June 28th, 2010
|04:44 pm - Question mark moment|
I'm looking at Tesco's site, ordering my food delivery for Thursday, and under "British meals" I find the following:
Katsu chicken curry
King prawn and chicken paella*
King prawn linguine and
Shredded hoisin duck noodles
Obviously their working idea of what constitutes "British" is a bit different from mine.
* I've tried it and and it was revolting.
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May 24th, 2010
|05:06 pm - Signal boost for Closet Con|
I'm posting this on behalf of the organiser. Please email her directly with any
questions: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>, though if it's to ask if it's a good event, take it from me, it is.
Permission given to forward this post to any appropriate Yahoo Group, LiveJournal or Dreamwidth Community
CLOSET CON 2010 - a Kirk/Spock and multi-fandom slash convention
AUGUST 13th - AUGUST 15th
( Closet Con's programme is taking shape )
This entry was originally posted at http://lexin.dreamwidth.org/28456.html. You can comment here or there, it's up to you.
May 21st, 2010
|03:39 pm - Back!|
I'm back from my trade union's annual conference...and about to settle down in front of the TV and watch something which requires 0.01% of my attention span.
This is because after 4.5 days of sitting on hard and uncomfortable chairs listening to speeches that start "President, Conference, Comrades..." I really can't do with anything which might be hard work.
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May 14th, 2010
|11:10 pm - Signal boost: Kiana Firouz|
Kiana Firouz, 27 years old, is an outspoken Iranian LGBT rights activist, filmmaker, and actress. When clips of her video documentary work featuring the struggle and persecution of gays and lesbians in her country were acquired by Iranian intelligence, agents began to follow Firouz around Tehran, harassing and intimidating her. She fled for England where she could safely continue her work and studies.
Firouz, understandably, has requested asylum from the British government. Much to everyone’s shock and dismay, the British Home Office has rejected her application for refugee status. Yes, they know she’s gay. Yes, they know she could be deported back to Iran at any time, and that if this happens, Firouz will most likely be sentenced to torture and death after being found guilty of the “unspeakable sin of homosexuality” because she has participated in explicit lesbian sex scenes in the movie, and been a fierce proponent for human rights in her country.
In Iran, the punishment for lesbianism involving mature consenting women consists of 100 lashes. This punishment can be applied up to three times. After a fourth violation of Iranian law, a woman convicted of “unrepentant homosexuality” is finally executed by hanging,
Please sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/kianaf/petition.html
and/or write to the Home Office on email@example.com
More information here Everyone Group
She still has an appeal left (I think) so please sign the petition now, and write to the Home Office, and maybe we can change this decision.
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|07:24 pm - I have a ticket|
I've just snapped up one of the very last few tickets to see a recording of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" at the Royal Festival Hall on the 18th of June. I cannot wait, I cannot wait, I cannot wait.
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May 11th, 2010
|09:52 pm - Drat! And double drat!|
David Cameron is UK's new prime minister...from the BBC's website.
Inevitable, I suppose, but...crud.
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May 10th, 2010
|06:45 pm - Post election thoughts|
Sort it out; I'm bored with you already.
My preference for a pact, if they're going to have one, is for a Lib/Lab pact. Well, obviously I don't want any of those Tory bastards anywhere near power, even if they do have a small majority of MP's. I mean, if they can't orchestrate a landslide given one of the most unpopular post-war governments and a crashing economy it's hardly a ringing endorsement of their position, is it?
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May 5th, 2010
|11:19 pm - Big day tomorrow|
Election day tomorrow.
Here's hoping those Conservative bastards don't get in; I can't be doing with five years of that shit. A couple of people used longer and politer words than me, notably actionreplay who said, "Remember, every time you vote Tory, God kills a kitten, and then makes it pay for its own gravestone."
Also, signal boost for this post of Yonmei's.
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May 4th, 2010
|01:07 pm - Cloth ears r us|
It's amazing what you overhear in the Ministry of Magic's canteen – or rather, what becomes mangled between someone saying it and my ear. I was minding my own business trying to cope with spaghetti bolognese when I overheard two blokes at the next table, one of whom was saying to the other, "He was in a band call the Gelatinous Poodles."
A quick google search shows up that there is no known band of that name, so what on earth can he have actually said?
Somewhat similarly, I'm convinced that I once saw a band called "Careful with that axe, Eugene". It was in a pub, in a back street in Birmingham in the mid-to-late 1970s – the best I can say is that it was before I left school, but only just before. I know that there's a Pink Floyd song of that name, but as far as I'm aware there's no band.
Now, I could have misremembered or misunderstood - perhaps they did that track and I've remembered the track as the band name, or something like that. Or perhaps they did just one gig and never played again. I'll never know.
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April 27th, 2010
April 20th, 2010
|10:15 pm - Oh, dear. Sorry about that, Canada|
Looks as if we're sending you that ash cloud.
This entry was originally posted at http://lexin.dreamwidth.org/26113.html. You can comment here or there, it's up to you.
|03:20 pm - Eruptions|
It is strange not to have vapour trails going across the sky and to not have the sound of aircraft. When they're there, you don't even realise that they make that much noise.
At the Ministry of Magic we have various people either stuck abroad or unable to leave to go on holiday. (The Ministry rarely sends people abroad for work related reasons.) The level of grumbling among those who've booked holidays is rising slowly – I was toying myself with going abroad for once, but my laziness seems to have been the wisest move. Or non-move, if you see what I mean.
The good news for me is that I'm having three days off – my birthday and the two following days. Go me!
( Dragon Age: Origins )
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April 9th, 2010
|02:06 pm - Dragons!|
Does anyone who plays Dragon Age: Origins have any advice about killing dragons?
The one on the top of the mountain and the one cunningly pretending to be a woman have so far beaten my characters like eggs for an omlette. In fact, not only have they beaten them, they've chewed them up and spit them out, in a few cases literally. Am I just going after them too soon?
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April 6th, 2010
|12:04 pm - Easter update - Dragons ahoy. Sort of.|
So the general election has been called. Yippee. At work we have gone into what is called 'purdah', meaning we can't do a lot of the stuff we would normally do and therefore try to sort out the things which have needed sorting out for the last five years. Like the filing.
Easter is a time for Easter eggs and computer games
I had no Easter eggs. I had to buy some crème eggs on arrival at work this morning and I've secreted them in my bag for later.
As you will have read I spent the Easter weekend in Ferelden, a place which doesn't exist, combating evil. ( Cut for those of you not at all interested in my video game related amusements )
In the meantime I've started a new character, this time a warrior – something with a bit more going for him than an elven mage. The origins story for a human warrior is quite sad, I thought, and has to colour the character's behaviour for the rest of the game. That could be, of course, because I'm used to playing tabletop RPGs, which are more like acting. Even so, it's going to be hard to persuade me to slaughter Zevren out of hand on encountering him, which is my preference as a player having been backstabbed once; I simply don't think the character would do that.
There lies my feeling about PRGs; the point is to do what the character would do, not what you would do in that situation. What I would do in most of those situations is to run away and hide until the bad nasty thing has disappeared, or I've been killed and eaten. I'm definitely one of the natural NPC's of life.
Further question: Does anyone know if "Awakenings" is coming out on the PS3? I'm not buying a whole new, different, console for one game. Just not going to happen.
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April 4th, 2010
|11:17 pm - Dragon Age: Origins fly-by posting|
Even on 'easy' (or 'casual' as the PS3 version calls it) some of the Dark creatures are hard. I just spent the best part of an hour beating up an ancient Darkspawn over and over again. I really began to think I'd never win. Bloody things.
There was a spider queen earlier, too, which was more of a problem than it should have been if casual was actually casual. I hate to think what it would be like on 'normal'. As someone on my flist said, I'm in it for the plot not to keep dying all over the place.
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April 2nd, 2010
|11:31 pm - Today|
Today was an excellent day; I spent most of it playing "Dragon Age: Origins" (I'm afraid in 'casual' mode as I'm no great shakes as a game player on the PS3), and otherwise watching bits of the 2nd series of Criminal Minds.
This last showed up my prosopagnosia: I'd never before noticed that both the character and the actress changed mid season from one person whose name began with E to another one. I must have just never seen the two episodes either side of the change, but much that was opaque about the series now makes a bit more sense.
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March 30th, 2010
|01:01 pm - Definitely a first world problem|
My cleaner can't make it today meaning I'll have to empty my own bins...
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March 24th, 2010
|06:37 pm - Strike day|
I picketed, I demonstrated, I went home, I went to sleep.
I'm still in pain from all that standing about.
This entry was originally posted at http://lexin.dreamwidth.org/24012.html. You can comment here or there, it's up to you.
February 17th, 2010
|03:56 pm - I had no idea the figures were so stark|
Yes, yet another political entry.
From "Tax is the best form of defence" a circular produced by an old friend of mine, Anna Owens, and which is here.
"Currently the UK debt is £175 billion, an increase in £45bn from 2008. This debt could be nearly eradicated if HMRC (what was called the Inland Revenue) were given the resources to collect the £100 bn tax which is lost to the exchequer each year through tax avoidance, tax evasion and failure to collect."
Remember, she's not talking about introducing any new taxes. None. Just actually having more civil servants to get out there and do the job of identifying and collecting taxes that are already owed. And tax debt can go back six years. The government could eradicate the UK debt without cutting services, by spending more money where it's needed.
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February 16th, 2010
|10:08 am - Exploding privatisation myths|
Summary (from here.
While the recession places increased demand on local public services, they are also under mounting pressure
to make savings and become more efficient. One suggestion often put forward to tackle the country’s
growing debt problem is to outsource or privatise our public services. The TUC have produced a pamphlet which examines this
proposition and attempts to explode some of the myths and misconceptions about privatisation to show that
it would cause more problems than solutions.
MYTH 1 During the economic downturn, the best way to save money is to privatise public
In reality, public money is best kept within the public sector during the downturn. For every pound of public spending in a local area, this generates an additional 64p. Outsourcing and Public Private Partnerships – often undertaken with large multinational companies – take money out of areas when local economies and communities most need to be supported. Public spending has a stabilising effect, particularly during a recession; privatisation would only undermine this.
MYTH 2 The private sector costs less than the public sector and is more efficient.
In reality, there is no evidence that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector. Outsourced services are concentrated in a few large firms which dominate the industry and have proved able to earn large profits. PFI projects often go far over budget while contracts are inflexible, binding the public sector into contracts for buildings and services which often later prove unfit for purpose. PPPs and outsourcing are too often the cause of a downward pressure on staff terms and conditions, the
fragmentation of services and a divisive effect on public sector ethos.
MYTH 3 Competition is the best way to improve public services
In reality, public services are too important to compete on price. Public services reduce inequality, promote economic, social, and environmental security. Competition merely leads to a race to the bottom, with providers racing to compete on costs to the detriment of service quality. Competition leads to the fragmentation of services and increased transaction costs, linked to making and monitoring contracts, accounting, auditing, legal services, advertising and shareholders’ profits.
MYTH 4 The private sector is more responsive to service users’ individual needs
In reality, only the public sector can respond to society’s collective needs. Public services must be subject to democratic accountability and transparency. Privatisation erodes this accountability and treats vital services merely as contracts to be bundled up and sold off.
Myth 5 The public sector has a worse productivity record than the private sector
In reality, public services create public value – but this is hard to measure. It is notoriously difficult to measure public sector productivity and even harder to compare it to the private sector. An increased class size might appear to show a teacher working more productively, but it is doubtful this would improve the quality of education. Private sector productivity can be assessed by looking at the balance sheet. In the public sector, it is more about public value, with services that respond to the needs of citizens, that are sustainable, provide long-term value for money and are trusted by citizens.
Myth 6 “Back-office” functions can be outsourced without impacting on the front-line
In reality, support functions are just as important as the front-line. Without “back office function”, frontline workers would not be able to do their job. The NHS would not be able to survive without the people who book appointments, analyse blood tests, process X-rays or make sure staff get their wages on time. A false division is being created between front-line and support services which is fragmenting and damaging vital public services.
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