I'm pretty sure Douglas would've approved of this:

I had a tough choice of icons for this entry, had to pick a non-standard one, I have so many Dalek and H2G2 icons, but none of them link up. That may have to change...
One of the things I like about journalling platforms based on the LJ codebase is the easy shortcut for usernames that'll link to both the blog itself and the profile, with that nice little logo for the profile link.

ETA: At the top, unfortunately. The site where some of my icons was hosted, dammitja.net appears to be down, I'll be contacting the site owner ASAP, but in the meantime, the code does work, but won't display properly here using the icons I liked :-(





LJ User Icon

DW User Icon

Little Colin Baker


LJ Comm Icon

DW Comm Icon

Little Tardis!


LJ Feed Icon

DW Feed Icon

Little Dalek!

Little Peter! Little Mr Flibble! LJ userbloke
Thing is, the nice little logo doesn't always suit the style of the place it's appearing in, or the colour scheme of the layout. So, given I know how to replace them, I thought I'd update the code and add some new tweaks. As always, CSS hackery, playing with CSS is both fun and easy, I highly recommend it for people of a web-savvy nature.

I have, naturally, chosen a Doctor Who theme to my replacement images—feel free to replace them with something else if you wish. I forget where I got the original code for to do this, it's heavily updated now, but I'd like to credit the author, so if you know, gimme a link?

Anyway. Dreamwidth users should go to the DW Custom CSS page and paste the code into the big box.

Livejournal users should go to the LJ Custom CSS page and, go on, have a guess...

Yup, copy and paste the code into the box. One little caveat—it's replacing images taken from l-stat.livejournal.com, if LJ changes their CDN again, then the URL might change and the code'll stop working, I'll update it as soon as I know to, it's likely to be a simple change the letter hack (it used to be p-stat.*)

The Colin icon is taken from [livejournal.com profile] allah_sulu's Ten Doctor's. If you want to use different images, then replacing the image location is fairly easy, just make sure you also change the dimensions in the 'padding' area, the first two are effectively height and width.

I deliberately haven't done one for OpenID accounts, I might change my mind on that but I think the OpenID logo ought to be got used to. I'm considering a DW staff replacement, but not sure what I should go for (either Five or appeal a bit). Haven't bothered with sponsored Comms, probably ought to, not doing so means the image won't show up at all.

As always, feel free to link or comment with questions, etc.
The thoughts that crossed my mind as the events happened.

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
I have another poll. [livejournal.com profile] pickwick has more on the choice
[Poll #1324685]
And [livejournal.com profile] whouk has doe a different bio Matt Smith is Doctor Who

Still, in no way can he be described as a Pretty Boy, right?
The name of the actor who will replace David Tennant in Doctor Who will be announced on Saturday. There now follows a poll.
[Poll #1324226]
As always, you need to be logged in to vote, Non-LJers almost certainly have some sort of OpenID they can use, LMK if you want me to find the link to the how to I wrote.

Originally uploaded by
I want one of these. [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, can we have one of these?
Two posts in a row by completely different blogs, both discussing the Bechdel Test, which I've always found fascinating[1]. If you're not aware of it, it's a fairly simple little test to apply to an entertainment:
1. Does it have at least two women in it,
2. Who [at some point] talk to each other,
3. About something besides a man.
See? How easy is that to fulfil as an objective? Everything should pass that one, right? Shame it's not true. Shame that, in reality, a huge amount of stuff, including stuff with strong female lead characters, fails it. Even authors that consciously try to ensure their work isn't sexist manage to fail it regularly, as Charlie Stross has found out. It seems though, that despite many of the writers gender neutrality failings, Doctor Who doesn't do too badly, even taking into account the added complication of the significant central character being male.

Of course, the test isn't perfect—there are some perfectly good films where none of the characters are realistic, male or female, and in some it would be innapropriate to try to fulfil it. But for most shows or films, that are supposedley 'realistic', don't you think it should be a fairly normal thing to manage? Charlie's conclusion goes further than I think I would, but he's probably not too far off[2]:
The current decade is characterized by ... a socially conservative culture, of retreat from liberalism, and a strong anti-feminist backlash. Our popular media, far from being the bastions of liberal values ... are actually belwethers of popular culture, ... reflecting our culture's normative values back at us ... What they're showing this decade is really rather disturbing if you happen to agree with the core feminist ideological belief that women are real people too, not just baby factories and sex objects.

TV has always been bad ... but of late, the messages coming at us out of the mass media are nothing short of toxic. If movies and TV objectified people of colour the way they do women, the only reasonable conclusion one could draw would be that a concerted propaganda campaign was under way to return us to the unquestioned institutional racism of the 1950s.
Given that I watch a lot less TV than most people, and even fewer films, is he right?

[1] Or scary, or just Plain Wrong, depending on how bad the film or show in question actually is. I'm pretty sure it was [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat that first made me aware of it.

[2] I'm excising a lot of text from this quote, marked by elipses, I do think the whole post is worth reading in its own right though.

Meh. Watched it twice now. But when I went to fill in the [livejournal.com profile] diggerdydum reaction poll, the "what was the best bit?" question? Completely stumped me.

Sure, there were some nice set pieces, some funny bits and similar, but nothing stood out and made me go "cool!". Combine that with the Return of the King style multiple endings and you've got an extended episode with enough plot for about 30 minutes.

Dear Rusty, in your next job, can you learn how to write a climax and an ending please? Your set ups are great, it's just, well, meh.

Can't be arsed thinking up a reaction poll, plan to do a whole season poll tomorrow, what'd you lot think?
So, watched it last night, then went to the pub, then came back, and watched it again as a few points were bugging me. There now follows a poll, and that poll does contain spoilers.

[Poll #1213113]Overall, I enjoyed the show, but I enjoyed the penultimate show last season as well. This is Rusty's last ever finale, and I refer my honourable friends to the opinions expressed this time last year.

ETA: My friend the astrophysicist says: Basically, doing this with a planet will screw it up but he still enjoyed it.
Steven Moffat to win Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form for the 2010 series of Doctor Who.

It'll be a nice complement to his short form awards. You lot definitely liked the likely winner this year anyway.

ETA: El Reg has managed to sum up my view of Rusty's term in office quite well, so here's a link.
In other news, I am not well. Neither is SB—we've caught whatever bug Teh Shrub had last week. Consequently I'm barely reading entries and have no energy to comment much (or reply to a few comments). Normal service may be resumed if I can get a good nights sleep.
My daily digest of texts, tweets and status updates.
  • 19:29 so the next Doctor Who spin off is... #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
My daily digest of texts, tweets and status updates.
  • 18:27 is watching Doctor Who, and hoping his laptop and WiFi will stop crashing. #
  • 18:31 trying to not be horribly cynical. Honest. But if Donna could stop repeating things three times it'd help. #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
So, I haven't been doing my normal Doctor Who reaction polls so far, partially because I've been a bit bored of the whole thing, partially because I've got a bit of writers block and aren't writing much of anything, and partially because, well, Donna is annoying me and Tennant isn't getting much better. Haveing said that, tonights was actually OK, so much that I want to watch it again and try to make a more informed judgement, while trying to ignore Donna's repeating-herself-three-times annoyingness.

So, well, here's a poll for the first three episodes so far.
The Good/Bad reaction post O'Doom... )
As usual, I really want to like it, but I'm just getting jaded. I really like Tennant as a bloke in the Confidentials, I just dislike the way he plays the Doctor. I don't like Tate at all, and never have. Planet of the Ood was better than the previous two, and that it had SPOILER! ) and SPOILER! ) is cool. I shall watch it again, but I'm not sure I'm watching out of anything other than a sense of obligation and a hope it'll get better.

Still, next week has SPOILER! ). They can't mess that up. Can they?
Sat watching Doctor Who ranting at the computer while doing so. Here there be spoilers...

Cut for your sanity and because it's a point by point thing... )
I guess it wasn't awful, I think overall I would've enjoyed it if I could get past my dislike of Tate and Tennant's Pretty!Boy! smugness. Ah well, others have enjoyed it. For a more balanced view, with actual knowledge and analysis, Pen's review is rather good.

Microblogging by SMS, using LoudTwitter and Twitter.
  • 12:03 waking up and getting ready to go to Leeds. Not sure what the plan is after that but Leeds is a good start. #
  • 14:03 scared by the huge crowd in Scarbrough, not queueing for pizza, but Whitelocks had a table, yay! Leeds very busy. #
  • 18:09 wishing Inspector Sands would get his arse to Platform 7 so they turn the bloody message off #
  • 22:49 watching The Mind Robber. Zoe really does have a fine arse. #

Microblogging by SMS, using LoudTwitter and Twitter.
Went to Leeds today, Jennie's off for a hen night in York this evening so split the journey up. Plan had been to have lunch in the excellent Scarbrough Hotel opposite the station, but it was packed full of Leeds fans and all the seating was taken by a hen party, so we went on into town and ended up lucking out with seating at Whitelocks. Considering that it's the oldest pub in Leeds, it's damn impressive. Went there before[2] but not actually had a meal. Um, yeah. Menu made it look a bit pricy. Really, it's not. It's really not. I ordered veggie bangers and mash with a side of onion rings. Plate full. And really really good. Jennie had roast chicken. She got a roast chicken. Seriously. It even looked good to me, and I don't eat meat. If you're in Leeds and looking for good food or good beer, either is worth a try, and Whitelocks is just cool anyway.

We wandered a bit after that, I wanted to get hold of a book. Smiths didn't have it, but they did have a nice pile of DVDs on offer and, well, we couldn't resist, so more classic Who[1] and a few other things, including a boxed set of wooden board games[3]. Waterstone's didn't have it either, but they did have an import of Android's Dream so that's ok. We decided that out of Borders and Waterstone's, Waterstone's wins, could've spent all day there, easily. Instead we just spent money we don't really have. Ah well, books are never bad.

So, given she's off galivanting in York and I'm not in the mood to go back out, it's me, the dogs, a wide screen TV and a glass (or three) of whisky. After a nice long bath that is. What should I watch first then?

[Poll #1162622]
[1] And some 5th Doctor stuff, does that count as "classic"?
[2] our first proper 'date' as it happens
[3] Does anyone actually play backgammon properly? Never actually tried it.
Right then, managed to rewatch it without distractions via Virgin On Demand, so, well, poll[1] time (contains plot spoilers):
[Poll #1111566]
In case it's not obvious from the above, I thought it started well, had some great ideas, then, as usual with RTD's stuff, turned into an OTT "we're so cool" festival of silliness. It might be that the Doctor's messiah/god complex will be a plot point for the next season, but that's the only excuse for doing it in two episodes in a row. Good Xmas day entertainment? Possibly, but as usual, sorry Rusty, C-, Could Do Better.
[1] For those reading this via a different feed (like as a note on Facebook), the bulk of the entry is a Livejournal poll, to vote in it you need either an account or to login using any OpenID. Facebookers can use the Identitude application, but if you've got a Wordpress.com, Typekey, Technorati, AOL or other OpenID provider account you can use that if you want. Blogger users will need to add code to their template—can tell you how if you want or you can follow this simple walkthrough.
  • 20:03 thinking Rusty Davies needs beating around the head and told to knock off the mawkish sentimentality #

Look, it's better than me texting LJ directly when I'm bored, right? Plus, y'know, microblogging, it's all the rage donchaknow. LoudTwitter
Via Andrew, is it just possible that Catherine Tate might not be an awful choice?
ETA: From the comments. [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat and [livejournal.com profile] ms_ntropy have a "Hugh Jackman list", I'm now declaring SB and I have an "Alan Rickman list", because his version is oh so much better...

I suspect she's going to have an objection, but, y'know, negotiating positions...
There are still some things about the settings on this laptop that confuse me. To save a PSD from ImageReady as a Gif, if the source file was a jpg, I have to edit it with photoshop. But then when saving it from photoshop it says "saved using ImageReady" in the dialogue. But I can't find that dialogue in ImageReady. Not an issue at all, just weird. Anyway, made a new icon (some might recognise it from one of my old forum sigs, back when silly kids used to complain I wasn't nice enough when answering their idiot rules questions), and also updated a few already existing but not very good icons.

Citizen, Gentleman Keywords: Citizen, Gentleman
Words from Dr Who, idea by [livejournal.com profile] calapine, with a background by [livejournal.com profile] anabel_icons—I liked this when I first saw it, but she'd messed up the spelling, I animated it but messed up. I was said by Hartnell in The Daleks' Master Plan (reviewed here by [livejournal.com profile] nhw, a fairly high google result for the phrase), and is thus cool.

Goth, Goth Rome Keywords: Goth, Goth Rome
Animated by me, original art by SJGames—I've just always liked it, but the old version was a bit too fast and fairly static, now I've figured out how to do more frames, why not? NB, when I use it from now on I'll use the 'Goth' keyword, the 'Goth Rome' is merely there for backwards compatibility...

Think, Don't Think Keywords: Think
Russian intellectual catechism, from a t-shirt by New Statesman magazine—This comes back to my hatred of the UK libel laws, John Major, then Prime Minister, sued the New Statesman for printing an article asserting he wasn't having an affair with his caterer. The suit was spurious, and it was eventually dropped, but not until after the distributors and printers (because they can get sued to, as can a paperboy) settled out of court, and the Staggers indemnity insurance wasn't good enough.

A few more still to do, but I think I like animating quote icons like this, need to sort the timing out a little on these but overall I'm happy. Opinions?
ETA: Above images are updated versions after feedback, they'll probably get messed around with again.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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