As usual for an August bank holiday, my parents are up from Cornwall.

My Dad was obviously a little on the bored side on Friday as, while I was at work, he attacked my back garden, cutting the grass and tidying the borders. All the sorts of things I’ve not had time to do since I got back from holiday. He also attacked the budlia. By the time I’d got home more than half of it had been “pruned.”

Well, I have had an idea to, in the future, attack the bush and remove it as it had become rather too large for the garden, about 20 foot in diameter and a similar height. This was now just an opportunity to remove it now. So, over the weekend we attacked it further and by yesterday evening the site where the bush once was contained merely a stump. However, the rest of the garden was filled with bush.

So, this morning, after taking some of the larger lumps to the tip, sorry recycling centre, we popped into B&Q and I bought a garden shredder/chipper. Well, it took us about 3 hours constant work to reduce a garden sized pile of twigs, limbs and leaves into a medium sized pile of chippings. The Mountfield shredder was definitely a good buy as it chompped through quite large bows with little difficulty… well other than one which had a knot in it, which pulled part of the chute down into cutter and took me about 20 minutes to extract. Still, the chute didn’t get damaged too greatly and it was relatively easily put back in place.

Anyway, it’s late afternoon and it’s time for a bit of a rest.

AberMUD, the next big Facebook application?

Pondering the popularity of the somewhat primitive and random “Pirates” application whilst cycling into work this morning I came to the conclusion that this system would be the (almost) ideal interface for a MUD.

Let’s have a look at the reasons:

  • Early MUDs such as AberMUD have a restricted command set, drop down selection boxes can handle these. There are only a few items per location also, so this could easily be handled in a web format.
  • MUDs are multi-user, so is a facebook application.
  • MUDs allow user-to-user interaction in  a game-space, ideal for all those slackers using facebook.

The problems I forsee, however, are these:

  • Getting full interactivity during fighting or users “say”ing things.
  • Finding the people with the right skills to do the coding. Goodness knows, I don’t have them. I’m guessing that you need someone with a good knowledge of efficient coding in PHP for the front-end and possibly the back-end as well. I’ve not looked at the facebook SDK.

So, any of you old guard want to port the original AberMUD to Web 2.0? *grin*

Sky watching

I’ve just been outside watching the sky looking for the meteors.

Yes, there are some, not that many though at the moment, far fewer than the estimated two per minute. Curiously as many, if not more, are coming from the south rather than radiating from Perceus.

The sky at the moment is very clear. Clear enough that even on the outskirts of Oxford, if you find a dark corner and allow your eyes to adjust you can make out the ghostly form of the milky way. Though my viewing wasn’t helped by a neighbour at the back turning on his porch light “so that he could sit in his deckchair to look at the meteors.” (And no, I didn’t think that a 100watt bulb would help his viewing pleasure either.)

Anyway, I’m too tired to look any longer, so I’m off to bed.

Pizzas, picnics and the gingerbread army.

This weekend Em, Jerry drove down from Bolton to visit along with little Laura and Amy.

It’s been a lovely, if exhausting, weekend. The exhaustion was really to do with the visit, merely mild insomnia or at least interrupted sleep due to the weather being a bit too warm at night for my taste.

Friday evening was a nice, quiet chatter, after the copious pizza, that is. 🙂

Seeing as the weather forecast for Saturday’s weather looked good a picnic was planned. Grim and Holly were able to come over from Godalming for the day so we all met up at the Harcourt Arboretum just down the road. What I hadn’t known was that this weekend there was a Forest Festival event going on at which there was wood working, home-made food, working horses and, most importantly, farm fresh ice cream. Yum!

Annnnyway…. the picnic was lovely. We almost ate all the humongous pile of food, including the army of gingerbread men bought in Sainsbury’s, but there was still enough left over for the evening meal. It was also fun watching Laura being chased around by a younger suiter who was wearing football kit and wanted to play with Grim’s flying ring. Anyway, much fun was had by all.

Today was slightly less eventful with only a trip to Sainsbury’s (for more food), a delicious lunch croned by an apple and blackberry crumple made by Em using blackberries from my bramble, all eaten out on the back meadow within feet of the blackberry bush. That only left a quick journey to the park to run down the batteries of the little girls before it was time for the good-byes.

I was really lovely to see them all agian and to see that little Amy had now grown up so much and was a real person now. It’s been almost 18 months since I last saw them, about a third of Amy’s life. Hopefully we’ll all meet up again rather sooner than that in the future.

Summer hols day 14

The weather was quite devious, having started sunny and inviting. However, soon enough the cloud rolled in and by mid-afternoon the drizzle had started.

As for events of the day, other than a trip out to Truro, which was curtailed by the weather, I didn’t do a great deal. Due to the lack of anything else to do I continued re-playing Half-Life. (Yes, I did get beyond “Blast Pit” but I’m not looking forward to the part where you have to jump over/under trip-wire bombs which is not too far in the future.)

Summer hols day 13

The day didn’t start brilliantly, weather-wise. It was rather dull. So during the morning I continued re-playing the original Half-Life and for up to the annoying “Blast Pit” section with the “worms” which kill you by “pecking” you. Getting through that is more based upon luck than prowess.

Anyway, the weather cleared up by the afternoon, the sun came out and it warmed up. So I drove over to Church Cove and had a nice walk north along the coast path as far as Gunwalloe and then along the beach to the far end of Looe Bar and then a bit of a sprint back over the cliff path to get back to the car before the parking ticket ran out at 5pm. (I won’t get into the National Trust parking ticket charges. Suffice it to say, don’t arrive between 2pm and 5pm otherwise you’ll pay through the nose.)

I didn’t do a great deal in the evening.

Summer hols days 11 & 12

Yesterday’s weather was again lovely. I visited Chris and Meriel down in Carleen and had much fun being geeky and doing stuff with technology of various vintages.

Today was RNAS Culdrose’s Air Day so I avoided going on the roads as they would be impassable due to the traffic. Instead I sat up stairs watching the meagre flying displays at this year’s much reduced event. The air show is a pale ghost of the event it used to be in the early 90s where there was flying all day and loads of aircraft from all around the world. Today, many of the displays were aircraft based on the base with two aircraft from overseas. At least the weather was good.