Spent the last weekend at the spring Liberal Democrat conference just up the road in Harrogate. It's one of those events that holds a soft spot for me—my first one was 2 years ago, just 2 weeks after I'd met [livejournal.com profile] theyorkshergob, so I spent both evenings with her in Leeds—we both think we'd have ended up together regardless, but the ability to meet up in Yorkshire really did speed things up. Anyway, it was a damn good weekend.
Met Howard Dean )
Official Voting Member—the POWER )
Faith Schools—they're WRONG, damnit! )
If, like me, you want to see the end of faith schools, take heart from this policy, it's a damn fine step in the right direction, and much better than what any party had before. If you think they're a good idea? I refer you to the words of the Accord chair, Rabbi Jonathan Romain:
I want my children to go to a school when they can sit next to a Christian, play football in the break with a Muslim, do homework with a Hindu and walk back with an atheist - interacting with them and them getting to know what a Jewish child is like. Schools should build bridges, not erect barriers
Amen to that.

G'night all. Gotta take the Shrub to school in the morning, and Jennie's getting an 8am train back.
On Monday evening. [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b did, with a fair bit of help from Shrub and me, bake cupcakes. A sign that I'm getting naturalised is I'm now in the habit of calling them buns (mostly, admittedly, because Shrub gets confused otherwise). SB was in charge on Monday, because I'd not baked cakes for years (and years and years), and simply lack confidence in the kitchen.

It's not that I can't cook (granddad was a chef, I grew up around farms), more that, generally, I couldn't be arsed. But, y'know, I do enjoy cooking, so I'm trying to build my confidence up.

I learnt how not to do it

Anyway. I learnt lots on Monday. Specifically, I learnt how not to do it, and that, if in doubt, use less mix in the bun case, not more, which was SBs preference.

So, with us having eaten them all by this evening, I decided to cook some more up. Theoretically SB was going to be in the room with me making sure I didn't mess up, but that would've meant getting out of bed and that just wasn't going to happen.

I quartered the recipe

Given that we'd a) made far too many and b) they'd all overflowed the cases on Monday, we decided to quarter the recipe to make just 12 (ie one tins worth). So, from memory, I quartered the recipe.

Except that I mixed up the cake recipe and the bread recipe. So when I quartered a 800g of flour and weighed out 200g, I was actually measuring out the exact same amount of flour as we used on Monday.

Ah well. We now have a nice sponge cake as well as 126 cupcakes. I did cook 12, but, y'know, they were fresh and looked tempting. Shrub likes them too.

The sponge cake is still cooling, SB's made some buttercream icing to use as a filler, some of which is already on the buns.

Eat the mistakes

This cooking larks a lot easier than some people make it out to be y'know. As long as, y'know, you're prepared to eat the mistakes.

Nom nom nom.
Several things online have made me happy today, most of them related to the previously mentioned DreamWidth project.

Firstly, when designing the site navigation structure, they used a card sorting usability test to get it right, and came up with this navigation scheme, based around a design by [livejournal.com profile] grrliz. I've used my LJ OpenID to login at the site, and while it's superficially similar to Horizon, it just makes sense. I was stoked about this project just fromt he basic ideas behind it, that they're actually following usability and accessibility guidelines? Yowsers. I uploaded a userpic. I was asked to provide "a description for visually impaired users". Userpics will get proper ALT text. If that means anything to you you know this is cool.

Secondly, they've got what appears to be a top notch comment importer:
When I import, your comments will be assigned to the OpenID you made them with, which means you take control of them if you want )
Such a simple, simple thing to do, but apparently beyond the ken of most other import tools I've encountered.

On the subject of importing or backing up, remember when I promised I'd write a backing up how to? Well, I never did. Don't really need to now, Wordpress.com (my preferred online backup option) has upgraded their importer and launched Even Easier LiveJournal Migration. Seriously, you create an account, go to 'import', and follow the easy instructions. Mine is here if you want to bookmark it somewhere in case of LJ dying unexpectedly, I'll be turning off the search presence over there, don't want it to look like a mirror. Thanks for the heads up [livejournal.com profile] foxfirefey. SRSLY people, you can mark the whole thing as private "your eyes only", just make sure you've got a copy of your journal, just in case?

Lastly, a completely non geeky post. I post a lot of anti-religion stuff when I'm in a ranty mood. I know that not all religious types are crazy bigotted loons, but idiots like Christian Voice tend to spoil it for the sane majority. Today, I got another reminder, several people linked to:

The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone: An Immodest Proposal

Go read it. Really.

Anyway, my importer has finally finished, so time to shut down the PC. G'night all
So, most of you will have noticed that since moving in with Miss Spammy Pants I'm posting a lot less, but she's still posting lots. Now, of course, any good blogger gives away a fair bit of themselves in the persona that they blog with, but it's not the whole picture. So I thought some of you might like to know other aspects of what she's like.

Well, those of you that know me know that, well, mornings? Not really my thing. At all. Never thought I'd ever meet someone palpably worse than me. Until I moved in with her.

She's worse than me. Really, lots lots worse )

Love you darlin.
I'm awake, honest. I've had enough coffee to get me going again anyway. Doing some tidying up to my LJ, renaming tags, etc. This seems like a good enough reason to rename one of them, plus 2008 has ended so it's time to start a new 'life' tag for this year.

Appears I've posted less about what's been going on in my life this year than any other calender year that I've had the LJ. I guess being happy gives me less to write about, right? Completely skint, but there y'go, can't have everything.

I don't do new years resolutions, and, well, predictions are a bit of a mugs game, but, well, might as well.

UK: politics will dominate, likely election, bit of history explaining why )

Obama's honeymoon, potential pitfalls, hope he holds it together )

Europe, Referenda, Libertas and elections )

Meh, 7pm. Time to go pick the Shrub up from her Dad's.
There's a dialect meme (what do I call things) doing the rounds that I'm finding quite interesting, I've seen answers in Aussie, New Orleans, Yorksher, London and Real Places (ie Devon). So I thought I'd compile the common answers into a poll (linguistic shifts interest me). As always, if you don't have a Livejournal account you can login and vote with any OpenID, which everyone's got these days. So, without further ado...
[Poll #1169647]Huge bunch of sources for some of those questions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), and some of the differences and similarities are strange. Yorkshire is, from what I can tell, more "different" than most of the other places, Londoners and Devonshire folk speak more similarly to USians and Aussies thanthey do to, supposedly, fellow English peeps. Well, God's Own Country and all that. I still cause confusion calling cakes cakes and dinner dinner (seriously, the word for lunch is dinner ? How does that work?). Ah well, have fun voting y'all.

[*] Two different people who I'm sure don't read each other did the same joke for that one, just for different countries.

Off out now, discovering the joys of Bradford nightlife. Wish me luck.
Today is one of those birthday things. I knew it was coming up, because the BHA invited me to their annual event but a) I'd have had to pay and b) it was in London, so have fun all that do go, I'm sure it'll be good. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] bagrec reminded me this morning, so I half inched this image from him Charles Darwin. Evolution was, I used to think, something that we generally all just accepted, sure, there were a few minority extremists that thought otherwise, but anyone with a decent education, including the entire Catholic Church, just know it to be real, right? Unfortunately the internet reveals this to be untrue, and that someone who is an avowed Creationist has a good chance at the Republican nomination (although no chance at the actual Presidency) is something that really does bother me. Fortunately, there are voices of reason out there, including my better half, and we all know what Theory means, etc, right? Ah well, if you need a bit more explanation, ask a skientist, I recommend Debi the evolutionary morphologist if you don't have another one handy. I'm sure her hangover will allow her to answer questions in her comments ;-)

In other news, Anonymous vs Scientology had a good weekend of protests it seems, [livejournal.com profile] deathboy went to the London protest and has a good report, and the Phoenix protest got /.ed. There's a little bit of me that dislikes the thing as a whole bunch of people, including people that have their own personal different brand of sky fairy, are ganging up on the Scientologists—I'm all for mocking all religions, but a dog pile seems a bit off when your allies are also batshit. Then I remember that they're Scientologists and that it's therefore OK anyway, right?

Last up, I've been promising various people for ages a post on markets, economics, and why I like them despite being a lot of a lefty, but while that's still on the planned list with a bunch of other stuff, Tim Harford continues his climb up my "top people" list by writing a post about why markets can at times fail, and how analysis of these "externalities" can help them get back on track and do a lot of good; "Green taxes" and similar are a method of dealing with externalities, and are generally much better than simply banning stuff.

Right, that's it for now, I have a fiancée to go snuggle for a bit before [livejournal.com profile] shrublette gets home...
This is not my first post. This is just redated so it's not at the top of my journal all the time.

I'm Mat. This is my personal journal, the fun stuff. I also write in a few other places, including Not Little England (on UK politics) and TaKtiX (about gaming).

For more about me, your best bet is to read the bio and Userinfo. This post is mostly here so I can find all the tags I use easily, it may get more useful stuff in the future. It's not a 'Friends Only' Journal, but I do filter some stuff. Oh, if you're using Internet Explorer... ) go here and get help.

My Blogs: )
[livejournal.com profile] nolittleengland   [livejournal.com profile] torbaylife    [livejournal.com profile] warhammer_tx_fd
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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