Helping Out With Things I Like

It has been a huge length of time since I last wrote on here and I’m not really sure what it is that caused this hiatus. I’ve been busy, but no busier than previously. I wonder if it’s a cognitive load thing in that certain aspects of work have been quite high loading and there’s only so much cognition I have? Who knows. I do know that this is probably one of the longest gaps between communications. I’ve just checked and the last communication and it was published or last edited on 10th January which is almost a month ago! I am horrified.

So, the reason for this communication is that I’ve been supporting independent artists again with their creation of content. This time it’s Faderhead. I pledged some money on Kickstarter for him to complete an album and I got my name in the thank yous along with a hard copy of the CD. I did this a while back for a previous album he produced. I don’t know why I’ve decided to support him, I mean I like the music, I guess it’s nice to feel involved with something like this.

Faderhead - Years Of The Serpent
Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent

Above is a picture of the CD and the note I got along with it.

This is communication number 2008 and recently I’ve been adding information about that particular year at the end. I can’t remember when I started it but the point was to count down to my 2000th comm. So, in 2008:

  • Stock markets plunge, fuelled by the sub-prime housing crisis.
  • 138,000 people killed by a cyclone in Myanmar.
  • Spotify is launched.
  • Android OS is released.
  • Sark finally abolishes feudalism.

Playing A Numbers Game With Death

It’s been reasonably frustrating to see the current government be so utterly terrible at managing the country. I guess it makes sense in some ways, people who are good at being elected to represent the population of the country don’t really have to be good at project management. They just need to be good at getting elected. Mind you, in most constituencies they just need to be good at being selected to run in those areas. When you look at it you have to wonder why people vote for Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson. They don’t vote for those people do they? Otherwise I’m pretty sure they would have to agree that one is a puritanical prick and the other is a liar. People vote for selfish reasons and the tories seem to offer the best deal for selfish people. Politicians are the worst people to have in charge of the massive projects this country is running. We need project managers and people who understand risk.

The current policy of not worrying about the Omicron variant and letting it run wild through the country relies on a couple of massive WISHES. The government aren’t worried about taking precautions, they are a reactive group of people who don’t have the balls to enact what is right for the country. It’s almost as if being popular enough to get voted for doesn’t make you very good at the thing you’ve been voted to do, especially so with the current bunch. For the UK to succeed we need all of the following WISHES to come true:

  • Not too many people need to self-isolate due to virus.
  • Not too many people end up in hospital due to new variant.
  • The vaccination programme means people don’t end up in hospital.

I am horrified at this approach. This gamble based on WISHES. We aren’t being pro-active. We are reacting. The problem is that the reactions happen two fucking weeks too late, because that’s how viruses work. It appears that the government still do not understand any basic biology. If we are really fucking lucky then hospitalisations will remain low and this works. We are hoping for luck. Fucking luck. We are playing with people’s lives while hoping for luck. Precautions are not being taken.

Less Severe
Less Severe
It's A Numbers Thing
It’s A Numbers Thing

So, Omicron might be less severe. But we didn’t know that until very recently. We kept everything open because we are reactive remember. Let’s go with the best possible number there, 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital. 70%. This seems good. But what this means is that if we were to have a massive peak in infections any gains would be wiped out as the total number of admissions returns to bad levels. This would be bad if the policy had been to keep everything open and say have a massive surge in infections.

Massive Increase In Daily Cases
Massive Increase In Daily Cases

Fuck. That’s what has happened.

Now, I’m not claiming to be correct and I’m not claiming that we are fucked. I’m not saying the NHS is going to be overwhelmed. I’m saying the risk of that has increased massively and the government are playing a numbers game. Hoping for the best outcome. They are playing dice with the lives of the vulnerable and the unlucky. They are placing bets on being lucky and making everything look like they were geniuses. Quite clearly they aren’t geniuses. It turns out that lots of MPs are just selfish twats who don’t care about anyone:

Oppose Tougher Covid Rules
Oppose Tougher Covid Rules

We currently have a bunch of MPs who don’t understand science, are willing to play dice with the lives of the country and who maintain a liar in power. It’s a fucking depressing world we live in at the moment and I only have so much anger I can maintain. Very soon it’ll be my chance to ignore the news again for a while. I need to get away from being a realist and play my PlayStation and enter a world of happy aliens I can shoot.

This is communication number 2001. Here are some things that happened in that year:

  • This is the first year of the third millennium.
  • UK foot and mouth outbreak.
  • Race riots in Bradford.
  • 9/11
  • The war in Afghanistan starts.
  • The iPod is released.

The Matrix Resurrections

I remembered going to see the Matrix reissue when it was released and in my head it was about a year ago that I did that. Well, according to my own communication on this site I went to watch it in July 2019. Fucking 2019. Do you remember that? This means I went to see this original film twenty years after its initial release before SARS-Cov-2. Let me just repeat that, BEFORE. I’m not even sure I can remember what it was like in the before-times. Can you remember walking around and doing whatever you want without having to wonder why some cunts aren’t wearing facemasks? Can you remember a time when we didn’t have 150,000 dead in this country from this pandemic. I would ask if you could remember a time before having an incompetent and corrupt government but, they’ve been in power for a long time now and BJ was still as shit then as he is now. All he had to fuck up then was the Brexit agreement and that is going to shit still so we knew how our politicians acted.

Sorry, where are my manners? There are things we need to discuss first. The tide was pretty low as I drove along the riverside road. There are currently road closures in the village and so anywhere over “cinema side” of the local area is actually a bit of a pain to get to. As far as I know the gas people are trying to fix a gas leak somewhere along the main road into the village but someone decided to close the road as the hole is a little big? I’m not sure why it was closed but it is quite an inconvenience to many in the village. After watching the film I rated the film on IMDB and there is a communication from years ago where I discuss how the rating system works.

There are going to be spoilers straight after this tweet:

I didn’t dislike this film. I’m not enough into the canon to worry about what the fuck is going on all the time and how it affects the original storylines. To be honest I liked the original Matrix but the two sequels were shit I think. I know they had loads of money to make the films they wanted to make and they did, but I think when you try to narrow down the storylines to the point of making it make sense you end up with something that doesn’t work. Let’s face it, the Matrix looked gorgeous and has been much imitated since 1999.

I quite liked the first bit of this film where nearly every line was taking the piss out of the fact that they were making a sequel to the original trilogy. I thought this part worked really well. Normally I try and remember key points as I go through the film and sometimes [rarely] I write a note on my phone. I’ve not yet resorted to taking pen and paper but that might be worth it in the future. I also interact with a film by wondering what I will write about it on these pages. I don’t think I did much thinking about that last night. I was more concerned about a lot of things that didn’t seem to make much sense in the film.

In the film they talked about how The Matrix [game] Trinity was inspired by how Tiffany looks as Thomas Andersson sees her everyday in the coffee shop. They also explain how the game was released twenty years ago which means that Tiffany wouldn’t have had kids and possibly wasn’t married so Thomas could have approached her. There were a couple of things like this that didn’t quite make sense but you can do whatever the fuck you want with this film.

A bigger issue for me, and this is extremely similar to my complaint with Spiderman, is that Neo is told that going to get Trinity will cause a war and lead to the destruction of Io, the new human settlement. But fuck it, he’s going to get her anyway because Love. No weighing up of the death of thousands in a war, just a straight up obvious decision to go and get his beau. I did not like this aspect of the film.

I will tell you that this film looked gorgeous. It was really well made along with many themes of accepting who you are. This isn’t a surprise given the background of Lana Wachowski, the joint-writer and director. I’ve read quite a bit on social media where the general consensus is that Lana Wachowski created a gorgeous rebuff to the right wing of politics who had co-opted themes from the original film. Good on her. Fuck those people.

This is communication number 1999 and so here are some things that happened in that year, which is a newish thing I’ve been doing:

  • A fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel kills 39 people, closing the tunnel for nearly three years.
  • Columbine High School massacre.
  • British TV presenter Jill Dando, 37, is shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Fulham, London.
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is released.
  • The sovereignty of Macau is transferred from the Portuguese Republic to the People’s Republic of China after 442 years of Portuguese settlement.

Engineers and software people spend a lot of time and money fixing the millennium bug and because of the hard work the threat of mass computer failure fizzles out. But it was because we fixed it. Not because it wasn’t really a thing.

The Labour government spend a load of money creating the millennium dome. I think it was over a billion pounds. All to get ready for the celebrations of the end of the second millennium and the start of the third but because we have a stupid year numbering system most of the world gets this wrong.

Such An Inflating Day Trip

I went to meet a bunch of people in London. The congregation was meant to be part of a stag do. I mean, it was a stag celebration but I didn’t really attend most of it. The plan was brunch, a rugby match and then whatever followed. I knew that the brunch was going to be either outside or in a well distanced restaurant and so I was happy with that but as the time approached to attend a rugby match travelling via crowded trains and being in a stadium I felt unsure about the covid-ness of it all. Now, I had been to a gig where you had to show your vaccinated status to get in and there were quite a lot of people but it felt mostly safe. I didn’t want to be in an England crowd at Twickenham.

Belfast, London
Belfast, London

Another things that’s been bothering me recently is the pay rises the government has paid teachers over the last ten years. I find this really interesting, partly as I’m a teacher and partly because I can’t believe teachers are not as angry as they really should be. Over the last ten years the government has deliberately followed a policy of austerity. This was their political choice. We now know it wasn’t necessary as when the covid pandemic hit they decided to spend a fuck-ton squared and even then the controls were so poor that BILLIONS was lost. Here’s a graph showing teacher pay over the last ten years compared to where it would be if we had JUST received pay rises in line with inflation.

Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI
Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI

Back to the stag. We met at a place near Waterloo station but I walked in from London Bridge station which was about a twenty five minute walk along the South Bank. It was a really nice walk and I started on the river close to HMS Belfast and then walked past the City Of London, the Golden Hind, and a lot of eateries. Fortunately I didn’t have to walk past too many of those “people who stand still for money” as they annoy me intensely. The brunch was nice and the restaurant staff were very tolerant of the pranks played on the stag.

Cityscape, London
Cityscape, London

Here are some numbers for you wrt the pay. The pay rise over the last ten years amounts to around 13.2% total pay rise since 2010. Inflation in that time has caused an increased in prices of around 37%. For comparison the CPI, and clearly you are going to use whichever inflation measure works best for your argument, has increased 25% in that time period. I used the Office for National Statistics to get my data. If my pay had increased by the CPI it would be around 46,000 now which is still clearly above what I am actually paid. In essence I have had a real terms pay cut every year for the last [over] ten years.

MP Salary
MP Salary

There’s nothing like mixing up all your graph types when you are trying to make a point but I was curious how much MPs have awarded themselves over the same time period. They’ve had a pay rise of around 25% meaning that they are inline with the lower of the inflation measures. So, the people voting to not pay public servants according to the lower rate of inflation have awarded themselves that exact rate. We all know that’s not even the best of it. Over that time MPs have given themselves plenty of expenses to be able to pay for things that they would say are required as part of the job, and I would mostly agree, but I would also argue that many MPs play the system to enrich themselves. This pay doesn’t take into account any other jobs and directorships that MPs take on.

I think the problem is that too many of us do our job because we like being a teacher. We feel a “calling” or feel we should do the things that are considered normal of us. I personally don’t think that. I don’t feel the calling and I don’t feel this job is a vocation. This job is one that is bloody hard work and no one will be there to thank you at the end of it. That’s not how all this works. You don’t get a special seat in heaven. You just stop doing this shit one day and it leaves your life. Salaried jobs are bollocks. We should be paid for what we do and in a specific time frame otherwise the organisation is stealing from you.

Comms#1985 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • “Neighbours” starts on Australian television.
  • First mobile phone network in UK.
  • South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriage.
  • 56 die in the Bradford City football ground fire.
  • 39 fans die in the Heysel Stadium disaster.
  • Windows 1.0 is released.

Bhutan Completed

As part of my around the world trip I have reached the Himalayas and so have visited Tibet, Nepal and now Bhutan. The last of these is relatively small and only has four airports so after landing at Paro International I decided to fly past two of the airports and then land at Yongphulla.

Bhutan Complete
Bhutan Complete

In the above image the black line is the direct route, the pink link a route leg I didn’t activate and the red line is the route I took. I’m flying a little Boeing Saab T-7, it has good feels and has the power of a military jet and so is able to cope with my rapid direction changes and approaches.

Thankfully I now have some time off work! It has been a hard few weeks and I need the rest. As if to let me know I spent all of Saturday lying on the sofa sleeping with aches and pains and general ill feeling. Even Sunday morning I wasn’t great but am feeling back to normal now, nearly, apart from a phlegm filled chest. It isn’t Covid, I’ve done many LFTs and also a PCR when I first started showing symptoms. I did the PCR using a postal service and next time I think I will make sure I go to a drive through centre, the results will be quicker.

My summer of letters has continued with a letter to my MP although nothing good will come from that. Teachers, and many other public servants, have had a massive pay reduction in real terms over the last ten years. My union, the NEU, published some graphs showing how pay had changed over the last ten years when compared to the RPI.

Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI
Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI

Now this uses RPI rather than CPI and I’ve been over to the ONS to see what the CPI rate has been and I can say it has hovered around 2% over the last ten years being generous to the side of the government. Using that generous rate a teacher’s pay would be GBP 44,805. As you can see even using numbers that flatter the government teachers have suffered a real terms pay loss over the last ten years amounting to a current loss of about GBP 3,000. I am not saying we are more important than other professions who have had a pay freeze and I am not saying we should be given the whole amount now. What I am saying is that the government should recognise these facts and put into action some plan to help correct these issues.

Clearly given the governments we’ve had for the last ten years this won’t happen. They won’t see the unfairness of these increases and they’ll say that recruitment is going well. I would argue that while recruitment is going well it is due to the fact that the rest of the economy is fucked and people are having to retrain after losing their jobs and everyone thinks they can be a teacher. Just as a comparison MP salaries have increased an average of 2.2% per year compared to the teachers increase of 1.2% in the same time. Oh, and they can claim fucking loads of expenses and have subsidised food and drink along with massive benefits like swapping prime residence etc.

MP Salary
MP Salary

I’ve been describing accuracy of lateral flow tests to pupils as part of a conditional probability part of the statistics course and I keep forgetting a couple of the words used to describe how good the tests are. The government likes to bang on about the specificity of the LFTs and that is generally a good high number, around 99%. The specificity tells you how the probability of you having Covid if the test returns a positive result. It therefore seems there’s a 1%, or lower, chance of a false positive result. The problematic number is the sensitivity the LFTs have. The sensitivity tells you the probability of getting a false negative, if you have the disease but the LFT returns a negative result. This is a measure of how sensitive the test is to the disease. Currently, depending on who does the LFT, the sensitivity is running at 40% to 80%. So, LFTs will only be positive on around half the positive cases. This is a massive fucking problem and one the government either deliberately doesn’t mention or is just too stupid to understand. You can’t have a policy of opening up the country when the test you are using to maintain the safety of everyone only catches around 50% of the cases. The government are fucking idiots.

This is communication number 1980 [+-1] and so here are some things that happened in the year of my eighth birthday:

  • Saudi Arabia beheads 63 people who did a bad thing.
  • 123 people dies when a Norwegian oil platform collapses.
  • The first 24 hour news channel starts.
  • AC/DC release Back In Black.
  • A fire in a hotel in Las Vegas kills 85.

Seems An Important Leg

I’ve been heading around the world in my Boeing/Saab T-7, just hopping from airport to airport. It started as a round the UK coast trip and I’m now in Nepal so I got distracted by more coastline and then mountains. This is not going to be an interesting communication as it is a list of every airport I have stopped at on this journey. X-Plane keeps a log of journeys and so I am able to write this here, also, I have a bit of paper covered with names of places and that is about to run out of space so I need to get this started:

Manchester, England.
RAF Valley, Wales.
Aberporth Airport, Wales.
Bristol Filton Airport, England.
RAF Lyneham, England.
Lee On Solent Airport, England.
Jersey Airport, Jersey.
Quimper–Cornouaille Airport, France.
Nantes Atlantique Airport, France.
La Rochelle – Île de Ré Airport, France.
Cazaux Air Base, France.
San Sebastián Airport, Spain.
Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport, Spain.
Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport, Spain.
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal.
Monte Real Air Base, Portugal.
Humberto Delgado Airport, Portugal.
Faro Airport, Portugal.
Base Naval de Rota, Spain.
Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar.
Rabat–Salé Airport, Morocco.
Ben Slimane Airport, Morocco.
Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco.
Agadir – Al Massira Airport, Morocco.
Tan Tan Airport, Morocco.
César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport, Spain.
Tenerife North–Ciudad de La Laguna Airport, Spain.
La Palma Airport, Spain.
Dakhla Airport, Morocco.
Nouadhibou Airport, Mauritania.
Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airport, Mauritania.
Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, Senegal.
Banjul International Airport, Gambia.
Osvaldo Vieira International Airport, Guinea-Bissau.
Conakry Gbessia International Airport, Republic of Guinea.
Faranah Airport, Republic of Guinea.
Lungi International Airport, Sierra Leone.
Monrovia-Roberts Airport, Liberia.
Man Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
San Pédro Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
Takoradi Airport, Ghana.
Kotoka International Airport, Ghana.
Aéroport de Lomé-Gnassingbe Eyadema, Togo.
Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport, Benin.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Ibadan Airport, Nigeria.
Benin Airport, Nigeria.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Nigeria.
Ajaokuta Airport, Nigeria.
Bamenda Airport, Cameroon.
Bafoussam Airport, Cameroon.
Ngaoundéré Airport, Cameroon.
Yaoundé Airport, Cameroon.
Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport, Cameroon.
Bata Airport, Equatorial Guinea.
Port-Gentil International Airport, Gabon.
Omboué Hospital Airport, Gabon.
Agostinho-Neto International Airport, Republic of Congo.
Kitona Base Airport, Republic of Congo.
Luanda Airport, Angola.
Porto Amboim Airport, Angola.
Aéroport de Waku-Kungo, Angola.
Benguela Airport, Angola.
Welwitschia Mirabilis International Airport, Angola.
Aéroport de Xangongo, Angola.
Ruacana Airport, Namibia.
Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Airport, Namibia.
Grootfontein Air Force Base, Namibia.
Uis Mine Airport, Namibia.
Walvis Bay Airport, Namibia.
Aérodrome de Lüderitz, Namibia.
Aérodrome d’Oranjemund, Namibia.
Air Force Base Langebaanweg, South Africa.
Cape Town International Airport, South Africa.
Air Force Base Overberg, South Africa.
Port Elizabeth International Airport, South Africa.
Margate Airport, South Africa.
Maputo International Airport, Mozambique.
Beira International Airport, Mozambique.
Aérodrome de Nacala, Mozambique.
Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania.
Moshi Airport, Tanzania.
Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, Zanzibar.
Aden Adde International Airport, Somalia.
Iskushuban Airport, Somalia.
Abdullahi Yusuf Airport, Somalia.
Socotra Airport, Yemen.
Salalah Airport, Oman.
RAFO Thumrait Airbase, Oman.
RAFO Masirah, Oman.
Muscat International Airport, Oman.
Fujairah International Airport, UAE.
Khasab Airport, Oman.
Dubai International Airport, UAE.
Al Bateen Executive Airport, UAE.
Jebel Dhana Airport, UAE.
Delma Island Airport, UAE.
Qeshm International Airport, Iran.
Jask Airport, Iran.
Konarak Airport, Iran.
Turbat International Airport, Pakistan.
Pasni Airport, Pakistan.
Ormara Airport, Pakistan.
Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan.
Rajanpur Airport, Pakistan.
Zhob Airport, Pakistan.
Miran Shah Airport, Pakistan.
Saidu Sharif Airport, Pakistan.
Skardu Airport, Pakistan.
Muzaffarabad Airport, Pakistan.
Chilas Airport, Pakistan.
Hotan Airport, China.
Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, India.
Ngari Kunsha Airport, Tibet.
Simikot Airport, Nepal.
Jumla Airport, Nepal.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal.
Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla, Nepal.

Heading Past Mount Everest
Heading Past Mount Everest

And so this journey around the world continues. I have just flown past Mount Everest after [not quite] landing at Lukla. After passing the highest place on Earth I headed to:

Tumlingtar Airport, Nepal.

I think is almost, kind of, half way around? I have no idea. We’ll have to see what the rest of this journey looks like.

This is comms#1979 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • Sid Vicious dies.
  • Compact Disk displayed publicly for first time.
  • The last British soldier leaves Malta.
  • A human powered aircraft flies across the English Channel.
  • A dam failure in India kills up to 25,000.

Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Last night Smith and I went out! Out! To see a band! Well, two bands really but it was out and my first time in London since February 2020 when we saw Aesthetic Perfection. We got the train in and booked into our hotel room – proper full on night out! After getting changed we headed to Electrowerkz, which was quite close to the hotel and entered. I had forgotten my photo ID and the security people were very good at sorting that out as I had photos of all my ID on my phone, they accepted me fortunately.

Electrowerkz Welcome
Electrowerkz Welcome

I loved this touch of some old CRT showing a logo as we walked up the steps. It added to the feel of the place. We didn’t see the first two bands as we were drinking and chatting to the merchandise people. I think I bought some dog tags, but I have no idea where I put them, I’ll have to have a look shortly. I liked the few changes that had been made to the building and ambiance, the main floor looked really good.

Before The Crowds - Electrowerkz
Before The Crowds – Electrowerkz

Reaper is a band/person we had wanted to see for a long time as a couple of his albums are really good. A nice split between industrial and EBM. I enjoyed his set although I think there could have been some other songs added to make it greater but I guess you have to trust the artist and the things they want to play might not be what I want to hear.

Reaper - X-Junkie
Reaper – X-Junkie

I really enjoyed the Reaper set. It was about this time that I started to appreciate the new sound system in the room. I could hear all the nuance in the songs, which I knew quite well anyway, and this was a surprise as normally my hearing dies quite quickly into a gig and I can’t tell what’s going on apart from noise.

Nachtmahr - Electrowerkz
Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Nachtmahr were brilliant. They played a great set and the crowd really liked it. I don’t think this makes a top ten of gigs, but it’s definitely in the top half. I had a great time and danced quite a bit – I think the alcohol helped a lot with that. Overall this was a good gig. A couple of great bands and really good fun. Brilliant!

This is communication number 1977 and so in keeping with recent tradition I list below some events of that year:

  • Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam draft dodgers.
  • The rings of Uranus are discovered.
  • Optical Fibre is used to transmit phone calls for the first time.
  • 165 Killed in a fire in Kentucky.
  • Never Mind The Bollocks is released by the Sex Pistols.

We Didn’t Even Ask

Had a trip where we swung by the RAF Museum in Hendon. It’s free to enter so it’s a great place to go. If there was payment then I would have to balance to cost with what is there and so the greatness would depend on the exhibits and the cost giving me a measure “value”. Now, I’m into aircraft and this is free. So it’s an excellent place. Actually, it is an excellent place and not by default.

Short Sunderland - RAF Museum Hendon
Short Sunderland – RAF Museum Hendon – they built 749 of these!

Now, I can’t just swan off to places like this in the work week without actually having good reason and so we did bring some cadets with us to have a look around. You might be disturbed by this but I think the motivation to leave school for some and have a day out of lessons is actually overcome by the fear that they will miss something important and, if I’m honest, we didn’t bring as many as I had hoped. It’s there choice but what have we done to education if children think a day out with friends learning about “other things” is not worth the effort?

EH101 - Hendon
EH101 – Hendon

This beast is one of the prototypes of the EH101 and it is pretty fucking big. It’s in the corner among all the other aircraft and this one is just huge. We were just hanging around and one of the museum helpers came over and asked if we would like to look inside. Well, you don’t need to ask aircraft nerds twice! So we took up the offer and wandered around the cabin – it was big enough to “wander around” – and then we sat in the cockpit as we were invited to. Really grateful to have had the experience.

EH101 Cockpit - RAF Museum Hendon
EH101 Cockpit – RAF Museum Hendon

Here’s a picture of me pulling a stupid face – I want to point out that I was deliberately making stupid faces – but I guess you can disagree with the deliberate part of that if you want.

Comms#1972, here are some things that happened that year:

  • The Godfather premiers in New York.
  • I was born.
  • A fire in a nightclub in Osaka kills 115.
  • US Officials own up to the Tuskegee syphilis study.
  • Apollo 16 lands on the moon.
  • Apollo 17 lands on the moon.

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.