Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Stuff And Nonsense

Quotation of the day -- Robert Louis Stevenson: That house of voluntary bondage ... with its inscrutable recluse.

And so, last week, i bought a new DVD player. The old one died on me. It's a Toshiba SD7300 (oh, look, there's a picture of it)

and it has 1080p Upconversion and REGZA-LINK ® (HDMI CEC) , which would probably impress me more if i knew what they hell they were.

It took me five days (five days!) to figure out how to get it to play DVDs in colour. (It played DVDs from day one, but only in black and white.) Well, i have an older television, which means i have to run an RF modulator betwixt the TV and the DVD player, which means six different plugs, which means, er i don't remember the law of permutations but it means loads of possibilities! But i got it sorted eventually, clever clogs that i am. And the first (and so far only) film i watched?


So, finally, it's a day off for me here at Spriggs Towers. I spent the morning doing, or trying to anyway, some serious housework, a task made immeasurably more difficult by the fact that my little Cate insisted on helping (until she became bored and went to sleep underneath the futon).  Now i'm just taking a wee break, having a beer, listening to the new Colin James "best of" CD and thinking about having lunch before returning to the domestic slog.

Later, brothers & sisters....

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Quote of the day: Bob Hope (on his 82nd birthday) -- I think it's wonderful you could all be here for the forty-third anniversary of my thirty-ninth birthday.  We decided not to light the candles this year -- we were afraid Pan-Am would mistake it for a runway.

Today is my birthday.  Many happy returns to me!

Last night we reverted to daylight standard time, and i lost an hour's sleep, and had to be at work at seven o'clock this morning.  I am missing my zeds.  But i put in eight hours' honest labour and then wandered up to Kelsey's for a couple of celebratory pints -- Josh the bartender bought me one of them! -- and it was good.  (So different to my last birthday, which was approximately around about a year ago, when the first thing that happened on the day was that my computer died!) I actually craved a third but i was afraid i'd fall asleep!

The worst thing about reaching my advanced age (and i am now 39 -- although not for the first time!) is the realisation that there is so much i shall never do -- i'll never conquer Everest, or travel to Mars, or master quantum theory.

The best thing is that i have garnered so many Internet friends over the years -- i spent a good hour responding to Facebook greetings just now, and i feel truly blessed.

Hugs, everyone :o)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Dear Diary

Dear Diary...

Ah, at last, a day off.

3.30 a.m., woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb.... Well actually, no i didn't. I'm not certain but i don't think i even own a comb. And 3.30 is not an unusual time for me to get up – the early morning with its peace 'n' quiet is my favourite time of the day "The innocence and purity of a new-born day," as The Nice put it.

And i spent about six hours listening to my favourite radio station online, 94.9 The Rock (Craig Robertson mentioned my name on-air, i'm famous in The Rock Nation – as the listeners' club is called) (famous as being the only listener in Stratford, la la) and, unlike a couple of weeks ago, my Internet connection was rock-solid (if you'll excuse the inadvertent pun).

However, once again, i'm spending a part of my leisure time dealing with, or trying to, a compooter problemo: i can't compose e-mails in Thunderbird! When i click on "Write" the message pane shows up all right, but there's no insertion point. Maybe re-booting will solve this...?

Later: it didn't. Grrr..... Now i've just spent a good hour trying to fix this. God, i hate technology (but i'm addicted to it).

Later still: ok, i reverted to an earlier version of Thunderbird, and all now seems back to what we laughingly call "normal" around here.

Breakfast!  Sausage, onions and cheese on a kaiser.  Magic.

Scrubbed Cate's litterbox. Who sez i'm lazy?

Just had the plumber in – my kitchen tap was starting to spray water all over the place. Well, it's nice that the building manager dealt with the problem so rapidly, i was impressed

Today's playlist:

Kate Rusby – "Make The Light"
Fairport Convention – "Full House"
The Goon Show – "The Phantom Head-Shaver Of Brighton"
Radiohead – "Towering Above The Rest, Vol. 11"
A film: "Salt" (the unrated extended version, of course!)

 (and it's super, btw)

Brian Plummer – "No Questions"
Guy Evans – "The Long Hello, Vol. IV"
The Beatles -- "Revolver"

And now it's time for dinner -- a home-made burger and, i'm sorry to say, oven fries.  No, but oven fries can be ok, as long as i don't forget they're in the oven that is.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ian Rankin

Quote of the day -- Ian Rankin:  Her eyes were small, as were nose and mouth. He tried not to think of a hamster, but then she twitched her nose and the picture was complete.

Ian Rankin, born in the Kingdom Of Fife, has been a best-selling author of crime fiction since 1987, primarily but not exclusively thanks to his novels about Detective Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police, but somehow he managed to avoid my radar until relatively recently.

John Rebus is a great music lover and he first swam into my ken through a Rory Gallagher forum i belong to -- he's a Rory fan (preferably on vinyl!) and someone on the forum quoted a relevant quote.  And so i began reading Rankin, and started with the final volume in the Rebus series, "Exit Music."

He has very quickly become one of my favourite writers.

Now i can't really say that i'm an aficionado of detective novels.  There are many that i like, and i love Sherlock Holmes (particularly in the filmed versions starring Basil Rathbone).

Plus of course there's Nicolas Freeling, one of my favourite writers of all time, ever, who wrote series about Detective Van der Valk and Detective Henri Castang -- but his work is so sublime that it transcends the genre and is literature rather than a "good read."

But this Ian Rankin dude ( -- he's bloody good!  Now i have to buy all of his books....

But why is the city of Fife the only city in Britain that's allowed to call itself a "kingdom"?