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'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Thomas

[ website | Beware the Jabberwock... ]
[ deviantArt | the-boggyb ]
[ FanFiction | Torkell ]
[ Tumblr | torkellr ]

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[Other haunts| Un4seen Developments | Jazz 2 Online | EmuTalk.net | Feng's shui]

Quotes of the day [Saturday 23rd March 2019 at 6:22 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |sillysilly]

The house group WhatsApp sometimes throws up weird mini-conversations...

boggyb: Churchy question: is it worth saving empty wrapping paper cardboard tubes for crafts?
M: I saw "churchy question" and got all ready for a theological conversion... I have no (helpful) theological answer to that question.
boggyb: Haha, sorry to disappoint
Ca: Mmmm, the theological implications of cardboard tubes. I'm sure there's a sermon illustration in the somewhere! 🤔

boggyb: Wandering round B&Q and I can hear someone testing a doorbell
boggyb: I did not know saxophone solo was an option
Ch: That should never be a doorbell choice
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Lent photography, day 7 [Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 10:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Mark 1:28


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Lent photography, day 6 [Tuesday 12th March 2019 at 10:41 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

"What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?"
Mark 1:24


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Lent photography, day 5 [Monday 11th March 2019 at 10:34 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

No, I've not missed a day - the photography challenge skips Sundays

"Come, follow me" Jesus said "and I will send you out to fish for people"
Mark 1:17


Cross-posted to deviantArt


Team House Group, at the beach in 2017
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Lent photography, day 4 [Saturday 9th March 2019 at 11:46 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

"The time has come," he said.
Mark 1:15


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Lent photography, day 3 [Friday 8th March 2019 at 9:02 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]


Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Mark 1:10




An origami bird I made for prayers in housegroup last year.
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Lent photography, day 2 [Thursday 7th March 2019 at 8:59 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

And this was his message: "After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie."
Mark 1:7


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Lent photography, day 1 [Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 8:48 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

Over on FB, a friend is running a Lent photography challenge/group/thing wherein she's posting a daily piece of scripture from Mark's Gospel and challenging the group members to reply with a relevant photo (ideally taken that day). It looks interesting and I do mean to post more, so I'm having a go at it. Let's see if I managed to keep it up!

I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit
Mark 1:8




The baptismal font and etched glass windows of St John's Fareham, taken at the Ash Wednesday service.
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Zombies! [Tuesday 5th March 2019 at 9:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |sillysilly]

While on the topic of gaming, St John's Fareham held a pancakes and board games evening on Shrove Tuesday. elemnar came along as well and we joined a group playing Zombicide (wherein you try to escape from a zombie-infested city while not getting eaten by zombies - so basically, Shaun of the Dead). We had the weirdest luck with zombie spawns - on the very first turn I drew the abomination spawn card (high-strength zombie, hard to kill) and so we spent a chunk of the game carefully avoiding it. For the scenario we picked we had to collect three food items, get the green key, use it to open a door to the blue key, and then escape. Of course the blue key and the exit were at opposite corners of the map.

Over the game we put together a very silly strategy: elemnar proved very good at rolling well on the hit dice and mowed down zombies with a pair of sawn-off shotguns, which caused all the other zombies to head towards her (the game mechanics are that the zombies head towards the most noise).



We took advantage of that, and her character ended up aggro'ing the zombies by emptying the shotguns in an empty room (our record was 6 noise counters). This did then result in her being chased by the entire zombie hoard...



...while another group snuck round the back to retrieve the blue key. We then all made our way towards the exit, leaving all the zombies (and I do mean all - we ran out of zombie figures!) to congregate in the middle of the board as we leapfrogged through already-cleared buildings to reach the exit. Somehow we all survived!

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Pasta nights! [Monday 4th March 2019 at 11:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

Let's try and update more than once a month, shall we?

Pasta night has still been happening, with a succession of games as the mood and the voteamabob takes us.

A few weeks ago I persuaded Paddy to bring Stone Age along, and played a 4-way game with Louise and Jonners as well. I find it's a very mathematical game in a way - it's all about playing the odds of the different resource sources and working out what on the board is most likely to be achievable, and what to have as a plan B or C if the dice don't go the way you want. I generally concentrate on gifts of civilisation cards and tools which tends to work out in the end. The gifts of civilisation build up quite nicely (you score the square of the number of unique cards and there's eight to collect) and the tools are overpowered combined with bonus multiplier cards... but on the flip side I do tend to be struggling for food in the late game while my opponents have usually built up on the agriculture track. Perhaps I'll experiment with a different approach next time?

Last week I played Ticket to Ride on the US map. I (in yellow) started with a set of high-value tickets that happened to mostly line up and somehow achieved all of them, though my resulting network was a bit more branched than usual due to conflicting on routes. This meant I missed out on longest route, and because I didn't draw more tickets I missed out on most tickets as well... while I think it was Jonners who got incredibly lucky with drawing tickets and completed masses of them, passing 100 points on tickets and bonuses before the trains were totted up.



And this Monday just gone, the Reduced Pasta Night Company numbered exactly 6 and so we dug out Settlers of Catan with the 6-player expansion. We played a slightly house-ruled version (open hands, no hand limit from rolling a 7) with the 6-player special building rule (at the end of each player's turn, all other players have an opportunity to build) and the game came right down to the wire. I (again in yellow) was in position to win on my next turn by claiming largest army (with two knights played and a third in hand), Louise (in green) was a settlement or two away from a win thanks to longest road, and Jonners (in brown) with three victory point cards in hand only needed one more point for the win. Martin (white) was getting close after recovering from a disastrous starting position and Matt (blue) and Vicki (red) were out of the running. And victory ultimately went to... Louise, by squeezing in one more settlement for victory!



The 6-player game changes things up a bit, especially with the special building rule - this lets one build before rolling and so take advantage of adding more possible resources to the dice roll. The larger map helps a lot with finding good starting locations and didn't feel quite as cramped as a 4-player game on the standard map does.
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Ridiculous moments in Wipeout64 [Saturday 23rd February 2019 at 7:29 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |sillysilly]
[Playing |Fluke - Goodnight Lover]

Today's silly moment in Wipeout64 (yes, I still play that game from time to time...): being 'helped' across the finish line by a quake. The quake took off the last of the shield energy and caused my craft to explode, but not before I'd crossed the finish line and won the race.

That ranks among such silly moments as the AI in Wipeout64 choosing to boost right into a string of mines, or having a blue shell in Mario Kart do a u-turn on the finish line and come back for me (which I claim was most unfair).
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Unexpected victory [Sunday 27th January 2019 at 9:08 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |happyhappy]

allegramente: We should let boggyb win, it's been a while since he's managed to win at Settlers.

...several hours of Settlers + Seafarers + Cities & Knights later...

The GNU: *blocks me from completing a shipping route towards an island*
boggyb: *moves a ship*
boggyb: *moves a second ship using the Diplomat card*
boggyb: *places a settlement with two bonus points on a different island for the win*
boggyb: *places two more settlements because I can*

I was up in Horsham with the family at the weekend (the parents had a rack of lamb in the freezer bought for Christmas that needed eating, and elemnar and I were invited to help them with it) and we ended up playing Settlers of Catan combined with the Seafarers and Cities & Knights expansions. Normally what happens at such games is elemnar unexpectedly wins without realising, but not this time. We used the Through the Desert scenario with a random map that gave some very weird resource balance. I spent a lot of the game trailing, but in the endgame I managed to accumulate a pair of Roadbuilding cards which let me suddenly head out from one coastal settlement (on a hard-earned 2-for-1 wheat port) towards the far side of the desert (the direct route was blocked so I took the long way round). Then in the final turn I accumulated a ridiculous amount of wheat resource, which thanks to the 2-for-1 port and a couple of bonus cards let me turn that into three settlements.

It was a very close-run thing and I was honestly expecting The GNU to win it - I'd had to block him with an earlier settlement placement to prevent him getting to one foreign island. And normally my strategy of using a port for resources doesn't pay off, but this map helped by letting me claim a lot of high-probability wheat supply. So, unexpected victory with two more points than needed!
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The blood moon rises... [Monday 21st January 2019 at 8:20 am]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Where |Fareham, United Kingdom]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]

Total lunar eclipse, January 2019



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End of the Year meme 2018 [Sunday 20th January 2019 at 7:10 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |curiouscurious]
[Playing |Donkey Kong Country 2 Diddy Kong's Quest - Stickerbrush Symphony (Bramble Blast) (Super Smash Bros Brawl remix)]

Go on, let's actually do one of these vaguely on time for a change!

End of the Year meme 2018Collapse )
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End of the Year meme 2017 [Tuesday 1st January 2019 at 10:41 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |nostalgicnostalgic]
[Playing |Ivan Torrent - One of Us]

I'm not doing at all well at posting this meme in the correct year, am I? Anyway, have a rather-delayed end of the year 2017 post!


What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before?

Visited the Netherlands! It's something of a bittersweet memory as the family went on a overnight trip to scatter Oma's ashes on a beach in Ijmuiden, where she grew up, and we only had enough time for a little sight-seeing. But all in all it was a fun trip, and it was good to meet with more of the extended family.

I also had the dubious honour of being made redundant, along with everyone else in the team I was in - that's what the saga alluded to in various posts was. Suffice to say there's a correct way to handle such things, and then there's the way $COMPANY-1 chose to handle it...

Went on a Go Ape course! I wasn't quite sure how I'd find it, but it turned out to be great fun.


Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I've no idea as I'm writing this post a year later than I should have, so I'll claim "yes" and "maybe".


Did anyone close to you give birth?

If I've got the year right, this was when a friend in housegroup gave birth to her second daughter.


Did anyone close to you die?

A friend's mum passed away this year.


Which countries did you visit?

For a change I actually travelled outside the UK, and visited the Netherlands.


What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

Buying a house! That didn't happen in 2017 due to redundancy, but in 2018 I may have managed to make some progress on this...


What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The Netherlands trip - as it happened, it was over my birthday weekend so it's an easy one to remember.


What was your biggest achievement of the year?

A toss-up between finding a new job within a month of leaving my previous one, and managing to pay off my student loan.


What was your biggest failure?

Pass - there was probably something hilarious.


Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not especially.


What was the best thing you bought?

A shiny new Nintendo Switch, with Breath of the Wild!


Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Housegroup for being totally awesome.


Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

$COMPANY-1.

Honorary mention to DPD for trying to deliver the Nintendo Switch to the wrong house, on the wrong street. That level of fail is special.


Where did most of your money go?

Taxman, landlord, and car. In 2017 the Alfa wanted new shock absorbers which turned out to be surprisingly pricey.


What were you really, really, really excited about?

Breath of the Wild! Yes, I am a Zelda fanboy.


What song will always remind you of 2017?

Globus' Doomsday, because of the crash of thunder that happened as I was listening to it, perfectly timed with the beat of the song.


Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?

About the same.


b) Bigger or smaller?

About the same.


c) Richer or poorer?

Richer - one side-effect of the redundancy was a redundancy payout and a nice pay rise from the new job.


What do you wish you'd done more of?

Exploring, as always.


What do you wish you'd done less of?

Procrastination, as always.


How did you spend Christmas?

With family - I think Opa came round for the Christmas day meal?


What was your favourite month of 2017?

Dunno about favourite but April was certainly an interesting month...


What was your favourite TV programme?

A toss-up between the Robot Wars reboot and the Crystal Maze reboot.


How did you see in the New Year?

If I remember rightly, the family first went round to Opa's flat for afternoon/evening nibbles. Afterwards we left Opa and met up with the Poons to see the new year itself in. Knowing the Poons, there was probably silly party games and plenty of food.


Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Let's just say that certain people involved with the saga would not be candidates for my Christmas card list...


What was the best book you read?

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts. I borrowed it from the library following a recommendation from ladyofastolat, and it's absolutely fascinating. Particularly finding out about the St Augustine Gospels - to know that there's a portion of the Bible from over a thousand years ago that still exists and is readable today is quite something.


What was your greatest musical discovery?

Several this year: Globus (recommended track: The Promise), Ivan Torrent (recommended track: Icarus), and Wintergatan (recommended track: Marble Machine).


What did you want and get?

Shiny stuff!


What did you want and not get?

More shiny stuff!


What was your favourite film of this year?

Did I see any films this year? I must have seen something with housegroup, but can't remember what.


What did you do on your birthday?

Visited Amsterdam.

Separately, as a delayed outing for my birthday in 2016 I went with a few friends to Go Ape in Crawley.


What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not being made redundant.


What kept you sane?

Family, friends, housegroup, and a well-stocked MP3 player. The well-stocked MP3 player is very important :)


Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy/respect the most?

Pass.


What political issue stirred you the most?

Brexit. Sigh.


Who did you miss?

Oma.


Who was the best new person you met?

More housegroup friends!


Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Check all Important Paperwork very carefully. Especially when said Important Paperwork has in theory been updated to correct the errors in it (in practice... it was differently wrong. I was not impressed with the authors of said Important Paperwork).


Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Learning to fly
Touching sky on my way
Learning to fly
High above the sorrows
To a new day I fly


From Stratovarius' Learning to Fly, my all-time favourite song to cheer me up when things have gone pear-shaped.
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Goodbye 2018, hello 2019 [Tuesday 1st January 2019 at 12:29 am]
Thomas

boggyb

Happy new year, and onward to the future!

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The mega friend code list! [Friday 28th December 2018 at 10:26 pm]
Thomas

boggyb

Inspired by a friend's post on FB, here's the mega friend code list!

Nintendo 3DS: 0275-8892-8373
Nintendo Switch: SW-4428-5896-1392
Nintendo Wii U: Torkell

Fire Emblem Heroes: 1807689491
Pokémon Go: 0979 0103 7905
Super Mario Run: 4158-1520-4731

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Construction kit the first [Wednesday 26th December 2018 at 10:35 pm]
Thomas

boggyb

As is becoming traditional, I got given several construction kits for Christmas (in amongst the other presents). Can you guess what it will become?

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Merry Christmas [Tuesday 25th December 2018 at 10:17 pm]
Thomas

boggyb

Merry Christmas, one and all! Have a random Christmas video (if I can get the LJ app to behave)...


https://youtu.be/B_pWTlN15bc

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Advent, day 6 [Thursday 6th December 2018 at 10:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |nostalgicnostalgic]



Two more tealights - though the older one has just burnt itself out as I'm typing this. And another origami surprise from the mystery calendar!



I've also got a Jacquie Lawson Edinburgh advent calendar that my mum sent me - on that, today's treat was a tartan designer. So I came up with this:



As it happens there is an actual tartan for my surname. That's not it - the tartan is rather obscure and hard to track down, and I couldn't find a reference for it. So instead that's an approximation of the Gunn clan tartan, which is linked to my family as my surname is a sept of the Gunn clan. There you go, a bit of family history trivia for you!
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Advent, day 5 [Wednesday 5th December 2018 at 11:23 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sillysilly]



Another pair of tea lights to burninate (and there'll likely be two tomorrow as I've only just got back from housegroup and lit today's), with a Zelda Amiibo looking on because it's on my desk and why not? There's a thought for you - is there Christmas in Hyrule?

And now for something completely different: I was digging through old files to find something for a friend in housegroup and stumbled across this gem:



It's from one of the "Innit" youth services that the Horsham churches used to run around 14 years ago... and knowing the leaders, the service probably did contain those chocolate combinations. Chocolate and marmite I can see as plausible (if you're one of those crazy people who likes marmite)... but chocolate and salad cream?

Going through all the Innit powerpoints brings back memories - I somehow ended up involved in running the a/v for some of them and putting together powerpoint with words in those pre-SongPro days. These were held at St Mark's which I recall had just got a shiny new projector setup (along with a set of new UHF radio mics that no longer shared channels with the pub across the road) - back then, St John's was still using OHP transparencies for the hymns. Then again at least an OHP projector won't decide to install windows updates 5 minutes before the service is due to start...
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Advent, day 4 [Tuesday 4th December 2018 at 11:49 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |surprisedsurprised]



These tea lights seem to last 4 hours, so I've got yesterday's still to finish burning as well as today's.

Today's origami surprise was a snowman! Some guesswork involved in working out where to fold it (a couple of the folds are at a slight angle), but I think it came out well.

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Dominion! [Monday 3rd December 2018 at 11:45 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |surprisedsurprised]

Tonight I played just the one round of Dominion (combining the Intrigue and Seaside sets) with Matt and Kyle (while the others got stuck in to Agricola - having watched them play, I want to give that a try as well). Unusually I managed a runaway victory with 47 victory points, so go me!

We all played with very different tactics. Matt did his usual trick of turning coppers into silver and gold, which he then used to buy provinces outright out of treasure in hand each turn. Kyle put together a very effective engine for producing 6 money each turn which he spent on the harem card (costs 6, worth 2 money and 2 victory points). I however had spotted the pirate ship card and aggressively bought those, which I then used to steadily increase the tokens on the pirate ship scorecard. This worked out very well in two ways: once I'd built up about 6 tokens, the second ability of the pirate ship became useful and I could reliably buy a province a turn. And the first ability was moderately useful in slowing Matt down by trashing odd treasure cards, but utterly crippled Kyle's deck by turning his harem cards into liabilities. Since a harem counts as treasure it's vulnerable to the pirate ship ability, and the luck of the draw meant I was forcing him to trash them almost as fast as he was buying them. It didn't help when all the harem cards had been bought and Kyle's deck suddenly found itself with never quite enough money for the provinces needed to stave off myself and Matt.
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Advent, day 3 [Monday 3rd December 2018 at 11:30 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]



A good message for Christmas.

No origami today, just a chocolate in the surprise calendar. And I spotted Sainsbury's are selling off what's left of their advent calendars at half price, so I picked up a Lindt one as well (because MOAR CHOCOLATE). See, there is an advantage to completely forgetting about getting an advent calendar until well after advent has started!
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Advent, day 2 [Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 10:00 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |creativecreative]



The tea-lights are from my mum - she recently blogged about making them and had enough left over for some more sets, so I asked for one. They remind me of the advent candles she used to make - instead of buying one from a shop, some years she'd get a plain candle, write the numbers on it, and stick glitter and stars to the candle. These are even simpler - 24 tea lights, with different patterned washi tape stuck round the base of each one.

The holder I picked up in town on the 1st. Something about the crazed effect glass intrigues me - it's like it's been deliberately shattered and put back together.

Anyway, today's surprise from elemnar was more nice chocolate and another origami creation:



This one's a bit more complex and steps 4-5 took a bit of puzzling out. It doesn't help that I can't read whatever language that is (Japanese? Chinese?), but eventually I sussed it out and came up with a reindeer! It even balances upright!

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Who wants a Christmas Card? [Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 8:55 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Where |Blighty!]
[Feeling |excitedexcited]

Yes, it's now December and international posting deadlines are fast approaching... so who'd like a Christmas Card all the way from Blighty (brexit and rain not included)?

If you'd like a card then comment with your address (comments are screened) or email it to cardplz@thomasmccorkell.me.uk.

PS: omgimsuchadork, crazyscot and rustica, you're already on the Christmas card list!
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GDPR hilarity [Saturday 1st December 2018 at 10:34 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |amusedamused]

Y'know, there is a wonderful side-effect of all the mass panic over GDPR. Whenever I visit a website only to have a full-screen GDPR consent window pop up, I know that the site's unlikely to actually be useful and so to not bother with it. Especially when there's no obvious "opt-out" button and instead the site presents you with a list of a bajillion different categories and cookies to individually deselect.

This brought to you by searching for recipes and finding that most sites contain more ads than recipe ingredients. So I gave up on trying to find new sites and just stuck with the BBC Food site. Who'd have thought that not stuffing every page with obnoxious ads might actually gain you more users?
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Advent, day 1 [Saturday 1st December 2018 at 10:00 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |creativecreative]



My surprising sister elemnar has surprised me. I was expecting an advent calendar full of tea - that's what last years' was, and has become the unofficial family tradition. But as with all our family traditions they last until we realise they've become a tradition and then do something completely different.

So yesterday on Sunday 2nd we exchanged calendars (I'm writing this post on the 3rd, despite the date shown). Hers, as she has now discovered, is full of tea and other random surprises, while mine...



...turns out to be a surprise chocolate calendar! The surprise is it's an origami chocolate calendar...



...and the first creation is a Santa hat, to get into the festive mood.

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NaBloPoMo result [Friday 30th November 2018 at 11:51 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]

Well, another year, another November of trying to think of some random insanity to post every day. This year was less successful that past ones, in that I completely forgot about an update on the 8th and then again on the 22nd. But on the other hand, this will be post 31 of a 30-day month so I have averaged slightly more than 1 post per day, albeit with a lot of filler (and yes, I'm fully aware that this is also a filler post). Then again in 2013 I managed 40 posts, so even with the extra post this is still below average for NaBloPoMo.

Anyway, this is the point at which this blog normally rapidly descends back into radio silence for another year - each year I mean to keep the posting frequency up after NaBloPoMo, and each year I fail. Except for 2016 when I kept it going for most of December with daily advent blogs - who knows, that might happen again this year after elemnar and I exchange advent calendars...
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Not-a-window [Thursday 29th November 2018 at 11:35 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , ]
[Feeling |sadsad]

So the not-a-window in my flat turns out to actually be a window, as the windy weather decided to make clear today. And in doing so it blew everything off the windowsill and a nice piece of stained glass I picked up back in St Mawes ended up shattered on the ground outside. Sigh.

It's a bizarre feature - two of the windows in the flat are theoretically openable, except there's no handle fitted and they're secured shut. Or at least I thought they were - I've noticed that one shifts in the wind but never enough to actually open before.

Anyway, I went spelunking through the bag o' tools and found a suction cup to use to pull the window shut, pried a blanking plate off to reveal the slot that the handle would turn if there was one, and improvised my own handle with a screwdriver. That window is now definitely shut, and I can glue the blanking plate back on later.
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Name that Song, round 10: the answers! [Wednesday 28th November 2018 at 11:37 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |accomplishedaccomplished]
[Playing |Thomas Newman - American Beauty: Any Other Name [Classic FM at the Movies: The Sequel (disc 3)]]

Filler, I know, but hey at least I'm posting the answers in a reasonable amount of time!

Anyway, it's time for the answers to round 10 of Name That Song! There were no comments on LiveJournal (which I was half-expecting), but I cross-posted the same quiz to Facebook and got some surprising results there. Turns out a few songs I thought were originals are actually covers!

The answers!Collapse )

Let's see... there were a lot of mainstream songs in there, but my music player also threw up a few more random entries. Songs for Phillip is incredibly obscure (I'm not sure if it was ever sold outside of Horsham), and I wouldn't have thought many people will know the Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack. And of course there's an Irish entry from Clannad in there to mix things up.

The high score over on Facebook was 10 tracks right (artist or album or title) - did anyone here do better?

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Supermarket randomness [Tuesday 27th November 2018 at 11:10 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |confusedconfused]

Some random observations while shopping this evening...

Apparently cauliflower vegan pizza is a thing - it has a cauliflower base (I've no idea how that works), tomatoes, and vegan cheese.

One shelf had a collection of different small cheeses in wax balls. They look like they could be stocking fillers except they should be kept in the fridge, which makes it a bit hard to place at the foot of the bed. Curiously the label had a warning not to throw the cheeses into an open fire...
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Chain Reaction? [Monday 26th November 2018 at 11:47 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]

elemnar brought a new game to try tonight: Chain Reaction. Having played it I've got mixed views - it could work well, but I'm not sure it fits our group. Or perhaps we need less tired people and to pay more attention to the game - while members of each team are supposed to answer the question/challenge in order without help, some got carried away and shouted out answers without waiting for their turn, while others on both sides tried to give clues (not always helpfully). And half-way through we lost track of which colour was which team on the scoreboard, and we weren't counting the scores consistently between the two teams.

I think it's a game that we might end up playing every so often only to remember why we don't play it, a bit like with Munchkin. It's all academic anyway as elemnar is borrowing it and has to give it back soon.

Afterwards we filled the remaining time with Jackbox 5, playing first Split The Room and then Mad Verse City. Split The Room backfired spectacularly - I completely failed to split the room at all with my first prompt, and couldn't gain enough points from my second prompt to move up the scoreboard. Mad Verse City went even worse with zero points in the first two rounds. I did get some points in the final round when I gave up entirely on trying to make things rhyme though. Meh, bring back Survive The Internet!
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I only meant to buy one thing... [Sunday 25th November 2018 at 11:41 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

DIY stores are dangerous places to go shopping. You go in with a shopping list for precisely two items, and come out with a bag full of stuff.

Case in point: I went to B&Q the other day to get a replacement shower head and a wire brush (for a sheepskin rug). I left with those two items, plus the makings of a Roomba fence, a couple of sink strainers and a box full of assorted screws. Didn't find a multipack of nails or I would have bought those as well (to give me options - do I screw the Roomba fence together or nail it together?).

I somehow managed to avoid buying a laser leveller this time but only because they were missing the particular model I want.

The Roomba fence is to do with a couple of Ikea Poang chairs I've got - the base is made up of flat strips of wood and the Roomba beaches itself on them. The plan is to put a strip of wood on top of those that's high enough to trigger the Roomba's bumper, so it will avoid them instead of trying to barrel straight over.
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Thanksgiving! [Saturday 24th November 2018 at 11:59 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]

Today was the annual thanksgiving karting followed by the annual thanksgiving meal hosted by Beth and Jonners. This time round we had the downstairs track at our usual haunt, Crawley Teamsport.

Qualifying was quite good - I came 6th out of 9th, and consistently improved as the session went on. In fact my fastest lap was my 2nd-to-last one - my last lap was the second fastest, and then on the very final lap into the pits I overcooked it and spun on the corner before the up ramp (very nearly collecting Martin in the process). The kart I had was very slippery, and it took me a few laps to get used to the lack of grip, but once I got my head round it it was fun to drive. The corner before the up ramp is after a pair of flat-out straights and I generally took that corner by tapping the brakes to make the back slide, catching the spin with the throttle and counter-steering, and then drifting sideways round and onto the ramp. The top of the ramp/bridge section is a tight S-bend pair that I again drifted round with bootfuls of throttle and aggressive counter-steering. It's probably not the fastest approach, but it's the fun one.

The race was less good - Jonners asked for a reverse grid, but there was some confusion and what actually happened is the slowest driver got pole, followed by everyone else in grid order. I got a decent start which quickly became very confusing with a spin at the bottom of the ramp bunching everyone up, followed by Craig stalling on the back straights and us getting red flagged while the marshals restarted his kart and signalled him through the pack to the front for some reason. We then settled down to a proper race, most of which I spent stuck behind Jean trying to find a way past her and fighting with my kart - unlike in qualifying, this one had more grip and the back flatly refused to step out unless I got really aggressive with the brakes and throttle. I got past once, only to be punted by someone else which let Jean regain the position, so I spent several laps trying to catch up and pass again. Once I got past her I did find myself lapping faster than a pack of drivers behind me, but the race soon ended and I finished down in 8th.
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Accidental project management [Friday 23rd November 2018 at 11:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb

Oh dear, I seem to have become something of a project lead at work.

It all started innocently enough - we're trying to finish a particular project, and there's one application involved that I've done a lot of work with. So naturally when it comes to estimating the remaining work the spotlight falls on me for that application, and as part of that I went through the outstanding tasks and did ballpark estimates for each one.

Then the actual project lead wanted to try and do weekly sprints to track how well we're doing at meeting the due date. Since I'd already worked out which issues needed to be done, I went through my list and started scheduling them for the next few weeks. Including working out which issues depended on other work being done first and so which issues form the critical path.

Then to speed things up another person got allocated to the same bit of software, and the actual project lead asked me to allocate them issues to work on. So I'm now also working out which issues can be done in parallel and which will conflict horribly... and assigning work and monitoring progress.

Somehow I've ended up doing quite a bit of project management for something which technically isn't my project!

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Random encounter [Friday 23rd November 2018 at 7:44 am]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]

This year's NaBloPoMo is not going as well as past years. Anyway, have a random encounter that happened yesterday...

boggyb: *is walking back from the shops at lunchtime*
Random delivery driver: Hello! Happy Thursday!

Now, Wednesday as it happens was World Hello Day. Did this make yesterday World Happy Thursday?
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Church A/V ramblings [Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 11:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |coldcold]

It is cold out there - there was actually snow on top of Devil's Dyke last night!

I was late to housegroup tonight and turned up near the end of the bible study - housegroup clashed with music practice. I don't actually play any instruments or sing in the band at church, but I'm on the A/V team and so I like to turn up to music practice when it's my turn on the rota. I find it helps a lot when running projection if I've sung the songs beforehand and know how they flow (is there a pause between the verse and chorus or not? Are the band likely to repeat the last few lines? Will they launch straight into this song without an intro?).

As well as projection I'm starting to get involved with sound again, so far mainly for Messy Church where the sound is simultaneously easy and complicated. Easy in that the sound is generally a radio mic and a laptop (and rarely, a keyboard as well), complicated in that it's in the hall and so has to be set up from scratch using a portable mixer/amp along with some pieces borrowed from the main church. There's mutterings about adding some A/V infrastructure to the hall which would help - we may be getting some dedicated radio mics, assuming we can find channels that don't clash with the church mics. Radio mics have more range than most people expect, as St Mark's in Horsham discovered when the pub across the road had their quiz night ("And the Lord said *kkkssshhht* which football team won the 2005 world cup *kkkssshhht*").
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Goth unicorn slippers [Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 11:21 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |surprisedsurprised]

This is around the phase of NaBloPoMo where I end up staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with something to write and bemoaning the lack of memes and random quizzes these days. Are there any sites left that do them?

Anyway, after work I popped over to Whiteley to do a bit of shopping and poked my nose into the Aladdin's Cave that is Flying Tiger. It was evidently between stock changes and not as inspiring as it was in past years, though I did find a suitable Mystery Present in there (the Mystery is I don't even know what's in it!). Oh, and apparently goth unicorn slippers are a thing:



elemnar: those slippers? WOW. but no. But WOW
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Jackbox 5 [Monday 19th November 2018 at 11:45 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]
[Playing |Titanic - An Ocean of Memories]

Classic FM threw up a rather eerie choice of music for the drive back from pasta night - An Ocean of Memories, from the Titanic soundtrack. This came on as I passed Coultershaw Bridge and continued for the climb over the downs past Duncton and through Upwaltham, with the moon illuminating a few wisps of cloud in the night sky. While I don't think I've heard this song before, the wordless singing seemed very familiar (and no, I don't mean the part that's the Titanic theme). I can't quite place which piece it reminds me of though.


Back to pasta night, and tonight's game was by overwhelming popularity Jackbox 5! We started off with the classic You Don't Know Jack, which was as bonkers as it was back when we played it in the Brighton house in 2006, huddled around Nik's computer. The Screw option seems to have been tamed down a bit - when we played it before, in one incarnation it let you fire a whole slew of screws into the screen as fast as you could hammer the keyboard, covering all the answers up. This time it just flipped everything upside down, which is a bit anti-climatic when one can workaround it by just rotating your phone 180 degrees. Somehow despite trailing for most of it I managed to claim a solid victory with the rapid-fire questions at the end.

Next up was Split The Room which is strange - you get a question with a fill-in-the-blank portion, and the aim is to complete the question such that half the room will answer Yes and the other half No. You get more points for the closer you are to a 50/50 split. I didn't quite get into the swing of this one and ended up last.

We then played Patently Stupid, wherein you get a prompt to design a silly invention and then have to pitch it to the room. Whoever gets the most investment (votes) at the end wins! In the second round we all get the same prompt - for us, it was something along the lines of "When you need more salad". My invention was a...



Salad Cannon! For when you need all the salad! Sadly while it did score enough to get investment (and bonus points), Jonners stole the win with his anti-salad statement:



Finally it was time for Mad Verse City, a game of epic robot rap battles read out by some very bored-sounding text-to-speech engines. In each round you get two pairs of a prompt for a word, followed by the game generating a line with it and getting you to add a rhyming line. It does rather put you on the spot with trying to come up with words that you can rhyme and then trying to fit your rhyme into whatever insanity the game came up with. Ultimately it came down to a duel between Kyle and Louise, with Kyle looking strong but getting demolished by Louise in the final round.
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British Rail perils [Sunday 18th November 2018 at 7:10 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sillysilly]

A couple of months ago Craig and I somehow managed to arrange a meetup with the entire ex-Brighton-House group - such a thing has not happened since, well, Brighton. Well... there was one meetup where Craig joined remotely, and another where Dan sent a photo of himself (which promptly got scribbled on), and I think we were all present for one or two weddings... but the last social get-together of all of us was quite possibly a pub meal on top of Devil's Dyke back in 2007.

Of course given that this is the Brighton House there was going to be some level of fail involved...

Dan: Rail links XX-YY appear pretty badly screwed up today. Currently estimating arrival ZZZZ...
Nik: Blargh trains :/  At least I'll see you for a bit before I have to disappear
Dan: Apparently we're down a driver at XX, so must change there. Should I tell them I probably have enough simulator time to drive the thing myself? :D
Craig: That would be the *best* way to arrive
Nik: Careful, at this point they'd probably hire you on the spot :|
Dan: They found us a driver. We shall go to the ball!
Craig: Hopefully Dan won't be a pumpkin
Dan: I am NEVER a pumpkin...
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Church away day [Saturday 17th November 2018 at 11:52 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |thoughtfulthoughtful]
[Playing |Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra - All Fingers and Thumbs [Lift the Lid]]

Church went on an away day today, to the Greenhouse Centre in Poole. We did a study in three parts on "What does it mean to follow Jesus?" (The Inward Journey), split into worship, study, and service.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but it turned out to be quite interesting and very thought-provoking. I ended up with a pile of notes (taken on my phone because this is 2018) to reflect on later, but there were a couple of concepts that kept on cropping up. One concept in particular is to just pause and listen - "Be still and know", a phrase that I particularly like as it's the motto of Sussex University. Definitely worth making more time for just relaxing and listening instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern life or endlessly refreshing Facebook (or the BBC's Brexit live feed) - perhaps then I won't look on the past year and wonder where all my free time vanished.
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Brexit fail! [Friday 16th November 2018 at 11:16 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |disappointeddisappointed]

Right, so our "strong and stable" government has given us a Brexit deal that has somehow managed to unite both Leavers and Remainers, in that both agree it's terrible and not the deal that was promised, and it makes the Chequers plan look halfway-sensible (and that plan could be summed up as "all we care about is ending free movement"). The Tory cabinet which "collectively agreed" the proposals (and that was the phrase used - not merely "agreed") started jettisoning members left right and centre as a result.

So how does Theresa May respond? With a press conference which roughly translates as "damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!" combined with "I'm right and everyone else is wrong", at the same time as yet more Tory members are submitting letters of no confidence to the party chair (current rumours are that the magic number of 48 letters has probably been reached, with a formal announcement early next week if so).

Labour's not much better - they had a member of the shadow cabinet on the radio this morning explaining how the upcoming Tory implosion would give them an opportunity to win a general election. Because clearly gaining seats in the Commons is much more important than trying to salvage this mess.


Still, it made for good fodder for The Last Leg tonight - one of the messages they read out was "#isitok that we are only five Brexit Secretaries from Christmas?"
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Spontaneous food blog! [Thursday 15th November 2018 at 10:50 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|]
[Feeling |hungryom nom nom nom]

Church arranges an occasional social meal out - I went to tonight's, which was at the Avenue 141 restaurant at Fareham College. It's a budget upmarket restaurant (fine dining by trainee staff) and had a very yummy meal...

Food blog!Collapse )
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Prayer Bananagrams? [Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 10:26 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |thoughtfulprayerful]

We did another different sort of prayer at housegroup tonight: prayer bananagrams! Ca. dug out a set of Bananagram tiles and we turned them into a scrabble-like grid of things to be thankful for...

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Name that Song, round 10! [Tuesday 13th November 2018 at 10:43 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |accomplishedaccomplished]
[Playing |Jason Wade - You Belong to Me [Shrek]]

Somehow it's been a few years since I last did the classic Name That Song meme...

The rules are simple:
Step 1: Put your music player on random.
Step 2: Post the first few lines from the first bunch of songs with lyrics that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.
Step 3: Let everyone guess what song and artist/composer/work the lines come from.
Step 4: Post the answers in a few days
Step 5: And most importantly, no cheating by using Google :P

The lyrics!Collapse )
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Pasta Night! [Monday 12th November 2018 at 11:42 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, ]
[Feeling |sleepysleepy]

'Twas something of a wild ride to get to pasta night - the drivers around Portsmouth seemed completely bamboozled by the rain, and later I crested Bury Hill to discover torrential downpours with sporadic lightning. Fun.

Anyway, tonight we had time for two games! First up was Wits & Wagers, essentially a betting/guessing game. Someone will draw a card with a number-based question, such as "How many cups of coffee does the average American drink in a year". Everyone writes a guess for the answer on a card and the guesses are all sorted. Then, each player gets to pick one or two answers that they think are closest. Finally the answer is revealed, and those who guess right get points. You get a better reward for answers further from the median. Kyle managed to storm to victory on that one with a succession of good guesses, combined with betting heavily later on (you can bet your points - if you're right, then those multiply your resulting score).

Afterwards I unleashed the Super Mario Bros Power Up Card Game upon the pasta night group - we quickly got the hang of the rules after playing a test round, and then got stuck into it in earnest. Louise was the surprise winner here - despite being passed a whole slew of terrible cards from Kyle, she managed to build up a war chest of question block cards and held on right to the very end. I think this is one we may play again.
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Poppies: Wave at Fort Nelson [Sunday 11th November 2018 at 11:12 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Where |Fort Nelson, Fareham, United Kingdom]
[Feeling |contemplativecontemplative]







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File transfer fail! [Saturday 10th November 2018 at 11:51 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Tags|, , , ]
[Feeling |determineddetermined]

I had some files (the photos in the previous post) that I wanted to transfer from my phone to my PC. One would have thought that in 2018 this would be a simple task...


Bluetooth: nope. Transfers would start, but then fail partway through for no apparent reason.

Direct USB connection: nope. One USB port threw a fit over excessive power draw. The other port worked and the phone appeared in My Computer, but never managed to open the folder with the photos (some driver layer either objected to the number of photos or just took far too long to list them all).

USB memory stick: mostly nope. The photo album has no way to directly send a photo to the memory stick, and while I could have probably found the photo and copied it myself in the file manager it would be hard to find the right photo.

Copy to network share: is that even a thing on Android? Again, suffers from there being no "send to network share" option in the photo album.


Fine, so I'll give up on a local file transfer and pick something cloud-based. Because of course the best way to copy a file between two devices in the same room is to bounce it off a server in America.


Google Keep: nope. The note appeared online but the photo only showed up inside the phone app.

Google Docs: extra special nope. The online view had a partially-uploaded photo.

Email: success! Sigh.


xkcd 949

Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.
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They also served [Saturday 10th November 2018 at 11:39 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Where |Fareham, United Kingdom]
[Feeling |thoughtfulreflective]

While I was in town today, trying and mostly failing to dodge the intermittent downpours, I wandered into the museum to have a look at their current exhibitions. They had two going on this time.

The first was art inspired by objects from their collection - I found this mostly incomprehensible as the artwork was coloured tissue paper stuck to a white background and then drawn on with oil pastels. Every once in a while there'd be a recognisable shape, or something that closely matched an exhibit (like a mosaic tile from Titchfield Abbey) but mostly it felt like being attacked by bright colours.

The second was on the First World War and those from Fareham who lost their lives. The curator of that exhibition had started with the names on Fareham's war memorial and tracked down where else they were remembered, including travelling to find gravestones and memorials in France. Two things stood out from that exhibition: a map plotting where all those lost originally lived in Fareham...



...and a list of those who survived...



When remembering the wars, one doesn't often think of those who came home afterwards, and the struggles they had in adjusting back to civilian life and trying to find work.
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