Daily thought – Technology

It’s not often or maybe I should say I was not often that I missed the much hyped Apple event(s) but yesterdays came and went I was was oblivious to it. Now as a long time user of the green fruits products and one who use to devour any and all *news and product reviews in the days before the web when there were a number of mags that were religiously followed to then coveting those new products, I have seen my interest wain over the last few years and I find myself thinking that there is nothing in the shopping basket that I actually want. Now I am not sure if this is due to the general downsizing and or minimising my life or whether it is in a general lost of passion for these “toys”. I find my self clicking through the bright shiny pages on Apple’s site with antipathy and maybe even a bit of boredom thats not to say I don’t actually want anything new but I am now looking at every purchase with a new sense of whether I actually need it and giving myself some criteria and timelines to guide these purchases. Having just got a “new” old phone and it really meeting my needs I don’t see myself needing anything new for a couple of years and its kind of freeing now not having to keep up with and fund these seemingly yearly upgrades.

One thing I did find interesting is the projections and Apples’ view of where we are all heading with the personal computer and that term is very used loosely. From the advent of the big iPad Pro it seemed to me that there would be a smaller sibling and they seem to be manoeuvring there ranges into a more cohesive and delineated one, but it does raise interesting questions for me to any future purchases of tech gear. As I came from the desktop environment through laptops to current day there are many things that I would miss if they weren’t there and many things on the iOS platform that I just can’t be done at the current time. Saying that there are now only a few tasks that I can only carry out on the laptop rather than an iPad and I have question whether I could I adapt and sacrifice those programs or tasks to other ways of completing them. But I am starting to think about the balance of power, however there is such a choice that then adds inertia to the decision making process.

Who knows what the technology will have moved on to by the time I am ready to make the next purchase but that won’t be for a while..

*one of my many news sites that I follows

Weekend away

Visiting family this weekend and having a car to take them out we went to visit a National Trust site called Lacock Abbey on Saturday Afternoon. Although the weather was not very nice i.e. Grey, cold and bitter northerly wind so no spring in the air, it was an interesting visit with much to look at including a museum and Abbey. The village is part  of a wider NT estate with the Abbey that was once and Nunnery and the surrounding lands. It has been kept free of modern commerce by and large and for this reason it also has much TV and film location work carried out there for period and costume dramas as it is pretty much kept in a form that can be used without too much radical alteration for these types of productions. One of it’s claims to fame is its the home of the birth of modern film photography and Fox Talbot probably would have been amazed and some what puzzled at the volume of people using extensions of his ideas and technologies to take selfies. The chatter of shutter lenses was ever present and I can’t imagine what it would be like in the height of summer as even on that biting day there were bus loads of people wandering around taking hundreds of pictures and videos. I do sometimes wonder if they are actually looking around at the buildings and scenery or just box ticking the list off. Maybe I am the strange one.

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From this picturesque scene I climbed away from the ford and the village and was lead to the out skirts of the village where at a boundary gate, this one generically called a kissing gate, I by sheer guess work and seeing distant fellow travellers navigated a circular route following a small river back to my original location. Pretty much every village in England has a meandering circular walk with ancient walk ways interlinked and cutting tangents over the landscape and as everything appears to be so close it always seems to me ones final destination is just round the corner. Well certainly in most parts of southern England anyway.

Sunday saw an early start and a journey that would end up taking way longer and not actually reaching its goal. Suffice to say I was attempting to reach Dundas Aqueduct near Limply Stoke on the Kennett and Avon Canal. However after a bit of a diversion and realising that I was really taking a lot longer than planned or expected I decided to turned for home at the 5 mile mark. Why is it that it always seems quicker when one is homeward bound.. On the outbound trek it was quiet and pretty much un-disturbed apart from the occasional runner or cyclist also out on there early morning exercises. But the return leg was a far busier one with a myriad of people walking dogs, running groups, people out for a potter, fishermen, kayakers, day cruisers and general on the cutters not to mention the people appearing bleary eyed from depths of boats and people starting to carry out needed repairs. The smell of breakfasts just urged me on and the thought of mine on my return. Canals have always held a fascination with me and the fact that the wend there way around the countryside pretty much un-noticed now where as in days gone by there were the industrial motorways of the country is just amazing to me and the fact we take for granted as something that has always been part of our landscape with its simplicity could have effected the modern world so much. I could go on for ages but I won’t but it’s something I want to explore more this years so expect more photos from the “cut”

    

My name is Ted and I procrastinate…..

Tedtalks, Tedx, ted.com or what ever it is now. Over the years I have dipped into Ted most likely from links sent from friends or colleagues but its not something I have gone back to or spent much time on. In an email from a friend yesterday I was pointed to a talk by Tim Urban that resonated with me so much. As one of those people that leave/left it until the last minute to do and achieve things I can completely identify with the talk and I always said I worked best under pressure and that I had to have a deadline to get things done. Now that I have had time to stop and think about these things I am trying to move away from the just in time mentality. Funnily enough I hate to be late and would much rather arrive 30 minutes early that be a minute late, not really in line with the procrastinator principles I guess.

In this world of “constantly on”, goals, targets for work, career, life etc etc and just about everything in between it is important to take time to at the things we do it’s just not getting caught up in the looking and not making progress some progress any progress, which I have suffered from in the past but not anymore ah ha.

Now that I have disappeared down the rabbit hole there’s a world of talks worth taking a look at some more whackier than others but interesting none the less. Now where did the day go..

Cloud of the day

IMG_0045.jpegNo its not going to be a regular thing and no I’m not getting obsessed. It’s a nice change to the grim greyness of the last few months and one forgets what there like when there not around. It is funny that through my winter walking there comes a point when I think how long will it be before I can walk round in t-shirts and less heavy boots. Conversely there is a point in summer when I think it will be soon time to wrap up warmly and the summer will be a distant memory. I am not complaining in away as I love the seasons here and having lived and travelled it is the one thing I missed when I was away. But I guess generally we all like our own landscapes and environments that we grew up with. Having lived or worked in cities I really appreciate the openness of the skies here and although there are plenty of other places where it is more spectacular for me seeing the seasons change framed in the local landscape is something I cherish and when and if I move from here it will always be some where I can visually and mentally return to.

Oh and my guess is Cumulus..

 

Daily thought

IMG_0041Finally the winter is moving to spring hopefully and on my walk yesterday I was just looking up most of the time looking at the changing formations of the clouds above me. I tried to remember the formulations thinking of cirrus or cirrostratus getting back I checked it out with the met office and my grounding at an early age from my Ladybird book; The Weather seemed to have sunk in. Who knew there was cloud geekery, whilst checking this out came across all sorts of sites dedicated to cloud formations, meanings and photos of formations. Not sure I would go that far but I do like looking up at them whilst out and about and it can tell us much about the weather whereas we now rely on being told what it is from many sources. Working out doors when I left school it is interesting to see that we naturally see and feel the weather much more than my older self and being sync with time was always amazing to me that I could be with in around 5 minutes in the days when I had no watch. Later in life that either I wasn’t aware or more likely didn’t care until faced with degrees of extreme. Although it was particularly warm yesterday due to northerly wind I did stop look around and up and spent some time looking at the view which normally I am focused on getting back. Not exactly blue sky thinking but not far off.

Today in a cruel return to cold, foggy and dampness not much to see here so moving along. A day to spend doing some practical things with wood and power tools 🙂

Bread ‘n’ Butter

P1020884It has been some long time since I made bread mainly because I stopped eating so much of it as a part of cutting down on wheat products. I didn’t think it would turn out too well as the dough was rather dry and a bit brick like. However the proof was in the eating and pretty delicious it is. One the the things I miss about breakfast now it the absence of Marmalade course cut naturally, however this morning that was rectified. I usually don’t make two loaves as it doesn’t hang around that long but this time I split it and am going to freeze one after cutting it into slices, a neat trick a friend taught me years ago. With Easter round the corner I am tempted to have a go at making some Hot Cross Buns as it not something I have done before and always good to challenge ones self. I can also off load them on the family and friends so I don’t end up eating all of them!

I really also need to look at some different types of bread as I have pretty much made the same thing for years not that I am bored of it but just variety is the spice of life supposedly. I did consider sour dough but I am not sure I can keep up with all the maintenance and as I am out and about a fair bit it may not be practical. Then there’s soda breads and enriched doughs but again not good for ones waist line.

Films – Hail, Caesar!

Tonight after an early meal I set off with family friend to see the latest Coen brothers film and I really enjoyed it apart from a rather annoying person who explained everything loudly to his wife and loudly laughed most of if not all the way through the film. Now my friends who say cinemas are rubbish would hold up this example of why they don’t go anymore and why others shouldn’t bother. I however although somewhat infuriated still love the experience. So the simple solution was to move as the screen was relatively empty and actually ended up being a better position and let others around ass put up with it.

For me it was Josh Brolin and Ralph Fiennes who made the film for me and strangely George Clooney seemed to be not as prominent as I suspected. However the rest of the film have many laugh out loud moments from Brolin’s character cagging a cigarette from the cops, the musical number and the cameo of Frances McDormand but enough of the spoilers. I would rate as a great evenings entertainment but maybe not on my desert island list.

Unexpected slice of Pi

Out of the blue a package arrived yesterday that I was not expecting. I hadn’t ordered anything from that online store that has everything so with some intrigue I opened it up and looked inside. Included in the box were these and some more bits and pieces with a anti static bad with small PCB in and it turned out to be a Raspberry Pi. I immediately knew who had sent it to me but was puzzled to why. After a brief conversation with my friend it turned out that he thought I could do with some mental aerobics and that maybe I could become the next Bill Gates. I rather think I have missed the boat on that one. However it led me to some more interesting time consuming distractions, which I really keep a check on as hours even days can go by if I am not careful.

So what does this all mean? Well I am not about to become a code monkey in case your wondering but it does raise some interesting ideas one of which is to give the Pi to my niece but I suspect that she may not necessarily so interested in technology more so the arts but I would like to encourage her in such things, as they are now becoming almost a prerequisite to modern life, unlike her parents. As for me I have some interest in using one of these to maybe use as digital tool box for ideas trying out some home automation tasks and have looked at RaspberryPis for some time with that in mind.

Getting sucked into this rabbit hole I am slowly refining my “footure” and as commented on elsewhere it’s more about working out what one doesn’t want to do than what one wants to do. I was also given a link (open in your podcast player of choice, mine is Overcast) by my friend for a podcast episode by the book author which brought up a lot of thought provoking material. Whilst I also have no desire to become a captain of industry the ideas of micro-entrepreneurship kind of struck a cord and the idea of a an individual or small business providing a service rumbled the grey matter. I need to do more research and think about some blue skies.

Cup of tea beckons..

Pharoes 

Sometimes when I can’t sleep I listen to this from “back to mine” with track 14 on repeat which  I eventually fall asleep to (unfortunately I can’t find a video on YouTube for this). I have also listened to the real late night bulletins on occasion which I find relaxing but in winter wonder what gale force wind 10 possibly 11 veering southwesterly must be like for those in peril on the sea, pretty bloody rough!

There is a whole sub culture built up round the Shipping Forecast with some pretty weird and wonderful things to it and when there was talk of it being axed due to modern technology making it obsolete there was an outcry which ended saving it.

So next time you hear of gales in some far flung sea area … Spare a thought for those souls being hurled around in that angry expanse of water, wind and rain.