2007 Current Affairs Imported From Epistula


Bilawal Lawalib, the Oxford alias of the new political leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has a facebook profile. On the day his mother was assassinated, he updated it.

To his favourite quotes, he added one from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:

Well behaved women rarely make history

It will be interesting to watch what happens next. I hope he gets a chance to make a major difference.

2007 aqcom Design Imported From Epistula

Redesign Aq15

Stripped back, back to blues, purples and (for reasons best known to the bits of my brain that aren’t talking to me) orangey-salmon-pink.

Epistula’s implementation – finally – of a views system means I can have different templates for the front page and the rest of the site, which is handy, so the front page becomes all about the latest article and a more traditional weblog down the left hand side, a host of things I’ve favourited on Youtube, added to, star’d in Google Reader, Deviantart, taken photos of and added to flickr or – hopefully – liked at all. That’s being merged together by Venus, Sam Ruby’s fork of Planet.

Coming up: Indicators on the Otherwhere panels to show where it came from and when, a return of the AqCom sections and Recent Comments bits, a redesign of the Comments field and the implementation of the old banners into the new banner area for areas where specific banners apply.

Plus, it’s not pink.

2007 Christmas Imported From Epistula

So here it is

2007 Christmas Imported From Epistula

And Now

And now it’s time for special festive edition of Spot the Ninja:

Happy Holidays!

2007 food Imported From Epistula social

A new location has been unlocked!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any man of drinking age who has
recently moved to London will be looking for a local pub.

In this city “Local” isn’t very much a function of geography, as a pub that is
half an hour’s walk away is equal to a pub half an hour’s bus-ride away which is
nevertheless miles out. So far in my London Life the pubs counting as “The place
I usually go to” would be
which is just outside work and something of a Default Option at 18:00;
– Which is also in Kings Cross, sells beer by the pitcher with iced glasses and
has decent lager and good food;
– which sells variable beer, but is close to home and cheap; or
– Very, Very nice beer, good food, but not cheap and something of an
arse to get to (or at least home from).


I went back to see my parents & brethen before one of them sods off to
Thailand for a while, and their new copy of the Good Beer Guide had arrived, so
I looked though it for places near me, registered one as being potentially
interesting, and promptly forgot about it.

I’m vaguely looking for a new flat, and looking at different areas. In one of
the flats I was looking at, I put the postcode into a search for pubs to see
what was nearby. One of them looked interesting, and rang a bell, but I didn’t
end up visiting the flat (The agent never rang me back) so I forgot about it.

A little while later, a somewhat long-lost friend of mine posted to his
Livejournal about how he was in this particular pub, not far from where I was,
and would anyone on his friends list like to join him? I had almost completed
Peggle, and I did that instead. This was a mistake.

Yesterday. Mr Cooke – who I work with, lived with in Cambridge, was best man
for, and am friends with – mentioned a pub in Hackney that he and his wife were
going to most weekends, it had lots of decent beer and games and even did games
evening. Also, it had free wifi. I should, he said, go with them one Sunday.

Slightly later yesterday, Long Lost Friend – who is also connected via people I
now know though the Maelstrom LARP community, he’s that kind of Nexus – posted
in his LJ that he now had a job at a pub in Hackney, working Sundays and…

…So I brought this up on the LARP channel, because nexi of coincidences like
this really, really start to scare me…

…and it turns out that this used to be a favourite pub of several people on
channel, when they used to live in London.

The same pub. Which was named after the village my grandparents live in.

Where the hospital in which I was born resides.

There is a moment, to paraphrase someone, in RPG games where the unnamed masses
stop responding to you with
Times are Tough
“, or “Mustn’t Grumble”, or “I wonder if the crops are
okay?”, and instead will mention uncles on a continent you’ve not seen before,
or how they’re saving to sail there, or how they hope their brother (who sailed
to this continent) is okay. You look at your world map, and you discover there
is now a third continent where once there were potential dragons. At this point
you know, without yet being told, that the next place you’ll be going involves a
long boat ride.

I need a bigger universe.

2007 Imported From Epistula

Because nothing says piracy like youtube

From Monkey Island:

(The fact that this video appears to be titled “A pirate I was mean’t” to be just makes my brain hurt)

And, while we’re on Monkey Island, here’s “Press Play on Tape”: playing it:

And, returning to Aquarionics after a long absence, We wants a training day

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, internet


2007 Imported From Epistula Larp Personal

All we want to do is eat your brains

So, went to Maelstrom.

Character got sinking feeling as massively bad things happened which are partly his fault, due to treating entities as people and vice-versa. Consort not with angels, for Shit Will Happen.

Water doesn’t work at home, due to boiler deciding to start screaming sometime about 2am.

Currently at my desk at work – since 7 – because work has tea where home doesn’t.

More, better updates when I have brainspace and can say more about work.

2007 Imported From Epistula


Washing machine go ‘splody boom.
Drum thought rubber seal could do with spin dry,
Kitchen flooded.
Send ark.
Rats drowning.
Silver lining: Floor clean.

2000 2007 Imported From Epistula


This is journal ID 1900. I mean 19100. I mean 2000.

Bet you never thought you’d see those jokes again, did you?


2006 2007 Imported From Epistula

Aquarion and the Legal System

So, I failed to pay my council tax.

(Council Tax, Americans and other aliens, is a local authority tax for paying for things like police, roads and county swimming pools. There is no way around it, no way though it, and they can charge basically what they like, hiking way above the rate of inflation and then saying that any less would mean fewer policemen on the streets, which ranks alongside “taking your liberties solves terrorism” and “This is a magical hat that protects me from tigers when in London” in undefendable statements. Anyway.)

I do this every so often. Bedford CC don’t let you pay by bank transfer, which is my money-management drug of choice (I had a bad experience with an authenticated random-amount DD going batshit-insane a few years ago), so I have to do it manually over the phone/counter/something, and what with Amsterdam, and leaving Bedford, and quiting EM, and general arsehattery on my part, I entirely failed to do so. And, being the fourth time this year I was late…

…The weekend after I started living in E17 (Where I now live) my smallest little brother – who has a car – kindly helped me transfer essentials (such as bedding, bed cushions and tea) to London. This was the point when I opened my mailbox to discover a court summons from the county council.

Of course, sending out a little piece of paper summoning me to appear before the court of the land is not an inexpensive process. Just that little A4 sheet and accompanying letter cost them £60. It wasn’t even very good quality paper, to be honest, and I do worry how much of the budget goes on paper if it costs them quite that much.

£40 underpayment plus £60 muppetry tax = £100. Quite a chunk in a month where I’ve moved house.

I said a number of unprintable words at this point, distinctly unimpressed. At this point I still believed – as is apparently engraved on my heart never to be forgotten – that Council Tax runs from March to December, skipping January and February. Also, my my council tax is a bit more than £40/month, so the £40 made no sense for a missed payment.

So I forgot about it for a while (Hearing wasn’t until March) before sending an email. “I have”, I said in my email,
“now moved house. I now live [HERE], if you could cancel my ‘accounty thing’ with you, that would be handy. Incidentally, I’ve recieved a court summons. If you could also give me a breakdown of where I missed the payment that would be useful”.

They got back within a couple of hours.

Like many things engraved as mentioned above, it is no longer true. KV doesn’t heart DC 4evar, we will forget what happens when war is declared, and council tax runs from April to January. However, being a muppet, I can never remember how much the payment is, and so over the course of 2006 I had almost – but not quite – overpaid enough to cater for the missed month. I owed £40.

But, since I was moving out, I didn’t need to pay for March. They would recalculate, and they would send me a letter.

They did.

Because the calculation was wrong, the summons was invalid and I don’t need to pay the £60. Because I didn’t need to pay for March, I get some money taken off my bill. This entirely wipes out the £40. Because I overpaid, Bedford Council now owe me £23.

Which is a decent result from a court summons.