RogerBW's Blog

An Earlier Date 31 May 2021 - 1 comment

People over 50 are getting priority for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, so we're told.

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How to Break a Glass Door 30 May 2021 - 8 comments

From a conversation on discussion.tekeli.li came the challenge: if you want to break into someone's house by throwing his plant pots through his (glass) patio doors, how do you go about it? In GURPS, obviously. Do not use this as a guide for actual criminal acts, or if you do at least delete any trace of your having read this post before they catch you.

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Red Thread, Charlotte Higgins 29 May 2021 - 4 comments

2018 non-fiction, Charlotte Higgins explores the maze and labyrinth in fiction and their influence on the world.

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The ghost of care.data returns 28 May 2021 - 7 comments

This time the plan to sell all your medical records to the highest bidder isn't even being announced, presumably so that you don't find out about it in time to prevent it the way people did last time.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 114: Going Higher 27 May 2021 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved unconventional solutions to numerical problems. (Note that this is open until 30 May 2021.)

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Both Ends of the Night, Marcia Muller 26 May 2021

1997 mystery, seventeenth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. McCone's former flying instructor asks her to look into her disappeared boyfriend… then dies in a way that's surely not coincidental. And letting a client's death go unavenged isn't in the Private Eye Code.

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The Many Faces of M's Office Door 25 May 2021 - 9 comments

Inspired by someone's passing comment on M's office in the James Bond films having a "green baize door", which I was fairly sure was wrong, I thought I'd go and check.

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Eurovision 2021 24 May 2021 - 4 comments

I've never really been much of a Eurovision fan, but these days you can get the music and shows without any commentary, so…

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Logarithmic scales for RPGs 23 May 2021 - 14 comments

Over the years quite a few RPGs have used logarithmic scales for various purposes. Why aren't they more popular?

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Type 31 names announced 22 May 2021 - 4 comments

This project continues, and the ship names have been announced.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 May 2021 21 May 2021

This Meetup-based boardgames group remains on-line for the moment; as usual we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BGA.

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A Book of Tongues, Gemma Files 20 May 2021 - 4 comments

2010 western fantasy, first of a trilogy. It's after the American Civil War, and there are a few magicians out there. Also gods, or at least things that want to claim they are.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 113: Represent-Recreate 19 May 2021 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding constrained integer decompositions and more binary tree furkling. (Note that this is open until 23 May 2021.)

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Automatic Fire in Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition 18 May 2021 - 2 comments

Call of Cthulhu has a spotty history with automatic fire; it's one of the few rules that changed quite a lot between editions before the complete rewrite that was 7th. I don't think 7th has improved matters.

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Boardgames in Isolation: May (part 1) 17 May 2021

More boardgames played from home. I'm definitely cutting back on these now that the real thing can happen again.

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Not the End of the World, Christopher Brookmyre 16 May 2021

1998 tartan noir. Los Angeles is losing itself in millennial fever, but that won't stop the hawkers of cheap film from having their show. Even if there's a fundie across the road who's talking about God sending a tidal wave to wipe out their filth…

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Relative and absolute ally values in GURPS 15 May 2021 - 4 comments

GURPS 4th edition changed the way the cost of Allies and Dependents is calculated. I think this may be considered an error, or at least that more sophistication is needed.

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Julie Enfield Investigates: Murder West One 14 May 2021

1999 police procedural, four short stories, by Nick Fisher. DSI Julie Enfield (played, as usual, by Imelda Staunton) investigates.

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A Return to Garden Games 13 May 2021

For the first time since last September, I've played boardgames face to face (or at least mask to mask) with other human beings.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 112: Canonical Stairs 12 May 2021 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved path canonicalisation and numerical compositions. (Note that this is open until 16 May 2021.)

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The Wheel Spins, Ethel Lina White 11 May 2021

1936 thriller. Iris Carr is a poor little rich girl travelling by train from "a remote corner of Europe" back to England via Trieste. She talks with a Miss Froy, who's briefly amusing. Then after a short rest she discovers that Miss Froy is no longer there, and everyone claims that she has never existed… Vt, and loosely filmed in 1938 as, The Lady Vanishes.

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Breweries of Wycombe 10 May 2021

There used to be twenty breweries in High Wycombe proper. Not any more. But there are a few good ones not too far away.

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Garden-fettling 09 May 2021

I didn't do much in the garden last year. I'm not sure why; normally I spend the summers out here, but (perhaps for the obvious reasons) everything felt even more pointless than usual. So I've been committing mayhem recently.

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After Atlas, Emma Newman 08 May 2021

2016 science fiction, in the same universe as Planetfall but not a sequel to it. Carlos Moreno's mother abandoned him to go on the Atlas mission; forty years later he's a detective, looking into the murder of the leader of an anti-tech cult… of which he used to be a member.

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Wind Raker, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham 07 May 2021

2015 historical fantasy, fourth in the Order of the Air series. It's 1935, and the Gilchrist Aviation team are in Hawaii testing a new flying-boat – except for Jerry the archaeologist, who's on a dig looking for evidence of Chinese explorers reaching the islands.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 3 May 2021 06 May 2021

This Meetup-based boardgames group remains on-line for the moment; as usual we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BGA.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 111: Search Letters 05 May 2021 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved search optimisations and word sorting. (Note that this is open until 9 May 2021.)

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Devil's Cub, Georgette Heyer 04 May 2021

1932 romance. The reprobate Marquis of Vidal, having casually fought a duel over dice, must flee to France. He plans to take his latest would-be conquest with him, but that lady's sister has other ideas.

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The Moving Finger 03 May 2021

2001 adaptation of Christie's 1942 mystery, in a single 90-minute episode. Someone's sending poison-pen letters in a little village, and one of the recipients has committed suicide as a result. Though Miss Marple is not so sure…

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Boardgames in Isolation: April (part 2) 02 May 2021

More boardgames played from home. I think I'm getting more irked with remote play now that the possibility of the real thing exists again.

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April 2021 Trailers 01 May 2021 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. I still hate everything.)

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