I don't, normally, do them. Although some of these are not bad:
10> Yoda: I will stop talking like a backwater rube and speak using normal grammar like every one else. My resolution this is. Damn!
But, y'know, maybe new year, new start, new town; some resolutions? Well, maybe some vague plans. OK.
  1. If it's a day that I'm not being paid to be anywhere, I'll try to at least get out of bed before noon. NB, climbing back into bed and deciding to read a good book or watch a DVD is perfectly acceptable, as long as I've got up at least once. I failed to do this yesterday and today. Ah well, it's not January yet.
  2. As I'm moving to a town where there are things to do in the evenings, cultural activities of note and a variety of different clubs and bars, I'll try to actually make use of them, sometimes. Maybe. In Torquay, I've an excuse for not getting out more, but in London?
  3. I'll stop reduce the amount of time I spend taking the piss out of [livejournal.com profile] nadriel. NB; these are aspirations, not promises
  4. I'll try to remember to put the newspapers for recycling before they're 6 months old. Keeping huge piles of them doesn't have a point at all now they're all archived online, and I never actually went back to refer to them anyway
  5. Drink more. SRSLY, I barely drink at all, which is daft. I include within this finding more things I like to drink than whiskey and cider.
  6. Stop trying to make long pointless lists you know no one is reading. Ah, ok then...
It's, officially, the last day of the year 2006. Not figured out yet where I'll be in 23 hours time, at least two options appeal, Hub where [livejournal.com profile] byteback and others are DJing, or THTXB, where many other friends will be. We'll see.

All this assumes, of course, that I get out of bed at all. I might, possibly, write a review of the Torchwood DVD extras, if I can be bothered; anyone specifically want me to? Lack of a response does not mean I won't, but getting one means I might actually make some effort...

Remember when I wrote this about my admissions tutor at University, Bill Tupman?
[1] Bill was the admissions tutor that let me into the course at Exeter. He was also the regular who propped up the bar in the Jolly Porter when I lived there, and a top bloke: great company and always worth a chat in the evenings. It was his course, with the 'assessed website' element that got me to learn the basics of coding and prompted me to register my first domain name. It was also, of course, his module that I failed to complete, leading me to get the BA without the (hons). Figures, doesn't it?
Well, um, Bill Tupman = [livejournal.com profile] snufkinaway, and has just made a few comments on that post.

It seems that no matter how much I dislike elements of LJ (and I am definitely decamping to Wordpress in the New Year for most of my stuff), there are other elements that have definite appeal...

(Also? The Fx2.0 spellchecker tells me I've been spelling definately wrong for years. Ah well...)
Well, I'm back online properly, and a quick glance at friends page and feeds. A lot to catch up on. If I've missed anything of personal import let me know as I'll be scanning not reading for the most part.

Spent most of the week either at my parents, Rob's or in bed with a book or a DVD. Didn't buy any electric cards last weekend, so couldn't use much that required power until Anne upstairs came back, me silly fule. Got some book tokens from my sister (she's learning), some Dr Who DVDs from my parents, and chocolate plus some cash from both grandmothers. Went and bought myself Dr Who series II and Torchwood Pt I boxing day, natch. Also bought myself the [livejournal.com profile] grrm paperback, which I'm halfway through, rather good so far. [livejournal.com profile] autopope's second novel is, I think, better than his first, and definitely the sort of SF I want to be reading, made me think and entertained. This is good.

Torchwood? Will do a proper review style thing when I'm caught up, but initial reaction? OMG yes. More please. Flawed, at times the plotting is daft, and a bit too twee in a few ways, but overall impressive, and better than 90% of other stuff out there. Also, Gwen has a rather nice arse, shame they took her out of the uniform. And Tosh is cute as well. Sorry, I'll, um, go back to reading my feeds and friends list...
Originally posted using [livejournal.com profile] sms_to_lj...

So, read the new book (Stross, Iron Sunrise) watch Dr. Who DVDs or post to LJ? How about climb into bed and use the phone to do all 3?
Just looked up a quote to add to a comment elsewhere; I first heard it in a lecture by Bill Tupman[1], and then read it when I got Salmon of Doubt. Given it's one of my favourite "life" quotes around, I'm posting it. Douglas Adams - Wikiquote:
Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
The closer I get to thirty-five (less than three years now, ouch!), the more true it becomes. Mobile phone ringtones? Just wrong, damnit, phones should RING. The Internet? Bloody marvellous, I'm making a career in it. I hope.

[1] Bill was the admissions tutor that let me into the course at Exeter. He was also the regular who propped up the bar in the Jolly Porter when I lived there, and a top bloke: great company and always worth a chat in the evenings. It was his course, with the 'assessed website' element that got me to learn the basics of coding and prompted me to register my first domain name. It was also, of course, his module that I failed to complete, leading me to get the BA without the (hons). Figures, doesn't it?
Now that's what I call a head butt...:
A SECOND World War veteran who was blinded in his right eye when he was hit by shrapnel can see again after being head-butted by a pedigree racehorse.
As always, Sunday & Monday busy, got in, checked some feeds, saw this. Weird.

Still, the ACW game I mentioned last week went well, Andy said it was "the best scenario I can remember playing", which was nice. One of the things I'll definately miss will be Monday night games.

Anyway, proper "I had a great weekend" post possible tomorrow, short version was Hub OK, seeing everyone great.
Yesterday? I burnt my finger. That'd be the finger I mostly balance a pen on while writing as well. Today?

I signed 400 Christmas cards.

As if I didn't have an intense loathing of the things already, signing 400 of them isn't fun at the best of times. Still, made a change from moving information around a computer all day.

Came home, watched a pile of Angel DVDs. Was going to post about the new update page (short version: I like it, it's an improved UI and they're taking on feedback. Plus, the RTE actually works. Yes, I normally hand code everything, but I can copy/paste formatted text now, and then go back to hand coding.

LJ's UI overall stinks. Horizon improves it, Vertigo will be even better, and the new update page will be more intuitive to newer users and reduce likelihood of posting to the wrong journal/community.

Bah. Seems like I've posted about it anyway. It also gives more space for them to add new features. Which is also good.
For those not on [livejournal.com profile] altexe in Exeter...
Exeter Rock/Goth night at the Hub, Saturday 16th December )
So, who's in, and who's able to give me somewhere to crash?

Also, the following weekend, 22nd/23rd? I get paid, and it's my last day of work in my current job. I fancy doing something, probably involving sitting in a pub with a lot of friends putting the world to rights. Anyone fancy a) joining me and b) nominating a good pub in Exeter to do so in?

NB: Good pub. This rules out anything in the J.D. Wetherspoons chain of theme bars.
When removing a pizza from the 200oC oven, try to ensure your main typing finger is in the oven glove, not directly touching the baking tray.

Screams and expletives issuing from my flat for the next hour or so may or may not subside once the pain wears off. Typing is a bit of a bugger though.
Yeah, I'm going to play again. Playtesting it is fun, and the wrinkles are getting ironed out. Some of the cheating whingers annoy a little, but there we go. I'd like to survive the next one, but that would mean getting the notification email...
Infection game card, cut for your boredom threshold )
I'll put the card into my u-info at some point soon, it's about time I tidied it up. Just got back in from Rob's, played Amun Re while battle #4, month/turn 2 (July 1861) was half completed downstairs for the ACW campaign. The CSA has taken Maryland and is pushing north into Penn State, but has caught up with the fleeing Union forces near a small, insignificant and never before heard of crossroads town of Gettysburg. This scenario is even nastier than the last one.
When you've ordered a pizza to be delivered, try to avoid jumping out of your skin and then shouting "who the f*ck was that at this time of night" when it arrives ten minutes early.

Although normally no one ever turns up without ringing first, when you've specifically invited them to, expect it (I will be so glad to get out of this place).
Yesterday, I said:
Off to see the lawyers tomorrow morning, hopefully be able to talk about it openly tomorrow evening.
And now I can. This morning, I went to see a local employment lawyer, and checked over the leaving documents. Terms of which are confidential, but I'm happy. I officially finish December 31st, but as the company shuts down for Xmas week, my last working day will be Friday 22nd. After that?

London. 95% certain on that one. I've been applying for a few jobs, but nothing concrete yet. I'll be ok financially for a month or so after getting up there, especially if I live really cheaply, so I'll be up to look for a place to stay &c a bit after Xmas/early new year, as well as obviously trying to get a job. I've unlocked my previous post from August, and I need to really put some effort in to actually making a go of this one.  The jobs market in Devon is pretty flat for mid+ management/analysis roles, even office admin roles are limited, so I'm pretty sure I'm making the right choice.

Probably the second biggest decision of my life, and almost certainly the riskiest, but hey, got to gamble a bit if you want to make it big, right?  There are a few jobs I'm after, and a few more that look interesting, beyond that?  Well, I have a new tag.  Let's see how things go, right?

Wish me luck. I think I might need it...

Oh yeah; if anyone knows of something that I'd be good at, gimme a shout?
My friends, a momentous occasion has come upon us. It is time, my friends, to join a new religion. I find this great new scheme has already been found in the mass media, and in this glorious interview he reveals himself:
Our pub quiz team is named The Church of Richard Dawkins. At a recent Oxford quiz night, we were told to change our name in case it was deemed offensive to any churchgoers present. Have you any suggestions for a " less offensive" name? RICHARD O SMITH, Oxford

And they call me intolerant! I am shocked that this happened in Oxford, of all places. I hope you win the tournament so resoundingly that you can dictate terms and call yourselves whatever you like. "Offensive" my foot.
I particularly also liked
Are people who advocate intelligent design stupid, and do you think natural selection will operate to remove them from future generations? ADAM KHAN, The Hague, Netherlands

The majority are ignorant, which is not the same thing as stupid. Natural selection will not remove ignorance from future generations. Education may, and that is the hope to which we must cling.
but the whole thing is definately worth a read. I shall forthwith petition to have this great man added to the list as our only living saint.

/silliness. And I am so glad the Independent has dumped that stupid subscription scheme that was never going to make them any money, it means I can link/exerpt rather than nick the whole thing wholesale...

And this was going to be cross posted but I'll have to do that later, seems I'm not actually a member of a few of the comms I want to send it to, and I'm due out in a bit...
my stats Ah. Oops. See, I went to Exeter today, [livejournal.com profile] granjero organised a Warlord tournament at Steve's. Took my phone with me, with my email and the login page for Infection bookmarked. Unfortunately, could only check between each, hour long, round. But an infection round is, um, 35 minutes currently (it was an hour when I signed up). Oops. [livejournal.com profile] mapp noticed and texted me, but I got the text a bit too late (reception at Steve's is awful) and logged in just as I died. Bugger. Worst bit? team stats The team's dropping like flies as well. 13 members left out of 100? Ouch. Still, an interesting idea for an LJ based game, and it can work. I suspect when this game is over, the next one will have less players, but be more organised. Being able to set a sleep mode is essential, but an 'away' mode might be useful, and possible a weekdays only mode. Ah well.

The tournament? I borrowed a deck from Chris. New Merc Warlord, interesting idea, but as Chris said, not at all tuned and in need of some work. Huge turnout from the Barnstable lads, bugger all from Exeter, just 4 of us. Still, a good day. Went up to campus to see if there was anything worth doing at GeekSoc, but no, everyone playing bloody RPGs. Need to work on that a bit, never going to keep new members if there's no one available for pick-up games. Anyone up to doing something next week?

I'm in a bit of a 'meh' mood at the moment. Off to see the lawyers tomorrow morning, hopefully be able to talk about it openly tomorrow evening. Have no plans for Xmas, no plans for New Years. Am thinking family for Xmas, London for New Years; any Londoners got any specific plans made?
I feel like someone in a Douglas Adams book. This morning, on the way to work, nice clear day, roads a little damp, beautiful rainbow over the park as I entered Paignton. I find a parking space near the office, get out of the car. It starts to drizzle a little. No problem, y'see, I like the rain...

Then it starts raining properly as I turn the corner into St Micheals Road. Then, as I turn into Conway Road, it starts raining hard. Bugger says me, getting damp now. Then, as I walk into our nice new pedestrian entrance with the long walk across the lawn? It starts hailing. I enter reception dripping wet and looking a complete mess, with lots of people there watching me, the bastards. I dry myself off, get to the desk, log into the computer, look out the window. Sunshine, the rain (and hail) has stopped.

Lunch today? I walk to my normal cafe, it's fine. When I finish and start walking back? Guess what? It starts to get worse and worse the closer I get to the office. As soon as I'm at my desk, it stops again. When I say I like the rain? Light rains yes, downpours when I'm just about to get to the office? Not good.

Anyway. Dr Who. Because they've lost so many of the old episodes as they didn't realise they'd be worth something and burnt the tapes, for some of the classic stories they're remaking them as animations. Yay! [livejournal.com profile] calapine has made some great icons and also done a fair few screencaps. Does that look cool or what? Will have to add to my wishlist when I get home...
That whenever I do one of those silly 'which character are you' tests, that I always end up as ) the main hero du jour? )

At Mike's, still, naturally. He's asleep (snoring loudly), so I've got access to his computer as he's not playing Neverinter Nights 2. Even managed to drag him to the pub earlier, despite [livejournal.com profile] lokean's complete failure to turn up. Cavern in Raynes Park, not a bad little local really, and the music/theme is trad-rock, so at least I don't want to kill the jukebox, merely tolerate it.

Went into Wimbledon this afternoon, basically for a wander, ended up in Books etc. Oops. [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween (and others who share our taste in books)? Bought more books, Susanna Clarke's latest and Alastair Reynolds new paperback ) I need to remember to join the local library...

Oh, [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks pointed us at [livejournal.com profile] bloggerheads Tim's latest project, I think I was supposed to reply to an email I missed, but there y'go. Ladies and gentlemen, we present: National Service, the follow up to Backing Blair. Nothing to see there yet, but it'll be part of the ongoing thing. Also? Those wonderful MySociety types are working on a new site for the aformentioned Blair, allowing us to petition him directly. The first one of any use is the ID Cards are evil one. Longstanding readers know my objection is to the damned register, the cards are a smokescreen, but it's still worth signing. Nice to see the Govt finally catching up to the idea that Crapita et al deliver useless websites, whereas small groups working on things as and when can do great things. Go sign.

G'night all.
When turning on the oven to heat for a pizza (yes, I know, but meh, I've got 4 hours before I need to leave the flat), make sure that you actually turn the oven on.

Turning on a cooking ring, then leaving the room to go plug in a charger elsewhere, is teh stoopeed.

So, that was what the smoke alarm went off for.  D'oh!  
Have I mentioned on here how much I like my deputy at work? She's really cool. Also, she's 8 months pregnant, and when I get back from my holiday, she'll have gone on maternity leave, so I won't be in the office with her again for ages...

Anyway. Booking my tickets )All I need to do is get there two hours before check in opens, and the flight leaves at 4.30ish. So, the coach leaving at 7.30am (ouch) getting there at 2.20pm is perfect, right?

I mentioned Zoe was cool, right? Y'know why? Oops, nearly did it again... )

5.30am! This is me, damnit!

So, if I go to sleep tonight, there is a snowball's chance in hell of me waking up on time, even if I book a taxi and ask them to ring. So, um, I'm pulling an all-nighter. First cup of coffee already drunk. Expect random spam posts from me all evening, sorry about that. Luton Airport=shed )

Firefox 2.0, theming it up good

Right, so many people I know love Firefox simply because it's not IE, right? Now, I'll admit, that's a good reason to like Fx, but despite this, there are some out there, people who seem to know what they're talking about, that still use IE, and actually like it. I have got used to the idea that sane, rational, intelligent people sometimes have strange ideas. This does of course mean that my friends list, who aren't really that sane or that rational, will have even stranger ideas. But I still don't understand a preference for IE. Ah well, YMMV, competition is good for us anyway (does anyone out there think IE7 would have been anything but a POS maintenence release if not for Fx and Opera? If you do, go get a stronger brand of coffee, please?)...

Musings on the history of Firefox, Netscape and this old farts opinions... )
So, to me, Firefox isn't new. It's not about being better than, or different, to IE. Firefox is based on the original Netscape code. The Gecko rendering engine that runs it (and the now Seamonkey suite, and also the new Netscape) is based on the old Netscape source. Browser wars? Meh, this old fart likes to stick with what he knows. Firefox isn't new, it's just what I learnt the net on, with shiny add ons and a better logo.

ETA: a lot of cuts, co's this one is huge, sorry bout that, mebbe shoud've been two posts.
Right then.  First off, on Friday morning I'm travelling to Luton to fly to Muenster for the weekend.  KoHIT beckons.  Monday, I fly back, and go to [livejournal.com profile] nadriel's place for the rest of the week (again).  So that's a week in South London, but with a guy that's working full time.  Ergo, I want a) stuff to do in the daytime and b) stuff to do when he's busy gaming and stuff.  So...

London Calling

Anyone about in London next week? )

Icons, LJ and games designers

Livejournal: the small world ) 


It's a free download at his site, Postmortem Studios. In fact, it's got a lot of background stuff as well, so non-gamers like [livejournal.com profile] faeriecween and [livejournal.com profile] jantshira may be interested regardless as, y'know, it's Neverwhere

New Friends

Must. Stop. Adding. People... )

Dreddcon: 6.5% proof!

Anyone fancy some Oxford silliness? )

So, I've got a week and a bit off work, I'm off to see [livejournal.com profile] nearly_everyone in Germany, then spending a week bumming around London and LJ has provided me much amusement thus far last few days. Also, [livejournal.com profile] strictlytrue also went to Ottery, and has pictures. LJ's cool, most of the time. It's just a damn shame that it's dying.

Oh yeah, the [livejournal.com profile] beau_bo_d_or_fd feed has started working again after the LJ crash, Rumsfeld has resigned and the Dems have retaken Congress.  I'm off to try and work out what the swing was...
Very very cool. [livejournal.com profile] angelil took many pictures until her battery ran out, and I filled the phone up as I forgot my camera. [livejournal.com profile] draxar's height was useful, and was well worth the journey.

Best bit was right at the beginning. We're approaching the pub currently active, and we can see smoke and a very packed crowd. We're making our way through it, and Pink's giving a commentary about what he can see, mostly a few flames above heads. Then I can see the smoke, then the flames, then the barrel as it heads towards us through the crowd and the crowd is getting out the way.

Next thing I know, they're coming right at me, and we're all jumping backwards. The guy carrying it runs out of energy and it goes to ground directly where I was standing a few seconds earlier. A big barrel full of flames and tar not 3 feet from where I'm standing, and a bunch of lunatics scrambling for control over it.

Utter insanity. Well worth the journey. A proper post about the politics of the thing may follow on VTX tomorrow, suffice to say the number of disclaimer announcements, signage &c pointing out that you're there at your own risk was depressing. That they palpably need to do it is even more depressing. If you're going to an event famous because people run around the streets with barrels of flaming tar on their shoulders, then you are choosing to put yourself at risk. If you choose to run around with said tar barrel, you are choosing to take on the risk. So why was the event nearly cancelled due to insurance issues? FFS

Anyway, time to watch a Dr Who episode on my newly delivered DVDs sleep...
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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