So, it's summer, which means us school employed non-teacher types get time off. And, unexpectedly, this li'l stepdad found out yesterday that stepdaughter is at Dad's all next week so I have a completely free week with no plans (and very little money).

So I'm tidying, and have even managed to clear the office desk to plug the lovely little netbook into the big flatscreen monitor and decent keyboard. This is a Good Thing. Except, I've got very very used to the netbook over 18 months. It's got a 1024*600 display, and I'm used to seeing everything, including webpages, on a screen that size.

From Blogpostpics
This monitor? 1280*1024. That doesn't sound massive, and it's dwarfed by, say, my father's iMac, but I'm so used to small it seem huge to me now. Here's a screenshot of my browser window resized to netbook size within it. See what I mean? Size matters not? Whoever told you that was your enemy ;-)

Anyway, now I've got the desk setup, I want to try and get more work done, more writing done, and hopefully some coding work on DW, this means I'll likely be spending more time procratinating and linking to cool stuff. I know, I've said that before, but, y'know, stranger things have happened. Now, as you probably know, I redid the Delicious Glue linkposter awhileback to make the whole process easy (and therefore likely I'll do it). I can set it to appear at any time whatsoever GMT. [personal profile] andrewducker has his set for 11am GMT, [personal profile] miss_s_b has hers for 9am, mine's currently set for 9pm but I'm not sure that's the best time. Basically, when it runs, it takes all the links I've posted for 24 hours and puts them here as a digest. What time of day suits you best if you like to read them? I ask because some like stuff to amuse when they're supposed to be working, some when they're on a break, some when they're eating breakfast/travelling, others just before they turn in, and I, frankly, don't care.
Poll #7581 Linkspam posts
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

Posts with multiple links and a bit of comment on them (ie Delicious style posts)

View Answers

Are a great source of interesting things
11 (91.7%)

Can be interesting and show more of the person linking
9 (75.0%)

Are normally dull and I skip past them
0 (0.0%)

Are really annoying and I'd like the to die (but will be happy if Mat shows me how to hide them from display)
0 (0.0%)

5 (41.7%)

Linkspams please me when I see them

View Answers

First thing in the morning (ie before 9am)
3 (25.0%)

At some point in the morning so I can read them for 11ses
4 (33.3%)

At lunchtime
4 (33.3%)

Mid afternoon (for the end of the working day)
6 (50.0%)

Early evening to digest after work
5 (41.7%)

Late evening for nighttime entertainment
7 (58.3%)

6 (50.0%)

Hey, look, tickboxes for everything. Yup, you're allowed more than one opinion on the same topic, aren't I a good little liberal ;-)

More stuff to follow, likely, unless I got play Goldeneye for a bit. Actually, breakfast would make some sense. I'll go do that.
In actual terms, someone earning about £25K today is close to the average, and probably struggling to get by. But a hundred years ago, that would've been a very comfortable living. Two hundred years ago, that would've put you in the very wealthiest sector of society, with servants to do your bidding and every need catered for.

Triple that today, you're looking at a good earning for a member of the professions: a doctor, a lawyer, an MP. A hundred years ago, it'd give youa millionaires lifestyle. Two hundred years ago, a billionaires lifestyle. So I thought I'd do a poll...

You need to be logged in in order to take part in the poll. You do not need a Dreamwidth account, use your blog url as an OpenID here, you can also use your Google or Yahoo account, just type or in the OpenID box.

Poll #5213 The days of yore
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 23

You have a fixed income of £75,000 per year, when would you rather live

View Answers

19 (86.4%)

3 (13.6%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

You have a fixed income of £75,000 per year, when would you happily live

View Answers

22 (100.0%)

12 (54.5%)

9 (40.9%)

8 (36.4%)

You are male and have a fixed income of £27,612 per year, when would you rather live

View Answers

10 (47.6%)

7 (33.3%)

1 (4.8%)

2 (9.5%)

1 (4.8%)

You are male and have a fixed income of £27,612 per year, when would you happily live

View Answers

20 (95.2%)

13 (61.9%)

10 (47.6%)

8 (38.1%)

You are female and have a fixed income of £22,152 per year, when would you rather live

View Answers

14 (73.7%)

5 (26.3%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

You are female and have a fixed income of £22,152 per year, when would you happily live

View Answers

15 (93.8%)

4 (25.0%)

4 (25.0%)

3 (18.8%)

My answers to the above poll, with some explanations )
OK, testing again. Using the Dreamwidth poll wizard, then looking to see if/how polls crosspost to LJ. Odds are you'll need to login with OpenID to vote, etc, but it's about time you did that anyway.
Poll #197 Poll wizard testing
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 24

You use the Web posting form for

View Answers

all of your posts
13 (56.5%)

most of your posts
4 (17.4%)

some of your posts
2 (8.7%)

none of your posts
2 (8.7%)

What is this posting thing of which you speak?
2 (8.7%)

The web posting editor

View Answers

You use the HTML page
19 (79.2%)

You use the Rich Text page
1 (4.2%)

You switch depending on need/mood
2 (8.3%)

I told you, I don't use that page
2 (8.3%)

The Rich Text page poll wizard

View Answers

Of course I knew it existed
9 (37.5%)

You didn't? But I thought Mat knew everything
6 (25.0%)

It's quite nifty isn't it?
3 (12.5%)

You mean there's an easy way to post polls?
5 (20.8%)

Polls? That means having a paid account
5 (20.8%)

Ticky Box! Ticky boxes are cool
15 (62.5%)

There is no spoon

View Answers

Yay Matrix!
11 (50.0%)

Yay Dog Soldiers!
6 (27.3%)

4 (18.2%)

Mat's forgotten the crucial cultural reference that I shall elucidate in the comments
1 (4.5%)

So, having been regularly getting books out from the local library[1], I was tempted to try the "classic" Heinlein that I'd never read. It's recommended in the Guardian's 1000 books list, the only one of his works, and as I've enjoyed[2] many of his other books, even those dated, I finally got around to taking it out and trying to read it.

It's the revised 'preferred' version, so it's long for a Heinlein and, apart from the obvious not aged very well problem, it seems to suffer in some way. I'm not, actually, enjoying it. I'm about 1/3rd of the way in for those interested. So I thought I'd ask you guys what you think of him and the book.
[Poll #1340941]
[1] The only books by [ profile] autopope that I haven't yet read are currently waiting for me to go pick them up. If you're not sure, let Crooked Timber explain Why you should read Charles Stross as part of their Stross book event which I linked to earlier in the week but perhaps didn't push enough. I've not had time to read all of it yet, but what I have read is cool. Especially the Nobel Laureate geeking about the parallel worlds fantasy books...

[2] I read Citizen of the Galaxy and I think a couple others as a teen, and enjoyed what I can remember, I mean to reread at some point. I've read Starship Troopers both as a teen and an adult, and find it a great fun entertaining book with some dodgy politics; I'm one of those rare beasts that prefers the film because of the politics, even if Verhoeven did mess that up quite a bit. Farnham's Freehold is, however, a bit of pulpy trash best consigned to the dustbin of outdated books.
Heh. The Honourable Lady Mark[1] mourns the death of Ricardo Montalbán, saying:
[he] is probably best known in this country for his role as the proprietor of Fantasy Island
Which, quite frankly, is probably wrong. So I decided to solve the discussion by science. Well, an LJ poll[2]:
[Poll #1331922]
So, who is Ricardo Montalbán? You decide.
ETA: Yeah, OK, typos in the poll, too late to edit. It's 1am, I did proofread, honest.

[1] He married a Baroness who went on to become a President, what else do you call him?

[2] I studied polling theory. I know exactly how scientifically (in)valid an LJ poll is. But you can vote with an OpenID, so people thinking the self selecting sample of my readership is biased are free to promote the poll elsewhere.
I have another poll. [ profile] pickwick has more on the choice
[Poll #1324685]
And [ 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.
Yesterday, I did finish reading [ profile] autopope's Jennifer Morgue. It's a damn fine James Bond pastiche with casinos, yachts, a submersible car and Great Old Ones—I commend it to the housereadership.

By random chance, It was revealed today that my good friend [ profile] innerbrat, despite being a smart, educated Brit in her mid twenties, has never seen a Bond movie. Now, while I am tempted to complement her parents for managing to raise her and not once have ITV on on a bank holiday, I am completely and utterly amazed that she has managed to never see a Bond movie. Given that I am always aware of the potential problems caused by the small numbers fallacy, I thought I'd find out if she's actually less unusual than I think. Poll time:
[Poll #1296178]
See, I read the books mostly when I was a kid (I distinctly recall reading a fair few while on the caravan holiday in France, which dates it to 1986 just before I turned 12 and started grammar school). I can remember both enjoying reading them and being surprised at how different they were to the films—Bond got married in one, and was getting over her assassination in the next, there was distinct character development and Moneypenny was a bit part.

They were, without doubt, a product of their time, which is why the new films are even further away from them, even if elements (Bond's character) do seem closer than the earlier films. At times I consider going back to reread them, then decide life is too short and I've got far too many other books to read (like the rest of [ profile] autopope's books for a start). Anyone else read enough of them as an adult to have an opinion one way or t'other?

Jennie posted a slightly different poll rating the movies awhileback for those of you that are poll obsessed or merely didn't see it.
Some people clearly have too much time on their hands. Would you do this:
Poodle with a ninja turtle hairdo
to your dog? Via
[Poll #1288095]
So, today, we did go to the Library. It was shut for renovations most of the summer so I couldn't register, but it's now reopened. It is a typical small English town library, gifted to the town by the effective founder, and has an attached art gallery. It's gorgeous.

I registered (painless process all on computer), but forgot to ask how many books I'd be allowed. Given that when I grew up in Devon it was 4, Exeter uni was I think 6, and Merton in Wimbledon was similar, while browsing I chose a pile, then put several back on the shelves.

When checking out, I did ask the question. 20.

You can take out 20 books at once

Plus it's a gorgeous building, in a nice park setting, and it's less'n ten minutes walk. I need to remember to return my books on time and not get banned from this library. Plus, as SB discovered, they seem to have a complete set of Asterix books. Shrub's likely a little young for them. Probably. Anyway...
[Poll #1286302]
I did see it on the shelf, and made her take it out to read. Pretty sure I leant [ profile] susannah_banana my copy, else I'd have put it top of her pile already.

Shrub's already read the two books she took out. Which means given it's half term I might have to take her back for more. What a shame. I'll have to force myself.
Two things. 1) I won my category in the Blog Awards. You all have very bad taste. This puts me through to the second round, so, y'know
The Yorksher Gob -SB's blog of the Year: Sexiest Male Blogger
Vote me for overall winner!
[Poll #1247348]

2) We're off to Devon to visit family as of this afternoon. Staying at my octagenarian grandmothers in Slapton, where we're likely to be completey net deprived, travelling back Thursday. We'll likely visit people with internet and/or go to a cafe at some point, but don't expect SB's normal level of spamminess let alone anything at all from me.

Have fun y'all, remember to vote...
Right, you (yes, YOU) have less than 24 hours to vote in SB's not-taking-the-piss-honest Prestigious Blog Awards, and given I'm looking likely to win one (with the guy I voted for chasing me from behind) it's probably worth a final plug. Because I know you lot are lazy bastards, I've replicated both the list of finalists and the poll itself under the cut. Those of you using other (lesser) blog platforms will need to log in with OpenID, instructions here, and if you're too lazy to do even that then you shall get a glowering look when next I see you...
The finalists are... )
[Poll #1243314]

For some of the above links to off-site blogs I've added in links to their LJ syndicated feed if I could find it quickly, even with my nifty LJ Addons insets it was a PITA so I missed a few more than I intended, but still.

Also, if you want to be nice and plug this on your journal, have a copy/paste text area of the links and poll code:
So, the purchase of the Ka has provoked much discussion here and elsewhere[1] (bunch of petrolheads and weirdoes), and Jennie has decided that she wants to name it[2]. She has a preferred option[3]. I'm not too keen[4]. So I thought I'd enlist some help from you lot[5]. There now follows a poll[6]:
[Poll #1231865]
I mean, seriously, why would you want to give your car a name, let alone a silly pun? Oh, wait, I'm in Yorkshire, it's Jennie. Combine the two and I'm doomed, aren't I?

Oh, the other scary thing? She went to the post office today to pay her wage in, and I met her at Sainsbury's to do some shopping. She'd bought a copy of the Highway Code and some L plates. Be afraid...

[1] A friends locked post at her personal journal.
[2] It's a really stupid idea of a name.
[3] I mean it, really really stupid.
[4] I hate it.
[5] Help me oh friends list, you're my only hope.
[6] As always, non-LJers will need to login with an OpenID or create an LJ account to vote.
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.
What's your reaction to a chance to go on a decent rollercoaster? The reason I ask this is because we[1] went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach[2], and Jennie insisted on going on as many of the big fast rides as possible. At one point she observed to one of the crew "I'm not bothered, but he is"—meaning me. The thing is? I wasn't bothered, just really really not caring. I just don't really see the appeal of most of them—one of them, the Revolution, announced itself as "the most thrilling ride of your life", but to me it was merely meh. I figure there are four main reactions to these things, so I thought I'd find out.
[Poll #1209471]
It's not that I didn't enjoy the day out—both [ profile] shrublette[3] and Jennie were obviously really enjoying it, and some, especially the 'family' rides were good. I just was completely unmoved by the Big Dipper et al. The Avalanche was quite good, and the Mouse was actually scary as it felt like we were falling off at every corner, but I wouldn't say I really enjoyed them that much.

You? Do you like rollercoasters?

[1] We being [ profile] snapesbabe, her daughter [ profile] shrublette—it being her 5th birthday Friday) and her dad (who runs her YouTube channel)

[2] It has a flash thing that autoplays with music, fair warning for those of you that don't have flashblock as a standard install.

[3] So much so that some of them, notably River Caves, Derby Racer and Grand Prix she went on again, and again, and again (and again). Fortunately Daddy volunteered to redo fair few of them...
One of the things that always bugs me online is different peoples reactions to plot 'spoilers' for media things—unpredictable and at times downright weird, as Nick Mamatas demonstrated last month. Now me, I tend to seek them out for shows I like—before the internet I had a subscription to SFX partially for the spoiler zone section, I loved reading about shows way in advance and knowing what would happen. But then I tend to rewatch stuff I like a lot anyway. So, inspired by this old poll at [ profile] nmg's, I thought I'd update it a bit.

Warning though, below the fold are some minor spoilers for recent films such as Iron Man, Harry Potter 5 and Spiderman, and also endings/character reveals for Hamlet, Sixth Sense, Citizen Kane, the Star Wars trilogy, Soylent Green and Fight Club. Nothing is revealed that isn't on this classic t-shirt but if you really are that averse, just scroll to the last question...

[Poll #1199471]

Obviously some things, like the end of a genuine mystery, are worth hiding if that's how it's written—knowing who did it never seemed to hurt my enjoyment of Columbo though, and a chunk of my reading is always history books where, y'know, I normally know the ending. It's not what happens that matters to me, it's how—I'm there for the ride, not the big splash at the bottom. You?
Right, Richard posted a poll (go vote) about the CDs on his desk, and said we should do the same. Well, this isn't exactly the CDs on my desk, it's the stack I just moved from the base of the stairs as I'm vacuuming[1]. It's basically the stuff Jennie's taken to work over the last few weeks and not put back into the CD shelves yet. So, which of them would you choose to listen to?
[Poll #1195103]
Bonus special points—6 of them are my CDs, want to guess which?
[1]You can tell I'm vacuuming, right? Definitely cleaning the house, not at all distracted and sat back at the computer again. Why she thinks I love the thing is beyond me, we got it to clear up after her filthy dogs...
So I thought I'd post a poll on this auspicious date. Oh, and ask opinions on the new Indy film as I've sen mixed reviews from people that normally have similar opinions.
[Poll #1193737]
Also, am watching Sunshine on DVD. It's shit, unfortunately, I'd heard that people that liked Event Horizon liked it and others didn't, as I liked that film, I thought I'd give it a go. Ah well.

ETA: It's stripped out the link to John's Wedding speech from the anniversary bit, silly LJ.
I've mentioned that shared brain thing, right? I finished reading something, got up to go check on the pizzas, stole a kiss from Jennie on the way past and said I had a poll to post when I got back up. She showed me her screen and asked if it would look a bit like this. To which the answer is yes, yes it would. Female voters 'fancy Cameron' apparently, but we're both convinced it's the old shag, marry or kill question, so here we go.
[Poll #1187280]
(trying inserting her poll into my post, might not work, will likely take you to her post when you vote, never done this before)
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?
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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