Book Review: Tidy First?: A Personal Exercise in Empirical Software Design

I’m a big Kent Beck fan. Big fan of Extreme Programming ideas. Tidy First is his latest book and I wish it was around when I started working on software. Kent details some tidyings (refactorings) and then talks about when to use them. He discusses the tension between delivering changes vs having options for change in the future. There’s a really nice aside on coupling and how it only makes sense with respect to changing the code. [Read More]

Book Review: Discipline Is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control

TLDR: skip. This was on a big list of books someone enjoyed last year. There were some bangers on the list as well as this book. I gave it a go and got half way through. It’s a vague intro to Stoicism using the Great man theory style of writing, and I never want to hear about Lou Gehrig again. A lot of the Great man examples directly contradict each other which is annoying. [Read More]

Book Review: Elis and John Present the Holy Vible: The Book The Bible Could Have Been

2023 was the year I was awoken to Elis James via The Socially Distant Sports Bar podcast. I’m now on my way to become a Retro Oner (listening to all of Elis and John’s podcasts). I have been sharing my Retro Oner journey with a friend and I said “Wouldn’t it be great if John Robins had written a book?”. Turns out Elis and John already wrote a book and it’s good fun. [Read More]

Book Review: Miniature Terrain Making Volume 1

I Kickstarted this back in April 2021, it arrived last month and I’ve given it a thorough read but haven’t made anything from it yet. A beautiful hardback with that Games Workshop rulebook smell. Utterly fantastic production values. So many incredible photographs of finished terrain and excellent step-by-step ones too. I’m not sure you can get this any more but I’d recommend it to anyone wanting some inspiration. It really gets back to the core principles of making models from random crap you might put in recycling. [Read More]

2024 Aims

How did I do on last years goals? Paint more. Smashed it. Painted a lot of stuff I wanted to play with. Boshed out an infinity army and a bunch of 15mm historicals. Play more games with said painted miniatures. Pretty good. I did some Lard events and played with the Sheffield crew. I didn’t make it to the local club. Read more. Smashed it. 20 books which I mostly enjoyed. [Read More]

Albums (Music) of 2023

As always, I’ve listened to a lot of music this year. Some old. Some new. Bang Camaro dropped a new single (and then an album) this year. Bang Camaro dropped a new single in 2023? Bang Camaro? I heard about them back in 2007/08 when Alex or Bryn did an interview on a gaming podcast called Massively Online Gamer (MOG Army forever). I acquired their first album (Bang Camaro) right away and when Bang Camaro II came out I imported the CDs from America. [Read More]

Book Review: 26.2 Miles to Happiness

As I get older more people around me are taking up running. I’d like to understand that, when The Socially Distant Sports Bar podcast recommended Paul Tonkinson’s book on running a marathon I thought I’d give it a spin. It’s autobiographical, covering his decision to push for a sub 3 hour marathon, as well as covering more biographical stuff. He covers the light and the dark of his life and how running has helped him. [Read More]

Book Review: Unruly

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen, heard, or read anything by David Mitchell. In my teens I was really into the Mitchell and Webb Sound and Look, and Peep Show. Since then he exited my orbit. That was until I saw an interview where he talked about Unruly. It sounded fun and I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the character he plays, now he’s writing popular history books I think the real David and the character are truly merging into one. [Read More]

Book Review: Summerland

The afterlife is real because of mathematics and Brits got their first. Queen Victoria is still in charge in the 1930s. Also there are so many spies? Sounds like exactly my kind of nonsense. Very reminiscent of The Laundry Files. There’s even a quote from Charles Stross on the cover it. The afterlife exists in the 4th dimension. Rajaniemi has created some wonderful constructs that exist in with 4D space. Really neat and consistent set of mechanics to play by. [Read More]

Book Review: Normandy '44: D-Day and the Battle for France

On my military history book, I’ve not read a James Holland book before this one. Which is quite difficult given how many books he’s written. Very much a Ronseal book. It covers the planning and build up to D-Day to the to the end of August 1944. Holland’s style seems to be telling the broad story by using the stories of individuals. I can see this being very appealing to people who are very interested in specific actions. [Read More]