2. Is ordering this a mistake? It is 1120 pages and there are certain warning signs. I also have to admit to failing to get very far with V (no, not the rodent swallowing aliens) or Gravity's Rainbow. Well, we will see, otherwise it will go the way of Jonathon Dull and Mr Tedious i.e. to the Oxfam Bookshop on St. Giles.
3. Talking of rough books that have slouched their way to Oxfam... having made the mistake of looking at some of the latest 'W(h)ither SF?' storm in a teacup on the web this week, I have seen at least a couple of people citing Air by Geoff Ryman as one of the good things which should be emulated. I am at a total loss to understand this (keywords: trite, embarrassing, drivel). Obviously I am in a minority here as 7 of the 8 reviews on Amazon.com give it 5 stars.
4. The launch of Al Jazeera in English is, apparently, November 15th. There are, however, suggestions that it won't be free on Eurobird so we may be deprived of the fun. Judging by the aggro on the Digital Spy forums before the channel is even launched I am sticking to my prediction that there will be wailing, gnashing of teeth, tabloid outrage, politicians giving soundbites and then having to admit that they've never actually watched it etc.
5. A day working from home due to a small pipe leak in the loft which revealed itself by water dripping down the pipe into the airing cupboard and soaking clothes. I do not really like working from home, I get slightly stir crazy. I can usually cope if I think of a sufficiently diverting task in advance, but since this was unscheduled due to the leak, I didn't really have anything diverting planned.
6. Much to my delight, the VPN had stopped working since I last used it. Much reconfiguring and rebooting later I got it to work, however I think the PC is certainly registering quite high on the cruftometer and in accordance with the 'get a new car when the ash-trays are full' theory, maybe it is time to think about getting a new one. I tend to only look at specs of things if I am seriously contemplating getting one, there is no point really looking at the minutiae of motherboards etc. if you have no intention of getting one. However, it is faintly dispiriting to find that no new alternatives to i86 processors with one of the unholy trinity of Windows, Linux or OSX have appeared since I last got one. I am not quite big enough a masochist to get one of the http://www.iyonix.com/ machines or run some strange semi-undead OS on an i86 PC.
7. I am finding it impossible to care about the U.S. Midterms.
8. Flicking through the channels on satellite TV definitely gives one a different perspective on the world. So many cheap channels. So much South Asian TV, so many news bulletins of accidents / disasters not even reported in our news. The creepy Chinese (PRC) propaganda channel CCTV-9 (with, bizarrely, a weather presenter with a Glasgow accent). Today, of course, they are majoring in their courting of African politicians, but also got in a mention of the Shenzhou 6. They are proud of their space program and mention it a lot.
9. Also, a bizarre amateur film last night on Sumo-TV taking the form of news reports on a British civil war (Muslim vs non-Muslim I think was the gist of it). I haven't seen any Sumo on Sumo-TV so the name may be some variation on turning TV's strength on itself. Strange times.
Celestial Weasel. News at 10. Somewhere in the lower 800s.