Monthly Archives: March 2016

WHY did I have all this stuff?

The clearout continues … but it’s leaving me with more questions than answers.

For example: why? WHY do I have four issues of ACM Press’s software engineering notes from late 1990 and early 1991?

2016-03-30 11.53.47--old-acm-notes

And why? WHY do I have Deloitte and Touche’s financial reports on the Premier League for 1996, 1997 and 1998? Why did I EVER have them?

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Finally dumping the obsolete technology

I mentioned I’d been clearing out such worthless junk as my four PCMCIA wireless networking cards. Well, since then, I found two more. And all of them are now gone. Here’s how I loaded the car this morning:

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The big blue bag, and the box behind it, are all full of electronics. Continue reading

Literature sequels #2: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, part 3

Captain Corelli's Cello

Captain Corelli’s Cello

Clearing out some junk: computing paraphernalia of yesteryear

My office had become ridiculously messy. I’ve accumulated a lot of computer-related junk over the years — stuff that was once useful, but which time has passed by, like my collection of ethernet cables. (Who uses wired Internet anymore? It’s so last decade.) Making it worse, we have friends who come and stay every year, sleeping in the office, and one of them is a professional declutterer. So far, she’s politely held her own counsel as the room gets more and more cluttered each year, but that dam will break eventually. So today, I am throwing out this stuff:

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(Actually, there’s more — I took this photo before I’d finished making today’s pile.)

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Literature sequels #1: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Another rip-off merchant: Chaucer Direct

Last year, Chaucer Direct charged us £318.64 to insure out ten-year-old Saab 9-5. Today the renewal notice came through: they want £391.46. That’s a 23% increase in an economy where inflation has been 0%.


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Birthday sushi

For Dan’s birthday (and mine, which was six days earlier), I took him to Birmingham, which as far as I can tell is the nearest place to us that you can get good sushi. My goal was to fill him so full of sushi that he actively wanted to not eat any more. Here he is with the first plateful:

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A short open letter to Stephen Crabb, the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Dear Stephen,

First of all, congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. It’s a hugely important role, well earned by your years of hard work for your constituency and in government. Decisions that you make, and discussions that you contribute to, will have a massive effect on many lives.

Demonstrators On The Hardest Hit March Protest Against Government Cuts To Disability Benefits And Services

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A job well done: our eldest turned 18 today

Today is the eighteenth birthday of our eldest son, Daniel Taylor: musician, member of my very occasional prog band, economist, philosopher, theologian, intermittent blogger, and lover of sushi. He took his Grade 8 drums exam last week, so we made him this cake:

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He’ll be taking Grade 8 piano in a month or two, as well — along with his A-levels. And his driving test. It’s a pretty crazy time for him. And for us as well.

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Desert island albums #4: The Beatles — Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Sergeant Pepper or Revolver? Revolver or Sergeant Pepper? It’s so tempting just to say “both”, but I’ve only allowed myself ten slots in the Desert Island Albums series, and it would seem unfair to give 20% of all the space to a single band. [Previously: Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, Rainbow’s Rising and Blue Öyster Cult’s Fire of Unknown Origin.]


I’ve been vacillating between these two albums (with an occasional thought for Abbey Road) for some time. Now, with the death of George Martin, I’m pushed into actually writing this piece, and as it happens the dial is currently in the Pepper region. Continue reading