baratron: (poly)
I haven't been posting more than comments because it's been too hot to switch my computer on. My laptop is "built for extreme gaming" and therefore has two heavy-duty fans, one for the CPU and the other for the GPU. Unsurprisingly, it belches out A LOT of heat. Given that it's been over 30 degrees C during the day and even over 25 at night, I haven't had much desire to add to the house temperature. I've been playing Dragon Quest VII on my 3DS instead of Elder Scrolls Online on my computer, and just checking in with my Guild for 30-60 minutes at 3 am when it's as cool as it's going to get.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I shall be 41, which is quite shocking. I don't FEEL like I should be middle-aged yet - even if extended life expectancy means we now have "early" middle-age from 40 to 55 and "late" middle-age from 56 to 70 or 75, and you don't become "elderly" until you're properly decrepit. One of my birthday presents will be a visiting Grant, which means I am now attempting to do battle with entropy such that there will be enough space in the house for him to stay.

To do... )
baratron: (aibo)
Last night I dreamt that I was a werewolf and that my father was the Alpha of our pack, that he got kidnapped and I had to invoke the magic of the pack to rescue him. So far, not very surprising - I've been reading my way through Patricia Briggs' modern urban fantasy series again. But why was my father Nick Clegg?


I did not win NaNoWriMo. Actually, I barely wrote anything. Actually, I've barely been writing anything, anywhere. My new friend from Elder Scrolls Online was sad that I hadn't added her to my livejournal friends list yet and I said "I haven't written anything friends-only recently!". Not enough coherent brain to finish all the half-written stuff flapping around the place. Literally all I've written recently is a description of all my ESO characters and a writeup of an ESO Guild event.


I am sad about Lemmy and David Bowie's deaths, and very sad about Alan Rickman. With Lemmy and Bowie, I'm sad for my friends who were fans of them and for all the musicians I know who were influenced by them. Whereas I was actually a big fan of Alan Rickman myself. We watched Galaxy Quest at the weekend, mostly because we couldn't find the Dogma DVD in the mess that is our house. Fuck cancer all round, anyway.


My mattress is completely knackered, so I am waking up most days with extreme back pain and sometimes back and hip pain together. Woo. We have ordered a new one but it's going to take 8-10 weeks to arrive, since apparently companies don't keep "super kingsize" (6 foot/180 cm) mattresses in stock. Don't even ask how much it's costing. Dunlopillo latex beds for people who are allergic to dust mites are Not Cheap. We tried lying on Tempur mattresses (which are even more expensive) but found them very weird and far too soft. I thought I might like them if I had a pain issue where it hurt for me to be in contact with the mattress, but as it is I roll over far too many times to be on a mattress which completely contours to me, and fighting the mattress would simply make my back hurt more.

In related news, I have been back to the Pain Management Clinic. There is nothing wrong with my hip (which I suspected anyway) and they are going to do some more facet joint injections into my evil sacro-illiac joint. I look forward to being in less pain soon.


Shifty is coming to visit me on 8th February for two weeks! Yay!
baratron: (corrosive)
My Macbook Pro is officially no longer at the minimum spec for Elder Scrolls Online, so I need a new computer. Since Apple don't make laptops with sufficient graphics capabilities for gaming, I'm being forced back to a PC. I am not very happy about this and will be keeping my Mac for work purposes, most likely.

I'm looking at a couple of "extreme gaming" laptops online. (I don't know what "extreme gaming" is - I've been assuming it's like extreme ironing. In which case I don't need to worry too much because my physical limitations prevent me from climbing narrow rocks in order to play my video game at the top of them. Also, I'm pretty sure that the internet connection isn't too good up most mountains.)

Since laptops are not easily upgradable, one must start with the best possible spec now in order to make sure that the machine is still usable in 5 years time.

I've got it down to 2 possibilities. One has a better screen (GLOSSY 3840 x 2160 rather than matte 1920 x 1080), the other has twice as much video RAM (8 GB vs 4 GB). The one with the better screen and less video RAM is also lighter (2.5 kg vs 3.1 kg). My MacBook Pro is something like 2.7 kg including its fancy case, so I know I can just about lift that much.

Here's the spec:
  • 15.6" glossy 4K PLS LED widescreen (3840 x 2160) - sounds like insane resolution to me but it's the only glossy screen that was offered. I'm not going back to matte after using a MacBook Pro.

  • Intel (R) Core(TM) i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor i7-4720HQ (2.60 GHz, 3.5 GHz Turbo)

  • 16 GB Kingston SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (2 x 8 GB)

  • NVidia (R) GeForce (R) GTX 980M - 4 GB DDR5 Video RAM - DirectX (R) 11

  • 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, Sata 6 Gb/s (upto 540 MB/sR |520 MW/sW) - deliberate choice, I can't see myself needing much storage space considering that I've only used about 240 GB of my current hard drive on a machine which has both games and work on it.

  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit /w SP1 - inc DVD & License (YES! Not Windows 8.1! Also a free upgrade to Windows 10 when that's released.)

  • Obviously it has a sound card and some USB ports, but I'm not hugely excited by those. They're just there.

  • Various warranties, etc.

Does that sound good? I hope it should last for the life of ESO, anyway. The price for that spec is £1216.67 ex VAT or £1460.00 inc VAT.

Have any of you ever bought machines from PCSpecialist? Richard knew of them as a place where you can get custom laptops, but neither of us knows what the build quality is like. Also whether it's possible to get an "extreme gaming" laptop with this kind of spec from anywhere else for cheaper.

I kinda wish I could get the glossy super high resolution screen and the extra video RAM on the same machine, but that doesn't seem to be an option.
baratron: (endurance)
I haven't been feeling very successful in my life lately. I came back from Canada and collapsed in a heap of exhaustion and/or depression. No idea which. Possibly both. The thing is, I have an overwhelming feeling that it's depression due to physical health problems rather than my mental health screwing up.

I didn't mention this earlier, but I had my thyroxine dose increased just before I went away. My TSH level was 4.something (I wrote it down, but I've no idea where I put the piece of paper - 4.7, perhaps?). It was high enough to be in the range where even the NHS would advise another test in 6 months if I wasn't already on thyroxine. In this situation it was a clear indicator that my thyroxine dose wasn't high enough any more. Still, I was only on 25 mg, which is nothing.

I have a feeling that when my thyroid is working less awfully, I will feel better in all sorts of ways. Not sleeping for more than 12 hours a day would be nice. I've had a few days where I've slept for 10 hours, woken up, eaten something and taken meds, and then gone back to sleep for another 6 hours. I've had a few more days where I've slept for 4 hours and then woken up wide awake and been entirely unable to get back to sleep.

I have done NOTHING with regards to College work. I have done NO WRITING for pleasure since 6th January, except that today I managed to produce 900 words, of which about 700 are good. I owe BiCon an Access Report and am actually rather grateful that Jennifer has been on my back about it, because it shows that the BiCon team takes access seriously.

I haven't read any books in weeks. I've read some fanfiction online, and also some short fiction by Sarah Monette, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. And also this by Elizabeth Bear (which made me cry my eyes out) and this by Marissa Lingen, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] elisem who makes necklaces which people write about.

About all I've done constructively lately is play Animal Crossing: New Leaf. And, this weekend, I took part in the beta of The Elder Scrolls: Online, which was actually about 100 x more fun than it should have been considering it's (a) an MMO with a monthly fee and (b) messing up some of the established Lore of the universe. Today I did a small amount of posting of information to the UESP wiki. But in general, life has been relentlessly awful and exhausting, even though nothing much has happened.
baratron: (pokemon scientist)
Tired. The past few weeks I have done very little other than teach myself spectroscopy from a book, play Oblivion, and deal with a large amount of internet forum wank. The spectroscopy is in preparation for the real spectra that I need to start interpreting as soon as possible. It's interesting, but only to people who already know about organic chemistry. For example, I got very excited yesterday to see a peak at 2220 cm-1 on an infra-red spectrum, because normally there's basically nothing between 2800 and 1800 cm-1, but you have to know that in order to be excited about it. Hrm.

I keep thinking that I should comment on people's posts, and especially keep thinking that I should write a few reviews of books I've written recently, but it's SAD season and I'm tired, and my PhD work has to take priority. I feel moderately positive about my work - every so often I have episodes of "I'm so stupid, why don't I know/remember this stuff?", but they last less than a minute because my brain's immediately countering it with "Because you haven't thought about it in 14 years", "Because techniques have improved and you never learnt this before."

Anyway. I thought I should post even though this isn't very interesting to people who aren't me, so you know I'm still alive. Also, I want livejournal to have more content on it. I swear that most of the sharing of interesting links has moved onto Twitter or Facebook, but I don't much like either of those. Ah well.
baratron: (pokemon scientist)
Oh man, I have a doozy of a First World Problem today. See, Pokemon X and Y are due to be released worldwide on 12th October, i.e. tomorrow. In an attempt to get it as early as possible, I ordered the download version of Pokemon X even though I prefer physical cartridges. I thought "It'll probably be available at 11pm on Friday night since Nintendo's European servers are in Germany, and at the worst case it'll be midnight - that beats waiting until I've managed to drag myself out of bed in the morning." Yeah.

And then I woke up today to find out that GAME, the beleaguered British video game chain, had been given permission to start selling it early. And Kingston has gone from three branches of GAME to zero, making my nearest one in central London. And I was way too sick to drag my arse into central London today.

And now it's late enough for me to try downloading Pokemon X, and I can't, because my SD card is too small. The game won't fit even if I delete EVERYTHING. Argh!!
baratron: (Skyrim)
I wish to register a complaint. There is precisely one canon gay couple in Skyrim, and they're both dead when you find them. No, that's not problematic at all.

I'm generally fairly easy-going when it comes to fictional characters. After all, we don't know the sexuality of anyone in the game for certain. People in happy, loving, opposite-sex relationships might identify as bisexual rather than heterosexual, just like in real life. Also, there are an awful lot of characters who aren't currently in relationships, and the game doesn't have speech options for you to quiz them about their sexual orientation. The best you can do is put on an Amulet of Mara and ask people if they're interested in marrying you. The same 60 or so characters are available for marriage, regardless of the gender or race of the character you're playing. And if they have a high enough relationship level with you, they will always say yes.

So Skyrim's a lot more generous than many games in terms of what it allows the player. Opposite-sex and same-sex relationships are treated absolutely identically. But the only characters who talk about being romantically involved are people in opposite-sex relationships. There may be same-sex relationships, but they're not overt.

The only overt same-sex couple are both dead.

The tale of Hrodulf and Bjornolfr is a tragedy which you only piece together if you have enough interest to do so. Technically, I should mark this as containing spoilers. )
baratron: (Skyrim)
My mum was sitting watching me play Skyrim today. Except she doesn't really understand how modern games work despite having watched me play it for hours.

"Don't you get bored playing that game all the time?"

I wasn't sure how to answer this, but a friend on irc pointed out that it's like different episodes of the same TV series. So we had a brief discussion about the paucity of locations and characters in the original series of Friends (two flats, the coffee shop, and six people, iirc).

"And I play different characters. Like, this one is a thief, and she was originally an assassin but I decided she wasn't actually evil. So I'm going to make another character who is an evil vampire assassin."

"Oh. Why have you picked those plants?"

"Because you can make potions or poisons from them. They do useful things." [Shows Mum the list of effects for each ingredient that I just picked up, and explains what they all mean.]

"Why did they disappear when you picked them?"

"Mum, when you pick apples off a tree in real life, they're not on the tree any more, are they?" (I didn't mention the fact that in Oblivion, flowers and mushrooms DON'T disappear when you pick them, because the game is Weird.)

"Why are you walking around with all that fish when you don't eat meat?"

"Well, firstly, it's impossible to be vegetarian in any of these games. They haven't invented soy mince yet. And look at my character. She's a bright pink lizard person who can breathe underwater. Don't you think *she* would eat a lot of fish?"

"I like her boots. Can you get me those boots out of the game?" <-- MY MOTHER IS SO RANDOM! She liked the Leather Boots, but the Vampire Boots were even better. Don't ask.

She did ask a really sensible question though, which was how do I decide which items to keep and which ones to sell. So I showed her the prices for each item, and the damage caused by each weapon. She asked whether more expensive weapons were rarer, and I said "Often, yes, but not always", and showed her the special Daedric quest items which I just happened to still have on me because I was on my way to build a new house.

Also, after I bought ground in Hjaalmarch to build whatever the Hearthfire house there is called, she asked how I got the items to make it.

"I dug up metals from ore sites that I found in the ground, and melted them into metal ingots. Then I stood at the anvil and turned them into nails and hinges."

"...But WHERE did you get them from?"

I didn't understand that question, so I just pointed out an ore vein next time I went by one. I guess I should have shown her ALL the pockets of the invisible bag, because I'd shown her Weapons and Clothes and Food and potion Ingredients, but not the Miscellaneous dump where everything else is put.

It's really weird explaining something that's obvious to you and completely un-obvious to someone else :O
baratron: (Skyrim)
Yesterday, I discovered you can jump on the bed in Skyrim! I may have put my game into third-person mode and bounced up and down for about 5 minutes watching my character flap his arms like a lunatic and pretend to fly... *shifty eyes*

I don't know if I mentioned this already, but I've just restarted Skyrim with Reincarnated Martin Septim as my Dragonborn. My character doesn't look perfectly like Oblivion Martin because Skyrim's graphics don't suck (ha!), but nor does he look perfectly like Fangirl Martin because you're limited in terms of hairstyles and textures when you're on Xbox 360. He looks enough like Martin to be recognisable though, being an Imperial with light brown skin, floppy brown hair, and blue eyes; and I'm training him to use the same abilities that I'd expect Martin to have in Skyrim. It's pretty funny though, deliberately roleplaying a character and making the choices he'd make.

For example: Martin quite literally spends half of the game Oblivion reading (he's trying to translate the Evil Book of Evilness written by the Main Bad Guy). As the game progresses, he acquires books from the library and sits at his table with more and more books in front of him. This is easy enough to roleplay: Martin cannot leave a book unattended and unloved. If there is a book in a dungeon area (or even a friend's house!), and it says "Take" rather than "Steal" when you pick it up, Martin will take it home and add it to his collection. He's now filled all four of the shelves in Breezehome, which is the first (cheapest) house you get in the game, with no duplicates. He's storing the duplicates in a chest ready for his next house :D

Also, last night the game was seriously trolling me. I know that my character is supposed to be the Dragonborn, but honestly, this is ridiculous - three dragons in under an hour's play time! Only one of them was a fixed location dragon, too, the other two were random spawns.

And I was playing while on irc, and several of my friends were talking about the plotline of Oblivion. One of them said "and since Martin was dead" - and literally AT THAT SAME MOMENT reincarnated Martin got killed in my game. To a Draugr Death Overlord, of all things. Martin was most unimpressed to be killed in that way.
baratron: (Skyrim)
I haven't written anything here in ages, which means I probably should, simply to let people know I'm still alive. Unfortunately I have absolutely no spoons whatsoever today, so I'm just going to drop off a few links and run.

My Blind Date... With Science! Very funny, if not hugely accurate :D

Psychatric Meds Helped Me Become A Better Person. I'm not saying this is universally true, and I certainly lost enough time to the wrong psych meds - but holy crap, is it true for me on the right meds.

From Scientific American: Chocolate consumption and Nobel Prizes: A bizarre juxtaposition if there ever was one. I presume this is a new take on the famous Pastafarian graph plotting global warming against the number of pirates, i.e. showing that correlation is not causation. Except these people seem worryingly serious. Hrm.

The Geology of Skyrim. Oh, what incredibly hot dorkery. I love this woman.

I really must find the spoons to do the Wednesday Reading Meme tomorrow. I've been telling myself I would for the last three Wednesdays in a row...
baratron: (gaming)
Live American black bears with PLUSHIE American black bears! Very, very cute. Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Ubisoft ports its games to the Post-It note platform (Kotaku article from last year) and updated gallery.

Webcomic that will cause earworms for anyone who's ever played the game: Katamari. Official licensed webcomic. Very funny and sweet - and yes, it made me want to go and boot up the game again.

An earworm to get rid of the last one: "Pop Star" by Eureka Machines. A very good pop/punk band indeed, and this video is hilarious and worth watching even if you're not a fan of the music.


I am waiting impatiently for my next Alix & Martin picture. This one has them topless :) I've been sent the pencil sketch but now it needs inking and colouring... Feeling sufficiently depressed that only pretty boys loving each other will help.
baratron: (Oblivion)
Guys. The ending of the main quest in Oblivion. It is WEAK.

Cut because I know some of you still haven't played the game and don't want spoilers. )
I have to admit, the closing graphical scene might have been quite emotional if I could have understood it. Why the fuck suddenly no subtitles? I might write a stiff email to Bethesda, actually. Oblivion might be six years old, but they keep posting trailers on YouTube now with no subtitles. It's basic accessibility. Some people are deaf, other people have auditory processing issues.

I just can't believe that there were dozens of random people running around during that battle, but they were generic Palace Guards and Imperial Legion members instead of the Blades. I mean, what are the Blades for if not to protect the Emperor?
baratron: (wolfy)
Those of you who were watching my journal last week would be forgiven for worrying that I had been horribly maimed or murdered by my research report, since I never got back to livejournal to tell you that I'd survived. Actually, no death or serious injury occurred, except to my stack of spoons, which went so badly into overdraft that it took almost a week of sitting on my arse on the sofa playing Oblivion before I could think about work again. (Yes, I'm going backwards - having spent something like 300 hours on Skyrim, and nowhere near finishing it, I decided to try Oblivion, the previous Elder Scrolls game. Which turned out to be a good thing, since it's much less immersive than Skyrim (the UI in particular sucks on Xbox 360), you can't ever forget you're playing a game, and it's easier to STOP playing and get on with something else).

I am now basically fine, apart from being extra-prone to nightmares. They've been ranging from so realistic that I wake up having an anxiety attack and am useless all day, to so over-the-top that they're obviously "just dreams". Like the one I had last night about BiCon, which featured such delights as the days in the programme book being in the wrong order, so the workshop I was running which I thought was at 12pm on Friday was actually at 12pm on Thursday, and us using many tiny classrooms in a huge university block, around others which were still being used for classes. (None of which would ever happen in real life). And someone giving a talk about protein science, which I went along to out of interest, discovered that a lot of it was wrong and wondered if I was supposed to pull the "I'm a PhD student in this discipline and you're talking bollocks" tag. (Why would someone give a talk about protein science at BiCon anyway?). If the tenses in this paragraph are bizarre, you can blame the fact I'm talking about a dream.

What else? We finally went to Whipsnade, and Saw The Bears. Photos exist, but are unlikely to be online unless I can persuade Richard (the perfectionist) to spend an evening sorting them out and posting them. The sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) were small and cute and not hugely interesting. The brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) were awesome and snuffly! We spent ages watching them since when we got there, they were mostly sleeping. Or at least, dozing - all bears have multiple stages of activity and rest during the day. So we had to wait for them to wake up.

Bear number 1 spent the whole time lying down, so she was quite beautiful but not very interesting. Bear number 2 spent most of the time doing bear yoga - sitting on her big bear bottom stretching out one back leg, then stretching out her front leg on the same side to touch it. Then she got up and started foraging for carrots and apples which the keepers toss into the grounds. Bear number 3 was way back in the forested part of the enclosure so we couldn't see what she was doing - but then she came forward and foraged too.

We also saw Very Squeaky otters, parts of red pandas (the rest hidden by foliage), a herd of wild boars, a wolverine, many penguins, Moosen In The Woodsen, and wolves. Which were very far away, and mostly doing impressions of wolfskin rugs. Also some obscure relative of donkeys, the name of which I've forgotten, unicorn rhinos, and giraffes. We did not see elephants because I was running out of wheelchair battery.

Unrelated to the above, I saw Rock of Ages at the cinema. It was immensely silly. I loved it, but then I am also the person who saw Blades of Glory on an aeroplane and went out & bought the DVD. If you love naff 80s hair metal/cock rock, watch Rock of Ages. If you hate it, don't bother.

Now I need to find someone to go to the musical with, since Richard hates all musicals.

Alignment.

May. 17th, 2012 10:16 pm
baratron: (gaming)
Lots of things I "should" have posted about. None that I've found the spoons to talk about. I've been posting vast quantities of inconsequential stuff on various web forums, but nothing of any importance on places that I care about. This seems very backwards to me, not least of all because I seem to be wasting my few communication spoons on people/places that couldn't care less about me rather than spending them wisely on the people who do. But I just feel as if posting HERE requires that I post Important News About My Life, and I haven't been wonderful enough to manage that kind of coherence lately. Hmm.

Okay, well. Here's an amusing thing: today, I did a Dungeons and Dragons alignment test as me rather than as a character (since every time I try to roleplay, I end up as me with my personality in whatever world it is. I have been intentionally trying to play an "evil" character in Skyrim, but she's ended up almost identical to my "good" character). Found out I am Neutral Good, which is entirely unsurprising.

"A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. The common phrase for neutral good is "true good." Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias toward or against order."

I'm definitely an "only follow the rules if they make sense to me" sort of person.
baratron: (squid!)
I am stressed and headachy. If anyone else is also feeling this way, please enjoy this photo of a bear falling from a tree onto a mattress, with accompanying story.

Machine pareidolia - exploring the tendency for humans to see faces in inanimate objects. (I'm curious - do people with faceblindness also recognise faces in inanimate objects?). Very nerdy. If you prefer the art version to the computer science version, please enjoy the Hello Little Fella! pool on Flickr. My favourite so far is this (though this, er, human brain has to be a close second).

I have a particular reason, even beyond loving Portal 2, for approving of the Perpetual Testing Initiative video. And yes, it HAS SUBTITLES.

I also have lots of political-type links that are anger-making, but my head hurts too much to want to inflict those on anyone else just now.
baratron: (angry)
Look what happened in the middle of this thread!

Honestly, I could weep, but not for myself - I've had decades to get used to misogyny in geek venues. No - I'd be weeping for all the 14 year old girls on the forum who have to put up with constant dick & rape jokes (not least of all, people referring to "being raped" when they are killed in the game by an overpowered enemy), and then are told that their gender doesn't even matter.

Oh yes, and in case it isn't obvious - the last thing that'll help here is anyone I know registering a new account and rushing to my defense. I don't need defending from idiots!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

baratron: (gaming)
So many posts I "need" to write. Will get round to it when I've finally recovered from BiCon. (Still sleeping way too much, glandy & snotty. Yay!). This is a post of little interest to almost everyone who'll read it, but important to me. So deal :P

I realised on the train home on Sunday that I'd left my Nintendo DS in Leicester. I knew exactly where it was - in the drawer of the bedside cabinet. I remembered putting it there because I was worried about falling over it on the floor, and thinking "Is this a sensible place to leave it? Will I forget it?" - and convincing myself that it was perfectly safe since I would see the DS charger plugged into the wall immediately above it, and that would remind me. HOW WRONG I WAS!

After a great deal of faff, I managed to get through to someone competent in the security lodge, who found the DS within minutes. Also [livejournal.com profile] skibbley, who lives in Leicester, very kindly agreed to get it and post it back to me. I kept saying to everyone how I wasn't even bothered about the DS, it's 6 years old - I just wanted the game back because I'd spent so long playing it!

Well, it turns out that I haven't spent 150 hours of my life playing Dragon Quest IX. I've spent 228 hours of my life playing it! And I'm still nowhere near finished! Honestly, best value for a game EVER if you like turn-based RPGs, dungeon crawling and cute monsters :)

Tonight I'm not even playing the game. I am copying the positions of high level Grottos from my old Dragon Quest IX map (which has run out of space due to the many low-level Grottos which I no longer care about) onto my new map. Yes, I'm a dork. I remain in this context not as geeky as my friend [livejournal.com profile] meeping, however. He has a spreadsheet.
baratron: (bi_pride)
Apologies for not posting anything in ages again. I have even more half-written posts now!

Last week I had a cold, and the snot has continued most of this week. Blah.

Portal 2 is eating my life. Also I am doing cognitive behavioural therapy about my sleep problems, which may help in the long run.

Must post the interesting links that are cluttering up my browsers. All of them. I have five different Firefox profiles, and they're all cluttered with stuff that I'm saving - even the one called "start blank"!

Tomorrow I'm going to the Oxford not-a-BiFest. Wasn't sure if I was going to be well enough because of the snot, but today was a gloriously sunny day and I have been outside for lots of it. I will be having Fun With Trains, since the most sensible route becomes Railway Replacement Buses at 8pm, and they are not guaranteed to be accessible. So I have to come home by a different route to the one that I'm going up on. Fortunately, it isn't too insane. In booking my Assisted Travel I managed to convince them that Oxford --> Basingstoke --> Surbiton was vastly preferable to Oxford --> Basingstoke --> Clapham Junction --> Norbiton, considering I can just get a bus or taxi home from Surbiton. Going back up to Clapham Junction and down again would add about 45 minutes onto the journey. But I was still on the phone for about 35 minutes, which is ridiculous compared to the amount of effort it takes to book a journey if you can do stairs. (In fact, most people wouldn't even bother to prebook a journey of this type, given that 2/3 of the trains are ordinary commuter trains). Hmm.

I also have a new phone, as mentioned recently - an HTC Desire Z. Now I need recommendations for Android apps for:
  • a good livejournal client (something like Semagic on Windows would be awesome - Xjournal on Mac OS X is usable but nasty).
  • a notepad-type program (emailing or texting myself seems a bit stupid in most circumstances when I could simply tap in a note).
  • an irc client that can handle multiple servers at once.
  • Anything else which I "must" get.

What a disjointed post! Oh well.
baratron: (octopus!)
Yesterday my Mac suddenly lost the ability to connect to the internet. I thought this meant that our ADSL was down, or the router had crashed (we've been having fairly lousy connectivity the past few days), but rebooting the router didn't help. It later transpired that I had perfectly fine connectivity from the eeePC. After trying various sensible things myself, I waited for Richard to get home - and it turned out the Mac's keychain had randomly corrupted itself. People who know about Macs say this is a Bad Thing.

The thing is, I'm sure that usually when users go to tech support people and say "I haven't done anything to the computer, it just stopped working", usually they have changed something and forgotten about it. In this case, I hadn't done anything at all. Half an hour previously, it worked. Then suddenly, it didn't. Huh.


I really need to clear out some of the tabs that are sitting around in my browser waiting for me to write about them. But I still don't have a lot of energy, so anything I say will be brief.

Videos:
Topless Robot: I Would Not Like to Fight 300 Naked Orcs, Personally. A load of level 1 characters in World of Warcraft teamed up to attack one of the toughest bosses in the game. The video is hilarious even if you don't know anything about WoW (as long as you're vaguely aware of video games in general, I suppose).

Sparkfun: Yarn Monster. Richard found this on Sparkfun's site and told me I should link it for all my knitting friends. It's a robot that turns messy yarn into neat balls. Awesome!

Storycorps: Q & A. Animation drawn over a real-life soundtrack of a 12 year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome interviewing his mother. May require tissues, may be triggery (e.g. if you are on the autistic spectrum and do not have such a loving, accepting parent).

Top Five Panda Cheese commercials. Very odd TV adverts for an Egyptian cheese, featuring an utterly adorable panda. Or is he?

Articles:
Fire and Ice on a Platter. I can't remember quite how I found this, but it's an article about the science behind the dessert Baked Alaska. It's very interesting for cooks and science-types alike.

Autism's First Child. Article about/interview with the first person ever to be diagnosed as autistic.

BBC News: A Real Good Samaritan and Your Good Samaritan stories. It made me cry.

Bad Science: Putting a number in its context. The rebuttal to the rather scary recent news story that 600 women had become pregnant despite the contraceptive implant. On a similar note, A new and interesting form of wrong. What's wrong with the recent Stonewall report that “the average coming out age has fallen by over 20 years”.

Silliness:
WALRUS ALLERGIES ARE A SERIOUS ISSUE. From [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc_fic.

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