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If Cambridge (the original, not the Massachussetts one) is within reach for you, you might want to take note of the Retro Gaming Night at the Centre for Computing History, on Friday, Feb 21 2014, 7pm-1am. It's a "bring your own booze" affair, 18+ only, with systems including "Atari 2600, Grandstand Tennis Console, Nintendo NES & SNES, Sega Master System, Megadrive and Mega CD, NEC Turbografx, Panasonic 3DO, Sony PS1 and PS2, Nintendo N64, GameCube, Atari Jaguar, Sinclair ZX Spectum, Commodore 64, Amiga and CD32, Atari XE, Atari 600, Sord M5, Sam Coupe, Canon V20 MSX, Sharp MZ-80K, Toshiba MSX, Acorn BBC Micro, BBC Master Compact, Original IBM PC, Apple Mac, Commodore PET, Enterprise 128, NEC PC-FX, Super Famicom, Philips CD-I, Commodore VIC-20, Mattel Aquarius". =:D

Here's a time-lapse compilation worth a couple minutes of your time, Outside My Window, from aboard the ISS. It's quite wonderful, in the simplest sense. This is what we're capable of!

While viewing Blood & Oil, about the necessity of following your passions, I noticed a welcome tweak to the site: it's now possible to tip creators directly, not involving PayPal, though that's also an option. I'd love to see more support for non-PayPal tipping, whether Flattr, Amazon Payments, or a conventional payments processor.

A little geegaw of interest to users of newer iPads with Lightning connectors: a combo USB/memory card adaptor. Whilst it's not been a priority for me, on occasion, I've wanted to review the day's shots on a larger display than the D7100's own, and the iPad's obviously the ideal candidate for that. And lo, it works! It does feel as cheap as it is, but at least prima facie, it seems to do what it claims: reads SD Cards (at least, the 32GB SDXC I tried), and provides USB connectivity, proven here with an M-Audio Keystation 49 MIDI controller talking to VirSyn's Addictive Synth. =:D (And no powered hub required - just the keyboard straight into the iPad)

Apparently, the UK government intends to sell your medical records. Here's how to opt-out (also rephrased here).

So, that was a little out of the ordinary - received a call identifying itself as coming from a UK 0845 number (a relic of a bygone age, originally intended to make calling companies cheaper than doing so with their normal, geographic number, by charging all such numbers at the cheapest "local" rate. Of course, now, with most people either using cellphones with umptykajillion days of calls included, or landline plans with calls up to an hour free, those 0845 numbers wind up costing more than they would - a portion of which goes to the company in question), so I was expecting it to be some corporate follow-up or somesuch. Then I heard the words "Barclaycard" and "fraud" uttered by the synth voice on the other end.. =:/ I've had those a few times in the past, innocuously, usually after Linden Lab's tried processing a payment: the system reads out the most recent few transactions, and asks whether you recognise them or not. In this case, that was a tiny amount to some children's clothing company, then increasing amounts to a telco based in Ireland - first two for £25, then £100, then £300, followed by £2000 to a college (!). The larger ones were rejected, just leaving the two £25 and clothing to dispute online, when the replacement arrives on Friday or thereabouts. So, no huge harm done, though I'm left wondering which retailer's going to be announcing a data breach shortly..

And just out of random curiosity, how about sharing drinks you enjoy? ^_^

What’s in your drinks stock at the moment?

Spiced rum
Light rum
Red wine
White wine
Other spirits/liquors (tell!)
Haha, I could spend ages listing the contents of our drinks cabinet. Beer (Imported and Domestic), Baileys, Toffee Liqueur, Amaretto, Ouzo, Creme de Menthe, some sort of kumquat liqueur, Triple Sec, Vermouth, Home made Sloe Gin, Home make coffee vodka, Kahlua...usw¸ usw
Ooh, feel free to elaborate!

I've begun experimenting with my own infusions (as noted above, somewhere or other =:), using some cheapy Stuff™ Sainsbury was selling off - only 22%, billed as "dry Schnapps", but a surprisingly decent distillate. My first attempts used a few nice coffee beans, and in another, a few long peppercorns - a relatively mild, sweet style, not a strong variety like the usual black. The pepper turned out enjoyably, though probably needed some other influence to bring it out fully. The coffee, though, turned out superbly, especially after being left to sit for a few weeks.

My more recent ones were vanilla (just cutting the pods into quarters), and cinnamon (again, simply cutting into thirds, to avoid any problems with bits floating around). The vanilla's turning out very nicely indeed, though I may have to try crushing the pods first, to help liberate the beany goodness. (If only they weren't so accursedly expensive!) The cinnamon I also haven't tried in a week or so, but it's smelling gloriously pungent. =:D In all these cases, I'm intending them more to be for cocktail usage than drinking per se, though they've all been very pleasant by themselves.

Which toffee liqueur is that? The roomie's got some Thunder toffee vodka in the freezer - I'd recommend it. Quite a rich flavor, and a good quality spirit beneath.

I was wondering just what to place in the recent Master of Malt order, and was very tempted by another gin - I've little experience with the kind, but I quite enjoyed the Bombay Sapphire East we had in house last year, and was impressed by the mellow nature of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's Bathtub Gin I partook of in London back in November, so I went with the Navy Strength version thereof in the Yule order. A radically different creature, almost a gin liqueur, as it were, burgeoning with botanicals, yet still perfectly delicious by itself, even at 57%. So, in this one, I went for an aged gin - a jenever, in fact, inspired by huskyteer. I've not tried Dutch gin yet, and this aged example seemed like a fair balance of moderate price and unusual quality.

Kahlua! Yay! Really handy stuff. Perfect for umbrella drinks. ^_^

BTW, are you at all familiar with Italian liqueurs? I'm trying to recall the ones the roomie and I had in Bath last June, at the Real Italian Pizza Company (well worth going to, if you're in town - it's actually as their name claims). Both were of a highly herbal nature, not the big name vanilla and lemon ones easily found, but not obscure either.
For the coffee vodka, we took a cheap vodka and steeped a spoonful or so of cracked coffee beans into it. Unfortunately, I think it suffered a little from being cheap vodka. Next time, I think we'll start with a named brand.

I've been considering cinnamon myself, too. We had some cheap cinnamon bark (From an asian supermarket, I think, though it may have been a present from somewhere). Next time we get some in, I'll snaffle a twig and try that.

The toffee liqueur we have is a generic one we picked up last time we were in Germany. It's Heiko Blume's Sahnelikör mit Aroma (hergestellt unter Verwendung von Wodka), so more like a Dooley's or a Toffee Bailey's than Thunder is (I believe I've tried some of the Thunder a few years ago at the Good Food Show and it was surprisingly good).

Gin-wise, we've got 2½ bottles of Bombay Sapphire. We DID spot a special edition of it (probably that Bombay Sapphire East you've got) in Heathrow, but decided not to buy it. How does it compare to the standard stuff? dsw has also been wanting to sample some Hendrick's. He says it's quite a distinctive taste and wants to find somewhere serving it before we splash out on a bottle.

I believe the only Italian liqueurs I've tried have been a rather nice lemony one we got as a present and Vermouth (which I think just about counts).

Edited at 2014-02-08 04:11 pm (UTC)