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A disappointment

I'm so wrapped up in my own little family affairs at the moment (nothing serious, but important), I seem to have forgotten ross's birthday. I'm such a cunt.

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Life with Ollie

We both have a taste for old television. One of the most recent things we've watched together is Maggie and Her, a London Weekend sitcom from the mid-1970s, combining west end sensation Julia McKenzie as a divorced 40-year-old looking for a man, and comedy legend Irene Handl as her interfering octogenarian neighbour. It's held up well, although the blasé attitude whenever there's an attempted rape is disconcerting [no joke—in almost every episode, some man tries to force himself on her, and she's saved only by the intervention/noseyness of Mrs P]. But it was laugh-out-loud funny at times. We sped through series 1 and will be looking out the others, which are on some VHSs in the back room.

The Strange World of Gurney Slade (ATV) was a revelation, coming out originally in 1960 and apparently being inspired by the odder plays of the 1950s, and the Goon show. To think it was ever considered 'mainstream' is surprising.

One I didn't like was Yorkshire Television's That's My Boy, with Mollie Sugden (immortalised as Mrs Slocomb in Are You Being Served, of course). And the pilot of ATV's Spooner's Patch had some of the worst acting I've ever seen.

Nevertheless, the 1970s do seem to have been a golden age of British television. The technology and the art were sufficiently established to be competent, but new enough for them still to be exciting.

One of the greatest pleasures is to see shows surfacing that were made by the regional ITV companies, Yorkshire, ATV, Thames, London Weekend, Harlech, Border, Granada, Anglia, Central, TVS, TSW, Southern, mostly rolled up into the monolithic and artistically rudderless ITV plc now.

I suppose times have changed and we can never go back to the regional 'Dream Factory' model. At least we've still got the old shows, and Network DVD keeps releasing things that everyone's forgotten.

Except for TVS, where Disney lost the paperwork.

Sep. 1st, 2011

Despite neglecting Livejournal, it's nice to check back occasionally. Some of the posts in my timeline (friends page?) are of great quality, if not always sharing happy news. Especially great at the moment is severedelays' post about when to use the alarm on a tube train.

Anyway, Ollie has his CT scan tomorrow. After being off work since January with nausea and dizziness, not to mention indigestial and having an apparently unnecessary hernia repair, this particular miracle of medical science has been a long time coming. We hope that (1) a diagnosis can be made, and (2) it's operable. An appointment with the specialist follows shortly.

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Watford Colosseum Open Day




Watford Colosseum Open Day, a set on Flickr.

Yesterday, I popped along to Watford Colosseum's Open Day. It looks like a lovely venue, and already has some big names booked.

They had a live pianist performing while I was sat in the stalls, and the unamplified sound was perfect: clear, loud and neutral.

A triumph, all things considered!

I can't wait to see a show there.

There are some historic photos from Watford Borough Council here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watfordcouncil/4149577485/



This is of course the venue where Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti recorded, and is where the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings was laid down.
Get 'em while they're hot (and available).









Music Meme

 1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload) 5 songs you love that begin with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

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VHS

Ollie has lots of VHS cassettes. Figures range in the order of 10,000 units overall, many pre-recorded.

Much of the material, surprisingly, has not been reissued on DVD. Most is sourced from TV and dates from the 1980s, so by the time DVD was available, the market had dried up. You'd be surprised at what has never become available again.

This evening, Ollie pulled a cassette off the shelf and it was dripping wet. The cassettes are stored against a concrete outside wall, 4 layers deep, and the freezing temperatures outside have caused the outermost set to develop severe condensation.

We've moved many of the cassettes to the bedroom; hopefully they'll be salvageable once they've warmed up and dried out. This also gives an opportunity to discard unnecessary cassettes and catalogue them.

Sorry for the boring nature of this post. I'll try to write some more interesting blog items as things turn up in the collection.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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iMac hunt! (iMac scratching discs)

The iMac came back from AppleCare's agent this morning. The defect has not been resolved. I put my thoughts on Apple's discussion board.

Twice I've had my iMac taken away by AppleCare, twice the optical drive's been replaced, and still the discs are receiving little horizontal scratches due to the design/manufacturing defect of the unprotected slot. I have been told that Apple's policy is (1) they will not be liable for any damage caused to discs, and (2) they will not replace the case because that's "a user issue".

This is of course a breach of the UK Sale of Goods Act 1979—goods not of satisfactory quality—but how should damages be quantified? When Sony Playstations were scratching discs in 2001 (in circles this time), Sony would replace them for you, together with fixing the machine. I've got a few scratched discs I'd like to have replaced, but these and the price of Sellotape (my reluctantly-chosen fix) are not so expensive as to justify a trip to the small claims court. Does this mean Apple have got away with poor design/manufacturing?

I suppose at the end of the day it's my fault for not downloading everything from iTunes.
 

I had hoped that Apple were different to other companies, and I always put my money where my mouth is. Reality distortion coupled with generally great hardware and software can only go so far to ameliorate products that aren't fit for purpose. My enjoyment of this otherwise beautiful computer has been severely diminished. I'm disappointed and exhausted. Maybe I'll email Steve Jobs.
  • The Aussie guy at Nationwide Building Society on the Strand: friendly and helpful. Thanks.
  • The lady who sold me the Marmite chocolate bars in Debenhams Battersea: utterly charming.
  • Vodafone telephone support lady from Scotland or somewhere: did the job.
  • Mrs Pang: provided some ample fish and chips and a pickled onion that tasted of onion rather than just vinegar: fattening.

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