Side effects.

I’ve had quite a few side effects after my COVID vaccination; but I’d still have it again. It’s everyone’s duty to get vaccinated.

The first night I had a rough night, with shivers and sweating alternating.

The following day I felt like I had a mild flu – not good timing as I was selling a load of gear on Facebook Marketplace and it was getting collected.

Remember the chairs I bought when I had the classroom? Well there’s 3 left now. I met various people and saw the back of 18, plus a load of tools, and a few bits of “junk” that actually turned out to be wanted by someone!

It also means my old unit is finally starting to get emptier – again I’m determined not to transport loads of boxes of junk over there.

Sunday (day two) was much better – although my arm remained sore.

Well it’s now Wednesday and apart from a sore spot where the injection was I feel totally fine.

So what’s happened?

Well you’ve probably noticed I’ve been absent for a couple of weeks. Well my unit was subject to an attempted break in on Wednesday/Thursday last week. They bent the locking pin on the shutter doors and caused some damage to one of the runners.

I’ve now repaired the damage, but it scared me and so I decided to call it a day down there. I hate most of my neighbours – honestly they’re thoughtless thick people. I’m not tolerant of people like this.

And thus, after applying for and being successful in my application I’m now in the process of moving into a rather nice and comfy unit; heated, well lit, and without the concern that my door will be constantly blocked by people who have an IQ similar to that of a kumquat.

As you’ll see it’s much bigger than my current one…

The shutter alone is a full 1ft wider! Outside my main door there’s a small breakout area, and up at the end of the corridor I have toilets, showers, a kitchen, and vending machines.

I think I’m going to be a lot happier here!

So many followers, yet so little interaction

I bet I’m not the only one who tires of social media. Whilst I carry on writing what is in essence my diary or journal here (although I do have a private diary on Journal too) I don’t keep up to date with many of my follows.

It’s remarkable how if I tag a post “health” I’ll get loads of new followers, all of them for their own personal commercial gain and trying to sell me their latest product.

If I tag a post “cats” or “pets” I get the same, but with pets – often trying to sell their latest quack cure for dysfunctional cats. Newsbreak. They’re cats. It’s in their nature to be a bit weird.

Social media is hardly social media when it’s just bots following you to gain something for the bot owner. It’s advertising without the cost. It’s lazy, and I bet it gets hardly any results for the people involved.

I never click on to their blog. Ever!

But, bot makers, please keep it up. Every time I get a new follow my blog gets escalated and I get real followers as a result! So it’s not all bad then.

Sunday

Today was a really odd day. We’d planned on a bike ride, just a short one as I’m still building my energy up. It was a rather muddy one – but I knew it would be and I did actually wear leather jeans! Great for wiping down after.

We didn’t do quite as far as last time, however, the ride was harder as there were more hills as is reflected in my heart rate and the number of calories burnt for a shorter run.

When we got back to the car I realised just how muddy it had been! Thankfully leather is wipe clean.

So we got home, cleaned up, and I then got into my comfy clothes for our first rehearsal over Jamulus with some of the fishes. We are songwriting and because of the current lockdown we can’t meet up so this is the best way. You can’t use a platform like WhatsApp or Teams because the lag is too high – around half a second.

It is ok once you get used to the slight delay. Sadly Bob couldn’t get his Mac to work correctly – something to do with his ASIO settings – so we’ve agreed to reconvene next week for a second attempt.

The day finished with me attempting to collect all my star fragments in Animal Crossing. We had a meteor shower last night in the game so I have fragments all over the beaches.

A bike!

So I started the week thinking I was getting chunky again. Not quite as bad as before, but the new scales made me realise just how inaccurate the old ones were; and boy were they bad.

As a scientist by training it’s always been within my mind that no equipment is good unless it is calibrated, and that calibration checked against a known good from time to time – so I am now weighing in on public scales as I can see the calibration labels on those and thus I’ll know if mine begin to fail again.

So, back to the bike. I decided I needed more exercise; and I needed both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. A bike delivers both of these to an extent and so I started making enquiries about exercise bikes. But then, I thought, exercise bikes are for the most part pointless and boring! It’s the same scenery all the time and unless you get a really expensive one they just simulate the same level of resistance.

Thus it was decided. I was going to get a real bike. But I always loved the simplicity of the BMX. No gears. A simple chain driven system. No fancy suspension. So I started looking around for BMX bikes.

Amazingly I discovered that they are now really popular! After virtually disappearing off the market 15 years ago they are now back in a big way and there were loads to choose from on Facebook Marketplace.

So I looked at sizes – a 6ft adult needs 20.5″ wheels and a 20 to 20.8″ crossbar for an optimum stunt performance whilst still being able to use the saddle if needed (not that you use the saddle much on a BMX).

I found this beauty.

20.5″ wheels and just over 20″ crossbar length. Not too far away either. So I went and collected it. I have to say I love the colour!

It’s official I now have a BMX! Last time I used a BMX was in about 1987 and it was my Diamond Back Silver Streak 2.

Yesterday we went out with them for the first time. I was reminded again that I’m not actually 16 as I finished off pretty much exhausted! But that’ll change. A gentle start to a regular exercise regime and I’ll soon start rebuilding my muscle structure.

Then again it was a -3°C day and with the wind it felt like -8°C! Definitely hard work there.

Today is Valentine’s Day. We’re going to have another short ride today. A couple of miles. Nothing too strenuous or hilly. Think of this as my couch to 10K…

I’m now looking at other exercises I can do to improve my muscle tone. I don’t want to be a beefcake; but a six pack would be lovely.

Aw cute!

Our old salt and pepper pots are really chipped and have sentimental value; so I got these. They were fairly cheap and are easily available and replaceable – and I’m a sucker for Pacman – but I’m very authentic. I hate to see the Namco franchise corrupted. The maze must be accurate; the ghost colours; the entire imagery is very specific. Therefore, I give you Inky and Blinky.

Mend it, don’t bin it.

I finally got the parts to fix our washing machine yesterday. A new drum mounting spider and a new door seal. Annoyingly they should have been here on Monday!

So I came in from work and proceeded to undertake the mammoth task of breaking it apart to get right into the back of the drum. It was a task and a half I’ll tell you!

Once inside and after around an hour I found the failure projection was spot on. The drum support spider was in 4 pieces!

As you can see it’s shattered!

What’s in my bag, 2021

Years ago I used to carry a bag with me containing laptops, battery bricks, cables, in fact loads of stuff! They weighed a tonne but it was what I needed. Nowadays, however, my “bag” is variable depending on what I intend to do. These are the items that go in my full size travel bag; but obviously I do change from day to day and sometimes by bag read pockets.

1. Top left – T-Core power brick. It’s a decent two charge brick with USB C support. I also have larger bricks for weekends but this one is a good daytrip one.

2. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone – the powerhouse of my setup. The reason I don’t carry a laptop everywhere.

3. Cheerdots “Cheerpod” (with it’s case and USB C cable) – A Kickstarter I backed for an air mouse/desk mouse combination. It turned out to be a great little device and it can replace both a presentation controller and a mouse; plus it’s a USB C charger.

4. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (the beans) – I have very small ear canals and these fit great. I can wear them for a few hours without even realising I’ve got them in. Plus because they’re not “in the ear canal” I don’t get the perpetual ear infections I get with regular in ears.

5. Andoer LED video light – a multi function full RGB video light and emergency battery bank. Great for the never ending live streams and video chats we have these days. Superb for throwing effects onto photos and multi directional lighting.

It has a 4500 mAh battery bank built in which is a great saviour too.

Finally, the thing I get asked most about is the keyboard.

6. LG Rolly 2 – a roll up keyboard. Of the portable keyboards I own this one is the best to type on. It’s great on a flat surface. The length of it can be a bit off-putting as it is about a foot long rolled up, but it fits inside my coat pocket and I don’t notice it’s there.

It even fits in a jeans pocket… Sort of. But you might not want to sit down. These are some of my looser fit leather jeans and the pockets are quite big. I dread to try this with my slim fit latest pair.

So that’s the contents of my bag. Tiny isn’t it! I often keep it in a retro Gameboy Advance case although the keyboard is the issue here – I do a have different folding keyboard that fits in there but I’ve never found one as nice to type on.

Perhaps in a few years it will change again, but for now it’s been stable for quite a long time.