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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Josh's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
7:55 pm
Black Armada
So, frax, chrestomancy and I have started a website about roleplaying. If you're one of the increasingly exclusive club of people on LJ, you should totally check it out.

Edit: You may even wish to know where to find this mythical website. If so, point your browser at http://www.blackarmada.com

There's even a free game there for download. It's a zero-prep game where you play a group of people who were traumatised by a childhood adventure in a magical world (think Edmund suicidal over causing the death of Aslan[*]), and now in therapy for it as adults. We're beta playtesting it now, so if you do download it let us know what you think!

[*] PS: Spoiler alert. :D
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
7:58 pm
Some positive arguments for AV
I've been hearing a lot of pretty stupid arguments recently on electoral reform. They have largely been based on very marginal, technical cases and negative arguments rather than positive reasons to support one of the two systems on offer. In my view there are strong positive reasons to vote for AV.

You can read about them by clicking hereCollapse )

I haven't addressed the standard (negative) arguments about electoral reform here, but happy to chew them over if anyone wants to. In my opinion, they are a distraction, most of them based on marginal considerations or even illusory. It's the positive arguments that should win out. AV lets you express who you want to win - and who you don't want to win. That's why I'm voting yes in May.
Monday, February 8th, 2010
7:45 pm
Restaurant Review: St Johns
Saturday evening was my birthday meal, and the restaurant really deserves a write-up.

Nom Nom NomCollapse )

So, yeah. Definite recommendation. Even if you don't fancy the nose-to-tail thing, they have simple dishes like roast beef which I imagine would be pretty fantastic.
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
9:25 am
UK DEBT AT ALL TIME HIGH, PANIC PANIC PANIC
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6840749.ece

...Wait, no. Sorry. Panic over.



It is really starting to irk me that those calling for massive cuts in public spending, and saying that continuing to spend at this time would be "economically illiterate" can't handle very simple economic concepts like growth and inflation.

Current Mood: furious
Friday, September 19th, 2008
7:47 pm
Computer horror
So, I bought a new laptop. It looks nice. It runs well. Even Vista doesn't suck as much as I thought it would.

However.

The DVD drive appears to be fubared. It displays ok, and I can read files. Plus I managed to install Microsoft Office. But it seems to become randomly disconnected. I get "the device is not connected" messages when I try to install from a CD. Or worse, it starts installing and stops halfway through with a similar message.

I've tried uninstalling the driver, and reinstalling (well, Vista does the latter automatically). But I'm thinking this is a physical problem with the DVD drive.

Anyone recognise this error? Is there an easy way to fixenate it, or shall I just call the manufacturer for a replacement?

Edit: It looks like I fixed it, by uninstalling an "AHCI controller", whatever that means. Vista reinstalled it, of course, but with a different (earlier!) version of the driver. *shrug*

(I got this idea from an internet forum, of course. I don't even know what the above process was, or why it worked!)
Saturday, June 21st, 2008
9:52 am
Hyperinflation
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/cartoon/

I know it's just a cartoon, but. Hyperinflation?! Do they even know what the word means? Sometimes I think the newspapers hanker after the days of world wars and cold wars and tumultuous economies. They want the world to be like that now.

Or maybe they just want to make it sound that way, because it sells more papers. Yes, I think that is it.
Friday, June 6th, 2008
7:08 pm
Silence in the Library
Just caught up with it on iplayer. How awesome was that! Steven Moffat is doing exactly what I've been wanting for ages. So glad he's taking over from Russel T Davies.

Current Mood: excitable
Thursday, April 24th, 2008
1:20 pm
Secrets of the Universe
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/apr/24/physics.sciencenews

Summary: Dark matter - it was under the sofamountain all along.
12:54 pm
Zimbabwe
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/24/zimbabwe.china

Summary: South african dockworkers refused to unload chinese weapon shipments bound for Zimbabwe. They have been turned back! South Africa's President says there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, but it looks like his people don't agree. Good on them.

Current Mood: impressed
Sunday, April 20th, 2008
6:04 pm
Du jardinage
It is very difficult to find time for gardening. When I get home I'm tired. Even if I can be bothered to do the work, it's often raining, or just unpleasantly cold. And of course socialising, gaming and other such activities get in the way.

Nevertheless I have been making slow progress on the Vegetable Plot MK II. For the 8 months or so, this area has been covered with old carpet material - enough to keep the light out and kill the grass but let the soil breathe (I have no idea whether soil really breathes). For the last couple of months I have been methodically digging up the (dry, withered, but still apparently intact) turf, and the soil underneath. Having dug a nice big hole, I place the turf in the bottom (roots up) and cover it with soil again. It is my fond (albeit basically unfounded) hope that this will stop the grass growing back in the short-term, while allowing me to plant over the top.

After all that time, I have managed to dig over an area 6 foot by 7 foot, enough for three rows of 8 potato plants each. My pace is accelerating though, as the days grow longer and the weather less horrid. I hope to increase the size of the plot by a little over twofold, so there's also space for a mixed bed of leeks and carrots (the leeks allegedly repel carrot-fly). The last frost is supposed to be in the next week so I can do some planting soon.

frax has a little set of tomato and chilli plants growing in the living room, too. We're aiming to grow less plants but give them more time and care this year, in the hopes that we will get more in the end. Then there's the fruit trees and bushes, which were neglected over the winter (no pruning, tut tut), but which seem in good shape despite that.

Hopefully it will be a good year!

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, April 14th, 2008
2:19 pm
Zimbabwe
What I don't understand is, how can you call for a recount when you supposedly haven't seen the results of the first count?

Current Mood: horrified
Monday, April 7th, 2008
9:55 am
Stupid shakes
Today in the work canteen I noticed for the first time, next to the smoothies, a new[*] product called a thickie. Like a smoothie only thicker, one presumes. I'm not sure whether I approve of this development.

[*] It may not be new. I'm not much of a smoothie person, so don't normally study the smoothie fridge in great detail.

Current Mood: morning
Thursday, January 17th, 2008
5:55 pm
"Classic" Science Fiction according to amazon.co.uk
#1 The Doctor Who Encyclopedia
#2 Machiavelli's "The Prince"
...
#13 The Chronicles of Narnia
#14 Tales of the Greek Heroes
...
#17 Mary Poppins
...
#20 The Neverending Story

I mean. What the fucking fuck are they on, anyway? Mary Poppins?!
Friday, January 11th, 2008
2:53 pm
Free range issues
So, what with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver and the rest publicising the poor conditions of battery hens, frax and I have been contemplating our diet. We only buy free-range eggs and meat anyway; but what we hadn't really considered previously was the produce that goes into such things as:

- KFC
- Chinese takeaway
- Ready meals
- Pre-prepared chicken sandwich
- Cakes, mayonnaise

These are in order of perceived obviousness. So, KFC - don't buy it, get a pizza instead (though presumably meaty pizzas hit the same territory). Chinese takeaway, much the same argument. It isn't as notorious as KFC for being skanky chicken, but presumably isn't free range. Ready meals - don't buy them if they have meat in. Chicken sandwich... I'm verging on the point where I can't be bothered. I buy a sandwich at the work canteen or Pret most days, and I like variety so occasionally it's chicken. Should I be boycotting this stuff? Or writing to them about the free-rangeness of their chicken? Cakes... now we're into really tough territory; do I really have to stop buying cakes because the eggs in them probably aren't free range? That's going to rule out a lot of potential foods. Mayonnaise, for example.

I don't want to buy battery-farmed (or in general non-free-range) produce if I can help it. But it usually isn't too hard - and for someone on my wages, too expensive - to get free-range meat and eggs. The question is, am I willing to put up with substantial inconvenience in this cause? Is it even possible to get mayonnaise with free range egg in it? Do I have to make my own?

Damn you, Hugh.

Current Mood: bored
Thursday, December 27th, 2007
6:33 pm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article3097464.ece

Is it illegal to advocate the killing of a journalist? How about a heavy beating?

Current Mood: annoyed
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
9:42 pm
Help!
For a while spam wasn't a problem on my vapourspace email address. Then maybe a year or two ago I started getting annoying spam messages, which I began to filter out using outlook's message rules. This has recently got to the point where I'm filtering out perhaps 100 messages a day, and substantially slowing my downloading.

As a result, I'm thinking of moving to a better provider, who can spamassassin the stuff before it hits my connection.

However I've just started getting another few hundred messages a day which appear to be autoreplies of various kinds, apparently responding to spam sent from my address. Now, there's no evidence from my sentbox that it's actually being sent from my computer, and I suspect it's just the address being spoofed.

Is there anything I can do to stop this, or is the best I can hope for to block the zillions of emails I'm getting as a result?

Current Mood: full of too much food
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
9:52 am
Ding!
I just gained d4 hit points, +1 BAB, and some extra spells.

Or in other words, I have been promoted!! Huzzah!!

Actually, the letter is from the people who run the interviews (they are outsourced) saying that they are recommending me for a team leader post. That means I should at least get a "ticket" saying I'm worthy of posts the next grade[*] up from my current one, enabling me to apply for such posts without needing to be assessed; it probably means that I'll be offered such a post immediately. I should find out in the next few weeks.

But in general: Yay!

[*] next two grades up, actually, because of the way the fast stream works.

Current Mood: satisfied
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
5:59 pm
The "Y" key on my keyboard is starting to go. I am going to have to cut down on my adverbs.

Current Mood: annoyed
Tuesday, June 12th, 2007
4:55 am
That settles that, then
At 3:24am I crit-failed my fortitude save, and my body finally succumbed to the lurgy.

Current Mood: uncomfortable
Monday, May 21st, 2007
7:43 pm
Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
In brief:

This is a fantastic fantasy thriller/mystery book centering on the antics of a gang of con-artists ripping off high society for ludicrous sums of cash, who find themselves even further in trouble than the aforementioned job description would suggest. Wonderfully viscious, fast-paced, witty and with a well-developed background. The only downside as far as I was concerned was that it was really very pretentious indeed; but in the end I felt it lived up to the pretensions.

a bit more detail (very slight spoilers)Collapse )
The finalé is worth the wait and I'll definitely be buying the next in the series.

Current Mood: creative
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