:

But where seeing our planet from the perspective of space made us feel connected to one another, Arbus's catalog of "freaks" emphasized the chasms between us. Her secret, if indeed she kept one, might be that we cannot comprehend how different our lives are from everyone else's, either when those others are limned in exacting detail or when we use our imaginations. And that, unfortunately for biographers, applies to Arbus as much as to her subjects.

Andy Grundberg in American Scholar

Just don't ask me to explain the weird fascination I felt for her photographs of "a menagerie of human oddity". (And the photos taken by Friedlander and Winogrand, for that matter.)

It's quite funny...

... what turns up while making Technology Towers "boy clean" in time for its weekend inspection by Peter's g/f. (I passed, by the way.) This set of Charlie Brooker DVDs, for example, had so far failed to make it even as far as my video database:

Black Mirror DVDs

I can't even use the "thickness of dust" metric to deduce when they got here, having already destroyed that strand of evidence with the Dyson.

As for this pair of Russell T Davies-scripted delinquents? They have been loitering...

Cucumber / Banana DVDs

... since last September, if you can trust my Amazon emails. I could really do with a (better) system, I guess.

Today's pair...

... of DVDs fresh off the airplane from Canada set me back an unpretty penny or two in import VAT and brokerage charges from a UPS chap, but I have to say they did not take long to get here — I only ordered them last Friday!

Learning to drive / Truth DVDs

I know "Learning to drive" has just opened in UK cinemas because I heard "Sir Ben" plugging it last week. "Truth" may have been shown here — since I don't go to the cinema these days, I don't know. But both films have good casts.

Meanwhile, I've been...

... taking another crack at Harari's book "Sapiens", to see if I agree with the NZ prince of shallow thinking's (his own description, not mine!) recent enthusiastic email assessment. No doubt he managed to fit it in between bouts of sheep-dipping, or whatever else he gets up to downunder. I'd already found my own copy2 in Soton (while dashing around on financial errands for Big Bro, and dear Mama's estate) and I took it along to have something to read while Bro was snapping all his pretty killing flying machines in Yeovilton last July. But I fear I originally stalled on chapter six and have since felt no Great Urge to resume.

Having just snaffled...

... a long-awaited Blu-ray release of that delicious 1982 film "Victor/Victoria" I'm bemused by my supplier's assertion that "Star Wars", "American sniper", and "Jurassic World" are all deemed "similar items to my purchase". But then I'm equally baffled by PayPal's suggestion that I splash out on something for Father's Day... for my father. 41 years after he died. On the grounds that he "probably took you out for driving lessons, and almost certainly embarrassed you with his dancing". He did neither.



1  Regarding a shotgun licence, of all things.
2  And I also dolefully note that it, too, has signally failed to register on the Richter scale of my Books DB.