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Tuesday March 20th, 2012
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followup on car notes
Test drove a few cars at the weekend. Our choice is now between Prius v and Mazda5.


more car notes

(ruled out RAV4 and Mazda CX-5)

Prius v vs. Mazda5

Price/cost -
Pv ~ $27k, M5 ~ $20k
but fuel savings catch up in ~ 8-9 years (assumes 12k miles per year, current fuel price) (…that's quite a long time…)
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31836&id=31284&#tab1

Edmunds TCO is about the same for both (5 year cost of ownership) but mainly due to higher fuel costs for M5 - we don't think we will do as much as 15k miles per year so that would be less
http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/prius-v/2012/tco.html?style=101375674&zip=02474
http://www.edmunds.com/mazda/mazda5/2012/tco.html?style=101370347

Driving -
M5 felt a little more responsive. Noticed wind noise on highway.

I prefer the digital speedo in Pv but maybe just because that's what I'm used to now.

M5 auto also has the pseudo-manual gear change, but didn't try it out. Pv has a couple of buttons for choosing Power/Eco/EV modes but also didn't try those - they seemed to be in a pretty bad place to reach while driving though.

theora mentioned the speedo being cut off by steering wheel but I forgot in which car.

Seating/space -
For normal 'around town' use, not a lot of difference. (4 passengers, good cargo space)

For trips to Maine, where do cats go? theora thinks 2 car seats + cat carrier in 2nd row in Pv but I don't think they would fit. I think there is room in the back in either car.

For trips with visitors, M5 can clearly fit 2 extra people (as long as we adjust all seats up a bit). Pv _might_ be able to fit 1 extra person alongside car seats in 2nd row but I am skeptical. (OTOH we could just take two cars). Are we going to need this often?

M5 with 6 people in will not fit much luggage. Roof rack and box would be ~ $800

Pv may be slightly wider inside trunk. Having trouble finding helpful measurements.

Other features -
M5 sliding doors can be helpful.

Audio etc. -
(These are not really a priority)
Pv has standard iPod USB connectivity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EttWu7ZYdZU
M5 just has an aux audio jack (like our current vehicle)
Pv has bluetooth phone connectivity as standard, but we still don't think we should be talking on phone while driving… and other similar distractions.
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Monday February 27th, 2012
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Cars cars cars
So we've pretty much decided we need a second car. These are my notes.

Why?
- new baby + toddler going to preschool will make schedule more complicated
- threats of cutting our nearest bus service
- (maybe) want to accommodate visitors as well as 2 children and sometimes cats

Currently
- Prius - happy with it

preferred features
- good gas mileage
- normal car size
- hatchback or wagon format

regular use
- E commute to work (maybe +1 passenger)
- C drop off child(ren)
- local errands + shops (1 - all)
- visit local attractions (2 - all)
- all go to Maine (+ cats)

irregular use
(consider rental when needed instead)
- pick up bulky items
- visitors with no car (i.e. my parents) or prefer to go in one car
- longer road trips

shortlist + comments
- Toyota Prius (or plug-in?)
We like our current one, and we're not going to find something with better mileage. For more people/space, we'd need to take two cars.

Definitely a tight squeeze for trips to Maine (2 adults, 2 cats, 2 children + stuff).

- Toyota Prius V
We like our current Prius - assume this is similar but adds a bit of space. Actually has the same engine/drivetrain in a slightly larger vehicle so might seem more underpowered.

- Mazda 5
Flexible seating could help with visitors, while still 'car' sized. Some restrictions on child seat placement though.

Heard concerns re: handling in snow.

- Honda Odyssey
If we really need space for more people. However, much larger vehicle than we really want to drive, along with more expensive and worse mileage.

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Wednesday January 18th, 2012
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SOPA PIPA
I wrote something like this to my rep and senators:
I am writing to express my opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills. I urge you to vote against this legislation.

SOPA and PIPA contain several provisions which are in complete disagreement with American principles of freedom and openness. It will also damage America's leadership in the technical industry.

- There will be no proof or legal process required for copyright holders to demand that content is taken down - even in cases where a court may decide it was protected free speech.
- Websites which share user-driven content will be burdened with policing that content for banned details.
- Small startup companies have been able to build business on the web and reach global audiences, but with this law they will be discouraged by the cost of needing legal counsel.

We already have laws to deal with copyright infringement, in the DMCA - and even those have already been abused to try and take down content which is protected free speech, or to take down content where the complainant is not actually the copyright holder.
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Thursday November 10th, 2011
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email
What's with all the emails I see these days with
Sent from my XYZPhone
at the end? Do I really need to know what particular device you are using to write on?
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/angry.gif grumpy

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Monday October 3rd, 2011
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multi region DVD
Dear Lazyweb,
Looking for a DVD player which can play both Region 1 and Region 2 discs - any suggestions?
love
Jaq

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Thursday January 27th, 2011
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you
Pronouns are tricky things.

And that is why my daughter on seeing a picture of herself will point and say, "you!".
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/amused.gif amused

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Friday January 21st, 2011
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language aged 18 months
[personal profile] theora (to me): Would you like some coffee?
$daughter: Daddy cof? Daddy cof?
Me: Yes please!
$daughter: yes plee! yes plee! yes plee!

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Tuesday October 12th, 2010
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language aged 15 months
At dinner, daughter asks for water,
"waawaa!"
I bring her water in an open cup, and offer it to her,
"no no"
"You just asked for water, don't you want it now?"
"haaa!"
"You want a hat?"
At which point we realise she wants the sippy lid for the cup. It's a hat for the cup! Sure enough, we put the lid on and she takes the cup and drinks happily.

p.s. Now when I fart, daughter says, "far!" and laughs. Hooray.

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Monday September 13th, 2010
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twitter feed
I've been considering setting up a feed of my Twitter posts into DW/LJ, since I write marginally more on there than here. OTOH I used not to like it very much when other people did the same thing so maybe you'd find it annoying too. Do you think it would be worthwhile?

No, I'm not going to put my Twitter details in for LJ to do pingbacks. If/when I choose a system to do it, I'll check it out for privacy concerns, or maybe run something on my own server.

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Wednesday September 8th, 2010
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members hotel deal site
We've just launched a new 'members only' hotel deals site. Go here to join up. The first deals will be available on Sept 20.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/amused.gif amused

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Tuesday August 24th, 2010
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get back to your games
Since my previous post, Tyler has apologised to the club, and will have some more discussions about arrangements. So crisis averted, as long as there is not too much lingering bitterness.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/happy.gif thankful

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Saturday August 21st, 2010
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tension at Pandemonium
(Disclosure: I should point out, firstly: I am a member of the 'Arvard 'Ardboyz i.e. one of the Warhammer players, secondly: I was not there this week - I don't get to play games very often because of babycare duties)

There's been a bit of tension at Pandemonium between the Magic players and the Warhammer players. Apparently this week there was an incident on Thursday. Let's look at the weekly events calendar... so that's Warhammer on Thursdays, and Magic on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The official report of the incident is here. But to summarise, a Magic player was upset by being asked to move his game, on the one night of the week which isn't a Magic gaming night, and therefore the Ardboyz get a table taken away and assigned to him. Does this seem like rather an over-reaction?

I have no idea what the economics of running a game store are like, but right now it feels like Tyler is prepared to throw away whatever revenue he gets from Warhammer stuff, in favour of keeping the Magic players happy. I have stuck to buying my games stuff (at least the ones they stock) from Pandemonium for the last couple of years but if I no longer feel welcome then I can more easily and cheaply buy it online.

The main thing Pandemonium has going for it is that we have gaming tables and terrain there and a time which is reasonably convenient to go and play. (The other club I would like to go to meets on Sunday afternoons, which is more intrusive in my 'family time').

Lets hope we can figure out something a bit more reasonable than the latest 'changes to the arrangement'.

Edit - made this public.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/angry.gif angry

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Monday July 12th, 2010
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feedback requests
I repeated a previous mistake today :-(

I wrote an email like:
I want to do X. Does that sound reasonable?


Later I had to send a followup stating what the initial email should have said:
I'm going to do X at 2pm unless I hear any objections.

There, much better.

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Friday June 18th, 2010
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Social sites
Pretty much what she said. Except for the whole Facebook thing - but I'm not sure I would have joined Facebook if I weren't also doing work stuff for it.

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Friday May 21st, 2010
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anniversary
[personal profile] theora and [personal profile] jaq 5 years ♥
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/happy.gif loved

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Wednesday May 12th, 2010
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because I am an optimist
(and a Lib Dem supporter) I think it's better to see some Liberal policies and influence in a compromise government, than no Liberal policies and influence in a Conservative or Labour majority or minority government.

Maybe more comment on policies if I have time later.

ETA:
Will also respond to the idea that some people are suggesting: that Labour wanted to work out a deal with the Lib Dems. This is bullshit. Before they'd even had discussions, Labour MPs were appearing on TV saying they would not support it, and all we've heard about the discussion itself was that the Labour representatives were unable to make any compromises and just "offered their manifesto".

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Monday May 10th, 2010
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coalition schmoalition
Ever since I was old enough to have a vague understanding of the political system in Britain, I wished there would be a hung parliament, which would result in bringing in proportional representation in order to make a coalition deal with the Lib Dems.

What we have now has not turned out to be quite what I wished for. The main stumbling block is that the combination of Labour and Lib Dem seats does not add up to enough to make a majority. Even a so called 'Rainbow Alliance' would control a dangerously slim majority, and may result in concessions to Scottish and Welsh nationalists that we can ill afford. Clearly this is why Labour have made the more attractive offer to the Lib Dems.

The Conservative offer grudgingly includes a referendum on 'Alternative Vote' - but the Conservatives have been open about the expectation that they would oppose it. And anyway, AV is not proportional representation. It creates some more appearance of fairness, and might actually benefit the Lib Dems in some places, but it doesn't create a situation where small parties can gain seats.

So maybe we'll end up with a referendum where the people who really want proportional representation have to vote against AV, and the Conservatives will be able to point and say "look, we offered reform, and you didn't want it." I'm not sure how I would vote.

See, I knew the election was going to be disappointing.

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Thursday May 6th, 2010
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election
My dad proxy voted for me (since I am on a different continent). Apparently the officers had to look up the registration rules. What fun.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/excited.gif excited

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Tuesday May 4th, 2010
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job seekers
Forgive me for being naïve. I hear politicians saying they'll stop 'the dole' for people who repeatedly refuse to take jobs which are offered to them.

Do people repeatedly refuse to take jobs which are offered to them?

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Monday April 26th, 2010
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voting thingummy

Help jaq and get your own badge!
(The Livejournal Electioniser was made by robhu)


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Monday April 19th, 2010
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geeky question ,
I have an iPod and a PC. When I connect the former to the latter, I would like it to automatically copy over the most recent podcast(s) from a certain directory on the PC, onto the iPod. This should not require any user interaction after plugging in the iPod.

The PC is running Ubuntu 9.10, and gtkpod works with the iPod - but I'm tired of opening a file browser and dragging files over every time.

Any suggestions?

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Saturday April 17th, 2010
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creme egg comparison

US vs. UK creme eggs
US vs. UK creme eggs.


We brought home some British creme eggs from our trip, and also bought some US ones after we got back.
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Saturday April 3rd, 2010
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Garden is go!
We got started on this season's planting.

Still need to make some fences to keep the woodchuck and rabbits out :-/

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Monday March 8th, 2010
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weekend
Suddenly we have some Spring-like weather, so we managed to do some gardening tasks at the weekend. We pruned some shrubs. We also got to use our own compost for the first time - we topped up both our raised beds with compost from the finished container, and then reorganised the 'in progress' compost back into that container. I amused myself by converting a broken box fan into a compost-screening box.

Also did a couple of shopping runs - toys and other supplies for $babygirl to have on the plane, and a bunch of stuff from Home Depot for a few projects like baby-proofing the house. One day maybe we'll find time to do the actual work :-/

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Thursday January 21st, 2010
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still occasional culture shock
At lunch today there were hot dogs, baked potatoes, and chili. There was a table with lots of different toppings on. I had a little panic because I didn't know which toppings were meant to go with which item, so I didn't get any. (Though I managed to put some mustard on my hot dog).

In hindsight I could have just combined the foods however I liked, but never mind.

I'm a bit put off because I had a filling this morning and my mouth feels funny.

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Tuesday November 10th, 2009
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librarying
I seem to have become a regular library user again for the first time since I was in my teens. I joined the local library a few months ago and have been several times.

Looking back, I went through a 'single young professional' phase where I just bought any books I wanted to read, and it seems kind of silly in retrospect. When I moved over here I got rid of maybe half of the books I had, mostly by giving them away.

I can't say my taste in reading has improved though :-) I've been working my way through some Cherryh, Heinlein, Bernard Cornwell's Saxon stories* and Simon Scarrow.

*Anyone else noticed he seems to be repeating his Arthur series at times? Though Uhtred is somewhat less likeable than Derfel.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/happy.gif pleased

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Wednesday November 4th, 2009
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A disappointing election day
Dear Maine, You Suck.

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Tuesday October 27th, 2009
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Me and my girl
(the one that isn't [info - personal] theora)

Photo by my mum.

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Wednesday September 30th, 2009
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Why are you angry with Odin?
Hugin and Munin are watching.

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Thursday August 20th, 2009
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curly
I had a dream where someone complimented me on my hair.

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Monday June 22nd, 2009
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USAness
Yesterday was my second anniversary of being a US resident. In another year I can apply for naturalization (actually I can send in the forms 90 days ahead). I have a timeline on my whiteboard at work, which I mark off once a month.

In a perverse way I feel slightly annoyed that my child is going to beat me to being a dual national.

Despite it not feeling like that long, we've moved house twice (three times if you count the move over here). Glad we don't have to do that again for a while.
Current Mood: contemplative

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Tuesday June 9th, 2009
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Bob Crow is an ass
The Tube strikes might be more convincing if they didn't do them without fail every summer.

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Sunday June 7th, 2009
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election results
Oh noes! We mustn't have proportional representation: we might end up electing a Green candidate, and we don't want bloody hippies* speaking in our parliament.

*Get your hair cut.
Current Mood: annoyed

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Thursday June 4th, 2009
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more of the endarkenment
If you haven't read about BCA vs. Simon Singh yet, you really should. English libel law is becoming a joke - it is being used to stifle reasonable criticism of unsubstantiated claims.

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Friday March 6th, 2009
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BOLS Board games
This is a new venture by the writers of a Warhammer blog I follow. They're publishing their own board games. I'm intrigued, but not sure whether they are worth the $5 plus printing and cutting out labour.

I'm curious about what those of you who are into games but not the Warhammer kind would make of them.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/curious.gif curious

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Friday January 23rd, 2009
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nerd tests

I am nerdier than 94% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and talk on the nerd forum!



NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!



I am 85% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

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Saturday December 6th, 2008
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email
Email seems to be working again now.

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Friday December 5th, 2008
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Public Service Announcement
My (and theora) email appears to be down at the moment.

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Thursday November 20th, 2008
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cost/benefit analysis of gaming club
AKA excuses for why I bailed out tonight

Costs
Driving - from work into Cambridge has been taking up to an hour, in moderately heavy traffic, and I am finding it more wearing now that it is dark in the evenings. (In comparison, work to home takes 30 - 40 minutes and is nearly all highway which I find easier). Then there is driving home afterwards, which I haven't timed but is all on city streets.

Parking - it has been taking 15 - 20 minutes circling around Central Sq to find somewhere to park some evenings. (Seems to be slightly easier if I aim to arrive before 6pm which is when you stop having to pay for meters).

Schedule - I'll admit this is partly because I am an early riser, but on a 'good' club night I have been getting to bed at least an hour later than usual, and on some club nights it has been two hours later, and it screws me up the next day. There are a few people who don't even arrive at the club until 10pm which is when I hope to leave. And there was a game recently which ran on so long that I had to give up (though I wasn't the only one).

Benefits
The Games - well this is kind of the point - I like these games and want to play them. More appropriately I should say I like certain games... at the moment there are a couple of upcoming WFB tournaments, so lots of people want to practice for those, and I don't play that game. Partly because of that, this week I failed to organise anything specific, so if I went it would be hoping that someone else showed up looking for a 40k game.

Sigh. My old club in Enfield was 5 - 10 minutes drive from home, which made it much less of a big deal.
Current Mood: http://l-stat.livejournal.net/img/mood/nolegs/tired.gif tired

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Thursday September 18th, 2008
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not here much
As some of you may have noticed, I haven't posted here much recently. As less of you may have noticed, I haven't been reading here much recently either.

Not sure what to say about it, except for I don't feel the addiction and/or attachment to the site that I used to. Anyway, if there is anything you particularly want to communicate with me, you would be better off using a more direct channel.

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Saturday August 2nd, 2008
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meat
We went and bought some nice meat for the grill today, so of course this afternoon it is raining :-(

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Wednesday July 16th, 2008
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steps to integration
We have acquired another piece of the American Dream - our big charcoal grill was delivered yesterday :-)

The pricing was such that we thought we might as well get the larger size, but now we have it it seems very big. Hmm. I guess we can put charcoal on just part of it if we are only cooking for ourselves.

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Sunday July 13th, 2008
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animal watch
No groundhog or chipmunk this morning.

Instead, it was a rabbit munching away at our lawn. At least the groundhog yesterday had the decency to run when I opened the door. I had to go find some shoes to go out and chase the rabbit away.

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Saturday July 12th, 2008
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meeting the locals
I'm enjoying a long weekend trying to sort out things at the new house. Yesterday we went out to a garden center and home store, since we thought it would be less busy than the weekend.

We acquired a cord to go with the old lawnmower we got left, some pots and soil for our tomatoes, and a few garden tools. We also looked at some garden chairs - we had a table left by the previous owners. Later on we unpacked plates and things, and tried out the dishwasher for the first time.

This morning I was pottering around early when I spotted a brown creature gamboling on our lawn. Though I haven't seen one before I decided it was a groundhog AKA woodchuck. Cute as it may be to have the woodland creatures visit, since we're planning to grow vegetables in the garden we don't want these guys getting too comfortable, so I went and scared it off, after having a good look.

Today we drove around looking for yard sales, since we hoped we might find something useful. We didn't get a lot, but a caller ID display that works, a book and some games, and some shower curtain hooks since we can't find a set.

It was also our day to pick up our rain barrel (known as a 'water butt' where I come from). So another job to add to my list is figuring out where to put that, and altering a downspout to empty into it.

In the afternoon we tried to investigate the compost bin, only to find it now houses a nest of wasps who were unhappy about being disturbed. One of them stung my hand, and it still hurts. I decided I had had enough of the garden for one day, so I came inside and set up my computer instead. theora pointed out of the window that there was a chipmunk sitting on the garden wall - I'm sure it was laughing at me.

I've run out of thoughts now.

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Tuesday March 18th, 2008
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moving on
This journal will continue at InsaneJournal.

See you there?

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Tuesday March 11th, 2008
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learner's permit
Yay, I passed the test: I'm allowed to start learning to drive now.

Haha.

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Tuesday March 4th, 2008
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strida owners
I'm thinking about getting a Strida. I know at least someone on my list is a Strida owner - so what do you think of it? How does it cope with potholes? Do you use it regularly?

cheers

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Monday March 3rd, 2008
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houses
We viewed a few more open houses over the weekend.

house viewing notesCollapse )

We also worked out a rough budget at the weekend so we can see what we can afford. (We should have done that before looking at a bunch of houses really). We should probably talk to a mortgage broker soon - do you have any recommendations?

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delights
On Saturday we made a trip over to the British Delights store which lines had pointed out. We came away with:
  • lime pickle
  • curry paste
  • Marmite (at over $10 for a 250g jar this is an expensive addiction now)
  • Hobnobs
  • Tunnock's Tea Cakes
  • black pudding
  • a pork pie (made in USA, so I'm a bit suspicious)


It was also interesting getting to see some different places - we went by Concord and some other small towns.

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Thursday February 28th, 2008
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Dark Suns - The Chameleon Conflict
Dark Suns have a promo video up for their new album - go see!

It is pretty surreal.

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