Muddling...

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:34 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei frown)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I did, eventually, sweep up the conkers late on Wednesday afternoon, and went to a radio club committee meeting in the evening.

Thursday morning's Morse practice was a bit more of a struggle than usual, partly because I wasn't particularly awake, and partly because of the odd HF propagation. The rest of the day mostly followed a similar pattern. I managed to get a little preparation done, but not much else.

Friday followed the same sort of muddled path, mostly, and I got less done than I'd have liked. On Friday evening I went over to Gravesend for gaming, and we spent the evening chatting.

There was the first day of a Foundation radio licence course on Sunday, so I had some preparation to do on Saturday. I managed to get it done, well enough, but other things I might have done fell by the wayside.

The course day on Sunday seemed to go well enough. The clubhouse we use is no longer being used by a pre-school, which meant we didn't have to work around piles of stuff. Just as well, as the course was full. Also just as well we didn't need my laptop, as I managed to take it but leave its mains adapter behind, so it would only have run for about half the day. I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day.

This morning's been another slow one. I've spent some of it trying to get FC preparation done. It's yet another day of sunshine and random heavy showers.

I still havn't managed to get out to that geocache or the nearby SOTA summit. I have, somehow, managed to keep Duolingo and Ingress streaks alive, but yesterday was a close call...
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?

Dropped...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:35 am
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
There are days and days...

I've not slept that well the last few nights, for a variety of reasons including lack of sufficient exercise during the day, and the weather. Last night's sleep suffered from both of those. It was another blustery night, sufficiently so that I felt the need (around 03:30) to get up and go around the house making sure all the windows were firmly closed, and then making sure there were no gaps in the bedroom curtains through which the neighbours' wretched motion-triggered lights could shine. In windy weather they turn themselves on and off frequently and erratically. (I have spoken to the neighbours concerned, but they've not done anything useful as a result.)

I had planned a local outing for this morning, primarily to attend to a geocache of mine, but also, possibly, to activate my nearest SOTA summit. However, the late slow start to my day and a deterioration of the day's weather forecast have put paid to that. I should get to walk as far as the shops, and I have to go out this evening on radio club business, but that's about all I have energy for. If I can, I'll find the energy to sweep up all the conkers the wind has brought down, but I'll do that after the afternoon schools exodus, as there's a fair chance I'll end up with quite a bit less to sweep up...

Juggling...

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
About lunch-time on Saturday I decided to experiment on the new antenna with the mast only partially raised. I put just two sections up. That meant I had to do a little fiddling with the guys, and I'll have to figure out something less fiddly if I repeat the exercise. HF conditions were not great.

On Sunday morning after the radio club Net I took a look at the weather forecast and lowered the mast. Then I headed for Epping for an NMC rehearsal. I chose the Blackwall Tunnel route because traffic reports indicated sever problems on the M25. I arrived a little later than planned, but it could have been worse. The rehearsal was quite hard work, but usefully so. By the time I headed home the weather had turned wet, but the M25 (or at least the part of it I needed to use) was in better shape, so the drive, though somewhat longer, was also somewhat quicker. It seems there had been another fairly large X-class flare from the Sun early in the afternoon. The HF bands were not exactly humming in the evening. That and the wet weather made me doubly glad I'd lowered the mast in the morning.

On Monday I tried to fit a walk to the shops in between the rain, and mostly succeeded. Most of the rest of the day went into preparing a radio club newsletter. In the evening I managed to catch the Morse practice broadcast from Essex. Unusually, it was a mostly good clear signal, and I didn't do too badly.

I was awake in the middle of the night, and ended up spending awhile kicking my weather system back into action. Sometimes problems seem to be because the computer's USB has got itself into a strange state. Other times it's because the weather system's console is in a muddle. On this occasion it seems both problems were evident. Power down and reboot computer? No change. Reset weather system console? No apparent difference. Power down and reboot computer again. Communication re-established. Go back to bed.

I was awake a little later than planned this morning. The weather's fine but windy. There's laundry on the line outside getting dry. I, however, don't have much energy...

I understood that reference!

Sep. 9th, 2017 11:21 am
aunty_marion: (caffeine-stream)
[personal profile] aunty_marion
Or, things that I dreamed where I know exactly where the components came from!

It felt like several mini-dreams, almost repeated, but that could have been an illusion and it was one dream where I simply saw the same thing again and again. I was watching Hamlet (yes, we know where THAT's from!), but only the Yorick scene (photo? what photo? *walks off whistling innocently*); but every time it was a different presentation of the skull - different lighting, different skull, and so on. The only one I remember clearly was where the skull was actually a hologram, just hovering in mid-air. But the colours of the lighting were all different (why, hello, Thor: Ragnarok posters...), though they didn't appear in 'rainbow' order. I think the skull-hologram was red.

And then I woke up & went to the loo, and went back to sleep (dreamlessly, as far as I can remember) for another three hours and so woke up late.

A Slow Week...

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:53 am
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I got much less done over the last week than I'd planned. A few important jobs (like doing enough garden clearing to fill the garden waste bin) did get done, which, I guess, is something. The week's main distraction was a visit to the dentist on Thursday. Additional appointments have been booked. I am not looking forward to them.

I caught the club radio Nets on Sunday morning (top band) and Wednesday evening (VHF), and the Morse practice on Thursday morning went about as well as average, but not as well as the week before. I also went to a radio club meeting on Monday evening. The talk was an interesting one about the first trans-Atlantic under-sea cables.

Short-wave radio conditions were very variable over the week. I spent a bit of time trying to chase SOTA activators, at least partly to see how much of an improvement my new antenna has made, but the Sun has been surprisingly active, given we're close to sunspot minimum. On Wednesday one of the large sunspot groups produced two X-class flares. The first one, which happened shortly after 10am, seemed pretty big and caused a short-wave blackout for a while. The second one, which happened at about 1pm, made the first one look like a minor event. It was followed by a somewhat deeper radio blackout, and an associated coronal mass ejection hit the Earth very early on Friday morning, so it travelled 93 million miles in 36 hours. It produced some fairly impressive auroras, I'm told.

On Friday evening I went over to Gravesend. We played Ticket to Ride Europe, which Lissa won. We ended up heavily contesting a small part of the board, and at the end I think there were only five points between first and last.

During the week there's been a bit of rain, some of it quite heavy. The weather today looks a bit brighter, but it's definitely a bit chillier. Autumn is, clearly, on its way.

I've got prospects

Sep. 6th, 2017 12:00 pm
filkerdave: (h2g2)
[personal profile] filkerdave

This is kind of cool. I decided that it's high time I read some of John Le Carré's books. I've been meaing too for several years, since the film of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" came out a few years back. I started with "Call for the Dead" and then "A Murder of Quality" and now I'm reading through "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold"

About a quarter of the way into the book is this bit: "He was as ready to drink tea at Fortnum’s as beer at the Prospect of Whitby"

This made me smile because The Prospect of Whitby is a real pub in London, and I was there a few times when I was living in London. It's right along the Thames in Wapping (maybe a mile and half east of the Tower of London for those who want a better landmark). There's a long pewter-covered bar inside and really tasty food and beer inside. Since you're right on the river there are great views.

Just a little unexpected moment that brightened my day.

Dreambits

Sep. 6th, 2017 09:16 am
filkerdave: (spiders!)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Well, not really dreambits other than I had someone invade my dreams last night that I haven't spoken to in *years*, just out of the blue. There's no reason I can think of for this to have happened. Usually I can find some trigger to drams in what's going on during the day or in my life. But this? Nope.

Color me confused.

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