Went up to the country for a mini stag-do. Went clay-pigeon shooting which I hadn't done before. Not bad: pretty cool when you get one dead-centre and it just explodes into shreds. As beginners, they gave us some kind of girly ammunition: only taps you lightly on the shoulder when you shoot. Other people keep telling me about having their shoulder bruised black and blue, so I may fall over embarrassingly if I have to do that again.
Guy there seemed to know his stuff. Said he'd been shooting for sixty years and had never killed a living thing: seems unusual for the country, you'd have thought he'd have given it a go.
Stag guy's brother owns an gastro-ish pub, so after that it was a lot of eating and drinking there. Feels good to be going out with guys my own age: I can actually hold my own food and drink wise: even seemed less wrecked the next day than the others. At LHusi I'm usually the most lightweight drinker. For once I was the guy trying to persuade other people to do things other than collapse home.
The media really seem to be buying into the hype. Just because he's been demonised by his opponents as resembling that most odious of monsters, the Anglo-Saxon, doesn't mean it's true. He still seems to be heavily protectionist: he just happens to prefer slightly more flexible labour markets than his rivals, and favour slightly tougher immigration restrictions. Maybe they're just setting him up for sellout/betrayal/defeat stories a bit further down the line.
Promised a review of the Morphy Richards Graphite Complements Filter Coffee Maker. Certainly an improvement over the disastrous previous choice: the Cookworks Signature Aluminium Coffee Maker: fragile, leaky and producing lukewarm coffee. Still not as good as the one before that: a lovely Braun model with Space-1999 looks which I bought second hand. Ah, the memories: it lasted me 8 years or so, but gave up in the end.
So, the Morphy Richards Graphite Complements does succeed in producing decent coffee at an acceptable temperature. Features a Strength Selector which I don't mess about with much: I think that just controls the speed. Didn't produce plasticky-tasting coffee for the first week or two like the Cookworks.
Downsides: this still appears somewhat fragile, though haven't had any problems yet, and the chunky plastic look is aesthetically unappealing. Usability-wise it's not a disaster, but not actually good. The Braun had a huge opening to the reservoir, easy to put water in even under conditions of severe hangover. The Morphy Richards Graphite Complements has two relatively small openings built into the back, making it easy to spill water into the coffee cone as well as over the counter. There is also a pointless latch on the coffee cone, adding an unnecessary step to loading.
Overall, it's acceptable to live with, though not particularly well-designed or beautiful.
Oddly, despite their utter simplicity as machines, with filter coffee makers it does seem worth buying more expensive models. Cheaper ones seem to be unacceptably flimsy and poorly-designed.
I wish I had more time to watch TV. I struggle to get through even my reduced 4-disks-per-month Amazon rental. Thought things would get easier without Galactica; but there's still Heroes, Dr Who and Have I Got News for you to keep up with near live. What with chugging through the history of Civilisation and The Wire I'm struggling. Several episodes behind with The Shield, and have abandoned House if that's still going. Good thing I gave up on The Sopranos in about series. How the hell do people keep up with all this stuff? I'm living through the Golden Age of television, and somehow missing out on the defining cultural form of the era.
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