September Pieces Of My Mind

  • I put the business part of my electric shaver in methylated spirits for half an hour. Loads of organic gunk sloughed off of it. Now I know where half of my face has been all these years.
  • Neighbour from Afghanistan describes his interpreter gig with refugee children & teens in Sweden. They’re traumatised and violent towards each other and themselves. This portly middle-aged father of five comes once a week, cooks the kids food from the old country and has long talks with them in Dari and Pashtu. Afterwards they’re calmer for a few days.
  • I like my new life as an itinerant archaeology lecturer. Good to know that it matters to a lot of people if I show up.
  • Elysium: nice sets, several excellent character performances, but just a silly story.
  • Journalists and TV show hosts, please quit asking people how they feel. It’s a worthless question.
  • Wife has reached the point where she waits for Juniorette to get bigger feet than her and quit stealing her shoes.
  • So sick. A night of shivering and sweating despite ibuprophene. Confused dreams. And at midnight, right outside our house, a blaring car horn, a woman shrieking, the thumps of car doors and the growl of the car driving off.
  • San Diego = Sant Yago = Saint Jacob = Saint James — of Compostela.
  • Fearful semi-dreams induced by fever. I thought my duvet was the woods around Umeå. I had no idea where I was. I didn’t know how big my body was.
  • This bread bag bears the slogan “We bake our bread lovingly”. I am starting a Death Metal bakery with the slogan “We bake our bread with extreme violent hostility”.
  • Pleased to see my wife doing her stat homework using my 80s high school calculator, the venerable workhorse Casio fx-180P.
  • Current consensus is that in a certain passage on the Chicago Prism, King Sennacherib of Assyria is talking about the custom of his forefathers to commission bronze statuary “imitating real-life forms” for their temples. In the first 1924 translation, when cuneiform philology had of course not yet made all of today’s advances, the king is made to speak about how his ancestors “fashioned a bronze image in the likeness of their members” for the temples. Teee-heee.
  • The electronic ear thermometer is scary. Feels like Russian roulette.
  • “When I woke up at the Emergency Room the nurse asked me if I knew what year it was. I said ‘2013’, so really I was fine, but then I had to go and add ‘BC’.”
  • I had fried calf brain and zucchini in Rome once. It was just pretty bland. Similar experience as the fried silkworms I had in Beijing, actually: you got a sense that you were eating something reasonably filling but you were kind of looking for the hot sauce bottle. Nothing to scream yuck about, nothing to scream yay about.
  • Don’t say gene-O-logy, people. It suggests that you are not fit to live and need to be fed to a crocodile. It’s gene-A-logy.

3 thoughts on “September Pieces Of My Mind

  1. I still use the calculator I bought in about 1987, an HP-22S. I had to replace the batteries a couple of months ago (an obscure type I hadn’t seen before, but luckily the local hardware store had them in stock). Otherwise, it has continued to work without a hitch.

    I think I had a Casio calculator in high school, a few years before that. I don’t recall the model number, and I don’t know what happened to it. But I do remember it had the ability to compute integrals numerically via Simpson’s rule–something I had occasion to mention to my calculus teacher when we were discussing the subject of calculators in exams (the people who run the Advanced Placement tests had recently started allowing calculators in the calculus tests, but structured the test so that calculators were not all that useful, by, e.g., giving answer choices in terms of π and square roots rather than decimal approximations thereto).


  2. I still use a Braun ET66 (the black one in the slide out cover with coloured round buttons) in my office (although now also the Calculator on my iPhone which is based on it). Not just because it is a design classic which I bought in the shop at Hamburg Airport in 1987, but also because it reminds me that when I came out of the airport shop I saw across the foyer Morrissey and The Smiths, and did the utterly Morrissey thing of NOT rushing across and flinging myself to my knees on the marble floor to prostrate myself at his feet, but just worshipped him from afar, and then also memories of waltzing a girl round my flat to ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ being played by John Peel . . . must stop there.


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