danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I have been to the USA. Specifically to Columbus, Ohio on a week long business trip.

It was fine. The necessary business was taken care of as much as it could be. Columubus is a nice town. It's about twice as big as Edinburgh, flat and a little dull but perfectly pleasant. I would not hurry to go there on holiday but if I had to spend a week or two somewhere for work on expeneses there are worse places (Runcorn I am looking at you, but not a starting a fight way).

There are easy flights from Edinburgh to Columbus. The direct service from Edinburgh to Newark and the many connections from Newark make travellilng to the USA from Edinburgh pretty straightforward. I could have done without the 4 hour layover in Newark airport. Long enough to be thoroughly bored not quite long enough to go to New York for a coffee. I read a lot of science fiction.

Security and immigration was very straightforward despite the heightened attention on these matters. It took no longer than usual to pass muster.

There is ample decent beer in Columbus. Truly we live in a golden age of beer. I found that the local bar sold Newcastle Brown (I did not order any, I don't like the stuff). I prefered the Hawaiian lager (I'm very well thank you and thank you for asking.) The pick of the bunch was World of Beer in the university district which has about 40 beers on tap. I had three and watched the sunset from beside the firepit in the beer garden.

My hotel was near the Ohio State University campus. The OSU "Buckeye's" stadium is huge. 110,000 capacity. Took me half an hour to walk round. Quite handsome looking, modelled on the Flavian Amphitheatre and the Parthenon.

I also found a Spurs supporters bar. I was in there with a colleague. He's buying the beer. I'm looking round. Spot a Spurs scarf. Then another, then a third. There's a wall of them. Several flags. Collect drink from the barman.

"Why do you have so many Tottenham scarves?"

*sigh*

"We're a Spurs bar?"

"Really!?! That's nice."

"Not really, I'm a Gooner."

aside to my colleague "When you're a Gooner working behind the bar in a Spurs pub it's time to reconsider your life choices."

Anyway, nice beer.

Home on Friday morning. Spent the day napping and hanging out with The Captain and one of the Cousin Uncles. There was judo.

Then beers and dinner with visitors who had come to see N and her companions. Illegal Jacks had haggis quesades and beer. That is all you need to know.

Saturday involved a trip to Murrayfield to watch a surprisingly good Scotland win handsomely in the end over a less than convincing Wales. 29-13 if I recall correctly. The usual high seats in North 4. Grand views but b'gad make sure you've been to the loo and the bar (in that order) before you take your seat.

(I watched the England Italy game on Sunday. I'm not laughing honestly. Not even a little bit.)

I am not now predicting a win against England but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened. In any event, it's nice to be three games in and still in the hunt for the Six Nations and the Triple Crown. Uncle Vern we shall miss you up in North 4.

Saturday night involved a trip to my local craft beer pub, Cloisters, where the Cousin Uncle secured a table. Yes, a table in Cloisters on a Six Nations match day. Yes, I was surprised too. He even got enough seats for everyone. Admittedly he juggled a pint of beer on top of the table and that didn't end well for the beer but sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. We then dined splendedly in a Greek restaurant next door. The backlava was particularly delicious.

The evening was rounded off with a dram of my new, duty free, Ron Zapaca solero rum. Lovely.

Sunday, lunch with dad and the aformentioned rugby in the afternoon.

In the morning the major business of the weekend, the Captain's first competative rugby match. He and I took the bus to Dalkeith to play a round robin mini tournament for Bororoughmuir against Dalkeith and Falkirk. He had a grand time and scored four tries including one rather fierce one diving over the line. He was playing at about 80% for the first few games and then got injured. Several kids fell over each other and one of them bashed his teeth of the Captain's leg. He was in tears but once the shock had worn off he was on fire. Four consecutive tags in one passage of play, left wing, right wing, left wing, right wing with no one else involved set the tone for the next half of the morning. He might turn out to be rather good at the game. A well received sausage roll and a lift to Grandad's for lunch rounded off the morning's sport.

I was delighted to spend the morning with him and very pleased to see him play so well.

All in all a good weeked after a decent trip away. I'm a little tired. I shall look forward to an early night tonight.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I have a new mattress. It is wonderful.

The old mattress was perhaps 20 years old. It predated me moving in with MLW by some years and we've been married for 11 years. It was knackered and sagging and worn out and very, very uncomfortable. I had not properly recognised how uncomfortable it had become. What I realise now is that for the last 18 months or so I've basically been clinging to the side of the mattress to stop myself rolling in to the middle. Not so much clinging as having to hold myself rigid and brace myself.

No wonder I've been feeling so sleepy recently. (Still need to go to the GP about that.)

Inertia and a sort of creeping failure in service had kept us from buying a new mattress.

The new mattress is one of the famous Premier Inn mattresses which you can now buy.

http://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/why/sleep/buy-our-bed.html

I've been staying at Premier Inns at least once a month for about a decade and half now. I've never found their beds anything other than really, really comfortable. So an easy choice to make. After a few night's experience definately the right choice. I can already feel myself more rested than I've felt in months.
I even enjoyed having the mattress delivered.

I've put a reminder in my diary to buy a new mattress in ten year's time. I love my new mattress and would want to part on good terms.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
My Lovely Wife has been away in Holland on a singing holiday. The Captain and I were left to our own devices for the week. MLW left on Monday morning. We continued to have visitors. BB and one of the Captain's grown up cousins were staying. BB took the Captain to school on Monday and Tuesday and collected him on Tuesday. We headed round to my dad's for tea on Monday after he had picked up the Captain. Sunday saw BB and my nephew going to see a rather good comedy magician called Pete Firmin. He for some reason reminded me of George Formby. Or at least how I imagine George Formby would have been. Had he been a comedy magician. He was entertaining.

We also went to see Chris Turner, a cousin on the other side of the Captain's cousin. As Robin Williams might have put it O Cousin of My Cousin.

http://www.christurnercomedy.com/about/

Chris is a philosphical stand up and freestyle rapper. He makes me think and his show is multi layered and many textured. It also had a picture of the Captain's cousins in the bath.

On Wednesday I went out for dinner with my dad and his oldest friend. Couple of beers in Summerhall then grilled meaty delights in Hanedan's. Good to see my dad's mate.

Grown up cousin left on Tuesday. BB left on Wednesday.

I had many early nights and did about a dozen loads of washing and cleaned the bathroom. The Captain and I went for a ride on our new tag-a-long tandem. It works but it will take some getting used to.

University update - BB has a place at university. Not her first choice despite getting an A* in the subject she's planning to study. Hey ho. She'll enjoy where she's going.

I was very impressed by how quickly and forcefully she reacted to not getting her first choice. It took her less than two hours to sort out a place following what I know would have been a great disappointment to her. When it mattered she executed. I'm very proud of her for all the hard work she's put in and very pleased that it has worked out well in the end.

I watched Deadpool last night whilst MLW was out at choir. It was perfectly acceptable. The actiony bits were action-packed. The promised levels of sarcastic witty banter were wittily sarcastic. The darker tinged plot was tinged a touch darker than I might have expected from a superhero movie. It had a begining, a middle and an end and competently started in the middle, moved to the begining and worked up to the end. I quite enjoyed it.

I feel like I might have missed something. I'm not a comic book fan or a fan of superhero fiction so I'm probably not seeing amusing subversions of the genre or I'm underestimating the appeal of a character I'd not heard of till I saw him on the side of a bus. I fully accept that I may not be the target audience for the film. It provided a good level of diversion and entertainment after a long week Captain Wrangling
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I have lost my Kindle.

I think I left it in the park yesterday lunch time. That was the last time I remember having it. It is possible it fell from my pocket sometime after that.

It might be somewhere else I suppose but I doubt it.

I've filled a lost property report. I've sent a file to the device with my phone number on it.

I'm not hopeful of having it returned.

Darn.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I've been hanging out with people. It's been nice.

A college friend of MLW's has been in town. He's an academic and is researching merchant banking in the 18th century so in town to check out some archives.

I managed to grab a beer - well two - with widget_fox. 7 Giraffes - a favourite beer of mine. Two of them make 14 Giraffes. The cafe was nice. I've been their once before, and remembered that it was nice and had a nice courtyard garden at the back. The weather wasn't quite warm enough for sitting out but it's nice to have the option.

Then home for some spicy roast chicken deliciousness, a nice bottle of wine and a small sample of Highland Park 12 and 15 year olds. Both delicious.

Last night MLW and I took her friend to Calistogia in town for some food and some more lovely wine. Very nice steaks. Delicious Californian red wine. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for a drink afterwards. Some more Highland Park for our guest.

Tonight I think I have the job of taking the internal audit team from head office out for a few beers and burger. If the weather holds I may even sit outside with them.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
In a juxtaposition of sublime ridiculousness with my Bardic musings I appear to have been on a pocket dialing rampage - having dialled on Facebook messanger a drama pal four times, my daughter on Whatsapp and posting to LJ - all whilst eating a sandwhich.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I came across a peculiar comment today about the massacre at the school in Pakistan.

“Imagine you’re one of the parents and you get a phone call in the middle of the day, telling you that your child has been killed at that school. How do you feel? A week before Christmas you find out your children have been murdered. How do you feel?”

I’m not sure there is any good way to point out that Christmas is probably not a big deal for most of the citizens of Peshawar, so I didn’t.
danieldwilliam: (Boys Own Adventure)
As a distraction from the referendum count last night I watched Patton, the epic biopic of General George S Patton, the Western Allies premier tank commander and most aggressive general during World War 2.

(A bit of a family in-joke, I often refer to My Lovely Wife as the General Patton of our family.)

One of the major plot points was the sense that Patton had of himself as the Eternal Soldier, that he’d been at every major battle through history in some way. The German intelligence officer assigned to research him concludes that Patton can only be understood by viewing him as a renaissance gentlemen looking back from the 16th century at antiquity.

Which set me thinking once again about the archaeology of psychology. How much of the decisions of the past can only be understood by understanding the psychology of our ancestors? How did they create a model of their world inside their own minds? How capable where those minds of modelling the world? I’m thinking not just that they held different beliefs to us but the impact if their minds worked markedly differently from our own.

As example I offer the following thought experiment. How might different psychology and different mental aptitude affect the behaviour of Elizabethan politicians?

(Assume that the theory that combinations of malnutrition, childhood disease, post traumatic stress disorder and limited educational exposure significantly reduces IQ. Assume also that expectations about life expectancy affect rational and irrational judgements about risk.)

How similar were the humans who built Skara Brae and the humans who built the Edinburgh New Town? How can we tell?

I’m not sure how we do any science on this retrospectively but I offer up this blogpost as a potential PhD for some 23rd century post-grad.
danieldwilliam: (Default)
Jings the things you learn.

Apparantly there is a Krispy Kreme doughnut emporium newly opened on the outskirts of Edinburgh. They are serving more than 10,000 people a day. Customers are queueing for up to two hours with tailbacks for the drive through service backing up on the ring road. The owners have lodged an application for an all night license.

This had totally passed me by.
danieldwilliam: (Default)

Again, a conversation with Andrew Ducker has prompted me to think out loud. In the World of Tomorrow, what happens to all the criminals?  The petty criminals, that is.

Charles Stross’ blog a few weeks ago had a discussion about the impact of ubiquitous monitoring devices.  Small computers, powered by ambient heat, light and the wi-fi radio pulses being aimed at them which cost euro-cents each to produce. Some have small cameras in them. Some a small meterological kit. Some a chemical sniffer package. They are all linked. Nothing that happens goes unseen.

They are small enough and cheap enough to fit into any physical object as large as a wallet and worth £10. You’re £100 sneakers will have GPS, not to stop people nicking them, but to analysis your jogging for health and fitness purposes. All of your black, brown, silver and white goods come with anti-theft / anti-left my lap top on the train again devices, as standard. Never mind your car having GPs tracking, the wheels have their monitoring system.

So what happens to burglars, sneak thieves, pick pockets. Bike thieves and small drug users and petty drug dealers? Where do they go.

To illustrate, I have a few examples of the experience of the petty criminal of the future.

You break into a house. It’s a nice, ground floor, main door flat in a prosperous middle class suburb of Edinburgh. The sort of flat the author owns. It’s mid-afternoon. The owners are out at work. There must be a couple of grands worth of kit in there. Plenty to chose from.

Watching you from thew walls are a dozen monitors.  A couple take a picture of your face. This is rendered into 3D (by some software my brother-in-law has developed) and compared to a list of “known and loved” faces.  You’re not known and you’re not loved.  The lights come on. The stereo that you are trying to steal comes on. Loud.  Painfully loud. After a few minutes of disorientatingly loud noise the stereo informs you that the police have been informed about the break in.(1) Desperate to salvage something from your burglary you tuck the stereo under your arm and make for the back door. It’s running on battery power and still stream abuse abuse at you as you make your escape. You pull the batteries out of the back of the stereo.

Evading the police is easy. They arrive in their car and you’re already off down the alleyway. The cops are too slow, too stupid.  Half an hour later, whilst you are sitting over a pint in the pub where you hope to fence the stolen stereo the police turn up and nick you. For good measure they nick the barman too for aiding and abetting but generally to remind landlords not to harbour petty criminals and fences in their pubs if they want to hold onto their license.

And this isn’t just one house. It’s every house that can afford £100 for kit and £10 a year for the subscription service.

You turn to bike theft.  There’s a nice touring bike sitting out in the open. Worth a couple of k new. You cut through the lock in a minute and half and ride off.  The perfect crime, swag and getaway vehicle in one.

250 yards away the owner of the bike’s phone rings.  It’s the bike calling her.  Or rather, it’s the GPS tracker in the bike calling her, to tell her bike is moving and would she like to activate Trac and Trace for 50 pence. She would. Before you’ve gotten a mile the police have pulled you over. By the time the owner of the bike has finished her second Elston the bike is back in her possession.

And it’s not just expensive bikes. The kit costs a couple of quid and comes as standard with all new bikes.

So, you turn to picking pockets.  Not only lucrative but a real artisanal criminal activity. Not so much a job as a way of life.  Now, you’re not dumb. You’re a criminal learning machine. You know that that wallet is going to have a GPS tracker. So you know you don’t have long to lift the wallet and buy something.  You carefully scope the PIN number at the bank machine before you dip and dab the wallet.  Slipping the card into the ATM you know you’re in for a pay day.

“Account Frozen. Please Try Again Later.”

Detecting that wallet is more than 100 metres from the owner by comparing the GPS tracker in his wallet with the GPS tracker in his phone, shoes, and leather jacket the wallet has decide it’s been stolen and automatically freezes all of the accounts for cards in the wallet. That technology cost £5 and came free with your Royalties Gold Account. Which is a bit of redundancy, because the camera at the ATM didn’t recognise you and was going to ask for additional security information whilst it called the police.

But this time, the police don’t know where you are. You’ve ditched the wallet, there’s no GPS tracker on you.  You’re safe.  Except that the photo the ATM took of you and rendered into 3D is now on the local police net’s Person of Interest list and the cameras that are everywhere, monitoring traffic, monitoring how crowded the streets are, monitoring the number of squirrels in the park, providing real time street views for Google Maps, all of these cameras are now looking for you. 

And the police pick you up for the third time. (2) This time they are cross because they actually had to look for you a bit this time.  The hand cuffs are put on robustly.

You’ve learned your lessson. It’s time to get a proper job. Drug dealing.  You make a connection. You become a retailer of low end drugs. Tucking the weekends supplies into your jacket you walk outside into the bright sunlight street. It’s going to be a good day. Nothing can go wrong.  A monitor finds the air you are walking in interesting.  Part of the city’s polution monitoring network has spotted a chemical on its Watch For List.  Another monitor joins in.  In a few minutes the polution network realises that there is a source of illegal drugs moving along the street. It notifies the police net. That switches on the cameras and the cameras and the sniffers follow you for a bit whilst they work out who is carrying the drugs. The fact that you’re wearing a balaclava doesn’t help. The police net is tracking you using your gait. Then they direct the local bobby to pick you up on a probable cause stop and search warrant.

And you’re in the back of a cop car again.(3)

And a few days later the police raid the warehouse based on your, unreliable testimony, and the evidence of multiple drug scent trails leading back to it. Everyone involved goes down for 3-5. (4)

Looking into the future it’s difficult to see a space where it is economically viable for many types of petty criminal to make a living.  If every house you break into and every wallet you nick calls the cops and they know where you are, petty crime becomes very risky and the potential reward falls. Who’s going to buy a bike with a GPS tracker and an agrieved owner? How much money can you steal from a frozen bank account?  If you have the skills to circumvent the systems put in place to stop you nicking stuff you probably have the skills to get a decent job or become a criminal mastermind and hang out with Raffles and Catherine Zeta Jones . So, unless you are Slippery Jim DiGriz a life of  (petty) crime doesn’t strike me as rewarding.

(1) Hard core systems won’t even warn you. The first you’ll know about it will be when the cops turn up. Or the newspapers, who will have hacked the security network looking for stories.

(2) In some jurisdictions you are now facing a Three Stikes and You’re Out life sentence. In other jurisdictions I’m not sure what they cut off for a third offense. They probably just blind you or something.

(3) or maybe not, maybe it’s worth more to see where you are going and arrest a few of the punters too. After all, if you can’t legalise dope or pills and tax them the next best thing is to fine everyone who uses it £100 an arrest.

(4) and you lose your jacket under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

I am justly famed for both my modesty and my abilty to make gin and tonics. I learnt my art as young man in the Melbourne parlour of Grandfather. I’ve honed my craft for decades, by land and by sea.  When my favorite gin and tonic customer decided she no longer drank alcohol I was plunged into despair. It took me months to recover my equilibrium. Who was going to appreciate my skills with the puddling spoon and my instinctive grasp of how the ice will crack? What drink will I offer by way of a warm welcome to the weary traveller.

Traveller, well meet, I offer you the Elston.

An Elston is an non-alcholic cocktail, made from Elderflower, Lime and Sparkling Tonic.

You will need

A bottle of Elderflower Cordial. (Don’t stint on the quality of this.) The more viscous the better for the cordial.

A bottle of sparkling tonic water. You can use slim-line or full fat as your conscience dictates.

Ice, ice cubes, of a medium size. Plenty of these. Dozens, not two or three.

Limes, one per glass if you are making a few. Two per glass if you are making lots.

A glass, specifically a tall tumbler. I like to use a tumbler with a curved body and a heavy base.

A sharp knife. This is mainly for self-defence whilst you are mixing the drink. People can be so rude and a good cocktail takes time to mix.

A swizzle stick. Or sticks – one for each glass. Dealer’s choice on this one. I have some nice glass ones. The key factor here is that the stick should sit properly proud of the edge of the glass so no-one has to dip their fingers in their drink.

A spoon. You can use a bar spoon if you like but an ordinary desert spoon works just as well. The key thing is that it has a long handle.

Method

If you can, chill the glasses ahead of time in the freezer. All the other ingredients are also best used chilled. Especially the Ice. For tonic based drinks I like them cold. I find the physical sensation of the icy chill complements the sharp cutting bitterness of the tonic. Essentially, you are trying to make a Dorothy Parker epigram in a glass.

Take the Glass. It’s going to be about 6 inches tall, unless you’ve really chilled it. Place it open end up on a flat, steady surface at a comfortable working height. The Glass will get cold; I recommend not relying on your hands to hold it.

Take the Lime. Place it, green side down, on a flat firm surface.  I usually use the work surface of the kitchen but you can use someone’s abdomanal muscles if they are blessed with an Adonis like physique. Pressing down on the lime with your hand firmly, roll the lime back and forth on the surface a few times. This breaks down the internal barriers in the Lime and encourages them to be release more juice. You could try reading to the Lime from 50 Shades of Grey for the same effect, but not all Limes are in to that.

With the Sharp Knife carefull cut the Lime. I tend to cut my Lime into slices as thick as my small finger and then cut those slices into thirds. I usually add two slices of Lime to each Glass. If I’m feeling devilish, or my guests look very much in need of a little Zing in their life I’ll give the ends of the Lime a squeeze over the Glass. Not too much of squeeze or you get the bitter extractions of the pith and the odd pip.

Add Ice. Keep adding it until about one third of the glass is full of ice. If you’ve used fewer than a dozen small ice cubes you’ve probably used too few.

Slowly pour Elderflower Cordial over the ice.  Keep pouring until the level of the Cordial reaches the top of the ice cubes. Take your time over this, it makes it look like you are really concentrating on your guests’ sensual experience. It also gives the cordial plenty of time to exchange heat with the ice.

Stir the Ice / Cordial / Lime mix vigorously with the swizzle stick. It helps to have prepared a small wittisism here.

Go and kiss your lover. This is not only a nice thing to do but will distract your audience whilst the cordial / ice mix reaches the right tempreture.

Stir the Ice / Cordial / Lime mix again. If you thought your wittisism of earlier on was really good you can try repeating again. I know I do.

Leave the Swizzle Stick in situ.

About now I like to bend down and get eyeball to ice cube with the work in progress. The Limes should be resting underneath the Ice cubes just in contact with the Cordial. Pay attention to the colour of the Cordial. Preserving that is a key part of the next stage.

Stand up again.

Take the Spoon. Put it into the glass so that the dish of the spoon is facing upwards and the spoon is as close to the horizontal as you can get and as close to the Ice / Lime / Cordial mix as you can get...  Slowly… pour the Tonic Water into the Glass so that it lands on the dish of the spoon. The idea is to deflect the Tonic sideways so that it hits the side of the glass first and then runs onto the Ice rather than hitting the Ice straight on and disturbing the layer of cold Elderflower Cordial.

(I can’t write down instructions for this. This is something you only learn by watching and then doing. Like spin bowling. The secret is all in the flight.)

Try that wittisism again. The chances are your guests missed it the first two times because they were mesmerised by your delft bar tending.

Fill the glass all the way up to the top. Slowly. Very slowly.

That’s too fast! Slow down.

Fill the Glass all the way up to the top. If you’ve poured the Tonic slowly enough you should have a layer of very, very cold, dense, viscous, still Elderflower with a layer of slightly less cold, less dense, less viscous, sparkling Tonic and Lime with some Ice at the top of the Glass.

What we’re looking for here, other than the Meaning of Life, is Viscometric Swirls. These are the swirling patterns you get when you mix cask strength, unchill filtered whisky with a small amount fo water as the denser, more viscous fluid mixes with the lighter ends of the water. They should peel off the Cordial into the Tonic like my Grandfather’s Spitfire peeling off his squadron to chase a Dornier. Mention the Search for Viscometric Swirls to your Guests as you hand them their drinks. The key to a good trick is to make your audience look where you want them to look.

The layering is important. It gives the individual drinker a choice. They can enjoy the drink as it arrived, cool sharp tonic gradually giving way to the sweet, unctious flow of the Cordial. They can mix the drink and confuse Tonic and Cordial into a jamboree of conflicting harmony.

Propose a toast.  Sip slowly.

That mix of bitter-sweet coldness. I call that sobriety.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

For my birthday My Lovely Wife has bought me a Freeview Box with a Digital Hard Drive.  It is the successor to one we had a few years ago which died (taking with it a series of Damages and a series and half of Mad Men.  It’s a joint present really. Which is fine.

I hope that the machine will enable us to watch better television.  MLW can watch things she likes when I’m out. I can watch things I like when she is out. We can watch things we both like when we are both in.  I also hope it will help us watch less television but allowing the TV to stay switched off except when we want to watch something specific.  I usually find that the question we ask when the programme we are watching is “what shall we watch next?” not “What shall we do now?”  So I hope that having our television watching made more conscious and more concentrated will encourage us to spend more time not watching the television.

I was also given, by the Captain, two Lindsay Davies books. A Falco book I haven’t read yet, Alexandria and a book about the English Civil War, Rebels and Traitors. Very much looking forward to them.

From Bluebird I received two Laural and Hardy films. A compilation of early shorts and one of the last and most political films they made.  Bookending ahoy.

WidgetFox sent me a Diana Wynn Jones book. I’m looking forward to that very much as she tends to pick things for me that I would like. It’s almost as if she pays attention to what I say, has an encyclopedic knowledge of genre fiction and delights in expanding my horizons. I should totally let her pick my wardrobe or something. 

My aunt brought me back a bottle of rhubard wine from Orkney. It’s a lovely colour and if it tastes as nice as it looks will be delicious. Not sure if it’s to be drunk at room tempreture or slightly chilled.

I may have to have a drinking party. I have lots of experimental bottles of things which need to be sampled. If they are awful, what better way to get rid of them than with friends. If they are delicious discoveries what better way to discover them than with friends.

 EDITED: to add two late breaking gifts. 

 

From N, a friend of, mainly MLW, who stays with us in August when she is up singing in the Festival, the now traditional manly shaving and grooming product.  This time some very nice smelling Sandalwood shaving crème.

 

From my sister, a lovely card, with a picture of me taken at her wedding on the front and a mango splitter. Yes, that’s right, a splitter for mangos.  To be fair, MLW and I eat more mangos than the average family I’m sure and they are right tricky to peel.  Apparantly it’s one of three small kitchen gifts. I look forward to the second and third installment. Perhaps there is some grand plan. Perhaps it is an elaborate joke.  In any event I have a mango splitter now. The Captain has decided it is his and has been putting his dried mango into it.

I'm very grateful to everyone who sent a gift. 

danieldwilliam: (Default)

I’m doing some fairly routine work, work that doesn’t require much in the way of thinking so I’m listening to the Test Match, on my PC over the internet.

Truly I live in the future that science fiction didn’t predict.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

Yesterday evening on the way home from mannnig the box office for my theatre groups show I *think* I overheard this snippet of conversation between two University age kids

“…it’s for when they do anal to your face…”

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think a twenty year old guy and girl won’t be sitting outside Starbucks talking about anal sex. Hell I was doing exactly that nearly 20 years ago, except that we didn’t have Starbucks (Kids, once upon a time if you wanted to talk about anal sex you had to go to the pub.)

What baffles is me is that the line makes no sense and I can’t think of a way that I might of mis-heard the line that does make sense.

So my question for the internet today is – what could that snippet of speech actually be that that I could mis-hear it as

 “…it’s for when they do anal to your face…”

?

danieldwilliam: (Default)

I have earwormed myself with Nina Simone’s Young Gifted and Black.

Two out of three ain’t bad.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

There are two current news stories that I don’t understand. I don’t understand why they are getting the airplay they are are. 

The first is the unwellness of Fabrice Muamba. 

I think that a person collapsing in front of thousands of people is certainly news worthy but I don’t quite understand the requirement for constant updates. 

Whilst Mr Muamba seems like a decent enough guy and a skilled sportsman I don't see him as sitting in the nation's conscious as much as, say a former Prime Minister or an Archbishop.

I’m not receiving constant updates on the other 750 odd people who had a heart attack that day. What is it about Mr Muamba that marks him out for special attention?

The other story is the shooting and subsequent manhunt and siege in Toulouse. 

Whilst the original event was certainly newsworthy it’s a slightly unusual police action in a foreign country which happens to be having an important election. 

I'd be willing to bet that as I type or as you read this some bizarre crime is being perpertrated somewhere in the world or that the police are struggling to find the perpertrator of a bizarre crime or are engaged in a shoot out with the perpertrator of a bizarre crime. Not all of them are on my news everytime I look.

It’s not that I don’t care but bad things happen to people all the time so what makes these particular events so momentous that I need to have a network of journalists reporting each small progression (or lack or progression) in the story as if the drip feeding of information to me was valuable. 

My question isn’t so much what makes these events news worthy but what makes them worthy of rolling coverage?

danieldwilliam: (Default)
Does anyone offer any advice on getting a mobile phone screen repaired.

I believe the phone in question is a Samsung Galaxy.

I am not asking for myself. 

I am not in the habbit of  juggling my mobile phone badly.
danieldwilliam: (Default)

My Hotmail account keeps refusing to log me.

Specifically, using my Hotmail account on my iPhone, I often get a message saying it can’t retrieve email because of a problem with my password.

After these episodes when I log in on a PC I’ll get a message telling me that I’ve tried to log in too many times with an incorrect password and there are some additional hoops to jump through.

I think this indicates that there is a concerted effort to hack into my Hotmail account.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

About a week or so ago my hotmail account was hacked and the usual torrent of spam flowed out into the world.

Since then my hotmail account has not worked properly on my iPhone. I’ve also been locked out of my hotmail account and had to recover it. This happened about a week after the initial hacking incident. Not before it, not during it, not immediately after it but a week later, after I’d changed my password a couple of times and started sending apologies.

So hackers have wandered into my account without Bill Gates stopping them and then he’s made my life even harder by using this event to block my account.

I think he may have lost my business.

I might shift my personal email to google - unless there are any other suggestions.

One think I have become curious about is how the hackers got into my account.  Do they just try every possible combination of account name and password or do they circumnavigate the whole security apparatus through the magic of clever?

danieldwilliam: (Default)

I am struggling with two things today.

The first is an awkward macro.

The second is why I would buy a Kindle when Kindle books appear to cost more than their paperback equivalent.


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