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This is a public post to say that this is the Dreamwidth account for Alison S_____, sf fan and t-shirt flogger. If you are a real life friend of mine, or we've had friendly exchanges online, ask and you shall be added. If you've come from LJ and changed your name in the process, please help me with the breadcrumb trail.

I do not expect to make any public posts on this account. I do make public posts on Facebook, Twitter and Medium under my real name.
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So I spent most of this week working on this; a 'fake Christmas sweater' sweatshirt featuring Sierpinski's Triangle. As a Christmas tree. It's available in the US (sweatshirts and long-sleeve t-shirts) and in the UK (t-shirts). UK long-sleeve t-shirts will launch as soon as the sweatshirts tip (sell 5 shirts) because I want at least one of these campaigns to print!

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Do something you know about, they said. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] drplokta and [livejournal.com profile] flickgc's awesome woodland. My thumbnail may never recover.




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So chaps. Enlightenment or Resistance?

Hey guys

Jan. 2nd, 2013 08:21 am
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Looks like I'm here on Dreamwidth. For a while at least. I don't know if I have a lot of content, apart from 'hey, it's 2013, what's everyone up to?' and 'should we recreate fat_fangirls over here as well, do you think?' and 'huh, LJ really is pants right now, isn't it?' and 'I wonder where all my pals are?'

Edit: ARRGH the crosspost text should say 'comment here or there' -- I don't want to force my LJ pals to come over to DW to post. I had thought I'd changed it. Hrrmph.
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Or 'all knowledge is not contained on the internet' in fact. When I was a small child my father used to tell me bedtime stories. Some of them were poems. And one of our favourites was this...

"It was a dark and stormy night
The brigands they sat in their cave
The chief of the brigands arose, and he said
"Antonio, tell us a storio!"
And this is what he said.

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Well, you get the idea. This could go on for some time. It's clearly a fairly widespread meme; the Ahlbergs wrote a book about it, for example.

M has just noticed that Googling for the version I learnt yields no results, though there's an instructive comment thread here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listeners/openinglines.shtml in which various people ascribe it to their fathers or the Scouts.

So. Do you remember this from your childhood? What words did you use? Where were you, geographically, at the time?
I have noted before that despite the work of the Opies, the rhymes remembered and told by children (in playgrounds and around campfires) are not, by and large, well documented as a tradition.
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OK, nothing much to post, but just to say I *can* get into LJ occasionally. It's not looking good though. I'm also on G+, under Real Name.
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Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] emmabovary at :)
Photobucket
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Eventually, South Africa's apartheid system grew too much for the 'civilised' world to tolerate, and the country was collectively shunned until they sorted it out.

We have a country in the world, a rich successful country, where many adults are enslaved. They are owned as property and are not allowed to do the sort of ordinary things -- like walking out alone, or driving, wearing what they choose, meeting friends -- that we take for granted. They do not have the vote. They have no control over economic assets and their marriages are arranged.

It's not good enough to say 'but they like it that way'; actually, there's plenty of evidence that this isn't true, and even if it were true for the majority, that's not good enough. It's like saying 'because most women prefer to have long hair, we'll ban short hair'.

We need to act politically to shun Saudi Arabia.
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Hello chaps: this is a sort of semi-regular 'recommend books for my child' post.

Background. Daughter is voracious, self-directed reader who works with libraries to find the sort of thing she likes to read.

Son isn't pro-active about books, preferring non-book entertainment when it's available. But has moved on from sharecropping series such as BeastQuest and Warrior Cats, and likes Lemony Snicket and Cherub. Quite a lot of what he reads are the books his sister has just finished reading.

He's currently devouring Little Brother with great enthusiasm.

He needs, I think, plenty of plot and strong young characters. Definite bonus points for computers and video games. We have pretty much no luck with classic books for him.
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Which US cities have underground railways?

Background -- so, yesterday I was hacked off at one of the many ways that the iPhone is rubbish if you're outside mobile phone reception, and concluded that nobody with any influence at Apple had any experience of commuting by underground.

Edit: [livejournal.com profile] mr_tom has pointed out that some of the US urban railways are so close to the surface that mobile reception is maintained. So, I think I mean 'which US cities have underground railways that break mobile phone reception'.

And yes, I think I already knew that Cupertino was a driving sort of place.
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As it happens, because I am an antisocial kind of soul, I have no friends on GameCentre. I do have friends on several other gaming networks; I'm BohemianCoast there too.

However, it turns out that to operate GameCentre, you cannot use a gaming name; you have to use your real name.

This is the second time Apple have pulled this stunt recently. I was all set to try out Ping, their music social network. And then I realised that, as a side effect, my real name would become transparent on all my App Store reviews with the user name BohemianCoast. So not going to happen.

So, sorry, I won't friend you on GameCentre. I may still use it, because I'm fond of achievements.

Why am I so precious about my real name on gaming networks? Duh, gaming networks! I do not care for my boss to know TEH AWESOME POWA of my leet skillz. Funny that.
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So, it's sort of cold at the moment, and as always when it's cold, I'm interested in the concept of flannelette bedding. We have a 6ft bed (UK superking/US king. ish) and I'm looking for stockists in the UK of stylish flannel duvet cover sets. By stylish I mean a range along the lines of

this one at The Company Store

or

this one at Garnet Hill

rather than

this one at QVC UK

Which is not to say that QVC aren't on the side of the angels; at least they have 20 different flannel bedding sets in Superking, and I've just bought a lovely set for my daughter there. But they always make me think we're 90.
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Opinions on the optimum reading order for the Vorkosigan saga, for three different cases, please:

a) for rather forgetful fan re-reading;
b) for 13 year-old who is allegedly less geeky than us, but discovered her current love The Big Bang Theory while googling Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.
c) for 10-year-old who only ever seems to read things by accident, wildly age-inappropriate or not.
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The hardback of Cryoburn came with a CD containing a ton of Vorkosigan-related goodness, including every single one of the novels. That CD -- and all the rest of the Baen CDs -- can be freely downloaded from Baen CD at the Fifth Imperium, and copying for non-commercial use is encouraged.

I'm beyond delighted by this; of course, I'd bought the eBook of Cryoburn already, but I wanted to re-read from the beginning and was hampered due to my EVIL EX-HUSBAND (waves) having nicked the early books in the Great Property Carve Up. And I'm trying to avoid buying tree-related reading material because of the Massive Clutter Mountain.
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OK. So when the dust settles I will have the following kit (pro tem because obviously I need a new amplifier but you know, time, energy and money).

A Sony Bravia Monolith telly, so called because it is a black slab in the ratio 9:4:1 and every set comes with a free ape throwing bones in the air*. It appears to have 4 HDMI inputs, 2 SCART inputs, ethernet, USB, VGA input, aerial, component in, composite in, optical audio (in? out? who knows?), L/R audio

*mine is called Jonathan

A V+ box. 1 HDMI, 1 component, 2 scart, 1 optical audio, L/R analog audio, aerial.

A Sony BluRay player: 1 HDMI output, 1 component output, 1 composite output, coax digital audio out, optical audio out, analogue stereo out, ethernet. I probably should have bought a PS3 instead, which would have solved a number of problems. But there we go.

A Wii, for which I have purchased a component cable.

A PS2. Scart though I think in truth it's composite plugged into a scart adapter.

An aerial on the roof! TV has Freeview HD built in. Obviously everything's on my cable box anyway...

Some sort of streaming solution that allows me to stream any video that I can play on my Mac to my telly. Doubt this is an Apple TV. But I honestly can't see what the problem is -- I basically want something that's like Airfoil except for video -- so that I can just set something playing on my Mac and then beam the picture to my telly. I *think* Apple are about to do this for iPad/iPhone to TV weirdly. But resolution is much smaller than telly.

Airport Express: optical/analog audio out so I can stream iTunes to speakers.

An ancient valve operated av amplifier, with *eight* sets of stereo line in, stereo phono in, 5.1ch analogue audio in, no optical input of any kind and -- steel yourselves for the wonder -- Dolby prologic decoding. The nine inputs are labelled with labels like "Phono", "VCR", "Tape", "Tape Monitor", "Tuner", "VCR Aux" and "Laser Disc". Bless.

Essay question -- how do I cable everything up to maximise video and audio quality, have everything work, make the business of switching between sources as simple as possible, and route all the audio through my 5.1 setup?

What I *used* to do was shove everything into a Scart and audio box (£50 from Maplins) that prioritised the gaming signals over the vcr signal over the dvd signal over the cable box signal. So I just needed to turn on the source I wanted to use and the audio and video routed automatically -- but if I was using DVD source then I switched to the separated 5.1 audio produced by my obsolete but lovely sounding NAD DVD player. Critically it meant that other people could access whatever source they wanted by turning on the source and the TV -- something which appears to not be beyond people.

Oh god I'm doomed.
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Would any of my lovely friends like a free 28" Sony WEGA Trinitron television? Catch is of course that you have to pick it up quickly from Walthamstow, and that it weighs a ton. Full working order and with remote.
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"We have 32Gb iPhones in stock at the Victoria Street branch", said the O2 website. Well, that is but a short walk from my work place, so off I went. And found, as I approached, a burly security guard explaning to approximately one person every three seconds that no, they had sold out this morning.

To console myself, I bought lunch at the sushi shop next door, and also a bottle of fine Japanese green iced tea with nothing added and especially no sugar. And I thought, as I was coming back, that I have plenty of green tea teabags, and could get more green tea, easily enough, and that £1.95 was really quite a lot for what was essentially tea and water.

But how to make cold, refreshing, green tea, using only the tools I have in the office? Google finds lots of arguments. I should add that instant iced teas are available in the UK, but last I saw they all had either sugar or sweeteners, and I am a bitter drinker.

The tools in the office, incidentally, consist of:

A source of nearly boiling filtered water.
A source of chilled filtered water.
Hot and cold taps.
A microwave oven.
A fridge.
A toaster.
A large mug.
A plastic 500ml bottle that once contained green tea.
No sun.
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For a company called Shoppers Discount. They act in the following way:

You make a legitimate purchase from a legitimate company. You are then asked if you want to save £15 on your next purchase. When you say yes, Shoppers Discount grabs your details (including, we think, credit card details on a passthrough from the legitimate company). You agree to the t&c, which you probably didn't read, which make it clear that you'll be charged £10/month after the first 30 days. They do email you, repeatedly, but you're probably filtering out their emails. You don't realise it's not the original company until after you've signed up.

Legitimate companies include Pizza Hut, The Trainline, and Interflora.

The good news in all of this is that *I* didn't get caught out, it was [livejournal.com profile] malwen, and I *did* check my card assiduously enough to spot it on the very first month. So I feel nice and smug now. And they quickly and efficiently refund your money when you complain (they are clearly making plenty on the people who never notice), so we haven't lost even £10.

But honestly. How is this legal?
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