2016 — 12 September: Monday

Today's ration of "fun" kicks off with my first visit1 to a new Dr Orb — my previous one having retired at some point in the last two years. I've been reminded to bring my glasses with me. Clearly by someone who doesn't have a clue about myopia. There's just time to shovel in a spot of breakfast. And try to see where my glasses are.

Our feline f[r]iends?

We've apparently been invaded by a four-footed form of DDT:

Given the amount of energy we have devoted to banning DDT and ridding the environment of its consequences, it's noteworthy that we seem so uninterested in a similar remedy for the scourge of cats, which, by most metrics, are far more destructive. The authors note that, while cats have been implicated in the decline and extinction of some 175 different species, "there are no confirmed bird extinctions from the pesticide DDT."

Colin Dickey, reviewing a book by Peter Marra and Chris Santella in LARB

The price of a new pair...

... of vari-focal lenses is an eye-watering £367! An amount that just about sees off my first month of State Pension, and I haven't even had that yet. I eased the pain by making a return trip to drop off a spare pair of frames perfect for fitting the new lenses into, thereby saving another £300 or so, though "at my own risk".

It seems I've become slightly less myopic, differentially, in both eyes than I was four years ago. Retinal condition and internal fluid pressure are still both very good, and I've essentially tuned out the after-effects of the bilateral PVD. But (just as with Christa on her last visit) it seems there's now a hint of age-related (and, apparently, inevitable) cloudiness in one eye. But for the time being my visual acuity — demonstrated by reeling off the smallest line of characters on the chart — remains intact. (Unfortunately, the [lovely] new incarnation of Dr Orb is fully metric and thus gave me that result in some ratio of metres.)

In a delightful coincidence, I was able to wish the earlier incarnation a happy retirement when I spotted him in the Waitrose carpark as I walked back to my car. Then it was off to Eastleigh to pick up the next round of Linux magazines to help soothe the battered nerves.

These deliveries...

... should help ease the sting, too:

JBx2 plus BBT 9

I was initially dubious about the re-make of "Jungle Book" but it won me over. "Big Bang Theory" is a comedy Christa would have enjoyed as much as I do.

When I read...

... guff like this:

Social exclusion

... I'm even less impressed by our fine shower of highly-polished "investment bankers" and their auras. It pays to have rich and important parents? Social skills honed by attending drinks and dinner parties from an early age? Yikes! Choose your parents well, kiddies!

My butterfly mind...

... long ago stopped flapping around Chomsky's linguistic theories, preferring to (try to) follow some (at least) of his rather dense political theorising and explaining. In fact, it was Ian Watson's opaque SF novel "The Embedding" that proved the final straw for my sustained interest. Recursion be blowed...

Chomsky overturned?

I don't deny that language acquisition is fascinating. But then so, too, is almost all the learning that does, or sometimes does not, occur in our species. [Long pause] Even when reading some fascinating Linux material.

The hardest part...

... of this evening's simple meal lay in first deducing where Peter's g/f might logically have chosen to put Christa's magic little plastic egg-scrambling gizmo for safe-keeping. Took me about three minutes, which is about how long it then took me to exercise my long-neglected (and long unsuspected) talent for scrambling eggs. Yum!


1  The prospect leaves me rather calmer than when facing my visits to Dr Fang.