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Archive January 2007
Saturday 27 January 2007
Tsk, this is what happens when I make a dull blog post about what's going on in my life - I have to make another one later, because otherwise it looks to anyone who's paying attention like I'm still moving, even though I've been in the new house for a week.

It has been alleged by the internet that Sky broadband is rubbish and hard to get installed, but my finding is that it was not hard to get installed and the signal and hardware are alright. It did take a while to get it, but that's a British Telecom based side-effect, and not their fault. Only difficulty I had; on the TV side, my viewing card didn't arrive. I phoned after a week, they sent a replacement by overnight courier. That's pretty good. And since they don't start charging until things are activated, it's not like the delay is really to my detriment, just mildly irksome. Vastly better than Telewest cable - I have no idea what their service is like, but their website is so packed with outright lies that there is no way I would use them even if their packages were as much better as they falsely suggest. (They have a side-by-side comparison chart which lies about their own price by using their 'first three months' price, lies about it being a comparison at all by ignoring the 'opposition product includes phone and many more TV channels' aspect, and in the end doesn't actually come out looking much better even if one were to believe all the lies.)

Since I now live in the highest altitude house in the universe, the satellite TV signal is delicious, far more reliable and better quality than cable was in Derby. Also more channels and cheaper, and the box is capable of phoning home, which I like to think means it will report on my watching habits, which would be like having a vote - ironically, given my liking the idea of such secret-observation, I would be seen to be voting against Big Brother.

Only tangentially relatedly, does anyone know if and where one can purchase single-serving non-dairy margarine, like that which many airlines use? Googling for "single-serving margarine" or "travel-size margarine" doesn't meet with success. [04:14] [9 comments]

Thursday 18 January 2007
Hoorah, finished packing with an hour to spare. It turns out I have a lot more stuff than I thought, mostly due to having a fully equipped kitchen, which I've never moved before, instead leaving that stuff for exes (to deal with when they move a few months later - sorry, exes). I also turned out to have fewer nice large boxes than I thought - don't know what happened to the rest of them from the last move, but consequently the removal chaps will get to have fun with crappy boxes that are bulging into cylinder shapes.

And now to pack the final things, computor-machines and the intermediate devices that provide internets. Once that's done, I'll proceed to realise with dismay that I packed all my books and have thus left myself nothing at all to do until the removal people arrive, other than tidy up shreds of paper and such, which I don't want to do today having just spent many hours doing that sort of tedious thing. [10:31] [6 comments]

Wednesday 17 January 2007
I am now the nominal owner of a house (in reality the bank still owns more of it than I do). First impressions of home-ownership - it's amazing how quickly "bah, I don't care about all those things" turns into "ooh, slate tiles would be nice! Granite countertops! Dark oak floors!"

Other side-effects include looking at the garden and thinking "look at that space - it'd be perfect for an extra room like that site suggested" and also "I should add a conservatory there," as well as mentally laying out the rest of the garden with food-producing plants. I still haven't looked in the loft, but I fully expect when I do I will think "this looks like another room as well." And the ground-floor floor looks awfully like you could dig an extra room or two out of it. I hardly even used any rooms other than a small bedroom, bathroom and kitchen in my previous rented house, so I'm not sure where all this space-coveting is coming from. [02:10] [0 comments]

Sunday 7 January 2007
A note mostly for myself for when I forget, so I can search blog archives and find it; changing the keyboard shortcut for the bookmarks menu in Firefox (which I have to redo every time it upgrades because the upgrades overwrite a bunch of stuff they shouldn't) is done by changing the appropriate B to an A in the file "chrome/en-us.jar/locale/browser/browser.dtd". [17:38] [0 comments]

Wednesday 3 January 2007
I am intending to make my own custom deck of cards - I only want to make one copy and maybe a few for friends, it's not something I want to produce and sell. Currently, the best quality-for-cost method I can come up with is this:
  • A cheap inkjet printer (20 quid or so)
  • A decent thickness of matte card stock (say 5 quid)
  • A spray fixative of some sort to make them a bit plasticky (about 5 quid)
  • A guillotine to cut the cards out neatly (30 quid)
  • A corner punch to round the corners (5 quid)
My concerns with this setup are as follows. Guillotining the cards seems like it may lack accuracy - sub-millimetre deviations in size would make for a deck that's unpleasant to handle. Corner-punching 81 cards means punching 324 corners - that seems likely to get awfully tedious. Finding a fixative spray that gives the desired feel is likely to be tricky.

Has anyone reading, or anyone you know, done something like this before with decent results? Anyone have a good suggestion? Plaincards is an idea I've already decided against, as I think the perforated edges would be unpleasant and getting the printer to align the sheets identically seems unlikely. Third-party printing services are also out, as prices for a single-print fully-custom 81-card deck start at about 30 quid, which may be cheaper than the 65 quid listed above, but also wouldn't leave me with a set of tools I could reuse for other decks of cards or other non-card-based purposes. Craft Robo is a tempting solution for the cutting and cornering, but very expensive at over 200 quid, and unclear what the cost would be in consumables or if it would even do the job right. [14:30] [1 comment]

Sunday 31 December 2006
Today I watched Eragon, the extremely cliché unjustifiedly high-budget fantasy schlock, combining Harry Potter with Lord of the Rings to make a movie with the worst title ever. It wasn't as bad as I was hoping - no Dungeons and Dragons, more on a par with the Chronicles of Narnia movie had it been based on a third-generation hackjob rip-off of the most popular Narnia book. Eragon, a humble farmboy quite satisfied with his lot in life, magically becomes a hero of the realm for no good reason, and a dragon-rider. Next month's overbudget movie - a sci-fi movie about Tpaceship, a humble computer programmer quite satisfied with his lot in life, magically becoming a hero of the solar system for no good reason, and a spaceship-pilot.

Mind, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with third-generation hackjob rip-offs of well known books - I'd rather read Sword of Shannara than Lord of the Rings, and I think it would make a better movie. And I preferred Eragon to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though that might change if and when Eragon becomes the scheduled trilogy. The comparison is worth making though, because though I preferred Eragon, anyone who liked the Lord of the Rings trilogy will look upon Eragon as a pale shadow. Because it is. Oh no, watch out, an... Org? Ourc? I don't know what they were called, but it was uncannily similar to orc whatever it was. [05:04] [0 comments]