14 Jul

UCU success, Lords of Waterdeep is great fun, had a good BBQ

UCU wins right to strike for migrant workers

After months of campaigning by UCU, including most recently the threat of legal action, the home secretary Sajid Javid has announced that he will be changing the immigration rules to ensure that migrant workers will now be able to play a full part in legal strike action without fearing the impact on their immigration status.
This is a big win for all trade unionists, not just those in UCU and it has come about as a direct result of our campaigning work. Thanks to everyone who wrote to MPs and in particular to members from overseas who took strike action despite these concerns.

Lords of Waterdeep is great fun

Paul, Andrew, Nigel, Alex and I had great fun playing Lords of Waterdeep on Friday night. It was really nice to boardgame, which is such a prep-free form of gaming opposed to rpgs. The game has just enough bells and whistles and ins and outs to be intriguing but with an essentially simple core engine.  I wanted to play it after I was rather delighted to hear that the new D&D adventure is Waterdeep:Dragon Heista guide to Waterdeep and a city heist adventure creation engine. I love city gaming, so it got me all fired up to explore Waterdeep in boardgame form.

A boardgame and a can of beer

Gaming and Lager

a boardgame

Lords of Waterdeep

BBQ

We had Conor, Kate, their sons Eugene and Tristan with Emmanuel, Catherine and their daughter Farai round for a BBQ. It was a very very hot and sunny day and the BBQ went well and Farai had a dip in the tub, and the boys really enjoyed Super Mario Smash Bros on the Wii. I got a bit faint and dizzy a few times, I need to keep an eye on that.

 

19 Dec

7th Aeon

Now I am not saying I agree with this message. Bits of it do seem somewhat accurate, albeit hardly novel. I am sure we can find Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans or Mayans who said the same. However, it’s nicely done in a lovely anime style and would make a great intro video to a dystopian tale or RPG.

7TH AEON // ANIMATED SHORT FILM from Mads Broni on Vimeo.

17 Dec

Lovely weekend

Had a lovely weekend.

We went to Duncan and Helen R’s annual ‘Cheese and Port’ party and ate a lot of cheese. We caught up with Neil and Crikey and Colleen and Nige.

On Sunday Ann took me to SIX, the restaurant on the 6th floor of the BALTIC art museum and we had Xmas afternoon tea which was scrummy.

Scrummy Xmas Afternoon Tea

Then in the evening Helen Rowlands took myself and Duncan to a BBC pre-screening of the Dr. Who Xmas Special at St.Nicholas’ Cathedral in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. It were brillig.

Tom at TARDIS

22nd November 1963, man in hat with scarf seen at police box

Then home, and hopefully some work to do this week.

27 May

Very useful YouTube videos for SPSS

Largely worked on dwell times in SPSS.

Ann has friends from Worcester for weekend so I am working in my Uni office!

In other news I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Frickin’ Awesome! Then snuck into see Alien: Covenant but it was so lame and same old same old, that I left half way through.. sad.

Large Number of Value Labels – Fast Way – SPSS

Select Cases: Dates and Times – SPSS

Tired now, going to rest my eyes with a hot eye mask and then read the DMG for a bit.

15 Apr

Stats and a wall

The stats really came together yesterday, Good Friday, but hit a bit of a wall today. I need a crib sheet to understand the old material groups, and I get that until Tuesday, at the earliest. However tomorrow I can write up the process I have followed so far and that may take me all Sunday. Would be great and I need a break from numbers.

Then on Monday I can go back and input the traffic survey stats into spss and be ready for my next meeting with Shirley.

So good day Friday yesterday less good day Saturday. Think I shall watch “the man in the high Castle” season two tonight.

Ann is doing a tour of friends in South Yorkshire so as to allow the space to work. Silly thing is I miss her like crazy already.

26 Mar

Hussar!

Chapter 5 is done. Well.. the first draft for my supervisor. I also did a new project plan and GANTT chart and I am on course for a first full draft by end May, for both my supervisors to read over the summer. I feel a Viva in October is viable if what I have drafted passes muster. Tomorrow I shall skip back to Chapter 4 and the related dataset, that needs revisiting. I have a meeting with a stats colleague on the 7th that will help review that.

As a mind reset I am watching some Grimm, always good fun. Then off to the Northumberland Hussar!

28 Feb

Slow Day

Had to re-read my work, some sub editing, and drew a good Framework graphic, but not many actual words scribed before intellect fled me.

Watched the Team on More 4, ambitious Belgian-Danish-German cop team up show. Seen 2 episodes.

Need to draw a more milestone based project plan for PhD tomorrow and crunch some page count.

24 Nov

300

I hate 300. I hate it with a passion that all my liberal friends find a little embarrassing and unreasonable. Well I am proud to say that David Brin hates it too, and I’d like you to read with me his blog. This is why I hate 300, I hate Sparta and I hate the adulation of a society that ranks along with the Nazis for sheer evil, but extended over a lot longer time.

Remember that next time you want to emulate the bastards in a rpg..

Roll over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street kids are better than #$%! Spartans

11 Aug

Lord of the Rings Stage Show

Matt, Ann and I went to see the Lord of the Rings Stage Show at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane last night and it was great!
Granted to fit the LOTR into 3 hours there is some compacting, conflating and most dramatically Theoden and Denethor are rolled into one and the Battle at Helms Deep with the Battle at Minas Tirith, but it works and is great. It is more about acting than singing, although there are some great songs and Galadriel is enchanting, but this is the best fantasy stage show I have seen, I loved it, Matt liked it but was niggled by the Theoden-Denethor thing and Ann who is not a fantasy fan at all thought it was absolutely great.

You may see some mixed reviews, and I have to say I suspect they are from critics going and expecting a Miss Saigon or a Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which this is not. For those of you with multichannel TV look out for a documentary on the show’s staging on Nat Geographic and for those that saw the Hobbit in Leeds, this is better and a little lighter. It would suit kids from 8 upwards easily, the hobbits always make it fun, and the highpoints for me? Galadriel, Gollum and Sam..

http://www.lotr.com/home.php

31 May

Films

I have recently watched a big wodge of movies as I travel Europe. Oh the joys of laptops and mpeg decryption and PayTV in hotels. I watched Fun with Dick and Jane last night which was okay-ish, nothing wrong with it but nothing to get very excited about. I then watched Alien Autopsy which proved that Ant and Dec can still act, and that the quirky Brit. comedy still has legs. On the other hand it also didn’t set the world on fire, so so-so. I am now on a train watching Night At The Museum which, from the cast list, could be great.. or dire. Let’s all pause and wait until I watch it and tell you in the next sentence..

It was pretty good. CGI family fun. Great to see Dick van Dyke as the baddie. Stiller still never convinces me in a straight role. Rick Gervais is dull, Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson have a lot of fun as Roman and Cowboy.