Counting It Up

IT’s been a troubling time for my car, Bora Horza Gobuchul. About a month ago the catalytic converter was stolen but this isn’t about the trials and tribulations of that incident. This communication is about a cool, but random, occurrence when I happened to check the mileage on the car after my eldest son asked how far it had travelled.

Odometer
Odometer

There we are. I thought it was pretty cool. Although I didn’t even notice it at first, it was my child who got excited.

Deepest Darkest Essex

While driving with my parents to a restaurant/café for lunch I noticed this strange thing by the road. It seemed pertinent to stop and tell my children of the punishment methods of the past. People I give you the Great Canfield Stocks and Whipping Post.

Green Street Stocks and Whipping Post
Green Street Stocks and Whipping Post

The sign explains that the stocks were replaced to commemorate the start of the third millennium. I’m quite curious to know what was in this position before these and the history of them. The sign explains the stocks were last used in 1860 for a case of drunkenness and also that this site was where Elizabeth Abbott was burnt as a witch in 1693. The sheer terror I feel with how we used to treat people is only masked by the general terror I feel for how we treat people these days. I’m not sure we’ve moved on that far.

This is comms#2023 and I’m still trying to work out what to replace my “events each year” thing. Give me some time and when I get a chance I will figure this out. Things have been a little busy recently with work and also my car being off the road because some cunts stole the catalytic converter. I’m currently waiting for it to be towed to be repaired along with getting a courtesy car.

Extracting Energy

Recently there has been a small wind turbine built and installed at Fooyah Castle. IT’s only small and all it does is light up a LED but it’s quite neat and has me thinking about making a bigger one. Ultimately it would be cool if I could power elements of the house with a thing like this but I’m not sure I have the technical expertise to do that. Maybe I’ll start reading about it online. I do think I could use a small turbine like this to charge a phone, but that’s probably about it. Maybe I’ll start looking online for a better, more professional generator. Mind you, with nine hundred and fifty houses being built at the bottom of my garden in the next few years I’m not sure it’ll be worth it.

Harnessing The Wind
Harnessing The Wind

This is communication number 2015 and in keeping with recent tradition here are somethings that happened in that year:

  • Boko Haram kills more than 2000 people in Nigeria.
  • The tories get a majority in the UK.
  • VW rigs diesel emissions data. Who would have thought that a company with priority on profit would have lied?
  • NASA announces liquid water on Mars.
  • USA airstrikes a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Afghanistan killing 20.

Dog

I went to the cinema to watch the film “Dog”. Let’s get something quite straight here, “Dog” is a shit title for a film. Even when the protagonist calls the dog “dog” all the time. The weather hasn’t been great and so a trip to a warm building to be entertained seemed a good idea. The river Medway was almost as high as I’ve seen it as the tide was high and there was a low pressure over this area of the world, causing tides to be a little higher. After I watched the film I really struggled to work out what score to give the film on IMDB. I had to think about the scoring system explained here and then I ended up giving a 6.

I’m not entirely sure this film deserves a “six” out of ten but I didn’t actively want to leave the cinema so I think it gets that score by default. I’m still not sure I enjoyed this movie or whether it’s any good. OK, well, it’s not a good film but is it terrible? This was billed as a buddy movie and the fixing of two broken animals. I found the first few scenes quite full of toxic masculinity while the man walked around the Rangers Headquarters which I assume are somewhere in the north west of the USA. I don’t know and I’m not that fussed. It was interesting as people were in all stages of militarisation while also getting ready to be deployed somewhere. I found it quite funny, it’s not how bases work.

Our lead character has brain problems and suffers migraines and fits. He’s desperate to get back to working for a “security company” so that he can earn money because there isn’t a social security net in the USA and they treat their veterans like shit. In my time of dealing with the military it is clear that people in the military love it and also absolutely hate the fuck out of it. Then, when they leave, they miss it and aren’t really supported or looked after. I find it frightening that the state can ask these people to do its bidding for them but then not give a shit afterwards. Very tory I guess.

This film was not as funny as expected, the trailer made it look better. So it wasn’t a comedy. It tried to be a social commentary with the hip Portlanders being funny and people living off grid on a cannabis farm, but it failed at that really. We should have seen our soldier struggling with life and he seemed quite switched on to me. If you want a better movie covering all of these issues then you need to see First Blood. It’s a far better film. Nothing in this film really surprised me or bothered me. It could have been so much better. Oh well.

This is communication number 2013 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • Chelyabinsk meteor.
  • Benedict XVI resigns, fuck the pope.
  • An industrial building collapses in Bangladesh and kills 1134 people.
  • Super Typhoon Yolanda kills 6241 in Philippines and Vietnam.

Moonfall

Going to the cinema within twenty four hours of a bender weekend in LA might not have been the best of ideas! But I went anyway. I’d like to convince myself that I watched a lot of this movie but, to be honest, you didn’t really have to, so there were definitely parts that I skipped through some voluntary eye shutting.

On the way to the cinema I took note of the tide and it was actually quite high. No mud bank to be seen. The water was a little choppy from the high winds being experienced. Driving over the Medway motorway bridge required more concentration as the car got blown around a little. I think there are storm warnings out for a few days this week. After the film I rated it on the IMDB website and there is a whole communication covering the grading system written here. I then tweeted the result from my PC as I’ve removed Twitter from my phone for mental health reasons [good ones].

I knew this film would be terrible but I didn’t really to be as bad as it was. It really struggled with the whole “I know something that everyone else thinks is stupid” thing. Most of the film was irritating. It looked great but that doesn’t really help when the story, plot and script are all pretty shit. At least I knew what I was getting myself into.

I did spend most of the movie wondering who the actress who looked like Halle Berry was and it turned out to be Halle Berry.

This is communication number 2010 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • The final CRT television is manufactured.
  • A magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile.
  • Deepwater Horizon explosion.
  • Germany makes final reparation payment for WW1.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Yesterday I went to see this film. Given the omicron variant is being a bitch I had to balance out all the variables. I booked the largest screen/auditorium and made the the seats were definitely spaced from other vectors, facemasks were worn. A group of young men were there not wearing facemasks and I don’t think they were all exempt but there’s no folly like the stupid invincibility of the young. Wearing a facemask actually show that you care about others, you are reducing your airborne vectors, you are being considerate. These young men, quite clearly, aren’t aware of that or just don’t care. It’s easy, I think, to want to think about others and do your best for them. I really should remind myself that the tories have one a majority the last few general elections when the alternative was a society trying to help people.

It was dark, cold and foggy on the drive to the cinema and with roads closed near the village the journey was a bit longer than hoped for. The tide looked low on entry to the cinema. I could see all the mud flats and they were covered in seabirds having a rest from attempting to fly with almost zero visibility. After watching the film I rated it on IMDB and there is a communication that covers all the rules for the ratings here. I then tweet my result and because I have re-installed twitter onto my phone I could do that straight after the rating rather than having to use the PC to send it.

I didn’t hate this film. But I didn’t really enjoy it. But I was happy to see how the story was resolved and how they would figure certain aspects out. I don’t like superhero films and stories because it always ends up – who has the bigger fists wins – and that’s a lazy trope. It’s toxic masculinity class 101. Anyway, this film was mostly dull. I don’t like Dr Strange as a character and I didn’t really like most of the plot. It felt as though they had run out of ideas and just needed to bring back all the baddies because being creative is too hard.

From here on there be spoilers.

This is a film about selfishness. Utter selfishness. Peter Parker could have fixed it right at the beginning by not changing the spell every few seconds. Dr Strange could have stopped the spell and then re-started it but apparently the rules in this universe don’t allow for that. Peter Parker was selfish at the beginning and then ruined many people’s lives and cost millions of dollars of damage. He could have fixed this at any point by hitting the button on the McGuffin. The problems created in this film are so easily stopped. Press the fucking button.

The reason he doesn’t press the button is this universe Peter Parker believes that people should be given a second chance, that they have the chance at redemption. What christian wank this is. Just accept christ on your deathbed and say you are sorry to the imaginary man in the sky and you are redeemed and accepted into heaven. Parker wanted to fix these terrible people without their consent. I’m not sure what was meant to happen after that? Were they going to live in his universe? If you had the amazing power of being a bad superhero do you think you could go back to living in the suburbs? I’m not sure that would end well. The reason these people become bad is that they are egotistical cunts.

What was the end game? It seems Parker came up with a plan but with no idea how to resolve then ensuing issues. This is another classic modern trope taken from the real world examples of Iraq and Afghanistan. If you look back at the end of WW2 there were plans put in place to rebuild Europe and Japan. There was never a plan for Iraq and Afghan. Right, ok. This has gone political. I probably need to stop. Look, the thing is, Peter could have hit the button at anytime and fixed it all. He didn’t. He’s a selfish prick.

I was hoping we could see some Miles Morales, but it didn’t happen. I feel that the script could have been loads better with the other spidermen. I felt stale and slow. It didn’t really work. Perhaps the writers need to watch some buddy movies, or some where they get the team together.

So, this is communication 1998 and I’ve been writing a few things that happened in each year as I get through the publishing of communications. The last few have been interesting as nothing of note has stuck out at me on the wikipedia page and I so there’s this blank area when I wasn’t really into news as such. I just didn’t take that stuff in. Anyway, here are some things that happened in 1998:

  • Andrew Wakefield’s lying study into MMR vaccines and the lies told by the media of the day launch the anti-vaccination movement.
  • The second Congo war starts, it will leave 5.4 million dead.
  • Google Inc is formed.
  • An oil pipeline in Nigeria explodes killing 1,082 people.

Tasman Sea

It’s been tough, this last term. There’s plenty to moan about and discuss. But I’ll leave that to private conversations rather than let everything be out in the open on this site. If you can believe it I have my limits. I’m typing this as my flight sim heads across the sea from Hobart, Tasmania to an airport in New Zealand. I’ve got about fifty minutes to go. This is the longest over sea flight I have done and I keep looking at fuel levels. I think I might travel the length of New Zealand and then island hop to Hawaii, after that I’m not so sure how to get to the Americas. Maybe I’ll head to Galapagos and the South America. I honestly don’t know. I’m not even sure what the maximum range of my aircraft is. I can tell you that the T7 that I’m flying seems remarkably “loose” in the sky and I’m not sure if that’s the updated aircraft or just my flight sim. I guess I’ll find out when I try and land.

I’ve been tweeting the flights for a while now and I’m looking forward to whatever I’ll do when I return to the start point. I’ll need a new challenge but I’m also hoping that X-Plane 12 will be out by then. If they could make a version that uses multi-core rather then a single core then that would make me very happy. I don’t know how complicated that is but I do know they use an Apple computer for writing everything. I get a reasonable performance at the moment except over very built up areas and so multi-core could sort that out for me.

I’ve been checking online every now and then for PlayStation 5 stock. I was curious but I didn’t think I’d actually end up with a decent result, but . . . the other day I checked Argos and then Currys/PCWorld and it turned out there was a bundle in stock at PCWorld. Well, what could I do? I didn’t think I would buy one but the dream of GT7 on a 4K TV with raytracing got me and I clicked the order button. It’s coming on Tuesday. I need to rationalise AV corner now and think about getting game saves etc over from one machine to another. It’s probably time for the DVD and Blu-Ray player to go. It’s very rare that we actually watch anything on disc and the PS5 can be called into use whenever that ability is needed. I’ve promised myself I’ll try and get into more games over the next year. I want to use the games I have in the library. I will possibly report back on if it’s good or not in about a week.

The kids play mostly PC games when they are here. One on a laptop and the other uses my beast of a machine. I use my own PC for flight sim mostly. My fingers don’t really operate at a ASWD level, they are too used to a PS5 type controller. I could learn but there are other things I’m going to try and learn to push my brain a little. I guess I might reveal those things sometime in the future.

I’ve recently actually paid for a couple of albums. I’ve had Children Of The Dark by Mono Inc. in my head for ages and decided it was time to try and purge the earworm. It turns out that didn’t work and I keep getting their songs going through my head. I’m looking forward to seeing them in concert at sometime in the future. I’ve been wondering about whether it is best to buy an album or to stream music and I’ve mentioned that before on this site. For me, I thought buying an album meant more of the money I’ve spent would go to the artist. If I don’t listen to the songs many times more of the money in terms of royalties goes to the artist than if I just streamed the songs. Now, Daniel Graves from Aesthetic Perfection has said that he makes more money from streaming that album sales because I guess some people play individual songs over and over. I don’t know if it would make my contribution more to the artists as I often only play a song a couple of times and not over and over. It’s something I’m going to think about over the next week or so.

Well, I arrive in New Zealand in about ten minutes so I need to head back to the flight simulator and get ready for landing. I’m really worried about the handling of the aircraft and I hope I don’t crash on the landing as by my own imposed rules I would have to start the flight again!! Keep an eye on Twitter for progress.

This is communication 1997. Here are some things that happened in the year 1997 ACE:

  • Hale-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth.
  • The UK hands Hong Kong to China.
  • The country went Diana mad. I was left remarkably unfazed by the whole thing and didn’t really care.
  • The Prius goes into production.

Not Quite Caves And Cliffs

I’ve been busy over the last while playing Minecraft now and then. This video is long overdue as it’s a walk through of the latest base area, which I think was finished a few months ago but I just hadn’t got around to recording the walk-around. Things have been quite busy. This last weekend gave me the opportunity to spend some time setting up the recording software again [it hadn’t been used really since the new screen was purchased]. It took a while to figure out how to create new scenes and get widescreen recording to work nicely. However, this Minecraft video is in standard 16:9. Why? Because I don’t think Minecraft looks good in ultra-widescreen. I’d rather put a decent product onto YouTube than one where I think I’ve compromised in video quality. I’ll be uploading some flight sim stuff soon and that will be in lovely widescreen.

Comms#1993, here are some things from that year.

  • A 21st birthday party ends in hilarity.
  • A bomb in a van under the WTC explodes killing 6.
  • Waco siege, Texas. 76 die.
  • Jurassic Park is released [first DTS film].
  • Marine dumping of radioactive waste is banned.
  • Doom is released.

Windows and Window

It feels like it’s been a busy month and also such a struggle to keep up with everything that has needed to happen. Basically I think I’m saying it’s been too busy and I want it to stop. This weekend I have been mostly fixing a laptop that kept moaning about files missing and therefore it was unable to perform some windows updates. Obviously it would only tell you this after it had spent about two hours looking promising with the update. It didn’t feel overly safe turning off windows updates so I tried to fix it.

I made it worse. I managed to mess it up so it would even boot to the windows login screen. I had been doing some DISM work within windows trying to get the windows image to fix itself so it would run the update. Oh well. After quite a bit of attempting to boot to safe mode I finally got the laptop to boot to command prompt and from there I was able to browse the various drives within DOS. I found a setup.exe file on a bootable USB stick and just thought I’d see if it runs. It did. It proceeded to reinstall a fresh copy of windows and slowly over the next twelve hours I got all the previous software and files reinstalled. Small items are still being loaded as I write this but mostly, the machine is back and running quite well.

No major files were lost because I have a very clear – save it in the cloud as well policy. Useful things are only saved in a OneDrive type situation so that things aren’t lost in exactly this kind of situation. Even my NAS Drive is triply redundant, although two of those are physically in my house, so if it burns, I lose those. I don’t know who else thinks like that but I do. There have been many times I’ve come home hoping that my house hasn’t caught fire and burnt down the entire row. No, I don’t leave naked lights on or anything like that, it’s just a thing.

I also resealed some of the outside rubber things on a window. I had removed it a while back with the aim of buying some more and then replacing it. I think it’s the source of a leak I have with rainwater appearing on the window cill. The old stuff looked “dried out” and cracked. I think it just being a south facing window did that with direct sunlight all the time. I ordered a variety pack because there are approximately thirty different types of window gasket and then I chose the one that fitted best. I don’t think it’s an exact match for what I removed but it did seem to fit snugly. Yesterday I spent an hour fitting less than a metre of this stuff to the window. The issue now is that the corners of the gasket don’t fit super tight so I have some duck tape there at the moment. I need a rain storm to hit so I can judge the effectiveness of this stuff.

The oven heating element blew again about a week ago. I know I’ve changed it in the past and when I searched this site for some information it turns out that was in 2016. I suppose five years for an oven element is OK? I’d prefer it if I didn’t have to change it but at least it’s something I can do with relative ease. I’ve pencilled that in for next weekend along with a busy Saturday. Once again I find myself wanting everything to just stop for a month or so.

This is communication number 1990. Here are some things that happened that year along with me becoming of legal voting age and taking my A-Levels.

  • The Pale Blue Dot photograph is taken and sent back to Earth.
  • The NZ Navy stops daily rum rations.
  • A fire in an illegal club in New York kills 87.
  • Germany merges economies.
  • Berlin Wall destruction begins.
  • Iraq invades Kuwait.

The End Of Nowhere

I took a trip out recently to the marshes. Romney marshes to be exact. It’s a strange world down that way and eerily amazing. I think I’m going to have to do again to explore a little more, park the car and see how far I can walk. The landscape is haunting and bleak and I do feel affected by it. Not enough to move there, good grief, it’s a long way to anywhere really but it is amazing.

Dungeness Nuclear Power Station
Dungeness Nuclear Power Station

None of the photographs I took really capture the essence of the countryside there, so here’s a picture of the nuclear power station currently being decommissioned. I wonder if that’s why so much art works on this barren landscape? Photographs can’t quite capture just how strange it is so art does the job for us. While in that area a train journey was taken from Dungeness to New Romney for lunch. The journey was kind of nice, but once you are going it’s just a railway carriage isn’t it. The views weren’t up to much, just the back of people’s gardens. But it was a nice little trip.

A Proper David Bailey
A Proper David Bailey

One of my children took the above photograph and I’m thinking of employing them as my editors and filter people as that’s something I can’t be too bothered to do. Maybe it’s time they taught me!

Comms#1982 and so here are some things that happened in the year that included my tenth birthday:

  • The first computer virus is found.
  • ET is released.
  • The Commodore 64 is produced.
  • Ciabatta bread is invented.
  • A BA 747 suffers four engine flame out.