Saturday, July 25, 2015

I needed that pizza, I really did

Nah. I needed to test my leg. But before that ...

I've had a couple of away days ! It was actually supposed to be 3 away days but one got cancelled. I'm closely involved with two parts of the team I'm a part of at work. There's a delivery team and another one that looks more after helping out the people supporting the kit we look after.

But yeah, it's all about getting away for a day or two, away from the distractions of the email and the phones and the people coming up with really important things they want you to do. You know, the sort of thing they should have been doing themselves. And then the days are about getting more from each other in the team and how we can work better as a team. Part of that is how we present ourselves, to get more help from the widest parts of our organisation. Because the more expertise we bring in, the better product we come out with. It's so important to admit that you don't know everything. I definitely don't. And in our organisation, keeping people involved helps with :

Approval to do what your project is supposed to do
Money ! For the project.
Assistance with queries on how to use, what it should be, who's using it, how are they trained
Lessons for how to support what we make. Because support is maybe 10 times the cost of buying our stuff. It's really important to get that right.

(And I'm really happy that one of the people who keeps an eye on me and keeps me pointed in the right direction is a support person. And can I have some tea please ?)
Getting back was interesting yesterday. We had heavy rain that was turning conditions on the motorway towards what I'd describe as "Filthy Nasty". Not dangerous, not spiteful but still pretty nasty. Visibility was way down, which is what turned it nasty. But there was no wind tugging at the wheel and no massive puddles pulling cars in odd directions.

But it was quite scary at times with :
No visibility due to being in 40mph traffic (on 70mph motorway) with big vans in front. Can't see much of the road ahead, so you can't anticipate the accident you're about to be a part of.
Daft people making the road go slow for no apparent reason. There were no reduced speed limits for the bits where we went standstill, so why did the road go standstill ? It happens ... and is very odd.

One of the things they had where we visited was a flight simulator rig. This wasn't quite in the region of big fancy moving massive things but it did have 4 (count 'em) Very Large Screens plus a Cushy Fancy Chair and a medium end flightstick. (It was a Saitek X52 Pro).

Kinda glad I didn't get the X52 that PC World are selling reasonably cheap. It wouldn't have fit on my desk. The Thrustmaster one I bought barely fits on my desk and I have to have it and the keyboard at an angle.

But I digress - the flight sim looked awesome and I could actually get it for my machine. It was X-Plane 10, not sure if I'd get that or MS Flight Sim, although I do already own IL-2 Sturmovik, which is a WW2 flight sim. I play Elite Dangerous a lot but proper flight sims are way more difficult and engaging than space sims.

Proper flight depends on how the lift surfaces interact with the air. If they stop going through the air, gravity takes over and the plane takes a liking to the ground. In Elite, I land by positioning the ship over the landing pad and going straight down. I can go left, right, up, down, forward and back freely. Not so in an aircraft.

How did I do ? It was an abbreviated flight because everyone else was legging it to get lunch and I didn't want to miss that. No time to come around in a racetrack to find the runway and set up an approach, just a dirty dirt landing around the airstrip. I landed ! Hurrah. Nasty one though but I'm happy considering it's the first time I've done any sim time in many, many years.

Right - it's getting dark here and I need to stand up to turn the lights on - did I mention testing my leg earlier ?
Yep. Time to go on a mission.

I really need to find something alternate to drink at bars instead of coke. Beer is out because I have a really low tolerance before I get very ill. Coke is what I prefer but it makes me dehydrated, mucking up my mineral balance.

That's really bad because when I go for sleep later, more often than not I'll cramp up. And that happened on Thursday. I have a couple of different grades for cramp :

Light what was that ? cramp - where I can sort it out without getting out of bed.
Medium ouch cramp - where I need to stand up to sort it out
Heavy cramp - where it cramps hard enough to strain or tear muscles.

And I have literally torn muscles in the past due to cramp. There was a time when I could barely walk for a week, due to tearing both calf muscles. One on the way to a fitness test, one halfway round that test. Kept on going of course (no sense, no feeling).

This is medium/heavy. I've gotten away with it - the leg hurts but I can walk on it easily. It just has zero power available for anything more than walking, like dodging cars. I notice that a lot because I got used to having legs with massive sprinting power (also useful for push starting reluctant cars).

The pizza walk was a good test. And I'll be drinking lots of water too as I get back to the home life pattern.

So that's where I've been ! Doing useful things.

Oh ! The iPhone hotspot tethering worked ... In that the Macbook and iPad could talk to the phone. Pity that the phone barely had any signal and that my Macbook Air (late 2013 model) is one of those with dodgy wifi*.

*(technical explanation - 5GHz new wifi works, 2.4GHz old wifi ... doesn't. But it doesn't know that so it annoys me by trying to use the broken wifi anyway)

And I definitely better leave it there before :
I get too techy on you !
The light gets too dim to type.
I trip over unseen clutter on the way to the light switch.

PS They put my Big Internet Spaceship into a garage that's behind quarantine. I was planning to use it again ! Just having to settle for the beautiful Cookie Clipper (purple edition) instead.
Cya !

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