Saturday, 25 April 2015

Midnight oil

It's almost 430am here and I can't sleep. I have to be up early to tidy up, check out, and drive back to merseyside. I really don't need this right now.

What's Bugging me is the disconnection of my website. The more I think about it, the more I think it's way out of line. The guy's main business is tinting vehicle windows. So here's an analogy: I take my car to him, and he tints the windows in exchange for money. I am impressed by the work, and at some point, I contact him to let him know I will soon be getting another car, and that I will pay him double to tint the windows in this new car too. Time passes, and I don't get around to getting the new car. Then one day I come home to find he's been to my address, and removed the tinting from my windows. Actually, he leaves me with no windows at all.

It's possible of course that some technical issue has occurred, and since there has been no contact, he's unaware of it.

Clearly I need to get in touch with him and find out what's going on.

... Sent email, apologising, explaining and enquiring. Now I wait. Goodnight.
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I've been playing around with the bbc's coalition building game.

From what I've seen of the polls, it does look like it's going to be a close run race again.

I'd like to think a more radical Labour Party providing a clear alternative would streak to victory, but then I think of how the vast majority of the media would react to such a thing.

Anyway, it does seem that a coalition government is the most likely outcome. Ironic that one of the big bad bogeymen used to defeat the yes camp in the proportional representation referendum was the spectre of such a many headed beast.

From the random figures generated by the Bec game, if Labour can get up too perhaps 270 or so seats, they can most likely form an alliance with various nationalists, greens and assorted left wingers such as Respect and the SDLP. The conservatives need a bit more ,as they only really have the DUP, the libdems and ukip.

I suppose I should vote labour myself, but i can't bring myself to do so.

I will waste my vote on a green instead.

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Board IV and other stuff

Heavy base, weak sides, to which a hinge is going to be attached. Either have some kind of complicated mechanism that attaches to the base, or attach hinge to weak sides.

The heavy sturdy plywood base is bigger than it needs to be, so it might be better to remove the frame from the painted cork base, stick the cork base directly to the plywood, and use the excess plywood to create the sides.

I can't check this at the moment because I am away on holiday for a week.

I'm trying to use this time to a) relax and b) catch up on some stuff I've needed to do but not had the time or inclination to do.

A bit ago, after a few glasses of home brew, I felt both magnanimous and motivated enough to send a message to the guy that did my website, asking him to reconfigure and update it with regards to franchising and instructor training, in return for which I would pay him handsomely.

We met up and discussed the work, and I promised to go away and generate the content he needed.

Since then, I've either been to busy or too knackered to do much, although I did do some market research.

Meanwhile, web guy, in the absence of action or communication from me, appears to have decided to disconnect my website from his VPN, and not reconnect it to UK2's servers. This, if it is the case, seems worryingly unprofessional. He does though, I suppose have  a grievance, since I promised him work and money, then failed to follow up.

We form assessments of people based on how they treat us, and no doubt he now considers me to be full of it, while I now think of him as somewhat petty and vindictive.

So this holiday gives me the opportunity to fulfil my end of the arrangement, and hopefully we can repair the damage to our relationship.

The holiday also gives me the chance to spend some quality time with Bren. We've had precious little of it for a long time now.

The holiday itself is courtesy of my stepson, Alex. He works for a company that has a lodge in a site close to Lake Windermere, that their employees, or their friends and families can use for one week each per year. Alex gave us his week.

The lodge is basically a posh wooden static caravan, but about one and a half times as wide, and a little bit longer. Inside, it is fitted out with quality modern fixtures and decor.

Space! It makes our own humble abode seem very cramped and shabby, and envy is in our hearts.

Truth is, despite earning a reasonable wedge, we can't afford to finance living somewhere other than the caravan, which will depreciate steadily as the years roll by. Like the ape man at the beginning of 2001 a space odyssey, who is given visions of a well fed tribe of sleek and contented ape men, our present location has shown us what we're missing.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Board III

the problem of dice bouncing out was easily solved. Buy another couple of cork boards, take the middles out, and use the frames.

I also got a sturdy piece of 9mm plywood which makes the whole thing much more solid.

I've painted the points using red and black acrylic paints.

Bugger me! This board is starting to look something like.

Still got to glue raised surround to board, saw plywood to correct size, attach board to plywood base, and create some kind of hinge.

Giving it a coat of varnish is probably worthwhile.

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Board Update...

Between thought and expression, there lies a lifetime.

I'd pictured myself, lovingly burnishing a deep grained piece of wood, hand carved from a Balinese cypress, which had itself been watered by the tears of unicorns who then brought it to me, on a platinum mithril platter, (with a side order of onion rings)

How I would labour! How I would pay attention to every detail to create, nay gestate, a thing of surpassing loveliness.

But Bren is an asker of awkward questions.

To my, "I can make a groove in the surround and slide the board surface into it", she responds with "What will you make the groove with?"

This is a fair question. We live in a caravan. I don't have a little shed down the bottom of the garden with a workbench and a set of basic woodworking tools.

So my grand design quickly became something much more pragmatically utilitarian.

Two cork noticeboards from Staples.

Some Pro's...
  • Already have their surrounds. 
  • Total price, about £18. 
  • Can be fastened together by a strip of fabric, glued to the back with PVA. 
  • Design can be laid directly onto surface
  • Being cork, will absorb energy of thrown dice - quieter and with less dice overboard.
  • It will be far far easier to construct.
Some Con's...

  • It will be a lot less sturdy than  what I originally planned.
  • It does not have built in storage for pieces and dice.
  • The low surround is not high enough to prevent dice leaving the playing area.
  • The overall quality is poor. The wooden surround is rough and needs finishing with a coat of varnish.

It's also a lot more spacious than I planned for, but tolerably so.

Biggest pro of all... It's a lot more achievable, with a lot less farting around.

The board design can be painted or dyed, then covered with a layer of varnish or diluted wood glue. Or just left as it is.

A hole in each corner, and a measured strip of fabric, and 4 simple posts will be just as effective as a proper wooden surround.

A couple of years ago, I bought a cheap fake leather set. It's adequate, but no more than adequate for club play. For the same price, and a bit of work, I get a much more pleasingly tactile set, that I have had the pleasure of building for myself.

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