calliopes_pen: (oraclegreen Drummond Dark Shadows)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Yesterday, the bill arrived for Comcast. We expected this month’s bill to still reflect things from before we cut out watching cable due to whatever reason, but no. It’s better than that. This month, we seem to owe nothing, and we have been credited $65. So…next month the bill should be $5 once that's subtracted, until this returns to the expected $70 in November, I suspect.

Odd, but nice for once.

Meanwhile, as I hunt for a new computer, I realized that just in case of any emergency that requires me to go—either due to being forced to travel out of state again, or not—it might be best to search for laptops. So I’ve been looking at the HP* Pavilion 17 inch sort, since that’s held up well for Dad. He hasn’t had any problems with his, since he got it in 2013.

And since I prefer Windows 7, I purchased an OEM for Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, which should arrive sometime next week. I’ll use it once I have an appropriate laptop actually in my possession. I have also done in depth research of the Intel CPU, which one would allow an installation of 7 over 10, and which ones wouldn’t. I think I’ve figured that one out. I have far too many links gathered for all the steps to everything, so that’s what I’ve been doing this week! I also gathered all relating links to drivers that still support Windows 7 in either the CPU of Intel or AMD.

I also asked questions at Reddit, Seven Forums, Tom’s Hardware Forum, and Bleeping Computers so that I would have everything straight. As a side note, from one of those I gained the alternative of the Acer Aspire desktop, should other ideas not work. So that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet—research!

And on a non computer note, The Collinsport Historical Society has their round-up of everywhere that Dark Shadows can be found this Halloween season. If only I had Decades and TCM, I would be so happy on October 28th.

*We have a local place that works on all things HP, so if anything happens, straight to the manufacturer it can go.
smallhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] smallhobbit
I hadn't been sure whether to see this play, given the hassle of getting to London and being out all day, but SM was going out, and I wasn't going to the theatre this month, so I decided to buy a ticket.  I was right about the hassle.  My train was cancelled - at least I found out the day before, so I didn't get to the station to find I had to wait an hour.  And GWR still haven't managed to add an extra carriage to a two carriage train which has to convey two lots of passengers, so the first part of the journey was cramped by the end.  At least I had a seat for the journey - having complained on Twitter.  It appears GWR are launching a new advertising campaign to encourage people to travel by train - I'd be more inclined to if I thought their 'Great Adventure' wouldn't be 'is there going to be a train'.

I had planned to go to the V&A to see a couple of their exhibits, but with the loss of an hour I changed plans and went to Leighton House instead.  There was an interesting exhibition of paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tedema (no, I hadn't heard of him either) and a beautiful Arab room in the house.  So that was worth doing, after which I walked through Holland Park from the Kensington High Street end towards Notting Hill Gate, to go to the Print Room at the Coronet to see the play.

Trouble in Mind was written by Alice Childress, an African-American playwright, in 1955.  It concerns an actress who challenges the racial stereotypes she is always given to portray.  Although set in 1955 it remains very relevant as regards racism, and those who believe themselves not to be racist, and yet unconsciously still maintain certain attitudes.

The attraction of the play for me was Jonathan Slinger, who played Al Manners the director of the play within a play.  In addition Tanya Moodie, who was Gertrude in last year's RSC Hamlet, plays the main actress Wiletta Mayer.  The whole cast was excellent, and the play was thoughtprovoking without being heavy.

The theatre was about two-thirds full.  It's not a place I'd heard of before, and outside the usual theatre haunts of most people, but I understand ticket bookings have gone up with some good reviews (which it deserves).  It's only on until 14 October, but one to bear in mind.

BERY

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:52 am
mafief: (Default)
[personal profile] mafief
BERY
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 9695
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Pre. February. Before Watson/Morstan Marriage (1888).

Characters:
John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
Alexander Holder – (client) senior partner at Holder & Stevenson
Unnamed Groom
Unnamed Page
Lucy Parr - the second waiting-maid, sweetheart was Francis Prosper
Arthur Holder – son of Alexander, plays cards and gambles, loves Mary
Sir George Burnwell – “ruined gambler, an absolutely desperate villain, a man without heart or conscience”, Mary’s lover
Mary Holder – niece of Alexander
Unnamed inspector
Unnamed constable
Francis Prosper – green-grocer
Sir George Burnwell’s valet

Locations:
221B Baker Street
Fairbank somewhere in Streatham?
Sir George’s house (wherever that is)
Receiver (unknown location)
Cell that holds Arthur (unknown location)

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:
None

Other studies mentioned:
None

Questions about the story
London weather - http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=winter-history;sess
Question about this. I was chatting with a British expat friend about winters. When he was little he was told to never walk on frozen ponds because the ice wasn’t think enough. When he came to New England he was all freaked out that people were ice skating on ponds. Is this normal?

More winter questions. How drafty would these buildings be? Are the windows single pane? Is the only heat from a fire place? Would each bedroom have a fireplace?

Snow removal on streets – I’m pretty sure they didn’t have snow plows. The snow in Boston gets nasty during the winter and I’m guessing that it would be the same here. Probably one of the few times that the smog was reduced.

Threadneedle Street – There are actual banks there! Lloyds, Nationwide, Bank of England (and Bank of England museum)

Underground – as in subway? Do Holmes or Watson ever use this?

£50,000 sounds like an insane amount to me now (not a trifling sum!). What would this be today?

Beryl = emerald/aquamarine or just about any other color of precious stone. What color is this piece? I had in my mind that it is blue
Coronet = not a necklace but a crown.
First time reading this I thought it was a necklace with blue stones not a golden crown with some sort of colored or clear gemstone.

“I felt that it would be an imprudence to leave so precious a thing in the office behind me.” Yah, bad idea bud.

Streatham to Threadneedle street is about an hour commute one way. That seems like a monster commute for any time period but especially for that one that time period.
“short railway journey and a shorter walk brought” Train ride was ~25 min.

“green-grocer who brings our vegetables round” I’m guessing that grocery stores were not invented yet but there were markets. People of a certain social class could afford to have their groceries delivered.

carte blanche?

common loafer/collar turned up, his shiny, seedy coat, his red cravat, and his worn boots/disreputable clothes = I’m guessing lower class

“he breathed his vows” guessing this doesn’t mean wedding vow.

“the pavement had been cleared” Ah ha! Snow removal. By what?

“life-preserver” the same one that is used to keep people afloat in water?

“I knew my man, however, and I clapped a pistol to his head before he could strike.” OK, now why didn’t Holmes take Watson? I thought Watson is typically used in this type of situation. Seems rather foolish to go there alone.

“address of the receiver” pawn shop?

“got to my bed about two o’clock, after what I may call a really hard day’s work.” Yah, exactly. Also travelled at least 20 miles.

Fee = Paid £1000 for this case. Also, did he have to front the £3000 to pay for the beryls or did the receiver accept an IOU?

Other things about Holmes
“Sherlock Holmes pushed him down into the easy-chair and, sitting beside him, patted his hand and chatted with him in the easy, soothing tones which he knew so well how to employ.”

“It was no uncommon thing for him to be away for days and nights on end when he was hot upon a scent…”

They All Went Through

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:35 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Mina covets the ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
The rest of the nominations have been approved for Yuletide.

✔ Count Dracula (1977)
Characters
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
Characters
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)

A Shipping Meme (Part One)

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:41 pm
smallhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] smallhobbit
which I have pinched from [personal profile] verdande_mi  and like them I'm only answering the questions I want to answer.

Questions 1 to 20 )

One Fandom So Far, Two To Go

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
My nomination list for Yuletide has partially been reviewed. So as of right now, I can confirm this one. I'll let people know when the others make it through.

✔ Dracula - Bram Stoker
Characters
✔ Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Xena life before coffee)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I found out what my computer model is. Until now, all I knew (since what was once written was lost to the mists of time, as the sticker wore off at some point) was it was just HP Compaq, since we hadn’t found the old paperwork for it as of yet. So I’m posting this mainly for my own sake, should I lose track of where I made a note of that.

HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower. I went to the support page for HP, and found the method for determining the type a particular model is.

So how did I find out? First, hit the plus sign around the Option 2 section. Their way didn’t work for me, and we never had HP Support Assistant in this computer, for whatever reason even back when it was still XP and would have had those original files. However, figure 1 mentions System Information. Typed in that, and the window that came up had everything, including a section for System Model. And there we have it.

Judging by this press release, it came out around April of 2008, if not earlier. Granted, my model was 32 bit, not the 64 bit they’re announcing. If that’s accurate, that means that the date I previously estimated is off by a few years. Should it make it another few months to 2018 prior to it being replaced, this one’s still going to have made it at least a decade. And should it still survive, we'll have it around as a spare, should its replacement have issues, or should Dad's laptop have problems down the line.

Right, we're back!

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:37 am
smallhobbit: (screech owl)
[personal profile] smallhobbit
Screech Owl is back at Brownies - as is Brown Owl.  Sparkly Owl is on holiday far away in the sunshine.

I've just been reading my entry for this time last year, when we had masses of Brownies - this time, for reasons I will explain below, we have far fewer to start with.  We had 12 due to come back, and slightly to our surprise, 11 did - there's usually a few drop out over the summer.  The only one who didn't come had been erratic last term - she has other activities after school, and her grandmother can't always get her to us.  In addition she's probably only got one more term with us until she's 10, so they may have decided it's easier if she stops now.

Sadly, despite initial interest, we have no new offers of help, so we shall carry on.  It seems to be a widespread problem.  On the other hand, there are new girls wanting to join.  We had two start yesterday - a third had found a place in another pack at a more suitable time.  That's fair enough - we have a further seven (I think) who are old enough to join now and will be invited to start in a couple of week's time.

We played various games - our normal opening night activity.  A number of the girls were very excitable, which meant I had to be stricter in enforcing the rules than I would normally be.  With some of the Brownies' help I pointed out we have rules to make it safe to play (if half the runners go the opposite way round the circle from the other half, there will be an accident) and to make it fair to all.  And, of course, there is the ultimate rule "If Screech Owl says you're out, you're out!"

We stacked in the cupboard all the goodies we got from collecting Sainsbury's Active Kids vouchers:



At the front is a ball (yet to be blown up) in the shape of a globe - handy for both games and when we talk about different countries.  There's a stop watch; enough plant pots and saucers for everybody (either for growing seeds, or for table decorations); and two storage boxes (for pens, rubbers, etc).

Next week we're off to visit the local Police Headquarters.  They can only take 15 girls at a time, which is why we restricted how many new Brownies could start at the beginning of term.

ABBE

Sep. 14th, 2017 03:56 pm
mafief: (Default)
[personal profile] mafief
ABBE
The Adventure of Abbey Grange
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 9170
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. Winter of ‘97

Brief summary:
Holmes called in by Hopkins and the case appears to be ordinary. Details are called into question by Holmes and he finds that there is more to the case.

Characters:
John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
Stanley Hopkins
Sir Eustace Brackenstall - richest men in Kent, dead, abusive
Lady Brackenstall (aka Mary Fraser)
Theresa Wright – maid
Captain Croker

Location:
221B Baker Street
Charing Cross Station
Abbey Grange, Marsham, Kent
Chislehurst Station
shipping office of the Adelaide-Southampton line, end of Pall Mall
Scotland Yard (did not go in)
Charing Cross telegraph office

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:
Lewisham gang of burglars – three Randalls

Other studies mentioned:
composition of a text-book on the art of detection

Questions about the story
“Wake up your Watson” – When did this start in the fandom?

Cab vs handsom vs carriage vs dogcart

Charing Cross Station – (find on map) How well connected is England?
- Train information in general

“crackling paper, ‘E.B.’ monogram”?

Chislehurst Station – find on map

noble park?

Sydenham?

More medical stuff, bathing swelling with vinegar and water – why is this even a good thing?

“It is a sacrilege, a crime, a villainy to hold that such a marriage is binding”
- I read somewhere that Doyle was of the opinion that women should be able to leave/be divorced from marriages such as this. But, for some reason he was not a proponent of women’s rights.

“drenching a dog with petroleum and setting it on fire” What!?

Bees-wings?

multiplex knives – swiss army knife?

“as our train was crawling out of a suburban station, he sprang on to the platform and pulled me out after him” How does this work? Are there doors to the outside in each compartment?

“We have not yet met our Waterloo, Watson, but this is our Marengo, for it begins in defeat and ends in victory” reference lost on me.

“Vox populi, vox Dei”?

Complicated, messy, what would have happened if Hopkins had figured it out?

Other things about Holmes
“Why do you not write them yourself?”
- Oh goodness, Holmes, this is when Watson earns his title of long suffering friend.

Did not turn in Captain Croker. Willing to decide his own justice.

No More HP Printers For Me

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:38 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook enough necromancy)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Thanks to a firmware update from HP that was pushed yesterday, I believe I can safely cross off HP printers from my list of potential printer purchases.

Basically, the update blocks all non-HP ink from functioning correctly. There weren’t that many from HP that I had included on my list just yet, thanks to everybody's recommendations and advice (thank you for it, by the way) along the lines of Canon, Epson, and Brother.

This merely narrows the field a little more for me.

Note To Self

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:51 pm
calliopes_pen: (wolfbane_icons coffin Dracula fire)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Next year, I will try to remember to nominate Dracula The Undead, by Freda Warrington. (Not the Dacre Stoker novel of the same name) I love that unofficial continuation of the novel, and I have a prompt I'd love to see written someday. I just never have room and/or never think to nominate it until I've already done my nominations.

The Quest For A Printer Continues

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:50 pm
calliopes_pen: (54 IJ Edith silhouette books)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
For when I eventually replace the printer that I had to toss out, I have a question for those on my reading/friends list. I’ve only had inkjets from HP up until now (I don’t know the names right now) and that last one never really worked right, while the first lasted about 15 years before it died.

Would anyone recommend any particular Epson or Brother printer models? I only recently heard of them for the first time during my research, so I don't know much about those brands. Or is HP still a good one to stick with for inkjet printers, despite that last one? I considered the HP Envy 7640, but was turned away by bad reviews I was reading for that particular model.

What I'm looking for is a reliable color inkjet printer, even if it's primarily documents I would be printing.

Is laser better/cheaper in the long run?

Book Review Year 3 No 3

Sep. 12th, 2017 06:32 pm
smallhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] smallhobbit
I've read quite a few books recently, which is why this is a slightly longer review than normal - I was going to do it last week, but was close to finishing two of the books, so I thought I'd wait.

The Minitiarist by Jessie Burton

There's been a lot said about this book, so I thought I'd give it a go.  They even had a copy in our local library (which I reserved and collected two days' later to save getting dressed to go to the library).  I quite enjoyed it, but I wasn't taken by it as much as other people seem to have been.  And the central premise of the story, that of the dolls' house, for me didn't work as I'd hoped.  I'll be interested to see what others of my flist thought.


Ovid by David Wishart

A mystery set in ancient Rome, recommended by someone in my flist.  The mystery was quite interesting and the setting was reasonably entertaining.  This is the first in a series - I may read more, but there's plenty else on my 'to read' list at the moment.


Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

The witches aren't my favourite of Pratchett's characters, but I enjoyed the story.  And even if not my favourite in the Discworld series, they're still better than some things I've read, so I shall certainly be reading more.


Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton

A present from [personal profile] aome  I was totally taken in by the story, suspecting characters I really didn't want to suspect, but happy at the outcome.  It was definitely responsible for one or two late nights, as I had to read 'just one more chapter'.  A series I shall most certainly continue with.


All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Really worth reading.  Sad, obviously, and graphic, but an excellent description of the first world war from the viewpoint of the German trenches.  The daughter and I are going on a tour of some of the battlefields next April.


The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman

Recommended by several of my friends: a mystery featuring a female vicar in a parish in Herefordshire, close to Leominster which we visited last month.  It sounded great, but to my mind, too long, too convoluted and I was tempted to give up and take it back to the library part way through.  I battled on, but won't be reading the next in the series.


As ever, I shall be interested to read any thoughts anyone has - the fact I didn't enjoy a book doesn't mean it's badly written, just not my thing.

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