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Well, that was fun. ^_^ Word went out a few weeks ago regarding Apple's iPhone Tech Talk World Tour, but most of the venues filled up within hours; but they encouraged people to sign up anyway, in case space became available. So, Friday saw me pop up to the University of Middlesex, and join a couple hundred other geeks in hearing a potted tour of the platform's development environment, OS, and design philosophies. (I'll admit I'd probably have gained more from the time had they not convened at 9.30am, compelling me to set the alarm for a dust-inducing 5.45am. =:P) After then, I followed my nose in seek of a good pint with accompanying good food, with space to sit and relax, on a Friday night. So, of course, I headed for the seclusion of Leicester Square, and discovered The Bear and Staff, with a charmingly peaceful dining room upstairs, where I enjoyed a chicken, glazed ham, and leek pie, with carrots, beans, and cabbage, plus herbed potato & parsnip mash, followed - perilously - by some wondrous vanilla cheesecake & forest fruits. Very good service, too.

And there is indeed such a thing as a free lunch: a chicken/ranch burrito, salmon skewers, and battered prawns. =:9 Followed by a free t-shirt, which wasn't nearly as tasty. (Simple design, with just "London" on the front, next to an iPhone Maps pin, and the cities on the back)

I did not touch the private rod.

Via vandringar, a most interesting point is raised: in being the major backer for Prop. 8, did the Mormon church violate the law that grants it tax exemption? "Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes [...] no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation [...]" The author invites people to submit IRS form 13909, along with suitable evidence of their violation, as an official complaint on those grounds.

Elsewhere in politics, Minnesota's providing an interesting battleground, between the Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, and the DFL newcomer and SNL alumnus, Al Franken. As of the weekend, some Coleman was about 220 votes ahead, out of about 1.2m votes each - as slender a margin as it gets, whomsoever is eventually sent to the Senate. Current results can be found here.

And amongst California's propositions was one to fund high-speed rail from the Bay Area to LA, which, to my mild surprise and considerable pleasure, passed.

gatcat apparently has an eye for bunnies too, in his quite superb phographic repertoire, in this shot of evilyena's commendable work.

Is there any better vodka than Grey Goose? I'm largely unfamiliar with vodka, but to my palate, Grey Goose is leaps ahead of Stolichnaya. What do you do with vodka more or less by itself - just chilled, straight? Twist of lemon? (Wouldn't mind hearing cocktail suggestions, either, though I usually tend to have just some combination of cider, beer, red wine, and possibly vodka and/or cider brandy in the house)

Ooh! I see Monkey: Journey to the West is on at The O2 in the Meridian Gardens. (Is it worth using cheap ticket agencies? What are the catches?)
Speaking of bunnies, I saw this (NFSW!) earlier today and thought of you. c.c
Another of Zen's wonderful lapines, to be sure. ^_^ Love the gloves especially - always such an alluring look, yet so seldom seen, even at formal events. I'd have employed a more vivid color scheme, I think, but then - so few artists seem to wind up drawing shiny attire like lycra or latex. Maybe I should casually suggest as much to Matoc, who seems quite taken with shiny effect fur, which never quite looks right to me - makes it look as if there's actually no fur, just skin.

Hmm. Maybe I need to try locating that Wacom pen.. =:P It should be in one of the boxes from the old place, but it's obviously not a terribly prominent item. Hope it is around, as I can imagine Wacom charge at least a few fingers for a replacement, if not a whole arm and possibly leg as well. And then I'd have to go altering my catsuits, and then where would I be?

Oh, yes, the gloves are a nice touch, aren't they? I love gloves of all kinds, and lace gloves are an essential lingerie item that's unfortunately altogether too often overlooked.

Well, I hope you'll find the Wacom pen, too. ^^ And if you draw anything, be sure to post it, especially if it involves gloves, garters, stockings and similar pieces of clothing. ^.~
It does seem as if gloves aren't really a current style, though at least not as nearly entirely abandoned as hats and caps, other than baseball style, which, like any variant, only really suit certain facial types and demeanours. (I envision you as something of a stetson sort. ^_^ A former roomie and snugglebuddy used to cut quite a figure in a black leather stetson - quite dashing)

Indeed! Much of today's going to be a time for catching up on stuff around the warren, I think - groceries, washing, vacuuming, sorting out the 1TB drive (especially the music apps and libraries), as well as starting on that LSL scripting book, and continuing with the introductory videos on iPhone development, and associated example code. Finding that pen would fit in nicely. ^_^ Still, would be nice to get out for the evening - maybe not the city, but more likely one of the towns in the area, more for the sake of it than actually with any goal in mind. Next weekend, though, I might try the Good Food Show. =:9

Hats are nice, too, yes - in fact, I just founded furs_with_hats yesterday. ^.^ That was mostly a one-time joke for the #fursuittv channel, of course, but still...

I'm not sure a stetson would look good on me, but I've always an akubra. ^^

Of course, it probably wouldn't go quite that well with lace gloves, stockings and the like. But then, for those things, you'd ultimately need a lady's hat as well... although you'd probably want to wear a bit more in that case than JUST lingerie, too. Maybe a nice skirt or dress? ^^

Mmm, as for the rest... LSL? I don't suppose that refers to Leisure Suit Larry, but I'm not sure what it might stand for... :)
Mm, that might look a bit out of place.. perhaps a cute 20s flapper style hat? I've always thought them emblematic of the time - delightfully stylish, even somewhat modern, whilst still remaining practical as well. Were I merely drawing something, though, I'd probably try something fairly unorthodox. (One of the fun things about SL, of course - it's not too difficult to come up with quite wonderful clothing designs that might be utterly impractical to bring into RL, at least outside of a Parisienne haute couture catwalk =:)

That said, I'm usually to be found wandering around in one of my wetsuits or diveskins. ^_^

LSL = Linden Scripting Language, for scripting within SL. Doesn't look too difficult conceptually, though the nature of SL often means there are little gotchas lurking that mean two different ways of doing something might be perfectly correct prima facie, but one perhaps is much less taxing on a sim, or doesn't incur some kind of execution or permissions limitation. But that's why I'm getting into the aforementioned book, which looks like it should be able to bring me up to a fair degree of proficiency - there's no substitution for experience, but I should know more or less how to go about most kinds of internally based programs, and be aware of what's better tackled on an external server. (Which I now have, thanks to the old TiBook being in the new warren now, and happily running 24x7 on a static IP - ideal for light webserving or suchlike, now with Be's rather better 1Mbps uplink, compared to my previous 256kbit)

Mm, that's something else I need to get into - designing lustrous textures for SL clothing. 'Course, that means getting deeply into something like Potatoshop, but what higher motivation could there be? =:)

You mean an akubra would look out of place with lingerie? Yes, true - but yeah, a '20s flapper hat might work quite a bit better there. :) At the very least, it should look interesting...

Ah, and OK; I should've guessed LSL was related to SL. :)

Mmm, and yeah, being able to design interesting stuff would indeed be a good reason to pick up Photoshop again.
Ah. What day might you be going to the Good Food Show? DH and I have tickets for the Thursday :)
Replacement pens are about $30 US, plus shipping. (Yes, I had to find that out the hard way once. Yes, I found the original pen shortly after the replacement arrived. Yes, it was hiding in plain sight. Sigh..)
Ah! Okay, that's not too excrutiating.. I just recall what lapinbeau said of his damaged Intuos - seemed like it needed a replacement board, working out much the same as a new tablet. =:P

Oh, for a Cintiq.. so very tempting, but even if I had the money, the next major purchase - sometime in the Spring, I imagine - will be a MacBook Pro, once the card's paid down and the new 17" models are actually out there. (For some reason, only the 15"ers got the refresh last time around, with the quite shiny new GPUs and mini tablet-sized trackpads)

So, have you subsequently trained yourself to draw with both paws at once? ^_^

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Whaaa! Now I need to setup an FA account.
You should, it'll be worth it. ;)
Don't forget to send me your $25/year subscription fee. =:)

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I don't know! I'm hoping huskyteer or sphelx know, being clued-in metropolitan sorts. There were no public rods in evidence, for what it's worth.

Ah, yes! Bought that a couple times - definitely a major step ahead of the baseline stuff, for not much more moolah. Are any of the flavored Absolut worth a go?

Now there's something I need to research.. where to find a really good selection of vodka, tequila, and Belgian ales in London. Though I suppose I'd be limited in the latter to what I could easily carry back on the train, unless I went with the backpack/wheelie suitcase. ^_^ Tequila's got quite a rough reputation, but as with Scotch or vodka, once you step up the range a bit, you can find some absolutely gorgeous spirits. Pity it's not more widely available in the UK, really.

Isn't a private rod used to Batter Prawns and Skewer Salmon?
Provided it's been thoroughly washed, assuredly so.

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There is a reason why BYU is one of the top business schools in the nation. Believe me when I say the the Mormons are covered on this one. they knew just how far to push it without breaking the law.
Oh, I'm sure they've arranged for the aftermath - the LDS leadership's been working on this for many years, after all, and historically, it's been much easier to bring a liberal church to the IRS' attention than a conservative one. But, with a case this egregious, so high profile, and with so much money and personal involvement, perhaps they've taken a step too far for the IRS to be able to wish away.

I wonder what kind of sanction could, potentially, be enacted? Seems unlikely they'd be stripped of their tax status, given it'd be easy enough to regroup as a new legal entity, and besides, it's really more the leadership that's in violation, not so much their followers, though a mite less silence from them would have been nice. I'd guess some form of tax settlement to cover their lobbying budget, and an undertaking to refrain from such, directly or indirectly.

I've been told that that the notice may refer to an obsolete LUL department called the Rail Operations Department. I wonder why it's only found at Embankment, though? A long-standing private joke, perhaps?
Hee! Okay, that's beginning to make sense, though the grammarian in me would like to prod them about (not) using "." to demarcate the letters; perfectly acceptable to not do so (as, indeed, are split infinitives =:), but where the whole line is in capitals, that would add clarity with ease.

Damn. I just know I'm going to wind up sending TfL a letter asking them to reveal the secret. =:D

BTW, don't suppose you've got any recommendations for where to seek out a good selection of Belgian ales? (Though, mail order may be the easiest, if I can find somewhere - delivery needn't be too painful, given Orchard Hive & Vine charge a flat rate of about £10 - you probably won't have enjoyed such wonderful ciders. Or maybe you have - these are not Blackthorn or Strongbow =:)
I too have issues with the grammar - when I first saw the notice I thought it had been altered by some enterprising hooligan...

Try here for ideas:


Pawnote: I have contacts in the Benelux countries, so I could ask them what they recommend. Duvel and Leffe are favourites of mine, though :)
Is there any better vodka than Grey Goose?

Good question. That stuff is like silk. Probably the only vodka I prefer to drink neat. (And please don't put it in the freezer)

At a recent furry party in Toronto, I got to try something new. We'd brought along some fresh apple cider with us, and there was a fur there that had some of that Bison Grass Vodka (http://www.zubrowka.net/)

Anyway, the vodka itself isn't really all that great. But when you mix it with fresh cider, it tastes exactly like apple crisp. Pretty tasty.
It's a drink I've usually tended just to toss into diet cola, I confess. (I confess! Hm. Maybe that could be a new Gilbert & Sullivan production, set in Guantanamo Bay?) But while at the last gig, I enjoyed quite a few good Stoli & twists at the bar just around the corner from the coworker's place in North Beach. (Great neighborhood - dangerous if you like eating out, though, given the sheer density of good restaurants; and there's a very good deli across the road, too, where the owner was more than happy to give us some of his new prosciutto for us to try - so meltingly tender!)

I even was going to put the bottle in the freezer, but seeing the cork, thought better of it - so it just sits upright in the fridge door instead, which works out very nicely. Still surprises me just how smooth it is, given vodka's essentially a very simple drink - but then, making lager with the same basic ingredients, you can wind up with anything from Germany, down to anything from Budmilloors. =:)

Ooh.. now there's a combination I really should try! I did enjoy a mix of King Offa 10 year old cider brandy (when you're in the mood to burn some of your savings and visit the UK, you really should pick up at least one bottle of that) and Grey Goose, but cider itself could work very well, yes. S'pose I should get another order in with Orchard Hive & Vine sometime soon - they carry a great little selection of ciders from small farms, each quite unique in their outcome, some using relatively uncommon, traditional apples.

I wonder how well good tequila and cider would go together.. maybe the San Francisco version could add a little pineapple juice? =:9 Hmm. I am planning on dropping by the wine & beer emporium in town later today, but I'm not sure they carry any tequila. If nothing else, maybe I can add that to my next delivery order. ^_^

How much does GG go for in your neck of the woods, btw? Sometimes, international pricing of drinks can be quite wonky.

Not just an eye. My hands were all over that rabbit, from before it was even a mere twinkle in the ol' eye.

I've been working with evilyena (redstorm) of late, and the rabbit is just one of a few projects in which I've been very involved.

Cheers for the kind words!