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So I have completed the first few chapters of my fan ebook for Manchester. So now the completed chapters covers the basic history and geography of Manchester, while the next two chapters covers the setting for Vampire, and details all the NPCs for the setting. Next up I am working on my ebook for Changeling: Venice. Right now this stands at two complete chapters covering the history of the city and the changeling setting. So yes... more NPCs. Hopefully along the way  will make all my ST notes for Vampire available and start on the history chapter for Manchester: Mage.


Oh and here is the link for all the Vampire goodness.






p.s. I will update the cover at some point but for now the image above will suffice

Posted via web from Doctor Ether's posterous

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So what has been going on in the last week or so?


Well since the last update I have finished my application to the Leverhulme Trust and I am hoping to get all the references in for that very soon. The last weekend involved a trip down to London, and this weekend just gone we went to Birmingham. It's really weird having money to spend once again. More inportantly Sam is happy she can spend money again. My purchase in Brum failed though. It was an unusual shirt from H&M, but once we got it home we noticed that the button holes were fucked. Fortunately the H&M in Leamington refunded us but of course don't stock the same line, nor will they be able to get it in. Arse. So instead the money went on nice new patent leather black shoes which will come in handy for smart occasions.


Otherwise this coming weekend is London for Aiko's birthday, and then the weekend after that is Manchester and Liverpool to see Sam's cousin and his new baby (we went baby present buying in Brum leading to brooding feelings.... some stuff we saw was quite cute), and to have a mini reunion with my UMIST/Manchester Chemistry crowd now that we have be cast to the four corners since all graduating.


On the work front I've been retraining my model on a new database, finishing coding tweaks for the entire group, and now coding up a new multi-objective conformational searching method that would be of use for molecular docking and polymorphism.


On the RP front this week and last week are session free since Mark is being operate on etc so I have had a chance to catch up with writing the last of the Ordo Dracul NPCs and then the independant NPCs and the chapter (and essentially the Manchester book for Vampire) will be complete. Also read most of Cthulhu tech which has been really good but I doubt I will be running it any time soon.
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      So I thought I should post this. I will get round to a more detailed review of 2009 later in the week.       Ok so lets give a quick highlight of the decade for me:
  • Started A-Levels in Chemistry, Physics and Maths at Lady Hawkins High School (1999). These were finished in 2001. B, B, A.
  • Got offered a position studying chemistry at the University of Nottingham, but I turned it down for my second choice (well actually my first choice but not on the UCAS application) UMIST.
  • Moved to Manchester, staying in Wright-Robinson Hall. J floor, room 13. Met Ciaran at the rock society. Also met my girlfriend of 3 years, Vicky Hare, and also in the year above Viki, who I would then share a house with during PhD.
  • Picked up a copy of Vampire the Requiem.
  • Vicky, ina fit of desperation, cheated on an exam at the end of the year. We have to wait for the verdict and she is made to resit the paper in full. Needless to say I am quite disappointed.
  • For my second year of uni I lived with my course mate, Dave Smith, and others from our floor of uni, getting a shitty house in Victoria Park. 2002 would also see me return to Manchester after a summer away, but with the added bonus of getting a key-time position at the Altrincham store of Games Workshop. Later in the year Vicky Hare would get a similar position at the Manchester store.
  • Ciaran also ends up working at GW Altrincham, having left uni to resit to year again, and so losing his position at the Manchester store.
  • For 2003 we would then live in a better, larger house in Victoria Park, now with Vicky. In August before her final year of Biochemistry we get to travel to New York.
  • Vicky finishes her course and I have the joy of team project work for uni. I face down the sexist, racist member of the group who came from Morocco. This fool spat at the feet of those guys in the other research teams who were gay, and also would refuse to follow the instructions of any of the girls in the group. This led to a confrontation and myself shouting him down. To this day I don't remember it that well.
  • The end of the university year (2004) sees myself, Vicky and Andy Sykes (a floor mate and house mate for the previous years), get a flat together. Both of them finished their courses and don't follow it as a career, both getting full time positions with GW Stockport.
  • In August 2004, while in Leeds, Vicky having gone to her parents as we had been having a difficult time (more to do with her getting a job and me not having to bother as I had a final year to go), she dumps me while we were in the middle of Leeds.
  • Distraught, and after Vicky had been staying at 'friends/work mates house', I move out, thinking things would improve in a few months. I move in with old house mate/floor mate/ course mate Dave Smith. I realise my course mates of final year are in fact some of the most overlooked.
  • I then find out in September that one of the guys who offered Vicky a room while we were apart, well he had fallen for her. This is after my great giving up on her during her birthday. Needless to say I felt very betrayed.
  • Halloween 2004. Halloween of hell. I will still say nothing more about this night. My older sister puts me back together. I fail to turn up at work but my manager understands why.
  • So 2005 begins a new rebuild of myself. I work for my future PhD superviser Dr (now Prof) Paul Popelier for my final year project. What begins is what would be my four year study of water simulations.
  • I find my manager negligent and report him for being poor at his job, and that myself, a part time staff member, have to perform his job.
  • I pass my uni course, a 2.i! I did a double take, then went to find Paul to tell him. I get my PhD given to me on a plate. I start a week later, early. I also leave GW.
  • I start going to the goth night, Sin City, and start to delve into music that I had wanted to find when I was a first year, but never did for some reason.
  • Meet Stacey, Tofu, Gillian and Aidan, Cassi, Alan, Dan, Donda and others of the goth crowd.
  • New Year, 2006, I meet Zoe and Luke and the others of my furture roleplay crowd. I discover they live with Donda. Small world.
  • Start roleplay again, apart from my old friend circle from when I was with Vicky. Start running lots of nWoD stuff.
  • A number of relationships happen which prove to me that I still don't know what the hell I am looking for. Always chasing for something more complete, but to scared of going down a road that I have already traveled.
  • Start playing Etherscope and meet the writers. Start of my chance to do freelance writing.
  • 2006 see's me pass my first year of PhD, and then move in Viki (the biochemist in the year above), her mate James Kitchen, and Phil. We lived in Withington. I had the shite room. I still blame Kitchen for the unfair claiming of the other room.
  • Go to Infest for the first time. Good time was had.
  • Start roleplay with Luke and the others, and so begins the tale of the Itinerant Company for Vampire: the Dark Ages. This would be followed by some classic technocracy gaming and also my Fading Suns game.
  • First paper is published. It turns up in an obscure journal.
  • 2007, year of the great upheaval. In so many ways! In April I would go on to make the biggest mistake of my life before I would go on to make the greatest choice of my life. After the mistake of the gods, I meet Sam via the internet, and then in person. I knew from day one of meeting her that it would be her, forever. But knowing that feeling almost scared me away. It was just so intense.
  • Sam's dad, who I never had the chance to meet unfortuantely dies. I am there at her house the night the police arrive to inform her.
  • I move into the flat in Rusholme. Living in a stoner flat fucks me off entirely.
  • Go to Infest for the second time, this time with Sam. We stay in the Midland Hotel and it is clear in my mind, after just 4 months I want to marry her.
  • In September I find out it's not just me :D !!! We plan to go to Venice in the next year for Carnival!
  • That Xmas Sam meets my parents. Yay!!
  • In January 2008 I turn 25. We dine and drink in Negresco. The Fox of Nod is discovered.
  • Venice!! Almost the entire week in Venice. We go to a Masquerade ball. It's just totaly epic! And Sam and myself get engaged in the Fairy City.
  • April 2008. My mistake comes back to haunt me. Things almost all fall apart. For myself and Sam, Sam most of all, 2008 is a very tough year.
  • 3 more papers are published in this year. My course takes 4 months longer to complete.
  • Sam and myself, despite it all, move in together in a flat in the Northern Quarter, knowing we can only get through this all if we are together.
  • Friendships with others are tested and broken as I know my place is at Sam's side. I feel hurt that others seem to act like she has no reason to be upset. People take my side when I never asked or needed them, when I actually felt they had to support Sam.
  • I have interviews at the universities of Essex, and Warwick.
  • A week before Xmas I get conformation I got the Postdoc in Warwick! Sam heads down on the 23rd of December to sort out a flat while I write up.
  • Jan 2009. Fuck this is a crazy month! I submit my PhD thesis. We move to Leamington Spa in the space of 25 hours. Non-stop!
  • In February we head to Venice for our wedding in the Hall of Mirrors in Palazzo Zenobio, on the 25th. We then spend an extra few days in Verona!
  • I return to Leamington, my job starts, I have my viva and pass!
  • I get another paper published from my time in Manchester. I start my literature review on my field.
  • We meet Mark and Kate (the only other goths in Leamington Spa). And then meet James. Roleplay begins again with me as GM. We start with Unhallowed Metropolis and then onto Vampire the Requiem, where I rerun the chronicle I ran 3 years ago.
  • Sam starts her course in Beauty Therapy.
  • We go to see Phantom of the Opera for Sam's birthday.
  • My sixth paper (the epic literature review) is finished and complete for publishing. I am also on the cusp of finally finishing my first paper for Warwick.
So what more can I say? The noughties... no I hate that term. The Zeros, The Os ? It is the decade of that start of my career. The decade of my greatest failure. The decade of my greatest triumph. The decade of the start of the rest of my life. The decade that ends finding my true love, my wife.

Any questions?

Pictures )

But if there is one picture that sums up the decade. That makes me happy it is this.

Roll on the Teens, the Tens... or as I prefer, the Twenty Tens.


Jul. 20th, 2009 08:22 pm
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So after graduation on the Friday Sam and myself attempted to organise friends to meetup during the day on the Saturday and on the Sunday. It was good to have a walk about Manchester and meet up with Alan before we went to fetch Sam who was just having her hair cut (as some of you may have seen the awesome result). Soon after we headed for coffee and had a chance to see Mel and Johnny before they headed off to a friends party. In the evening we then went to SocioRehab for a redux on mine and Sam's first date. Of course it was a little noisy there, but the cocktails were good, so long as you can remember what you like since there were no menus at all!

On the Sunday we had the pleasure of meeting up with Gillian and Aidan and Alan for coffee and cake in Kro Bar, before seeing Sam's brother playing at Trof that evening. Sam's brother, Daniel, is amazing at guitar, technically brilliant. But then most of the people performing that night (open mic night) were all good.

Well now we're back in Leamington. I guess I am lucky to have seen who I did, and I am grateful that some people can seem to make time to meetup, even for just a coffee. It's just a shame that even with plenty of notice that even an entire graduation weekend is a problem to sort anything out for, let alone the handfasting. I guess I can take a hint that either myself, Sam or both are not worth the consideration. I mean next time we were planning to be up in Manchester next would be for Sam's birthday, it now seems to not be worth the effort.

"A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."  ~Grace Pulpit

How true.


Jul. 18th, 2009 08:36 pm
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So on Friday was graduation and so myself and Sam and my parents were staying over at Sam's mother's home in Manchester. Of course it has been all the fun of having family all in one place. On the Firday morning we were all up and headed into Manchester to the Whitworth Hall where graduation takes place for the University of Manchester. I headed off to get my robes (see above) and so everyone else waited about and after abit my sister, the other Dr Handley, turned up. I had enough tickets for 4 people, so my sister was lucky enough to get another and was able to take a seat in the hall. Of course the entire affair was long. I had to be in the hall 40 mins early to make sure that everyone was ticked off on the lists. My family then took their seats and the hall filled up to the music of the organ. Prof Gaskell was overseeing the entire ceremony, and for him it was his last as he is now to be head of another university. After some time it was my time to walk up on stage, to which I made out some one shouting out well done. This was Sam's mum, though I missed Sam calling out 'I love you!', as there was lots of clapping going on. So after about 30 mins of nonstop calpping we left, floppy cap on heads, and headed off to the reception of champagne and strawberries and then onwards to meet up with Geoff, Tofu and Nix's. The evening was spent in Dough where we had a chance to meet up with Daniel, Sam's brother, the first time since we had seen him at the wedding in Venice.

Today Sam had her hair cut into a nice new edgy fashion, while I went for a walk , popping into shops to see old friends before meeting up with Alan, Mel and Johnny.

Tonight is going to be a redux on mine Sam's first date, and then seeing who else wants to have drink.

More pictures here

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So yes if you haven't paid attention to my LJ/Facebook/Twitter then I passed the viva yesterday.

Was it an easy day..... hmmmm. Sort of. I left Leamington Spa at 0945 and made two changes in order to make it to Manchester in time for my viva voce at 1330. I could have got to Manchester earlier but that would have meant leaving at peak time and so my train ticket would have cost double. Yeah £80 return!

Getting to Manchester I made my way to MIB. It was quite different heading into that building. Because I was all dressed up in a suit I just looked like all the other visitors that I have seen come to meet people in the building. Matt from the Popelier group came down to let me in to the building and then I was back in my old office finding out what had been going on since I was gone and what things that they could help me out with for one of my more recent papers.

Then it was time for the viva and I headed down to the office next to Paul Popeliers where the viva was to be held. It was good to see Alan Hinchliffe again. Alan was another of the ex UMIST chemistry lecturers. I took every lecture he gave in all 4 years of my degree and he was my personal advisor in the first year of my PhD until he was selected to be my internal examiner for my PhD. Thank god I get on well with him as it was good to know there was a friendly face in my exam. In comparison Nakul, another ex Popelier group PhD student had another lecturer, Rob Dryfe, be his internal examiner. Rob is a good laugh but in exams he is said to be tricky than the external examiners. Thus the nickname the 'Smiling Assassin'.

My external examiner was Prof Jonathan Hirst who seemed fairly nice. Rob Deeth,  my new supervisor in Wariwck did warn me that Hirst was quite clever. It turned out that Hirst's home town is Leamington Spa so it was nice to chat about the uni and the town.

The first part of the viva was not fun as I got asked to give formulas that I had written down in my thesis. I find those types of questions really shit as I don't learn formula off by heart but I do know how to dervive them and I at least understand them. But other questions were good as I got to talk about the more unique parts of my work and it's relevance. The latter half of the viva was easier as it focused on my work and considering a lot of it is published or in the process of making it to the journals it was rather easy to defend.

So after almost 2 and a half hours I was told to go wait outside, so I went and sat in Paul's office and had a brief chat. Then five minutes later I was called back in and Hirst told me I had passed and shook my hand. Alan was very kind as he had also brought, pre-wrapped, a copy of one of his text books.

And that was it. I was from then on Dr Handley. I waited about a bit as Paul, Alan and Hirst went off for a coffee, and when Paul came back we quickly talked about papers and he said that he was proud that I had passed.

So all in all not a bad day. Just very, very tiring. My brain felt very empty and squeezed.
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I am now a Doctor of Computational Chemistry. I have some minor corrections to be done and then 4 copies of the thesis to print and get bound (ouchy) but that is it. I am 'teh Doctor' (but not that eyebrow waggler!!).

I now feel very tired like my head is very squished!!!


Mar. 23rd, 2009 08:46 pm
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Yep.... it has finally come. Tomorrow I will be travelling back up to Manchester for my viva. Tomorrow I will officially be a Doctor of Chemistry. It feels really strange as it really marks the end of my PhD and my time Manchester, something that was reinforced by our trip up to Leeds on Saturday to go to Wendy House where I saw a number of my friends from Manchester, some who hadn't seen me since the before the wedding.

So yeah it will be a long day. Not just because of the travelling, not jsut because the viva itself may take some time, but also because I will have some things to sort out for papers (on a related note paper 4 has now been submitted, just another 6 to go) and so forth.

Well see you on the flip side.

Photos of Wendy House and of course Sam's new hair


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