Sunday, January 26, 2020

Bikes and Cars and ... Mini Eggs ?

Another busy week.

Or at least it's felt a lot like it was busy.

Since adding Magnesium tablets (Magnesium citrate) to the stuff I take*, they've met the aim of "let's not have those savage cramps any more" but I think they've addressed a symptom that I thought was just me being tired. Yep. Hyperactivity is coming back again, although it's tending to be when I need to bring out the energy and after a bit of a warm up. So I'll bounce off the walls and do stuff while at work and then zonk out when I get home.

Oh ! Thumbnail for post time :
Yep. That's going to be a new avatar at some point :-D. With a little bit of processing of course (I'll cut out the background and put transparency in).

*What was the star about ? I'm not taking much at the moment to keep me healthy. I'm on vitamin tablets and now the Magnesium citrate tablets because I was getting heavy cramps pretty much daily. Cramps in my legs are something I can handle, it's easy to stretch out and break those cramps but these were happening in my sides ... and all you can do there is pretty much stand there and take it while waiting for it to subside. I thought I should do something about that. The main symptoms are tiredness (yep), general weakness (yep), muscle cramps (ouch yep), abnormal heart rhythms (dunno), tremors (had a finger twitch in first couple of days of the tablets) and a few other things that I'm not going to look up.

Be wary of Dr Google though, it's worked in this case but I have had adverse reactions to other Good Idea Magic Pills in the past. Like another type of multivitamin which had adverse mental effects (Sleepypete became Nastypete, those ones got ditched after a week after we realised what was happening) and I can't take anti-histamines because I get most of the side effects including a nasty one with my tummy.

I haven't had to use any of the Timodene gunk for my outsides for many months though, which is a great sign of progress. My outsides are incredibly close to being healed. (Timodene is another topical steroid that promotes healing)

So ... needing to take another supplement because my diet as a whole is pretty nasty but steadily getting back to health again.

Teaser for later :
What could that be ? Oh wait, there's a picture below. Oh well. No surprises for later :-D. I still have a Lego Porsche to put together as well when I clear space to take pictures in.

This weekend has seen a lot of sport be on the various devices. I'm enjoying listening to the end of the Daytona 24 hours via (linky). There's a classic example there of a series that sets itself up well and presents itself excellently. The racing is great, it won't be certain who will win in each class until the end, although some of the competition have essentially eliminated themselves through various incidents that delay them enough to put them out of contention. But yeah, the racing is great across all classes and the presentation through is top class.

Compare that to World Endurance Championship and you essentially have a one-make top class where only one team is likely to win the actual races, unreliability marring the rest of the LMP races and shockingly poor presentation through what goes out through BT Sport (not so bad if you watch on the red button) and Eurosport. It's as contemptuous as how terrestrial TV used to treat cricket when they were allowed to have Test Matches. A sequence of "Over to ... in the pits for an interview" followed by a set of adverts instead of the interview was not just rare, it was happening for all of the interviews.

Too many ads, not enough racing.

I have a daft thought there instead of prioritising the Le Mans 24 hours, I might give the priority to the Nurburgring 24 hours which should happen a weekend after. However, while there's a lot more diversity at the Nurburgring, the attitude seems to be "any car can win as long as it's German". That's poor. If your car is good enough it should not need advantages. Oh and I also abandoned ship and went to bed for last year's Nurburgring because I thought there was a good chance of someone being seriously hurt during the race and I didn't want to see that.

Oh there may also have been Internet Spaceships and Spacemarines ...
The latest foray was in to the jungle planet of Havarl to fix that place up. I'm still enjoying this one, enough to have a very long session yesterday before realising that Daytona was on.
It's been getting prettier as I turn up the graphics options.

There have been internet spaceships as well, although that one has kinda been on a motivation break for a bit. I'll pile back into it at some point.
There have been some Pretty Things on the route so far. Shiny.

But ... crafting may have happened in the week ...
Frame and engine, ably displayed by a dragon who insists on displaying himself.
The frame takes place - spot the occasional cocktail stick poking out too. This one was held together more with pins, whereas the tug boat was interlocking pieces of wood.
The top goes on to the bike ...
A rear wheel is added (zooming in may show an elastic band drive chain).
A completed bike ! Needed a rider.
I think he's looking forward to taking it out.
And there we go !

Need more models now. That's one thing though, I've been enjoying putting the models together but it's good to have models you enjoy putting together ! Lego has been a little bit underwhelming of late and I might run out of the interesting Ugears models too. I sense a trimaran yacht arriving at some point.

But first ... there's just over another hour of Daytona 24 hours to enjoy. See ya !

PS Signed up to Amazon Prime Video for Star Trek Picard. Worth it on the first episode.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Inner space, outer space

Hello everyone,

I've been checking out something old. Well, not so old actually. It came out in 2017 but wasn't particularly well received when it did come out. Perhaps unfairly but we'll come back to that later.
Ok. Quick peek first ... For the thumbnail you know.

I've been continuing to accessorise ... Gadgets are cool. I need a cover or preferably a wallet style thing to cover the front of the phone when I'm not using it. Partly because the back of it is so slippy, the phone likes to end up on the floor. Partly because it's showing a tendency to open while it's in my pocket and end up on screens like the EULA for Apple Music. Yep, it's done that several times so far ...

So I'm looking for accessories for it. There's another thing it keeps slipping off ... I have that Bluetooth speaker and wireless charger ! But the phone is so slippy, it doesn't stay on the charging pad due to the vibrations coming from the speaker. I know ! Crazy, right ?

The speaker thingy is an Oslo Energy device bought from John Lewis (disclosure note - not provided) and I like what it's giving me as a speaker already. The Cambridge Audio speaker I had before seemed not quite right in what it was sending out in audio. This one is louder and purer. Perhaps because it's louder. Volume tends to cure bad sound.

So the laptop is currently sending music to the hifi through one Bluetooth widget and system audio (like stream audio) to the Oslo Energy thing. On the whole, the system copes pretty well but I have been hearing periodic audio break up from them as probably things get busier. I haven't heard it yet tonight though.

I also have another Ugears model to put together at some point.

Internet spaceships ? I've been enjoying going back to Mass Effect Andromeda. I was probably on a down when it first came out, plus I'd been watching it on stream and was getting a bit spoiled on it. The memory has faded since and the temptation came back to play it.
There's one taken from the game's own screenshot mechanism. Nothing so sophisticated as a F10 For Screenshot button, gotta use a console command unless you have access to an nVidia card for their Ansel feature.
One on the ground, showing the early crew, your rover and the scout spaceship they give you. I'm steadily turning up the graphics but these early shots were from cruder settings. Hopefully better later.
That's another from pretty early in the game, as I'm getting used to the Ansel system. In the foreground, we have Sara Ryder, Pathfinder protagonist and the character you play in the game. She's thrust in to the role due to events in the prologue and the game takes a theme of happy go lucky, make it up as you go along and shoot lots of things.

I've been enjoying it so far, although the last couple of sessions haven't had any combat. That's one thing about these games, it doesn't have to be pew pew all of the time, I've been enjoying watching the stories unfold and I think the developers had an over riding first priority of FUN with this one.
And then there's another one of our girl and her spaceship.

By the way, I play as the female protagonists because I like the voices. Jennifer Hale was marvelous as Commander Shepard in the first games and Fryda Wolff makes for a lovely Sara Ryder so far.

Oh and there's also been Stellaris (the wars continue), Motorsport Manager (last season in the lower league coming up I think) and Elite's been on the back burner for a few days. Oh and I've been enjoying England doing well in the cricket too. If the weather cooperates tomorrow, there should be another win happening.
I did find some gorgeous things earlier this week though.

Later !

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Back to work and exploring

Hello everyone,

We all went back to work this week, so you can guess what that means ... traffic mayhem ! I kinda avoided it for a couple of days by disappearing mostly before the traffic kicked off with the getting bad but got caught out in the mornings.

But first ... thumbnail pic !
I've been out and about again finding the pretty things with the internet spaceship.

The phone thing has been resolved, although .... I now need accessories. I'm liking the Pixel 4 so far and getting used to how it's different to the Galaxy S7 but there is something that's a bit too good with it. It's too shiny. Which translates to it being super slippy and having a tendency to bounce. So it needs a cover. I think the Pixel 4 is perhaps a bit too new and rare though for suitable covers to be widely available though for an acceptable price. Will have to keep looking.

The other accessory I'm looking for revolves around keeping it charged up ... The battery life has been good so far but I like to have the ability to charge up from multiple places. That means leads for home, work and the car. Because .... everyone forgets to put their phone on charge overnight sometimes.

What I'm likely to be acquiring is a combined bluetooth speaker and charging pad and that will help out keeping the laptop audible as well as charging the phone. Cos I have limited plug space as well ! And a combined bluetooth speaker and charging pad will save a socket. I've been doing a little research there too, as I already use bluetooth for sending audio from iTunes to my hifi and I'm relieved that I can use two separate devices for sending audio to two different places. Phew ! (It stresses the bluetooth a bit and the audio can break up sometimes but I'm ok with that)

Bit of a bang heading back in to work but it's good to be back and around people again.

Oh and ... watched Knives Out as well on Friday. I'd recommend it if you're interested in fun, smart, witty detective stories. Definitely one that I enjoyed.

Internet spaceships ? I figured out the answer to "What next?" And it was "Go find pretty things"
Bit of a false start with a visit to the local prison ship. (Oops)
And then we're off in the latest addition to the fleet, the Searching For Potatoes seen here picking up some improvements. Yep, another meme name.
From fairly early on in the trip, checking out a ringed metallic planet.
One thing I'm enjoying about this ship is a more open cockpit. Gives more chance to look at what's around.
This particular trip is taking me around stars of scientific interest. The cockpit pic was of Betelgeuse, a red super giant which could well be starting the next stage of its evolution. When its hydrogen runs out, it starts to burn and fuse heavier elements. The redder star is a carbon star, which may well be what Betelgeuse evolves in to.
Pretty ship is pretty. I like the design of this one too.
And silhouetted in from of VY Canis Majoris, another red super giant.
A more humble star, with rings ... Which may be a bit daft astronomically.
Been hunting the nebulae too ...
The game has been stressing my wrist a little apparently though. So it's good to find a place to rest up and repair. So this is the last one for today's post ... on approach to the Orion Nebula Visitor Centre.

Back later this week for more !

Sunday, January 05, 2020

New Year New Ships New Saga ?

Hello everyone,

Happy new year everyone. I hope it's a good one for you all.

I've started the year with a bit of a saga ... I currently have 2x Google Pixel 4 phones. Oops. But first ... thumbnail !
What could it be ? More later. There will also be Internet Spaceships and other spaceships.

Phone saga - I attempted to upgrade to a Pixel 4 last week but ... did it through the new phone bit instead of upgrade bit, so there would have been issues keeping my old number. I've had that number for maybe 25 years now ! (Depends whether I had phone before uni or after) Don't wanna lose that. Long story short - the new one is cancelled, upgrade has been delivered, all my 2 factor authentication people will be very confused by now (as is the bus ticket people !) and I need to smuggle the new one back to Three again. Apparently the shops can't take returns from online, which feels a bit daft. It seems like the shops would be the perfect place to transfer custody and check that all the bits are in there.

Internet spaceships has seen a new arrival :
That's the Searching for Potatoes, a name inspired by the lovely Kolo and that ship will go around the galaxy over the next few months. Should be good. There were some shenanigans with the old ship first though ...
Including some planetary base exploration ...
Shenanigans in the rover ...
That ship looked like it came down pretty hard.

And ... new games may have appeared :
It's called EarthX and it's about managing a rocket launching company. Looked promising, although it's an early access game (by a 17 year old on their own - awesome job already) so it's not done yet. The initial peek was fun.

Back to work tomorrow. The holiday period has been pretty dominated by what feels like a mix of nasty cough and benign cough. The cough itself wouldn't be too bad ... except there's been a few incidents where it has felt like I've had a brain shut down and reset due to coughing too much. Not good, hopefully all gone !

But ... about that boat ?
That's what's in the box. I'm trying something new here ... the new phone automatically uploads pictures to my google account so instead of copying them over via Bluetooth, new technique time. Hope it works out.
Every ship (well - most of them !) starts with a keel laying and my first exposure to elastic bands on this project. There may have been some sorcery with knots required but on the whole, the kit went together pretty smartly with the knobbly bits fitting in to the holes snugly. It won't be coming apart in a hurry and minimal sanding was needed to encourage things to fit. (Disclosure note - I bought the kit, watch for post and packaging costs - 1 place is cheap, 1 place is super pricey on P+P).
A side panel appears.
And the mechanisms start to take place. There is a driving wheel and a pair of wheels that give the boat a wobbly motion. And a wind up thingy !
And the starboard side goes on the boat. Including pendulum ... Oh as always, click for bigger and more detail with these.
Decking appears at the stern. Wonder what that is right near the stern ? More later.
The bow of the ship with the forward hull in place.
A view from a more assembled starboard side.
And much more assembled now. There's a fair bit of mechanism inside there. This is actually as complete as I'll take the model !
A view of the bow.
And port side. There's a lovely finish on the model. It isn't varnished (would probably interfere with the flat pack and assembly!) but the wood is lovely and gives off a nice woody smell.
Last one from above.

The mechanism is pretty tight so it isn't doing its elastic band powered forward movement thing but I think that's misalignments from me during build and a need of some of the waxing to lubricate the joins.

Would definitely get another of these :-D.