A dull thud in the hall as a new phone book came through the letter box this morning. For years now we’ve put the phone books and yellow pages straight in the paper recycling as soon as they arrive — they provide no value to us.
I left kateaw peeling vegetables in the kitchen while I followed the delivery chappie down the road; I flagged down his car as he was leaving the street and handed the phone book back to him. He seemed rather cautious while winding his window down — I wonder whether he is used to getting a negative response to his junk mail. Or maybe me waving a phone book at him wasn’t a welcoming sight.
Years ago, when I actually bought physical paper magazines, I remember the routine of shaking a magazine in the newsagent, before buying it, to get rid of all of the advertising inserts. Pretty sure some newsagents provided a bin for that purpose. I suppose that was primitive, physical, ad blocking.
Now I can’t come to terms with buying something that will be disposed of when I’ve finished reading it. It is mad that we create so much printed material that will meet the recycling bin.
I look at my friends and colleagues, and see a wide variety of political opinions. I might disagree with somebody’s politics, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have good reasons for their beliefs, and it doesn’t stop me valuing them and liking them. And arguing with them.
It seems to me this is a basic requirement for living in a democracy: the acceptance that other people’s opinions are as heartfelt as one’s own, and that just because they see the world a different way, it doesn’t make them bad. I strongly believe that most people are honest and caring, even though that may be expressed in different ways.
From observation I think that many people on the right of politics look at that on the left with a little condescension, perhaps with a belief that most people grow out of left-wing politics as they assume the responsibility of life, but see them as being well-meaning if misguided.
More worrying is the intolerance of some of those on the left of politics, who use hate language to describe those on the right. This has always occurred, but is more apparent than before on social media. There is a disconnection between lefties using words like scum, evil, and fascist, and the reality of Tory voters’ concerns.
Which has to go a long way to explain the “shy Tory” factor; Tory voters are less likely than others to identify as such in opinions polls, in normal social interactions, and online. It is saner to avoid rather than engage with the intolerance and bigotry of those who fling around insults yet make no effort to understand others’ politics.
I wonder whether we will see a parallel “shy Labour” factor in Scotland, since so many anti-Labour insults have been flying around.
My broadband seems to be getting slower and slower. A few years ago I could connect at 11Mb/s, but now I’m lucky to get 7Mb/s. I searched for something better, and was was pleased to see that St Andrews now has FTTC available.
I rang my ISP this afternoon to see what they could do, and the result is that we’re being upgraded to FTTC on Monday 8 September. Apparently we’ll need a visit from a BT engineer to fettle our master socket, and AAISP will send me a new router.
We should get around 40Mb/s, with the option to upgrade to 80Mb/s. Looking forward to it.
This evening I’ve been organising Beth’s birthday party. She was 10 in the middle of last month, but we were away around her birthday (and many of her friends are away in July), so we decided to put her party off till the end of the school holidays.
So the party is in a week’s time, and like last year, we’ll spend an hour playing on the beach followed by lunch in the garden at home. (Beth’s choice this year is pizza. And cake, obviously.)
I bought a Canon EOS M a couple of weeks ago. I’d fancied one since they were released in 2012, and when I saw that Currys had the kit on clearance for £150, it was a no-brainer. I also got the 22mm f/2 pancake lens, which I think will live on the camera as my walkabout lens, and the adapter ring to use the larger Canon EF and EF-S lenses.
Up until now I’ve been using a Canon 300D as my main camera. While significant at the time — it was Canon’s first cheap digital SLR — the body is now ten years old.
Odd that lenses outlast camera bodies. My main low-light lens is an EF 50mm f/1.4, a 1993 design that is still current in Canon’s lens range.
The EOS M is a revelation of technology compared to my 300D. So small, and mostly a joy to use. I’m missing having a viewfinder; the touchscreen is hard to see in bright sunlight, and I haven’t yet come to terms with looking at the screen for manual focus, but I guess I’ll adapt. The camera body is so small that the older EF lenses seem massive in comparison.