So, this then is how blogging ends, not with a bang but a whimper. A slow decline in the number of posts to Mrs Lemon's perhaps marks the beginning of the end. 312 so far in 2008, the lowest number yet. And, of course, very few photos overall this year. A poor effort, then, and I must do better soon or admit defeat. Lack of a readership remains a problem (greetings, though, to Mr A - your presence is most welcome) and, unless this situation is rectified, I fear Mrs Lemon may head for the long grass, never to be heard from again except by those with the inclination to visit the Wayback Machine.
So, we export terror around the world. Time for the Americans to invade us please. Or perhaps the Iraqi army should be invited over to show us how to keep control of our populace now that they have been trained up by us and the Americans? The possibilities are endless. Update: Well, as of today's date (24th Jan 09) doesn't appear that there were British links, although of course we don't know all there is to know about the terrsts yet. So, no US-led coalition invading Slough any time soon.
Comment 81 from a thread discussing the entry "4-1 odds on the existence of god.....":
#81 posted by FoetusNail , November 5, 2008 1:46 PM
God is the best part of what it means to be human, cut from the sub-conscious, given form by imagination. When we are of the spirit, we for brief moments are allowed to experience the oneness that is our true self. When this separate imagined entity ceases to exist, we will once again be whole, as we always were before religion excised the best part of what it means to be human and turned our imaginations against us.
is coming on to Radio 4 in a moment. The radio is being retuned to Verandah FM, or some such, so that a bit of bluegrass can entertain. Whilst listening to this I shall ponder why everyone appears so worried by falling house prices when this is something that is clearly long overdue.
1. Why was Lloyds encouraged to buy HBOS when all the time Lloyds itself was short of funds? 2. Why is it a good thing for lending levels (aka debt) to be "boosted" to 2007 levels? Wasn't lending what caused the recessionary problems in the first place?
File formats - blogger doesn't like TIFFS - ah well, when I can sort this out I will. In the meantime, try not to fret too much about what you are missing - you can always go to Flickr and see my pictures there in any case.
This is what Naomi Klein thinks about recent events:
Nobody should believe the overblown claims that "free market" ideology is now dead. During boom times it is profitable to preach laissez-faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles to inflate. When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance, and it goes dormant while government rides to the rescue. But rest assured: the ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debt the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalisation for deep cuts to social programmes, and for a renewed push to privatise what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are too costly. If the state can intervene to save corporations that took reckless risks in the housing markets, why can't it intervene to prevent millions of Americans from imminent foreclosure?
So this was sent today - I haven't had the strength until now for reasons which are, if you know even the first thing about AOL, obvious. It was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or some such - I'll keep you posted:
Subject: Canceling my account.
HI there, can you tell me how I do this? I am paying £5.95 per month and i understand I can have an email account for free - can you tell me how to do this, preferably online? thanks very much, Patrick Dodds
(After sending I noticed that simply signing in to AOL has for some reason removed my bookmarks toolbar in FF - ah well, one day all will be in order again).
UPDATE: 1st Sept 2008. Pro-forma lying emails back ("we care about your custom" or some such rubbish and a picture of a vapid blond noodling around with a laptop) and one request for more information. Then, nothing. I have emailed my credit card company from whom AOL take money asking if they can cancel the standing order - a long shot, but who knows.
A while ago I blogged about this crappy company called bluepulse and now here they are in the Grauniad again. Guess what? Yep, it still doesn't work. The wonder is, of course, that I am stupid enough to fall for it again and to try and register - maybe when I key in my phone number it is collected by the Russian mafia? Ah well, no accounting for IQ. You can add them to Earthtone (impossible to register) and the ever-awful Riya - originally a supposed facial recognition system (in fact, you had to tag anyone you recognised in the pictures you uploaded and, erm, that was it). For some reason the Graun loves hyping these vapourware companies - gets their own traffic up I guess.
The paper regularly talks drivel about technology of course - take this little piece by Victor Keegan "praising" the Nokia N95:
"The main drawback is that you have to keep the camera still for a second or two when taking snaps to avoid blur, and it is not quite so good with close-up work. Access …
Dug out a box of v. old slides today and dusted them off and did a rather poor job of scanning some of them - here is my father aged, what, about 23? I never got to know him and this is one of the greatest regrets of my life - he died when I was 14.
It has always been deserted whenever I've visited but I haven't given up hope of having a good time there at some point! UPDATE: Actually, you know what? I have, given up on a good time there that is. It is dull, empty and wishes it was London. And the Lowry Centre looks like a playroom. Purple! Orange! Blue! Aren't we cool! No, you're tiresome. Now, on the other hand, the pictures by Mr L himself, they were something of a revelation and did go some way to shake my association of the painter with Brian and effing Michael and that sodding "Matchstick Men and Matchstick Cats and Dogs" awfulness. In fact, the sketches and non-MMaMCaD pictures were great.
Cheesemania! But it kind of works somehow. Available in large volumes for about a tenner I suspect, probably shipped over from China where they are made by small deformed children living in darkness under the Bird's Nest stadium. Or something.
You can make your own Wordle (I know, I know, just try and move on) using any old bunch of text or a URL from a site with an Atom / RSS feed. I cut and pasted from a novel I wrote some time ago (don't ask) to end up with this:
So there I am in the queue at Marks and Spencers wondering if my bank account will cover a packet of credit-crunched cashews. I turn off my headphones and yank out an earpiece (just the one - my ears are better than my eyes and I only need one to function in these sort of scenarios - amazing how resistant to ageing I am.....!); shuffling forward I watch as the guy in front of me obediently toddles off when he hears "Please go to Till Number Seven". However, one of the till operators, one I happen to like as I have been served by her before and she has a "hey, I'm in control here yet you can still approach me and I won't bite" look about her, she thinks that I've not heard the Till Seven announcement and that I am a shopping neophyte, new to the ways of tillage, so she tells me that Number Seven is free. Now, I've seen Mr Crisps-dips-and-carrot-batons go off to Number Seven but, convinced that the till operator will be better at this game than I, I o…
First person to break through my flattened affect during commute this morning: grown woman (wedding ring, proper work clothes, the lot) sucking her thumb as she sat by the window. And I mean really giving it a good going over like her psychological well-being depended on it. Odd, and not a little unsettling. Second person? Good looking and, initially, cool-seeming young hipster in sunglasses getting on at Clapham Junction ("Britain's busiest railway station" - also one of it*s most scruffy, but let it pass), getting out his hipster book to read, and then unselfconsciously burrowing away up his nostril before putting whatever he managed to scavenge into his mouth. OMG, even writing about it now makes me feel a bit nauseous. And all this before my horribly over-priced coffee. Crumbs!
*Should there be an apostrophe here? Dang I hate that I don't know.
It could, in fact, have been You! magazine, I have no idea. Anyway, the headline I saw on the train was "I don't regret cutting my balls off". Which, of course, is nice. Ah me, that we should live in such times.
Nice camera, shame about most everything else. Web "browsing". It just doesn't really do it does it? Try it on a train - watch it fail to connect. Install Opera? Doesn't like connecting to Thief Mobile's network. And the radio? Uh uh, unlistenable most of the time. Music? Very nice, if a little quiet. Shiny silvery finish on the buttons? Nein, danke - it isn't 1982. Sat nav? It would be quicker to use a sextant. Google maps? Well, OK, but really, accurate to 1800 metres isn't a lot of cop in the city; perhaps if you were on a prarie somewhere it might get you out of a hole. Bar code scanner? Erm, what for? Texting? Well, you can and it isn't as annoying as older Sonys but that isn't saying much. Battery life is risible. Which leaves Snakes (annoyingly addictive), the camera (lag is, in mobile terms, acceptable at about an hour and a quarter), video calls (amusing, but shouting in public is only really fun when you are under 20 or drunk) and, last …
Dearie me, have had to disable extensions on FireFox to see if V3 would run rather than hobble - just about bearable now, but weren't, in fact, Extensions part of the reason that people chose FF in the first place? Lordy, might have to be back to IE awfulness soon. UPDATE: Trying out Safari - so far so good. Not that keen on the grey slate appearance but I'm guessing that can be customised. Helpfully bookmarks are imported. Well, thanks FF, it was good while it lasted. UPDATE 2: "I'm guessing that can be customised." Guess again - welcome to Apple world, where all of your choices are belong to Steve.