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Yay! I finally saw Big Hero 6 a couple weeks ago! So.. well, okay, there were a few points which rather misfired for me (the Bad Guy was much too much of a Two-Face style "bad thing happens and they become Evil™", in particular), but I certainly enjoyed the geeky nature of the protagonists, and the pleasantly level nature of the team, even though I'd've chosen Go Go as the leader (or Honey Lemon, for that matter), over the apparently mandatorily male lead. (See also: Pacific Rim, for a far more egregious example) Still, yes, it was a lot of fun, and pushing the boundaries of CG even further, with exceptional lighting. Of course, it's a bundle of fun for anyone who knows the City at all, with so many familiar locations tweaked into this new reality of San Fransokyo, such as the classically adorned Golden Gate Bridge, or Transamerica Tower. =:) There isn't nearly enough filmmaking in the City, with noteworthy exceptions like The Game, so seeing all those landmarks, even if, say, the Café doesn't actually exist - it's exactly the kind of place which does. ^_^

So, yes. Go see it! Again! (And FWIW, it's out now on the US iTunes Store, with some extras. ^_^ Oddly, only in HD - the SD version's coming on Feb 24, along with the BD release)

Track (no video) of the day has to be what I'd pretty much consider a personal anthem: Alabama 3 - "Woody Guthrie".

I'll apologise for the lack of images and photos - if I spend that time getting the entry ready to perfection, it'll be even longer in arriving, and it's surely quite diverse enough already. ^_^;

Lapinity's been reworked. ^_^ I'm quite pleased with this second version - from the point you arrive at the site, you're given the two main categories, Wildlife and Landscapes. It's not quite open yet, but I've removed the site lock - it's now mostly just a matter of finalising pricing, and then enabling purchasing. Right now, it's effectively only a gallery. Next step: advertising! Not usually something I'm much of an advocate for, but, Reddit's system is nicely innocuous, and often quite amusing. By the same token, Project Wonderful's ads I specifically let through, as they often lead to interesting new discoveries.

And elsewhere in photographic news *cough*, Lenses For Hire are again running a February special: half off all rentals booked in February. (The rental itself can be as long away as they take bookings - something like up to six months, I think) Very useful if you're considering trying out an exotic lens - either half the usual cost, or keep it for a week rather than three days. Very good company to deal with - my Sigmonster rental last year went perfectly, as did the regrettable cancellation of another, after leaving it way too late to book my Grillstock ticket. =:P (This year, 11/12 July in Bristle, and 30/31 May in Manchester, this year joined by a third festival, 5/6 Sep in London)

Music vid du jour: Mystery Skulls "Ghost", an animated fan production. Not just a mellow dance track, but a genuine short story too, with just a tiny bit of influence from a certain mystery-solving Hanna-Barbera team. (By the same animator is a simpler production, also to a Mystery Skulls track, Money - this time, starring Phoenix Wright and company)

A word of caution, should you be interested in trying out the OS X 10.10.3 beta (14D72i) - here, at least, it's kneecapped Mail, which is now not downloading any email. Which I would consider a slight shortcoming in an email client. =:/ I might stick with it for a little, to help resolve the issue, but there's always the option of rolling back to the 10.10.2 release. Meanwhile, it's the iPad to the rescue. (Aha! It may only affect accounts using Google's POP emulation, which would match why it doesn't seem to be on the radar)

Have a dancing cow. ^_^ Good moves to begin with, but to pull that off in an inflatable 'suit - impressive! (And yes, they do look a mite odd to begin with =:)

The DVD and USB drive arrived from Studio Killers! The DVD's signed by all of them, which is very cool - and this time, I don't even need to rip it, as they've already made the live Illosaarirock show available as an HD download. The stick, meanwhile, includes a whole bundle of extras, including a purely instrumental version of the album. Tell me that wouldn't make some killer karaoke. =:D

Yay, new LJ icon! This time, courtesy of /u/skrodladodd. So cute an' grumpy. =:D Really happy with how this turned out - they really did a lovely job on it.

I Am Bread is indeed coming to iOS! It's currently out on Steam Early Access for OS X and Windows; once they feel it's "done", then they'll get stuck into bringing out the iOS version.

How's this polar bear for some extreme fursuiting? Yes, fully life size, and completely artificial, other than the operators inside.

A new (well, to me) comic you might try: Sister Claire. It's actually more of an illustrated story than a comic, really. Very nicely illustrated, and the writing will engage you immediately.. it's simply beautiful, evocative! - I'm only a few pages in, and I'm captivated. ^_^ If you enjoy the spirit of Brave or the gentle pace of Gunnerkrigg Court, this might catch you too.

So, I finally got to see Ex Machina, too - I'd originally been intending to catch that the other week, on one of the local fleapit's "bargain" Tuesdays, but that was The Day of the Boilerman. Then there've been interviews, lousy weather.. but as I'd had to miss my intended screening because of needing to stay in for the repairman (who duly failed to appear that day), the roomie very kindly offered to pay for my ticket when I did see it. ^_^ Anyway! The film! I went in with some hesitation, with its connections to Sunshine, which I began enjoying as some well-intentioned sci-fi (overlooking the lousy "science" involved), before it veered off into a knockoff of Event Horizon, and finally into a random slasher. But, no - this is actually heavily a character-driven film, with only three main characters (and not many more in total): the boss of a massively popular search engine company, a programmer who's won a competition to visit him on his ("I was wondering when we'll reach his estate." "We've been flying over it for the past two hours.") estate, and an AI 'bot - the challenge being something of a follow-on from the Turing test, namely, can he prove to his satisfaction that she indeed is really experiencing these emotions displayed in their conversations? I will admit I wasn't overly taken by the ending, but it did sort of follow on plausibly from where the situation had been. It left me with rather a sense of regret, and I'm not quite sure for whom. This isn't a fast-paced film - do not enter expecting Michael Bay! Myself, I'd easily recommend it, on the quality of the performances, the richness of the character interplay, amidst all their terribly realistic flaws.

I also happened upon The Machine - and thoroughly enjoyed its take on the nature of life, in a tale of an AI that indeed becomes more than the sum of its parts. Very well acted, I felt - I was emotionally engaged from early on. (And even has its Bad Guy denouement somewhat reminiscent of Robocop - such a delightful individual they were, too) The Anchor Bay BD cover rather screams out that they don't actually understand the film, trying to portray it as a "rise of the machines" scenario, with the tagline "They Rise. We Fall." - yet that barely enters into it all. This is not an epic tale of war, but of what makes us human, and more than that.

And, I finally got to see The Golden Compass. ^_^ I haven't read the books (yet), but I'd agree with the sentiment I recall around its release, that there was quite a lot left out. Not that I mind being landed in the middle of a new world, but there did seem to be so much back story I wasn't privy to through the film. Nonetheless, thoroughly entertaining. Needed more of not-Mark-Twain's jackrabbit spirit, though. =:)

The roomie occasionally really surprises me. ^_^ Friday's film choice turned out to be something he'd obtained: Disney's "Princess Protection Program", on the theme of protecting royalty from coups and the like. It's very, very fluffy in tone, and surprisingly engaging, although I couldn't help noticing the ostensible leader of an apparently Hispanic island state spoke with a very American accent. =:/ No matter - it's just something to roll with, and we were entirely comfortable with doing so. ^_^ (We were both a little puzzled to find, on IMDb, that Disney had chosen Puerto Rico to stand in for Louisiana. Surely filming in rural Louisiana isn't that expensive?)

On the TV front, I finally got to see my first episode of Andromeda (s1e9, "A Rose in the Ashes") - only 15 years late. ^_^ It's hardly heavyweight television, but I'll be watching more, I think. Would it surprise anyone if I knew my favorite character was Trance? The episode only served to confirm that. ^_^

More Gorillaz soon!

I suspect I may be the only viewer, at least on LJ, but in case there are others interested, I noticed the new-ish series of Alex Polizzi's "The Fixer" finally resumed a couple Tuesdays ago at 8pm on BBC2, after a curious hiatus following the first two episodes.

I noticed there was a bit of a furry art exhibition recently in SL, on one of the company sponsored arts sims: Lives of the Monster Dogs. Looks like a good selection, although admittedly lacking in tall ears, from what was shown. (And here's a review)

And, for somewhere else more permanent to visit, this selection of Disneyland rides sounds rather cool.

Apparently, ketamine is proving effective against chronic depression.

No idea what it's actually like, but The Robot Giant looks sort of interesting, being a CG animated feature of part of the Ramayana epic. There seems very little out on the web about it - IMDb doesn't appear to know of it, f'rex. I stumbled upon it while nosing around iTunes, where it's available to buy)

Apparently something of a meme, which I hadn't encountered before: Can I Be Drawn Better? A most lovely example of fourth wall breakage.

I stumbled upon it first a year or so back, but only recently rediscovered it - a fun, furry slice-of-life comic: Curtailed. I can so easily see the roomie playing the part of Fox in this week's comic.. =:)

A rare opportunity for lovers of very, very silly music: with support provided by The Rutles, all (but the lamented Vivian) of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Neil Innes included, to mark the band's fiftieth anniversary. One night only, Friday April 17 2015, at Koko, in Camden. This may well be the final opportunity to see the nearly complete lineup!

Tirrelous presents one drawback of being a stag.

If you know anyone who's struck by CryptoLocker, there may be hope for the files, without paying the ransom. Upload a sample affected file to this FireEye/Fox IT site, and it'll offer a decryption tool for that system.

Here's An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, available online, as an iOS app (free!), and on paper.

An interesting tidbit of pop culture: here's a chart showing the three word phrases in BuzzFeed headlines that generate the most FB shares. At the top, quite some way ahead of the rest of the pack, are "character are you", "n things only", and "before you die".

Here's a beautiful, somewhat abstract, bittersweet comic on the nature of love, by Chiara Bautista.

Here's a detailed meterological analysis of the area where Air Asia 8501 crashed. Obviously, there are no answers - that'll come with the analysis of the flight data recorder's information - but still, it's an additional informed insight into the prevailing conditions.

For a thoroughly deceptive cocktail, try combining a good cider (Sheppey's Dabinett or Wyld Wood, f'rex) and gin. Balance it well, and you can wind up with what seems like merely an interesting cider, with an intriguing edge, but rather more substantial than it might appear.

Nosing around the BBC's site the other day, looking for comedies, I stumbled upon an interesting description: "Dennis feels different - he's an ordinary boy who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary street, he plays football with his mates and lives with his dad and brother, but he is frustrated by the boring grey world he inhabits - life has never really been the same since his mum left.
However, transformation can happen in the most unexpected places. In Raj's newsagent a fashion magazine seems to be calling Dennis - can it be that Kate Moss is really telling him that it's okay for boys to like Vogue? Aided by Lisa, the coolest girl in the school, Dennis creates a whole new persona and puts it to the ultimate test - but can a boy wear a dress, and what will the headmaster, his dad and his friends on the football team think if they find out?
Based on David Walliams' best-selling children's book, with an all-star cast including Jennifer Saunders, James Buckley, David Walliams and Kate Moss. The Boy in the Dress is a celebration of creativity, difference, football and fashion. A Christmas treat for the whole family."
It appears to be available on iPlayer until about Jan 19 2015.

Are you in need of cheese? Consider, then, the erstwhile Shaktimaan. Subtitles aren't really required. ^_^;

Here's rather an interesting new crop lens, and from a new Chinese manufacturer: Venus Optics 60mm f/2.8 2:1 macro, with a list price of $379. Could be fun for insect enthusiasts, as well as portrait photographers, given its 14-blade diaphragm. And maybe handy for food photography as well, with a minimum working distance (ie from the front of the lens, not the focal plane) at 2:1 of about 7cm. =:D

There is now a Princess Bride game for iOS. =:D And it actually looks like there's some love in it.

Yay! Got my SL billing sorted out recently, by using a USD balance for the first time. I just sold the accumulated L$, and the billing system automatically took the annual fee due. (It works out somewhat profitable, as my account's old enough to receive the L$500 weekly stipend - at roughly $2 a week, that covers the $72 annual rate with room to spare. ^_^ Newer paid accounts only receive L$300)

Good food doesn't have to be complex. Thursday's dinner was primarily halibut, a fish I rarely have, and virtually never cook - but, I've enjoyed it on a few occasions in the past. Seeing such a lovely steak sitting at the fish counter, all by itself.. it was positively calling out to come back home with me, and I already had a small tray of potatoes gratin sitting in the fridge - I'd been thinking some kind of fish would be the best use for it. Cooking it, though, was pretty much guesswork. As it was, I wrapped it in foil, along with a little butter, Ras el Hanout, lemon myrtle, and fish sauce, for a gentle tang in its seasoning, and popped it into the oven, when the potatoes were about midway through cooking. To go with that, a julienned carrot, and a few broccoli florets (cut off a loose head - prepackaging always just adds to vegetable costs, and plenty of them are eye-watering enough already). It was.. very, very good. ^_^ The flavors just added to the halibut's own deliciousness, and cooked quite perfectly (about 25 mins at 200C - the steaks are fairly thick, so I was leaning on keeping it in a bit longer than I might otherwise). And even calorifically fine, too: about 350 cals for 2/3 of the potatoes, something like 300 for the halibut (allowing for the bit of butter), and maybe 50 for the carrot and broccoli. If I can raise my game to create dishes as good as that more often, I should be able to defeat my deeply-seated love of snacking. ^_^

Coo. My Flickr account just rolled past a total of 400,000 views. Onwards to a half-million! And, with any luck, a sparkling future for Lapinity. ^_^ And no, I haven't forgotten that I could do with picking out one or two photos from my voyage on the Underground on steam, and walking through a normally busy Thames tunnel. Soon!

What's your recent favorite music video? Link! Link!

Technical minutiae of the day: I was running a VM of Mountain Lion in Parallels 8, under Yosemite (not a supported configuration to begin with - by default, Parallels 8 won't even launch, but that's easily fixed), from a soft RAID of two 3TB drives. It sort of worked, but the networking was dreadfully flaky, with the VM's connectivity dying after several minutes, and also losing any shared virtual drives. As an experiment, I copied the VM over to the internal SSD - and all was well, with connectivity remaining perfectly reliable.

Today in unfortunate acronyms, I discovered the existence of a militant group in the Southern Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

I was quite saddened to find Excel Pacman appears to no longer work. Still, if you have Excel 97 or something compatible, maybe it'll fare better for you. (Yes, really: Pacman running within Excel =:)

Did you know I'm a complete idiot? ^_^ A couple months back, my El Cheapo (aka Baofeng) brand 2m/70cm handie's battery ran out, so I put it on to recharge, and - no LED. I'd previously had trouble with charging it, first obtaining a replacement power supply and adaptor, only to realise it was the adaptors they supply that are faulty. I ran over the joints in the charger base with an iron, but to no avail - the LED remained stubbornly off. The other day, a few ember motes managed to coalesce in my mind, and sparked the notion that.. maybe it's the LED that's lying. So, I set it up for a few minutes, to see if it'd gain enough charge to turn on. And yes, it did. Leaving it in for a few hours saw it return to full charge. D'oh! I dare say I'll eventually pick up a "proper" Yaesu/Kenwood/etc at some point, once money's coming in again, but this is fine for getting me back onto the repeaters, as well as listening to the occasional bit of air traffic control.

Anyway. Have a bun from one of my sort-of-recent visits to the old bunspot. ^_^ They weren't so far away, but understandably, weren't inclined to stick around. (I know it'll never happen, but I wish one of them might let me touch them)

So chock-fulla-WOW !!
*LOLS at the Tirrelious shirt too!*
Thanks for the heads up re SL art stuff, and WIN 10, and good lux with both yer battery and the email breaks! *winghuggle*
*grin* You can see why I pretty much had to set this entry free before it grew to the point grrm would become envious of its length. =:) And indeed, that's why there aren't many photos - it all takes time, cropping, resizing, uploading, then positioning them within the text so everything flows nicely, and all the links and suchlike are in a reasonable order.. O.o;;

I suppose "nice rack!" becomes a different compliment within cervine circles. =:)

I do need to spend more time in SL - every time I do, I'm left feeling that much happier, having maybe explored around some interesting sims, or simply chatted with friends, in imaginative, relaxing surroundings, in forms we'd prefer. (FSM knows, if I be my SL self in RL, I'd leap at the chance. Doubly so if I could bring those magnificent Neurolab Ultimate boots with me =:)

Agh, such a nuisance with the beta breaking Google POP email.. still, I dare say it'll get fixed in the next beta. I'll probably leave it for a few days, to give the Mail devs an opportunity to request whatever logs or suchlike might be useful, and then roll back. You'd've thought I'd've learned about the fragility of betas, given some of the 10.10.2 betas broke graphics in an interesting way: if you had certain extensions installed, such as the one permitting Air Display to work (so you can use an iDevice as a second display for an OS X or Windows system), many applications couldn't then actually draw into their windows. So opening an image in Preview, say, would show the usual window furniture, and a transparent "window" with drop shadow. ^_^;

'Course, the sensible way of being adventurous would be to use a spare system for betas, but my former MBP remains comatose, for want of a $5 microcontroller. =:P (Probably not even that much, though I've no idea if they're even available as parts, short of extracting them off otherwise dead boards) I do want to get it back to life, though - despite being a five year old system, Dandelion was a solid workhorse, and even now, I rather miss that lovely 17" display. Still, Hazel's otherwise a fairly stellar performer - not the cheapest laptop ever, but for heavyweight processing and uncompressed video, it's magnificent. And all in a slender, light package with the only moving parts being the fans.

I admit, I'm curious to see how Windows 10 shapes up. ^_^; Microsoft's become much, much better at UX than in the dark days of Windows 3.1 or 95. 7 I could use and not feel queasy. =:) Haven't really had anything to do with 8. I'm sympathetic to the idea of giving the OS away, as that encourages people to stay current, which makes their jobs that much simpler, with fewer people on years-old OSs to support.
Have a dancing cow. ^_^ Good moves to begin with, but to pull that off in an inflatable 'suit - impressive! (And yes, they do look a mite odd to begin with =:)

That's quite impressive indeed. Neat, too, though I don't know if I'd use an inflatable suit for dancing myself. :)

How's this polar bear for some extreme fursuiting? Yes, fully life size, and completely artificial, other than the operators inside.

Neat. I wonder how much that one cost.

Lives of the Monster Dogs will remain open through until the end of January 2015.


Yay! Got my SL billing sorted out recently, by using a USD balance for the first time. I just sold the accumulated L$, and the billing system automatically took the annual fee due. (It works out somewhat profitable, as my account's old enough to receive the L$500 weekly stipend - at roughly $2 a week, that covers the $72 annual rate with room to spare. ^_^ Newer paid accounts only receive L$300)

Nice. :) I'm lucky to be old enough to still get the 50 L$/week free account stipend; not that I really use it for much, but it allows me to occasionally buy stuff on the SL marketplace without having to invest real money.
An inflatable suit's pretty much the last option I'd choose for dancing. =:D But wow, they really know how to work it! Come to think of it, such suits are very uncommon in the fandom - I'm not sure I can even think of an example. I know of a couple latex outfits created by Pretty Pervy (whom I recall closed up a while back), but they've been more for private fun than public exhibition. ^_^

I daren't even contemplate the cost of the bear. ^_^ All that painstaking work of applying the individual fur strands, let alone any other aspect of its construction.. ye gods and little fishes, there's some real skill on show there. And in the performance, of course - the best suit in the world's useless without performers to bring it alive.

I wish I'd posted this entry much sooner. Or even just a bit of it, so I could've had notice of LotMD out before it closed. *sigh* Still, there might be hope for me becoming rather more regular with LJ.

Oh, right! I'd forgotten the Lab once offered a modest stipend even for free accounts! Ah, if only I'd gotten in early enough to obtain a lifetime account - those came with 4K land, too! Definitely, when I can afford it, I'd love to pick up a Homestead, and craft it into my ideal surroundings - mountainous, and largely snowy. I still sort of miss the first place I lived in, in SL, on a snowy hillside.. that's very relaxing for me (this takes more time to type, as my eyes keep getting drawn to whitetail's icon below =:), and unfortunately, not the kind of environment I've ever lived in IRL, other than a couple winters in Minneapolis - southern England, Oregon, and coastal California tend not to be renowned for their white winters. =:) (With notable exceptions, of course, like the time in December 2010, when the weather completely shut down Heathrow, hours before my flight was due to depart..)

Mm, I don't tend to buy much on the Marketplace, beyond the occasional av to play around with, or maybe a new dress or pair of boots. I do wish the Lab would give the place a bit of love, though - it's such a pain when you're looking for a particular kind of clothing, and you have to wade through ten times as many items, because it insists on showing you every single color option of each item, plus the packs. Given its clunkiness, I'll more usually just notice items that pique my interest on the SLU fashion threads, and seek those out specifically. (All too often, only available in-world, too - I rather prefer the Marketplace. Having to go into a store means being out in busy places, and being leporine, that's not really my thing)
Yeah, Pretty Pervy closed shop a while ago, unfortunately. A real shame — they had such unique designs, and interesting ideas. I remember a rubber pencil skirt/suit jacket combination they'd made that came with inflatable padding for a particularly hourglass-y look; that's one of those ideas I could just die for. ^^

Agreed about performers — and yeah, I'd imagine the bear must've cost a lot, most likely somewhere in the five-digit range.

I wish I'd posted this entry much sooner. Or even just a bit of it, so I could've had notice of LotMD out before it closed. *sigh* Still, there might be hope for me becoming rather more regular with LJ.

Don't sweat it. :) It would've been nice to know, but as they say — Tel Aviv.

Oh, I didn't know SL used to offer Lifetime Accounts. When was that? I'm not sure I'd have gotten one depending on how much they were then, but in retrospect it would've been cool.

this takes more time to type, as my eyes keep getting drawn to whitetail's icon below =:)

*looks* Hah, yeah, I know what you mean!

Anyhow, as far as SL homes go — it'd be great to have something you could decorate to your heart's content. I think you can only buy (that is, rent) Homestead sims when you already have a full sim, isn't that true?

But yeah, I'd love a private island as well, some place where I could build whatever I liked, with few restrictions (15,000 prims should go a long way!), and institute a whitelist so only my friends could come there. :)

I don't buy much at the Marketplace either – the recent redecoration projects at my stateroom and Moth's place were outliers, in a sense –, but it's nice to have the ability, just in case. That said, I agree that the SL Marketplace website has... room for improvement, shall we say.
Fave video, plus Tirrel!

It's a classic. =:D I wonder how long all that took the guy? I suppose there's a fair bit of re-use, but all the same, that's a lot of drawings! (And without the "short cuts" available digitally through the likes of Flash, helping make possible amazing fan productions like Musicians of Ponyville)
I quite enjoyed Big Hero, but it had a lot of standard Disney tropes: parents are dead, betrayal by adult, etc. There's a surprising amount of death in Disney stories. It's coming out on DVD here later in the month.

Amateur radio FTW! I have a Yaesu FT-530 dual band that's been modded by a factory rep for out of band use. At the time I was working for the police department and I could talk to dispatch with it, though the signal was no where near as good as the Motorola monsters that the officers carried.

Problem is that poor radio is now some 20 years old and the ink has worn off a lot of the keys, so it's a bit of a guess as to how to program it.

Maybe I'll bring it to Europe next year, that could be interesting and might prove useful.

Oh: I was DELIGHTED Friday to learn that BBC America is going to start airing Steven Fry's QI! I've been wanting to see that for ages! Of course, my stupid DVR only allows me to load 50 programs to record, so I'm going to have to prune that list a bit.
Mmm, whilst there's a great deal I loved about Big Hero 6 (enough to buy it on iTunes, along with The Book of Life), I didn't feel the story was quite as cohesive as Wreck-It Ralph. Still, I'm delighted to see a genuinely geek-driven film out in the mainstream. Hardly the first time, absolutely, but still a bit of an oddity. (Remember "Whiz Kids"? =:)

Death.. can be a bit of a cheat in scripting, but handled with respect - well, then you can wind up with the death of Mufasa. A powerful moment in animated film, and I have to respect the writers for going through with that, knowing just how much of an impact it would have on the audience. I suppose even an animated death can help prepare us for our own real losses, in some modest regard.

Ha! Yep, gotta love mods like that. ^_^ I had a '290, which I actually bought from the tutor giving our exam classes. =:) Really nice rig. Not the most amazing front end, but large enough to be easily moddable, and its 8xC battery capacity made for pretty good transmit life. Now, though, it's just a Baofeng UV-5RE - horrible to program (intended for PMR deployment), but otherwise, does indeed do what it claims, for peanuts. ^_^

I'm really looking forward to that new Fox satellite going up - I used to enjoy listening to OSCAR 8-11 as they sped past across the sky. I didn't have an az/el setup - I just stood in the loft, holding the Q-DX aerial, tracking them manually. =:D (The Q-DX was a wonderfully funky design for 2m - as I recall, three directors on the boom, a quad radiator, and a reflector. Then double that, so it's actually a sort of figure-8 radiator, two booms on top of each other. Made for a nicely compact, quite high gain aerial, perfect for my situation)

Hmm. I wonder how difficult it'd be to have some replacement keycaps made up.. could have them fabricated in any color you chose, conceivably - potentially even a different material.

Mm, definitely worth bringing along! ISTR the license agreements are all automatically reciprocal, so you might not have to file any kind of request, just adding a prefix.

Wow, QI hasn't been part of their fixture before? That seems like a very odd oversight/omission. It's one of the very few game shows I'll watch these days (I confess, I used to be much more into them =:).. perhaps the only one, come to think about it. Perhaps just downloading from Usenet or torrents would be simpler? Not strictly kosher, but within legitimate use.