The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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10:55am on Saturday, 18th January, 2020:

Bank Letters


My wife and I received two letters from Lloyds Bank this morning. We have a joint account, which used to be mine but I added my wife's name to it when we got married.

One of the letters is a bank statement, addressed with my name first and my wife's second; the other is a foreign currency payment receipt, addressed with her name first and my name second.

We have another account, with Barclays. This one used to be my wife's, but she added my name to it when we got married. It also switches the order of our names depending on the nature of the letter send to us.

I don't know if this is a security thing or the consequence of their using different databased for different purposes.

If it's the latter, then that would be a different kind of security thing...


1:48pm on Friday, 17th January, 2020:

Streets Ahead


Google really needs to update its Streetview inventory for Piccadilly Circus.

I particularly like the guy on the right who looks as if his head is on fire.


6:12pm on Thursday, 16th January, 2020:

Hole in the Wall


One of these days, the Estates section of the university is going to do something about this hole in my wall.

Maybe if I try to fix it myself with papier mâché they might get around to it. That emits the kind of smell when scorched that sets off smoke alarms.


1:40pm on Wednesday, 15th January, 2020:

Benefits of Aging


I knew that reaching 60 might trigger fresh interest from the NHS.

I didn't know that this would involve their sending me a kit to take a stool sample so they could check to see if I might be developing bowel cancer.

I expect I'll have a string of these to look forward to in the coming years. Still, better safe than sorry.

I didn't know that such hazardous items were allowed to be sent through the postal system, but apparently they are.


4:17pm on Tuesday, 14th January, 2020:

To Do


I got a new stand for my monitor for my birthday, which my wife and daughter installed while I was at work. One of the things they placed where I'd see it was a to-do list dating from about 1996.

I knew I had it, and that it was somewhat out of date, so I threw it out. However, it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to look at it, just in case there was anything I really did need to do.

Here it is, uncrumpled, with printed translations of my handwriting alongside.

I did the web site.
I wrote DWEB, then lost it when the hard drive I'd saved it on didn't fit in the next computer. I occasionally set it as a student project.
I did the bibliography when I wrote my book in 2003.
I tried to do 1001, but only half the management team had their heart in it.
I didn't need to do the dots library.
I couldn't agree on a format for the help files with the other person who wanted to write them.
I did the maps.
I began 2MUD2. It eventually ended up more as MUDDLE2C.
I analysed the AD&D spell list. I wasn't impressed.
I didn't gather the Wild West data.
I updated some of the MUDDLE mini-manual, but not enough.
I still intend to do the Isle of Mystique.
I still intend to type up the TV script, if the pencil hasn't faded too much.
I did purge and update The List.

My handwriting is unusually good, because I wrote it with care so future me could figure out what I was supposed to be doing.


4:01pm on Monday, 13th January, 2020:



It seems that not only do users not read the photocopier instructions blu-tacked to the wall, but neither do the people who put them there.

I wouldn't have looked myself if it hadn't been for that arrow.


10:38am on Sunday, 12th January, 2020:



Whoever went shopping at Sainsbury's in this car was taking a risk by parking it next to the shopping trolleys, it might get scratched.

Hmm, maybe it IS a shopping trolley? It's about the right size.


10:54am on Saturday, 11th January, 2020:

Pie and Mash


Apparently, a pie and mash van visits the village every week. It has a five-star cleanliness rating, so isn't a fly-by-night operation.

Here's the sign it uses to advertise its wares:

Pie and mash isn't a thing where I come from, so I have no idea what all this liquor stuff is about. Given the spelling elsewhere on the sign, it might not even be referring to liquor.

Maaaybe I'll give it a miss.


10:45am on Saturday, 11th January, 2020:

Happy 60th


My younger daughter presented me with this yesterday:

She's 25. I'm pleased that I've successfully taught my children not to grow old.


8:14am on Friday, 10th January, 2020:



Today is my sixtieth birthday. It's taken me much less time to reach this milestone than I'd been led to believe it would.

Maybe if I tell people that my average age is thirty, it might disguise the fact that I am now officially old.


1:15pm on Thursday, 9th January, 2020:



The new printer-use regime at work prevents me from printing 60 copies of a 4-page document.

Fortunately, it does not prevent me from printing 1 copy of a 240-page document that repeats the same 4 pages 60 times over...


9:11am on Wednesday, 8th January, 2020:

The Answers Are...


Here are the answers to yesterday's quiz.

They were selected to match the Moodle page titles that have been imposed on us. In order: CE217 Coursework Details, Digital Shelf, Examination Details, Module Resources, Tutor; CE317 Coursework Details, Digital Shelf, Examination Details, Module Resources, Tutor; CE817 General.

The last one just tells the student to go read the pages for CE317 so I don't have to upload them twice.


4:57pm on Tuesday, 7th January, 2020:



I got bored answering my own examination questions today, so created some headers for the Moodle pages we're required to force on our students as a way to slow down the Internet. I needed 11 in total: 5 for CE217 (my Game Design module); 5 for CE317 (my Virtual Worlds module); 1 for CE817 (CE317 for Masters students).

I raided my screenshot libraries and made the headers from what I found. Here's the result.

On the actual headers, I cite the games that the screenshots came from, but here I've redacted them so you can have the pleasure of trying to guess what they are. The first 5 are for CE217 and are from regular computer games; the second 6 are for CE317/CE817 and are from MMORPGs.

Answers tomorrow...


12:24pm on Monday, 6th January, 2020:

Donkey Do


I've driven past this sign for years.

I've always wondered how big a "bag" is.


9:49am on Sunday, 5th January, 2020:



Here's another advertisement from our local Look magazine:

All that 1940s rationing must have meant that people didn't have access to champagne.


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Copyright © 2020 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).