Planetniles

Where the weather is always mercurial.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Today I have mostly been political

I received a letter this morning from my local MP. I'd contatcted him late last year on behalf of Oxfam, after I had signed up to their Big Noise Campaign. It was just prior to the WTO meeting in Hong Kong and I asked my MP to speak to Alan Johnson, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and emphasise a general concern regarding how the poorer nations of the world are treated by the ritcher when it comes to trade.

I'd received a standard response, via snail mail, a few days later and thought little of it.

Well today I received another dead-tree letter only this one appeared to be hand signed and covered another letter, one from the DFID, specifically Hilary Benn, the Secretary for State. It covered details of what the government had done for the nations effected by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Now that's all well and good; I'm proud of my fellow Brits and their reaction to the disaster, indeed I'm proud of my government and I don't say that very much at all.

However that wasn't what I wanted to hear about; I want to hear from the government about the almost complete lack of progress towards Fair Trade that the WTO made at Hong Kong. So I emailed my MP back, thanked him for his missive, and politely reminded him of my original concerns. I'm cursing myself for not including my snail-mail address but we'll see what response we get.

So I was sitting there patting myself on the back when a box of sweets arrived. A two kilo box of a number of different sweets that I'd ordered the following evening from A Quarter Of... a splendid online sweetshop that I heartily recommend to everyone. However it struck me that I had no idea where the ingredients that composed my Pistachio Turkish Delights came from, or if my Chocolate Coated Banana Chips were covered in African or American coccoa. So I wrote to A Quarter Of and asked them if they could start putting FairTrade infomation on their website along with the dietry information they already display. Well we shall see what their reponse is.

Finally I'm on here dropping some pretty unsubtle hints about my political inclinations. Oh well time to get off the soap box. Until next time anyway.

Be seeing you.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Once more into the breach!

Okay back and kicking.

Last year and a big has been rough but I'm back and trying to get a grip on this blog stuff.

There's a part of me which thinks "feh, liber wtf" but there's another part of me that thinks otherwise. Right so what's the plan and what's changed. Well foremost I've quit the FTmb entirely. After the big change-over last year life hit me with a shitty stick. The change was the worst of it and so I tendered my resignation in an unofficial manner by refusing to return at all. I started on writting a proper resignation notice but my collegues there pointed out that the new masters would not permit the dissention it would present. Here's what I wrote.

In the three years since my appointment as a Moderator to the Fortean Times message board I have worked long and hard to keep it free from those, within and without, who would like nothing more to turn it into their own private diorama of bigotry, hatred and bile. It has been a thankless task made all the more difficult by the egotistical fools who seem to think that a couple of cookies on their computer hard drive gave them more say in the running of the message board than the owners and operators to whom the moderators report.

So it perhaps ironical that I am now writing to announce that due to the actions of those owners and operators, Dennis Consumer Division and Wide Area, that I am tendering my resignation as a Moderator. In a single act of gross arrogance and greed Dennis has overturned the security that the Moderators had worked so long to build and maintain; the very thing that once made the Fortean Times message board a byword for intelligent debate and a sanctuary in the otherwise fiery chaos of the internet.

I haven’t said anything earlier as I felt that it’d be disruptive and prevent a rapid return to business as usual. I’m also making this announcement here, rather than on the message board itself, for the obvious reason that the new management won’t permit criticism of them.


Of course all that's moot here and much of it is water under the bridge but it remains and is imortalised here for good or ill. It's also incomplete but I've nothing more to say on the subject. I got involved with the creation of the Cabinet of Wonders but I was quickly sidelined by the my collegues, who probably thought they were helping me, but that didn't stop my sense of isolation from my internet peers.

I got involved in the Dark and Light MMO, going so far as to create a guild, the Circle of Illuminated Actors. However despite recruiting enough members to make it viable it fell by the wayside. Nanowrimo didn't help. I was so desperate to hit my 50k word count I stopped going online. Hit by the silence of its founder the guild members wandered off to other, more active groups. I no longer feel the desire to play Dark and Light, partly due to this and partly due to some of the lore coming out of the official website. Before the guild's domain name expires in the middle of next year the guild's website will be gone and the domain shall not be renewed. Sorry to anyone who hoped otherwise. I'm now a steady player of both City of Heroes and it's dark twin, City of Villians. Despite having a yearning for an epic fantasy MMO I plan to focus my online gameplay on the Co* games.

I'm also more active in my local gaming community, encapsulated by the Otherdeen website. They have a heavy Co* presence in the forms of the Infinity superhero group and The Trinity supervillain group, both on the Union server.

I also plan to put effort into maintaining this Blog and my related one; Chair Leg Of Truth. So look for more activity here.

See ya around.
Niles

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Sproing!

Spring has finally sprung here on Planetniles; Cooj (my partner) and I spent the day finishing off cleaning our flat. It's now gleaming. So much so that I'm resisting the urge to throw stuff around to make it feel lived in.

That's only part one of the good news. Part two is that we had a vist from the housing officer who had a look around, ticked all the nice boxes on her form and put us back on the housing list. We're once more up for a move to a bigger and better flat. WHOOP! & HOODY frikin' HOO!!!!!

That is all; carry on.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Play? D'oh!

I learnt to make Playdough today; alas the daughter is utterly unimpressed. The recipe is as follows:

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 cups of water
Food Colouring.

Mix everything together in a non-stick pan and stir over a gentle heat, keep stirring until it all comes together. It forms a solid dough. Turn out of the pan and knead. Your playdough is now ready. Store in a sealed bag or container in the fridge.

On other news nothing much is happening although it looks like I'm going to be designing and running a LC (Live Combat) style LARP (Live Action Role Playing). Wish me luck...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Urrgh

I feel really crappy today.

Nothing else to report; move along.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Hello, Greetings and Welcome.

This is my blog; is it not keeness?

This is my egotistical "look I'm a person too" type blog rather than my "haha ain't I funny " blog.

Okay, about me: I'm a thirty something father of one with another on its way. I usually moderate the Fortean Times message boards but I'm currently on extended holiday. Hence my blogging. My spare time is typically spent writing or playing RPG's. I hog the computer much to my partner's distress...

...So I better log off.

TTFN!