Saturday, October 01, 2016

I made this!

I was joint runner-up employee of the month in September, you know. That's quite impressive for someone who does so very little work, and so ineptly, as I do. But that means I got £50 worth of Compliments Vouchers to spend in a wide range of high street stores, so I took them into Argos and bought a little desk and chair, and an oscillating fan heater that'll probably come in handy in my new flat when it really gets cold.

The desk, though, will definitely come in handy right now, because being without one has been a minor inconvenience ever since I moved in! So I spent this evening with screwdriver in hand (did you know I've got a screwdriver? I didn't think I had, but one turned up when I was rummaging through my box of miscellaneous rubbish looking for the electric screwdriver I thought I did own but which seems to have disappeared entirely) putting together big heavy pieces of wood and only occasionally saying things like "There's no holes where it says there are holes! Wait, it's upside-down. No, there's still no holes... oh, wait, there are holes but they're tiny little pinpricks, how am I supposed to get a screw into those?" and "Two people are needed here? You can't get to step 6 of the instructions before you tell me two people are needed! I'm six-seventeenths of the way through putting it together and I'm on my own! Actually, though, I don't need two people at all, I'll just prop it up like this..." and so on. And it looks really nice! The top's a bit loose, and has a hole in it that's not meant to be there, but it's out at the side so it won't get in the way. Now I've got a thing I can sit at and draw pictures or write things or memorise things in a non-computery way! Or even in a computery way when it comes to filming my qualifying sessions for next year's XMT (or whatever it gets called; the name's changing). I feel quite accomplished now.

Friday, September 30, 2016

On further reflection

This week's episode of Red Dwarf, "Give and Take", actually made me laugh out loud, which is something Red Dwarf hasn't done for years! I approve, and officially recant my 'not as funny as it used to be' complaints. Well, like 90% of them, since it's still not actually as funny as the funniest episodes of the early series, but the point is that now I feel bad about saying it's not.

The greater concern is with the "I don't watch live TV any more" thing, since I'm actually watching it on UKTVWatch, or whatever it's called, the week before it's on live TV. That means I'm watching it even more up-to-dately than I would be if I had a telly, and might be seen as violating this recently-acquired but deeply-held principle. But since the TV Licensing people have written me a nasty letter, I've changed my principle to "just not watching anything that would require a TV licence for me to watch". That'll teach them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Eighteen googly years

The google doodle for today says it's their 18th birthday (though when I do a google search for google, it tells me they were founded on September 4th). Remember the days when you couldn't just type anything into google and see what the internet says about it? There were search engines with names like WebCrawler, but they were rubbish. The world was very different before 1998.

Monday, September 26, 2016

On mature reflection

You know, I think I was unduly harsh on Red Dwarf the other night. Watching it again, Samsara has some great moments. It's probably the best new episode we've had for a long time!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


There's a cool thing that I just discovered last night - The BBC Genome Project, with all the Radio Times listings of BBC radio and television programmes from 1923 onwards! It's really cool, even if it is scanned in with text-recognition software that doesn't always get it right. So, after staying up all night researching and cataloguing all the BBC broadcasts of Thundercats cartoons and cross-referencing it with my own taped-from-the-TV video collection (because, I'm sorry, there are some things that are vastly, top-priority important and you really have to be me to understand it), today I had the idea of seeing how many times the name Pridmore shows up in the history of the BBC. Turns out it's seven.

Really? Seven? From 1923 to 2009, people with my surname can only muster seven mentions in the Radio Times? I know we're not exactly a foremost-in-the-land kind of family, but that's a bit bad, isn't it? One of them's me, from that "Make Me Smart" thing, the others are a fascinating mixed bunch...

Saturday 20 May 1933, 9:15pm, BBC Regional Programme - "The Bottle Imp". A radio adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's story, with the list of characters including "Pridmore, a young American in Honolulu". This is a bit strange, really, since there isn't a character called Pridmore in the original story. From his position in the 'in order of appearance' list, I assume Pridmore is the originally-unnamed idiot who bought the cursed bottle for two cents (it grants you great powers, but if you die owning it you're damned to Hell for eternity, and it can only be sold at a loss). What made James MacGregor, the radio adaptor, call him Pridmore? Maybe he had an enemy of that name.

Friday 14 June 1940, 8:00pm, For the Forces - "Thirsty Work". An evening of country singing recorded by the BBC Mobile Recording Unit. Singers: Bill Pridmore , Peter Wilson , Thomas Hendrie , Luke Webster , Bill Prodger , Frank Smart and other regulars of The Exeter's Arms, Wakerley, Northamptonshire. Hmm, Uncle Bill would have been 17 then, and in Sheffield, so it's probably not him. June 14th is my brother's birthday, too.

Sunday 15 March 1964, 6:15pm, BBC TV - "Meeting Point". "This is My Story - Faith on the River Kwai". How important is faith in conditions where all else which usually makes life acceptable— comfort, security, even human dignity-have gone? Neil Matheson, Leonard Morrison, Robert Pridmore who in the Second World War worked as prisoners on the ' railway of death' —the Burma-Siam railway-give their own answers in the light of their experiences, in a conversation with William Purcell. I don't know of any relatives on the Pridmore side of the family who were in Burma during the war. I assume Robert's answer was along the lines of "very important", because it was that kind of TV programme.

Friday 20 January 1967, 2:40pm, BBC Home Service - "Brave and Bold", a radio poetry programme with, down at the bottom of the listing, "also poems by Jane Pridmore, Zoe Bailey and Hal Summers". I've come across the name Jane Pridmore in books of poems before, but I don't know anything about her beyond that.

Thursday 20 August 1988, 11:30pm, BBC Radio 4 - "Fresh Air Media", A four-part series of feature-making by non-professional broadcasters. 3: Voices Four pieces with a common interest in the voice. Presenter Geoff Pridmore. Never heard of him.

Sunday 9 August 2009, 7:00am, BBC Radio 2 - "Good Morning Sunday", Aled Jones talks to that John Pridmore who I've come across in Google searches before, who seems to make a comfortable living for himself claiming to be a former gangster who found God.

Quite a motley crew, I must say. We really need to get more Pridmores on the BBC. Family pride is at stake!