Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Empire of the senses

Speed tends to be regarded as anti-social. The knee-jerk image is of a nineteen-year-old son of a property developer driving a Porsche Carrera to the detriment of pushchairs, unattached dogs, zimmer-supported oldsters and wimpled nuns on zebra crossings. But speed comes in different forms.

My new computer has a 3.1 GHz processor and is blindingly fast. Yet “fast” in this context is relative. Booting up takes just over a minute compared with about three minutes for its predecessor which worked on a damaged version of Windows XP. Re-loading Photoshop Elements (more than half a gig of software) was done and dusted in less than fifteen minutes. So what? Why not instantaneously? What did I do with the saved minutes?

To tell the truth the minutes don’t matter. The improvement is rated in units of sensuality (mink-strokes – which I’ve just invented). And like most forms of pleasure it will die away with familiarity. But just for the moment… ahhhh!

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME This year Mrs BB’s birthday was marked by the viewing of three consecutive rugby games on TV and some compensation was in order. Hence the reservation of the De Pamier Suite at a swanky hotel in the Alkham Valley between Folkestone and Dover. But how much benefit can one extract from a hotel suite? Both bed-chamber and lounge were furnished with televisions but lack of any physical barrier between the two meant that simultaneous usage seemed unlikely. What did divide the rooms, however, was a small step on which I stubbed my gouty big toe. There were fewer complaints about the bottle of champagne which came the package.


marja-leena said...

Sensuous speed indeed! We do take it for granted but would not give it up, so enjoy!

And a belated happy birthday to Mrs BB! Swanky hotel and champagne can make up for much :-)

Relucent Reader said...

I like the USB plugs on the front of the machine, saves wrestling the thing 'round for new or replacement. Good luck with it.

A very happy belated birthday to Mrs. BB.

Julia said...

Happy Birthday Mrs BB!

Speed in machines (and thus in websites) is absolutely pleasing. Last weekend I was monitoring one of our sites as I knew it would be getting a lot of viewings at once. When we hit 1300 users a second and the site still ran prettily, that was pure pleasure. I've never wanted to pat a server on its head before, but I did then!

Plutarch said...

People no longer speak of women as being "fast", which always struck me as a rather attractive thing to be, what ever it was intended to mean. Why not fast men? With computers, too, I suppose, the term could have several levels of meaning.

Hattie said...

Of course there is the bumper sticker, "Speed kills." My computer is pretty nice, but I have the dreaded Vista.
I've been in suites with 2 tvs. What's that about?
Hope that toe gets better real soon.
My word verification is baings, which is what they call them in the south.

The Crow said...

Belated birthday greetings to Mrs. BB; hope the day away from home was very pleasant - at least a dozen mink-strokes of pleasure!

Your sensuality unit of measure invention is the cat's meow, BB, one I think Asimov would have been giddy to include in his book, The Measure of the Universe.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: I feel guilty twice over. For contributing to the hum-drumness of Mrs BB's birthday and (re the rest of you) the fact that this occurred in mid-March. Your wishes gratefully received.

M-L: There is no other adjective, and the result is a frisson.

RR: Well spotted. In fact that feature deserves a post all its own.

Julia: We're all breaking out into unaccustomed epithets. (eg, "the site still ran prettily"). I note you were tempted (to pat the server on its head) but I assume a cool customer like you would never have have given into such an anthropomorphic gesture.

Plutarch: Has "fast" in that sense become "louche"? I yearn to use it in conversation but fear I would be misunderstood.

Hattie: I have Windows 7 and will be posting about it. A year ago I bought Mrs BB a laptop for which the USP was: Despite the introduction of Vista, this still runs on XP.

The Crow: I shall look for other opportunities of re-cycling mink-strokes. Trouble is the subjects are likely to be louche (see above).

The Crow said...

I know about La Louche, from an experience in the Old Absinthe House in the French Quarter from my younger (21) days, and the stories surrounding its use as a nefarious intoxicant for debauchery.

Is this what you mean?

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: Louche means "morally dubious, disreputable or seedy" which seems to deny a strain of meaning I've always attached to the word: "nevertheless not without its/his/her attractions." I've just checked it in the French dictionary and it seems my attachment is unjustified. Shame.

The Crow said...

Hmmm...la Louche (vis-a-vis the liquor absinthe) is the ritual of service, wherein the absinthe is poured over a suger cube seated in a strainer or slotted spoon into a glass of ice water. According to the bartender at the OAH in the Quarter, the changes the liquor goes through when it hits the icy water, from deep green to cloudy to opalescent pale green, reflects the changes in the mind of the person who drinks it. We think we know reality before we drink, our minds become briefly clouded after we drink, then begin to see the world through the new light of the green opal. Sounded good when he told us, anyway.

The bartender also told us that many a young girl had lost her purity as a result of that drink, some of whom, he said, walked the streets of the Quarter every evening. I think he might have been trying to warn us about the evils of drink.

That was the only time I had absinthe.

Julia said...

Computers are like pets, they reflect their owners and thus are quite tempting to anthropomorphize.

Sir Hugh said...


christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christopher said...

Stubbing one's gouty big toe...

*expletive deleted* - repeat as needed.

Waiting to see if it causes a real flare up. The sense of doom in that is unique in my experience.

I suffered full blown gouty toe twice in the nineties. Every time I have a twinge I start praying that it will ease off before going full blown. Each time so far that is what has happened, but I know the gout is there. I can feel it at all times.

I no longer do this but there was a decade when I kept indomethicin in a fresh supply just in case so I could start it before suffering too long without the drug. It seemed to me that the NSAID would take a few days to work no matter from where I started, so sooner would be better.

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: I used a Mac seventeen years ago. It was good but I was never tempted. It breeds a dubious type of enthusiast who wears sandals (Krocs a possibility), eats muesli by the stone, flagellates himself during Lent and eventually suffers from bad breath.

Christopher: My gout has endured for forty years or so. It is controlled with allopurinol and is occasionally resurrected through trauma. In this instance the comparatively low-grade pain died away possibly as a result of the shared champagne and a further shared bottle of burgundy durng dinner.

Rouchswalwe said...

Here I am with late but hearty birthday greetings for Mrs. BB!!