24855 Miles

This distance is 40,000km. I think that’s why it was chosen by Polyphony to be the last achievement for distance in Gran Turismo Sport. I completed this yesterday after competing in some online races around Interlagos and then twatting the 787B around Special Stage X for four laps which was remarkably boring. I guess I should try and get the other achievements completed but I can’t be bothered to take that many photographs within the game or create that many liveries, I’ll look later and see how many that entails, if it’s one hundred then I guess I could manage it but any more will be met with a resounding “fuck that shit”.

Final [not online] GT Sport Achievement
Final [not online] GT Sport Achievement

It’s fitting that this is communication 1900 and it’s about Gran Turismo, a game I have played since its initial release back in the last millennium. It is a game I have enjoyed and still do. I am, however, concerned that the next level of controller will be produced by Fanatec and having looked at their equipment I am shocked at how expensive it is!!

Here’re some of the vaguely interesting things that happened in the year 1900:

  • Miners in Austria go on strike looking for better working conditions [amazing we still have issues with working conditions].
  • The legal workday in France is limited to just 11 hours – for women and children.
  • The Italian King is assassinated.
  • Max Planck discovers the law of black-body radiation.

Omboue Hospital

As part of my round the world trip in X-Plane I landed at Omboue Hospital in Gabon. It’s such a quiet airfield that X-Plane has nothing there. Not sure where my next stop will be, I’m considering flying over the top of the DRC as, you know, it’s the DRC and not a healthy place.

Omboue Hospital
Omboue Hospital

A Mess At The Moment

This is my current base in this latest world. I’ve written about things recently but this is a whole new era of my Minecraft skills. I have a simple base at the moment, I have a villager breeding area as I try to get the mending enchantment and I have a kelp XP farm. Things are going OK at the moment. The island in the bottom is mostly reclaimed and so I’ll be calling it New Holland.

I’ve got railways joining these places over the sea. This land is in a new chunk since the caves and cliffs update part one and therefore there are geodes and glowing squid all over the place. I’m not sure how to make a proper base yet, but part of me wants to build up a massive volcano and go completely Bond-villain.

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

There And Back To See How Far It Is

Parents are funning creatures. When I was young they had a couple of phrases designed as “in” jokes but possible more widely known, I don’t know. If my parents wanted to go somewhere but not tell us where we were going they would answer with “there and back to see how far it is” whenever we asked where are we going. It’s a vaguely amusing come back which really means “we want it to be a surprise, or maybe it’s somewhere you won’t like, so shut the fuck up”. Another in-joke was whenever we were lost or getting somewhere was taking longer than expected dad would say we are taking “one of mum’s shortcuts”. I guess the implication is that anything mum suggested was terrible? I don’t know, I’ve never really thought of it as sinister until know and I’d rather pack that one back in its little box. We once went to Flatford Mill as a family and it pissed down all day, so if it rains hard someone will normally make reference to Flatford Mill. It’s these little in-jokes that forge a sense of belonging and community [explicit sexism aside].

I’ve got a lovely scenery pack on my computer for X-Plane 11 and it covers the whole of the UK [I think it has Northern Ireland, I ought to check]. But flying around over the UK has limitations I guess and so for giggles one day I decided I would start flying following the coastline. I started at RAF Valley and headed south, I popped over the channel and visited Jersey and then I kept going westwards around France, Spain, Portugal and now I’m in the Cameroon. I’m not sure when I am going to stop this particular journey but at least I’m seeing other parts of the world.

I have spent some time wondering whether I should get rid of my Twitter account as when I look at what’s trending or what people are discussing it seems full of stupid arguments limited by the character limit. There isn’t really any space for nuance and so I use it only as a place to plug tweets into this site. If I get rid of my twitter account then all the absolute glory within these communications will be gone. No one will be able to see my anger and sheer disgusting language over the years. Social media is bad for your mental health. It’s bad for society.

I am going to try and catalogue the rest of my journey in X-Plane on Twitter so that is a good use for the platform. I will not be using twitter for much else, although there are a couple of people I keep in touch with over there.

Going Live

I’ve been playing around recently with live streaming on YouTube. Why? Not sure, I think it’s because I can. Also, each thing I do will get saved and added to my video collection. I have no idea if this is sensible or not but it seems fun at the moment.

My current plan is to fly down the west coast of Africa and then head up the eastern side. I’m hoping to get distracted by some mountain ranges and fun stuff. My general plan is to find an airport around 100 miles away, bomb up to 30,000 or so and then fly there. I’ve decided to skip Cape Verde, because islands are mostly boring. I figured that out while heading around the Canaries.

There’s not a lot that happens as I don’t commentate as I’m doing this. I’ve got the microphone off as I don’t want any house noises coming over the video. You can follow me on this map, but you’ll have to make sure you click on the link when I am flying or it’ll be boring, which even when I’m flying will be the case.

Bayside Villa – Adjusted

I spent a little while adjusting some of the decoration on the villa. The idea what to make it still look textured but less “busy”. I’m not sure it’s complete yet but it’s better that it was in the previous communication.

Had The Decorators In
Had The Decorators In
RTX and the Villa - back view
RTX and the Villa – back view
The Rockery
The Rockery
Bayside Villa
Bayside Villa
Bayside and the Canal
Bayside and the Canal
Bayside Bedroom
Bayside Bedroom

World Tour 2021

I’ve decided to fly somewhere in X-Plane. I’m not sure where I’m going to end up but so far I have travelled from RAF Valley to Mauritania [the worst country you’ve never heard of]. I’m doing short hops heading around the coast. The route has, so far, been roughly:

  • RAF Valley
  • Bristol
  • RNAS Culdrose
  • Southampton
  • Jersey
  • Somewhere in Brittany
  • Bordeaux or so
  • St Sebastian
  • Santander
  • Portugal somewhere
  • Lisbon
  • Faro
  • Gibralter
  • Morocco somewhere
  • Canaries – various
  • Mauritania somewhere.

For a laugh I have streamed some of these. I had streamed to Twitch but that doesn’t save your videos AFAIK and so I’m now streaming this stuff to YouTube. These videos are really NOT interesting. I’m not talking over them. I’m just recording the screens and considering that I get to FL300 and then go straight there isn’t a lot to see. I’m also using this as a way of learning more about flying aircraft. I think I’ve got the basics sorted. I can take off, manoeuvre, land etc but I want to learn a little more about a/c systems and so on.

I’m hoping the scenery will get a little better as I head further south through Africa. I think I’ll sneak out to Cape Verde on the next hop. I’ll also try to remember to fill the plane with fuel and use reheat most of the way. I’m curious to see just how fast I can get it going.

I’m using a multi-screen set up for these trips. The devices are as follows:

  • Main PC screen – X-Plane standard cockpit or outside views.
  • Second PC screen – X-Plane Garmin device and VR Tablet add-on.
  • Android Tablet – browser with details from X-Plane and ability to turn switches etc via the touchscreen.
  • iPhone – running X-Plane Control so I can see approach angles and flight information.

So, when it looks as though I’m not really looking at the main PC screen I’m not. I’m probably doing plenty of other stuff on other screens or just letting the thing fly. I don’t think I have breakages turned on so nothing should go that wrong as I’m flying. Mind you, I’ve had a couple of occasions where the aircraft has ejected me for some reason and I’m not sure why – I suspect it was over-g at low level. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing Table Mountain when I get there.

The Villa

I really liked my beach house that I built in the Minecraft series that is on my YouTube Channel. It was placed nicely although a little small. So, in the latest world I wanted a nice big beach house. And I’ve made it.

RTX Sunrise
RTX Sunrise

Now, I’m not sure I’m happy with some of the texturing and so I am going to remove and change of it. There’s too much detail in the fascia of the villa. The villa faces east and so this is a shot of the house with the sun rising.

Glorious Sunrise
Glorious Sunrise

This is a more front on view and you can see the levels. There’s an animal farm to the right rear of the villa. All the storage systems and other farms are hidden in a basement to the rear of the building.

View From North
View From North

Here you can see the side of the villa and the animal farm. In this series of screen shots I’ve got RTX turned on and it’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Second Balcony
Second Balcony

This is the view from the top balcony. There’s a bridge in the mid-distance and that has the old entrance to the mine that we started. I now have a minecart that goes from the basement to the mine and I can get there straight from the villa rather than heading into the dangerous outside.