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Sunday, December 09, 2012

The day before


A gloriously sunny day!  But, let us not be too stupid; I am enjoying the sunshine streaming through a window which is protecting me from the less than summery temperatures but allows the warmth of the sun to persuade me that it is not almost double digit December!

But it is, of course and with my present state of being un-retired I will have to face an entire day in school tomorrow with real teaching and real pupils in front of a real me!  The hardship of it all!  And just when the group work on the OU Wiki is getting to an interesting stage!

I think that most of the people in the group are concentrating on the joint work and not paying that much attention to the course work which should be going on in parallel with it.  I have to admit that there is something quite stimulating in trying to coordinate the input of what are essentially strangers dotted around Europe linked only the Internet and membership of a common course.

I have been left very much to myself in writing about the musical element we have to discuss, but I am actually looking forward to my work being considerately butchered to make it fit the severely limited word count that is part of the assignment.

Take It My Way Or You Dont Get ItThis has been a strangely empty day with only a desultory trip to a closed shopping centre and (may I hang my head in shame) the purchase of a so-called meal from Burger King.  The “meal” cost almost €18 for two and certainly was not worth it.  Even more to my shame we both ate it with relish!  It was only after I had placed my order and the “chefs” were “cooking” it that I saw that I could have had my steak burger with goats’ cheese; although on closer inspection I suspect that the cheese had been formed into some sort of coated fritter so perhaps no exquisite food experience lost!

The afternoon should have been taken up with OU work but instead I indulged myself with an hour or two of films including the dramatization of the Cuban Crisis.  I was only 11 at the time the crisis started but it was still “two minutes to midnight” by the time I was twelve a few days after the crisis had developed in a fully fledged near view of the apocalypse.  Apart from the slightly hagiographical approach towards JFK, I thought that the negative view of the hawkish general and Chiefs of Staff surrounding the President seemed to me to be spot on.

Whenever I think about atomic weapons I am reminded that the actual strategy (surely a misnomer if ever there was one) was Mutually Assured Destruction known as M.A.D.  And this was official policy, a carefully thought out strategy which was supposed to make us feel safe in our beds!  MAD indeed.

I really do have to do some work before I go to bed and, of course, I have to prepare myself spiritually for the start of a full week of work for which I have but little appetite.

I am minded to buy myself a new computer, especially since the Windows monstrosity that I have on the Third Floor has been driving me to distraction.  I think that I am suffering from the effects of computational miscegenation in trying to mix PCs and Macs!

I think that the new iMacs look very stylish and I am sure that the bits and bobs inside will be more than satisfactory and I am also tempted to get an iPhone so that I will be completely Mac.  I know it is rather sad to have such unrequited loyalties to a mere brand, but I do remember my first “real” computer which was a Mac.

The Mac (in those haggard days cursed by the horrors of Windows 3.1 and before) was always the more friendly operating system and if you didn’t know how to do something then the way to do it was usually intuitive – what you thought ought to work usually did.  Well, more so that anything you tried with Windows.

All of the foregoing is of course merely the attempt by me to persuade myself that I should buy a new computer.  I can see how meretricious it all is, but I still can’t stop myself from doing it.

I like the conceit of getting my school to authenticate my professional standing and then claiming a discount from Apple because I am in education.  You never know they might also be amenable to my offering my OU student membership as reason enough to give me a reduction!

It is something into which I must look – and of course I need to do this quite soon before retirement claims me again.

I look on it as a sort of Christmas gift to myself, and given the fact that I am working right up until the start of the Christmas holidays I do not see why I shouldn’t be generous with myself!


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