Sunday, April 30, 2006
10 days in the life of a conker tree...
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Major down time
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
All your MySpace are belong to us
"LOOKED FOR FRIENDS, found lots: My space on MySpace has expanded dramatically in the week since it's been there. Already more than 325 TRUE readers have found my page there and linked to it from theirs (by asking to add me as a "friend"). Better, the networking works: there are already new TRUE subscribers who say they found out about TRUE on MySpace. AND I enjoyed reconnecting with an old friend because she found my page there. It's astounding to watch MySpace expand. I knew it was popular, sure. But in the week since I joined they've gone from 68 million members to 71 million, a 4.4 percent increase. If TRUE's distribution had gone up by a similar percentage, I'd have 5,280 more readers this week over last. http://www.MySpace.com/official_thisistrue is my page there, if you'd like to check it out. If you're a MySpace member (and odds seem to be pretty good that you are), I'd be honored to have you add me as a friend. Just click the "Add to Friends" link below my photo."
so off I went. Now I join up to various sites all the time so never keep track of logon details. MySpace recognised my email address but none of my passwords so I requested my password. Once I received it, I was in although it seemed to have been set up by somebody from Seattle. I quickly realised that the guy was the complete dick-head causing me to get more spam addressed to Alec. Basically he's one of those bastards who doesn't use his own email address when registering for anything to avoid Spam engines getting his real address. Thanks, Alec, for using mine. As a show of gratitiude, your MySpace is now my MySpace and as MySpace says:
Monday, April 17, 2006
At last, we attack the garden
|Back in July last year we started the redevelopment of the garden with a fancy fence for plants to climb up (in preference to the neighbour's rusty chain-link). Today we dug the soil over and planted things! A hundred bulbs, three roses, a tree and various greenery. A really productive day.|
All the big plants we already had living in pots for a year or two. Sue likes to buy plants from garden centres; I plant what I find on the floor. My collection includes 2 Horse Chestnuts, an Ash and a Sycamore (not forgetting the long-suffering avocado). The conkers I picked up maybe 10 years ago and potted at our old house; the Ash was a thin stick hiding in the front garden of our current house, spotted by my eagle-eyed dad, dug up and subsequently potted; the sycamore was from seeds that regularly fall from the full-grown trees across the road, the crown spread of each being bigger then our garden.
Now our garden (measured from Google Earth satellite photos) is only 12 metres long so we need to be careful what trees we plant. According to the Association of British Insurers, we can get away with fruit trees and evergreens so the Pear Tree we transferred today from pot to soil near the end of the garden should be OK. The Horse Chestnut, Ash and Sycamore would grow way too big for the garden so none of these will ever be removed from their pots and put into the garden proper. It would be a great shame to watch them grow to a decent size, only to chop them down years later when they became a problem. Maybe we'll treat them to some bigger pots one day although there is a limit - I have to be able to lift them without causing myself damage.
|Relative Subsidence Hazard of Full-grown Tree, i.e. Safe distance (metres) from tree to building.|
Type of tree
Actual safe distance
|Oak, Elm||30 metres|
|Horse Chestnut||23 metres|
|Cypress, Lime, Maple||20 metres|
|Cherry, Plum, Rowan||11 metres|
|Apple, Pear, Birch||10 metres|
|Holly, Laurel, Magnolia, Yew||5 metres|
The Leylandi that was torched 2 years ago finally came in handy today. We had chopped up the branches and trunk last summer (unleashing chemical warfare on ourselves as we did) and used the thinner logs as a wavy border. Can't wait until it is time to trim the grass at the edge of the lawn...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Open Gaming Category, Student Nationals 2006
Back row: Sue Breakwell (6th), John Breakwell (4th), Andrew (2nd), GM, Dave (5th).
Front row: Winner, GM, Andy (3rd).
- Roborally (6 player)
- Pirates of the Spanish Main (6 player)
The following three were played in parallel and everybody played each game once
- Balloon Cup (2 player)
- Lost Cities (2 player)
- Odin's Ravens (2 player)
- Medici (6 player)
- Ticket to Ride (2 tables of 4 players - GM as 4th player)
- Carcassonne (6 player)
- Saving Doctor Lucky (non-competition game)
Roborally is hard work although the mechanics are simple. You program a robot with 5 move instructions (forwards, backwards, rotate left/right) based on cards in your hand. There are conveyor belts and rotating areas on the board to add some complexity. Also, the other players' robots will bump into you too. And there are lasers. Mustn't forget the lasers. Oh, I'm dead (1st life gone). I seem to have also forgotten that I am on a rotating area and so program my robot off the map. (2nd life gone). Did I say not to forget to the lasers? (3rd and last life gone).
Pirates of the Spanish Main is a collectable game where you punch out pieces from plastic cards and build your ships. Being a US manufacturer with a large US market, there are American ships in the game even though the British still ruled that colony at the time the game is set. Who cares about history when there's money to be made? Anyway, in our game the object was to search out as much buried gold as possible in the time allowed and get it back to your home island. I decided that an alternative approach was to ensure you were last-man-afloat. Tragically this tactic, although heroic and daring, resulted in a fleet of derelict ships...
There's always some building that makes you wonder
So what was the building for originally, and what's the mysterious belfry about?
Saturday, April 08, 2006
We like trams
Friday, April 07, 2006
Off to the Student Nationals
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
|While down in Portsmouth to drop off Samantha with my parents for the week and celebrate Sue's birthday with a family meal out, we took advantage of the end-of-season sale at Snow and Rock. I didn't initially want to buy a board - they are expensive and I'd have to use it to make the purchase worthwhile but hopefully often enough to outweigh the accumulated rental charges from not having a board.|
This is a 163cm K2 Access board, reduced to £200. There are five storm designs, one for each size of board - pretty cool designs.
Because of my weight, I need quite a long board - I assume to stop me sinking so easily into the snow :-)
Anyway, I look forward to getting the bindings on it and setting off for the dusty slopes of Bracknell ski centre. Maybe I'll be able to build on the experiences of the Andorran snow break?
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