Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orphy Robinson

Today (Icons passim) on my way back from Warwickshire I tuned into Robert Elms on BBC Radio London and was turned on to Orphy Robinson (of whom I have never previously heard). His cover of Golden Brown was played and he is doing a jazz version of Astral Weeks on the South Bank in November.

Last night my brother turned me on to the country stylings of Luke Combs and I was drunk-dialling Emmy Lou by the beginning of the fourth track.

Turned on twice in under 24 hours! What will the neighbours think?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I Wanna Be Sedated

As Lorazepam is presecribed to the old man.
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Arguing machines

I watched the Joe Rogan Experience #1188 - Lex Fridman (or rather half, it's nearly three hours long) yesterday evening. Note to self: subscribe to Fridman's Artificial Intelligence Podcast.

The main purpose of this post though, is to share a couple of Boston Dynamics videos that Rogan referred to in passing during the discussion.

"Changing your idea of what robots can do." True dat.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Stop all the clocks

Mum's in hospital and dad is in a home. We had to move the clocks forward this morning in their empty house where time is standing still.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Billy the Seal

This is an automated post set up to launch itself upon an unsuspecting world while I am away from the interwebs in Bronwydd.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fold the corner of this page

Callum made his Europa League debut for Chelsea in their 3-1 win over BATE Borisov at the Stamford Bridge last night. He was on for half an hour after replacing forward Pedro Rodriguez on the 60th minute mark.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Engel's Hedgehog

I had no idea when I wrote about Schopenhauer's poodles, that I was starting a series. A series that continues today with Engel's Hedgehog.

Volume 43 of Marx and Engel's Collected Works covers their 1868 to 1870 correspondence.

Engels to Marx 10 April 1868
Dear Moor,
.......... Unfortunately, I have a death to announce to Tussy. The poor hedgehog ate a round hole in his blanket, put his head through it, and got so stuck in it that he was found strangled yesterday morning. Peace to his ashes, and BETTER LUCK TO THE NEXT ONE...........
F. E.
The wedding was celebrated here with great festivity: the dogs had green collars, a TEA PARTY for 6 children, Lafargue's glass basin served as a punch-bowl, and the poor hedgehog was made drunk for the last time.
Marx to Engels 11 April 1868
D'abord" the GENERAL CONDOLATIONS, and especially from Tussychen, about the departed RIGHT HONOURABLE HEDGEHOG.
It is a good thing that the opium prescription arrived today..........
In summary, Friedrich Engels had a hard drinking pet (the Right Honourable Hedgehog) that accidentally strangled itself, almost certainly after a night out on the tiles.

My cup runneth over, to the extent that I am just leaving the opium thing dangling.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pipe Dreams

One day, and that day may never come, I will do the Machine Learning Crash Course with TensorFlow APIs; Google's fast-paced, practical introduction to machine learning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

OFM Awards? OMFG!

When John and I (and other assorted family members) met Shauna in 2015 (Icons passim) the Hang Fire crew ran pop-ups and didn't even have their own premises.

Now, the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, Barry - creole gumbo and Dolly Parton’s favourite brisket, served in the Deep South of Wales - has been voted by reader of the Observer Food Monthly as their restaurant of the year. What an amazon achievement.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Old Rutlishains U18 16-13 Horsham U18

I thought Cardiff City's win this weekend couldn't be outshone this weekend, but Ben and the Old Ruts nail-biting win over Horsham U18s in the RFU's National U18s Cup yesterday managed to do it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What is Echo Connect?

With Echo Connect and a compatible Alexa-enabled device, you can ask Alexa to call anyone using your home phone service—all you have to do is ask. Echo Connect uses your home phone number, whether landline or VoIP, so friends and family will still recognise the call. Answer your home phone on your Echo from across the room so you can easily talk to anyone hands-free when you’re busy making dinner or away from the phone.
This could be just the job for the office. It seems to have a few teething problems that the moment. Perhaps I will leave it for a month or two.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Cardiff City 4-2 Fulham

A fine win for the City and they are out of the relegation zone. This is the first day of the rest of my life.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Chaos Theory

  • The incendiary One for The Road is Pinter at his most terrifying: a ruthless government official interrogates a dissident and his family, but is the torturer more tortured than his victims?
  • The New World Order explores how the abuse of power is legitimised in the name of freedom and democracy, as two brutal interrogators prepare to inflict their terrible punishment on a blind-folded insurgent.
We are all off mob-handed to see the last night of Paapa at the Pinter tomorrow evening. When I booked the tickets these one-act plays seemed to have come out of a time capsule. In the wake of Kamal Khashoggi, less so - to put it mildly.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

And they're off

Wimbledon Bookfest is finished for another year. (Icons passim.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Football the only winner

England U19s made it two wins from two games in October, with a convincing 6-2 victory over Macedonia at St. George’s Park.
The Young Lions are preparing for next month’s Euro qualifiers in Turkey and after an impressive 4-1 win in Portugal last Thursday, it was back to base camp for their final warm-up game.
And Keith Downing’s side certainly found their range, as first-half goals captain Callum Hudson-Odoi and a double from Stephen Walker set the Young Lions on their way.
Happy to see Wales beat Ireland yesterday and for Callum to score as well as captaining England U19. I don't recall him officially leading the team in a match before; it is all good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Where I am from:
The lost communities of Cardiff’s docklands are to feature in a new four-part tv series on ITV Cymru Wales.
‘Dock of the Bay’ examines the transformation of the city’s waterfront from Tiger Bay to Cardiff Bay. It also chronicles the history and demolition of Newtown, nick-named ‘Little Ireland’ and Lower Splott, a community that was built in the shadow of the giant East Moors steelworks.
The series celebrates the present day diversity of the Bay and goes behind the scenes of some of the area’s most beautiful buildings as well as capturing the daily life of the docks itself. It is presented by Adeola Dewis, who brought up her family in the Bay. She works with many local groups including the Butetown Carnival.
“The stories are very moving because they are about loss and change,” said Adeola.
“They are also powerful stories because they show how the spirit of those communities has endured.”
Mary Sullivan, Chair and co-founder of the Newtown Association is one of the people featured in the series. She was brought up in ‘Little Ireland’, an area close to Tyndall Street, to the south-east of the city centre.
“My grandmother had 42 grandchildren and 36 of them lived in the same street. So you can imagine there was never any shortage of playmates. We played a lot in the street. Of course, we didn’t have television so we had lots of street games. We were poor, but we didn’t realise that because everyone was in the same boat.
Dock of the Bay will be broadcast by ITV Wales at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16th October and will then be online at:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Seahawk Postcards from Easy Street

What with one thing and another, I have been neglecting my beloved Seahawks lately.

Neglecting them to the extent that I didn't even realise they were playing in London yesterday.

It was then a delightful surprise to stumble on BBC coverage when I got in and switched on the TV. They cruised past the Raiders almost as imperiously as the Old Ruts Colts had cruised past Dorking RFC earlier in the day. available for 29 days.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fetch me that slab

Nearly six years on (Icons passim) I have been having another crack at Ray Monk's Wittgenstein biography.

Having stumbled on the Beyond the Fringe sketch below however I may not be able to give it the "Well, God has arrived" respect it deserves.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Ecclesiasticus Chapter 3

1 Hear me your father, O children, and do thereafter, that ye may be safe.

2 For the Lord hath given the father honour over the children, and hath confirmed the authority of the mother over the sons.

3 Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for his sins:

4 And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up treasure.

5 Whoso honoureth his father shall have joy of his own children; and when he maketh his prayer, he shall be heard.

6 He that honoureth his father shall have a long life; and he that is obedient unto the Lord shall be a comfort to his mother.

7 He that feareth the Lord will honour his father, and will do service unto his parents, as to his masters.

8 Honour thy father and mother both in word and deed, that a blessing may come upon thee from them.

9 For the blessing of the father establisheth the houses of children; but the curse of the mother rooteth out foundations.

10 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father; for thy father's dishonour is no glory unto thee.

11 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father; and a mother in dishonour is a reproach to the children.

12 My son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth.

13 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him; and despise him not when thou art in thy full strength.

14 For the relieving of thy father shall not be forgotten: and instead of sins it shall be added to build thee up.

15 In the day of thine affliction it shall be remembered; thy sins also shall melt away, as the ice in the fair warm weather.

16 He that forsaketh his father is as a blasphemer; and he that angereth his mother is cursed: of God.

Ecclesiasticus Chapter 3 pretty much covers the Cardiff situation at the moment. It is strange, I saw the 86 year old Humphrey Burton on Leonard Bernstein at the Wimbledon Bookfest last night and Mr Burton was still gracious and bright as a button.

Friday, October 12, 2018


Painted from Memory is one of my very favourite albums, so I must catch up with this BBC show. Note to self: I still don't seem to have come up with a satisfactory Alexa podcast subscription solution.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The law of unintended consequences

Hat tip: The Torygraph.
The EU’s​ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) risks abuse by granting hackers a way to access more detailed information than ever before.
The rules allow consumers to download the information a company holds on them so they can move it to another service if they wish. Prof Yang said some of the largest organisations ­including Uber, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Google have been forced to add in a “super-dangerous” data download feature to comply with GDPR, which came into effect in May.
She said: “There’s more at stake when hackers get into accounts because they can now request all of your data, or they can request to delete your data.”
A hacker gained access to Yang’s Spotify account and her birth date, gender, postcode, mobile number, redacted credit card number and credit card expiration dates. Such information enables “jigsaw identification”.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The price of fame

I can confirm that Callum is not going through an "If I've only one life, let me live it as a blonde" stage regardless of what you might see on FIFA 19

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Mad Props

We came second in the Antelope quiz last night, so we have got a £25 bar tab for next week.

A fairly recent member of our team, presses a valve on his neck to speak, in a manner reminiscent of how I am sure I remember Jack Hawkins talking on Parkinson years and years ago.

I would never presume to ask him about it, but I have consulted the interwebs today.

He must have a tracheo-esophageal puncture (or tracheoesophageal puncture); a surgically created hole between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus (the tubal pathway between the throat and the stomach) suggesting he has had a total laryngectomy, a surgery where the larynx (voice box) is removed.
To speak with a TEP, you take a deep breath and then cover the stoma so that when you exhale, the air that would normally come out of the stoma is shunted through a little prosthesis (a TEP valve). The air goes through the one-way valve of the prosthesis, then up your esophagus, where muscle vibrations help to produce voice. You can either cover your stoma with your finger when speaking, or you can get a "hands-free" tracheostoma valve.
Would you be brave enough to socialise down the boozer competing to answer questions if you had a TEP? Me neither.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Now I can die happy

Tom Jones and Ed Sheeran busking Prince live.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

The terrors of the earth.

Only days ago (Icons passim) I was writing about how uncannily I an McKellen's King Lear  echoed my poor reduced father. Then went to see him on Friday he was so furious that he all but paraphrased the Act 2, Scene 4 quote below.
I will have such revenges on you both,
That all the world shall--I will do such things,--
What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
The terrors of the earth.
It was heart-wrenching.

My niece who did Lear at A-Level this year,  said that Simon Russell Beale was very interesting on Lear's dementia and said there was an NT You Tube video I should watch. I wonder if it is the one below?

Saturday, October 06, 2018

What with one thing and another.

The stuff about nuclear families, extended families, and affluence bringing social isolation (just under  two minutes into this is) interesting and relevant to things John has been saying to me lately.

Friday, October 05, 2018

And they're off

Wimbledon Bookfest is up and running for another year.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Lola Sapola steps in with the punch, so there is plenty on it.

Megan Abbott: A great entertainer! A great Humanitarian, and - since I see her with John Currence on Anthony Bourdain's show - my dear friend of 25 years...

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Charles 'Asnovoice

Charles Aznavour is dead at 94. I saw him interviewed on TV not too long ago and he was still as sharp as a tack. I have always been astounded by the quality of his lyrics in English, Let's have the greatest ever Ageing-Curmudgeon-Confronts-Mortality song as a tribute.

"Hier Encore" in French, subsequently released in English as "Yesterday, When I Was Young", in Italian as "Ieri Si", in Danish as "Hvor tiden går", in Japanese 帰り来ぬ青春, and in Spanish as "Ayer Aún", "Eilen kun mä tiennyt en" in Finnish.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

I thought we were an autonomous collective


Normally collected on Tuesday every other week. The next scheduled collection is 09/10/2018.


Normally collected on Tuesday every other week. The next scheduled collection is 16/10/2018.


Normally collected on Tuesday every other week. The next scheduled collection is 09/10/2018.

Food waste

Normally collected on Tuesday every week. The next scheduled collection is 09/10/2018.

What could be simpler? I was still in when they collected this morning. My carefully separated food waste and recycling certainly all got thrown in the same hopper.

I am not yet as vexed by this as Adrian. He produced a poem of protest he had written at the pub quiz last night. This is possibly over-egging the pudding.