I went on a day trip the other day to RAF Brize Norton. This place is the airport for the British military and there’s a lot going on. The best bit was being shown around the actual C17 that took the dead queen from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt.
So, not much to write here but plenty to see so here are a few of the photographs I took that day:
It’s hard to write stuff when it feels as though the whole country has gone mad. I am, broadly, terrified at the prospect of what the next few years will do with the utter shit we have in leadership. I don’t think I can write down just how much I hate the tories and everything they’ve done to destroy this country over the last twelve years. They are such a bunch of empathy lacking cunts that I fail to be surprised anymore at the levels of sheer shittery they are willing to throw around at the poor and yet enrich themselves. Viva la revolution!
On Friday I was chatting to the Legend and I said I wouldn’t buy X-Plane 12 because XP 11 is pretty good and most of my payware might not transfer over. Well, it took all of about 12 hours to change my mind and buy X-Plane 12 even though it’s the development product. It took a while to download because I got the scenery for the whole world – why wouldn’t you!
I had to set up the joystick and configure the keys so they work as I like. This didn’t take a massive amount of time but it’s frustrating when all you want to do is fly around and see the world.
The scenery is amazing. I have turned most graphics settings up to maximum and this works well with my RTX graphics card. I’m getting >20fps which for a flight simulator, especially X-Plane, is pretty darn good. Also, using the taskmaster I can see that the GPU is being used at around 90% and this pleases me. It’s worth having something you’ve paid for working as it should.
I’ve added in some of my custom scenery and it seems to be working well. So, I have my airport in Keswick, which doesn’t exist in reality but it does mean I’m in the Lake District immediately and can fly around and bomb shit.
Now all I have to do is continue my flight around the world and get back to the UK so I can attempt to learn more. My payware aircraft from XP11 kinda work. I’ve tried the T-7 and as long as I keep the throttle high enough it seems to work ok. If I drop the throttle to idle the engine dies and that’s a touch embarrassing.
I’m somewhere in Chile at the moment and I’m heading to an airport on Antarctica. I have no idea what will exist when I get there and I’m only doing it so I can say I’ve “been” to every continent in my around the world flight. Here’s to many more hours of fun.
The other day the family went for a walk around the local reservoir. It’s not that far and quite a quiet and picturesque place to be. It was calming. While there I took part in a photograph competition between some of my close friends. We also built a tree swing and had some fun rushing in an arc.
The area we walked through used to be a brick factory. It’s next to the river and in the old days bricks were cooked (?) here after the materials were taken from the North Downs. Then, they were placed on boats and shipped to wherever needed them. I do believe some ended up in Buckingham Palace.
Anyway, you can always find interesting things just lying around. Sometimes these are burnt out vehicles but other times these are discarded bricks with interesting insignia. See the picture I took of a 1910 brick. Someone somewhere will find that brick very interesting.
Yesterday a few of us went canoeing and kayaking [whatever the difference] on the Great Stour. We went from the Grove Ferry Picnic Site to somewhere near Lampen Stream. It was a lovely couple of hours on the river.
This summer I spent a little time at RAF Cranwell and slightly longer at RAF Syerston with a short, unplanned, stop in Newark. This is my story of the National Air and Space Camp 2022. For various reasons I changed from a full week attendance to just half the week. I travelled up to Nottinghamshire [RAF Syerston] on the Wednesday morning, leaving Kent early to get to NASC in time to do some work. The first morning my job was to build Lego, so just like a day at home then! In the afternoon there were some aircraft practices as part of the Industry Day where people come in to sell their companies.
The airshow consisted of displays from a Chinook, a glider performing aerobatics – which was my second favourite, a Puma, a Juno, the Red Arrows, a Typhoon and Spitfire, TWO F-35s did a fly by and tight turn, and there might have been something else that was little but I didn’t pay attention. Of the displays the Typhoon is clearly my favourite, the noise was lovely. The glider came second and I was so impressed with the manoeuvrability and aerobatic ability – a super display.
On the Thursday I was helping organise and run the robotics stand. We had a really keen bunch of cadets and I was super impressed with their dedication to the cause. They worked from 0900 to 1700 with minimal breaks trying to solve the problems we had given them. It’s nice to have the cadet contact and be around people who are keen to solve problems and try to work hard.
Friday was meant to be simple, just a rerun of Thursday but we left some kit at RAF Cranwell where we were staying overnight so I offered to go and get it. My car then decided to hit me with a serious YOU MUST STOP warning just as I detoured through Newark because there were road closures and accidents causing massive traffic problems around the A1 junction. I pulled into a one-way street and found a parking place. Very soon the traffic was terrible all around. My predicament, after checking some basic things from internet searches, was that it was likely the car needed towing to Kent. So I had some stuff at RAF Cranwell, some at RAF Syerston and I was in the middle of the two.
People at the camp organised some transport and I managed to collect my things after a relaxing cuppa and bowl of chips at a pub next to a canal. Eventually I called the AA and they came out and I met the man at my car, once I had most of my stuff. He plugged a gizmo into the car OBD2 port and read through the error readings. He deleted the error codes that the car had generated saying that if something is really wrong then it would come back with an error eventually. I let him do his job. I don’t know how these things work. The car worked fine. The AA man followed me back to RAF Syerston and the car behaved.
Since then I have managed to drive home, around town, to Bluewater and back. The car seems back to normal. I have also bought an OBD2 thingy so I can plug in and see data for myself. I might have to delete further error messages so it’s worth getting although I haven’t played with it yet. NASC was good fun in all.
So, imagine asking a psychic for help with a missing persons case. In many ways this is understandable as when people are at their lowest there’s some comfort that things like that might work even if you know it’s mostly rubbish. People will grasp at straws. Consider those who use alternative medicine for anything, but worst of all, those who have cancer and give up medical treatment because their alternative medical practitioner says it won’t work. I saw the text of a psychic’s prediction of where a missing person would be or was. I’m not really sure. It is pretty terrible. Let’s look at it.
So, here are the guesses within these messages:
18 or 19.
mound of dirt.
grey jogging bottoms.
pile of dirt.
mound of dirt.
When we look at the types of building mentioned we have about four different things, this covers all bases. It doesn’t matter what reality was, this psychic will score a hit. Given that there was an image sent to her of the person outside a building in a street this isn’t very psychic. Then we can look at the description of a person hanging around with other people. Well, I don’t see that very often do I. That’s an amazing prediction or seeing or whatever the fuck. If teenagers are out somewhere then there’s a high chance some of them might have a dirt bike or a motorbike. All of this is just stuff that happens and none of it is specific to this particular situation.
I think my favourite part of the whole prediction is the dirt aspect. Can you tell me somewhere that isn’t close to dirt or a pile of dirt? Oh, and the joggers? The psychic had an image of the person who went missing. Also, grey joggers are probably very common. All of the psychic predictions in these messages are just listing very common things.
What these people rely on is confirmation bias and motivated reasoning. Humans find it really hard to think against things that they really want to be true. Everyone would like the idea of existing after we die and so we create stories to make it as true as possible. It’s a shame we live in a world where people can defraud or give false hope to others in their time of need.
This album was actually bought for me. I remember travelling to Wales and there was a clip of this band on BBC Radio 4. Yes, that Radio 4! I was quite surprised and the music seemed decent. So, my passenger bought this for me. I like what the band did, I like the music, but when they come on in a shuffle I tend to skip it. It’s never really something I need at the time.
So, I went to see Combichrist. Originally the tickets were for 2020 but we all know the heap of shit that this world turned into in late 2019. It has taken two years and finally I got the chance to see this amazing band (again). Luckily for me I did see them at M’era Luna two weekends ago as they replaced a band who had pulled out. This was my first time at a venue called the Islington Assembly Room – it was easy to get to and seemed very nice inside. The floor was wood and bouncy – I suspect it has been used as a ballroom in the past. The floor got slippery as soon as there was some beer on it.
First band up was a French (?) female rapper called Mimi Barks. I really enjoy her show. I liked the music and her anger. She seemed fierce. Not only that but she was in the pit for Combichrist and also sang a song with Priest and the Combichrist finale.
Next up were Priest who, as soon as they appeared on stage, I was convinced I had seen before. Smith couldn’t remember seeing them so I searched this website and found them! I had seem them with my niece one time when we watched Aesthetic Perfection. I will say that this time I thought the singing was better but overall I wasn’t that bothered by their show or music. Just not up to my incredibly high level of tastes!
Then we get Combichrist. I did not recognise any of their first three songs, but then Throat Full Of Glass came on and I was happy. I was on the edge of the pit, I wasn’t quite feeling it as much as at M’era Luna. I think I would say that the pit was more violent and a harsher environment than in Germany and so I wasn’t comfortable getting in. Also, a big part of me just wanted to watch the show. There was a fat twat in the pit who was out of control – I had to move away from the edge of the pit because I was likely to sharply elbow him if he bounced into me. He was a grade A twat.
Part of me finds it quite fascinating to watch bands up close because you start to see just how much of a job it is. You can see the musicians “acting” on stage, creating a show. I think I had always thought that they got excited for the music they were creating and lost control but that is the job for the audience. The band is there to create that atmosphere. Occasionally I see this in performers, there’s an almost dead look in their eyes, there’s only so much you can do night after night. At this gig I only really noticed this in one of the band members, I guess there’s only so much adoration you can cope with?
Anyway, Elliot Berlin was in the band and I’m a fan. He did two things I thought were amazing. During the very last song he crowd surfed while playing a big fat tom-tom. Earlier in the gig he had jumped off the stage and got into the circle-pit and played guitar while people moshed around him and that for me is the highlight of the show!
THREE YEARS. That’s how long it had been since I’d been anywhere other than the south east of the UK, Lincolnshire or Cornwall [which was twice this month]. Three years since Smith and I had travelled to Germany to see a collection of bands, dress in weird shit and have a great time. The wait was worth it. 2022 was a great year for M’era Luna and I had an amazing time. There was news to make this year’s event even more interesting: a band had to pull out and they were replaced by Combichrist!
The journey out to Germany went well. The Eurotunnel was on time and Smith and I made it to our standard hotel in Bochum with time to explore the centre of the city and get some food. Most of the centre looked like Harlow – a new town in the UK. But we did find a street with some life and many restaurants. It was a hot evening with temperatures hitting 30C. After food and a couple of drinks we headed back to cheap hotel and planned Friday.
We arrived at Hildesheim early and queued for entry into the camp site. Once in we chose a spot far enough away from the noise and close enough to the car. Then we went for a walk to see how the grounds had changed in the three years since we had been there. Friday night is normally disco night but we didn’t go to that. Instead we found a bunch of Germans who we knew and spent some time with them, drinking their beer. It was good fun. The real music started at 1100 on Saturday though.
As with previous years this is where I just copy my notes from my phone. I can’t remember every band or song. I can’t remember what I thought about them. So I make notes as I go and then regurgitate them here. What follows is pretty much, word for word, my notes. Occasionally I will add detail for particular bands as I have remembered more from those appearances.
Enemy Inside – main stage -I enjoyed this. They had a female lead singer and it was rock/metal.
Rave The Requiem – main stage – I also enjoyed this, christian sounding metal. There were references to religious passages and I couldn’t tell if they were critical or supportive after that.
Ambassador 21 – club stage – industrial punk and was great. I really loved this show.
Schattenmann – main stage – actually really enjoyable. Heavy songs. Singer had a chainsaw. Flames from front of stage.
OST+Front – main stage – Enjoyable, very similar to when we last saw them. German new metal. Female dressed in various outfits.
Lacrimas Profundere – main stage – Waiting for Faderhead tbh. Opening bars were really good. But everything else was not. Went to sit in the shade at Club stage.
Solitary Experiments – club stage – perfectly fine but his voice isn’t strong enough. A bit boring really.
Faderhead – club stage – AMAZING. Totally loved this. This was the best attraction on Saturday.
Blut Engel – main stage – halfway through when we arrive. Everything Is Black playing. Next song had 4 girls on stage. 4 songs then left to:
In Strict Confidence – club stage – 3 good songs.
Nitzer Ebb – main stage – probably great if you are off your head. Nice beat stuff. But boring live.
Hell Boulevard – main stage – they sang hit me baby one more time.
Aeverium – main stage – elements of thrash, not really. But I enjoyed it.
Unzucht – main stage – Fuchs yeah. I do love a bit of Unzucht and they were really enjoyable. Great fun.
Feuerschwanz – main stage – medieval rock shit
Combichrist – main stage – Andy and I started the pit and it was good. Thank god. This made the weekend worth it. Totally loved the show.
Rotersand – club stage – amazing. Really enjoyable. People came and thanked us for starting the pit during the Combichrist show.
Nachtmahr – club stage – good show. Two dancers.
Eisbrecher – main stage – amazing show, really good fun.
And there we have it. A great weekend. Such a shame there were massive delays getting back into the UK but that’s the sort of shit we have to put up with now I guess a bunch of arseholes lied to us. One of the best bits of the weekend for me was Smith’s realisation that paying to have a shit in the posh loos was worth it and made things soooo much better.
I have recently spent some time in the glorious county of Cornwall. It was my first time there in over two years, much like it’s a new thing for anyone to go anywhere at the moment. It was lovely.
We stayed at a campsite near St Stephen and close to St Austell. We did some things. It was great. Plenty to do and plenty of relaxing to do also. The first night we had fish and chips from a shop in St Austell, a place which seemed dead on a Sunday night.
Monday was all about getting some clothes bought from a shop in Truro, then we headed to the Maritime Museum in Falmouth. This had some lovely exhibits from the history of sailing and water transport. I also saw a real angler fish and I was unhappy at how small it was. About 12cm long. That is about as long as they grow. I was disappointed. Tuesday we went to an aviation museum because it can’t all be boring stuff. Then we visited Carne beach which was lovely. Dinner took place in Mevagissey.
Wednesday’s main event was admiring the Eden Project and learning about the world’s plants and ecosystems. Thursday we visited HMNB Devenport and met with my Marine Commando nephew for a guided tour of HMS Albion, a look at some of the marine landing craft and also a sneaky look at some of their weapon systems.
Friday we visited a police officer friend of mine on the Rame peninsula and played frisbee golf at Mount Edgecombe country house. It was a great day. The following Saturday we travelled home to chill out a bit as Sunday we visited more friends and toured their orchard.
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