January 9th, 2011

krazy koati

We are the other people too

Over Christmas we had the usual huddling together of the family and one of those rare chances to see my sister and her husband. Also my other brother, the one who's got a job up in Massachusetts, made a visit for the Eve and the Day. While he had a couple of rather nice gifts for each of us (for me, he got a little toy kit which, with emptied soda bottles, will create a mechanical boat that ``walks'' across the water) one he tossed off almost as an extra looks like it could be the biggest hit around our household since Tivo.

He took our Wii, which has been mostly a WiiFit machine since it entered the house two years ago, and installed his Netflix download instant on-demand whatever-you-call-it account on it. I don't know the right name; inexplicably, I haven't got a Netflix account of my own however logically inevitable I should seem to be as a customer. The point is we now can wave the remote around a bit and instantly discover that almost every show I think of is available on DVD only and not by streaming download.

But there are exceptions --- Better Off Ted and Black Adder being prime cases --- and my father is particularly delighted that he doesn't even have to search for movies or shows he wants to watch. He can just watch what my brother's had on his demand or recent-viewed queues, regardless of whether it's a Grotius documentary or an awful French horror-comedy (which my father claimed was ``done in Swedish chef language''). The only downside is it preempts the use of the Wii as a WiiFit tool. My father already suspects I just exercise in the evening to irritate him; this could be a whole new field of combat for us.

Trivia: 8,709 Australians lost their lives at the Battle of Gallipoli; 2,271 New Zealanders did; 86,692 Ottoman soldiers did too. Source: The First World War, Hew Strachan. And isn't it remarkable they can pin down the number of dead in a multi-monthlong combat to one-thousandth of one percent of the total figure?

Currently Reading: The Victorian Frame Of Mind, Walter E Houghton. Actually they didn't call it a ``frame'' of mind as that's too racy a word for the Victorians.