Month: July 2011

July 19, 2011
I’ve been flicking through the Science Fiction in Amazon’s Kindle Summer Sale. With many books reduced to 99p, it had to be worth a look.

Fortunately, even at that price, I had the sense to read samples first, and a lot of stuff got rejected before the end of the first chapter.

July 11, 2011
Saturday was the usual monthly gathering of local boardgamers, and I was cooking BBQ for a dozen people, not including myself. I was going to put chicken, burger and bangers all on slow smoke for a couple of hours, so we could break when we wanted. I turned the grill on, and 20 minutes later went back to put the meat on.

Cold. After trying the obvious, I took the cover off the business end, and we could see that although power was getting to the fan, the auger wasn’t going round. The only thing I could think of was that in the recent awful weather, my pellets had got damp, and seized the auger. The only question was had it just seized, or had I burned out the motor too.

July 8, 2011
In the wake of the announcement today that the News of the World is to close this weekend, and amid rumours that once the dust dies down, the Murdoch empire will launch the Sun on Sunday as a replacement; it now emerges that an unknown non-trading company called Mediaspring registered on July 5, 3 days before the announcement of the New of the World’s demise. The domain was registered with UK registrar, part of Webfusion.

Either someone got extremely lucky with an opportunist cybersquat, or they did so with a little inside information. Or else, Mediaspring is fronting the registration for News International.

July 7, 2011
I haven’t done that much on my Barbduino BBQ Controller project for about a month. No good reason, other than simply doing other stuff.

After hesitating over how the device is going to connect to the outside world, I decided to abandon the idea of a WiFi shield, and bought a standard Ethernet Shield instead. The reasons for this were various.

July 5, 2011
For some time, now, we have been admonished not to use disposable plastic carrier bags. The supermarkets’ response to this has been to come out with a range of inexpensive multiple use bags (some of which are really nice – I like the classic Tesco hemp-like bag, myself), while discouraging customers from using the disposable bags. Tesco does this by offering additional loyalty points for bag re-use; M&S does it by charging a ridiculous amount for the disposable alternative; Morrisons does it by making the bags so small and thin, they are virtually useless.

So riddle me this. While all of this is going on, why am I received more and more cheap plastic bags through my letterbox, with requests for clothes donations from everybody from the Sally Army to Save the Children? In the last week, I have received 9 sack sized plastic bags, and this is not exceptional. That is far more plastic than I would have ever have used in carrier bags before I started carrying a “for-life” shopping bag.

July 2, 2011