mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Biggest news was that as of 1st September I am now employed directly by NHS rather than via an agency - as had been the case for the last 2 years! But it's only for 6 months.
However I didn't get paid on the last Friday of the month as expected but had to chase up to get my money on the following Monday!
All month went dance class without a partner (J in Canada) as we started (as a class) to learn the Viennese Waltz - which I have wanted to revise since we learned it in a private lesson.
So most Tuesday's I partnered dance teacher B, though the last week I danced with L (whose partner was unavailable).
J was back from her travels for the last Saturday Social Dance, though as she hadn't danced for over 6 weeks her memory of the steps was a bit dodgy! But I still danced more than the previous month!
I finished listening to The Martian by Andy Weir - I wish I'd read it earlier so I could have nominated it for a Hugo! Have to remember to nominate the Movie instead.
On the 2nd Monday of the month went to the Earth & Stars in Brighton for Discussion of the Left Hand of Darkness - didn't finish this book, We were given inadvertent ARCs of Anima by Brett Davidson, as a Read for next year
I have now used the Amazon Locker (Dimple), at the martlets in town, a number of time and mostly find it very convenient - however, the 4-5 day collection window can sometime be inconvenient! Fortunately it appears to be open 24 hours a day!
I've just ordered a new USB Memory stick to which I have copied Calibre and as many ebooks as I could find, on my desktop and old laptop. I also need to hunt up any other ebook floating around!
I have been watching Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish on TV so when his Live show was advertised at the Hawth I got a ticket, for next month (November)
The weekly, free, yoga class, after work has been extended for a further 8 weeks - my back thanks the powers that be!
Christmas is coming earlier and earlier. Lidl started selling Mince pies and Stollen, with a best before date in November!
Mowed the front lawn at the end of the month, we should soon get to the point where the grass stops growing, but we are not there yet ;-(
Both Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing started this month - so thats what my license fee pays for!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
OK so this was a very busy and important month. The first thing being the wedding of my niece L to her fiance S
This was at least 2 years in the planning and went off without a hitch, to the very great happiness of my sister.
The wedding was in an old barn! and the reception was in another building on the same site.
The sun was shining all afternoon and we had perfect weather, I was even social with friends and relatives.
After eating pizza later in the afternoon - J (dance partner) arrived for the evening and we danced and conversed until she took me home.

There are some perks to working for the NHS and one of them occurred this month. A 8 week class for beginners in yoga was to be held after work - for free!
I signed up, as yoga is something I have been wanting to try for a while, as it has a beneficial effect on back issues, and it might allow me to be able to touch my toes!
We are now halfway through and it is much more exhausting than expected, given you don't move from your mat during the hour class.
I was asked if I might be interested in a permanent position if one came up. I then got a number of forms to fill out, but no one actually told me about the job in question, so I been waiting to find out what next!

I had my eyes checked a couple of months back - as this was a work related requirement I got a voucher from the agency for free test and free standard lenses
(I normally have varifocals) I decided to get a pair of glasses with a focal length at arms length - free VDU glasses.
I've been wearing them 2 months now and it's much easier to view the screens, but long distance is fuzzy (still clearer than no glasses)
I'm still using varifocals for normal use though.

Been dancing on my own as J is on a 6 week trip across Canada. Meant I only got a few dances at the social, and dancing with the teacher in class
I have also started reading the LMB mailing list again (after a hiatus of a number of years) on my iPhone during my train commute

I got Terry Pratchett's, last books and it was a perfect swan song, not his best book ever but perfect for a last remembrance.
I've also started back listening to audible books, not least because of the low priced Deal of the Day! Got and listed to The Martian" sad wasn't nominated for the Hugo, looking forward to the movie.
Have now listened to all of Pat Wrede's Frontier Magic series, well worth the time needed to listen (even though I have read them all)

I also went to Earth & Stars on first Monday expecting the SF Reading Group meeting only realise that the meets had moved to the 2nd Monday of the month! (My diary had the correct date!)
However three of us turned up to chat generally about SF and had a pleasant evening.
The following Monday I returned after finishing "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel", a number of new readers turned up and a lively discussion occurred.

Discovered that it is now impossible to download the epub files for the Nook, the Windows readers are no longer supported (in the UK) so there is no way of downloading the files.
Now only readable on my hardware Nook or phone apps. Will be buying from kobo, google or amazon in future (as all allow download to PC).
Also on the Amazon front discovered that amazon has installed a locker in The Martlets in town, near the library, next to Lidl - which is more convenient than trying to get deliveries to my house while I'm working.
The first book I collected from "Dimple" was a Modesty Blaise Graphic novel.

Watched the Hugo Awards (after the fact - I didn't want to stay up past 3am) and bought membership to Worldcon75 in Helsinki. I've been to all the European worldcons since 1979 and don't want to miss this milestone.

I reinstalled the current version of Ubuntu LTS to my multi boot USB drive (boot loader corrupted) which meant the creation of a bootable ubuntu USB drive. This doesn't work on my Windows 8 laptop!

Bought a small portable drive to backup my videos and ebooks, needed 2 usb sockets so will try a pen drive for my ebooks and install Calibre portable to manage them.

Visited the dentist for a checkup and x-ray, haven't heard anything so all should be well. Also visited chiropractor, who agreed that yoga was a very good thing (TM) for back issues!

Marvel's Agent Carter did finally get broadcast on Sky (in UK) hurrah!

July 2015

Aug. 5th, 2015 03:23 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Spent most of the month with blisters on my right foot - in various states of healing (or otherwise).
Collected my Nook from TB station! Must stop leaving stuff behind.
Mowed both back and front lawns. Amazing how fast the stuff grows during the summer.
First Monday in the month discussed The Death of Grass, again didn't finish the book before the Reading Group meeting!
Dancing every Tuesday evening, mostly revising - prior to all going off on holidays!
Had a short play on pottermore.com to catch up to date, used my new laptop for the first time for this purpose.
Finally got around to making some updates to The Bujold Nexus, it's been three years since my last update!
After over a year and a half I got an official NHS ID Card - doesn't do anything but looks official!
I have installed Adobe ePub Reader on my new laptop and for the first time in year I have manage to get it to work. Even borrowing a book from the library and copying it to my Nook!
I have been listening the Pat Wrede's Frontier Magic trilogy. I have read the books a number of times, but the audio reading brings an extra dimension to the work.
Got a new Netgear router (which when it worked was 30% faster) however stopped working correctly (DNS issues) after a few days. Must contact support to fix.
This has been the busiest month at work since I started! between 200% & 150% previous months calls answered!
Renewed house insurance. Agent Carter being shown on Fox!
Saw Ant-Man at cinema in Worthing £3 showing saw Inside Out at local Cinema £6.50!
Middle of the month went to visit family - last chance before The Wedding - was provided with accessories (socks, tie and pocket hankie!)
Finally took a walk around bedelands for an hour, I really must start walking around this green area again!
Submitted reading for Gas and Electricity - first time since January - should be quarterly!
Dance practice was a week late so I was dancing two days running (Social dance last Saturday of the month) and got the blisters to prove it.
Didn't go to dance class the Tuesday after the social dance - due to blisters - J also had cold so please to get evening off.
Did some overtime as under staffed and getting backlog of emails!

May 2015

Jun. 8th, 2015 02:24 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Continued watching iZombie (only a few days after US broadcast), also new Thunderbirds are go, saw Last episode of The Mentalist and 200th episode of Bones (gave up on both series a while back)
For Free Comic Book Day I visited Dave's Comics in Brighton and got goodie bag of comics
Decided to continue the series started by one - so visiting Uncanny Comics near work. Also ordered some from Forbidden planet (cheaper than amazon even with postage)
Bought a new Acer Aspire ES1512 from Tesco for only £179, comes with Windows 8.1 ;-( (and free one year license for Windows 10!)
After collecting from local store (ordered online) had to configure and removed unwanted buyware, downloaded Windows 8 updates and then installed then (total time over 6 hours!)
A number of trains delayed, so was able to claim a tiny delay refund!
Saw Avengers: Age of Ultron at local cinema (Sunday matinee in 2D)
Dance classes on Tuesday with J revised foxtrot, waltz, tango
General and local elections didn't effect me as I voted postally before canvassing started in earnest!
Finally got around to adding £10 to my iPhone account, got £20 free credit in addition - was unable to use it all up, within 1 month!
Listened to The Master Magician (via audible) last in trilogy and finished in one day!
Got my eyes tested at Specsavers (with work voucher test and glasses were free) but could only get single VDU lenses for free. Eyes hadn't changed enough to justify replacing varifocals
Started watching new dramatisation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on BBC1, I may finally get the the end of the story having failed to finish both the original book and the audio edition.
Binged on Castle series 6, repeated prior to series 7, missed due to sky box crash last year.
Re-watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series 2
Reserved Uprooted by Naomi Novik from library and read in one day
Started new Coursera class - An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)
Last Saturday in the month si social dance nigh BUT this month was the annual Loraine Barry lecture and tea dance.
Loraine is a World, European, British Open, International, US & Irish Champion, and friend of my Dance Teacher! Gave a workshop on posture and footwork in foxtrot, waltz and tango
Last Sunday in the month saw Tomorrowland, which was better than it might have been if a bit parasitic at the end.
So a pretty busy month, not least - first full month back at work.

April 2015

May. 19th, 2015 01:35 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
First day unemployed, bought tickets to London for Eastercon, Went to book club (first time in over a year)
D gave me a iPhone 5 as an early birthday present!
Spent a while learning to use it and configure it. (and to upgrade all the apps)

On Thu left for London, visited the Science Museum before going to Heathrow and checking in to the Holiday In.
Good Friday
Breakfast at McD (and for rest of W/E as on way from Holiday Inn to Park Inn (were the convention was held)
Checked in to Eastercon 2015 / Dysprosium got free mug and discworld calendar, got wifi working! on both ipod and iphone
Went to back to back panels, my favourite being the difference engine imaged and imagined by the author of "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage "
bought food at petrol station / co-op over the road. Spent an hour at filking
Saturday
After McD porridge for breakfast, more panels including GoHs Caroline Mullan & Jim Butcher (in separate program items)
Met a chatted to Listie Katrina & fiancé
Concerts with Playing Rapunzel followed by Talis+2 (Seannan McGuire unable to join in due to lurgy)
Easter Sunday
After McD porridge for breakfast, went to Easter worship then checked out art show for last time
GoH - Herr Döktor interview and GoH - Seanan McGuire (an hour with). In evening was Not the masquerade! an hour of filking
Easter Monday
Last day of con. couple of panels then closing ceremony. Chatted with ED. Read in hotel room (should have left but...)

Tuesday
Left in morning spent hour and a half at the science museum
Got a call from Agency asking if I wanted to renew contract! I said yes. Restarting work in 2 days.
Dancing with J - started learning new quickstep. Later in the month expanded the foxtrot repertoire
Spent day after return from Eastercon replacing upstairs toilet with D! Discovered seat had broken at the hinges so had to order replacement
Bought weekly season tickets until the end of the month, than a monthly one! And back to work!
I celebrated my birthday during April and got cards from family & my dance partner, went for a nice lunch with the latter, followed with hours talking in the sun. Saw ISS pass overhead that night!
The following day celebrated my sister's (and my) birthday with another lunch out, with niece, her intended, my sister and brother-in-law and a nice surprise my aunt and uncle (who I hadn't seen for months - even though they only live a few miles away)
Also celebrated 8 years since I started writing on LiveJournal in 2007
the Brighton SF Reading group met on the second Monday of the month as the previous week was Easter Monday
We discussed Ancillary Justice for most of the 2 hours, usually we only spend the first hour on the book itself, then wander ot ofther genre topics. But this time almost all discussion was on topic. That I had actually finished the book was probably a plus!
Went to World Book Night Quiz at Martlets Cafe - cam 2nd of 7 teams! Go free book.
Finally got a SIM for my iPhone, bit odd to actually have a working Smart Phone!
Last Saturday of the month was social dance, with practice night 8 days prior to this. Spotted a Circus in Goffs Park, decided to go.
Up early sunday morning so I could get train to Crawly for the 11:00 performance by Zyair circus
Had sunday lunch while waiting to go to the cinema then discovered it had sold out! Sky box performed an update which now allows it to remember recored programs and to automatically start recording the new series!
Now separates recorded programs from scheduled programs (different menu entried)
Started watching iZombie via internet as not available via Sky.

March 2015

Apr. 14th, 2015 10:02 am
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
First Monday of the month at Brighton SF Reading group discussed The Disappeared, I had actually completed this one!
Danced every Tuesday of the month with J - learnt/revised new steps to quickset, waltz and foxtrot - also new sally anne cha cha
Finished listening to The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Saw Saturday Night Fever at the Theatre Royal in Brighton - took day off and went to matinee
Terry Pratchett died 12 march! I couldn't remember if I'd ever actually spoken to him or not, then I discovered a personally signed copy of Strata from 1987. So I must have told him my name at least.
Made black cape for relay pig (at work) RH then created bat mask from paper
Went to visit my family - continued on pottermore.com and got early birthday present from my sister.
Helped sister make sunday dinner!
Got confirmation that work contract ending on March 31
Sasquan (Worldcon 2015) PR3 arrived. Sent in request for partial refund of train ticket due to delays
Social dancing on last Saturday in Crawley, tried to create a Jive sequence out of steps learnt, as not given an official sequence of any length since J&I started dancing together nearly 2 years ago.
Trains delayed on last day of work, got to office 8:10 for 8:00 start!
At dance class got small easter eggs from teacher and larger one from J.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
The Brighton SF Reading Group discussed Stamping Butterflies (which I didn't read) train home cancelled and had to wait half an hour for next train.
Dancing every Tuesday, and for this month only also danced on three Saturdays.
Light switch in bathroom broke, leaving it permanently on. D repaired it, but I had to find a new string.
Started listening to audible books again. Listened to Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking"
Upgraded firmware of my Toshiba TV but now it won't remember it's settings!
Got my filling replaced in top left tooth.
Started learning new steps in ballroom. Jive is still very limited!
Appeared to have malware installed on P, took forever to dislodge it.
Went to Picocon 32 at Imperial College in London (only on Saturday)
Then straight to 1st of the 3 Saturday dances, at new venue.
Got last years diary printed by doxdirect.
J made me pancakes for after dancing on Shrove Tuesday
D & I finally installed new shower blind, and was able to take first proper shower at home in months.
Renewed my season ticket, possible finally for last time?
Last dance of the month at a new venue in BH
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Spent New Year's Day with J, went for walk in Bucham Park before lunch (kangaroo steaks!)
Saw The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn on TV (I have not been watching many films of TV of late
Bought Texet Power Bank (to recharge iPod) £6 at Wilco (reduced from £8), this will extend the time before I will be forced to buy a replacement.
Listened to Good Omens on iPlayer - BBC Radio production
Prior to going to to book group heard a bus knock down a pedestrian! (in the argus later) traffic stopped for hours.
To Earth & Stars pub for SF Book meeting "Good Omens" new people turned up
Sky box crashed and deleted ALL content I'd saved over the years!
Dancing wit J on Tuesdays, started to learn a new series of waltz steps.
Decided to re-read daughter of the empire (and its sequels) by wurst & feist and couldn't find my copies.
Discovered library copies at Worthing so got 1st book from there and the other 2 from Brighton (which didn't have the 1st book!)
Saw "Into the Woods" at the cinema in BH. New series of The Librarians is great fun, hope it continues, (but very Warehouse 13).
Saw dentist and got a temp filling in top left, needs proper filling next month.
Booked two tickets to see "Return to the Forbidden Planet" at the Theatre Royal in Brighton (stalls). J & I went to the matinee performance.
J had not seen it before while I'd seen at least 10 prior version. 'twas excellent as usual!
Ordered 3 throwing knives, which arrived very quickly - but were smaller than expected. I will have to source a board to throw at.
Backup of my LJ account to DW
Got my hair cut. Saw the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures (3 programs). Got first 3 episodes of Agent Carter from JA at work, very period - pity not being shown in the UK. Trying to play digital media on TV fails.
Last day of the month was the Social Dance in Crawley
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So my final LJ entry of the year. I've just started editing my diary notes so I can get a printed diary, using print on demand. Doing so last year got me a book of over twenty five thousand words, and I want to do so again.
First on the agenda is the Brighton SF Reading group, the book was "The Clockwork Rocket" by Greg Egan and once again i didn't finish it!
I did have a half of stout after initially arriving at The Earth & Stars
D finally finished fitting the downstairs toilet, a thing of beauty. And the roller blind style shower curtain finally arrived. Also new toilet to replace old one in bathroom arrived.
Final two ballroom dance classes before the Christmas break, were revision of dances especially the new jive (now if I could only remember the jive we learnt 2 years ago..). The final class was more of a party with food, drinks and dancing, with all the classes mixed.
Had to prune my mailbox as ISP told me it was getting too large.
Got a new ear ring, slightly smaller than the one I'd been wearing for the last few years.
Strictly Come Dancing Final, one of the closest ever. Also the Christmas Special was nice too.
Went dancing with J on the second Sunday evening, raining and dark but still arrived on time. Danced all evening, had unexpected competitor demo and snacks.
Saw "Paddington" at the Cinema and saw a doctor regarding pain in my left foot.
Determined it was cheaper to buy fish and chips at the local Wetherspoon pub (on Friday) than from the chip shop.
Lost filling or chipped tooth in upper left of my mouth, booked an appointment in the new year.
Took exam for "LFS101x Introduction to Linux" (online learning - didn't finish all the coursework) got 30/30! though a few questions did require 2 attempts (as allowed in the rules)
J learned that Salsa Julia was offering a Salsa Taster at Wivelsfield Hall, so J & I went and it was fun, stayed to see the freestyling for 20 min then went home. If it didn't clash with Book Club I'd go back!
Discovered how to install personal screensavers on the Nook ereader and added some quotes and XKCD ones.
Xmas eve got train to Horsham via Barnham the the bus to see my parent and the rest of the family.
Christmas was particularly festive with a Christmas service, an open fire, dinner and Doctor Who & Frozen
Home for the weekend, and caught up with recorded TV. back to work on Monday but a half day off for New Years eve, so I could get reading and to Crawley early in time for:-
The New Years Eve Dinner / Dance which was awesome - buffet dinner, professional demonstration (Latin & Ballroom) and danced a lot (restricted to 50% or less) by table numbers due to lots of people being there.
Helped tidy up after and left 12:40. Stayed at J's over night and listened to dance music and watched Galaxy Quest on tv before I went home! (New Years Day!)
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Saw last of series of Doctor Who, mowed lawns for the last time this year. Also managed to move 4 bags of earth from where it had been dumped.
Able to use bath for the first time (even though showering is a bit iffy as no curtain as yet installed - though ordered).
The Brighton SF Reading group met in the Earth & Stars pub and discussed a P K Dick collection
Went dancing every Tuesday evening with social dancing on the last Saturday and Practice eight days prior to this.
Backed C E Murphy's new kickstarter (which has been successfully funded)
Got "new" monitors at work, a pair with a longer stand, providing a higher screen, which gives a better sight line.
Had my first one to one / supervision! I was on track and hitting all targets!
Went to see doctor re pain in my left foot instep, got pain meds over a 2 week course.
Ordered a new shower curtain, which works like a roller blind! very cool and should keep the floor dry too.
Use Calibre to transfer some ebooks to my new Nook
Finally defrosted my freezer (over a year since last done).
Strictly Come Dancing continued on Saturday and Sunday getting too close to call the result. Anyone's game.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
The organisation I am still working for (a year after I started) is now South East CSU (Sussex IT Services).
One of the advantages of working in Worthing as I am travelling in the opposite direction to everyone going to London. As a result I have got a seat every day (apart from a couple of exceptional times).
Got the new Mercy Thompson anthology "Shifting Shadows by Pat Briggs" from Audible
For the first time I got on the wrong train (in the morning) and was travelling east (rather than west). Got off at Berwick and got in to the office an hour later than intended!
D got a second apple tree and vine, and i dug the holes to plant them into. Told him to stop buying any more trees!
Brighton Reading Group discussed Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (I didn't finish reading it) at Earth and Stars pub
Bathroom tiled so all walls and floor of bathroom covered (no longer any bare floorboards).
Went to the dentist, got filling in bottom right incisor.
Went Ballroom Dancing every Tuesday with Social Dance on the last Saturday of the month with a practice night the Friday 8 days prior to this.
Visited my family for the weekend (with a laptop issue to solve).
New Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight arrived unexpectedly. Works perfectly. However discoved that most of my books are on the US site with the Nook accesses the UK one.
Contacted support to get this resolved to no avail (Nook iOS app connects to US site)
New steel bath is finally installed (apart from the overflow)
Completed pottermore.com to date (end off Goblet of Fire)
Saw "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 3D"
Contract extended to end of March! This can of course be cancelled at any time by either party but still.. Nice to have some income while it's disappearing on bathroom refurbishment.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Unfortunately my bathroom has been out of action all month (or at least the bath part). Fortunately I have been able to use a shower after work. I haven't been able to trim my beard and it has grown very bushy! I'm not sure how much I will trim it down one the bath is installe (it arrived at the end of the month).
My printed A5 diary also arrived and I was most impress at how cool it looked.
My new Nook Simple Touch arrived, unfortunately after the fist day I was unable to use it and I have been trying to return it for replacement / refund.
New cleaning crew have cleaned the house so that it tidier than it's been since I moved in!
First week end was the mini maker faire at the Brighton Dome. Large number of children and more crafty making including (knitting and felting)
Finally got to watch Dr Who live at home, and the Extra broadcast on iplayer.
Strictly Come Dancing started with a new crop of 15 celebrities and 3 new professional dancers.
Discussed "The Dispossessed" at the monthly Brighton SF Discussion group on the first Monday of the month.
Dancing every Tue for class, with the normal end of the month social dance on the last Saturday. However J & I also went to the "Strictly dance magic" evening at the Martlets in Burgess Hill the week before. (they are usually held on the same night but this month the BH event had to move)
On Thursday 11th J & I went to the WB Studio to enjoy the Harry Potter Experience! J drove up up arriving at eleven
We checked out the shop which was awesome, the variety of stuff - and the prices!
We then had lunch (sausages and mash) before starting the tour at one o'clock (a bit earlier than scheduled, but as not very busy it was OK)
I took dozens of photos, until the battery died and have to say that it was one of the most interesting and fun day I've had in quite a while. It was a sort of cross between a museum and a theme park - but in a good way.
If anyone has a chance to go, do take it it's well worth it (and now with a new Death Eater section arriving after our visit). Everyone I have talked to, who have been have enjoyed it, if a HP or not.
Also I have been playing on pottermore.com, I was sorted into Ravenclaw (not surprisingly) and have progressed to the end of the chamber of secrets.
D has made som major improvements to the garden, including a lean to for his bike and additional paving slab to provide space to walk around it.
I planted and additional pear tree, to add to the apple tree and grape vine.
D also painted his room walls, so had to finally say goodby to purple paint, it did make the room more cheerful!
Brighton & Hove libraries have started improving their ebook collections and I have borrowed my fist ebook using OverDrive.
Went to visit family to celebrate my nieces birthday on Sun 20th (birthday was Sat) her fiance took me nearly to work on Monday morning (but the wait for a train for over half an hour was not fun in my shirt sleeves!)
At the end of the month I finally got to the dentist to discover I had a loose filling (which he removed with little effort) ball bearing sized. Got a temporary filling to last until the whole thing can be replaced.
Purchased my season ticket for October, which will be the start of my second year at NHS Sussex.
On the last sunday of the month a select group of 20 people from Crawley Dance Academy were invited to " West End Heroes" at the Dominion Theatre in London.
Train's to Three Bridges were replaced by busses so took longer to get there. Group train tickets meant the price was half the normal cost and we shared taxis and dined at Garfunkel's
The tickets had a nominal price of £175 each! But the total cost for the night out was only £31.45 to me.
Got back to Three Bridges at 00:00 and replacement busses not running to reliably so J gave me a lift home.
Also paid the remaining amount for the New Years Eve dance, and collected the ticket.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)

Very busy month, with Worldcon (see earlier posts).
Also got hair cut to shortest it has been in over forty years. Took part in MORI poll relating to radio listening (even though I don't actually listen to radio live much)
I've also been playing on pottermore.com in preparation for going to the Harry Potter Experience on 11th Sep
Updated the SD cards for my old eeePC and got triple booting linux usb hard drive working. Started LFS101x Introduction to Linux online course.
New fencing installed on one side of back garden, planted both a new apple tree and a grape vine
Brighton SF Reading Group discussed Lightbourn, which again I didn't finish (I really need to finish all these books I start).
Finished editing my 2013 Diary and sent it off to be printed (A5 size)
Used up all my eVouchers (from train delay) to buy ticket to London for Worldcon
Saw Guardians of the Galaxy at Connaught Cinema in Worthing (£3 Wed)
Checked my Oyster Card (London Travel Card) in preparation for Worldcon visit. Need to add £20 to it for journeys in London.
Picked a fair number of black berries at different times during the month (even in my garden)
Second weekend in the month was Crawley Juggling Festival - on the Saturday I did some balloon modelling, read, Kettle of Fish Cabaret in the evening was excellent as always.
On the Sunday I joined the Knife and Axe throwing workshop, actually turned out to be pretty good (should have taken a photo of my excellently matched axe throws).
Worldcon - Loncon3
Tuesday after Worldcon I was still in London and went to the British Library to see "Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK" last day, bought book of exhibit.
Saw the first episode of the new Dr Who at the cinema (with only 25 others - not well advertised)
My dancing partner C decided that she was unable to continue ballroom dancing (not a major issue as I normally dance with J), we'd been dancing a year and a quarter.
Bath started to leak, (dripping through the light fitting - blew the circuit breaker!) so had to get a replacement organised. (2 weeks so far without bath / shower). Washbasin has been replaced.
Managed to mung my Windows 7 PC at home (over wrote MBR with Grub2) though I also managed to recover from the problem ;-)
At work after nearly a year I got a new Windows 7 PC and found it a generally good experience.
With my Kobo Mini damaged and no longer available I have ordered a Nook ereader (so I can access my Fictionwise.com archive).
Renewed my monthly season ticket.
Dancing with J every Tue evening, but no dancing first two weeks as school closed. First Tuesday back after Worldcon. Social dance at the end of the month, we danced all the dances.





















July 2014

Aug. 3rd, 2014 05:11 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
My Kobo eReader had it's ups and downs this month. The operating system / interface was upgraded to make it work more like the iOS app. Unfortunately the micro USB, used to recharge and copy files to it, got damaged do it's now unusable. In addition it appears Kobo have decided not to continue making it so a replacement is not available.
Dancing with C & J on Tuesday of every week and the social dance on the last Saturday. J arrived early but in general the number of attendees was low. Gave J a copy of Firefly (the series) for her birthday. Also booked to see the HP Experience next month with her. Paid £5 deposit for New Years party.
Weather has been warm and sunny for most of the month, so I have been wearing short sleeve shirts to work. Dress code requires a collar so T-shirts are out.
I got a discount ticket (from work) to see Billy Smart's Circus at Lancing. The seat and program together only cost £5, this may have been the first time I've seen this particular circus.
Went to see my chiropractor, and he also tried my first acupuncture on my left leg. not sure if it made any difference, did feel odd though!
Renovating my garage and back garden. CS has emptied it of his stuff and installed a back door leading to a new path in the garden. He has also installed a hefty new gate and new fencing (on the right side looking from my back door). Attempted to buy replacement front garage door but no luck.
D took me in "his" taxi to the post office to collect a package from amazon. First time he's taken me anywhere!
Bought a new watch strap, to replace the broken original one, and saw "How to Train Your Dragon 2 - 3D"
Mowed the front and back lawns (in different days).
First Monday in the month I was at the Earth and Stars in Brighton for our Science Fiction Discussion Group to talk about Device Endurance. We were relegated to a table in the main back as the upper room had been book by another function.
Had to visit the dentist to get a filling in my upper left. I arrived much too early but is was raining and I didn't want to get wet wandering around town.
Mum phoned to say that she kept getting popup adverts on her laptop, so I went to visit and sorted it out. Had to de-install a load of Adware, and a couple of apparent trojans. Started accessing pottermore.com site - eats time! but fun.
Had a cough for the end of the month, finished bottle of cough mixture.
Walk to the Post Office Delivery Office, took just over an hour and a half there and back! Collected amazon package.
Saw Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go [Live at the O2] on the Gold TV channel. It was of more interest as a event than the content.
Renewed my train season ticket. Got my London hotel booking extended to a day before and after Loncon3, Mobile version of program now live.
Bought 2 pairs of shorts and 2 short sleeved shirts. Returned 2 audible books for credit.
Have had blisters on right toes, but as the first two weeks in August dancing is off, I should recover.
Last Monday of the month had a major thunderstorm. Lightning strike on electric substation at Hove station; meant no trains on South West line from Brighton. So couldn't get in to work (did get to Brighton) so went home for the day.
Sent in my Hugo and Retro Hugo votes online. Alarm clock batteries expired.
Started setup for LFS101x - Introduction to Linux at courses.edx.org/courses/LinuxFoundationX/LFS101x. Created Ubuntu 14.04.1 install on USB Disc
Also started editing my electronic diary for last year prior to printing it out.

June 2014

Jul. 11th, 2014 08:38 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Still working on two Coursera modules - "Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You" and "Programming for Everybody (Python)"
This month's SF Reading Group book was "Falling Free" which I did manage to read before the discussion. Mosoup finished it and like it.
Danced with J for the last time until the Social Dance - as she was on holiday in Peru for the rest of the month. Also danced with C and then on my own. Got lift to TB station from I & C.
Went to the Theatre to see 2 live episodes of Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish.
The Hugo Voter's Packet was available for download from www.loncon3.org, though 3 of the novels were excluded - got them from the library instead
Had my 6 month dental check, needed a filling in back left tooth in the upper jaw. Had to book another appointment for this to be repaired.
On the 12th to visit family before going to Somerset on Friday 13th for my little siters renewal of vows / handfasting. Travelled there and back with my niece and fiancé.
The 7 of us stayed in a chalet (John Fowler Holiday Park - Sandy Glade). Saturday was a lovely sunny day and H & F renewed vows with a druid and a circle of friends.
Went to Beer and Folk festival at the Hawth - before the social dance on the last Saturday of the month. Took my winter coat to be dry cleaned
Saw the X-Men: Days of Future Past. Renewed my train monthly season ticket.

May 2014

Jun. 9th, 2014 07:19 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Completed all the elearning requirements for working in NHS for this year.
Also finished off the "Sharing Knife" I have been making, with a leather sheath and handle
Had a Private dance lesson with J to learn the Viennese Waltz, bought replacement dance shoes (1/2 size larger than previous pairs)
Saw The Lego Movie - better than the title would let you believe but...
Had a number of blood tests, mostly OK but low in Calcium, so now taking supplements. Also had asthma review (must remember to use inhaler in the evening as well as the morning during summer (pollen), prescriptions now cost £8.05 per item.
Continued Ballroom Dancing on Tuesday with C & J and started going to Subway rather than Burger King (lower cost meal deal and bonus points)
Now regularly mowing lawn again! Got Mary Kowal's latest as an audio book (Valour and Vanity) a series I will always buy and listen too as Mary reads her own work to perfection.
SF Book Club was delayed due to bank holiday, The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, was of such length few finished it! (inc me).
Reserved 2 Orbit Hugo nominees (already bought Mira Grant one).
Went to the Moscow State Circus at Preston Park. Some of the best jugglers I've ever seen, cool flyers, and a few novelty items. (whip & roller skates)
Walked around the Swiss Rock Garden afterwards for over 20min before getting train home.
Went to visit family for Mum's birthday on last bank holiday weekend (two bank holidays in a month is too much). Dad was also celebrating being priest for 55 years!
Left my bottle of calcium supplements at my parents! Fortunately they don't expire quickly and aren't expensive, so got replacements.
Saw Maleficent at a Worthing cinema / theatre. Had a unscheduled pause in the middle where the digital film looped repeatedly (She's coming). At first we thought it part of the movie but after 6 repetitions...
Bought ticket to see Dave Gorman's - Work in Progress (Modern Life is Goodish) for next week.
Now working on 2 Coursera classes, "Programming for Everybody" in Python and "Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You" I'm not going to add any more until I finish both.
Last Saturday in the month was our Grand Ballroom Dance Social, with Lecture, Professional Demonstration and "high tea" (sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam with tea) It was an excellent evening!

April 2014

May. 5th, 2014 08:52 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
As usual I went ballroom dancing every Tuesday, in Crawley. First week however C was ill, and I danced with a different C (whose partner was working late). Continued learning Tango with J and at the end of the moth started a simple tango in the early class with C.
First Monday of the month was the Brighton SF Book read (this month was "Cat's Cradle")
Given that MS was stopping security updates from 8th April I switched on my XP machine to get a final update.
We got infested with ants, and D had to spray sections of the kitchen. No sign since the last spraying.
Took the day off for my birthday, booked doctors appointments (re foot/leg pain and asthma review) then to TB where I was collected by my dance partner J.
We first went to Tulleys Farm, which until recently was a working farm, but has now had to become a theme farm!
Then to West Hoathly to The Cat Inn, arrived 12:00. Had green salad, steak and ale pie with chips and veg, apple and rhubarb nut crumble with custard and half of cider. Jane paid £50.10 for us both. Left 2:10.
Wandered around village, then to Stone Farm and back to Crawley by 3:10
Went to Rewards and finally got my Level 3 Word Processing Software (ECDL Advanced Word 2007)
Certificate at a general presentation starting at 3:30, (my certificate had a typo so it had to be replaced!) After just had a cup of tea, as I was full from lunch.
Caught the train to H and then a bus to S to surprise my sister, who had just got back from holiday herself.
We celebrated our birthdays by having a fish and chip supper and by seeing the ISS twice, once in daylight and once later in the night!
Started "Coursera - Programming for Everyone" another python programming class, and also started mowing the lawns again.
My contract at NHS Sussex IT has been extended again to the end of May, (so that's 2 months more than expected).
Ordered a new 1TB external drive, and a DVD R/RW both using a single USB connection. unfortunately the DVD was out of stock and the replacement used 2 USB wires ;-(
I've been taking more location photos for LibraryThing, including Goring Library, now I have to get around to uploading them.
Easter was this month too, and due to wanting to go to Worldcon in London in August (and Eastercon being in Glasgow) I couldn't afford to go. I did watch the announcement of the Hugo Nominees live though.
I finally got a refund from EDF on my electric bill, 3 years after moving to British Gas!
Over the Easter weekend I also made a bread an butter pudding, one of the few things I can actually cook.
I also finally managed to transfer all the data from some floppy disks my Mum had asked me to recover. Some of the files were over 20 years old (and still readable)
On 23rd World Book Night I went to Brighton Jubilee Library, Author Q&A + reading by Lisa Cutts, got free World Book Night book
Ordered and received a new Barcode laser scanner, for use with LibraryThing
I finished off sanding the bone sharing knife, that I had just started working on and then wrapped a leather handle and roughed out a sheath.
Got a new Photo ID for train travel and my previous one had faded to unreadable, than got a new monthly ticket.
Saw Rio 2 (U) at the local cinema. Sky have upgraded the Operating System in their HD+ box

March 2014

Apr. 5th, 2014 09:02 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
First weekend I was still visiting family. Saturday am sis pulled me out of bed to go for a walk with the dogs and BiL. More fun than I thought it would be though the mud, and tree devastation was unpleasant.
First Monday was the SF Book Reading meeting at the Earth and Stars in Brighton. This month's book was Ubik by Philip K Dick (didn't finish this one)
Been ballroom dancing with C & J every Tuesday this month.
Last Saturday of the month was the social dance and danced all the dances with J even the recently (still learning) Tango.
I've been to the chiropractors (on Saturday) and I'm fairly certain that the results are due to the Placebo Effect, but still it works.
Got a MyWaitrose card which gives me a free coffee every day, and discounts on some purchases.
Continued to update GoodReads, though my main book database is still LibraryThing. I've been uploading local photos there.
Got the code for a streamed version of the Veronica Mars Movie, but the original HD version wouldn't play on my PC and none of my other devices would either. Eventually a SD release appeared and this would play (but I haven't finished it yet!)
I started taking e-learning courses at work (these are apparently mandatory if you work in NHS) but it's a good thing to be able to do during down time between phone calls (especially on Fridays)
Got confirmation that my contract had been extended to the end of April.
Went to London on the last Wednesday of the month. Mostly so I could go to the Science Museum Lates, and visit the CERN/Collider exhibition (half price). I went first to the British Library and also popped in to Forbidden Planet and got 3 books!
Finally took a short walk around Bedelands (first time in over a year), must get back into the habit when the weather improves.
Manage to break one of my two cereal bowls, fist such breakage in years so not a major issue.
Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier (didn't have much of the winter soldier in it).
Finally got around to sending in my Hugo Nomination on the last day. I really need to be more organised a) about remembering what to nominate during the year and b) actually nominating well in advance.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
This was a very busy month for me. On the first Sunday in the month J collected me to go to Ralli Hall in Hove for a free Argentine Tango class, it was interesting and fun, but not really my style.
I have started listening to audible books for an hour a day, recording the times in a spreadsheet. It forcing me to actually listen to stuff I bought and haven't got around to "reading".
This month's SF Book Club meeting at the Earth & Stars was a bit different as Amanda Hemingway came to the meeting as a guest author of our chosen book "The Devil's Apprentice" by Jan Siegel and was very interesting, we didn't actually discuss the book as much as usual as a result.
Dancing every Tuesday (except for the last Tuesday in the month due to a school play) with J. Started learning new steps in Rumba, and revised most other dances.
Social Dance was very early in the month, as the last Saturday was 22nd! the numbers were down from usual suspects, which did mean that there was more room on the floor.
Applied for a number of train delay refunds, due to poor performance as a result of the rain! Including my ticket to Grantham for 2emi6reve filkcon. This weekend I was more sociable than previously. I was joined for almost every meal and chatted in the bar area (also begged use of apple charger as mine failed!)
I got confirmation from Baldwin's that I had passed my English Functional Skill (now I'm waiting for the paper certificate).
Went to London for Picocon 31 at Imperial College, I had to leave a bit earlier than I really wanted as I had to get to Crawley for the Social Dance. It turned out to be a good thing I did as South Kensington was closed due to a demonstration.
On my last weekend I went to visit my family (my dad turned 81 earlier this week). Used my season ticked to get there for the first time, sister collected me and collected pizza and cider, which was added to fish and chips for supper.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So a new year and a resolution to update my LJ more regularly than last year, so here is my first months worth.
I stayed at J's flat (in Crawley) after the New Years Eve dance.
We had full English breakfasts (at her insistence) checked out here genre photo collection, chatted generally, left in mid afternoon. raining and trains not going north of TB so train was waiting for me to board.
The main news of the month is that it has been very wet! I don't think there has been a dry day since Christmas, though we have been luckier than some as we haven't experienced flooding. According to the papers is the wettest since records began in 1910 (in the SE 200% normal levels).
I have been listening to audio books from audible, every day on my train journey. I may even get through my back catalogue of purchases (one a month for the last 2 years) though a have listened to a large number of them. Audio books are slower going than word on a page, though you can listen walking through the rain.
I finally was able to send off my hotel booking for SemiBreve (filkcon) in February, and upgraded Loncon3 (Worldcon) membership to attending
Started watching the last series of Dancing on Ice (with Torvill & Dean)
Lost a button from my overcoat, purchased replacements and re-sew on all the buttons that were loose.
First Monday in the month was the SF reading group meeting in the Earth and Stars Brighton to discuss Altered Carbon, managed to find the next 3 months books at the various libraries I visit.
Still dancing on Tuesday, with C & J learnt Balmoral Blues with J, revised Square Tango with C
Revised my LibraryThing collection in particular group edited the "from where" setting.
SugarSync account closed and synced DW and LJ so have both backed up, updated goodreads.com with books I've actually read.
Re-read The Sharing Knife quartet by LMB
D cooked a splendid xmas/new year feast of "Greek Pastitsio - revised by D" which was a w/e eating, and the left overs lasted most of the following week.
Had a couple of power cut at work, the first was just IT, but the second was the whole building.
Friday before the last Saturday in the month was practice dance night, and was also the day the Balcome Tunnel flooded causing train delays. Got to Crawley just after 7:00 and got lift from J to St W by 7:10. Practiced all te dances we knew.
Leading to Social Dance night on the last Saturday. We danced all the dances at least once. We even did a bit of teaching/learning. Bought ticket for social dance / lecture on May 31
I got my hair cut (clipper No4)
Was unable to renew one of my books in a timely manner, and had to pay 60p fine ;(
Finally upload a FAQ to the dendarii.com website sent to my by NB last year!
Season ticket is now over £200 a month but I also go a minor increase in pay so I'm marginally better off (and I don't have to buy a ticket to Crawley either so....)
Bought train tickets to Grantham (for Filkcon) and London (for Picocon).

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