Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

Ansible: Multiple Values in a Registered Variable

Problem: you want to run a command in a loop within Ansible, registering the result of each run to a single variable, and then process those results depending on a condition. Specifically, you want to register the output of a command run over all the elements in a dictionary but then only process the elements where the command returned a particular result.

A Book Spree and a Bargain

20160918-091927 A busy week for our local delivery services. (Still, at least one of them was a slim paperback with a shipping cost 280 times greater than its sale price.)

My Whereabouts

On sunny days, I should be sat outside a pleasant café, finishing a nice lunch with a glass of wine to hand.

In Autumn, I should be sat by the fireside in a big armchair inside a cosy rural pub, resting a pint on my full belly with a large empty plate on the table in front of me.

In Winter, I must be at home, with the heating on, a blanket over my legs because the heating isn’t sufficient, something good on the telly and a large bowl of something else warm and stodgy in front of me.

In Spring, I should be sat outside near the coast, with a fresh breeze on my face and a decent picnic spread nearby.

I need you to understand that anything else you want from me at such times is an unwelcome imposition, and I am deeply disappointed that you feel it acceptable even to ask.

[Note to self: probably get some exercise at some point too, with all that food.]

When Lobbying Nearly Worked

Last year, the cabinetroom blog published a nice piece about the long lost and much lamented Euston Arch, which was back in the news at the time because the Euston Arch Trust was staging an exhibition of some of the recovered masonry in its bid to reinstate the Arch. It’s a fascinating example of an occasion when, contrary to received wisdom, lobbying the Prime Minister almost worked.

Chester Zoo’s Fountain Restaurant

The Fountain Restaurant was built in 1960 on the site of a riding school previously acquired by Chester Zoo. Its low, flat-roofed form and squared design, albeit carefully tapering outwards from the central water feature and gardens, mark it as a pleasing example of Fifties Modern architecture, of a piece with contemporaneous works such as the Pennine Tower at Forton Services on the M6 and some of BR’s rebuilt midsized stations of the period (e.g. Radcliffe Central).

A School Reunion Is Like…

Like once going to a party. A really good party. Everyone you knew was there, so you had a few drinks and pretty soon you were having a great time. You laughed, you told some witty jokes, you did some silly things but it was all in good fun and you were all getting on fabulously. So you had a few more drinks and talked more and louder because you must have been really entertaining and it was all going so well, except now you thought blurrily that maybe the other people weren’t laughing quite so much and were starting to roll their eyes a bit and smirk at each other out of the corner of your vision. They were just indulging you. You’re being patronised. You know what, this isn’t a great party anymore and they’re all false and dishonest. You didn’t need these people now. And this party’s nearly over anyway so let’s split.

Back to the Nursery

Revisiting Nursery Cryme

“Nursery Cryme”, Genesis’s third album from 1971, surprisingly features in David Hepworth’s new book covering the major releases of that year (although it turns out only on the cover, being barely mentioned in the text), and also looks likely to be one of the featured albums in the next series of Johnny Walker’s Long Players show on Radio 2. Quite a turn-up for a lesser-known work that lies just outside the canon of what are usually considered to be the ‘classic’ era progressive records.

Made by RCA

Have you heard it yet? You know, that song that bounces along while the singer trills about “X’s and O’s, they won’t let go”? Catchy as hell. Sounds like Paloma Faith, or maybe Amy Winehouse or … well, one of those types. Bound to have been on a radio near you lately.

Welcome to RCA’s newest product, skilfully developed through years of painstaking effort by trained professionals: Elle King.

Irrevocably Retro

My Glamorous Research Assistant is holding a ‘vintage tea party’ themed party this weekend, so naturally she looked at the mountain of organising, styling, designing, catering and collating that would be needed and deduced immediately that I was best put in charge of … the music. And nothing else.