|Wednesday, November 19th, 2014|
It appears that due to the Facebook not learning from Google+ Namegate and deciding to have a Namegate all of it's own, I am now have substantial numbers of friends active on three different sites. I was pretty much exclusively on FB of late apart from checking in here once a day for the few friends I have that haven't bailed to FB over the years.
Much as I've had a G+ account pretty much since it's inception most of my friends had deserted it all most immediately due to the namegate issue which to it's credit G+ has pretty much sorted.
Suddenly this morning I find my substantial numbers of friends spread across all three. I'm now trying to divide my posts up between all three. I don't want to be repeating myself partly because I can't be arsed. I wonder about having themes for my posts in each forum but that would give a single track image of me on each. Maybe I will sort of round robin for the moment and see what sort of posts get th most positive reactions where.
We will see. I am cross at FB though for what it has done to my friends partly due to it's complete failure to understand the cultural history of the web, the importance of personal identity and the tricky balance that people strike on privacy online.
|Saturday, October 4th, 2014|
The of course I mentioned a couple of campaign ideas, The other idea being more vague. I thought what a good idea it would be to make up a campaign out of 20 adventures each based on a randomly chosen quote. It seemed a good idea but then these are the 20 quotes I ended up with:
1) My Policy is to be able to buy a ticket at Victoria Station and go anywhere I choose.
2) A cad is one who does the crossword when you're out; shows his friends your letters; tells you whodunnit; calls breasts 'Bristols' and is the one you want to go out with more than anyone in the world.
3) I Suppose that there is no nation in the world which has so little capacity for doing nothing gracefully, and enjoying it, as the English.
4) There was a young lady of Riga
Who rode with a smile on a tiger
They returned from the ride
with the lady inside
and the smile on the face of the tiger.
5) I was named as the worlds most famous artist only because Rembrandt didn't have his own TV show.
6)I tried to be pleasant and chatty. It was like engaging the pyramids in small talk.
7)Tony Blair's done more U-turns than a dodgy plumber.
8)Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
9)-"Is he dead?"
-"Well put it this way, He needn't have bothered washing out the extra mug."
10) For sale, Undertaker's coat, Slightly worn on one shoulder.
11) Britain, Britain, Britain. Everybody is welcome in Britain. We are open 'til six, Monday to Saturday. No foreign gentlemen please.
12) Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, But middle class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.
13) There was a kid crying in the supermarket, so I said to the mother "Did you hit this child?" she said "No." I said "Why not?"
14) Battenburg cake, cut in to 16 slices then arranged in to a square, makes an ideal emergency chessboard.
15) Think how uncomfortable Hansel and Gretel must have been in the Witch's candy house in damp weather!
16) Power is like a woman you want to stay in bed with for ever.
17) The Great Nations have always acted like gangsters and the small nations like prostitutes.
18) We can do you something pretty bizarre in marzipan... I could let myself go in Dundee... or I could do something provocative in sponge with a fruity filling.
19) Eating an egg is always an adventure.
20) Five exclamation marks, The sure sign of an insane mind!!!!!
All the same it could work.
|Been working on more D&D stuff.
Where as I've been working mostly on my main smuggling based campaign I've taken some time out to sketch out the basis of a couple of other campaign ideas. Wrote and opening for one as follows:The legacy of San'ta
Some think they are a myth, some say they are a legend, a few believe they are no more. They know they have survived.
Some say the celestial sponsor of the elven warlock San'ta feasted upon the good vibes of the world and tasked him with their increase. What ever his reason San'ta gathered around him a cult of elves, summoned by his magic from all around the world of Essence to his secret retreat each year in the depths of winter from where they travel out in to the world to bring happiness, freedom from tyranny and brightly wrapped gifts to the people of places in particular need of cheering up.
Many tyrants lost their rule to the cunning servants of San'ta lead by the mighty warrior Black Peter, but a year ago Peter and San'ta were slain by a foe to powerful and to clever for them. Their secret retreat destroyed along with the device of summoning and all but a hand full of elves who escaped before its destruction killed.
The few remaining elves searched for each other but a few days before midwinter they found themselves transported to a ship. Balanced on top of a glacial cliff crewed by the gnomes of San'ta's gift workshop. Which incidentally seems to be what the boat is made of.
It is time to reignite the legacy of San'ta, to bring joy to the world and vengeance to the fallen.
|Sunday, September 28th, 2014|
Oh my, I've just watched part of a version of Dracula so bad that I actually gave up. It seemed to be a 70's version the only good part was that visually the scenery often looked like Whitby might if everything were put in the wrong place. Which is I'm sad to say the closest the closest any film has ever got. the only real moment of interest was when one of the serving staff at the Van Helsing home* turned out to be Sylvester McCoy.
*Where Doctor Van Helsing lived above his Whitby mental asylum with his daughter Lucy.
|Friday, September 19th, 2014|
|Now the people of England must stand
The time for the Scots to stand up has passed and they stood up and voted to stand and fight the problems that face the UK rather than run away and bury their heads up their arses.
Now however it is time for the people of England to stand up and make sure we are not left as second class citizens of the UK. I lay out much of this in a letter I have written to the PM program I will have to find the address of my MP and send something similar to him to. It reads as follows.
I've been waiting till the vote to say this but for several days David Cameron has been saying that due to the further devolution of powers to Scotland Scottish MPs should no longer vote on "English issues". This is by no means sufficient to address the Democratic inequality which currently makes the people of England second class citizens of the UK.
Come the general elections the parties will as ever be aiming for the vote of all British people, the scots included. Their manifestos will always reflect this as will the actions of the parties even when voting on "English issues" actions for the benefit of the English people might harm scots interests. No Westminster MP would vote for such a thing for fear of vengeance at the General election. SMPs would be considered in dereliction of their duties if they did not put Scotland first in all things. The only way for the People of England to have Democratic Equality is either an English Assembly or a series of region assemblies covering areas of population similar to Scotland and funded on equal terms.
As a final note can we stop talking about devolution to "The Cities" and instead talk of Devolution to The Regions.
The Scots have shown a huge disconnect with Westminster. It may surprise them to know this is not just a Scottish thing. Nor is it a thing of "The North". Even in parts of London the disconnect is felt by many.
|Wednesday, September 17th, 2014|
|Tomorrow or the Day after
Tomorrow the Scots vote on the future of the UK. It was meant to be just the future of Scotland but various promises from the UK party leaders that's no longer the case. This annoys me because I feel this will prove unnecessary. I sense that the actual vote will be far more in the direction of a no vote than the polls suggest. The rather unpleasant bullying attitude of parts of the yes campaign (Something I know other parts of the yes campaign are increasingly worried by) almost certainly is having an effect like that we saw when John major won the general election. Admitting being a Tory had become socially very difficult so nobody did but a lot of people voted that way anyway.
I think incidentally this has really damaged the Yes campaign because it's meant that rather than being able to talk to no voters and use the legitimate arguments that might win them over the debate just dose not happened, just a rich stream of blaitent bullshit from the yes campaign has drowned out the true arguments that could have been made.
It's a shame really because as things are I am hoping for a Yes vote for the sake of the working people of England. Why do I hope for that? Well that's another post if I have time for it (Busy man).
|Saturday, September 13th, 2014|
|A Day In Bury St Edmunds
A nice day out yesterday. I headed out reasonably early to Bury St Edmunds with the main plan of getting my favourite boots fixed. They were a really nice pair Amy bought me one year from the boot shop just around the corner from Camden Town Tube (on the Sainsburies side not the high street side) and being quite pricey and very nice I figured it made more sense to have them fixed than by a new pair. I dropped them off at the repair shop (The one on the traverse) at about 11 and was told they would be ready by 4. That left me 5 hours to kill. My plan had been the cinema but it just didn't appeal yesterday and there was nothing on I was crazy to see.
I started off with a trip to the art shop. I was after something specific. The person who knew about the thing I was after was off on tea break so I decided to go have a cuppa myself and come back later. Went to Thorntons who have a very nice cafe. Had some cake with my tea, Blueberry and Lemon drizzel cake and it was rather nice. Thorntons give out a random chocolate every time you buy a cup of anything. This time it was a white chocolate and Lemon confection of some kind. I'm not normally one for special chocolates but this one was delicious. Headed back to the art shop. Last time I'd been there I picked up a set of Liquitex acrylic markers. They are really very good for adding line work to my airbrush creations. I wanted a metallic cyan for a coat I'm working on. They don't do one so I'm just going to have to do that with a brush instead.
Next I went for a general drift round HMV I have now rectified the gaping lack of any Gary Numan/Tubeway Army in my CD collection with the acquisition of both Replicas and Splinter. I looked at the DVD's but was pretty certain that I didn't want to buy any more just yet. I've got quite a few to watch right now. It has made me think of Christmas. My sister is almost certainly going to buy me a DVD because that's what she dose at Christmas and birthdays. I don't want to tell anyone what to get me for Christmas, after all what would be the point of that. It's far better to get something you hadn't thought of otherwise they might as well just give you the money, but it would be a shame if she got me something I've already got. My sister normally avoids this by phoning me in the weeks before Christmas and asking if I have X. I then know I'm getting X for Christmas. I do have a list of All the DVD's and Videos I have and those that I want. I guess If I put the ones I have online somewhere people can see it. Then she will know both the sort of thing I like and what I have.
After that It was the first of my planned buys of the day. I popped in to sounds plus. I lost my electronic tuner at Bobstock and had to get a new one which I did. It's a non-specific Chromatic one so now it's fit to tune anything I care to play which to me is an improvement on the just guitar one. I also asked about a multi effects peddle for my bass. It turns out a decent one like the Boss ME20B is only £160. This is very interesting news. I think this is something that will happen to me very soon.
Next stop was Jessops as I wanted a full hight camera tripod for various things. I got a decent but cheap on. Buying one was in effect an admittance that I have definitely lost Dad's tripod which I've not been able to find for at least a decade. This morning dad told me he'd found it last week in the bottom of a cupboard. Typical!
Marks and Sparks was a quick call for a pair of Jeans and socks, then on to Waterstones. This was part of my cunning plan for the rest of the day. I picked up Grandville-Bete Noire a graphic novel detailing the further adventures of the character from open all hours (I may have made that last bit up).
Remembering that Bury has a camping shop I popped in there. I'd left my carry mat at the last new year party and it apears to be lost deep in the pile of Marquises unpacked stuff so given I'm in the bedless attic for Whitby again this year I was going to need one. I got the deluxe slightly inflatable model.
All this done it was time to relax a little bit. I headed to the sandwich shop on High Baxter St for a large bap and a cup of tea which I took to the Abbey Gardens with me. There I found a tree and sat down under it to eat lunch and read Grandville. Also I spent lots of time filming the various insects that decided to climb me. I'm really quite impressed at just how good my camera is at close up shots of tiny things. Once I'd had lunch I decided to move since it turns out leaning against a tree isn't all that comfortable and they had nice seats over by the a very and a cafe selling more tea (Yay more tea!). Lots of squirrel watching to be had there including one small child who's main tacktic for feeding the squirrels was to run at them with a nut held in front of her. It turned out to be a remarkably unsuccessful stratagem, but very fun to watch.
As time ticked on I made a quick trip back to the carpark to dump the stuff I had already gathered before a second trip to waterstones on the off chance they had the new D&D DM's Guide. I have to admit I wasn't sure it was out yet but was a little surprised to find it wouldn't be out till November! (Yes that sentence did warrant the Exclamation mark.)
One final cup of tea at Thorntons (Chocolate was OK but nothing special this time) I picked up my boots which had been repaired beautifully. It's amazingly satisfying to get a pair of boots repaired. Strangely more so than buying a new pair.
Still got some of Grandville left to read.
|Thursday, September 11th, 2014|
|Ask the Interweb
My phone contract runs out in a fortnights time and I will be offered a shiny new phone to continue. I like the non-faff of a contract. Can't be arsed with topping up plus the new phone comes in handy. I'm actually looking forward new phone because much as I like the Galaxy s3 I have the camera on it is mediocre during the day and crap at night. I particularly like night time photography and apart from the poor resolution (good for it's time) my old Nokia Navigator was better all round and brilliant at night. So effectively I'm looking for the phone with the best camera. I'm happy to use either Android or Windows. As such I've got it down to a choice of three and I'd appreciate your opinions.
Nokia Lumia 930: This is the phone I thought I'd be getting It's got a good quality camera and I've seen decent night photography from it. It's got a very easy to use interface for setting some of the more technical camera settings. This may be why the night time photography I've seen is so good. That's a good and bad thing because it means I can get the good night shots but it may mean I don't know what those pictures look like on auto. Still I've seen the results and I know good things are very possible.
Nokia Lumia 1020: It's the new Lumia and the one the Vodaphone shop are now pushing. It would mean a more expensive contract and the interface for the technical camera setting is less useful. It is the newer windows phone with more processing power and that sort of thing.
LG One (M8): This one I didn't see coming. I'd been of the general opinion that Nokia did the best cameras but word is the camera on the LG One is up there with the Nokia. a bit sceptical because this dose not have Mega Pixels it has "UltraPixels" Nobody in the shop could really give me a definition of what UltraPixels is/are (It's not a number of Ultra pixels it's just UltraPixels) It seemed ok in the shop although there was something about the screen that didn't look quite right.
Anyway, This is the choice I seem to have. Have any of you got experience of any of these phones? I'm going to do further online research but I'd like to hear your experiences.
|Tuesday, September 9th, 2014|
It's no secret I have a thing for children's stories, but sometimes when you go back to a story it can be disappointing. For instance take the Burglar Bill. I'd obviously forgotten the ending because when I found out that at the end Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty went strait I was very disappointed.
My preffered ending would be more like :So Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty decided to get married. They went out and stole two very nice rings for each other and a wedding dress for Betty and a top hat for Bill. Lots of other burglars came to the wedding and they all stole things to eat at the feast. Lupin l' thief came all the way from France and stole them champaign especially from a chato. At the end of the feast all the burglars stole the cutlery but that was OK because bill had stolen that just for the occasion.
Betty decided that with the baby she wanted to work from home so she became Betty the fence. But once a week Betty's mother would come over and watch the Baby and Betty and Bill would go burgling Together.
|Concession to far.
Woak up this morning to the news that the three main parties have promised Devo-max to Scotland. Seriously what gives them the right? I'm fine with Scotland's right to vote it's self out of the UK. Such an action would not change the constitution for the rest of the UK, Just allow Scotland to detach it's self and go do it's own thing without us. Sad but their choice really. Devo-max would Nessesitate major change to the constitution for the rest of the country (Unless they plan to leave the people of England as second class citizens). That should not happen without a referendum of all the UK's people instead it's being handed to us as a done deal.
There are further reprocutions. giving Scotland autonomy over income tax would kick of a race to attract the rich and their corporations by reducing taxes for the super rich at the cost of tax rises for everyone else and probably cuts in services. I've come to the sad conclusion that the three main parties have created such conditions that is would be better for everyone if they just vote yes and went.
|Friday, September 5th, 2014|
Pondering the whole actually keeping a diary thing again. Keeping it on LJ is a good option for me because most of the people in my immediate surroundings don't know that I have an LJ account or even what LJ is. There are of course people here who's opinion I care about. I think it is honest to say that there are things one could write that perhaps one would not if one's friends are reading. so my plan is to write entries and then decide weather or not it's a public or private post and then save and delete the lot if I ever accidentally become famous I believe there are tools for such things. Common sense kind of dictates one should not keep a diary online with anything one would not be happy with the world seeing, there are always arseholes out there, but I guess I'm going to risk it because it's nice to have some bits of it public and it's a faff to have two diaries.
|Wednesday, June 4th, 2014|
There are those that claim the EU is undemocratic. If so It's the fault of the BBC. After all thee has been an election for the EU parliament very recently where we all got to vote for our representatives. The problem is nobody knew what they were voting for.
The the Job of the MEPs is to vote on the legislation brought before the European parliament. Yet on the BBC we heard almost unending talk on weather we should be in or out of the EU which MEP's do not get to vote on.
We heard a little from the parties on their policies for things voted on by our National parliament but MEPs don't get to vote on that either.
So what do MEPs get to vote on? I've actually very little idea because you barely mentioned it on any of your news programs nor did you inform us as to which way the various parties have voted in recent votes or which way they are likely to vote on subjects likely to be up for discussion over the period of the new parliament.
So how is anyone to make an informed vote on the EU parliament? I know the politicians wanted to talk about in/out and national issues but it is not the job of the BBC to slavishly follow what the politicians want to talk about. may would say it is entirely the contrary. I would say your job is to tell us things useful to the important decision we had to make. On that you totally failed.
You might point out that none of the print media of other TV media gave us any of this information but that's not their job. Their job is to serve the interests of their owners. Yours is to serve the interests of the British people In this you failed. Who knows which way they may have voted if they had any vague idea of what it was they were actually voting for. I listen to Today, The World at One and PM and heard no information of any practical use at all when choosing between my European candidates.
|Wednesday, May 28th, 2014|
|Friday, May 23rd, 2014|
It has got to the point where it must be obvious to many that we will never make the economy stable until house prices are low enough that a large proportion of the populace can afford to buy a house of their own without great hardship and the cost of a mortgage is low enough that it becomes the better option when Landlords put rents up on principle that residents have some spare cash so the land lord might as well take it.
Before the great crash of '08 it is now well recognised that house prices were way to high. When one asks why there are really only two possibilities firstly that the government was completely unable to slow down the rise in house prices without causing a crash or the government actually quite liked the housing boom because it was making the GDP figures look good. I would be dishonest if I said I did not believe it to be the second. So the Labour government having made this huge mistake and conciquences having been so obvious it would of course be farcical for the current government to do the same thing again, none the less and despite protests from some within the liberal side of the current coalition they are apparently doing just that.
Despite the huge drop in house prices during the recession it still left them in historically high position in comparison to wages and since then prices have rises. As if to prove where the Government's minds are when recently the governor of the Bank Of England said house prices are rising to far and to fast a government spokesman pointed out that although house prices in London had gone up a huge amount since 2008 and were well past where they were for the great crash prices in most of the rest of the country were not quite what they before the crash. This shows they think the Government think prices getting back to pre '08 levels already is a good thing when there is not a point past '08 when they got down to reasonable.
The basic problem is of course one of supply. There are to few house of the right size to go around in the areas there they are needed. The government's solution has been to fun huge mortgages with huge deposits to push prices up to a point where more developers will build. This will not only cripple the finances of the house buyer but push house prices up totally defeating the point. The government say this will only be a short term thing but that's rubbish unless at some point they want a house price crash. You see it is important that house prices don't actually go down that causes negative equity which traps people in the houses they are in even if they need to move for a really important reason like work or marriage or divorce. So once a house price is up it's up. No government should willingly make it drop, so to lower the house value or to put it another way it's cost in relation to wages a government must hold the house price as still as possible. that way wages will eventually rise until the differential between wages and house price is something reasonable. This would take ages even as things were in '08 and now things are worse and the help to buy scheme actually makes it worse.
The only solution is for Local government to be empowered to build council houses. To start with this will provide reasonably priced rental accommodation and over time with right to buy the houses will pass in to tenant ownership. This will fill the need for supply both of reasonably priced rental accommodation and eventually the desire of people to have the security that comes with owning a property. This will reverse thatchers big mistake. No I'm not going to say the right to buy was a bad thing, I understand why people want to buy and it's no bad thing as such but when Thatcher introduced Right To Buy she could not resist twisting the dogma knife so she banned councils from using the money raised to build any further council houses. So now where once properties were rented out buy councils with an eye on affordability they are now rented out by private landlords who's main aim is to make as much money as they can. This was not Thatcher's stated dream of people owning their own homes at all. but by allowing councils to build that can once again be something we move towards and not away from.
I've been meaning to write down where I stand politically for some time. I figure I'll do it here because Facebook is only good for short posts and I think I'm going to need a bit of space. I think the rise of a particular and nasty part of the right in the form of UKIP has disturbed me enough to get a few things written down in a way I'm happy with. The kind of thing I often don't have the time to write when relevant stories are in the news but I I want them written down where I can point to them when I need them.
So yes, This channels about to get a bit political. I would apologise but I won't it's about time more people actually thought about politics enough to face some of the difficult truths of the world today and not fall for simple answerers which turn out not to be true under scrutiny.
|Friday, May 2nd, 2014|
|Saturday, April 26th, 2014|
|Friday, March 14th, 2014|
I've been trying to work out what the difference is between today's politicians and the Tony Benn who died today. I've come to the analogy of price points . I work quite a few hours in my parent's newsagent shop. The current price point is £1 (Did you know that psychologically speaking £1 is less that 99p?). So instead of making a big bar of chocolate and then charging what it's worth they work out what they want to charge for a bar of chocolate and make a bar that costs that much. Many brands of the cheaper cigarettes now keep their product to a price point by selling packs of 19 rather than the normal 20 (19 is written on them in very little figures and most smokers don't notice unless you tell them). Politicians today do the same thing. Rather than preach what they believe in they preach what they can sell especially on the left as the corporate hate sheet we call the British press pretend the British people are more and more to the right (they are no more to the right than they ever were but the heard instinct is a strong one). When a politician finds his view is not universally popular with the electorate he no longer tries to convince the electorate that he is right but that he never held the contrary view in the first place.
In the stead of politicians trying to make the world a better place we are left with politicians trying to make corporations fund them while the people are left to have their views formed by a corporate media that knows all to well that hate sells.
Tony Ben was none of this. That is why he will be missed.
|Wednesday, February 26th, 2014|
|Thursday, February 20th, 2014|