ffutures: marcus (Default)
Belated Happy New Year (and to any Russian and Greek Orthodox / Jews / Muslims etc., hope 2012 / 5772 / 1434 is still going well for you).

Unfortunately I'm one of the people who is currently unable to access most of livejournal at present - I'll try to catch up when things are back to something approaching normal, but until then please bear with me. Hopefully this will cross-post there even though I can't get in directly.

Frack it!

Oct. 31st, 2012 11:11 pm
ffutures: marcus (Old bike)
With the early nights starting and the weather turning chilly walking to work is losing a lot of its charm, and I'm thinking more seriously about getting another bike.

A relatively new 250cc scooter or similar is probably what would be best for me and my current lifestyle. So why is it I keep lusting after old BMW boxers? Yes, for me they're a known quantity and I like them a lot, but do I really want another oversized 20-year-old bike, even one that's allegedly only done 51K miles?

Must resist temptation...
ffutures: marcus (Default)
According to Amazon UK my copy of Bujold's Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, the new Vorkosigan novel, just shipped, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. It's been out as an ebook for a while, but I know that this is one I'll want in dead tree format.

More when I've read it, hopefully next week.
ffutures: marcus (Dexter)
This is a multiple crossover, beginning with NCIS and Dexter and eventually taking in several other fandoms. Some sections include passages with a first person viewpoint, reflecting the narrative style used in (for example) the Dexter TV show and books. I will always try to make the identity of the viewpoint characters clear. Crossovers this chapter NCIS, Dexter, Burn Notice.

Major spoilers for all seasons of Dexter to S4, then VERY AU. Warning, character death!

See earlier chapters for disclaimers etc.
On Twisting the Hellmouth
On Archive of our Own

Give the Boys a Great Big Hand - X )
Comments please before I post to archives.
ffutures: marcus (Default)
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] selenak

An interesting political endorsement from Joss Whedon

http://youtu.be/6TiXUF9xbTo

Interesting, especially in the context of a book I've just read, Feed by Mira Grant, which is set during a US Presidential Campaign in a post zombie apocalypse world
ffutures: marcus (Default)
Was the fez-wearing shopkeeper in Mr Benn The Doctor?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Benn
ffutures: marcus (Angel of the Revolution)
These are the adventures I should be running at Dragonmeet at the beginning of December.

Morning
System - Forgotten Futures
Adventure Title - The Ether Thieves
Adventure Description - In the 23rd Century the Anglo-Saxon Empire's economy depends on elemental forces extracted from the Ether. When the crew of the trawler Nostromo learn that the ether in their allotted area of space has been badly depleted, it's time to look for the culprits. Load the guns, me hearties, and sing a space shanty or two as we track them down...
Note - this is a play-test of a setting and adventure still in development, occasional rough patches are possible.

Afternoon
System - Diana: Warrior Princess
Adventure Title - Monster Mash
Adventure Description - America, the 1950s. You just want to meet with your friends, chug a few beers or some blood or brains, and maybe go out and terrorize the neighbourhood a little. But the locals seem to have weird objections. Well, that's what being a monster is all about, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but somehow it always hurts. But not as much as you're going to hurt the locals...
Note - this is a play-test of a system variant and adventure still in development, occasional rough patches are possible.

Hope I'll see some of you there.
ffutures: marcus (Brick)
The Brick has driven off into the sunset - somewhat later than planned since the buyer gave it a mini-service in my front garden first, but he'd already paid for it so I didn't have any problems with that. It feels odd to be bikeless, and have no immediate plans to buy one, for the first time in 35+ years, but I'm not sure I will be looking for another bike for now, and if I do in the future it'll probably be something lighter and more appropriate for city use and an occasional run to places like Cambridge - a 250cc scooter seems the most likely choice, there seem to be some nice ones around. What I definitely want is something that is still in production / has servicing readily available, a lot of my problems over the years have been made worse by the age of my bikes.

Suggestions for models etc. gratefully received, but I think I probably won't be buying until the new year at the earliest, if I buy anything at all. One model I'm definitely ruling out is BMW's C1 and derivatives, possibly the ugliest and stupidest-looking scooter ever...




It's ugly, ridiculously heavy, and illegal to use in the UK without a helmet, which takes away one of the few reasons why anyone might possibly want one.

update: I've had to remove the original picture, which showed a woman in ludicrous clothes (high-heeled strappy sandals!) riding the thing, since the site disabled cross linking.
ffutures: marcus (Default)
...is the current frontage of Selfridges, which is advertising Luis Vuitton by filling all the windows with various dresses etc. with polka-dots and hundreds upon hundreds of these )

Anyone else find this as creepy as I do?
ffutures: marcus (Brick)
With just under 2 hours to go, 1600 views and 140 people watching, The Brick is holding on £300. This is rather less than I'm hoping for, but with a bit of luck there will be some last-second bidding. Wish me luck!

Later final price £420, which is not as much as I'd hoped for, but better than I feared. Here's hoping that the rest of it goes smoothly. The purchaser has zero feedback, which is not always a good sign.
ffutures: marcus (Default)
...was a teeny infra-red controlled model helicopter and controller - for a fiver! They originally had it for a tenner (and I've seen them on sale new for about £18), but the shop was doing a half price sale today. It even had batteries in the controller!

It works very well, but my impression from playing with it a bit is that it's a VERY good thing that nobody is asking me to pilot helicopters for a living, I suck big-time!

This is the same model, I think

http://www.netpricedirect.co.uk/Buynow-id-18709-syma-yellow-s107g-rc-helicopter-a.html

Rather pleased about this one!
ffutures: marcus (Default)
Just spotted on eBay - a USB oscilloscope box (two channel input) for £17

Ships from Hong Kong, but at that price might be worth taking a chance. I'm wondering what the snags are.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-Channel-PC-Digital-Storage-USB-Oscilloscope-Probe-CD-/221113773504?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item337b686dc0

Answer - max frequency is only 3khz, which I would have realised if I'd read it carefully. Not a huge amount of use.
ffutures: marcus (Brick)
The Brick has a big fan club - 80 watchers on eBay - but so far, with four days to go, only two bidders and £113. Which considering that it's in better shape than my old boxer (£400+ at this point) is a bit worrying.

Sincerely hoping that things hot up a bit...
ffutures: marcus (Default)
The fire I mentioned turns out to have been a car in the car park under Dorset House, as I thought. What I didn't know yesterday is that there was a very serious casualty, the woman who was driving the car.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/fireball-engulfs-woman-driver-in-central-london-8206930.html

They still don't know the cause, but it's a reminder of just how dangerous petrol can be under the wrong circumstances.
ffutures: marcus (Brick)
I've put the Brick on eBay - bid early and often, folks!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130782066689
ffutures: marcus (Default)
Marylebone Road was horribly screwed up this afternoon because there was a big fire in (I think) a car park behind a garage a couple of blocks from Baker Street Station. Fortunately I walked home, but I noticed that (for example) I wasn't passed by any buses until I'd crossed Edgware Road; normally there are a couple a minute, and what happened at Edgware Road was that they were turning the east-bound 18 buses around and sending them back towards Sudbury. I must have passed a hundred or so people waiting for buses before I reached that point, I suspect some are still waiting.

Something I've never noticed before was the upper sign below, at the start of the Marylebone Flyover which leads to the A40. I'm pretty sure it's a new addition, have to wonder what prompted them to put it up...


no-horse1
ffutures: marcus (Default)
A shoemaker near where I work has adverts up for their company's exclusive patent method - they scan your feet and make a 3D model, then use that to make shoes that fit perfectly. It's unfortunate that the way they describe the machine irresistibly reminds me of the old foot X-ray fluoroscopes that exposed so many hapless kids to about 50 x the recommended annual dose...

later - to clarify this, it's the hype that reminds me of the claims for the x-ray machines - I know they aren't using x-rays!
ffutures: marcus (Brick)
Petrol tank is holding, but I've decided that selling it is probably my best option; anything more serious will be well beyond my limited mechanical skills, and I think infrequent riding is really not helping. In the long term I have to think very carefully about whether I really need a bike any more; I'm walking to work most days and public transport has improved since the Circle Line was rerouted, and once I retire I doubt I'll need a bike nearly often enough to make keeping one worthwhile.

Bottom line, I'll probably list it on eBay tomorrow, low starting price and no reserve, and see what happens. My guess is it'll go for about what I paid for it if I'm honest about the problems, since I've added luggage which will put the price up a little, but that may be ridiculously optimistic.
ffutures: marcus (Default)
There's an old gadget sold in the UK as a Dymo label maker that produced labels by embossing them onto rolls of adhesive plastic - you turned a wheel to select a letter, then squeezed a trigger to emboss the label, the results looked like this:






The web site where I found that said it was made by either a Dymo or a Rotex machine - what would the most common variant be called in the USA?

To make it clear, I'm not talking about any sort of electronic label maker - this is purely mechanical, the letters are formed by deforming the plastic strip.

Later Looks like there is no clear winner apart from a slight preference for Dymo, I think I'd better describe it in a little more detail - that will fit in reasonably well with the forensics in the story.

January 2013

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