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Douglas Spencer

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Twenty-four tweets to Network Solutions [Feb. 13th, 2014|04:21 pm]
I've just posted the following tweets to @sguod:

Apologies in advance to users who aren't interested in the next twenty-four tweets -- feel free to fast-forward as required.
Read more...Collapse )
That's it; Sorry to non-DNS-wallahs for flooding your timeline.
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Support request to Network Solutions, submitted via their help-and-support online systems [Feb. 11th, 2014|11:38 pm]
This is a complaint: It should be fielded and handled as such.

I have several domains in the .UK space.
The UK Registrar, Nominet UK, has a period of six months before a .UK domain expires, during which you can send them a renewal request.

And yet the renewal request for the domain "" will not be actioned until fifteen days AFTER it expires.

This is more-or-less the definition of not-fit-for-purpose in a registrar.

THEREFORE this is a complaint about your handling of the renewal of the domain "", and specifically about the fact that, in general, you don't renew the domain with the national registrar until fifteen days after it expires.

Please explain to me on what planet this is considered acceptable behaviour, and on what basis I should consider you as fit-for-purpose to host any of my (multiple) other country-specific-TLD domains.

Please further explain to me what steps you will make to repair the God-awful provisions you have in place for hosting .UK domains in time for the next occasion when I have a .UK domain hosted with yourselves which is about to expire with the national registry.

Be aware that this issue won't go away, and I'll be rigorously checking your progress in the latter part of July when, without doubt, the fact that I've chosen you as my registrar will return to bite me in the arse once more.

Customer Service 101: Treat your customers in such a way that they aren't trained to fear or despise you.

Please keep me up-to-date with your progress repairing this systemic mismanagement.

Thanks in advance...
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Celebrity Come-Dine-With-Me [Oct. 16th, 2013|05:26 pm]
I watched an antique traveller, from a band,
Who seemed too stoned and legless, vast of trunk,
Try his dessert. It wasn't as he'd planned
(A shattered soufflé, dried and burnt, half sunk);
With wrinkled lip and sneer, he called it "bland",
This dish that he had sculpted, left for dead.
But wait! He had not cooked his spicy wings,
Suffused in scobels, marinated red!
Yet when the guests came round he boldly bloked
"My name is Ozzy, man! Dine on these things!"
They looked upon his works and nearly choked;
Nothing but sweet was cooked. The wings were raw
As was the main course, while his soufflé smoked,
The sacrificial pyre of cooked-too-far.
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Free stuff! [Aug. 27th, 2013|11:13 pm]
Julia and I have a new food processor, which means we are retiring the one we inherited from Julia's mother.
The old food processor (Moulinex Masterchef type 663) comprises a big solid electric motor/gearbox unit, a bowl that sits on top of it, a lid for the bowl that has one of those cunning holes in it with a plunger, for feeding bits of food in, and a small handful of rotating knives and so forth to cut up, shred, mix, and generally molest the said bits of food.

One only, very old, no warranty, no manual but we can show you how to use it. "What condition is it in?" -- "it's in free condition". Does anyone want it? Free if you make it easy for us to hand it over. Non-Sheffield types might have to wait until a convenient point, Sheffield types might get it a bit sooner.

Edit: Looks like we have a taker over on FB. Didn't take long.
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HSBC generating useless unwanted bits of paper. [Jul. 31st, 2013|11:28 am]
A few years ago, those clever chaps at HSBC gave me the option of no longer receiving paper statements in the post for the business account, instead relying on just the PDFs from the website, so that they could save the planet, save a few bob, and make life easier for people like me who can't be doing with the tedious business of moving bits of paper about.

All well and good.

I don't, therefore, get bank statements from them in the post. However, they still send me, on paper, in the post, every month, a breakdown of all the bank charges and fees that they levy against the account -- information which appears on those PDF statements I can get off the website.

Today, I received this month's mailing -- two A4 sheets of paper in an A5 envelope detailing, on a single line, bank charges accumulated during July of £1.16. I get something similar every month.

I'm glad I'm not an HSBC shareholder.
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Popery [Feb. 12th, 2013|12:30 pm]
I suppose it's time to roll out this icon once more.

Who would you like as the next pope? non-serious answers only, please. And I was voted in last time (hence the icon), so someone other than me.
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Text Editors [Jan. 27th, 2013|09:22 pm]
This is a question about what you use when you want to edit a file that contains text.

Poll #1892847 Text Editors
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 49

I use ...

View Answers
vi or a variant thereof
16 (23.9%)
Emacs or a variant thereof
7 (10.4%)
Notepad or a variant thereof
27 (40.3%)
MS-DOS Editor or a variant thereof
0 (0.0%)
Something else which I will explain in comments
17 (25.4%)

[ Context ]
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Don't facilitate spammers [Jan. 14th, 2013|04:39 pm]
In case I haven't made it obvious before -- If you have my email address, don't pass it on to financial services companies in order that they can email me telling me that you recommend them. It won't earn you any rewards or commission, all it will do is earn my contempt for you. If you want to recommend a company you use, do so by passing their details to me and not by passing my details to them, and even then only in response to a need for those services expressed my me.
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How Richard is [Jan. 4th, 2013|05:08 pm]
New readers start here -- On Tuesday, it rather looked like my brother was more-than-usually unwell, and Mother was sure that he wouldn't be lasting much longer.

Things have changed somewhat in the last few days -- he's been into hospital and they've pumped him full of antibiotics (to beat down a lung infection he didn't know he had) and extra steroids (a treatment he's already on for emphysema), and the improvement since then is remarkable.

So it's now no longer any more likely than usual that he'll die in the next week or two, we're back once again to the "sometime in the next few months" that we've been working with for the last year and a half.

Of course he has some of the side-effects you'd expect from using substances like these in quantities like these, but they're making a real difference to how easy he's finding it to breathe.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and kind words over the last few days.

In other news, I've been occupying myself productively by wiping and re-installing a laptop he's received from his son, full of viruses and other nasties.
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My brother Richard. [Jan. 1st, 2013|12:58 pm]
Some of you will have met my brother Richard. He was the skinny sweary one on Top Table at the wedding; he was the one still dancing after the music had stopped at TCASU, a convention in Ireland in October 2003.

For the last twenty years or so, he's been going to die sometime in the next couple of years. For the last couple of years, he's been going to die in the next couple of months.

Mother tells me that it rather looks like he might be going to die in the next couple of weeks. The theory is that he has a 52nd birthday on January 15th; there's a significant chance he's going to miss it. He can't get out of bed, and he can't string more than three or four words together before stopping to catch his breath.

I'm supposed to be going down there on Thursday; I may yet decide to go down there rather sooner.

Do please join me in hoping that his final few days aren't harder for him than they need to be.
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Ready for Christmas [Dec. 24th, 2012|06:16 pm]
It's a little while since I updated on LJ but seeing as it's you lot I'll make the effort.

Julia's father arrived here yesterday evening and has generally providing assistance as we move the furniture around and get further shopping in. Tomorrow morning Julia's sister and family will be arriving in time for lunch -- so we'll be feeding 7 people (rather than the 13 that we feared we might get when we first made the offer and before her brother's family decided they'd rather be in Spain).

Feeding 7 people is, comparatively, a doddle. However, preparing the house to put up 7 people overnight is a little more complicated -- when we have friends overnight we can make them wait until everyone else has gone to bed and then make them sleep on the floor in the lounge, but apparently we can't do that with family so we've had to arrange five proper bedrooms, repurposing the study and conservatory, and stacking all the junk which normally lies about the house into leaning towers of cardboard boxes in the garage. There have had to be extra shelves made, and real carpentry with proper dowelled joints. Yikes.

Now, however, everything is prepared for the oncoming onslaught and we've been collapsed in front of Captain Mainwaring's Brother on the telly. Later, Julia's father (who has declined the chance to participate in my nonconformist nonsense) will be heading out for Mass, and later still I'll be heading out for a nonconformist midnight (but with an Anglican at the helm, we're not proud).

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, if such a hope fits well with your tradition, and I'll see you all on the far side.
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Tumblr [Nov. 4th, 2012|06:47 pm]
Years after the cool kids did it, I've created a Tumblr account -- if you think I should be following you over there, please let me know what usernames I should be following.
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I filled in a Feedback Form on a shop's website [Oct. 16th, 2012|03:18 pm]
I filled in a Feedback Form on a shop's website as follows:Collapse )
We'll see what happens.
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Boiled Beef and Carrots [Sep. 6th, 2012|08:32 pm]
Yesterday I made boiled beef and carrots, and today we ate it.

After she'd finished eating I said to Julia "I suppose you're familiar with the song."

It turns out she's never heard of the song. Imagine my consternation! Imagine the disruption to my world view! Now I'm worried that my friends are similarly poorly exposed to my culture. Hence, a poll...Collapse )
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Surfeit of Steves [Jul. 27th, 2012|09:12 pm]
Today we had a visit from Steve (Guttering Guy), who repaired/replaced some of our guttering.

This means that in the last few weeks we've dealt with Steve (Electrician), Steve (Plasterer) and Steve (Guttering Guy). And before that, we were dealing with the Fascia and Sofits guy who recommended Steve (Guttering Guy), who is his nephew -- and the Fascia and Sofits guy is also called Steve.

Too many Steves. At least the plumber isn't called Steve -- he's called Mark (Plumber).
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Things get better [Jun. 26th, 2012|10:34 am]
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Wedding Photographs now available [Jun. 13th, 2012|07:52 pm]
Official wedding photographs are now online and available for ordering at http://​www.sheffieldweddingphotographe​ -- ask me for password.
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My LJ is ten years old. [May. 9th, 2012|12:49 pm]
Today, my LJ is ten years old. It was created on 2002/05/09 at 12:49:42 BST. I am user number 554349.

I have made 3396 Journal Entries (so this is the 3397th), received 19640 comments and posted 16,079 comments of my own.

My life has changed an inconceivable amount in that time, not least because of the influence of my friends.

Well, well, well.
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That wedding [May. 6th, 2012|06:55 pm]
So yesterday, julia_winolj and I got married.

Julia and I would like to thank a whole bunch of people, people who have grasped what kind of people we are and what we were trying to achieve.

The staff at the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield were excellent, listening to our concerns and doing their best to meet them. Christian and Erica Ward, our photographers, were a pleasure to work with. The people at both Partyrama and A Quarter Of did everything they could to help us get our chests of pirate treasure together. The ceilidh band Roger the Badger, and the caller they brought with them, were excellent. Theresa at Rossetti Couture did a wonderful job with Julia's dress.

But far and away the best thing at the wedding (apart from Julia herself, and the fact that we ended up married) was the wonderful cake made by Alice at Alice Rose Cakes and Cookies, which was astonishingly good. See this video (and other photos) from johannes_d .

With each of our suppliers, it's hard to imagine how we could have chosen better.
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Stag day two, tomorrow [Apr. 21st, 2012|04:17 pm]
Probable timetable tomorrow:

10:30 - Meet in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern
12:30 - leave and walk to Borough Market for lunch
13:30 - go to The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret
14:30 - go to The Globe's free day of stuff
16:30 - go to Vinopolis
18:30ish - pub (probably The Wheatsheaf)
19:30 - dinner

Join us when you can. Let us know beforehand (if you can) if you want to be counted/included when we book for dinner. Comment here, or text if you know the number for someone in the party.
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Stag Do Number 1, Saturday 14th -- instructions [Apr. 12th, 2012|07:48 pm]
The time is rolling around for stag do number 1, an afternoon of beer in Sheffield, so here are your instructions.

We'll meet at The Sheffield Tap, the pub that's built into Sheffield Station, at around 11am. There will be beer -- they have a wide and varied assortment -- and we'll be there for something approaching an hour. After that we'll be heading off on the tram towards The Hillsborough Hotel for lunch.

After lunch we'll be passing through various real ale pubs in the surrounding area under the excellent instructional guidance of Mr K. You can watch our progress at (that's "dougs" spelt backwards), or text me for more detailed instructions if you're trying to catch up with us.

In the evening we will be seeking out an Indian restaurant before we all regain the tram network and stumble off to our various beds. And no-one will get sellotaped naked to a lamp-post (except Steve, if he really insists).
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Stag Do Number 2, April 22nd [Apr. 4th, 2012|12:35 pm]
Some of you will have read about my plans for stag do number 1, an afternoon of beer in Sheffield.

Plans are now in place for stag do number 2, a day of culture in London.

Meet at 10:30 on April 22nd in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern on the south bank (you can find the entrance here). We'll visit various places in the immediate area (picking up lunch on the way), and find some local eatery in the evening.

Be aware that it's the same day as the London Marathon (which may disrupt travel plans for some of you) and it's a Sunday (which may also have implications for travel).

There's a Damien Hirst exhibition at Tate Modern, the Romantics and Picasso are at Tate Britain, the V+A have a thing about adventure comics, Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition is at the Natural History museum, Dickens is at the Museum of London, and the Globe has a free day of interesting stuff. All sorts of other interesting things are available to do in London. If the weather's good we may have a spell in a park somewhere (off the Marathon route) lolling around on the grass.

Ideas for other things to do in the area on the day are welcome.

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Weather forecast: Central, Tayside & Fife [Mar. 16th, 2012|09:41 am]
From the Met Office website:
    Weather forecast: Central, Tayside & Fife
    Early morning frost soon melting away to leave a fine dry day with some bright or sunny spells. Although it will be a little colder winds will be very light. Maximum temperature 10°C.

Yes, we're off for a weekend in the Kingdom of Fife, where hathy_col is getting married on Saturday, and julia_winolj is being given a big fish supper for her birthday on Sunday.
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Stag Do Number 1, April 14th. [Mar. 13th, 2012|04:10 pm]
As some of you will be aware, I'll be getting married in May.

In order to fall in with the traditions of my culture, I'm going to have some sort of stag do.

Since I have friends in more than one location, and enjoy doing more than one kind of thing, I'm having two stag dos.

THERFORE there will be an afternoon of copious real ale in Sheffield, visiting a number of the large collection of excellent real ale pubs in Sheffield, many of which are within easy stumbling distance of the tram lines. We might well end up having a curry.

So if you're fond of beer and know how to behave on a stag do, you're welcome to join us in Sheffield on April 14th as we try to deprive some of those pubs of substantial quantities of beer. We'll start late morning and keep going until nightfall, and I'll be tweeting as I go.

[a stag do would traditionally be a male activity, but on this occasion I'm very happy to have people of all genders -- just be aware that we'll be behaving like blokes out on a stag do with lots of beer, and adjust your expectations accordingly]

More details, and details of a more cultural and less beery day in London, later.

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Paris [Feb. 8th, 2012|08:20 pm]
I muck around with computers, and sometimes people ask me to muck around with their computers, and then they pay me for it.

A client with a London office of about forty users, has eight more users in an office in Paris. They didn't have good links between the two offices, and the Paris server was old and slow.
    "See this tape drive here, with a tape cartridge in it -- does anyone ever change this tape?" -- "Oh, I think I changed it over a couple of times last year..."

So on January 25th, Adam from the London office and I went over to Paris to sort things out. We put in a clever little box to maintain a VPN connection to London, and I installed a couple of new servers for them. Active Directory has good techniques to manage traffic between sites, to replicate files across multiple servers, and to persuade workstations to connect to local resources in preferences to those at the far end of a slow link. So all these measures have now been put in place.

Now all the Paris users have access to the server resources they need and it all runs at a sensible speed, and it degrades gracefully and is still usable if the VPN goes down and London disappears.

Oh, there was other stuff with Domino servers and mailboxes and complicated database applications too. It's all very clever.

And all the users are very happy, and on Monday 30th the director of the Paris office took us out for a huge lunch with lots of wine before pouring us back onto the Eurostar. And sometime in the next couple of days I'll send the head office a big bill. Hurrah!
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New Car [Feb. 8th, 2012|08:01 pm]
Well, I haven't posted for ages. What's happened recently? We got a new car.

As previously reported, we ordered a new car -- and on January 20th we collected it.

It's a Toyota Verso S. Like its predecessor, it's a four-door hatchback big enough to get two adults comfortably (or three squeezed) on the back seats. Alternatively the back seats can get folded down leaving room for daft quantities of cargo.

It is blue. My previous four cars have been red and the four before that were beige or grey, and I've never previously had a blue car. So this is a new departure for me.


No doubt various of you will get to be passengers in due course.
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Page 45 [Jan. 14th, 2012|09:22 pm]
Meme from robling_t via nellorat :
    Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

Not the first sentence on that page, but the sentence best placed for comic effect:
    "What are you doing? he would scream, terrified and confused. "What in hell is this place? What the hell's going on?"

Anyone else want to have a go?
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What we did today [Jan. 8th, 2012|06:02 pm]
My car, as featured in this icon and which I've owned new from June 2002, is being retired. It's nearly ten years old, it's done 160,000 miles, and it wants about £1200 spent on it in order to get through its next MOT, which is due at the end of February. That's more than I want to spend on it.

So today we went shopping. And in a couple of weeks we should be taking delivery of a new car, which is terribly exciting. Maybe some of you will get to act as passengers in the fullness of time. We've deliberately chosen a car which can fit normal full-sized adults into the back seat comfortably.

As before, my previous car is off to Devon to see if my brother and his son can find something useful to do with it.

In a few months we should be replacing Julia's car too.
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New Years Eve Party [Jan. 1st, 2012|12:18 pm]
We had a new year's eve party. It was really very good.

Photo -- click to make it biggerCollapse )

Working anti-clockwise from the right-hand corner there was Julia, Jane, Guinness, a gap for Ian (behind the camera), Yvonne, Sally, Alison, Frankie, Alice, Steve, Laura (obscured by other people), Paul, John, Fran (obscured but you can see her left hand), Julian and myself.

We hope to spend the next couple of years as guests.
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Sorting out the Library [Dec. 27th, 2011|10:56 pm]
I'm trying to sort out the library, to get all the books out of boxes and onto shelves in more-or-less the right order, so that the room is usable in time for our new-years-eve dinner party.

Meanwhile, Julia's going through her big box of clothes trying to find a suitable outfit for the same occasion. She kept turning up in the library with another outfit on, asking my opinion of them.

One of the outfits was this one, slightly NSWF...Collapse ).

For some reason I forgot all about moving books around for a bit.
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Quotation... [Dec. 25th, 2011|12:00 am]
... from Bach's "Christmas Oratorio".
Three excerpts...Collapse )
A very merry Christms, or such other good wishes as sit easily with your traditions and beliefs, to you all.
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VAT, HMRC, and their employees Moe, Curly and Larry. [Dec. 21st, 2011|04:06 pm]
Letter from the VAT man to me, late September (paraphrased from memory):
    We have determined that you owe us £1,057.00 -- please pay up pronto, melonfarmer, or we'll haul your sorry ass into court.

Early October: *me pays*

Letter from the VAT man to me, mid December (quoted accurately but abridged):
    A routine audit of your VAT account has revealed that there is a credit of £1,057.00 for which, at present, there is no corresponding liabilty.
    Detals of the credit are as follows:
    ELECTRONIC PAYMENT 12/10/11 £1,057.00
    Please check your records and indicate, by ticking the appropriate box which of the following applies to the payment.
    1. I have submitted the remittance in error. Please return the payment. [ ]

There being no boxes to indicate "I submitted the remittance when you demanded the money with menaces you complete twonks", I will tick box one and return the letter.
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Chris Croughton's Funeral... [Nov. 30th, 2011|09:29 pm]
keristor 's funeral was today and, by any possible measure, was excellent. I didn't get the chance to count properly, but there were in the region of seventy or eighty of us there, and about 90% of the crowd were connected in some way to filk.

pictureCollapse )

This was at the Green Burial Ground near Olney. The coffin is woven grasses, and in due time he'll be feeding a tree as per his instructions.

A good one. Well done everybody.

Edit: if anyone wants to link to this post or the photo, they can do so with my blessing.
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Chris Croughton's Funeral [Nov. 26th, 2011|06:47 pm]
As some of you will be aware, keristor 's funeral is on Wednesday 30th, 2pm in Olney.

I'll be driving down, aiming to leave Halfway at around eleven.

Would any Sheffield types want a lift? I can pick people up in town a bit sooner if required.
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Keris [Nov. 13th, 2011|11:21 am]
At Novacon, where Omega tells me that we've lost Keris (keristor ). I discover subsequently that DC mentioned it on Twitter earlier, as did Chris on LJ. more here.
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Tun! [Nov. 8th, 2011|11:25 am]
As alert readers will have spotted, I've moved to Sheffield.

I've been prompted by a post elsewhere to consider the plight of the Tun, which is suffering low turnout since I left.

I was intending to come to the Christmas Tun on the Thursday before Christmas Eve, but this year it's been booked instead for December 15th, when I'm due to be in Sheffield providing transport for the girls to and from the Adam Ant gig.

Therefore, I'm intending to come to London to attend the Tun on December 1st. I'll see some of you there, perhaps -- unless you'll already be on your way to Amsterdam for the con (which I am skipping).
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Novacon 41, 11th-13th November [Nov. 6th, 2011|08:23 pm]
I shall be at Novacon in Nottingham, 11th-13th November, with guest of honour John Meaney. Will you? Novacon is the UK's longest-established regional science fiction convention, held every autumn since 1971. #novacon

Here's a quotation from the programme book, describing one of the items I'll be helping to present:
    Late night on Saturday Ian Sorenen returns to the stage with 'Novacon Considered as a Helix of Semi-funny Skits'. He and his few remaining friends look at the history of Novacon and treat it with the sort of scathing contempt you'd expect. There will be fun, songs and a complete absence of veracity. But of course there will be a happy ending: you will be happy it's ended.

There's other good things going on too -- including some science talks, a guest-of-honour interview, lots of beer and Mexican food. Oh, and there will be several authors, editors, other writers and the like stood around in the bar eagerly hoping some fan will come along and buy them a pint.
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Distaste for the Declension of Latin Pronouns [Nov. 2nd, 2011|10:06 am]

Further to an exchange with lproven in another place, I just wrote the following:
    I could never tell Hic
    From the other one, Ille --
    I know one makes me sick
    And the other one's silly.
    As for Is, Ea, Id,
    I wish that I'd hid 'em:
    I'd sooner be rid
    Of aforementioned Idem.
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Hotel recommendations near Halfway [Oct. 8th, 2011|06:16 pm]
Attention, those of you who came to the housewarming party and stayed in nearby hotels. Are there any particular recommendations we can pass on to future visitors, either for places to stay or for places to avoid?
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/friends?skip=700 [Sep. 28th, 2011|10:27 pm]
Thanks for those who have offered congratulations on the house move and the birthday; since I was having a dirty non-weekend away and my mobile handset was at first broken, and subsequently new and unfamiliar, I've been functionally offline for a few days.

I'm at ?skip=700, I don't propose catching up in anything deeper than a fast skim. If I've missed anything vital, please be sure to let me know out-of-band.
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Boobs don't work that way (NSFW) [Sep. 14th, 2011|08:58 am]
I've been following the (often slightly NSFW) Tumblr "Boobs don't work that way", which usually concerns itself with comic-book artists who have a less-than-sound grasp of female anatomy. It's very instructive.

Yesterday there was a picture which reminded me of something that happens occasionally in Doctor Who.

Link to Tumblr -- not safe for work, minors, or people who need to scrub their eyes after seeing bad stuff on the Internet.
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Charlie on 9/11 [Sep. 9th, 2011|09:36 pm]
Charles Stross writes as follows:
    I'm going to turn the TV off on September 11th. And close all the web browser tabs I have open on news sites.

    This isn't to belittle the events of ten years ago, or to show disrespect for the victims and their bereaved: rather, it's to avoid the narcissistic and indecent media feeding frenzy that battens onto popular sentiment and attempts to jerk every tear from the emotional aftermath of tragedy, the better to milk the advertising revenue stream.

    If the media really wanted to mark the occasion respectfully, they'd do so by holding a minutes' silence at 8:46am EST this Sunday.

I'm inclined to agree.
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... [Sep. 5th, 2011|01:45 pm]
Ten years.
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Birthdays [Aug. 24th, 2011|11:49 am]
Happy birthday today to birthday girl flickgc , ever so ever so much younger than Orson Scott Card and Stephen Fry but a little older than Rupert Grint, to all of whom happy birthday also.
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(no subject) [Aug. 13th, 2011|12:21 pm]
Poll #1769323 RIP Robert Robinson
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 29


View Answers
a wall-covering in mediaeval Italy
1 (3.7%)
a Louisiana dish featuring beans
1 (3.7%)
an expression of sadness or loss
25 (92.6%)
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

A Christmas Post [Aug. 6th, 2011|10:55 pm]
Just a short note alerting Sheffield types that there may be a mass influx of Julia's family over the festive season -- we have offered to host Christmas Dinner for approximately a dozen Dalys and their allies.

No response yet.
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New house [Jul. 19th, 2011|07:36 pm]
The phone line and the Internet have now gone live in the new house. As far as I can see, there's no reason why I shouldn't move in straight away... oh, wait. No furniture, no kitchen. Ah well.
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Kay Dekker [Jul. 7th, 2011|08:28 pm]
Very sorry to read that mhw has died.

I was at Warwick in the mid-1980s, and got into some trouble -- without Kay's help and advice, I'd have got into a great deal more, and got out of it a lot later and with a lot more damage. It's fair to say that Kay's writing played a major part in helping me learn about keeping sane and safe when I'd otherwise have been dangerously clueless.

Goodbye to Kay Dekker, and safe journey.
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Accessibility, and posts in the "News" community [Jul. 1st, 2011|09:39 pm]
I commented to news in March 2010, and I find now that I've had to do so again in July 2011.

For completeness, I've now submitted a suggestion to suggestions .
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Home Delivery Network Limited, masquerading as "Yodel". [Jun. 18th, 2011|12:17 pm]
Julia and I are sat at home this morning. In quick succession a postcard comes in through the front door saying "we missed you today when we called to deliver, we have left your parcels for you to collect from a safe place (back door)", and then our parcel sails over our back fence and crashes onto the ground outside our back door.

The postcard is branded with the name "Yodel", a trading style of Home Delivery Network Limited (HDNL), and bears an 0871 (premium rate) phone number for inquiries. It's trivially easy to find an 0800 (free) number for them online -- 08001577777. It's also trivially easy to find the the name and email address of their managing director.

I phoned HDNL on the 0800 number, waited without pressing any buttons through the automated menus until I could talk to an operator, who proved to be very helpful.

We've agreed the following:
  • HDNL has confirmed that this mode of delivery is not regarded as acceptable, and is not consistent with HDNL policy.
  • The call has been recorded on their system as a formal complaint.
  • I've confirmed that I haven't examined the contents of the parcel, and do not propose to do so until I've received a formal apology in writing from HDNL.
  • The driver will be interviewed by his/her manager when he/she gets back from his round.
  • HDNL will contact the retailer and explain what's happened, and invite them to contact us to discuss a replacement or refund.
  • I've received a postal address through which I can take the complaint further if I'm not satisfied.

In related news, I run a small business. I am now firmly resolved never to appoint Home Delivery Network or any company related to them to do any of my deliveries, unless and until I'm assured that this sort of thing really is an isolated incident and that there are mechanisms in place which mean I can rely on them not doing this sort of thing to any of my goods.
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