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I got lucky in the draw for Dreamwidth invites, so I'm now http://drplokta.dreamwidth.org/.
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First post! This is really just a placeholder while I take a look around.
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Just got a letter asking me to take part in UK Biobank, which is apparently the largest long-term longitudinal study of health outcomes. Since they're trying to sign up 500,000 people between 40 and 69, which is probably around 1 in 40 of that total age group, it's quite likely that one or two of my friends list will get similar letter.

I have to go along for a 90 minute assessment in June (on a Saturday, how sensible of them), when they'll ask some questions and do some basic measurements (height, weight, waist size, bone density, blood pressure and lung function) and take blood and urine samples. Should be interesting, and this kind of study will eventually be immensely helpful in working out things like whether or not obesity really is bad for your health.
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I've been cataloguing the books (and DVDs and computer games), using the mostly wonderful (but see below) Delicious Library 2 (Mac only, I'm afraid). In theory, it uses the MacBook Pro's built-in iSight camera to scan the barcode and retrieve the details from Amazon, which can save a lot of data entry.

The results to date can be seen here. (Warning: the page on this link contains all the books, and so has over 2000 images. If it breaks your web browser, you get to keep the pieces.) That's having done all of the DVDs, graphic novels, computer games and large-format fiction, and the small-format fiction up to Ellison (plus random other unfiled books). Still got to do the rest of the small-format fiction and all of the non-fiction. Cover images are the correct one for the edition we've got, as far as is humanly possible, but are mostly not scans of the actual physical copy on the shelves. 1,984 books done so far, and I think probably 1,200-1,500 to go.

The cunning plan behind this is to make it easier to sell a thousand or so books on Amazon and make some more room on the shelves. But I've not yet tried out that part of Delicious Library's functionality.

For anyone doing the same, here are a few random notes and tips based on the experience so far. Behind the cut. )
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To the best of our knowledge, there are plenty of rooms left, but some people are reporting problems with the De Vere Venues web booking saying there are no rooms available. We recommend that you phone 01344 634395 (and quote Plokta) to book a room -- the location that you want is Sunningdale Park. The con room rates apply for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights (the nights of 22-25 May), but the actual con programme will run from late morning Saturday to late afternoon Monday.
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Due to an upgrade, I've got a spare TomTom Go 510 GPS unit. Similar ones are going for £80-£100 on eBay -- anyone want it for £50? Comes with the windscreen mount, power cable and PC dock. It has the UK & Ireland map on it, about 2½ years old. There's one scratch on the screen which looks a bit nasty when it's turned off, but isn't really noticeable in use -- apart from that, it's in good condition.


Apr. 15th, 2009 07:54 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] bohemiancoast requests that I post this photo from her 5K run.

It's behind the cut. )
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Thanks to RaFi, who posted a comment with a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base article that was posted a week after my rant about Vista and RFC3484. It confirms that they've changed the default back to the normal behaviour for Windows 7 (And also Window Server 2008 R2).
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The closed-down Zavvi store on Oxford Street now has a Virgin Megastore poster in its window saying "Re-opening soon". Can't find anything about this online -- anyone know if Virgin has bought back that store?
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I discover from Google's automated translation from Polish that "Płotka" is the plural of the name of a fish of the Cyprinid family.

Or in other words: Waah, we're carp.
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My DNS rant is now on page 2 of Google results for "vista dns", and a Reddit link to it is on page 1. That Reddit link is the number 1 result for "Vista round-robin", and my original post is number 6.
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Warning: the following is excessively technical, and is intended more for the sake of the next poor sod who types "vista dns round robin resolution" into Google than it is for my actual friends list. (Except for a few of you. And you know who you are.) Also, since I want this to be searchable on Google, I can't friends-lock it, so I'm not going to mention who I work for; please don't do so in comments, which are screened for that reason.

More than you ever wanted to know about DNS round-robin resolution on Vista. )
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It was a nice sunny spring morning, so there are a bunch of new wildlife photos here.

Starlings in Russia Dock Woodland
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Hugo nominations close today. Nominate early and nominate often (this is actually legal, but only your last set of nominations will count).
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Just a quick post to say that issues 38 & 39 of Plokta are online here, and also point out that it's eligible for the Best Fanzine Hugo. We urge all members of Denvention 3 and Anticipation to nominate, whether or not they choose to nominate Plokta

Pardon Me

Jan. 20th, 2009 09:47 am
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How many pardons will George W Bush issue before noon today?

[Poll #1334317]

Full Now

Dec. 25th, 2008 02:20 pm
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Largely for my own reference for next year, here are the details on Christmas lunch.

Chicken: 2.5kg Label Anglais chicken from Wyndham House Poultry at Borough market. Stuffed with a quartered lime, olive oil and sea salt on the skin, then 2.5 hours at 190°C except for an interlude at 220°C halfway through when the potatoes went in, and 15 minutes to rest. Rather overdone, but pretty tasty (however see Gravy below). 7/10.

Gravy: At first appeared like a disaster, as there were no juices left in the chicken and some dried-up brown gunk in the roasting dish with a bit of fat on top of it. However, I drained off the fat and mixed some flour into it, defrosted some chicken stock and used it to vigorously deglaze the roasting tin, then mixed the two together and simmered it for five minutes, and the result was the best gravy I've ever made. 10/10.

Potatoes: 0.8kg of King Edwards, parboiled for 8 minutes, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, then roasted in goose fat for 90 minutes, the first and last 15 minutes at 220°C and the remainder at 190°C. Slightly underdone, but overall very good (although not, I'm told, as good as [livejournal.com profile] flickgc's mother's). 8/10.

Parsnip & Carrot: Two large carrots, two medium parsnips, peeled and cut into batons, coated in olive oil, honey and ground cinnamon, then roasted for 45 minutes at 190°C and 15 minutes at 220°C. Slightly mushy, very tasty. 8/10.

Sausages in Bacon: Rare breed chipolatas from the Sillfield Farm stall at Borough Market, half wrapped in their smoked streaky bacon and half wrapped in their unsmoked streaky bacon, then roasted for 45 minutes at 190°C and 15 minutes at 220°C. Could have done with turning over rather sooner than I did, so a little overdone on top and underdone on the bottom, but it's really hard to go wrong with sausages and bacon. 9/10.

Peas: Just some frozen Waitrose petits pois, microwaved for 2 minutes. 6/10.

Wine: Stockman's Station Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006 from New Zealand (via Borough Market). Decanted and left to breathe for an hour. Smelled strongly of blackcurrants, but a more generally fruity flavour. 8/10.

Leftovers: Lots.

(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] snake_soup.)