Saturday, October 26, 2013

I should have known better by now ... but what seems like a simple update (to OS X Mavericks) is ... not.

My password is rejected sending me frantically searching through boxes & files trying to locate what was originally typed in. Only to remember that I never did have an Admin. password - I just clicked Return. & that, of course, is the point. Apple in its wisdom (?) has now worked it such that the new Operating System will not accept blank passwords & so I have to create one. Great. A new complication. The 5GB file is downloading again - fluctuating between two and seven hours. I started the original download round about lunchtime.

This comes hard on the heels of my bank blocking a simple online Visa transaction until I agreed that a computer generated password would be sent via my mobile for "extra security". (I'd argue quite the opposite - another vulnerability opens up.)

Who thinks these things up? What kind of twisted minds &/or what special interests are being served? (Let's hook up the computer to the mobile ... ever more dependency upon technology).

Heading for the UK tomorrow & what seems to be a major storm ....

On the look out for badgers who might have "moved the goalposts". Good on them.


Friday, October 25, 2013

"Underlying so many aspects of the policies discussed in these two books is the fallacy of uniformly measurable performance. The logic of punitive quantification is to reduce all activity to a common managerial metric. The activities of thinking and understanding are inherently resistant to being adequately characterised in this way. This is part of the explanation for the pervasive sense of malaise, stress and disenchantment within British universities. Some will say that such reactions are merely the consequence of the necessary jolt to the feelings and self-esteem of a hitherto protected elite as they are brought into ‘the real world’. But there is obviously something much deeper at work. It is the alienation from oneself that is experienced by those who are forced to describe their activities in misleading terms. The managers, by contrast, do not feel this, and for good reason. The terms that suit their activities are the terms that have triumphed: scholars now spend a considerable, and increasing, part of their working day accounting for their activities in the managers’ terms. The true use-value of scholarly labour can seem to have been squeezed out; only the exchange-value of the commodities produced, as measured by the metrics, remains." ('Sold Out', Stefan Collini, LRB 24 October 2013)

An article that sits well with Idiotism by Neal Curtis.

Much of what I read these days seems to be deeply depressing & exhilarating by turns. Depressing in that it confirms the collapse of so much that I hold dear. Exhilarating in seeing inklings and hunches crystallised in print and realising that I am not alone in sensing things are spinning out of control.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Miss Stackpole's ocular surfaces unwinkingly caught the sun."

(Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, Chapter X)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QsQuaAh8uCc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DQsQuaAh8uCc

Discovering Meredith Monk ...

... above is a link to the Peter Greenaway film devoted to her. There's also a BBC Radio 3 programme currently available on iPlayer (which sparked my curiosity). & The Wire (August 2013) has a main feature, too.

Worth exploring.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Big thanks (& this time I really mean it) to the lady who picked up L's spectacle case (containing one week-old spectacles) on Friday morning in the 94 tram where they must have fallen from her school bag & who then returned them to L this morning as she got on. & on her 14th birthday, too!

Which goes to show there's some hope for us all.

(We'll pass over the shouting & recriminations of Friday evening & the weekend ...).

(The car's fixed, by the way).



Saturday, October 19, 2013


A big thanks to the person who smashed the side window of our car, opened the glove box & rummaged around behind the back seats.

There wasn't anything, was there?

& now the visit to the police, insurance forms, repairs ...

A great evening.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


5:30 - vaguely awake & wondering what time it is

6:00 - Internet radio alarm goes off (World Service)

6:00 + 5 seconds - switch off radio alarm with right hand forefinger

7:10 switch radio on again & suffer another edition of Something Understood (these days mostly a string of platitudes)

7:30 - stumble out of bed, go down, feed cats, sort out swimming stuff, get ready

8:00 - pool, 20 lengths, feel smug & virtuous

8:30 - breakfast (miraculously already laid by elder daughter)

9:30 - supermarket (with aforementioned daughter)

10:15 - start making chicken soup (chicken legs, onions, carrots, celery, a potato)

10:30 start marking student essays

11:00 coffee & soup supervision

11:30 resume marking

12:30 preparations for lunch (said soup, grapes, mandarins, apple)

1:30 retreat upstairs to listen to Round the Horn on iplayer (intermittent nap)

2:30 last batch of essays

3:45 afternoon walk (conker collecting, pondering, deep breaths & mindfulness in line with the teaching of Thich Nhat Han)

4:30 tea (Earl Grey Red Baron) & piece of chocolate cake

5:00 further retreat upstairs, music (remainder of Peter Grimes disc one, Octet by Steve Reich, part of Kurt Weil's Concerto for Orchestra)

6:00 preparations for dinner (lamb, beans, oven potatoes)

8:00 read the Observer on the iPad, check emails, write replies, decide to write this Blogpost

9:30 everyone seems to be in bed (or on their way)

Thus Sunday ...


Thursday, October 03, 2013

September has been a horrendous month in several ways. Somehow blogging just hasn't seemed to be appropriate.

Here's hoping October is jollier for all concerned.


. rrh'isOIV  ... a wasp just buzzed in through the Velux & went scrabbling across the desk & keyboard ... now up & ...