October 7th, 2003


Don't look now, but...

Everybody knows that a watched pot never boils.

See that kettle over there in the corner of the computer room? I'm not watching it. I don't care if it's boiling or not. It's up to the kettle. It can do it in its own time, if it chooses to do it at all.

I lean over to take a floppy disk out of the disk drive. I can nearly see the kettle from that angle, but I'm not looking. I look at the disk until I go cross-eyed. As my eyes go out of focus, I realise that I can see the edge of the kettle, but I can't tell whether it's boiling.

Is that steam, or just blurred vision? I'm not looking. I'm not checking. I'll find out soon enough.

I suddenly wonder if I should go downstairs and check the, er, see if there's a, um ... post! That's right, see if there's any post. So I get up and nonchalantly walk past the kettle, not looking at it. I even whistle, to show the kettle that I'm not bothered at all, uh-huh, not a bit, do I look like the kind of girl who'd be interested in boiling?

I wonder if the kettle will regard the whistling as some sort of hint. Do kettles have some kind of race memory of the time when they whistled? You can buy whistling kettles now: très retro, très kitsch.

For a moment there I almost stopped thinking about whether or not the kettle was boiling.

There isn't any post. I walk back upstairs, and my eye falls on the kettle as I walk into the room. I didn't look at it, at least not deliberately, I was just so unbothered about the whole boiling thing that I forgot not to look at it.

It's not boiling.

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  • Current Music
    Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band: "On Tomorrow"

I give up...

... on trying to get any work done today. Too much stuff going round in my head, too many conversations left hanging in midair. :-(
  • Current Music
    Mary Chapin Carpenter: "Come on come on"

Assault and battery

Well, pto452 was fine last night, but when I came to start her today (to go to the karate lesson that I'm supposed to be at now, but have fortunately managed to reschedule to Friday) all I got was the hopeless wheezing of a car attempting to start without a battery.

I've taken the battery out and hooked it up to the charger (and the charger certainly seems to agree that the battery needs charging), but this is ridiculous -- the battery was new only a month or two ago. I know it's not the dynamo this time, because the dynamo light has been on all the time when it should be (I've been watching it carefully); so that means something is hoovering up the battery charge, and I need to find out what.

All suggestions gratefully received...

Update: Okay, I'm stupid. brrm has just pointed out that the ignition light shouldn't be on all the time, so if it's been on (and it has) then the dynamo isn't working. The worst of it is, it's not my dynamo -- it's one I've borrowed while mine gets reconditioned. So I'll have to pay to get that one fixed and to get mine fixed (when it eventually gets done -- I think the people who are doing it have forgotten about it).
  • Current Music
    Papa Roach: "Last Resort"

That's not got much spam in it

My dad has coined the term "spamblings" for, obviously, ramblings about spam. I would now like to propose "spamzas" as a word to describe the short bursts of prose-poetry that have started appearing in the spam that's been floating to the surface of my inbox.

I assume these snippets are actually just "mechanically recovered" from people's hard drives, but you must admit that there's a certain confused beauty to them:

very nice. Only not quite my taste- he is so narrow, like the
I felt now that my life was practically lost, and that persuasion

asked me why you should not propose me also at the Royal Society;
to Ssu-ma Jang-chu of the 6th century B.C. Its date, however,
Botany . . . . . . . . 35

had no reprisals to fear, they led M. Jacquireot to the scene of the wreck.
away the side rail. It happened that a nail came away with the wood,
she would feel his absence very acutely. She attributed immense

The uncultured cynic might suggest that merely stapling these segments together would be enough to produce a modern novel which would sit quite happily around the bottom of the middlebrow bestseller lists (and, equally happily, sit unread on middlebrow shelves). The cultured cynic, of course, would assert that this has already been done, and we have simply failed to notice.
  • Current Music
    [compilation in progress]