Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ah, bitter chill it was!

Look down and all is decay – blackness at the wheels of the car, cold salt and grit mixed up with the dirt of many feet across this place. I see no nature save the leafless trees and the failing fauna left to spend in the ditches round about. Maybe there are shoots in those wiry branches, pained in the frost but making it through to warmer weather but I do not see them. Aye unsought all this is. A day to rest and forget all this would be welcome. And water cleans the ground, long storms, long winds, the ice that rests clear of stream and valley, cracks and falls in the start of spring.

No! It’s better than that really.

Listening to Shuffle – currently Mary’s Music

I finished To Serve Them All My Days yesterday – probably the third time I have read it but this time I could understand a lot more of the history and got a lot more from the characters. It gelled with my recent comment about the desirability of a new austerity. The people in this book were of a more privileged class than me and yet they had so few possessions. What they did have they made the most of. I want an Ipod but it won’t make me a better person. What will these days; some improving reading or spending all day writing poetry? Maybe not! I will get rid of some stuff this weekend. A few books. My wife has suggested a few Cds but that is not going to happen.

Daughter’s obsession with Rome and The Romans continues. I went in to kiss her goodbye this morning and woke her up. As I went down the stairs she called me back to ask what the proper name for the “that thing that Roman Soldiers do with their shields”. She means a Testudo. http://www.okteachme.com/fark/images/testudo.jpg Maybe I should get her to learn latin. We shall start with the old lie.

Along with a desire to jettison some baggage I found myself occasionally regretting that I had not seen service. I am the biggest coward going and there is no way I would wish a war on anyone. It was as if I could only think that such travails would, like my improving reading, make me a better person; either that or dead. Here we live in a relatively stable age despite the attempts of idiots to make us think otherwise, so we do not need a war or 6 x £605,000,000 warships to keep people in work. How about some new deal, some movement of skills into something we could really do with? Still growth is the thing. It keeps me in work but sometimes I wonder whether we need all the activity that goes with it. On the one hand you have an extreme paring down of the services that companies offer to their customers (often brought in under the perverse and Newspeak excuse of improving customer service) and on the other you have the pushing of new things and services that we quite obviously do not need. The next big thing is HDTV. In my experience, most people sit in from of the Wide-screen tellies happily accepting a squeezed or stretched picture because they can’t be bothered to set the thing up properly. I once had an argument with someone in a pub about WS. This was before I had digital TV and I had read the little bit of blurb in the radio Times which said that Digital TV (then only through satellite) was required to get true widescreen. My opponent in the argument said that this was not true. I am convinced that I was right and still am – any techies please feel free to put me right. Anyway when people are so dim they can’t see that the TV is wrong, then what is the point of HDTV? It is like Excel! Most people use for “doing lists” – they use about 5% of the capabilities. Even the whiz-kids on it probably don’t use more than 50%. They use it because it is there but they get uppity when a new version comes out and they haven’t got it.

Rant over I think.

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