Year: 2013

July 24, 2013
I keep trying to whittle the boardgame collection down, getting rid of stuff that I don’t play.

For this reason, I was quite pleased to trade Cowboys: The Way of a Gun – a game that looked interesting, but never made the table – for Imperial, a game I have played and enjoyed before, and expect to again.

July 23, 2013
I have been with TalkTalk for some time, but on their business service, rather than their domestic one. This meant I missed the boat a year ago, when they handed out free YouView boxes – I bought mine instead.

But this year, they announced that they were merging accounts, and I became a TalkTalk Plus customer last week. I promptly applied for my free box, and after some conflicting information (which I won’t go into here), it arrived along with a new ADSL router.

July 21, 2013
I’ve got an appointment at my sleep clinic next week, so I thought I’d better download the data from my CPAP machine. Last time I did this was before my desktop got replaced with a Windows 7 64-bit machine, so I was hoping not to have any problems.

The software – DeVilbiss SmartLink – actually installed first time, without difficulties, and started correctly. It then told me I was on an old version (not surprising), and I did I want to upgrade? Of course I did – and that was my mistake.

July 20, 2013
An overcast day today, and so excellent for going out for a bit of a walk. Ferry Meadows called once again, and I extended my regular walk around another one of the lakes. Treated myself to a toastie and a cappuccino in the cafe there, and then went out again, before heading home, via the shops.

My little walks are not any great exertion – I set a fairly good pace, but I also like to enjoy the time outdoors. As a result, I tend to walk for 40-60 minutes, then sit for a while (which can be 10-40 minutes, depending on the heat, the view, and whether I have my Kindle with me), then it’s up and at ’em for another spell.

July 14, 2013
Yesterday I had friends round for boardgaming. It was a good session – some people came and went during the day, but we averaged 9 bodies.

It was a sweltering day; we largely managed to keep cool in the house, but when we broke for lunch in the garden, it left many of us wilting – to the point that my usual freezer drawer of icecreams and lollies ran out.

July 3, 2013
In the past, I have played quite a bit of the game Diplomacy, both face-to-face, by email, and by web. One of the appeals of online games is that you are normally anonymised, which means people don’t bring any baggage to the game about how you stabbed them last time.

It’s been a while since I last played, so when I found someone had written an Android app for it, I was interested. In fact, the guy has written quite a neat and usable interface, backed also by a web interface that can be used on desktop computers and non-Android tablets.

June 24, 2013
Although many of you know me as a science fiction fan, I probably read as much, if not more, crime fiction than sf. Quite a bit of it is American crime fiction, so it is nice to discover a local author.

Jim Kelly has been around for a while, his first novel being published in 2003, but he is a recent find for me. I have my Amazon account set to send me their Kindle Daily Deal offers by email. Most of the time, it is not of any interest to me, but I get enough hits that it is worth receiving the email. I’m not of a mind to buy something just because it is cheap; but I like to look at it, and see if it is something I might have bought anyway. This often has me discover new (for me) authors.

June 24, 2013
Social Networks, such as Facebook and Livejournal, are attractive for the way that they can bring like-minded people together. But they also separate people, if you are not on the same network.

For a long time I was determinedly posting things I find interesting to my own personal blog. This was cross-posted to LiveJournal, as I had a lot of friends there; but any comment was/is imported back into my main blog. Hence a complete discussion could always be viewed on the blog itself.

June 20, 2013
warningFor the past few weeks, I have been receiving silent calls every day from the same fake number – 01001246. When I pick up, the other end is either silent, or a dial-tone. I have reported it, but was told nothing could be done because the caller-id was spoofed. Well duh – I wonder if the NSA and GCHQ are equally stumped by fake numbers?

Anyway, today’s call came through during my tea break, and this time there was a person on the other end, telling me that he was calling about the security of my Windows machine. “Oh, that one”, I thought; but didn’t hang up, as I was curious how these guys go about “proving” a machine is infected.

June 16, 2013
Because of the non-existant spring, and a general lack of organisation, I failed to prepare any planting at all this year. About a month back, I took the lazy way out and bought some seedlings – sugar snap peas, courgettes, carrots and mixed lettuces, which planted up most of 2 of the troughs.

The plants are all doing well, and I have just weeded and sown the other two troughs with seed. More peas, more carrots, more salad leaves; some fancy small squashes, and some other odds and ends.

June 13, 2013
I’d looked at this little beastie before, and managed to resist, but the price is now lower than ever, so I gave into temptation.

The Yamaha GL1 Guitalele is the size of a Tenor Ukulele, but has 6 strings. Commonly tuned to A, it is like playing a guitar on capo 5. It is not a sophisticated instrument, and nowhere near as finely made as my Tenor Uke. But it is cheap (57 quid, including case) and a bit of fun.

June 5, 2013
A couple of days ago, I posted how I was going to put all my Wings of War stuff into a single case, in the hope it might get to table more often.

The case is now here, and having arranged everything and rearranged everything several times, I have to say it is awesome. To give you an idea why, here are some pictures.