1 EAGLETON NOTES: April 2023



Tuesday 25 April 2023

Housekeeping and Spam: Mea Culpa

Dear Readers and Commenters

I apologise profusely. I thought that I was assiduous in checking my comments folder for comments awaiting moderation and for spam. It would appear that I am not. The principal reason I tend to check is that a lot of people's comments do not show up in my emails. I have never discovered why. With some (such as Rachel) they never appear. With others it is totally random - or so it appears.

Kylie has just made the point on my previous post that her comment had disappeared. It was waiting to be moderated! Why? Heaven (or Google) alone knows. Although I expect neither of them do. Fortunately Kylie persisted and her second comment (unlike a previous second comment by Neil) was published. 

A number of you have suffered similar fates.

I have now got rid of all the genuine spam and allowed all your previous comments that went to spam.

Please don't give up commenting. I will be more careful in future. 



Saturday 22 April 2023

Old Books

Anyone who goes near a charity shop these days realises that books are two a penny. Indeed our biggest charity shop recently offered CDs, DVDs and books for 1p each simply to clear stock and make room for more. They have thousands (and that is not an exaggeration).

Over the years I have been clearing my loft of books and have given many hundreds to charity shops. Indeed on one occasion a few years ago I filled my very ample estate car (US station wagon) with boxes of books and vinyl records and took them to Glasgow where the Oxfam University Bookshop and the separate Oxfam Music Shop were delighted to take them. The books included a complete original Heron set of the Russian Classics which I'd had from my early twenties when I devoured them all with great relish. 

I recently came across a 150+ year old set of books on painters in my bookcase. I have a rule now - one out for every one in. I needed space for a couple of new books. I hadn't used these reference books for many years and would be unlikely ever to do so again. I'd just ask Google. I knew they would have no value in an ordinary charity shop so I looked on line to discover that the set had been reprinted many times and was still available as a 'new' book. The condition of my set wasn't good (good sets of that age were selling for a few pounds) so they went in the bin (refuse). I think it's the first time I've ever disposed of a book that way.

Although I use a Kindle, physical books still have a place. Apart from anything else digitised books go out of date very quickly. The format changes. Old formats are frequently not readable by newer programs. There's an interesting and straightforward article here. If I pop my clogs whilst living in my current home then there will still be books here for my son to dispose of. There will probably still be my CD collection of over a thousand (I've just done a rough count of the ones in the living room and there's many more in the loft). My very extensive DVD collection isn't going anywhere anytime soon either. I know I can stream what I don't have but I still like watching the occasional DVD. 

I've not mentioned digital newspapers. I only buy a paper when I'm going to have to go into hospital or spend a day on a plane or train. Apart from anything else the paper I buy has lots of puzzles which I can do without an internet connection.

It made me wonder how many of my Blogland friends and acquaintances have decided to go entirely or even mainly digital.

I've made a few guesses in my mind.

Monday 10 April 2023

On A Visit To The Supermarket

To serve, or not to serve, that is the question:
Whether 'tis easier on the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous waits,
Or to take one's self to the sea of troubles
That is the self-checkouts. To wait - to fume,
No more; and by betrayal of the check-out staff
The heart-ache and the thousand natural redundancies
That time does come when we, Consumer, shall do the work
For free and Business shall rejoice and profit more.

With apologies to The Bard.

I confess that when I have a few items and there are queues at the checkouts at either of our supermarkets (The Coop and Tesco) I will use the self-checkouts. 

However, Tesco is about to get rid of almost all it's serviced checkouts. I can just imagine the chaos that will ensue as many people try to adapt to putting a huge basket of a week's shopping through the self service till and pack it into their bags. Apart from that this is a small community. The checkout is a sociable place as well as a place of commerce. Tesco's plans may or may not go smoothly but with no realistic competition so far as price goes Tesco will have it their way like it or not. The customer is only a cash supplier: a feeder of profits. 

And when they ask to go through my shopping and check that I did it correctly what will I say? I will respond "No. You may not. If you insist that I do your work then you will trust me. After all you have probably seen every move I've made and every thing I have bought on your CCTV. "