Summer 2021

This is a boring list of things I did each day during my summer break to remind me that; a) it’s OK to do little, and b) I actually did accomplish things. Days one through seven are listed in this communication, note that day one in that communication is actually day 0 in this communication.

Day 8 – I went shopping for tools and timber but came home with very little. I was disappointed. I went to the cinema to watch F9 and the film met my expectations. I tried having a run but my legs felt heavy and I hated it. I completed one of the Gran Turismo challenges. I played with recording flights in X-Plane and then messed with camera positions.

Day 9 – I went shopping for timber and tools and came home happy but poorer. This day was entirely about making the new sleeping system. It was successful. It was hot and I sweated through clothes. I listened to music on the Sonos Roam while I made stuff. I went to see Old at the cinema. I figured out a way to see my MagicMirror display from elsewhere in the house using the server version. I set up some static IPs for home equipment.

Day 10 – I spent the day completing the building of the sleeping system. Now I just have to worry about painting it and also sorting out the flooring. A scientist friend came over for a cuppa and it was nice to see them. I sweated through more clothes in the afternoon as I completed the sleeping system build. In the evening I watched Jupiter something on Netflix.

Day 11 – This day was about weapon training some cadets. So I had to get up early, head into work and spend the day teaching stuff. When I got home I adjusted the ceiling light in the bedroom and pondered when to start painting. I am acutely aware that I haven’t really had a break yet and I can’t keep going at this pace. So I am not heading out to get painting equipment, I will do that Thursday when I have some clear time. I can let you know that while I was sawing wood upstairs the dust was leaving the room via the window and then heading back into the dining room which means everything feels a bit shit.

Day 12 – Another day of weapon training. It went well and the cadets learnt the weapon system. I got home and had a 10km row. Then tutored someone the basic mathematics of matrices while they were in the Bahamas. After dinner I did some Minecraft things, I was in the nether getting a load of ancient debris after I died recently and lost all my equipment. I watched an episode of Archer.

Day 13 – This day started with a walk around Ham Marshes, proceeded with a trip to Homebase and then painting primer layer on the sleeping system followed by an evening meal with Penguin.

Day 14 – Travelled to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford to meet AB, who I see on average once a decade at the moment. Came back from there and once home entertained my sister and her family for a while. Then it was peaceful and we watched some B99. Dinner was take out. Ordered some masking tape for the sleeping system and picked up some lights for that room.

Day 15 – Cricket in the morning then food shopping because I ran out of time in the week to get to Sainsbury’s. A nap in the afternoon, a race around Mount Panorama in Gran Turismo, and then painting the sleeping system in the evening.

Day 16 – Put mattresses into the sleeping system and installed the lights into the sleeping system. Joined lights to the house lighting system. Had a nap while “watching” some Olympic sailing. Had a ride in a Tesla and spent the afternoon with a bunch of colleagues from work celebrating a retirement. Watched an episode of Jupiter’s Legacy which I think I’m enjoying.

Day 17 – Flew somewhere in X-Plane. Had a run. Re-fitted the PSVR to the PS4. Moved the PS Camera so that some games are more playable. Put down the flooring underlay in the new sleeping system room. Moved stuff from the garden to the front ready to load the car tomorrow for a trip to the dump. Didn’t have a nap! Watched the latest episode of The Grand Tour and it was a little boring. Watched final episode of Jupiter’s Legacy but as I write this now I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened, might have to watch it again.

Day 18 – There’s parking restrictions outside my house apparently so loaded up the car with the things from yesterday but someone had kindly taken a load of metal kit that I had put outside. I did suspect that some of it might disappear. There’s now Google recommendations on my TV streaming device and I wonder how long it will take before I delete all my Google data? Took stuff to the dump. Booked cinema tickets. Had a run. Played Minecraft. Watched Race To Witch Mountain. Put up two sets of shelves in the sleeping system. Watched the last ten minutes of Jupiter’s Legacy again just to remind myself what happened and then watched first episode of Homeland. Read a little.

Day 19 – Did some virtual flying. Booked a dentist appointment. Had a run. Overate at lunch so decided not to have any dinner. Went to see Jungle Cruise. Played quite a bit of Minecraft with the aim of finishing my reclaimed island and building a mob spawner. Pumped up the front tyre on my bike to see how slow the puncture is. Considering making a “meadow” instead of a lawn in the garden. I hate mowing the lawn. Also considering stopping the SSRI I’m currently on.

Day 20 – Downloaded some more desktop backgrounds for the PC. Flew somewhere in X-Plane. Had a run. Played Minecraft. Had a walk. Played Minecraft while listening to Test Match Special. Had flooring for the sleeping system delivered. Read some of my book on The LAW. Decided to stop taking my SSRIs and anti-histamine to see what happens.

Day 21 – Had another flight in X-Plane, I think I’m halfway down Namibia at the moment. I ordered some furniture for the sleeping system. I went to the village shop to get a newspaper to put the front page under the flooring in the sleeping system but they don’t have The Guardian and I ended up buying the Telegraph. I will not be putting this under the flooring, just using it for cutting out guides. Spawned the wither in Minecraft and it destroyed the world, found a backup and looked around that to see how much work I needed to do, it was a few days old. Had lunch. Ate too much of the wrong stuff. Played some more Minecraft but ended up feeling massively motion sick, had to stop playing and actually sleep for an hour. I think this was a reaction to the food rather than coming off any drugs I have been taking. Didn’t do much after that. I moved some tools from the tool storage area to the house ready for floor laying. I considered what to write in a note to place under the floor. I watched Shadow In The Cloud on Amazon and Black Widow, also watched the first NFL match of the pre-season.

Day 22 – I should be in Germany today with Smith attending M’era Luna. I am not. It was postponed. So I went to Sainsbury’s to get bananas, coffee and a copy of the Guardian. I also picked up some furniture from Argos for the sleeping system. Built the sleeping system floor. It was my first time laying laminate flooring and I have to say I actually enjoyed it. I listened to Test Match Special while I did this. Decided I needed some floor edging and it was just after lunch so I went to McDonald’s and then Homebase. Shortly after that I continued the flooring and was finished around 1700. I spent some time clearing up and then made a desk for the sleeping system. Finally I stopped, played Minecraft for a while and then ended up watching an Israeli Netflix thing.

Day 23 – I had a run and then tidied up around the house putting loads of things away that had been displaced for the Sleeping System. I put some glue of wooden items that needed a little structural reinforcement. I flew somewhere in X-Plane, I think I’ve actually made it to South Africa now! I played Minecraft for a while gathering materials from the Nether. Nap time. I spent about an hour trying to figure out why my Sonos system wouldn’t see the music I have on the NAS drive, with plenty of googling I worked it out but it was a little frustrating, the system is now working fine. Smith came over and we watched plenty of M’era Luna along with Boondock Saints II – All Saints Day.

Day 24 – I pottered about the house after writing a Fooyah communication. I flew in X-Plane, played some Minecraft, just generally chilled out. Around midday I went to Bluewater to buy some socks. I wouldn’t normally go that far just to get socks but I needed to be somewhere until it was time to go to the cinema to see The Suicide Squad. So, I walked around Bluewater four times and while there I pondered whether there was a way I could calculate pi from the number of steps it takes me to walk slightly different routes around the shopping complex. I bought socks and headed to the cinema. Once home I had dinner, fitted some LED extensions to the sleeping system and then played a little more Minecraft. I read some of my book and watched episode two of Hit And Run. Somehow I decided I wanted MORE tattoo on my arm.

Day 25 – I wrote some stuff for here and emailed a company about their product. I went for a long run.

I then played Minecraft for a while and decided to have a map wall within the base area. I might go exploring tomorrow, I accidentally killed a villager and the iron golems were not happy with me, I killed them to stop them attacking me. I thought more about tattoos and what design to have for more ink on my arm. I flew from Cape Town in X-Plane and now I think I might need to do 300 mile stints to actually start getting somewhere, it has taken an age to get to the south of Africa. Work beckoned next and I logged in, wrote some emails, customised some Teams and started to organise OneNote, this would save me an hour or two upon return to the workplace. I watched a couple of episodes of Katla and also read some of my book about the law.

Day 26 – The day pretty much always starts off with a coffee and writing stuff for this site. So that’s what happened this day. After morning stuff was complete I went for a bike ride. I didn’t intend to go so far but that’s what happened, next time I think I’ll go some other route as the ride back along the river path is irritating, there are too many people. Once back I decided what to do and settled on watching Chernobyl 1986 on Netflix which was an OK film. It was a bit too long as is the fashion with Netflix films these days, they seem to suffer Netflix creep and become more than two hours. I also completed a flight from Overberg to Port Elizabeth using autopilot, now I need to find time compression.

I had a phone call appt with the Docs about aching fingers and joints and then tutored a kids over Teams. I also tried logging into my “personal” account on the whole RAFAC Bader system. There was a short email chain about ranges that we had hoped to run. Dinner with two episodes of Archer and then some Minecraft where I finished of my map and did some of the farming jobs. I saw an episode of Katla which I am enjoying for now.

Day 27 – I had some bloods taken at the surgery to see what’s wrong with my hands. There were a couple of times this day that they hurt a lot when really they shouldn’t. I then loaded the car with stuff I wanted to take to the dump/tip/refuse centre/recycling centre whatever you want to call it. The booked time wasn’t until the afternoon so I left the windows open slightly in the car so the wet wood wouldn’t smell out the car. I had some time before anything happened and so decided to get on the rowing machine for an hour. While rowing I watched about an hour of Sound Of Metal but now I need to remember to finish it! I played some Gran Turismo taking part in two online races around a wet Red Bull Ring short circuit. Both were clean races and I actually got a fastest lap in the first – very satisfying. Tip time followed by an hour when I just needed to keep busy so I filled the car up with petrol and wasted some time at Rochester Airport where I met an ex-cadet JB who was having flying lessons! I then travelled to the cinema to watch The Last Letter From Your Lover. Then it was home time, dinner while watching some Archer, Minecraft mining for gold and an episode of Katla.

Day 28 – I wrote some stuff for this site, sent a letter to Private Eye magazine, played X-Plane and had a chat with one of my sisters. I went for a run still trying to lose some weight, I suspect that I’m eating too much rice and might need to cut that down a little as part of my main meal. I went food shopping and upon return I ate my lunch. The there was time for a little Gran Turismo which was me trying to race around the Red Bull Ring mini but I got kicked from the server, in a mood for a challenge I took on the Lewis Hamilton challenge around Suzuka, I got a bronze. Most of the day I was listening to Test Match Special on BBC except for my run where I was listening to lectures about information theory and they’ve just reached an explanation of the thermodynamic property entropy. I watched some Brooklyn 99, some Australian show about fairies and elves, then I watched some Katla. Oh, I also read some more of the book on The Law, my word, it’s terrifying.

Day 29 – I wrote a letter to Bluewater management people. I will explain in these pages sometime if I get a positive response. Went to cricket and I did my 10,000 steps before cricket was over along with reading another chapter of my law book. On return to the house I played some Minecraft for a while, like maybe three hours, but damn it I enjoyed it. I’m probably going to record some walk around videos to show off the current base. All day I’ve been listening to the cricket on the radio as England take on India at Lord’s. Dinner was fish and chips. I played around with the rooming settings on my Hue lighting system and I think I fucked up a load of the automations which I might have to delete and restart, that’s a tiny bit annoying. I then read some of the book on the Law [in the UK] and watched the final episode of Katla which I really enjoyed.

Day 30 – I’m trying to write this reminder of what happened on day 30 two days after it happened and I think some of the details get lost. I mean, I can remember what I actually did in broad strokes but all the little details have gone. So, here goes. I think I tried to fix the Sonos issue with my MagicMirror but it still doesn’t seem to work very well. I am going to leave it and not worry about it. Then I drove to Hatfield Heath to see my parents. We had lunch at Harlow Mill Beefeater and also had a walk to look at a prisoner of war camp from the second world war. Upon returning home we watched the final episode [currently] of Brooklyn 99. Not sure what I’m going to watch now!

Day 31 – I was planning to have a run early this day but I got caught up trying to fix something else. Ah, yes. There was an issue with topping up pay as you go phones and it took an ages to sort out. I also tried to figure out a way to cash out some of my Electroneum as the price had gone to a reasonable level again. The last time ETN got this high I hadn’t proved who I was to the company with address and ID and so I didn’t get to cash out in time before the whole price collapsed again. In the years I have had ETN I have managed to double my meagre investment. I did figure out a way to cash out without tortuous dealings with trading websites and international money transfers. It almost felt like I was money laundering – which I wasn’t. Then travelled to Pinn’s to spend some time there with a plan to go canoeing. The weather closed in and the timing of the tide just made things a little tricky so that plan was binned. Upon return to home some games were played. I was trying to work out what to watch. I’m not that fussed by Hit And Run. I tried Them on Amazon Prime but it didn’t grab me, so I am TV show less at the moment.

Day 32 – Emailed a podcast about swans in Maidstone. I did my longest flight so far in X-Plane although I did use time compression for some of it – Maputo Itnl to Beira, Mozambique. Rather than 50 to 100 mile hops I am now aiming for 200-300 in my journey around the world. I had a run which was about 10km and then I played on Minecraft. I’ve decided to do some large scale landscaping. I snuck out to the shop for bread and then I made some lunch. I cleared out a wardrobe of old stuff. More Minecraft. Followed by dinner. Then more Minecraft, the landscaping required much resource gathering. Read a chapter of my book on the Law.

Day 33 – Woke up around 0630 following a kind of work-stress dream so decided to get up rather than go back to sleep to purge the thoughts. Backed up Minecraft world and generated map for web-viewing. I wrote some stuff for this site and then went for a quick run. I think I should use the word “short” rather than “quick” there as a shorter run would be a better description. After that I looked at my “smart casual” clothing for when I stay on RAF bases and decided I either needed to buy new trousers or new shoes. I opted for the new shoes element of that and had to go to Bluewater. There was a list of other things needed there too so it wasn’t a complete waste of time and given I purchased shoes which should go with the clothes it was probably a success. Another good thing about the shoes is that if I choose to wear them at work then my boss won’t like them as he hates brown shoes. The afternoon was dedicated to organising video uploads and playing Minecraft. I’m still landscaping my medium term base area and I’m in the – it’s still kinda fun but going to take ages – part of the build. I did my longest flight so far in X-Plane. After dinner I did some more Minecraft and then finished my book by The Secret Barrister.

Day 34 – I woke at 0400 wondering why people were moving cars around outside. Who is doing things at that time? Backed up MC world and created a map output while thinking about the best method for my underwater rail system. Played for a short while creating some of the underwater tunnel. Then I went to see my sister and her family in deepest, darkest Essex. My nephew is a Royal Marine Commando and it was good to have a proper chat with him about the whole process and Commando course. On the way home I went to Costco and spent around GBP130 on supplies to get me through the next few months. After being home for a while it was time to start reading my new book by Neal Stephenson.

Day 35 – I wrote some things for this site and then pretty much played Minecraft most of the morning while getting jobs around the house completed – such as clothes washing and weedkilling. I might have ordered a weapon attachment, it goes on a picatinny rail, to help improve my shooting and also my marksmanship instruction – thanks to my nephew and the Marines for that idea. After lunch I played some more Minecraft and realised that the track I had laid for a railway wasn’t going to work as the corners were on inclines and you need space. I almost rage-quit at this but decided I would do some farming for a bit before maybe attempting to sort this mess out later in the evening. I’m probably going to record a walk-around video of Base II sometime in the next few days. I went for a run. I then headed to the cinema to watch The Night House, the traffic was really bad and so my timings would normally mean that I make it to the filmhouse around five minutes before the programme starts the state of the roads meant I got there ten minutes after the start of the programme which actually meant I missed all the shitty adverts. Upon return home I played some Minecraft – sorting out my railway corners – and then read a little of a book.

Day 36 – I emailed the cinema about a dodgy speaker in screen 8, it makes an annoying rumble during what are meant to be quiet parts of the film. I wrote some things for this site and continue to chase a new high score in terms of communications per month. Realised I’m not going to beat the previous high communications per month as I hit 68 in May 2013. Fucking 68! I do know I was emotionally a mess in that year so I think I was using this as a distraction method. 68! In a short month! As I write this the details of Day 36 [only yesterday] are fading so the following might not be temporally correct. I played a lot of Minecraft, trying to sort out the New Holland base area and finish the landscaping plans I made. I printed out some cadets ready for a trip to Lincolnshire. I had a run. I went shopping for odds and sods at the supermarket. I watched some of Le Mans 2021, which started at 1500 BST and continues into Day 37. I watched a submarine film called Phantom on Amazon Prime and then Black Island on Netflix. I flew to Zanzibar in X-Plane seeing what fuel consumption is like at high altitudes and working out max range of the T-7N CAS.

Day 37 – Overall this day was slightly annoying. I don’t feel I achieved much, but I did what I needed to do. So, I wrote for this site and played X-Plane. Then I went for a run. After that it was ironing and polishing time of uniform and clothing for the next few days in Lincolnshire. I watched the rest of Le Mans [the race not the film] and then played Minecraft for a little while. I had booked to go to the cinema and so I headed over to Rochester for that. I went to see Reminiscence even though I knew nothing about it. On the drive home I thought one of my headlights had blown and when I checked it, it had. So, it appears I’m now in “I need to buy about four headlight bulbs” season which always happens and I honestly don’t know why. I hope they don’t break on my trip up to the north. I overate and then went to bed. I’m just feeling a little shitty, I think because of the headlights on the car. I don’t think I’m anxious about the trip north. Plus, I need to remember that I’m on the come down from quitting my anxiety pills and so a little reaction over the next few weeks is expected.

Day 38 – I packed the car up and headed down to Hythe to meet with Jase and his family. We played on the beach and had an ice cream. The sun was out and I think I got some sunburn on my head – but I didn’t try to cover up so it’s my fault entirely. What a twat. Around midday I got in the car and drove to RAF College Cranwell. In the car I listened to a series of lectures on language development and the history of words within language. I got warned in to my room and sorted out my clothes etc. I went to the dining room and had dinner and then met some friends in the bar and we chatted for a long time. It was great to be seeing people whom I hadn’t seen in two years. It was also very nice to be out of the SE corner of the country and to be SOMEWHERE ELSE. I didn’t sleep particularly well this night because it was the first night in a new place and the brain does funny stuff to you.

RAF College Cranwell
RAF College Cranwell

Day 39 – An early get up and get ready to head to RAF Syerston. Breakfast in Daedalus Dining Room and a thirty minute journey to Newark and RAF Syerston. Today was about meeting people and seeing what they do on the RAFAC National Aerospace Camp. Things I did are covered in more detail in another communication. Needless to say, I had a great time, made some new contacts and learnt a lot, because I always do. Three of us staying at Cranwell bonded and we went for dinner at a local pub called the Hare and Hounds, in Fulton. It was a lovely meal.

Day 40 – Another early get up because of marshalling duties at RAF Syerston and also warning out of the mess and packing the car. I actually had a job today and also learnt about PTT and Blue Wings. The afternoon was filled with an airshow, more in this communication. I did some more marshalling and then said my goodbyes as I was off to meet LK in Peterborough. We ate dinner at a The Cuckoo in Alwalton, it was another lovely meal. I think I freaked the waitress out when I couldn’t decide what dessert to eat and I just asked her to pick what she thought was the best. I ended up with banoffee pie and very nice it was too. I then drove home to Kent and arrived around midnight.

Day 41 – Extremely tired upon waking and spent some time on the PC along with trying to get my boiler to work – it seems OK but had made noises as if the water had been turned off for a while, maybe there were issues while I was away? I had a run and then a shower – the boiler seemed to work ok, perhaps the boiler was just having a funny half hour. I did some CCF paperwork ready for a hopeful trip to Biggin Hill, paid the import tax on a device I’ve ordered from the USA, and then watched an episode of Pine Gap [which I am enjoying even if the mechanisms of intelligence gathering are pure fantasy]. I got some time out the house as I spent an hour helping someone with their maths and then on the return I bought some bread, Danish blue and coleslaw and thoroughly enjoyed my dinner. I’d mentioned this combination during conversation at the meal in Lincolnshire. I watched another two episodes of Pine Gap, read a little and then went to bed. While falling asleep I thought about where to hold the RAFAC PAC.

Day 42 – I had coffee. That’s how most days start. I then organised where to have a tracked item left, in case I wasn’t at home. I flew, in X-Plane, to Yemen or at least an island which Yemen owns. A quick run then followed and I listened to some lectures on the Story Of Human Language. I’ve been naming my runs on Strava after pieces of learning I’ve listened to while pounding the streets. I popped into work to chat to some about a cadet trip and then did food shopping on the return home. I recorded a Minecraft video and uploaded that to my YouTube channel. Then I collected my children and chilled for the rest of the day while I grapple with a shitty boiler and attempt to get some continuous hot water rather than the three seconds and then shut down I’m currently getting. These things are absolutely great when they work correctly but utter shit and stress when they don’t. In the evening I watched some more Pine Gap and will finish it tomorrow.

Day 43 – Had cricket early in the morning but started writing a communication about education which may or may not get published here. While at Linton Park Cricket Ground I noticed a Spitfire doing trips up from Headcorn and following or being followed by a helicopter, I’m quite curious to see what that’s all about. The afternoon consisted of trying to motivate the boiler to produce some hot water which I managed and so I did all the things you would when hot water is intermittent. I emailed Mantis about rifle selection within their app and they replied really quick which was nice. I’ll probably write stuff here about them soon once I’ve got hold of a real rifle. Downloaded my Twitter data but can’t find a way to make it fit with the page on this site that already exists, will mull it over. Then it was rocket launch time, the field out the back of the house has been harvested and there’s plenty of space to aim for. I played Minecraft and entered the Nether to get some blaze rods but ended up dying loads and it made me grumpy. I lost all my cool kit. The evening meant I watched the final episode of Pine Gap and tried reading for a while but I was tired and my eyes kept losing focus!

Rocket Launch 001 - 28 08 2021
Rocket Launch 001 – 28 08 2021

Day 44 – Wrote some stuff for this website. I dropped my Skiddaw mug that I bought in the Lake District and coffee and china went everywhere, I guess I’ll have to buy another one as it was a way of measuring what mountains I’ve climbed. Went for a run and listened to lectures on the history of languages around the world. Persuaded the boiler to work for showers. Popped out to measure some new baths and get some car headlight bulbs as we are now in my Prius-Hates-Headlamp-Dipped-Bulbs season. Upon returning home I played a little Minecraft and also kinda pottered around the house doing house stuff. I scanned some books I no longer want with the Music Magpie album and then boxed them up ready to send from the Post Office. After spending time at NAC it is clear that I have to add a third screen to the PC, which I did but also will wait and see if I actually like having it there. I didn’t watch anything this particular evening, preferring to read my book.

Day 45 – Started the day with drafting some emails cadet related and then put some rubbish out into the bins. It should be bin day. But it’s a bank holiday and there have been issues with the contractors etc. Who knows? Today was mostly spent at the cricket club with the children playing a couple of games and there were end of season celebrations. Upon returning home I was aching a lot and so didn’t go for my planned run. Instead I ran around the Minecraft world doing admin type things and trying to get my tools back to a decent level of enchantment. Because I’ve used so many resources getting killed in the Nether I am going to spend some time building those things back up ready for an attempt to kill the End Dragon. Although I still need to find an end portal! I watched Tomb Raider, the one without Jolie. Then I read a bit.

Day 46 – I woke early and was slightly annoyed by that. The first appointment of the day was for a call from British Gas about a new boiler quote. It was booked for between 9 and 10 and I was told it would take around 45 minutes to complete. When it got to 0945 I looked again at the confirmation text and realised I had the wrong date by about a month. Oh well. Next we went to the park and played some cricket along with rocket launches 003 and 004. There was a parachute deployment failure on launch 004 and the deceleration on Earth-contact force the rocket to lose it’s cylindrical stability and sadly that ship will fly no more. Returning to home meant some cadets admin before getting annoyed at it all and having a nap. In the afternoon the current boiler was due to be fixed but it’s been working well for two days and as expected it can’t be fixed when there’s nothing appears to be wrong with it. In the evenings We’ve been watching the Turner and Hooch show on Disney – which isn’t bad except for the lead actors face – and The Bureau Of Magical Things. I read for a bit and the quit to bed. Not a satisfactory day for some reason.

Day 47 – I wrote stuff for this site and then went for a run. I played some Minecraft, I’m just collecting equipment and resources ready for an assault on the Nether. I definitely did not buy an ultra widescreen monitor for the PC and associated monitor stands for the other two. I had my eyes tested and there’s been a mild deterioration in my close up eyesight but not enough for me to spend more on new lenses. In the afternoon I went to the cinema. Not a lot happened in the evening as far as I can remember. I watched an episode of Archer, read for a while and then went to bed.

Day 48 – Now officially the holiday ended on Day 46 and so Day 47 should have been the first day at work but we do some shifting around of training dates and voila! 47 and 48 cheekily exist as extras. Can’t complain about that. Did 10km rowing as the weather is a bit pants and doing a different exercise action is probably sensible. Am wondering when my order from Cadet Direct will arrive and also looking forward to testing my Mantis X system tomorrow. Fixed some music on the iPhone as I had repeated songs and then accidentally deleted both versions! I don’t use iTunes for putting music on my phone mostly because iTunes is a heap of shit in terms of software and how it works. I sorted out the screens on the PC and gave the box a good vacuuming. The whole thing worked once it was put together so that was good. The afternoon was mostly some cadet admin, trying to find shirts and shorts and deciding where to order food from. In the evening I had a chat [via text, I’m not a sociopath] with Pom and we caught up a little. I watched an episode of Archer and then read for a bit.

This is communication number 1949 and so in keeping with the newish tradition here are some things that happened that year:

  • A B-50 completes a non-stop round the world flight with in flight refuelling.
  • The term Big Bang is first coined.
  • Siam changes its name to Thailand.
  • Laos is formed but isn’t independent from France.
  • The first year in which no African-American is reported to be lynched in the USA.

Me And Twitter – It’s Complicated

Many years ago I can remember opening a Twitter account to try and follow Formula 1 stuff as it kept being mentioned on the telecasts. I knew I wasn’t really into social media and had avoided Faceshit before then. I only kept that account open for a few days before shutting it down as I knew it was a rabbit hole I didn’t really want to enter. Not long later I had another go and got into Twitter. A while later I then decided to have a second Twitter account so I could follow all the stuff I was interested in while keeping one account for close friends and stuff I really wanted to see. Back in those days I definitely used Twitter as a distraction, a thing to look at now and then and while away some time, a thing for finding information and following the news.

I think I was reasonably happy with the system. I could see what friends were saying on one account and follow all the shit on another so I had it all nicely organised. Then. 2016 happened. In terms of a crock of shit year 2016, I think, still rates as the worst I’ve experienced. The lies and propaganda spread for the two big plebiscites that year really got to me. It was when I realised that this country [UK] is full of people who are a “little bit racist”. Actually, most of the things that have happened since that vote also confirm that the majority of people in this country are a “little bit racist”. Then, there was the presidential election in the USA where citizens of that country proved that they are definitely “quite a lot racist”. The comments and commentary on Twitter slowly got to me emotionally. There always seemed to be shit happening and people would jump on to make comments and yet, when I listened to the news on the radio, these things weren’t mentioned.

Twitter and other social media sites seem to spend too much time reacting against things rather than actually consider them. There is an instantaneous effect where rage flies around and then the storm dissipates quickly enough. I got caught up in this and it did not help my mental health to be confronted with all that confrontation. I eventually made the decision to get rid of my “other people” account and keep the personal account. This stopped me looking at all the shit that people decided to commentate on. I haven’t had Twitter on my phone for quite a while as I got into some trouble at work following a tweet at the beginning of the current pandemic. I’m still not sure whether that tweet should have got me in trouble and I ponder that a lot, trying to work out my responsibilities.

A part of me would like to remove myself completely from Twitter. But, it is too ingrained in this website. Every communication I write tweets a thing out to let the world know there is new content. There are also a large number of links within this site that go to Twitter along with quite a few embeds. So, in the interests of sanity in keeping this site working I won’t be shutting down the Twitter account. I only comment on Twitter now and then. I use it to keep track of my current #roundtheworldtrip in X-Plane. Twitter is with me now, but I only look at it once a week or so in normal working times and so I feel mentally stable with that relationship.

See my Twitter feed on this site.

This is communication number 1935, there are reasons here, this is what happened in that year:

  • There’s a coup attempt in Greece.
  • The king of Siam abdicates.
  • The north American Texan first flies.
  • Air Mail from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

The Years Thing

I’ve taken to writing a few things about what happened in each year of the same number as the communication that I post. I’m can only vaguely remember why I started this and I will do my best to explain. I also want to give some reasoning to point out that I’m not a complete shit and quite respective of other cultures [generally].

Quite a while ago the number of communications written for this site was a question in a quiz at work. I was somewhat surprised that people cared enough to try and create a question based on what I write but you should also be warned that a lot of flattery is just used sarcastically. Anyway, I started adding the odd tweet after a communication tweet just saying what number those words were.

I think I might have started doing some “year” things way back in communications 1660 or so as it seemed that a lot was happening around the world that time and maybe I should just add it as a feature of this site. I think I gave up. I’m not sure what happened and I’m not even sure how long ago I was writing those communications. FYI I’m also considering shortening “communication” to Comms but that just feels wrong at the moment. I made a conscious choice to call these things communications and so I should continue to use my own terminology.

Recently I have been heading to communication number 2000 and so I wanted to make sure that I mark that with the respect that is suitable and required. Also, I wanted to mark some of the things in history that I feel people might not know. Most of the things I have written at the bottom of my verbiage aren’t going to be the most famous events that people seem to know. I have deliberately chosen particular happenings that I think tell a story or give some ideas of the human sacrifice to get us to this point.

The things I chose to write at the end of each communication are what I find interesting. I’m trying to point out the tragedies, the hard fought rights, the little things that show just how terrible and horrible we are as a species to our fellow people. Once of the things I have learnt in the short period that I’ve been doing this the amount that countries/governments/organisations have changed over a short period of time. In the early 1900s as I am now the “west” are still carving up Africa and the Middle East along with massive political changes in the far east. It’s quite amazing really. I wonder if growing up in the relative stability of the Cold War gave me a false sense of security with the political organisation of the world. As I write this Afghanistan is going to shit, again.

There is quite an issue with dealing with what year it is. I am using the calendar of the “common era” or at least the one that most of the world agrees to use to cope with organising business. I do not endorse that particular calendar or any other. Many cultures use different calendar systems and as explained in this podcast the casual use of language can really exclude or affect many people.

So, here we go with a few things that happened in 1932 [according to the common calendar].

  • The Anglican church bans the church re-marriage of divorced people.
  • Johnny Weissmuller first stars as Tarzan. I write this as those films were such a part of my childhood and I now suspect they are hugely problematic!
  • WW1 veterans march on Washington DC to claim money they are owed – clearly Govt gives very few shits about the human cost of imperialism and armies.
  • A hurricane kills around 2500 in Cube.

The Last Letter From Your Lover

After finally recycling all the crap from my garden at the Cuxton dump I went to the cinema at Rochester [not in Rochester, actually in Strood] to see The Last Letter From Your Lover. I noted the state of the tide as I drove to the car park and it was middling, I didn’t know whether it was going in or out but after the film it was definitely close to high tide, so now we know. After seeing the film I rated it on IMDB and then tweeted the result, there’s a whole system to all of that explained in this communication.

I almost didn’t go and see this film. I parked the car and pondered whether I actually wanted to see a romance film and I nearly went home to “waste” a few hours in the current Minecraft world that I have. But, I was here and I won’t have a chance to get to the cinema for a while so I decided it was going to be a positive experience. Upon entering the theatre I scanned the crowd [about 30 people] and I think I was the only man in the room – oh well. I’ve seen other films like that, when there’s been people not like me and me and I coped.

I enjoyed this film. It was a perfectly good piece of artwork and was a pleasant watch. While driving back home I was reminded of my maternal grandmother who went to the cinema quite a bit and she would have enjoyed this film. I remember chatting to her about a film she had seen once and she said it was a good film but there wasn’t the need for all the bad language. She wasn’t that much into swearing which was probably a generational thing? I swear a lot.

This film was focussed on the relationship between two couples spread over time and it was a kind of “love triumphs over all” message. I’m not sure I would have had that as my overall message, I’m not sure that’s a particularly healthy thing for people to think. I don’t think people should dwell too much on lost loves and I don’t believe in “true love”. I tend to think it’s just chemicals and we aren’t “destined” to be with someone, and we aren’t “soul mates” with anyone. I do understand emotional attachment though.

So, here’s my thing: for me the issue with this film was the inequality in relationships that has existed in societal expectations and the Law over the years. We see the 1960s couple at dinner and the MAN tells the wife basically to shut up with her intelligent ideas because she can’t know these things, she’s just a pretty woman. We see this couple argue over divorce and the law and society was so anti-female in those days that really I would make more of this in the film. I have massive issues with inequality that has existed over time and still does exist in our current society. I guess we kind of hope we are the best that we can be but just look around at how people are treated and you’ll see that it’s all a work in progress and sometimes that progress is negative.

Anyway, it’s a nice film. As this is communication number 1921 here’s what happened then:

  • The Jaffa riots kill about 100 people.
  • The province of Northern Ireland is created.
  • Between 100 and 300 people are killed in the Tulsa Race Riots.
  • Russian famine begins. 5,000,000 die.

Jungle Cruise

I took a small trip to see Jungle Cruise at the cinema. I could have paid to stream it on the television but I really like going to the cinema. I noted that the tide was very low in the river, all the mud banks were exposed. This was a metaphor for my low expectations of this film, even then, the film disappointed me a bit. I rated the film on IMDB, there’s a communication dealing with the scoring system.

I didn’t hate this film but I also didn’t think it was worth watching by the end of it. I know this is a film based on a theme park ride but maybe people should just stop making those. The premise was ok-ish: a plant to cure all diseases exists somewhere in the Amazon jungles and the protagonist has to find it, for reasons. Stuff happened including loads of supernatural bollocks. But, here are the things I found most annoying:

A lot of the action was filmed close up and without a steady camera and so it all blurred and I couldn’t really tell you what was going on during the action scenes. Maybe I’m getting old but there was a lot of CGI and fast moving cameras which took away from the actual action for me. Although I am prepared to say that I am definitely not the market for this film.

Why is the bad guy a German? In a submarine? Why German? Why not some mega-capitalist? Why German? Have we not accepted that perhaps not all bad people have Germanic roots. I kind of get it with Indiana Jones and the Nazis, because that was when the film was set and they were really bad. But this guy just seemed to be some low level German royal who wanted the plant-thing. Maybe I need to re-evaluate my approach to whoever the bad guys are.

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS by Metallica was the music that opened this film and also came along for a bit of easy rock half way through. Fuck this song. It is shit. What is happening in the world?

{SPOILER FOLLOWS} Why did the protagonist, who is motivated by saving the sick of the world give the only flower to a dead man she had fallen in love with? Where was her sacrifice for the better good? What an utterly selfish bullshit thing to do. Fuck this move.

I didn’t really enjoy this film. I was curious to see what the ending was going to be, and, of course, it was completely happy. Except for the German, obviously.

What happened in the year 1910 given that this is communication number 1910?

  • Slavery made illegal in China.
  • The Earth passes through the tail of Halley’s comet.
  • A boxing match causes race riots across USA.
  • 40,000 die in China of a pneumatic plague.

Low Level Creek

Earlier today I had a lovely walk around the creeks of Faversham. The walk started in the centre of Faversham near the Guildhall building and then followed the Saxon Shore way around Ham Marshes. It’s a lovely part of the countryside and nice and quiet, just the wind whistling through the masts of the boats.

Faversham Creeks
Faversham Creeks

The tide was quite low and there was little water in the creeks. The first part of the walk was along Faversham Creek and then the return was along Oare Creek. There were a lot of newer houses along the shore way and I’m concerned that in fifty years or so they’ll be under water. I’m not convinced at all that humans are going to solve the climate change crisis. I think we are already within the realms of a positive feedback loop.

Faversham Creeks
Faversham Creeks

When I first published this communication I completely forgot about the new “this year in communication number” feature I had been doing and so this is to correct that:

In the year 1903 ACE the following happened:

  • A fire on the Paris metro at Couronnes kills 84.
  • The Iroquois Theatre fire kills 600.
  • Henry Ford founds the Ford motor Company. Henry Ford is a raging anti-Semite.

Isolation – What A Trip

Got pinged to isolate. I had to leave work. I went home. I organise some aspects of my life. I had to do my first online order for groceries in around eighteen years, I’d been running the house to empty ready for a shop at the weekend. Fortunately I still have a number of goods left over from my stock of Brexit rations. This communication is part diary, part thoughts, part descent into madness. I had plans for the next few days, I was going to go to the cinema, go shopping and sort out a few things around the house. I guess I can still sort those things out. Let’s see what happens. I think the verb tenses used in the following will mess with your head. Some is future tense, because I wrote things in the morning and some is past tense because I said what I did!

Day 1 – last day of work. I’ve organised all the things I can and I wait for the start of the summer holiday. On this day I ended up doing some exercise, an hour on the rower, watched Guns Akimbo and finished two TV series which I will write about separately. I also did some Minecraft but somewhat aimlessly.

Day 2 – first day of the summer holiday. Current plans are to exercise. Watch TV and play some games, maybe a new one. I played X-Plane, Minecraft and Life Is Strange. The food delivery came a few hours early so that was good. I weedkilled some weeds and thought about home improvement works I am planning. I read up on the book I am reading to figure out wtf is going on and the wikipedia page helped a lot.

Day 3 – Some exercise and chilling are planned. Looking back I’m not entirely sure what I did. I watched Page Eight on Netflix. I ordered some stuff from Amazon. Had a BBQ and I’m not really a fan of eating outdoors so ate indoors. I got fed up with the book I was reading and so finished a chapter and moved on to Red Shirts by Scalzi.

Day 4 – I rowed a little bit. I read a little bit. I did some thinking about the bedroom project [not a sex thing] and upgraded aspects of a laptop.

Day 5 – Rowing. Minecraft. Storm watching. Localised floods. Reading. Cleaned the U-Bends in the kitchen. Responded to a local planning survey. Watched Blue Origin launch and land.

Day 6 – Cheat for food and exercise. Started watching The Right Stuff. Started watching Salting the Battlefield. Played Minecraft with the aim of getting a wither skull or something so I can spawn the wither and then kill it and get a beacon. Got a wither skull but died a few times doing it. Lost some decent netherite tools but overall, quite pleased. Had the boiler fixed – maybe, let’s see how that goes.

Day 7 – Exercised. Tidied bedroom. Finished watching Salting The Battlefield. Watched some Olympic softball. Read some of my book. Played Minecraft.

Day 8 – Played Gran Turismo, Minecraft. Emptied a bedroom ready for customisation project. Started watching Star Trek Enterprise, got bored. Started watching Manifest, got bored. Bought what I thought was Boondock Saints II on Amazon, paid £5 but it was just a ten minute interview – cheeky bastards – got a refund from Amazon for that. Downloaded Saints II and started watching it. Customised the Magic Mirror to have an animated rainfall map.

Current Magic Mirror Configuration

And that is isolation completed. I am now free to leave the house and head out to the big wide world. But, I don’t really trust anyone else so I will be wearing a mask when I’m inside. I will avoid crowded places and I will stay away from other people. I’ve got plenty of my summer holiday left to get things done, although if I’m honest there won’t be much different from the stuff listed in here.

Withdrawal Method

I’ve decided to withdraw from the news and views of what’s happening around the world. I see nothing but conniving ignorant cunts from the UK government and it distresses me a fair bit. You know what it’s like: you’ve got ten minutes here or there and so you have a little look through some Twitter Feeds, get reasonably annoyed at what you see and vow to leave it alone for a while. Yesterday I watched the BBC news at 1300 for a little while and the sheer arse-about-faceness of the tory minister brought on to defend the PM was incredible. He didn’t answer the question, which I guess is why he’s a minister and I’m not. It would be nice if this bunch of tory pricks could actually be honest and show sympathy. But we know that tories are literally that because they can’t empathise.

Today I’ll be trying to avoid the news, Twitter and Reddit. I’ve uninstalled Reddit from my phone, again. I had loaded it as a little summertime time waster but the politics is just annoying. I quite like seeing the cool stuff but I’ll survive without it. I think it’s time to create some proper goals in Minecraft and start working towards them. Today’s job is to find a mob spawner to XP up my mending enchanted tools. I also want to learn about potions for when I go to the End. Fuck this world and it’s short-sighted politicians. Time to enter to the world of games.

Glideslope, PFD

My current flight sim plans are wandering around the Earth from airport to airport and just enjoying the views. I’m currently heading down the west coast of Africa and have recently started recording my journey on Twitter. I don’t use Twitter a huge amount at the moment because ultimately no-one cares what I think and I have friends whom I can moan to about things.

Having just clicked on the hashtag I can see that there are many people using the same hashtag but in reality. They are travelling around the world. Well, given the current pandemic, I am not. Also, I don’t have the money and I have other responsibilities at the moment so I don’t think I can. My next trip is to Scotland in February.

X-Plane Control Panel - iOS
X-Plane Control Panel – iOS

This is a screen capture of the X-Plane Control Panel on my iPhone. It looks at the information in X-Plane on the PC and gives me information about my flight. The bottom display is my glideslope approach to an airport, the middle display is a kind of map with weather display and the top is my PFD. I’m quite impressed with the extra information I get and I’ve been using the glideslope when my approach is through clouds. None of those landings have been successful though and I generally fly those routes again or it seems like I’m cheating. One thing that does happen though is once the iPhone is connected it changes the weather from real-world to whatever the settings are on the phone and that’s a frustration, I will look into this to see if I can correct it.

Just The Way I Like It

This is the system I use to play on the flight simulator. I really enjoy my time flying around the world virtually and trying to split the journey up into twenty minute flights.

X-Plane Set Up
X-Plane Set Up

The stuff I have here is a HOTAS system from Logitech, two PC screens, keyboard and mouse from Razer along with two external displays. The Samsung tablet runs some software giving me a PFD and the information involved there. My phone runs some software which is similar to the tablet PFD but also includes glideslope information and forward terrain. In the picture below you can see my chair, which I absolutely love. It’s a lovely chair.

My Favourite Chair
My Favourite Chair

It was quite hard to get the camera to take a reasonable photograph of the system because I have a polarising filter on the lens and as the displays are also polarised, but in different directions, it means that I couldn’t really get the best direction of the polarisation. But I did ok. Here is what it looks like at its worst.

Polarised Displays
Polarised Displays