Monday, September 25, 2006

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I gave a mock lecture today on converting to binary. It didn't go too badly but it could've gone better. However whenever there's a lot of technical difficulties in just getting set up my confidence tends to be lower, and lower confidence means poorer talks.

You see when you book a lecture hall at the University of Leicester you do not book the computer, projection screen or even laptop adaptor in the hall. In the wonderful bureaucratic world of Leicester Uni that is handled by another department so external events can be charged for using all facilities. Add to that an OHP with the intensity of a small sun and thus practically blinding me, I think I need to work on my technique slightly.

New Babylon 5?

Straight to DVD - maybe they'll even round off Crusade or do a Bester episode? Hopefully this project will do better than the Babylon 5 movie they were going to make.

Friday, September 22, 2006

La Resistance Will Live On!

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 is coming soon, and I will of course be waiting for it to cross the Atlantic like a good drone. However to pass the time Scifi are posting webisodes of The Resistance - short scenes filling in the gap between Seasons 2 and 3. You will of course not be able to view them at the above link, because the content is US only. I am of course not here, and am not telling you this.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Childhood Trauma

I was reliving my childhood trauma thanks to Sordid when I found this.


I won't be posting for a few days. I'm kind of choked up. :)

Talk Like a Pirate Day Tomorrow

Thanks to the Slacker, who's taste in pointless movies clearly exceeds my own.

However, even more pointless is Wench Swap...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Chad Vader Episode 3

Chad Vader Episode 3 - not quite as funny as the other two, but still funny. However I think Chad should get his revenge on Clint soon!

Phone of Doom

It's official - suck for getting a cheap mobile phone on contract. And I should stop moving. Remember the fiasco of getting a newphone?

It was an Orange phone - £5.99 a month (via the convoluted route of cashback), for 12 months. On a 12 month contract. Brill I thought - cheap calls and half price cinema tickets on the Wednesday, so I immediately ordered it and cancelled my existing contract (which is now ending next week). I was muttering that there'd be a slight overlap of a month where I'd be paying for two months, but that was better than rushing at the last minute.

Naturally after about a week or two of waiting for the promised three day delivery, tracking the order online and seeing it clearly labelled "Order Being Processed", emailing to see what this meant exactly I phoned up and was told the credit check had failed. I suspect it's yet another consequence of moving though I definitely put myself on the electoral register for my flat.

Last year, when I was in the same pickle, I went in the store and got the whole mess straightened out - though it became rapidly apparent to me that the Carphone Warehouse works on commission, as the woman lost interest in helping me pass the credit checks once I told her I didn't want a phone from the shop, I just wanted the deal on the web.

Anyroads, deciding the muppets on the phone, who put me onto 3 different departments, were no use I went into their shop on Sunday. Unfortunately no matter how he input my address, Orange didn't like me. Curiously O2 with their more expensive contracts did. So in a nutshell I didn't pass the credit check for a cheap phone, but I could have a more expensive one. I've now ordered a marginally more expensive O2 phone (£10 a month) online, but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dork Dungeons

A long time ago in a country not so far away (America) a very angry man named Jack Chick wrote a very angry comic about roleplaying and its effect on the youth of then. It was called Dark Dungeons, and I have a genuine copy of this little pamphlet in Dundee. Then a bunch of dudes reworked it to be a little more realistic, and it became Dork Dungeons.

The link above has both comics. The vengeful Christian comic is the one on the (where else) extreme right (of your screen), the Geek one is the left.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

McGann Returns

Paul McGann is back as the Doctor (in more radio drama only sadly), but this time it's being exclusively put on BBC 7 rather than available on CD first.

It's due to be broadcast on BBC 7 at Christmas. McGann's new companion is Lucie Miller played by Sheridan Smith. Guest stars included Kenneth Cranham, Anita Dobson, Una Stubbs, Bernard Cribbins, Stephen Gately, Clare Buckfield, Ian McNeice, Elspet Gray, Timothy West, Nerys Hughes, Nigel Havers, Julia McKenzie, Tom Chadbon, Roy Marsden and Nickolas Grace. There seems to be a further recurring character called Headhunter played by Katarina Olssen (who occasionally doubles with another role, suggesting something a bit Sirens of Time.

There are six stories - two 2-parters, four 1 part, all 50 minutes. The first is a Steve Lyons Dalek tale - Blood of the Daleks, great title. 2 parts. The end is a 2 part Cyber story by Eddie Robson. Other plays by Paul Magrs (with the wonderful title Horror of Glam Fock) Jonathan Clements and Paul Sutton.

Paul McGann vs Angie from Eastenders and the Sheriff from Robin of Sherwood? You can bet your fern I'll be listening again (or trying to record the mp3s).

The original McGann run was fantastic but the posh companion began to grate after 3 seasons (ironic given my complaining about dat Rose chav innit?). It held my interest until they did the 40th anniversary special, Zagreus, which was incoherent to say the least. Then they picked up the most dull lifeless second companion ever - C'Rizz, a chameleonic humanoid (how great it was to have a character who could change colour on a radio drama).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Anyone got a skateboard?

Work continues to be interesting, with Best. Meeting. Ever. when B. totally flipped out not just at us, but the bosses as well over a discussion on (what else?) manning our help desk for the upcoming term. They made the mistake of explicitly saying they thought the door should be open so students could come in, which he seemed to dislike. The boss actually had to tell him to grow up and that our new HoD won't take any crap.

What is more amusing is the new timetables at the uni are in, and this year I'm doing quite a bit of lecturing - weighing in at around 40 hours in 10 weeks - which is good. What is not so good is my timetabling for 30 of those 40 hours.

11:30am I am in the Bennett Building teaching Computer Systems and architecture (i.e. how a computer works).
12:30pm I am in the Engineering Building teaching wordprocessing and spreadsheets.
13:30pm I am racing back to the Bennett Building to teach Computer Systems and architecture again.

As these buildings are on the opposite ends of campus I will be the one on a skateboard or rollerskates with the "I Hate Mondays" t-shirt on. Seriously however I am planning on buying a bike and cycling in on the cold months, so this gives me 2 reasons. Plus I think I'll be prepping my brace of lectures at home on Monday mornings in the relative warmth of my palatial mansion.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stuff I Like: Highlander the TV Show

Best title sequence on the TV show (it went through quite a few)... though I'm quite numb to the Queen song by now.

Too bad having 2 Macleods in the same universe meant "there could be only one" and that it had to end this way:-

Monday, September 04, 2006

Stuff I Like: American Gothic

American Gothic is a creepy Twin Peaksesque show set in the deep south of the States, in a creepy town called Trinity. Chief among the residents there is Sheriff Lucas Buck, a man with seemingly infernal powers that most of Trinity seem to be indebted to in some fashion.

The bulk of the show involves him trying to corrupt his illegitimate son Caleb, who it seems stands to inherit his dad's legacy - something he's none too pleased about given he says, "The sheriff's after me - he says he's my daddy". However Caleb has protectors in the form of his cousin, the local doctor and even the ghost of his dead autistic half-sister.

This series was awesome, so naturally for crimes against the mediocrity that is required in American television it was cancelled after only 1 season, ending with a rushed ending. It also suffered from having episodes shown in the wrong order, which is a bad idea as it had plenty of arcs that went on episode to episode. However I managed to track down the DVD of its one and only season so am raving about how great this show was. Even if the episodes are in the wrong order on the discs!

Addendum - watching this show is fun. I must've been 16 or so when I saw it, but the Sheriff's unique powers seem more blatant now than they did to me 10 years ago. He's blatantly teleporting around Trinity, which is why he's in almost every scene to get the last word. Heck in one of the episodes he even morphs into another character.

Also - it's a Sam Raimi show so naturally Bruce Campbell guest stars, as does the Raimi brother who played Joxter. Neither Raimite does particularly well in Trinity though.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another Musical Post

I'm not normally one to inflict my (lack of) musical taste on the masses but I tend to like atmospheric soundtracks rather than pop. Anyroads these guys are awesome and will be joining my CD collection soon. Rlyeh Rising is especially nice.