RADIO SILENCE AT THE SLOG: malignant attacks, comprehensive incompetence, and contemporary crap

Once  again, the technical back-up department at Slogger’s Roost is in disarray. It is in disgrace. It is standing on the naughty step, in the corner, with the dunce-cap on.

The main computer that was bombed the week before last didn’t respond to remedial treatment, but the perpetrators left a charming little message on my final attempt to post: 666. Press any button on it now, and it types ‘666’. Most amusing…and obviously
‘user error’ on my part. (If anyone recognises that MO, by the way, could they email me on

The notebook I’m using now offers touch-screen if one’s having trouble with the keyboard. But there is no guaranteed keyboard if the touch-screen produces nothing more than fingermarks and smears. The performance monitor feature says it’s working at an average 95% efficiency, so I’m assuming this is as good as it gets.

I also own a German-made Terrapad tablet, which might just as well be a terrapin for all the use it is. Every attempt to plug into social networks evokes the response ‘you are not connected to the internet’…even when I plug straight into the router. It insists my Google password is wrong. And it takes so long to bring any news site up, by the time it connects the content is a 3rd year history module. Last week the Terrapad hinted that Greek PM George Papandreou was rumoured to be on his way to Brussels with a very fat person to discuss the subject of sovereign debt.

At 1pm here CET we had a loss of internet situation, and it morphed into an ongoing situation that was fixed about half an hour ago. I didn’t know it had been fixed, however, because at 2.30 pm the power went off. My neighbour Jean-Pierre had the same problem, and put it all down to The Heat. So I went for a siesta. My neighbour Francis pitched up as I was dreaming of Mariella Frostrup applying Arnaca oil to my shoulder blades, asking if I had current. No, I said, I don’t – and neither does Jean-Pierre. “C’est le canicule,” he opined [the heatwave], and I nodded, adding “Perhaps it’s the wrong kind of heat”. “C’est sur” he agreed, unaware of
the standard British excuse about things going wrong.

Bring back analogue, that’s my motto: you could get ten solid days of of fire, brimstone and giant hailstones in the 1970’s, and the telly never so much as blinked.
Today, one dark grey cloud and/or a grasshopper landing on the dish, and everything goes breasts skywards.

While the power was off, it seemed a good idea to replace some of the hip-hop and happening 4000 hour spots that had gone ‘plounk-tinkle’ after an average of 250 hours, so I got some ladders and went to it with vigour.

Vigour is overrated. It is overrated to the point of being, well, pointless when dealing with the contemporary spotlight. The recessed spot today is so recessive, it beats the lunacy of the eurozone hands down: not only can you not get it out, you can’t get it in either. There are bishop and actress jokes in there aplenty, but don’t distract me.

Cast your minds back all ye who are the wrong side of 35, to those halcyon days of analogue telly and STD phones, when changing a light-bulb was so easy, they made jokes about it. Extracting and replacing a low wotsername spot these days is, by contrast, a major project requiring the attendance of Health & Safety.

First there was the male-female twist bayonet approach, which was then replaced by the screw. We’re back at actresses and stage-door bishops again, so let’s move on swiftly to today’s lurch backwards, the Soyuz-Apollo docking in the dark push and swear solution. Spots in 2015 are neoliberal in the sense of being anti-Marxist, as Mario Draghi is probably the anti-Christ: Marx adopted the Hegelian analytical approach of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Recessed spotlights have completed a different route that goes easy, very easy, fucking impossible.

Observe this picture closely:P1050405At first glance, this has the air of a lotech kitchen brush for tackling those stubborn greasy plates….a format redundant for all those lucky souls who own a dishwasher. But this now eschewed thingy has one huge advantage when it comes to the replacement of 21st century spots: the suction pad.

Here’s what you do: lick the pad, lick the surface of the bulb you’ve been trying for weeks to remove, and bond them together. Push very hard, twist anti-clockwise et voila – the insect and dust encrusted spotlight emerges. Do the same with the new spot, and it docks successfully at only the 27th attempt. This is an enormous step forward from the 468 twists without suction that resulted in repetitive strain injury and €250+ invested in physiotherapy, plus desperation, obscenities, the frustrated swinging of hammers, and the planning of anti-social Jihadist attacks on lighting manufacturers with a view to taking designers hostage. (The main hope would be that negotiations for their release fail)

Anyway, I’ve not the faintest idea what happened today, except that I began erecting the new terrace’s trellis this morning, but retired hot at 10.30 am in the face of hyperdrive dehydration syndrome.

Has Berlin exploded? Is Jereboam Drivelbloke still in a job? Has Janet Yellen had a nervous breakdown? It’s time to go and look….