Dungeon Master

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

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.

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.


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!)



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.

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.
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Jedi Master

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!
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