I must declare that I'm really proud of my wife. Over the course of the last month, she has been installing mesh screens on our windows, to make the house a safer environment for the cats (a fall from 17 floors effectively negates 9 lives, as it were), and she's been doing a terrific job. There's a distinct possibility that she may be even better at D.I.Y. than I am - the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is certainly better than mine.
I've been pondering the frustration I feel with my mobile phone. On the one hand, I don't think I could live without its convenience. On the other hand, I've noticed myself becoming increasingly frustrated when I receive phone calls - for example in the taxi just now when the Apple shop called me to inform me that my iPod Shuffle had arrived, and I felt so pissed off, even though all I was doing was chilling out on the ride home, listening to my iPod. I think the true source of my frustration is that the mobile phone means potential for ubiquitous disturbance. It means that time otherwise spent with the mind in low gear, churning over ideas and issues, or just allowing the accumulated emotions of the day to settle down and precipitate, is now up for grabs by telemarketers (hate hate hate), work-related calls, and other random acts of telecommunication. Most of my friends sms, which is slightly less intrusive, so the only real calls I get are from complete strangers or colleagues.
I'm toying with the thought of spending the 15 hour flight to Canada listening to all the songs on my iPod that I haven't yet. The number is surprisingly large: I tend to download entire CDs from my collection, even though only 3 songs on the album will get heavy play, so there's probably 15 hours worth - though I'm sure my battery won't go the distance.
Still on the iPod, the song that I've been listening to again and again today is "After the Parade" by Dan Bern, from the album My Country II, nicely subtitled "Songs Against Bush", which more or less tells you what the album is about, and why I had to buy it when I saw it on the shelf. Mr Bern has had my fullest support and appreciation since his album Fifty Eggs: anyone who can write a song comparing his balls to Tiger Wood's swing has balls the size of ... well, Jupiter, according to him.