Dr Macdonald sent me these pictures of his raised beds, in moral support of my own efforts.
Bored Of Waiting To Be Photographed, A Couple Of Bullocks Get It On
I must admit to having great difficulty creating these raised beds. In places the boulder clay is just an inch below the surface and so finding enough soil to actually fill the beds is difficult. Three days spent digging in that garden has taught me more about the reasons for the Irish Diaspora than ten years of reading. I’m working on a third bed at the moment and think that I’ll end up having to re-cut an old ditch to get the necessary soil to fill it. Never mind it’s all good fun – eventually there will be seven raised beds in this part of the garden, arranged in a pattern reminiscent of a medieval garden. In the smaller bed I have planted carrots (Charlotte’s favourites) and peas. The longer bed is full of onions, shallots and garlic. I have one other smaller bed nearer to the house (not photographed) in which I planted onions at the beginning of the year and they are coming on nicely now. I’ve no real clue on how to grow vegetables – I just stick the seeds in the ground and hope for the best. Last year I hurt my knee and so little was planted and even less weeded – this year I’ve decided to create new beds in anticipation of imminent redundancy. Every time I think I’m going to be able to work on the gardens full time they find more money to keep me on for a couple of more months. I shouldn’t complain as I don’t want to lose my job. The archaeology is going well, but we’ve lost so many staff (government cuts) that those of us that are left are snowed under with work.
Never Mind The Bullocks
Here is the police ‘confession’.
It is odd that they don’t know what is happening because you can easily read about it on the internet. I do have some sympathy with the difficult role the police are in here but it evaporates when I don’t see big companies being prosecuted for tax evasion and do see anti-fascist protestors being kettled whilst the racist EDL is allowed to drink in our local pubs. Despite that, I’m keen to assist the police with their difficult job so if they read this there’s a couple of top tips:
- Saturday is May Day and will be celebrated in Brighton in time honoured fashion by workers combining together to promote their cause against capitalists. This has been happening in Brighton for a very long time. To demonstrate our liberty, we do not need to ask your permission first, no matter what the crazy laws that were invented by Thatcher say. Those laws never worked and never will.
- Click here to find out what’s going on in Brighton on May Day 2011.
First I woke up on someone else’s floor. Then I read something in the Evening Anus (Argus). Now I’m reading a newspaper. That’s enough unusual events in one day for me. Wasting money protecting an inconsequential couple getting married? That sort of hypocrisy is normal.
Clean User Interface
Once again Google has shown that it understands that the user interface is crucial to the success of any software. Plenty of us use Google Docs via our normal machines but have found it frustrating to not be able to navigate it so easily via our phones. Now Google has brought out an android app which cures the problem, with a nice clean user interface.
The new app makes it very easy to navigate around documents that still exist, to read them and retrieve information from them. The problem of having a smaller screen to read things not designed for the smaller screen still exists. Please note, I am using a Samsung Galaxy S, which has a reasonably large screen for a ‘phone. However, a quick look at creating a new spreadsheet revealed that it was indeed reasonably intuitive.
A problem I’ve had recently was how to score a game of Carcassonne. I was playing that amusing German style tile based game with some friends (for some inexplicable reason it is named after a famous French city with complete double walls but the tiles in the game only have a single wall) and the scoring was rather time consuming. We were playing with three full sets of the game, three and a half extension packs and five players. The scorer, moi, couldn’t really concentrate on the game because of the constant need to add up scores.
A Tale Of Too Many Cities
Afterwards the suggestion was made that we could have used a spreadsheet to update the scores but that would have meant making space for a laptop. Space was at a premium! Having had a quick look at the new app, I think it would have been possible to throw together a quick spreadsheet and add the scores up like that, with a record for posterity, should we ever want it for some bizarre reason.
The new app is apparently considered to be a work in progress, which may be something of an excuse. It may be a polite way of admitting that some of it doesn’t work properly and a promise that it will in the future. One feature which doesn’t appear to work yet is the Optical Character Recognition, which promises the user that photographs containing text can be converted into text… at some point in the future. Certainly it is an improvement on using Google Docs via the ‘phones web browser.
No Smiling But Plenty Of Attention For The Immortal Nick Clegg
The No to AV Campaign relies on someheavy handed patronising tactics. The leaflet put through my door asks, as its title
IS NOW REALLY THE TIME TO WASTE £250 million ON CHANGING OUR VOTING SYSTEM?
Which begs the question whether there is ever a time to waste any money? Surely the question should ask whether the money should be spent or not? Page 2 of the leaflet states that the “LibDems” and Nick Clegg would “always be part of the government”. This presupposes that they will get so many votes in future or that other parties will never vote for each other. It also presumes that Nick Clegg is both immortal and will always be Liberal leader!
The real arguments against AV are listed on the back:
The No Campaign says AV is
- Complicated – this is patronising in the extreme: surely people can be trusted to work out whether they wish to count their candidates in preferential order? It is as simple as 1,2,3… supporters of the thieving Tory bastards will presumable just put down 1.
- Costly – all elections cost money. Electronic voting machines will save money in the long term because their use will mean that council staff won’t be paid to count votes all through the night.
- Unfair – this argument presupposes that some people get more than one vote, although it doesn’t actually say this on the form put through my letterbox. In fact, AV is a system for running a series of elections all at once so that each time the bottom loser drops out. There are, in effect, several elections held simultaneously, with the presumption that those voting for candidates other than the bottom loser will wish to keep their votes intact. The No campaign says that this means that supporters of minor candidates get to have more than one vote. I can see the argument but surely it is more unfair to continue with the present system whereby you get represented in Parliament by someone who need only receive minority support from any one constituency?
- Confusing - this is the same argument as the first one but with a different title
- Only used by 3 other countries – so what? First past the post is only used by one other country in Europe: the Vatican City!
- Not PR – It is noteworthy that this leaflet has clearly been delivered by supporters of the thieving Tory bastards because it was wrapped up in a thieving Tory bastard leaflet. Strange that these people use an argument that AV is not something else that they would oppose!
- Second Best – this is a non-starter, surely? This reason is simply a restatement of the leafleteers opinion.
I was disappointed by the leaflet’s paucity. It would have been easy to make a stronger case but to do this here now would help the supporters of the thieving Tory bastards, which I’m not going to do. Let them do their own work.
By the way, I will be explaining, at some convenient future point, who qualifies to be an actual thieving Tory bastard and who only makes supporter status.
It’s pretty clear what my political leanings are when you stand outside my house: there are three posters for the Green Party in the windows having the front, a fourth poster urging people to vote yes in the forthcoming referendum on AV and an estate agent style sign at the front of the path also urging people to vote Green. Despite all that the local supporters of the thieving Tory bastards have put literature through my door urging me to vote no in the referendum. One of the arguments is that it is a waste of money. I suppose they don’t grasp that they’re wasting money on me. Another argument is that it is too complicated. Surely claiming that voters can’t count is a bit patronising? David Cameron was himself elected to be leader of the thieving Tory bastards by AV.
Going cycling with David Ingledew today. What a great fellow he is! It seems that if you’re a pianist, you’re a great all round jolly entertaining sort of person, unless you play chess as well, which thankfully David doesn’t. (Lots of musicians are good at chess but it does seem to counterbalance the musician’s natural love of life.) If you’re looking to buy an excellent piano, you’d do well to stop by David Ingledew Pianos in Rock Street, Kemptown, first.
Not sure if I can do this…
This stone was considered new in 2009, which means it is still new and will still be new in one hundred years. How many things that we make today can we say that about?
The stone is in an unnamed glen near Ullapool.