Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter

Myself: Boris Johnson's not his full real name you know, it is a sort of nom de guerre.

Prodnose: Tell me his real name is Doris. Life will be complete.

Myself: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Prodnose: Can we compromise on Al "Piffle" Jolson?

Myself: If you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Dear Jurisprudence, won't you come out to play?

Tuesday before last, as I was driving up to Warwickshire, I caught the latter part of episode three of 2019's series of five Reith lectures. In it ...
Jonathan Sumption* argues that judges - especially those of the European Court of Human Rights - have usurped power by expanding the interpretation of human rights law. Lord Sumption* argues that concepts of human rights have a long history in the common law. But by contrast, the European Convention on Human Rights has become a dynamic treaty, taking on new interpretations and powers. Article 8 – the right to private and family life – is the most striking example. Should these decisions be made by judges or parliament?
Interesting stuff. This post is an aide-memoire to remind me to listen to the whole lot.

(*What a wonderful name. Resumption, presumption, consumption, and assumption are all equally hilarious plays upon it. I am sure he has never heard any of them before.)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Broken Necks, Broken Doors and Broken Dreams

A scrum half who could seemingly do it all, he regularly tore defences apart for Pontypool during 1980's. But controversy was never far away. After winning what would be his only cap for Wales, he was banned for almost a year for punching an opponent. In an era where on-field fights were commonplace, Bishop felt that he was being punished by the Welsh authorities. In this explosive interview, he sets the record straight with The Attacking Scrum. No holds barred, no opinions shirked, Bishop's story is one of great talent and shattered dreams.
Yesterday I stumbled across this podcast featuring David Bishop who went to school with me. (It is probably safe to say this discovery did not coincide with a period of such laser like concentration on work and matters in hand that an independent observer might speculate if I was, perhaps, somewhere on the ASD spectrum.)

That said, and in my defence, I am not sufficiently OCD actually to have listened to it yet, but it is on my to-do list.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Any um-ber-rellas, any um-ber-rellas to mend today?

The Unbreakable® Umbrella works just as well as a walking stick or cane but does not make you look funny or feel awkward. Whacks just as strong as a steel pipe but it weighs only 1 lb. and 9 oz. (710 g). And yes, this umbrella resists the wind and will keep you dry in rain just like the best umbrella should. 
I wrote about this remarkable device as long ago as 2010 (Icons passim), but it was not until last June that Funes the Memorious (my brother John) bought me one - to my surprise and delight - for my birthday.

This week I can confirm (after carrying it with me as a month's worth of rain fell in a few hours) that - for all that it is also weaponized -  it is the best and most robust umbrella ever keeping-you-dry-for-the-purposes-of.

I tried balancing on it between two stools (as illustrated on in the Standard as a tribute, but that was kyboshed by the bar staff because "fell off umbrella" would not have seemed credible in an insurance claim or Health and Safety statement.

I am a unique and special snowflake who must not be put in harm's way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Bertrand Russell, Bitchez

I was surprised to see a couple of comments from my niece on this Facebook post yesterday. I had always assumed that I was the only one in the family with a philosophy Jones, not that I ever asked any of them you understand.

While we are on the subject though I ought to take the time to praise Julian Baggini for bringing the wonderful History of Philosophy without any gaps podcast to my attention.

I am three elapsed months and 318 episodes into it now; almost having caught up with its nine year history. That said I sometimes put it on late at night and fall asleep (the fault is mine not Peter Adamson's) so I may have to go back and catch up on a few dozen episodes.

Also, having read an enthusiastic review by Terry Eagleton in the Grauniard, I have added Witcraft: The Invention of Philosophy in English by Jonathan Rée to my reading list.

So that is where we are at with regards to metaphysics and ontology, tomorrow Love Island.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Festum Fatuorum

My brother went to see my mum yesterday and asked her how my visit on Tuesday went. We had a great time apparently and I took her out ten pin bowling. This is news to me, and I would imagine the surgeon who operated on her hip as she has been using a walking frame to get about ever since.

Also yesterday, I got an email that signed off:
My pronouns are: She/Her
Without going full Jordan Peterson in reaction that is a first for me.

A Mad World, My Masters.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.

There's a production of The Glass Menagerie on at the Arcola Theatre at the moment. It is supposed to be good but I probably won't go as I saw another version only a couple of years ago at the Duke of York's.

What with the Night of the Iguana and Orpheus Descending, on 6 July Tennessee Williams will have three plays running in London. Not too shabby. The Glass Menagerie premiered in 1945; seventy four years ago.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

others have greatness thrust upon them

Kevin Michael TAYLOR, lately President, British Telecom Asia, Middle East and Africa and lately Chairman, British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong. For services to UK/Hong Kong commercial relations.
Gosh, Kevin got an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. I've known him since the first day of infant school, but I had no idea his middle name was Michael.

You don't have to be 3PO-series protocol droid to know it is his round next time we have a drink in the Claude.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Hat Tip, Simon

Nothing earth-shattering but this made me laugh out loud yesterday.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The last freedom moped out of Nowhere City

I'm about to set off from Cardiff to London, via a meeting in Portishead and picking up Frankie (also visiting an aged parent) on the way.

Now that the Welsh Government has scrapped the M4 relief road that was to take the strain around Newport who knows when I'll be back. It was originally proposed in 1991 as a solution to congestion at the Brynglas Tunnels. I sometimes feel like I have spent most of my life queuing for the Bryglas tunnels over the last few years.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Art of Living

On my way back to see mum and dad I listened to Breath is Life: Eileen Kramer on Radio 4 in which the 104-year-old Australian dancer and choreographer takes us on a vivid dance through her life. She is so much older than them that it makes you think.

Also there is an Amazon Echo advert on the TV at the moment showing it helping an older person. I wonder if Anne-Marie has seen it.

Monday, June 03, 2019

I'm ten years burning down the road

10 years later on Saturday June 1, 2019 Siobhan McDonagh MP was in the Royal Standard watching the European Cup Final. Scousers were having their photos taken with her to celebrate their triumph. Very jolly, all in all.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Return of the dad bod

Jeff Mayweather often posts videos of him asking questions of some of the guys inside the Mayweather Boxing Club about who they think will win upcoming fights.

Quite a lot of them picked Luiz to beat Anthony Joshua which is interesting considering what a shock it was to the rest of the world, me included.