RogerBW's Blog

Roger's 2014 in 100 Words 31 December 2014

A friend likes to sum up his year in a hundred words. I'm going to copy this fine idea. "Think of it as a short and un-boastful summary of the year, which nobody is expected to understand all of."

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Unfinished Books of 2014 30 December 2014 - 2 comments

Mostly I finish the books that I start. Sometimes I don't. These are the ones I didn't finish this year.

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Garfunkel and Oates, series 1 29 December 2014 - 2 comments

22-minute comedy loosely based on the real lives of the folk-rock-parody duo of Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome.

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Track and Station Design for Simutrans 28 December 2014

In Simutrans, it's easy to build huge sprawling stations that don't work very well. There are some convenient optimisations that will help things flow rather better.

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Honour's Knight, Rachel Bach 27 December 2014 - 1 comment

2014 SF; sequel to Fortune's Pawn. Devi is now security chief on the tramp space-freighter she signed on with, but clearly something very strange is going on.

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Fifth Harpoon PBEM AAR: Northern Aggression 26 December 2014

Since some of the players had requested a game with submarines in it, I used this scenario out of the book. In 1997, three Russian surface ships violate Polish coastal waters in a show of force; a German Type 206 submarine tries to sink them. Total playing time was six days.

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Replacing Chronicle 25 December 2014 - 1 comment

"It all looks different this morning!"

I've been using chronicle since I started this blog in January of this year, but the time has come to replace it.

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Reading Boardgames Social 23 December 2014 24 December 2014

Quite a few people turned up for the Christmas Party (not actually all that party-like though the red bobble hats made an apparance).

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Terror in Resonance 23 December 2014

2014, 11 episodes: AniDB; also known as Zankyou no Terror and Terror in Tokyo.

In an alternate present, terrorist bombs start going off in Tokyo. What is the mysterious Sphinx, and why are they doing it?

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Delete All Suspects, Donna Andrews 22 December 2014 - 2 comments

2005 SF/mystery. Turing Hopper, an AI emergent from research assistant software, looks into the affairs of a techie who's been hit by a car and is now in intensive care. Was it an accident?

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Winter Barbecue 2014 21 December 2014 - 1 comment

With the wind-chill-adjusted temperature below freezing, we stayed indoors.

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Thanks, Google! 20 December 2014 - 1 comment

It was really useful to be able to plot arbitrary data onto a zoomable map. The only service to offer this was Google Maps; indeed, it was the last thing for which I was using any Google service.

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Why chain hotels don't need to try 19 December 2014 - 2 comments

Having recently had a truly appalling meal at a hotel that rhymes with Hark Hinn Hottingham, and heard more horror stories from people who were actually staying there, I thought about hotels' incentives to make things pleasant for their customers… and couldn't come up with any.

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Kim, Rudyard Kipling 18 December 2014

1901: an orphaned Irish boy, growing up on the streets of Lahore, puts his natural talents to better use.

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Given by the Mighty Hand of God 17 December 2014 - 2 comments

The players in my Second World War campaign have gathered various information about the interaction of atomic power and magic. Here's a quick summary of what they think they know.

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Revenge of the Cootie Girls, Sparkle Hayter 16 December 2014

1997; third of Hayter's mysteries about TV journalist Robin Hudson. Robin's just trying to find her intern and other co-workers for a girls' night out, but somehow it doesn't seem to come together.

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Introducing Simutrans 15 December 2014

Every so often I get an enthusiasm for something, go hard at it for a bit, then drop it again. I'm on my third go round with Simutrans.

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Access Denied, Donna Andrews 14 December 2014

2004 SF/mystery. Turing Hopper, an AI emergent from research assistant software, follows up on a lead to an old enemy.

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New expansions for The Resistance and Flash Point first look 13 December 2014 - 2 comments

In July I backed the Kickstarters for The Resistance - Hostile Intent & Hidden Agenda and Flash Point: Honor & Duty. My copies have now arrived.

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Games to Keep the Dark Away, Marcia Muller 12 December 2014

1984; fourth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. McCone investigates the disappearance of a famous photographer's roommate, which leads to secret goings-on in a decaying coastal town.

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Terminator Genisys Trailer 11 December 2014 - 7 comments

Some people may review the new Star Wars trailer. I find this one more interesting.

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Fourth Harpoon PBEM AAR: Gulf Escort Deja Vu Again 10 December 2014 - 2 comments

Having had some interest after I posted the second AAR, I thought I'd run a game for new players to get the hang of the way I do things before I set up another complex scenario. But the new players didn't apply, so I ran this one with two old hands instead. Total real time was two weeks, including a break over Thanksgiving as one of the players is American.

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Glasslip 09 December 2014

2014, 13 episodes: AniDB

Teenage romance and premonitory powers in contemporary small-town Japan.

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Click Here for Murder, Donna Andrews 08 December 2014

2003 SF/mystery. Turing Hopper, an AI emergent from research assistant software, has just lost a friend and employee: he's been murdered. The police reckon it was random drug-related violence; she tries to find out more.

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Dragonmeet 2014 07 December 2014 - 7 comments

On Saturday I spent the day at Dragonmeet, in its new venue at the Ilec Convention Centre round the back of Earl's Court. All images are cc-by-sa.

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Libriomancer, Jim C. Hines 06 December 2014

2012: Isaac Vainio used to be a libriomancer, someone who can reach into books and pull out the objects depicted there; but things went bad and now he works at a small town library. Until the vampires show up. Minor spoilers will follow.

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Sliding Doors 05 December 2014 - 1 comment

1998, dir. Peter Howitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah: IMDb / allmovie

A woman just fired from her job does, or does not, catch a particular Underground train, and does, or does not, catch her boyfriend in bed with another woman; her life diverges from that point, and we see both halves.

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Three Men and a Maid, Robert Fraser 04 December 2014

1907; romantic melodrama-cum-mystery story. Who killed Robert Courthope? Why did Philip Warren flee from the scene?

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Thirsty Meeples December 2014 03 December 2014

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything. (From the grotty mobile phone camera rather than the usual one, sorry.)

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The Loss of K-219 02 December 2014 - 3 comments

The Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-219 suffered an accident in the Atlantic, and later sank, in October 1986.

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Whistleblower, Tess Gerritsen 01 December 2014

1992; romantic suspense. Catherine Weaver is a makeup artist for low-budget films who's driving to visit her pregnant friend on a rainy night, when she hits Victor Holland who's just stumbled onto the road having been shot. Then things start moving.

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