I’ve been trying to withdraw myself from the news more and more and yet I still feel drawn to it and am teetering on the edge of utter rage. My latest conclusion is that while we expect our governments to look after us and care for us all they really care about is doing just enough to keep everything ticking along. Maintaining the status quo is important and when we get annoyed by things they even feel the need to make protest virtually illegal.
How do you let those in charge know your feelings? You have to be allowed to protest. If things are important enough then the people should be able to let you know. The people should be allowed to protest and if you don’t want to listen then it is time you stopped governing. I feel that protest is important. It means that we are finally getting off our arses and going to do something about it. But then I remember that over one million people marched against the Iraq war and yet still a Labour Prime Minister entered that war.
I feel despair and as such I don’t think I can write about all my thoughts here. Not that this is really the forum for this. I think I need to see my friends and talk about my ideas. I have some close friends who help me back from the thoughts of extreme to a more middling place where I can cope.
In the mean time I have played Gran Turismo for the first time in a few weeks and actually qualified pole. I then went on to win the race but I did lose the lead on lap two for a short while which was worrying. It was a good fun race.
I recently set up a virtual competition at work. The idea is that everyone tries driving the Brands Hatch GP circuit in a game and records their best time. That seems simple I guess. The only rules are that the vehicle must be closed wheel and exist in real life. It would be too hard to specify [and then check] other settings like traction control, gear ratios, engine mods, aero packages etc. So basic rules and hope everyone plays by them. Yesterday I had a go in the Porsche 919 Hybrid. I thought I was doing really well and I was aiming for a time of 1:12 ish [this was my best lap time from composite sector times] only when I decided to quit did I notice that my Audi R16 had gone faster [close wheels cars that exist irl].
I’m reasonably convinced I should be able to get somewhere in the 1:11s with either the Porsche or the Audi. I’ll have another go tonight I guess and try. I’m not really bothering with the suspension set up and I’m not upgrading the engine [yet] the only thing I have adjusted is to tune the gearing to the Brands Hatch circuit. This makes the acceleration as effective as possible for all of the not-straights that Brands has. I took a photograph of my lap times because I thought it looked quite good. I’m not sure how consistent is a good consistent but I think it’s quite good to be in the low 1:13s.
As you can see my fastest lap was on lap seven of this particular run. I do think I should be able to get it down another second though. But this requires everything to be good on a lap and Paddock Hill bend is really annoying. On lap 8 you can see I was really pushing it and went off, I think at Paddock, I then used the rest of that lap to try some corners in different gears to see if I could take them a little faster or change the acceleration profile on the exit. Quite clearly after lap 12 I rage quit and decided that I wouldn’t get any better in that session. Let’s see how I do later today.
I’ve found a website which looks through all your GT Sport data and makes in nice and clear. I’m not sure what this means. I’m not sure if I want this much detail but I am sure it’s cool. There are a couple of sites that do this:
I had a blast on Gran Turismo Sport recently. I had noticed an update and they added a the Toyota Yaris. I bought that and went for a spin around the Dragon Trail circuit and it was a good fun car to drive even if on Group N300. I wanted more and so went to race online. There was a Gr. 2 race on at Alsace and so I entered that, this would be my fourth race at that circuit. The first was in my Mazda and the tendency to oversteer on the exit of a few of the corners made me a little too slow, so I tested a Beetle and it worked well. This video is me actually winning a race, more by luck than skill as everyone else seemed to have problems, but it’s still a win.
Turns out that today is Friday 13th. Not that I’m bothered by that. I’ve had some bad luck recently but if I linked that to a random date then that would really be pushing the causation correlation fallacy. My recent bad luck is mostly my PC blowing up but also my left leg refusing to work yesterday morning. So far today things have been OK.
Chillblast have sent me a new PSU for the PC and last night I fitted it. The PC powered up and all seemed good, so I powered it down and then cable tied everything in place within the PC cabinet. When I fitted an extra HDD to the PC shortly after it arrived I only had a blue SATA cable and that didn’t match all the other cables so I replaced that for a black one and now the insides of the PC look all lovely. More importantly I have a functioning PC and there doesn’t seem to be any damage from the explosion last week. It all seems to be working well.
Two albums were released today and I purchased them. I expect there were many more albums released that just these two but these were the only ones I cared about. I have, of course, bought the new AC/DC album, Power Up, because. I will listed to that later but I expect it to be full of solid AC/DC songs and definitely not a disappointment. GrooVenoM also released their latest album and I got that too. I like all their music, I do prefer the mix and sound of the first album but the band deserve my support. It’s a nice mix of everything I like and so sounds different and familiar at the same time.
Since my Minecraft server runs from my PC I’ve been doing other things on the PS4, which pretty much means I’ve been playing Gran Turismo Sport which I probably would have done anyway. I was racing with my Mazda and noticed that I had driven quite a distance in it!
If you look at the right hand side lower panel you can see I have driven 3,266 miles in this machine. I think it’s the car I have used most but I could be wrong. Perhaps I should look up the statistics for my Porsche also! I wondered then what my total distance within this one game was and went to my career summary:
21,669 miles in total when I took this screenshot. That’s not too shabby! I’m a little embarrassed of my Sportsmanship Rating because it has been up to a grade B but I’m not sure what happened there. I think I did quit an online race a couple of weeks ago after being forced off the track and ending up in last place but other than that I think my driving is generally OK. I’ll see if I can work to bring that rating back up a little.
Perhaps as I get older I become less tolerant? I honestly don’t think that’s true. The more I learn about people and the world I am more accepting of the differences between us all. Except hate. I think I expect everyone to be as tolerant as me when I know a lot aren’t. For once, the golden rule applies pretty well: be nice. This should be followed by one of my mum’s favourite sayings which was: if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. I do believe you are allowed to think whatever you want but your actions should always follow the golden rule. What I’m trying to say is, this communication might not be as bad as I think, some of you might look at it and shrug, I just found the subject in poor taste.
I was playing Gran Turismo Sport yesterday and racing online. The races this week are GT3 cars around the Red Bull Ring in Austria. It’s a pretty fast track with some corners that really require you to cope with understeer with plenty of downhill braking and off camber. There’s also two corners where early power on the exit will have you over-steering. I’m not sure it’s a favourite but it is a good challenge.
Corners 1 and 2 require gentle power on exit, definitely avoid the kerb on the inside and maybe short-shift to avoid oversteer. Corner 3 has downhill braking and is tighter than you think, everytime!
Anyway, when the entry list came up on the screen I was a little [not shocked] bothered by two of the PSN names that people had chosen. Now, I often have to remind myself that it is likely that most players are not as old as me and most haven’t been playing as long as I have. You can tell by my PSN name, Kertz, that I got in early when selecting usernames. It’s like my personal email address which is just my name and zero numbers, being an early adopter has its uses sometimes. Here’s the entry list:
Maybe people think it’s a giggle to have a funny name? I’ve seen plenty with 69 in the number. Qualifying in second place is Jack-T-Ripper1. The addition of the 1 is curious and might mean that Jack-T-Ripper was already taken? I’m not sure it’s a good thing to have your PlayStation identity the same as a serial killer of women, maybe it shows a deep lack of respect? Maybe it’s a laugh and I just don’t get it? If I think about some of the lyrics to songs I like then naming yourself Jack The Ripper isn’t that bad. Oh dear, maybe I’m old.
Then, qualifying in 11th place is a certain Wernher_V2_Braun. For me this is more worrying but again, maybe I’m just being a little sensitive. This Dutch player has taken a name based on a user of slave labour in the second world war. Yes, Von Braun created the technology to launch the American space programme but he also used slave labour in his factories. I do not know whether he had Nazi ideologies but he is a very complex character. For me, the fact that the Dutch player included the V2 as part of their name is the most disturbing part. They could have had F1 which was the engine that took man to the moon, but no, they chose the Nazi ballistic missile called the V2, as though they are paying homage to that programme.
As much as how we present ourselves shouldn’t change the opinions people form of us, it is what they do. The human brain makes judgements really quickly and it’s hard to get away from that. Does it matter whether I wear a suit or not? Does that really affect my ability to perform my job? No. Should I wear a suit? I don’t think so, but the image creates a power. It’s why we have uniforms for those in positions of implied power. So, are these two people assholes? I don’t know. I would like to think they are not, but if you think it’s OK to name yourself after a serial killer or a man responsible for the deaths of thousands with allusions to those deaths then perhaps you shouldn’t be advertising your thoughts. Maybe this is a case of internet-balls. I don’t know. I honestly believe you should be able to think what you want, but externally you should be nice. I think I find these identities distasteful while at the same time thinking I’m wrong for thinking that. Argh, conflicted.
It’s been a little while since I wrote on here but in all honesty I’ve been struggling to find things to write about. You see, nothing’s happening. We are in this lockdown and work is odd at the moment. I have been in to work three times since 17 March. Those three times were supervising and not doing my real job but at least it was somewhere else to be. I’m in a couple of times over the next week and that might be more interesting. Working at home places really interesting pressures and thoughts on you. I keep trying to manage engagement with the time that I have. I’ve also spent time in a better world, my Minecraft world. Even though there are creepers and zombies and witches and I died in that world a few days ago, it’s a far more enjoyable place than the real world at the moment.
Each day I try and have two races on Gran Turismo. Sometimes I’m not in the mood but mostly I am. It’s a nice half hour distraction from the world and it can be really enjoyable. The issues with racing online still exist and the idea that you will lose because someone else is entirely incompetent is annoying but normally it’s worth it. Of the current daily races I have enjoyed racing around the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst. I’ll probably write a little about my favourite cars sometime soon as I noticed I’d completed over 3000miles in my Mazda! That’s more than some people drive in the real world in a year.
Anyway, in a race yesterday I started in second position. My time of around 2’07” is pretty good but the person on pole had 2’05” and I’ve no idea how they got that. I’m not convinced I’ve really hooked together a complete decent lap but to lose a further two seconds from my time would be hard work. Also, I suspect there are people out there even faster. It looks as though GT matches you with people of a similar ability and time so I don’t know what the fastest time in the world is. Mind you, I guess there are people playing a lot more than me. I know I’ve been playing from 1997 ish but to get loads better at these circuits you just need to get practising.
For whatever reason at the start of the race yesterday the person in pole didn’t accelerate at the start and I zoomed past them. I was in the lead from the first corner and didn’t look back. Well, I did, I used my mirrors to see what was behind me but you know what I mean. The thing about being in the lead is that there’s a lot more to lose if you stack it going into a corner so it does make me more hesitant and cautious on corner entrances and exits. This can cost time and so I have to monitor the gap to the car behind. For this race it was around 1.8 seconds for the whole race and only moved by a few tenths. I sometimes get an adrenaline build up on the last lap as I get excited about winning. This time I calmed that and kept telling myself to keep a clean lap and remember where I tend to oversteer on the exit of corners when I put the power down early. Mount Panorama is a glorious circuit and very tricky, the section at the top of the mountain is horrible and fantastic at the same time.
Below is a screen video clip of the final positions along with my “win” celebrations and the delivery of my daily workout car. If you complete 26.6 miles in a day you get a free car. Most of these I don’t use. There are around 500 cars in the garage and I’m not fussed by them.
I’m pretty sure this was my first ever fastest lap in a race. I’m very happy with that. I don’t know what lap times other people got but it doesn’t matter. I was out in front with a clear road and that does make it a lot easier. You don’t have to judge what other people are going to do and brake slightly early because of the concertina effect. You can pretty much put down qualifying laps, just while hoping that you don’t get nudged or whacked by someone forgetting to break, or by someone who is just an asshole.
I am quite convinced that the physics of the car is different in the race compared to qualifying and I’m not sure why. I get a little more understeer during races and I suspect, but do not know, that it’s due to the air modelling the game does. Driving a car through mostly still air is very different to driving through disturbed air and I have noticed a very minor difference in steering and braking while racing in the pack with other cars around. There is a definite effect and the car doesn’t behave as it does on qualifying. It’s something I think I need to investigate.
My first day of self isolation was one month ago. On the 17th March. The night before the government had announced that people whose household had someone with CV-19 symptoms had to self-isolate for two weeks. So, given my contact with my family I had to self-isolate. I was actually kinda happy to do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my mental health was starting to suffer with the inaction of our government over the previous three weeks – it was starting to feel as though senior members of the government didn’t understand how much people moved around and things like six degrees of separation along with incubation periods. Secondly, I can’t remember my second reason for happily being at home, probably because it would get me out of the hotbed of transmission which is a school where 1400 people gather and mix every day. Oh well. Time at home was probably needed to be honest.
As any fule know Gran Turismo gives you a bonus car on your birthday. I’ve a communication from 2014 for you. This year I waited with anticipation as I opened the game [after I had done my proper job work thing you understand]. I was happy! The game gave me a McLaren F1!
Not only that but the game also gave me a fireworks show to impress me a little more!
Around the same time I also passed into Level 45 territory. This is quite an achievement I think. I remember tweeting something about getting to level 40 before and then my save-game got corrupted and I lost all my cars. I had to start again. I now regularly backup my save-game files to a USB stick after checking how many cars are in my garage. It doesn’t seem like much I guess but I’ve got quite a time investment in this game and I would be sad if I lost everything again. I’d just start again but some of the challenges are quite hard work.
I also have a screen shot of my current game progress to share with you. This gives a rundown of all my statistics. Let’s give you the rundown:
Some things I am proud of [I think]:
18,600 miles driven!
Days logged on 353
This is not to do with President of the USA number 45 because he’s a lying bullying racist cunt.
I love Gran Turismo. I have done since I lived in Chicago Avenue in Gillingham. My landlord borrowed a PlayStation from his brother and it had Gran Turismo. He and I would play this game and slowly over time I have gotten more and more into this particular game. I’ve owned every version.
The last few versions have had online gaming and I have a love hate relationship with the online version. Gran Turismo Sport has a vibrant online gaming community and I suspect there are people who race online all the time. I don’t get to see them often because my qualifying times aren’t that great.
Online racing is frustrating at times because I could get knocked off at a corner (or straight) and then I am pretty much in last place. The person who did the knocking will probably get a time penalty but my race is pretty much over. Also, there are times when I get knocked or hit into but then I receive the time penalty. This is what happened in the following clip. I was on the outside of the last corner of the Blue Moon Speedway when a black car rammed the car on the outside of him, then that second car rammed into me and I got a 1 second penalty. On a fast track like this 1s is a disaster and I can only pray for the whole front pack to take each other out to get any decent level of points.
In this clip my car is the dirty orange looking colour. I was racing closely with 9th place “YOUR-INFERIOR”, spelling please, I gave him room in the penultimate corner and then feathered the throttle going into the last corner. You will see 11th place “Golf_RalleyG60” come up the inside too fast and “lean” on “YOUR-INFERIOR” causing them to drift outwards and smack into me. In the second view you can see things from ” Golf_RalleyG60″‘s point of view with a reverse look to see me get my penalty.
Sometimes the racing is really good and there’s an unspoken gentlemen’s agreement as people race. Sometimes the race is full of assholes.
Here’s a win. Me racing my Porsche around Brands Hatch. Started in 5th and ended in first. I was pretty happy. This also means I don’t have the child rapist cabal that is the catholic church as my last communication.
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