Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3
Monday, June 26th, 2017 07:18 pm
Or not because at least Kheldar and I had each other while [personal profile] battlehamster went off to a larp this weekend. Kheldar did a fine job of protecting the house although I could have done without waking up at 2am one morning thinking that I was suffocating only discover that Kheldar was on my chest purring his report at me. He was so very, very pleased about having a human to report to at that time in the morning.

[personal profile] k8bush and [personal profile] teebee were kind enough to invite me round on Saturday night and I sat on their sofa, drank Pimms and lemonade, and talked about all sorts of things but mostly Pokémon. While I'm aware that the new gym changes haven't pleased everyone they're working pretty well for me so far. It seems to have broken the stranglehold that one small group of people had on gyms over a very wide area around here and I'm seeing much lower level players able to take a gym now, whereas previously I think it had become so daunting that most people had given up trying.

[personal profile] teebee called me at around 7pm yesterday evening to point out that there was a raid starting on a nearby gym and it was a small enough target that it didn't need too many players. So I ran around the house shutting windows and locking up while Kheldar stared at me in bewilderment and then bounced off up the road as if I was at least thirty years younger than I actually am and leaned over the fence at the water tower and took part in my first raid. I have a Bayleef now. Only another 105 candies and I'll be able to evolve it ;)
Monday, June 26th, 2017 12:04 pm
Monday, June 26th, 2017 11:00 am
Sunday, June 25th, 2017 12:00 pm
Sunday, June 25th, 2017 11:00 am
Saturday, June 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 24th, 2017 11:00 am
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 11:08 pm
It was a hayfevery sort of morning but I didn't realise quite how badly I was suffering until I got to the end of my walk and tried to order coffee. There was a new girl on the till and she was suffering from hayfever too. So there was a comedy conversation in which I managed to successfully convey that I'd like a tall latte to take away and then she took two tries to ask what my name was so that she could write it on the cup and I... couldn't actually say my own name properly.

J, the regular barista, finished making the drink for the customer ahead of me, grinned at his new colleague, took the pen and takeaway cup off her and drew something on it. "Ohhh," she said and sneezed and wrote on the cup.

2017-06-23_08-35-54

It's possible that I spend slightly too much of my life at that place but the staff are lovely :)
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 03:03 pm
Today I called Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand and said the following:
Hi, my name is [[personal profile] watersword] and my zip code is [redacted]; I'm calling to ask you to add a tally mark to your count of constituents who have called and are very angry about the Republican anti-health care bill.


Both times I was answered fairly promptly, the staffer was clearly charmed by my "I know you are on my side, I'm trying to help," and I was informed that Schumer's office has gotten ~500 calls over the past ten days on the issue (I'm not sure if that's all the offices, including Washington, or just the NYC office I called), and the Gillibrand staffer I spoke was on his ~60th call on the subject for the day. This is a horrible slog but I am going to keep showing the fuck up.
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Friday, June 23rd, 2017 12:00 pm
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
Friday, June 23rd, 2017 07:40 am
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:11 pm
At 2:06pm on Sunday I posted my feature request for the Lothian Transport app.

At 3:14pm the following afternoon I received an email saying
Sorry, street names and localities should have been added to the search screen before now. I’ve sent an update to the Google Play store just now so you should have an update available in the next few hours.
and about 45 minutes later my phone automatically updated to the latest version and I could see this:


I emailed back saying that this was awesome, but wondering why one of them just said "Edinburgh", and got this in response:
Unfortunately sometimes we can’t control what we get back from Google’s Places API. If Google decides that a place doesn’t need to have more than the town/city listed, then that’s all we get I’m afraid. We also mix in Foursquare and Google Geocoding data where appropriate as well.

It helps to include a bit more in your search, such as ‘Morrisons Granton’ or ‘Morrisons Ferry Road' rather than just ‘Morrisons’. The more you type in, the more accurate the results. It also takes into account your current location – typing in ‘Morrisons’ while you’re near Hyvots Bank will give you results geared towards South/West Edinburgh rather than North/East Edinburgh.

As to your other point (distance to search result) - at the moment, showing distance isn’t possible. We use Google Places to match search queries: that service is great because you can type in anything - ‘Morrisons’, ‘Tesco’, ‘pizza in Leith’ etc. and it comes back with accurate results. However, it doesn’t give the app the location of each place. Instead it gives the app a ‘Place ID’ - once you’ve tapped on a search result, the app sends the Place ID to Google which sends back the exact coordinate of the search result. If that changes in the future, we’ll be sure to include distance as part of the search result.


Which was a fascinating look at how their systems work in the background.

If only more places were so responsive to users taking an interest.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 07:08 pm
[personal profile] battlehamster is off to a weekend larp event. Kheldar is absolutely convinced that if he guards the luggage his human won't be able to leave him. This is guarding. Really. Nothing is going to get past this cat.

2017-06-22_07-04-46
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 04:34 pm
As Some Of You May Know (Bob), I spent last weekend 'mum-sitting', i.e. spending the nights with my ex-boss's elderly mother, who has mild Alzheimer's; Suky wanted desperately to be able to get away for more than one night without worrying about her mother, so she booked me to stay there. (She lives in Walthamstow, but she's over there about every other day.) Anyhow, it seemed to go OK, though the travelling down to Mornington Crescent in that heat was exhausting; and she paid me in advance.

So I'd drawn out some of the dosh for spending money, and have topped up my Amazon account with a bit; Paypal's not too bad at the moment, so that can wait. But today I went up to North Finchleyand bought stuff )

Only down point of the day, really, was that I found a mouse in one of the traps this morning. Obviously dead, so I had breakfast before disposing of it. I hope I'm not going to get another influx; it's been over a year since the last one that got in.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 11:00 am