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Thomas

[ website | Beware the Jabberwock... ]
[ deviantArt | the-boggyb ]
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[Other haunts| Un4seen Developments | Jazz 2 Online | EmuTalk.net | Feng's shui]

Carpark chaos [Thursday 19th January 2017 at 11:08 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

So there are nominally 6 spaces for cars behind my flat. There's two spaces in front of the other set of flats (explicitly reserved for those flats), three under the viaduct, and a final space to one side.

There's also four flats in the building I'm in, and two in the other building, so in theory that all adds up and everyone gets one space. With me so far?


Well, I just looked out the window and there are now 7 cars and a motorbike (occupying one of the reserved spaces) in that area. While you can theoretically get one extra car in without completely blocking someone else, two doesn't work.

Perhaps I should suggest to my landlord that he should put up reservation signs for the un-reserved spaces, to match those that the other landlord has put up...
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Things beginning with a letter meme! [Thursday 19th January 2017 at 10:38 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
Once upon a time rustica gave me a surprisingly tricky letter D... and this post disappeared into the pile of half-written posts, until today when I decided to go through them.


The letter DCollapse )


Comment for a letter!

And if you've just experienced a moment of deja-vu... the Matrix has you, Neo. Or perhaps I misposted this early and then deleted it?
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The incrementing saga [Thursday 19th January 2017 at 6:28 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |annoyedannoyed]

Well, we had an Important Conference Call on Tuesday which answered some questions and raised more ones. It's quite clear at this point what the decision is and in fact certain steps have been taken outside of this team that would make it very hard to do anything else.

It's also become very clear that certain justifications given are not the actual justifications for what is happening. Decisions were made months ago that have led up to this point. Which again makes one wonder what the point of the Process is if the Process is not being correctly followed.


Today we had individual Important Calls to continue with the Process. I exercised my right to have a representative present during my call which The Bringers Of The Letters seemed to take in their stride (my aim was to have another record should the content of the call be disputed - the saga is something of a learning experience, and Tuesday's lesson was don't assume the minutes are complete unless you wrote them). This was probably a better idea than what someone else had for ensuring they had a record of the content of the call - their idea was flatly shot down and they are now escalating things as a result.

Anyway, in my call I took the opportunity to point out that I was not impressed with the Process, but other than that the call was actually productive - various numbers have been clarified (or not - much will depend on the wording of an as-yet unknown Important Document), various timescales or lack thereof have been clarified, and the saga continues in hilarious fashion with no formal end date.
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Guess the Movie Meme, round 5 [Monday 16th January 2017 at 11:45 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

I really shouldn't be putting a quiz together at Nik o'clock, but inspiration has struck. So, it's time for...

Guess the Movie Meme, round 5!

As usual, there are certain rules that must be obeyed upon penalty of snarkage:

  1. Pick 15 of your favourite movies.
  2. Find a quote from each movie.
  3. Post them here for everyone to guess, with comments screened so everyone gets a chance.
  4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it.
  5. Update with the answers in a week or two.
  6. No Googling or searching IMDB for the answers, because that would be unsporting.

Onwards and upwards!

  1. Dilly-dally, shilly-shally
  2. I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me
  3. No growth without assistance. No action without reaction. No desire without restraint. Now give yourself up and find yourself again
  4. But what about that shadowy place?
    That's beyond our borders. You must never go there
  5. Everything is awesome!
  6. Oh, go on, then, eject me. See if I care
  7. We mustn't panic! We mustn't panic!
  8. That punk put a hole in my Versace
  9. You actually go outside in these things?
    Well, what would you prefer, yellow spandex?
  10. Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called 'blush response', fluctuation of the pupil, involuntary dilation of the iris
  11. Prayer post-its!
  12. You always told me to stay off the freeway
  13. Are you not entertained?
  14. As cunning as a fox what used to be a Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on, and now works for the UN at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
  15. Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it's *stupid*, but I'm gonna do it! Okay?
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More saga [Thursday 12th January 2017 at 11:35 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Feeling |curiouscurious]

Hahahaha. A new letter has arrived, and the core numbers in it are now correct... except the conclusion they come to is wrong. Either certain additional payments should be included on top of the total given, or the total is not as described.

This new letter also rewords certain sections in it in a way that raises interesting questions regarding change control of Important Letters. Curiouser and curiouser...
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The sky is falling! [Thursday 12th January 2017 at 4:48 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Where |Fareham]
[Feeling |excitedexcited]



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The continuing saga [Wednesday 11th January 2017 at 6:26 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |amusedamused]

Haha. Right, well, epic fail has occurred on many levels with the continuing saga - certain figures used in calculations were wrong, certain durations used were wrong (no, 4 weeks is not equivalent to 1 month), and an interesting tidbit of news has called various justifications into question as well.

The wording of a certain Important Letter is also rather curious - taken one way it could mean a large lump sum payment in additional to everything that's normally due. The way it's worded implies that some reliance can be placed on this figure, which did I mention is one of those wrong figures (wrong in my favour as it happens which makes it even more fun)?

The bringers of the letters (who are doing everything properly) have gone away with a set of rather pointed questions to ask certain parties. Legal's reaction to it all may be... interesting. There is a Process that must be followed in the ongoing saga and it appears that other parties have not followed said Process...
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Pasta night! [Wednesday 11th January 2017 at 6:22 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

Monday's games of choice were Ticket to Ride and Boss Monster - this is becoming a common combination.

I played Boss Monster, and we tried the Crash Landing expansion. This adds a new alien treasure type which was just as well as that became the only decent treasure in my dungeon, giving me a steady supply of heroes to squash. Paddy built a rather strong dungeon based around monster rooms with mutual bonuses and was on course to win... until I added a Crushinator to my dungeon. That, plus Louise building over one of her money treasure types resulted in me getting a whole slew of thieves in the final round which were splatted by my now overpowered dungeon and gave me the win by 2 points. The Crushinator is rude - in the endgame it basically gives your dungeon +10, and even the strongest epic heroes top out at 13 hit points. I think every winning dungeon I've built has been powered by one.

Driving back there were a collection of clowns on the road. The gold medal goes to the numpty that decided a 40 limit wasn't fast enough and so overtook me on the approach to a blind summit (ignoring both sanity and the no-overtaking road markings). As often happens with such numpties, he headed off into the distance... only for me to catch up with him while climbing Bury Hill.

Second place goes to someone at one of the Chichester roundabouts, who picked the leftmost lane on the approach (which in this case was marked as taking the first exit) and exited in the rightmost lane of the third exit. And finally, honourable mention to the chap that tailgated me through the penultimate Chichester roundabout, immediately pulled out into the righthand lane to overtake me as we exited... and then didn't, as I accelerated up to the 70mph speed limit. He eventually decided that speed limits didn't apply to him and passed me at ~75mph.
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Blue 1157: Horsham winter, Falmouth Tall Ships' Races 1998 with Red Arrows [Saturday 7th January 2017 at 10:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Feeling |curiouscurious]

Random film time! Blue 1157! With DX code 005813, this is a roll of Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 800 of all things. I'm not sure where I managed to find ISO 800 film, or why I bothered using it for outdoor photography in the Canon - presumably it was whatever Boots were selling at the time. I'm scanning it as "Fuji Super G 400 Gen 1" which isn't quite right, but looks to be about the closest Fuji preset. Colour correction for colour negative film is something of a black art, not helped by the lack of presets for anything vaguely modern.


Anyway, photos!Collapse )
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Christus Mansionem Benedicat [Thursday 5th January 2017 at 10:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Feeling |artisticartistic]

And now for something completely different!

Yesterday's housegroup was rather creative for a change. See, there's a Catholic tradition that on Epiphany, Catholics bless their house by chalking "20 C ✞ M ✞ B 17" above the front door. The "C M B" in the blessing stands for two things: it's short for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which is Latin for "may Christ bless this house". It's also the initials of the three wise men or magi from the Nativity: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. And the "20 17" is whatever the current year is.

So in housegroup, rather than chalking our doors we created our own banners to stick up just inside our front doors. Here's mine...



Speaking of Christmas, the mystery advent calendar went up to Christmas Day but as I was away I didn't get to open that until the other day. The contents: Great British Tea and a chocolate coin!

The plan is now that Christmas is over, elemnar and I will restock the calendars over the coming year with Mystery Items and swap them in time for December 2017. Mysterious!
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The ongoing work saga [Thursday 5th January 2017 at 10:23 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |blahblah]
[Playing |Stratovarius - Learning to Fly]

Well, it's not even a week in and 2017 is already shaping up to be an interesting year...

The ongoing saga of work has taken an unexpected turn. Well, not entirely unexpected - it was always a possibility, but up until last week the plan was something else entirely. Except management has decided to do an about-face and this is the result.

Ah well. Onwards to the future!
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Happy Birthday! [Wednesday 4th January 2017 at 7:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

Happy birthday,


talismancer

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End of the Year meme 2015 [Wednesday 4th January 2017 at 7:20 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |nostalgicnostalgic]

The very delayed 2015 meme, which I really ought to have done a year ago.

End of the Year meme 2015Collapse )
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Happy New Year! [Sunday 1st January 2017 at 12:43 am]
Thomas

boggyb
For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Onwards to 2017!


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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SCIENCE! [Saturday 31st December 2016 at 3:31 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |creativecreative]

SCIENCE!

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Construction kits! [Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 10:59 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

I have another construction kit! Can you guess what it is?



The previous one has been built, but needs a bit of fine tuning. And then I need to work out how to get video from the 3DS to Youtube in a sensible fashion. Which unfortunately I think means re-encoding the video (with resulting generational loss) if I want it in 3D - the 3DS generates 3D video as two separate streams, but Youtube expects a single stream containing the left and right images side-by-side. Hmm. I wonder if I can be clever and recombine the streams without re-encoding, given that the 3DS uses MJPEG?
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Boxing day traction engines [Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 6:46 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Where |Horsham]

Horsham has a sort-of traditional boxing day steam up, where a collection of traction engines appear in the Carfax...



More photosCollapse )
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Mystery kit [Sunday 25th December 2016 at 4:52 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |creativeconstructive]

Merry Christmas!

I have a construction kit! Well, actually I have several construction kits, but this is the one I'm building at the moment. Can you guess what it is?

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Advent day 24 [Saturday 24th December 2016 at 6:03 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

Almost there!

Penultimate mysteryCollapse )

And behind the final Lego door... it's Santa Jango Fett, with a backpack full of presents!

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Advent days 22 and 23 [Friday 23rd December 2016 at 11:15 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

Back to merely doing double posts

More mysteryCollapse )

In the Star Wars universe yesterday a young Boba Fett appeared, seen here perched on the wotsit from day 9...



...and today a sleigh appeared. Of course, this being Star Wars it's a rocket-powered sleigh...

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Advent days 19 through 21 [Thursday 22nd December 2016 at 12:07 am]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]
[Playing |Menu Theme [Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call]]

Triple post!

Triple mystery!Collapse )

Anyway, in the Star Wars calendar there's a bevy of vehicles to construct. They're getting increasingly complicated to build...





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Things you don't expect to hear at housegroup [Wednesday 21st December 2016 at 10:19 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sillysilly]

Things you don't expect to hear at housegroup: "Move, I can't see your cervix!"


We had a Secret Santa exchange, and a newly qualified midwife got given a personalised mug. On one side:

[name]
- YES -
I DELIVER!
(ANY DAY-ANY HOUR)
While on the other:

AMAZING
MIDWIFE
AT YOUR
CERVIX
And of course a photo had to be taken (not by me!)...

Our housegroup is bonkers like that.


My Secret Santa present is a spider robot kit - I'll post photos once I've constructed it.
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Advent day 18 [Sunday 18th December 2016 at 11:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

On time for a change!

MysteryCollapse )

Star Wars: another stormtrooper. He's armed himself with the large blaster from the other and is also taking aim at the battle droid (while a R2 or whatever scurries for cover). Nobody likes the battle droids!

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Bumper Advent Calendars post - days 14 through 17 [Saturday 17th December 2016 at 11:26 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

And now, a quadruple post!

Mystery CalendarCollapse )

Meanwhile, in Lego land, much has been afoot...



Yet another fighter thing.




A lizard person, who's taking aim at the battle droid! Weren't they on the same side in episode 2?




Another stash of blasters, one of which looks a bit heftier than most.




And finally, today this gunship appeared. It's getting rather crowded in the arena!
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Christmas tree [Wednesday 14th December 2016 at 7:27 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |creativecreative]
[Playing |African Interlude [Christmas Chillout]]

With less than a fortnight until Christmas (crikey!), I dug out the tree and set about decorating it:

Christmas decorations!Collapse )
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Advent day 12 and 13 [Wednesday 14th December 2016 at 7:06 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Playing |It Came Upon A Midnight Clear [Christmas Chillout]]

I'm getting good at these double posts, aren't I?

Mystery!Collapse )

From Star Wars, day 12 revealed yet another fighter/shuttle thing (this looks a bit like those folding-wing shuttles, except without the central fin)...



... and from day 13 a battle droid appeared! Here the droid is attempting to sneak up on the rebel scout...

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Pasta night! [Tuesday 13th December 2016 at 12:10 am]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |sillysilly]

Tonight the voteamabob had a clear favourite in Ticket To Ride, but that maxes out at five players and there were eight of us. So myself, Jonners and Paddy played a round of Boss Monster instead. Curiously both games lasted the same amount of time - it seemed like Ticket To Ride went fairly briskly, while in Boss Monster things bogged down as we started plotting our dungeons in detail.

Boss Monster came to a rather sudden conclusion - I almost won the round before in a do-or-die move (if I splatted a marauding Epic Hero then I'd win, but if the hero made it through I'd lose) but a well-played Fear spell scuppered that. In the final round Paddy badly miscalculated and a pair of Epic Heroes finished him off, while in my dungeon a Crushinator did its job of mashing not one, but three Epic Heroes for a solid win. Come to think of it, my winning dungeons in Boss Monster tend to be powered by a Crushinator (usually with a Boulder Ramp or Bottomless Pit as a backstop) - it's a very overpowered card, especially in the endgame where I can play a random room solely to feed it to the Crushinator and give all my rooms +2 each.

After that there was some time left, so we went for One Night Ultimate Werewolf to end the evening. The villagers won the first round, while the werewolves won the second, so we went to a decider - which ended hilariously badly for the werewolves. I'd drawn a Werewolf as my starting card, but at the end of the night phase it wasn't were I'd left it on the table (suggesting that it had been swapped by someone). So I claimed outright that I *was* the Werewolf, but wasn't anymore (and so now trying for the villager win condition), and that I'd looked at one of the cards in the middle (implying that there was only one Werewolf player) and that it was the Mason - this was backed up, as there were two Mason cards and the other Mason player owned up. Jonners claimed that as Seer he'd looked at the other two middle cards of which one was the other Werewolf, so that reinforced my claim and everything looked good.

Then Sarah admitted that as Robber, she'd swapped her and my cards over... only for Paddy to state that as Troublemaker, he'd *also* swapped the same pair of cards over, leaving us with out starting cards. Epic fail, and a unanimous vote that I was indeed the Werewolf!
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Advent day 11 [Sunday 11th December 2016 at 9:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Feeling |artisticartistic]

Mystery!Collapse )

Today's Star Wars creation was some sort of walker/tank thing - not an AT-AT, as its got too many legs. Again it reminds me of the arena battle in episode 2. Anyway, I was feeling a bit creative with the photography and had a play with macro mode and wide-open apertures (for narrow depth-of-field)...



It looks like our rebel scout has caught the attention of the tank!

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Advent days 9 and 10 [Saturday 10th December 2016 at 11:35 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

Another double post!

Mystery calendarCollapse )

In Star Wars news, yesterday was the arrival of an anonymous grey ship of some sort...



...while today the first stormtrooper turned up, ready to face off against the rebel scout from Tuesday.

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Advent day 7 and 8 [Thursday 8th December 2016 at 7:47 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]

Two posts for the price of two, since I didn't get round to updating yesterday.

Mystery!Collapse )

Over in Lego land, yesterday revealed a pile of blasters...





...and today some sort of shuttle. It reminds me of the ones from episode 2, which the cavalry clone troopers use to arrive at the arena.
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Advent day 6 [Tuesday 6th December 2016 at 7:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Playing |Vesa Norilo - Fading Suns: a Romance]

Pocket number 6!Collapse )

Back in Star Wars land, today's door revealed a Lego person, seen here manning the blaster wotsit from yesterday:

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Pasta night! [Monday 5th December 2016 at 11:45 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Playing |Vesa Norilo - Fuga [Suite for Piano]]

Today's game of choice (as decided by the super-high-tech paper-based voting app) was an epic 6-way Settlers of Catan game, with the Helpers of Catan expansion. The Helpers expansion adds an interesting dynamic to it - the helper abilities can be surprisingly powerful. Hilde (steal 1 resource from a player with more victory points), Jean (trade any resource with the bank at 2:1), and Marianne (claim a free resource if you didn't get any on your turn) all were very handy and generally stayed in people's hands, while Paddy got lumbered with Louis (move a road for free) which isn't particularly useful and he struggled to play that ability. I started with Candamir (substitute 1 resource when buying a Development Card, plus pick the card of your choice from the top three) who has the potential to be powerful, assuming that the top three cards aren't all Knights!

Louise was the surprise winner of the game through sheer quantity of settlements and cities. She got hemmed in by Paddy and I think Matt and so didn't have much space to build out, but it turned out that there was exactly enough space to place four cities and a couple more settlements for the win. It helped that she got a good supply of stone and wheat (9 and 6 were the lucky dice rolls in this game - 7 was surprisingly rare). I got up to eight points in the final round but couldn't manage the final couple of points.

Oh yes - there was also more SCIENCE BREAD with the other tiger bread baton that we froze last week. I tried garlic granules today with Stork spread, parsley and cheese. Verdict was again mostly successful though the bread hadn't quite defrosted and needed quite a bit more time in the oven than we expected. Plus the garlic spread mix was rather uneven, as Sarah found it when she discovered a very garlicky bit! We ended up discussing other possible fillings - I wonder if a hint of chilli would work?
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Advent day 5 [Monday 5th December 2016 at 11:29 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Playing |Vesa Norilo - Polska [Merelta Tuulee]]

Mystery calendarCollapse )

In the Star Wars one, there was some sort of blaster platform thing or other...

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LiveJournal Likes? [Sunday 4th December 2016 at 9:05 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |annoyedannoyed]
[Playing |2]Whistler's Bride ~ Warder/The Feadanaigh Epic [whistler's bride.it]]

Okay, how do likes work on LiveJournal? All I get is an email saying:

"1 user(s) likes this - http://boggyb.livejournal.com/488309.html"

As best as I can tell that's it. I can't see how many likes I have on an entry (for that matter I don't even have a like button), and the like statistics page is empty.

The FAQ does say that this needs the new design and one of the new styles - but I still don't see like buttons even after switching to the new site design (which I'd prefer not to use as it's fallen into the trap of assuming that everything has to be designed for mobile - Vertigo is a far more useful scheme with the left-hand link bar and the smaller journal banner) and previewing my journal in the Air style.

Oh, wait, but if I try the Expressive style then it does appear (so much for that FAQ claiming that Air supports this). Interesting. It seems like there's an entirely new function to generate the likes button:

var int likus_journal_id = $.journal.userid;
var int likus_post_id = $.itemid;
var string likus_url = $.permalink_url;

print get_lj_entry_likus("li", "asset-meta-likus item", $likus_journal_id, $likus_post_id, $likus_url);


And that looks is implemented in the base layer as:

function get_lj_entry_likus(string tag, string class, int journal_id, int post_id, string post_uri) : string {

    # LJSUP-24066
    if( not is_likes_display() ) {
        return "";
    }

    # for js LJSUP-18559
    return """<""" + $tag + """ class="$class" lj-likus lj-likus-journal="$journal_id" lj-likus-item="$post_id" lj-likus-uri="$post_uri"></""" + $tag + """>""";

}


Hmm... I wonder if I can hack it into my S2 style? All this does is add a placeholder HTML element so it would seem the actual like button is generated with Javascript - which is a bit annoying as that makes it hard to customise. I might be able to do something with suitably crazy CSS hackery.

Not that such a feature should need a new journal style anyway. S2 is designed to cope with new features without needing all styles to be redesigned - for example, the way the per-entry links work ("Edit Entry", "Add to Memories", "Share" and so on) is that the S2 engine provides a list of actions and a function to generate each link. So adding a new one is straightforward, and unless the style writer has gone for an entirely custom layout ignoring this list then it will Just Work.

Sigh. It does annoy me that the current trend in, well, everything computing-related is to remove open-ended customisability because maintaining it requires effort, and that sounds too much like actual work compared to rewriting everything in the latest shiny framework.
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Red 7351: Portugal in 2000ish! [Sunday 4th December 2016 at 7:37 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , , ]
[Where |Algarve, Portugal]
[Feeling |nostalgicnostalgic]
[Playing |The Rasmus - Not Like the Other Girls [Dead Letters]]

Speaking of film, I scanned a much older negative the other day (Red 7351). This one is from a family holiday in Portugal, many years ago! Around the turn of the millennium my grandparents sold their house in Falmouth and spent a few years gallivanting around the world (as one does). For a time they were staying in Portugal (somewhere in the Algarve region) in a friends/relatives villa and so we went over to visit. This would have been probably in 2000ish - they left Cornwall in 1999, and this would have been before I started university in 2004. In fact, I'm fairly certain it was 1999 or 2000 as it was before the Spanish holiday and on that one myself and elemnar had recently got Pokémon Gold/Silver which came out in 2001 (I remember the pair of us passing time in the airport by sending Mystery Gift messages to each other). That's got to be one of the more unusual ways of dating photos!

This film is a Kodak Gold 400-6. Being ISO 400 there's a fair amount of grain... and with a basic point-and-shoot camera it was generally very overexposed to boot (I looked up the specs of the Canon Snappy LX-II - shutter speed ranges from 1/45 to 1/180 with a f/4.5 lens. Correct exposure on a sunny day with ISO 400 would be more like 1/2000). Fortunately colour negatives are fairly forgiving of this, though it did mean all the dynamic range was squished into one end of the raw scan. I also experimented some more with white balance as I was having problems with colour casts with the White Balance setting - trying to lock it on an unexposed portion of the film didn't work well (because of the dynamic range issue mentioned), so in the end I went with the theory that colour negatives are balanced for daylight and set VueScan to Auto Levels (which preserves the colour balance of the original scan). This generally worked well.


Anyway, the photos!Collapse )
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Random outing [Sunday 4th December 2016 at 6:58 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Where |Portchester Castle, England]
[Playing |The Rasmus - In the Shadows [Dead Letters]]

Today's random outing was to Portchester Castle, to have a play with the Nikon F-301 before the sun disappeared. Despite the late hour there was still plenty of light and there should be some good photos in there, though as always with film you'll have to wait until I scan them.

Speaking of randomness, today's random "small world" event was with one of the English Heritage staff there. She had to unlock the main door to the castle grounds to let myself and another chap out (because the folks at the church in the grounds had gone home early and locked up!), and while doing so we ended up chatting for a few moments and I mentioned how at Pendennis Castle when staying there you get a key to the main door. At which point it turned out that she used to live in Falmouth! It's odd how I end up bumping into people with local connections - probably the most surprising one was on the ferry to Dublin, when I visited my aunt in Bangor way back in 2006.

Moroccan Mint Tea - interesting. A nice brew to have on a cold evening.
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Advent day 4! [Sunday 4th December 2016 at 12:21 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Feeling |amusedamused]

Today's random surprise was lighting the Advent candle at church - today's the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Normally they let one of the children do it, but on the 1st Sunday of the month they're all over at Messy Church in the hall so the leader suggested that "perhaps someone who's a child at heart" could do it and I was volunteered as being one of the youngest present! Although not quite the youngest as it turned out - it turned out that it was someone else's "8th anniversary of their 21st birthday" (which struck me as a fun way to celebrate a birthday without seeming to be that old).

Anyway, Advent Calendars!

Today"s mystery!Collapse )

Today's Star Wars construction is another starfighter-thing. I'm not sure which way round this one flies - whether the green sticks are engine exhausts or laser beams.

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Advent day 3! [Sunday 4th December 2016 at 12:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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I never did get round to posting this yesterday...

Yesterday"s mystery!Collapse )

And behind door number 3 of the Star Wars calendar is this chap!

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(no subject) [Friday 2nd December 2016 at 11:40 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Playing |New World Orchestra - Ave Maria [Christmas Chillout]]

I do like it when games ask you this sort of question...





This isn't just the classic out-of-lives prompt, but a genuine "do you want to carry on with this course of action" question? Is continuing the right answer, or should you take the out that you've been offered?

It puts me in mind of that cutscene with the Dark Links in Twilight Princess - that one, the first time I saw it, made me pause for a moment and wonder if collecting the Fused Shadows really was what Link should be doing.


I wrote this post while drinking the mint green tea from earlier, which turned out to be rather nice - the combination of green tea and mint works well. I may have to get a box when my current stash of normal mint tea runs out...
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(no subject) [Friday 2nd December 2016 at 9:24 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
I can confirm that the roll of biodegradable bin bags I had lurking in a cupboard are indeed biodegradable. In that they've degraded to the point where they're no longer usable as bin bags.
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Advent day 2 [Friday 2nd December 2016 at 6:22 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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What"s behind door number 2?Collapse )

And behind the other door 2...



Some sort of starfighter thing? It's not a Star Wars craft I recognise.
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Christmas/Yuletide/Solstice/whatever cards! [Thursday 1st December 2016 at 11:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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rustica's post reminded me that the international posting dates are fast approaching, so before I forget:

Who'd like a Christmas/Yuletide/Solstice/whatever card from freezing cold England?

Comment with your address here (comments screened) or email it to cardplz@thomasmccorkell.me.uk and I'll try and get the cards sent before the last posting date!
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SWARM! [Thursday 1st December 2016 at 4:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Where |Sussex University]

So yesterday I dropped in on SWARM on the way back from Newick, and ended up staying for several hours and several games (none of which were MtG!). Unfortunately talismancer couldn't make it, but I did recognise some other faces from my university days including Aaron (a name which confused me no end as he pronounced it "Erin") and Cogs (who's real name might be Ben? I'm not actually sure).

Let's see... what did I end up playing? First Aaron and I did a round of Hero Realms - it's a deck-building game a little like Dominion, except instead of amassing victory points you're trying to splat your opponents. Aaron managed to quickly put together a stupid amount of lifegain with me slowly chipping away here and there. I was managing to weather this attacks reasonably well until he used his special ability to swipe a useful defender from me and it all went downhill very quickly. It's an interesting game and one I wouldn't mind playing again with a bit more knowledge of the cards available.

Next up was Boss Monster. This also went badly for me - I made a terrible decision early on as to which cards to discard and ended up with a dungeon that never really went anywhere, while Aaron managed to put together a nice combo at the end of his dungeon that reliably splatted heroes and gave him extra room cards. Still, a few bits of my dungeon worked well - a boulder ramp at the end is always useful for taking out overconfident heroes.

Kat (or is it Cat? I'm terrible with names) turned up and we gave Discworld a go with the three of us. I've always done this 4-player before, but it seemed to work equally well with three (although the win conditions are slightly harder to achieve). Once we all got our heads round the rules it ran along nicely with chaos left right and centre scrambling several carefully-laid plans. The game ended with no clear winner due to running out of cards, though hilariously if I hadn't ended the game on my turn (I played a random event, got Fog which discarded the remaining cards in the draw deck) Aaron would have won as Vetinari he'd finally managed to get enough minions. He still won on points though, which is rather fitting of Vetinari.

Finally Cogs joined us for Room 25, an escape game a bit like Forbidden Desert but with attitude. The layout is a 5-by-5 grid of hidden rooms which may be green (generally helpful), yellow (generally annoying), or red (avoid the red murder-rooms). This was a hilarious fail from start to finish - our starting square was surrounded with red rooms in three directions, one of which being the Paranoia Room which makes the player randomise their actions, with the only non-red direction having a yellow room which turned out to be a dungeon randomiser (like Forbidden Desert, the layout can be shifted). Things didn't improve when Kat found a Jamming Room (while someone's in there, we're not supposed to give each other any information) and I couldn't tell anyone I'd found the Exit, (or get to it, as my character was in the Prison Room). I rearranged the dungeon to try and break out from the Prison Room at which point Kat made a bid for freedom... into what was no longer a safe room, but now one of the two instant-death rooms. With her out of the game and us still having to find the Key room we were doomed. As it happens we did find the key room in time... but were left with one turn in which to get everyone to the exit which was impossible. All in all, 'twas good fun and another one to play again though maybe without the expansion (which added the Key room).
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Advent day 1 [Thursday 1st December 2016 at 2:38 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Feeling |surprisedsurprised]

This year allegramente sewed together advent calendars for myself and elemnar - they were ready just in time for us to collect last weekend, stocked full of surprises...



elemnar's calendar has a different pattern, but both contain the same surprises so if you've not made a start on yours yet elemnar then don't click on the cut below...

Mystery advent calendar: day 1Collapse )

As it happens I've got at least three advent calendars this year - the aforementioned Mystery Advent Calendar, a chocolate one (there has to be a chocolate one, and this time it's a nice one from Cocoa Loco), and finally a Lego Star Wars calendar that I was given a couple of years ago. Let's take a look behind door number 1...

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Car puzzles [Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 11:34 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Feeling |coldcold]

Brrrr. It's quite literally freezing out there - when I left Sussex University (after visiting SWARM) the roof of the Alfa was all sparkly with frost and the temperature gauge read -4°C. Which reminds me, I need to make up a stronger screenwash mix - it froze on contact with the windscreen and I had to scrape a thin layer of ice off!

Speaking of the Alfa, I dropped in on the garage at Newick so they could poke around at the power steering. Result: puzzled. There was one fault code logged - B1067: dynamic control selector on CAN/intermittent - which probably refers to the DNA switch (Alfa's "sport mode" button), but that's been working fine the last few times I've used it and while it does control the power steering one would expect it to just result in the steering staying in normal mode. A flaky battery was a possibility, so the garage did a battery test which reported 513A which is oodles of current (and most of the 600-odd amps it's rated for - the current battery is significantly up-rated compared to the original). So it's still a mystery.

I happened to mention this all to Si at SWARM and turns out he'd encountered something similar in his Skoda - on one trip he had a progressive loss of electrics as he was driving along, including power steering. In his case it turned out that the cable from the alternator had been merrily corroding and had a high enough resistance that it was no longer supplying enough current for the electrics. I'll mention this to Paul as a possibility.
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Blue 1626: Beachy Head sunset, Battle Abbey [Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 11:21 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Feeling |artisticartistic]
[Playing |Klaus Badelt - The Medallion Calls [Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl]]

Random film time! Today's mystery film is... Blue 1626! Another one from late in my university days. One evening pleaseremove was round, and we (along with most of the house) spontaneously decided to drive to Beachy Head to watch the sunset. I posted a couple of digital photos back in 2007, but I also took the Nikon F-301 with me.

The film is another rebranded Fujicolor 200 (I probably bought a bag of the stuff from Boots) so I'm trying the same settings as last time.

As a random aside, the back of the film has been gunked with something or other, which Boots presumably didn't notice when developing it as the marks are visible in their prints. Since it was the base side rather than the emulsion I attacked it (very gently!) with a few drops of isopropyl-alcohol-containing lens cleaner which quite happily dissolved the gunk. Infra-red cleaning took care of the rest. Result!

Photos!Collapse )
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Pasta night, with SCIENCE BREAD! [Monday 28th November 2016 at 11:13 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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Okay, so it's just partly-homemade garlic bread, which for some reason we decided to call SCIENCE BREAD. Today's experiment was a tiger bread baton from Tesco's, with a mix of garlic paste, grated cheese, and a little parsley as a filling. I then dampened the crust a little and we stuck it in the oven until it started smoking. Verdict... definite success for the bread, mostly successful for the filling - the garlic paste had a slightly odd aftertaste to it. I think the previous experiment with real garlic worked better but there was a lack of butter to blend the garlic with. The cheese was a good idea but it needs a bit more.

Today's game of choice was two decks of Exploding Kittens combined with the Imploding Kittens expansion. The game went on a surprisingly long time - people kept on surviving explosions by managing to grab defuse cards from the discard pile. In the end it came down to three players and three cards (two of which were explosions).

Speaking of games, I borrowed Settlers of Catan off of Jonners recently and yesterday the family gave it a try. The Gnu's reaction was interesting - after a few rounds of everyone getting to grips with the mechanics he started paying serious attention to the probabilities involved (his comment was the game must have been created by a mathematician). We'd gone for a completely random setup and he managed a good set of starting locations, which he quickly linked to claim the longest road bonus. The victory points accumulated until The Gnu and I were on 9 points each and just needing one more to win - I went down the development card route which had a fair chance of victory, but in the end The Gnu managed to get enough resources to upgrade another settlement to a city for the final point. I can see this being another game to get our own copy of...
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More thanksgiving! [Sunday 27th November 2016 at 11:28 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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Today there was more thanksgiving - it was Joshua's thanksgiving/dedication service at London Road Methodist.

Oddly enough thanksgiving/baptism was something we were discussing in housegroup the other day - they were commenting that a lot of non-church-goers will get their child baptised as being "the done thing", while regular-church-goers these days are tending to opt for a dedication instead. The reasoning is that this means that the child can choose whether or not to become Christian when they're older, rather than assuming that that's what they will want (obviously as Christians they hope their child will follow them, but the point is that the parents are giving their child that choice).

In other news, I forgot my recommended daily driver rant yesterday, about the numpty on the Billingshurst bypass that decided to overtake a slew of cars in one go. Hopefully the Alfa's hazards lighting up from the near-emergency-stop I did (to avoid ramming him, because that would be unpleasant) woke him up!

And because the roads are full of 'em, I encountered another numpty on the drive back today. A white van tailgated me through Petworth... and then decided the best place to pass me was on one of the mini-roundabouts. Seriously - we exited side-by-side, and he accelerated off into the distance (ignoring the 30mph speed limit) scaring an oncoming van onto the pavement. That's beyond just being obnoxious and is actively dangerous.
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Thanksgiving! [Saturday 26th November 2016 at 11:39 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Feeling |tiredtired]

Today was the day of Thanksgiving celebrations at Beth & Jonners, and so was full of Things Happening.

First off, pleaseremove and I avoided Thanksgiving entirely and instead dropped in on brokencube to visit his new flat (and because Craig wanted a graphics card). It appears that Nik's anti-technology field is currently destroying all his hard disks in sequence... instead for the one that stubbornly refuses to die despite making horrid clunking noises. So that's business as normal for Nik :)

Next up was the pre-Thanksgiving "exercise" in the form of karting! We were on the downstairs Crawley track, which is one with a couple of corners that I've never quite got the hang of. There was enough of use for a race and so the first session was a qualifier where I gradually improved during the session but ended up 8th overall. I spent a good half-dozen laps stuck behind someone which didn't help - I couldn't quite make it past them as they aggressively claimed the apex on every corner... until after a bit when someone else passed me and then punted them at the corner before the ramp. So I sneaked through the gap left behind :)

For the race we did a reverse grid so I started third, and managed a good start up the middle to rise into 2nd round the first corner. I made it over the bridge, braked hard at the bottom to avoid the leader who took the hairpin slower than I was expecting, got shunted by someone but managed to recover, and then two corners later the race was paused. I think I may have left a multi-kart pileup behind me :) The rest of the race went reasonably well (with me gradually dropping down the rankings as the faster drivers snuck past), apart from one bit where I lost it on the 2nd straight after the bridge. It was slightly surreal - the two straights are separated by a right-angle corner which I take flat out, and as I continued to accelerate past the corner I could feel the back slowly drifting more and more out until I lost it and ended up facing the wrong way down the track. That said after stopping there was enough space that I could power the kart round and continue on, so I recovered without causing a yellow or red flag - go me!

I ended the race 8th again, though I improved my lap time a bit, to I think 25.0s (Jonners has the timesheets). One day I'll manage a sub-25s time!

Being a race there were prizes from TeamSport for the top three, and a bonus prize for first place - see, a while back I mentioned at housegroup about the karting and one of the guys went "Ah, I've got something you might like"... which turned out to be a real-life scale model r/c Mario Kart, minus battery and controller (TeamSport chap: "Nice idea, whoever brought Mario!"). So of course this had to become a bonus prize for first place! Perhaps we should get it mounted and make it the annual Thanksgiving trophy?

Finally, 'twas time for Thanksgiving itself! It's not something people generally celebrate in Britain (though Black Friday is now a thing here), but Beth being American hosts a Thanksgiving meal each year and so it's become a tradition in her friends circle. Plus it's a good time to catch up with friends I rarely see, and for those of us who are really prepared (not me! - though I have handed over one present already this year) a chance to hand out Christmas cards :)
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Photographic slice of everyday life [Friday 25th November 2016 at 11:48 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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There was a request for more photographic slices of everyday life, so here's one!

So the other day I returned to find that in the six parking spaces behind the flat there were six cars and a motorbike - actually, it's worse than that because the motorbike was pretending to be a car and so someone had double-parked. I turned in to the entrance to spot the double-parked car, and seeing as it's hard enough getting out of there when someone's double-parked I decided against trying to squeeze my way in, in the dark, when I'd probably find a lack of spaces and have to somehow get back out. So I reversed back, and parked in one of the marina spaces instead.

Well, 'twas a dark and stormy night and things may have gotten a little wet, judging by the line of seaweed...



Fortunately there's no real risk of cars getting flooded there - the moat a year or two ago was an exceptional event, and even then it was maybe an inch or so of water. I'm sure I've encountered deeper puddles on stormy journeys (the one I found at 30mph in Pulborough one night comes to mind...).
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