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(no subject) [Aug. 13th, 2015|08:08 pm]
From wellinghall et al

1. Marmite- love or hate?
I love it.
2. Marmalade- thick cut or thin cut?
Don't really like it.
3. Porridge- made with milk or water?
Really don't like it.
4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
See 3
5. Loose tea or teabags?
TeabagsRead more...Collapse )
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Felicitations! [Aug. 5th, 2015|07:56 pm]

Felicitations to the_marquis !
As the page (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4806/chocolate-marquise) says: this is decadent yet serious, for a dinner party, and full of richness

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I have a job .... [Jul. 10th, 2015|08:33 pm]

Rather to my surpise, and at great speed, I have a new job.  And (of course) I am busily creating more new jobs.  First new job is an Engagement Co-ordinator - essentially communications and events, both internal (thousands of volunteers) and external (squillions of users): http://www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk/blog/2015/07/10/recruiting-an-engagement-co-ordinator/

I am almost at the stage of posting the second new job - a Technical Project Manager.  I am feeling rather pleased that thanks to a creative commons licence from Queridian Solutions (queridian.com) I even found a relevant photo for that job.

Engagement Co-ordinator probably needs to be in the UK, TPM needs to be free to make online meetings 2pm-6pm UT/BST - but can live and work anywhere.  The rest of the team are across the globe - Thailand to British Columbia.  The sun pretty much never sets on this particular empire.

If interested in either post, please ask.  The TPM job should be up on the Free UK Genealogy blog tomorrow.

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Slight matter of scale [Jun. 28th, 2015|07:00 pm]
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ExMemSec and I have been training ourselves to climb the Volcano on Tristan. Yesterday we started at 208m, and reached 704m at Great Whernside. OK, I did sit down once and say I wasn't going on, and at the lunch break ate two bites of a sandwich and then stared at the middle distance for ten minutes. But bgs started at 5, ended at 5.6, and peaked at 11.1 (after the sandwich - which I did finish eating). Total climb was over about 3km but total walk about 13km. Pedometer, he lies. So we thought we had acomplished 3/4 of the needed height.

However, one small problem. Volcano is not the asserted-by-ExMemSec 2062 feet, but 2062 meters. Twice the height of Ben Nevis. So I should have started training 35 years ago.

Other than that, it was a wonderful day. Clarity that you can only dream of (one person said they'd been climbing Great Whernside fo 40 years, and can only recall a handful of days like it). We saw not just the three peaks. On the way down, were told that we could also have seen our Minster. Sunny/clouds scudding shadows, and a very strong wind at our backs during the climb.

Which means that we will continue to prepare to climb a volcano. As with the whole 'go and visit every remaining British Overseas Territory' idea, the 'learn to walk up 600 or so metres' idea seems an excellent idea. If nothing else, if the weather is so terrible we don't get off the Agulhas, and get carried on to Gough Island instead, there are several _properly sized_ peaks there.
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Felicitations! [May. 20th, 2015|01:31 pm]
Happy Birthday, madeline_seb !

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Well, I called that wrong ... [May. 8th, 2015|08:46 pm]
I believe I said before the coalition was formed (but cannot be asterisked to look up): this will be the death of whichever party forms the coalition.

My reasoning was: the LibDems would make proportional representation the condition of coalition.  Both parties would be blamed for the bad things resulting from the recession, but the LibDems, under-represented on first-past-the-post, would take the lesser hit.

I went to the vote, not at all clear what (if anything) the LibDems had done to mitigate the Conservative ideas.  I am worried that this will become clear in the next five years.

So ... given my excellent record on predictions for the next election, here goes!

I realise that my own 'favourite' outcome is actually a hung parliament.  So I am very tempted to suggest this is what will happen.  But I think an 'obvious' coalition will have a fairly easy win.

I don't think it's the next one which will be the new politics.  I think it's the one after that. York Central will be Labour held, again.  Both times.
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Clothespegs+ [Apr. 19th, 2015|08:10 pm]
I have remembered that alitalf (maybe) at one point was working on a kind of digital clothespeg (se my earlier post, or Eastercon for details of analogue clothespegs).  These digital oojimaflips werelittle tags which you could programme to indicate your gender, the gender(s) you were interested in meeting, and level of intimacy you were interested in.  When you met someone who you matched with, I think the tag vibrated.  Or possibly flashed.

Now we are increasingly carrying around phones capable of taking a 'clothes peg ap', this could become a real possibility.  The main downside is that the guides would need to be disciplined and only look at the ap (not at facebook), seeing faces tagged 'Talk to me about the furniture!' BSL: general speil is great!' 'Greek or French language: impressionist paintings' among the approaching visitors. 
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Check, staff, and other words [Apr. 17th, 2015|08:30 pm]
I used to think that check was the best word in the dictionary.  Really.  Here it is: http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/31085#eid9650961
What a fabulous word.  Starting with the  Persian shāh ‘king’, it turns up in checkmate (the king is dead), chequerboard, cheques (or checks), exchequers, checklists, and so on.

But I now have a rival.  Staff. It has a lovely word-cloud of early Germanic meanings, all related to bits of wood stuck in the ground.  With a slight religious weight to them.  Staff meaning 'people' in English starting with the meaning 'pastoral staff', for example.  And it has a lovely verb 'to staff'.

Staff as a verb should be used much more.  It's a lovely gender-neutral alternative to 'man', which doesn't sound at all 'wrong'.  'I need three volunteers to staff the registration desk at 10am'.  'The office is staffed from 8am to 6pm: outside these times please leave a message'.  I am completely at a loss to explain the continuing use of 'manned' in such contexts, unless it is by people who truely belive that women are incapable of doing whatever it is that you do in your office.
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Penelope Farmer [Apr. 17th, 2015|08:37 am]
Penelope Farmer in conversation with Vulpes Libris (a blog I should read more often)
https://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/in-conversation-with-penelope-farmer-2/  I enjoyed this for the reminders of all the good books she mentions - noting beats remembering the enjoyment of a book - the slight dissapointment that it has finished has worn off.

I mention it here because I suspect Penelope Farmer isn't much recognised in sf circles (although the title Charlotte Sometimes may ring bells).

he publicity part of the new publishing does seem to be the problem we have yet to overcome.
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A system of clothespegs [Apr. 16th, 2015|08:46 pm]

There was a system of clothespegs operating at Eastercon.  They allowed people who are shy, and won't initiate conversations, but who are happy if someone starts a conversation, those who are having bad days and don't want a conversation with anyone, and those who are having middling days, and can cope with the folk they already know, but don't want to speak to new people, to let the whole world know this.  It was lampooned in the newsletter - see https://www.dysprosium.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/dy66_newsletter3.pdf

But I can see it has its use.  As someone with multiple invisible disibilities, the idea of putting on clothes pegs occassionally has a certain appeal.  The tinnitus one will be an invisible clothespeg, but cause a public information statement to be sent to the person at the other end of the phone before they are connected.  A certain appeal ..... while people with disabilities are regarded by even a small minority as being less than human, it's not something to do lightly.

My recent experiences in a historic house have, however, suggested that the coloured clothespeg should be used by all visitors.
white: dear guide, please give standard speil.
transparent, with a little national flag: dear guide, please speak in my national language or remain silent (nb multiple pegs possible) [note to self - BSL, etc. need their own flags]
red: dear guide, please remain silent.  I wrote my PhD thesis in this room and if you open your mouth, I will have to kill you.
yellow: dear guide, please remain silent.  I find guides annoying, but feel obliged to talk to you if you open you mouth.
green: dear guide, please ask me to ask you a question.
orange: dear guide, please ask me to tell you something.
pink: dear guide, please tell me how dreadful Arts Council England are (or other major funding body of your choice).
brown: dear guide, please offer additional sensory experiences

And so on.  It will mean all colour-blind guides are not allowed to volunteer in this capacity, which is a shame...
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