April 2016

May. 4th, 2016 05:00 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
With Barnes & Noble / Nook leaving the UK market (only one book I bought has been transfered to Sainsburys), I decided to root my Nook - It was out of warranty anyway.
It was relatively straight forward; using NookManager, allowed me to finally browse the net on the Nook tablet, I've been unable to run the kindle app on it but the Kobo app seems to work. and generic epubs can be easily read.
Went to see Zootropolis which was a sci-fi, cop buddy, animated feature. well worth a watch
Dance classes continued every Tuesday, and this month we had an extra Saturday dance mid month. Finally started to learn some new Latin steps (in Cha Cha)
It was my 55 birthday this year, so I can technically take early retirement - I decided not to. But the family got together for a meal the Saturday before.
The second Monday is SF Book Club and as this was on my actual birthday I ate at the pub (rather than the cheaper Burger King / Subway) drinks were also purchased for my fellow readers.
Also for a change I had just completed reading " "Station Eleven" by Emily St John Mandel, this month book to read. Once it got going it was an interesting example of Literary SF (it won the Clarke Award last year)
The following day went to lunch with J before we went dancing, extra long weekend!
Started listening to Audible; audio books; again (after not listening at all during March). Especially the Noctis Magicae series by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - looking forward to the 3rd in the series.
I have a belt bag that I keep all the stuff I need every day (keys, wallet, pen etc) it was hand made a number of years ago. While the leather is still in good shape the seams have been coming apart. I returned to the shop (Clever with Leather in Brighton) and they repaired all the seams and replaced the belt attachments for £5!
As a belated birthday present I decided to buy myself an Amazon Fire Tablet for £49, it arrived only a few days later and was a delight, nearly the size of a paperback (though thinner) and with the ability to read kindle books aloud, download and read epubs (inc library books) watch video and of course browse the net and check email, it even has a pair of cameras (though not the greatest quality).
Finally uploaded my Eastercon report to LJ!

March 2016

Apr. 8th, 2016 01:40 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Ballroom Dancing with J all month (on Tuesday evening) practicing Foxtrot with some Tango revision. J's mum in hospital
Visited parents and sisters family, setup iPad for my Mum. Gave gad his belated birthday card. J's mum died.
Updated The Bujold Nexus a bit. Ordered some books from amazon, collected then from the Amazon locker in town
Yoga class every Wednesday after work, now paid for by the students at £6 per week
Bought short book for £1 for World Book Day. The SF Reading group met to discuss Anima by Brett Davidson a book that has not yet been officially published by our fearless leader!
Barnes and Noble are to stop supporting the Nook ereader in the UK, uk Nook users can automatically transfer their library to Sainsbury's Entertainment On demand. I tried and only one book was copied.
As it stands my Nook Wifi is not longer of any use so I will have to "root" it to turn it into an android 2.1 tablet and be able to use wifi again.
Decided to re-read all Diane Duane's Young Wizards as part of Mark Reads
Printed my 2015 Diary via Doxdirect, it appears to be slightly longer than the previous volumes.
Cut the front lawn for the first time this year, exhausted me, now I have to mow the back lawn!
Social dance was a week early due to Easter using that week end.
For the first time since I started at work I was on the very early shift 7:30-3:30 (I did say that I was available for this time slot) Unfortunately due to train time I actually gt to the station 7:28 so I have 2 minutes to get to the office and get setup (with a cup of tea), this work out OK. - no late trains.
Did some overtime - setting up new account to allow GPs to use WiFi. iPhone iOS updated to ver 9.3
Remembers to nominate in the Hugos this year!
Eastercon 2016 - Mancunicon
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!

June 2015

Jul. 8th, 2015 08:55 am
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
The Brighton SF reading group discussed Synners by Pat Cadigan (on the 1st), once again I didn't finish the book ;-(
Had my annual asthma review, under control :-)
Ballroom Dancing classes revised Tango, new steps in Foxtrot, Ragtime Swing - sequence dance. End of the month social dance, on the last Saturday.
Saw Chiropractor and got my hair cut - clipper cut No 2.
Worked on the Coursera Python course, but finally gave up before the end, will re-take it's next iteration.
Finished watching iZombie series 1.
Discovered that both Brighton & Hove and West Sussex libraries can lend ebooks using the Bluefire Reader for iOS and Android. Was also able to use this reader to access DRM locked Nook ebooks (in particular the Hallowed Hunt by Lois mcMaster Bujold)
Got 2 books from Amazon and one from The Book Depository. A significant reduction from when I was working in London (5 years ago) and bought 3+ books a week!
Internet connectivity failed at home and was unavailable for nearly 3 days! Fortunately Internet was available at work ;-)
Trains delayed, and managed to claim some monies back, via Delay Repay.
My contract has been extended (at the 11th hour) to September!!!
My watch strap broke, fortunately at home so it didn't get lost! and replaced at vast expense.
The last weekend was not only the social dance but the Folk & Beer Festival at The Hawth.
Went to See the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on the Sunday evening. Also bought ticket for the Circus Festival before realising my Niece is getting married on that Saturday!
Collected two tickets to see the Last Tango - with Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace in Feb 2016 -to go with dance partner J (and a lot of Crawley Dance Academy).
Forgot my Nook eReader on Platform 5 at Three Bridges station! Contacted station master and got a call the following day that it had been found and could be collected!
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)
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.

May 2013

Dec. 15th, 2013 10:53 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Went to Book Club supposed to read Pride and Prejudice but didn't finish, then to Dancing in Crawley. Went to dentist for filling including checkup cost £97!
Got a small tax refund, due to being out of work most of the year!
Continued dancing on Tuesday (1 hr), Wednesday (2hr) and Friday (1 hr) this latter with a different teacher and dancing with at 3-4 different partners a week.
Fictionwise.com finally closed down and I was able to get most of my books transfered to the Nook site (I also downloaded them to my hard disk)
Had a job interview for a non profit in Brighton. Didn't get the job!
Visited my parents for the week end on my younger sisters birthday.
Rewards moved from Haywards Heath to Crawley (merging two offices into a new office in the same building as CDG). Job Club with CDG ongoing.
Saw Star Trek: Heart of Darkness at the local cinema.
Open evening at Central Sussex College in Crawley. Was able to sign up for the Business Admin with funding via the Reach program (and therefore free) however doesn't start for months.
Went shopping with Mum for a new laptop for her to use (her current one is being returned to the charity she borrowed it from) Got a Toshiba with Windows 8 on it. cleared stuff from old PC and transferred it to the new one.
Started cutting the lawn myself. First time I had done so in years, it's actually quite therapeutic!
Installed a newer version of Mint Debian - Cinnamon onto my old laptop.
Downloaded the Hugo Packet and copied the epub stories to my Kobo
Bought ticked for the Juggling Convention held at the Hawth in August. This was also an open day for the Crawley signal box so I had a visit, with a view up and down the line for miles.
Visited parents again, a Talis Kimberly concert was streamed live from the mill house on ustream, which I was able to watch.
Went out for dinner at the Toby Carvery Worthing with all the family
I was offered Bank Work with Sussex Oakleaf (though this didn't come to anything)
Went to CDG one to one meeting had to take a new course from Elmfield Training, a four week all day course starting the first week of June!
Went to see Billy Smarts Circus in Preston Park.

September 2017

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