I’m weird.

Apparently I’m “weird” because I enjoy wearing shiny clothes and I sometimes go to fetish clubs. This was the opinion of someone who I would describe as “dull and uninteresting”.

I’m not going to make out that what I enjoy is in any way normal to most people, but FFS we are all different and we all have different things we enjoy which someone else will think it’s a bit strange.

Don’t knock the train spotters when you see them stood on the end of Doncaster platform. It’s their little bit of weird. Live and let live!

Thursday, or is it Tuesday?

I’m rather lucky as even in the midst of all this social distancing and isolation I’m still working. Fire alarms are considered essential and according to government and FIA guidelines I have to keep them up to date where the business is still functioning.

Every Thursday morning I sit in my office for an hour or so and contact the next week’s services and book them in. Today I did that and around 75% of the scheduled ones yielded results – a number of them had closed because of COVID-19, and one didn’t realise I would still be servicing, but when I explained that in these times more than ever early warning of fire is absolutely essential.

Apart from servicing – much of my other work has been CCTV related – people protecting their shut down businesses and their homes as whilst shoplifting has dropped massively, crimes against shut down businesses continue and if a crime is undetected for a number of days or even weeks the criminals could return many times and wreak havoc.

I’ve still got a solid work book ahead, although turnover has dropped but profit has remained the same. I’m optimistic I’ll be able to pull through the other side, although my business will be set back a couple of years.

The Rites of Spring Festival – 10 years on

Ten years ago I was blogging about RoSfest – it’s rather hard to believe how long ago it was now. We were nervous because a volcano in Iceland that nobody could pronounce closed our skies just a few weeks before. Now the skies are closed for a very different reason, a much greater risk to human life, one which is unavoidable and can only be risk assessed to a low 2 at best, unlike the volcano which threatened nobody and just adjusted our lives.

Did RoSfest forward my career? Honestly? A little. I thought of the time that we would all be instant rock stars, but alas it was not to be. I was very forgetful of the fact that I was a bassist in someone’s band, and I was being treated as a session musician. My mum commented that when she came to see one of our gigs someone in the audience commented “it’s all about Guy, the rest of the band are just there to back him up”.

She didn’t tell me that at the time. I suspect it would have given me the urge to jump ship.

As a bassist I gained little extra recognition. We partied a little on the Saturday night, but I didn’t then spend the afternoon after our performance signing autographs or being swamped by fans. I did autograph a few copies of Number Ten – ironically the album I came into the band during the recording of and an album I didn’t actually contribute much to.

The experience itself was goodish though. A big stage with good professional crew always makes for a good gig. My first jaunt to the USA, which was also good, and the whole experience of playing to a new crowd in another country.

I’d definitely do it again, just only as a creative part of the band I’m in.

Gah earache!

I know there are far worse problems in the world right now, but don’t you find that one of the worst single pains you can have is earache?

It makes all your body feel sluggish and your entire head just throbs.

Luckily I have some antibiotic ear spray otherwise I don’t think the doctor would be able to see me.

My Carry

I’ve often seen people sharing “what’s in my bag” posts when it comes to tech. These people often traipse around carrying a huge backpack with dozens and dozens of cables, bricks, chargers, dongles. Well I’m the opposite. I’m a pocket guy and I have an absolute bare minimum of kit. I like everything the have multiple uses and if it doesn’t fulfill my requirements precisely I’m always seeking a better version. So here we go… My pocket carry.

1. Phone

It’s a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. The rather nice shiny chromatic one.

It’s main selling point for me is the stylus – but more importantly the fact it’s a Bluetooth stylus with accelerometer and allows remote control over the phone to an extent. I have used it for presentations and it feels great holding the button in and flicking left to go to the previous slide. It’s also usable as a remote camera shutter.

The camera is very capable and I no longer use my other cameras because of this.

Also, with an almost 7″ screen it’s a great media consumption device and because the screen is AMOLED it’s daylight readable and usable.

I’m also a huge fan of Samsung Pay. It allows me to leave my wallet at home. I’d love the ability to log into a cash machine with it and dispense cash, but alas that’s not a thing yet.

2. Headphones

Media consumption is also improved with my earphones – the Samsung Galaxy Buds. Great sounding. Good battery life. And I can charge them using the same cable and charger combination as the phone itself, or for a top up I can use the reverse wireless charging feature in the phone.

3. The Watch

I also have a watch to go with the setup. It’s good as a notification tool, but also has the added bonus that you can use it as a remote control for the camera too (with viewfinder).

The Watch I have is a Galaxy Watch LTE. It’s the smaller 42mm version as I just find them a little more manageable. I’ve had a 46mm version and it was also nice, but the 42mm just feels the right size to me.

4. Keeping it running

I have a number of solutions for keeping all this stuff working.

First I use a folding charger. It’s made by Mu and answers all my grief about British plugs.

Unfortunately development on these seems to have stalled which means the USB C version never appeared. Not to worry though as my next item depends on a regular USB A port.

The cable I keep with me is a bracelet in disguise. It’s a beautiful invention and looks just like a simple leather band bracelet, until you separate it at which point it turns into a USB A-USB C cable. The one I have is a good enough spec to do DeX on PC.

Finally, for longer journeys I have a battery brick, or battery case, or a combination of both for even longer journeys.

Also in my occasional carry is a Surface Wireless Display adaptor and pocket projector. A small gadget which allows you to project wirelessly and the projector to plug it into.

These all charge using usb C so I can keep a battery case charged rather than having to tether to a socket using an obscenely short usb cable.

For now this all works for me, although I’m sure it’ll constantly evolve. Note though that just 2 years ago I was a bag person.