Monday, 8 October 2012

What's That Noise?

You know how it is: somewhere in your house -- in a bag, under a pile of books, maybe in a coat pocket -- an electronic device is beeping, demanding your attention.  Is it a phone, a computer, an e-reader, or maybe a long-forgotten light-sabre?  Just where is it, and what does it want?  It's annoying.

I'm especially sensitized to this beeping since we had smoke detectors installed some years ago.  These things start to give out warning chirps as their backup batteries begin to run down, with increasing frequency and attention-getting volume, eventually leading up to a continuous hysterical bleep-fest, generally at about 3 a.m.  A neglected smoke alarm is utterly relentless and ear-shattering at close range, and won't shut up until it's fed.  I literally ripped one off the ceiling in anger one night. The wires still dangle from a ragged hole in our entrance hall: a memento of a frantic sleep-addled search for a fresh battery under extreme sonic bombardment.  As a result, a sparrow cheeping in its sleep at night can now bring me to instant full wakefulness.

Anyway, the insistent metaphorical bleep I have been hearing in recent times turned out to be this blog.  Ah yes, the blog... Hidden under a cushion since August and now in urgent need of recharging.

I hope you had a good summer. I didn't see much of it, such as it was, as I had to attend to the move of a complex library management system to a new database and operating system and then troubleshoot the inevitable consequences, which occupied most of July, August, and September.  In lieu of a holiday I've just spent the last two weeks hanging around at home, gazing at the rain, getting in the way.

So, not much photography has taken place, and no e-books have yet been completed.  I did manage to get out a few times, though, not least to my son's graduation ceremony.  Although I possess degrees from several universities, I have never been to an actual ceremony at any of them myself.  We were a skeptical, refusenik generation, and not taking part was our speciality.  But seeing the simple pride of some families -- particularly those from overseas, some of them political refugees -- in the achievement of their children was a humbling reminder of the point and purpose of higher education.  Oxford, I'm glad to say, is not yet the degree factory that some other -- ahem -- universities are becoming.


Graham Dew said...

Welcome back Mike. Maybe the beep was because my batteries were running low and need charging up with some idiotic millinery...

Paul Mc Cann said...

Welcome back. Your brand of esoteric nihilism (to my eyes) has been missed

Paul Mc Cann said...

Welcome back. Your brand of esoteric nihilism (to my eyes) has been missed